The premise for today's article, which Drudge is now hyping? Obama is taunting and confronting Republicans. Who says so? Republicans.
But wait, it's true because the Journal has proof of Obama's new partisan, in-your-face approach [emphasis added]:
On Thursday, the president challenged Republicans who planned to campaign on repealing his health-care bill with, "Go for it." Two days later, he made 15 senior appointments without Senate consent, including a union lawyer whose nomination had been blocked by a filibuster.
At a bill-signing event Tuesday, he is set to laud passage of higher-education legislation that was approved despite Republican objections through a parliamentary maneuver that neutralized the party's filibuster threat.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama will be in Maine, home state of two moderate Republican senators who opposed his health-care plan, to promote the health law.
Even his surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday mobilized the perks of the presidency to marshal public opinion, as pictures were beamed home of Mr. Obama mobbed by U.S. troops.
To recap, Obama is confronting Republicans by urging them to try to repeal health care reform, signing a bill into law that they opposed, traveling to Maine, and traveling to Afghanistan.
What a trash talker!
UPDATED: BTW, the Journal article may include the single dumbest sentence I've read this month:
Mr. Obama campaigned on calling for an end to partisan bickering in Washington, but once in office he launched an ambitious agenda that pursued several long-held Democratic goals.
On her blog, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren reports that Sarah Palin is "hosting a Special!!!" this Thursday night during Van Susteren's regular time slot.
It's worth pointing out that last Tuesday, Palin rolled out her list of Democratic congressional candidates she is targeting for defeat - using gun sight imagery that even longtime Palin booster Elizabeth Hasselbeck called "despicable" and "insane." Palin spent Friday campaigning for Sen. John McCain. On Saturday, she rallied with thousands of tea party activists against Sen. Harry Reid. Yesterday, she endorsed three Republican congressional candidates.
As we've noted, Fox News has been targeting the Congressional Budget Office in an apparent attempt to undermine its conclusion that the health care reform law, if enacted as written, will not increase the federal debt. The campaign to discredit CBO continued this morning, with Fox & Friends featuring CBO director Douglas Elmendorf as the subject of its "Who's Ruining the Economy?" segment:
Why does Fox & Friends think Elmendorf, the head of Congress' nonpartisan office of economists and budget analysts, is ruining the economy? After all, CBO simply provides cost estimates and economic analyses and doesn't make policy. Well evidently, it's because CBO used economic models to estimate the job impact of the stimulus package and didn't "actually go out in the field and count the number of jobs created," in the words of Fox business analyst Stuart Varney.
Here is a little Tuesday afternoon fun.
No one likes a good car chase quite like Fox News' Shepard Smith. In the video below as Smith excitedly sets up for a commercial break and encourages his audience to stick around for more on his car chase du jour the anchor appears to be taking a swipe at the now infamous "we'll do it live" Bill O'Reilly video that long ago went viral with millions of views. What do you think?
For old times' sake, here's that O'Reilly video:
Lack of diversity on the all important Sunday morning political talk shows is nothing new. As Media Matters noted back in a 2007 report on the subject, "Not only are the Sunday morning talk shows on the broadcast networks dominated by conservative opinion and commentary, the four programs -- NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, and Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday -- feature guest lists that are overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male."
At the time of the report's release, not one of the Sunday shows was helmed by a woman or ethnic minority. How did the guests stack up? Not well at all.
Keep in mind, these programs help shape beltway conventional wisdom for the week to come and wield a disproportionate amount of influence over the political chattering class. The lack of a seat at the table for women and ethnic minorities spoke directly to the old boys club that has long dominated Washington politics and media.
The 2007 report didn't take into account the less influential Sunday morning political talk shows on cable networks like CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC but the results -- at least when it comes to hosts -- would have been much the same. All white. All men.
This year things have changed a bit.
In February when it was announced that long-time senior political correspondent Candy Crowley would be taking over as host for John King on CNN's State of the Union it was hard to find a story that didn't make prominent mention of her recent post-campaign weight loss.
It is one thing to be critical of Crowley's past work, just as we have been from time to time. It is quite another to fixate on her physical appearance. Asked about the subject, Crowley was quoted as saying, "Would I have gotten the job without having lost the weight? I don't know. That's an X factor... Does the refrigerator light stay on when you close the door? We'll never know." She went on to say, "I readily admit I'm not the most obvious pick, from a purely cosmetic point of view... I'm not going to argue that when you turn on the TV, you basically get young, blonde, thin women. This is changing."
I certainly hope it is changing but only time will tell.
Similarly, earlier this month word came down that CNN's Christiane Amanpour would be leaving the cable network to helm ABC's This Week - the first woman ever with full-time hosting duties on a broadcast network Sunday show.
Cue the back-biting and second guessing, much of it anonymous.
As Mediaite's Steve Krakauer noted:
Then there's CNN's John King who felt the need to throw out some questions about Amanpour's selection during a recent interview stating, "There are a lot of questions. Christiane does not have a lot of experience covering American politics and so how does she fit in on ABC on Sunday morning? I'll leave that to them to figure out. It is an interesting pick, it is an unorthodox choice, I think that's just self-evident...I'll watch how it plays out with everyone else."
Get that? There are lots of questions. She's not experienced covering American politics. But I'll leave ABC News to answer these questions...questions I've just thrown out to you like red meat to the media circus lions in my best impersonation of a Fox News chyron.
Regardless of what you think of these recent hirings, they are a long overdue step in the right-direction. Women and ethnic minorities bring a different world of experience to the table. They need not be booked solely for the purpose of discussing issues important to women and ethnic minorities as is far too often the case.
The Washington press corps is change averse. It's a stodgy, self-perpetuating, conventional wisdom driven world. It could use a little more, dare I say a great deal more, change.
I was somewhat shocked to turn to The Fox Nation this morning and see the following headline:
"Wait a sec," I thought. "Nobel laureate Paul Krugman thinks there are death panels in the health care bill? That doesn't sound right."
And, of course, it isn't.
Fox Nation is linking to a clip from Krugman's appearance on ABC's This Week last Sunday. In the clip, Krugman expresses frustration with a right wing that simultaneously screams about how the recently-passed health care legislation has death panels to kill old people, and claims that the bill won't save money. Krugman notes that this is contradictory: If we were killing old people instead of providing them with health care, obviously we would save money.
Jake Tapper chimes in, tongue planted firmly in cheek, to say, "Death panels would save money, theoretically." The panel laughs. Then, moving on to things that are actually in the bill, rather than the illusory death panels, Krugman says:
The advisory path, which has the ability to make more or less binding judgments on saying this particular expensive treatment actually doesn't do any good medically and so we're not going to pay for it, that is actually going to save quite a lot of money. We don't know how much yet. The CBO gives it very little credit. But most of the health care economists I talk to think it's going to be a really major cost saving.
Why am I so sure that Krugman isn't admitting the existence of death panels in the health reform legislation? Because he's previously referred in his column to the death panel claim as a "complete fabrication," a "smear" (twice), and "lies" (three times), and stated that it's being promoted by a "lunatic fringe."
When news broke over the weekend that members of the right-wing, anti-government Christian militia group Hutaree had been arrested for allegedly hatching plans to kill cops, this was what Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds wrote:
THE TIMING APPEARS CONVENIENT
Reynolds, along with other right-wing bloggers, suggested the arrests were politically motivated. The theory seemed to be that the bust was part of a government plot to, I guess, make the Christian militia look bad, as well as conservatives in general.
So rather than immediately denouncing right-wing, anti-government extremists who may have been plotting to kill cops, Reynolds played up the partisan angle, suggesting the timing of the raid was "convenient."
And Reynolds was right! Kind of [emphasis added]:
Federal authorities say the 21-year-old was a member of a militia group known as Hutaree, or Christian warrior, that plotted to kill a police officer sometime in April and hide homemade bombs along the funeral processional route in hopes of taking out scores of others.
So yeah, the timing of the arrest was "convenient," because according to law enforcement authorities the Christian militia members were getting ready to kill cops in the coming days.
From The Drudge Report on March 29:
Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft mockingly claims to be "relie[ved]" by the Seattle Times' correction to last week's report that "A rock was thrown through the window of [Rep. Steve] Driehaus' [D-OH] Cincinnati office." He sarcastically provides the following description:
The Seattle Times reported Thursday on another horrible political attack. TheTimes claimed that liberal democrat Rep. Steve Driehaus had a rock thrown though his office window:
Protesters have been demonstrating at Driehaus' Ohio home, said Tim Mulvey, a spokesman for the anti-abortion Democrat who joined Stupak in voting for the health bill. A rock was thrown through the window of Driehaus' Cincinnati office Sunday, and a death threat was phoned in to his Washington office a day later, Mulvey said.
"It's getting out of hand," Mulvey said.
Hoft, however, has no comment on the part of the correction where the Times says that they didn't make up a rock getting thrown through the window of a Democratic office, they just got the office wrong:
This story, published Wednesday, March 24, 2010, was corrected Friday, March 26, 2010. The prior version said a rock was thrown through the window of Ohio Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus' Cincinnati office Sunday. Bloomberg News attributed the statement to Driehaus' spokesman Tim Mulvey. Mulvey said Friday that he was misquoted. A rock was thrown through the window of Hamilton County Democratic Party headquarters in Cincinnati, Mulvey said.
This is, of course, exactly what I said had probably happened last week when the right-wing blogosphere claimed the Times story was an example of liberal media bias. And now, bizarrely, once it's pointed out that there was a "horrible political attack" but the Times had the details wrong, they're declaring victory.
We're still 22 months or so from the first nominating contest of the 2012 presidential campaign, but Politico is already trying to game out likely GOP contender Mitt Romney's chances in the Iowa caucuses, wondering if the former Massachusetts governor should just skip Iowa, given how poorly he performed there in 2008. They've dubbed it the "Romney riddle." Should Mitt try for Iowa and risk losing again to an underfunded dark horse like Mike Huckabee? Or should he just pay lip service to the Hawkeye State and focus on later primaries, hoping that the winner of Iowa won't get too much momentum?
At first glance, it seems like quite the pickle. But the Politico has forgotten the third available option, one that actually played out in 2008 -- the "Giuliani 'Strategy.' "
The "Giuliani 'Strategy' " entails spending a lot of money and trying really hard to win Iowa, performing abysmally at the caucuses, and then relying on the media to tell everyone that Iowa was never part of your "strategy" and that you never really tried to win there. It's an attractive option for Republican candidates because all it requires is a political press that has a nagging habit of presenting everything that happens in electoral politics as good news for Republicans.