Christopher Buckley revives the lost art of Sovietology and adds a new wrinkle — or rather removes a very old one. His father would be immensely proud.
Did you know James Holmes gave money to Barack Obama?
It’s true. And I knew this yesterday morning.
Why didn’t I write this up for The American Spectator to publish as a blog post — on the spot?
For one very simple, very elemental reason.
In the first flush of the carnage in Colorado yesterday morning, when the shooter’s name had made it to the airwaves but not much else about him, everybody with a computer and a phone was scouring all manner of Internet sites to find out about James Holmes.
In my case I found that James Holmes was on the Federal Election Commission rolls as an Obama contributor. The problem? I had absolutely no idea whether this was the same James Holmes who was the Colorado movie murderer — and with good reason. “James Holmes” or “Jim Holmes” are not exactly odd names in America. Indeed, the FEC had dozens of “James Holmes” on its contributor lists — as did all manner of other sites have the same two names. In fact, there were several James Holmes or Jim Holmes on social sites listed as living in or around Aurora, Colorado or what we had learned was his family home — San Diego, California. In the latter case, there was a Jim Holmes who professed himself to be a “lefty.” With enough persistence one could learn their ages and place of residence. That Jim Holmes in the San Diego area was long over 24.
The James Holmes who was an Obama contributor was from an East Coast state — and there was not a shred of proof that I could find that he was the James Holmes who was by then the subject of intense scrutiny.
So I never wrote him up. James Holmes and his connection to President Obama never made it to The American Spectator. Good thing — because if I had done that I would have looked like an idiot, and deservedly so.
Obviously standards are a little looser over at ABC News. Where yesterday ABC News anchor and longtime Democratic Party operative George Stephanopoulos called on correspondent Brian Ross to tell America breathlessly that he had found a page for “Jim Holmes” with the Colorado Tea Party.
In other words, Brian Ross did exactly what I did not do. He went with a completely false story — and clearly it was because over at the liberal precincts of ABC News they wanted to smear the Tea Party. They weren’t interested in the truth — they were interested in the liberal politics.
So today they have egg on their face.
Here’s Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center on the episode at ABC:
Bozell: ABC’s Disgraceful Rush to Judgment on the Tea Party
This morning, in the aftermath of the unspeakable Colorado massacre that claimed at least 12 innocent American lives and injured dozens more, ABC “news” investigative reporter Brian Ross appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and made the outrageous, irresponsible, and completely unfounded claim that the alleged gunman, 24-year-old Jim Holmes, is a member of the Tea Party. Apparently Ross has learned absolutely nothing from the media’s disgraceful rush to judgment and dissemination of misinformation following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.
That’s twice now that the “news” media have falsely implicated the Tea Party in murder.
In his brazen attempt to smear the Tea Party, Ross speculated on national television to millions of viewers that Holmes was a member of the Tea Party based on a social media webpage. When it became apparent that this accusation was false, ABC offered an apology, but they chose to release it online where only a fraction of Good Morning America’s misinformed viewers would see it. In addition, Ross had the gall to appear on ABC News to correct himself without offering an on-air apology.
Ross slandered every American even loosely associated with the Tea Party, and he owes them an apology. He must also apologize to Good Morning America’s audience, the James Holmes he falsely implicated of mass murder, and, most of all, to each and every person in Colorado directly or indirectly affected by this horrific tragedy.
In a moment that demanded clarity of thought and purpose, Ross rushed to slander those with whom he does not agree politically, exposing the depths and darkness of his political prejudices. Shame on Brian Ross, and shame on ABC News for not yet demanding he look directly into the camera and beg forgiveness for politicizing this terrible event. Ross’ meek Twitter apology is a cynically insincere slap in the face to us all.
It’s fair to ask.
What was going on in the heads of this liberal media outlet when they ran on-air with a story linking the Tea Party to the Colorado shooter — a story they had not found to be fact.
Safe to say, it was not the same thing that went through my head when I found out that James Holmes was a contributor to Barack Obama.
I was after the truth. ABC was after the Tea Party.
During her Friday night speech at the Smart Girl Summit, Dana Loesch raged against the way the mainstream media reported the massacre at a Colorado movie theater. “They’re creating new victims,” Loesch told women gathered for the conference at the Westin Hotel here.
Editor of Breitbart.com’s Big Journalism site, Loesce singled out Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, who mistakenly named a memeber of the Tea Party movement as a suspect in the shootings in Aurora that killed 12 people at a showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. After police named James Holmes as the accused gunman, Ross appeared with Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America:
Stephanolpoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.
Ross: There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.
Stephanolpoulos: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.
Colorado Tea Party activist Jim Holmes is a 52-year-old former law enforcement officer, not the 24-year-old grad school dropout James Holmes, a native of San Diego who was arrested for the Friday shootings that killed a dozen people and wounded 70 more.
Alex Pappas of the Daily Caller interviewed Jim Holmes, who blasted Ross’s haphazard reporting: “What kind of idiot makes that kind of statement? … I do understand what making a mistake means… But is it really worth the person’s reputation, the potential ruining of the person’s reputation?” Holmes, who said he was inundated by phone calls after Ross’s mistake, said ABC News never contacted him.
ABC’s carelessness has been widely excoriated online, including by such liberal outlets as Mother Jones, Gawker and Wonkette. Conservatives are outraged, with some bloggers demanding that Ross and/or Stephanopoulos be fired, and at least one blog calling for a boycott of ABC and its parent company Disney.
Jessica Ghawi, one of the twelve people killed by a gunman at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado this morning, narrowly escaped being a shooting victim last month during a visit to Toronto.
You may recall that two people were killed and half a dozen people were injured during a shooting at the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto.
In her blog, Ghawi had been in the food court shortly before the shooting began. She had wanted sushi but at the last minute had a burger and poutine instead. Ghawi wrote, “An odd feeling which led me to go outside and unknowningly out of harm’s way. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a deadly shooting.”
We will never know if Ghawi had that weird feeling again this morning. If she did this time she could not escape to safety.
Ghawi had recently moved to Colorado from Texas to pursue a career in sports journalism.
There but for the grace of God.
Jeff Lord put forward an eloquent assessment of the evil which was visited upon a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado this morning resulting in the deaths of a dozen moviegoers viewing a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Amongst other things, Jeff noted:
The left will seek to make an issue of this, as they did most recently with the shooting by a disturbed loner of then-Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. There will be the usual shrieking about gun control. There will be mind-numbing discussions of whatever violence is in the Batman movie and isn’t our culture all ot blame. Some conservative somewhere will be targeted for doing something if this guy has ever watched Fox, belonged to the NRA, listened to talk radio or picked up a book by Ayn Rand.
Or belongs to the Tea Party. As Ross Kaminsky told us, once James Holmes had been identified as the alleged shooter, Brian Ross of ABC News told viewers there was a Jim Holmes who is a member of the Colorado Tea Party. Only Jim Holmes the Tea Partier is a 52-year old Hispanic male while James Holmes the alleged shooter is a 24-year old Caucasian ex-medical student. ABC News issued an apology but I second Ross’ motion: “Go screw yourself.”
What this tells me is that the moment ABC News found out who the shooter was, a researcher did a Google search “James Holmes Colorado Tea Party” and hit paydirt. Or so they thought. But what is it in the mindset of ABC News, other mainstream media outlets and liberals at large that they would immediately connect mass murder to a member of the local Tea Party?
I’ll tell you what it is. It’s hatred and ignorance. Not surprisingly the two go hand in hand. Too many liberals and progressives in this country hate conservatives and this hatred causes them to attribute the worst possible deeds upon our doorstep. Consider what I said in my speech to Tea Party activists in Worcester, Massachusetts back in April:
Of course, the facts seldom deter liberals and progressives. But when the race card doesn’t work liberals and progressives shift the narrative. They say the Tea Party is violent. Thomas Friedman of The New York Times once compared the Tea Party to Hezbollah, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews likens the Tea Party to Wahhabis and Vice-President Biden says the Tea Party acts like terrorists. How dare they. How dare they compare peaceful, law-abiding Americans to those who murdered our soldiers in Beirut, Baghad and Bagram. How dare they compare peaceful, law-abiding Americans to those who murdered innocent civilians in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. And for what? Simplay because we dare to publicly express a point of view that is contrary to their own.
Scarcely three months after making those remarks, the Tea Party finds itself vilified for this act of evil. Sadly, there are too many liberals and progressives in this country who have a) either abandoned reason or b) have never utilized it in the first place. It goes a long way in explaining liberalism’s intellectual bankruptcy. This isn’t to say that liberals aren’t entitled to their opinions. As such I don’t expect liberals to agree with the aims and objectives of the Tea Party. But if liberals are going to insist that the Tea Party is responsible for evil then the least they could do is to name a single Tea Party activist who has been arrested either for harming another person or causing damage to property during a Tea Party event. The problem is they can’t because it has never happened and probably never will. None of which, however, prevents liberals from believing the worst about the Tea Party. With regard to ABC News, some of their employees want to believe a Tea Partier was responsible for this carnage.
But at this point, all we know about the man who is alleged to have shot and killed twelve people is a) his name b) that he was a former student and c) that he was dressed up as the villain in the Batman movie which suggests some premeditation. Apart from that, the only other thing we know is that twelve people who went to see a movie are never coming home.
No one can say we weren’t warned. Twenty-two months ago Jed Babbin profiled ABC’s “investigative reporter” Brian Ross, whose “fabulist record” had by then extended to nine years. How many more years will ABC give him before he’s retired?
Could Brian Ross be any more irresponsible or reprehensible?
UPDATE: ABC News apologizes. My response to ABC: Go screw yourself.
The news out of Colorado this morning is dreadful.
A lone gunman walked into a theater in a North Aurora multiplex around midnight, where the newest Batman movie was being shown. Like the villain in the movie, Bane, the man had on a gas mask. He also had a gun. Opening up on the packed theater he has, as this is written, killed 14 people (updated from 12 by a just-in newscast) and wounded 50 others, according to news reports.
One hates to say this, but we have been here before — several times. As a kid I remember the horror of Charles Whitman, the University of Texas student who, on August 1, 1966, climbed to the clock tower of the university with a rifle and proceeded, sniper style, to kill 16 of his fellow students on the campus below before being taken out by police. Thirty-two others were wounded.
This followed by 17 days another mass murder, this one committed in Chicago by one Richard Speck. On July 14, 1966, Speck invaded a nurses dormitory wielding a knife, torturing, raping and finally murdering 8 young women in a scene of bloody carnage. Speck was captured and spent the rest of his life in prison, dying 25 years later in 1991.
What is about to happen for today and the next several days is now a well-worn pattern.
The President will speak (in this case, President Obama is now set to speak at 11:20 this morning). The left will seek to make an issue of this, as they did most recently with the shooting by a disturbed loner of then-Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. There will be the usual shrieking about gun control. There will be mind-numbing discussions of whatever violence is in the Batman movie and isn’t our culture all to blame. Some conservative somewhere will be targeted for doing something if this guy has ever watched Fox, belonged to the NRA, listened to talk radio or picked up a book by Ayn Rand. And, of course, the 24-year old man who committed this latest act of horror — not all that far from the scene of the 1999 Columbine shootings where two high school kids killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher — will be psychoanalyzed to a fare thee well.
But the fact of the matter is, just as with the mass murders at the University of Texas and in that Chicago nurses dorm in 1966 (when, by the way, liberal Democrat Lyndon Johnson was in the White House) as with the 1999 Columbine murders during the Clinton presidency — the only person to blame is… the killer. Not the President. Not Romney. Not anybody else anywhere else but the guy who pulled the trigger. (Recall — after Oklahoma City Bill Clinton sought to blame Rush Limbaugh.)
Doubtless this tragedy will derail the presidential campaign from the news for a bit.
But in fact, in one sense it is entirely relevant.
Whomever this 24-year old triggerman turns out to be, whatever his motive, no matter what he has ever read or listened to or watched on TV or in the movies, he will in fact be the person responsible.
And in the endless rounds of discussion to be launched, discussing the failure of utopian sentiments and the need to restore personal responsibility should get some focus.
The time to make the doer of the deed responsible is here.
President Obama is caught in a political storm right this minute for trying to say of small business owners that “you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.” That is the anti-capitalist version of the argument the left has tried to make of tragic, murderous moments like the one today. The killer never bears 100% responsibility. Tim McVeigh didn’t blow up that federal building in Oklahoma, it was Rush Limbaugh. It was conservatives who shot Gabby Gifford, not the nut who pulled the trigger.
There was no Fox News in 1966, no talk radio, and no one blamed LBJ for Charles Whitman or Richard Speck. The persons to blame then — and now after all these decades — were Charles Whitman and Richard Speck.
What is relevant here is that part of what will be the usual blame-game is the issue of personal responsibility. The hard fact that liberalism and its fantasies notwithstanding, there is no such thing as Utopia. (Or Ameritopia, as Mark Levin has well documented in his bestseller.)
Human beings are imperfect by definition, the perfect society therefore by definition unachievable. There is, sadly, nothing that can ever be done to eliminate the possibility that a Charles Whitman or Richard Speck, or a Tim McVeigh of that Oklahoma City bombing infamy, or those two high school kids at Columbine will strike again. Herbert Hoover had nothing to do with the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The reason the President of the United States — this one or any other — needs all that Secret Service protection is because there are now and always will be nuts out there, from Booth to Oswald and Hinckley.
Make book on it. As life moves on, something like this Colorado tragedy will happen again in some form or fashion.
Why? Because, tragically, the world is filled with imperfection — and always will be.
And to look at anyone else than the perpetrator on whom to pin responsibility for these shootings is to make the biggest human mistake of all.
Blaming somebody else.
13 Dead at The Dark Knight RisesMidnight Showing in Aurora, CO. (CBS Denver)
Romney and Obama Pause Campaigns in Wake of Tragedy (Politico)
ABC Attempts to Link Suspect with Tea Party (Breitbart)
White House Tries to Use Tragedy to Levy Tighter Gun Control (Beltway Confidential)
Obama Downplays Effect of Romney’s Offensive on “You didn’t build that” Remarks (FoxNews)
Effects of Midwest Drought Soon to be Felt at Grocery Stores (CNN Money)
Pro-Obama Gear Sales Plummet (Daily Caller)
I’m feeling slightly proud of myself and pleased for AmSpec this morning.
Yesterday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell used the phrase “Thelma and Louise economics,” with the Journal attributing the re-injection of that phrase into the public debate to my Thursday article for The American Spectator.
Comedy writer Tom Davis passed away on Thursday of cancer of the tonsils. He was 59.
Davis was best known for being one half of Franken & Davis. The Franken in question, of course, now sits in the Senate. Davis & Franken were school mates in Minnesota and were discovered by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels and hired the duo as writers for the fledgling NBC show.
Davis & Franken occasionally appeared on air as a comedy duo. However, Davis also enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with Dan Aykroyd co-writing “The Coneheads” skits as well as a skit where poor Julia Child cut the dickens out of her finger.
After an absence of a decade, Davis returned to SNL in the early 1990s where his most notable skit was “The Continental” with frequent guest host Christopher Walken.
Here’s an interview Davis conducted a couple of years back.
A county judge in Portland, Oregon, has ruled that an obese, 50-year old man who went Full Monty in the Portland International Airport in April to protest TSA screening procedures was exercising his free speech. So he acquitted John E. Brennan of indecent exposure.
There is much to be indignant about in the over-familiar way the TSA goes about screening airline passengers. (Sort of the way Bill Clinton screened interns.) But geez, Judge Rees, don’t you supposed that when the founders crafted that amendment having to do with free speech they were talking about, well, speech? I’m sure fair-minded travelers would welcome hearing Brennan’s well thought-out opinions on TSA’s duly constituted gropers without being exposed to his ample back-side and other saggy bits.
Perhaps I would be more sympathetic to Rees’s constitutional contortions if it had been Catherine Zeta-Jones putting it all on the line for her beliefs. But Brennan really needs to find another way to make his points.
In this case Bumble was right. The law is an ass, and a fat one at that.
While UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the suicide bombing which killed seven Israeli tourists in Bulgaria yesterday, he did not describe it as an act of terrorism.
As of this writing, both Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council have nothing to say about the murder of innocent Israeli civilians.
How utterly shameful and cowardly.
Sadly, I cannot say that I am surprised.
I understand where Jeff is coming from. The liberal media subjects conservatives (especially conservatives who threaten President Obama’s hold on power) to different rules than President Obama and the argument is that we should not play their game. Yet consider this passage:
Senator John McCain, who reviewed some 20 years of Romney tax returns when considering the Governor as a potential 2008 running mate, says he saw absolutely nothing amiss. Doubtless true.
That, however, is not the point. If Mitt Romney were to release a lifetime of well-in-order, nothing-amiss tax returns, Team Obama would find the “Fat Jap” — the political gotcha.
First, if Mitt Romney can provide 20 years of tax returns to Senator McCain then why can’t he do the same with the American people? After all, the only thing stand between Romney and the White House is the American people. If he wants to get inside the Oval Office then he must earn the trust of the American people. This requires acts of good faith. As I said the other day, since Obama has released seven of his tax returns the least Romney can do is to release eight.
Second, to argue that Romney shouldn’t release his tax returns on the grounds that Team Obama will say “gotcha” is a cop out. By that standard, Romney could argue that he can’t release a policy proposal on health care because the Obama campaign will say “gotcha”. The Obama campaign has been saying “gotcha” where it concerns Romney for months now and will continue to do so until Election Day. Besides releasing his tax returns isn’t to placate the Obama campaign. That’s not going to happen. Romney releasing his tax returns is for the benefit of the American people because it conveys an image of honesty, trust and transparency.
Finally, Romney does more harm than good to himself by not releasing his tax returns. By not releasing as many tax returns as possible, it leaves people with the impression that he has something to hide or something to be ashamed about. Yes, the American people will be shocked - shocked!!! - to learn that Mitt Romney is stinking rich. So let Obama complain about Romney’s wealth. Then we can have an honest to goodness debate between free enterprise and socialism. I’d rather that be the question of the day rather than why Romney hasn’t released his tax returns. Again, this issue hurt him in the GOP primary until he released his 2010 return. If Romney wants to make this issue go away then he should release as many returns as possible posthaste.
While the latest NPR/Resurgent Republic poll shows Barack Obama with a narrow lead over Mitt Romney, it contains bad news for the president on health care reform.
By a margin of almost two-to-one, voters say the health care reform law will hurt rather than help the economy. Both Independents and battleground-state voters believe it will hurt more than help — 47 to 20 percent among Independents, and 47 to 26 percent in battleground states.
Far more voters say their health care costs have gone up than gone down since the law was passed.
Voters say controlling costs is the top priority for health care in America today, and among the voters most concerned about reducing costs, two-thirds think the health care reform law does not address that priority.
Republicans, independents, and battleground state voters all also agree they would rather get their health insurance from a private company than the federal government. Romney also enjoys a 5-point lead among independents, though Obama leads 47 percent to 45 percent overall. That is within the margin of error.
SEIU Subpoenaed in Wisconsin Voter Fraud Case (Washington Free Beacon)
Dead Heat: Romney Pulls Ahead of Obama in New Poll (CBS)
He Strikes Again; O’Keefe’s New Video Exposes Big Labor (Breitbart)
Romney Capitalises on Obama’s Gaffe (Romney Campaign)
Yet Another Government “Green Investment” Goes Under (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Batman Villain Bane Creator Says Character Like Occupy Wall Street, Romney Like Bruce Wayne (Schnitt Show)
Fiscal Cliff Looms Ever Closer (Daily Beast)
I agree with Reid that foreign policy isn’t going to be the biggest issue in the fall election campaign. I also agree that Obama is stronger with the voters on the issue than Republicans think. Don’t get me wrong, his foreign policy is listless: Afghanistan is deteroriating, Pakistan is a growing problem, the Islamist Spring continues apace. But with some detours, Obama has groped toward the war on terror most Americans want: killing terrorists without starting large-scale wars (Libya was ill-advised but didn’t involve as many “boots on the ground” as Iraq).
But the terrorist attack against Israeli tourists Aaron posted about reminds us that unexpected events have a way of making foreign policy matter again. Note the Iran angle. You may not be interested in foreign policy, but foreign policy is interested in you. The original version of that quote, attributed to Leon Trotsky, may apply too.
A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria (about 250 miles east of the capital Sofia) has resulted in the deaths of seven Israeli tourists and has injured at least two dozen others.
For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds Iran responsible for the incident. It was 18 years ago today that Hezbollah carried out a bombing at a Jewish community center in Buenos Aries, Argentina killing 85 people and injuring hundreds of others. Hezbollah issued a statement denying responsibility for the attack.
In recent months, authorities in various countries have arrested individuals (mostly Iranian) who have been allegedly planning attacks against Israeli interests. Just the other day, police in Cyprus arrested a Lebanese man for plotting an attack against an Israeli passenger aircraft or bus. Like Bulgaria, Cyprus is frequented by Israeli tourists. Netanyahu also pointed the finger at Iran following that arrest. Other plots against Israeli interests have been thwarted in Thailand, India, Georgia as well as in Azerbaijan and Kenya.
Sadly this plot could not be thwarted.
Netanyahu has warned Iran that this attack will prompt a “strong response against Iranian terror.” Whether that strong response involves bombing Iran remains to be seen.
Which will exact the highest political cost: Mitt Romney’s Bain record and tax returns or Barack Obama’s “you didn’t do that on your own” speech? That’s one of the biggest questions of the presidential campaign to date.
So far there hasn’t been much movement in the polls, though the Obama speech is still relatively new compared to the Bain attacks. Jennifer Rubin makes the case that the Bain strategy has failed and Nate Silver wonders if the Romney campaign has overreacted to the charges.
But I’ve already seen strong anecdotal evidence that Obama’s speech minimizing personal achievement has created a backlash outside the Eastern corridor, among people who are not usually close followers of the presidential election. It has also had the effect of injecting some real passion into the robotic Romney’s campaign stump speech. As a businessman, Romney seems genuinely offended by the president’s remarks as opposed to some of the feigned outrage he has previously mustered on the trail. This is a simple philosophical issue, easy to understand, while the details of Bain and Romney’s tax returns are complicated.
That’s not to say that Romney’s finances can’t hurt him. Polls show large numbers of Americans view Romney as out of touch and are distrustful of his wealth, including many people in that small universe of undecided voters. How they weigh that against their judgment Obama is a failed president, an opinion many of them also hold, will determine the election’s outcome. Disclosures of facts like Romney earning $100,000 a year from a company he was effectively no longer working for could feed into concerns about him being out of touch with the economic concerns of ordinary voters.
But so far, there is no evidence Bain and taxes are moving the needle in this close race. We’ll soon learn what impact Obama’s anti-self-made gaffe has had, which is something very much worth paying attention to.
Yesterday, writing for Foreign Policy, Joshua Keating reviewed Romney’s “Short List” currently at play in the veepstakes. Six names, now familiar to the conservative commentary circuit (in order, alphabetical: Jindal, Pawlenty, Portman, Rubio, Ryan, Thune) were evaluated for electoral buzz and foreign policy credentials. All told, Keating concludes:
Recent Vice Presidential picks like Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, and George H.W. Bush were experienced foreign-policy hands, perhaps making up for the perceived shortcomings of the names at the top of their tickets. But the names of Romney’s list seem to indicate that foreign policy won’t be a major focus of his campaign.
Good. As Daniel Larison at the American Conservative notes, “Most Republican activists and pundits […] are under the woefully misguided impression that Obama is politically vulnerable on foreign policy.”
Don’t misunderstand me. I have serious misgivings with Obama’s foreign policy, defense priorities, and power posture. But let’s be honest…as I wrote way back in January, before Romney sealed the deal:
When it comes to national security, GOP candidates are fighting an uphill battle. Absent a Cold War and after eight disastrous years in Iraq, the Republicans have surrendered (or at least been forced to share) the political heirloom of “…strong on national security.” Rather, an upstart, president from the wrong side of the aisle ended an unpopular war, ramped up efforts in Afghanistan (where they should have been expended from the get-go) and killed “Public Enemy Number One.” Say what you will about the “community organizer” from Illinois, but he’s taken scalps during his time in office. Like it or not, most Americans who don’t list “Conservative Pundit” on their tax return are war weary, and generally satisfied with the defense posture of an administration that’s witnessed the death of bin Laden, the downfall of Gaddafi, and the demise of Kim Jong-il.
Fast forward to the present tense. Romney must realize that vapid bellicosity masquerading as “foreign policy” doesn’t win elections. Take that statement and multiply it in an election year when war-weary Americans are idly content to bomb the bad guys into oblivion via targeted drone strikes, and remain overwhelmingly opposed to military action against Iran. Conjuring the Red Menace seems thirty years out of date and one can’t honestly advocate room to the right of Bush era hawkishness.
Strategically speaking, Romney wins this election based on the economy, and the fact that he knows how to manage money. Not tough talk re: bombing sorties over Natanz that will drive the price of oil to $200 bucks a barrel, or a resuscitation of the Cold War.
My hope is he’s just talking the hawk, because he’s too smart to be serious on those fronts.
Goodbye New York. Hello again Houston.
Point guard Jeremy Lin has returned to the Houston Rockets after the New York Knicks were unwilling to match the Rockets’ three year, $25 million contract offer.
Earlier this year, Lin became an overnight sensation with the Knicks last February after injuries to key players like Carmelo Anthony and Baron Davis forced then head coach Mike D’Antoni to turn to the untested, undrafted, unheralded Harvard alum. All Lin did was revive a moribund Knicks offense and outplay elite NBA players like Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki in victories over the Lakers and Mavericks. Lin’s sterling play made him a sensation with appeal both in North America and in Asia, particularly in China and Taiwan. The Knicks had claimed Lin off waivers from none other than the Houston Rockets who didn’t know what they had.
Unfortunately, Lin’s season ended due to a left knee injury which required surgery. The Knicks were able to reach the playoff with the return of Carmelo Anthony but they were eliminated by the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat. Anthony’s presence on the team rendered Lin expendable thus giving the Rockets the opportunity to make amends. Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted, “We plan to hang on to you this time.” If nothing else, Lin will boost ticket sales in Houston.
Somehow I think this decision to not to keep Lin is going to come back to haunt the Knicks.
Our Great Lakes cruise with National Review was a resounding success, though I never strayed too far from my life jacket.
Below are some pictures of the voyage, taken by my wife on her iPhone (thank you, Steve Jobs, wherever you are). To those aboard: Gather around your computers and reminisce. To the rest: Take a look at what you missed.
And to everyone: Grab your calendar and block off January 26 – Feb. 2, 2013, for The American Spectator’s next cruise, this time to Guatemala and Belize!
I came across this from NBCNEWS.com this morning. A 60 —second video introducing their new name, now that the divorce from Microsoft has been finalized. It was posted three days ago, clearly without a lot of fanfare.
Who is in this video?
Brian Williams, Matt Lauer, David Gregory, Ann Curry, Chuck Todd, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton and…
Oops! Sorry! Actually, there are a string of NBC personalities showcased — but several appear to be deliberately left out. Who?
You guessed it.
There is not a clue in this video of the existence of Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, or Lawrence O’Donnell. The word “politics” flashes by at the speed of light… but those NBC News political types are mysteriously nowhere to be seen.
Perhaps they are only allowed in the back of the NBC bus — where there are no cameras to advertise their presence?
Wake up Reverend Al! Discrimination is afoot at NBCNews.com!
Fiscal Cliff Replaces Europe’s Debt Crisis as Biggest Threat to Economy (WaPo)
Canadians Now Richer Than Americans (TIME)
Sofia Vergara Crowned Top Earning Actress on Television (Forbes)
2012 Attacks Intensify on Both Sides (Bloomberg)
GOP Leaders Fear Government Shutdown Over Spending Cuts (Politico)
iPad Mini to be Released Later This Year (NY Times)
Cheney Warns GOP Senate on Damaging Impact of Sequestration (The Hill)
What the Next President Needs to Do to Fix America (The Economist)
It was 1952, and I was 10. My father, a son of the South, had the AM country music station on whenever we went anywhere in the car, and often on in the house before the one-eyed monster arrived in Tampa in 1953. That’s when Lucille Ball and Milton Berle replaced Eddie Arnold as Dad’s entertainment of choice. (I’m not sure this was a trade that benefited both sides.)
Along with Arnold, Roy Acuff, Tennessee Ernie, and Hank Williams Sr., that year there were plenty of repetitions of Kitty Wells singing “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” (Actually, I’m pretty sure it was. But it was a good song anyway.) Country music was still called hillbilly back then. But it was making its way from the hollows, bayous, mountain trails, and lower forties into town, and toward the respectability and popularity it would later earn.
There have been plenty of country goddesses since then — Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Reba McIntire, Dolly, et al. But as Aaron notes below, Wells, with “Honkey Tonk Angels,” was the first woman with a number one country hit.
Wells was hardly a goddess. She had a plain singing style. And she was distinctly not center-fold material. But she helped pave the way for later women country music artists. “Honky Tonk Angels” gave the woman’s view of the wild side of life, and its success gave country songwriters incentive to write songs from the woman’s perspective on life and love and longing.
Her other hits included, among some long and deservedly forgotten numbers, these country classics: “Making Believe,” “Release Me,” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Wells was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976 and in 1986 received the Academy of Country Music’s Pioneer Award.
Kitty Wells died Monday in Nashville from complications from a stroke. She was 92. R.I.P.
From the better-late-than-never files, Mitt Romney gave a speech in Irwin, PA on Tuesday in which he went aggressively after Barack Obama’s economic views and policies. It’s a fantastic speech which should give Romney skeptics some hope that the de facto nominee has finally grasped that he must be more aggressive in attacking Barack Obama.
See a key excerpt, and the entire speech here. (I’ll have more on this in a full article on these pages tomorrow.)
I have to confess that former New Hampshire Governor and later Chief of Staff for President George H.W. Bush has never been amongst my favorite Republicans.
A quarter century ago, Sununu was the only Governor in the Union who refused to sign a proclamation calling for the UN General Assembly’s infamous “Zionism is Racism” resolution to be rescinded. At the time, Sununu said he didn’t sign because he believed it was wrong for Governors to make pronouncements on foreign policy. However, Sununu did issue proclamations on, amongst other foreign matters, Cuba, Afghanistan and also condemned Israel for its accidental attack on the U.S.S. Liberty during the Six Day War in a proclamation honoring its veterans. Nevertheless, the “Zionism is Racism” resolution was rescinded by the Bush Administration while Sununu was still serving under him in the White House.
That history notwithstanding, I have to say I am liking John Sununu more and more each day. He has been, by far, the most effective surrogate for Mitt Romney with his take no prisoners approach with liberal media figures like CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Andrea Mitchell from the network formerly known as MSNBC as well as Juan Williams from Fox News.
This morning, during a conference call with reporters, Sununu addressed Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter’s remarks last week alleging Romney had committed a felony. Sununu said of President Obama, “If you introduce the word ‘felon’ into the political discourse, you open yourself up again to the discussion of the Chicago roots and the Chicago politcal-slash-felon environment that he came out of.” For good measure, Sununu also called President Obama’s Elizabeth Warren impersonation “the latest in a series of self-defining and frankly extremely dumb statements.” He then suggested that Obama “learn how to be an American.” Sununu was on a roll.
In my latest article, I argue that Obama has abandoned all pretensions of civility and has issued himself and his campaign a civility waiver:
Stephanie Cutter is right about one thing. Mitt Romney can’t whine. All he can do is fight back more assertively and more forcefully. If Obama hits Romney then Romney has to hit back ten times harder. Romney will also have to go on the offensive. When they do hit back or launch an attack of their own, look for the Obama campaign to bemoan Mitt Romney’s lack of civility. After all, Romney isn’t eligible for Obama’s civility waivers.
So now that Sununu has hit back ten times harder, the Obama campaign is saying the Romney campaign is “going off the deep end.” On the contrary, Sununu was merely following Ms. Cutter’s advice and now the Obama campaign is getting a taste of their own medicine and they don’t like it.
Should Romney win in November, this would surely earn Sununu a return to the White House - if he so desires. Assuming that he does, it isn’t inconceivable that Romney would appoint him Chief of Staff. After all, it probably wouldn’t do Romney any harm to have an old hand on hand. That is provided that Romney is able to keep Sununu a safe distance away from matters in the Middle East.
UPDATE: Sununu has since apologized for saying that Obama should “learn how to be an American.” Don’t hold your breath for Stephanie Cutter to do the same for claiming Mitt Romney has committed a felony. This is what happens when liberals and conservatives are held to different standards and are subjected to different rules.
In an interview with Robert Costa of NRO, Mitt Romney explained why he doesn’t want to release any more tax returns:
My tax returns that have already been released number into the hundreds of pages. And we will be releasing tax returns for the most current year as soon as those are prepared. They will also number in the hundreds of pages. In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president ot reignite our economy. And I’m simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about.
I’m afraid this won’t hold water.
Look, the Obama team is going pick through, distort and lie about Romney whether he releases his tax returns or not. In the grand scheme of things, it’s better to get things out in the open and let the chips fall where they may than be accused of having something to hide.
With this in mind, it also isn’t about giving them (the Obama team) this additional information, It is about giving the American public this information and giving us a chance to decide for ourselves. By saying his tax returns are hundreds of pages, he’s saying been transparent is an inconvenience for him. Let’s put it this way. If Romney doesn’t release additional returns this will come up during the debates. It will most likely come up in questioning from the media but it could also come during the back and forth. If Romney questions Obama’s lack of transparency then all Obama needs to say is, “And what about your tax returns?” and Romney is immediately on the defensive.
Let’s not forget that during the GOP primary, Romney was at his most vulnerable in January when he hedged on when he would release his 2010 tax returns. That decision cost him South Carolina. Once he relented, both the issue and Newt Gingrich’s prospects quickly evaporated. Now the issue is back and it doesn’t need to be. Where it concerns his taxes, Mitt is his own worst enemy. If Obama can release seven years of tax returns then Romney should release eight. Of course, it won’t satisfy President Obama but it could help mollify voters who are currently on the fence about Romney.
Bass player Bob Babbitt, best known for his tenure with The Funk Brothers and later MFSB, died yesterday of brain cancer. He was 74.
If you like 1960s rock then chances are he probably played on your favorite songs especially Motown where The Funk Brothers were the Detroit based record label’s house band. Babbitt can be heard on bass on songs like Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed & Delivered”, “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles and The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination”.
After leaving Motown in the early 1970s, Babbitt continued to be in demand as a session musician playing on such classic rock staples as “I Got a Name” by Jim Croce, “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & The Pips and The Spinners’ “Rubberband Man”.
Babbitt’s bass playing was the standard by which other bass players were judged. Fellow bass player Ralphe Armstrong (no slouch himself) said that if a bass player wanted to get a gig in Detroit then he had to be able to play Babbitt’s part in Dennis Coffey’s “Scorpio”. A high standard indeed.
Keyboardist and organist Jon Lord, best known for being an original member of Deep Purple, passed away yesterday of a pulmonary embolism brought about by pancreatic cancer. He was 71.
Lord was deeply influenced by classical music and it shows in Deep Purple’s early material such as “Hallelujah” and “April”. In the early 70s, Deep Purple embraced a hard rock sound as exemplified by “Smoke on the Water” which Lord co-wrote.
After Deep Purple disbanded in 1976, Lord would collaborate with fellow Deep Purple alum Ian Paice and Tony Ashton in the shortlived Paice, Ashton & Lord. In 1978, Lord joined Whitesnake along with David Coverdale, another ex-Deep Purple member. Lord would remain with Whitesnake until 1984 when Deep Purple reformed with the album Perfect Strangers featuring their comeback single “Knocking at Your Back Door”. In 2002, Lord left Deep Purple and spent the final decade of his life performing and recording his own music including a solo album in 2010. Here is Lord performing “Child in Time” in concert that same year.
Country music legend Kitty Wells passed away yesterday of complications from a stroke. She was 92.
Sixty years ago, Wells became the first female artist to top the Billboard country charts with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” paving the way for other female country artists like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and countless others. Wells would dominate the country charts throughout the 1950s most notably with “Making Believe”.
Wells continued to record through the 1970s and performed live until she retired from the stage in 2000.
Here we go.
So now come all these news reports (just for example, here, here, here, and here) that Team Romney has decided deliberately — deliberately — to trash Sarah Palin by not inviting her to the Tampa convention.
And they expect people to rally to their candidate when they are out there sticking their finger in the eye of the party’s base? Sending a message to the Tea Party to go take a flying leap?
If this is true, and no less than Governor Palin herself has said she is uninvited, one can only wonder:
What are these wizards of smart thinking?
Historically, people who are trashed by their own party employ the one entirely fatal weapon they have at their disposal: they stay home in November.
Having a unified convention is Politics 101.
Having — make that deliberately sponsoring — a convention inevitably perceived as being run by small people with no agenda except their own routinely yields the same results: defeat.
What should be done? Having had the opportunity to once upon-a-time work on this kind of issue myself, here’s the answer.
First, quickly and publicly remedy this by graciously inviting Governor Palin.
Second. As the 2008 nominees, Senator McCain and Governor Palin should have some place and/or role of honor at the convention — in this case, yes, speaking slots for both.
Third. Make certain that all of the nominee’s defeated rivals — Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Pawlenty, Perry — are given some public role at the convention. Have a unity dinner/breakfast/lunch with Governor Romney — lots of pictures. If there is a running mate selected by then — include the running mate.
Fourth: Get the platform under control — consult, consult, consult, consult. And have the votes in subcommittees, full committees and on the floor to get it done.
Last but not least: The night that Governor Romney accepts the nomination, at the conclusion of his speech and his bows with his running mate — flood the stage with McCain, Palin and all the defeated rivals.
Message: We are not Team Romney — we are Team America. And yes, Barack Obama, we are as one on the mission to stop you and your “transforming” of America in its tracks.
But for heaven’s sakes — be inclusive.
Get Governor Palin invited now. Post haste.
She was the first woman VP nominee of the Republican Party. She has more than earned simple, basic respect.
Don’t add to Governor Romney’s problems by making him seem like an ungracious, small man.
He quite decidedly isn’t. But the lights are on now — people are paying attention. He has real enemies out there. He will need all the help he can get not just to win, but to govern.
And that specifically includes Governor Palin.
Romney’s VP Decision May Come This Week (Bloomberg)
U.S. Plagued by Worst Drought Since 1950s (WaPo)
Former MLB Pitcher John Rocker to Write Conservative Columns (Politico)
Marissa Mayer Joins Yahoo as Chief Executive (NY Times)
LeBron James Leads Team USA to Victory Over Brazil (ESPN)
Failure to Provide Security in Olympics, Military and Police Called in (CNN)
Needles Found in Delta Air Line Food (BBC)
Obama Ditches Teleprompter Amidst Mockery (The Hill)
The latest Purple Poll, a survey of key swing states conducted for a bipartisan political consulting firm, shows a close, stable presidential race with a fairly small pool of undecided voters. It also suggests, not surprisingly, that the voters who will decide this election don’t much like either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.
Across the 12 purple states, Obama leads Romney by a razor-thin 47 percent to 45 percent. That’s unchanged from June and within the margin of error. Romney has a 5-point lead among these states’ independents. He leads among men by 8 points but trails Obama among women by 11 points. The percentage of voters who say that the economy is getting worse is up to 42 percent. The pollsters found that this is an even bigger predictor of how people will vote than party identification: swing staters who thought the economy was getting better broke 93 percent to 4 percent for Obama, those who thought it was getting worse prefer Romney 84 percent to 7 percent.
In individual states, Ohio has swung narrowly back to Obama, Romney leads in Florida, and both Colorado and Virginia are very tight. All states are within the margin of error, Obama is below 50 percent in every one of them. While everyone is talking about the Romney campaign’s struggles answering the Bain questions, it bears watching whether this controversy actually moves the needle in any of these states.
The poll also reveals a split on the two fundamental questions of this election: whether Obama is a failed president or Romney is too out of touch to succeed him. Purple state voters as a whole split 44 percent each on which statement they agreed with most, but there was variation among the several states. In Florida, 50 percent say Obama is a failure, 41 percent say Romney is too out of touch, and 9 percent aren’t sure. In Ohio, 46 percent say Romney is too out of touch, 45 percent say Obama is a failure, and 9 percent aren’t sure.
This very similar to the breakdown on who would do better improving the economy and jobs outlook. In Florida, 50 percent say Obama is unable to improve the economy, 40 percent say Romney can’t do any better, and 10 percent aren’t sure. But in Ohio, 46 percent say Romney won’t do better than Obama, 45 percent say Obama can’t improve the economy, and 9 percent aren’t sure.
In the final analysis, these numbers contain a lot of good and bad news for both candidates while painting a picture of a deeply polarized, unhappy electorate.
As we noted in this space last week, Microsoft is getting a divorce from NBC News.
This week the news is official — and who will head the new NBCNews.com?
That would be Vivian Schiller — who, you will recall, became such a liability for NPR in the wake of the Juan Williams firing debacle that she was thrown under the NPR bus.
Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center has dissected with his usual sharp eye. Here’s the link (with embedded links) but I confess Brent’s statement is so dead on that I have pasted it in its entirety below:
Microsoft’s ill-advised marriage of convenience to NBC News has finally landed in divorce court, and it couldn’t have happened soon enough. Like any marriage built on a lie — in this case that MSNBC would be a legitimate news organization — it was doomed to fail.
The MSNBC brand is a tumor, corrupting everything it touches, and it’s good to see that Microsoft is finally cutting it off. Even though Microsoft untethered itself from MSNBC TV in 2005, MSNBC.com was still a stain on one of the most valuable, respected corporations in American history.
Since the cable network’s inception in 1996, our Media Research Center analysts have worked diligently to track and expose MSNBC’s bizarre descent into madness where the news is contorted into some sort of liberal fever dream. From Keith Olbermann’s anti-American hot air and Ed Schultz’s ‘right-wing slut’ attack and urge to ‘rip out’ Dick Cheney’s new heart, to the most recent rantings of Al Sharpton to incite racial violence in the Trayvon Martin shooting and Andrea Mitchell’s attempt to fabricate a “super market scanner moment” for Mitt Romney, MSNBC has sent journalism back to the partisan hackery of the 18th century.
MSNBC’s embarrassing mockery of the news and deliberate refusal to Tell the Truth has tainted the NBC News brand with a layer of stink so thick it could take generations to cleanse. Is it any wonder that a titan of industry like Microsoft would want to distance its valuable brand from MSNBC’s radioactive stench?
Maybe, just maybe, Comcast has finally suffered enough embarrassment thanks to its NBC News and MSNBC divisions to muzzle their frothing, rabid liberal attack dogs and go back to reporting the news.
Of course with former NPR President & CEO Vivian Schiller at the helm of NBCNews.com, that’s hard to imagine.
NBC has become a network with deeply serious problems. The news brand, once impeccable, has been tossed into the media equivalent of a sewer. The symbolism involved in putting Schiller at the head of this restructured ventured is stunningly dense.
Here’s Schiller telling the world that Juan Williams needed a psychiatrist because of his political views. And here is the event that finally got Schiller fired from NPR, a James O’Keefe video sting in which an NPR official (also named Schiller, but no relation) went off on conservatives. Mediaite wrote it up this way.
The fact that NBC has zero understanding of the symbolism involved with Schiller sends an in-your-face message to millions of Americans who once looked to NBC News to tell them the facts, the news of the day.
The appalling treatment of Juan Williams has not been forgotten.
Schiller’s well-on the record liberal elitism is only going to exacerbate the image of NBC News as home to a brain-dead, reflexive left-wingism that openly exploits racism, gay bashing, misogyny and religious bigotry to get ratings — which, surprise, surprise, it never gets.
Not to put too fine a point on this, but one gets the impression that NBC News is so intellectually incestuous it makes the network look like some perverse version of all those old jokes about hillbillies sleeping with their sister.
They haven’t a clue internally that something is amiss.
At the end of the day, NBC News is dead because of its lack of intellectual curiosity and a high tolerance for things most Americans abhor. One doesn’t have to agree with same-sex marriage to know that calling someone a “punk faggot” or the “n-word” (as Al Sharpton has done) is wrong. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that calling a woman — any woman but surely the wife of a US Senator — a “whore” (Ed Schultz) is wrong. One doesn’t have to be the smartest knife in the drawer to understand that a full-fledged attack on a presidential candidate’s religion is bad enough. But not applying the same standard to the Senate Majority Leader when that senator (Harry Reid) practices exactly the same Mormon faith as Mitt Romney — and somehow thinking no one will notice is — outright idiocy on the part of Lawrence O’Donnell.
In essence, all these people are sleeping with their sister — intellectually speaking.
MS is gone from MSNBC.
And quite obviously chaos reigns.
This is interesting.
A site called Talk Stream Live: A Dynamic Directory of Internet Radio has compiled a list of “The 50 most influential talk show hosts on the Internet.”
Guess who is number one after all those weeks of direct assault?
That’s right (so to speak): El Rushbo still stands as a solid Number One.
But what is really interesting is the full list of both the Top Ten and the Top 50.
Savage and Laura Ingraham, Hannity, Levin, Beck and others of your favorites are in the Top Ten.
But what name isn’t on either list at all? Not even mentioned?
That would be the man who was put forth as the guy who was going to take down Rush Limbaugh: Mike Huckabee.
As I wrote last week in “The Titanic of Talk Radio” I was always skeptical that the idea of a talk radio show hosted by a moderate Republican would have an audience.
Now comes a new take on the whole idea — a survey of the Top 50 talk radio hosts streaming on the Internet. To quote from TSL:
TSL sampled over 1.2 million listeners during the first 6 months of 2012 to produce the Power 50 Report — the 50 most influential talk show hosts on the Internet and on mobile devices.
Note that “the first 6 months of 2012” well includes the kerfuffle over Rush and Sandra Fluke, plus the much ballyhooed Huckabee launch. And note as well that TSL says (bold emphasis mine):
The Power 50 includes the big personalities talk show fans would expect as well as some new media rising stars.
In other words, in spite of all that incredible hype back in March and April, Huckabee not only isn’t close to Rush, much less replacing him as Number One. In this independent survey…Huckabee isn’t even listed as a “rising star”… he doesn’t even make the list!
And one other thing while we’re at it.
Back in the spring of 2011 there was a flurry of stories saying that conservative talk radio was dying.
The guy at the center of these wildly imagined pieces was one John Avlon, he of the No Labels group.
No Labels is essentially the Huckabee/Cumulus radio philosophy translated as interest group politics. RINO Radio as RINO Politics. Talk radio, insisted Mr. Avlon in an article at the Daily Beast titled “The Right Wing Talk Radio Flame Out” was dying. Rush was not only toast, but the entire idea of conservative talk was dying right in front of our eyes.
I made the point in this space that this argument was so much hooey, and one of the reasons was that new technology was changing the world — the way talk radio was listened to included. With new technology, listeners were no longer simply turning on a radio. And therefore ratings could no longer be measured in the traditional fashion. Listeners were increasingly doing their listening from some form of Internet use — streaming, host websites and satellite to name three.
This survey from TSL confirms not simply what I was saying, but spotlights the future.
Or, put another way, Rush Limbaugh has been on the air since the last year of the Reagan administration. We are now four presidents down the road from Reagan, with a serious potential of a fifth — Romney — being elected this year.
Presidents come — and presidents go.
But conservatism remains, even as the technology for listening to conservative talk radio changes.
Which is why Rush Limbaugh is still here, still Number One and Number One now in the new world of Internet radio. And quite clearly he will continue to be so. In spite of his detractors, Rush Limbaugh is the future of talk radio until he himself decides to put the dust cover over the EIB Mike.
Did you know his grandfather retired at 103?
Dems Threaten GOP With Tax Hikes and Spending Cuts (WaPo)
Treasury 5-Year Note Yields Hit Record Lows, Renews Concern Over Retail Sales (Bloomberg)
Why Romney’s NAACP Speech Matters (Washington Times)
European Violation of Trade Treaties Prompts U.S. Backlash (Forbes)
Chicago Constituents Stand By Jesse Jackson Jr. (Politico)
Economic Slowdown in China (The Atlantic)
Is Wealth No Longer Possible? (The Hill)
Why Millennials are ‘Generation Screwed’ (Newsweek)
From a story in the New York Post about ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner’s desire (so to speak) to run for Mayor of New York.
A real quote from a real political consultant takes a shot at a potential problem for a Weiner for Mayor race:
“The general feeling is that you can’t text pictures of your penis to a girl, then lie about it, then get kicked out of the House and then run for mayor right after,” said a political consultant. “But people believe there is a way for him to run for a lesser office.”
Ya can’t make it up. Seriously.
1. Based on the last week, we can see that Barack Obama is doubling down on the Bain attacks against Mitt Romney despite their earlier failure. Why? Even if Team Obama can’t exactly replicate Ted Kennedy’s success with this strategy, the bipartisan political consulting firm Purple Strategies found that private equity doesn’t poll well in key swing states like Ohio (where 49 percent of voters agreed companies like Bain “only care about profits” to 33 percent who believed “they help America grow”). Moreover, Obama has always struggled to connect with working-class whites and his numbers among blue-collar white men are nothing short of abysmal. Bain potentially gives Obama a wedge issue to hurt Romney’s standing among these voters.
2. There’s also the simple matter that the more time Romney spends explaining his tenure at Bain, the less time there is for him to hit Obama on the economy, jobs, and the unpopular health care reform law. It’s odd that the Romney campaign hasn’t come up with a better response to an issue that has plagued their candidate since his first run for office in 1994. And Romney’s relationship with Bain after giving up his active management role in 1999 is clearly more complicated than either campaign is making it out to be.
3. It’s also worth taking a look at the poll numbers compiled by William Galston in this New Republic piece. Obama is basically reproducing George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection strategy of going negative on an unfamiliar opponent who hasn’t defined himself yet and firing up the base. But Obama must attempt this feat with a base that includes voters who are notoriously hard to turn out, while both his underlying poll numbers and the objective conditions of the country are worse than what Bush faced eight years ago.
Obama’s numbers are especially bad on jobs and the economy. He remains competitive nationally and in the major swing states solely because Romney hasn’t secured a decisive advantage on these issues yet himself. Bain is part of the Obama campaign’s plan to make sure Romney never develops that advantage.
4. To keep the 2004 analogy going, there is also a Swiftboat tie-in. The attribute that was supposed to be John Kerry’s biggest positive — his military service, crucial as the public was souring on the Iraq war — became a negative. Democrats are trying to the same thing with Romney’s business record, which is a bigger part of the Republican nominee’s case for being able to turn around the economy and jobs market than his single term as governor of Massachusetts.
5. Both the ferocity of David Dewhurst’s attacks and the two independent polls released last week suggest that Ted Cruz has become the favorite in the Texas Republican runoff for U.S. Senate. Dewhurst’s camp has blasted Cruz as an “unethical lawyer” while accusing him of “feeding from the trough of Chinese intellectual property thieves” and representing “a child-exploiting, judge-bribing felon.” That isn’t the sound of a confident candidate.
6. Recent polls haven’t been as encouraging for Mark Neumann in Wisconsin. Two polls showed Neumann, a conservative former congressman, running third for the Republican senatorial nomination with Eric Hovde emerging as the main challenger to Tommy Thompson, the former governor, presidential candididate, and Bush secretary of health and human services.