Obama Administration

D'Souza "Fact Check" Light on Facts

AP treats opinions as facts, then says the opinions are wrong.

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How much will it cost, sir?

Dinesh D'Souza's documentary 2016: Obama's America burned up the box office in a very slow movie week. Nikki Finke reports that the film took fourth place in U.S. ticket sales Friday and eighth place for the weekend. (The drop over three days indicates the film's heavy reliance on pre-sales.) On the chance that my more or less positive review helped drive those impressive numbers, let me just point out that you'll definitely want to see Home Run Showdown, the stand-up-and-cheer movie of the year for the whole family, when it bows in L.A. the day after tomorrow

In an Associated Press "Fact Check," Beth Fouhy lives up to her last name by saying "Fooey!" to many of the claims D'Souza makes against President Obama in the film. But most of the facts she refers to are matters of emphasis rather than specific truth claims. 

"The assertion that Obama's presidency is an expression of his father's political beliefs, which D'Souza first made in 2010 in his book 'The Roots of Obama's Rage,' is almost entirely subjective and a logical stretch at best," Fouhy writes. I said as much in my review, which judged that the film persuasively makes a case I don't agree with. (I'm a New Critic. What's up on the screen, not what we know from outside the theater, is what matters.) But a subjective claim by its nature is not susceptible to verification. 

Here are Fouhy's fact claims: 

—D'Souza rightly argues that the national debt has risen to $16 trillion under Obama. But he never mentions the explosion of debt that occurred under Obama's predecessor, Republican George W. Bush, nor the 2008 global financial crisis that provoked a shock to the U.S. economy.

– D'Souza says Obama is "weirdly sympathetic to Muslim jihadists" in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He does not mention that Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the drone strikes that have killed dozens of terrorists in the region.

– D'Souza wrongly claims that Obama wants to return control of the Falkland Islands from Britain to Argentina. The U.S. refused in April to endorse a final declaration on Argentina's claim to the islands at the Summit of the Americas, provoking criticism from other Latin American nations.

– D'Souza says Obama has "done nothing" to impede Iran's nuclear ambitions, despite the severe trade and economic sanctions his administration has imposed on Iran to halt its suspected nuclear program. Obama opposes a near-term military strike on Iran, either by the U.S. or Israel, although he says the U.S. will never tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran.

– D'Souza says Obama removed a bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the OVAL OFFICE because Churchill represented British colonialism. WHITE HOUSE CURATOR William Allman said the bust, which had been on loan, was already scheduled to be returned before Obama took office. Another bust of Churchill is on display in the president's private residence, the White House says.

In reverse order: 

Fouhy is drawing on a "Fact Check" that appeared in June on the White House blog, trying to clear up the controversy over the Churchill bust. (The Obama Administration is never too busy to attend to The People's business.) The Obama folks, as they did with Solyndra, try to push the decision regarding the bust back to the Bush Administration. Jake Tapper notes that there are actually two Churchill busts, and points out that the original news was not anti-Obama propaganda but a claim from the British Embassy itself. (As far as I'm concerned any president who gets rid of a bust of Churchill – a figure far more beloved on this side of the Atlantic than in the island nation he actually ruled – is A-OK.) 

The claim about Obama's having done nothing to prevent Iran from getting nukes is itself subjective. Unless Fouhy can demonstrate that sanctions have actually slowed Iran's nuclear weapons program (unlikely, given that the program's very existence is in doubt), it's perfectly fair to say that, from the standpoint of an Iran-nuke hawk, Obama has achieved nothing. 

If George Obama doesn't get more work after this movie, cinema is truly dead.

Fouhy is correct about Falklands policy, which has been one of neutrality going back to the Reagan Administration, when Argentina and the United Kingdom went to war over the islands. Prime Minister David Cameron somewhat complicates this narrative by saying the U.S. supports both the "status quo" and "self-determination" – which, since the overwhelming majority of Falklands residents want to remain with the U.K., could be considered British-leaning neutrality rather than the pro-Argentina position D'Souza implies. Neither Fouhy nor D'Souza mentions the president's biggest Falklands embarrassment: when he tried to call them the "Malvinas" but it came out "Maldives." (As I pointed out, D'Souza is more fair to his subject than any of his leftwing counterparts ever were to George W. Bush.) 

The correction about Islamists is, again, subjective. D'Souza says Obama "seems weirdly sympathetic." That's one weasel word, an adverb and an adjective. If you're on D'Souza's side (I'm not), the statement is not controversial. But it makes no factual claim. D'Souza is under no obligation to burnish Obama's terror-fighting reputation, and the killing of Osama bin Laden is not some obscure event that audiences would not have known about otherwise. 

Fouhy is wrong about the film's misstatement on the national debt. D'Souza's source for that stuff is a former comptroller who places the blame evenly on Bush 43 and Obama. D'Souza, who co-wrote and co-directed, left that statement in the film, and it is false to say he "never mentions" Bush's profligacy. 

Subjective assertions are worth arguing about. D'Souza's view of Obama as a Fanonian radical at war with the establishmentarian U.S.A. seems to me less plausible than a critique rooted in Chicago shakedown politics, and far less plausible than Thaddeus Russell's view that Obama is devoted to the traditional American empire of welfare and warfare. (These theories also strike me as better supported by Obama's history in office.) That's why there are 31 flavors. D'Souza blends his own autobiography with Obama's in a way that you will find either charming or narcissistic, depending on your political views. The title of his film is a year that hasn't happened yet.  It's clear that he is working subjectively. I'm not just concerned about the defining down of the "Fact Check" concept but also with the crumbling of the left's movie-reviewing skills. 

In other movie news: Werner Herzog can hypnotize chickens

NEXT: Israel Wants Visit from Mursi

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  1. There’s a great piece of video of Herzog talking about chickens. The money quote: “The intensity of stupidity that is looking back at you. . . .”

    1. Since we already have a President who wasn’t born in the US, can’t we just get it over with and elect Herzog now?

      1. He could sit on the Supreme Court–there are no eligibility requirements for that gig.

      2. John, only the White House’s Official Comedienne can tell Birther jokes.

        Report to a FEMA camp at once.

        1. John, only the White House’s Official Comedienne can tell Birther jokes.

          Debbie Wasserman-Schultz?

          1. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz?

            a much better application of Herzog’s quote on chickens.

      3. The other quote I love from Herzog (well, not “the”–I love many) is “It was not a significant bullet” (in reference to getting shot by an air rifle).

        1. No country in the world would dare cross us with that man’s finger on the button.

          1. Too bad Kinski isn’t still around to be his VP.

            1. There is always his daughter.

              1. I don’t think she got all the crazy, sadly. You know that quote, “I, the Wrath of God, will marry my own daughter and with her I will found the purest dynasty the world has ever seen. Together, we shall rule this entire continent. We shall endure. I am the Wrath of God!”? That was Kinski, not Aguirre. And Herzog only got that out of him by pointing a pistol in his face.

                Good times.

            2. Klaus was exactly the sort of crazy I expect from my genius actors. Apparently the battles between him and Herzog were legendary.

              1. I like to think there’s still an epic conflict going on between Herzog and the dead Kinski.

  2. it’s perfectly fair to say that, from the standpoint of an Iran-nuke hawk, Obama has achieved nothing.

    But the claim is that he has done nothing, not that he has achieved nothing.

    If I say, “The armies of France did nothing to resist Hitler in 1940!” that claim’s just plain old false. They mounted resistance and they failed. They achieved nothing, but they didn’t do nothing.

  3. he “never mentions” Bush’s profligacy.

    He never mentions FDR’s either. Just a guess but both things might have something to do with the movie being about Obama and not Bush or FDR.

    1. It goes to show how successful the “Obama inherited” meme has become. I heard it “Obama inherited a mess” the other day at a bar, but it was quickly followed by “but he’s done jack shit to help the situation”

      1. I’m perfectly willing to include a condemnation of Bush with Obama. So, please do not vote for Bush, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, or Carter in this election.

        1. But make sure to vote Biden in 2016.

          1. Don’t worry, I will.

          2. Just Biden his time.

            Joe’s dumber than even I think he is if he thinks anyone would vote for him. Other than for the laughs, that is.

            I just heard a rumor that Charlie Crist thinks he can run for governor again as a Democrat. I think he missed the whole part where everyone wrote him off as a joke while he was governor the last time, magnified eleventy billion times when he went to work for Morgan and Morgan, “Fuck the People.”

            1. Yeah. Who was the even awfuller guy he beat in the gubernatorial primary? That was the only person who ever made Charlie Crist look like a non monomaniacal asshat. I can’t believe the Dems are dumb enough to feature Charlie Crist as the face of their FL attack. They’ve been hanging out with Tallahassee people for too long.

              1. The party is insane. Just how much more insane it will go is anyone’s guess. I’m still flabbergasted by their last field of candidates–Obama, Clinton, John Edwards.

                1. The democrats primaries in 2016 will be between Obama, Warren and Biden.

                  1. And the idiot governor of Maryland.

            2. I’m surprised Charlie Crist is supporting the democrats, what with Obamacare’s penalty on tanning salons.

              1. He’s a plaintiffs’ attorney now. Only one option.

            3. I just heard a rumor that Charlie Crist thinks he can run for governor again as a Democrat.

              I brought that up earlier. I remember now that I half heard it on WMFE this morning while I was waking up and trying to get ready for work.

              I mised any reference to how serious he is or whether anyone besides John Morgan and Arriana Huffington are supportibg him.

              1. I feel comfortable stating, for the record, that Crist couldn’t even get the nomination. Crist contempt is quite universal and is one of the few things that transcends party lines.

        2. I dunno, PL, I’d give a lot to have the Twenty-second Amendment repealed and have Bill Clinton back with the 97-99 Republican Congress.

          Even if the economy was still in the tank, at least we’d be entertained.

          1. Clinton was a bad president. The reform Congress was okay for a short time but went south pretty quickly.

      2. The best response I’ve heard to the “Obama inherited a mess” meme is:

        “Firemen inherit a mess when they are called to a fire. Ever see one pour gasoline on it?”

      3. Well, it’s just proof that, like, the space-time continuum is racist.

      4. I heard it “Obama inherited a mess” the other day at a bar, but it was quickly followed by “but he’s done jack shit to help the situation”

        Cosmos still quote peggy noonan in dc wine bars?

  4. Iran’s nuclear weapons program (unlikely, given that the program’s very existence is in doubt)

    In the spirit of tendentious fact-checking, I don’t see how any serious person can doubt that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Aside from the fact that they certainly act like they have such a program (otherwise, why suffer the sanctions? why jerk the inspectors around?), they are enriching uranium to 20% (and likely beyond) way above the 5% necessary for power production.

    1. Fluffy,

      Call your office.

      1. Nah, I don’t feel like arguing about Iran today.

        How about we debate the premise: “Dinesh D’Souza is a D’Ouchebag” instead? Discuss.

        1. Nah, I don’t feel like arguing about Iran today.

          Man, I am going to have to start giving the Heisman more often.

        2. He is. But the liberals only have themselves to blame for his movie being such a big deal. They have steadfastly refused to do any kind of vetting or investigation into Obama’s past. And as a result have completely left the field to Obama’s worst enemies.

          Think about it, would a movie about Bill Clinton or either George Bush have made this kind of money? Of course not. And that is because everyone already knew everything about those guy’s pasts and there would have been nothing to see.

          1. The striking thing with the colossal vetting project, of which this film is just a piece, is that there is no reason to believe it will make a difference in the election. The only achievement of the 2004 fever over Bush’s Air National Guard career was the downfall of Dan Rather. Once the president is elected, he’s done with biographical checks. It’s extremely unlikely the voters will be moved by information about the past of a sitting president. Yes, the MSM should have been more adversarial toward Obama back then, but the past four years have certainly produced enough reasons to vote against him.

          2. Think about it, would a movie about Bill Clinton or either George Bush have made this kind of money?

            I seem to recall Fahrenheit 9/11 doing fairly well financially and that was more or less about Bush.

        3. No “D’iscuss?” I am disappoint.

    2. What is most funny about that statement is if Obama wins re-election, the day the Iranians test a nuke with him in office the spin will be “everyone knew Iran was building nukes so this is not a surprise or anything to be concerned about”.

    3. why suffer the sanctions? why jerk the inspectors around?

      I am agnostic on the existence of a real concerted effort to build a nuclear weapon, but even if they weren’t or they know they can’t–the sanctions might be worth it to maintain the bargaining chip that they are. They aren’t North Korea starving after all, and dictatorships are a lot of work to keep going if you don’t saber-rattle and posture enough.

      1. The short answer to the question is: Libya.

      2. the sanctions might be worth it to maintain the bargaining chip that they are.

        I haven’t noticed them using their purported weapons program as a bargaining chip.

        1. If they think saying they have a nuclear weapon is keeping them from being invaded by The Great Satan or keeping The Jew Hordes at bay or is a way to shore up their domestic power, it has just as much perceived utility to them as actually having an active program.

          Again, I don’t claim to know what they are actually doing, but lying about having a nuclear program is not an unreasonable action for them to take.

          1. It goes to show how much they don’t understand us, too. I always laugh when people think bin Laden wanted exactly the aftermath of 9/11. I bet he was completely shocked to see us invade and easily overwhelm the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq.

            Bet Hussein was shocked by us taking his hyperbole seriously. Probably up to the time he got executed.

            1. I bet he was completely shocked to see us invade and easily overwhelm the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq.

              I think he expected military action but expected that to hurt us more than it actually did.

              Don’t get me wrong, I think the costs of both enterprises have been astronomical and absurd – but I think he was expecting “collapse of the Soviet Union” type costs, and we’re just too strong for that. We’re strong enough to shoot ourselves in the dick over and over and still stagger on.

              1. That is not what he expected at all. Go back and look at what he was saying before 9-11. Bin Ladin kept using Somalia as the example. He kept saying if he took some casualties, we would go home. Bin Ladin expected the American people to demand the US leave the middle east and stop supporting Israel after 9-11. He never dreamed we would invade Afghanistan.

                That whole “he wanted to bog us down in a long war” is just a fucking fantasy. Go find me one place where he ever said that. You won’t find one. What you will find is a lot of talk about how weak we were and how we would quit and leave the middle east if we just got hit hard enough.

                1. Bin Ladin kept using Somalia as the example.

                  which is mind-boggling when you consider the arithmetic, the ratio of dead Somalis to dead US operators. But it was a solid prediction based on how most Americans think we got our ass handed to us in Somalia.

                2. http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/ubl-fbis.pdf

                  Actually, if you review his public statements since 1994, he repeatedly talks about how (in his view, at least) the Soviet Union doomed itself to dismemberment by attacking Afghanistan, and how he looks forward to the US suffering the same fate.

                  He taunts the US for trying to get him with bombs, and dares us to invade using ground forces.

                  1. Read your report fluffy. Here is what he says about Russia and Afghanistan

                    But your great scandal was in Somalia. After several months of media propaganda about
                    the United States’ might after the Cold War and its leadership of the new world order, you
                    poured tens of thousands of international troops, including 28,000 Americans, into
                    Somalia.
                    However, after minor battles in which scores of your troops were killed and a US pilot’s
                    body was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, you left the country, defeated and
                    carrying your dead. Clinton emerged before the world, threatening to take revenge. But
                    the threat was a prelude to the withdrawal process. God shamed you and you had to pull
                    out. Your impotence and weakness were evident. The picture of you being defeated in the
                    three Islamic cities (Beirut, Aden, and Mogadishu) pleased every Muslim and believer.

                    He didn’t think we would be in some long war. He thought we would take a couple of casualties and go home. His plan was never to draw us into a long war and sap our strength.

                    1. He appears to have simultaneously thought we were pussies, but also that if he could goad us into a war he could destroy us USSR-style:

                      “We believe that God used our holy war in Afghanistan to destroy the Russian army and the Soviet Union – we did this from the top of this very mountain upon which you are sitting – and now we ask God to use us one more time to do the same to America to make it a shadow of itself.”

                      But he was confident. “We also believe that our battle against America is much simpler than the war against the Soviet Union, because some of our mujahedin who fought here in Afghanistan also participated in operations against the Americans in Somalia – and they were surprised at the collapse of American morale. This convinced us that the Americans are a paper tiger.”

                      Before he could humiliate us in battle, though, he had to get us to go there.

                    2. He appears to have simultaneously believed that we were pussies, but also that if he could just get us to fight him in Afghanistan it would destroy us.

                      “We believe that God used our holy war in Afghanistan to destroy the Russian army and the Soviet Union – we did this from the top of this very mountain upon which you are sitting – and now we ask God to use us one more time to do the same to America to make it a shadow of itself.”

                      But he was confident. “We also believe that our battle against America is much simpler than the war against the Soviet Union, because some of our mujahedin who fought here in Afghanistan also participated in operations against the Americans in Somalia – and they were surprised at the collapse of American morale. This convinced us that the Americans are a paper tiger.”

                      But before he could show the world that we were pussies, he had to get us to go there.

                  2. Well, he didn’t get to taunt us a second time.

              2. “Able to survive suicide attempts on an epic scale” should be our official motto.

            2. It goes to show how much they don’t understand us, too.

              Of course, what do they have to lose? It’s basically The Prisoner’s Dilemma in reverse. If they flung open every door and let in a flood of inspectors, the people who want a war in Iran will still want a war in Iran. They will argue that they just hid it extra-special well or gave it to someone else. They can’t prove a negative, but they float along in limbo, with a radically asymmetrical MAD d?tente.

              About the only thing they can really do at this point that would be unequivocally stupid would be to test a nuclear weapon and have it go off successfully. That would be a green light to rubblize the place.

              1. That would be a green light to rubblize the place.

                I thought that would be their permanent inoculation against being rubblized.

                “Don’t bomb us, or the Jew gets it!”

                1. I thought that would be their permanent inoculation against being rubblized.

                  Nope. Because then the threat is real. Even the doves will shut up. Or Israel takes care of them.

                  Either way, I’m sure it will add up to billions and billions in defense spending… which is the point of the entire exercise, after all–even if we never go to war at all.

            3. I always laugh when people think bin Laden wanted exactly the aftermath of 9/11.

              I think they mean domestically. At least, that’s the way I’ve always seen it used.

              1. I’ve seen it as all of the above. Look, I think it’s pretty obvious that he thought we’d roll over in a fit of navel-gazing despair and sink further into decadence. There’s a little truth to that, but there’s a lot more fallacy. What we regret here about the effects of 9/11 certainly weren’t his goals.

                1. What we regret here about the effects of 9/11 certainly weren’t his goals.

                  You think? The current repressive domestic situation here was entirely predictable. So much so, in fact, that for once more people got it correct than not. If his goal wasn’t to increase domestic oppression of us citizens to a level closer to what they do internationally, then what was it? Surely he didn’t think we’d rise up as a group and scream “Leave Osama Alone!”.

                  1. If his goal wasn’t to increase domestic oppression of us citizens to a level closer to what they do internationally, then what was it? Surely he didn’t think we’d rise up as a group and scream “Leave Osama Alone!”.

                    Why do you think Bin Ladin cared about how oppressive we are or are not? His goal was simple, the get the US to stop supporting the Saudi Royal Family so Al quada could replace it. And then from there unit the Islamic world under one caliphate.

                    1. Why do you think Bin Ladin cared about how oppressive we are or are not?

                      I seem to recall a diatribe from around the time of the first WTC attempt about how Americans were living in ignorance and luxury while the middle east was being destroyed by their corrupt government.

                      Giving them a little taste would be a logical move from that standpoint.

                      His goal was simple, the get the US to stop supporting the Saudi Royal Family so Al quada could replace it.

                      Would that be possible without a significant public outcry? It would seem that kicking the citizenry a bit would help with that.

                  2. I just don’t buy that. A less liberal United States–let’s say one really on the path to empire–is far more likely to conquer the entire region, or even to use nuclear weapons. His cause benefits only if the U.S. gets less interventionist, not more so.

                    1. I wonder what would happen if the rest of the world just let the Muslim world fight it out?

                    2. Gosh, I wish we’d do that. Just walk away.

                    3. I wonder what would happen if the rest of the world just let the Muslim world fight it out?

                      Haliburton would be pissed.

                    4. I just don’t buy that. A less liberal United States–let’s say one really on the path to empire–is far more likely to conquer the entire region, or even to use nuclear weapons. His cause benefits only if the U.S. gets less interventionist, not more so.

                      It makes more sense if you assume, as he did, that the US is fundamentally like the Soviet Union. I don’t think he got that this wasn’t the case.

                      The USSR was held together by terror. As soon as the Red Army was no longer an object of terror, the USSR couldn’t survive.

                      Also keep in mind that you’re talking about someone who literally believed that there would be divine intervention on his behalf.

                      I think he expected us to invade Afghanistan if he could just provoke us badly enough. He then expected to defeat us (with the help of Allah) and then expected the rapid collapse of the entire international system and of the US as a polity as soon as “everybody could see” the truth of the matter.

                    5. I just don’t buy that. A less liberal United States–let’s say one really on the path to empire–is far more likely to conquer the entire region, or even to use nuclear weapons. His cause benefits only if the U.S. gets less interventionist, not more so.

                      It’s possible he had more faith in democracy than we do. I don’t think it’s a secret that he was crazy and idealistic.

    4. why suffer the sanctions? why jerk the inspectors around?

      It does seem irrational and pride-based.

      I think they’re overinvested in showing the US that they aren’t going to knuckle under and obey.

      They are the Open Carry Movement guys of the Middle East.

      1. I say we pay them the respect of taking them at their word (I know they have formally denied it, but c’mon, at a minimum they want everyone to think they are a proto-nuclear power).

        1. I’m saying they aren’t willing to knuckle under and get rid of their openly stated intention to have a nuclear power program just because the US wants them to get rid of it, and is willing to accept the sanctions if that’s the price of refusal.

          Obviously it would be more in their national interest to play ball. But by the same token it would probably be in your personal interest to make your peace with the modern nanny regulatory state and find a way to use it to prosper. So why don’t you? Why suffer?

      2. I honestly think they looked at what happened to Uncle Mohammar and decided, fuck it, lets play it out to the end. Heads we get Saddammed, tails we get Khaddaffied, but as long as we’re in the Schroedinger box we’ve got more options.

        1. That Libya business, from a pure realpolitik perspective, was a major misstep by the U.S. You can’t basically give a guy an opportunity to fess up and clean his hands, then let him go to the wolves. Not that he didn’t deserve it, but that wasn’t a great moment in U.S. foreign policy.

          Now evil dictators know they have nothing to lose.

      3. Iran, the Ultimate Sovereign Citizen!

  5. I got dragged to see Farrell’s ‘The Campaign’ last week. It’s hyper-kinetic, anti-Koch (Motch Brothers), and anti-free speach (Citizens United). Poor timing through most of it. Galifianakis was good in it.

    Regarding D’Souza brothering up to Obama’s brother, there is a similar scene where Galifianakis get’s his opponent’s son to call him “Dad.” Did D’Souza copy that or did “The Campaign” copy him? That is kind of low blow.

    1. You didn’t go to a Farrell movie expecting to laugh, did you? The only two people in the movie who were sometimes funny were Galifinakis and Dylan McDermott and the running gag with the Chinese maid.

      1. I liked Anchorman for what it was.

        1. It was funny, especially if you are old enough to remember the world before cable when local newscasters really were minor celebrities.

          1. We had an anchor who had Cronkite-like credentials in Tampa who went down for the Fucking Steamroller offense.

            1. “The Human Torch was denied a bank loan”

  6. D’Souza is jumping into the market of selling pablum to the wingnuttery, joining Rush (Praise be unto Him), Glenn, and Sean. Facts aren’t needed with this crowd. The more they lie the better they sell.

    1. The best defense to lies is truth, not obfuscation.

    2. If it is all a lie, I am sure Obama will be suing for defamation any day now.

      1. If Michael Moore’s films were all lies I’m sure that Bush and company will be suing for defamation any day now.

        1. I am not sure that Moore defamed Bush. He just lied about the Iraq war.

      2. Obama lived in Indonesia as a kid for a while so that makes him anti-American?

        That is a lie.

        It is a logical fallacy type of lie no one is interested in litigating due to its pedantry.

        1. Except that is not what the movie says. The movie says Obama’s mother was an anti-American communist (a verifiable fact) who worshiped Obama’s father and transmitted this view to Obama.

          The first part is fact. The second part is opinion.

          1. Political views are not hereditary or contagious.

            If they were I’d be a certified collectivist.

            1. They are not inheritable. But it is certainly possible that this happened. It is not like anything in Obama’s later life disproved this theory.

            2. Political views are not hereditary or contagious.

              That does not mean that a parent’s views do not inform a child’s.

              1. Some people talk of Obama’s upbringing’s influence on his political views as if there is no choice in the matter.

                I’m not saying the influence is not there, just that it doesn’t guarantee jack shit.

                1. It doesn’t at all. It only means something when put in context with the rest of his life. David Horowitz was an original red diaper baby. Yet, no one would claim his upbringing made him anti American.

                  1. If I defined “anti American” the same way D’Souza does, I could justifiably make that exact statement.

                2. I’m not saying the influence is not there, just that it doesn’t guarantee jack shit.

                  it’s true there is no guarantee, but the influence goes beyond Stanly Ann. It includes grandpa, Davis, Said (sp?), and Wright. The common thread is pretty virulent anti-capitalism if not anti-Americanism.

                  Usually when kids grow up in extreme environments, one of two things happen: they adopt the ways of their mentors to the letter, or they go in the opposite direction. Obama’s path is clear.

            3. “Political views are not hereditary”

              But church is. Go fucking figure.

        2. Obama lived in Indonesia as a kid for a while so that makes him anti-American?

          Who said this?

          1. The voices in his head. Shut up, Randian. He can no longer hear their muttering when you question him.

            1. I was never convinced that Obama was opposed to American values like limited government and free markets until I saw him in office the last three plus years.

              1. limited government and free markets

                I don’t think there’s been a president who actually supported those things in the last hundred years.

                1. I was being charitable. I fully expected him to be bad. I just didn’t appreciate how awful he’d be.

                  1. I am still amazed he learned absolutely nothing from getting beat so bad in 2010.

                    1. He learned that he needs to lie more frequently and convincingly.

        3. Obama lived in Indonesia as a kid for a while so that makes him anti-American?

          if you bothered to see the film, you would see the closest thing to a pro-American force in Obama’s life is his Indonesian stepfather.

          As it is, the movie is an academic exercise on film. D’Souza lays out a hypothesis, does the lit review, puts out his research, and basically says if you don’t like his conclusion, do your own testing. That means more than PB’s typical lazy thinking.

        4. He’s not anti-American because he spent some time in Indonesia as a child. He’s an anti-American because his best friends are all people like Cloward, Piven, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Frank Marshall Davis, and the list goes on and on.

          1. Ridiculous.

            Progressives cry that his best friends are Buffett, Dimon, Immelt, and other industrial heavyweights.

            They are full of shit too.

            It depends on whose ox is gored.

            1. “Oh, Barack! Take me roughly from behind,” squealed PB as he vigorously greased his butthole with 40 weight motor oil.

  7. Cheerleader propaganda aimed to excite uber-partisans is full of lies and half-truths?

    Who’d uh thunk it?

  8. D’Souza rightly argues that the national debt has risen to $16 trillion under Obama. But he never mentions the explosion of debt that occurred under Obama’s predecessor, Republican George W. Bush, nor the 2008 global financial crisis that provoked a shock to the U.S. economy.

    This is my favorite. Obama’s already added more to the national debt in less than four years than Dubya did in eight. If Obama gets a second term, he’ll likely end up adding more to the national debt on a percentage basis than any other “peacetime President” save for Reagan.

    1. All Bush programs (stimulus excepted).

      $1.3 trillion annual deficit X 3 years = 3.9 trillion (add in the stimulus and you get picture).

      http://www.politifact.com/trut…..istration/

      1. Is Bush running for the nomination again?

        I thought it was all Romney now!

        I guess Bush is the left’s new archnemisis now? It used to be Ronald Reagan. You had a nice run Ronnie!

        But now every time some Democrat sticks his foot in his ear, it’ll be “But Bush was worse!”

        As if Bush were running for reelection.

        Ha!

        1. Bush is the new archnemesis — but also its new model. If Bush did something, apparently it’s sacred, so much so that Obama should be immune from criticism if he does more of it.

      2. How does what you wrote refute what he wrote?

        1. Nothing technically. The debt HAS risen to $16 trillion under Obama. But the spending programs were signed by other presidents (stimulus excepted).

          Its the Sean Hannity lie. Say it over and over again and people think Obama created the debt incurred since 2009 began.

          1. But the spending programs were signed by other presidents (stimulus excepted).

            And Obama could do nothing to stop that spending even though his party had a filibuster proof majority in Congress.

            And Obama voted for all of that spending as Senator. But it is somehow not his responsible for it.

            Shreek we rub your demonic little nose in that pile of shit every time. Yet, you keep putting it here.

            1. Obama didn’t vote for the Iraq War, Medicare Part D, or the Bush tax cuts as a Senator. Those are the three biggest contributors to the current deficits.

              1. The iraq war is over dipshit. And Obama voted to fund the war and continued the war while in office. And if those programs were so bad, why didn’t Obama kill them? He owns them.

                1. He’s only been President for a few years, John. I mean, until a President has been in office for at least 8 years, nothing that is happening today is his responsibility.

              2. Those are the three biggest contributors to the current deficits.

                Are they? What accounts for the permanent jump in federal spending in 2009, when we went from $2.9TT in outlays to $3.5TT in outlays? That jump in outlays has never rolled back, and in fact outlays have continued to go up every year.

                What program did Bush sign into law that increased spending every year, beginning in 2009, by $600BB dollars?

              3. Obama didn’t vote for the Iraq War, Medicare Part D,

                He voted for actual budgets as Senator that increased funding for both of those Bush era polices and as president he has followed the policies set by Bush.

                or the Bush tax cuts as a Senator.

                No, he signed an extension of the “Bush” tax cuts as president.

                Those are the three biggest contributors to the current deficits.

                No they aren’t. All three added up come to several hundred billion per year. The deficit has been well over a $1t for every year that Obama’s been president.

                In fact, the deficit is many times larger than Bush’s 2007 deficit plus the cost of those three programs.

                1. Not only did Obama sign off on extending all of the Bush tax cuts, but he also cut the payroll tax, which is something Bush never did, you Shrieking Idiot shitheel fuckstain.

          2. But the spending programs were signed by other presidents

            What programs were those?

        2. I thought he was confirming it.

    2. All he’s doing is following the tradition started by Reagan of watching the debt double every president.
      Stupid Clinton and Bush Sr initially bucked the trend, but Bush Jr and Obama are keeping it alive!

      1. Not much of a trend if the next two people don’t do it.

        1. It just took a little while to catch on.

          Three out of five at this point, with two of them in a row.

          Looks like the makings of a trend to me!

    3. So, Bush sucked and did some very bad things.

      How does this vindicate Obama?

      Are we in a race to the bottom, that every President can use the worst acts of any historical President as his model, double down on them, and it’s all okay?

      Every President has carte blanche to be twice as bad as his predecessor, and nobody has a right to say “boo” about it?

      The whole “Bush did it, too!” mantra is asinine. Do we want a President whose assault on civil liberties is double Wilson’s, whose corruption is double Nixon’s, under whom inflation is double what it was under Carter?

      I thought we elected Obama because he promised to be LESS like Bush, not because he promised to be “Bush, and then some!”

      1. Romney: Not Obama and not Bush!

        That’s a compelling campaign slogan. Johnson can use it, too, except that he can also add “Not Romney!”

        1. “You don’t have to vote for me, just be sure to vote against him!”

          1. “Vote for me. I’m not Obama, and I promise not to be twice as bad.”

            1. Better than Bush, better than Obama. This time, don’t lower your standards yet again. Vote barely adequate, maybe. Vote Romney.

              1. Well, I will credit Romney with one thing. Unlike Obama in 2008, Romney is campaigning against a guy who is actually running against him.

                1. That’s true. One point for Romney!

  9. There are only two voices in a lot people’s heads right now. Well, maybe there are more, but the only ones these people can understand are the ones that are either for Obama or against Obama.

    The pro-Obama people are mostly concerned with his aesthetic traits anyway. Even the facts are just being brought up as a form of aesthetics.

    Criticism directed at this or that aesthetic aspect of Obama is wrong for them because, e.g., it doesn’t take into account the ugliness of other people who are against Obama.

    –so and so says Obama is ugly on spending, but Dubya was ugly too.

    –so and so says Obama is “weirdly sympathetic to Muslim jihadists”, but dead ObL is beautiful.

    Reasonable people see facts as facts.

    For Fouhy, facts are colors used to paint a picture. You can make the pictures pretty or ugly.

    Most of the swing voters still out there are looking for pretty pictures like the one Fouhy’s painting to tell them what to think. Facts are confusing. And who needs them when you can figure it out by looking at the pictures?

    I think I’m starting to understand some of what Virgina Postrel used to write about glamor and style being more substantive than we realize.

    1. I think I’m starting to understand some of what Virgina Postrel used to write about glamor and style being more substantive than we realize.

      Obama’s election didn’t prove that to your satisfaction?

  10. “Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary 2016: Obama’s America burned up the box office in a very slow movie week.”

    This is classic Cavanaugh.

    1. He’s gotta remain acceptable to polite society.

  11. Matters of emphasis…

    Like, dude, Obama only went to the wacko church once every seven days for 20 years. Sometimes, not even that. That’s more than 6 out of every 7 days he didn’t go to the church. And people tried to make it a big deal, like it was some indication of his worldview or something. How silly of them.

    1. All churches are wacko. Religion is garbage.

      More likely Obama went to church to advance his political career just like he dumped Rev Wright to do the same.

      1. I know when Obama says things you don’t like, he doesn’t really believe them. God you are pathetic.

      2. More likely Obama went to church to advance his political career just like he dumped Rev Wright to do the same.

        In what twisted world does that make things better?

        1. It’s OK to be a fake and a liar than a religious crazy. He was forced into being a fake and a liar, see?

        2. I know. I love how the defense of Obama generally boils down to “he’s not really a radical, he’s just duplicitous and self-serving.”

          1. “He’s not evil; he’s evil.”

            1. Or “He’s not crazy, he’s evil! Don’t you feel better now?”

        3. Because the pursuit of power is the highest virtue to assholes like shrike.

        4. I’m glad you guys all understood the double-edged point I was implying.

          Shriek missed it, as might be expected.

  12. he “never mentions” Bush’s profligacy

    Bush was a spendthrift who couldn’t balance an FN budget, but compared to Obama’s deficits, he almost seems like a budget hawk.

    1. I would take a half billion dollar deficit over what we have now. And the deficit went down every year from 2003 until 2007. Then in 2007, something happened. I forget what it was. Something involving a new Congress.

      1. And the deficit went down every year from 2003 until 2007.

        Is that still true if you add in all the off-budget spending?

        1. Yes. Download the historic table here. It includes the off budget stuff

          http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

          The deficit peaked in 2004 at around $710 billion. In 2007, it was around $520. Then in 08 it around 800. And then in 09 it went to 1.6 trillion.

          1. Wow, 2004 was much worse than I would have guessed, cold.

            That makes sense, then.

            1. But it still was going down until Pelosi and Reid took over Congress. And as bad as 04 was, today is over twice as bad, year after year.

            2. The deficit in 2004 was less than 25% the size of every deficit that Obama’s run, and that was the worst Bush deficit.

              1. Should be …less than 30% of the size of …

  13. Nothing technically. The debt HAS risen to $16 trillion under Obama. But the spending programs were signed by other presidents (stimulus excepted).

    The president can refuse to spend money authorized by prior presidents and current congresses if he or she feels they are unconstitutional. Obama could have slashed spending and run up a huge surplus (or slashed taxes and balanced the budget) if he chose to follow the constitution and defy congress. He didn’t. Obama owns all these deficits.

    1. And Obama had control of the Congress for two years. And he voted for all of that spending as a Senator. But somehow it is still not his fault. But Shreek is a demonic little retard. Facts are never going to get in the way of his psychosis.

    2. Even Ron Paul would not declare Social Security unconstitutional and disband it. He has said he would gradually phase it out.

      1. A government action does not need to be unconstitutional to be awful.

        Social Security, the biggest ripoff scam on the working class ever perpetuated by any entity, is one such example.

      2. does gradually phase it out mean something other than disband it?

  14. Joe’s dumber than even I think he is if he thinks anyone would vote for him.

    from Wikipedia: “Biden was subsequently elected to six additional terms, in the elections of 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008, usually getting about 60 percent of the vote.”

    He may not be able to win a national election, but repeatedly, majorities in at least one state kept voting for him.

    And if a walking policy disaster like Obama is slightly favored to win re-election, then clearly tens of millions of Team Blue people will vote for whoever is on the ticket.

  15. Even Ron Paul would not declare Social Security unconstitutional and disband it. He has said he would gradually phase it out.

    Ron Paul is not in favor of absolutely following the constitution in all instances. Obama has set that document on fire and is extinguishing the fire by pissing on it.

    I would not have a problem with a president who phased out SS by saying, “Social Security is unconstitutional. Anyone who agrees with that statement may opt out permanently by signing an affirmation to that effect.”

  16. Fuck you spam filer

  17. He appears to have simultaneously believed that we were pussies, but also that if he could just get us to fight him in Afghanistan it would destroy us.

    “We believe that God used our holy war in Afghanistan to destroy the Russian army and the Soviet Union – we did this from the top of this very mountain upon which you are sitting – and now we ask God to use us one more time to do the same to America to make it a shadow of itself.”

    But he was confident. “We also believe that our battle against America is much simpler than the war against the Soviet Union, because some of our mujahedin who fought here in Afghanistan also participated in operations against the Americans in Somalia – and they were surprised at the collapse of American morale. This convinced us that the Americans are a paper tiger.”

    But before he could show the world that we were pussies, he had to get us to go there.

  18. How can a post with no links be blocked as spam?

  19. I’ll try to break it up you fucking cunty squirrels:

    Part I:

    Bin Laden appears to have simultaneously believed that we were pussies, but also that if he could just get us to fight him in Afghanistan it would destroy us.

    “We believe that God used our holy war in Afghanistan to destroy the Russian army and the Soviet Union – we did this from the top of this very mountain upon which you are sitting – and now we ask God to use us one more time to do the same to America to make it a shadow of itself.”

  20. FUCK OFF SQUIRRELS

    1. It’s that time of day.

  21. “We believe that God used our holy war in Afghanistan to destroy the Russian army and the Soviet Union – we did this from the top of this very mountain upon which you are sitting – and now we ask God to use us one more time to do the same to America to make it a shadow of itself.” But he was confident. “We also believe that our battle against America is much simpler than the war against the Soviet Union, because some of our mujahedin who fought here in Afghanistan also participated in operations against the Americans in Somalia – and they were surprised at the collapse of American morale. This convinced us that the Americans are a paper tiger.”

    It seems like bin Laden simultaneously thought we were pussies, and wanted us to come to Afghanistan so he could prove it.

  22. OK now I am going to try to post one sentence of my post at a time.

  23. We believe that God used our holy war in Afghanistan to destroy the Russian army and the Soviet Union – we did this from the top of this very mountain upon which you are sitting – and now we ask God to use us one more time to do the same to America to make it a shadow of itself. – 1997

    1. Read my quote above that puts that in context with his thoughts on Somalia.

  24. But he was confident. “We also believe that our battle against America is much simpler than the war against the Soviet Union, because some of our mujahedin who fought here in Afghanistan also participated in operations against the Americans in Somalia – and they were surprised at the collapse of American morale. This convinced us that the Americans are a paper tiger.”

  25. So bin Laden seems to have simultaneously believed that we were pussies, and also that if he could just get us to invade Afghanistan, he could prove it.

  26. I want the Americans to proceed toward Afghanistan, where all of their misconceptions and illusions will be removed. I am sure, however, that the Americans will not come, because they are cowards. 1997

    Now this statement can be taken to support John’s position, if it’s literal. But it sure sounds to me more like somebody taunting someone into a fight, “Come on, chicken! Bring it! Buck buck buck buck buck BUCK!”

    1. But think about all of what he is saying. He didn’t think we would get drug down into some long war and go broke. He thought we either wouldn’t come or would be quickly defeated and run home like he thought we were in Somalia.

      1. He thought we either wouldn’t come or would be quickly defeated and run home like he thought we were in Somalia.

        That’s entirely possible, but I think that he expected our overall collapse if we did come and got quickly defeated.

        The Soviet Union collapsed as soon as the Red Army was no longer an object of terror. I think he misunderstood the basis of American international power, and thought it was fundamentally no different from Soviet power in their bloc.

        He bet wrong.

    2. Again, I don’t buy that. There is no way, no how he wanted us to come in and topple those regimes and stick around, contaminating that area of the world with our liberalism.

      We may all be losing because of 9/11, but neither bin Laden nor al Qaeda benefited very much. They expected us to fall to pieces because we were actually hit on our own territory. That didn’t happen.

  27. Dinesh D’Souza had been a tool since his Dartmouth days, and probably before.

    I don’t know what motivates Obama or Romney and neither does D’Souza but, because he’s a tool, he’s refighting all of the battles from the 80s – anti-communism and culture wars – to prove he was right then and right now.

    Jesus, Disnesh, give it up.

    1. I read D’Souza’s Illiberal Education quite a while ago. As I recall it was primarily about the cultural Marxism that that was being taught in universities (and it is still is). Was he right or wrong about that? And what is wrong with objecting to it, then and now?

  28. D’Souza is a theocratic asshole of the highest order, jealous of the authority Islam asserts over people in its subject nations–he only wishes his brand of Christianity could do the same. That much is plain from The Enemy At Home. Because of this, I have no desire to make common cause with this shitbag on anything. I am not forced into a “choose Hitler or Stalin” moment here, so I am not going to do so. Fuck him and Obama.

    1. D’Souza is a theocratic asshole of the highest order…

      Yes he is, and that would be interesting if he were running for public office. I haven’t read The Enemy at Home so he might have jumped the shark for all know. In his books The End of Racism and Illiberal Education he sides with classical liberalism. No Hitler or Stalin.

  29. If we field six teams, we’ll be able to apply for matching stimulus funds.

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