Barackrobatics: Dimewatch IX

From this Politico article:

"President Obama didn't accept a dime from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists during his presidential campaign," spokesman Ben LaBolt said.
Emphasis added. Even though it's not the President himself speaking, but one of his minions, the general rule applies: use of the word "dime" in presidential rhetoric is a very reliable marker of fabrication or flimflam.

And we don't have to work very hard to find the dishonesty in this case. From the very same article:

BP [British Petroleum] and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company's political action committees -- $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals. […] During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.
What the spokesperson is saying might be technically true, but carefully worded to mislead. And it's nothing new; Obama made the same claim during the campaign. At the time, Factcheck called his rhetoric "a little too slick", and even Politifact (usually totally in the tank for Obama) rated such clean-as-a-whistle claims half true at best.

(Previous episodes of Dimewatch here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

And You Say I'm a Fool Around Honey That May Be True

… but I'd sooner fool around than be a fool for a fool:

  • Bryan Caplan looks back at the now-defunct "Libertarians for Obama" blog. He quotes extensively from one of their last posts, and (erring on the side of politeness) says it "sure sounds naive in retrospect."

    I think it sounded naive in non-retrospect as well. You want something prescient, read this Will Wilkinson article from 2005, where he identified then-Senator Obama's economic insights as "coming from 1935 or thereabouts."

  • Trust me: where two or three (or more) college instructors are gathered, there are tales of student bloopers. If you're looking for a gift for someone in that situation, College in a Nutskull: A Crash Ed Course in Higher Education might be a good choice. From the Amazon page (reformatted):
    American History:
    "The Underground Railroad was built as the nation's first public transit system."
    Art:
    "Cubism is art from Cuba."
    Religion:
    "Moses led his Islams out of Egypt. Bananas from heaven arrived to feed the hungry people. These events are described in the Book of Zeus."
    Philosophy:
    "Plato did his thinking in the Cave of Al Gore."
    Economics:
    "The theory of surplus value is Marx's idea that you always shop with coupons."
    Music:
    "Bach's sacred choral music includes the B Minor Mess. . . . All one million of his famed works can be found in his BMW. He had over one hundred children and was, of course, very famous for his work with his organ. Two of his successful sons were Jesus Christ Bach and Bacherini."
    Literature:
    "Jay Gatsby moved to East Egg because it would be a good place to raise his chickens."
    And Psychology--or is it Theater Arts:
    "Most people are either straight, gay, or thespian."

  • Yet another Dave Barry interview here. He'll keep doing 'em until you buy his book, so give in .


Last Modified 2012-10-03 1:56 PM EDT