Patterico's Pontifications


iowahawk Finds JournoList Chat Transcript

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 11:43 pm

With a special appearance by Keith Olbermann.

Obama Caught Without Teleprompter

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:41 pm

OK, this does it:

We totally have to hack this guy’s Teleprompter.

It’s not even up for discussion any more. This thing is happening.

Reporters Applaud Obama

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:40 pm

You know, openly:

When the president departed after nearly an hour, dozens more reporters offered him applause — something one veteran reporter who has covered the globe for decades said he could not recall seeing except for in authoritarian nations.

Well, we’re headed that way.

President Softee

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:50 am

[Posted by Karl]

Pres. Obama, unable to resist campaign-style events, even in foreign countries, sucks up to a German and French “town hall” audience:

In his opening remarks, he underscored European and American ties and appeared intent on improving the U.S. image abroad, which suffered under George W. Bush. “I’ve come to Europe this week to renew our partnership,” Obama said, bluntly claiming that the relationship between the United States and Europe had gone adrift, with blame on both sides.

“In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world,” Obama said.

Instead of celebrating Europe’s dynamic union and seeking to work with you, Obama said, “there have been times where America’s shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

“But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual, but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans chose to blame America for much of what’s bad,” Obama said.

He added: “On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth.”

Obama also encouraged Europe to support his new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy.

Meanwhile, off the faux campaign trail, Europe is providing minimal support for the military mission in Afghanistan.

At Foreign Policy, Peter Feaver sums up Pres. Obama’s Big Adventure:

Not too long ago, America wanted Europe to:

  • adopt more American approaches to addressing the global financial crisis;
  • shoulder more of the military and economic load in Afghanistan; and
  • accept more responsibility for holding the detainees currently at Guantanamo Bay.

And Europe wanted the opposite — for America to:

  • adopt more European approaches to addressing the global financial crisis;
  • shoulder more of the military and economic load in Afghanistan; and
  • accept more responsibility for holding the detainees currently at Guantanamo Bay.

These conflicts of interest have been worked out not with hard power tools of threats and intimidation but with soft power tools of shaming and suasion. And the results so far are:

  • America is going to adopt more European approaches to addressing the global financial crisis;
  • America is going to shoulder more of the military and economic load in Afghanistan; and
  • America is going to accept more responsibility for holding the detainees currently at Guantanamo Bay.

My purpose here is not to critique the results. So far, they are more or less what I expected, and I can imagine far more disastrous foreign policy moves than the ones Obama has made thus far. But we should not miss the opportunity to learn a bit of realism that should be obvious to anyone who served in a position of responsibility in American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Soft power is a useful component of foreign policy, but it is a means to an end, not an end in itself. And if you make “being liked” a centerpiece of your foreign policy, you will find your soft power eroding and the soft power of others growing.

One can only imagine what Andrew Sullivan makes of that last sentence.  In any event, America will quickly learn about Europe’s leading role in the world from the growing evidence that Europe likes Obama, but has as little use for his foreign policy as they did the policy of his predecessor.


Iowa Supremes Legalize Gay Marriage

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:55 am

Another state supreme court imposes gay marriage by fiat:

The Iowa Supreme Court this morning unanimously upheld gays’ right to marry.

“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.

The court rules that gay marriage would be legal in three weeks, starting April 24.

How long before the chief justice sits for a slobbering interview about her Courage in the Des Moines Register?

Obama, Like, Totally Rocks. And Stuff.

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Obama — Patterico @ 6:46 am

Omigod. This is just, like, so totally cool. OK, so like, Obama? He was at this, summit thing? The G-something? With all these world leaders? And he totally fixed this one huge argument that these two leaders? I forget their names? But anyway, they were having this totally lame argument about, something or other, and Obama fixed it all by changing one word.

I can’t remember what it was about, because it all seemed so stupid, but hang on. It was on the front page of the L.A. Times because it was so totally cool. Lemme find it.

OK, so lemme see what it was about. OK, here.

The sticking point was whether to officially recognize a list of tax havens being published by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development as part of an attempt to crack down on those trying to escape taxes.

See? It sounds important. He’s always talking about important stuff.

The U.S. did not have a strong position on the question.

But Sarkozy insisted on recognizing the list. Hu opposed it . . .

Hu Jintao did, that’s Hu. OK, I’ll shut up.

. . . reasoning that G-20 members would have no role in formulating it.

Experts say it’s the kind of small dispute that holds up international agreements all the time.

I mean, that totally would have been the end of it. But then Obama stepped in.

“There was a great deal of back and forth,” the Obama administration official said, speaking about the private meeting on condition of anonymity.

Finally, Obama proposed that, rather than “recognizing” the list, G-20 leaders simply “note” it.

I mean, that’s why I voted for this guy. He’s just, like, a genius. I think the L.A. Times can tell, too:

For anyone looking for clues in Obama’s first appearance as president on the world stage about his view of his role, it was an illustrative moment.

Yeah, they totally think he’s cool, too. Just like me. I think that’s why they’re doing so good. I love that paper.

Like, I bet Obama can make peace in the Middle East too. Like, maybe Hamas? Maybe they’re saying they don’t want to recognize Israel? But maybe Obama can just tell them: OK, so can you just “note” Israel? And I bet Hamas would be all, sure. “Noted.”

And then everybody would hug and nobody would kill each other any more. Just because of one word. You know?

I mean, I bet George Bush could have done that. I mean, if he wasn’t all arrogant and everything.

And stupid.

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