Byron York writes:
…In the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 73 percent of registered voters said the country is on the wrong track, while just 18 percent said it is headed in the right direction. The 73 percent figure is the second-highest in the president’s nearly eight years in office.
The poll was no outlier. These are the wrong-track numbers for the last ten polls in the RealClearPolitics average of polls: 67, 70, 67, 71, 73, 69, 79, 68, 60 and 66.
And yet, in spite of clear evidence that a majority of Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, the president exhorted the nation, “Thank you for this incredible journey — let’s keep it going.”
Obama spoke as if broad areas of American life are better than ever, even if there remains work to be done. Read the rest of this entry »
Byron York: ‘What do you call terrorist organization that has extended its reach, can project power far from base? ‘Contained.’Posted: November 15, 2015
What do you call terrorist organization that has extended its reach, can project power far from base? ‘Contained.’ https://t.co/MrlpiFN3E9— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 16, 2015
“Is one of the goals for you … to spur more actual debating?” CNN’s Brian Stelter asked debate moderator Jake Tapper a few days before the event. Stelter pointed to a moment in the August Fox News debate in which two candidates, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, had an extended and heated — and illuminating — exchange with each other.*
“That was my favorite moment from the debate,” Tapper said. “Let’s have as many of those as possible. So, yes, what the team and I have been doing is trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other, specific candidates on the stage, on issues where they disagree, whether it’s policy or politics or leadership. Let’s actually have them discuss and debate.”
“I don’t think this is a debate where you’ll have candidates attack each other; we’ve not seen this on the campaign trail. Bernie Sanders has been very clear. He’s not going to go after Hillary Clinton by name. He’s not going to criticize her. And I see no reason that Hillary Clinton would do that with any of the candidates.”
— Anderson Cooper
That was then. Now, another CNN anchor, Anderson Cooper, will be moderating a debate, this time among Democrats, and he says there will be none of that raucous “actual debating” this time around.
Leave the slugfest to the Republicans. The Democratic debate will be a serious discussion of the issues. Read the rest of this entry »
Byron York reports: Nineteen people stood behind President Obama on stage in the Executive Office Building Tuesday as the president kicked off a new campaign to promote Obamacare. One of those people, a young Florida woman named Monica Weeks, introduced Obama after telling the story of being struck with Crohn’s Disease at age 19 and receiving expensive treatments for several years that were covered by her parents’ health care plan — because Obamacare allowed her to remain on that plan until age 26. Now, Weeks said, she has coverage through a job. “The Affordable Care Act gives young adults who are just starting their careers more time to find a good job that offers reliable health insurance,” Weeks said.
There were 18 other people standing with Weeks and the president on stage. Obama began his remarks by saying, “Thanks to Monica, thanks to everybody standing behind me.” A little later, criticizing Republicans who have pronounced Obamacare a failure, the president said, “I would advise them to check with the people who are here today and the people that they represent all across the country whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act.”
But Obama never said who those people were, and, unlike other events, the White House did not release their names or biographies. A spokesman later said the White House would not provide the information. A pool report called the group “19 individuals whom the White House said benefited from health care reform.” Beyond that, their connection to Obamacare remains unknown. Read the rest of this entry »
BYRON YORK writes: Everyone knows the phrase “government shutdown” doesn’t mean the entire U.S. government is shut down. So in a partial government shutdown, like the one underway at the moment, how much of the government is actually shut down, and how much is not?
One way to measure that is in how much money the government spends. In a conversation Thursday, a Republican member of Congress mentioned that the military pay act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama at the beginning of the shutdown, is actually a huge percentage of the government’s discretionary spending in any given year. And that is still flowing. So if you took that money, and added it to all the entitlement spending that is unaffected by a shutdown, plus all the areas of spending that are exempted from a shutdown, and added it all together, how much of the federal government’s total spending is still underway even though the government is technically shut down? Read the rest of this entry »
Matt K. Lewis
Some people seem surprised the votes just don’t seem to be there for Syrian intervention. I’m not. Call it the Vietnam syndrome redux, but after a decade of war, Americans are understandably war weary. Thus, the only way to overcome this difficult obstacle would be to have a). an ironclad case for war, and b). a president who uses personal relationships to twist arms.
In this regard, he’s 0-for-2.
There are way too many holes to ignore; the objective is obviously unclear. But even putting that huge problem aside, there is little reason for Congressmen to carry this water for Obama — not when he’s asking them to carry it off a cliff.
As one smart reader emailed me: “No relationship with congress + too many questions = no 218.”