On The Next Beltway High…

Meanwhile at Beltway High, the preppie yearbook clique over at WIN THE MORNING has had quite enough of that snotty Kenyan kid.

President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.

“We haaaaaaate him.  We doodle little X’s over his eyes on all his pictures, and we’re totally not going to buy anything at his community organizer bake sale.”

He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.

“Totally in our Burn Book, Barry.   You pull this crap before Homecoming, we retaliate.”

That’s because Obama’s all-in on an outside strategy, doing just about everything other than holding serious talks with Republicans. In the last two days alone, he’s courted local TV anchors, called in a select group of White House correspondents to talk off the record, chatted up black broadcasters and announced plans to stump next week at Virginia’s Newport News Shipyard. Throughout, he’s talked in tough terms that signal little interest in compromise — or suggestion of backing down.

He’s navigating a thin line. Obama is convinced he’s got the upper hand on Republicans. Yet he can go only so long before he risks being perceived as a main actor in Washington’s dysfunction, threatening a core element of his political brand — and the fragile economic recovery he’s struggled to maintain.

The calls placed Thursday to Boehner and McConnell were prompted, in part, by a White House desire to inoculate Obama from that exact criticism.

“So yeah, try to win NOW mister smart eleventy-dimensional chess nerd.  We own you now.  Round up the guys, we’re going to Pinkberry to celebrate.”  And high fives were given all around!

And then the President of the United States burned 50 calories from laughing at this article this morning, because it’s such a completely transparent attempt to not appear like a group of ungrateful emo high school twits that it pretty much reinforces every awful stereotype about Politico’s brand of “journalism” (in the same way that flesh-eating bacteria is a “weight-loss aid”.)  Meanwhile, these goofballs continue to believe that Republicans are serious players with a serious plan that didn’t come from Doofenshmirtz Evil, Inc. or something.

The best part is that “outside strategy” that WIN THE MORNING is moaning about means they’re no longer the cool kids.  The President has decided that going around the gatekeepers of Beltway info and speaking to the people, as he did this week giving interviews to a number of local news stations, is a smart idea.

Haters gonna hate, yo.

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63 replies
  1. 1
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    This is all very sensible, if you happen to forget all the attempts Obama has made over THE LAST FOUR YEARS to reach out to these fuckers and just how it’s been received.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    Obama is Heathers to the WtM’s Dawson’s Creek.

  3. 3
    Rick Massimo says:

    He’s navigating a thin line. Obama is convinced he’s got the upper hand on Republicans. Yet he can go only so long before he risks being perceived as a main actor in Washington’s dysfunction …

    If he’s not ALREADY “perceived” (in other words, by the cocktail-party crowd) as a main actor in Washington’s dysfunction, I wonder who the main actors are.

    I think it starts with “Republicans” and ends with silence.

    But of course, in the Politico world, that’s “standing firm” and “talking tough” and is totes OK.

  4. 4
    Ash Can says:

    Cry, you idiots, cry. Go on, cry harder. Now dance for us. Dance!

  5. 5
    General Stuck says:

    The stench of fear is heavy over planet wingnut. Where the vapors are cheap, the butt hurt cheaper still.

    Barry is taking no prisoners

  6. 6
    Hill Dweller says:

    Brooks, Fournier, Politico and Noonan have all written articles with the same theme(Obama is ultimately responsible) in the last two days. The wingnut bat signal must have went out Wednesday night.

    eta: Obama did meet with a lot of beltway journalists earlier in the week for an off the record talk, but Politico was excluded.

  7. 7
    Robin G. says:


  8. 8
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Phineas and Ferb FTW.

  9. 9
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    In a perverse way you almost have to admire the way the twittermice at Politico have managed to invent a stopped clock which isn’t right even once per day, much less twice.

    If you had asked me some time back if this feat would ever be accomplished in my lifetime, I would have said no. Hats off to you Politico, you exceeded expectations. Or something like that.

  10. 10
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Robin G.:

    Channeling your inner Dr. Doofenschmirtz, I see. Does that make the President a platypus?

  11. 11
    YellowJournalism says:

    Meanwhile, these goofballs continue to believe that Republicans are serious players with a serious plan that didn’t come from Doofenshmirtz Evil, Inc. or something.

    Have I told you lately that I love you? And does this make Obama the Roger in the situation or Perry?

  12. 12
    Zandar says:

    @Tom Levenson: “Curse you, Obama the President!” *shakes fist*

  13. 13
    1bb3 says:

    Wishing does not make it so, dear Wingnuts. Now, don’t you have a Civil War to fight?

  14. 14
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @YellowJournalism: Norm on his off days; Perry on his good ones.

  15. 15
    Comrade Mary says:


    Stealth web designing going on, folks.

    EDIT: Broke the sidebar while they were at it. Oops!

    To distract you, join these two Canadian girls exploring interesting Japanese ice cream options.

  16. 16
    hitchhiker says:

    When other presidents do this, it’s called using the bully pulpit. When Obama does it, it’s called being uppity arrogant.

    Why oh why don’t these reporters report that what the president found out between 2010 and 2012 is that he doesn’t have a negotiating partner. There’s no there there. They don’t have the ability to manage their own policy discussions, count votes, put options on the table that they will then stand by.

    Wait, I know why. Because if they said that, they would be admitting that the story they’ve been trying so hard to sell — Obama is uppity arrogant — is wrong and has always been wrong.

    The public knows who forced us into this 7th cliff ledge/cul de sac. It’s not the president.

  17. 17
    Petorado says:

    How clever of Politico to tar Obama with both sides of the same brush: if he compromises they will say he’s weak and unprincipled, if he stands his ground he’s arrogant and hyper-partisan. Why does anyone pay attention to these guys since it is absolutely predictable what they write about any event in politics?

  18. 18

    What would these clowns have said about Woodrow Wilson, when he went all over the country, speaking for the League of Nations? Or what about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his fireside chats? Talking straight to the American people? Totally not fair, dude!

  19. 19
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Zandar: There’s a president controlling me! He’s underneath the table! I got teabags in my office and I just can’t stop!

  20. 20
    BGinCHI says:

    Shorter Politico:

    Obama is bullying the American public and the GOP by having good ideas that people like!

  21. 21
    Bulworth says:

    “…chatted up black broadcasters and announced plans to stump next week at Virginia’s Newport News Shipyard.”

    Oh dear. Not that. He talked to blah broadcasters. //

  22. 22
    Petorado says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I haven’t eaten enough brown acid to see any of the colors yet, but the content that used to be in the right column has been teleported down below the comments. Oh the fun of playing around with WordPress templates.

  23. 23
    General Stuck says:


    They discovered the formula for living on synthetic Halcyon Fumes. A sort of self contained newsy biosphere, that is self sustaining via photosynthesis and a reliable supply of bullshit.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    Grtchen, stop trying to make Politico happen. It’s not going to happen.


  25. 25
    kindness says:

    The Serious Village Elders & MSM hanger ons: A more wretched hive of villany and scum can not be found anywhere in the galaxy…..Oh, wait. That was the Star Wars thread….

    Eh! The shoe fits.

  26. 26
    grape_crush says:

    Yet he can go only so long before he risks being perceived as a main actor in Washington’s dysfunction

    Sez who?

    The more Obama’s involved, the more he owns this pile o’crap. He doesn’t do himself, his party, or his country any good if he allows the House GOP off the hook.

    And in knowing that, Obama and the Dems have put the ball squarely in Boehner’s court. The House Republicans put together a bill that can pass the Senate and get signed in the Oval Office, punt the ball again, or let these drastic cuts take place and knock the weak recovery we’re having off-kilter.

    They’ll pick the latter, because that’s what they really want. They’ll be outraged when the cuts disproportionately hit the various facilities and projects in their home districts, but them’s the breaks…

  27. 27
    Bulworth says:

    @Petorado: Is this Tunch’s revenge for the new interloper at household Cole?

  28. 28
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Petorado: It may depend on your monitor settings, but I’m definitely seeing a rose-grey background to every comment. Example. This may be too washed out for people on Macs, but my Win 7 machine can see it just fine. Note that the colour is tight around the content with no padding.

    Yes, the stuff below = sidebar broken.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    Obama is toast in 2016.

  30. 30
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Comrade Mary: I’m seeing what I perceive as a slight rose tint on my Mac, but according to an app that shows you the color for the pixel your mouse is over, it’s a very light gray (#F9F9F9 for web nerds).

  31. 31
    aimai says:

    I’m skipping down to say that may be the funniest thing I’ve read all year. Maybe in a couple of years. Now I’ll go back and read the other comments.

  32. 32
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Scamp Dog: Thanks! I was too lazy to extract a code for the colour. But as the hex tells us, the grey is shifted from a true neutral and has a cast. (Ooh, #F9F9F9 has its own page on the Interwebs!)

    I called it rose-grey, as in horses, because LAZY is why.

  33. 33
    Mike in NC says:

    First there was the FISCAL CLIFF. Then BENGHAZI! Now it’s SEQUESTER fever. What will our failed media idiots come up with next? Assholes 24/7.

  34. 34
    raven says:

    @Comrade Mary: This page looks totally different but no colors.

  35. 35
    xian says:

    @Comrade Mary: how is it not neutral when it has exactly the same amount of R, G, and B?

  36. 36
    efgoldman says:

    All looks just the same to me, except the misplaced sidebar.

  37. 37
    RareSanity says:

    Meanwhile, these goofballs continue to believe that Republicans are serious players with a serious plan that didn’t come from Doofenshmirtz Evil, Inc. or something.

    They’re using their diabolical new invention…The Kenyan Usurpinator!

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    The comments are white on AL’s post upstairs. Hmm…

  39. 39
    patroclus says:

    Well, Carrie Budoff Brown and Jake Sherman have just proven that they are idiots.

    The Republicans want to privatize Social Security, voucherize Medicare, drastically cut Medicaid and repeal ObamaCare. They just won’t come out and say it because it isn’t reasonable and polls poorly. “Negotiating” with them is impossible – the only way to affect them is to shame them into doing something, or as Obama is doing, make it clear that bad policy outcomes in the face of their obstruction is their fault. If they are sufficiently shamed, they might act like reasonable people; if not, they will destroy the country’s credit rating and default on the debt.

    Most voters are reasonable and won’t blame Obama for the mess caused by the Republicans’ insanity and intransigence. Some will blame both sides. I wish Carrie Budoff Brown and Jake Sherman would report this, but they won’t/don’t, and so we get this drivel instead.

  40. 40
    danimal says:

    The American people aren’t as stupid as the Beltway journos and GOP leaders think they are. Obama gets that; they don’t.

    The whole sequestration thing is a direct result of GOP tantrums policy, and they are going to be stuck with the results.

    Last thought: If the GOP really wanted deep spending cuts, they would be proud of the sequester.

  41. 41
    22over7 says:


    Well, some of them are quite proud of the sequester, and see it as a good beginning. I think I read that Boehner is going to give it to them, just to shut them up and show them what happens when the economy tanks.

    My guess is that the sequester will have a short life and then be repealed as soon as the dummies start getting irate phone calls from their district.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    Yeah, I guess that article is right. The public support for Obama is rising, the majority of the country supports his policy direction. Moderate and vulnerable GOPers in Congress are slowly caving, Rubio is doing fancy dance steps to get closer to Obama’s position.

    And Obama should go have ‘serious talks’ with sad sack Boehner, who can’t even deliver his own caucus for diddily squat. Right.


  43. 43
    Baud says:

    You are so done here, Zandar

  44. 44
    1bb3 says:

    Takes them ’til near the end to cop to the FACT that the sequester is Boner’s Luv Child that he abandoned, and is trying to blame on the Black Guy. Normally this would work, except that the kid in question is orange, weeps uncontrollably, and smells of merlot and regret.

    Who says journalism is dead? Between Politico(n), BlightFart, TuckeredOut Cowdung, and Faux the GOP has this thing in the bag. Suck it Libs!

  45. 45
    Petorado says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I’m seeing a faint neutral background behind the comments. It looks to be one of six shades of gray I see on the site. Is Cole dropping hints about something?

  46. 46
    different-church-lady says:

    Cool! You’ve managed to block quote the entire internet!

  47. 47
    Comrade Mary says:

    @xian: You’re right, it’s 97.65% red, 97.65% green and 97.65% red. The math calls this neutral because those values are equal.

    But in my experience, a hex value for RGB that is an unmatched pair (F9 instead of, say, 11, 22, or 33, etc.) tends to have a warm or cool cast, and many of the paler greys, unless deliberately shifted to blue, look pinkish.

    When I look at the #F9F9F9 page, that grey looks really pink to me. Or maybe that’s just my monitor /sigh.

  48. 48
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Everything else is the same. We are in the experimental chamber. The pink is a lie.

  49. 49
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Comrade Mary: No pink for me, just a neutral gray. Must be your monitor.

  50. 50
    Maude says:

    This morning some idiot guest on Bloomberg radio was whining about Obama wanting to raise taxes, so the sequester is going to happen. He was very upset with Obama. I turned off the radio.
    The comments are every other one the old background color.
    The two lines are what they used to have when the comments were in the middle. That was that wonderful three column template.
    Yeah, tech team.
    The right sidebar info is at the bottom of the page for now.

  51. 51
    xian says:

    @Comrade Mary: could that be gamma? no ideas why an unmatched pair would matter? they are just hex values.

  52. 52
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    The comments have a grey background, I blame Obama.

  53. 53
    FlipYrWhig says:

    He’s navigating a thin line

    “Navigating a thin line” would be the easiest thing a navigator ever had to do, no? Metaphor FAIL. MetaPHAIL.

  54. 54
    LAC says:

    @BGinCHI: shorter shorter politico : “Like, John Boehner, is, like totally hot, and, like, love his tan. Like, totally.”

    Charles pierce says it best about politico: tiger beat on the Potomac

  55. 55
    Yutsano says:

    @Tom Levenson: He’s a platypus. They do not do much.

  56. 56
    danielx says:

    “The single most important thing we want to achieve,” McConnell said, “is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

    And therefore Obama should take every opportunity to suck up to Yertle McConnell and Orange John because they’ve been part of the Washington scene just forever, and should be treated respectfully.

    That Obama! He just absolutely fails to live up (down) to the expectations of the Very Serious People (aka the Kewl Kids) and they just HATE HATE HATE that. Therefore they are going to say mean things about him and stamp their feet until he acknowledges them.

    Politico is teh suxx0r.

  57. 57
    jl says:


    “The single most important thing we want to achieve,” McConnell said, “is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

    If the press wants to write stories about political cred and opinion horse races, maybe they could write a story about how the Congressional GOP wasted two sessions, and effing failed, and they are failures, and losers.

    Did the corporate media ever do that story?

  58. 58
    past contingent says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    When I look at the #F9F9F9 page, that grey looks really pink to me. Or maybe that’s just my monitor /sigh.

    It’s not necessarily your monitor; the illumination in the room (incandescent? warm or cool?) and the color of things near the monitor like walls will affect what seems “white”. But it’s probably your monitor.

    #f9f9f9 is a gray in sRGB color space which has become as standard as anything on the Web. Your browser, your OS, and your monitor should agree amongst themselves on some arrangement where #f9f9f9 appears to have no tint. At least to an average observer in a particular controlled environment. Color management is arcane.

    There was little point to working at this in the first decade of the Web. On 8-bit (256-color) displays, browsers tended to approximate everything with a 6x6x6 color cube–only 216 colors! On 16-bit (65536-color) displays, the color space is 32x64x32 which allows closer approximation. But having twice as many green levels means picking the shortest distance to a gray approximation can be wrong. Half the time “the closest” will have a green halfway between the red/blue. So that’s one reason you might see even/odd #xxx alternating between tint and pure gray.

    With 24-bit (16 million color) displays, faster computers, and smarter monitors, we can do a lot better than simple math for picking colors. They all have to agree on what’s going on though. Newer operating systems (at least Windows 7 and OS X 10.4) have display calibration tools that sort that all out with lots of squinting at test patterns.

    If you have a photographer friend, you may be able to borrow a USB display calibration tool. They cost $100 and up, but just running it one time will make the colors much better. Warning: you may start noticing how bad the colors on other displays are. Cheaper not to see the fnords.

    New site design means I get to rewrite my personal BJ re-styler. No rest for the wicked.

  59. 59
    Comrade Mary says:

    @past contingent: Thanks! I knew this monitor was supposed to be afflicted with a green-to-pink colour cast, and I can see it if I open up a plain white field full screen, but I didn’t think it would affect greys that much.

    (Fluorescent overhead bulbs in a ceiling fixture, nearest bulb warm, furthest cool. With lights off, the grey still looks a little pink, but not as much as with the lights on.)

    And — oh WOW — just cracked open the 2012, non-Retina MacBook running OS x 10.8.2. The different gamma makes everything look lighter, but the grey has no hint of pink. In fact, it even looks rather blue to me, using the Color LCD profile which I just calibrated in January. Weird.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:

    @past contingent:

    New site design means I get to rewrite my personal BJ re-styler. No rest for the wicked.

    I’m looking at the prospect of that too. I use Stylish. Are you using something you like better?

  61. 61
    past contingent says:

    At some point Stylish ate all my stylesheets so I’ve been using QuickStyles in protest. I should probably throw all this stuff up on userstyles so teh cloud will protect me.

    As far as actual design goes, I’ve been using Firebug or the Safari inspector to screw around with rules. I bet CSSEdit would be more fun, but I’ve been trying not to get too attached to expensive OS X tools. Linux is home, and I’m not sure if I’d stay on the Mac platform if I had to “upgrade” from 10.6 to the current choices.

  62. 62
    Tehanu says:


    Yes, I always look forward to Charlie’s “Things in Politico that Make Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze” posts.

  63. 63

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