Saturday, September 29, 2007

Huckabee News

First, this poll, the first I've seen to put him in double digits in Iowa. Huck is an Iowa or bust candidate. He needs to come in first or maybe a strong second in the Iowa Caucuses if he's going to springboard to success.

Second, a very detailed foreign policy speech discussing his approach to Iraq and the broader GWOT, here (video). This speech covers many topics already discussed, but I continue to find myself nodding whenever I'm reading Huck's material.

Newt not running

Says the AP.
Friday, September 28, 2007

A nasty bug



No, this is not a joke (well the graphic is--a bit much, don't you think, KPHO?). Nor is it the explanation for the brain damage over at Foomair. This is an honest to goodness fatal infection. More from the CBS affiliate in Phoenix:

Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have been effective stopping the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said.

"Usually, from initial exposure it's fatal within two weeks," Beach said.
Thursday, September 27, 2007

General Lies and Power


I don't know where it originated, but I got this one in an email from Father of the ManBeast.

What is MoveOn.org existed 60 years ago?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Looks like someone forgot to write his check

to the DNC, DLC, or Hillary! '08 campaign. Selimaj should count his blessings that Bill doesn't still have the IRS at his disposal. Then again, when you get your goons into civil service, they stay there for decades...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mission Accomplished...

...for Ahmadinejad. He told his side of the story, surrounded by a hostile crowd, and won them over with intellect, charm, and the truth, praise be to Allah.

Or so says the Iranian News Service:

Despite entire US media objections, negative propagation and hue and cry in recent days over IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's scheduled address at Colombia University, he gave his lecture and answered students questions here on Monday afternoon.

On second day of his entry in New York, and amid standing ovation of the audience that had attended the hall where the Iranian President was to give his lecture as of early hours of the day, Ahmadinejad said that Iran is not going to attack any country in the world.

Before President Ahamadinejad's address, Colombia University Chancellor in a brief address told the audience that they would have the chance to hear Iran's stands as the Iranian President would put them forth.

He said that the Iranians are a peace loving nation, they hate war, and all types of aggression.

Referring to the technological achievements of the Iranian nation in the course of recent years, the president considered them as a sign for the Iranians' resolute will for achieving sustainable development and rapid advancement.

The audience on repeated occasion applauded Ahmadinejad when he touched on international crises.

At the end of his address President Ahmadinejad answered the students' questions on such issues as Israel, Palestine, Iran's nuclear program, the status of women in Iran and a number of other matters.
[HT: Drudge]

If you saw M.A.'s appearance, you know this article describes what happened, kind of, but more to the point, not at all. It is, however, an entirely predictable piece of propaganda that shows why Columbia should never have given this terrorist a forum in the first place.

If there were a Congressional Medal of Dishonor, I would nominate Lee Bollinger.
Monday, September 24, 2007

Clintons kill GQ story

With a hattip to Drudge, here's the story. Same old, same old. Wonder if the BushHitler folks will be carping about intimidation of the press..

Hill's response to another petty victory here.

NY, NY

Well, Spitzer is apparently determined to take NY deep down into the toilet that is called liberalism. Now's he's authorized driver's licenses for illegals. Why not - rather than punishing them for breaking the law, let's reward them. This should make it easier for them to register to vote also, giving Spitzer and Dems some more votes in future elections.

Columbia

I have to again express my absolute disgust at Columbia's invitation for ahmadinejad to speak today. I think this quote from the Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver sums it up best:

"What makes it more outrageous is the fact that some dean yesterday said he would have invited Adolf Hitler. It's totally outrageous. This is not a matter of academic freedom. This is a matter of legitimizing people, one who was the perpetrator of the Holocaust and one who denies its existence," Mr. Silver said.

To invite someone to speak who is responsible for countless deaths of US soldiers in Iraq is disgusting, and I couldn't agree with Silver more: it is not a matter of academic freedom or freedom of speech (which lest Columbia forgets only applies to US citizens); it is a matter of the inappropriateness of giving this animal a large forum for presentation and in so doing legitimizing his opinions.

I was at least particularly pleased to see NY deny his request to visit Ground Zero.
Sunday, September 23, 2007

On picking the "electable" candidate

Time after time, when partisans vote in primaries and caucuses, one of the main reasons cited for supporting a certain candidate is their perceived "electability." While I don't want to deny this is a reasonable criteria, the problem is that nominating a candidate based on early polling has proven to be a less than effective way to end up with a general election winner.

Check out SteveT's post from MyManMitt, which also references a NRO article from K-Lo:

Are you basing who you support today on who is the most electable according to national polls?If you are, perhaps a little electoral history might help you to reconsider –Kathyrn Lopez at National Review Online helps bring a little reality into the situation:

January 10, 1980 Gallup Poll

Carter 63%, Reagan 32%

There is also an interesting quote from that time that sounds so eerily similar to what we hear today from so many,

“Republican candidate John Anderson, a dark horse, said the other day that if the Republicans nominate Mr. Reagan it's political suicide. He's right. Most polls show that, going head-to-head against Mr. Carter, Mr. Reagan would lose by 2-1. The former California governor would be the Barry Goldwater of 1980.”

Just in case you missed it here are the results of that election:

November 1980 Presidential Vote:

Reagan 50.7%, Carter 41.0%, Anderson 6.6%

In my lifetime, I can recount many instances where early national polling has shown itself to be less than useful. In the summer and fall of 1991, George H. W. Bush was leading all Democrats by 20 points or more. The pundits all saw Bush cruising to reelection the following year. Obviously, Bush’s second term never arrived. In 1995, US Senator Robert Dole continuously led President Clinton in head to head matchups. Throughout that year we were subjected to arguments from Dole supporters, “Bob Dole can beat Clinton. Let’s win this thing!” Even as late as January of 1996, one poll had him ahead by several points. Of course, Dole lost that race by about 8 percent that November. When, in 1999 the Presidential race was heating up, many saw George W. Bush as the only hope. He led the polls over Al Gore all year and even had a substantial lead in the summer of 2000. As almost all of us now know, he won that race by perhaps the smallest margin possible. Perhaps a less well known, but stronger candidate might have been able to win a clear victory against the hapless Al Gore? Even polling a few months out can be less than valuable. In August 1988, Mike Dukakis was leading George H. W. Bush by 17 points in one poll. Of course Bush went on to win that race by 8 percent.

As national polling measures little more than name recognition at this point in the game, it is important to look at other indicators to gauge electablity. When the decision comes down to who I support, current head to head poll numbers do not factor in. I look for someone who has shown proven leadership, projects optimism, fights for things that I believe in, and can unite the party. In my view, the one candidate that matches all of the criteria is Mitt Romney.

Link to Lopez article:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTc4YWE0YWIxNWI4ODEzZWFlYmM3MWU4ZDdhODQ0NGM=


I would also place Mitt at the head of the line for meeting these criteria. That said, I think that Huckabee, and to a lesser extent, Giuliani and McCain, meet these criteria as well.
Friday, September 21, 2007

Stop the madness

Why would the US allow Dubai to buy a 20% stake in NASDAQ? I'm all for allowing foreign countries or companies to make certain strategic investments in our country. But it seems that certain things - our ports, our infrastructure, our military, and our governing financial institutions - ought to remain American-owned. Am I off base here?

While we're at it, would Columbia drop their pretentiousness that they are simply preserving their "long-standing tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate" by hosting the psycho leader of Iran? It's bad enough that the UN is still in NYC and therefore he must be allowed onto our soil. But Columbia does not have to give him a soapbox to spew his filth and stupidity. There is no reason to give him any validation by giving him a forum; Columbia can trot out their far-left-wing "free speech is the most American of all rights" type defense, but I'm not buying.

Best. Post. Ever.

Streiff hits a HR over at RedState. And I'll be that annoying guy who just posts the whole darn thing as a long blockquote because I have the editorial skills of a gumball:

Senate Dems Disavow MoveOn
wednesdays, 8pm, third stall
By streiff

So, how does it feel, boyo? Working at Starbucks, putting off getting that killer tat so you can send some cash to end the War in Iraq and maybe impeach Chimpy McBushitler. You give up valuable time you could have spent grooming your soul patch or creating mystical Celtic weavings in your underarm hair passing out literature on behalf of Democrat candidates. You feel important. The candidates go to your freakfests and pay attention to your theories and ideas.

Then, finally, your team is in power and you gotta know this war is going to end yesterday with a Truth Commission just waiting in the wings. Who knows. Maybe Al Gore will be given the presidency for two terms as compensation for Bush v. Gore.

But it doesn't play out that way. Just yesterday Harry Reid admits that he doesn't have the votes to do anything about Iraq until next summer. Maybe. At the earliest. If he can get around to it.

And what gives with this 60 vote stuff?

Then today the Senate votes 72-25 to condemn MoveOn for the ad they bought in the New York Times labeling General Petraeus as General Betray Us. 72-25. They can't muster 60 votes to end the war but they can find 72 votes to condemn MoveOn for exposing Bush's sockpuppet.

Feeling good about yourself, boyo? How's that self-respect doing? Oh, did I mention, they want you to send more money to help end the war.

Even dim bulbs buy a clue eventually.
Thursday, September 20, 2007

Newt speculation with a ring of truth

Finally, some real info about what will drive Newt's decision-making process:

"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he still might run for president if supporters will pledge $30 million by November."

My WAG? He won't get the cash. And won't join the race.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Giuliani throws out a big idea.

Hizzoner wants NATO to expand way beyond the North Atlantic, and embrace allied nations that are in the "hot zones":

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani urged NATO to admit Australia, India, Israel, Japan and Singapore on Wednesday as part of proposals to combat Islamic extremism.

The implications of this NATO expansion are the biggest of anything that's been floated in the campaign so far. Admitting India and Japan simultaneously would be seen in Beijing as darn near a declaration of war. Could Musharraf (or any "moderate" Pakistani regime) survive a military-defense alliance between the US and New Dehli? And never mind the ramifications of admitting Israel to NATO. Would every terrorist attack in Haifa require a military response from Brussels? Sure, Israel's our ally, but do we want to be that closely tied to every hiccup in the mideast "peace process"?

Rudy's painting with the bright, bold colors that Newt's been talking about. This is the kind of proposal that can carry you to victory or sink you on its own.

Unfortunately for Rudy, my guess is that this one's more sink than swim. I don't even think he could even marshall enough European support to extend the NATO invitations he's proposing here. There will be a lot of handwringing about the diplomatic impact of even proposing this type of NATO expansion, if his comments get any media play (assuming Rudy doesn't recant promptly). My guess is he's going to take a hit for this one.

The Great Debate

Which is the best off-road vehicle? Hummer or Jeep?

Here's an interesting comparison on the only two military-turned-civilian off-roaders that matter.

Mitt on the specifics

The Romney campaign has unveiled a 70 page compendium of their policy recommendations. I haven't read it yet but will be this evening (well, I'll skim it, anyway). Check it out.

His introductory letter outlines what he calls his "core principles." They are:

 Our military superiority cannot be compromised

 Our government must remain federalist and governing should be conducted as close to the people as possible. Washington today is not the solution, it is part of the problem

 Money and resources are best used when they remain in the hands of the people. A competitive America is one where taxes are low and government is small

 Free market principles built the American economy. Unleashing the power of free markets is key to our economic future

 Culture determines the strength of a nation. American values must be cherished and developed in each generation

 Government should be accountable and transparent. Government service is a privilege and government officials should be held to the highest ethical standards

'08

Well, this has to give you some positive feelings for '08 election: Congress' approval rating continues to tank at an unprecendented rate. Now it is at an appallingly low 11%!! It is amazing how quickly Pelosi and Reid wasted away any goodwill they had immediately after the mid-term elections.

Tony Blankley begs for Newt

The WaTimes columnist begins by asserting that Reagan was a radical-conservative, asking, in the spirit of Tom Paine, for the overthrow of liberal government, rather than for reform. He concludes we need a similarly audacious conservative in '08. One who presents a sharp contrast to liberals, and is equally impatient with GOP failings:

While bold, conservative answers to such worries would probably trump conventional liberal ones, if Republican candidates for president merely -- and complacently -- repeat 1980s-style conservative policy maxims, it's my guess an impatient citizenry will go with the more urgent-sounding Democratic Party call for change.

Americans are about to display their radical electoral impatience with failing government. If Reagan were running today, he would be the boldest candidate in the field of either party. But so far no Republican candidate has caught the radical temper of the times.

Is there not one Republican candidate today who is visibly impatient to, with conservative principles and values, "begin the world over again"? [my emphasis]

I wonder who he has in mind?

Fred's early bumbles

Dick Morris takes a look at the highlights (or lowlights) of the first 2 weeks of Fred's campaign:

•He refuses to take a pledge not to raise taxes;

•He lobbied for an abortion advocacy group before becoming a U.S. senator;

•He employed his son in a no-show job for $170,000 for four years at his political action committee after leaving office;

•As a lobbyist, he helped the attorney representing the Libyan terrorists who blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie,Scotland, to fight requests to extradite them to the U.K. to stand trial;

•His other lobbying clients included Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the leftist Haitian dictator who, but for a lack of oil, would have been the Hugo Chavez of the last generation;

•He skipped and is skipping the first two debates of his presidential candidacy and said he was looking forward to attending the Oct. 14 New Hampshire debate -- the one that was cancelled weeks ago;

•He is taking this week off from presidential campaigning;

•He does not know enough about the details of the Terry Schiavo case to comment.;

•He is also unfamiliar with the proposal to lower soaring insurance premiums Floridians must pay for home storm coverage since the hurricanes;

•He said that Iraqis were supporting us because of al Qaeda's ban on smoking;

•He's run through three campaign managers and as many communications directors in just three months;

•He fell short in the fundraising competition, coming up with only a net of $2.8 million by the end of July;

•After leaving the Senate, he picked up his lobbying career by representing Equitas, an insurance company he helped dodge paying for asbestos/cancer claims;

•After negative publicity about his comments suggesting that Cuban immigrants were potential suicide bombers, he blamed Hillary Clinton for causing the publicity by "releasing a statement that she made trying to capitalize on something when she knew better";

•He didn't know enough about drilling in the Everglades to comment.

...beneath his casual, disorganized and ill-informed way of running for president, one suspects an arrogance lingers -- a sense of not needing to prepare and a lethargy in the face of challenges that perhaps indicates a failure to appreciate how daunting a task running for president really is. Whatever the cause, the opening weeks of Thompson's candidacy are, perhaps, the least auspicious of any candidate's in recent history, and certainly the worst of the 2007-2008 electoral season.

It speaks for itself

College-educated used to be a proxy for some baseline level of intelligence. I guess that's gone out the window:

Bush or bin Laden: Who is More Evil?

HT: Drudge

Romney

Romney's campaign made an interesting strategic decision early on: they were going to focus nearly all of their initial spending in Iowa and NH to win those early primaries, in the hope that success there would cause a chain reaction of victories in subsequent primaries. I think this was a good idea for the most part, but there is a counterpoint that concerns me. Specifically, he needs to win the south to get the nomination (and more importantly have real support there so that he gets votes during the general election), but the longer he remains absent there, the longer he will simply be defined as "that Mormon from a liberal state" - which no Southerner will vote for. At some point that sentiment will reach a critical mass that no reasonable amount of ad spending and face time can overcome; he will not be able to reverse people's impressions of and beliefs about him. I just hope his campaign has taken that into account, and starts getting his message out ASAP so that Mitt defines Mitt, rather than uninformed opinions defining Mitt.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

As if I needed...

Another reason to hate Mike Francesa.

A few hours ago someone recommended Pan's Labyrinth to him as a wonderful film.
After the caller hung up, Senor Lardo asks Handi-Boy if the movie is subtitled.
Upon getting the affirmative answer El Tubbo says that he won't watch it because "it's too much work" to read subtitles.
I am embarrased that he graduated from St. John's and he should forever be banned from speaking of anyone's education.
Way to set a standard, Tons-O-Fun--reading is hard so I don't do it...
Get bent, Fatty.

Drudge: "DOWD, RICH FREED: NY TIMES to end paid Internet service... "

And to think the Times used to protect non-subscribers from such rubbish. Pining for the good old days already...
Monday, September 17, 2007

France mans up

France's new president Sarkozy saying get prepared for war with Iran if they acquire nukes. Can you ever imagine Chirac making such a statement? How quickly things can change.
Saturday, September 15, 2007

A sports departure

While this blog isn't typically about sports, it is often about studpidity (typically my own). In that vein, I offer you the following quote from a recent Wake Forest recruit:

"I wanted to put a school on the map. I didn’t want to go to a rich tradition kind of school. I think me going to Wake Forest will, sort of say, shock the world, take people for a loop, and give Wake Forest credibility."

High school star Al Farouq Aminu,after announcing for Wake Forest.

Huh? Are you serious?

Consider the world shocked.

Hey Aminu, ever heard of Bones McKinney and Len Chappel? Muggsy Bogues and Randolph Childress? Or at least Rodney Rodgers, Josh Howard and Tim Duncan? How about 4 ACC championships, Al Farouq? How'd they manage that without you?

Here's some more info, kid, just in case you want to brush up.

HT: DBR

On the decline of party power, and the rise of advocacy groups

In his always insightful Horserace Blog over at RCP, Jay Cost takes a look at the disgusting "General Betray Us" ad run by MoveOn in the Times. He sees it as evidence that political parties are unable to constrain their partisans, and advocacy groups are pressing the agenda where the parties used to. The Dems would never have consented to this ad, even if they agree with it, because, as Cost points out: "It was an ad that gave the GOP an opportunity to shift the debate - from talk about the course of the war to talk about the war's opponents."

With the proliferation of advocacy groups and their increased visibility, the parties have beome more reactive, with interest groups pushing the agenda. Our political discourse has become more fractured as a result. Cost seems to be pining for smoke-filled rooms where a few power-brokers could set the talking points and politicians would fall in line. At least in that scenario, the power-brokers had to opportunity to accomplish something. Now we're lost in a bunch of "cross talk" where the party has a hard time creating an executing a meaningful political agenda:

Parties that are responsible set the agenda in a way that is relevant and coherent. That is, they make it so that our national political conversation regards issues that are of importance to citizens, and that can result in real solutions to these pressing problems. Weakened parties, like those of today, lack the capacity to set the agenda. One of the consequences of this is incoherence. Without the parties managing what gets said, everybody says whatever they want to say, and we have nothing but crosstalk. Politics reduces to an extended episode of Hardball. And, just like in Hardball, nothing of importance is ever accomplished. Everybody just yells across one another.
Friday, September 14, 2007

More Newt

Typically meaty commentary from the Newtster in a Hotline interview. He can still cut to the core of political and policy issues faster than the competition. I loved this quote, "Obviously, we need to change pretty dramatically, and the party of trial lawyers, public employee unions, [and] left-wing ideologues probably can't change."

Here are some of the key snippets that relate to the Dionne post I made earlier, but the whole interview is worth reading:

Q: You said fairly recently that the Democrats had a very high likelihood of winning the presidency next year.

Gingrich: I think that the country, after the last couple of years, has a bias in favor of change -- I think probably starting with [Hurricane] Katrina and coming through Baghdad and the whole sense of too much spending. And you sense a lack of enthusiasm in the conservative base, and you sense a stunning level of intensity in the anti-war Left. And so you just look at the dynamics and you have to say the odds are probably 80-20 [in the Democrats' favor].

Q: 80-20?

Gingrich: Yeah. That's my guess. Now, it could change. If you had a [Republican] candidate who could break out and who could say, "Obviously, we need to change pretty dramatically, and the party of trial lawyers, public employee unions, [and] left-wing ideologues probably can't change," and could force Hillary [Rodham Clinton] or Barack Obama or whomever to be the defender of failed bureaucracies, then I think you could see a Republican win next year.

Q: Fred Thompson's rollout has generally not gotten rave reviews. What do you think of it and of him?

Gingrich: I think that any Republican has to have a core, direct, compelling message of why they would be different than [President] Bush and why they would be different than Clinton. And they have to be able to say it in 30 seconds. And they have to be able to say it so that people in their living room believe it matters to them and their family. None of our candidates have yet found that rhythm.

Q: What aren't the Republicans saying that they should be?

Gingrich: We need very bold, dramatic change, change at every level -- from school board to city council to county commission to state legislatures to the presidency. That's what the Republican Party has to stand for. And, frankly, the Republican Party hasn't stood for that.

Q: You have been critical of the Bush administration's handling of immigration and the war on terrorism. And you said that Republican candidates need to discuss the failures. Should the candidates be putting distance between themselves and Bush?

Gingrich: I think [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy said it very well when he said of the Chirac administration, "We need a clean break." There is no excuse for not controlling the border. There is no excuse for New Orleans being the mess it is. I think we ought to say these things are not right.

Q: Let's talk about Hillary Clinton. What do you think is her Achilles' heel?

Gingrich: I think the danger she runs is that in attempting to appease the left wing of her party she becomes unacceptable to the majority of Americans once they understand what she said she'd do. She is actually much more centrist than MoveOn.org. She is much tougher on military affairs than [her party's] Left. She is more rational, and I have very great respect for her as a hardworking professional. No Republican should think she is going to be easy to beat. But I have watched her now for a year be gradually pulled to the left. Her husband was too clever to do that.

Rudy and the politics of abortion

Eric Johnston writes an op-ed in today's NY Times that raises some interesting questions about the abortion debate in American, and more specifically, in the Republican party.

His conclusion is as follows:

Mr. Giuliani makes the same arguments that we pro-lifers make. But he can be more persuasive because he will not be perceived as trying to advance his own religious preferences. By taking the side of pro-lifers for democratic, but not devout, motives, a President Giuliani could shake up the nearly 35-year-old debate over Roe v. Wade.

Let us, for a moment, presume that Mr. Johnston has correctly peered into the soul of Mayor G, and knows that Rudy will appoint Thomas/Roberts/Alito types to the bench despite his myriad of pro-legal-abortion statements. I understand Mr. Johston's logic for believing such, and am willing to roll with it.

The question becomes one of ideology vs. practical effect. If Rudy's secular image makes him more effective at eliminating Roe, he could potentially be the most effective GOP candidate at reducing abortions. Does that mean that pro-life voters would have a moral obligation to vote for the man (accepting for the moment Johnston's argument), even if doing so means turning the party over to someone who is "personally" pro-choice, and abandoning the public debate over the immorality of abortion? Even if Mr. Johnston is correct that Rudy has the best chance of reducing abortions in near term, are not pro-life voters being asked to relegate their convictions to the "don't ask, don't tell" category?

This is a fundamental question that GOP primary voters, and values voters in particular, are being confronted with. Even if Rudy overturns Roe, what will be the result if the GOP is unwilling or unable to debate the national consequences of legalized abortion? Will future generations of unborn children be subject to pro-abortion laws passed in 50 statehouses, rather than a pro-abortion edict issued by 9 judges?

At the end of the day, even if Mr. Johnston's anlysis is correct, and Rudy is our best hope at overturning Roe (an argument that is hardly without dispute), that still doesn't make him the necessary choice for social conservatives. After all, for 30 years SoCons have been trying to win the battle over Roe, but for thousands of years they've been seeking to win the big picture struggle for hearts and minds. Mr. Johnston's argument makes a reasonable case that Rudy could win the battle, but the logic of his own argument asks the pro-life movement to abandon the war.

Paging Jay Cost!

E.J. Dionne has up a giddy column about how the Dems are building Rove's permanent national majority in reverse, and how the Republicans are turning into Democrat party of the post-reconstruction era, doomed to a narrow demographic and geographic base of support.

In Dionne's estimation, the primary cause of this national shift is suburbia. In the past, suburban voters were lean-Republican, now they are moving to lean-Democrat. His example of choice: Sen. Webb's victory last cycle in VA, and Gov. Warner's advantage over Gov. Gilmore for VA-Sen in '08. Rep. Davis is mentioned as the Republican smart enough to see the trend, the D.C. area suburbanite who wants to beat Rahm Emmanuel at his own game.

I am intrigued by Dionne's analysis. Living in Nassau County, America's first suburb, his theory jibes with what I've observed. Nassau has transformed from a GOP-stronghold to a county with a Dem majority in the Legislature and a Dem County Executive. That the same seems to be happening in border South, Midwest, and even mountain West states (Webb in VA, Tester in MT, Brown in OH) supports his theory as well.

What he doesn't do is gather any actual polling or demographic evidence that supports his thesis. Are the suburbs actually trending Dem permanently, or are the suburbs merely the swing vote that are blowing anti-incumbency, just as they did in 2000 when Bush was elected in part based on suburban an exurban support in the Midwest and Border South? Can an anti-incumbent (read: anti-Bush) Republican appeal to these suburbanites and win as a "change candidate" and disprove Dionne? This is the tactic that Gingrich has already proposed, and Newt has pointed to Sarkozy as a conservative who has shown us the way, having successfully run against a sitting conservative government that was saddled with low favorability ratings.

So hopefully, Jay Cost will pick up Dionne's thesis and run with it, and give us some solid demographic and polling numbers to show whether the suburbs swing towards the Democrats is part of a cyclical anti-incumbency movement, or rather part of a more deeply rooted demographic and ideological shift.

Senate swinging left

The CS Monitor has a story up today that sums up where we've been and where we're heading. From a 55-seat majority down to a 45 seat minority, and possibly lower if the top of the ticket is Fred-Thompson-weak in '08. With Allard, Hagel and John Warner retiring, they point out that that's three incumbent seats that the GOP will have to spend resources on just to play defense, two of which were relatively safe seats (Allard's approval numbers have been borderline). The Monitor also seems fairly convinced that VA and NE could both wind up Dem anyway, even if the GOP decides to dump national resources there.

I'd have to agree when it comes to Virginia. Now that Mark Warner is planning to run for John Warner's old seat, it's almost in the bag. I'd be shocked, however, if NE went Dem, even if, as they say, Bob Kerrey decides to end his retirement.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why'd I click on Drudge?

On a news day like today, I only wish I hadn't:

Syria building nuke sites

Russia re-opening competition with the US for "most powerful munitions" status

Oil prices reaching new all-time highs

US plans Iran bombing

And lastly, after the above (interrelated) stories, we get this one:

Killer Bees descend on Nawlins

Haven't they been through enough?
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Never forget

Photo: Barry Goldstein
Today I'll have two prayers. One for the souls of those who lost their lives on 9/11, and the other for their loved ones, that they may be consoled and not lose hope.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

For all the first responders and other civilians who reacted to the chaos of 9/11 by helping others, as well as all the Americans of generous spirit who came from far and wide in the following days to do what they could, it's nice to see an organization such as this that seeks to perpetuate the charitable spirit that Americans demonstrated in the face of tragedy.
Thursday, September 06, 2007

I normally don't find endorsements very meaningful,

but there are some you have to notice.

I hope you're listening to Michael Cooper, Mr. Mayor--this line has legs:

“Mr. Giuliani never asks a second favor once he’s refused the first, understood?”
Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Bill for Hill's Veep?

He's apparently ruled it out. From Drudge:

Bill Clinton ruled out running as HRC's VP tonight during a taping of the CBS's LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

Dave: “Now there was a discussion last week, and there is I guess a greater discussion, and there’s some confusion, and maybe I’m the only one confused about the eligibility of a man who has been elected twice as President to possibly be named later on the ticket as Vice President. Constitutionally speaking, can that happen?”

Clinton: “I don’t believe so. There are some people who believe it can, and they have contorted readings of the amendment, the 22nd Amendment. But I believe as a matter of general interpretation, you’re supposed to read all the Constitution including all the Amendments as if they were written almost on the same day at the same moment, so they’re consistent with one another. And the Constitution says the qualifications for Vice President are the same as those for President. Now you can read that to mean ‘to serve,’ not ‘to run for.’ But I just don’t believe it’s consistent with the spirit of the Constitution for someone who’s been President twice to be elected Vice President. I just don’t think it’s Constitutional. I don’t think it’s right and I wouldn’t want to do that. I’d want to do whatever I could do to be of highest and best use for her, but there are lots of wonderful people out there, including all the people that are running this time would be good Vice Presidents. And, that’s just not in the cards.”


Here's the text of the 22nd Amendment (term limits) and the 12th Amendment (selection of VP) that was mentioned by Presdient Clinton:

AMENDMENT XXII
Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

Section 1.
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.
[my emphasis]

I have to change my tune from my earlier post. I think President Clinton got this one right and he is ineligible based on the combination of the above amendment with this one:

AMENDMENT XII
Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.

Note: A portion of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution was superseded by the 12th amendment.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; -- the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; -- The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. --]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
*Superseded by section 3 of the 20th amendment.

Dems target Mitt

Gov. Romney becomes the first GOP Presidential contender to rate a website set up by the Dems specifically to smear him. The BloGlo has the story here.

The jury's still out on whether these kinds of attacks help or hurt Mitt in the primary, but I don't think they'll be effective in the general. GOP voters will be able to pull the lever for Mitt because he toes the line on every major issue, from taxes to social issues to health care (where he out-Rudy'd Rudy). Sure, some GOP'ers who want to see cradle-to-grave consistency might have to hold their noses, but they'll do it when hillary or O!Bama is the alternative.

At the same time, moderate "swing" voters are generally flip-floppers themselves, so I don't think all this historical review is going to pertinent to them. Especially when you look at the specifics on the web site. All the '02 campaign ads are easily dismissed as "doing what I had to do running in MA", and the "rap sheet" is laughable! Oooohh, Mitt and his college buddies got in trouble for sledding down some hills. Wonder how that'll compare to Hsu-gate, file-gate, travel-gate, Whitewater, futures-gate, cover-for-Bill's-infidelities-gate, Foster-gate, Health Care Failure-gate, and Hill's 60's radicalism.

...I have a secret plan to make all terrorists spontaneously combust...


That was a joke people.

Wow.

There really is no one listening.


HT: Drudge

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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