Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on February 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has an interesting set of priorities. No one in America should go broke paying for health care, Obama argues in his attempt to convince voters to support his massive government interventions in the health-care industry. On the other hand, Americans who need rescuing from other countries had better be prepared to pay retail, as Public Secrets discovered:

In a notice sent to U.S. citizens in Libya, the department said Americans wishing to leave Libya should report to the As-shahab port in the capital of Tripoli with their passports starting at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The ferry will depart for the Mediterranean island of Malta no later than 3 p.m. local time.

It said boarding the vessel would be on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to those with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions. Travelers will be allowed one suitcase and one small carry-on item, the notice said, adding that pets would be allowed on the ferry but that they must meet European Union requirements.

Those who want be evacuated should be prepared to wait several hours and bring food, water and other necessities to the pier, which is on the sea road across from the Radisson Blu Mahari Hotel in Tripoli.

Those who take the ferry will be expected to reimburse the government for the cost, estimated to be equivalent to the one-way commercial ferry crossing of the distance from Tripoli to the Maltese capital of Valletta, it said. Any onward travel from Malta must be paid for by the passengers, the notice said.

Immediate family members of U.S. citizens who are not themselves citizens will be able to board provided they have travel documents valid for their final destination.

That wasn’t the only faux pas, either:

[T]he best part of this extravaganza of incompetence is highlighted above: evacuees were told to wait on a pier, in the open, water on three sides, like sitting ducks with no protection in case Qaddafi’s goons showed up for a bit of hostage-taking… or other revenge. My God, we are lucky there wasn’t a massacre.

The Brits sent the SAS, their elite special forces, who probably would have known better than to ask their evacuees to stand out in the open on a pier. So far as we know, they didn’t charge for the service, either.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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Sweet.
Show proof you live in the house burning down before the firefighters save you.
Azzhat.

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2011 at 8:07 AM

Fine. Now let the House pass a law saying that anyone who uses a government service must pay retail. Precedent has been set.

rogerb on February 28, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Unbelievable. Totally believable.

NeighborhoodCatLady on February 28, 2011 at 8:10 AM

*shaking the head*

unstinkingbelievable

mr faux pas-in-chief..he is mighty lucky nothing happened

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Why do we have the most powerful navy in the history of the world again? Seems like a perfect time to use it. This is just stupidity compounding stupidity

Daveyardbird on February 28, 2011 at 8:11 AM

If they were all union workers, Air Force 2 would have been sent to the rescue at no charge.

mizflame98 on February 28, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Serves them right for trying to hide taxable income from me/Obama.

OldEnglish on February 28, 2011 at 8:12 AM

the navy seals must be swearing under their breath…

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Is this what Obama and Jim Wallis mean by Collective Salvation? Share the wealth and you’ll be saved, baby!

kingsjester on February 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

If you tried to make this up, nobody would believe you.

Mord on February 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Once upon a time, this one incident could be enough to derail a presidential campaign. How so many people could consider Obama the favorite in 2012, or want him to win, is far beyond my reasoning capabilities.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Incompetence and stupidity all rolled into one.

DuctTapeMyBrain on February 28, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Unbelievable. Totally believable.

NeighborhoodCatLady on February 28, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Well done.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:17 AM

China now has 29,000 out and about 10k left. They sent in cruise ships, ferry’s, organized buses, and this morning are winging four air force transports into Benghazi. Meanwhile the Brits C-130s are still coming and going and two British warships are operating between Benghazi and Malta doing evacs. The French are delivering medical supplies to the rebels today. Turkey has sent aircraft in and out from the start.

Meanwhile, on day 11, Barry is still going over that list of options.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:17 AM

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

i think their hatred for any gop president takes over any love they have for dear leader…

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 8:17 AM

O/T: Gird your loins.

kingsjester on February 28, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Still, nearly half of voting Americans think Odamna is a good prez.

There is no hope for America when half our citizens are so amazingly stupid.

Crusader Rabbit on February 28, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Coming up: Chris Mathews will be telling us how this incident illustrates Obama’s military acumen and what a caring POTUS he is….

apostic on February 28, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Once upon a time, this one incident could be enough to derail a presidential campaign. How so many people could consider Obama the favorite in 2012, or want him to win, is far beyond my reasoning capabilities.
pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

I know. It’s frightening.

conservative pilgrim on February 28, 2011 at 8:20 AM

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

i think their hatred for any gop president takes over any love they have for dear leader…

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Unfortunate, but true.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Did Scooter give ol’ Moammar a kickback on the ferry charges?

kingsjester on February 28, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Tell me that anything the Bush administration did post-Katrina was this inept and dangerous. The ObaMao administration does not work on behalf of its citizens’ security.

onlineanalyst on February 28, 2011 at 8:24 AM

Other countries that have sent aircraft for evac…

Poland, Canada, Netherlands, Italy, Egypt, Greece, Germany, and the colossus BANGLADESH.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:24 AM

Hey, Freedom ain’t free ya know. /sarc

JimK on February 28, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Pretzeldent Waffle

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Those evacuees needed to have some “skin in the game” don’t you know.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Obaka. Says it all.

ladyingray on February 28, 2011 at 8:29 AM

The Audacity Of Obama!!!!!!

pilamaye on February 28, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Walk softly and prepare to have your ticket ready to present at the gate.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Obaka. Says it all.

ladyingray on February 28, 2011 at 8:29 AM

The Japanese idol?

Heh.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Obama’s list of options to explore…

1. Act

2. Don’t act

3. Go over list again.

On day 11 he is still has his pencil waivering over the top of the answer sheet.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM

I have worked for people, like Obama, whose education got them promoted, but who wouldn’t know how to lead a child to the candy counter.

Mr. President, you are a FAILURE!

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:37 AM

When war broke out between Lebanon and Israel in 2006, the Canadian government brought out all those in Lebanon clamoring to get out at the taxpayers’ expense. The majority of them were dual Lebanese-Canadian citizens, many of whom had not lived in Canada in many years. What you might call ‘citizens of convenience’. Within 6 months, more than half of them had returned to Lebanon.

I wasn’t the only Canadian taxpayer who was pi$$ed off at having my money thrown away like this.

ProfessorMiao on February 28, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Meanwhile, on day 11, Barry is still going over that list of options.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Obama has employed the Clinton principle of putting one’s finger in the air and checking the latest polls, to prevent the appearance of “acting stupidly”. His indecision and control over foreign policy matters has become an embarrassment to the office while the rest of the world is laughing at the man’s incompetence. Meanwhile, the media’s persistence/complicity at ignoring this serious liability puts everyone in danger. Be very worried.

Rovin on February 28, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Obama’s list of options to explore…

1. Act

2. Don’t act

3. Go over list again.

On day 11 he is still has his pencil waivering over the top of the answer sheet.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM

C’mon, be fair. By now he’s had to scrape his dried boogers off the paper any number of times.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:40 AM

ProfessorMiao on February 28, 2011 at 8:38 AM

So the ones who actually needed help are suppose to be just SOL because of the rest? Soothing for your wallet?

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:41 AM

The Barry Ferry has gots to gets some coinage too.

Don’t pay the ferryman (till he gets you to the other side.)

ted c on February 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Do you think they got a pat down too?

katy the mean old lady on February 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Barry’s still grovin’ to MoTown, not Moammar.

Yoop on February 28, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Obama’s list of options to explore…

1. Act

2. Don’t act

3. Go over list again.

On day 11 he is still has his pencil waivering over the top of the answer sheet.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM

4. Check to see what parties and concerts are planned for this week.

mizflame98 on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Actually, I’m glad these people have to pay me back for their boat trip to safety. A lot of emergency rescues of people in the back country for skiing or mountain climbing are now being charged for their rescues. Why should I foot the bill for people who have been working overseas in the oil industry? They did it for the big bucks that job brings and knew they were in a dangerous situation every day living in a country run by a nutjob.

Kissmygrits on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Where is that photo of Obama shaking hands with Khadafi?
Big smile for the camera!

albill on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 AM

I’m sure at the next briefing the White House correspondents will ask about the delay in evacuating our citizens, right?

scalleywag on February 28, 2011 at 8:51 AM

They did it for the big bucks that job brings and knew they were in a dangerous situation every day living in a country run by a nutjob.

Kissmygrits on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 AM

And every single day you willingly reap the benefits of the oil they delivered to your local station. Then spit on them for doing so.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Do you think they got a pat down too?

katy the mean old lady on February 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM

It sounds like their wallets are about to get raped.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 8:53 AM

No offense Ed, but this should not be considered an OOTD. There is absolutely NO humor in this. This is just another example of how evil this POS actually is.

sicoit on February 28, 2011 at 8:53 AM

If you tried to make this up, nobody would believe you.

Mord on February 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

No kidding. Having them stand in the open on a pier is beyond incompetence.

beatcanvas on February 28, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Tell me that anything the Bush administration did post-Katrina was this inept and dangerous. The ObaMao administration does not work on behalf of its citizens’ security.

onlineanalyst on February 28, 2011 at 8:24 AM

The media gleefully passed judgment on everything that Bush did and presented facts in the worst possible light. Jug-ears gets the kid glove treatment and what facts come to light are carefully and intentionally crafted to be as neutral and non-judgmental as humanly possible. And the beat goes on.

SKYFOX on February 28, 2011 at 8:55 AM

If you are in danger and scared what do you want to see coming to your rescue? Ticket takers.

Cindy Munford on February 28, 2011 at 8:56 AM

While I agree that it is petty and parsimonious to not cover the costs of the evacuation, I’m not getting the health care analogy. I think illegal immigration is a better analogy, whereby we’re raaacist not to welcome illegals with open arms, but the State Department treats legal American residents of Libya sternly. And the same State Department pays for book tours for grifter Iman Rauf but has no vehicle to provide emergency funds for Americans fleeing a genocidal terrorist?

This evacuation was a total embarrassment and put Americans in grave danger. Not only did the Brits do a better job, every country who had citizens their did a better job, including those who are not on the list of “super powers” like Croatia.

Not mentioned in any of these stories: How many Americans are still left behind? They estimated 600 Americans in Libya but i.i.r.c. the slow boat to China Malta could only carry about 300 passengers. I’d also like to know more about the failed attempt to evacuate 30 by plane as mentioned in the Daily Caller story. What happened?

Buy Danish on February 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM

This is another example of how he treats US citizens as though they are enemies/outsiders.

EternalVigilance on February 28, 2011 at 8:59 AM

What happened?

Buy Danish on February 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Unless you pay this evil POS, you can’t play….or escape.

sicoit on February 28, 2011 at 9:02 AM

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That is all

darwin-t on February 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Task Force 76

Task Force 76 USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) (command ship)

Task Group 76.4 (Movement Transport Group Alpha)

USS Okinawa (LPH-3)
USS Vancouver (LPD-2)
USS Thomaston (LSD-28)
USS Peoria (LST-1183)
Task Group 76.5 (Movement Transport Group Bravo)

USS Dubuque (LPD-8)
USS Durham (LKA-114)
USS Frederick (LST-1184)
Task Group 76.9 (Movement Transport Group Charlie)

USS Anchorage (LSD-36)
USS Denver (LPD-9)
USS Duluth (LPD-6)
USS Mobile (LKA-115)
The task force was joined by:

USNS Sgt. Andrew Miller
USS Hancock (CV-19)
USS Midway (CV-41)
each carrying Marine, and Air Force (8 21st Special Operations Squadron CH-53s and 2 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron HH-53s[28]) helicopters.

Seventh Fleet flagship USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5).

Amphibious ships:

USS Mount Vernon (LSD-39)
USS Barbour County (LST-1195)
USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187)
and eight destroyer types for naval gunfire, escort, and area defense, including:

USS Cochrane (DDG-21)
USS Kirk (FF-1087)
USS Gurke (DD-783)
The USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and USS Coral Sea (CV-43) carrier attack groups of Task Force 77 in the South China Sea provided air cover while Task Force 73 ensured logistic support

And not a ticket-taker in the entire bunch.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 9:04 AM

I’m sure at the next briefing the White House correspondents will ask about the delay in evacuating our citizens, right?

scalleywag on February 28, 2011 at 8:51 AM

The NCAA men’s basketball tourney, which I confess I love, is coming up. They’ll be more interested to know about how he feels about the conference tournaments and their impact on the NCAA seedings.

BuckeyeSam on February 28, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Spot on Buckeye

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Why should I foot the bill for people who have been working overseas in the oil industry? They did it for the big bucks that job brings and knew they were in a dangerous situation every day living in a country run by a nutjob.
Kissmygrits on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Whose fault is that? Thanks to failed energy policies, we can’t access the bulk of our own oil/coal/gas resources here at home, so we greatly depend on Middle East dictators and Islamists. Do you think it would be better if these people just stayed home and didn’t do the work necessary to provide us with the oil we need? At the very least the S.D. should provide emergency loans and treat the evacuees with respect, not like wayward children who need to be disciplined by the Nanny State.

P.S. One other thing taxpayers fund – scholarships for M.E. students, too many of whom come here to wage Jihad.

Buy Danish on February 28, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Fine. Now let the House pass a law saying that anyone who uses a government service must pay retail. Precedent has been set.

rogerb on February 28, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Make it retroactive and go after Pelosi… >:)

Fallon on February 28, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Obama despises producers. Aside from the state department personnel, the Americans working in Libya are producers.

Slowburn on February 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Immediate family members of U.S. citizens who are not themselves citizens will be able to board provided they have travel documents valid for their final destination.

What? No undocumented aliens allowed?

Imagine that.

BacaDog on February 28, 2011 at 9:17 AM

How much did Reagan charge the students in Granada to be rescued?

Akzed on February 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM

I find the whole evacuation as appalling as I find the dead 4 at the hands of pirates.
The world used to be safe for travel and although I know that it has also always been a dangerous place. It is no longer safe for travel especially in the ME/ north Africa.
This is Obama’s fault. They should not have to pay. Obama has so many parties, let him cut one from the schedule and pay for the damn boat.
Unless he doesn’t give a damn, which is how it looks to me.

ORconservative on February 28, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Unbelievable. Totally believable.

NeighborhoodCatLady on February 28, 2011 at 8:10 AM

I penny for every time this thought has crossed a posters mind…The bar is set higher, but he keeps exceeding it.

right2bright on February 28, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Obama despises producers. Aside from the state department personnel, the Americans working in Libya are producers.
Slowburn on February 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM

If they were making solar panels and windmills and biomass fuel they’d be welcomed as heroes, but because they’re in the eeevil oil biz they’re treated like second class citizens.

Buy Danish on February 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Lets be fair peeps President Obama was busy choosing his favorite song and videotaping his oscar appearance.
:)
.

philly_PA on February 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Considering all the turmoil going on in North Africa right now, Tuesday’s Obamateurism should at least include a mention of the fact that, while he can’t be bothered to do much of anything about the situations in Libya or Tunisia, Obama did give a shout-out to the city of Casablanca during the Academy Awards, in a pre-taped segment where he told the audience “As Time Goes By” was his favorite movie song.

jon1979 on February 28, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Just… wow. Every time I think I’ve seen the bottom, they dig even deeper.

Voyager on February 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Folks, the problem here is obvious. These are for the most part evil oil-workers! Why would little Bammie treat them any better than the oil-workers he is kicking the crap out of in Louisiana and Texas and Alaska?

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 10:56 AM

No one in America should go broke paying for health care,

Translation: Everyone in America should go broke paying for health care.

Squiggy on February 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM

It is not safe to be a American ANYWHERE, including the USA. Thanks Obama, change I can believe in.

IowaWoman on February 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Those who take the ferry will be expected to reimburse the government for the cost . . . .

rogerb on February 28, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Fine. Now let the House pass a law saying that anyone who uses a government service must pay retail. Precedent has been set.

Now the next time Lady Michelle flies We Won Two, she’ll be charged retail. Excellent.

labwriter on February 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Yet more “smart power”.

Tim_CA on February 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

This just adds to three arguments:

1) The government is too damn big, if this big of a FUBAR is able to go on
2) Government is unable to be both efficient and effective, making the Free Market a better choice
3) We gotta find someone who will beat this lightweight next year

Bigurn on February 28, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Another example of “Imagine if this were a Republican administration” doing this. /facepalm indeed.

Mini-14 on February 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Dear Lord.

How lucky has this jackass been?

Off the top of my head:
~ This could have become a mass execution
~ Times Square Bomber screwed it up
~ Underwear bomber was incompetent

Could you IMAGINE if all three of these had gone bad – the untold loss of life due to this admin’s incompetence?

Barry = lucky rather than good.

RedNewEnglander on February 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I don’t see anything wrong with paying for your own rescue.

Anyone who looked west and saw Tunisia, then east and saw Egypt, should’ve been high-tailing it out of there before the Libyan balloon went up.

James on February 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy and Air Force is waiting to be told to do something useful in connection with any of these messes. Not even the lowliest member of either service would have suggested or condoned a suggestion of placing American civilians in such a position for one minute, much less several hours, waiting on a ride.

I’ve held my water as long as possible, but this is beyond mere incompetence. Impeachment must be considered. Every action taken by this President in the past month could not have been better calculated to damage the reputation and opinion of the U.S. abroad, and place this nation’s citizens in jeopardy.

He must go.

James on February 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

That’s completely irrelevant. The U.S. State Department mission is the security of U.S. citizens abroad. The existence of a risk to that security demands an immediate action plan. Inaction for nearly 10 days, followed by actually arranging to put U.S. citizens in an undefensible position, unprotected, in a hostile land, is unconscionable.

Freelancer on February 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Interestingly enough bankruptcy was meant for those who suffered an emergency like a disability or a major illness. It wasn’t intended for those who charge up their cards till they can’t afford them any longer.

The fact that President Obama uses this this example often is a clear indication that he thinks government is there to protect people from everything, including being stupid.

LifeTrek on February 28, 2011 at 5:46 PM

A comic writer could not write anything any funnier that the idiot in the White House.

old war horse on February 28, 2011 at 11:16 PM