0bama’s intellectual shallowness

Instapundit:

DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY: Obama: “Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, for, you know, historic reasons.”

Apparently, when Obama taught Constitutional Law he never got around to teaching the Texas White (Democratic) Primary cases. Or talking about which side was which in the Civil War . . . .

Updated to make clear to people who don’t click the link that it was the Texas Democrats who excluded black voters (and Mexican-Americans) from their primaries (and then dodged further with the Jaybird Democratic Association when the courts struck down the White Primaries). This is a major set of cases under state action, and I’m surprised that Obama is unfamiliar with this history. I wonder what he covered in his Constitutional Law classes?

Remember, guys, this clown was sold to us as an “intellectual” unlike the “stupid” Bush. His followers even claimed he was a constitutional law professor at U. of Chicago, when in fact he was a mere adjunct lecturer and never had regular faculty status. (This is not surprising in light of an essentially nonexistent scholarly publication list.) The blogprof has more on 0bama’s academic (non)career, and Doug Ross claims to have gotten off-the-record comments from a senior law prof at U. of Chicago that put 0bama’s time there in an unflattering light to say the least.

But I leave the last word to Powerline:

Barack Obama is a creature of the modern university and therefore an amazingly shallow man. I have written about his historical howlers in the New York Post column “Anti-terror oops,” in the Weekly Standard column “The Kennedy-Khrushchev conference for dummies,” and in the Power Line post “Obama veers into the Daily Ditch.”

Obama’s historical ignorance could be a full time beat for somebody who does this work for a living, and it tells us something truly important about Barack Obama. His ignorance is as broad as it is deep. Not that you couldn’t deduce that on your own from his performance on the job.

Yesterday he was at it again, in his peevish interview with the feisty local broadcast reporter from Texas. Why are you so unpopular in Texas? the reporter asked. Obama being Obama, he was unable to laugh off the question and say he’d do better next time around. Obama responded: “Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, for, you know, historic reasons.”

Has the guy ever heard of LBJ? You know, the fellow who first brought us socialized medicine? Has he ever read a single volume of Robert Caro’s monumental biography of LBJ? It’s hard to miss the extent to which the Democratic Party dominated Texas politics for the duration of LBJ’s (long) political career.

Obama majored in political science at Columbia. Did he miss the fact that Texas was part of the solidly Democratic South — the slaveholding, segregated, Jim Crow South — more or less from statehood in 1845 until Nixon’s 1972 landslide?

Did Obama skip class the day he might have learned that in the the postbellum South, including Texas, the Republican Party was virtually nonexistent? Apparently so. Or maybe he was just deploying his skills as a bs artist to deflect a question that could not be reconciled with his self-worship.

JOHN adds: I’ve concluded that Obama isn’t a smart person. He just plays one on television.

Ouch.

The “what is Barack Obama” debate?

Michael Ledeen discusses the debate that broke out between David Goldman (a.k.a. “Spengler”) and John Podhoretz on exactly what is Barack 0bama. Ledeen himself takes a middle position, but feels Podhoretz should have done better fact-checking. We link, you decide — it’s a good read.

“These are the smart people? Oh please…”

Must-read the whole thing: just a taste:

Yes, we have a highly educated, Ivy League president.  Yes, we have a whole flock of back-patting, self-congratulating, fully credentialed staff.

But smart?

Oh, please.

So what will the campaign slogan of the other party be for 2012?

I’ll have a whack at it:

Obama lied; hope died.

The Iranians got the A-bomb, the Russians got their jive back, and the Chinese own everything.

Vote for the un-cool, work-experienced, good-without-a-teleprompter guy or gal who knows a friend from a foe and can add 2 + 2 and get 4 every single time.

CBO chief: US debt “unsustainable”

You don’t say. (H/t: JCM)

The nation’s fiscal path is “unsustainable,” and the problem “cannot be solved through minor tinkering,” the head of the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday morning.

Doug Elmendorf, best known for arbitrating the costs of various health care proposals, added his voice to a growing chorus of economic experts who predict dire consequences if political leaders don’t scale back spending, increase taxes or both — and soon.

Elmendorf noted a recent CBO report that pegged an increase in the public debt from $7.5 trillion at the end of 2009 to $20.3 trillion at the end of 2020 if President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget were to be implemented as written. As a percentage of gross domestic product, the debt would rise from 53 percent to 90 percent, CBO forecasted. The last time the percentage was that high was right after World War II.

Elmendorf’s remarks to reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor echo the recent sentiments of a pair of Federal Reserve chiefs — the current head, Ben Bernanke, and former Chairman Paul Volcker.

Volcker said earlier this week that the U.S. should consider adopting a value-added tax, an idea he described as being less toxic than it has been in the past.

“If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes,” Volcker said.

On Wednesday, Bernanke said in a speech in Dallas that the government must cut entitlements or raise taxes.

“These choices are difficult, and it always seems easier to put them off — until the day they cannot be put off anymore,” Bernanke said.

There’s little apparent political appetite to do either.

The emperor has no clothes

A new expose is making the rounds of the blogosphere: see, e.g.: The Examiner: “numerous bogus claims on Obama resume” and also Chicago Law School faculty hated 0bama

Without getting too far into “who hated whom” at U of C law school (academia can at times make cliquish Junior High School girls look mature), one of the basic facts has been known to me since mid-2008: that 0bama’s claim of having been a “professor” at U. of C. law school is resume-padding. He was a part-time outside lecturer, who was never even given adjunct faculty status, let alone regular faculty status. For those unfamiliar with academia’s pecking order: this is like the difference between having played as a hired session musician on a couple of BigRockBand tracks vs. being a semi-permanent member of the tour band vs. being a member of BigRockBand itself.

From elsewhere within academia, Bill Jacobson (h/t: Pi Guy) has this: “You Were Right About Obama”

I knew it would happen, and today it did.

I received a call from a former client and friend, a guy in his late 70s, who was a huge Obama supporter and a fairly mainstream liberal and Democrat.

In the past my friend very much enjoyed getting me agitated by frequently mentioning the latest Frank Rich or Maureen Dowd column about the evil of Sarah Palin. At his age, getting me aggravated was pretty much his main form of entertainment.

In the months after the election the relationship was somewhat strained. There were certain things we just didn’t talk about, although he would poke me in the political eye from time to time.

I haven’t spoken to my friend in many months, probably since the fall or summer. So I was pleased when his name showed up as an incoming call on my cell phone, although I wondered how we would dance around the subject of Him.

The first sentence out of his mouth was, “Let’s get it out of the way, you were right about Obama.”

Not being satisfied with mere contrition, I asked him whether he was bs-ing me, and he said no, he meant it.

My friend spends half the year in Florida along with his similarly ancient friends. He’s predicting a “Republican sweep” in November, although his dissatisfaction with Obama is not the result of a conversion to conservatism. He feels that Obama broke so many promises, and “he’s just another politician.”

If Obama has lost my friend, the Frank Rich-loving, Sarah Palin-hating greedy Democratic geezer that he is, the Democrats are in deep electoral trouble.

Looks like his friend, like many, was having a Hans Christian Andersen moment. Just like the girl at the bottom of the picture (h/t: Pi Guy):

Everyone said, loud enough for the others to hear: “Look at the Emperor’s new clothes. They’re beautiful!”

“What a marvellous train!” “And the colors! The colors of that beautiful fabric! I have never seen anything like it in my life!”

They all tried to conceal their disappointment at not being able to see the clothes, and since nobody was willing to admit his own stupidity and incompetence, they all behaved as the two scoundrels had predicted.

A child, however, who had no important job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, went up to the carriage.

“The Emperor is naked,” he said.

“Fool!” his father reprimanded, running after him. “Don’t talk nonsense!” He grabbed his child and took him away.

But the boy’s remark, which had been heard by the bystanders, was repeated over and over again until everyone cried: “The boy is right! The Emperor is naked! It’s true!”

The Emperor realized that the people were right but could not admit to that.

He though it better to continue the procession under the illusion that anyone who couldn’t see his clothes was either stupid or incompetent.

And he stood stiffly on his carriage, while behind him a page held his imaginary mantle.

Recovery? What recovery?

Ace admin “Purple Avenger” recently had to drive from Florida to NY State on account of a sudden death and funeral in the family. His, admittedly anecdotal, observations from the road trip make it seem like the “recovery” is still some distance away outside Washington DC:

– A lot of billboards are still empty. This was true on I95 as well as some of the alternate routes (like rt17 and various back roads through WV and VA I wandered off onto to avoid rolling into the D.C. vortex at 5pm rush hour. I guess out of business businesses aren’t buying advertising.

– Many still existing painted billboards are quite faded and haven’t seen fresh paint in a long time.

– At some exits, once thriving large truck stops doors are shuttered. This is usually when there’s another competing one at the same exit.

– Many rest stops are closed. It looks like some states have taken to closing rest stops to save money (all the FL rest stops on I95 were still open).

– Observed McLame bumper stickers outnumbered Ogabe by 3:2. In 3,000 miles and seeing many thousands of cars, I saw exactly 3 McLame stickers versus exactly 2 for Ogabe. Actually, political bumper stickers of any sort were uncommonly scarce. I take this an ominous sign of growing widespread discontent.

– The Birchers were out of the closet with a “Had Enough Change Yet?” billboard just outside York PA.

– One of my friends in NY has been an over the road trucker all his life. He hasn’t been able to get a load or run for over a year. This is a guy who’s qualified to haul anything from apples to any hazardous placarded load, including nuclear weapons. Times are tough in the trucking business. The “bigs” like J.B. Hunt have canceled major fleet upgrade orders they had planned. They’re hunkered down, hard.

– There seems to be an uptick in bogus “work zones” in some states to enhance the number of miles over which enhanced speeding fines apply. Toss out a few orange barrels, setup a work zone sign, even when there ain’t a lick of work going on for 20 miles, and let the troopers do the dirty work. Slick. Sneaky.

– There seemed to be an uncommonly large number of cars from NJ/PA/NY loaded with household goods headed south for this time of year that did NOT contain spring breakers. I wonder if all that global warming this past winter is prompting a bunch of people to flee the northern states for good?

The comments are also quite interesting. Even in Texas, which has weathered the storm better than most states, things are not well:

164 I know Texas closed a bunch of rest stops years ago because of an ADA lawsuit. Rather than spending the money to bring them up to compliance, they just closed down the non-compliant ones.

Lots of empty bill boards here too, which has gotta suck because Texas is very very strict on billboards. Almost impossible to get a permit for a new one, and costly to keep existing ones permitted.

What strikes me is all of the for sale signs on homes. There is not a neighborhood anywhere in the Austin metro area that doesn’t have multiple for sale signs up on every block. One street I drove down, it was literally every other house.

Texas has fared better than the rest of the country, but times are definitely tough. This is my second year of unemployment. House was foreclosed on in February, only reason we could afford to move is that the apartments are so desperate to rent that we got a $199 move in, $199 first months rent and $805 a month on a three bedroom apartment. (Cheaper than than the house payment was.)

Thinks it’s gonna be a long time before it gets better.