Maybe They Actually Looked At His Record

For some reason, awarding the transparency award to President Obama has been delayed.

Maybe the Nobel Committee should have waited a while, too.

[Update a few minutes later]

Heh. A report from shortly before they had second thoughts:

President Obama’s only event at the White House that isn’t closed to the press on Wednesday is a ceremony in which he’ll accept an award for being open to the press.

But why would they be having second thoughts? Maybe this?

The Associated Press reported this week that despite pledges of increased transparency, the Obama administration last year responded to fewer Freedom of Information Act requests than the year before.

In 2010 there were 544,360 requests filed at the 35 largest government agencies. The AP reported that the administration “refused to release any sought-after materials in more than 1-in-3 information requests.”

The Obama administration has developed a reputation for ruthlessly prosecuting whistleblowers for leaks to the press. The heavy-handed approach has prompted concern about a “chilling effect” that could discourage future government transparency.

But other than that, it’s the most transparent administration in history.

Will there ever be a point at which the media starts to point out what Bravo Sierra artists these people are?

[Update a while later]

The adminstration’s “openness” is a transparent lie.

Does this remind anyone else (anyone old enough to remember, that is) of the Clinton administration’s promise to be “the most ethical administration in history”? Complete with aides who tell Congress under oath that they lied to their own diary?

Issa’s hearings today should prove interesting, if appropriately uncomfortable for witnesses.

He Can Dish It Out, But…

Thoughts from James Taranto on the hot-house whining from leftists in both academia and journalism, and defense of free speech:

The reason we find Leiter’s comments amusing rather than disgusting is that we, unlike Althouse, are not part of academia and thus have no personal investment in the ideal of disinterested and honest scholarship. Rather than offend our ideals, Leiter reinforces our stereotype of academia as being filled with fools and knaves. You can see why this would bother Althouse, a scholar who does not fit the disparaging stereotype.

Althouse’s emotional reaction to Leiter’s comments is similar to ours when the New York Times publishes blatantly slanted stories on its news pages or outright lies on its opinion pages. Those are our professional standards the Times is transgressing. Some of our readers thought our outrage at the Times naive; we would say that, like Althouse’s disgust with Leiter, it was merely idealistic. It is possible to be knowing without being cynical.

To return to John Benjamin’s letter, we certainly agree that it is better if “foolish, crazy or hostile ideas” do not survive, or at least do not thrive. A good deal of our work is devoted to combating them with the weapons of logic and mockery. As the disgusted Althouse demonstrates, shaming can also be an effective tactic.

Look at Leiter’s defensive updates to his initial blog post. He accuses Althouse of an “inflammatory hatchet job” and us of a “drive-by smear.” He answers by asserting that “I did not, and do not, call for political violence”–technically an accurate statement, as explained above, but a curious claim for him to deny since neither Althouse nor this column ever made it. Leiter wouldn’t be acting like such a crybaby if he weren’t losing this argument.

I think that Harry Truman said something about heat and kitchens.

Lessons From Libya

for dictators in distress:

To ensure that the president does not focus unduly on your war, schedule it while he is preoccupied with other matters: a Motown concert, a conference on bullying, his golf game, and finalizing his Final Four picks.

Consider restarting your nuclear program, since the conditions that caused you to suspend it are gone. At most, the president will form a committee of several nations to talk to you; he will consider more sanctions if the world speaks as one. You need not worry about his “deadlines.”

Teddy Roosevelt talked about speaking softly and carrying a big stick. This president thinks that you declare things “unacceptable,” and then go pick your brackets.

[Update a few minutes later]

The noose tightens. But not Barack Obama’s.

[Update a few minutes more later]

Some (uncomfortable) questions for Jay Carney:

1) What did the president mean when he said that Colonel Whathisname’s behavior was “unacceptable”? Has he changed it in any way for the better? If not, what does the president propose to do to not accept it?

2) What did the president means when he said that “the noose is tightening” around Colonel Whathisname? Was it around his neck, or his waist, or his wrist? Or his shirt that he’s since taken off? Is it still tightening, or is it loosening again?

I Wish Congress Wouldn’t Make NASA Waste So Much Money

So they could afford to do things more like this.

It’s always a little unnerving to me to see them fly through the ring plane. It makes you realize that as striking they are in appearance, the mass density is very slight, and there’s plenty of open space in there. Not that they couldn’t have had a collision, but they haven’t.

OK, I know, even if they weren’t being forced to waste money, they’d still have trouble getting more funding for more planetary missions.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!