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Friday, August 20, 2010

Odd traffic from Pandagon.net

I have only the cheap and free version of Sitemeter, and although TypePad also offers some metrics, I don't spend much time — even when I've been blogging recently — checking stats to see which other websites are referring traffic here. I notice sometimes when folks have linked me; I'm sure I miss noticing others. But the last couple of days I've been getting hits from pandagon.net — a leftie site that I gather is quite popular, but not one which I frequent. So I took a look, and found that I'd been linked as part of a post by someone named Jesse Taylor in a post entitled "Ten Questions Nobody Ever Asked About George W. Bush," thusly:

6.) Where are George W. Bush’s MBA projects and papers?

That's a link to a post about Obama that I wrote during the 2008 election season — specifically, on June 23, 2008. My post was triggered by a widely remarked article by Jeffrey Ressner and Ben Smith on the Politico website in which they reported on Obama's tenure at Harvard Law and, in particular, on the Harvard Law Review. They'd said:

One thing Obama did not do while with the review was publish any of his own work. Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said Obama didn't write any articles for the Review, though his two semesters at the helm did produce a wide range of edited case analyses and unsigned "notes" from Harvard students.

The thrust of my long-winded rejoinder was to say: Gee, based on what I know about law reviews, from my own admittedly different perspective as an editor at a competing one a few years before Obama's time, the assertion that Obama hadn't written or published any student work seemed extremely odd and improbable for someone who went on to become the head (editor-in-chief or, as at HLS, "president") of his or her law review.

I was right, and Ressner and Smith were wrong, although it appears that the reason they were wrong was that they'd been misled by the Obama campaign for reasons no one has ever adequately explained: As I explained on August 22, 2008*, in a prominent update to my June 23rd post, Ressner's and Smith's own subsequent reporting revealed "Obama's lost law review article" — actually a student casenote. I wrote at greater length about the apparent contradictions from the Obama team on this subject. My criticisms put me in company with, for example, such right-wing observers of the Obama campaign as Noam Scheiber at The New Republic.

I'm not sure what to make of this new link from Mr. or Ms. Taylor, then — other than as a general, and pathetic, example of the current Obama apologists' annoying whining about political problems of The One's own making, and especially of their need to continually re-invoke, somehow, Booooosh. As for their premise that George W. Bush's life was never put under a microscope, obviously those folks slept through the 2004 election and the entire TANG/Rathergate controversy. Silly libs.

Oh, wait — Mr. or Ms. Taylor apparently wasn't asleep for all of 2004. Google-searching my own site, I'm reminded that he or she linked me in October 2004 from a pandagon.net post entitled The Hollow Echos of Jackboots. Sweet!

Posted by Beldar at 09:56 PM in 2008 Election, Obama, Politics (2008), Politics (2010), Weblogs | Permalink


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(1) nk made the following comment | Aug 21, 2010 10:20:17 AM | Permalink

Pandagon is Amanda Marcotte. This link is NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Iowahawk thinks he is parodying her but in reality he is describing her: http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2007/02/the_pandagon_pa.html

(2) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 21, 2010 10:41:53 AM | Permalink

I might have read something like that before, nk, but I'm honestly too busy polishing my jackboots to pay attention to who's who over there. Thanks, though.

(3) Crank made the following comment | Aug 21, 2010 10:34:45 PM | Permalink

Actually, I'm not sure who all writes there now besides Marcotte and Taylor, but Jesse founded the site around 2003-ish and was then joined by Ezra Klein, who was later snapped up by the Washington Post. here they are. (Try to imagine someone from a similar foul-mouthed cesspool on the right getting hired by one of the nation's major newspapers).

The irony here is, why would anybody care what Bush's MBA work was? It's not like he marketed himself as some great scholar, or was so lacking in credentials that people would need to dig up his grad school work to make up their minds about him. Unlike Obama.

Oh, and BTW: it is always good to see Beldar blogging again.

(4) largebill made the following comment | Aug 21, 2010 11:15:38 PM | Permalink

It is a silly comparison by Pandagon. We were repeatedly told what a genius Obama was despite his frequent misstatements. His academic work which was mostly hidden was cited as proof of his intelligence. His various autobiographies were also cited as proof of his being a man of letters. Odd to have more autobiographies than accomplishments.

Minor correction, in your fourth paragraph you say "August 22, 2004" I believe you meant 2008.

(5) The Maksed Marvel made the following comment | Aug 21, 2010 11:22:30 PM | Permalink

Can you say, "JournoList"?



(6) papertiger made the following comment | Aug 21, 2010 11:28:51 PM | Permalink

Last I heard of Pandagon, Marcotte had just been fired from her newly aquired position as John Edward's paramore in training.
The job loss probable caused by her well documented aversion to testosterone.

(7) The Maksed Marvel made the following comment | Aug 21, 2010 11:34:23 PM | Permalink

Amanda Marcotte is #84 on that JournoList list linked to above. Jesse Taylor is #135. The JournoList story may be dead, but the JournoListas themselves are still working hard to coordinate the message.

(8) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 22, 2010 12:10:08 AM | Permalink

largebill (#4): You're right, I meant 2008. Duly fixed in the original post, thank you.

(9) Gordon Winslow made the following comment | Aug 22, 2010 10:57:11 AM | Permalink

I received my MBA about ten years ago and don't have my projects and papers to show for it. Didn't when I graduated, in fact. I turned them in and got a grade, and didn't think a thing about them after that. I suspect almost every other MBA is in the same boat.

(10) George B made the following comment | Aug 22, 2010 2:42:01 PM | Permalink

The whole point of getting an MBA is to get a job. George W. Bush's "MBA Project" is starting his own oil and gas company Abustco Energy in 1978. The pattern that emerges is Bush isn't very successful at running a business, but he's good at getting investment money. However, the extreme drop in oil prices in the 80s and 1990 Gulf War are factors in Bush's oil business failures. Bush was more successful as part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team and in 6 years as Texas Governor. By the time George W. Bush ran for President he had a resume with lots of executive experience. In contrast, when Barack Obama ran for President, he had no executive experience or history of private sector jobs. Like a new grad fresh out of college, Obama needed to include more details of his academic experience to fill in blank space on his resume.

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