Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bolivia assails rich, carbon market at Cancun talks | Reuters

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Interesting. Who in Hell does Bolivia think it is, anyway? Denmark or something?

Monday, November 29, 2010

YouTube - 'The Euro Game Is Up! Just who the hell do you think you are?' - Nigel Farage MEP

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Nigel Farage explodes the Euro and the European Union. Pointed, fierce, and dead on target.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Return to Economist Friedrich Hayek's Ideas - Newsweek

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Aside from a distortion of the Austrian School of Economics and what it actually espouses, the article is mostly correct. Hayek and Austrian economics is relevant again.

Homeland Security seizes domain names - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

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And Homeland Security has the right to do this under what legislation? More to the point, WHY are they dealing with copyright infringement? How is that even their job?

FT.com / Global insight - Trust in short supply at Middle East talks

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Israel should be skeptical. US administrations have taken a pretty high handed approach to the Middle East peace process since Jimmy brokered a deal between Egypt and Israel, but things have gotten markedly worse since the Palestinian take over of Gaza. The US views both sides as equivalent, when, realistically, Israel is held to a significantly higher standard of behavior.

WikiLeaked cable from Bob Gates: “Russian democracy has disappeared” | The Cable

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With ex-KGB boss Putin in charge of things, we really would be naive to believe differently. He is huge on the "cult of personality" thing, using television and video to enhance his image at home and abroad...but under everything, he remains an apparatchik who would be as much at home under the old Soviet oligarchy as he is under the present system.

The only thing that ever changes about Russia are the players in charge.

Saudi Arabia urges US attack on Iran to stop nuclear programme | World news | guardian.co.uk

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Interesting. Part of the reason we haven't attacked Iran and destroyed their nuclear capability is that we fear igniting the region. As it turns out, the region is largely in favor of that action. They may not be ginger-peachy happy about the prospect, but a nuclear Iran is unacceptable to them.

As it should be to us.

WikiLeaks Archive — Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy - NYTimes.com

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Sausage and diplomacy: both are disturbing to watch while they are being made.

FT.com / US / Politics & Foreign policy - US tries to limit WikiLeaks damage

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Embarrassing and ridiculous in its scope. Most of the revelations are hardly that incredible, but taken all in all, damaging.

And the administration comes out looking like tools. Again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North Korea fires artillery barrage on South - Yahoo! News

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Is it finally time to put together a coalition and take these lunatics the hell OUT?

Airport "Security"? by Thomas Sowell on Creators.com - A Syndicate Of Talent

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Thomas Sowell has made a career of questioning conventional wisdom about, well, everything. And he gives the Obama administration a pat-down here and finds...people who richly deserve more than a pat-down.

Lowest ever: Obama job approval sinks to 39%, as even Democrats' support melts away | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times

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It's getting worse for The One, and at a certain point, recovery is no longer possible because people have stopped listening.

We may have already reached that point.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

George F. Will - The T.S. of A takes control

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Will notes that ordinary Americans don't complain nearly often enough about stupidity, which is true. On the other hand, there are more than enough people who complain about things that are not remotely their business to make up for the lack.

Democrats Learn Nothing in Defeat

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They got beaten, but Democrats are trying to spin the loss as a failure to communicate. Like Strother Martin's warden in "Cool Hand Luke," the failure is not in communication; it is that something else entirely is wanted instead.

Afghan Christian faces trial for alleged conversion from Islam – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

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Conversion is, apparently, a one way deal for Muslims. You can convert to Islam, but if you convert FROM Islam, we will kill you.

TSA has met the enemy — and they are us - Yahoo! News

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My experiences with TSA have been mostly eh, but I understand the annoyance. There is no conceivable reason for grandma to get the kind of scrutiny that an obviously foreign man gets, but it happens regardless because we fear profiling...even though profiling is easier and works better.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Forgiving Michael Vick is not forgetting what he did - ESPN

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Don't get me wrong; I love dogs, too. But if there is a case of someone losing everything in a very public, very embarrassing, and very humiliating way...and coming back to right his wrongs however he can and perform better than he ever did before, I haven't seen it.

Geithner Warns Republicans Against Politicizing the Fed - Bloomberg

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Hysterical. The Fed in this administration is completely politicized, and Geithner has the balls to call for it being non political. Basically, he means that YOU can't make it political, because we are busy being political in OUR direction.

'Food porn' - Is your favorite restaurant on this list? - wtop.com

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What is it going to take to get the Food Nazis to shut up? I understand highlighting caloric intake. I get it. Americans and others in the developed world are too, well, developed. But this sort of thing leads inevitably to deployment of the Food Nannies (like Mayor Bloomberg in New York) who seem to believe that it is their business what people decide to eat.

Lisa DePaulo Interviews Vice President Joe Biden: Politics: GQ

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The VP can flat bring it in conversation. And he usually says things that people call gaffes (which is nothing more than unguarded truth at in opportune moments).

I can't help liking the guy, even though I am politically at a distant variance from him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don’t Touch My Junk - Charles Krauthammer - National Review Online

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Agreed. Maybe we are seeing the Revolt of the Sheeple. If so, it's about damned time.

Senate Democrats vent anger with Barack Obama - Glenn Thrush and Manu Raju - POLITICO.com

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Senate Democrats are panic breathing because they face the voters in two years under circumstances unlikely to change a lot in their favor. The president shows no willingness to compromise, and hard left thinks electoral gold is to be found by moving the party further to the edge.

Party pragmatists understand that in a country with 21% self-identification of voters as either "liberal" or "very liberal," moving farther left is death. But they have the same lemming like march to purity that many in the GOP have displayed.

Successful leaders understand that party ideology has to be expansive in order to maximize supporters; the current administration thinks that is spinach and wants none of it.

Carville defiant on Obama comment – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

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Even when I didn't like Carville, I liked Carville. He is partisan as hell, but he is a pretty honest partisan.

Carville's adherence to a very basic in house slogan during the 1992 Clinton campaign kept everyone focused, laser-like, on what could get him elected: "It's the economy, stupid!"

Mr. Obama has forgotten that, to his peril.

Perry says consider military in Mexico

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It sounds kind of insane on the face, but we are probably going to have to consider helping the Mexican government defeat the cartels. SecState Clinton recently referred to the cartels as almost an "insurgency," and having that kind of lawlessness in Mexico is tremendously destabilizing on the border and elsewhere.

I'd rather have our troops humping through Baja than hanging out in Kabul.

Sources: FCC chief to move on net neutrality proposal - Kim Hart - POLITICO.com

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Still trying to figure out how it is that the FCC thinks they are going to get away with it.

A federal court has already ruled that the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate the web. But if you are an official in Obamaland, you can't let silly things like the law get in your way.

Bernanke Takes Aim at China - WSJ.com

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Left unsaid is his real annoyance: if China inflates while we are inflating, then the dollars they hold keep approximately the same value they had before and balance of trade remains roughly the same.

Those cheaters.

Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee | Epicenter | Wired.com

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Congress can't get the tax cuts reauthorized or reduce the deficit or reduce the regulatory uncertainty that is paralyzing business, but they are good at passing stuff to help their donors.

Cancer surviving flight attendant told to remove prosthetic brea - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC-

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There is a point where caution becomes parody. We have reached it. If we are strip searching airline stewardesses, we have clearly gone too far. Do we honestly think that anyone trying to blow up an airplane is going to try to do it by carrying on explosives anymore? They will do it, if they do it, by putting something in the hold luggage or on the service carts, or by shooting a hand held missile at the thing.

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans had mental illness in 2009 - CNBC

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If you are in a group and you look around and everyone else seems sane, it might be you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Counsel Recommends Censure in Rangel Ethics Case - CBS News

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Rangel will probably earn a censure, something less than expulsion. It is interesting that, in earning his seat, he defeated Rep.Adam Clayton Powell in a Democratic Primary.

Powell had been expelled from the House subsequent to conviction on charges of corruption in 1967, but he was re-elected to the seat in the special election, won again in 1968, and lost to Rangel in 1970.

The Tao of Moonbeam - NYTimes.com

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Well, let's see what Brown can do with the place. Arnold, in the end, got his ass handed to him repeatedly by the Lege; Brown at least knows how to maneuver in Sacramento.

Personally, I hope he succeeds, but I'm still not going to move there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harry Reid: I’m bringing the DREAM Act to the floor — for a standalone vote « Hot Air

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Gotta love them. They lose huge and decide to back another popular loser, just to double down on the fun.

Podesta advises Obama to ignore voters, bypass Congress through agency action « Hot Air

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Had to figure this was next. These people simply cannot comprehend the idea of no meaning NO.

Deficit and taxes: Time to raise taxes on the rich - latimes.com

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It takes an academic to come up with something so damned stupid.

The thing that fueled the early to mid Nineties boom was the evolution of personal computers and the internet. It helped that defense spending dropped precipitously, enabling the government to reallocate resources and close the budget gap. Raising taxes in the midst of a incipient boom is reasonable, to balance a budget; it is insane in the midst of a stagnant recovery.

AP: Murkowski wins Alaska Senate race « Hot Air

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Reminds me of the Lieberman race in Connecticut a couple of years back. Joe got beat in the primary by a raving liberal, and then he ran as an independent in the general and won. Same thing here. Murkowski got beat in the primary but had more than sufficient support to win the general. Winning with a write in campaign is studly, though.

Newsweek Uses Same Excuse for Obama as Carter: Presidency Too Big for One Man | NewsBusters.org

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The presidency always seems too big when it is doing things people don't want done. Again, as the article points out, Reagan handled the presidency with ease; George HW Bush didn't seem to be too out of breath, and George W Bush and Bill Clinton both seemed, at times, to draw strength from the presidency, rather than be diminished by it.

But Obama and Carter can't and couldn't handle it.

I think it says more about Carter and Obama than it says about the presidency.

RealClearPolitics - Does White House Have a 'Message' Problem?

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The problem is not how the message is taken to the people; the problem is the message.

Climate Scientists Strike Back | Mother Jones

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So these scientists think that they need to advocate for their view more than they have been advocating for their view? I'm not sure how that is even possible, but they are going to give it a whirl.

But keep this in mind. Exaggeration and unwillingness to listen to opposing points of view or science that contradicted their predisposition led them to this state. Arrogance and hubris are a bad combination, particularly when someone is trying to convince others that the sky is falling when it is, in fact, not. Warmer does not necessarily mean worse; it does mean different, and the earth has been experiencing different for as long as it has been hurtling around the sun.

Heath Shuler: A Blue Dog Democrat Running Against Nancy Pelosi for Top Dem Job - The Daily Beast

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Well, Nancy ain't going and the Dems ain't forcing her out. Which is great news for the Reps. The get to run against her again. W00t!

RealClearPolitics - The Tax Rate Racket

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I wish I could say "duh" to this story, but I can't. I know this. Mr. Murchison knows it. But most taxpayers don't, and the professional left does not want them to. The "rich" already pay a disproportionate share of all taxes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pleasures of reading Christopher Hitchens--Christopher Caldwell - NYPOST.com

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Hitchens is a pleasure to read, even if...especially if...you disagree with him. He makes his case in such a way, literate, erudite and witty, that you learn something interesting or entertaining, even if, at the end, you still disagree vehemently.

These days, I find I disagree less often, but I am just as entertained. ANd he needs to stick around a LOT longer. God knows we need his like, and are not likely to have them again.

The big disconnect: D.C. elites think Obama will be reelected, but the public doubts it - Mark Penn - POLITICO.com

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I've been saying this for months: the president is not remotely a lock for re-election. He won, under the most interesting string of lucky events, in 2008. He can't count on another crisis that already has a scapegoat, a weak opponent, and a tremendously divisive and unpopular incumbent...someone other than him, I mean.

Given ALL of that, plus the cachet of being the first black president, plus a $300 million cash advantage over his opponent...he still won only 53%.

Two years ago, Republicans upset with Bush gave him a chance. Independents gave him a chance. Students turned out because of the movement nature of his appeal. Women voted for him solidly, as did minorities.

He might be lucky to get McCain's 46% in two years.

Charlie Rangel Found Guilty on 11 Counts of Ethics Violations - The Daily Beast

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I like Rangel. I find pragmatic and endlessly entertaining. And Beinart, whom I usually find tedious or simply annoying, is dead on here. Rangel is a throwback to what Democratic politics used to be, not what they are now.

And it is sad to see that go. I mean, I liked Tip O'Neill, too, and if there was a more partisan Democrat than he was, I can't recall him.

Friday, November 12, 2010

RealClearPolitics - A Stunned and Dispirited Base

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The problem Robinson does not address is a simple one. About 21% of the population identifies as either "liberal" (16%) or "very liberal" (5%) according to Gallup. About 40% of the public identifies themselves as either "conservative" (31%) or "very conservative" (9%). This leaves a balance of Americans who self-identify as "moderate" (35%). Progressives can probably be categorized in the "very liberal" slot, and while they are undoubtedly upset with what they believe to be a capitulation to the center by the Democratic party, they are missing the point. After the last two years, Democrats in general are seen as liberal, and if you look at the poll again, that would point to a desperate problem; they can't get elected as a liberal party. 21% of the population is not going to get you there. Republicans have a similar problem if they drift too far to the right, but they begin with a 19% larger ideological base, and 10% plus one is a much lower hurdle to electoral success than 29% plus one.

Robinson may not like it and progressives may be confused and angry, but they are marginal to election, frankly, and the Democrats have to move back towards the center to stay viable as a party.

Peggy Noonan: Home

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Republicans in the past have shown the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I hope they renounce that as an operating principle this year. The Democrats have committed political hiri kiri, and Republicans should neither drive them to the emergency room for treatment nor join them in the gut cutting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kim Strassel: Bush Agonistes? Not Quite - WSJ.com

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Say whatever you want; taken all in all, I'd rather have Bush as president than Obama. Bush was persuadable, but resolute; Obama is ideologically set, but malleable.

In this world, malleable gets walked all over.

Pelosi: After 'productive' Congress, fight for jobs goes on - USATODAY.com

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Madame Speaker, spin it however you want: the fact remains that the majority of the American people think you and your party overreached tremendously, and have spent money like drunken sailors on shore leave.

You managed, in two short years, to make the profligate Republican Congress from 2000 through 2006 look positively miserly, and took a president with approval ratings in the 70s downhill abruptly into the low 40s.

As Oliver Cromwell, with similar exasperation, said to Parliament in 1653: "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Abu-Jamal case back before Philadelphia court - Yahoo! News

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There has to be a point where stupid stops. This case has been adjudicated repeatedly, and the only doubts about the verdict occur only within the feverish brains of his supporters. We are now re-sdjudicating his sentencing hearing. Not whether he is guilty; whether the sentence he got was just.

This case is turning into a criminal version of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce. Abu-Jamal killed Officer Faulkner. He was convicted, and his conviction has been repeatedly upheld. He went to jail. He should never be allowed to leave jail.

Any questions?

Goldberg: The bashing of American exceptionalism - latimes.com

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The infuriating thing to me about people who deny American exceptionalism is that they do it within the context of the freest society ever conceived of by mankind. In terms of sheer freedom of action, upward mobility, and political flexibility, no other country on earth is, or ever has been, close.

That simple.

The 2010 Midterms: How Barack Obama Was Undone By His Own Brand Of Social Movement Politics. | The New Republic

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Sean Wilentz. Worth a read.

President Obama should fight, not surrender - USATODAY.com

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Dear President Obama:

Please listen to this columnist and do not moderate your views. Fight for progressivism and tout it from the streetcorners if you have to.

And when you get the 40% of the country that generally holds your views when you are running for re-election and lose the other 60%, you will have my profound thanks.

And those of everyone to the right of you and yours.

Thanks!

Stopping Judicial Imperialism - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

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Word.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dana Milbank - Would we be better off under a President Hillary Clinton?

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I'm not a huge Hillary fan, because, at heart, she is more liberal than Bill and a good deal more progressive than she lets on. But. She is also a political realist and has been around the block a few times. And she was successful in Congress.

I have no doubt that the Democratic party would be better off with her as standard bearer. And, given the choice, so would the country.

Democrats in denial

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George Will doesn't miss very often, and he is dead on target here. The Democrats survived the midterm elections. Merely survived. They did not thrive, and were amazingly lucky not to have had a worse beating. If they don't learn the midterm lesson, they will lose the presidency and the Senate next time out.

Dissecting the 2010 Midterm Election Exit Polls - NYTimes.com

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As a former GOP VP candidate once put it: "How is that hopey-changey thing working for you?"

Why I quit... Desert Storm vet explains decision to leave Air Force after 22 years - Daily Inter Lake: Home - The Daily Inter Lake

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Agreed, noted and posted.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Obama calls for compromise, won't budge on tax cuts - TheHill.com

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Ok, this is hysterical. Obama calls for compromise on re-enacting the Bush era tax cuts, and then says that HE won't budge. I was unaware that compromise was a unilateral thing; I kind of thought it meant that BOTH sides moved to the middle and found common ground.

This is the same sort of compromise he has wanted from the Republicans the last two years: total capitulation.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Barack Obama's response: That tin ear | The Economist

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The president thinks the public was wrong, not that he must correct his course.

Two schools of governance collide here. One says that the officeholder must do what he or she thinks is right, and take the consequences if it does not work or the public does not like it. The other school thinks that the politician must ascertain what the majority of the electorate wants, and then strive to achieve that.

President Obama is the former type, and he avoided the consequences because he was not up for election. Nevertheless, the public sent him a message as to its concerns and desires. He will ignore it at his political peril.

Charles Krauthammer - A return to the norm

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Another homer.

Dead right. What this election did was sweep away the Democratic gains of the last two elections, and not much more than that. As he puts it, America is governed between the 40 yard lines.

Pete Rouse Plots Comeback for Obama Administration - NYTimes.com

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A reorganization in the White House is a good idea. They might start by bringing in more grown ups and people who have worked for a living.

Pete Rouse Plots Comeback for Obama Administration - NYTimes.com

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A reorganization in the White House is a good idea. They might start by bringing in more grown ups and people who have worked for a living.

Indebted and Unrepentant by Fred Siegel, City Journal 3 November 2010

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California, even more than New York, is a mudslide or earthquake away from being Greece. They are proof of the old Heinlein adage that if the public can, they will vote themselves bread and circuses, for awhile...until the money runs out.

And the money is, basically, gone. Have fun with that.

Peggy Noonan: Home

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Ok. As usual, Peggy hits it. Home run.

Peggy Noonan: Home

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Ok. As usual, Peggy hits it. Home run.

Obama Can Pursue Ambitious Agenda Without Congress's Help

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You had to figure that this was the next step. If you can't convince Congress anymore to give you the sort of powers and legislation you want, create them out of whole cloth through regulation.

Never mind that much of what the administration wants to pursue in a regulatory sense will inevitably be challenged in the courts or reversed by the next Republican in the White House (one hopes in 2012). But in the meantime, all hell is about to break loose.

This president has the arrogance and certitude of your average fifteen year old that what he wants to do is that what which must be done.

Man Up, America! | The Magazine | Vanity Fair

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Another elitist missing the point. All they see is the anger and disillusionment, and fail to see the cause.

People do not want government to have more power, not really. They do not want government to spend on wars with no observable point to them. And they certainly do not want to pay more in taxes of whatever kind. Bush lost the public with his spending and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while Obama has lost support among people who are genuinely afraid of his spending and the unprecedented expansion of government power.

We are not "hormonal teenagers." We are people genuinely concerned that the America we grew up in is not the one we will leave to our children. It will, in fact, be demonstrably poorer, demonstrably less free, and a very great deal less open to the dreams of our ambitious youth.

Unless we stop the madness.

Employers add 151K jobs, first gain since May - Yahoo! Finance

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The first, tiny bright spot in quite awhile.

But not nearly enough.

President Barack Obama On 60 Minutes Acknowledges He's Failed To Deliver His Message CBS New York – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

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This is total crap. He spent all spring and summer out trying to sell Obamacare and the stimulus, and the more he talked the less people wanted it. I love how he talks about "[m]aking an argument that people can understand." Incredible. If that isn't disconnect, I don't know what is.

No, Mr. President. The problem isn't that we didn't understand you. The problem is that what you were selling is not what we wanted.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stu Bykofsky: Olbermann fair? O'Reilly balanced? What we found | Philadelphia Daily News | 11/04/2010

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I knew that Olbermann generally refuses to give face time to opposing viewpoints, but even I though he did so more often than this. And I also knew O'Reilly often brings on people who disagree, if only to try and run circles around them. But in terms of balance, O'Reilly by a landslide.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Morning Jay: Special “Bruce Banner Versus The Incredible Hulk” Edition! | The Weekly Standard

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Examining the Gallup "Traditional" polling model reveals striking results. Currently, absent unprecedented midterm turnout strongly favoring the Democrats, possible Republican gains in the House could range anywhere between a low of 50 to a high somewhere upwards of 80.

Results like that could leave the Democrats out of power for a generation.

Marc A. Thiessen - The roots of Obama's demise

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Exactly. For all of the early talk about compromise, the president really didn't want anything to do with it. And with his majorities, he didn't need to.

And he will probably never understand that the oncoming Democratic wipeout is largely his fault. But his party knows, and will remember.

And so will the Tea Parties and the GOP.

Can’t Keep a Bad Idea Down - NYTimes.com

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Filled with straw men. Extending the Bush tax cuts is in the cards because NO politician wants to be seen as raising taxes for the middle class and everyone else at a time of ugly economic news. And there is this: if the GOP were advocating a return to the exact policies enacted by Congress and President Bush, he might have a point. But they are not. Besides, one could just as easily remark, using his same logic, that the policies of the Democratic Congress and President Obama resemble in large part the same deficit spending and policies put in place by FDR in 1934-35 that reignited unemployment during the Great Depression and halted the recovery.

Smug Democrats - The Boston Globe

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If it comforts them to think of voters as stupid, by all means think it and say it loudly. And while they spend the next twelve years in political exile, they might want to reflect upon one salient fact: people generally vote for politicians who share their views.

Minnick, Labrador race close - Spokesman.com - Oct. 26, 2010

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Walt Minnick might be one of the few Democrats who ought to win, based on his votes, but, apparently, might not.
Idaho House One is solidly GOP, and Minnick defeated Bill Sali, a Republican that other Republicans hated, for the seat two years ago. He wasn't lucky enough to draw another jerk this time.

Clinton: US has no problem with Bushehr atomic plant

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Not being able to do something about it is not the same as being sanguine about it. Almost certainly, the plant will produce material which will be shipped to Iranian factories for enhancement and enrichment.

Nice to know that the administration is consistent in its foreign policy. I'd prefer that they be consistently smart, but at least they are predictable.

Syria spurns U.S. bid to mend ties - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

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Why should Assad want closer ties with the US? He has no reason to fear us, and lots of reason to fear Hizbollah and Iran.

Elton John interview - Telegraph

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One of the better interviews I have run across in quite some time. And Elton, for all of his flamboyance in performance, is a devastatingly honest and colorful man. Worth a read.

Democrats' electoral wipeout--John Podhoretz - NYPOST.com

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Agreed. There isn't anything out there that can affect this nationwide. There might be some movement on particular margins, but the broad themes are set. This is going to be a tsunami. The only question is who it sweeps away as it goes back out to sea.

American Thinker: Vivian Schiller and the Party Line at NPR

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Who in Hell is Vivian Schiller, and what kind of noxious bullshit is she up to at NPR and otherwise?

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller Key Architect of FCC Govt Takeover of the News - Tara Servatius - Townhall Conservative

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Not surprising that the CEO of NPR is also pushing hard for publicly financed media. Wonderful. From the same people who brought you Obamacare, here is the news.

Anne Applebaum - Jon Stewart's march is no laughing matter

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This may be one of the most profound calls for moderation that I have heard in many a moon. And she is entirely correct: people who demonize their opponents are basically saying that they are not serious about getting anything done. The US system is constructed of checks and balances, and governing is meant to be hard work.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New feature on Fresh Snark!

For those of you who have been beside yourselves, waiting for the opportunity to comment without having to comment, I introduce the new, improved Snarkfest.

At the bottom of each post, you are given the opportunity to give a quick "Like," "Dislike," or "What the Hell?" I figure that any feedback is better than none, and if I can get a tiny bit of help directionally, I can find more stuff that you, gentle reader, are interested in.

Or, I can look at it, ignore the results, and do precisely what I was doing before.

Haven't made up my mind yet. But either way, the option is there.

Knock your socks off.

60 Minutes Shock Report: National Unemployed and Underemployed 17.5%; California 22% - Big Government

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Any other questions? The question isn't "Are we are going to see different leadership in the next Congress?"...it's "Why was the defeat SO big?"

This report from 60 Minutes is as good a reason as any for the scope of the upcoming asskicking.

Falling Into the Economic Chasm - NYTimes.com

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As usual, Krugman steps on his argument. If you are looking at the necessity of a stimulus, the last thing you want is one that fails to stimulate. Throwing money out of the mint at anything that you could possibly spend money on is not a policy; it is idiocy. And insisting that it was not enough is more idiocy. Doing the same thing again but more of it is insanity. Rather, examine the reasons why banks, flush with cash, have failed to loan and why businesses, also with full coffers, have failed to hire. It comes down to economic variables such as: what will Obamacare cost us? What will we be responsible for under the new financial regulation regime? What will the tax rate be? And, most importantly, what is each new employee going to cost to hire?

Friday, October 22, 2010

NOVACK: Remember Obamacare in November - Washington Times

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Read it.

Peggy Noonan: Tea Party to the Rescue - WSJ.com

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Correct in pretty much every detail The Tea Parties did save the GOP. No question. And this election is about President Obama and the progressive overreach. And if the fallout includes wiping out a few old bulls like Barney Frank and John Dingell, so much the better.

GOP challenges Pelosi in deep-blue San Francisco | Washington Examiner

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We should be so lucky. Of course, Tom Foley was toppled in 1994 while he was Speaker, so it isn't out of the question. Just highly unlikely.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR: ‘Not the First Time’ - By Brian Bolduc - The Corner - National Review Online

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So, basically, Mr. Williams was sacked because his comment "violated [NPR] ethical guidelines," but the flack for NPR refused to get into what, precisely, those guidelines actually are.

You might as well say that he was fired because they thought he hated tribbles, or displayed anger towards Judy Garland impersonators.

What kind of PC horse hockey IS this?

RealClearPolitics - Don't Ask, Don't Tell: a Cautionary Tale

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Basically, the administration is trying to have this one both ways. They are defending DADT in court, and not doing it well enough (or, indeed, at all) for it to win. Why? Changing the policy is popular with some groups, but by no means with all. Avowing an intent to change the policy after the military completes its review (a review choreographed by the administration) takes the heat away from 1600 Pennsylvania and parks it on the Pentagon. It allows the administration to advocate for changing it and still look as though they are defending it in court. Neither side gets entirely what it wants, but both get something. The effect: the issue gets largely neutralized for the campaign; afterwards, all bets are off.

NPR has been wanting to fire Juan Williams for some time | Washington Examiner

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Williams is one of the few individuals out there who you cannot necessarily guess where he is going to land on an issue. He apparently - shock of all shocks - thinks through the issues before he opines on them! How crazy is that?

Yeah, well. NPR has been a bastion of PC thought for quite some time now, and while they also produce some of the most interesting long form journalism out there, much of it, comes from a particular perspective. Which would be fine, if it were not a publicly supported enterprise. As such, perhaps a good deal more, I dunno, unbiased reporting might very well be called for. Which is, frankly, what Williams supplied...which is what got him fired.

Another one of those "free speech" ironies...

Morning Jay: “Dump Pelosi” is a Red Herring! | The Weekly Standard

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It all comes down to numbers. Within the Democratic caucus, the hard left is disproportionately represented in leadership positions simply because they have been there the longest and represent the safest districts. They need centerist votes to enact anything, but since legislation starts at the left and only afterwards drifts to the center, the balance of power is always farther left than the country at large. And if Democratic losses are huge, it will be the moderates that fall in marginal districts; the hard left, in safe districts will remain, and the party itself will be more purely leftist as a result.

NPR Ends Juan Williams' Contract After Muslim Remarks : NPR

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So, basically, because he was honest about his perspective, NPR cut him loose? Here's the thing: if you can find anyone who, in his or her heart of hearts, is COMFORTABLE on a plane with people obviously dressed in Muslim garb, you will have met either a saint, a fool, or someone who is lying their ass off. It's like when Jesse Jackson admitted that if he was walking down a darkened street and noticed a cluster of young black men up ahead on his side, he would cross over.

Definition of gaffe: Accidental truth telling.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Senate Races Tighten As Election Day Nears - WSJ.com

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Races always tighten up. But here is the key: if the incumbent is not over 50% eight to ten days out, then they are going to lose. Simple rule of thumb: independents vote against incumbents.

Every email and website to be stored - Telegraph

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Holy crap. Big Brother lives. Film at eleven.

Iran, Venezuela leaders seek 'new world order' - Yahoo! News

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Excellent. Put all of the crazies in one big ol' basket...then seal the lid. But toss in a couple of large snakes, first.

Political Heavyweights May Be Forming Anti-Rahm Alliance � CBS Chicago – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago

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This just in: some people don't like Rahm Emanuel.

Try to contain your shock.

Appeals court stays ruling on gays in military | Reuters

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Anyone who is surprised by this has not been paying attention. Not only is the appeals court going to put a permanent stay on the lower court, it is going to reverse. And if, by some odd chance, it does not reverse, the Supreme Court will. There is too much precedent in this case to rule otherwise.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dreams of 2008: Obama's Lost Magic - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

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I can't say that I agree entirely with this; Der Spiegel is ideologically center-left in tone and has its blind spots, in my estimation. BUT. This is still an interesting take - and a powerful indictment - from a significant news organization from one of our most important and powerful allies. This is what Germany sees, for the most part, when they look at us. And they find the view more thna a little sketchy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol | Psychology Today

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I knew there was a reason that my friends and I imbibe!

Nancy Pelosi: Blame George W. Bush, bash the Chamber of Commerce - Jake Sherman - POLITICO.com

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Sorry, Nancy. This has been yours completely for two years and significantly yours for four. You broke it. You own it. And you are going to hear about it.

The Great Deflation - Japan Goes From Dynamic to Disheartened - NYTimes.com

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I was never one who bought into the idea that Japan was going to replace the US as the powerhouse economy of the world. I do not think China is going to be able to do it, either, despite huge manpower advantages over much of the world. All of that said, I never thought that Japan's economy would, essentially, implode.

Judicial Review is not a Suicide Pact � Hot Air

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I haven't much to add to this argument. It stands to reason.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Biden: GOP on deficits is like an arsonist becoming fire marshal - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

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That's a nice line, and there is some truth to it. The GOP spent like sailors on shore leave for a number of years, and deserve the whipping they get on the issue. But it is also true that if the GOP is like an arsonist in the job of fire marshal, then it is just as true that giving the gig to a Democrat would be like turning over the keys of the fire department to a pyromaniac.

The difference? An arsonist sets fires because he gets paid to do so; a pyromaniac sets them out of compulsion - he cannot stop himself.

Obama Causing America's Stature in the Middle East to Deteriorate - US News and World Report

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It may very well be that President Obama is as smart as he appears to believe he is. If so, more power to him. The problem is that he equates smart with knowledgeable, and the two are very different. Palestinians and Israelis know the situation on the ground intimately; and they know each other, probably better than either party wishes to. And they both know what is acceptable and unacceptable to the other side.

The president has no such background, and as smart as he is, he is screwing this (and Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Iran, etc, etc) up by his lack of accumulated knowledge. Even worse, he has the certainty of the amateur in the correctness of his positions, and neither side is taking him, or the US, seriously in the ongoing negotiations and disputes.

Barbara Boxer in Trouble? - Newsweek

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Please. Oh, please. Knock off Dingy Harry and "Call me, Senator" Boxer, and you can do what you will with the rest of the races...

China warns US against making yuan dispute a 'scapegoat' for a flagging economy - Telegraph

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Sweet. I suggest that when China shows up in a couple of years, hat in hand, asking for a little help from Uncle Sugar, that we remind them of statements like this...and tell them to forget it.

My Way News - SUPREME COURT NOTEBOOK: State of Union no-show

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It would be different if State of the Union speeches actually talked about the state of the union. What they do, more and more, is campaign for specific. prescriptive actions or legislation. In short, it has become a yearly political event, and as the Court is manifestly not supposed to be a political branch, skipping out appears to make sense.

Houston immigration cases tossed by the hundreds | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

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Wow. Surprise. The administration has been willing to go around every other institution in the country, "knowing better" what the country needs than the country does.

This is not going to end well.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ignorance as Authenticity - Swampland - TIME.com

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Joe Klein has a fit. "She (O'Connell) couldn't name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with, not even Roe v. Wade. There is no way she could ever be confused with a member of the elites; there is no way she could be confused with an above average high school student. Her ignorance, therefore, makes her authentic--the holy grail of latter-day American politics: she's a real person, not like those phony politicians."

The thing is, most Americans I know do not have a particular case they could point to, either, but they know that something is wrong. It is not necessary to graduate from medical school to know that something is the matter with Mom when she starts eating mothballs and trying to get the garbage man to take her to the prom. We don't know the specifics, but we know that there is a problem.

Pajamas Media � It’s Not a GOP Tsunami — It’s Bigger Than That

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In 2006 and 2008, Republicans tried being blissfully ignorant of what was about to happen, but people who donate to campaigns saw the handwriting on the wall and started spending heavily in the direction of Democrats. We see an abrupt reversal here. The smart money is on the GOP and the Democrats have their heads in the sand. Seemingly. Of course, they don't within the party; not really. They have a very good idea how bad it is going to be, but are hopeful it stays within the bounds of ugly, as opposed to catastrophic or disastrous.

Pajamas Media � BREAKING: Prosecutors of Dutch MP Geert Wilders Ask Court To Acquit on All Charges

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He never should have been charged in the first place.

That simple.

Republican Clinton Nostalgia | The New Republic

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Yes, Republicans view Clinton better in retrospect than they viewed him at the time. His presidency is set in stone and can't be added to, which makes him safe and the events ruminatable. In much the same way, there are a fair number of Democrats out there who have discovered a strange new respect for Ronald Reagan. There are even Republicans who have found some use for Jimmy Carter and some Democrats who find George HW Bush to be tolerable in retrospect.

All it means is that they are no longer a threat, and the opposition can look at them as people, rather than as enemies.

The Golden State's War on Itself by Joel Kotkin, City Journal Summer 2010

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Money quote: "What went so wrong? The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered."

RealClearPolitics - The Texas Model

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There are lots of reasons to look to Texas, not just low taxes. They were one of the first states to enact tort reform, which makes huge penalty awards in civil suits a thing of the past, and they don't have tons of government, hence they don't have tons of civil servants. Altogether, a model to emulate.

Democratic Funding Fades - WSJ.com

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This is hysterical. Liberal groups are all upset because they are being outspent this cycle, and are being swamped in fundraising in the last quarter before the generals. This, after outspending the GOP significantly in 2006 and enormously in 2008. According to the Federal Election Commission, the Obama presidential campaign outraised the McCain campaign by upwards of $300 MILLION dollars. $300,000,000. That sort of cheese buys a lot of TV time. Anyway, so this time out, smart money is moving to the GOP. Welcome to politics. People are frontrunners, and the Democrats are shaping up to get thrashed.

DRUDGE: MICHELLE CAMPAIGNED INSIDE POLLING PLACE?

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How is this even remotely reasonable? Yes, she is First Lady. She is also a lawyer and has been around politics for years. Unless she is a complete idiot, she knows as well as any other politician's wife (at the very least) that you don't get to advocate for a candidate inside of a polling place. Not anywhere. But other than Drudge, where is the outrage?

Russia to build nuclear power station in Venezuela - Yahoo! News

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Just another indication that Russia really doesn't have any interests except its own in mind. Ever. Whether under the Hammer and Sickle or the Russian tricolor, they remain troublemakers by policy.

Reid lost the debate to Angle - Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 | 2:01 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun

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Harry Reid is, on so many levels, a reprehensible human being. I suspect that his opponent is probably no better, but they have to elect someone in Nevada (apparently), so I would prefer the challenger. If nothing else, she would be far less dangerous in the Senate. Call this addition by subtraction.

Barney Frank: It’s no crime having pals with money - BostonHerald.com

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No, it isn't. But it might be, depending on how you got to be friends. And what you are doing for them to KEEP them your friends.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Education of President Obama - NYTimes.com

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Worth reading, for lots of reasons. But I was struck most by the president's belief that the policies he put in place were right, but the politics were lacking. In other words, that the product was excellent but the marketing stank. The perception he appears to have escaped grasping is that the public is not stupid, they think it is spinach, and they've said "to hell with it."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dick Cheney Back on Campaign Trail: Continues Obama Bashing - The Daily Beast

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Good article. I never could figure out how Cheney became the Prince of Darkness. I followed him as a conservative congressman, the chief of staff for President Ford, and a thoroughly professional SecDef for President GHW Bush. It was entertaining to watch him utterly destroy Joe Lieberman (2000) and John Edwards (2004) in the Vice Presidential debates, and he was the first critic to draw blood in this administration. These days, stuck from a thousand wounds, that does not seem so big a thing. At the time, it most certainly was. It's good to have him back.

The American Spectator : So Much Worse Than Carter

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As I have noted, I have my issues with President Carter, but I have to agree with the author here. This administration is economically willful, ignorant, and usually wrong. This calls for the old Reagan line, adapted to present circumstances: "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job. Recovery is when President Obama loses his job."

Reagan Dems take notice - BostonHerald.com

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Until the 2006 midterms when Democrats retook the House and Senate, both parties operated from what one might call a center-right perspective. The Reagan Revolution decisively shifted politics, all of them, in a conservative direction, and in order to get elected, even Democrats had to accept certain ground rules. Taxes are bad, government can be a problem, let the markets work. Since then, however, while the GOP has continued that trend, the Democrats broke with it and moved back to a more traditional (for them) center-left orientation. But the voters didn't change, and assumed the rules remained the same. They voted Obama and the Democrats in 2008, a vote that was as much about getting rid of President Bush as it was about electing someone to replace him. And this election appears to be about moving the ship of state back to the Reagan comfort zone of center-right governance.

Steve Lombardo: 21 Days to Go and Democrats Facing a 60 - 70 Seat Loss

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This one via HuffPost. Projections of 60-70 seat turnover in the House make this not just a referendum on the administration and the Democratic Party; that result would be nothing short of a repudiation for incompetence and overreach.

I do not see how the president could recover from that without an abrupt and heartfelt course correction.

Opinion: White House Exits Normal? Not By a Long Shot

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Not to put too fine a point on it, but people who have something to lose are getting out now. People who still have something to gain, such as assistants who are getting the chance to be chiefs, will remain. But it is unusual for people to get out BEFORE the midterms.

Son Kills Parents During Argument About His Laziness

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Lazy? Yeah, maybe, but he had enough gumption to get out of bed and stab them to death.

That'll show 'em.

Biden, Obama's Traveling Salesman, Makes Hard Sell to Voters - Bloomberg

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I know that Biden is a gaffe machine. I know that he is reflexively liberal, has had Botox and hair plugs, and has a grin made of pure veneer. That said, I still like the guy, but he is demonstrating the usefulness of an old adage: "When you have the truth on your side, talk about that. When you have the law on your side, talk about that. And when you have nothing at all, pound on the table." And so the Vice-President is traveling from place to place, talking about this administration, and pounding tables everywhere he goes.

Pajamas Media � The Battle for America 2010: BREAKING — Sen. Harry Reid Hit with Ethics Complaint

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The Majority Leader didn't need this one right now. Reid is in this race at all because his opponent is almost as dodgy as he is. But not more so.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ABC News-Yahoo-Poll: Anger About the Economy Fuels Republican, GOP Advantage - ABC News

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How is this a shock? Voters have been upset about the economy since Obama took power, and aside from a stimulus that did not stimulate and periodic extensions of unemployment benefits, the Democrats are seen as having done virtually nothing to help the man on the street. Add that to the pending tax increase when the Bush era tax cuts lapse, and you have scared...let me repeat that...SCARED and angry voters.

Democrats fear wipeout for women - Marin Cogan - POLITICO.com

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Darn. If you approach women in Congress from a strictly female perspective, the fact that lots of Republican women are going to win is a good sign. If you believe, as this article suggests, that the loss of Democratic women is a bad thing, then maybe they needed to have been better candidates. Lots of male Democrats are going to lose, too. It's what happens when your party is seen as wrong by a broad cross section of voters. Men and women alike.

Republicans Challenge Democrats Once Seen as ‘Safe’ - NYTimes.com

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With heightened expectation of a GOP blowout, campaign donations are swelling the coffers, allowing for wider support of even marginal races. The Democrat advantage in funding has evaporated, and it's only going to get worse.

People love to back a winner.

My Way News - CAPITAL CULTURE: Clinton is sitting this one out

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More proof that HRC is a better, more thoughtful politician than the boss.

Obama Losing Supporters in Poll as Joblessness Prompts Voters' Discontent - Bloomberg

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The rest of us had doubts all along. If half of his supporters and everyone who did not support him agree that he is not helping the economic problems of the US, I read that at about 70% of the country with serious misgivings about this administration.

California to Sell 24 Government Buildings for $2.3 Billion - CNBC

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Is it that damned difficult to just cut spending? They are selling the buildings and then renting back the space.

Incredible.

Parents: Dying Girl Kathleen Edward Taunted By Neighbors In Trenton

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These may be the worst neighbors ever.

Judge Orders Halt to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy - WSJ.com

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Ok. The judge has issued her injunction. Let's see her try to enforce it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Do Liberals Hate Columbus Day? | Death and Taxes

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There are a lot of reasons. But the thing is, people have been wiping out other people since the dawn of time, and even the First Americans, so called, were not the first. We have evidence of much earlier cultures, including the Mound Builders in North America, who have simply disappeared. Were they wiped out by the tribes we know? Hard to say. But, clearly, they were here earlier. Someone always is.

What normal person would put up with the inane indignities of the electoral process? - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine

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Haven't a clue. I thought about it at one point and actually ran for a city council position about fifteen years ago. But canvassing and begging for votes is...demeaning and dispiriting. It's even worse today. No thanks.

Obama Is in the Jaws of Political Death: Can He Survive? - TIME

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Basically, a couple of years in the Illinois state legislature and four years in the US Senate (which he spent running for president) simply isn't enough experience for the job. Successful presidents, like Ike, FDR, Reagan, or even Bill Clinton, typically have spent years actually being in charge of something other than a political campaign. Granted, the president ran a great campaign, but he also got lucky with the person he was succeeding, the people he ran against in the primary and general elections, and the economy (which tanked at the right time to kill McCain's chances). But governing has little to do with luck; it is mostly based on experience, and the only real experience he has as an executive is the first two years of his presidency...which is not helpful.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds | Business | Vanity Fair

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Michael Lewis might very well be the indispensable writer covering finance worldwide. He certainly knows how to make it accessible. The story of Greece is our story, if we don't get our house in order.

Peggy Noonan: Why so many of us resent the 'elites' | government, people, character - Opinion - The Orange County Register

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Peggy Noonan, useful and beautifully stated, as always.

Gordon Brown: Climate Change Action Is Economic Common Sense

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Throwing this dill out on his ass was one of the most brilliant things the Brits have done in quite awhile. It is all fine and good to seek cleaner energy - seriously, why not? - but at a time when global economies are crippled and trying to recover, mandates for change are hideously counterproductive on the one hand, and based on the sketchy "science" of global warming on the other. All in all, less than useful.

Gordon Brown: Climate Change Action Is Economic Common Sense

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Throwing this dill out on his ass was one of the most brilliant things the Brits have done in quite awhile. It is all fine and good to seek cleaner energy - seriously, why not? - but at a time when global economies are crippled and trying to recover, mandates for change are hideously counterproductive on the one hand, and based on the sketchy "science" of global warming on the other. All in all, less than useful.

Che Guevara; Guerrilla Doofus and Murdering Coward - Humberto Fontova - Townhall Conservative

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Che Guevara has always been one of those figures I had little use for. Fontova has none, and talks about why.

It's time for Obama to pull a Clinton - War Room - Salon.com

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I can see him trying, but it is not going to work as well. At the end of the day, each man is who he is. Clinton is the most naturally gifted politician of his age, with a very real ability to connect with people on an emotional level, while Obama is ideologically driven and personally cool.

Boxer's Fiction vs. Fiorina's Facts - Rasmussen Reports™

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Barbara Boxer has always been a sock puppet senator, not serious, not terribly effective, and a reliable Democratic vote. Which is fine. She is what she is. But if California wants a change of recovering jobs and getting help from the federal government to do it - as well as an understanding of what it will take on both a federal and state level - they might want to give Ms. Fiorina a try. She cannot be a less substantive senator than Ms. Boxer, and she might very well be what California needs.

Epic "Feminist" Hypocrisy

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If feminism is supposed to be about female empowerment, then why do "feminists" at NOW support people who are comfortable calling the GOP candidate for governor in California a whore? Or, for that matter, are willing to sit by while members of the legacy media call Sarah Palin every name in the book? Oh, wait, I know! It's because it ISN'T about empowered females, necessarily. It is about ideology, and who says and thinks the "right" things...and gender, at the end of the day, hasn't a damned thing to do with it.

'Professional left' says Obama's needling strategy to get voters out won't work - TheHill.com

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Frankly, the president has been acting like a douche to people who got him elected. He has been ungrateful for their support and unwilling to listen to their concerns. I am not a progressive and largely disagree with most things they espouse, but they deserve a very great deal better treatment than they have been getting. Their point, and it is a valid one, is that they are PROGRESSIVES, and thus allies, not Democrats or, necessarily, Obama supporters. They have their own agenda, and they've supported the president based on that agenda.

US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life' – Telegraph Blogs

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But wait! I thought the science was settled and that every scientist agreed about global warming? What? They don't? So how do we sort this out? Oh yeah. Follow the money. Just like always.

Michael E. Mann - Get the anti-science bent out of politics

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Professor Mann was one of the individuals implicated in the Climategate scandal, wherein scientists who supported the global warming thesis conspired to keep global warming skeptics from use of their data, from being published, and from, frankly, being heard. This isn't science, by any stretch of the imagination; it is political. So it is the highest level of hypocrisy for Mann to rise up on his hind legs and proclaim that Congressional Republicans are playing politics with the issue of global warming. Hypocritical, but typical.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gary Hubbell: The Redneck tree hugger | AspenTimes.com

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He is the dose of cod liver oil mom thinks we need, but absolutely have no use for.

Obama in Command: The Rolling Stone Interview | Rolling Stone Politics

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Worth a read. Obviously, the president does not believe i a principled opposition to what he wants to do.

Obama’s Rolling Stone Interview Proves He's Out of Touch - Mary Kate Cary (usnews.com)

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The electorate has every right to view the president however they want. He may not like their perceptions, but it does him no good to tell people, in essence, that they are either too stupid to understand all the good things he is doing for them or too lazy to get out there and fight the big meanie Republicans and corporations that are trying to stop what he wants to do next.

Even people who would rather not bother with politics understand when they lose their jobs, when their health care changes, or when their taxes go up. And it is exactly those voters, ones who would prefer not having to bother with politics, that the president and his party have particularly riled up and awakened. And he isn't going to win them back by demeaning their concerns or scolding them.

San Andreas fault capable of magnitude 8.1 earthquake over 340-mile swath of California, researchers say | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

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Welcome to the Shaky State. 8.1 is absolutely brutal. Contrast that with the Loma Prieta quake in 1989 that shook San Francisco (7.1), or the Northridge quake that caused tremendous damage in the LA area in 1994(6.7). A quake of the magnitude under discussion here is equivalent to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that essentially leveled the place.

Don't be standing nearby when it lets go.

Nevada’s 14.4 Percent Unemployment Tops Nation; Has More Than Tripled from 4.4 Percent at Time of 2006 Midterm Election | CNSnews.com

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Anyone who is wondering why the Senate Majority Leader stands a serious chance of losing his seat this cycle need look no further than these figures. At 14.4% unemployment, Reid OUGHT to lose his seat. And maybe his Congressional pension.

Casting Call for Audience of Obama’s MTV Town Hall? - Political Punch

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This one is just ridiculous. While most politicians like to have a good idea who they have in their audiences, they generally only go as far as asking the local party to bring activists or loyal party members to the show. The idea of casting an event is hysterical and deserves all of the pointing and laughing it receives. The presidency as reality television. Wonderful.

Chris Christie on expensive new tunnel/boondoggle: Sorry, we’re broke � Hot Air

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Changing circumstances made throwing good money after bad money already spent a terrible idea. Governor Christie decided not to double down, and, instead, saved the State of New Jersey spending billions they did not have on a tunnel they did not need.

Why are foreign governments submitting briefs in the DOJ’s lawsuit against Arizona?

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Why, indeed?

Sharron Angle surge unnerving Nevada Democrats - Molly Ball - POLITICO.com

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Dingy Harry is under 50% in the polling, and that is normally death to incumbents. They are the known commodity, and independents typically break the other way. This isn't over yet, but Reid might want to start updating his resume.

Plouffe: For GOP, anything short of sweep would be 'colossal failure'

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Excellent spin by Plouffe! Let's parse this one: If the Republicans don't sweep everything, House, Senate and governorships, they have blown it. Well, nothing like raising expectations. Reality is, the House is a likely turn over, the Senate remains a prohibitive long shot, and the governorships should break in the GOP direction. But this is still a 51-49 country. I would love to see a blow out, but a very strong showing is more likely.

The Elections: How Bad for Democrats? by Michael Tomasky | The New York Review of Books

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Another recitation of reasons for the coming deluge. Honestly, it all comes down to two things: after eight years of an increasingly unpopular George W Bush and a GOP majority that took to reigning instead of governing, people were ready to give the Democrats a spin. And now they have buyer's remorse.

One Year After Obama Wins Nobel, World Looks for Signs of Peace - ABC News

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I'm hardly alone in this, but I've been complaining about giving the president the Peace Prize for, basically, not being President Bush. There is nothing quite like blank cynicism in the award of a prize to provoke continued examination in search of results. And the results are sad, if not precisely non-existent. Arguably, the world less peaceful, less secure than it was one year ago today, and much of that can be parked specifically at the door of the Oval Office.

CNN Poll: Was Bush better president than Obama? – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

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Presidents always look better retrospectively than they do when we are having to deal with them. But this is kind of stunning, considering how monstrously unpopular President Bush was when he left office. If this doesn't catch President Obama's attention, then he is clearly not prepared to listen to anything polls tell him.

RealClearPolitics - Unemployment at 9.6% in Last Pre-Election Report

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Presidents and Congress can do only so much to get an economy to move, but they have a lot of power to make it stop. And they've used it. Regulatory uncertainty has essentially stopped business investment, and the impending tax increases with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts is only going to make things worse. This is more money being pulled from consumers who do not have enough now. This can only make things worse.

Lexington: The best Congress money can buy? | The Economist

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Money in politics is hardly determinative of electoral success. This article points out that, past a certain point, the usefulness of additional money falls to zero. In a bad campaign or with a bad candidate, no amount of money will fix stupid.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Obama Will Win in 2012 According to Arnold Schwarzenegger - The Daily Beast

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Everyone keeps planning to fight the current campaign like they won the last one, and it never works. It is true in warfare, and it is true in politics. Beinart is depending on two things proving true: first, Congressional Republicans have to screw up after the coming win (which is possible), and the president has to move to the center (which isn't likely). And the GOP has very recent experience with getting thrown out of power, and is certain to actively guard against doing stupid things. And there is this. No one is under any illusion that the president is a mildly left of center politician.

Anatomy of the Obama Meltdown - National Review Online

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Basically, the nuts and bolts of my post the other day. Democrats are going to take a beating because of overreach and hubris. But it's also true that Congressional Republicans can blow it, and probably will.

Charles Krauthammer - The Colbert Democrats

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If the intent was to create an overwhelming climate of uncertainty within the American economy, mission accomplished.

Lousy Records Of Incumbents Go Unexplored - IBD - Investors.com

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Thomas Sowell, indispensable as always.

My Way News - NY seeks to ban sugary drinks from food stamp buys

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Bloomberg really is the maiden aunt that no one likes because she is a prissy little know it all. He is also the most tireless nanny stater presently in office.

Obama reshapes administration for a fresh strategy - latimes.com

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It falls in the usual pattern for this administration: "We know better than you do what is good for you, and we will do what we need to do, whether you like it or not. And if you don't like it, that is really too bad...you moron."

Freedom of Speech on trial in the Netherlands is a hint of things to come in America | Washington Examiner

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Islamization of the West is, in my opinion, a very bad thing indeed for the Enlightenment values we hold to, espouse, and hold dear. If we are to give what is, in essence, a veto over freedom of speech to people who have no use for the right, we are digging our own graves and haven't the sense to know it.

Report: Lou Dobbs hired illegal immigrants - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

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Well...that's embarrassing.

Giddyup: Saddle seat a new squeeze on fliers? - CNN.com

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Saddle seat a horselaugh. If we want to ensure that American carriers go bankrupt, this might be a good way to start.

Obama Desperately Trying to Save His Own Senate Seat – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

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Here is the ultimate irony. Democrats could lose the president's former seat, and he is having to expend time and political capital to save it.

George F. Will - Sumo wrestling with federal deficits

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It isn't the known problems that are going to kill us; it isn't even the things we know we don't know. We can figure those out. No, the largest problems we have and the things that are going to cause the most problems in out year budgets are the things we don't know we don't know.

The Miami Model

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From 1992 - Mario Vargas Llosa on the view from south of the border...and beyond.

Commentary � Blog Archive � Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Laureate

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It's about damned time.

Obama and Congress: Obama warns of GOP congressional takeover - latimes.com

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Nothing is ever his fault, but anything that has any upside to it is his baby. "Hand to hand combat" is hyperbole; what we will get is actual debate, as opposed to blunt put down responses such as "I won" when asked about possible compromises. Barry is going to hate the next two years.

Oliver Sacks: Why I'm a resident alien - opinion - 06 October 2010 - New Scientist

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Oliver Sacks on, well, Oliver Sacks.

The Return of Debtor’s Prison - Reason Magazine

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Dickens would know these people. He wrote about these people a lot, and not at all nicely. Not the indigent; the collectors.

Counter-Terrorism: The Cost Of Moslem Intolerance

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There is intolerance, something not at all alien to Islam wherever it is practiced, and then there is the unease we in the West feel towards Islam. One is worse. (Note to American Progressives - not the ones feeling uneasy.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

RealClearPolitics - Congress Can't Repeal Economics

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Stossel is excellent at explaining free market principles, and nails this one. Insurers are, essentially, bookies, and people with pre-existing conditions are sucker bets. No insurer is going to bet that a person who is presently sick will not cost more to insure than a person who is presently well. And rather than take that bet, they will leave the market; Stossel illustrates that insurers are already doing so.

PostPartisan - The Democrats should run on Social Security

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It had to show up. Every time the Democrats have ever been in trouble, the first weapon out of the gun closet is 'Republicans want to slash your Social Security!!!" And it has often worked. As purely political moves go, it's probably a good one for the Dems. But Vanden Heuvel and the Progressive caucus are playing fast and loose with the facts, which come down to one, limiting point: there is no Social Security trust fund. We spend every dime that comes in as it comes in. So it doesn't matter if the books say one thing or another; the government is broke, hence Social Security is broke. And no amount of wishing will make that not so.

The widening turnout gap - TheHill.com

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Dick Morris is probably the most significant voice predicting a Republican blow out. He has been wrong before, and I think he might be overestimating here, but he is describing very real voter behavior. All the Democrats have this cycle is legislative millstones around their necks and the hope that their opponents might just be attackable on a personal level. Otherwise, things look brutal.