July 8, 1:10 p.m.:

Glad someone else is noticing. Mark Halperin wonders why the president is taking pot shots when he needs to convince Congress to give him a couple billion dollars. The set-up of our intentionally complex and unwieldy government system, which the president has often bemoaned, requires that a president do more than orate and pick fights. Painting one’s political adversaries as nasty haters who— oh, all right, occasionally love their families—is all well and good for turning out the base, but it doesn’t solve problems. To date, has there been a big, long-term project that President Obama has shown himself capable of ushering through the political process using things like strategy and persuasion? ObamaCare was almost entirely a product of Congressional Democrats and their dealings, not his. The stimulus, I suppose, in the hey day of his honeymoon. Neither one of those actually solved a problem, either. His election seems to be the only thing he can helm successfully.

Part of the reason Obama doesn’t get all that much done is because he insists on acting like a jerk when he’s asking for help. Clinton was often smarter than that. Bush was way better at convincing adversaries. And, part of the reason Obama gets away with it is because he knows people like Halperin won’t call him on it. So, cheers to him for actually saying it. For the media, and the fightin’ liberals of the Left, there’s much more joy in the frisson they get from presidential GOP-hating than there is in having him really try to solve something.

And, on that note, I’m just gonna leave this here.

President Obama spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday and offered U.S. help in facilitating cease-fire negotiations between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, the White House said in a statement.