Signs and Wonders 12.07

Newsworthy | Warren Cole Smith

Signs and Wonders 12.07

Dick Morris
Associated Press/Photo by Whitney Curtis

Rove, Morris grounded. The day after the election, I mentioned Karl Rove’s late night meltdown, in which he refused to believe increasing evidence—even Fox’s own projections—of a Barack Obama win. His behavior embarrassed himself and the network. Dick Morris’ credibility also took a major hit with his incessant cheerleading for Mitt Romney, which included a prediction of a Romney electoral landslide. Since the election, Rove and Morris “have virtually vanished” from the network, noted Howard Kurtz at The Daily Beast, “seemingly airbrushed from the airwaves.” The question some are asking now is this: Is this a temporary time-out so the public, with its short attention span, can forget their antics? Or are we seeing what we rarely see: pundits getting punished for bad predictions?

Another collision course? Northern Ireland police rammed a car and seized an Irish Republican Army bomb hours ahead of today’s visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The seizure heightened tensions because IRA die-hards sometimes engage in at least one token attack during moments when Northern Ireland is in the world headlines, such as during U.S. political visits, in hopes of attracting attention to their cause. Most IRA members renounced violence and disarmed in 2005, but several splinter groups continue to mount occasional gun and bomb attacks in pursuit of the IRA’s traditional goal of forcing Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom and into the Republic of Ireland. Secretary Clinton’s visit planned to celebrate a new Belfast tourist attraction: a $160 million waterfront center devoted to the Titanic, the ill-fated luxury liner built in Belfast a century ago.

An emotional tribute. Michael Schwartz has served as Sen. Tom Coburn’s chief of staff for 15 years, including the time Sen. Coburn served in the House. Before that, Schwartz also worked as a lobbyist with the pro-family group Concerned Women for America. But his time on Capitol Hill is coming to an end because of his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Coburn choked up on the Senate floor talking about his long-time aide and friend (see video clip below): “He’s still the guy that cares more about other people than himself. The kindness he has shown to everyone he’s encountered, whether to a homeless person on the street or a leading senator in the halls, he has reminded our team and me that we are all equal, regardless of position, in the eyes of God. Mike, we love you. God bless.”

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A day of infamy. Today is, of course, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It was a day President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would “live in infamy.” It has, but we also remember Dec. 7 for other things. On this date in 43 B.C., Marcus Tullius Cicero was assassinated. We are in the midst of a sesquicentennial remembrance of the Civil War, and on this date in 1862, the Battle of Prairie Grove took place in northwest Arkansas. It was a relatively small battle, engaging only about 20,000 men, but it was a strategic victory for the Union. Confederate forces were never the same in Arkansas after this battle, and after a string of Union defeats in the east at the beginning of the war, this battle gave much encouragement to Union forces. Today, the battlefield, about 10 miles from the college town of Fayetteville, is one of the most authentically preserved Civil War battlefields in the nation.

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