"Throughout our history, the press has been an indispensable check on government. The information produced by the press contributes to our policy debates, exposes wrongdoing, and in fundamental ways makes our democracy work. A government that acts in the sunshine is far less likely to behave in unlawful or tyrannical ways. A citizenry informed by a free and robust press is essential to our nation." – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, 10/4/2007
From an August 26 Washington Times editorial:
The Death Book is a nickname given to an advice manual published by the Department of Veterans Affairs that instructs veterans "how to prepare a personalized living will." Officially titled, "Your Life, Your Choices," the book fosters dark thoughts about a difficult life somehow being less of a life.
[T]he Death Book is instructive as a reflection on Obamacare priorities and perspectives and what the administration might view as a "waste." This is important because Mr. Obama and other administration officials regularly talk about a need to cut back on what they term as massive waste in health care.
What government considers a waste, many patients and doctors consider a necessity. Denying this care based on vague notions of efficiency is rationing. Even the New York Times admitted last week that "the concerns [about rationing] are not entirely irrational." Concern about rationing has been particularly acute among the elderly for good reason. The Death Book shows government's perverse interest in the end of life rather than its extension.
From Fox News political analyst and radio host Tammy Bruce's Twitter account:
Because note "The New Republic" chron Beck used on his show earlier this week during segment that had nothing to do with the opinion magazine.
And note how nearly identical it is to the mag's logo:
John Mercurio has a good piece at National Journal's web page, looking at the dubious media meme that health care reform would have happened by now were it not for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's absence from the Senate.
As Mercurio notes, both Democrats and Republicans have been pushing that idea for quite some time, though for different purposes. But I think he misses a subtle implication in the comments from some Republicans. Here's Mercurio:
Last weekend on ABC's "This Week," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Kennedy's absence had made a "huge, huge difference" in the health care debate. "No person in that institution is indispensable, but Ted Kennedy comes as close to being indispensable as any individual I've ever known in the Senate," he said.
For Republicans, it's a chance to humanize themselves at little cost. Worried that they'll ultimately be viewed as the party that blocked meaningful reform, they are using Kennedy as a convenient foil. If only he had been here, they say, Kennedy would have used his magic touch to reach a meaningful compromise, bringing us on board.
What I think Mercurio misses is that Republicans -- including McCain and Orrin Hatch, who he also quotes -- are using Kennedy to implicitly criticize Democratic Senators, suggesting that Kennedy, unlike other Senate liberals, would have caved by now. Here's another McCain comment from This Week:
"He had a unique way of sitting down with the parties at a table and making the right concessions, which really are the essence of successful negotiations," McCain said. "So it's huge that he's absent, not only because of my personal affection for him, but because I think the health care reform might be in a very different place today."
Got that? According to McCain, had Kennedy been active in Senate negotiations, he would have made "the right concessions." And what is the key concession Republicans like McCain have been demanding? The elimination of a public option. By McCain's telling, there is no health care agreement because Senate Democrats haven't dropped the public plan like Kennedy would have.
Hatch made much the same claim on NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday, saying of Kennedy "the first thing he would have done would have been to call me and say, 'Let's work this out.' And we would work it out so that the best of both worlds would work" -- then adding "I would never go to a federal government program. If we do that, we'll bankrupt the country."
So Hatch, like McCain, claims that Kennedy would have gotten an agreement done by dropping the public plan.
Republicans may be, as Mecurio says, using Kennedy's absence to "humanize themselves" -- but they're also using it to subtly bash Senate Democrats for not dropping the public plan, as they claim Kennedy would have done. Whether that is accurate, fair, or in good taste is for others to decide. But it is the clear meaning of their statements.
Boston Globe - Kennedy dead at 77
USA Today - Ted Kennedy: A lifetime of public service
Wall Street Journal - Sen. Edward Kennedy Dies After Battle With Cancer
New York Times - Edward Kennedy, Senate Stalwart, Dies
Los Angeles Times - Edward Kennedy dies at 77; 'liberal lion of the Senate'
New York Daily News - Sen. Ted Kennedy dies at age 77 after year-long battle with brain cancer
New York Post - Senator Ted Kennedy Dead at 77
Washington Post - Colleagues, Friends Mourn Senate 'Patriarch'
Chicago Tribune - Edward Kennedy dies at 77; 'liberal lion of the Senate'
Associated Press - Ted Kennedy: Family senator, patriarch, dead at 77
Reuters - Senator Edward Kennedy dies at age 77
McClatchy - Ted Kennedy dies at 77, last of brothers who remade politics
Politico - Ted Kennedy, the liberal lion, dead at 77
The Hill - Senate loses liberal lion: Kennedy dead at 77
Roll Call - Kennedy, the 'Liberal Lion,' Leaves a Historic Legacy
National Journal - Senate Legend Kennedy Succumbs At 77
Because during the run-up to the Bush invasion, Ajami was a relentless cheerleader for the war and was depicted, at least by those in the press, as a deep-thinking scholar whose insights into the Middle East and Persian Gulf, and especially the dark vision of the contemporary Arab world that Ajami painted, were terribly, terribly important.
But in terms of the Iraq War, it turned out Ajami had no idea what he was talking about.
Here's VP Dick Cheney quoting Ajami during a 2002 speech, as Cheney made the case for war [emphasis added]:
As for the reaction of the Arab "street," the Middle East expert Professor Fouad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are "sure to erupt in joy in the same way the throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans."
So I was bit skeptical when I read Ajami back in the WSJ opinion pages going on and on about U.S. politics and how Obama doesn't know what he's doing, he's misread the country, how his health care reform bill is a mess, and how those polite town hall critics really saved democracy. Etc., etc.
The column itself is virtually indistinguishable from what other robotic Journal columnist type up (i.e. Peggy Noonan, Fred Barnes). But it's quite odd to see Ajami, who staked his reputation as a foreign policy expert, now explaining to the rest of us how domestic U.S. politics really work. And it's odd to see a Iraq war cheerleader who could not have been more wrong about that monumentally important foreign policy decision, now turn around and lecture Democrats about why Obama's got domestic policy all wrong.
Fool me once, Ajami.
From Maureen Dowd's Times column today [emphasis added]:
If I read all the vile stuff about me on the Internet, I'd never come to work. I'd scamper off and live my dream of being a cocktail waitress in a militia bar in Wyoming.
From an August 26 WorldNetDaily "exclusive commentary" by WND founder, editor, and CEO Joseph Farah:
He will need a lot of encouragement to step into this breach.
So that is what I am offering here.
I like Sean Hannity.
I respect Sean Hannity.
He's a righteous man.
He has all the ingredients of a good leader -- a great leader.
And America is very much in need of a great leader.
I hope other Americans will join me in offering him encouragement to consider this mission - and consider it very seriously.
Farah added: "I could get excited about a Sean Hannity candidacy. I could get excited about a Sean Hannity presidency. I even hear he has a birth certificate."
As Media Matters for America has noted, WND and Farah have repeatedly pushed the conspiracy theory that Obama does not have a valid birth certificate and was born in Kenya. Hannity himself has advanced and defended birth certificate theories.