Barackrobatics: In the Right Direction

Jeff Dobbs inspired me to unleash the search engines on yet another Barackrobatic obsession:

March 24, 2009:
"We have to persevere, and that's what I'm going to emphasize," Obama said. "But what I'm confident about is that we're moving in the right direction."

April 29, 2009:
"I do think that our administration has taken some steps that have restored confidence in the American people that we're moving in the right direction and that simply opposing our approach on every front is probably not a good political strategy," he said.

May 14, 2009:
So I believe we're moving in the right direction. Step by step, we're making progress. Now, we've got a long way to go before we can put this recession behind us.

June 9, 2009:
This was the fewest number of jobs that we have lost in about eight months. So it was about half of the number lost of just a few months ago. And it's a sign that we're moving in the right direction.
July 11, 2009:
We are not there yet, and I continue to believe that even one American out of work is one too many. But we are moving in the right direction.
August 7, 2009:
Today we're pointed in the right direction. We're losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when I took office.
September 7, 2009:
But for the second straight month, we lost fewer jobs than the month before, and it was the fewest jobs that we had lost in a year. (Applause.) So, make no mistake, we're moving in the right direction. We're on the road to recovery, Ohio. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. (Applause.)
October 31, 2009:
But today, I am pleased to offer some better news that - while not cause for celebration - is certainly reason to believe that we are moving in the right direction.
November 6, 2009:
So although it will take time and it will take patience, I am confident that our economy will recover. I'm confident that we're moving in the right direction. And I promise that I won't rest until America prospers once again.
December 7. 2009:
We have had a very tough year, and we've lost millions of jobs. But at least now we are moving in the right direction.
January 8, 2010:
Last month, however, we slipped back, losing more jobs than we gained, though the overall trend of job loss is still pointing in the right direction.
March 18, 2010:
That's how economists measure a recovery -- and by those measures, we are beginning to move in the right direction.
April 15, 2010:
So I've been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. (Laughter.) You would think they would be saying thank you. (Laughter.) That's what you'd think. (Applause.) So we're headed in the right direction on our road to recovery.
May 13, 2010:
But I want to just say to Buffalo -- I want to say to all of you and I want to say to America, we can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, today we are headed in the right direction. We are headed in the right direction. (Applause.)
June 4, 2010:
This economy hasn't returned to prosperity yet, but we're heading in the right direction. There are going to be some ups and downs.
July 30, 2010:
We're still going to have to do a lot of work to put folks back to work. But we are moving in the right direction. The trend lines are good.
August 18, 2010:
But here's what I can tell you: After 18 months, I have never been more confident that we are headed in the right direction. We are doing what's needed to move forward.

[Yes, that's close to one quote per month since March 2009. For some reason, the President took "in the right direction" off his teleprompter for February 2010.]

GOP operatives will want to save this quote from February 10, 2009, when the Obama presidency was a mere three weeks old:

But Obama said he was under no illusions that his popularity could withstand a prolonged downturn. "If stuff hasn't worked and people don't feel like I've led the country in the right direction, then you'll have a new president," he said.
We'll be seeing that quote a lot over the next couple years, I think. The campaign ads pretty much write themselves.

(Original link via the indispensable Geraghty.)

The Ghost Writer

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

It's a movie co-written and directed by a truly despicable human being, Roman Polanski. It has a plot that sounds like the wet dream fantasy of your prototypical leftist paranoid conspiracy freak, relentlessly anti-American.

And yet, I kind of liked it. (Explanation/excuse below.)

Pierce Brosnan plays ex-British Prime Minister Adam Lang, hunkered down in a remote corner of Martha's Vineyard, trying to get his memoirs completed. Complication: the mysterious death of his ghostwriter, drowned after falling off the Vineyard's ferry. (Or was he pushed?) Worse, the International Criminal Court is making noises about indicting Lang for "war crimes", because he OKd grabbing some terrorists out of Pakistan and obligingly handed them over to the CIA.

Not to worry: Ewan McGregor quickly steps up to the ghostwriting plate, lured by a promised quarter-million dollar fee. But he quickly finds he's plunged into intrigue, as little bits of Lang's story don't add up, Lang's wife is continually sniping with Lang's pretty assistant (played by Kim Cattrall, so we're pretty sure what's going on there). Then the new ghost finds some mysterious pictures and notes hidden away by the old ghost, and things get really creepy.

The movie invites you to see Lang and his wife as thinly disguised versions of Tony and Cherie Blair. Lang gets charter-jetted around on a plane marked "Hatherton" (i.e. Haliburton) He's shown meeting with a Condoleezza Rice lookalike. And the shadowy neocon conspiracy running everything is …

Oh, never mind. I would guess even a lot of the aforementioned leftist paranoid conspiracy freaks would find it embarrassingly farfetched, a little too pandering to their fantasies. Since I switched off that part of my brain about three minutes in, I was able to enjoy the movie on that basis.

Pierce Brosnan really does a good job playing the charismatic, albeit disgraced, ex-PM. (The only false note is when he goes a tad too obviously Nixonian in one scene.)

And it was nice to say: "Hey, you know who that is? That's Eli Wallach!"

Last Modified 2012-10-02 4:06 PM EST