Jay Carney Struggles To Defend The Indefensible
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
The Daily Caller asked Pelosi about a report in the Washington Free Beacon that revealed that women working for Senate Democrats in 2011 had an average salary of $60,877, whereas male staffers made about $6,500 more.
Pelosi chose not to condemn the Democratic senators, claiming that it is “another world.”
“When I was speaker, I was [the] highest paid person on Capitol Hill and the women took great joy in that,” she said, making an apparent defense of the current pay disparity.
"The months before I took the oath of office were a chaotic time," Obama said, after explaining that the president's job is isolating, and that he and Bush have a connection since so few have held the job. "We knew our economy was in trouble, our fellow Americans were in pain, but we wouldn't know until later just how breathtaking the financial crisis had been."
Obama did note the Bush tried to get it right. "Still, over those 2 1/2 months, in the midst of that crisis, President Bush, his cabinet, his staff, many of you who are here today, went out of your ways--George, you went out of your way--to make sure that the transition to a new administration was a seamless as possible. President Bush understood that rescuing our economy was not just a Democratic or Republican issue, it was an American priority. I'll always be grateful for that."
National Democrats are distancing themselves from the Badger State as Wisconsin’s recall election approaches.
Incumbent Republican governor Scott Walker has campaigned with such national GOP luminaries as Govs. Bobby Jindal (R., La.), Nikki Haley (R., S.C.), Chris Christie (R., N.J.), and Bob McDonnell (R., Va.). However, Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, has not been able to bring similar firepower to bear.
“I don’t think national Democrats want to touch Wisconsin with a 10-foot pole,” said Wisconsin GOP spokesman Ben Sparks in an interview with the Free Beacon.
Walker enjoys a seven-point lead over Barrett in the latest public polling. That is consistent with the last several months of polling, which has shown Walker holding a five-point lead. Walker’s strength has been attributed to increasing support for Walker’s policies and voter fatigue with recalls.
Barrett has struggled to attract high-profile national surrogates to campaign with him on the stump.
“I think that he [Barrett] has a real opportunity to win,” Wasserman Schultz said. “We have put our considerable grassroots resources behind him. All of the Obama for America and state party resources, our grassroots network is fully engaged. And — well, I think what’s going to happen is that because of our on-the-ground operation, we have had an opportunity in this election, because especially given that Wisconsin is a battleground state, just like we did in the recall elections a year ago, to give this a test run.”
“I think Tom Barrett will pull this out,” she added, “but regardless it has given the Obama for America operation an opportunity to do the dry run that we need of our massive, significant, dynamic grassroots presidential campaign, which can’t really be matched by the Romney campaign or the Republicans, because they’ve ignored the ground operations.”
Drugmakers led by Pfizer (PFE) Inc. agreed to run a “very significant public campaign” bankrolling political support for the 2010 health-care law, including TV ads, while the Obama administration promised to block provisions opposed by drugmakers, documents released by Republicans show.
The internal memos and e-mails for the first time unveil the industry's plan to finance positive TV ads and supportive groups, along with providing $80 billion in discounts and taxes that were included in the law. The administration has previously denied the existence of a deal involving political support.
The documents were released today by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They identify price controls under Medicare and drug importation as the key industry concerns, and show that former Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Kindler and his top aides were involved in drawing it up and getting support from other company executives.
“As part of our agreement, PhRMA needs to undertake a very significant public campaign in order to support policies of mutual interest to the industry and the Administration,” according to a July 14, 2009, memo from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. “We have included a significant amount for advertising to express appreciation for lawmakers’ positions on health care reform issues.”
The goal, the memo said, was to “create momentum for consensus health care reform, help it pass, and then acknowledge those senators and representatives who were instrumental in making it happen and who must remain vigilant during implementation.”
Bank of Spain data showed a net 66.2 billion euros ($82.0 billion) was sent abroad last month, the most since records began in 1990. The figure compares to a 5.4 billion net entry of funds during the same month one year ago.
Spaniards are worried about the health of their banks, hit by their exposure to a 2008 property crash, and have been sending money to deposit accounts in stronger economies of northern Europe.
The capital flight data predates the nationalization of Spain's fourth biggest lender Bankia (BKIA.MC) in May when it became clear the bank could not handle losses from bad real estate investments, compounded by a recession.
Saddled with a budget deficit more than twice the European Union limit and a ballooning gap between income and costs in its power system, Spain halted subsidies for new renewable-energy projects in January. The surprise move by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy one month after taking office helped pierce investor confidence in stable aid for clean energy across Europe.
“They destroyed the Spanish market overnight with the moratorium,” European Wind Energy Association Chief Executive Officer Christian Kjaer said in an interview. “The wider implication of this is that if Spanish politicians can do that, probably most European politicians can do that.”
Spain’s $69 billion of investment in power capacity from 2004 to 2011 was about triple the spending per capita in the U.S. in that period, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data and U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Most of the 2012-2013 spending will be for the legacy of projects approved before the aid cuts to wind, solar, biomass and co-generation.
Seattle police officials Tuesday said the outbreak of violence through Memorial Day weekend and since the beginning of the year has more to do with guns than with gangs.
Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz and Assistant Chief for Operations Paul McDonagh said that, while gang activity has played a role in the jump in homicides this year — 15 to date compared with 21 in all of 2011 — the common denominator is the use of firearms.
"A person who has a gun is more likely to use a gun," Metz said after the weekly council briefing.
[W]e're supposed to believe that this is nothing more than left-wing stars aligning -- that the Post spent days and even weeks putting together a 2300-plus word article critical of Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts; an article that just happened to land on the Post's front page the very same day David Axelrod planned to roll out a big, splashy, attention-getting attack strategy critical of -- you guessed it --Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts
It's important to remember that this is the second time in only three weeks these very same left-wing stars have aligned for the corrupt Washington Post and the Obama reelection campaign. It was just 20 days ago that, purely by coincidence, that within hours of Obama's decision to stop lying about his position on same-sex marriage the Post dropped a major front page feature story detailing a half-century old incident involving Romney's supposed high school bullying of a supposed gay classmate. It was an extraordinary act of mind-reading on the Post's part, where they somehow found a wayback machine capable of reading a teen-aged Romney's mind and homophobic intent.This is obviously how the media obviously intends to win this election for Barack Obama. Earlier this week, in what in no way can be a coincidence, the whole of the MSM coordinated a mass attack on Romney's relationship with Donald Trump. The week prior, the whole of the media coordinated an attack on a private citizen's super PAC and by extension his and his family's businesses.Journolist is alive and well. And it looks now as though our media overlords have invited the White House to join in on their corrupt reindeer games.
Several weeks into the controversy, Elizabeth Warren finally conceded late Wednesday that she herself provided information about her Native American background to Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania when she was hired, via the Boston Globe:
“At some point after I was hired by them, I . . . provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard,’’ she said in a statement issued by her campaign. “My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it.’’
Warren’s statement is her first acknowledgment that she identified herself as Native American to the Ivy League schools. While she has said she identified herself as a minority in a legal directory, she has carefully avoided any suggestion during the last month that she took further actions to promote her purported heritage.
When the issue first surfaced last month, Warren said she only learned Harvard was claiming her as a minority when she read it in the Boston Herald.Warren has repeatedly said she had no idea why Harvard was actively promoting her as a Native American hire, and a "woman of color." Republicans have also drilled down arguing that Warren hasn't proven she actually has Native American heritage, a side issue that is likely going to continue now that she's opened the floodgates by admitting the information came from her.
"As I am no longer a candidate for president, I am free to pledge a good portion of the rest of my life to enacting campaign reform in the halls of Congress and the corridors of the White House. Instead of using my right to the floor of Congress to lobby for corporate clients, I will lobby for the American people who want reform," he said. "To be successful, this endeavor must cross party lines. In truth, the two major parties are addicted to special interests and corporate money. I have said it many times: they are joined at the billfold. The two parties have been graveyards of reform too often in the past. They don’t want reform. They only want victory and reelection."
On the front page of its Sunday edition, the New York Times gave a big spread to Ann Romney spending lots of time and tons of money on an exotic genre of horse-riding. The clear implication: The Romneys are silly rich, move in rarefied and exotic circles, and are perhaps a tad shady.
Only days earlier, news surfaced that author David Maraniss had unearthed new details about Barack Obama’s prolific, college-age dope-smoking for his new book, “Barack Obama: The Story” — and the Times made it a brief on A15...
... It’s certainly hard to argue that the Romneys’ horse-riding habits today are worse than the Maraniss revelations, which have gotten little mainstream coverage.
And the horse-riding story came a few weeks after a second story that made Republicans see red – another front-pager, this time in the Washington Post, that hit Mitt Romney for bullying a kid who might have been gay, in high school nearly a half-century ago. The clear implication to readers: Romney was a mean, insensitive jerk.
Maraniss works for the Post and his pot-smoking scoop, which included details of Obama’s college-era dope-smoking club and waste-no-weed rules for inhaling it, never made the front of his own paper.
Job cuts jumped by 53 percent in May from April in the United States, with Hewlett-Packard's layoffs propelling the computer industry to the top spot among the biggest job cutters this year, a report by consultancy firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed on Thursday.
Employers announced plans to cut 61,887 staff from their payrolls in May, 67 percent more than in the same month of last year. The figure represents the most job cuts since last September.
The computer industry dominated job cuts this month, with 27,754 layoffs, of which 27,000 were at Hewlett-Packard [HP 45.98 -1.12 (-2.38%) ]. Year to date, the computer industry announced 32,599 job cuts, followed by the transportation sector with 24,193 and the consumer products sector, with 21,846, the report showed."We may see more job cuts from the computer sector in the months ahead," John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement."While consumers and businesses are spending more on technology, the spending appears to favor a handful of companies. Those that are struggling to keep up with the rapidly changing trends and consumer tastes are shuffling workers to new projects or laying them off, altogether," Challenger added.Another area to watch is the food industry, where job cuts are up 75 percent this year and where Hostess Brands – markers of Twinkies and Wonder Bread – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the report said.
Jobless claims rose last week, private employment growth disappointed while growth was less than originally reported in the first quarter, according to reports that provide few bright spots for the economy.
Private-sector jobs growth came in at a disappointingly weak 133,000 from April to May, according to a report from ADP and Macroeconomic Advisors that adds to a bleak outlook for employment.
A day before the government releases its report for nonfarm payrolls in May, the ADP report showed that job growth continues to slow.Economists had expected the report to show nongovernment jobs grew by 150,000.
JON STEWART, HOST: This idea of liberal bias and the idea, you know, in your experience, haven't most journalists, haven't their politics been somewhat more liberal?DAN RATHER: No, it hasn't been my experience.STEWART: Oh, that hasn't been your experience?RATHER: It has not been my experience. Most journalists I grew up with, most journalists I’ve worked with and practiced with were trying to be honest brokers of information. Now, what sometimes got you a reputation you’re liberal, journalists generally form an apprenticeship covering the police beat at midnight, after midnight, it was Saturday night, the charity hospital. Journalists, the best of them, do see a Dickensian side of society that most people don't see. So when they try to call attention to that, people who don't like it say, "Oh, you're liberal." It has not been my experience.I know that it's widely believed that CBS, NBC, ABC chock full of liberals. Not true. What it's chock full of is people who wanted to give honest news, straightforward news, and voted both ways in many elections. I'm not saying that nobody in the newsroom was liberal any more than I would say nobody was conservative. Frequently what happened people who were described as conservatives want to say, "I work at CBS News, and you know, almost everybody there was liberal." What they really mean is not everybody there agreed with them all the time. This is a sham. It's a camouflage for wanting…STEWART: Do you think it’s been, it seems to have been very effective though, that working the refs. That's what I would say. It's really worked, and people are now very afraid to appear in any way as though they're taking a position on anything.RATHER: Well, that's true. And that's why I say that journalism, American journalism in some ways has lost its guts, or it needs a spine translate. I do not exempt myself in this criticism - made my mistakes along this line. But there is a price to pay, and I’m not excusing it, but what happens if you stand up and ask a really tough question now and challenge say a president or vice president, you know there's going to be a price to be paid for that. And so often it is, “You know what? I'll just get in the middle, move with the mass, I’ve got house payments and car [unintelligible].”
Liberal Democrat and political consultant Bob Shrum, who is notoriously lambasted for his winless record in presidential elections, told Politico he thinks the Boston Herald’s coverage of Elizabeth Warren’s phony claims of Native American ancestry is a form of “race baiting”:
On the other hand, the Herald’s drumbeat coverage, Shrum contended, amounts to a form of “race baiting.”
“The implication is she got her job through affirmative action,” he said. “It’s not true. It plays to the resentful right, and it’s hatred for affirmative action.”
Shrum is right about one thing -- conservatives who believe in merit and equality of opportunity and not an equality of result loathe affirmative action policies, especially in higher education. But Shrum mistakenly conceded that he actually thinks Warren is a Native American, if he thinks the outrage over her claims of Native American ancestry is about the fact that “she got her job through affirmative action.”
Masslive.com is reporting the latest bizarre twist in the saga of Elizabeth Warren likely false claims of Native American heritage. In a statement that would make Richard Nixon blush with shame, Warren has, effectively, told the new Cherokees Demand Truth from Elizabeth Warren group launched this morning by Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes and fellow Cherokee David Cornsilk to go away and stop bothering her.
As Masslive.com reports this afternoon:
In a statement following the launch of Barnes' new website, Warren's press secretary Alethea Harney said it is time to move past the issue.Barnes was not impressed with Warren's statement: "She just 'virtually' spit in our faces. She has not admitted the truth about her ancestry. Until she does, we will not be silent."
"Over the past month Elizabeth has answered countless questions openly while the people who recruited her have made it clear it was because of her extraordinary skill as a teacher and a groundbreaking scholar. She is proud of her family and her heritage, and it is something that her family talked about often when she was growing up," Harney said. "The fact that Elizabeth noted her heritage in a professional publication has been made public and addressed by Elizabeth on multiple occasions. It’s time to focus on the important issues facing Massachusetts. There are real issues middle class families are dealing with every day and that’s where Elizabeth is focused."
New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
A report issued by the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China has included U.S. gun ownership among a list of human rights violations, Law Enforcement Examiner Jim Kouri reported yesterday. "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011" was published last Friday on the PRC’s Consulate General in New York website.
“The United States prioritizes the right to keep and bear arms over the protection of citizens' lives and personal security and exercises lax firearm possession control, causing rampant gun ownership,” the report claims. “The U.S. people hold between 35 percent and 50 percent of the world' s civilian-owned guns, with every 100 people having 90 guns [and] 47 percent of American adults reported that they had a gun.”
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Obama and White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew met about 20 Conservative Jewish community leaders, thanking them for the work they do to improve communities around the country and discussed their shared commitment to rebuilding the U.S. economy…
“Rather than describe how deeply I care about Israel, I want to be blunt about how we got here,” Obama said, reminding his guests that he had so many Jewish [associates] in Chicago at the beginning of his political career that he was accused of being a puppet of the Israel lobby…
Obama also stressed he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it – and wondered how come no one asks Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner or Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel about their support to Israel.
More than 150 Cherokee Indians have joined a group online demanding more information from Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren about her claims of Native American heritage.
“You claim to be Cherokee. …We don’t claim you!” the group “Cherokees Demand Truth from Elizabeth Warren” declares on its website.
Warren has been embroiled in a controversy for weeks after it was revealed that the Harvard law professor once touted herself as an American Indian minority. She has since struggled to prove those claims as critics argue she claimed that heritage to further her career.
According to a mission statement posted on its website, the group is made up of “authentic Cherokees and descendants devoted to sharing the truth about our history.”
"They gave me a hat," Mr. Kerry says. "I have the hat to this day," he declares, rising to pull it from his briefcase. "I have the hat."
|Does she have the hat?|
Mitt Romney's refusal to repudiate Donald Trump sends a signal, both to Democrats and the voting public: With the nation's future at stake in this November's election, Romney will not accommodate calls that he disown supporters who make ill-considered, unpopular, or sometimes outrageous statements on matters not fundamental to the campaign.
Romney aides believe that cooperating with Democrats and media figures who are demanding a Trump disavowal would most certainly lead to more calls for more disavowals of other figures in the future -- leaving Romney spending as much time apologizing for his supporters as campaigning for president. Team Romney views it as a silly and one-sided game designed to distract voters from the central issue of the race, which they remain convinced will be President Obama's handling of the economy.
By one-sided, they mean not only that Obama has not disavowed SuperPAC contributor Bill Maher for a number of Maher's statements that were particularly insulting to Republican women. They also mean the press, with, as Team Romney see it, questionable associations of its own. Has David Gregory, moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press," repudiated his colleague Al Sharpton, the MSNBC host with a decades-long record of incendiary statements and actions? And has, say, the New York Times columnist Gail Collins repudiated her colleague Charles Blow, who once wrote to Romney, "Stick that in your magic underwear"? Romney, his team believes, understands that the calls for him to repudiate Trump over the issue of birtherism -- and future calls to repudiate this or that supporter next week or next month over some other issue -- are at the core all about politics.
The votes are in and it is unanimous: Barack Obama will win re-election to the U.S. presidency in November, according to five astrologers who offered predictions at their convention on Tuesday.
Each of the five astrologers on the presidential panel explained how they came to their assessments, with most relying on studies of celestial charts pertinent to both Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney for the date of either the election itself or the next presidential inauguration.For Chicago astrologist and corporate lawyer Nina Gryphon, it was her study of the Aries ingress - the exact time when the Sun enters the sign of Aries - that clinched the decision. "It's obvious," she said. "Obama stays where he is without a change in status."
Billed as a meeting of the world's top astrologers, the conference in New Orleans drew some 1,500 people who participated in workshops and panel discussions.
Not to be confused with astronomy, the scientific study of the physical universe, astrology uses non-scientific methods to predict how the relative positions of celestial bodies may influence human behavior and future events.
[S]everal Senators confessed to Roll Call that they don’t know what is on the to-do list anyway, despite several speeches in which Obama has urged his followers to tweet, call, write and email lawmakers urging them to take it up.
“Didn’t we do some things he wanted us to do?” asked Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). “[Export-Import] Bank, that doesn’t count? That wasn’t on the to-do list?”
No. The president wanted that, too, but it’s not on the list.
“Do you have a copy of the to-do list?” Landrieu asked.
After a reporter told her what was on the list, she quipped, “We’re adding to that list by doing some great things.”
“I don’t have a copy of it; I’m sure my staff does,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), when asked when the Senate might get to it.
“We’ve got June, July. We’ve got some time. What time frame did he put on that to-do list?”
When told the president said the to-do list could be done “now,” Casey joked, “Now is a very expansive term. It’s not even the summer yet.“
“Didn’t we just try to move on student loans. Wasn’t that on his list?” asked Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).
No, that’s a separate priority.
The defection of a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat to the Republican Party is raising some eyebrows.
Jo Ann Nardelli, a state committeewoman and founding president of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, has switched her political affiliation to the GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage as reasons.
During a press conference last week, Nardelli cited President Obama’s recent announcement in support of gay marriage as a central reason for her defection, endorsed Mitt Romney for president and changed her party registration to Republican, The Altoona Mirror reported.
“As the Democratic Party has taken the stand for same-sex marriage, then I must make a stand on my faith that marriage is between a man and a woman. God’s principles for life never change. His guidelines, given in Scripture, produce fruitful lives when you follow them,” Nardelli, a pro-life Democrat for more than 40 years, said at the Blair County Courthouse.
With unemployment, gas prices, and the budget deficit stubbornly high, President Obama's fans in the media are having a hard time explaining to people why the current White House resident's job performance is worthy of the reelection they're all working for.
Take former Obama car czar turned Morning Joe economic analyst Steve Rattner who said on MSNBC Tuesday, "I think in a quiet room I could convince you his record is good, but out in the sound bite world of the campaign, it's very hard to explain that record in a positive, clear, persuasive way."
A year after declaring “we are at war” the National Education Association appears to be setting up camp in Valley Forge, with a long, hard winter ahead.
With five weeks to go before the union’s annual representative assembly, NEA is painting a financial and membership picture that delegates could scarcely imagine just a few short years ago. Last year, NEA secretary-treasurer Becky Pringle warned the assemblage, “We have to assume we haven’t hit bottom yet.” Having constructed the union’s budget for the next two years, she will be able to repeat that warning.
According to multiple sources within the NEA leadership, the union is reporting a loss of 150,000 members over the past two years, and is projecting a further loss of more than 200,000 members over the next two years. The total reduction in revenue to the national union over the years 2010-2014 amounts to $65 million – about one-sixth of its original budget.
It is made by Ogden's Own Distillery in Utah, where the Mormon church is based. Its label carries the name and an image of five women, an apparent reference to polygamy, a practice abandoned by the church more than a century ago.
Idaho State Liquor Division administrator Jeff Anderson said the brand is offensive to Mormons who make up over a quarter of Idaho's population.
Regulators in Idaho notified Elite Spirits Distributor that the brand's concept is "offensive to a prominent segment of our population and will not be carried," according to a letter sent on Thursday.
"The bottom line is, we represent everybody," Anderson added Tuesday.
President Obama has a long track record of insulting the Poles. In 2010 he chose to play golf on the day of the funeral of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the Polish First Lady, and 94 senior officials who perished in the Smolensk air disaster. Eight months earlier he humiliated Warsaw by pulling out of the agreement over Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. And last night Barack Obama caused huge offence in Poland by referring to a Nazi death camp in Poland as “a Polish death camp” while awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a Polish resistance fighter. As ABC’s Jake Tapper reported:
Poles and Polish-Americans expressed outrage today at President Obama’s reference earlier to “a Polish death camp” — as opposed to a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland.
“The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”
The president had been trying to honor a famous Pole, awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter who sneaked behind enemy lines to bear witness to the atrocities being committed against Jews. President Obama referred to him being smuggled “into the Warsaw ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”
Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.
That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections - twice what they had been expected to commit.
The former Alabama congressman, an early Barack Obama endorser who lost a bid for governor last year, announces online that he's leaving the Democratic Party and changing his registration to a different state:
If I were to run, it would be as a Republican. And I am in the process of changing my voter registration from Alabama to Virginia, a development which likely does represent a closing of one chapter and perhaps the opening of another.
As to the horse-race question that animated parts of the blogosphere, it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2015. If that sounds imprecise, it’s a function of how uncertain political opportunities can be—and if that sounds expedient, never lose sight of the fact that politics is not wishfulness, it’s the execution of a long, draining process to win votes and help and relationships while your adversaries are working just as hard to tear down the ground you build. …
On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.
Obama’s sag — and it’s definitely more of a sag than a collapse — is a natural function of reluctant Republicans finally coalescing behind Romney, who clinched the nomination Tuesday night with a victory in Texas.
But the president’s enemies, and a few of his friends, think his in-your-face negativity, on display in his attacks on Bain Capital and a snark offensive that included comparing Romney’s statements to a “cow pie of distortion,” have produced a backlash among independent voters who have finally given up the image of Obama as a new-breed politician.
“Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer started his show on Sunday by summing up those grievances in an exchange with former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs. “One of the refreshing changes when the president was elected — he talked about hope and change,” Schieffer said.
“Whatever happened to hope and change? Now, it seems he’s coming right out of the box with these old-fashioned negative ads.”
Gibbs, echoing arguments made by Obama’s team for months, said it isn’t fair to create a double standard by letting Romney attack Obama with abandon — and super PAC cash — while penalizing Obama for fighting back. But no one ever said politics was fair, and Obama’s team is clearly groping to find a successful balance between the high ground and kicking Romney until he hurts.
A little boy wears a hearing aid but doesn't want to. Superheroes don't wear hearing aids. So his mom writes to Marvel Comics. Marvel decides to create a new superhero, complete with hearing aid, just for the little boy.
Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good. “Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization — innocent neighbors don’t hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs,” said one official, who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program.
This counting method may partly explain the official claims of extraordinarily low collateral deaths.
Newspapers and other media sources insist that their mission is to keep Americans well-informed and cognizant of the facts. Those tasks fall to editors, who are supposed to exercise discretion and judgment on articles that appear in their publication. The Washington Post even employs a well-read fact checker, Glenn Kessler, who receives both praise and scorn from both sides depending on whose ox he’s goring at the moment, but one in whom the editors apparently have confidence.
That brings us to today’s column from Eugene Robinson. Robinson picks up on a MarketWatch report to accuse Mitt Romney of “lies” in his campaigning and of distorting the truth:
There are those who tell the truth. There are those who distort the truth. And then there’s Mitt Romney.
Every political campaign exaggerates and dissembles. This practice may not be admirable — it’s surely one reason so many Americans are disenchanted with politics — but it’s something we’ve all come to expect. Candidates claim the right to make any boast or accusation as long as there’s a kernel of veracity in there somewhere.
Even by this lax standard, Romney too often fails. Not to put too fine a point on it, he lies. Quite a bit.
“Since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history,” Romney claims on his campaign Web site. This is utterly false. The truth is that spending has slowed markedly under Obama.
An analysis published last week by MarketWatch, a financial news Web site owned by Dow Jones & Co., compared the yearly growth of federal spending under presidents going back to Ronald Reagan. Citing figures from the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office, MarketWatch concluded that “there has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear.”Now, this statement sounds pretty strong, only … the same newspaper that published it today debunked that claim last week. Glenn Kessler gave the Obama campaign three Pinocchios for adopting MarketWatch’s flawed analysis:
Americans' confidence in the economy in May had its biggest drop in eight months as consumers fretted about slow hiring, a big stock market drop and the global economy, says a private research group.
The Conference Board says its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 64.9, down from a revised 68.7 in April. It was the biggest drop since October 2011.Economists were expecting a reading of 70, according to a FactSet poll of analysts. The current level is below February's 71.6, which is the highest level it's been in a year.
Accurate, but not true. It took 23 years, but on Sunday morning’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer contended “everything” in his 1989 book, which provided a derogatory look from the left at the Reagan presidency, was “accurate” – yet “not entirely true.”
The leading title of the book published in January of 1989, when Schieffer held the role of “Chief Washington correspondent” for CBS News, The Acting President: Ronald Reagan and the Supporting Players Who Helped Him Create the Illusion That Held America Spellbound.
The title matched the condescending view espoused by liberals at the time who attributed Ronald Reagan’s success to fooling gullible Americans through theatrics so they would accept conservative policies with which they disagreed and were supposedly detrimental to them.
(Larger jpg image of the book cover.)
Schieffer’s comment came during a May 27 Memorial Day weekend segment with Time magazine editors Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, authors of The President’s Club, and Robert Merry, author of Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians.
In a Politico article this weekend that described the competition between the two Boston dailies -- the feisty and conservative Herald and the Globe, which is a part of the legacy media -- the Politico authors dismiss the Herald as a “tabloid” on four separate occasions.To be fair, the authors quoted a fair number of conservatives expressing their outrage at the liberal Globe’s lack of coverage of the Warren issue. But dismissing the Herald as just a tabloid reveals Politico’s bias -- that only those who have the seal of approval from the legacy media are somehow allowed in the club of "proper" journalists, whatever that is nowadays.To Politico, the Globe is a part of that oh-so-esteemed club even though, in the weeks after the Herald story broke, the paper falsely reported that Warren had documentation which showed she had Cherokee blood, then subsequently buried its correction in the back pages of the print edition. The Globe allowed new media outlets like Breitbart News to scoop their local reporters in revealing documents Harvard had submitted to the federal government indicating Warren was a Native American, a scoop the Globe would later shamelessly claim as their own two weeks later.The Globe’s reporting on the Warren case would be insulting even to “tabloids.”
The college-for-all crusade has outlived its usefulness. Time to ditch it. Like the crusade to make all Americans homeowners, it's now doing more harm than good. It looms as the largest mistake in educational policy since World War II, even though higher education's expansion also ranks as one of America's great postwar triumphs.
Consider. In 1940, fewer than 5 percent of Americans had a college degree. Going to college was "a privilege reserved for the brightest or the most affluent" high-school graduates, wrote Diane Ravitch in her history of U.S. education, "The Troubled Crusade." No more. At last count, roughly 40 percent of Americans had some sort of college degree: about 30 percent a bachelor's degree from a four-year institution; the rest associate degrees from community colleges.
Starting with the GI Bill in 1944, governments at all levels promoted college. From 1947 to 1980, enrollments jumped from 2.3 million to 12.1 million. In the 1940s, private colleges and universities accounted for about half. By the 1980s, state schools - offering heavily subsidized tuitions - represented nearly four-fifths. Aside from a democratic impulse, the surge reflected "the shift in the occupational structure to professional, technical, clerical and managerial work," noted Ravitch. The economy demanded higher skills; college led to better-paying jobs.
In 2000, he oversaw a week of events that raised money for Islamic terrorists murdering Jews. From 2005 until the present, he oversaw a left-wing blog whose contributors used language that even he admitted was anti-Semitic. And now Faiz Shakir is about to become a senior advisor to the Democratic Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
What happens to a top left-wing operative when he loses control of a media operation so badly that the White House has to distance itself from its allied think tank? He gets a job offer from Nancy Pelosi.
Faced with mounting criticism, the State University of New York at Buffalo is distancing itself from a Marcellus Shale gas-drilling study released earlier this month by the school’s own Shale Resources and Society Institute.
But the report’s lead author is defending the work by the fledgling institute, saying Monday that it’s being mischaracterized by environmental activists who oppose any additional domestic fossil-fuel production.
“I stand by the work,” said Timothy Considine, University of Wyoming professor and one of three researchers who penned the institute’s survey, adding that he and his colleagues aren’t at all surprised by the green backlash it has generated.
On Sunday, in discussing the uses of the word "hero" to describe those members of the armed forces who have given their lives, I don't think I lived up to the standards of rigor, respect and empathy for those affected by the issues we discuss that I've set for myself. I am deeply sorry for that.
As many have rightly pointed out, it's very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about the people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots. Of course, that is true of the overwhelming majority of our nation's citizens as a whole. One of the points made during Sunday's show was just how removed most Americans are from the wars we fight, how small a percentage of our population is asked to shoulder the entire burden and how easy it becomes to never read the names of those who are wounded and fight and die, to not ask questions about the direction of our strategy in Afghanistan, and to assuage our own collective guilt about this disconnect with a pro-forma ritual that we observe briefly before returning to our barbecues.
But in seeking to discuss the civilian-military divide and the social distance between those who fight and those who don't, I ended up reinforcing it, conforming to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war. And for that I am truly sorry.
Krugman is a most unusual economist. Others may measure their words, issue caveats, acknowledge that the research isn’t conclusive, admit that their biases influence their reading of facts. Not Krugman. Krugman is remarkable for his freewheeling writing style, which frequently leads to lively metaphors (“invisible bond-market vigilantes,” “confidence fairy”). He is often dismissive, misleading and tendentious. He changes the subject, ignores inconvenient evidence and plays playground bully to people he sees as ideological enemies (a list longer than Nixon’s). He blasts away at others’ work without even providing the basic courtesy of a link to what he’s talking about, which is a disservice to readers who might like to review the other side of the argument to decide for themselves.
“I want you to just hold by while we watch the president now do this very intricate response to what the mayor of Newark said yesterday, which I think was an act of sabotage,” Matthews said. “Whatever the intention was, he was trashing the entire Obama campaign of the summer in one appearance on ‘Meet the Press.’ Let’s watch the president today trying to defend himself against what looked like — something like a betrayal.”
On Sunday, Booker criticized the right for attacking President Barack Obama for his association with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the left for attacking private equity, including Bain Capital.
Later in Monday’s segment, Matthews deemed Booker’s remarks to be trashing the entire campaign.
“On comes Cory Booker — supposedly a surrogate for President Obama — comes on the show listed as a surrogate, points out he’s got surrogate notes in his hand, said he’s been working as a surrogate and then trashes the entire campaign by saying, ‘There’s really nothing wrong with private capital, nothing wrong with Bain Capital. I fire people. He fires people. So what? This is all good for American capitalism.’ It was an incredible 180 on everything the president stands for in this campaign.”
On the flight to Colorado last week, Jay Carney, his press secretary, read him an online column concluding that he has presided over slower growth in federal spending than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mr. Obama liked it so much he inserted it into his campaign speech.Just like that, an online column, rather than a detailed study by a budget office, became fodder for his argument. “Since I’ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace in nearly 60 years,” he told supporters in a hotel ballroom in Denver. What he did not say is that the calculation did not count significant spending in his early months in office and assumed future cuts that he opposes.
"Thinking today and observing Memorial Day, that'll be happening tomorrow. Just talked with Lt. Col. Steve Burke [sic, actually Beck], who was a casualty officer with the Marines and had to tell people [inaudible]. Um, I, I, ah, back sorry, um, I think it's interesting because I think it is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words "heroes." Um, and, ah, ah, why do I feel so comfortable [sic] about the word "hero"? I feel comfortable, ah, uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don't want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that's fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I'm wrong about that."
The White House is aggressively pushing the idea that, contrary to widespread belief, President Barack Obama is tightfisted with taxpayer dollars. To back it up, the administration cites a media report that claims federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since the Eisenhower years.
“Federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any president in almost 60 years,” Obama said at a campaign rally Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.
The problem with that rosy claim is that the Wall Street bailout is part of the calculation. The bailout ballooned the 2009 budget just before Obama took office, making Obama’s 2010 results look smaller in comparison. And as almost $150 billion of the bailout was paid back during Obama’s watch, the analysis counted them as government spending cuts.
It also assumes Obama had less of a role setting the budget for 2009 than he really did.
Obama rests his claim on an analysis by MarketWatch, a financial information and news service owned by Dow Jones & Co. The analysis simply looks at the year-to-year topline spending number for the government but doesn’t account for distortions baked into the figures by the Wall Street bailout and government takeover of the mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The MarketWatch study finds spending growth of only 1.4 percent over 2010-2013, or annual increases averaging 0.4 percent over that period. Those are stunningly low figures considering that Obama rammed through Congress an $831 billion stimulus measure in early 2009 and presided over significant increases in annual spending by domestic agencies at the same time the cost of benefit programs like Social Security, Medicare and the Medicaid were ticking steadily higher.
Barry was quite the accomplished marijuana enthusiast back in high school and college. Excerpts from David Maraniss' Barack Obama: The Story dealing with the elaborate drug culture surrounding the president when he attended Punahou School in Honolulu and Occidental College in Los Angeles. He inhaled. A lot.
|Barry's Choom Wagon|
In the reaction to the Boston Globe's controversial article on Harvard's EEOC reports which listed Elizabeth Warren as a Native American, one particular revelation has gone largely unnoticed. Alan Ray, the administrator who filed diversity reports during Warren's tenure, distances the university from any responsibility for erroneously listing her as a Native American.
[Ray] said through a spokeswoman that he "never encouraged any faculty member to list himself or herself in a particular way." Ray added that Harvard "always accepted whatever identification a faculty member wanted to provide," a characterization another highly placed former Harvard administrator backed up.
In previous reports by Breitbart News, there has been no definitive evidence--no silver bullet--that Warren is the one who volunteered the idea she was a minority. The evidence discovered by authors John Sexton and Michael Patrick Leahy suggest it is very likely, but the possibility has not yet been established as fact. However, with this statement, Harvard has denied the only other likely explanation for EEOC reports listing Warren as a Native American.
Either Warren suggested to Harvard, as she presumably did in her Pow Wow Chow byline, that she was a Cherokee, or Harvard, either from her appearance or from some historical evidence, deemed her Cherokee. However, as has been explored in excruciating detail, there is no genealogical evidence for Warren's assumed heritage, and her blonde-haired, blue-eyed appearance does nothing to suggest any kind of minority background.