Barack Obama is in a slump. There's no other way to explain the stream of bad news flowing out of the Administration like a … BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Let's start with the BP well. After spending a half day in Louisiana a week ago, not much appears to have changed - other than for the worse.
The attempt to cap the well failed the day after Obama's visit, even though two days earlier, optimistic reports (which just happened to coincide with Obama's first press conference since last summer) were being released that the drilling mud appeared to be having some positive effect.
Yesterday, there were reports of an oil sheen visible off the coast of northwest Florida (that's the part in the Central time zone students of recent political history will no doubt remember). It's one thing to wreck the wetlands and fisheries off Louisiana. It's something else again to coat the seashore and the seashells along the tony west coast of Florida - Naples and like that - with a layer of viscous oil.
Now comes word that the spill might not be capped before December which, according to my calendar is after the important mid-term elections which will be held on November 2.
Next, the trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich began with jury selection yesterday. According to the Associated Press:
"Lawyers for Blagojevich have subpoenaed White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel as a witness at his corruption trial, attorneys close to the case and a White House official say."
Whoa! Check please!
Hasn't Rahm Emanuel's name has also been linked to the potentially illegal job offers to Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania and Andrew Romanoff of Colorado to keep them out of primary races against Obama-backed incumbents?I have no idea whether those offers will rise to the level of felonies, but having the White House press secretary having to answer questions about the role of the White House chief of staff in what may be a pattern illegal behavior is not helpful to "changing the narrative."
I kind of like Rahm, so I am not rooting for him to be in legal trouble, but if he has all these jobs in his back pocket, maybe he should think about handing some of them out to a few of the 14.8 million Americans who are looking for one of them.
Speaking of unemployment, that's another intractable issue dogging Obama. According to the Pew Charitable Trust
"More than three million Americans have been out of work for at least a year, according to a new analysis of unemployment data."
Pew says that represents 23 percent of Americans who are out of work and looking for a job; a post-World War II high.
The current job stats are being artificially inflated by including 415,000 Census workers who will be included in the May employment report due out this morning. According to Marketwatch.com:
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch are looking for nonfarm payrolls to grow by about 540,000 in May, including about 415,000 Census workers.
If the new "calculator app" my iPad is correct, that would mean that more than three-quarters of the jobs created will have been created by the Administration to handle the census which means those people will lose those jobs when the data-collection is done.
Finally, there was a report out of the UK that one of Obama's half-brothers was denied entry into England after arriving on a flight from Kenya.
According to the BBC,
"A Home Office spokesman said Samson Obama was denied a visa after immigration officers noticed one of his documents was false. That led them to further inquiries.
"According to the News of the World, fingerprint tests linked him to an alleged sex attack on a British girl."
Back home to Kenya for old Samson? Nope-a-ree. Again, from the BBC: "He eventually took a connecting flight to the US without formally entering the UK."
Wait. He was allowed to proceed to the US with a forged document and having been linked to a sex crime? Wonder where he's staying, and what he's doing while he's here.
Just what Barack Obama needs in his current slump: Samson Obama making a guest appearance on "To Catch a Predator."