“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Obama uses teleprompters to talk to 11 year olds, and his press sec. mocks Palin's notes on her hand.

Robert Gibbs, Class Act


  1. The fact is, we're not looking for a President that makes notes on his/her hand. Or, teenage-type texting on twitter. (An essay on Facebook is okay.)

    She really, really needs a media-savvy aide-de-camp.

  2. The woman generates a lot of heat.

  3. The teen father of Sarah Palin's grandson is featured on the cover of the upcoming print version of Playgirl magazine — sporting nothing but a sultry gaze.

    The nude photos of Levi Johnston — the 19-year-old former fiance of Palin's daughter — were a huge hit last fall on the magazine's Web site. The publisher expects the same results with other photos from the same shoot running in the newly resurrected print version available Feb. 22 on newsstands.


    Magazine spokesman Daniel Nardicio says the spread includes an interview with Johnston, who discussed his strained relationship with the Palins.

    Teenage Father

  4. Soundbites -- even when delivered with the skill Palin displays -- are not, in the long run, a substitute for substance and won't persuade those who have doubts about her that they misjudged her abilities.

    If Palin does decide to run for president in 2012 -- and everyone we talk to says she hasn't made that decision yet -- she'll need to step beyond the comfortable bounds of the soundbite and into a broader discussion of where she stands on the major issues of the day and why.

    Her ability to turn a phrase has attracted the attention of a significant swath of the political world. But, what will she do now with so many eyes on her?

    Soundbite Strategy

  5. In a statement yesterday, the Crown Office said Mr Siddique remained convicted of serious terrorist offences. It said: “After careful consideration of the Appeal Court’s judgment, the Crown has decided not to seek authority for a retrial.

    “The fact that Mr Siddique has already served the majority of his sentence for charge one, and has de facto served his sentence in full for the other terrorist offences, of which he remains convicted, means that a retrial would have little practical effect.

    “Accordingly, the Crown has concluded that a retrial would not be in the public interest.”

    Law Requires a Direct Link

  6. And who really cares if you use a teleprompter or ink on your hand? Can anyone honestly say that they have never used some kind of note to help them through a speech or a test in school or an interview? The thing is some people are really good at it and some people...well, just are not good at it.

  7. While First Lady Michelle Obama was on Good Morning America earlier today to talk about her campaign against childhood obesity, she was also asked about Sarah Palin's unjustifiably smug mockery of President Obama supporters at the Tea Party Convention over the weekend ("How's that hopey-changey stuff working out for ya?"). But instead of returning fire, the First Lady just stuck to the talking points about times being tough and change being difficult, etc., and made sure to mention that it's okay to criticize the president.

    Also, she referred to her husband as "Barack Obama," which we found kind of odd.

    Sarah Palin

  8. My God I've just talked to my good
    Susan my good lawyer Christ is she on top of it her mind goes like a V-12 hitting on all the pistons she knows Bleknap at City Planning they are one the same wave she knows what she is doing by Christ I tell her you don't want bob there tomorrow night he will explode he is not "diplomatic" she agrees she's got the whole damn thing under control so bob can rest easy thank Christ for women lawyers like Susan and she just gave birth to a child too I love this woman let's let the women run the world by Christ I can go to bed with no worries she is a figher it is what I pay the money for.....and fuck the University of Idaho and their damned sheep farm....

  9. I'm glad she's campaigning for childhood obesity. It's becoming more of problem in today's society and I hope she makes a difference.

    But do you really think she's the perfect poster child?

  10. And this is advertised every commercial break on the station, I'm watching. I find it very odd.

  11. Her daughters were 6 and 9, and Michelle Obama was like any other working mom — struggling to juggle office hours, school pick-ups and mealtimes. By the end of the day, she was often too tired to make dinner, so she did what was easy: She ordered takeout or went to the drive-through.


    "I was shocked because my kids looked perfectly fine to me," Obama says. "But I had a wake-up call."


    The goal: to eliminate childhood obesity in a generation.

    "It's an ambitious goal, but we don't have time to wait," the first lady said in an interview with USA TODAY in her spacious office in the East Wing of the White House. "We've got to stop citing statistics and wringing our hands and feeling guilty, and get going on this issue."

    In a Generation

  12. Melody, you need to go to the movies more, and stay away from the tv.

  13. Anyone can eat healthy when they have SOMEONE cooking it for them. Just ask Oprah.

  14. Actually, I really don't like to go to the movies.

  15. The left is afraid of Palin, so they will continue to look for things to defile her. Ask Ash, he's terrified of her.

  16. "thou art my hard boiled better half"

    "my oval coherence"

    I like them lines.

    Well, you can hide sadness but not happisness.

    I am so damn happy I don't have to go to this stupid meeting tomorrow night. But I must shut up now.

  17. Who and What: Sarah Palin signs copies of her new book, Going Rogue.

    When and Where: Saturday, February 13th at 7:00-10:00 p.m. Eastern Volusia Mall Books-A-Million 1700 W International Speedway Boulevard Daytona Beach, FL 32114 (386) 226-0122

    Event Guidelines:

    -- Limited number of wristbands will be distributed beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, 2/12 at the Volusia Mall Books-A-Million. Customers can line up outside the street entrance of Books-A-Million.

    Daytona Beach

  18. The left is afraid of Palin, so they will continue to look for things to defile her. Ask Ash, he's terrified of her.

    Ash, poor sigh, doesn't have a clue as to what a real woman is.

  19. I wish, I was at Daytona Beach not for the book signing but for the warm air, I so desperately need right now. Again, I will be snowed in tomorrow. WTF...

  20. There is a comfy cabin, called shangri-la, where

    Exactly two, half by half
    Right down the middle with a hair
    Just as Plato said they should
    Creating desire

    and the fire burns bright

    and the two stuggle to become one

    It's out here in Idaho, but nowhere near Pennslyvania, or any big city

  21. struggle dammit, but you knew that...

    I get excited when I think about things....and mistype...

  22. I don't know why the Left has their panties in a bunch, but Sarah's hand is welcome here anytime.

  23. Sarah Palin is one good woman.

    She will make some mistakes, no doubt.

    But, she is one great Lady.

    So says bob.

  24. My husband arrived down at the new house today. Snow crotch-deep.

    He started right in shoveling and after an hour, had to pee. Had to pee but couldn't yet get into the house. Peed in the yard, natch. "My first indecent act in our new neighborhood."

    He shoveled from 11:30 to 4:30, when he called it quits, and is still only a third done. At least cleared a lane for the car into the garage.

    The GW Parkway is still only a lane and half and the roads in our little enclave are still treacherous without a 4WD.

    Should the electricity be lost there tomorrow due to high winds, he'll just have to suck it up because there were no Duraflame logs to be had between here and there - and he didn't consider appropriating any wood from my parents. If past experience is any guide, hotel rooms are all booked up.

    He does have a headlamp though.

    Never go anywhere without a headlamp.

    And a multi-tool. (Which saved the snow shovel. And his sanity, such as it is.)

  25. Words on Obama's hand: Six six six.

    Uh oh!

  26. Trish, if he peed in the yard he most certainly borrow some wood from a neighbor. You gotta do, whacha gotta do.

  27. Mark Halperin on Palin: "Nuts and out of her depth."

    Gee, d'ya think?

    If McCain was, in rufus' estimation, "McNutz", by what stretch of the imagine is Christocrat Warrior Mother not certifiable?

    I do believe Ryan's the guy to watch. And welcome relief from that entire carnival side show.

  28. That he can, Melody. That he can.

  29. He started right in shoveling and after an hour, had to pee. Had to pee but couldn't yet get into the house. Peed in the yard, natch. "My first indecent act in our new neighborhood."

    heh, you don't know nothin', you girls, try a John Deere, dears, in the middle of the afternoon, or a Harvester, at 4 o'clock.

    You got to get the wind just right.

  30. "heh, you don't know nothin', you girls"

    But we are the egg white of your universe.


  31. Just bought 'House of the Flying Daggers' on Blu-Ray. I'm guessing it's going to be pretty good.

  32. The Christocrat Mother Warrior has never, to my knowledge, stated any belief in man-made, catastrophic global warming, or waterboarding being torture.

    And, by the way, I Did vote for the nutty bastard.

  33. As the Obama administration lays the groundwork for a resolution, it is racing against a couple of timetables.

    The first is set by Iran’s nuclear program and the administration’s sense of urgency to act. The second is set by the dynamics of the Security Council, where France currently presides.

    The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has been aggressive in pushing for new sanctions, especially in the energy sector, according to American and European officials. The next member to hold the chair is Gabon, an African nation less likely to push hard for a resolution.

    Revolutionary Guards

  34. We be talkin' bout love, not politics, give it a rest, Rufus, goodnight.

  35. And "I am the egg (wo)man."

    And together we'll make a lovely walrus omelet. (See: Bad Poets Re-Mastering the Art of French Cooking.)

  36. Paul Ryan looks like a dweeb, and has no pizzazz; and Romney wears funny underwear on Sunday, or Saturday, or whatever.

    The Pub nomination is between Palin, and Huckabee. And you tell me the Pubs aren't the "Party of Stupid?"

  37. Go sleep it off, Bob. Trish called my name. I answered.

  38. Oh, but Trish has such a soft spot for dweeds.

    Don't rain on my little parade, rufus, mkay?

    Spring is aways away yet and my consolations are few.

  39. If McCain was, in rufus' estimation, "McNutz", by what stretch of the imagine is Christocrat Warrior Mother not certifiable?

    Sorry, Trish. I thought that was a question to me.

  40. And dweebs, too.

    Dweeds and dweebs both.

  41. That's GOO GOO GA JOOB by the way.

  42. Writing on the hand will be the "purple thumb" of the 2010 election, mark my words. The Tea Party can own this meme.

  43. The women all say the same thing. I did that when I was a "schoolgirl." Problem is, no one wants to elect a "schoolgirl" to the office of Predident.

  44. Anthony Michael Hall in Breakfast Club.

    "The thing is...Chicks can't hold they smoke."

  45. N.Y. Lawmakers Expel State Senator for First Time in Decades

    The New York State Senate on Tuesday evening voted to expel
    Senator Hiram Monserrate, the first removal of a member of
    the State Legislature in nearly a century. Mr. Monserrate, a
    Democrat from Queens, was found guilty of misdemeanor assault
    of his girlfriend in October.

  46. An example: The other night Sarah-Baby made reference to "doing something about" Carbon.

    Then, she goes to Oregon, and says:

    Climate Change is "Snake-Oil Science."

  47. I guess she thought that since the Press wasn't "invited," they wouldn't be there.

    Like I said, "she needs help."

    Folks, politicians are scum. All politicians are scum. Some are on your side, today, and you think they're "Great." Then they're against you tomorrow, and you think they're "Awful." Well, you were right the second time. They're ALL awful.

    A politician is like a rifle. They're tools, to be used, and thought of, as tools.

    If you're a "Rational" Human Being, you don't "fall in love with" your tools. You use them, clean them, and put them away.

    To politicians, "You" are the tools. They use you, and "put you away." Until they need you again.

  48. Just to be clear, rufus.

    I wasn't referring to Ryan as the guy to watch for the presidential in 2012. It just wouldn't make much sense for him to make a run in that direction. And 2010 is the focus now.

    As things evolve, he is the guy to watch for a coalescing fiscal conservative strategy leading into the 2012 campaign.

  49. I guess, if people were Really interested in fiscal responsibility he would be, Trish.

  50. People get grouchy during recessions.

  51. It seems to me that most people's (Liberals', as well as Conservatives') view of "fiscal responsibility" is, Why are you wasting that money on Them, when you could be spending it on Me?

  52. Don't be surprised if the next President's name is "Brown."

    Got the good hair, got the pick-up, got the attractive family, and got the pin-up.

    And, hasn't been around long enough to "disillusion."

  53. Um, I've noticed "a running distemper" since I became aware of politics.

    I am also three quarters of the way into a bottle of Santa Rita cab.

    What I wouldn't give for a warm, sunny morning on the rooftop back there right now.

  54. 100' and partly cloudy here in Adelaide today.

  55. “It’s getting too big a part of the global pie to keep relying on exports for growth, and so we do think there’s going to be a lot more policies to drive domestic consumption going forward,” Robert Subbaraman, chief economist for Asia excluding Japan at Nomura International Ltd., said in an interview on Bloomberg Television in Hong Kong today.

    Tackling Trade Surplus

    Policy makers may opt to shrink the trade surplus through raising wages rather than yuan gains, Credit Suisse Group AG economist Tao Dong said in an interview yesterday. Higher labor costs would cut Chinese export competitiveness while boosting domestic spending power and sustaining growth, he said.

    Jiangsu, the nation’s third-largest exporting province in 2008, boosted the minimum wage 13 percent this month in an effort the local labor department said was aimed at attracting workers.

    Chinese Exports up 21% - Imports Up 85%.

  56. Medical Tourism expected to explode in Panama

    According to this recent article in La Prensa, people coming to Panama for medical and dental of various kinds is growing dramatically and expected to increase due to the state of the U.S. health care system. My contacts in the medical field here in Panama echo these beliefs as they have seen a growing number of North Americans coming for various treatments which are much lower in cost than their home country. A recent trip I made to Costa Rica showed me just how advanced they are in this form of tourism. The small hotel I stayed in had folks sitting around the breakfast table talking about the various treatments they had come to receive. With Panama having a Johns Hopkins affiliated facility along with a number of top quality practitioners, I think that this is one aspect of tourism that can whether just about any economic storm.

    Machine translated from La Prensa

  57. While it seems that the Trump project in Panama is still moving forward, with completion scheduled for August of this year.

    Just a year or so behind the initial schedule, but still, given the economy and the Trump's series of debacles overseas, a hopeful sign.

  58. All dressed up and no where to go...fucking weather.

  59. Here is an overview of what is happening to what was Howard AFB and Fort Kobbe, in the Canal Zone.
    Really a great aerial photo of the place.

    Anyway, seems a US expat is developing it.
    Who is Sam Taliaferro

    Maybe Deuce knows.

    The weather here is clouding up, after being in the high 60's yesterday, looks like it may rain, today. It may be in the low 50's, at the moment.

  60. Another 18 inches here and it started last night as snow changed to rain and sleet now it's snow and sleet. Blizzard like conditions this afternoon. And I'm driving to Kentucky in 2 1/2 weeks.

  61. Blankley speaks.

    Palin Delivers Sparkle, Warmth

    ...2011 budget through 2020...

    "It not only shocked America, it even shocked the New York Times..."

  62. allen said:

    "Blankley speaks.

    Palin Delivers Sparkle, Warmth"

    Great link, Allen.

    I admire Sarah Palin. Very much. She is quite underestimated - except by her opponents.

  63. viktor,

    Re: Palin

    "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" (paraphrase).

  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. "Reagan was the Palin of his time. I am not equating the two yet. She still has much to prove to the public (as Reagan did in 1966).

    Reagan had humor, Palin has snark. Reagan had ideas and vision, Palin has talking points. Reagan was an inspiring speaker, Palin uses crib notes to deliver pap in an irritating twang. Reagan had substance, Palin puts the nit in the term nitwit. Reagan was attractive, Palin... Well, did you see her speech at Tea Party convention?

    Palin is a joke. A bad one.


  66. Although my expectations are not high, Gov. Palin has more than two years to work on her personna.

    Something other than her "nitwit" (one hopes) resonnates with a meaningfully active subset of the public.

    As was the case with President Obama, events may work in her favor.

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. Quirk said:

    "Reagan was the Palin of his time. I am not equating the two yet. She still has much to prove to the public (as Reagan did in 1966).

    Reagan had humor, Palin has snark. Reagan had ideas and vision, Palin has talking points. Reagan was an inspiring speaker, Palin uses crib notes to deliver pap in an irritating twang. Reagan had substance, Palin puts the nit in the term nitwit. Reagan was attractive, Palin... Well, did you see her speech at Tea Party convention?

    Palin is a joke. A bad one."

    It's hard to know where to begin to respond to such a vacuous
    appraisal of Palin.

    "Palin puts nit in the term nitwit."

    Do you realize, Quirk, that Palin, by all accounts, successfully administered a 9 billion dollar state budget?

    When she was in office she had one of the highest popularity ratings of any state governor?

    You can criticize her using crib notes but I hardly think that jotting down four words was what allowed her to deliver a 45 minute speech. A speech, I might add, which was received with standing ovations.

    The Tea Party organizers seem to think she worth something. They paid her a hundred grand to come and speak.

    "Reagan had humor, Palin has snark."

    You post this mean spirited comment about Palin and you have the gall to call her snarky?

    Sarah Palin is a thoroughly decent woman who is putting herself on the line to make this a better country. That she has to endure these insults is a disgrace. But she does endure and that speaks volumes about her character.

    All you have done, Quirk, with your comments, is to point out, to one and all, that all you are is an ignorant bully and a coward?