Witch’s Will For A Morning In March

My Pick of the Litter Today

Obama’s Rat Madness

   by John Ransom

The New York Times has published a science and technology story about Duke researchers who have used one animal’s brain to get another animal to react.

In One Rat Thinks, and Another Reacts, the Times writer James Gorman reports that “Miguel Nicolelis, known for successfully demonstrating brain-machine connections, like the one in which a monkey controlled a robotic arm with its thoughts, said this was the first time one animal’s brain had been linked to another.”

Well, Nicolelis may know rat research, but he’s not in politics.

If he was, he’d recognize that getting one rat to think and another rat to react is one of the first skills you acquire when professionally pandering to citizens.

It’s, frankly, something that is happening every day, all day long, in offices from Foggy Bottom to Capitol Hill.

Please make note too, that it’s not just the public-office-occupiers that acquire the skill. Political staffers, journalists, economists, special-interest pleaders and other assorted rats practice the art of rat-on-rat mind control daily.

And that’s the fascinating part of rats-deserting-the-sinking-ship story that is unfolding in public regarding sequestration, Obama, Bob Woodward and the press.

If you’ve been doing more productive things like, say, running your business, or raising your kids, or having your child shave your back hair, you might have missed the rat-spat going on between Woodward and the White House.

Woodward called out Obama in print on hyperbole over sequestration cuts. Prior to publication, Woodward says, a White House staffer threatened him over the story.

“Under the Constitution,” Woodward told MSNBC, invoking Nixonian paranoia and makeshift, “the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. ‘I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country.’ That’s a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time.”

And despite Politico’s assertion that a “whole generation” of Republicans hate him- which we don’t actually… and btw, I really hate when lefties try to “explain” the GOP to people because they invariably get it wrong- Woodward proves a credible source because, while he’s certainly a liberal, he’s not been afraid to take on the foibles of any president.


This paragraph really hit home with me because I’ve thought it so many times:

Despite Politico’s assertion that a “whole generation” of Republicans hate him- which we don’t actually… and btw, I really hate when lefties try to “explain” the GOP to people because they invariably get it wrong- Woodward proves a credible source because, while he’s certainly a liberal, he’s not been afraid to take on the foibles of any president.

I frankly do not, cannot explain the thought processes of people on the left. Nor their all-too-often lapses of integrity in order to support some damn politician. Those on the right that do the same thing also goshwoggle me. Taint your own integrity for some damn politician? Any damn politician? I think not.

More Stuff:

Government dependence not  American Dream

by Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin

While some measure compassion by how many programs the government can provide to those in need, we measure it by helping people no longer require the assistance of the government.the number of uninsured, while lowering the number of people on Medicaid.

How many of us grew up with the dream of someday being dependent on the government?

I certainly did not.  The idea just seems foreign to the American Dream.

Sadly, there are some in our nation’s capital who measure success in government by how many are dependent on the government.  The massive expansion of Medicaid, waivers of work programs for food stamps and the extension of unemployment benefits may all be well-intentioned, but is more government dependence really such a good thing?

Not long after I took office, an appointee of mine asked about my objectives for his workforce development agency.  He mentioned the previous administration seemed to define success by how many people they could sign up for unemployment benefits.

After thinking about it for a moment, I told him my definition of success was just the opposite.  I want fewer people collecting unemployment checks.  Not because we’ve kicked them to the streets, but because we created a better business climate where those who were previously unemployed now have a real shot at a job.


Bizarro World: Wash Post Mocks Politico’s Fawning Interview With Bob Woodward as  ‘Fan Fiction’

The implied threat from the White House to Bob  Woodward has thrown the liberal media for a loop. On Wednesday night, Politico published a fawning interview with Woodward. Writers Mike  Allen and Jim VandeHei gushed over the “calm, instantly recognizable voice” of  the journalist. On Wednesday, the Washington  Post, which Woodward famously works for, mocked the Politico  piece as nothing different than “fan fiction.”

The Politico authors thrilled over being in the same room as  Woodward. Allen and VandeHei’s first paragraph raved, “Woodward [talked to] us  in an hourlong interview yesterday around the Georgetown dining room table where  so many generations of Washington’s powerful have spilled their secrets.” A  simple act of reading an e-mail became: “Digging into one of his famous folders,  Woodward said the tirade was followed by a page-long email from the aide.”

Such flowery  descriptions led to mockery from Woodward’s own Washington Post. Writer  Alexandra Petri responded to this with sharp sarcasm:

This is literally how all my Bob Woodward fan  fiction begins, except for the one where he approaches you at a bar and says  he’s got a flag he would like to plant in your flowerpot. And I’ve got  a pretty sizable folder of it — if not a famous folder, yet.”

Regarding some journalists who are defending Woodward in his battle against  the White House, Petri offered this assessment of the media:

They have been forced into this position after they  hoisted Woodward aloft on their shoulders as The One True Journalist in  Washington and started saying that this intimidation had gone on far too long.  “It’s not what we read on the page,” they say. “It’s how he felt at the time.  After all, when Bob Woodward criticizes a White House, we know who generally  prevails in this equation.”

Politico’s interview with Woodward focused around his criticism  of Obama’s handling of sequestration and subsequent brush back from the White  House.

In between praising Woodward, the Politico piece casually  offered an admission about Obama and the sequester: “The White House  instead has, with great success, fudged the facts.”

The Washington Post mocking Politico for lauding the  greatness of the Washington Post’s Woodward? Truly, these are confusing times  for the liberal media.


Politico may have acted like fans, but Petri writes like a jealous underling. It’s also funny,  how the Washington Post had no problem with Allen and VandeHei acting like fans in their many “gushing” posts about Obama.

     Why Bob Woodward’s Fight With The White House Matters to You

And why I iced a senior Obama White House official.

   by Ron Fournier

The fight between the White House and journalistic legend Bob Woodward is a silly distraction to a major problem: The failure of President Obama and House Republicans to lead the country under a budget deadline.

Woodward-gate is a distraction the White House welcomed, even encouraged, as part of a public-relations strategy to emasculate the GOP and anybody else who challenges Obama. It is a distraction that briefly enveloped my reporting last weekend, when I essentially broke ties with a senior White House official.

Yes, I iced a source– and my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. I decided to share this encounter because it might shed light on the increasingly toxic relationship between media and government, which is why the Woodward flap matters outside the Beltway.

On Saturday, White House press secretary Jay Carney accused Woodward of being “willfully wrong” on a story holding the White House accountable for its part in a legislative gimmick called sequestration. (Months ago, the GOP-controlled House passed, and Obama signed, legislation imposing $1.2 trillion in cuts unless an alternative is found by Friday.)

Carney isn’t the first press secretary to criticize a reporter. Presidential aides do it all the time to set the record straight or — often, more cynically — to dodge accountability. I was struck by the fact that Carney’s target has a particular history with White House attacks. I tweeted: “Obama White House: Woodward is ‘willfully wrong.’ Huh-what did Nixon White House have to say about Woodward?”

Reporting by Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered Watergate misdeeds and led to the resignation of President Nixon. My tweet was not intended to compare Nixon to Obama (there is no reason to doubt Obama’s integrity — period) but rather to compare the attack to the press strategies of all the presidents’ men.

I had angered the White House, particularly a senior White House official who I am unable to identify because I promised the person anonymity. Going back to my first political beat, covering Bill Clinton’s administration in Arkansas and later in Washington, I’ve had a practice that is fairly common in journalism: A handful of sources I deal with regularly are granted blanket anonymity. Any time we communicate, they know I am prepared to report the information at will (matters of fact, not spin or opinion) and that I will not attribute it to them.

This is an important way to build a transparent and productive relationship between reporters and the people they cover. Nothing chills a conversation faster than saying, “I’m quoting you on this.”

The official angered by my Woodward tweet sent me an indignant e-mail. “What’s next, a Nazi analogy?” the official wrote, chastising me for spreading “bull**** like that” I was not offended by the note, mild in comparison to past exchanges with this official. But it was the last straw in a relationship that had deteriorated.

As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Politico characterized as a veiled threat. “You will regret staking out that claim,” The Washington Post reporter was told.

Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. “Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron,” the official wrote.

I wrote back:

“I asked you to stop e-mailing me. All future e-mails from you will be on the record — publishable at my discretion and directly attributed to you. My cell-phone number is … . If you should decide you have anything constructive to share, you can try to reach me by phone. All of our conversations will also be on the record, publishable at my discretion and directly attributed to you.”

I haven’t heard back from the official. It was a step not taken lightly because the note essentially ended our working relationship. Without the cloak of anonymity, government officials can’t be as open with reporters – they can’t reveal as much information and they can’t explain the nuance and context driving major events.

I changed the rules of our relationship, first, because it was a waste of my time (and the official’s government-funded salary) to engage in abusive conversations. Second, I didn’t want to condone behavior that might intimidate less-experienced reporters, a reaction I personally witnessed in journalists covering the Obama administration.

That gets to why this matters beyond the incestuous Washington culture. One of this country’s most important traditions is “a free press that isn’t afraid to ask questions, to examine and to criticize,” Obama said at the 2012 White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner.

Because of tech-fueled changes in the market, there are fewer reporters doing more work with less experience than when I came to Washington with Clinton in 1993. Also, the standard relationship between reporters and their sources is more combative, a reflection of polarization in Washington and within the media industry.

Personally, I had a great relationship with Clinton’s communications team, less so with President Bush’s press shop, and now — for the first time in my career — I told a public servant to essentially buzz off.

This can’t be what Obama wants. He must not know how thin-skinned and close-minded his staff can be to criticism. “I have the greatest respect and admiration for what you do,” Obama told reporters a year ago. “I know sometimes you like to give me a hard time, and I certainly like to return the favor, but I never forget that our country depends on you.”

  Cries of Racism Cloud Real Issues in Court

Liberals are jumping all over Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s comment yesterday during an oral hearing in which he asked whether continuing the special enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act in some states was a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.” Many, including his court colleague Justice Sonia Sotomayor, seemed to interpret it as questioning whether the right to vote is itself a “racial entitlement.” For his pains, Scalia was branded a racist. What is left of the aging remnants of the once-vital civil rights movement are hoping that outrage about that remark can galvanize public pressure not just for the continuation of the Voting Rights Act as it currently stands, but against both voter integrity laws and the system of racial majority districts.

The problem with the critique of Scalia is pretty much the same as that with the defense of the legal status quo. What is at stake in this debate and the legal case in question–Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder–is not the right to vote, which Scalia supports as much as any liberal.

There is no evidence that anyone in Shelby County is trying to reinstate Jim Crow laws or prevent African Americans or other minorities from exercising their constitutionally protected right to cast a ballot. Nor is there any evidence that this is true anywhere else in the states and counties that remain under direct federal supervision as a result of the 1965 law.

The entitlement in question is rather the ability of the Justice Department to act as a national elections commission in certain areas that were once strongholds of racial hatred, even though the country has changed markedly in the last half century. Instead of promoting the false charge that Scalia is a segregationist, the focus should be on who benefits from the continuation of Section Five of the Act. The answer is: a class of political elites that benefit from the creation of racial majority districts.


  What Up With Republicans?

Republicans warn Obama has ‘poisoned’ relations with campaign-style attacks

Obama’s public shaming of congressional Republicans to act on a range of  issues may be winning at the polls — but it risks alienating the people needed  to reach bipartisan compromise.

While Obama has made a strategic  calculation that he needs to marshal public support to push through his agenda,  centrist Republicans warn the president and his allies could go too far with  partisan events and campaign-style ads targeting GOP lawmakers.

One recent  point of contention: Organizing for Action, Obama’s former campaign arm, made  its first post-election foray into campaigning this week with ads pressuring  swing-state Republicans to support new gun control measures.

Among the targets was Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is working to build  support for a bill focused on cracking down on gun trafficking.



Michelle Malkin and the Liberal Dance

    Why Do Some Liberals Become Conservatives?

The intellectual transformation from left to right.

These days it may seem as though the entire nation is moving ever leftward. But on the personal level it’s actually much more usual for political change to go in the opposite direction: from left to right.

It’s not that uncommon an event, either — in fact, there’s a whole literature of political memoir written by left-to-right changers (such as David Horowitz and Norman Podhoretz, to name just two).

One changer closer to home is founder and former CEO of PJ Media Roger L. Simon, who talked about his own story in a recent speech in which he admitted that, despite his having written a book about his change experience, the how and why of political change is still a mystery to him.

Political change is something I’ve thought about long and hard because it happened to me, too, about ten years ago. In fact, struggling to understand and explain that change was one of the things that first drew me to blogs and blogging. I agree with Roger Simon that the vast majority of people are exceedingly reluctant to change their political beliefs and identification, and that was my experience, too; in fact, I’ve titled my own change story “A mind is a difficult thing to change.”

It’s not easy to come up with universals, because change stories differ in their personal details: fast or slow; solitary or interactive; sparked by things heard, seen, read, or personally experienced. But over the years that I’ve been contemplating my own story and listening to or reading those of others, I’ve come to see some patterns.

Rarely, if ever, are prospective changers actually seeking change. In fact their previous political positions on the left may be quite firmly and strongly held, and they would probably consider anyone quite mad who had the audacity to inform them of the transformation about to take place.


   Krauthammer: Obama Only Left Out “Pestilence, Earthquake, Brimstone And Plague” In Sequester Warning


  The Politics of Sequestration: More Nuanced Than You Think

The predominant view in Washington seems to be that the GOP is headed for a  public relations drubbing on the sequester. Numerous commentators have noted  that President Obama is more popular than Republicans, and a recent Pew poll —  buttressed by others — suggests that voters would blame Republicans for  disruptive federal budget cuts more than the president.

The first hint that these attitudes might not be the final word on the  subject are contained in the same survey data, however: Many Americans have no  objection to letting the sequester-mandated budget cuts go into effect.

Moreover, since a majority of Republicans are ensconced in fairly safe  districts, and since the midterm election is much more likely to be a referendum  on the president than on the Republicans, this battle shapes up as one quite  different from the fiscal cliff fight from the end of 2012. Here are three major  reasons why.

The public’s mood is complicated. For all the talk of the  American people being on the president’s side, the state of public attitudes is  not so simple. Take the Pew  poll, which is frequently cited as evidence that the American people favor  the president’s “balanced approach.”

In truth, they are somewhere between the president and Republicans; while 76  percent favor a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, 54 percent favor  tilting the deficit reduction toward spending cuts, a view that is somewhere  between the 50/50 suggestion of the president and the 100 percent spending cuts  suggested by Republicans.


Mort Zuckerman: The Jobs Picture Is Far Worse Than It Looks

As in the Great Depression, millions are suffering unemployed—but this time they’re invisible

by Mort Zuckerman

We think of the iconic images of the Great Depression as representative of a uniquely miserable period, long vanished from American history. The bread lines and soup kitchens of those abnormal times have gone. So, too, has the sight of thousands of men (there were very few women among them then) waiting all day outside a factory in a forlorn quest for work.

But they’re there still, in the many millions across the country—little changed in their total since the 1930s: 12.3 million today are fully unemployed, compared to 12.8 million in 1933 at the depth of the depression. The difference is that now they’re invisible, because we’ve organized relief differently. In our “recovery,” the millions are being assisted, out of sight, by the government, through unemployment checks, Social Security disability checks, and food stamps.

More than 47 million Americans are in the food stamp program, some 15 percent of the total population, compared with the 7.9 percent participation in food stamps from 1970 to 2000. Then there are the more than 11 million Americans who are collecting checks from Social Security to compensate for disability, a record. Half of them have signed on since President Obama came to office.

Twenty years ago, one person was on disability for every 35 workers; today, the ratio is one for every 16. Such an increase is simply impossible to explain by disability experienced during employment, for it is inconceivable that work in America has become so much more dangerous. For many, this program is another unemployment program, only this time it is without end.


Obama is the closest thing to Nixon  we’ve seen in 40 years

By Patrick Caddell

It is not without a bit of irony that, in the 40 years since the  explosion of the Watergate story, Bob Woodward would again be under attack from  the White House for trying to tell the truth. But this time the attack is coming  from a Democrat.

While Barack Obama may not share the Nixon pedigree, he and his White House  are the closest thing to the Nixon regime of any that we have seen since then —  both in the extent of their paranoia and their willingness to suppress the truth  and push the boundaries of law.

In my lifetime, in over 40 years in national politics, Mr. Obama is the only  president who comes close to rivaling Richard Nixon for fundamental  disingenuousness.


 Every Job In America Will Be Lost Because of Sequestration Says Idiot Maxine Waters

Representative Maxine Waters told a press conference that “over 170 million jobs will be lost”.  There are 134 million people currently working in America.

Media Malpractice:

CBS Spotlights Arne Duncan’s ‘Exaggeration’ on Sequester Effects; ABC and NBC  Punt

Thursday’s CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network  morning newscast to zero in on Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s false assertion  about the sequester – that “there are, literally, teachers now who are  getting pink slips; who are getting notices they can’t come back this  fall”. Correspondent Bill Plante noted that “Duncan conceded he knew of only one  county nationwide where there had been notices”, and underlined that  “those notices weren’t sequester-related.”
CBS News  political director John Dickerson also highlighted that “the Washington  Post caughtDuncan in an exaggeration about those  effects.” Actually, “exaggeration” is an understatement on the part of  Dickerson, as the Post’s Glenn Kessler ripped the Cabinet official over several statements he’s  made on the sequester issue:

…[T]here is no reason to hype the  statistics — or to make scary pronouncements on pink  slips being issued based on misinformation.
Indeed, Duncan’s lack of seriousness about being scrupulously factual undercuts  the administration’s claim that the cuts are a serious problem.
Duncan  made this claim not once, not twice, but three times. Let this be a teachable  moment for him: Next time, before going on television, check your  facts.


When does an “exageration” become a lie? When it’s done by a member of the GOP would be my guess.

  Pass the Tanning Butter Popcorn

It was one of those real vacationy vacations. Lots of beach, lots of cocktails, little or no news. The most ambitious I got was on the second day, when we rented a golf cart and toured the entire length and breadth of Isla Mujeres — before lunch. If you ever find yourself at the Privilege Aluxes beach bar, order the hot wings (more of a Jamaica jerk than Buffalo) with a side of habanero sauce.

We didn’t get back until well after midnight last night, so it’s with some trepidation that I’m sticking a single toe slowly back into the news and


An infinite and expanding universe is incapable of holding enough popcorn for this show. Imagine Brian Cox joining the Campus Crusade for Christ. Imagine me on a horse with my gentle sidekick, tilting at Glenmorangie. Picture, if you can for just one moment, a day with just three or four links from Instapundit.

All of these things are more likely than a Democrat White House going to war against Bob Woodward. And yet it has happened.

Of course, now is when journalists of every stripe, from far leftwinger to slightly less far leftwinger, will rally ’round the man who inspired each of them to become a journalist! The man who brought down a president!

My, but the crickets do chirp loudly this time of year.

The long knives will come out for Bob Woodward, mark my words. Richard Nixon had to be destroyed because he created the EPA and ended the war in Vietnam and instituted wage and price controls — while having the gall to not be a Democrat. And now one of their own is going after Teh Won? He. Must. Be. Destroyed.


  Bob Woodward’s perfect storm

Until very recently, I had a hard time imagining what it would take to get the mainstream media riled up about the Obama administration. After all, even the Benghazi horror failed to accomplish this.

But the Bob Woodward flap has remedied my failure of imagination. Whatever the merit of Woodward’s specific charge that the White House, through Gene Sperling, threatened him, the controversy at a minimum has struck a nerve with the MSM. And, more than that, it may produce a new chapter in the relationship between the White House and the MSM — one marked by a diminished ability of the former to rely on the latter.

With unerring instinct, Woodward has produced something like a perfect storm. First, the controversy is about the media, as opposed to something trivial like overwhelming national debt or the death of a U.S. ambassador. Second, it’s about individual reporters. Even the most dedicated Obama supporter will be tempted to join the queue of reporters important enough to have received “the Woodward treatment” from the White House.


Worth a Read:

Bob Woodward on Morning Joe


Obama urges Supreme Court to overturn California Gay Marriage ban


Michigan governor to declare Detroit fiscal emergency



  World  belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader or that king or prince or  religious leader. World belongs to humanity. ~ Dalai  Lama

2 thoughts on “FRIDAY MOURNING

  1. Bob Woodward’s Perfect Storm? I will wait to see if it goes anywhere. Will others follow Bob Woodward or are they too far gone? Lannie Davis added to the charges, after the fact, but he didn’t have the guts to reveal the threats from the WH at the time they were issued. \\

    I have no doubt that the threats were made, and I don’t think they were the only ones made. IMO, this has been going on for a while now, and no one had the back-bone to voice their objections until Woodward made the charge. Maybe now that others have seen that Woodward is ready to buck the administration’s henchmen , more will put down the kool-aid glass and come up for air? Dare we hope? Stay tuned. Maybe Obummer’s
    frantic outbursts on sequestering will wake some up.

    • I think many will see how both the White House and the media jumped on a well-respected and established journalist like Bob Woodward and think if they can do this to him… I was glad to see that Fournier jumped in too. Obots won’t know, or care, that the White House is trying to stifle dissent. But in the great scheme of things they don’t count because they are ignorant and damned determined to stay that way. In time that comes with a cost. Stupid can’t be cured but willful ignorance should cause pain. I suspect it will.


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