The most consistent part of the presidency: Exaggerated predictions of success. “In August of 2009, the White House — after having a half year to view the economy and its $800 billion stimulus response — predicted that GDP would rise 4.3% in 2011, followed by 4.3% growth in 2012 and 2013, too. And 2014? Another year of 4.0% growth. In its 2010 forecast, the White House said it was looking for 3.5% GDP growth in 2012, followed by 4.4% in 2013, 4.3% in 2014. In its 2011 forecast, the White House predicted 3.1% growth in 2011, 4.0% in 2012 and 4.5% in 2013, 4.2% in 2014. In its most recent forecast, the White House predicted 3.0% growth this year and next, and then back to 4.0% after that. Good luck with that. In reality, the economy grew 1.7% in 2011 and even 3% is now looking way out of reach for this year.”
The most resilient thing is the human spirit. “A blind Chinese human-rights activist escaped his captors this week after a year and a half of de facto house arrest, with many indications he has sought U.S. protection in Beijing. . . . According to [Hu Jia, one of China’s most prominent dissidents] Mr. Chen escaped by climbing over the wall around his home in the middle of the night. ‘A blind person has an advantage because for them night is no different from day . . . . If I recall correctly, he said it took him 20 hours.’ The activist set the stage for his escape by refusing to come out of his house over a period of weeks so that guards would grow accustomed to not seeing him, Mr. Hu said. Mr. Hu said Mr. Chen had been working on a way to escape since his confinement began in 2010 and that he had tried in 2011 to dig a tunnel into his neighbor’s compound, but that it had been discovered by guards.”
The most candid member of the administration. “Vice President Biden ordered supporters to ‘pretend you like me’ after mocking them as ‘dull as hell’ at a campaign fundraiser in Washington on Friday.” As Joe would say, “God love him!”
The most noble of animals.
The most impassioned speech we’ve heard from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The most capable and electable the GOP could get? “Running a blue state between 2003 and 2007, Romney governed to the right of the campaign he had run, moved steadily in a pro-life direction, cut taxes and spending, and gave the state a more conservative government. Now he presents himself as an authentic pragmatic conservative, who sells himself as the market requires, who governs based on his business experience, who moved a blue state as far to the right as was humanly possible, and whose skills at financial management uniquely equip him to achieve the conservative goals of cutting back spending, reforming entitlements, and reviving a broken economy. This makes him an operational conservative, whose works bend the world in a rightward direction, but without the ideological grounding underneath.” Read the whole thing.
The most pathetic recovery. “The weakest recovery on record continued in 2012’s first quarter, with the Commerce Department’s Friday report of 2.2% growth. That’s down from 3% at the end of last year, but closer to the 1.7% for all of 2011. It’s enough to give the word recovery a bad name. . . . There’s more danger ahead, as the tax-increase cliff approaches at the end of this year. Even liberal economists and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are suddenly warning about the big tax increases that will hit the economy, but they are the ones who insisted that tax cuts be temporary. They created the cliff we may all leap off. President Obama says tax cuts don’t work, but he has never explained why the Reagan recovery that followed policies Mr. Obama rejected was so robust while the current recovery is so anemic.”
The most ludicrous thing Jay Carney has said.: “I never say something that I know is not true. That means when I don’t know the answer to something, I say I don’t know and I’ll take that question, that means that when I — which is often the case, I know more than I can say — I answer it in a way that is truthful without obviously betraying the things that I can’t say for national security reasons or other reasons.” Read the partial list of Carney whoppers. And here, here, here, here and here.