I’ve followed the career of extremist Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) a long time but I can’t say with certainty what she meant in her recent reference to the Supreme Court.
A longtime member of the socialist Congressional Progressive Caucus, the ornery old pinko seemed to be bashing the sole black member of the high court, Clarence Thomas.
Norton was quoted in The Hill saying President Obama will not pick a black judge to fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens: “We’re not sure this president is ever going to nominate another African-American to the court. [Barack Obama]’s African-American. We’ve got someone who proposes to be African-American on the court.”
Perhaps Norton was searching for the word purports when she said proposes.
Fortunately, as representative of a non-state, Norton doesn’t have a vote in Congress.
Let’s hope it stays that way.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America is a client of King & Spalding, the firm that hired former Indiana senator and current Republican senatorial candidate Dan Coats to co-chair its Government Relations group, TAS has learned. This financial disclosure form has been making the rounds in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary.
It is important to note that this doesn’t mean Coats — who has been endorsed by James Dobson and shares the Indiana Right to Life endorsement with four of the five Republican candidates — personally lobbied or did any work for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. D.C. lobbying efforts tend to be bipartisan affairs. Coats’ name is not listed on any of the lobbying disclosure forms pertaining to Planned Parenthood.
But there’s a reason the revolving door from electoral politics to lobbying usually spins just one way: it’s a business that puts you in close proximity to interests that are very different from the ones you’d represent as an elected official. (Staffers are obviously a different story.) Coats has already been criticized for opposing bailouts after his firm lobbied for TARP funds for Chrysler’s parent company, work he had some personal involvement in. Coats compiled a pro-life voting record in the U.S. Senate.
This week there was a lot of buzz about a “mystery poll” showing the race for the Republican Senate nomination in Indiana much closer than expected. The mystery wasn’t solve but Survey USA did release what will probably be the only public poll of the GOP primary electorate, and it appeared to confirm the convenetional wisdom about the race: former Sen. Dan Coats led with 36 percent of the vote, former Rep. John Hostettler came next with 24 percent, and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman finished third with 18 percent. The other two candidates were in the single digits.
Stutzman has been picking up conservative endorsements and is now up on the air with ads attacking both Coats and Hostettler for their time in Washington. Critics of Stutzman pointed out that he isn’t a total Washington outsider himself, having worked as a special assistant to Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN). Perhaps a bigger problem criticism Stuztman is getting for voting for what some have described as the largest single business tax increase in Indiana history. Stutzman subsequently voted to delay the tax increase until after the election.
An outstanding anecdote from the WSJ’s David Wessel. At a Center for American Progress and Hamilton Project event today in DC, NEC director Larry Summers was explaining to Mike Bloomberg why disclosure is not enough to fix Wall Street:
Whenever something happens, Summers said, Plan A is form a committee. Plan B is to encourage industry to voluntarily devise better practices. Plan C is to call for more transparency. And then, eventually, Plan D is “do something.”
The audience..laughed.Then moderator Charlie Rose, the TV talk show host, intervened: Is that how you’d describe the president’s commission to ponder the federal budget deficit?
Summers was, uncharacteristically, speechless.
But seriously, we’re going to go bankrupt.
If the Republicans are to take the House back this fall, they will need to win the swing districts in the swing states. Ohio’s 15th District, which includes Columbus, home of The Ohio State University, is likely to see an intense political battle. Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy represents this D+1 district. Prior to Kilroy’s election in 2008, the 15th district had 42 years of Republican representation.
Republican Steve Stivers appears most likely to challenge Kilroy. With a primary coming up next Tuesday, Stivers is nearly tied with Kilroy in fundraising with $830 thousand cash-on-hand as of April 14. Stivers is a 25-year National Guard Veteran, former State Senator and an NRCC Young Gun.
In a phone interview with TAS, Stivers attacked Kilroy for her affirmative votes on the Stimulus Bill, Cap-and-Trade, and Healthcare Reform. Speaking about cap-and-trade, Stivers attacked its effects on the Midwest, “It’s a big wealth transfer … 93 percent of our power in Ohio is powered by coal power plants. It would transfer the wealth from places here out to the coasts where they have hydroelectric, nuclear power, and other power. And it would raise our electricity rates by over 50 percent.”
The whole only-people-with-reason-to-fear argument, to put it mildly, has not been a historical friend of liberty. Nor is it usually accurate. If you are a legal resident immigrant from Mexico, you have plenty of “reason to complain” about this law, because now it’s more likely that you are going to be pulled over by an Arizona cop.
I don’t actually take the “only-people-with-reason-to-fear” position: I recognize all government power can be, and typically is, abused. But in principle the Arizona law tries to balance two competing interests — trying to reduce an illegal population that is mostly Hispanic while protecting the rights of Hispanic legal residents and citizens, who are also large in number. Whether it works out that way in practice, we’ll soon see. But in the context of federal non-enforcement of the border and immigration-related problems affecting Arizonans of all races and ethnicities, it simply makes no sense to not use routine police contacts with illegal immigrants to determine their legal status.
As Welch himself observes, the problems associated with illegal immigration are real and they are faced by decent, law-abiding people in Arizona every day. That is why this law was enacted with 70 percent popular approval. There is no truly surgical or cost-free way to deal with those problems. And with all due respect to my libertarian friends, that includes legalization: even fixing the immigration black market won’t prove cost-free.
With his pronouncement that the politics and the two major parties are “broken,” we see the tack Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is going to take in his independent campaign for the U.S. Senate: he is going to try to identify himself with the vast swathe of Americans who despise and distrust both parties. The Republican recovery is happening mainly because their is no other alternative to Democratic excess. Given a viable alternative or another Republican failure, the angry independent might turn elsewhere.
In 2006, we saw it when Joe Lieberman won election to the Senate as an independent after a wealthy liberal bested him in the Democratic primary. This year, Lincoln Chafee is running for governor of Rhode Island as an independent. He may well win. Independent Tim Cahill has already overtaken the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts in at least one poll. Michael Bloomberg left the Republican Party (having already left the Democratic Party) and won re-election as an independent. The time is right for a Ross Perot who sounds less like the crazy aunt in the basement.
The trouble is that Crist’s move is redolent of Arlen Specter’s party switch: His independence is inextricably tied to his ambition apart from any high principle. Crist isn’t terribly conservative, but he isn’t a Chafee or a Bloomberg who repeatedly complained that the GOP was moving too far to the right. He was not a Lieberman or a Cahill worried about his party being captured by the far left. He is a guy who has run for lots of offices, may have decided to run for one too many, who is doing what he thinks he needs to do to win at all costs.
Specter is a useful comparison. Specter’s party switch definitely improved his chances: After his vote for the stimulus, he could not have won the Republican primary. He still must be favored to win the Democratic primary and still stands some chance in the general. But ultimately, Specter’s unprincipled defection has made him look ridiculous. This is likely to come back to haunt him in November. Charlie Crist’s declarations that he would remain a Republican are recent, they are multiple, they are emphatic — and they are easily reproduced in an era of YouTube. Once heavily replayed, Crist is not going to look like the repair man showing up to fix our broken politics.
The trouble, as David points out, is that Crist is like too many career politicians: He wants to be around forever. Florida voters may decide they want a more temporary relationship with him.
Pundits already have exhausted themselves discussing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s announcement yesterday to run for U.S. Senate as an independent (Larry Thornberry has a good analysis up at the main site). I won’t add to the maelstrom aside from this tidbit.
Near the end of his self-serving, egomaniacal speech, Crist gave this odd nugget — so odd that I’ve never heard another politician use it (emphasis mine):
I’m counting on you, and I believe in you. And you can believe in me, and I’ll be with you forever. Forever.
Who, exactly, does Crist think he is?
In thinking about the Charlie Crist situation, I think it’s important to remember that this man is willingly leaving a party and — more important — its principles, not because he claims to disagree with those principles, but for reasons of political expediency, plain and simple. The prospects of holding a powerful office are driving him. Seeing his colors now will be good for conservatives and Republicans. We’ve seen the level of his convictions, and it’s pretty clear that when a tough vote that required him to stick to sound, conservative principles came up, he’d be first over the side with the opposition. We’ve seen this play before with Chafee and Specter. So, sorry Charlie, good riddance to you.
Massachusetts independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill has hit back against the Republican Governors Association ad buy. Does his ad remind you of an earlier one? The Boston Globe notices it looks an awful lot like an earlier one by Scott Brown.
As a conservative independent and former Democrat, Cahill is banking that he is more representative of the kind of Massachusetts voter who sent Brown to the Senate than Republican nominee Charlie Baker. The question is whether the Scott Brown Democrats and independents can deliver Cahill the governorship — or whether he and Baker will fracture the center-right coalition needed to beat Gov. Deval Patrick.
I take note over at Reason.
First they lose the family throne, then word gets out that Patches was doing vodka shots after giving a talk on his history of substance abuse, and finally — and most ignominiously — the feds have approved a permit for a giant wind farm that will, horror of horrors, mar the ocean view at the Kennedy’s Hyannis Port compound. How about this for a vituperative and wounded quote:
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and nephew of the late senator, said the decision will cost Massachusetts taxpayers “billions of dollars” over the next two decades.
“It will put out of business virtually every fisherman in the South Cape,” Kennedy, who serves on the board of VantagePoint Venture Partners, a clean-energy venture capital firm based in San Bruno, California, said in an interview. “It’s a bad decision from almost every angle.”
Oh no, not the fishermen! If there’s one thing to be said for Kennedys, it’s that they’ve always looked out for the fishermen, or something. Robert, your quote couldn’t sound pettier if you had said that Ken Salazar has B.O. and doesn’t have friends anyways.
This battle is far from over. But it does the heart good to see the Kennedy clan at least worrying that they might have to suffer even the smallest of slights.
Without getting into the larger conservatives vs. conservatives argument, two points about your item on David Frum.
One is that it’s a bit over the top to say that Frum, aside from his other comments on conservatives, “smeared” Levin. It’s not clear from your post whether you knew this, but that Harper’s piece you mention was quoting from a long post Frum wrote on his website. If you read Frum’s original piece, his criticism was mostly directed at Andy McCarthy and Kathryn Jean Lopez, not Levin. And certainly he didn’t “smear” Levin in the sense that he wrote anything inaccurate.
The second is that the context in which Frum wrote his post is important: originally Jim Manzi (a conservative) attacked Levin on the Corner in response to accusations that conservatives are unable to think critically about where they get their ideas and news. By chastising Manzi for calling out Levin, McCarthy and Lopez confirmed those accusations, whether or not they were justified in the first place. So if you, not realizing this chain of events, now go after Frum for disagreeing with McCarthy and Lopez… well, we’re at risk of feeding right back into the idea that conservatives are not allowed to contradict other conservatives. Unless, of course, you reject the idea that Frum is a conservative entirely.
Liberals can sneer at Sarah Palin to their heart’s content, but the former Alaska governor’s star power is a supernova for GOP congressional candidates. In the first 72 hours after Palin’s Facebook endorsement of Tim Burns — now less than three weeks away from a May 18 special election in the late Jack Murtha’s district — the Pennsylvania Republican raised more than $80,000, campaign sources told me Wednesday night in Johnstown, Pa.
It’s been a very good week for Burns, who was featured Tuesday on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show and got a big push Wednesday from Newt Gingrich. Polls have shown the PA-12 contest “neck-and-neck,” as Burns campaign manager Tadd Rupp said, but Palin’s online endorsement Monday turned up the energy and focused national attention on the western Pennsylvania district. USA Today and the L.A. Times have both featured the race in the past 24 hours.
Burns’ staffers were in a celebratory mood after a candidate forum last night at Westmont Hilltop High School, where Democrat Mark Critz — a former Murtha staffer — apologized for a misleading TV ad run by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. FactCheck.org labeled that ad false last week, saying, “For Democrats, misrepresenting an opponent’s anti-tax position as an anti-jobs position is getting to be a bad habit.”
Some of Palin’s supporters were deeply hurt by Quin Hillyer’s recent criticism, but as for me, I still remember those Pennsylvanians standing in the cold October wind. Whatever Quin or anyone else says, the 2008 vice-presidential candidate has the kind of unequalled political star power that may prove to be the GOP’s most valuable asset in key campaigns during this crucial mid-term election year.
In the latest issue of The Weekly Standard Joseph Bottum makes the case that the recent headlines involving the pope and sex abuse of children are simply an outcropping of ages-old anti-Catholicism. Overall I think it’s a strong argument, and a great read.
It’s also an interesting survey of the facts regarding sex abuse in the Church and the hierarchy’s response. I for one did not fully comprehend these numbers:
Then there’s Ireland-ground zero for the European scandals raging now, just as Boston was for the American scandals back in 2002. Brendan O’Neill, editor of the Spiked-Online website and no particular friend of the Church, points out that the Irish government’s official commission spent 10 years, from 1999 to 2009, intensively inviting, from Irish-born people around the world, reports of abuse at Irish religious institutions. Out of the hundreds of thousands of students who passed through Catholic schools in the 85 years from 1914 to 1999, the commission managed to gather 381 claims-with 35 percent of those charges made against lay staff and fellow pupils rather than priests.
“It might be unfashionable to say the following but it is true nonetheless,” O’Neill concludes. “Very, very small numbers of children in the care or teaching of the Catholic Church in Europe in recent decades were sexually abused, but very, very many of them actually received a decent standard of education.”
This business of conservatives going after more noted conservatives is something I confess I just don’t understand.
Unless I do.
David Frum is after Mark Levin — again — and our friends at National Review. All who once upon a time were his friends and colleagues. Does this sound familiar?
For a succinct summation of Mr. Frum, the must-read is Bob Tyrrell’s “Odious Conservatives.”
In the last few days, we’ve caught up with the latest Frumerie.
A reader sent me a link to a piece in that fine not-conservative publication Harper’s (!!) which goes on at great approving length citing the wisdom of Mr. Frum. And what brought Harper’s accolades to Mr. Frum? You know the answer without even knowing the details. Frum is winning these latest plaudits from yet another liberal quarter because, but of course, he’s out there whacking some conservative somewhere. In this case, Frum is trashing — in order so we can keep track this time — 1) Mark Levin, 2) National Review,3) Rush Limbaugh, 4) Fox News.
Sean Hannity escaped this round. Not to worry, I’m sure Mr. Hannity will reappear in Frum’s fire zone. Mr. Frum needs to eat. To smear is to eat.
What Bob Tyrrell has unerringly picked up is a pattern. To quote him directly:
A major proposition that I advance in a book that will be published later this month, After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery, is that there exists an odious subgroup of conservatives who since the beginning of the conservative movement have made their way to prominence in the mainstream media by a cheap act. They disparage with great melodrama other conservatives.
The book is now out, and as if to help Mr. Tyrrell prove his point, right on cue Frum stands up to attack Levin, NR, Rush and Fox. The only thing that changes with Frum is the venue (the television shows of Bill Moyers and Bill Maher, the cover of Newsweek, etc). Frum knows in advance that by doing what Tyrrell pins exactly as a “cheap act” the chances are someone out there in liberal land will buy the act. This time, the buyer was Harper’s.
What is striking here is the personal bitterness that seeps out. Frum is smart, you see. Just ask him. The foam practically drips off the page as he digs at “the One Correct Way of Mark Levin Thought.” Or tosses similar bitter sentiments at the NR crew.
Next the target was Rush Limbaugh. Again.
“Rush Limbaugh isn’t any worse than he was 20 years ago,” Frum quotes a friend approvingly. If memory serves, Mr. Limbaugh was the subject of a great article — a cover article at that — at National Review when William F. Buckley was still very much in charge. Where was Mr. Frum if he disapproved? Was there a hot letter of disapproval to WFB? A cover article at Newsweek taking Mr. Buckley to task?
The short answer is: are you kidding?
Mr. Frum’s problems give the appearance of being motivated at frustration he is somehow not getting the due he feels his smarts deserve, whatever smarts those might be.Continue reading…
I just spoke with an economist from the Department of Labor; I needed his help reviewing labor statistics for a story I’m working on.
After some discussion, I couldn’t help but ask if he’d ever read anything by Thomas Sowell, one of my favorite (conservative) economists. He’d never even heard of him.
“He sort of leans to the right,” I explained.
“I don’t,” he said, laughing.
Newsflash: The Department of Labor employs left-leaning economists to explain their data.
President Obama’s approach to the press: love ‘em and leave ‘em. Except he never did much loving, and now that the newlywed phase has petered out, the press is questioning its own infatuation with the Oval Office dweller. That’s typified by Obama’s joke at a White House correspondence dinner last year that “most of you covered me” and “all of you voted for me.”
The press corps was not amused. And the antagonism has only grown over time, as explained in an expansive Politico story on the Obama administration’s ill treatment of the media.
It has all the trappings of a dysfunctional marriage. The press wants to communicate with Obama via direct questions, but he’s aloof. The press wants behind-the-scenes access, but Obama is too busy feeding exclusives and scoops to his mistress, The Gray Lady, and he doesn’t even try to hide the affair.
He gives the quiet treatment to The Wall Street Journal and scolds Fox News — and in so doing telegraphs a message to other journalists: criticize me, and we’ll freeze you out. Or worse.
If Obama is guilty of press beating, then White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is the enabler. He makes the president look like a paragon of humility in comparison. He excels at covering for the big guy’s indiscretions. And he’s aggressive about it, too.
The White House might not comply with reporters’ information requests, but it’s punctual in lambasting any negative press, as Politico reports:
Among White House reporters, tales abound of an offhand criticism or passing claim low in an unremarkable story setting off an avalanche of hostile e-mail and voice-mail messages.
‘It’s not unusual to have shouting matches or the e-mail equivalent of that. It’s very, very aggressive behavior, taking issue with a thing you’ve written, an individual word, all sorts of things,’ said one White House reporter.
Obama’s handling of the media is in line with the arrogant bravado that characterizes the rest of his presidency. Even though most journalists are in his back pocket, as evidenced by their bootlicking coverage during the campaign, Obama can’t abide even a smidgen of criticism. His White House staff has absorbed the same mentality.
Read the entire Politico piece. It’s worth your time.
Today the New York Times has an interesting story on Jeffrey Anderson, the lawyer who is trying to sue the pope.
Mr. Anderson, 62, has been filing suits against priests and bishops since 1983 and, at least once before, against the Vatican itself. But a new wave of accusations reaching ever closer to Rome has emerged in recent weeks, helped along, in part, by Mr. Anderson’s discovery of previously undisclosed documents. Now he is receiving new calls and pressing new cases, with more court filings and news conferences, at an almost frenzied pace.
In other words, for Mr. Anderson, business is good. It is good because of a “wave” of accusations set off by his own efforts. The fact that goes without mention here is that the Times was the paper that published those accusations. Later in the article, the Times describes this reality a little more clearly:
The New York Times was working on a different article last month when a reporter contacted Mr. Anderson. He provided documents about the Murphy case describing how efforts by Wisconsin church officials to subject Father Murphy to a canonical trial and remove him from the priesthood were halted after he wrote a letter to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, asking for a cessation of the trial.
“It shows,” Mr. Lena [a lawyer representing the Holy See] said, “how you can both create a media frenzy, and then capitalize on it. Jeff is very, very good at creating intense media interest, and then shaping a narrative for the press to write their stories around.” He added later: “He serves these media events up like nice little meals for reporters to chow down on, and they do.”
This is the best reporting the Times has done so far in its coverage of the pope’s “scandal.” They are revealing the fact that they uncritically passed along a report straight from the most interested party imaginable, Anderson. In doing so, they created the perfect political atmosphere for him to proceed with his case against the Vatican and his various other lawsuits against the Church.
In case there’s any doubt about how much Anderson stands to gain from discrediting the Church, the article provides some detail about how much he’s personally benefited from suing the Church in the past:
He will not say how much he has made from his pursuit of the church (he says he does not know). But he insists that the cases, which number more than a thousand (he says he has not counted), have never been about the money.
Yet in 2002, he estimated that he had at that point won more than $60 million in settlements from Catholic dioceses, and he acknowledges that in the most complicated cases, he may receive as much as 40 percent of a settlement or judgment.
Mr. Anderson drives a Lexus, leads his small firm from a former bank building replete with chandeliers, dark leather and marble, and co-owns with his wife a Victorian inn that promises “the ultimate experience in luxury, privacy and romance.”
Less than three weeks remain before the May 18 special election to fill the Pennsylvania 12th District House seat formerly held by Democrat Jack Murtha, and Newt Gingrich explains the significance:
[T]his special election is a huge opportunity.
In fact, in Tim Burns I believe we have a chance to win an upset election that will reverberate through the country much like the election of Scott Brown did in January… .
PA-12 is a Democratic district, but it is also very rural and culturally conservative. While it had overwhelmingly elected Democrat Jack Murtha for decades, it has rapidly turned against the Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine …
Tim Burns’ opponent, Democrat Mark Critz, a former staff member of Jack Murtha, has been put in a nearly impossible situation.
He cannot support the policies his party is pushing so he has run ads saying he opposes Obamacare, is pro-life, pro-gun and that “that’s not liberal.” He even (eventually) came out against the left’s energy tax, despite working to pass it as a congressional staffer.
However, Critz also has to raise money; and to do so, needs the national Democratic leaders that are pushing the job killing policies his district opposes. So he’s taking money from Nancy Pelosi, who hosted an event for Critz in Washington, D.C., and appeared at campaign events with Vice President Joe Biden, who last week came to the district to support Critz.
Imagine trying to position yourself as opposed to Obamacare and a friend of the coal industry while surrounding yourself with anti-coal Democratic leaders who spent the last year ramming Obamacare down our throats… .
Read the rest. The comparison to Scott Brown’s Senate campaign is perhaps more apt than even Gingrich suspects. Like the Massachusetts special election, the campaign in western Pennsylvania is attracting grassroots conservative volunteers from across the country. One of Tim Burns’ local supporters, whom I spoke to by phone this morning, traveled to Massachusetts to work on the Brown campaign and, in the days leading up to election, several volunteers from Massachusetts she met during that January trip will be staying at her home in rural Washington County, Pa.
Another Pennsylvania GOP source told me last night that many voters in the 12th District “are Democrats because their grandfather survived the Great Depression” and feel “obligated to … the old Democratic Party.” However, many of those same voters “don’t like Pelosi, they don’t like Obama, they don’t like what’s going on in Washington,” he said. These are the Pennsylvanians whom Obama described as bitterly clinging to guns and God.
You can lean more about the PA12 special election at the Tim Burns campaign Web site.
On Wednesday, President Obama will visit Quincy, Illinois as part of the president’s “White House to Main Street Tour.” The White House press release reads, “President Obama will spend time in these areas to hear about the challenges rural Americans face and to listen to their ideas for working together to turn the economy around.”
Republican Candidate for Congress Bobby Schilling believes politics have brought the president to his district. His opponent, Democrat Congressman Phil Hare, has been in hot water lately for making several controversial votes with the Democrats and for making a videotaped Constitutional gaffe. “He’s coming here to help him [Hare] out,” Schilling told TAS on the phone. While the president is in Quincy, Schilling expects to be meeting with the local Tea Party.
The Cook D+3 District is likely have a close race this fall as Schilling, an Italian restaurant owner, father of 10, and “on-the-radar” NRCC Young Gun is set to challenge Hare. John Kerry carried the district by 3 points in 2004, and Obama took 56 percent in 2008.
Hare ran into some trouble earlier this month when he was asked at a town hall to defend the constitutionality of the Healthcare bill. Hare replied, “I don’t worry about the Constitution.” When pressed, he said, “I believe it says we have ‘the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’” When an attendee pointed out that his quote was actually from the Declaration of Independence, he responded, “that doesn’t matter to me.”
Schilling focused his attack on Hare by pointing to his voting record of consistently siding with Pelosi. Specifically, he criticized Hare’s affirmative votes on health care, cap and trade, Card Check, and the DC gun restrictions. Schilling told TAS he advocates complete repeal of the health care bill. He also added that he believed cap and trade would be a job destroyer for his district, where John Deere is headquartered and Caterpillar employs large numbers of workers. Schilling explained, “I call that NAFTA, part II. It’s going to put an unfair tax on them [the companies]. and chase them out of the district and out of the United States. It’s another incentive to keep them out of the United States.”
He also indicated that he would have been opposed to the stimulus Bill and TARP. “Realistically, no county has ever spent its way out of a recession or a depression and the United States is not going to be an exception to that rule,” Schilling told TAS.
As of last quarter, Schilling trails Hare in the money race, but reported over $100,000 cash-on-hand. Hare will likely have the backing of labor unions in this mostly-blue collar district. Yet, if anger towards the Democrats persists, Schilling might make this race competitive considering that Obama will not be on the ballot this fall.
Carly Fiorina’s campaign for U.S. Senate from California got an endorsement from a leading pro-life women’s group. In a column for the main site last year, I reported on how abortion — and Fiorina’s pro-life credentials — would become an issue in the primary. Since then, the notorious Republican social liberal I mentioned — one Tom Campbell — joined the race alongside Fiorina and Chuck DeVore.
As someone who believes both in individual liberty as well as borders and national sovereignty, I approached Arizona’s much-denounced new immigration law with mixed feelings. I support the attrition through enforcement strategy of reducing illegal immigration but I don’t like government officials barking “papers, please” and I’ve opposed several restrictionist measures on civil libertarian grounds, including the Real ID Act and any national ID card.
But I think the sturm and drang over the Arizona law is misguided. Far from authorizing local police officers to pull Hispanics from crowds at random and demand to see proof of legal residency, the law requires a prior “legal contact” — that is, there needs to already be something going on, like an arrest or a traffic stop. The law specifically bans race and ethnicity as the sole grounds for a “reasonable suspicion” of illegal presence in the United States. Noncitizens have been legally required to carry proof of legal residence on their persons for 70 years.
As Byron York points out, this was actually a law that was carefully crafted to withstand both political objections and legal challenges. Rich Lowry has more on the hysterical reaction to Arizonans wanting some protection from federal non-enforcement of the laws safeguarding their borders.
In case you missed it, political analyst Charlie Cook now rates the Illinois Senate race “leans Republican.” The FDIC takeover of the Democratic nominee’s family bank has emerged as a huge political liability. It is now more likely than not that the Senate seats once held by Barack Obama and Joe Biden will fall to Republicans come November. Fairly liberal Republicans who voted for cap and trade in the House, but Republicans nonetheless.
In Massachusetts, the Republican Governors Association is up on the air with a $1 million radio and television ad buy attacking not Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick but state Treasurer Tim Cahill, who is running as an independent conservative. The only other comparable RGA ad buy I’m aware of is against Jerry Brown in California.
The Boston Globe notes the RGA tried a similar “worse than the Democrat” line of attack against independent candidate Chris Daggett in last year’s New Jersey gubernatorial race, but there are some key differences. Daggett was clearly running to Republican Chris Christie’s left; Cahill is running to Republican nominee Charlie Baker’s right. Daggett was siphoning votes from Christie but was in a distant third place. Cahill is ahead of Baker in at least one public poll and is actively vying with him to become Patrick’s main opponent. The only difference that cuts against Cahill is that he is a former Democrat while Daggett is a former Republican.
“Do conservative grandmothers in Nebraska know their donations to the Republican Governors Association are being used to attack candidates running to the right,” quips one observer, asking why “in a target-rich environment” this race “is Haley Barbour’s biggest priority.”
The Baker-Cahill feud has become the dominant story in the Massachusetts governor’s race, where most voters have already clearly turned the page on the Democratic incumbent (Patrick is significantly underperforming Martha Coakley, if that tells you anything). The question is whether one of them emerges as Patrick’s chief rival or whether the two of them will split the fragile, narrow center-right majority assembled by Scott Brown (and Mitt Romney before him) and allow Patrick to sneak back into office with a small plurality.
Morris Dees, founder and president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is a Democrat who notoriously started his $190 million organization with the donor list from the 1972 McGovern campaign, for which he served as chief fundraiser.
A listing of Dees’ political contributions since 1979 — going back to the Jimmy Carter re-election campaign — shows that he had only ever given money to Democrats. Until last year, that is, when he gave $250 to the GOP primary campaign of Martha Roby, who’s running for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd District.
The 2nd District GOP campaign — which I covered in February, reporting on Tea Party-backed candidate Rick Barber — is now a four-way race, with Stephanie Bell and John Bowling “Bo” McKinney joining the field of Republicans seeking the nomination in the June 1 primary to take on “Blue Dog” Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright in November.
It’s a very conservative district, and the Barber campaign today cried foul over a false accusation that their candidate favored the “Value Added Tax.” (He’s always supported the Fair Tax.) As damaging as such an accusation could be in a Republican primary, it might not be as bad as Roby taking $250 from Dees, whose SPLC recently slammed Glenn Beck in a scary report about right-wing extremists.
The National Rifle Association has dropped an $18,000 mailing against former Sen. Dan Coats, the national GOP’s favorite to replace retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN). Coats voted for the Brady bill and the Clinton crime bill that the contained the assault weapons ban. The postcards come amidst rumbling that Coats might not be able to count on NRA support against the likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Brad Ellsworth.
In fact, the mailing notes that Coats’ two main Republican opponents, former Rep. John Hostettler and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, both boast high NRA ratings. The postcard also praises Ellsworth for having a “perfect” pro-gun record and having won the NRA’s support in his 2008 House re-election race.
This strikes me as a good reason for Lindsey Graham to be skeptical that the Senate’s contemplated amnesty push is anything more than a Democratic get-out-the-vote effort. (Of course, Graham misses that it will be a Democratic get-out-the-vote effort even if it passes.) I cover this in my column on today’s main site; Byron York has more.
Republicans who voted for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout are facing conservative anger — and accordingly having a tough time getting re-elected:
Though the bailout is an issue in Democratic races, it has become more damaging for Republicans, for whom government spending is more controversial. In March, the issue contributed to veteran Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s resounding defeat in the Republican gubernatorial primary in Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry dubbed her “Kay `Bailout’ Hutchison.”
Opinion polls show a sharp decline in public support for the government’s role in stabilizing financial institutions. A survey conducted by the Pew Center for the People and the Press in February showed that only 40 percent of Americans now support the effort, and only 26 percent of Republicans.
Rep. John Boozman of Arkansas and Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah are among the incumbent Republicans who have been endangered by their pro-TARP votes. Support for the bailouts has also gotten many a Republican, like Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, booed while speaking at Tea Party rallies.
A wag might be tempted to quip: If Jason Campbell is the answer, it must be an awfully dumb question. But for the Oakland Raiders, the ill-fated former Washington Redskins quarterback might actually be an answer. He’ll at least be an upgrade. Campbell, traded to Oakland from Washington for a 2012 fourth-round pick, will also get a fresh start.
Consider: Despite a porous offensive line and the Redskins’ pitiful 4-12 record, Campbell had one of his best seasons statistically. He completed 64.5 percent of his passes and threw for 20 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and an 86.4 passer rating. By contrast, JaMarcus Russell — the former #1 draft pick Campbell would likely displace as starting quarterback — completed just 48.8 percent of his passes last season, throwing only three touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and amassing a league-low 50.0 passer rating. Over his career of 31 games, Russell has racked up a 52.1 percent completion rate, 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles, and a passer rating of 65.2.
Jason Campbell brings a work ethic, maturity, and level of quarterback play that far exceeds anything Russell demonstrated so far, to say nothing of being in better physical condition. But he does bring his own problems of whether he is a good fit for a West Coast offense — and even if he is, does Oakland have enough weapons to allow even a Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady to be successful?
As Congress prepares to vote on debating Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd’s “Restoring American Financial Stability Act,” and speculation is rampant as to whether Republican can hold together a filibuster to force changes the to bill, a broad spectrum of conservative and free-market groups expressed “grave concerns” about the financial regulation bill and its negative impact on Main Street. The letter has been signed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute; the fiscally-conservative Americans for Tax Reform and Americans for Prosperity; and Phyllis Schlafly’s populist Eagle Forum. Also signing on are two energetic new grassroots groups that speak on behalf of much of the Tea Party movement: Tea Party Express and American Grassroots Coalition.
The letter, included below, highlights what it calls “a by-no-means exclusive list” of major concerns with the bill. These include the bill’s broad definition of “nonbank financial company” that would mean that many “Main Street non-financial businesses would be hit with taxation, regulation, and possible nationalization by the Federal Reserve,” the proxy access mandates that would usurp state incorporation law and “empower union pension funds and other progressives by forcing companies to fund their Saul Alinsky-style campaigns for a company’s board of directors,” and the lack of any reforms in the bill of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - the two government-created mortgage giants that were “primary causes of the crisis.”
The letter concludes: “While we believe the government should act swiftly to punish financial fraud, it should not diminish Americans’ choices and opportunities in the name of ‘stability.’ We believe that fundamentally, as with health care, although there are a lot of complexities involved, this is about the future of our country. Do we continue living in an America where entrepreneurs and investors can launch new businesses and new ideas - or do we live under a system in which almost every transaction has to be approved by a government agency or czar?!”
We’ve got the makings of the first tangible Obama administration ethics problem over at Pajamas Media.
Ms. Zoi makes more than an appearance in Power Grab, incidentally, and today’s story fits well in the narrative about her and her modus operandi there and as exposed while my book was going to print, here (“SWAT teams” to swarm the block imposing weatherization demands— and, no doubt, making it a two-fer with smart meters?).
Except the appearances here are worse, even awful. Subsequent inquiry — oh, and if y’all could finally try some of that vaunted yet remarkably elusive “transparency” thing, and provide some straight, documented answers — needs to put to rest the questions this raises.
As you’ll read on that linked Stossel-related site, as in Power Grab with much more Gore-y (and Browner-y, Jones-y, Holdren-y) detail, Zoi’s allies mean these things. And among them are the can’t-keep-your-thermostat-at-72 president.
State Sen. Marlin Stutzman, one of the five Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in Indiana, has come under fire for telling reporters that his first quarter fundraising totals were higher than what appears on his FEC report. Numerous published accounts have Stutzman raising $125,000 in the first three months of 2010 with $50,000 to $70,000 left in cash on hand. But Stutzman’s FEC filing (pdf) shows him raising just $78,260.52 over this time period, with $14,227.21 remaining on hand.
Hoosier Advocate blogger Josh Gillespie expressed concern about the discrepancy, writing, “Maybe Stutzman’s coffers, after a mad dash in fundraising the last couple of days, now represent what he’s been telling everyone he actually had. The question remains, however, why would he wildly inflate his numbers like that?”
Money is an issue in the Indiana GOP primary because none of the candidates have lit the world on fire in terms of fundraising. But former Sen. Dan Coats had done well enough to build a significant lead over the others. Last week, Stutzman picked up major Beltway conservative endorsements in an attempt to boost his viability ahead of the May 4 primary.
Coats is considered the frontrunner, but some Indiana observers believe he could be vulnerable to an upset if either Stutzman or former Rep. John Hostettler could get their act together financially.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?