Obama Tracks
Posted by aogFriday, 14 November 2008 at 22:21 TrackBack Ping URL

For my own personal records, I am setting up this post to record the slow accumulation of bits and pieces of President-elect Obama. Feel free to pay no attention, as I don’t intend for this to add up to a full indictment for quite a while, but every bill of particulars starts with a single item.

I will start with four categories

Contra-Factuals:Things said or strongly implied by the Obama campaign that turned out to not correspond to reality. Sleaze:Corruption, malfesceance, graft, indecency, pettiness. Incompetence:Demonstrations of cluelessness. Luck:Things where Obama gets lucky and escapes problems that would sink any one else. Some of these are the result of Obama’s Old Media provided teflon coating, but others are Obama being in the right place at the right time. It also includes incompetence on the part of others that benefits Obama.

On with the show!


William Ayers
Turns out that he is in fact a family friend of the Obama’s despite the “just an English professor who lives in my neighborhood” story that was put out originally.


Biting the helping hand
Staffers in the Obama campaign leak details about his first meeting with President Bush which will will file under ungrateful pettiness.


No audit
The FEC demonstrates in own ineffectiveness by planning to not audit the Obama campaign because the campaign was so successful at raising money. Apparently only people who fail to cheat well need to be audited.
Hopeful Bombing
With the election of Obama, the AP now reports that bombings in Iraq are a sign of hope. Click through, the article has other examples of Old Media putting out pro-Obama propaganda. And why not? Chris Matthews admits that he considers it his job to make the Obama Adminstration a success.


More failure
Obama’s first round up of economic adivisors has a big helping of failures of the past. I actually have a bit of sympathy for Obama on this one, because the pool of Big Names who aren’t demonstrated failures is not a large list. Still, the first step in doing a good job is figuring out what’s beyond your ability or resources.
Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 06:09

obama’s views/policies on enrgy should be filed under incompetence.

taking foreign money and turning off crdit card checks should be filed under sleaze.

erp Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 08:09

Do you want us to send you stuff we come across?

I was thinking of taking screen shots of all the off-the-wall references to Obama in Google searches. Example, typing “map of Guernsey (Channel Island)” in the search box brought up at the very top of the list, “Barrack Obama’s Journey” below that was “Joseph Biden’s Journey.” They were standard PR bios. I didn’t save the reference because I thought it was an anomaly, but then when I was looked up the address of a local restaurant, just beneath the address were comments, the first one had the halo picture of Obama next to it.

The Microsoft clip art page isn’t far behind. There were several picture of “O” where you wouldn’t expect pictures of politicians and there were no clip art pictures of other politicians, not even the sainted JFK.

It’s getting mighty creepy. His disciples have fanned out all over the earth even unto the ether.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 11:31


I already have a post on those, so I don’t need a further record. The goal is so that, a year from now, when I say “don’t you remember that …” I can find supporting links.


Sure. But I will take Mr. Cohen’s advice to the extent that we should be careful to stick to facts and to things that can be plausibly stuck to the Obama Administration. So, for instance, I didn’t put in the Obamatrons who are trying to get a national holiday for Obama because they are the sort of fringe any popular politician is going to attract. But it is, in my view, legitimate to bring up members of Congress who compare Obama to Jesus because those people will be part of Obama’s actual governing. Chris Matthews is legimate because he’s a national news caster / pundit. But not Scarlet Johansson because she, while extremely pleasant to look at, is just another blithering Hollywood idiot.

The Google thing, that’s in the grey area. On the one hand, it’s Google, a very non-obscure company. On the other, it might be because the Obama campaign paid Google to do it.

erp Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 12:17

I don’t think Obama paid Google or the Microsoft clip art folks, I think people who work in these areas are doing this stuff on their own. To me that’s even more creepy.

For your files: how about Rahm Emmanuel being on the board of Freddie Mac? I’m not sure if he was a congressman at the time as well.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 13:25

‘the pool of Big Names who aren’t demonstrated failures is not a large list.’

Hey, wait, I thought we were overrun with highly competent CEOs? Are none willing to come to the aid of their country? Why didn’t they come out to aid the Bush administration?

Ali Choudhury Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 13:37

I’m not sure Bill Ayers is a credible source when it comes to determining who the Obama’s family friends were\are. Obama’s team quickly corroborated the leak rebuttal by the Bush Administration so that would rank pretty far down the sleaze scale.

erp Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 14:46

Ali, what does “Obama’s team quickly corroborated the leak rebuttal by the Bush Administration” mean. O’s people corroborated that Bush didn’t leak? Does that mean they leaked?

I look forward with interest to an action of Obama’s that you will condemn.

Hey Skipper Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 17:17

Just to be fair, are you also going to track contra-contra-factuals, integrity, not-Lucky, and competence?

Clearly I’m no Obamaniac, but it isn’t clear to me how, at the end of the day, you are going to fairly balance the scales while excluding, by definition, anything that fits in the opposite of each category.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 18:54


The issue with Rahm Emmanuel is mentioned in the economic advisers link.

Mr. Eagar;

I don’t remember anyone claiming that ‘we were overrun with highly competent CEOs’. Could you provide a cite?

Mr Choudhury;

Can you cite a rebuttal of Ayer’s claim of friendship? Not that I would believe it because the Obama campaign has very demonstratedly lied about it multiple times (i.e., they have made multiple contradictory claims, at least all but one was a lie).


Fair point. BUT this post is not intended to be a fair summation of the Obama record, merely a notational device. There’s no shortage of lauditory articles about Obama to fairly balance the scales.

cjm Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 19:42

it’s going to be problematic to determine what obama facts have been mentioned previously without a central index :)

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 19:55

I think we’ll solve that by just going forward. It’s not like the well is going to run dry.

Hey Skipper Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 20:47

There’s no shortage of lauditory articles about Obama to fairly balance the scales.

I’m not referring to laudatory articles, but rather exculpatory facts.

During the Clinton years, the “right” often engaged in pure slanging. Same for the “left”, but even more so, during the last eight years.

I’d rather not return the favor. Or, more accurately, we should note both the good — if any — and the bad.

Ali Choudhury Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 04:00

erp: It means they backed up what the Administration said actually happened.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 08:36

Mr Choudhury;

You’ll have to be a lot more specific than that. What was the rebuttal — that the articles with leaked data weren’t actually published? That the leaked data was accurate? What did the Bush Administration say actually happened? Was that about what was said at the meeting or about the leaks?


I am not sure I grasp your point about exculpatory facts. Either you are referring to independent events that fit the categories you labeled, in which case they are not exculpatory, or there exist such facts in which case the original article shouldn’t be listed.

erp Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 09:12

Ali, what aog said.

Also, do you have links to “what the Administration said actually happened”?

The only statements I saw were ones saying that Bush was angry about the leaks, not corroborating them.

Ali Choudhury Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 12:29

1) There was a leak that Bush had proposed linking passage of bailouts to the Big Three with free trade for Columbia.

2) The Administration issued a statement saying that was untrue.

3) The head of Obama’s transition team, John Podesta also said in a news conference that it was untrue.

That’s the gist of a report I saw on Fox.

Hey Skipper Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 12:52

I am not sure I grasp your point about exculpatory facts. Either you are referring to independent events that fit the categories you labeled, in which case they are not exculpatory, or there exist such facts in which case the original article shouldn’t be listed.

From 2000 - 2008, the left succumbed completely to BDS.

I see no need to return the favor with mirror image ODS.

Cataloging only negatives (and what politician in the real world isn’t going have them?) without making a corresponding effort to find positives feeds ODS.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 13:13

Well, it was Gronker, so you may want to discount it, but ‘First you low ball numbers to fit your arguement. 1:1,000,000 in a US population of about 305,000,000 would be about 305. And since the pool of CEOs includes Europeans, thats another 720,000,000 people. So add up another 720 folks. So, 1 in a million translates to about 1025 Americans and Europeans. Adjust this for working age (about 60-70%) we come up with at least 600 CEOs.’

Right here at Thought Mesh is where I found it.

Brit Monday, 17 November 2008 at 09:50

I’m worried about you, AOG. Obama Derangement Syndrome?

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 17 November 2008 at 11:33

Mr Choudhury;

It’s an odd sort of rebuttal that confirms the accusation in the first point. So the sequence, according to that report, is

  1. Obama Administration leaks false information about the meeting.
  2. Bush Administration is upset and is forced to leak the correct information.
  3. Obama Administration confirms the Bush Administration statement.

And that’s supposed to be exculpatory?


I must disagree. Focusing on the negative is just cynicism. To be PFDS you must also

  1. Believe farcially implausible things.
  2. Make up claims and promote them as real.
  3. Be impervious to facts.

Mr. Eagar;

That’s a claim of adequacy, not being “overrun”. You might try going with what people actually write, instead of treating your exaggeration of the claim as the original.


Fear not, as I have noted above that such a worry is groundless. I would worry about the people with PFDS with regard to Governor Palin, i.e. people who believe things like Palin didn’t know Africa was a continent.

Harry Eagar Monday, 17 November 2008 at 14:14

She believes Africa is full of witches.

As for CEOs, should be plenty to fill a Cabinet, many have recently left their posts to seek new opportunities.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 17 November 2008 at 17:38

I could say, with just as much justification, that Obama believes in terrorist bombing to achieve the destruction of the US government? But I won’t because I am not the one suffering from PFDS.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 17 November 2008 at 17:49

What do you all think of Obama picking as White House counsel a defense lawyer for a Presidential assassin? Quite the list of other clients as well. Worth going in the list?

Barry Meislin Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 01:27

AOG, I think you’re wasting a lot of valuable energy, energy which could best be spent elsewhere.

Trying to justify the ways of God to Man? Been there. Done that. Trying to save America from herself by showing people what they don’t want to see? Forget about it. (And if you’re merely intent on preaching to the choir, then what is the point of it all?)

Trying to focus on the next Congressional elections and then 2012? Now, yer talkin’.

In this most dishonest of campaigns, won by this most dishonest of Presidential candidates, one can only hope (and if so inclined, pray) that Obama does not give away the store.

As for persuading the electorate of his dishonesty, fecklessness, and incompetence, only Obama, by his actions (and more precisely, by the disconnect between his actions and smooth words), can do that best—-though once again, one must hope (against hope) that he proves a good president.

True, he can do a lot of damage. And yes, hope is a paltry thing. But what does the true patriot due in such a situation? Certainly not whine.…

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 09:03

Just stock piling ammunition for later use like a good patriot…

Ali Choudhury Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 15:54

I’d be sceptical of the Africa thing if it wasn’t coming from Fox’s Carl Cameron. I doubt he or his bosses would be pushing a story, which if revealed to be untrue, would massively piss off their audience. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

Andrea Harris Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 20:28

Those who are worried about AOG or anyone else succumbing to a BDS-like “Obama Derangement Syndrome” need to remember that the Bush haters were almost entirely inspired by outright lies, fantasies, dumb interpretations of normal events (for example: Bush picks up a display turkey at a base Thanksgiving dinner and smiles and possibly makes a joke about it, is photographed, and all these years later we’re still hearing about the plastic turkey that Bush carried on the plane to Iraq and forced the troops to eat), and their own bizarre fears (Bush was going to round up everyone “different” and put them in camps, take their kids, make them wear polyester, whatever). On the other hand, what AOG is doing is recording true, actual items as he comes across them.

And on to true derangement of our current situation: personally I don’t care that Obama said “57 states” somewhere, because that sounds like a slip of the tongue made in a moment of tiredness or whatever. I mean, you’d have to be no more aware of reality than a bag of sand (or be on the street when Jay Leno is out there asking his questions — same difference if you ask me) not to know that the US has fifty states. And while I don’t think Obama is the next Einstein like his followers do, I don’t think he’s that stupid. And now we come to Mr Eagar, eagerly (heh) promoting the weird fantasy that Sarah Palin doesn’t know that Africa is a continent. Here now, help me out — do we really think that someone could make it all the way through college (even inferior state college instead of the holy and sacred Ivy Leagues), and then get elected mayor and governor, all the while not at least knowing the names of the continents on her own planet? It’s not like there are that many of them. I’m thinking that the Fox journalist (whose credentials I am for some reason not all that impressed by) mistook a slip of the tongue or something only semi-heard and badly repeated as some sort of gospel truth statement. And as for the idea that Sarah Palin “believes Africa is full of witches,” that’s typical of the religious-fearing trembler Mr Eagar and his fears that the KKKristians are going to hunt down people like him and, I don’t know, make him watch “Veggie Tales” or something. All Palin did was politely let an African pastor (who, like many Africans, is the one that believes Africa is “full of witches”) pray over her. What was she supposed to do, fling him off and shriek “stand back, superstitious darkie!”?

Andrea Harris Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 20:34

Whoops, it was Choudhury who pushed the “Palin thinks Africa is a country” story. Eagar here seems to be fixated on the witch thing.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 22:20

Thank you, Ms. Harris for making my point more clearly than I was able to do.

I would note that the Cameron story is even weaker than you note. Cameron did claim not that he heard Palin say that, he claims that an anonymous source told him the source heard her say that. Moreover, Cameron’s description of the source indicates that it was someone who (if he even exists) would likely to be trying to save his own career by trashing Palin. So we’ve got hearsay of hearsay of a biased source who may have misheard or misinterpreted that’s farcially implausible yet people take it credulously. Now that is PFDS.

Besides, collecting these tidbits amuses me and what is the point of this weblog besides that?

cjm Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 22:59

add to the incompetent pile: calling the pm of pakistan and not calling the pm of india

cjm Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 23:00

add to the sleaze pile: choosing marc rich pardoner as AG

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 19 November 2008 at 12:29

I didn’t say I bought the Palin-doesn’t-know-Africa thing. But that she believes in witches and demons and believes that, as president, if she let her guard down, an actual demon could influence her decisions ought to scare anybody.

It isn’t that she was ‘polite’ to the African pastor, Andrea. It’s that she’s spent her entire life in a church that believes that actual demons actually cause people to make bad decisions. She’s as crazy as Ahmadinijad talking down the well.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 19 November 2008 at 17:47

And you guys think I am the obsessed one.

Personally, I would rather have a person who tries to avoid hearing spirit voices. And I would rather have a believer in witches than a believer in socialism. The former is a lot less dangerous to my health and my wealth.

P.S. I have to make a note of this survey of Obama voters that’s been making the rounds. It’s the perfect antidote to the insufferable piousness of Obama and his worshipers. As much as I dislike Obama, I have to say that it’s the bovine smuggy adulation by the latter that really sets me off. Otherwise, I think going down “the sheeple are stupid” route is a bad idea, if it’s true.

Andrea Harris Wednesday, 19 November 2008 at 19:31

Why is it when I read Eagor’s latest response, I envisioned the scene from Wizard of Oz where the Cowardly Lion starts saying “I do believe in spooks! I do I do I do!”

Crazy bugger!

Andrea Harris Wednesday, 19 November 2008 at 19:33

Oops — forgot to add my disclaimer: “The usage of the term ‘spooks’ is in no way meant to racistly reference blacks — I mean, African-American Superhumans — in a conversation about Africans who believe in witches and ghosts. Can I help it that the English language is RAAACIST!”

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 19 November 2008 at 19:43

Well, file this away, Guy. A Coke says G.W. Bush will have nationalized more private business in 8 years than Obama does in 4 or 8.

I’ll give odds, too, seeing as how Bush has a $4 trillion head start.

Harry Eagar Friday, 21 November 2008 at 15:40

I suppose somebody, somewhere is keeping a similar Palin list.

No plastic turkeys for her, either.

‘You need a little levity in this job.’ Truer words were never spoken by politician.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 21 November 2008 at 16:12

Unlikely. My list is restricted to accurate items. I have yet to see the Palin list that follows a similar policy. There is this one but I doubt you would like it because it’s a list of false claims about Palin with associated debunking.

Harry Eagar Friday, 21 November 2008 at 18:54

No plastic turkeys for the GOP! Real turkeys, all the way down.

Real demons, Real witches.

Nobody has made up anything about Palin as weird and creepy as the authentic stuff.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 21 November 2008 at 18:55

Here’s a perfect exemplar of the insufferable piousness in which an elementary school has been renamed for Barak Obama, before he even takes office. If reasonable people should wait on Obama to do something stupid in office before condemning his Administration, should others wait to idolize him until he does something, anything?

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 21 November 2008 at 18:59

So now it’s “weird” and “creepy” to eat real turkeys for Thanksgiving? Truly, we are narrowing the scope of the normal.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 22 November 2008 at 14:25

I take it you haven’t seen the Palin turkey pardon interview. It’s the funniest thing I have seen in politics, ever, but it’s pretty creepy. YouTube commenters instantly related it to the funniest line in the history of TV, the WKRP turkey episode.

I am going to enjoy Palin until she fades out of sight. You have to go back to Pass the Biscuits Pappy O’Daniel to find a goofier politician.

Obama, unfortunately, is not funny.

Bret Saturday, 22 November 2008 at 16:21

She is pretty goofy. And it is pretty funny seeing those headless turkeys being drained in the background while she’s talking. Though in all honesty, I probably wouldn’t even have noticed the guy with the headless turkeys if it hadn’t been pointed out by others.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 23 November 2008 at 13:51

I suspect that video will finish her pretensions to be taken seriously, which is correct — she is not a serious person — but it is one of those rather unfair things that happen to politicians, like Dean’s scream, or Ford’s Poland gaffe.

It is really easy, when the subject of a TV interview, to shut out what’s going on around you. Happens to me all the time as the interviewer, and it’s even worse to be the interviewee.

Post a comment