Archive: June, 2011
As you know, I've rarely said much about Glenn Beck the last couple of years* but I felt I should note the passing of his show on the Fox News Channel, which ended its meteoric rise and fall earlier tonight. After writing a book that dealt extensively with Beck's role in the rise of the Tea Party movement, I should have something momentous to say, but I don't. I already euologized Beck in this piece, after all.
I would remind you that even though Beck's political influence was, in my opinion, significant, that was all just a by-product of what it was really all about...
I was kind of tied-up with outside-the-office matters last night and this morning, but to the extent that I was thinking about politics, I was brooding about the dilemma that President Obama finds himself in. It's been pretty rare for me to feel too much sympathy for the 44th president recently; it's felt like there are basically two kinds of Obama policies: Bad ones (staying in Afghanistan, state secrets and state spying, transparency in government, and more) and decent ones (ending unfair tax breaks for the wealthy and their corporate jets) that he doesn't push forcefully enough.
Well. Obama did get more forceful at his news conference yesterday. He made the case for eliminating tax breaks for millionaires, hedge fund managers, corporate jet owners and oil companies, and he made it as well as he could. But then you realize, at the end of the day, what difference will it make what Obama's tone is (other than it's more emotionally satisfying when his posture is more aggressive)? When he's weak or conciliatory, a majority of House Republicans and a filibuster-proof minority in the Senate will oppose ending any tax break, no matter how reasonable or politically popular. And when the president speaks forcefully and goes over the head of Congress to the American people...the outcome is still going to be exactly the same.
Further proof that -- gay marriage aside -- Andrew Cuomo is no liberal.
If it weren't for Pennsylvania's lax campaign finance laws, allowing for unlimited donations, and an Oklahoma tycoon's bottomless checkbook, Tom Corbett never would have been elected attorney general in 2004, which means he would not have become governor in 2010. Instead, Corbett is now determined to make Pennsylvania "the Texas of the natural gas boom," and that Oklahoma guy's company, Chesapeake Energy, has the most wells in the state. Coincidence?
Tomorrow's news today:
In the reality-based world, there’s not much confusion about how Gov. Corbett spent most of his time between the end of a fill-in gig as Pennsylvania attorney general in 1997 and his 2004 run for that job.
Sometimes people -- and when I say people, of course what I really mean is Matt Drudge -- can get over the top about youth violence, especially when there's a racial spin, taking a string of less-than-remarkable episodes that don't have a lot to do wiith each other and making it look like "Days of Rage II.' Indeed, my friends over at Media Matters took Drudge to task today for once again stringing together headlines about racially changed youth incidents, but this one time I have to note that...
a) These incidents -- while perhaps overhyped by Drudge in his usual fashion -- are still all too real.
b) and they're alarming, especially the ones I know the most about, here in Philadelphia. In fact, what I find truly appalling is that a horde of young people assaulting random, innocent people on Spring Garden Street probably wouldn't have even made the news had it not been the case that a current and a former Daily News staffer -- the latter broke her leg in the melee -- were caught up in it. You have to wonder -- how many other incidents like this are taking place that the police aren't bothering to tell us about?