September 9, 2008

Obama on Olbermann was much worse than I'd originally thought.

Last night, with the help of TiVo, I watched Barack Obama as he simultaneously appeared on O'Reilly and Olbermann's shows. I thought he was terrific on O'Reilly, that he benefited from having the blowhard pushing back at him, and pretty useless on Olbermann, where, I thought, Olbermann was doing his, thing railing about McCain's "lies" and leaving Obama with nothing to do but figure out how enthusiastically to agree with him. I said:
Olbermann was insipid, feeding Obama overstated arguments, and leaving Obama struggling to seem appropriately well-modulated and ending up insipidly nodding and smiling. Olbermann showed a McCain/Palin ad -- this one -- and exploded about all the "lies" and insisted that Obama agree that these were lies. Ugh.... Obama seemed trapped.
Here's what I was looking at:

[Embedded video removed. You can see it here.]

Now, I'm seeing this news story from yesterday, time-stamped before the Olbermann show:
Barack Obama ripped into John McCain and Sarah Palin as never before Monday, accusing his Republican White House foes of "shameless" dishonesty with their claim to be "mavericks" ready to shake up Washington.

McCain and Palin were "lying about their records," the Obama campaign said after the Republican running mates advertised themselves in a television spot as the "original mavericks" who would stand up for hard-pressed voters.
And here's that new Obama ad.



So it wasn't that Obama got stuck in the insipid world of Keith Olbermann. Olbermann was feeding Obama Obama's own campaign material.

***

Here's the O'Reilly interview, the one I think is much better. (Don't miss the low blow: "I don't care if I live in a hut." Obama acts like he doesn't hear it or doesn't get it.)

***

You know, yesterday, Josh Marshall lashed out at Sarah Palin for planning to do multiple interviews with ABC's Charlie Gibson. Marshall pronounced it "unwatchable" in advance. He said that Gibson had "gelded" himself by agreeing to the multiple interviews format.

With that in mind, I wanted to know if Marshall had something to say about the way Olbermann fed Obama his own message of the day. Over on Marshall's blog, here's the first thing I see:
We've now had a week of blaring headlines and one-liners about Sarah Palin as the mavericky, pork-busting reformer from Alaska. But we seem to be witnessing the first stirrings of a backlash and a dawning realization that the 'Sarah Palin' we've heard so much about over the last few days is a fraud of truly comical dimensions.

The McCain camp has made her signature issue shutting down the Bridge to Nowhere. But as The New Republic put it today that's just "a naked lie." And pretty much the same thing has been written today in Newsweek, the Washington Post, the AP, the Wall Street Journal. Yesterday even Fox's Chris Wallace called out Rick Davis on it....

Think about that. On the stump, not a single word that comes out of her mouth -- or not a single word that the McCain folks put in her mouth -- is anything but a lie. I know that sounds like hyperbole. But just go down the list. None of them bear out.
So, let's see. You're saying it's a good thing when all these major media repeat the Obama campaign's message of the day? That's journalism as it should be, bearing out the truth. But when Charlie Gibson sets up multiple interviews, that's journalism gone to hell.

Josh, seriously. Aren't you just a teensy bit embarrassed?

101 comments:

EnigmatiCore said...

Let us say we have a guy. Call him Tony. Tony is a renown vegetarian.

Tony sets up a side business, a restaurant, and manages it to some degree of market penetration. Tony has named his restaurant "Red Meat." This is not an ironic name, as every day Tony serves up a tremendous menu of red meat for his patrons to enjoy.

Is Tony really a vegetarian? I suppose so, although when one is focusing in on what he serves in his restaurant, that label would tend to obfuscate rather than clarify. When talking about that which is served at his restaurant, the only use of the term vegetarian as a descriptor of Tony should be itself served with a generous portion of irony.

So it should be with the "journalist" label for "Talking Points Memo" head Josh Marshall.

Kristo Miettinen said...

Thanks for showing the video of Obama on Olbermann! Barack missed a huge opportunity, in my eyes. There's this point where he chastizes Palin for being for the bridge before she is portrayed as being against it, which ducks the truth, that she did in the end kill the bridge.

Instead Obama could have scored a blow against Palin by Kerrifying her, syaing (correctly) that she was for the bridge before she was against it.

It would have been a three-fer: contradicting a currently circulating falsehood (that Palin didn't kill the bridge at all), scoring an effective blow with the truth (Pailn flip-flopped), and standing up publicly to Olbermann.

Kristo Miettinen

Issob Morocco said...

"Ah,um, we need to, ah, ah, work on ah, ah, how to ah, ah, ah, talk like an adult, ah, um, not like ah, ah, say a teenager."

Wow, incredibly poor speaking skills, and the method will start to sink him in people's minds. When asked a softball question on McCranky, he still needs to search, for just the right, ah, ah, response. I tell you from experience, this will turn off listerners, short of the true believers, as not only does it break the flow, but what he says is so vague or lacking in specificity, that at the end, you have to ask "What did he say".

Speech Pathology rules!

Leonidas said...

I find it strange that they coose to attack Palin on the Bridge to Nowhere considering the fact that both Obama and Biden voted for it.

If they bring this up in the debates I hope McCain and Palin bring this fact up and crucify them.

http://cdobs.com/archive/our-columns/obama-and-biden-voted-for-bridge-to-nowhere,1628/

--snip--

However, Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama voted for funding the Bridge, even when given a second chance by Sen. Tom Coburn, who proposed shifting earmark funds to Katrina relief.

Sen. McCain did not vote on the Coburn Amendment, though he is on record as opposing the Ketchikan bridge earmark.

Link to votes record below.

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/1/votes/262/

kent said...

Josh, seriously. Aren't you just a teensy bit embarrassed?

Josh Marshall is to journalism (or even simple, baseline intellectual honesty) what Gary Glitter is to proper babysitting etiquette.

Simon said...

"Josh, seriously. Aren't you just a teensy bit embarrassed?"

Acute Palinitus causes the shame gland to shut down.

Original Mike said...

Josh, seriously. Aren't you just a teensy bit embarrassed?

Why would he start now?

Brent said...

Boy, the Democrats are really being scared s***less! Add this to the panic that the money isn't coming in nearly as much as they projected, and there is a palpable panic.

And now, they can't even get the definition of "lying" correct!

New York Times, September 22, 2007

Gov. Sarah Palin ordered state transportation officials to abandon the ''bridge to nowhere'' project that became a nationwide symbol of federal pork-barrel spending. The $398 million bridge would have connected Ketchikan, on one island in southeastern Alaska, to its airport on another nearby island. ''Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport,'' Ms. Palin, a Republican, said in a news release, ''but the $398 million bridge is not the answer.'' She directed the State Transportation Department to find the most ''fiscally responsible'' alternative for access to the airport. Ketchikan is Alaska's entry port for northbound cruise ships that bring more than one million visitors yearly. Flights into Gravina Island require a 15-minute ferry ride to reach the more densely populated Revillagigedo Island and Ketchikan.




Enigmaticore is spot on!

As Kristo mentioned above, one can flip-flop on a position and not lie. And the charge of flip-flopping was enough to stall Kerry in most voters minds. Throwing a grenade at Palin when only a bullet would be more effetive will give even more sympathy to Palin.

But that's obviously a point of "nuance" that the left can't get.

I used to have respect for Josh Marshall as someone but partisan but reasonable. But now, he's "lying" about Lying!

Is there no point of self-dignity that the Democrats aren't willing to sacrifice?

Trevor Jackson said...

"You're saying it's a good thing when all these major media repeat the Obama campaign's message of the day?"

I think he's saying it's a good thing when the media tell the truth. Are you saying that they're not reporting the truth? So Palin didn't campaign on a promise to build the bridge with federal money? And didn't reverse her position after the federal money could no longer be spent on it? Or does it not count because Olbermann reports it?

J said...

"I find it strange that they coose to attack Palin on the Bridge to Nowhere considering the fact that both Obama and Biden voted for it"

I suspect that's why the campaign is making it a "signature issue". Also, the NYT, USA Today, and the Democratic Party itself have apparently credited her for killing it - http://www.pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/archives2/024038.php .

Patm said...

Marshall has been wrapping himself up in double standards for years. It must feel cosy and safe for him.

Stephanopolous seemed to be feeding Obama his lines re abortion as well, last Sunday.

Brent said...

Democrats need to get their stories straight:

The Alaskan Democratic Party put up this anti-Ted Stevens website:

Retire Ted, which says:

Gov. Palin recently cancelled the Gravina Island Bridge near Ketchikan that would have connected the Alaska mainland with Gravina Island (population: 50).

Perhaps the Democratic Party is not aware of the state of Alaska and it's Alaska Democratic Party.

Brent said...

I think he's saying it's a good thing when the media tell the truth. Are you saying that they're not reporting the truth? So Palin didn't campaign on a promise to build the bridge with federal money? And didn't reverse her position after the federal money could no longer be spent on it? Or does it not count because Olbermann reports it?

Yes. That's what I'm saying. Because, as I just illustrated twice, they're accusing someone of "lying" while only presenting "partial" facts of the story.

No "lie" has been proved. A "flip-flop" has certainly taken place. But a flip-flop is not by itself lying. And lying is a very serious charge that will backfire on the Democrats, as the American public sees the difference.

Keep the carpet bombing up, Democrats! Insure a Republican victory.

Simon said...

Trevor Jackson said...
"'You're saying it's a good thing when all these major media repeat the Obama campaign's message of the day?' I think he's saying it's a good thing when the media tell the truth."

*rolls eyes* Of course, they aren't Obama's message of the day. They're the truth, and Obama just happens to be pressing that particular truth today. One thinks, of course, of Clive Crooks' observation yesterday: "[W]hereas the conservative media know they are conservative, much of the liberal media believe themselves to be neutral. ¶ Their constant support for Democratic views has nothing to do with bias, in their minds, but reflects the fact that Democrats just happen to be right about everything." Does one have to surrender one's self-awareness to get that liberal membership card?

# 56 said...

Obama needs to stick to script and use the teleprompter whenever possible. He would get slaughtered in townhall style meetups with McCain. His skills, speaking extemporaneously, are Bush-like. And his "lies" attack will boomerang as it is both bush league and demonstrably false. The ear marks spat will end much like McCain's houses issue, with Obama hoisted on his petard re Rezko.

Simon said...

Brent, what's that you say? The New York Times admits that "Palin ordered state transportation officials to abandon the 'bridge to nowhere' project that became a nationwide symbol of federal pork-barrel spending"? Well, gee, they must just be shilling for the McCain campaign. Everyone knows that Palin's lying when she says that she "told the Congress 'thanks, but no thanks,' for that Bridge to Nowhere." Lie lie lie lie lie. We all know that the Times is in the tank for McCain - he called it his constituency!

Wow, it really is easier to comment from the left - shut off brain and keep typing.

Trevor Jackson said...

"They're the truth, and Obama just happens to be pressing that particular truth today."

In response to the fact that McCain and Palin continue to lie about the bridge. Why shouldn't the press report on something that's so easily verified?

I don't think the election should be about the bridge, but Palin and McCain do in their efforts to create a narrative for Palin as a reformer. Look, she's got other achievements she can be proud of that show her to be someone who doesn't toe the party line. Why would they keep using the bridge then?

It's not like Obama's camp doesn't have other things to talk about. This just happens to be something that the press can report easily. Taxes and health care plans? Hard. Camp X says Camp Y is lying? Easy.

Trevor Jackson said...

Palin "cancelled" the bridge.

If a car smacks a squirrel in the street and it's gasping for breath, and I come along and put it out of its misery, who killed it?

Me, or the car?

jdeeripper said...

Josh, seriously. Aren't you just a teensy bit embarrassed?

I sense an Althouseian dig here as in - Josh, seriously. Aren't you embarrassed by your teesy bit? Isn't that the real reason that the mere mention of Sarah Palin's name can cause you to expose your deepest male insecurities? Strong, beautiful women have that effect on you, right Josh?

I think it's really all about eyewear envy. Josh prides himself on that naughty librarian look.

And yet it just does seem to work as well for him as it does for Sarah .

Pogo said...

"Me, or the car?"

I believe it was Mr. Mustard in the bedroom with the candlestick.

Gotta hand it to you, Trevor, that was the worst metaphor ever!

jdeeripper said...

And yet it just does NOT seem to work as well for him as it does for Sarah.

I wish they had an edit function on this thing.

Brent said...

trevor,

I don't know you and therefore cannot make any realistic judgment about you except from raeding what you have written.

And from what you have written, I can say with certainty that you are a liar.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And didn't reverse her position after the federal money could no longer be spent on it?

Not exactly. Congress removed the earmark directing that the funds be used specifically for the bridge and gave Alaska the funds anyway. Palin could have used the funds for the bridge (although they were insufficient) but instead directed them to other infrastructure projects.

So in essence, Federal money could have been spent on the bridge, she just opted not to do so.

Considering that Obama was for public financing before he was against it when it became advantageous for him, he'd be better off leaving the flip-flop meme alone.

Brent said...

. . . or else you are truly confused as to the meaning of "lie".

Which then means that you are willfully ignorant.

Trevor Jackson said...

Thanks, Pogo! I was going to go with a possum, but I'd probably just let one of those slowly suffer.

Brent, calling me ignorant doesn't change the facts in this case. It's just a dodge.

Simon said...

Trevor Jackson said...
"In response to the fact that McCain and Palin continue to lie about the bridge."

They haven't lied about it, Trevor! You guys seem to have developed this weird mental block - you've got your talking point and you're going to repeat it no matter what. *puts fingers in ears* "Palin lied about the bridge! Palin lied about the bridge! Palin lied about the bridge! Palin lied about the bridge! Palin lied about the bridge! Palin lied about the bridge!" Maybe if you repeat it often enough it'll get "truer"!

Trevor Jackson said...

And just saying "no, it's not a lie" doesn't make what she and McCain have been saying true.

She wanted the bridge, Congress said "here's the money, but no bridge" and she said, "OK, no bridge. Thanks for the money."

Where in there is she saying "thanks, but no thanks"?

Simon said...

It dawns on me that the left's desire for Palin to do interviews - really the desire for her to be shivved by an MSM hit job - is bound up in this idea that their talking points are true. They (Josh Marshall, Trevor Jackson, et al) think, one fancies, that Palin's going to go on Meet the Press, they're going to say "gotcha" about the bridge or troopergate or what have you, and they think she's got nothing. And I for one will love it when she turns around and destroys these vapid little talking points, and hands the lucky recipient their head on live TV.

John Thacker said...

She wanted the bridge, Congress said "here's the money, but no bridge" and she said, "OK, no bridge. Thanks for the money."

I'd actually say that she initially supported the bridge until it became a campaign issue and she was a smart enough politician to realize which way the political winds were blowing and noisily step out in front of the existing parade. Which makes her a politician, and not as good as those like Sen. McCain who opposed it from the start.

But don't forget that Sens. Obama and Biden said, "Please build the bridge," even voting against several amendments that specifically targeted only the bridge and would shift the money to Katrina aid. So I don't see how Sen. Obama can easily make this attack without opening himself up for criticism.

Trevor Jackson said...

Well, then what's stopping her, Simon? She should have done that on Sunday! She could call into a morning show and start lopping off heads right now!

John Thacker said...

In an analogous way, I'm sure that those who opposed the Iraq war are happier with Sen. Obama, who opposed it (as a state Senator and candidate who didn't have to vote on it) from the start, than with Sen. Biden who voted for it initially. But surely they're happier with Sen. Biden than with those who still support the war?

Trevor Jackson said...

"So I don't see how Sen. Obama can easily make this attack without opening himself up for criticism."

Because Obama hasn't lied about it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

She wanted the bridge, Congress said "here's the money, but no bridge" and she said, "OK, no bridge. Thanks for the money."

Again, not accurate. Congress said here's the money, you don't have to use it on the bridge. Palin could have gone through and put the Federal money toward the bridge but didn't.

f said...

sorry for the all caps but FOR GOD'S SAKE IT'S NOT A LIE!!!! SHE WAS GOVERNOR, AND SHE CANCELLED THE GRAVINAS BRIDGE. SHE CANCELLED IT. SHE CANCELLED IT. SHE F-CKING CANCELLED IT. SHE SAID THANKS, BUT NO THANKS WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR THAT THE THING WAS UNTENABLE. I DON'T EVEN CALL THAT A FLIP-FLOP, BUT JUST USING COMMON SENSE.
/rant

sorry, but this horseshit just makes my blood boil. I hope at her next speech she hands out copies of her memo, or rule, or order, that demonstrates she stopped funding. I don't know how these people think that factually verifiable items can be construed as lies, and it not hurt them.

Peter V. Bella said...

McCain and Palin were "lying about their records…

If true, at least they have records to lie about. What does the community organizer have?

Think about that. On the stump, not a single word that comes out of her mouth -- or not a single word that the McCain folks put in her mouth -- is anything but a lie. I know that sounds like hyperbole. But just go down the list. None of them bear out.

There is not a list long enough to contain the lies of Clinton, Obama, and Biden.
It would be something like this.

Jim Hu said...

Way upthread, kristo miettinen :
Barack missed a huge opportunity, in my eyes.
Didn't watch the clip, but I suspect that the real opportunity missed was to attack Olbermann.

kent said...

SHE CANCELLED IT. SHE CANCELLED IT. SHE F-CKING CANCELLED IT.

Bald, unblinkable truth.

Peter V. Bella said...

kent said...
SHE CANCELLED IT. SHE CANCELLED IT. SHE F-CKING CANCELLED IT.



Yeah, but Biden and Obama voted for it. That is why it is an issue. How dare she, nothing more than the governor of the state, cancel a project that the wise men, in the senate deemed appropriate.

She pissed them off by flying in the face of their wisom and by using the money for appropriate projects.

EnigmatiCore said...

I believe it was Mr. Mustard in the bedroom with the candlestick.

Mean Mr. Mustard.

Wasn't he a Colonel once?

Kristo Miettinen said...

Jim Hu calls attention to the third item of my three-fer, and he's right. The biggest opportunity was to do what everyone knows needs doing: give Olbermann a little corrective azimuth adjustment.

Obama is being hurt by the transparency of the media's bias. He would be better served by more carefully concealed bias. He should take every opportunity to publicly tell the MSM to zip up their collective fly.

Roger J. said...

I dont see where attacking palin for lying about the bridge is the smartest thing in the world, given Obamas penchant for earmarks--over a billion in Illinois including one for his wifes hospital.

But even more, Obama's campaign strategy seems wierd. I dont think C4s bete noire, Axlerod, is very good at running a national campaign. They wrapped up the nomination, in large part because Clinton's campaign was more inept. And then they tried the "presidential image" thing complete with seal and trip overseas--Now that have gone nuclear on a very impressive newcomer, who is a woman with real accomplishments (which I am prepared to name if someone wishes to challenge and counter with Obama's). And Obama is now reduced to campaigning against the VP nominee of all people.

I think the election is still Obama's to lose, but I was a lot more certain about that before McCain picked Palin.

SteveR said...

Not to be confused with Colonel Lingus.

Trevor Jackson said...

"$1 billion in earmark spending"?

Now who's parroting campaign talking points?

"In fact, the Illinois senator requested $311 million last year, according to the Associated Press, and none this year. In comparison, Gov. Palin has requested $750 million in her two years as governor -- which the AP says is the largest per-capita request in the nation."

That liberal WSJ

William said...

Arthur Schlesinger wrote a two volume appreciation of Andrew Jackson without mentioning the Trial of Tears, Jackson's genocidal policies against the Cherokees. I suppose nothing he wrote about Jackson was a lie, but what he wrote was not The Truth. I get the same impression when I read the media's coverage of Obama. Nothing they say about him is false but if they even mention his inconsistencies and failures it is only to excuse them. And just the opposite with Palin. They have dispatched whole troops of reporters to discover every little thing about her that deviates from the norm. She apparently believes in God and thinks that we are closer to God's plan than Al Qaeda. Some in the MSM think that this is a violation of church state boundaries....I suppose we all edit facts to suit our preferences, but a professional is supposed to suppress those preferences. A cop is not supposed to racially profile black drivers. A journalist is not supposed to be this overtly malign towards a Republican candidate....The coverage of Palin makes the press look very, very bad.

chickenlittle said...

Has anybody actually seen the bridge? Where's that confounded bridge!

SteveR said...

If being governor of Alaska is inconsequential as for her fitness to be VP, then what she did or did not do in that insignificant role should not matter. She's unqualified, nuff said. Right?

Simon said...

William said...
"Arthur Schlesinger wrote a two volume appreciation of Andrew Jackson without mentioning the Trial of Tears"

You mean the Trail of Tears. Trial of Tears is a song by Dream Theater (and one of their better efforts, too).

f said...

SteveR said...
If being governor of Alaska is inconsequential as for her fitness to be VP, then what she did or did not do in that insignificant role should not matter. She's unqualified, nuff said. Right?


Nope, not "nuff" said, so here I go: If being a one-term absentee senator from Illinois is inconsequential as for his fitness to be the POTUS, then what he did or did not do in that insignificant role should not matter. He's unqualified, nuff said. RIGHT?

Peter V. Bella said...

f,

You left out community organizer. It's on his presidential resume.

paul a'barge said...

Josh, seriously. Aren't you just a teensy bit embarrassed?

Nope.

One would have to have a shred of self awareness to be even just a teensy bit embarrased.

Josh was behind the door diddling himself when they were handing out self awareness.

veni vidi vici said...

listening to the obama olbermann appearance, i'm struck by something. not that i'm here to propagate the doper rumor which i believe is a load of crap, but damned if obama doesn't consistently sound like he's spent the previous several nights staying up late doing bong hits! his searching for words to say seriously banal things is horribly inept, and reeks of being a guy that can't put words together because his mind is jumbled.

where's that "erudite intellectualism" we've been hearing about all these years?

this should be embarrassing for democrats, regardless of how many of them here will respond by citing bush's syntactic deficiencies. (those are well-reported as being embarrassing to republicans, so citing them is irrelevant)

EnigmatiCore said...

Where's that confounded bridge!

I wanna tell you bout my good thing
I ain't disclosing no names but--
He sure is a good friend and!
I ain't gonna tell you where he comes from, no!
If I tell you you wont come again! Hey!
I ain't gonna tell you nothin but I do will, but I know, yeah!

Sheik Yur Bouty said...

trevor,

You do understand time don't you?

Obama's $1 billion was in his not quite 2 years in office. Trying to pass of "$311 million last year" as equivalent to "$750 million in her two years as governor" is, by YOUR standards a lie.

That makes you a LIAR! Now we know we can't believe anything you say.

Yes, that was easy.

SteveR said...

f: Sorry for my sarcasm, you made my point.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Sorry, I still can't get past the intro to the commercial:

"Biden -- for the change we need"

Seriously? Joe Biden is the change we need?

God help us if Biden is the change we've been waiting for.

Trevor Jackson said...

Sheik, you do understand what it means to quote a source, don't you?

But let's add in 2005 and 2006 to the 2007 numbers: about $750 million requested in solo earmarks. link Of which Illinois received about $220M.

Here's the rub: Obama's not basing his campaign on being against earmarks. McCain is, and picked a woman who got lots of pork for her town as mayor. You can say she's seen the light now, but that doesn't change her record. Lying about it, only makes it worse.

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crimso said...

'But as The New Republic put it today that's just "a naked lie."'

One would think that TNR would tread very lightly when accusing people of lying. Their track record in spotting lies told by their own people is rather suspect.

Peter V. Bella said...

All this talk about earmarks just shows how dumb most of you people are. If you were really serious you, the people, the voters, would demand an end to earmarks. If the elected officials, your servants did not do it, they get voted out of office. But, all you do is complain. You deserve the government you get. You better pray Obama does not get in and bring the Chicago contingent with him. you will be praying in soup lines.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Here's the rub: Obama's not basing his campaign on being against earmarks. McCain is, and picked a woman who got lots of pork for her town as mayor. You can say she's seen the light now, but that doesn't change her record. Lying about it, only makes it worse.

Here's the rub: Obama is basing his campaign on Hope and Change and picked as his VP, a 35 year establishment Senator with little to demonstrate he fits in with that meme.

Also considering a lot of his hope and change is predicated on policies which have failed miserably in the past, I'm at a loss to see what the draw to him is beyond the ability to give a good speech.

Case in point, Obama said if the economy was still wavering, he would not implement his tax increases. Why not?

kent said...

Here's the rub: Obama's not basing his campaign on being against earmarks.

"Change." "Hope."

*giggle*

Trevor Jackson said...

All this talk against earmarks show how easily confused you are over how Congress works. There's earmarks like the ones secretly funneled to Jack Abramoff and friends in return for golfing trips and there's earmarks that go to fund after-school programs or rebuild bridges or the Iraq Study Group.

This Congress, this Democratic Congress, has overhauled the earmark process and required a level of transparency the Republicans never saw fit to institute. Lumping frivolous or lobbyist-driven, bribe-laden earmarks with the ones that make real differences in communities just reveals your own ignorance.

Hoosier Daddy said...

One thing about the whole earmark-pork issue. Every state gets Federal monies and every state's reps lobby hard for it. Some of that pork is good for the state and does worthwhile things (building schools, infrastructre improvement etc) Some of it is completely useless (bridge to nowhere, interstate by-pass that no one uses, state studies on spores and fungus) which is what gets the bad rap.

I'd be curious to see what the pork was that Palin got for Wasilia was used for. I'm certain if it was for building shelters for homeless polar bear cubs and battered baby seals the libtards on here would stfu pdq.

Trooper York said...

(Opening narration]
Narrator: On August 13, Barack Obama was asked to remove himself from his place of residence; that request came from his wife. She sent him out to run for President. She told not to come back if he didn’t win. Deep down, he knew she was right, but he also knew that some day he would have return to her. So he better win if he knew what was good for him. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his friend, Joe Biden who had been running for President since 1980. Several months earlier, Biden’s party had thrown HIM out, requesting that HE never return to run for president. Can these two men share a campaign bus without driving each other crazy?
(The Odd Couple, 2008)

Trevor Jackson said...

"Obama said if the economy was still wavering, he would not implement his tax increases. Why not?"

Because he actually makes decisions based on advice and the facts of a situation before committing himself to a course of action. See: Iraq.

I know you've gotten used to a "go with your gut, not the facts"-style of governance, but some of us are hoping for a bit more caution and consideration before blundering into a mistake.

I notice that we've not gotten to my favorite part of the argument: Your guy is just as bad.

Does this mean you're conceding that Palin is a habitual liar and maybe not quite the reformer she and McCain claim?

Trevor Jackson said...

Hoosier said: "I'd be curious to see what the pork was that Palin got for Wasilia was used for."

Three of the projects she'd requested were targeted specifically by McCain as egregious.

chickenlittle said...

BTW, one call always tell when Josh Marshall is excited because he uses the verb "to lie" instead of the softer "to fib".

I noticed the same thing about Cyrus Pinkerton. Just sayin'.

Marc said...

It's my understanding that it is the JOB of a mayor or a Governor to seek funding (pork, if you will) for the benefit of their city or state. And, it is the JOB of a Congressman or Senator to protect the taxpayer's money from being spent in a dishonest or frivolous manner (pork, if you will). If that is true, then Palin and McCain were doing their JOBS and Obama and Biden were abusing theirs.

Original Mike said...

There is a basic difference between those receiving earmarks (like Governors), and those handing them out (like Senators). Since the Feds are handing it out, I don't fault those who accept them (in fact, you can make the case that it's irresponsible not to accept money for your state). I find fault with the appropriators who hand them out, pretty much for the express purpose of keeping themselves elected. So let's look at the appropriators. My understanding is:

Obama - lots of earmarks
Biden - lots of earmarks
McCain - not so much.

However, I don't have the data to back up my impression. Can anybody provide the details as to the earmark "requests" of the three Senators?

(Marc beat me to it)

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Obama said if the economy was still wavering, he would not implement his tax increases. Why not?"

Because he actually makes decisions based on advice and the facts of a situation before committing himself to a course of action. See: Iraq.


Well that's nice. I'm curious why he never came out from the get go and said that. Then again maybe he simply changed his mind when forced to realize that rasing taxes makes the government money but doesn't help the economy. For those of us who took Econ 101, we knew this some time ago.

I know you've gotten used to a "go with your gut, not the facts"-style of governance, but some of us are hoping for a bit more caution and consideration before blundering into a mistake.

Well if you're implying Iraq, I suppose the intelligence we had which was concurrent with what the Russians, Brits and French had means going with your gut then I suppose Obama will simply vote 'present' at the next crisis.

Again, Obama's platform isn't much of a change from what Carter put this country through 30 years ago so please forgive me if I call bullshit on the caution and consideration Obama will bring to the office.

Original Mike said...

Well that's nice. I'm curious why he never came out from the get go and said that. Then again maybe he simply changed his mind when forced to realize that rasing taxes makes the government money but doesn't help the economy. For those of us who took Econ 101, we knew this some time ago.

But Hoosier, Laura D'Angelo Tyson told us that "A dollar in tax cuts is a dollar removed from th economy."

Peter V. Bella said...

Trooper,
You got the movie wrong, but you were close.

What really happened- Obama went out for a quart of milk and a pack of smokes one cold winter night. He came back four days later with his fly down and his shoes untied. Michelle was more than pissed.

He had to think quick, as he never even brought the milk home.

"Hi, everybody, I'm home. Guess what, I am running for president of the United States."

"I met this angel. No really, an angel. Aura, halo, wings and all. He could not get to heaven unless I ran for president. We spent four days going through the hoods and he convinced me; every time a community organizer runs for president an angel goes to heaven."

"That's my story and I'm sticking to it."
(Frank Crapra It's a Wonderful Lie)

Joe said...

Much of this discussion if fucking idiotic. Federal money is a canard; it's our fucking money that they swipe from us and now want us to kiss their asses when they give it back wrapped up with all sorts of bullshit conditions.

Why the hell are we sending money to Washington only to have them send it back for state, county and city projects? (I for one think paying for New Orleans fucking levees is even more moronic than paying for a bridge to nowhere.)

If any of these politicians really want change, they can start by closing dozens of federal agencies, starting with the Department of Education. I say HUD is next--it's none of the feds damn business. (Oh, and while at it, stop federalizing crimes.)

Peter V. Bella said...

Trevor Jackson said...
If a car smacks a squirrel in the street and it's gasping for breath, and I come along and put it out of its misery, who killed it?

Me, or the car?



The butler did it, now let's move on...

Hoosier Daddy said...

But Hoosier, Laura D'Angelo Tyson told us that "A dollar in tax cuts is a dollar removed from th economy."

Heh. You know you almost have to wonder how an economist can rationalize that allowing the taxpayer who is a consumer to keep thier own money is somehow removing it from the economy. I mean if they are putting it in a mason jar and burying it in the rose garden out back, yes, I'll go along with that.

Obama may have seen the light that raising taxes isn't going to help the economy and I applaud him for seeing the light. The issue I see that the next administration needs to face is to balance the budget and reduce spending. I wouldn't even be so opposed to a tax increase provided it was to reduce the massive ten trillion dollar debt and not fund yet another social program (domestic or foreign).

Peter V. Bella said...

Trevor Jackson said...
"Obama said if the economy was still wavering, he would not implement his tax increases. Why not?"


The fact that Obama even thought about raising taxes on anyone at any time is reason enough not to vote for him.

Original Mike said...

Hoosier, I also would accept a tax increase if it was coupled with serious spending retraint. But I'm old enough to know that the restraint will never happen. And I get mightly pissed off when libs caste aspersions on me for being greedy or uncaring.

Michael said...

Count me among those who didn't know Josh Marshall was capable of embarrassment.

vbspurs said...

Wow, incredibly poor speaking skills, and the method will start to sink him in people's minds.

Obama never bored me before. Now he does. It started at the Saddleback Forum.

And really, that's all the commentary I have about this MSNBC piece.

No matter what he says now, it's reactive, which makes me embarrassed for him...

olly oxen said...

Trevor -"This Congress, this Democratic Congress, has overhauled the earmark process and required a level of transparency the Republicans never saw fit to institute."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...Oh..HAHAHAHA...ow..ow...HAHAHAHAHAHA...that is the most hilarious heap of BS I have ever heard.

Glen said...

There's this point where he chastizes Palin for being for the bridge before she is portrayed as being against it, which ducks the truth, that she did in the end kill the bridge.

Instead Obama could have scored a blow against Palin by Kerrifying her, syaing (correctly) that she was for the bridge before she was against it.


He immediately continues this observation with: "...this stretches the bounds of spin into new areas." Well not so new actually.

Shinobi said...

I don't really think that comparing Obama's softball interview with Olbermann and Palin's impending softball with Gibson is a valid comparison. It is fair to treat the two differently.

Barak Obama, as you pointed out in this very post, HAS, and probably will continue to give interviews with journalists who are not swingin on his Tire swing. (Drinking the ChangAid?) He has been a national candidate for a long time, the public are familiar with him, have seen hundreds of speeches, interviews, press conferences ets.

Conversely Sarah Palin, a relative unknown, has given NO interviews in the past as a candidate for national office, and is going to give so far her ONLY interview with one Charlie Gibson in a format that virtually garauntees that if he asks a single hard question the rest of the interview will be pulled.

It's just not valid to compare the two, I'm sorry. I don't think Josh is in the wrong here.

Michael said...

Josh Blumenthal, I mean Sid Marshall, I mean Andrew Micah Sullivan, I mean whoever he is has long since abandoned journalism for being a lefty partisan blog star. I don't understand why anyone would pay any attention to him as if something resembling journalism was still coming from him.

Seneca the Younger said...

I sense an Althouseian dig here as in...

Maybe, but just Sunday I was asking "Goddamn, Josh, have you no shame" on the Palin Rumors page I set up. And I'm a cranky old male cowboy.

I don't really think that comparing Obama's softball interview with Olbermann and Palin's impending softball with Gibson is a valid comparison.

Don't you find asserting that Gibson's interview will be a "softball" before it even takes place just a little curious? Speaking of having no shame?

Dewave said...

Does anyone take Josh Marshall seriously anymore?

He's not quite Sullivanesque in his willingness to throw truth, integrity, and intellectual honesty by the wayside in order to blindly follow the latest edicts from the Obama campaign, but he is at least almost Olbermannesque in redefining right and wrong based on the latest release from the Obama campaign.

Dave said...

Here's how it went, from an Alaskan who remembers:

She runs for governor, campaigning in favor of the bridge. She tells people of Ketchikan that the bridge is important.

She is elected governor. Still in favor of bridge.

The nation becomes aware of bridge, ridicules Alaska for it. People of Ketchikan wonder why this is their fault. Governor comforts people of Ketchikan, telling them they aren't "Nowhere." She tells them she won't let the "spinmeisters" make the project look like a negative thing.

US Congress cuts off funding for bridge after uproar. Allows state to keep money for other things. Governor never tells congress "thanks but no thanks" for bridge.

Governor accepts fact that bridge is a political liability and there isn't enough money to build bridge as designed, terminates bridge project. Still builds the road to where the bridge would have been.

Governor runs for vice president, takes credit for shutting down bridge project. Calls Ketchikan "Nowhere." Alaskans wonder where their governor went.

Them's the facts. Spin as you will.

Sally said...

I'm sorry, people, but on this one he's right. Palin should stop with this claim. She did not say (directly or by action) "Thanks but no thanks -- if we want a bridge, we'll build it ourselves." To the extent that she killed the bridge, she did so expressly because Congress had not given *enough* money to cover the cost and Alaska did *not* want to build it themselves. Further, the obvious implication for people who are not going to dig into the details is that she did not end up taking the money from Congress. So a lie, and a misrepresentation. One flip-flops on positions -- and that's an accurate way to describe both Palin's and Obama's position on earmarks -- but her specific claim is a lie (and a misrepresentation) about what actually happened.

Joe said...

Still builds the road to where the bridge would have been.

Wow, who knew you could build roads over water that weren't bridges. Amazing.

alexsteed said...

enigmaticore's somewhat painful analogy about TPM (who are you referring to who is calling Marshall a journalist?) is undoubtedly also applicable to self-purported mavericks, no?

There's a campaign that aims at rewarding MSNBC for bringing Olbermann back to the campaign coverage, it appears: Facebook groups, while well-meaning, don't stop anything. Campaigns need to show a pledge of action. There is a campaign at The Point that promises action in exchange for Olbermann's return to election coverage: http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/bring-back-olbermann-and-matthews

I didn't see Obama on the show. I'll have to look for it.

TmjUtah said...

You might as well ring up the Chosen One's outing with Mr. Stephanoupolos, from last weekend.

Mr. Stephanoupolos had to walk Obama through the entire interview. He (the interviewer) was obviously terrified that if he let the side down, his career would slam to an end at the point where the other MSM time servers would label him "the man who brought Obama down".

Obama doesn't process. He retrieves. And for a whole lot of what being an executive entails, that's fatal.

Nora said...

Trevor Jackson said...

This Congress, this Democratic Congress, has overhauled the earmark process and required a level of transparency the Republicans never saw fit to institute. Lumping frivolous or lobbyist-driven, bribe-laden earmarks with the ones that make real differences in communities just reveals your own ignorance.

Well, that's exactly what Palin did. She decided to use the money for the projects that matter more for more people in Alaska. For this she indeed "killed the bridge". So you, of all people should be happy with her decision instead arguing the party meme. After all she never said that she refused the money, only that she killed the bridge. It looks like her straight sentence is not nuanced enough for MSM, Obama campaign and such. However, as much nuamce as you'll try to put on it, the plain truth is Palin never claimed she refused the money. She refused to spend them on the "frivolous or lobbyist-driven, bribe-laden earmarks" in your own words, and got her way. To claim that she said more than that is a lie, and Obama campaign are liers. Period.

Trevor Jackson said...

"After all she never said that she refused the money, only that she killed the bridge."

She said that she told Congress "no, thanks." This is a lie. Congress said they wouldn't fully fund it. So who told who "no"?

She goes on to say, "If we wanted the bridge, we'd build it ourselves." Alaskans did want the bridge, she just didn't want to pay for it. Another lie.

The fact that she kept the portion of money Congress said AK could have is immaterial, though certainly not something she's trumpeting when she lies about the principled stand she didn't take.

Jack Okie said...

Hey, take it easy on poor ol' Trevor. His bowels are loose because McCain is up by 20 points in North Carolina today! The wheels are already coming off Obama's campaign. McCain is setting up campaign offices in California, for pete's sake.

Trevor, your points are as inept as the Obama campaign. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, except you scrabbling leftists, gives a damn about the details of the bridge. After the absolutely vile treatment the press gave Palin, do you think anyone would believe them anyway?

Synova said...

"She goes on to say, "If we wanted the bridge, we'd build it ourselves." Alaskans did want the bridge, she just didn't want to pay for it. Another lie."

She didn't want to pay for it or Alaskans didn't want to pay for it?

Really now.

It's easy to spend other people's money. And maybe it was all good, if the congress wanted to send money for just a bridge, an "earmark" as it were, then by golly build the bridge!

But given the funds and a choice of where to apply those funds, there were other priorities. If the bridge was so very important and necessary and Alaskans wanted it so much, then put the money toward the bridge and make up the difference.

Do you REALLY think that had she done that that anyone other than the people on those two islands would be going, "Yay! I wanted that brige!"

Really?

In the interviews Sarah Palin has given before being picked for VP she talked about drilling as a way to get Alaska off the dole, to turn the state into a contributor to the rest of the nation, rather than staying so dependent on federal funds.

Because it is. That she couldn't change that overnight by waving a magic wand doesn't mean that she hasn't been working vigorously toward that goal.

And if it isn't Congress telling her what she's supposed to spend federal money on (and if other things are *needed* then they need to be lobbied for, *too*, to make up for funds that are "earmarked.") it's Congress telling Alaska it can't drill for oil.

EnigmatiCore said...

"who are you referring to who is calling Marshall a journalist?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josh_Marshall

Joseph Agreda said...

Just two things,

First, if you've been living under a rock, you might not know that there is a whole argument about if bloggers are "Journalists" or not. It's kind of a logic trap, created by a lack of proper definitions. If one blogger is a "Journalist" does that make all bloggers "Journalists", and so on and so on. For the sake of argument, let's assume that Josh is just a blogger, and that most bloggers, are just bloggers, unless specifically marked as otherwise.

Secondly, I think he was mad about the multiple interviews format, not that he was doing an interview or multiple interviews. I'm not saying he was right in being mad, but I think it is a bit shortsighted to lambast someone for being against something that they're not. There's nothing wrong with an interview, or multiple ones, but when you concede to a format or rules for the interview, you're putting a lot of faith in your interview subject. I don't think that is wise, regardless of their party affiliation.

Andy Freeman said...

As an Alaska state official, Palin's job was Alaska. She didn't have the power to allocate federal money.

Obama and Biden did. In addition to funding the bridge to nowhere, they've been funnelling money to their cronies.

Biden has been especially active on behalf of the credit card industry while Obama has been shaking down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taking more money in 4 years than Clinton took in 8 and almost as much as Kerry took in 20.

Palin's position is like being an AL manager who thinks that the designated pitcher is wrong. It's unreasonable to expect the manager to send his pitcher up to bat, but it's quite reasonable to expect said manager to try to get on the rules committee to get the rules changed.

If we take the Dem charges at their worst, that's what Palin has done. Played by the rules as she found them and worked to change them.

Your Host said...

I can't believe Josh Marshall is one of the best that the Lefty Blogosphere has to offer. I have read shallow takes of his several times; they left me wondering how this guy gets so much attention.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kansas City said...

How embarassing for Obama and, if has the capacity to be embarassed, Olbermann. Olbermann was like a puppy dog saying Senator, how about this, have you thought of this, please agree with me. Yuk. Even Obama looked embarassed to be there. A minor point, but I think Obama needs to lose the cheesy grin.

Ann's comparison with the O'Reilly interview was great. The O'Reilly intereview was interesting. Obama did okay. The Olbermann interview sas embarassing. How can NBC not see that?

1950democrat said...

So Palin at one time was in favor of someone giving Alaska some money to build a bridge. Then when the money arrived, she spent the money on something else.

So -- what did she spend it on? She got Alaska some money, and spent it on something Alaska wanted more?

Sounds like a win/win for Alaska.

Flip-flop like a fox?