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BY PAULA SCHWARTZ
“2016: Obama’s America,” an anti-Obama doc, is a surprise hit at the box office this weekend. The documentary – which makes no pretense at objectivity – digs into what the filmmakers perceive as the President’s suspicious past and takes a scary look into what they think the future holds if he is re-elected. The film racked in an astonishing $6.3 million at the box office this weekend, which is bad news for the Democrats.
Where it is making the big bucks and getting the big crowds are in the Red States, of course, playing to an anti-Obama crowd, where it has made this astonishing box office take, placing it 8th in box office takeaccording to Box Office Mojo.
At number one at the box office is “The Expendables 2” earning 13.5 million this weekend. (The total gross for the film is 52.3 million.) To get some perspective, “Expendables” cost 100 million to make. The budget for “Obama’s America” is unlisted but we’re betting from the film’s production values it was a pittance. And number two is “The Bourne Legacy,” with 9.3 million for the weekend, with 85.5 million gross since it opened.
As the election becomes more and more heated and Americans grow more polarized over the election and the presidency of Barack Obama, the movie could sway opinions. The film is based on Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” Mr. D’Souza directed the film with John Sullivan, who also wrote the screenplay and also serves as narrator. In the controversial film, they raise suspicions about the president’s past, including dredging up Obama’s previous relationships with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, activist Bill Ayers and Edward Said, a Palestinian scholar and supporter, who is deceased since 2003, and was once a professor of Obama’s at Columbia.
This is old stuff that was brought up in the last election but may be new to some Red State voters who are more sympathetic to the message. The filmmakers also pose scary possibilities of what President Obama’s reelection could mean to the country. One of the ominous warnings is what could happen as a result of what they say is the President’s inaction against stopping Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
The unexpectedly big box office numbers for “2016” is no doubt spurred by the upcoming Republican Convention, which will begin Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.
Eh, what does Jack Welch know about leadership, anyway? He’s only the most widely respected CEO of the last twenty years or so and the founder of a school that develops leaders in the business world, plus the author of a book or two on the subject. Former GE chief Jack Welch unloaded on Barack Obama yesterday for his chronic lack of leadership, manifest mainly through the ever-expanding universe of scapegoats that Obama cites for the failures of his economic policies. Welch thinks that Obama has become positively Nixonian — or maybe worse (via Instapundit):
“It was the insurance executives in health care. It was the bankers in the collapse. It was the oil companies as oil prices go up. It was Congress if things didn’t go the way he wanted. And recently it’s been the Supreme Court,” he said.
“He’s got an enemies list that would make Richard Nixon proud.”
Welch, who helmed GE for 21 years and founded the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, penned an op-ed article for Reuters with wife Suzy Welch this week in which he tackled the idea ofObama’s enemies list.
“Surely his supporters must think this particular tactic is effective, but there can be no denying that the country is more polarized than when Obama took office,” Welch wrote, making a case for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
In his Reuters column, Welch writes, “Over the past three years, Obama has taken a sort of divide-and-conquer approach, amassing a list of enemies that would make Richard Nixon proud – bankers, healthcare insurance providers, oil companies, wealthy taxpayers, Congress and, most recently, the Supreme Court. Surely his supporters must think this particular tactic is effective, but there can be no denying that the country is more polarized than when Obama took office.
Without doubt, Romney is not the model leader (his apparent lack of authenticity can be jarring), but he has a quality that would serve him well as president – good old American pragmatism. Perhaps that’s the businessman in him. Or perhaps you just learn to do what you’ve got to do when you’re a GOP governor in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts or the man charged with salvaging the scandal-ridden Salt Lake City Olympics. If Romney’s long record suggests anything, it’s that he knows how to manage people and organizations to get things accomplished without a lot of internecine warfare.
Look, Obama may be a great campaigner and Romney (to date) somewhat the opposite. But neither man is running to be Campaigner-in-Chief.
In politics, as in business, the leader’s job needs to be filled by a leader, and no effective leader, regardless of ideology, keeps an enemies list.”
PunditTracker’s mission is to bring accountability to the prediction industry.
The absence of media memory creates significant moral hazard in the world of punditry. Nuance and restraint do not play well on soundbite- and ratings-driven media, so shelf space is granted to those who espouse more extreme views. Ideally, these pundits would gain or lose credibility based on the outcomes of their calls. The 24-hour news cycle, however, means that the media is always latching on to the new flavor of the day. Rare is the postmortem to evaluate prior stories.
Pundits are highly incentivized to adhere to the following playbook:
- make a brash prediction
- if wrong, don’t worry…. no one will remember
- if right, selectively tout for self-promotion
- repeat cycle
By cataloging and scoring the predictions of pundits, we hope to bring some balance to the equation. Pundits who demonstrate a track record of making of accurate, out-of-consensus calls will appropriately receive their due. Meanwhile, those who are bombastic solely to garner media attention will be exposed.
The website is slated to launch in 2012 and will initially track three types of pundits: Financial, Political, and Sports. In the meantime, we will be running the site as a blog, previewing what’s to come as well as sharing some general thoughts about the prediction industry.