Last week, I described Gail Collins' condescension to what she sees as the bumpkins of Middle America. The New York Times columnist is back at it again this morning, suggesting that illegal immigration is not so much a problem as an issue exploited by Republican candidates to stir the passions of gullible Republican rubes. And yes, to Collins' ear,"sanctuary city" has a nice ring.
The jumping-off point for Collins' [p.p.v.] Of Mitt, Monks, and Mowers is the criticism Mitt Romney has levelled at Rudy Giuliani for the latter's embrace of New York's status as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants when he was Big Apple mayor. Note that Rudy has since toughened his stance, vowing to end illegal immigration.
In Collins' eyes, telling police and others to ignore the fact that people they encounter in the course of their duties are in the country illegally is "a perfectly rational position."
Discussing foreign policy on this afternoon's "Hardball," host Matthews advanced this astonishing theory.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you have a sense, though, well certainly I have it, that just by his name, Barack, ah, Barack Hussein Obama, by his background, having grown up in Indonesia which is a largely Muslim country, that he would have a feel perhaps other presidential candidates don't have of how to connect with that part of the world, the billion people, that we seem to have such a problem connecting with and avoiding war with.
Not surprising, but the Time magazine contributor and "Swampland" blogger slapped around President Bush for moving to empower the federal government to freeze assets held by the terrorist-sponsoring Revolutionary Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet two weeks ago, Joe Klein slammed President Bush for not confronting U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf about terrorist sympathizers that work covertly against U.S. interests from within the Pakistani military.
Here's Klein's August 15 post, after which I add more commentary:
According to ABC’s Terry Moran, Karl Rove’s brand of politics can be defined by a mixture of "divisiveness, anger" and "ruthlessness." During a segment on Monday's edition of "Nightline," the co-anchor derided the "era of Karl Rove" as one that exhibited "bitterly polarizing politics."
Moran also left the impression that it was Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush, who was behind the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans For Truth ads against John Kerry:
[File footage from 2004] George W. Bush: "The architect, Karl Rove."
Terry Moran: "That was back in 2004 and President Bush was thanking Rove for planning and executing his reelection strategy. But look around at American politics today and you see that there is much, much more that Karl Rove built."
Clip from Swift Boat Veterans ad: "John Kerry cannot be trusted."
The headline to today's lead story in the New York Times by Jim Rutenberg and Steven Lee Myers on the impending resignation of Karl Rove, Bush's chief political advisor, included the subhead "A Bare-Knuckle Style of Politics."
Rove as ruthless partisan brawler was indeed a theme that permeated both Tuesday's lead story and chief political reporter Adam Nagourney's accompanying analysis.
From Rutenberg and Rove's lead:
"With his voice breaking at times, and with President Bush at his side on the South Lawn of the White House, Karl Rove said Monday that he would resign as a deputy White House chief of staff at the end of the month. The decision ends Mr. Rove's role as the president's longest-serving and closest aide, and the one who most personified the bare-knuckle brand of politics Mr. Bush favors."
I saw this yesterday but didn't work up anything on it. Basically it's a lame Style section front-pager from Sunday that fixates on how dull/boring/lame/stupid-sounding the name "Fred" is, and what that means for presumptive GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Fortunately Myra Langerhas of "Snarking Dawg" worked up a snarky blog post and so I thought I'd share that with you. Below is the relevant excerpt from Myra's August 12 entry "What's in a name?"
Myra began by quoting the first seven grafs of staff writer Monica Hesse's August 12 article and then laid out swipe at the author's biases and decidedly liberal cosmopolitan tastes, like joining a bunch of lesbians in "crashing" a "straight bar.":
Is it just me, or did the New York Times just drop a bombshell?
By the headline of its editorial this morning, Wrong Way Out of Iraq, and its introductory paragraphs -- about how the British model of withdrawing to bases in Basra hasn't worked, I was sure we were headed for a demand for total, rapid withdrawal. When suddenly came this conclusion:
The United States cannot walk away from the new international terrorist front it created in Iraq. It will need to keep sufficient forces and staging points in the region to strike effectively against terrorist sanctuaries there or a Qaeda bid to hijack control of a strife-torn Iraq.
Folks that watched Sunday's "Meet the Press" debate between former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tennessee) and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas might have witnessed the final transformation of the Kossack leader from Netroots chief to Democrat Party operative.
Ignoring the actual lack of substance in the discussion, one thing was made impeccably clear: Markos is now fully ensconced in today's Democrat Party, while Ford and his centrist DLC are persona non grata.
By no means does that validate Moulitsas' absurd claims that Kossacks and Netroots members represent the center of American politics as reported here and here. However, the inanities and hypocrisies uttered by Moulitsas Sunday could easily have been stated with a straight face by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).
For instance, read the following nonsensical assertion made by Markos if you have the stomach for it, and ask yourself how many of the current Democrat leaders and presidential candidates could have said the exact same thing (video available here):
As the 2008 presidential campaign moves into high gear, a common conservative complaint has been that Democrat candidates have so far been largely asked softball questions by liberal moderators at their debates, while the Republicans have actually been vigorously challenged by media personalities in theirs.
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday morning, former Capitol Hill correspondent for ABC, and current contributing editor to the National Journal, Linda Douglass, made it quite clear that she agrees with such concerns.
Host Howard Kurtz, after playing a video clip of musician Melissa Etheridge asking Hillary Clinton (D-New York) a question at a recent debate, posed the following:
Linda Douglass, my question is with those kinds of personal, first-person, emotional queries, do we really need journalists at these debates? Aren't these questions sort of better than the kind of questions that reporters ask?
After the press spent last weekend gushing over liberal bloggers with nothing but glowing coverage of the YearlyKos convention in Chicago, the media's fascination with the Netroots continued with reckless abandon this weekend.
On Saturday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, to be followed by a debate on Sunday's "Meet the Press" between the head Kossack and the chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, Harold Ford, Jr.
Are media recognizing the power of the Netroots, or just trying to assist their efforts to move the Democrat Party further and further to the left?
Regardless of the answer, Moulitsas continued to posit in the Post the same absurd assertion from his keynote address last weekend that he and his ilk represent the center of American politics (emphasis added):
Actual op-ed column, or parody of MSM mockery of Middle America? You be the judge of today's p.p.v. opus by Gail Collins, New York Times columnist turned Editorial Page Editor now returned to her column-writing roots. We'll begin with the title, Republicans in the Straw, and proceed to these excerpts:
Today 40,000 Republicans are expected to make a pilgrimage to a large tent in Ames, Iowa, where they will eat an enormous amount of free food and vote for a presidential candidate. Mitt Romney is going to serve barbecue, and one of his sons has just visited all 99 counties. I don’t think we need say more.
Romney moves around with so many photogenic sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren that they look like one of those singing families that were so popular in the ’70s.
The Iowa State Fair is not actually about politics so much as about finding new things to deep-fry.
So, have you heard that Fox News' Bill O'Reilly isn't fond of liberal bloggers?
In case there was any confusion about this issue, the outspoken host made it quite clear on Thursday's "O'Reilly Factor" when he told political consultant Dick Morris:
I think it's a danger to have blackmailers, which is what these bloggers are, active in the political process.
Yet, that might not have been the best moment in this segment, which also included a lengthy discussion about why Democrat presidential candidates are spending so much time bashing Fox News (video available here):
On Tuesday’s "Nightline," co-anchor Martin Bashir filed a report on businessman Tom Monaghan, founder of a Catholic university in Florida and a community that will attempt to embrace traditional Christian values. Bashir regurgitated a two-year-old criticism that the town has "been described as a Catholic Jonestown, a kind of Catholic Iran, where individual rights and liberties are curtailed."
The various network news shows have come to this shocking conclusion: It’s summer and it’s hot. Could global warming be to blame? Ann Curry, guest anchoring NBC’s "Nightly News" on Tuesday, speculated, "Record heat and drought in the United States and Europe. New fears tonight that it's all the result of global warming." Harry Smith, over on CBS’s "Early Show," had the same idea. The morning show anchor definitively asserted, "Before we do anything else, there is in fact, global climate change.
You might consider that speculating about a candidate's sexuality would be off limits in the responsible media. Yet that's just what happened on MSNBC this morning.
Chuck Nice is a comedian, after all, so perhaps his comments should be taken with a grain of salt. Even so, the panelist on today's "Morning Joe" twice ventured into territory that would normally be considered verboten.
Brad Luna of the Human Rights Campaign was the phone guest, discussing the presidential candidates forum that his homosexual-rights group conducted yesterday. Without endorsing Hillary, he did single her out for favorable mention.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS BRAD LUNA: Hillary does have a certain comfortableness with the issues and with our community. Obviously this is somebody you can tell has had a lot of contact discussing the issues, has thought about them for a number of years, and I do think that her sincerity and her genuineness came across last night.
MORNING JOE PANELIST CHUCK NICE: Are you saying that Hillary Clinton is bi-curious?
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," ABC host George Stephanopoulos raved about singer Melissa Etheridge’s hosting of Thursday’s Democratic debate on gay issues. He enthused, "Melissa Etheridge is the new Ted Koppel!" Stephanopoulos, a former top Clinton aide and now the host of "This Week," also framed the debate from a decidedly pro-gay rights angle:
George Stephanopoulos: "...This is remarkable that a forum like this is happening. It would never happen on the Republican side, at least not yet."
Would Stephanopoulos spin a GOP debate on defending the Second Amendment as something the Democrats wouldn’t be interested in, at least not yet?
A recurring feature on her "Couric & Co." blog is the "10 Questions" interview, usually posed to a think tank official or politician on a major political issue. In the past, I've blogged about how the interviews have generally skewed leftward, but I was pleasantly surprised with the CBS anchor's mostly neutral agenda of questions in her August 9 interview with Robert Moffitt of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Generally speaking, the questions sought to elicit Moffitt's perspective on tackling health care without pressing him with loaded questions. I was annoyed at question #4, but Moffitt immediately pointed out that foreigners seeking treatment in America are fleeing inefficient, shoddy socialized medicine in their home countries.
Here are Couric's questions. For Moffitt's answers, check here.:
The tide may be turning now with glimmers of good news emerging out of Iraq. On Thursday’s Today, Matt Lauer’s questions to John McCain signaled that success in Iraq won’t be an impediment to Democrats sticking with the doom line and demanding rapid "redeployment." Suddenly, the once-crucial Petraeus report in September is now developing into a so-what moment:
LAUER: "You, you've been in Congress a long time, in the Senate for an awfully long time. You now which way the wind is blowing. There are some people who say, Senator, that the momentum, right now, in Congress is so strong to pull the troops out of Iraq that it doesn't matter what's in that report, in the middle of September from General Petraeus, or even in reports that follow that. Even if we start to change momentum in Iraq and start to see more success, the momentum in Congress is already so strong that it's unstoppable. How do you feel about that?"
This is still developing apparently, but Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters is all over what appears to be a hare-brained smear of presumptive GOP presidential candidate and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. Here's an excerpt:
It doesn't take long for provocateurs to crawl out of the woodwork to attack candidates, especially in stealth attacks. With Fred Thompson, they've apparently started before he officially enters the race -- and in one case, race is the operative word. Apparently hoping to confuse web surfers looking for Fred's website at www.imwithfred.com, a new site has appeared at www.imwithfred2008.com -- only this site welcomes people to the Ku Klux Klan, "Bringing a Message of Hope and Deliverance to White Christian America!" It includes links to a variety of disgusting racist sites.
Who would post something like this as a smear on Fred Thompson? Someone a little too stupid to cover his tracks, possibly? A DNS search gives us an answer. The domain name, registered through GoDaddy (no great shock there), belongs to:
On August 3, NewsBusters contributor Scott Whitlock noticed the network morning shows largely ignored Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) dovish blanket assertion that he would rule out the use of nuclear weapons in "any circumstances" in dealing with terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the time, Sen. Hillary Clinton called the pronouncement unwise. But according to the Associated Press, it appears Clinton is contradicting a statement she made in April 2006 that aligns with Obama's stance.
On August 2, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) took the opportunity to disagree with Obama's dovish stance. As the Washington Post reported in the August 3 paper:
Forget Nurse Ratched. Pat Buchanan and Willie Geist have birthed a new metaphor for Hillary Clinton: the mean schoolmarm.
On "Morning Joe" today at about 6:55 A.M. EDT, the pair were discussing the way in which Clinton has cuffed Barack Obama around for his ill-considered statement that he would invade Pakistan under certain circumstances. Geist has been guest-hosting for Joe Scarborough this week. Buchanan hypothesized a situation in which the U.S. did have intelligence about OBL's location within Pakistan.
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Diane Sawyer gushed over new photos of 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards renewing his wedding vows with wife Elizabeth. Sawyer touted having "the very first pictures of a very personal backyard ceremony."
Reporter David Muir also found the pictures to be "incredibly personal," despite the fact that the Edwards campaign provided them to both People magazine and ABC News. And, of course, Sawyer couldn’t resist mentioning the story, highly touted in the media, that the couple spends their wedding anniversaries at Wendy’s. The GMA host enthused, "And we should say, however, they did also have their ritual anniversary Wendy's burger." This observation came only nine days after the last story on the Edwards’s trip to Wendy’s:
The "gay debate" for the Democratic presidential candidates airs tonight on the Logo channel in selected markets. David Crary of the Associated Press marks it as a "milestone" for the "gay-rights movement," but never in the entire article was there any mention of liberalism. Near the end, after quoting Rep. Barney Frank and other gay-left activists without labeling, Crary noted "Some conservative activists denounced the forum."
Meanwhile, several gay activists have denounced the debate organizers at Logo and the Human Rights Campaign for letting lesbian rock star Melissa Etheridge ask questions of the candidates. Said one: "this would be equivalent to the black debate being moderated by Aretha Franklin and the head of the NAACP, rather than by objective reporters."
At the Democrat Party presidential debates last Tuesday, Barack Obama revealed that he didn't know that our Canadian neighbors to the north had a prime minister instead of a president leading them. Yet the MSM has practically ignored this obvious gaffe, with few of them making much of the incident. This is a far cry from how Bush was so virulently attacked for having no foreign policy "gravitas" during the 2000 campaign. But for a Democrat in 2007 it's pass time. Nothing to see here, folks, keep moving.
In response to a trade question during the debate, Obama said he'd "immediately call the president of Mexico (and) the president of Canada" to discuss the issue. Of course, Canada has no "president," and this gaffe further shows Barack's unfamiliarity with foreign nations proving his unsuitability to lead our country during an era where foreign policy will be of prime importance.
But even as Bush repeatedly got nailed, Barack is given a pass.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) recently told an Illinois woman that while his grown sons have never served in the military, they are displaying their patriotism by campaigning heavily for their father's nomination for the presidency.
The Politico and USA Today have picked up on the item. USA Today's "On Politics" blog noted in an entry posted at 11:45 Eastern that:
The questioner, 41-year-old Rachel Griffiths of Milan, Ill., told Susan later that she is not a Republican and is in fact a member of a "Progressive Action for the Common Good."
Asked if she was satisfied by Romney's answer, Griffiths said:
CBS, the Rathergate network, offered up another misleading report. The August 8 edition of "The Early Show,"at 7:09 AM, edited a Hillary Clinton quote from the August 7 AFL-CIO debate to portray her as a populist.
JOIE CHEN: Front-runner Clinton also came up against sharp elbows with rivals accusing her of cozying up to big-money lobbyists. Before thousands of union members, the New York Senator sought to portray herself as champion of the little guy.
CLINTON: So if you want a winner who knows how to take them on, I'm your girl.
What she actually said was in the context of her preference in attacking the Republicans. The full quote is much more divisive than portraying herself "as champion of the little guy."
While looking at a friend's profile on Facebook today shortly after 10 a.m., I spotted her "Election '08" application which proudly lists her support for the Republican Party in 2008. Immediately below are three of the "latest politics headlines" on Newsvine.com, the Web site that created and manages the Facebook application. Yet the headlines were hardly the "latest" and had nothing to do with the 2008 race or its principals. What's more, all three headlines carried downbeat news:
Keith Olbermann a "fair and balanced" journalist for a day? Did the sweltering Chicago temperatures somehow get to him? The MSNBC host who is notorious for anti-Bush, anti-conservative rants employed a more balanced approach when he moderated Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, hosted by the AFL-CIO. While audience members posed numerous left-leaning questions to the candidates, Olbermann asked a number of challenging questions, a few even posed from the right. Olbermann not only asked "what should we not be funding" to find the money for repairs to infrastructure, without even suggesting a tax increase, but the MSNBC host also asked about the possibility of an al-Qaeda takeover in Iraq. Olbermann: "If you get us out of Iraq and somehow al-Qaeda takes over anyway, what will you do then?" (Transcripts follow)
There’s some funny items sitting around on the transcript shelf here. On Monday’s Today, Matt Lauer and Chris Matthews briefly discussed the hard-left Yearly Kos convention, and Matthews insisted that the junior Senator who adopted New York didn’t really belong to the bloggers: "Hillary’s not one of them. Hillary’s not a lefty in this campaign and she’s pro-corporation."
Sunday’s Chris Matthews Show began with Matthews wondering "Is there anything that’ll stop the Democrats?" He said no: "We put it to the Matthews Meter, 12 of our regular panelists. ‘Is the ‘08 election the Democrats’ to lose?’ It’s a wipe out. Rarely do we see this perfection. Twelve to zip. Everyone says yes, it’s the Democrats’ to lose. In other words they’re probably gonna win easily."