Michael Barone has a dire prognosis for Democrats in November:
I have not seen a party’s fortunes collapse so suddenly since Richard Nixon got caught up in the Watergate scandal and a president who carried 49 states was threatened with impeachment and removal from office.
Obamacare, Cap ‘n Trade, Terror trials in NYC, failing to interrogate the fruit of ka-boom bomber, quadrupling the already unacceptable Bush deficit with a worthless “Stimulus”, 10% unemployment, Government Motors, etc., all stem from a radical leftist mindset that the American people are now rejecting because they know it all leads to a stagnant economy, intrusive government seeping into every crevice of life, loss of individual liberty and greater threats to national security.
Many people ask me whether the Democrats are in as much trouble as they were in 1994. The numbers suggest they are in much deeper trouble, at least at this moment.
This year political handicapper Charlie Cook is writing in January, six months earlier in the cycle, that Republicans once again would capture the 40 seats they need for a majority if the House elections were held today. I concur.
Democrats wouldn’t listen to the protests against their agenda. They had the power and they were going to use it. But they may end up with very little of what they hoped for and may lose the next election as well. They followed Raum Immanuel’s advice: [“You never want to let a good crisis go to waste.”] Instead of a “good crisis” to exploit now they have a bad crisis of their own making.
The video is at Real Clear Politics. Watch it and decide for yourself. I think he has done this too often for it to have an innocent explanation. It’s his trademark now. He did it to Hillary quite clearly, and the audience laughter made clear that they understood it. He did it to McCain during the campaign. There are other times when he’s done it. I think he did give the GOP the finger, and that makes him an adolescent in an adult’s body. It shows his utter disrespect for anyone he perceives to be his enemy, and that is a long list.
If you don’t watch videos on blogs because it takes too long, please make an exception for this one. It’s great.
Stossel’s interview of Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine and Reason TV turns into a debate between Gillespie and a blond food nazi from the audience. The contrast between libertarian and liberal world views is drawn with astonishing clarity. The fair-haired lady is the sort who would like to reach into people’s showers and adjust the water temperature.
Once again we rely on British newspapers to report the stories our own newspapers don’t think is important. The latest revelation that American Journalists have no interest in reporting is that Climategate scientists conduct was not only unethical but also illegal:
From the U.K. Daily Mail:
Scientists broke the law by hiding climate change data: But legal loophole means they won’t be prosecuted. The “loophole” is a statute of limitations that is only 6 months. I guess if you hide the decline and hide the hiding of the decline you’re eventually out of the woods.
And From the London Times:
Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data [in violation of the UK Freedom of Information Act]
Analysis of these two stories at The Volokh Conspiracy
The rise of Tea Party activism.
by Ben McGrath
At The New Yorker. You wouldn’t expect an enthusiastic article about the Tea Party Movement from the pinnacle of Manhattan elitism, but this one is fairly well balanced and provides some interesting history and insightful analysis on the rise of Tea Party Activism.
The liberal establishment firmly dismisses the tea partiers as a grassroots movement, maintaining it is just a thinly disguised and highly orchestrated movement by right-wing organizations. More “astroturf” than grassroots, it is said. Mr. McGrath demonstrates how wrong that notion happens to be. He is no doubt himself more comfortable in the company of those elitists who think that way, but confronted with reality in his extensive coverage of Tea Party participants and rallies he saw and understood that the Tea Party protestors are not beholden to any political party or ideology but rather are a genuine grassroots movement that is frightened by and opposed to the growth of government under Obama. As a result he has written a long article [hey, it’s The New Yorker] that is informative and worthwhile.
He closes with a group at a Tea Party rally singing along to the chorus of a folk anthem in that great American tradition:
Take it back,
Take our country back.
Our way of life is now under attack.
Draw a line in the sand, so they all understand
And our values stay intact.
Take it back.
The Washington Post reports that Obama has decided not to put 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed on trial in New York City. The pressure has been mounting for reversal of this boneheaded decision to treat enemy combatants as no different than domestic criminals. It’s still not clear whether this decision is to try terrorists in military tribunals or to merely try them as criminals somewhere other than New York.
Moving the trial in the wake of political objections would not augur well for the administration’s plans to bring other leading Guantanamo Bay detainees to other federal jurisdictions. Administration officials have said they plan to put about 35 Guantanamo detainees on trial, either in federal court or in military commissions.
Republicans and a number of Democrats in Congress have demanded that the detainees be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, arguing that they are enemy combatants in a war with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, not criminals deserving of the protections of civilian court.
But the decision to bring Mohammed and his cohorts onto U.S. soil for a civilian trial is a linchpin of Holder’s tenure, and an administration official said the Justice Department would not back down on the central principle of trying the men in federal court and inside the United States.
When KSM was first moved from Guantanamo to New York I understood that he had already defiantly said he wanted to plead guilty in a military tribunal at Gitmo. The decision to put him on trial in NYC was especially bad because in a civilian trial his lawyers would be entitled to gain access to all sorts of classified information that is vital to fighting the war on terror. It would then become public and potential terrorists would get it and adjust their planned acts of terrorism, thus frustrating our military operations to stop them. In a military tribunal the procedures are much different. While his military counsel can get the information to use in the military tribunal in order to defend the accused terrorist, the information is not given directly to the terrorist and remains classified and protected so that it does not become public and jeopardize future operations to stop terrorists before they can carry out their terrorist acts.
If KSM had been left in Gitmo to face a military tribunal there is a good chance by now that he would have been put up against a wall and shot, which is what should happen.
The left now has several reasons to go nuts. In addition to this latest KSM development, there is this:
and on the same, see:
The left had so hoped to use the KSM trial to pursue their witch hunt of Bush lawyers.
The last Rasmussen Poll on healthcare showed that 61% of the American people want Congress to drop healthcare and focus on other issues. Last Friday, January 22nd, Pelosi said the House did not have the votes to pass Obamacare. Rasmussen said no more polling would be done unless the Democrats developed a new approach, in which case his firm would resume its tracking polls on healthcare. Looks like it’s time for Rasmussen to resume.
Pelosi didn’t say whether she found the votes she lacked last week, just that the Democrats plan to do this no matter how long it takes.
Arizona Senator John Kyl told Hugh Hewitt yesterday that the Democrats intend to use reconciliation to pass it. They will have to trample on current Senate rules to do this but that won’t stop them. In that case they would only need 51% in the Senate so that even with Scott Brown, the new Senator from Massachusetts, Republicans would not be able to block it. Of course, they would still need 51% in the House.
I think they could theoretically get this done in the Senate, but I am not so sure in the House, because it has to pass with 51% over there, and it barely passed with 51% the first time around over there, by only 5 votes. So if three people change their vote, it wouldn’t pass. And I think there are enough Democrats now in the House who have said we could not support a bill that used the reconciliation process, that Speaker Pelosi is really going to have to hustle to round up those votes. And by the time it actually got there, where the American people figured out what an outrageous proposition this is, it may be so toxic that she can’t get the votes.
Right. The Kool Aid Pelosi is mixing up may be so toxic at least a few of her colleagues in the House will refuse to drink it.
On January 15th I posted: Challenge to California’s May Issue Law in which I extolled the virtues of a possibly “wise Latina Judge” [no kidding] who is learned in the law and apparently believes in liberty as well. Justice Sonja Sotomayor please give us your comments!
The plaintiff in that case has a website that you may find interesting:
and this site,
which contains lots of additional information about the case, Peruta v. County of San Diego.
The Denver Post reports that Obama will come to Colorado in February to campaign for the accidental Senator Michael Bennet and Denver Mayor Hickenlooper who is running for governor. Cool. The Colorado Republican Party can use all the help it can get in its efforts to defeat these two.
Colorado GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams said:
“One year ago next month, President Obama signed the failed ’stimulus’ bill into law right here in Denver surrounded by Governor Ritter, Mayor Hickenlooper and Senator Bennet,” said Colorado Republican Chairman Dick Wadhams. “Since then, unemployment has gone up to 10 percent and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs while the national debt has skyrocketed.”
“Let’s get the whole gang together again to properly recognize their ’stimulus’ inspired 10 percent unemployment rate while the President is here campaigning for our accidental senator, Michael Bennet, and Mayor Hickenritter,” Wadhams said. “We’d be happy to host this special reunion.”
Michelle Malkin calls it Obama’s “reverse midas touch.”
The Hickenritter moniker that Wadhams gives to Hickenlooper alludes to Hickenlooper as governor being a second Bill Ritter term. Ritter is not runnng for re-election precisely because he knows that’s a loser.
The latest Rasmussen Poll shows Republican Jane Norton beating Bennet by 12 points, 49% to 37%. Maybe Obama can increase Norton’s lead. [I’ve heard speculation that Norton is a RINO. I hope that’s wrong, but I’ll be voting for Ken Buck in the primary.] Another effect that Obama might have is to bring out the leftist loons and help Bennett defeat Andrew Romanoff in the Democrat primary. Welcome Barack!
It appears the Democrats in the Colorado State House are doing their part to help Republicans in November by going on a tax raising binge.
After posting record losses in 2008, Ford posted a $2.7 billion profit for 2009, the Detroit Free Press reported.
This was a stunning improvement of $17.4 billion from that loss of $14.7 billion in a single year.
That was without the $50 billion taxpayer subsidy that GM received. The tax subsidy — bailout — is unconstitutional and contrary to the international trade agreement promises that the United States has made to avoid subsidized automobiles.
“Ford, which has been criticized by the UAW for reinstating merit pay and other benefits for its salaried workforce, also said Thursday that it will pay profit sharing to 43,000 eligible U.S. hourly employees,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
Checks of $450 each will go out in March. The bailout cost every person in the United States $167.
I’ll never buy a Government Motors car. I always liked Fords anyway.
Commenter Imacyborg at YouTube
There’s no such thing as government job creation. The government has no money, only the money it takes from the private sector. Every time the government extracts resources from the private sector, it destroys productive private sector jobs in favour of unproductive government jobs.
Title to this post was copied from Gateway Pundit:
“I was thinking back to the first State of the Union Address with President Clinton and I thought this guy can say things that are untrue with greater conviction than anyone I’ve ever seen. I honestly think that Obama is better.”
Here is the audio from the Joe Kelley radio show this morning:
Bad reviews all around it seems. From RossPutin:
Obama’s “spending freeze” is a joke. He massively increased “discretionary” spending over the past couple of years and now wants to “freeze” it at that level. It’s as if you went from buying wine in a box to buying expensive Barolo and now claim savings by saying you won’t move up from there to Lafite Rothschild.
This comes from Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail, regarding Obama’s comments on the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which gave free speech back to shareholders and employees of corporations:
He did not shout it out loud, but just as Republican Congressman Joe Wilson had enough with President Obama’s outright lies in that September speech, Justice Samuel Alito mouthed the words “not true” as Obama launched into a demagogic diatribe against the U.S. Supreme Court.
* * *
Congressman Wilson’s breach of decorum last September laid the foundation for Justice Alito’s obviously spontaneous but silent criticism. And yes, Alito knew that the cameras could be on him.
The mouthing of words was one of the few newsworthy moments in a speech that dragged on for more than an hour as Obama grasped at any and all straws in a desperate attempt to salvage his presidency.
He failed. He has become an uninspiring speaker who has used up all his magic. Quantity cannot make up for quality.
Obama had taken the unusual step of scolding the high court in his State of the Union address Wednesday. “With all due deference to the separation of powers,” he began, the court last week “reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.”
Alito made a dismissive face, shook his head repeatedly and appeared to mouth the words “not true” or possibly “simply not true.”
One powerful House Democrat released a scathing statement about the White House before Obama had finished speaking.
“Somewhere along the line, the White House lost its way,” said Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the Armed Services Committee. “Instead of focusing on solutions to help America’s families wade through the wreckage of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, Washington has wasted valuable time wrestling with partisan politics in an effort to rush through drastic reforms that do not directly address our most immediate needs.”
In the history of the State of the Union has any President ever called out the Supreme Court by name, and egged on the Congress to jeer a Supreme Court decision, while the Justices were seated politely before him surrounded by hundreds Congressmen? To call upon the Congress to countermand (somehow) by statute a constitutional decision, indeed a decision applying the First Amendment? What can this possibly accomplish besides alienating Justice Kennedy who wrote the opinion being attacked. Contrary to what we heard during the last administration, the Court may certainly be the object of presidential criticism without posing any threat to its independence. But this was a truly shocking lack of decorum and disrespect towards the Supreme Court for which an apology is in order. A new tone indeed.
Victor Davis Hanson: says “The Usual Straw Men, etc.”
Cap and trade, statist health care, and an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell” for thee.
And for thou, Obama the tax cutter, Obama the gas-and-oil driller, Obama the budget freezer, Obama the anti-lobbyist reformer, Obama the bipartisan healer?
This half-hearted pivoting was quite transparent: Obama made these about-faces without acknowledging that the Obama of 2010 is now and then rejecting the Obama of 2009, much less that the partisanship and bickering of the past year stemmed largely from the hubris of having both houses of Congress and an obsequious press. Instead, Obama seemed miffed that after Scott Brown’s victory he had to offer half-hearted sops.
State of the Union speeches are notoriously not memorable. Who can remember anything George W. Bush said in his last State of the Union speech, or in any of them? Well, some lines are memorable. Most people might remember Bill Clinton’s “The age of big government is over.” Big fat lies are easy to remember. Stupid lines are also easy to remember: “America is addicted to oil.” That was George W. Bush.
The Boulder Daily Camera reports that:
“U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat, is calling for the Senate to include a public option in its health care bill.”
Polis and fellow freshman Democrat Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, are asking other members of Congress to sign a letter they wrote to Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.
In the letter, Polis and Pingree argue that the public option is “overwhelmingly popular” and that it would save taxpayers billions of dollars.
“By including the public option, we reduce the need to increase taxes at all,” Polis sad. “We can demonstrate that the Democrats are not a tax-and-spend party
Huh? Government-run health care is not tax and spend?
And how does Polis think ObamaCare is to be passed at all in the new world created by the Scott Brown victory last week in Massachusetts? Well, by using reconciliation, of course:
Last week, Democrats lost their 60th seat in the Senate when Republican Scott Brown won a special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat left vacant went Ted Kennedy died.
Using reconciliation to shape the health care bill is controversial, and some Democratic Senators view the tactic — which has characterized by Republicans as political trickery — to be too risky in an election year.
Democratic Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Evan Bayh of Indiana — both of whom are running for reelection in November —said yesterday they would not support using reconciliation.
“It would destroy the opportunity, if there is one, for any bipartisan cooperation the rest of this year on anything else,” Bayh was quoted as saying in the New York Times.
But Polis argues that reconciliation is an appropriate tool and that it’s been used in the past to pass other landmark legislation, including the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 and the Bush administration’s tax cuts.
“We can use this process as we have in the past,” Polis said. “As long as President Obama remains committed to health care reform as his number one domestic priority, I’m confident that we can get this done.”
Only if you are as rich as Jared Polis and represent the people of Boulder, Colorado in Congress can you be this clueless.
Arlen Specter switched from RINO Republican to the Democrat party several months ago because he rightly foresaw that his chances were bleak against Pat Toomey in a Republican primary. He thought becoming a Democrat would make it easier to remain in the United States Senate plus align him with the party that more reflects his political mindset. But now it looks as if that strategy might not save him.
The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that a new Daily News/Franklin & Marshall poll of likely voters puts Toomey ahead of Specter by 14 points if the election were held today, and 22 points ahead of Joe Sestak [Specter’s opponent in the Democrat primary].
The Daily News quotes Toomey’s reaction as:
“I can’t deny it’s all very encouraging,” Toomey said. “But I’m also very aware of the fact that the election is nine months away. A lot can happen. So I’m going to run like I’m 20 points behind.”
Smart move. Never count ’em ’til you got ’em.
We’re told that ObamaCare is now dead, at least Democrats don’t feel like they have to take marching orders from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi anymore. But the pundits also say the Democrats would love to pass something, anything, that has health care or insurance reform in its name.
UPDATE: New CNN poll finds that only 30% favor passage of a comprehensive reform bill on the same scale as ObamaCare, with 48% supporting a fresh start and 21% dropping the entire idea altogether. In other words, 69% are against ObamaCare, and this is a CNN poll
Well, there are some things they could do but even the Republican plans don’t seem to understand the basic concepts. First, the correct principles have to be considered. Government is already too heavily involved in health care and any reform that is actually about health care and not about increasing our taxes and increasing the power of politicians and bureaucrats over our lives should focus on reducing the role of government in health care and health insurance.
The are several aspects of government involvement that exist now and are making health care more expensive and making health insurance premiums too high for many people to afford. The first thing any health care reform should do is to eliminate unnecessary and bothersome government meddling. Specifically, the following should be done immediately:
Just these three things would lower health care costs, lower insurance premiums, and improve health care delivery. So why can’t we expect these things to be done right away? Simple. Obamacare was never about health care, and it was never about making health care or health insurance less expensive. It was always only about making the government bigger and more involved in every aspect of our lives. It was about remaking American into a permanent center-left welfare state.
I would be willing to wager that we will not hear any of the three remedies I advocate here mentioned in Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight. That should tell us that ObamaCare was never about improving the health care system.
But if anybody tells you they want reform of the health care system, ask them about these three things. If they are not in favor of doing these things immediately, then you will know they are either lying or as dumb as doughnuts when they say the want to reform the health care system. They don’t want to do any such thing. They simply want to make you give more of your hard earned money to the government and if in addition your health care also becomes more expensive and harder to get, that’s tough toenails. They don’t care or they’re too stupid to know any better.
Of course, anyone who was really sincere about health care reform would also want medical tort reform so that doctors don’t have to pay a million dollars a year for malpractice insurance. Doctors don’t pay those premiums. Their patients do.
Even Republicans want to force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. That is not possible. Once pre-existing condition coverage is mandated, it is not insurance anymore. It is welfare. And welfare is properly a function of non-profit charities, and unfortunately government, but certainly not for-profit businesses. There are many ways to pay for the health care that is needed and for which it is already too late to cover with insurance. Mandating insurance companies to pay for it is simply forcing them to be the agent for transfer of money from some people to other people. Risk sharing is the concept of insurance, not transferring money among individuals in society. We can do that better through charity, or even government, and we don’t need to insert a for-profit entity like an insurance company into the middle of the transaction. That will only add unnecessary expense into an already expensive problem. It’s immediate consequence it that fewer people will be insured, the very problem any health reform should be trying to correct.
Some words I never read or hear spoken anymore are “guaranteed renewable and non-cancellable.” Those words refer to the way health insurance used to be sold, and they way it should be sold again. That is, if you are healthy at the time you buy your insurance but get a dreaded disease later your insurance will continue to cover you for as long as you pay the premium and will never be cancelled nor have the premium raised based upon your new medical condition. It will be “guaranteed renewable and non-cancellable.”
One of the things that is silly about saying an insurance policy should cover pre-existing conditions is that it means a condition that pre-exists the date you buy the insurance. The concept of insurance is to cover you for something that has not yet happened, is not relatively likely to ever happen, but will be catastrophic to you if it ever does happen. If it does happen, your insurance is supposed to take care of it. The actuaries at the insurance company took that risk into consideration when they set the premium for your insurance.
Everybody knows they can’t wait until they are in an accident to buy car insurance. Why would anyone think they can wait until they have a heart attack to buy health insurance? It’s one of the dumbest things being discussed in this day and age, one of the stupidest ages of mankind.
just the way Democrats like it.
This is from WOKV in Jacksonville, Florida:
Marco Rubio has come a long way in the last seven months. Last June, Rubio trailed Charlie Crist by 31 points in the Florida Senate race.
This morning, a poll by Quinnipiac University shows Rubio ahead of Crist by three points.
That’s a statistical tie, about seven months until the primary. Rubio also beats the leading Democrat, Kendrick Meek, 44 to 35 percent in a general election matchup.
Crist leads Meek 48 to 36 percent.
And President Obama is under water in Florida, as voters disapprove 49 to 45 percent of his job performance, which is down from a 48 to 46 percent approval rating in October.
Don’t know who Marco Rubio is? Here is a video I first posted on December 29th:
So-called economist [He was Clinton’s economic advisor] Robert Reich has this column today at salon.com: Is The President Panicking? His spending freeze invokes memories of Clinton’s shift right in ’94. It’s worse because it could doom the recovery
His column contains this quote:
In December 1994, Bill Clinton proposed a so-called middle-class bill of rights including more tax credits for families with children, expanded retirement accounts, and tax-deductible college tuition. Clinton had lost his battle for healthcare reform. Even worse, by that time the Dems had lost the House and Senate. Washington was riding a huge anti-incumbent wave. Right-wing populists were the ascendancy, with Newt Gingrich and Fox News leading the charge. [emphasis added] Bill Clinton thought it desperately important to assure Americans he was on their side.
Pssssssst, Mr. Reich. Fox News did not come into existence until October, 1996.
William Katz at Urgent Agenda found this first.