Saturday, January 23, 2010

op ed review 1/24

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

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.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6994679.ece

“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.”

http://salon.com/news/feature/2010/01/19/coakley_brown/

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.

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/01/20/the-peoples-seat

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!"

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/01/20/downtown-scotty-brown

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.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/editorials/view.bg?articleid=1226865

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.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703569004575009140238567912.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

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.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/16/AR2010011602828.html?nav%3Dhcmodule&sub=AR

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.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100121/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_overhaul

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.

http://bigjournalism.com/fross/2010/01/21/supreme-court-drop-kicks-mccainfeingold-scores-victory-for-1st-amendment/

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

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100122/ap_on_bi_ge/us_union_membership

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.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/22/AR2010012203525.html?hpid=topnews

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.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1954960,00.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.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/77053-intelligence-chief-says-it-was-mistake-to-reduce-passenger-no-fly-list

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

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/01/20/congress-presses-details-administrations-counterterror-policies/?test=latestnews

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.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01/21/cindy-mccain-poses-for-ad-supporting-gay-marriage/

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?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/15/AR2010011503177.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/304284,right-wing-millionaire-pinera-gets-historic-win-in-chileupdate.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

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.

http://townhall.com/columnists/CharlesKrauthammer/2010/01/22/the_meaning_of_brown?page=full

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"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

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GLOBALONEY

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."

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/01/20/glacier.himalayas.ipcc.error/?hpt=Sbin

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

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/jan/21/na-glacier-warnings-off-by-3-centuries/

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BOOKS

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.

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/01/22/socialism-is-great-and-other-chinese-fables/

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LEFTIST WATCH

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

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/01/21/code-pink%E2%80%99s-support-of-the-enemy/

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.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2010/01/22/2010-01-22_air_america_why_liberal_radios_answer_to_rush_limbaugh_failed_and_why_it_matters.html

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NEWS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD

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.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1244689/Saudi-girl-13--sentenced-90-lashes-took-mobile-phone-school.html

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ARTICLES

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.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704320104575015010515688120.html

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

http://bigjournalism.com/brjohnson/2010/01/17/most-of-msm-yawns-rolls-over-as-largest-union-theft-in-history-goes-largely-unreported/

The old GOP doesn't 'Get' tea parties

http://www.publiusforum.com/2010/01/18/old-gop-doesnt-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.

http://biggovernment.com/2010/01/18/is-the-gop-worthy-of-governance/#more-61430

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

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jan/21/guns-decrease-murder-rates/

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.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/60163

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.

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/business/news/article_1526838.php/Report-Hong-Kong-and-Singapore-world-s-freest-economies

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.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjBjY2Y3NGM3Y2UzYTA0MGJmZGQ3OGY2ZmE3NGZhMDA=

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Top 100 conservatives and liberals in America

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6990965/The-most-influential-US-conservatives-20-1.html

Strange.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUMwu_gXK7Q

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