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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Glenn Beck

Sarah Palin's noncampaign campaign-style video 'Iowa Passion'


Sarah Palin has a new video out.

President Obama headed to Iowa on a bus tour shortly after the Ames Straw Poll, but it wasn't a campaign trip, he said. Sarah Palin took her "One Nation" bus tour to Iowa shortly before the Ames Straw Poll, but it wasn't a campaign trip.

Well, we know at least Obama is actually running for reelection -- and we wouldn't be a bit surprised if his shiny new buses showed up again then -- but if Palin isn't....

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Obama and Lincoln: trash-talking, Civil War-era style


On Tuesday, during a town hall meeting in Decorah, Iowa, on his non-campaign campaign-style bus tour, President Obama remarked on political rancor of the past, saying, "Lincoln, they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me."

(Click here for the full text, courtesy of

The Great Emancipator certainly was the target of his share of political trash talk. Of course, the nation was being torn asunder in the bloody and protracted Civil War, which tended to make people cranky, but even so, some of this stuff is harsh.

For example, consider this 1919 letter to the editors in the New York Times, published during the  administration of Progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson, called "In Lincoln's Day: Examples of the Kind of Attack a President Had to Endure Then."

The writer, Frederick Francis Cook, thanked the Times for an inspiring article on Wilson, saying, "And especially pleasing was the way in which you douched the spirit of that fiery patriot Mr....

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Bipartisan debt deal draws bipartisan flak from Limbaugh, Krugman, Beck--and a Gallup warning

Harry Reid not so happy Monday after Debt reduction agreement 8-1-11

No wonder top Senate Democrat Harry Reid wants a quick vote on the bipartisan deficit reduction agreement:

Less than 24 hours in, opposition is jelling quickly. And it too is bipartisan.

Oh, and a new Gallup Poll now gives President Obama his lowest weekly approval rating ever.

Sunday night was all about legislators, who love making deals, having made a deal after making it look hard for weeks. Monday is all about explaining it. At least $2.1 trillion in spending cuts sounds good to many.

But wait, what? Cut $350 billion from defense? In this day and age. With a community patrol officer as president launching protective military attacks against Libya over what its dictator might do to civilians, while Syria's regime actually does kill them by the hundreds and draws wimpy warnings?joe Biden smiles again on capitol hill 8-1-11

Some might see bipartisan unhappiness with the budget deal as a sign of a genuine compromise. Others that it might be doomed. And they could both be right.

Top radio talker Rush Limbaugh points out the maximum $2.4-trillion debt increase would be the largest increase in U.S. history on top of the previous largest increase ever ($1.9 trillion), both by the pen of Obama. Limbaugh predicts Obama will cite a failure of cuts next year and return to his tax increase demands.

Glenn Beck, who also doesn't hold elective office, pronounces:

Don’t be fooled. We’ve just been betrayed by Washington. A deal on the debt ceiling is near and Washington still hasn’t gotten serious about the fundamentals. It hasn’t gotten serious about default. It certainly hasn’t gotten serious about the future. When Harry Reid hails a “bipartisan compromise” you know we’re doomed.

Republicans and Democrats have just negotiated away the future of our children behind closed doors. The big compromise on Capitol Hill features elaborate triggers, tranches, Hornswogglers, Snozzwangers, Super Duper Commissions that will make the Snozzberries taste like Snozeberries, and a whole bunch of other convoluted gibberish that will, no doubt, come with loopholes and create entire new bureaucracies.

What it doesn’t do is fix the problem.

Over on the left, the White House was busy this afternoon trying to calm angry progressives such as bearded talker Paul Krugman. He says Obama surrendered and folded, and he urges a "no" vote on the "disaster."

Firedoglake is organizing calls to Congress to denounce especially the unconstitutional "super Congress" soon to be making further cuts outside the purview of other elected members.

And libertarian-like Texas Rep. Ron Paul joins Krugmen in blasting the agreement for its false promises. Do we hear a can being kicked down the road yet again?

On the polling front, Gallup this afternoon released a new survey finding Obama's weekly job approval is now at 42%, one point lower than his previous lowest.

Such a deal for everyone.


New polls confirm Obama's base is crumbling

Obama loses ground against any Republican opponent

Smiles on Capitol Hill but more bad poll news for the White House

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg (Reid); Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images (Joe Biden smiles gamely on Capitol Hill, Aug. 1).

Glenn Beck hits 'new low'; compares Norway victims to Hitler Youth

Glenn Beck compares Norway victims to Hitler Youth

Glenn Beck, who in June aired his final cable tv show on Fox News, is still on the radio and has found a new way to get his name into the headlines around the globe.

Instead of calling the president of the United States a racist, Beck focused on the scores of young people gunned down at a camp in Norway. Beck said the camp reminded him of Adolf Hitler's infamous Hitler Youth.

"There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing," Beck stated in the first minute of his syndicated radio show Monday.

Torbjørn Eriksen, the former press secretary to Norway's prime minister, was not amused.

"Young political activists have gathered at Utoya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about," Eriksen told The Daily Telegraph. "Glenn Beck's comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful," he added.

To answer Beck's question of "who does a camp for kids that's all about politics?": Caroline Shinkle does. The recent high school grad founded Camp USA two years ago. The free, nonprofit, nonpartisan political camp in Cape Cod, Mass., is designed for middle-schoolers.

According to its website, CampUSA aspires to have kids leave the camp "with knowledge, confidence, and eagerness to be politically involved."

Conservative columnist Jeff Lukens created a political camp in Tampa, Fla., which aligns itself closer to "tea party" values.  One of the games described by the St. Petersburg Times would surely make presidential hopeful Ron Paul smile.

"Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the 'banker' will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value," the newspaper explained.


Glenn Beck: Slavery was a liberal cause

Glenn Beck goes after Color of Change co-founder Van Jones

Steve Lopez: Looking for common ground in Glenn Beck country

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: US conservative pundit Glenn Beck gestures as he speaks to Israeli members of parliament on July 11, 2011 at the Knesset in Jerusalem. Credit: Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images

Tim Pawlenty tries Twitter to tweak Romney and talk about jobs


Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty took to his @TimPawlenty Twitter account Friday to issue a challenge to fellow Republican contender Mitt Romney.

He inserted a linkfrom his recent conversation about the debt ceiling vote with CNBC's Larry Kudlow and tweeted around it, "My thoughts on the debt ceiling. What say you @MittRomney? Help us fight back."

The former Minnesota governor is lagging in the polls and fundraising, but he's a big believer in the political power of social media.

In an interview with, Pawlenty said, "The old way was the semi-monopolistic providers of content would pipe the news into you and and cover the angle or spin that they thought was appropriate."

But now, Pawlenty said, "the consumer's more in charge."

Pawlenty has more than 44,000 Twitter followers, more than 1 million views on his YouTube channel (and 895 subscribers) and more than 103,000 fans on his Facebook page (with another 1,500 or so thrown in from a page for Tim Pawlenty 2012).

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Glenn Beck steps onto the world stage from a Web platform, to Jerusalem and beyond


When Glenn Beck left his daily Fox News Channel show on June 30, he said the media would "pray for the time when I was only on the air for one hour every day." Beck is still on the radio airwaves, but now he's bet the TV farm entirely on the Web.

But first, he had to go to Israel.

On July 12, the self-described libertarian commentator -- now sporting a silver goatee -- addressed the Knesset, the legislative branch in Israel. The full speech was live-streamed on

Now CBN has posted the entire address in sections, along with an interview (click here for that).

Beck probably wasn't in Israel just to talk to the legislature, since preparations are underway for his Restoring Courage Rally, to be held about sundown in Jerusalem on  Aug. 24. Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman is among those expected to attend.

This rally is the third large one Beck has set in motion -- the first two being the 9/12 Project Rally on Sept. 12, 2009, and the Restoring Honor Rally on Aug. 28, 2010, both held in Washington.

The events were outgrowths of specific programs and concepts developed on FNC's "The Glenn Beck Show," Premiere Radio Network's "The Glenn Beck Program" and, and then organized independently by viewers and listeners.

Beck announced the Jerusalem event earlier in the year on radio and FNC, but the last push to it won't take place on television -- because Beck's no longer on television.

As he warned the media on his last show, he has replaced his TV platform with a new-media one.

On June 8, he live-streamed a special from to launch his new Internet venture, called GBTV, a subscriber-based service offering documentaries and original programming, including a two-hour daily show with Beck, a newscast and comedy.

There's also a cartoon series called "The Adventures of Spooky Dude," inspired by Beck's bete noire, liberal billionaire George Soros. Beck refers to this character as possibly being his "mouse." That's a reference to Mickey Mouse, a character upon which Walt Disney built an empire. GBTV-Spooky-Dude-George-Soros

As you can see, Spooky Dude isn't as cute as Mickey, but he has an equally annoying voice. 

While Beck's daily radio show remains advertiser-supported, the only bit of GBTV programming available for free is the launch special.

The cost of subscription isn't high -- either about $5 or $10, depending on what you want and when you sign up.

The full GBTV schedule launches Sept. 12. That's a date Beck commemorates as the one where Americans came together after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, which marks its 10-year anniversary this fall.

Now Beck is wading into the middle of the Israeli/Palestinian issue by speaking to the Knesset and holding an event supportive of Israel in disputed Jerusalem. Fans will be able to watch the rally on ... you guessed it, GBTV (although we suspect one or more TV news organizations will offer at least some coverage).

Provided all goes well in Israel -- or at minimum, Beck emerges unscathed -- the next challenge will be putting the full-fledged GBTV on a paying basis.

GBTV-Glenn-Beck-chalkboards There's no predicting how many former viewers will pay cash and show up in front of their computer screens for the Beck they used to get for free on TV.

It's an interesting, multi-platform, multi-faceted experiment to see whether a TV phenomenon can cut the tether with a regular time slot on the tube and exist on its own in cyberspace.

Beck has evidently poured considerable resources into the project (the launch special is very slickly produced), with facilities in New York and his new home of Dallas.

Regardless of how anyone in the media feels about Beck or his message, it might be a good idea to keep a weather eye on his venture. He may not be the best friend of the mainstream media -- and the feeling is mostly mutual -- but he's taking the plunge into what may become one of its future business models.


Glenn Beck, defiant as ever on his last show on Fox News

The voluble Glenn Beck appears ahead in the developing media threat race

Beck accused of using work of conservative bloggers and others without attribution

-- Kate O'Hare

Media critic Kate O’Hare is a regular Ticket contributor. She also blogs about TV at Hot Cuppa TV and is a frequent contributor at entertainment-news site Zap2it. Also follow O'Hare on Twitter @KateOH

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photos, from top: Glenn Beck at Restoring Honor Rally (Credit: Alex Wong, Getty Images); "Spooky Dude" and Glenn Beck at chalkboard (


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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