Sunday, October 31, 2010

They Hate Our Guts

And they're drunk on power, argues P.J O'Rourke, at Weekly Standard:

Hate Your Guts

Perhaps you’re having a tiny last minute qualm about voting Republican. Take heart. And take the House and the Senate. Yes, there are a few flakes of dander in the fair tresses of the GOP’s crowning glory—an isolated isolationist or two, a hint of gold buggery, and Christine O’Donnell announcing that she’s not a witch. (I ask you, has Hillary Clinton ever cleared this up?) Fret not over Republican peccadilloes such as the Tea Party finding the single, solitary person in Nevada who couldn’t poll ten to one against Harry Reid. Better to have a few cockeyed mutts running the dog pound than Michael Vick.

I take it back. Using the metaphor of Michael Vick for the Democratic party leadership implies they are people with a capacity for moral redemption who want to call good plays on the legislative gridiron. They aren’t. They don’t. The reason is simple. They hate our guts.

They don’t just hate our Republican, conservative, libertarian, strict constructionist, family values guts. They hate everybody’s guts. And they hate everybody who has any. Democrats hate men, women, blacks, whites, Hispanics, gays, straights, the rich, the poor, and the middle class.

Democrats hate Democrats most of all. Witness the policies that Democrats have inflicted on their core constituencies, resulting in vile schools, lawless slums, economic stagnation, and social immobility. Democrats will do anything to make sure that Democratic voters stay helpless and hopeless enough to vote for Democrats.

Whence all this hate? Is it the usual story of love gone wrong? Do Democrats have a mad infatuation with the political system, an unhealthy obsession with an idealized body politic? Do they dream of capturing and ravishing representational democracy? Are they crazed stalkers of our constitutional republic?

No. It’s worse than that. Democrats aren’t just dateless dweebs clambering upon the Statue of Liberty carrying a wilted bouquet and trying to cop a feel. Theirs is a different kind of love story. Power, not politics, is what the Democrats love. Politics is merely a way to power’s heart. When politics is the technique of seduction, good looks are unnecessary, good morals are unneeded, and good sense is a positive liability. Thus Democrats are the perfect Lotharios. And politics comes with that reliable boost for pathetic egos, a weapon: legal monopoly on force. If persuasion fails to win the day, coercion is always an option.

Armed with the panoply of lawmaking, these moonstruck fools for power go about in a jealous rage. They fear power’s charms may be lavished elsewhere, even for a moment.
More at the link.

RELATED: Moe Lane, "
Your feel-good election post of the weekend."

Image Credit:
No Sheeples Here!

GOP Likely to Capture Control of House

From the last pre-election survey from Pew Research, "Record Republican Engagement Drives High Turnout Forecast." The GOP leads among likely voters 48 to 42 percent on the generic ballot, but I love the discussion of Republican enthusiasm:


Many of the patterns apparent throughout the 2010 campaign remain clearly evident in its final days. First, the Republicans enjoy a substantial engagement advantage. The GOP's overall lead is only evident when the sample is narrowed to likely voters. Among all registered voters, preferences are about evenly divided -- 44% Democrat, 43% Republican.

This represents one of the largest gaps in preferences between all voters and likely voters ever recorded in Pew Research Center surveys. As was the case earlier in the campaign, this is more a consequence of unusually high engagement among Republicans than disengagement among Democrats. Since September, a growing number of Democrats say they have given a lot of thought to the election, but they still lag Republicans by a wide margin. The current levels of Democratic engagement are fairly typical for a midterm election, though they are somewhat below what they were in 2006, when the party regained control of Congress.

Second, the engagement gap notwithstanding, the Republicans owe much of their lead to strong backing from independents and other non-partisan voters. As in previous polls, likely independent voters favor GOP candidates by a wide margin -- currently, 45% to 32%. Shortly before the 2006 election, independents backed Democratic candidates by a 42%-to-35% margin.

Third, compared with 2006, the GOP has made gains among many segments of the electorate, but especially men, voters ages 65 and older, and whites. The Democrats hold substantial leads only among African Americans, younger voters, those with low family incomes, union households and the religiously unaffiliated....

In the final weeks of the campaign, there are no signs that the large engagement gap favoring the Republican Party has narrowed. Republican voters continue to be far more likely than Democrats to say they have given a lot of thought to this year's election (70% vs. 55%); more Republicans than Democrats say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting in this year's congressional election (61% vs. 41%); and Republicans are eight points more likely to say they are following campaign news "very closely" (39% vs. 31%).

These measures suggest that overall turnout is likely to be as high this year as in the 2006 midterm elections....

On many measures, the Republican engagement in 2010 is surpassing long-term records. Fully 70% of Republicans have given a lot of thought to this election, the highest figure recorded among either Republicans or Democrats over the past five midterm election cycles. And the differential between Republicans and Democrats is larger than ever previously recorded.

Because of this large engagement gap, the likely electorate is skewed toward voting blocs that favor the GOP. While 16% of all registered voters are younger than age 30, this age group makes up only 8% of likely voters due to their lower levels of interest and commitment to voting. Similarly, lower income Americans, who tend to favor the Democrats, make up a smaller share of the likely electorate due to their lower engagement levels.
The full report is at the link. But reading this discussion, especially the data on likely turnout among young and lower-income voters, suggests that all this recent talk of a last minute Democrat surge has been heavily exaggerated. Again, I'm reminded of Democrat strategist James Carville's extreme resignation at the party's expected losses, and his hunch that sometimes the tide is so large that all the corrupt detritus of the majority gets swept out.

CNN released a new survey today as well, "
CNN Poll: Large Advantage for GOP as Election Nears." Republicans enjoy a 10-point lead among likely voters in the generic ballot, 52 to 42 percent. The CNN survey did not gauge voter enthusiasm, yet reports out tonight indicate sparse crowds for some of the days big-ticket political rallies. See, "Thin Crowd for Cleveland Campaign Rally," and "Thousands of empty seats for last Dem voter rally by Obama, Biden" (via Memeorandum).

Leftists Deny KTVA Conspiracy to Smear Joe Miller

The most interesting thing about the denial is that, you know, "it's just another Breitbart operation ... nothing to take seriously." Of course, in each of the previous scandals Breitbart's evidence has been clear and incriminating. What's also been clear is that the Democrat-Media-Industrial-Complex pushes back so hard --- with willing accomplices elsewhere in the left's institutional state structures --- that the meme of fakery and fraud is successfully planted, allowing those pimps, bigots, and corruptocrats to get off the hook, ultimately, with minimal consequences. Yet in this case, once again, there's no doubt the evidence is overwhelming:

Gateway Pundit has the Anchorage station's denial, "Alaska KTVA: We Stand By Our “Corrupt Bastards” Who Conspired Against Joe Miller":

And more here, "Sarah Palin: We Have Tape of Those “Corrupt Bastards” In Media Conspiring Against Joe Miller."

RELATED: At Althouse, "Brian Beutler takes a cheap shot at Sarah Palin: 'Sarah Palin Calls Joe Miller A Lost Cause, Quotes Scopes Monkey Trial Attorney'."

And from Dan Riehl, "KTVA-CBS 11 Compounds Scandal After Caught Targeting Miller's Senate Campaign."

Halloween Hotties 2010

Last year's Halloween hotness post got a decent amount of attention, so here's a little roundup of related costume hotness:

Okay, in the festive spirit is Robert Stacy McCain, "Rule 5 Sunday Halloween Extra." A weekend preview is seen at Zion's Trumpet, "Rule 5 For Friday."

And Washington Rebel goes political with some orange Halloween hotness. As well, Bob Belvedere has a fabulous entry: "TCOTS Halloween Rule 5 2010!" Plus, see Stormbringer's "Wednesday Wench," and Classical Liberal, "Alessandra Ambrosio."

More from Pirate's Cove, "
Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup – Happy Halloween!," Maggie's Farm, "Halloween Morning Links," and Proof Positive and The Real United States.

Here's this previously from Maxim, "
Halloween Hotties, Vol. 1 Photos," and "Halloween Hotties, Vol. 2."

And more recently, at Radar Online, "PHOTOS: Bikini Wars! Sexy Stars Who Heat Up The Beach In Halloween Colors."

Plus, "PHOTOS: The Sexiest Celebrity Halloween Costumes Ever!"

NUCLEAR NSFW BONUS: "Playboy's Sexy Halloween Costumes." (You've been warned!)



Rally for Reefer

James B. Webb hasn't been commenting over here lately. I thought he'd fried his brain on coke so hard in Las Vegas that he just couldn't get it up mentally. But apparently the problem's not just the cocaine, but the messed-up Obama opium buzz itself. Old JBW's got the downer-shakes from the bad-shit Obama junk freak-out. That pinch musta been cut with some rat poison, or something. Cuz man, that buzz for "The One" is gone, really gone: "Brain Fatigue And Rage Deficiency."

JBW commented earlier, but he's still on a downer jive, and his mind ain't up to the quick commentary. The dude needs an intellectual fix, and fast. For example, at "
Zach Galifianakis Gets Stoned On 'Real Time with Bill Maher'," notice the incoherence:
My favorite thing about you Don, is your totally legitimate tea party roots: your belief that adult Americans should be free to do whatever they wish, regardless of the harm to themselves, as long as it doesn't harm anyone else.

Keep practicing what you preach and shine on, you crazy diamond!
This is interesting, and kinda sad too. The THC's left JBW, that old frisky sparring partner, intellectually impotent --- and I hope that's all!!

I've been to dozens of tea party events, and I've yet to see anyone campaigning for marijuana legalization. It's just not on the agenda. Sure, tea partiers have their libertarian contingents. But the stoners must be hanging out in the parking lot getting loaded. They haven't been protesting to "legalize it."

Can't say that for the "
Rally for Sanity" fanatics, however. And these folks musta been tokin' large while drawing up these signs. "Legalize Pot." "2 Protect Children" and "Restore Sanity"?

I don't think so. See, "
Why Prop 19 Would Make Bad Matters Worse."

Rally to Restore Sanity

And also, at Fox News, "Stewart's Rally for 'Sanity' Draws Insane Crowd":
“Good luck trying to get through that crowd to the stage.”

Those were the first words I heard within 15 minutes of joining the large crowd that flocked to the National Mall Saturday for the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear hosted by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

To say that you couldn’t see the stage, or even hear it, wouldn’t be an exaggeration— many had to climb a tree (literally) to even catch a glimpse of the one jumbo TV screen.

“We did the march-of-the-penguins walk in the crowd for about an hour,” Georgetown University student Anam Raheem told me. “But it was too crowded; we had to turn back.”

Thousands of rally goers brought signs and costumes in support of politically hot-button issues.

“I came to meet some people,” said Mark Feeney, a resident of Buffalo, New York who sported a green outfit with a sign that displayed the benefits of marijuana. “But we have to be smart, not stupid. If we legalize pot, we’ll create more revenue and jobs.”

Although Proposition 19, which would legalize recreational marijuana in California, was one of the more common issues seen on signs, other topics were equally supported, such as abortion, equality for gays, space travel, and most vehemently, backlash against the Tea Party movement.

“I came to have fun,” Pennsylvania resident Eric Hafner said, “But we need to also show people that extremism is really overblown.”
And hey, man, don't bogart that joint!

Halloween Cartoon Roundup






More cartoons at Theo Spark's.

Barack Obama's World Turned Upside Down as Democrats Face Electoral Disaster

I just love that title, from Toby Harden:

By abandoning his own rhetoric of bipartisanship, President Obama divided America and set the course for a heavy Democratic defeat in Tuesday's midterm elections.

'The Hand of Hope' — American Life League Pro-Life Pumpkin Contest Winner

Via Jill Stanek:


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Zach Galifianakis Gets Stoned On 'Real Time with Bill Maher'

Hey, it's a stoner's gravy train when you're in the film business. Libertarian chic, and stupid as hell.

At the Toronto Sun, "
Galifianakis Lights Up Joint on TV":

RELATED: "Why Prop 19 Would Make Bad Matters Worse."

Alana Blanchard Rule 5 Encore

Picking it up from last week's Alana Blanchard entry, be sure to check out Pirate's Cove for a Sunday roundup, as well as Linkmaster Smith.

Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

Plus, check out Bob Belvedere and Irish Cicero, and American Perspective has some great blogging as well.


And be sure to visit some of the other friends of American Power:

* Another Black Conservative.

Astute Bloggers (Honorary).

Blazing Cat Fur.

* The Blog Prof.

Bob Belvedere.

Classical Liberal.

Daley Gator.

Kathy Shaidle.

* Left Coast Rebel.

* Maggie's Notebook.

* Mind Numbed Robot.

Not a Sheep.

* Pirate's Cove.


The Other McCain.

Reaganite Republican (Honorary).

Right Klik (Honorary).

Saberpoint (Honorary).

Serr8d (Honorary).

Snooper's Report (Honorary).


Theo Spark.

Washington Rebel.


BONUS: Don't forget Instapundit.

And drop your link in the comments to be added to the weekly bikini roundups!

Insane: New York Times Sells False Meme of 'Reasonable' Stewart-Colbert Rally

Folks at the fish wrap of record really do need to get out more. See, "At Rally, Thousands — Billions? — Respond" (at Memeorandum).

The unwavering message is that the Stewart "Rally for Sanity" was uniquely reasonable, " a political event like no other." I wasn't there. But I've live-blogged this event all day, and I've gotten lots of information from folks who were on the ground, and obviously NYT has airbrushed the rowdier elements out of their "Rally for Sanity" coverage.

Especially interesting is the Times' total disregard for the Cat Stevens controversy. And the Los Angeles Times is no better: "
Thousands descend on National Mall for Stewart's and Colbert's 'Sanity' rally." I've noted this a couple of times already, but some big guns are picking up the story, and it's clear the Jon Stewart badly miscalculated by inviting Yusuf Islam to the event. See Ed Morrissey, for example, "Fatwa-endorsing singer featured at “Restoring Sanity” rally?"

It's all over the place. But it's a pre-election weekend, and we'll hear more chatter about the wonderful Stewart-Colbert "moderation" on the Sunday talk shows. Not discussed will be the super well-represented profanity, misogyny, vulgarity, and leftists wishing death to conservatives.

No, that wouldn't fit the narrative too well.

Charles Johnson's 'Peace Train' to Islamofascism — UPDATED!!

UPDATE: Don't miss Aaron Worthing's brilliant post this morning, "Charles Johnson Shreds the Last of his Credibility Discussing the Stewart Rally."


A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Charles Johnson wrote what may have been the authoritative anti-jihad post on Cat Stevens, a.k.a. Yusuf Islam: "Are You Ready for Islamopop?" (safe link).


And now?

Well, the dude live-streamed Stewart/Colbert's lefty-lovefest, "
Live Video: Rally to Restore Sanity And/or Fear" (safe link).


Yep. King Charles himself now leads the Islamofascist fifth column.

RELATED: Ed Driscoll, "
Video: Riding the Peace Train." And at Toby Harden, "Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens), accused of backing Salman Rushdie fatwah, appears at DC 'Rally to Restore Sanity'."

And Doug Mataconis adds:
Some, such as Talking Points Memo, have already dismissed this criticism of Islam’s appearance at the rally as a “right wing” concern, but there does seem to be somewhat of a disconnect between a rally calling for rationality in political discourse and a singer who once endorsed the idea of murdering someone for writing a book. Inviting a man like this to a rally to “restore sanity” was a mistake, and Stewart is likely to take some well-deserved criticism for it over the coming days.

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear — UPDATED!!

I'm watching the live feed at Comedy Central.

The crowd is huge:


Looks like it's all about fun and games:


Great coverage from Brittany Cohan, who posted some pics earlier:


Tania Gail should have photos posted a bit later, and I'll update. Meanwhile, expect a lot of leftist chatter about how the crowd for Stewart's rally beats Beck's rally, blah, blah ... Just know that photos won't be comparable, since Restore Sanity has gathered in front of the Capitol building rather than the Lincoln Memorial. Media Matters is going freak out anyway. Check back for updates.

RELATED: At New York Times, "
Live Blog: ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’" (via Memeorandum).


UPDATE: Screencap of Ozzy Osbourne and Yusuf Islam:


And Meredith Jessup tweets:


Speaking of Wikipedia ... there's an entry for "Restore Sanity."

More on Yusuf Islam: "Cat Stevens Appearance at Sanity Rally Rankles Right Winger."

ADDED: From Aaron Worthing, "WTF?! Islamofascist at the Rally to Restore Sanity?! (Update: A trip Down Memory Lane with Stewart and South Park; Salman Rushdie on Yusuf Islam; Video: Yusuf Islam on Wishing He Could Burn Rushdie Alive)."

More pictures, via Jenn Q. Public:


Death to right-wingers, but in a nice way. Kinda like "humane" executions:


Here's Colbert's entry:

Okay, this is the moment I've been waiting for: My most excellent blog-buddy Skye at Midnight Blue is uploading her photos, via Twitter:

Rally to Restore Sanity

Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire


Okay, MFM reports coming in, e.g., at WaPo, "Rally to Restore Sanity: 'If We Amplify Everything, We Hear Nothing'."

More pics, from
Mollie Hemingway:

Rally to Restore Sanity

The Rally for Sanity folks have their history backwards:

Rally to Restore Sanity

And you don't see stuff like this at the tea parties:

Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

And here's a bit on crowd size, at WSJ, "Counting the Crowd: Hard to Do for Jon Stewart’s Rally." I tweeted along these lines this morning.


And Gateway Pundit has the overhead crowd comparison, and it's clearly no contest:


Okay, now more photos coming in from Skye at Midnight Blue, on Flickr:


Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

Rally to Restore Sanity


More at Midnight Blue and Flickr.

Catholic Vote 2010

Catholic Vote's 2008 "everything you hold sacred" web ad remains my all-time favorite. I'll repost it for election day Tuesday. Here's another, until then:

A New Way Forward: Weekly Republican Address: Leader John Boehner (R-OH), 10/30/10

He may very well be House Speaker John Boehner come January, although I hope he keeps his promise on looking out for the American people:

Bill Whittle's Firewall: 'What We Believe, Part 4: Natural Law'

Excellent commentary, as usual:


* "Bill Whittle's Firewall: 'What We Believe, Part 1: Small Government and Free Enterprise'."

* "Bill Whittle's Firewall: 'What We Believe, Part 2: The Problem with Elitism'."

* "Bill Whittle's Firewall: 'What We Believe, Part 3: Wealth Creation'."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Explosive Marisa Miller Rule 5 Roundup!

Turns out Marisa Miller received some star treatment in last week's Rule 5 extravaganza at The Other McCain's. The superstar model has been named the official spokesmodel for the National Football League. So here's to catching up a bit! I'm slackin'.

Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

TV Still Favored Medium for Political Ad Spending

This is something I taught students in 2008, and it's still true this year, despite rapidly evolving technology.


The Internet revolutionized political fundraising, but when it comes to spending those dollars, media strategists are voting old school.

Candidates and supporters are caught up in a frenetic advertising blitz, on pace to drop a record $3 billion, according to analysts who monitor spending. Most of the money is going to an old-media workhorse: local TV stations.

Two years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama successfully tapped the Internet to raise money and mobilize millions of voters. Politicians around the country, including California gubernatorial hopefuls Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown, have jumped on the social media bandwagon, including Facebook and Twitter. But as the campaign season heated up, analysts said, candidates scaled back on Internet ad buys in favor of the tried and true.

How tried and true? Even the 235-year-old U.S. Postal Service is a conduit for more paid advertising — by 13 to 1 — than its digital descendant.

For California TV stations, particularly those in Los Angeles, the midterm election has led to a gold-rush mentality. One campaign organizer said the cost of a 30-second TV spot has been soaring in the final days before Tuesday's election. A spot that went for $2,000 two years ago is going for $5,000 today.

Analysts who track political spending predict that TV stations nationwide will rake in two-thirds of the campaign dollars this year — about $2 billion. Commercial radio, another old-media staple, is expected to collect $250 million. At least $650 million will be spent on direct mail campaigns, those glossy fliers now filling mailboxes.

Internet sites should fetch about $50 million, less than 2% of the total.

Advertising veterans say the stakes are too high to experiment with a medium that, despite its ability to monitor the browsing habits of consumers, might not be effective.

"Television delivers a mass audience in a short amount of time and you don't have that same assurance with the Internet," said Wayne Johnson, president of Wayne Johnson Agency in Sacramento, which advises Republican candidates. "We have been waiting for that to change, but there are legitimate reasons why people are sticking with TV ads."
More at the link.

And that's the NRCC's TV spot hammering Ben Chandler of Kentucky's 6th Congressional District. He's in a
tough reelection campaign.

More of those at
the link. I love political advertising.

Standing Tall: The Rise & Resilience of Conservative Women

At Michelle's:

My military friends have a favorite saying: “If you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target.” This campaign season, conservative women in politics have caught more flak than WWII Lancaster bombers over Berlin. Despite daily assaults from the Democratic machine, liberal media and Hollyweird — not to mention the stray fraggings from Beltway GOP elites – the ladies of the right have maintained their dignity, grace and wit. Voters will remember in November.

When “comedian” and “The View” co-host Joy Behar lambasted GOP Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle this week as a “bitch” who would be “going to hell” for using images of illegal alien gang members in a campaign ad, Angle responded by sending a lovely bouquet of flowers and a good-humored note: “Joy, Raised $150,000 online yesterday. Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Sharron Angle.”

Outgunned in the comedy department, Behar sputtered nonsensically and with bitter, clingy vulgarity: “I would like to point out that those flowers were picked by illegal immigrants and they’re not voting for you, bitch.” Illegal aliens are not supposed to vote at all, Miss B. But why let such pesky details get in the way of a foul-mouthed daytime TV diatribe?

Just a week earlier, Behar delivered a hysterical rant against GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, accusing the mother of five and foster mother of 23 of being “against children” for opposing the expansion of federal health care entitlements for middle-class families and children (the SCHIP program) and for opposing the costly Obama takeover of health care. Behar merely parrots the demagoguery of Democratic leaders in Washington, who have ducked behind kiddie human shields to avoid substantive debate about the dire consequences of their policies.

As a result of the Obamacare mandates, of course, insurers have canceled child-only plans across the country. And there are plenty of compassionate reasons for opposing SCHIP expansion beyond its original mandate to serve the truly working poor. Behar called me a “selfish bitch” three years ago over the same issue. Why is it “against children” and “selfish” to challenge the wisdom of redistributing money away from taxpayers of lesser means who are responsible enough to buy insurance before a catastrophic event — and then using their tax dollars to subsidize more well-off families who didn’t have the foresight or priorities to purchase insurance with their own money?

But never mind those pesky details. Behar persisted in smearing Bachmann as “anti-children, anti-children.” Facts be damned.
Great essay. Great women. More at the link.

David Horowitz Interviewed at PJTV

Via Instapundit. Click the image to watch:


And check out the book: Reforming Our Universities: The Campaign For An Academic Bill Of Rights.

'Radical in the White House'

From Jeff Goldstein:


Gee. I can remember a time not too long ago where saying such things was unhelpful, its utterers “extremists” and “purists” who were hurting the GOP’s cause by alienating “moderates” and “independents”. Comity — that’s what was needed. A willingness to recognize the basic goodness and decency of Good Men like Barack Obama, whose disagreements with us weren’t at all personal, but were instead merely a matter of policy differences as filtered and distilled through his own moderate pragmatism. Protesting forcefully against such an historic, symbolic president — who would lower the oceans and such — would turn the grand old party into a regional curio; conservative “idealists” were wrecking the electoral chances for Republicans, what with their unwillingness to do what the American people clearly want: compromise, move leftward, join in the expansion of government and the furtherance of an ever-increasing deficit spending, over-regulated nanny state. They were instead paranoid, suffering from an imagined “persecution complex”.

Funny how times have changed.

Katherine Lopez interviews Stanley Kurtz on his new book, Radical-in-Chief; as does Hugh Hewitt — who not too long ago would hang up on all the unserious rightwing “nutters” who intimated that Obama was a Marxist or socialist, in between shilling for whatever candidate the GOP establishment put forward.

Turns out that the evidence, largely circumstantial, but compelling nonetheless, suggests that Obama is a candidate trained in stealth socialism, both a product of — and culmination to — the New Left’s long march through the institutions. Of course, today the “New Left” self-identifies as “liberal” or “progressive,” to hide their socialist/Marxist roots. Their governing style is “pragmatic,” “forward thinking,” and “transformative”; and their message is one of economic populism, class warfare, and identity politics — all couched in the Orwellian inversions of protected groups, set-asides, government-approved speech, and the nannystate tentacles of a growing liberal fascism, into the (ironic) buzzwords “fairness” and “tolerance” and “security.”

And it turns out that those who refused to recognize all this early on — and who openly went to war against conservatives / classical liberals over such (rather obvious) observations, diminishing them as extremists or “purists” who were looking to “purge” the party of solid intellectual Republicans — however late to the party they are, are nonetheless now joining in the wave.

More at the link.

I think Jeff overstates the case a little (or at least the Obama-enablers on the right have been losing steam for some time now, the Frum Forum dweebs and the McCainiacs especially). Great piece either way. And if you haven't yet, be sure to get yourself
a copy of Kurtz's book. Scholarly and authoritative, Radical-in-Chief will be the go to volume over the next couple of years, as Americans reject the Obama-Dem socialist regime in increasingly large numbers.

RELATED: Kathryn Jean Lopez interview
here and Hugh Hewitt interview here.

Walid Phares on Political Jihad and the Terror Threat

Excellent discussion with Dr. Walid Phares:

And at Newsmax, "Phares: Obama Too Lax in Era of Terror."
Even if Friday’s activities were, indeed, a dry run, Phares says they accomplished a terrorist’s dream goal of mobilizing our resources, elevating al-Qaida in the public eye and bleeding the U.S. economy, even if only for a day.

Regarding the apparent targets of Friday’s events, including synagogues in Chicago as well as locations in Britain and United Arab Emirates, Phares says the terrorists probably have several goals. They are appealing to their base, portraying themselves as “anti-Zionist or anti-Jewish,” while showing their ability to penetrate the defenses of the United States and Europe even without bombs, revealing weaknesses in our defenses.

Phares believes the events, just days before midterm elections in the United States, indicate that the terrorists are trying to make a statement and affect U.S. policy amid the Obama administration’s declared goals of withdrawing from Iraq and negotiating with the Taliban for an eventual pullout from Afghanistan.

A likely goal is to increase the pressure on the United States to move forward on these withdrawals, as well as to frustrate our policies in Yemen and Somalia.

Postelection, Phares says the next Congress should engage in dialogue with President Barack Obama and change the direction of anti-terror efforts for the remainder of his administration.

Phares suggests that al-Qaida forces are evolving because of the United States’ lack of absolute control over policy on combating radical ideology. Without allies in the Arab and Muslim worlds on board to combat radicalization, the United States will continue to face an uphill struggle on this front. Phares points out that most of those terrorists recently captured or arrested have been relatively new recruits to al-Qaida, indicating that recruitment is still successful and the organization thrives.

To combat this threat, Phares suggests we need “a major change of policy in Washington.” Phares contends that the United States has done the “opposite” of what it should during the past two years by focusing on the criminal aspects of terrorism and neglecting to tackle the ideology behind it.

The Obama administration has been disengaging from the confrontation with radical Islamic ideology as well as from supporting anti-jihadist elements such as the democratic uprising in Iran, while moving toward negotiations with the fundamentalist Taliban, Phares said.

Cargo Plane Bomb Plot: Dry Run for Terror Campaign Against U.S. — UPDATED!!

Pamela's got the roundup: "Terror Friday: Jihad Attack Dry Run: Target America."

At the video, Liz Cheney indicates that the administration's weak terror policies have endangered our security and hung our allies out to dry:

And there's excellent coverage at London's Telegraph, "Terror Alert: Suspicious Devices 'Dry Run' for Terror Campaign Against US Synagogues," and "Cargo Plane Plot: Yemen Focus."

RELATED: At New York Times, "Sweep of U.S. Cargo Planes After Overseas Bomb Scare."


UPDATE: The New York Times is putting more emphasis on developments. See, "Obama Says Explosives Were U.S.-Bound," and CNN has a report, "Source: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Behind Cargo Terror Plot."

And the president's speech this afternoon, with comments from Lonely Conservative:
Is it just me, or does President Obama seem far more outraged and animated over political battles than he does about the threat of terrorist attacks here at home? Here he is, almost casually informing the American public that two packages containing explosives were bound for the US. He seems detached and uninterested. Weird.

More at Memeorandum.

Van Tran Interviewed at PJTV

My friend Tim Daniel of Left Coast Rebel interviews the GOP Assemblyman. Click the image to watch:


Van Tran's campaign homepage at the link.

And check
Instapundit and Pajamas Media for lots more election coverage.

Boxer Leads Fiorina 49-41 in New Field Poll

The full results at the link. The Field Poll is pretty respectable. I'm not gonna quibble much with the sample. Yet, FWIW, a poll from Opinion Research Corporation has the race at 50-45, with a 5-point margin of error. Either way, the numbers don't seem to falling in line for Fiorina, and that's despite Boxer's completely lame advertising strategy, made clear at the clip below. California's totally FUBAR, as I've said pretty much all along.

RELATED: At Politico, "Fiorina Fades, Boxer Rises."

Christine O'Donnell Responds to Left's Vicious Attacks on Conservative Women

Kinda. She mostly stays on message, and awesomely so, from Hannity's last night:

And on Facebook, "O'Donnell Campaign Statement on the Universal Condemnation of the Gawker Story" (via Memeorandum).

Also interesting is the left's response, which is coverered at Jim Treacher, "
Gawker humiliates Christine O’Donnell for one-night stand that wasn’t; fellow leftist creeps finally find line they won’t cross." Or did they? See, "NOW refuses comment on Gawker’s Christine O’Donnell sex smear UPDATE: Cheers O’Donnell’s loss, slams smear," and especially, William Jacobson, "Not Buying The Crocodile Tears From Gawker's Enablers."

The Left Ramps Up Vote Stealing Machine

And the Democrat-Media-Industrial-Complex is dismissing the dangers as "overblown."

At Michelle's, "
The Left's Voter Fraud Whitewash."

Also, at Washington Rebel, "Vote Fraud is Murder, Not a Minor Glitch."

Repeal ObamaCare

Ed Morrissey likes this:

Yuval Levin made the essential argument, at Weekly Standard, "REPEAL: Why and How Obamacare Must Be Undone."

So You Want to Get a Ph.D.

Via Glenn Reynolds:

And Betsy Newmark adds this:
Now I'm waiting for the "So you want to be an engineer" cartoon for high school students who got an A in Calculus and figure that doing well in math up through high schools means they will make wonderful engineers and be guaranteed jobs for the rest of their lives.

Or the cartoon for "So you want to be a political science major" for the kids who enjoy following current events but have no idea what type of job they'd get with such a major.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why Prop 19 Would Make Bad Matters Worse

At Phoenix House:

Next Tuesday, Californians will vote on Proposition 19, which would legalize the use of marijuana. Until recently, this legislation was leading in most polls—a fact that boggled my mind. Why increase the availability of a drug that has already destroyed the lives of countless teens and their families?

According to the latest LA Times poll, Prop 19 is now “trailing badly,” and it appears that many people have seen the light. Still, 39% of voters are in favor of legalization, a not insignificant figure. And this just doesn’t make sense.

Those of us at Phoenix House who have been working with kids for more than 40 years are troubled by this measure. Not only have we have served more young people than any other treatment provider in California, but the experience of our regions throughout the country have established us as a national authority. And we’ve seen firsthand the devastation marijuana can cause. This drug is a problem for almost all of the kids we treat; about 76% of our teen admissions nationally list marijuana as their primary drug of choice. We serve some of the most vulnerable teens in the state of California and across the country—kids whose drug use is more likely to lead to addiction. These young people are with us because marijuana has seriously impacted their lives—making it impossible for them to succeed in school, ruining their relationships with their families, and often, leading them to try even more harmful drugs when they seek an even greater high.

Our experience at Phoenix House mirrors national trends. According to SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), almost 80% of adolescent treatment admissions, aged 12 to 17, had marijuana as their primary or secondary drug of choice. Studies have shown that young people are particularly susceptible to marijuana’s side effects—which include social anxiety and cognitive impairment. Research has linked early onset marijuana use to lower GPA, early school dropout, and lower income at age 29. The drug’s street potency has also increased substantially over the past two decades, and a single joint contains four times as much cancer-causing tar as a filtered cigarette.

When we legalize a drug—thereby increasing access and removing the stigma—it follows that more people will use it. The idea that we won’t see a rise in teen marijuana use as a result is absurd. And more usage will mean more adolescents addicted, more drugged driving, and other negative consequences.

“But I smoked pot when I was young and I turned out fine,” many legalization advocates tell me. “Even our President used it.”

It’s true that not every kid who tries marijuana will become addicted. Research tells us that about 10 percent of those who try it will get hooked. However, this doesn’t change the fact that the drug puts young people at risk. And as responsible adults, our job is to reduce the likelihood that our children will engage in risky behavior—not to increase it.

Yes, if Prop 19 were to pass, we’d try to keep the drug out of kids’ hands. But with rampant underage drinking and cigarette smoking, I highly doubt we could do a better job with marijuana. The last thing our young people need is another legal intoxicant.

These are challenging times for California and Prop 19 supporters argue that legalization of marijuana would improve the state’s plight. But the bottom line is that the harm this legislation could cause outweighs its potential benefits. To support Prop 19 without considering what it would mean for the younger generation is both irresponsible and dangerous.

Howard Meitiner
President and CEO, Phoenix House

California Ballot Propositions Threaten Major Tax Hikes

A range of far left-wing lobbying groups is pushing for a major shift in California's tax structure. The effort got a boost this week by the findings of a pro-tax commission, reported at LAT, "California's Business Tax Burden No Heavier Than Average." Of course, out-of-control spending explains the state's fiscal problems, and the commission's report is a scam. See, "LA Times Thinks (Incorrectly!) That Business is Undertaxed":
The fundamental problem with the Times article, and much of the left-of-center criticism of California business taxation - is that they posit a world where public policy is a passive pawn in the hands of manipulative corporations ...
That's right, although that's WAY left-of-center criticism, for example, with the California Teachers Association's attacks on "corporate greed" seen in this "Yes on 24" video clip:

See also WSJ, "The Tax Me More State: Two Initiatives Would Further Punish California":

The Tax Foundation announced this week that California has the second worst business tax climate of the 50 states, with only New York more hostile to employers. Congratulations, but it gets worse. If a pair of ballot measures pass next week, the Golden State could soon take the tax lead and make even Albany look like Hong Kong.

Proposition 24 would raise $1.3 billion of new taxes on businesses, while Proposition 25 would allow the state legislature to pass budgets and tax increases with a simple majority vote, instead of the current mandated two-thirds supermajority.

The most pernicious is Proposition 25, which is being sold as a good government measure to end the state's annual fiscal follies and pass a budget on time. But what matters more than how a budget passes is what's in it. And the two-thirds rule that has prevailed since the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 has been the lone restraint on the government unions and their political valets who have spent California to the brink of insolvency.

Only last year, voters were spared another huge tax increase when Democrats who control the legislature agreed with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on a budget deal. Using their leverage from the two-thirds rule, a GOP minority demanded a referendum, and the voters rejected the deal. The annual budget squabbles may be messy, but they draw much-needed public attention to what the spending interests would prefer to keep secret in Sacramento.

Proposition 25 is deceptive because its "intent" language that purports to explain its meaning to voters claims that the law "retains a two-thirds vote requirement for taxes." But "intent" sections aren't included in the state Constitution. Instead, the proposition clears the way for a straight majority vote for budgets and the more amorphous category of bills "related to the budget." That's an exception wide enough to drive a tax increase through, and nearly every state taxpayer group and their legal experts are convinced that this is an attempt to end-run Proposition 13.

Proposition 24 is also deceptive, starting with its title, "The Tax Fairness Act." It is opposed by just about every iconic employer left in the state ...

We'd prefer no such tax carve outs and a flatter tax code ... but in California they're the only break from the state's preposterously high tax rates. California imposes the fourth highest personal income tax rate on small business income (10.55%), the third highest state-local sales tax (9%), and the 13th highest corporate tax rate (8.84%).

The main sponsor and funder of these tax initiatives is — you'll never guess — the California teachers union. Need we say more? The unions are desperate for more taxpayer cash lest they have to adjust their health-care benefits and pensions as workers in the private economy have had to do. They seem to believe they have no stake in the state's economic growth so they can pile on taxes even with a 12.4% state jobless rate. A horrific 21.9% of the state's residents are either unemployed, can't find a full time job, or have become so discouraged they are only marginally attached to the labor force. But public employees, protected by the political class, live in an alternative universe ...