Saturday, January 30, 2010

op ed review 1/31


The House chamber was a study in contrasts and reactions Wednesday night during President Obama’s State of the Union address. Republicans appeared far more buoyant than Democrats, feeling a sense of renewal after the Democrats defeat in Massachusetts.

A survey released Friday by a liberal pollster showed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) in a dead heat with President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential race.

If Scott Brown has kept President Obama up at night, there could be more sleepless nights at the White House thanks to a new poll that ranks the senator-elect as presidential timber. A Newsmax/Zogby poll shows the Massachusetts Republican within striking range of Obama in a hypothetical presidential matchup. The poll shows the pair statistically deadlocked if the presidential election were held today.

A large majority of Americans are glad that Democrats lost their 60 seat supermajority in the Senate, according to a new CNN poll.

The Real Clear Politics average on the generic ballot now shows Republicans ahead 46%-42%. “This is historically unprecedented.“

“Last Tuesday I challenged the conventional wisdom that the House of Representatives is not in play. After Scott Brown’s five-point victory in Massachusetts, it is worth asking whether the Senate is in play as well. If a Republican can win in a fairly high turnout election in Massachusetts, is there anywhere they can’t win?”

Democratic leaders in Congress have effectively slammed the brakes on Obamacare. Senate majority leader, Harry Reid deflected questions about health care. “We’re not on health care now,”

Just when it appeared that the numbers for the Democratic health care proposals couldn’t have gotten worse-- they have. A new poll by CNN and Opinion Research, shows that 69 percent of respondents say Congress should dump the current Democratic health care proposals and either write an entirely new health bill or stop working on the subject altogether.

Visualize for a moment what would happen if San Francisco hosted a rally on the hot-button topic of abortion. How many people would you expect to show up to support each side? When the anti-abortion group Walk for Life staged a march in San Francisco last Saturday they turned out 40,000 pro-life activists, who were met by a well-advertised counter-protest which managed to draw 80 pro-choice advocates, something that seems inconceivable in the sex-positive liberal stronghold of San Francisco. How did this happen?

Focus on the Family is planning to run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl broadcast featuring University of Florida quarter back Tim Tebow. "

The ad’s theme will be “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” with Pam Tebow sharing the story of her difficult 1987 pregnancy -- instead of getting an abortion she decided to give birth to Tebow, the now-famous quarterback who went on to become a Heisman Trophy winner, leading the Gators to two BCS wins.

Meanwhile, President Obama issued a special statement “celebrating the 37th birthday of the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade abortion decision.”

Obama the peace prize winner has allocated £4.3billion to spend on maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile - £370million more than what was budgeted by George Bush. The announcement comes despite the President declaring nuclear weapons were the ‘greatest danger’ to U.S. people during in his State of the Union address on Wednesday.

Taxpayers have paid $101,000 for Nancy Pelosi's in-flight 'food, booze' Speaker's trips 'are more about partying than anything else'

Fox News Finishes Week #1 in All of Primetime Cable

Fox is the most trusted television news network in the country, according to a new poll out Tuesday. A Public Policy Polling nationwide survey of 1,151 registered voters Jan. 18-19 found that 49 percent of Americans trusted Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network.

Nearly three out of four Americans think that at least half of the money spent in the federal stimulus plan has been wasted, according to a new national poll.

Punxsutawney Phil might be the most pampered groundhog in the world, but that's not good enough for the folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday say they oppose a new stimulus package.

NASA's plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way…..”….the White House will direct NASA to concentrate on Earth-science projects — principally, researching and monitoring climate change.”,0,6969808.story

While NASA worries about climate change, India is headed for space. (And the Chinese may colonize the moon)



Ben Shapiro 1/23

America: the time has come to roll back liberalism. This was the best week for conservatism in modern memory. On Tuesday, Scott Brown won a tremendous victory for the Republican Party in his Massachusetts Senate race. On Thursday, the Supreme Court handed down a decision more important to the Constitution than any it has handed down in decades.

The case, entitled Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, dealt with Citizens United's "Hillary: The Movie," a 2008 documentary highly critical of the then-Democratic presidential candidate. The Federal Election Commission saw the documentary as a political advertisement in violation of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (BCRA), and shut down Citizen United's publicity efforts. Citizens United sued. And on Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations no less than individuals have a right to political speech.

The significance of the ruling is clear: It recognizes that freedom of the press and freedom of speech apply to all people, whether or not those people choose to organize legally as a PAC, a 527, a 501(c)(4) or a corporation. The unspoken rationale behind campaign finance reform has always been the equalization of access to political influence; many leftists feel that a poor man's speech is not truly "free" unless it counts as much as a rich man's in the public square. In this view, free speech is a commodity to be parceled out by the government in the name of equality, not an opportunity or a restriction on government interference in political action.

Because this rationale is not palatable to most Americans -- we don't want the government rationing our speech -- the campaign finance reform gurus have cloaked themselves in the guise of "anti-corruption." In Citizens United, however, the Supreme Court came out foursquare against that flimsy facade. "[T]he First Amendment," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, surprisingly lucid for once, "does not allow political speech restrictions based on a speaker's corporate identity."

The Citizens United decision demonstrates more than renewed allegiance to free speech principles, however. It demonstrates that perversions of the Constitution are not entrenched forever; Reagan-esque "rollback" is possible, even at the Supreme Court. Citizens United overtly states that the hallowed -- and foolish -- principle of stare decisis cannot be the final word for conservatives.

For too long, liberal legal authorities have hidden behind stare decisis when it suits them (see Roe v. Wade) and rejected it when they see fit (see Lawrence v. Texas). And conservative legal scholars have allowed liberals to get away with it because of the premium conservatives generally place on maintenance of the status quo -- as William F. Buckley famously put it, standing athwart history yelling Stop.

Historically, conservatives have embraced stare decisis on principle; liberals have embraced it without principle….Now, finally, conservatives are beginning to wake up. As Justice John Roberts, a big believer in stare decisis, puts it in his concurring opinion in Citizens United, "in the unusual circumstance when fidelity to any particular precedent does more to damage [the rule of law] than to advance it, we must be more willing to depart from that precedent." The next step is for conservative justices to begin righting the wrongs that have occurred time after time in the Court's jurisprudence. Scalia's pragmatism isn't good enough. Simply because a bad decision is old does not make it a good decision. Our Constitution did not respect precedent; if it did, we'd be monarchists. It respected certain principles, and those principles must be protected at all costs.

Americans should look at Citizens United and take heart. Not all bad decisions are irreversible, even at the Supreme Court. At the same time, Citizens United should be a cautionary tale for American voters. It took the Supreme Court nearly a decade to dismantle the most egregious encroachment on free speech in our nation's history. We should rely not on them but on ourselves to preserve constitutional principles.

We can roll back the damage liberals have done to our founding principles -- just look at Scott Brown. It's easier to get rid of liberals and to roll back their awful policies electorally than it is to overrule awful Supreme Court decisions stamped with the legitimacy-conferring patina of stare decisis. Roll back starts with us.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:



“You know, this is an amazing week. Massachusetts goes Republican, health care dies and the Supreme Court unshackles the First Amendment. It's the best week I've had since spring break in medical school -- and I don't even remember it…”

-Charles Krauthammer

“Scott Brown has given the Republicans an opportunity, not a cure - either for his party or the country. He's showing the Republicans how to get up to fight again. He stopped the rush to destroy American health care (with all its manifold shortcomings still the best place in the world to get sick) and remake America into a European nanny state. Mr. Brown succeeded because he didn't adopt his party's usual war cry: "I'm a Republican but I'm not as bad as you think."

-Wes Pruden

The central fact of the (SOTU) speech was the contradiction at its heart. It repeatedly asserted that Washington is the answer to everything. At the same time it painted a picture of Washington as a sick and broken place. It was a speech that argued against itself: You need us to heal you. Don't trust us, we think of no one but ourselves.”

-Peggy Noonan



In a stunning admission, the scientist responsible for publishing the part of the 2007 IPCC report on global warming in Asia says he knew the evidence for the disappearing Himalayan Glacier was suspect but allowed it into the report in order to put pressure on governments to take action. “This story is getting huge play in Great Britain - not so much here in America.”

The chief of the U.N.'s climate science panel says he isn't going anywhere, despite calls for his head amid allegations that he is a sloppy scientist who presided over a report that contained intentionally misleading statements.

Global warming ranks dead last of the public’s 21 concerns.

The fact this appeared in the leftie UK newspaper The Guardian is noteworthy: ”Scientists have underestimated the role that water vapor plays in determining global temperature changes, according to a new study that could fuel further attacks on the science of climate change.”

Climate researchers and the Weather Channel's founder accuse NASA of the same data manipulation as Britain's Climate Research Unit. Were weather stations cherry-picked to hide the temperature drop?



Alter: “The year 2010 is already a nightmare for progressives, and it's only January. In one week alone, the health-care bill derailed, the liberal radio network Air America went silent, and the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment allows corporations to pump as much money as they want into political campaigns.”

A remarkable thing is happening to Rahm Emanuel: he is losing his aura of invincibility. A year ago, Emanuel was the untouchable attack dog for a president on top of the world. Now, according to some liberal critics, he is “a cowardly, petty, small-minded thug.”



“Whoo-hoo, huzzah and yee-haw! This week put the party back in Republican Party. It was like watching the history of the last three years in reverse. Not since Michael Corleone took care of business at the end of “The Godfather” did so many hopes get realized with such alacrity. Ted Kennedy’s seat went to a fiscally responsible, pro-business working class hero whose every styling and utterance repudiated Ted-ism..”

Fred Barnes notes that Scott Brown’s victory exploded “the fable about a death struggle pitting tea party populists and angry conservatives against moderates and the Republican hierarchy.” Brown – like Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie — succeeded in a state that went for Obama in 2008 by snatching those voters in the middle of the political spectrum and energizing his own base.

How Republicans won the Internet: Scott Brown's supporters became fans of the candidate on Facebook, where they commented on his status updates and uploaded their own photos. The Republican Senate hopeful took to Twitter, using the #masen hashtag to let his followers know how the race was going. His campaign powered its field operation through targeted online ads and Web-based spreadsheets, and raised $12 million from 157,000 individual donations in the last two weeks of the race.

Five states where GOP might pull another Brown

“The lesson of the Obama presidency is exactly the opposite of what our stuck-on-stupid media are telling us. It is that we must never, ever hire, promote, or elect somebody to a position of power and responsibility merely because of his race. Abraham Lincoln would not have been surprised. Neither would Martin Luther King, Jr. Even the editors of the New York Times choose schools for their kids not by race, but by educational competence. Somehow the American people have forgotten their common sense while Obama was rifling their wallets…The captain is drunk in the deckhouse, and the ship of state is heading for the rocks. Our enemies are trying to take advantage of our failure to elect even sensible leadership.….ultimately this is a failure of the American people, of our pathetic excuse for a media, and of the anti-American hatred that pervades the Left. Yes, God protects orphans, widows, and the United States. But you can rely on pure dumb luck for only a little while before the ship of state comes to grief on that unforgiving iceberg.”

An unreported disclosure by China has taken the international financial world by shock and surprise. China declared that its foreign exchange reserves had increased to $2.4 Trillion in 2009, a gain of $453 Billion in one year. It is estimated that the reserves will rise by an equal amount in 2010. The significance of this astounding statistic cannot be underestimated. By comparison the total foreign exchange reserves of the European Union (27 countries) was $648 Billion in 2009. China's one year increase alone was higher than the total reserves of all but one nation, Japan ($1.074 Trillion). (United States: $84.4 Billion)

“Before being Mirandized, he was singing like a canary.” The bottom line: Abdulmutallab's cooperation was limited to a 50-minute preliminary interview conducted by local agents as he waited for pain meds and more treatment. The second interview produced nothing and he has exercised his newfound right to remain silent ever since. Given what we know about Abdulmutallab's activities and the four months he spent in Yemen with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, it is incredible that he was Mirandized after talking for just 50 minutes.”

Think about this before you book your next flight: “In virtually unnoticed testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee last week, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Director Michael Leiter explained that U.S. policy leading up to the attempted Christmas Day suicide attack on Northwest Flight 253 was calculated to “draw a line between two types of al-Qaida operatives: Those we allow on planes and those we do not.”



An enlightening lecture by professor Beck:

What’s your share of this?: Total public debt $12T

The first-ever National Tea Party convention in Nashville starts next week

Steve Lee says he never set out to be an internet hit. He just loves guns - and thought he would write a song about it. He says he is as shocked as anyone that his YouTube clip I Like Guns has been viewed more than 1.26 million times in the six weeks it has been online.

“Scorned Mistress of Married Obama Adviser Posts Billboards Nationwide”,2933,583653,00.html

See clip here of a stunned Justice Alito doing a refined rendition of Joe Wilson's, "You Lie" moment during President Obama’s SOTU address

What Sen Ben Nelson’s ad should have said about health care: “show me the money”

Top 100 conservatives and liberals in America

A letter from a 95-year-old retired World War II sailor in Hawaii to President Barack Obama has stirred up attention on the Internet.



"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy."

-Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, January 23, 2010

op ed review 1/24


Republicans scored an historic victory overnight that put President Barack Obama's agenda in jeopardy exactly a year after he took power – and which could kill his plans for healthcare reform. A little-known Republican state legislator won Edward Kennedy's old seat in the US Senate in Massachusetts in what appeared to be a massive protest vote against the party that controls both chambers of Congress and the White House.

“Just when you think you've seen it all, the state that sent and returned Ted Kennedy to the Senate nine times goes and elects as his successor a man whose chief campaign pledge is to block what the late senator called "the cause of my life." And it wasn't even that close.”

The last time Massachusetts sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate, the year was 1972. Richard Nixon was in the White House. Sonny and Cher were still together. "All in the Family" was still only in its second season. The Chevy Chevelle was one of the country's top-selling cars. And Massachusetts was the only state in the country that voted to elect George McGovern president. That last trivia item illustrates the significance of this event.

If every Republican in Massachusetts wasn't inside the ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel on Tuesday night, it was only because the city's fire marshal is a Democrat. Ayla Brown, the "American Idol" daughter of Sen.-elect Scott Brown, was rocking the capacity crowd to the tune of "Some Kind of Wonderful" when it was announced that Democrat Martha Coakley had conceded. The crowd began to chant: "John Kerry's next! John Kerry's next!"

It was - for the second time in Massachusetts history - the shot heard round the world, or at the very least from coast to coast and surely in the halls of Congress. Scott Brown won this one fair and square with his down-to-earth charm, his hard work and his forthright position on issues - and with the help of that much-disparaged by the opposition pick-up truck.

As Barack Obama enters his second year in office, voters are less optimistic about his ability to succeed and no longer clearly favor keeping the Democrats in control of Congress, according to the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

A year into his presidency, President Obama faces souring public assessments of his efforts to change Washington, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Democrats' last-ditch approach to saving President Barack Obama's sweeping health care overhaul — prodding House members to pass a Senate version vastly unpopular with them — isn't working.

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down large portions of the abomination known as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, especially those aspects of the law that imposed restrictions on corporate spending on political issues.

The number of union workers employed by the government for the first time outnumbered union ranks in the private sector last year.

Chanting, yelling and singing their way down Constitution Avenue, tens of thousands of abortion opponents marched through the cold Friday in the annual March for Life, marking the 37th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

The U.S. military's just-released report into the Fort Hood shootings spends 86 pages detailing varying slip-ups by Army officers, but not once mentions Major Nidal Hasan by name or even discusses whether the killings may have had anything to do with the suspect's view of his Muslim faith.,8599,1954960,00.html

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said he should not have given in to pressure to reduce the passenger no-fly list before the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253. “What is prudent is to put names on just in case and take them off when it’s justified,” he said. “The pressure [before the attempted bombing] was in the other direction. I should not have given in to that pressure.”

Blair “even admitted the intelligence community would probably drop the ball in the future..”

Cindy McCain has posed for an ad released by the NOH8 campaign, a pro-gay-marriage effort that pictures celebrities with their mouths taped shut.

If it became known that a Cabinet-level official in George W. Bush's administration -- a divorced father of two -- was the father of a baby born out of wedlock to an ex-girlfriend, and that the official had announced his engagement to a woman he met while the ex-girlfriend was pregnant, do you believe for one second that reporters, and not just gossip columnists, wouldn't be having a field day?

Right-wing multimillionaire Sebastian Pinera won Sunday's presidential election run-off in Chile, with 51.87 per cent of the votes. Pinera's win is historic, as it is set to take power off the hands of the centre-left coalition that has led Chile since the return of democracy in 1990. It is also the first time that the right has risen to power by democratic means in Chile since 1958.,right-wing-millionaire-pinera-gets-historic-win-in-chileupdate.html



Charles Krauthammer 1/22/09

On Jan. 14, five days before the Massachusetts special election, President Obama was in full bring-it-on mode as he rallied House Democrats behind his health care reform. "If Republicans want to campaign against what we've done by standing up for the status quo and for insurance companies over American families and businesses, that is a fight I want to have."

The bravado lasted three days. When Obama campaigned in Boston on Jan. 17 for Obamacare supporter Martha Coakley, not once did he mention the health care bill. When your candidate is sinking, you don't throw her a millstone.

After Coakley's defeat, Obama pretended that the real cause was a generalized anger and frustration "not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."

Let's get this straight: The antipathy to George W. Bush is so enduring and powerful that ... it just elected a Republican senator in Massachusetts? Why, the man is omnipotent.

And the Democrats are delusional: Scott Brown won by running against Obama not Bush. He won by brilliantly nationalizing the race, running hard against the Obama agenda, most notably Obamacare. Killing it was his No. 1 campaign promise.

Bull's-eye. An astonishing 56 percent of Massachusetts voters, according to Rasmussen, called health care their top issue. In a Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates poll, 78 percent of Brown voters said their vote was intended to stop Obamacare. Only a quarter of all voters in the Rasmussen poll cited the economy as their top issue, nicely refuting the Democratic view that Massachusetts was just the usual anti-incumbent resentment you expect in bad economic times.

Brown ran on a very specific, very clear agenda. Stop health care. Don't Mirandize terrorists. Don't raise taxes; cut them. And no more secret backroom deals with special interests.

These deals -- the Louisiana purchase, the Cornhusker kickback -- had engendered a national disgust with the corruption and arrogance of one-party rule. The final straw was the union payoff -- in which labor bosses smugly walked out of the White House with a five-year exemption from a ("Cadillac") health insurance tax Democrats were imposing on the 92 percent of private-sector workers who are not unionized.

The reason both wings of American liberalism -- congressional and mainstream media -- were so surprised at the force of anti-Democratic sentiment is that they'd spent Obama's first year either ignoring or disdaining the clear early signs of resistance: the tea-party movement of the spring and the town-hall meetings of the summer. With characteristic condescension, they contemptuously dismissed the protests as the mere excrescences of a redneck, retrograde, probably racist rabble.

You would think lefties could discern a proletarian vanguard when they see one. Yet they kept denying the reality of the rising opposition to Obama's social democratic agenda when summer turned to fall and Virginia and New Jersey turned Republican in the year's two gubernatorial elections.

The evidence was unmistakable: Independents, who in 2008 had elected Obama, swung massively against the Democrats: dropping 16 points in Virginia, 21 in New Jersey. On Tuesday, it was even worse: Independents, who had gone 2-to-1 Republican in Virginia and New Jersey, now went 3-to-1 Republican in hyper-blue Massachusetts. Nor was this an expression of the more agitated elements who vote in obscure low-turnout elections. The turnout on Tuesday was the highest for any nonpresidential Massachusetts election in 20 years.

Democratic cocooners will tell themselves that Coakley was a terrible candidate who even managed to diss Curt Schilling. True, Brown had Schilling. But Coakley had Obama. When the bloody sock beats the presidential seal -- of a man who had them swooning only a year ago -- something is going on beyond personality.

That something is substance -- political ideas and legislative agendas. Democrats, if they wish, can write off their Massachusetts humiliation to high unemployment, to Coakley or, the current favorite among sophisticates, to generalized anger. That implies an inchoate, unthinking lashing-out at whoever happens to be in power -- even at your liberal betters who are forcing on you an agenda that you can't even see is in your own interest.

Democrats must so rationalize, otherwise they must take democracy seriously, and ask themselves: If the people really don't want it, could they possibly have a point?

"If you lose Massachusetts and that's not a wake-up call," said moderate -- and sentient -- Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, "there's no hope of waking up."

I say: Let them sleep.



"Martha Coakley's resounding defeat in the Massachusetts Senate race is hardly the sort of anniversary gift President Barack Obama could have predicted. Yet there it was, wrapped in a bow and plopped on his doorstep like a flaming bag of dog poo to mark the end of his first year in office."

-Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, Reason magazine



The U.N.'s leading panel on climate change has apologized for misleading data published in a 2007 report that warned Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035. In a statement released Wednesday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said estimates relating to the rate of recession of the Himalayan glaciers in its Fourth Assessment Report were "poorly substantiated" adding that "well-established standards of evidence were not applied properly."

Five glaring errors were discovered in one paragraph of the world's most authoritative report on global warming, forcing the Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists who wrote it to apologize and promise to be more careful. The errors are in a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N.-affiliated body. All the mistakes appear in a subsection that suggests glaciers in the Himalayas could



In a time when a White House Communications Director lists Red Chinese dictator Mao as a major influence in her life, it’s worth taking a look at the society that Mao established through mass murder and terror. Two very different new memoirs by Chinese authors do just that.



Code Pink members became known during the Bush Administration as confrontational anti-war protestors, but the group is actually worse than that. Code Pink’s leadership has aligned with almost every tyrannical force opposing the U.S., from Chavez to Ahmadinejad to Hamas to Iraq insurgents. Code Pink is acting more like the ambassador for enemies of the free world than an advocate for peace. Kristinn Taylor and Andrea Shea King over at

RIP Progressive radio network…while Air America quietly files its Chapter 7 papers, there still are legitimate legacies and lessons from the life and death of a network that was unveiled March 31, 2004, on the bold premise it would be the progressive answer to Rush Limbaugh.



A 13-year-old girl has been sentenced to 90 lashes and two months' prison in Saudi Arabia after she took a cell phone to school.



Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts will not endure unless Republicans clearly understand the meaning of "the machine" that he ran against and defeated ….The central battle in our time is over political primacy. It is a competition between the public sector and the private sector over who defines the work and the institutions that make a nation thrive and grow. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy planted the seeds that grew the modern Democratic Party. That year, JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force. This changed everything in the American political system. Kennedy's order swung open the door for the inexorable rise of a unionized public work force in many states and cities. This in turn led to the fantastic growth in membership of the public employee unions—The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the teachers' National Education Association. They broke the public's bank. More than that, they entrenched a system of taking money from members' dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the Democratic Party into a public-sector dependency.

The mainstream media ignores the largest union embezzlement in American history.

The old GOP doesn't 'Get' tea parties

The Democrat Party’s “40 year majority” will come to a close 38 years early. The unbearable trinity of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama has managed to alienate a nation desperate to support new leadership. They accomplished this by an insistence on unwanted quasi-Socialist policies and an irritating propensity to lead with their chin in foreign policy. The era of Obama is over.

More guns in law-abiding hands mean less crime. The District of Columbia proves the point. Reading most press accounts, one would be forgiven for thinking Armageddon had arrived after the Supreme Court struck down the District's handgun ban in 2008. Predictions sprung forth from all directions that allowing more citizens to own guns and not forcing them to keep them locked up was going to threaten public safety. According to

The new federal hate crimes law has all the potential to be a major attack on religious liberty and freedom of speech, according to top religious liberty attorneys. The law was chosen the number one anti-Christian act of 2009 by the Christian Anti-Defamation League. Attorneys who defend religious rights agree: The recently enacted hate-crimes law is a threat to religious liberty.

Hong Kong has held on to its title as the world's freest economy for the 16th year running, according to an annual index published Wednesday. The city emerged at the top of the Index of Economic Freedoms released by the Heritage Foundation.

VDH: Dream up a gargantuan backlash against Barack Obama’s left-wing gospel, and you still could not invent the notion of a relatively unknown, conservative Scott Brown knocking off an Obama-endorsed, liberal, female attorney in liberal Massachusetts — in a race to fill the seat once held by Ted Kennedy.



Top 100 conservatives and liberals in America


Saturday, January 16, 2010

op ed review 1/17


Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race for Ted Kennedy’s old seat, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate all the way to the White House, a new poll shows.

Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown’s war chest has more than $1 million dollars more in it after Monday’s money bomb fundraiser exploded into some major bucks for the Senate hopeful. Brown raised more than $1 million from contributors, according to his campaign Web site, from the 24-hour long “Red Invades Blue” fundraiser.

"If Scott Brown wins, it'll kill the health bill," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass

Contribute here, the special election is Tuesday:

Rush Limbaugh blasted Brown’s opponent, Martha Coakley as a “sock puppet” for Washington Democrats.

“Democrat Martha Coakley is the voice of the “little people” the way Ted Kennedy was the voice of sobriety.”

Ann Coulter explains why Coakley is “too immoral” to hold Ted Kennedy’s senate seat.

Congress is creeping closer to passing a government health care bill without telling taxpayers how they are going to pay for the crippling bureaucratic expansion. The reason Democrats are so secretive is that they are ramping up the power of the Internal Revenue Service to make Americans' health care decisions for them.

A sweetheart deal was cut Thursday night with unions to get their support on healthcare. John Edwards was right, there really are two Americas: If you're part of one America, you have to pay a tax if you receive generous health benefits. But if you're part of the other America that has contributed handily to Democratic campaigns and has access to the White House, you can receive those same benefits without paying a tax.

The future of government healthcare: Last week it was Bartell Drugs, this week Walgreens announced it will no longer fill Medicaid prescriptions at 64 of its Washington pharmacies starting Feb. 15.

The good news for Republicans in 2010 is they’re ahead in 6 races for Senate seats now held by Democrats and lead or are tied in 6 open seats where Republicans are retiring. In the House, Republicans figure to win a minimum of 20 seats, as things now stand. They’re a good bet to have a majority of the nation’s governors after the midterm elections in November. The bad news? There is no bad news.

The National Journal polled 1200 adults nationwide to determine whether they would vote for Barack Obama’s re-election based on his first-year performance. In a stunner, 50% said they’d vote for “someone else,” while only 23% said they would definitely vote for Obama:

Just 36 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Obama's handling of health care, according to the poll, conducted from Jan. 6 – 10.

A series of state "sovereignty" bills aspire to beat back the power of the federal government. The bills -- an outgrowth of the Tea Party movement -- seek to nullify the federal health-care bill, gun-control laws, and greenhouse-gas limits. On Wednesday, Washington State House Republicans tried a procedural move to bring some of the bills forward for a vote. Their motion was rejected on a party-line vote.

Taxes too high? Here’s why: There were 521,183 people working for federal, state or local government in Washington State in 2008. That represents 17.6 percent of the state's total workforce, making government by far the largest employer in Washington. Nearly one in five people in Washington State work for government.

The produce used on the Food Network's Jan. 3 Iron Chef of America two-hour special White House show was billed as being from Michelle Obama’s White House garden. But the show did not disclose that "stunt double vegetables" were used.

The bodies of executed Chinese prisoners may be among the “Bodies” in a ghoulish exhibition of ‘plastinated’ corpses. A UK human rights activist is demanding the show be shut down because it is a ‘crime scene’.

A new book reveals Harry Reid’s egregiously inappropriate comment from the 2008 campaign that Obama is ”a light-skinned” African-American who “lacked a Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”. But let’s be clear: had any Republican said it, he or she would be chased from office by Monday. But Harry Reid is no Trent Lott and the standards are different for Democrats.

Reid made the comments to “a group of reporters” during the 2008 campaign. They apparently didn’t think it was newsworthy enough to report at the time.

Sarah Palin has signed with Fox News as a contributor, according to reports. Palin will join Fox's team to provide regular insight and analysis on the network.

The polls are open for the annual Porker of the Year vote from Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), and the Democrats have an early lead with four out of the six nominees:

Launching a massive 11th-hour effort to keep abortion out of the health care legislation that will emerge from a House-Senate conference committee, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent bulletin inserts and pulpit announcements to every parish in the nation.

“Five years after a budget-busting $3 billion was allocated in California to embryonic stem cell research, there have been no cures, no therapies and little progress. So supporters are embracing research they once opposed. It is embryonic stem cell researchers who have politicized science and stood in the way of real progress. We are pleased to see California researchers beginning to put science in its rightful place.”



Michelle Malkin 1/7

Meet the Beltway bloodsuckers. They convene in the dead of night, when most ordinary mortals have left work and let their guard down or are lying asleep in bed. Pale-faced and insatiable, the nocturnal thieves do their nefarious business in backrooms and secret chambers. Their primary victims? Taxpayers, the free market and deliberative democracy.

Democratic leaders have been promising the most ethical, transparent, open and engaged administration for years. Instead, they have delivered a bleak and creepy legislative environment that could double as a "Twilight" movie set.

Skulking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rammed the government health care takeover package through under the cover of darkness before Thanksgiving and Christmas. House Democratic leaders forbade debate on all but one amendment not authored by themselves. The Senate Finance Committee killed a GOP amendment that would have required Demcare to be available online for 72 hours before the committee voted. Reid and his Volterra-style henchmen cut last-minute cash-for-cloture deals behind closed doors.

And now House and Senate Democratic leaders are reportedly preparing to cut dissenters out of the reconciliation process by bypassing the formal conference committee.

In Hill parlance, this legislative shortcut is called "ping-ponging." A better game analogy: dodgeball. With mounting opposition from both conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats, President Obama's water-carriers must use every trick in the book to speed the final merging and passage of the bill before the end of the month. The hypocrisy reeks stronger than rotting garlic. In 2006, House Democrats asserted that "House-Senate conferences are a critical part of the deliberative process because they produce the final legislative product that will become the law of the land."

That same year, Reid railed on the Senate floor against informal deal-making that circumvented the conference committee process — and he attacked the use of manager's amendments to avoid public scrutiny…..But four years later, it was Reid who snuck his 383-page manager's amendment — stuffed with payoffs, special breaks and concessions on health care — into the Senate hopper on the Saturday before Christmas break. Four years later, it is Reid stifling the open, collaborative conference committee process he so fiercely championed.

Where's Barack Obama? As a candidate, he promised repeatedly to broadcast legislative negotiations on C-SPAN "so that the American people can see what the choices are" and "so that the public will be part of the conversation and will see the choices that are being made." But the most transparent presidential administration ever is shrugging its shoulders. On Tuesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs pooh-poohed C-SPAN's request to allow electronic media coverage of the Demcare negotiations.

Instead, Gibbs thinks Americans should be grateful for what they got last month: "The Senate did a lot of their voting at 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning on C-SPAN. ... And I think if you watched that debate — I don't know — I wasn't up at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning for a lot of those votes, but I think if the American public had watched ... you'd have seen quite a bit of public hearing and public airing." And if you missed the middle-of-the-night broadcasts, tough noogies.

Team Obama's contempt for meaningful transparency has been on display from Day One. A year ago this month, Obama broke his vaunted open-government pledge with the very first bill he signed into law. On Jan. 29, 2009, the White House boasted that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act had been posted online for review. Except: Obama had already signed it — in violation of his "sunlight before signing" pledge to post legislation for public comment on the White House Web site five days before he sealed any deal.

From the stimulus to the health care takeover to holiday bailouts for bankrupt financial behemoths Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it's been all backrooms and blackouts ever since. The Prince of Darkness at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is perfectly happy with his Vampire Congress. Wraiths of a sunshine-evading feather flock together.



"We're looking at 37 Democrats who are in districts that are particularly upset and vulnerable to the provisions of this health care bill. Are they going to be with the people or are they going to be with Pelosi?"

-House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)

"Americans stand to lose their power of choice over health care decisions and be stripped of a significant portion of their earnings to pay for a plan most don't want. They deserve to see in an open forum what is being done to them. Instead, they're likely to get whatever the Democrats want to force on them."

-Investor's Business Daily

“The fainthearted among us can blanch at the suggestion that Obama is a Marxist -- and accuse me of name-calling or incivility -- but my intention is not to inflame. It is to communicate the truth in accurate terms to help people understand the magnitude of the threat we face by this assault on our liberties. Obama didn't impose his Draconian stimulus bill or omnibus spending bills to jump-start the economy. He did it to transfer wealth and establish slush funds for re-election. He didn't push cap and trade to reduce 'global warming,' but to bring America down to size with the 'underdeveloped' nations of the world. He didn't obsessively promote Obamacare to improve the economy, 'bend the cost curve' (what a joke!), achieve universal coverage or improve the quality of health care. He did it to amplify the federal government's power over all aspects of our lives. ... Obama isn't even trying to 'get serious about the deficit and spending.' That's a cruel ruse. Look at his projected deficits in the out-years. He is planning on deficits in excess of a trillion dollars from here forward, even after the economy fully recovers. The country cannot sustain this. The public knows it and is outraged and horrified by it. Our children cannot live in freedom if this insane recklessness is not stopped."

-David Limbaugh

"Put enough money on the table and just about any Democratic U.S. Senator will think, gulp, blink, and drag the pot with the rationalization that 'this is all for the greater good.' Pelican Pellets. This is no different than putting a horse's head into Jack Woltz' bed to force him into giving Johnny Fontaine a part in his movie in The Godfather. It was a deal [Senator Ben] Nelson couldn't refuse."

-Rich Galen

"I don't know if there is a senator that doesn't have something in this bill that was important to them. And if they don't have something in it important to them, then it doesn't speak well of them."

-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Godfather) on making offers that Democrats couldn't refuse



How global warming politics works: A Professor at Penn State University and co-conspirator of the ClimateGate e-mail scandal received $500,000 in stimulus funds from the Obama administration.

The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists. Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs

A 77-year-old man died of hypothermia in Miami.

At least 20 members of Congress made the trip to climate change conference in Copenhagen last month. "They're going because it's the biggest party of the year," Sen. Inhofe said. "The worst thing that happened there is they ran out of caviar." The congressional delegation was so large, it needed three military jets: two 737's and a Gulfstream Five -- up to 64 passengers -- traveling in luxurious comfort. Add senators and staff, most of whom flew commercial, and we counted at least 101 Congress-related attendees.

The Copenhagen Climate summit demonstrated once again the leftist intelligentsia's visceral anti-capitalism. First from global cooling then to global warming and now to climate change, like elitist bloodhounds they follow the trail relentlessly through tangled inconsistencies in hope of catching their prey. And the scent remains strong: the capitalist system.



Why another book on the 2008 campaign, a year after the inauguration of President Obama? What more is there to say about a race that was covered day in and day out by newspapers, magazines, television, radio and bloggers? Is there anything more to learn about the candidates — and does it matter to an American public now focused on unemployment and health care and terrorism? The answer is yes.

Among other things, the book reveals that Bill Clinton allegedly claimed during the hard-fought Democratic primary race: ‘A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.’



“Hey Obama, Who's Freddy?”



A UW professor has given 205 of his students in beginning atmospheric sciences a simple middle school math quiz. The results are shocking. This was an easy test, including elementary and middle school math problems. These are students attending a science class at the State's flagship university--these should be the cream of the crop of our high school graduates with high GPAs. And yet most of them can't do essential basic math--operations needed for even the most essential problem solving.

The overall grade was 58% (editor’s note: It was EASY - I scored 100%)
43% did not know the formula for the area of a circle
86% could not do a simple algebra problem (problem 4b)
75% could not do a simple scientific notation problem (1e)
52% could not deal with a negative exponent (2 to the -2)
43% could not do simple long division problem with no remainder!
47% did not know what a cosine was.
“Why are many of our state's best students mathematically illiterate? Starting in the mid-90s colleges of education and "curriculum specialists" in districts become enamored with a new way of teaching math--called reform or discovery math. Instead of teaching the basics --followed by practice to mastery, the idea was that students could only learn math they "discovered" themselves. Working on problem sets was considered "drill and kill."….Most of this proved to be a disaster, but those pushing it--professors in education schools and district curriculum types--were believers, even though there was no empirical proof that it worked. “Many felt that the new reform math could serve social and political goals--helping the disadvantaged or those that traditionally could not "get" math.” ….our nation and state have been running an unfortunate experiment on our children that has failed……Some people (like the Seattle Times) are fixated on testing our kids with high stakes tests, but this doesn't make sense (and is even cruel) if we don't have reasonable educational material in places taught by teachers who know their material. I would offer it makes more sense to test the teacher first for a competent knowledge of math! It is a very American thing to think you can change everything with a test, when the whole foundation is rotten. Amazingly, some business groups, like the Business Roundtable, don't understand this and are fixated on the exams and not the underlying curriculum issues.”

When Republicans discuss party Chairman Michael Steele, it often comes down to a conversation about Good Michael versus Bad Michael. The problem is, on any given day, GOP politicos don't know which Michael is occupying the big office at Republican National Committee headquarters.

At the moment, the Democrat Party is reeling like a boxer who's taken too many combinations to the body. The audience can sense a knockout, and the party's doing everything it can to prevent itself from falling face first to the mat.

George Will: It took years for liberalism's mania for micromanaging life with entangling regulations to make California's once-creative economy resemble Gulliver immobilized by the Lilliputians' many threads. The state, which between 1990 and 2007 lost 26 percent of its factory jobs and 35 percent of its high-tech manufacturing jobs, ranks behind only New York, another of liberalism's laboratories, in the number of outward-bound moving vans. It took years for compassionate liberalism to make California's welfare menu contribute to the state becoming an importer of Mexico's poverty. It took years for servile liberalism to turn the state into what Voegeli calls a "unionocracy," run by and for unionized public employees, such as public safety employees who can retire at 50 and receive 90 percent of the final year's pay for life.

The news that Rush Limbaugh had entered a Hawaii hospital over the New Year's weekend complaining of chest pains triggered a volcanic Internet eruption for the hard left -- the likes of which we've never seen before. If Mt. Vesuvius could vomit in a literal sense, this would be it. This time, these radicals let their guard down and showed their true colors.

Former Sen. Slade Gorton said his 77-year-old wife gets secondary security screening every time she flies because she has an artificial hip -- a measure he sees as a waste of time and money. "We know that the great majority of these people are young, Muslim, males from about a dozen countries in the Middle East and Africa. And its time to say all such people are going to go through secondary screening before they get on an airplane," said Gorton. When asked to respond to critics who call such profiling racist, Gorton dismissed the concerns. "The point is if we're taking defensive mechanisms that can be effective 90 percent of the time rather than 20 percent of the time, we ought to do so," said Gorton.

“In what easily ranks as the high point in my blogging career, and the low point of the entire neoconservative movement, I was somehow invited to attend the 80th Birthday Roast of Norman Podhoretz at the Park Plaza in New York last night where I got to rub elbows with, among others, Charles Krauthammer, William Bennett, Lucianne Goldberg, Paul Gigot, Mark Steyn, Henry Kissinger and the whole Podhoretz family. What follows is my small contribution to the roast, an edited version of which was wonderfully performed in character by the great Orson Bean. Many thanks to Commentary editor John Podhoretz for including me in the festivities. And sorry about that little drunk and disorderly thing.”



How to donate to the Haitian relief effort:

Meet the Pirate Catcher

Defeat Obamacare, help Brown



"Well, there's something known as American conservatism, though it does not even call itself that. It's been calling itself 'voting Republican' or 'not liking the New Deal.' But it is a very American approach to life, and it has to do with knowing that the government is not your master, that America is good, that freedom is good and must be defended, and communism is very, very bad."

-William F. Buckley Jr.

"Since when do we in America believe that our society is made up of two diametrically opposed classes -- one rich, one poor -- both in a permanent state of conflict and neither able to get ahead except at the expense of the other? Since when do we in America accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare? Since when do we in America endorse the politics of envy and division?"

-Ronald Reagan