The Manchester Free Press

Monday • July 16 • 2018

Vol.X • No.XXIX

Manchester, N.H.

Formula For Failure - A Retrospective

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2018-07-03 13:29 +0000

George Packer's New Yorker article, Witnessing the Obama Presidency, from Start to Finish, is a look at the Obama presidency through the eyes of Ben Rhodes, Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser.  Rhodes has just written a book about it.

Ben Rhodes was the President’s speechwriter, foreign-policy adviser, and confidant. His book records the Administration’s struggle to shape its own narrative.

No doubt Packer considers the Obama presidency a success of historic proportions, and if there is any failure to be associated with it, it is a failure of the American people to fully appreciate and get behind Obama.  But the impact of Packer's article is that it explains the failures of the Obama Presidency, unintentionally of course.

Barack Obama was a writer before he became a politician, and he saw his Presidency as a struggle over narrative. “We’re telling a story about who we are,” he instructed his aide Ben Rhodes early in the first year of his first term. He said it again in his last months in office, on a trip to Asia—“I mean, that’s our job. To tell a really good story about who we are”—adding that the book he happened to be reading argued for storytelling as the trait that distinguishes us from other primates.

Seems a misguided theory that the United State presidency would be a struggle over narrative.  In retrospect it's a theory that fits the Obama presidency.  Think of ObamaCare as not so much an effort to improve health care than as a statement, a narrative: "This is who we are."  It went through congress and was signed into law on a strictly partisan vote with Republicans shut out of the negotiations.  It was Democrats saying who they were and who the Republicans were not.  When finally implemented — as much as it could be — health care costs went up instead of down as promised.  Some people were helped, and others — most — were not.  If you liked your health care plan, you could not keep your health insurance plan, as Obama had promised.  And if you liked your doctor, you couldn't necessarily keep your doctor, as Obama had promised.  Your doctor had to be part of your new health insurance network that replaced the one you couldn't keep because it didn't meet Obama's requirements — like men having to be covered for birth control pills.

The presidency as narrative is risky business when there is an ever changing narrative, especially when elements of it seemed to have a shorter and shorter shelf life.  But there is no doubting the centrality of narrative to Obama's presidency. 

Obama’s audience was both the American public and the rest of the world. His characteristic rhetorical mode was to describe and understand both sides of a divide—black and white, liberal and conservative, Muslim and non-Muslim—before synthesizing them into a unifying story that seemed to originate in and affirm his own.

Unfortunately, it was only in rhetorical mode that Obama understood both sides of a divide, but that was the narrative.  In reality, Obama had no interest in the any side of any divide other than his own.  This is a point that Packer himself inadvertently reinforced when he described the rise of Ben Rhodes.

The journalistic cliché of a “mind meld” doesn’t capture the totality of Rhodes’s identification with the President. He came to Obama with an M.F.A. in fiction writing from New York University and a few years on the staff of a Washington think tank. He became so adept at anticipating Obama’s thoughts and finding Obamaesque words for them that the President made him a top foreign-policy adviser, with a say on every major issue. Rhodes’s advice mostly took the form of a continuous effort to understand and apply the President’s thinking.

Rhodes brought nothing to the table other than a world view in lockstep with Obama's and a talent for putting it in grandiose words.  And that accounts for his meteoric rise in Washington politics.  Ben Rhodes didn't bring a specialized knowledge of foreign policy.  He was not the man to point out alternate perspectives to Obama, to shed new light on issues, or, heaven forbid, to challenge Obama's assumptions.  Rhodes was a magnificently successful sycophant, a yes man.  His selection as an adviser meant that U.S. foreign policy was guided almost solely by Obama, or more accurately by Obama's whim when reality stepped in to crush Obama's naivete.  Syrian red line?  Tell Vlad I'll have more flexibility after the election?  It was a foreign policy that almost invariably reacted to world events rather than dictated them, always with an eye towards domestic political consumption rather than productive results on the international stage.

There were two moments during their ten years together when a gap opened up between the President and his aide. The first came at the start of Obama’s second term, when the promises of the Arab Spring were unravelling. The second came with the election of a successor who pledged to dismantle everything Obama had stood for. In each case, Obama was forced into a reconsideration of his idea of progress, and Rhodes, a step or two behind, had to catch up. The drama of “The World as It Is” lies between these points.

A step or two behind and having to catch up.  That was Obama's idea of an adviser.  What advice could Rhodes possibly have given that Obama didn't already know about?  As a sympathetic observer George Packer is fully on board with the Obama/Rhodes approach, and equally oblivious.

In “The Final Year,” a new documentary that focuses on Obama’s foreign policy at the end of his Presidency, Trump’s victory leaves Rhodes unable to speak for almost a full minute. It had been inconceivable, like the repeal of a law of nature—not just because of who Trump was but also because of who Obama was. Rhodes and Obama briefly sought refuge in the high-mindedness of the long view—“Progress doesn’t move in a straight line,” Rhodes messaged his boss on Election Night, a reference to one of Obama’s own sayings, which the President then revived for the occasion: “History doesn’t move in a straight line, it zigs and zags.” But that was not much consolation. On Obama’s last trip abroad, he sat quietly with Rhodes in the Beast as they passed the cheering Peruvian crowds. “What if we were wrong?” Obama suddenly asked. Rhodes didn’t know what he meant. “Maybe we pushed too far. Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.” Obama took the thought to its natural conclusion: “Sometimes I wonder whether I was ten or twenty years too early.

Ponder the sentences I highlighted in bold print.  You question, could you have been wrong?  Of course not.  The "natural conclusion" is that you're ahead of your time.  Isn't that a relief.  Ben Rhodes thought so.

Rhodes wrestled with this painful blow. It sounded like a repudiation of everything they had done. But then he found an answer, and it was in keeping with the spirit of his years in service to Obama: “We were right, but all that progress depended upon him, and now he was out of time.”

"And now he was out of time."  Thank God!

Categories: Blogs, United States

Blue Wave Theory of Operation

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2018-07-03 13:20 +0000

In The Glory of Timely Leftist Overreach Dov Fischer offers some needed perspective on that "socialist wave" that swept Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the Democratic nomination for a Bronx congressional seat.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got 16,000 votes and Joseph Crowley got 11,000 in a District of, uh, 691,000 people. Even ten percent is not an endorsement of an ideology. Look more closely at that District: (i) more than 40% of the population speak Spanish at home; (ii) 57% were born in Latin America; (iii) ethnic-racial composition 50% Hispanic, 11% Black, and 18% White.

The passage above illustrates the leftist/Democrat strategy as it was meant to work. Our totalitarian Democrats have abandoned all attempts at appealing to more conservative American voters, adopting a strategy, instead, of importing a new socialistically oriented electorate from Central and South America. Keys to the success of this strategy are 1.) lax or nonexistent enforcement of immigration laws and 2.) lax or nonexistent validation of voter identification.

Read the whole thing.  Fischer makes quite a few other entertaining observations.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Dark Journalist: Reddit AMA Video - The Breakaway Civilization

Daily Paul - Sun, 2015-04-12 00:34 +0000

Dark Journalist will be joining the reddit conspiracy community for an AMA (ask me anything) question and answer session on April 16th at 4pm EST. He is happy to answer any questions that viewers may have on subjects such as the Black Budget Economy, The Breakaway Civilization, Deep State, Secret Space Program and UFO Secrecy.

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Categories: Articles, United States

My review of The Most Dangerous Superstition

Daily Paul - Sun, 2015-04-12 00:02 +0000

I'm very proud to have written the most-upvoted review of Larken Rose's great book, The Most Dangerous Superstition. Somehow or other, I never got around to posting the review on the Daily Paul. So here it is, my last words on my late-great favorite website:

Little children learn morality from their parents: things are good or bad because Mommy and Daddy SAID so. A little later, they may be taught that things are good or bad because God SAID so, in some Holy Book. And still later, when they are taught "civics" in government schools, they will be taught that things are good or bad because "It's the law." (And it's GOOD to obey the law, BAD to break it.") But "the law" is just whatever politicians SAY it is.

A person becomes an adult when he outgrows the need to be given moral commandments from people he thinks of as "authorities," and learns to judge for himself what is right or wrong. This is a book to read to discover just how adult YOU really are. The book as a whole is a litmus test that will show whether the reader is an adult with independent judgment, or still a child, believing every fantasy and superstition that the "authorities" in his life have told him to believe.

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Categories: Articles, United States

Over 1000 People Show Up At Las Vegas Rand Paul Rally Today..Over Capacity At Venue

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 23:49 +0000


Categories: Articles, United States

My Last Post To The Daily Paul Forces… To all who love Truth & Constitution, to all those patriots like my friend…

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 23:29 +0000

... the greatest Congressman in history, Dr. Paul!

It is to those who have lived, and to those who now live and plan to die, in the cause of Life, Liberty, Property, and the Rule of Law, I write:

It is time to speak briefly but solemnly, on behalf of the accomplishments of Dr. NO, and to help encourage a setting of the record straight, from one ‘friend of the family’ perspective.

Bring to mind once again this picture. You have all seen it!

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Categories: Articles, United States

Diana Hengerer And Fishy Offer A Tribute To the DP

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 19:30 +0000

Much love to everyone who made this place what it was. See you on the new boat.

Categories: Articles, United States

Ron Paul & Glenn Greenwald - Today 4/11/15 @ U T - L B J Auditorium

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 16:42 +0000

“Stop the Wars on Drugs and Terrorism” will feature an all-star lineup of three dynamic speakers: Ron Paul, Glenn Greenwald, and Radley Balko.

The Future of Freedom Foundation and Young Americans for Liberty present a one-day conference on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin at the LBJ Auditorium in the Lyndon B. Johnson Library on Saturday, April 11, 2015, that will address the war on drugs and the war on terrorism.

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Categories: Articles, United States

I'd jump onto the new lifeboat pretty quick everybody!

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 16:00 +0000

The party is just getting started. And this old ark seems to be springing lots of leaks today.

She was a good vessel, and we'll always love her, but the new ship is really streamlined and comfy! I think we're gonna have some fun at Popular Liberty.

Categories: Articles, United States

The Best Reason To Take Rand Paul Seriously Has Nothing To Do With His Politics New York Times

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 13:19 +0000

. Rands Team is Playing the Moneyball game in politics

Categories: Articles, United States

What the Media Hasn’t Told You About Rand Paul’s Announcement

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 13:07 +0000

What the Media Hasn’t Told You About Rand Paul’s Announcement

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Categories: Articles, United States

The very best of Crabacado & goodbye Dale Lee Paul

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 08:01 +0000

I'm a late bloomer to defining liberty. I was always a true core libertarian, I never knew how to define it....until Ron Paul.

I'd completely missed the 2008 election due to private issues, never even heard of Ron Paul.

In late 2011, I watched the first 3 GOP Primary debates and discovered Ron Paul. His message resonated with me on a scale I'd never experienced before. A day later, I found the Daily Paul.

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Categories: Articles, United States

In Closing Let Me Say That I Love Dr. Ron Paul As a Man of Peace and Principles

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 04:40 +0000

...and he really did cure my apathy in politics.

I did not vote in a presidential election for 32 years until Congressman Paul ran in 2008.

In addition to curing my apathy, Dr. Paul's candidacy put me on a road to learning which no average university political science or college program could have taught me.

I'm sad to see this site go away and I fear that many who are here will be lost even though a new site is scheduled to replace the DailyPaul.

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Categories: Articles, United States

VIDEO: Special Op Veterans Groups Have Launched ‘COUNTER' Jade Helm’ Operation

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 03:54 +0000

VIDEO: Special Op Veterans Groups Have Launched ‘COUNTER' Jade Helm’ Operation


Initiative will "observe the attempted infiltration of our towns"


Categories: Articles, United States

My last post on dailypaul, I am going to war with Rand Paul, I will stand by his side

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 03:46 +0000

That is it, but I will see you all on of course. No politician can change this country, it is up to you and I, but I am seeing new people coming to the liberty message through Rand Paul. I am feeling that same fire once again. He isn't perfect, and neither are we, but I am jumping on the train and will choose to stand with him with no intentions of outcome, but moreso to educate people like we have been doing. People are ready to hear the message, Rand Paul is the newest vessel at this point.

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Categories: Articles, United States

Judge Napolitano: Rand Paul's Base Is Broader Than Any Republican In Modern Times

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 03:01 +0000

Categories: Articles, United States

Remember kindness, as we evolve and move on

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 02:53 +0000

On this sad day, I am reflecting on many moments that I have experienced in my time with the DailyPaul. As I have previously commented/posted, the DailyPaul was instrumental in my evolution as a political (or rather anti-political) being. The times I shared here from 2007 onwards (though I joined much later) changed my life forever.

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Categories: Articles, United States

Rand Paul's attack ad turned into a Jeb Bush attack ad

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 02:20 +0000

I just turned the attack ad against rand back on the guy who probably financed it.

Categories: Articles, United States

South Carolina Democrats fail to undermine Rand Paul - only 1 reporter Shows up to Press Conference - Guess who?

Daily Paul - Fri, 2015-04-10 22:52 +0000

The Democrat Party of South Carolina called for a press conference to undermine Rand Paul, and guess who the only Reporter to show up, none other than a reporter from anti-establishment /Liberty news outlet Breitbart.

How embarrassing for the Democrats.

Categories: Articles, United States

Drone flies over chinese owned Smithfield Hog Farm and records some very disturbing video

Daily Paul - Fri, 2015-04-10 22:12 +0000

A lot of states are trying to Pass Right to Farm scams, pretending its to protect family farms or from the humane society. The truth is, it gives super rights to corporate farms and GMO outfits like Monsanto.

Here a drone is flown over a huge Smithfield Hog Farm which is now owned by the Chinese, deplorable conditions and pollution shot into the air in the form of water jets that disipates into mist that drifts over nearby homes.

Watch it here:

Categories: Articles, United States

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