The media just pretended they didn’t exist.
Mark Hemingway writes: As achievements go, this would be one in which a modern president could take pride. But in making the claim for himself, Obama proves he cannot even accurately describe the events of his presidency. His tenure saw an astounding number of scandals: Benghazi, Fast and Furious gunrunning, Solyndra and green energy subsidies for campaign donors, cash for Iranian hostages, IRS targeting of conservative groups, spying on journalists, Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the Veterans Administration disaster, trading deserter Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders held in Guantánamo, droning American citizens without due process, and firing inspector general Gerald Walpin for investigating an Obama crony who was abusing federal programs. And that list isn’t exhaustive.
The media have certainly tried their best to buttress Obama’s claim to have presided over a scandal-free administration—starting long before he even made it. In 2014, New Yorker editor and Obama biographer David Remnick told the (skeptical) host of PBS’s Charlie Rose that the president had already racked up “huge” achievements. On his list: “The fact that there’s been no scandal, major scandal, in this administration, which is a rare thing in an administration.”
Remnick was hardly alone. Veteran journalist Jonathan Alter wrote a column for Bloomberg back in 2011 headlined “The Obama Miracle, a White House Free of Scandal.” More recently, Glenn Thrush, then a Politico reporter, tweeted, “As Obama talks up legacy on campaign trail important to note he’s had best/least scandal-scarred 2nd term since FDR.” Even conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks last year declared the Obama administration “remarkably scandal-free.”
Remnick’s remark is particularly notable for how it presaged White House talking points. Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod was asked at the University of Chicago in 2015 about the administration’s broken promise to bar lobbyists from working for it. Axelrod admitted things hadn’t been “pristine” but said, “I’m proud of the fact that, basically, you’ve had an administration that’s been in place for six years in which there hasn’t been a major scandal.”
As Noah Rothman observed in Commentary, “The qualifier ‘major’ lays the burden on shoulders of the press to define what constitutes a serious scandal, and political media had thus far reliably covered the administration’s ethical lapses as merely the peculiar obsessions of addlebrained conservatives.”
So what would constitute a “major” scandal? Would it involve, say, dead bodies? The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gave thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels; they used some of them to kill dozens of people, including American border patrol agent Brian Terry. When Congress tried to investigate why the ATF gave away so many guns and failed to track them, the Department of Justice engaged in unprecedented stonewalling.
The department withheld 92 percent of the documents requested and forbade 48 relevant employees from speaking to congressional investigators. Attorney General Eric Holder was ultimately held in contempt of Congress, with 17 Democrats supporting the measure. An explanation for why the ATF gave thousands of guns to violent criminals has yet to emerge—but we are to understand that this is not a “major” scandal. Read the rest of this entry »
(CNN)Hillary Clinton has chosen Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine to be her running mate, turning to a steady and seasoned hand in government to fill out the Democratic ticket, she announced Friday.
“I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others. -H,” she tweeted.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 23, 2016
She is set to introduce her new partner at a campaign rally Saturday in Miami, a recognition of Florida’s pivotal importance in the fall. It’s also a chance for Kaine, a fluent Spanish speaker, to introduce Clinton to Latino voters, a critical slice of the electorate in her quest to defeat Donald Trump.
Clinton is hoping to seize the spotlight from Republicans after their convention in Cleveland. The site of Kaine’s first expected joint appearance with Clinton is Florida International University, where the student body is more than half Hispanic.
The announcement came on the heels of an attack in Munich, Germany, that dominated the afternoon news cycle. The Clinton campaign deliberated over how to avoid a split-screen scenario that could be perceived as insensitive, but in the end, proceeded with its plan to make the unveil on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »
So if you are still obeying the law when you don’t absolutely have to, when there isn’t some government enforcer with a gun lurking right there to make you, aren’t you kind of a sucker?
Kurt Schlichter writes: Sometimes in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. It is high time to declare our personal independence from any remnant of obligation to those who have spit upon the rule of law. We owe them nothing – not respect, not loyalty, not obedience.
“There used to be a social contract requiring that our government treat us all equally within the scope of the Constitution and defend us, and in return we would recognize the legitimacy of its laws and defend it when in need. But that contract has been breached. We are not all equal before the law. Our constitutional rights are not being upheld.”
Think about it. If you are out driving at 3 a.m., do you stop at a stop sign when there’s no one coming? Of course you do. You don’t need a cop to be there to make you stop. You do it voluntarily because this is America and America is a country where obeying the law is the right thing to do because the law was justly made and is justly applied. Or it used to be.
“We are not being defended – hell, we normals get blamed every time some Seventh Century savage goes on a kill spree. Yet we’re still supposed to keep going along as if everything is cool, obeying the law, subsidizing the elite with our taxes, taking their abuse. We’ve been evicted by the landlord but he still wants us to pay him rent.”
The law mattered. It applied equally to everyone. We demanded that it did, all of us – politicians, the media, and regular citizens. Oh, there were mistakes and miscarriages of justice but they weren’t common and they weren’t celebrated – they were universally reviled. And, more importantly, they weren’t part and parcel of the ideology of one particular party. There was once a time where you could imagine a Democrat scandal where the media actually called for the head of the Democrat instead of deploying to cover it up.
People assumed that the law mattered, that the same rules applied to everyone. That duly enacted laws would be enforced equally until repealed. That the Constitution set the foundation and that its guarantees would be honored even if we disliked the result in a particular case. But that’s not our country today.
The idea of the rule of law today is a lie. There is no law. There is no justice. There are only lies.
Hillary Clinton is manifestly guilty of multiple felonies. Her fans deny it half-heartedly, but mostly out of habit – in the end, it’s fine with them if she’s a felon. They don’t care. It’s just some law. What’s the big deal? It doesn’t matter that anyone else would be in jail right now for doing a fraction of what she did. But the law is not important. Justice is not important.
“People assumed that the law mattered, that the same rules applied to everyone. That duly enacted laws would be enforced equally until repealed. That the Constitution set the foundation and that its guarantees would be honored even if we disliked the result in a particular case. But that’s not our country today.”
The attorney general secretly canoodles with the husband of the subject of criminal investigation by her own department and the president, the enforcer of our laws, shrugs. The media, the challenger of the powerful, smirks. They rub our noses in their contempt for the law. And by doing so, demonstrate their contempt for us.
“Hillary Clinton is manifestly guilty of multiple felonies. Her fans deny it half-heartedly, but mostly out of habit – in the end, it’s fine with them if she’s a felon. They don’t care. It’s just some law. What’s the big deal? It doesn’t matter that anyone else would be in jail right now for doing a fraction of what she did. But the law is not important. Justice is not important.”
Only power matters, and Hillary stands ready to accumulate more power on their behalf so their oaths, their alleged principles, their duty to the country – all of it goes out the window. But it’s much worse than just one scandal that seems not to scandalize anyone in the elite. Just read the Declaration of Independence – it’s almost like those dead white Christian male proto-NRA members foresaw and cataloged the myriad oppressions of liberalism’s current junior varsity tyranny.
There is one law for them, and another for us. Sanctuary cities? Obama’s immigration orders? If you conservatives can play by the rules and pass your laws, then we liberals will just not enforce them. You don’t get the benefit of the laws you like. We get the benefit of the ones we do, though. Not you. Too bad, rubes.
“There is one law for them, and another for us. Sanctuary cities? Obama’s immigration orders? If you conservatives can play by the rules and pass your laws, then we liberals will just not enforce them. You don’t get the benefit of the laws you like. We get the benefit of the ones we do, though. Not you. Too bad, rubes.”
So if you are still obeying the law when you don’t absolutely have to, when there isn’t some government enforcer with a gun lurking right there to make you, aren’t you kind of a sucker? Read the rest of this entry »
Erica K. Landau reports: It’s not just Republicans who get riled by the thought of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton ascending to the presidency. Some people on the left lock horns over Clinton often enough to suggest that Team Hillary still has a long way to go before she has shored up the traditional base of progressive voters.
The forthcoming book, “My Turn,” by Nation Magazine Contributing Editor Doug Henwood, critiques the former secretary of state’s decades-long political career, calling out her foreign policy positions and purported connections to big-money interests, among other contentious points. Read the rest of this entry »
In 1985, Barack Obama had just arrived in Chicago for his new job as a community organizer when he headed to Smitty’s Barbershop, a tiny storefront on the South Side. As Smitty cut his hair, Obama listened to the men in the shop talk politics and racial grievance. When the barber finished, he handed Obama a mirror and said, “Haircuts ten dollars. What’s your name, anyway?”
“Barack, huh,” Smitty responded. “You a Muslim?”
“Grandfather was,” Obama said, according to his memoir Dreams From My Father.
Smitty’s question, which Obama didn’t exactly answer, prefigured a controversy that continues to this day…
Byron York writes: Fresh from a controversy over his views on evolution, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is now involved in a controversy over his views, or lack of them, on President Obama’s religion. On Saturday, two Washington Post reporters asked Walker, in the nation’s capital for a governor’s meeting, whether Obama is a Christian. Walker said he didn’t know.
Informed by the reporters that Obama is in fact a Christian, Walker replied, “I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that,” protesting that the president’s religion is not a topic of great interest to voters. “I would defy you to come to Wisconsin. You could ask 100 people, and not one of them would say that this is a significant issue,” Walker told the Post.
“In August, 2010, a Pew poll made news when it found that 18 percent of those surveyed believed Obama is a Muslim. But just as notably, 43 percent of respondents in that survey told Pew they didn’t know Obama’s religion. Among those who said they didn’t know were 41 percent of Democrats.”
Nevertheless, the story created at least a minor explosion in the political press, and Democrats quickly used it to attack a Republican who has recently risen to the top tier of the GOP 2016 presidential field.
But when it comes to confusion, or wrong information, about Obama’s religion, Scott Walker is far from alone. Polls have long shown many Americans know little about the president’s faith.
“One notable suggestion in the Pew survey was that in Obama’s first couple of years in office, as Americans became more familiar with him as president, they became less sure of his religious faith. In March 2009, shortly after Obama entered the White House, 34 percent said they did not know his religion, while 48 percent identified him as a Christian.”
In June, 2012, Gallup asked, “Do you happen to know the religious faith of Barack Obama?” Forty-four percent said they did not know, while 36 percent said he is a Christian, 11 percent said he is a Muslim, and eight percent said he has no religion. The “don’t know” group included 36 percent of Democrats. (A larger number of Republicans, 47 percent, said they didn’t know Obama’s religion, as did 46 percent of independents.)
“By August 2010, the number of Americans who said they did not know Obama’s religion had grown to 43 percent, while the number who identified him as Christian fell to 34 percent. The trend was true not just of the president’s political opponents but of his supporters as well.”
In August, 2010, a Pew poll made news when it found that 18 percent of those surveyed believed Obama is a Muslim. But just as notably, 43 percent of respondents in that survey told Pew they didn’t know Obama’s religion. Among those who said they didn’t know were 41 percent of Democrats.
One notable suggestion in the Pew survey was that in Obama’s first couple of years in office, as Americans became more familiar with him as president, they became less sure of his religious faith. In March 2009, shortly after Obama entered the White House, 34 percent said they did not know his religion, while 48 percent identified him as a Christian. By August 2010, the number of Americans who said they did not know Obama’s religion had grown to 43 percent, while the number who identified him as Christian fell to 34 percent. The trend was true not just of the president’s political opponents but of his supporters as well. “Even among Democrats, fewer than half (46 percent) now identify his religion as Christian, down from 55 percent last year,” Pew wrote in 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
Barbra Streisand Tells Axelrod that the President Needs to Talk to People in Simpler Terms: ‘I Hate to Say it, but People are Stupid’Posted: February 10, 2015
President Obama is in the middle of his fight to pass the Affordable Care Act. This is the book’s most politically compelling chapter, though the word “ObamaCare” is entirely absent. Some in the White House, such as chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, worry that the stumbling, unpopular effort to pass the ACA will damage Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. “Rahm recommended scaling back to a plan that would cover fewer people, but garner more votes,” Mr. Axelrod writes.
When President Obama asks what the odds are of passing the most ambitious bill possible, his congressional liaison, Phil Schiliro, replies, “Depends how lucky you feel, Mr. President.”
Mr. Obama smiles and says: “Can I say this? I always feel lucky. Let’s go all in. When your name is Barack Obama and you’re the president of the United States, how can you not feel lucky?”
Mr. Axelrod’s name will be yoked forever to that of Mr. Obama, though people often misconstrue his role. Mr. Axelrod was not the Obama campaign manager in 2008. That was David Plouffe. He was not President Obama’s first chief of staff. That was Rahm Emanuel.
A fair summary of Mr. Axelrod’s role would be to say that until he left the White House in February 2011, he was in charge of the Obama “message.” Normally in politics, “message” has a particular meaning—using media to promote a set of ideas and positions. Mr. Axelrod, however, believes (thus, the book’s title) that he was involved in something larger than the mere grubwork of political messaging. Describing his position in the 2008 presidential campaign, he writes: “My role was Keeper of the Message and, I believed, the idealistic flame.”
Mr. Axelrod describes how that idealistic flame ignited early in his life, at the age of five. He was taken to a John F. Kennedy campaign rally in New York City, where he says he “somehow” absorbed the message “we are masters of our future, and politics is the means by which we shape it.”
“It has been said that Mr. Axelrod was Barack Obama’s Svengali. Reading “Believer” made me think you could as easily say that Mr. Obama was David Axelrod’s Svengali.”
At nine, he took himself to the local Manhattan Democratic club to volunteer for Bobby Kennedy ’s New York Senate campaign.
Politics pulled him in because he sensed “it was about big, noble ideals. It was about history and historic change.” Years later—by now a Chicago political consultant whose clients had included Sen. Paul Simon, Mayor Harold Washington and Gov. Rod Blagojevich—he was working to make Barack Obama president.
It has been said that Mr. Axelrod was Barack Obama’s Svengali. Reading “Believer” made me think you could as easily say that Mr. Obama was David Axelrod’s Svengali. Read the rest of this entry »
Robby Soave reports: A Tennessee high school senior is receiving widespread attention for an eloquent speech he made against Common Core at a school board meeting.
Ethan Young, a senior at Farragut High School in Knox County, Tenn., made an impassioned argument for dropping the new national education guidelines, which he called “a glowing conflict of interest … that illustrate a mistrust of teachers.”
“Somewhere our Founding Fathers are turning in their graves,” he said.
Young reserved particularly harsh judgment for the nationwide standardized testing required by Common Core.
“If everything I learned in high school was a measurable objective: I haven’t learned anything,” he said.
The Lonely Guy
He’s a community organizer who works alone. What was once his greatest strength—he kept his cool and didn’t need feedback—is now a liability
Todd S. Purdum writes: When Barack Obama arrived in Washington almost five years ago, the universal assumption was that the young president—who had, after all, won office by exploiting every connective tool of the national social and electoral network—would run his White House in sharp contrast to the bunkered, hunkered-down George W. Bush.
Like so much conventional wisdom, that impression has proved dead wrong. In fact, Obama’s resolute solitude—his isolation and alienation from the other players and power centers of Washington, be they rivals or friends—has emerged as the defining trait of his time in office. He may be the biggest presidential paradox since Thomas Jefferson, the slaveholder who wrote the Declaration of Independence: a community organizer who works alone.
The incestuous relationship between the mainstream media and the Obama White House continues unabated with the announcement today that Bill Daley, President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, is joining CBS News as a contributor:
Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley joins CBS News as a Contributor; it was announced by CBS News Chairman and 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager and CBS News President David Rhodes. His appointment is effective immediately. Read the rest of this entry »
Adding an unexpected dose of humor, and a welcome, long-overdue pledge of personal hygiene, two outspoken celebrities are including themselves in Axelrod’s courageous mustache-shaving wager.
Beloved television actor and outspoken socialist Ed Asner, and activist/actress Janeane Garofalo announced this week that they’re willing to part with treasured follicular adornments, in response to the shave challenge started by Obama senior advisor David Axelrod, who promised to shave his mustache of 40 years on national television if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania on Election Day.
“I will come on Morning Joe and I will shave off my mustache of 40 years if we lose any of those three states”
“If Obama fails to win Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania, I will go on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, on election day, and shave my legs”
“If Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania to Romney next Tuesday, I’ll go on the Johnny Carson show, and shave my ear hair”
We assume Ed meant to say the Jay Leno show. Stay tuned for more celebrities volunteering to join David Axelrod in shaving on national TV, in support of Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.
- A New Mustache Challenge (thepage.time.com)
- Axelrod wagers to shave mustache (politico.com)
- Axelrod Wagers To Shave Mustache After 40 Years (alan.com)
- Things Getting Hairy for Dems: Axelrod Wagers Mustache in Election Outcome (boiseweekly.com)
- DAVID AXELROD: ‘I Will Shave Off My Mustache’ If Obama Loses Michigan, Pennsylvania Or Minnesota (businessinsider.com)
- Axelrod to shave mustache if Obama loses Pa., Michigan or Minnesota (seattlepi.com)
- American Mustache Institute: Axelrod’s Mustache Wager ‘Incredibly Irresponsible’ (usnews.com)
- Axelrod Bets His Mustache (politicalwire.com)
- Axelrod: I’ll shave if Obama loses Pa., Mich. or Minn. (usatoday.com)
After David Axelrod’s repeated assurances this morning on Fox News Sunday that “there isn’t anybody on this planet” who feels a greater sense of responsibility for our diplomats than this President, Chris Wallace asked how soon after the Benghazi attacks the President actually met with his national security team.
Wallace followed up on Axelrod’s non-answer by asking whether the President managed to squeeze in a meeting with the National Security Council before jetting off to Las Vegas for a campaign rally. Given Axelrod’s inability to produce a straightforward answer to the questions, it’s pretty clear the answer is “no.”
Amusing in this exchange is Axelrod’s contention that “anybody” would have said what the administration and Ambassador Rice said after the attack.
- David Axelrod In Tense Libya Segment With Chris Wallace: Romney ‘Working Hard To Exploit This Issue’ (mediaite.com)
- David Axelrod Chucks Hillary and State Department Under the Benghazi Bus (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Axelrod: W.H. unaware of Libya security requests (oddonion.com)
- David Axelrod Defends Obama Administration in Heated Discussion on Libya Attack (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Axelrod says W.H. unaware of Libya security requests (politico.com)