Reported on the newspaper’s 12:06 update to their story about the Glenn Beck rally:
On the Mall, an overwhelmingly white crowd of tens of thousands stood quietly during an opening prayer, the silence broken only by an occasional “amen.” The dense assembly , which contained few young people, stretched from the Lincoln Memorial, past the reflecting pool, to the World War II Memorial and spilled onto the grounds of the Washington Monument.
The crowd, consisting of many from the Midwest and the South, was not visibly angry. Rather, they said they had come to express their fear that the country was at a perilous moment.
The Post reporters were obviously surprised the crowd wasn’t angry.
Those well-known Tea Party racists, Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals, plan to attend the Glenn Beck rally tomorrow on the D.C. Mall. The Cards are in town to play the Nationals.
Indeed, you just can’t make it up.
Over at the Huffington Post, there is an admiring post from Nicholas Graham. The post is headlined: Westboro Church Protest Against Jews Hilariously Interrupted By Brick Stone (VIDEO). (Viewer warning: the video shown is just a tad on the obscene side.) The video shows an interviewer named “Brick Stone” (Real name? Who knows. But someone has imagination) interviewing members of the Westboro Baptist Church as they protest something or other involving Jews. Westboro Baptist, you will recall, are the charming folks who stand outside military funerals yelling that God hates “f…gts.” They hate Jews and gays, among others. Got it?
On the surface, the interview achieves Brick Stone’s objective: mocking the Westboro Baptist people who are, accurately in my book, described by the HuffPo’s Graham as “loathsome.” The video is something that obviously has Arianna’s crew chortling or they wouldn’t have posted.
But wait a minute.
Westboro Baptist, as far as the rest of us know, simply shows up and shouts offensive things about Jews and gays.
Elsewhere on the HuffoPo, back in April of last year, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf made an appearance. The Imam, you will recall, is the driving force behind the Ground Zero Mosque. In his article praising Sharia Law, among other things, the Imam said that:
Islamic law is about God’s law, and it is not that far from what we read in the Declaration of Independence about “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”
Really? Sharia and the Declaration philosophical soul mates, eh? Nonie Darwish, the Director of Former Muslims United, has posted a piece explaining exactly what Sharia Law entails. Sharia, she the Cairo-born ex-Muslim says, mandates that “Homosexuality is punishable by death.” And the Imam seems to have trouble opposing Hamas, the lovely people who want to wipe Israel — homeland of the Jews — off the map.
So let’s see. What do we have here?
The HuffPo’s Nicholas Graham finds Brick Stone’s mocking interview with the Westboro Baptist people hilarious. Westboro’s Jewish and gay policy is to yell names. Meanwhile, Imam Rauf graces the pages of the HuffPo advocating Sharia law — which Ms. Darwish pointedly says includes executing gays. And, of course, there is that Hamas thing.
Will Brick Stone have the cojones to show up outside the Mosque site and mock its supporters about executing gays? Will Nicholas Graham tee off on the Imam and his Hamas problem?
What do you think?
A tour through the liberal mindset is always interesting.
I thank Joe Lawler for bringing to our attention the absolutely superb explanation of the “death panel” issue by Avik Roy. Roy is directly on target.
For much more on this subject, I recommend the following links from the Washington Times and elsewhere. The NY Times correctly (for once) noted in one of their pieces that the “death panel” worries (but not by that name) first originated with the WashTimes, then were highlighted by Rush Limbaugh, and only then by Sarah Palin, who had the good political instincts to hang a name on the problem that was sure to send the left into a tizzy.
Anyway, apparently this item did not make the final cut in the law as passed, thank goodness. I believe this one still is. The conversation got jump-started here. This is also of concern. As is this. And this.
Maybe “death panel” is too strong a phrase for what will be happening. How about “faceless, bureaucratic, rules of coerced death” intead? What — too much of a mouthful? How about “Death by bureaucracy” instead?
The attack on Sarah Palin has been: “Palin is lying. There is nothing in this bill that is a death panel” (death panel being defined as a panel of bureaucrats who decides whether or not you can continue receiving care). But this is exactly what happens in Britain. Those who are in their last years of lives are expected to do their part for the national budget, which is to die inexpensively. That is to say, if Palin had been born 60 years earlier, and made the same criticisms of the NHS at its founding, she would have disparaged as a paranoid lunatic demagogue. “Sarah, old girl, there’s no death pansies, or panzers, or panels around here. The bill clearly states: ‘Her Majesty’s funds shall not be used to ration care for the sick.’ After the war, we’re done with all that rationing nonsense!”
However, Britain discovered that it wasn’t that simple.
I recommend reading the whole thing.
On Fox & Friends this morning, Ron Meyer, a young freelance writer, argued there should be an amendment to the Constitution changing the age limit for a person able to elected to Congress from 25 to 18 years old. He says if a person can volunteer to fight and possibly die for his country and 18, he should be able to have a voice—and a legitimate seat—to represent as well.
As I wrote recently, with more young people aware of what Twitter is than who sits on the Supreme Court, the generation he’s referring to is notoriously and unfortunately ignorant about political happenings in this country. Meyer believes if young people were allowed to represent their district in Congress, they might be more involved.
As a young person myself, I’m torn on this (though, obviously it’s a theoretical dichotomy—an amendment to the Constitution is a feat). I can see Meyer’s point about the military, but enlisting out of college or going to a military academy at 18 is much different than representing the voice of the people in Congress. I would question the knowledge, maturity, perception and foresight of an 18-year-old trying to putting up a bill on “my” behalf, in addition to the myriad of responsibilities that accompany such a position.
I wish more young people cared—and were involved in—politics too. But few, if any statistics, show 25-year-olds care about political matters and they do have a voice. Why would someone seven years younger care more if he did a voice?
Alaska’s Libertarian Party suddenly finds itself in the news — and the object of political courtship — as a result of Joe Miller’s apparent upset of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Tuesday’s GOP Senate primary.
Under Alaska law, if Murkowksi is defeated in the Republican primary, her only other option to be on the Nov. 2 ballot would be for her to obtain the nomination of another party. Murkowski’s supporters are trying to persuade LP Senate candidate Frederick “Dave” Haase to consider stepping aside so that she could run on the Libertarian ticket — a move that Haase and state LP officials have so far refused to rule out.
In a telephone interview late Thursday, one LP source in Anchorage told me that although Haase has expressed admiration for Murkowski, he’s also a “huge fan of Sarah Palin.”
Palin’s June endorsement of Miller has been widely credited with fueling his stunning upset of Murkowski. The Anchorage source suggested that a phone call from Palin to Haase could have a decisive influence in persuading the Libertarian candidate to reject the Murkowski overtures. (Palin, by the way, will speak Saturday at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in D.C.)
Meanwhile, Alaska Libertarian chairman Scott Kohlhass told KTUU in Anchorage that if Haase were to step aside as the party’s candidate, the choice of Haase’s replacement would be up to the LP executive committee.
With 100% of the Election Day ballots counted, Miller had a 1,668-vote margin over the incumbent Murkowski, however thousands of absentee ballots remain to be counted, a process that will begin Tuesday. The number of GOP absentee ballots is unknown, although if the widely-cited estimate of 8,000 is accurate, Murkowski would need to get 60% of those votes to overturn Tuesday’s result.
Miller’s conservative supporters were outraged Thursday after it was reported that the National Republican Senatorial Committee was sending its general counsel Sean Cairncross to Alaska to assist Murkowski in any possible recount scenario. Meanwhile, the Miller campaign sent out a fundraising appeal to its supporters, seeking to fund what Erick Erickson of Red State termed a “ballot integrity program.”
Congressman Bobby Bright (D-AL) has come up with a novel way of deflecting questions from his conservative constituents about whether he is going to support Nancy Pelosi for speaker in 2011: joke about the possibility that she may die.
I endorse every word of Jim Antle’s wise post below on Ken Mehlman’s homosexuality, etc. I write to correct the record, in answer to some commenters below Jim’s post. Ken Mehlman did a GREAT job in various roles at the RNC. He and Ed Gillespie built the get-out-the-vote effort in 2004 which was the most successful of its kind that Republicans have EVER run. On nuts and bolts, the RNC in those years was often superb and always at least somewhat better than basic competence. (Granted, GOTV in 2004 was SERIOUSLY helped by grassroots organizing completely apart from the RNC, based in opposition, as Jim noted, to gay marriage. But Mehlman and Gillespie knew exactly how to take advantage of those opportunities, and they did so.)
Mehlman alone was in charge at the RNC in 2006. That was like asking someone to take the helm of the Poseidon just before the tidal wave came. Commenters who said he “presided” over a disaster misunderstand what a RNC chair does. Especially when the White House is controlled by Republicans, the RNC chair is completely at the mercy, in terms of POLICY choices and of election themes, of what is emanating from the White House. The RNC’s job is to raise a lot of money, leverage it effectively, and do good nuts-and-bolts work. I think Mehlman did okay at that in 2006 as well. But with Bush imploding, the Hastert Congress embarrassing the Hades out of itself, Iraq not yet surged, and other problems, there was not much else the RNC could do. And I say this as somebody who (including just this morning in a blog post right here) has always been absolutely unafraid to criticize the party committees, which I tend to dislike quite viscerally.
This is not to say that Mehlman is a political genius. But he has been a far-better-than-average operative, and even though he sometimes can spout the party line with too much arrogance and too little straight talk, he has been a gentleman and a man of decency throughout his career.
THAT aside, I do have a problem with this: Why does he act like it follows, as night does day, that just because he now has decided he is homosexual it means his position on homosexual marriage should change? The defense of traditional marriage is not or should not be a matter of one’s own “sexuality,” but of the principles involved. Is he saying his principles suddenly changed? That doesn’t speak well of him. Just because he now is homosexual doesn’t mean that all of society should have its laws and traditions changed. I think he is way off base here, because it seems like he is conflating the personal with the principles. This is a remarkably, and offensively, solipsistic stance/outlook.
That, not his performance at the RNC, and not his personal decision that he is homosexual, is what is open to criticism and is the most disturbing development.
Yesterday former Republican National Committee Chairman and Bush campaign chief Ken Mehlman publicly announced he was gay. That doesn’t particularly interest me — it’s his business and it wasn’t the world’s most closely guarded secret — but it has occasioned some commentary on the Republican Party and conservative movement that is interesting.
The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder charges that “Mehlman’s leadership positions in the GOP came at a time when the party was stepping up its anti-gay activities.” His evidence for these claims? The “distribution in West Virginia in 2006 of literature linking homosexuality to atheism” and “the less-than-subtle, coded language in the party’s platform.”
Give me a break. That West Virginia literature was an isolated example in a disastrous year for Republicans nationwide. The Republican Party’s public opposition to same-sex marriage, on the other hand, was hardly coded or obscure. In fact, the emphasis on the redefinition of marriage reflected a conscious strategy even by social conservatives to move the focus on that issue away from homosexuality toward the definition of marriage itself.
The marriage ballot initiatives in 2004 and 2006 came in direct response to the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts through a court case in 2003 that took effect in 2004. The federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 was in direct response to a similar ruling Hawaii in 1993. Proposition 8 in California was a response to a Massachusetts-style state supreme court ruling overturning California’s Proposition 22, which was passed in response to a Massachusetts-style ruling in Vermont.
Now, you can think opposition to same-sex marriage is wrong or misguided. But the fact is, most campaigns against it were not undertaken just for the hell of it. They were undertaken to reverse legislative or judicial gains made by the other side. The real story is how many people in the Republican leadership benefit politically from social issues that they don’t really care about, have no interest in doing anything about, and on which they often sympathize with the other side.
In a very astute column, Reid Wilson provides four excellent reasons why Democrats are still at least an even-money bet to hold onto the House of Representatives. What it boils down to is that all three major party committees on the Republican side have substantially underperformed. They haven’t raised enough money. They have spent way too much money. They have wasted money picking fights in primaries rather than saving it for the general election. And of course they have paid for the care, feeding, preening and pampering of Michael Steele.
I’ve been saying exactly the same things for weeks that Wilson said (minus his point about “modeling,” which hadn’t occurred to me). I’ve always added one more element Wilson doesn’t touch on: The thoroughly corrupt voting section of the thoroughly corrupt Obama-Holder Justice Department. I think Republican candidates will need to outperform Democrats among real, live voters by at least half a percentage point, and probably three-fourths of a point, in every single race in the country if they want to actually be allowed to take their seats. Otherwise, the dead voters, pets registered as voters, and phantom voters (such as those who figure out who hasn’t voted yet and pretend to be those people, especially for military stationed abroad whose votes haven’t been ensured) will throw close races to the Dems. Look for tons of trumped up “voter intimidation” charges against conservatives, while lefties get away with blatant, actual intimidation (as in the Black Panther case). Look for widespread obstruction of efforts by GOP poll watchers to ensure that no vote fraud occurs — i.e., look for vote fraud that actually is being spotted to STILL be allowed. Look for military votes not to be counted. Look for spurious challenges to right-leaning votes. This is a DoJ that refused to make Missouri abide by the part of the Motor Voter law that requires states to eliminate dead and otherwise inelgible voters from their rolls. This is a DoJ that told a black-majority North Carolina town that it could not choose to hold non-partisan elections because non-partisan elections would not result in the election of enough black Democrats. (In other words, the black majority of the town is too stupid, according to DoJ, to know how to protect its own best interests.) And so on. As in the gubernatorial election in Washington State in 2004 and the Senate race in Minnesota in 2008, every single vote dispute will be decided by DoJ and/or malleable judges in favor of the Dems, regardless of what is fair, right, or lawful.
If I remember correctly, the GOP sweep in 1994 included victories in a whole slew of notably close races. What I’m saying is that almost all the close races will be credited as Dem victories this time, even if only by both hook and definitely crook. Combine that with the GOP’s pathetic get-out-the-vote organization this year (especially when compared to what they had in 2004); and with the extreme bias-bordering-on-outright-corruption of an establishment media that will aid and abet every cheap-shot attempt to slime conservative candidates and make them unattractive to “moderates” and “independents” — plus the fact that so many conservative candidates this time are political neophytes and thus more apt to make deadly political miscues — and what you have in massive combination of all these things is a huge counterweight to the otherwise overwhelming conservative, anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-Obama trend sweeping the country.
Of course I’m not suggesting that Republicans won’t pick up dozens of net seats in the House (and at least five net seats, maybe more, in the Senate) — but I AM saying that getting to 40 (and 10 in the Senate) is still quite a tall order, and that it will be a close-run thing for the majority.
(There — I’ve just cost myself some money by encapsulating what could have been a separate, paid column into an unpaid blog entry. Oh, well…..)
At least in the long run. Enough Arizona Republican primary voters bought into John McCain’s immigration conversion to propel him to a landslide victory over J.D. Hayworth. As I’ve argued elsewhere, conservatives will never get the immigration policies they favor if they allow amnesty supporters to sway them with cheap political theater.
Of course, immigration wasn’t the only issue in the McCain-Hayworth primary. McCain spent $21 million brutally attacking Hayworth — so much for campaign finance reform — and hitting him far harder than he ever swung at Barack Obama two years ago. McCain was also able to outflank the earmarking Hayworth on government spending, even though the incumbent was as responsible for the passage of TARP as just about any other single senator. An ideal primary challenger for McCain would have combined Hayworth’s immigration message with Jeff Flake’s consistent fiscal conservatism.
No such challenger emerged. John McCain realized early that he was potentially in trouble and, unlike most of the establishment candidates who’ve faltered this year, he took his opponent seriously enough to attack him early and often. Whether this experience has made McCain take conservatives any more seriously is another story.
The survival of Clinton/Obama-favored ShoreBank (and its progressive agenda) can be attributed in part to the aggressive intervention of Chicago-area congressmen and power players, as I explain today over at the National Legal and Policy Center.
In addition to what might be a stunning upset of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, Rick Scott’s narrow victory in the Florida GOP primary for governor upsets the narrative that the establishment was striking back against Tea Party-style insurgents. Personally, I’m more surprised by Scott’s win than by Joe Miller’s performance because the polls seemed to be trending Bill McCollum’s way.
And McCollum was different from a lot of establishment-backed Republican candidates in that he was actually a principled conservative with a proven track record. When McCollum visited the TAS offices this summer, he was smart, engaged, and willing to delve into the depth of policy issues — often much to the obvious consternation of his aides. McCollum reminds me a bit of Jim Talent of Missouri. They were both conservative standouts in the House who have struggled in statewide races, in part because they lacked charisma, and seen uneven results.
As I noted in my column Monday, the Scott-McCollum primary got very heated and there was a lot of negative advertising by both campaigns. One of Scott’s challenges will be to unite the party around his candidacy in order to win in November.
Readers of this site know that I have been complimentary of Sarah Palin’s basic political values, but critical of her experience and some of her political moves. Well, I’m warming to her politics. If Joe Miller holds on to his apparent upset over Lisa Murkowski in the Senate race in Alaska, it will not only be one of the biggest upsets in memory but it also will clearly be attributable to Palin’s efforts and her power. And while everything I have ever heard suggests that Murkowski is a good and decent lady, she clearly is not at all as conservative a senator as Alaska would gladly support. There is nothing to dislike about her other than a number of her votes — but those votes make her worthy of being defeated. If Joe Miller wins, as it looks like he will (pending absentee ballots), it will prove to be a huge advance for the conservative cause. And it will be an advance due almost entirely to Sarah Palin. Bravo to Sarah Barracuda!
Yesterday, August 24, 2010, this story headlined in Politico:
Last week, “CBS Evening News” tied the all-time ratings low set last summer for a network evening news broadcast, TV Newser reports. An average of 4.89 million total viewers tuned into CBS for evening news last week, behind 6.51 million for ABC and 7.42 million for NBC.
On October 16, 2006 — almost four years ago — I noted this about Katie Couric’s takeover of the CBS anchor chair. After seeing her ratings briefly skyrocket with an appearance from Rush Limbaugh in a “free speech” segment, Couric’s ratings were almost immediately headed south. I wrote:
CBS and Ms. Couric’s failure illustrates a point that was easily predictable before Katie even sat down in the anchor chair. Putting Rush Limbaugh on CBS air in a “free speech” segment certainly pumped Couric’s ratings for a moment. But conservatives — Reagan were he here and surely Limbaugh himself — realized exactly what the problem was that lie ahead. CBS tried to demonstrate that they were free of liberal bias by giving ol’ Rush a few seconds of airtime. What they had no intention of doing was eliminating the liberal bias of the show’s writers, producers and reporters, much less of Ms. Couric herself. Result? The new boss is the same as the old boss. The philosophical presentation of the new CBS News hasn’t changed a whit from the days when Dan or Walter or Bill Moyers looked somberly into the lens to insist they were telling the news “the way it was.” Still, there had to be a terrifying “ping” when CBS execs realized that Rush Limbaugh brought higher ratings to CBS News than Dan Rather ever could. Could — would — that ever happen? Would they have the guts to make “America’s anchorman” the CBS anchorman? The people in charge of CBS News would sooner crunch down on a cyanide tablet before naming Rush Limbaugh or any other conservative the anchor and managing editor of their show. Even if it meant winning the ratings for the next century. Fair and balanced is not now or ever in the cards at CBS, and Ms. Couric’s ratings have tumbled accordingly. Besides, why would Rush Limbaugh want a demotion?
It is now 2010. “The Rush Limbaugh Show” - featuring Rush as “America’s real anchorman” - cruises along in ratings heaven. Its host not that long ago signed a new contract for a reported $400 million over 8 years. And Couric’s CBS Evening News is in the sad state reported yesterday by Politico.
Will the CBS folks learn anything from this umpteenth lesson in media?
Deficit Commission co-chair Alan Simpson sounds downright ornery. HuffPo’s Ryan Grim furnishes an email Simpson sent to one of his critics.
And yes, I’ve made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know ‘em too. It’s the same with any system in America. We’ve reached a point now where it’s like a milk cow with 310 million tits! Call when you get honest work!
When Alaska officials stopped counting ballots at 12:30 a.m. Anchorage time (4:30 a.m ET), 77% of the state’s precincts had reported, and Republican primary challenger Joe Miller led by nearly 3,000 votes over incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
The New York Times, Roll Call and Anchorage Daily News reported this result cautiously — Murkowski was “imperiled” and “battling for her political life,” etc. — but with Miller at nearly 52% of the vote, it appears evident that the challenger has won an upset.
Shortly before 4 a.m., Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto told me by phone he was “cautiously optimistic,” and a few minutes later, campaign scheduler Harmony Shields said that the result would, at least officially, be “inconclusive” pending completion of the vote-count later today. However, other sources close to the campaign said privately they were confident of victory.
The come-from-behind triumph of Miller — whom I profiled for the American Spectator in early July — would be the second time that Sarah Palin had dealt a defeat to the Murkowskis. She upset the senator’s father, Frank, to win the governorship in 2006, and her endorsement was a key factor in helping Miller, a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, mount a strong surge in the final two months of the primary campaign.
UPDATE: More votes have been tabulated, and with 84% of precincts reporting, the results are:
MILLER … … . 45,188 (51.45%)
MURKOWSKI … 42,633 (48.55%)
So the gap has shrunk to 2,555 votes and, once all the precincts have reported, there are still more than 7,000 absentee ballots to be counted, so it may be a while before the result becomes official. Nevertheless, the Miller team has already begun scheduling events for the candidate to campaign as the GOP nominee.
UPDATE II: David Weigel is not the only one to suggest that an amendment on Tuesday’s ballot — requiring parental notification before a minor can get an abortion — helped boost pro-life Miller against Murkowski. The measure passed with 55% of the vote. Charmaine Yoest of American United for Life notes that Alaska is the 37th state to enact such a measure.
Today the Department of Education revealed the Race to the Top program winners to…modest fanfare.
Most of the reactions I’ve seen from free-market types focuses on the fact that Colorado and Louisiana — which had aggressive reform packages — got left out in the cold. But Frederick Hess’s post for the American provides a much broader skeptical take:
After all, the Department of Education’s unprecedented impact is only being made possible by an extraordinary bout of federal edu-spending-and the unprecedented borrowing that made it possible. While observers frequently note the big bang that Duncan has gotten from “just” $4.35 billion for RTT, it’s worth recalling that it cost more than $120 billion in federal edu-stimulus and the Edujobs bill to buy that handful of reform dollars.
Second, there’s a crucial opportunity cost to RTT that’s gone largely unnoted. In the midst of a fiscal crunch which calls for smart budget-cutting and careful rethinking, RTT has encouraged state leaders and reformers to focus on dreaming up new ways to spend. Chasing new dollars has allowed state chiefs and legislatures to ignore less pleasant questions and to plug in hoped-for federal funds when baking the state schools budget.
So here’s the package deal we got: superficial reforms for a $120 billion ransom to teachers and administrators, while postponing the inevitable state budget reductions.
The Hill quotes Biden as saying, in response to John Boehner’s speech calling for the resignation of administration officials, “Before we arrived in the West Wing Mr. Boehner and the Republican Party ran the economy literally into the ground.”
OK, that’s exactly the opposite of what literally means. Biden should have said “metaphorically.” But that’s only the beginning. The “economy” is not something that can be “driven into the ground,” in the sense of “driven with a forceful blow” or “driven by the wind,” because it consists of relationships and actions, not any physical thing. And in the sense that I think Biden means “driven,” as in driving a car, nothing — including the economy — can be driven “into the ground.” I.e. you can’t drive a car into the ground. Into a garage yes, into the ground no.
The problem seems to be that Biden was trying to stretch President Obama’s favorite obnoxious metaphor to fit the situation. From the same article: “[Deputy White House spokesman Bill] Burton referenced the president’s now familiar campaign theme that Republicans drove the economy into a ditch, criticizing Boehner for calling for the resignations of the people trying to drive that car out of the ditch.”
Here is an example of the metaphor in action, as early as May:
It gets old, but at least it has an interior logic. That logic seems to have escaped Biden.
And the entire concept of a metaphor appears to be lost on Burton, who suggests that Boehner has both driven a car into a ditch (an action inside the metaphor) and called for the administration economists’ resignation (an action outside the metaphor). In or out, buddy.
Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute last week gave thanks for his opponents in the global warming debate:
Former Vice President Al Gore is the gift that keeps on giving to opponents of global warming alarmism and energy rationing policies. He leads what I think of as the Dream Team: Gore is the public leader; James Hansen is the go-to scientist; Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) pushed through a cap-and-trade bill in the House that killed cap-and-trade; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was the main promoter in the Senate; when he dropped the ball, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was in charge for awhile; and she has now been replaced by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) with help from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
I used to think that we were just incredibly lucky that the alarmist movement was led by this group of second raters. I now realize that it isn’t luck. Global warming alarmism attracts incompetents, know-nothings, and looney tunes.
Over the weekend, after he refused to show up for a debate that he arranged, Avatar director James Cameron can be added to Ebell’s list. From Climate Depot’s Marc Morano:
Hollywood director James Cameron challenged three high profile global warming skeptics to a public debate at a global warming and energy conference. But Cameron backed out of the debate at the last minute after environmentalists “came out of the woodwork” to warn him not to engage in a debate with skeptics because it was not in his best interest.
Cameron challenged Andrew Breitbart, Climate Depot’s Marc Morano and filmmaker Ann McElhinney of ‘Not Evil Just Wrong.’ The debate was already in the program for the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit. The website program described the agreed to debate as “AREDAY Climate Change Debate: Reality or Fiction?”
After setting up the public global warming debate, Cameron and his negotiator then changed formats multiple times and initially said it would be open to the media and then said he would only participate if it was private with no recording devices. The skeptics agreed to all the changes.
Make sure you also read McElhinney’s account of Cameron’s cowardice. Without a doubt he was trying to make so many demands of the three skeptics that he expected them to throw in the towel. When they didn’t, he bailed.
Although I am, if you’ll pardon the pun, agnostic on the question of embryonic stem cell research, Federal Judge Royce Lamberth caused an earthquake in the stem cell research industry yesterday with his ruling that Barack Obama’s 2009 executive order allowing renewed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research was illegal.
Lamberth’s argument seems to be that even working with cells harvested from previously destroyed embryos would not satisfy the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment’s requirement that federal funding not go toward “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero…”
As with many issues which cause liberals and conservatives to howl at each other, one lesson of this situation should be — and almost certainly won’t be — that government needs to get out of so many areas in which it has unconstitutionally involved itself.
Remember, the issue here is not whether embryonic stem cell research is legal; it’s whether it should be funded by the federal government. Regardless of one’s view on the morality of the research, I am yet to find the article of the Constitution which permits the federal government to fund it.
As if to highlight the point, you may (or, if a cynic about government like me, may not) be surprised to learn who the lead plaintiffs were in the lawsuit filed against Obama’s executive order allowing the resumption of federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Focus on the Family? Nope. Dick Cheney? Nope.
The plaintiffs (at least the only ones who weren’t removed by a lower court for lack of standing) were two scientists whose work involves research on adult stem cells and who didn’t want to have to compete with researchers on embryonic cells for limited federal research funds. Judge Lamberth issued his preliminary injunction against federal funding for the embryonic cell research, citing the likelihood of “irreparable harm to the plaintiffs” as well as “public interest considerations.”
Yes, Judge Lamberth is a conservative judge and I would bet that he personally opposes embryonic stem cell research, but conservatives should not think yesterday’s ruling is unvarnished good news. It represents nothing more and nothing less than two different groups of scientists using the power of government to decide who has a bigger claim on your money. And that, rather than the issue of who, if anyone, will pay for stem cell research, is the real problem.
I wish this had come out before primary election day, but it nicely complements my post yesterday on Florida-25 congressional candidate Paul Crespo. Deroy Murdock describes it perfectly: “The Marine vs. the Machine.”
“Now maybe you can say that McCain ran an effective campaign.”
Um, that’s really all I was trying to say.
Stop the presses!
Forget the Ground Zero Mosque!
Have you heard? Have you heard?
Holey Moley! Former Republican Senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel is here in Pennsylvania today to endorse…Democratic Senate nominee Congressman Joe Sestak!
Yes! Yes! It’s true! It’s true!
It’s just amazing! The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia has been put back to work, its chimes heard all over the state! Men, women and children have been swarming into the streets everywhere from Altoona to Aliquippa weeping copious tears of joy! Eagles are lying down with Steelers and the Phillies have told the Pirates there will be war no more!
The ex-conservative ex-Senator who lost so much popularity in Nebraska he couldn’t run for re-election will be swarmed today in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as he announces his endorsement for Sestak. Hagel, un-re-electable in his own state, is being held up as a role model for Independents like Congressman Joe! Catch that subtle shift? Once fiercely proclaiming he was a “progressive,” Sestak is now stapling his future to a new found claim of independence. There is that troubling devotion to the Pelosi agenda, but hey…if labeling oneself as an Independent worked so well for Hagel in Nebraska, just think what it could do for Joe Sestak!
The only people in Pennsylvania who know Hagel remember him vaguely as the dialectic guy who hung out with Marx. Groucho and Chuck. What a pair.
This is big news from the Sestak campaign? A cheese steak could draw a bigger crowd in Pennsylvania than Hagel. And doubtless has somewhere today already.
The GOP’s Pat Toomey, leading in the polls, is surely having an excellent laugh.
Biden is pleased with the results of the administration’s bail-out of GM.
The vice president said the recession that started in 2008 could have destroyed 100s of thousands of jobs in the automobile industry if the government hadn’t extended emergency loans to keep the companies afloat.
He said 431,300 auto industry jobs were lost in 2008, but that since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy last year, employment has rebounded by 76,300 jobs.
“It’s a huge reversal and one we’d never have seen had we listened to those who told us to walk away,” Mr. Biden said.
But Cato’s Daniel Griswold is not sold, and notes “the horrible injustice of stiffing the taxpayers of Indiana and others who bought GM bonds and should have been in line ahead of the more politically connected United Auto Workers union.” Griswold adds:Continue reading…
I take strong, strong, strong, STRONG exception to Jim Antle’s statement here: “A lot of criticisms can be made of McCain, but the way he’s run this race isn’t one of them.” Now maybe you can say that McCain ran an effective campaign. But you can’t say that his campaign merits no criticism. Instead, he has run an utterly scorched-earth, cheap-shot, vicious race against J.D. Hayworth. If he had done the same thing against Obama, the establishment media would have had not just a cow but a cow, three ducks, five alligators and 5,000 massive conniption fits. Plus, he probably would have won and spared us this horrible presidency we are now enduring. (Frankly, I think he could have won if he had ran a tough, tough campaign withOUT being vicious or doing cheap shots against Obama — but I digress.) Yes, there is no love lost between Hayworth and McCain, but that doesn’t excuse ads so vicious and dishonest as to be dishonorable. Those are the sorts of ads John McCain has run. It looked like he took all of his outrageous F-word bile that he usually aims at his poor wife and instead channeled it into the ads against Hayworthy. John McCain was right about the surge, and he usually is right on defense issues, and he is right on pork, and he endured torture in captivity with heroism — but aside from that, he is a thoroughly unpleasant, bullying, nasty little piece of work.
On Friday the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seized politically-connected ShoreBank, covered some of its losses, then handed it right back to the same management team with a new name: Urban Partnership Bank. Over at the National Legal and Policy Center Web site I dissect it a little bit, and warn about institutions like ShoreBank who try to meet more than one bottom line.
Today on the main site I wrote about a contentious Republican primary that will be decided tomorrow. I didn’t mention another contentious Republican primary being held tomorrow: the race between John McCain and J.D. Hayworth. If the polls are accurate, McCain is poised to win renomination. The Washington Post looked at how McCain turned back the Tea Party tide in Arizona:
McCain was particularly concerned about the Club for Growth, the anti-tax, anti-spending organization. It has been involved in many Republican primaries, and in May helped defeat Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) in his bid for re-nomination.
McCain sought out leaders of the organization. He knew they might still be unhappy about his vote against the Bush tax cuts and disagreed with him on campaign finance reform. But he argued that, under Obama, government spending was now the big issue, and said that on that issue he had a solid conservative record compatible with theirs.
McCain also knew that Hayworth was handicapped in portraying himself as a small-government conservative because of his record of supporting earmarks as a member of the House. McCain attacked Hayworth as a pork-barrel spender and lobbyist, challenging his posture as a Washington outsider. The Club for Growth stayed out of Arizona.
“McCain took Hayworth very seriously very early in ways that other presumptive winners didn’t,” said one conservative strategist who declined to be identified in order to speak candidly. “If Bob Bennett had McCain’s political instincts, he might have been able to save himself.”
A lot of the establishment candidates who have lost Republican primaries to insurgents this year ran horrible races. Trey Grayson, Jane Norton, Bob Bennett were objectively bad candidates. Sue Lowden ran a decent race for most of the year but tripped up massively as she approached this finish line. A lot of criticisms can be made of McCain, but the way he’s run this race isn’t one of them. (Though you could wonder where this McCain was during the 2008 presidential election.)
Erick Erickson thinks that Jane Mayer’s New Yorker profile of the billionaire Koch brothers is part of a coordinated effort by Obama and left-wing journalists to discredit the Koch family and their efforts in funding pro-libertarian groups and developing the Tea Party movement.
I’m not sure about Erickson’s speculation, but it’s hard not to notice that Mayer’s article paints an grim portrait of the Koch brothers without actually reporting anything objectionable that they might have done. For instance, here is how the article (headline: “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama”) describes the Kochs’ efforts to promote libertarianism:
In Washington, [David H.] Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.
If that is how you describe peaceful, lawful activism, then what words are left to describe, for instance, the actions of al Qaeda, which funded an actual stealth attack on the federal government?
Later in the article, Mayer writes that “the Mercatus Center released a report claiming that stimulus funds had been directed disproportionately toward Democratic districts; eventually, the author was forced to correct the report, but not before Rush Limbaugh, citing the paper, had labelled Obama’s program ‘a slush fund…’”
Mayer is referring to Veronique de Rugy’s working paper. It is not accurate to claim that de Rugy was “forced to correct” the paper. A better description would be that she “voluntarily, in the spirit of transparency, improved the paper and found that her initial results still obtained.” You can read a less tendentious account of that episode here or de Rugy’s own explanation here.
This is not a question of “Can they build a mosque near Ground Zero?”
It is an question of “Should they build a mosque in the shadow of the twin towers, where 3,000 Americans were suffocated, crushed or burned to death by Islamic fanatics whose Muslim faith was integral to their mission of mass murder and to their identify?”
Unless one is without kidney, spleen, heart or common sense, the answer would be “No!”
I’m with Pat.
Talk about an embarrassing video!!! John Brennan, woolly-headed liberal jihadist apologist advisor to Barack Obama, asked for an editorial board meeting with the Washington Times in June. (I missed it.) Here, in these videos, he does the equivalent of arguing what “is” is, he shows absolutely no knowledge of history, and he loses his cool very quickly, storming out of the meeting after some very pointed but very knowledgeable and polite questioning from Wash Times military expert Jim Robbins. Amazing stuff. Please watch, link to, spread it widely. Again, here it is.
Just as an objective observer of political messaging, I would say that even if something like this had come from the left, it would be powerful (if the shoes were on the other feet, so to speak). But it comes from the right. Some folks out there are talented at pounding home a message that resonates. Watch it here. (Hat tip to Jerry Kane’s Millstone Diaries.)
Kirsten Powers has gone from being a thoughtful center-leftist to a shrill smear-meister (or is that smear-mistress?). A few weeks ago, Megyn Kelly smacked her down — smacked her down hard and well — when Powers dared to go on Fox to discuss the New Black Panther voter intimidation case without more than a cursory knowledge of the issue. Powers, beaten, pulled out the race card, accusing Kelly of hyping the idea of “scary black men” for ratings, or something like that.
Now she has gone farther. Now she is accusing the entire Republican Party (or is it the entire political right?) with ginning up racism. Methinks she has a hangup with scary white men.
For the record: I have now written nearly 40 editorials, columns and blog posts on the Panther situation AND the issues growing from it. It is incontrovertible that in terms of old-fashioned print, I have done more than any single person to highlight the issue. (Many others who I have named here have written ground-breaking stuff on this subject, repeatedly, online and in some print outlets, chief among them Jennifer Rubin, Hans von Spakovsky and Michelle Malkin, some of which were far better than my own pieces.) So, as a prime mover of the issue, I take charges of racism very personally even if she doesn’t know I exist (which she probably doesn’t). So, then, herewith a statement and a challenge:
Statement: The focus on the Panther case by the right stems from ZERO racist motivations. None. Indeed, it is a response to a racialist application of the law, on a topic we, or at least I, personally wish had never arisen and that I believe this nation should long ago have moved beyond.
Challenge: I will put my record of time, energy, effectiveness, sweat, and almost blood, on behalf of civil rights and the political causes of black Americans, up against that of Ms. Powers — any day, any time, anywhere. I’ve detailed my record on this front several times in this space. I urge her to do some research before she takes the challenge.
Meanwhile, before she slings charges of racism around like confetti at a Yankees’ World Series championship parade, Ms. Powers might want to swallow her bile, rein in her impulses toward cheap shots, and …. stifle herself.
Here is a website put up by one of the millions of citizen-activists crated by the Obama administration’s radical agenda, as put into practice by its Pelosi-Reid Congress. I met the woman behind it at an Americans for Prosperity meeting in Las Vegas recently, and her passion and dedication were stunning to me who, for better or worse, generally toils among Washington-types. Watch the “cap-and-trade” video and note the pabulum that Members of Congress have trained themselves to spew, about “putting a lot of policies in place that will allow us to” do all of those things that free people do when the government avoids “putting a lot of policies in place”.
Then note the commentary by the I’m-outta-here employer speaking the obvious truth to power.
This is what incombent Members of Congress are up against this year. Those jobs will go someplace else just as European manufacturing jobs have gone elsewhere, replaced by a smaller number of temporary “green” jobs wholly dependent on taxpayer-underwritten largesse continuing. And, as Spain and Germany are learning, it can’t continue, as mandating (and paying for) inefficiencies and massive economic redundancy will bankrupt you.
Cap-and-trade isn’t about “allowing us” to do anything, unless you’re a rent-seeker who has convinced his friends in the political class to transfer wealth coerced from the taxpayer to you to reward uneconomic investments made on the cheap (after all, they are uneconomic for a reason) in anticipation of such windfall. Then, ok, it “allows you” to engage in the world’s second-oldest profession.
That politicians even try to get away with such rhetoric is disgraceful (see also the deconstruction of similar tawdryness by my case-study and representative, Tom Periello (D-VA), in “Power Grab”). That it has prompted so many “average citizens” to action is heartening.
My former college roommate Paul Crespo goes down to the wire tomorrow in a primary for Florida’s 25th congressional district. Shawn Macomber profiled him for the Spectator a couple of years ago, here. And he wrote a column in the Washington Times a few months ago, here. It’s a crowded primary, and he isn’t the establishment candidate, although Paul does have a decent name ID from writing for the Miami paper and from doing lots of radio shows. Paul’s a solid citizen. It is not my place to make endorsements, especially when I know nothing about the other candidates…. but I think I can be forgiven for at least wishing luck to my former roomate.
A congressional candidate was robbed in Miami. Reports the Washington Times:
Police in North Miami say a Democratic congressional candidate was robbed at gunpoint Saturday while waiting to make a campaign appearance at a church.
Police Lt. Neal Cuevas said that the candidate, Marleine Bastien, was in a car Saturday with her sister outside the Church of the Living God when another car pulled up along side them. A man got out, opened the driver’s door and demanded the women give him their purses and threatened to kill them.
Now, no one can support thieves lifting the purses of congressional candidates. But the (private) crook might have acted preemptively. After all, if elected, Ms. Bastien will be constantly stealing purses and wallets from the rest of us. The robber might have figured that he should get a little of his money back ahead of time when he had the chance.
A pity. These days there just isn’t any honor among thieves.
She is so long as she cranks something like this out every now and then. From her latest column:
The President who is always talking about wanting to be perfectly clear is ever more opaque. The One, who owes his presidency to the intense feeling he stirred up, turns out to be a practical guy who can’t handle intense feeling…
Too lofty to pay heed to the daily bump and grind of politics, Obama has failed to present himself as someone with the common touch. And to the extent that people don’t know him or don’t get him, he becomes easier to demonize.
Obama is the victim of the elevated expectations he so skillfully created in 2008.
Though, I’d hardly call the President a victim of himself, for once, I agree with her on these few observations.
The former New York Times theater critic demonstrates his profound knowledge of the diplomatic/military situation in Afghanistan:
So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right - abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats - that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?
No one can dispute Rich’s expertise in hysteria, but his memory may be deficient, as he seems to have forgotten his own many pronouncements of doom in Afghanistan:
On July 31, just three weeks ago, Rich even wrote a column titled Kiss This War Goodbye, arguing that the leak of tens of thousands of classified files by WikiLeaks was a Pentagon Papers-like turning point in Afghanistan, signaling that the war was lost.
So if I understand Rich’s current column correctly, the surge which Rich declared in October 2009 could not work in Afghanistan, which Rich declared had failed by December 2009, and the war that Rich kissed-off just three weeks ago, really would have worked out for us if not for the wingnuts who object to the location of the Cordoba mosque and Islamic Center.
Ann Coulter had a few choice words for Keith Olbermann last week that apply with equal truth to Frank Rich.
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.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?