Obama’s excuse for his Chicago-style hit on Joe Sestak: Clinton did it (and, anyway, everyone does it). Rod Blagojevich must be the happiest man in America today. No less than the White House Counsel laid out the case that Blago (and Rahm) did nothing wrong. Did Blago’s bag man have the same “unimpeachable” reputation for truthfulness and integrity as did Rahm’s?
By Asher Embry
It’s not since Rod Blagojevich
That we’ve been served a fib so rich.
Each anecdote we’re asked to parse
Makes clear Rahm’s tale’s a massive farce.
If you still think this whopper’s true,
Recall Lewinsky’s dress of blue.
(You can read more of Asher Embry’s Political Verse at www.politicalverse.com.)
White House counsel Bob Bauer has released the official explanation about public misunderstandings of whether or not Congressman Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania was offered a job in the Obama administration, in exchange for dropping out of his primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter. You see, the Democrats really, REEL-LEE wanted to avoid an ugly primary in the Keystone State, so they enlisted presidential smoothie Bill Clinton to offer him an enticement that would be hard to turn down. Bauer:
Efforts were made in June and July of 2009 to determine whether Congressman Sestak would be interested in service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board, which would avoid a divisive Senate primary, allow him to retain his seat in the House, and provide him with an opportunity for additional service to the public in a high-level advisory capacity for which he was highly qualified. The advisory positions discussed with Congressman Sestak, while important to the work of the Administration, would have been uncompensated.
Never mind that Sestak said repeatedly he was offered a “job,” which by definition does not carry with it the condition “uncompensated.” But we must emphasize how badly the Democrats wanted to avoid a primary, so coming up with something of value that would attract Sestak was necessary. Among the other tempting incentives they considered offering:
1. A green job
2. Box seats to a Pirates game
3. A framed copy of Specter’s resignation from the Republican Party
4. A cookie
Officials finally settled on the equally valuable “uncompensated high-level advisory capacity” in the Administration. Can you believe Sestak turned them down?!
The House has voted to move toward the repeal of the policy allowing homosexuals to serve in the military only if they remain silent about their sexual orientation. Adopted as an amendment to the annual Pentagon policy, the repeal would be allowed 60 days after a Pentagon report on the ramifications of this policy change is completed.
While the power to actually overturn don’t ask, don’t tell remains with military commanders, many see a congressional vote before the report is completed as political pressure. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted for a similar measure yesterday, largely along party lines with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) voting with the Democrats and Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) voting with the Republicans.
Drudge already has this up, but it’s worth a comment. U.S. Rep. Charles Melancon of southeastern Louisiana shows, in very human terms, what the BP oil spill means. Watch this whole video, and watch what starts to happen with about 35 seconds left. This is real human emotion, utterly unfeigned. Unfortunately, Melancon does not get to finish his speech. He started to explain that these aren’t just Louisiana’s wetlands, but the nation’s wetlands. He is right. Look up the stats for yourself. They are staggering. These are the nesting grounds for a huge portion of all the nation’s waterfowl, the spawning grounds for a near-ocean-full of fish, the migratory habitat for an even larger proportion of our waterfowl. And the list goes on. This is a tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions. Those of us who have long supported offshore drilling need to recognize that we had become too complacent. The phenomenal safety record of such drilling, up until now, had led us to underestimate the potential harm. On the other hand, the growing story of horrible human error, bad luck, regulatory letdown (not that more regs were needed, but the regs in place needed to be actually enforced rather than officially waived), makes this an event so rare as to be almost certain to never be repeated. And the lackadaisical response — indeed, the actual interference with STATE response — by this administration is surely never to be repeated by any other administration if ANYthing even approaching this happens again. James Carville was right to blast President Obama. And Rep. Melancon is right to get choked up. My hat is off to him and my heart goes out to him — and to all the people of my home state, who have suffered so much in these past five years.
Today on the Main Site:
Rolling Back the Socialist Tide by Andrew B. Wilson: Where Maggie succeeded and Winston failed — lessons for today.
Sleeping with the Retrograde by Daniel Mandel: The Obama gets ever cozier with the UN’s human rights defilers.
Oil of Today by Ben Stein
Postscript by Christopher Orlet: Some final thoughts on Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.
The King and Us by George H. Wittman: Thailand is a key U.S. ally — why is the Obama administration ignoring the bloody civil breakdown in that country?
Cut Those Airport Lines… And Catch Terrorists by Iain Murray: Who says the TSA is the only alternative to terrorism in the skies?
The Audacity of Rope-a-Dope by Andrew Cline: Obama promised a different kind of health care reform.
Robin Hood by James Bowman: There isn’t a single interesting character in this 140-minute long piece of Movieland fakery.
Stamped and Documented by Reader Mail: Food Stamps. Poison to the touch. Miley Cyrus and the meaning of life. More Arizona and much else.
What to Watch For:
Obama likely to issue statement on congressman Sestak (Chicago Sun Times): At the press conference addressing BP held Thursday morning, President Obama had this to say when repeatedly asked questions about Sestak:
“There will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue - You will get it from my administration, so - and it will - it will be coming out - when I say shortly, I mean shortly, I don’t mean weeks or months. With respect to the first.”
Clip(s) of the Day:
Those that criticize the White House for its handling of BP “don’t know the facts.” Obviously.
On a serious note, the Washington Post captured Louisiana congressman Charlie Melancon demonstrating the real economic and psychological costs of Louisiana’s run of bad luck, to put it mildly. Watch it here.
This has been around the Web for a couple of weeks — is it a legitimate cleanup solution for the Gulf?
Senate staffers Thursday were hearing rumors (ultimate source unknown) that the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is less than two months away.
The plan reportedly is this: If Elena Kagan’s nomination to the court can be confirmed early this summer, Ginsburg would then announce her retirement, so that confirmation for Ginsburg’s replacement could be finished before the end of the year.
Those who believe the rumor see the Ginsburg retirement scenario as a signal that the Obama administration fears Democrats may lose enough Senate seats in the mid-term election to make it more difficult to confirm a liberal appointee after the next Congress convenes in January 2011.
Furthermore, the rumored plan to fill a second Supreme Court vacancy this year may explain why Democrats are attempting to rush Kagan through confirmation, despite objections from Republicans that there is insufficient time to get complete records of Kagan’s service in the Clinton White House. If Republicans delay the Kagan confirmation hearings (currently scheduled to begin June 28), that could disrupt the timetable necessary for Obama to appoint, and the Senate to confirm, a replacement for Ginsburg before next January.
Of course, all this is merely a rumor on Capitol Hill, but it was being repeated by multiple staffers Thursday, indicating either (a) there must be some truth to it, or (b) the Senate rumor-mill is extraordinarily efficient.
I’m not prepared to let the Obama administration (or the Bush administration) completely off the hook, but Yuval Levin does raise some reasonable points in this post.
One of TV’s great nice guys has died at age 97.
Jacob Sullum notes that there is some distance between Rand Paul and his father on abortion. Although both are pro-life, Rand has expressed an openness to supporting national legislation — and even the human life amendment — to ban abortion while the elder Paul favors stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction over abortion and kicking the issue back to the states, where he hopes the practice will be outlawed.
Then again, the differences might not be that great. Rand Paul also prefers to deal with the issue through jurisdiction-stripping and federalism, which is what led his main primary opponent to tar him as pro-choice. Rand placed greater emphasis on his willingness to ban abortion to more effectively combat such claims. And Ron Paul, despite constitutional and other concerns, has been willing to support federal pro-life legislation on many occasions.
Former Sen. Dan Coats picked up the National Right to Life Committee PAC’s endorsement in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN). NRLC’s political director, Karen Cross, issued the following statement:
As a member of both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Dan Coats was a leading champion for pro-life policies. Dan Coats was the author of key pro-life amendments, including a law that prevents the government from penalizing medical training programs for refusing to provide training in abortion. In addition, he was part of successful efforts to curb federal funding of abortion and an early supporter of the successful pro-life campaign to ban partial-birth abortion.
His opponent, Brad Ellsworth voted to enact President Obama’s pro-abortion health care legislation - legislation which will provide government funding for health plans that pay for abortion on demand, and also contains multiple provisions that will promote the rationing of lifesaving medical treatments.
Dan Coats can be trusted to protect our most vulnerable citizens - our unborn children. Dan Coats’ exemplary pro-life record should earn him the support of all voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family.
While this endorsement isn’t surprising, it does represent something of a blow to Brad Ellsworth’s attempt to brand himself as a pro-life Democrat. Indiana Right to Life’s PAC has already announced it will not endorse any Democrats during this election cycle and endorsed Coats — along with three of his four opponents — during the Republican primary.
The head of the beleaguered federal agency that regulates offshore drilling resigned today, shortly before the Interior Department released new estimates that rank the spill as the nation’s largest ever.
Elizabeth Birnbaum, appointed last year to direct the Minerals Management Service, noted that her agency will be reorganized into three new federal offices in a letter of resignation to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar….
Salazar called Birnbaum a strong and effective leader who had helped take important steps to fix the agency she headed.
“She is a good public servant. She resigned today on her own terms and on her own volition,” he said.
Multiple reports this morning, citing Democratic sources, said Birnbaum had been fired.
Is this top-kill because she couldn’t hit the junk shot?
Update 1:35 p.m.: David Axelrod confirmed yesterday that a “top-kill” was needed at MMS.
Bad news issued today by the nation’s most-recognized hurricane forecasting agency:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued its 2010 hurricane season forecast, predicting one of the strongest seasons on record — and reiterating fears that the Gulf oil spill may be impacted by the severe weather….
NOAA’s forecast predicts as many as 23 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, with 3 to 7 becoming serious enough to be classified as major hurricanes. Named storms come with top winds of 39 mph or higher. The agency worries that as many as 14 could turn into hurricanes, with winds in excess of 74 mph, and 3 to 7 could be category 3, 4, or 5 storms with winds of at least 111 mph.
Three to seven? Fits the same range as this expert, doesn’t it?
This morning in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is filing suit against NASA, calling the erstwhile space agency to account for its nearly three-year stonewall of access to internal documents exposing an abuse of taxpayer funds to advance the global warming agenda.
Along the way to this point, we have begun revealing how NASA is running a third-party advocacy website out of NASA facilities, at taxpayer expense, to assail “skeptics” and promote the highly suspect basis for a specific policy agenda. This campaign also helped to elevate the particular fiefdom in question (James Hansen’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, or GISS) in terms of budget and stature. It has also elevated the scientists involved, professionally, at the expense of the taxpayer they are working to stick with the biggest economic intervention in our history (one I detail in my new book “Power Grab”).
In this process, if only thanks to pressure on NASA after a December 2009 news story about their games, we have already obtained important emails among 2,000 or so pages released. These include an admission to USA Today’s weather editor that NASA GISS is just a modeling office, using the temperature record of …CRU, the ClimateGate outfit. That means their “independent temperature record” is actually a recapitulation of one that …doesn’t exist, but was withdrawn as a result of ClimateGate when the custodians admitted they actually lost all original data.
So whether the CRU claims were actually made up, as seems entirely plausible reading that crowd’s own nasty anti-scientific campaign in their own words, it is as good as made up, meaning non-existent, for any legal or scientific purpose. So we already know that two of the four supposed “independent temperature records” are down the drain. And they’re the only two subjected to anything resembling scrutiny.
Also along the way, in recent months we won on administrative appeal after NASA denied that documents created and held on NASA assets were really agency records, if editing and managing a third-party activist and advocacy site, RealClimate.org. NASA originally denied access to the records (which they are still withholding) on the grounds that taxpayer-funded scientists were actually moonlighting and so the documents were not really the government’s property.
Our suit seeks to finally compel production of these records, among other documents the public paid for, are owed access to, but for years have been denied.
The Washington Times today updates Climategate’s spawn, NASAgate, as the space agency’s response to FOIA-filer Chris Horner (who is also EPA’s and NOAA’s hunk o’ burnin’ love) has lagged, dragged and sagged for nearly three years. Naturally NASA (did you realize if you add “E-U” backwards you can make “NAUSEA?”) global warming whinetists Gavin Schmidt (hobbyist during work time?) and James Hansen (activist all the time) are not happy that their important work runs in fits and starts (phenomenon known as data-manipulatus interruptus):
Schmidt said information requests have ballooned in recent months and that he thinks those making the inquiries are trying “to put a chilling effect on scientists speaking out in public.”
And James E. Hansen, director of [NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies], said in a March memo that responding to FOIAs takes away from his time to do research.
He called it “a waste of taxpayer money” and questioned the motives of those filing FOIA requests.
“It seems that a primary objective of the FOIA requesters and the ‘harvesters’ is discussions that they can snip and quote out of context,” he said, warning that could confuse the public and that might delay the pressure Mr. Hansen said will be needed to force policymakers to combat global warming.
Is applying pressure and force part of Hansen’s publicly-funded job description? Does he need a blowout preventer?
Today on the Main Site:
Dunkirk Conservatism by Quin Hillyer: On the 70th anniversary of the greatest evacuation of World War II, American conservatives should understand they’ve won nothing yet.
A Bad Case of the Bitters by Andrew Cline: Obama reveals his heart in San Francisco.
Slick Happens by Ken Blackwell: Liberals want to replace BP with their own voices of reason.
Revolts of the Masses by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.: America is at a historic turning point.
Emergent Church No Longer Emerging? by Mark Tooley: Postmodern Baby Boomer religiosity tends to run out of steam.
Lost in the Gulf: Perspective by Ron Ross: This is only the second significant spill in more than 70 years of drilling there
The Deal with China by Dan Blumenthal: China’s deal-making efforts with the world’s tyrants has thwarted Western efforts on development, human rights, and proliferation.
What to Watch for:
White House set to release national defense strategy (Washington Post)
Clip of the Day:
James Carville’s message to Obama on GMA: We’re dyin’ down here!
Parochial interests and corporate favoritism are driving an alternative engine program that is superfluous to defense needs and burdensome to U.S. taxpayers, according to Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)
Contrary to what the U.S. Air Force and two independent panels have concluded, General Electric and some of key congressional proponents insist upon an alternative engine as part of the Joint Strike Fighter Project that was established to replace an aging aircraft fleet. In 2001, the U.S. Defense Department selected Lockheed Martin as the winning bid, which also included an engine that Pratt and Whitney would bid.
CAGW has argued the key lawmakers are bowing to pressure from GE to pursue an alternative project that would amount to $3 billion in waste. The House is expected to vote this week on an amendment that would strike the alternative engine project from the 2011 Defense Authorization Act.
With budgetary pressures already forcing defense planners into restrictive positions, some discernment is order where new expenditures are concerned.
News reports often cover the sadness, brutality, and ugliness of war. It is right and desirable that this side of war be presented in an honest straightforward way. But there’s more to the picture.
This post won’t list all of the recent changes brought by military necessity and science, but it will list a few that may have escaped notice.
Without a doubt the greatest spin-off from the recent wars on Islamists terrorists in Southwest Asia, is the bandage approved by the FDA in 2002. Prior to the U.S. Army’s search for a more effective way to stop hemorrhaging, it used the century old method, direct pressure and gauze. Since 2002, a bandage using shrimp shells and vinegar has been used to “clot a bullet wound in under a minute.” Chitosan, a polysaccharide in shrimp shells, has anti-bacterial properties as well, making it ideal for its designed purpose. Obviously, lives are saved on the battlefield with this bandage, and equally obvious this bandage has applications beyond the battlefield.
In the more common area of concern for militaries, guns and ammo, the right bullet and rifle combination for snipers has continued to be an area of testing and fielding since the war in Afghanistan began. In an evolution bound to please many a virgin-seeking Talibani, the round of choice setting records is the .338 Lapua Magnum. How good is it? No round is better than the rifle and the rifleman shooting it. On May 2, the Times of London reported on what is now believed to be the longest kill-shots ever with a sniper rifle — at a distance of 1.5 miles. The sniper used the .338 Lapua Magnum, and he duplicated the shot immediately after the first to kill a second Taliban machine gunner. Corporal Craig Harrison of the UK’s Household Cavalry, using an Accuracy International L115A3, clearly is an exceptional shot. But equally clear is that the militaries defending the West are doing their best to research, test, and field the best equipment to enhance capabilities. The days of a hidebound military are long gone. The .338 Lapau Magnum is replacing the .308 Winchester (a.k.a. the 7.62mm) and the much larger .50 caliber bullet because of its practical advantages having more range than the .308 and being much lighter than the .50 caliber.
Fox News reports that the U.S. Army is taking a second look to the M4 Rifle, the rifle that replaced the M16. The impetus for this review is as old as the M16. That is its bullet versus the one fired in the famous AK-47. Concerns about the terminal ballistics of the lighter 5.56 mm bullet versus the heavier 7.62x39mm bullet no doubt means this debate will go on for a long time, possibly with the Army adopting a new caliber for its main rifle. I’d think the .260 Remington would be a good choice. The round won’t shoot as flat as a 5.56mm bullet. Servicemen won’t be able to carry as many rounds, but the round is not difficult to shoot because its recoil isn’t abusive; it retains energy in flight and has excellent terminal ballistics. The Army’s Test Command will likely look at many different options if there truly is consideration ongoing to replace the 5.56mm bullet.
As long as we have boots on the ground, mundane weapons like small arms will matter.
Today on the Main Site:
What Barack Obama Is Thinking by Peter Ferrara: Students of history will recognize the method to this President’s madness.
Feelin’ Like a Million Dollars by Jay D. Homnick: Trying out for Who Wants to be a Millionare?
A Tale of Three States by Lisa Fabrizio: Even the big government Northeast is sick of big government.
The GOP’s Not-So-Friendly Fire by David N. Bass: How to lose in a winnable district.
The Two-Headed Wooly Mammoth by Peter Hannaford: Fannie and Freddie should have been treated by Dr. Kevorkian years ago.
The Obama Administration Chews the Fat by Matt Purple: The government’s anti-obesity plans contain several times your daily value of nanny statism.
Race to the Top — Of What? by RiShawn Biddle: The administration is taking on the teachers’ unions — sort of.
What to Watch For:
Rahm Emanuel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu (Chicago Sun-Times)
Clip of the Day:
BP will provide continual live video feed of oil leak during ‘top kill’ procedure. Watch it here. Note: requires Windows Media Player.
In an interview with CNN’s John King last night, White House adviser David Axelrod reluctantly conceded several interesting points. This would be on the Jobsgate scandal involving Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak and Sestak’s claim the White House offered him a job to get out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate race against Arlen Specter. One can only imagine what he was really thinking as he answered King, denying three separate times he had any conversations with Sestak. Got the message? It wasn’t David Axelrod! Let’s parse.
1. Axelrod is firm in saying he had nothing to do with this. “I didn’t have any conversations with Congressman Sestak and I didn’t have any conversations with anybody connected with Congressman Sestak.” PARSE: Hey, somebody did this, I know who they are, but it wasn’t me.
2. Axelrod admits the Sestak allegation is serious. “If such things happened they would constitute a serious breach of the law.” PARSE: Why do you think we’re stonewalling, buddy? That jackass Sestak nailed us and now we’re all twisting in the wind.
3. Axelrod emphasizes again: “I was not a party to those conversations.” PARSE: Of course we’re talking about this. Hey, somebody did this but it wasn’t me, OK? We’re trying to figure out how to protect Rah..…uh…Mr. X.
4. Axelrod says things are fine. “All I know…is, well, I’ve…I’ve been briefed as Robert (Gibbs) has that they looked into it and their conclusion was that it was perfect…these conversations were perfectly appropriate.” PARSE: If you think we’re not telling you the truth because the truth is perfectly appropriate you and your audience are dumber than I think.
5. Axelrod denies a third time that he knows anything. “We’re only talking in circles because I wasn’t a part of those conversations…” PARSE: God Almighty, King! Leave me alone! For the third time I had nothing to do with this. It wasn’t me!!!! It was Him! Him! Him! It was He Who Shall Not Be Named!
And last but not least, as King closes by asking:
KING: “Can you make available the people who had the conversations?”
The senior advisor to the President of the United States replies:
AXELROD: “I’m sure that all of this…will be…I…I don’t think…any questions will be left unanswered…” PARSE: They’ll be answered over His dead body! Or maybe mine. But if we do answer, we have to clear this with Holder, Sestak and Ra…uh.. Mr. X so we’re all on the same page. And we have to do it without e-mail, phone calls or meetings logged on our schedules to avoid leaving a trail for Issa. Somebody around here is toast. And He knows who he is. Hey…who sent this dead fish to me?
This morning I submitted requests under the Freedom of Information Act to the U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking internal discussions about whether and how to burn off oil leaking in the Gulf, and environmentalist pressure and involvement in those decisions.
There has simply been too much smoke out there to ignore suggesting that the administration heeded green group shrieks to not burn the oil as soon and as much as they should have. There is also continuing evidence that EPA, for whatever reason, was myopically concerned with air pollution that would come from burning the oil out at sea to the exclusion or diminution of concern over the impact the same oil would have if it migrated.
It also seems clear, including from former NOAA experts, that had the practice been engaged in as aggressively and early as it apparently should have been (before the oil becomes well mixed) much of that which is reaching shore would not have.
The simple fact of the matter is that green groups’ bottom lines benefit in years in which a high-profile ecological event occurs. The worse, the better. The environmental damage, while real, is temporary and if only for that reason it is not beyond the pale — when combined with the fact that the greens and the administration quite clearly saw the spill early on as an opportunity to advance their “green economy” and otherwise the global warming agenda — that the green groups and administration improperly impeded operations to burn the oil.
So, the public ought to see what was being said by whom and when about the prospect of this sort of intervention. More on this later.
There is no excuse, none at all, for this administration to have sat so long on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s request for permission, or waiver of permitting requirements, to build sand berms/sand islands to block the oil from Louisiana’s coast. The lack of response borders on criminal negligence. The excellent Rep. Steve Scalise made a great speech about the issue on the House floor, here. Watch it. And let yourself get angry at this too-cool-to-care president, who wants the government to interfere in almost every area of our lives but can’t get off his rear end to get the federal government out of the way of a state’s efforts to save itself, and can’t coordinate a federal government response of its own that is worthy a blasted thing. Rep. Scalise is right: “The people back in [his] state are very angry rght now about what’s happening right now in the Gulf of Mexico” because they are “not getting the adequate response [they] need from the federal government. All [they]’re getting now is excuses.”
“We, in the green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which killing a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels. ” -Carl Amery (German Greens)
That the Danes are now clearing a forest (and kicking Danes out of their homes) to put up giant windmills, that will never even be connected to a grid, must be rather confusing to the greens right about now.
There is plenty of unusual and anecdotal evidencethat the economy is in bad shape. Some harder evidence was revealed yesterday during National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation.” Host Neal Conan questioned his guest, Mr. Koc, Director of Strategic and Foundation Research, National Association of Colleges and Employers, about the overall condition of hiring for the 2010 graduates. Mr. Koc stated that new college graduates are at a 7.5% unemployment rate, one of the highest rates ever recorded, he said. This dreary news was offered to encourage students to continue to get a college education because unemployment for new High School graduates in the same age group, 20-24 years old, is 21%.
During the last election, Presidential Candidate Senator McCain ran a poor campaign with young people. He virtually ceded their votes to then Senator Obama. (See Jason Mattera’s recent book for the full description of what a non-completive campaign Senator McCain ran when compared to Senator Obama.) Young voters should be flocking to the Republican ranks in the next election. However, Democrats have one huge advantage, as pointed out in R. Emmett Tyrrell’s book After the Hangover, and that is that Republicans lack the political libido to take the fight to the Democrats. If the economy is to get better for young Americans, it will have to come from the efforts of Republican businessmen. Many Republican journalists and politicos will likely avoid exposing and pouring on the scorn for President’s dismal handling of the economy. Timid warriors don’t inspire; they especially do not inspire the young.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the committee, Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life writes:
We are deeply concerned that the Senate Judiciary Committee will have insufficient time to review Elena Kagan’s record before commencing her hearing on June 28, 2010. Therefore, we request that you provide whatever time is needed for members to thoroughly prepare for the hearing, even if it requires postponing the hearing date.
Yoest cites statements by the executive director of the Clinton Presidential Library that it will be “very difficult” to provide records of Kagan’s service in the Clinton administration by the planned starting date of Kagan’s confirmation hearing next month.
Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report notes that Americans United for Life “is fast becoming one of the leading foes of Kagan.”
Excuse the blunt headline, but I can’t think of a more subtle way of expressing what Ann Coulter seems to be saying in her latest column:
Republican consultants are doing a wonderful job raising expectations sky-high for the November elections, so that now, even if Republicans do smashingly well, it will look like a defeat (and an across-the-board endorsement of Obama’s agenda). Thanks, Republicans!
That’s what happened in the 1998 congressional elections, nearly foiling Clinton’s impeachment. It’s what happened to the Conservative Party in Britain a week ago. And that’s what happened this week in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, formerly represented by Rep. John Murtha.
Note to Republicans: Whenever possible, victory parties should be held after the election, not before it.
The result of the election in Murtha’s old district on Tuesday was that the rabidly anti-ObamaCare, pro-life, pro-gun candidate won! Yippee!
But the news on Wednesday morning was that the election “dealt a blow to Republicans,” as The New York Times reported… .
So, if Republicans can’t win a special election in PA-12 — Miss Coulter dismisses as “happy talk” any suggestion that a Tim Burns victory was possible — what are the GOP’s prospects for winning back the House of Representatives in November? And if Republicans don’t win this mid-term election, when will they become the majority party again? 2012? 2014? Ever?
Polls in the Pennsylvania special election consistently showed that voters were dissatisfied with Democrats: 63 percent of 12th District voters had a negative opinion of Nancy Pelosi and 55 percent disapproved of President Obama. Yet these same voters went for Democrat Mark Critz by 53 percent to 45 percent for Burns.
Ergo, scratch PA-12 off any list of possible GOP pickups for November. There’s no point even trying. Impossible. Hopeless. Doomed. No Republican will ever be elected to Congress there, and anyone who tells you different is blowing sunshine up your skirt.
At least, that’s what Miss Coulter seems to be saying.
Are there 40 congressional districts in America, now held by Democrats, where Republicans have better prospects in November? Jim Geraghty at National Review ranked 99 House districts by likelihood of a GOP takeover this fall and came up with 39 seats he rated better than the “50/50” chance he gave Burns in PA-12. So even if Republicans win all 39 of those, they’d still have to win some of the “50/50” seats in order to capture a House majority Nov. 2.
Based on Miss Coulter’s analysis, wherein the Tim Burns campaign was a misbegotten exercise in futility — a complete waste of time, effort and money — then under no plausible circumstances can the GOP expect to gain 40 seats in November.
It’s over. The headline on Nov. 3: “Democrats win.” Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will continue to control Congress, no matter what.
Remember that I told you this in May. Between now and Nov. 2, I might succumb to the delusion that Republicans really have a chance to win.
It is worth noting that the Republicans finally won a special House election — in Hawaii, of all places. The split Democratic vote makes it difficult to replicate, but Charles Djou ran a good campaign while his opponents were cannibalizing each other.
I can understand Michael Steele wanting to put the Republican Party on the side of the 1964 Civil Rights Act — where it overwhelmingly was back when it counted. But whatever you think of Rand Paul, it really isn’t the role of a national party chairman to pronounce on whether the party’s duly elected nominee in a given race is “where the country is right now.” And if Steele does think he needs to distance the party from Paul, well, then he should at least do a better job of it than this.
The Republican radio address this weekend was, appropriately enough, on the right subject, the Gulf oil spill, with the right message. But it was by far the wrong messenger. Why would the GOP choose a whoremonger when it could have given a platform (sorry for the pun) to a wonderful, principled young congressman with a tough fight to keep his seat, Joseph Cao? This issue is tailor-made for Cao to opine on, and he needs the attention. Instead, the GOP allowed a mercurial embarrassment to gush (another pun) about responsibility. If the GOP actually wants to move public opinion, this is the wrong way to do it. And if it wants to elect a Republican House, it ought to be helping its embattled House members, not letting an unthreatened senator spout off. What a cheap trick.
My piece in Sunday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch addressing the University of Virginia’s troubling behavior — cynically styled by the press as really signalling troubling behavior by VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli — is here.
I know, you’re wondering why, for possibly the first time in the few weeks since it came out I haven’t plugged this, given the vote to block EPA coming up in the Senate as soon as this week? Next time, I promise.