April 28, 2011

Sorry, One More Trump Post: Is Trump More Helpful Than We Realized?
— Ace

I heard about this the other day, in the context of the Celebrity Apprentice's declining ratings -- see, the show skews to a liberal audience. So they maybe are tuning out, now that they hear Trump trashing Obama.

This chart is very interesting. Not only does Apprentice have the most liberal-skewing audience on TV, it doesn't just win on points, it's way out there on the left.

I don't know -- is it possible people who are both Trump fans and Democrats might be inclined to hear his criticisms where they'd tune it out from others?

Thanks to Johnny, who suggests an Independent Trump bid might draw more from Democrats. I strongly doubt that. Anything that splits the anti-Obama voe is likely to be deadly for us.

The core of the Democratic Party -- minorities, white collar women, younger voters -- is very loyal to Obama. Sure, Trump might peel off the 'bitter clingers," as Obama calls them, but if Trump's not on the race, Democratic-leaning voters displeased with Obama will vote for us. Tossing them to Trump is net loss.

Nevermind whatever Republicans decide to split to make a statement or something.

Posted by: Ace at 06:21 PM | Comments (101)
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Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

Harvard Sure Didn't Think Much of Obama's Father

Apparently by 1964 Harvard was fed up with Obama Sr. over a number of issues and worked with the INS to have him deported.

”Documents show that Obama, Sr. was denied an extension on his student visa in July, 1964, in part because Harvard University, where Obama, Sr., was a Ph.D. candidate, sought his removal. Obama Sr. eventually left the United States willingly after becoming an illegal alien for remaining in the country past the expiration of his visa.

An INS investigator, M.F. McKeon, wrote “They (Harvard officials) weren’t very impressed with him and asked us to hold up action on his application until they decided what action they could take in order to get rid of him. They were apparently having difficulty with his financial arrangements and couldn’t seem to figure out how many wives he had.”

Documents show that Harvard officials considered Obama, Sr. to be a “slippery character,” and conspired with the INS to have him deported.”

It's funny how Obama has idolized his father, a man who abandoned him and his mother early on and never seemed like a great guy in general, while ignoring and dismissing the men who actually took care of him and raised him - Lolo Soetoro and Stanley Dunham.

I can understand the appeal of having a mysterious, exotic, but elusive bio-father to a young Obama - real day-to-day fathers always pale by comparison - but he was 34 years old when he wrote 'Dreams of My Father', old enough you'd think to be beyond having father fantasies.

Or maybe he was 34 with little to no accomplishments to date and a past-due book contract and had to come up with something quick to please the publishers. But neither of these explanations is particularly flattering to a man presented by the media as a political messiah with a 'first-class temperament'.

Barack_Obama_Sr_poses_with_his_son_young_President_Barak_Obama_in_the_Honolulu_airport.jpg
more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:01 PM | Comments (699)
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Obama Shuffles National Security Team. Prelude To Defense Budget Fight?
— DrewM

Lots of familiar names, especially if you remember the Bush administration.

In the biggest change, CIA Director Leon Panetta will replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates when Gates makes his long-planned exit this summer. In remarks introducing the Cabinet and Afghan war leaders, Obama also bade farewell to Gates after a tenure begun more than four years ago under President George W. Bush.

Gen. David Petraeus, the high-profile commander of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will replace Panetta at the CIA in the fall, after helping to manage the first steps of a drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan over the summer.

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Allen will succeed Petraeus as the top commander in Afghanistan, and seasoned diplomat Ryan Crocker will take over as ambassador there. The new team in Kabul will manage the planned shift toward a back-seat role for the United States and its NATO partners, as Afghan security forces gradually assume responsibility. Both Allen and Crocker have experience with a similar transition in Iraq, and with the effort there to broker deals with former militants and political rivals that U.S. officials want to mirror in Afghanistan.

The two biggest names and jobs Patreaus at CIA and Panetta to Defense are obviously the most interesting.

I think the Panetta pick is interesting because aside from his time at CIA (where he oversaw an increase in the drone war in Afghanistan and Pakistan) most of Panetta's experience is with budgets. He was Chairman of the House Budget Committee and Clinton's OMB Director. With Obama making it clear that he sees defense as a rich source of savings ($400 Billion worth), you have to think Panetta's charge is to cut, cut and cut so more (then cut again).

Congressman Buck McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee isn't on board with Obama proposals.

If implemented, this plan would intensify the stresses on our troops while eliminating the resources available to them to accomplish their missions. Simply put, this is irresponsible leadership and disrespectful of the immense sacrifice our fighting men and women have made on behalf of this Republic.

In his first two years of office, this administration has ballooned domestic spending to astonishing levels. At the same time, the Obama Defense Department cut back or canceled more than 20 major military modernization systems and slashed our strategic nuclear deterrent — all while opening a third theater of war in Libya.

After cutting $78 billion from the defense budget earlier this year, and harvesting $100 billion more in projected savings in 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that we had reached the "minimum level of defense spending that is necessary" to meet the complex threats of the 21st century. Anything further, Gates said, would be "potentially calamitous."

I doubt even Secretary Gates imagined a $400 billion cost-cutting plan that would wholly gut the military and callously endanger the American homeland. Not during wartime, not as the Middle East teeters on the verge of anarchy, and not as our soldiers are in harm's way.

It is somewhat counter intuitive to some people that as we wind down our involvement in Iraq and probably Afghanistan, we can't simply strip the defense budget down. I was talking to tmi3rd last night about this and off the top of my head came up with a list of major systems coming due for replacement....

The Navy expect a large number of ships to age out at the same time in the next 10-15 years. This includes the Ohio Class of ballistic missile subs.

The Air Force is working on a new strategic bomber and would like to upgrade its ICBM fleet.

Then there's the biggest defense procurement program of all...the star crossed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

And that doesn't include what the Army is going to need to reset or the Marine Corps, USAF tankers, attack subs for the Navy to challenge the growing Chinese fleet and on and on and on.

It's not going to just be a question of budgets but of missions. You simply can't say we're cutting x number of dollars and expect to be able to the same missions (not just Afghanistan) that we are doing now. If you want to cut $400 billion as Obama wants to, you better be able to tell the country what they won't be getting in the future because while there's always money that can be saved you're talking a lot more than the defense equivalent of 'waste, fraud and abuse' at that level.

What do we get for our defense dollar? It's not just a question of being the world's policeman or a "global force for good". America's economic interests require access to markets, resources and a reasonably stable international order. Cutting back on our ability to police the global commons means someone (hello China) will step in, the job won't be done or likely some combination of both.

Ultimately this is a questions of values. Is America a nation that needs a military so its citizens have the environment and opportunity to build their lives to the best of their ability or is it simply a gigantic health care and retirement plan with a military to protect it?

Push has come to shove and real choices are going to have to be made.

Posted by: DrewM at 04:09 PM | Comments (75)
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Royal Wedding Open Thread
— DrewM

Nah, I'm just kidding.

NFL Draft thread.

The Panthers just took Cam Newton number 1.

Posted by: DrewM at 03:06 PM | Comments (52)
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Chris Matthews and Clarence Page: Trump Must Be Talking About Bush When He Says "How Did He Get Into a Good School" (Chuckle, Chuckle)
Chris Matthews Ten Minutes Later: No One Would Ever Question the Academic Chops of a White President!

— Ace

Bumped For Hot Video: At the Right Scoop.

No, he really said this. Ten minutes apart.

First, bringing up Transcriptism, Clarence Page chuckled that "He [Trump] must have his presidents mixed up," meaning it must be Bush who needed special help to get into Yale (and Harvard Business).

They both had themselves a laugh at that. How dumb Bush is! They've been saying that for ten years, of course.

Then, next segment, still marveling that only a racist could question a president's academic ability, he said, quote, "They would never say this about a white president!!!"

Um? Didn't you? Like five minutes ago?

Didn't you? For ten years straight?

And then, in case you completely forgot about the last ten years, I repeat: Didn't you just five minutes ago?

This is not about "racism." This is simply about their certainty that Bush was dumb and Obama is smart.

I'm not so sure. Am I racist?

Why? Because I'm supposed to just assume that someone who gets into an Ivy school is smart, the same as Matthews and Page don't as regards Bush?

And let me point out: by Chris Matthews apparent rule, it would in fact be racist of Page to make this joke, since his unstated premise seems to be you can only talk smack about a president of your own race.

I've asked TRScoop to cut the video. It's good for a laugh.

Seems to me that if a president is screwing up left and right, it's fair to doubt his intelligence. It has a long, long tradition.

It seems to me the only reason we can't ask about Obama's is precisely because he's half-black.

Okay, fine. I am specifically not questioning the IQ of his black half. That would be racist. I'm sure that part must be brilliant, because it must be (black, so it must be). I'll say that I am convinced his black half has an IQ of 155.

I am specifically challenging the IQ of his stupid white half. Which I think has an IQ of 77.

So I think his combined average IQ, of his brilliant black half and his stupid white half, is 116.

Not even close to genius.

'Kay?

Apparently Some Special Pluses Are Okay To Note: sydney jane makes a point I was just about to, and adds a 2003 CNN citation besides:

Hmm, the legacy admission (Bush) vs the affirmative action admission (Obama). In both cases, the Ivies have lower admission standards. But, as for no one ever questioning Bush's academics, I found this from an old CNN article, titled How Affirmative Action Helped George W, from 2003.

"They may not have had an explicit point system at Yale in 1964, but Bush clearly got in because of affirmative action. Affirmative action for the son and grandson of alumni. Affirmative action for a member of a politically influential family. Affirmative action for a boy from a fancy prep school. These forms of affirmative action still go on."

No, no one would ever question Bush's academic credentials.

Nope, never.

Bush: Yale, Harvard Business School = stupid and we can question if he got in via a special program with took other factors into account apart from pure academic firepower

Obama: Occidental (what?), Columbia, Harvard Law = obviously brilliant and we cannot question if he got in (or got Law Review) via a special program which took other factors into account apart from pure academic firepower, even though he says he undoubtedly did benefit from such a program in a New York Times article


Posted by: Ace at 03:06 PM | Comments (135)
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Tornado Death Toll: 292
— Ace


Alabama.

I know this has been covered, but you really can't overcover it:

U.S. authorities say the number of people killed in a series of tornadoes and thunderstorms across the southern United States has risen to at least 292, making it the country's deadliest tornado outbreak in almost four decades.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says the tornadoes that struck his state on Wednesday killed at least 194 people, by far the highest toll of the eight southern states hit by deadly storms. Speaking Thursday, he said Alabama's final death toll may not be known for another day or two.

150 tornadoes in one day.

How You Can Help: An always-updating list of local relief efforts.

Thanks to AOSHQ's Darklord. Of Relief Drives, I guess.

Posted by: Ace at 01:58 PM | Comments (76)
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Knockin' Off Time/Open Blog
— Ace

If anyone wants to post somethin'...

Hilarious: Thanks to Andy, unfunny clown Bill Maher hilariously beclowns himself.

The joke he accuses The Onion of stealing is what we call in the industry "a bad joke." Sure, if you're a comic, you toss the bad stuff out there too; in any endeavor, a lot of times it's publish or perish. You can't just not be funny because you don't have a good joke. Good joke, bad joke -- if you're a pro comic, you're expected to have jokes when you go on stage.

So I don't blame Maher for using the joke. (Or The Onion for using it.) It's a bad joke, but if you need to tell a joke, what the hell.

What is truly sad is that Bill Maher is especially proud of this disposable, lame, obvious wordplay. This to him is Intellectual Property that must be fought over.

That is sad. This poor, sad, short whoremonger.

Posted by: Ace at 01:27 PM | Comments (52)
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Of Course: Obama Official Pretty Sure That Economic Slowdown Is Due To Cuts In Government Spending
— Ace

Sure, why not.

"It was an expected slowdown," Goolsbee said in an interview on Bloomberg television. "The biggest driver was a reduction in government spending at the federal level, a big negative from defense spending."

Earlier the AP told us it was due to bad weather and inflation; the White House now elevates "Republicans" to the top of the list.

Posted by: Ace at 12:43 PM | Comments (117)
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White House, Bob Schieffer of CBSNews Blast Questions About Obama's Grades as "Nonsense," Racism, Respectively
— Ace

Nonsense? I've got facts. Reported by the Harvard Crimson and Reuters.

What do you have? You have assumptions.

We know this is nonsense," Jarrett said on SiriusXM Radio's The Joe Madison Show. "He's almost 50 years old and he's president of the United States and I don't think anybody would debate his intelligence and so now we need to get serious."

We wouldn't have to debate it at all if you didn't hide the record.

Jarrett's foray into the conversation follows CBS anchor Bob Schieffer's accusation that Trump's comments are racist.

"That's just code for saying he got into law school because he's black," Schieffer said on the CBS Evening News Wednesday. "This is an ugly strain of racism that's running through this whole thing."

Let me ask this, seriously: Is what the liberals ask of the rest of us to not only support a racial-preference regime but then to simultaneously pretend we do not know that regime is in operation?

Because it sure sounds like Schieffert's saying that.

On one hand, Obama, we know that Harvard Law instituted a strong policy on affirmative action for law review right before Obama got there.

Obama himself wrote, while at Harvard, that he had undoubtedly benefited from Affirmative Action.

Via Kaus (see end of post).

Now, did he or did he not benefit?

He says he did.

Am I racist for taking his word for it? Is Bob Schieffert not a racist for implicitly calling him a liar?

The liberals want us to do double-think where with the one hand we give minority applicants +10% on their applications but with the other hand we're supposed to wipe our memories clean of this action so we don't even know we just did it.

The question is not whether he's dumb. He's not dumb. The question is whether he's especially smart, which he does not appear to be, or just above average intelligence and out of his depth, which he does appear to be.

And grades and SATs, while not perfect indicators, are at least a bit more objective than Chris Matthews' personal assessment of Obama as a genius.

Posted by: Ace at 12:11 PM | Comments (146)
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Keystone Fate: Obama Down To Fresh Lows in Must-Win Pennsylvania, 42-53%
— Ace

Same pattern as in that poll I linked yesterday-- It's the independent disapproval, plus soft Democratic support, that really cuts.

Posted by: Ace at 11:44 AM | Comments (107)
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Senator Rubio: Hey Mr. President, You Know People Are Dying In Syria, Right? How About A Little Leadership?
— DrewM

Damn it Senator! Don't you know the President doesn't have time for trivial things. He is as busy as busy can be on important matters of state such as, um, appearing on Oprah and going to fundraisers.

But fine, let's see what you think he should be doing instead of those important things.

Clearly, we should be on the side of the Syrian people longing for freedom and challenging the regime's corrupt and repressive rule. Unfortunately, the Obama administration's hesitancy to weigh in has been mistaken for indecision at best and indifference at worst. The president needs to speak directly to the Syrian people to communicate American support for their legitimate demands, condemn Assad's murderous campaign against innocent civilians, and sternly warn Assad and his cohorts that they cannot continue grossly violating human rights, supporting terrorism, and sowing instability among Syria's neighbors.

But his words must be backed by clear, firm actions. As ill-advised as it was to restore diplomatic relations with Syria by sending an American ambassador to Damascus last year, we should now sever ties and recall the ambassador at once. While Syria is already under heavy U.S. sanctions as a designated state sponsor of terror, we should expand sanctions to include persons identified as authorizing, planning, or participating in deplorable human rights violations against unarmed civilians. Our partners in Europe, Turkey, and the Arab Gulf share many of our interests in Syria and play a large role in that country, and the president must put the full diplomatic weight of the United States behind an effort to convince them to adopt meaningful economic and diplomatic sanctions targeting Assad and his enablers in the regime.

...This administration must stop sitting on the sidelines as innocent Syrian people are mowed down by the regime's tanks. At an early point in the Libyan struggle, when a clear U.S. policy could have achieved significant successes at lower costs, the president failed to act. Now in Syria, we are faced with a challenge requiring the United States to find its voice in defense of the Syrian people and to implement meaningful actions in the immediate term. The administration must stop dithering as innocent Syrians die at the hands of a merciless regime.

The Three Amigos, McCain, Lieberman and Graham are also calling on Obama to step up to the plate and get in the game.

As for the situation in Syria, estimates are 500 or more people have been killed in 6 weeks of protests and their repression.

Not surprisingly, the UN has taken a pass on saying or doing anything about Syria.

Ah the UN..."Unless it's about bashing Israel, leave your number and we'll get back to you".

Why anyone thinks the UN is some sort of barometer of moral legitimacy for action is beyond me.

The bottom line is we missed our chance to do anything about the Iranian regime back in the summer of 2009. Given the relationship between Iran and Syria, the current unrest is in some ways a second, albeit less satisfying, bite at that apple. And once again, this administration is simply invisible. I'm not saying we should be signing up for more military action but we need to be doing more economically, covertly (assuming we aren't already) and vocally to support the overthrow of this violent and despotic regime.
Unfortunately, it looks like President Present is taking another pass.

Posted by: DrewM at 11:27 AM | Comments (107)
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Twitter, Tumblr, FaceBook, Spy: Questions Raised About Bikini-Clad, Legs-Flashing Social Media Queen Who Liked Talking With Defense Types
— Ace

This article seems to start with only a passel of suspicions and, unless I'm missing something, ends the same way -- with a passel of suspicions and nothing proved.

A pretty flirt represented herself as either a DoD or possibly CIA employee, and being female and flirty, garned attention from male defense/intelligence guys online.

The accusation made now -- not proven, unless I've missed something -- is that she's a "honey pot" or "honey trap," a comely woman used by a foreign power to compromise someone sexually, for purposes of coercion and digging out information.

More of an "interesting" and "worth watching" than a made case.

Posted by: Ace at 10:52 AM | Comments (99)
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The Superman Renounces Citizenship Post
— Ace

I see everyone's linking this. Okay, I'll play.

First of all, DC is careful to not tarnish the images of its core properties with politics. They're careful here too, looking for media hype, while not really damaging Superman as a liberal.

If you read his reasons for renouncing his citizenship, it doesn't cut any particular way politically. See if you can manage to find a consistent, standard politics here:

1. He was standing with, and in support of, Iranian protesters, who were, I guess, not being supported by the US government.

2. Iran, which we all know is bad, blamed the US government for Superman's appearance there, and construed it as an act of war.

3. Superman criticizes himself for not realizing that of course, as closely associated with America as he is, of course the Iranians would blame the US for that.

4. So to avoid complications for the US government, as well as for himself, he renounces his citizenship.

They played this game (smartly) with Iron Man, the movie, too, giving liberals a conclusion they might approve of while making the reasons for that conclusion muddled politically. Did Stark renounce weapons manufacture because weapons are bad, mmm'kay, or specifically because his own weapons were being secretly fed into the hands of terrorists by an unknown mole and being used against civilians and US troops, whom he loves?

Well, kind of the first one but circumstances suggest the second and the movie didn't clearly revolve whether this was a liberal ideological stance or a pragmatic non-ideological one.

It's a muddle. It probably should be a muddle, because when you're writing for a mass audience who doesn't really look to comic book stuff for their politics you probably just want to give the people what they want and not so much of what they don't want.

James Bond, sort of notoriously, went after SPECTRE in the movies because someone decided it must be too right-wing and jingoistic to go after SMERSH (the Soviets) as he had in most of the books.

Anyway, this seems to be a little attempt to grab some headlines, but they're cautious to not tarnish Superman with liberal politics any more than they already have (with the last failed reboot replacing "The American Way" with "and the other stuff" in the famous three-part code).

Is it an attempt to make Superman "politically relevant" in a way that is designed to appeal to liberal bien pensants? Yes, certainly.

But it's also contrived to the point of inauthenticity to not actually mean anything one way or another.

Meh.

The most interesting thing about Superman, Batman, and all the Disney characters, as far as politics, is how the government always extends copyright protection whenever these key corporate properties are going to lose IP protection.

Here's something else that's interesting. The creators of Superman have had a long, long legal argument with DC about who owns Superman, and if it was fair to pay Siegel and Shuster like $50 for Superman.

The Siegel family is still pressing an apparently neverending lawsuit against DC, and hopes to win the full rights to the character in 2013.

Now, if they get the character, they would presumably sell it for a huge pile of money, but to whom? Well, DC would obviously be interested in buying back their top (tied) property.

But then again, so would Disney, which now owns Marvel.

And Marvel could simply declare some kind of "reality shift" or "parallel universe collapse" and add Superman to the Marvel Universe, joining Spiderman and the rest as Marvel heroes.

Not sure what they'd do about Metropolis, since the Marvel Universe has avoided the Madeupopolis syndrome that was big at DC.

So, will Superman renounce DC? That's what I want to know.

Irony: DC famously sued Captain Marvel/Shazam! out of existence in like the 50s. And Captain Marvel was actually outselling his clear inspiration, Superman. Years later, DC bought the rights to the character whose career they had previously cut short via lawsuit and now he's in the DC stable. Sort of duplicating most of Superman's powers.

Anyway, DC (that last article I linked) is preparing for a possible departure of Superman, by creating fresh Kryptonian heroes who can fill in for Superman should he leave their stable.

But the oldest, best-known Superman-like character they have is Captain Marvel/Shazam!. He'd be the most obvious "new Superman."

So, if DC loses Superman to lawsuit, they'll replace him with a Superman knockoff they acquired via lawsuit.

Oh Wait: Captain Marvel is now non-infringing only because the same company owns the original character and the character a lawsuit found to be infringing.

If Superman and all rights thereto pass to the Siegel/Shuster families, that means... they could sue over Captain Marvel, alleging the same infringement DC once did. And DC would have to argue... Shazam was infringing when we had Superman but now that we don't he's not.

Eh. I am thinking way too much about this.

Posted by: Ace at 09:59 AM | Comments (273)
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Huge Protest Crowd Gathers, Explodes Outside a Paul Ryan Townhall
— Ace

Can the GOP remain firm in the face of displays such as this?

I don't know, my friends. I just don't know. more...

Posted by: Ace at 08:50 AM | Comments (225)
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AP: Economy Slowed By High Prices, Bad Weather [And, Definitely, Not Failed Policies of Barack Obama]
— Ace

So much to discuss here. Drew (who really wrote this post by providing the links and insight) notices right off the top, AP seems to have two types of stories on the economy:

* Numbers improved somewhat and that's due to the stimulus and Barack Obama's policies

* Numbers worsened yet again and that's due to weather and other Acts of God (but not Obama-God, the other God, the Old God)

The economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year. High gas prices cut into consumer spending, bad weather delayed construction projects and the federal government slashed defense spending by the most in six years.

The 1.8 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter was weaker than the 3.1 percent growth in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported. And it was the worst showing since last spring when the European debt crisis slowed growth to a 1.7 percent pace.

1.8% is a recession in all but technical definition, as GDP is only barely keeping pace with natural population growth.

But, they want you to know, we're still forecast to average a still-weak 3.0% growth rate later this year.

Those wonderful, wondrous forecasts! If only we could live and work in that forecasted world.

Here's some good news: While the AP and other legacy media find no connection between Obama and bad economic news (unlike the case with past Republican presidents, whose names always popped up a few times in down economic stories), the public is capable of putting 2 and 2 together itself.

Registered voters nationally are not satisfied with how President Barack Obama is handling the nation’s economy. According to this McClatchy-Marist Poll, four in ten voters — 40% — approve of how the president is dealing with the country’s economy while nearly six in ten — 57% — disapprove. Only 3% are unsure. Mr. Obama’s approval rating on the economy is the lowest of his presidency. His previous low was last September when just 41% gave him a thumbs-up on the issue.

And that's registered voters, which should (according to Nate Silver) give the Democrats a +4% advantage as compared to likely voter sentiment.

It gets worse. Republican sentiment hardly matters as far as Obama, since we're not voting for him anyway. (Well, 10% of fake Republicans might.)

But what of swing independents? And what of the real killer -- swing Democrats?

There has been a change among Democrats and independents on this question. While 71% of Democrats approve of how the president is handling the economy, 27% disapprove. This is a 12 percentage point increase in the proportion of Democrats who disapprove since January. Among independent voters, 34% approve while more than six in ten — 63% — disapprove.

Monty sends an article noting, as many did, that right after Obama sniffed that he hasn't the time for this silliness, he jetted off to be stroked by Oprah.

And then back to work? You betcha. Immediately after he flew to New York City to appear at three Democratic fundraisers.

Guy's just got no time, no time at all. Spread thin and scattered to the four winds.

Can a man just eat his waffle?

Posted by: Ace at 08:29 AM | Comments (166)
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Rand Paul To Donald Trump: Produce Your Republican Voting Registration Certificate
— Ace

Rand Paul, being kinda funny.

aul, a Tea Party favorite, said it would serve the GOP better to get behind a candidate who has better conservative credentials.

“Let’s look to Republicans who not only talk the talk, but walk the walk,” he said. “If we find the right candidate, I see no reason why we can’t win in 2012.”

Of course Paul is supporting his dad, Ron Paul!!11!!, and the r3VO_|ution. Plus, he's annoyed that Trump said his dad had no shot to win at CPAC.

Still. Documents, please.

Posted by: Ace at 07:40 AM | Comments (140)
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Hmmmm... Reince Priebus Exploring Whether Ryan Run Would Compromise His Ability To Serve As RNC Head
— Ace

Ryan, it is said, "hates politics."

That sounds like savvy politician-talk to me.

Priebus at least has to examine the conflict of interest problem because both he and Ryan are from Wisconsin and have history together. So the question is whether he could be impartial among the hopefuls, should Ryan be aboard.

I noted my second-hand scoop about this, relaying what I hear from those who've heard, on Saturday. The story goes Ryan's private talk isn't as determinedly anti-candidacy as his public pronouncements.

Posted by: Ace at 06:01 AM | Comments (160)
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The fight of the century, indeed [Fritzworth]
— Open Blogger

It has hard to overstate how much of world history and politics over the past 100 years is reflected in the fundamental debate between the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek. It is the great economic debate that is raging in Congress and across the nation (and world) right now. It is, in a nutshell, the State vs. the individual.

This video, like its predecessor, is a brilliant exposition of the fight that has been raging for decades.

[Update - Andy] Video tucked below the fold to help with site loading issues on browsers newer than Netscape Navigator 3.02. more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 05:46 AM | Comments (26)
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Update on Yesterday's Devastating Storms
— Genghis

Update: Death toll now 231 (11:49 EST)

Update: Death toll now over 200 (I've heard both 202 and 213)

Rdbrewer sends along a vid of a Tuscaloosa weatherman covering the tornado live as it hit the city. You might say he's a bit animated over events.

Reminder: Comments go down briefly whenever a post is updated and reappear when a new comment is added. So don't worry that they've all been deleted or something.

Added:It's been suggested in the thread that maybe there should be a separate disaster preparedness thread but The Big Guy would probably disagree. It's closely enough related to the main topic to keep them combined in one. Pixels cost money yannow. Besides, you guys are doing fine with the ones you've already added.

More Added: My 2 cents: Awhile back I was looking around at various disaster prep and survivalist sites (because the Zombie Apocalypse is nigh) and ran across this one called Secrets of Survival. It's run by a friendly "End of Days" sorta' guy and he offers tips for surviving all sorts of nasty things, including tornadoes. Also has tons of links to other handy sites and references. Most of his tornado advice was pretty sound but I felt he'd left a few things out and on others I completely disagreed with. So I sent him some suggested additions and corrections, which are available here.

What makes me Mr. Smarty McSmartpants on the subject? Well, I grew up here which experienced this in 1999 (F-5), this in 2003 (F-4) plus several others over the years. (Though I wasn't actually living there at the time the two Big Ones hit).

Original Post:

Currently the death toll is 173 or 178 depending upon the source. That will most certainly go higher as the sun is just now coming up in some of the hardest hit areas. Now the search and rescue (and sadly, recovery) efforts can get underway in earnest.

The Weather Channel has a sizeable number of videos of many of the tornadoes, including that monster that hit Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, AL. There's been some speculation that this particular tornado may vie with The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 in terms of the tornado with the longest continuous track (219 miles).

It'll take some time to determine that, along with the Enhanced Fujita Scale ratings as damage assesment teams from NSSL, among others, are able to get into the field.

More severe weather is expected today (and in fact is already occurring in places) but the hope is that the atmospheric conditions aren't quite as "ripe" for tornadoes as they were yesterday. If nothing else, the system has a lot less ground to chew up before it heads out to sea. Then again, it'll pass through some heavily populated areas along the coast so that's probably of little comfort, especially if you live in one of those areas.

Updates and additional links to follow and I'll bump this post in case NWS issues any Tornado Emergencies.

Below the fold are the resource links I had tacked on to yesterday's tornado thread:

more...

Posted by: Genghis at 03:25 AM | Comments (196)
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Top Headline Comments 4-28-11
— andy

Integrative Complexity means never having to say you're sorry.

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