Parody?

Like Jon Chait, I can’t tell if this is serious or not:

After having seen the president try to throw a baseball, I must confess to having been mildly surprised to see some degree of coordination on display in his shooting a basketball. Still, I can’t resist asking a few questions about the president’s “shooting competition” versus Clark Kellogg:

1. Why wear shorts on Air Force One in Europe — and regularly not wear ties at events of a somewhat formal nature — and then wear a tie to play hoops?

2. Has President Obama ever played basketball on a team in a meaningful way? Sports Illustrated describes his having been on the “jayvee as a sophomore” at his high school in Hawaii, having made “second varsity” as a junior — SI explains that the “school fielded multiple teams in some sports” — and having finally made the varsity during a season spent “largely on the bench” as one of the “pine-riders.” (And this is Hawaii — hardly a rival of Indiana or North Carolina when it comes to hoops hotbeds.)

3. As a lefty, why release your jump-shot from the right side of your head?

4. Can the president dribble with his right hand at all (and I’m not speaking figuratively)?

5. Why was it that Clark Kellogg, whose shots were repeatedly flicking the bottom of the net as he built up a P-O-T-U (H-O-R-S) lead — much of it off-camera — barely able to draw iron after that? (This is not a tough question.) Relatedly, has President Obama recently played in a basketball game, or even a shoot-around, in which someone actually tried to beat him? I would love to see such a game take place.

The fact that there is a link for “Parody Archive” (along with a bunch of other links) below the post doesn’t mean anything. The same link appears below all posts at the Weekly Standard, as far as I can tell.






63 replies
  1. 1
    Rick Taylor says:

    If it is parody, who are they making fun of?

  2. 2
    John W. says:

    You buried the lede! Apparently the entire Weekly Standard is a parody operation! This explains everything!

    If it were all a parody, I would be force to call Bill Kristol a genius. Up to this point, I would have considered that impossible.

  3. 3
    cleek says:

    weekly standard…

    that means their standards change from week to week ?

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    Clearly, Obama is allowing his secret Kenyan upbringing to show through. Look for him to place in the top five in the Boston Marathon in a couple of weeks.

    -dms

  5. 5
    Libby says:

    Not that it’s so important, but I get so annoyed by ths narrative. I am personally issuing a challenge to everyone who snarks about the POTUS sports skills to appear on national teevee and show how they can do it better. Unless they can, they should STFU.

  6. 6
    Undercover FBI Agent DougJ says:

    If it is parody, who are they making fun of?

    Birthers, maybe?

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    Truly taking the Rovian mindset to it’s inevitable wtf conclusion.

    Like this:
    http://www.bartcop.com/purple-heart-band-aid.jpg
    But with a basketball.

    Epic.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    If you’re a winger and you have a brain (hey, it could happen…), I’d guess that you get good at ambiguous sarcasm. Not unlike the Lexicon of Intentionally Ambiguous Recommendations.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    fishboots says:

    Is Obama an authentic basketball player? Is he REALLY left handed? Is the man pictured playing Mr. Kellog even Obama?

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate…

    Either this is parody, or I am underestimating the amount of insecurity white men feel when watching Obama… do anything, really.

  11. 11
    Tonal Crow says:

    Isn’t it obvious that our resident troll wrote that article?

  12. 12
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Good to see Balloon Juice spotlighting H-O-R-S-E-gate. We need to knock this thing down ASAP. If Clark Kellogg really threw the game, we need to find out NOW before Obama plays Yao Ming and humiliates the United States before the world.

    It should be easy enough to slow the video footage down on Kellogg’s shots and see if he was altering them in any way.

    Thank you again Balloon Juice for focusing on the really important things.

  13. 13
    ericblair says:

    It means that reasonably well-adjusted people have a lot of difficulty figuring out whether the output of the great conservative minds of our generation is meant to be over-the-top parody or actually meant to be taken seriously.

    Any sufficiently advanced conservatism is indistinguishable from self-parody, apparently.

  14. 14
    Ash Can says:

    Poe’s Law in action. (Actually, I suppose this would be a corollary, but you get the picture.)

  15. 15
    robertdsc says:

    Glad the lefty shooting thing is something I have in common with POTUS. Good times.

  16. 16
    kay says:

    Not that it’s so important, but I get so annoyed by ths narrative. I am personally issuing a challenge to everyone who snarks about the POTUS sports skills to appear on national teevee and show how they can do it better. Unless they can, they should STFU.

    People who are good at sports are really good people.

    If you accept that, it all starts to make sense.

  17. 17
    JGabriel says:

    OT, but somewhat interesting. Tom Coburn is nice about Pelosi, disparages Fox:

    When a woman in the audience asked Coburn if it was illegal for the government to jail citizens for not complying with the new health care law, Coburn responded by blaming TV news, and Fox News in particular, for that false rumor:
    __
    “The intention is not to put anybody in jail,” Coburn said. “That makes for good TV news on Fox, but that isn’t the intention.”
    __
    Later, when his audience started to boo at the mention of Pelosi, Coburn stopped them.
    __
    “Come on now… how many of you all have met her? She’s a nice person,” Coburn said. “Just because somebody disagrees with you, doesn’t mean they’re not a good person.”
    __
    “Don’t catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody’s no good,” Coburn added.

    Tom Coburn! Who’d have believed it?

    It’s almost like that changey-toney thing Obama talks about – which I admittedly thought would be the least likely of his campaign goals to have any effect – is starting to work out for him.

    .

  18. 18
    Face says:

    Can the president dribble with his right hand at all (and I’m not speaking figuratively)?

    What would he be referring to, figuratively, here?

  19. 19
    Bob K says:

    Is THIS an April Fool’s Joke? – cause, it’s like five days late:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/4/205556/7448

  20. 20
    Rick Massimo says:

    Of course, if you watched the entire video you hear Obama telling the world that he “knew” Kellogg had missed a few on purpose. But really, who could possibly bear to watch that black man ACTING LIKE HE’S PRESIDENT for a whole three minutes and 46 seconds? Without apologizing ONCE for having won the election?

    This is critical, folks. The second most important quality in a president, after authenticity, is athletic ability. If a guy isn’t a good athlete, how do you know whether you want to have a beer with him? And from there, how can you POSSIBLY know whether he’d make a good president?

    The whole Obama presidency is built on lies.

  21. 21
    Rick Massimo says:

    It’s almost like that changey-toney thing Obama talks about – which I admittedly thought would be the least likely of his campaign goals to have any effect – is starting to work out for him.

    It’s also almost like legislative accomplishments are forcing the Republicans to back off a bit.

  22. 22
    Dork says:

    Tom Coburn is nice about Pelosi, disparages Fox:

    I’m stunned someone hasn’t called him an ambulance at this point. Clearly there’s something very amiss with him. Loss of meds, mild stroke, something. Imposter?

  23. 23
    demo woman says:

    OT, Will AT&T allow me to visit this site?

    A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations and U.S. broadband expansion plans into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission……………………………………………………………….
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC’s authority to impose such “Net neutrality” obligations on broadband providers.

  24. 24
    ericblair says:

    People who are good at sports are really good people.

    Because Washington society is the high school cafeteria that never grew up. Woe unto you who sits not at the cool table.

  25. 25

    Well, I’m real sure the President is better at basketball than I am. That is saying very little since most anybody is better at it. I’m a lefty who throws right and I’m better at that than the President. Oddly enough, I switch hit and play hockey and golf (badly) left. I shoot a rifle right handed and handguns either.

    There seems to be some left/right confusion in my life.

    (left handed/right eye dominant)

  26. 26
    Svensker says:

    I am personally issuing a challenge to everyone who snarks about the POTUS sports skills to appear on national teevee and show how they can do it better.

    What if they can do it better? Is it so important to men that their Leader be good at sports in some way? Are most men still stuck in 7th grade sexual insecurity? I have no problem with making fun of Obama for throwing horribly or bowling like a dweeb — seems like perfect material for Leno, et al. But his lack of sports ability has nothing whatsoever to do with his ability in office or his “manliness”. I’m really starting to think that women should run the world and a few guys can be allowed in the club only after extensive psychological testing. The rest of the guys could be put in reservations where they can play with and measure their dicks all day long. Criminy.

  27. 27
    Citizen_X says:

    First Little Green Footballs, now Tom fucking Coburn?

    I feel dizzy.

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    The real question is does he bring arugula out to the field or court when he plays?

  29. 29

    What wasn’t parody today was the Diane Rehm Show. They had a panel of people on talking about climate change science and EVERY GODDAMNED lunatic conspiracy theorist listening to the show must have called in. Jesus I’m going to go get drunk. (Like I need an excuse.)

  30. 30
    Camchuck says:

    IIRC, Obama, himself, accused Kellogg of tanking.

  31. 31
  32. 32

    Legend has it that Obama can jump so high he can take a quarter of the top of the backboard and leave fifteen cents change. But hey when you got a Basketball Jones.

  33. 33
    flukebucket says:

    Bob K @ #19

    I have no idea if McDonalds has that policy but here in North Georgia anywhere there is a public television it is tuned to Fox News with a sign underneath saying, “Please Do Not Change The Station”

    Doctors, dentists, restaurants, hotels, automobile dealerships. It is everywhere you look. You cannot escape Fox news around here. After all it is the only source for fair and balanced news coverage.

  34. 34
    demo woman says:

    The Grand Panjandrum @ 32
    The NYTimes did have an article recently mentioning that he was black.

  35. 35
    catclub says:

    Who would be the worse athlete:
    LBJ, Richard Nixon, or FDR?

    But interestingly, all pretty damn good at being President of the USA.

    Taft was a genius at lawn bowling – he rolled himself.

    Honest Abe was, before it all, a railsplitter.
    Sounds like a crack bowling term as well.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    Is THIS an April Fool’s Joke? – cause, it’s like five days late.

    The story’s from August 2008, so it’s a bit more than 5 days late.

  37. 37
    Punchy says:

    The rest of the guys could be put in reservations where they can play with and measure their dicks all day long.

    I’m hopelessly stuck between a Boy Scout Camp and Altar Boy Convention joke for this….

  38. 38
    MikeJ says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    Legend has it that Obama can jump so high he can take a quarter of the top of the backboard and leave fifteen cents change.

    He saved children, but not the British children.

  39. 39
    geg6 says:

    OT, but apparently people who have guiltless sex and use birth control have no business lecturing child molesters about child molesting:

    “Since when have secularists and dissenting Catholics been experts on the protection of children? These self-appointed reformers of the Catholic Church preside over a debased culture that abuses, aborts and corrupts children. That a reckless and depraved liberal elite would set itself up as moral tutor to Pope Benedict XVI is beyond satire. Here we had on display during Holy Week the spectacle of the Vicar of Christ receiving moral instruction from Barabbas. Who turns orphans over to homosexual couples at adoption agencies? Who sends Planned Parenthood propagandists into schools? Who clears the streets of major cities for “gay-pride” parades with the North American Man/Boy Love Association in tow? It is the liberal elite who champion these child-corrupting practices,” – George Neumayr, editor of the Catholic World Report.

    It’s the utter lack of any self-awareness when shrieking about NAMBLA that makes this so delicious.

  40. 40

    Basketball. It. is. a. game. Period.

  41. 41
    Ash Can says:

    @JGabriel:

    Tom Coburn! Who’d have believed it?

    Maybe he’s coordinating with Debbie Schlussel, who has opened fire in earnest on not only Sean Hannity but Michelle Malkin and Andrew Breitbart as well. (Link to DKos story because heaven knows what diseases my computer would pick up at Schlussel’s site.)

  42. 42
    MikeJ says:

    Basketball. It. is. a. game. Period.

    You seem to recall that not only is it a game, it is the only game other than baseball that the president is constitutionally required to be the best in the country at. It’s very rare to find one person who is the best in the country at two sports. That’s why we’ve had so few presidents.

    Remember when GW Bush dunked on LeBron? That proved he was worthy to land the presidential fighter on the aircraft carrier. Duh.

  43. 43
    flukebucket says:

    Ash Can @ #41

    From the linked article

    When reading the comments on Debbie’s articles about Hannity, she strongly hints that Hannity has a brewing Tiger type scandal, but I can’t possibly comment on that as it is mere gossip.

    Reckon Sean got caught naked with Joe Scarborough?

  44. 44
    fucen tarmal says:

    ok, since i could probably pass the psychological test referred to by svensker, with some effort towards impression management, but i might actually prefer to be in the “other” group anyway, i will take my shot at this.

    shooting a basketball is a timing and rhythm thing. the more you do it, the easier it is to maintain good habits….a fluid motion from the balls of your feet pushing off the ground to the release of the ball…

    this means that infrequent opportunity to shoot jumpers, even if your jumper was once quite consistent, means you will be throwing up bricks all day.

    in short, my guess is, the president has better things to do than keep his jumper in shape…

    clark kellog, less busy, and his nba career was cut short by knee injury, so you know he likes to keep up some semblance of the scoring touch that made him one of the best players in ohio high school history…

    for those that aren’t into the whole hoopy-sporty thing. i refuse to apologize for being a liberal who likes sports. sports fans skew to the right, but there is no reason why they should…we need to reach the male demo too.

  45. 45
    demtom says:

    I believe Coburn and Obama have actually been friendly going back to Barack’s time in the Senate. And it appears that Coburn, while well along the batshit crazy far right philosophical axis, is not personally an asshole.

    This distinguishes him from a good many of his GOP colleagues — definitely including his OK fellow Senator Inhofe — who have tended to blur the two qualities.

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    flukebucket

    Reckon Sean got caught naked with Joe Scarborough?</blockquote.
    ew ew ew ew ew ew ew

  47. 47
    fucen tarmal says:

    When reading the comments on Debbie’s articles about Hannity, she strongly hints that Hannity has a brewing Tiger type scandal, but I can’t possibly comment on that as it is mere gossip.

    Reckon Sean got caught naked with Joe Scarborough?

    i would falafel. hannity strikes me as toa loofa to make it with the ladies, or the men…

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    Yeah, saw that about Tom Coburn. Good on him, despite some of his other political stands.

    (In 3rd audio clip, he — unlike Mrs. Palin — divulges his reading habits. NYTimes, WaPost, WSJ — interesting he didn’t throw in an Oklahoma paper but still… He talks to his audience about the importance of hearing more sides and putting issues into context.)

    Don’t have cable. Is it under discussion?

  49. 49
    Halteclere says:

    I used to be really good at volleyball – I’ve played against Olympic players, and, because I’m only 6-foot tall I regularly was asked to play on the scrimmage team of my college’s DIV 1, 15th ranked woman’s team (my job was to play like the best player of that week’s opponent).

    As athletic as I am, I can’t shoot a basketball to save my life. In volleyball, it is elbows wide out when setting a volleyball. When I shoot a basketball my right elbow still wants to go wide out, and the ball goes all over the place.

    I used to play with a guy from France who had one hell of a spike. But he never grew up playing any throwing sport and threw the most girlish, no-zip arcing toss of anyone I have ever met (he threw like he was spiking).

    It is a stupid premise that someone good at one sport has to be good at all sports. Sure pure athleticism helps tremendously, but I think it is clear that Obama is less a pure athlete than a practiced athlete. And practiced athletics don’t transition to other sports as well.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    flukebucket says:

    bago @ #49

    From the linked article

    Other planned events, including a Texas bird hunt

    And somebody will get shot in the face just as sure as hell.

  52. 52
    JGabriel says:

    Ash Can:

    … Debbie Schlussel, who has opened fire in earnest on not only Sean Hannity but Michelle Malkin and Andrew Breitbart as well.

    It’s like like one of those video games – the Doom franchise for instance – where you poke your gun into a room full of monsters, fire off a single round to stir them up, and then watch them tear each other apart until they’re all dead.

    Watching the right turn on each other like this provides a similarly entertaining and satisfying experience.

    Did I just compare the American right to demon spawned monsters from hell?

    Yes. Yes, I believe I did.

    .

  53. 53
    Paris says:

    Has President Obama ever played basketball on a team in a meaningful way?

    I thought Barry was too busy smoking crack back then.

  54. 54
    CoachWooden says:

    Goodness gracious sakes alive! Seems to me Keith (Jamaal) Wilkes did pretty well with an ugly jumper.

  55. 55
    Svensker says:

    @ fucen tarmal

    i refuse to apologize for being a liberal who likes sports. sports fans skew to the right, but there is no reason why they should…we need to reach the male demo too.

    I love sports. Well, I love football, and enjoy other sports. But I don’t understand why not being great at sports means you can’t be a good President.

    Was Abe Lincoln good at sports? What about FDR? Ol’ Tom Jefferson known for being a great pitcher and a demon golfer?

    Americans are so fucking childish. It drives me mad.

  56. 56
    kay says:

    Yeah, saw that about Tom Coburn. Good on him, despite some of his other political stands.

    Screw that. He’s still lying, or he hasn’t read the legislation.

    There are no criminal penalties associated with the mandate. None. It’s specifically exempted from the enforcement penalties associated with the IRS, despite Keith Olberman’s hysteria.

    So, he’s wrong, and not just a little bit. It’s not that they didn’t “intend” to assess criminal penalties. They intended NOT to.

    Those people at his Town Hall were deliberately misled. He did nothing to clear up the confusion.

  57. 57
    kay says:

    This is the correct answer to the misinformed tea baggger.

    Any other answer just muddies the water, and that’s what Coburn did.

    ‘The use of liens and seizures otherwise authorized for collection of taxes does not apply to the collection of this penalty,” according to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation. “Non-compliance with the personal responsibility requirement to have health coverage is not subject to criminal or civil penalties under the code and interest does not accrue for failure to pay such assessments in a timely manner.”

  58. 58
    Little Dreamer says:

    @ Bob K (19):

    I’ve seen those Fox News televisions in numerous McDonald’s locations here in Arizona (not just in Phoenix, either). Actually, I’m aware of one McDonalds here in Phoenix where they have a painted tile design of an American Flag on the outside of the building by the side door, a picture of Jesus behind the counter (in the kitchen but viewable from the customer ordering area), the Fox TV station on, and a “Support Our Troops” sign hanging next to the window.

    Total wingnut territory, I never went back there.

  59. 59
    Larv says:

    The McDonalds near my work (Frederick, MD) has Fox News on their TV 24-7. I always assumed it was a decision by the franchisee, but I don’t know that for sure. I’d be very surprised if it was a corporate policy. Maybe I’ll ask next time I’m in.

    I just make sure I have my MP3 player with me when I go there. I’ve actually gotten in line and then left when I realized I’d forgotten it and had nothing with which to drown out the idiocy coming from the teevee.

  60. 60
    Anya says:

    Has anyone explored the possibility that Obama is sending signals to North Korea or Al-Qaeda when he dresses for these “basketball games”? I think the GOP should make this an election issue.

  61. 61
    slightly_peeved says:

    Was Abe Lincoln good at sports?

    Apparently, quite a decent wrestler. As was Teddy Roosevelt. Footage of Lincoln wrestling
    here.

    I mean, Putin’s an accomplished Judo player. Why do all these right-wingers support communism?

  62. 62
    apocalipstick says:

    To follow up what fucen tarmal says, the H-O-R-S-E game was against Clark Kellogg–played in the NBA, was on his way to a fantastic career before his knees gave out Clark Kellogg. The difference in ability between an athlete like Kellogg and even a good high school shooter like Obama would be like… I don’t know, the difference between William Kristol and Erick Erickson. They’re doing the same thing, but oh, at what different levels.

    This was really brought home to me in college. I played for a pretty good small-college team not far from the University of Oklahoma. We used to go play pickup on the OU campus. Wayman Tisdale played for OU at the time. To have played all my life, to be pretty decent, to be able to dunk from a standing start (I’m 6’2″), and then to see just how inferior I was to a monster (athletically speaking– personally he was a very nice man) like Tisdale was flabbergasting.

  63. 63
    Tom Degan says:

    In my parish, St. John the Evangelist in Goshen, NY, the first major pedophile scandal materialized in the early nineties. The priest in question, “Father Ed” had been molesting boys in their early teens. To say that the parishioners were traumatized by this would be an understatement. They were devastated. Then something wondrous happened….

    Father Ed was eventually replaced by Father Trevor Nichols. Father Trevor had been an Anglican in merrie old England when he converted to Catholicism. On becoming a Catholic was transferred to Saint John’s – WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO DAUGHTERS! A married priest! WITH TWO KIDS!

    You want to hear the punch line? Our little parish did not implode. The sun did not fall from the sky. Huge cracks did not appear in the earth’s surface. In fact, it was nice having them. They were – and are to this day – deeply beloved by the people of St. John’s.

    Allowing priests to marry would transform the Catholic Church. Having Father Trevor, his wife Marian and their two lovely daughters in our midst certainly transformed the people of St. John’s.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

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