For as long as I can remember, harbingers of doom, naysayers, outcasts at life’s rich feast, and garden-variety curmudgeons have been saying that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Or words to that effect. Politicians and religious leaders are particularly fond of this admonition. According to them, the world is going to hell in a handbasket today, it went to hell in a handbasket yesterday, and it will almost certainly go to hell in a handbasket tomorrow. As long as there is a world, there will always be a handbasket for it to go to hell in.
For such is the human condition.Read more
Readers are well aware of The Scrapbook’s attitude toward PolitiFact, the much-admired "fact-checking" watchdog of American politics run by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida. Under the guise of a journalistic enterprise, PolitiFact is, in truth, a partisan rapid-reaction squad, largely in the service of the Democratic party. There's nothing wrong with that, of course—just as long as everyone understands that PolitiFact's judgments are entirely subjective.
Which is why The Scrapbook tends not to worry too much about correcting PolitiFact's more tendentious observations. That would be comparable to debating Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.) or expecting a serious response from President Obama'sRead more
The latest New York Times bestseller list has Ted Cruz's A Time for Truth at number 8. Just above him is former President Jimmy Carter's A Full Life, coming in at 7.
The strange thing, however, is that Cruz sold almost 60 percent more copies of his book last week than Carter.
According to Bookscan, which tracks the number of books sold, Cruz sold 8,814 last week. Carter sold only 5,147.
The New York Times list does not indicate either author's books were purchased in bulk orders.Read more
The grandson of former president Jimmy Carter wants to run for the White House himself, says Georgia governor Nathan Deal. Jason Carter, a young Democratic state senator from Decatur, is challenging the Republican Deal in a close race. Speaking at a rally in Dahlonega, the 72-year-old Deal told the crowd that his Democratic opponent wants to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.Read more
Former President Jimmy Carter does not think much about Hillary Clinton's effort to bring about peace in the Middle East. John Kerry's efforts, on the other hand, are "notable," according to Carter.
He made the remarks in an interview with Time magazine, in response to this question: "What’s your take on Secretary Kerry’s efforts so far in the Mideast?"Read more
Jimmy Carter's grandson, Jason Carter, will run for governor of Georgia. The younger Carter is currently a state senator.Read more
The White House announced that Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton will be joining President Barack Obama at the March on Washington anniversary on Wednesday.Read more
Former President Jimmy Carter praised former President George W. Bush today at the Bush Library opening in Dallas Texas:
"President Bush kept his promise," Carter said, of Bush's commitment to help with Africa.
Carter concluded, "So Mr. President, let me say that I'm filled with admiration for you and deep gratitude for you about the great contributions you've made to the most needy people on earth."Read more
Jimmy Carter Hopes 'Venezuelans Mourn the Passing of President Chávez and Recall His Positive Legacies'
I've been wary of comparisons of this year's presidential race with that of 1980. I'd love it if the comparison holds, but have been worried 1) that the conditions aren't the same as in 1980 in all kinds of ways, and 2) that over-confidence the race will inevitably break to Romney at the end, as the 1980 race did to Reagan, could lead to complacency on the right rather than a sense of urgency, including a sense of urgency in pushing the Romney campaign to improve.Read more
When Republican strategists like Karl Rove cite 1980 as a model for this year’s election, they usually have in mind two main elements: Ronald Reagan’s question in the late October presidential debate about whether voters felt better off than four years earlier, when they elected Jimmy Carter, and Reagan’s ability in that debate to reassure swing voters about his ability to serve successfully if elected, converting a very close race into a ten-point blowout by “closing the deal.”Read more
President Obama is outside the ideological mainstream, viewed as very liberal by an electorate that’s moderate or somewhat conservative. His domestic policies are unpopular, notably his health care law, economic stimulus, and spending plans. His foreign policy initiatives—curbing Iran’s nuclear weapons program, improving America’s position in the Middle East, fostering better relations with Russia—have failed. The public wants Obama to jettison his ineffective economic policies and implement new ones. But he refuses.Read more
According to a Newsweek/Daily Beast poll of likely voters, Barack Obama now rates behind Jimmy Carter in the pantheon of great presidents. The poll asked likely voters to list the two best and the two worst presidents the history of the United States. Here are the tallies, based on net results:Read more
On January 23, 1980, Jimmy Carter gave what turned out to be his final State of the Union address. Ronald Reagan’s victory over Carter that November spared us any more of them. Will Barack Obama’s appearance before Congress on January 24, 2012, be his swan song?
’Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.Read more
Washington Post: "U.N. showdown over Palestinian statehood tests limits of U.S. influence"
New York Times: "In Boeing Case, House Passes Bill Restricting Labor Board"Read more
I find it truly comforting that some things never change — and two of those things are President Obama’s ideas and rhetoric. Obama’s long-awaited jobs speech offered his usual mix of hyper-partisanship (no longer convincingly masquerading as post-partisanship), class warfare, and thinly veiled resentment that, in our form of government, he cannot simply do whatever he wants.Read more
It’s often been said that Barack Obama is an audacious leader. But perhaps it's better to consider the possibility that he is just a politician who lacks a sense of irony, at least when it comes to himself. For example, last weekend in Detroit, the president said:Read more
Last week, in a piece entitled “The right really, really wants Obama to be Jimmy Carter,” Salon’s Steve Kornacki cited my item on Carter as the prime example of a systematic effort on the right to invoke Carter as a bogeyman to “fill the GOP base with resentment and hostility, which translates into increased activism and turnout at the polls.” Kornacki should have read more carefully. I was not so much comparing Obama to Carter as I was using an example from the Carter era to explain the limits of Obama's political theater.Read more
Sure, the rest of America's hurting economically, but Congressional leaders are doing quite well.
Walter Russell Mead: "Is Carter A Best Case Scenario?"
Robert Samuelson: "Are we stumbling into another recession?"Read more
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