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By Tom Toles



Friday Rant: The fall of a presidency edition

You don't have to consult any experts; you can see with your own eyes what is happening under the Obama administration. The leaves, ALL OF THEM, are coming off the trees! Sure, you can try to dress that up in pretty colors, but Obama promised GROWTH, and what we're getting instead are BARE BRANCHES!

Our homes used to be places where we could relax in comfort with the windows open. But now? There is a CHILL in the air. What was all that talk about WARMING TRENDS? Sweaters don't lie. The facts in the paper say it's colder than it was JUST ONE MONTH AGO, and this when Democrats control BOTH houses of Congress. Why don't you try and explain why your health-care plan didn't stop me from catching this miserable head cold? Time for some hot TEA!

And whatever happened to our DAYLIGHT after dinner? Don't try saying that it isn't getting dark earlier, Mr. Socialist! You may not have CAMPAIGNED on taking away our daylight, but facts are facts, and you can't run away from them. Oh, and how about reckless squandering of these very resources? Daylight SAVINGS Time is about to expire ON YOUR WATCH! You didn't lift a finger to prevent that. Don't think we are too stupid to notice! Well, the voters have a big message to send to you Mr. Anticolonialist: the winter of our discontent is coming! --Tom Toles




By Tom Toles  | October 22, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Afghanistan, Foreign Policy  
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Explain what a 'blind belief' is.

Posted by: bertzel | October 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

~~~Liberals at least have standards.~~~~
Please list a few...
Posted by: bertzel

I'll list the first one:

We'll take FACTS over blind beliefs everytime. Conservatives can't and refuse.

Posted by: kparc | October 25, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

~~~Liberals at least have standards.~~~~

Please list a few...

Posted by: bertzel | October 24, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

ahhh...I get it now....the big double standard....

Posted by: bertzel | October 23, 2010 9:04 AM
Liberals at least have standards. If Fox had _any_ standards for its commentators and news persons, O'Reilly, along with most of the rest of their commentators who play fast and loose with the truth, would be fired. But they don't, so O'Reilly can call anyone "stupid" or a "pinhead" with impunity.

That said, I don't think Williams should have been fired. But he's home now, at Fox. Big money, no standards to meet. No ethics required.

Posted by: ptgrunner | October 24, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

ahhh...I get it now....the big double standard....

Posted by: bertzel | October 23, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Freedom of speech (cited somewhere down this thread) means you can't be prosecuted by the government -- or thrown in jail -- for what you say. It doesn't mean you can't lose your job over it

Posted by: bigfish2 | October 22, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching and listening to PBS television and NPR radio for 50 years; since my family moved to the Boston area and we had WGBH Channel 2. I assert that NPR/PBS provides this country with the best-balanced, most thought-provoking news and information programming we have. Further, the discipline of the PBS program managers and editorial staff have made their reporting the most factual and reliable anywhere. I'm sorry that some people are so determined to label public broadcasting in America as "liberal" (whatever that is supposed to mean) that they refuse to look and listen objectively. Perhaps if more did so, we wouldn't be running amok as we are today.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | October 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

For those old enough to remember Cronkite, picture him on some commentator's show, saying what Williams did. Never would have happened. Why? Because Cronkite was a professional journalist, the way you're *supposed* to be a professional journalist.

Williams had turned into a something other than a professional journalist as soon as he started working at Fox News. NPR had every right to dump him for not following their standards.

bobbo, NPR as a single entity, gets about 3% of its funding from direct tax money. This includes the funds that come from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is where the handfull of pennies a year out of your tax burdon goes for public broadcasting. Get a clue.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | October 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@bobbo2 This liberal/elite is not going to defend the firing of Juan Williams by NPR. There may have been other, undisclosed reasons for the firing, but his comments about Muslims on O'Reilly were apparently the reasons given. If there are "other" reasons, NPR would be advised by any sensible HR person or lawyer not to reveal them. Lawsuits! But in my mind, William's firing was _not_ justified by his comments--I've only seen a short edited video, but it probably conveyed what he said reasonably well. Williams was talking about what he felt, not what he thought about Muslims. Not a crime, either way. The fact is, we work at the pleasure of the companies we serve, and we can be fired at any time. What Nina Totenberg said or did not say is irrelevant. Damn, I bet you never thought you'd proudly stick up for a LIBERAL! How does it feel to do the right thing?

Next up...or at some point. My take on "separation of church and state" and the Constitution debate.

Posted by: ptgrunner | October 22, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

ptgrunner wrote:

["@pararanger22 Here's where your logic fails. The Republicans had many years to run over the electorate with the bus, then run the economic bus into the swamp. [The TP is just the more extreme wing of the extremist Republican Party.] Let's say they took ONLY 8 years to accomplish this. In reality they had more time. You've given Obama and the Democrats less than 2 years. Why less than two yeas? Because you've been whining for over a year about how Obama has failed us, and YOU made up your minds months ago, so Obama had a year at best. Moreover, your opinions are not fact based. Most economists believe that the Democrats have largely done the right things, but that they should have had a larger stimulus package. There were many economists saying that the stimulus was not large enough. Still the stimulus did create jobs--we know this now because the economy lost jobs in Sept. 2010 that were created or continued by stimulus money that is now drying up. Governments--federal, state and local--are letting people go. YOU'RE getting your government spending cuts, and YOU don't like them because those cuts cost real jobs. As for the U.S. automakers, we could have simply let them fail. Would that have really been better for the U.S. economy? Probably not. And make no mistake about it, auto workers did make concessions. Jobs were lost, pensions and other benefits were cut. Furthermore, it's likely that the taxpayer will be paid back some of the money we spent on GM and Chrysler. Saving the automakers from themselves was probably a bargain. I'm tired of whiney TPiers making arguments in defense of their conclusions based on what Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, and O'Reilly say on Fox, only to change the argument but not their conclusion when they are faced with FACTS. It's like debating a AGW denier. And you don't understand the ridicule that you draw to yourselves?!?!?"]

I argue for the TP but am not a member. I didn't give up on the current WH but their performance doesn't give me a lot of cheer. You can run on about '8 years' of Bush woe but until the SEP 08 debacle at Lehmans, the economy was doing pretty good. You know, I have a real problem with the Liberals never taking responsibility for their own poor decisions that led to the Fannie/Freddie debacle and all the votes they cast for GOP initiatives during the last administration. I know exactly what happened with the mortgage paper at Lehmans and a solid case can be made that the Democrats (Barney Frank as lead man) contributed and exacerbated the problem The GOP isn't clean either but the current crop of GOP leaders have been owning up to their part in that sad play.

Finally - I get tired of this crap that all TP'ers only drink from the Fox/Rush/Hannity/ knowledge fountain. It simply isn't true.

Posted by: pararanger22 | October 22, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Your rant today does not become you. Neither does your view on Mrs. Thomas.

Posted by: quiensabe | October 22, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

TT -- the problem with your rant is that underneath the satire is a cogent thought. The TeaGOP can't seem to muster anything logical.

William F. Buckley must be spinning in his grave. To think that his gigantic intellect would spawn the likes of the Palin, O'Donnell, Beck, and Limbaugh.

My politics are somewhere to the left of Kucinich, but as a political adversary at least Buckley came to the gun fight with his pistols loaded.

Posted by: egc52556 | October 22, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

bobbo2, you are funny. How many days was it, before poor Juan Williams had a three-year, $2 million contract with FOX? Gracious me, a thinking person might think it takes, oh, at least a week or two to negotiate a contract of that magnitude, and that Williams and FOX maybe planned his obvious violation of NPR's standards (and subsequent firing and the resulting news splash) as a publicity stunt.
Nah. Couldn't be. How cynical. This is FOX NEWS, after all!!

And, yes, before you even say it, genuine Liberals DO tend to be intolerant of intolerance... and that is NOT actually a contradiction in terms.

By the way, while we're talking about budgets, why is it that the U.S. military budget is not only off the table, but not even subject to audit? Black programs aside, is this because we're already convinced that there is no waste in the military budget, or because we know there's so much and don't EVEN want to go down THAT slippery slope?

Ooh, I know. It's because the union-run (!) military contractors won't allow their representatives to question how 40% of our federal tax dollars are being spent.


Tom, your rant today was funny, and don't let anybody tell you different. And reading your regular readers' reactions is even funnier!

Posted by: jonroesler | October 22, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

It's likely too subtle for the people who have been drinking the GOP Kool Aid.

Posted by: leanderthal | October 22, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

NPR received 450 million in direct government funding in 2010 and will get 601 million in 2011. In addition member stations receive an average of 16% or for the math challenged one sixth of their funds from government subsidy. These subsidies then help pay stations fees to NPR. This makes it difficult to account for the amount as a percentage of direct subsidy paid to NPR.

Happy Birthday Toles!

Posted by: dalyplanet | October 22, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"Now we have Juan Williams fired for speaking his mind by a left wing radio station NPR that gets a large part of it's money from the taxpayer. For the Left to support an African American they must always tow the liberal line."

Toe the line, bobbo, as in line up straight, no deviations. Towing a line is trolling, which may be what you're doing.

Also, FYI, NPR does not get a 'large' part of its budget from the taxpayer, unless you're counting my contribution in that categorization, since I'm also a taxpayer.

As far as whether NPR is 'liberal', I would agree its liberal in the same way that 'liberal arts' is the study of a wide range of topics. Its liberal in the context of collecting information from a wide range of viewpoints.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh I get it, TT: you're being funny today -- a little too funny (should the truth be told). But now that you've reached sixty years-of-age, you'll begin doing all sorts of "funny" things -- and I don't mean "Ha-Ha." Anyway: Happy Birthday.

Posted by: dudeupnorth | October 22, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Try to sit with some hot cocoa for a while. You will feel better in the morning.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 22, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Let's call it what it is National Liberal Radio (NLR). Juan Williams was right. Many who ride the Metro check around for heavily dressed Middle Eastern liberals. Middle Eastern liberals recently promoted attacks against government employees eating lunch in DC.

Posted by: billybeer6 | October 22, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

Dear DougMUSN, I am sure that the people who head NPR want nothing to do with having their contracts compared to the UCoMJ. And at over $41,000 the Chevy Volt is twice the cost of a comparable import. Your smaller Government question is easy. Constitutional review of all departments of the United States Government. Also across the board cuts in all Government Agencies, no exceptions.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 22, 2010 4:59 AM | Report abuse

When Nina Totenberg of NPR made the comment about God giving Jesse Helms or his grandkid AIDS she did that as a news correspondent, not a news analyst. Of course she gets a free pass because she was attacking an enemy of the Left. NPR has blown it, big time. The people in charge are hypocrites. Our tax dollars go to support a left-wing radio network. Why? Because the Left can't survive on radio without holding out their tin cup. Let George Soros buy it outright. He just have them 1.8 million dollars. If people want their tax money to go to NPR they should have to check a box on their tax return.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 22, 2010 4:51 AM | Report abuse

"If the roots are unharmed, and the soil is good, things will grow in the spring."
~Chance the Gardener

When the economy turns around, and it will, you can bet that which ever 'party' is in power at the time will take all of the credit for the turn-around.

Posted by: chaunceygardener | October 22, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

@bobbo2: Juan Williams' termination from NPR was not a "freedom of speech" issue. Every individual has a right to say anything but not to say anything without consequences. His statements took him outside the boundaries of his employment contract, not unlike the limitations on "freedom of speech" placed on serving military members who cannot rail against any Commander in Chief without running afoul of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

On the Chevy Volt: this auto was on the drawing board years before any bailout. I believe both corporations and government have an joint obligation to seek innovative methods to husband our planet's resources thoughtfully. Whether the Volt will succeed or fail depends on consumers and not the government. Regardless, we can learn a great deal in the effort. The moon landings didn't just give us Tang. We also got remote sensing, cardiac telemetry, a major increase in miniaturization in electronics among a lot of other good things.

I continue to await your thoughtful words about the specific programs and efforts you wish us to cut in a search for smaller government.

Posted by: DougMUSN | October 21, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

bobbo2, Clarence Thomas' wife is doing the harassing years later. Not all rallied behind the Clinton fiasco...I do believe impeachment was the chant of the masses and Jauan Williams should not have been fired....I have a problem with 'freedom of speech' or what we believe to be 'freedom of speech'. Too many 'cracks' in the system. I am interested as to how you actually view the toed liberal line...Do you believe it to be crooked? Slanted? Curved? Zig-zagged? Obviously you don't think it to be straight.

Posted by: bertzel | October 21, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Concerning the scrawl about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Why is it that the Left will support with everything they have a Democrat President that lied to the American people and had a sexual encounter with a young intern in the Oval Office, yet they will try to villify an African American conservative whose accuser continued to call him years after the supposed harassment she accuses him of? Now we have Juan Williams fired for speaking his mind by a left wing radio station NPR that gets a large part of it's money from the taxpayer. For the Left to support an African American they must always tow the liberal line.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 21, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

No one can say your are not persitent Toles!
Enjoyable rant to boot! You should write a book. Bet you'd be good at it : )

Posted by: bertzel | October 21, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Made glorious summer for Conservatives come the 2nd of November. Great thoughts, throughout the soul: here the Tea Party comes...

Posted by: jornolibist | October 21, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

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