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The Reinventions of Rahm and Barack * Monday Open Thread [Update]

UPDATE: We’ll have an open thread up for you hardy souls who actually watch Obama’s SOTU address and, more importantly, Paul Ryan’s GOP response. And I’ve heard that CNN (and Fox?) will carry Michelle Bachman’s Tea Party response. FYI, I am personally opposed since it could detract from Ryan’s official GOP response. If the GOP had selected some wimpy RINO, I could see it. But Ryan has solid conservative credentials and has done the extremely difficult work of crunching budget numbers and genuinely has important things to say. The spotlight should therefore be his alone. The Tea Party is not a party. It’s akin to MoveOn hosting its own response to Obama. It’s just not done.

ORIGINAL: Damn it all! Two f–kin’ judges have mucked up Rahm’s plans to reinvent himself as the mayor of Chicago (and I’m laying odds that Rahm exploded and said, “F–k those friggin’ bastards! Get this to the Supremes this f–kin’ minute!”) … Barack has big plans to reinvent himself, writes John Heilemann for New York Magazine, and must be pretty damn well pleased with the bump in his poll numbers … but Hot Air‘s Dave Weigel says that that Barack’s bounce is transitory …

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JUICY TIDBIT 01: Oh Rahm, say it ain’t so! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy (heh). But the language, Rahm! Anyway, here’s the scoop from New York magazine:

If anyone living within the greater Chicago area heard a single, prolonged expletive reverberating through the air this morning, it probably had something to do with this: An Illinois Appellate Court has kicked Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for mayor because, it decided in a 2–1 ruling, he wasn’t a resident of the city for one year prior to the election. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and a Cook County judge had previously found that Emanuel had maintained his Chicago residency even after moving to the nation’s capital for the past two years to serve as President Obama’s chief of staff. The new ruling does not put an end to Emanuel’s lifelong dream of running Chicago, however, as it will be appealed to the state Supreme Court. But it’s still a big setback, and a surprising twist in a race that Emanuel was almost sure to win.


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JUICY TIDBIT 02: Here’s what I heard on Morning Joe early this morning. Hey, not much shocks me, but this??? In the first two years of his presidency, the MJoe panel revealed, Barack Obama did not hold a SINGLE meeting with SIX of his cabinet members.

Hearing that shocking fact is why I went to New York magazine in the first place. (The news about Rahm was an additional goodie I spotted there.) The author of the magazine’s lead article, John Heilemann, was on Morning Joe to promote “The West Wing, Season II.”

Here’s Heilemann’s subtitle: “Almost overnight, Barack Obama overhauled his White House and rewrote much of the script. Now all he needs is a happy ending.

Get this next bit — yes, it’s an aside but I can’t resist sharing. Mika Three-Zs read that subtitle (to herself, not out loud!!!), and inferred that the magazine was making a sexual reference in order to make the article more irresistible to readers. Huh? Hey, I’m just sharing what she said. And then she made a point of refusing to read the subtitle out loud. The rest of the table didn’t know what to say. Neither do I. I do not get Mike Three-Zs and never will.

Now back to the article about Barack Obama’s reinvention. The article begins with a long story about how Barack labored late into the night to revise the speech he gave the next day at the Tucson memorial service. I’ll let you read this, and then I’m going to let off some steam:

Axelrod recalled the last time his boss had taken such personal ownership of a piece of oratory: his speech on race in March 2008. Obama had labored over that one, too, late into the night, and after reading it in the morning, his message guru e-mailed him back, “This is why you should be president.” The Tucson speech inspired in Axelrod a similar reaction.

Huh? The last time he took “such personal ownership” was his March 2008 speech on race? What about, oh, his inaugural address? His first State of the Union speech?

And not just in him [Axelrod]. From the left, right, and center, the verdict was nearly unanimous: Here was a speech that was truly presidential, and that therefore—despite being driven by no crass political motives—became part of a larger political story.

Since the midterm elections, Obama and his lieutenants have been grappling with the implications of the self-described “shellacking” inflicted by Republicans on the president and his party, and laboring to devise a recovery strategy for the next two years. One of their chief conclusions is that Obama must occupy a higher plane than he did in the last two, elevating himself above the posturing, petulance, and incessant bile-spewing that have come to bedevil Washington in this age of incessant acrimony and polarization.

The lame-duck session in December—with the tax-cut compromise with Republicans as its centerpiece—presented Obama with his first opportunity to gain some altitude. The Tucson shootings offered another. And Tuesday night’s State of the Union address will extend him yet another. …

This just fries me. Do none of these people, do none of the journalists who write about this man, ever get what this really says about Obama?

He doesn’t bother to hold a single meeting with SIX cabinet members but he pulls an all-nighter to rewrite a speech? And Axelrod et al. are blown away by his changes, praising his gifts for writing?

Well, sure. It is important to give a well-crafted speech. And it is vital for any politician to lend his own touch to a speech essentially written by his writing staff.

But why does it not occur to Heilemann and other journalists who’ve raved about Obama’s edits of the speech that the time that Obama spent could have — should have — been far better spent figuring out how in the hell to lower the unemployment rate, to fix our nation’s frighteningly outdated infrastructure, to trim the fat from the national budget, and on and on?

You and I get it. Obama is playing the role of the president. Which is why Heilemann’s title of his article — West Wing II — rings so true. Obama and the PR man Axelrod know that all that Obama is capable of is playing a role. After all, what else can Obama do? His entire adult background has been comprised mainly of building his image and writing books about himself. He has no experience in business, in leadership roles, in the day-in-and-day-out hard work of a full-time job.

He is just an actor. In the biggest role of his life. Sadly, for us, we don’t need an actor playing president. We need a REAL president who knows how to craft programs and legislation designed to right our ship of state.

That is why thoughtful people are looking with lonely eyes to the Republicans who do have the experience of leadership in business and government, and who work long hours at heading administrations that require hands-on skills, none of which Obama has.

That’s why the names Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton and many others keep getting mentioned so often. Because people who realize what the presidency requires know that it is people with these leaders’ experience and skills who are desperately needed, now more than ever.

Clinton, Daniels, Ryan, Christie and many others walk the walk. Would they stay up all night to rewrite a speech for a memorial service? I don’t know. But I do know that, for the past two years, they would have put in countless late nights on improving our nation’s economy and lowering the devastating unemployment rates. That’s because they know how to work. Work hard. And be smart about it.

Every president requires a learning curve, but these possible candidates will be able to take off running.

Imagine, for a moment, what the last two years would have been like had we had Hillary Clinton as our president? I won’t venture to describe it, but we all know that with her work ethic and her vast knowledge of issues — from health care to the military (yes, read Larry Johnson on Hillary’s knowledge of the military) — she would have shaped a mission for our country that would have had us well on our way to putting the mess that Bush left behind us.

If you’re interested, do read all of Heilemann’s article at nymag.com. It’s eight pages, and I had to scan parts of it, but it’s well-written and compelling material.

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JUICY TIDBIT #03: Now for some realistic viewpoints from Hot Air’s “Obama’s bounce is basically meaningless“:

Should we be surprised by this? No. This is what happens when Americans punish a charismatic liberal president and he acts suitably chastened. Bill Clinton’s Democrats were devastated in 1994, and he had a much less productive lame-duck session with which to win back liberal support. Yet a CNN/Time poll released on Jan. 8, 1995 gave Clinton a sizable bounce, from 41 percent job approval to 47 percent; disapproval fell from 49 percent to 44 percent…

It gets worse. There’s not much coordination yet between Obama’s own approval numbers and the performance of Democratic candidates. Obama had positive approval numbers in November 2009, when Democrats lost the governors’ mansions in Virginia and New Jersey. He had positive approval numbers in January 2010, when Scott Brown blazed past the handshake-phobic Martha Coakley. … He had mildly positive approval numbers in the spring of 2010, after health care reform passed, and slipped into the 40s by the midterms, as the economy didn’t recover.

We’re not talking about 2012 yet, though. The unmistakable, grand, break-out-the-Cristal news in all of these polls is that Obama comfortably leads every potential Republican candidate for his job. He only leads them because for the third or fourth time, Americans want to think the economy’s about to turn a corner. …

“Americans want to think …” Well, we shall see just how much wishful thinking will get Americans by the end of this year.

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YOUR turn!

  • Breeze

    Financial Crisis Was ‘Avoidable,’ Inquiry Concludes
     
    New York Times,
    by Sewell Chan   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011

    The 2008 financial crisis was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a Congressional inquiry. “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done,” the panel wrote in the report’s conclusions…

  • My Site (click to edit)

    The Assassination Attempt
    You Have Not Heard Of

     
    Human Events,
    by Erick Erickson   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011

    The American Thinker brings us word of an attempted assassination you probably have never heard of. It happened in September of 2010 in Missouri. A 22 year old named Casey Brezik, wearing a bullet proof vest, charged toward Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon with a knife and attempted to slash his throat. In light of the media’s race to talk about the right’s climate of hateful rhetoric, you have probably guessed by now that Casey Brezik was an anti-Christian, anti-capitalist leftist who participated in a number of leftwing protests.

  • Breeze

    Rep. Loretta Sanchez sparks outrage
    from fellow Democrats with proposal to
    boot Giffords from Armed Services Committee

     
    Daily Caller,
    by Chris Moody &
    Jonathan Strong   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011

    Behind closed doors, California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez has proposed removing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) until she recovers from injuries sustained after being shot in the head on Jan. 8 in Tucson, The Daily Caller has learned.

    The proposal sparked an outrage, according to those in the room — including from those in Sanchez’s own party…..

  • Breeze

    Advocate of Violence
     
    Wall Street Journal,
    by James Taranto   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011 

    In the olden days, Frances Fox Piven was a cutting-edge social theorist of the hard left.  In a 1977 book, she and her husband, Richard Cloward, argued “that the poor and unemployed are so isolated from the levers of power in America that their greatest potential impact is to withhold ‘quiescence in civil life: they can riot,’ ” as Stanley Kurtz reports in National Review Online:

    (Snip) But the Tea Party is nonviolent, and the second paragraph makes clear that is not what Piven has in mind.  In fact, Piven has nothing but scorn for the Tea Party…..

  • Breeze

    House Republicans send last-minute
    challenge to president
    hours before State
    of the Union

    Daily Caller,
    by Chris Moody   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011

    Just hours before President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday, the House passed a resolution to roll back spending to 2008 (read: Pre-Obama) levels, setting a bar that Washington will take pains to reach and sending a sharp message to the visiting president. The proposal passed 256-165 with bipartisan support — 17 Democrats voted to roll back the spending levels.

  • Breeze

    What Obama Will Not
    Say at the SOTU

     
    American Thinker,
    by John Fricke   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011 

    The annual take-a-stab guessing game of what any president will say at the State of the Union address is now on. If I might, I would like to play the other side of that card. Here is what President Obama will not say in his SOTU speech. — That he has heard the American people clearly. That he understands the concerns about government-run health care. That he knows now that liberals forcing a government takeover of the health care system threatens serious economic problems and worse threatens individual liberties. (list continues)

  • Breeze

    Dem Senator: Obama’s Attack on
    Supreme Court at Last Year’s
    SOTU May Not Have Been ‘Appropriate’

     
    Cybercast News Service,
    by Dan Joseph   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011

    Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said Tuesday that President Obama must set an appropriate tone at this evening’s State of the Union address and that it may not have been appropriate for Obama to attack the Supreme Court, whose members were sitting in front of him, in last year’s State of the Union Addresss.

  • Breeze

    Fiat: 500 not meant
    to ‘conquer’ America

     
    Detroit News,
    by Alisa Priddle   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011

    Chrysler Group LLC originally envisioned the Fiat 500 as a single “buzz” vehicle to draw traffic to Chrysler dealerships. But as Chrysler and partner Fiat SpA researched its potential, the decision was made to relaunch the full Fiat brand in the United States, and Laura Soave was hired to oversee the initiative. It still “doesn’t need to be everything to everybody,” said Soave, head of Fiat North America, as her team prepares to open the first dealership in Los Angeles Monday and deliver the first batch of special edition Prima Edizione Fiat 500s next month.

  • getfitnow

    Good article!

  • Breeze

    Stepford Wives Congress at the SOTU

    The Hill,
    by Cheri Jacobus   

    Original Article

    1/25/2011

    I’m going to be very politically incorrect, yet honest. (I may be one of few in Washington doing so these days.) I don’t like this whole State of the Union “prom date” silliness. While it would be lovely if everyone, including our elected officials, behave like gentlemen and gentleladies, a “unified” government where everyone gets along and agrees with one another should be a frightening thought for us all.

  • getfitnow

    Was a woman the or one of the attackers?

  • getfitnow

    I love the headline.

  • susiepuma

    PS – I won’t be watching this shitty speech either – so far I have managed to miss all 900+ ‘speeches’ the fraud has bloviated about since he was selected as President………………

  • susiepuma

    The only thing I remember is from last year – when Joe Wilson shouted “you lie” – truer words were never spoken………………….

  • Breeze

    -

    Paul Ryan, a man with a plan

    By K.E. Campbell
    American Thinker

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chair of the House Budget Committee, will give the Republican response to the State of the Union address tonight.  The Congressman’s colleagues in both parties, according to The Hill, describe him as “knowledgeable, charismatic, friendly and good-looking.” Depending on how he does tonight, Ryan’s political stock could set new highs.Rep. Ryan, currently serving his seventh term, has put forth a detailed plan to tackle the federal deficit and to salvage Social Security and Medicare, a proposal that liberals are doing their best to discredit via a…..

    (Read Full Article)

  • Breeze

    -

    MUST READ:

    The juvenile president

    By Ed Lasky
    American Thinker

    The notion that the White House team has been bereft of ideas on the jobs front is the focus of  a new, forthcoming Sunday’s New York Times Magazine article by reporter Peter Baker.  Baker takes a journey down the White House Rabbit Hole and writes a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into Obama and his hapless economic team.In an advance copy obtained by the Tatler, Baker writes that three days before Christmas, Obama sits down with his economic team to pen ideas for his State of the Union speech.  Baker writes, “[H]e was looking for bold ways to bring down…..

    (Read Full Article)

  • Breeze

    Obama’s polling ‘surge’

    By Yossi Gestetner
    American Thinker

     Many news sites (such as this, this and this) are reporting today with great fanfare a new CNN Poll that 43% think things in the United States are going well, versus 56% who say things are bad. The ‘great’ news is that the gap between both numbers narrowed rapidly from just a month ago, and it is the best number since April 2007.If we put this in the correct perspective, it means that ever since the Democrats took control of Capital Hill four years ago, things started going downhill in the eyes of the American people. In fact, in early January 2007, the numbers were practically still…..

    (Read Full Article)

  • Breeze

    Sarah Palin and the Legacy of Republican ‘Idiocy’

    By Jack Cashill
    American Thinker
    Sarah Palin may be the reigning Republican “idiot,” but she shares in a proud legacy that dates back to at least Dwight David Eisenhower, if not earlier.The “idiot” talk began as soon as Palin was named McCain’s running mate.  As I drove to the 2008 Republican Convention in St.Paul — my first — the radio blared all Palin all the time and just about all negative.  The talking heads were busy telling Republicans how they ought to think and what they ought to do — namely, dump Sarah Palin.  What with that Marge Gunderson accent and University of Idaho…

    (Read Full Article)

  • beyond(required) words

    Breeze, you do a wonderful job of keeping everyone here updated, thankyou. I was wondering if perhaps the screen name “Tempest” might be more fitting? Haha..

  • Breeze

    -
    Having Fun with the State of the Union

    Harold Witkov
    American Thinker

    It matters not what President Obama will say in his speech tonight. Despite the exit of some old staffers and the entrance of some new ones, he is not changing.

    More

  • Breeze

    -  
     
    Moscow fingers ‘person of Arab appearance’ in terrorist attack at airport  
     
     
    January 25, 2011  
    American Thinker   
     
    No political correctness from Russia.  
       
     More

  • Breeze

    -

    Moscow fingers ‘person of Arab appearance’ in terrorist attack at airport

    January 25, 2011
    American Thinker

    No political correctness from Russia.
     

    More

  • Breeze

    -

    State of the Obama ‘Remaking America’ Revolution  
     
    By Kyle-Anne Shiver  
    American Thinker  
     
    While we citizens are dutifully perched upon pins and needles, awaiting the president’s next pep rally — the SOTU — we might as well use this time to consider the state of the Obama “Remaking America” revolution.   Calling to mind Obama’s campaign pledge to fundamentally “transform” the United States of America, good citizens ought never forget that this remaking of America was and still is the goal of the Obama presidency.  By hook and by crook …..
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/state_of_the_obama_remaking_am.html

  • Breeze
  • Breeze

    State of the Obama ‘Remaking America’ Revolution

    By Kyle-Anne Shiver
    American Thinker

    While we citizens are dutifully perched upon pins and needles, awaiting the president’s next pep rally — the SOTU — we might as well use this time to consider the state of the Obama “Remaking America” revolution.   Calling to mind Obama’s campaign pledge to fundamentally “transform” the United States of America, good citizens ought never forget that this remaking of America was and still is the goal of the Obama presidency.  By hook and by crook

  • Breeze

    Moscow fingers ‘person of Arab appearance’ in terrorist attack at airport

    By Ethel C. Fenig
    American Thinker

    Not too concerned about political correctness, profiling or whether their speech is vitriolic or not, the Russians bluntly describe the probable terrorist terrorist bomber of Moscow’s airport.  Russian investigators on Monday found a head of “Arab appearance” that is presumed to have belonged to the suicide bomber responsible for setting off the blast, Interfax said.  According to preliminary information, the bomber was a resident of the overwhelmingly Muslim Northern Caucasus region, Interfax said.