When it comes to the mid-terms, I’m about in the same place psychologically as McQ. But we might as well have some fun with this election. So I sat down and thought about what I expected from it, and came up with the following list:
- The Republicans will do well. They will likely retake the Senate and add at least a dozen seats to their House majority.
- Lots fewer people will care about that outcome than in previous cycles such as 1994 and 2010. More people are now cynical that the GOP doesn’t really intend to do anything of consequence.
The default strategy of the establishment GOP right now seems to be to give the Democrats a turn, knowing they’ll screw things up even worse. Then the voters will give the establishment GOP another chance, because they screw things up more slowly. Thus, the establishment GOP believes they are assured of another round of favoring their particular crony capitalists rather then the crony capitalists favored by the Democrats. Plus, they get the nice corner offices for a while.
- At least one Senate race will be close, and will go into protracted recounts. The Democrats will eventually win that race with questionable votes. (Bonus points on entertainment value if it’s Al Franken again.)
- The media will not report the questionable votes and tactics used to secure the Democratic victory in #3.
- The media will be surprised at the depth of loathing for Obama shown by the election. After all, everyone *they* know likes him.
- The media will only show a flicker of that surprise before they get back to covering for and pimping for Obama.
- At least one major media figure will use the phrase “temper tantrum” or a close synonym to describe what the voters did to cause the GOP gains.
- At least one incident at a polling place will involve blacks supposedly being denied the right to vote because of new voter ID laws. The media might have to manufacture, or at least exaggerate, that incident, but they’ll find one no matter how hard they have to search.
- There will be incidents of the opposite kind, like this one in 2008. Those will not be reported by the media, no matter how many there are or how egregious the violation of laws happens to be.
- November and December will see dozens of media stories on how the “ground game” failed for the Democrats. Some of those stories will infer that the Democrats’ ground game was sabotaged. There will be no stories in major media of how the Democrats and their ground game failed because Obama has become a laughing-stock.
- Opinion columnists in the major media will begin to excuse Obama’s almost total disengagement by blaming it on the new GOP dual majority in Congress. They’ll say things such as “Why should he even try, when they won’t cooperate with him?” (i.e. “bend over and do what he wants”) Some will push for Obama to use even more executive power to bypass the democratically elected majorities in Congress. Some of those will be the same ones who screamed about Bush’s “illegal war”, even though he sought and received authorization from Congress.
- Someone will attempt to spread rumors about an Ebola outbreak in key places to depress voter turnout by making people unwilling to go out in public. Either side is capable of this – both sides might do it.
- Ted Cruz will give a rousing speech shortly after the election on what the Republicans should do. It will be ignored by the major media, though they might run an out-of-context soundbite of it to try and make him look bad.
- Very stupid social science academics will shake their heads and wonder how the voters could dislike Obama since he’s such a great president. Then they’ll talk about how things go “back and forth” or “move in cycles” or some such meaningless blather, as if the GOP victories simply resulted from an inevitable force of nature and have nothing to do with Obama’s screwups.
- Allies of the establishment GOP, such as the bloggers at Hot Air, will immediately begin justifying why the new majorities can’t possibly do anything of consequence. I’m guessing their catchphrase will become “Don’t expect too much.”
- Allies of the establishment GOP will claim that the election results show definitively that the GOP needs to nominate a moderate for president in 2016. I can’t predict what tortured logic they will use for that conclusion.
OK, that’s enough for me. How about our astute and intelligent commenters add their own?
Like her or not, I think MoDo pretty much nails it here:
A front-page article in The Times by Carl Hulse, Jeremy Peters and Michael Shear chronicled how the president’s disdain for politics has alienated many of his most stalwart Democratic supporters on Capitol Hill.
His bored-bird-in-a-gilded-cage attitude, the article said, “has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.”
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, an early Obama backer, noted that “for him, eating his spinach is schmoozing with elected officials.”
First the president couldn’t work with Republicans because they were too obdurate. Then he tried to chase down reporters with subpoenas. Now he finds members of his own party an unnecessary distraction.
His circle keeps getting more inner. He golfs with aides and jocks, and he spent his one evening back in Washington from Martha’s Vineyard at a nearly five-hour dinner at the home of a nutritional adviser and former White House assistant chef, Sam Kass.
The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.
The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.
That fact was apparent to anyone who took the time to review what little we knew of Obama’s sparse political record. He only stopped at each elected office long enough to get himself elected to the next higher office. He had no record of accomplishing anything of substance at any of those stops and spent most of his time campaigning for the next job he wanted.
Yet that was ignored. What was gobbled up were his words. Words that were backed by nothing but hot air. He had no record as a “uniter”. He had no record as a legislator. He had no work record nor had he ever actually run anything that could be described to have given him “executive experience”.
So, what some of us saw, everyone got. An empty suit. A clueless political face that managed to pull off one of the most incredible, and it appears, devastating victories of modern times.
And yet his own party is now “surprised” he’s so useless and clueless. They’re surprised he’s been so pathetically incompetent. As they watch the world crumble, they still want to complain that it is someone else’s fault (meaning those old reliable standbys – the GOP and Bush).
But as each horrific day of this presidency moves into the next, it is clear that most of the country hold the president responsible for most of the problems – both domestic and international – we are suffering.
And Democrats, as well as the liberal media, have finally figured out that defending this failure is “politically dangerous”.
So we see the Claire McCaskills and Maureen Dowds of the world beginning to really distance themselves from “The One” – the one they backed to the hilt.
Rats. Sinking ship.
Sometimes though, it’s not particularly helpful to be right about something or someone, as those of us who pointed out all these problems before Obama was elected were. Because when you’re right about something like that, it means you’re also right about the consequences.
Cast your eyes upon them – they are exactly what logic dictated would happen when you give a job as important as the presidency to a grossly unqualified man or woman.
But not that much.
Because it is a re-run. In fact, it’s a re-run of a re-run. A re-make if you prefer. The same-old, same-old.
It is so predictable that you could set up a timeline and be pretty sure that you’d be 90% right.
It begins like this:
Incident occurs. In this case, black teenager, white cop (template says black/white with black the victim). Tensions build. Protests erupt and violence ensues.
Then the real problem occurs.
Before everything can be sorted out and calmed down, the media shows up.
Of course, as soon as the media grows enough to include national outlets, the professional race baiters are soon to follow. Right on their heels the other opportunists arrive – the anarchists, communists, community activists, agitators and looters. And soon the circus is in full swing.
Rumor is published as fact. Hate rages from both sides. Social media is inundated with trash talk, nonsense and stupidity aided and abetted by an agenda driven media. Death threats, threats of violence, racial hate and other garbage flows like a river. Anchors from the national outlets put on their safari jackets (or now I guess it’s their protective vests and helmets) and get cameo shots near the protests to certify their “bona fides” as brave news men and women. Irresponsibility and immaturity on all sides rules the day.
Former CNN anchor and Fox News Channel’s “MediaBuzz” host Howie Kurtz criticized some outlets for creating “almost a lynch mob mentality” in Ferguson, MO in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown.
“Some liberal outlets [are] creating almost a lynch mob mentality around this, the Huffington Post today, screaming banner headline ‘Arrest Him.’ Now, the Huffington Post, nor you or I, knows exactly what happened” he said. And “when you cross that line into becoming an advocate and to demanding that somebody be prosecuted before the facts are in, while the investigation is going on, you’re grandstanding, you’re trying to keep the story alive and I really think it’s troubling.”
Kurtz also criticized CNN for showing the house of accused officer Darren Wilson, stating, “It defies my understanding how you could put his life or the life of his family in danger by even briefly showing the house or naming the street.”
When it all finally sorts itself out, we’ll likely find that the problem wasn’t necessarily about race, didn’t conform to any of the preconceived notions presented by the press (like, you know, “George Zimmerman” wasn’t white) and wasn’t any of the nonsense the “experts” opined endlessly about.
It was an unfortunate incident that needs to be addressed, but hasn’t had the chance to be addressed. And now the DoJ has decided the Civil Rights division needs to be involved along with 40 or so FBI agents. And the governor has sent in the National Guard.
Is there an injustice here? Possibly, but I don’t know yet. I’d go as far as to say probably, but again, I don’t know. I do know that it points to a growing trend of over-policing that I attribute to a seeming change in philosophy among police departments. Police, in many cases, seem to escalate a situation instead of defusing it. That needs to be reversed, in my opinion. But I certainly don’t know if this officer would have acted any differently if the teenager had been white. Nor do I yet know whether his actions were warranted or not (which is why we impanel juries and have evidence presented in cases like this). And neither does anyone else.
But in the street theater all of this has become, that’s likely to be lost in the shuffle.
In other words, this is the Trayvon Martin template redux with nightly violence added for variety.
Formulaic, predictable and disgusting. But that’s how we do it in America today.
(This screen cap done at 9:00 AM CST 15 June, 2014)
We’ve known that the New York Times has been part of the palace guard for Democrats for quite a while.* But this is a new low.
If 18 minutes of lost taped conversations in Nixon’s White House is good for weeks of coverage, surely close to two years of lost emails from someone accused targeting the president’s political opponents is even more important.
The story has been on the networks’ web sites since Friday (NBC, CBS, Fox) plus outlets like Forbes, the Fiscal Times, and lots of others. Given that, no serious, objective media outlet would ever ignore the lost IRS email story for two days, and leave it out of their biggest edition of the week. Not the “paper of record”. Not the publication that brags it contains “all the news that’s fit to print”.
But that’s exactly what the Times has done.
The Washington Post is marginally better. No front page story, as the story manifestly deserves. No original reporting, even though the story is in their own backyard. But they do have a couple of Associated Press reports in two sections Politics and Business (yeah, Business – I don’t get it either).
If you still think the Times and Post have not chosen sides politically, then you are a willfully blind, naive fool.
*Occasionally a decent article slips through, or perhaps is done as camouflage to bolster the idea that they are serious objective journalists. They stopped fooling anyone connected to reality quite a while back.
Michael Sam is a college football player. He’s was a good player in college. Good enough, in any event, to barely make it into the NFL draft at number 249 of 256. Which means he probably isn’t a great player, and probably won’t make it in the NFL. After he finished his college football career at Mizzou, he announced he was openly gay.
So, when he was waiting to hear whether or not he’d be drafted, with his boyfriend at his side, TV cameras were there to broadcast live on ESPN, when he heard he’d squeeked into the NFL and exchanged several kisses with his boyfriend.
Now, TV cameras don’t usually show up to see the reaction of guys who get picked #249, mainly because no one usually gives a crap that they got picked. But Michael Sam is different. They decided they were going to cover him, well before the day of coverage.
“We are very aware that in those last two rounds potentially — maybe even before that — Michael will get drafted and we will definitely spend time on that draft pick,’’ said Eric Weinberger, who is running NFL Network’s draft coverage. “We will spend as much time as we think we have to.”
They were there solely because he is openly gay, hoping to get something good out of it. What they got was several good closeups of gay man-kissing. I’m sure they were very happy with that.
Others were less so. The Dolphins’ Defensive Back Don Jones tweeted his displeasure at the scene, which was broadcast live on ESPN. This got him fined and suspended. Apparently, we are no longer allowed to express our opinions in polite society any more, unless that opinion is anything other than fully politically correct. Personally, I feel pretty much the way Bill Burr does in this comedy bit. I don’t have a problem with gays doing whatever they do. Just don’t care. Looking to get upset at whatever gay people are up to doesn’t interest me.
But, I also don’t want to see gay guys kissing or having sex, because I think sex with guys is icky. That’s not something you’re supposed to express publicly. I’m not sure why, but it’s now hateful to state that you might be a little uncomfortable with gay things. I think heterosexual sex that includes golden showers is icky, too. Not being German, I don’t wanna watch that, either. Nobody will yammer for me to lose my job if say say something negative about golden showers, but saying something less that fully accepting about homosexuality can get you a quick trip to “sensitivity training”, or even the unemployment line. Our limits of acceptable opinion are being circumscribed by political correctness. The government doesn’t have to attack free speech. Our culture is doing that job just fine.
It also irks me how the media handles this. They go out of their way to highlight things that stir up controversy, then gleefully report on the controversy they intentionally ginned up, being sure to point out people who say the “wrong” things about it. Those people then have to make elaborate public apologies for saying something politically incorrect. Then they get suspended or fired. It’s getting pretty constant now. The Opie and Anthony radio show are doing a bit where they are trying to go ten days without one of these cycles of apology. So far, they haven’t made it for three days without resetting the clock.
The Framers of the Constitution were terrified the government would stifle free speech. Turns out, they should’ve been worried about the rest of us. Apparently, it’s not something we really want.
During my usual effort to get good and stressed before sunrise, I was reading the news this morning –
President campaigns for Health Care Enrollment
Where I came across this photo, which I proceeded to doctor and make mock of. I thought it was from the White House Easter Egg ceremony of 2014 – and then found out it was from 2009.
Hardly current. Buggers.
I wandered back to the real 2014 gallery to find some others. Maybe there was another photo that my hostile imagination could play with.
Who needs to play with things when the real thing is so much more entertaining.
The real White House egg hunt photos from 2014. Step right up, this is the real thing folks, accept no substitutes.
So now we can all try and figure out what kind of people think this is funny enough to make part of the National history of what should be a lighthearted thing for kids.
Here’s the caption “Our heavily armed snipers are dressed in kid-friendly bunny attire”.
Oh, ha ha ha. You kidders, your heavily armed snipers are kid friendly heavily armed snipers.
This made me to wonder if we’ve ever lightheartedly made jokes about needing snipers on the White House roof before.
The gallery of previous years, even post 9/11, seem remarkably short of references of this kind. You know, no cute photos of MANPAD equipped agents dressed as Harvey the Pooka who will magic Easter Jihadi’s out of the air (to cascade down in flaming bits over the streets and buildings of the capital, but I digress while expressing thanks that I have neither the job of pulling the trigger or the job of giving the command to do so…).
But the real prize for this year goes to this one -with the caption – “Colorful Easter eggs are tossed off the White House roof at special targets below.”
Given the death from above philosophy I think this humor a little macabre as well.
How about some nice photo shots of the kids and people at the parties as we did in previous administrations? No?
Readers can feel free to tell me to “lighten up Francis,” I won’t mind.
If it were new behavior from this administration, I’d just think it was a little weird. As it is, I’ve come to accept this kind of thing as fairly normal.
That is to say, bizarre.
If you’re at all inclined to go look you might want to do so before some adult becomes aware and sanity takes hold and they clean this, yet another, clueless, tone deaf, gawdawful mess up.
UPDATE – 2014-04-21 – 15:00 Central Time
If you go to the White House web page I linked to, you’ll see a bunch of little eggs floating around the screen, and…..a fly. A fly? A fly walking around the screen?
The Easter Fly? Is this some tradition I don’t know about?
Does someone need to remind these people this is the White House or what? The Residence of the President of the United States of America…
Yeah yeah, I know, lighten up Francis.
Study: Flu medications could spread sickness
WASHINGTON – Could cold and flu drugs help spread the flu? Some researchers think so.
Over-the-counter cold and flu drugs contain ibuprofen, acetaminophen or other drugs that can reduce fever. When patients’ fever is down, they tend to feel better.
But researchers at Canada’s McMaster University concluded that when some patients reduce their symptoms with cold and flu medications, they feel better and return to work or school while still infected. While patients feel fine, they are still able to infect others, according to the study, which is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Real answer: Researchers aren’t saying that at all newspeople. What they’re saying is if people have the flu, are still contageous, but are made to feel better enough by medicine to go to work, THEY may spread the flu, for heaven sake.
When I read the headline, I was actually thinking they were talking about the flu vaccine. That actually might make some sense. Instead we get this non-report report – and abysmal framing of the study. So bad they have to point out:
“We aren’t saying don’t take medication. That’s not the message,” David Earn, who specializes in mathematics and disease, said to NBC News. “Be aware that if you take this medication, there is this effective increase in transmission.”
No there isn’t an “effective increase in transmission” if you take the meds. There’s a POSSIBILITY of an increase in transmission if you feel well enough (and are foolish enough) to go out into public while you’re still contageous.
This pretty well demonstrates the state of science reporting in the media today. And they wonder why we don’t buy into the global warming hype?
Seriously, if I were her, I’d be embarrassed to write this:
Everyone is doing thoughtful year-end pieces on President Obama. Writers and reporters agree he’s had his worst year ever. I infer from most of their essays an unstated but broadly held sense of foreboding: There’s no particular reason to believe next year will be better, and in fact signs and indications point to continued trouble.
I would add that in recent weeks I have begun to worry about the basic competency of the administration, its ability to perform the most fundamental duties of executive management. One reason I worry is that I frequently speak with people who interact with the White House, and when I say, “That place just doesn’t seem to work,” they don’t defend it, they offer off-the-record examples of how poorly the government is run.
“Have begun to worry?!” Really?! Just now?!
The guy has been clueless since the beginning and Peggy Noonan is just now beginning to worry. My goodness where has she been? We’ve watched a raft of failures in both domestic and foreign policy, an economy and job market that continue to suck, and an imperial presidency in which the incumbent prefers to rule by decree rather than as the Constitution outlines. And then there’s his signature law – ObamaCare.
And Noonan is just now starting to worry.
Lord save us from the chattering class. Blinders firmly in place, they’ve ignored this incompetence for all these years and now, when it is sort of safe to actually point it out, they’re “discovering” it.
They’re as clueless as this president.
No one said it would go smoothly or that compromise was a requirement in Congress. For whatever reason, “progress”, for some, is defined in the number of new laws passed and hours worked in Congress. NBC News for instance in their daily email newsletter this morning:
By now, we’ve told you how unproductive the 113th Congress has been so far, now passing just 57 bills into law (compared with 67 passed at this same point in time by the previous 112th Congress, which then was the least productive modern Congress on record). But here’s another way to measure how unproductive the Congress has been — in terms of hours worked. “According to data analyzed by The New York Times, the House of Representatives, which ended its business for the year last week, left town with the distinction of having been at work for the fewest hours in a nonelection year since 2005, when detailed information about legislative activity became available. Not counting brief, pro forma sessions, the House was in session for 942 hours, an average of about 28 hours each week it conducted business in Washington. That is far lower than the nearly 1,700 hours it was in session in 2007, the 1,350 hours in 2005 or even the 1,200 in 2011.” We know members of Congress do much of their work with constituents back home. But the TV ads here kind of write themselves. Who wouldn’t want a 28-hour work week? Expect every incumbent to get dinged with that “28 hour work week” hit while “you at home struggle to make ends meet working 40 or 50 hours” yada yada.
Yada, yada indeed. We ought to give them medals for not intruding any further on our freedoms. OK, not really. But apparently it is forgotten that Congress was supposed to be a part-time job (thus the two sessions) and that only laws of necessity (as outlined in the Constitution) were to be passed. Now, apparently, Congress is only “productive” when it is engaged in stepping on everyone’s freedoms by passing dozens upon dozens of new laws, many of which are unnecessary or are designed to reward one constituency at the cost of another.
And we’ve developed a ruling class via career politicians and their heirs. I’ve never been so tired of the names Clinton, Bush, Kennedy, Cuomo, etc. Political power isn’t hereditary … or wasn’t supposed to be anyway.
Why do people feel the way NBC does? Because they don’t pay attention and they have no sense of history or how this nation was formed. They’ve totally bought into the mind drugs that purveyors like NBC and the NY Times offer every day. According to them, a “productive” Congress is a Congress engaged in finding new ways to run your life. As Dale said last night we’re finally to the stage that most of the country believes they belong to the state.
American exceptionalism isn’t a figment of anyone’s imagination. It is, or was, a product of our founding. And as long as we stuck to the principles of our founding, we remained an exceptional country. Now it seems we’re headed toward the mediocrity of any number of other countries simply by trying to fix something that wasn’t broken. We’ve fallen for the siren song of “free” stuff, and there are enough Americans benefiting from the state robbing others to give to them that they see no reason to change that slide into the abyss. As long as the free stuff continues to come their way while they live, well, that’s just fine.
And the NBCs of the world are just fine with helping us along to that unexceptional, over-regulated, nanny-state existence that they apparently think is best for us and our country.
The Democrats’ newest line in the peeling onion of fail that is Obamacare is that its failure is all the Republicans’ fault because…they sabotaged it. This line has been taken up by Politico in an article by Todd S. Purdum.
From the moment the bill was introduced, Republican leaders in both houses of Congress announced their intention to kill it. Republican troops pressed this cause all the way to the Supreme Court — which upheld the law, but weakened a key part of it by giving states the option to reject an expansion of Medicaid. The GOP faithful then kept up their crusade past the president’s reelection, in a pattern of “massive resistance” not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954…
Most Republican governors declined to create their own state insurance exchanges — an option inserted in the bill in the Senate to appeal to the classic conservative preference for local control — forcing the federal government to take at least partial responsibility for creating marketplaces serving 36 states — far more than ever intended.
Then congressional Republicans refused repeatedly to appropriate dedicated funds to do all that extra work, leaving the Health and Human Services Department and other agencies to cobble together HealthCare.gov by redirecting funds from existing programs. On top of that, nearly half of the states declined to expand their Medicaid programs using federal funds, as the law envisioned.
Then, in the months leading up to the program’s debut, some states refused to do anything at all to educate the public about the law. And congressional Republicans sent so many burdensome queries to local hospitals and nonprofits gearing up to help consumers navigate the new system face-to-face that at least two such groups returned their federal grants and gave up the effort.
So, political opposition to a law that Republicans always opposed is now "sabotage’. That’s simply nonsense on stilts. The law was passed without a single Republican vote. That should’ve been a big signal to Democrats that the law was going to be on shaky ground, but of course, in their arrogance, it didn’t.
Back in 1993, when Hillary Clinton was working on Health Care Reform, Daniel Patrick Moynihan gave her some sage advice. He told her that without support from a large, non-partisan majority, no large-scale reform can ever be successfully concluded. She ignored him at the time, just as Democrats ignored that advice when they passed Obamacare on a strictly party-line vote.
But no Congress can ever bind a succeeding Congress. This has been a black-letter principle of American politics for two centuries. The only way a succeeding congress can be bound is if the support for a particular law is widespread and bi-partisan. And in the case of Obamacare, not only have the Republicans been opposed since the beginning so has a majority of the American people. Obamacare has never polled with majority support among the electorate, and as its implementation date has drawn closer, the majority of the electorate that opposes it has increased.
Howard Dean, recently suggested that Republican opposition to Obamacare is a sign that Republicans have "forgotten that they’re actually supposed to serve the American people." But since, by all the polling results I’ve ever seen, a substantial majority of the public opposes Obamacare, it would seem to me that Republican opposition is actually the precise opposite of what Howard Dean suggests.
Defining opposition to Obamacare as "sabotage" is simply sour grapes from an arrogant political party that imposed an unpopular law against the apparent wishes of the electorate.
Obamacare is a disaster. I predicted it was an unworkable disaster before it was passed, as did anyone who took the time to look at the perverse incentives it created. The amount of wishful thinking that went in to passing this stupid law is incomprehensible to me. It could not have been more clearly prone to failure if it had been intentionally designed to fail.
Make no mistake: if you support Obamacare, you are a complete dolt, or so lacking in fundamental knowledge that your opinion about it is irrelevant. It is a law that literally cannot accomplish its stated purpose, because it ignores essential and fundamental economic and political realities. Moreover, it was passed in opposition to a majority of Americans.
Opposition to this disaster is not sabotage. It is the only rational response to the utter stupidity it encapsulates.
But framing opposition as sabotage does have a darker, more nefarious purpose. The whole point of such charges is to delegitimize the opposition. Frankly, it’s part of what I see as an ongoing Democratic strategy to define opposition to any policy they support as un-American, at the very least, if not somehow criminal. The Left in this country could not be doing more to foment a civil war if they were intentionally trying to do so.
I have very little hope for the future of this country. I have very little left but anger.