- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Big Heat

President Obama probably expected a chilly reception from the conservative blogosphere, but not this sense of “chilly.”

Ed Morrissey at the popular site Hot Air noted a New York Times report that the new president had junked the “coat and tie” rule for the Oval Office. Mr. Morrissey asked, and then answered, why that wasn’t a problem “during a colder-than-usual Washington winter. All Obama did was turn up the thermostat to Hawaii hothouse levels.”

The New York Times report read, ” ‘He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?’ said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. ‘He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.’ ”

Then Mr. Morrissey laid into the New York Times as well as the hothouse president.

“And thus did the Times fall down on the job yet again in the Age of Obama. While candidate Obama talked endlessly of the need for energy conservation and limits on the use of fuels that produce so-called greenhouse gases, President Obama has no trouble heating the White House for himself to greenhouse levels…. Did the Times even note the hypocrisy, or at the very least the incongruity, in its report on Obama’s White House? Not at all.

“In fact, candidate Obama spoke directly to that end in May of this year,” Mr. Morrissey wrote, linking to an article that originated with Agence France-Presse: ” ‘We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,’ Obama said. ‘That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,’ he added.”

As other conservative bloggers went with the story, they seemed to compete for best headline. In the derisive category, there was Ann Althouse with “Never Lecture Me Again About Global Warming, Barack Obama.” In the dry category, there was Elizabeth Scalia at the Anchoress with “Turn up the heat: Yes we can!”

The Big Chill

Speaking of chill, more than 40 deaths, mostly around the Midwest and the Ozarks, have been attributed to an ice storm and the resulting lack of electricity that left a million people in the dark for several days in the past week.

Under the headline “Obama Dozed, People Froze?” Jimmie at Sundries Shack notes a couple of absences: FEMA and political complaints about FEMA.

“Has anyone seen FEMA lately? It seems we have people dying by the dozens in the midwest, where they’ve been freezing to death for a few days. Local officials are calling out the Federal government for its notable lack of response,” he wrote.

Jimmie noted that rescue efforts usually are best done by local officials, who in most cases will have better knowledge of local conditions and have the resources closer to hand.

“Reasonable people can not expect the Federal government to simply swoop in a day or [two] after a disaster and work at anything near top effectiveness. Then again, it’s not unfair for us to hold the Obama administration to the same standards the [mainstream media] and Democrats held the Bush administration. By those standards, the President is failing and people are dying,” he wrote.

Michelle Malkin chimed in, alluding also to the White House hothouse, with the suggested slogan, “Obama perspired, people expired.”

Pseudonymous blogger Mutnodjmet at American Freedom Network took a page from some of the nuttier criticisms of President Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina with the headline “Obama kills white people,” citing his eating steak dinners and turning up the White House heat while dozens of people in mostly white Kentucky froze.

“To be honest, I really don’t believe Obama is targeting white people. I think the man is just naturally incompetent. However, I don’t think President Bush was targeting blacks in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, either,” he wrote.

More letters

We reported in this space in November about “An Open Letter to President-elect Barack Obama” at the mostly pro-Obama Catholic blog Vox Nova that invited the president to engage in dialogue over abortion with pro-lifers.

Vox Nova contributor Henry Karlson put up a new open letter this week, offering some proposals and encouraging readers not only to sign and cross-post it, but to fax it to the White House.

The letter calls on Mr. Obama to “focus on pragmatic, compassionate solutions,” specifically:

“1. Announce your support of the pregnant Women Support Act (S 270), which … seeks common-sense solutions to the abortion issue by, among other things, promoting adoption, helping pregnant teen mothers finish high school and college, providing shelter to pregnant woman in abusive situations” and other measures;

“2. End your support for the Freedom of Choice Act, which will go beyond merely codifying Roe and alienate pro-life Americans by, among other things, requiring taxpayer funding of abortion and mandating that hospitals perform abortions” and;

“3. Encourage Congress to fund research using adult, cord-blood and amniotic stem cells, which carry none of the ethical problems involved with the destruction of human embryos.”

Too perfect

Joy Behar let the beans spill.

She was in the tank for Barack Obama and views him as too immaculate to make fun of (one of the things you would think a comedian would be good at doing).

One of the co-bloggers at Gay Patriot reports on an episode of “Larry King Live” during which Miss Behar acknowledged getting weak in the knees over Mr. Obama.

“King asked ‘The View’s‘ Joy Behar why comedians … found it ‘hard … to have fun with [Mr. Obama].’ The comedienne replied that this prez was just too perfect,” wrote B. Daniel Blatt (aka “Gay Patriot West”).

“What does it say about someone [that she] finds a politician too perfect for mockery? And what does it say about her insight into politics if she offers this as the reason for the dearth of late-night jokes about the president? So enamored is Behar with the president that she is blind to the googly-eyed adulation her media peers feel.”

There was more on bias at “The View,” as John Hinderaker at the Powerline blog noted, based on the following exchange:

“King: Has ‘The View’ become more political?

“Behar: Yes, because of the election year … don’t you think comedians were very instrumental this year in helping Obama get elected?

“King: By attacking Bush, you mean?

“Behar: Yes, I mean, Tina Fey, she really put the nail in the old coffin there. And ‘The View,’ we had our little interactions … although I like John McCain very much, I didn’t want him to be president, so I had to do what I had to do.”

Mr. Hinderaker sarcastically said, “Well, thanks for laying it out there … that network women’s television is on record as being an organ of the Democratic Party.”

• Contact Victor Morton.

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