It's been remarkable to watch Jon Stewart fall out of love with Barack Obama. Stewart is an intelligent man, a liberal who has reasons for his liberalism, and so he's been unable to sustain the cult worship of the president you find in more reliable Democratic partisans. But Stewart is also a funny man, maybe the funniest politicized liberal around (and a lot funnier than the crass, snarky, and condescending Stephen Colbert), and so Stewart's process of disillusionment has been a pleasure to watch. For example:
Last month the TWS cruise sailed from Boston to Montreal, Canada. The entire complement enjoyed smooth waters and perfect weather as we stopped by Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, and Quebec City on our way to Montreal. Unfortunately, however, some cruisers, on another ship, in the Pacific, were not so lucky:
Andrew Breitbart posted a video yesterday of USDA official Shirley Sherrod saying during a speech to the NAACP that she had once withheld "the full force of what I could do" for a white farmer because of his race. Fox News reports that Sherrod was fired shortly after the video was posted:
Washington woke up this morning to the unthinkable -- kind words from the establishment, in the form of Politico's Mike Allen, for Sarah Palin. The former governor's political action committee has released a video which speaks to one of Palin's favorite themes: the rising tide of conservative women politicians in America. The video is also notable for the way in which it subtly links Palin to Ronald Reagan. It's slickly produced. Palin comes off as attractive and positive. You get the feeling you are watching a campaign ad. And maybe you're right.
Tomorrow is a big day in American politics. Important primaries (and an equally important special election) will take place in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Arkansas. USA Today runs through the contests.
I subscribe to the Gregg Easterbrook school of prognostication: All predictions wrong or your money back! Still, I couldn't help thinking, when I saw the list of the top four vote-getters in the SRLC straw poll, that none of them will be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. (In case you're too busy to click on the link, the top four were Romney, Paul, Palin, and Gingrich.)
So who will it be? I don't have a clue. But I would urge you to keep an eye on this guy:
House majority leader Steny Hoyer has informed his colleagues of the CBO health bill score. Politico reports:
The bill would cost $940 billion, and reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years. The deficit numbers Democrats have been most worried about, and will be key to convincing moderates to coming on board with the bill.
Keep in mind that the second decade estimate is incredibly speculative. Overall, though, this score may move some undecided congressmen into the Yes column. Whether those congressmen will be members who voted No last year is another question entirely, however. Perhaps they will have seen this video:
More CBO details, and the final reconciliation language, are expected later today. A Sunday morning vote is now likely. Gentlemen: Start your engines! The countdown has begun.
It wasn't until mid-December that Scott Brown's campaign team knew for certain they had a chance. An internal poll showed intense interest in the race to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. And the more interested a voter was, the more likely he was to support Scott Brown. The campaign then made the bold decision to cut this ad:
There was worry inside the Brown campaign that the public might react negatively to the outright comparison of Brown to Kennedy. That didn't happen. The ad was electric. It was the first in a series of bold moves and lucky accidents that culminated in Brown's incredible upset victory on January 19.
At some point this weekend, you should settle into an easy chair, crank up the volume, and listen to Stephen Davies's entire talk about historical placement, Western civilization, and what distinguishes modernity from what has come before. The lecture runs about 45 minutes, then there are questions. But as Davies talks you will actually feel your brain getting smarter.