Letters to the Editor

Letter: Not incompetent

September 18, 2013


To the editor:

From 2001-2008, President G.W. Bush showed an amazing incompetence as he allowed his vice president to run the country and the neocons to lead the U.S. into an unnecessary war. However, we were all too polite and too respectful of the office to use the word “incompetent” to describe him in public. The headline writer for Charles Krauthammer’s Sept. 13 column showed no reservations in using that word to describe President Obama, even though the columnist only used that word to describe his opinion of current diplomatic efforts in Syria.

Since 2008, President Obama has faced continual opposition from the infighting of the GOP isolationists, GOP neocons and anti-government tea party members. He has tried to work with Congress to improve the bad economy he inherited, while at the same time juggling crisis after crisis arriving almost daily from the Middle East. You may disagree with any statement, any policy or any decision this president makes, but you may not call this president incompetent! If you have not read his “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope,” do so before making future judgments about him. Having lived under 11 other presidents, I believe that President Barack Obama is the most competent of them all.


Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 6 months ago

I think it depends upon the meaning that skinny intended. If he means it in the sense of "that is the kind of jokes you tell," then "your" is grammatically correct.

alittlecurious 4 years, 6 months ago

You mean "most intelligent, thinking, reasonable people without a memory..." right???

no_thanks 4 years, 6 months ago

But not objective, unbiased people who are actually paying attention to National Issues.

His handling of Syria is an embarrassment. He uses a press conference following a national tragedy ( the shootings at the Navy Yard) as a platform to chastise Congress on not presenting a budget. Chastise them on gun control but hs comments were inappropriate and classless. Dodd-Frank will be a disaster for consumers. And we are two weeks away from Obamacare and the Nation is no where near ready to implement it. Theblist goes on and on. You can say its the Republicans fault, but the President should exhibit leadership skills in bringing parties together and leading with compromising proposals rather than saying "we won, they lost". This President as divisive as anyone in Congress.

And Merrill, the causes of the financial crisis stems from excess leverage, fraud, and greed from Big Banks. The root cause was the repeal of Glass-Stegall signed by Clinton and Barney Frank leading the charge for Fredde and Fannie o provide financing to make home ownership affordable to low income families. These were the first subprime loans. Big Banks took it from there and made huge bets that resulted in the ultimate crisis. And, this administration has done nothing o prevent a future crisis, other than limit the Governments ability to respond due to trillions of dollars added to the Feds Balance Sheet to shore up the economy.

Linda and Bill Houghton 4 years, 6 months ago

Compromising with the Republicans is impossible. They consider a compromise to be °My way or the highway°. That is no compromise.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

And if Obama agrees with their position, then they change. They did it with the ACA and they keep bouncing around with Syria. It would be funny, if they weren't in a position of power.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 6 months ago

"But not objective, unbiased people who are actually paying attention to National Issues." - Pretty sure you don't know what half these words mean based on what you imply. You just described everyone who stands against the core of current GOP and refuses to watch Faux News.

Not all of the objective unbiased people who pay attention the national issues may stand by Obama, but almost none of them side the Kraut, which is who she is discussing.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

After humiliating America with his big talk about red lines then standing down on orders from Putin, I'd say Obama is just another Carter. Libya too.

meggers 4 years, 6 months ago

His threat achieved the desired result. Absent that, Putin would not have found it necessary to broker a deal. Or perhaps you would have preferred a bombing campaign that took more innocent lives and left the chemical weapons intact.

It was a strategic win, no matter how you want to paint it. Putin blinked.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

So it's OK for Putin to dictate our foreign policy.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Not what they said.

It looks one way to some, and another way to others. To supporters, it looks like Obama put pressure on Russia, and now we have a diplomatic solution that doesn't require force.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

Obama drew the line, Assad ignored, Obama tried to get support for war and Putin told him no.

There will be no diplomatic solution, but at least Putin has kept America out of another war.

Trumbull 4 years, 6 months ago

President Obama stated that "this is not a contest with Russia". He also stated that he is not trying for "style points" in dealing with this crisis. His objective is to address the issue of chemical weapons and is not concerned so much as to who gets credit.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

I believe it was Kerry who dropped a hint on how to avoid an impasse and Putin jumped on it. Who is manipulating whom? Although I can't stand this stupid "face saving" macho crud, that's what happens.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh so, you wanted him to bomb Syria? Or you didn't. Or you did. Or he's a wimp if he doesn't. Or he's a warmonger if he does. Whew. And anyway he should get Congress' approval, or no wait, he should be bold and act, so we can criticize him for going over their heads. Or, no wait!

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

He should have never drawn the line. It isn't our business what happens in Syria.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

Jimmy Carter the man with the best proposal for the environment that would have been dealing with Climate Change,creating new industries and a ton of new jobs. And what party shut him down? The GOP or was it the beginning of the ALEC Right Wing Party posing as as republicans? Jimmy Carter was ahead of the times.

About BUSHCO? The letter writer got it.

What have voters forgotten?

--- BUSHCO Lying to the world about WMD's then occupying Iraq. And leaving a lot of blood behind accompanied with dead and disabled American and Muslim bodies alike. Reckless and wasteful indeed.

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

--- RECKLESS GOP Tax cuts = THE GOP ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again. Bush Tax Cuts aka http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

rtwngr 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh, I get it. Bush's failures belong to Bush/Cheney and Obama's failures belong to somebody else. President Barack Hussein Obama has done nothing but campaign. He doesn't lead. He lied about the Benghazi debacle. His minions in the IRS have obstructed organizations from obtaining tax exempt status. The recovery is shameful and more people now live on government assistance than ever before. Obama should resign and let that boob Biden take over.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

That is like jumping out og the frying pan into the fire. As poor a president as Obama has proven to be, Biden would be worse.

John Graham 4 years, 6 months ago

The press in general did nothing but attempt to blame Bush for every negative thing that happened during his 8 years and for several years since. Some things can be blamed on Bush but Congress had their hands in it too. Some things blamed on Bush were no more his fault than mine, he just happened to be President at the time. Same way with Obama. Some things are his fault with the help of Congress. Somethings happened that are not his fault, he just happened to be President at the time. But to say the press and public were "too polite" to call Bush incompetent is nothing but laughable. The press and anti-Bush crowd called him every name under the sun including that he was stupid despite evidence his college scores were equal to or better than his democratic opponent. The press and anti-Bush crowd were definitely not polite nor respectful. The problem is Obama is now feeling the heat like Bush got and the press and pro-Obama crowd don't like it.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh Bush wasn't incompetent. He was looking for a way to invade Iraq before he even took office, and he found it with 9/11. He jumped right on it, and ignored any information that went contrary to what he wanted to do. He was the great manipulator. And hopefully you aren't one of those Republicans polled who felt that Obama should have reacted more quickly after Katrina, and that he caused the recession. Oh, and he probably invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and put 2 wars on a credit card, so he could give tax cuts to his rich buddies. It's all his fault. I mean he's been president since 2000.

Centerville 4 years, 6 months ago

The question: is Obama a.) incompetent or b.)malicious? The author choses b.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 6 months ago

I have only lived under 10 Presidents so you got me there.

It will be hard to judge Obama until after the smoke clears and the historians get a little perspective. This has always been the case.

It is important that he do well. That is the part the right wing does not get.

It is important for America that our President is successful. Their strategy of tearing down Obama is a strategy for tearing down their own country. That is the part I do not understand.

John Graham 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree I want Obama successful despite the fact I am republican. The democrats didn't seem too interested in Bush being successful. Oh I guess they forgot about how they acted. The problem is it is us v them not us with them.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 6 months ago

I forgot one, so I guess it is 11 presidents I have lived under.

The one I forgot was Leslie Lynch King, Jr.

Armstrong 4 years, 6 months ago

In other words Barry can do no wrong in the eyes of the low information voter.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, I'm not a low informed (not information) voter, and I have to spend more time defending Obama against the outright lies, so I never get a chance to talk about the legitimate things which I don't like that he has done. For example, I was appalled that he was going to get us involved in yet another Middle East fiasco. Of course, I have always held the opinion that we should stay out of civil wars, since Viet Nam. I have my values, and don't change them as the conservatives have done in order to be opposite Obama. I even agreed with Bush on a few things. And I am quite informed. Conservatives like McCain have been calling for our involvement in Syria for a long time. The ACA was modeled after a conservative plan. If you dispute any of that, you are the low informed voter. And guess what? After 5 years Obama has not come to get your guns, but I'll bet you have gone out and stockpile a bunch and made some gun manufacturer rich.

John Graham 4 years, 6 months ago

The problem is no one wants to listen to anyone else's ideas. Democrats have some good ideas, Republicans have some good ideas, even Tea Party and Libertarians have some good ideas. No one party has a monopoly on good ideas. Once elections are over all parties need to shake hands, act like adults and work together to address issues and not act like petulant 5 year olds. Everyone is too worried about appealing to their "base" so they can get re-elected instead of trying to actually do something for the betterment of all. We as voters also need to quit acting like petulant 5 year olds for we get what we ask for.

Nellane Laney Croan Stussie 4 years, 6 months ago

Refreshing letter. Most Obama supporters have finally seen the light and scraped the Obama bumper stickers off their cars! Most have realized that this guy has competently taken this country down a path we will regret. Funny how no one can mention any of Obama's many gaffs without referring to Bush.

In terms of the GOP supporting Obama ... do you not remember the first 2 years of his "reign" ... dems controlled both houses ... they did not even invite GOP members to meetings.

KURocks 4 years, 6 months ago

You forgot to mention the book "The Amature". It is very sad that you think Owebama is the most competent president in your life time. He is by far the most incompetent president in history, and continues to demonstrate that daily.

asixbury 4 years, 6 months ago

Examples, please. People keep calling him incompetent, but provide no reasons...reasons that are sound and logical, that is, based on fact and not opinion. The fighting between the 2 political parties is the biggest embarassment when it comes to this country. Everyone is acting like a bunch of children.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

They seem to take a few facts, then add a lot of spin and distortion, and then blame it all on the president, regardless of whether it's his fault or not.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

How about this. We have 4 months to have health insurance and we have no idea what it will cost.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm not 40, I don't make 25k and I live in Kansas which isn't mentioned. You have failed as badly as I have.

jimmyjms 4 years, 6 months ago

...except that the article didn't end there. SMH

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

I searched it for "kansas" and got no hits.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

I you mean that you can't get on Medicaid, then you only have Brownback to blame for that one.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

We don't want medicaid.

Here's the real deal. My wife switched jobs recently and we usually get our insurance through her work. Now we are looking at the insurance from her new employer, and they have a policy we would be happy with at a good price. Unfortunately, that plan will be outlawed by the ACA because of the deductibles (which are set up to be HSA compliant). We don't know what her employer will offer in it's place and my employer doesn't know what he will offer. The Exchange isn't telling us prices either.

So for the time being, we are doing without insurance until this debacle is worked out.

Without the ACA, we would already have insurance, but with it we have no idea what we can buy and not have to switch again in 4 months.

asixbury 4 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like the employer is incompetent, not the President. Our company had no problem with the transition. They have been slowly incorporating the changes well ahead of the deadline to prevent such a fiasco as you described above.

Liberty275 4 years, 5 months ago

That's nice for you. We had a meeting at work yesterday and my boss remains unsure if he will continue coverage until he sees what the new rates will be through work and what the rates on the exchanges will be.

What changes has your company transitioned into?

asixbury 4 years, 5 months ago

The deductible mandate, the no-cap of coverage, among many other things. Nothing at all has changed since last year. Your employer needs to get their head out of their you-know-what. They shouldn't have waited until the last second to deal with the changes.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, first, you don't actually "have" to have health insurance. Some people will pay a rather small fine if they don't, but there are a lot of exceptions to the fine, and because it's so small, you can easily choose not to have insurance and just pay the fine instead.

Second, I'm pretty sure that you can call any number of health insurance companies and get a quote for your health insurance policy - have you done that?

asixbury 4 years, 6 months ago

There has been a lot of time since the act was passed for you to figure this out. Don't blame the President for your procrastination.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

The information isn't available to make a choice even today.

weeslicket 4 years, 6 months ago

crimony liberty275. way to go all socialist on your individual self. ease up buddy.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm trying to avoid the tax penalty. I'm not rich enough to buy government indulgences.

weeslicket 4 years, 6 months ago

i think you need to read those ayn rand novels again.

and you really did miss the humor in my previous post.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

The penalty is $95/year.

It's so small as to be virtually insignificant (the SC did that on purpose, which greatly lessens the power of it to encourage people to buy insurance).

So, if you don't want to buy health insurance, just don't buy it and pay the penalty.

Also, as I've said numerous times, there are lots of exceptions to the penalty - if your insurance premiums would be larger than 8% (I believe) of your overall income, you don't have to pay a penalty at all.

And, nothing's stopping you or anybody else from calling insurance companies and getting quotes right now. If you want to participate in the exchanges, there are sites that offer estimates, not written in stone, about what your premiums would be through them. I think Kaiser runs one of the best ones.

Plug in your age, income, etc. and it will give you numbers.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

"The penalty is $95/year."

No it isn't. It is $95 the first year and increases after that. Further, it is $95 and you still have no insurance.

As for "calling around", or messing with exchanges, no. We can get insurance through my job or my wife's new job but neither of them can give us an idea of what policies they will have when the ACA forces them to change coverage.

In the meantime, we are paying cash for health care, which isn't a big deal, but I'd certainly like to see the money we spend going towards a deductible.

Without this debacle, we would already be in a high deductible policy and putting money in an HSA.

The ACA should be the new definition of debacle.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, that's true - it increases each year. But, again, there are lots of exceptions, you should check and see if you might not have to pay the penalty at all.

It sounded like you don't really want insurance, that's why I mentioned that.

Ok - then you don't want to do that, but it's certainly possible, if you wanted more information, which is what you asked for.

If your companies can't give you any idea of what policies they'll have, then they're not paying attention or they're lying to you. The ACA spells out a number of requirements for insurance policies, and the company should know those, or easily be able to find out about them, just as I have.

Why aren't you in an insurance plan right now?

If you had a "high deductible" plan, then unless you're paying a lot of money towards health care, a couple of months wouldn't really make that much difference overall.

I get that you don't like the ACA, but it sounds like you haven't educated yourself much on it before forming that opinion. It's big and complicated (two things I don't like about it), but there are also a number of positive elements to it.

It will take at least a few years of full implementation (assuming that R in Congress don't manage to derail it) before I can form a reasonably decent opinion of the overall success of the legislation.

weeslicket 4 years, 5 months ago

geeze liberty275. quit being such a moocher. it sounds almost as if you prefer universal coverage.

the horror. the horror.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm sorry you don't have health insurance, Liberty. Is it because you are too poor?

Liberty275 4 years, 5 months ago

My wife switched jobs and had to make it through some 30 day period. We had great insurance and we will again soon. No thanks to the ACA.

jimmyjms 4 years, 6 months ago

Way to totally not read more than the first paragraph.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 6 months ago

Definition... Competence: The ability to do something successfully or efficiently.

If you consider the definition it would imply that success depends on how well everyone is working together. The use of the term incompetent loses value as a word you can use to intelligently evaluate a President.

The reason CK uses it is because he writes propaganda which does not have to be intelligent.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 6 months ago

I served under Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton. Carter was the only one that could be labeled as incompetent. The others all had their own faults.

yanman 4 years, 6 months ago

I am still amazed that people like Audrey are still so enamored with our current President. Obviously holding someone accountable for their campaign promises is not important to them.

weeslicket 4 years, 6 months ago

so, i'm trying to remember when acrimony has ever been helpful to me, personally. other than i got to practice patience a little more.

Trumbull 4 years, 6 months ago

And it ain't over yet. The Republicans are again going to risk sabotaging the US Treasury by threatening to not raise the debt ceiling. The hostages are the American people, and the ransom is the Affordable Care Act.

The impact this could cause to our treasury bonds rating, our stock market, the interest we pay on US debt, could all be disastrous. This to me is incompetence if not pure sabotage.

Linda and Bill Houghton 4 years, 6 months ago

The Republicans are doing this to try and make Obama be the bad guy. When it is all over they will find that they have made themselves more irrelivant than they already were.

ENVIROPEACE 4 years, 6 months ago

More irrelevant, not likely... Then again, when I think the GOP can go no further into the ditch they surprise me again...

Chris Golledge 4 years, 6 months ago

There are people who find fault with whatever he does simply because they don't like the man. He sought support for action in Syria from congress and was criticised for delaying action until it had little meaning, but if he had not worked with congress, he would have been branded a war-hungry dictator. It's like that for most things.

In the end, the current situation is the best that can be hoped for. Yes, we are committed to not taking action against Assad until the chemical weapons are destroyed, but the alternative would be the very real risk that extremists, bent on attacking America, would have gotten possesion of these weapons in the chaos of declining order in that country. The only way to minimize the risk of that would be to put US forces there to capture the weapons ourselves, and nobody wants that. So, go ahead, criticise the man who worked us into the best possible scenario there.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 4 years, 5 months ago

Hogwash. Obama has done more to ruin America than any President in history. He lies so much that no one with any sense can believe any thing he says !!

asixbury 4 years, 5 months ago

Examples please. Bush was a much bigger embarassment than any President before or after.

purplesage 4 years, 5 months ago

"There are peopole who find fault with whatever he does simply because they don't like the man." It is harder to like arrogant people than ones who are more personable. For example, "most thinking people would agree with the letter" reveals the incredible arrogance of the liberal left.

President Obama has bumbled his way through 60% of his presidency. And he isn't done ruining America.

asixbury 4 years, 5 months ago

How has he ruined America? I can understand if you simply don't like him, but to make such claims is ridiculous. He expanded science research funding, which has greatly helped my husband in his career among thousands of other scientists, he upheld reproductive rights in requiring insurance companies to cover basic women care such as birth control, has kept us out of another war for now....all while being blocked at every turn by crybaby, immature Republicans whose only goals are to "just say no" to everything Obama's administration comes up with, whether they agree or not. I'm not saying he's perfect, far from it. But he has not ruined America in any way.

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