Tactical nuclear language and intelligence advisory to the above video from Michael Moore and MoveOn.Org. Are these people trying to sabotage Obama? Yeah, the country is going to be swayed by foul mouthed geezers threatening violence in the event of a Romney win. The video is an excellent demonstration of how exhausted humor on the Left in this country has become. Michael Moore: I’ve got a great idea! We’ll have a group of sweet oldsters who are supporting Obama and then we’ll have them use the F-Bomb and threaten mayhem against Romney. Brilliant! If I wasn’t shaped like Jabba the Pizza Hut, I’d break my arm slapping my back! With friends like Moore, Obama really does not need enemies like me.
In this election cycle, much has been made about the importance of establishing a “firewall” in certain states so that a candidate’s electoral college numbers don’t collapse.
When it comes to defending the faith against insurgents, one might hope the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges would provide the Church a “firewall of firewalls.” After all, haven’t they proclaimed themselves to be the places “where the Church does its thinking”? Where better to turn for a reasoned defense of the Church and its teaching than through its institutions of higher education?
Of course, as the pundits have been opining, it takes only one breach of the firewall to accelerate the process of potentially losing that firewall and, hence, increasing the probability of losing the election…or, in this instance, weakening one institution’s Catholic identity and providing “cover” for others to do the same.
Has that firewall wall been breached?
According to Inside Higher Education, the President of Xavier University in Cincinnati, the Reverend Michael J. Graham, SJ, has reversed himself. This “Catholic university in the Jesuit tradition” will now continue to provide employees artificial contraception coverage as part of the institution’s healthcare coverage.
Last April, Fr. Graham announced that Xavier had been covering contraception but no longer would, effective July 1, 2012. In a letter to employees, Graham wrote that offering such coverage was “inconsistent” for a Roman Catholic institution.
Correct! That’s defending the firewall.
However, that was then and this is now.
Between then and now, Fr. Graham’s decision and letter provoked an outcry. A number of Xavier University faculty and staff wanted to know who Fr. Graham or the institution were to dictate so-called “healthcare options” to married couples, to non-Catholics, and to those who don’t agree with Church teaching concerning artificial means of birth control. After all, that’s not being inclusive, is it? Then, too, they wanted Fr. Graham to explain why he made the decision and issued his letter without consulting Xavier employees first. That’s not very collegial, is it?
In the face of this tide of opposition, Fr. Graham agreed to postpone implementing the change until December. Perhaps Fr. Graham was biding his time while waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule.
But, once again, that was then and this is now.
Between then and now, the Supreme Court ruled in June, upholding Obamacare. The opinion was written by the Chief Justice, himself a Catholic. Talk about being provided intellectual and legal cover to allow the firewall to be breached!
Fr. Graham subsequently decided that since Xavier University would be required to provide contraceptive coverage as part of the institution’s healthcare coverage beginning August 1, 2013 anyway, the University would continue providing it to employees.
No doubt about it. The firewall has been breached!
In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Fr. Graham blamed himself for how he handled this issue. But, he went even further. While strongly disagreeing with the Obamacare mandate, Fr. Graham said he “believes universities should set a moderate example for the nation.”
The president of one of those institutions where the Church is supposed to do her thinking has decided his institution should “set a moderate example for the nation”?
Could the rationale be that Church teaching tramples upon the religious freedom of those who freely choose to work at Catholic institutions, like Xavier University, yet don’t believe what those institutions represent? Then, too, borrowing from the example of St. Isaac Jogues, SJ, and his companions, why alienate all of those people when, simply by leaving the door open to them, they can be evangelized? And what will it matter anyway? After all, providing artificial means of contraception as part of nationalized healthcare coverage is going to be required of those institutions come August 1, 2013.
The rationale is problematic and the firewall has been breached. How long will it be before presidents of the other U.S. Catholic universities and colleges seize upon Fr. Graham’s reasoning and follow Xavier University’s lead?
This battle is not about “healthcare options.” It’s all about the much larger war to delegitimize Church teaching.
Where’s the reasoned defense to come from, now that this firewall has been breached?
To read the Inside Higher Education article, click on the following link: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/29/catholic-college-reverses-course-covering-contraception#ixzz2AhJ4Ca00
Barring a disputed count in a decisive state, by this time next week we will know who is going to be President of these United States for the next four years. I believe Romney is ahead, probably between 3-5 points, with Republican enthusiasm greater than Democrat enthusiasm giving him an additional edge. In this post we will look at the several paths to victory for Romney.
I take it as a given that Romney starts with a base of 257 electoral votes. This includes Colorado where the Republicans have the advantage in early voting, and in party affiliation. The other states are all of the West except Nevada and New Mexico, all of the Great Plains states, all of the Old Confederacy, Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, Indiana and Alaska. Romney is only 13 electoral votes shy from a 270 majority, or 12 votes shy of an electoral vote tie, which would have him almost certainly voted in by the new House, with control of the Senate determining who the Senate would choose as Veep.
Here are the potential paths to victory for Romney which I see:
1. Ohio-18 electoral votes.
2. Pennsylvania-20 electoral votes.
3. Michigan -16 electoral votes
4. Wisconsin-10 electoral votes with New Hampshire -4 electoral votes
5. Minnesota-10 electoral votes with New Hampshire-4 electoral votes
6. Iowa-6 electoral votes-New Hampshire-4 electoral votes-Nevada-6 electoral votes
7. Iowa-6 electoral votes-Nevada-6 electoral votes-Maine Second Congressional District-1 electoral vote
8. Oregon-7 electoral votes-New Hampshire 4 electoral votes
9. Oregon-7 electoral votes-Iowa 6 electoral votes
10. Oregon-7 electoral votes-Nevada 6 electoral votes
New Hampshire I think is close to being a given for Romney. If Romney wins Ohio, Pennsylvania or Michigan he wins with no further states needed. With New Hampshire, Wisconsin or Minnesota can be Kingmaker states. If Romney loses all of the above states except New Hampshire, he still has a path to victory with Iowa and Nevada or Oregon.
A look at the individual states: Continue Reading
According to Ward Lamon, Marshal of Washington and a former law partner of Abraham Lincoln, three days before his assassination, Lincoln spoke about a strange dream that he had:
Some six years ago my first book; The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism came out, which detailed the Good news happening in the Catholic Church. Since then and especially this year, I am often asked is the tide still turning? Rest assured I am not looking at the world and the Catholic Church through rose colored glasses, the book not only gives positive spin on what is going on through stories and anecdotal evidence, but I outline a lot of statistical and demographic data to prove my point.
Honestly writing a book requires a great deal of time and patience, and though I had enough material for about half a book, I was waiting for the right time to finish it. However last summer, I felt God really pushing me to get this out. Providentially many events within the Church and the political realm helped to convince me that now was the time. I am glad I listened and finished the book this spring because recently my wife and I welcomed another baby into our home, and with two small children, writing a book would have been very difficult.
The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn (Aquinas and More publishing) picks up where my previous book left off detailing the Good News occurring in the Church, but also, and this is very important, I address why the Catholic Church and religion in general is coming under attack in our modern world. Readers of my articles and first book continually asked my why we are facing these attacks? This is nothing new. Ever since the French Revolution in 1793 the Catholic Church and religion in general in the Western world has come under attack from powerful forces that for some demented reason have a problem with God.
In the book, I take a look at timelines in World History and examine revolutions like the American Revolution where religion was embraced compared to those like the French Revolution where it was attacked. This helps us in 2012 figure out why some in government and academia don’t like the Catholic Church and for that matter most religious institutions. The book also looks at the HHS Mandate and the political upheaval that unjust mandate has brought. Continue Reading
Superstorm Sandy has largely passed my area by, and Pepco has been spared another round of calamitous outages. Luckily for you that means I get to write a post digging deep into presidential election statistics.
Though the election polls have produced differing results, a general consensus has seemingly emerged. Mitt Romney is, at worst, tied with President Obama, and has upwards of a five-point lead. The Real Clear average of polls puts Romney up by less than a point. On the other hand, RCP has Obama up 201-191 in the electoral college, with a 290-248 edge in the “no toss-up” scenario. Obama has held a consistent edge in the battleground state of Ohio, though Rasmussen’s most recent poll now has Romney up by two.
In general, I agree with Jim Geraghty that it appears almost certain that Mitt Romney will win the popular vote. It takes polls with rather generous Democrat advantages (in the range of D+7 and up) to even get Obama tied. I trust Gallup’s likely voter screen more than other polls, and Gallup has had Romney with a steady advantage of three-to-five points.
It’s certainly possible that Mitt Romney could win the popular vote and lose the electoral college. It has happened to several presidential candidates in our history, and we are all familiar with what took place in 2000. What is fairly unlikely, however, is for Mitt Romney to win the popular vote by a substantial margin and still lose the electoral college. If Mitt Romney wins the popular vote by more than even just a percentage point, than he will be the next President of the United States. Of course we can never be certain in politics, but it seems like a safe bet that the electoral and popular vote winner will the the same person.
One of the reasons that an Obama electoral college victory in the face of a popular vote defeat is unlikely is that massive swings in national vote totals are reflected in all states. President Obama won the popular vote by seven percent over John McCain in 2008. Assume for the moment that Mitt Romney wins by just one percent – that would signify an eight point swing in favor of the Republicans. Such a huge shift in the electorate is not going to be limited to a small number of states. And as history has shown, when the incumbent party loses support, it loses support everywhere.
I have taken a look at each presidential election since 1976. Since that election, the incumbent has lost twice, the incumbent party has lost two additional times, the incumbent has won three times, and one time the incumbent party has won once. In all but two of the elections since 1980 there has been a net shift of at least eight percent. Let’s take a closer look: Continue Reading
No national polls today because of the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see any more until last-minute weekend ones. To tide over political junkies, there is a fun story in SFGate about California liberals petrified over the prospect that the Southside Messiah may not be reelected:
Edelman hosted a bunch of friends to watch the debate over dinner. But after the first five minutes unfolded, nobody ate. Few spoke. “And right after it ended, everybody just got up and left,” she said.
Alas, Obama didn’t respond to Blume’s pleas. And for the next two nights, Blume didn’t sleep. A man who has voted for only one Republican in his life – when the Beatles were touring – found himself questioning Obama and the state of the campaign.
You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
I have always enjoyed the speech of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men because it contains quite a bit of truth in it, and I have regretted that the words are placed in the mouth of the villainous Colonel Jessup. In regard to fallen American heroes Tyrone Woods and Greg Doherty it is completely, and righteously, applicable.
The higher-ups in the Obama administration who turned their backs on Woods and Doherty could never understand such men. It was no part of their mission to supply embassy security. Instead, after the Benghazi attack began, Tyrone Woods asked for permission to go and risk his life to rescue the embassy personnel. He was denied permission two times, and he went anyway. He was unarmed initially, picking up his weapons from what he found on the ground, the cast away arms of the Libyan mercenaries who were supposed to provide security at the consulate and who ran when the attack began. He rescued 20 embassy personnel and got them to the CIA annex, where they were evacuated while Woods, joined by Doherty who arrived in Benghazi after the attack began, engaged in a lop sided fight against some 150 to 200 attackers. During this time they gave live intelligence to their CIA higher-ups and requested military aid. The CIA has denied that it was anyone from the CIA who vetoed the aid. So, Doherty and Woods fought their own personal Alamo alone, slaying some 60 of their foes, until they were killed at their machine gun by a mortar round some six hours and twenty minutes from the time the attack began.
Doherty and Woods had their lives taken from them, fighting for their country and to save others. They epitomize what the term honor means. To the White House higher-ups who denied them aid, perhaps Doherty and Woods seemed to be fools: “Didn’t they realize that personal survival is the be all and end all? They were idiots for sticking their necks out! Now we have this political mess to clean up!” Yeah, it is easy to visualize both curses and laughter being aimed at the spirits of these men. The Seal Code these men lived and died by would be literally incomprehensible to the people who made the decision not to send them aid: 1) Loyalty to Country, Team and Teammate, 2) Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield, 3) Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit, 4) Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates, 5) Excel as Warriors through Discipline and Innovation, 6) Train for War, Fight to Win, Defeat our Nation’s Enemies, and 7) Earn your Trident every day. Continue Reading
Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. † God became man, † and the Word was made flesh. † Christ was born of a Virgin. † Christ suffered. † Christ was crucified. † Christ died. † Christ rose from the dead. † Christ ascended into Heaven. † Christ conquers. † Christ reigns. † Christ orders. † May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning † Christ went through their midst in Peace, † and the word was made flesh. † Christ is with us with Mary. † Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Judah, the Root David, has won. † Holy God! † Holy Powerful God! † Holy Immortal God! † Have mercy on us. Amen!
Stay safe all our contributors, commenters and readers who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy. God guard you and keep you!
I have long praised our Veep, and Beloved National Clown, for his efforts to keep up our national morale during these dismal economic times by endless gaffes and verbal pratfalls. Now he has outdone himself!
In the above video the completely pro-abort Biden tries to portray himself, get this, as a faithful Catholic! Howlingly funny. I am sure Joe of course understands full well that a man with his voting record is as far from a faithful Catholic as it is possible for a politician to be. I am certain he is aware of this section of a letter written by Cardinal Ratzinger:
1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).
2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).
3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
4. Apart from an individual’s judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).
5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” , nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin. Continue Reading
Andrew Sullivan, the renowned gynecologist who spends most of his time attempting to prove that Sarah Palin could not be the mother of her son Trig, on ABC This Week yesterday began the work of establishing that Obama is going down to defeat because of racism.
This is a column he wrote after the video above:
I think America is currently in a Cold Civil War. The parties, of course, have switched sides since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The party of the Union and Lincoln is now the Democratic party. The party of the Confederacy is now the GOP. And racial polarization is at record levels, with whites entirely responsible for reversing Obama’s 2008 inroads into the old Confederacy in three Southern states. You only have to look at the electoral map in 1992 and 1996, when Clinton won, to see how the consolidation of a Confederacy-based GOP and a Union-based Democratic party has intensified – and now even more under a black president from, ahem, Illinois
I will leave to others a determination as to the skill of Sullivan as a gynecologist, but in constructing historical parallels he reeks. A few thoughts:
1. Race and Obama-Obama is likely to end up with some 38% of the white vote and 95% of the black vote. I don’t construe anything from this, but if race were regarded as a factor in voting, it would seem that Obama’s overwhelming support among blacks might be considered to have a racial factor behind it, if it is assumed, as Sullivan does, that whites voting against Obama are motivated by race.
2. What a large Confederacy- I did not know that the Confederacy included such states as Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Alaska, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and, probably, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and, perhaps, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and, in that northern bastion of Dixie, a congressional district in Maine. Continue Reading
Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin released a letter to his diocese on October 24 outlining considerations that should be taken into account by Catholics when voting:
I would like to review some of the principles to keep in mind as you approach the voting booth to complete your ballot. The first is the set of non-negotiables. These are areas that are “intrinsically evil” and cannot be supported by anyone who is a believer in God or the common good or the dignity of the human person. They are:
3. embryonic stem cell research
4. human cloning
5. homosexual “marriage”
… Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally “complicit” with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy. The other position to keep in mind is the protection of religious liberty. The recent aggressive moves by the government to impose the HHS mandate, especially the move to redefine religion so that religion is confined more and more to the four walls of the Church, is a dangerous precedent. This will certainly hurt the many health care services to the poor given by our Catholic hospitals. Our Catholic hospitals in the Diocese give millions of dollars per year in donated services to the poor. In the new plan, only Catholic people can be treated by Catholic institutions. Continue Reading
Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter’s pollster and a long time Democrat political operative, said it all last night on the Jeanine Pirro show on Fox about the Benghazi coverup and the unwillingness of much of the Mainstream Media to cover it for fear that it will devastate the re-election prospects of Obama:
“been in the tank on this in a way I’ve never seen… I am appalled right now. This White House, this President, this Vice President, this Secretary of State, all of them, are willing apparently to dishonor themselves and this country for the cheap prospect of getting reelected…willing to cover up and lie. The worst thing is the very people who are supposed to protect the American people with the truth – the leading mainstream media…they have become a threat, a fundamental threat to American democracy and the enemies of the American people… these people have no honor… coverup is too nice of a word…” Continue Reading
Yeah, as weird as the above video. This piece of repulsive tripe is the work of the advertising agency, believe it or not, that came up with the Got Milk? ad campaign. Go here to the Daily Caller for the details. Obama is losing this election primarily because of the lousy economy, but it doesn’t help him that a fair number of his more ardent supporters are so disconnected from reality that they think having kids sing about what a lousy future they will have under President Romney, and blaming their parents for it, will help Obama. The normal reaction of course is to view this as a creepy attempt to enlist kids in the political battles of their parents and to feel sorry for the kids being used as pawns. This video is of course merely the flip side of the video below when Obama was running the first time: Continue Reading
Thank the Good Lord I am not a politician. If I were running for office, what I am about to write would undoubtedly cause me to plummet in the polls and induce a heart attack for my campaign manager. It is up to us – bloggers, polemicists, wags, editorialists, etc. – to say plainly and boldly what politicians cannot say. By now hundreds if not thousands of us on the pro-life side of the spectrum have weighed in on the mountain that the Obama campaign and the leftist media have made out of the molehill of the “rape exception” that many self-identified pro-lifers hold. FYI: it is a molehill not because rape is no big deal, but because less than 1% of abortions are performed on rape babies. I don’t know if what I have to say will be different from what you have read, but I’m about to douse this issue in gasoline and light a match, so check yourselves now.
… is an unintended presidency.
Tyrone Woods and Greg Doherty were authentic American heroes. Both former Navy Seals, they fought to the last in defense of the Benghazi consulate, manning a machine gun at the CIA annex. Despite three separate orders telling them not to do so, Woods and Doherty went to the consulate after the attack began, and saved the lives of 20 embassy personnel, bringing them to the CIA annex. They defended the CIA annex, holding it while the 20 people they rescued were evacuated. They were in constant contact with higher-ups at the CIA, requesting military aid. They fought heroically for six hours and twenty minutes against an estimated 200 heavily armed attackers from the time of the beginning of the attack on the consulate, killing an estimated sixty of their foes.
They were both killed by a mortar round at the six-hour and twenty-minute mark. General David Petraeus, head of the CIA, has denied that it was the CIA that vetoed an attempted military rescue of Woods and Doherty.
CIA spokesperson Jennifer Youngblood said, “We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”
Investors Business Daily, in a blistering editorial asks the question: who was responsible?
More than six hours after terrorists attacked our consulate, former Navy SEALs manned a blood-soaked machine gun to defend U.S. territory. Meanwhile Apache helicopters sat on the ground in Italy.
At 4 a.m. local time on Sept. 11 — six hours and 20 minutes after the initial attack began — former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at the CIA annex not far from the consulate by a mortar shell. The machine gun they were firing was encrusted with blood, an indication they continued to fight after being wounded.
During that eternity, Woods and Doherty might have wondered between gunfire and explosions where the military, with bases strewn across Europe, was. U.S. forces were indeed being moved like chess pieces as the attack unfolded, but none came to their aid because no one gave the order.
President Obama, perhaps preoccupied with his upcoming Las Vegas fundraiser, met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at 5 p.m. ET, a little more than an hour after the onset of the attack.
He could have given the order but did not, even after an email, in which the al-Qaida-tied group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility, arrived at 6:07 p.m. ET to a distribution list that included the White House Situation Room.
A Special Operations force went from central Europe to Naval Air Station Sigonella in southern Italy, just 480 miles from Benghazi. F-16s and Apache helicopters remained parked and unused at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy. Two Navy destroyers already in the Mediterranean Sea were moved off the coast of Libya on the day of the attack but were never used.
The question is: Why not? Continue Reading
Something for the weekend. Grant, Grant, Grant the campaign song for Ulysses S. Grant when he ran for President in 1868. Unsurprisingly Civil War themes were hit hard, along with Republican rage against what they perceived as the soft Reconstruction that Andrew Johnson attempted to give to the South. The song is sung to the tune of Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching!, (Originially entitled Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (The Prisoner’s Hope) which would have had huge emotional connotations in the North as that song was written in 1864 to give hope in ultimate liberation to Union POWs. Continue Reading
Absolutely no one has a better nuts and bolts knowledge, down to the precinct level, than Michael Barone. He is not a partisan but a technical analyst. I was somewhat surprised therefore when last night on Hannity he unhesistatingly predicted a Romney win. Go here to Ed Driscoll to view the video. This will have an impact on the political professionals viewing the race.
Observers from the UN, allied with Leftist groups in the US, are planning to send observers to monitor our elections to ensure that there is no “voter suppression”:
United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy 44 observers from its human rights office around the country on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places. It’s part of a broader observation mission that will send out an additional 80 to 90 members of parliament from nearly 30 countries.
The Lone Star State is having none of it:
Ambassador Daan Everts
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
UI. Miodowa 10 00-251 Warsaw, Poland
Dear Ambassador Everts:
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will reportedly dispatch election observers to the State of Texas to monitor the November 2012 general election. While it remains unclear exactly what your monitoring is intended to achieve, or precisely what tactics you will use to achieve the proposed monitoring, OSCE has stated publicly that it will visit polling stations on Election Day as part of its monitoring plan.
In April, you reportedly met with a group of organizations that have filed lawsuits challenging election integrity laws enacted by the Texas Legislature. One of those organizations, Project Vote, is closely affiliated with ACORN, which collapsed in disgrace after its role in a widespread voter-registration fraud scheme was uncovered. In September, a federal appeals court rejected Project Vote’s challenge to the State’s voter-registration regulations and allowed Texas to continue enforcing laws that were enacted to protect the integrity of the voter-registration process.
According to a letter that Project Vote and other organizations sent to you, OSCE has identified Voter ID laws as a barrier to the right to vote. That letter urged OSCE to monitor states that have taken steps to protect ballot integrity by enacting Voter ID laws. The OSCE may be entitled to its opinions about Voter ID laws, but your opinion is legally irrelevant in the United States, where the Supreme Court has already determined that Voter ID laws are constitutional.
If OSCE members want to learn more about our election processes so they can improve their own democratic systems, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the measures Texas has implemented to protect the integrity of elections. However, groups and individuals from outside the United States are not allowed to influence or interfere with the election process in Texas. This State has robust election laws that were carefully crafted to protect the integrity of our election system. All persons—including persons connected with OSCE—are required to comply with these laws.
Elections and election observation are regulated by state law. The Texas Election Code governs anyone who participates in Texas elections—including representatives of the OSCE. The OSCE’s representatives are not authorized by Texas law to enter a polling place. It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance. Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law.
Attorney General of Texas Continue Reading
The fourteenth in my ongoing series examining the poetry of Rudyard Kipling. The other posts in the series may be read here, here , here , here, here , here, here, here, here , here, here, here and here. Certain themes recurred in many of Kipling’s poems: a fascination with mechanical devices, strong British patriotism and a puckish sense of humor. All three of these themes were on display in the poem Brown Bess written in 1911 and which was part of the School History of England authored by Kipling and C.R.L. Fletcher . The poem was a paean to the British Land Pattern Musket, affectionately know by the Redcoats as Brown Bess. Brown Bess was the standard English long gun from 1722-1838, an astounding length of service for those who live in a time of ceaseless and rapid technological change.
The video at the beginning of this post is taken from Sharpe’s Eagle and depicts the battle of Talavera. It illustrates the impact of massed British volleys of Brown Bess musket fire on French columns. (The redcoats are armed with muskets; Sharpe and his green jacketed men are armed with rifles.) The British Army was a curious thing during the period of Brown Bess. The men were almost entirely desperately poor, poverty being the main inducement to don the Red Coat, service in the Army with its low pay, harsh discipline and danger being highly unpopular. The officers tended to be aristocratic wastrels who purchased their commissions and were often regarded by their families as dunderheads fit only for gunpowder. However, from this unpromising material was created the finest army in the world. This was largely a function of ferocious discipline, constant training in drill and volley firing, good career noncoms, a few brilliant generals like Amherst and Wellington, and extreme combativeness and courage, amply displayed both by the common soldiers and the aristocrats who led them.
Kipling’s poem was based upon the device of treating the Brown Bess musket as if she was a fashionable belle of society. Kipling told his father, ‘A conceit somewhat elaborately beaten out but it amused me in the doing – sign that may be t’will amuse other folks to read.’ Here is the text of the poem: Continue Reading
The ridiculous piece of tripe above is not by some wacked out group supporting Obama. It is an official Obama campaign video. I guess the next step will be to have live sex acts in an Obama campaign video. I say that tongue in cheek, but with this gang, who knows?
Most losing political campaigns tend to give off a reek of desperation as election day approaches. We see this in a Rolling Stones interview given by Obama on October 11, and published today where he refers to Romney as a bullsh—-r. One of the advantages of being an incumbent President in a race for the Presidency is the dignity that high office tends to bestow upon even the most unworthy of occupants. Obama has decided to eschew this advantage in a desperate, pathetic (?), attempt to drive up the youth vote.
Rick Wilson at Richochet has some thoughts on the Obma campaign as a losing and increasingly desperate campaign:
The aura of a losing campaign is unique, and Ross Douthat pegged it today:
Losing campaigns have a certain feel to them: They go negative hard, try out new messaging very late in the game, hype issues that only their core supporters are focused on, and try to turn non-gaffes and minor slip-ups by their opponents into massive, election-turning scandals.
Obama senses it, but can’t quite believe it. He seems confused by how easily Romney started punching over his weight class on October 3rd. He seems surprised that the last two debates didn’t drop Governor Romney’s numbers like a rock. He’s frustrated that Romney is a happy warrior now, and it shows. He’s visibly irritable because all the press hits and ads and field work … and so, so much money … haven’t reduced Mitt Romney to dust.
After spending nearly a billion dollars last cycle, and what will be more than a billion this time, Obama must sense the palpably declining political utility of his most familiar tools.
For months, according to Team Obama, there was no path for a Romney victory. The Blue Wall states were immutable, the swing states were susceptible to his women-and-seniors-and-immigrants-and-students mojo. Everything that worked in 2008 would work now. Everything in the hard-hitting Chicago political tool box would be deployed, and by the end Mitt Romney would want to be in the Witness Protection Program.
But now, as the President’s options have narrowed and as the weight of Obama’s failures from the economy to the Libya fiasco come crashing down on his campaign, I’m feeling increasingly optimistic that we’ve passed an inflection point in the campaign where Obama’s familiar tools can’t help him pull off a miracle.
Obama was the candidate of the inevitable, unbeatable wave, not of the grind-it-out, cut-and-thrust of a motivated, funded, and determined GOP and conservative base. Unlike McCain, Mitt Romney’s team won’t get hit and stand there with their jaws hanging down at the ungentlemanly conduct of the other side.
The daily polling — beyond just the head-to-head numbers — shows GOP intensity solidifying, Romney’s favorables growing, and the battleground states becoming smaller in number. There aren’t any swing states showing significant movement away from Romney, but a number are moving to him. Yes, we still need to pick the electoral lock by driving wins in some combination of Ohio, Colorado, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Virginia, but I’d rather be in our shoes than Obama’s. Continue Reading
While on this side of the pond the nation’s bishops are waging battle against the government’s incursions upon religious freedom, an interesting battle is unfolding on the other side of the pond in Great Britain.
It seems that Susanne and Mike Wilkinson who own Uf Dorf Wilkinson—a Swiss country B&B located in Cookham, Berkshire, which also serves as the couple’s home—believe the precepts of their Christian faith trump the law of the land. In this instance, that precept concerns the sanctity of marriage and the law is the Britain’s Equality Act Regulations of 2007, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when providing goods, facilities, services, education, and other public functions.
According to the UK Daily Mail, Mrs. Wilkinson told Michael Black and his partner John Morgan in March 2010 that they couldn’t sleep in a double bed at Uf Dorf. That allegedly “discriminatory” judgment led to a lawsuit that Black and Morgan have won, with the judge requiring Mrs. Wilkinson to pay Black and Morgan £3,600 in compensatory damages on the grounds of “hurt feelings.”
Responding to the judgment, Mrs. Wilkinson to the Daily Mail:
Naturally, my husband and I are disappointed to have lost the case and to have been ordered to pay £3,600 in damages for injury to feelings. We have the option to appeal, and we will give that serious consideration.
We believe a person should be free to act upon their sincere beliefs about marriage under their own roof without living in fear of the law. Equality laws have gone too far when they start to intrude into a family home.
People’s beliefs about marriage are coming under increasing attack, and I am concerned about people’s freedom to speak and act upon these beliefs. I am a Christian, not just on a Sunday in church, but in every area of my life – as Jesus expects from his followers.
That’s all I was trying to do and I think it’s quite wrong to punish me for that, especially after enduring over two years of vile abuse and threats.
In court, Mrs. Wilkinson explained to the judge that she was serious about her Christian beliefs regarding the sanctity of marriage and wasn’t discriminating because Black and Morgan are homosexual. Mrs. Wilkinson explained that she also doesn’t allow unmarried heterosexual couples to share a double bed at Uf Dorf.
That would make Mrs. Wilkinson consistent in her intolerance or, put in another way, consistent in bringing her faith into her workplace.
Mrs. Wilkinson put her finger squarely on the truth when she observed: “We find this a strange justice in a society that aspires to be increasingly tolerant.”
In the UK, it may very well be the case that the principle of “tolerance” doesn’t extent to being tolerant of traditional Christian teaching about the sanctity of marriage.
Is this a “coming attraction” of what’s soon to transpire in the United States?
To read the UK Daily Mail article, click on the following link:
Paul Ryan gave a major address yesterday in Cleveland. Go here to watch it on C-Span. In this speech he argues that the Government efforts to alleviate poverty have been a flat failure, destructive to the family and increasing government dependcy. He points to welfare reform of the 1990s as a model of how Government can truly help to alleviate poverty by encouraging work and independence.
He notes that Government often abuses power as it expands its scope:
Nothing undermines the essential and honorable work these groups do quite like the abuse of government power. Take what happened this past January, when the Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules requiring Catholic hospitals, charities and universities to violate their deepest principles. Never mind your own conscience, they were basically told – from now on you’re going to do things the government’s way.
This mandate isn’t just a threat to religious charities. It’s a threat to all those who turn to them in times of need. In the name of strengthening our safety net, this mandate and others will weaken it.
The good news? When Mitt Romney is president, this mandate will be gone, and these groups will be able to continue the good work they do.
It is a fascinating speech and indicates that Ryan has thought deeply about the role of Government in helping people escape poverty and is willing to lead the fight to implement the reforms necessary to alter the path we are on to national bankruptcy and ever increasing poverty. Here is the text of the speech: Continue Reading
We are in God’s hand, brother, not in theirs.
King Henry V
The anniversary of the long ago battle of Saint Crispin’s Day gives us yet another opportunity to recall the immortal “Band of Borthers Speech” that Shakespeare put into the mouth of Henry V, a speech that could put fight into a dog dead three days, or, mirabile dictu, even a live Congress Critter:
WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!
KING. What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day. Continue Reading
Clint Eastwood reminds us that a second Obama administration would be a rerun of the first, and I suspect that would be a best case analysis. Here is the immortal video of Clint “Eastwooding” an empty chair at the Republican Convention, and I think an empty chair is a perfect symbol for Obama: Continue Reading
Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is in trouble. When talking about his opposition to abortion and whether he believes that there should be an exception in the case of rape, he had this to say:
“I know there are some who disagree, and I respect their point of view, but I believe that life begins at conception,” the tea party-backed Mourdock said. “The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother.
“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said, appearing to choke back tears. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
There have been hysterics from the usual quarters, and Mitt Romney has even had to distance himself from the remarks. Pro-life candidate for governor, Mike Pence, even called on Mourdock to apologize.
Apologize for what?
Mourdock’s phrasing was awkward in that it he could be interpreted as saying that the rape itself was God’s will. Clearly Mourdock is referring to the pregnancy. Therefore what Mourdock is relating here is the true pro-life position. It’s nowhere near as bad as Todd Akin’s legitimate rape comments, and therefore those trying to make hay out of these comments are simply being disingenuous.
I was irked by something that Drew M at Ace of Spades said on this topic. Even though Drew thinks the backlash is unwarranted, he had this to say about Mourdock’s position:
I think Mourdock’s position is appalling (not his thoughts on God’s unknowable plans but the idea a rape victim should be forced to carry the pregnancy to term)
Normally I agree with Drew, but how can one find Mourdock’s position appalling, especially if one is otherwise generally pro-life? I can understand why people take the pro-life with exceptions position, and I would definitely accept a political compromise that prohibited abortion in all cases except rape, incest and where the life of the mother is at risk (though I think the practical application of such a law would be fraught with difficulties, but that’s for another discussion). And while I certainly don’t want to distance myself from people who are with me 99% of the way on an issue that is of the utmost importance, the pro-life with exceptions stance is logically untenable.
If you are pro-life it is because you presumably believe that life begins at conception. So if you advocate for the prohibition of abortion while simultaneously allowing exceptions, are you saying that the lives of those conceived via rape are somehow not fully human? Does the means of conception somehow instill greater value in certain forms of human life than others? If you are pro-life “except for rape,” what you’re basically saying is that abortion is murder and unacceptable, but murdering a child conceived in rape is somehow permissible. Well why should the method of conception matter?
In truth I understand why people are reluctant to commit to a 100 percent pro-life position. It is uncomfortable arguing that a woman who has experienced a brutal crime should then be forced to keep her child – a child that is a result of no choice of her own, and which could compound the trauma of what she has gone through. But by doing so, you are allowing sentiment to override reason.
The “with exceptions” pro lifers concern me because I wonder if they have fully thought through their positions. It is why polls that show a majority of Americans now turning towards a pro-life position are not necessarily cause for rejoicing quite yet. Again, I do not want to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak, and in no way would I want to turn these people away from the pro-life movement completely. Yet I think the instant revulsion to the sentiments expressed by Mourdock on the part of even some pro-lifers is worrisome.
One of the things which the candidates sparred over repeatedly in the debates was Romney’s tax plan, on which Obama has repeatedly charged “the math doesn’t work”.
Romney’s plan, as it has been presented, is to reduce tax rates by 20%. Thus, for example, the top rate would go down from the current 35% to 28%. Deductions and credits would then be reduced such that while the middle class would experience a net tax decrease, those at the top would continue to pay the same amount in taxes as they do now. Romney suggested how this might be done in the first debate:
[W]hat are the various ways we could bring down deductions, for instance? One way, for instance, would be to have a single number. Make up a number, $25,000, $50,000. Anybody can have deductions up to that amount. And then that number disappears for high-income people. That’s one way one could do it.
The idea here would be that for a family making, say 60k/yr that currently takes a total of $15k in deductions, the deductions would remain untouched while their rate would go down, resulting in lower net taxes. For a family making $400k/yr that currently takes $70k in deductions, their deductions would be capped at $25k but their tax rate would be lower, so they would pay about the same as they do now.
One of the tools that some Obama supporters have been utilizing in their quest to give Obama another four years to transform the country in his image is the raw sewage of religious bigotry. Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of Mother Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, has their number:
If the desperation of the left is any indication, the 2012 election of Mitt Romney to the US presidency has the same air of inevitability that Barack Obama’s election had four years ago:
I was on a conference call yesterday regarding intelligence gathered from a highly placed source that liberal Obama surrogates are planning to target Evangelical mega-church parking lots with bigoted anti-Mormon flyers the final weekend before the election in key battleground states like Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Mega-church pastors are being notified to have parking lot attendants be on the lookout for such a lit drop. But please forward this post to all pastors of both Protestant and Catholic churches, particularly in battleground states.
The GOP’s all-important social conservatives may be getting more comfortable with Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith – but liberals are increasingly wary about the candidate’s religion in the run-up to November, according to a new study.
The study found anti-Mormon attitudes have increased since Romney’s 2008 presidential bid and are highest among liberal and non-religious voters….
The study found attitudes about Mormonism among Evangelicals has largely remained unchanged since 2007 – when 37% said they were “less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate for president,” compared with 33% this year.
However, that sentiment among non-religious voters increased from 21% to 41% over roughly the same period.
Among liberal voters, 43% said they were less likely to vote for a Mormon presidential candidate in 2012, compared with 28% in 2007.
In the political season we are engaging in currently, with its frequently petty back and forth, it is easy, all too easy, to lose sight of the great principles on which this country was founded. As a reminder we turn to a speech by Patrick Henry.
A fine video is at the beginning of this post on the great “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death Speech” of Patrick Henry delivered in the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775. It is a remarkable speech, made even more remarkable when we consider that Patrick Henry was in deep mourning for his beloved wife Sarah who, after years of fighting a losing battle with mental illness, had died in February of 1775. ( Henry refused to have her committed, against the advice of his physician, to the appalling insane asylums of his day, one he inspected would have had his wife chained to a wall, and cared for her at home, bathing her, dressing her and keeping her from harming herself.)
Henry was perhaps the greatest American orator in a time of great American oratory. It was said of him that cold print did not do justice to the passions he roused in his listeners with his speeches. American school children used to memorize passages from this speech, a custom I hope is revived, because his speech goes to the core of what it means to be an American. Here is the text of his speech, as it has been reconstructed, as no manuscript of it survives and our text is based on the recollections of men who heard it: Continue Reading
Jeff Goldstein left this comment on his own blog.
The wife and I reversed course and did in fact pull the trigger for Romney. But only as a stop gap to get Obama out.
Having voted for him, I now own part of him, should he win. And I’m going to be a very very very strict owner.
Beyond that, though, I think whatever the outcome of this election, the GOP establishment and the conservative / classical liberal / TEA Party base are going to engage in a huge existential battle. And I think the GOP is either going to have to get in line with us or head over to the Democrat side. Which won’t be terrible, because it’ll dilute the hard left with a lot of moderate mushiness and move it more toward the Democratic party of, say, JFK.
I agree with those of you who say enough is enough, and no more lesser of two evils. And I don’t begrudge you voting libertarian or writing someone else in. I really don’t. I just feel like we can not afford 4 more years of this guy without bringing the whole thing crashing down. And with two small kids, that literally terrifies me. In my state, every vote counts.
But it will be moot if we don’t also take the Senate and the House, and not with establicans, either. Any GOP office holder who has pimped for a Democrat instead of a TEA Party challenger should be primaried and cast out, whatever his or her voting record. There cannot be a permanent ruling class. And it’s time these entitled suited monkeys learned that.
We also need to change leadership — at least in the House. I think McConnell will, confronted with the reality of a bunch of new conservative / TEA Party Senators (should we get them; the GOP isn’t too terribly concerned with helping most of the serious ones, many of whom are in tight races), act in the interests of that particular trend. Boehner, on the other hand, needs to go. As does Cantor. Period. Full stop.
To me, it’s completely unacceptable that the GOP is allowing the Dems to beat up on Bachmann, King, and West — along with a number of very good constitutional conservative Senate candidates.
And that needs to be made clear as well, forcefully, once this election is over.
As I type this I am watching the third party debate on CSPAN. Yes, I am watching more of this than I did the debate that took place between Obama and Romney last night. Here’s the thing. While it’s nice to say that you are going to vote third party in protest, the people who are actually running for president on third party tickets are, shall we say, less than serious. Jay Anderson’s friend Virgil Goode seems like a decent man and the one third party candidate who is tethered to reality. On the other hand, the rest of the people on the stage seem more interested in vital issues like ending drug prohibition and combating climate change. Gary Johnson is under the impression that when he’s inaugurated he will wipe out the income tax and balance the budget, evidently as unicorns and mermaids dance around the maypole. The candidate of the Justice Party, Rocky Anderson, seems like he has gotten a head start on the end of prohibition. And then there’s Jill Stein of the Green Party, who makes one long for the seriousness of the Nader campaign.
All of the candidates for president – those polling in the 40s and those polling in the .40s alike – are simply not attractive. As is almost always the case we have to choose the least bad candidate. The least bad candidate of this election cycle happens to be Mitt Romney. It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but when the available protest candidates are even more revolting than the primary candidates (and my only options in this state are Johnson and Stein), then there is little choice.
That being said, I think that Goldstein’s points are going to be worth keeping in mind. Assuming that Mitt Romney is elected as the next president of the United States – and I believe he will be – that is but the first stage in what is going to be a long battle not just between Republicans and Democrats, but between Republicans and Republicans as well. (And presumably there will be the same serious soul searching internally for the Democrats.) But that’s a post for another time.
As for now, I’m going to watch Larry King do a better job moderating the clown debate than anyone who moderated the “real” debates.
Some 20 years ago as I was finishing graduate school, I worked for a polling company. It was longer than I wanted to but it gave me some valuable insights on that business before I moved into the line of work that I wanted. I got to know the man who ran the company; he ran polls for national and international companies and occasionally dabbled into political polling. He was meticulous and it became very clear that this job was his life. Now I don’t know his politics but I would guess that he was left of center, at least on social issues. However, he was nearly fanatical about being impartial and getting the true response. Some twenty years later, all of this helps me to understand how political polling works, and believe me it is very difficult. In other words, if political polling isn’t done exactly right it becomes a terrible slanted mess.
Here’s how live polling works. Automated computer dialers call randomly generated phone numbers, which are often are disconnected, faxes and or not in service. In a four hour shift you would be lucky to get 8-10 complete surveys per poll taker in a hotly contested political race. Now mind you that was 20 years before cell phones, my understanding is that now because of cell phones and caller id many polling agencies are using brief computer automated voices to ask questions. Most polling agencies have given up on live survey results on such things as your favorite bar of soup, breakfast cereal, shoe company etc. Believe me there were nights that we would put in a four hour shift and call over 150 people and get one or two complete surveys concerning your favorite shampoo.
When it comes to political polling my old boss (who is a Ph.D and widely respected across the country) would fret about the way we ask each question, our tone and our attitude. He would drill into us that he needed unbiased surveys for his clients. He would remind us, and this is very important in today’s world, that conservative oriented people don’t like polling as much as liberals because liberals believe in proselytizing their views while conservatives feel their views are a reflection of their values, as well as their cultural and religious upbringing. This is why liberals tend to be oversampled in polling. By and large they don’t hang up on pollsters and surveys because they view it as their duty and mission to get the word out. Again, my boss was not a conservative and he could see this 20 years ago. Continue Reading
I have to give the Republican National Committee credit this year when it comes to being quick off the dime in producing web videos. The above was put out immediately in the aftermath of the debate contrasting the calm demeanor of Romney from the somewhat frenetic and combative stance of Obama. This clip was typical of the entire debate:
The world came very close to nuclear war half a century back. The above video is of the speech that President Kennedy gave fifty years ago on October 22, 1962. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in placing nuclear missiles in Cuba brought the world to the brink. The crisis was ultimately resolved by the removal of the Soviet missiles in exchange for two agreements between the US and the Soviet Union: 1. No invasion of Cuba by the US; and 2. The removal of obsolete American Jupiter nuclear missiles from Turkey and Southern Italy. Unsurprisingly the US kept secret the removal of the Jupiter missiles. Surprisingly the Soviets also kept mum about the removal of the Jupiter missiles which led to the perception abroad and within the Soviet Union that Khrushchev had lost his confrontation with Kennedy, and paved the way for the Central Committee coup led by Leonid Brezhnev which toppled Khrushchev from power in October 1964. Here is the text of the speech: Continue Reading
And what an interesting history, up till this night, the debates have written in this election contest. In the first debate a lifeless Obama and an energized Romney turned the election on its head with Romney taking the lead from Obama. The second debate saw an aggressive Obama, full of sound and fury but ultimately signifying little as Romney turned in a very good performance and Obama gained bupkis from his efforts in the polls. Here are my thoughts on the third and final debate.
1. Libya Missed Opportunity-Libya was the first question out of the box and Romney didn’t attempt to lay a glove on Obama. Mistake.
2. I Am Not a Hawk- Romney went out of his way throughout the debate to refute Obama’s argument that he is a hawk. My guess is that is correct. If Romney is left to his own devices I believe he would be tightly focused on getting the American economy moving. Unfortunately American presidents often are not allowed to engage in “of the world forgetting and by the world forgot”, as 9-11 demonstrated.
3. Lacklustre-Of all the debates I found this one the most dreary. I think both Obama and Romney were repeating talking points from previous debates and the entire debate had a “been there, done that” feel.
4. Obama on the Attack-Like most candidates who are behind, Obama was on the attack all night. It would have been much more effective if he had not also been sneeringly condescending while doing so.
5. Hollow Military-Romney effectively challenged the reductions in military strength that have been the hallmark of the Obama record on defense. Continue Reading
We’re in the home stretch now as we look at the final set of Senate races. Each of these contests are either complete tossups or utter blowouts.
Pennsylvania – Republican: Tom Smith. Democrat: Bob Casey (Incumbent).
This race had flown under the radar as it appeared that Casey was cruising to re-election. Smith started gaining momentum at a time when nearly every other Republican was losing it, and he has now narrowed the gap. Even when Casey was well ahead he was failing to poll at the magical 50% number. Casey’s problem is representative of the shift in the Pennsylvania Democratic party. While his father was a true social conservative, and therefore a good fit for the state, the younger Casey pays only lip service to abortion and other issues. I think that Casey will survive, but only barely, and for just one more term. Prediction: Democrat hold.
Rhode Island – Republican: Barry Hinckley. Democrat: Sheldon Whitehouse (Incumbent).
A Republican polling firm has this race in single digits. Until I see other polls showing it that close, it still looks to be a pretty safe seat for Whitehouse. Prediction: Democrat hold.
Tennessee – Republican: Bob Corker (Incumbent). Democrat: Mark Clayton.
Corker was just about the only Republican to win a close election in 2006. He won’t have to sweat this time. Prediction: Republican hold.
Texas (open R) – Republican: Ted Cruz. Democrat: Paul Sadler.
Democrats in Texas must feel like Republicans in New York and California. One would think in a state as big as Texas, as Republican-dominated as it is, Democrats would be able to field a semi-competitive candidate. As it is, the real election occurred over the summer when Cruz upset the state’s Lieutenant Governor in a primary runoff. The only question about this contest is how big Cruz’s margin of victory will be. Prediction: Republican hold.
Utah – Republican: Orrin Hatch (Incumbent). Democrat: Scott Howell.
For once Orrin Hatch had to battle for re-election, but it wasn’t the general election that he had to worry about. Hatch was able to avoid the fate of his former colleague, Bob Bennett, and successfully fended off a tea party challenge for the nomination. Hatch had a little more conservative credibility than Bennett, obtaining the support of figures like Mark Levin. Having won re-nomination, Hatch will cruise in the general. Prediction: Republican hold.
Vermont – Republican: John MacGover. Independent: Bernie Sanders (Incumbent).
If there is a silver lining for Republicans, it is that this will continue to be technically a non-Democrat seat. Yeah, I’m stretching. Prediction: Independent hold.
Virginia (open D) – Republican: George Allen. Democrat: Tim Kaine.
In a year of tossups, this might be the tossiest-up of them all. Allen is running to regain the seat that he macaca’d himself out of six years ago. Allen has done better than he did during the last campaign, when he spent the better part of the Fall running negative ads against Jim Webb in a desperate effort to deflect attention away from his macaca moment. The 2006 election was one where partisans on both sides wished both candidates would just go away. Now, in an election pitting two former, relatively popular governors, once again it seems there is surprisingly little enthusiasm. At times it appears that both candidates are kind of going through the motions to win a seat neither really desperately wants, but feel compelled to run for out of some sense of party loyalty. It is truly a strange dynamic, and the voters have expressed their own confusion by failing to break for either candidate. It’s almost impossible to pick a winner, but I’ll go with Allen to win back the seat. No matter who wins, I sense that this will be an open-seat contest again in 2018. Prediction: Republican pickup.
Washington – Republican: Michael Baumgartner. Democrat: Maria Cantwell (Incumbent).
Another seat that the Republicans had some hopes for at the beginning of the year, but this was never a race. Prediction: Democrat hold.
West Virginia – Republican: John Raese. Democrat: Joe Manchin (Democrat).
Manchin has done a masterful job of persuading Mountaineers that he’s a rogue independent while siding with his party when it really matters. Prediction: Democrat hold.
Wisconsin (open D) – Republican: Tommy Thompson. Democrat: Tammy Baldwin.
This race has followed a path unlike most of the others. When former governor Tommy Thompson won the nomination this seemed like a prime Republican pickup opportunity, and Thompson did hold a double digit lead over the summer. Baldwin received a nice post-convention bounce, and she and Thompson have swapped leads it seems with every other poll. Thompson may have seemed like the safe choice for many Republicans in the state, but this is a case where the other candidate’s relative youth may be too much to overcome. Prediction: Democrat hold.
Wyoming – Republican: John Barrasso (Incumbent). Democrat: Tim Chestnut.
I don’t anticipate we’ll be up late waiting to hear a winner announced here. Prediction: Republican hold.
FINAL ANALYSIS: I have the Republicans picking up Florida, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Virginia, while losing Maine. That would be a net gain of five seats for the GOP, giving them a 52-48 majority (assuming the independents caucus with Democrats). I’m starting to rethink my Florida and Missouri calls, though I can see Ohio, Pennsylvania, and especially Wisconsin breaking in their favor (though Massachusetts can also swing the other way). Whatever the case may be, my most fearless prediction is this: we will know the identity of the next president much earlier in the evening on election night than we will which party will control the Senate.
With a Public Religion Research Institute poll indicating that 59% of Catholics nationwide support so-called “homosexual marriage” (52% of the general public supports the
notion), it shouldn’t prove surprising that the State of Washington’s Democrat-controlled legislature voted to legalize homosexual marriage earlier this year and the state’s Democrat-Catholic Governor, Christine Gregoire, quickly signed the measure into law.
Politically, it’s a “no brainer”! After all, even the majority of Catholics apparently support the notion.
However, opponents organized to submit a petition to bring the law to voters in November, thus blocking the law’s implementation until after the referendum takes place.
According to the Associated Press, a group of 63 former Catholic priests whose members back homosexual marriage in the State of Washington responded with a political jujutzu. The group challenged the state’s Catholic bishops who had lobbied against the law’s implementation, contending that the bishops’ efforts to defeat the law represented a threat to religious liberty. The former Catholic priests wrote in a statement:
We feel the bishops are abusing their power in attempting to direct Catholics on how to vote on this civil matter and impose their position on all citizens, Catholic and non-Catholic. (italics added)
The petition’s organization, Patrick Callahan, who was a Catholic priest for 15 years and continues to attend Catholic church, told Reuters:
Progressive-thinking Catholics need the reassurance that there is more than one authentic Catholic position. (italics added)
“Need the reassurance” that there’s more than one authentic Catholic position?
Did anyone teach these ex-priests logic when they were seminarians?
How can there be more than one authentic Catholic position?
Of course it’s not possible.
This isn’t about reassurance. It’s not about being logical. And it’s really not about Church teaching.
It’s all about how those 63 former Catholic priests “feel.” And that’s what they believe the foundation of Catholic teaching should rest upon.
Feeling not the Rock.
To read the Associated Press report:
Tying in with my co-blogger Dave Hartline’s post, which may be read here, my favorite living historian Victor Davis Hanson has a brilliant column today on the cynicism towards government that has justifiably grrown like Topsy during the period of Obama’s presidency:
Do you believe any more that some of our Secret Service agents — once the most esteemed of all professionals — on presidential assignment will not get drunk and womanize in their evening spare time? Do you believe that the grandees at the GSA — once the stern penny-pinchers that frowned when bureaucrats wanted a new bookcase — won’t flaunt the waste that they incur? Do you believe that the government will never sell assault rifles to drug lords? Or do you believe what the president, the secretary of state, and the director of national intelligence will say to us when the next embassy is hit? And do you believe that there were “shovel-ready jobs” and “millions of green jobs” that arose from the “stimulus”? And what is a “stimulus” anyway, but borrowed money, in the manner likewise of “investments”? Did any of you believe that Solyndra was the wave of the future?
We don’t even believe that a commission on presidential debates will ensure us unbiased moderators, or that the candidates will have equal time in speaking, or that the supposedly quiet crowd won’t boo or clap to affect the tempo of the exchange. From now on, will debate moderators bring preselected transcripts to the forum, wait for a key moment, interrupt one of the speakers, and then wave a piece of paper to proffer authority to contradict him — eliciting applause from the supposedly neutral and silent audience, and affirmation from the president? Do you believe First Lady Michelle Obama — of “never been proud/downright mean country” infamy — when she accuses Republicans on talking down the country?
Do you believe that the Department of Labor always assesses its data and offers disinterested conclusions? I don’t. I suspect partisan grandees, perhaps in California, will massage the data on the principle of the ends justifying the means. The same is true of Libya: the noble idea of a reset Middle East, appreciative of the unique heritage and ideology of Barack Obama and his bold attempt to reformulate America, was simply too precious to be imperiled by al-Qaedist thugs who hate us as much as ever and will kill until stopped.
I also never believed in a “war on the women” simply because mostly upper-class, liberal, highly educated white women seemed to be angry that Catholic institutions d0 not wish to include free abortion and contraceptive pills among their generous benefits packages. Did I miss something? Who were supposed to be oppressed, and how and why? Could Ms. Fluke — who addressed an audience of ten in Nevada this weekend — and her partner not split the cost of a pack of ten-dollar prophylactics? Are not more women graduating with BAs than are men? To the degree there is a gender crisis, I think it may be more young working-class men without college degrees who simply cannot find jobs in the muscular industries and for whom society apparently has little need. Is the “war on women” what the long road from suffrage to equal pay has come down to — a psychodrama of the most privileged generation in civilization’s history? So I simply do not believe that there is a war on anyone, much less women. To the degree there is a war, it is on fiscal responsibility, a war on paying bills and keeping solvent — something lost last week in more of binders, Big Bird, the war “in Iran,” Joe Biden’s continued gesticulations, and “Romnesia.” Continue Reading
1. Foreign Policy -This debate is about foreign policy. Normally Americans are only interested in foreign policy if we are at war or Americans are getting killed. This probably would have been the debate with miniscule ratings but for the excitement of the first two debates and the Benghazi attack. As it is I think viewership will be about as high as for the first two debates.
2. Things Fall Apart-The Obama foreign policy is beginning to resemble Yeats’ Second Coming:
You have used the phrase unraveling in describing Obama’s Middle East Policy. Hit that hard.
3. Libya-New revelations have come out that our ambassador was constantly calling for more security in Libya. Why didn’t he get it? Why were we relying on Libyan mercenaries for security instead of US Marines? The questions almost ask themselves.
4. Bob Schieffer-If he tries to pull a Candy Crowley and assist Obama, do not take any guff, but point it out. My guess he will not due to the negative flack that Crowley has gotten, but be prepared.
5. October Surprise-It looks like one of the October surprises will be direct negotiations between the US and Iran. Be prepared for Obama to make some sort of reference to it in the debate. Respond that you are always in favor of talking, but serious progress must be made and not a mere endless bout of hot air while Iran gets ever closer to nuclear weapons. Continue Reading
President Barack Obama’s debate performances could never equal the expectations of the secular faithful. Many on the far left envisioned an American society where religion was about as important to the populace and politically influential as it is in Sweden. The land of the midnight sun has been a great hope to liberals ever since religion began to erode there in the 1950s and abortion became commonplace in the 1960s. Governor Michael Dukakis famously poured over Sweden’s great Welfare state enterprise to see what he might learn, which of course led to his electoral demise in 1988.
With all of his rhetorical skills, President Obama could never make Americans have a come to Pierre Trudeau, Willy Brandt, Jose Luis Zapatero (pick your favorite Western Democratic Socialist) moment like many Americans have a Come to Jesus moment over failings in their lives. Instead of realizing that not everyone can be suckered into buying Big Government swampland, the Left has taken their frustrations out on the President. If only he were talking more about rising and falling oceans and making them believe we are the ones we have been waiting for; the Left attacks the messenger and not the message.
Frank Rich, the New York Times columnist laments about this in a long New York magazine article. The writer for the Old Gray Lady states the Americans are somehow too dumb to become like Europeans and surrender their lives to government and not God. He sees little hope and concludes the Tea Party will always prevail in the American persona rather than government control. Talk about a brain trust, can you imagine the anti-religious nuggets thrown around the water cooler when Bill Keller, the former New York Times editor was present. You may recall Keller infamously dubbed himself a “Collapsed Catholic,” fortunately reported to us by former Newsweek Religion Editor Kenneth Woodward, who is not Catholic and hardly a friend of conservatives, but a principled man who couldn’t take any more of the Times’ hypocrisy directed at the Church. I would strongly suggest you read this The New York magazine article for if conservatives mouthed these same thoughts about minorities instead of suburbanites and rural residents, we would be blacklisted.
In my just released book, The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn, I note how the Left turned on Al Smith (the first Catholic standard bearer) after he formed the Liberty League in the mid and late 1930s and told Americans he could no longer support President Roosevelt. This startling development occurred after a number of questionable instances came to light including the Supreme Court Packing Case and the Roosevelt 1938 purge of Conservative Democrats. By 1940 unemployment was still at 14% and if had not been for World War II who knows how long unemployment would have remained in double digits. Continue Reading
Sandra Fluke, her 15 minutes of fame having elapsed, talked to ten people in Reno yesterday as part of the Obama campaign. Ten people? In my small town of Dwight, Illinois I could have over a hundred people assemble to hear a speaker with three hours advance notice. Give me a day’s advance notice and I could have over five hundred. Continue Reading
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon near present day Auriesville, New York . Her father was a Mohawk Chieftain and her mother was an Algonquin Catholic convert, initially a captive of the Mohawks, who eventually married Kateri’s father. During a smallpox epidemic between 1661-1663 tragedy struck her family, with smallpox killing her parents and her brother. Her face was scarred as a result of smallpox and her sight diminished. She was adopted by an uncle.
Converted by Jesuit missionaries, she joined the Church, despite opposition from her family, on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1676. Fleeing persecution among her people she moved to Kahnawake, a village established south of Montreal by Jesuits for native converts. There Kateri embarked upon a life of asceticism, although cautioned against going to extremes by her Jesuit friends. She impressed them by her piety and the goodness that seemed to shine forth from her. She died young on Wednesday in Holy Week on April 17, 1680. Her last words were “Jesus I love you”. Continue Reading
Dinesh D’Souza’a Obama 2016 is out on DVD. It has no special features, but I would recommend purchasing it if you didn’t see the movie. During its theatrical release earlier this year it earned a stunning 33,000,000 which is fantastic box office for a documentary. Here is my review which I originally posted on September 2 after seeing the film in a theater: Continue Reading
Henry Bergh did not find the climate of Russia agreeable. Vice Consul at the American legation in Saint Petersburg from 1862-1864, he resigned rather than face another Russian winter. Independently wealthy, Bergh did not need his diplomat’s salary and could have retired, he was 51 in 1864, to a life of leisure if he wished. Instead he embarked on a new career that in its own way was more trying even than a Russian winter.
After a world tour he returned to New York and embarked upon an uphill crusade on behalf of, using his phrase, the “mute servants of mankind”, the animals. In the 19th century it was not uncommon to see animals being treated in the most barbaric fashion: horses literally dying of overwork, their corpses being left in the streets; packs of wild dogs, living off offal and trash, roaming about cities and towns; cats hunted for sport, etc. To combat this inhumanity, on April 10, 1866 he founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
His efforts were initially met with widespread scorn and derision, but he persevered:
“Day after day I am in slaughterhouses, or lying in wait at midnight with a squad of police near some dog pit. Lifting a fallen horse to his feet, penetrating buildings where I inspect collars and saddles for raw flesh, then lecturing in public schools to children, and again to adult societies. Thus my whole life is spent.” Continue Reading
Go here to view a prophetic video from Saturday Night Live four years ago predicting just how crazy the Obama years have been. Note the dead on impersonation of our Beloved National Clown!
In the movie Patton, there is a somewhat eerie scene where Patton indicates why he knows that the Third Reich is on the ropes:
“I had a dream last night. In my dream it came to me…that right now the whole Nazi Reich is mine for the taking.” “You know how I’m sure they’re finished out there? The carts. They’re using carts to move their wounded and the supplies. The carts came to me in my dream. I couldn’t figure it out. Then I remembered. . . . .that nightmare in the snow. The agonizing retreat from Moscow. How cold it was. They threw the wounded and what was left of the supplies in the carts. Napoleon was finished. Not any color left. Not even the red of blood. Only the snow.”
You know that a Democrat campaign is on the ropes when the focus is placed on abortion. Democrats, at least most of them, aren’t idiots. They understand that focusing on abortion is going to hurt them as much as it helps them, and, in most states, probably hurt them more. However, when a Democrat campaign is headed south abortion is often invoked in an attempt to rally the true believers in the right to slay their offspring. It is a sign of desperation. Yesterday, Obama had the head of Worse Than Murder, Inc, aka Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards introduce him at a rally in Virginia.
She also cut this video for Obama that was released yesterday: Continue Reading
Something for the weekend. The Ballad of Roger Young. Born on April 28, 1918 in Tiffin, Ohio, Rodger Young had a happy childhood until in a basketball game in high school he received a head injury which affected his hearing and his eyesight. He dropped out of high school in his sophomore year because he could not hear the teachers and could not see the blackboards.
A small man physically, along with his hearing and eyesight problems, Young would have seemed to have been totally unsuited to be a soldier. Nevertheless, Young joined the National Guard in Ohio in 1938. He made a good soldier and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was assigned to Company B of the 148th Infantry Regiment. With the coming of World War II his regiment was assigned to fight on New Georgia.
Shortly before his unit arrived in New Georgia Young took a voluntary demotion to private. He was by now almost completely deaf and his eyesight was worse and he didn’t think under these conditions he could perform the duties of a squad leader. With these disabilities his commanding officer wanted to send Young to the hospital. Young pleaded his case to remain with his unit with such passion, that he was allowed to stay with Company B.
A week after his unit landed in New Georgia, Young was part of a 20 man patrol near Munda that ran into a Japanese ambush. What he did next earned Young the Medal of Honor and cost him his life. Here is the text of his Medal of Honor citation: Continue Reading
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Outraged victims and the families of the slain of the murderous rampage of Major Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood in 2009 have created the above video attacking the Obama’s administration’s denial that this was a blatant act of terrorism and labeling it work place violence.
They point out that the accused shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, consulted by email with top al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki about whether an attack against American soldiers was justified to “protect our brothers.” Until his death in an airstrike in 2011, Yemen-based Awlaki was considered one of the United States’ top enemies.