Obama Unleashed

Posted on January 23, 2010

Barack Obama’s speech today in a town hall in  Cleveland  points to a President who is becoming increasingly unhinged and irrational.  His penchant to put too much on his plate continues. He is still  obsessed with health care, finance and spending more. Obliquely referring to the Massacre in Massachusetts earlier this week, he sought to clarify what  was really behind the vote Tuesday. 

Just days before the Massachusetts vote, he had said emphatically “I am not on the ballot. ”  Now in a  360 degree turn, Obama acknowledges that he and his policies were.  In a speech delivered at a manufacturing plant in Ohio, Obama  exibited a  low-level rage and a defensiveness about his policies saying that he would never give up and that he would doggedly “fight” for his agenda.   He made a rambling list of his accomplishments his administration had achieved in a variety of areas.  It was almost impossible to follow him as he delved into each subject because he would discuss one, then double back to one just “listed.” 

This speech decidedly followed patterns he had established in others:

  • A casual “discussion” and joking around with attendees, thanking them for making him feel at home.  He was juts one of the folks. 
  • A description of  himself as a poor, besieged crusader for what both he and his audience wanted who had gone up against his advisors. 
  • An empassioned section presenting himself as a “realist” willling to become a martyr to advance his agenda.
  • An inside look into the inner workings of his Administration again letting the American people know that he bravely had gone against the recomendations of his advisors as he had about the war.
  • A call to action.

Here is the speech he gave in Ohio at a college.  It is less “shrill” than the one delivered at a manufacturing plant earlier in th day:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5Gw8EvElV4]

 As he did even before he took office, Obama is still talking about how confined he feels being President and he’s glad for the opportunity to leave DC.  This is not a man comfortable either with himself or with his position.  He came into it with apprehension about life in the “bubble”that nothing that he has experience has changed his mind.  This is troubling.  One would expect a President to be more engaged. But hs is as obsessed with this concept as he is with his legislative agenda.

He blamed the depression on the banks.  He referred to the mess the auto industry was in and how his Administration saved them and the jobs they represent.  He continued with the litany of his Administration’s accomplishments – the recovery act.: tax cuts.  money to states,  etc. In doing this, there was defensiveness in his tone.  “I did not run away for President to run away from these challenges.” “he said he that was going to “confront” them.  He mentioned privileged people, the cost of higher education and the rising cost of health care.

He used the word “fight” multiple tmes.  He was told by advisors that he had a lot on his plate, health care was tough and complex.  He undercut the value of the decision in Massachusetts as a “buzz saw” that they all ran into.  While he spent a lot of time on health care, he jumped from subject to subject to get his agenda mentioned.  He undercut his opposition by joking about how the opposition focused on him in sarcastic phrases “this is not about me – this is about you.”  He was a martyr – did not do this to be popular.  I win whe you win.  I”m not going to watch more people get crushed by insurance companies.  I will not stop fighting for you – to bring back jobs.”

The irony of all of this is that he is not up todate on what China is doing to limit the power of the West. As he ralliees the troops around the green issues a factor in job creation.   Missing were two important realities governing our relationshp with China and their increased power on the world stage. 

  1. They control our financial policies  via our loans.
  2. They have exclaimed to the West that  access to “rare earth materials” used in the manufacture of wind turbines and automobiles will be limited.  They claim they need these minerals for the benefit of their own people.  This belies the fact that we can gain economic independence through developing certain green industries.

The latest controversy surrounding REEs is, in a nutshell, the following: China controls over 93% of the world’s REE production. Every year China reduces export quotas and raises the export duties for REEs, yet advanced ‘industries of tomorrow’ (for example, wind turbines, electric and hybrid cars) worldwide depend on the availability and affordability of REEs. Moreover, important defence applications (anti-missile defences, jet engines, missile guidance systems, etc.) also use REEs widely, thus making the issue of Chinese-only supply especially sensitive.

China possesses around 50% of the world’s REE reserves, and has over the past two decades supplanted the US as the premier world REE supplier, due to a few significant factors. First, the development of REE resources has over the years received Chinese government support (some sources even quote Deng Xiaoping saying that one day China will become ‘the Saudi Arabia of rare earths’). Second, at the world’s largest deposit of REEs, Bayan Obo (Baiyunebo) in Inner Mongolia, rare earths are produced as by-products of iron ore mining, which dramatically lowers their cost. Thirdly, China has also benefited from being naturally-endowed with rich, accessible HREE-containing deposits, such as the ion-absorption ores in the south of China. Lastly, the numerous small players active in mining and processing REEs are highly competitive, while the ‘China factor’ helps keep production costs among the lowest in the world, in a fashion similar to China’s other manufacturing industries. [New York Times]

With Russia turning from the US doller and buying more Canadian, [The Financial Timees’]  It appears that the international community is distancing itself from the reckless spending under the President.  Again, a nation state is externally controlling a part of the US economy that prviously they would not have considered. They are not only protectng their interests, but they smell blood. In short, there is a growing list of  areas in which, under this President have been turned over to others to control.  He can no longer promise an improved economy.  He has limits unknown to previous administrations.  In this and in other ways, he continues yet another pattern: to be dishonest with the American people.


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