On Friday's New Day, during a discussion of the then-upcoming funeral for South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney, CNN host Alisyn Camerota brought up issues of high poverty in South Carolina's black population and invited Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn to use the recent church massacre as a springboard to push for diverting more federal money into high-poverty areas.
In his "Talking Points" opening monologue Wednesday night, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly lit into the establishment press for allowing the notion that America is a "white supremacist nation" to go "largely unchallenged." He further accused the press of allowing itself to be "intimidated," leaving Fox as the only channel, in his view, "standing up for the truth."
I have been told that O'Reilly's monologue went about twice as long it usually does, but that's because he had a lot to say, and said it well.
Michael O’Donnell is eager to push back against the belief that Reagan ranks with Franklin Roosevelt as a great 20th-century president. In his review of H.W. Brands’ Reagan: The Life in the Washington Monthly’s June/July/August issue, O’Donnell wrote that “Roosevelt saved the nation from an existential threat (the Great Depression), while Reagan merely steered it out of a funk (the 1970s). Roosevelt enacted structural reforms to protect the most vulnerable members of society, [whereas] Reagan systematically set about dismantling those reforms.”
Moreover, argued O’Donnell, Reagan influenced today’s politics for the worse. O’Donnell calls him “the author of many of our current predicaments as a nation and a society…The government-is-the-enemy mind-set that pervades the right today comes to us from Barry Goldwater via Ronald Reagan. As our roads, bridges, and schools fall apart around us, we have them to thank.”
From her years at Yale Law School until early in her Senate career, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s liberal credentials rarely were questioned. Since then, many on the left have come to doubt that Hillary is one of them, for reasons that include her support for the Iraq war and her alleged coziness with Wall Street.
Rebecca Traister believes that it’s been twenty-five, not fifteen, years since Clinton started backing away from liberalism, but in any event Traister’s message to the doubters is that Classic Hillary is back. In a Sunday TNR piece, Traister rejoiced that Hillary the presidential candidate seems to have abandoned “power-appeasing, over-careful politics” in favor of “leftward shifts toward sanity.”
Given that Hillary is “recalibrating to the left,” Traister contended, America is “facing a test: How much more—if at all—tolerant is this nation of difficult, disruptive liberal women, and how willing is Hillary to really commit to being one again? These answers will matter a lot to those American[s] who liked original Hillary—and haven't much cared for the revised versions.”
In the early 1990s, politicians floated the term “peace dividend” regarding a hoped-for post-Cold War reduction in the U.S. defense budget, and Pentagon spending indeed fell somewhat in the mid- and late ‘90s. Sean McElwee, a research associate at the lefty think tank Demos, argues that America now needs a post-9/11, post-Afghanistan, post-Iraq peace dividend which would allow greatly increased spending on certain domestic programs.
“As violent deaths from war and terrorism decline,” wrote McElwee in a Sunday piece for Salon, “the greater threat to Americans is their failing infrastructure, costly healthcare system and incoherent environmental policy…In addition, [America’s] ability to lead by example is threatened by poverty, homeless[ness] and rampant inequality.”
McElwee concluded that “Americans need to realize that today, the larger threat they face is their own fear leading them to underinvest in vital services. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously warned, ‘the only thing we have to fear is… fear itself.’”
Demography may not always be destiny, but according to Slate’s Jamelle Bouie, the “best bet” is that over the next decade-plus, the Republican party as a whole will move towards the center-right as young, relatively moderate voters join and elderly right-wingers shuffle off this mortal coil.
In a Monday article, Bouie predicted that “eventually, the GOP will find a working national majority, even if the country becomes as brown and liberal as some analysts project.” That said, he added, “the real question” is “whether a future, younger Republican Party will still have a conservative movement.”
During the Thursday afternoon edition of Your World With Neil Cavuto, the Fox News Channel business host responded to the accusation from Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show that the people at Fox “hate poor people.”
“I think he's very fast on his feet even if he sometimes gives me a few good kicks,” Cavuto said about Stewart. “That's fine. I can take it and take him. What I can't take is this: that we at Fox actually hate the poor. Now, even by Jon Stewart's Fox-bashing comedic standards, that's a little rich and more than a little unfair.”
On Wednesday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC’s Charles Krauthammer slammed President Obama for attacking Fox News’ at an event on poverty at Georgetown University.
New York Times White House correspondent Michael Shear specializes in one-sided fawn-a-thons over President Obama, and Wednesday's report on a panel discussion at Georgetown University featuring Obama talking race and poverty, was the work of a master of the craft: "Obama Urges Unity in Poverty Fight." Shear, who carried Obama's water over the President's anti-business "you didn't build that" comment, and even bragged about the president's NCAA basketball bracket in 2011 ("Mr. Obama knows his hoops"), failed to issue a single critical comment on Obama's big-spending solutions to racial problems.
What a shame: if only the economy had been better, the rioters would have had more name-brand stores to burn.
Seriously, this had to be one of the strangest statements to come out of the Baltimore riots. On this evening's Ed Show, Baltimore Pastor Jamal Bryant complained that because of economic "disenfranchisement," the rioters "could only find one anchor store in that neighborhood" to destroy.
With Camden Yards set to hold its first fan-attended Baltimore Orioles game in over two weeks tonight, it's a good time to go back to a May 2 item by Meredith Shiner at Yahoo Politics.
Readers may remember the Duke-"educated" Shiner as the person who was flabbergasted that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz cited "God-given rights" when he announced his candidacy on March 23, tweeting in part: "Bizarre to talk about how rights are God-made and not man-made ... When Constitution was man-made?" Few will be surprised that Shiner's interview of Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings is an income inequality-obsessed de facto puff piece which lets Cummings completely off the hook for worsening conditions in the district he has represented since 1996.
On Mother’s Day, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd and NBC contributor Maria Shriver, former First Lady of California, bemoaned that the United States ranked far behind Norway in government mandated services, such as paid maternity leave, for all women. Todd: "Among 193 member states of the United Nations, the United States and seven other countries have no paid maternity leave. Five of those seven countries are Pacific Island nations."