Good reads from across the web that you might have missed:
Things You Might Have Missed…
(A Sprinkling of Things we Think you Ought to Know…)
NYT‘s Mark Leibovich ‘a fraud’– A truly intimate admission from Leibovich in NYT‘s “6th floor” blog today, though it’s something most people in Washington already know: This is a city full of people peer pressured into pretending to be smarter than they actually are and into reading The Economist to prove it. He writes:
“Like many people who sometimes travel in high-powered circles, I am a complete fraud. I have no idea how I got here. This is an especially familiar condition in Washington, where I live, and where the impostor syndrome is like our psychological common cold. So a lot of people lie about reading The Economist here. We probably have the highest number of lied-about subscribers. Because it’s important to come off smart and worldly…”
To be sure, however, Leibovich does read The Economist. He lets readers know by going on to list 17 things he learned from its latest issue.
Sanchez sends out a dark holiday card– This is probably a knee-slapper to exactly no one. Rep. Loretta Sanchez‘s (D-Calif.) office has sent out her annual holiday card. It reads: “May you dance with joy this holiday season (just not too close to fiscal cliffs).” On the card is an awkward photo of Sanchez coddling a stocking beside her husband, both of whom are about to step over a cliff. Sanchez has gained a reputation over the years for sending out goofy cards. What’s the plan for next year’s card? A cover that says “Merry Christmas and wrap it up!” superimposed over a photo Sandra Fluke? (h/t WaPo‘s Reliable Source. Sometimes we give them a hard time, but credit where credit’s due)
Serious question for BuzzFeed or melodrama from HyperVocal? … Read more
A sprinkling of things we think you ought to know…
Washingtonians are happy, even if they are alcoholics– A WaPo poll of workers in the D.C. metro area found that most of them (88 percent) described themselves as “very happy” or “pretty happy.” Roughly the same number of people described their jobs as “rewarding.” Another interesting bit: Most respondents (54 percent) said they “never really stop working.”
Fournier has a lot of presidential access– A story published late last night in NJ made quick rounds on Twitter through this morning. It’s a first person account by the publication’s editor-in-chief Ron Fournier on how he learned to fully accept that his son, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is different. The overall consensus is that it’s a touching story, just in time for the holidays. Politico‘s Ben White called it “especially beautiful.” FNC’s Bret Baier called it “a great story” that’s “worth the time.” On the other hand, FBDC’s Peter Ogburn had his own concerns. “Most of it left me wondering how in the hell he hooked up a meeting with his son and three presidents,” he said. In Fournier’s story, he recounts how he introduced his son to President Obama and former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
HuffPost blogger rails on NYT‘s Maureen Dowd– The name Geoffrey Dunn rings no memory bells as to who he is. But a column he posted on HuffPost yesterday is worth the read if for nothing more than to count the number of ways he can insult NYT‘s Maureen Dowd. A few choice adjectives in his post regarding Dowd: “breezy,” “cynical,” “name-dropping,” and “glib.” He calls her “The Mean One.” And despite Dunn bearing a vague resemblance to any given pewter item on the “Antique Roadshow,” Dunn notes that he’s “a few years younger than Dowd.” Ouch.
Donald Trump cancels Senate bid– Oops, we mean RedState Editor Erick Erickson cancels Senate bid. Our mistake. After suggesting on his radio program earlier this week that he might challenge Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) for his Senate seat, Erickson has pulled out faster than a high school boy on prom night. And he did so with a grand flair that would make Liberace blush. “I’m not putting my family through that,” Erickson writes, “when the best outcome would mean a sizable pay cut and being away from my kids and wife all the time huddled in a pit of vipers often surrounded by too many who viewed me as a useful instrument to their own advancement.” Shorter version: Tricked you!
Republicans and the conservative movement took a setback in last night’s reelection of President Obama. As with any political moment of lasting consequence, right wing writers fled to their blogs to console, vent and do some soul-searching.
WaPo‘s Right Turn blogger Jennifer Rubin made the case for Republicans to give in on some social issues. “In fairness to Mitt Romney, he never once use gay marriage to stir up his base, evidence of his innate decency and, if one is more politically cynical, the lack of political mileage to be gained from the issue,” Rubin wrote. “In the future, Republicans for national office would do well to recognize reality. The American people have changed their minds on the issue and fighting this one is political flat-earthism. As with divorce, one need not favor it, but to run against it is folly, especially for national politicians who need to appeal to a diverse electorate.”
Levine — or, as we’ve come to know and love him, her majesty Queen Levine for his demanding demeanor — was on the show last night with former RNC Chairman Michael Steele talking about conservative author Ann Coulter‘s recent “retard” tweet.
Queen Levine dismissed the tweet… Read more
(A Super Tuesday Sprinkling of Things we Think you Ought to Know)
Rick Santorum cooks fancy Italian meals– Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum‘s usually quiet wife, Karen, is out trying to show a softer side of the candidate. In an interview with CBS News, Karen attested to his domestic capabilities, saying he’s good at cooking “Chicken Marsala, Pasta Arrabiata – and pancakes with the kids.” She says it was a “love-at-first-sight kind of thing” when she met Rick. And to neutralize any idea that he might be a little anti-women, Karen said, “He completely supports well-educated career women. If I wanted to work full-time as a lawyer, he would have been 100 percent behind me.”
Ann Romney doesn’t even notice her millions– Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney‘s wife Ann is a lot more out front than Santorum’s wife, which inevitably leads to more scrutiny. Speaking with FNC’s Neil Cavuto on Monday, Ann said, “We can be poor in spirit, and I don’t even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing,” adding, “It can be here today and gone tomorrow.” In the full context, the quote is innocuous but the part about her not considering herself wealthy feeds into Mitt’s image of being out-of-touch. Therefore those are the comments making headlines.
Newt Gingrich: He’s absolutely fundamental! – Newt has acknowledged that in order for him to continue in the Republican presidential primary, he needs to win his home state of Georgia. While campaigning there today and differentiating himself from the other candidates, he resorted to using that time-tested Newt word we’ve come to know and love: fundamental. He said he’s the only GOP candidate who can “bring fundamental change” to the country. Talking on foreign policy regarding the Middle East yesterday, he said, “We need a fundamental conversation about the entire nature of our role in that entire region and we need to rethink what we’re doing across the whole region.”
Ron Paul will definitely come in second place in Virginia– Disorganization in their campaigns has left Gingrich and Santorum off the ballot in Virginia. That leaves Romney and Republican rival Ron Paul as the only two competing for the state’s 46 delegates. Over the weekend an NBC News/Marist poll has Romney at 69 percent and Paul at 26 percent. Sounds like a real nail biter.
We’re nearly done with our CPAC coverage, but not quite.
On the last day, which was Saturday, founder of “The Rent is Too Damn High” political party Jimmy McMillan crashed into the bloggers room to start a stink.
He ranted about President Obama, the Republican candidates and, of course, about the rent being too damn high. It didn’t go over so well.
In the middle of McMillan’s shouting, one CPAC coordinator, apparently unaware of who McMillan was and the fact that fanny packs are no longer in, tried to kick him out for being obnoxiously loud.
Luckily for McMillan, the guy who was in charge of bloggers row intervened and let the coordinator know he was invited inside the room. McMillan was permitted to stay and finish his diatribe.
That headline might seem misleading, but it’s 100 percent accurate. It’s just not a candidate anyone has heard of. No, it’s not Gary Johnson, or even Buddy Roemer. As fringe as they are (Johnson is set to leave the GOP and run on the Libertarian ticket), they’re both downright electable compared to the weirdo who took to Facebook to attack the Mormon religion (pictured below are Mormon undergarments).
Meet Fred Karger, long-time campaign consultant, gay rights activist and hater of Mormons. He’s also polling just behind, “What? Who?” in Iowa.
Karger, who bills himself as “the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major political party in American history,” decided to take to Facebook to announce his newest website www.top10craziestmormonbeliefs.com.
A letter on the site’s homepage says, “This web site is by no means meant to harm anyone or any faith.” Yeah, and the sun didn’t mean to be hot either.
Karger’s hatred of Mormons seems to stem from his “organization Californians Against Hate (now Rights Equal Rights) to investigate the LDS Church and the National Organization for Marriage in their campaigns against marriage equality in California and Maine.” So it’s not political, it’s personal.
Unfortunately for Fred, his Facebook announcement of his new website seems to have cost him quite a few potential voters, and it didn’t have any to spare.
All comments, with one exception, were negative with the most common word used being “shame.” One poster wrote, “Run on your platform and stop slamming the Mormons.” But then again, when you create a website like Fred did, slamming Mormons seems to be his platform.
File this under “stupid” and try to forget you ever heard the name Fred Karger. It shouldn’t be too hard to do.
TIME is doing a pretty spectacular series of Top 10 lists for 2011 — everything from Top 10 Political Gaffes and Top 10 People Not Running for President to Top 10 Campaign-Debate Moments.
Here are our favorites. You can sift through the rest here.
Top 10 Political Gaffes: We’re going with Herman Cain. He earns slots 1, 3, and 9 for his hilarious takes on Libya, Abortion and the Constitution, which he confused for the Declaration of Independence. A very close second is Michele Bachmann‘s usage of “John Wayne” to play up her candidacy announcement in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. Little did she know that it was really serial rapist/murderer John Wayne Gacy who hails from there.
Top 10 People Not Running for President: There’s NJ Gov. Chris Christie, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. John Thune, who gets the shortest, saddest profile in the bunch after taking himself out of a possible run on Feb. 22.
Campaign moments: We like #10. “Newt Gingrich Runs Against the Moderators.” TIME‘s Adam Sorensen writes, “It all started at an Aug. 11 debate, when a question from Fox’s Chris Wallace launched Gingrich into a tirade about ‘gotcha questions’ and ‘Mickey Mouse games.’ His serial know-it-all act can come across as condescension, but his media-critic schtick has proved primary gold.”
The turkey coma has finally worn off enough to offer belated our congratulations to CQ Roll Call’s Peter King. Peter and his wife, BNA’s Heather Rothman, celebrated the holiday by welcoming to the world Eli Wilson King at 10.29 pm on Thanksgiving Day. The little pilgrim weighed in at nine pounds, seven ounces and measured nearly 22 inches. Fun fact: Eli’s big sister Abigail was born the day after Christmas two years ago. Congrats to Peter, Heather and Abigail. And welcome to the Fishbowl, Eli!
Note to readers: The bizarre pilgrim baby photo is not actually Eli but it is representative of the way we imagine him.