As some blogs have already reported, ESPN columnist Rick Reilly implored President Obama in his Monday column to take direct action against college football's BCS system. Arguing that the BCS is run by a conglomerate of elites representing the power conferences and the bowl games, Reilly pleaded with Obama to work to install a playoff system in college football.
"What a lie this BCS era is," Reilly ranted, demonizing its supporters as "Bowlsheviks" and arguing that undefeated teams from lesser conferences get no shot to play for a national championship. "That's OK," he continued. "There's one guy who can change all this with the stroke of a pen."
This messianic figure is none other than President Obama. "He's a guy who has broken a mountain of promises in the past two years," Reilly said, sounding like a dismayed progressive. But, the president "can make it all right by making good on a promise he did make, the one to look hard into a playoff." The title of Reilly's piece: "Change We Can Believe In."
Correction: This post initially identified Tom Udall as a senator from Colorado. His cousin Mark Udall is a Democratic senator from Colorado. Tom Udall represents New Mexico. We regret the error.
Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., has offered up legislation that would effectively eliminate the filibuster by removing the 60-vote requirement to end floor debate. The move is an attempt to avoid procedural roadblocks that forced Democrats to moderate their legislative proposals throughout 2009 and 2010. But if the Senate rule changes Udall has proposed go through, Republicans may be the biggest beneficiaries. James Taranto explains:
The chief beneficiary of the abolition of the legislative filibuster, however, would be whichever party controls the House. Given their strong showings last year in elections for governor and state legislatures, which control congressional redistricting, this is likelier than not to be the Republicans for some time.
It's perhaps the last place you'd expect to find the longtime host of the syndicated McLaughlin Group but on the year end episode of that show, aired over the weekend, John McLaughlin announced his New Year's resolution was to attend the Burning Man Festival. At the end of the show, when all the panelists were asked to reveal their individual New Year's resolutions, McLaughlin drew gasps and laughter when he made the following stunning announcement:
The Hollywood Reporter was putty in the hands of left-wing "comedian" Kathy Griffin as she vowed to spend the new year attacking Sarah Palin's daughter in high school:
The comic set a resolution for 2011 -- taking on a new Palin in the new year. "I've already gone for Sarah, Todd and Bristol obviously," Griffin tells The Hollywood Reporter. "But I think it's Willow's year to go down."
On Wednesday, for example, New York’s new Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, is expected to call for a one-year salary freeze for state workers, a move that would save $200 million to $400 million and challenge labor’s traditional clout in Albany.
Despite the fact that liberals believe that Fox News Channel is a relentlessly conserative channel, when it comes to homosexuality, opponents are actually mocked and told they're “out of touch.” The gay blog Truth Wins Out rejoiced that the December 30 edition of the FNC overnight show Red Eye was mocking “anti-gay wingnuts.” Host Greg Gutfeld generally tries to mix humor into his commentary, but this was clearly Whack the Religious Right Night for him:
They're here, they're queer, and the Family Research Council refuses to get used to it. Nor would the Concerned Women for America, love them. [Laughter] As a result, both groups are refusing to attend the DC-based Conservative Political Action Conference this February, due to the fact the righty group GOProud has been invited, because they're evil sodomites...
Meanwhile, like-minded gay-haters applaud the move. Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality – you know their meetings are shirtless – said 'Shame on CPAC for defending the absurd proposition that one can be 'conservative' while embracing moral surrender.” Oddly, he said that while shaving his chest. Yes.
Via Patrick Gavin at Politico, we learn longtime Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert is slamming Sarah Palin on Twitter again. But Ebert, famously known as the rotund partner of slimmer Gene Siskel, actually mocks Palin for "sticking up for little fatsos" when she slammed Michelle Obama's remarks on school nutrition.
Palin showin' her vote-gettin' genius by stickin' up for the little fatsos. Patriots have a right to pig out.
If you thought perhaps the networks would focus in on how President Obama avoided blizzards by staying on vacation in Hawaii, or that anyone would ask how much his vacation might cost the taxpayer, think again. No one's interested in questioning Obama -- as London's Daily Mail did: "The 7,000-square foot home where the president is vacationing has five bedrooms, a media room and a secluded lagoon-style pool with tropical waterfalls and a spa." On her radio show Monday morning, Laura Ingraham played some audio of how CNN's Ed Henry kept it very light and food-focused on last Monday's Newsroom:
DEBORAH FEYERICK, anchor: Next, "The Stakeout." We're going to check in with Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry. That is, if he's not busy, let's say, surfing...Well, the weather has been terrible in Washington, D.C., but that's no problem for our senior White house correspondent, Ed Henry. Why? Well, listen to the music. He's hanging out with the president in Hawaii. It is a tough job. We know you're running out of sunscreen. Ed, I hope at least they're feeding you.
In the Washington Post on Saturday, Charles Krauthammer explored in his column how Team Obama is governing around Congress through regulatory agencies. Remember the controversy over Medicare "end-of-life counseling"? The New York Times reported it snuck back in. A month ago, Medicare issued a regulation providing for end-of-life counseling during annual "wellness" visits. Somehow, the rest of the national media that sneered about "death panels" weren't spreading the news:
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), author of Section 1233, was delighted. "Mr. Blumenauer's office celebrated 'a quiet victory,' but urged supporters not to crow about it," reports the New York Times. Deathly quiet. In early November, his office sent an e-mail plea to supporters: "We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists...e-mails can too easily be forwarded." They had been lucky that "thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it....The longer this [regulation] goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it."
So much for the Democrats' transparency - and for their repeated claim that the more people learn what is in the health-care law, the more they will like it. Turns out ignorance is the Democrats' best hope.
The Washington Post celebrated the first gay bar in populous Fairfax County with a splashy front-page article headlined "Rainbow flag aloft, nightclub is Fairfax County's first gay bar." Next to the headline was a color picture of the drag queen "La Countess Farrington." Reporter J. Freedom du Lac may want to celebrate, but it's a poor choice of metaphors to compare the hot homosexual night spots to the crucifixion of Jesus. The inept religious metaphor came in comparing Virginia to DC:
Historically, of course, the center of gay nightlife in the region has been the District, where bars such as Apex, Town and Ziegfeld's are like stations of the social cross.
Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas was upset on Thursday that Gary Bauer would claim that Muslims would fare much worse if they were treated like Christians are in Ameica. He shot back: "wait, what if Christians were treated like Muslims?"
Christians would be racially profiled at public places and transportation hubs. Christians wouldn't be allowed to build churches wherever they pleased. Christians wouldn't be allowed to wear their traditional garb without mocking and angry looks. Christians wouldn't be allowed to say the word "Jesus" without triggering alarm bells at the NSA. Christians wouldn't be allowed to go to church without having their property vandalized, and even being physically attacked. Christians would be the villain in every action thriller. Christians wouldn't be able to run for office without having bigots accuse them of being in league with terrorists.
The weirdest claim is that "Christians would be the villain in every action thriller." Every? How many action thrillers since 9/11 have had Muslim villains? Some film versions of books with Muslim villains were scrubbed clean when they became movies.
Newsweek's year-end Interview Issue included a brief interview with Lori Berenson -- but never provided the reader any context besides the title "Freed Peruvian Prisoner." That might give the wrong impression: Berenson is an American communist who traveled to Peru and allied herself with the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), and rented a house in Lima they could use as a headquarters and used press credentials as a cover to scrutinize the halls of Congress and facilitate an eventual attack to hold the entire Peruvian congress hostage. She was imprisoned in 1995 and released in May. None of this context was included for the reader:
What’s it like being labeled a terrorist?
I don’t consider myself a terrorist. I think saying someone is a criminal is enough. It’s not helpful to look for ways of qualifying our enemies in drastic terms instead of trying to figure out exactly what we’re faced with.
What’s your take—are the things you did good or bad?
There are things I could have done differently, but that’s part of my history, and I have to assume the consequences. I don’t regret what I’ve done, because I don’t think my intentions were bad. My intentions were positive, whatever that’s worth.
Do Peruvians have the wrong impression of you?
Oh, I think most of them don’t know me at all, because they think I’m associated with bombs and horrendous attacks. I’ve never killed anyone, never harmed anyone, never done anything to cause physical damage to anyone. And I’m sorry that I am seen as a person who would do that.
Someone finally -- finally! -- has drawn the obvious correlation between NFL quarterback Michael Vick's killing of animals in an illegal dog-fighting ring and the monstrous injustices committed against blacks during slavery and the civil rights movement.
What's hardly surprising is who's making the connection -- Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC's go-to gal for all things racial, appearing last night on "The Rachel Maddow Show" with guest host Bill Wolff to discuss President Obama praising the Philadelphia Eagles for giving Vick a second chance after serving time in prison and Tucker Carlson saying on Fox News that Vick should have been executed.
Harris-Perry, as is her wont, sought to put matters in historical perspective (video after page break) --
President Obama made a set of recess appointments to get around Senate confirmation yesterday, including a new ambassador to Syria, reversing the Bush administration's decision to withdraw an ambassador after the assassination of Lebanese president Rafik Hariri. Obama also went around the Senate to give Attorney General Eric Holder a deputy, a number-two named James Cole. Who is James Cole? The networks never reported on Cole's nomination in 2010 -- this Justice Department isn't the least bit newsworthy, compared to the complete pounding the networks gave Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft in the Bush years.On Fox, Sean Hannity warned about his views back on June 16:
All right, this president sure knows how to pick them. The Anointed One's nominee to be the number two at the Department of Justice thinks that 9/11 is similar to any other domestic crime. In a 2002 article James Cole wrote, quote, "Our country has faced many forms of devastating crime including countless acts of rape, child abuse and murder. The acts of September 11th were horrible, but so are these other things."
I can hardly wait for this guy to get to the Department of Justice.
In the Bush years, liberals worried out loud about how our war on terrorism was destroying our reputation among our noble socialist allies in Europe. But in the Obama years, they are showing their old colors. The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel delighted in Barney Frank's idea that our NATO alliance with Europe is strategically worthless and our spending on it should be slashed:
"These kind of restrictions on domestic spending with unlimited spending for the war -- and you always have to talk about both -- is a great mistake," Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told The Huffington Post last week. "And the liberal community's got to focus more on Afghanistan, Iraq, NATO. NATO is a great drain on our treasury and serves no strategic purpose."
When you're subbing for Ed Schultz on MSNBC, the race to the bottom is apparently irresistible . . .
Cenk [pronounced, I hasten to add, "Jenk," thus adding to the headline's alliteration] broke out a dubious double-entendre this evening when speaking of John Bolton. Describing the ambassador's allegedly bellicose tendencies, Cenk claimed that, if he could, Bolton would "like to invade Uranus."
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.
There are few things that can surpass the self-conscious weirdness of a Lady Gaga video. One would be the Daily Kos blog analyzing a Lady Gaga video as a "Fascist Recruitment Tool." The blogger Vets74 called Lady Gaga's video for the song "Alejandro" the "Worst MTV Video of 2010." Since a lot of leather-wearing dudes goose-step around Gaga, it is dubbed "Triumph of the Will II." Why is this somehow comparable to fascism?
Worldwide success based on black leather, woman-hating Corporatism. Overt Nazi recruiting gets pushed to the center of pop culture.
It seems more like the Saturday Night Live satire "Sprockets" than "Springtime for Hitler."