…finding overwrought punditry in Washington is about as difficult as hunting for game at one of Dick Cheney’s favorite preserves. Making grand declarations based on the vibrations of the moment is part of the pundit’s job description, and every political writer with any gumption is going to find himself or herself out on the wrong limb every once in a while. That said, this has been an especially inglorious stretch for Beltway hyperventilators. First came the government shutdown and the ensuing declamations about the crack-up of the Republican Party. Then, with whiplash force, came the obituaries for the Obama presidency. The Washington press corps has been reduced to the state of the tennis-watching kittens in this video, with the generic congressional ballot surveys playing the part of the ball flitting back and forth.
What explains for this even-worse-than-usual excitability? Much of it has to do with the age-old who’s-up-who’s down, permanent-campaign tendencies of the political media, exacerbated by a profusion of polling, daily tipsheets and Twitter. Overlaid on this is our obsession with the presidency, which leads us both to inflate the aura of the office and to view periods of tribulation as some sort of existential collapse. Add in the tendencies of even more serious reporters to get into a chew-toy mode with tales of scandal or policy dysfunction, as happened with the healthcare.gov debacle – the media has been so busy hyping every last aspect of the rollout’s woes that it did indeed start to seem inconceivable that things might get better soon.
Continue reading via Obama’s media doomsayers refuted by job numbers and website repair | New Republic.
The above video of Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens cracking a joke at the expense of sick people makes Kilgore, well, sick:
The robust laughs of Hudgen’s audience when he compared pre-existing condition coverage to an ex post facto request for auto insurance collision coverage after a motorist causes a wreck is about as disgusting as the stupid analogy itself.
Beutler comments on the video:
This might sound unusually callous, even for a Georgia Republican — or like typical reactionary anti-Obamacare horseshit taken just a bit too far. But it’s actually worse. It’s a symptom of how deep the rot of 47 percenter thinking has crept in the conservative movement.
Continue reading The Wrong Way To Attack Obamacare « The Dish.
For Obama supporters, if there was one thing sweeter on election night than the President’s reelection, it was Fox News collective and very public meltdown with Karl Rove practically threatening to take the Fox News election counters hostage until they admitted that Romney could still win Ohio. David Folkenflik has written a new book about the Murdoch media empire where all this stuff gets discussed, some of the details of which he’s been sharing with us this week in TPMCafe Book Club. Here’s part of his look at that golden night …
Kelly asked Rove, “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?” Ailes later said he had called Michael Clemente, a senior Fox News executive, and ordered the cameras be kept on Rove. The confrontation was great television. Kelly ultimately strode down the hallways of Fox News to the number-crunchers running the desk to have them explain their projections. She owned the studio that night, shushing Wallace and even darting over to brush some lint off Joe Trippi’s shoulders. Yet she couldn’t convince Rove, who reviewed counties he thought were still in play, at one point adding, “and then there are cats and dogs elsewhere that add up to another 120,000 votes.” Rove learned the lessons of the 2000 elections all too well.
At the start of the night, the Fox News chairman warned commentators participating in his channel’s election coverage: “If things don’t go your way tonight, don’t go out there looking like someone ran over your dog.” Yet the coverage on Fox proved largely dour and depressive.
What I love about this in addition to Kelly’s now immortal line is the Ailes part. I’m not sure I’ve seen a more apt capturing of Roger Ailes, a hardcore ideologue, the creator of one of the great anti-fact engines in the history of American life but at some level at core someone who knows how to create and loves great television above all else.
Here’s the rest of Folkenflik’s report on that night.
Remembering The Dollop of Awesome.
Rick Santorum said Thursday that Nelson Mandela had fought against “some great injustice” — apartheid — just as Republicans are fighting against the great injustice of Obamacare.
“He was fighting against some great injustice, and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives — and Obamacare is front and center in that,” Santorum said Thursday in an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News.
O’Reilly had opened the conversation by saying that, though Mandela was a “communist,” he was still “a great man. What he did for his people was stunning,” continuing that he was still able to respect him despite their different political views. O’Reilly then asked Santorum why the Republican Party wasn’t able to resolve its ideological differences with the same respect.
“Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that, and that’s the reason he’s mourned today,” Santorum said. “But you’re right, what he was advocating for wasn’t necessarily the right answer.”
He then compared Mandela’s decades-long struggle against apartheid with the Republican effort to stop Obamacare.
Santorum: Fight Against Obamacare Like Fight Against Apartheid.
Fast-food workers across the U.S. are striking Thursday to demand higher wages, and it turns out they’re not alone in believing the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is much too low. A majority of Americans—71 percent—support hiking the minimum to $10, according to the 2013 American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Democrats overwhelmingly support an increase, and even a majority of Republicans do. The minimum wage “is that rare issue where there is bipartisan and cross-religious support,” says Dan Cox, PRRI’s research director. Except for the Tea Party, that is.
via Minimum Wage Increase Supported By All Except Tea Party | New Republic.
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