February 4, 2010

Rush Limbaugh is "just saying"... what?

From yesterday's show:
State-Controlled AP: "Obama Backs Down After Anti-Vegas Remarks." By the way, I'm just saying, just a little side note here, but gambling is forbidden in the Koran. Just a little aside. Just saying. President Barack Obama known for having a way with words but some lawmakers from Nevada wish he would pipe down about trips to the city after sparking a firestorm of criticism from Nevada's elected officials for suggesting that people saving money for college shouldn't blow it in Vegas. Obama told US Senate majority leader Dingy Harry in a letter he wasn't saying anything negative about Las Vegas. I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not college tuition money to have fun. And no place better to have fun than Vegas, one of our country's great destinations. Obama says he always enjoys his visits to Vegas. He's going out there this month or later this month. White House spokesman referred to Obama's letter to Reid, said the administration had no further comment. And again the Koran prohibits -- gambling is forbidden in the Koran, I'm just saying.
Now, I listen to the show enough to know this is the sort of thing Rush would — especially if challenged — call a "media tweak" — perhaps even his "Media Tweak of the Day" (though there was some big competition in yesterday's show):
You know, what we do here on this program is, purposely, play the media like violin, like a Stradivarius. And I love tweaking them.  I love irritating them, and I love upsetting them and all you do is take words uttered by liberals and apply them to current events.  It was Harry Reid who looked at Obama and said he's a "light-skinned" guy that "doesn't speak in a Negro dialect."...
Before I said all of this I made a prediction, because this was my Media Tweak of the Day -- and it's getting too easy.  I mean, you're illustrating how easy it is to outrage these people.  I enjoy it.  This is a great success.  When people start squealing like pigs is when I know I've hit a home run.  This is what I said yesterday...
The people that listen to this program laugh and chuckle every day at this stuff, because we're just needling the media. They talk about me all the time and I can create it any time I want.  It's made you mad, and you believe things they take out of context that don't completely say what I fully said, and you get mad.
That gambling/Koran remark — used twice — was clearly designed to stoke the notion that Obama is a Muslim. And obviously, Rush never said that, so there's really nothing to deny. He can say he's "just" throwing something out there to bait his haters in the media, who will rip his remarks from context. But he really is responsible for stirring things up. He knows — and must intend — that his remarks will fuel the Obama-is-a-Muslim theory.

And his repeated use of the inane non-qualifier "just sayin'" makes me... makes me want to show you that time Jon Stewart did that "Just Sayin'" routine, which — like Rush — took a shot at mainstream media:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
CNN's Just Sayin'
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

By the way, the competition for yesterday's "Media Tweak of the Day" was the Rahm Emanuel monologue, a tweak that peaked with:
Normally if you call somebody a retard, you apologize to them for calling them a retard.  But he has apologized to the retarded people for daring to lump them with Democrats.  It's hilarious.  So in an effort, ladies and gentlemen, to quell rising questions about the endless apologies necessary from Democrats, Obama is taking a short bus, little yellow bus full of "retards" -- "F-ing retards" -- to Las Vegas for the weekend.  Senator Harry Reid expressed appreciation for the gesture and hoped that none of the "F-ing retards" spoke with a Negro dialect.  Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, will also be with the delegation in Las Vegas, bringing some undereducated children from Katrina-ravaged New Orleans.  The goal is to teach them not to gamble with their college fund.  I mean that's what we have learned from what is happening with this administration.  If this were Republicans making these statements, there wouldn't be any forgiveness.  There would be calls for resignation.  There would be calls for public humiliation.  There would be calls for fines.  
He later took a call from a woman who complained about the use of the term "retarded," and his explanation went like this:
But the point I was making was that Emanuel compares Democrats to retarded people and then apologized to the retarded people, which, in turn is not a complimentary thing to say about the Democrats, either.  It's sort of like if I would compare Obama to a rat and somebody said, "Don't do that, you're insulting rats."  This is the same thing.  Rahm Emanuel is comparing Democrats to retarded people.  People say, "Don't insult retarded people that way."  That's my take on it....
Now, if you read the whole thing — and especially if you listen to the whole thing — you can tell that Rush is taking devilish delight in saying "retard" and "retarded" over and over again. He was a bit undone by the female caller, who — like Sarah Palin — has "a son with developmental disabilities." He tried to cover it up with bluster, but I think I could tell that he knew he'd gone too far, had too much fun in a way that really did hurt people like her.

UPDATE: Did Sarah Palin understand Limbaugh's game?
I asked Palin spokesperson Meghan Stapleton for comment on Rush’s rant, and she emailed me this:

“Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful.”
That's too generic to answer the question, and I don't accept the title of the blog post I'm linking to: "Palin Camp Rips Limbaugh, Hits His 'Retard' Comment As 'Crude And Demeaning.'"

Meanwhile, Limbaugh crowed about the media taking his bait... and claims Sarah Palin as a fan:
[O]ne of the years I'm out at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic a guy comes up to me and says, "My daughter is a huge fan, would you sign a book for me?" and it was a copy of my book and it was to Sarah Palin, long before she was governor of Alaska.  I've had a couple chats with her... So they're trying to goad her into denouncing me like they did Emanuel, but she knows that all I'm doing is quoting Emanuel and highlighting that it's these people who say this kind of stuff.  
She knows? Somebody tell her spokeswoman.

106 comments:

Scott said...

Rush says shit just to piss people off. Which gets him a big audience. Which enables him to charge a lot of money for advertising.

I'm just sayin'.

XWL said...

I don't think Rahm will make the same mistake in the future, they had an Oval Office meeting on the subject, and everything.

PWS said...

Amen Scott; you beat me to it; Rush is all about the $$$$. Except he's not saying things to piss people off; he's saying things so his listeners will keep coming back. No reason people who don't like him should get worked up.

Let him speak! I don't listen and don't really care what he says. His listeners are the suckers if they don't understand how they're being manipulated.

The Crack Emcee said...

Please. This is PC bullshit. Retarded is a fucking word. Since when can't we use the english language? Says who?

And BTW, Rahm did the right thing by apologizing after comparing them to Democrats.

traditionalguy said...

El Rushbo over shoots off his mouth all the time. He includes vulgar words when making friendly points. So what should we do to him, other than to confront him about unnecessary misuse of words? It is his show.

Montagne Montaigne said...

He knows — and must intend — that his remarks will fuel the Obama-is-a-Muslim theory.

How would Limbaugh simply saying something "fuel" the "Obama-is-a-Muslim theory"? In order to fuel it, wouldn't he have to do more than simply state that he thinks Obama is a Muslim? Wouldn't he at least have to point to some new evidence (even if false) or something that would add weight to his plain assertion?

Oh wait, I forgot.

The people who listen to Limbaugh are retards.

traditionalguy said...

And Barak Hussein Obama has a Moslem heritage. So what. Being a Moslem is not illegal. He can just recuse himself on Israel/Palestinian issues. He probably mis-remembered the Las Vegas slogan that says, "Whatever money happens in Vegas stays in Vegas".

Original Mike said...

re: by the way, Instapundit pointed out this Obama quote yesterday:

“We’ve got to make sure that our party understands that, like it or not, we have to have a financial system that is healthy and functioning, so we can’t be demonizing every bank out there,” Obama said.

Like it or not.

Skyler said...

I'm with Crack. It's not the word that is wrong. It's the insult that is wrong.

I think this emphasis on outlawing words is going to backfire.

In fact, I think it's retarded.

And everyone knows that it doesn't matter if B. Hussein is a muslim. It's that he'sa marxist that matters. Sure, he may not be a muslim, just because his father and step father were muslims, he was raised as a muslim in his early years and he attended a church in Chicago that was ministered by a former muslim clergyman. Or that he kow towed to the king of Saudi Arabia (or whoever it was). Being a muslim is not against the law and people are free to be muslim. It's irrelevent whether he is or isn't, and frankly none of our business.

But he is a marxist, and that IS our business.

Tim Wright said...

It is Rush's show, but his delight in being "Peck's bad boy" (there's an ancient phrase) really hurt the conservative candidate in the NY23 special election. I live there, and a lot of people were turned off by Rush's comments on Dede, the liberal GOP candidate. There really are times when Rush being an entertainer gets in the way. As much as I like him. Sometimes. Hey, I'm just sayin'.....

Tim W.

alwaysfiredup said...

I consider the dispute to be equivalent to calling people "faggot" for reasons unrelated to the actual gender of their SO. Some people get very offended, it's not really appropriate, it still happens a lot, and high-ranking government officials probably shouldn't say it in public. Was this "public" and is it any worse than LBJ's swearing? Who knows? It's just a distraction. But I would say Palin's Facebook ninja throwing stars (h/t Hillbuzz) sure seemed to hit a target there.

Chris said...

He's a great humanitarian, he's a great philanthropist,
He knows just where to touch you, honey, and how you like to be kissed.
He'll put both his arms around you,
You can feel the tender touch of the beast.
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Paul said...

I think Obama, to be fair, should also tell people to stop blowing their money at those Indian casinos.

bagoh20 said...

Before the recent development of public people of all kinds not being able to control their mouths in public this was not a problem. Then add to that the new PC sensitivity that makes everybody feel like they must own their very own insult to get pissed about, and we have this daily circus.

Regardless, any word should be able to be talked about in private or totally self selecting groups like a blog or private meeting. Public radio waves, like TV are too commonly shared to be considered entirely self selecting. Rush has no idea who is listening and he should be more careful. The fact that it riles up the media is no excuse. I think he could use the word when talking about this, but respectfully, not as he did. It's just uncouth, and that should be enough.

Synova said...

What was it with the remarks about Las Vegas? Obama hauled out that example, what, two different times?

I don't know if Limbaugh was trying to get at this or not, but presumably there was something about Las Vegas that made it an acceptable scapegoat. (Doctor's amputating for profit and banks not quite making the cut anymore.)

And if what makes Las Vegas an acceptable scapegoat is not the sin of gambling and prostitution, then what? Neither thing is acceptable to Christian doctrine either and efforts to keep lotteries out or forbid legalizing gambling are generally backed by Christians (who pretty much failed to stop it, but that's who was trying.) Is it at all possible that Rush was pushing people to think about this, about what was "wrong" with Las Vegas, by putting the Koran remark out there?

Obama said he wasn't saying anything negative about Las Vegas, but can anyone imagine him substituting that other popular vacation destination - Hawaii?

Republican said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mariner said...

Rush says things to rile up LEFTISTS, not just media jerk-offs.







(I should be safe -- who's going to say, "Hey! I jerk off and I'm offended!)

Chris said...

People can say the worst about Vegas and I will cheer them. It's passing laws that gets me worked up.

Republican said...

Rush was 99 percent responsible for costing Jim Talent his seat in Missouri, v. Claire McCaskill (not Carnahan as I previously wrote).

over the Michael J. Fox stem cell support/commercial.

Rush does take it too far sometimes, and does turn people off, when being an entertainer goes just a little over the line.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Tweaking is one thing, but you have to have good judgment about how you do it.

Rush doesn't do it about things he believes in and cares deeply about. I think that says it all.

I think we all know one of those people who push you, and then when you get mad, they say, "What, can't a joke?" I think it's better not to be one of those people.

madawaskan said...

Well, what's the choice when Obama repeatedly does this?

Oscar Goodman-the Mayor of Las Vegas-who has "disenrolled"* from the Democrat party has gone so far as to say-

President Obama is no-longer welcome here. [Las Vegas]

Obama has done this twice-

Now what's the choice either Obama is, as Rahm Emanuel calls them ,"a democrat activist" or-

he wants Harry Reid out of office.

Which is it?

madawaskan said...

btw-"disenrolled" is the term being used for Oscar Goodman dropping out of the Democrat party-weird.

Quayle said...

I saw Rush's comment as showing how Obama can't ever seem to not offend some group.

If he tries to not offend Las Vegas, he ends up saying things that Muslims would disagree with.

It is a perfect highlight of the absurdity of liberals and Democrats thinking they can appeal to the Muslim world and look rational and reasonable to them.

The Muslim world, by a huge majority, totally and absolutely rejects American-left and Democrat Party social policy.

So how reasonable could Obama ever look to them? Even when he cowtows, they think he is fundamentally evil.

Quayle said...

I saw Rush's comment as showing how Obama can't ever seem to not offend some group.

If he tries to not offend Las Vegas, he ends up saying things that Muslims would disagree with.

It is a perfect highlight of the absurdity of liberals and Democrats thinking they can appeal to the Muslim world and look rational and reasonable to them.

The Muslim world, by a huge majority, totally and absolutely rejects American-left and Democrat Party social policy.

So how reasonable could Obama ever look to them? Even when he cowtows, they think he is fundamentally evil.

Synova said...

What I wrote sounds like I'm suggesting that Limbaugh was saying, himself, that there was something wrong with Las Vegas.

I meant that he might have been trying to get people to think about why Obama decided to single out and scapegoat Las Vegas... which has probably got nothing at all to do with any supposed Muslim upbringing, at least not any more directly than "this is bad, people will agree it is bad, so I can make them out to be bad."

It seems to me that Obama is running out of acceptable targets, and he's not going to even be allowed to insult the motivations of those who profit from gambling and prostitution or are employed in unrelated industry and profession in a town that depends on that economic draw.

Lem said...

What I heard Rush do there was connect.. what to an amateur appeared to be random dots..

Brilliant ;)

BTW Obama still has not chosen a church since he came to the WH.

Could it be because he promised alah that if he won he would not go back to a Christian church again?

Just saying.

rhhardin said...

Rush gets unlistenable on

1. Morality kicks. Abortion, decline in social values. Lasts a couple of weeks.

2. Economics. He gets the right policy recommendation but can't explain it correctly, so has to bluster over callers who want to debate the policy recommendation.

3. New, mischievous use of taboo words. This has to be understood as his love of pranks, but is tedious in its modern form.

He ought to have stood up for Rahm in the first place.

(3 may be a result of trying to add a topic beyond the latest Obama outrage day in and day out)

rhhardin said...

One of the broadcasting success formulas is morning zoo, where the guys gang up and embarrass the girl.

Rush did that to Dawn (his unseen and unheard liberal transcriptionist) today.

I think the formula is the force that brought it up.

Meade said...

"He ought to have stood up for Rahm in the first place."

Ditto

wv (I kid you not): trigh

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

He ought to have stood up for Rahm in the first place.

Dems never show that kind of deference. they are always on offence.

somefeller said...

So Rush is a chickenshit who won't say what he means straight up, and instead relies on plausible deniability. No surprise.

rcocean said...

Tim Wright:

Yeah, its amazing how powerful media types. When Brown won in Massachusetts I cant' tell you how many people came up and said, "I voted Brown 'cause of Rush". I'm just sayin'.

somefeller said...

By the way Althouse, I'm curious, what do you think of Rush's comments in which he implies (again, always a chickenshit hedge he can hide behind) that Obama's professors at Harvard Law School wrote his law review papers for him and gave him higher grades than he deserved. (Which would be an interesting trick at a place like Harvard Law School, which is very grades-conscious and has blind grading.)

Given your experience as a law professor, I'd like to read your thoughts. Serious question, this isn't a "you, a law professor!" comment.

ricpic said...

Retarded is a descriptive word. It is not pejorative. And even when it is used as a pejorative - Mundane's "The people who listen to Limbaugh are retards." - so what? We who appreciate Limbaugh know a schmuck has just confirmed that he, Mundane, is a schmuck. Schmuck being a descriptive word in this particular case.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Rush gets to something he might not have intended to:

Obama doesn't appreciate the great heritage of American sin. We like to kill animals and eat them. We like to drink. We like to go to Vegas and gamble. We like to smoke pot and sometimes even take a few extra recreational OxyContins. We like to go across the border to TJ and watch the triple-lesbian whip cream show in awe, and then head up to the hotel with a hot barely-legal Mexican whoregirl.

OK, maybe the last part is a little much, but still...

Obama is detached from this tradition of American sin. He's more like a Muslim, clean and by-the-book. He seems less human, and less American, because of it.

cryptical said...

Somefeller: That's obviously not true, I thought it was established that Obama wrote no law review papers during his tenure as president.

Kind of kept with the pattern of no paper trail...

AllenS said...

To be a great communicator, you need to possess that personal knowledge of when to use tact.

That's the ability to tell someone to go to hell, and have them actually look forward to going on the trip.

John said...

Somefeller said:

"that Obama's professors at Harvard Law School wrote his law review papers for him"

Quite right, his profs didn't write any law review articles for him. We know this for a fact because he published NO law review articles. There is one unsigned article that may (or may not) have been by Obama.

I've always wondered how one gets to be editor of a law review without ever having published anything.

Any of you lawyers or law profs want to comment? Is this a common thing?

John Henry

mccullough said...

I'm with Althouse here. There is a bit of a thrill in being provocative, especially when you have the cover to say I was trying to make the opposite point.

Quentin Tarantino's movies use the word nigger pretty freely. While Quentin is probably not a racist and he can claim it's just a movie and he's trying to be authentic, no doubt part of him gets a bit of a thrill throwing these words.

somefeller said...

Cryptical - nicely played if true, but it appears he did write an article
and even if it were true, it would still show that Rush was talking out of his backside on that point. However, it doesn't address Rush's claims that professors would change his grades for him, which is obvious nonsense and is just another example of his opponents trying to trivialize his academic accomplishments, accomplishments that most of them couldn't even approach.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@mccullough- Tisk. Tisk. Tisk. Look out for the Queen's Stamp of Doom.

Lem said...

mccullough said... Althouse doesn't want the n word to be used spelled out like that. Change it b4 she deletes it.

Ralph L said...

He ought to have stood up for Rahm in the first place.

Now, don't make fun of the altitude-challenged Rahm E.

reader_iam said...

Sarah Palin appears not to be convinced by Limbaugh's explanation, if this report is correct..

wv: roodd

Blogger! You sly dog!

madawaskan said...

I bet Rahm could give a finger about all of this....

oh wait....

Michael said...

Somehow I think that a man who writes two autobiographies before he is fifty is a man who would have all of his law school and college papers in nice neat little plastic thingies.

Lem said...

It hardly has the passion of her (Palin) response to Rahm, and there’s no call for him (Rush) to step down.

Step down from what?
Rush is not on the public trough!

peter hoh said...

My Methodist pastor friend tells me that the wrongness of gambling is the only thing conservative Methodists and liberal Methodists can agree on.

Muslim and Methodist both begin with M.

Just sayin'.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Obama doesn't appreciate the great heritage of American sin. ...We like to smoke pot...

I'm just saying.

madawaskan said...

Obama has the Feds paying -

$15 billion-

for a bullet train from Barstow to Vegas-


but then he says;

Don't go there!

What the flying "democrat" is that about?

Lem said...

Somehow I think that a man who writes two autobiographies before he is fifty is a man who would have all of his law school and college papers in nice neat little plastic thingies.

He must have lost them in a fat cat bankers vault.

Chip Ahoy said...

Play the media like a Stradivarius.

Fail. That compares the media to a valuable instrument when the intention is to credit the player and discredit the instrument played.

Limbaugh, Stewart. Boy, Hostess, you sure do watch some irritating people.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Ignorance- Exactly! That was obviously before he converted to Muslimism. And now... look at him! He's taking digs at Sin City and his consigliere is taking digs at retards. Good for the overweight drug addict to call him out, and call him back to his roots!

Lem said...

An unsigned 1990 article unearthed by Politico offers a glimpse at Obama's views on abortion policy and the law during his student days.

"unearthed" as in rare.

eve said...

"overweight drug addict"!! I thought drugs were cool, nuanced. Overweight is a judgemental term. Sad.

Matt said...

My goodness I can't believe Obama's Vegas comment is an issue. Obama is 100% correct that people should consider not gambling away their money when times are tough.
Should he have not said Vegas? Okay. But I have a tough time believing when Obama says something negative about going to Vegas that a million people will suddenly cancel their trip to Vegas. [Or stop gambling].

You guys give Obama more power and credit than most people if you think he has that kind of control over tourism.

cryptical said...

somefeller said: However, it doesn't address Rush's claims that professors would change his grades for him, which is obvious nonsense and is just another example of his opponents trying to trivialize his academic accomplishments, accomplishments that most of them couldn't even approach.

Hard to trivialize what isn't documented. From his shyness at releasing his transcripts I'm guessing he was a mediocre student at best, much like W, John Kerry and Al Gore.

Synova said...

"Rush gets to something he might not have intended to:

Obama doesn't appreciate the great heritage of American sin. We like to kill animals and eat them. We like to drink. We like to go to Vegas and gamble.(...)
"

I don't necessarily agree with the rest of the list including drugs, but this is interesting to me and I'm thinking, more or less right on. (And now I'm reconsidering the drug part, since "House" sort of popped into my mind.)

And if Rush is intending to play against that or not, I think it's probably a pretty foundational part of our culture. And that includes pious Christians in this country. Even if we (the general we) disapprove, I think we still sort of like the idea that we *can*. We also very much like our Wild West mythos. We like our unruliness and we like our defiance. And we really like having things to go all "church lady" over.

To improperly paraphrase half a dozen people... If Las Vegas didn't exist we'd have to invent it.

Michael said...

Matt:

The people in Las Vegas have had it with the President demonizing people who go there (or to high end hotels anywhere). He has done so repeatedly and with damage to their business since he made it virtually illegal for any company or bank to have a convention in the city. Google the "AIG Effect" and you will see the reason for their sensitivity. You are right that he was using the city as a metaphor but they would prefer he, for once, shut up.

somefeller said...

Hard to trivialize what isn't documented. From his shyness at releasing his transcripts I'm guessing he was a mediocre student at best, much like W, John Kerry and Al Gore.

Bad guess. You don't get into Harvard Law School or on law review there without having good grades. Even Rush implies that the grades were good, with his ridiculous claim that Obama's professors changed his grades for him. Also, the mere fact he graduated from those two schools is evidence of pretty serious academic achievement, far more than anything Rush or most of his acolytes have ever achieved on that front. Graduating from such schools isn't a necessary qualification for being President (that's for damn sure), but doing so is an accomplishment, which Rush and his ilk like to minimize and trivialize at every opportunity.

Michael said...

Somefeller:

So you would agree that someone who graduated from Yale and the Harvard Business School was a smart guy. Had to be, right?

somefeller said...

Actually, yes, I would say he is. And the person you are referring to (George W. Bush, correct?) is exactly the Ivy League graduate I was thinking about when I wrote the line "Graduating from such schools isn't a necessary qualification for being President (that's for damn sure)". Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify the point.

Though, for what it's worth, the Yale of Bush's (and for that matter, Kerry's) day was a lot less academically-oriented than now. Those were the last days of when such schools were as much finishing schools for affluent Northeasterners as they were institutions of serious higher learning.

rhhardin said...

The American idea of the wild west is if you really screw up, you can go out west and start over without any trail back to the past.

Which would be pretty hard today, but then it's not the wild west anymore either.

The internet would be the wild west today.

William said...

Getting gored is one of the ways to prove that you are working close to the horns. Limbaugh executed a clumsy pass with his retard remarks and left some blood in the sand. American sensibilities are such that you don't make fun of the weird accents of Holocaust survivors or the problems of disabled children. Offended liberals should take the broad minded outlook that they wish upon conservatives who are offended by one of Larry David's inappropriate jokes.

rhhardin said...

It's not making fun of disabled children.

It's using them as a figure of speech.

edutcher said...

Rush is part entertainer, part activist. The Lefties think any kind of advocate should be foaming at the mouth perpetually, like the junior Senator from Soros. Needless to say, they don't get him.

The Crack Emcee said...

Please. This is PC bullshit. Retarded is a fucking word.

True, but intelligent, respectful, and considerate people don't use it as a pejorative.

somefeller said...

By the way Althouse, I'm curious, what do you think of Rush's comments in which he implies (again, always a chickenshit hedge he can hide behind) that Obama's professors at Harvard Law School wrote his law review papers for him and gave him higher grades than he deserved. (Which would be an interesting trick at a place like Harvard Law School, which is very grades-conscious and has blind grading.)

Grade inflation is a big issue in the Ivy League; average is a B, so the grades thing may well be true. As for his stint at the law review, other people have alleged pretty much the same thing, saying he never wrote a word. Even in his book, Bambi brags about how he has always gamed the system and white people, so Rush is hardly alone.

former law student said...

Grade inflation is a big issue in the Ivy League; average is a B, so the grades thing may well be true

Law school is not undergrad.

I wish the professor would explain these things.

Obama's magna at HLS meant his GPA fell within the top ten percent of graduates (not the top 1%, but 1.0-10%)

Even if there were grade inflation, the top ten percent would remain the top ten percent.

Regarding C-student W. Never forget that W.'s performance at Yale was not good enough to get him into the law school at the University of Texas, so he had to settle for business school at Harvard.

former law student said...

The ethnic Chinese in Muslim lands are marked by three practices that no good Muslim can do: drinking alcohol, eating pork, and gambling. Offer Obama a beer and some baby backs, and see how he reacts.

somefeller said...

There's a vast difference between grade inflation (which is the "no one here gets an F unless they are total slackers" general phenomenon - not an individualized matter) and a professor giving Obama an A when he otherwise would have gotten a C (Rush's specific accusation), presumably because Obama is black or because a cabal of professors in Cambridge got together 20 years ago to decide that Obama will run for President and therefore needs a boost. Also, as I've mentioned before, grading at Harvard Law School is blind, so that knocks out that accusation from the get-go. And even if grade inflation is an issue in undergraduate schools, it is also weeded out by the admissions policies of top law schools, which try to maximize the average academic levels of theis students. Rush is a lying bigot who knows nothing about academic life at elite schools. He should stick to talking about things he knows about, like failed marriages and drug addiction.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that the problem with President Obama continuing to diss Las Vegas is that his Senate Majority leader from there is struggling for reelection despite a big financial advantage over any competitor. Yes, if Harry Reid loses, he gets Chuck Schumer as his party's leader in the Senate. But that has its own problems, beyond just losing that seat. Yes, Schumer is more articulate. But he is also an east coast, NY (Jewish) liberal, and that doesn't sell much outside there in this country. Combined with Nancy Pelosi in the House, the Democrats in Congress are likely to have very polarizing leadership come next year, which I don't think is going to help them sell their programs to the American people.

Harry Reid needs to be calling the President out here, and not leaving that to Nevada's Republican Senator. Las Vegas is his political base, and if he can't protect that, then
what good is he? (Ok, he has managed apparently to kill Yucca Mountain, but that is not as important as this in the scheme of things in LAS).

Now my hope is that I manage to get out of D.C. to Las Vegas tomorrow, despite that it is apparently a den of inequity. I don't gamble, and prostitution is illegal there, so nothing to worry about.

narciso said...

Now has made an explicit example of
dissing any prolife sentiment, went
as far as vetoing that born alive
bill, considers a child a burden,
abandoned his grandmother who raised him, in a cheap political stunt, made that first special olympics reference, on the Tonight Show has directed or atleast
stood aside, as his associates set
about to trash and deny every aspect of Palin's identity, including the parentage of her child, has set forth a system that would penalize the disabled the
elderly. Most of these things were
known a year and a half ago, but
a gamble was taken

Penny said...

"The GOP needs a new army of immune spokes persons like you and Palin."

My point was that presidents from either party are not well served by voters who focus on their "likability". The fact that pollsters track such things seems ridiculous to me.

Presidents should be judged on their PERFORMANCE and their LEADERSHIP.

Did they do what they told us they would do? If not, why not?

And their "story"? Well it better be damn good.

Ann Althouse said...

somefeller said..."By the way Althouse, I'm curious, what do you think of Rush's comments in which he implies (again, always a chickenshit hedge he can hide behind) that Obama's professors at Harvard Law School wrote his law review papers for him and gave him higher grades than he deserved. (Which would be an interesting trick at a place like Harvard Law School, which is very grades-conscious and has blind grading.)"

As for exams, I don't know the details of the Harvard approach, but here at Wisconsin, there are seminars where grading is based on papers and isn't blind, and there is an opportunity on exams to commit to the basic grades but then reveal who's who and then to raise or lower the grades based on class performance. So there is room to do some unblind things, and some lawprofs may be unethical in how they handle that responsibility. I've never heard of any sort of misbehavior like that, however.

As for students getting someone else to write there article for them... who knows? Presumably, there is some cheating. I set my classes up so students can't cheat -- at least not very easily -- but I can't say what else goes on.

Ann Althouse said...

Generally, lawprofs like to think that students don't cheat. Students might be a better source of information than lawprofs.

Peter V. Bella said...

Rush this, Rush that, Rush is the Satan, blah, blah, blah.

Look at the side-
Olbermann- vicious rabid attack dog.

Matthews- drooling, bumbling hormonal teenager with his brains in his gonads.

KOS- Bathroom wall

Rachel Maddow- paid prostitute of ACORN

wv:unting= what Chris Matthews feels when he is around white people.

somefeller said...

Thanks for the response, but I (as you might imagine) think you are being overly generous to Limbaugh. He didn't just claim that Obama had another person write his papers, he claimed (with the standard "I'm just kidding" hedge) that his professors did so as part of some sort of special treatment for Obama, together with changing his grades. That's a very serious charge, and one that also implies unethical behavior on the part of faculty at the schools Obama went to. If Rush thinks that's the case, perhaps he can name some names of professors he thinks did that for Obama, so such professors can respond, in the media or in a libel suit.

reader_iam said...

Narciso:

And re-mainstraiming the use of "retard"which--and I don't give a rat's ass who's forgetting what the reality truly was (in terms of my own, direct experience, circumscribed by age) 40-odd years and more (historically speaking)--does exactly WHAT with regard to the way people refer to other people who happened to have been born with impaired brain abilities, the lack of impairment which the former so easily and manifestly take for granted?

Remember, we're discussing a situation in which--at least from my perspective--the winners and losers in the "committed to the dignity of individuals" fall on BOTH sides of the political divide, and even within those sides.

***

Hell, when people can be so dismissive of what their words might mean to people on this earth for so long, why the hell should anyone pay attention to their passionate rants about the dignity of the unborn, for example?

Why ***shouldn't*** I hold them in contempt for--by their own choosing, of their own free will, and with apparent great glee--deciding to stake a free-speech Alamo on the righteousness of using "retard" and thus bringing it back into their own concepts of mainstream discourse?

I'll believe this is truly about free speech for all (as opposed to political points, which frees some people's inner mean-kid to say whatever, unimpaired by adult suppression/opression) when I see "...you f'n clump of pre-aborted cells" used widely and yon, here there and everywhere, as a general "it doesn't mean anything" ***description***, and nary a conservative, Catholic or thinking person says a thing about it.

Until then...

NO.

reader_iam said...

Better yet, I'd like to see dignity-of-life folks **adopt** that phrase, use it widely and then defend it...

..not in terms of free-speech terms (under which, *of course*, that falls, and it should), but in terms of it not meaning anything at all and that, of course, it doesn't cheapen anything, demean anything, numb anything, affect anything, shape anything...

You know, etc.

bagoh20 said...

"Generally, lawprofs like to think that students don't cheat."

Don't most lawprofs vote Democrat too?

There's something there.

bagoh20 said...

Less words please. I'm a rube, and can't follow.

reader_iam said...

bagoh20:

If you're referring to my comments, more effort please.

And--again, if you're referring to my comments--don't fling that "you're implying I'm a rube" shit at me. It won't, precisely because you're miring yourself in the mud of assumptions of your own making.

Quaestor said...

somefeller wrote:
Though, for what it's worth, the Yale of Bush's (and for that matter, Kerry's) day was a lot less academically-oriented than now. Those were the last days of when such schools were as much finishing schools for affluent Northeasterners as they were institutions of serious higher learning.

Merde!

reader_iam said...

"It won't work, that is, of course.

And it won't. Because the disconnect between your assumption and my actual real life, over an extended period of time, appears to be complete.

bagoh20 said...

Imagine the entire quote was John Stewart instead of Rush. Suddenly many would be much more understanding, probably finding it quite humorous rather than worthy of scorn...just sayin'.

G Joubert said...

...a professor giving Obama an A when he otherwise would have gotten a C (Rush's specific accusation), presumably because Obama is black or because a cabal of professors in Cambridge got together 20 years ago to decide that Obama will run for President...

Before the 2008 election Laurence Tribe was right out front about the fact that everybody at Harvard Law School, particularly including the faculty, treated Obama "like a rock star," and that he wasn't expected to do the things other students were expected to do. So I don't know about them deciding then he would be president one day, but it's pretty clear that when they had a clean articulate black guy with no black guy dialect, a black guy who knows how to play white people like a Stradivarius, they go right along with getting themselves played like a Stradivarius. Just sayin'.

Ralph L said...

I'll believe this is truly about free speech for all (as opposed to political points, which frees some people's inner mean-kid to say whatever, unimpaired by adult suppression/opression) when I see "...you f'n clump of pre-aborted cells" used widely and yon, here there and everywhere, as a general "it doesn't mean anything" ***description***, and nary a conservative, Catholic or thinking person says a thing about it
As in Reagan's joke, there has to be a pony here somewhere.

narciso said...

The point that Palin was trying to make was the utter contempt that the
Obama braintrust have for the American poeople. This is seen on his Marx by way of Beard formulation
of 'bitter people who cling to their
guns and their religion, among other
formulations. That Emmanuel was saying it back in August, to people
he was trying to enlist should indicate why the plan fell down in flames. Now it si interesting that
other families with careers and children with some learning disabilities of one sort or another, like the Axelrods or
the Quinns, are so willing to
denigrate her, because of a political agreement

reader_iam said...

Got a kick out of watching excerpts of the O'Reilly-Stewart back 'n' forth tonight (and caught just a bit last night, too).

First time I'd seen Stewart in a way long time.

reader_iam said...

Ralph L:

I'll confess to being a digger. Worse yet, I'm raising my son to be one.

former law student said...

there is an opportunity on exams to commit to the basic grades but then reveal who's who and then to raise or lower the grades based on class performance.

At my school the prof turned in the exam grades (by number) and the participation grades (+/-/~) by name. The records office combined the two. Participation didn't matter unless you were borderline.

Sandra said...

OBAMA and Bernanke are featured in a movie-- about greedy hedge funds called "Stock Shock." Even though the movie mostly focuses on Sirius XM stock being naked short sold nearly into bankruptcy (5 cents/share), I liked it because it exposes the dark side of Wall Street and revealed some of their secrets. DVD is everywhere but cheaper at www.stockshockmovie.com

Quaestor said...

Please forgive the off-topic, but check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZfRaWAtBVg

reader_iam said...

This link contains an expanded version of the Reagan joke which Ralph L brought up earlier (and which I immediately recognized), in case anyone is interested.

Franco said...

I'm with crack MC too. Retarded is actually a PC word in itself. funny how these euphemisms later become pejoratives, what's THAT about?

And the Koran thing. It's just a tweek. Why can't people who are accused of being "bible-thumpers" "Christian fundamentalists" or "clinging to religion" not turn the tables?

Let Obama accuse his opponents of claiming he is a Muslim too. He's pretending there is a large group of people who question his citizenship, which is clearly not the case. It would be like Bush complaining about people who accused him of knowing about or planning the 9/11 attacks. It's fringe, yet Obama points it out. Why???

garage mahal said...

Even Rush implies that the grades were good, with his ridiculous claim that Obama's professors changed his grades for him.

Limbaugh - college dropout after two semesters
Hannity - college dropout
Glenn Beck - college dropout one semester

I don't think any of these people have have a leg to stand on criticizing someone else's academic prowess.

Michael said...

Garage:
I am not a truther or a birther but I am a grader and I wonder why we have the grades of GWB and Kerry and Gore but not of Obama, he of two autobiographies, he of some love of himself. No college grades, no prep school grades, no SAT, no LSAT, no grades. Period. Two autobiographies but no grades. Surely this makes you wonder.

bagoh20 said...

Reader iam,

OK, I gave it more effort. Now what?

c3 said...

I look forward to the day when more Republicans are comfortable simply stating when asked about a Limbaugh statement:
"I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh"

bagoh20 said...

"Surely this makes you wonder."

Obama does not strike me as the kind of guy to pass up an opportunity to expose something that makes him look good, that's normal. That makes me assume they are probably not great grades, but I don't count that for much anyway.

History shows that many (even most) people who accomplish great things often did not stand out academically and many without any advanced education at all. The correlation seems very weak.

I care what people do in the real world where challenges are not predicted by a curriculum and the answers are not found in the reading list.

This is where Obama has been most disappointing. To me he seems to have penchant for doing the wrong thing in a wide variety of challenges before him.

This I attribute to ideology, which is very important, since it is what a leader depends on when the choices are clear, but the answer is not.

Ralph L said...

OK, I gave it more effort. Now what?
Stand on your head and click your heels three times. I often find her comments to be like hearing one side of what might be an interesting conversation--there's something she's left out, besides clarity. I suspect it's intentional, but I could be wrong.

Michael said...

bagho20:
My point exactly. While many great leaders had poor, even abysmal, academic records they rose to leadership because of accomplishments not self promotion (at least not principally self promotion). With our President we are presented with someone who has used his charm and verbal skills to convince the world that he is extra smart and there are many many people who have taken him on his word on this to their rising disappointment. I have long felt that he was not much above average in intelligence and way below the average of the kind of leader we need. I think there is no question that his grades would be an embarrassment.

bagoh20 said...

I actually think Obama is quite intelligent, but wisdom is an entirely different thing. History is replete with very smart failures.

Ideology and the ability to be flexible or rigid at the right time, as well as respect for history, humility, energy, passion. These are what count.

Ralph L said...

That makes me assume they are probably not great grades
It could also be the courses he took (and didn't take) as an undergrad. All leftist claptrap, zero math or science.

AlphaLiberal said...

This post was clearly written by a Dittohead and defender of Rush Limbaugh.

Amazing that someone with more than an 8th grade education would defend the man, let alone a professor of law teaching tomorrow's attorneys.

at the formerly great UW Law School.

leeshink said...

spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

Lee Shin
www.trendone.net