- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 13, 2014

Inquiring minds wonder if there’s a “G” in the grading repertoire. And that does not stand for “good.” Pollster John Zogby has given President Obama an “F” this week for the White House performance on the global stage, and the researcher has no imminent good news for the president.

“Some people have really bad weeks. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff got an ‘F’ after the nation’s soccer team lost to Germany. But President Obama’s week was just as bad,” Mr. Zogby says. “Israel and the Palestinians are at war again. The president should have visited the U.S.-Mexican border, where so many immigrant children are in danger and so many American citizens are worried.”

He adds, “It just seems that even those who have been so hopeful [for] this president are finally just giving up. Things just appear to be out of control — at least out of his control. A very bad week. The grade is F.”


As White House golf monitors eagerly will tell you, Mr. Obama took the weekend off and got in his accustomed round of golf at a championship course in Maryland — the 180th game since he took office, or thereabouts. He’ll also take a most pleasant 15-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard next month. And this week? Here’s what his schedule looks like, verbatim from the White House press office:

“On Monday, the President will participate in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office. In the evening, the President will host an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House. On Tuesday, the President will deliver remarks on the economy at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia. On Wednesday, the President will attend meetings at the White House. On Thursday, the President will travel to the New York City area to attend a Democratic National Committee roundtable. On Friday, the President will attend meetings at the White House.”

And now you know.


Critics squawk much that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to politicize the border crisis only to bolster a potential White House run in 2016. Yes, there could be some of that going on, but Mr. Perry also has a succinct reason for speaking out, loudly and often, about the surge of illegal immigrants, young and old: The Lone Star State has already spent a half-billion dollars on the situation.

“This is a crisis created by failed federal policy and a lack of will to dedicate the resources necessary to secure the border once and for all,” he says. “This has been a problem for a long time. In Texas, we’ve spent more than $500 million since 2005 to supplement border protection, fighting transnational gangs and drug cartels conducting criminal activities in the border region.”

The governor expects more of the same. But he has a clear solution in mind. Mr. Perry wants President Obama to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to augment the U.S. Border Patrol. He wants the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drone flights in the troubled region to track illegal drug and/or human trafficking. He’s not alone in his concern about the border crisis. Last week Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, told Defense One, “Many argue these threats are not existential and do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sides with the top officer, who is tasked with protecting the southern border of the U.S.

“He absolutely shares that concern,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.

“Ignoring the core problem will only cause more hardship,” reasons Mr. Perry.


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