This once seemingly straightforward Delaware Senate GOP primary gets more interesting by the second. Following, successively, Sarah Palin and the NRA, now South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint has stepped out to support conservative activist Christine O’Donnell over GOP Congressman Mike Castle.
DeMint’s “tweet” — just released Friday night — is here.
The conservative world turns again…
The Hill is reporting that the National Rifle Association has jumped feet first into the heated Delaware U.S. Senate primary by endorsing conservative Tea Party-backed Christine O’Donnell over longtime GOP Congressman and ex-governor Mike Castle.
Specifically cited was O’Donnell’s commitment to “preserving the Second Amendment.”
The Tea pot begins to whistle in the First State. And in the halls of the NRA.
The Associated Press yesterday focused on the Wisconsin Senate race between incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold (I thought his name was McCain Feingold?) and Republican challenger Ron Johnson, in which the three-termer declared himself the underdog. The article addresses Johnson’s wealth, his willingness to spend on his campaign, and his message, which seems to have helped him attain a tie in polls.
But reporters Scott Bauer and Dinesh Ramde say there have been missteps! For example:
Johnson’s campaign has stumbled on occasion. He drew scorn last month when he said he “absolutely (does) not believe” in the science of man-caused climate change.
“It’s far more likely that it’s just sunspot activity or just something in the geologic eons of time,” he said.
Oh my! Can he possibly overcome such a blunder?
Update 5:15 p.m.: Harvard astrophysicist Willie Soon reminds me of this letter sent to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by eight scientists who supported Johnson’s view on anthropogenic global warming:
As scientists, we write to support U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson’s correct view on natural factors of climate change as reported in the Journal Sentinel.
This is not a debate about politics or about a belief system. Objective science informs us that the so-called consensus viewpoints offered by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about man-made carbon dioxide being the dominant factor of climate change is largely a political conclusion and not likely a scientifically correct one.
It continues from there.
My conservative friend Jim Geraghty over at NRO takes umbrage (that is what “stupidest” means, no?) at my Ruling Class article.
In fact, he applies the term “stupidest” as in an article that is the stupidest in the entire history of The American Spectator. Which means…since 1967? Now THAT’s a serious responsibility to bear! Gulp!
I quoted him directly and correctly as saying:
With Christine O’Donnell, all we have are promises. We can’t evaluate her on her record in elected office because she has no record. O’Donnell seems determined to begin her political career by winning a U.S. Senate seat; she has never served in a local board of education, town or city council, state legislature, etc. Her next general-election victory will be her first.
What amazes here is that someone as smart as Jim (and he is that, no sarcasm intended) lays down a standard which Ronald Reagan himself failed utterly. Reagan never served a micro-second on a “local board of education, town or city council, state legislature, etc.”
Reagan went straight from private life to running for Governor of California, where his GOP Establishment critics said a version of exactly what Geraghty is saying of O’Donnell: “her next general-election victory will be her first.”
The fact that it seems not to occur to Jim that this is, as it were, Ruling Class reasoning — you must show us first you are one of us — really does surprise.
The founder of National Review ran a legitimate campaign for mayor of New York without a day in public office. Indeed, this very weekend, Judge and former U.S. Senator James Buckley, brother of Bill, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Young Americans for Freedom in Washington.
Does Jim Geraghty not realize that Jim Buckley failed the Jim Geraghty test along with Ronald Reagan? James Buckley had never for a second served in the legislature or the Congress or any other public office that I’m aware of before being elected U.S. Senator from New York in 1970. And, by the way, Buckley did that by opposing the Republican incumbent Senator Charles Goodell (a GOP Congressman appointed by Rockefeller to succeed Bobby Kennedy) and a Democratic Congressman, Richard Ottinger. New York voters, told repeatedly Buckley was a loser and extremist, elected him anyway — the one guy of the three with zero experience in political office.
The point here is that to insist as Jim does that one must somehow make one’s way upward through various approved offices before qualifying as a legit Senate candidate is itself a sign of Ruling Class reasoning.
I’m here to help Jim work his way through an apparent attack of outsider-phobia. This disease is not fatal, it can be treated. I’m here to help. Others are standing by.
Jim: I thought that’s who you had in mind when you asked if Favre was done. For all I know, Obama’s press conference is still going on. It’s just went on and on, and he showed no inclination to move on with the rest of his presidency. I’ll have to read the transcript to make some sense of this filibuster. It kind of reminded me of Bill Clinton’s endless State of the Union post-Lewinsky. A president in trouble and without friends has only one recourse. He can count on his dog, and we now know Obama can’t do that, or he can rely on his mouth. Unfortunately for Obama, he’s no Clinton when it comes to shooting the breeze. And his choice of words was clumsy. Tomorrow’s 9/11 anniversary will be a “wonderful day” on which to remind ourselves of our nation’s religious tolerance? “I’ve got” Muslim soldiers fighting in Afghanistan? We are one nation, under God, “and we may call that God different names…”? What other names did he have in mind? Alas, the presser didn’t run long enough for him to tell us that.
My Congressman, Tom Periello (D-VA), has through television ads and interviews just doubled down on what has already been extremely curious advocacy in support of his vote for cap-and-trade, a major component of his representation of San Francisco from a Central Virginia congressional district.
This morning on a radio show I heard him say that cap-and-trade would actually lower some peoples’ electricity bills “in the near-term” — part of his push to brand his Republican opponent a scoundrel for outrageously voting for something that created the “opportunity” (Periello’s word) for an electricity rate increase.
This outcome is thanks to “rebates”, apparently. Giving Periello the benefit of the doubt I assume this is some tortured telling of the notion that some people would get an abatement of some portion of their economic pain (this will increase the cost of everything) because the House bill does create a new entitlement transferring wealth from the upper and middle class to the very lowest rungs on the ladder. Unfortunately, that means it hurts an awful lot of people to facilitate a claim that is still too clever by half.
But, yes, that’s in the House bill. As is two years of assistance for people who lose their job because of the House bill. That went untouched by the hosts, the same ones who previously let him get away with saying India and China have already passed such legislation.
The other bit, the “near-term” business, is probably explained by the bill’s assumption that, well, you’re greedy, you’ll invent cheap flying cars and Flubber if we make the cost of real energy that works, um, “necessarily skyrocket”. But decades of $8 gas and windmill mandates hasn’t done so in Europe; here, we will only re-prove that you cannot legislate technological breakthroughs.
The scheme to which he goes to such insulting depths to defend wouldn’t do a thing for emissions — no one claims it will have a climatic effect — unless it causes electricity rates to skyrocket. In fact, that’s “necessary”. Even our president and Treasury Secretary say so.
So where to begin with such disingenuousness or remarkably uninformed Member of Congress?
How about “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”. Watch it.
“Necessary”? “[N]ecessary if you’re going to change how people use energy.” -Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. By that he means, how much you use. Again, tax hikes don’t cause the laws of physics to cry “Uncle!”
So, Tom, is the president lying? Is he saying you are? Inquiring constituents want to know.
“…This would also raise billions of dollars.” Again Barack Obama January 2008.
Cap and trade is “the most significant revenue-generating proposal of our time.” Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD). To the Washington Post in April 2009.
But don’t worry. Somehow, it won’t cost anything. Because they’ve shuffled how the ration coupons are allocated.
“Regardless of how allowances were distributed, most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline… regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would.” CBO April 2007 under Peter Orszag, later Obama’s OMB chief
“Whether you call it a tax, everyone agrees that it’s going to increase the cost to the consumer.” - Longtime Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel
Congressman Periello, you are at best a terribly misinformed Member of Congress. Unfortunately, with your history of misinforming constituents on this very subject I think it’s worse than just being poorly staffed. You do seem willing to say anything to support the agenda you share with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama even though those whom you represent do not support it.
I am deeply troubled that your opponent is an establishment-annointed tax-raiser who will be the very first Republican to lose his way when that moment comes. If in office now he probably would have supported cap-n-trade, too, like many of the other current, vocal opponents who would be singing a different tune if John McCain won the election. I understand that. Politics is sleazy. But it doesn’t mean you have to make it so much worse. Shame on you.
So Brett Favre had an unimpressive season opener last night, after another annoying will-he-or-won’t-he-retire offseason. Is it time to put the old man out to pasture?
I’d say that reaction is premature. Last year, Favre got to ease into the season. His first games were against the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions. Even then, Favre mostly just handed the ball off to Adrian Peterson like he did last night. Favre passed for just 110 yards against Cleveland and 155 yards against Detroit. He didn’t really air it out until he passed for 301 yards against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3. And although we all remember the heroic last-second touchdown pass to Greg Lewis, this was a very narrow victory over a fairly weak team.
In fact, Favre didn’t face a team that ended up having a winning record until he confronted his old demons with the Green Bay Packers in Week 4 (this was also the first time he really had to carry the offense, with Peterson rushing for only 55 yards). The Minnesota Vikings’ 6-0 run to start last season came with beating four bad teams, a lucky break with Baltimore Ravens kicker Steve Hauschka missing an easy field goal attempt that would have changed the outcome of the game, and a grudge match against Green Bay.
Let’s see what Favre looks like after getting 10 days to practice for Miami. That’s followed by the Detroit Lions and then a bye week. The Vikings-Saints rematch was probably good for ratings, but realistically it was never likely to yield a memorable Favre game under these conditions. It certainly wouldn’t have last year.
UPDATE: Because Matt Stover is synonymous in my mind with the term “Ravens kicker,” this entry originally gave him the blame for Baltimore’s errant field goal attempt. Of course, it wasn’t Stover who missed the field goal at all but Steve Hauschka, the man the Ravens signed when they decided Stover was too old. Last year, Stover filled in admirably for Adam Vinateri of the Indianapolis Colts while Hauschka was released sometime in November and Baltimore’s kicking game declined.
Apropos of this post yesterday, a remarkable story has come out about the Kyoto Protocol. Apparently, check-out time is 2012, but you can never leave.
So sayeth the Kyoto powers that be, reminding us yet again to not enter agreements, or even negotiations with people — which so cutely hanging in agony and extend into extra hours each session over wording and nuance — to whom terms and agreements mean absolutely nothing.
Before you read the following from today’s “ClimateWire”, consider this language from the Kyoto Protocol:
There is, as the treaty serially says, a “first commitment period”, and it is “2008 to 2012”. And Kyoto is the commitments, and nothing else. If the commitment period 2008-2012 doesn’t end when 2012 ends, then words and numbers no longer have meaning.
Now read what the people in charge of that mess say:
NEGOTIATIONS: Kyoto Protocol will continue despite climate talks
The Kyoto Protocol will not end in 2012, or in any other year, no matter what happens in future climate change talks among nations, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change said Wednesday.
Speaking in India, Christiana Figueres said that the protocol does not have a “sunset clause,” meaning that it will continue indefinitely even if climate talks fail or if nations come up with new goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Countries are set to meet in Cancun, Mexico, later this year for another round of negotiations on nations’ second commitment period for emissions reductions.
Put aside just for the moment the merits of the very idea of negotiating a climate change treaty. You do. Not. Even. Negotiate. With. Such. People.
By now you’ve probably read and/or heard about the much-blogged about Washington Post article earlier this week about the last incandescent light bulb plant (owned by GE) that will close soon, and put 200 people out of work, because the bulbs will be outlawed in 2014 in favor of compact fluorescents. The manufacturing of the newer technology lights will drive these jobs to China, where the manual labor required to shape the CFL squigglies is much cheaper than here — but not cheap enough to price them lower (not even close) than incandescents. Also, as has been well-documented, the CFLs are more toxic (when broken) than incandescents because they contain mercury.
Well my local newspaper, The News & Observer of Raleigh, today got around to carrying the Post story, but their editors came up with this headline:
It’s lights out as last major bulb plant falls to progress
Progress? Only in the minds of the elitist Left would job losses, higher costs, diminished consumer choice and less freedom represent “progress.”
As this Ruling Class versus Country Class battle picks up speed, two interesting developments in the Castle-O’Donnell Delaware donnybrook, written about nearby.
Yesterday, the Country Class Sarah Palin went on the Country Class Sean Hannity Show to endorse the Country Class Christine O’ Donnell over the Ruling Class Mike Castle in the Delaware U.S. Senate primary.
And thus far, the Ruling Class Castle has refused to accept an invitation from the Country Class Mark Levin Show to discuss his Senate race.
Both moments are clues to the status of different players in the increasingly vehement rebellion that every poll in America is picking up.
The refusal to go on the Levin show is particularly telling on Castle’s part. If one is about getting elected to wield power for power’s sake, the absolute last place one would want to be is on a show dedicated to conservative principles — which is precisely what Levin is all about.
Castle’s fear of appearing with Levin recalls William F. Buckley’s famous response as to why a prominent liberal of the 1960s — then-Senator Robert F. Kennedy — had refused to appear on Buckley’s television show Firing Line to debate the issues of the day. Replied Buckley with that famous mischievous grin: “Why does baloney reject the grinder?”
John Bolton says he’s considering running for president (he’s asked at the 1:55 mark):
“I am thinking about it,” he says, “because I think legitimate issues of national security should be more at the center of the national debate than they have been for the last two years.” In other words, this would be a run to highlight issues, and perhaps raise his profile enough to make his support more valuable when he decides to endorse a top-tier candidate.
OK, so a different sort of combustion has sucked the oxygen out of the discussion room for the moment but, appropos of an earlier post of mine today, and the idiocy of touting windmills and solar panels to “reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil”, what about our developing dependence on foreign sources of gas? Should Pennsylvania allow and encourage drilling for natural gas? It isn’t complicated. But that’ the subject of a poll which, if it turns out wrong, will surely find some use in the debate.
Thanks to technological advances and enormous discoveries we have a century of natural gas. If we are allowed to produce it. So EPA and (certain of) the states have come after it to squelch the new supplies before they guarantee that energy and feedstock needed by many domestic industries remain affordable and diminish the grave threat of the establishment’s war on coal, for a long period of time.
If you have an opinion, vote. It’s good practice for later.
Now that Sarah Palin has endorsed Christine O’Donnell for Senate in Delaware, the O’Donnell campaign is starting to look like a typical Tea Party success story along the lines of Rand Paul in Kentucky, Ken Buck in Colorado, Sharron Angle in Nevada or Joe Miller in Alaska. Since that’s a familiar storyline, let’s look at the other side of it: we now also have a few examples of establishment candidates beating back conservative insurgents. Could Mike Castle emulate any of them the way O’Donnell can Paul or Miller?
Confining my examples to Senate races, the Republican establishment has rallied with Mark Kirk in Illinois, Dan Coats in Indiana, Carly Fiorina in California, and John McCain in Arizona. Kelly Ayotte looks like a decent bet to win in New Hampshire too. Coats, Fiorina, McCain, and possibly Ayotte all benefited from the perception that they were at least conservative enough. Coats and Ayotte faced more than one major conservative opponent. Fiorina had a candidate to her left enter the primary and take an initial lead in the polls based on name recognition.
No Republican to the left of Castle is likely to be found, not even in Delaware. He has only one conservative primary challenger. And Castle might have trouble arguing that he is at least conservative enough. So what to do? At first, it looked like Kirk would be the closest parallel. Defeating Kirk in the primary never became a national conservative crusade; Kirk’s main primary opponent failed to attract enough support inside or outside Illinois to become a serious threat. But that ship has now sailed. Defeating Castle is a conservative cause celebre and O’Donnell’s candidacy has reached critical mass.
Castle is starting to channel McCain: attack your conservative primary opponent often (O’Donnell hasn’t exactly been a shrinking violet either). But unlike McCain, he did not do so early. It’s not clear whether he’ll be able to define her as effectively as McCain defined J.D. Hayworth. And while being aggressive is important, it can only get you so far — just ask Trey Grayson, the man who lost to Rand Paul.
Basically, Castle’s strongest argument is that he can win in November. If O’Donnell’s camp has something stronger to rebut this than a single July Rasmussen poll showing her ahead by a statistically insignificant margin, I haven’t seen it. But the trouble is, as far as I can see this argument hasn’t worked so well for establishment candidates going as far back as the NY-23 special congressional election in 2009 — and Castle shares more than a few ideological traits with Dede Scozzafava.
My friend Jim Guirard called me today with an interesting idea. The pastor planning to burn the Koran may not want to look emasculated by backing down. But rather than all or nothing, why not propose a more constructive alternative than an act of hatred? (Which, by the way, burning a Koran indisputably is: a senseless act of hatred.) Rather than burning something that a quarter of the world’s population considers to be a sacred and holy book, why not make effigies of all 19 of the 9/11 hijackers and burn those instead? What reasonable Muslim could possibly object to that? It is no insult to Muslims in general, but only an insult to murderous thugs (and maybe to their families; but that’s just tough luck). Rather than giving an excuse (not a reason, but an excuse) for other crazed and hateful terrorists to strike Americans , burning these effigies AND INVITING MODERATE MUSLIMS TO ENDORSE THE EFFORT would instead serve to drive a wedge between Muslim haters and those Muslims who are humane and decent people.
Frankly, I’m not for burning anything. I think it’s silly. But if you’re determined to burn something, why not pick a more carefully targeted “victim” of the burning so that it sends the message wthout unnecessary and counterproductive offense?
Barack Obama now is indignant about conservatives allegedly hoping he fails — as if that’s a bad thing! “They’re making the same calculation they made just before the inauguration: If I fail, they win,” he said. “Well, they might think this will get them where they need to go in November, but it won’t get our country where it needs to go in the long run.”
Well, everything but the last clause is true, at least as far as this conservative, yours truly, is concerned. But let’s be clear about how we want Obama to fail. Of course we hope he succeeds in doing things that will help this nation. We hope that his presidency leaves us stronger, freer, more secure, more prosperous, and less subject to social pathologies. Yet in order for this to happen, we believe he must fail in almost every one of his current pursuits. I believe that if Obama fails politically on the current course, the country will be better off. I want him to succeed for Americans by failing at his current course and then reversing course and succeeding on that new course. Since he does not seem inclined to do that, though, I hope he fails. It is precisely by him failing that we will “get our country where it needs to go in the long run.” Obama seems to conflate his agenda with the only possible way to right the ship of state. He seems to believe that “l’etat, c’est moi.” He’s dead wrong.
So I do hope he fails. I hope he fails in making government bigger and more powerful. I hope he fails at passing any more stimulus or infrastructure spending. I hope he fails at his payoffs to union bosses and jackpot justice big-money plaintiffs’ attorneys. I hope he fails at politicizing and corrupting the Justice Department. I hope he fails in almost all of his over-bearing regulatory schemes and administrative end-runs (some of them arguably illegal) around Congress. I hope he fails at raising taxes. I hope he fails at continuing to destroy what’s left of the 1996 welfare reform bill. I hope he fails at subjugating American interests to the desires of supposedly elite international actors. I hope he fails at “transforming” America, which needs no transformation at all. I hope he fails, fails, fails, fails, fails. And the reason I hope he fails is not so somebody else can gain political advantage, but so the United States can thrive again — free from the shackles imposed by a philosophical alien in the White House. Yes, Mr. President, in that sense I hope you fail.
Andrew Stiles has an interesting piece up on NRO about Congressman Gerry Connolly’s (D-VA) support for extending the Bush tax cuts — even for the “rich.” But Connolly is a Gerry-come-lately on this issue. He was the same Democrat who was amazed when the Fed chairman suggested that it was mathematically possible to address the budget deficit solely through spending rather than taxes.
Daniel Larison is skeptical that Republicans will experience major gains in November because he quite sensibly has no confidence in the GOP leadership. But when you look at the leanings of likely voters not just in generic ballot tests but also in a few pivotal races, I wonder to what extent the national anti-Democratic mood can overcome the Republicans’ perennial flaws.
As poorly as Tom Reynolds and Tom Cole fared at the helm of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Machiavelli himself could not have come up with a political strategy that was going to save the Republicans in 2006 or 2008. That wasn’t Reynolds’ or Cole’s doing as much as George W. Bush’s. Things got so bad that the Democrats won a number of districts with underlying Republican sympathies — the very places where they are most at risk now.
Aside from Republican mistakes, one of the things that benefited the Democrats in most of the special elections they’ve won since Obama has been president is that they ran non-incumbents who were free to move as far from the national party brand as suited local preferences. This will be a tougher sell for incumbent Blue Dogs. Only three of them — Walt Minnick of Idaho, Bobby Bright of Alabama, and Gene Taylor of Mississippi — voted against stimulus, the health care bill, and cap and trade. (A fourth, Parker Griffith, switched parties and subsequently lost the Republican primary.)
This accounts for why Minnick looks pretty good considering his deep-red district. But more common is someone like Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, who defected only on cap and trade. Ellsworth is losing badly to a flawed Republican candidate in the race for Senate and his congressional district now leans toward a Republican pickup. Even Travis Childers, who only voted for the stimulus, is below 50 percent in the internal poll his campaign released to show the Mississippi Democrat’s strength. The Republican’s internal polling, predictably, shows the opposite result.
Finally, in a surprising number of races the Republican nominee is the not the candidate the party leadership wanted. In some cases, that will be a liability but in others it will be an asset. Will there be a tsunami? I don’t know, and the funding disadvantages faced by the party campaign committees and Republican challengers in key districts are reasons to doubt it. But as I said in 2006 and 2008, if your base is dispirited, the other party’s base is fired up, and swing voters hate you, you cannot do well in an election.
That description fit the Republicans then and the Democrats now. Even if the Republicans blow some races, the Democrats are going to lose seats. It is just a matter of how many.
The Denver Post is reporting that about 20 current and former Republican elected officials in Colorado — along with Congressman Steve King of Iowa — have come out and endorsed Tom Tancredo over GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes. Maes won the primary after former Republican frontrunner Scott McInnis got caught up in a plagiarism scandal. Tancredo responded by bolting the party and running as the American Constitution Party candidate.
Recent polls show that Tancredo and Maes are splitting the GOP vote, essentially handing Hickenlooper a victory. Tancredo is hoping that enough Republicans will decide to throw their support behind him to make the race competitive.
“These endorsements tell every Republican that it’s OK to vote for Tom Tancredo, even if I’m in another party, because I would be a Republican governor,” he said.
Haley Barbour has already hinted that the Republican Governors Association is giving up on this race. “We have spent money in Colorado. Past tense,” the RGA chair told National Journal. Ford O’Connell and Steve Pearson recently wrote about the Maes-Tancredo split on the main site.
So the UN is upset that they’ve been unable to leverage the series of global crises they’ve touted — prelude to ‘global problems require global solutions…which requires global governance…hey, that’s us!’ — and think they see opportunity. Read the language, aspirations, and vision for solving their ConUNdrum. h/t FoxNews.
Gee, I wonder why they see opportunity.
Speaking of US politics and the White House, as I may have mentioned in this space, there are plans underway for a “binding” treaty on “sustainability”. I was passed an internal memo from a European negotiator and, sure enough, some are even calling it a “green jobs” treaty. You see, this is how we get out of the mess we’re in that was clearly caused by too little governance. It was capitalism. Yeah, that’s it. A cure for which the UN has long offered in its “Global Compact” (an aide to the SecGen who was not actually happy about this told a colleague of mine, nearly a decade ago, their aim was to get rid of capitalism; as always, with useful idiots).
This is to be sprung on us a few weeks before the World Environment Summit in Rio, Spring of…wait for it…2012. The confab is called “Rio Plus 20” (see below). It is to be the birthplace of Kyoto II and other such delights.
Understand that it is widely accepted in global governance circles that the global political dynamic was changed for the better, and global governance greatly advanced, as a result of the impeccable timing and spectacle of the Rio “Earth Summit” in 1992, with a young bootlick from Tennesse damending to know “where’s George” (I detailed the mess, here. For an even more amusing take, see P.J. O’Rourke’s experience in Rio documented here).
You’ll note right up front and throughout the document that it is on the basis of those environmental calamities, always just over the horizon — except when countries with too little capitalism actually do create them, not globally but for their own suffering people (the sound you hear is greens’ heads exploding) — that the UN sees its ride to their version of Utopia.
President George H.W. Bush really messed things up in 1992, and we have Kyoto to show for it, as I chronicle in the Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism. The good news is that a Republican will not have the chance to so directly do so again in 2012. But there will be a full-throated campaign for the White House underway and competition to be the veep nominee. Swooning over the agenda got Gore the gig in ‘92. Tim Pawlenty, call your office…
UPDATE: Corerection made to conflation of Kyoto COP-17 in Jo-burgh, 2011 and Rio, now openly discussed as the certain birthplace of Kyoto II (despite all sorts of claims that it would, because it had to, be attained in Copenhagen 2009, Cancun 2010, Jo-burgh 2011). So many global governance confabs to keep straight.
For those of you that follow the newest excuse for long-desired central planning, ‘green jobs’, you might enjoy yesterday’s front page piece in the Washington Post about how the mandate of more expensive, often non-utile light bulbs has put Americans out of work.
This is the third fairly recent item in WaPo, by my reckoning, acknowledging at least one of the mirages that together make up the ‘green jobs’ folly: an earlier item (an op-ed) emphasized that mandating ‘green cars’ will produce jobs in the ‘green car’ sector, sure, but obviously (to some) at the expense of a job in the real car sector. These aren’t new, net jobs.
Worse, there is the reality that making things more expensive is a net job killer.
Then there’s that point made by WaPo: “as the lighting industry shows, even when the government pushes companies toward environmental innovations and Americans come up with them, the manufacture of the next generation technology can still end up overseas”. We can no more mandate that these things you mandate will be made here any more than the state can mandate new technology into existence. In the case of stupid light bulbs, they require more manual labor. Which is your first clue they won’t be made here.
In the case of, say, windmills, you require steel and energy to manufacture the things. You can make windmills out of steel, but you can’t make steel using windmills. The components will largely be made in jurisdictions that don’t make their energy more expensive with, say, windmill mandates. So you see the problem with the economics. Add a dose of Bastiat (print that out and take it with you on any trip; entertaining and priceless) recalling problems that come with mandating inefficiencies, and things become even more clear. Unless you’re a policymaker.
But finally, here’s the kick from the light bulb story: It was the (wait for it) Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that brought us the mandate, which actually takes the form of a required phase out of incandescent light bulbs in 2012 in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Chuckle. Get it? Using less electricity fired by coal — which we have centuries of beneath our own soil — makes us more secure by… closing domestic lighting production in favor of relying on lighting made in China.
The geniuses behind this are the same people who do not cite production of domestic sources of oil as their remedy for “reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil”, but windmills and solar panels. Because, apparently, we get our electricity from oil (1%…just as meaningless as from wind and solar!) Or else all of those wind- and solar-powered cars out there.
To defend against the latter with the pipe dream still uttered regularly in the halls of Congress to this day, that well we can just recharge the nation’s auto fleet at night using wind power is as pie-in-the-sky as the assumptions behind mandating more expensive light bulbs for all of your needs even though they do not satisfy all of your needs, fit all of your equipment, or save energy in all of your uses.
All of which helps explain why we get a “comprehensive energy bill” every seven years or so. They are no such thing. They are boondoggles, one and all. Ethanol? Subsidies…and a mandate (a previously sacrosanct firewall never breached: take yer pick, belt or suspenders, can’t have both). Then, increase the mandate. Then double it! No wonder the wind and solar rent-seekers are so encouraged and tenacious. There are hundreds of billions of your hard-earned dollars at stake that they might have awarded them by policymakers.
Republicans, wedded to the rhetoric of “all of the above”, had better begin putting that into practice with two necessary, rational steps: it means ending the war on energy sources that work, on American energy, not rationalizing subsidy and mandate schemes for those that do not. Second, eliminate all subsidies. Any subsidy that is adopted must be adopted on its individual merits but can only extend to R&D. Maybe mom-and-pop stripper wells, because extracting that oil in this market and world does make some sense. And here you see the slippery slope begin.
But those energy sources that work will do just fine, thank you. Subsidizing them is not necessary because, let’s face it, you save a few cents a gallon or kWh for…the people whose money you are taking for the subsidy in the first place. Subsidizing those things that do not work is simply irrational. Those things that are just 10-20 years away today were 10-20 years away 10-20 years ago and will be so in 10-20 years, as well. Decades of $8 gas and windmill mandates has not produced Flubber and flying cars in Europe. It won’t here.
Prepare for an energy debate, against entrenched interests, Mike Castle, and the party of Big Business (we’ll find out who it really is…sadly, the answer might be ‘both’). But this is a debate that, if we don’t have now, as we’re going broke, with public awareness and surliness in demanding reform at its highest level in memory, then we never will have it.
Okay, so they’re just actors. Two years ago these elderly gents were featured in a popular ad that helped Democrat Kay Hagan of North Carolina defeat Sen. Elizabeth Dole:
Now they’re back, this time in support of Republican Richard Burr, who is challenged by N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall:
Interesting approach by Burr, whose race is closer than maybe what it should be in a strong Republican year (he’s been in Washington a long time now), to get the same characters the Dems used in ‘08.
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial joined what has become a chorus at National Review whose voices rise to the inescapable, effective endorsement for elevating longtime congressman (and before that, governor, lieutenant governor, etc.) Mike Castle as the Delaware Republican nominee for Senate. This was joined by Team Pawlenty over at Powerline blog. Pawlenty, so you aren’t surprised when he sits in for John McCain in the 2012 primaries, has hired a political advisor to update and add nuance to — not abandon and explain the mistake of — his activism for Castle’s beloved cap-n-trade.
I suppose that makes it about as “official” as things can get in the establishment center-right media: you are to actively support someone for higher office…someone who supports Obamacare, cap-n-trade, using the power of the federal government to dictate what sort of lightbulb you may use, bigger government, higher taxes, fewer freedoms (as Mark Levin has pointed out, one could go on and on with such a list — see his — because the guy’s been a professional member of the political class since the '60s.)
That is, you are to actively support such a person so long as he is in your Club. Didn’t you catch that handshake?
You are to actively support them. Meaning, in a primary contest. Over someone else who does not hold those positions. Over someone who holds positions which adhere far more closely to the principles that unite you, around which you have organized.
As such, positions (I won’t wade so deep as to say “principles”) are meaningless. All abandonment of them is to be rationalized away.
Just a note first. The abandonment of principle for expedience has a very unhappy history, politically and otherwise, and is uniformly looked back upon with regret, often in sorrow.
Let me write it here first: meet the media’s new favorite Republican, Sen. Mike Castle. Keep that pancake makeup in your man-purse, Rep. Castle. Meet the Press et al. will fall all over themselves to book you regularly for your tales of just how wrong and heartless your colleagues are being. Thank goodness they will have you. That Lindsey Graham had worn so thin. You’re so much less unpredictable, anyway.
It’s no longer even worthwhile to ask is our Republicans learning? The question is can they?
Note: Yes, I’ve cleaned up some typos. Hurrying to get two little tornadoes to school can help lead to more of those than usual.
I understand the need to pay for expenses and such.
But, well, Holy Cow.
CBS News is reporting that Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are hosting a 9/11 event and…take a seat…charging money!
Says the CBS Hotsheet Report, , replete with link to the Ticketmaster page:
Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are appearing together in Anchorage, Alaska Saturday to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and tickets don’t come cheap: The Ticketmaster page for the event lists regular adult tickets at between $73 and $130 and tickets plus a “meet & greet” at $225.
Say it ain’t what it appears to be. I, for one, don’t believe it until I know details that Palin does not provide on her Facebook page.
But if it is what it appears…a for-profit event using their collective celebrity — and I can’t imagine that it is…some PR type has goofed big time. There has got to be a rational explanation for this and released pronto. Unless every single dime of this event after expenses is going to a 9/11 charity or some such, whoever came up with this idea and let it out there without a massive PR explanation that the money is not for Beck or Palin should be, well, let’s start with horsewhipped.
Opening Palin and Beck to this kind of easily foreseeable left-wing criticism is just heedless. That’s Ruling Class talk for dumb.
Two failures — one present and one future — have led to the collapse of a cap-and-trade lobbying alliance. The lack of pursuit of energy rationing legislation by Congressional leadership is the present failure, and the expected election debacle in November is the future failure, as Politico reports:
Clean Energy Works, a coalition of 80 environmental, religious, veteran and labor groups, will phase out its operations this fall as Democratic congressional leaders abandon plans for a sweeping bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions.
At its peak, the coalition had 200 field organizers in key states and more than 45 staffers based out of a “war room” in downtown Washington. It is led by Paul Tewes, who ran President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign operations in Iowa and other battleground states.
Environmentalists close to the campaign say their donors are still committed to the effort, but decisions on the coalition’s future hinge on whether Democrats hold their House and Senate majorities and what agenda they want to pursue in 2011.
But they’re calling the coalition’s work a success!
“The commitment to collaboration secured impressive and tangible results: hundreds of disciplined message events across the country; thousands of earned media clips; a growing coalition including newly engaged small businesses; effective earned and paid media campaigns; expanded ground presence nationally; a national communications rapid response system; and volumes of detailed public opinion research,” [Clean Energy Works spokesman David] Di Martino said.
Other unmentioned accomplishments include friendships made, business cards exchanged, and cups of coffee consumed. Add your own to the list.
Hat tip: Morano.
Jim: It should be noted that Time/CNN is polling registered voters, while both Rasmussen and SurveyUSA are filtering responses to isolate likely voters. The latter two firms might not be capturing likely voters correctly, of course, but they both have a pretty good track records, and I’m inclined to distrust a poll that makes no attempt to measure the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats in this cycle — which is to say, I’m inclined to suspect the Time/CNN sample includes dispirited Democrats who are unlikely to make it to the polls, and thus to take it with a grain of salt.
A new Time/CNN poll shows Rand Paul and his Democratic opponent Jack Conway tied at 46 percent each. But the latest Rasmussen poll shows Paul leading by 15 points, 54 percent to 39 percent. This is consistent with the SurveyUSA result reported yesterday.
A USA Today blog post shows there is a bottomless well of taxpayer dollars — everywhere — available for global warming related research. If you are a scientist and can write a grant proposal that shows a potential climate impact for what you plan to study, it’s hard to believe you won’t get funded. Examples from the newspaper:
New Canadian research suggests climate change may be causing flowers to open before bees wake up from hibernation, so that the bees don’t get early nectar and the flowers aren’t pollinated. The findings could apply to a wide range of flowering plants such as tomatoes and strawberries.
In Stockholm, Sweden, a different report this week reveals how food security worldwide could be threated by erratic rainfall related to climate change. Experts meeting there for the World Water Week conference cite drought in Russia and floods in Pakistan as examples of unpredictable rainfall.
We’ve gone from global warming to climate change to national security to food security. As long as the money flows, the scientists will cling to their alleged consensus, even if they have to keep changing the terms.
You’ve heard of the “Madden Curse,” right? Where NFL players featured on the cover of the popular video game end up having down seasons?
Doesn’t change much of what I wrote, but maybe it’s the Antle Curse.
I missed Tom Nelson’s blog post a little over a month ago about the disastrous trend showing everywhere in the world warming faster than everyplace else in the world — all at the same time. Thanks to Science and Public Policy Institute’s Bob Ferguson for calling attention to it.
So where is there global warming faster than everywhere else? Africa, the North Pole, Australia, Kuwait, the Antarctic, Tibet, Europe, the Sundarbans, China, Mars, Spain, the U.S. West, the Arctic, Lake Superior, the Himalayas, and the Korean Peninsula. The rest of you Earth dwellers just have run-of-the-mill global warming, so it will take longer for you to suffer and die.
In what was initially billed as a major economic speech, President Obama took to the podium in Cleveland this afternoon and gave a highly political speech that invoked the language of his presidential campaign at every opportunity.
From the very start, Obama recalled a late campaign stop he made in Cleveland in the fall of 2008 and said that election was about the failed economic policies of Republicans. He then moved on to attacking House Minority Leader John Boehner — essentially a stand-in for Bush. Yet this is an odd choice politically given that a new poll shows most Americans don’t even know who Boehner is, let alone have an opinion.
Even rhetorically, Obama recycled from his campaign — talking about overcoming cynicism and framing a choice between hope and fear.
In 2008, Bush was in power and his policies were highly unpopular, so Obama had a receptive audience. This time around, however, Democrats have total control of Washington, and have pursued policies overwhelmingly opposed by the American people, and those policies have failed to solve the problems Obama was elected to fix. So what seemed fresh in 2008, just two years later, has become a stale routine that is unlikely to resonate with voters.
It comes as no surprise that the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
With less than an hour before President Obama’s scheduled speech, 75 seats remained empty in the recreation center at Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus.
So organizers went around campus and recruited more students to fill the seats.
From what I could tell watching on television, the reaction of the crowd seemed rather tepid.
State lawsuits that argue against the constitutionality of ObamaCare under the Commerce Clause have considerable merit and could potentially come before the U.S. Supreme Court former New York Gov. George Patakai told reporters during a question and answer period at the The National Press Club.
Pataki, who is now chairman of Revere America, held a press conference to announce a new campaign aimed against congressional lawmakers who voted for President Obama’s healthcare bill, which passed earlier this year. Television ads will be aired in concert with other campaign efforts in key districts as part of the “Pledge to Win” campaign.
In response to a question from The American Spectator that asked whether or not he thought state suits could potentially reach The Supreme Court, Pataki responded “Yes, I do.” But he also said that opponents should not rely on the judiciary alone and work toward the election of a new Congress more responsive to public sentiment.
“I think that there are legitimate constitutional issues when the federal government is imposing new burdens on the states, new burdens that they have to increase their Medicaid eligibility break when the states pay a significant part of that without providing any funding,” he observed. “I think there are some serious constitutional issues particularly when you are telling someone who just doesn’t want to be a part of the system that you’re going to get health care coverage acceptable to a Washington bureaucrat or we’re going to fine you. I think that is patently unconstitutional so I think there is a real issue of unconstitutional imposition of requirements on states unconstitutional impositions of fines which they are now calling taxes on people who do not want to be a part of the system.”
Pataki also commented on what he described as the “corrupt purchasing” of Senate votes.
“In Florida, seniors get to keep the Medicare Advantage and then in the other 49 states you don’t,” he continued. “There is a real issue as to whether or not it violates the Due Process clause of the Constitution, I believe it does. So I think it’s appropriate that the legal challenges are moving forward. I’m hopeful that they will be successful but you can’t just rely on the judicial system. We have a democratic government and ultimately the Congress should reflect the will of the people. The will of the people is that ObamaCare be repealed and replaced with good healthcare reform. We’re going to try and help people who support those positions get elected this November.”
Revere America was founded to “promote national awareness of emerging federal law.” The organization’s web site lists reforms that could be pursued as an alternative ObamaCare such as allowing Americans to purchase insurance across state lines. Revere America has also documented ten hidden taxes included as part of ObamaCare.
Freed from the need to feign journalistic objectivity, former New York Times global warming reporter Andrew Revkin — author of two slutty (but fawning) takes on climate dogma — has made his way to the op-ed page. Channeling Tom Friedman, today the Amazing Revkin focuses on all this crazy weather (which is not climate) we’ve seen lately:
Though today’s extremes can’t be reliably attributed to the greenhouse effect, they do give us the feel, sweat and all, of what’s to come if emissions are not reined in. Martin Hoerling told me that by the end of the century, this summer’s heat may be the status quo in parts of Russia, not a devastating fluke. Similar projections exist for Washington, the American Southwest, much of India and many other spots.
With the global population cresting in the coming decades, our exposure to extreme events will only worsen. So whatever nations decide to do about greenhouse gas emissions, there is an urgent need to “climate proof” human endeavors. That means building roads in Pakistan and reservoirs in Malawi that can withstand flooding. And it means no longer encouraging construction in flood plains, as we have been doing in areas around St. Louis that were submerged in the great 1993 Mississippi deluge.
At a Wilson Center discussion on Wednesday, New York Timesreporter Andrew Revkin considered this idea and stated that having fewer children was one of the best ways that individuals could reduce their carbon footprints. Humans reproduce exponentially, and having two children instead of three could reduce energy consumption that would otherwise occur for generations.
Indiania Gov. Mitch Daniels, who has been mentioned as a possible 2012 presidential candidate, proposes an emergency one-year suspension or reduction in the payroll tax in today’s Wall Street Journal to spur job creation. It’s an idea that I also floated during the initial economic stimulus debate as an alternative to Democrats’ focus on government spending.
A reduction in the payroll tax would boost the economy in several ways. Like any reduction in taxes, it would mean that individuals would be able to keep more of their earnings, and thus have more money to inject into the economy. But the unique aspect of the payroll tax is that it’s also paid by employers — it is, in fact, a tax on employment. If you were to lower or eliminate the payroll tax for a period, it would make it effectively cheaper for businesses to hire new workers, or to at least maintain their current workers, until the economy improves. Keynesians have traditionally opposed the idea of a payroll tax cut because they believe that in a bad economy, people would save more of the additional money they’d be taking in, and so they prefer to have the government spend the money.
The federal government collected $891 billion in payroll taxes in 2009 and is projected to take in $862 billion in 2010, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That means that a full one year holiday would, in monetary terms, be something along the lines of the economic stimulus package, which cost $862 billion.
In his op-ed, Daniels proposes a number of ways to make up for the lost revenue from the payroll tax holiday. The lowest-hanging fruit would be to use unspent stimulus and TARP dollars. Though according to Pro Publica, only $134 billion in stimulus remains unspent and uncommitted, and remaining TARP money, at least in theory, is supposed to be put back in the treasury for deficit reduction.
But Danleis has a number of other creative ideas that are a bit fresher. He proposes giving the president the power to spend less that Congress appropriates, a power he has used as governor to maintain a balanced budget and AAA credit rating for the state. He suggests a federal hiring and pay freeze, or even cut, as federal pay “vastly outstrips private-sector wages…”
Congress would have had much more money to play with had it not wasted money on the failed economic stimulus to begin with, but the idea of a payroll tax holiday — or at least reduction — is still worth considering as a means to boost employment.
CATO’s website is hosting the entirety of the recent “Hannity” special here. I participated in the production, and in so doing was impressed by the piles of books on the producers’ desks, which they said they read prior to interviewing any of us. Speaking to them further, it was clear this was so. In other words, they came to the production having done homework, as opposed to with a predetermined outcome.
The show reflects this immersion. As I wrote to the producers after viewing it, it is a thorough and well-produced. Most importantly, there is much background, footage and many quotes you may not have encountered, including some which are proof positive that what you have been told is nonsense and just part of the accepted political narrative.
Oh, and yes, it places into further relief the arrogance of the members of the political class who stand by their vote for cap-and-trade as they seek re-election or, ahem, higher office.
Believe it or not, the favorability rating of Andy Griffith has dropped too, thanks to his endorsement of Obamacare. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports:
Andy Griffith, star of the Andy Griffith Show, a Manteo resident and noted endorser of Democratic causes and candidates, has seen his approval ratings plummet, according to a poll published Tuesday by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling.
The Democratic pollster found that Griffith’s approval rating has fallen 25 points since 2008. Griffith has been a closer for Democrats, an unimpeachable saintly figure who fills his rare political spots with folksy charm and obvious references to his role as a small-town North Carolina sheriff.
In July he cut an ad for the federal government promising good things to come from the Democratic-backed health care law. And as the poll suggests, the ad may have tainted the Griffith brand and taken from Democrats an important campaign weapon.
Fortunately for him this is not an election year in Mayberry.
Richard Daley’s announcement that he won’t seek reelection as mayor of Chicago has triggered wide speculation that Rahm Emanuel will leave his post as President Obama’s chief of staff and jump into the race. The Politico has a piece out on possible replacements for Emanuel.
Here is a ClimateWire headline this morning from cap-and-trade happy Europe:
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Body and subway heat will fuel Paris housing project
I fail to see the news angle. Body heat has been providing the warmth in low-income homes for some time.
One of the most prevalent criticisms of President Bush was that he wouldn’t acknowledge that he made mistakes and thus stubbornly refused to alter his decisions based on new information. This charge was most prominently associated with his policy in Iraq. During the campaign, Barack Obama attacked John McCain for having a similar trait.
“We’ve seen this movie before,” Obama said at a May 2008 campaign event. “A leader who pursues the wrong course, who is unwilling to change course, who ignores the evidence. Now, just like George Bush, John McCain is refusing to admit that he’s made a mistake.”
Obama, we were told, was more self-reflective, substituting Bush’s coyboy swagger for sober introspection, which would allow him to admit error. However, with his political standing continuing to erode, President Obama is demonstrating the same type of intransigence that he once criticized in Bush.
Instead of acknowledging that the $862 billion economic stimulus package was a dismal failure that did not produce the promised four million jobs, his administration continues to tout it as a major success. Now, he’s announcing plans for yet another round of government spending, making the same arguments that he made when selling the original plan.
In addition, the New York Times reports that Obama is going to dig in on raising taxes on those earning more that $250,000 a year, even though many of them are small business owners filing as individuals. These marginal tax increases during a severe economic downturn come on top of a raft of new tax hikes as a result of the national health care law he rammed through Congress in the face of overwhelming opposition from the American public.
Obama captured the White House on the idea that he was different than President Bush, not just in terms of policy substance, but also in governing style. He may just lose the presidency by replicating one of Bush’s most prominent flaws.
The First Assassin author John J. Miller emails this morning to herald the debut of a fantastic new resource, the Student Free Press Association, an organization “devoted to campus journalism” and featuring “a mix of original and aggregated content on higher-ed news, virtually all of it produced by college students.”
The site launches today with a hard-hitting piece on Sharif Shakrani, a Michigan State professor accused of a costly case of plagiarism.
William Proxmire, the late Democratic Senator from Wisconsin, was a smart guy. Born and raised in a well-to do family in Illinois, he moved to New York to do the finance thing. He married a Rockefeller for a while.
But Bill Proxmire wanted a political career. So he took out a map of America and finally settled on Wisconsin as the place he would make his political fortune. Arriving, he was shortly elected to the state legislature. Then things became interesting.
He ran for governor. And lost. He ran for governor a second time. And lost. He ran for governor a third time. He lost.
By now the political sophisticates thought they had Proxmire pegged. He was a loser, and they branded him as such. But a funny thing happened next.
With the death of the famous GOP Senator Joe McCarthy, there was suddenly a special election to fill McCarthy’s Senate seat. Proxmire jumped into the race against a popular governor. The “loser” charge was instantly on everyone’s lips.
Proxmire would have none of it. Instead, in the fight of his life against the state’s political establishment, Proxmire turned the tables. He admitted that, yes: he had lost three races for governor. He was trying again. But there was no shame in losing, he said, because most average Wisconsites had lost at something, and they could identify with him. He wanted the votes of every Wisconsin voter who had lost in love or in a sport or lost a job or lost a parent or a child or anything or anyone they cared about. And his opponent could have all the voters who had won at everything they tried.
In a stunning upset, Wisconsin voters went with Proxmire. He was a highly popular senator for 32 years
The story comes to mind as Christine O’Donnell’s campaign for the United States Senate unfolds in Delaware. Her critics are pointing to supposed O’Donnell “problems” with a mortgage, taxes, the IRS and rent.
Meanwhile, opponent Mike Castle, currently the Congressman, once the governor, before that the lieutenant governor, and now the state party establishment’s favorite for the Republican nomination, has, presumably, cruised through life having none of these problems.
So in the style of William Proxmire, let’s pose the question. If Christine O’Donnell were to get the votes of every voter in Delaware who has had a mortgage, rent, or tax problem — and Mike Castle has had zero experience with this and wants the votes of those who have never had any of these problems: who is more in tune with the everyday problems of ordinary Delaware voters?
Is it perhaps worth connecting the dots? That somebody who has no experience with this, who is unenthusiastic about repealing ObamaCare but supports Cap and Trade is part of the reason the rest of the American people are having mortgage, tax, and rent problems in the first place?
William Proxmire had this game figured out once. One suspects the O’Donnell campaign may be getting it as well — which is what accounts for the flurry of “negative” O’Donnell stories. Are they really “negative”? Or are they an indication that one candidate lives the average life up-close-and personal, and the other is clueless?
As gut-wrenching as this is it is actually a very common tale, or at least the elements are present in every hare-brained consequence I have encountered in two decades of the vague, sweeping “environmental protection” regimes which have flowed from Washington, enacted in the name of salvation though — as the narrator here asks — it makes you wonder what’s really going on. I no longer wonder; I yell it from the rooftops.
When such extremism dominates, the typical response is ultimately a countervailing extremism. America is different. Sadly, however, we do tend to simply allow the casualties mount from policies that, after all, we’re assured were adopted with the best of intentions. Even were that true, so what? Look at what you are doing, to people. Surely there’s a middle ground.
Remember how our lawmakers spend their days, and the shrill groups they kowtow to. And think about what they need to actually spend their time working to fix.
Seen enough yet?
This is what the Republican primary voters are thinking about electing. He rules out repealing Obamacare. Stands by his cap-and-trade vote. Says his opponent is delusional for saying his team is…doing what you can watch. He is, the more one looks, the ultimate in a disheartening public servant.
I suppose that is to say, in short, that he is the embodiment of the establishment pol.
But you see (the argument goes), he’s “electable”. To what end?
Further, maybe that’s what needs to change.
The Cook Political Report, one of the leading prognosticators of congressional elections, is now projecting a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. As of now, Cook estimates that the GOP will gain 40 seats — the minimum required to take back the House — but says that the party’s ultimate gains could be “very possibly substantially more.”
The latest SurveyUSA poll on the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky shows Republican Rand Paul beating Democrat Jack Conway by 15 points, 55 percent to 40 percent. This has put Louisville’s Courier-Journal in the unenviable position of trying to make the Conway campaign’s pushback against the poll a bigger story than the survey the newspaper itself commissioned (along with a local TV station). Other recent public polls have shown the race much closer, though with Paul ahead. SurveyUSA is the highest rated polling firm that has done work on the Kentucky race.
As Americans return to work after the Labor Day weekend, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll reveals that Democrats still appear to be in deep trouble, with Republicans opening up a 13-point lead on the generic ballot.
In addition, 92 percent of Americans think the economy is in bad shape, and now more Americans think President Obama’s economic policies have hurt rather than helped the economy. Overall, a majority of 52 percent disapprove of his job performance.
The poll also found that 78 percent say they are disfatisfied with the way the federal government is working, which is the highest measure since October 1992, right before Bill Clinton beat George Bush in the presidential election.
The fundamentals, in other words, continue to be terrible for Democrats, and now that we’re into September, there really isn’t much time to turnaround these basic perceptions.
Forgive my golf obsession, but American men are fading from the forefront in golf the way they faded in tennis about six or seven years ago. And with today being the last day to impress Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin to become a Wild Card selection for the international team competition, not only did nobody step up, but just about everybody under consideration absolutely hashed up their chances. To me, this looks like the worst American Ryder Cup team EVER. Of the eight already on the team, Phil Mickelson has played like he’s utterly lost since blowing another chance for a U.S. Open this summer. Today he hacked up the course with a five-over 76. Hunter Mahan is a CUp veteran and should be fine, even though he has only won two (or is it three) tournaments in his life. Bubba Watson has won only one tournament and is prone to severe nervousness and fits of bizarre tactics. Jim Furyk is solid, as is Steve Stricker. Dustin Johnson is a rising star but still young and still known for trouble closing out victories. Jeff Overton hasn’t won anything on tour, ever, and has faded in the last month. Matt Kuchar should be fine — but again, with only three tour wins, he’s hardly a superstar.
To join them, Pavin has four choices. The first choice is easy: Tiger Woods is finally starting to find his game, and for once in his life he should play BETTER because he’ll be playing for team and country rather than himself: I think the focus on a higher call will bring out a better game than the year-long focus on a self with whom he is angry and disgusted. (So much for my psychologizing.)
So who should the other choices be? Nobody who is a respected absolutely top-notch veteran has made a strong case for himself. The two most accomplished who are anywhere near the top of the points list also are the two whose games at least have been decent in the last month even if not world-beating: former major title winners Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink. I would choose them to join Tiger and this otherwise weak team. But that still leaves one player to choose.
Tops on the points list are Anthony Kim, who has played horrendously since returning (prematurely) from thumb surgery. There is no way he should be chosen while he seems not to be healthy. Next is Lucas Glover, who gagged his way home a few weeks back when he had a real chance to win a tourney and who since then has been mediocre — which is pretty much how he has been ever since winning the U.S. Open in 2009. He shouldn’t be the choie either. Bo Van Pelt? Only one tour win in his life, and that over a second-tier field. Be Crane. Ricke Barnes? Nick Watney? None of them inspire a ton of confidence. Sean O’Hair is next, but is all of a sudden in a big slumpp. And so on down the list. Nobody has a great resume combined with very solid recent play. ANd veterans like Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, David Toms, Kenny Perry, and Scott Verplank all backed up in the past two weeks when they had a chance to step up their games.
Folks, this is bad.
For the final choice, if I were Pavin, I would choose….. Fred Couples. He still hits it a mile. He keeps his team loose and is well liked by his peers. He has had a great year on the senior tour and finished fifth at the Masters. And he played well this week at Pebble on the senior tour.
So there are my picks: Woods, Cink, Johnson, and Couples. Let’s see if Pavin agrees.
I’ve now had the chance to finish Lott’s book about William F. Buckley. He wrote the book as part of the Christian Encounters series for Thomas Nelson. The book is a quick read and is absolutely packed with interesting information about WFB. I say that as a person who has been reading Buckley and reading about him for many years. Lott’s book (titled William F. Buckley) gets past the half dozen or so anecdotes we’ve all heard and shares lots of great stuff about Buckley as a thinker and controversialist.
A few interesting features:
The book is highly satisfying and extremely well done. I am impressed that an evangelical publishing company has offered the best biography since WFB’s death. We would expect it from ISI or Regnery. Of course, we all await the authorized volume someday to come from Sam Tanenhaus who was so successful in his treatment of Whittaker Chambers’ life.
It must be hard to know that the majority of Americans don’t think you’re doing a very good job. But what’s it like to know that the people who don’t like you REALLY DON’T LIKE YOU?
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 24% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-seven percent (47%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -23 (see trends).
That’s the highest level of Strong Disapproval and the lowest Approval Index daily rating yet recorded for this president. However, while the daily ratings are sometime volatile, a Month-by-Month review of the president’s numbers continues to show a high degree of stability. On a full-month basis, the Presidential Approval Index has stayed between -14 and -17 for eight of the past nine months.
Twice as many people have strongly negative as strongly positive opinions of his performance. Indeed, almost half of the population strongly disapproves of his record.
It ain’t easy being Barack Obama these days!
It’s reported that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are doing “triage” in an attempt to save their House majority from an anticipated Republican tsunami on Nov. 2. If a really huge GOP wave comes crashing ashore on Election Day, even a challenge to Steny Hoyer — called “the longest of long-shot races” by Congressional Quarterly — might stand a chance at scoring an upset:
In 2006, Hoyer got 83% of the vote (the GOP didn’t even have a challenger against him), but in 2008, he only got 74% - Republican Collins Bailey got more than 80,000 votes in a high-tide year for Democrats (Obama carried the 5th District by a 2-to-1 margin).
Democrat enthusiasm is way down this year, so the turnout is likely to be far lower. In 2006, there were barely 200,000 votes cast in the 5th District race. So if there is a similar turnout Nov. 2, and [5th District GOP candidate Charles] Lollar merely matches the GOP’s 80,000 total from 2008, that puts him at 40% — add another 20,000 votes from fed-up-with-Obamanomics Tea Party types, and an upset becomes feasible… .
Charles Lollar has an impressive résumé — an up-from-the-ranks Marine Corps Reserve officer endorsed by Combat Veterans for Congress — and if he wins the Sept. 14 GOP primary in Maryland’s 5th District, Steny Hoyer might need some “triage” close to home.
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?