Maurizio – Omnologos

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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama

The United States Of Larger-Than-Life Media Savviness

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The Greatest

The Greatest

The Great Communicator

The Great Communicator

The Greatest Communicator

The Greatest Communicator

The...Oops!

Oops!

Written by omnologos

2009/Jun/17 at 06:59:39

Rick Santelli Discovers The Real World

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2009/Feb/24 at 15:46:10

Dr. Dismal, or Why Obama Is Likely Doing A “Sarkozy”

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No, I am not suggesting that President Barack gets rid of Michelle and marries an Italian Supermodel or two, with a wild past and a musical career. What I am referring to, is the tactic of getting ready for re-election by… lowering expectations!

Paris-based Nicholas too, in fact, came to power with enormous hopes by an electorate ready for anything. Everything fizzled out quickly though, with Sarko more interested in reforming his bed companionship than the economy.

The positive thing is that nowadays, when he achieves anything concerning his Presidency, Sarkozy is hailed as the next best thing after the invention of the baguette, with a good chance of getting re-elected. Had he not performed so miserably during the first few months, he would have had instead to forever run after his own Myth, bound to certain political disaster and electoral defeat.

Expect a few more weeks of Dr. Dismal at the White House then. It is just too early to sparkle for 2012…

Written by omnologos

2009/Feb/13 at 22:29:41

Posted in Politics, USA

Tagged with ,

White Man Given Nation’s Worst Job

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Great satyrical point made as usual by The Onion last November.

But perhaps the really worst job of all is not Obama’s, but Joe Biden’s: because a President Biden would mean that Obama had died, likely killed.

And if that wouldn’t take the USA to the brink of another civil war, I don’t know what would.

Written by omnologos

2009/Jan/20 at 06:44:40

Posted in America, USA

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Gaza: All Obama’s Fault?

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No surplus of scruples, in the Israeli Government…now they are not even trying to hide the fact that all 22 days of Gaza bombing may have been a last-chance effort at pounding Hamas and the Palestinians, before Obama could stop everything.

JERUSALEM (CNN) — Israel plans to have its troops out of Gaza as soon as possible […] The official, who declined to be named, said that the withdrawal could be complete before U.S. President-elect Barack Obama takes his oath of office in Washington at noon ET Tuesday — 7 p.m. in Israel — though commanders have not been given that deadline.

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2009/Jan/19 at 22:57:24

Barack On Their Minds

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My mind is clearer now.
At last all too well
I can see where we all soon will be.
If you strip away The myth from the man,
You will see where we all soon will be. Barack!
You’ve started to believe
The things they say of you.
You really do believe
This talk of Change is true.
And all the good you’ve done
Will soon get swept away.
You’ve begun to matter more
Than the things you say.

Listen Barack I don’t like what I see.
All I ask is that you listen to me…

Well, dear Barack, last time somebody entered the Capital city among hosannas, we all know how it all ended.

Time to “do a Sarkozy” then, and launch into 100 days of serial disappointments in the eyes of everybody, just enough to lower expectations thereby making success a tad easier to claim.

Written by omnologos

2009/Jan/18 at 22:58:46

Posted in America, USA

Tagged with ,

Bleak Future for the SEC

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President-elect Obama has selected Mary Schapiro as new Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. And that doesn’t appear to be the beginning of the much-indeed shaking of the financial industry.

Trouble is, in fact, that Mary Schapiro became in 2007 the Chair of the Financial Industry Services Authority, the new grandly-named self-regulatory body that…dropped the number of large fines just as the latest financial crisis was starting to brew, in 2006.

How can a 20-year-long-career regulator be trusted in remaking the whole regulatory “oversight playbook” is anybody’s guess. The only positive point is that with expectations very very low, Ms Schapiro can only succeed…

Written by omnologos

2008/Dec/28 at 13:03:46

Why Lehman’s Failure Was The Right Move

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Millions of gallons of ink must have been consumed in the neverending discussions about the “disaster” represented by the US Government’s decision to let Lehman Brothers fail and disappear. Andrew Ross Sorkin on today’s IHT agrees:

With hindsight, many in the financial industry blame a deepening of the global financial crisis on the government’s decision to let Lehman crumble

I disagree with that analysis, for two very simple reasons. When Lehman was allowed to go bankrupt, a signal was sent to all, saying that not everybody will be rescued. This was in direct contrast with the Japanese Government’s decadal efforts to prop up every financial institution under its watch (that’s why those efforts lasted for a decade or even more).

More importantly, the failure of Lehman Brothers showed everybody what the failure of “just a bank” may mean, with innumerable, overwhelmingly negative consequences propping up even in unlikely places. And this was good: because it is in the human nature to seriously question people advising that something bad may be happening in the near future, and to need a direct experience of that “something bad” before properly reacting.

You can spend every last molecule of your breath explaining a child that eating too many sweets can be painful. But there is nothing like going through a “tummy ache” that will convince the child of changing their way.

And you could transfer yourself back to January 1939 and explain all the reasons for the upcoming Nazi continent-wide monstruosity, but I am sure nobody in the UK or France (or the USA) will agree to go to war until forced to by the pain of circumstance.

And so, had Lehman Brothers been rescued alongside the other relatively large institutions, we would still be discussing the pro’s and con’s of rescue packages. And we would have never known that it takes just a bank to fail, to see a run on money-market funds.

Hindsight will fuel further commentaries on now-defunct Lehman Brothers: and hindsight can be useful to make sense of the world, but only works when there is something to look back at…

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/26 at 23:53:26

How Many People For Obama?

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How likely is it going to be, for 1.5million people to gather for President Obama’s inauguration?

Who can say? IMNSHO the crowd will be a bit smaller, but around the same order of magnitude. Check what Clark McPhail, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had to say a few years back to Salon.com:

The counting formula divides the mall into eight panels and measures the square footage of each. For really huge [gatherings], aerial photographs are necessary to determine how much space is occupied […]  A crowd of 500,000, he says, would [fill] all eight panels, stretching from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial, or from Third Street to 14th Street […]

It is therefore not too much of a stretch of one’s imagination to think of a million people in the Mall on January 20, 2009.

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/24 at 22:29:57

Obama Should Thank Al Qaeda

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Al Qaeda in the news today with a “response” to the American Presidential Elections. Good for them. And good for President-Elect Barack Obama, who gets mistreated just enough, with a top-notch comparison to Malcolm X.

Why is that good for Obama? Well, imagine what would have happened had Al Qaeda sent unqualified congratulations to him…

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/19 at 23:36:41

A Novel Idea for Obama Against Recalcitrant European Politicians

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Some worries on The Economist about what the Europeans will make of the upcoming new relationship with President Obama, admittedly a very open question as the interests of the United States very seldom perfectly coincide with anybody else’s.

There is one big difference with Obama though. I think especially in Europe, he enjoys such a vast popularity, all he’ll have to do is show up on TV and make direct appeals to European public opinion.

Local politicians, each one of them no doubt already praying to be the First One To Be Photographed With Barack, will simply declare their concordance with whatever the White House will propose regarding Iraq, Iran, Israel, Russia, NATO, and the choice of hypoallergenic dogs.

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/12 at 22:40:04

Posted in EU, Europe, Politics, USA

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Does Dick Cheney Understand What He Has Helped Unleash?

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From “The Battle for a Country’s Soul” by Jane Mayer, New York Review of Books, Volume 55, Number 13 · August 14, 2008

[After 9/11] President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and a small handful of trusted advisers sought and obtained dubious legal opinions enabling them to circumvent American laws and traditions. […] They turned the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel into a political instrument, which they used to expand their own executive power at the expense of long-standing checks and balances.

From ” Obama inheriting broad covert ops policies“, Associated Press, November 11, 2008

A top aide to Obama said Sunday the new president will use his executive powers to make an immediate impact when he takes office […] “There’s a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we’ll see the president do that,” said John Podesta, Obama’s transition chief. “I think that he feels like he has a real mandate for change. We need to get off the course that the Bush administration has set.”

Benjamin Franklin’s words outside the Federal Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia, cited by Jane Mayer, are very topical indeed

A lady asked Dr. [Benjamin] Franklin, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic,” replied the Doctor, “if you can keep it.”

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/11 at 23:01:39

About Berlusconi’s “Suntanned Obama” Remark

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I am deeply amazed by and profoundly at unease with the reaction to yesterday’s remark (“joke”) by Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, who has characterized US President-elect Barack Obama as “youthful, handsome and suntanned”.

Plenty of Italian people (presumably, not among Berlusconi’s core voters) have taken upon themselves to apologize for that phrase, for example commenting to this blog on the New York Times.

Now, Berlusconi is prone to gaffes of all sorts and he’s definitely way too much of a jester but…how can his words be interpreted as “racism” when Berlusconi himself has been trying for years to look more youthful, more handsome and definitely more suntanned than he is in reality?

To me, Berlusconi’s remarks display no racism at all, rather a deep feeling of envy.

ps some people have organized a demo in Rome to protest Berlusconi’s words. Ironically, apart from an uncertain command of the English language, all they have shown is their absolute ignorance of American culture, where blackface is considered a sign of racism indeed.

Blackface against racism???

Blackface against racism???

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/07 at 22:39:33

Obama’s Challenge: What To Do When Unemployed At 56?

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Poor Barack Obama…he may find himself unemployed at the tender age of 56, in January 2017. What to do? And how to top the job of President of the United States of America?

Two solutions spring to mind. Obama may move into the entertainment business, as a rock or movie star. I am sure people will scramble to buy tickets no matter how good or bad he would be with a guitar or on a cinema screen.

The other possibility is to become Pope. All he’ll have to do is a “Tony Blair” and convert to Roman Catholicism after leaving office. That’ll make him eligible to be elected as successor of Benedict XVI, most likely by popular acclamation like the Popes of old.

If anybody cannot believe in the above: just imagine telling anybody in 1951 that the main actor in “Bedtime for Bonzo” was bound to become one of the most beloved Presidents in history. Ah, and that a 15-year-old in Kenya was going to be the father of the 44th President.

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/06 at 18:22:28

International Relations at the Time of Obama

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If Barack Obama wins tomorrow, politicians the world over will want to be pictured next to such a globally-popular celebrity politician. President Obama will have a few months of honeymoon with the World, during which he will be able to ask anything, and everything will be done for him and for the USA. If he’s half as smart as needed, Obama will bring untold advantages to America.

If it’s instead John McCain the one to win, he’ll find a world in shock and disbelief, even more desperate than usual and ready for a few months of outright condenscendence against the USA. Plenty of work and talk will be needed before President McCain will be able to put together some international agreement that will be of any advantage for America.

And the funny thing is, if Obama or McCain will win tomorrow, the international relations of the USA will not change in substance from President Bush’s, apart some minute detail.

Written by omnologos

2008/Nov/03 at 22:56:45

Obama Ahead…In Google Too!

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In Google too, Barack Obama appears ahead of John McCain, most of the time…

For example: searching “obama 666” one gets 1,380,000 pages. “mccain 666” returns only 848,000 results.

Or “McCain eats babies” = 1,460. “Obama eats babies” = 3,050. One wonder how much exercise is needed to avoid getting fat after having eaten all those little children.

The only search where McCain is just a bit in front: “McCain is a nazi” = 5,610. “Obama is a nazi“=5,130.

No page had ever mentioned “McCain and Obama are nazis” as a single sentence until I wrote this very blog 😉

Written by omnologos

2008/Oct/29 at 23:35:54

The Incredible Power of the Roman Catholic Church

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A little more than two weeks before a U.S. Presidential election. The two candidates have just finished their series of televized debates. Nasty words are flying around. Some important States are definitely too close to call.

And yet: who could manage to get McCain and Obama and their undivided attention for several hours, together at the same charity/society event, forcing them to make fun if not fools of themselves?

Why, RC Cardinal Edward Egan, of course!

Written by omnologos

2008/Oct/17 at 17:18:04

“Intellectual” Liberal Americans: Insane, or Just Morons?

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Continuing my earlier blog on the biggest issue facing Democrats in the USA: their gigantic superiority complex.

There is a scene in Alan Sandler’s “Mr. Deeds” when three high-society New York types (Kurt the Opera singer, William, and George the New Yorker writer) are shown as bordering on the inhuman, as too full of themselves.

That’s what these words by Expat Yank reminded me of:

Unless they go through “rehab,” as yours truly did — meaning, in short, until they grasp the realization that to be a “non-international” American who attends church regularly does not automatically mark one out as a bigoted nitwit — liberals cannot help themselves. Upon what they believe to be the high-horse is where they are most comfortable. They simply cannot imagine that they are NOT absolutely more sharp-minded and heavyweight than their opponents.

The major reason for that self-delusion? Since the mid-1960s, Democrats have actually come to believe — honestly — their own puffed up view of themselves as the default party of “great thoughts“ […]

the Democratic party has changed: it is no longer the party of FDR and Truman. For the last 45 years it has become instead the party of JFK idolatry and imagined “Camelot.” Reared on an endless diet of “Jack and Jackie in Paris” […] and so much more, many to most Democrats sincerely now appear to believe that to be a Republican is . . . to be a moron. […]

when dealing with what might be considered opposing conservative opinions, liberals are often quick to lose perspective, react emotionally and all too often embrace outright intellectual snobbery.

And as to that latter mostly with so little justification, since few Democrats are themselves actually anywhere approaching nearly as smart as they perceive themselves to be […] a liberal (meaning a Democrat), when confronted with your opposition, might try that for a moment, but if you hold your ground and respond in kind he will tend far too often to descend to the famous argument-tipping “huff,” roll up his eyes and proclaim you obviously just another unworldly simpleton who needs to retake 1st Grade.

Expat Yank is a “disgruntled Democrat turned Republican“. I have a feeling, he knows what he’s talking about.

Trouble is, I do not see Kurt, William and George understanding a single word of the above.

When will all this insanity end?

Written by omnologos

2008/Oct/05 at 22:50:36

Debunking Sarah Palin’s “Device in the Right Ear” Claim

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There’s quite a few websites claiming people have spotted some kind of device in Sarah Palin’s right ear, during the VP debate on Thursday night. A “willyloman” post “What Does Gov. Palin Have in Her Right Ear?” signed “Scott Creighton” seems to be among the most popular ones.

You can also check out the “Palin Appears To Be Wearing an Earpiece During The Debate” thread in the Abovetopsecret forum.

Myself, I cannot see evidence of anything in Palin’s right ear, during the debate.

But that is not as important as the answer to the following question: what evidence would I need to change my opinion? Well, I would need to spot that device clearly in at least one picture. So far, all I have been able to see is perfectly explainable with Palin’s hair, glasses and shape of the ear.

And so my question to Creighton and all the others is: what evidence would you need, to change your opinion?

==============

Creighton writes:

What was that running down into Sarah Palin’s right ear during the debate? […] This photo was never intended to stand alone as evidence, that is why I include the link to the CNN video itself… That is still below. From that video, and many others now, you can see something that looks like it is attached to the arm of her glasses on the right side. You can see it move with her head, and her glasses throughout the video. I have taken another shot of the straight on view of this object, but please, look at the photos, then watch the CNN video so you can see it isn’t just some fluke; it stays there and is attached to her glasses. […]

Even without zooming, you can clearly see something attached to her glasses and running into her right ear. At first I thought this might be a hearing aid of some sort, so I looked up other pictures of her to see if I could find one of her wearing a hearing aid. I couldn’t. […]

Let’s start with the consideration that the “hearing aid” claim sounds very disingenuous. If Palin really had been hard of hearing, we would have known that weeks ago for sure. Mr Creighton should have definitely tried to look more sincere, if only to help support his case for a “device in the right ear”.

Anyway…the only way to be sure is to check if the “device” can be seen in any picture.

Now, a paranoid mind will find lots of food for their thoughts, as there really aren’t too many photos of Sarah Palin clearly showing her right ear during the debate itself (there is the one with her youngest son, but it was taken after the end of the debate and the aforementioned paranoid mind will surely claim Palin’s removed the “device” just in time). Also, I am not going to argue with anybody believing that the “device” was invisible or very well hidden: that’s akin to claiming a giant white, invisible rabbit was jumping up and down in front of the camera for the whole debate (iow: it cannot be taken seriously).

In any case, the onus is on those claiming the “device” existed at all. So I have scoured around on YouTube, the Getty Images website and the web looking for any “right ear” shot. Results below.

Palin 01

Palin 01

Palin 02

Palin 02

Palin 03

Palin 03

Palin 04

Palin 04

Palin 05

Palin 05

Palin 06

Palin 06

Palin 07

Palin 07

Palin 08

Palin 08

Palin 09

Palin 09

Palin 10

Palin 10

Images are enlarged areas from sources described in each picture. Copyrights remain with the authors of course.

First of all, look at “Palin 05”: that one has been taken at the end of the debate, when Palin was holding her baby son, if I am not mistaken. I included it because it reveals Palin’s ear details in full, with all the “ridges” and “valleys”. Note in particular the rather peculiar “ridge” right underneath the “temple” (“sidepiece”) of her glasses.

Peculiarity in this case is not important. Every one of us has a “special” shape of the ear and I understand it’s the one thing people really have trouble with when disguising.

I believe that “ridge” is what people like Creighton are misinterpreting as a “device”.

UPDATE: a similar conclusion has been reported by “SkepticOverlord” in the Abovetopsecret forum.

UPDATE: an “enhanced image” showing no device can be seen at Plaidlemur. Just to avoid the usual conspiratorial comments, I actually chose not to enhance the pictures posted above.

In fact, I wonder if anybody could please tell me where in every other picture posted above, there is a “device” that is on top, or separate, or in any case definitely not the “ridge” mentioned above.

You may also want to note how in images Palin 08, 09 and 10, taken directly from the live TV pictures, Sarah Palin is showing her right ear to the cameras in ways that would be extremely dangerous were she wearing a “device” of any sort in her right ear.

==============

The above is more than enough to convince myself there was nothing at all in Palin’s right ear, during the debate. At this stage, the discussion can move forward only in two circumstances: either somebody comes out with a very clear picture of the “device”, or believers tell me what more evidence they need, to change their opinion.

UPDATE: blogger Ginandtacos reasons it would have been almost impossible for Palin to be able to talk the way she did, without breaking in apparently incoherent ways.

UPDATE: the claim appears to have moved to “Palin was reading her notes“. I don’t think that deserves any further analysis.

In VP Debate, It’s Biden The One Risking The Most

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Is there any hope that one day the “liberal” American “people of culture” will wake up and realize that they live… in America?

How can it be that a long list of very fine intellectuals collectively and invariably fail to understand a simple fact: that it is precisely what they despise in Sarah Palin, that makes her popular among many of their fellow citizens.

Take for example the “news” that the Governor of Alaska has spent more nights at home than in the Palace in Juneau, after having been elected. Those who “leaked” this important (or not) piece of information may have tried to demonstrate that Palin cannot be a good VicePresident, since she does not accept the full responsibilities of public office.

But I am sure that many non-liberal Americans (and not only they) have interpreted the same “news” as evidence that the Palin is a “normal person” for whom family takes precedence, above everything else: and that’s what anybody would do, apart from those driven by mission or inordinate ambition.

It does not matter if Sarah Palin performs poorly once, or a hundred thousand times, in interviews that, incredibly, appear too convoluted in her presence. What non-liberals are going to convince themselves of, is that the Press, Academia, and Great Journalism are made up of Republican-hating strange people called “liberals”: whilst Palin is simply an “average person”, perfectly able to lose words and trains of thought in front of aggressive, controversy-seeking interviewers.

Has Palin got the characteristics that would make her a good Vice President and perhaps even a good President? Who knows?. The great satirical strip Doonesbury recently had an episode around the fact that every American is told that he or she may become President, one day. So what’s so strange if “Sarah Palin, average American” becomes Vice President?

And lest we forget: after four years of Dan “Potatoe” Quayle as VP for Bush father, I do not know who could perform worse. And Bush father did win the 1988 elections with Quayle in tow,

It is therefore absolutely foolish to go on with the mantra that Palin is “a bit slow, a bit ignorant, a bit young”: the more the Media will talk of that, the more votes she’s ensured to get.
Is that too hard a concept for contemporary liberal America? When will a leading “liberal mind” begin to think that if someone will vote for Sarah Palin, there may be good reasons for that, well beyond the usual “it’s the idiots that do it”?

——–
Spare a prayer for John Biden then. He’s the one going into Thursday’s VP debate in the worst conditions.
Since everybody expects him to win big time, all Biden may be able to do is meet expectations. That will hardly look impressive: whilst every point conceded to Palin will be seen as a disaster (and a defeat).

From Sarah Palin, on the other hand, nobody expects anything. She can declare herself the winner even if the only thing she manages to state correctly is the time of the day.
If Palin will be able to hold her own against Biden for most of the debate, it will be for her a triumph beyond all hope. That’s after all the same tactics, of appearing “slow witted”, successfully employed by George W Bush to become Governor of Texas, and the President of the United States, persuading opponents to feel infinitely superior to him.

The Democratic VP candidate has everything to lose, at Washington University in St. Louis on Thursday. The Republican VP candidate, she has everything to gain: another gift, perhaps, by the Great “liberal” Minds that I do not think understand their country at all.

Is it a coincidence that in the last 100 years, in the White House there have been 10 Republicans and only 7 Democrats? And during the last forty years, 5 Republicans and only 2 Democrats?

(more on the idiocies of “liberal” America at Mr Cheeseburger 9000’s blog)

Written by omnologos

2008/Oct/01 at 10:40:50