Free Markets, Free People

David Axlerod

Stuff and whatnot

The idiocy continues on all sorts of fronts.  A few things that caught my eye.  David Axlerod’s autobiography and his expectations:

“More than anything, this is what’s terrible about modern media and how these books roll out,” Axelrod says. “I was determined to write a book that wasn’t going to be characterized by some titillating nugget that had about a three-day half-life, but rather an entire story of my life and the conclusions that life has led me to. I wanted to write a book that people might want to read years from now and not just today’s publication because they wanted to find out who had been knifing who.”

A lovely sentiment. But Axelrod, who likes to think of himself as a real-world idealist, surely knew not to get his hopes up.

Oh balderdash.  Axelrod is about as calculating a political hack as one can find.  To assume he was so naive or stupid to believe his book would be treated any other way is irony on steroids.  The only thing interesting about the man at all are the political secrets he may reveal.  I got a good laugh out of his disappointment.

Under the sarcastic title of “wow, I’d have never guessed this … ” we find:

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Look, those guys learned how to successfully co-opt liberal left anti-war groups ages ago.  This is just the updated effort.  Why this would surprise anyone is a mystery to me.  And, of course, it’s the big names of the movement – Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress.  Bought and paid for … by evil oil.

Irony … it’s just lost on the left.

Under the title of “when bureaucrats get huffy”, things got a little testy in a Congressional hearing yesterday with the newest VA Secretary.  Apparently he’s not used to having his competence questioned:

The fracas started when Coffman criticized the VA for citing its effort to defend cost and time overruns at a Denver hospital projects as a major accomplishment.

“How is that a success?”

[Rep. Mike] Coffman [(R-Colo.)] asked. “You lost that case on every single point for the hospital in my district that is hundreds of millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.”

“I think that that’s just characteristic of your glossing over the extraordinary problems confronted by your department,” Coffman added. “This is a department mired in bureaucratic incompetence and corruption. And I gotta tell you, I think the public relations is great today, but there’s no substance.”

McDonald said he was offended by those remarks, and then dodged the question and tried to shift the blame to Coffman and others in Congress.

“Actually, I’ve been here six months,” McDonald said to Coffman. “You’ve been here longer than I have. If there’s a problem in Denver, I think you own it more than I do.”

Really … because Coffman has what to do with running the VA project in question?  After all the failure of the past 6 years, that’s just what you need, an egoistic, thin-skinned nincompoop at the head of the VA.  McDonald followed that little jewel up by showing he knew nothing about the person he was insulting:

… McDonald ended by barking at Coffman, “I’ve run a large company, sir. What have you done?”

Well, as it happens, Mike Coffman is a combat veteran who started his own company, and is the only member of Congress to have served in both Iraq wars.  And as it happens, Secretary McDonald is an ass, just like the head of the IRS, just like our Attorney General, just like … yes, it’s the culture and climate that has evolved within this administration and it all goes directly to the head of it all … our snarky, sarcastic and disrespectful president.

Btw, in my estimation, McDonald ended up looking like a fool, something he richly deserved.

Instead of hurling insults, McDonald should be interested in actually doing something useful.  Like his job:

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ vast health network — beset by a scandal last year over delayed care — has been listed as a high-risk federal program by congressional auditors for the first time.

The report by the watchdog Government Accountability Office, which is issued every two years, includes a broad indictment of the $55.5 billion VA program, one of the nation’s largest health care systems. USA TODAY obtained the VA section of the report, scheduled for release Wednesday.

And this goob, like most of the administration, is trying to lay off any blame.  It’s a perfect example of an ossified bureaucracy that is more than incompetent, it’s lethal.

Finally, for those of you who like strolling down the memory lane of climate alarmist predictions, there’s a website up dedicated to reminding us again how wrong they’ve all been:

A senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.

San Jose Mercury News 30 Jun 1989

Ah, yes, the good old days.

~McQ

Axlerod on Gingrich

What is it with these guys that they feel they have to come up with stuff like this?

"The higher a monkey climbs on the pole the more you can see his butt."

Good thing no one has said something like this about our black president.  However, Axlerod should know that his man is waaaay up that pole and his posterior has been hanging out there for all to see for years.  And it is not a pretty sight, politically speaking.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

The White House shuffle

Good news or bad news? What do my favorite political junkies think?

President Obama’s inner circle will likely be losing some key players. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports that sources say David Axelrod, the president’s closest advisor, will move to Chicago next spring.

Axelrod is expected to reassume his role as campaign manager in Mr. Obama’s 2012 reelection bid. A potential, if not likely, replacement for Axelrod is current White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
The dominoes don’t stop there. Rahm Emanuel, the president’s Chief of Staff, may leave the White House as soon as next month.

Part of the problems of this administration –other than the inept leadership provided by the President – can be found in those which Obama has surrounded himself.  That’s most true of any administration, but for this one in particular, it’s been particularly evident that many of them haven’t a clue, and they could only buy one with your money.

All kidding aside, while Axelrod may have been a great campaign manager, I’d have to say he’s been a bust as an adviser and spin doctor.  He’s out of his depth.  He belongs exactly from whence he came, running a campaign.  There he has the experience and the knowledge to be successful.  But politics and the daily grind of governing aren’t his cup of tea.

As for Emanuel, as much as I don’t care for the man, to me he’s the “reality” anchor there.  He knows intimately how the system works and who within the system must be used to accomplish whatever the agenda is.  He’s also, based on what I’ve read, been the guy who has tried to keep them more toward the center  – not at all very successfully – because he has a good idea of what can and can’t be foisted upon the American people without losing political viability.  ObamaCare, again as I understand it, was a battle he lost.

So whether this is good news or bad news depends largely on who will replace each of these people (same with his fleeing economic team).  Will a political operative take Axelrod’s place who knows the in’s and out’s of governing and is better able to present the administration’s views?   Will the person who replaces Emanuel be more radical and less pragmatic than the present Chief of Staff?

Frankly I don’t care particularly for either of the men filling the posts they have, but the story isn’t in the fact they’re leaving – it will be found in those who replace them and what they will bring to the job and how that will effect the direction of the administration in the future.

~McQ

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White House Wants Compliant Press

I‘m still wondering what the upside is for the White House in this fight it is picking with Fox News.

We’ve seen Anita Dunn, White House communication’s director take them on, obviously at the behest of and at least with the tacit agreement, one assumes, of the President. After all, he’s been known to complain about Fox and theirs was the only Sunday show on which he refused to appear recently. Now we have David Axelrod throwing out the same nonsense:

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday that the Fox News Channel is “not really a news station” and that much of the programming is “not really news.”

“I’m not concerned,” Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week” when George Stephanopoulos asked about the back-and-forth between the White House and Fox News.

“Mr. [Rupert] Murdoch has a talent for making money, and I understand that their programming is geared toward making money. The only argument [White House communications director] Anita [Dunn] was making is that they’re not really a news station if you watch even — it’s not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming.

Of course what that network covers are things that the other networks would prefer not to cover – the ACORN scandal being the most recent story they attempted to avoid. And Fox has presented the other side on the “health care reform” story – giving Republicans a voice in telling the story that they’re not afforded on the other news networks.

I’m sure this does indeed rankle the White House because Fox, unlike the rest of the media isn’t a compliant lap dog for the administration. It makes waves when it reports the other side.

And I love how Axlerod denigrates “making money” as if CNN and MSNBC are in the charity business – although compared to Fox, they may as well be.

The White House apparently feels it must marginalize Fox for a reason. And the only reason I can come up with is the White House feels it is hurting it’s agenda. To me the most telling remark about Fox came when Dunn said that when President Obama goes on Fox he believes he’s debating the opposition.

I thought that’s what all real journalists considered themselves – the opposition. Now, apparently, journalistic worth is measured by the White House as how compliant you are and how willing you are to carry water for them.

It isn’t Fox that should be ashamed.  It is CNN and MSNBC who, when referring to themselves, should find it more and more difficult to use the terms “news” and “journalism” with a straight face and without turning beet red with embarrassment.

~McQ

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