Failing upwards is a Washington tradition, but even The Scrapbook was taken aback by the promotion of Jennifer Psaki from State Department spokesperson to White House director of communications. Psaki, along with her State Department colleague Marie Harf, had acquired quite the reputation for putting the “foggy” in Foggy Bottom.Read more
A year before his first inauguration, Barack Obama laid out the objective of his presidency: to renew faith and trust in -activist government and transform the country. In an hourlong interview with the editorial board of the Reno Gazette-Journal on January 16, 2008, Obama said that his campaign was already “shifting the political paradigm” and promised that his presidency would do the same. His model would be Ronald Reagan, who “put us on a fundamentally different path,” in a way that distinguished him from leaders who were content merely to occupy the office.Read more
One of the ironies of the Affordable Care Act is that many of the governors who zealously supported the bill failed spectacularly in its implementation. Oregon, Maryland, and Minnesota are among the most prominent failures. The Massachusetts exchange, the primary inspiration for the ACA exchanges, collapsed entirely, and state officials lack a plan for fixing it in time for this fall’s enrollments.Read more
Every student of American religious history has heard of the event known as “the Great Disappointment.” In 1818 William Miller, a former naval captain turned lay Baptist preacher, developed a new method for calculating biblical chronology to arrive at the conclusion that the millennium would take place sometime between 1842 and 1844. Finally published in 1832, Miller’s thesis quickly drew attention. A sect began to form, spreading from Miller’s home region in Eastern New York to New England and beyond. Millerism was born.Read more
After a decade-long run of bad weather that included Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Ike, and a host of other river valley and storm-surge floods, the 45-year-old National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) owes taxpayers about $25 billion that no analyst believes it will ever pay back. Meanwhile, by keeping rates far lower than the private market ever would for some flood-prone properties, the program encourages development in ways that endanger lives and harm the environment.Read more
Eugene Robinson makes the case for Obamacare by writing, essentially, that it is a done deal. Time to get over it and move on. This is a corollary of the "law of the land" argument, which asserts that the thing has been written in stone and those who are still opposed and favor repeal should quit and acknowledge their defeat in its utter finality.Read more
For a success, Barack Obama is a very bad politician, the worst politician to win the presidency by an electoral landslide, to never lose a major election, or to rise to the presidency from a state legislature in little more than four years. He has gone from sterling campaigner to put-upon leader; from the new FDR to the next Jimmy Carter; from being the orator who could hold millions spellbound to the man who moves no one at all. The man who promised everything is delivering nothing. Journalists who wept when he won the election now grind their teeth in despair. Maureen Dowd admits he isn’t the one for whom even he had beenRead more
At his jobs address to a joint session of Congress next Thursday, President Barack Obama might want to skip any mention of his green jobs initiative. The Bay Area's NBC affiliate reports that a high-profile green start-up called Solyndra, which benefited from federal loans from the stimulus package, announced it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy:Read more
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