The Buzz

Make it a Double

Ralph Benko, writing on a website called "Parcbench," offers a headline that reads: "Wake Up Libertarians, A Government Sometimes Gets it Right!" His case in point is the government of Alabama, whose legislature passed a law in 2004 officially designating the state drink to be…whiskey. And not just any whiskey, but specifically, "Clyde May’s Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey."

Campaigner in Chief

Dana Milbank is known for his lighter fare over at the Washington Post, but his column this week illuminates some new truths about Obama as “campaigner in chief.”

While The Buzz concedes that the perpetual campaign began long before Obama, it appears the president has outpaced even his most fundraiser-happy predecessors. “Measured in terms of events that benefit his reelection bid, Obama’s total…exceeds the combined total of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.” 

Ornstein and Mann's Flawed History

Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann, writing in the Washington Post’s “Outlook,” declare it’s simply wrong to blame both sides for congressional gridlock. No, they say, every shred of blame goes to the Republicans. The GOP has become an “insurgent outlier…ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science….”

Bin Laden and the Braggarts

One year after his death, Osama bin Laden continues to cause problems for President Obama.

Controversy has arisen over whether Obama is taking too much credit for the raid that killed Bin Laden, with pundits accusing him of “[exploiting] the bragging rights to the achievement.” Former U.S. attorney general Michael Mukasey took to the Wall Street Journal to excoriate Obama’s handling of the matter.

National Review Turns Tabloid

We’ve all seen those supermarket tabloids and magazines, near the checkout counter, that delight in showing how some female celeb has lost her figure, complete with photos of the poor woman in a bathing suit. (Writers for The Buzz, it should be noted, don’t buy this trash but merely look at it [askance] from a distance.) Lost in this journalism is any sense of the person’s other dimensions or overall worth. This one aspect becomes defining.

Accepting a Legitimate Islamism

The term “Islamist” has long conjured up frightening images of bearded men bent on imposing their image of God’s will over the rest of society. Now the Arab Spring has strengthened the hand of Islamist parties across the Middle East and North Africa. Washington has been left in the awkward position of wanting to embrace the democratic revolutions but deeply troubled about their potential to lead to the ascendance of political Islam as a major force in the region.

NBC's Halfhearted Correction

By now just about everyone knows of the “Today” show’s egregious editing of the audio clip of George Zimmerman’s expressions on the 911 call, just before he shot to death Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.

“Today” version: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good….he looks black.”

Real version: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” Dispatcher: “Okay, and this guy—is he white, black or Hispanic?” Zimmerman, after a pause: “He looks black.”