The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Desperation - III

For the past few posts, I've discussed what I perceive as a growing shrillness in the Obama campaign, it's spokespeople, it's ads, it supporters in the media, and of course, it's supporters on the Left. I think it's a sign of desperation, but why?

I've tried to provide anecdotal examples, but is there something going on that's bigger than any single example? I believe there is, and it can be tied to a fascinating concept that was originally suggested more than a decade ago by conservative commentator, Glen Reynolds. At that time Reynolds was trying to explain why dictatorial regimes sometimes disintegrate in a precipitous manner. He coined the term preference cascade.

A few months ago, John Hayward discussed Reynold's original thesis.
A large population can be dominated by a small group only by persuading all dissenters that they stand alone.  Most of their fellow citizens are portrayed as loyal to the regime, and everyone around the dissident is a potential informer.  A huge dissident population can therefore be suppressed, by making them believe they’re all lonely voices in the wilderness… until the day they begin realizing they are not alone, and most people don’t support the regime.  The process by which dissent becomes seen as commonplace, and eventually overwhelming, is the preference cascade.
Stated more crudely, the emperor may have no clothes, but everyone is afraid to be the first to say so. Sure, a few people grumble about it, but among your peers - people who originally supported the emperor -- everyone stays silent. Until first one, then another, and then another begin to grumble about his nakedness. Before long, it becomes fashionable to state the obvious -- the emperor has no clothes -- the message has gone viral.

But this is politics, and no one is suggesting that the Obama administration is a dictatorship. What gives?

Again from Hayward:
[Obama's] popularity has always been buttressed by the conviction – very aggressively pushed by his supporters – that disapproval of his personal or official conduct is immoral.  You’re presumptively “racist” if you disagree with him, or at least a greedy tool of the Evil Rich, or a “Tea Party extremist.”
There are very few democrats and independents who want to be characterized in that way, and so they remained silent, even though the President's failures of leadership and policy mounted.

Today, some moderate democrats and more than a few independents are beginning to grumble, some very loudly. And as the grumbling begins to build, other democrats and many independents begin to realize that criticizing this president is neither racist, elitist, nor extreme. That's the beginning of a preference cascade, and I think that's what Obama and his supporters fear most.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Desperation - II

The fun continues. Break out the popcorn.

Joe Biden, disregarding a precedent that has existed since, well, forever, threatens to go to Tampa to "speak at the democratic convention." His intent is to steal airtime from the GOP (and he will accomplish that because every media outlet hopes he'll make still another idiotic statement). As one wag put it: "Biden will go to Tampa and the GOP will punch back twice as hard and send Biden to Charlotte." I wonder what the Obama campaign's internal polling is telling them about the reception the Romney/Ryan ticket will get next week? Deperation?

The Obama campaign has ratcheted up its war on women meme with the President's "rapid response director," Liz Smith, tweeting up a storm on Romney/Ryan "extreme views on abortion." I personally don't agree with Romney/Ryan's position here, but does Smith honestly think that abortion trumps jobs, the economy or the deficit (all losers for Obama) in the eyes of the public. Desperation?

Or consider that many Obama supporters in the media are once again using the tired argument that any comment that denigrates Obama's hardly transparent past history is inherently "racist." In fact his more extreme supporters claim that any criticism at all is thinly veiled racism. A sign of desperation?

NBC News (a true friend of the President) plans a one hour special on Mormonism and its influence on Mitt Romney. Fair enough, but if one were slightly cynical, one might ask why it is that NBC didn't air an analogous special on the influence of Reverend Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ on Barack Obama in 2008. Odd that NBC has so much curiosity about Romney's religion today, and had a complete lack of curiosity about Obama's in 2008. Desperation?

And finally, in a recent NYT article that laments the President's fund raising difficulties, Jane Mayer suggests that:
Big donors were particularly offended by Obama's reluctance to pose with them for photographs at the first White House Christmas and Hanukkah parties. . . .
And that it was the President's aloofness that has donors keeping their wallets closed. Couldn't possibly be that the President has failed to keep his promises? Desperation?

So the next time you hear the shrill accusation of racism or the vacuous charge of a war on women, or attack ads that are dishonest, divisive, and unbecoming of a sitting President, just remember one word -- and you know what that word is.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


As regular readers no doubt already know, this blog originates in Florida. Florida is a battleground state for the 2012 presidential election, and as a consequence, Florida's citizens are bombarded with campaign ads 24/7. Not surprisingly, GOP ads focus on the economy, on unemployment numbers, on the growing debt, and on Barack Obama's intention to continue to increase the size of government. Although most have an edge, they are not classic attack ads.

To date, the Obama campaign has spent almost no ad time talking about his achievements (e.g., the Affordable Care Act) or the economy, except to state (with soft lighting and comforting music) that Obama "cares," really, cares, about the middle class. They never seem to indicate why one should believe that, given the middle class has endured an unemployment rate of over 8 percent for 40 straight months, the middle class has witnessed three years of trillion dollar deficits that will bury their children and grandchildren in debt for generations, and the middle class have lived through a very weak "recovery" that according the some projections is now moving ominously toward a double-dip recession.

Like "hope and change" in 2008, the current President really "cares" in 2012. As an aside, these "caring" ads are a small minority of all ads run by Obama's campaign, and its PACs. The vast majority of Obama's campaign spending in FL goes to attack ads.

Almost all of Obama's attack ads (this includes super-PACs that support him) have had a class warfare meme—Romney, the rich guy, Romney, the founder of a (gasp) private equity firm, Romney, the tax cheat(until that was proved to be an outright lie), Romney, the guy who contributed to the death of a woman who had cancer (until that was proved to be an outright lie), and more recently, Romney, the man who paid (double gasp) a low (but perfectly legal) 14% tax rate. Over the past week the meme has been augmented with Romney, the radical right winger who will conduct a "war on women," and of course, Romney/Ryan, destroyers of "Medicare as we know it."

There's a desperation in Obama's ads that is unsettling. The man who promised to bring a "new kind of politics" to the country has broken that promise along with just about every other promise he made in 2008. Of course, Obama supporters don't see it that way. In their eyes, Romney is all of the things that Obama claims him to be—and much, much more. But then again, Obama supporters believe that the current president is blameless for our dire economic situation, was thwarted by the evil GOP at every turn, even while having significant congressional majorities in both houses for two solid years, and when all else fails, that's it's all George W. Bush's fault anyway.

Obama and his supporters have spent about 3 times the money that Romney and his supporters have spent on ad buys, and yet, the President leads in FL polls by about 1 percentage point--well within the margin of error.

Seems to me that the more strident the rhetoric coming from the Obama campaign and its many supporters in the media, the more desperate they appear. In FL, at least, the attack ads don't seem to be working, and in fact, they just might be hurting. That's fine with me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The New York Times reports:
JERUSALEM — Seven Israeli teenagers were in custody on Monday, accused of what a police official and several witnesses described as an attempted lynching of several Palestinian youths, laying bare the undercurrent of tension in this ethnically mixed but politically divided city. A 15-year-old suspect standing outside court said, “For my part he can die, he’s an Arab.”
This unfortunate incident is newsworthy, but the tone and prominence of the NYT article smacks of a ham-handed attempt to draw some moral equivalence between the despicable acts of a group of Israeli teenagers and the continuing, government sponsored terrorist attacks by Palestinians against the Israeli population.

It's interesting to note that the teenagers were promptly arrested and will be tried for their assault. On the day following the incident, The Jerusalem Post editorialized:
...a clear distinction must be made between legitimate acts of self-defense aimed at protecting Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and pointless, immoral acts of violence and bigoted, undemocratic sentiments directed against Arabs and Palestinians that undermine Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The trend of tolerance toward these sentiments and actions has to stop.

Let's contrast this to the typical reaction with Palestinian territories in which perpetrators of terrorist attacks that kill multiple Israelis (including children) are not only never arrested, they are often lionized as "martyrs" and have had streets named after them.

The NYT further notes that almost 40 percent of greater Jerusalem is Arab. Although violent incidents like the one reported do occur, the Arabs within Israel are generally safe and are allowed to work, pray, and live without threat. Can the same be said for any remaining Jews in any Arab country, where a subtle form of Judenrein has been practiced for decades?

The NYT can't resist the far-Left narrative that implies that there is no difference between Palestinian violence and Israeli response. For the incident reported, there is once importance difference—Israelis apply the rule of law, arrest the perpetrators and try then and unequivocally condemn the incident. Can the same be said of the Palestinian response to a rocket attack or the bombing of a Israeli Pizzeria? But that doesn't fit the narrative, so the NYT simply chooses to ignore it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hit the Road

In days past, Time and Newsweek were America's most popular news magazines. Both have lost significant readership and both are a shell of what they once were. Over the four years of the Obama administration, both have been strong advocates for the president's policies and performance and both are Obama-friendly. It was with some surprise, therefore, that I noted that this week's Newsweek has a cover story entitled: "Hit the Road, Barack: Why we need a new president."

Written by conservative writer Niall Ferguson (no friend of Barack Obama), the magazine presents a broad-based indictment of Obama's accomplishments (or lack thereof) in both domestic and foreign policy.

After noting the historic nature of Obama's ascendance to the Presidency, Ferguson states:
In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.

It's a lengthy article with plenty of facts and anecdotes, It discusses the economic miscalculations and failures that have occurred during the Obama presidency, the failure of much of Obama's foreign policy, and worse, the failure to lead his party and the nation as a whole. In closing, Ferguson writes:
Mitt Romney is not the best candidate for the presidency I can imagine. But he was clearly the best of the Republican contenders for the nomination. He brings to the presidency precisely the kind of experience—both in the business world and in executive office—that Barack Obama manifestly lacked four years ago. (If only Obama had worked at Bain Capital for a few years, instead of as a community organizer in Chicago, he might understand exactly why the private sector is not “doing fine” right now.) And by picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney has given the first real sign that—unlike Obama—he is a courageous leader who will not duck the challenges America faces.

The voters now face a stark choice. They can let Barack Obama’s rambling, solipsistic narrative continue until they find themselves living in some American version of Europe, with low growth, high unemployment, even higher debt—and real geopolitical decline.

Or they can opt for real change: the kind of change that will end four years of economic underperformance, stop the terrifying accumulation of debt, and reestablish a secure fiscal foundation for American national security.
Over the past three years, every one of Ferguson's arguments has been discussed in this blog. So Ferguson's positions come as no surprise. But what really is surprising is that Newsweek has given an Obama-critical argument a national platform. It's about time. It's also something for the Obama campaign to be really, really worried about.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


On January 31, 2011, one week after the Arab Spring dawned in Egypt, I wrote the following words in this blog:
As we watch the repressive regime of Hosni Mubarak crumble in Egypt, those of us who are old enough to remember the Iranian Revolution have an eerie feeling of déjà vu. As the Shah’s regime in Iran crumbled in the late 1970s, another progressive, idealistic president, Jimmy Carter, welcomed the change as a way to give Iran’s people freedom and a voice in their future. After all, the Shah, demonized by the western media, was a repressive dictator. His secret police killed many. But that’s only half the story. He was indisputably secular, had modernized Iran, and was unabashedly a friend of the West. But no matter, Carter welcomed a “man of peace,” the Ayatolah Komeini, and the rest, as they say, is history. Instead of freedom, Iran got a repressive, theocratic dictatorship that persists to this day, an economy that has been crippled for over 30 years, and a state that actively supports Islamist terror worldwide. Nice job, Jimmy. Your legacy persists.

Now, another progressive president. Barack Obama, is faced with an analogous situation in Egypt. So far, Obama and his advisors have been circumspect, but their tone has an indisputable similarity to the tone evidenced as the Shah’s regime toppled. The Egyptian people must assert their rights in a democratic manner, they state. Who can argue?

And when asked about the very real threat of an Islamist takeover, directed by the Muslim Brotherhood, they pooh-pooh the threat (in much the same way that Carter’s advisors and media friends refused to acknowledge the Islamist leanings of Komeini). The Brotherhood has “renounced violence,” state the Obama administration’s spokesman and its defenders in the media. Nothing to worry about there.

During that time it seemed that the MSM, along with a naive President and his supporters were more enamored with idealistic Egyptian college kids who were using Facebook and Twitter to organize, than they were with the underlying political reality in Egypt. In blog posts that followed, I worried that the Muslim Brotherhood would turn Egypt into an Islamic state and that the Middle East would be none the better. I was not alone, but the President and left-leaning pundits pooh-poohed such notions as over-reactions.

Today Caroline Glick reports on events in Egypt:
On Sunday, new president Mohamed Morsy completed Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state. In the space of one week, Morsy sacked the commanders of the Egyptian military and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists, and fired all the editors of the state-owned media and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists.

He also implemented a policy of intimidation, censorship and closure of independently owned media organizations that dare to publish criticism of him.

Morsy revoked the military’s constitutional role in setting the foreign and military policies of Egypt. But he maintained the junta’s court-backed decision to disband the parliament. In so doing, Morsy gave himself full control over the writing of Egypt’s new constitution.

As former ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel wrote Tuesday in The Jerusalem Post, Morsy’s moves mean that he “now holds dictatorial powers surpassing by far those of erstwhile president Hosni Mubarak.”

In other words, Morsy’s actions have transformed Egypt from a military dictatorship into an Islamist dictatorship.
By the way, that's the same Mohammed Morsy who the media characterized as a "moderate" and who many members of the Obama administration praised as "someone we can work with."

Our presidential election is about jobs, spending, the deficit, and (as of Paul Ryan's entry into the race, entitlements). That is wholly appropriate. The President has a dismal record in each of those areas and it's up to the American people to determine whether he should be relieved of his position for incompetence.

But his record in foreign policy might actually be worse. His fecklessness in addressing the sea change that occurred in the Middle East over the past two years meant that events have spun out of control, and the region comes ever closer to broader conflict. Worse, former allies have become adversaries.

Leading from behind has consequences, but Obama's media protectors behave as if everything is going according to plan and dare not question this President on the consequences.

Caroline Glick continues:
Morsy’s Islamism, like Mao’s Communism, is inherently hostile to the US and its allies and interests in the Middle East. Consequently, Morsy’s strategic repositioning of Egypt as an Islamist country means that Egypt – which has served as the anchor of the US alliance system in the Arab world for 30 years – is setting aside its alliance with the US and looking toward reassuming the role of regional bully.

Egypt is on the fast track to reinstating its war against Israel and threatening international shipping in the Suez Canal. And as an Islamist state, Egypt will certainly seek to export its Islamic revolution to other countries. No doubt fear of this prospect is what prompted Saudi Arabia to begin showering Egypt with billions of dollars in aid.

It should be recalled that the Saudis so feared the rise of a Muslim Brotherhood-ruled Egypt that in February 2011, when US President Barack Obama was publicly ordering then-president Hosni Mubarak to abdicate power immediately, Saudi leaders were beseeching him to defy Obama. They promised Mubarak unlimited financial support for Egypt if he agreed to cling to power.

The US’s astounding sanguinity in the face of Morsy’s completion of the Islamization of Egypt is an illustration of everything that is wrong and dangerous about US Middle East policy today.
And for those who believe that Obama is a friend to our only true ally in the Middle East, Israel, consider that the new, Islamist Egypt is moving toward the abrogation of its 40 year old peace treaty with Israel and that war between the countries is a distinct possibility. Another triumph for Barack Obama's mid-East policies.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Numbers

Lets begin with a core concept-- the only true threats to Social Security and Medicare are Social Security and Medicare. In their current form, they are unsustainable and as a consequence, fundamental changes will have to be made. The President and his supporters have adopted three strategies to deal with this. The first is denial--suggesting that things aren't that bad, that tiny tweaks can save these massive entitlements. Second, they have adopted avoidance--studiously avoiding any advice (think Simpson-Boles) or any substantive discussion that might suggest meaningful modifications that could save these programs. The third strategy is demonization and demagoguery, characterizing anyone in the opposing party who has the courage to recommend actual modifications as (1) pushing granny off a cliff or (2) recommending cuts that "punish the most vulnerable among us."

These strategies play on emotion and they have been successful, even though they are cowardly and dishonest. But no matter, the one thing that the Obama campaign must avoid at all cost is honesty, because when you look at an honest breakdown of entitlements (or budget or deficit) numbers, the abject failure of this president's policies and lack of action is hard to ignore.

Enter Paul Ryan.

For a decade,Paul Ryan has exhibited a level of courage that is rare in a politican. He has risked the proverbial third rail of politics and stated unequivocally that unless something is done, social security and medicare will fail. He has offered concrete suggestions to help these programs avoid bankruptcy. He has proposed an actual federal budget, something that Barack Obama and his Democrat collegues have not done for the past 3.5 years. This unprecedented dereliction of duty has allowed them to demonize anyone who has put hard budget numbers onto paper, but enabled them to offer only abstractions as their own alternative. It has allowed them to depict Paul Ryan as an ogre, but at the same time enabled them to embrace the fantasy that federal debt will somehow be reduced if only the rich paid their "fair share" and that entitlements will survive if only we address "fraud and abuse." they embrace class warfare--a very dangerous game--because class warfare isn't about numbers, it's about emotion, and emotion within the electorate is the only chance that Barack Obama has to win reelection.

It's hard to say that a substantive debate that focuses on the size of government, the threat of profligate spending, the ever-growing debt, and the burden of entitlements will be more powerful that a irresponsible plea to emotion, but it's a chance worth taking for Romney and Ryan.

Paul Ryan will join that debate. He'll shake off the hysterical and wholly unfounded chargers that have already been leveled against him by Obama and his supporters in politics and the media. He'll talk about the numbers. He'll calmly discuss the reasons for change (not the vacuous "change" that Obama suggested in 2008, but specific changes to spending, to the deficit, to entitlements) that can help dig this country out of the hole it is in.

Paul Ryan is everything that Barack Obama isn't, and for all their bravado, I suspect that many democrats are more than a little frightened that his augument just might gain traction. And if it does, the electorate will make the right choice in November.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Poll Tax?

In an article condemning any legitimate attempt at verifying the identify of a voter before he or she casts a ballot, Charles Postel champions Attorney General Eric Holder's position:
Attorney General Eric Holder has argued that such laws are not aimed at preventing voter fraud, as supporters claim, but to make it more difficult for minorities to exercise their right to vote. The new Texas photo ID law is like the poll taxes, Holder charges, used to disfranchise generations of African-American and Mexican-American citizens.
Postel agrees wholeheartedly with Holder, suggesting that requiring identification before voting is a "poll tax." The idiocy of this position is breathtaking, but it is accepted wisdom on the political Left.

Let's look at a compendium of objections (all quotes are Postel's) and provide a few comments:
[Voter IDs] may not be much of a problem for those who drive a car, for example. But for those without a drivers’ license, tracking down the needed birth certificate or other documentation for state-issued ID can be both expensive and complicated. It can be even more complicated for those who don’t have permanent residences. For certain voters — urban, poor, unemployed and young — these can be major barriers.
Ah, the subtle racism of low expectations. These "urban, poor, unemployed and young" are prime candidates for a vast spectrum of public assistance. Getting a voter ID is certainly no more complicated than applying for any of the many programs that the government provides for people who need them. For those who are truly unable to do this on their own, local activists could provide guidance, and existing government agencies could be tasked with the issuance of IDs. But no—that isn't possible because ...
These new laws will be more onerous for some groups than others. In Pennsylvania, for example, the law may have little effect on the largely white exurban vote. But it may have a big impact on the heavily minority vote in Philadelphia, where more than 18 percent of voters now lack the necessary ID.
Okay ... but why not help that 18 percent in getting a legitimate ID? If every citizen is required to present ID prior to voting, as they are when they enter an airport concourse or visit many Federal buildings, the burden is equal on all. For example, existing IRS regulations (laws) are considerably more onerous for those who cannot afford an accountant or tax service, but that doesn't eliminate the requirement to complete a tax return. A lone citizen, unaided by an expensive tax preparer, must spend time and money compiling necessary records and sending the related tax forms to the Feds. Should we eliminate our tax collection system because it is "more onerous for some groups than others."

And then, of course, there's another prevailing meme for many on the Left: voter IDs are a form of "voter suppression" and laws have been enacted not to eliminate a system that is rife with fraud but to provide partisan advantage for the GOP.
The authors of these new voter laws make no effort to hide that they are designed for political advantage. Under the Texas law, for example, you can vote with a hunting license but not a student ID — a fact only explained by political calculation. Given the growing racial divide in U.S. politics, the larger calculation is clear: The higher the barriers to African-American, Mexican-American, poor and young voters — groups that more often support Democrats — the better the political position of the party writing these laws.
Thousands of cases of voter fraud (and worse) are documented every election cycle. The actual numbers are far, far higher. A disproportionate number of these cases occur in urban communities. Those who rail against voter IDs are correct when they suggest that there's political advantage at play—it's just that the political advantage of the status quo mitigates in favor of the Left.

I can guarantee that if urban voters skewed toward the GOP, voter IDs would be a sacrament for those on the Left. But since the urban vote skews Democrat, the common sense requirement that a voter be able to identify herself is unacceptable. After all, if dogs and dead people, felons and infants, non-citizens and multiple voters aren't allowed to cast a ballot, who knows what might happen in a fair and honest election?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Five Weeks

This blog has been quiet for the past five weeks. The reason is that I've been working on an idea for a new small business. 12-hour days for the past five weeks have left little time for blogging. A small business always begins with a need, followed by an idea that fills that need. The hard part is developing the service or product that will reward both the customer with a useful product and the business with a meaningful profit. That takes time, it is inherently risky, and it can be a very expensive failure. But, there are tens of thousands of people who try—every day, every week, every year.

But we live in a world where it's difficult to disconnect entirely, so I've been watching the presidential election campaign unfold with a combination of amusement and disgust.

Ironically, while I worked on creating a new business, Barack Obama had a few things to say about small businesses and the people who build them. His now infamous "You didn't build that ..." comment has roiled the punditry and required him to "walk back" his "gaff." But I don't think it was a gaff. Rather, it was one of those rare instances when a politician was expressing his true feelings about a subject.

Regardless of how you interpret the context of the President's comments on small business, it's pretty clear that he believes that big government is an enabler for those who have created successful businesses. It's almost as if he believes that the economy flows out of government, rather than a government that flows out of a private economy that provides the tax dollars to feed it's insatiable appetite. At it's core, that's the philosophical divide that will be decided in November. Is big government the path to prosperity as Barack Obama believes? Or is private enterprise and the efforts of individuals the right approach? We'll see what the American people decide.

Over the past five weeks the Obama campaign has spent well in excess of $100 million in a largely unsuccessful attempt at "defining" Mitt Romney. In this instance as well, Obama's ideology shines through. The not-so-subtle class warfare attacks on Romney's wealth and success, coupled with dishonest attacks on Bain Capital (the pro-Obama Washington Post gave the President's claims 4 "Pinochios"—suggested that they are outright lies), also tell us far more about Barack Obama than they do about Mitt Romney.

For the past 40 months, the President has failed miserably in his attempt to manage the damaged economy that he inherited—unemployment numbers are dismal and again getting worse, the GDP is growing at an anemic rate, the vaunted stimulus is now widely recognized as not only a failure, but a partisan program that spent $800 billion in taxpayer money with very little private sector impact. The housing crisis persists, the banks have not been reigned-in, and poorly crafted health care legislation is already beginning to create problems among employers. But Obama suggests that we should follow him into the next for years, without a single new idea or path modification that might indicate that he recognizes that his past economic approach was a abject failure.

Over the past five weeks, he continues to change the subject.

The past five weeks have also seen Barack Obama stumble in his efforts to effect a cohesive and successful foreign policy. His indecision about Syria over the past year has now resulted in much greater influence of Islamists among those who are against Assad. Iran continues on its path toward nuclear weapons, laughing at Obama's sanctions along the way. Iraq is devolving back into chaos, Egypt is becoming more Islamist by the week, and Israel? Well, all of sudden, in the middle of the election season, Obama is now Israel's "friend."

Arthur Herman comments on the change of attitude:
A year ago, the Obama administration had plainly brought America’s relationship with the Jewish state to its lowest point since Jimmy Carter — a deterioration so marked that, for example, it prompted Ed Koch to cross party lines to endorse Republican Bob Turner in a special House election in protest of President Obama’s Israel policies.

Clashes over Jewish settlements in Jerusalem had Obama storming out of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, followed by Obama’s call for Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians on the basis of its cramped 1948 borders. Then came public warnings to Israel not to take any military action against a nuclear-arming Iran.

And microphones at the Cannes G-20 summit caught then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy telling Obama that Netanyahu was a liar and our president agreeing, saying, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to work with him every day.”

Recently, however, Obama has been acting as if he and Netanyahu lived on the same kibbutz.
Why? Maybe it's because Obama's support among some American Jews is beginning to erode. Again Herman comments:
They [Jewish voters] also recall his harsh words about the Israeli “occupation” during his 2009 Cairo speech and his call for Israel to hand over territory it took in the 1967 war — including territory vital to Israel’s security, especially now with Egypt and Syria in flames.

They note his [close]friendships with anti-Israel activist Rashid Khalidi and the anti-Semitic Rev. Jeremiah Wright. They pay attention when Obama’s own press secretary refuses [during the past five weeks] to say that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
So, the President provides $70 million in defense aid (something that every administration since Nixon has done), sends Leon Panneta to Isreal to make nice, and leaks the claim that he's ready to work with the Israeli's to move against Iran. The timing of all of this 'love' is a little suspect, don't you think?

And finally, over the past five weeks in Florida (a swing state), there's been a touchie/feelie Obama commercial that's in heavy rotation on every cable channel. In the commercial, an earnest Obama conveniently forgets the vicious Chicago-style politics and attack ads that are its trademark, looks directly into the camera, and says: "Sometimes politics can be small, but the decision you'll make [in November] is large."

It's hard to argue with that sentiment.