Baseball heals. That’s the only way The Scrapbook can explain Keith Olbermann’s transformation. How else did Bush Derangement Syndrome’s patient zero wind up complimenting the 43rd president? After nearly a decade of insulting George W. Bush, Olbermann now says he’s a fan. Actually his praise was more specific. The onetime MSNBC commentator wasn’t recanting all his nastiness—he was just saying, as a baseball guy, that Bush knows his baseball, too.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Olbermann explained that the politician with “the most serious sports chops” is Bush. “He went on the ESPN broadcast of the first game of Nationals Park,” said Olbermann, “and within half an inning half his twang had vanished and he was talking twice as fast and a mastery of his topic was evident to anybody listening. He really came alive in that booth. Hell, if he’d do the color, I’d do the play-by-play.”
Of course, after all the vile calumnies Olbermann heaped on Bush over the years, it’s not clear the Secret Service would let him in the same booth as the former commander in chief. Nor is it obvious that Bush himself, for all his good humor and charm, would want to spend even a few hours trading insights and jocular barbs with a man who formerly wanted him to “shut the hell up.”
So how is he going to justify his 180 on Bush to his peers on the angry left? As The Scrapbook has previously noted, now that Olbermann has returned to sports journalism with his talk show on ESPN, there’s much less of the manic self-importance that marked his political personality. Instead, he’s more like the funny-looking guy in a suit that first hit the scene more than 30 years ago—a self-effacing and unpredictable wiseguy who lived the dream of millions of American kids by getting paid to talk about sports all day. Go figure. As we said, baseball heals.
If Mitt Romney had said in 2012 that a second Obama term would bring not just continued economic uncertainty, but also the re-emergence of international terrorist forces, Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, an illegal immigration crisis, a knife-wielding madman in the White House, a beheading in Oklahoma, and the Ebola virus in Texas, even the president's most paranoid critics would have told him to
It has been a constant refrain from the president’s supporters that Barack Obama has been subject to levels of criticism that no other president has had to confront. To that end, we refer you to Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky, a usually sensible, middle of the road liberal as it happens, who opined late last year: “To people on the left, Bush was embarrassing. To people on the right, though, Obama is a menace. They are different—and yes, the latter is worse than the former.”
President Barack Obama said last night at a Democratic fundraiser in Rhode Island that the terrorism from ISIS "doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland." The reason? The security measures taken by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Obama.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece of August 6 about “the surge of poisonous anti-Semitism around the world, particularly in Europe,” Andrew Nagorski had the temerity to note that “the president [Obama] has not prominently addressed the subject of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, much less its pervasiveness in the Muslim world.” This is, of course, an understatement.
As the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) capture territory and establish a caliphate stretching across the now-eradicated Syria-Iraq border, hard-won gains secured with American blood and treasure are being lost. We are watching the rise of potentially the gravest threat to our national security in a generation, one that surpasses even the threat we faced on 9/11.
A favorite saying of liberals not long ago was: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Hillary Clinton, then a senator, said it. It was on bumper stickers. John Kerry, also a senator, said in 2006, as violence engulfed Iraq, that dissent in wartime and support for a war are “two sides of the very same patriotic coin.”
When it became known last year that George W. Bush had taken up painting, The Scrapbook took note of the fact, commenting on a couple of random examples that they were “better than you would expect, show imagination, and are certainly evidence of Bush’s well-developed sense of humor. . . . The paintings—in their awkward simplicity, bright colors, and irregular perspective—strike The Scrapbook as delightful. We would like to see more.”
Criticism comes with the territory and President Obama certainly couldn't expect that he would be spared. Still ... he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was considered by many to be the hope of the world. There would be a fresh start in the affairs of the world. Including a "reset" of relations with Russia.
Presidents Obama and Bush will meet Tuesday at a wreath laying ceremony in Tanzania. Via the pool report:
Air Force One arrived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at 2:39 pm local time. POTUS and family are expected to be greeted at the bottom of the steps with an arrival ceremony. Your pooler will send details of the arrival ceremony in a separate email.