Monthly Archives: June 2013

Robert Reich tries his hand at comedy again: ‘Where has our national government gone?’


Last night I ran across this recent tweet by Robert Reich (arrowed above next to President Obama), the diminutive former labor secretary under Bill Clinton literally and current wacky liberal economist. It sums up the left’s view of government while serving as the definition of delusional:

Because you can’t hear “Obama administration” without thinking “returning control to the states.”

These are the people who have managed to pass themselves off as “intelligent” in some circles (and by “some circles” I mean roundtable discussions at Columbia University and/or Chris Matthews’ cocktail parties).

Where has the Federal government gone? Nowhere:


If only more power had been returned to the states. That how it’s supposed to be:

The Tenth Amendment states the Constitution’s principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.

Reich is one seriously funny guy. I don’t think he’s quite as funny as Krugman but he’s getting there.

‘Worst president ever’ gets nice shout-out during NBC story on fishermen’s run-in with shark

This morning I was reading a story about some fishermen who were in their boat on the ocean when a huge great white shark circled them for about ten minutes. The story was accompanied by video from the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia. The shirt one of the fishermen was wearing deserves extra publicity:


Here’s the video. Considering what’s on his shirt, I like to consider the circling shark as metaphor for the IRS:

Heh: Bush Favorability Rating Now Higher Than Obama’s


This was inevitable, I suppose:

Gallup pollsters announced Tuesday that the last Bush in office is more popular than our sitting president. Forty-nine percent of Americans now see Bush in favorable terms, compared to 47 percent for President Barack Obama.

Bush’s 49/45 approval-to-disapproval rating split in the new poll also is the first time since 2005 – not-so-coincidentally the same year as Hurricane Katrina – that more Americans say they approve of his presidency than don’t. It’s also a major uptick from his favorability rating low of 35 percent in March 2009. (His high: 87% two months after the 9/11 attacks in 2001).

Bush is even gaining ground among Democrats, who give him a 24 percent approval rating, up 10 percent from his last day in office. Independents have also given Bush a double-digit approval bump since 2009.

That gap is probably bound to widen. Wait’ll Obamacare kicks in full-bore.

From Russia With Love: Putin Offers to Consider Snowden Asylum Request

Second Lieutenant Hagen: You think it’s a coup?

Major Otto Ernst Remer: Of that I’m certain. I just don’t know which side we’re on.

That’s a line from the movie Valkyrie, and it’s kind of how I feel when following the Edward Snowden/NSA story.

I’ve avoided writing much about the Snowden drama because there’s something that stinks about it — neither side is entirely believable or credible. This doesn’t exactly help take the smell away:

Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, in the Kremlin’s latest move to woo critics of the west.

Snowden fled the United States before leaking the details of a top-secret US surveillance programme to the Guardian this month. He is currently believed to be in Hong Kong, but has reportedly changed hotels to keep his location secret.

Fearing US retaliation, Snowden said at the weekend that “my predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values”, citing Iceland as an example. He defended his decision to flee to Hong Kong by citing its relative freedom compared with mainland China.

Snowden is not known to have made any asylum requests, including to Russia. Yet speaking to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, said: “If such an appeal is given, it will be considered. We’ll act according to facts.”

If Snowden does in fact disdain government snooping, there would be no place better to go than a country run by a former KGB agent. Wait, never mind.

President Obama told the Russians he’d have more flexibility to deal with them after the 2012 election, but maybe somebody will beat him to it.

Also, Russian leadership might embrace people who blow the whistle on foreign governments, but domestic whistleblowers aren’t well received:

Russia has a roundly poor reputation for human rights and freedom of speech, with people regularly persecuted for their political beliefs. Dozens have been arrested for protesting against Putin, and the president’s top critics continue to face the decision of whether to flee the country or end up in jail.

The country’s own whistleblowers suffer harrowing fates. Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who revealed a multimillion-dollar corruption scheme involving officials from the interior ministry and tax police, was arrested and later died in jail after being refused medical attention. His body also showed signs of torture. Alexey Navalny, a prominent anti-corruption activist, is currently on trial on charges widely believed to be politically motivated.

I’m going to wait until the facts are in before calling Snowden a hero, a traitor, or anything in between. Like I said, this doesn’t pass the smell test. Others halfway around the world wonder the same thing:

Edward Snowden, the U.S. government contractor who was identified as the source of recent disclosures about the secret National Security Agency data-gathering initiative, PRISM, has fled to the Chinese-owned island of Hong Kong. Chinese netizens, who are very familiar with living under government surveillance, have expressed admiration for Snowden revealing the secrets, but are more skeptical about his decision to come knocking on their door.

A lot of things here don’t add up. Pardon me for taking a “wait and see” approach.

Bonus coverage: Here’s David “Greasy” Axelrod referring to Snowden as “a whistleblower who then blew the country”: