Posts Tagged ‘niall

20
Aug
12

This and That

President Barack Obama samples a baked zucchini fry in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House after dropping by the Epicurious Kids’ State Dinner in the East Room, Aug. 20 (by Pete Souza)

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Tuesday:

9:15: President Obama departs the White House

10:40: Arrives in Columbus, Ohio

1:00: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Capital University in Columbus

1:30: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at The Depot, Minneapolis

2:50: PBO departs Columbus

5:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Olmstead County Fairgrounds, Rochester, Minn.

6:55: PBO arrives in Reno, Nev.

8:00: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno

9:40: Departs Reno en route Las Vegas

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Steve Benen: …. Ferguson’s new cover story marks an ignominious low for the once-great magazine, tarnishing the publication’s reputation in ways likely to do lasting, irreparable harm.

…. in the course of launching his lengthy, 3,300-word attack, Ferguson publishes a series of claims with no foundation in reality …. But there’s one problem in particular that helps capture why Ferguson’s piece represents political journalism at its most atrocious.

Ferguson argues that President Obama promised the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t add to the deficit. In reality, this is a promise Obama has kept …. In order to publish this lie, Ferguson counted up the costs, ignored the savings and receipts, and presented a bogus net total….

Making matters much, much worse, Ferguson decided to challenge Krugman’s facts with an angry response, pointing to a CBO report that he’s certain proves him right.

It doesn’t. As Dylan Byers explained, “In order to get himself out of that predicament, Ferguson decides to edit the CBO report to satisfy his own conclusions…. Ferguson cut the CBO excerpt off mid-sentence and changed the meaning entirely…. So, one more time: The Oxford-trained, Harvard-employed, Newsweek contributor Niall Ferguson just edited the CBO report to change its meaning.”

What Ferguson and Newsweek published isn’t journalism; it’s a joke.

Full post here

The Atlantic: ….. In the world as Ferguson describes it, Obama is a big-spending, weak-kneed liberal who can’t get the economy turned around. Think Jimmy Carter on steroids. But the world is not as Ferguson describes it. A fact-checked version of the world Ferguson describes reveals a completely different narrative — a muddy picture of the past four years, where Obama has sometimes cast himself as a stimulator, a deficit hawk, a health care liberal and conservative reformer all at once. And it’s a world where the economy is getting better, albeit slowly.

It would have been worthwhile for Ferguson to explain why Obama doesn’t deserve re-election in this real world we actually live in. Instead, we got an exercise in Ferguson’s specialty — counterfactual history.

More here

James Fallows: Yes, I know, you could imagine many sentences that would follow that headline. But here is what I have in mind right now: A tenured professor of history at my undergraduate alma mater has written a cover story for Daily Beast/Newsweek that is so careless and unconvincing that I wonder how he will presume to sit in judgment of the next set of student papers he has to grade.

More here

Brad DeLong: …. Fire his ass from Newsweek, and the Daily Beast. Convene a committee at Harvard to examine whether he has the moral character to teach at a university. There is a limit, somewhere. And Ferguson has gone beyond it.

Full post here

Noah Opinion: I have been known to tease a fellow blogger or two, but there is really only one writer who makes me truly mad, and that is British historian Niall Ferguson. I will explain exactly why he makes me so mad at the end of this post. First, though, I want to say a few words about Mr. Ferguson’s cover story in Newsweek magazine, entitled “Hit the Road, Barack”. I should note that it imposes a heavy psychic cost for me to do so, since it requires that I actually read Niall Ferguson. But the public duty to expose BS and promote truth and intellectual honesty overrides such selfish concerns.…. The British Empire is over, Niall. It had its day. We can debate eternally how much good it did, but now it is done, and it is not coming back. Stop trying to screw up my Republic in your doomed effort to bring it back.

Full post here (with links to other takedowns of this right wing nutjob lying scumbag)

Charles P. Pierce: I’m late to the party in regards to Niall Ferguson’s egregious cover on the weekly grocery shopper once known as Newsweek magazine ….

…. Krugman — and Jim Fallows, and Andrew Sullivan, and The Atlantic in general — are not after Ferguson because they disagree on the advisability of re-electing the president. They are after him because what he wrote was… not… true.

Full post here

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You know the most striking thing about Ferguson’s piece? He had to lie to make a case against PBO.

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The Political Carnival

Thanks Desertflower

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Cagle

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Mediaite: Speaking to Fox News’ Carl Cameron Saturday morning, Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan made the case for why he believes his foreign policy credentials are stronger than President Obama’s, emphasizing that he has been a voting member of Congress longer than the president. Ryan cited his votes in favor of the Iraq War as evidence that he has had more foreign policy experience than Obama.

“I’ve been in Congress for a number of years,” he told Cameron. “That’s more experience than Barack Obama had when he came into office.”

“I voted to send people to war,” he added.

(Seriously, that’s not from The Onion)

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Cagle

 

17
Feb
11

egyptian revolution caught president by surprise! oh yeah?

NYT: President Obama ordered his advisers last August to produce a secret report on unrest in the Arab world, which concluded that without sweeping political changes, countries from Bahrain to Yemen were ripe for popular revolt, administration officials said Wednesday.

Mr. Obama’s order, known as a Presidential Study Directive, identified likely flashpoints, most notably Egypt, and solicited proposals for how the administration could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States, these officials said.

The 18-page classified report, they said, grapples with a problem that has bedeviled the White House’s approach toward Egypt and other countries in recent days: how to balance American strategic interests and the desire to avert broader instability against the democratic demands of the protesters.

…Officials said Mr. Obama’s support for the crowds in Tahrir Square in Cairo, even if it followed some mixed signals by his administration, reflected his belief that there was a greater risk in not pushing for changes because Arab leaders would have to resort to ever more brutal methods to keep the lid on dissent.

“There’s no question Egypt was very much on the mind of the president,” said a senior official who helped draft the report …. “You had all the unknowns created by Egypt’s succession picture — and Egypt is the anchor of the region.”

Read full article here

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Let’s just look again at an extract from Niall Ferguson’s article in Newsweek:

“I can think of no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: It never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt. Yet the very essence of rigorous strategic thinking is to devise such a scenario and to think through the best responses to them, preferably two or three moves ahead of actual or potential adversaries. It is only by doing these things—ranking priorities and gaming scenarios—that a coherent foreign policy can be made. The Israelis have been hard at work doing this. All the president and his NSC team seem to have done is to draft touchy-feely speeches like the one he delivered in Cairo early in his presidency.”

14
Feb
11

newsweek: right wing comic

I laughed today when I read a few articles on Harvard professor Niall Ferguson’s cover story in Newsweek attacking President Obama for his Middle East policy and his handling of the situation in Egypt (a “debacle”!). This, of course, was a bit of a contrast to the verdicts of Professor Marc Lynch (here), Fareed Zakaria (here) and Peter Beinart (here), amongst others.

Hardly anywhere did the people commenting on the piece give any background on Ferguson – which, when you have a look at it, is just a little bit relevant: to put it, em, politely, he’s a loathsome, stomach-churning, narcissistic piece of right wing manure who wouldn’t give credit to President Obama even if he single-handedly saved planet earth from destruction. And Newsweek have hired this creature as a columnist and made his rant their cover story?! Wow!

So, a little background on the guy: click here for Ferguson’s 2008 speech to the right wing Hoover Institution – entitled ‘Why America Needs McCain’ – during which he repeated all the usual right wing abuse of President Obama, eg that he’s a cult leader, bla bla bla. Snore.

This is the guy who thought he was being highly witty when he wrote: “President Barack Obama reminds me of Felix the Cat … Felix was not only black. He was also very, very lucky.” (He wasn’t being racist, he reassured us – after all, we were told, he’d left his wife of 16 years for a black woman).

This is the guy who said the US should “occupy Iraq for 40 years“. Seriously. This is the guy who is on the board of the right-wing British think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies. This is the guy whose political hero was Margaret Thatcher – he “adored” her. (Bucket, please).

This is the guy who “told the world to wise up and start being grateful for everything that the British Empire had done for it”. Honest, I didn’t make that up. This is the guy who was a columnist for the right wing British rag the Daily Mail (but wasn’t brave enough to use his real name when he spouted his right wing bile).

This is the guy who argued that “the First World War had not been worth Britain fighting – Germany should have been allowed a mainland European empire”. Yep, that would have worked well for Europe’s Jews, Niall.

I’m not always on Paul Krugman’s ‘side’, but I was this time: “Ferguson is a poseur who…. relies on snide comments and surface cleverness to convey the impression of wisdom. It’s all style, no comprehension of substance.”

I could go on and on ….. but I won’t. It just would be kind of nice if we were told about the ideological background and prejudices of opinion piece writers when their work is being commented upon, or when they are being introduced as authorities on a subject on TV. Ferguson’s agenda means he will always attack President Obama, regardless. And Newsweek gave that agenda pride of place on their cover? Two words: ‘good’ and ‘grief’.

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Salon (2010): “Ferguson is a belligerent nut. The last time American policymakers listened to him, the United States invaded Iraq….”.

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Some of the comments posted under Ferguson’s article on The Daily Beast (which, of course, has merged with Newsweek):

“Look at this piece for what it really is…another reich wing talking head trying to push his way through the crowd by throwing a pie at President Obama.”

“Newsweek needs to find some Brits who have views a little more advanced than George III.”

“He seems determined to become another extremist provocateur a la Coulter. Say outrageous things to sell books and get face time on cable. Too bad that most people who even know who he is are familiar with his claptrap and too smart to fall for his self-promotional rhetoric … The bigger disappointment is that Newsweek would put such a loaded article as its cover. Further into irrelevance it goes.”

“Professor Ferguson’s transformation from lettered, Harvard academic to conservative political hack is complete. He is the thinking man’s Glenn Beck … as his debates with Professor Krugman and his meetings with the Republican leadership pre-midterm elections have demonstrated, he has cast his lot in with the Tea Partiers and their politicians…. Don’t be fooled. Ferguson is just Glenn Beck in an academic’s cap and gown.”

“Articles like this make me so happy my Newsweek subscription is ending.”

Read Jeffrey Goldberg’s response in The Atlantic here




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