Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty
"What we have here is a failure to communicate"
(Strother Martin in "Cool Hand Luke")
Sometimes I believe that the political press corps in the U.S. have little understanding and could care less that President Obama and his administration have a lot on their plate all the time. Reporters don't cover EVERYTHING, they cover what their bosses tell them to cover.
When a reporter is covering foreign policy and start snooping around to get a scoop, which is their job, they shouldn't get too upset when the administration doesn't go out of their way to help them. It has been that way since the beginning of our republic.
Obama has the added problems that social media and advanced 24-hour news cycles have evolved during his tenure. There are far MORE outlets, which means there are a lot more people snooping around trying to make a name for themselves. This is the nature of both sides.
It is true that President Obama has not helped his situation with the press corps by shutting them out and not giving them access, but the nature of his job has changed since even the days of Bush and Cheney. That administration ramrodded two wars down our throats and the Press Corps COVERED the story instead of properly VETTING the story in real time. The press did not do a good job calling this adminsitration en masse when they KNEW this administration was up to no good.
This gives me a clear understanding of Obama's disdain for the press corps. They call him arrogant behind his back. The tone of the press corps is very interesting when it comes to Obama. The press covered The Tea Party and never really QUESTIONED The Tea Party's motives and subtle racism.
The press corps haven't really even covered the fact that The U.S. Senate have overtly blocked so many of Obama's nominations, including so many State Department nominees. This is a HUGE story, but to this press corps...No big deal...
Obama has not helped himself by chiding the press "Off the record" on plane trips and then punished leakers. No wonder they think he is arrogant, BUT my belief is the press corps, as well as the GOP have lost the necessary respect for "The Office of President."
The country, the media and the world were quick to characterize George W. Bush as a dummy, a puppet of Dick Cheney. In real time, the press failed to do it's job on the lies that administration got away with costing America thousands of lives for OIL and money. Cheney and his cronies, including the Bushes got a lot richer by the time they left office. They tortured people, they ruined countries and NO ONE went after them for their obvious crimes, including the Obama administration.
Bush has kept his mouth shut, while Cheney has run around like a jilted wanna be Prom Queen. Obama rarely has said anything negative directly about the previous administration and the press corps have followed suit. THAT is a crime in my opinion.
So...To sum up...Obama is crappy when it comes to his handling of the press and the press is wrong in their handling of THE OFFICE of President. Both sides have two years to fix this problem.
The 2016 Horse race is on....
Rand Paul may come
out of the GOP pack not looking like such a clown.
He had a bad run there for awhile when he was nailed plagiarizing The Wiki (of all places) for several speeches. He would recite full passages from movie scripts that were easy to "Google."
It was not Mr. Paul's finest moment.
Lately, however, he is smelling like a rose when going head-to-head with not-ready-for-prime-time players like Rick Perry, from his own party. Paul, at one point, was shooting
big game by trying to knock Hillary Clinton and her husband former President Bill Clinton.
Is it possible Rand Paul will cease that idiotic line of thinking and stick to th ecompetition in his own party until he has securely dispatched THOSE threats in 2016. Might he just not comment on the Clintons UNTIL he has a reason to do so.
The press may catch on at some point in the near future and try to make news with quaotable quotes, but my guess is Rand Paul is in the process of redining who he is within the scope and structure of the GOP. There are enough stupid people in his own party for him to feast on.
Politics is all about devouring your enemies and then shotting higher and higher. Mr. Paul may have that chance if he can convince enough independents that he will have THEIR backs.
He is courting younger independents. That will be his base. He will have the Ron Paul (his father) base and Tea Party-minded people will have little choice but to gravitate towards his message.
Rand Paul will have to move towards the center and take the base with him. He will have to convince Republicans that he is the one and only chance for them to re-take the White House.
Also keep in mind Paul will have to vacate his U.S. Senate seat in order to run for President, due to Kentucky law.
I believe the man will go "All in." I believe he will court Wall Street, who may hedge their bets and throw bushels of money at his campaign AND Hillary Clinton.
The 2016 race is not going to be a landslide if Rand Paul is able to be the nominee. He is proving himself politically savvy enough to pose a real threat.
He is improving as a communicator and sharp as a tack these days when smoking out the other pretenders in his own party.
When he IS ready to take on Hillary and Bill Clinton, he may be ready at that time. He won't repeat his past mistakes of calling her unfit to serve in the White House because of Benghazi. He will have to tone down the " Bill Clinton is a sexual predator" language from earlier in 2014.
Let us see just how much Rand Paul has learned from HIS mistakes and if HE is ready-for-prime-time.
This Hobby Lobby ruling has me perplexed.
While the opinion narrows the scope of "Birth Control" to just a few forms that employers can object to based on religious views, the Supremes sent out follow-up notices in the following days UN-narrowing that scope to "All Forms of Birth Control."
This opens up a door for all private employers to challenge the courts with a variety of socially-driven issues such as firing employees for being gay. Yes, that door is now open because of "Religious Freedom." Many organizations are now gearing up to challenge social issues through this ruling.
This is the very thing Justice Ruth Ginsburg warned in her blistering 35-page dissent.
I won't go into the nuances, but you will see this play out in the next few years as workers are stripped little-by-little of any gains that have been made.
Conservative Judicial Activism is a very dangerous thing to lower and middle class Americans. There have been very few chances for the balance of the court to shift. The two Obama appointments replaced other liberal justices.
If Hillary Clinton is the next President of the United States, chances are good that she will make 1-3 Supreme Court replacements. Ginsburg for sure and maybe Scalia. That would make a 5-4 shift.
This is why I believe we are seeing a rush towards conservatism right now from Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and sometimes Kennedy. Kennedy has been the swing vote in many cases.
Women's reproductive rights is an issue that has held on by a string in the Supreme Court. The states in the south and the more conservative states with GOP-run state legislatures have enacted many draconian laws to thwart abortion clinics and the doctors who perform them.
This Hobby Lobby deal will have larger reprucussions for years to come as the 1% becomes entrenched. The workers will have to lump it or leave it as time goes on for the NEXT generation.
If you are liberal-minded, pray for good health for Kagen, Sotomayor, Breyer and Ginsburg for the rest of the Obama term. Hillary Clinton will have to navigate her own congressional minefield as it is getting worse on Capitol Hill.
The "Fever" is not breaking anytime soon.
When Virgina D-Senator Tim Kaine took to the floor of the Senate on June 25, 2014 to ponder why the U.S. is clinging to documents that were written BEFORE we went into Iraq. Kaine argued that those conflicts are not the same as we are involved in now:
"...we drift from crisis to crisis— Syria, Iraq, POW exchanges — without grappling with the underlying document that initiated our entrance into war 13 years ago. We cannot afford further delays.”
Tim Kaine is a close ally of President Obama. Mr. Obama is a constitutional scholar.
I am suggesting that Kaine and his counterparts in the House, who overwhelmingly passed a law reiforcing that Congress must declare war, just like the U.S. Constitution says.
All these talking head politicians like Graham, Rubio, McCain and Ayotte have complained non-stop of the President's foreign policy moves. These same politicians are the ones RUNNING away from Congress taking responsibility for the declaration of war.
Obama is calling their bluff by having Kaine, John Garremendi (D-CA) and others reinforce the notion that Congress's job is to declare and authorize a war.
Our country is war weary and these chickens (Graham, Rubio, McCain and Ayotte)are afraid to attach their names to a new war. They pound the drums for war in front of the cameras. They go on the floor and spout about Obama's weakness, yet they do little or NOTHING to write articles of war themselves.
These neocons are weak legislatures who can get nothing done, so they complain about the administration. They are experts at doing nothing and restricting this President from doing his job.
Barack Obama has very FEW executive actions compared to George W. Bush, yet John Boehner is considering suing Obama, not impeaching him for his use of executive actions:
"This is not about impeachment," Boehner said. "This is about faithfully executing the laws of our country."
What a joke.
Boehner is upset that Obama would bypass a crippled Congress with executive actions to aid the people of the country. Boehner is so pissed that he can't stop Obama from executing his oath of office WITH Congress, that he wants to take him to court to ensure Obama will be an ineffective lame duck.
Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell and the rest of you idiots...The President is smarter than you are. You are on the wrong side of history and will go down as the WORST Congress in our nation's history.
Good luck with that.
By Marc Platt
June 22, 2014
Meet The Press is one of the longest TV Political institutions in the country. It's moderator David Gregory has had many well-documented problems, including bad ratings
and bad reviews.
Gregory once was a well-respected NBC White House correspondent, who rankled both right and left politicians.
NBC has had to bring in a shrink to examine Gregory and resorted to interviewing his wife and friends to try and solve whatever issues Mr. Gregory has for his poor performance notices.
On the other hand, millenial Luke Russert has been excelling at a young age as Capitol Hill correspondent and fill-in host on several MSNBC shows like "The Cycle."
This past week I saw Luke Russert mercilessly interrogate Whitey Bulger's defense attorney to the utter shock and amazement of his fellow Cycle co-hosts. Russert was well-armed with facts. He did his homework and refused to toss softballs at the attorney. It was afternoon "Must See TV."
On Meet The Press a few days later, David Gregory interviewed R-Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and when the topic of Benghazi came up and Paul declared that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused Benghazi embassy support BEFORE the tragedy, Gregory glossed over it and moved on to his next question.
I guarantee that Luke Russert would have been prepared and knowledgeable on the subject. Gregory either was not prepared or too chicken to call Rand Paul on this untruth. The truth of the matter is Clinton and the State Department DID request extra security and Congress REFUSED that extra security.
Later in the same Meet The Press, Gregory whiffed on the long-debunked "IRS Scandal." His either lack of knowledge, or lazy preparation during a panel discussion was just painful to watch. The great E.J. Dionne bailed Gregory out by pointing out that the "IRS Scandal" was really IRS incompetence by allowing all political groups to abuse the 1959 IRS Guidelines that changed the word "Exclusively" to "Primarily" when it comes to 501 (C) 4 "Social Welfare" status for tax exemptions. PANELIST Dionne correctly pointed out that BOTH Dems and GOP groups have been abusing this forever. Not Gregory. Tim and/or Luke Russert would have been all over this.
Tim Russert was infamous for his hours of study EVERY day on every subject and interview he did in his long tenure at Meet The Press.
It is obvious that NBC is grooming Luke Russert for bigger and better. Luke Russert has adapted his late father's good habits of over-preparation and readiness for wehatever comes up.
Meet The Press is bigger and better and this kid can handle this, just like his old man.
Luke Russert was born to do this job. His father would roll over in his grave if he saw the shabby job David Gregory has done. He tosses softballs all over the place.
Even Fox News Megyn Kelly has shown some moxie lately. SHE makes Gregory look weak and that is saying something, because she says some pretty dopey things over there. She, at least is willing to take on Dick and Liz Cheney.
NBC..It is obvious you are grooming young Luke for this, or something bigger.
Please re-assign David Gregory and give Meet The Press to its rightful heir, Luke Russert.