Goofy Politico headline [emphasis added]:
GOP could win 3 key Senate seats
The article is about how the GOP has to defend three new vacancies in 2010 because of retiring senators in Ohio, Missouri and Florida. According to Politico, the GOP "could win" all three races. Could they also lose all three races? You bet.
But Politico stresses the GOP may have already found three "top-tier" candidates to run in the three states. Who says they're top tier? GOP consultants.
Number of Republicans quoted in the article about how great the GOP candidates might be? 4
Number of Democrats quoted in the article about how great the GOP candidates might be? 1
I'm not a psychologist, but this is really fascinating if you put it all together: It appears that distraught conservative pundits and bloggers are actually in the midst of collectively retreating into the world of fantasy as a psychological defense mechanism. Let's take a look at three recent exhibits that illustrate what I'm talking about.
The three are RedState's creation of the creepy sounding Red Army Strike Force, complete with its let's-play-Army logo, the online embrace of 24's Jack Bauer (pssst bloggers, he's not a real guy), and Joe the Plumber's turn as a war correspondent (pssst, he's not a real journalist.)
Friedman accurately concludes about the GOP bloggers:
They're actively choosing not to participate in the reality that is present-day America, instead opting to fall back on the comforting, familiar images of handymen and handsome actors on their television sets.
On his incomparable site, The Daily Howler, Bob Somerby once again targets The New York Times op-ed page for devoting valuable real estate to the columns of Maureen Dowd. From the sublime -- the "striking report," by Dexter Filkins on the front page about heroic Afghan girls enduring torture and its continued threat just to go to school -- to the ridiculous -- the "typical mess" that is Dowd's column today - Somerby highlights the Times at its best and worst all in one section of one day's paper.
Specifically, Somerby called attention to this tripe - what Somerby calls Dowd's "latest novel" -- about Hillary Clinton in today's column:
She will easily intimidate the world's dictators, just as she often intimidated Obama in the primaries. But it remains to be seen whether she can put aside her tendency to see disagreement as disloyalty. Can she work at the State Department with those who deserted her to support the usurper Obama? Can she manage Foggy Bottom better than she managed her foggy campaign?
Obama and Hillary continue to be engaged in an intense tango.
The new president is confident enough to think he can do what has never been done. He thinks he can pull out - like a diamond from carbon - the sparkling side of the Clintons that can make them exceptional public servants, extracting it from the gray side of the Clintons that can make them tacky, greedy, opportunistic and ethically shady.
Cleaning out the Augean stables was nothing compared to this task, with Obama trying to bend Hillary and Bill to his will, while they try to bend him to theirs.
In what way is Obama having to "try to bend Hillary and Bill to his will" or vice versa? Maybe Dowd doesn't have to say. She did after all write a "novel" under the guise of a New York Times column.
London's Daily Mail claims the cost of Obama's inauguration is approaching $160 million:
By the time the final dance has been held at one of the many inaugural balls the costs for the day will be a staggering £110m.
Not surprisingly, the newspaper provides no attribution for the figure. (The actual cost is closer to $40 million.) But that doesn't matter because Drudge has linked to the Daily Mail's report and we're sure reporters are on the phone as we speak.
Drudge today also linked to an article I wrote at Salon four years ago chastising the press for not asking questions about the cost of the Bush 2005 inauguration ($40 million), which at the time shattered all the spending records and occurred at a time when the war in Iraq was still front-and-center. (Although it cost roughly the same, Bush's bash attracted just a fraction of the crowd expected for Obama's swearing in.)
Drudge claims my article captured the "lefty outrage" at the cost of Bush's 2005 celebration. In truth, a strong majority of Americans (66 percent, including 46 percent of Republicans) thought that, in light of the fresh fighting in Iraq, Bush's inauguration should have been more "subdued."
But thanks for the link anyway Matt, I'm sure Salon appreciates the traffic.
FYI, the $40 million figure for the Bush and Obama inaugurations is in reference to the cost of the swearing in and the activities surrounding that. The extra cost of state and federal security is not traditionally included in media references to the final tab for inaugurations. In the case of Bush in 2005, the cost of security added tens of millions of dollars on top of the final $40 million figure. The same will be true for Obama this year.
UPDATE: Not surprisingly, fact-free warbloggers like Jawa Report are falling for the phony report that Obama's inauguration will cost two or three times what Bush's did in 2005.
You remember, the ones Politico breathlessly announced were awaiting Sen. Hillary Clinton at her SOS confirmation hearing.
Turns out, not so much.
FYI, Howie Kurtz at the WaPo didn't like Clinton's confirmation hearing--too "dull." He especially didn't like her "monotone" voice. (If somebody can recall Kurtz commenting on a male cabinet member's voice during a confirmation hearing, please send a link. Thanks.) It was disappointingly "dull" because of course, confirming the incoming Secretary of State is supposed to be all about providing entertainment for the Beltway press corps, right?
From the Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2005:
As he prepares to launch his second term, President Bush is aiming for nothing less than a legacy that would rank him among America's great presidents.
According to Politico's Michael Calderone, Fox News' Major Garrett is heading to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as Senior White House Correspondent.
So what can we expect from Garrett? Take a look at just a few of the items Media Matters put out during the 2008 election and you'll get the idea...
More on Major Garrett.
Thanks to T.A. for the hat tip.
From TNR's Michael Crowley, after news broke last night that Barack Obama was meeting with conservative columnists [emphasis added]:
I imagine this will generate some outrage from the left--potentially at the idea that Obama is already falling into the Beltway cocktail-circuit trap, or perhaps out of mere loathing for the crew in question (although the four fall into different categories, and Will and Brooks in particular have written some pretty nice things about Obama). But I think liberal outrage would be misplaced here.
Just as a general rule of journalism, isn't it a better idea to comment on events that have actually happened, rather than to comment on events that might take place. Although admittedly, the second approach makes life a lot easier for pundits.
Nonetheless, Crowley writes an entire piece about how blogger outrage, which he predicted would appear (it really hasn't), was all wrong. Beltway pundits love to do this; assign all sorts of motivation and blame to 'angry' liberal bloggers, regardless of whether it's accurate or not. Sorta like when they blamed bloggers for spreading the Palin fake pregnancy story during the campaign...
WaPo's Ruth Marcus is upset that Labor Secretary-designee Hilda Solis didn't answer a question "about giving private employers more leeway to implement comp and flextime arrangements." Marcus:
it's important to point out: Democrats had little tolerance for nonanswers when Republican nominees were doing the bobbing and weaving. It is an imperfect comparison, but recall their consternation -- and ensuing "no" votes -- when Michael Mukasey, in his confirmation hearing to be attorney general, said he did not have enough information about the precise technique involved to say that waterboarding was torture.
Yeah, I'd say it's an "imperfect" comparison. One is about whether private employers have more leeway to implement comp time arrangements; the other is about whether the United States of America tortures people.
We took a long look this week at Palin's recent charge that during the campaign the mainstream press picked up the "faked" pregnancy rumor from "liberal bloggers" and ran with it. Neither claim is true. The press ignored the story until the McCain camp called attention to it. And liberal bloggers actively avoided the topic.
But it turns out Palin is even upset with media outlets who tried to debunk the pregnancy story. See Alex Koppleman at Salon.