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Obama’s Rat Madness

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The New York Times has published a science and technology story about Duke researchers who have used one animal’s brain to get another animal to react.

In One Rat Thinks, and Another Reacts, the Times writer James Gorman reports that “Miguel Nicolelis, known for successfully demonstrating brain-machine connections, like the one in which a monkey controlled a robotic arm with its thoughts, said this was the first time one animal’s brain had been linked to another.”

Well, Nicolelis may know rat research, but he’s not in politics.

If he was, he’d recognize that getting one rat to think and another rat to react is one of the first skills you acquire when professionally pandering to citizens.

It’s, frankly, something that is happening every day, all day long, in offices from Foggy Bottom to Capitol Hill.

Please make note too, that it’s not just the public-office-occupiers that acquire the skill. Political staffers, journalists, economists, special-interest pleaders and other assorted rats practice the art of rat-on-rat mind control daily.

And that’s the fascinating part of rats-deserting-the-sinking-ship story that is unfolding in public regarding sequestration, Obama, Bob Woodward and the press.

If you’ve been doing more productive things like, say, running your business, or raising your kids, or having your child shave your back hair, you might have missed the rat-spat going on between Woodward and the White House.

Woodward called out Obama in print on hyperbole over sequestration cuts. Prior to publication, Woodward says, a White House staffer threatened him over the story.

“Under the Constitution,” Woodward told MSNBC, invoking Nixonian paranoia and makeshift, “the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. ‘I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country.’ That’s a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time.”

And despite Politico’s assertion that a “whole generation” of Republicans hate him- which we don’t actually… and btw, I really hate when lefties try to “explain” the GOP to people because they invariably get it wrong- Woodward proves a credible source because, while he’s certainly a liberal, he’s not been afraid to take on the foibles of any president.

But I leave the lovers' quarrel between Woodward and White House to others. The fascinating thing is how many other rats have been willing to gang-up on Obama, suddenly, over sequestration and the rough-and-tumble stuff that Obama regularly practices with the press.

CNN’s Wolf Blizter says, “it's getting pretty nasty,” between Woodward and the president.  ABC’s Rick Klein says, “Who thinks this will end well? The White House’s escalating war with Bob Woodward has major ramifications for all involved — not least the president.” The Denver Post’s editorial page observes: “we're having trouble understanding why such modest cuts should have such extraordinary repercussions.”

The USAToday’s David Jackson writes, “We know more than a few reporters have received similar e-mails from White House officials. Yelling has also been known to happen."

Investors Business Daily has included a compendium of press that have abandoned Obama on sequestration facts, including CNN's Candy Crowley, NBC's David Gregory, Politico and even- gasp- the Associated Press.

And it’s not just the press that’s tired of getting bullied. 

“Investors have been hearing a lot of hysteria out of the politicians for the last two years over all the different end-of-the-world deadlines,” said Michael Obuchowski, portfolio manager at North Shore Asset Management, according to Politico. “We are human beings with vertebrate nervous systems, and there is a desensitizing effect when you hear it so many times. You eventually ignore it.”

Yes, unless, of course, you’re a rat trained to react.

And that brings to the question of most significance: Just which rat is doing the thinking around there?

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