April 10, 2016

Obama and the bathtub.

On "Fox News Sunday" this morning, Chris Wallace had a long interview with President Barack Obama. One vivid image that came up and persisted was: the bathtub.

Wallace quoted something from The Atlantic: "Obama frequently reminds his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents, and falls in bathtubs do." He then asked Obama if he thinks "we make too big a deal of the terror threat."

Obama said we don't, but that it's important — as we pursue the number 1 goal of protecting America — that "we abide by our laws" and "our values."

Chris Wallace went back to the bathtub:
WALLACE: -- when you say more people die in bathtub accidents, and I understand you’re not saying [fighting terrorism is] not important, but you’re saying we can’t overreact to it, is bathtub manufacturers aren’t trying to kill us, and they’re not trying to up the body count....
I pictured Stephen King watching and getting an idea for a new horror story.
And some people wonder... do you worry about terrorism and feel the threat of terrorism the way they do?
Of course, Obama said that he did, and Wallace asked:
WALLACE: So why do people sometimes think you’re diffident....
Obama gave a good answer, one that made me think of George W. Bush:
OBAMA: Well, I think part of it is that, in the wake of terrorist attacks, it has been my view consistently that the job of the terrorists, in their minds, is to induce panic, induce fear, get societies to change who they are. And what I’ve tried to communicate is, "You can’t change us. You can kill some of us, but we will hunt you down, and we will get you. And in the meantime, just as we did in Boston, after the marathon bombing, we’re going to go to a ballgame. And do all the other things that make our life worthwhile. And you have nothing to offer." That’s the message of resilience that we don’t panic, that we don’t fear. We will hunt you down and we will get you....
All he needed was a bullhorn.

Later, in the panel discussion, George Will got back to the bathtub:
WILL: Chris, you referred to his diffident tone. I think he comes across as condescension. I mean it’s one thing to say, as many people or more people die in bathtub accidents, but bathtubs aren’t trying to kill us. There’s a difference and the American people feel this between an individual accident and premeditated mass murder. And when he coolly says, if people only understood these numbers they would calm down, it inevitably communicates condescension to the people.
ADDED: The bathtub isn't trying to kill us... intentionality matters. Which takes us to the discussion of Hillary Clinton's email:
WALLACE: Can you still say flatly that she did not jeopardize America’s secrets?

OBAMA: ... Here’s what I know: Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy. ... Now what I’ve also said is that -- and she has acknowledged -- that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing e-mails, that she has owned, and she recognizes. But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective. This is somebody who has served her country for four years as secretary of state, and did an outstanding job....
The bathtub never intentionally put your family in any kind of jeopardy. It served your household well, giving many outstanding baths. But it was negligently designed and it killed your father.

70 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

Diffident? Different! Obama is a different oaf. He can't help it. Good-looking guy, good singer, can even dance a bit, but a different oaf. You gotta dislike the guy.

Comanche Voter said...

Ol Cynical Me (so I have been labelled by our host) wonders if it is possible for Obama to condescend to kill. Don't think so. That's what the hired help in the military is for. He won't dirty his non lily white hands.

Humperdink said...

The only thing in common between bathtub manufacturers and terrorists is that both cause me to take my shoes off.

What a bozo.

Gahrie said...

Will attacking someone else for condescension the American people?

Mr Wibble said...

The bathtub wasn't negligently designed. It was full of gin for four years.

n.n said...

Terrorism takes far fewer lives than progressive wars, impulsive regime changes, anti-native policies, and the selective-child doctrine.

David Begley said...

Carelessness a/k/a gross negligence is enough to indict Hillary under federal law.

In the same interview Obama admits Libya was his biggest mistake. Hillary favored the Libya debacle. Obama then goes on to assert that Hillary was so outstanding at State that her lapses with safeguarding our secrets should be foregiven. Well, what is it? Was Hillary good or bad at State? The evidence suggests she was horrible.

Obama's deceptions are simply astounding.

Bruce Hayden said...

He may be right here - the statistics are on his side, at least in the US in the time since 9/11/01. But, that doesn't help his cause, because he comes across as protecting Muslims here, despite their violent attacks on pretty much everyone else around the world. Tell the survivors of the attacks in Paris or Brussels this, or the survivors of the genocide being carried out against Christians and other non-Muslims by ISIS right now, or the hundreds of girls carted away by Boco Haram. While Obama may be technically a Christian, he still has significant sympathy for Muslims and their way of life (and, arguably may still be Muslim under Sharia law).

The interesting thing to me is that we, as a country, seem to greatly overestimate some threats and greatly underestimate others. For example, kids being killed by accidental discharges of firearms is low, and the number who are killed every year by getting ahold of a parent's gun is even lower. We are talking probably low two digits. Yet, everyone needs to get gun locks, and CPS takes kids away from parents if they don't. Right on the order of magnitude of kids drowning in mop buckets, and a percent or so of those who drown in pools. But parents freak out if there are secured guns at a friend's parents' house, but not if they have an unsecured pool. And, yes, these fatalities are comparable to the number of Americans killed every year by Muslim terrorists in the US (ignoring 9/11/01).

Humperdink said...

He forgot lightning strikes!!

Eric said...

People who think we should pay more attention to bathtubs than terrorism either don't understand how to use statistics or are being disingenuous. There are things terrorists can do that would make 9/11 look like a walk in the park, and it will do no good to update the numbers afterwards and say "Gosh, that increases the average significantly. Maybe we should take terrorism more seriously going forward."

Bay Area Guy said...

Obama is right that we shouldn't overreact to threat of terrorism. But his under-reaction is weak and dismissive, when one sees that Islam and its radical terroristic strain has caused so much damage to Israel, the Middle East, Paris, Belgium etc,etc.

walter said...

Well...bathtubs have no known ideology to drive them to elevate their threat potential.
Too bad Wallace didn't dovetail into Hil's conflicting statments to Benghazi victim's family members.
But gosh darnit..
All this is distraction from the existential threat of CAGW/Climate Change/mystery stasis.

chuck said...

> Drowning and submersion while in or falling into bath-tub 341

What was all that Ferguson kerfuffle about anyway? Far more people are killed by bathtubs than by police.

Humperdink said...

I guess I don't understand all the hubbub about this Zika virus thingy. The stats I checked revealed more people died in the US from chain saw accidents than this stupid virus. What are we worried about?

Overreaction in my opinion.

David Hampton said...

The death of others is merely a statistic to Obama who is surrounded by Secret Service protection for the rest of his life. The rest of us are on our own and he wants to take away second amendment protections. Let's talk about that hypocrisy instead of bathtubs, lightning, and other deflections from his failure as POTUS. This will be his legacy.

Mrs. X said...

That last paragraph... LOLZ

I'm on my way to the gym where I hope the elliptical trainer won't (unintentionally or otherwise) kill me.

n.n said...

The logical fallacy in Obama's argument is that he cannot legitimately compare deaths caused through accident and premeditated acts of people within a society, and the excess deaths caused by accident and premeditated acts of people from without.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

We "overreacted" to the attack on Pearl Harbor, took care of business, then returned to our peaceful ways, helping our former enemies to recover and they are now our friends and allies. Same with Germany in WWII- they were picking on our friends France and England, but really weren't hurting us in any major way. After 3.5 years of overreaction, including not going to the mall or the ballpark for the most part, we stopped "overreacting" and helped our former target recover.
It's time we "overreacted" to those who now wish us ill, just for as long as it takes. It won't makes us forget who we are, or change what we are. We just have to change what we do for a couple of years, do it convincingly and without mercy. It will save lives, American and others, in the long run.

walter said...

No worries. We can deploy James Taylor wherever needed.

Ron said...

What about the 4 shower stalls left behind in Libya?

Humperdink said...

The other logical fallacy on Obozo argument is the stats he uses are in the past. The future? He doesn't address what the terrorists deaths might be in the future. He ignores the potential results if you add unvetted middle eastern males to the mix.

Two years ago, the rape stats in Cologne Germany looked just ducky. Today, not so much. What changed? Hmm, now that's a tough question.

Greek Donkey said...

How are we to think of domestic gun violence / mass shootings? Are those calling for gun control overreacting? Shoukd they focus instead on non-slip bathmats?

David Begley said...

Humperdinck

But Obama is 100% certain that temps will skyrocket in the near future and we will drown and burn up unless we radically cut our carbon use.

The Earth's climate is much easier to predict than that of radical Islamists. /sarc

Rusty said...

Greek Donkey said...
How are we to think of domestic gun violence / mass shootings?

Kepp firearms away from the mentally ill and democrats.

Michael K said...

"That’s the message of resilience that we don’t panic, that we don’t fear."

Obama has acknowledged, not publicly of course, that major terror attacks will hit us. He says that the deaths will be less than auto accident deaths and so we should not do anything about it. His people have said that terrorism is a public relations problem. We need to understand how to explain that, in spite of mass casualties like Fort Hood or San Bernardino, we should not do anything about it.

He, of course, does not say this in public but it is what he and his people believe.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"so we should not do anything about it."

If you need to make up a lie to make your point, aren't you not making your point? Presumably you could have reworded this comment such the you didn't need to claim that BHO says we shouldn't try to stop terrorists from killing us.

Fail is as fail does.

Siva said...

Bush, painting, bathtub

Gahrie said...

I demand the government do more to regulate bath tubs, and bath tub safety.

Mutaman said...

"David Begley said...

Carelessness a/k/a gross negligence is enough to indict Hillary under federal law."

1. In what world does "carelessness" = "gross negligence"?

2. Can we have a cite tho that exact "federal law" you're talking about?

David Begley said...

Mutaman

18 U.S.C. Section 793(f).

"Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document. . .relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer, Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

If Obama concedes she was careless, a gross negligence case will be easy to make. We know little of all the facts. Supposedly 150 FBI agents who have worked this case have plenty of evidence.

Hillary knew from day one that she was only to use the secure State system and she refused to do so. Her former IT guy (the one with the immunity deal) also surely has some interesting testimony.

Ken B said...

Dear lord. Chuck said something cogent, insightful, and fair.

Bruce Hayden said...

If Obama concedes she was careless, a gross negligence case will be easy to make. We know little of all the facts. Supposedly 150 FBI agents who have worked this case have plenty of evidence.

Gross negligence is a higher standard than is normal negligence, which in my view is more akin to carelessness. Not that I don't think that she was grossly negligent (if it wasn't intentional), because I think that she probably was, but rather just pointing out that the standard is likely higher than mere carelessness.

David Begley said...

Bruce

Gross negligence is clearly a higher standard than carelessness but the fact that Obama admitted that Hillary had been careless was huge. Just a hop, skip and jump from careless to gross negligence. Obama either didn't get the defense memo from David Kendall or he's laying the groundwork for Biden once Hillary gets indicted. ( "I said she was negligent. Can't have that with our top secrets. She knew better." )

If Obama was on the Hillary defense team he would have taken an entirely different approach to the answer.

John Henry said...

Blogger Comanche Voter said...
Ol Cynical Me (so I have been labelled by our host) wonders if it is possible for Obama to condescend to kill. Don't think so. That's what the hired help in the military is for. He won't dirty his non lily white hands.

He has murdered at least 2 American citizens. One, who may have been a bad guy but was still entitled under the US Constitution to his day in court. Then, a few weeks later, the guy's 16 year old son. As far as I know The son was not even suspected of anything other than being his father's son.

Both murders carried out by the CIA drone operators. Not military drone operators.

Both, allegedly approved by Obama his own self.

He also threatened to kill the Jonas Brothers but never followed through.

John Henry

John Henry said...

President Obama's CIA drone operators have probably killed several times as many civilian women and children as drown in bathtubs.

John Henry

Eric said...

He has murdered at least 2 American citizens. One, who may have been a bad guy but was still entitled under the US Constitution to his day in court. Then, a few weeks later, the guy's 16 year old son. As far as I know The son was not even suspected of anything other than being his father's son.

Did Confederate soldiers get their day in court? Do people who shoot at cops get their day in court? I'm all for capturing bad guys and putting them on trial if it's possible, but when you have someone actively plotting against other US citizens from places beyond the reach of US law, as al-Awlaki was, you do what you have to do.

I can't help but think the same people pillorying Obama for killing al-Awlaki would be attacking him for not killing al-Awlaki if the guy had been able to pull off another attack.

And the son was supposedly killed in a strike targeting someone else. People in the government have been telling reporters they didn't even know he was there.

Ambrose said...

The risks are additive. We all still run the risk of dying in a bathtub fall - and also a chance of dying in a terror attack.

David Begley said...

A very short discussion of negligence law as applied to this case.

What steps would an ordinary, reasonable and prudent Secretary of State take with respect to transmitting and reading our top secrets? Clearly she knew that our enemies want to know our secrets and they devote massive resources to hacking and all sorts of spying. At a bare minimum, a prudent person would only use the secure systems set up by the government for the purpose of defeating spies and hackers. She would not set up a home server with inadequate security. These security measures are complex and ever changing.

Hillary failed to meet the standard of care of any State employee with access to our secrets.

She probably did not intend to transmit our secrets to our enemies, but her gross negligence let them see them all.

I imagine the FBI has talked to the Mossad and Israel has shown them the evidence that they hacked Hillary a long time ago. Russia and China did it too.

Hillary is either as dumb as a rock or she was so greedy to keep her Clinton Foundation bribery scam secret that she was blinded by the risks she took with our secrets.

Personally I looking forward to Condi Rice as the expert witness for the United States in the trial against Hilkary.

Barry Dauphin said...

She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy

Dennis Hastert would never intentionally put his wrestlers in any kind of jeopardy.

The president does not actually say she didn't put America in jeopardy and is only saying that, of course, we all know three is good in her heart. It's another of those politician speech thingees, where the politician is not saying what most people think is supposed to be the intention of what he is saying.

The president would never intentionally put Hillary in any kind of jeopardy.

rhhardin said...

Terrorism is entertainment, and it's a business deal between terrorists and the media.

Each uses the other. The death toll is just what's needed to make it interesting to the entertained audience.

It's the same deal with school shootings.

Large damage needs a large group to organise, finance and set it up, and the larger the group, the easier it is to detect through footprint and informers.

So long as the big-damage size is larger than the detection size, we're okay.

Watch that the big-damage detection size doesn't rise, that's all.

PB said...

He really is embarrassing. I'm amazed people give him a positive approval rating.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that Hillary was probably grossly negligent. My point was just that an admission, by her boss, that she was careless, is not sufficient. Not that it cannot be proven, but that more is needed. Which probably means that we aren't that far apart.

Michael K said...

"If you need to make up a lie to make your point, aren't you not making your point?"

I will look again for the link to that statement, which I read a few weeks ago. That was a quote but, without the link, I did not put in in quotation marks.

That is what the administration people are saying in private. I'll look again for the quote.

Laslo Spatula said...

"The bathtub never intentionally put your family in any kind of jeopardy."

Hastert agrees.

And wants photos.

I am Laslo.

Michael K said...

Here is one study that supports the administration theory, but it is not the item I read.

This is another source for the policy but not the one I read.

This source added that as soon as the shooting took place, Obama convened a meeting with the National Security Council and the heads of other federal enforcement agencies to discuss a public relations strategy.

Part of the reason for trying to avoid the designation of the shootings as terrorism is because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria. A case of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. would put additional pressure on the administration to play a much more active role in the conflict.




PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Michael,

If you knowingly want to conjure up a world that falsely asserts that BHO says we don't need to worry about stopping terrorists, have fun.

OTOH, if you're interested in reality, you can still be critical of BHO w/o making this undocumented claim.

BTW, does the following quote from one of your links seem like straw grasping Obama derangement syndrome?

"Obama told the American people in a public address from the Oval Office that the attacks were an act of terrorism, though he hedged his admission by saying that the war is not on Islam, but against ISIS."

Do you agree that unless we declare war on all of Islam, we're doing something wrong?

Derangement is as derangement does.

machine said...

The Daily Caller?

yup...he lied.

Mutaman said...


Blogger David Begley said...

"18 U.S.C. Section 793(f)."


In Gorin v. United States 312 U.S. 19 (1941), the Supreme Court held that 18 U.S.C. Section 793(f) requires "The obvious delimiting words in the statute are those requiring intent or reason to believe that the information to be obtained is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation. This requires those prosecuted to have acted in bad faith.”
Good luck proving that.

Blogger David Begley said.. "Supposedly 150 FBI agents who have worked this case have plenty of evidence."

"There are currently about 12 FBI agents working full-time on the case," says the source, who would only speak anonymously about an open investigation." [NBCNews.com, 3/30/16]

David Begley said...

Mutaman

1. Stat first enacted in 1948. History below. Not 1941. Stat will be construed according to its plain language.

25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 736; Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, § 18, 64 Stat. 1003; Pub. L. 99–399, title XIII, § 1306(a), Aug. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 898; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 103–359, title VIII, § 804(b)(1), Oct. 14, 1994, 108 Stat. 3440; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(b), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3511.)

2. Number of FBI agents working the case is leaked info. Who knows the exact number? And how many worked The Teflon Don case?

Mutaman said...


1 . The holding in Gorin applies to any prosecution under the Espionage Act.
The Supreme Court clearly never envisioned a prosecution under the Espionage Act without “intent” to injure the United States and in “bad faith.”

2. "Who knows the exact number?"

If one doesn't know the number, then posting that "Supposedly 150 FBI agents who have worked this case have plenty of evidence." is wrong. In fact its gross negligence.

David Begley said...

I will read Gorin later. I say malum prohibitum; not malum in se.

The 150 FBI agents info was leaked to Herridge at Fox. Google it.

David Begley said...

January 2016. Fox. 150 FBI agents.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/11/fbis-clinton-probe-expands-to-public-corruption-track.html

How many FBI agents worked Bill Clinton's obstruction of justice and perjury case. They were assigned to Ken Starr.

Mutaman said...

"The 150 FBI agents info was leaked to Herridge at Fox. Google it."

Case closed!

Saint Croix said...

Obama frequently reminds his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents, and falls in bathtubs do

Well, a nuclear Iran should up the body count.

I'm just glad there's an Atlantic Ocean between us and Obama's foreign policy. I'd hate to live in any country where he actually brought about change.
.

David Begley said...

Mutaman

Security review. Happens all the time. Immunity granted to one witness. Another witness extradited from Romania. Nothing to see. Move along.

William said...

I wonder what the statistics are about black bathtub falls vs black men shot by police.

cubanbob said...

Mutaman ever heard of Freedom Of Information? Clinton put the Department of State in a position of not being possibly able to comply with a FOIA document request. The emails are her work product and thus belong to the government and subject to FOIA. That in of itself is a felony.

Michael K said...

"If you knowingly want to conjure up a world that falsely asserts that BHO says we don't need to worry about stopping terrorists, have fun."

There is a subset of stupidity that boasts about how stupid it is. Interesting.

EMD said...

Wait, are these the bathtubs that recruit sinks and showers to martyr themselves for the cause?

Jason said...

Holy crap, Obama's a moron.

The proof: add up all the premiums paid by bathtub manufacturers for product liability insurance. Now add up all the premiums paid for terrorism risk insurance. The risk is so huge that we wouldn't even have a terrorism risk insurance market if the Federal government had not stepped in to provide a stop loss.

Paul said...

Manufacturers of bathtubs are not trying to get nukes and kill LOTS OF US. Terrorist are. Meanwhile Obama goes to a ballgame. Sounds like "The Sum of All Fears", right? And Obama ain't Jack Ryan.

Paul said...

Hillary might not have "intentionally" compromised national security. Still, just like drunk drivers who don't "intentionally" kill people on the highways, Hillary DID break the law.

And both Hillary and drunk drivers deserve jail time.

Rusty said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...
Michael,

If you knowingly want to conjure up a world that falsely asserts that BHO says we don't need to worry about stopping terrorists, have fun.

The concern isn't in what he says, but in what he does.

Peter said...

Terrorism is politics by other means; bathtub falls are not.

Perhaps a dirty bomb in lower Manhattan would kill fewer than die every year due to bathtub falls, and cost less than a few bad days on Wall Street, but showing the world terrorists can do this at will and there's little the USA can or will do about it are important political objectives.

Fernandinande said...

"Feminists incessantly harp about a phantom “bathtub culture” in the United States and other Western countries. On New Year’s Eve 2016, Northern European cities experienced an outbreak of the real thing—and the opponents of patriarchy went silent. It turns out that a more powerful force exists on the left than feminist victimology: multiculturalism.

As revelers gathered in the central square of Cologne, Germany, for the traditional New Year’s Silvesternacht celebrations, thousands of North African and Middle Eastern bathtubs started throwing faucets into the crowd and attacking passersby. They pickpocketed and robbed males and females, but they directed most of their violence against women: grabbing their breasts and buttocks, inserting their fingers into the women’s vaginas, and, in a few instances, raping them, while shouting sexual insults. A total of 653 victims filed reports with the police."
http://www.city-journal.org/html/when-pieties-collide-14342.html

aritai said...

Your species isn't rational. You're not a machine that produces the same outputs from the same inputs. This is why you're so inventive, and if inventiveness is not punished, more free from generation to generation (valuing free will above all other inputs, per 2Corinth :- ). Sometimes more information can increase reasoning from facts, but at costs. Imagine a regulation that required any widely read article that claims great harm to also make a good faith effort to use a thermometer graphic and placing the described, often hyped risk against a scale from the certainty of an individual's eventual death down to the odds of dying from a plane falling on your head, about six a year. Most sky is falling newspaper now click-bait claims wouldn't be read.

Bathtubs, Alar on apples, Arsenic in a town's rising or falling water levels. DDT, green-house gases, growing ozone hole, etc. Most anything that has an act of faith required to believe. Arguably the one that comes closest is (so called) leaded gas yet even here you fudged the math. And at other times you fail to measure other costs. For example the 15,000 pensioners in Paris that died for lack of cheap cheap Chinese air conditioners because DuPont used its political clout to force a world-wide ban of an out-of-patent Freon, with no science, no experiment at scale, to enlarge the ozone hole, the new Freon requiring their patent license. So the lack of cheap air conditioners during a hot august when everyone but the pensioners were at the beach killed these thousands, sweating and gasping in their deathbeds. But their deaths from artificial anxieties do make you one of the most creative species in the universe. Which is fine, since your nonsensical precautionary principle will keep your gentrification speculators out of my crater.

walter said...

Bathists....

David Begley said...

Mutaman

If Hillary's intent an issue, then what do you make of the fact that she intentionally set up her own private email server and purposefully avoided the .gov system everyone else had to use?

The IT guy with immunity probably has details on that point.

David Begley said...

Former federal judge and AG agrees with me.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/275870-former-ag-on-clinton-emails-gross-negligence-is-not-a

Obama's defense of Hillary was idiotic and actually hurts her.

aritai said...

Aha. A better retort to Mr. O would have been "fewer slaves were killed by their owners per year than we have dying in bathtub accidents, because property was more valuable than hired humans you had to pay." Wonderful to find we agree that both slavery and terrorism can be ignored. Have you gotten your girls back yet, Ms. O.? What does it matter, why should it matter?