Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Savior Is Born

Matthew 1:18-24

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

Luke 1:26-34

26 God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

Luke 1:35-45

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Luke 1:46-55

46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,

49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful

55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke 2:1-12

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:13-21

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at w

hat the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Matthew 2:1-11

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.

5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

---------------------------

Philippians 2:5-11

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Colossians 1:15-22

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

This was the second annual Luminary night in our neighborhood, organized by my lovely bride.

Luminaries 2012

It is our way of welcoming Santa. This year, the Keeper of the Naughty and Nice List rode through the neighborhood on a fire truck.

Santa Visits the Neighborhood - on a Fire Truck

Monday, November 19, 2012

Obama's Voter Repression

I promised myself I wasn't going to do this. But when it comes to promises I make to myself, I keep them at an almost Obamaian rate.

Oh well. Let's continue on with some election results and exit polls.

Another way to slice the data -- by Ideology. Because looking at it by Party doesn't tell us nearly as much as one might think. If Romney got fewer Republicans than McCain, how do we know whether this was truly "the base" staying home because they weren't sufficiently "fired up"? When I'm referring to "the base", I'm referring to . . . ta da . . . Ideology. Take me, for example. I am very conservative. But I am also a registered Independent. Were I to be exit-polled, my vote would not show up as Republican, but it would be Conservative. By what I would consider a rational definition of a Republican candidate's "base", I should be included.

A number of Republicans may have stayed home -- at this point Romney has about 160K fewer Republican votes than McCain got -- but was it "the base"?

Well.

Conservatives turned out at 35% of voters in 2012 vs 34% in 2008.
Moderates were 41% in 2012 vs 44% in 2008
Liberals were 25% in 2012 vs 22% in 2008

Moderates stayed home, and Liberals picked up the slack.

But let's break it down, shall we?

The Liberals who came out were less liberal in how they voted.

The Overall Liberal vote in 2012 was Obama 86%, Romney 11% and Other 3%
The Overall Liberal vote in 2008 was Obama 89%, McCain 10% and Other 1%

In 2012, 2M more Liberals voted than in 2008.

For those 2M -- the race roughly broke down:

Obama: 980K | 48.9%
Romney: 570K | 28.4%
Other: 480K | 24.1%

The mechanics of breaking down the Liberal vote this way is very crude. It starts with the assumption that the "first" 28.9M Liberals (the number of Liberals voting in 2008) voted exactly as they did in 2008. It then takes the 2M more Liberals who came out in 2012, and breaks down their votes in the ratios necessary to get to the Overall 2012 split between Obama-Romney-Other. The votes didn't actually come in that way, of course. But I present it in this manner just to illustrate the contrast between 2008 and 2012.

The Moderates who did come out out broke heavily for Other compared to 2008, but Romney lost way fewer than Obama.

The Overall Moderate vote in 2012 was Obama 56%, Romney 41%, Other 3%
The Overall Moderate vote in 2008 was Obama 60%, McCain 39%, Other 1%

In 2012 there were 6.8M fewer Moderates than in 2008

Obama got 5.9M fewer Moderate votes
Romney got 1.6M fewer Moderate votes
Other got 700K more Moderate votes

The Conservatives who came out were more conservative in how they voted.

The Overall Conservative vote in 2012 was Obama 17%, Romey 82%, Other 1%
The Overall Conservative vote in 2008 was Obama 20%, McCain 78%, Other 2%

In 2012 there were 1.2M fewer Conservatives than in 2008.

Obama got 1.4M fewer Conservative votes
Romney got 830K more Conservative votes
Other got 675K fewer Conservative votes

Essentially, Obama lost 100% of the Conservative votes who came out in 2008 and stayed home in 2012.

Between the Moderates and Conservatives who stayed home, it would appear a vast majority of them were 2008 Obama voters who chose not to participate in the 2012 election. It would also appear that the 2008 Republican votes that Romney did not secure compared to McCain were Moderate in ideology.

Obama went completely negative with Bain and the 47%, with the made up war on women and birth control, with anything at hand to avoid a focus on his record by focusing on very emotive appeals in a smearing of Romney. It was a very disciplined effort to convince voters he knew had no appetite for repeating their vote for him that Romney was not worth getting off the couch and going to the polls for.

Obama deliberately ran a Repress As Many Votes As Necessary To Keep Potential Romney Voters Home. And he ran it successfully.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Obama Wins. Thanks To Sandy?

Well. The election is over. I've been wading my way through the vote results and exit polls in an almost unhealthy manner. If you want to know how many fewer votes Obama got vs 2008, I can tell you (6.3M as of now). If you want to know how many fewer Republicans voted for Romney vs McCain, I can tell you (346K as of now). If you want to know in which states Romney improved vs McCain in 2008, I can tell you (all but AK, LA, MS, NJ). And on and on.

So. Why did Romney lose?

After reading the post election analysis at Gallup, it just may be that a natural disaster played a prominent, if not deciding role.

The Gallup analysis:

Romney clearly gained as a result of the first debate in Denver, and he held onto at least a marginal lead position in our polling until the week before the election, when Superstorm Sandy hit. Obama gained five points on the gap between our last pre-storm polling and the final poll. It may be that he continued to gain on into Election Day.

If you want to know how Hurricane Sandy affected the election, well, here we go. Because, it's right there in the exit polls.

  • 15% of voters said Obama's response to Sandy was "the most important factor" in their vote.
  • Of that percentage, 73% voted for Obama.

  • Now I don't believe that every person who said Sandy was the most important factor was a true on-the-fence-sitter who then decided to vote for Obama. Or a former Romney supporter who switched. Or a definite sitter-outer who decided to get off the couch and vote. Many of them were going to vote for Obama regardless.

    But what is 73% of 15%?

    10.95%

    I believe some number of those who said Obama's response to Sandy was the most important factor in their vote were lying. But what if those who were lying made up a little more than half of those who made such a claim. In other words, they were on Team O all along. That would leave us with just under half of them who made their decision on voting for president based upon a guy in a bomber jacket at an appearance with a fat Republican pretending to care about storm victims for a few minutes to get a photo op.

    Could Obama really have won the election because of Hurricane Sandy? Gallup says that Obama gained five points after Sandy. The national popular vote ended up with Obama leading with less than three points.

    And this nation is faced with another four years of Obama in the White House.

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    Defense . . . D-Fence

    Here's the headline from a Hot Air post today:

    Halperin: Democrats now on defense in blue states

    Well, here's Obama campaigning in Michigan:

    D-Fence

    Looks like some Obama supporters know they're on defense.

    (from an old 2008 post)

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Fun With Early Voting In North Carolina, "How Do You Like Them Apples?" Edition

    With voting totals through yesterday, North Carolina marks one week of early voting that includes in-person votes cast.

    With that, we can do an apples-to-apples comparison between 2012 and 2008. All numbers below for both 2012 and 2008 are through one week of in person early voting, and have been pulled from the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.

    Overall vote:
    2008: 759,238
    2012: 991,794
    Difference: +232,556
    Number of votes cast is up +30.6%

    Republicans:
    2008: 196,242
    2012: 302,687
    Difference +106,445
    Number of votes is up 54.2%

    Democrats:
    2008: 429,662
    2012: 502,856
    Difference: 73,194
    Number of votes is up 17.0%

    Other:
    2008: 133,334
    2012: 184,507
    Difference: 52,917
    Number of votes is up 39.9%

    2008 vote percentage by party registration:
    Rep: 25.8%
    Dem: 56.6%
    Oth: 17.6%

    2012 vote percentage by party registration (net vs 2008):
    Rep: 30.5% (+4.7%)
    Dem: 50.7% (-5.9%)
    Oth: 18.6% (+1.4%)

    Democrats *do* have a 20 point lead over Republicans at this point. But that compares to a 31 point lead at this point in 2008.

    BOTTOM LINE: Republicans have gained a net 10.6 points compared to 2008.

    But as I’ve cautioned before – the results released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections only tells us the party registration of the person who cast the ballot. We do not know who the person actually voted for.

    Obviously there will be some Republicans voting for Obama, some Democrats voting for Romney, and there is no indication from these statistics that tells us for whom those not affiliated with either major party voted.

    However, we can build a model that allots those votes to tabulate a likely scenario of how the race stands, and how it compares to the likely state of the race at this point in 2008.

    I am going to do two things. First, I will take the 2008 early voting totals through the first week of in person voting by party registration and allot those votes based upon the 2008 North Carolina exit polls. Second, I will take the 2012 votes and allot them based upon the most recent Rasmussen poll.

    Off we go.

    2008

    At this point in 2008, breakdown of total votes by party:
    Rep: 25.8%
    Dem: 56.6%
    Other:17.6%

    In 2008, the exit polls showed the following:

    Republicans:
    McCain: 94% | Obama: 4% | Other: 2%
    Democrats
    McCain: 9% | Obama: 90% | Other: 1%
    Independent
    McCain: 60% | Obama: 39% | Other: 1%

    So for example, we are taking the 25.8% of early voters who were Republican, and allocating those votes such that 94% went to McCain, 4% went to Obama and 2% went to Other.

    Weighting all votes in that manner, the state of the race at this point in 2008 looks like this:

    Estimated Vote Totals:
    McCain: 303,137 | 39.9%
    Obama: 446,546 | 58.8%

    Using this methodology, in 2008 Obama held at 18.9 point lead, or 143,509 votes, over McCain after one week of early voting in North Carolina.

    2012

    At this point in 2012, breakdown of total votes by party:
    Rep: 30.5%
    Dem: 50.7%
    Oth: 18.6%

    Rasmussen’s latest poll in North Carolina asked responders who they intended to vote for – and asked them which party they belonged to. His results show the following:

    Republicans
    Romney: 94% | Obama: 4% | Other: 2%
    Democrats
    Romney: 17% | Obama: 82% | Other: 1%
    Other
    Romney: 59% | Obama: 36% | Other: 5%

    Weighting the votes by how each category is likely to vote using Rasmussen’s survey, the state of the race at this point in 2012 looks like this:

    Estimated Vote Totals:
    Romney: 479,899 | 48.4%
    Obama: 491,500 | 49.6%

    Using this methodology, in 2012 Obama holds a 1.2% lead, or 11,600 votes, over Romney after one week of early voting in North Carolina.

    With an 18.9 point lead at this point in 2008, Obama ultimately won 50.2% to 49.8%.

    With an estimated 143,509 vote lead in 2008, Obama ultimately won by a 14,177 vote margin.

    Obama is now leading by 1.2 points and 11,600 votes.

    The big advantage Obama had after even just one week of early voting in 2008 more or less has been cut down to less than his razor-thin margin by the end of the election.

    From this point forward in 2008, McCain gained 129,232 net votes over Obama in the remainder of early voting and on election day. Even if Romney’s strength and Obama’s weakness so far in early voting is not carried through, and Romney only equals McCain’s performance the rest of the way, Romney would win North Carolina by about a 2-3 point margin.

    If Romney continues to outperform McCain, even modestly compared to what he has done so far, that margin of victory is easily pushed to something approaching a 8-10 point win.

    There is a reason that the rumors have flown around about Obama pulling resources out of and ads off the air in North Carolina. First the polling began to swing away from Obama and toward Romney, and now the results of early voting have begun to confirm that polling. While Team Obama has gone on record denying that they are abandoning the state, one gets the feeling that this is more an attempt to keep up appearances so that the narrative of a campaign that is reeling does not take hold.

    If I had to call this race today – which I don’t, but I will because that’s how I roll – I would predict the final outcome a 54-45 win for Romney.

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    Real Clear Politics Polls At This Point in 2004 and 2008

    In 2004, there were 7 polls in the Real Clear Politics average of polls between 10/15 and 10/22.

  • The average of those polls was Bush +2.3
  • The final outcome was Bush +2.4

    In 2008, there were 14 polls in the Real Clear Politics average of polls between 10/15 and 10/22 (removing outfits that had multiple polls during that timeframe to only show the latest).

  • The average of those polls was Obama +7.6
  • The final outcome was Obama +7.3
  • Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Fun With Early Voting in North Carolina

    In person early voting begins today here in the great state of North Carolina.

    But let’s have some fun with the state’s early voting so far. This means only absentee votes at this point.

    These numbers were pulled from the NC Board of Elections, and are current as of Sunday, September 14. The 2008 numbers I will be using are from George Mason University’s United States Elections Project.

    Off we go!

    Total Votes: 50,674
    Dem: 13,887 - 27.4%
    Rep: 27,455 - 54.2%
    Unaffiliated: 9,255 - 18.3%
    Libertarian: 77 - 0.2%

    Compare that with 2008:
    Dem: 51.4%
    Rep: 30.2%
    Other: 18.5%

    The 2012 numbers are breakouts by registration, not by vote cast (of course, you can't vote for unaffiliated!). But certainly if some assumptions are made -- it appears there has been a complete flip of the parties, at least at this point. But we are in the early part of early voting.

    Notably, the black vote makes up 7.1% of the 2012 early vote total -- 23% of the Democrat vote and 0.2% of the Republican vote. In 2008, they were 27% of the total early vote.

    It remains to be seen if this is evidence of blacks staying home, or if they are less enthusiastic to get votes in early but will still vote when all is said and done.

    One interesting contrast specifically is Cumberland County. Cumberland was a 52-48 state for Bush in 2004, and a 59-41 state for Obama in 2008. In fact, in 2008 Obama picked up a net of 26K more votes in Cumberbland County compared to Kerry in 2004. And remember, North Carolina was a state Obama won by only 14K votes statewide.

    The registration breakdown for early voting in Cumberland County so far is...
    Dem: 33%
    Rep: 47%
    Unaf: 19%

    And another interesting contrast between 2012 and 2008 is Durham County. This is the home of, well, Durham which is home of Duke. It's a Democrat stronghold.

    Durham is the 6th largest county in NC by population. In early voting, it's 17th in terms of ballots cast.

    In 2008 Durham County went 74% Obama, 26% McCain

    Early voting so far...
    Dem: 46%
    Rep: 31%
    Unaf: 23%

    And finally, Iredell County is the 16th largest county by population. In early voting, it's 8th in terms of ballots cast.

    In 2008 Iredell County went 62% McCain, 37% Obama

    Early voting so far:
    Dem: 15%
    Rep:66%
    Unaf: 19%

    How fun was that? The numbers look good for Mitt Romney and rater dire for President Obama.

    However, let’s be clear that we can't claim these numbers as predictive. The comparisons I am making are between absentee ballots cast by party affiliation at this point in the election versus all early voting in 2008 by actual votes. Professor McDonald at the US Elections Project site does a much more thorough job of not only tracking the early numbers for this and past elections, he is able to do a “on this date in 2008” comparison. I would strongly suggest anyone wanting a real comparison between elections to go to his site.

    That said, having seen the news yesterday that Obama is likely shifting resources and efforts away from North Carolina – numbers like these become another data point to consider that reinforces the idea that Mitt Romney is increasingly likely to win the state.

    I wouldn’t mind not being one of the hotly contested battleground states, and I certainly would have no beef if the unrelenting number of campaign ads were trimmed as a result. Then again, if Obama wants to continue pouring money into a state he has a diminishing chance of winning at the expense of more time in states more closely contested, well, I will bear that burden for the cause. Besides, I know how to operate a remote control.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    The 3 am Call Obama Will Take

    UPDATE: A better pic has emerged.

    The 3am Call Obama Will Take

    Calls from Ambassadors go to voice mail.

    The 3 am Call Obama Will Take

    Facebook Eastwoods Its Homepage

    Just went to log on to Facebook. Here's what their home page currently looks like:

    Facebook Eastwoods Its Homepage

    Who knew they were such big fans of Clint Eastwood's Empty Chair speech at the Republican Convention.

    "When somebody doesn't do the job, you gotta let them go."

    2012 Obama Deploys Trick That 2008 Obama Said Would Cause Voters To Stop Listening

    Obama got crushed in the first debate. Everyone...left, right, center, up, down and diagonal knew it. Some of Obama's biggest fans were screaming at him for how bad he was, or practically crying uncontrollably as a result.

    And yet, Obama walked away thinking he had won.

    Now he's been told how thoroughly he was trounced -- so here come the excuses:

    “I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite, because it’s hard to sometimes just keep on saying and what you’re saying isn’t true. It gets repetitive." ...President Obama said

    Ace calls this the CritiBrag, which he describes this way:

    ...the claim of self-criticism which, oddly enough, winds up being a brag on one's virtue -- is kinda sorta complete 100% bullshit. Every time you've told a prospective employer that your "greatest failing" was that you "are too details-oriented" and "can't learn to separate myself from my work" you've deployed the CritiBrag.

    Ah yes. As fate would have it, Obama actually called out Hillary and John Edwards for CritiBragging in 2008:

    Obama poked fun at John Edwards and Hillary Clinton for their response to the "what is your weakness" question at the MSNBC debate. Obama said that he answered the question as an "ordinary person."

    "Folks, they don't tell you what they mean!" exclaimed Obama.

    "I thought that they meant 'what's your biggest weakness?!' So I said 'well you know I don't handle paper that well, you know, my desk is a mess, I need somebody to help me file and stuff all the time.'"

    "So the other two they say well my biggest weakness is 'I'm just too passionate about helping poor people.' I am just too impatient to bring about change in America.'"

    Obama joked, "If I had gone last I would have known what the game was. I could have said 'well you know I like to help old ladies across the street. Sometimes they don't want to be helped. It's terrible.'"

    Back to Ace, who tells us the natural result of CritiBagging in an interview:

    And your interviewer rolled his eyes. If not his visible ones, then internal one called the pineal gland.

    Which -- and again, look at the fate -- agrees with how Obama viewed CritiBagging in 2008 as well:

    Obama ended by calling Clinton's comments "tricks" and said voters will stop listening to politicians because of them.

    2008 Obama was speaking that as a theory. 2012 Obama is learning it in practice.


    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    The Obama Debate Word Cloud

    From the Obama-Romney Presidential Debate in Denver, Colorado on October 3, 2012:

    Obama Debate Word Cloud

    When he was flustered by Mitt Romney's answer on the topic of taxes, President Obama reached out to debate moderator Jim Leher to save him by saying, "Jim, I — you may want to move on to another topic."

    UPDATE: Via Instapundit, we have a video of President Obam-uh from the debates. I decided to go back and adjust the transcipt and the resulting word cloud based on including several previously omitted words:

    Obama Word Cloud

    FWIW, I covered Obamuh back in 2008 as well.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    Obama Expresses An Alarming Amount Of Intolerance For Someone Who Thinks Intolerance Is A Form Of Violence

    "It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: 'Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.'"
    --stuff Obama said at the U.N. Assembly yesterday

    That's a pretty silly statement. Because if it's true, we must conclude that the Obama presidency has been marked by an alarming level of violence, what with all the times he's proclaimed something he wouldn't tolerate.

    Has the Nobel Committee been made aware of this?

    Obama is proposing a form of violence to:
    1) Enforce stem cell research guidelines
    2) End wasteful inefficiency in government
    3) Eliminate employers exploiting undocumented workers
    4) Extirpate red tape in Katrina rebuilding efforts
    5) Effectuate treaty obligations
    6) Exclude dissension in his administration
    7) Exterminate sexual violence
    8) Enable latitude in enemy combatant detentions
    9) Empower sanctions to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons
    10) Ensure violence isn't legimated (except his own, apparently)

    1) March 9, 2009
    Remarks of President Barack Obama – Signing of Stem Cell Executive Order and Scientific Integrity Presidential Memorandum

    We will support it only when it is both scientifically worthy and responsibly conducted. We will develop strict guidelines, which we will rigorously enforce, because we cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse.

    2) April 25, 2009
    WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Announces Steps to Reform Government and Promote Fiscal Discipline

    We cannot sustain deficits that mortgage our children's future, nor tolerate wasteful inefficiency.

    3) June 19, 2009
    REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
    AT THE ESPERANZA NATIONAL HISPANIC PRAYER BREAKFAST

    The American people -- the American people believe in immigration, but they also believe that we can't tolerate a situation where people come to the United States in violation of the law, nor can we tolerate employers who exploit undocumented workers in order to drive down wages.

    4) August 29, 2009
    WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Marks Fourth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; Will Visit New Orleans Later This Year

    I have also made it clear that we will not tolerate red tape that stands in the way of progress, or the waste that can drive up the bill.

    5) April 8, 2010
    Remarks by President Obama and President Medvedev of Russia at New START Treaty Signing Ceremony and Press Conference

    And we will not tolerate actions that flout the NPT, risk an arms race in a vital region, and threaten the credibility of the international community and our collective security.

    6) June 23, 2010
    Statement by the President in the Rose Garden

    I’ve just told my national security team that now is the time for all of us to come together. Doing so is not an option, but an obligation. I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division.

    7) March 31, 2011
    Presidential Proclamation--National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

    We must continue to reinforce that America will not tolerate sexual violence within our borders.

    8) December 31, 2011
    Statement by the President on H.R. 1540

    I will not tolerate that result, and under no circumstances will my Administration accept or adhere to a rigid across-the-board requirement for military detention.

    9) January 19, 2012
    Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event

    Part of it is mobilizing an unprecedented campaign of sanctions and pressure on Iran, and stating unequivocally that we’re not going to tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of this Iranian regime.

    10) September 20, 2012
    Remarks by the President at Univision Town Hall with Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas

    ...we worked with Secretary Clinton to redouble our security and to send a message to the leaders of these countries, essentially saying, although we had nothing to do with the video, we find it offensive, it's not representative of America's views, how we treat each other with respect when it comes to their religious beliefs, but we will not tolerate violence.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Obama's Way Of Confronting Evil

    The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt – it must be [blah blah blah]. The future must not belong to those who bully women – it must be shaped by [blah blah blah]. ...

    The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when [blah blah blah]. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”

    --stuff Obama said in his U.N. speech

    This reminds me of two things I covered previously here.

    First -- Obama's speech after the Virginia Tech murders -- after dozens of innocents had been gunned down, Obama used the occasion to tell us, "There's another type of violence . . . the verbal violence [of Don Imus]. The violence of kids not getting a decent education. The violence when someone's job is shipped overseas."

    People are dying at the hands of thugs and terrorists. And Obama uses words like "target" and "bully" instead. He worries about the "slander" of the religion in whose name those killings are taking place -- but only talks about the people committing the murders with words such as "hate".

    And in not mentioning the actual killings, he refers us to Ghandi and promotes the idea that the whole problem is "intolerance".

    It's the old Ace of Spades formulation turned on its head ... "32 Innocent Copts Killed by Intolerance and Mortars. But Mostly Intolerance" "Young Woman Who Was Raped by Her Uncle, Killed to Preserve Family Honor by Bullying and Beheading. But Mostly the Bullying"

    Second -- it also reminds me of the forum Obama and McCain attended at Saddleback Church in 2008. Pastor Rick Warren asked whether evil exists and if it does, “do we ignore it? Do we negotiate with it? Do we contain it? Do we defeat it?”

    Obama's answer? "Confront it."

    To Obama that means give a speech (with code words to hide or blur the true nature of the evil).

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    I Met Jennifer Granholm

    I had the opportunity to attend an event on Friday evening at which Jennifer Granholm was a featured speaker. After the event, I got to meet her. I expressed to her just how much I enjoyed her Democratic National Convention speech. She said she had a lot of fun with it. We all had fun with her speech.

    If you click the pic, you can see the non-yellow-happy-faced version.

    If you click here, you can read all about the background of meeting Ms. Granholm, including the fun day of meeting with fellow commenters at Just One Minute.

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Media: Behead Campaigns Who Insult The Prophet Obama

    When Mitt Romney criticized the Obama administration's initial response to protests at the US Embassy in Egypt, this is what ensured:

    Media Riots at Romney/Ryan Campaign HQ

    (click to enlarge)

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    The Democratic Convention *Was* Just Last Week, You Know

    The media has pushed the narrative, as dutiful apparatchiks of the Obama administration, that the explosion of protests in the Middle East and North Africa was caused by a relatively unheard of, unknown, and previously almost unwatched movie trailer on youtube.

    What if this eruption of violent protests was caused by something else entirely?

    JustOneMinute is very fortunate to have a commenter who goes by the name of Daddy. Daddy travels for work around the globe and has given numerous dispatches on his adventures. He often bemoans the fact that airports give him no choice other than CNN to watch. He also relays to us what's on tv at his hotels in his exotic (or not) locations. On the night of the Democratic National Convention in which the delegates were given a voice vote on re-including God and Jerusalem in the platform, Daddy was watching Al Jazeera and told us about the coverage on JustOneMinute in a series of three comments.

    These are his stories.

    ****************************************

    Al Jazirah News is showing video of the DNC Convention adding the word "Jerusalem" as the Capital of Israel and also the word "God" being added to their party platform. It is showing the voice vote amendment procedure going through 3 voice votes, with their cameras focusing on upset DNC delegates under an "Arab-American" banner hollering "No."

    The takeaway from the Al Jazirah feed to the average Al Jazirah viewer is that it is obvious the word "Jerusalem" should not have passed as it didn't win the voice vote, but the guy doing the voice vote measure at the podium (Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa) just went ahead and said it passed anyway.

    Now it is video of Bill Richardson, Former New Mexico Governor, attempting damage control by saying in an Al-J interview that this is nothing of consequence, move along folks.

    You guys must have discussed this in the 400 comments above, but just thought I'd give the perspective from over here.

    Will be interesting to see what the local UAE papers say about this in the morning.

    Posted by: daddy | September 05, 2012 at 08:21 PM

    ****************************************

    I have seen it almost non-stop over here on Al-Jazira for the last 40 minutes. They are running their show in a sort of CNN Headline News 30 minute model. It is their top story, so at every break they mention it as their top story and show quick video, then do a longer segment at the beginning of the show.

    Now I have just started browsing thru the other Arabic/Islamic News channels. Can't yet tell what they are hollering about but suspect this is one of the topics. Boy, they do a lot of hollering on these channels.

    Posted by: daddy | September 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM

    ****************************************

    Al Jazirah showing the full 3 votes video all over again, with the boos after the final vote, and then commentary.

    Al Jazirah reporter saying now that she has verified that Obama personally demanded that the word "God" and the word "Jerusalem" be put back in the Platform.

    Obviously seems to show the lie of Dick Durbin yesterday getting angry at Brett Baire for being questioned why God isn't in the platform. Obviously the topic was not a minor one and was therefore 100% legitimate for Brett to ask about. But we already knew that.

    Posted by: daddy | September 05, 2012 at 09:07 PM

    The Democratic National Convention made a spectacle of the vote. It was clear that the 2/3rds rule to pass a motion by voice vote was not met, but the chair simply deemed that the motion passed. It dealt with an issue terribly inflammatory in the Muslim world -- Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. Al Jazeera did everything in its power to whip the Arab Street into a frenzy.

    Now a week later embassies and consulates are burned and Americans dead.

    All Is Well

    The Middle East and North Africa are exploding with protests against US Embassies. There's violence, destruction, fires burning, US flags burning, anti-US and anti-Obama chants. The US Ambassador to Libya and three others were murdered at a US Consulate office. The media has spent the week attacking Romney. Obama has spent the week mostly fundraising and campaigning. Obama's press secretary has said that the protests really aren't aimed at the US anyway.

    Here's Obama responding to the unfolding crisis:

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

    Jennifer Granholm at the Democratic National Convention

    Form Democratic Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm gave a barn burner of a speech at the Democratic National Convention.

    She was wildly cheered on by the delegates at the convention. She was mercilessly mocked by Republicans, even going so far as comparing her speech to the Howard Dean meltdown in 2004.

    It was at once both exhilarating and cringe-inducing. It was . . . unique.

    Here's a screeshot from her speech:

    Jennifer Granholm Speaks at the Democratic National Convention

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Obama Might Be Angling To Make Putin Jealous

    Instapundit:

    “THIS IS NOT A PARODY.” Jim Treacher comments: “This guy is a clown. Morning zoo radio? Entertainment Tonight? Really? What, was SpongeBob busy?”

    Also, Vladimir Putin is scared of girls.

    You know, the Cold War wasn’t so great, but it does seem that the leadership was better on both sides back then. . . .

    But Obama and Medvedev are so cute together.

    obamamedvedev

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Obama Being A Verbal Stubmlebum Is Anything But New

    Six words, four words, two words. Obama has improved his efficiency when it comes to teleprompterless gaffes.

    Six words: "The private sector is doing fine."

    Four words: "You didn't build that"

    Two words: "It worked."

    Ed Morrissey at Hot Air says this about the state Obama finds himself in:

    Old and busted: Barack Obama is the most gifted orator in American politics since … well, FDR, Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, take your pick. New hotness: The President can’t express himself clearly without his apologists at the ready to explain his “context.”

    Not really. I mean, perhaps the public perception is moving from great orator to tongue-tied gaffe-master.

    But not reality.

    In 2008, we knew that when Obama was off the teleprompter, he was prone to say more "uhs and ahs" than any other word in his vocabulary (including "hope", "change" and even "I" or "me"):


    In 2008, we knew that Obama gaffed himself into more than one situation that necessitated coming back to explain "the context"

    Bitter clingers:

    U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said yesterday that he "mangled" his words when he described small town Americans as "bitter" at a private San Francisco fundraiser.

    Obama spoke to the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board last night, after a long weekend spent clarifying his statement that many small town voters had grown "bitter" over their economic status and "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."[…]

    "My syntax was poor," Obama said.

    Jerusalem should be undivided:

    Senator Obama, in his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." The next day, an unnamed adviser tried to "clarify" the statement to suggest it left room for Palestinian sovereignty.

    On Sunday in a CNN interview, Fareed Zakaria questioned Mr. Obama about his AIPAC speech supporting Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Mr. Zakaria asked him, "why not support the Clinton plan, which envisions a divided Jerusalem."

    Mr. Obama responded, "the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech" and a reminder of the need to be "careful in terms of our syntax." He said his point had been "simply" that "we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the '67 war

    In 2008, we were told Obama was trying to wean himself from the teleprompter:

    According to several Democrat political consultants presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama spent part of his Hawaiian vacation working on weaning himself from a heavy dependence on teleprompters. Even in what are staged as "town hall" events for Obama, remarks are scripted or formatted into bullet points that scroll on teleprompter screens. Obama has had several embarrassing events where the teleprompter either malfunctioned or the screens were not fully visible.

    "He just locks down and can't get the words out," says one political consultant. "For such a fine speaker, it's really quite remarkable that he's had issues."

    The fact that Obama is now again trying to give up the teleprompter -- to such great electoral calamity for himself -- tells us exactly how successful he was in 2008.

    And the list goes on. From "57 states, one left to go . . . besides Hawaii and Alaska" to asthmatics needing "breathalyzers", there is almost no end to the evidence that Obama is not a great orator.

    And again, while it may be the New Hotness for the media and wider public to recognize it -- Obama being a verbal stubmlebum is anything but new.

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Maybe Obama's Plan Did Work

    At a fundraiser in Oakland, Obama tells us why he's running for a second term:

    “We tried that and it didn’t work,” Obama said of Mitt Romney’s proposed tax cuts and spending cuts, which he dismissed as a Bush-style “top down” economic policy. “Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan — and it worked,” he added later in the speech. “That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.”

    Add this to what Obama said last month: "The private sector is doing fine."

    So let's assume that Obama truly believes that the private sector is doing fine because his plan worked -- that the current state of the economy, at least in the private sector, is where he wants it to be. That state of the economy? Take it away Jim Geraghty (click through to see all the links he provides for the stats he gives):

    Forty-one straight months of unemployment above 8 percent, 8.2 million people working part-time who want full-time work, a record 88 million Americans not in the labor force, 1.9 percent GDP growth in the past quarter, more bad GDP numbers expected tomorrow, a stagnant housing market, $5 trillion in new debt, the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, 38 percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, 45 million Americans on food stamps, food prices continuing to increase dramatically, the poverty level likely to rise to the highest level in nearly fifty years…

    I'm beginning to wonder if we all didn't misinterpret Obama's famous comments after securing enough delegates for the Democratic nomination in 2008. Maybe we took him too literally, and should have read between the lines? Let's look at it again in the context of Obama's view on the economy today:

    "I am absolutely certain that 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 [you know, the one that is said to lift all boats]."

    Obama's plan worked!

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    On This Date In 2008

    Four years ago today, Barack Obama delivered a speech at Berlin's Siegessäuleto to an estimated crowd of more than 200,000.

    Obama introduced himself as a "fellow citizen of the world" while proclaiming that he didn't "look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city."

    Some of the reactions from around the world that followed his speech:

    The Guardian (UK): Obama wows Berlin crowd with historic speech

    The Telegraph (UK): Barack Obama's visit causes excitement in Germany

    The New York Times: Obama gets pop star reception in Berlin

    ABC News: Obama Echoes Reagan in Call for Global Unity

    CNN: Obama wins hearts, not minds, in Berlin

    Der Spiegel: 'Will a German Speak at the Washington Monument in 2009?'

    Der Speigel: Obama's Berlin Speech: People of the World, Look at Me

    Shortly before the speech, after being told the Pentagon would not allow Obama to be accompanied by campaign staff and the press, the Obama campaign announced that it was scrubbing plans for Obama to visit wounded American troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    The First Time Comedy, The Second Time Farce

    From the Weekly Standard:

    Obama Ad Accuses Romney of 'Launching a False Attack' for Quoting Obama

    So, Mitt Romney has taken to derisively quoting Obama's now infamous line, "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

    Now Team Obama is crying foul. It's apparently a false attack to accurately quote Obama.

    Where have I heard this before?

    Ah, yes, in 2008: Obama campaign: Obama's remarks are offensive

    Remember Obama's "typical white person" remark referring to his grandmother in his Major Speech on Race in America?

    Well. Fox and Friends had a field day with it afterward. They had so much fun poking Obama with it that Chris Wallace called in to chide them during the show:

    "I've been watching this show since six o'clock since I got up..and...and...it seems to me that two hours of Obama-bashing...on this 'typical white person' remark is somewhat excessive"

    Team Obama was happy that Chris Wallace was not happy. They issued a statement that included this:

    We appreciate Chris Wallace for doing his job as a tough but fair journalist on a network that has been deeply irresponsible over the last week in its unrelenting and sensationalistic coverage of Sen. Obama. ...

    If Fox News wants to play clips of the same offensive sound bites every day from now until November, that's their right, but that type of coverage does a disservice to their viewers and to a nation that is facing serious challenges that merit thoughtful and honest reporting.

    Team Obama called replaying Obama's own words over and over again sensational. Well, sensationalistic, but that's just quibbling. But notice they also called Obama's remarks themselves as "offensive sound bites". Let's all agree to agree on that point.

    Where else have I heard this before?

    Ah, yes, a month later in 2008: Obama campaign: Quoting Obama is divisive and distracting

    Obama and McCain were at separate points asked about the role Reverend Wright should play in the campaign. Their answers...

    Obama:

    I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that [Reverend Wright] had made in the past. The fact that he is my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.

    McCain:

    "Senator Obama himself says it's a legitimate political issue, so I would imagine that many other people will share that view"

    Well, that's a no-no, quoting Obama like that. Team Obama couldn't possibly let that stand:

    “John McCain has broken his word to the American people and rendered hollow his promise of a respectful campaign. With each passing day, John McCain acts more and more like someone who’s spent twenty-six years learning the divisive, distracting tactics of Washington."

    Up in arms because McCain was quoting Obama. Let's again all agree to agree that a lot of what Obama says is divisive.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    A Michelle Obama Statement Reaches Its Expiration Date

    Quoting from Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt:

    And yes, [Romney] brought up the recent Obama administration changes to welfare:

    Romney also attacked the president for an executive order that allows states to opt out of parts of the welfare law that was passed by former President Clinton and a Republican Congress. "He is trying to take work out of the welfare requirement," he said. "It is changing the nature of America, changing the nature of what Democrats have fought for and Republicans have fought for."

    Uh oh. That's not what Michelle told us he would do as president:

    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.

    I know Jim has kept a list of Barack Obama statements that have reached their expiration date. I don't know if "all Michelle Obama's statements come with an expiration date", but it's obvious this one did.

    Remember the good ol' days:

    Apparently those days are over.

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    On This Date In 2008

    On this date in 2008, Obama appeared before the NAACP national convention:

    The Illinois senator's speech was a historic first: an African-American poised to be the presidential nominee of a major party addressing the nation's oldest civil rights organization.
    ...
    "If I have the privilege of serving as your next president, 100 years after the founding of the NAACP, I will stand up for you the same way that earlier generations of Americans stood up for me -- by fighting to ensure that every single one of us has the chance to make it if we try," Obama said.

    Having been given that privilege, in large part because of the historic turnout and margin among black voters, Obama decided this year, in the heat of another presidential election, to . . . skip giving a speech to the NAACP due to "scheduling" issues. Call it another historic first: an African-American president refusing to address the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

    Obama sent Vice President Biden instead.

    IN OTHER NEWS:

    Black Clergy Group Protested Same-Sex Marriage at NAACP Convention

    Black Pastors Coalition: 'We're Going to Keep the Heat on Obama'

    The Shrinkage Of Obama

    Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon:

    HONEY, I SHRUNK OBAMA
    COLUMN: FOUR YEARS HAVE MINIATURIZED OBAMA’S APPEAL, PLANS, AND RHETORIC

    The most telling moment of the campaign this week was not Mitt Romney or Joe Biden’s speech to the NAACP convention, but President Obama’s Tuesday appearance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Nor was it the content of Obama’s message that made his utterances noteworthy. It was the small venue: yet another community college. Now, Kirkwood Community College is no doubt a fine place, but Sports Authority Field at Mile High it is not. And one is unlikely to come across a better indicator of presidential shrinkage.

    The White House took desperate pains to note that the president talked to an “overflow crowd.” What it did not mention was that an overflow crowd in a community college gym could not fill the seats in, say, the OSU stadium. There was a time when Obama regaled audiences of 30,000, 75,000, 80,000 people. Now he speaks to true believers at high schools. By the end of the campaign he may well find himself, like Spinal Tap, playing to a threadbare crowd at Themeland Amusement Park in Stockton, California (a city which, fittingly enough, is bankrupt). The sign outside: “PUPPET SHOW AND PRESIDENT OBAMA.”

    The shrinkage of Obama has been a theme here in the past as well.

    Obama Is Growing in Office -- Growing Smaller

    Obama Is Growing In Office -- Growing Smaller

    Obama Is In Over His Head

    Obama #readytogo

    MORE SHRINKAGE: How'd I forget this one from just two months ago?

    That's So 116,985,600 Seconds Ago

    2008 v 2012

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    What CNN Doesn't Tell You Tells You More Than What They Tell You

    Ramesh Ponnuru at the Corner draws attention to this abysmal article at CNN on how everyone is so fed up with the fight over Obamacare that Republicans should quit trying to repeal it.

    Interestingly, I was working on this post relating to the article already when I saw his post. Just what I needed . . . a hook!

    At the end of his post, Ponnuru says this:

    [Author Halimah] Abdullah then brings in David Bositis, who attempts to support the voter-fatigue theory by pointing to the low approval ratings for Congress — which, again, obviously do not provide any support for the theory.

    I had zeroed in on Bositis because he is presented without any other qualification or description other than where he works. Over to the article:

    ...frustration is pretty indicative of broader voter fatigue when it comes to debate over the health care law and most things in Congress, said David Bositis, a senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, pointing to Congress' abysmal approval rating.

    "I don't think voters are paying attention to what Congress is doing right now," Bositis said. "They think Congress -- especially the House -- is a bunch of fools. These guys are like characters out of 'Saturday Night Live.' "

    Note how the article presents Bositis and the organization that he works for -- just name the outfit without any qualifier whatsoever. The reader is left to assume it must be some neutral organization, otherwise the article would have described its affiliation or political leaning, right?

    Yeah, right. Here's the About page on the Joint Center's website:

    The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies works to inform and illuminate the nation's major public policy debates through research, analysis, and information dissemination, with the goal of improving the socioeconomic status of African Americans and other people of color

    I'm beginning to think the Joint Center and Dr. Bositis may have needed a bit of a qualifier or description. And while we're at it, here's a bit from their Energy and Environment section:

    Although African Americans contribute 20 percent less than white households to the causes of global warming, research suggests they are more vulnerable to the types of extreme weather that science has shown is exacerbated by environmental changes

    Oh, and wait for it...

    African Americans and other people of color are also vulnerable to the risks associated with increases in energy prices, and would benefit from job growth associated with the adoption of...

    I trust you already know that that sentence doesn't end with "...an all of the above approach to access the nation's many sources of cheap, abundant energy." Oh, no of course not, they're much more, well, progressive at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies...

    ...a clean energy plan.

    Yup. That'll solve everything.

    CNN presents David Bositis as if he's a neutral observer. He's not. But then again, neither is CNN.

    The Media Launches An Assault And Then Orders A Retreat

    Each morning I log in to Yahoo, check my email and scan the headlines, maybe check some sports scores. This morning one headline jumped out at me. Here's a screen shot of the Yahoo headlines page of local stories. I've scrolled down so that the headline in question is at the top:

    House GOP launches assault on health care

    Yike. "Assault on health care"? Casual readers might assume that Republicans want to close hospitals and pharmacies and put their family doctors out of business. Adding the word "law" on the end is the very least they could have done to make the headline less invidious. Of course, they also could have refrained from using the word "assault" -- which sounds so . . . uncivil of those mean Republicans.

    Clicking into the article, I notice that it is a CNN piece by Tom Cohen. So it wasn't something the local tv station came up with, it was a distributed article by CNN. I went and googled at the time and noted dozens of websites with the same headline. I didn't take a screen shot at the time, however.

    Just now I went back to that article, and you know what? The headline has been changed to something a little less inflammatory:

    House GOP to vote again on health care repeal

    Well, that's a little more neutral. Note this below the headlline:

    UPDATED 11:48 AM EDT Jul 11, 2012

    So it was just recently updated. The original url, however, still contains the "launches assault on health care" phrase, in case there is any doubt:

    http://www.wxii12.com/news/politics/House-GOP-launches-assault-on-health-care/-/9677658/15472656/-/pffry5z/-/index.html?absolute=true

    I also just now went back and took a screen shot of the google results for "House GOP launches assault on health care" which now returns 1,700 results.

    So Google continues to roam the internet and pick up on the original headline, even as sites are being changed to reflect a more neutral phrasing than was originally used when the article was distributed.

    Someone, and we have no idea who, apparently launched an assault, so to speak, in an attempt to convey Republican activity in voting to repeal Obamacare in terms that were derogatory, invidious and inflammatory. Someone, and we have no idea who, apparently realized that was a mistake and ordered a retreat. But on the internet, there really are no second chances.

    You might want to sit down for this: The media is not unbiased. I know, shocking.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Do Or Not Do -- There Is No Try

    Obama on 60 Minutes with Steve Kroft, 2008:

    KROFT: Why do you think you’d be a good president?

    OBAMA: You know, I’m a, I’m a practical person. One of the things I’m good at is getting people in a room with a bunch of different ideas who sometimes violently disagree with each other and finding common ground and a sense of common direction.

    Obama on WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio, 2012:

    I suspect that most people … would acknowledge that I’ve tried real hard, and we just haven’t gotten the kind of willingness on the part of Republicans to engage on a whole range of issues that I wish had happened.

    If getting people to work together was the reason Obama claimed that he would make a good president when asked directly -- and he admits he has not been able to accomplish that -- then by his own definition Obama has not been a good president. Not good presidents do not deserve reelection.

    We'll give Obama a B+ for effort. And a participation ribbon for trying. He deserves that much.


    (click image to enlarge)



    56% Of America Agrees With Obama

    From The Hill:

    Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority.

    A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

    56% of America: "Obama has changed America for the worse"

    Obama 2008: "It is time to change America!"
    Obama 2011: "...and for some of our friends and neighbors, that change has been painful."


    And with that, Obama's big campaign slogan is . . . Forward!

    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    Obama's Not Being Direct With Us When He Says We're Heading In The Right Direction

    Bad economic news this week on the jobs front. Only 80,000 jobs added last month. It is estimated that the economy needs 125,000 jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.

    As expected, Obama and the White House tries to spin the news favorably -- an economy sucking wind being the biggest threat to his reelection. At the Tatler, Bryan Preston catches some of that spin - the White House saying you shouldn't read too much into a monthly report. What he actually catches is that this is the 30th time they've told us not to read too much into a monthly report.

    Over on Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty quotes some more spin from Obama:

    Pointing to the fact that 80,000 jobs were created, [Obama] declares the news is “a step in the right direction,” but he’s not done yet, much work remains to be done, and so on.

    Obama thinks adding fewer jobs in a month than new people come into the workforce is the "right direction"?

    Yike.

    And that phrase, "right direction", I know that phrase. Here's a post from two years ago in which I noted that no matter the economic news, Obama would declare that we are heading in the "right direction". It included this chart:

    I stopped keeping track of his penchant for telling our lying eyes that the economy is heading in the right direction, but let's do some catch up. Searching Google for "right direction" and "remarks by the president" on whitehouse.gov we get this:

    That's 137 entries on whitehouse.gov in which Obama has used the phrase "right direction" - and that's after google eliminated entries it deemed as repetitive - it actually returned 308 results in total. Obama uses the phrase in several varieties - for example he used the phrase a number of times in the stumping he did for the 2010 elections in his car in the ditch metaphor.

    Obama apparently believes the idea that if you repeat something enough, people might start to believe it. That theory failed pretty spectacularly in the shellacking the Democrats suffered in the 2010 elections, but you'd be silly to think Obama would learn from it. He's lying about the economy heading in the right direction, and let's face it, he's not that smart.

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Fun With Rasmussen

    Rasmussen Reports is the site of pollster Scott Rasmussen. Rasmussen has created a Presidential Approval Index that measures the difference between Strongly Approve and Strongly Disapprove poll results.

    Let's have some fun with the numbers.

    Obama has seen three straight days of being minus 22 on the Rasmussen index. In fact, all three days were exactly the same on all measures (Srongly Approve 23%, Strongly Disappove 45%, Total Approve 44%, Total Disapprove 54%).

    Today marks the ninth time that Obama has been at minus 22 or lower on three or more consecutive days, and the first time in 2012. The rest occurred in 2011. The record is 8 days, which took place once each in August, September and October of last year.

    11/29-12/3 - 4 days
    11/2-11/4 - 3 days
    10/21-10/23 - 3 days
    10/16-10/19 - 4 days
    10/2-10/9 - 8 days
    9/4-9/11 - 8 days
    8/30-9/2 - 4 days
    8/21-8/25 - 5 days
    8/11-8/18 - 8 days

    Today also marks the third consecutive day in which Obama's Strongly Disapprove is higher than his Total Approve - the eighth time that has happened, the first time in 2012, and only the second time since 2010. Obama has exceeded three days with his Strongly Disapprove commanding a higher number than his Total Approve only once, almost exactly two years ago when it was five days in June of 2010.

    10/5-10/7/2011 - 3 days
    9/9-9/11/2010 - 3 days
    10/14-10/16/2010 - 3 days
    9/9-9/11/2010 - 3 days
    9/4-9/6/2010 - 3 days
    7/23-7/25/2010 - 3 days
    6/16-6/20/2010 - 5 days

    Today is Obama's 1,251st day in office.

    Obama has spent 10.2% of his presidency at minus 20 or lower

    Obama has spent 73.3% of his presidency at minus 10 or lower.

    Obama has spent 84.2% of his presidency underwater on the Rasmussen index.

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Obama Owns Hollywood

    And Hollywood owns Obama.

    So Obama enjoyed the Devil who wears Prada/Carrie Bradshaw fundraiser last week. That's Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue and Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex in the City, just to be clear.

    There sure does seem to be a lot of attention being paid to that fundraiser. I have been doing an On This Date In 2008 series here. Fun stuff. But here's a date I didn't include: On June 17, 2008 - Michelle Obama attended a fundraiser and $10K per plate dinner co-hosted by Calvin Klein and . . . Anna Wintour to support Barack's campaign.

    It was the first of two fundraisers co-hosted by Wintour in the 2008 election - the second coupled the fundraiser with a fashion show on September 9 in New York City. That affair was co-hosted with . . . Sarah Jessica Parker.

    I remember distinctly the Obama as celebrity meme in 2008. And yet, I have seen very little attention paid to the fact that the Wintour/Parker gala is not new.

    Oh well.

    Now some are worrying that Obama's obsessive Hollywoood fixation just might be going overboard.

    Some of the president's most ardent entertainment industry supporters quietly tell The Hollywood Reporter that while they realize he needs to deploy all of his weapons to compete with deep-pocketed Republican super PACs, they fear the increasing reliance on stars and celebrity contests could backfire with swing voters and mobilize the right.

    Forget it. Obama can no more disown Hollywood than he can his own typically white grandmother or his spiritual mentor and racist ex-pastor. Obama owns Hollywood. And Hollywood owns Obama.

    Obama and Hollywood

    Try Not To Think Of A Fishing Expedition

    In Jay Carney's press briefing yesterday, he claimed that Republican attempts to get Attorney General Eric Holder to turn over all documents related to Fast and Furious was a "fishing expedition".

    Five times:

    1: "Republicans are focused on this politically motivated, taxpayer-funded, election-year fishing expedition."

    2: "its efforts to work with Congress to provide it the information that was required under legitimate oversight needs, an assertion was made -- because this has become a political fishing expedition."

    3: "They do not expect Congress to waste time on politically motivated fishing expeditions, which this has clearly become."

    4: "I cannot divine the motivations behind what I think I've clearly suggested is something we believe has become a fishing expedition that’s unnecessary and unworthy of Congress at this time"

    5: "I would refer you to my comments about partisan fishing expeditions and political theater, and one of the causes and consequences of the Congress with the lowest recorded approval ratings in history."

    A day before, after the House Oversight Committee voted Attorney General Holder to be in contempt, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer responded:

    "Instead of creating jobs or strengthening the middle class, congressional Republicans are spending their time on a politically motivated, taxpayer-funded election-year fishing expedition."

    Good to see Pfeiffer and Carney have coordinated the talking point down to the exact wording. And it is evident that the White House has settled in on the catchphrase they want to use to characterize the efforts of the Republicans. So, step one is decide on a catchphrase, and begin using it prolifically.

    What's step two? Step two is get the media on board.

    Enter Washington Post's Eugene Robinson:

    The House wants to go fishing in a vast sea of documents, some of which relate to ongoing investigations. As a believer in sunshine and disclosure, I don’t much care for questionable claims of executive privilege. But I like the politically motivated sideshow the GOP is staging even less.

    Eugene Robinson, an extension of the public relations function of the White House, obligingly carries the water.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    On This Date In 2008

    Four years ago today, Obama debuted the Great Seal of the Obama Campaign of 2008 (unofficial title), complete with its Latin slogan, "Vero Possumus", which roughly translated to "Yes We Can".

    Met with widespread derision at the audacious display of arrogance, even from his own side of the aisle, the seal was hushed away three days later, never to be seen again.