Just 3 percent of Arabs say they empathize with Jewish Holocaust victims, according to a new poll (PDF) released by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center, in conjuction with Zogby.
The survey polled 3,976 people in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
It asked respondents, “When you watch a movie or a program about the Jewish Holocaust, which of the following is closest to your feelings…”
The most popular response, from 59 percent, was “Resent it as I feel it brings sympathy toward Israel and the Jews at the expense of Palestinians and Arabs.”
Another 29 percent said they had “mixed feelings.
Rounding out the bottom, a mere three percent of Arabs say they “Empathize with the Jews who suffered under the Nazis.”
Jamie Kirchick has more on the rest of the poll, here.
I promise after Monday to get off my sports kick, but this takes the cake. New Orleans’ Peter Finney will receive one of the highest awards a sportswriter can ever get, this weekend at the Hall of Fame. Never heard of Finney? That’s because he is so loyal to his hometown. He coulda been like George Plimpton or at least Rick Reilly or Curry Kirkpatrick, a household name among sports fans, probably for decades. Word is that Sports lllustrated three times tried to hire him, but he TURNED THEM DOWN. He loved New Orleans. He didn’t want national fame. He just wanted to cover sports for his hometown readers. This guy has been a professional sportswriter for 65 years (!!!), Shirley Povich-like, and he is still going strong. He is a master craftsman, with a spare and incisive prose, always incredibly fair-minded and even-tempered, never a suck-up but also never a cheap shot artist, not afraid to criticize but always constructive, clearly a rooter for the hometown but never a naked partisan for his team. He is known for writing amazing opinion copy on incredibly tight deadlines, all perfectly “clean,” all capturing the absolute essence of whatever event he was covering. And he is a nice, nice man. Shy, but warm. I am one of the many many former Times-Picayune or States-Item sportswriters who revere him, not for any one particular kindness but just for day after day of quiet encouragement while we worked there. The first time I met him, was in college, having guest-hosted a big New Orleans radio sports talk show (it was a promotion to have a guest host once a week for a month), and the radio folks took me to dinner afterwards. I had no idea that Finney would meet us there. He already was a legend — this was in 1983 — whom I had red and watched on local TV sports shows since I was old enough to know what sports was. And suddenly there he was, joining us for dinner. And what I remember was that he just joined our table, introduced himself — and then for the rest of the night treated me like I just naturally belonged there, part of the professional sports-journalist crowd, rather than in any way as an interloper or a punk kid who had to be humored.
I could go on. But you get the picture. Supremely talented sportswriter, nice man, loyal New Orleanian. And one more thing: It was almost certainly due to years of lobbying by Finney, who is one of the Hall of Fame voters, that my favorite linebacker Rickey Jackson finally got elected to the Hall (induction this weekend). Rickey had the numbers — frankly, in many ways better numbers even than Lawrence Taylor. He just didn’t have the national spotlight. But he had Pete Finney on his side, and it was enough.
Finney still writes his columns regularly for the TP. So here’s a tribute to a good man, for Pete’s sake.
In an interview with Daniel Foster at NRO, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) basically admits that his sudden interest in reforming birthright citizenship is really a ploy to win conservative support for amnesty back home.
FOSTER: Isn’t a bit of this, frankly, strategic? Aren’t you looking for ways to bring conservatives on board with the more comprehensive immigration reform that you favor? Is that fair to say?
GRAHAM: Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that I need to go home to South Carolina and say: listen, I know we’re all upset that we have 12-14 million people illegally. I’m going to have to be practical. We’re not going to deport or jail 12-14 million people. A practical solution is not awarding this citizenship on day one, but to allow them to stay here on our terms, learn our language, pay a fine, hold a job, and apply for citizenship through the legal process by getting in the back of the legal line.
That to me is a practical solution. But, I have to be able to say, as part of doing that, we looked at all the incentives that led to the 12-13 million coming, and we changed them. That we did secure our border, unlike any other time in the past, that we now have laws that make it possible to verify employment; we now have a temporary worker program that will allow people to come here and work on our terms temporarily, and help our employers with labor when they can’t find American labor…
This is hardly surprising. Anytime Republican politicians want to pretend to be doing something on an issue that is of importance to conservatives but irrelevant to the GOP establishment, they push no-chance constitutional amendments. How are the amendments on abortion, gay marriage, flag burning, balanced budgets, parents rights, victims rights, forced busing, and all the rest of it coming?
Christina Romer, the chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers becomes the first high-profile rodent to leave the foundering economic ship that is Obama’s “fundamentally transformed” America.
Apparently Romer took a lesson from the little guy at the bottom of this picture.
Romer, whose best known work before taking the Obama Administration job is probably a paper she wrote with her husband arguing that tax rate hikes are extremely negative for economic growth, then came to DC and all but wrote the horrendously wasteful “stimulus” plan and co-authored a paper with Jared Bernstein saying that unemployment would stay below 8 percent if the “stimulus” passed, with this visual representation of their prediction:
Of course, unemployment is now well above the “without recovery plan” line, though sputtering Keynesians who apparently have never learned a single lesson from economic history still say “it would have been so much worse if we hadn’t incinerated a trillion dollars of your children’s money.” (Well, they don’t say it exactly like that…)
To be fair to Romer, her paper argues that tax hikes are extremely negative unless they are perceived as being put in place in order to reduce a big budget deficit. The problem with her argument in today’s application is that she assumes credit markets will see tax hikes as actually cutting the deficit, which would indeed be a long-term positive. But with a government which shows absolutely no interest in cutting spending, which has made it clear that any new tax revenue will be used to increase spending (public union vote buying to be precise) even further rather than to cut the deficit, Romer’s caveat becomes meaningless.
However, within her happy little world in which there is a shred of fiscal responsibility in our federal government, it is then consistent with her framework to argue for spending a trillion dollars. After all, that money would massively increase the deficit and then allow her to argue for those painless tax hikes.
Speaking of hikes, I’m pleased to see Christina Romer take one. The questions now become which species of ground-dwelling mammal will replace her and which will be the next to flee the Obama ship of state as it takes on water at a record pace.
The CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, apologized to company leaders and employers today for donating to Minnesota Forward, a group which supports the leading Republican running for Governor of Minnesota, Tom Emmer.
Various Leftist groups in Minnesota, including LGBT groups (Emmer opposes gay marriage) called on consumers to aggressively boycott Target, the Minnesota-based company. And, like histrionic liberals that they are, enough happily did. So much so that Steinhafel said he’d “review Target’s decision making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena.”
It’s unfortunate that Steinhafel cracked under the weight of some bad press (and perhaps, some pressure from inside the company). His predecessor, former long-time Target CEO, Bob Ulrich, was a known Republican and regular donor to local politicians, a la Governor Tim Pawlenty.
So it all comes down to that wild and crazy Justice Kennedy, and by gosh, you just never know what he’s going to do!
We disagree, and we are prepared to offer up a prediction: When the Supreme Court takes up Perry v. Schwarzenegger—perhaps under the name Brown v. Perry or Whitman v. Perry—the justices will rule 5-4, in a decision written by Justice Kennedy, that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
This accepts the conventional assumption that the court’s “liberal” and “conservative” wings will split predictably, 4-4. Yet while Kennedy cannot be pigeonholed in terms of “ideology,” on this specific topic, he has been consistent in taking a very broad view of the rights of homosexuals. He not only voted with the majority but wrote the majority opinions in two crucial cases: Romer v. Evans (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003).
There is nothing in the logic of either Romer or Lawrence that bodes well for the widely predicted reversal of Perry. Now, the former decision dealt with a state constitutional amendment invalidating and forbidding the enactment of local gay-rights ordinances; the latter decision overturned anti-sodomy laws that banned gay sex between consenting adults. A constitutional right to same-sex marriage is a more radical proposition, and perhaps Kennedy will either refrain from going that far or find some way to uphold Walker’s ruling without trying to settle the issue for the whole country. But I’m not sure that’s the way to bet, and such a decision will change the politics of this issue in ways difficult for people on both sides of the debate to predict.
GREAT article that helps explain why I so liked Saints LB Rickey Jackson. Here.
Charlie Rangel has heard from the man (err, woman) upstairs about a House ethics probe, and the verdict is — fight, Charlie, fight! “How lucky you are when God tells you that you don’t have to take a plea,” Rangel said during a speech Thursday in Harlem. He later backtracked on communing with God, saying, “I haven’t spoken to Her lately.”
Rangel is losing what few marbles he has left. Meanwhile, one of his buddies on the House Ethics Committee refuses to return campaign cash from the Harlem Democrat and, so far, has declined to recuse himself from deliberations on Rangel’s case. I write of G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat from North Carolina’s first congressional district.
Butterfield sits on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and the adjucatory subcommittee that’s weighing the Rangel case. He’s refused to return $3,000 in campaign donations from Rangel or recuse himself. It’s just one example of the many Democrats who have benefited from good ol’ Charlie.
This morning brought us yet another weak employment report, with the economy losing 131,000 jobs in July. It’s true that 143,000 job losses can be accounted for by the end of temporary cenusus jobs, but still, private sector job growth of 71,000 was still weaker than than expected. The unemployment rate remained at 9.5 percent.
Politically speaking, the difficulty for Democrats is that there are only two more job reports between now and the November elections, so they’re running out of time to change minds about their stewardship of the economy. And at this point, it’s increasingly unlikely that even one gangbusters report would change public attitudes — it would probably take a series of several months, or even quarters, of economic data.
Krugman’s main criticism of the Roadmap is that it does not raise the revenues that Ryan says it will.
Mr. Ryan’s plan calls for steep cuts in both spending and taxes…. The Post also tells us that his plan would, indeed, sharply reduce the flow of red ink: “The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan would cut the budget deficit in half by 2020.”
But the budget office has done no such thing. At Mr. Ryan’s request, it produced an estimate of the budget effects of his proposed spending cuts - period. It didn’t address the revenue losses from his tax cuts.
And Krugman goes on to cite a Tax Policy Center analysis that found that Ryan’s plan wouldn’t raise the revenues assumed in the Roadmap.
What Krugman leaves out is that the Roadmap is intended to be a plan for achieving long-run fiscal solvency by cutting spending, and that it assumes a certain level of revenue. If the plan as specified doesn’t bring in as much revenue as projected in the initial Roadmap, it will be adjusted, and rates would be raised, to bring revenues back to roughly 19 percent of GDP — as Ryan has made clear.
Stepping back a bit, Krugman’s charge that the Roadmap won’t bring in enough tax revenue is a little absurd. The challenge facing U.S. policymakers is how to rein in entitlements — not how to raise taxes. We do not need a Roadmap on how to raise tax revenues.
Krugman also includes some specific problems he has with Ryan’s entitlement-reduction measures. For instance:
The only way the Ryan plan could save money would be by making those [Medicare] vouchers too small to pay for adequate coverage. Wealthy older Americans would be able to supplement their vouchers, and get the care they need; everyone else would be out in the cold.
Know what else would leave poor older Americans out in the cold? An economic collapse brought on by a debt crisis. Ryan’s plan is the only one that the CBO has forecast to prevent such a scenario.
Today on the Main Site:
A Losing Proposition by W. James Antle, III: Contrary to the decision overturning Proposition 8, all Americans have standing in the marriage debate.
Obama Cripples Ford’s Funding, Then Subsidizes It by John Berlau & Andrew Kwiatkowski: Ronald Reagan had Obama figured out years ago.
A Coup for the FCC by The Prowler: Unfortunately, it’s of the leftist Obamaite, regulate the Internet by fiat persuasion.
Mysteries of Economics by Ben Stein: There’s gold in them thar hills.
Starving ObamaCare by Philip Klein: Could a new GOP majority win a government shutdown battle over defunding the national health care law? From our July-August issue.
The Taliban’s BFF by George H. Wittman: The U.S. well knows that the Taliban and elements in Pakistan will remain best friends forever.
Cherokee Nation by James P. Gannon: How can a Jeep TV commercial make more sense than America’s economic policy?
A-Rod’s 600th (Yawn) by Andrew Cline: Why the fans don’t really care.
What to Watch for:
Lockerbie release flawed (WSJ)
Corporate money aids centers linked to lawmakers (NYT)
Christina Romer, chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, to resign (Wash Post)
Wyclef Jean to run for president of Haiti; Sean Penn skeptical of motivations (CNN)
Obama to address July employment data (Politico)
Clip of the Day:
Obama gives remarks on Kagan’s appointment to Supreme Court:
The deadline given by Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to politically-connected ShoreBank is tomorrow, and if the Chicago community development institution cannot come up with additional capital, it will likely fail. This is despite extraordinary efforts on ShoreBank’s behalf by FDIC chairman Sheila Bair and by some powerful Chicago congressmen and power brokers, which I explain today for the National Legal and Policy Center.
My former John Locke Foundation colleague Jeff Taylor says that is the likely result of Missouri’s vote this week in opposition to ObamaCare:
Lock it down folks. I think the only really serious comp for Charlotte’s bid to host the DNC gala in 2012 has just been taken off the board by Missouri voters. When 70 plus percent of a state’s voters rebuke the signal policy of an incumbent president — you tell me how likely it is that the nominating convention for that president’s second term comes to town. In this case, St. Louis.
The other finalists are Minneapolis and Cleveland. The speculation is that RNC went to the Twin Cities in ‘08 so they are out, and Cleveland ain’t ready.
That the DNC’s best option is to go to a huge banking city hammered by the subprime blunders of Bank of America and Wachovia, with a current unemployment rate of 11.1 percent, is not a good early sign.
Rand Paul is a dangerous extremist who consistently pushes constitutional conservatism.
He is also a politician who softens his rhetoric to try to get elected.
(BTW, my headline is definitely not my prediction for the election result.)
From Sen. Jeff Sessions’ office:
MOMENTARILY: Senator Sessions is scheduled to speak on the Senate floor at approximately 2:15 p.m., or shortly after, to deliver the closing statement of opposition in the floor debate on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Entrepreneurs, even seven-year-old lemonade stand franchisees, are not welcome to peddle their concoctions in Portland without the government thugs getting their cut. In this case, little Julie Murphy was shut down by the Multnomah County Health Department for setting up at a monthly art festival in Northern Portland without paying a $120 temporary restaurant license. The Oregonian reports:
“I understand the reason behind what they’re doing and it’s a neighborhood event, and they’re trying to generate revenue,” said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department. “But we still need to put the public’s health first….”
Technically, any lemonade stand — even one on your front lawn — must be licensed under state law, said Eric Pippert, the food-borne illness prevention program manager for the state’s public health division. But county inspectors are unlikely to go after kids selling lemonade on their front lawn unless, he conceded, their front lawn happens to be on Alberta Street during Last Thursday.
“When you go to a public event and set up shop, you’re suddenly engaging in commerce,” he said. “The fact that you’re small-scale I don’t think is relevant.”
Kawaguchi, who oversees the two county inspectors involved, said they must be fair and consistent in their monitoring, no matter the age of the person. “Our role is to protect the public,” he said.
So whose role is it to protect the public from excessive government? The health department says you can call and register complaints with the Multnomah County Environmental Health Services. Okay, so it’s for food illnesses, but you know, it’s easy to get sick of out of control regulators too. And Lillian Shirley is the head bureaucrat at the Health Department.
As for citizens, they are planning their own lemonade revolt at the end of this month.
Sens. Tom Coburn and Orrin Hatch have introduced legislation today that would bar federal funds from being used to help fund abortion under ObamaCare.
The 9-page legislation, which can be viewed below, would replicate the language originally introduced by Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who had originally fought for more restrictive abortion language before notoriously caving to help clear the passage for the new health care law. The bill has 25 co-sponsors.
The new legislation comes on the heels of a report by the Congressional Research Service, which found that contrary to Democrats’ claims, neither the language in the health care law, nor Obama’s executive order, ensures that public funding won’t be used to subsidize abortions.
Five years ago, when President Bush made his pitch to reform Social Security, the program was projected to start running annual deficits in 2018.
But in its yearly report released today, the Social Security Trustees have projected that due to the weak economy, the program will be paying out more benefits than it collects in taxes in both 2010 and 2011. Anticipating that the economy will recover, the trustees project that program will return to surpluses for a few years, but then, starting in 2015, it will begin consistently running deficits every year.
Defenders of the status quo in Social Security argue that the program is perfectly fine until its trust fund becomes exhausted, which is now projected to happen in 2037. But as I’ve noted before, to draw such a distinction is to pretend that all of the money doesn’t ultimately come from the same bank account (or in this case, the collective bank accounts of American taxpayers).
The Social Security program is financed primarily by payroll taxes. When the amount of tax revenue collected exceeds benefits, the surplus is theoretically put in the trust fund. But in reality, the federal government uses that surplus to finance ongoing government operations, and puts a stack of bonds — or IOUs — in the funds instead. So, while it’s true that for about 27 years, there’s theoretically enough money within the system to keep paying beneficiaries, over the next two years and then consistently after 2015, that money will have to come from somewhere — at a time when the nation is already suffocating under a mountain of debt.
To make the program actuarially solvent over a 75-year period, the trustees note, “the combined payroll tax rate could be increased during the period in a manner equivalent to an immediate and permanent increase of 1.84 percentage points, scheduled benefits could be reduced during the period in a manner equivalent to an immediate and permanent reduction of 12.0 percent, general revenue transfers equivalent to $5.4 trillion in present value could be made during the period, or some combination of approaches could be adopted. Significantly larger changes would be required to maintain solvency beyond 75 years.”
Writing in the Huffington Post, Nassim Nicholas Taleb recounts an offer he received from Princeton professor and former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder. Essentially, in Taleb’s story, Blinder proposed regulatory arbitrage: Blinder knew of a way to game the system and offer accounts that provided deposit insurance — then limited to deposits under $100,000 — for any size account. “In other words,” Taleb writes, “it would allow the super-rich to scam taxpayers by getting free government sponsored insurance. Yes, scam taxpayers. Legally. With the help of former civil servants who have an insider edge.”
Reflecting on this experience, Taleb draws some conclusions about our current regulatory environment:
First, the more complicated the regulation, the more prone to arbitrages by insiders. So 2,300 pages of regulation will be a gold mine for former regulators. The incentive of a regulator is to have complex regulation.
Second, the difference between letter and spirit of regulation is harder to detect in a complex system….
Third, regulation, like drugs, has side effects, and like drugs, it can harm the patient…. People do not mention that regulation helped promote the Value-at-Risk method of risk measurement in replacement to age-tested heuristics — these methods blew up banks.
Fourth, we need a more severe monitoring of the activities of public officials and a solution to the following conflict. In African countries, government officials get explicit bribes. In the United States they have the implicit, never mentioned, promise to go work for a bank at a later date with a sinecure offering, say $5 million a year, if they are seen favorably by the industry. And the “regulations” of such activities are easily skirted.
These are lessons to keep in mind whenever you hear news about the authors of health care reform leaving Congress to become lobbyists or former insiders like Blinder praising massive government interventions and thousand-page bills with innumerable provisions.
I just sent the following to a list of friends.
What would Reid do if the GOP pushed everything to the mat?
Just BEFORE Reid actually files for cloture, somebody — Sessions, McCain, Coburn, SOMEbody — should take the floor and not give it up. Hold it for 18 straight hours. Read the actual Constitution alive. Blast Kagan’s ethics and suggest that she pushed at least to the very borderline of perjury in her Senate testimony. Talk about how she screwed the 9/11 families. Make a big deal of it. Attract network attention to the first honest-go-goodness one-man filibuster since Al D’Amato did one in 1992. Get the public engaged.
Then, when that senator tires, force Reid to the outer time limits on Kagan AND on all other matters. Make him read the other bills pending before recess. Make him use the entire 30 hours of debate on those other bills. Make him wait the full day between filing for cloture and the actual vote on cloture. And then use ALL 30 hours of ACTUAL debate that is allowed post-cloture. Make those Dems squirm. Keep them from going home to campaign for re-election. Make them have to explain to the public all of this.
Make them explain how they support a partial-birth abortioning, 9/11 family screwing, political pamphlet-banning, First Amendment “doling,” speech “redistributing,” sharia-law supporting, foreign law promoting, gay marriage-by-judicial fiat promoting, ethically challenged, military denying/law-breaking, anti-gun-rights, natural rights denying, woefully inexperienced, Borking supporting, no-government-limiting, racial preference supporting judge who believes it is okay for a judge to “create rights” and “try to mold and steer the law in order to promote certain ethical values and achieve certain social ends”
Just for once, take it to the friggin mat. And see the American people rally to their cause.
UPDATED: Links added.
James Pethokoukis has an alarming report:
Main Street may be about to get its own gigantic bailout. Rumors are running wild from Washington to Wall Street that the Obama administration is about to order government-controlled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of the mortgage debt of millions of Americans who owe more than what their homes are worth. An estimated 15 million U.S. mortgages - one in five - are underwater with negative equity of some $800 billion. Recall that on Christmas Eve 2009, the Treasury Department waived a $400 billion limit on financial assistance to Fannie and Freddie, pledging unlimited help. The actual vehicle for the bailout could be the Bush-era Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, a sister program to Obama’s loan modification effort. HARP was just extended through June 30, 2011.
Read on for Pethokoukis’s reasoning. This is just one of the many serious problems with allowing Fannie and Freddie to continue on as government-owned entities.
Today on the Main Site:
The Hall of Sports Transcendence by Quin Hillyer: Great moments in memory’s eye.
No Mosque by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.: This is one the Ruling Class can’t win.
Simply a Statist by Matt Purple: Figuring out Barack Obama’s place on the political spectrum.
Don’t Be Scared of Godwin’s So-Called Law by Hal G.P. Colebatch: When political and other behavior is indeed Nazi like, there’s no reason to deny it.
Electric Sticker Shock by Eric Peters: Obama Motors’ $41,000 fiasco.
Obama’s Muslim Daddies by David Gutmann: Making those dreams from his father come true.
The Ninth Circuit Experience by Christopher Orlet: Eavesdropping on a historic moment of opinion-making.
Angelinas Rush in Where Fools Fear to Tread by Jay D. Homnick: Hoping for a photo-op at the Lyubyanka.
What to Watch for:
Kagan set to be confirmed by Senate as next Supreme Court Justice (AP)
U.S. in talks with Vietnam for Hanoi to enrich its own uranium (WSJ)
President Obama courting wealthy donors behind closed doors (Politico)
In same-sex marriage ruling, eye on Supreme Court (NY Times)
House recalled from recess to work on $26 billion emergency teacher aid bill (Wash Post)
Clip of the Day:
Keith Olbermann does it again: racial motivations behind Rangel and Waters ethics charges.
The Proposition 8 decision is really breathtaking in its arrogance. The state did offer a rational basis for traditional marriage. Judge Walker may not find the arguments for defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman persuasive, but that does not mean those arguments do not exist. The role of a legislator and a judge are different.
This Wall Street Journal blog post lists some of the policy arguments Walker makes against Proposition 8, almost all of them debatable. The difference is that Walker is using raw judicial power to impose his policy preferences on 52 percent of Californians who voted for Prop 8.
Marriage has always been between one man and one woman because that is the combination required to naturally produce a child. If that definition no longer suits the needs of our society, let’s have a debate about that. But let’s not have someone who has clearly taken a side in this debate decide its outcome for the rest of us.
U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker has struck down Proposition 8, the popularly approved ballot measure in California that banned same sex marriage, ruling that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
Read the full decision here.
At the 32nd Annual National Conservative Student Conference in northwest Washington D.C., former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich took the podium to address an enthusiastic crowd of young right-wingers from all geographic locations and strains of conservatism. Gingrich, echoing fellow conference speakers like Bay Buchanan and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), emphasized the “fundamental” nature of this year’s mid-term elections.
“Very few elections in American history have this big of a choice confronting the nation,” Gingrich said. “This election is bigger, or as big, as any I can remember.”
Gingrich laid out the thesis of his new book, To Save America, a free copy of which was provided to those in attendance. The former speaker detailed the “crossroads” today confronting America; a choice between upholding the conservative principles of liberty, opportunity, and limited government or embracing Obama’s “secular socialist machine,” epitomized by increased government intervention, dependency, and economic equality through redistribution. Gingrich pointed to Obamacare and Finreg as just two recent examples of the “intellectual arrogance” of Obama and the left, and of their desire to control the lives of average Americans.
Bay Buchanan, treasurer for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns, likewise said that this November would mark “the direction we must take if we are to survive.” Rep. Rogers concurred that the coming election signified a “fight for America’s future,” but expressed optimism that Obama-prescribed socialism was “not in our DNA.”
Gingrich fielded several questions from student attendees regarding specific policy issues, but dodged queries about a potential presidential bid for the 2012 election. Although he told the crowd that “it was early to decide” and reiterated the difficulties involved in securing the Republican nomination, when asked if he would construct another Contract with America, Gingrich replied, “if I were to run, we would want to create a sharp document” for the American people.
Earmarks are down 40 percent in the 2011 spending bills compared to last year. The House Republicans’ self-imposed moratorium on earmarks is the reason. I think earmarks are overblown as a driver of federal spending and that there are much larger programs that need tackling if the GOP is to get serious about limiting government. I also don’t object to earmarking in principle.
But I do believe constantly requesting funds for small but constitutionally dubious pet projects makes it more difficult for Republicans to have the credibility they need to rein in those larger programs. So this is a very modest step in the right direction.
On Monday North Carolina’s education statistic bureaucrats sounded the alarm that homeschooling in the state has more than doubled during the last 10 years. The reaction from one Raleigh-area public school advocate, Ann Denlinger, is telling: “We need to approach public schools as a competitive enterprise. We’re competing for the presence of your child.”
Here’s the local ABC affiliate’s report, which includes her remarks:
Of course, you’ll never see government advocate an approach that encourages home education as the first choice. Parents are its competition.
In a year where the insurgents-versus-establishment theme has played out repeatedly in Republican primaries, Democrats have their own insurgency in Colorado. Former state legislator Andrew Romanoff has mounted a strong primary challenge to Sen. Michael Bennet, who was hand-picked to fill the seat vacated when Obama tapped Sen. Ken Salazar as his Secretary of the Interior. The mostly mail-in primary concludes next Tuesday, and a recent poll showed Romanoff surging.
President Obama has already headlined one event in Denver for Bennet, and last night called into a “tele-town hall” conference call that reportedly reached more than 20,000 Colorado Democrats:
White House officials altered the president`s schedule Tuesday to include Obama`s participation, the first time the president has done a virtual town hall with any Democratic candidate.
Obama spoke for six minutes of the 54-minute call… .
Obama`s appearance was a recognition of the toll on Bennet taken by a recent spurt of negative ads portraying him as a corporate raider when he worked for Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz, a toll conceded Tuesday by White House senior adviser David Axelrod.
But Axelrod said Bennet will “prevail in the end,” justifying the strong backing the incumbent has received from the White House almost since he was appointed in January 2009 — including fundraising, an early endorsement by Obama and visits to Colorado by several Cabinet members… .
And some analysts have suggested that Bennet is taking a risk by associating himself too much with an unpopular president if he makes it to the general election.
Meanwhile, in Colorado Republican Senate primary, polls show establishment-backed Lt. Gov. Jane Norton is trailing former Weld County prosecutor Ken Buck, a conservative who has strong support within the Tea Party movement. Norton, sister-in-law of GOP political consultant Charlie Black, has started airing attack ads against Buck and is bringing in John McCain to campaign for her.
Today on the Main Site:
Missouri Says “No” to ObamaCare by Philip Klein: Citizens in the Show Me State overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure against the national health care law’s individual mandate.
The Cordoba House Delusion by John Tabin: It is not the business of government to block its construction, but the story is hardly that simple.
The Big Bamboozler by Peter Ferrara: Despite Obamanomics, here’s how to fix the economy for all.
A Classic Evolution Policy Blunder by Bruce Chapman: Critics of evolution need to stick to scientific evidence.
Unconstitutional or Inconvenient by Aaron Goldstein: Arizona has been told: The federal government is simply too busy — or lazy — to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.
Who Needs Newsweek? by William Murchison: Besides, that is, its new 92-year-old owner.
Created Equal by Lisa Fabrizio: We are living in a post-racist era, though it may not be post-racial.
The Brett Who Cried Wolf by Ryan Young: Favre says he’s retiring — but who believes him?
What to Watch for:
K street backs Harry Reid (Politico)
BP says “static kill” a success (AP)
Relatives of Connecticut shooter say he was pushed over the edge by racial bias at his company (AP)
Obama to give speech on economy to AFL-CIO, then off to Chicago for more fundraising (Chicago Sun-Times)
Iran denies reports of attack on Ahmadinejad (NY Times)
Clip of the Day:
GOP Tennessee candidate Basil Marceaux goes on Jimmy Kimmel live; I have yet to see Alan Greene get invited onto any of these shows to make an embarrassment of himself.
At The Daily Beast, David Keyes of CyberDissidents.org notes that for all the criticism of the Bush administration for being too soft on the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Obama has been much worse, asking Congress to approve a $30 billion arms deal with the Saudis without asking the Saudis to improve the treatment of their people at all. Saudi women’s rights activist Wajiha Al-Huwaidar wrote an open letter to Obama in June saying in part:
When you meet with King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz next week, we kindly request that you bring to his majesty’s attention the issue of reforming the Saudi male guardianship system.
As I’m watching the Gulf of Mexico birds which are totally covered with black oil stain I can relate to their suffering as a Saudi woman. These birds can hardly move: they have no control over their lives, and they cannot fly freely to go to a place where they can feel safe. This describes Saudi women’s lives. I know that kind of pain. I have been living it most of my life.
Here is what Obama said to King Abdullah about women’s rights: ” ”
That’s right, he didn’t mention the topic. Keyes writes:
President Obama missed a golden opportunity to talk about women’s rights with King Abdullah in late June at the White House, said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. “It’s disappointing that President Obama didn’t raise women’s rights when he met with the Saudi king,” she said in an email from the Middle East.
Instead, Obama praised the dictator’s “wisdom and insights” and thanked him for his “good counsel.” Among the many issues discussed between the two leaders were combating extremism, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the peace process, Palestinian statehood, the global economic recovery, people-to-people contacts, educational programs, and commercial ties. Left out was the single most important issue: human rights.
Abe Greenwald remembers all the conspiracy theories surrounding the Bush administration’s relations with the House of Saud (which at least included a push for reform that resulted in the country’s first municipal elections), and sarcastically wonders when we’ll see the same attacks from the left regarding Obama and the Saudis. But of course, this isn’t just about Saudi Arabia. Obama’s reluctance to stand up for American values — in Syria, Egypt, Iran, and around the world — is a natural consequence of his discomfort with American power.
Harry Reid is dumping legislation dealing with energy and the Gulf oil spill from the Senate docket. Insufficient Democratic support is a major reason the bill can’t clear a Senate where Democrats hold 59 seats. But that’s not how the Senate majority leader sees it.
“It’s a sad day when you can’t find a handful of Republicans to support a bill” that holds BP accountable and creates green jobs, Reid complained to reporters, according to the Hill.
There are numerous reports that Brett Favre is planning to retire rather than return for a second season with the Minnesota Vikings. It would be understandable. But I’m with Steve Wyche — I’ll believe it when I see Tarvaris Jackson under center on opening day.
UPDATE: The waffling has already started.
UPDATE II: Favre isn’t retiring unless his ankle retires him.
Newsweek’s staffers are reportedly exultant that the $1 sale of their magazine to audio tycoon Sidney Harman (husband of California Democratic Rep. Jane Harman) comes with a promise to keep staff layoffs to a minimum. But long-term prospects for a turnaround at the 77-year-old weekly are far from encouraging, according to details of Newsweek’s financial situation obtained by Peter Lauria and Lloyd Grove:
Newsweek’s financial freefall is jarring. Revenue dropped 38 percent between 2007 and 2009, to $165 million. Newsweek’s negligible operating loss (not including certain pension and early retirement changes) of $3 million in 2007 turned into a bloodbath: the business lost $32 million in 2008 and $39.5 million in 2009. Even after reducing headcount by 33 percent, and slashing the number of issues printed and distributed to readers each week, from 2.6 million to 1.5 million, the 2010 operating loss is still forecast at $20 million.
Dig deeper into the document and the numbers get worse. Newsweek lost money in all three of its core areas in 2008 and 2009: U.S. publishing, foreign publishing and digital. Even with the smaller guaranteed circulation, it still retains $40 million in subscription liabilities owed to readers. And then there’s Newsweek’s lease foibles: last year, it paid $13 million in rent, a startling figure for a company of its size.
Never mind the first obvious problem: Newsweek got scooped on the story of its own business dealings, which is always a sign of trouble in a news organization. More ominously, Lauria and Grove report:
Washington Post CEO Donald Graham apparently considered the fact that Harman would need to retain Newsweek’s back office inefficiencies as a selling point… .
“Harman was someone who was taken less seriously by the staff who worked on the deal because he had no plan,” says a person close to the deal. “He won the bid because he had the lowest number of layoffs.”
In other words, the 91-year-old Harman was preferred over other prospective buyers specifically because he didn’t propose the first step necessary to stop the financial hemorrhage: Drastically reduce payroll by axing some of the dozens of senior Newsweek staffers who collect six-figure salaries.
At least Harman’s deal didn’t include an extension of Jon Meacham’s disastrous tenure as editor — an atavistic exercise in elite journalistic narcissism recounted by Andrew Ferguson — but the buyer’s evident failure to recognize the fundamental source of Newsweek’s losses will ultimately spell bad news for Newsweek. Harman is not immortal and his wealth is not infinite and, as Lauria and Grove note, it’s likely that the necessary cost-cutting will fall to Harman’s heirs.
Bad business decisions are never good news, and postponing the bad news usually makes the bad news much worse.
Byron York has the story. Tom Perez, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division who on the New Black Panther voter intimidation case already has pushed the demarcation line of prevarication to its outer limits in testimony before a congressional committee and before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, now has completely severed all links between his lefty-ideological, artificially constructed world and the normal realms of common sense and logic. Several colleges wanted to institute a voluntary program to use the Kindle book-reading device* for its class texts. Repeat: VOLUNTARY. But Kindle didn’t have voice-activation gizmos (or somesuch) for the blind. Reports York: “The Civil Rights Division informed the schools they were under investigation. In subsequent talks, the Justice Department demanded the universities stop distributing the Kindle; if blind students couldn’t use the device, then nobody could.”
This is lunacy. Sheer lunacy. How does it hurt a blind student one iota if his normally sighted classmates use Kindle? Does that keep a blind student from getting the texts braille or another blind-friendly format? No. Does that do a single smidgen of a fraction of a hemi-demi-semi-quaver to violate the civil rights of the blind person? Of course not. No, no, and no, no, no, no. The educational opportunities and/or experiences of blind students would be affected in no way at all if other students use Kindle.
York digs up a great quote:
“As a blind person, I would never want to be associated with any movement that punished sighted students, particularly for nothing they had ever done,” says Russell Redenbaugh, a California investor who lost his sight in a childhood accident and later served for 15 years on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. “It’s a gross injustice to disadvantage one group, and it’s bad policy that breeds resentment, not compassion.”
Sometimes there is a gray area in public policy and in civil rights laws. (Oops — maybe I just violated a civil right by using a word meaning a color — gray — when talking about people who can’t see colors. Maybe Tom Perez will sue me. Gee, I’m scared.) Some things truly can be open to interpretation. But this can’t. Allowing students to use one electronic reading device that blind people can’t use is no different than allowing students to use one of those old-fashioned things called “books,” with printed letters in ink on a page, that blind people also can’t use. And I defy Mr. Perez to empanel the first 50 citizens off the street and cite a single civil rights law in a way that would convince a single one of those 50 random citizens to believe that the law he himself cited were actually being violated.
* As an aside, I myself hate the very notion of Kindle. Not only am I a techno-tard, but I have a near-romantic (in the sense of idealized) attachment to the printed page and especially to actual, honest-to-goodness books and newspapers. Obviously, then, I rise to the defense of Kindle out of principle rather than out of self-interest.
A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds that President Obama’s approval rating has sunk to a new low, at 41 percent. While he’s still at 45 percent in the separate Gallup tracking poll, any time a sitting president is in the low 40s territory a few months before the midterm elections in any major poll, it should be worrisome to his party.
Interestingly, even worse than his approval rating on the economy (39%) is his approval rating on Afghanistan (36%), with Americans turning increasingly against the war. Yet with Republicans remaining broadly supportive of the general war effort (especially with Gen. David Petraeus at the helm), I imagine they’ll run more against Obama as an inexperienced commander in chief than against our continued commitment itself.
All hail to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for keeping alive his state’s lawsuit against Obamacare. Here’s what the Washington Times had to say about it.
Our friend Jeff Perren has a terrific piece about how and why we need leaders to rally the public behind any war efforts we engage in, and how Barack Obama is failing at that job. Read it.
This is precisely why Kentucky has 175 steel jobs in Carroll County that were exported there from Europe, as I recount in (often sadly amusing) detail in Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America.
And if we join the fun, it is why those jobs will, according to the company’s new CEO, now flow to Malaysia.
Politicians trying to convince you otherwise are uninformed, kidding themselves or, worse, are in fact just what a majority of Americans have now concluded that most politicians are.
So it isn’t true that Spain’s green economy — Obama’s serially cited model, until the catastrophe was exposed — was nothing more than a bailout for investors in uneconomic investments whose good money was, admittedly, incented by the state into chasing uneconomic investments with the promise of massive guaranteed returns (at the ratepayer’s, and futures taxpayers’, expense, as I detail in Power Grab).
Now it turns out that Spain’s scramble away from its “green jobs” debacle has, under lobbying pressure from the Frankenstein interests that this scheme creates, morphed into another bank bailout to avert collapse from overinvestment in a state-sponsored bubble.
Hmmm. Now where have I heard that bef… For anyone who has followed the issue this piece setting out why and how this is the case is a worthwhile read, especially the parts between the lines.
Today on the Main Site:
Presidential Self-Adulation Hits New High by Andrew B. Wilson: Is there an antidote to such nonsense? Meet New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Obama’s Abortion Imperialism by Daniel Allott: Tomorrow Kenyans vote on a constitution sponsored in part by Planned Parenthood.
Mau-Mauing the Free Press by Daniel Oliver: Par for the course from an Obama appointee and former host to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Bonfire of the Neocons, Part 2 by Jed Babbin: Getting a grip on the nation-building delusion and the real sponsors of terror.
The Other Lockerbies by Ben Lerner: It’s fine for senators to grandstand on the UK’s and BP’s alleged roles in releasing a murdering terrorist to Libya. But why are they silent about other terrorists released to foreign governments?
Slippin’ and A-Slidin’ by Ralph R. Reiland: Easy in the shower — highly-moisturizing soap can be a killer.
Killing a Church by Mark Tooley: The long and tragic decline of the Episcopal faith.
What to Watch for:
Rep. Waters charged in ethics case (WSJ)
BP test for “static kill” likely to take place (CNN)
CRS says number of agencies created by health care reform is “impossible” to estimate and the true number is “unknown” (Politico)
Clip of the Day:
Basil Marceaux (.com): the next Governor of Tennessee. Please meet the Republican party’s Alvin Greene.
Today on the main site I report on how the USCIS amnesty memo doesn’t differ in spirit from the Obama administration’s actual approach to immigration enforcement. But I note in the column that some might ask: If the administration is so anti-enforcement, why are deportations up?
One reason is the Secure Communities program. Conceived in 2007 when the Bush administration finally realized its lack of enforcement was contributing to the unpopularity of “comprehensive immigration reform,” it is a DHS initiative to identify illegal aliens already in jail or arrested on other offenses. The Obama administration has continued it and the program has helped the federal government locate and deport thousands of criminal aliens.
There’s nothing wrong with Secure Communities as far as it goes. In fact, it is compatible with the federal-state partnerships on immigration enforcement envisioned by the Arizona immigration law (that’s why the more extreme open borders types don’t like it). The problem is that it is being used to avoid arresting illegal immigrants who don’t commit other offenses. That is inadequate to reduce illegal immigration into the United States because it doesn’t really address the main incentives to come here illegally; it is also insufficient to reduce the existing illegal population, because it leaves most illegal immigrants alone.
That’s why the Obama administration can support Secure Communities while at the same time arguing that Arizona SB 1070 conflicts with federal law: by emphasizing immigration law violations, Arizona is going against the Obama administration’s enforcement priorities. And in the short term, the administration can point to rising deportations as evidence that it is enforcing the law while actually taking a non-enforcement posture toward the vast majority of illegal immigrants.
A Federal judge on Monday ruled that the Virginia lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the national health care law should proceed.
In rejecting the government’s motion to dismiss the suit, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson, an appointee of George W. Bush, embraced the argument that whether or not it’s constitutional, at a minumum, ObamaCare represents a novel use of the Commerce Clause that has yet to be considered by the courts:
“While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues, all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate – and tax – a citizen’s decision not to participate in interstate commerce. Neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor any circuit court of appeals has squarely addressed this issue. No reported case from any federal appellate court has extended the Commerce Clause or Tax Clause to include the regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce. Given the presence of some authority arguably supporting the theory underlying each side’s position, this court cannot conclude at this stage that the Complaint fails to state a cause of action.”
Via the Washington Post.
The lawsuit was brought by by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has filed a separate lawsuit against ObamaCare involving other states.
Today’s ruling is merely the first stage of the process, which will now enable courts to consider the underlying constitutional questions involved.
In a conference call earlier today, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius downplayed the significance of the decision.
“The decision is a procedural step that just means there will be a full hearing on the arguments,” she said. “We remain confident that the case is solid and that there is a full constitutional backing for the passage of the Affordable Care Act. So this is just a step to move us to the debate on the merits of the case.”
UPDATE: SCOTUS Blog has more.
Both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Congressional Budget Office have said that the Obama administration cannot claim that the Medicare cuts they are enacting will simultaneously finance the new health care law, which is supposed to cover 30 million uninsured, and extend the solvency of the existing Medicare program.
But that hasn’t stopped the administration from continuing to make both claims anyway. And when I asked about this on a Monday conference call held to tout Medicare savings, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius dismissed the conclusion of the CMS actuary, and falsely claimed that the CBO had taken a different view.
In her opening remarks, Sebelius promoted a new report that said the changes made to Medicare would save $8 billion over the next two years, and $575 billion over 10. The report also says that, “Implementing these changes extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by 12 years from 2017 to 2029, more than doubling the time before the exhaustion of the Trust Fund.” (See PDF of report at the bottom of this post.)
During the question and answer session, I asked how the administration could claim the same money could be used to pay for two different things. At first, Jonathan Blum, the director of the Center for Medicare Management for CMS, sought to answer the question.
“I think it’s been a consistent budget convention to use Medicare, which as you know is a pay as you go program, that is all paid with a unified budget,” Blum explained. “And when you have few outlays in place of the Medicare trust fund that it both extends the life of the trust fund, because you’re paying less in benefits, but it also produces surplus to the overall federal budget. This is a convention that was used back in 1997, when the Republican Congress passed the balanced budget act…”
At that point, I interjected and quoted a passage, taken directly from an April report by CMS, where Blum works. It read:
“In practice the improved (Medicare hospital insurance) financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as the coverage expansions) and to extend the trust fund, despite the appearance of this result from the respective accounting conventions.”
In response to my reading this, Blum said, “Yeah, I think it’s been a historical, and longstanding budget convention that when you have less dollars paid to the Medicare program to pay for benefits, there are dollars that accrue to the overall federal treasury, that can be spent for other purposes. And this is an OMB, CBO budget convention…”
I then followed up by asking: “It’s a budget convention, but in reality, the $575 billion can’t be used to extend the trust fund for 12 years and simultaneously used to finance coverage for 30 million people. Is that correct?”
At this point, Sebelius jumped in to say I was wrong.
“Actually, that is not correct,” she said. “There are two different operating methods of looking at this, and the CMS actuary in the report that you cite differs in his strategic opinion from every accounting methodology that’s used for every other program in the federal budget, that has traditionally used for Medicare. And he has a different interpretation that is not agreed upon by either the Congressional Budget Office or the OMB or traditionally in Congress.”
Set aside the irony that in a conference call held to highlight CMS estimates on Medicare, Sebelius was questioning CMS methodology. Her statement that the CBO had taken a different view on this is demonstrably false. On several occasions, the CBO has determined that you can’t double-count Medicare savings.
In a March letter to Paul Ryan, the CBO wrote that a majority of the Medicare savings from the health care law “would be used to pay for other spending and therefore would not enhance the ability of the government to pay for future Medicare benefits.”
Last December, in a letter to Sen. Jeff Sessions, the CBO explained this in further detail. That letter concluded that: “To describe the full amount of (Medicare hospital insurance) trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.”
The moderator on the conference call cut me off so they could move to the next question before I was able to follow-up by asking Sebelius about these CBO conclusions.
I’ve been skeptical of the idea that Charlie Crist could pull a Joe Lieberman this year. But the latest Quinnipiac poll in the Florida Senate race shows Crist close to meeting one of the prerequisites for doing so: he’s within striking distance of becoming the de facto Democratic candidate, just as Lieberman was the de facto Republican candidate in Connecticut when he was reelected as an independent in 2006.
Crist narrowly leads with 37 percent of the vote while Republican Marco Rubio is at 32 percent and Democrat Jeff Greene at 17 percent. Kendrick Meek, the onetime Democratic frontrunner, would take just 13 percent. Crist’s lead is based on getting about half the independent vote, 40 percent of Democrats, and 20 percent of Republicans.
Lieberman had better numbers in just about every category. He won 54 percent of independents, 70 percent of Republicans, and held onto 33 percent of voters who identified with his old party. Here’s the key question: Do Florida Democrats basically concede the race to Crist the way Connecticut Republicans conceded to Lieberman? And whatever the party as a whole decides to do, will Jeff Greene or Kendrick Meek run as low-key a campaign as Republican Alan Schlesinger did in Connecticut?
Says Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown, “Gov. Charlie Crist’s small lead comes as neither Democrat breaks 20 percent in the trial heats. If that were to be the case in November, Gov. Crist would have a very good chance to win. But if the Democratic nominee can move into the mid-to-high 20s, Crist’s chances decrease substantially.”
Today on the Main Site:
Obama’s Immigration Power Play by W. James Antle, III: What the amnesty memos and the Arizona lawsuit reveal about this administration’s views of immigration enforcement — and the will of the people.
The Case Against Howard Zinn by Robert Stacy McCain: FBI files show Stalinist past of the “people’s history” author.
Troubled Waters by The Prowler: Her ethics troubles, in wake of Charlie Rangel’s, put new focus on the Congressional Black Caucus’s way of doing business.
Bonfire of the Neocons by Jed Babbin: “Nation building” has been a disaster. Part 1 of a two-part series.
We Need a Mexican Standoff on Cap and Trade by Iain Murray & Roger Abbott: Democrats still have big lame duck plans — which Obama would bring to fruition in Cancun.
Make Way For The Dear General by Peter Hannaford | 8.2.10 @ 6:06AM
Inception by James Bowman: The story is that there’s no story.
County Party Time by Reader Mail: More reading up on the Ruling Party. Also: A Commissioner opposed to any anti-Panther witch-hunt. Plus much more.
What to Watch for:
Obama to reaffirm Iraq exit strategy (WSJ)
Nervous Dems play it by the numbers (Politico)
Rockets fired at Israel and Jordan (NY Times)
BP aims to plug well for good with “kill” shot (Wash Post)
Mexican cartel dictates media coverage (WaPost)
RNC cancels Breitbart fundraiser (CNN)
Clip of the Day:
Pelosi on ABC’s this week about Robert Gibbs: “I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what the President’s employees think” and isn’t nervous about November (RCP)
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?
H/T to National Review Online