Obama's poll numbers are dropping for a variety of reasons but, in my humble opinion, mainly because he no longer is deemed trustworthy and/or capable of being truthful. He has proven to be what some thought and said all along -a fancy talking fraud, a neophyte fake, an inexperienced untested flash in the pan politician! (See 1 below.)
My thoughts expressed in a LTE to the local paper. (See 1a below.)
Gutless Republicans are worried that angry rhetoric directed at Obama will cause a backlash.
Rather than worry about being elected, Republicans should be on the front line presenting a cogent rebuttal as to why just about everything Obama, has done, is doing and proposes doing is a disaster for our nation and is anti-thetical to what America is about.
If Republicans could rise to the level of statesmen and get out of the warfare trenches the rest would take care of itself
Taking the Olympia Snowe copping out route simply leads to more drift!(See 2 below.)
A sad state of affairs for a great leader who made his share of mistakes but deserved better than he got. (See 3 below.)
The Obama Administration's tiff with Fox, indicates how small and petty Chicago's brand of local politics can be when elevated to the national level. Emanuel and Axelrod, are helping to sink Obama with their muck and mire approach towards back biting politics.
It is evident, Fox has gotten under the Administration's thin skin and the Administration's 'pissy fanny' response makes it look foolish. In response to a question about the Fox tiff, Obama said it was not causing him to lose any sleep. The reporter should have asked him if he is losing any sleep over Afghanistan?
This is mature leadership? How sad! (See 4 and 4a below.)
If the shoe fits wear it. Send to me by a Bostonian friend who happens to be a sensible moderate. (See 5 below.)
1)Reading Polls, Not Tea Leaves, Correctly
By Peter Wehner
The most recent data from Gallup is quite interesting. Among the findings:
In Gallup Daily tracking that spans Barack Obama’s third quarter in office (July 20 through Oct. 19), the president averaged a 53% job approval rating. That is down sharply from his prior quarterly averages, which were both above 60%. In fact, the 9-point drop in the most recent quarter is the largest Gallup ever measured for an elected president between the second and third quarters of his term, dating back to 1953. … More generally, Obama’s 9-point slide between quarters ranks as one of the steepest for a president at any point in his first year in office. … In Obama’s first quarter and second quarter, his job approval average compared favorably with those of prior presidents. But after the drop in his support during the last quarter, his average now ranks near the bottom for presidents at similar points in their presidencies. Only Clinton had a lower third-quarter average among elected presidents. … Obama’s 53% third-quarter average is substandard from a broader historical perspective that encompasses all 255 presidential quarters for which Gallup has data going back to 1945. On this basis, Obama’s most recent average ranks 144th, or in the 44th percentile, clearly below average not just for presidents’ third quarters but for all presidents. [emphasis added]
There are, I think, several conclusions we can draw from this survey.
One is that Obama’s slide, while not debilitating, is significant and serious.
Second, ObamaCare is a large part of the reason the president’s support has been crumbling.
Third, the Gallup Poll corresponds to other evidence of trouble for Obama and Democrats – including intensity and fundraising for Democrats (down); intensity and fundraising for Republicans (way up); the generic ballot (Gallup shows Democrats leading by only 2 points, a tremendous narrowing of the gap); how the two parties match up on the issues (Republicans lead in 8 out of 10, according to Rasmussen); gubernatorial races (the Republican candidate leads in the polls in Virginia, a Purple State, by a wide margin, and the Republican candidate is in a dead heat with the Democratic candidate in New Jersey, a Blue State); and a marked loss of support among independents and seniors. President Obama is viewed as liberal by much of the country – and in a center-right nation, that’s a problem. Nine months into his presidency, the public is turning against Obama and Democrats.
Fourth, Obama had an excellent chance earlier this year to lock in, at least for a time, key demographic groups for the Democrats. This would have made life very difficult for the GOP. Another opportunity may come again – but for now, it has been squandered. Obama is revivifying the GOP to an extent that few thought possible just a few months ago. It should be said, though, that Republicans still have considerable work to do to win back the confidence of the public.
Fifth, the political environment right now – from Afghanistan to the high unemployment rate – isn’t a good one for Obama and the Democrats. Passage of a health-care plan would be an impressive legislative achievement, but it would end up being, I think, a damaging substantive and political one. Passing legislation isn’t the end of the story; in some respects, it’s only the start. And I suspect that ObamaCare will become a very important and helpful issue in the 2010 elections – for Republicans, not Democrats. It will feed into the larger narrative of Obama as being reckless when it comes to the size, scope, and reach of government. Another potent issue that’s out there is taxes; the increases we are bound to see will help the GOP and frame the policy debate in a way that’s favorable to Republicans.
I’ve said it before, and it’s worth restating, that things can change dramatically for the better – and dramatically for the worse. There is a tendency among the political class to take a moment in time and assume that this is how it will always be, or make straight-line projections based on the current situation. That’s usually unwise. But what we can do with some precision is quantify and review what has unfolded. And it’s reasonable to say that, so far, the first year – and especially the third quarter – has not been a good one for Obama and the Democrats.
They have reason to be concerned, and maybe even alarmed.
1a)4)President Obama has all the time in the world to radically alter America's health care system, attack Fox, spend money as if he had been in the Navy, wreck the dollar with absurb costly policies and the list begins to be endless. Yet, he cannot find time to make a clear cut and meaningful decision on Iran and Afghanistan.
He can tell Israelis where to live, he can take over American industry after industry, he can gut salaries and fire executives but he apparently cannot take the advice of the general he selected.
He can hold dances at The White House for the artsy folk, he can attend fund raisers with his Hollywood cronies, he can even find time to tell school children to do their homework but when it comes to protecting our finest in Afghanistan he ducks, dithers and/or blames his predecessor.
Yes, he remains popular among the boot licking press and media but his poll numbers are dropping because the public are finally coming to realize he is not up to the job and his speechifying rings hollow except in Norway.
Obama copped out on the Poles and Czechs, he took a hike on protesting Iranians, and he could not even spare a few minutes to visit with the Dalai Lama but he has all the time in the world for lecturing us on the evils of Capitalism and the world on our nation's unforgivable sins of arrogance.
He treats terrorists as if they were civil criminals but is conflicted when it comes to defending those who are engaged in our nation's intelligence work.
Obama is a dreamer who lives in a mythical world where power is deemed evil, where the untrustworthy are simply misguided, where audacity is a substitute for principles, where hyperbole equates with leadership, where Russia can be trusted and where any criticism is racially motivated.
Harsh, perhaps but if you were the parent of a son or daughter in the military and specifically one serving in a 'hot spot,' I suspect you are beginning to have your own self-doubts. If not, then why not?
2)Conservatives roar; GOP trembles
By: Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen
Many top Republicans are growing worried that the party’s chances for reversing its electoral routs of 2006 and 2008 are being wounded by the flamboyant rhetoric and angry tone of conservative activists and media personalities, according to interviews with GOP officials and operatives.
Congressional leaders talk in private of being boxed in by commentators such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh — figures who are wildly popular with the conservative base but wildly controversial among other parts of the electorate, and who have proven records of making life miserable for senators and House members critical of their views or influence.
Some of the leading 2012 candidates are described by operatives as grappling with the same tension. The challenge is to tap into the richest source of energy in the party — the disgust of grass-roots conservative activists with President Barack Obama and their hunger for a full-throated attack on his agenda — without coming off to the broader public as cranky and extreme.
Mitt Romney has purposely kept a lower profile and stuck to speeches on specific policy issues, in part to avoid the early trade-off between placating party activists and appearing presidential. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, one of the most active potential opponents for Obama in 2012, said that media portrayals of a narrow-minded party could make it harder to attract the middle-of-the-road voters needed to make the GOP a majority party again.
“The commentators are part of the coalition, not the whole coalition,” Pawlenty said in a phone interview. “The party needs to be about addition, not subtraction — but not at the expense of watering down its principles.”
“We need more voices,” said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, one of the party’s up-and-coming leaders. “Our party’s challenge has been that we need to be more inclusive — we need to attract the middle again. ... When one party controls all the levers of power in Washington, they’re going to try and villainize whoever they can on our side. It gives us an opportunity now to try and harness the energy and point it in a positive direction, so that we can attract the middle of the country to the common-sense conservative views that we have been about as a party.”
Political operatives of all stripes like to fancy themselves as coolly controlling practitioners — who can shape public images and direct the activities of party regulars from their perches in Washington.
But the reality of the GOP during the Obama presidency is that the party’s image and priorities are in many ways being imposed on Washington — driven by grass-roots energies that lawmakers and strategists can scarcely control.
At the same time, there are powerful incentives for Washington politicians to play to the crowd and bow to the influence of commentators like Beck, who at the moment is far more famous than any of the GOP’s congressional leaders.
When Republicans such as Rep. Phil Gingrey have complained about these figures in public, most have quickly apologized in the face of outraged phone calls and e-mails from conservative activists.
House and Senate Republicans both seized on the issue of federal funding for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now after Obama critic Andrew Breitbart launched the controversy on his site BigGovernment.com with video of two people posing as a pimp and a prostitute in the group’s offices.
As vividly illustrated by Rep. Joe Wilson, elected Republicans are seeing the benefits — national media attention and fundraising — from embracing the trash-talking style of talk show hosts. Wilson went from being a little-known member of the House minority who had repeatedly failed to get on the A-list committees to a cause célèbre for the right wing because he shouted “You lie” at Obama during a joint session of Congress.
Though he apologized to the president through chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Wilson moved quickly to exploit his brush with fame, posting Web videos to raise money, appearing on Sean Hannity’s show, getting a coveted invite on “Fox News Sunday” — and even being asked to raise money for some of his conservative colleagues. Most rank-and-file Republicans have to spend hours on the phone pleading for money and relish the chance to be taken seriously by a major Sunday show.
But some Republicans worry the party could squander an opportunity to capitalize on voters’ concerns about Obama and the Democratic Congress because they come off looking shallow, sharply partisan or just plain odd to persuadable voters.
Warning of the influence of the Fox host, who recently accused Obama of racism against whites, George W. Bush White House veteran Peter Wehner wrote last month: “Beck seems to be a roiling mix of fear, resentment and anger — the antithesis of Ronald Reagan.”
Still, these concerns apparently are not powerful enough to prompt most elected Republicans to take public stands against the rhetoric coming from the web of conservative talk show hosts, websites and public activists.
Ed Gillespie, who was counselor to Bush and has started a conservative group called Resurgent Republicans, said his polling shows rising numbers of persuadable voters who are growing disenchanted with the Obama administration’s policies but nevertheless remain invested in the president.
“Our party has to bring those voters along with a critique of policies, not the kind of harsh rhetoric the left used against former President Bush,” Gillespie said.
“Without a good slice of the independents, we are doomed,” said former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).
The only Republicans standing up to Beck and other conservative activists right now are familiar iconoclasts like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and New York Times columnist David Brooks — both of whom are distrusted by many Republicans for their frequent departures from conservative orthodoxy.
Graham, earlier this month, mocked Beck’s famous on-air cry and warned that the Fox News talk show host is “not aligned with any party as far as I can tell. He’s aligned with cynicism.” Not long afterward, he was heckled by conservatives at a political event back home.
Brooks, a Republican who has written both favorably and critically about Obama, amplified Graham’s concern with the party’s obsequious relationship with Beck and Limbaugh. “It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness,” he wrote. “It is a story as old as ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain.”
Allies of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have detailed for POLITICO how the former GOP presidential nominee is dismayed with the direction of the party and put an unusual amount of time and effort into trying to push the party in a more centrist direction.
All three figures are often irritants to establishment Republicans — but in this case, many Republicans said privately they were in agreement that they need to move beyond the hard-core right to succeed.
But this critique goes to a major fault line within the party. Many activists believe the party lost because McCain failed to present a clear and genuine ideological contrast — and that the party abandoned principles through excessive spending during the Bush years.
The debate means the argument over whether outspoken talk show hosts are reviving a beaten party or trashing its brand is likely to persist through the 2010 midterms and into the 2012 presidential primary.
On the one hand, the GOP seems to be surging a bit as it sharpens its attacks. The party is doing better than it has in recent history when it comes to generic matchups for the 2010 midterms. Beck, other Fox News commentators and Breitbart are clearly landing some punches on Obama.
Their efforts helped stoke turnout at the August town halls, forced the mainstream media and Obama himself to reckon with a scandal at ACORN and incendiary comments and led to the resignation of green jobs czar Van Jones.
On the other hand, the party’s image more broadly remains in the dumps. An ABC News/Washington Post poll this week found that only 20 percent of those surveyed consider themselves Republicans. A larger study by the Pew Research Center this spring captured a similar trend: The share of independents in the electorate is the highest in 70 years (36 percent), while the share of voters who call themselves Republicans is the lowest in 30 years (23 percent, compared with 35 percent for Democrats).
Republicans in Congress are even more unpopular than the very unpopular Democrats who are running the House and the Senate. This suggests something has to change for a true GOP resurgence to take place.
Karl Rove, the chief political strategist for Bush, said impressions of the Republican Party as a captive of a fringe reflect “a cynical and dismissive and small-minded view of who the American voter is.
“The question will be whether the Republican candidates next year can talk about a lot of kitchen-table issues and the deficit and spending,” Rove said. “Rush Limbaugh won’t be on the ballot.”
This big tension is playing out in a smaller way in the special election in upstate New York. Congressional leaders are backing moderate Dede Scozzafava, despite her liberal views on abortion and other issues, because they think she has the best chance of winning this swing district. Conservatives, including many who participated in the much-publicized “tea party” protests, are convinced she is insufficiently Republican, so they are throwing their support and money to third-party candidate Doug Hoffman.
The result: Polls show the Republican vote could be so split that a lackluster Democratic candidate could pull off a win. If Republicans blow this race, it will leave the GOP holding only two of New York’s 29 House seats. A decade ago, it had 14, most of which were occupied by Northeast moderates who no longer feel welcome in the party and were voted in by independents who remain very skeptical of the party’s policy solutions.
Jonathan Martin contributed to this story.
3)Ariel Sharon's Twilight Zone
By Lynn Sherr
Too healthy to die, too injured to rule, Israel’s legendary warrior and former prime minister lives in a comatose limbo—just like the Middle East peace process.
The old soldier’s eyes are open. Sometimes he’s propped up in front of a TV, where images of nature and animals, especially cows, flicker across the screen. His family tells him the day’s news, the goings on at his beloved farm. They read to him, alternating between two books at a time, just as he used to do for himself. They play classical music. When his white hair grows long, they trim it. And once in a while, when someone tells him to move a toe, he does.
Whether Ariel Sharon takes in any of this activity, no one knows for sure. Because Israel’s once-robust prime minister and legendary battlefield hero—the decorated warrior, the controversial hawk and finally, beginning in 2001, the centrist prime minister who transformed the political landscape—has been in a coma for nearly four years, felled by a massive stroke. While not brain-dead, the 81 year old exists in a persistent vegetative state. He generally breathes on his own, but must be fed by a tube. He cannot speak, walk, or think. Probably.
If Sharon hadn’t suffered a stroke? “I think we would have a Palestinian state,” says former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
“There is a feeling of communication, of realization—I mean, the eyes are open and there is kind of, like, you feel that he feels your presence,” says Dr. Shlomo Segev, Sharon’s longtime personal physician and the head of the Institute of Medical Screening at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, just outside Tel Aviv, where Sharon has been hospitalized since May 2006. “So it’s not completely what we call a coma. Not a deep coma, for sure. But if you asked me to quantify that, I cannot.”
Dr. Segev is one of only four regular visitors to the former prime minister. The others are his son Omri, a former member of the Knesset who recently served four months in prison for a campaign finance scandal, and his son Gilad, who now runs the family farm, along with Gilad’s wife, Inbal. The family declined to be interviewed by The Daily Beast, but at least one of them visits every day—every day for nearly four years—at the high-tech medical center that looks like a college campus.
Wander in—as I did—through a bright, breezy lobby filled with recuperating patients, and you come to a small, institutional waiting room, where an Israeli soldier packing a rifle smilingly indicates that it would not be wise to go any further. Down the corridor, two Shin Bet guards protect his room; the staff provides regular physiotherapy. His blood pressure and heartbeat are fine, according to Dr. Segev. And “he looks about the same. You would recognize him.” He adds, with affection for his close friend, “He is a very, very healthy fat man.”
Too healthy to die, too injured to rule; he lives in limbo, just like the Israeli peace process. The irony is unavoidable. Ariel Sharon, who spent his early life expanding the territory of his native land, then abandoned his dream and evicted settlers from Gaza to shrink Israel’s borders in the quest for peace, remains locked inside the barest human boundaries, imprisoned in his own body. He was once so uncompromising—self-confident, supporters said—they called him The Bulldozer. Other names, too. “Arik, King of the Jews,” after his conquest of the Sinai during the Yom Kippur War. “Murderer,” after failing to prevent the massacres of Lebanese civilians at the Sabra and Shatila camps in 1982. Sensitive and cultured. Stubborn and cruel. No one was ever neutral about Arik Sharon. Still true.
To many, including members of the left wing who embraced Sharon when he pulled out of Gaza, he was the modern father of the nation, ultimately creating his own Nixon-in-China moment as the first to accept a two-state solution.
“I don’t want to compare him to anybody else,” says Israeli President Shimon Peres, “but there was nobody as good as he was.” Peres, 85, who joined the centrist party Sharon founded, Kadima, after decades of fighting Sharon from Labor, adds, with amusement, “You could always expect from him the unexpected. [Moshe] Dayan said about him, ‘I prefer a galloping horse which is difficult to stop than a lazy mule that doesn’t know how to start moving.’”
Dov Weissglas, a savvy Tel Aviv attorney who became Sharon’s trusted chief of staff, recalls the days when Israel was “a teeny, tiny country, a weird strip on the map, with about a million miserable refugees from all over the world.” Because of Sharon, he says, “the whole nation regained its confidence, to successfully survive in this goddamn place in the world. He and his generation became a sort of manifestation that yes, we can live here, we can do it: We can overcome, we can retaliate. He became a myth.”
Or, an anathema.
“He is the largest vegetable in the country,” sneers Moshe Saperstein, an ousted Gaza settler and disabled war veteran who once taught Hebrew School in Brooklyn. Saperstein dissolves into tears when he compares the palmy oasis he and his wife, Rachel, built in the desert (then leveled so Palestinians couldn’t move in) to the plywood pre-fab where they now live temporarily. All because of Sharon: “We were betrayed by our own.” A different enmity comes from Ghassan Khatib, director of government media for the Palestinian Authority. From his office in Ramallah, in the West Bank, isolated from Jerusalem by checkpoints and the meandering “Separation Wall,” the soft-spoken, professor-turned-politician says “Sharon is perceived as the worst Israeli leader to the Palestinians.” The unilateral Gaza pullout, he says, undermined the Palestinian Authority’s power by “disregarding that there is a political partner on the other side. Sharon was doing the kind of things that would make the two states impossible.” To most in the region, however, he is simply forgotten. “It’s like a Greek tragedy, a tragic geschichte [story],” says Reuven Adler, Sharon’s close friend and media adviser, who repurposed the ruthless warrior as the nation’s grandpa for the 2001 campaign, with the winning slogan, "Only Sharon Can Bring Peace." Adler ticks off the misfortunes: Sharon’s first wife, Margalit, died in a car crash. Their young son, Gur, was killed in a gun accident. Sharon lost his second wife, Lily—Margalit’s sister—to cancer in 2000. And then there is Sharon himself. “He came to the top, the most popular person in Israel,” Adler tells me, “and then”—he pushes an imaginary button on the round glass table in his airy Tel Aviv advertising office—“then, he’s finished. Push the button, and that’s it.”
The last public image of Sharon was the grainy frame from a TV news camera on the night of January 3, 2006, showing his shock of white hair through the ambulance window as he arrived at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. A more revealing photograph followed the next day: Ehud Olmert, his designated deputy, looking drawn and distraught in the Cabinet Room, next to Sharon’s large, empty chair. One hundred days later, Sharon was declared permanently incapacitated, and Olmert got the big seat. Today, Olmert is on trial for corruption (amid reports of receiving “envelopes of cash”), having been replaced as prime minister by his longtime Likud rival, Benjamin Netanyahu. The center is out. There is no left left. Peace negotiations are frozen.
So, what if Sharon were still in office? Might things be different?
“I think we would have a Palestinian state,” says former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling it “the logical conclusion” of the Bush administration roadmap. Eager to praise her old negotiating partner (“a tough little tank driver”), she also thinks Sharon would have pulled out considerably from the West Bank. “I do,” she insists. “Now, it would have required a Palestinian partner who was prepared to take half a loaf, not a full loaf, because nobody was going to get everything they wanted. But I think the terms were available, and maybe he was strong enough to lead a consensus in Israel and get it done.” “Sharon was somebody who could deliver,” she adds. “ You could trust him to do what he said he was going to do.”
Dov Weissglas agrees, but over tea in a Tel Aviv café clarifies the terms. “Look, he didn’t believe in peace in the sense of the U.S.-Canada relationship. He wasn’t in the business of, the Israeli ballet will start to perform in Ramallah. We’ll never have peace of that kind. But he believed in a need to bring an end to this constant friction between Israelis and Palestinians, to separate those two communities who were so unable to live together.”
He continues: “Deep in his heart he understood that our historic dream of having the land of Israel from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River had ended. He believed that territorial resolution with Palestinians was a must, that the land should somehow be divided between Israelis and Palestinians. To get separated is the name of the game. And he felt that a solution of this kind is very difficult for most Israelis to accept, that it can be done only by a leader of his magnitude. Because, as he said, ‘I’m the only one who can look into the eyes of the Israelis and tell them: OK, enough, we have agreed.’ ”
So he might have withdrawn settlements from the West Bank? “I cannot tell you specifically what he would do, because the security solution in the West Bank requires a different solution from Gaza. But he would start a process of realization and create a condition that, by the end of the day, Palestinians would start to assume responsibility for it, as they do now.” Pressed for details, Weissglas pauses. “The movie I was in was ended in January 2006,” he says, shrugging, “and all the rest I’m just guessing.”
He is one of the only local players who will even guess. This is, after all, the Middle East, whose turbulent history has generated a pragmatic ability to overcome loss.
“We live here in such a hectic time, that I don’t think we Israelis have time to think, What would Sharon do?” explains Shimon Shiffer, diplomatic columnist for Israel’s largest daily, Yedioth Ahronoth. Shiffer forged a close relationship with the former prime minister, despite his scathing critiques during the war in Lebanon. And while he misses his friend’s “sense of humor and his wisdom and his courage,” he says, “I’m not sure it’s possible to assess how he would behave.” On the other hand, Shiffer continues, “One thing Mr. Sharon shares with the late Yitzhak Rabin, they belong to a generation of huge characters. The new generation of Israeli politicians, they look like dwarves when you compare them. Sharon had the possibility to lead the Israelis anywhere; you don’t have that with Netanyahu or Olmert or [Tzipi] Livni.”
That’s the political reality; here’s the psychological. Sharon’s condition—“alive and not alive” in one friend’s words—is especially frustrating because it suspended not only his ability to function, but the nation’s chance to reflect on his legacy. Without the finality of a funeral, how do you mourn—or celebrate? How do you move on when you haven’t said goodbye?
“You learn to live in uncertainty,” explains Dr. Lea Baider, an expert on bereavement therapy and professor of medical psychology at Hadassah University Hospital. “In Israel at any time there can be another war. So we learn to live in constant uncertainty. Life continues. This is a reality. And one has to face reality in order to continue living.”
For Dan Halutz, the eminent air force commander who served as Sharon’s chief of staff for the Israeli Defense Forces, that doesn’t mean putting Sharon out of his thoughts. “I don't know if he’s part of the national dialogue,” he tells me, “But no doubt he's part of the national heart. Myself? No doubt that I’m thinking about him. He's part of the history of our nation.”
Dr. Segev won’t predict how long Sharon can last. “He used to tell me about his mother and his grandmother, all these ladies they lived forever—I mean, the age of 90-something,” Dr. Segev says. “And he used to tell me that he's going to survive for years. He promised me that.”
So will he ever wake up? “He’s an exceptional man,” the doctor says. “And you know, there are what you call miracles and we call statistics. Some people have awakened after a very few years. But I have to be honest, it happened with younger people. On the other hand, I haven't seen many people in such a state survive for so long at his age. I know that his son Gilad believes he can wake up and some people in the staff, but really nobody knows. I don't know.”
In his autobiography, Warrior, Ariel Sharon writes that “political life is like a big wheel, constantly turning. At times you are up, at times down. But always the wheel keeps moving.” Throughout his career the wheel revolved, restoring Sharon to power when he seemed most defeated. Today, the wheel is at rest. Just when Israeli politics could use a jump-start, The Bulldozer is no longer in the driver’s seat.
Lynn Sherr is a former ABC News correspondent, author of Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words and Tall Blondes, a book about giraffes. She is also co-editor of Peter Jennings: A Reporter's Life. Her most recent book, a memoir—Outside the Box: My Unscripted Life of Love, Loss and Television News—is out in paperback.
4)Obama vs. Fox: White House shows immaturity, thin skin
Union Tribune Editorial
By brazenly declaring war on a member of the Fourth Estate, the Obama administration is making a first-rate error in judgment.
Just because White House officials, and maybe even President Barack Obama himself, don't like Fox News doesn't mean they have the right to decide that the network is — in the words of White House Communications Director Anita Dunn — “opinion journalism masquerading as news.” Nor does it have the right to try to isolate Fox News by urging other networks to shun their colleagues because, as White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel put it, Obama does not want “the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox.” And it certainly doesn't have the right to call on other media outlets to do what Obama senior adviser David Axelrod wants them to do: join the administration in declaring that Fox is “not a news organization.”
Come again? Did we really just hear top White House officials try to rally the media to gang up on a single network because the administration doesn't like the stories it produces? What would James Madison say? The father of the Constitution took pains to establish the idea of a free press acting as a watchdog on government. Whether the levers of power are controlled by Republicans or Democrats, and whether the press is liberal or conservative, makes no difference. What matters is that the press be able to do its job, and that government stay out of the way.
Not only is it dangerous and wildly inappropriate for the White House — any White House — to start compiling enemies lists, it's also not very smart. Government should not make a habit of insulting and isolating a major news organization. Better to just ignore whatever bothers you. Otherwise, people might get the idea you have a thin skin and that you have something against being asked tough questions.
And the next thing you know, there are tough questions coming from all directions. Earlier this week at the White House press gaggle with reporters, ABC News' Jake Tapper tore into White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Tapper wanted to know why the administration thought it was appropriate to single out a specific news organization as inauthentic and then invite everyone to pile on in an attempt to marginalize critics. Gibbs couldn't come up with a good answer, and he frankly seemed surprised at the question. After all, isn't ABC News part of the club? Why would one of its reporters defend the opposition instead of just going along? The best that Gibbs could do was to insist that this was the White House opinion and it was sticking by it.
Bravo to Tapper. But shame on the White House. It's behavior is outrageous and petty. It can't win this battle, and it should never have engaged the fight. It's time to stop picking on Fox News, and start showing some maturity. Freedom of the press is not something to be trifled with — especially when it makes the powerful uncomfortable.
4a) "As an American I am not so shocked that Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize without any accomplishments to his name, but that America gave him the White House based on the same credentials." - - Newt Gingrich
5)Conservative vs. Liberal
If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it’s a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.
If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he's in labor and then sues.
If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended".