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Ezra Klein airbrushes Obama joke about corruption at the White House Correspondents dinnner right out of the picture

Here's Klein's riff, and he's right within its limits:

[T]here were a lot of moments when Obama seemed to be subverting the rules of the evening in order to get away with telling harsh truths that he could later claim were just jokes.

“Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress,” the president said. “‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask. Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?”

Everyone laughed. But do you detect an actual joke there? And lest you think I’m cutting the punchline, here’s Obama’s next sentence: “I’m sorry. I get frustrated sometimes.”

OK (again), so how about this one?

On the millions Sheldon Adelson spent to try to unseat him: “[OBAMA:] That’s Oprah money! You could buy an island and call it Nobama. Adelson would have been better off calling me up and offering me $100 million to drop out of the race. I probably wouldn’t have taken it. But I’d consider it.”

See a punchline there?

UPDATE The Guardian reports this joke differently (Pravda, working from a pre-release? Say it's not so!):

It might not bother Obama much, but the hatred may be getting to his wife. Telling the story of Sheldon Adelson, the Mitt Romney donor who spent $100m on attack ads last year, Obama said: "You've got to really dislike me to spend that kind of money. You could buy an island and call it 'Nobama' for that kind of money. Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100m to drop out of the race. Michelle would have taken it."

I'm not sure which is worse. The open corruption, or shoving it off on Michelle.

Average: 5 (1 vote)


Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

Off Topic, unless we just call it another Obama joke:

Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by The Guardian/UK
In the wake of news reports that he had been Mirandized and would be charged in a federal court, I credited the Obama DOJ for handling the case reasonably well thus far. As it turns out, though, Tsarnaev wasn't Mirandized because the DOJ decided he should be. Instead, that happened only because a federal magistrate, on her own, scheduled a hospital-room hearing, interrupted the FBI's interrogation which had been proceeding at that point for a full 16 hours, and advised him of his right to remain silent and appointed him a lawyer…
Tsarnaev had repeatedly asked for a lawyer, but the FBI simply ignored those requests, instead allowing the interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group to continue to interrogate him alone…
Glenn Greenwald
The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) is a U.S. intelligence-gathering group created by President Barack Obama in August 2009.[1] Its charter was drawn up in April 2010.[2] It was established to question terrorism suspects soon after their arrests to extract information to head off unfolding plots and track down accomplices.[2]
The group mainly interrogates people overseas. The Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said in January 2010 that the group would begin interrogating people in the U.S. as well.[3]
And the evil doctor behind the two-way mirror:
Dr. Susan E. Brandon Chief of Research
High Value Detainee Interrogation Group

Dr. Susan E. Brandon | DIA's Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center |

The chief of research for DIA's Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center(DCHC) Behavioral Sciences Program, Dr. Susan Brandon, who was reportedly involved in a covert program run by the American Psychological Association (APA), Rand Corporation, and the CIA to employ "enhanced interrogation" techniques, including sleep and sensory deprivation, intense pain, and extreme isolation on prisoners held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan and other "black prisons," receivedher PhD in Psychology from the University of Hawaii.Brandon also served as assistant director of Social, Behavioral, and Educational Sciences for the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the George W. Bush White House.!search/profile/person?personId=246875025&targe...
Who Will Investigate CIA/RAND/APA Torture “Workshop”?
By: Jeff Kaye Thursday November 19, 2009 3:00 pm

Back in May 2007, while researching the activities of the American Psychological Association (APA) in support of the U.S. government’s interrogation program, I came across evidence that the APA had engaged in a discussion of torture techniques during a workshop organized by APA and the RAND Corporation, “withgenerous funding from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).”

Susan Brandon, a key APA “Senior Scientist”, and former member of the Bush White House’s Office of Science & Technology Policy, helped organize the affair

Submitted by lambert on

... it is off topic. Why not just make it a post? If you can comment, you can post.