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February 27, 2010



Sara, Daddy, Everyone else on Intellect-

If you haven't read Thomas Sowell's new book, Intellectuals and Society you will SO enjoy it.

His point about the relevance of mundane knowledge, how widely it is distributed, and how little respect the elite have for what drives our economy well is alone worth the price of admission.


The dumbest boy in my high school classbecame the first millionaire. Unable to get into college, he worked at his dad's hardware store in Wisconsin. A guy came in with his new invention, a snow blower--and voila, history and a new millionaire were made.

You went to school with Arthur Sicard??


Good points, Christopher. I wasn't trying to defend those bozos. I think progressives also value intellect (which equates in their view with higher education - YMMV) because in many cases it's all they've got and all they know. They don't value the "git 'er done" view of life because by and large they've never had to "git 'er done." (I work in a state job in a blue town and my colleagues are 99% progressives, so believe me, I know.)

Rick Ballard


Completion of a prog approved course of indoctrination indicates the ability to regurgitate pap. The credentialed morons whom you mention are several parsecs short of "whiz kid" status. It's very understandable for members of the intellectual featherweight class to laud an equal.


No..I didn't say this guy invented the snowblower. He was able to see the value of a small one that homeowners could use and when an inventor of that showed up, he invested in it and sold the product.


Whoa, Rick Ballard, from the old Protein Wisdom days?! A tip o' the cap, sir...


One-tenth of a point! My how he has fallen, except in his own eyes.

One suspects that, in his own eyes, his own eyes are all that matter.


We don't disdain intellect.

Sure we do ... when it's completely decoupled from any practical skill yet filled with condescending arrogance about how intellect alone makes its possessor better than the rest of us. In such cases (case in point: Obama), let the disdain fly!

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Or as someone once said to me: all that book larnin' isn't much help when you are sitting on the side of the road in the dessert at high noon with a flat tire and no food or water, if you are too dumb to operate a jack and change a tire.

Danube of Thought

The RCP numbers PaulL are talking about are 47.3% approval, 47.2% disapproval. Convergence is nigh.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Oy, desert not dessert.


Obama and the D-baggers are of the school of give a man a fish so he can eat for a day. The right is more from the teach a man a fish so he can eat for a lifetime. It really is that simple, no?

With one caveat: You've forgotten The Forgotten Man.

They want the man to have the fish, but don't want to provide it themselves. They want to tax you to pay for the fish, which they then give the man while taking credit for it.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

DOT: latest daily tracking poll has Obama at -20.


Christopher -

I think you are confusing "intellect" with "credentialism". RB has it pegged with his "credentialed morons" formulation.

Obama had a college level program of this.

Münzenberg's ... idea was to create and sustain a worldwide anti-American campaign that would focus its appeal upon the mythology of the country's immigration. The purpose of such a campaign would be to instill a reflexive loathing of the United States and its people as a prime tropism of left-wing enlightenment. To undermine the myth of the Land of Opportunity, the United States would be shown as an almost insanely xenophobic place, murderously hostile to foreigners.

Rick Ballard

What nonentities such as those mentioned possess is not intellect. It is a certain facility with language used in an obfuscatory rather than clarifying manner coupled with their "credentials". Jeff Goldstein did a masterful job of elucidating that point for years at Protein Wisdom. He remains broke and these pathetic simulacra of "intellectuals" continue to draw paychecks based upon their ability to generate weak sophistry and specious propaganda.


I think you are confusing "intellect" with "credentialism". RB has it pegged with his "credentialed morons" formulation.

I'm not "confusing" intellect with credentialism. Though they may occasionally overlap, credentialism is its own problem in the work of the writers in question. I'm talking about something different.


What nonentities such as those mentioned possess is not intellect.

That very well may be the case. But again, my point was not that progressives ARE smarter than conservatives. My point was simply that they exalt the concept of "intellect" in a way that conservatives don't. That's why the word "intellect" is in quotation marks in the very first use in my very first comment.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

The elites equate their fancy degrees with smarts. But is a C/D student at Hahvard, really smarter or just have richer parents that could pay for that degree. I contend that anyone who can wire my house or fix my car, or build my dream home is every bit as smart, although may not have even graduated from h.s. Give me a hundred Sarah Palin's who have the skills to be 100% self-sufficient over the idiotic John Kerrys and Barack Obamas who would stand there helpless and declare it a crisis of epic proportions and whine about who didn't do what to keep a disaster at bay that is causing them so much inconvenience.



libs argue - once again - that higher iq people are leftist atheists.



obama argues he is not a leftist or a socialist, and claims he believes in jesus.

i guess that proves that chait is wrong about obama's iq.

case closed.

Rick Ballard


I can accept the prog admiration of "concept of intellect" as long as there is a clear understanding that that prog "concept of intellect" = "ability to regurgitate leftist cant upon demand". They certainly do admire that ability.

Patrick Of Atlantis

Why does Chait think Obama is so smart? His GPA was lower than Bush's! If Obama's GPA had been higher than Bush's, the left would still be bragging about it.


Physicist Richard Feynman in one of his Bio's talks about a teaching stint he had in Brazil during the 60's.

He remarks that the Physics students he had were able to memorize the words and terms precisely and spout them back on tests and in class, but that he realized after poking and prodding that they had no real understanding of the concepts at all. The entire process had devolved to simply rote recitation of terms, with zero actual grasp or understanding of the principles. He remarks that they had gotten along swimmingly academically until running into him, and then in the entire class of possibly a hundred students, after working them hard, he figured there might be 1 or 2 in the bunch with any actual smarts.

I wonder if this is the sort of thing that is being produced by our Harvards and Yales ---students great on regurgitating semantics and thinking they are brilliant, but awful at figuring out how things in the real world work. Ben Franklin thought so.


Rick, that's fine. My point isn't contingent on how intellect is actually constituted among progressives. It's not contingent on how intellect is actually constituted among conservatives. My point is simply that the IDEA of intellect has a higher place on the leftist totem pole because of x, y, z.

Conservatives could in fact be a million times smarter than progressives; that still wouldn't have any bearing on my point.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

This health care "crisis" which no one really knew about until Obama made it an issue must be driving Bambi nuts. He has actually had to show up at the office and pretend to be doing something. A couple weeks of work surely rates another vacation. He has spent so little time at his job, he actually felt it necessary to remind the summiteers that he is the president. Some thought that was arrogant on his part, but I LMAO. Afterall, who knew since he seemed to have abdicated and turned the job over to the new co-presidency of Reid and Pelosi?


daddy, that's true in all but math and the hard sciences which remain solid areas of study.

That Obama graduated from Columbia when he did with a major in poli sci or was it international relations--the stories in the hagiographies vary--without any sort of honors, is proof that he is dumb and/or a true slacker.

Friday he put in the longest work day of his life.


Well if he is a genius Clarice, I guess I'm too stupid to see it.

Sort of like that Emperor/clothes thingy.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

I think both sloth and greed are considered deadly sins and Obama seems to have embraced both.


Don't know if anyone mentioned it, but this post was linked at NRO's Corner by Ramesh Ponnuru this afternoon.

Sara (Pal2Pal)


Miami Considering Making It Illegal To Feed Homeless Without Government Training And Certification

I mean, we can’t just have people going out and feeding the homeless on their own. What do you think this is, a free country?
Sara (Pal2Pal)

Oh this is sad. Marie Osmond's 18 year old son has apparently jumped to his death from an apt. bldg. in Los Angeles.


Maybe Larry King can get her on his show to ask her about him. I seem to remember he was quite a buffoon during her last appearance.

Ken Jackson

But Obama missed the fundamental point that the people who will be paying more but getting "better" coverage will no longer be buying what they choose to buy.

Actually this is mostly wrong, but not completely. Unfortunately, that's how most of the debate is (it's rarely just wrong or right).

Based on the CBO report people will be willingly purchasing the more expensive plan, even prior to requirement. Although, at some date in the future it will be compulsory. Hence the mostly wrong, but not completely.

So someone asked the question, "If they wanted to pay more for better insurance, wouldn't they do so now"? Good question.

The reason they don't is that the cost to get reasoanble insurance is more than they're willing to pay. According to the CBO the proposed legislation would reduce the price by ~15, but the new plan would encompass ~30% increase and improvement. Hence the increase, but with a substantially better plan. Today such a plan is not available at that price point. Often you're simply looking at catastrophic with varying deductibles. By moving actually health insurance down the scale to affordable (within 15% of catastrophic) you suddenly find people who purchase it.

The other big thing here is that a 15% one-time increase is not as big of a deal if you can reduce the current growth in premiums. I had one HR person tell me today that they're lucky -- their health insurance for their company is only going up 16% this year. What kind of world do we live in where 16% increases in health care is great?


at some date in the future it will be compulsory. Hence the mostly wrong

That looks to me like "mostly right".

If people are purchasing the New! Improved! insurance willingly, what's the point of the compulsion? Just the fun of bossing people around?


Today such a plan is not available at that price point.

Thank goodness we have public servants like Nancy and Harry to step in and force companies to provide services that people want and would be willing to pay more for.


--What kind of world do we live in where 16% increases in health care is great?--

One in which socialized health care countries costs are escalating as fast as ours.
And one in which due to tax and medicare policies people are insulated from true health care costs and therefore overutilize them.


Ignatz, how can you say that? There is no way that making a service "free" will cause demand for said service to increase.


According to the CBO the proposed legislation would reduce the price by ~15, but the new plan would encompass ~30% increase and improvement.

You keep saying "According to the CBO." The CBO can only score the bill as it is written. It has to accept the bill's presmises as read. What it can't do is say whether the plan will actually work as advertised. Therefore, saying "according to the CBO" is essentially saying "if the plan works as Dems say it will."

Sorry if I just don't buy the salesmen's pitch here. Why should we believe any of this will go down as we're being told it will? It's a mighty big leap of faith the reality-based community is asking us to take.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

But then we are forced to the better plan when we have no need of it.

I haven't had a single instance in over 60 years that required anything other than coverage for accidents that caused broken bones. Back when I had my son, I didn't have health ins., but the hospital had a plan for that too. I paid a monthly payment thruout my pregnancy and a small balance when I was admitted. My son and daughter have never been sick either in their 30+ years, just conks on the head with baseballs and a couple of bad cheerleading falls. And now at this age, I would gladly trade off the extra super duper coverage for maternity care, mental health care, abortions, etc. to cover potential longer term problems such as cancer or a stroke might require. I realize others have faced serious illness and they should be able to get whatever coverage they can, but the majority of those under sixty probably have needs not much different from my own.

Even now, I can see a doctor at the local walk-in clinic for $65 and get prescriptions filled for $4 at Wal-mart, $110 if x-rays and casting are required, and only $35 if all I need is an updated refill prescription. That's a heck of a lot cheaper than the $120 a month I'm going to have to start paying out in May when Medicare takes over. And I'll still have a 20% co-pay.

I paid out $89 a mo. for 2 years a couple of years ago and it covered me for any accident-related needs from a stubbed toe to a slip in the tub to a major car accident needing hospitalization. I never used it once. And there was no co-pay, not even for ambulance transportation.


Well, Obama may in fact be more intelligent than all of Congress. He may well be a "better communicator", whatever that means, than all those wastrels on The Hill. Nonetheless, this hardly recommends him or his agenda. My dog is possessed of more common sense, good manners and integrity than the whole sick, treacherous, self-besotted lot of them. I suspect that she is not alone in this.

This constant lurid and puerile need to wildly exaggerate Obama's capacities--particularly after this last year--proves that the Left's narcissism has moved from collective neurosis to collective psychosis. Our nation, our civilization, is very sick indeed. Let us pray that the disease is not terminal. If cure there be, it will be a most painful one.

That anyone can hold that Obama has anything but a political hack with a 10th rate mind is beyond belief. Most signally, such hallucinations demonstrate just what loopy imbeciles comprise the Democrat party and the soft left--those weak minded useful idiots of the hard left. It marks just how low decades of Collectivist gobbledygook as brought our nation. Our national culture descends to low budget "Reality TV".

We are at a point of great decadence. If we cannot pull back from it America's days are numbered. No nation can long survive such self-indulgent stupidity.


YOu can have the best health care plan on the planet, but if there are no doctors, you are still toast.

There is a shortage of docs now. There is no incentive for anyone to go to medical school and O wants to insure 30million more people.

I can see it now: mandatory medical school


oh, "Progressivism", is not about being more "intelligent" or "valuing intellectualism" in order to fruitfully address "complex policy issue". It is about spoiled brats flapping their lips to distract all from the simple facts that they never done one productive thing or have had one profound thought in their entire lives.

They are but overgrown adolescents. This preening serves a mere disguise, and they keep at this more to hide that truth from themselves than they do to fool us.

The moral failure of the rest of us is that we did not call them out on their idiotic notions of superiority long ago.

My goodness, the slightest encounter with real thought sends them into quivering fits of narcissistic rage. They have not the slightest notion of what the human mind is for.

Most certainly, it is not a case they they are brilliant,but misguided, or that the rest of us are the dull but more honorable plodders.

They are pampered nitwits. We are adults. It is high time that we started acting like grownups and sat them in the corner.

It would be kindness to them.


"Why should we believe any of this will go down as we're being told it will?"

Because Obama said he would close Gitmo and he did---

And he said unemployment would never go above 8 percent if we passed the stimulus and it hasn't---

And he said job losses would stop and unemployment claims would slow and the economic numbers would never be unexpectedly worse than expected and they aren't---

And he said housing sales and the Real Estate market would improve and they have---

And he said nobody making less than $250,000 would see their taxes raised a single dime, and the politics of partisan bickering would stop, and this is the moment the sea levels would do something and I forget what else, but the point is that his predictive track record is perfect so thats why we should believe him.

But Obama is also right that for the same insurance you have today, it will cost less -- and the reason your premiums go up is because you're getting more.
There is no way that premiums for the same insurance will go down if the DemTurkey passes. The law's goal is to convert insurance companies from agents of patients/billpayers who keep health costs down, to agents of the doctors/hospitals/etc. who turn their expertise to raising HC costs as fast and as far as they can. Once they get the insurance companies to change sides, the premiums will have to follow the costs right up the cliff.
Jim Ryan

Okay, daddy, but how about his pre-2008 resume? When you're talking about someone with the executive experience and prowess that goes into a resume like that....

Rick Ballard


That's the one with "Close Cover Before Striking" as the footer, right?

Jim Ryan



This from Andy McCarthy at NRO is unsettling. Sure hope he's wrong:

"Today's Democrats are controlled by the radical Left, and it is more important to them to execute the permanent transformation of American society than it is to win the upcoming election cycles. They have already factored in losing in November — even losing big. For them, winning big now outweighs that. I think they're right.

I hear Republicans getting giddy over the fact that "reconciliation," if it comes to that, is a huge political loser. That's the wrong way to look at it. The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership's statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I'm glad Republicans have held firm, but let's not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority. This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you've calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.

Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten months, are going to be worse than we think. We're wired to think that everyone plays by the ususal rules of politics — i.e., if the tide starts to change, the side against whom it has turned modifies its positions in order to stay viable in the next election. But what will happen here will be the opposite. You have a party with the numbers to do anything it puts its mind to, led by movement Leftitsts who see their window of opportunity is closing. We seem to expect them to moderate because that's what everybody in their position does. But they won't. They will put their heads down and go for as much transformation as they can get, figuring that once they get it, it will never be rolled back."


Guys like Chait will continue to claim that Obama is the brightest guy in the room because otherwise they'd have to admit that that they were taken in by this fraud. All these journalists who think they themselves are so smart seem to confuse smooth-talking guys with Ivy League degrees with genuine intelligence.

Obama may well be of average or even slightly above average intelligence, but he's also intellectually lazy, and clearly wasted his formative years on drugs and radical chic ideas that most people outgrow by the time they're 25.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Obama only has to be marginally intelligent to be more intelligent than those who fawn over him and write about him. When you are a mediocre hack even Obama seems smart.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Mark Steyn says it best:

“Take the most devastating rapier wit you know – Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward – and put him on a late-night subway train up against a psycho with a baseball bat. The withering putdown, the devastating aphorism will avail him nought.”

Moreso if one isn’t quite as clever as one thinks – then the only real difference is the baseball bat and the willingness to use it."


More twists and turns in the Dubai case, the Dubai authorities claim two of the assassins escaped to IRAN..Must be a new Mossad outpost there..and the European countries having learned no doubt from their intel ops that they, too, use phony passports a, are backing off.
I suppose tomorrow Dubai will saw 60 people were involved, including the bellhops, taxi drivers and the folks at the mall.


Is Thanim, Arabic for "Jim Garrison", this is really getting ridiculous. The only condolence
, daddy, is that they will pursue this is the same 'slap dash, perfunctory way' they've done
everything else



Don't forget the ">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8536415.stm"> exploding Aquarium tanks at the Dubai Mall.

What with the shellfish proscriptions in Leviticus 11:9-12, that hit has the marks of the Mossad written all over it also.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Did anyone else hear the report today that Iran is moving its nuclear fuel above ground? I only heard the tail end of the report and the comment that speculation is that Iran is trying to invite an attack. I've kind of been watching for more, but then got engrossed in the Olympics so have no more info.


Arabic for "Jim Garrison"

That's funny, right there, I don't care who y'are.


Of course they are going for broke on "transforming America". If they are not outright Stalinists or Maoist, they are Leninists. All Are Marxists. And there is nothing new to this, it as just come to a head. They have been at this for decades. Walk on any college campus. It is permeated with the worse sort of communisim, more so than any university in the USSR ever was. Did you think that was just nostalgia for the '60's? The Hard Left has been controlling the Democrat part since FDR with but few momentary ebbs to their influence and power. htey are just more open about it now.

We are in a "Cold Civil War", and we are losing. The nancy-boys over at the NRO are just figuring that one out?. As usual, you JOMer's live in a dream work--you inhabit a fictional country. Your nation is a different place altogether than you imagine it to be. That America ofyour dream has passed. That is why someone like Obama can sit in the WH. That is why outright Marxist idiots, and idiot they are is, like Pelosi or Clinton can sit in the seats of power on the Hill and in Foggy Bottom. These people are dismantling the very foundations of this nation and do so with zeal, vigor and glee. We will be a generation undoing it, if it an can indeed be undone.

It will take a vast awakening to turn this around. It wil take a revolution of sorts, at the very least a revolution of the soul, here in the USA. Do we have it in us? That is the question. Looks grim to me.

Heaven help us if the Tea Party movement flounders. It is te one ray of hope. It will be zealously attacked now.

We are in uncharted territory now.We have lost control of our government. Mere politics will not turn the tide.

People laughed at Chavez, Mao and Hitler too.

That laughter soon died away.


Sara, I hear that Chilean officials are refusing entry to all aid workers coming to provide assistance unless they have been properly "trained and certified" by Miami officials.

Rick Ballard


Union Thugs Hold Wake For Card Check

When the Reps get subpoena power next year I hope they use it extensively on Andy Stern and the SEIU/ACORN scum.


Thanks, RB.


Smart, in this context is a meaningless number. Remember, genius isn't coming up with a good idea, but rather carrying it through to fruition.

I have known really "smart" dumbasses, which suggests that the social scientists figuring out what smart means are themselves too smart by half.


Is it true that a president could de-unionize the entire federal government with the stroke of a pen? This was discussed here a week or so ago, when someone claimed that Kennedy unionized the feds by Executive Order, and I didn't see the end result of the discussion as to whether it would be just as easy to reverse.

Talk about sledgehammering the stake into the vampire's heart.


I don't think we resolved that , Extraneus, but it's fun to think about.


I believe the President's illustration of a jackass too dumb to know the difference between collision and liability was meant to show the necessity of government intervention on behalf of the feeble minded. It's a rather compelling story if understood in that light.

Rick, actually I agree with you. This is a tried and true tactic of libs like Obama. Get all folksy with the sheeple and paint them a picture of how evil the (insurance companies, drug companies, insert your evil corporate type here). That is likely why he added "and they laughed at me" to his little anecdote. Unfortunately, most sentient peoples BS detector will go off on this one. Most of us have dealt with similar situations (minor collisions) and very few of us have had our insurance companies laugh to our face!

The issue here isn't really is he so dumb not to know the difference between liability and collision (he's not) it is his willingness to manipulate us with BS stories designed to entice the peoples to support the need for government intervention in free markets.

King of a World of Fat-Bottomed Girls.

There's definitely a screw loose somewhere in there. I'll bet Michelle nails this crap right off the bat.


Sure is. I spent a nice run watching Sarah Palin's convention speech and thinking about this earlier. :-)


Acme Insurance cause this guy is Wiley F’ing Coyote


The issue here isn't really is he so dumb not to know the difference between liability and collision (he's not) it is his willingness to manipulate us with BS stories designed to entice the peoples to support the need for government intervention in free markets.

Yes, but I'd put it slightly differently. It's not that he's too dumb to know the difference, it's that he thinks we are.


It's not that he's too dumb to know the difference, it's that he thinks we are.

And why not? All the smart folks are liberals and they won't say a word.

Jim O'Sullivan

Yet another item on the loooong list of thing that would have been attacked as stupid if said by a non-Democrat. But this one is more troubling because it can't be dismissed by his supporters as a simple slip of the tongue, like childrens' Breathayzers, Cinco de Quatro, all 57 states, corpse-man, etc, etc. Here is Obama saying "Let me explain to you - in detail - how little I know about the nation I govern."

Iam A. Schmartaz

"Shockingly, half of all Americans have below-average IQs."

Uhm...no. It is almost certain that it is not "half" of Americans. That would only be true if the bell curve of IQ distribution were perfect (or at least perfectly symmetrical) and no-one's IQ was exactly average.

In fact, since those with biological IQ disabilities (what we used to call "retarded") most certainly out number geniuses, they will bring the "average" down. That means more than half of the population is likely "above average" in IQ.

What you probably meant was that half of the population has below the "mean" IQ.

Mike from Duxbury

Actually they're both wrong to rely on the CBO for predictions of what will happen. Look to Richard Foster's report instead (Chief Actuary of the Department of Health & Human Services) if you want an unbiased actuarial opinion of what will actually happen. Not surprising that CBO had Medicare at 1/25th of the actual cost back in the 60s.



I think Obama was president of the harvard law review, not the editor. The former being a skill position and the latter political.


I think Obama was president of the harvard law review, not the editor. The former being a skill position and the latter political.

Actually I think you mean the latter is a skill position (editor) and the former is political (president).


Where are the investigative journalists who normally would dig up the Messiah's old auto policy?


There is a campaign commercial running on WBAP, the big talk radio for DFW, that cracks me up. It is for a judge in Tarrant County named Keith Gore. A voice over says "a Gore you can vote for".


"Beater . . ."? Nah, the more common expression in "LrBron's" 'hood is "hoopty" or "hooptie ride."

RIck C

"Chait actually makes two distinct claims about Obama: that he has a superior intellect and that he is a superior "communicator." "

Didn't Khan have the superior intellect?


Next ... national auto insurance run by the government ... everybody will have to have collision and liability with 0 deductible.


Next ... national auto insurance run by the government ... everybody will have to have collision and liability with 0 deductible.

What could go wrong ?

Everybody would be able to put the pedal to the medal and aim for the nearest tree.

Roland the Headless Accountant

It does not surprise me in the least that Obama is not even competent to govern his own personal affairs. It is of a piece with how he governs. He doesn't understand anything and then blames others for the false assumptions, and the decisions, he makes out of ignorance.

We are a full year into his presidency and have yet to see any evidence of his vaunted intellect. Quite the contrary.

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