‘How’s That Hope & Change Workin’ Out For Ya?’ — Food Stamp Edition

null

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.” — Barack Obama, June 2008

He left out “this was the moment we started getting everybody on food stamps:

A record number of Americans — about 14 percent — now rely on the federal government’s food stamps program and its rapid expansion in recent years has become a politically explosive topic.

More than 44.5 million Americans received SNAP benefits in March, an 11 percent increase from one year ago and nearly 61 percent higher than the same time four years ago.

Nearly 21 million households are reliant on food stamps.
[…]
It cost taxpayers more than $68 billion last year, double the amount in 2007.

Look at the explosive increase since 2008 (middle column is the number of individuals on food stamps and the right column is the number of households):

null

*****

Here’s the year-by-year 2008-2010:

null

If doubling the size of the dependency class was one of Obama’s goals, Hope & Change is a smashing success.

Michelle Malkin has a chart with a north face that even the most skilled mountain climbers would have a tough time getting up.

The food stamp rolls are expanding wildly, but that’s not to say that people are being deprived of quality food — heck, it doesn’t even necessarily mean that they’re poor.

MSM in the Crosshairs: Sarah Palin’s Bus Tour Putting Reporters in a ‘Dangerous Situation’

They’ve reported wars, riots and all manner of unrest, but the media’s latest assignment may well be their most perilous to date and would have even Ernie Pyle quaking at his typewriter: Covering Sarah Palin’s bus tour:

Yet the reemergence of the GOP’s larger-than-life 2008 vice presidential candidate – who says she is strongly considering a run for president – is undeniably news. Which is why more than a dozen national news outlets have sent reporters and producers out to try and follow Palin.

Since Palin and her team won’t share where the potential candidate is headed, reporters and producers have little choice but to simply stay close to Palin’s bus. This has resulted in scenes of the Palin bus tooling down the highway followed by a caravan of 10 or 15 vehicles – including a massive CNN bus – all trying to make sure they don’t lose sight of the Palin bus.

It adds up to a dangerous situation, says CBS News Producer Ryan Corsaro.

“I just hope to God that one of these young producers with a camera whose bosses are making them follow Sarah Palin as a potential Republican candidate don’t get in a car crash, because this is dangerous,” he said.

Corsaro asked a member of Palin’s team if he thought it was dangerous to have reporters forced to chase her from stop to stop. “You’re the ones that are trailing us,” he replied.

The way the media is covering the start of Palin’s bus tour, it would be more fitting if Sarah were riding in a white Ford Bronco.

The highly dangerous situation in which Palin has heartlessly placed a sizable portion of the media is starting to take its toll:

Now, some of the media frustration is playing out on Twitter.

Some journalists believe Palin is behaving like a celebrity, and that covering her may be beneath them. For example, The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta Tweeted: “reality TV star Palin treating pol reporters like paparazzi — needing & hating, inviting & making chase.” Politico’s Ben Smith Re-Tweeted her — and Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post agreed, responding: “seriously, why dont media outlets have entertainment reporters cover her instead of polit. press?”

This was a bit too much for CNN’s Peter Hamby — who is hot on Palin’s trail. Hamby responded to both Franke-Ruta and Smith, Tweeting: “Believe it or not we’re asking serious questions. (And, btw, politico has a reporter here too).”

Franke-Ruta responded, Tweeting: “Right, right — but that’s how you’re treating her, not how she’s treating you.”

Hamby next turned his sights on Rubin, Tweeting: “smart point, [Palin’s] not a national political figure in any way, after all.”

I don’t know what everybody’s complaining about. If you were a reporter, would you rather cover Sarah Palin’s bus tour or be put on the Weiner beat?

Weiner-Gate, Day 3: Even CNN Getting Skeptical Now

Or is it day four? Eh, whatever…

Here’s what I know so far: New York Rep. Anthony Weiner ended up with a relatively lewd photo being sent to a woman from his Twitter account early this past weekend (I’ve heard of Friday “document drops” but occasionally we also get a “pants drop”). Weiner says his account was hacked but instead of getting the police involved he hired a lawyer.

As you can see by the video below, he’s not answering questions about it:

Who knows what happened… all I’m saying is that for a guy prone to outbursts and rage like Weiner, it seems like he’d be just a little more publicly pissed off at a hacker who did something that could ruin his entire political career.

Ann Althouse has a possibility: Weiner doesn’t really write his own Tweets and it was some intern or staffer who did it.

Meanwhile, Weiner’s office refuses to say if that’s Weiner’s wiener in the picture. Which would make the whole story even stranger, because if it is him in the picture and Weiner sticks to his hacker story, that would mean that the hacker was hiding between Weiner’s legs.

I’m going to change the subject now or else I might not be able to eat dinner.

Memorial Day 2011

null

Today is the day we formally salute those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom, though it’s always my hope that as many of us as possible make every day Memorial Day.

Also today here’s a big salute to those who currently serve, which includes my cousin Mike (Air Force), and to those who have served, including my dad (Air Force), uncle Steve (Air Force) and my cousin Steven who was killed in Vietnam (Marine Corps). Also a salute to my readers who either do or have served. We thank you. The sacrifices of you and your families are not taken for granted.

I think I post this almost every year on Memorial Day, but it deserves to be seen and heard often. Ronald Reagan’s speech at Pointe du Hoc, June 1984:

*****

By way of Michelle Malkin, the Blue Angels “missing man” formation:

*****

“Memorial Day”:

*****

I’ll close with a quote that was written on my cousin’s page at the Vietnam Memorial website:

“He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother. Rest in peace brave soldier, you have not been forgotten.” — W. Shakespeare

George Will on Sarah Palin: Should We Give This Person Nuclear Weapons?

null

Is somebody worried about “Apocalypse YouBet’cha”?

George Will seems to think American voters are concerned that our nuclear arsenal could fall into the hands of… Sarah Palin:

“The threshold question, not usually asked, but it’s in everyone’s mind in a presidential election. ‘Should we give this person nuclear weapons?’ And the answer [in Palin’s case], answers itself.”

“You know how chicks are… she’ll probably get upset with a Real Housewives of Atlanta episode and hit ‘the button’…”

This reminds me a bit of the elitists reaction to Reagan (“a doddering old fool with access to nukes? Nooo!”):

George Will is a conservative (usually), but he’s an Ivy League conservative, and as such he might have a tendency to think that anybody who didn’t go to Princeton, Harvard or Yale shouldn’t be trusted with anything more powerful than a Bic lighter.

Did George Will mention a similar concern in 2008 when a community organizer from Chicago was about to be handed the launch codes and subsequently disclose the size of the US nuke arsenal? No, because Obama’s smart — he went to Columbia and all.

In our government, there is no evidence to suggest that competence and common sense has anything to do with how many Ph.D’s, Beltway experience or “pinky sticking out while drinking champagne” charm school manners somebody has — to the contrary if anything.

(h/t Ward World)

For Those of You Keeping Score At Home, Obama is ‘Part of Poland’ Now

Barack Obama, one-man United Nations:

In Ireland, he drank a beer with the residents of Moneygall, birthplace of his maternal great-great-great-grandfather, and electrified a downtown audience in Dublin in need of cheering up after years of recession.

In Britain, Obama and the first lady, Michelle, lodged at Buckingham Palace and, at the nine-century-old Westminster Hall, he presented himself to Parliament as “the grandson of a Kenyan who served as a cook in the British army.” The audience erupted in applause.

And here in Poland he acknowledged that he shares its heritage, if only through cultural osmosis.

“I am part of Poland because I come from Chicago,” he said. “And if you live in Chicago and you haven’t become a little bit Polish, then something’s wrong with you.”

And that’s why you never see a community organizer without a bowl of perogies.

Speaking of Obama’s trip to Ireland, there is now video evidence that the prez can’t handle his alcohol:

Michelle Obama Has High Staff Turnover Because of Her Race?

null

It’s not because of her race, but that’s not about to stop somebody from putting it out there before getting to the actual reason, which I think is mandatory these days:

Less than three years into the job, first lady Michelle Obama is on her third chief of staff and third social secretary. She is on her second communications director, the White House chief usher recently departed, and her press secretary’s last day is Friday.

On Friday afternoon, the first lady’s office announced that the executive director of Obama’s signature campaign to fight childhood obesity also is leaving.

The turnover, greater than under recent first ladies, underscores the pressure and high expectations of working in an operation known for its polish and discipline.
[…]
“She is, if possible, under more scrutiny than even other modern first ladies, being the first African-American first lady,” said Katherine Jellison, a history professor at Ohio University who specializes in first ladies.

Or she could just be really, really hard to work for — but if it’s just easier to blame her race, go for it.

Besides, the First Lady doesn’t always strike me as the kind of women who necessarily caves to the pressure of scrutiny. Not one bit.

After the race thing though, we get to the actual reason(s), and it’s more like I speculated:

Sources familiar with the East Wing, who asked not to be named discussing internal dynamics, described the first lady’s office as a challenging workplace, where grueling hours and the expectations of a formidable boss intensify the demands of managing a popular first lady’s schedule, image and agenda.

“The first lady is a lovely woman, but she’s tough as nails, and that can be hard for some people,” said a source familiar with the office. “She has really high expectations.”

You can’t tell me the stresses of office for FLOTUS are more than the office of POTUS, and yet I don’t think the president’s staff turnover is as high as it is in the First Lady’s office. Maybe Michelle should try taking her staff golfing every weekend.

And if that doesn’t work, I can help take some pressure off the First Lady’s office with just one word: Autopen!

Update: According to Fact Check, Michelle Obama has the largest staff of any First Lady in US history. This means she’s under a lot more pressure than previous First Ladies because she has a lot more people to piss off than they did.

Rep. Weiner Claims His Social Media Was Hacked and That’s Not His Wiener

From the “No matter what happened here, if this were a Republican it would be news by now” department we find this…

Liberal Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner claimed, very much in passing, that he was the victim of a hacking after what appeared to be a photo outtake from a Cialis ad was linked from his Twitter account.

Big Journalism explains:

This evening a photo surfaced on Congressman Weiner’s yfrog account and in his verified Twitter timeline of a man in his underwear with an erection. The photo was reportedly sent to a woman on Twitter. We’ve protected her name and her account, which was at one time verified to be active but has since been deleted after the photo in question was deleted. Coincidentally, the rest of the photos in the congressman’s alleged yfrog account were also deleted around 11 p.m. eastern.

Here’s a picture of the raging Weiner in question:

null

Wait — that’s the wrong raging wiener. You can see the actual photo here. Don’t worry — whoever it is at least has underwear on.

Seems like an odd photo for a hacker to use, no? You’ve got one crack at embarrassing a member of Congress and that’s the best you can do? But you never know. The photo account and Tweet were deleted and so far Weiner hasn’t made much mention of it on his Twitter account other than to mention a Facebook hack (which is strange since this seems connected to Twitter and not Facebook).

If I were the Congressman, I’d be making a much broader announcement of “I was hacked! That’s not me!” First of all, I wouldn’t want to be associated with a picture that looks like somebody dropped a pack of Lifesavers down the front of some Fruit of the Looms.

Update: Patterico has more on Weiner’s tweets and some coincidences.

Doug Ross thinks Weiner might have gotten the “direct message” feature mixed up with the actual Tweet function. That mistake is easier to make if there’s not much blood left in your brain.

Ironic Surrealism has more, including the woman that picture was sent to — not that the media won’t give it a collective yawn — even though Weiner is married to Hillary’s former aide.

Friday Evening Open: ‘When the Obamas Met Dominique Strauss-Kahn’ Edition

It finally stopped raining this morning just as I was finishing my ark. As a result, the lawn needs a serious mowing, so I’m off to sit on the kidney-shaker for a couple of hours.

Feel free to caption this photo from 2009 of the Obamas meeting serial chick badgerer and alleged sex attacker Dominique Strauss-Kahn. My submission is below the photo.

null

Barack: “Get original, Dominique… I used the ‘Got any Socialist in you?’ pickup line on her over 20 years ago.”

John Edwards Meets Privately With Uber-Wealthy Former Donor, Possibly Begs Shamelessly

null

Operation “Oh please God keep my fine self outta prison” is underway:

Multiple sources at the estate of Rachel “Bunny” Mellon confirm to ABC News that the former North Carolina senator met Mellon today for lunch at her sprawling compound in Northern Virginia.

The purpose of the visit is unclear, but it is sure to raise eyebrows with federal investigators who have spent more than two years scrutinizing Mellon’s contributions to Edwards and his presidential campaign. Attorneys for Edwards did not respond to requests for comment.

Mellon, heir to a banking fortune, donated more than $4 million dollars to political organizations and non-profits tied to Edwards’ 2008 run and also provided more than $700 thousand that prosecutors believe was funneled to the effort to support and seclude Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter. Mellon’s attorney has described those payments as gifts and has said that Mellon was unaware of how the money was used.

The problem for Edwards is that it isn’t easy to convince a billionaire to help him with what he has to work with, which is a diminishing fortune, zero political clout and even less public relations value. There’s no way that anybody Edwards knows is going to risk more trouble by giving him even as much as soap on a rope at this point, let alone agree to lie for him… is there?

And if Mellon won’t help, next stop: Pink Sapphire!