As I recall. . .

September 29, 2010

. . . there was some speculation in these quarters as to whether the Obama administration was brilliant, tone deaf, incompetent, or making “rookie mistakes” that would inevitably be corrected.
 
With this latest barrage of “it’s the voter’s fault” and “Fox News is the culprit, ” I think it’s safe to conclude the veneer has come off his contempt for a large part, if not a majority, of the country. So, it’s kind of none of the above, but in terms of getting a message out you’d have to call this political incompetence.
 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703882404575520044037709702.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
 
The country is not likely to forget this.
 
He can’t tack to the center because in his universe he is the center. It would take years of therapy to convince him otherwise.
 
When Michelle said her husband’s success was the first time in her adult lifetime she was proud of her country, she was expressing exactly what she felt. She didn’t realize this might not be a good thing to say, probably because everyone she knew felt the same way.
 
I mean, really. Think about the specificity of her quote; She qualifies her lack of pride as occuring in “my adult lifetime.” It’s a considered position, not a blanket statement made by someone caught up in the moment.
 
http://www.breitbart.tv/michelle-obama-first-time-in-my-adult-lifetime-i-am-really-proud-of-my-country/#idc-container
 
The thought process goes something like this. “Yes, there were times during my childhood I was proud of my country, but when I matured, I came to realize there wasn’t really anything to be proud of until now. Certainly, a country where a person like me can get a $300,000 a year job because my husband happens to be a Senator is a vile, evil place.”
 
http://aconservativeedge.com/2009/01/16/nobody-can-replace-michelle-obama-at-her-300000-job-it-was-so-important-nobody-did/
 
Okay the thought process probably didn’t go precisely like that, but you’d really have to be reaching to believe she meant anything other than what she actually said.
 
A quick search of the Internet for quotes from either of them expressing similar feelings would yield much.
 
What do you get when gaffe after gaffe is allowed to fall like a tree in the forest? You get a President like our current one. But when the formerly adoring crowds feel they’ve been betrayed, it gets ugly.
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My Brother’s Keeper

September 29, 2010

A Friend and I have been having an exchange which may be of interest.
 
Yesterday, Obama was asked how he came to his Christian faith. His reply,
“I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said. “Being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. Treating others as they would treat me. And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility that we all have to have as human beings.”
http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/09/28/obama.tough.question/index.html
 
Now, of course, any claim of Obama to humility is either out-right lying or tells us the reason we’ve never seen his college transcripts is that he failed Self Knowledge 101.
 
So, we are left with “my brother’s keeper.” First, Christ never said this. The phrase occurs in the book of Genesis. God’s asking Cain where Abel is. Cain, having earlier dispatched Abel, replies, ‘How am I supposed to know? Am I my brother’s keeper?” Okay, that’s a bit of a paraphrase.
 
Cain is offering an excuse for not knowing where his brother is. The point of the story is not that Cain should have been taking care of his brother. It’s more to the point that he shouldn’t have killed him and then lied about doing so.
 
Now, let’s look at the definition of “keeper.” Here are the first two form Dictonary.com:
 
1. A person who guards or watches, as at a prison or gate.
2. A person who assumes responsibility for another’s behavior: He refused to be his brother’s keeper.
 
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/keeper

I really like the first one. The second definition sounds benign at first a couple of thoughts later is clearly malignant to people residing in a free society.

But this is what comes to mind when Obama thinks about his faith. Evan Thomas,editor of Newsweek, noted that Obama appears as a God above us all.

Yes, really.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/06/05/newsweek_editor_evan_thomas_obama_is_sort_of_god.html
 
Now, really, given that sort of high-minded, journalistic objectivity, is Fox News really the media outlet destructive to America, as the President apparently thinks? Yes, he really said that.
 
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/28/obama-fox-news-is-destructive-to-america/?hpt=T2
 
Up until now it hasn’t been necessary for a politician to assure the public, “No, I’m not really a God,” although, personally, I haven’t heard Obama clarify his thinking on the matter.
 
But if Obama thinks his role is to be our keeper and his admirers think he is all knowing and powerful, then I guess that would explain much of his approach to governing.
 
Interestingly, I’m not the first to note the dark side of this interpretation of this particular Biblical passage. In fact, it’s been tied to exactly the sort of all-encompassing Liberalism that either must end in bankruptcy or totalitarianism (Yes, I really do believe that.)
 
I should note the link below will take you to a conspiracy-theorist (some would say wingnut) site. But, hey, according to some in power, we’re all wingnuts now. (or as John Kerry believes, we’re simpy not paying attention: http://hotair.com/archives/2010/09/25/john-kerry-i-wish-these-voters-would-pay-more-attention/ ) Damn those voters! if they were only smart like us, then they’d know this was for their own good. Now, go eat your soma, and stop bothering me!
 
But back to the wingnut. In 2008 this guy wrote an article about My Brother’s Keeper being a misguided excuse for the government taking over our lives. The problem with these sorts of conpiracy theorists these days is the more time goes on, the less wingnutty they seem.
 
Again, who knows who’ll be tracking you if you click on the link below:
 
http://www.middletownca.com/MY-BROTHERS-KEEPER.htm
 

Europe

September 28, 2010

I believe the sentiments outlined in this article will only continue to grow.
 
I’m really not quite sure of the underlying reasons for Sarrazin’s book, but he’s tapping into something. What that is should be an important things for the German leadership to understand.
 
 
Samuel Huntington had a way of explaining some of the more horrible events of WWII in a scarily, mundane way. His point-of-view was that dissimilar cultures simply can not coexist in the same space.
 
America is different, because, as I heard it expressed at a conference, America is not a country. It’s an idea. But we are not a model the world can follow.
 
Samuel Huntington’s theories are depressing, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t true.
According to Peggy Noonan the majority are angry, no livid, women.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703384204575510283851292698.html

In a manner of speaking

September 21, 2010

Okay, forget the factual inaccuracy that Mexicans were here before America was an idea;

Forget his need to take away from the significance of America before he praises it.

Just take in his manner of speaking. . .

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/09/21/obama_mexicans_were_here_long_before_america_was_even_an_idea.html

I’ve been reading countless articles saying he’s not as articulate as he once was. He’s not as this or that as he once was.

I’m going on the record to say that he’s exactly the same. He hasn’t changed. But three things have changed.

1) What works well for a political campaign speech doesn’t necessarily work for a Chief Executive
2) As the reality hasn’t met the campaign’s rhetoric the people are listening with a different ear.
3) The press is no longer giving him a pass. So, people who are swayed by the press are less likely to as well.

But back to the manner of his speaking. Can he say anything without simultaneously patronizing and condescending to his audience?

People think William Shatner was a ham.

I am Shocked. . .

September 21, 2010

. . .Shocked I say to see insurance companies refusing to offer financially ruinous products.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/247228/shocking-no-one-yuval-levin

 

Higher Education

September 21, 2010

rarely agree with what this improbably-named columnist has to say.

This would be the exception. As you know, I simply don’t get why college has to be so expensive.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/09/21/why_corvettes_cost_less_than_college_107241.html

The combination of overbuilding, top-heavy administrations, and vanity departments has created an untenable situation.

What’s a vanity department? Just about any department that is name <fill in the blank> Studies. These departments often have very few students. If you think about the salaries of the professors, the overhead in supporting them, and the office and classroom space you have to build for them, I’m guessing it all adds up.

Froma (really, what kind of name is that?) criticizes football teams on not making money. Perhaps, that’s true. Still, I’m not sure she’s considering the impact of not having a football team on alumni donations.

On the other hand, since the majority of students on college campuses are women, perhaps, colleges will have to focus on something else to keep their alumni engaged.

Kristof’s Apology

September 20, 2010

When I read Nicholas Kristof’s apology this past weekend my response was something like, “what a freakin’ jerk.” Although it was a little stronger than that.
 
Taranto provides a tad more sophisticated reply.
 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989304575503712157394190.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

$111 million nets 55 jobs in Los Angeles. It’s funny until you think about it. Then you just get angry.

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/63228/20100917/american-recovery-and-reinvestment-act-arra-los-angeles-stimulus-wendy-greuel.htm
Whether it did or not, the popular impression is that the stimulus didn’t work. Obama thinks this is unfair because without it he argues things would have been much worse.
 
This message doesn’t resonate, which the Administration thinks is unfair.
 
But this is how the American people, as well as virtually every other organization or group of people in the world) think about things.
 
The Bush administration could have argued to they were blue in the face that without the invasion of Iraq things would have been much worse (Saddam would have developed his latent weapons program, invaded another country, funded terrorism, etc.)
 
No one cares. What they see is what happened, not what could have happened. Furthermore the people’s expectations were set by Bush himself. When they weren’t met, the people became dissatisfied.
 
In the case of the stimulus Obama set the expectation of recovery and a maximum unemployment rate of 8.0%. He compounded his expectation error by terming this the “Recovery Summer.” Talk about a slow learner.
 
There is virtually no difference between the Iraq and Stimulus scenarios and no amount of “communication” from the White House is going to turn the public perception around until a recovery actually comes.
 
But with every day that passes the less the American people will associate the eventual recovery with the actions of the White House. Look at how tepid the response has been to the $50 billion infrastructure stimulus plan. There’s really no mystery why.