1. I love Charlie Pierce's Monday rundowns of the garbage that is today's Sunday talk shows, and today's article may have been the best I've seen of him yet. First, he gives a great evisceration of Karl Rove dance partner David Gregory, who allowed Bagger Rep. Mike Rogers to claim the 15% reported to be without health care is "probably high", and wax for minutes about "stories he's heard" about Obamacare leading to people losing coverage while giving Dem Chris Van Hollen approximately 10 seconds to respond. Then Marquette grad Pierce lays one on another ridiculous Sunday fixture- Peggy Noonan, and her take on a pope who dares to follow the teachings of Jesus.
NOONAN: Here's -- there are many different ways to approach the pope's paper, which is long and which dealt with many things. One of the thoughts I had briefly was this. Our modern popes have tended to be European social democrats. They are -- socialism is not something that has upset them (inaudible). They grew up in a certain world and they grew to understand the economic ways and practices and traditions of the West. The free place, which was helpful to them as they -- they, cardinals who became popes, resisted the Communist world. Now we have a new pope, Francis, from Argentina. His tradition is different. He may indeed view capitalism with a more jaundiced eye, (inaudible) in a way of critiquing it that previous popes have. But he may be bringing something else that will be revealed in time.
The previous two popes were a lot of things, but social democrats was not at the top of the list. And Francis, because he's from South American, may look at capitalism with a more jaundiced eye than do European social democrats? Of course, who can say about the future because it is not the present.
And we'd be remiss if we didn't note this classic Noonerism, in which Norman Rockwell takes blotter acid and paints with his own blood.
NOONAN: Woodrow Wilson stayed in Washington because he was dreadfully ill. He had had a stroke or a series of strokes, and so he was not well, so he moved a few blocks away from the White House. I think we'd all agree, in general, it is very good when the presidents arrive from a real American place, and it's very good when they get their job done to leave and get home, go home to the real American place. As Harry Truman did, as Reagan did.
Gee, I wonder which president did not "arrive from a real American place"? And Reagan went back to a multimillion dollar ranch in the California hills, which are indeed in America, but I don't believe they are what Noonan had in mind. Or maybe so. That would be in the future, which we cannot know, because it is not yet.
2. Charlie also has some nice words for our Governor, who showed up on CBS over the weekend for another not-so-hard-hitting interview. Walker made a silly claim about GOP states doing better in unemployment rate (and not mentioning that "Dem states" like California, Minnesota, and Colorado started dropping quickly once they threw out the GOPs that ran those states until 2010), calls Virginia a Republican state despite the fact that it's gone Dem the last 2 presidential elections, and just elected its third Dem governor in the last 4 terms.
Never underestimate [Walker]'s ability to prevaricate with a (relatively) straight face. Wisconsin is ranked 45th by Forbes in job growth. (Where are those 250,000 new jobs, Scotty? I'll tell you where they are. They're in Minnesota.) Does he really want to compare California with Texas? Does Texas win by any measure save poisonous lizards and exploding unregulated fertilizer plants? Virginia just elected a Democratic governor, foof, largely because the prominent transvaginalist who held the job took exactly the same kind of bold unintimidated stands that you crow about in your recently released book-like product. Sometimes, the line between bullshit and dumbass is passing thin.
3. And yet we still have DC dumbasses like Nate Cohn trying to call Walker some kind of unifying moderate who has something more than a snowball's chance in hell of being the GOP nominee in 2016. I dare you to read this bilge without either laughing hysterically, or puking your guts out at the Beltway "analysis". Cohn clearly just threw a bunch of superficial stats and events down on paper and didn't actually try to do 5 minutes of research into how things actually went down here.
Let me give you a clue Nate. You're dealing with a mendacious sociopath whose campaign tells supporters that sending him money is better for Wisconsinites than buying Christmas presents for their kids. Of course, if Nate and other I-95 media want to do some actual on-the-ground journalism and check into how things REALLY have been done in Fitzwalkerstan, we'll gladly welcome it, since we sure don't get it from the locals here. And if there was a national expose, Walker's political career would be over in a matter of weeks.