Patterico's Pontifications


“The Last King of Scotland:” A Scathing Criticism of Modern Liberalism

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:18 pm

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

I was very busy this weekend dealing with MCLE (mandatory continuing legal education).  I belong to one of those ridiculous states that think lawyers should be forced every year to take some additional courses on the law. Sigh.  I recognize an ethical duty to keep learning, I just wished they didn’t force it in such a regimented fashion.  But in the midst of all that, I took some time out to watch my latest Quikster Netflix DVD: The Last King of Scotland.

Yeah, yeah, I know, what a current review, Aaron!  IMDB tells me it came out in 2006, which seems about right.  But I never saw it before and I came out of it thinking something I didn’t think anyone else had said about it.

Now before all you Scottish types start to break out the blue face paint and get your Braveheart on, I should point out that the movie has absolutely nothing to do with Scotland except that one of the major characters is of that nationality and another is obsessed with that country.

What the movie is really about is the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin… and the white dude who is his doctor.  Forest Whitaker plays the dictator and while you suspect his Oscar was as much for his body of work as this particular performance, it is still a very good performance.  And James McAvoy is excellent as the doctor.

Spoilers will be plentiful below the fold.


Obama threatens to veto CLASS Act repeal

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 11:55 am

[Posted by Karl]

Via AoSHQ’s Gabriel Malor, comes this from The Hill:

President Obama is against repealing the health law’s long-term care CLASS Act and might veto Republican efforts to do so, an administration official tells The Hill, despite the government’s announcement Friday that the program was dead in the water.

For those who didn’t follow healthcare arcana, the CLASS Act was a long-term care program folded into ObamaCare as a sop to Sen. Ted Kennedy and to score roughly $70-80 billion in bogus deficit reduction:

Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D., N.D) called it “a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing Bernie Madoff would be proud of.” Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted it was “totally unsustainable” in its current form.

However, by collecting premiums for five years before paying any benefits, Dems got the CBO to score it as reducing deficits within the first decade of projected ObamaCare.

So why would the Obama White House threaten to veto a repeal of the CLASS Act?  After all, they got the political benefit when they passed ObamaCare.  The likely answer is that Obama is sending a message to Congressional Dems that they cannot afford the news coverage that: (a) part of ObamaCare has already been exposed as a Ponzi scheme; and (b) it was repealed on a bipartisan basis.  That’s also behind the administration’s fairy tale about finding a way to make the CLASS Act work.  The administration simply cannot afford a vote where Dems join the GOP in repealing part of his signature legislative accomplishment during Obama’s re-elect campaign.  Team Obama just told Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid to block a repeal, citing the administration’s imaginary efforts to “fix” the CLASS Act as his fig leaf.


2012 campaign coverage vs 2012 media bias

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:48 am

[Posted by Karl]

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released a study today with what some mght consider to be surprising findings: Over the last five months, the presidential candidate with the most negative media coverage is Barack Obama, while the candidate with the most positive coverage is Rick Perry.  So much for liberal media bias, eh?  However, a closer look at the study suggests much less news than meets the eye — and even less about media bias.

Why is Obama getting an almost 4:1 ratio of negative stories to positive stories?  Pew answers:

Several factors were likely responsible for that critical tone. In many stories, Obama was the target of not only the whole roster of GOP presidential contenders. He was also being criticized in often harsh terms by Republicans in Congress. Added to that, members of his own party began criticizing him on both policy and strategy grounds, particularly as his poll numbers fell. And for much of this period, the president’s coverage reflected the biggest problem on his watch-a continual flow of bad news about the U.S. economy.

Translation: Obama is getting negative coverage because few like the job he’s doing as president.  The coverage reflects events on the ground.  Similarly, although Perry received the most positive coverage overall, it is equally obvious the media coveage tracks events on the ground.  He received a lot of positive stories during his splashy campaign rollout, but the coverage has turned more negative as his campaign has stumbled (blog coverage actually tracked the polls more closely; the MSM lags a bit).  Herman Cain’s coverage also started turning positive in August and is now the most positively covered candidate (for how long remains to be seen).  The coverage of Mitt Romney has been as stagnant as his poll numbers.

Establishment journalists will seize on the Pew study as evidence that they do not have a liberal bias.  (indeed, Politico* is already unsubtly suggesting Team Obama start working the refs.)  To be sure, the media bias does not extend so far as pretending that the economy is roaring along.  However, the Pew study by necessity only tracks stories actually covered.  Such studies will not reflect the media’s propagation of Team Obama’s “jobs saved or created” dodge.  The Pew study will not reflect that NBC and ABC largely ignore the Obama administration’s Fast & Furious scandal and that the entire establishment media blacked out the House subpoena to the top levels of the Justice Department in the scandal.  Pew won’t reflect Big Media’s systemic downplaying of our exploding national debt and pretending that Obama has a serious plan to deal with it. The list goes on and on.  When the watchdogs don’t bark, Pew won’t hear — but that’s not evidence of media objectivity.

*Cross-link provided to honor Patterico’s Politico boycott.


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