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Morning Fix: Clinton wades into MA-Senate; Palin at Gridiron

1. With less than 24 hours before Massachusetts voters go to the polls to select nominees in the special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, former president Bill Clinton is wading into the race on behalf of Democratic frontrunner Martha Coakley. In a robocall being piped into the homes of 500,000 Democratic primary voters, Clinton says that Coakley "will go to Washington to fight every day to create good jobs with good benefits and to get health reform with a strong public option." Clinton's support is consistent with his recent pattern of rewarding political loyalty -- Coakley was an early endorser of then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid. Bill Clinton is the most high profile endorser to make his preference known in the special and his support of Coakley may well be aimed at stifling any last minute momentum for Rep. Mike Capuano who was endorsed by former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis and Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey over the past week. Public polling shows Coakley with a comfortable lead, however, and private surveys confirm that tomorrow's race is hers to lose. Clinton's involvement is only the latest sign of the active interest he continues to maintain in electoral politics. The former president has held a bevy of fundraisers to benefit the Senate campaign of Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek, endorsed the gubernatorial candidacy of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and recorded robocalls for Scranton (Pa.) Mayor Chris Doherty's reelection bid earlier this year.

2. The Post's Dana Milbank pens an important column on the disappointment and dream-dashing felt by some Obama supporters as the former Illinois senator has gone from candidate to president. "It was bound to happen eventually," writes Milbank. "Obama had become to his youthful supporters a vessel for all of their liberal hopes. They saw him as a transformational figure who would end war, save the Earth from global warming, restore the economy -- and still be home for dinner." Later, Milbank notes insightfully: "For all of Obama's soaring oratory about hope and change, it was plain even during the campaign that his record was that of an incrementalist." (We have long held that Obama is by policy a progressive but by politics a pragmatist.) Milbank is clearly on to something -- particularly in regard to Obama's decision to put 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, a decision that drew widespread criticism from the liberal left. In terms of Obama's politics, the lessening of enthusiasm from the party's base isn't likely to have a huge impact since liberal voters, however unhappy they may be with him, aren't likely to support whoever Republicans put forward in 2012. In the near-term though, a diminishing intensity within the Democratic base could be troublesome for the party in next year's midterm elections, which are traditionally lower turnout affairs where party loyalists have an outsized influence.

3. White House deputy political director Rob Hill is leaving his post to take over as field director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to sources familiar with the move. Hill, a protege of White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, worked in Messina' home state of Montana on Sen. Jon Tester's 2006 Senate victory before signing on to the Obama campaign where he oversaw the field effort in the 2008 New Hampshire primary. White House political director Partrick Gaspard praised Hill's "deep experience" and "disarming coolness" while DSCC executive director J.B. Poersch added that "Barack Obama's election showed how important the grassroots operation is." Hill joins Poersch, political director Martha McKenna and communications director Eric Schultz at the senior staff level of the DSCC.

4. Montana Sen. Max Baucus's acknowledgment that he carried on an extramarital affair with a former staffer might be big news at the moment but unless there are further revelations implicating the senator in trying to pull strings for his girlfriend, the political impact of the revelations is likely to be minor. Why? Because timing is critically important in politics and this affair is coming to light roughly a year after Baucus won a sixth term with 73 percent of the vote. That means that he won't stand before voters again until 2014 (if he decides to run again, that is), a period of time that amounts to an eon in politics. (Remember all the talk that Louisiana Sen. David Vitter was a stone cold lock to lose reelection following his 2007 admission of involvement in the "D.C. Madam" scandal? Now, Vitter doesn't even crack the top 10 on the Fix's Senate Line.) Dick Wadhams, who managed then Montana Sen. Conrad Burns's (R) race in 2000, called Baucus "lucky" that he doesn't have to face voters for another five years. "His high profile role in supporting the health care reform bill that I believe is unpopular in Montana along with this U.S. Attorney incident reveal a 30 year incumbent senator who is out of touch with his state," added Wadhams.

5. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) drew generally positive reviews for her speech over the weekend at that most insider of insider events -- the Gridiron Club dinner. Of Palin's address, NBC's Andrea Mitchell tweeted: "Speech funny, edgy but she's a good sport to show up." Our favorite line? "I have to say the view on the bus is better than under it." (Get it! Because Sen. John McCain's senior staff throughthrew her under the bus. Yes! Double entendre!). Palin's appearance at the Gridiron reveals the love/hate relationship she has with Washington. On the one hand, she seems genuine in her disregard for how politicians -- of both parties -- handle problems and see solutions in the nation's capital. On the other, she seems to be drawn to the power represented in the city like a moth to a flame. That back and forth within Palin's personality is what makes predicting her next political move so very difficult. ALSO READ: Palin draws a huge crowd for her Sunday appearance in Sioux City, Iowa.

6. In a wide-ranging interview -- is there any other kind? -- with the Times of Malta (!), former White House chief of staff John Sununu offered his take on his son's defeat in last year's New Hampshire Senate race and the general state of political play in the country today. "There's no question that in the last election there was an anti-administration feeling among the electorate and it was complicated by the fact that Senator John McCain made himself famous by being the anti-Republican Republican," Sununu told the Times. He also predicted that the "pendulum will swing back in the other direction" in 2010. Whether or not that swing occurs well be best measured in the Granite State where Republicans have solid chances of flipping both House seats and the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Judd Gregg (R).

7. A great piece in the State newspaper looks at the controversy -- and value -- surrounding opposition research. The story, which uses the 2010 governors race in the Palmetto State as a jumping-off point, documents the little known but widely used practice of digging dirt against an opponent (and yourself) to ensure there are no surprises in the rough and tumble of a campaign. Said Chris LaCivita, a Virginia-based strategist doing work for Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, of his opponents in the race: "If they say they're not (conducting opposition research), they're being dishonest." While some of the other candidates in the governors race insist they are not doing any oppo [as it is known to political pros], we're with LaCivita on this one -- they are. NO modern campaign can exist without a healthy oppo file on both themselves and their opponent(s). Then candidate Barack Obama sought to draw a line in the sand between research into his opponents' professional careers (fair game) and their private lives (off limits). Of course, that line was inevitably crossed; campaign manager David Plouffe admitted in his highly readable "Audacity to Win" that it was the Obama team that leaked the fact that former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) had paid $400 for a haircut.

8. Attorney Cal Cunningham (D) will officially enter the North Carolina Senate race against Richard Burr (R) this morning -- announcing his candidacy via web video, according to sources familiar with the move. Cunningham will be the third Democrat in the race, joining Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Ken Lewis. Cunningham, although late to the race appears to be the preferred candidate of the party's Washington establishment, a fact that should help him raise money and attract staff talent. Cunningham enters the race with his consulting team in place; Steve Murphy and Mark Putnam will handle media while John Anzalone will be the campaign pollster. (Anzalone polled for North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan's upset of Elizabeth Dole in 2008.) Burr's poll numbers are soft although Republicans believe the national environment works in their favor -- particularly in a state that has leaned toward the GOP over the past decade.

9. Tonight's the night! "Politics and Pints" -- the Post's trivia night featuring yours truly -- is going down tonight at the Capitol Lounge. It all gets underway at 7 p.m. and we will have you out of there by 9 o'clock -- wearing BRAND NEW official Fix t-shirts if you are lucky enough to win. (There will be other prizes too but, let's be honest, the official Fix t-shirt is the hottest thing going right now.) Teams are first come, first served so make sure to get to Cap Lounge right at 7 to sign up. Spread. The. Word.

10. We have said it before and we'll say it again: you are missing out if you don't read anything and everything that the Post's Joel Achenbach writes. Achenbach's latest piece in the Post magazine focuses on one of his pet topics -- space. Specifically, Achenbach uses the images provided by the revamped Hubble telescope (no, we didn't know it had been revamped either) to explain life, the universe and everything. Writes Achenbach: "The universe is wild. The universe evolves. And change is the norm." Do yourself a favor -- whether you care about space or not -- and read the whole thing.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 7, 2009; 5:42 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: CT-Sen: Liberals attack Lieberman in ads

Comments

Progressive Liberals Creating a Diabolical Society

http://www.massresistance.org
http://www.drjudithreisman.org
http://www.silentscream.org
Also google Boston Children's Hospital Sex Change Clinic
Also google Dawn Stefanowicz Out From Under
Also Planned Parenthood
Also google Amazon.com You're Teaching My Child What?
MFIeForce(Adovcacy@mafamily.org)
CitizensforCommunityvalues(wresponsesccv.org)

Posted by: boski66 | December 8, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Progressive Liberals Creating a Diabolical Society

http://www.massresistance.org
http://www.drjudithreisman.org
http://www.silentscream.org
Also google Boston Children's Hospital Sex Change Clinic
Also google Dawn Stefanowicz Out From Under
Also google Amazon.com You're Teaching My Child What?
Also Planned Parenthood
MFIeForce(Adovcacy@mafamily.org)
CitizensforCommunityValues(wresponses@ccv.org)

Posted by: boski66 | December 8, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Liberals Creating a Diabolical Society

http://www.massresistance.org
http://www.drjudithreisman.org
http://www.silentscream.org
Also google Boston Children's Hospital Sex Change Clinic
Also Amazon.com You're Teaching My Child What?
Also google Planned Parenthood
Also google Dawn Stefanowicz Out from Under
MFIeforce(Adovcacy@mafamily.org)
CitizensforCommunityValues(wresponses@ccv.org)


Posted by: boski66 | December 8, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Progressive Liberals Creating a Diabolical Society

http://www.massresistance.org
http://www.drjudithriesman.org
http://www.silentscream.org
Also google Boston Children's Hospital Sex Change Clinic
Also google Amazon.com You're Teaching My Child What?
Also Planned Parenthood

The liberals are hell bent of creating a Diabolical Society

This is not God's Plan for Humanity

Posted by: boski66 | December 8, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I believe this so-called health care bill is the final nail in the coffin for We the People. I believe this bill will give Obama all the power he needs to rid us of the Congress and the Senate, as he has stated he is going to fundamentally change the fabric of this country. I believe he may also confinskate the monies that these representatives have bilked out of the We the People with corrupt legislation. I believe Obama hates this Country and will replace the House and Senate with like minded people of his views, the Czars. They will become the powers that be!

Posted by: boski66 | December 8, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

You might try using Google before spouting off, Jake. For example, VP Biden's performance in March...

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20322.html

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 7, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

It's worth noting also that Gridiron Club Dinners in the past have always been off-the-record. Yet another sexist, double-standard re: Gov. Palin.

Posted by: JakeD | December 7, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"...she seems to be drawn to the power represented in the city like a moth to a flame." Thanks for bringing a smile to my face, Chris. You didn't know they repaired Hubble for the last time? My impression of your column is that you have the television on 24/7 in the background so you don't miss a story. Apparently, you must tune out anything that is not politics (or you don't watch the News Hour with Jim Leher, where I saw the story).

Posted by: jameshauser | December 7, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The problem is, genius, that most of those ex-govs bugged out of state. With Deval Patrick looking vulernable, my guess is that the top tier Republicans will be targeted the governor's race.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 7, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I primarily confined my comments to Mara, though I don't see that anything she says is out of character from what I hear from Nina on other shows. One off-hand comment and some editor from Slate goes on a war rampage. NPR never had a problem before, Mara Liasson is under contract with Fox.

As for appearing on Fox, there's no shortage of Senators, Representatives, and Governors willing to do so. Even the head of the DNC (Howard Dean at the time). If it weren't Mara and Juan, then it would be E.J. Dionne or Colby King. There's plenty of journalists willing to serve as the foil for Brit and Bill.

Just having a little fun with Wait Wait. You have to admit, they engage in clear speculation at the end of every episode. Dare I say, it? Even punditry!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 7, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Is Zouk allowed to watch cartoons during the day? Does Matron know that he's in the day Room?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 7, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I normally refrain from posting comments unless I spot the writings of some1 worth engaging in a discussion. Finding nothing of the sort on this page (although ZOUK, you make some excellent points), I write only to lament the fact that in a state w/ 4 LIVING Republican EX-GOVS, the GOP could not field a competitive candidate for Teddy's Senate seat. 2 B sure, even a Jane Swift or a Curt Schilling would enter the race as a considerable underdog, but that shouldn't stop Republicans from @ least TRYING to spare the Bay State from being represented by yet another embarrassing Dem who marches in lock-step w/ her party bosses, blindly following their disastrous policies, instead of fighting 4 what's in the best interest of her constituents.

Posted by: right-wing_genius | December 7, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Pawlenty's ink has finally dried up for a while, it had to as to continue to puff up this sleepy nonentity had left the town of Sublime long ago and was pulling into the depot in Ridiculous.

So why is Palin still getting ink? And who cares about her silly turns of phrase?

And what makes you think your audience needs her shabby witticisms explain to them? You think we need a friend to explain the plot of "Dukes of Hazzard" reruns too?

Forget Palin.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 7, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse


"In an op-ed in the Boston Globe yesterday, I observed that right-wing billionaire David Koch who along with his brother David, owns the oil and gas empire Koch Industries, has manufactured a positive image for himself by giving to laudable causes, while at the same time, quietly “funneling tens of millions of dollars to more subterranean efforts that reflect his conservative politics.”

– Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing tea party group which Koch founded in 1984 and continues to finance, has just announced that it will send a team of political operatives to Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. AFP intends to hold a press conference to attack any climate change solution the President promises as a mistake that will “kill jobs here” and “infringe on our personal and national freedoms.”

– Koch has funded the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has been the most aggressive conservative front group heralding hacked e-mails as proof that climate change does not exist.

– Koch funds the “Hot Air Tour,” a campaign led by lobbyists stopping in cities across the country to call into question the science underpinning climate change. The tour also features an actual hot air balloon to illustrate their beleif that climate change science is just “hot air.”

The National Academy of Sciences, the US Global Change Research Program, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have all come to the same conclusion: “that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use and the loss of carbon-sink capacity in heavily timbered forests are increasing temperatures and making oceans more acidic.” David Koch’s Koch Industries derives much of its profit from its oil refineries, one of the major emitters of carbon dioxide, and from its George-Pacific timber subsidiary, one of the largest contributors to the loss of carbon-sink capacity. So while it’s clear Koch’s bottom line is in conflict with the addressing the world’s climate crisis, it should also be clear that he is no champion of science."

The fruitcakes who are sock puppets for the oil industry still don't beleive in science.

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Don't bother me with facts, Son. I've already made up my mind." -Foghorn Leghorn

sounds like the liberal green cult.

To put it in contemporary liberal media terms, “the narrative about Obama” has begun to change. And it seems that even the most ardent of Obama fans – that is, the American left wing -is waking up and realizing that the Nobel Peace Prize-winning man who some regard as quasi-deity, may nonetheless not know what he’s doing with economic policy.

Since becoming our President, Barack Obama has, in no particular order: A) alleged that Medical Doctors sometimes perform unnecessary procedures merely for the sake of enhancing their salaries; B) sought greater ability for his Administration to seize private banks; C) engaged in a public campaign of maligning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ; D) forced the Chrysler corporation into a bankruptcy (if G.M. fell into bankruptcy, Chrysler got “pushed”) that defied both bankruptcy law and accounting rules, by requiring some of Chrysler’s creditors to accept payments of less than 30 cents on the dollar (by law those creditors were entitled to 100% payment of the debt); and E)ordered his “Executive Compensation Czar” to mandate anywhere from 50 to 90% salary cuts for executives of bailout-receiving companies.

This from a guy who has trouble picking a dog, makes military decisions twice by adding in an automated defeat and prays to the bogus climate fraud and its associated taxes as a means to prosperity.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 7, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Since the increase in the minimum wage – pushed through by liberal Democrats – began in July, there has been a loss of about 330,000 low wage jobs. Entry-level teenagers have been hardest hit. It is George Bush’s fault.

Liberal economics. totally clueless.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 7, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is conducting a workshop on government openness for federal employees behind closed doors Monday, a private training session for freedom-of-information officials to learn about a new U.S. office that settle disputes between the bureaucracy and the public. The decision to preclude the public and the media from attending Monday's openness workshop left advocates scratching their heads


A perfect metaphor for this administration.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 7, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

again missing the boat CC. What no mention of the fact that BIG donors to Obama's campaign are pissed off cause of lack of access and perks for their thousands of dollars? Along with month end reports of WH visitor logs, and taking questions from non-traditional media types at pressers are all signs of "CHANGE" in Washington. And you insult voters by acting like they have ADD, and have no patience like adults should.

Posted by: katem1 | December 7, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

CC -- Most Important Number for you-- 64.

"Washington (CNN) - Americans agree with the Afghanistan policy Barack Obama announced on Tuesday night at West Point in large measure because they agree with the arguments the president made in that speech, according to a new national poll.

In his prime time address at the U.S. Military Academy, where Obama spelled out his decision to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to the war, the president stressed that America's safety and security are at stake in Afghanistan.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey released Sunday morning indicates 64 percent of Americans agree with the president, with one in three saying the country's safety and security is not at stake in Afghanistan. According to the poll, 63 percent of people questioned also agree with Obama that the U.S. action in Afghanistan is morally justified.

Full results (pdf)

"That's one major way that Afghanistan is different from Iraq in the public's mind," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "At the time of the Iraq surge in 2007, most Americans questioned whether that war was justified."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/12/06/cnn-poll-americans-mostly-agree-with-obama-on-afghanistan/

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

We all knew Palin could deliver a good speech. Last year;s GOP convention proved that. But don't conservatives always say speechifying is akin to socialism?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 7, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Your opinion is not supported by the facts:

"As CF highlighted yesterday, NPR management has finally taken steps to stem the damage that NPR's Juan Williams routinely does with his appearances on Fox News. NPR's ombudsman Alicia Shepard wrote:

[I]n the end, NPR must decide -- as it apparently already has -- whether giving its listeners the benefit of Williams' voice is worth the cost of annoying some listeners for his work on Fox. As a result of this latest flap, NPR's Vice President of News, Ellen Weiss, has asked Williams to ask that Fox remove his NPR identification whenever he is on O'Reilly.

Frankly, that's not enough and here's why. As I noted back in 2007, when Williams again embarrassed NPR via his conduct on Fox News, and specifically, on an appearance he made on The O'Reilly Factor:

Real damage is being done to NPR by having its name, via Williams, associated with Fox News' most opinionated talker. In fact, Williams' recent appearance on The O'Reilly Factor almost certainly violated NPR's employee standards, which prohibit staffers from appearing on programs that "encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis" and are "harmful to the reputation of NPR."

To add fuller context, the NPR code of ethics clearly states:

9. NPR journalists must get permission from the Vice President for their Division or their designee to appear on TV or other media. It is not necessary to get permission in each instance when the employee is a regular participant on an approved show. Permission for such appearances may be revoked if NPR determines such appearances are harmful to the reputation of NPR or the NPR participant."

It is angry supporters of NPR-- myself included -- who are driving NPR to pressure them to ask their journalists to stop appearing on PROPAGANDA outlets.

'Wait, wait, don't tell me' is a game show -- not a serious news analysis.

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

As far as NPR, they have guidelines which Liasson is breaking.

===

Bull! I hear NPR folks regularly on other shows and other networks. If this guidelines were enforced strictly and uniformly, there would be NO NPR analysts appearing anywhere. How on earth could Nina Totenberg comment on Supreme Court deliberations without any hint of speculation? She specifically called for the resignation of a general in Iraq. [http://www.npr.org/yourturn/ombudsman/2003/031029.html] That's not punditry? Heck, Wait Wait don't tell me should be pulled off the air by those standards.

This is targeted directly at Fox and feeds into the perception that NPR is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic party. This is not about what Mara Liasson has said, only about where she appears.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 7, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh, btw,

'It dawned with the warmest winter on record in the United States. And when the sun sets this New Year's Eve, the decade of the 2000s will end as the warmest ever on global temperature charts.'

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"This was directed at Fox and lends the clear impression that NPR news is taking its marching orders from Obama. "

No, it creates the impression that NPR understands that Fox, and ONLY Fox, was created specifically by a Republican strategist, Roger Ailes, to create a propaganda outlet. This is not true of ANY OTHER TV station. But I certainly agree that no NPR journalists should appear on it.

"While NPR’s ethics guidelines allow journalists to appear on other media outlets, they clearly state that journalists should not “encourage punditry and speculation“:

10. In appearing on TV or other media including electronic Web-based forums, NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist. They should not participate in shows electronic forums, or blogs that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.'

In August, Liasson controversially compared the Cash for Clunkers program to a “mini-Katrina,” a comment for which she apologized a few days later. “By appearing on Fox, reporters validate its propaganda values and help to undermine the role of legitimate news organizations,” Slate editor Jacob Weisberg wrote in October. “Respectable journalists — I’m talking to you, Mara Liasson — should stop appearing on its programs."

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Afghan Surge: Was It Really Obama's Decision -- or Is He Subject to 'Persuasion' Techniques?

OBAMA WRONG AT WEST POINT: U.S. DOES TORTURE -- ITS OWN CITIZENS

• Regional Homeland Security- administered fusion centers use a nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system, employing cell towers and satellites, to silently, invisibly torture, impair, physiologically and neurologically enslave unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight.

For the rest of the story:

http://nowpublic.com/world/obama-wrong-west-point-u-s-does-torture-its-own-citizens
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR (if link is corrupted): NowPublic.com/scrivener re: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 7, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed the Friday evening sessions Shields and Friend (Gergen, Gigot, Brooks), you get a different character from a panel discussion. I catch both panel discussions on Friday nights (Inside Washington and Washington Week). I gave up on the McLaughlin Group awhile ago and Chris Matthews show doesn't do it for me.

I'd prefer it if Mara were joined by another panelist without an easy to identify political identity. Brit's clearly a very conservative journals--my main issue is that he treats his own opinion like it is the last word on the matter. Anyone who disagrees with him after that is just being an idiot.

My concern with this story is two-fold. If NPR had a problem with its correspondents providing opinions, then that should be a general policy to ALL correspondents on ALL networks. No more Nina Totenberg on legal matters.

This was directed at Fox and lends the clear impression that NPR news is taking its marching orders from Obama. Add that to orders that Juan Williams not be identified with NPR when on O'Reilly. I can't think of any action that better lends credence to the accusation that NPR is a left leaning organization.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 7, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The Achenbach piece revisiting the images released by NASA a couple of months ago is very good. Thanks for highlighting it, CC.

Posted by: mnteng | December 7, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"We have long held that Obama is by policy a progressive but by politics a pragmatist."

To put it another way, Obama apparently believes that the path to revolutionary change is via evolutionary process. Instead of trying to use explosives to create a new Grand Canyon, he will do the political equivalent of diverting a river and let it erode a new canyon over time.

The people opposing him apparently understand, either intellectually or instinctively, that Obama's approach is a far greater long-term threat to their values than if he simply tried to change the world overnight. Obama isn't just trying to move an agenda, he's attempting to reshape the long-term political landscape.

And not only is this a huge threat to the whole Conservative (and Neo-Conservative) movement, but also to some of the Old Bulls of his own party who will soon find themselves outnumbered by younger Democrats of Obama's generation who don't share their values. (This already applies to Republicans like Richard Lugar and John McCain.)

The young Obama-oriented Democrats will start competing with the Old Bulls chosen successors and, starting in 2016, I believe we will see a changing of the guard among Democrats similar to the one we've seen in the Republican party over the last 20 years.

We live in interesting times.

Posted by: Gallenod | December 7, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

As far as NPR, they have guidelines which Liasson is breaking. And as far as either she or Williams being 'left-leaning' - that is a joke:

"The other NPR journalist to regularly appear on Fox is news analyst Juan Williams, who has even been a guest host on The O’Reilly Factor. In January, he controversially said that First Lady Michelle Obama had a “Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going.” NPR Vice President of News then asked him to “remove his NPR identification whenever he is on O’Reilly,” although he continued to have affiliation on other Fox shows.

While NPR’s ethics guidelines allow journalists to appear on other media outlets, they clearly state that journalists should not “encourage punditry and speculation“:

10. In appearing on TV or other media including electronic Web-based forums, NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist. They should not participate in shows electronic forums, or blogs that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.'

In August, Liasson controversially compared the Cash for Clunkers program to a “mini-Katrina,” a comment for which she apologized a few days later. “By appearing on Fox, reporters validate its propaganda values and help to undermine the role of legitimate news organizations,” Slate editor Jacob Weisberg wrote in October. “Respectable journalists — I’m talking to you, Mara Liasson — should stop appearing on its programs.”

Fox is not news. It was created specificially to be a conduit for rightwing propaganda. Any 'journalist' who appears on it immediately undermines their professional credentials.

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Giant protests in Iran today. No word from Barry as usual. Asleep at the switch

nice day for golf.

Posted by: snowbama | December 7, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree with bondosan -- when has wadhams ever been right about anything, or good for anything except taking cheap shots at democrats?

"Palin's appearance at the Gridiron reveals the love/hate relationship she has with Washington. On the one hand, she seems genuine in her disregard for how politicians -- of both parties -- handle problems and see solutions in the nation's capital."

And so does the average loser, who has no fracking clue what they are talking about. But unlike the AVERAGE loser, she had a chance to do something about it --- and so, what did she do?

QUIT.

So she's a below average loser, I guess.

From all the Lexographic Irregulars, I congratulate you, CC for fixing 'through."

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"Juan Williams tilts left, Bill Kristol and Brit Hume tilt right, Mara's analysis is must listening"

BK and BH TILT right? LOL, blade they tilt so far right they fell over a long time ago and now just flop about on the floor making weird noises like dying lox.

i don't really see juan williams or mara leaning especially left either.. i often find too much DC CW in their opinions.

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"." (We have long held that Obama is by policy a progressive but by politics a pragmatist.) "

or you could tell the truth.
Obma is just another corporatist president , determined to have lots of BOD postitions for his daughters , wife and himself after his 4 or 8 years are over

Posted by: tru-indy | December 7, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Drop WK and and JW and Wallace could have a [not terribly weak] version of Lehrer, Shields, and Brooks."

I suspect that is not consistent with Wallace's goals for the show.

While I agree - and have said as much before - that Ms Liasson's appearance on the show feeds into the mistaken impression that NPR amounts to the 'liberal media,' it is not appropriate for NPR to pressure her to stop appearing there.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 7, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

BB, the story indicates that NPR does not want to be thought of as "the left", and ML's appearances as counterweight on the left leave that impression.

Nevertheless, I am with you on this. ML and Britt exceed the other two as journalists. Drop WK and and JW and Wallace could have a [not terribly weak] version of Lehrer, Shields, and Brooks.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 7, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I look in three hours later and it still reads

"...through her under the bus." I will not read the rest of the paragraph until WaPo fixes it. I therefore have no idea what optimyst is talking about.

Shrink's literary chops were showing - and appreciated.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 7, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

So President Clinton is being political and everyone else is just endorsing the candidate they think is best? Sure,damn that man for endorsing the people's choice for Senator.
Maybe if more democrats listened to the people we would have the democrat's real choice for nominee in the White House.
The left's sheep like CDS is killing this country.
Signed: Liberal Democratic who votes in every race and every primary.

Posted by: teresainpa | December 7, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

This is the second time of late that you've mentioned that loathsome cretin Dick Wadhams.

This is a guy who learned his lessons from Lee Atwater and does his best (on a daily basis) to bring politics to a new low.

Reporters love him because he returns calls any time of the day or night to make pithy, yet vile statements about opponents.

Please stop going for the quick, cheap shot, by calling this guy for comments.

Posted by: Bondosan | December 7, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

By asking if we get it in #5, are you suggesting any -- I really mean ANY!!!! -- of your loyal readers would be dense enough not to get what passes for wit from Ms. Palin?

I understand the surprise and excitement in finding something from her that rises above the "My Pet Goat" level of intelligence, but it is best not to patronize your readers.

Posted by: optimyst | December 7, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

11. NPR pressures contributer Mara Liasson to stop appearing on Fox News. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29892_Page2.html

This one is shocking to me. I catch all the Sunday shows (rebroadcast in the afternoon on C-SPAN radio) and the panel is possibly the best of them. Juan Williams tilts left, Bill Kristol and Brit Hume tilt right, Mara's analysis is must listening. What kind of an idiot at NPR thought it would be a good idea to pressure its people.


BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 7, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Shrink was brief and poetic -- yesterday's effort from Montanna. OY! What a mess.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 7, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"drawn to the power represented in the city like a moth to a flame"

A Summer night by candle light,
Now and then, singed wings smell bitter.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 7, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

On 2, my friends on "the left" are clerics and professors. I haven't spoken to any of them since before TG, so I have heard universal mild or grudging support from the lawyers and clients I see every day. I second Margaret.

On 5, correct "through", please. This should read

"...threw her under the bus."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 7, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

As to Number 2, I haven't heard a lot of noise from the left about the surge in Af'stan. Some people have spoken against it, but I haven't seen or heard any revolt or call to abandon the party.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 7, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

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