Saturday, April 23, 2011

Government Cash Handouts Now Top Tax Revenues

U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.
Households received $2.3 trillion in some kind of government support in 2010. That includes expanded unemployment benefits, as well as payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and stimulus spending, among other things.

But that’s more than the $2.2 trillion households paid in taxes, an amount that has slumped largely due to the recession, according to an analysis by the Fiscal Times.

We're not talking about unions in industries where there is something called "management" on the other side of the bargaining table. We're talking about government jobs used to buy Democratic votes with your hard-earned money.


Blaming speculators and creating unnecessary task forces is a good way for the Administration to signal it is “doing something” about high gas prices. But the truth is that the federal government is merely diverting attention away from its bad policies.

Obama’s Blame of Speculators, Forming of Gas Task Force Misguided -
His finger-pointing at speculators and formation of a gas task force to investigate prices at the pump ignore the real cause of rising gas prices. Further, President Obama’s blame of speculators is a costly barrier to fixing bad government policy that restricts oil and gas exploration onshore and offshore here at home.
Obama in Panic Mode – Like A Floundering Defense Attorney He Doesn’t Quite Know What He Is Saying - I Own The World

De Russy's colleague sent her a copy of a student's exam from an introductory sociology class found lying in a room at an East Coast public college. The professor had given it a perfect score of 100.

"Question: How does the United States 'steal' the resources of other (Third World) countries?
"Answer: We steal through exploitation. Our multinationals are aware that indigenous people in developing nations have been coaxed off their plots and forced into slums. Because it is lucrative, our multinationals offer them extremely low wage labor that cannot be turned down.

Teaching students hate-America indoctrination is widespread "Learn more at the link.

Obama to Chicago for Oprah, then to NYC fundraiser...

Obama To Tape "Oprah" Before NYC Fundraising - NY Daily News
"On Wednesday, the President and the First Lady will travel to Chicago to tape an episode of the 'Oprah Winfrey Show.' The President will then travel to New York to deliver remarks at two DNC events."
Coming off last week's three-day fundraiser...
Obama Skips Tornado Destruction, Heads West to Raise Money - White House Dossier
President Obama is opting not to visit the tornado-ravaged areas of the South, choosing instead to embark today on a three day tour out West where he will try to boost his political standing by talking up his approach to the deficit and raise millions for himself and fellow Democrats....

Vice President Biden has also failed to show up. He’s cooling his heels today at home in Wilmington, Delaware. The disaster did not even merit a visit from Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar who – without any apparent irony – was in Boston Tuesday announcing a new wind energy project.
Obama's Likability Gap - Obama today is different than the 2008 candidate. - Wall Street Journal
Obama.2008 was engaging, patient, open, optimistic and a self-identified conciliator.

Obama.2011 has been something else—testy, petulant, impatient, arrogant and increasingly a divider.
$76,000 Cover Charge to Protest - White House pool reporter gives account of Mr. Obama's breakfast fundraiser in San Francisco - NBC Nay Area

No tea party equivalent on the left

No tea party equivalent on the left - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

Busted… Soros-Funded Think Progress Caught Pushing Bogus Backlash Story - Gateway Pundit
Notice in today’s title they claim Republicans are facing “more backlash” at town hall events. By “more backlash” they are talking about an event earlier in the week when Rep. Paul Baretta (R-PA) was harassed during a town hall meeting. What they don’t tell you is that the heckler was the Carbon County Democrats for Change leader.

Watch what I do, not what I say

Watch what I do, not what I say - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
...both moves directly contradict Obama’s public statements. He said he didn’t want to micromanage General Motors. But he tells its executives where they have to punch the time clock in and out each day. And he says he wants to encourage American exports. The last time I looked Boeing was America’s largest exporter. How does it help American exports to give unions a better chance to close down America’s largest export for 58 days, as they did in 2008? I suspect we won’t get any answers from the White House—certainly not any good answers.
U.S. Hurries to Sell GM Stake - Wall Street Journal
A sale within the next several months would almost certainly mean U.S. taxpayers will take a loss on their $50 billion rescue of the Detroit auto maker in 2009.

Something conservatives should keep in mind: not all former Democrats (or even current Dems) are “libs”, “Liberals”, or Leftists

...I thought Democrats were the Autobots, Thundercats, Holograms, and Rebel Alliance…and Republicans were the Decepticons, the Mutants, the Misfits, and the Evil Galactic Empire.... - Hillbuzz

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Ends Obama's 53,300 Gallon Trip

During his trip, Obama's 30-car motorcade was used to carry him to events. His limo, and there are usually two in the motorcade, gets a high of 8-10 miles per gallon... - USNews
President Obama declared today's 41st annual Earth Day proof of America's ecological and conservation spirit—then completed a three-day campaign-style trip logging 10,666 miles on Air Force One, eating up some 53,300 gallons at a cost of about $180,000. And that doesn't include the fuel consumption of his helicopter, limo, or the 29 other vehicles that travel with that car.

Petition to Redistribute GPA Scores

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Circle Shrinks

IN MEMORIAM - The Circle Shrinks Peter Hannaford at The Spectator Online

On the first weekend in February close to 1,500 people gathered at the Reagan Library in California to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the man they had served in Washington or Sacramento, Ronald Reagan. These were men and women who had held responsible positions in those administrations.

A little over a month later, a much smaller group -- those who had worked very closely with Reagan over time -- shrunk by one with the death of Richard Wirthlin at age 80.

Dick Wirthlin was Reagan's pollster for 21 years, through the Sacramento and Washington administrations. He was, however, much more than a nose counter. From his findings in polling, census, and political data, he developed strategies for Reagan's campaigns and the years between. In his memoir, Wirthlin wrote, "He (Reagan) wasn't interested in being told what to say -- he intrinsically knew that. He was interested in the most effective way to convey that message." Wirthlin's continuous surveying and analysis during Reagan's campaigns and years in office gave his client insights into ways to calibrate those messages for maximum effect.

In late 1978, not long before the Reagan exploratory committee was to be formed leading to a 1980 presidential candidacy, Dick added a new dimension to his survey research. He measured the intensity of feelings of respondents on key issues. For example, he found that people wanted to hear more from Reagan about solutions to the nation's economic problems. At the same time, Reagan's oft-stated concerns about the decline of U.S. military strength were well known and Wirthlin found that if he continued to emphasize them, his audience might consider him too hawkish.

It was Wirthlin's findings in 1980 that led to Reagan's emphasis on "the community of shared values" that embraced what became known as the Reagan Democrats. This writer recalls the three of us sitting on the edge of the bed in Reagan's suite in Detroit the day before he was to give his acceptance speech at the July 1980 Republican National Convention. We went over the final draft line by line to make sure it had just the mix of references to this and to other important issues.

Wirthlin, whose career began as an economist at Brigham Young University, got into polling at the behest of a political scientist friend who wanted some help with his work. Wirthlin liked it so well, he formed his own company. An early client was Barry Goldwater who then recommended him to Reagan. He found that his philosophy and Reagan's meshed closely. Wirthlin's firm built a clientele with major companies as well.

He continued surveying after Reagan became president. His presentations were always quietly stated. He was persuasive, never dogmatic, and had data to support his conclusions. Even if the news was bad, he never hesitated to tell his client the facts. One time, as the recession Reagan had inherited deepened and his approval rating slid below 50 percent, Wirthlin broke the bad news. Reagan thought for moment, then smiled and said, "Dick, I know what we'll do. I'll just have to go out and get shot again" (referring to his near death from an assassin's bullet).

As close as Wirthlin was to Reagan and his inner circle, he never joined his administrations. He remained an ally on the outside: straightforward, trustworthy, steadfast, a good friend to a great man and those around him. May he rest in peace.

Peter Hannaford

Peter was closely associated with the late President Ronald Reagan for a number of years, beginning in the 1970s. He was vice chairman of the Governor’s Consumer Fraud Task Force, then the governor’s sole public appointee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s governing board, then Assistant to the Governor and Director of Public Affairs in the Governor’s Office, Sacramento.

When Mr. Reagan’s second term expired, Peter and another senioir aide, Michael Deaver, founded a public affairs/public relations firm in Los Angeles (Deaver & Hannaford, Inc.) and Mr. Reagan became their lead client. They managed his public program until his election as president. In his 1976 campaign for the presidential nomination, Peter was his co-director of issues and research. In the 1980 campaign he was senior communications consultant to Mr. Reagan.

With the Reagan victory in November 1980, both men could not go into the White House. Mike Deaver did, as deputy chief of staff, while Peter continued with the company to manage it. He movedits headquarters to Washington, D.C. During the Reagan years he was involved in a number of volunteer activities including membership on the United States Information Agency’s Public Relations Advisory Committee, the board of trustees of the White House Preservation Fund, consultant to the President’s Privatization Commission and active in the President’s Private Sector Initiatives program.

After nearly three decades in Washington, Peter returned to his native state of California in 2006.
He remains a member of the board of directors of the Washington-based Committee on the Present Danger and a senior counselor of APCO Worldwide, a Washington-based public affairs/strategic communications firm. Currently, he is chairman of the Humboldt County Republican Party and lives in Eureka.

He is the author of 11 books (most of them about U.S. presidents) and a frequent contributor to opinion magazines and their online editions.

Conservatives poke Obama's Facebook town hall

Conservatives poke Obama's Facebook town hall
In an early social media skirmish in the 2012 campaign, a conservative political group claims to have forced Facebook to temporarily shut down the event page for President Obama's online town hall meeting after steering hundreds of negative comments to the site....The cyber-battle shows just how much the dynamics of campaigns are shifting in the social media era.
Twitter Power
Some folks are organizing a TWITTER Army of Davids going to call out the media on all their bogus coverage... it amounts to crowd sourcing the fact checking... call them on every bogus story they do... Learn more at the link.

Get your TWITTER and Facebook accounts ready before the next election cycle.

During two terms as New Mexico governor, he eliminated the state’s budget deficit and cut the rate of state government growth in half while reducing the state workforce by more than 10% without laying off a single qualified state worker

New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson announces presidential bid, plans to ski Tuckerman Ravine
"Our leaders in Washington, DC, have ‘led’ America to record unemployment, a devalued currency, banking scandals, the mortgage crisis, drug crisis, economic crisis, loss of our nation’s industrial might — and a long list of other reminders our nation is way off course," Johnson said.

"Why am I telling you this? Because America is better than this. And because I can help fix it. I’m a fix-it man," he said.

Johnson, 58, said during two terms as New Mexico governor, he eliminated the state’s budget deficit and cut the rate of state government growth in half while reducing the state workforce by more than 10 percent without laying off a single qualified state worker.
"I was called ‘Governor Veto,’ and accepted that nickname proudly," he said.

"Powershift" attendees lament 'addiction to economic growth,' envision return to peasantry

Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones all participated in an environmentalist conference over the weekend called "Powershift." Andrew Breitbart has posted this extremely hillarious video of the goings-on inside and outside.

Obama: Mistakes? Can't think of any.

On Wednesday, President Obama held a town hall at the headquarters of Facebook in Palo Alto, California, during which he was asked, "If you had to do anything differently during your first four years, what would it be?" - Byron York/Washington Examiner

On Raising the Debt Limit

GOP escalates debt-limit demands - Politico
Federal Borrowing on Pace to Hit Debt Limit in Less Than Week - CNS

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In Wisconsin: Kloppenburg has called for a statewide recount (video added)

Kloppenburg has called for a statewide recount - Althouse
Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg requested Wednesday a statewide recount - the first in 22 years - to check the results in the April 5 election for state Supreme Court race she lost to Justice David Prosser, the Government Accountability Board said....

Kloppenburg also called on the board to appoint a special investigator to probe the "actions and words" of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus.
Kloppenburg requests recount in Supreme Court race - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

NEW HIGH: U.S. Debt Tops $14.3 Trillion for First Time

The national debt has passed another historical milestone, topping $14.3 trillion for the first time ever, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury late Monday afternoon. - CNS News
Friday’s $34.54-billion jump in the national debt almost equaled the $38.5 billion the Republican House leadership said would be cut from spending for the remainder of this fiscal year by the continuing resolution that the Congress passed on Thursday and President Obama signed Friday.

The federal government is now perilously close to hitting its legal limit on debt.

Poll finds most Americans can't name a GOP presidential candidate

About half of all Americans -- 53 percent -- could not name anyone when asked which Republican candidate they've been hearing the most about, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.
The poll suggests the public knows little about the potential GOP candidates because they lack interest and because of relatively little news coverage on the subject.

Just 20 percent of Americans said they followed news about possible GOP candidates very closely in the last week, and coverage of the presidential race only made up 2 percent of news coverage in the past week, according to Pew.

David Spady lists California's Top Ten Most Outrageous Government Pensions and explains why California needs real reforms to prevent a pension crisis.

There’s nothing routine about the 26 warning letters to Obama for America totaling “more than 1,500 pages of questions and data that outlined compliance concerns — including the longest one ever sent to a presidential candidate,”

All the president’s funny money - Michelle Malkin

The debt ceiling has already been raised three times during Obama’s first two years in office

In February 2009, Obama asked for and received a $789 billion debt limit hike to help pay for his stimulus plan. In December 2009, Congress passed a stand alone $290 billion debt ceiling increase and in February 2010, the Democrats in Congress hiked the limit another $1.4 trillion to today’s $14.3 trillion max. - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner

Mr. Obama: Taxing the rich won't increase revenues

Mr. Obama: Taxing the rich won't increase revenues - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
...There's a reason federal tax revenues since World War II have hovered around 18 or 19 percent of gross domestic product, regardless of tax rates. The reason is that higher rates tend to result in less taxable income. You figure out why in Tax 1.

But perhaps Barack Obama understands this. In 2008 he told ABC's Charlie Gibson that he wanted to raise capital gains rates even if the government got less revenue because of "fairness." Evidently he likes taking people's money away. What he doesn't explain is why this makes anyone better off.
If rich aren't paying their "fair share," then what's fair? - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner
Obama: 'No such thing as a free lunch' - Hayley Peterson
Paul Krugman, 'the wealthy,' and Barack Obama - Timothy P. Carney/Washington Examiner

Bad News for President Obama and GOP?

As part of President Obama’s plan to rebuild the grass-roots movement that propelled him to the White House, he took to YouTube this week to urge his 19.3 million Facebook friends to join him, and invite others, for a town-hall-style chat on Facebook Wednesday with Mark Zuckerberg, the social media site’s chief executive, at his side.

By Tuesday afternoon, more than 22,000 people had signed up. NY Times
It is all part of Mr. Obama’s re-election effort to use social media and other online tools to galvanize supporters. But unlike in the last presidential campaign, Republicans are better prepared to compete online in the 2012 contest.

“The notion that the Internet was owned by liberals, owned by the left in the wake of the Obama victory, has been proven false,” said Patrick Ruffini, a Republican political online strategist...

Republican voters matched Democrats in their use of these tools, with 40 percent of Republican online users turning to social media to get politically involved in a campaign, compared to 38 percent of Democratic voters, according to a study by the Pew Research Center for the Internet and Society. Tea Party supporters were especially likely to use social media to connect with a political group or candidate.

“It is not necessarily that Democrats or young people or liberals have become less active,” said Aaron Smith, the author of the study. “It is more that older adults, conservative voters and Tea Party activists have come to join the party.”
Drudge headline is: 4/20: Less than 1% of 'friends' sign up for Obama FACEBOOK event...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Libya rebels will receive $25 million from U.S.

The new authorization for assistance would cover “vehicles, fuel trucks and fuel bladders, ambulances, medical equipment, protective vests, binoculars, and non-secure radios,” - Washington Times

Get ready for game of chicken over debt ceiling

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that Republicans are assuring the Obama
administration that they will pass an increase in the government's debt limit.-AP File
Get ready for game of chicken over debt ceiling Byron York/The Examiner
You want to get attention on Capitol Hill? Threaten to lower the U.S. government credit rating.

The news that Standard & Poor's has lowered its outlook for the United States from "stable" to "negative" shot through congressional offices on Monday. An already-hot fight over raising the national debt got even hotter.

"Today S&P sent a wake-up call to those in Washington asking Congress to blindly increase the debt limit," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement released minutes after the news broke. "House Republicans will only move forward on the president's request to increase the debt limit if it is accompanied by serious reforms that immediately reduce federal spending and end the culture of debt in Washington."

On the other side, Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, of the liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus, sent out a letter to Democratic leaders, signed by 114 House Democrats, demanding that Congress pass a debt-limit bill without any spending reforms at all.
Battle over debt limit looming on Hill - Susan Ferrechio/The Examiner
The battle awaits Republicans and Democrats when Congress returns in two weeks and debate begins over whether to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner informed Congress that the nation's borrowing limit will be reached May 16, leaving him with only enough wiggle room to pay the nation's bills until July 8. After that, if Congress doesn't raise the limit, the United States will start defaulting on loans and interest rates will skyrocket, shattering the already fragile economy.
House Dems insist S&P warning means Congress should raise debt ceiling, no strings attached - Philip Klein/The Examiner
More than half of House Democrats are seizing on news that Standard and Poor's could downgrade the United States' bond rating to make the argument that Republicans need to raise the debt limit without tying it to additional spending restraint. "America pays its bills," said Rep.
How To Use The Debt Ceiling To Control The White House - Strata-sphere

Voters Are Listening

Obama near record low approval rating, and so is everyone else. - John Hayward/Human Events
...These polls portray a landscape of disaffection with the current President. They’re waiting to hear bold and compelling talk about the alternatives. It’s time for the Republican presidential candidates to step up their game, and bring forth people who are ready to stand before that audience and speak with both reason and passion. Voters know we’re in deep trouble, and the same old cocktail of platitudes and bromides isn’t going to fix the problem. Note that Obama got absolutely no “bounce” whatsoever from his big “budget speech” at George Washington University. It looks like America retains a good number of voters who can tell the difference between nasty political rhetoric and a plan.

If there’s one thing the President’s cratering approval numbers tell us, it’s that people are tired of empty rhetoric, bitter class warfare, and vapid happy talk. They’ll return to a diet of such things in time, if they are not given something stronger and bolder to consider.
Update: An important additional point from reader Martin Hale is that even by the dismal standards for skewed mainstream media poll samples, this one's a whopper. The Washington Post / ABC poll included a mix of 32% who identified as Democrats, 22% Republican, 41% independent, and 4% who gave no response. That's an absurd 10% skew toward Democrats, which means the pollsters know the real numbers for Obama are even worse, and they do not want to report those numbers.

Les Kinsolving: 'Reporters' questions often go unanswered. When replies are given they frequently are more scripted than meaningful. What is the White House response to this?"

Obama spokesman: 'I'm not going to take your questions' - WND
The "transparency" in the Obama administration means sometimes a question can't even get asked.

The discovery came today at the daily White House news briefing with press secretary Jay Carney, who responded to a request to be allowed to ask about the president's positions: "I'm not going to take your questions."

Ironically, Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House and the No. 2 reporter on the White House beat, had wanted to ask about Obama's openness.

"In the Washington Post, the president of the Society of Professional Journalists wrote of the Obama administration, Reporters' questions often go unanswered. When replies are given they frequently are more scripted than meaningful. What is the White House response to this?"' was what Kinsolving had wanted to ask.
Where’s the transparency that Obama promised? - Washington Post

BREITBART: "I felt that it was kind of like coming out of the closet as not just gay but as a flaming transvestite with a sparkler fetish and with chaps."

Andrew Breitbart's new book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! is out.
Available at Amazon: Known for his network of conservative websites that draws millions of readers everyday, Andrew Breitbart has one main goal: to make sure the "liberally biased" major news outlets in this country cover all aspects of a story fairly. Breitbart is convinced that too many national stories are slanted by the news media in an unfair way.

In RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, Breitbart talks about the key issues that Americans face, how he has aligned himself with the Tea Party, and how one needs to deal with the liberal news world head on. Along the way, he details his early years, working with Matt Drudge, the Huffington Post, and so on, and how Breitbart developed his unique style of launching key websites to help get the word out to conservatives all over.

A rollicking and controversial read, Breitbart will certainly raise your blood pressure, one way or another.

Andrew Breitbart is the creator of,, Big Hollywood and Big Government. His new website, Big Journalism, launched in December 2009. His websites get millions of hits everyday.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rasmussen: Obama 49%, Trump 34%

President Obama leads Donald Trump by 15 percentage points in a hypothetical 2012 match-up, but the president is unable to top the 50% level of support even against an opponent some are deriding as a joke. - Rasmussen Reports

Oh my: Palin’s website suddenly looking campaign-ready

Allahpundit says "Looks good, and it’s clearly intended to make a statement coming so soon after her gangbusters Wisconsin speech." - HotAir

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube an absolute must for candidates.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube now crucial to presidential campaigns

If you don't have a Facebook account yet, get one today. It's going to be important in the coming battle.

California panel slashes funds for legislator vehicles

California panel slashes funds for legislator vehicles - Press Democrat
With the state in a budget crisis, a government panel voted Thursday to end the decades-old practice of providing taxpayer-financed vehicles for Senate and Assembly members who want them, along with insurance, repairs and unlimited gasoline, all on the public tab.

The new deal: Get around in your own car. Starting in December, the state will give legislators a flat, $300-a-month payment to offset gas, insurance and other expenses, more than cutting in half the annual cost to taxpayers to keep lawmakers on the road.

The Citizens Compensation Commission, voting 5-0 with one abstention, sent a clear signal that it was time for legislators to surrender a luxury in a state where a car is often a necessity — and a status statement.
Evans: $300 monthly car stipend too little - Press Democrat
No sooner had a state commission voted to take away her taxpayer-financed vehicle, replacing it with a flat $300-a-month payment for driving her own car, than state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, was on Twitter complaining about the raw deal.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa: Say “Goodbye” to the Dollar

Without question, this statement is about eliminating the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency. Therefore, the BRIC countries are asking for “the reform and improvement of the international monetary system, with a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty.” - Trevor Loudon


S&P Affirms US AAA Rating, Cuts Outlook to Negative - CNBC via Drudge
"Because the U.S. has, relative to its 'AAA' peers, what we consider to be very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the path to addressing these is not clear to us, we have revised our outlook on the long-term rating to negative from stable," the agency said in a statement.

The S&P said the move signals there's at least a one-in-three likelihood that it could lower its long-term rating on the United States within two years.
Wall St drops on U.S. cut, global economic worry Yahoo Finance
S&P Cuts U.S. Ratings Outlook to Negative - Wall St. Journal

Obama for status quo and despair - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Video: Atlas is shrugging already

Atlas is shrugging already
Film review: Atlas Shrugged

300 theaters and counting.
Not near you yet? DEMAND Atlas to your town. Theaters being added regularly.

Paul Ryan: There is no rubber stamp for raising the debt limit

Ryan said there must be a cap in domestic spending and “financial controls in conjunction with raising the national debt limit.” And he said Democrats should not expect that Republicans will relent.

Barack Obama raised a record-shattering $750 million on his way to winning the 2008 presidential election. But that stunning flood of cash has triggered an investigation by the FEC, which is taking a detailed look at the campaign's records and transactions... It was not required by law, since the Obama campaign did not accept federal matching funds and funded itself entirely with private donations. But allegations of improper contributions, coupled with the FEC's suspicions of certain transactions, led to the probe.

FEC Investigators Digging Into Obama's 2008 Campaign - Newsmax

2012 presidential candidates 'friend' social media

Welcome to The Social Network, presidential campaign edition.
The candidates and contenders have embraced the Internet to far greater degrees than previous White House campaigns, communicating directly with voters on platforms where they work and play....

The most influential of those destinations include the video sharing website YouTube; Facebook, the giant social network with 500 million active users; and Twitter, the cacophonous conversational site where news is made and shared in tweets of 140 characters or less.

All the campaigns have a robust Facebook presence, using the site to post videos and messages and to host online discussions. In the latest indication of the site's reach and influence, Obama plans to visit Facebook headquarters in California this coming Wednesday for a live chat with company founder Mark Zuckerberg and to take questions from users who submit questions on the site.

Candidates have embraced Twitter with an intensity that rivals pop star Justin Bieber's. Twitter was the Republican hopefuls' platform of choice last Wednesday, moments after Obama gave a budget speech calling for some tax increases and decrying GOP proposals to cut Medicare.

"President Obama doesn't get it. The fear of higher taxes tomorrow hurts job creation today," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour tweeted.

"The president's plan will kill jobs and increase the deficit," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich warned in a tweet, attaching a link to a more detailed statement posted on Facebook.

In the past, candidates would have pointed supporters to their websites for such a response. Now, as Moffatt puts it, "the campaign site may be headquarters, but it needs digital embassies across the web."

Mean streak: Obama is not as nice as he looks

Mean streak: Obama is not as nice as he looks - Examiner editorial
Obama invited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to George Washington University to hear his Wednesday address on the federal government's dire fiscal situation. The speech was advertised by the White House as a major address in which the president would join the serious conversation initiated two weeks ago by Ryan in his detailed proposal for cutting spending. What Obama instead delivered, with Ryan sitting in the front row, was, in the Wall Street Journal's unsparing description, a "poison pen" speech dripping with mean-spirited partisanship, gross misrepresentations of fact, and sophistry of the lowest sort concerning Republicans' alleged desire to hurt old people, the poor and mentally challenged children. It was the sort of harangue one would expect from a rabidly devoted partisan hack, with no relation whatever to the thoughtful appeals to reason and common values that historically have characterized presidential leadership in this country.

Obama then spent Thursday evening regaling an audience of Democratic donors with what he thought were off-the-record insider jabs about his recent budget negotiations with House Republicans...

Odds are we will see more of this meaner side of the Obama persona in the months ahead because, as columnist and former GOP presidential aide Pete Wehner notes, "now that he finds himself intellectually outmatched by Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, and in a precarious situation when it comes to his re-election, Obama is dropping his past civility sermons down the memory hole. Decency and respect for others has suddenly become passe. Talking about our disagreements without being disagreeable has been overtaken by events. Not impugning the character of the opposition is fine as long as it's convenient, but it's to be ignored whenever necessary." In other words, we're now seeing the real Obama in what promises to be an ugly campaign.
President Whatever finds things not going his way - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner