Where the Funny Is, Will the Comedians Go?

(Cross-posted from Poligazette)

There has been some concern, and rightly so I think, that the late night comedians: the Jon Stewarts, Stephen Colberts, and David Lettermans of the world would fail to criticize and satirize the new President once he got into office.  Jazz Shaw, writing for Pajamas Media, thinks that although the pace has been slow to pick up, the funnies at the expense of the new President are starting to appear:

Were they frightened? Had they simply spent so long attacking the Republicans that the idea of criticizing a Democratic president was beyond the scope of imagination? Or were they truly liberal, partisan hacks as so many of their critics had suggested? Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton were still being abused on a regular basis and the never-ending tale of Blago was a movable feast for all, but the digs at President Obama failed to appear. Instead, Stewart pilloried Fox News for having the audacity to criticize the White House and Letterman ripped into Michael Steele’s rocky start as RNC chairman. My hopes for bipartisan comedy goodness began to fade.

That may have begun to change this week, however. The first encouraging sign came when Stephen Colbert examined Obama’s new health care initiative and expressed his hopes that it would “cover him for the stroke he was going to have when he filed his tax return.” There may have been some veiled cynicism in that critique, but the real breakthrough came on The Daily Show when Jon Stewart heard about Obama’s plans for Iraq over the next few years. After railing against the war since before it began, this was clearly a bridge too far and Stewart came out swinging.

A few things that Jazz wrote at the end of his article make me think he’s hoping for a little much.

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Wait…Moderates are Suddenly Surprised?

I’ve spent a little bit of time these past couple months lecturing liberals for their whining about President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.  They didn’t pay attention to his campaign, I said, hoping that all his tough talk about Afghanistan and Pakistan was just that: talk.

Now, as much as I don’t want to, I feel the time has come to turn my attention toward the moderates who voted for Obama and are now suffering buyer’s remorse after seeing the stimulus package and his budget.  So, as I said to the liberals: WERE YOU PAYING ATTENTION!?

One thing I noticed, particularly during the debates, is that Obama didn’t seem serious about cutting spending.  Just the opposite.  Despite that fact that we were going through some tough times, he had a long list of spending.  I didn’t tack McCain as too serious on the spending cuts, either, but Obama’s wish list seemed particularly lengthy.  I also found him fairly specific on his tax increase plans: $250,000 and above.

These are the kind of things that Obama talked about often and with great certainty, so I’m not entirely sure how these moderates missed them.  Or maybe they noted what he said but hoped that it was all rhetoric, just like the liberals on his Afghanistan and Pakistan foreign policy.  Yet, aside from a couple things, I’ve thought Obama to be pretty honest with his intentions.  It was this honesty that led him to tell Joe the Plumber to his face that he was going to tax people making more than $250,000, and to do what even John McCain couldn’t and say that an attack on Pakistan’s tribal region wasn’t off the table.

If you’ve been keeping track, you’ll notice that since the election both of these things have happened.  Hey, I also thought that a bunch of Obama’s policy initiatives made sense too, but if you got so wrapped up in the hope talk that you ignored what he was saying on policy, maybe that says more about you than it does about Obama.

 

Keeping Track of the Promises

This article was cross-posted from Poligazette.

Presidential candidates say a lot of things during their long campaigns.  Some of it only turns out to be rhetoric, others must pass through the halls of Congress, but don’t, and yet other promises are kept.  Still, with so many made during such a long period, it can be difficult to keep track of all of them.

Never fear, because the excellent Politifact is here to hold Barack Obama’s feet to the fire.  They recently introduced their “Obameter” that tracks about 500 promises made by Obama during the campaign.  So, if you wish to see progress, or non-progress made on his promises at any given point, you can simply go there and see the status of them.  Politifact has categorized their tracking into “Promise Kept,” “Compromise,” “Promise Broken,” “Stalled,” “In the Works,” and “No Action.”

I first discovered Politifact via some blog during the campaign season.  It’s published by the St. Petersburg Times, but fear not.  I’ve found the site to be quite even handed in its analysis.  So, I think it’s safe to put some trust in this meter system.

(H/T Patrick Appel at The Daily Dish)

 

Obama Opens up Presidential Records; Some Conservatives Forget History

The article was originally posted at Poligazette.

As Michael noted earlier today, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on Wednesday the essentially revoked Executive Order 13233, written by former President George W. Bush in November 2001. 13233 is particularly notable as it essentially made the incumbent president the just about nearly the only decision maker on access to records of former presidents, whereas in the order it replaced, 12667, it was more of a team effort involving the Attorney General, as well as the Counsel to the President, and other agencies.  It also extended Executive privilege claims and review of former records by the incumbent president to former Vice Presidents.

One can see why this would be a problem, of course.  While there are legitimate reasons for Executive privledge (national security and the like, but perhaps others), giving near unlimited control of review to one person means that that one person can decide to keep away a record that may not affect national security, but may be simply embarassing.  Perhaps details of a scandal from a former administation that never gained public light.  Could be anything, really.

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Best Wishes, Mr. President

Yes, I say it now, though it’s not yet official.  I’ll be at work tomorrow morning when it all goes down, so I won’t have the opportunity to blog my best wishes them.  But it’s also applicable because this post is two-pronged.

First, I’d like to grant best wishes to the current President, George W. Bush.  Though I did not always agree with him, I think he did what he felt necessary to best serve the country. Some of those measures are, of course, debatable, but I won’t get into them here.  Yet, there is no doubt in my mind that he had done many great things, least of all keeping the country safe since 9/11.  He has been my President for eight years, and I’d like to wish him well in his future endeavors.

Second, I’d like to wish a successful term to the incoming president, Barack Obama.  There are trying times ahead, sir, and I look forward to seeing what solutions you and your team come up with to solve them.  I also look forward to respectfully opposing you where we disagree, because a good and healthy democracy necessitates the debate.  In less than 10 hours you will be my president and so I wish you good luck.

More thoughts later today.

 

The Exercising Presidents

I don’t often agree with Michelle Malkin, but occasionally I do.  Today she has an article comparing the criticism from some on the left regarding President Bush’s lengthy workout regimen versus the praise for Barack Obama’s similarly time consuming routine.

While I agree with Michelle regarding the hypocrisy from the left, I think she’s cherry picking when it come to her criticism.

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Voters Remorse from the Left

The liberal base and far-left are unhappy that they’re not getting the sufficiently liberal president they wanted.  Sorry to be snarky, but excuse me if I don’t give you my sympathy.  If you’d been paying attention during the election, you might have seen that the man you thought was going to bring about a renewal of completely leftist domestic policy and dovish foreign policy never existed.  Obama has never presented himself as a leftist ideoulouge and hardliner and it was quite apparent for a long time.  So why are you whining now?

Fear not, though.  Some elements of Obama’s domestic policy may shape up to be liberal enough to keep you just satisfied.  In particlar, it looks like the Education, Energy, and Health posts could go to liberals.  And there might be others.  But to pretend for a second that posts like Defense were ever going to go to a liberal was wishful thinking at best.  Obama has been singing the praises of Robert Gates since before election day.

So, next time you want a leftist for a president, pay attention to who you’re nominating.  Just don’t whine after he was elected when you ignored the obvious signs before hand.

 

Obama Not Going for Complacency

About a week ago, I wrote an entry warning the two major candidates to not become cocky (in Barack Obama’s case), depressed (in John McCain’s case), or downright complacent, given the “inevitability” of an Obama win.  Now obviously, I didn’t actually think this was going to happen, but Barack Obama said something the other day that shows he recognizes the danger, and will do his best to not let it get to him.

Here’s what he said, as noted by Chicago Sun-Times writer Lynn Sweet:

“Don’t underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from
the jaws of victory,” Mr. Obama said. “Don’t underestimate our ability
to screw it up.”

The idea of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory has a long history with the Democrats.  It happened to John Kerry in 2004.  Obama doesn’t want it to happen to him.

 

Why I Will Vote Third Party

It’s amazing how things can change in a matter of hours, isn’t it?  Mere hours ago, I was pondering my options for the future, given John McCain and Barack Obama’s contempt for their critics.

Yesterday, Sarah Palin brought up the Obama-William Ayers connection , saying Obama was “palling around with terrorists.”  Then hours ago, Politico had a report about Obama’s return volley in the form of the Keating 5 scandal, which McCain was embroiled in some years ago.  Our own Michael ver der Galien discussed this development in another article.

Both are misleading at best.  But both are the types of things I thought I’d never see from both campaigns.  And thus, my support for them is lost.  On November 4th, my vote goes to Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr.

 

The Gloves Come Off

If you’ve noticed in my past couple posts, I’ve skewered both John McCain and Barack Obama.  I will continue doing so until the election.  Both have much to account for and each day that goes by makes my choice to vote for Bob Barr much easier.

The gloves are off.

 
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