Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 4, 2009
WAR/POLITICS: Don't Know Much About Arithmetic

Noah Pollak notes of President Obama's claim that "if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world":

Obama is right - we're one of the largest, only outranked by Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Russia, Yemen, China, Syria, Malaysia, Tanzania, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia, Somalia, Guinea, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Cote d'Ivoire, Congo, Libya, Jordan, Chad, Turkemenistan, Philippines, France, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Cameroon, Thailand, Mauritania, Germany, Oman, Albania, Malawi, Kenya, Eritrea, Serbia and Montenegro, Lebanon, Kuwait, the UAE, and…well, at some point here you get to the United States, which has (estimates vary) around 1-3 million Muslims.
Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:35 PM | Politics 2009 • | War 2007-12 | Comments (37) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Give him a break-He is just reading what's on the teleprompter. But honestly he is the smartest President-I know this because the media told me so.

Posted by: dch at June 4, 2009 10:54 PM

Yes, I'd much rather have an inarticulate simpleton who sees the souls of his adversaries in thier eyes. Or, perhaps, a cranky old liar who lives to inflict torture.

Posted by: Magrooder at June 4, 2009 10:59 PM

Magrooder:

Grow up. This isn't about George Bush or Dick Cheney. If you guys want to portray Obama as a uber-intellectual, you're going to have to live with being embarrassed every time he says something stupid. This was something stupid.

Posted by: Joel B. at June 4, 2009 11:16 PM

Notice how "some" of the people who post their "thoughts" always change the subject to the past administration? Maybe because they can't (or won't) say anything about the current administration?

But getting back to the real subject, as we have been taught by the media, you can't judge a liberal by the same standards as a conservative. It is not what is actually said that counts with a liberal, but rather whan he/she intended to say and "feels" about the subject. Getting facts right is not important.

After all every one knows that if the Bamameister says that he visited all 57 states; he just mis-spoke. But if Bush said such a thing, it is because he is stupid.

Biden can reveal the secret location for the VP but if Valarie Plame gets "outed", then it is a crime worth jail time-even if the person put in jail did not actual "out" her!.

The Messiah wants every Muslim to know that the US is really just another Muslim country and it is OK to blow up our citizens too! Maybe we should emulate the Muslim countries and treat the women like they do!

Posted by: Lee at June 5, 2009 7:25 AM

I expect we will all be Moslem by 2016. Obama will provide the standard incentives to switch to Islam.

Posted by: sol vason at June 5, 2009 7:58 AM

Lee, you want substance? OK.

The source link in the Commentary article on which Crank relied (but for which he did not provide a link) is broken. It appears, however, to be to a wikipedia page that lists "Muslim majority countries by population." Note, this does not indicate that the population figures listed for each country are the "Muslim population" in each country.

So, while it's possible Obama overstated, that contention remains unproven.

Finally, because I know you would miss it if I didn't mention it, are you following the revisitation of history being spun by Dick and his Mini-Me daughter? Care to try to defend it?

Posted by: Magrooder at June 5, 2009 9:55 AM

Notice that it says "estimates vary." Keep in mind that they vary quite widely:

1.1 million (2001) City University of New York - American Religious Identification Survey [0.5% of national adult population][37]
1.6 million (2000) Glenmary Research Center [0.5% of national population][38]
1.8 million (2007) 0.6% of population (2007 est.) The World Factbook[39]
1.9 million (2001) American Jewish Committee [0.6% of national population][40]
2.0 million (2000) Hartford Institute for Religious Research [0.7% of national population][41]
2.4 million (2007) Pew Research Center[42][43]
4.7 million (2005) Encyclopædia Britannica Book of the Year [1.5% of national population][44]
6-7 million (2001) Council on American-Islamic Relations - The Mosque in America: A National Portrait[45]
6.7 million (1997) J. Ilyas Ba-Yunus [2.2% of national population][46]
7 to 8 million (2008) Newsweek[47]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_the_United_States

Of the higher estimates, the Encyclopedia Britannica, which states 4.7 million, is the only credible one. Newsweek does not cite any source for its 7-8 billion number. I don't know how many of those countries have more than 4.7 million.

Given that the numbers are subject to some debate, Obama had some room for maneuver here. At the very least, it's puffery, but it's not a big deal.

Posted by: MVH at June 5, 2009 9:58 AM

Care to try to defend it?

To you? Why would anybody bother? You know what you want to believe and that's never going to change. No one has any respect for your opinion or intellect. Why in the world would anybody spend 2 minutes presenting facts to you?

Posted by: spongeworthy at June 5, 2009 10:18 AM

That was about reaching out (diplomacy, a foreign concept here) when Iran is about to have an election in which one of the candidates we would CLEARLY rather have win because he's not BS crazy. This, along with the public admission of the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the Iranian government in the 50s, is about trying to get the population of Iran (far more West leaning than the current head of state) to see the West and the U.S. specifically as a non-monolithic and diverse entity that they can see as a potential ally rather than a mortal enemy. If anything, the exaggeration helps rather than hurts the cause. This speech wasn't so much intended for us as it was the folks over there. If you don't think the upcoming Iranian election is the biggest deal in the Muslim world (from our perspective) in the here and now you don't have your eye on the ball (shocker).

Posted by: jim at June 5, 2009 11:49 AM

spongeworthy,

Perhaps I should try your approach and visit only blogs that present views with which I already agree.

Unlike you, however, I am not afraid of the other side or unable to fashion a response or identify the holes in an argument. Bereft of weapons as you are, you should just keep on doing as you have been.

Posted by: Magrooder at June 5, 2009 1:52 PM

Magrooder, it's not at all an unreasonable request that before you start a threadjack, you provide a link for what you're looking to pick a fight about.

Posted by: The Crank at June 5, 2009 1:56 PM

I think most of you are sort of missing the point -- Obama is stating what he thinks is noteworthy. By most accounts, the US is about the 50th most populist Muslim country in the world out of about 200. Call that 75% from the top. Now Obama probably got mostly C's in college, again about 75%. He is, by his account and his supporters, one of the smartest men in the world.

See, it makes sense!

Posted by: Tom at June 5, 2009 2:30 PM

Cute, Tom.

The Iranian elections are pretty important, jim. and I don't criticize the concept behind his appeal here. I would have it done differently but that's to be expected.

Still, I have to disagree about whether this is the most important thing going on in Islam politically. We do prefer one candidate but that candidate isn't Anwar Sadat by any means.

And the upheaval in Pakistan seems more pressing to me anyway.

Posted by: spongeworthy at June 5, 2009 5:28 PM

Replacing the crazy man in Iran is a realistic and very short term goal toward which we have to put nothing except (possibly) the right foot forward. The turmoil in the whole region is a big picture, vastly long term and incredibly nebulous (not to mention ever-changing) project.

Obama is giving these speeches now because of the relative immediacy of this event and opportunity. His play is clearly to sway a nation's vote. Will it change everything? No. But it would be something in the right direction that no one had to die for. That's progress in my book. Is it that opaque to everyone at Fox that this is a tactic and not statements meant to be written down as fact? It's more subtle than what we've been doing I guess but that's a good thing.

Posted by: jim at June 5, 2009 7:13 PM

Talking about arithmetic-the highest unemployment rate in 25 years, an unemployment rate almost a full percentage higher than what we were told would be the high point if we didn't immediately pass the stimules packages is now being spun by the unbiased media as a good thing.

I just have a question to the lefties out there-when you see that the media is totally in the take for the democrats, do you ever, maybe, perhaps, reevaluate your positions since these are the sources that you use to form your opinions. Just wondering.

Posted by: dch at June 6, 2009 11:13 AM

Let's see if Crank will call a crony out for flagrant thread hijacking.

Posted by: jim at June 6, 2009 12:42 PM

Probably guilty as charged Jim, but it is related to numbers, the thread has been open for a day and he has not posted anything on the unemployment numbers, so I figured to get the ball rolling.

" Crony of Crank"-I will take that as a compliment.

The funny thing is I have worked in Manhattan for years in the same areas Crank apparently works or has worked. I have probably walked by him a bunch of times on the street and have no idea he is the guy who runs this site.

Posted by: dch at June 6, 2009 2:05 PM

OK, so to go with it, in the context of the right's view on things, how are the unemployment numbers Obama's issues after less than 5 months OTJ when 9/11 was Clinton's fault after W had been in office nearly 9 months. I'm sure there will be a, "The left always blames Bush" statement somewhere in response to this but this isn't about Bush but how blame gets assigned. How does Obama take the heat here in half the time in office when y'all are all too willing to give W a pass (or near pass) for 9/11?

BTW, I would give Obama a D+ or so (and that might be generosity from the set of cards he was given) for the overall job so far. That would be averaged out since all the stuff with the financial institutions he gets an F----- for. So this I'm not some fan as y'all on the right like to characterize everyone who voted for the man. Just like to know why one set of rules exists at one time and an apparently different set at another.

Posted by: jim at June 6, 2009 6:53 PM

OK, so to go with it, in the context of the right's view on things, how are the unemployment numbers Obama's issues after less than 5 months OTJ when 9/11 was Clinton's fault after W had been in office nearly 9 months. I'm sure there will be a, "The left always blames Bush" statement somewhere in response to this but this isn't about Bush but how blame gets assigned. How does Obama take the heat here in half the time in office when y'all are all too willing to give W a pass (or near pass) for 9/11?

BTW, I would give Obama a D+ or so (and that might be generosity from the set of cards he was given) for the overall job so far. That would be averaged out since all the stuff with the financial institutions he gets an F----- for. So this I'm not some fan as y'all on the right like to characterize everyone who voted for the man. Just like to know why one set of rules exists at one time and an apparently different set at another.

Posted by: jim at June 6, 2009 6:55 PM

The figures of 1-3 million are only for 50 states.

If you count all 57 states, you will find that the President is absolutely correct.

Posted by: Snag at June 7, 2009 7:31 AM

The Obama administration stated, just 4 months ago, (just wan to make sure you remember that since lefties get amnesia all the time about facts that they don't like) that unless the stimulus package was not immediately passed, the unemployment rate would go past 8.8%. All of the Obama's Adminstrations economic plans were based on unemployment not going past 8.8%. We were told that there were thousands of "shovel ready" projects that were ready to start once the money was allocated. The stimulus bill, which no one read, was rushed through Congress and will now burden generations of Americans with ridiculous amounts of debt. It is now 4 months later, and the unemployment rate is still going up and will continue to go up. So inlight of all of the above, amybe it is becoming clear that we should have just waited a little while and let things sort themselves out and not spend 1.7 trillion on crap. Last fall, we lent GM 16 billion and people like me were saying Why? They are going to just come back and ask for more money in the future? They need to file for bankruptcy and toss out their contracts----people like me were absolutely right were we not. We are now going to spend 10s of billions of dollars watching Obumbler micromanage tthe car industry into oblivion.

Deficits at ridiculous levels, inflation coming back, unemployment headed for over 10%, gas prices(due to energy policy being dictated by lefty extermists for 40 years) set to go back over 3 dollars a gallon. We are headed for a double dip recession.

Keep drinking the Kool Aid lefties.

Posted by: dch at June 7, 2009 10:39 AM

While I will agree that much of the economic ideas have been garbage the concept that 140 days of them are all to blame versus the previous 8 years of incredible mismanagement is ludicrous. It's typical righty assign blame but take none of it. There are many on the left that drink the kool-aid but at least they don't bathe in it, do the laundry with it and water the lawn with it. Once someone on the right owns up to y'all's responsibility for this mess maybe there can be a dialogue. That admission would be the first of it's kind.

Posted by: jim at June 7, 2009 11:53 AM

Excuse me for repeating the exact words of the Obama Administration. They were the ones that created the 8.8% number- not me. All, repeat all, of there economic forecasts for deficits, growth, emplyment, etc for all the years going forward are based on unemployment not going above 8.8%. Do you see any problems regarding GM and Chrsyler with the Obumbler Admin taking it over with Govt funds and giving it to the unions that were the main cause of their failure? Do you see any problems there? How much money is going to go into the obvious failure? Oh wait-its George Bush's fault.

"Responsibility for the mess"- we have recessions every 6-8 years its called the business cycle. They are usually preceded by a bubble-this one was preceded by a housing /lending bubble. Which party at least tried to address the mortage mess before it happened and which party refused to address the problem and still refuses to address the problems caused by the mindset of making homeownership a "right"?

Posted by: dch at June 7, 2009 1:49 PM

Definiiton of "threadjack" -- when someone raises a point inconvenient to the Crank echo-chamber.

Sorry jim, dch can continue to rant as he may because, after all, he spouts the party line.

Posted by: Magrooder at June 7, 2009 5:47 PM

Yeah, this one was especially over the edge. I don't think he even added the water to the kool-aid crystals. Just downed 'em straight out of the package. Again, typical accept no blame, assign all blame to anyone they don't agree with. Sad.

Posted by: jim at June 7, 2009 9:17 PM

Jim,
It's not Bush's fault Obama is heading the deficit up to 80-100% GDP. It's not Bush's fault Obama pushed a stimulus that is a complete joke. It's not Bush's fault Obama is pushing a cap and trade problem that will, at most, lower the temp. by 0.15 C over the next 100 years but cost trillions. Obama did "inherit" a recession. Recessions happen. They are natural. Obama's going to turn it into something much worse.

Posted by: per14 at June 8, 2009 9:29 AM

Although to clarify: Recessions do happen but I don't mean to suggest mistakes weren't made B.O. (However, I assign most the blame upon the Fed, but that's another story.)

Posted by: per14 at June 8, 2009 9:32 AM

DCH,

As concerned as I am about the deficit, the current economic situation is much worse than your ordinary, average recession. The fed has held rates at 0% for an extended period of time, and we still haven't recovered. It's crazy. In this context, I am willing to accept the stimulus such as it is.

My biggest concern with the stimulus money was *where* is was being spent. If the emphasis was on infrastructure projects, then I'm reasonably happy. When I look at how Connecticut is using its stimulus money, I am very happy. I see the funds being used for roads, bridges, schools, etc. See the list at:
http://www.recovery.ct.gov/recovery/lib/recovery/April_15_updated_list.pdf

I don't hold any president responsible for maintaining a particular level of employment; he doesn't have that much control over the situtation.

Posted by: MVH at June 8, 2009 9:40 AM

jim:

Replacing the crazy man in Iran is a realistic and very short term goal toward which we have to put nothing except (possibly) the right foot forward.

Replacing Ahmadinejad would do nothing in Iran. He is almost entirely a figurehead, controlled by the Iranian Mullah's.

His bluster is nothing more than ridiculous words that, without the backing of the Mullah's, mean absolutely nothing.

Posted by: Agent W at June 8, 2009 9:40 AM

per14,

I never claimed any of those things but again you will not conceed that the Bush Admin had ANY blame to claim for this economic situation which is MUCH different than any normal sort of recession (you should go to Mike's Neighborhood to read the salient points about this since they are not covered here). Man up and be willing to accept that Bush's policies really, really F'd things up. Read my review of Obama (D+ and a multi minus F) and you see that it can be done.

Agent W,

I understand that Iran is run by mullahs and that the President there is more of a pitch person however in this country we get our panties in a twist over what THAT guy has to say all the time. Listen to ANY right wing talker and they repeatedly talk about Ahmadinejad and how he is a despot, tyrant, madman with his finger on the button, Holocaust denier (which he is) and a million other things. The President is the face of Iran and changing that face is, nearly by definition, important.

Posted by: jim at June 8, 2009 11:58 AM

I skimmed the comments here, hoping to find a little Nate Silvery delving into the numbers. (I'm an Obama fan, and I hadn't given that much thought to that statement about the US being a large Muslim country. It's a good question.)

I don't know how else to put it: you people are pathetic. First-time visitor to the comments. And last-time. How the hell did we -- er, you -- get to teleprompters and 9/11?

Pathetic.

Posted by: Josh in DC at June 9, 2009 9:36 AM

Jim,

Did you miss where I said "...I don't mean to suggest mistakes weren't made B.O." Certainly Bush made mistakes. But you cannot blame him completely, or even mostly, for the economic problems. I blame him for pushing home ownership and I blame him for the deficits and growing debt. But Obama is taking Bush's mistakes to an entirely new level.

Posted by: per14 at June 9, 2009 4:06 PM

Josh in DC,

Your point is very well taken. Our comments usually get to some point very far off Crank's post. But, if you study the threads, it is usually a lefty hijacking the thread. Usually it involves some combination of the words "blame", "fascist", "Bush", "moron", and "Palin." Some of us can't resist responding to the inane things usually said in these hijacking comments. And that causes the thread to get out of control.
I encourage you to stick around and help us keep on topic.

Posted by: per14 at June 9, 2009 4:10 PM

Yes, and we also have some of the best healthcare in the world as well.

Posted by: Berto at June 9, 2009 5:15 PM

Per14,

You know, I actually didn't see that post but I occasionally have weird browser issues with this site for some reason. I don't blame him completely but it is pretty easy to go with mostly. 8 years of incompetence vs. 140 days of it gets you mostly.

Posted by: jim at June 9, 2009 9:11 PM

Jim:

The President is the face of Iran and changing that face is, nearly by definition, important.

Ok, so by change, you mean Barack Obama style change... i.e., mostly a facade and, when peeled back, nothing but 'more of the same'.

Gotcha.

I'm just busting your balls there a bit, but it's also very much the truth. I understand your point that the removal of him, to the vastly naive, could probably improve their view of Iran and their intentions in the Middle East. However, my counter-point to your argument was simply to point out that now "REAL" change would occur, and they would be in the exact same position as they are now.

Posted by: Agent W at June 10, 2009 10:26 AM

By vastly naive I assume you mean Limbaugh, the entirety of Fox "News", Savage, Beck and pretty much every right-wing commentator alive. They have all used Ahmadinejad's bluster as a reason for invading Iran. If that gets those gas bags to STFU then Mission Accomplished (ooh, that's an oldie but a goodie).

Posted by: jim at June 10, 2009 11:29 AM
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