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May 27, 2008

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SteveMG

Cohen:
When he [Obama] said he would personally negotiate with Iran (if he were president), he might not have realized exactly what he was saying."

Well, that's a relief. I was worried there for a second.

If this guy is some sort of Muslim Manchurian Candidate (and I don't believe that for a second), he's so ill-prepared it won't matter.


Sara

The pictures of Ohrdruf forced labor camp tell the story of why someone who was there might need to spend 6 months in the attic when he got home.

From the link:

Ohrdruf made a powerful impression on General George S. Patton as well. He described it as "one of the most appalling sights that I have ever seen." He recounted in his diary that
In a shed . . . was a pile of about 40 completely naked human bodies in the last stages of emaciation. These bodies were lightly sprinkled with lime, not for the purposes of destroying them, but for the purpose of removing the stench. When the shed was full--I presume its capacity to be about 200, the bodies were taken to a pit a mile from the camp where they were buried. The inmates claimed that 3,000 men, who had been either shot in the head or who had died of starvation, had been so buried since the 1st of January. When we began to approach with our troops, the Germans thought it expedient to remove the evidence of their crime. Therefore, they had some of the slaves exhume the bodies and place them on a mammoth griddle composed of 60-centimeter railway tracks laid on brick foundations. They poured pitch on the bodies and then built a fire of pinewood and coal under them. They were not very successful in their operations because there was a pile of human bones, skulls, charred torsos on or under the griddle which must have accounted for many hundreds.
MikeS

Obama's uncle sounds like a hero to me. His grandfather was anxious to serve the country, after Pearl Harbor. Though she didn't serve in the military, there is no question that Obama's Grandma is a heroine who sacrificed for his benefit.

The reason I'm not voting for Obama is not because of his ancestors.

PrestoPundit

It's the constant b*llsh*t, the making stuff up, MikeS, isn't not the ancestors. Don't be stupid, please.

Danube of Thought

"Reagan is the only other viable politician..."

Great Scott! Speaking of raising the dead...

It's really comforting to know that Obama would "willingly take up arms" himself to prevent this, that or the other. Bravely spoken, Barry!

clarice

DOT, I put that in the same category as BJ's avering he'd suit up and jump in the trenches to defend Israel.
Sure.
Count on it.

Porchlight

"Not very bright" is a relative term when you're talking about Mr. Smartest Guy in the Room, BHO. I think he's well into triple digits, he's just not the 160+ Super Genius that his fans think he is. 125-135 sounds about right.

And IQ is not everything in a President. You can be uber intelligent and still make some pretty boneheaded moves in this life. I'd rather have a 120 guy who can lead instinctively and who makes the correct "gut" decisions when necessary, than a 165 intellectual who has no idea how the world really works.

In BHO's case I think we're seeing a 130 guy who has no idea how the world really works, but has just enough smarts to convince others he's a genius.

MikeS

Don't be stupid, please.

Obama's ancestors are NOT the reason he won't be getting my vote.
Is that better?

Rick Ballard

Perhaps we should have a "Ne'er Shall I Vote For Thee, Let Me Count The Whys" contest in sonnet form (extra points awarded for maintaning iambic pentameter and perfect scan)?

Danube of Thought

The guy did graduate magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, and unless there's been a lot of recent jiggering with the system, I just don't think you can do that with an IQ of 125-130. But I couldn't agree more that IQ has zero to do with the presidency. I understand Jimmy Carter's is extremely high, and FDR's was mediocre. I think David McCullough estimates that John Quincy Adams had the hightest of anyone to hold the office, and he was a failed one-termer.

Bad, it's wonderful to hear from you.

Danube of Thought

Remember Al Gore, in one of the debates, mentioning that some ancestor--I think it was an uncle--had been gassed in WWI at some place in Eastern Europe? I remember sitting bolt upright and saying "wha-a-t the bleep?" Turned out it was pure bullshit. (No one in the US armed forces was gassed, or otherwise injured, in Eastern Europe in that war.)

That was the debate at the end of which each candidate was allowed to ask the other one question. I was imagining I was Bush, and wondering if I'd have the balls to ask, "Mr. Gore, tell us again--who it was who was gassed, and where?" If he'd done so, we wouldn't have had to cheat Gore out of Florida.

Danube of Thought

Ah, yes--just for the sheer, unadulterated gloating pleasure of the thing, and with a nod to Google, let me dredge up some vintage Gore:

"Vice President Al Gore's first presidential debate performance included another apparent faux pas.

"'And when the conflict came up in Bosnia,' said Gore, 'I saw a genocide in the heart of Europe, with the most violent war on the continent of Europe since World War II. Look, that's where World War I started, in the Balkans. My uncle was a victim of poison gas there. Millions of Americans saw the results of that conflict.'

"Question: Did Al Gore really have an uncle who was the victim of poison gas in the Balkans?

"Although World War I did begin in Sarajevo, in the Balkans, there were no Americans stationed in that region. According to Martin Gilbert's seminal work 'The First World War,' most of the fighting in that region was between local groups aligned with the Austro-Hungarian forces and Russians. American troops fought in France during the war, but certainly no Americans were gassed in the Balkans."

Sara

Common sense and practical life experience is more important that exceptional IQ numbers in getting along or leading in the real world.

I was raised by a woman with a tested IQ of 170. She was a mathematical genius and combined that with exceptional verbal, especially writing, and musical skills. But she was the least observant person I have ever known unless she was actually focusing on something. She lived in her own world and, in my opinion, saw the world as a poem waiting to be written.

She was amazed, for instance, that her neighbor knew how many lights there were between two points that she traveled daily and also knew how many seconds each light stayed red. My Mother traveled that same route twice a day for over 30 years and said she knew there were lights but didn't really pay that much attention.

She was able to camouflage what she thought of as her "mental flaw" most of the time because she had a photographic memory with near total recall, so if she focused she could recreate most things in her mind well enough to fool nearly everyone, but I could give you thousands of examples of this lack of observation skill.

Porchlight

Good point, Danube. Maybe 140 is a better estimate.

As far as magna cum laude at HLS, it would be interesting to find out the percentage of magna cum laude HLS graduates in 2008, in 1991 when Obama graduated, and in, say, 1958. Despite the Flynn Effect I think those numbers would tell us quite a lot.

I looked this up at my alma mater recently and over one half of all graduates that year had achieved cum laude or higher. In my time it was more like one quarter and in my parents' time at the same school, one tenth or less. I just don't see how that's a result of anything other than grade inflation.

Sara

By the way, we have a name for people like my Mother and perhaps BooHoo, called "the absent-minded professor."

MikeS

It seems to me that a grasp of the facts is more important to good judgment than IQ. For example if I believed (as Borak and Michelle do) that poor people in this country were in worse financial shape now than they were in the 70s, my judgment about what to do now would be completely different than it is.

MayBee

Obama is smart enough to learn facts he cares about. I don't think he cares much about US History, he doesn't care much about the US military, and I don't think he cares much about the fine art of diplomacy.

How will the Jewish voters look at today's blunder? If you've seen one concentration camp, you've seen them all, I guess.

PeterUK

The most odious characteristic of this vacuous man,is the way he appropriates the experience of others to create his own narrative.
Tony Bliar was a past master of this,it is the conmans stock in trade.He also has Bliar's vanity,lacking the humility that exemplifies true leadership,Bliar ruthlessly exploited any event for self promotion,in the process wreaked enormous damage.

Sara

Obama is smart enough to learn facts he cares about. I don't think he cares much about US History, he doesn't care much about the US military, and I don't think he cares much about the fine art of diplomacy.

I'll take it one step further. I don't think he cares much for the U.S. period. Except maybe as a platform for his own self promotion.

Danube of Thought

He cares in the sense that he wants to save us, Sara, and to repent on our behalf for our sins. He's going to heal our souls.

kathy

Off topic, sort of. Lou Dobbs had on Gov. Richardson tonight. He asked Gov. Richardson to give an example of a border fence that did not work. The example cited by Gov. Richardson, the Berlin Wall. Lou Dobbs didn't explode but I did. Is there any part of history that has not been rewritten by Democratic Presidential candidates.

Elliott

Mark Halperin is head of the class in new math.

Elliott

Mark Halperin is head of the class in new math.

centralcal

Oh goody. Scott McClellan has written the history of the Bush administration according to a lame ex-press secretary.

LUN

Pagar

" I don't think he cares much for the U.S. period." My feelings exactly.

cathyf

Well, I'm willing to cut a person some slack when repeating other people's stories. Especially since they may have been 3rd-hand by the time Obama heard them.

Jane

Karl Rove was on Hannity and said that first of all McClellan wasn't in on any of the meetings her reported, that what he reported about Libby and Katrina was simply not true and that the book sounded more like a left wing blog than McClellan.

Jane

HE reported.

clarice

cathy, he said much the same thing in 2002 and it was noted then that it was in error.

We now know the Messiah's weak point:flapping his gums without engaging brain.
And we know the media's--they cannot keep covering his gaffes while magnifying McCain and Hill's.

Here's your assignment:We will report dutifully every one of these gaffes every day..every day because he will now be making them every day as the campaign moves into the phase where he cannot remain in front of an adoring audience reading off a teleprompter.

glenda waggoner

PeterUK- I see your Bliar is like Clarice's
carp.

clarice

My friend Allen West proves me right. He's definitely not chopped liver.
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=26680>West responds to Politico

Sue

If McClellan knew of a meeting between Libby and Rove, shouldn't he have told the mighty Fitz at the time? And if he did tell Fitz, and Fitz didn't find it interesting or provable, is it just to sell a book?

clarice

I think McClellan is an idiot; politico is trying hard for a headline and the publisher is trying to flog books. My five cents..there's nothing there/

Sue

Clarice,

I don't know what to make of McClellan. He was an original Bush loyalist from Texas. That he turned on Bush seems odd to me. Unless it is scores to settle with Libby, Rove and Cheney and Bush just got caught in the cross-fire. Seems really odd to me though that McClellan would try and hurt Bush more than he has already been hurt. I'm sure it pissed him off when Bush supported Gov. Goodhair over one tough Grandma.

clarice

We only have what I'm sure is politico's heated version and they probably got it from the publisher's p.r. operation to flog the book.

In any event McClellan was a stupid incompetent and if anyone had him anywhere near a serious discussion in the WH I'd be astonished. He may have some bad feelings..As I recall he seemed shocked that he was replaced. I'd never have hired that dunce in the first place.

 Ann

"Politico did get one thing right: their headline read, “GOP fails to recruit minorities. I can’t speak for the rest, but I wasn’t recruited. Just like I volunteered for the Army two decades ago, I volunteered for this opportunity to serve my country again and I look forward to doing so in November." -Allen West

I just fell in love with Allen West, again!!!

Today, I received an expensive mailing from Robert M. "Mike" Duncan, Chairman, Republican National Committee (Who is that, you ask? Nobody is the answer) that Allen West could teach a few lessons.

The mailing starts off "It is my great privilege as Chairman of the Republican Party to present you with your 2008 RNC Presidential Trust Membership Card." It continues with two pages of carp and a plastic card with my name on it under the heading "PRESIDENTIAL TRUST". The entire mailing consisted of how bad the Democrats' liberal special interest cronies are and doesn't say one blasted thing the Republican party stands for or will do if I send them their victory money. Of course, the FARM BILL came to mind, and they didn't ask for my victory money for that piece of carp.

Sorry, to rant, but we need a form letter to send back with our "Victory Money" or empty envelope. Maybe, Allen West is up for the job or someone here at JOM. If we don't fight back together and tell the RNC what we think, who will?

clarice

I'm largely saving my efforts for people like West who I believe in having seen the party piss away money on Lincoln Chafee with no --ahem--preconditions.

Elliott

But look at all the preparations they made.

MayBee

Ha!

JB

Obama? 120 I.Q. tops. A poster boy for affirmative action.

The Information section of the test would drag him down significantly.

JM Hanes

Over at Ace's place, they're taking the Civics Literacy Quiz, so in the lull between Obamanations, maybe the JOM crowd might enjoy taking a shot at it too. When you get to the results page, clicking the "tables" hotlink pulls up the average results by question for the college students who participated in the testing. I was interested in which questions they found the hardest. Wonder how our candidates would do?

Danube of Thought

"A poster boy for affirmative action."

I still have seen no evidence at all that there's an affirmative-action way to graduate from Harvard Law magna cum laude.

Throughout his exquisitely cringe-making tenure as press secretary, I thought that Scott McClellan was the dumbest son of a bitch ever to occupy that position--I honestly thought it might be W's sly way of insulting the press. So if he's pissed off about being trotted out there to a spot he was far too stupid to occupy day in and day out, and he wants to whine about it, fine. I would never have expected anything different from the hapless dunce.

clarice

DOT, Last I looked into it one has to take law school classes there only in the first year after which --for the remaining 2 years--you can take classes throughout the college. I suppose one could spend the last two years on carp courses and get your average up.

It's hard getting in than it is to most any other law school--except for AA---and almost harder to get tossed out. I don't think they rank either. When I began practicing here (NLRB appellate )it was in what President Kennedy had established as the honors program. Most of the lawyers in that group were Harvard grads. In no time the most complex briefs had been assigned to me, not them.
My husband had the same situation at DoJ (tax division appellate)where he proudly headed a group of grads of what he called the LLSA (lesser law schools of America).

We both found that someone had forgot to tell these guys that while the law of New Zealand is interesting, the Courts of Appeal actually expect you to deal with the facts and law applicable to the case before them and would prefer to deal with those more plebian items.

In any event, having watched the Clintons and now Obama, I'm beginning to think the law schools of the Ivy League contain a significant number of sociopaths.

Sara

JMH: I took it earlier and scored a 91.6%. I missed 5, two of those I had right and changed at the last minute. My downfall was the econ and the philosophy. I felt dumb compared to the scores some of the others were getting at Ace's, but then I saw how the college kids did and I feel pretty darn good for an ol' broad who got her education after h.s. piecemeal and never at any elite school.

Elliott

I missed a couple more than you did, Sara, but goodness those college mean scores are awful. I wonder what the averages were and also how well the top 10 or 25% at the schools did.

Sara

JMH: I think as far as this test is concerned, age is an advantage. A good portion of the questions I learned about in junior and senior h.s., the rest I lived through first hand. I know my h.s. education was far superior to what my kids received and I imagine it is even worse today. We, at least, were encouraged to think for ourselves, whereas today I envision school as one big p.c. propaganda session turning out Stepford grads of every discipline.

JM Hanes

Sara:

Well, personally, I consider 91.6% an excellent score!:) Although I'd quarrel with their wording on what constitutes the concept of a "public good," missing the Federal Budget question was just downright embarrassing.

I wasn't terribly surprised that so many college kids these days whiffed Plato's Republic (although I'd have thought the Socrates-Plato-Aristotle-Aquinas question would have given them more trouble), but the other top five fumbles seem like pretty basic stuff:

Separation of church and state
Enumerated powers
Monroe Doctrine
Traditional just war criteria
Federal budget

Sara

JMH: There were many questions where I didn't know the right answer, but I did know which choices were the wrong answer. That helped. I thought some of the choices were worded in such a way as to be more up-to-date than the way I learned it and I had to figure out what they were really saying, but as I was taking the test, I kept thinking, ah, that one will trip up anyone born after 1960, or 1980, etc. For instance, I doubt many of my generation or earlier would get the church and state one wrong, but today's generation of college kids and a good portion of their parents have been so indoctrinated with the mantra of separation, they are probably shocked to learn it isn't in the Constitution.

I keep reminding myself that this a generation who can't find Iraq on a map, yet think we should get out of it, wherever it is and they can't name the VP either or any of the Supremes. They can text like mad though. And maybe with information right at their fingertips, they don't need to know all those things anyway, until or unless they bump against that pesky history tending to repeat itself thingy and actually have to think rather than parrot.

Sam

Scott McClellan will be attempting to come clean in his soon-to-be-released book. Sorry Scott but only when you testify against BushCo in the International Criminal Court will absolution be considered for you.

What do think the BushCo disapproval rating will be by next week? 95% ?

Will John "Keating Five" McCain break into double digits in November?

JB

Well, it's certain that the Bush "disapproval" rating will remain 100% at the First Church of The Holy Moonbat.

bgates

The other four of the Keating five were Democrats; three of those four Democrats were found to have substantially and improperly interfered with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in its investigation of Keating's S&L. One of those three Democrats was later appointed a Director of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation by Clinton.

The Senate Ethics Committee found that McCain and one Democrat, John Glenn, engaged in questionable conduct but did not interfere in the FHLBB investigation.

Barack Obama, a man running for President who does not know what Memorial Day is for and who bought his house with the aid of a man on trial for fraud and extortion, was not involved in the S&L bailout, as he was snorting coke in high school at the time.

Bush's approval ratings will remain at least 50% higher than the Democratic Congress' for the remainder of his term.

Jane

Good Morning everyone! It's a Wednesday that feels like a Tuesday. I eagerly await Obama's latest gaffes. A website called ObamaWTF has chronicled 50 of them. LUN

 Ann

Good Morning JOM!

ObamaWTF

Soylent Red

they're taking the Civics Literacy Quiz

93.3. Missed four because I didn't read the question fully.

What was truly depressing is to look at the scores of the various universities. It really is no wonder someone like Barack Obama can be considered a viable political candidate.

SlimGuy

OK

I have been trying to sort this whole mess out and still am getting conflicting data.

As pointed out Burton via Politico says the great uncle in question is on the grandmother side of the family tree so the grandfather and his brother are a non issue unless Burton got his signals mixed.

Riehl World has tracked the genealogy record for the grandmother and shows the great uncle as Charles E Payne who from that post never enlisted in the army but went in the Navy instead.

However a commentor at ACE comes up with a Payne record for the army but doesn't link which database is used for the info.

Looks like it will take a name of the great uncle to figure it all out. Plus a proof of service on the guy would help.

Jim

You beat me, Soylent. I got a 91, well above the Harvard kids' 69.

Not that that score is anything to be proud of (even 100 isn't), but I love the quiz because it shows me that during the last twenty years, since age 22, I have pulled myself out of the morass of ignorance. At 22 and a graduate of the "best" liberal arts college in the country, I would have scored well below 50, I'm sure. Back then I was bitter and I clung to my unreflective leftism, having antipathy for people different from me. But all along I wanted to know the truth, whatever it was. The quiz gives me to thank God for that.

clarice

Well, we can all feel superior to today's college students or we can acknowledge that with the emphasis on enrolling foreign students/multicult/the breakdown of the core curricula , many college students have far less interest and spend far less time studying American history and political institutions than people our age did.

kim

PUK, et all you als, have you seen the Guardian article demonstrating that most of the carbon credit companies are a gawdawful crock and waste of money? It's worse than the Food for Oil mess, far worse. Once again, ostensibly good intentions, inadequately examined for consequences on down the road.
======================

glasater

Here are some statistics from NR that refer to the length of time students spend studying.

How Hard Do They Work

glasater

Kim--The US Senate is getting in on the act.

cathyf

I'm sure that I took this quiz, or some previous version of it, before -- because I have screwed up Yorktown vs Saratoga before! The only other question I got "wrong" I think they are wrong -- the only way that the fed "buying bonds" is associated with an increase in business debt is if they buy corporate bonds -- which the fed never does!

Danube of Thought

Clarice, I think you must have got some bum dope about class requirements at HLS, unless there's been a very drastic change. Back in the day (70's), in your third and final year you were allowed to take one course per semester from anywhere else in the university, but that's all. There were very strict and unbendable requirements for the number of units of law school courses required for the degree.

Has this guy's transcript ever been made public?

clarice

He has refused to make his transcript public, DOT. My info may be wrong. I heard that some time ago. Let's see if I can find out anything more on the class requirements at HLS.

clarice

Well, I went to the HLS site and found that there are various very fluid sounding "programs of study" which seem not to have any set requirements. Here's law and social change headed by two people one of whom is Lani Guinier
: http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/registrar/upper_level_programs/social_change/>Looks like fluffernut to me

Porchlight

I got an 88 - seven wrong. Pretty weak show. Like Jim above, however, I would have done far more poorly had I taken it right out of college, because at least half of this information I've learned since then.

However, it made me feel better to know that a friend of mine, a Ph.D. whom I went to college with and who is very intelligent, answered only 38 correctly. She is fond of telling me how anti-intellectual conservatives are, and how all the "smart" people are liberal. HA ha.

Danube of Thought

Yeah--that "law and social change" business looks a little shaky, but at least some of the courses listed withing it are regular, substantive law courses (environmental law, immigration law).

Getting a little suspicious...

Rick Ballard

"Getting a little suspicious..."

Wander through International and Comparative Law. Whenever I see "roll your own" degree design

Even for students wishing to specialize in international legal studies, there is no single prescribed path, given the richness of our curriculum and the enormous diversity of student interests. Indeed, we would counsel students to think “outside the box” in putting together their curricular choices. Hence, the following are meant simply to be illustrative of the range of possibilities.
I wonder how many quarters of underwater basket weaving are involved.

Jane

Lots of good stuff coming out on William Jefferson over at Patterico's.

sbw

91.67 for me. Five wrong: Missed two for rushing through. One for being flat out wrong. One for thinking the question was poorly phrased. And one for thinking that Edmund Burke's importance is overblown.

BTW, who cares if the War of 1812 was a standoff? I did know that its most famous battle was fought after the treaty was signed. Useless trivia.

Danube of Thought

OT: According to the new Field Poll, for the first time in history a majority in CA support same-sex marriage, 51-42.

Last time I saw a poll on the initiative to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, 54% were in favor. Historically, an initiative has to have much higher support than that in early polling if it is to succeed on election day.

It's over.

Rick Ballard

"BTW, who cares if the War of 1812 was a standoff?"

James Madison.

That offsets my error on the bond question, so now I claim a 100 as my score (HLS standards).

Sue

BTW, who cares if the War of 1812 was a standoff?

Me. I got that one right. I felt pretty good about my scores compared to the college kids, but not with you guys. I apparently don't know my Plato and buddies. I mean, I pretty much knew that to begin with but the test just proved it. ::grin::

Sue

Jane,

I thought you meant Clinton.

sbw

Sue: I apparently don't know my Plato

I certainly didn't depend on my college Intro to Philosophy course for that. They tend to have you read excerpts from Plato and wrestle hopelessly dated presentations of ideas to the ground.

However, driving to work each day I did just finish a 60-lecture, 30 CD course Intro to Philosophy. It's the course that colleges should teach and don't.

Jane

I know my Plato, but not my economics. Altho I thought I would have done better closer to college. At least I beat those silly college kids.

Sue

Jane,

I didn't think I would do well on the economic questions, but I did. Actually, the ones I missed, even the Plato ones, I thought I got right, and the ones I thought were wrong, were right.

Jane

So you decided to rub it in?


(just kidding) There was a lot of stuff I guessed at by elimination. But the whole thing made me feel pretty dumb.

JM Hanes

cathyf:

I didn't see any good answers to the bond question either, but then I'm one of the folks who has to think out the whole equation in order to remember which way to divide the numbers to come up with a percentage.

Apparently, however, amending our scores is the order of the day! So I'll give myself a point for National Defense, because in my book, we pay for it pretty damn directly, and another point for getting the right answer on Andrew Jackson even though the subject of the question was Andrew Johnson, and then ice the cake with the point you just gave me. The other embarrassments were clearly deus ex machina moments designed to save me from the arrogance of perfection -- which is, of course, perfection in its most perfect form, relatively speaking. In light of that larger truth, I feel quite comfortable awarding myself a perfect score.

JM Hanes

"BTW, who cares if the War of 1812 was a standoff?"

In the new William Ayers' curriculum, it's called a quagmire.

Danube of Thought

More OT stuff:

"TAMPA, FL -- For the 2nd time this year, a federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a Florida democrat delegate angry over party rules that have threatened to keep Florida Delegates from being seated at the upcoming Democratic Convention.

"Once again US District Judge Richard A. Lazzara ruled Wednesday the DNC did not violate any laws in stripping Florida's delegates of their voting powers."

clarice

Wanna bet he gamed the system and after the first year's required basics (contracts/torts/etc) he took most of his courses at the Kennedy school and undergraduate courses to run up a high GPA without knowing much. Listen to him on the role of judges or constitutional law and you'll conclude as I have he knows very little. (Ditto, of course, with the smartest woman in the world.)

The Ivies some time ago decided that they were admitting such brilliant well-prepared students that the normal, tested, courses of study were beneath them, forgetting that the high schools from which their scholars came were pretty much doing the same thing as well (or were overseas). Each year the average test results on US history and basic western civ questions gets lower and lower.

Sam

You do understand that you people will, within a just a few years, be seen as something akin to a Nazi sympathizer don't you?

Ranger

Wanna bet he gamed the system and after the first year's required basics (contracts/torts/etc) he took most of his courses at the Kennedy school and undergraduate courses to run up a high GPA without knowing much. Listen to him on the role of judges or constitutional law and you'll conclude as I have he knows very little. (Ditto, of course, with the smartest woman in the world.)

Posted by: clarice | May 28, 2008 at 12:25 PM

That would help explain why he was never allowed near a courtroom while actually working in a law firm.


clarice

And why, despite racking up all that debt to pay for law school and college, he ended up at a low paying community organizer job.

You will never see him release his transcripts. Never.

Jane

Isn't Law Review based on grades? I think it was at my school.

Soylent Red

You will never see him release his transcripts. Never.

Wait. Just. ADarnMinute.

Are you seriously saying that Barack Obama is not all he claims to be? Because that would change everything...


You do understand that you people will, within a just a few years, be seen as something akin to a Nazi sympathizer don't you?

This from the party of tolerance. I guess I'll see you all in the re-education camps.

I'll be the one being force-fed an unread history textbook for the good of the State.

cathyf
I apparently don't know my Plato
If you really want to know Plato better, read Aristophanes' The Clouds.

While I got the Republic question right, and I read the Republic, all the way through, honest, I missed that the argument was in favor of philosopher-kings when I read the book. I "learned" that later from other sources. I know that the Bloom translation is the canonical one, but nomos doesn't mean "law" -- at least not the way we mean "law" -- and the Republic comes out very different if you translate nomos as "norm" or "ethos" or "way of life". The problem with the whole "philosopher-king" argument is that it assumes that the question is always political -- who is in charge. But Plato can be read more as what ideas do people order their lives against -- in which case the philosopher is not "king" but analyst.

cathyf
Isn't Law Review based on grades?
I've seen some discussion of this before, and there is some question as to whether or not it was during Obama's time. Apparently now there are diversity points, while it used to be strictly grades. There was a period where they were giving diversity points but refuse to admit it, which was either after Obama's time (in which case he had the grades) or started up about the time that he was put on law review (which would mean that he could have been a beneficiary.)

I would be not at all surprised if Obama did crummy in school because he was not a serious student, because he's got neurotic issues arising from being abandoned by his parents, etc. I would be surprised, though, if Harvard admitted him with significantly lower qualifications than the average HLS admittee. I mean this is Harvard after all. Other schools have to lower their standards to get any minorities precisely because Harvard has grabbed all of the best qualified minorities. The way that Harvard gets diversity is by admitting every one of the ridiculously overqualified minorities who apply, while turning down 9/10 of the ridiculously overqualified whites who apply and 19/20 of the ridiculously overqualified asians who apply.

JM Hanes

Back when I was in college, the folks with the best shot at getting into Harvard as undergrads were the ones who could tell the tallest, strangest tales in their interviews. It was a great time to be in school in New England!

Rick Ballard

Cathyf,

You are neglecting the importance of BHO's Alinskyite service prior to admission to HL. He met and surpassed the Gramscian affinity requirement with his successful passage through the Chicago Machine indoctrination course. Grades and brains just ain't innit.

How does one grade detachment from any ehical principles? I would suggest that the proof lies in the Rezko situation.

JM Hanes

Clarice:

Didn't Kerry refuse to release his transcripts too? I'm not even sure we found out that Bush had a better grade point average than Kerry did till after the election. Now that you can't tell when one campaign ends and the next one begins, though, I'm finding it a lot harder to retrieve specific timelines from the memory hole!

Sue

I remember Kerry saying he had released all of his records and then saying we couldn't know if Bush scored higher because he (Kerry) hadn't released all of his records. In some of the documents we saw, Kerry's scores were indeed lower than Bush's, which is what the interviewer was referring to. In order to protect himself from the claim that Bush was smarter, he had to admit we hadn't seen all of his records. Smartest man in the room...indeed...

clarice

I believe Kerry did also refuse to release his transcripts though Maraniss somehow got hold of them. Another Dem genius Stevenson arranged with the Dean of Harvard to lock up his transcripts. (When he dies the only book in his apt was the Green Book (the Who's Who of NY society).

My recollection is that the NYT article announcing O's position as editor of HLR noted that the publication was no longer just using grades to determine who'd get that post.

As for his admittance in the first place--he started out at a small college (forgot name) on the West Coast, transferred to Columbia (always desperate for Black scholars esp with exotic backgrounds) and I'd bet my bottom dollar his major was a soft one..
And Yes, Mr. Rick is right,too, the Chicago machine pegged him as an up and comer and let the admissions office know he was wired.

Jane

I would be surprised, though, if Harvard admitted him with significantly lower qualifications than the average HLS admittee.

Actually I remember reading something about how he snowed everyone, with the same posed elitism he displays on the trail. I'm sure that qualified him for points here and there. And I'm also sure being black gave him a leg up or two. Clearly he didn't work, so he probably spent a good bit of time getting to know the powers that be. That went on in my lawschool, a lot, (I finally figured out in year 3) and I bet we were in law school around the same time.

Or maybe he is simply brilliant.

sbw

the proof lies in the Rezko situation.

And what is the Rezko [court] situation?

Jane

Jury is still out (I checked this morning). They have deliberated a total of about 6 days (over several weeks). They don't appear to be in a hurry.

Porchlight
I'd bet my bottom dollar his major was a soft one..

Yep - International Relations, IIRC.

cathyf
...the importance of BHO's Alinskyite service prior to admission to HL. He met and surpassed the Gramscian affinity requirement with his successful passage through the Chicago Machine indoctrination course.
Yeah, I wasn't so clear about what I meant there -- I was including the "Gramscian affinity requirement" when I claimed he was probably qualified. What I'm claiming here is a basic counting statistics question. When you are Harvard, you have 30 or 40 ridiculously overqualified applicant for every slot. So if you want a left-handed poli sci major with one brown eye and one blue eye, the question is "do you want the left or the right eye blue?" In other word, you eliminate huge swaths of qualified people essentially at random. Harvard is in a unique privileged top-of-the-heap position, in that they can put together a very diverse class, all highly qualified, by admitting virtually all of the qualified (non-asian) minorities and rejecting a large fraction of their white applicants and an even larger fraction of their asian applicants. Where it gets ugly is further down the food chain. Harvard gets most of the first-rate minorities. The other first-rate schools divide up the rest of the first-rate minorities, and then need all of the second-rate minorities to get decent numbers. The second-rate schools get the third-rate and fourth-rate minorities. By the time the third-rate and fourth-rate schools get their chance, the minority students that are in their applicant pool are way way underqualified in comparison to the white and asian students in their applicant pool. Not because better minority applicants don't exist, but because they applied to, and were accepted, at schools further up the food chain.

Everyone is familiar with the perverse effect of affirmative action where students end up at places that are too hard for them, and so they flunk out, where they would have succeeded in a place better matched to their abilities (a privilege afforded to white students.) But my point is that there is a compression effect, too. At Harvard, the top half of the class is a bit short of minorities while the bottom half is a bit overrepresented, whereas at Whatsuhmatta U there ends up being a gap with most white and asian students above and most minorities below.

In other words, Obama as a bullshitting intellectual poseur was probably like lots of other white bullshitting intellectual poseurs. And he probably had no better or worse grades than the whites who specialized in "posed elitism" (nice turn of phrase, Jane.)

HoosierHoops

Wanna bet he gamed the system and after the first year's required basics (contracts/torts/etc) he took most of his courses at the Kennedy school and undergraduate courses to run up a high GPA without knowing much. Listen to him on the role of judges or constitutional law and you'll conclude as I have he knows very little. (Ditto, of course, with the smartest woman in the world.)

Posted by: clarice | May 28, 2008 at 12:25 PM
mmmm.. wouldn't it be nice if the Hoopster got a law degree or even understood what Plato was talking about.. was as smart as you folks here..I'm not sure what my IQ is but probably around my bowling average..which is why i bowl once a year..I certainly wouldn't bowl in front of the cameras if i knew a 37 was going to be my high game. That's Dumb.
You guys and gals worked way too hard in college..Basketweaving Rocked!!
:)

Elliott

Via Geraghty, Obama discusses education and language acquisition:

"When it comes to second-language learners, the most important thing is not to get bogged down in ideology, but figure out what works," Obama says. "Everybody should be bilingual, or everybody should be trilingual."

Ever the pragmatist on bilingual education, but unwilling to offer his opinion as to what does work. I recall his stance on school vouchers was similar, i.e., if there were solid evidence they work, he'd consider supporting them. If only he had the same standard on our strategy in Iraq.

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Wilson/Plame