Another foreign policy failure. “For all its kowtowing the administration has gained nothing from the Chinese regime except disrespect.”

Another foreign policy guru notices the meltdown. “As for Syria, while Obama fiddles, its cities burn in a civil war that could soon eclipse Lebanon’s in the 1980s. The president who was once a foreign-policy neophyte now makes much of his experience. That claim depends heavily on a program of targeted assassination that liberals would have denounced if it had been pursued by his predecessor. If Mitt Romney wants to be Barack Obama’s successor, he urgently needs to launch a metaphorical drone strike of his own — against a Mideast policy that is flaming out.”

Another Obamacare surprise. “Nearly 6 million Americans — most of them in the middle class — will face a tax penalty for not carrying medical coverage once President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law is fully in place, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday.”

Another jab from vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). “President Obama said that he believes in redistribution. Mitt Romney and I are not running to redistribute the wealth. Mitt Romney and I are running to help Americans create wealth. Efforts that promote hard work and personal responsibility over government dependency are what have made this economy the envy of the world.”

Another mad scramble? “House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp quietly huddled with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Wednesday morning about the so-called fiscal cliff. The meeting marks an uptick in discussions between the Obama administration and congressional Republicans in gaming out the year-end expiration of all income tax rates, the hiking of the nation’s borrowing cap and massive cuts to domestic and Pentagon spending set to kick in at the beginning of 2013.” It’s almost like we have a president who does nothing but campaign.

Another consequence of the Obama economy. “The state of entrepreneurship in the United States is, sadly, weaker than ever. There are fewer new firms being formed today than two years ago when the recession ended. . . . . Job creation at new firms was at an all-time low in 2009 of 2.8 million, then fell again a year later by 250,000 jobs. As background on the issue of startup jobs, there was no good way to measure them without using a proxy of jobs created at small companies, but small companies are overwhelmingly older.” Read the whole thing. (h/t Jim Pethokoukis)

Another unkept promise: “smart diplomacy.” Noemie Emery writes: “From the start, he went out of his way to stiff the democracies, dissing the Anglo-American alliance, returning a bust of Winston S. Churchill to sender, giving a DVD of his speeches as a most thoughtful gift to the Queen. He dissed the Poles when they felt under threat from the Russians, treated the Israelis as the moral equivalents of the people who threaten them and pulled out of Iraq before the training wheels were off of the bicycle, endangering those who helped us get rid of al Qaeda and putting their lives there at risk. Most of all, he gave the back of his hand to the Iranian dissidents in 2009 who came so close to deposing their leaders, trusting instead in his mythical powers to coax the fanatics in power to reason.”