The next two years, more than the last two even, depend on President Barack Obama. While conservatives and fiscal hawks pin their hopes on the newly elected House members to trim the Federal government, nothing will happen if President Obama vetoes.
Over Thanksgiving, I read Sarah Palin’s new book, America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag. My first thought after finishing it? Wow, that was good. My second thought? If someone gripes about her from now on, I’m going to respond,”Have you read her book?” When the opinionated person says, “No.” I’m going to say back, “Talk to me after you’ve read her book.”
Before getting to the guts of the tome, I would like to address one thing that irritates me: When writing about Sarah Palin, it is de rigueur for friend and foe alike to use one’s criticism (and I mean criticism in the dictionary sense; here is the definition: Criticism is the judgment of the merits and faults of the work or actions of one individual by another. To criticize does not necessarily imply to find fault, but the word is often taken to mean the simple expression of prejudice or disapproval) as either an endorsement or “hit job” of the person.
1. People want to like President Obama. Yes, the independents have left him, but they’re fickle pickles. If President Obama starts to make even a lick of sense on a minor issue, they’ll turn back his direction.
First, the American people have to deal with the insult of a show trial where all the evidence is thrown out because the civilian courts are not equipped to deal with evidence gained by the military. So the terrorist, the MASTERMIND, mind you, gets convicted of a technicality.
Second, the Obama administration blames the Bush administration.
A huge wave crashes into DC as I write this. Over 60 new Congressmen and six new Senators flush with a mandate to reduce the size and scope of government will now be a part of the government they’re tasked with depriving of power.
As Joe Biden would say, this is a big effing deal.
Already though, factions that make up the big Republican tent seem intent on emphasizing their differences rather than unifying around some principles that it seems everyone can agree on these days save the big government socialists aka statists aka progressives aka liberals.
It's tough being the wife of the most powerful man in the world, just ask Michelle Obama. Carla Bruni, who seemed to reveal her distaste for the First Lady in previous pictures, reveals Michelle's whiny comments in her recent book [Aside: why is a sitting world leader's spouse writing a tell-all? What tawdriness.]
One failure of logic is to generalize from the anecdotal to the whole. Conservatives, who know rules of logic -- we have Thomas Sowell after all (see what I did there?) -- understand this. So, when it comes to rhetorical arguments or situations where some weirdo commits some random badness, they tend to blame...well, the perpetrator. It's also just fundamental fairness.
The left, in contrast, has spent the last year and half trying to pin every act of terrorism and evil on the vast, white, racist, homophobic, bigoted Tea Party. They do it without shame. They impugn, malign and besmirch repeatedly. Best Tea Party sign? "You'll say I'm racist anyway."
Lefties generalize from anecdotes unless the crazy person is one of their own (and yes, that was just a generalization). Then, of course, the crazy is an "outlier". He's a depraved individual. And often, there are compelling reasons for the outburst. Those compelling reasons demand more examination. And upon examination, well, it turns out the context is complex and nuanced.
Enter the Discovery Building bomber-hostage taker-gun nut. The blogger Atrios was quick to point out that the guy with a clear eco-terrorist bent was just a "crazy individual".
Matt brings up two pieces of evidence: Matt Yglesias saying that lying is okay was one distressing example. Well, duh. Yglesias is a liberal and I have yet to read a liberal blogger who doesn't believe the ends justify the means. There is no true objective truth, after all. And, really, lying is fine, if a greater truth is served yada yada. This is not new. Nor is it shocking. Everything from science (Al Gore and global warming) to social science (single mothering is as good as dual-parent families) to religion (Christianists!) to media coverage is manipulated to serve the statist i.e. Democratic good. And to make the arguments, lying isn't just recommended, it's necessary.
The press won't go there because, well, they love President Barack Obama and this story, accurately reported, is painful. I haven't gone there because I don't really care what's going on between President Obama and his wife. President Clinton defiling the Oval office concerned me because his actions were a big f-u to the American people and showed blatant disrespect to the office and the country. Michelle being pissed off at Barack Obama? Eh, who isn't? Also, Michelle being a petty, selfish woman? Also not news. If reports are to be believed, Michelle Obama is the reason America has the shining tower of intelligence Joe Biden instead of Hillary Clinton. Petty. They're two of a kind.
Still and all, this story has become more newsworthy as the scope and cost of Michelle's trip to Europe has dribbled out. Mickey Kaus says:
So Michelle Obama vacations in Spain with her daughter and a huge posse, leaving her husband alone on his birthday and undermining his party's political chances (bad recession ‘optics'). This is the sort of story on which I suspect there are three levels of perception:
Fast-forward to today and suddenly she's signing letters on their behalf. What gives? Two theories. One: She's turned out to be such a good soldier and is so favorably disposed to Michael Steele that she's willing to do a fundraising favor for an organization that desperately needs one right now to prepare for the midterms. Two: She really is eyeing a presidential run and wants to build a line of political credit with establishment types who aren't big fans of hers at the moment.
How about this? Sarah Palin has finally recognized her friends in D.C. They ain't the NRSC or the NRCC, that's for dang sure. Palin's endorsements have been in direct odds with the NRSC's and NRCC's more often than not. Moreover, the NRSC and NRCC have worked overtime to undercut Michael Steele both publicly and privately and then gone to donors and asked them to donate there. This insanity is self-destructive, of course, because the RNC has the mechanism to get the vote out. The leadership in the House and Senate, though, are more about accumulating power and rewarding buddies than transforming the party. In fact, party transformation and reinvigoration, would probably hurt their incumbent arses, so what's the motivation to change?
Initial requests for jobless benefits rose last week to their highest level since April, a sign that hiring remains weak and some companies are still cutting workers.
The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 479,000. Analysts had expected a small drop. Claims have risen twice in the past three weeks.
Carl Cameron thinks Sharron Angle is naive. I think Sharron Angle thinks like a Democrat: Expect good media coverage, tell the media what you want to talk about, and by golly! expect friendly coverage!
What a fine group of happy warriors! Right Online 2010 turned out over 1,000 like-minded activists from over 30 states. These passionate folks walked the over-100 degree streets of Las Vegas to educate voters that November Is Coming.
Should the Democrats be worried? No. They should be resigned. The real worry-warts should be Republicans consistently intent on selling out their principles. Be worried. People are mission-focused.
A couple highlights from the conference: Here's my favorite speaker from the group, Emery McClendon:
So, I asked my liberal friend Matt Zemek why liberals are so miserable. To my way of thinking, they have everything politically: the President, the Congress, most courts, and the press. What more could they have outside complete ideological domination–that is a Matrix-like mind control over the masses? And yet, even with this power, sulkiness. The bad attitude was exemplified by the Netroots gathering in Las Vegas. While the conservative conferences I’ve been to over the last couple years have been unfailingly cheerful, the liberal groups sound morose. Why?
Now before getting to Matt’s response, a caveat. Matt is a religious man. He’s Catholic. He is not a secular humanist. This changes his philosophy profoundly. That is: Life does not begin and end with this terrestrial existence. His belief in an afterlife gives him a hope not shared by secular progressives. And so, he is, while generally frustrated, a kind-hearted (if delusional ) center-leftist. He’s generally more cheerful, if disappointed. [Yes, I'm gleaning all of this from my interactions with him on Twitter.]
The smarty pants set, breezily dismiss the contents of JournoList, the group made up of hundreds of mainstream journalists, bloggers, activists and Democrat policy wonks. The reasoning goes this way: how is it shocking that a bunch of like-minded people want to get together and chat? I mean, that’s just human. They’re young and liberal and brash, who cares?
Regardless, the record shows Scherer had very harsh words for Fox — a point that would be less relevant had Scherer not recently won a seat on the board of directors of the White House Correspondents Association.
Why does this matter? As you may recall, there is a battle taking place to determine which media outlet will get Helen Thomas’ front-row seat for White House briefings. Many believe that Fox News should get the seat.