WHITEFISH POINT, Mich. — I have just cleared the "Soo" locks of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, passing from the lower Great Lakes to Lake Superior. In fact, I am now anchored just off a beautiful lighthouse on Lake Superior. Yes, you have guessed correctly. I am in a boat, a cruise ship, in fact, known as the "Yorktown," possibly in honor of the famed battle that ended our War for Independence, though possibly for some other achievement. I shall not hazard the question to our extremely busy captain. He has enough on his mind, and I am told these waters are treacherous. My life jacket is never far away.
This is the first American Spectator cruise undertaken with National Review. The editors and writers at the National Review are old hands at conducting cruises, and so I am watching them closely for instruction and wise counsel. How is a landlubber like me to conduct myself on a cruise? When do I put on my life jacket? Do I wear it at meals? When do we abandon ship? When do I speak? John Miller, the national correspondent for NR, and Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor for NR, are sage mentors and very knowledgeable speakers. Along with them are AmSpec writers Grover Norquist, John Wohlstetter, and John Fund, whom AmSpec shares with NR. Giving even more heft to our discussions of politics is George Gilder, an expert on practically everything.
There are plenty of reasons that the economy is the most important issue of Election 2012.
Unemployment has remained high for a long time, and even 27 percent of those who have a job are worried about losing it. Only half of homeowners now believe their home is worth more than what they still owe on it. Just 16 percent believe that today's children will be better off than their parents.
As I noted yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday refused to call a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts, even though President Barack Obama days earlier urged passage of such tax cuts as soon as possible. Predictably, however, the July 11 editions of the network evening newscasts -- ABC's World News, the CBS Evening News, and NBC's Nightly News -- all ignored the development. Ditto with the network morning shows today.
Each evening newscast did, however, note the House vote to repeal ObamaCare, the first such vote after the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a tax.
During Tuesday night's edition of CNN's Outfront, substitute host Tom Foreman departed from the network's usual liberal spin to accuse President Obama of failing to keep his promise of presiding over the most transparent presidential administration ever.
After running a clip of the president stating that “We have put in place the toughest ethics laws and toughest transparency rules of any administration in history.” Foreman asked if Obama's claims “add up” regarding the “transparency tornado.”
Any other President with Barack Obama’s record — high unemployment, record deficits, and scandals such as Fast and Furious and the leaking of our nation’s intelligence secrets — would face withering scrutiny from the press. But since Obama was elected, journalists have continued the adoring coverage that marked the 2008 campaign.
With the election now less than four months away, the MRC this week produced special edition of Notable Quotables documenting the media’s continuing love affair with Barack Obama. The entire issue is posted at MRC.org; here are fifteen quotes (six with video), exposing once again how utterly partisan the media have been over the past three and a half years:
This is the man who admitted his memoir "Dreams of My Father" was semi-fictional. “For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people, I’ve known, and some events appear out of precise chronology.” Translation: On some pages, I’m taking poetic license with the facts to burnish my image.
During my book "tour," radio hosts are forever asking me whether I believe that Obama is intentionally attempting to destroy America. It's a fair question, especially given the title of my book and because so many people legitimately believe he is.
I have never been too receptive to conspiracy theories, and I'm not particularly enamored of ones circulating about Obama. But unlike many other such theories, this one is about a truly unprecedented assault on the American idea and on those first principles that have made America the unique experiment in constitutional governance that it has been.
The Washington Post reports on the front page Tuesday that their poll has Obama and Romney dead even at 47 to 47. The chart inside shows that after opening a 51-44 lead in April by the Post's measurement, Obama’s lead has vanished.
But the Post story by Dan Balz and Jon Cohen demonstrated that the Post went searching for happy news for Obama in swing-state subsets that suggest Obama’s anti-Bain ads are working against Romney:
The Washington Post's popular Fact Checker political column isn't known for being particularly balanced when it comes to choosing which statements to dissect. So, it was surprising when the column's author Glenn Kessler, who usually chooses to go after statements made by prominent Republicans, fact-checked a tweet made by President Obama.
On July 3, @BarackObama tweeted, "FACT: In 2010 and 2011, Romney paid less than 15% in taxes on $42.5 million in income—much less than what many middle-class families pay." Kessler decided to dig into this statement and gave it "3 out of 4" Pinnochios on the Fact Checker scale.
When is a tax not a tax? When President Obama says it isn't, or when the Supreme Court says it is?
Obamacare was sold on several fraudulent lines. The president knows the country doesn't want to pay higher taxes, given the deplorable way their government spends the money. And so the administration packaged it as something different.
The Supreme Court's ruling in Obamacare v. the United States of America is yet another body blow to the U.S. Constitution's principle of limited government and the freedom tradition, but there is a major upside.
Despite President Obama's opposition to an individual mandate when he was debating Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primaries and despite his postelection insistence that Obamacare's mandate does not constitute a tax, his lawyers insisted otherwise, and the Supreme Court bought it. So we have a law with enormous reach — one-seventh to one-sixth of the economy — having been fundamentally misrepresented to the American people from the beginning.
Apparently tiring of US soil as a source of campaign dollars, the Obama campaign is headed overseas -- with its celebrity friends in tow. The European Obama campaign starts next week in Paris on July 4 with a reception organized by various fundraising heavy-hitters. Independence Day fundraisers in Paris – now that’s a flag-waving campaign.
How cozy. Former Democratic operative turned television news host George Stephanopoulos used his ABC News platform on Sunday to celebrate, with Vicki Reggie Kennedy, ObamaCare’s Supreme Court victory. Stephanopoulos excitedly plugged his “special exclusive guest” on This Week, announcing: “We begin with something special. The first reaction on the ruling from Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy who fought for universal health care...”
A giddy Stephanopoulos conveyed how he’s vicariously living in the glory of the liberal triumph: “I can only imagine what it must have been like for you, at the moment you heard that the Supreme Court had decided.”
The day after Barack Obama won a major victory for his signature health care overhaul legislation -- which he and his allies insist will ultimately LOWER health care costs for Americans -- the president is threatening to veto a defense authorization bill in part because Congress is not acting to RAISE health care costs for American servicemen.
The Washington Free Beacon has the story here, and I've also excerpted it below the page break. It remains to be seen to what extent the Obama-boosting liberal media will acknowledge the president's hypocrisy:
It didn't take long after ObamaCare was upheld by the Supreme Court for CNN to browbeat Republicans about accepting defeat and getting behind the law. Anchor Brooke Baldwin asked Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Thursday afternoon why he was still fighting a law opposed by a majority of Americans.
"You lost in 2010 when this law was passed, you lost again today. Yet you are still pushing for the repeal of this law. Doesn't that make you look kind of like a sore loser?" Baldwin obnoxiously asked. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Liberal hosts on MSNBC can’t get their talking points in order when it comes to how liberals should react to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday’s The Cycle, co-host Steve Kornacki insisted that “if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, that does not mean it's unconstitutional.” To the Salon.com writer, just because the Court would have spoken thus doesn't make it final.
Such open and partisan comments are a stark contrast to those made by MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry today. On MSNBC Live following the Supreme Court upholding ObamaCare, Harris-Perry rebuked Kentucky Republican Rand Paul for his attack on the Supreme Court, saying he should respect the Court's word as final. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
Some creative spin in favor of President Barack Obama from Chuck Todd on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News. Recounting the results of a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which puts Obama ahead of Mitt Romney by 47 to 44 percent, Todd declared Obama’s “strongest positive was a surprise, ‘health care,’” though it actually was the third-most common positive reply to the question: “What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Barack Obama as President?”
Citing Obama’s negatives, Todd relayed how they “include the ‘economy’ and ‘unemployment’” – skipping over the second most-common reply – “lack of experience/incompetent” – and how more listed ObamaCare as a negative than a positive. [UPDATED below with Todd's later more accurate recitation.]
One advantage of defeating Barack Obama in November, apart from saving the country from financial ruin and the rest, is that conservatives will presumably be able to criticize liberal policies again without automatically being accused of racism.
These charges aren't just emanating from the fringe groups; they're not just being uttered by radical leftist bloggers or Occupy Wall Street zealots. They are no longer the exclusive province of race hustlers whose professional careers depend on stirring up animosity among racial groups.
Yesterday I noted that Fox News reported that the Obama administration was ending its program that deputizes local and state law enforcement officers so that they can arrest illegal immigrants. "By Monday afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security had pulled back on a program known as 287(g), which allows the feds to deputize local officials to make immigration-based arrests," Fox reported, adding that "The move means that even if local police step up immigration checks, they'll have to rely on federal officials to make the arrests."
While it's clearly a sign that the Obama administration is intent on doing all it can to not aggressively enforce the nation's immigration laws, the liberal broadcast media greeted the news with a yawn. Neither ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's This Morning, nor NBC's Today noted the Obama administration's decision to kill the 287(g) program.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (this was written before the decision), the Obama administration has indicated it will move forward with those parts of the unpopular law it can impose on the country.
Guidebooks are helpful when going on vacation. The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) is the best guidebook for Americans concerned where a nationalized health system might take us.
Every summer, millions of Americans enjoy baseball, summer camps and vacation plans. But for the nation's political junkies, every fourth summer is filled with guessing games about the vice presidential nomination.
While the guessing games are fun, it's more accurate to look at the fundamentals facing the candidate and what he hopes to achieve.
Coming quickly on the heels of the Supreme Court's ruling today in Arizona v. United States that struck down much of the Grand Canyon State's anti-illegal immigration law -- but upheld a crucial provision to check the immigration status of persons held in custody -- the Obama administration announced today that it is ending a program that deputizes local and state police officers to help enforce federal immigration law.
Time magazine is shooting straight at Mitt Romney’s religion. On the Time Ideas blog, the conservative-bashing psychoanalyst Dr. Justin Frank has an article titled “The Root of Mitt Romney’s Comfort With Lying.” That root, he says, is Mormonism.
Dr. Frank is agitated that Romney would “lie” about Obama’s economic record: "But this pattern of lying and not acknowledging it, even when confronted directly, has persisted and led me to look for other sources of Romney’s behavior and of his clear comfort with continuing it. I think much of this comfort stems from his Mormon faith."
Unintentionally defining irony, in the midst of trying to rationalize news media disinterest in the “Fast & Furious” scandal by maintaining “it’s not a political scandal” but “a scandal of government,” Washington Post columnist and former reporter Dana Milbank claimed on CNN's Reliable Sources: “It’s not an ideological thing. I think the media would love to have an Obama scandal to cover.”
Last month’s jobs numbers were anything but encouraging. The number of jobs that economists expected to be created was significantly lower than the actual number of jobs created. Unemployment rose to 8.2% and underemployment rose to nearly 15%. The Wall Street Journal reported that “U.S. job growth slowed sharply in May, the latest indication that the economy has lost momentum.”
Yet, President Obama claimed that “the private sector is doing fine.” The 5.4 million American workers who have been classified as the long-term unemployed would think otherwise. Americans are concerned about the economy. A recent Gallup poll found that over two-thirds of Americans know someone personally who has been laid off in the last six months—the highest in Gallup’s history of asking this question. Despite this, the liberal national media has placed its journalistic principles aside and have already begun to shill for the White House and justify President Obama’s remarks.
The Washington Post suddenly discovered Ed Klein’s best-selling anti-Obama bookThe Amateur on the front page of Thursday’s Style section. Reporter/book blogger Steven Levington announced the book "contains scenes that did not occur or that were vastly misconstrued, according to those who Klein says were present."
Levingston completely ignored the most headline-grabbing allegations in the book, that in a recorded interview, Rev. Jeremiah Wright said Obama pal Eric Whitacre tried to buy his silence in 2008. Instead, Levingston went on a tear against Klein’s 2005 book about Hillary Clinton.
Yesterday the Southern Baptist Convention elected their first black president, an historic moment for an organization that got its start defending slavery in pre-Civil War America.
CNN Starting Point host Soledad O'Brien interviewed Fred Luter Jr., who will be installed as president Wednesday evening. The interview on the main was fine, but towards the end, contributor Margaret Hoover pressed Luter as to whether he would champion as a "civil rights" cause, "inclusiveness of gay Americans," referring it seems to same-sex marriage. Luter answered in the negative, citing the Bible's teachings on the definition of marriage. It's then that O'Brien retorted that his stance put him in opposition to President Obama, as if to suggest that were a scandalous position for him to be in:
Do you remember when President George H.W. Bush made the promise not to raise taxes ("Read my lips: No new taxes") but unfortunately was talked into raising taxes and it cost him in his bid for a second term?
If President Bush No. 41 could lose a re-election by breaking one promise, how can President Barack Obama win a second term when he has broken a truckload of promises?
Any old liberal journalist can charge Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro for being a racist for rudely interrupting President Obama during a press conference. It takes a hard-core lefty to delve deeper to diagnose the Irish-born journalist as a bigot for, well, questioning Obama's policy vis-a-vis how it harms the job prospects of American citizens.
During a segment on the June 19 edition of his eponymous program, Bashir assented to the spurious charge by The Root contributor Edward Wyckoff Williams that Munro – an Irish-born naturalized American citizen -- was motivated by a "white supremist [sic] ideology" as evidenced by his belief that President Obama’s quasi-amnesty policy helps illegal immigrants at the cost of job opportunity to American citizens: