Patterico's Pontifications

2/11/2011

The State of Denial Address

Filed under: General — Karl @ 5:59 pm

[Posted by Karl]

My fellow Americans, the State of Denial is strong.

Although Pres. Obama’s State of the Union address and the GOP response both avoided the issue of entitlement reform, that denial is just the tip of the iceberg. Those evasions were no more than symbolic of the political establishment’s denial of our seemingly inevitable debt crisis. Yet the denial of the coming debt crisis is itself merely a symptom of a larger denial. I alluded to this larger denial when writing about Big Media’s ostrich-like approach to the debt, and the lack of forethought about the way the debt crisis may shape political realignment in America for decades. But I never hit the nail on the head as squarely as Walter Russell Mead has been doing in an ongoing series of pieces, including “The Crisis of the American Intellectual“:

[W]hen I look at the problems we face, I worry. It’s not just that some of our cultural strengths are eroding as both the financial and intellectual elites rush to shed many of the values that made the country great. And it’s not the deficit: we can and will deal with that if we get our policies and politics right. And it’s certainly not the international competition: our geopolitical advantages remain overwhelming and China, India and the EU all face challenges even more daunting than ours and they lack our long tradition of successful, radical but peaceful reform and renewal.

***

But the biggest roadblock today is that so many of America’s best-educated, best-placed people are too invested in old social models and old visions of history to do their real job and help society transition to the next level. Instead of opportunities they see threats; instead of hope they see danger; instead of the possibility of progress they see the unraveling of everything beautiful and true.

Too many of the very people who should be leading the country into a process of renewal that would allow us to harness the full power of the technological revolution and make the average person incomparably better off and more in control of his or her own destiny than ever before are devoting their considerable talent and energy to fighting the future.

Of course, most of the people fighting the future believe they are winning the future. Mead explains the primary problem of ideology: (more…)

Sockpuppet Friday—the Imitation Palin Edition!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:44 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sock puppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself, a lot.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.

————–

And for a little frivolity, here’s a Sarah Palin impersonator:

Patti Lyons as Sarah Palin from Barber Gold Management on Vimeo.

Via: The Blaze.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Mubarak Out? (Update: a Musical Send Off)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:52 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

After debacles like the Gabby Giffords shooting, where first she was dead, then she was alive, then a judge was dead, then alive and then dead again, I am reluctant to trust breaking news reports.  The fact it is in a foreign country where things might literally get “lost in translation” makes me even more wary.  But this seems solid:

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. “The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.

Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, cheering and waving Egyptian flags. Fireworks, car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soliders stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.

So down he goes and hopefully the world will soon forget how incompetent Obama, Panetta and the Clapper looked through all of this.

And that means the military is in control.  Now the reality is that sometimes for a very brief time (meaning a few months) undemocratic elements come into power during a revolution, until they can hand power to a legitimate body.  That could be what happens here.  Or we could see the rise of a military dictatorship.  So what are we going to get?  A General Washington?  Or a Generalisimo?  Only time can tell.

Update: How about a little send off music?

By the way, is it just me or was it lame when they sang this in Remember the Titans?

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

(More) Amateur Hour in Foreign Intelligence

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:40 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Of course one person who directly benefitted from the cluelessness of the Clapper was Leon Panetta, who could then claim he only said the second stupidest thing yesterday.  Let’s start with the New York Times spin on it:

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, testified before the House of Representatives on Thursday morning that there was a “strong likelihood” that Mr. Mubarak would step down by the end of the day.

American officials said Mr. Panetta was basing his statement not on secret intelligence but on media broadcasts, which began circulating before he sat down before the House Intelligence Committee.

Ah, well, except read what he actually said:

CIA Director Leon Panetta said Thursday that it’s likely Egyptian President Hosni Mabarak will step down tonight.

“There’s a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down in Eqypt tonight,” Panetta told a House Intelligence panel.

Later during the hearing, Panetta was more specific: “I’ve received reports that possibly Mubarak might do that [step down tonight]. We are continuing to monitor the situation…we have not received specific reports.”

“I would assume that [Mubarak] would turn over more of his powers to [Vice President Omar] Suleiman…[who would] direct more of the reforms that need to take place…,” Panetta added.

Or just listen to what he said: (more…)

Obama Intelligence Guy: Muslim Brotherhood Is Largely Secular

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 6:48 am

So what were you worried about?

The term “Muslim Brotherhood”…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.

Yuh-huh. Hot Air quotes Politico:

The Brotherhood uses the slogan, “Islam is the answer,” and generally advocates for government in accordance with Islamic principles. The movement has as a broad goal unifying what it perceives as Muslim lands, from Spain to Indonesia, as a “caliphate.”

The group also has ties to Hamas.

Watch and weep:

Clapper is the same dude who in December did not know about the London terror plot when asked by Diane Sawyer. His spokesmouth has issued this “clarification”:

“To clarify Director Clapper’s point – in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak’s rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation – he is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization.”

To “clarify,” then, it’s a “largely secular” group that is “not a secular organization.” Just so we’re clear.

What’s next? “Al What-a?”

UPDATE: Here’s what’s next — or, at least, what was happening at the same time. Namely, the CIA director making predictions based on what he saw on teevee:

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, testified before the House of Representatives on Thursday morning that there was a “strong likelihood” that Mr. Mubarak would step down by the end of the day.

American officials said Mr. Panetta was basing his statement not on secret intelligence but on media broadcasts, which began circulating before he sat down before the House Intelligence Committee.

We are in the very best of hands.


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