A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

The Obama’s Alive Narrative Is Alive

by evanmcmurry

Here’s Pareene at 9:09 p.m.:

Obama has “woken up” or at least guaranteed that the pundits will say he “woke up.” He said “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But his list no longer has anything to do with this kid (energy independence???). Kid, these men cannot guarantee that you will have a job, unless Mitt Romney decides to just pay you.

Here’s Andrew Sullivan at 9:14 p.m.:

Thanks, Mr president, for calling a lie a lie. Finally. That 2nd round was a knock-out for Obama. Thank God he’s alive!

So, called it.

Judicial Activism Meets Voter Fraud In Conservative Matrix Dealie

by evanmcmurry

Here’s Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, on SCOTUS’ one-line decision* to deny his attempt to suppress Democratic voting by curtailing early voting in Ohio:

Husted, the state’s top elections official, called the 6th Circuit’s decision an unprecedented intrusion by federal judges into state elections that was illegal and impractical.

“Despite the court’s decision today to deny our request for a stay, I firmly believe Ohio and its elected legislature should set the rules with respect to elections in Ohio, and not the federal court system,” Husted said in a statement. “However, the time has come to set aside the issue for this election.” (via)

Just so we’re clear, that’s judicial activism—which doesn’t exist—abetting voter fraud—which also doesn’t exist. This existential conspiracy goes all the way to the non-top. But what if Husted is just a brain in a vat?

* You can tell Scalia wasn’t involved, as otherwise there would have been an 8,000 word dissent.

Candy Crowley Practices Her Follow Up Questions On Wolf Blitzer

by evanmcmurry

In case you’re doubting moderator Candy Crowley’s ability to call bullshit, here’s her talking to Wolf Blitzer:

“There will be questioners to the right and left of me and in front of the candidates. And they will have the questions. And as was the case in the Charlie Gibson town hall meeting and the Tom Brokaw town hall meeting in presidential campaigns past, there is a time after that for follow-up and for furthering the discussion.”

“Facilitating the conversation, as it were,” Blitzer said.

“Whatever you want to call it, yes,” Crowley said.

And that’s how you undercut Wolf Bliter’s sub-centrist CNN euphe-speak in one sentence. You know what could use that treatment? Romney’s claim that he can cut the wealthy’s taxes by 20% while raising revenue and pay for it all by closing tax loopholes. Let’s hope it happens tonight.

Obama Needs An Answer On Libya, Quick

by evanmcmurry

The Obama Administration has gotten itself into a bad pretzel over the Benghazi attacks. The opening question on Libya struck me as particularly bad for Biden in last week’s debate; sure enough, even as the rest of Biden’s performance has since faded into general lore, his answer on Libya has lived on in specifics. Romney has made hay of the fact that Biden et al didn’t know about additional security requests. And especially with conflicting statements from the State Department, he’s actually got a good case for criticism.

Moreover, I don’t think Clinton taking a hit on this is going to convince anybody, and it opens Obama up to exactly what John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham fired at him immediately following Clinton’s late-night emergence from under the bus:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and two of his colleagues said that “the buck stops” with President Obama with respect to the terrorist attacks in Libya, but they praised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her willingness to claim the blame in the absence of the White House taking responsibility.

“The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief,” said McCain in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. “The buck stops there.”

[…] The senators took issue with her statement on two points. “If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed,” they said.

If you’re a fired-up Mitt Romney, you hit Obama with this all night. Romney has gotten nowhere all campaign with his “Obama = apologizer” foreign policy line; now, just weeks before the election, he has a legitimate FP gripe with the administration. All of Obama’s increased debate prep may be for naught if he can’t find a good answer to Romney’s challenge.