These are my news headlines for February 21st through February 22nd:
- With Axelrod At NBC News, The Marriage Of Media And Politics Becomes Complete – What’s more, Team Obama has declared it has no intention of dismantling its campaign apparatus post re-election. Put Axelrod in the catbird seat at a news outlet and the “narrative” continues. Combine that with Team Obama’s masterful manipulation of journalists, its command of social media, and an ugly picture emerges of a press indistinguishable from the political establishment.This has happened in banana republics, but never in a Western democracy. Already it’s making old-school journalists who value news gathering over politics, such as the New York Times’ Roger Cohen, ABC’s Ann Compton and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, uncomfortable. The one thing that will stop it is a press that won’t cooperate. So where is that press?
- Budget hawks question Pentagon’s doomsday scenarios – But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a “gold watch.” It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued — a gold watch — that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.So now, with sequestration approaching, the Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf. With tensions with Iran as high as they’ve ever been, that would leave the U.S. with just one carrier, instead of the preferred two, in that deeply troubled region.
- What Unites Obama’s Coalition — and What Could Divide It – Overall, the survey put Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent — almost exactly replicating his share of the vote last November. For all of his key groups, his approval ratings today remain close to his vote shares against Republican Mitt Romney. The survey put his approval among African-Americans at 91 percent (compared to his vote of 93 percent in November), among Hispanics at 68 percent (compared to 71 percent in November), college-educated white women at 48 percent (compared to 46 percent), and adults ages 18 to 29 at 57 percent (compared to 60 percent). Considering that several percent of those in each group described themselves as undecided on Obama’s performance, those numbers suggest almost no change from his support in the election.
- Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? – Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? #tcot
- Noonan: Government by Freakout – The president’s sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!”It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout.
That’s what’s happening now with the daily sequester warnings. Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start. Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible. The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back. Our nuclear deterrent will be indefinitely suspended. Ha, made that one up, but give them time.Mr. Obama has finally hit on his own version of national unity: Everyone get scared together.
- Is President Obama overplaying sequestration hand? – President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.
- Why Obama and Rove Should Sit Down and Keep Quiet
- Fewer Americans Getting Health Insurance From Employer – Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan — Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans’ benefits — with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
- H.R. 6684: Spending Reduction Act of 2012 – Legislative Digest – GOP.gov – RT @robertcostaNRO Text: the GOP’s sequester replacement, which was passed in Dec. 2012
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 #tcot
- Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid » The Right Scoop – – RT @trscoop: Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid
- A Tax By Another Name – Writing in the New York Times yesterday, Yuval Levin made the case for means-testing Social Security and Medicare. As you’d expect from Yuval the case is well made and elegantly thought-through. It’s also, if I may respectfully say so, misguided. Partly as a consequence of the refusal to make consumption take its fair share of the tax load, the US already taxes income on a pretty progressive basis (even more so, I suspect, if, just for the sake of argument, you excluded the very richest from the equation—highly taxed wage income generally makes up a lower percentage of their total take). Means-testing these two programs would only tighten the screws still further.
- Capitol Alert: Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move – Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move
- Charles Krauthammer: Immigration — the lesser of two evils – The president suggested he would hold off introducing his own immigration bill as long as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace — until his own immigration bill mysteriously leaked precisely as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace.A naked political maneuver and a blunt warning to Republicans: Finish that immigration deal in Congress, or I’ll propose something I know you can’t accept — and flog the issue mercilessly next year to win back the House.
- The 60th vote: Republican Richard Shelby to vote for cloture on Hagel; Update: Deb Fischer too? « Hot Air – Looks like Chuck Hagel is the next Sec Defense. Let the sequestration begin:
- 6 Questions for the Immigration Reformers – From border security to H1-B visas, much needs to be answered in the looming immigration debate.
- Obama reaches out to Boehner, McConnell as sequester cuts loom – The Hill – Obama symbolism over substance: #tcot
- DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider – DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case – Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse? – Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse?
- Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United – Flap’s Blog – Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United #tcot
- ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ – ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ #tcot
- The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors – NYTimes.com – The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors #tcot
- Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years – Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years #tcot
- Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery – latimes.com – Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery #tcot
- Harry Reid says he’ll run for re-election in 2016; won’t comment on Sandoval as opponent – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the capital press corps at the Nevada Legislature Wednesday night that he will seek re-election in 2016.The news conference came after he gave a speech to state lawmakers, like Reid does every legislative session.When asked if he would run for re-election, Reid said, “Sure, why not?”
When asked if he thought Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would run against him, Reid said, “Oh, I don’t know.”
When asked if he could beat Sandoval, Reid said, “Hey, I don’t get involved in fights I don’t have to.”
When reminded that he was a boxer in his youth, Reid replied, “But I’m not stupid.”
- 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw:
Chris, conservatives will NOT stand for another Big Government Democratic Party, established by Karl Rove and his billionaire donors.
If Rove and his folks want a fight, then they will have one.
Chris, Karl Rove just wishes to line his pocket again.
Rove may be able to raise the money from some whales, but will never be trusted to run a grass-roots conservative’s campaign.
Karl Rove, you can count me out, as well.
Erick Erickson over at Red State has this to say about Rove’s latest attempt to sideline and marginalize Tea Party conservatives.
American Crossroads is creating a new Super PAC to crush conservatives, destroy the tea party, and put a bunch of squishes in Republican leadership positions. Thank God they are behind this. In 2012, they spent hundreds of millions of rich donors’ money and had jack to show for it.
It is interesting though. The people who brought us No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TARP, the GM bailout, Harriet Miers, etc., etc., etc. are really hacked off that people have been rejecting them. In 2012, about the only successful Republican candidates were the ones who directly rejected the legacy of these people.
So now they will up their game. They don’t like being shut out. They blame the tea party and conservatives for their failure to win primaries. They’ll now try to match conservatives and, in the process, call themselves conservatives.
And, Michelle Malkin finishes Rove off with this missive.
This is war.
But of course, for Beltway establishment strategist and GOP control freak Karl Rove, it has been war on grass-roots conservatives for years now. The New York Times reported this weekend that Rove and the deep-pocketed donors whose coffers he drained futilely this past year are doubling down on stupid. Rove, Inc. will re-commit to a new group that will “protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s effort to win control of the Senate.”
Who needs Obama and his Team Chicago to destroy the Tea Party when you’ve got Rove and his big government band of elites?
So, Karl, count me out.
As a grassroots type conservative, I have seen first hand over the years, how your big government Republicans have subverted conservative principles AND lost elections to far too liberal Democrats.
All Tea Party conservatives know that you form these consulting gigs to make mountains of cash for yourself and cronies, while peddling government solutions to your rich clients.
Sounds like Obama and his crony capitalism crew – there is NO difference.
So, Karl, don’t count on my support, or my vote.
Mitt Romney and the GOP lost, but it wasn’t for lack of money. They spent a lot; they just didn’t get enough bang for the buck.
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson alone donated $150 million. But Romney lost anyway, especially among unmarried women.
Which is why I think that rich people wanting to support the Republican Party might want to direct their money somewhere besides TV ads that copy, poorly, what Lee Atwater did decades ago.
My suggestion: Buy some women’s magazines. No, really. Or at least some women’s Web sites.
One of the groups with whom Romney did worst was female “low-information voters.” Those are women who don’t really follow politics, and vote based on a vague sense of who’s mean and who’s nice, who’s cool and who’s uncool.
Since, by definition, they don’t pay much attention to political news, they get this sense from what they do read. And for many, that’s traditional women’s magazines — Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, the Ladies Home Journal, etc. — and the newer women’s sites like YourTango, The Frisky, Yahoo! Shine, and the like.
Then, how about buying a spot on Comedy Central to combat Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert?
Buy a spot on Showtime to ridicule Bill Maher. There is plenty of material and talent.
Winning the culture/political war, one television show, one website at a time…..
GOP Political operative Karl Rove on Fox News Channel last night
Texas Governor is the candidate of the hour, but Karl Rove makes the case that more may enter the Presidential arena.
ROVE: We’ve got a good field. I don’t think that’s the end, though, of the field. I think we’re likely to see several other candidates think seriously about getting in, and frankly, they have time to do so.
November 22 is the first deadline to file papers to get on a ballot — that’s the last day somebody could get in without starting to lose their place in some of the early primaries or caucuses.
I suspect we’re likely to see an early September, late August — people taking it seriously.
SEAN HANNITY: All right, who are these people you suspect might get in?
ROVE: I think Palin.
HANNITY: You do think Palin?
ROVE: Well, I think she’s going to look seriously at it. I don’t know if any of these are going to actually get in, but I think that the nature of the field, and the fact that we’ve now got three candidates when we could have had four, five, or six major candidates is going to lead people to say “Well, I could be in that contest.”
Palin has got a pretty active schedule in early September. I think Chris Christie and Paul Ryan are going to look at it again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if all three of them gave serious consideration to it….
HANNITY: I’ve talked to Governor Christie a lot and he says “No way”.
I was more convinced Gov. Palin after I saw her and interviewed her Friday night at the Iowa state fair that she might get in now.
Paul Ryan, I don’t think has given any indication. What makes you think those two will get in — meaning Ryan and Christie.
ROVE: Well, two things. There was an event in New York — [co-founder of Home Depot] Ken Langone pulled together some big moneyraisers and met with Christie and said “you need to think seriously about this.”
And it’s not just the meeting. What happened afterwards — from what I picked up around the country — I talked to a number of people who had picked up the phone and called Christie to tell him they thought that he ought to run. These are Republican activists, Republican donors, movers and shakers, activists around the country.
And the same on Paul Ryan, and I’m starting to pick up some sort of vibrations that these kinds of conversations are causing Christie and Ryan to tell the people who are calling them “Well, you know what, I owe it to you. I think I will take a look at it.”
Whether or not that happens or not, I don’t know, but I’m just picking that up that people have some sense, some belief that these two guys are going to take a look at it.
I agree that Sarah Palin is a wild card in the race fro 2012 and should Sarah enter the race, the conservative field would be scattered all over the map. I, also, predict that should Palin run, so would Rudy Giuliani which would really divide the GOP Presidential delegate distribution.
I can foresee a scenario where the GOP nomination comes down to the California GOP primary election in June (likely, a winner take all election) or a “brokered” convention – much like Ford Vs. Reagan in 1976.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry salutes as he addresses the Western Conservative Summit in Denver on Friday, July 29, 2011The GOP knives are now out for Rick Perry.
To a sizable slice of the Republican base, Rick Perry looks like the conservative, charismatic presidential candidate they have been waiting for in the 2012 campaign.
To many GOP elites, however, the Texan looks more like a general election flop in the making.
Few Republicans will say as much in public, for fear of offending the conservative grassroots or antagonizing Perry, a powerful official who’s known to hold a grudge. But in private, in some quarters of the party a sense of apprehension has set in about the prospect of another Texas governor’s candidacy.
Even operatives who believe Perry would bring significant assets to the 2012 campaign – his job-creation record among them – acknowledge that there are real doubts about whether a brash, Southern hard-liner like Perry can win votes in the crucial swing states needed to capture the White House.
“I think there’s Texas fatigue in Ohio,” said former Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett, a longtime party leader who sits on the Republican National Committee.
“I’ve mentioned Rick Perry to a bunch of people and he comes up, frankly, a blank,” Bennett said. “From a grassroots standpoint in Ohio, I don’t see much. I don’t see much support and I don’t see much excitement about it.”
Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason explained that Perry has a “ways to go” when it comes to introducing himself to a national audience – “especially the independents and more moderate Republicans.”
“Texas is really far from Pennsylvania, not just geographically. We don’t relate at all,” said Gleason, who urged Perry to “come and tell the people of Pennsylvania how he plans to create economic opportunity.”
I think if Mitt Romney can get past the early debates in fairly decent shape, then a Rick Perry candidacy can fizzle.
Perry will split votes with Michele Bachmann, unless Sarah Palin either runs or endorses him.
Having to run against Mitt Romney and Karl Rove looks like it will be an especially BRUTAL exercise – as this story amply demonstrates.
But, Perry will be OK against President Obama, who by April of next year may very well be toast.
Besides the obvious SEIU union thuggery during the Obamacare debate, I see on today’s morning Obama News (NBC television) that the Obama Justice Department and Congress are ramping up the investigation of Karl Rove and Harriet Miers. Allegedly they were involved during the Bush Administration in the politicization of the United States Attorneys – particulary the firing of such in New Mexico.
Hello – the United States Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President. Remember when Bill Clinton assumed the Presidency and on day one he fired ALL of the United States Attorneys?
I find it particularly interesting that in the Obama Administration Justice Department, the Black Panthers are receiving a “free ride” and that hater Karl Rove receives so much attention.
Is there any wonder why President Obama is sinking like a stone in the Presidential approval polls?
The above is a parody of Meghan McCain’s Twitter StreamHow does dear Meghan know that Karl rove doesn’t have a staffer handle the followers for him?
Karl Rove follows me on Twitter. Thatâ€™s creepy. I joined Twitter a few months ago; so far, it has been a liberating way to transition from political to personal blogging. Itâ€™s allowed me to share the less-serious aspects and humorously uncensored moments of my life. But thereâ€™s also been a downside: I am now being followed by Karl Rove, and my local sheriff, and God knows how many other political pundits. We need to take Twitter back from the creepy people.
Uh, Meghan, Maricopa County, Arizona Sherrif Joe Arpaio is NOTon Twitter. Apparently, someone is impersonating him – much like the staffer who wrote your dad’s (Senator John McCain’s) initial tweets.
The Twitter creeps gets stranger. My local Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who, as the author of Americaâ€™s Toughest Sheriff, is notorious in his own right) recently sent me a Tweet about an answer I gave a fellow Twitter follower. He tried to tell me to go easy on them. Itâ€™s really scary when the guy who houses his inmates in tents in the summer and whose most visible public-relations success involves pink underwear, boxers, and handcuffs tells you to tone it down. The sheriff also inexplicably Tweeted me to say my mother owes him $10. Say what?
But, OK, anyone can make a mistake and maybe your mother owes the Sheriff money for covering up something or not.
Flap thinks this commenter to Meghan’s blog has the whole situation summed up:
You denigrate Rove’s tweets as boring, although you are the one writing about them. Whatever people think about Karl Rove, he is unquestionably one of the most interesting political minds in a generation. Dumb and uninteresting are not adjectives that even his many political foes level against him. On the other hand, what exactly is it that you have accomplished for which people should read your shlock? You’re enjoying your 20 minutes of fame on your dad’s coattails. It appears that you fancy yourself as something of a conservative-liberal crossover. That’s fine, really. It’s easy because it’s en vogue these days anyhow. But don’t assume that you should be a model for, or be listened to by, the conservative movement. There is something amusing about how today’s moderates decry traditional conservatives as outmoded purists even while castigating them in their own superior sense of self-righteousness.
Don’t like Karl Rove or your Sheriff following your tweets? Then don’t put the details of your life on the Internet – that’s like what the public Internet is for. And maybe consider getting a real job and a life.
By the way, Meghan, @Flap has blocked you – you creep me out.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today delivered remarks on the House floor about the President’s budget that taxes, spends and borrows too much and Democrats’ taxpayer funded non-stop spending binge. He also spoke about the GOP’s better solutions that would allow middle-class families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn.
Republicans sense the opportunity. The House GOP leadership deputized the top Budget Committee Republican, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to prepare an alternative budget. The GOP budget won’t raise taxes, gets spending and debt under control, and will result in a stronger economy with more jobs. House Republicans plan a major selling effort back home during the coming recess. Minority Leader John Boehner is already up on YouTube extolling the plan.
Senate Republicans will not prepare a complete alternative, but they will offer a robust package of amendments, with a wave of proposals for each of the three weeks the upper chamber will devote to the budget. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander foreshadowed the GOP’s theme by saying the Democratic budget taxes, spends and borrows too much.
The GOP should immediately prepare and promote their alternatives to the Democrat’s tax and spend largess.
Flap thinks another “Contract with America” is being written.