Live Feed: Obama’s Ratings Slide: Press Conference Down 29%.
If Obama were a TV show, he’d be causing worry among network execs.
The Horror! If Obama were to come down with swine flu and become incapacitated for a week or so, wouldn’t Biden have to assume the role of the Presidency in the interim?
Now that’d be a reason to panic (after a big, hearty laugh).
In so many ways. Someone sign this man to a big pan-media contract.
After many fits and starts, it’s finally happened: Chrysler is filing for bankruptcy.
Some will blame it on “greedy” lenders, some will blame it on clumsy Chrysler management, but I just heard Rush point out one important fact: President Obama said that only the federal government was big enough to solve our domestic automaker’s problems. And now here we are: government has failed.
Was Obama lying? Was he simply wrong about government’s capabilities? Or is it just that his car czars dropped the ball? Given that one of them is under investigation for alleged pension plan irregularities, maybe that’s to be expected.
Hey, at least Obama supporters the United Auto Workers now will own a big chunk of whatever is left of Chrysler…or Fiat…or Fiatsler or whatever it’s gonna be called now. They can celebrate this failure. Chrysler’s shareholders and its creditors, not so much.
By the way: happy 100 Days, Mr. President!
UPDATE: Putting all the blame on hedge funds. Get a grip, folks. I doubt very much it’s all their fault. As lenders, the hedge funds here had no role whatsoever in Chrysler’s management and the bad choices that put the company where it is today (including the insane deals it made with the UAW). Besides, even a liberal journalist will tell you that hedge funds didn’t destroy the economy.
Will hedge funds necessarily get a better deal in bankruptcy than any other lender? No, because secured lenders get top priority in bankruptcy.
Finally, if you had lent your clients’ money to Chrysler and you were hurting for cash like most other financial instititutions in America today, you wouldn’t be as generous with Chrysler either.
Hmm. Do Reason‘s editors read The Rhetorican?
[I]t quickly became clear that a substantial slice of the electorate would not buy into the promise of really big government. Imagine how that must have felt for many leftists….Wiki-trained psychologists like me immediately recognized their pain. The remarkable ends to which lefty bloggers, Nobel Laureates, bit-part actresses, and even a senior White House official all went to discredit the massive grassroots revolt perfectly matches Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ famous work on how to deal with grief, death, and loss.
I personally think Janeane Garofalo was already in the Bargaining stage when she spouted her famous “redneck” diatribe on Olbermann. Oh, I know she sounded like she was going through the Anger stage, but that’s how Garofalo always sounds.
President Obama himself is very probably already at Bargaining, too: yesterday he acknowledged the Tea Parties exist by “responding” to them (so he’s way past Denial now); and he didn’t sound like he was in Anger – although he certainly sounded uncomfortable. However, he’s only willing to recognize the Tea Party movement as a game. So he clearly still has to work through some issues.
The next stage after Bargaining is Acceptance, but I don’t think most Lefties – including the President – will get there until around November 2010. In fact, we’re going to have to push them into it.
UPDATE: Insta-lanche! Thanks for the link, Professor Reynolds!
Reuters: Critics take sharp claws to Wolverine.
Too bad. I was hoping it’d be good…
How charming! The President thinks the Tea Parties were a game. Oh, they were no game, Mr. President. They’re for real.
You must have been off-prompter when you “responded” to the Tea Parties (probably a knee-jerk reaction to the crowds who welcomed him in St. Louis today). Otherwise, the President just threw down the gauntlet; and the Tea Party movement will be glad to answer the challenge.
To be precise, Obama was dissembling and refocusing the argument in terms of entitlements and the old saw of “the mess the previous administration left us with”:
“I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we’re going to stabilize Social Security…. [L]et’s not play games and pretend that the reason is because of the Recovery Act because that’s just a fraction of the overall problem that we’ve got.”
Mr. President, this is not about you and your plans as much as it is about our country’s fiscal health. Tea Partiers don’t care about how much of the deficit was caused by Bush and how much was caused by you. They don’t care which network pushed it more aggressively and which didn’t. What they care about is that you will make the deficit even bigger than it already is.
And that’s why – if anyone’s playing games here – it’s you, Mr. President. But I guess you don’t have to have all the fun. Let’s play a game in which we bet which – your agenda or the Tea Party movement – will outlast the other. My money is on the big crowds.
UPDATE: The AP doesn’t seem to be in on Obama’s games. Funny how that happens: AP catches Obama disowning the deficit he helped create (H/T: Instapundit).
New Scientist: Scientists have warned about swine flu for the last decade.
(Via a reader’s tip)
STRATFOR is finding that our worst fears about the release of the “torture” memos are becoming true: A Chilling Effect on U.S. Counterterrorism.
[O]ur contacts in the intelligence community report that the release of the memos has had a discernible “chilling effect” on those in the clandestine service who work on counterterrorism issues.
Politics and moral arguments aside, the end effect of the memos’ release is that people who have put their lives on the line in U.S. counterterrorism efforts are now uncertain of whether they should be making that sacrifice…It is hard to retain officers and attract quality recruits in this kind of environment. It has become safer to work in programs other than counterterrorism.
There is one tiny bit of good news, but it comes with some bad news:
The memos’ release will not have a catastrophic effect on U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Indeed, most of the information in the memos was leaked to the press years ago and has long been public knowledge. However, when the release of the memos is examined in a wider context…it appears that the U.S. counterterrorism community is quietly slipping back into an atmosphere of risk-aversion and malaise — an atmosphere not dissimilar to that described by …the 9/11 Commission…as a contributing factor to the intelligence failures that led to the 9/11 attacks.
Way to go, Mr. President. Happy 100th Day…
Anyway, do read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Post of the Day at Legal Insurrection. Thanks, Professor Jacobson!
Slate: Some theories.
I agree with Dan that the culture has indeed changed; but I never much think of Republicans as a party of old fashioned values anyway (or of fiscally conservative ones) regardless of what Senator Specter says. And – as Dan suggests – I’m pretty certain that even if the culture had not changed, we’d still be hearing attacks from the Left and the media against Republicans for being backwards, “judging” others, blurring the lines between church and state, or what have you.
The truth is it really doesn’t matter – in terms of the political debate’s tone – how strident or not the GOP is about social conservatism. Any little bit of social conservatism will do for the purposes of Left-wing attacks. The key to understanding this is in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Rules for Radicals #4 and #5 come especially to mind: (More …)
Grassroots Attack? The race to unseat Specter has begun…on the Left.
To a certain extent, they are both right. There are no permanent victories in politics, as we all know. And it’s good for them to call our attention to the light at the end of the tunnel, especially for those who are bummed out about the Specter defection.
Still, we must keep pushing back whether with Tea or following John Galt. Don’t wait for Democrats (or RINOs) to collapse under the weight of their own bad calls. You’ll only wait longer than you have to.
UPDATE: Related content from Dick Morris: “When the Obama administration crashes and burns, with approval ratings that fall through the floor, political scientists can trace its demise to its first hundred days. [T]he fact is that this president has moved — on issue after issue — in precisely the opposite direction of what the people want him to do.”
What do you know? My theory is already on its way to be proven: Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years, behind Nixon AND Carter.
Daniel Blatt (from GayPatriot): How Perez Hilton and Gang Hurt Gay Marriage Supporters.
Matt Peterson: “Red Eye” at 500.
Congratulations to Greg, Bill and Andy. Sorry I missed the show, but I’ve been going to bed earlier lately. Still DVR’ing the show, though!
How about not making a sequel and coming up with some new concepts? Is it really so much to ask?
(From a reader’s tip)
CBS News: Feds knew airplane photo-op would cause panic, but still threatened federal sanctions to whoever leaked the secret.
I guess torture was in fact banned as to terrorists only. Who knew!
UPDATE: Bloomberg: And the whole thing cost us almost $329,000.
Is it time we call this Air Force One-Gate? It’s certainly much more than just the day we realized the administration indeed lives in a 9/10 world…
Damage control/PR blabbering:
“My change in party affiliation does not mean I will be a party line voter for the Democrats than I have been for the Republicans,” Specter noted in a press release. “Unlike Senator Jeffords switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatically 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on employee free choice card check will not change.”
It doesn’t matter much what Specter says, but isn’t the whole “filibuster-proof” meme a little over-hyped anyway? I mean, are there any expected defections from the Blue Dog wing of the Senate Democrats to the Harry Reid zombie wing? If not, you may have an actual filibuster-proof majority, but how can you expect to have all the votes you need to pass a measure when it counts? The fact is you can’t and you don’t.
I have more Specter-related links here.
UPDATE: Senator Specter’s complete damage control/PR blabbering (i.e., his official statement) is here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Jonathan Cohn at TNR’s The Plank agrees that “filibuster-proof” is not quite a fact: “Yes, the Dems will have sixty votes in the Senate. But…Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson isn’t a reliable Democratic vote and, to a lesser extent, neither are moderate Dems like Indiana’s Evan Bayh.”
Dan Riehl wants the GOP to snap out of it.
Meanwhile, a Republican polling firm proposes a new game plan. Sounds about right to me, at least until 2010. But did they really need a polling firm to tell them this?
MORE: At Ace: Specter’s move is all about survival, not philosophy. Classy move, Senator.
ANOTHER ONE: Ha! Rush just commented that Specter’s explanation (that the GOP is just way too conservative for him now) just doesn’t make sense because the Republican Party is more liberal than it’s ever been. Indeed!
AND ANOTHER ONE: Scott Rasmussen breaks down the great GOP disconnect.
Via Smitty at The Other McCain: Unveiling of controversial Obama painting canceled.
I don’t find it as controversial as I find it irritating (and I’m a practicing Catholic). But after the 9/11 simulation the White House staged yesterday for New Yorkers, it’s probably better not to show the painting in public at all.
CNN: Obama is more popular than his policies. “Now that Obama is president, the number who agree with his views on the issues has gone down, while the number who say he has the right personal qualities has gone up”.
Hmm. Does that sound like a 2010 outbreak of incumbentitis?
I can work with that. I’m perfectly willing to settle for a very popular Obama who fails to implement his agenda.
Woops! I just used the “f” word. Pardon me. But it’s true. Who cares about his popularity? Let him have it, as long as he also keeps the “Change”.
UPDATE: Related: Michael Barone: Americans not ready to go European.
So typical: The Nation – and others – were screaming bloody murder yesterday over GOP Senator Susan Collins voting against flu preparedness as part of the Stimu-pork bill.
But turns out Democrat Chuck Schumer voted against it too.
UPDATE: Related content at Legal Insurrection and Instapundit. The Sorosphere has egg – or pork chop – on their face on this one like never before. Didn’t Alinksy ever mention anything about researching before agitating? I guess not.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican declines an honor from Notre Dame, apparently in protest at Notre Dame hosting Obama (who is pro-choice and then some).
OK, if the White House-caused low-flying plane panic is not emblematic of the Obama administration’s weaknesses the way the Swamp Rabbit attack was emblematic of the Carter administration’s shortcomings, I don’t know what is.
For starters, it screams of a bunch of people who live in a 9/10 world. It also speaks volumes about aloofness. For an administration so apt at manipulating popular sentiment and emotions in all areas, it’s just incredibly insensitive towards not just New Yorkers, but all Americans who remember 9/11 with any measure of solemnity.
The most ironic part of it all is that Team O – which ran a campaign of “Hope” – just didn’t give a rat’s ass in this instance about – for several terrifying minutes – fostering a chilling sense of despair among so many:
In terms of pure politics, it’s also clumsy on the same level as the whole torture memo debacle, because this whole episode just reminded a bunch of people of how nice it was for 7+ years – pre-Obama – not to have to see this sort of crap happening for real.
But as I was trying to build a case for concluding that the Obama White House will some day be remembered as even worse than the Carter one, the only thing that I thought was missing was Obama’s own Killer Rabbit. I think the Low Flying Plane Panic of 2009, which certainly could have been avoided, will do.
UPDATE: WSJ: A Soaring Blunder. That’s putting it mildly. If the publicity shot they wanted was indeed so important to be kept secret they could have easily accomplished it with commonly available software: shoot the pictures of the plane out at sea and have another photographer shoot the Statue of Liberty background discreetly in NYC. Then marry both shots in a computer. Idiots.
MORE: Ed Driscoll links (and has much more). Thanks!
ANOTHER ONE: Obama tortures 9/11 victims (via Insty who has even more here. Most striking of all is the IndyMac connection). haHa! But didn’t the President just ban torture? Oh, right. For terrorists only. U.S. citizens won’t necessarily be so lucky.
…and lands a direct hit on Andrew Sullivan’s computer screen, where the theme can be summed up as: What do you mean we are committed to seeing a “sovereign, stable, and self-reliant” Iraq?
“If the US really is committed to a stable, unified Iraq, then the withdrawal will not take place. Not now; not in 2011; not in Obama’s first term. The logic of empire is very, very strong.”
Or in other words, “Dude, where’s my utopia?” To which I can only respond: Dude, did you really believe Obama would risk Iraq turning into his very own Vietnam?
Iraq troop withdrawal was just another one of those super-sophisticated Obama campaign promises. You know, with the built-in self-destruct mechanism?
Yes, they’re that sophisticated. Unlike a rube…
You know things are going bad for the Left when their party of choice is the majority party and they still have to blame government shortcomings on the minority one.
Bush is no longer in power and the GOP is no longer in control, but all evil is still their fault? Ha! Yeah, just like the AIG bonuses the Democrats inserted in the Stimulus and Obama signed into law.
The fact of the matter is this is the Dems’ show. If Susan Collins is getting in your way, Dems, then get around her. Or are “reconciliation” and other parliamentary games only good for raising taxes and increasing regulation but not to protect the public health? Is that it?
Newsbusters: Perez Hilton is giving Obama a pass for his anti-gay marriage stance (via BigHollywood).
Of course he is. It’s not so much about the cause, it’s about feeling superior to political opponents. This is basically a Leftie activist thing. It has nothing to do with any particular issue. As I’ve mentioned before, Glen Greenwald seems to me a prime example of this, but in the context of civil libertarian Patriot Act hysteria.
Sometimes, the whole thing is thick with irony, as when Lefties denounce hate and intolerance even as they are hateful and intolerant themselves…
UPDATE: Insta-lanche! Thanks for the link, Professor Reynolds!
MORE: Related content at GayPatriot.
ANOTHER ONE: Andrew Breitbart: Hypocrites!
Beyoncé and Ali Larter have scored the #1 slot with Obsession. 17 Again is staying strong at #2.
Nikki Finke has the figures and analysis.
A few days ago I wrote a post where I suggested that the Obama administration would eventually go down in history as even more ineffective than the Carter White House (keeping in mind the Killer Rabbit episode).
Now, with the world cringing at the prospect of a Swine Flu pandemic, we learn that – once upon a time – we had a president who could have taught Obama a thing or two about reacting to a pandemic: Gerald Ford (via Instapundit).
Given that Carter’s election is broadly considered to have been a reaction to public dissatisfaction with the Ford years, I think the “Carter Was Better” case looks as strong as ever.
At American Power, Professor Douglas focuses instead on Miss USA, Kristen Dalton, to kick off his weekly link roundup.
NYT: Hillary blames Iraq bombings on “Rejectionists”. She put the situation in rather Rumsfeldian terms:
“Are there going to be bad days? Yes, there are,” Mrs. Clinton said. But she added, “If you look at the evidence, overwhelmingly the progress that’s been made has been positive.”
Compare with this Rumsfeld quote from an interview he gave to a radio show in April 2004:
[A] peaceful Iraq is going to make an enormous change in the Middle East and we just simply have to see it through. There are going to be good days and bad days. And, obviously, the last few have been bad days….But our folks are working the problem and have confidence they’ll be able to move ahead.
Also, it looks like one President’s Freedom Fighters are another President’s Rejectionists. I wonder if the Times would have allowed Secretaries Rumsfeld or Rice to get away with using the term “rejectionist” without mockery or accusations of imperialist arrogance? Probably not. So far, MyDD doesn’t seem to mind it one bit (via Memeorandum).
RELATED: Jules Crittenden: Rejectionism is the new deadending.