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May 03, 2010

Why Did Obama Feel the Need to Upstage Jay Leno?

Bored this morning? If you've nothing better to do, check out the morphing titles on this WaPo article about the President's performance at the WHCA dinner.

When I opened my morning paper, the article was entitled:


Obama, leaving the "self" out of self-deprecation.

By the time I got to page C-3, it was:

Obama's edgy humor aims barbs at everyone but himself
.

That must have been too close to the truth for comfort. Now it's:

For Obama, a changed tone in Presidential Humor
Changed tone, indeed. As the first two headlines imply, past Presidents have respected the longstanding tradition of largely avoiding nasty, partisan humor; preferring to poke a little good natured fun at themselves. But then Barack Obama did promise to bring change to Washington:

Barack Obama, the Insult Comic President, was up to his old shtick Saturday night.

Breaking with presidential punch line tradition for the second consecutive year, Obama dropped zinger after zinger on his opponents and allies alike at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Obama went all Don Rickles on a broad range of topics and individuals: Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, presidential advisers David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, the news media, Jay Leno, and Republicans Michael Steele, Scott Brown, John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Except for a mild joke pegged to his falling approval ratings, Obama mostly spared Obama during his 14-minute stand-up routine. Palin, he said, calls Twitter and Facebook "the socialized media." He dubbed Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican Party, "the Notorious G.O.P." The newly enacted health-care law, the president joked, has "hundreds" of secret provisions, such as one covering people in Massachusetts who've suffered "short-term memory loss" about the state's own efforts to reform health care. "So good news, Mitt!" Obama said of Republican critic and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. "Your condition is covered!"

The president elicited a few shocked "oooohs" from the audience of 2,600 when he told this joke about Charlie Crist, the Florida governor who is defecting from the Republican Party to run for the Senate: "Odds are that the Salahis are here," he said, referring to the gate-crashing Virginia couple. "There haven't been people who were more unwelcome at a party since Charlie Crist."

But the really interesting part of the article is here:

The outer-directed tone of the material, which was credited to Axelrod, White House speechwriter Jon Favreau and ex-Hillary Clinton speechwriter Jon Lovett, was in keeping with Obama's inaugural voyage as presidential joker last year. Making the rounds of the traditional spring dinners, the president cracked wise on just about everyone but himself.

It turns out that Obama's staff were NOT responsible for penning Obama's laugh lines after all:

Well this explains it. Turns out President Obama went outside the usual circle of speechwriters for his comedic address at this weekend’s WHCD. Instead he enlisted some Daily Show writers to assist in the penning of the one zingers that stole the show Saturday night (right out from under Jay Leno’s feet).

By comparison with past presidents, the current leader of the free world seems remarkably thin skinned and insecure. It's not just that he prefers "edgy" partisan jabs to the traditional self deprecatory fare - it's that he feels the need to upstage a professional comedian.

The last occupant of the Oval Office wasn't afraid to laugh at himself - or to invite others to join in the fun:

Nor was he afraid to share the stage:

God, I miss that man.

Posted by Cassandra at May 3, 2010 11:29 AM

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Comments

HAHAHA did you call Jay Leno a professional comedian? AHAHAHAHA SERIOUSLY? This article sucks balls. Leno gets owned and you are sticking up for Bush. PATHETIC.

Posted by: clownshoes at May 3, 2010 12:30 PM

Nice screen moniker. Apt.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 12:32 PM

Just watched the Two Bushes video again... I forgot how hilarious that was. Thanks for posting it!

Obama takes himself very seriously and can't stand mocking, I'm not surprised that the idea of self-deprication is lost on him.

Posted by: Jewels at May 3, 2010 12:53 PM

I think Obama does not truly know himself - he does not have a core that he can turn to and say "when all else falls away, this is me." For all his faults, G.W. Bush has that, and so he can make fun of himself because he was and is comfortable with himself and his flaws. He knows that he is human. Obama does not want to be human because human equals weak in his world.

Posted by: LittleRed1 at May 3, 2010 01:59 PM

This really isn't that hard. The guy knows somewhere that he's a fraud who has gotten everywhere he's been due to a tilted playing field owing to racial tokenism. The creepy narcissism is a way to compensate, and no cracks are allowed. Why do you think he recoils, physically, when anyone dares question him? Why do you think his people are so afraid to let anybody challenge him?

Posted by: Billy at May 3, 2010 02:25 PM

President Bush had (has) class and grace and humility. President Obama's comedy routine struck me as snarky, a full-of-himself, snuffy kind of commentary on those beneath him....not humorous to me or cool. Like the guy in the lizard lounge, sitting by the back wall, with his feet propped up and a cigarette dangling out of the corner of his mouth and smoke squinting his eyes, mocking the clientele.

Posted by: llbb at May 3, 2010 02:30 PM

GWB was the GOP's buffoon, while Cheney was the heavy. Now, BHO is the Dems' heavy and Biden is the Dems' buffoon. Stephen Colbert was the shizzle at the last (was it the last?) Bush WHCA dinner; here it was BHO who slayed 'em. If y'all can't stand the heat, stay out of the limelight.

I say this will all due respect ...

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 03:03 PM

I do appreciate your sticking up for Leno, however - he needs the help.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 03:04 PM

Stephen Colbert was the shizzle at the last (was it the last?) Bush WHCA dinner

I thought Colbert's performance was the most stunningly ungracious and ill bred thing I've seen in my life. If that sort of thing impresses you ICBS, I really do have to wonder.

Amazing. And FWIW, I would have said exactly the same thing if he'd gone after Obama in the same fashion. Boorishness transcends political beliefs.

It's a sad, sad comment on our society when people find something like that admirable.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 03:15 PM

Question of the Day:

Why do people always say "with all due respect" right before they say something insulting and disrespectful?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 03:24 PM

Cass:
Loved your first laconic reply. :)

Posted by: ziobuck at May 3, 2010 03:26 PM

I meant no insult or disrespect to the Blog Princess.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 03:40 PM

I notice that the Blog Princess did not quote this from the WaPo article:

But self-effacing humor can blow up like a cheap cigar, too. In 2004, Bush did a bit in which he showed a series of photos of himself evidently looking for something in the White House. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," the president said, providing mock captions for each shot. "Nope, no weapons over there! . . . Maybe under here?" Democrats quickly pounced, criticizing Bush for making light of his own justification for a war that had killed hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis.

This excerpt from the WaPo article reminds us of something that the Blog Princess said last week about the perspicacity of the current Commander in Chief which was said about the last CiC: “This president displays a stunning cluelessness regarding the incentives that motivate ordinary people.”

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 03:54 PM

Whatever, ICBS.

I guess I must not be "ordinary people" since I thought the President was making fun of himself. He certainly wasn't making fun of anyone else, but there are always people who will look for reasons to take offense.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 04:24 PM

I notice IC keeps running into landmines and then blames corporations for not telling him where they are.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 06:09 PM

If you were "ordinary people", you wouldn't have so many bright and thoughtful readers. IMHO, however, Dubya's crawling on the floor looking for WMD's in the White House was in horrendous taste and betrayed a disgusting lack of understanding of just how deadly serious the war was for many "ordinary" people.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 06:11 PM

Obama advisor & friend Valerie Jarrett:

"He knows exactly how smart he is…He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do."

Evidently, she thinks this reflects *positively* on him....

Posted by: david foster at May 3, 2010 06:41 PM

...and betrayed a disgusting lack of understanding of just how deadly serious the war was for many "ordinary" people.

Yes, you're right ICBS. My husband has only spent two years of his life over there. I've lost track of the number of people I know who have died or been wounded. What would I know about "just how deadly serious the war is for many ordinary people"?

He wasn't saying it didn't matter if there were WMDs. He was making fun of his own inability to find them.

Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 06:43 PM

Also, it's utter bullshit to imply Bush didn't have any understanding of how "deadly serious" the war is.

You have no idea what he understood, mostly because he had class enough NOT to turn every meeting with military families or the wounded into a photo op. That man took a ration of undeserved shit from the media and the Left for YEARS rather than trumpet what he was doing the whole time.

If you don't care about the truth you can say stupid things like that, but hell will freeze over the day I let that crap go unchallenged.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 06:52 PM

Yes, you're right ICBS. My husband has only spent two years of his life over there. I've lost track of the number of people I know who have died or been wounded. What would I know about "just how deadly serious the war is for many ordinary people"? He wasn't saying it didn't matter if there were WMDs. He was making fun of his own inability to find them.

Nobody thought it was "fun" that the WMDs could not be found, when so many people had died on the pretext that the WMDs were a ticking time bomb that we were told could turn into a mushroom cloud.

I did not say or suggest that "[you don't] know about "just how deadly serious the war is for many ordinary people." I am sure that you know more people than I who have been killed or wounded in Iraq and Afganistan. I hope you don't think that those lives don't matter to me.

Christ.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 06:53 PM

I presume that GWB had at least some idea of "just how deadly serious the war is for many ordinary people" but he never impressed me with the depth of his concern. I imagine that my attitude toward GWB is probably about the same as yours toward BHO.

... though I do think that GWB and LB seem to have done a pretty good job raising their daughters.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 07:05 PM

I did not say or suggest that "[you don't] know about "just how deadly serious the war is for many ordinary people.".

No. You said that joke betrayed a lack of understanding of just how deadly serious the war is for many ordinary people.

There is far more evidence that Bush *did* understand how deadly serious the war was for ordinary people than evidence to the contrary. He spent an unbelievable amount of time with ordinary military folks who lost loved ones, whether or not they supported him or the war.

I have yet to see Obama break down in tears or choke up when speaking to or about the military.

There's a reason the military loved Bush. And there's a reason we feel the way we do about Barack Obama.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 07:16 PM

I imagine that my attitude toward GWB is probably about the same as yours toward BHO.

The difference is, Bush showed his concern (though not for the press). We're still waiting for ANYTHING like that from Obama.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 07:17 PM

Pffffft!

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 07:26 PM

Bush sent thousands of people to their deaths on a flimsy contrived pretext, the reality of which never backed him up.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 07:27 PM

Within days (moments?) of the planes hitting the Twin Towers, high level people in the GWB Administration were rubbing their hands together at the opportunity to invade Iraq which the terrorist murders had given them, notwithstanding that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the 9/11 murders, though of course that was OT how they "spun" it in their haste to sell the idea to Congress: IMHO THAT shows how much concern Dubya had for the thousands of people who died in his Iraq adventure.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 07:31 PM

errata:

"... though of course that was NOT how they 'spun' it ...."

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 07:32 PM

Bush sent thousands of people to their deaths on a flimsy contrived pretext, the reality of which never backed him up.

Well now if that were really true, you'd think Obama would have pulled all our troops out by now. How long does he need to EVEN BEGIN withdrawing from a war that was never any more than a "flimsy contrived pretext"?

If that were true, the only honorable and moral course would have been for him to announce a massive troop withdrawal the day after he took office. But of course he didn't do that, did he?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 07:34 PM

Within days (moments?) of the planes hitting the Twin Towers, high level people in the GWB Administration were rubbing their hands together at the opportunity to invade Iraq which the terrorist murders had given them, notwithstanding that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the 9/11 murders, though of course that was OT how they "spun" it in their haste to sell the idea to Congress

Spoken like someone who couldn't be bothered to actually read the AUMF.

The truth is, you have no idea what went on during the days (moments?) after 9/11. Not that that will stop you from making things up.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 07:36 PM

Well now if that were really true, you'd think Obama would have pulled all our troops out by now. How long does he need to EVEN BEGIN withdrawing from a war that was never any more than a "flimsy contrived pretext"?

Once the USA invaded Iraq, it was no longer flimsy - it was real.

If that were true, the only honorable and moral course would have been for him to announce a massive troop withdrawal the day after he took office. But of course he didn't do that, did he?

I believe the Iraq withdrawal is taking place. Afganistan is another matter.

I stand by my opinion that the "use" of the 9/11 terrorist murders as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq is revealing of how much concern Dubya had for the thousands of people who would die in his Iraq adventure.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 07:48 PM

ICBS apparently has forgotten that every Dem, from
both Clintons, to Kerry, Pelosi, Gore, etc.,stated on record that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and should be reckoned with. Those dems voted to invade Iraq, including Kerry, who voted for the war before he voted against it. Selective memory and hypocracy: leftist traits, just as ignoring the truth is convenient for statists. Don't let the facts confuse you.

Posted by: Judy at May 3, 2010 07:50 PM

Everybody was scared and everybody was duped. It was wrong to rush to invade Iraq based on what we "knew" at the time.

Read up on the "Project for the New American Century" and you'll see that its architects were looking for an opportunity to invade Iraq long before September 2001. Read what Cheney and his people were saying in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and you'll see that they were using the vocabulary of the "Project" and not talking about the reality of the Al Qaida involvement in 9/11 (because Al Qaida was not involved in 9/11).

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 08:06 PM

Man, oh, Manischewitz! From Why Did Obama Feel the Need to Upstage Jay Leno? to "debating" "Bush's War". Somehow I feel this is not going to be settled tonight.

Returning to the title of the thread (apologies, I'll just be a moment), my two cents is that the Prez didn't "feel" any such need, but it's pretty clear that he pwned Leno, that night. (That's what you kids say, nowadays, right? "pwned"?) Actually, though, I thought his performance at last year's event was funnier yet - partially, perhaps, because it was somewhat more self-deprecating. Not to suggest that I agree with too much of what is apparently Cass's thesis in her initial post (or in the articles referenced), clearly the humility (or at least sense of humility) conveyed by such rhetoric is attractive and valuable (all other things being equal).

Okie-doke, a question for Judy - Selective memory and hypocracy: leftist traits, just as ignoring the truth is convenient for statists. Don't let the facts confuse you.

I think I know what (most) people who post here mean by "leftists", but I confess that the term "statists" leaves me at a loss. If you have a moment, please drop a line on this subject. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: pond at May 3, 2010 08:16 PM

Isn't it past time for the 5 o'clock funnies?

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 08:20 PM

Man, oh, Manischewitz! From Why Did Obama Feel the Need to Upstage Jay Leno? to "debating" "Bush's War". Somehow I feel this is not going to be settled tonight.

This will not be settled here ... ever. Our opinions are so firmly entrenched that we'll have to wait for G*d to settle this one on judgment day.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 08:21 PM

...Al Qaida was not involved in 9/11...

Wow. Just wow.

Osama bin Laden has threatened that al-Qaeda will kill American captives if the United States executes self-avowed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed or other members of the terrorist network in U.S. custody.

Yep. No connection between al qaeda and 9/11. None at all:

According to U.S. intelligence reports, Aziz traveled with his uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qaeda's chief operating officer, until Mohammed was arrested in Rawalpindi on March 1 and placed in CIA custody.
Mohammed's entourage also included Aziz's cousins Abd al-Karim Yousef and Abd al-Mun'im Yousef, the older brothers of Ramzi Yousef, now serving a life term in a US prison for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. One of the Yousefs (U.S. officials won't say which) was captured recently. The other Yousef and Aziz were attempting to carry on the terror plots Mohammed was overseeing at the time of his arrest.

You have yet to produce ONE SINGLE IOTA of support for anything you have said, ICBS. I have produced two just in refutation of your statement that there was no connection between al qaeda and 9.11.

It took me all of 3 minutes. Or I could just go back and start sifting through everything I wrote between 2003 and 2008 - all meticulously documented with cites to original sources, not left wing think tanks or completely unsourced opinion.

What world are you living in?


Posted by: Has Anyone Informed Eric Holder? at May 3, 2010 08:27 PM

Cassandra - I think ICBS just "mistyped". That seems reasonable to you, don't you think, from having interacted with him over some time, now . . .?

Posted by: pond at May 3, 2010 08:32 PM

I stand by my opinion that the "use" of the 9/11 terrorist murders as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq is revealing of how much concern Dubya had for the thousands of people who would die in his Iraq adventure.

i guess it is just too bad for you that Bush's invasion of Iraq ended up preventing another 9/11 during his administration.

I suppose you could argue forever about differences in policies of the long ago past. Just as there are some Americans still talking about the War of Northern Aggression. Just as there are people (Democrats) that still long for the plantation days, Just as there are people still talking about 9/11 being an inside job.

But as you noted, the Iraq Invasion created its own reality. Something that could not be brushed aside by mere words or wishes.

So long as you convince yourself that that reality gave you no personal benefit, you don't have to feel gratitude or guilt. You can remain hostile and use the age old Leftist justification for acting out and being enraged (forever).

So long as Bush is made out to be the one blocking what benefits you, he remains a good bogey man. A convenient excuse for you not to look too closely at the real problem makers amongst your political allies.

It would collapse your very political identity if you actually admitted Bush ended up guaranteeing your own personal security. The cognitive dissonance between the monkey and lizard brain then would be atrocious and ferocious.

pwned

was the shizzle

What is this, l33t talk and ebonics central. The New Guard, obviously ready to take on the burdens of the Old Guard...

Everybody was scared and everybody was duped.

That's why you keep voting for them and giving them power. Because you trust in dupes. Because you are a dupe. The logic is pretty solid.

To be precise, you and the Dems were scared of losing power or afraid for your own lives. Other people had more important considerations which allowed them to not be duped.

You see, some people aren't part of the "guns are evil" crowd. Simply the capability to do violence isn't the equivalent of being evil. Guns aren't evil because it takes intent and not simply capability to do evil acts. So when the Left looked at Israel, Saddam, and Iran, all 3 looked the same given their WMD capabilities. Or rather, Israel was the worst of the 3 because they had functional nukes.

You all got duped because you kept thinking that guns were evil while we knew better. We could calculate and factor in things like intent and character.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 08:38 PM

Isn't it time to call IC's BS yet?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 08:39 PM

pond:

ICBS and I got into it the other day over the same thing. He seems to think it's OK to throw out completely unsupported accusations. And then when he is asked to back them up... well, somehow that doesn't happen.

The burden of proof is on the accuser. The other day I backed down and "agreed to disagree" even though he had provided NO evidence. Now he is doing it again.

I'm sorry but this is serious to me ("deadly serious", you might say). I can easily accept that people have different judgments on whether going to war was "worth it". Many of my closest friends and a good deal of my family think it wasn't.

But when it comes to questions where there is evidence out there, I'm not going to treat that like a judgment call or a question of values because it's not.

If you are going to accuse someone of taking us to war and causing thousands of deaths on a "flimsy pretext" then by God you'd better have some proof to back up those allegations.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 08:42 PM

A problem with all the beta followers of the Left is that they tend to accept anything their social circle tells them as true, as being true. They have a one track mind.

The concept of a nuke was evil, but so was the concept of having a gun, to the Left. That was evil too. By going on the premise that nukes were evil, when they found out nukes didn't exist, they assumed Bush did to them what they were doing to the rest of America. The Left assumed Bush used WMDs as the only justification. In truth Bush and his coalition had many reasons to take out Saddam, some of them were even anti-Democrat party in nature.

The Obamacans keep going on about a nuclear free world. They weren't personally comfortable with Bush's invasion in the first place. But getting rid of nukes played well with some Democrat voters, and Bush had too much steam for the Dems to risk getting their balls cut off going up against, so the Dems chose normal cowardly way out. Then when Bush looked like he was getting weak, they started insinuations and character assassinations.

It is not as if they could have done a better job. They lacked the courage, the vision, and above all else, simple competence. Competence to run a war, a logistics effort, or any economy of any size.

All that sense of helplessness they felt when they refused to speak out against Bush rolled out as rage and hate when the dam finally burst. It made them feel strong again. It made them feel like they were leaders, when in fact they were nothing but dupes and beta followers.

Truth alert! Truth Alert

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 08:46 PM

Cassandra, you miss my point (I think).

I believe (and obviously I could be wrong) that ICBS simply "mis-spoke" in the referenced reference to AQ. It seems to me far far more likely than not that he meant to refer to Saddam, instead. That was the entirety of my point (on that point) in my last post.

Posted by: pond at May 3, 2010 08:49 PM

I didn't miss your point, pond (although I have entirely missed many people's points over the years and I appreciate the clarification).

Even if he *did* mistype (or mispeak), the fact remains that he has leveled some very serious charges on no evidence but his own stated opinion.

I have criticized Obama on both factual and philosophical/political grounds, but when I do so I try my best to provide links and quotes to things he actually did or things he actually said.

You and others are perfectly free to disagree with my conclusions and I think I'm more willing than most to address principled arguments against my position. I've even put up with unprincipled arguments that would get deleted on most others sites.

I try to be fair.

It violates fairness (in my view) to accuse Bush of not caring whether he caused the death of thousands of American troops - or to claim that a joke somehow shows that - without any other evidence. This is an unsupported opinion disguised as an argument. Clearly it's quite possible to make such a joke without people who I'd argue are very sensitized to the horrors of war drawing the conclusion ICBS did - that it "proves" Bush was clueless about what the war means to "ordinary people".

It's a particularly serious charge when you make it about the man who ordered them into battle.

And then he compounded the error by claiming we went to war on a "flimsy pretext", and moreover claiming that Bush/Cheney/Halliburton were planning this from the start.

Again, evidence? None. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

I don't want to re-argue the war. All people do is screech at each other.

I just think that people shouldn't say things like that with no proof. It's wrong.

That said, thank you for sticking up for ICBS. I appreciate what you tried to do. I am not going to say any more here. This has been a long and difficult deployment and I'm fed up to here with it.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 09:08 PM

I guess I do have one more thing to say.

It's a general thing.

For 8 long years, I've listened quietly to people rant on and on about the war, how stupid Bush is, how stupid anyone who supported Bush is, how everyone in the military is some kind of brainwashed sub-moronic automaton.

I supported our going to war and I had good reasons for doing so. I think that even if I knew everything I know today, I would still support it and that's saying something because there have been years when the hits just never seemed to stop coming. Obviously I don't agree with those who opposed the war, but I have always upheld their absolute right to disagree and I have not called them stupid for doing so.

Nor have I implied they were stupid.

Stop and think about it for a moment: what are you implying about me, or my husband (who is ten times smarter than I am and extremely well read) when you call the President we supported a criminal who took America to war on a "flimsy pretext"? Do you really think we are that stupid - that you are the only one who can see through that "flimsy pretext"? Do you think we are that immoral (or amoral, or whatever insulting term you want to employ) that we would support a criminal?

Or will you, like me, have the decency to admit that intelligent people of good will might just come to a different conclusion than you did?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 09:26 PM

Just goes to show, the Prez is not a wit but a NITWIT !!!

Posted by: Harold Tennant at May 3, 2010 09:29 PM

Oh Jeez - how effed up was I when I said this: "... (because Al Qaida was not involved in 9/11)."

Al Qaida was involved in 9/11, Saddam Hussein was not involved in 9/11.

I apologize to anyone here whose head exploded, or who thought I was serious, when they read MY COMPLETELY ERRONEOUS, MISTAKEN, MALAPROPPED, EFFED UP STATEMENT that "Al Qaida was not involved in 9/11)."

This is what I get when I try to keep one eye on VC and the other on my daily chores. I have never knowingly said that "Al Qaida was not involved in 9/11)" until today, and I EFFED UP, because, based on what I have read/know/believe, etc, AL QAIDA WAS TOTALLY INVOLVED IN, RESPONSIBLE FOR, GUILTY OF THE MURDERS COMMITTED ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001.

I apologize to the Blog Princess AND ALL HER READERS for this major mistake. I hope you didn't (but see that you did) take this mistaken statement seriously.

I know more than full well that some of you think my head is permanently lodged in a dark, moist, malodorous canal, and I respect your right to think this. But please understand that based on what I have read/know/believe, etc, AL QAIDA WAS TOTALLY INVOLVED IN, RESPONSIBLE FOR, GUILTY OF THE MURDERS COMMITTED ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001.

Yikes!! So much for multi-tasking. Please forgive me this major error.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 09:44 PM

And thanks pond for reading between my typographically challenged lines.

As far as tjhe Blog Princess's comment that "the fact remains that [ICBS] has leveled some very serious charges on no evidence but his own stated opinion", I respectfully disagree. I did not mean to try to reopen this can of worms, as several of us have been curing our fingers on the ragged edges of the can for some time already.

As far as "evidence" however, there is more than plenty. You can get your hands on some of it by picking up the "Iraq Study Group Report", whose conclusions I inartfully simplify. If you think your head won't explode trying to read it, Mother Joses magazine prepared an extensive timeline of the events making up the deliberation leading up to the entry into Iraq.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 09:55 PM

Stop and think about it for a moment: what are you implying about me, or my husband (who is ten times smarter than I am and extremely well read) when you call the President we supported a criminal who took America to war on a "flimsy pretext"? Do you really think we are that stupid - that you are the only one who can see through that "flimsy pretext"? Do you think we are that immoral (or amoral, or whatever insulting term you want to employ) that we would support a criminal?

I do not contend that you or he is "that stupid". I think that you [I know absolutely nothing about your husband's thinking] see the world largely in blacks and whites where some issues are concerned, and that you place great faith and trust in the leaders you think are doing what is best for the USA and the world in terms that you also think are best.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 09:58 PM

errata (again):

" ... as several of us have been CUTTING our fingers on ...."

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 09:59 PM

errata (again):

" ... explode trying to read it, Mother JONES magazine prepared an extensive timeline ...."

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 10:00 PM

... when you call the President we supported a criminal who took America to war on a "flimsy pretext"?

I suspect from what I have read here that you [again, no comment on your husband's view] felt that Saddam Hussein was an evil enough actor [no dispute about that from me, BTW] that it was overall the right thing to do to invade Iraq and depose him EVEN IF HE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SEPTEMBER 2001 TERRORIST MURDERS.

About that I'll say that it was disingenuous at least not to admit that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11; if there had been ANY attempt to clarify that the goal of deposing Saddam Hussein was COMPLETELY UNRELATED to 9/11, I might actually have been more supportive of the Iraq invasion. But the last adminstration never fessed up, and to this day [at least as far as I have seen] Cheney still contends that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 and that the Iraq war was all about 9/11.

If OFFICIALLY there had been an admission that "the Iraq war was really about 'we've got to show those Arabs that we are not to be f*cked with' ", I could understand that. Of course, thinking like that is NOT disclosed publicly - our great grand-children will [probably] read in generally accepted, empirically tested history books, that that is what it was all about, but noone alive today will admit that to anyone alive today, IMHO, because that rationale is probably indicative of a war crime rather than the "defense of the defenseless".

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 10:09 PM

People supported the war for different reasons. I once laid out mine, here; scroll to the update, if you care to read them.

Now, that was written in June 2007, before I went to Iraq; I was there the autumn of 2007, half of 2008, and half of 2009. I still think we had the right; and I still think that we did the right thing in going. I do wish that we'd planned a bit better for the aftermath.

Though, having said that, it's important to remember that the plan we did have for the aftermath was derailed by Turkey, who at the last minute forced the 4th Infantry Division to not deploy from their territory. That cut the forces we had to create peace and order in Baghdad in half during the critical period. Sometimes war gets in the way of your best plans, and we really don't know how it would have worked out if there had been a whole extra division parked on Baghdad from the first days.

Posted by: Grim at May 3, 2010 10:16 PM

I think that you ... see the world largely in blacks and whites where some issues are concerned, and that you place great faith and trust in the leaders you think are doing what is best for the USA and the world in terms that you also think are best.

So in other words, you think I'm easy to fool, and also that I have chosen to ignore all this copious evidence you don't seem to be able to produce?

And that somehow I managed to write almost exclusively about the war every day for well over 5 years without somehow stumbling across any of this overwhelming evidence?

Wow. I'm trying very hard to figure how that's not incredibly insulting (not to mention patronizing).

There is no point in arguing without someone who has obviously made up his mind that you're simplistic, stupid and gullible. I wonder whether you'll ever be able to take a giant step back from where you are right now and see the other side?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 10:26 PM

Have you only been writing for five years? I can't remember a time when we weren't arguing about something.

Of course, that may be because I have a terrible memory (unless adrenaline is involved).

Posted by: Grim at May 3, 2010 10:33 PM

So in other words, you think I'm easy to fool, and also that I have chosen to ignore all this copious evidence you don't seem to be able to produce?

And that somehow I managed to write almost exclusively about the war every day for well over 5 years without somehow stumbling across any of this overwhelming evidence?

Wow. I'm trying very hard to figure how that's not incredibly insulting (not to mention patronizing).

There is no point in arguing without someone who has obviously made up his mind that you're simplistic, stupid and gullible. I wonder whether you'll ever be able to take a giant step back from where you are right now and see the other side?

Please do not take "this" personally, as you have been wont from time to time to say to your commentators when feathers become ruffled. I do/did not mean to be insulting or patronizing; I do/did not think that you are simplistic, stupid or gullible. I too see some things in terms of black and white and find it difficult to understand the thinking of others who don't see things as I do. We all have preferences and prdilections, even some prejudices, all of which are the product of experiences, and all inform our thinking. You see things with a much more "up close and personal" experience of the battlefield; my "battlefield" perspective comes from friends, acquaintances and even relatives who have been where I have not been and am not likely ever to go. That does not mean that my thinking is per se invalid and that I am disqualified to opine on matters as to which your opinion differs.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 10:41 PM

We all have preferences and prdilections, even some prejudices, ...

... and some of us have, and use spell check, while others don't use it even if they have it.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 10:43 PM

Though, having said that, it's important to remember that the plan we did have for the aftermath was derailed by Turkey, who at the last minute forced the 4th Infantry Division to not deploy from their territory. That cut the forces we had to create peace and order in Baghdad in half during the critical period. Sometimes war gets in the way of your best plans, and we really don't know how it would have worked out if there had been a whole extra division parked on Baghdad from the first days.

I have heard that war is hell, and I guess here Turkey was part of that hell. Tuck Furkey.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 10:44 PM

To Cassandra: Kudos on all your comments on GWB. BHO is an elitist man-child, and GWB was the real thing. Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, as the song goes. Yes, I do miss him. A class act all the way, as was Laura, too. He loved this country and lived in heightened awareness and anguish every day after 9/11, fearing that another terrorist attack would occur on US soil. GWB did his job, kept us safe for the rest of his presidency, and until the thin-skinned, power-grabbing, Constitution-dismantling progressive-socialist BHO took over, there were no other terrorist attacks on American soil (or on America-bound airplanes, such as that of the Christmas Day bomber).

Here's a hilarious (and sad) commentary about Obama by one of my favorite bloggers, Jim Treacher, posted at Daily Caller today about Obama's inability to laugh at himself and his WH dinner stand-up comedy:

...That’s why, for the last two years, he’s broken with the traditions of the POTUS’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and zinged his enemies, not himself and his (ahem) comrades.

Or maybe it’s just because he’s a jerk…

If it weren’t for settling scores, Obama wouldn’t have anything to do all day. You know why it took him so long to react to the Gulf Coast oil spill? Because it didn’t criticize him.

Posted by: ClassicFilm at May 3, 2010 10:48 PM

No Grim, I've been writing since 2003 (6 or 7 years now). But I don't write about the war every day now, and I didn't start off writing about the war every day. So I subtracted some time from both ends.

ICBS, I have a copy of the Iraq Study Group Report. Pointing me to an 84 page report that (as part of its scope) purposely declined to review who was at fault or the initial decision to go to war is not convincing, and it's not proof.

That was not the purpose of the report, nor did the bipartisan committee that wrote it examine those questions.

I realize that you have not been reading me all that long but I assure you I've read quite a bit on this subject over the years. Before the last time I quit blogging, I deleted over 3800 posts. There was easily another 1500 over at Jet Noise.

Most of them were about the war. And most of them were very thoroughly researched, quoting original sources (government reports, Senate and House testimony, etc) rather than partisan magazines like Mother Jones or the National Review.

Not saying that neither of those sources can't be accurate, but I am saying I never trusted anything but primary sources and even then I generally cited more than one.

I don't write like that anymore. I don't have time. You can opine all you like. But when you accuse and provide no evidence then I have to say... ummm.... "ICBS".

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 10:51 PM

Well, that makes sense of it, then. I've been writing the blog since 2003 also; so there really has never been a time when I was blogging that we weren't fighting about something. :)

Posted by: Grim at May 3, 2010 10:56 PM

About that I'll say that it was disingenuous at least not to admit that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11; if there had been ANY attempt to clarify that the goal of deposing Saddam Hussein was COMPLETELY UNRELATED to 9/11

To Bush it was not unrelated. His issue was preventing WMDs from being given to terrorists. This included his Libya campaign and the capture of AQ Khan.

Even if Bush told the world that he doesn't think Saddam aided in the planning of 9/11, that's not to say he didn't think that would hold true for the next 9/11.

The Democrats only raised the issue at the time because they wanted the war in Iraq to fail. They didn't care whether Bush or the American people thought Saddam had something to do with 9/11. It was good enough to make the American people believe that Bush thinks 9/11 was about Iraq, not AQ.

So long as the Dems kept up their lie that they were "behind" the war in Afghanistan on Iraq, it gave them cover to attack the Iraqi experiment.

If OFFICIALLY there had been an admission that "the Iraq war was really about 'we've got to show those Arabs that we are not to be f*cked with' ", I could understand that.

You trust in your Dear Leaders too much to tell you what you should already know.

This unhealthy obsession over leaders controlling every action of individuals here in America is an extreme dysfunction. Never has it been the case that leaders had to tell their people everything or else the people couldn't make up their own minds.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 10:59 PM

... so there really has never been a time when I was blogging that we weren't fighting about something. :)

*snort*

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 11:01 PM

As far as tjhe Blog Princess's comment...

To quote your own previous snarky comment, I Call BS, "... and some of us have, and use spell check, while others don't use it even if they have it." My spell checker lacks your word "tjhe." Bears a slight resemblance to Scandinavian or another Nordic language. Pot, meet kettle.

I'm just sayin'...

And there was also this funky typo (or maybe, it's NOT a typo) in another comment ICBS posted:

I did not mean to try to reopen this can of worms, as several of us have been curing our fingers on the ragged edges of the can for some time already.

"Curing" our fingers... is maple or honey used in this finger curing process? Sounds potentially protein-packed, especially with the can of worms metaphor in the same sentence.

OTOH, "Tuck Furkey" was pretty funny.

Posted by: ClassicFilm at May 3, 2010 11:06 PM

OTOH, "Tuck Furkey" was pretty funny.

When we're not busy causing heads to explode (inadvertently or advertently), we try to be funny. And mostly to escape the blue pencils of electronic editors.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 3, 2010 11:24 PM

And now it is multi personalities.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 11:41 PM

Please do not take "this" personally, as you have been wont from time to time to say to your commentators when feathers become ruffled.

Whenever IC says some BS, like he usually does, I flip a coin to see if I want to take it personally or not.

It always ends up landing on what I call Fool's Gold.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 11:47 PM

"When we're not busy causing heads to explode (inadvertently or advertently), we try to be funny."

And failing more grandly than the designers of the Titanic and the Hindenburg!

Posted by: Peanut Gallery at May 4, 2010 01:03 AM

There is no point in arguing without someone who has obviously made up his mind that you're simplistic, stupid and gullible. I wonder whether you'll ever be able to take a giant step back from where you are right now and see the other side?

There is merit in pointing out how wrong their claims are. Folks like ICBS rely on repeating their claims over and over again until people start believing it. You won't ever convince ICBS that he's just another parrot, but someone reading the comments might be convinced.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at May 4, 2010 02:06 AM

Of course, thinking like that is NOT disclosed publicly - our great grand-children will [probably] read in generally accepted, empirically tested history books, that that is what it was all about, but noone alive today will admit that to anyone alive today, IMHO, because that rationale is probably indicative of a war crime rather than the "defense of the defenseless".

What it was all about was WMD. Much of which was convoyed north into Syria, which NSA confirmed with satellite photos and Israeli, Iraqi, *and* Syrian military sources confirmed.

Yet every time we found stuff that had been left behind -- 500 metric tonnes of yellowcake, centrifuges for enriching uranium, computer hard drives with nuke data, binary nerve agents, toxins the UN confirmed it had no foreknowledge of, L-39s that were being modified as remote-application aircraft -- the Dems promptly said, "Those aren't the WMD we're looking for."

Because actually acknowledging they were *there* and that we *found* some of it didn't fit the Dem narrative.

Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 05:50 AM

You have the patience of a mother who has raised boys Ma’am. Independent thought, research, and reasoning are ridiculed by the not so polite “liberal” minds of our times. It is amazing that there are still so many “intellectuals” that chant the “BusHilter is an evil baby killer” mantra without exposing any facts to support the claim. I’ll admit to disagreeing with some things GWB did during his time in office but I respect the fact that he, like many of the great presidents of our country, made a decision and stood by it. I also admit to respecting our current president though I disagree with many of his policies. Abraham Lincoln was not well liked by either the north or south during his time in office, a quick search of the news papers of the 1860’s will demonstrate the degree of ridicule he suffered. It will be the future generations of this country that decide the success or failure of GWB, not individuals whose parents forgot to teach manners.

Posted by: crazy mike at May 4, 2010 05:57 AM

I love how Leftists, instead of fixing their own "errata", want to talk about other people's flaws with "gotcha" moments.

Fool's gold shouldn't be taken... personally.

the Dems promptly said, "Those aren't the WMD we're looking for."

Ook, Ook is what the caveman said.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 06:46 AM

And then when he is asked to back them up... well, somehow that doesn't happen.-Cassandra on IC

That's probably cause IC can't recognize evidence even when he sees it.

He didn't recognize it back on the topic of Bella Dodd and Communists putting in their own agents into the Catholic church. He just can't tell the difference between evidence and what Dear Leaders tell him.

If it didn't come from a Dear Leader, it isn't true? How did that work again.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 07:00 AM

Spot had his own peep-hole? I just hope that Bo is availing himself to this feature in the Oval Office

Posted by: Boquisucio at May 4, 2010 08:44 AM

I reread your AP-Just War post, Grim.

Rereading the comments, I got the thought that people like Spark don't want the truth. They don't have an internal drive that demands that their opinions conform to reality. Thus whatever happens in the real world, such as with Iraq, does not really matter to them.

Bush on Iraq or Bush on 9/11 doesn't matter to them. They got their own personal agenda and they aren't going to give up what benefits them simply because they live in a Western civilization.

They're more tribal than those like Iraq The Model in Iraq.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 08:47 AM

This is based upon the past as well as the present. Nothing has changed. I'm pretty sure they still have the same views and will defend it just the same way as they did before. Or if they can't push themselves into using up old excuses, they'll just stay quiet.

Obama, at least, doesn't have a problem of resorting to old tricks. He has no shame. Malignant narcissists don't consider their social peers as human.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 08:49 AM

But seriously, I was deeply touched by the way he interacted with the Marine Band at the end. I bet a nickle, that the current occupier of the post of the Presidency of the United States, will never approach John Phillip Sousa in the same way, if at all.

Posted by: Boquisucio at May 4, 2010 08:56 AM

Yeah. Me too.

The thing that continually shone through in that man's face was his enduring love and respect for the armed forces.

The other things that impressed me about him were his tremendous warmth and generous spirit.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 4, 2010 09:12 AM

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 09:52 AM

Bush is a mensch. That pretty much sums it up for me.

Posted by: LittleRed1 at May 4, 2010 10:08 AM

I did not say or suggest that "[you don't] know about "just how deadly serious the war is for many ordinary people." I am sure that you know more people than I who have been killed or wounded in Iraq and Afganistan. I hope you don't think that those lives don't matter to me.

Those lives do not matter to you.

Cassandra is connected to that segment of the US population and whatever she has said doesn't make you reconsider your hate and narcissistic rage towards Bush.

Hatred and distortion over Bush is your goal. The lives that are affected are simply collateral damage.

It is a very simple fact that you can't win an argument against the people involved in the Iraq Project who had personal experience. Because you know they trump yours in terms of "authority". But authority is a Leftist fetish. It was the same "authorities" that you believed in, not considering that it was simply their individual perspectives, when it came to decide anything about Bush, Iraq, or WMDs. You believed what they said about Bush and WMDs because you felt they had authority over you.

This makes even your own personal opinions nothing but 3rd rate reports. It isn't even a second hand account of events, but a third hand account.

You're not fit to judge, as you see it. Yet you feel fit to judge Bush and Iraq. The epistemological problems here are Legion.

You did not decide to believe in WMDs. Bush convinced you. Duped you, as you mentioned he duped Congress or "everybody else". You wanted Bush to "tell you what to believe" because he had authority. Or your friends and relatives had authority over your world.

The concept of an independent judgment formed from your own sources and thoughts, your own reasoning and line of logic, is non-existent. It is instead filled with hatred, angst, helplessness, and a bitter disregard for current events and a nostalgic wonder at digging up the past.

Saving lives requires living in the present. Not digging up the past.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 10:42 AM

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 10:42 AM

I will respect the ROE which the Blog Princess has suggested as a guide to discussion here, and will refrain from commenting on your latest [censored].

Posted by: I Call BS at May 4, 2010 11:31 AM

Thank you.

sorry guys but my hair is on fire today. Don't have time for pretty much everything.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 4, 2010 11:40 AM

Someone asked about "statist"; someone who believes that the State should be and is superior over the individual and the world; who believes in the powers and proclamations of the State. King Cnut supposedly put an end to that idea, but those who worship the power of the human rule remain.


Obama's tone-deafness ... he doesn't know himself (I assume there is someone there to know.)

Posted by: htom at May 4, 2010 12:21 PM

Wow, BS, my opinion of you has dropped enormously after reading this thread. I always suspected that you are the sort of person who regards random insults as wit, as long as it's the "right" people being insulted, and you've just proven that. But I never pegged you for a 9/11 Truther. The narcissism and self-delusion just reeks from your posts.

Don't waste your time responding. You are beneath contempt. Go over to DU and rant about chemtrails and the CIA agents who framed Oswald over there.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at May 4, 2010 02:24 PM

Hahai. Flagship of the battle fleet, SINKED.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 05:25 PM

I knew that spread of torpedoes with the zig zag search pattern would hit something. But not even I could possibly have ever imagined it would be the enemy's flagship.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 05:27 PM

I was puzzled years ago when the meme developed that Bush hyped non-existent WMDs to justify an ill-advised invasion into Iraq. I remain puzzled today. I thought it was obvious either that the WMDs originally were there but were successfully spirited away to Syria, or that in Saddam's hellish regime some terrified con men persuaded their leader that they continued to boast a successful WMD program years after it had fallen apart, and in the process they also fooled the West's entire intelligence apparatus. Information from pits of despotic insanity tends to be unreliable. I imagine we're entirely mistaken about a good part of what goes on in North Korea, too.

To this day, I can't have any respect for someone who believes Bush knew the WMD programs were as decrepit as they may have turned out to be, and that he deliberately used them as a pretext to invade anyway. I don't see how anyone arrives at that conclusion without extra helpings of spite, ignorance, credulity, and partisan opportunism.

At the time, I believed the WMD threat was real, but it was not a necessary condition for my belief that the invasion was justified. Nor have I changed my mind since. Is that gullible? How gullible is it in comparison with the nonsense that Truthers have been lapping up uncritically over the last five or ten years? I'm prepared to be proved wrong with facts, but not with the overwrought emotionalism that attends most BDS regurgitations.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 6, 2010 11:14 AM

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