Mitt Romney got a chuckle at the Republican National Convention when he mocked Barack Obama's 2008 promise that future generations could look back at his presidency as the time “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Obama's adoring fans weren't laughing. They turned the remarks back on Romney, oblivious to the fact that candidate Obama's high-sounding words had no connection to reality. Nevertheless, Obama promised that the weather would be warmer at his second inaugural than his first. It was. An Associated Press writer took this too seriously — and too subjectively for a news reporter: “While his policies can lessen or worsen future projected global warming in a large scale, they cannot do anything about Washington's daily temperature on Jan. 21.” Just how does one affect something that's not necessarily happening but is “projected” to happen? Does far-reaching government policy change the thing or the projection of the thing? For Obama and his fans, there's no difference. He said it and that's all that matters.
It does make a difference
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't like being pressed this week about the different stories offered by the administration following September's terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate. “Was it because of a protest?” Clinton responded to a senator's query. “Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they would go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?” That takes some gumption, suggesting it doesn't matter what triggered the attack — our ambassador and three others were killed — or what the administration knew and told the American people about it. Clinton spent much of her time suggesting breakdowns in security and other areas were the fault of others within the State Department. It was five hours of tap dancing. Soon she'll be leaving the job at State and may very well set her sights on the White House in 2016. If so, opponents are sure to bring Benghazi up again, and they should.
Teeing one up
Phil Mickelson drove one right down the middle, then asked for a mulligan. After completing a golf tournament last weekend, Mickelson said “drastic changes” were in store for him as a result of new state and federal tax laws. He hinted that he might even move from his native California, where in November voters approved a proposition that bumped the state income tax rate to 13.3 percent on earnings of $1 million or more. “If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent,” Mickelson said. He apologized a few days later, saying he shouldn't have gone public with his opinions about finances and taxes. Why not? No doubt millions of Americans — not just the very wealthy — share his sentiment that more and higher taxes can make a person blue.