Obama’s Awful International Trip (?)

I take some pride in being one of the few commentators to note at the time how disastrous Obama’s awful speech on race would become.  It was clear to me at the time that the bad effects of the speech would hurt Obama in the primaries, and possibly the general election.  The speech was especially damaging considering how March began with the perfect opportunity for Obama to codemn affirmative-action… and opportunity he spit in the face.  Dean Barrett suggests Obama’s recent trip abroad may cause similar damage:

The Weekly Standard
The Rasmussen tracking poll also suggests that the long term impact of the Talking Tour will harm Obama. An initial bump from the trip that swelled Obama’s lead to eight points at the end of last week has vanished. Today, the lead has shrunk to one.

What’s especially problematic for Obama is there’s no obvious way for him to undo the damage of his Talking Tour. If he suddenly decides that he should value David Petraeus’ opinion rather than publicly minimize it, his insincerity will be transparent. And it’s impossible for him to unring the bell of talking 40 minutes of One World gibberish to a bunch of swooning Germans.

Obama may have lost another opportunity.  In March, Obama had the opportunity to distance himsefl from race-based politics.  Instead, he embraced it  And in July, Obama had the opportunity to support General Petreaus.  Instead, he spoke proudly of arguing with him – of holding “animated discussion” with the man who oversaw MNF-Iraq during the Surge, the Anbar Awakening, and what may be the triumphant moments of the Iraq War.

The Core’s War for Pakistan

Surprisingly to many (including myself), the War against Terrorism is being revelaed to be a War for Pakistan.  We’re fighting in Afghanistan.  India is fighting in Kashmir:

SRINAGAR, India — Indian and Pakistani soldiers traded fire across the heavily armed Kashmir frontier for more than 12 hours overnight and into Tuesday in what the Indian army called the worst violation of a 2003 cease-fire agreement between the neighbors.

The night-long gunbattle came after one Indian soldier and four Pakistanis were killed Monday along the frontier that divides Indian- and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, the Indian army said. No further casualties were reported Tuesday.

Indian, Pakistani Soldiers Trade Fire Along Kashmir Border – WSJ.com.

Either destroying Pakistan’s pro-Taliban “ISI” or breaking Pakistan’s ability to conduct an independent foreign policy are worthwhile golas.  Let’s hope the Core steps up its efforts to pursue them.

Liberals v. Science

Science is unpopular. Many, especially among the uneducated branches of the religious right, reject evolution.

It is equally unpopular among many liberals, who reject what science says about sex differences.

As educated liberals have much more influence over the formation of national policy than uneducated religionists, I’m more concerned about liberals.

For instance, yet another study came out showing, once again, that males have a much greater variance in math achievement than females. That is, female scores tend to bunch together near the mean, while male scales are more likely to be way up or way down. While this leaves the average unchanged, it implies both more math PhDs and more special education students will be males. More of the typical ‘good students’ (but not overachievers) that teachers like are females.


Unsurprisingly, the New York Times reports the study as finding no sex differences. Other liberal publications, such as the Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, and The Chronicle of Higher Education toe the party line. This would be like a Jack Chick pamphlet describing modern biology as reporting no evidence for evolution.

Fortunately, the Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch, who supports science) gets it right.

Thanks to gnxp, Marginal Revolution, and Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science for helping to uncover this story.