May 18, 2009

May a President joke about the power of the presidency?

Glenn Reynolds says no — at least when it's Barack Obama threatening to sic the IRS on somebody that crosses him.
Surely he's aware that other presidents, most notably Richard Nixon, have abused the power of the Internal Revenue Service to harass their political opponents. But that abuse generated a powerful backlash and with good reason. Should the IRS come to be seen as just a bunch of enforcers for whoever is in political power, the result would be an enormous loss of legitimacy for the tax system.
Glenn's being practical and focused on the special problem of our income tax system, which depends so heavily on self-reporting and compliance. He's not talking more generally about the requirement that Presidents be ever serious about their awesome powers. So don't be like bad Mr. Nixon. But, presumably, this is still okay:

156 comments:

mcg said...

This one was a swing and a miss to me for Mr. Reynolds. It just read like much ado about nothing. I thought it was funny and no I don't think it damages the reputation of the IRS. (If only.)

I would differentiate it from the Reagan joke however, because that wasn't intended to be public.

traditionalguy said...

The IRS is so powerful that Castro and Chavez must truly envy that much unregulated power in a Government. The tax code is so complex that when applied perfectly, 99% of the people are in some violation of it all the time. That makes it the greatest tool for King Obama's government to get its enemies when its enemies are perp walked and its friends are let off with a warning.

Issob Morocco said...

Glenn is right.

It is serious, given the hypocrisy of the Obama team in their failures to follow the law, whether in paying taxes or bankruptcy of Chrysler.

Presidents should not joke about audits as retribution for a slight, because, while benign in most cases, it creates the appearance or implication of "don't cross me, or I will get you".

Our President's are for the most part bigger/better citizens than that, example being George W. Bush, who much to Conversatives ire, turned the other cheek too much. Nixon was a bit paranoid, Obama is a messianic egotist. The latter should not be joking like this.

Cheers!

Pogo said...

Reagan threatened our enemy, with a private joke.

Obama threatened private citizens, with a public joke.

I think it matters.
The IRS has long had a reputation for destroying people at a whim. Nixon used them. Obama is already using or will use them.

Do you doubt, after what happened to the CEOs of banks and car companies that the listeners knew this wasn't completely just ha ha ha, but heh heh **gulp**?

Tain't funny.

tim maguire said...

Reagan's joke was in poor taste, but it was one of those "I didn't know the microphone was on" moments. It was supposed to be heard by only a few people around him.

Obama's joke was clearly a joke, and so maybe not a big deal, but it is still a dangerous joke. There's a fair chance one of those regents will, in fact, get audited and now a question has been raised. And it's something all Obama critics will now wonder about when they get audited (as some surely will).

He has undermined the integrity of the system, even if only a little. It's another example of the sort of short-sighted stupidity we're getting daily from Obama.

JAL said...

I understand Glenn's point, and to a degree, Professor A's.

While it was a "joke" -- and got some laughs -- I think this administration has already shown itself to use bullying and intimidation to a degree not so overtly shown so early before. ("I won.") I would not put it past him/them.

As the Knoxville Prof pointed out, other presidents have been known to misuse federal resources to punish. Why the Clinton White House got a pass on the FBI files on Republican found in the White House is one of those digusting betrayals of American trust.

I don;t think the issue is POTUS can't joke -- it's joking about abuse of his power on We, The People, that scratches the blackboard. (His sense of humor on more than one occasion has been off key.)

So setting businesses up going into negotiations knowing that the POTUS makes jokes like this smacks of a mafioso move -- or a Chicago insider "joke."

Many a truth is spoken in jest.

As for the Reagan comment -- what was the context? Had he just signed some law or directive? The Reagan "joke" was not directed at the people he was speaking with. He was not "threatening" to bomb them for a particular -- or any reason.

Aaron said...

I think its not a complete threat to the republic, but imagine this scenario.

imagine one of the officials at ASU were in fact cheating on their taxes. now that obama has said that, would they be equally willing to go after that person?

i suspect the answer is no. I think we can say that there are certain things you "don't even joke about." that kind of abuse of power is one of them.

American Liberal Elite said...

Lighten up.

Christy said...

What Pogo said about threatening our citizens versus threatening our enemies. I don't recall, for example, Bush ever showing contempt for any of our citizens, even those that hated him. Obama, on the other hand, has expressed contempt for those not like him. A. He sat through 20 years of hate-whitey sermons. B. Remember those bitter people who cling to guns and religion?

The problem with Obama's joke is that it is entirely believable that he would use the IRS against the citizens he sees as enemies. The White House has already threatened the money people who have not cooperated with his plans for the auto makers. How is this soi-distant joke any different?

Obama threatens his opponents. He is incapable of negotiation.

bearbee said...

Your tags should include "Obama like Chavez."

former law student said...

Sure, Nixon did that forty years ago. But what politician today would use the power of political office to punish a personal enemy -- *cough* Sarah Palin *cough*.

yo pete said...

As Reagan's joke was 'off the record' it was all the more devastating as it played to type. I imagine it as one of the more fortunate 'gaffes' of the Cold War.

Unfortunately for Obama his remark also plays to type.

Larry said...

Wanda last week. Now this.

It is obvious that wingnuts have ZERO sense of humour.

And if I recall correctly, the wingnuts were attacking Obama last Fall for never cracking a joke.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And if I recall correctly, the wingnuts were attacking Obama last Fall for never cracking a joke.

You have faulty recollection.

Shanna said...

I think Glenn makes an excellent point. Obama needs to think before he jokes about stuff like this, because people are kind of unhappy about all the tax cheats that are in his administration already, and he’s already a Chicago pol…Maybe he should err on the side of caution in these matters.

Invisible Man said...

The Right-Wing. Humorless. Unpossible!

former law student said...

It is interesting to see Reynolds all stiff and moralizing about a President cracking a joke.

Pogo said...

Yeah, having the President lightly jokingly threaten an audit just weeks after he nationalized car companies and banks and dictated who should be CEO; yeah, it's fucking hilarious.

Pogo said...

If only non-liberals were actually creative, they'd take the Obama joke and put it to music, just like that great 80s song by Afrika Bambaataa and Johnny Lydon, World Destruction dealt with Reagan's joke.

John Stodder said...

The Right-Wing. Humorless. Unpossible!True. Usually it's the left that wants to litigate every joke.

If you're old enough to remember the insane uproar Reagan's "the bombing begins in five minutes" crack generated, you'll know what I mean. It went on for months. It was taken as proof by many prominent liberal leaders, intellectuals and journos that Reagan was unqualified for the office he held.

If all that happens to Obama after this joke, then your point will be made.

jeff said...

"But what politician today would use the power of political office to punish a personal enemy -- *cough* Sarah Palin *cough*."

Party of nuance indeed.

Synova said...

I don't know who figured that Reagan's joke was "okay." Even the people who didn't hate him for it cringed at the humongous "Ooopsie" of that live microphone.

And yes... it went on for months.

And if long after the fact some speculate that it actually worked in our favor... that wasn't the reaction at the time.

I think Pogo is right on this one... the threat of IRS audits is not funny. The tax code is so impossible that it's not quite possible to be "law abiding" because it's not really possible to be certain that you haven't made mistakes, even if you hire someone.

But most particularly, there is this...

"Yeah, having the President lightly jokingly threaten an audit just weeks after he nationalized car companies and banks and dictated who should be CEO; yeah, it's fucking hilarious."

... as well as reports of non-joke threats to ruin people who didn't cooperate with the government's economic recovery plan.

elHombre said...

The problem here is that liberals don't understand that jokes are supposed to be funny.

Comments about "lipstick on a pig" (in context), "Special Olympics," "IRS audits" (from the tax cheat enabler-in chief), and "kidney failure," just ain't so funny.

Having said that, this comment is notable because it's prophetic. This is the guy who just budgeted a huge increase for IRS enforcement to give punch to class warfare.

rdkraus said...

A good example of why many of us don't find this kind of joke funny is here

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTA0ZWZkMzdhODU5NGY0OGJiYWIwMzQ4NTI0ZmJkZWM=

The scary thing is that, behind closed doors, this is how many/most politicians think about us folk. If you want bipartisanship, just look at past IRS audit abuse.

Bernard said...

Glenn is still stuck on this notion of fairness, the ill-founded notion that somehow Right and Left should play by the same rules. But this is politics, not the law! And the first rule is "Democrats aren't perfect, just forgiven... by the press." Republicans aren't. So charges of IRS abuse still haunt Nixon, while Clinton never suffered a peep from a compliant media about his abuse of the IRS and the FBI.

Frodo Potter said...

I’m not quite as incensed as some commenters, but this really was not one of Obama’s brighter moves. The IRS is a greatly feared institution and Reynolds raises some important points that I don’t think have been addressed here. In fact, Reynolds doesn’t really approach this subject from a typical right-wing view, but actually with some sympathy for IRS employees. Reynolds notes “(When the Geithner issue came up, news reports indicated that IRS employees were very upset. They can be fired over a simple late filing or a failure to report a mere $500 in income, making Mr. Geithner's ‘pass’ on much more serious questions quite demoralizing.)”

Now ask yourself, which is better for the maximum tax revenues: honest, disciplined, and motivated employees, or dishonest, undisciplined, and demoralized employees? I don’t know much about the Italian system that Reynolds references, but I do know that demoralized employees (having periodically been one myself) are much less efficient. I won’t even go into the issue of bribes, but it probably has crossed the mind of a few IRS employees now and again. Once that happens, we have opened a Pandora’s Box.

If I understood this correctly, this was also a commencement speech. Doubly dumb.

So, I would have to give Obama failing marks for this speech. His appointment of Huntsman gets an A+, but this is an F.

Jeremy said...

Issob Morocco said..."Glenn is right. It is serious, given the hypocrisy of the Obama team in their failures to follow the law, whether in paying taxes or bankruptcy of Chrysler."

Oh, God yes...

Americans CANNOT stand for this kind of thing.

*Of course that Reagan, we're bombing Russia thing...was...okay?

Joe said...

Another big problem with "jokes" like this is that there is some idiot in the chain of command who will act on what Obama said.

Pogo said...

Yeah, Joe, yer right.

That's how Joe the Plumber got investigated by his local gummint.

Aaron said...

Former law student...

Seriously, the best you can come up with is Sarah Palin as an example?

How about Bill O'Reilly being audited four times by the Clinton admin?

As for Palin, let me see here, they lodged a complaint against a trooper who was allegedly beating Palin’s sister and allegedly threatened to murder her father. I thought liberals were against spousal abuse and police brutality.

Maybe you dispute that account. Maybe you are going to claim that this trooper was as pure as untread snow. But at the very least, the facts are too murky to make it into a clear example of abuse of power. If you believe Palin’s account, she was, if anything, restrained.

Synova said...

Well, Jeremy... if (supposed) approval of Reagan's joke is all it takes to justify approval of Obama's joke, then it's all good right?

You *do* approve of Reagan's joke, right?

Since you seem to be approving of Obama's joke, I'm taking that as a given.

It's all good, right?

Or are any of the "jokes" bad ones? Which jokes do you think are the bad ones? Was Reagan's joke a bad one?

It occurs to me that none of us really know what you think about anything, Jeremy.

Synova said...

"That's how Joe the Plumber got investigated by his local gummint."

Very good point.

It's not as though we don't have an example of government employees investigating political opponents in order to ruin them... because we do.

Public confidence in the privacy of their information and restraints on public institutions is seriously important to order.

It's one thing if it's the conspiracy crazy nut-jobs who think that the government is out to get them... it's another if sane people start to think it's not so crazy anymore.

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with most of the posters above. President Obama threatened, jokingly, to abuse his power as President for personal gain, in a similar way to how at least Nixon and Clinton had done, esp. right after his strong arming the car companies, and then, their creditors (some of it possibly illegally). He has shown that he will use, and probably abuse, the power of his office against domestic opponents already, only a little more than 100 days in office. Not a good joke for him.

But, just wait. This may come back to haunt him. When Limbaugh, O'Reilly, et al. are audited by the IRS, and then maybe reaudited, there will be the question of whether it was being done for political gain or payback of the President and his hirelings. Yes, they are in the income bracket that gets audited a lot. But still, four times for O'Reilly during Clinton was a bit much.

This sort of thing will likely go further delegitimizing Obama's Presidency than almost anything else he might do (including destroying the economy, as he seems bound and determined to do). He may have the distinction of exhibiting the worst aspects of both the Nixon and the Carter Presidencies.

traditionalguy said...

The smiley faced President joking about IRS gestapo visits to leaders of political resistance movements is like a wife beater joking about the next beating he is just kidding the trapped wife about.

former law student said...

The problem with Palin was that before she became governor, her list of complaints against Wooten had already been evaluated, and discipline had been meted out.

First, Palins submitted a laundry list of complaints against Wooten, compiled by her family and friends.

Then, the State Police launched an official investigation, finding only four of the allegations were sustainable.

After carefully weighing the seriousness of the remaining complaints, the State Police punished Wooten with a ten-day suspension, later reduced to two days.

The situation didn't change until Palin became governor when she decided to take another bite at the apple. Although she had no new complaints, she used her clout as Governor to get Wooten's personnel record investigated, hoping there was some dirt she could use. Failing that, she hoped to use her clout to get Wooten shitcanned anyway.

As for Palin, let me see here, they lodged a complaint against a trooper who was allegedly beating Palin’s sister and allegedly threatened to murder her father. I thought liberals were against spousal abuse and police brutality.

No allegation of physical or mental abuse of Palin's sister was ever made.

Palin's dad does not look like a hero here either, because while hunting with Wooten, he had shot a wolf and left it to die. Trooper Wooten pursued it on his snowmobile and dispatched it, whereupon Palin's dad turned him in for hunting from a snowmobile. Luckily for Wooten, that was actually legal where he euthanized the wolf.

So yelling in anger at his ex-father-in-law was understandable.

Was it police brutality? Did Wooten use excessive force against Palin's dad to maintain order? Did Palin's father respond as if he took this "threat" seriously? Did he live in fear, move away, change his pattern of going to work, arm himself?

It occurs to me why Republicans cannot appreciate Obama's self-effacing joke. That is because Obama is neither mean, nor petty, nor vindictive. He does not govern by threats or the use of fear.

Jeremy said...

Synova said..."Well, Jeremy... if (supposed) approval of Reagan's joke is all it takes to justify approval of Obama's joke, then it's all good right?"

Synova...it was a JOKE...that got a rousing reception from everybody.

What is it with the wingnuts here??

No matter what Obama does, no matter how innocuous, and even if it is what you actually WANT him to do (not revel the photos) ...you whine and bitch and throw fits.

I watched the entire speech, something I'll lay odds 90% here did not take the time to do...and it was roundly applauded from all sides.

Penny said...

"May a President joke about the power of the presidency?"

They can and obviously do, but why on earth would he weave in a joke about the IRS to a group of college students who have yet to pay any taxes? Additionally this same president put a known tax cheat(?), evader(?), tax filing idiot (?) in charge of the IRS? If that wasn't bad enough, he sends this very same guy out to talk about big bad businesses avoiding taxes by doing business overseas?

I'm looking for motive. WHY would he do these things?

I am with Glenn regarding concern for politicizing the IRS, but perhaps there is an even greater concern than politicizing. Minimizing comes to mind.

Jeremy said...

traditionalguy said..."The smiley faced President joking about IRS gestapo visits to leaders of political resistance movements is like a wife beater joking about the next beating he is just kidding the trapped wife about."

This is the correlation you draw from this joke?

A combination of the Gestapo, political resistance movements and wife beaters??

I realize you want to ingratiate yourself with the local pack, but even for you, this is ridiculous.

IT-WAS-A-JOKE.

Jeremy said...

Penny said..."...but why on earth would he weave in a joke about the IRS to a group of college students who have yet to pay any taxes?"

(First of all what would possibly make you believe the students have never paid taxes? Did you attend college? Were you able to do so without working??)

As to the joke and why he told it:

Because it was funny?

Because everybody thought it was funny?

Because everybody laughed?

Are you people literally losing your minds?

All of this drivel over a throw away joke?

Jeremy said...

Since we're on the subject of JOKES...let's evaluate this one:

George W. Bush, the American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words:

"Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."

He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

Funny?

Pogo said...

Another Jeremiad signifying the End of Thread.

John Stodder said...

Jeremy is laughably clueless again.

Reagan's joke was intended to be heard by maybe half a dozen people. It was due to a glitch that anyone else heard it. The press stoked the outrage, finding in it a savage, war-mongering mentality.

Obama's joke was not overheard, it was scripted. And other than Reynolds and a few tax bloggers, the press saw it as a graciously Kennedyesque response to the supposedly horrible insult Obama had to endure when ASU failed to award him an honorary degree at the commencement event. Look at the coverage: It was all about how the joke made Obama even more lovable.

On the other hand, Obama might as well joke about it. He abuses his powers, as every president does. At least he admits it, which might be a step toward holding him accountable for it.

El Presidente said...

If only there had been bloggers to call President Reagan to task for his comment.

Bruce Hayden said...

"It occurs to me why Republicans cannot appreciate Obama's self-effacing joke. That is because Obama is neither mean, nor petty, nor vindictive. He does not govern by threats or the use of fear."

Interesting take, from one of his sycophants. As noted above, many take this as a an indication that he doesn't know the legal and moral limits of his power, esp. after what he and his people have done over the last couple of weeks, instead of showing him as self-effacing.

Maybe it is the context that matters. Boards of directors of banks and car companies, talk show hosts, and other political opponents have to take his threats and those of his people seriously, but the kids graduating should just take it in the spirit that it was intended.

Jeremy said...

John Stodder said..."Reagan's joke was intended to be heard by maybe half a dozen people."

That's no the point, bonehead.

It's whether Obama's JOKE was so outlandish there should be such a furor via the local wingnuts.

It doesn't matter if one person or 5,000 people hear a "joke" that is tasteless or even dangerous...it's whether it is indeed off putting.

Obama's joke was funny, was well received and if you had actually watched the speech, you would know that.

P.S. Pogo - Suck my dick little man.

Jeremy said...

Bruce - It appears 65% of America represent the "sycophant" crowd you whine about.

That puts you and the other wingnuts here at the tail end of America.

Obama is respected for his intellect and an ability to do what is right, versus the little fool we had around for eight years, and who considered himself the ultimate "decider."

By the way, I do LOVE listening to you and others whinging and bitching...if illuminates your lack of substance.

traditionalguy said...

Jeremy... I am sensitive to IRS power mixed with politics. The IRS is a State Police force immune to oversight in most cases. The Obama smiling face while he goes ahead and uses non-negotiable power over his political opposition does remind me of a Moslem Sheik talking to his uppity wife with a sweet smile on his face but showing her a Giant Legal Stick of power over her. This message delivery way is why many people familiar with moslem male customs suspect Obama is a closet muslim. Maybe its just a style of governing we will get used to. What ever happened to the Powerful Woman in the Obama Party...What was her name, it began with a P?

Geoff Matthews said...

Jeremy said:
"George W. Bush, the American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words:

"Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."

He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock."

Yes it was funny, because 1) It's true, and 2) It was an FU to the chicke littles who believe in AGW, 3) It was irreverat, 4) It didn't directly threaten anyone.

Obama, whoever, was intimating a threat. He may not have meant it, it may have been in poor taste, but the first prominant oponent who gets audited will point to this 'joke' as proof that it was a vieled threat.

Jeremy said...

Bruce - More "sycophants?"

"Obama puts pragmatism over promises..."

His willingness to consider new perspectives and change his position, even when it angers his supporters, is a stark contrast to predecessor George W. Bush's inflexibility.

By Christi Parsons and Janet Hook
7:36 PM PDT, May 16, 2009

Reporting from Washington -- For weeks, Army Gen. Ray Odierno had passionately pressed his point with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates: President Obama's plan to release photographs depicting the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners would be a costly mistake.

Last week, when Odierno was in Washington for a meeting with the president, the top U.S. commander in Iraq was pleased and grateful when Obama revealed that he had changed his mind and would oppose release of the photos.

"Thanks," Odierno said. "That must have been a hard decision."

"No," Obama replied, "it wasn't at all."

It was a telling moment -- a glimpse into one of the most striking features of the new president's approach to decision-making.

Unlike his predecessor, George W. Bush, who styled himself as "the Decider" and took pride in sticking with decisions come what might, Obama is emerging as a leader so committed to pragmatism that he will move to a new position with barely a shrug.

Whether it's a long-standing campaign promise or a recent Oval Office decision, Obama has shown a willingness to reverse himself and even anger his most liberal supporters if he can advance a higher-priority goal or avoid what he sees as a distracting controversy.

"This is the story of an ambitious new administration running up against reality at home and abroad," said William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former advisor to President Clinton. "The realities on the defense and foreign policy fronts are both more intractable and quicker to show themselves for what they are."

"If he's basically faithful to the agenda he ran on, the reversals -- such as they are -- are going to be seen as tolerable exceptions rather than as leading indicators," he said. "If you are a single-issue person, what the president says in regard to your issue may be a bitter disappointment."

In quick succession last week, for example, Obama announced two major shifts on sensitive national security issues and drew cries of concern from the American Civil Liberties Union and open-government organizations.

He said he would oppose making the detainee pictures public -- a switch that could put him at odds with a federal judge who ordered them released. And he declared that the administration would stick with a modified version of the Bush administration's military tribunals for trying terrorism suspects; during the campaign he had promised to rely on federal courts and the traditional military justice system.

Similarly, on domestic policy, Obama aides last week suggested that much of the fees for exceeding carbon emissions caps might be given to factory owners and power companies if that's what it takes to gain their support for the proposal. During the campaign, Obama called for the fees to be used for alternative energy technology and middle-class tax cuts.

"I think he's pragmatic," said Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative Committee for Justice, which is gearing up for a possible fight over Obama's Supreme Court nominee. "He's trying to compromise. But is he also an idealist? If 'idealist' means soaring rhetoric, that's easy. But if it means you'll fight for what you believe in, even when it's not pragmatic, then no."

The change from the Bush years is striking. Bush would "stick with his way no matter where it led," said Matt Bennett, vice president of Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank. "Obama has the opposite personality and makeup." Obama does not believe "that every progressive orthodoxy is sacrosanct," Bennett said.

Pogo said...

Jeremiad/Michael/Lucky said "P.S. Pogo - Suck my dick little man."

Indeed, one would have to be a very very little man to accomplish that, I'd guess, much like how HO model trains are miniatures of the actual world.


"In H0 scale, 3.5 mm (0.14 in) represents 1 real foot; this ratio works out to about 1:87.086."

Pogo said...

1.12 mm.

Right?

Pogo said...

Like a pilling on a sweater.

Or 1/3rd of an ant.

Shanna said...

FLS, whatever you think of the whole Palin thing, at least she was working through the system in response to a man who was threatening her family, driving drunk and possibly abusive, not someone who didn’t give her an honorary degree.

I mean, WTF is wrong with Obama that he can’t just let any damn thing go? He is the president of the united states, why is he calling out people for things like talking about him on the radio, not being nice to him on the news, not giving him an honorary degree?

The “joke” will be harmless, as long as a bunch of political foes don’t start getting audited. Then it will be more like “can no one rid me of this meddlesome priest”.

Bruce Hayden said...

The reason that I used the word "sycophant" is that FLS takes whatever President Obama does that is questionable, characterizes it as a plus, and then changes subjects. I don't think that most of those who give him a positive rating, which is probably what you are talking about with the 65%, would characterize threatening government action as a self-effacing joke, esp. after just seriously threatening banks, car company creditors, and political opponents with such.

Jeremy said...

Shanna - "I mean, WTF is wrong with Obama that he can’t just let any damn thing go? He is the president of the united states, why is he calling out people for things like talking about him on the radio, not being nice to him on the news, not giving him an honorary degree?"

What are you basing this on?

You say Obama called someone out? He said people shouldn't be paying attention to a fat "entertainer" or loud mouth TV talking head who do nothing more than spew hatred.

As to the ASU or Notre Dame flaps, I never read anything relating to Obama saying anything about either situation.

Quit whining.

elHombre said...

Obama is emerging as a leader so committed to pragmatism that he will move to a new position with barely a shrug.

It helps that he is unencumbered by principles.

Jeremy said...

Bruce - "...characterize threatening government action as a self-effacing joke, esp."

Get your head out of your ass, Bruce.

It was a fucking JOKE...and everybody laughed.

The ONLY reports I see anywhere are lodged by right wing blogging websites and wingnuts with nothing else to say.

I realize you and the other wingnuts are having a tough time laughing at anything these days (although Steele, Rush, Newt, Canto, Jindel and others are pretty funny), but why do you find it necessary to whine and bitch about literally everything Obama says or does?

I posted an article relating to both the left and right seeing him as being extremely "pragmatic," versus what we had over the previous eight years, yet all you can come up with is lame bitching about a joke.

Grow up, be an American; we have bigger problems and Obama deserves a chance to rectify the situation he inherited.

jasperjava said...

To the conservative mind, incinerating millions of innocent Soviet citizens is a laugh riot… but someone getting audited on their taxes – of, the humanity! Now THAT'S an incalculable tragedy that a President should never joke about.

Shanna said...

Quit whining..

Obama is the one who needs to quit whining. I told you exactly what I was talking about. Obama went on tv and whined about Fox and whined about Rush and now he’s “joking” about putting people in jail because they didn’t give him an honorary degree. I mean, come on. What is that about?

I don't have a comment about Reagan because Reagan is long gone.

John Stodder said...

John Stodder said..."Reagan's joke was intended to be heard by maybe half a dozen people."

That's no the point, bonehead.

It's whether Obama's JOKE was so outlandish there should be such a furor via the local wingnuts.
It's cute when you try to play, the "you're missing the point" game, Jeremy. Missing the point is pretty much all you've got.

As is the case here.

Obama's joke wasn't so outlandish, and the media virtually all agreed on that. Glenn Reynolds' column is an outlier.

But Reagan's joke was treated as an international crisis by the same media outlets.

So, to review: When a Democratic President makes a joke on his own potential use of power, it's cute.

When a Republican President does it, it's impeachable.

Consistency is all anyone is looking for.

Jeremy said...

Shanna said..."Obama went on tv and whined about Fox and whined about Rush and now he’s “joking” about putting people in jail because they didn’t give him an honorary degree. I mean, come on. What is that about?"

Obama never "went on TV" and said anything of the kind. He told the Republican leaders at a White House meeting that "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."

And as for your ridiculous claim that he was threatening "putting people in jail because they didn’t give him an honorary degree" it's a bald-faced lie because he never said anything of the kind.

You really need to read more and talk less because you don't have the slightest idea what the hell you're saying.

Jeremy said...

John - "But Reagan's joke was treated as an international crisis by the same media outlets."

Maybe that was because it was so bone-headed it was almost impossible to comprehend a President doing it.

Try to imagine George W. Bush and Dick Cheney hearing something like what Reagan said, but coming from Putin:

"...we've outlawed America and the missiles are on their way."

The whining and bitching about Obama's joke is just that whining and bitching.

hdhouse said...

it is in poor taste but we can joke about the last powergrabber who was president can't we?

Pogo said...

I find the Jeremiad's reaction to an Obama gaffe is a useful negative bellwether as to its actual importance, with extra information gleaned by the vehemence of the offered defense.

Jeremy said...

Comment after comment whining about Obama telling a joke...ignoring "little" things like this:

1. Stocks rallied on Monday after home-improvement retailer Lowe's raised its earnings outlook.

2. A 17% jump for India's stock market that could help halt the surge of risk aversion that has hampered world markets since September.

3. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 200 points.

4. The blue-chip measure was helped by financials, including a 9% surge for Bank of America after Goldman Sachs added the company to its conviction buy list.

5. The National Association of Home Builders' sentiment on sales for new, single-family homes rose in May for the second consecutive month to 16, the highest mark since last September. The S&P Homebuilders ETF, a basket of builder stocks, rose 5.7%.

6. Home Depot gained about 6%.

7. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF, which reflects the performance of the S&P 500 financial sector, gained 5.2%

8. The S&P 500 recently traded 2.5% higher, above the 900 mark, led by a 5.3% gain in its financial sector.

10. The Nasdaq Composite was up 2.7% at 1725 with chip stocks pacing the gains after analysts at Morgan Stanley increased their rating on the sector.

Jeremy said...

Pogo - You need to take an English course.

Your writing is incomprehensible.

Bruce Hayden said...

Jeremy

I am not quite sure how your list is relevant to President Obama jokingly threatening to abuse his power. It looks more like the attempts we see here to change the subject (as we saw above, with FLS trying to switch it to Gov. Palin).b

Pogo said...

"Your writing is incomprehensible."

And you a community college psychology teacher.
For shame.

Shanna said...

And as for your ridiculous claim that he was threatening "putting people in jail because they didn’t give him an honorary degree" it's a bald-faced lie because he never said anything of the kind..

That was the joke! Good lord, what ever posses me to respond to Michael! All I get is a hysterical argument on semantics.

Ahem:
At his Arizona State University commencement speech last Wednesday, Mr. Obama noted that ASU had refused to grant him an honorary degree, citing his lack of experience, and the controversy this had caused. He then demonstrated ASU's point by remarking, "I really thought this was much ado about nothing, but I do think we all learned an important lesson. I learned never again to pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA brackets. . . . President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS."

Frodo Potter said...

former law student, you have made some huge assumptions and I am not impressed by your arguments. You said

“Then, the State Police launched an official investigation, finding only four of the allegations were sustainable. “

If a low-level thug is indicted on ONLY four counts of purse snatching, would you defend him, FLS?

“After carefully weighing the seriousness of the remaining complaints, the State Police punished Wooten with a ten-day suspension, later reduced to two days.”

Thin Blue Line, anyone?

“No allegation of physical or mental abuse of Palin's sister was ever made.”

Actually, I understood that there were indeed allegations of physical *and* mental abuse.

“So yelling in anger at his ex-father-in-law was understandable.”

This is why I am glad you are a *former* law student. I shudder to think of you in the District Attorney’s office. It is NEVER understandable for a law officer with a weapon to yell in anger at a citizen unless that citizen is directly threatening the public safety. Sorry FLS, shooting a wolf and leaving it to die is not necessarily threatening the public safety. This anger is even worse when the law officer has threatened one’s relatives.
Besides, it just occurred to me, isn’t this the state where one got a bounty of $150 for every wolf? Why wouldn’t the father track it down and claim the bounty? Who would throw away $150? Now that I think about it, this seems a little fishy.

“It occurs to me why Republicans cannot appreciate Obama's self-effacing joke. That is because Obama is neither mean, nor petty, nor vindictive. He does not govern by threats or the use of fear.”

Let’s say you are right (and I tend to agree with you in this last point), you are missing the point that at least some of us (I know I am) are trying to get across. Obama’s joke might not be evil or bullying, but it is not that funny and it is very dumb.

By the way, as I have stated here before, I am no fan of Palin’s and I voted for Obama.

Aaron said...

Former law student...

A few things.

First, yes, they did allege that her sister was being beat. Maybe if you stopped watching MSNBC you would know that.

Second, seriously, are you saying that the governor shouldn’t get involved when a man threatens to murder her own father? She is supposed to be passive about that? “Sure, my daddy has been threatened by a man who carries a gun on the job, but I have to pretend this is no different from any other allegation of misconduct.”

If you suppose that he was threatening her father with murder, exactly what part of Palin’s alleged behavior was unreasonable?

And let’s remember that its not clear that she did single him out in any way. That’s just another allegation. Indeed, one that she was cleared of. Its amazing how you take the accusations of her political enemies (who explicitly state they are going to try to ruin her career with this stuff) as gospel when you couldn’t possibly know the truth about all of this. A humble answer would be “gee, I don’t know.”

Seriously, I will not understand for the life of me the knee jerk hatred of Sarah Palin.

campy said...

Seriously, I will not understand for the life of me the knee jerk hatred of Sarah Palin.

She dared mock The One.

Synova said...

"Synova...it was a JOKE...that got a rousing reception from everybody."

Right, Jeremy.

What I'm asking is... do you approve of Reagan's JOKE. It was a JOKE and people laughed. So do you approve of it or not?

I notice that you've started talking about Bush, too. Bush made JOKES. People laughed. Do you approve of Bush's JOKES? As long as it was a JOKE it's okay, right?

You explained to us that Wanda Sykes made a JOKE and it was wrong of us to complain because it was a JOKE and we should get over it.

It's really just a simple yes/no question, Jeremy. Do you approve of Reagan's JOKE?

holdfast said...

""Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter.""

- Huh? I thought it was Clinton that represented China, not Bush?

Hey FLS - Wooten admitted using a tazer on a child "because he wanted me to" - ANYONE who can say that or think like that does not deserve to be a cop, outside of maybe Saudi Arabia. I would expect my governor to ensure that he did not remain one for long.

Jeremy said...

Synova said..."What I'm asking is... do you approve of Reagan's JOKE. It was a JOKE and people laughed. So do you approve of it or not?"

I realize it was a "joke," but considering the situation at the time and that audio is monitored by all parties, it was a very dangerous and bone-headed thing to say.

I asked this before and will ask you the same question:

Try to imagine George W. Bush and Dick Cheney hearing something like what Reagan said, but coming from Putin:

"...we've outlawed (change Russia to America) and the missiles are on their way."

These are the same two who thought Saddam had nuclear capabilities and literally invaded the country...what would they do if they thought missiles were on the way?

Aaron said...

Campy

Well, here is my pet theory on a lot of this.

About two years ago, I got a copy of the game “karaoke revolution: American idol.” You put that disc into your Ps2, sang a bunch of songs as the notes and words flew by on the screen, and then you were judged by a virtual Simon, Randy, and Paul. So I brought that to my little cousin’s birthday party and it was a big hit. But this one girl, ten years old, was hilariously getting so mad at virtual simon. I mean she was like a little demon girl every time he criticized her, shouting “I hate him! I hate him! ARRRGH!!!” But then every now and then she would stop and say, “but I have to admit, he’s pretty handsome.” I think the two are related: she was furious at him in part because she was attracted to him and thus wanted his approval.

Now, what does Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean have in common? 1) they have inspired a level of hatred that just goes beyond anything reasonable, and 2) they are both beautiful. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

Don't know if that applies here, but i would bet its a huge part of the issue in general.

Jeremy said...

Synova - "I notice that you've started talking about Bush, too. Bush made JOKES. People laughed. Do you approve of Bush's JOKES? As long as it was a JOKE it's okay, right?"

Some jokes are funny, some are not.

It's subjective.

Obama's joke was funny and the audience reacted just as he thought they would, including the President of Notre Dame and others on the stage.

Let me guess: YOU didn't even watch the speech, didn't see or hear the reaction and, as usual, are talking out of your ass?

Right?

Jeremy said...

Aaron - "Now, what does Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean have in common? 1) they have inspired a level of hatred that just goes beyond anything reasonable, and 2) they are both beautiful. I don’t think that is a coincidence."

Why do so many here use the term "hate" or "hatred" to describe the negative reaction some have to specific individuals?

It's an overused term and isn't at all what most are saying when they criticize Palin or Prejean.

Personally I don't know either of these people and certainly don't "hate" either of them, nor do I "hate" George W. Bush.

I just think all three are basically wrong about things that I believe.

*And if you really think Palin gives a flying fuck about Prejean, you're out of your mind. She merely represents another conduit to the Christian right and potential votes.

Jeremy said...

Bruce Hayden said..."I am not quite sure how your list is relevant to President Obama jokingly threatening to abuse his power."

Geeee, Bruce...do you REALLY think Obama was "threatening to abuse his power?"

Do you think he's dispatched a team of I.R. S. agents to ferret out any irregularities in the ASU President's tax returns?

Really, Bruce...do you?

And as to my list, I just thought the economy showing signs of recovery might be of more interest to those who continue to denigrate the President.

Maybe if you actually had a job or investments or owned a house...?

Jeremy said...

Pogo - For about the 1,000th time: I do not teach any courses at any community college.

Never have, never will.

You're either dumb as a fucking stump or you're...never mind let's leave it at dumb as a stump.

Pogo said...

"dumb as a stump"

Is that in HO scale, like the hog you wanted to have sucked, or an actual size stump?

Aaron said...

Jeremy

You know I think the mistake you are making is the same as a colleague in college made. Once I was arguing for affirmative action on the theory that it was correcting current and real discrimination. One guy put his hand up, a white guy, and said, “I don’t think racism is so bad. At my frat they wanted to admit a black guy and one guy said he shouldn’t be admitted because he was black and I said that his skin color isn’t relevant.” I said this in response. “Do you hear what you are saying? Someone in your frat thought the fact a guy was black was reason enough to exclude him and believed other people would agree with him. Its great you didn’t feel that way, but that proves my point: racial discrimination isn’t dead yet.”

What I think that guy did was he confused how he felt about black people, with his assessment about how other people felt. He incorrectly assumed that everyone else felt like him.

Now, I think it is great that you don’t hate Bush, Palin and so on. Seriously, you are the ideal I wish I would see more often. But bluntly, I think you are confusing your relatively balanced reaction with the rest of the world.

You only have to look at Olberman’s clip on prejean where he sneers at her for seven minutes. He actually says she has a know-it-all-attitude. Olberman says that! Or there is the commenter who claimed she had a sex change, and on and on.

Ditto with palin. When you see them claim her child is actually her daughter's. they went as far as to find a picture of bristol, and claim that that was not a human degree of fat on her belly, but evidence of pregnancy. They did this to a teenager!

Oh, and people put out bouties on topless or scantily clad pictures of palin. hate. on and on.

And here is another example: michelle malkin. have you ever read her hate mail? over and over it is "asian woman = whore." it is actually racist and sexist. nothing seems to piss of a democrat like a beautiful republican.

But philosophically, the fact you don’t seem to see it probably speaks to the lack of hate in your heart, which is a good thing. But more people need to learn what you know, which is how to disagree without hate.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Some jokes are funny, some are not.

It's subjective.

There you have it, folks, in the troll's very own words.

Obama's little JOKE about bringing people up before the IRS for audits because they didn't give him some honorary degree, just isn't funny in my subjective view.

Wanda's little JOKE about wishing someone to die from kidney disease because he didn't kow tow to "Teh One" also isn't funny in my subjective view.

I also don't think the Three Stooges or Larry the Cable Guy are especially funny either.

Therefore, if I subjectively think a joke is not funny, is in poor taste or that the JOKE is in fact a veiled threat, you are wasting your time and not going to change anyone's mind by telling us it IS funny.

Larry J said...

President Obama "joking" about having someone audited is about as funny as Joseph Stalin "joking" about sending someone to the gulag.

Pogo said...

"dumb as a fucking stump"

Do stumps screw where you live?
Weird.

garage mahal said...

NOT funny :(

I'm calling another PC infraction on Obama to go along with the Thought Crime infraction from the correspondent dinner too. And for my money, who would know about what's funny and what's not funny than Glenn Reynolds?

Bruce Hayden said...

"Geeee, Bruce...do you REALLY think Obama was "threatening to abuse his power?"

Do you think he's dispatched a team of I.R. S. agents to ferret out any irregularities in the ASU President's tax returns?

Really, Bruce...do you?

And as to my list, I just thought the economy showing signs of recovery might be of more interest to those who continue to denigrate the President.
"

Yes, that is precisely what President Obama was jokingly threatening. And it is something that Nixon, and probably Clinton, actually did, or, probably more accurately, their people did. And, add to that, that he and his people have already, in just over 100 days, shown themselves willing to do somewhat similar things to get what they want.

Whether the economy is or is not recovering is irrelevant to whether or not the President was joking about abusing his power for personal ends. Rather, its only relevance here is that you wanted to change the subject to something that might make the President look better.

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny Queen said..."There you have it, folks, in the troll's very own words."

Being "subjective" means that "some jokes are funny, some are not" to different people, different tastes.

You can whine and bitch and cry all you want but the overwhelming response and critique of Obama's speech, including the "joke" you idiots just can't quite comprehend...was well received.

Thye fact that YOU personally don't think his joke was funny means nothing...you're a fucking wingnut and you don't think anything Obama does is good.

Jeremy said...

Bruce - "Yes, that is precisely what President Obama was jokingly threatening."

For a while there I thought maybe you were just playing around, but now I see that you're actually serious about Obama threatening the President of ASU.

Are you drunk, on drugs or just plain dense?

Jeremy said...

Larry J said..."President Obama "joking" about having someone audited is about as funny as Joseph Stalin "joking" about sending someone to the gulag."

YEAH!!!

It's exactly the SAME!!!

Except of course for anybody who actually has a brain.

This is nothing more than the standard wingnut crying and whining and bitching about the guy who cleaned your candidate's clocks and carries an overwhelming approval rating with Americans.

YOU lost...HE won.

elHombre said...

Jeremy, et al., wrote @ 4:20: "Obama's joke was funny and the audience reacted just as he thought they would, including the President of Notre Dame and others on the stage."

Well, Jeremy, we're pleased to see that by 5:50 you had caught on to the fact that everybody else posting here was writing about the speech at ASU, not Notre Dame.

Jolly good show. Carry on.

Let's see. You were calling somebody "dumb as a stump!"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Thye fact that YOU personally don't think his joke was funny means nothing

Gee. I guess that you don't understand the meaning of sujbectivity. Strange since you are the one who brought up the concept.

The fact YOU personally think it is funny or that you even think it is a joke also means nothing.

Jeremy said...

elHombre - Oh, please...

You're entire defense is that I inadvertently wrote Notre Dame instead of ASU...once?

You're just another chickenshit who can't mount a reasonable or believable defense of the whining and bitching.

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny - "Gee. I guess that you don't understand the meaning of sujbectivity. Strange since you are the one who brought up the concept. The fact YOU personally think it is funny or that you even think it is a joke also means nothing."

I never said anybody here should or should not think the joke was "funny."

My point from the very first is that it was a "joke" and not meant as an actual threat. I also said it was well received and the people who actually listened to the speech did in fact think it was funny.

What is it about that your tiny brain can't fathom?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My point from the very first is that it was a "joke" and not meant as an actual threat. I also said it was well received and the people who actually listened to the speech did in fact think it was funny.

This too is subjective. That is what YOU think. You think that your sujbective view of the world carries more merit than anyone else's. Many people with mental illness think this way.

Subjective....cool word.

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny - No. subjectivity has absolutely nothing to do with ehther or not it was what it was.

Subjectivity comes into play relating to whether it was a good joke, a bad joke, a funny joke or not a funny joke.

If YOu didn't think it was funny, that's your prerogative, but there's no argument, other than the wingnuts here.

IT-WAS-A-JOKE.

You are dense.

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny - "Subjective....cool word."

And if only you knew how to spell it on a consistent basis...

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny - Not to belabor a point, and I don't mean the one on top of your tiny head...but...here's the title of Ann's thread:

"May a President joke about the power of the presidency?"

Notice the word: "JOKE?"

AND...Glenn Reynolds: "Just a joke about the power of the presidency."

Once again: "JOKE."

No "subjectivity," no illusions of an actual threat...JOKE.

elHombre said...

Jeremy: Notre Dame is a quasi-Catholic University in South Bend, Indiana. ASU is a state university in Tempe, Arizona. Try to keep them straight.

BTW, an analysis of the comments here indicates that your approval rating is down to 4% and that 90% of the commenters think you are an odious troll.

Don't care? Well we don't think Oblahblah's approval ratings that you cite endlessly have much to do with sound argument either.

elHombre said...

"May a President joke about the power of the presidency?"

May the President's political opponents joke about his race? His wife? His children? His Muslim faith?

Notice the word "joke," Jeremy. You know a joke when you see one, right?

You know, "JOKE."

Jeremy said...

elHombre - It's difficult trying to understand the right wing drivel of an unemployed loser.

Once you get a job, then you can concern yourself with taxes and what Obama will or will not do.

And I notice, once again, you really have no defense of the blather from your fellow wingnuts, but I didn't expect any.

elHombre said...

Jeremy wrote: "Not to belabor a point ...."

Of course not, Jeremy. When have you been known to belabor a point??? LOL

Wow. You're also on to something with this serial posting!! Not.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Maybe President Obysmal should stick to 9/11 jokes. Then again, maybe this whole comedy schtick just isn't workin' for him.

Jeremy said...

elHombre said..."Notre Dame is a quasi-Catholic University..."

70-80% of the student body is Catholic you moron.

There's nothing "quasi" about it.

As to your query: "May the President's political opponents joke about his race? His wife? His children? His Muslim faith?"

Depending upon the context and audience, of course.

And he's not a Muslim asshole.

Jeremy said...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said..."Then again, maybe this whole comedy schtick just isn't workin' for him."

Actually it is.

Both audiences loved what he had to say and laughed at his jokes.

Maybe if you had actually taken the time to listen to your President...you'd know, and wouldn't sound like such a fool.

Jeremy said...

The JOKE called the GOP:

The decline and fall of the Republican Party in recent years has been so widespread that the party has lost support among nearly every major demographic subgroup of likely voters across the country, according to a new Gallup poll.

The party lost support among a broad swath of Americans, from conservative to liberal, low-income to high-income, married to unmarried, and elderly to young.

The only subgroup in which the party saw a slight increase in support from 2001 to 2009 was frequent churchgoers.

The biggest declines, of roughly 10 percent, occurred among the college-educated, 18 to 29-year-olds, and Midwestern voters.

Pogo said...

"And he's not a Muslim asshole."

What kind of asshole is he?

Jeremy said...

Pogo - Denigrating our President makes you look foolish.

It's unAmerican.

Jeremy said...

Kevin - I bet you voted for Bachmann.

Bruce Hayden said...

"For a while there I thought maybe you were just playing around, but now I see that you're actually serious about Obama threatening the President of ASU.

Are you drunk, on drugs or just plain dense?
"

I guess I could argue by ad hominem attacks too. We all know that it was a joke, and that means that he wasn't actually threatening the president of ASU.

The reason that the joke was bad is because he was threatening to abuse his power for personal gain, in a way that other presidents have done. The only thing that convinces us to trust someone with that much power is our trust that he won't do just that. Add to that that he has already given us multiple reasons to question whether he believes that the means justify the ends, and that anything he does to achieve those ends is justified - including destroying his political enemies, by fair means or foul.

I am not suggesting that he might misuse his power. He suggested that all by himself.

elHombre said...

"Unemployed loser?" "Once you get a job?"

Get a grip, Jeremy, et al! I haven't needed a job in years. It's called "early retirement." It's not a term with which you need to be familiar, since under BO, your main man, it will become a thing of the past -- but not for me. La-la-la-la-ah.

Also, if you think you have posted something here from which other commenters need to be defended, you are delusional as well as odious.

(Shame on you, Pogo. Exploiting Jeremy's educational shortcomings. ROTFL)

Pogo said...

"Denigrating our President makes you look foolish.Then don't call him an asshole anymore, eh?

It might get you audited.

holdfast said...

"Personally I don't know either of these people and certainly don't "hate" either of them, nor do I "hate" George W. Bush.

I just think all three are basically wrong about things that I believe."

But, but, Carrie Prejean and Barrack Hussein Obama have exactly the same stance on gay marriage - only Obama talks pretty while Prejean looks pretty. Surely you don't mean that BHO is lying to us rubes? Or maybe lying to his bruthas, since the whole gay rights agenda does not go down so well in Rev Wright's First Church of Hate?

I guess the moral is that Perez Hilton asks tougher questions than David Gregory, Helen Thomas and the rest of the WH press corps / cheerleader squad.

elHombre said...

Jeremy, et al, wrote: "70-80% of the student body [at Notre Dame] is Catholic you moron. There's nothing "quasi" about it."

Ah, so the school officials, students and Obama didn't really ignore Church policy and doctrine by affording him a platform to air his pro-abortion views, they just overruled traditional Church authorities.

Obviously, I was just out of the loop on that. Me and the Bishops.

Oh well. He's making policy for Chrysler and Gen Motors, why not the Catholic Church too?

Jeremy said...

Bruce - "
The reason that the joke was bad is because he was threatening to abuse his power for personal gain, in a way that other presidents have done."

That is YOUR purely partisan opinion, Bruce.

I haven't heard any complaints from ASU or the President of ASU.

Have YOU??

Jeremy said...

elHombre - Fuck you and the Bishops.

Notice how we never heard anything from the POPE?

You're the idiot who called Notre Dame a "quasi-Catholic University."

Even for someone as dumb as yourself, THAT is really hard to believe.

Notre Dame...quasi-Catholic.

Duh.

Jeremy said...

holdfast - What does Obama have to do with the beauty queen's opinions about anything?

Did he criticize here and we haven't heard about it?

And what any of that have to do with the joke at ASU??

Are you drunk?

Pogo said...

I haven't heard any complaints from ASU or the President of ASU.'

Best be silent, and avoid the audit.

And as for dumb stumps, I recall The Giving Tree had a pretty wise stump that never copulated.

Or are only bump-n-grinding stumps dumb?

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said...

Kevin/Pogo - Once again: Denigrating our President makes you look foolish.

Why can't you ever post a comment or opinion that is relevant to the topic?

All you ever do is post silly and childish bullshit.

I understand you don't agree with me or what I believe...but why would you possibly think I care?

I don't think you're very smart.

elHombre said...

Very erudite, Jeremy.

I'm stricken. And chastened. And ... har, har, har ...

Jeremy said...

Kevin - Take an English course and get back to me.

Pogo said...

Res ipsa loquitur.

Jeremy said...

elHombre - You're not chastened, you're just plain dumb.

Notre Dame...a "quasi-Catholic University."

Hard to believe...

Jeremy said...

Kevin - I always speak for myself.

Pogo said...

You mean except when you let other people post under your name, right?

And except when you change your name (Lucky, Michael), or post under someone else's blogger name, right?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Subjectivity comes into play relating to whether it was a good joke, a bad joke, a funny joke or not a funny joke.

Subjectivity also comes into play in whether I, subjectively based on various jokes that I have heard and told over the years, consider it a JOKE at all.


As you so astutely brought up, it is subjective. There is no right or wrong answer. I don't think it was a JOKE, possibly a veiled threat. I also might consider that it was a joke but according to my subjective internal judgement..it wasn't even funny.

Anyone remember Don Rickles? He made a lot of JOKES that were not funny, were mean and made people uncomfortable. Of course if you are the type of person who finds insults and intimidation funny.....well...I guess that is subjective. To each his own.

Subjective....such a utilitarian word.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And he's not a Muslim asshole.

I think that denying that Obama is Muslim asshole is a bit beyond the pale. Perhaps a comma would have been useful there?

Jeremy said...

Reading the delusional comments from the usual right wing morons here exemplify why this is happening:

GOP Losing Support With Nearly Every Demographic Group

The decline and fall of the Republican Party in recent years has been so widespread that the party has lost support among nearly every major demographic subgroup of likely voters across the country, according to a new Gallup poll.

The party lost support among a broad swath of Americans, from conservative to liberal, low-income to high-income, married to unmarried, and elderly to young.

Pogo said...

Comma comma comma
comma chameleon

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny Queen said..."I think that denying that Obama is Muslim asshole is a bit beyond the pale. Perhaps a comma would have been useful there?"

I love it when the ONLY defense offered up via fools like yourself, is a typo or punctuation error.

And you wonder why the GOP is in free fall?

Jeremy said...

Pogo - A missing comma is your primary defense?

You're like a little kid arguing with an adult.

Duh.

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny - I get it.

YOU don't think it was a funny JOKE.

Why would anyone care?

Jeremy said...

Do any of you morons ever wonder why you represent the 35% of America that do not approve of President Obama?

Here's a hint: You're not very bright.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Jeremy troll says: I love it when the ONLY defense offered up via fools like yourself, is a typo or punctuation error
....And in a previous installment.

Jeremy troll also said: at 6:45 regarding my typo

"Dust Bunny - "Subjective....cool word."

And if only you knew how to spell it on a consistent basis...

Back'atcha Butthole. :-P

Do you ever recognize the inconsistencies in your logic? You must have short term memory loss to not remember what you typed/spewed just a short time ago.

holdfast said...

"holdfast - What does Obama have to do with the beauty queen's opinions about anything? Did he criticize here and we haven't heard about it?"

Jeebus - I'd call you a halfwit, but it would be an insult to all real halfwits. YOU said you did not care for Ms. Prejean's opinions. Since the opinion for which she has been taken to task is her view on gay marriage, I thought it useful to point out that your sainted TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States) has the exact same stated position on the issue. Sure, we both know he's lying, but his stated position is that marriage is a one-man-one-woman deallio.

As to my state of inebriation - sadly, no, I am recovering from a nasty cold and am stone cold sober, though I don't know why this matters. Drunk, sober, high or stoned, I could argue rings around your stupid trollish self with one cranial hemisphere tied behind my back. Which is really to bad (for you), since by the frequency of your posts I can only conclude that you live in your mom's basement and that your primary employment is trolling away in some Soros-funded commenter sweatshop, posting liberal "responses" on this and various other blogs under a variety of handles.

"And he's not a Muslim asshole."

Perhaps a Muslim pussy then?

Oh, hey - it's a JOKE. You can't be offended, I was just joking. Oh, and I hope that you get colon cancer and have to shit in a bag for the rest of your basement-dwelling days - HAH! another joke. Damn, I'm so funny I could take Wanda Sykes' job.

Oh, hey - party affiliation is now tied for the first time in five years!

http://www.gallup.com/poll/15370/Party-Affiliation.aspx

Jeremy said...

holdfast - "YOU said you did not care for Ms. Prejean's opinions."

I don't agree with her opinion, but I don't recall making such a statement.

Based on the rest of your silly comment, I think I'll pass on trying to make heads or tails of what you're trying to say.

holdfast said...

Jeremy said... at 4:24 "I just think all three are basically wrong about things that I believe."

If Prejean is not wrong about gay marriage, then, pray tell, what is it that she is wrong about?

"Based on the rest of your silly comment, I think I'll pass on trying to make heads or tails of what you're trying to say."

That would be a well-crafted reply and insult, all rolled into one - clearly beyond your meager abilities since, unlike you, I do not have to rely on the F word to make a point. Slink home now little troll, you're done.

Jeremy said...

The Republican Shrinkage Problem

The new Washington Post/ABC news poll has all sorts of intriguing numbers in it but when you are looking for clues as to where the two parties stand politically there is only one number to remember: 21.

That's the percent of people in the Post/ABC survey who identified themselves as Republicans, down from 25 percent in a late March poll and at the lowest ebb in this poll since the fall of 1983(!).

In that same poll, 35 percent self-identified as Democrats and 38 percent called them Independents.

former law student said...

“No allegation of physical or mental abuse of Palin's sister was ever made.”

Actually, I understood that there were indeed allegations of physical *and* mental abuse.

Dig 'em up; provide citations.

Jeremy said...

forum.hannity

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll revealed today that only 21% of Americans consider themselves Republicans;
a New York Times poll is out today as well, and puts the number even lower: 20%.
Both numbers are at the lowest level they've been in decades.

Jeremy said...

FLS - "Dig 'em up; provide citations."

GFL

elHombre said...

Well, I have to admit I don't count myself among you and these oh-so-bright Obama admirers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkjcZhSyFwc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQIqrqUNXuM&annotation_id=annotation_525676&feature=iv

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny - Wasn't my response directly related to your previous snarky comment:

Dust Bunny - "Subjective....cool word."

If you're going to make fun of the word you should be able to spell it.

Dust Bunny - "Gee. I guess that you don't understand the meaning of sujbectivity."

You're an uneducated wingnut.

Jeremy said...

elHombre said..."Well, I have to admit I don't count myself among you and these oh-so-bright..."

No kidding...

Frodo Potter said...

former law student, I'll get back to you on the allegations of abuse. In the meantime, does that mean you concede the rest of my points?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Jeremy 9:05I love it when the ONLY defense offered up via fools like yourself, is a typo or punctuation error.

Wow! /sarcasm alert!!

Jeremy 10:06 says without a single shred of self awareness

"If you're going to make fun of the word you should be able to spell it.

Dust Bunny - "Gee. I guess that you don't understand the meaning of sujbectivity."


Wherein: Dust Bunny made a typographical error that only fools like michaelson would use as a first line defense.

Hmmm.... fools, typos, punctuation errors as the last refuge of the logically challenged. Sound a bit familiar Jerioldson?

I hope your Mommy brings you some Cheezy Poofs soon. It must be very very lonesome in your basement.

With that....I'm going to go to bed.

You are a sad sad pitiful person. Of course that is just my subjective view. Your Mommy probably has a different take on it.

Nighty nite.

elHombre said...

DBQ to Jeremy: "I hope your Mommy brings you some Cheezy Poofs soon."

Wait a minute. He has a mommy? I thought it was establish at 5:09 that he was the progeny of dumb humping stumps. (Or did I just infer that from his familiarity with humping stumps?)

And why does he keep talking about Republicans? Who's a Republican?

New votes in from some previously impartial independents drive Jeremy's odious troll rating up to 93% and his approval rating down to 3%.

The reasons given are that he assumed they were Republicans, he is unfamiliar with the prefix "quasi," and he thinks retired people are "unemployed losers." (There was some mention of "dumb hump stump," but I struck that as familial discrimination -- probably some pissed off Republican.)

Larry J said...

It's exactly the SAME!!!

Except of course for anybody who actually has a brain.

This is nothing more than the standard wingnut crying and whining and bitching about the guy who cleaned your candidate's clocks and carries an overwhelming approval rating with Americans.
I take it you've never been audited. Given the stupidity of your response, it could well be because you've never had a job. Anyone stupid enough to equate popularity with correctness deserves to be unemployed.

YOU lost...HE won.With every one of his new policies, it's becoming more clear that Obama won but we're all losing. Perhaps one day you'll be smart enough to realize that.

Frodo Potter said...

former law student said “Dig 'em up; provide citations.”

former law student, after a short search on Google, I turned up something from the September 9, 2008 Newsweek.com. Sarah and Todd Palin made “allegations that Wooten had threatened members of her family, including her father, with violence.” Later, in the article, it mentions a “domestic-violence protection order” and the allegations of tasering. These allegations were also repeated in TPM, and quoted in jackandjillpolitics.com. Sorry, that’s about all the research I am willing to do for you.

Keep in mind, FLS, I am not arguing these allegations are true, only that there WERE allegations.

Again, I am no fan of Palin. But Mike Wooten sounds like a piece of work. This guy is not “Officer Friendly.”

Aaron said...

Former law student…

Um, don’t you think the fact that two of us have said it indicates we aren’t just making it up.

But again, you don’t even deny that he threatened to murder Palin’s father. Um, isn’t that enough?

You don’t even try to argue about that because you can’t even refute it, nor can you plausibly say that if he was threatening the life of her father, that she did exactly the right thing. And let’s not forget that Alaska is the only state in the union that I know of where men outnumber women. Has it occurred to you that maybe they don’t take domestic violence seriously enough?

All of which is not saying one side is right or wrong. I am merely pointing out that there are enough disputed facts out there, that we can’t know who is right. For all I know, Wooten was the innocent victim of a vindictive b---- of a governor. But for all you know, this cop was beating her sister, tasering her nephew, threatening to murder her father, and the entire system was failing to stop this guy, and Palin acted properly. And to pretend you know the answer to that question with such clarity that you can cite it as a clear abuse of power is sillier than Obama’s joke about audits.

Aaron said...

By the way, a little more on “Officer friendly.”

http://www.adn.com/politics/story/476430.html

Some “highlights”:

“has been married and divorced four times.”

"The record clearly indicates a serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable and at times, illegal activity occurring over a lengthy period, which establishes a course of conduct totally at odds with the ethics of our profession," Col. Julia Grimes, then head of Alaska State Troopers, wrote in March 1, 2006, letter suspending Wooten for 10 days. After the union protested it, the suspension was reduced to five days.

* Wooten used a Taser on his stepson.
* He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion.
* He told others his father-in-law would "eat a f'ing lead bullet" if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce.

a reprimand in January 2004 for negligent damage to a state vehicle; a January 2005 instruction after being accused of speeding, unsafe lane changes, following too closely and not using turn signals in his state vehicle; a June 2005 instruction regarding personal cell phone calls; an October 2005 suspension from work after getting a speeding ticket; and a November 2005 memo "to clarify duty hours, tardiness and personal business during duty time."

a domestic violence protective order McCann [Palin’s sister] had obtained against Wooten on April 11, 2005.

“a concerned neighbor of the couple called troopers with more accusations, including alcohol abuse, based on what Heath and McCann had relayed to him.”

"Extreme verbal abuse & violent threats & physical intimidation," McCann wrote in her April 11, 2005, petition to the court. He had driven drunk multiple times, threatened her father, told her to "put a leash on your sister and family or I'm going to bring them down," her petition says. A judge issued a 20-day protective order to keep Wooten away.

“told Wooten to give up his department-issued guns, badge, credentials and vehicle during his off-duty time,”

Wooten was at the Mug-Shot Saloon with a friend. Wooten got into it with another man, whom he thought was causing trouble for his friend. Wooten's friend had to hold him back, and the bartender held back the other man, the bartender told troopers. Wooten told the bartender he needed to eject the other man, the bartender said. The bartender thought Wooten was out of line. "Then he whipped out his badge and said 'Lemmie let me introduce myself. I'm State Trooper Wooten," the bartender said, according to a transcript of his interview.

[Her sister] called Palin and put the phone on speaker so Palin could listen when Wooten got there and get help if things got bad. Palin had her teenage son Track listen in, too. As McCann remembered it, Wooten said if their father got a lawyer for her "he would eat a f'ing lead bullet. I will shoot him." [A.W.: Got that, three witnesses, including the governor herself, against Wooten’s word.]

[a little commentary with this quote]

And to be fair, maybe he didn’t actually physically abuse her. The article also says that Wooten “had not physically assaulted his wife but intimidated her and threatened to shoot him, Heath told troopers, according to a memo about the complaint.” I bluntly took the reports of a domestic violence restraining order against him as that.

[end of quotes]

But um, seriously, do you think a five day suspension is enough for a guy who threatened to murder the governor’s father?

I think if you can read all of that with your partisan blinders off, you wonder, “what the hell is he doing as a trooper?” I work as corporate counsel for a company. If any of our employees threatened anyone, they would be gone. If they threatened a relative of our corporate president, doubly so.

former law student said...

If Wooten had abused Palin's sister I wouldn't take his side in any way. But as far as I could find out, yelling at his ex-FIL was the only thing that could be construed to be abuse.

But the domestic violence protection order changes things. Judges do not just give them out for the fun of it. His ex must have had credible evidence of abuse.

I brought Sarah Palin into the discussion to explore the limits of partisanship. To an unbiased person, someone who has actually used the power of his office to punish his personal enemies is worse than someone who merely jokes about it. To an anti-Obamist, however, the joke is the more heinous crime. In fact, I got to witness the spectacle of anti-Obamists justifying the abuse of power on the grounds that the politician's adversary deserved it.

Here, Palin's charges against Wooten had been fully and fairly investigated and ruled upon. Wooten served his punishment. But Palin didn't like the results of the internal State Police disciplinary process as it was applied to Wooten. So she used the power of her office to try to get Wooten fired.

What didn't she do?
1. She didn't appeal the decision.
2. She didn't argue there must be systematic error in the disciplinary system. Apparently, then, all was well except for the result in Wooten's case.

When people believe that abusing power is OK if you have a sympathetic reason, I don't know what to say.

Aaron said...

Right, who should Palin believe about threats to her father? The police disciplinary board? Or her lying ears?

*rolls eyes*

Here’s a few other treasures from your response.

> I brought Sarah Palin into the discussion to explore the limits of partisanship.

And thus utterly demonstrated your own, which will become obvious as we go on.

> To an anti-Obamist, however, the joke is the more heinous crime.

Um, to whom are you referring? Frodo is not anti-obama. And I said more or less what obama did is not a very big deal, but shouldn’t have been done. That’s not exactly a vicious assault. And there is a more fundamental difference. We know all of the facts on the joke. You can’t pretend to know all of the facts in Palin v. Wooten.

> In fact, I got to witness the spectacle of anti-Obamists justifying the abuse of power on the grounds that the politician's adversary deserved it.

Um, if trooper wooten “deserved it,” its tautologically true that it is not an abuse of power.

> Here, Palin's charges against Wooten had been fully and fairly investigated and ruled upon.

Right. Because when the cops rule on the behavior of other cops, they never protect their own. And when the union demands that the punishment be cut in half, that is equal fairness. /sarcasm I mean, sheesh bub how credulous can you be? Paris Hilton faced more punishment than this cop.

> So she used the power of her office to try to get Wooten fired.

Actually THAT CHARGE was “fully and fairly investigated and ruled upon” and she was cleared, to borrow your silly words. Funny how you defer to “authorities” when it is convenient to you. But I guess I am the partisan one, here.

But let me concede for the sake of argument that she did in fact try to get the man fired, because bluntly if I was in that position, that’s exactly what I would do. But I find it mystifying that you excuse serious accusations of abuse of power by a police officer, but then turn around and in the same breath claim it is an abuse of power by a governor to try and fire that police officer because she personally heard him threaten to murder her father, in contravention of her sister’s God-given right to obtain counsel, and then amazingly call those of us who defend Palin’s decision or at least say she wasn’t clearly wrong, “partisan.”

You may imagine you are evenhanded, but the facts say otherwise.

Frodo Potter said...

Aaron, well done sir! Thank you.