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Thursday Open Thread

Below the fold, I have news on the edict that Roger Ailes issued to all the employees of Fox News. It’s quite a story and reveals that Ailes is as astute as ever and has an uncanny ability to sense the nation’s shifting moods. His edict was evident in last night’s exceptional and respectful coverage of Obama’s speech by Fox News’s Bret Baier, Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer, et al. (But do check out my side note on Obama’s speech — it’s at the end of the post.)

But first, I want to share with you the extraordinarily moving photos (via Yahoo News) taken outside St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Tucson, Ariz., where funeral services were held for Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of Jared Lee Loughner. That flag, restitched by loving hands, came from the ruin of the twin towers of 9/11, the same day that little Christina was born into this world.



 

……………………………………………………



 
Yahoo Caption: Firefighters fold up the 911 flag outside the entrance at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church after the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz.

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MORE PHOTOS at Yahoo News.

 

……………………………………………………

Did you all hear about Roger Ailes’ message to all Fox News employees? Here’s one account via ABC News that begins by describing the political back-and-forth following the Tucson shootings:

Liberal commentators and bloggers took aim at conservatives — chiefly Sarah Palin — for putting out a map last March that put the districts of 20 House Democrats in cross-hairs, including that of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. …

Conservatives, meanwhile, blasted the left for turning the tragic shooting into a political issue.

Now, the president of Fox News, Roger Ailes, has called for a cease-fire, vowing to tone down the political rhetoric, even though he dubbed his targeting by liberals “bullshit.”

Joe Scarborough, on today’s Morning Joe, said he thinks that Ailes’ edict to his employees was primarily directed at Glenn Beck. Who knows.

……………………………………………………

SIDE NOTE on Obama’s speech last night: Larry Johnson was correct to give Obama props for a well-done speech.

However.

On today’s “Morning Joe,” the MSNBC White House reporter said that she used all of her WH sources to learn that Obama worked on the speech himself for hours and hours, over several days.

The gaggle at the roundtable at Morning Joe totally missed what the WH reporter revealed. The MJ crew talked about how this proves that Obama is an excellent writer and that the speech reflected his insightful paean to the American people.

Uh. Hang on one f–kin’ second.

Obama spent ALL that time on a speech that his cadre of speech writers would have taken care of, for the most part?

Obama SHOULD have been working on the countless crises this nation faces.

I wonder if he has EVER spent that many hours on the plight of the jobless in this nation?

But Obama knew that this was an event that millions of Americans would be watching, and he wanted to be sure to milk it for all the political capital he could muster.

Call me cynical. But that’s how I see it.

And I wish, so much, that we had a president for whom his only interests weren’t the vanity exercises that come his way.

Now, it is all well and good that the Fox News gang reins it in a bit, but I hope that they will continue to fearlessly point out the politicization of a memorial service when that is what has gone down.

……………………………………………………

YOUR TURN!

  • getfitnow

    Obama is no Clinton–or anyboy else for that matter.

  • Onofre’s arm

    Don’t forget, Mr Peace himself, Yasser Arafat won NPP also, so it really MUST be important.

  • Madame deFarge

    He and Shepherd Smith are soft on Obama.  I don’t watch either of them anymore but will check on Fridays to see if Laura Ingerham is subbing for Billy boy.

  • Madame deFarge

    Well, GWB’s ratings went sky high after 9/11.  The Dear Reader is trying his damndest to replicate that.  Not working.  Even though he will get a bounce, remember how Bush’s ratings fell through the floor later.  People have short attention spans.

  • Geoff C. The Saltine

    Gorodo, you lie like a moslems prayer rug. Everyone here does not LIE to each other as you have. In your last sentence you just told us that you use a different name, and cover it up.    Come clean or clear out.             I for one will never reply to you or belive anything you post. I think that you are a bot sent here to start a fight between the long time posters here. You have done your job, get your check and buy a happy meal.

  • Breeze

    Obama to ease travel restrictions to Cuba,
    allow more U. S. cash to island

     
    Miami Herald,
    by Lesley Clark   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011
    WASHINGTON

    – The Obama administration Friday said it will allow for more U.S. travel to Cuba, making it easier for schools, churches and cultural groups to visit the island. A senior Obama official told The Miami Herald the much-expected move to expand cultural, religious and educational travel to Cuba is part of the administration’s continuing “effort to support the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their own future. President Barack Obama is also restoring the amount of money ($2,000) that can be sent to nonfamily members to the level they were at during part of the Clinton and Bush administrations.

  • Breeze

    Obama to ease travel restrictions to Cuba,
    allow more U. S. cash to island

     
    Miami Herald,
    by Lesley Clark   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011
    WASHINGTON

    – The Obama administration Friday said it will allow for more U.S. travel to Cuba, making it easier for schools, churches and cultural groups to visit the island. A senior Obama official told The Miami Herald the much-expected move to expand cultural, religious and educational travel to Cuba is part of the administration’s continuing “effort to support the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their own future. President Barack Obama is also restoring the amount of money ($2,000) that can be sent to nonfamily members to the level they were at during part of the Clinton and Bush administrations.

  • Justine

    So, why would a son “reveal” this — except to sell books?  He must not love his dad as much as money…
    .

  • Agent X

    The entire incident is becoming a circus, just sad…

  • Breeze

    In Op-Ed McCain Backs Obama’s
    Tucson Message, Takes Blame
    for Political Debate &
    Empathizes with Palin

     
    ABC News,
    by Jonathan Karl &
    Matthew Jaffe   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011 

    In a remarkable op-ed set to run in Sunday’s Washington Post, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, embraces President Obama’s message in Tucson, criticizes his own political rhetoric, and makes a powerful statement for civility in the wake of the Arizona tragedy, while offering a defense of sorts for Sarah Palin’s controversial statement on the Arizona shooting.

  • Breeze

    Chris Matthews Calls
    Obama Critics ‘Crackers’

    The Daily Caller,
    by Jeff Poor   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011

    So much for that new tone of civility. On Friday’s “Hardball,” MSNBC host Chris Matthews acknowledged his disappointment in the tack Republicans have taken toward President Barack Obama – especially in this time following the tragic shooting in Arizona. “Yeah, it’s almost like what he does is no good – let’s kill it because it’s his,” Matthews said. After citing a spokesman from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office, Matthews asked the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein if Republicans would play nice with Obama, or would they go ad hominem. However, in phrasing the question, he used what some believe is…..

  • Breeze

    Fineman Laments: Obama Couldn’t
    Make Shooting His Oklahoma City

     
    RushLimbaugh.com,
    by Rush Limbaugh   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011

    RUSH: Howard Fineman. This is last night on MSNBC’s countdown. They had a fill-in host and they talked to the Huffing and Puffington Post senior political editor Howard Fineman about Obama’s Tucson speech and favorable conservative reaction to it. The guest host said to Fineman, “How is the favorable response from the right change politics going forward?”

    FINEMAN: “It’s not gonna be any wholesale change.”

  • Breeze

    Opinion: Elected Officials
    Flunk Constitution Quiz

     
    AOLNews,
    by Richard Brake   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011

    When the Republican House leadership decided to start the 112th Congress with a reading of the U.S. Constitution, the decision raised complaints in some quarters that it was little more than a political stunt. The New York Times even called it a “presumptuous and self-righteous act.” That might be true, if you could be sure that elected officials actually know something about the Constitution. But it turns out that many don’t.

    (snip) Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.

  • Breeze

    Shooting victim says Beck, Palin,
    Angle ‘got their first target’

    Daily Caller,
    by Laura Donovan   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011 

    A survivor of Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson blamed Fox’s Glenn Beck, former Alaska gov. Sarah Palin, and former senatorial candidate Sharron Angle for the actions of alleged schizophrenic Jared Loughner. “It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target,” Eric Fuller, a former campaigner for Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, told Democracy Now. “Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled.”

  • carol haka, Matzo

    :’(

  • Breeze

    Regime Puts Crosshairs on Palin
    to Distract from Economy, Inflation

     
    RushLimbaugh.com,
    by Rush Limbaugh   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011 

    RUSH: You know, now would be a time for President Obama to give a speech on inflation so he can stop that dead in its tracks. We already had the president go out to Tucson and stop dead in its tracks the actions of insane lunatics. We had the president give hundreds of speeches on health care and the American people still don’t want it. So don’t be surprised that, absent a speech by Obama on the subject, inflation will be one of the top stories by the yearend…..

  • Breeze

    Former Carter pollster Pat Caddell
    NY Times columnist Krugman
    ‘a flat-out a******’

    Daily Caller,
    by Jeff Poor   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011

    He’s not exactly an A-lister, though his opinions may reflect those of a lot people. It’s just that Fox News Channel regular and former Carter pollster Pat Caddell has a platform on cable television to espouse his views. On Fox News Channel’s Friday airing of “Red Eye,” host Greg Gutfeld wondered if the media were in denial

    (Snip) That led Caddell to launch into a rant about the media…..

  • Breeze

    Rush Limbaugh: I didn’t know
    about Tucson billboard
    featuring decorative
    bullet holes

     
    Daily Caller,
    by Steven Nelson   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011 

    Radio host Rush Limbaugh responded Friday to a controversy involving a Tucson billboard that called him a “straight shooter” and featured decorative bullet holes. The billboard has been removed by Clear Channel.

  • getfitnow

    I don’t care who it is, family members that take cheap shots against dead relatives are lower than low.

  • getfitnow

    Yes, but I’m tired of these political parties pandering to various groups for votes. Sell your ideas and vision to all Americans

  • getfitnow

    The nearest golf course– wouldn’t surprise me.

  • getfitnow

    My question is, isn’t Az part of America? If so, why does the tag line of the slogan say “American and Arizona”?

  • felizarte

    My bigger fear is that Fox has been drafted into the Jeb Bush in 2016 campaign, just like the Bush 43 campaign in 2000.  Palin’s winning the presidency will make Jeb’s 2016 run impossible.  So basically, it is not so much a “layoff on Obama” as much as a “Stop Palin” strategy. Barbara Bush made this strategy quite plain when she said, ” . . I hope she stays there.” (Alaska).  I see Rove somewhere there in the shadows, beginning with his overt criticism of Palin re Christine O’Donnell. This strategy does not include having a Republican nominee win against Obama.  This also explains why very few (if at all) establishment republicans have come to Sarah’s defense.

  • felizarte

    My bigger fear is that Fox has been drafted into the Jeb Bush in 2016 campaign, just like the Bush 43 campaign in 2000.  Palin’s winning the presidency will make Jeb’s 2016 run impossible.  So basically, it is not so much a “layoff on Obama” as much as a “Stop Palin. Barbara Bush made this strategy quite plain.  I see Rove somewhere there in the shadows. This strategy does not include having a Republican nominee win against Obama.  This also explains why very few (if at all) establishment republicans have come to Sarah’s defense. 

  • FlDemFem

    Interestingly enough, the Patriot Act could have prevented the shooting. Under the Patriot Act it is a crime to make terroristic threats. The death threats that Loughner made that were reported to the police would qualify under the Patriot Act as a crime. If the sheriff were actually interested in protecting his fellow citizens, he would know that and would have taken steps to have Loughner dealt with by the FBI or whoever does the Patriot Act enforcement. But he wasn’t, so Loughner was free to go on with the shooting.

  • oowawa

    Any connection to Area 51?

  • oowawa

    Any connection to Area 51?

  • GORDO

    FlDemFem —
    The post that you ‘flagged’ contained two comments from Oa and one from me.  The post used Oa’s own words against Oa – to show the contradiction in Oa’s position on natural born citizenship.  I did not alter anything, that’s the reason screenshots and links were provided.  Oa was arguing with Oa, not me.  Did you even bother to read the comments and think about what Oa was saying?  I suppose none of that matters.
    ——
    I do agree with you about the school records.  The Occidental records could be very damaging for a number of reasons. 

  • Justine

    Park51?  Any connection to Platform 51, previously known as the YWCA?  [What's with the 51?]
    http://weaselzippers.us/2011/01/09/uk-pc-run-amok-ywca-drops-christian-from-name-becomes-platform-51/
    .

  • BIINKY

    Great article.  Thanks for pointing it out.

  • BIINKY

    I hope he’s successful in this mission.

  • margaret

    That woman has more cajones than any male politician, ever.

  • margaret

    This is so sick.

  • Breeze

    Jeb Bush, Karl Rove Court Latino
    Voters Republicans Have Failed to Engage


    Bloomberg,
    by Lisa Lerer   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011

    Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has a new title: Republican ambassador to Latino voters. Fluent in Spanish and married to a Mexican-born woman, Bush has spent much of his career wooing and winning Latino support for the Republican Party — for his own two successful gubernatorial campaigns and twice for his older brother’s winning presidential bids. Now, after four years of divisive immigration battles sparking protests among Latino communities, Bush is trying to do for his party what he did for himself and his family.

  • Breeze

    Reagan Son Claims Dad Had
    Alzheimer’s as President

    US News & World Report,
    by Paul Bedard   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011 

    2011 is a big year for Ronald Reagan fans, being the centennial of his February 6 birth in Tampico, Ill. But youngest son Ron Reagan is spoiling the good cheer with a new book that suggests the Gipper suffered from Alzheimer’s disease while in the White House, a claim dismissed by Reagan’s doctors and outside experts.

  • Breeze

    Brown questions Evergreen
    subsidies, promotes ‘autobiography

    Boston Herald,
    by Jay Fitzgerald   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011

    U.S. Sen. Scott Brown today questioned the millions in government subsidies to Evergreen Solar, saying it may have been a case of putting “all our eggs in one basket” when it comes to helping a company.

  • Breeze

    RI Gov. Chafee: Stop paying
    for vitriolic commentary

    Providence Journal (RI),
    by Felice Freyer   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011

    When talk radio hosts use harshly divisive language, “The advertisers should shut them down,” Governor Lincoln Chafee said this morning. Chafee said the solution to the vitriolic rhetoric — which some have linked to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords over the weekend — is for people to stop paying for it, including not buying books from people who use such language.

  • Breeze

    If Modesty is Key to Public Civility,
    Change Starts with the White House

    http://www.mrformansplanet.com,
    by Seth Forman   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011

    I find it troubling that David Brooks can identify the dearth of modesty as the culprit of our hyper-partisanship (see “Tree of Failure,” New York Times, Jan. 14, 2011) without once mentioning the oversized ego of our ourrent president, unique even in the rarified precincts of presidential self-esteem. I point out several instances of Obama’s staggering hubris in my forthcoming book on Obama and race, as does Jonathan Last in the Weekly Standard. But I’ll list only few here.

  • FlDemFem

    I flagged him for you, OA, I think the comment is gone now so others must have as well. Do stay, we will flag Gordo for you in future until he goes away.

  • Breeze

    The RNC Chairman Race: Steele
    Drops Out, Endorses Cino

     
    Slate,
    by David Weigel   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011 

    Michael Steele dropped out of the race to run the RNC after a series of closed door meetings with every candidate except, as far as I could tell, Reince Priebus. “It’s time for me to step aside, and give others the chance to lead,” said Steele. “Despite the noise — and Lord knows, there was a lot of noise — we won.” Steele released his supporters — 28 in the last ballot — and asked them to “stand with me in supporting Maria Cino.” “And now, said Steele, I exit stage right.”

  • kenoshamarge

    Nobel prizes mean nothing! Oblahblah has one and so does the Goracle. Big frakkin deal!

    Krugman, the Mr. Peanut of the New York Times, wasn’t commenting on “economics” when he was talking out of his ass and blaming everyone on the right for the shootings in Tucson so his “Nobel” prize is irrelevant.

  • Breeze

    Civility Now! Soros-Backed Group
    Invokes Tucson Shooting, Says
    Arizona Gov. Brewer Is Killing People

     
    Investor’s Business Daily,
    by Sean Higgins   

    Original Article

     1/14/2011 

    As if to prove that they have no sense of irony — or proportion, or even basic decency — the liberal Center for American Progress sent reporters this morning a lengthy e-mail that began by invoking the tragic shootings in Tucson, Ariz., then proceeded to claim that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and state Republicans were issuing a “death sentence” to poor Arizonans.

    Well, so much for a new tone of civility in our discourse.

  • Breeze

    Forget Mixed Seating. How About
    the President Just Mailing It In?

    Commentary Magazine,
    by Jonathan S. Tobin   

    Original Article

    1/14/2011 

    In the wake of President Obama’s call for more civility in the wake of the tragedy in Arizona, some in his party are seeking a symbolic effort to play down partisanship during one of the Capitol’s annual displays of partisanship: the State of the Union speech. Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado has called for mixed seating during the event.