Adam Howard is the former Assistant Web Editor of The Nation and currently the News Editor of The Grio.
With the revelation last night/this morning that veteran Democratic Senators
For those youngsters out there who may not remember, in November of '94Congressional approval was at an all-time low and President Clinton's approval numbers weremired in the low 40s after his failure to pass healthcare reform. The result was a Republican landslide that dominated Congress until 2006. But2010 can be different and in some ways it already is. The public clearlyhas a lot more good will in the bank for Obama, he remains close to orat
True, losing Dorgan (
Permit me to borrow one our president's most famous turns ofphrase--Carrie Prejean's story could "only happen in America." Most ofus who don't consume a daily diet of shows like Access Hollywoodand TMZ would normally not have heard of Miss Prejean, but now that she'sbecome a regular on Fox News, an author and poster child for "Palinized" conservative women everywhere--she's almost unavoidable. Most recently she appeared on Larry King Live, where she repeatedly snapped at the septuagenarian host for being "inappropriate."
For the uninitiated, a quick recap:
Carrie Prejean was competing the Donald Trump-funded Miss USA pageant, and was representing California. Apparently she was well ahead in points when she reached the question-and-answer segment. Openly gay blogger Perez Hilton, serving as a judge, asked her about her position on same-sex marriage. To which she replied (emphasis mine):
The far right's latest attack line on President Obama is not assubtle as they think it is. By calling his administration's war of wordswith Fox News "beneath the presidency" --conservatives hope to add fuel to the fire of a potent and potentially racist, ideological effort to delegitimize the president. They've employed this tactic earlier but less histrionically when Obama became the first sitting president to appear on The Tonight Show and again when he courted the 2016 Olympics for Chicago, but it's really taken off with regards to the Fox News fight.
Whether you believe the president is right or wrong to challenge Fox News (I happen to agree with Slate's Jacob Weisberg, I believe he's right), it's pretty petty and profoundly ironic that the very people who excused George W. Bush's frequent malapropisms, carefree warmaking and authorization of torture as bold leadership now hope to marginalize Obama for publicly rebuking Fox News. As Amanda Terkel of Think Progress points out:
Bush also called a New York Times reporter "a major league asshole" -- and never apologized. In fact, Bush never gave the NYT a single interview throughout his presidency. The White House frequently went after NBC News, and Perino has admitted that they essentially froze out MSNBC "towards the end."
Last night I attended a press screening of Michael Moore's new filmCapitalism: A Love Story. As with all of his films it made animmediate, strong impression on me and it also surprised me a little, mythoughts are below and yes, this contains some spoilers sobeware...
First off, the film in some ways made me realize how familiar MichaelMoore's filmmaking has become--this is arguably a detriment to hismessage and possibly a slight to his directorial prowess but as fan Ihave come to enjoy his usual gimmicks and this film is chock full ofthem:
The moving personal testimonials: Families recount learning thatcompanies had profited from large insurances policies taken out on theirtragically deceased loved ones--this sequence literally made me want tocall my Congressman to express my outrage.
In the wake of several new polls showing Barack Obama's lead widening inthe presidential race--which has been attributed to the public's perception that he is the better candidate on the economy--John McCain has made a
He has requested that their foreign-policy themed debate, long scheduledfor this Friday, be postponed so that he and Senator Obama can reacha bipartisan solution to the ongoing economic crisis. Here is an excerptfrom McCain's statement:
Last Friday, I laid out my proposal and I have sincediscussed my priorities and concerns with the bill the Administrationhas put forward. Senator Obama has expressed his priorities andconcerns. This morning, I met with a group of economic advisers to talkabout the proposal on the table and the steps that we should take goingforward. I have also spoken with members of Congress to hear theirperspective.
I never thought I'd say this--but thank God for Barbara Walters. I have been waiting patiently for the election's narrative to shift from pigs wearing lipstick to the issues, but I never thought that the usually grating hosts of The View would help supply it. On a day when Obama launched fresh, stronger ads taking on McCain, Sarah Palin's husband was subpoenaed because of "Trooper-gate" and Palin finally admitted that she had indeed once supported the "Bridge to Nowhere"--The View made the front page of the New York Times website. Why? Because unlike so many other mainstream journalists right now, Barbara Walters actually did her job yesterday.
John McCain appeared on her show Friday morning in an obvious atempt to pander to its audience of mostly middle aged, white women. According to recent polls, the choice of Palin as a running mate has helped McCain make serious inroads with that demographic and he must have assumed an easy, softball interview on The View would only continue to improve his fortunes. Especially since the show features one of his most unambiguously eager beaver supporters, right-winger Elisabeth Hasselbeck. But instead the show's only experienced journalist, Barbara Walters, flanked by entertainers Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg took John McCain to task on a host of real issues like Palin's experience (or lack thereof), abortion and earmarks. To say that McCain was floundering would be a tremendous understatement. Take this exchange and analysis from the New York Times for instance:
Ms. Walters also noted that Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin have said that her job will be to reform Washington. But, she pointed out, Mr. McCain has been in Congress for 22 years, the Republicans have been in the White House for eight years, so who, exactly, is Ms. Palin going to reform?
I wake up this morning and The Today Show informs me that suddenly after a week of hearing about Obama's post-convention bounce,John McCain is now ahead and has all the momentum. Supposedly whitewomen voters, who as recently as last week were supporting Obama nearly10 percent more than McCain, were now supporting McCain 12 percent more than Obama. Naturally the on-air pundits attributed nearly all of this to the surprise addition of Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket, but would that many white female voters simply switch sides like that? Are they that ideologically flexible?
I have this regular debate with my fellow progressive friends aboutwhether voters are simply stupid. I always play devil's advocate andargue that the voters are not stupid, just misinformed. That a barrageof 24-hour cable news numbs them and makes them more susceptible thanthey should be to the ignorant and blatantly false arguments ofthe right. But lately I haven't been so sure.
It's not that the Obama campaign is flawless or has perfected itsmessaging--it hasn't. But by all accounts McCain's convention speechwas a dud. He didn't address the number one issue in the country--theeconomy--in any remotely substantive way, he was heckled, stood in fronta picture of a high school (that was meant to be Walter Reed Hospital),chewed up most of his air-time recounting his days as a POW--whichliterally every speaker before him had already done--and was thoroughlyupstaged (and continues to be) by his own running mate. This should havebeen a recipe for disaster, right?