Patterico's Pontifications


Damn Grade Inflation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:16 pm

At TIME, Mark Halperin is “grading” the Obama administration . . . and he gives Obama an A-:

Instantly comfortable and highly skilled at the hardest job in the world — proving his supporters’ contention that all the traits that made him a great candidate would serve him well in the White House: even temper, cool demeanor, boldness under pressure, shrewd facility for managing personnel, unfailing instincts about when to delegate and when to engage.

Grumpy Old Professor Tom Maguire snarks:

Obama’s approval rating has sagged (which is not inevitable); he surrendered control of the stimulus debate to Pelosi and Reid; he lost control of the health care debate to Pelosi, Reid, and any private citizen with a Facebook account; he has let climate change drift to the back burner until next year, when an election oriented Congress is sure to do nothing; and despite lofty rhetoric there is no way he will deliver on his promise to close Gitmo by year end.

Internationally Obama ired our allies on Iran, left ’em laughing in Copenhagen, and seems to inspire a lot more curiosity than respect around the world.

And rather than bringing Washington together Obama and his team are adopting a bunker mentality faster, and with less reason, than any White House in memory.

I shudder to think what a B+ would have looked like.

And do keep clicking once you reach that TIME link — but do it before lunch, lest you lose it. I won’t even tell you Michelle Obama’s “grade.”

Halperin’s entire series of posts is inane cheerleading — a totally unprofessional act of journalistic fellatio disguised as objectivity. It’s an utter joke.

I give it an A-.

UPDATE: Halperin’s nonsense is from a while back, so I (and many other bloggers) are getting to it late. It’s still really dumb.

Post-Racial America

Filed under: Obama,Race — DRJ @ 10:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

According to a Ramussen poll, the post-racial President hasn’t helped us become a post-racial America:

“Only 14% of African-Americans now feel society is fair and decent. That number has dropped 41 points from 55% a month after Obama took office. Sixty-six percent (66%) of black voters think society is unfair and discriminatory, up 26 points since early February.

The majority of white voters (65%) say society is fair and decent. Seventy-two percent (72%) of all other voters agree.”

John Hinderaker at Powerline analyzes what this substantial change means:

“The only possible answer is that many Americans have opposed President Obama’s policies. But why would that cause African-Americans to think that our society is “discriminatory” rather than “decent”?

No mystery there: in a well-coordinated campaign, the Democratic Party has relentlessly portrayed all disagreement with the Obama administration’s policies as “racist.” That contemptible and divisive tactic had seemed to produce no results, but we now see that it had one consequence: alienating African-Americans from their country.”

Revenues Down, Deficit Up = Tax + Spend

Filed under: Economics,Government,Politics — DRJ @ 9:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

By now, most people have seen this chart comparing the Bush and Obama deficits:

The figures may have to be revised given the dismal revenues and declining trend in this Congressional Budget Office chart of Federal Revenues by Fiscal Year (in trillions of dollars):

With an uncertain economy and unemployment nearing 10%, Democratic leaders are considering more spending — but don’t call it a stimulus:

“Confronted with big job losses and no sign the U.S. economy is ready to stand on its own, Democrats are working on a growing list of relief efforts, leaving for later how to pay for them, or whether even to bother.

Proposals include extending and perhaps expanding a popular tax credit for first-time home buyers, and creating a new credit for companies that add jobs. Taken together, the proposals look a lot like another economic stimulus package, though congressional leaders don’t want to call it that.”

They propose to expand federal unemployment and payroll taxes in order to fund additional benefits and short-term relief packages. Once again, Democrats are living up to their tax-and-spend reputation.


Department of State Briefing on Afghanistan

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 8:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

On the same day the AP reported the White House may let the Taliban stay in power in Afghanistan, Department of State spokesman Ian Kelly gave a press briefing on the subject:

PRESS QUESTION: Ian, on Afghanistan, you know, there seems to be this kind of debate or discussion about the Taliban and al-Qaida. Some people are saying, well, maybe you can actually do business with the Taliban, maybe they are not a threat against the United States, they’re kind of an indigenous group as it is; the real threat is al-Qaida and we should go after them. What does the Secretary think? Does she believe that the Taliban themselves are a threat to the United States or is it – are they just a threat to the people in Afghanistan or – if I can use that word “just?”

MR. KELLY: Well, they’re not just a threat to the people of Afghanistan. There are young American men and women who have been killed by the Taliban. There are young men and women of our allies who have been killed by the Taliban. The Taliban hosted and encouraged al-Qaida. And the attacks of September 11, 2001 were – the idea for them was hatched in the Taliban-run Afghanistan. So I think that we do see the Taliban as a threat to U.S. security for that reason.

Having said that, I think that one thing that we’re trying to do is we are trying to emphasize our support for the Afghan people to promote the idea that we are there to provide for their security, that – to contrast what we’re doing there in terms of protecting the Afghan people and helping build a more prosperous future for them by building infrastructure projects and helping with economic development. It contrasts what we’re doing with what happened today in Kabul. The Taliban took full responsibility for this indiscriminate killing of innocent Afghans in the streets of Kabul. So I think the Taliban is a threat. I think al-Qaida is a threat. I think what we’re fighting there is this whole idea of destruction and mass murder in the name of religious extremism, and I would put them all in the same category. They’re carrying – they’re using the same tactics.”

I’m sure the State Department will “clarify” this tomorrow but one thing is already clear: The Obama Administration has mastered the art of cognitive dissonance.


Obama May Let Taliban Stay in Afghanistan (Updated)

Filed under: International,Obama,War — DRJ @ 7:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP reports the Obama Administration is considering a strategy that focuses on al Qaeda and allows Taliban rule in parts of Afghanistan:

“Obama’s developing strategy on the Taliban will “not tolerate their return to power,” the senior official said in an interview with The Associated Press. But the U.S. would fight only to keep the Taliban from retaking control of Afghanistan’s central government – something it is now far from being capable of – and from giving renewed sanctuary in Afghanistan to al-Qaida, the official said.

The official is involved in the discussions and was authorized to speak about them but not to be identified by name because the review is still under way.

Bowing to the reality that the Taliban is too ingrained in Afghanistan’s culture to be entirely defeated, the administration is prepared to accept some Taliban role in parts of Afghanistan, the official said. That could mean paving the way for Taliban members willing to renounce violence to participate in a central government – the kind of peace talks advocated by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to little receptiveness from the Taliban. It might even mean ceding some regions of the country to the Taliban.”

The Obama Administration can’t seriously believe the Taliban will renounce al Qaeda and other violent Islamic groups, but it may believe Americans don’t care about Afghanistan anymore. If either is true then we learned nothing from 9/11.

I think Obama likes this strategy because it lets him avoid sending more troops to Afghanistan. It also makes a stalemate more likely and encourages violence against Americans and Afghan civilians. But if the President’s goal is to save face with his base at home, this works.


UPDATE: Compare this AP report with today’s State Department briefing on the subject.

Levi Johnston to Pose with His Wiener Exposed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:47 pm

In “Playgirl.” Andrew Sullivan must be thrilled.

Allahpundit, as usual, has the best line:

The only reason anyone’s heard of him is because of something he did with his schwanz. Might as well show it off.

(“Schwanz.” Is that a real word?) (UPDATE: Yes!)

Anyway, this Levi Johnston. He’s a real prince of a guy, isn’t he?

P.S. OK: technically, “nude” does not necessarily mean “with his wiener exposed.” But listen, do you want accurate or do you want funny?

Well, Well: Polanski Supporter Frederic Mitterand Is a Pedophile Too

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:02 am

When Roman Polanski was arrested, none was more critical than French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand:

Mitterrand said, “To see him like that, thrown to the lions because of ancient history, really doesn’t make any sense.”

Mitterrand continued with a jab against the United States: “In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America that has just shown its face.”

Now it’s clear why: Mitterand is also a pedophile:

France’s new culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, who has defended the filmmaker Roman Polanski against extradition charges for statutory rape, was attacked on Wednesday for his admission in a 2005 autobiography, “The Bad Life,” that he “got into the habit” of paying “young boys” for sex in Southeast Asia despite “the sordid details of this traffic.”

And enjoyed it tremendously:

All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously … the abundance of very attractive and immediately available young boys put me in a state of desire.

There is a scary Mitterand that has just shown his face.

And you thought it was telling that Woody Allen supported Polanski.

With friends like these . . .

Thanks to R.R.*

UPDATE: Mitterand now says he only had sex with adults. (I guess he’s not denying the “slaves” part.)

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