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Compare and Contrast: Fox Moderators Praised for Being ‘Tough’ on GOP Contenders vs Liberal Media’s Worship of Dem Leader

fox-debates

There were mixed reviews of the candidates on Thursday night, but almost unanimously positive reviews of the Fox News moderators.

“Tough.” “Brilliant.” “Pitbulls.”

The raves for Fox‘s questioning started right away and continued well into the evening, even from rivals and critics who rarely praise the cable news channel.

Austan Goolsbee, a former member of President Obama’s cabinet, gave Fox credit this way:

“If they were treating the Dems like this, I would have said they were gratuitously busting their chops.”

Yochi Dreazen, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, said some of the candidates looked “shell-shocked” by tough questions from Fox, a channel defined by its conservative political and cultural tilt.

That’s what public radio host Kai Ryssdal meant when he wrote,

“Have to hand it to Fox News moderators for going after their guys.”

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and his lieutenants have been at the center of the presidential race for weeks thanks to Thursday’s debate and the controversial entry criteria for it. Only the “top ten” candidates, as determined by the polls, were invited to the prime time event…

Halfway through the debate, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith said Ailes is “clearly the winner of this. This is really good TV”…(read more)

CNN.com

emperorhalobama

“Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus.”

Politiken

“No one saw him coming, and Christians believe God comes at us from strange angles and places we don’t expect, like Jesus being born in a manger.”

Lawrence Carter

“Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama.”

Dinesh Sharma

“We just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra.”

 Chicago Sun-Times

king-obama

“A Lightworker – An Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being”

Mark Morford

“What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history.”

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

“Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?”

Daily Kos

“He communicates God-like energy…”

Steve Davis (Charleston, SC)

PresHalo

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

– Barack Obama

“Not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul.”

Commentator @ Chicago Sun Times

“I’ll do whatever he says to do. I’ll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear.”

Halle Berry

“A quantum leap in American consciousness.”

Deepak Chopra

“He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians… . the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century.”

– Gary Hart

“Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings … He’s our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence.”

Eve Konstantine

chris-matthews

“This is bigger than Kennedy… . This is the New Testament…I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event.”

Chris Matthews

“…creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom … the man for this time.”

Toni Morrison

“Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate… . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh … Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves.”

Ezra Klein

“Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash therefrom a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind.”

Gerald Campbell

“We’re here to evolve to a higher plane … he is an evolved leader … [he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth.”

Oprah Winfrey

“I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered… . I know that that was God’s plan.“

Bill Rush

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How Obama Became the Superhero of Excuses

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In this photo taken by a government photographer for Halloween 2012, President Obama pretends to be caught in Spider-Man’s web as he greets Nicholas Tamarin, 3.   (Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

For National Journal  writes: You helped elect an untested presidential candidate, a man almost as liberal as you. He promised to heal the oceans, make health care an inalienable right, and transform Washington’s toxic culture. You mocked Republicans, independents, and squishy Democrats who had the audacity to criticize your guy, much less doubt the inevitability of his victory. President Obama won—twice—and then didn’t live up to anybody’s expectations, including his own.

“There it is, the straw man…”

What do you do? Well, if you’re Ezra Klein and a coterie of inflexibly progressive pundits, you repurpose an attack used against President George W. Bush’s bombastic approach to geopolitics. You call anybody who questions Obama’s leadership style a Green Lanternist. In apost for Vox stretching beyond 2,500 words, Klein makes his case against Obama critics.

“…Rather than conduct the important debate about the balance of powers and the structure of government in the 21st century, some liberals prefer to distort views that don’t affirm their own.”

“Presidents consistently overpromise and underdeliver,” he begins, a fair start. Surely, the editor-in-chief of Vox is going to make the obvious point that presidents and presidential candidates should know enough about the political process (including the limits on the executive branch) to avoid such a breach of trust.

Read the rest of this entry »


Is There a Wonk Bubble?

Journalist, columnist, and blogger Ezra Klein speaks about President Barack Obama's signature health care law at the Families USA’s 19th Annual Health Action Conference in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Journalist, columnist, and blogger Ezra Klein speaks about President Barack Obama’s signature health care law at the Families USA’s 19th Annual Health Action Conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

No, but there’s a Pundit Bubble…

Felix Salmon writes: Call it the Wonk Bubble. If you’re in the market for serious, empirical, quantitative analysis of national policy—or of just about anything else in the news these days—the East Coast Media Elite has you covered like never before.

The Washington Post has Wonkblog, and its Facebook-optimized cousin Know More, and will shortly unveil a “storytelling and policy” project to be run by economics policy correspondent Jim Tankersley. Meanwhile, a large number of Wonkblog and Know More alumni, led by former Wonkblogger-in-chief Ezra Klein, just launched Vox.com, a much more ambitious (if not yet fully formed) website seeking to explain the world in a truly web-native manner.

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The Intellectual Decline of The Left

A dumbed-down Democratic party runs out of ideas. 

Daily-Show-Stewart

The Stupid Party

Kevin D. Williamson‘s current NRO article is extra pithy this week (or “wonderfully bold’, as Jay Nordlinger  says) it’s more like a long, funny, sarcastic email from a friend, or an energetic barstool rant — if the guy on the barstool is a National Review Online roving reporter — than a scholarly essay. It’s also the first I’ve seen to take on The Daily Show head-on, exposing it and mocking it without mercy. Because for many conservatives, the Daily Show is a guilty pleasure. Right? Conservatives watch The Daily Show, or watch clips that circulate…

[UPDATE: Don’t miss Jay Nordlinger‘s response to Kevin D. Williamson’s essay in the Corner. It begins: Kevin’s piece “The Stupid Party” — a typically and wonderfully bold piece — awakened many thoughts in me. I’m sure it has done that in others…]

…Just like liberals — though they pretend they don’t — watch Fox News shows like The Kelly File, The Factor, or Red Eye. The viewership for these shows is not as segregated as members of their loyal fan base would have us think. Video clips from The Daily Show are often linked (on those rare ‘friendly fire’ occasions when  Stewart takes shots at Democrat targets) at right-wing watering holes like Hot Air, and hipster libertarians dig Stewart’s humor, think Jon Stewart is “one of us”. Make no mistake. He’s not.

“…for the Left the point of journalism is not to criticize politics or to analyze politics but to be a servant of politics, to “destroy” such political targets as may be found in one’s crosshairs.”

As Williamsons’ rant illustrates, The Daily Show‘s predictable, sanctimonious, echo-chamber humor is not brilliant satire. It doesn’t speak “truth to power”. For its low-information fan base, it’s what passes for “journalism” and “hard-hitting reporting”. And accurately represents the vacancy of the Left’s bankrupt world view.

Kevin D. Williamson writes:

Here is a selection of recent headlines: “Jon Stewart Destroys Megyn Kelly,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News’ ‘Spite-Driven Anger Machine,’” “Jon Stewart Destroys What’s Left of Peggy Noonan’s Credibility,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News Over Syria Coverage,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Glenn Beck’s Utopia,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Bill O’Reilly” — there are about 520,000 more — and, not to be missed, “Jon Stewart Destroys Chicago-Style Pizza.”

The sound of terrors is in his ears at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, and in prosperity the destroyer cometh upon him.

Mr. Stewart is the host of a fake news show, the genesis of which probably was a conversation that went approximately like this: Brother-in-Law: “There’s nothing funny on Saturday Night Live except the Marx-money-sq‘Weekend Update.’ They should really just do that for the whole show.” Jon Stewart: “Hey . . . !” Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own, reliant upon the very broadest and least clever sort of humor, using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results, the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name.

“I do not much blame the Left for hesitating to talk about Big Ideas. The Left has been losing the Big Idea debate for a generation or more, in no small part because its last Big Idea killed 100 million people.”

His shtick is a fundamentally cowardly one, playing the sanctimonious vox populi when it suits him, and then beating retreat into “Hey, I’m just a comedian!” when he faces a serious challenge. It is the sort of thing that you can see appealing to bright, politically engaged 17-year-olds… Read the rest of this entry »


Ezra Klein’s New Website Vox Will Tell You What to Think About the News

ezra-klein-afp

Warner Todd Huston  writes:  In December it was reported that Ezra Klein was leaving theWashington Post because of a dispute over the funding of a new web project that Klein wanted the paper to sponsor. Now Klein and his cadre of bloggers have announced some details of that new project, saying that their site will report the news while adding the “crucial context” that will help readers understand it.

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A Libertarian Insurgency in the Press

Noah Rothman   writes:  Even President Barack Obama’s administration has acknowledged that “private sector velocity” is much closer to optimal swiftness of action than anything the public sector can achieve. If only the political class could match the private sector’s ability to respond promptly to observable trends. Politicians and political organizations often exhibit the worst elements of both divisions of society, featuring the public sector’s lethargy with the private sector’s elitism and lack of inclusiveness.

Libertarian_Protest_SignAs such, political organizations are slow to respond to developments and often find themselves flailing gracelessly in the effort to accommodate trends that actors in the more responsive private sector are quick to embrace. One recent and unavoidable trend is the speed with which libertarianism is catching on. Polling has indicated that voters, particularly the youngest American voters, are adopting a libertarian philosophy which rejects the paternalism displayed by members of both parties and instead places its faith in the ability of the individual to best manage their affairs.

Writing in The Federalist on TuesdayDavid Harsanyi parses trends in recent polling data which suggest a libertarian shift in the electorate. This is a shift, he notes, which has been mistaken by both Democratic and Republican partisans as an indication that younger voters are embracing their respective philosophies in droves. In fact, as Harsanyi adds, it is more likely a broad rejection of both political parties as they are currently constituted.

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WASHINGTON POST SHAKEUP: Ezra Klein Out, Eugene Volokh, In: Bezos Era Begins

volokh_eugene-xTo grasp the magnitude of this realignment, imagine if the New York Times declined to renew veteran left-wing crackpot Paul Krugman‘s contract, and replaced him with Instapudit‘s Glenn Reynolds. Or if HBO fired Bill Maher, and offered a prime-time talk show to Greg Gutfeld. Yes, it’s like that.

Could this be a sign of intelligent life in media? What if Maureen Dowd was booted out of her nest at the NYT, replaced by Mona Charen? Imagine if ABC’s Good Morning America dumped its on-air talent and hired Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, and Michelle Malkin. Or if editorial control of  The Huffington Post was turned over to me, Nick Gillespie, and Jonah Goldberg

Okay that part is wishful thinking. But you get the idea. It’s a big deal.

John Nolte at Breitbart.com has the scoop.

John Nolte reports:  Very interesting day at The Washington Post. Left-wing Ezra Klein is out and the much-respected conservative legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracyis in. Already the Jeff Bezos era is becoming an interesting one. Numerous reports claim that Bezos wasn’t interested in a multi-million dollar proposal Klein pitched, but he was apparently interested in giving Volokh full editorial control:

We will also retain full editorial control over what we write. And this full editorial control will be made easy by the facts that we have (1) day jobs, (2) continued ownership of our trademark and the volokh.com domain, and (3) plenty of happy experience blogging on our own, should the need arise to return to that…

Ezra-Klein-xx

After all, they approached us because of who we are and what we write. They know our ideologies. They know our blogging style. They know that we sometimes put up quirky non-law posts. They tell us they’re fine with all of that.

Both moves are a huge boost for the Post for a few reasons.

As much as Ezra Klein was worshipped by others in the elite media, he badly damaged the Post’s credibility as an objective news outlet. It was unconscionable of the Post to frame Klein’s hysterical leftism and Obama water-carrying as objective analysis and reporting. Klein is a wild-eyed Statist, and a wildly dishonest one to boot.

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Six Problems with the Latest Obamacare ‘Fix’

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Patrick Brennan writes:  Last night, the Obama administration announced two big changes to Obamacare, for people who have seen their individual-market insurance plans canceled this year: They won’t have to comply with the individual mandate, meaning they can go without insurance and not pay the not-insubstantial fine (1 percent of their income, basically); and if they do want insurance, they can buy a “catastrophic” plan on the exchanges, which is cheaper than any of the other plans available.

This will make life easier, in the short term, for some number of Americans — millions have seen their plans canceled, though the White House suggests just half a million of them still haven’t signed up for new plans, gotten Medicaid, or enrolled in an exchange plan. But as Ezra Klein bluntly put it, these changes could be “a very big problem for the law.” Here’s why:

1. The way it treats the uninsured is unfair and potentially politically unsustainable.

Now that the law’s requirements have been significantly weakened for people who did have insurance in 2013, it’s going to be hard to stand by them for people who didn’t.

In theory, this does reflect one of the principles of how the health-insurance market works: Under pre-Obamacare law, consumers were guaranteed the right to renew their policies (with some cost changes, of course). If you were uninsured, on the other hand, you could have a much harder time finding coverage on the individual market — which is why, for instance, people are allowed to maintain employer coverage for a certain period of time after leaving a job. But Obamacare is supposed to be about expanding coverage, and the inequities this change will create can be really problematic.

Philip Klein nicely lays out one of these scenarios: A previously uninsured 31-year-old California man making $32,000 will now have to pay more for the cheapest plan on the state’s individual market than would a 31-year-old who makes $100,000 a year but had his insurance canceled.

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Obamacare Initiates Self-Destruction Sequence

Photographer: Jim Stratford/Bloomberg News What happens to bad ideas.

What happens to bad ideas. Photographer: Jim Stratford/Bloomberg News

Megan McArdle writes:  On Wednesday, Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown reported that the administration was saying fewer than 500,000 people had actually lost insurance due to Obamacare-induced cancellations. This struck me as a strange leak: Half a million is a lot less than many people (including me) have been estimating, but it is still not a small number, and the administration has tended to sit on negative information until the last possible moment.

Yesterday, we had a more official announcement from the administration: Anyone who has had their policies cancelled will be exempt from the individual mandate next year. The administration is also allowing those people to buy catastrophic plans, even if they’re over 30.

What to make of these two statements? On the one hand, the administration is trying to minimize the number of people who have been affected by cancellations, and on the other hand, it is unveiling a fix to the problem of cancellations. And these are not minor changes.

As Seth Chandler points out, Healthcare.gov doesn’t even let you see catastrophic plans if you’re more than 30 years old. Is now the time to be making technical changes to the website?

As Avik Roy points out, catastrophic plans aren’t that much cheaper than the so-called bronze plans. They’re also not eligible for subsidies. This is unlikely to be much help to folks who lost insurance; all it does is introduce some much-unneeded complexity to Healthcare.gov.

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Numbers Racket

Obamas-Numbers-Racket

Obama has to keep lying

Charles C. W. Cooke writes:  Putting on a brave face and opting for defiance rather than contrition, the president boasted on October 21 that his new website had been a hit after all. “Turns out, there’s a massive demand for it,” Obama said. “So far, the national website, Healthcare.gov, has been visited nearly 20 million times. [Applause.] Twenty million times.”

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Does Obama Know? Does Obama Care?

Obama avoids discussing ObamaCare at the White House yesterday. Associated Press

Obama avoids discussing ObamaCare at the White House yesterday. Associated Press

James Taranto writes:  Last night on Twitter, your humble columnist observed: “There’s only one thing that can save ObamaCare now. AN OBAMA SPEECH.” We were kidding, naturally–alluding to President Obama’s endless series of speeches in 2009 and 2010 in which he tried, unsuccessfully, to sell “health-care reform” to the public, and to subsequent laments like this one from Drew Westen in August 2011: “Nor did anyone explain what health care reform was supposed to accomplish . . .”

But then it occurred to us that the American people really do deserve a presidential address on ObamaCare. No, not as punishment for re-electing him, or at least not mainly for that purpose. Rather, because 2½ weeks after the launch of the “exchanges” that are supposed to be ObamaCare’s operational centerpiece, it is clear to almost everyone that they are an administrative disaster. In this crisis, there is an opportunity: to recognize an impending economic and humanitarian disaster, and to act in time to avert or at least minimize it. Read the rest of this entry »


WaPo’s Ezra Klein: ObamaCare Mess Could Become Huge Betrayal Of Faith

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