December 08, 2012
NYC Letter: Joe On The Job XXX -- More BOOOOO!
Day 1,413 of CHOPE
D-minus 1,506 Days
What's humbled me, as you walk out, I mean, everywhere I go, crowds spontaneously assemble. They start to cheer, whether I go to a play on Broadway or I'm going home to Wilmington, Delaware. I walk on the train. People stand up and clap. I mean, it's humbled me.
When you think you are the walking nucleation of spontaneous fandom, it is only a matter of time before you are disabused. And disabused again. Soon you are a walking nucleation of disabusals.
December 8, 2012 (Twitchy) - Today, Joe Biden was just being Joe at the Army-Navy game, where many report jeers from both sides of the stadium.
#ThatAwkwardMomentWhen Joe Biden is introduced and the majority of the Army and Navy fans boo him..— Amy Douglas (@amydouglas107) December 9, 2012
This was a little more than casual booing.
The whole stadium at the Army Navy game booing Joe Biden when he walked out onto the field. #TFM— Kemper Wilson (@kemper_wilson) December 8, 2012
Joe Biden was booed all day at the Army Navy game #awkward— Samantha Baccala (@SamBaccala) December 8, 2012
We don't encourage incivility. Then again we don't advise self-admiring blowhards to parade in crowded stadiums seeking applause. The audience is never up to the expectation.
Luckily not a word of this in the MSM.
October 29, 2012
NYC Letter: Hurricane Sandy
Day 1,373 of CHOPE
D-minus 83 Days
I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment ... when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.
then-presumptive Democrat presidential nominee,
forecasting a magical presidency and slow oceans
FINAL PRIMARY NIGHT
ST. PAUL June 3, 2008 (barackobama.com)
A DAY BEFORE THE MAIN EVENT,
HURRICANE SANDY FLOODING HAS ALREADY BEGUN
October 29, 2012 (Twitchy)
First-time one-time advisory, believe the hype.
Let me emphasize: storm surge fcst for NYC is now 6-11ft. Irene=4ft. This could be the biggest coastal flooding event in NYC history. #Sandy— Eric Holthaus (@WSJweather) October 28, 2012
Hurricane Sandy is still a day & a half away & Maryland & Ocean City are already flooding. twitter.com/DMVFollowers/s…— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) October 28, 2012
Malloy:Storm likely to produce unprecedented flooding in Connecticut #Sandy— NBC Connecticut (@NBCConnecticut) October 28, 2012
This bridge in Newport News is almost underwater. twitter.com/DMVFollowers/s…— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) October 29, 2012
Let us state the obvious. If you are told to evacuate, get out. If you don't know what you are being told, find out. Get safe. (Omnibus link.) Stay safe. We can't afford any diminution of our minuscule skimmership.
August 30, 2012
NYC Letter: "Me Care So Much" -- Phoning It In
Day 1,314 of CHOPE
D-minus 142 Days
Mr. Obama is the Commander-in-Chief of America's Armed Forces. One of the traditional duties incumbent on the CINC is sending condolences to the families and next of kin of military fallen in combat. It's a difficult duty. In the great majority of cases, the fallen are not known to the CINC personally, yet in all cases the CINC bears a direct or indirect responsibility in the deaths.
But not so difficult for Mr. Obama.
August 30, 2012 (ABC News) - The White House today disputed the suggestion that the president had used an auto-pen to sign condolence letters to the families of Navy SEALs killed in a Chinook crash in Afghanistan last year. Tommy Vietor, White House National Security Council spokesman:The President personally signs every letter to the families of fallen service members in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he has said many times that it is one of the most difficult parts of his job and a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.
... The White House did not dispute that the letters were form letters, but that would appear to not be unique to this president. A 2003 Newsweek story reported that the sympathy letters grieving families had received from President George W. Bush were "form letters. With the exception of the salutation and a reference to the fallen soldier in the text, the letters the families shared with me are all the same."
But in December 2008, John Solomon of the Washington Times reported that as part of a private effort to comfort the families of those killed in war and during 9/11, then-President Bush sent personal letters to the families of "every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice."
Not the first time Mr. Bush has forgone publicity to quietly comfort the distraught and bereft.*
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was in 2004 criticized for using an auto-pen to sign condolence letters to the families of fallen troops. At the time he issued a statement saying:I wrote and approved the now more than 1,000 letters sent to family members and next of kin of each of the servicemen and women killed in military action. While I have not individually signed each one, in the interest of ensuring expeditious contact with grieving family members, I have directed that in the future I sign each letter.
Jeryl Bier at Speak With Authority remarks on Mr. Obama's form letter condolences:
Given that President Obama's letters are dated September 23, 2011, and he spent the following afternoon on the golf course with Bill Clinton and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, it would be difficult for the president to plead lack of time as an excuse for the fill-in-the-blank condolence letters.
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit gives a clue to who rates the personal treatment:
Last November Barack Obama sent a personal letter of condolence when rapper Heavy D passed away at 44. ... But when 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs were killed in the crash in Afghanistan back in August 2011, he sent their parents a form letter.
Mr. Obama's personal letter to the Heavy D family reads in part:
We extend our heartfelt condolences at this difficult time. He will be remembered for his infectious optimism and many contributions to American music. Please know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Even the personal touch is phoned in.
Dear [your name here], Sorry for your loss.
* See here for a comparison of styles.
May 23, 2012
NYC Letter: The Common Man Presidency XII -- The Hard Life
Day 1,215 of CHOPE
They don't get us, they don't get who we are. They don't understand, it seems to me. They're not bad, they just don't get it.
Mr. Obama gets it. He gets hardship. He gets doing his bit at great personal sacrifice. To wit.
May 21, 2012 (RCP) - Mr. Obama at a news conference on the NATO summit in Chicago:The only other thing I'll say about this is, thank you to everybody who endured the traffic situation. Obviously, Chicago residents who had difficulties getting home or getting to work or what have you, you know, that's -- what can I tell you? That's part of the price of being a world city.
But this was a great showcase. And if it makes those folks feel any better, despite being 15 minutes away from my house, nobody would let me go home. I was thinking I would be able to sleep in my own bed tonight. They said I would cause even worse traffic so I ended up staying at a hotel, which contributes to the Chicago economy.
Mr. Obama stayed at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. The Sheraton is a 34-story 1,200+-room waterfront luxury hotel. It is ranked 74th out of 167 Chicago hotels at TripAdvisor, so obviously Mr. Obama could've done better.
A WH source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak about anything, said housekeeping failed to place a Godiva chocolate medallion on Mr. Obama's pillow when turning down the bed. Mr. Obama collects the gold foils and on his return to Washington presents them to a delighted Timmy Geithner.
Not wanting to get working people in trouble, Mr. Obama didn't complain about the missing medallions. Instead he took it in stride -- like you, dear prole, when you must bear life's little unbearable disappointments. He picked up the phone and called room service and had them fetch him a six-pound candy bag of mixed truffles from master chocolatier Vosges Haut-Chocolat on Michigan Avenue.
Oh. It was an official sleepover. You paid for it. Mr. Obama says, "Thanks, honeypot!"
Gratitude. You see. He gets it.
We're just not that far removed from what most Americans are going through.
May 20, 2012
NYC Letter: G-8 Summit 2012
Day 1,212 of CHOPE
Special New Friends Summit Edition
"I'M WITH STUPID!"
(Left) François Hollande, President Of France
(Further Left) Barack Obama, President Of The United States
Friday and Saturday the United States hosted the 38th G-8 Summit, a meeting of the big world financial powers. The "eight" are the United States (member since 1975), United Kingdom (1975), Germany (1975), France (1975), Italy (1975), Japan (1975), Canada (1976), and Russia (1997). The President of the European Commission (1981) is also formally a member, but is not included for some reason in the "G" count. Only four of the G-8 are actually among the top eight world economies: (1) EU $15.39T; (2) USA $15.04T; (5) Japan $4.39T; (6) Germany $3.08T; (7) Russia $2.38T. If you throw out the EU, the UK is under the wire, (9) $2.25T.
It's hard to see what exactly's the organizing principle of today's G-8 or 9. Most of the members are Western-style democracies although the EU is a bureaucracy, not a democracy, and Russia is a democracy in name only. Many of the members have strong ties to the United States except Russia, who plays the dog in the manger. So it's not economic heft and it's not ideology. It's a diplomatic habit.
This year's summit was originally to be held in Chicago with a NATO/ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) summit kited on the next day. Mr. Obama switched the venue to the more bucolic Camp David in part to spare his guests the usual where's-my-better-world protests.
Newly elected (wink, wink) President Putin phoned in he was "too busy" to attend.
RUSSIANS PERPLEXED BY PUTIN'S SNUB OF G8.
IS IT BECAUSE OF PROTESTS? OBAMA?
President Vladimir Putin Said He Is 'Too Busy' To Attend The G8 Summit.
But Russians Say He's Either On Edge About Recent Protests
Or Intends To Throw A Wrench In The US-Russia 'Reset'.
May 14, 2012 (CSM)
When big important world leaders are huddled up, important stuff gets done, big important decisions are reached.
OBAMA, G-8: RECOVERY
TAKES BOTH GROWTH AND CUTTING
May 19, 2012 (CSM)
But more growth than cutting.
G8 LEADERS URGE EUROPE TO FOCUS ON GROWTH
RATHER THAN AUSTERITY AT G8 SUMMIT
CAMP DAVID, Maryland May 19, 2012 (Canadian Biz)
You know what, just forget the austerity.
OBAMA PRESSES AILING
EUROPE TO FOCUS ON GROWTH
U.S. President Sets Tone For Weekend G8 Summit
WASHINGTON May 18, 2012 (Reuters)
Growth, of course, means spending and austerity means not spending. Everyone seems to be agreed on the spending.
Of course an indispensable function of the G-8, aside from generating empty headlines, is for everybody to make some new best friends.
CAMP DAVID, Maryland May 18, 2012 (FNC) - Of the eight countries represented for the two-day talks, four have elected new leaders since the summit hosted by France last year.
France, Italy, Japan and Russia all have new presidents or prime ministers.
The new French president, Francois Hollande sworn into office last week, visited with Obama in Washington on Friday prior to the start of the summit.
[Picture source: ¡No Pasarán!]
PARIS January 26, 2012 (Guardian) - François Hollande, the leftwing frontrunner in the French presidential race, has vowed to make the rich pay the highest price to help drag France out of its economic crisis, while promising to pump more money into schools and state-assisted jobs.
The Socialist rural MP, who recently declared "my real adversary in this campaign is the world of finance", launched his manifesto on Thursday, a road map of how the left would deal with the financial crisis. Hollande said he would raise taxes for banks and big companies as well as France's richest people, and use the money to help wipe out the nation's crippling public deficit.
The French couldn't vote fast enough for that. [Faire une pause.] Except the high earners.
FRANCE ENTREPRENEURS FLEE
FROM HOLLANDE WEALTH REJECTION
May 10, 2012 (BW)
Fleeing The Wealth Tax
WEALTHY FRENCH TAKE
THEIR ASSETS TO LONDON
LONDON May 18, 2012 (Spiegel)
M. Hollande's biggest obstacle to "patriotically" taxing the rich French to extinction will be finding any rich French to tax.
* Ségolène Royal was M. Hollande's not-quite-for-life "life-partner" for over thirty years. Marriage was "too 'bourgeois", and to keep things free and breezy they also forwent a pacte civil de solidarité. They begat four bastards, who were vouchsafed only the parents' celebrity. The couple separated after Mlle. Royal made history as the first-woman-within-six-points-of-the-Élysée™. A condensed version of the bitter unraveling can be found here. Highlights here and here.
April 21, 2012
NYC Letter: Hardest Working Man In Show Business -- Pensive Peerling
Day 1,183 of CHOPE
Special Denken Außerhalb Des Fensters* Edition
New York Magazine has a photo essay of nine largely staged photos entitled "Obama Pensively Peering Out Of Windows". [Pause.] Mr. Obama does not, like us, and perhaps you, merely look out a window to take in the view. He pensively peers out windows. All kinds of windows as the photo essay shows. Peering. Pensive.
More peerless pensive peerling photos here.
The vision peerling.
* Think outside the window.
** Ninety-five rounds as of today.
March 24, 2012
NYC Letter: Left Hand/Right Hand Messaging -- Food Stamp President
Day 1,155 of CHOPE
The Democrats never make bad policy. They just do bad messaging.
First a little table-setting.
FOOD STAMP USE RISES
TO RECORD 45.8 MILLION
NEW YORK August 4, 2011 (CNN)
GINGRICH: OBAMA "MOST EFFECTIVE
FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT IN HISTORY"
August 5, 2011 (RCP/FNC)
Good to go and three guesses where this goes. The first two don't count.
January 17, 2012 (Politico) - Pressed on why the label was denigrating if Gingrich was simply trying to point out how much the program for low-income families has grown under Obama’s watch, Clyburn (D-SC, 6th) pushed back, saying the state of the country that the president inherited from George W. Bush cannot be ignored.
Ah, OK. Mr. Clyburn indicts Mr. Gingrich for denigration of the poor, then skirts the injury done to plead historical necessity. Oh, look! A squirrel!
JIMMY CARTER: GINGRICH
'HAS THAT SUBTLETY OF RACISM'
January 18, 2012 (Blaze)
January 23, 2012 (The Hill) - Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN, 9th) on Monday afternoon accused Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for making racist comments toward President Obama by calling him a "food stamp" president.
"Unfortunately, there's still people in this country who think that the President can't be their president because of his race," Cohen said. "Some even refer to him as a food stamp president."
Cohen did not name Gingrich, but Gingrich said earlier this month that Obama is the "food stamp president" because he has put more people on food stamps than any other president. Cohen said this is a sort of racial code against Obama because Obama is black. "We know that code is wrong," Cohen said.
PRESIDENT OBAMA, RESPONDING TO
FOODSTAMP LABEL, SUGGESTS NEWT
'TAPPING INTO SOME OF OUR WORST INSTINCTS'
LAS VEGAS January 26, 2012 (Politico)
February 2, 2012 (The Hill) - Rep. Emmanuel [sic] Cleaver (D-MO, 5th) said Thursday that the GOP presidential candidates need to "quit trying to send subliminal racial messages during the campaigns." ... Cleaver cited as examples Newt Gingrich’s recent comments on food stamps, including calling President Obama a "food stamp president," and Mitt Romney’s comments on "the very poor."
BIDEN HITS GINGRICH'S FOOD-STAMP
COMMENT AS 'INAPPROPRIATE'
TALLAHASSEE February 6, 2012 (The Hill)
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ: BUSH IS REAL
"FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT," SLAMMING NEWT
WASHINGTON February 8, 2012 (Chicago Sun-Times)
And the Demo media minions do their bit to get the message out.
January 6, 2012 (NewsBusters) - MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Friday offered an offensive, bewildering comparison, linking the murder of a black British teenager in 1993 to supposedly offensive comments by Republican presidential candidates in 2012. ... Bashir excoriated, "Let's cut out the food stamps rhetoric right now before things get any worse."
MATTHEWS: GINGRICH IS RACE-BAITING
CALLING OBAMA FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT -
'HE OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF'
January 17, 2012 (NewsBusters)
But Mr. Obama is the "Food Stamp President". No, really, he is.
March 23, 2012 (IBD) - When New Gingrich called President Obama "the best food stamp president in American history," the media pooh-poohed it. But, in fact, Obama has aggressively pushed dependence on government for food.
... Not true, reporters shrieked. Obama's only added 14.5 million to food stamps. Under Bush, the number climbed "nearly 14.7 million." Case closed. Never mind that Obama managed this feat in less than three years, compared with Bush's eight.
... But the facts are on Gingrich's side.
- Food stamp enrollment climbed an average 153,000 a month under Bush. Under Obama, it's climbed an average 403,000 a month.
- As of last December, there were 46.5 million on food stamps. That's 65% higher than at any time in the past four decades.
- Today, 14.8% of Americans get food stamps. That's also a record-shattering number. In Bush's last year, the figure was 9.3%.
- Obama's Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack even claimed that all this food stamp spending was accelerating economic growth. "It's the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times," he said last August.
Obama's defenders claim that this isn't his fault, but the result of the lingering effects of the recession combined with looser eligibility rules established under President Bush. But if that were true, why is enrollment in the food stamp program — officially called SNAP — continuing to climb? It was up by more than 2.3 million in 2011, even as the unemployment rate was falling.
Turns out, Obama hasn't passively stood by while people "became eligible." His administration has trolled for enrollees ever since he got into office.
When the narrative fails, change the narrative. Oh, look! A squirrel!
JESSE JACKSON: 'IT'S AN HONOR TO BE
A FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT'
CHICAGO February 26, 2012 (NewsBusters)
PELOSI: FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT
'BADGE OF HONOR'
CHICAGO March 24, 2012 (Breitbart TV)
Dog whistle on. Dog whistle off.
Wait a minute. [Sixty seconds later.] That means the glory goes to Mr. Bush. Bummer, Mr. O. No winning for losing.
Oh, look! A squirrel!
February 29, 2012
NYC Letter: Got That Wrong -- New York Times
Day 1,132 of CHOPE
Special Leap-Day Edition
The NYT appends a correction to the below article (via Michael Barone).
OBAMA LAYS OUT PLAN TO CUT
RELIANCE ON FUEL IMPORTS
WASHINGTON March 30, 2011 (NYT)
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 30, 2011
A previous version of this article misstated how many of the president's proposals to reduce the country's reliance on imported oil were new in his speech on Wednesday. None of them were, not one of them.
Niggling pestiferous error.
February 22, 2012
NYC Letter: Got That Wrong -- AFP
Day 1,126 of CHOPE
The AFP matched this caption...
First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes 124 middle and high school students from across the country to take part in an interactive student workshop at the White House in Washington, DC, February 21, 2012.
...with the picture below.
"That'S Been An Image That People Have Tried To Paint
Of Me Since The Day That Barack Announced
— That I'm Some Angry Black Woman."
[Picture source: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images]
[Hat tip: Weasel Zippers]
We are not so snarky as to think Mrs. Obama can't manage a friendly welcome to the White House, and we are sure the kids had a good time -- until lunch.
$15,000 a day can't buy every shot in the camera.
February 11, 2012
NYC Letter: Trust Team Barry, Part XXI -- No Opinion
Day 1,115 of CHOPE
It has been 1,017 days since the Democrat-controlled Senate has passed a budget resolution. Prominent Democrats (and here) are blasé about the delinquency. Others think it is a serious lapse in need of remedy. The White House can't say.
WASHINGTON February 7, 2012 (WaEx) - [Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke] chose not to comment on "parliamenary maneuverings," but addressed the particular effects of not having a Senate budget. "Is uncertainty about the future of the tax code, government programs, and so on, a negative for growth?" he said, rhetorically. "I think it is, because firms like to have certainty [and] like to be able to plan." He was responding to a question from Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who had asked how "the uncertainty caused by the Senate not having passed a budget" affected the economy.
It sounds like a Senate budget is pretty important to steadying the economy.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has repeatedly refused to pass a budget, which he could do even if only Democrats voted for his budget. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., recently said that "there's no excuse" for the refusal to pass a budget. "They don't want to risk the next election," he said of his party's Senate leadership.
THE WHITE HOUSE HAS NO OPINION
ABOUT WHETHER THE SENATE
SHOULD PASS A BUDGET
WASHINGTON February 8, 2012 (ABC News)
No opinion? The president is obligated to produce a budget. Surely the White House has an opinion about how that budget will be received and acted on. [Pause.] Nope. No opinion according to WH press secretary Jay Carney in the following amazing exchange.
Q: President Obama is going to be introducing his outline for a budget. Fed Chair Bernanke has said the lack of a budget having been passed by the Senate has had an adverse affect on growth because it’s created uncertainty. Harry Reid has said that he doesn’t think there’s a need to introduce a budget this year. Who do you — who does the president think is right, Harry Reid or Ben Bernanke?
CARNEY: Well, I think the president, as you noted, will be presenting his budget. That budget, it’s important to remember – and you all covered it — has spending caps set based on the Budget Control Act that was signed into law by this president last August. That spending — those spending — that spending — those spending levels represent significant cuts agreed to by Democrats and Republicans and by this president.
And his budget will reflect the need for that — will reflect those cuts, but also reflect the priorities that he thinks are very important, and, I think, the priorities that — to wrap in part of your question here — that Senator Reid believes are important as well, as do many members of the Senate and the House.
Q: So therefore, the Senate should pass a budget as well.
CARNEY: I don’t have a –
Q: I’m asking.
CARNEY: Well, I don’t have an opinion to express on how the Senate does its business with regards to this issue. The fact is because of the negotiations over the debt ceiling that resulted in the Budget Control Act, we have an unusual situation here in that the top lines for the budget going forward have already been set and agreed to by Republicans and Democrats alike.
Q: So the — I’m not actually asking your opinion, but the White House’s opinion, because it’s the White House’s –
CARNEY: Well, I mean, I don’t have a –
Q: The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president’s going to introduce one. The Fed chair says not having one is bad for growth. But the White House has no opinion about whether –
CARNEY: I have no opinion — the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.
What the president believes is important is that the Budget Control Act that was signed into law by him last year provides the top line spending caps for the coming budget, and he will obviously meet those in the budget proposal he puts forward. And he looks forward to the Senate acting on the policy initiatives contained within his budget that will reflect the priorities he laid out in the State of the Union and also will reflect the priorities he laid out when he put forward his deficit and debt reduction proposal back in September.
So I don’t — I don’t think there is any — there will be nor is there now any doubt about the president’s view on where we ought to move with the budget.
What's at issue is not how the Senate conducts its business but whether it will conduct the business it is Constitutionally enjoined to do. The White House has no opinion about that. No less a figure than the Federal Reserve Chairman has an opinion about it, but the White House has no opinion about his opinion. [Pause.] At the very least the White House might be of the opinion that the Senate fulfilling its Constitutional duties is a desired good. [Pause.] At the very least.
Que sera sera.
January 26, 2012
NYC Letter: A River In Egypt -- Chuck Schumer
Day 1,099 of CHOPE
Tuesday night Mr. Obama read another version of his 2011 SOTU speech -- minus the Solyndra brags. If you have seen Mr. Obama read any SOTU address, then you are pretty much caught up: Inherited near depression, made all the right choices, [Exciting new addition!] I killed bin Laden, work to do, God bless America and good night and good night.
The state of our Union is getting stronger.
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
WASHINGTON January 24, 2011 (White House)
January 25, 2011 (TWS) - New York senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) commented on Mitch Daniels' Republican response to the State of the Union Address at a press conference today on Capitol Hill. "The Republican speaker last night, Mitch Daniels, talked about Americans must talk about the state of the union as grave," Schumer said. "So, we think we are in great shape. We are in good shape."
Not merely good shape. Great shape. Mr. Schumer affirms the great shape of the union because he is confident you are this stupid. [Pause.] This is feeble dupery. As is apparent from his listless delivery in the video at the headline link, Mr. Schumer doesn't believe himself, and we suspect he knows you don't believe him.
The Democrat 2012 strategy is reading off the script for Weekend at Bernie's. That's a winner.
ANYTHING BUT GRAVE
Looking Great, Well, Good
[Picture credit: Michael Ramirez/IBD]
State of the rerun.
January 15, 2012
NYC Letter: Team Barry Pisses Itself
Day 1,089 of CHOPE
US MARINES ACCUSED OF WAR CRIMES
WASHINGTON January 11, 2012 (Guardian)
Oh no. This sounds very serious.
The US military command in Kabul, which was severely embarrassed last year by revelations that Americans soldiers were running a "kill squad" murdering Afghan civilians, said it would investigate the undated video, and that if it proved to be authentic, desecration of corpses would be regarded as a serious crime. Despoiling of the dead is illegal under the Geneva conventions as well as under US military law.
In the graphic short video, four soldiers in combat gear and carrying weapons are seen acting in unison as they urinate on three bloodied corpses. One of the soldiers sighs with relief, another says "yeah" and a third laughs. One remarks: "Have a great day, buddy". Another says: "Golden, like a shower".
A fifth soldier films the incident.
The video was posted anonymously on Wednesday along with a caption that said: "scout sniper team 4 with 3rd battalion 2nd marines out of camp lejeune peeing on dead talibans".
That's it. [Pause.] Marines urinating on dead Taliban. [Pause.] No, really. That's it. [Pause.] The horror of it all is condemned by the morally fastidious.
KABUL January 12, 2012 (canada.com/AFP) - President Hamid Karzai said in a statement that "the government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed" of what it called "desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans".
"This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms," said the statement.
"We expressly ask the U.S. government to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime."
The Taliban, who have made recent moves to talk an end to the war, described the apparent abuse as "an inhumane and savage act by the American soldiers in Afghanistan".
Team Barry falls in with the Taliban and condemns the "inhumane and savage act".
WASHINGTON January 12, 2012 (WaPo) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta phoned Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Thursday and promised full investigation of a video that purports to depict four U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters — a video both men condemned as deplorable.
In a separate public statement, Panetta said such behavior is "entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military" and that those responsible will be held accountable.
January 12, 2012 (Telegraph) - Mrs Clinton expressed her "total dismay" at the video and promised that those responsible would be held accountable.
"It is absolutely inconsistent with American values, with the standards of behavior that we expect from our military personnel and that you know the vast, vast majority of our military personnel, particularly our marines, hold themselves to," she said.
January 13, 2012 (Bloomberg) - Responding to a case that drew international condemnation, NCIS [scil., Naval Criminal Investigative Service] opened its probe on Jan. 11, "immediately after learning of the video’s existence," Maryann Cummings, a spokeswoman, said yesterday in a written statement. The incident raised tensions with Afghan leaders at a time when the U.S. is conducting talks with the Taliban.
The Washington Post editorializes that Mr. Bush (pointedly unnamed) is responsible for "this awful incident".
WE’RE ALL GUILTY OF DEHUMANIZING THE ENEMY
By Sebastian Junger
OP-ED January 13, 2011 (WaPo) - The U.S. military should be held to a higher standard, certainly, but it is important to understand the context of the behavior in the video. Clearly, the impulse to desecrate the enemy comes from a very dark and primal place in the human psyche. Once in a while, those impulses are going to break through.
There is another context for that behavior, though — a more contemporary one. As a society, we may be disgusted by seeing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters, but we remain oddly unfazed by the fact that, presumably, those same Marines just put high-caliber rounds through the fighters’ chests. American troops are not blind to this irony. They are very clear about the fact that society trains them to kill, orders them to kill and then balks at anything that suggests they have dehumanized the enemy they have killed.
But of course they have dehumanized the enemy — otherwise they would have to face the enormous guilt and anguish of killing other human beings.
... There is a final context for this act in which we are all responsible, all guilty. A 19-year-old Marine has a very hard time reconciling the fact that it’s okay to waterboard a live Taliban fighter but not okay to urinate on a dead one.
When the war on terror started, the Marines in that video were probably 9 or 10 years old. As children they heard adults — and political leaders — talk about our enemies in the most inhuman terms. The Internet and the news media are filled with self-important men and women referring to our enemies as animals that deserve little legal or moral consideration. We have sent enemy fighters to countries like Syria and Libya to be tortured by the very regimes that we have recently condemned for engaging in war crimes and torture. They have been tortured into confessing their crimes and then locked up indefinitely without trial because their confessions — achieved through torture — will not stand up in court.*
"This awful incident" doesn't belong on Mr. Obama's watch, it rightfully belongs on Mr. Bush's.
Progressives love to spread it around: your wealth, their compulsive guilt, and the rich manure of liberal pieties. It is almost as if you, incontinent reader, are pissing on the dead Taliban, so pervasive is the guilt. Where is our outrage? Where is our indignation? [We search our jaded heart. Nada.] Our political correctness extends only to saying that peeing on the dead is not very nice. Beyond that we defer to Allen West (R-FL, 22nd) in his open letter to TWS:
I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart [sic] and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.**
All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?***
The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.
As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.
Not to excuse this "inhumane and savage act" -- Alllah (PBUH) forfend! -- but to remind the distraught and delicate exactly who the Taliban is and why we fight it, there is this:
AFGHAN BOY SUICIDE BOMBERS
TELL HOW THEY ARE BRAINWASHED
INTO BELIEVING THEY WILL SURVIVE
Child Suicide Bombers Say They Were
Told By Their Handlers That The
"Bombs Would Not Kill Us,
Only The Americans Would Die".
KANDAHAR January 13, 2012 (Telegraph)
When disesteeming the enemy, observe the at-one-remove niceties.
* For the record, not all detainees were rendered, less were tortured. None are locked up because confessions won't stand up in court. They are locked up because America is at war with them and they pose an existential threat (and this and this). Mr. Bush indefinitely locked up enemy combatants. Mr. Obama indefinitely locks up detainees who are not our enemies, per se.
** Scott Helvenston, Jerko Zovko, Wesley J.K. Batalona and Michael R. Teague, shot, set ablaze, mutilated, dragged through the streets, and hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates.
*** Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, Texas and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Oregon, tortured, beheaded, and slaughtered near Youssifiyah by the Mujahedeen Shura Council led by al-Qaida in Iraq.
January 13, 2012
NYC Letter: Joe On The Job XVIII -- One Picture Says It All
Day 1,087 of CHOPE
Mr. Biden Fills Out The Back Rows
[Picture source: Donovan Slack/Politico]
If Team Barry wants to impress the media with its engagement with business leaders, it might put a little more effort into assembling a full house.
January 11, 2012 (Politico) - Dozens of journalists packed into the East Room at the White House today for the president's remarks on "in-sourcing," at least 60 of them lining the press risers and walls.
But what many couldn't see in press coverage of the event — held with roughly 120 executives to discuss bringing jobs back to America from overseas — were the dozens of empty seats in the audience.
At one point during Obama's speech, Vice President Joe Biden strolled to the empty section and sat in a row by himself, listening.
A White House spokeswoman, asked about the 49 empty chairs, said some invitees didn't show up.
Uh-huh. About 30% no-shows. Couldn't the White House have rustled up some supernumeraries or removed the empty chairs so that the absentees weren't so obvious? Team Barry doesn't even bother to make the effort. It's as if they've given up caring about their own appearances.
January 11, 2012
NYC Letter: Joe On The Job XVII -- Easy Peezy
Day 1,085 of CHOPE
Joe Biden swans into New Hampshire with a message for you.
January 10, 2012 (ABC News) - As Mitt Romney delivered his victory speech in New Hampshire tonight, Vice President Joe Biden told state Democrats via video teleconference that the GOP front-runner is clueless when it comes to understanding the middle class.
"He thinks it's more important for the stockholders and the shareholders and the investors and the venture capital guys to do well than for those employees to be part of the bargain," Biden said.
... As for how he and President Obama will seal the deal in November, Biden compared the challenge of defeating Republican opponents to clearing "brush" off the road.The country is ready to move. We've just got to clear the brush out of the way.
Meanwhile, Romney trained his fire on Obama-Biden in a speech to supporters who were electrified by the first-in-the-nation primary win:The president has run out of ideas. Now he’s running out of excuses. And tonight, we’re asking the good people of South Carolina to join the citizens of New Hampshire and make 2012 the year he runs out of time.
We remind you, dear ADHD-PIer, that Mr. Biden had the same blasé confidence going into the midterms, having warned the party faithful the year before that losing the House would be "the end of the road". How'd that work out?
Ignore the polls. Ignore the pundits. Ignore political realities. Ignore the future. Ignore your own discontent. Now. Go vote Obama-Biden 2012. Message delivered. Joe, over and out.
Deja vu all over again.
January 09, 2012
NYC Letter: More Sniffles For Kim Jong-il
Day 1,083 of CHOPE
After 24 days, Kim Jong-il is still dead. All of DPRK is sad.
SEOUL January 9, 2012 (Reuters) - The passing of North Korean strongman Kim Jong-il has been marked by plunging temperatures, mourning bears and now, according to North Korean state media, by flocks of magpies. State news agency KCNA reported on Monday:At around 17:30 on December 19, 2011, hundreds of magpies appeared from nowhere and hovered over a statue of President Kim Il Sung on Changdok School campus in Mangyongdae District, clattering as if they were telling him the sad news.
KCNA reported last week that a family of bears who usually hibernate through the fierce Korean winter had been seen lamenting Kim Jong-il's death. KCNA:The bears, believed to be a mother and cubs, were staying on the road, crying woefully.
... Mythmaking for Kim Jong-un [Kim Jong-il's youngest son and successor], believed to be in his late 20s, has already started. He is portrayed as the spitting image of his grandfather and has been dubbed the "genius of geniuses" in military affairs despite having no known military experience.
The snag with the Kims' apotheosis in life is their hard-to-explain wilt in death. Mr. Kim Jr. shot a 38 under par round of golf. Denying death should be child's play.
Species come out of extinction to mourn Mr. Kim.
December 23, 2011
NYC Letter: Today's Big Stupid -- Nancy Pelosi IV
Day 1,066 of CHOPE
Nancy Pelosi, dominating the big stupid.
Nancy Pelosi lives in a world made terrible by Republicans and made sweet by Democrats. It is not the world we live in -- if you are not an irredeemable Democrat, most likely it is not the world you live in -- because it is an invented world, a phony world of phony alarms and phony facts and wand-waves and easy money and phony successes.
And behind the phony claims in Ms. Pelosi's phony world are Ms. Pelosi's phony numbers. From the office of the House minority leader:
WASHINGTON December 19, 2011 (pelosi.house.gov) - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn held a press availability tonight in the Capitol calling on Republicans to pass the bipartisan compromise passed by the Senate that would extend the payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans. Below are Leader Pelosi’s opening remarks, closing statement, and a transcript of the question and answer session:And here’s what is at stake. 160 million Americans would have had a payroll tax cut, continue to have a payroll tax cut. Over 2 million people will lose their unemployment benefits if we don’t act upon the Senate resolution. 48 million Americans will lose the opportunity they have for choosing their own doctors under Medicare. This is very important. 160 million Americans, who are working, will get a tax cut. Over 2 million, who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, will now lose their benefit. And again, 48 million seniors will have something to lose in this.
... Mr. Hoyer can read a list as long as my arm about the times they have walked way, and right now they’re walking away from the middle-income tax cut for 160 million Americans.
According to the latest BLS employment survey the total civilian labor force (i.e., civilian noninstitutional population) is 153M of which only 140.5M are employed. Adding the total armed services brings the employed to 142M. To benefit from a suspension of an employment tax, a beneficiary would need to be subject to the tax. If you are not employed, you are not subject to a tax on a job you do not have. [Pause.] How to account for Ms. Pelosi's phantom 18M differential? It's not a misspeak as her office headlines the number and repeats it four times in its press release. It is a number that is meant to stand.
Ms. Pelosi got her number wrong when getting it right was as simple as the few checks required for numerous bloggers to catch it. The intriguing question is why push 160M over 140M? One hundred forty million is a sufficiently big number to carry Ms. Pelosi's talking point. Does inflating the truthful number by 12% really improve Ms. Pelosi's stridency?
As with all pronouncements from the House minority leader there is such a flood of errors, fantasies, distortions, and lies who can catch them all? Not the layers and layers of editors and fact-checkers at The Christian Science Monitor or Bloomberg/Businessweek or Forbes or CNN or CBS News or MSNBC or USA Today all of whom reported the bogus 160M number without challenge.
Gilding the lily.
December 06, 2011
NYC Letter: Today's Big Stupid -- Nancy Pelosi III
Day 1,049 of CHOPE
She's back. [A thousand groans.] Ms. Pelosi enjoyed the high perch of power. Now she is perched lower, an irrelevancy. She takes care to dress nice -- not too nice -- and has time on her hands --when not fundraising* and squeezing in the people's business.
And she's a gossip.
December 5, 2011 (The Hill) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is holding back some information on Republican Newt Gingrich that could detract from his presidential campaign, according to a report published Monday.
"One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich," Pelosi told Talking Points Memo. "When the time is right. … I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff."
Wait, aren't findings not in the public record protected by confidentiality rules of the House Select Committee on Ethics? Why, yes they are.
December 5, 2011 (therightscoop.com) - Newt today said that if Pelosi wants to disclose information about himself from when she was on the ethics committee, that the House should immediately file charges against her as that is a violation of the rules of the House:First of all I’d like to thank Speaker [sic] Pelosi for what I regard as an early Christmas gift. If she’s suggesting she’s gonna use material she developed while she was on the ethics committee, that is a fundamental violation of the rules of the House and I would hope members would immediately file charges against her the second she does it.
Nancy Pelosi served on the then-Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for three terms (102nd, 103rd, and 104th Congresses, 1991-1996 inclusive). This gets a one line mention on her CD site. In all that time, the confidential nature of committee investigations never made an impression on her. Apparently.
December 5, 2011 (ABC News) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi now says she is not sitting on a trove of opposition research on former House Speaker-turned-GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
In an interview conducted Friday and published Monday, Pelosi hinted that once the time is right she has some juicy stories to tell about her former colleague.
... But this afternoon, Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, suggested that her comments have been misconstrued beyond the leader’s intent.
"Leader Pelosi was clearly referring to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware," Hammill wrote in a statement.
That ethics report, which can be found here, examined allegations that Gingrich violated House rules by using his congressional staff to aide him on a college course he taught called "Renewing American Civilization".
Mr. Hammill is, no surprise, lying for Ms. Pelosi. The House Select Committee on Ethics Report on Mr. Gingrich runs a total of 136 printed pages, of which only 127 pages are the findings proper. Ms. Pelosi plainly claimed, "A thousand pages of his stuff." She was clearly bragging on privy knowledge and materials from her committee work. Ms. Pelosi wasn't teasing TPM's with a rehash of the public record -- TPM doesn't need a Pelosi "conversation" for that -- but her privy knowledge of the committee's investigation.
Mr. Hammill hopes you are this stupid. Ms. Pelosi is sure you are.
* According to WaPo (November 17, 2011):
Pelosi has worked overtime to take back the House — attending 311 fundraising events nationwide and bringing home $26 million for Democrats.
November 30, 2011
NYC Letter: What Does It All Mean? Part II -- Power & Influence
Day 1,043 of CHOPE
Power and influence. As president of the United States Mr. Obama has both. Yet he manages to turn this normally hand-in-glove proposition into a jarring juxtaposition.
November 2, 2011 (Forbes) - The ranking takes into account four factors. First, we measured how many people a person has power over.
... Then we looked at the financial resources controlled by each candidate...
Next we asked: Is a candidate influential in more than one arena, or sphere?
... Finally, we gave consideration to how actively the candidates wield their power.
Regaining the title of the World’s Most Powerful Man on this year’s list is President Barack Obama, who gave up the top spot last year to China’s president Hu Jintao (#3). Despite his current political weakness, Obama remains the head-of-state of the world’s largest, most dynamic economy, commander-in-chief of the planet’s deadliest military and, unofficially, the leader of the free world. Moreover, Hu’s relative power is decreasing as he starts giving up important political offices, including general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, to his successor Xi Jinping (#69).
Apparently power isn't what it's cracked up to be.
November 25, 2011 (WaEx) - President Obama ranks among the 25 "least influential people alive," according to GQ Magazine, which placed him in the company of House Speaker John Boehner and MSNBC host Ed Schultz
Forbes undoubtedly has it right and GQ is snarking.* Back off GQ. Them's our boots your pissing on.
Little influence. No little accomplishment.
* With perhaps a touch of buyer's remorse catching up to the editors.
November 23, 2011
NYC Letter: Owning OWS -- Democrats All In
Day 1,036 of CHOPE
In 2008 the Democrats swept into office promising change. There was change aplenty, yet going into 2012 the Democrats have nothing to brag on. Mr. Obama pleads he needs eight years to finish his four-year term. Bereft of popular accomplishments, Mr. Obama talks vision just the other side of December 2012. But Mr. Obama's tomorrow-morrowland sounds like more of the CHOPE he has already wrought.
It's all looking pretty desperate. What the Democrats need is a national distraction. [Dramatic soap opera organ chord.] Enter Occupy Wall Street.
God bless them for their spontaneity. It's independent ... it's young, it's spontaneous, and it's focused. And it's going to be effective.
Democrats of all stripes were early nuzzlers of OWS. Where the OWS mob was incoherent with no clear purpose, the Democrats helpfully shaped a message of the little guy against big financial interests, which the MSM cheerfully parrots. Alas, OWS is no respecter of the little guy -- or of the OWSers themselves. The OWS is a rolling horror show. It is a mob that trashes everything in its path.
To which the Democrats shrug and say, "Double-down perfect!"
November 22, 2011 (WaPo) - For weeks now, Republicans have attacked Democrats for voicing support for the Occupy Wall Street protesters, in particular faulting the DCCC for standing up for them. And the incidents of violence and excess have led some neutral commentators to predict that Dems will pay a political price if they align themselves with the movement.
So it’s interesting to see that the DCCC is sticking by Occupy Wall Street. Indeed, the DCCC is now raising money off that recent report of a GOP-connected corporate lobbying firm’s proposed smear campaign against the movement. Nancy Pelosi has authored a DCCC fundraising email that presents this as proof that Republicans are on the side of Wall Street and against Dems and the protesters.
Nancy Pelosi, you may recall, was certain -- if you believed her -- the Democrats, against all forecast odds, would retain their House majority in the 112th Congress -- right up to the catastrophic bitter end.
And Mr. Obama, abandoning his trademark re-interpretable obliquity, is now all-in with OWS, too.
A few minutes later, Obama acknowledged the Occupy protest movement again, saying:You are the reason I ran for office.
The Democrats can't control OWS but think they can control the OWS narrative in collaboration with a sympathetic press. The OWS has already made it plain they won't play to script. [Pause.] We eagerly look forward to next year's Occupy Charlotte. "God bless them."
November 21, 2011
NYC Letter: Today's Big Stupid -- Mika Brzezinski
Day 1,034 of CHOPE
This Saturday past at the Thanksgiving Family Forum, Newt Gingrich slammed the OWSers, telling them to "go get a job, right after you take a bath". If you are old enough to remember Country Joe And The Fish you will recognize Mr. Gingrich's slam as the clichéd parental exhortation at the dinner table in the 70s. Sticks and stones -- and please pass the peas.
Of course, some people -- too beautiful for this world -- are excruciatingly umbrageous to even a whiff of meanness.
November 21, 2011 (NewsBusters) - Mika Brezinski began today's Morning Joe by tearing into Newt Gingrich for his recent suggestion that Occupy protestors should "get a job, right after you take a bath." ... So strongly ran Brzezinski's rage that more than once her voice quavered and she seemed on some sort of emotional brink.MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Wow. It's really not surprising, coming from me,* but that's about the most arrogant and un-self-aware, and those are probably the only words I can use [inaudible] for any politician in this Republican field to say.
JEFFREY SACHS [income redistributionist and Columbia prof]: Disgusting.
SACHS: Absolutely disgusting. No sense of any meaning at all of this. Absolutely revolting, actually. And especially when what they're protesting against is the incredible abuse of power, the criminality on...
BRZEZINSKI: That he participated in.
SACHS: ...Wall Street and so forth that he--he has taken his millions of dollars. It's shocking!
Mr. Sachs, was born in 1954. Apparently he was cocooned from the harsh rhetoric of the 70s -- and this year's Democrat rhetoric as well (and this and this and this). [Pause.] No. Mr. Sachs was not cocooned. He is pretending outrage to push Ms. Brzezinski beyond the Morning Joe proscenium.
BRZEZINSKI: Someone needs a bath, and I don't think it's the people from Occupy Wall Street. That's all I'm going to say. [Word meter on.] I've got nothing else. I'm so disgusted by that that something horrible is going to come ... I, I, am I alone here? [Tremolo.] Am I overreacting?
Overacting, Mika. You are overacting.
I'm sickened by that ... It's fair to say he's in the 1%, correct? He's telling the 99% to take a bath and get a job? Really?
Really, I wonder how they do that right now. How, given the state of this country, how anyone's going to just get a job and take a bath. Who is this man? Who does he think he is?
Obviously Marie-Thérèse, Queen consort of France and Navarre: « Qu'ils mangent de la brioche. »
And why is he surging in the polls? I don't get it. I mean, to hear Newt Gingrich standing on literally [sic, Ms. Brzezinski means something like "unbelievably"] his high horse, after taking advantage of the system, cashing in, being the biggest, literally [sic, Ms. Brzezinski means something like "certainly"] the biggest hypocrite in the Repubican field, probably in politics today. The biggest hypocrite.
And then to cast aspersions and to speak down to these people as if -- plghhh -- they should be flipped away? It's disgusting. It's absolutely disgusting. It's a very angry way to start the show. I'm extremely sorry. But it's the first time I'd seen that. And it literally made my skin crawl. I can't believe he resonates. [Word meter off: 196 words later.]
Has Mr. Gingrich's innocuous cliché really sickened Ms. Brzezinski? Is she really disgusted? Her skin crawled? Oh, puh-leeze. "Get a job. Take a bath." These are not crushing put-downs. These are not fell psychic blows.
Ms. Brzezinski's near-tears performance is meant to bolster the MSM portrayal of the OWS as latterday Joads. If your burg has been occupied by an OWS mob, you are more likely to be nodding with Mr. Gingrich than having an empathic vomit with Ms. Brzezinski.
OWS is not a serious force for social justice. It is a conglomeration of mobs. Ms. Brzezinski takes this conglomeration seriously, which is one of oh-so-many reasons (and this and this) not to take Ms. Brzezinski seriously.
Sticks and stones, Mika! Sticks and stones!
* NewsBusters notes this alludes to her acknowledged personal animus toward Mr. Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich apparently insulted Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former National Security Adviser under Carter -- and Mika's father -- in some forum with him in the audience. Celebrity politesse dictates that insults be made at a remove, for example, on a morning talk show empaneled with agreeable bobbing heads.
November 18, 2011
NYC Letter: Department Of Worship IX -- This Church Closed
Day 1,031 of CHOPE
Not Worth Mentioning
So We Mention It Edition
One less showcase for slobbering over the Obamas. [We dab at a pretend tear.]
November 17, 2011 (NYDN) - Joy Behar’s HLN talk show will be signing off the air by the end of the year, the network announced Thursday.
... The final episode of "The Joy Behar Show" will air in mid-December, with the 10 p.m. time slot being replaced by one of HLN’s current programs.
Joy Behar is a comedienne whose funniest turns are displays of genuine outsized ignorance (and this and this and this). If you are among Ms. Behar's dozens of fans she can still be found warming a couch cushion at The View, giving the liberal deep-think on the important issues of the day (and this and this and this).
Being stupid and playing stupid are the scaffolding of the comedic arts. Alas, in Ms. Behar's case, they do double-duty as a scaffolding for her intellect.
We bid The Joy Behar Show adieu. Oh, boo hoo.
November 11, 2011
NYC Letter: Reverse-O-Bama, Part XI -- Subpoena Druthers
Day 1,024 of CHOPE
Super Reverse Reverse-O-Bama Edition
Like day follows night follows day.
November 3, 2011 (The Hill) - Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted Thursday to subpoena the White House for all internal communications related to the failed solar company Solyndra.
The subpoena escalates the ongoing battle between the White House and Republicans over a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee to Solyndra, the California solar-panel maker that filed for bankruptcy in early September, setting off a firestorm in Washington.
... Every Republican on the panel voted in favor of the subpoena and every Democrat voted against it.
Congressional oversight derives from its Constitutional charge "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." (Article I, Section 8) The Supreme Court has affirmed Congressional investigative powers severally and the means to conduct such oversight.
November 4, 2011 (FNC) - The White House on Friday all but refused to turn over the documents House Republicans have subpoenaed on bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, firing off a letter saying the request would put an "unreasonable burden on the president's ability to meet his constitutional duties."
... White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, in her letter, scolded GOP lawmakers for demanding more documents, noting the Obama administration has already turned over 85,000 pages of documents in the course of their investigation. Without explicitly refusing to comply with the subpoena, Ruemmler repeatedly described the order as "overbroad."
"The Committee's extremely broad request for documents -- now a subpoena -- is a significant intrusion on Executive Branch interests," she wrote, saying she can only conclude the subpoena was "driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation."
Oversight by its nature is an intrusion. Consider for a minute that a subpoena is a demand in law, not a supplication. Ms. Ruemmler here posits a new test for compliance, to wit:
- We have received your subpoena. After review we have determined we don't much care for its snoopy intrusions in the doings of the executive. Since no Democrat in his right mind would be part of such a subpoena served on a Democrat president, we conclude that our discomfort is sufficient to refuse said subpoena. Have a nice day.
November 10, 2011 (The Hill) - Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the chairman of the committee's investigative panel, said Thursday that the White House agreed to provide documents. But they offered no detail on whether the White House agreed to provide all internal communications, as the subpoena requested, or if they will provide documents in a narrow set of categories.
Wait, wait. Is it -- Friday night? Yes it is. [Suspenseful pause.] Time for the White House Friday night news dump.
November 11, 2011 (The Hill) - The White House on Friday rejected House Republicans' subpoena for all internal communications related to the $535 million Solyndra loan guarantee, instead providing 135 pages of documents that administration officials say meet the "legitimate oversight interests" of congressional investigators.
... An administration official said the documents offer little new insight into the loan guarantee to the failed solar panel maker.
"The Bottom line: No news here. It’s the same stuff you’ve seen before," the administration officials said. "There’s no evidence of any wrongdoing."
Because the object of a subpoena duces tecum is to obtain documents the issuing authority already has reviewed.
In a letter to top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Friday, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said the documents "do not contain evidence of favoritism to political supporters or any wrongdoing by the White House in connection with the Solyndra loan guarantee."
Ms. Ruemmler again comes up with an innovation in the procession of oversight.
- OK. Here are some documents. We have examined the documents you want to examine and they're really not very incriminating. Legal opinion here continues to assert this administration's impeccable impeccability, which should suffice to reassure you. This administration remains committed to exacting compliance with all requests that do not compromise that reassurance. Have a nice day.
Introspection as good as inspection.
October 15, 2011
NYC Letter: A Little Bit Of History Repeating -- 1939
Day 997 of CHOPE
Super Abrupt Needle Scratch Edition
On August 23, 1939 Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop inked the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union. It didn't work out.
October 14, 2011 (WaPo) - President Obama and his team have decided to turn public anger at Wall Street into a central tenet of their reelection strategy.
The move comes as the Occupy Wall Street protests gain momentum across the country and as polls show deep public distrust of the nation’s major financial institutions.
So the brainiacs at Campaign Barry and the DNC are co-opting OWS. Brilliant. Hey, how about you own this.
NAZIS AND COMMUNISTS THROW THEIR SUPPORT
BEHIND OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENTS
BLOG October 15, 2011 (Gateway Pundit)
OCCUPY LA PROTESTER:
'ZIONIST JEWS' WHO RUN BANKS SHOULD BE
'RUN OUT OF THIS COUNTRY'
October 15, 2011 (Breitbart TV)
(A) They're carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare.
(B) God bless them for their spontaneity. It's independent ... it's young, it's spontaneous, and it's focused. And it's going to be effective.
Nancy "Speaker No More" Pelosi (D-CA, 8th),
(A) on hearsay stepping in Godwin's Law,
characterizing the Tea Party Movement
SAN FRANCISCO August 5, 2009 (Newsmax/RCP)
(B) characterizing the Occupy Someplace movement
WASHINGTON October 6, 2011 (TWS)
Back to the WaPo article for a minute.
"We intend to make it one of the central elements of the campaign next year," Obama senior adviser David Plouffe said in an interview. "One of the main elements of the contrast will be that the president passed Wall Street reform and our opponent and the other party want to repeal it.
"I’m pretty confident 12 months from now, as people make the decision about who to go vote for, the gut check is going to be about, ‘Who would make decisions more about helping my life than Wall Street?’ " Plouffe added.
This is what you will be gut-checking, according to Mr. Plouffe.
Christopher J. Dodd (D-CN),
No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we’ve done something that has been needed for a long time.
3 House terms, 5 Senate terms, 36 years total, retiring
teary-eyed plutocrat commenting on the unsprung mysteries
of the 2,300-page financial reform bill
WASHINGTON June 26, 2010 (WaPo)
Christopher J. Dodd (D-CN),
UPDATE 10.16.11: A little bonus for the intrepid few who make it down this far.
NYC Letter: OK-By-Me Racism -- Goldie Taylor
Day 997 of CHOPE
As we remark elsewhere, it is not enough to be born black to be black. You must be certified black. And to be certified you must "think black", which ironically requires no thinking at all, just the embrace of the established agitprop of your black betters. To wit.
October 14, 2011 (RCP) - Goldie Taylor, writer for a website called The Grio, said if given the chance, Herman Cain would "shed" his skin color to appease conservative white voters. Taylor and other contributors to TheGrio.com appear frequently on MSNBC to discuss issues dealing with race.
... [Martin Bashir], the host, accused Cain of wanting to be white in order to please the "base" of white voters:Bashir: Goldie you're almost saying that he's trying to denude and diminish his own ethnicity in order to win that base.
Taylor: That's exactly what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that if he could shed his ethnicity today, if he could become what I would call the color of water, he would do it. He would do it in an effort to prove that he, and people just like him could fit in anywhere and have the same level of success no matter what their race, ethnicity, or gender happened to be. That just doesn't happen to be the case. And so would he shed it? I think he would.
And why does Ms. Taylor think this? Because Mr. Cain is not black like Ms. Taylor, whose negritude consists of a collection of unchallengeable opinions. Forever preserved in amber.
Not black like me.
October 11, 2011
NYC Letter: Evolving Views On The Left -- Nancy Pelosi Redux
Day 993 of CHOPE
Special Poor Man's Link-rich OWS Edition
(A) This initiative is funded by the high end - we call call it astroturf, it's not really a grassroots movement. It's astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class.
(B) God bless them for their spontaneity. It's independent ... it's young, it's spontaneous, and it's focused. And it's going to be effective.
Nancy "Speaker No More" Pelosi (D-CA, 8th),
(A) characterizing the Tea Party movement
SAN FRANCISCO April 15, 2009 (TPM)
(B) characterizing the Occupy Someplace movement
WASHINGTON October 6, 2011 (TWS)
Let's walk Nancy through this ever so slowly.
"OCCUPY WALL STREET"
UNIONS PLEDGE SUPPORT
September 30, 2011 (Slate)
MOVEON.ORG MOVES IN ON
'OCCUPY WALL STREET' PROTESTS
October 3, 2011 (TDC)
HELP WFP #OCCUPYWALLSTREET
AND GET PAID $350 TO $650 A WEEK
BLOG October 6, 2011 (yourdaddy.net)
"It's young". Oh, please, Nancy, put away the bellbottoms.
Occupy Wall Street is in its fourth week, Nancy. The hype:
NEW YORK September 16, 2011 (CNN) - Occupy Wall Street is a "leaderless resistance movement" spearheaded by activist magazine Adbusters. Organizers want people to swarm into lower Manhattan on September 17 and set up camp for two months, then "incessantly repeat one simple demand."
What's that demand? They haven't decided yet.
The very next day:
HUNDREDS OF PROTESTERS
DESCEND TO 'OCCUPY WALL STREET'
NEW YORK September 17, 2011 (CNN)
NEW YORK September 18, 2011 (NYPost) - Only about 300 protesters, mostly college kids and aging hippies, showed up near the Stock Exchange for yesterday’s anti-Wall Street rally -- far fewer than the 20,000 that organizers of the so-called global “Day of Rage” had predicted.
OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTEST,
SWELLED BY RADIOHEAD HOAX,
MARCHES ON NYPD HQ, BUT GETS LOST
NEW YORK September 30, 2011 (NYDN)
'YOU’RE A BUM, JEW'; MAN BERATED BY
'OCCUPY WALL STREET' PROTESTER
October 4, 2011 (Breitbart TV)
BLAMES THE DIRTY RICH JEWS
October 5, 2011 (Twitter)
"OCCUPY WALL STREET" PROTESTER
SPEWS VILE ANTI-SEMITISM:
"THE JEWS CONTROL WALL STREET
F*CK THE JEWS, F*CK ISRAEL"
BLOG October 5, 2011 (Weasel Zippers/YouTube)
#OCCUPYWALLSTREET CULT CHANT:
'YOU CAN HAVE SEX WITH ANIMALS'
October 11, 2011 (Breitbart TV)
"And it's going to be effective."
CHEERING ECONOMIC TERRORISM –
SEIU GETTING READY TO ‘TERRIFY’ DC
October 5, 2011 (Blaze)
WALL STREET OCCUPIER SIGN:
"QUEER KIDS: KILL YOUR PARENTS"
BLOG October 6, 2011 (Weasel Zippers via rebelpundit)
'KILL THE COPS!' SHOUT REPORTED
DURING 'OCCUPY NEW ORLEANS' PROTEST
October 7, 2011 (TDC)
OCCUPIERS DEPICT DECAPITATION
OF GOLDMAN SACHS CEO
BLOG October 8, 2011 (Weasel Zippers)
Maybe Nancy isn't up on the news.
October 11, 2011 (TDC) - While reporters at first didn’t always cover tea party rallies, [Sal Russo, a strategist with the California-based group Tea Party Express] said, a California newspaper has recently been putting stories about the Occupy Wall Street on its front page. "The Sacramento Bee actually had a front-page story before the rally, telling people where it was and what time it was," Russo said.
... While there have been news stories about some of the more negative attributes of the Occupy Wall Street protests, these conservative activists say it’s nothing in comparison to the scrutiny the media applied to tea partiers.
"While a number of people have been arrested and there is even a photo of a protester defecating on a police car, there still is no really negative coverage from the mainstream media," [Judson Phillips, the leader of the Tennessee-based group Tea Party Nation] said. "Meanwhile, protesters in New York had a photoshopped image of the decapitated head of the chairman of Goldman Sachs on a pike and no one seems to be talking about that," he said.
The clueless Democrats think this is their lucky break, that unhappy white kids with unpaid student loans will turn the national mood to their advantage like the anti-war movement of the 60s and 70s. Except in the 60s and 70s the unhappy white kids did not turn the national mood against the war in Vietnam. Walter Cronkite did that after misreporting the Tet Offensive.
WASHINGTON October 10, 2011 (ABC News) - The spread of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement was met with initial hesitation in both the Democratic and Republican parties. That might be an appropriate response to any protests aimed squarely at the establishment, particularly those with goals that are diverse and diffuse as those of the protesters.
But a consensus is emerging among Democrats that the "Occupy" movement is worth tapping into, even helping along and joining with in some instances.
"I support the message to the establishment," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on ABC's "This Week." "Change has to happen. We cannot continue in a way that does not -- that is not relevant to their lives. People are angry."
To Democrats eager for a liberal antidote to the Tea Party energy that lifted Republicans to power last year, the "Occupy" rallies that started in New York last month and have spread to cities nationwide are tempting to embrace.
Democrats are so befogged by their own desperate class rhetoric they can't grasp why the Occupy Someplace folk will not resonate with the larger public. Here are some reasons. First, a "leaderless" movement is either a fraud or a folly. Second, this is the nasty flip-side of the bailouts and just as ill-conceived, a government remedy to regulate the distribution of profit. Third, OWS has a visible, noisy antisemitic, and violent element to it. Fourth, the OWS manifesto seeks to create a privileged underclass. What is included here that wasn't rejected by voting Democrats out last November is too dopey for middle America ever to embrace.
The Democrats are going to be chagrined to discover OWS isn't Main Street.
Giddy with Tea Party envy.
October 07, 2011
NYC Letter: Dodging The Counterfactual World -- Nancy Pelosi
Day 990 of CHOPE
The counterfactual world is the last retreat of failed policy. In such a counterfactual world everything is worse. The sky has fallen. Misery rules. Disaster strikes everywhere. The only thing preventing the counterfactual world being visited on you is some policy that -- although failed in its original purposes -- miraculously has twisted itself around to beat back the terrible imaginings of the counterfactual world.
The beauty of the counterfactual world is, because it doesn't exist, it only needs meet a standard of the possible (unlike the real world where hypotheticals are held to a standard of what's reasonable). In politics the counterfactual world must be horrific enough to push back policy criticisms but not so ridiculously horrific that it exhausts credulity. [Pause.] Then again, sometimes the ridiculous is all you have. To wit.
PELOSI SAYS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
WOULD HAVE HIT 14.5%
WITHOUT 2009 STIMULUS
October 6, 2011 (TWS)
Fourteen point five percent? And that would be based on what exactly? Oh, nothing really. Just some big, scary number Ms. Pelosi has reached down and pulled from her nether wink to make us grateful for 9%+ unemployment. Oooh, so glad the Dems passed the stimulus. Oooh. Yeah. You may recall that Ms. Pelosi is stymied by numbers and arithmetic processes. You don't? We do. Here and here and here and here.
And let me be very clear: A lower job rate loss is not our goal. "Less bad" is not how we're going to measure success -- we're going to measure success here in the White House.
REMARKS ON THE ECONOMY
WASHINGTON June 5, 2009 (White House)
Removing the "less bad" yardstick completely spoils Ms. Pelosi's counterfactual brag.
Here is Ms. Pelosi's rambling surreal reply in full.
Q: Madame Leader ... do you think the Jobs Act will be more or less successful than the Recovery Act at creating jobs? And secondly, what do you think are the most significant differences between Jobs Act and the Recovery Act?
PELOSI: Well, let me just say that as a matter of fact that the Recovery Act saved* millions of jobs--or saved* or created millions of jobs for our economy. Without the Recovery Act and accompanying federal interventions, whether from the Fed, or cash for clunkers, or other initiatives, the unemployment rate last year at the time of the election would have been fourteen and a half percent, not nine and a half percent.** But if you're a voter and you don't have a job that doesn't mean anything to you, and that's right, because nine and a half percent is too high. But we were near a depression under the Bush economic policies. We were in a depression, we were in a meltdown under our fiscal situation. And we had deep, deep deficits. And now we have to dig out of that. So I believe the recovery package was a success in terms of job creation. It wasn't fully appreciated. The fact is that it made a big difference. It made a big difference in helping us have a running start on electronic medical records,*** which are going to be job creators and improve quality of care, lower cost, expand access, and, again, create jobs.
Four million jobs will be created by the health care bill and the associated initiatives like what was in the Recovery package on health care alone. So I think it was a success.
This is a much smaller package. But the president says it will create 1.9--not the president but those who... What is it? The CBO, whatever--have said 1.9 million jobs. That's a good start. But hopefully it will have an explosive effect that people with jobs will become consumers who help create jobs. Which takes us back to small businesses which is what we think if people have jobs and we have more consumers, our small businesses will thrive. People will be more entrepreneurial, take risks, keep us competitive, whether it's talking about making chocolate candy comes to mind, or children's clothes, or high-tech inventions in their garage as Steve Jobs did those decades ago.
Ms. Pelosi generously provides more nonsense than we can slog through here, so we'll stick with the jobs nonsense.
When Mr. Obama took office there were 11.6 million unemployed persons; the unemployment rate was 7.6%; the labor force participation rate was 65.5%; the employment-population ratio was 60.5 %; and the employed civilian labor force was 142,099,000.
Today there are 14.0 million unemployed (+2.4M); the unemployment rate is 9.1% (+1.5%); the labor force participation rate is 64.2% (-1.3%); the employment-population ratio is 58.3% (-2.2%); and the employed civilian labor force is 140,025,000 (-2.074M). (Change from 2009 in parens.)
After $862B of stimulus, each of today's metrics that Ms. Pelosi would have us expect to be up is down, each we'd expect to be down is up. [Pause.] We do not share Ms. Pelosi's confidence that electronic medical records and making chocolate candy are going to close a 2.4M jobs gap to get us back to January 2009.
Here is the bottom line, Mr. Obama had an 8M job loss problem. The most Team Barry claims in terms of job rescue is 3M jobs created or saved.* That leaves a 5M job loss problem, for which he is proposing a rosy 1.9M job solution. That leaves a 3.1M job loss problem -- if his stimulus creates any near-term jobs at all. It seems obvious to us that if you start with an 8M job loss problem you need an 8M job loss solution. Whittle 8M to 5M, you now need a 5M job loss solution.
The Democrats haven't produced the jobs, yet Ms. Pelosi wants to be applauded for sparing us her grim counterfactual fantasy.
Shooing the 14.5% boogeyman.
* Tiresome but obligatory reminder, there is no metric for Team Barry's "saved" jobs claims (and this).
*** Electronic medical records is an automated process. Mr. Obama believes automation is a jobs killer. Just saying.
September 30, 2011
NYC Letter: Pants On Fire XIV -- Nancy Pelosi
Day 983 of CHOPE
There Is No Higher Rating
Ms. Pelosi spends a lot of time lying, and yet she is not very good at it. Mostly she is not very clever about lying (and this and this and this). She is not very clever about lying because she thinks you are utterly stupid. You are so utterly stupid any old lie will do -- Ha! -- you'll never catch her out. Her contempt for your intelligence is boundless (oh, and this). To wit.
Back in May Ms. Pelosi posted the below chart (sans word balloons) on her Flickr site. It was later re-posted to MoveOn.org. This fantastic chart shows Mr. Bush (43) increasing the debt seven-to-one over Mr. Obama.
New Spin On Old Spin
PolitiFact debunked the chart's conceptual design, data selection, and an assortment of errors, concluding:
We find so much wrong with this chart that we don’t think it contains any significant approximation of the truth. It made a major calculation error that dramatically skewed the debt increase away from Obama and toward George W. Bush. It glossed over significant variations in time served in office. It cherry-picked the measurement that was favorable to its cause. And it is contradicted by statistics for GDP-adjusted debt, which show Obama to be the most, rather than the least, debt-creating president of the last five. None of this suggests that Obama can’t turn things around as the economy improves (and Democrats can also take some solace in the fact that Bill Clinton did remarkably well in all of our measurements). But in communicating which administrations contributed the most to growth of the debt, this chart is a failure. We rate it Pants on Fire.
MoveOn.org never removed the chart from its Web site and now this same chart is back via Facebook.
The Fact Checker
A BOGUS CHART ON OBAMA AND THE DEBT
GETS A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
WASHINGTON September 29, 2011 (WaPo) - The person who posted this on Facebook noted: “From the US Treasury Dept — any questions?” But it actually is not a Treasury Department calculation, just manipulated data taken from the Treasury Web site.
... If the chart actually used public debt rather than gross debt, it would have put Obama and George W. Bush virtually in the same league — 60 percent increase (as of September 2011) for Obama versus 70 percent for Bush — even though Bush served as president much longer.
... If the chart were recast to show how much the debt went up as a percentage of GDP, it would look pretty bad for Obama after not even three years in office. In fact, Obama does almost twice as poorly as Reagan — and four times worse than George W. Bush.
Reagan: plus 14.9 percentage points
GHW Bush: plus 7.1 percentage points
Clinton: down 13.4 percentage points
GW Bush: plus 5.6 percentage points
Obama: plus 24.6 percentage points
... If MoveOn.org or Pelosi’s office had any sense of shame, they would have quietly removed this chart from the Web when PolitiFact gave it a “pants on fire” rating four months ago. The fact that an outdated version is still floating around — and that people are still deluded into thinking it to be correct — is doubly shameful.
Misinformation for the sheeple.
September 29, 2011
NYC Letter: Joe On The Job XIV -- What's Relevant
Day 982 of CHOPE
There’s a lot of people in Florida that have good reason to be upset because they’ve lost jobs. Even though 50 some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant. What’s relevant is we’re in charge. And right now we are the ones in charge and it’s gotten better but it hasn’t gotten good enough. And in states like Florida, it’s even been more stagnant because of the real estate market. And so I don’t blame them for being mad. We’re in charge. So they're angry.
Mr. Obama is in a hole and true to his over-used ass-backwards metaphor, he keeps trying to dig his way out, which, of course, has buried him still deeper in his hole.
Over at Gallup, Mr. Obama is losing to "generic Republican"* by 8 points (38%/46%). More disapprove (51%) than approve (40%) of his job performance. The economic outlook is miserable (Getting better 20%/Getting worse 75%). Economic conditions are rated lousy (Excellent-good 8%/Poor 55%). And 6 in 10 do not expect economy to improve soon. Count us among the downers.
And then there is this:
POLL September 29, 2011 (Gallup) - Democrats' muted response to voting in 2012 also contrasts with Republicans' eagerness. Nearly 6 in 10 Republicans, 58%, describe themselves as more enthusiastic about voting. That is nearly identical to Republicans' average level of enthusiasm in 2004 (59%) and higher than it was at most points in 2008.
... Democrats' net enthusiasm (+1) now trails Republicans' net enthusiasm (+28) by 27 percentage points. By contrast, Democrats held the advantage on net enthusiasm throughout 2008 -- on several occasions, by better than 40-point margins. Democrats occasionally trailed Republicans in net enthusiasm in 2004, but never by as much as is seen today.
... While Gallup has not been able to establish a statistical link between heightened enthusiasm and greater turnout in past elections, the party with the enthusiasm advantage generally tends to fare better.
To the last point, duh.
Elsewhere the Federal Reserve chairman has declared unemployment a "national crisis". Last month Standard & Poor's downgraded American credit for the first time in the history of the republic. This month the IMF cut its outlook for American GDP growth 40% in 2011 to 1.5% from 2.5% and 33% in 2012 to 1.8% from 2.7%.
And despite all that, Mr. Obama keeps digging.
Mr. Biden has come late to owning the Obama economy. Not so the DNC chair who doesn't want you mistaking any part of Mr. Obama's economy for Republican handiwork.
* Over at Rasmussen, "generic Republican" has beaten Mr. Obama 12 weeks running. Since Rasmussen began the weekly hypothetical match-up in May, "generic Republican" has outpolled Mr. Obama 18 weeks, tied once, and lost twice.
September 26, 2011
NYC Letter: Today's Big Stupid -- AttackWatch
Day 979 of CHOPE
Special "Schild und Schwert der Partei"* Edition
Welcome to AttackWatch, Campaign Barry's new snitch site.
September 14, 2011 (WaPo) - As the 2012 presidential campaign heats up, President Obama’s campaign team has set up a new Web site, AttackWatch.com, to challenge negative statements about the president made by Republican presidential candidates and conservatives.
... The response to the site has been less than stellar.
On Twitter, where the Web site has an account to help Obama supporters submit evidence of “attacks” on the president using the hashtag #attackwatch, nearly every tweet about the site — mostly from conservatives — has ridiculed it.
... It’s safe to say that in its 24 hours of existence, Attack Watch has already backfired, becoming a tool for conservatives to use against Obama 2012.
September 15, 2011 (NYPost) - President Obama’s campaign team has trotted out AttackWatch.com, a spooky new Web site that asks followers to report "lies" being told about the president. The apparent point is to drown out opposition to Obama and his policies by encouraging instant cyber-swarms aimed squarely at the critics.
... Online satirist IowaHawk wrote, "I’m grateful to live in a country where the totalitarians are so hilariously inept."
September 16, 2011 (IBD) - Calling on readers to "Get the facts. Fight the Smears," about President Obama's record, [AttackWatch.com] actually encourages all Americans to become snitches for Obama. That mimics the 2008 Obama campaign's "FightTheSmears.com" site, as well as the George Soros-funded MediaMatters.com. AttackWatch asks readers to "report" the "lies," presumably so the Obama team won't have to Google its own record.
On Twitter, this pompous, conspiracy-minded premise has managed only to attract an outburst of humor.
- "Watch out, monthly jobless report. @AttackWatch is onto you," tweeted SECupp.
- "I'd like to report my neighbour — Bob, for surreptitiously scraping the Obama sticker off the bumper of his Prius," tweeted AmeriPundit.
- "I saw 6 ATM's in an alley, killing a job. It looked like a hate crime!" tweeted ThorInAZ.
- "I just parked my private jet in a handicap space, left it running & bought lemonade from little girls in yard w/o a permit!" tweeted TheWrightWingy2.
These comments are the logical result of a presidency trying to dictate how people live, refusing to admit its economic policy has failed and fostering the sort of big-government socialist bent that believes in citizen snitches.
All it's done is backfire.
Allahpundit at Hot Air is running a dead pool in the comments thread here for when Campaign Barry pulls the site. Since this is all Campaign Barry has to counter its critics -- other than MSNBC -- the site will probably be left to wither on the Internet.
The Campaign Spot
WATCHING ATTACK WATCH...
DO NOTHING FOR THE PAST NINE DAYS.
September 23, 2011 (NRO) - The creators and managers of the Obama campaign web site “ATTACK WATCH” have not Tweeted since September 14, and the last “Attack File” was posted September 12. ... Yup, cleared the shark easily.
The surest sign that AttackWatch is a flop? The parody videos (Hat tip: Carine) that have gone viral, reducing the original to a mere point of reference. Our favorite is Hitler in the bunker ripping the AttackWatch Web design team.
"It Will Be In The Cloud Forever..."
View video here.
Report this site.
September 25, 2011
NYC Letter: The Accidental Truth XI -- Covering The Bases
Day 978 of CHOPE
Mr. Obama wants to raise taxes. Economists, small businesses, and politicians do not favor raising taxes during a recession, or, as Team Barry would have you believe, a recession in the guise of a recovery.
The 2009 beta version of Mr. Obama was of that opinion.
Q: Explain how raising taxes on anyone during a deep recession is going to help with the economy. And he's [town hall questioner] going to want you to look at historical markers where this has been, where you would say this has been a helpful thing...
Q: ...at a recession.
First of all, he's right. Normally you don't raise taxes in recession, which is why we haven't.* [Chuckle.] And why we instead cut taxes. So, I guess what I'd say to Scott is, his economics are right. You don't raise taxes in a recession. We haven't raised taxes in a recession.*
Q: But you might for health care. You might for the high, the wealthy.
The-a, we have not proposed a tax hike for the wealthy that would take effect in the middle of a recession. Even the proposals that have come out of Congress, which by the way were different from the proposals I put forward, still wouldn't kick in till after the recession was over. So, he's absolutely right. The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would suck up, take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.
answering half a question**
WAKARUSA, Indiana August 5, 2009 (YouTube/NBC News)
More recently Mr. Obama demurred on raising taxes till after you re-elect him.
So when you hear folks saying, well, the President shouldn’t want massive, job-killing tax increases when the economy is this weak -- nobody is looking to raise taxes right now. We're talking about potentially 2013 and the out-years.
running on a promise to raise your taxes
WASHINGTON July 11, 2011 (White House)
A difficulty with policy flux is keeping your demagoguery straight.
(A) Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires. That’s pretty straightforward. It’s hard to argue against that. Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it.
( B) And all I’m saying is that everything should be fair. ... So all I’m saying is that Warren Buffett’s secretary should not be paying a lower [sic] tax rate on her income than Warren Buffett. (Applause.) That doesn’t make any sense.
perpetrating the fairy tale of
Mr. Buffet's unfairly taxed secretary
(A) REMARKS ON ECONOMIC GROWTH
AND DEFICIT REDUCTION
WASHINGTON September 19, 2011 (White House)
REMARKS ON THE AMERICAN JOBS ACT
CINCINNATI, Ohio September 22, 2011 (White House)
The quotes are as given by the White House. Please note the (B) quote is applauded and the (A) quote is not.
So Mr. Obama's position is he has been both for and against tax hikes in a weak economy, but is currently for them. When this proves unpopular, he will be against them again. [Pause.] For more of the same, vote him back in 2012.
For. Against. On. Off. Depending.
** The answer to the second half of the question can be found here.
September 21, 2011
NYC Letter: Joe On The Job XIII -- Malarkey!
Day 974 of CHOPE
Special Walkback Preview Edition
America's most unaccomplished president looses his political whore on a weary nation.
'JUST GO BE JOE':
OBAMA LETS BIDEN LOOSE
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
September 20, 2011 (The Hill)
And off he goes.
SOLON, Ohio September 20, 2011 (Politico) - A few weeks ago, it was the White House urging compromise and bipartisan cooperation.
"I need you to send a message to folks in Washington," Obama said at a town hall meeting Aug. 17 in Atkinson, Ill. "Stop drawing lines in the sand; stop engaging in rhetoric instead of actually getting things done. It’s time to put country ahead of party; it’s time to worry more about the next generation than the next election."
But that was then, and now Republicans are sounding like jilted prom dates. Mr. Biden on the jobs bill, after touring a shrink-wrap factory:We are not prepared to take no for an answer.
Mr. Biden talks tough like Team Barry holds a winning hand.
POLL September 21, 2011 (USA Today) - Americans' pessimism about the economy and its future is deepening, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and they are increasingly willing to hold President Obama responsible for hard times.
Eight of 10 say the economy is in a recession, and nearly as many say it hasn't improved over the past year. Even more ominous: Six in 10 predict the economy a year from now will be the same or worse than today, a downturn from the public's views last year and the year before.
... Twenty-four percent say Obama deserves a great deal of the blame, up 10 points since 2009. For the first time since he took office, a majority of Americans — including six in 10 independents — say he deserves a great deal or moderate amount of blame for the nation's economic woes.
Mr. Obama's jobs plan as presented has no chance of passing Congress. Mr. Obama knows this, though Mr. Biden may not grasp it. But Mr. Biden will carry any message he's told to carry. Today's message is "No". If Mr. Obama decides he really wants to pass a jobs bill (highly doubtful), Mr. Biden will be happy to peddle "Yes". Mr. Biden has already demonstrated there is no principled position he will not walkback if told to do so. To wit.
WASHINGTON August 25, 2010 (AP) - A series of sweeping tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush are set to expire in January. The Obama administration wants to renew only those tax breaks that affect middle-class and lower income taxpayers, those with incomes under $250,000. Republicans want the tax cuts extended for all wage-earners.
Vice President Joe Biden says Republican assertions that small businesses would suffer if all of the expiring Bush tax cuts aren't extended are a "bunch of malarkey."
October 22, 2010 (WaPo) - The White House is ready to do a deal with Republicans to keep tax cuts in place for the middle class, according to Vice President Biden - even if it means expanding the universe of taxpayers who benefit.
... And some liberal Democrats have begun to balk at any extension, saying they didn't vote for the tax cuts when they passed in 2001 and 2003 and don't see why they should vote for them now.
Such talk has raised the possibility that Congress could let all the cuts expire. But Biden seemed to dismiss that prospect in the Bloomberg interview. He also defended the president's position, arguing that the nation should not sink more deeply into debt to provide tax breaks to millionaires.
Yipes! Mr. Obama goes and cedes all the Bush tax cuts to the Republicans. Who can Mr. Obama deputize to sell the walkback to pissed Democrats?
December 6, 2011 (The Hill) - Vice President Joe Biden will go to Capitol Hill Tuesday to sell Democrats on the tentative deal President Obama struck with congressional Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years.
... The tentative deal would extend all of the Bush tax cuts for a period of two years and federal unemployment benefits through the end of 2011.
... Biden has emerged as Obama’s chief flack in dealing with angry Democrats, who began reacting to rumors of a deal last week. The vice president will try to cash in on some of the goodwill he earned during the campaign by traveling across the country to stump and raise money for Democratic incumbents.
All in a day's political whoring.
The messenger boy.
September 15, 2011
NYC Letter: Mr. Obama's Awesome Jobs Plan -- Where's The Love?
Day 968 of CHOPE
Super Important Jobs Bill Love Edition
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Barack!
I love you back. (Applause.) But first -- but if you love me -- if you love me, you got to help me pass this bill. (Applause.) If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill. (Applause.) It starts with your help. ... Already, you’ve got some Republicans in Washington who have said that some of this stuff may have to wait until the next election.
REMARKS AT NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
RALEIGH September 14, 2011 (White House)
Mr. Obama implored a joint session of Congress, in a petulant do-my-bidding sort of way, 17* times to pass his jobs bill. It was so important that he urged passage 4 days before he actually delivered the bill to Congress and two weeks before presenting the offsets for its
$450B $650B price tag (hint, begins with "T" -- no spending cuts -- and ends with "AXES"). And foot-dragging obstructionist push-grandma-off-the-cliff Republicans threaten to hold up passage. [Abrupt needle scratch.] Oh. Wait.
September 14, 2011 (Politico) - As he demands Congress quickly approve his ambitious proposal aimed at reviving the sagging economy, many Democrats on Capitol Hill appear far from sold that the president has the right antidote to spur major job growth and turn around their party’s political fortunes.
"Terrible," Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. "We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there."
"That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that," said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu from the energy-producing Louisiana, referring to Obama’s elimination of oil and gas subsidies. "Maybe it’s just for his election, which I hope isn’t the case."
... "There is serious discomfort with potentially setting up Social Security as a fall guy because you’re taking this contribution out," said Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, referring to Obama’s proposal to further slash payroll taxes.
... [Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)]: "On the pay-fors, I have a problem."
WASHINGTON September 14, 2011 (NYT) - President Obama anticipated Republican resistance to his jobs program, but he is now meeting increasing pushback from his own party. Many Congressional Democrats, smarting from the fallout over the 2009 stimulus bill, say there is little chance they will be able to support the bill as a single entity, citing an array of elements they cannot abide.
"I think the American people are very skeptical of big pieces of legislation," Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, said in an interview Wednesday, joining a growing chorus of Democrats who prefer an à la carte version of the bill despite White House resistance to that approach. "For that reason alone I think we should break it up."
Team Barry is not going to like that. Surely Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) can get his members behind the president's bill. And pronto. Because it's urgent.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, has said he will put the bill on the legislative calendar but has declined to say when. He almost certainly will push the bill — which Mr. Obama urged Congress to pass “right now!” — until after his chamber’s recess at the end of the month; Mr. Reid has set votes on disaster aid, extensions for the Federal Aviation Administration and a short-term spending plan ahead of the jobs bill.
And bike paths. The Senate must act quickly on the bike path crisis the nation faces.
[Plaintive. Whiny.] Where's the love?
September 13, 2011
NYC Letter: Soaring Oratory X -- Bow Wow
Day 966 of CHOPE
Psalm 46:9 (KJV)
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
Psalm 46:9 (KJV)
Sunday Mr. Obama read Psalm 46 at the Ground Zero commemoration. No big words. Cantabile. An easy read. Average reading comprehension suffices. [Pause.] A read-through before delivery is still a good idea.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air does the carve up:
I noticed this on Sunday, and so did Jim Hoft,...that the President didn’t read through Psalm 46 carefully before reading it aloud at the Ground Zero commemoration of 9/11.
"Bow" is pronounced with a long O when discussing the weapon, rhyming naturally with "arrow," which is the context for God breaking the bow and spear. "Bow" in the way Obama pronounces it here means a gesture of bending at the waist, or the front of a boat. (One could include the homophone for a tree branch, but “bough” is spelled differently.) Had the President read through the Psalm for comprehension before addressing the crowd, he would have known which context of “bow” to use, and pronounced it accordingly.
As Jim says, "It sure is a good thing his last name isn’t Bush."
In reading "...he breaketh the bow (bou)...", perhaps Mr. Obama had this (or this or this) in mind, a reading derivative of his experience. But countless flubs, errors, howlers, gaffes (and these), gibberish, clichés, blanks, and "misspeaks" cannot blind Mr. Obama's fans to his fabulous oratorical brilliance.
September 10, 2011
NYC Letter: Big Important Jobs Speech -- Tune Out
Day 963 of CHOPE
Big Jobs Plan Speech Morning-After After Edition
It was a speech so historic it required a joint session of Congress to sit witness. A speech so urgent it was shuttled to the Wheel Of Fortune time slot. So crucial Harry Reid scheduled votes before and after to frustrate truants. So extraordinary no response was necessary.
The American people shouldn’t be forced to watch some politician they don’t want to listen to and frankly, most of them would rather watch a football game.
Mr. Boehner calls it. The American people didn't watch.
September 9, 2011 (WaEx) - President Obama’s jobs speech represented the lowest ratings he’s received for any address to a joint session of Congress of his presidency.
The speech garnered 31.5 million viewers, according to the website TVbythenumbers, which was slightly lower than his Sept. 2009 health care speech to Congress, which drew 32.1 million viewers and is probably the fairest comparison.
But viewed against other addresses to Congress, it looks worse, and is part of a broader downward trend. During his first speech to a joint session of Congress in February 2009, Obama drew 52.4 million viewers. His first official State of the Union Address on January 2010 drew 48 million viewers and this year’s SOTU had 42.8 million.
Presidential addresses to Congress are often dramatic moments. This one felt like a sideshow. Usually, the press gallery is standing-room-only; this time, only 26 of 90 seats were claimed by the deadline. Usually, some members arrive in the chamber hours early to score a center-aisle seat; 90 minutes before Thursday’s speech, only one Democrat was so situated.
... Almost all Republicans ignored the calls of some within their ranks to boycott the speech. In fact, the empty seats were on the Democratic side.
Gone are Mr. Obama's heady SRO days.
For those who did attend or watch, Mr. Obama lifted their spirits with his trademark policy humor.
"You should pass this jobs plan right away!" Obama exhorted. Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) chuckled.
"Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary — an outrage he has asked us to fix," Obama went on. Widespread laughter broke out on the GOP side of the aisle.
"This isn’t political grandstanding," Obama said. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI, 1st) guffawed.
"This isn’t class warfare," Obama said. More hysterics on the right.
"We’ve identified over 500 [regulatory] reforms, which will save billions of dollars," the president claimed. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA, 7th) and Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA, 22nd) giggled.
Thanks for the laughs.
September 09, 2011
NYC Letter: Big Important Jobs Speech -- Foirade*
Day 962 of CHOPE
Big Jobs Plan Speech Morning-After Edition
Mr. Obama gave his big jobs plan speech last night (transcript). He did not disappoint in that the speech was disappointing. Consider its sad tale of hype, notch-downs (and this), re-inflation, mismanaged staging, and its revealed boneless puniness against the grandiosity of a joint session of Congress, a venue for national business of great moment.
For those impatient with the color commentary, here is Mr. Obama's jobs plan:
- Pass the plan.
- Make the Deficit Super Committee pay for the plan.
- Cut & paste details from the Recovery Act.
That is the correct order. Mr. Obama has called on Congress to pass his plan (17 times throughout the speech) without having actually submitted the plan. You have to pass the plan to find out what's in the plan. Whatever the eventual details of the plan, the conceptual basis is the Democrats' same big idea for everything.
LOTS OF MONEY.
OBAMA'S JOBS PLAN PAID FOR? SEEMS NOT
WASHINGTON September 9, 2011 (AP) - President Barack Obama's promise Thursday that everything in his jobs plan will be paid for rests on highly iffy propositions.
It will only be paid for if a committee he can't control does his bidding, if Congress puts that into law and if leaders in the future - the ones who will feel the fiscal pinch of his proposals - don't roll it back.
The article goes on to debunk Mr. Obama's claims that everything in his plan is paid for (it's not), that the mish-mash of remedies has bipartisan appeal (it doesn't), that the plan won't add to the deficit (it will), and the plan will create jobs right away (it won't).
What has gone largely unremarked is that Mr. Obama wouldn't have had to deliver a big jobs plan last night if his first big jobs plan had created real jobs over the past two years. We are baffled, perhaps you are too, how this rehashed jobs plan at half the cost is going to best the original $862B flop.
Pass the plan.
* "Foirades" was the French serial title of some late works by Samuel Beckett. Mr. Beckett explained his word choice thusly: "One, foirade is a lamentable failure . . . something one attempts that is destined to fail, but must be attempted, nonetheless, because it is unquestionably worth the effort ... thus, a lamentable failure. [A pause.] Of course, foirade also means 'wet fart'!"
** Democrat Edward G. Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and mayor of Philadelphia, got the ball rolling back in August, pitching a $200B a year public works program over 10 years to Mr. Obama. That, dear innumerate, is a cool $2T thrown away in annual chump change increments.
September 07, 2011
NYC Letter: Loser's Corner -- Alan Grayson
Day 960 of CHOPE
Alan Grayson has his begging bowl out and to convince you to donate he wants you to know he called Newt Gingrich "fat". If that's not a winning message for a Democrat, what is?
September 6, 2011 (Politico) - Alan Grayson devotes his latest campaign message to recalling the moment he insulted Newt Gingrich's waistline on the House floor a year ago.
The title of this email: "I Told Newt He Looks Fat." Here's the sell:
So Gingrich came to the Floor of the House a year ago. I went nowhere near him. I just don’t like the smell of sulfur.
But another member, whom I like very much, told me that she wanted to introduce me. I said, "no, that’s OK, thanks anyway. I really don’t know what to say to him." But she insisted.
She introduced me to Newt.
I said to him, "you look like you’ve gained a lot of weight."
Newt stared at me.
I said, "I remember you being much slimmer back in the 1990’s. When you were relevant."
Newt scowled at me, and walked away. Good comeback, Newt. By the way, Newt Gingrich scowls just the way you would expect Newt Gingrich to scowl. I would like to think that that light little love-tap on Newt Gingrich’s ego may have pushed him just a tiny bit toward running for President. Which is great. Because Newt is really going to be hammered. If it’s an eight-person field, Newt will finish ninth.
And Mr. Grayson knows something about losing. A one-termer, he was "hammered" in the recent mid-term elections, losing Florida's 8th CD seat to Daniel Webster, 56.2%/38.4%.
We did not cover Mr. Grayson's short but tiresome tenure. Examples of the quality of his mind are on display here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. If you can't manage all that, this one example should do.
At a fundraiser Mr. Obama once included Mr. Grayson, who was already an established embarrassment, in pro forma shout-outs as an "outstanding" Congressperson. What else could he say, "Among the outstanding Congressmen here tonight is Alan Grayson, who is not outstanding but stands apart, a graceless say-anything media clown"? [Pause.] Actually, yes, he could've said that. Should've.
September 06, 2011
NYC Letter: The New Civility -- André Carson
Day 959 of CHOPE
Think back a scant eight months. Remember the "new tone of civility"?
January 17, 2011 (WINK) - In a statement Monday, Wasserman Schultz (D-FL, 20th) says the [Giffords] shooting has reminded her that "words have the power to hurt and to heal." She says the country needs "a new tone of civility in our public discourse."
André Carson (D-IN, 7th) doesn't.
August 31, 2011 (Politico) - Rep. Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana who serves as the Congressional Black Caucus’s chief vote counter, said at a CBC event in Miami that some in Congress would "love to see us as second-class citizens" and "some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree."
And he meant it.
LOS ANGELES August 31, 2011 (CNN) - As members of the Congressional Black Caucus converged in Los Angeles for its final national job fair series, one of its ranking members responded to his own previous inflammatory comments in Miami about the tea party, comparing their movement to Jim Crow laws that segregated and marginalized African Americans in society.
... On Wednesday, Carson told CNN he stood by those remarks.Well, I wasn't talking about the entire tea party. I think the tea party is absolutely right when they call for increased transparency in government, when they call for a cutback on excessive government spending. I am deeply concerned about some elements of the tea party who are extremist and who have reflected a mentality going back to the John Birch society, going back to George Wallace's Dixiecrats.
Carson said he was not regretful or in need of apologizing.I stand on the truth of what I spoke.
And what truth might that be? Conjuring the racist boogeyman to a hopped-up crowd? What offends about race-baiters like Mr. Carson is how facilely racism is trivialized. Mr. Carson was born in 1974. He has been a life-long resident Indianian. It is unlikely that he ever saw a lynching, that a cross was burned on his lawn, was waterhosed while peaceably demonstrating, had his mosque firebombed, was required to use public facilities for "coloreds", or was barred from attending a predominantly white school.
Yet Mr. Carson is ever so sure that "some" in the Tea Party are ready to visit all that and more on him and his audience. He is sure to the point of truth. But where is Mr. Carson's evidence? Where the proof? Mr. Carson's truth is as phony as the boogeyman he conjures.
August 23, 2011
NYC Letter: The New Civility -- Maxine Waters Update
Day 945 of CHOPE
While the media plays up the Los Angeles congresswoman's "the Tea Party can go straight to hell' comments from this weekend, they are ignoring what she said right after that. When the wild cheers of the audience calmed down, Rep. Waters then said: "And I intend to help them get there."
Is there any doubt that if a Tea Party representative had said that "the Congressional Black Caucus can go straight to hell and we intend to help them get there", we would be hearing loud condemnations about the hateful rhetoric from the extremists in the Republican Party?
The road to Hell, paved with Democrat intentions.
August 21, 2011
NYC Letter: The New Civility -- Maxine Waters
Day 943 of CHOPE
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL, 20th),
It's our responsibility to, to make sure that we set the right example and set the tone of civility. ... But what--we do have to make sure that among our responsibility [sic] is to be civil to each other.
DNC chair and reborn civility evangelist,
after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ, 8th)
remonstrating for care in public discourse
MEET THE PRESS
WASHINGTON January 9, 2011 (NBC)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL, 20th),
American politics are brawling. After the Giffords shooting, the Democrats thought they could use civility as a club with which to beat Republicans over the head. The Democrats absolved themselves of incivility and proceeded to piously lecture the rest of us on the boundaries in public discourse. But civility has proved too much for Democrats (and this). Without nastiness, they had no message. No message, no headline. [Inhumanitas repete.]
August 20, 2011 (LAT) - Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA, 35th) came out swinging against Republicans in Congress on Saturday as she addressed the unemployed during a forum in Inglewood.
The event occurred a day after new statistics were released showing that California's jobless rate last month went up to 12%, from 11.8%. California now has the second-highest rate of unemployment in the nation, trailing only Nevada at 12.9%, and its jobless rate is well above the U.S. average of 9.1%.
Waters vowed to push Congress to focus on creating more jobs. "I'm not afraid of anybody," said Waters. "This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the 'tea party' can go straight to hell."
... According to the Employment Development Department, California employers added just 4,500 new jobs last month, a steep drop from the revised 30,400 jobs added in June.
Success -- a headline!
August 14, 2011
NYC Letter: Got That Wrong -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Day 936 of CHOPE
We don't envy Debbie Wasserman Schultz her new job, the big-spin cheerleader for Democrat election efforts. It is a job that requires one humiliating public stupidity atop another, endless spin of bad news into not-so-bad news or, failing that, hysterical (and this) digressions pillow-punching the opposition. Or gimmicks. To wit.
August 14, 2011 (LAT) - President Obama's summer woes have dragged his approval rating to an all-time low, sinking below 40% for the first time in Gallup's daily tracking poll.
New data posted Sunday shows that 39% of Americans approve of Obama's job performance, while 54% disapprove. Both are the worst numbers of his presidency.
Obama's approval rating has hovered in the 40% range for much of 2011, peaking at 53% in the weeks following the death of Osama bin Laden.
But Americans' view of his job performance continued to tick downward as the debt-ceiling debate heated up. By the time he signed legislation averting a federal default, he was mired in the low-40% range.
Same day Gallup released its numbers, Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
August 14, 2011 (The Hill) - Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), the DNC chief, said that she doesn't think the president's bid for a second term is in trouble.
"Not at all," Wasserman Schultz said on CBS's "Face the Nation" when asked if Obama was in political trouble. Ms. Wasserman Schultz:The president is in actually remarkably good shape, given that he is still struggling to help pull our economy out of the Republican -- the Republican recession that he inherited. His numbers are still strong. He still has widespread support. If anyone is in trouble, it's the Republican Party.
The telling phrase is "still struggling to help pull out of the recession". DSW is saying, if we have parsed this correctly, for someone having a great deal of trouble while working against the mood of the country with no ideas other than taxes and spending, Mr. Obama is in "remarkably good shape". This is like saying, given the mismatch, that this year's Astros (32 GB) are in "remarkably good shape" to win their division and league.
We don't put much stock in polls this far out. Fifteen months is an eternity in politics. However when the numbers are weak, the candidate is weak, not in "remarkably good shape".
Other than that, doing fine.
August 09, 2011
NYC Letter: Blameless
Day 931 of CHOPE
If the sun comes up tomorrow, you can thank Mr. Obama. If the bank forecloses on your home, or you lose your job, or you pay $2 more for a gallon of milk than a year ago, the complaint line forms to the right.
WASHINGTON August 8, 2011 (Reuters) - Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser, where families paid $15,000 to get a picture with him, Obama defended his economic record and noted that problems in Europe were affecting the United States.
"We do have a serious problem in terms of debt and deficit, and much of it I inherited," Obama said. The financial crisis, he said, made the problem worse.
Mr. Obama also inherited a AAA sovereignty rating from Mr. Bush.
"What's absolutely true, even before these last couple days in the stock market, is that recovery wasn't happening fast enough," he said. "When you have problems in Europe and in Spain and in Italy and in Greece, those problems wash over into our shores," he said.
It's always something. It's just never the results Mr. Obama promised. So Mr. Obama plans to re-run his 2008 campaign against Mr. Bush in 2012. And why not? Mr. Obama can't run on any achievements he'll own (e.g., unemployment, foreign policy, economic growth), because everything Mr. Obama has achieved is Mr. Bush's fault. Better to trot out the Big CHOPE of 2008 and mop up the sucker vote.
A couple of reminders.
I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, well, this is Obama's economy. That's fine. Give it to me. (Applause.) My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and harp and gripe. (Applause.)
So I welcome the job. I want the responsibility.*
forgetting at least one person
who helped get us in this mess
WARREN, Michigan July 14, 2009 (White House)
* Responsibility = credit
Invoking the Democrat eleventh commandment.
August 05, 2011
NYC Letter: The Accidental Truth X -- Not Our Job
Day 927 of CHOPE
Q: Sort of to follow on that, why should Americans believe that the White House can create jobs when the unemployment rate has been so stagnant and the record is sort of anemic?
Well, the White House doesn’t create jobs.
letting the cat out of the bag
WASHINGTON August 4, 2011 (White House)
This will be surprising news to the boss.
We began by passing a Recovery Act that has already saved* or created over 150,000 jobs and provided a tax cut to 95 percent of all working families.
And the bossling.
(A) We need desperately to get this economy moving. We've got to create more jobs, ah, now. ... The most important thing that I want the taxpayers to understand though, is that we, these jobs that we're going to be creating are designed for not only the immediate impact of that job, but for the future prosperity of the country. ... It has to create jobs immediately.
(B) All in all we're going to be creating somewhere between 100 [scil., 100,000] and 200,000 jobs next month, I predict. ... Even some in the White House said, 'Hey, don't get ahead of yourself.' Well, I'm here to tell you, some time in the next couple of months, we're going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.
(C) Thus far, we have allocated over $620 billion of the Act, and as a result, the Recovery Act is responsible for somewhere between 2.3 million and 2.8 million jobs that were either saved* or created.
Joe "Hi-Q" Biden,
(A) then-VP-elect and soon-to-be stimulus policeman,
emphasizing the Obama presidency's top priority
WASHINGTON December 23, 2008 (ABC News)
(B) predicting "Recovery Summer"
PITTSBURGH April 23, 2010 (WaPo)
(C) doing the numbers on "Recovery Summer"
WASHINGTON June 17, 2010 (White House)
Government job creation is a an article of faith in the liberal catechism.
Alas. The government in the persons of Team Barry has not created the millions of jobs promised. It has not capped unemployment at the promised 8%. Far from net job creation, it still runs a staggering jobs deficit. So as with all Team Barry disappointments, Mr. Carney has thrown government job creation under the bus -- where you can also find Constitutional proprieties, signing statements, the ban on lobbyists, transparency, fiscal stewardship (and this), the closing of Guantánamo, the rejection of the Military Commissions Act, and "dumb" protracted wars.
Not our job. Not our problem.
August 03, 2011
NYC Letter: Flashback -- Welcome to the Recovery!
Day 925 of CHOPE
June, take three:
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the U.S. economy grew at a 1.9% clip over the first three months of 2011, in its third take on first-quarter gross domestic product.
July, take four:
The economy nearly stalled in the first half of 2011, reviving concerns of a double-dip recession, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Gross domestic product, the sum of goods and services produced in the country, expanded at a 1.3% annual rate in Q2, below the expected 1.7% pace. Q1 growth was slashed to a 0.4% rate from a previously reported 1.9% due to much slower inventory growth and a bigger trade gap.
That's an 80% differential. That's one mighty big slash.
Hey! Welcome to the recovery!
On the tail-end of last year's "Recovery Summer", Tim "Turbo Tax" Geithner took to the pages of the NYT to cheerily reassure us that -- despite the misery index -- we were all enjoying a counterfactual recovery.
OP-ED August 2, 2010 (NYT) - The recession that began in late 2007 was extraordinarily severe, but the actions we took at its height to stimulate the economy helped arrest the freefall, preventing an even deeper collapse and putting the economy on the road to recovery.
... From the start, President Obama made clear that recovery from a crisis of this magnitude would not come quickly and that the recovery would not follow a straight line.
Business investment and consumption — the two keys to private demand — are getting stronger, better than last year and better than last quarter.
That went up in smoke a month later.
Even the surge in imports, which lowered the rate of increase of G.D.P., actually reflects healthy and growing American demand.
The trade deficit jumps nearly 33 percent in 2010. That's great news.
Private job growth has returned — not as fast as we would like, but at an earlier stage of this recovery than in the last two recoveries. Manufacturing has generated 136,000 new jobs in the past six months.
The United States economy has lost more jobs than it has added since the recovery began over a year ago.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The downturn officially ended, and the recovery officially began, in June 2009, according to an announcement Monday by the official arbiter of economic turning points [scil., NBER]. ... But nonfarm payrolls are still down 329,000 from their level at the recession’s official end 15 months ago, and the slow growth in recent months means that the unemployed still have a long slog ahead.
That Mr. Geithner thought to title this fairy tale "Welcome To The Recovery" shows just how stupid Team Barry expects you to be.
August 02, 2011
NYC Letter: If Only...
Day 924 of CHOPE
We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time - bills like Social Security checks, veterans' benefits, and contracts we've signed with thousands of American businesses. If we don't, for the first time ever, we could lose our country's Triple A credit rating. Not because we didn't have the capacity to pay our bills - we do - but because we didn't have a Triple A political system to match it.
Yet again pesky representative democracy discommodes this president. Oh! To be president of China! If only.
If only the president could just do things on his own.
Now, I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books, but that doesn't mean I don't know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cause. I share your concerns and I understand them. And I promise you, we are responding to your concerns and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way.
Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. (Applause.) And believe me, right now dealing with Congress --
AUDIENCE: Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!
Believe me -- believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. (Laughter.) I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. (Laughter.) But that's not how -- that's not how our system works.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Change it!
That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written. So let’s be honest. I need a dance partner here -- and the floor is empty. (Laughter.)
musing out loud on the convenience of one-man rule
REMARKS TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA
WASHINGTON July 25, 2011 (White House)
Constitution. Bummer. As a Constitutional scholar, Mr. Obama knows that which he disdains.
If Mr. Obama could but make the trains run on time at least he could claim the usual standing to be dictator. But what has Mr. Obama put his hand to that has not turned to ruin? The economy? Foreign policy? Health care? Energy? Not content with ruination within the compass of his office, Mr. Obama yearns for a freer hand -- a freer hand to drag you ignorant proles kicking and screaming into his bigger brighter better world. Peter Berkowitz, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, explains:
In the annals of American progressivism, Obama’s predicament is hardly unique. Indeed, the mismatch between leaders who put forward partisan ambitions in the name of the people and majority sentiment reflects an enduring paradox with deep roots in the progressive tradition. Like Obama’s new progressivism, the old or original progressivism championed a vision of democracy that sometimes conflicted with ordinary people’s opinions and preferences. The old progressives often realized it and said as much, clearly and with a clear conscience. One of the distinguishing marks of the new progressivism at whose head Obama stands is the determination to conceal the gap between what majorities want and what progressive leaders want to enact in their name while insisting proudly on the purity of their democratic credentials.
... For going on two generations, leading scholars have sought to develop a rhetoric of reform that explains how progressive political goals are, notwithstanding majority views, not merely just but also democratic. From the perspective of the professors’ theories, the glaring gap between the president’s promises to govern in a balanced and moderate fashion and his transformative progressive agenda is no gap at all, once democracy is rightly, which is to say progressively, understood.
August 01, 2011
NYC Letter: Joe Biden Is An Idiot IX -- Terrorists!
Day 923 of CHOPE
Special Civility Edition
Yesterday we posted on the lead-by-example "new civility" invoked by DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz following the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ, 8th) in January. Today up pops Joe "A Great VP From The Bottom Quintile" Biden to oblige us with some of that exemplary Democrat civility.
August 1, 2011 (Politico) - Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having "acted like terrorists" in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.
"We have negotiated with terrorists," an angry [Mike Doyle (D-PA, 14th)] said, according to sources in the room. "This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money."
Whoa. Before we move on to Mr. Biden, let's look at Mr. Doyle's complaint. Allahpundit at Hot Air wonders aloud:
What color is the sky in Mike Doyle’s world, where a "big" debt-ceiling deal that ensures we’ll incur another $6 trillion in debt over the next 10 years has made it "impossible to spend any money"?
The nation is drowning in debt. America's sovereign rating has already been downgraded by one rating agency, while others threaten to follow. America is in perilous debt because the ruling class has spent us into perilous debt. Yet. Yet, Mr. Doyle's complains another $6 trillion in debt puts a crimp in his spending spree. [Strained pause.] As we have remarked elsewhere, the Democrats have only one big idea for every occasion, one solution to every problem, one historic mission --
SPEND MORE MONEY!
Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded:"They have acted like terrorists."
Biden later denied he used that term in an interview with CBS.
"I did not use the terrorism word," Biden told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley.
Earlier in the day, Biden told Senate Democrats that Republican leaders have "guns to their heads" in trying to negotiate deals.
The "terrorism" word is, um, "terrorist". Let's take a closer look at that denial. Mr. Biden:
What happened was there were some people who said they felt like they were being held hostage by terrorists. I never said that they were terrorists or weren't terrorists, I just let them vent. I said even if that were the case, what's been happening when you now have taken and paid the debt and move that down so we can now discuss, the nuclear weapon's been taken out of anyone's hands.
If you believe Mr. Biden -- remember this is the man that promised Team Barry would create (not save*) 500,000 jobs a month -- while not using the actual "terrorism" word, he is happy to concede Mr. Doyle's point. Unmangling Mr. Biden's mangled follow-on, "the nuclear weapon's been taken out of anyone's hands", the analogy here is to terrorists with nuclear weapons, which Mr. Biden makes plain with his prefatory "even if that were the case". No "terrorism" word there.
Didn't Say It, Just Meant It
The truth is behind your back.
* There is no metric for "saved" jobs. Although originally Team Barry promised to create jobs, they quickly switched to "saved" jobs to inflate the jobs number. Team Barry used a six-degrees-of-separation approach to calculating "saved" jobs. Mr. Obama bragged on millions of "saved" jobs everywhere even as unemployment climbed higher.
July 31, 2011
NYC Letter: The New Civility -- Jan Schakowsky
Day 922 of CHOPE
(A) It's our responsibility to, to make sure that we set the right example and set the tone of civility. ... But what--we do have to make sure that among our responsibility is to be civil to each other. I mean, I, I, I've engaged in heated debates many times with colleagues who I don't agree with on the issues. But you have to be a human being who recognizes and has respect for one another when you leave that room. We, we fight and debate in an arena. But you have to leave that intensity in the arena and respect one another as Americans and human beings.
(B) Well, I-- I don’t plan to debate my values and the principles of my constituents any less vigorously. But I think it starts with us and we have to lead by example and so I think all of us need to be more careful about the words that we choose to use, including the things like the title of the-- of the re-- repeal of the health care reform. ... We’ve got to lead by example.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL, 20th),
DNC chair and reborn civility evangelist,
after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ, 8th)
remonstrating for care in public discourse
(A) MEET THE PRESS
WASHINGTON January 9, 2011 (NBC)
(B) FACE THE NATION
PHOENIX January 16, 2011 (CBS)
When it turned out that Gabrielle Giffords was not shot by a right-wing terrorist ideologue nut-case, well, that left very little play in the "new tone", the "new civility" that had become required parroting shortly after the shooting. Why be civil if you can't exploit civility to bludgeon the right?
Civility put an unfamiliar burden on coherent argument, the facts, and clarity. And soon politicians and political hacks and opinionists and talking donkeys were all back to their usual hyperbolic, fallacious, apocalyptic, inflammatory, demagogic uncivil discourse. Ms. Wasserman Schultz was one of the first to abandon her own remonstrance.
This weekend, outraged Democrats weren't having things their way in the debt negotiations, Ms. Schakowsky had had enough and spluttered:
In battle, when you accidentally shoot your own, it's called friendly fire. When you deliberately shoot your own, it's called fragging. Republicans, stop fragging the American economy and the American people.
This was no under-the-radar over-the-top ad-lib at a closeted fundraiser. Ms. Schakowsky made her remarks from the well of the United States House of Representatives. [Pause.] Imagine had Ms. Schakowsky not been tempered by the DNC chair's call for lead-by-example "civility".
You may recall when Ann Coulter dedicated a column (apropos of nothing) to "John Murtha, the reason soldiers invented fragging". The left was incensed and put out calls for public denunciation. Ms. Schakowsky's over-the-toppery? Spot. On.
WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
WHEN THEY SHOOT THEIR OFFICERS
SAN FRANCISCO March 15, 2003 (indybay.org)
PUT THE GUN DOWN OR TURN IT AROUND
FRAG THE WAR
PORTLAND, Oregon March 15, 2008 (portland.indymedia.org)
This requires a deep moral remedy. It is beyond the correction of mere public manners.
July 25, 2011
NYC Letter: Lies The President Told Me, Part V -- Social Security
Day 916 of CHOPE
I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.
in the middle of intense debt ceiling talks,
clueless about government cash flow
WASHINGTON July 12, 2011 (CBS News)
Yes you can.
CONTRARY TO THE PRESIDENT,
SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS
ARE NOT AT RISK
by Michael McConnell
July 23, 2011 (Hoover Institute) - In his Friday night press conference, for the second time, President Obama raised the specter that Social Security checks might not go out if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling.
... As recently explained in much more detail by legal scholars Mark Scarberry and Nancy Altman, and by the aptly-named Thomas Saving, a former public trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, reaching the debt ceiling will not affect the ability of the Social Security Administration to pay its obligations.
The Social Security trust fund holds about $2.4 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds, which its trustees are legally entitled to redeem whenever Social Security is running a current account deficit. Thus, if we reach the debt ceiling (which I continue to think is a remote prospect, even if less remote than it seemed a week ago), this is what will happen. The Social Security trust fund will go to Treasury and cash in some of its securities, using the proceeds to send checks to recipients. Each dollar of debt that is redeemed will lower the outstanding public debt by a dollar. That enables the Treasury to borrow another dollar, without violating the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is not a prohibition on borrowing new money; it is a prohibition on increasing the total level of public indebtedness. If Social Security cashes in some of its bonds, the Treasury can borrow that same amount of money from someone else.
To be sure, a small portion of the money due from Treasury to the trust fund on the bonds is accrued interest. Payment of this portion will not have an effect on the debt ceiling, because the ceiling is calculated according to amount borrowed, not amount to be paid. That amount, however, is too trivial to affect the bottom line. Interest rates are low, and interest was last paid at the end of June.
I think what Mr. Obama needs to understand is that this really isn't rocket science.
Perhaps Mr. Obama does get it. Perhaps he is scaremongering. Scaremongering is a tactic used to herd the stupid away from the facts. [Pause.] Mr. Obama thinks you are this stupid and he'd appreciate if you'd oblige him a little cringe in the polls.
Cringing toward 2012.
* Mr. Bernstein has a bachelors in fine arts, a masters in social work, a masters in social welfare, and a Ph.D. in philosophy. He holds no degree in economics.
July 24, 2011
NYC Letter: Today's Big Stupid -- Jan Schakowsky
Day 915 of CHOPE
Jan Schakowsky represents the Illinois 9th congressional district. She is the vanguard socialist among progressive Democrats. She is a believer in global warming and supports putting commercial health insurers out of business with government operated single-payer health care.
Like many, most, all, Congresspersons, Ms. Schakowsky helps form and casts votes on important legislation affecting the country as a whole -- without a clue as to the mechanics, finances, or a reasonable guess on the impact of her handiwork.
July 18, 2011 (The Blaze) - [Below is a partial transcript of Ms. Schakowsky on the Don Wade & Roma Show of July 13, 2011. The show hosts' questions and comments are in indigo, Ms. Schakowsky's responses in black. Click the headline link for audio.]
When the president warns that we don't have the debt ceiling raised those social security checks may not be going out. Ah, you know he did say that.
[Audio of Mr. Obama's warning from his July 12 CBS interview.]
OK, so, Jan Schakowsky, here's the problem with what he's just said. He has admitted that's no lockbox, there's no Social Security trust. The Social Security is bankrupt.
Oh, that is so wrong. Social Security...
Well, where's the money? Wait a minute. The checks are going to go out, how is it that the checks can't go out.
Because Social Security is -- the, the way Social Security works, it's not the only check that won't go out. It won't go out...
Yeah, but Social Security checks should go out. It's in a lockbox.
No. Social Security is essentially a pay-as-you-go program with a, um, trust fund that will continue to be able to provide the additional funds that we need as we go forward...
Well wait a minute. He, all he has to do is go to the trust fund and write the checks from the trust fund then on August third.
You know, you don't get Social -- you don't understand how Social Security works. It has never missed a check since 1935 when it went into effect.
Right. Then why is the president threatening things like that? Why would he do that?
Because it's true! [Cross-talk.] Because it relies, and as does [sic] the checks for are armed services...
What you're saying are two different things. It doesn't fit together.
It absolutely does. I mean, really, you don't understand how Social Security is, works. There is a trust...
Is that because we're not...
...that guarantees that it will continue to pay benefits fully until 2037 and then we can pay 75% if, if we continue to bring in money into the economy.
... I want to get another quote from the president...
[Audio of Mr. Obama's warning from his July 11 press conference:Q: The latest CBS News poll showed that only 24 percent of Americans said you should raise the debt limit to avoid an economic catastrophe. There are still 69 percent who oppose raising the debt limit. So isn’t the problem that you and others have failed to convince the American people that we have a crisis here, and how are you going to change that?
Well, let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury auction goes.]
OK, so there's the president telling us we're too stupid and that's kinda what you're saying a, a...Congresswoman. That we don't understand how this all works...
...not like professional politicians.
It's not a matter of professional politicians. You don't understand the, the system of Social Security, which has worked without missing a check -- who can say that! -- over, since 1935.
Then he shouldn't be making threats like that.
To recap Ms. Schakowsky's understanding of the present situation: Without raising the debt limit, Social Security checks may not go out August third; simultaneously there is no danger to the uninterrupted disbursement of Social Security benefits through 2037, the monies for which are safely held in trust. [Pause.] For both of Ms. Schakowsky's claims to be simultaneously true, we need only move this August third to the far side of 2037, though even Ms. Schakowsky recognizes uncertainty resides there.
Ms. Schakowsky's non-answer is no answer because Ms. Schakowsky thinks you are too stupid to deserve a sensible answer. [Pause.] A less cynical conclusion might be Ms. Schakowsky is simply too stupid to give a sensible answer.
Stupid, but not as stupid as you.
July 22, 2011
NYC Letter: Today's Big Stupid -- Bill Maher
Day 913 of CHOPE
Who isn't tired of Bill Maher? [A chorus of pained groans.] Where to begin?
Bill Maher pleads he is a comedian as well as an opinionist with serious opinions -- à la clown nose on, clown nose off. But his jokes aren't funny while his opinions are a joke.
Mr. Maher thinks himself an informed high-minded intellectual. But he's not informed.
We have Democrats for one reason – to drag the ignorant hillbilly-half of this country into the next century, which in their case is the 19th. ... I’ll tell you this about Americans – about the American electorate, the voter. They love a winner. You know, as soon as he passed health care, [his approval rating] went up 15 points. They don’t understand the issues. They’re too stupid. They’re like a dog. They can understand inflection. They can understand fear. They can understand dominance. They don’t understand issues. But when he won on that issue, he went up. (Lopez Tonight, October 26, 2010)
He's not high-minded.
Obama said this week, I heard him a couple of times saying, "You know what? We met the Republicans what they asked, and then we gave them more." ... What is wrong with these people? He is a terrible negotiator. Does he not even know a Jew? (Real Time, April 8, 2011)
I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt so you can see the gun in his pants. That's -- (in black man voice) 'we've got a motherf*cking problem here?' Shoot somebody in the foot. (Real Time, May 29, 2011)
I don’t know what to say about these people Rachel, I hate them [scil., Republicans] as much as you do. (Rachel Maddow, April 12, 2011)
And he's not intellectual.
I suppose people would say the Russian Revolution was hijacked by the left-wing. I think when you go that far left – you’re really the right-wing. I consider Lenin and Stalin right-wingers. Don’t tell Rush Limbaugh. (Real Time, February 11, 2011)
Mr. Maher here attempts to spare the ideology by freighting the right with the results.
And that's why they keep demanding to see his birth certificate. And, it’s funny, when they go a little deeper into the polling, they find out this is just based on a general sense. It just feels to them like he's a foreigner. Well, you know, John Boehner wears bronzer and goes on crying jags. He just feels like a female to me. [Laughter. Applause.] Maybe liberals should demand to see his penis. (Real Time, March 25, 2011)
Mr. Maher also is very sniffy about what is and what is not patriotic.
Bill O'Reilly who claims he's such a patriot, how unpatriotic in my view to treat a president [scil., Mr. Obama] that way. How does that look to other countries when you're interrupting and belittling. (The Last Word, February 8, 2011)
We have been the cowards, lobbing Cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, not cowardly. (Commenting on the 9/11 terrorists; Politically Incorrect, October 16, 2001)
Forget about bringing the troops home from Iraq. We need to get the troops home from World War II. Can anybody tell me why, in 2009, we still have more than 50,000 troops in Germany and 30,000 in Japan? At some point, these people are going to have to learn to rape themselves. [Audience boos.] I’ll ignore that. (Real Time, March 29, 2011)
The above are the smug spew of a bigot who hides behind the applause light of a comedy show. And he just goes on and on and on and on and on. It is tiresome and all of a piece with the low-brow fare that once safely confined Mr. Maher in obscurity. Today Mr. Maher is in full view. Why?
Why The Country’s Bill Mahers Say What They Say
by Andrew Klavan
OPINION July 21, 2011 (City Journal) - Comedian-commentator Bill Maher has been getting a lot of attention lately for trying to get a lot of attention. He generally goes about this by using sexist hate speech against attractive, powerful, and intelligent conservative women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, calling them female vulgarisms, for instance, or, as most recently, hosting comedians who fantasize aloud about sexually abusing them.*
... I suppose it would also be self-diminishing to allow oneself to feel frustrated by the fact that the leftists of the so-called mainstream media regularly twist themselves into knots to make conservative speech sound hateful while ignoring the routine and open hatefulness that permeates the speech on their side and theirs alone.
... Their ugliness seems to be escalating day by day, and with it the dishonesty, distortions, and bullying anger of their mainstream-media fellow travelers. There’s a reason for this, I think. It’s the increasingly apparent failure of Barack Obama. With the notable exception of Osama bin Laden’s execution, the Obama presidency has resembled nothing so much as an episode of Mr. Bean, one slapstick misadventure after another. The stagnant economy, the rising unemployment, the staggering, soon-to-be-crippling debt—hiked more under Obama than under every president from Washington to Reagan combined—these can no longer be blamed on his predecessor but are his to own.
This has to be fantastically humiliating for our left-wing media. If you’ve forgotten what they were like during Obama’s 2008 candidacy—the weirdly sexual thrills up their legs, the unreasoning comparison of Obama with America’s greatest men, the pseudo-religious idolatry
... What might once have been dismissed as an embarrassing lapse into bobby-soxer squealery now has to be recognized as a desperate attempt to keep a dying euphoria alive. Likewise the increasingly low and vulgar meanness of Maher and all his cronies. It may, on the one hand, be the tactic of second-rung celebrities desperate for more attention, but it may at the same time represent the dismay of yet another generation of leftists waking from yet another utopian daydream to find themselves in a disaster of their own making.
A simpler explanation free of circumstances -- Mr. Maher & co. are jackasses. Whether the day is bright, the sky blue, the grass sweet, they will always claim the high perch to lord their ignorance.
Smug and happy about being stupid.
* Big fan of angry violent rape fantasies directed at conservative women? Let HBO know. Call HBO’s Consumer Affairs Department at 212.512.1208 Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM Eastern Time. You can also e-mail HBO at email@example.com or here.
July 14, 2011
NYC Letter: The Patience Of Job
Day 905 of CHOPE
- There was a man in the land of Columbia, whose name was Obama; and that man was progressive and a good solid B+, and one that feared polls, and eschewed whining.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Karl Rove came also among them.
And the LORD said unto Karl Rove, Hast thou considered my servant Obama, that there is none like him in the earth, a good solid B+ and a progressive man, one that feareth polls, and escheweth whining?
Then Karl Rove answered the LORD, and said, Doth Obama fear the polls for nought?
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will whine to thy face.
THE DESPAIR OF JOBS
It's A Three-letter Word
[Apologies to William Blake]
July 14, 2011 (CNS News) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, 8th) said that President Barack Obama has shown a "level of patience" in debt limit negotiations with congressional leaders that does not compare to the biblical figure Job, known as the "Man of Patience." Ms. Pelosi:I want to commend the president – I have never seen – Job is no place compared to this president in terms of patience, ... He [Job] doesn’t even begin because this president has demonstrated a [Ed.: greater] level of patience, not only during the meetings but as respect, respectful of the suggestions that are made by all parties at the meeting, in his preparation for the meeting, and his coming back to address concerns that are expressed by others.
Then again, maybe Ms. Pelosi is just being cute.
July 13, 2011 (Politico) - President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of a stormy debt-limit meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday, a dramatic setback to the already shaky negotiations.
... On a day when the Moody’s rating agency warned that American debt could be downgraded, the White House talks blew up amid a new round of sniping between Obama and Cantor, who are fast becoming bitter enemies.
When Cantor said the two sides were too far apart to get a deal that could pass the House by the Treasury Department’s Aug. 2 deadline — and that he would consider moving a short-term debt-limit increase alongside smaller spending cuts — Obama began to lecture him.
"Eric, don’t call my bluff," the president said, warning Cantor that he would take his case "to the American people."
... "He shoved back and said 'I’ll see you tomorrow' and walked out," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters in the Capitol after the meeting.
Here is Mr. Cantor's own telling of the incident.
The backside of patience and respect.
July 13, 2011
NYC Letter: Point/Counterpoint -- Scaremongering Redux
Day 904 of CHOPE
As before we begin with a fresh call to stop the scaremongering.
I think people should think of — look, I’m the President of the United States and I want to make sure that I am not engaging in scare tactics. And I’ve tried to be responsible and somewhat restrained so that folks don’t get spooked.
pleading circumspection in the debt debate
WASHINGTON June 29, 2011 (White House)
Alright, everyone. No scare tactics.
Q: Yeah, but what-- what some Republicans are saying is that, you know, that, all you have to do is just pay the interest on the debt and then prioritize from there. You’re saying you’re going to have to stop the Social Security checks if you don’t get this done.
I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.
in the middle of intense debt ceiling talks,
clueless about government cash flow
WASHINGTON July 12, 2011 (CBS News)
The Treasury, an executive agency under the authority of the president, on advisement from the Social Security Administration, cuts Social Security and other benefit checks at its discretion.
The Treasury maintains a current cash balance of $74B. Come August 3, with or without a debt-ceiling deal to Mr. Obama's liking, the difference in monthly cash flow (~$5-10B) could be drawn from this cash balance to make Social Security payments (~$20B) -- if the Treasury, is so instructed by the president.
[The naïfs rise in protest.] Didn't Team Barry assure us that Social Security is self-financing? And not just that, but flush? [Snort.] Yes they did.
Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing. They are paid for with payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers throughout their careers. These taxes are placed in a trust fund dedicated to paying benefits owed to current and future beneficiaries. ... According to the most recent report of the independent Social Security Trustees, the trust fund is currently in surplus and growing. Even though Social Security began collecting less in taxes than it paid in benefits in 2010, the trust fund will continue to accrue interest and grow until 2025, and will have adequate resources to pay full benefits for the next 26 years.
OP-ED February 21, 2011 (USA Today)
July 13, 2011 (Forbes) - Notice that Lew said nothing about raising the debt ceiling, which was already looming, and it shouldn’t matter anyway because Social Security is “entirely self-financing” and off budget. What could be clearer? ... Well, either Obama and Geithner are lying to us now, or they and all defenders of the Social Security status quo have been lying to us for decades. It must be one or the other.
... Social Security status-quo defenders have assured us for the past 25 years that Social Security is fully funded—for the next 25 years, or 2036. So if there are real assets in the Social Security Trust Fund—$2.6 trillion allegedly—then how could failure to reach a debt-ceiling agreement possibly threaten seniors’ Social Security checks?
The answer is that the federal government has borrowed all of that trust fund money and spent it, exactly as Krauthammer asserted. And the only way the trust fund can get some cash to pay Social Security benefits is if the federal government draws it from general revenues or borrows the money—which, of course, it can’t do because of the debt ceiling.
If the budget crisis has done nothing else, it has exposed the decades-long lie about the solvency of the Social Security trust fund. The trust fund may be backed by the “full faith and credit of the federal government,” as defenders constantly remind us, but if it had real assets the president wouldn’t be talking about seniors missing their checks.
So. Social Security is flush when being flush is convenient to advancing spending elsewhere and it is bankrupt when being bankrupt is useful for scaring beneficiaries.
July 12, 2011 (The Hill) - The White House is "fear mongering" by warning that Social Security checks might not be sent out after Aug. 3, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said Tuesday.That's fear mongering that's not leadership, that's sad and pathetic. There's revenue that's coming into this country the president needs to prioritize.
May 26, 2011
NYC Letter: Joe Biden Is An Idiot VII -- Ramrod!
Day 856 of CHOPE
We can't seem to finish anything today, so we go with the easy post. That means a look at what Joe Biden is doing. [We have a look.] Fundraising. Clearly Sarah Palin was not qualified to hold the office Mr. Biden serves.
NASHUA May 26, 2011 (Nashua Telegraph) - Speaking to a crowd of more than 300 at a Democratic Party fundraiser, Biden, who took part in the 2008 [New Hampshire] primary before joining President Barack Obama’s ticket, assured the audience that the 2012 elections are shaping up to resemble the 2008 race, in which Democrats took the White House and both houses of Congress as well as sweeping the New Hampshire elections.
Assured the audience. [Pause.] This tops his mid-term assessment when he only ventured a prediction.
I think we're going to shock the heck out of everybody.
... I am absolutely confidence -- confident -- when people take a look at what has happened since we've taken office in November and comparing it to the alternative, we're going to be ver -- we going to be in great shape.
2010 was some kind of crazy fluke. 2012 will be different because -- because Mr. Biden senses "change".
"You can feel the change," Biden noted, speaking before a crowd that included Gov. John Lynch, as well as former congressmen Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, among other party leaders who lost their seats during last year’s elections.
... "The American people get it, and they’re getting it more profoundly than ever before," he said, his voice hushed to a dramatic whisper. "We have a leader with the backbone of a ramrod, and now the real Barack Obama … is coming into focus."
For those who are woefully limited to the 21st century, a ramrod is:
- A flexible rod used to force a charge into a muzzleloading firearm.
- A rod used to clean the barrel of a firearm.
- A harshly demanding overseer; a disciplinarian.
Take your pick. We ourselves are not clear what Mr. Biden intended to convey, but it strikes us as something less than his former Obama steel spine claim.
SPINE OF RAMROD, COURAGE OF MUSKETBALLS
Well, He Did Ramrod Obamacare Down Our Throats
"Folks, I think we’re ready, I really do," Biden said, concluding his speech. "Presidential elections are about strength in leadership. … When the Republicans are honest about what they will do when they get into power, that creates a crystal clear choice for the American people. … We are in good shape."
"Great shape" in 2010, the Demos lose 63 House seats -- and centuries of seniority -- to become the minority party, 6 Senate seats, 6 governorships, and the GOP picks up an historic 680 seats in state legislatures.
"Good shape" in 2012. [Pause.] Kiss. Oh. Death.
Truth by inversion.