Six days ago, my Dad and I watched Johan Santana pitch a complete game, four-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres at CitiField.
I wrote, “Very, very impressive. The only question is if he can sustain this over an entire season.”
Tonight, Johan Santana threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out World Series MVP David Freese to end the ballgame. It is the first no-hitter in the Mets 50-year history. It’s amazing that the likes of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, David Cone, Frank Viola and Al Leiter never tossed a no-hitter while in a Mets uniform.
It is the third no-hit game of the 2012 season. Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber tossed a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners in April while Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver threw a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins in May.
It is worth noting that Santana walked five batters in his no-hitter and threw 134 pitches. Last Saturday, it only took 96 pitches (none of them resulting in a walk) to dispatch of the Padres. Still, a no-hitter is a no-hitter and I wish I had been there to see it.
UPDATE: This no-hitter wasn’t without controversy. In the top of the sixth, ex-Met Carlos Beltran hit what appeared to a double down the left field line. However, third base umpire Adrian Johnson called it foul. The replay showed the ball hit the chalk. Cardinals manger Mike Matheny and third base coach Jose Oquendo protested but to no avail. MLB instant replay only applies to homerun calls. The call stood and so did the no-hitter.
UPDATE II: Mets leftfielder Mike Baxter made a spectacular catch to preserve the no-hitter. Unfortunately, Baxter will pay a steep price for making Mets history. Baxter has injured his left shoulder and broken several ribs. He will miss at least six weeks of action.
Though I don’t Tweet myself—for reasons which quasi-resemble John Mayer’s—I have extolled the virtues and vices of the social media site at this magazine and elsewhere. While I generally believe there’s too much Tweeting and not enough thinking, as one of a laundry list of problems, Twitter does allow for instant communication, and acts as mediator between very different people and ideas.
As I said a couple years ago:
Twitter is to messaging what blogs were to the Internet. Its fast-paced form is lucid and vast and open to venom and veracity simultaneously. Its the beautiful result of what happens when the need for rapid communication and the beauty of capitalism collude.
Case in point: 25-year old Canadian rapper, Drake, who apparently has a penchant for $6,000 socks recently Tweeted that making “The first million is the hardest.” Amazingly, T. Boone Pickens, who just celebrated his 84th birthday, and who is a vocally conservative, wind-turbine loving oil magnate, (and who actually follows Drake) Tweeted smugly: “The first billion is a helluva lot harder.” (To his credit, Drake Tweeted back a humble response.)
Even with its flaws and tendency for narcissism and babble, only on Twitter would we see two worlds collide, paychecks analyzed, and reflections of humility and pride in a matter of moments.
As a longtime admirer and booster of Paul Ryan’s who was touting him for Vide President four years ago, before he really was nationally prominent, and also as somebody who understands that sometimes one’s home district requires a lack of philosophical purity from time to time, it still galls me to see Ryan repeatedly go off the reservation when it comes to labor-union issues. Fifteen months ago, at a Spectator Newsmaker Breakfast, Ryan claimed he merely made a mistake when voting(in effect) to uphold a requirement for expensive, unnecessary, union-friendly, freedom-destroying Project Labor Agreements. (See link for details.) He immediately pledged that he would vote against PLAs at the next opportunity.
Well, yesterday he did technically abide by that pledge: As a host of other Republicans voted to save PLAs — a horrible, horrible vote — Ryan at least had the grace not to join them. Alas, though, he sucked up to the unions in another way just as bad, indeed for something that is almost the same thing as PLAs, namely for so-called Davis-Bacon requirements that require union-level wages on federal projects, no matter what the local wage rate otherwise would be. Red State has the full report here (not focusing on Ryan, but I focus on Ryan because of his pledge last year and because, of course, he is a Vice-presidential contender).
On one hand, this could make Ryan an even more valuable member of a Romney ticket, because it might help at the margins in gaining the ticket blue-collar support, especially in Wisconsin. It also puts Ryan squarely in the tradition of his mentor, Jack Kemp, who I admired tremendously but who also repeatedly sucked up to unions even when it wasn’t politically necessary. On the other hand, both Davis-Bacon and PLAs add large amounts of costs to the federal budget, and Ryan is of course the most prominent leader on cutting the budget. If he won’t cut his own special interest, it makes it more difficult to ask others to make tough votes to cut elsewhere. And, really, even though his district is sort of a swing district, he has been there long enough and wins by margins huge enough that he’s not likely to lose his House seat no matter how he votes on Davis-Bacon and on PLAs. Therefore, his vote is a big disappointment. Ugh ptui/phtooey.
Mitt Romney’s surprisingly combative campaign — highlighted by yesterday’s visit to Solyndra — is getting positive reviews from some erstwhile conservative critics. Rush Limbaugh proclaimed, “This is not the McCain campaign.”
BuzzFeed reports on the phenomenon:
“I thought we were going to see John McCain all over again,” said Brad Thor, a bestselling novelist and popular figure on the right who supported Santorum. “But you know what? That fire I’ve felt for previous candidates, I’m starting to feel it. And that surprise presser at Solyndra was like pouring accelerant on the fire.”
Thor said when he heard about the Solyndra stunt, he cheered aloud: “Way to go Mitt!”
“My God, this is right out of Breitbart’s playbook. I love it!”
This dovetails nicely with Byron York’s explanation of why Romney won’t distance himself from Donald Trump:
Romney aides believe that cooperating with Democrats and media figures who are demanding a Trump disavowal would most certainly lead to more calls for more disavowals of other figures in the future — leaving Romney spending as much time apologizing for his supporters as campaigning for president. Team Romney views it as a silly and one-sided game designed to distract voters from the central issue of the race, which they remain convinced will be President Obama’s handling of the economy.
I have my own theories about Romney and Trump, but the week was kind to the strategy York outlined: we began with unflattering headlines about Trump and ended with a focus on the disappointing jobs report. It’s good for the campaign, though I do think if conservatives don’t care about “Romney’s moderate record – as long as he’s a fighting moderate” (to quote BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins), they will be reminded that substance matters more than style if a hypothetical President Romney starts governing.
John Edwards, charged with six counts of violating campaign law, was found not guilty on one count today; the judge declared a mistrial on the other five counts, as the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict on any of them. So does this mean there will be another trial? An AP source says probably not:
WASHINGTON — A knowledgeable law enforcement official said Thursday it is unlikely that the Justice Department will retry John Edwards.
The official made the comment after the campaign finance fraud case ended in a mistrial.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity about an issue that will undergo much review inside the government in the coming days.
The case was so murky that it’s not all that surprising that the jury ended up deadlocked (the only count they agreed to acquit on involved payments made in part after he’d withdrawn from the race). Recall that the editors of National Review came “unethusiastically to his defense.”
It’s a good thing that at least a few senators really “get it.” Alabama’s Jeff Sessions and Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn are two who do — as discussed here. Also, Gary Palmer of the Alabama Policy Institute adds to the argument. Good stuff.
Mitt Romney today made a surprise campaign appearance at Solyndra, the solar-panel company that filed for bankruptcy after receiving half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees. Originally part of Romney’s comeback to the Bain charges, it has emerged as a central part of his critique of Barack Obama’s economic policy.
“It’s a symbol not of success but of failure,” Romney said at the event. “I’m afraid the reason that the stimulus has been unsuccessful, that the turnaround has taken so long to occur, that the recovery has been tepid, is that the president fails to understand the basic nature of free enterprise in America.”
Romney even hit Obama on crony capitalism:
I also note how damaging a decision like this is for free enterprise generally. What you’re saying to other inventors, to other entrepreneurs, particularly in the solar space, is that the best way to get ahead is not with the best ideas and the best technology and the best people and the best marketing, but instead with the best lobbyists. That is not the nature of how America works.
I wrote about how Solyndra was representative of the Obama administration’s broader approach to economics in the print edition. Recent national and swing state polls have shown Romney pulling even with Obama.
Today Barack Obama hosted an admittedly gracious bipartisan lovefest at the White House for the unveiling of George W. Bush’s official portait. But don’t be fooled: As I recently wrote, the Obama who wanted to transcend red states and blues states has been replaced with a campaigner every bit as partisan as Karl Rove.
Don’t believe me? Check out John Heilemann’s well reported New York magazine piece on Hope being followed by Fear. Consider the Obama campaign’s plans for Mitt Romney:
They will pummel him for being a vulture-vampire capitalist at Bain Capital. They will pound him for being a miserable failure as the governor of Massachusetts. They will mash him for being a water-carrier for Paul Ryan’s Social Darwinist fiscal program. They will maul him for being a combination of Jerry Falwell, Joe Arpaio, and John Galt on a range of issues that strike deep chords with the Obama coalition. “We’re gonna say, ‘Let’s be clear what he would do as president,’ ” Plouffe explains. “Potentially abortion will be criminalized. Women will be denied contraceptive services. He’s far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.”
The Obama effort at disqualifying Romney will go beyond painting him as excessively conservative, however. It will aim to cast him as an avatar of revanchism. “He’s the fifties, he is retro, he is backward, and we are forward—that’s the basic construct,” says a top Obama strategist. “If you’re a woman, you’re Hispanic, you’re young, or you’ve gotten left out, you look at Romney and say, ‘This [expletive] guy is gonna take us back to the way it always was, and guess what? I’ve never been part of that.’ ”
It’s a better tactic for Obama than trying to run on his economic record.
The CNN folks are really on the skids.
But you have to love the way the liberal media portrays this.
Over at the HuffPo is this story acknowledging that CNN just posted its worst numbers in 20 years. (20 years!)
After running the numbers, the low for CNN, the fact that MSNBC is ahead of CNN… the story finally gets around to saying the Number One network is… drumroll… Fox News. Which is beating the pants off of MSNBC and CNN combined.
But there’s even more here in the humor department.
The story says that things are “especially bad” in the 9 p.m. slot for Larry King’s much touted successor Piers Morgan. It cites Morgan’s atrocious numbers and yada yada.
But what’s missing in this story? Hmmmmmmmmmm. Let us think. I’m sure we can come up with the name of He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned.
Yes! Got it! Hannity somebody! Slim… Sam….Steve… no… wait! Sean! That’s it! Sean Hannity!
Why is this? Why would Sean Hannity’s name be completely absent from a news story explaining that his competition is getting clobbered… but not saying who, exactly, is doing the winning?
We report you decide. And one more thing.
Yes, Hannity is THE place to go for a discussion of conservatism.
But there’s something else. In fact Hannity regularly has liberals on the show… drawing them out on their ideas, challenging them to defend their beliefs etc.
Hello? How hard is this to figure out that this is both good television and good serious discussion? Moving the nation’s political conversation forward, as it were, five nights a week.
Apparently this is too hard for CNN these days.
So Piers Morgan and CNN slowly fade to black. And Hannity is re-signed by Fox.
And the HuffPo can’t quite bring itself to tell you why one event is connected to the other.
Over at the Daily Caller, our friend Ginni Thomas sat down with Mark Stevens for a great video interview. You will remember Mark as the businessman whom the Left tried to shut down when they realized he had… gasp!… the temerity to advertise on Rush Limbaugh’s show. They tried to intimidate him… make that threaten him… and Mark not only stood his ground, he went out of his way to stand up to them in public.
This is a terrific interview. It runs about 26 minutes. Take a listen:
Take a look at this video (hat tip to Doug Ross) taken at a townhall meeting for Florida’s Congressman Allen West:
Congressman West is seen in the beginning of the clip, the meeting apparently over. Off camera some noisy lefties are making themselves known, and West smilingly calls them his “groupies.” One liberal woman is upset, and proceeds to take on several World War II vets, and an older woman who may be the wife of one. The older woman is carrying a cane. An exhange is heard…it appears at one point that the liberal woman refers to “Nazis,” although whether she is accusing one of the veterans is unclear — although he certainly looks startled at what she says. Finally — at 1:16 into the video — the much younger woman jabs one of the vets and says..”Hey…F…you.” There’s more.
The Obama Transformation proceeds.
The vast majority of Americans recognize sex-selection abortion for the loathsome practice that it is. A recent poll found that 77 percent of Americans oppose abortions sought strictly because the parent(s) don’t like the gender of the unborn child. It’s rare, in our nation divided down the middle on so many issues, to achieve that degree of unity.
For that reason, Republicans in the U.S. House have the wind at their backs as they take a vote on the Prenatal Nondescrimination Act, scheduled for today. The bill would subject abortionists who perform sex-selection abortions to fine and imprisonment for up to five years. Organizations — such as Planned Parenthood — that perform such abortions would forfeit federal funding under the proposal. Women who seek the abortions would be exempt from prosecution.
Having a debate over sex-selection abortion is important because it exposes core weaknesses in pro-choice philosophy. As I wrote in December, pro-choice ideology claims to place the highest value on women and womanhood. Yet they are forced to accept, as both moral and legal, the aborting of an unborn baby strictly because she is female. To do anything less would violate their core beliefs about the un-personhood of the fetus and the absolute autonomy of the parents (specifically, the mother) in deciding whether to terminate the unborn life.
The effort is likely to die in the U.S. Senate, but kudos to a cadre of courageous Republicans (chief among them Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona) for furthering the debate on ending this evil practice.
I appreciate what Quin is trying to say concerning President Obama’s “Polish death camps” remark. But I simply do not agree with him when he argues that Obama made nothing more than “a harmless slip of the lip.” The last time an American President made a slip of the lip concerning Poland we ended up with Jimmy Carter for four years.
If one were to take Quin’s argument to its logical conclusion then Obama is off limits for saying he visited 57 states with one left to go and as well as for proclaiming he was “here in Asia” during the APEC Summit when he was, in fact, standing in his native Hawaii. Nor could Obama be called to account for calling the Falkland Islands the Maldives when he meant to call it the Malvinas. That slip of the lips is rather unsettling to the U.K. never mind to those who call the Falklands home.
Even if President Obama intended no malice, the fact is that he has caused an international incident with an ally that stood by our side in both Afghanistan and Iraq. And how does President Obama repay that loyalty? First, he jettisons missile defense to mollify the Russians while getting nothing in return. Now he refers to Nazi death camps as Polish death camps. Obama has only aggravated matters by having a flunky do the talking for him rather than personally accepting responsibility for his actions and making amends with Poland.
As Polish PM Donald Tusk so eloquently asked, “If these were “Polish death camps” then from whose hands did the uncle of the President of the United States liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp?” Then again perhaps we are asking too much of Obama. After all, he publicly stated that his uncle had liberated Auschwitz making him a veteran of the Soviet Red Army. But to excuse Obama’s ignorance here is to ignore a litany of foreign policy errors and diplomatic impropriety which deserve our full scrutiny.
President Obama has repeatedly apologized for America’s actions. But Obama has rendered our international reputation into a sorry state whether by unceremoniously returning the bust of Churchill, talking while “God Save The Queen” is playing, calling Hugo Chavez “mi amigo”, saying we shouldn’t been seen as “meddling” in Iran’s “elections” while meddling on behalf of those who tried to subvert Honduras’ constitution, sending The Dalai Lama out the back door with the garbage while telling Benjamin Netanyahu to show himself to the door after being more concerned with Israel building housing than with Iran building a nuclear weapon. Obama would later call on Israel to return to its “pre-1967 borders.”
This row which Obama has started with Poland is just the latest in a long line of slippery words and incompetent deeds for which he richly deserves to be scorned. As such, these slippery words and incompetent deeds deserve to be considered by voters as they go to the ballot box in November.
I agree entirely with Aaron that Obama the Oval Office Occupier has insulted Poland terribly in the past, and that Polish leaders should take every oppotunity to make clear their disdain for his asininity. That said, I really think this flap about “Polish death camps” is too much ado about very little. It was abundantly clear that Obama meant death camps in Poland. No insult intended — in fact, just the opposite, as he honored one of Poland’s greatest heroes (and a hero of mine as a GU student while he taught there), Jan Karski. No matter who the offending politician, I will continue to insist that this sort of out-of-context “gotcha” stuff is beneath us, when we face an election as momentous as this one, in times as scary as these. It was silly, or worse, when people blasted Romney for his “I don’t care about the poor” remark; silly, or worse, when people hit Santorum on several things taken clearly out of context; and even unfair when Newt Gingrich, whose campaign I opposed, was hit for supposedly being racist because of comments of his that obviously were twisted all out of shape.
There is so, so much to criticize about Barry Alinsky Hussein Obama the Choom King (just having fun, guys!), but we shouldn’t cheapen those criticisms by attacking him for a harmless slip of the lip.
From time to time, you come across articles or studies which argue that conservatism is steeped in mental illness or a byproduct of so-called authoritarian personality. Last summer, this academic drivel was extended to the Tea Party.
Today, Dr. Justin Frank, a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center in D.C., penned an article in Time arguing the Tea Party fears contamination:
The fear-based purism of the Tea Party brings to mind the developmental phase we see in toddlers who insist on keeping separate the different foods on their dinner plate; in their quest fo certainty, a fleck of green parsley in their plain spaghetti will ruin the entire meal. The extremist drive for political absolutism is driven by a similar fear of contamination.
On a different psychological level we see a fear of being force fed - that the mother or father is going to make the child eat the spaghetti despite that speck of parsley. This perspective equates compromise with surrender, a recent theme in primary races with Tea Party candidates. Recently, Indiana Republicans defeated long-time stalwart senator Richard Lugar in favor of a man who promised never to compromise with any Democrat. Texas Tea Party Senate candidate ran ads portraying his Republican opponent as a “moderate”, meaning he’s someone willing to work across the aisle.
This anxiety is also expressed in adulthood as the fear of having to mix with people who are different from self. A high percentage of Tea Party extremists to whom (Alan) Simpson refers still can’t accept someone as different from them as Obama as their president. And what goes far beyond a simple bit of parsley is that Obama is experienced as a living, breathing contaminant that threatens to force-feed his other-ness down the throat of America.
Fear-based purism? Tea Party extremists? It’s not exactly the kind of detached, sober clincial analysis that one would expect of a psychiatrist. If Dr. Frank likens Indiana Republicans who voted for Dick Mourdock over Dick Lugar to children who refuse to eat spaghetti because of a speck of parsley then what of Democrats in Connecticut who jettisoned Joe Lieberman in favor of Ned Lamont a few years back? Or for that matter Texas Democrats who yesterday dumped longtime Congressman Silvestre Reyes? Indeed, it would seem that Dr. Frank is projecting his own biases and prejudices towards a group of people with whom he disagrees.
Speaking of biases and prejudices, Dr. Frank makes the not so subtle suggestion that Tea Partiers dislike President Obama because of the color of his skin (i.e. “the fear of having to mix with people who are different from self”). That Dr. Frank would make such a statement tells me that he has never met a Tea Partier in his life.
It would be great if a local Tea Party group were to invite Dr. Frank to join them for a spaghetti dinner with all the parsley he wants. That is if he’s willing to break bread. I wouldn’t want Dr. Frank to feel contaminated in the presence of Tea Partiers.
A story my father likes to tell: It’s the 60s, during his years in college in Chicago, and he’s with his parents in Highland Park, Illinois for a High Holiday service at Congregation Solel (where I would become a bar mitzvah a few decades later). The rabbi announces from the bema that he will not be paying the portion of his taxes that pay for the Vietnam War. My grandfather bursts out laughing, and turns to his son to explain that the IRS would most likely end up taking more from the rabbi than they would if he’d paid his taxes on time and in full.
The rabbi was Arnold Wolf, who would later invite the Chicago Seven to speak at the temple (a costly decision — the wealthiest member of the congregation, part of the prominent Pritzker family, responded by quitting and withdrawing his generous financial support). I bring this up because of reports of Obama asserting that he probably knows more about Judaism than any other president, and wondering why people question his support for Israel, and not John Boehner’s or Mitch McConnell’s, when he had so many Jewish friends in Chicago. Bill Kristol has an apt response to this, and John Podhoretz expounds upon how preposterous his boast about his knowledge is. But what neither of them focus on is who exactly Obama’s Jewish friends in Chicago were.
As Adam Kredo detailed at the Washington Free Beacon in March, Obama was close to Rabbi Wolf (who lived in Hyde Park by the time Obama moved there) and his extremely left-wing milieu. The prevailing views on Israel in this circle were as far out as the prevailing views on everything else — Wolf had advocated negotiating with the PLO long before its ostensible renunciation of terrorism — and this influence on Obama’s thinking has had real consequences:
Political insiders and Jewish thinkers believe that Obama’s early foray into the world of Jewish radicalism led him to take an aggressive and hostile stance against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu early in his presidency.
“If you’re a non-Jew, as is the case of President Obama, and you’re in the progressive movement and meet progressive Jews who are ready to throw Israel under the bus, it can be hard for you to realize how pathological these people are, how out of the mainstream they are, how damaging they are even to non-Jews in their pursuit of moral perfectionism at any cost, including their own people,” explained Richard Landes, a historian and professor at Boston University.
So yes, Obama had a lot of Jewish friends in Chicago. But his citation of the “some of my best friends are Jewish” trope as evidence of his pro-Israel cred is not only slightly offensive, it is, given who those friends actually were, completely nonsensical.
UPDATE TO BELOW: Less than an hour ago, Fox’ Neil Cavuto had Rep. Davis on his show to ask about his change in heart. Davis was really good. He explained that Obama has not “brought us together,” has not concentrated on economic growth, and has not governed at all like the centrist Obama portrayed himself as in 2008. Lots of good quotes there that conservatives can use.
Meanwhile, reporter Dave Weigel suggests tongue in cheeck that Davis should consider running for Attorney General of Virginia (since the excellent Ken Cuccinelli is running for governor) in 2013. It’s not funny; it’s a good idea.
Now, see below for the original post:
I have been touting Artur Davis for quite a while, praising him even when he was a Democratic office-holder. Now the former congressman from Alabama, who has been writing at places like National Review for the past year, makes clear what my private conversations with him dating back a number of years had always indicated was a real likelihood: Davis’ values align more closely with Republicans than with the radical, identity-politics-based national Democratic Party. From his announcement, words well chosen:
On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.
Davis is no hard-core conservative, but he is definitely more right-leaning than not, and he has tremendous political talent. Conservatives ought to welcome him with open arms.
Ted Cruz forced David Dewhurst into a runoff last night in Texas, but trailed the frontrunner by a little more than ten points. Dewhurst’s 44.6 percent is closer to a majority than Cruz’ 34.2 percent. Dewhurst could also conceivably pick up more votes from former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (13.3 percent) than Cruz could from Craig James (3.6 percent), though there’s no guarantee of how those will break down.
So what kind of chances does Ted Cruz have? Let’s look at past Texas runoffs. In 1998, Barry Williamson beat John Cornyn 38 percent to 32 percent in the first round of balloting for attorney general. Cornyn came back and beat Williamson 58 percent to 42 percent in the runoff. Two years earlier, recent party switcher Greg Laughlin beat Ron Paul in the first round of the GOP congressional primary by 42 percent to 32 percent. Paul came back and beat Laughlin 56 percent to 44 percent in the runoff.
Political scientist Eric Ostermeier writes, “Nearly 40 percent of Lone Star State Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate have gone to a runoff since 1916 with the second place candidate winning in more than half of the runoff elections.” Republicans have had two Senate runoffs, one being won by the first-place finisher in the initial round (George H.W. Bush, incidentally), the other by the second-place finisher.
But we do know that results can vary from the first round to the runoff. Turnout is expected to be lower, especially without any presidential race atop the ballot. The question is whether this means a more conservative electorate to boost Cruz or whether Dewhurst just tacks on the few extra points he needs.
Quin isn’t impressed with talk of South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune being Romney’s number two. I second his motion.
I haven’t been much of a fan of Thune since he opposed John Bolton’s nomination as UN ambassador back in 2005. If Romney were to be elected, Bolton would be a leading candidate to be appointed Secretary of State.
Not that there’s any rule that a V-P and a Secretary of State have to like each other. Still, I think if Romney were to make this pick it would be terribly out of Thune.
The recall election against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was started because of his efforts to curb the collective bargaining powers of public sector unions. Some union leaders, however, feel the Democrats have deemphasized that issue now that the recall is actually on. One union has decided to speak out by withholding support from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
The Daily Page reports that the University of Wisconsin’s Teaching Assistants Association won’t endorse Barrett:
Democrats are making the issue less of a priority in their campaign messaging. Instead, they’re focusing on Gov. Scott Walker’s leadership style and budget cuts rather than offering a forthright defense of unionism and collective bargaining….
“Through his use of Act 10 against the workers in Milwaukee [Barrett] has shown that he is not deserving of support of unions in Wisconsin,” says Dan Suárez, a member of the TAA and a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UW-Madison. Barrett made use of Walker’s collective bargaining restrictions in Act 10 to increase pension and health care contributions for workers employed by the city of Milwaukee. Barrett has said he took those steps to avoid layoffs of public workers.
It’s one small union, but if this discontent is more broadly shared you wonder what it will do to Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts, which figure to be largely union-driven.
Talk about the bland leading the bland: Thune for Veep?
Okay, now that Mitt Romney officially has enough pledged delegates to win the nomination, allow this one last comment about his overall worthiness for that nomination. From now until November, I will praise him or criticize him even-handedly as his conduct warrants, always keeping in mindhow he compares (still rather favorably) against the horrors of the current guy Occupying the Oval Office. But for now, let it be noted that Republicans have are managing to nominate a distinctly mediocre candidate, about as conservative on his best days as the “no vision thing” elderBush and about as inspirational as Hymie the robot from Get Smart.
But, as I say, for the next six months, in terms of gratuitous and generic comments along those lines, I will impose upon myself the “cone of silence.” Of course, the darn cone never really works.
While posthumously bestowing the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Polish WWII resistance member Jan Karski, President Obama made reference to “Polish death camps”.
The problem is while there were death camps in Poland they were run by the Germans. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor issued a mealy mouthed apology stating that the President merely “misspoke”.
This was simply not good enough for Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk:
If these were “Polish death camps”, then from whose hands did the uncle of the President of the United States liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp? When someone says “Polish death camps,” it is as if there were no Nazis, no German responsibility, as if there was no Hitler - that is why our Polish sensitivity in these situations is so much more than just simply a feeling of national pride.
This truth about World War II is important and must also have importance for every other nation. I am convinced today, our American friends are capable of a stronger reaction - a clearer one, and one which perhaps eliminates, once and for all, these types of mistakes - than just the correction itself and the regret which we heard from the White House spokesperson. We take note of these words, but it seems it woul be even more important for the United States than for Poland to end this with class. That is how one acts with regard to tried-and-tested friends, but this is also how one acts in your own, well-defined interest. I believe our allies are capable of such behavior. Thank you very much.
This isn’t the first time President Obama has insulted Poland. He did so in September 2009 when he cancelled the ballistic missile defense systems proposed by George W. Bush which were to be built in Poland and the Czech Republic in an effort to appease, er, reset relations with Russia.
President Obama has made apologizing for America’s actions one of the hallmarks of his presidency. The time has come for President Obama to apologize for his own misdeeds. It’s time for Obama to man up.
Texas is a big state, and some big things happened during its primary last night. To recap:
1. Mitt Romney clinched the nomination.There will still be some quibbling over the official delegate count, but for all intents and purposes Romney secured the Republican presidential nomination last night. The party has increasingly treated him as such ever since Rick Santorum dropped out, but qualifications like “presumptive” or “likely” nominee are no longer necessary. Romney’s 69 percent to 12 percent margin over Ron Paul, who has represented the Lone Star State in the House for twelve terms, is nothing to sneeze at.
2. Ted Cruz forced David Dewhurst into a runoff. This will be the next primary painted as a Tea Party versus Republican establishment battle. Dewhurst won the first round with less than 45 percent of the vote to Cruz’ 34 percent. Just a shade more than five points better and Dewhurst would be the nominee. But runoffs frequently produce different results than the first round and the lower turnout is thought to favor Cruz. The next round occurs in late July.
3. Silvestrie Reyes was defeated. We have heard a lot about Tea Partiers taking out Republican incumbents recently. Here’s a case where an incumbent Democrat fell to a congressional primary challenger. Reyes was criticized for being ineffective and out of touch. Challenger Beto O’Rourke managed to avoid a runoff with Reyes by winning 50.5 percent of the vote.
4. Ralph Hall holds firm. Hall, a conservative Democrat turned conservative Republican, is now the oldest member of Congress at 89. He easily held off a primary challenger last night.
5. No anti-Obama protest vote in the Democratic primary. Texas didn’t follow states like Arkansas and West Virginia in embarrassing Barack Obama. The president won the Texas primary with 88.2 percent of the vote. This shouldn’t be too surprising, however. Unlike the aforementioned states, most white conservatives have left the Texas Democratic Party.
Frank VanderSloot, who is among the eight individuals on an “enemies list” released by President Obama’s campaign team on April 20, told the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday that he’s proud of the distinction.
Yet he is also still, perhaps, a little unnerved. This is “the first time a president of the United States has yielded to the temptation to make an ‘enemies list’ and put it out for the public to see,” he reflected.
VanderSloot, CEO of Melaleuca, an Idaho-based health and househould products company, recounted his rags-to-riches story that may very well be everyone’s idea of the American Dream. He serves as co-chair on Mitt Romney’s national finance committee and is among the Republican presumptive presidential nominee’s top donors. His $1 million contribution to the pro-Romney super-PAC, Restore Our Future, especially, garnered wrath from liberal news outlets. Among others, Stephanie Mecimer of Mother Jones alleged that “VanderSloot has long been a controversial figure in Idaho politics, particularly when it comes to issues involving gays and lesbians” and suggested that Melaleuca had “[deceived] consumers about some of its supplements”.
The negative portrayals of both VanderSloot’s character and his company severely damaged his client relations, which he sought to salvage by openly challenging the claims from the left.
“I’m not afraid of what they’re going to find in my records,” VanderSloot said. “I’m proud of the life I’ve lived.”
Conservative media soon rallied behind him. (Including TAS’s own Jeff Lord.) Thanks to talk show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, “the reverse of what [the liberals] wanted to happen has happened.”
Indeed, VanderSloot was pleased to say that “now, all the phone calls, all the internet things that are coming in, all the emails are thirteen to one positive and in support of what we’re doing.”
It is not all rainbows and butterflies, however, and VanderSloot said he continues to be on the defense. “I’m sure [the left] will try to keep [the negative campaign] going,” he said, “because they can’t afford to have this thing fail, and they can’t afford to have it backfire.”
Guitar picking legend Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson has passed away of complications from abdominal surgery following a fall at his home. He was 89.
Blind from infancy, the North Carolina born Watson began playing guitar at the age of 11 but did not attain broad recognition until he was nearly 40 during the folk revival of the early 1960s. In the 1970s, his son Merle joined him. Sadly, Merle was killed in an accident on the family’s farm in 1985. In tribute to his on, Watson hosted MerleFest, an annual gathering of “traditional plus” music including but not limited to folk, country, blues, bluegrass and Appalachian music.
I leave you with Doc & Merle flatpicking George Gershwin’s “Summertime”:
Andrew Sullivan, he of “The First Gay President” fame, has responded to a blog note of mine in which I, tongue in cheek, mentioned understanding “the temptation to waterboard” MSNBC host Chris Hayes who offered the worst of liberal gobbledygook about his being “uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’.”
Sullivan offers this, which apparently passes for insight: “The most revealing thing about this rant is its understanding of waterboarding. It is, in Kaminsky’s eyes, an instrument of punishment. Every now and again, the far right shows its hand. The adoption of torture was as much about revenge and payback as it was a misguided, illegal, desperate attempt to get intelligence by methods never designed (by totalitarians) to get intelligence.”
I got a similar comment from a follower of Sullivan’s who, desperately searching for a thought of his own, said that “Your post is vile and says much more about you than the people you suggest might be conceivably targeted for waterboarding as ‘punishment.’I thought waterboarding is defended on the right as a legitimate form of interrogation intended only to obtain urgently relevant information. That’s quite a slip. You inadvertently confirm that it is indeed a form of punishment, even if you weasel-word and say you wouldn’t inflict it yourself. This is the great thing about the insurrectionist right: you can’t help yourselves. You betray the underlying violence of your intentions, and these little slip-ups are becoming more and more common among the demagogic cacklers you represent. We notice even if you don’t.”
So let’s be clear about this. A car can be used to take you to work, or for the sport of racing. An iPhone can be used to make a call, surf the web, or play a game. A liberal can be used to raise your taxes or to show a substantial, if not diagnosable, disconnect with reality. And waterboarding can (theoretically) be used to extract information from a non-compliant enemy captive or to make someone feel uncomfortable, as Mr. Hayes feels about the word ‘hero’, for example.
Nothing about my joke implies that waterboarding as used on KSM, and which seems to have contributed to the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden, was punishment rather than an aggressive means of interrogation.
What is particularly funny is that Sullivan does accurately quote my words in which I say specifically that “the proper punishment for Mr. Hayes and his ilk is to make sure their TV ratings are as low as possible (which may already be the case when it comes to Mr. Hayes’ show) and to vote against Democratic candidates, other than those who (unlike John Kerry) have served with honor, at every opportunity…”
In other words, anybody but the most hypersensitive liberal (if you will pardon my redundancy) would recognize that my mention of waterboarding was meant as humor, even if not humor that a liberal would understand, and that I made explicitly clear that there is no place for violence in this debate.
Meanwhile, liberals say nothing about the true violence done by left-wing domestic terrorists as explained by Stacy McCain and Patrick Frey. When a search of the Daily Beast web site where Sullivan writes turns up instances of my name but no instance of Brett Kimberlin, one knows that the left is every bit as deranged as I suggested in my note about Chris Hayes.
Therefore, unlike Chris Hayes who offered what I believe to be a mostly insincere apology, I offer no apology for my words. It’s not my problem if liberals can’t take a joke — and they surely can’t.
Meghan McCain is out there making the circuit with her new book, America You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom.
In so doing she complains about her Internet critics — to which I can only say: chill out.
Politics, as Mr. Dooley said, ain’t bean bag. What she is seeing on the Internet is only the Internet version of the kind of things millions of Americans have muttered under their breath about political personalities for centuries. Only now, cloaked in anonymity, this stuff makes it onto the Internet. One would gently suggest she learn to ignore it — a must if she intends to continue.
Now as to her recent column in the Daily Beast … one can only marvel at her naïveté.
Without the slightest hint that she understood the irony, she said this:
Last week, I went on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show PoliticsNation to talk about extremism in the Republican Party. As a socially liberal Republican, this happens to be a topic I know a lot about.
I confess to being speechless.
Let me see if I understand this. Ms. McCain actually went on the show of a man whom we have written about here as shouting a gay slur on national television (here). Not to mention that her host is the same guy (audios linked in my article) captured on audio tape calling the Mayor of New York the “n-word” and referring to “Greek homos.”
In other words, there is Meghan McCain sitting blissfully on the television show of a man who has a repeated habit of gay-bashing and race-baiting — bullying — while saying that Republicans are extremists.
Did she have the courage to call Sharpton out on this?
But she is concerned if you think she has a weight problem. And she can write up a storm about Internet bullies. But face to face with a real bully? Somebody who has been out there gay bashing on camera? Why, she melts. So much for principle and Republican moderates.
Personally? What Meghan McCain looks like is irrelevant. What she so passively buys into is frightening.
Tonight Mitt Romney will beat Ron Paul in the Texas primary, and possibly clinch the Republican presidential nomination. But the Paul network will be active in the state’s Senate primary, like other races across the country. BuzzFeed reports:
Quietly, from the remnants of two failed presidential campaigns and the formidable online Paul organizations, a political machine is being born. The Paul agenda of extremely limited government, suspicion of economic elites, and their true outsider street cred have broad appeal in their party’s politics that go well beyond the sometimes-eccentric standard-bearer. The Republican Senate nominees in Wisconsin and Minnesota this cycle owe their nomination in part to the Paul influence. A Paul acolyte, Ted Cruz, is on the cusp of an upset victory over the establishment favorite in Texas Republican Senate primary. And Paul’s son Rand, the junior senator from Kentucky, is now mentioned seriously as a prospect for the 2016 Republican nomination should Mitt Romney fall short in November.
This new attention to state races is, a Paul advisor said, a matter of strategy.
I wouldn’t say that Cruz is a “Paul acolyte” in the same sense as some candidates running explicitly as Ron Paul Republicans. But Cruz has the support of both Pauls, among many other conservatives, and we’ll see if he can force a runoff tonight. (Since some commenters will bring up Paul no matter what I post about, figure I might as well have a genuine Paul-related blog entry.)
Stacy McCain’s story nearby, “Terror By Any Other Name,” is yet one more piece of evidence of just how far around the bend the American Left has gone.
The saga of Brett Kimberlin as Stacy explains it is in reality a microcosm of the leftist mindset that has been more than evident since the 1960s at a minimum. In fact, as I have detailed in an earlier piece “The Obama Thugocracy” — and I am not alone in using the term — intimidation and violence are staples of the left in general. Two years ago Andrea Tantaros (now a star of Fox’s The Five) used the same title in her Fox column, and she had her own list of examples, saying:
From the G.M. bondholders, to the Black Panthers at polling stations, to ACORN to these assaults on private citizens, Obama is running a Hugo Chavez-style thugocracy. Like Chavez, he gets non-official “allies” to act as his henchmen and do the intimidation work. Obama provides the narrative and tells the story of “greed” while the SEIU provides the muscle. This is about power, not prosperity.
As I’ve mentioned, from the moment the blood thirsty French Revolutionaries began carting their enemies to the guillotine, on down through this or that socialist regime disguised as Russian Communists, German Nazis, Italian Fascists or Chinese Maoists — the reflexive urge to intimidate opponents if not kill them outright has been present in all. In its modified American form this has shown up in varied venues across the decades. Here’s a partial list — a partial list just from 1969!!!!
And on….and on…and on. The list, trailing into the 1980s, is long. Very long, as seen here.
In today’s world we have the violence from Occupy Wall Street. Not to mention the attempts to remove Rush Limbaugh from the air, the moves to “Stop Beck” …or Lou Dobbs or Pat Buchanan or Limbaugh advertiser Mark Stevens or Romney contributor Frank VanderSloot.
Now comes Stacy’s tale of Brett Kimberlin, and these two disturbing tales of SWATting. One from Patrick Frey (the blogger Patterico) — a frightening must-read tale of being SWATted — and Sunday’s SWATting of Red State’s Erick Erikson, a CNN contributor.
All of this, I would suggest, is of a piece. Glimpses into the intellectual machinery of the Left….from the French Revolutionaries of 1789 right on down to the actions attributed to Mr. Kimberlin, if indeed he is responsible as so many are suggesting. Our friend and TAS Founder Bob Tyrrell has a book out right this minute titled The Death of Liberalism. The agenda of the Left in the Obama Era is “Stealth Socialism” says Bob. And in the hands of what he calls the “Infantile Left” the actions like all those listed above are what are collectively responsible for driving the number of self-identified liberals from a dominant majority to a mere 20% of the American public. No wonder.
Last Friday there was a Everybody Blog Brett Kimberlin Day. Alas, news of this reached my precincts too late (and a hat tip to TAS commenter “Booger” for the alert.)
It’s very safe to say The American Spectator supports free speech.
Had I known early enough I would certainly have blogged in on the subject. So consider it now done, if late. And a decided thumbs up to Michelle Malkin for yet another display of moral courage when the chips are down.
And make sure to read my colleague Stacy McCain’s story. You can be sure I’m on his side.
Today on the main site, I covered Barack Obama’s attempt to resurrect Ted Kennedy’s 1994 Bain attacks against Mitt Romney. Kennedy was able to derail Romney’s Senate campaign by portraying his Republican challenger as a profiteering job destroyer. Yet Obama is running into some trouble getting history to repeat itself.
One complication I didn’t mention in my column is the president’s own record of crony capitalism. American Crossroads has a new ad hitting Obama as the “Public Equity President,” pointing to public investments like Solyndra that have cost workers jobs and taxpayers money.
On Sunday, MSNBC host Chris Hayes put his foot in it in the worst possible way. Speaking in the context of Memorial Day, Hayes said he is “uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’ because it seems so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”
To be fair, he did say that he understands there is such a thing as true heroism, but also that we “marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”
What planet does Hayes live on? Planet Nimrod, clearly. Beyond the obvious question of who would think like that, one has to wonder who would speak like that? Nobody who is in touch with real life on Planet Earth.
The liberal intelligentsia is so reflexively anti-war that they are, despite their not-so-brave words to the contrary, also anti-military, which is to say anti-individual military members even if they will not admit it.
Hayes is the elitist version of the Vietnam War protestor spitting on a returning soldier.
John McWhorter of the NY Daily News was equally out of touch and equally deserving of scorn and ridicule: “Sometimes you need to revise. I would almost rather not say ‘hero’ and come up with a more neutral term which of course would take on partisan resonances as time went by…it is manipulative, I don’t think necessarily deliberately.”
In other words, for that New York leftist elitist, the word ‘hero’, along with ‘sacrifice’ and “valor’, is part of some grand conservative “argumentational strategy,” as if anyone knows what that means.
Hayes, McWhorter, and other guests on Hayes’ Sunday show are living proof that liberals must try so hard to make themselves sound smart because their actual thoughts are so stupid.
Another liberal went on to say that the word ‘hero’ is meant to ‘drape war in a righteous way.” Just goes to show that there are both males and females of the Nimrod species.
Ann Coulter, on Twitter, capsulized the reaction of many: “Chris Hayes ‘Uncomfortable’ Calling Fallen Military ‘Heroes’ – Marines respond by protecting his right to menstruate.”
Not surprisingly, Hayes followed this discussion with an interview of a woman whose son committed suicide after serving just over a year in Iraq, and who blames the Army for his death. (I’m not saying that this poor mother is wrong, just that it was an utterly inappropriate segment on the day before Memorial Day.)
If you can tolerate listening to effete liberals who understand nothing about the real America or real Americans, you can watch this, starting at about 6 1/2 minutes into the video. You will find it almost incomprehensible that MSNBC was able to find in one town on one day so many people with such fanatically anti-military views. But that’s Manhattan for you.
At least Hayes had the courage to offer a sincere-sounding apology, though I’m certainly not alone with my suspicion that he truly believes everything he said, and everything his co-religionists in the cult of anti-Americanism said alongside him to besmirch our soldiers — living, dead, and fallen — on this Memorial Day weekend.
Our soldiers take an oath to defend America against enemies foreign and domestic. Clearly, domestic enemies are in MSNBC studios, though I don’t suggest they be punished or harmed. They have every right to be idiots, though one would prefer that they at least recognize who is risking life and limb to protect that right. While I understand the temptation to waterboard Chris Hayes, the right answer is to understand that he represents today’s Democratic Party. The proper punishment for Mr. Hayes and his ilk is to make sure their TV ratings are as low as possible (which may already be the case when it comes to Mr. Hayes’ show) and to vote against Democratic candidates, other than those who (unlike John Kerry) have served with honor, at every opportunity.
According to a Gallup poll released on Memorial Day, veterans support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by 58 percent to 34 percent. Obama has a four-point lead among nonveterans and the two candidates are tied among all registered voters.
While veterans in all age groups back Romney, his support is strongest among veterans aged 70 to 79 (66 percent for Romney, 28 percent for Obama) and weakest among those aged 50 to 59 (though these veterans still break 54 percent to 39 percent for Romney). Romney only leads by five points among veterans who are women, but 24 percent of adult men have served in the military compared to only 2 percent of adult women.
Gallup’s Frank Newport writes, “It turns out that the male skew for Romney is driven almost entirely by veterans. Romney leads by one point among nonveteran men, contrasted with the 28-point edge Romney receives among male veterans.”
Evidence here. That is all.
1. By most accounts, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker performed ably in his first debate against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, his Democratic challenger in the recall election. But how many people really watched a Friday night debate before Memorial Day weekend? The scheduling gave Walker a good dry run before the next debate, when presumably more people will be paying attention.
2. The Texas Republican Senate primary will take place immediately after Memorial Day, with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst hoping to avoid a runoff against Tea Party-backed conservative Ted Cruz. Dewhurst has been hovering around the necessary 50 percent mark in some surveys, so he has moved in for the kill by trying to associate Cruz with amnesty for illegal immigrants and calling Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert a liberal. Cruz has fired back that Dewhurst is trafficking in bigotry. From my view, Dewhurst’s ad is misleading and Cruz’ charge is a risky one in a GOP primary.
3. Barack Obama’s weak showing in last week’s Democratic primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky, following similar problems in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama, North Carolina, and Louisiana, raises red flags for the incumbent president. Of these states, only North Carolina will actually be in play this fall. But it does speak to Obama’s problems appealing to a kind of voter that will be well represented in genuine swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Sean Trende covered this well in an analysis for RealClearPolitics.
4. On ABC this morning, George Will asked a pertinent question: Why would it be divisive for the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare by a 5-4 decision, but not divisive for the court to uphold the unpopular law by 5-4?
5. All week long, Obama faced surprising Democratic backlash against his attacks on Mitt Romney’s Bain record. Cory Booker and Harold Ford have frequently tried to appeal to centrists, but Ed Rendell is a pretty partisan figure.
6. A worthwhile statement from Rep. Jeff Miller, the Florida Republican who chairs the House Veterans Committee, about this weekend: “This Monday, as a nation, we will observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day is not just for barbeques, shopping, or having the day off from work. It is the day of the year all Americans should remember and reflect upon those who have fought for our country and who now lay in peace.”
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?