Saturday, January 29, 2011

Comparing Obama With Past Presidents

Time Magazine has put a photoshopped image of Obama and Ronald Reagan palling around on the cover of its latest issue.

Not a particularly original device, appropriating the image and memory of a past popular president in hopes of building up Obama's image.

A look back on some past cases...

Obama and Washington:

Obama and FDR:

Obama and JFK:

Obama and Lincoln:

But for my money, Michael Ramirez gets much closer to the real Obama -- and which past presidents he can most realistically be compared with.

Obama and Nixon:

Obama and Carter:

Of course, as Glenn Reynolds has told us, Obama as Jimmy Carter is at this point a "best case scenario".

UPDATE: Hat Tip Clarice, here is Big Fur Hat/Irony Curtain at iOwntheWorld with the flip side to that Time Obama-Reagan cover:

Reagan putting a "Rotten Marxist" sign on Obama's back .... Brilliant!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obama's State of the Union Speech

Obama gave the State of the Union speech last night.

Here's the word cloud:

2011 State of the Union

Thanks Sarah Palin!

In fact, because of Palin -- and only because of Palin's WTF phrasing -- people might actually remember something about this speech in the years to come.

MEMORIES: Sarah Palin's use of WTF triggered the memory of an old post from almost three years ago. I was very confused at the time, but now it makes sense: North Carolina does not want you to "Win The Future".

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cohen-izing the Message

Via Hot Air, here is part of Congressman Steve Cohen’s reaction/defense/apology for his “I so did not call Republicans Nazis” use of the term Nazis to describe Republicans:

“While I regret that anything I said has created an opportunity to distract from the debate about health care for 32 million Americans, I want to be clear that I never called Republicans Nazis. Instead, the reference I made was to the greatest propaganda master of all time. Propaganda, which is called “messaging” today, can be true or false. In this case, the message is false."

Wait. What?

“Propaganda, which is called ‘messaging’ today”

That's quite an admission for a Democrat.

How many times have we heard that virtually every problem Democrats face politically boils down to a problem with “messaging”?

Let's turn Cohen's statement around, shall we?

"Messaging today, which is really nothing more than propaganda"

Cohen's admisssion certainly puts this piece from The Hill in a new light, doesn’t it? (h/t Instapundit)

In fact, let’s go ahead and Cohen-ize it:

House Dems vow to improve messaging propaganda

CAMBRIDGE, Md. — House Democrats kicked off their annual retreat here with a vow to improve the flawed messaging propaganda that contributed to the loss of their majority last fall.

The down-sized Democratic Caucus is meeting for three days at the glitzy Hyatt Regency resort on the shores of the Chesapeake, with the goal of figuring out what went wrong in 2010 and how the party can position itself on policy and politics for the next two years.

President Obama and Vice President Biden will be in Cambridge on Friday to address Democratic lawmakers, who will also hear from economists, message propaganda gurus and current and former colleagues. More than a half dozen panels will be devoted or related to messaging propaganda, underscoring the importance of boosting the party’s communications with the public.
“I said Madam Speaker, the problem with Democrats is we never give the public the chance to savor our victories,” [Rep. Xavier] Becerra [D.-Calif.] said, as Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the assistant leader, nodded in agreement. “What we didn’t do was take the time to do tap-dances about what we had just done, but we did the work of the people.”

“Too bad we didn’t message propagandize it better,” he added.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Troubling Jobs Report

Bill Jacobson:

Dig just a bit deeper, and you will see that 0.2% of that drop (or half the total drop) was from a decrease in the "participation rate" from 64.5 to 64.3 of the population. So half of the good news reflects that people have dropped out of the work force and have given up looking for work.

Business Insider:

This morning's unemployment report was a mixed bag. Yes, the unemployment rate went down. But, actually, that's because people are choosing to drop out of the work force altogether.

Geoff at Ace of Spades:

December's unemployment rate was released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. U-3 unemployment dropped from 9.8% last month to 9.4% this month. The U-6 number dropped from 17% to 16.7%. Only 103,000 jobs were added, however, which indicates that the drop in unemployment was more due to people leaving the labor force than getting jobs.

Ed Morrissey:

The nation’s unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a point to 9.4% in December but the number of jobs added fell short of expectations. ... Also, the civilian labor force participation rate did drop to 64.3%, which indicates that people are still leaving the work force rather than rejoining it.

People are dropping out of the work force? Leaving the labor force? Giving up looking for work?

That's unpossible. Michelle Obama flatly told us:

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.


Attention all discouraged workers: Obama requires that you not be. Get back to work.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Marginalizing ObamaCare

March 21, 2010:
House passes health care bill on 219-212 vote

January 7, 2011:
House Votes to Repeal “Job-Killing” Health Care Law 236-181

In 2010, the Democrats passed ObamaCare by a 7 vote margin. In 2011, the Republicans passed the bill to repeal ObamaCare with a 55 vote margin.

In each case, one side of the vote was bi-partisan. In both cases, the bi-partisan vote was against ObamaCare.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Via Instapundit, we get this quote from Roger Simon on the occasion of John Boehner being sworn in as the new Speaker of the House:

In his speech today, John Boehner showed himself to be among the most impressive figures on our political landscape, and he did it by being that rarest of things in politics: a humble human being.

His opening ad-lib quieting thunderous applause – “It’s still just me” – should be an instructional moment in public behavior in our celebrity culture. Can you imagine Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Barack Obama or even, alas, Sarah Palin saying such a thing with the authenticity Boehner clearly had at such a moment?

I’ve had occasion a few times recently to go back and revisit my piece in American Thinker during the election of 2008 on then-candidate Obama’s ego. After reading about Boehner’s humility-laden speech and approach as described by Simon, it reminded me again about this particular part:

A campaign willing to showcase this large an ego without any evidence of modesty or shame is underway. Obama's last gasp effort at combating the notion that he considers himself more highly than he ought came in his victory speech in St. Paul upon securing enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination:

"The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility."

Give Obama points for associating himself with the word "profound" while seeming to claim humility.

But even that humility lasted all of a few seconds, when he quickly shed it with this:

"I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when...the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

A man who brags that his humility is profound is not humble. A man who claims certainty that his nomination is the moment when the entire planet will begin healing is not humble.

Boehner, on the other hand, didn’t talk about himself being humble. Genuinely humble people rarely do. Boehner simply spoke humbly. Falsely humble people rarely do.

There are those who might claim that Boehner is the rare person to do so. And since he's a politician, I'm willing to evaluate Boehner according to his actions going forward, rather than drawing conclusions at this pont.

But as for Obama, the conclusions I may have prematurely arrived at during the campaign have since been judged correct by his actions over the past two years as president.