January 20, 2009 4:29 PM
Now that Barack Obama is officially president of the United States, I hope Americans of all political stripes can acknowledge George W. Bush's hospitality toward the new first family. Some status updates that have come across my Facebook today have included one friend wanting to smack Bush across the face on the way out, another lauding the departure of the "Shrub" (please, that's so 2000), and, of course, the borderline conspiracy theory rumblings that Chief Justice John Roberts purposely flubbed Obama's oath as just another cog in the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.
For those looking to get in their parting shots at the old president, why not just celebrate the new president instead? That would really be "change." You don't think that Bush has been beaten down enough, dodging shoes, aging exponentially in eight years, having Cindy Sheehan as a squatter next to his private home? Funny how anger still pervades what's supposed to be Hope (TM) and Change (TM) Day. Protesters are trying to figure out life post-Bush (note: they'll still be angry about something), but I sure hope they let the man retire in peace and don't initiate more Texas campouts. Enough already.
Here's some positives to go along with that positive vibe today: Bush's daughters penned this cute letter to Obama's daughters on life in the White House, published by WSJ. And speaking of WSJ, you'll enjoy James Taranto's comparison of Bush's second inaugural address and Obama's speech today. That is, if you didn't throw a fit at the picture I posted.
December 11, 2008 12:08 PM
The parade of moderate appointees is officially over. Daily Kos can breathe a sigh of relief.
Daschle, of course, is the guy who proposed the Federal Health Board, a bureaucratic morass modeled after the Federal Reserve Board where decisions would be made on what would and wouldn't be covered under federal programs, basically deciding on life-or-death treatment options with one fell swoop. Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation, who lived under Britain's national health care system, said, "The Daschle Board might be better described as the Supreme Court of Health. And given the powers he imagines for it, selections to it will be about as free from politics as nominations for a Court Justice."
December 10, 2008 2:34 PM
Every Democratic senator has called on Blago to resign (the HuffPo has the letter). Seriously, who wants to be tainted at this point, especially considering the charges, by telling the guv to "hang in there"? But he has no intention of stepping down, apparently not yet, even as Obama calls for Blago to resign.
To sort through this whole murky mess, the Weekly World News has offered a concise explanation:
"Sources inside the Obama Transition Team have confirmed that Rahm Emanuel tipped off FBI to Governor Rod Blagojevich's schemes as payback.
...Rumors have circulated for years that during the Clinton Administration, Emanuel, a top political adviser, challenged several members of the House to a duel on the lawn of the Illinois State Capitol. Blagojevich was reportedly the only one to accept the challenge.
They met at dawn and stood back to back before walking 20 paces and turning to face one another. Emanuel's gun misfired. In his anger, he showed Blagojevich his favorite finger.
Blagojevich, with surprisingly good aim, shot off the tip of Emanuel's middle finger on the right hand.
It was the first time Emanuel was on the losing end of a political gunfight, and he would never forget the lost phalange. As Blagojevich began making blatant attempts to sell Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder, Emanuel saw an opportunity for payback."
UPDATE: Yes, people, I know that everything the Weekly World News writes is a steaming pile. Yes, I posted it in sarcastic humor. Have a chuckle already.
November 16, 2008 10:04 PM
That "Office of the President Elect" sign is cheese enough, but now Obama has nabbed the site "change.gov" as his transition portal. There you can learn about "The Administration" that's not yet the administration, and submit "your inspiring stories from the campaign and Election Day." Which loosely translates to, "We want to hear how you walked three miles in bare feet chanting Obama's name while drawing onetime McCain voters behind you like the Pied Piper, so that when the honeymoon period is over we can have something to read to plump our egos."
In other important American news, Obama will not be getting a puppy before moving into the White House. Because it makes perfect sense to potty train a pup in America's most valuable historic landmark.
November 12, 2008 2:17 PM
It's easy to sit there and blame Bush, as has been the national pastime for many years now. And yet McCain -- who, yes, at one time was really "mavericky" -- had a real shot at the White House, buoyed by independents who had long liked him and Democrats who at least respected him, until his handlers went in search of the conservative base. Sarah Palin was a spur of the moment pick intended to woo the right (though GOP voter turnout reportedly dropped) and make Hillary supporters seethe at Obama in one fell swoop. And that euphoria lasted in the polls until mid-September; by the end of that month, according to a series of Washington Post-ABC News polls, confidence in Palin's ability to slip into the Oval Office chair if needing be was seriously dragging and Joe Biden was getting higher favorability ratings. Biden! I know Dems who practically hit their heads against the wall when a) Biden ran for the nomination again and b) Obama picked him as his running mate.
Sure, Palin ranked high on the down-to-earth personality scale, but in times of crisis -- economy, war, nuclear Iran, out-of-control Pakistan -- voters were going to jump at highly substantive answers, not just primo photo ops at the United Nations tutorials.
Were McCain's jokes on "Saturday Night Live" the weekend before the election -- you know, the skit with Tina Fey where "Sarah" referred to her 2012 ambitions -- actually jokes? For a presidential candidate to be in on a joke about his VP nominee undermining his own campaign ... well, it was pretty big. Did Palin want to see this ticket through, or did she decide to try to emerge from the contest with as little damage as possible to map a presidential run in four years? Palin said in the blitz of media attention this week that "if there is an open door in '12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door." And I'll blame others for '08.
Simply put, Palin shares blame for the McCain loss. You can't blame the media for every hard question, and you can't wag your finger at "some blogger probably sitting there in their parents' basement wearing their pajamas, blogging" if you understand that elections will now be fought and won in the new online media. (Did she a) learn from Dan Rather's faux pas or b) pause to consider how bloggers helped as well as hurt her campaign?) And all in all, the GOP can't dwell on it, but can learn from the past to adequately look forward to the future.
November 11, 2008 12:12 PM
But if there's one lesson from Campaign 2008, it's that you don't even have to be a candidate yet -- er, and there doesn't even have to be a new campaign yet, or the president-elect doesn't even have to be sworn into office yet -- for the attack dogs to sniff out new, tasty prey! It's not that Jindal wasn't already on the left-wing radar -- see the Huffington Post's entire page devoted to Bobby -- but now there is left-wing offense on the GOP to be conducted in defense of Barack Obama's Oval Office chair, no matter how long down the road that contest is. And there's the Bobby Jindal is Bad! blog, which must have decided he's all right because there have been no posts since July. My favorite is this Nov. 5 post on Daily Kos:
"If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts... this is very scary to think of what lies ahead of us here in our own United States... better heed this and pray about it and share it.
Who is Bobby Jindal?
Probable U.S. presidential candidate, Piyush 'Bobby' Jindal was born in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, to Amar Jindal, an Indian REPUBLICAN from Punjab and Raj Jindal, a REPUBLICAN information technology director.
Jindal takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a REPUBLICAN. He is quick to point out that he attended Brown University and was elected to office after Hurricane Katrina. Jindal's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that he is not a radical.
... Let us all remain alert concerning Jindal's expected presidential candidacy.
The Republicans have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!"
Oh my word, that's funny -- did you know he's a REPUBLICAN (insert flames and "The Shining" soundtrack)????
Cizzilla opined that no VP nod for Jindal meant that he escapes the taint of McCain and Bush associations. I'll add that Hurricane Gustav, while thankfully not pulling a Katrina Part Deux, will also work in favor of a Jindal run in 2012: Because of it, he skipped not only the Republican National Convention (where pundits expected him to deliver the equivalent of Obama's 2004 convention speech) but was the only southern governor not to tape a message to the RNC. The message that sent was Jindal saying he had more important things to do, namely help his state in a time of crisis. The end result is priceless -- that he was AWOL for the McCain-Palin coming out party. Yup, he missed the taint.
November 9, 2008 10:48 PM
"'For nine months, I kept quiet because I saw that the good words that I spoke about this beautiful young man at our Saviours' Day convention and the way they were misused,' Farrakhan said of Obama. 'I decided it would be better for me to just be quiet rather than be drawn into the controversy that was swirling around his pastor,, and others.'
Farrakhan then added with a smile, 'I feel freer today to say the things that are in my heart.'"
The AFP, however, had a different spin on Farrakhan's coming-out party:
"Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, on Sunday hailed president-elect Barack Obama as a God-given leader with extraordinary vision, but warned of the racial animosity stirred up by his victory.
...'Many of the voters that voted for Senator McCain were older Americans, and most reside below the Mason-Dixon line where racial attitudes and traditions die hard,' he told a congregation of about 1,200 people at Mosque Maryam on Chicago's South Side.
...The 75-year-old preacher, clad in a scarlet robes and a matching fez, cited news reports that said gun sales had surged since Obama's electoral victory, and told of how fights had broken out in some schools, with white students chanting 'white power,' while blacks students chanted 'black power.'
'I'm sure that many of our people have unfortunately lost their lives because of the absolute hatred that is manifested now that one of our own has risen to such a high office,' he told the crowd at the national headquarters of the Nation of Islam.
For some people, the prospect of a black family in the White House, was a 'sacrilege,' he said."
Wait -- who's died as a result of Obama getting elected?? Or is he saying blacks have previously lost their lives to racism and even though Obama got 365 big ol' electoral votes there's lethal racial hatred now manifested in America? It looks like Farrakhan is trying to stir the racial animosity pot with all his might. Drawing the gun buys into the conversation -- as we editorialized about this weekend, people are stocking up because they're afraid Obama will push new gun laws -- makes it sound like Farrakhan is predicting Charlie Manson's long-sought all-out race war. But hey, Farrakhan is back and he's un-self-censored!
November 9, 2008 10:01 PM
"Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said on Saturday that the US president-elect Barack Obama is expected to make strategic changes in the US foreign policy.
Addressing a local seminar, he said that Obama is expected to send correct signals to the regional nations"
And another story from Nov. 7:
"A Tehran Constituency MP at Majlis said here Friday victory of US Democratic Party nominee, Barack Obama, at presidential elections there was the 'No!' response of Americans to warmonger polices pursued by Republicans during their recent tenure at White House.
Mahdi Kouchakzadeh added in an interview with IRNA Political Desk, 'Keeping in mind the points made by Obama during his presidential campaign, it seems as if the Americans are fed up with the warmonger policies pursued by their statesmen during President (George W.) Bush's tenure.'"
And from Friday prayers:
"On the US elections, which led to victory of Democrat Senator Barack Obama, Ayatollah Jannati expressed hope that Obama will translate his campaign pledges into action. ... He went on to say that the US is on the fall and Iran is on the rise.
'The world people are with us. According to the Supreme Leader, we echo world people's message. Many world heads of state get happy over our stances and somehow express their appreciation (to Iran),' he concluded."
OK, Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Vladimir Putin don't count as "many world heads of state." Anyway, there's more: that congratulatory letter Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent to Obama:
"Felicitating Obama for his victory , President Ahmadinejad hoped for basic and clear changes in Washington's foreign and domestic policies.
'I hope you will prefer real public interests and justice to the never ending demands of a selfish minority and seize the opportunity to serve people so that you will be remembered with high esteem,' said the Iranian president.He said, 'Other nations also expect war-oriented policies, occupation, bullying, contempt of nations and imposing discriminatory policies on them to be replaced by advocating justice, respect for human rights, friendship and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs.'"
The "selfish minority" is Mahmoud-speak for "Jews." In other words, he's pulling a Mearsheimer and Walt.
In other words, the Iranian leadership/theocracy/thugocracy is ready to test the boundaries of what they claim can be a new era of warm and fuzzies with the White House. They're assessing it from a more self-indulgent point of view, though, than merely celebrating the end of the Bush administration or election of America's first black president. They're wondering if a man who vows change can be manipulated to their advantage on the global stage. Hopefully Obama or his advisers will be wise enough to see that with every carrot offered, Iran is just jonesing to swing their big stick -- and assert the global dominance (and nuclear "energy") that every press conference, every speech, every Friday prayers insists that they rightfully deserve.
November 7, 2008 3:42 PM
"Instead, you bring in a guy like Emanuel, the most hard-headed, no-nonsense, foul-mouthed, smart-as-hell, get-it-done-or-get-out-of-my-way Washington insider of his generation. And you put him in charge of a White House staff whose task it is -- and this is putting it conservatively -- to conceive, propose, promote and somehow push through Congress the most ambitious agenda any President has carried forth at least since Ronald Reagan rode into town with a lopsided grin in January 1981. 'Rahm does not sing Kumbaya,' laughs an old friend and colleague. 'He barks orders.' His hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, calls Emanuel 'a brutally effective taskmaster.'"
Or from Nina Easton at Fortune:
"Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Congressman who will be President-elect Barack Obama's White House chief of staff, is 'dangerous, absolutely relentless when he's got a political kill in sight,' according to an admiring Republican colleague, Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole. Emanuel is also, President Clinton once told Fortune, 'one of the top political minds in Washington,' a former ballet dancer who 'favors the counterattack over the attack.'"
Or the Chicago Sun-Times:
"With Emanuel, Obama gets an enforcer, a bad cop who loves the f-word, with a unique resume no one else in the United States can match ... If Obama is reserved Mr. Cool, Emanuel is emotive Mr. Hot."
OK, so let's make sure we have this straight:
- John McCain was branded a hot-headed cranky temperamental old guy. Rahm Emanuel is "emotive."
- Karl Rove was dubbed "Bush's evil genius" and a wicked puppetmaster. Rahm Emanuel is "a brutally effective taskmaster."
- Newt Gingrich was once named Saturday Night Live's "Pr*ck of the Week." Rahm Emanuel is "the most hard-headed, no-nonsense, foul-mouthed, smart-as-hell, get-it-done-or-get-out-of-my-way Washington insider of his generation."
- Dick Cheney was characterized as being unhinged and/or rude and/or un-vice presidential for dropping the F-bomb on Patrick Leahy. Rahm Emanuel is "an enforcer, a bad cop who loves the f-word, with a unique resume no one else in the United States can match."
November 7, 2008 12:02 PM
Yet since he hit the campaign trail for his BFF John McCain -- bearing in mind that there's still a big "I" after his name, not "D" -- and spoke at the RNC (which was a speech all about bipartisanship), he's had a ginormous target on his back with Harry Reid aiming the crossbow.
If Reid and the DNC want to shun Lieberman, fine. It's their loss. If they never invite Joe to another D.C. tea party, fine. Whine and complain about what a goober you think he is.
But to oust an experienced senator committed to national defense as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is petty partisanship at its worst. The commitment to homeland security should know no party, and just requires the best minds on the issue. Obviously Reid and Co. thought Lieberman to be highly qualified for the post based on his experience and merit. Because he tried to help a friend win the White House, that somehow now makes him unqualified for the post? It doesn't. It's just a majority leader thinking that he has the right to "punish" an independent, and puts the best interests of the public second.
Especially when Reid's candidate won the presidential election, it only looks as if he's trying to throw his power around. The Dems also don't need Joe to hold a Senate majority anymore, so they're content with tossing him out in the cold.
Very sad. I wish independent thinking was cherished more in D.C. Brave steps could be taken and things might actually start getting done. "It shouldn't take a natural disaster to teach us that the American people don't care much if you have an 'R' or a 'D' after your name," Lieberman said in his RNC speech. "What they care about is, are we solving the problems they are up against every day?" Well, D.C. does care about the R or D, and they don't get things done, so go figure.
November 6, 2008 12:21 PM
Now, I'll be the first to say that I need a break from electioneering. I'm pooped, really. And cold, but that's another trip to the Eddie Bauer. But I did say in September that the Louisiana governor would have been the better choice for John McCain's running mate, and I got accused of hatching a conspiracy against Sarah Palin as a result. Now the rumor is that Jindal was offered the slot but said no, though Jindal steadfastly says that he was just interested in governing and never said if he was even extended the invitation. And it's probably all for the best: There's no telling what kind of damage to Jindal's young political career could have been wrought on McCain's coattails.
Jindal's just 37 right now, yet has enough credentials (in the following order) to make an early-thirtysomething like me feel like a complete slacker:
- Rhodes scholar and Oxford grad
- Advised Fortune 500 companies
- Director of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (and took the Medicaid from deficit to surplus)
- President of the University of Louisiana system
- Assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation under Bush
- Congressman (two-term; re-elected with 80 percent of the vote), served on House Committee on Homeland Security
- First Louisiana governor of color since Reconstruction, as well as America's first Indian governor
I think the past two days of GOP reflection and musings have led to one unmistakable fact: The GOP needs to rebuild. And that means, in four years, a very clean slate. My recommendation as of this point? A ticket of Bobby Jindal and Eric Cantor. All another Palin run would do is bring Tina Fey out of SNL retirement. The GOP needs to move forward, unless it craves another trouncing.
You can all get back to Post-Election Detox now.
August 22, 2008 10:57 PM
For a campaign that has consistently chided John McCain for being mired in the old Washington guard and conducting the "same old Washington politics," Obama's choice is bizarre. Joe Biden, change?? Biden, the sixth-longest-serving and notoriously long-winded senator? Biden, who was named a Face for the Future by Time magazine in his freshman senatorial year -- in 1974, before I was even born? Biden, who withdrew from the 1988 presidential race after speech-plagiarizing and school-grade-exaggerating scandals? Biden, who snagged a whopping 1% of Iowa delegates in January?
And finally -- and this is my favorite one -- Joe Biden, who suggested on March 16, 2004, on "Hardball" that John Kerry pick John McCain as his running mate:
"'I think that this is time for unity in this country, and maybe it is time to have a guy like John McCain -- a Republican -- on the ticket with a guy he does like. They do get along. And they don't have fundamental disagreements on major policies.'
When asked by Matthews if he would support such a ticket, Biden said, 'I would. Yeah, if John Kerry said that's who he wanted, and McCain -- I'd encourage McCain to say yes. I doubt whether John would do it. I doubt whether John McCain would do it. But, you know, we need some unity here, man. The red states and the blue states -- we've got to have something to coalesce around here.'"
So we can conclude that Obama has picked a real winner: A guy who's about as Washington Establishment as Washington Establishment can get, who's never been near successful in his bids for the White House, who once called him a "clean" African-American, and who believes that John McCain is a great unifier.
I'd better stop laughing so hard before the neighbors start rapping on my wall...
UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin at Pajamas Media wonders if Obama's been running on the mantra that experience doesn't matter, why'd he go for the guy with the most experience he could find?
The Politico reminds us of another un-PC Biden zinger: "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."
A Huffington Post blogger begs Joe to keep his foot outta his mouth.
Jonah Goldberg writes, "Barack Obama has just picked his Dick Cheney." That's some serious voodoo.
UPDATE NUMERO DOS: Welcome, NRO readers, as well as Gateway Pundit readers, RCP readers, Pajamas readers, etc. -- check out our expanded DNC Opinion coverage here.
August 8, 2008 3:47 PM
"In 2006 (er, what about last month??), I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs (don't cheat on a woman in chemo?). I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison (just one? not buying it... the woman followed him on the campaign trail) with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail (oh, please, not every detail) with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid (trying to dis' the Enquirer) told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities (*cough*) to deny it. But being 99% honest is no longer enough. (I would have pegged the honesty at about 33.4%)
I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public ("especially the fact I continued to meet my mistress"). With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 (and 2008??) and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006 (and 2008??). It ended then ("that's why I was creeping around the Beverly Hilton last month with my mistress"). I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby (can he do this on a daytime talk show?), and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby. I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.
It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry (me, me, me). In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special (uh-huh) and became increasingly egocentric (yeah) and narcissistic (see video). If you want to beat me up - feel free (sympathy ploy). You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself (major sympathy ploy). I have been stripped bare (no more details, come on!) and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others (guilt transference) who need my help.
I have given a complete interview on this matter and having done so, will have nothing more to say ("except I'm never giving the Hiltons another dime")."
August 8, 2008 12:03 PM
"Edwards said his wife, Elizabeth, and others in his family became aware of the affair in 2006.
Edwards made a point of telling Woodruff that his wife's cancer was in remission when he began the affair with Hunter. Elizabeth Edwards has since been diagnosed with an incurable form of the disease.
When the National Enquirer first reported the alleged Edwards-Hunter affair last October 11, Edwards, his campaign staff and Hunter vociferously denounced the report.
'The story is false, it's completely untrue, it's ridiculous,' Edwards told reporters then.
He repeated his denials just two weeks ago.
Edwards today admitted the National Enquirer was correct when it reported he had visited Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hilton last month.
The former Senator said his wife had not known about the meeting."
Wow. He's a piece of work, isn't he? First of all, it's OK to cheat when the cancer is in remission. And if he's trying to buy some sympathy with that, why did he sneak off to meet the woman last month without telling Elizabath? And if he wasn't the father of the baby, and if the affair was supposedly long over, why did he secretly meet her and the baby?
July 29, 2008 11:09 AM
So in exchange for free plumbing, the senator's career may wind up in the toilet.
July 28, 2008 1:34 PM
Novak's brain tumor (no word on if it is malignant) was discovered Sunday, and the columnist is putting his journalistic endeavors on hold for an indefinite "but God willing, not too lengthy period."