Saturday, February 20, 2010

op ed review 2/21

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Highlighting the GOP’s continued momentum, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report made ratings changes in 25 House races Thursday, all of which favor Republican candidates. The downgrading of Democratic prospects in the races paints an increasingly promising picture for GOP chances of taking over the House next year.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33151.html

Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana announced that he will not seek a third term in November, a decision that, coming on the heels of other Democratic departures, could imperil the party's prospects of retaining control of the Senate

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/15/AR2010021503451.html?hpid=topnews

Thirty-four percent of voters queried think members of the House and the Senate ought to be re-elected -- while an astonishing 63 percent were in favor of throwing the bums out, the new CNN poll showed. That's the worst performance for Congress in the history of the network's polling -- the latest red flag for the floundering Democratic leadership as it heads into an anti-incumbent voter wave just eight months before the midterm elections.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/congress_poll_ralfzutWeCzpTpC6x1wrhP#ixzz0fo56SIBW

And 52 percent of Americans said President Barack Obama doesn't deserve reelection in 2012, according to a new CNN poll.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/81213-52-say-obama-doesnt-deserve-reelection-

Former Vice President Dick Cheney rallied conservative activists today during a brief yet surprise appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). "I think 2010 will be a phenomenal year for the conservative cause and I think Barack Obama is a one-term president," Cheney said to a standing ovation.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/tea-party-activists-republican-leaders-gather-conservative-conference/story?id=9873498

With about 10,000 registered participants, this year's Conservative Political Action Conference was the largest and most festive yet and had to be moved to a larger Washington hotel. "A year ago, this meeting was big and scared. Now it's big and excited," said anti-tax leader Grover Norquist.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61H5U520100219?type=politicsNews

The White House is making another effort to revive healthcare. The monster just won’t die.

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/02/19/blogs/coopscorner/entry6224538.shtml

Leaders of major conservative groups on Wednesday signed a manifesto vowing to push the country to return to constitutional principles, saying they've grown tired of having to accept government expansion at the hands of liberals. "It's our turn. We've had about enough of you. We're going to take you on, and it's time to defeat you," said Mark Levin, talk-radio host and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation. Orchestrated by former Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III, the manifesto - labeled "the Mount Vernon Statement" because it was signed near the first president's home - is designed to update a 1960 declaration issued by conservatives that heralded the rise of 1964 Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater and, eventually, President Reagan.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/18/conservative-manifesto-is-a-call-to-action-signers/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

Over the past year alone, the amount the U.S. government owes its lenders has grown to more than half the country's entire economic output. Even more alarming, experts say, is that those figures will climb to an unprecedented 200 percent of GDP by 2038 without a dramatic shift in course.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/national-debt-budget-deficit-scary-forecast-taxpayers/story?id=9854459

Now that President Obama has closed the F-22 line, we learn that Russia has unveiled a new jet fighter that renders all legacy US fighter aircraft and the F-35, upon which the Pentagon has staked the future of US airpower, "strategically irrelevant and non viable…”

http://www.airforce-magazine.com/DRArchive/Pages/2010/February%202010/February%2018%202010/IsItaGameChanger.aspx

In an effort to try and rescue Sen. Harry Reid, President Obama is unveiling $1.5 billion in housing help to Nevada.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100219/D9DV7SS00.html

Five Muslim soldiers at Fort Jackson in South Carolina were arrested just before Christmas. We’re learning now that the men are suspected of trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson.

http://blogs.cbn.com/stakelbeckonterror/archive/2010/02/18/update-five-muslim-soldiers-arrested-at-fort-jackson-in.aspx

The cheery image of former President George W. Bush appeared on a billboard in Minnesota earlier this month, next to the words, "Miss me yet?" Now the online store CafePress is seeing a huge demand for these items:

http://shop.cafepress.com/miss-me-yet

The Dalai Lama was allowed to speak to President Obama, but to keep from offending China, they made him leave out the White House back door, between the trash bags waiting to be picked up. Here’s the photo.

http://www.gettyimages.co.nz/detail/96834730/AFP

Texas and several national industry groups on Tuesday filed separate petitions in federal court challenging the government's authority to regulate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1661844120100216

President Obama’s new envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference is at the center of a controversy over remarks attributed to him defending a man who later pleaded guilty to conspiring to aid a terrorist group.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/238741

Thousands of people swarmed the Washington State Capitol on Monday to protest tax increases — and then an hour later thousands more were bused in by state-employee unions to support them.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20100216/NEWS/302169995

The Washington State Senate voted to suspend the two-thirds-vote requirement of Initiative 960 for tax increases until July 2011. This moves the Democrat-controlled Legislature another step closer to raising taxes with a simple, 50-percent majority vote. Voters have approved that law 3 times and that 2/3's law has survived 4 court challenges. Nonetheless, Democrats in Olympia took it away without hesitation

http://www.theolympian.com/topstories/story/1131753.html

Senator John McCain has recruited his former running mate and conservative star Sarah Palin to campaign on his behalf as he faces the strongest challenge yet to his 24-year tenure in the US Senate.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/sarah-palin/7244346/John-McCain-recruits-Sarah-Palin-to-help-defend-Arizona-seat.html

The law has sided with gun rights advocates who took the city of Seattle and former Mayor Greg Nickels to court over the city's gun ban.

http://www.komonews.com/news/84274247.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Larrey Anderson 2/7/10

The Tea Party is a unique populist movement and moment in American history. There is no charismatic leader of the party. The Tea Party has more grassroots movers, shakers, and members than any other populist movement ever seen in our country. So what makes it so different from previous populist political factions?

"Populism" is a vague political concept. There have been populist (and wannabe populist) political movements on the left, on the right, and even in the middle (wherever that is) in the history of American politics. None of the movements were particularly successful -- and many of them were outright scams.

On the left, think of Democrat Senator John Edwards's attempt to define himself as a "populist" with his "two Americas" speeches. A multimillionaire trial lawyer tried to get himself elected President of the United States on the hypocritical distinction between "us and them" -- the rich and the poor. Edwards, of course, portrayed himself as the populist champion of the poor.

Ponder George Wallace (whom the media called a "right-wing populist" rather than a Democrat racist) and his famous quote: "I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." Wallace was the Democrat Governor of Alabama when he made that statement in 1962. He won his election with the largest popular vote in the history of the state. Wallace went on to form the so-called "populist" American Independent Party in the late 1960s.

And don't forget the über-populist Ross Perot and Reform Party USA. Perot and his political party stand for...for...for...political pundits are still trying to figure it out……

So what makes the Tea Party different? I have attended several local Tea Party gatherings (and addressed a couple of them). There is one document that is ubiquitous at these events: the Constitution for the United States of America[iii]. People hand out copies of the Constitution like hors d'oeuvres that are served at...a de rigueur tea party. At one Tea Party, I helped a women lug a couple of cardboard boxes filled with pocket-sized copies of the Constitution into the hotel conference room. We sat the boxes on a folding table next to the dais for the speakers. "I only bought a thousand copies. You think that will be enough?" she asked me. I smiled. "Enough for today..." I started to reply….

"Populist constitutionalism" -- that's what the Tea Party is all about. Love and respect for the Constitution is driving the movement. Sharing the document, and then discussing its meaning, purpose, and ideas -- that is the process that is taking place as a result of this love and respect.

This discussion is what America needs right now. The Constitution (and a real federal government) contains the set of principles that can unite all Americans (with the possible exception of the most radical of those on the left, who want to see some kind of socialist central state).

Social conservatives, fiscal conservatives (who might be liberal on some social issues), libertarians, and moderates can agree to disagree about issues like abortion, legalized drugs, gay marriage, etc. The Constitution teaches all of them that the resolution to these problems should be conducted on the state or community level, as opposed to the national level.

These divergent groups agree that the federal government has, over the last several decades, stepped farther and farther outside of the bounds of the Constitution. Issues including health care, cap-and-trade, and excessive regulation of businesses are outside the specific powers granted to the federal government. More and more Americans are aware of this fact. And more and more Americans are sharing the promises and the premises of the Constitution with their friends and neighbors through Tea Parties being held across America. This is what I mean when I say that the Tea Party is "populist constitutionalism."…

The Tea Party does not need a charismatic leader. It is essentially an ongoing educational process -- one that will be heard (one way or another) by tone-deaf and constitutionally ignorant politicians. The Tea Party teaches a multitude of Americans what they are no longer taught in our public schools and universities: America was, from the beginning, intended to be a grand experiment in freedom and local and state control.

Take Nevada and Utah as instances. The states border each other. Yet one state endorses legalized gambling, prostitution, and easy access to liquor. Right nextdoor, teetotaling Utah frowns on all of these "immoral" practices.

That's the way the Founding Fathers wanted America to be. They knew that different people have different needs and values. They realized that they should be free to express those values legislatively on the state and community levels. If an American finds Nevada's laws too promiscuous (or Utah's laws too restrictive), the citizen can either work to change the laws of the particular state...or move across state lines.

There are and will continue to be arguments and dissention within the Tea Party. (The media is already noting this and eating it up.) But Americans are famous for contention and debate. No populist movement (unless it is focused on a single issue, like prohibition) will be in agreement on every issue. Disputation and disagreement in the Tea Party is a sign of health and enthusiasm, not a portent of dissolution.

Populist constitutionalism is the surest and clearest path to saving our republic. Thank God (and I mean that literally) for that dedicated woman who asked me if she had brought enough copies of the Constitution to the Tea Party gathering. I will close by answering her as I should have when we were standing at that table: "As far as the Constitution goes, you can never have enough copies...and we should never stop learning as much as we can about the greatest political document ever written."

Edited from a longer column, read it here:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/populist_constitutionalism_and.html

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"It's not a good idea for Republicans to accept President Barack Obama's invitation to a 'bipartisan' health care summit, because it would not advance acceptable health care reform. The only thing it likely would advance would be Obama's propaganda message -- and, thus, his socialist agenda."

-David Limbaugh

"It isn't to evil dictators with a lust for power that Americans have been slowly surrendering their autonomy. It is to well-intentioned authorities who believe sincerely that our freedoms must be circumscribed for our own good. ... First Lady Michelle Obama announced what The New York Times called 'a sweeping initiative ... aimed at revamping the way American children eat and play -- reshaping school lunches, playgrounds, and even medical checkups -- with the goal of eliminating childhood obesity.' Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the federal government to take charge of 'revamping the way American children eat and play.' It is only our passivity that makes such an encroachment possible. This used to be the land of the free. Is it still?"

-Jeff Jacoby

"Only two things are infinite -- the expanding universe and Democrats' hostility to the District of Columbia's school choice program. Killing this small program, which currently benefits 1,300 mostly poor and minority children, is odious and indicative. It is a small piece of something large -- the Democrats' dependency agenda, which aims to multiply the ways Americans are dependent on government. ... The dependency agenda is progressive education for children of all ages, meaning all ages treated as children."

-George Will

"In the Obama world view, KSM did not perpetrate an act of war but simply pulled off the equivalent of a liquor-store holdup with a somewhat higher body count: it's not a war, it's a law enforcement matter."

-Mark Steyn

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GLOBALONEY

“The climate-change campaign is in catastrophic free fall. Nearly every day brings a new embarrassment or retraction for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the supposed gold standard for "consensus" science. The withdrawal this week of BP, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar from the main US business lobby for greenhouse-gas controls is the latest political blow to the campaign..”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_crackup_of_the_climate_consensus_T3eGnulTAq4Xm76qB0Mr7N

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information. And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html#ixzz0fciisMtx

Billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump wants Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize stripped from the Global Warmingist-in-Chief. "With the coldest winter ever recorded, with snow setting record levels up and down the coast, the Nobel committee should take the Nobel Prize back, " Trump recently told members of his country club.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/02/15/donald-trump-wants-al-gores-nobel-peace-prize-stripped

As the climate-change issue looses public support, President Obama is trying to prop it up by redirecting NASA away from space missions towards climate research.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/19/turning-nasa-into-a-global-alarmism-and-scares-adm/

Climate alarmists conjured a world where nothing was certain but death, taxes and catastrophic global warming. They used this presumed scientific certainty as a bludgeon against the skeptics they deemed "deniers" -- a word meant to have the noxious whiff of Holocaust denial. All in the cause of hustling the world into a grand carbon-rationing scheme.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/warming_meltdown_iD1hypJAstOrvovafbIbGK

The U.S. economy will lose $2.4 trillion over the next two decades if the federal government does not allow oil and natural gas drilling in restricted onshore lands and in offshore areas previously closed to energy companies, according to a new study released on Monday.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Will-the-US-flush-another-24-trillion-down-the-drain-84810192.html

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BOOKS

Former GOP Sen. Fred Thompson has written a memoir about his small-town childhood that will be released this May. ''Teaching the Pig to Dance'' recounts the movie star-turned-politician’s 50s-era upbringing in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. The title alludes to what Thompson concedes were some of his own flaws. It’s not a political manifesto, said the associate, but it will detail the Tennessean’s discovery of Barry Goldwater and conservatism.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/32956.html

“Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation” by Jason Mattera. “A heat-seeking missile aimed straight at the Cult of Obama. Explosive, devastating, and rib-crackingly hilarious, Obama Zombies is a must-read for every citizen who cares about protecting freedom for future generations of America. If you know an Obama Zombie who needs awakening, buy this book now!”

http://www.amazon.com/Obama-Zombies-Machine-Brainwashed-Generation/dp/1439172072/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266681404&sr=8-1

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LEFTIST WATCH

Leftie Bill Maher: “Americans Not Bright Enough to Really Understand the Issues”

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2010/02/17/maher-strikes-again-americans-not-bright-enough-really-understand-issues

Harvard-educated Professor Amy Bishop, now charged in the triple murder and triple attempted murder of her colleagues at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, was a far-left political extremist who “was ‘obsessed’ with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.” What? You didn’t hear this from the mainstream media?

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/9390

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ARTICLES

The British consider privatizing their NHS hospitals: “The sorry saga of the NHS and my year undercover in hospitals……After a year visiting behind the scenes at hospitals, I have seen at first hand how the biggest problem confronting the NHS is its monolithic bureaucracy. I had not realized how costly the actual structure of the NHS is until I sat in on a hospital board meeting. Making sure the hospital complied with the latest government initiatives dominated the agenda. We didn't discuss patients, improving care, saving money or any issue relating to the hospital. The focus was on the bureaucratic process…”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1252458/The-sorry-saga-NHS-year-undercover-hospitals.html#ixzz0g5ph4JzR

Net neutrality is an issue that that is dear to the left, but has flown under the radar of most Americans. It’s a rather technical and arcane subject, but can be summed up rather simply: Net neutrality rules enforced by the Federal Communications Commission would allow government bureaucrats to micromanage the Internet — thus sucking out the lifeblood of the digital economy and threatening the dynamism and freedom we’ve come to take for granted online.

http://biggovernment.com/jlakely/2010/02/15/why-obama-is-wrong-about-net-neutrality-and-his-scheme-must-be-defeated/#more-75006

One might think this is the first auto recall in decades from the way government officials and Congressional Committees have pounced on Toyota. There was no government outcry and no demand for Congressional hearings over other recent recalls by Ford and Honda. So why has Toyota suddenly become the target of a government-led witch hunt? Toyota’s U.S. operations are extremely successful, not saturated by inefficient union monopolies, and are in direct competition with the now government-owned General Motors.

http://biggovernment.com/brjohnson/2010/02/17/toyota-and-the-union-backed-government-led-witch-hunt/#more-76546

Palin-mania easily surpassed Danica-mania at Daytona International Speedway. When she arrived for the drivers meeting, Palin was immediately mobbed. She briefly chatted with Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, shook hands with supporters and smiled big. She took a seat up front next to Harry Connick Jr., who sang the national anthem for the race. When NASCAR president Mike Helton acknowledged her as a special guest, she got the largest ovation from the room, packed from the front to the back with drivers, team members, support personnel and onlookers. After sitting through the meeting, Palin could not get out the door. Fans mobbed her, asking for pictures and autographs.. Even when she was able to get out the door, she stopped every few feet to take pictures. One fan asked where her husband, Todd, was on Valentine's Day. Palin said he couldn't make it because he's in Alaska preparing for the Iron Dog, the world's longest snow-mobile race.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/os-nascar-daytona-500-sarah-palin-0215-20100214,0,596430.story

“The conservative intelligentsia are starting to take Sarah Palin seriously, but I suspect they have not got her quite right yet. Within 24 hours of each other, heavyweights Dorothy Rabinowitz and George Will have published op-eds critical of her.”

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTRjNmRiMDE2MWM5MzFjYzY2MGRiYWM3NzEwNmJmZDU

“CPAC embraces the New Mitt Romney”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33161.html

The home "weatherization" jobs in the stimulus bill were subjected to Davis-Bacon wage regulations--a favorite of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department--under which federal Labor Department officials establish "prevailing wage" rates that must be paid. Why do unions like this system? Because the "prevailing wages" are determined in a way that guarantees they are usually more than the actual market wage, sometimes by large margins. All that finagling takes a certain amount of bureaucracy, however….As a result, the Department of Energy apparently weatherized only 22,000 homes under the program. Another pre-existing program, which doesn't have to comply with Davis-Bacon, appears to have weatherized about 100,000 homes.

http://slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2010/02/18/unions-are-crippling-obama-exhibit-a.aspx

The electoral map is turning red again.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33059.html

It is more than just interesting how advertisers are rebelling against free television’s current crop of lurid, creepy content. For the Hollywood elite, this is a canary in the coal mine, and they should heed that figurative dead bird’s warning. Their time as the sole arbiters of what will and will not be seen is ending. And the conservative movement stands to gain.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/kschlichter/2010/02/17/tv-backlash-sponsors-rebel-against-salacious-content-create-family-friendly-programming/#more-309330

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

The top 100 most popular conservative websites:

http://deathby1000papercuts.com/dbkpreport/2010/02/the-conservative-100-most-popular-conservative-sites-feb-14-2010/

Great bumper stickers, coffee cups and t-shirts: “Contrary to what you’ve been taught, NOBODY OWES YOU A THING”, “Guns don’t kill people, dads with pretty daughters do”, “Proud member of the angry mob”

http://www.politicalarmor.com/

“Impeach Obama” billboards are starting to sprout.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/Wisconsin-Billboard-Calls-for-Obamas-Ouster-84376727.html

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WISE WORDS

“It has been said by liberal intellectuals that the conservative believes all social questions, at heart, to be questions of private morality. Properly understood, this statement is quite true. A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society-whatever political machinery it may utilize; while a society in which men and women are morally adrift, ignorant of norms, and intent chiefly upon gratification of appetites, will be a bad society-no matter how many people vote and no matter how liberal its formal constitution may be.”

-Russell Kirk

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