Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

Monday, September 20, AD 2010

I assume that only deaf and blind individuals in this country are unaware that GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell said on the execrable Bill Maher’s show Politically Incorrect in 1999 that as a young woman she dabbled in witchcraft.  What brought this up is that O’Donnell on the show was criticizing self-proclaimed witches and made this comment to demonstrate that she had personal experience of what she was attacking.  Her appearances on Maher’ s show were to serve as the token Christian conservative who Maher could attack.   As this essay on chastity which she wrote in 1998 indicates, O’Donnell was doing far more than making guest appearances at this time on Maher’s show, and I interpret her agreement to be on Maher’s show as an attempt to get her message across in an unfriendly venue.  She is making light of the whole stupid issue which I think is the right tack to take.

Less well known is that her opponent Chris Coons wrote an article when he was 21 for the Amherst student newspaper entitled The Making of a Bearded Marxist in which he described how his college experiences transformed him from a conservative into a leftist.  (Son of a gun, I guess there are people foolish enough to fall for the low level political indoctrination that many campuses engage in in lieu of an education.)  What do I make of this statement of Coons?  Other than that 21 year olds are apt to make fairly foolish statements, certainly I did, nothing.

Continue reading...

33 Responses to Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

  • Expecting our JournOListas to have fixed, transparent, and non-sectarian standards of conduct has turned into a utopian disposition.

  • Whatever!

    Ms. O’Donnell was not insisting that global warming is going to raise ocean levels by 20 feet; that heterosexual AIDS is a major health concern; that law-abiding Americans can’t be trusted with guns; that every nation and every culture is superior to our own; that illegal aliens and Islamic jihadists are entitled to all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens; that providing 31 million additional people with health insurance will save us billions of dollars; that Supreme Court justices should essentially be social workers who get to wear their robes to work; that drilling for oil and digging for coal are evil endeavors; that windmills and sunbeams can supply all the energy a modern industrial nation needs; that Christian symbols should be eliminated from the national landscape; and that the redistribution of personal wealth is a moral imperative.

    She was not displaying the arrogant disdain for traditional American virtues, not to mention logic and common sense as her opponents have habitually done.

    As if anyone cared: What was the current occupier of the White House doing in high school – selling cocaine? He can’t release his Birth Certificate.

    Double standard?

  • Our chosen one in the White House did his dabbling in Christianity with the Rev. Wright for an extended time(and never remembered what was said). His personal inspiration and serious pondering came from those who prepared him for his real lifes work while with Ayers the bomb throwing Marxists and other real extremists.

  • The Coons piece looks entirely mainstream.

  • I agree with RR since “mainstream” often has a weak relationship with reality.

  • The Coons piece was done back in May RR by the internet journal Politico.

    Linked below is a google search of Coons and Bearded Marxist. With the exception of Fox, no mainstream media organ has touched it. I do not count Slate as it is internet only:

    http://www.google.com/#q=coons+bearded+marxist&hl=en&prmd=ivn&ei=Y3GXTP-QE8P2nAfQ8Y2GCA&start=0&sa=N&fp=8ce9e1c25799f52d

    Then we do a google search of O’Donnell and witchcraft and all the networks are represented.

    http://www.google.com/#q=o%27donnell+witchcraft&hl=en&prmd=ivnu&ei=_XGXTJudHo_sngfqkv3KCA&start=0&sa=N&fp=8ce9e1c25799f52d

    None of this comes as a surprise to conservatives. For us the media rooting for the other team is just a fact of life.

  • Don, I meant that I didn’t see anything in the Coons piece worth reporting. Did you see a shocking revelation that I missed?

  • Calling oneself a Bearded Marxist at 21 RR is as newsworthy as a candidate who is now a strong Christian mentioning 11 years ago on a talk show that she dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager. In either case I don’t think the items are very newsworthy or relevant to the campaign. However, one is trumpeted by the mainstream media and one is completely overlooked. I think the reaction of the mainstream media would be reversed if it were a liberal Democrat who engaged in Gaia worship in her teen years and a conservative Republican who in a college newspaper at 21 jokingly referred to himself as a “fascist reactionary” in commenting how his political views had become more conservative during his college years.

  • I thought liberals liked wiccans?

  • According to the article Coons’ political transformation came while on a trip to Kenya. So the shocking revelation is that he, too, is motivated by Kenyan anti-colonialism.

  • I’ll take O’Donnell’s simplicity over duplicity and evil wrapped up in a veneer of sophistication.

    Seriously, I think some people, even some Christians, would be deceived by Satan if he did no more than adopt the title “faculty chair” when presenting his arguments.

  • “I’ll take O’Donnell’s simplicity over duplicity and evil wrapped up in a veneer of sophistication.”

    She has not only gone on the air talking about lies and why they are not permitted, she has a history of lies for herself. Duplicity? Her life is full of them. When she went to ISI she made false claims about herself; when she left them, she made false claims about herself. She has a history of seeking after her own good over others, and using everyone for her own benefit. That is her history.

    And people would be interested, while talking about how people “hang out” with “bad people” in high school, it is not just in high school she hangs out with people who dabble in the occult (good or bad, it’s up to you and the voter; but it seems her sister continues to dabble in it). So acting like it is a thing of the past, when she continues to hang out with occultists is again another example of her ways. Now, I think it is good she stands by her sister, but in doing so, she should honestly reflect upon what that means for who she “hangs with.”

  • Btw, I find it amusing that people are saying O’Donnell shouldn’t be Senator from Delaware because she has made some “crazy” statements. Do they not remember Joe Biden?

  • Let’s apply the standard to Richard Blumenthal in Conn. Much worse by far.

  • The most hypocritical thing of all is Bill Maher calling his show “Politically Incorrect” – you couldn’t find a more politically correct show.

  • Yeah.
    My son used to say that Maher is to politically incorrect what MTV is to music.

  • HK: Try applying that “open and honest” standard to Barry Sotoero or Barrack Hussein Obam or whatever is that fake, phony fraud’s name . . .

  • Oh please Karlson. If it was some lefty calling for universal, tax-payer subsidized hugs and tickles who had once dabbled in witchcraft, you would be citing ecumenical decrees in their defense.

  • Joe

    Once again, your response shows no comprehension to what was said. I pointed out the issue is her lack of honesty. It had not to do with who she hung out with, or continues to do so, but how she explains it, and how this connects to her other misrepresentations, something one can find as a pattern in her life.

    If someone wants to be a witch, or hang out with them, fine. If one once was a witch, and no longer is one, fine. However, if one’s sister is still practicing practices she learned from wicca, and you hang out with her, it is clear, you hang out with such people. Why say you don’t? That is the question.

  • Destructive dem stooges and penurious propagandists in the media can’t devise answers for America’s problems: one-in-seven Americans living (hope and change!!) in poverty, unemployment at horrid levels, unprecedented federal and state deficits, foreclosures tragically up, and businesses driven to despair by unfunded mandates and ruinous regulations. So, they dig up high school silliness to misdirect voters’ sensibilities.

  • There’s a lot of old scuttlebutt surrounding Hillary Clinton and her association with New Agers Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston and Mary Catherine Bateson. It has been reported that part of Hillary’s therapy, to help her reach her full human potential, was “channeling,” including, under the guidance of these New Agers, directing Hillary to converse with the dead: Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi. I guess that one could say that Hillary Clinton dabbled in seances. At least Ms. O’Donnell has not/will not be running for the presidency.

  • After decades of “Christianity Light” everywhere in the West it is really not a great surprise to read that the one or the other, in younger years, has “experimented” with stupid things.

    Yes, this wouldn’t have happened 100 or 200 years ago; not because the teenagers of those times were less stupid, but because they were taughts more properly.

    What is more relevant and is not said, though, is that O’Donnell is, by all his faults, clearly Christian *now*, whilst you have a President of the United States clearly and wilfully omitting the Creator when reading from your Constitution. This, Obama did not as a teenager or as a child whilst attending a Muslim school, but just a few days ago.

    Some people never change.

    Mundabor

  • “taught” and “her” fault, of course 🙁

  • Look to her sister, and look to Christine’s checkered history. Indeed, she doesn’t want to answer anything to do with that history. “Liberals” mention it, so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me! She is looking out for herself, no one else, as her history shows.

  • so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me! She is looking out for herself, no one else, as her history shows.

    No, her history does not show that. It shows a woman who has not succeeded at constructing and maintaining a fully adult life. That is a legitimate concern, and not merely in Delaware. (It has been a legitimate concern about Patrick Kennedy throughout his entire career in politics, just not a concern throughout all sectors of the population).

  • “so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me!”

    Before I kid anyone Karlson I attempt to discern if they have a sense of humor. If you have that attribute I have failed to observe it from your postings or comments.

    As stated in the post, I view Ms. O’Donnell as a flawed candidate. However, politics is the art of comparison, and compared to either Mike Castle or Chris Coons, avatars of politics as usual, she is far and away the superior candidate. She understands that we simply cannot continue to spend money we do not have and continue to sink into an economy destroying pit of government debt. That alone is enough for me to support her. That she is right on abortion and the other moral issues is icing on the cake. That you make such strenuous efforts against her is a tribute to how wedded you are to massive government and massive government spending. Those days are drawing to a close if for no better reason than we are simply going broke. O’Donnell understands this, and Coons and those who support him do not.

  • “It has been a legitimate concern about Patrick Kennedy throughout his entire career in politics…”

    That should read: “It has been a legitimate concern abouth the Kennedys throughout their careers in politics…”

  • But since we are on the topic, it is interesting to note that the Ted Kennedy, in spite of killing an aide, committing adultery, corrupting the morals of his nephews and being one of the strongest supporters of abortion and the homosexual agenda, still managed to receive an elaborate funeral from the Church.

    I suspect O’Donnell still has a lot of work to do to equal that man.

  • Seriously, I think some people, even some Christians, would be deceived by Satan if he did no more than adopt the title “faculty chair” when presenting his arguments.

    And how often he does no more than adopt the title faculty chair … expect me not to be impressed by academic titles.

    Achievements included in their usual background (as well as in some non-titled ones) involves knowing more facts than the public. There is nothing short of an obligation to personal sanctity that could give them an over all better judgement.

  • Art

    She has a history of making things up — like her law suit; she just does whatever suits her. Some, like Donald, say politics is the art of compromise (funny how we hear that now). I have no problem with compromise; what I have a problem is someone whose record is checkered with dishonesty and manipulation for the sake of her own gain ( such as when she said she had finished undergraduate studies and was in a graduate program). Of course, I find this behind much of the Tea Party — dishonest presentation of the facts so that people can get in power and use that power for their own will, with the people who are following them often not seeing the disconnect (such as the focus on the taxes for the rich as being somehow the government is seeking to tax the middle class!)

  • “Some, like Donald, say politics is the art of compromise”

    Actually I said politics is the art of comparison. Pericles, Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, etc. are not standing for election, and therefore we have to choose between those who are, write in a candidate or stay home.

  • Ok, you said comparison; fine – that was my mistake for doing a quick skim of the responses. Nonetheless, even then, comparison ends up choosing a candidate which rarely equals our own desired candidate, and end up establishing principles which we think are more important and others of secondary importance which can be compromised. Politics still takes it. And when we do comparisons, we must not confuse the rhetoric or the image, but also the ability of the people involved in relation to our principles of choice.

  • She has a history of making things up — like her law suit; she just does whatever suits her.

    I do not find the supposed contentions of her lawsuit against ISI Press (as summarized in news reports) plausible on their face, but it is very imprudent in that sort of circumstance to accuse someone of fabricating unless you’ve considerable granular knowledge of the dispute at hand.

    Her disinclination to publish her curriculum vitae is an indication that she has an unhappy history with her employers. Bad enough.

    That should read: “It has been a legitimate concern abouth the Kennedys throughout their careers in politics…”

    Some Kennedys, not others. Joseph Kennedy, four of his nine children, and several of his 28 grand-children have transgressed in manners gross and unusual against the moral law. The ways they did so have differed from person to person. Patrick Kennedy is a much more benign figure than his father or his cousin Michael. He has suffered from a generic incompetence at the art of living that is the closest to Miss O’Donnell’s manifested troubles.

T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII Weighs in on the Delaware Race

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

The indispensable Iowahawk brings us again the thoughts of T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII, Rino of the Rinos, and his musings on the Christine O’Donnell victory in the Delaware GOP Senate primary:

Thus I assumed when the Delaware Republican party approached me last week requesting high-level strategic advice it was in regards to the November general election. Mr. Biden’s elevation to the executive branch created an open Senate seat and, mercifully, a rare moment of kismet for moderate and intellectual conservatives; here, at last, the right kind of seat, for the right kind of state, and the right kind of candidate in Mr. Mike Castle. With his nomination a forgone conclusion and a voting record scarcely distinguishable from Mr. Biden’s, Mr. Castle would be undoubtedly competitive in November and could be supported by a better stripe of conservative without fear of Washington social embarrassment. Better yet, his nomination would represent a return to the rational conservatism which has been all but eclipsed by the dark moon of Tea Party lunacy. All that remained to formulate a strategy to position Mr. Castle further to the center for the general election, and to make arrangements for cocktails; two task for which I am eminently qualified and brimming with ideas. Instead, I was mortified to learn from party officials that they were in fact seeking help in parrying a primary challenge to Mr. Castle from a dark horse Republican who was in the midst of a last minute charge in the polls.

Continue reading...

5 Responses to T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII Weighs in on the Delaware Race

  • Not a bad article, but a real T. Coddington etc. wouldn’t be a “VII.” Roman numerals are only appropriate for monarchs, who are also the only people who get to count everyone whose ever had the name. For the rest of us, Jr., Sr. and ordinal numbers are only used to distinguish between living people with the same name, as in “George W. Bush 3rd,” if George’s father and grandfather are still alive and have the same name. It’s barely possible to be a “5th” in families that marry young and live a long time, but mostly it’s only “Sr, Jr, and 3rd.” /pedantic etiquette rant.

    This message has been delivered to you by Captain Karen Cox of the 5th Light Pedantry.

  • I salute you Captain! I hesitate to dispute a superior officer, but I would note that it is the custom, at least here in the untamed Midwest, to use Roman numerals. No numerals are used in my family, because although my sainted father, and my alive and kicking son, share the same first name with me, we all have different middle names.

  • Karen, what happens if you were a 3rd, and then the Sr. dies, and a fourth is born? Does the 3rd revert to Jr. and the putative 4th becomes a 3rd? Does everyone move up a notch as the more senior passes away?

  • Unfortunately, the “etiquette” doesn’t take into account idiotic credit bureaus destroying one’s credit rating when “James Thomas Anderson Jr.” can’t buy a house because, unbeknownst to him, he already has 2 other mortgages.

    Speaking as a “Jr.” to a “Jr.” to yet another “Jr.”, I make no apologies to the etiquette snobs (like my own mother) that my son’s name is and shall remain – unless and until such time as he sees fit to change it himself – “James Thomas Anderson V”.

    /rant off

    😉

  • As I said to my mother: “Have you read the names in the birth announcements section of the newspaper lately? Do you really think it’s going to raise anyone’s eyebrows that your grandson has a “V” appended to the end of his name?”

    😉

2 Responses to A New Logo? Yeah, That'll Turn Things Around!

  • Wow. You know, I was bothered by the Democrats’ stances on abortion and their unwise fiscal policies, but a D in a circle? In such a pretty blue? I like blue; I’m sold. Time to work for change that matters.

    On a side note, if the new slogan is “change that matters” what happened to the hope of “hope and change?” Or the Dems now admitting that they’re fairly hopeless?

  • A big “D”. Isn’t that grade inflation?

Electoral Revolt

Wednesday, September 15, AD 2010

In a year of political stunners, last night’s result in the GOP primary in Delaware still stood out.  Christine O’Donnell, Palin-endorsed tea party activist, upset Mike Castle, former two-term Governor of Delaware and long term GOP congressman, who, until last week, was expected to be an easy victor, both in the primary and in the general election.  Castle is the archetypal Republican Rino and O’Donnell a life long conservative activist, and the GOP Delaware voters decided that counted for more than electability.  I view O’Donnell as a highly flawed candidate due to instances of bizarre behavior in her life, but nevertheless if I lived in Delaware I would have voted for her.  James Antle of of the American Spectator explains why:

For how is it a victory to elect a liberal with an “R” next to her name rather than a “D?” What does it profit a movement to win an election but lose its soul? Conservatives are saying to the Republican Party: for years you have taken us for granted. Now you can either win with us or lose without us. And if a conservative candidate loses anyway, so be it.

Rank-and-file conservatives no longer trust the Republican establishment. They don’t trust big-spending incumbents. They don’t even trust conservative magazines, websites, and commentators who in their view run down conservative candidates.

Are there drawbacks to this approach? As one Mama Grizzly might say, “You betcha.” Ideology and values are vital, but qualifications matter too. So do local conditions and regional differences, where one size doesn’t fit all.

Finally, few RINOs are as brazen as Castle or Scozzafava. They now have learned to talk like conservatives and check the right boxes on conservative litmus tests even as they expand government once in power. The George Romneys have become Mitt Romneys, the George Bushes George Ws. Will conservatives be as demanding of them?

But for now, this much is clear: Grassroots conservatives picked Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle, electoral consequences be damned. If it can happen in Delaware, it can happen anywhere.

Continue reading...

52 Responses to Electoral Revolt

  • I have had a feeling something else was going on this race that was not exactly send Washington D.C a message. I thought this person hit it right that it might not have been what people have been thinking. That is the social dynamic

    http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/246617/long-overdue-overhaul-delaware-republicans

    That being said I can’t see this as anything but a disaster. I am praying it is not. The stuff Karl Roves was talking about as well as other conservatives concerning well Character and ethical issues cannot be swept aside by charges of RINO and estabishment.

    As I have mentioned elsewhere perhaps someone can explain to me if we are going to have a conservative WHY HER. Is this the best they got?

    This very well could backfire. If she becomes in the media’s eye or public eyes the symbol of the Tea party and these eithical problems and other issues are true then we have a major problem on our hands.

    So as soon as someone can get me the talking points on how to address these “quirks” so I can look at them it would be appreciated.

    The interesting thing about that race if the above article is correct is perhaps Castle lost that race on the GUN issue. He did seem very stubborn on the Pro-Gun Control stance though it was clear the countires mood had shifted. IF he has moderated on that he might have picked up enough votes in those Southern Counties to win it last night.

  • Well, the lawsuit allegations are pretty run of the mill for a discrimination suit. Some of the statements (implying currently taking classes at Princeton vs. planning to) may have been some miscommunication between her and her attorney.

    I also don’t get how she could have sold her house to her boyfriend if the bank had already foreclosed, unless she got the money from him and paid of the mortgage before the sheriff sale, which is perfectly legal in most states. I don’t know about Delaware, but in Texas, foreclosure can be a nonjudicial proceeding, so you are not “sued”. You are usually given notice of default, notice of acceleration of the debt, then notice of foreclosure, and notice of foreclosure sale (first Tuesday of the month). Usually, the sale isn’t done by the sheriff, but by a disinterest 3rd party (usually lawyer or representative of the bank/mortgage co.).

  • That Weekly Standard story you linked was either a vicious hit piece with loads of dubious info- or quite disturbing as to the qualifications of O’Donnell for leading anything- There is a similar disconnect with Florida’s Rick Scott and his leadership of a corporate entity that ripped off government monies- This isn’t about ancient history- I have noted in running for office myself that you have to be really cautious to vett candidates because a lot of people are drawn to political leadership and political activism with serious personal issues that they are seemingly working through in very public ways- like high-wire risk-takers they are drawn to media glare like bugs who just want to get zapped- I would recommend that whoever is responsible for directing Tea party monies slow down a beat and consider the consequences of having some serious melt-down characters- reminds me of Ross Perot when he was positioned to win the presidency and he went off half-cocked with some crazy story of Bush harassing his daughters or some such thing, and he dropped out and came back and still ate up votes because people are that hungry for something non-establishment to turn up that is viable- the usual case is for shady or crazy multi-millionaires to come crashing into the party trying to buy their way into political leadership.

    For me, the Tea Party would get serious consideration only if it put the Pro-Life issue at the top of the heap- I recently dropped my own association with a major party because I could not make any headway in Florida as a pro-life Democrat and if I am going to go around and say that ‘a life is a life no matter how small’ then one would have to conclude that we have a genocide of the unwanted, unborn children in our country and any party or psuedo-party that makes the claim that they are pro-life and understand the seriousness of systemic killing of unborn kids- will have to be putting that kind of thing on the front-burner- even more so than tax and spend issues – If that isn’t happening then the public witness will go down as something like this: “Well yes I believe we have a genocide of killing unborn children going on- and I am pro-life, but what really ticks me off is Obama’s stimulus spending and repeal of my tax cuts- and don’t get me started on his socialist health care”. That approach is what I consider a lukewarm kind of ‘realism’ ‘pragmatism’ that smacks of Jesus’ warning to be hot or cold, the lukewarm He will spit out. I tried going the route of covert subversive as a pro-lifer inside the Democratic party fold- i’ve given over that role so I can now be as open as I want to be- but I have little sympathy for those who are ostensibly belonging to a party that makes pro-life claims but does precious little to prioritize Pro-Life issues when economics, taxes, and immigration seem to be so much more pressing and passionate causes for most Repubs and Tea Partiers I have known or read about.

  • I wouldn’t have voted for either one.

    O’Donnell seems to be a burrito short of a combo plate (“Castle operatives are ransacking my house!”), not to mention a permanent campaigner with no resume’. The “Did you hear the rumor Mike Castle is gay?” ad was despicable, too.

    That said, I wouldn’t have eaten the crap sandwich labelled “Mike Castle,” either.

    You could have picked two people at random out of a Wilmington phone book and done better.

  • This is not good – Coons, a dedicated leftist, will win, and the Senate will be more left-wing (Delaware is a Democratic state and he’s going to hold the seat, absent a scandal). Castle would have won, and he would have disappointed conservatives some of the time. Therefore, conservatives have lost, because he would have been an electable rightish figure in that state.

    Sometimes, the GOP establishment is right. Palin and DeMint and the Tea Party folks were wrong in this case – which will become evident probably before November, given her history of instability and emotionalism.

  • Therefore, conservatives have lost, because he would have been an electable rightish figure in that state.

    That argument doesn’t carry weight anymore. Conservatives sucked it up to try to push McCain and got the lousiest campaign possible and an Obama presidency. Who knows whether Castle would have won? I have no idea whether she was a good candidate, but she sold herself as truer to conservative principles and, just as the Dems did in 08 when they picked Obama over Clinton, the party base decided to take the risk in order to get the candidate closer to their views. It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.

  • It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.

    I am not sure I disagree with your conclusion, but I would caution against using McCain/Obama in 2008 as a basis for conclusions on statewide elections in 2010. It’s hard to disentangle the causality, of course, but I think any Republican would have lost the Presidential election in 2008; once the financial crisis hit, the Democratic candidate (whether Obama or Clinton) was going to win. In closely contested state-wide elections, sometimes moderates may legitimately have a better chance; that said, I will not be shedding any tears over Castle.

  • It seems some conservatives are fond of Buckley’s quip about being governed by the first 100 people out of the Boston phonebook (or something to that effect) instead of the graduating class of Harvard (or whatever it was) until it really happens.

    O’Donnell may be a little odd. But I am far past the point of expecting or demanding that politicians be perfect human beings, or anywhere near. I don’t doubt that people will be working overtime to make sure that the poor woman does have a meltdown, but if she can hold it together, good for her.

  • “It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.”

    It does if conservatives believe that elections matter (I do) and value a conservative movement (which will contain, unfortunately, a lot of right-liberalism) capable of defeating candidates of the left (I do).

    I understand the reservations about Castle, but O’Donnell is a terrible candidate with a terrible history. Populist insurgents should find better candidates if they want to take on an establishment (Joe Miller, for example).

    Selling principles is not relevant in an electoral campaign if the candidate is unstable and unsuited for the electorate. Castle would have (poorly) advanced the conservative cause from his position (one of 100 is a big deal when the state is Democratic) and Coons will actively oppose it.

  • I haven’t sorted through the allegations to see which are true. I’ll say this, in general: there’s always a risk going with inexperience. This is why sports have farm teams, and political parties are active at the local level (because let’s be honest, most issues that the city comptroller has to deal with aren’t found in the D or R platform).

    The Republicans haven’t been building up a good farm team. A lot of them turned out to be sleeping with staffers. There’s the occasional Christie or Jindal, sure, but on another thread where potential 2012 presidential candidates were being discussed, I was really struck by the weakness of the Republican bench (mixed sports metaphors, I know).

  • I’m torn between the thought of taking the Senate with Castle vs. sticking with a conservative and potentially not taking the Senate. In the end I have a very hard time with someone like Castle who is essentially a liberal Democrat with an (R) after his name and am glad he went down.

    Given that there are plenty of politicians out there who can’t pass the decency test (look, Rangal just won his primary challange) I think the GOP should move forward and support her.

  • Yeah, what Michael Denton said.

    How any pro-life Catholic could justify a vote for Mike Castle is completely beyond me, unless, of course, the goal is merely to elect Republicans.

    Mike Castle is a Catholic who, despite claiming membership in the Catholic Church as well as the party that touts itself as pro-life, has a 100% NARAL rating, a 0 rating from National Right to Life, and is (at least until January, heh!) probably the biggest supporter and sponsor of embryonic stem cell research legislation in Congress.

    From a conservative (but not necessarily social conservative) perspective, he supports cap & tax, gun control, restrictions on political speech (see Disclose Act), etc., etc. As Don notes, Castle is the archetype of the RINO.

    To support Castle would be to say that there is no Republican who is too anti-life and/or too far to the left as to be undeserving of our vote. Our call is to vote our values, not vote for the most electable person with an “R” next to his name.

  • I agree with jonathanjones.

    DE will now elect a Dem Senator (RCP just switched DE from red to blue and they are right), and given CO’s baggage it is probably for the best.

    I just don’t understand the logic of some commentators. Yes, I’d rather have a true conservative than a moderate. But I’d also rather have a moderate than a liberal. It stands to reason that it makes sense to support the conservative over the moderate in the primary only if you think he or she has a legitimate shot to beat the liberal Dem. This is especially true in the US Senate where key votes usually are decided on party lines.

    The Tea Party has produced some good candidates, and they will show well; CO was not a good candidate and she will lose badly. Oh well.

  • I’m not sure that Castle was even a moderate. Sounds like he was about as liberal as they come.

  • Phillip,
    Even if that is true studies confirm that party matters greatly on key Senate votes. A liberal GOP Senator will vote more conservative than a liberal Dem Senator. Politics is a practical game. Purists lose. The constitutions framers knew that and anticipated compromises born of checks and balances. And no one understood it better than RWR.

  • Its a practical game I agree. Which is why I disagree with a lot of Catholic bloggers who insist on purity. But who is to know if Castle wouldn’t pull a Specter, or a Jeffords and change parties. Even more simply, who is to know if he would pull a Snowe or Collins. Studies say what a population will do, not what an individual will do.

    But Castle’s votes on abortion, stem cell research etc lead one to consider one’s vote beyond a practical level.

  • Fair enough, but a couple points:

    First, as odious as Specter and Jeffords are their desirablity in the Senate can only be judged in comparison to the alternatives, which is true also of Castle.

    Second, as much as I view abortion as by far the most important policy issue of our time, I do not think it is sensible (let alone morally required) to vote for a pro-lifer destined to lose over a pro-abort who could win if that pro-abort is likely to be less damaging than his ultimate opponent. A GOP pro-choice Senator is less likely to obstruct pro-life judicial nominees than a Dem pro-choice Senator.

    In the end, these are prudential decisions of course. And I certainly share one’s frustration with RINOs, especially pro-choice RINOs. But we can’t let those frustrations allow us to play our hand poorly. I suspect that many good people did just that in this case. I wish the Tea Party had been able to launch a better candidate.

  • I don’t know what the alternatives were to Spector and Jeffords as I’m still not sure what there were to Castle (or O’Donnell for that matter.) Perhaps there are some reading who know Delaware politics.

    But if there are no good alternatives then, as you say, we are stuck with prudential judgment. I also agree one is not obliged to vote for a pro-lfe candidate that has no chance of winning and take in the calculus of supporting a Republican majority that will be more pro-lfe than a Dem. majority. As I’ve said I’ve disagreed with Catholic bloggers who hold such can’t be done. I accept your point of view in this regard. I just don’t agree with it in this case.

    As far as not voting to block a pro-life judicial nominee, that’s moot at this point. There won’t be any. At least not until 2013. And perhaps by then we could have secured a Republican majority that is truly conservative.

  • Yes, I’d rather have a true conservative than a moderate. But I’d also rather have a moderate than a liberal.

    That, I think, is what’s up for debate. Conservatives have been told for years that moderates are better when quite frankly most of them are only marginally distinguishable from Democratic counterparts and worse on most issues than Blue dog Democrats. Yes, a moderate might be better than a liberal but if a moderate is only slightly better than the liberal it makes far less sense to abandon the opportunity to vote for a person who truly represents you view (i.e. the possible gain is slim in moderate whereas the potential in the conservative is great).

    It’s not puritanical or a lack of prudence; it’s a different assessment of the gains moderates have given us. From my perspective and many others, that’s not been much, especially as one who cares primarily about abortion and I’d rather have my views represented.

    And if Castle is such a great candidate, why the heck couldn’t he beat O’Donnell?

  • Conservatives have been told for years that moderates are better when quite frankly most of them are only marginally distinguishable from Democratic counterparts and worse on most issues than Blue dog Democrats.

    See Ehrlich, Robert L., Jr.

  • ” I wish the Tea Party had been able to launch a better candidate.”

    Exactly. And if she has ethical problems are we suppose to go oh well she is pro life?

    Problematic to say the least

  • “Castle would have (poorly) advanced the conservative cause from his position (one of 100 is a big deal when the state is Democratic) and Coons will actively oppose it.”

    Plus coons could have that seat forever. Castle was 71. Chances are he would not have ran again in 6 years

  • “It’s not puritanical or a lack of prudence; it’s a different assessment of the gains moderates have given us. From my perspective and many others, that’s not been much, especially as one who cares primarily about abortion and I’d rather have my views represented. ”

    You will never get gains in the first place if you don’t have majority controls of the committees.That is just the fact.

  • Agreed on all counts, Jh. Overall I have been pleased by the Tea Party alternative (i.e., anti-establishment) candidates. But I’m afraid this is not electable, which is probably for the best given her embarrassment potential.

  • Committees mean squat if they don’t have the votes on the floor.

  • Michael,
    But the fact is that party matters when it comes to votes on the floor. When a representative changes parties his voting record changes promptly and considerably, even if his views obviously have not.

  • I think that is characteristic of the last 15 years, when party caucuses have been more uniform than they were previously (and refers to the pressures on legislators, not executives).

  • Agreed on both counts, though party discipline has always been a material factor on important votes. And I agree without reservation that this phenomenon is largey irrelevant to executive branch offices.

  • The arguments put forward here in favor of Castle would also apply if he were running in the General Election against a moderate pro-life, pro-2nd amendment Democrat.

    I mean, if the majority is all that matters, why not support support the pro-abort, radically pro-ESCR, anti-gun, pro-cap-and-tax “Catholic” RINO over the pro-life moderate Democrat?

    Again, it all seems to come down to voting for the “R”. Well, I don’t buy it anymore. I’ve been sold that bill of goods for far too long and with far too few REAL results to play the part of the pro-GOP-at-any-cost lemming.

    I won’t be going over the cliff for Mike Frickin’ Castle, believe you me.

  • But who is to know if Castle wouldn’t pull a Specter, or a Jeffords and change parties.

    Spector was a former Democrat with a long history of buffoonish and histrionic behavior. Jeffords changed parties due to a dispute over dairy subsidies or some such. You could investigate Castle’s history to see if these sort of antecedents were present.

  • Not true, Jay. The argument being put forward is that a liberal Republican is better than a liberal Democrat, and that therefore it is sensible to vote for a liberal Republican who can defeat a liberal Democrat in the general election over a conservative Republican who cannot defeat the liberal Dem in the general election. No one is suggesting that it is better to vote for a liberal pro-choice Republican over a moderate pro-life Democrat should such a circumstance actually present itself. I regret if any of my comments suggested otherwise, but I think a fair reading of them in the context of the exchange is pretty clear.

  • I don’t think that is what you are saying, Mike.

    But many (most?) of the arguments in favor of Castle have focused on the GOP effort to regain majority status. If regaining majority status is the goal of electing Castle, then, yes, it does seem to be an argument in favor of electing him over any Democrat.

    But given Castle’s horrific record on virtually every issue that matters most to me, I don’t think I’d vote for him under any circumstances, even if it meant the seat went to a leftist (for whom I wouldn’t vote either).

  • And Jay, to be clear. The point I was making (and I think Art and jh were largely supporting) is that the argument in favor of supporting a conservative Republican over a liberal Republican in a primary election when one believes that the conservative has little or no chance of defeating the liberal Dem in the general election while the liberal has a good chance of defeating the liberal Dem is weak insomuch as it rests on the assumption that the liberal Dem and liberal Repub are functionally equivalent, which is empirically very unlikely to be the case. My apologies for the run-on sentence.

  • Let me amend my previous comment: I KNOW I’d never vote for Mike Castle under any circumstances. Period.

  • Jay, I have re-read my posts and am surprised that you think I’m saying anything different than what I posted in the comment to which you responded. Puzzling really.

  • AD,

    If Jeffords could go over dairy subsidies I don’t see why Castle couldn’t go over being defied about abortion, stem-cell research or any other thing.

    I do not think the psychological profiles of a Spector or Jeffords are necessary precursors for Castle causing problems.

  • The more interesting question for me is whether I’d support a pro-life Dem over a a pro-choice Republican. The likely answer is yes, but this too is a prudential decision since the empirical evidence suggests that legislators usually discard their personal beliefs in favor of party unity when their vote is critical. One can of course simply say that this is just partisanship masquerading as prudence, and it could be in some cases. But not for me.

  • Mike,

    I just told you that I didn’t think that was what you were saying, so I’m not sure what you find puzzling. In other words, I was agreeing with you that you were NOT arguing the GOP majority card, but that others were.

    As for whether the liberal Dem and the liberal Repub are functionally equivalent, I am of the opinion that the liberal Repub is actually worse because he gives bipartisan cover to such mischief as ESCR, cap & tax, and the Disclose Act.

    I mean, seriously, people should look up Castle’s role in sponsoring ESCR legislation and being one of the most vocal critics of Bush’s executive order and subsequent vetoes of ESCR legislation. If ESCR (not to mention abortion) is really what we and the Church claim that it is, I just could never in good conscience vote for such a person. Especially one claiming to be a Catholic.

    It’s just simply not enough to me that he will be a vote for Mitch McConnell (cough, cough) as majority leader. And, again, Mike, I don’t believe that is what you are arguing either.

  • Oh, I understand now, Jay, thanks. I took “I don’t think that is what you are saying” as disagreeing with my immediately prior comment in which I took issue with your interpretation of prior comments as making arguments that would apply in the context of a choice between a pro-life Dem and and a pro-choice Repub. I see now that I simply misunderstood you.

    I have no specific quarrel with you at all re Castle. Your observation about “bipartisan cover for mischief” is certainly a fair prudential consideration, even though I think I would ordinarily give it less weight than you.

    In the end it does seem to me that the case for opposing Castle may be stronger than the case for supporting CO.

  • Jay,

    You are completely right about Castle. The difficulty, however, is that:

    1). He (very likely) would have won.
    2). His “moderate” stance has fit Delaware for some time now.
    3). This is a lot better than the activist leftist soon to win this seat.

    Tea Party people:
    Advocate for better candidates. O’Donnell is a terrible one, and she’s going to lose by double digits.

  • Jonathan,

    I agree that the tea party folks need to field some better candidates. I’m not an O’Donnell defender in the least.

    But I also believe that Ed Morrissey (as quoted above by Don) raises a valid point that, in the context of the present national mood, the GOP establishment in Delaware couldn’t come up with anything better than a 70+ year old retread who’s been in public office for 45 years. In a year when conservatives are expected to make big gains, the Delaware GOP didn’t even TRY to advance the ball by choosing someone more center-right:

    <em"They stuck with a liberal, establishment candidate in a cycle where liberals and establishment figures are uniquely unpopular. Had the Republican leadership been in touch with Delaware Republican voters, they might have found a more suitable candidate for the popular mood, and would not have had to deal with Christine O’Donnell and her outsider bid. They have no one to blame but themselves."

  • the GOP establishment in Delaware couldn’t come up with anything better than a 70+ year old retread who’s been in public office for 45 years…. the Delaware GOP didn’t even TRY to advance the ball…

    Welcome to New York.

  • Yeah, if Castle really was the only thing standing between the GOP and the majority, then they deserve to sit in the minority for another 2 years. If it’s that important, but out the effort to find a candidate who isn’t going to get smoked by someone as “nutty” as Rove put it as O’donnell.

  • People forget that Castle, for all his pro-abort tendencies, at the very least supports the PBA ban, parental notification, and judges that would overturn ROE. That makes him better than Biden by a notch, and certainly better than Coons.

    O’Donnell’s website right now is simply a donation page; she is doing everything she can to prove all of her critics right. I really don’t trust her. Sorry.

  • She has raised over half a million since last night. Harry Reid’s “pet” is in for the fight of his life.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/09/15/harry-reid-chris-coons-is-my-pet/

  • Pace Richard Brautigan, “Palin Drives on Deep into Egypt.” Her influence is a phenomenon. Palin attracts flawed candidates who dislike making a deal with the Devil. She plays chess while the establishment plays checkers.

    I grow weary of comments that a given candidate does not measure up to the moral and intellectual excellence expected of politicians. If everything said about O’Donnell and about Palin are correct, they would rank somewhere in the top quartile of American political figures. It’s a pretty sorry bunch, American politicians.

  • The complaint about Miss O’Donnell is that she shows evidence of being an incompetent human being. Gov. Palin has been for 22 years married to a man she’s been appended to since high school, has five children, and a dozen years under her belt as a public executive. Generically incompetent she is not. As for the Governor’s critics, they may have a reasonable point her or there, but the disjunction between their assessment of her and their assessment of the President suggests they equate intellectuality with intelligence and confound articulateness with intelligence.

  • Agree with AD. People who comment on blogs often fancy themselves as intellectuals and favor candidates who appear intellectual. But intellectualism is not the same as intelligence. Palin is hardly the ideal presidential candidate, but the argument that she is less fit than the person who now occupies that post just doesn’t wash.

  • You will never get gains in the first place if you don’t have majority controls of the committees.That is just the fact.

    And you won’t get more coservative candidates if you keep voting for more moderate ones. That is also a fact. So what to do?

  • Pingback: Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists « The American Catholic

And Your Little Dog, Too!

Tuesday, September 14, AD 2010

Hands down the most entertaining political ad I’ve seen this year.  John Dennis has the well-nigh hopeless task of defeating the Lying Worthless Political Hack, a\k\a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House.  In Pelosi’s San Francisco District Che Guevara would probably be deemed to be a political moderate, but Dennis is running a feisty campaign nonetheless.  Here is his website.  He might be worth tossing a few dollars to if only as a salute for the entertainment value he is providing.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to And Your Little Dog, Too!

  • Genius – I had to rewatch that ad a few times because I kept laughing! The IRS flying monkeys is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time! I wish I lived in Frisco just so I could vote for him!

  • Rumor has it that she may retire in 2012 after this election.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/75233

    Speaking of “retirement”, a Politico reporter with high connections within the Democratic Party and the White House has it on good authority that Obama is not going to run in 2012 for re-election. Heard it on the news and I can’t find it online yet.

  • Tito:

    I doubt that about Obama. He lives for the campaign; he’s been campaigning for 2012 since before the 2008 election was decided. The only way I could see it is if Obama pulled an Edwin Edwards-drop out of the election, hand your opponent a hallow victory (i.e. no mandate for change), and then return in four years after the opponent fails to reclaim power. If Obama calculates that he wasn’t win 2012 but that he could smoke Palin in 2016, then he might-but it seems a stretch (though I would love anything that prevents him from being in the office 858 days, 22 hours, 12 minutes, and 9 seconds from now-yes, I have a countdown clock on my desktop. Sue me.)

  • I don’t see it either, but the political ground is trending toward that possibility.

    LBJ quit when he read the political tee-leaves knowing full well he didn’t have a chance in hell to win.

  • Found it:

    A prominent insider of the Democratic Party is saying:

    “…the biggest fear of some of those close to him (Obama) is that he (Obama) might not really want to go on in 2012, that he (Obama) might not really care.”

    Here is the article:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42100.html

  • Roger Simon and Politico are good, but not infallible. The only way I foresee Obama not running in 2012 is if the GOP gets control of both houses of Congress AND manages not to mess anything up too badly in the following 2 years. A lot can happen in 2 years and one must never underestimate the ability of EITHER party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • The violence in this video is astonishing and stems from a Calvinistic outlook and a preference for the rich. Everyone knows that Nancy is a great Catholic because she knows(unlike some bloggers) that Catholics pray to saints.

  • I don’t think Obama cares about getting re-elected, I believe he is George Soro’s little flying monkey and all they care about is the destruction of the American Way. He seems to be concerned about getting the most damage done in the shortest amount of time.
    This video is great, very well done and very funny!

Mama Grizzlies, Ewoks and Sarah Palin

Thursday, September 2, AD 2010

One of the more notable events in November this year will likely be the election of a record number of conservative pro-life Republican women to Congress, statehouses and state legislaturesTheir impact could be enormous.   Sarah Palin launched a movement in 2008 which may well be, long term, the most significant political event of our time:  conservative pro-life women running for political office. 

Of course every movement has its critics.  Emily’s List, the pro-abort group that supports female candidates who hold sacred the right to choose to slay kids in the womb, has put together the video below, which I believe should be entitled:  “WHEN EWOKS ATTACK!”

Continue reading...

17 Responses to Mama Grizzlies, Ewoks and Sarah Palin

  • Great post, but I couldn’t watch more than 10 seconds of the Ewok thing. Too embarrassing.

  • Essentially humorless partisans attempting to make an intentionally humorous attack video has a certain surreal quality that I enjoy.

  • Sarah Palin: Accidental Politician turned Opportunist Extraordinaire.

    In case you missed it, these Emily’s List women PURPOSELY went over-the-top to prove how over-the-top the ridiculous “mama grizzly” story is. If you think as a liberal, pro-choice mother that I would NOT defend my “cubs,” think again.

    FACT: “Anti-choice feminist” is an absolute oxymoron. Get with the program, idiots.

  • What choice are you supporting?

  • It’s unfortunate that grizzlies, not unlike leftists, have as little sense of shame as humor. Since I watched the entire thing I’ll have to be embarrassed for them. Rawr!!

  • Apparently, a woman can’t reach her full potential if she is unable to legally slay her own offspring in utero.

    I suppose, Amy, that your defense of your cubs is conditional upon whether or not they’ve been born? Born or not, they are still your cubs, your own flesh and blood.

  • Sarah Palin: Accidental Politician turned Opportunist Extraordinaire.

    Becoming an accidental politician is like becoming “accidentally” pregnant.

    In case you missed it, these Emily’s List women PURPOSELY went over-the-top to prove how over-the-top the ridiculous “mama grizzly” story is.

    There is a fine line between “over the top” and “creepy.” These women hit the creepy side of the scale when they began roaring.

    If you think as a liberal, pro-choice mother that I would NOT defend my “cubs,” think again.

    I’m sure you would, but any ideology that cannot respect the innate dignity of your “cubs” from conception is one that is poorly equipped to truly protect them.

    FACT: “Anti-choice feminist” is an absolute oxymoron. Get with the program, idiots.

    I admit, with the bears in the video and this “FACT,” I was reminded of Dwight K. Schrute of the Officer. FACT: Black bears are betters. Bears. Beets. Battlestar gallatica.

    In seriousness, I have a real problem with the notion that you can be pro-choice/pro-abortion and still be a feminist. The most significant aspect of femininity to me is the ability of a woman to carry a child. That beautiful connection between a woman her child is amazing to me as a man who can’t experience it, and I think that above all us if we are to be truly feminists we must protect that connection.

    However, the culture of abortion directly attacks that beauty by telling women that pregnancy and child-bearing is bad. Indeed, abortion feeds into a capitalistic culture that tries to turn women into more perfect cogs in the machine by reducing the inconveniences pregnancy has for a career via abortion. In essence, abortion attempts to turn women to be more like men by denying the particular beauty of pregnancy.

    Furthermore, there is plenty of statistics suggesting that abortion is used in places like China against female fetuses rather than male ones. Between the women told that their femininity is a bother so “go take care of it” and the women who are not alive with us today because they were aborted, it is difficult to understand how one can be a feminist and support abortion rights.

  • Thank you Amy for providing evidence to support my contention as to just how truly humorless pro-abort ideologues tend to be.

  • “If you think as a liberal, pro-choice mother that I would NOT defend my “cubs,” think again.”

    The ones you chose not to slay in utero?

  • Denton – That reminds me of something that Chesterton said: in the battle of the sexes, all of a sudden women gave up and decided to become men.

  • Thank you Amy for once again using the tired lefty playground “shut up you’re stupid” argument to support your shallow position–rroooaaaarrrr!! Feel better now?

    People like Amy feel so morally superior to others with different thoughts that they’re willing to risk their eternal souls to redefine morality on their terms. You and the ‘Ewoks’ shouldn’t argue with us–your argument is with God. They’re not our laws but we realize that following them enriches and brings real joy to our lives in ways we could’ve never imagined.

    The fact that so many women who’ve had abortions are scarred for life should drive real concern if you really care about feminine causes. That and the other inconvenient truth that over 50% of abortions involve coercion–some choice.

    Lefties ‘love’ to make up personal/emotional/gooey stories to support their socialist evil claims so let’s include a real story with real evil:
    http://www.lifenews.com/state5405.html

    “Thou shall not kill”
    Each individual gets to make the choice to follow God’s laws or make up their own according to their rationalized (lustful) desires. I just wish everyone would realize that committing sin moves you further away from Christ’s love and degrades your spirit which ultimately makes you more miserable long term. We’ll pray for you Amy–‘Ewoks’ too.

  • As a woman, I was embarrassed by that moronic video. A pro-abort lawyer dressed up as an ewok? Oh, yes, dear, that makes her look like a woman of substance, someone who should be taken seriously. I imagine that video gave Palin a good laugh. Her enemies constantly make prize asses out of themselves while insisting she’s the stupid one.

    FACT: “Anti-choice feminist” is an absolute oxymoron. Get with the program, idiots.

    And who made amy and the NOW/Emily’s List gang the judges of what is feminist? Why on earth do you get the deciding vote, princess? Unless I agree with you that murdering children in the womb is somehow a wonderful expression of womenhood, I’m not a feminist? Our “choice” trumps the right of other, innocent beings to live? Millions of women disagree with you. And we could care less about getting the little seal of approval from the grim harridans at Emily’s List or NOW.

  • Pingback: Catholics and Professional Football « The American Catholic
  • According to Amy’s peculiar “logic,” a Chinese woman who aborts her daughter because the woman can only have one child and is culturally conditioned to believe sons are more desirable than daughters is a feminist. Palin, a woman from a humble background who has run a business and a state, challenged the entrenched Murkowski dynasty in Alaska, and has endured all sorts of obscene slander, much of it coming from the liberal “sisterhood” – Palin is not a feminist because she favors the right of girls and boys to be born.

    ‘Cause the Emily Listers don’t really give a rip about an individual woman’s achievements, or character when it comes right down to it. Like Hugh Hefner, they’re focused on the ONE really important thing – what’s between women’s legs and women’s absolute right to do whatever they wish with said naughty bits without, as Obama said, worrying about being “punished with a baby.”

  • Excellent post, Templar. Here’s an interesting article by the daughter of feminist icon Alice Walker.

    But the truth was I (Walker’s daughter) was very lonely and, with my mother’s knowledge, started having sex at 13. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body.

    Now I simply cannot understand how she could have been so permissive. I barely want my son to leave the house on a play-date, let alone start sleeping around while barely out of junior school.

    A good mother is attentive, sets boundaries and makes the world safe for her child. But my mother did none of those things.

    Although I was on the Pill – something I had arranged at 13, visiting the doctor with my best friend – I fell pregnant at 14. I organised an abortion myself. Now I shudder at the memory. I was only a little girl. I don’t remember my mother being shocked or upset. She tried to be supportive, accompanying me with her boyfriend.

    Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I’d never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.

    Ah, yes, we should all aspire to be like that great pro-choice feminist Alice Walker! What a wonderful mother! What a great role model, right, amy? Not like that creepy Sarah Palin!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1021293/How-mothers-fanatical-feminist-views-tore-apart-daughter-The-Color-Purple-author.html

  • If one goes beyond the initial embarrassment of looking at the video, one discovers that these supposed “mama bears”…….. demand the right to kill their cubs.

    Something is seriously wrong here but I doubt whether they can even see it.

    Next time the ladies want to make an attempt at humour, they should at least try to be halway coherent.

    I do hope that the video reaches a wide audience.

    M

  • If Amy thinks “pro-life feminist” (not “anti-choice”, thank you very much)is an oxymoron, her feminist history doesn’t go back any farther than Alice Walker. Before feminism was co-opted by the eugenics and population control movements ca. 1960, to be feminist was almost without exception to be pro-life. Read up on Alice Paul’s views on the matter, for example. Or Cady Stanton’s, Anthony’s (the subject of much contention recently, but a few editorials from her paper The Revolution should make the point)Woodhull’s, Claflin’s, Brinkerhoff’s, or Gage’s. Go back clear to Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote the seminal A Vindication of the Rights of Women and gave birth to a daughter outside of marriage at a time when doing so guaranteed her pariah status. And yes, abortion existed even then.

    Oh, and zoologically speaking there’s nothing “ridiculous” or “over-the-top” about the “Mama Grizzly” analogy. We don’t have grizzlies in the East, but as an Appalachian girl I could recite numerous accounts of the noteworthy protective behavior of Mama black bears.

Miss Me Yet?

Tuesday, August 31, AD 2010

110 Responses to Miss Me Yet?

  • I do believe that this calls for a guilty pleasure of mine that I reserve for this type of occasion

    I should hope you feel guilty after embedding an Abba performance…

  • That is worth at least 50 Hail Marys by itself John Henry!

  • This is good news. I do miss Bush, very much. Many are seeing Bush in a different light today then when he was president — in a more positive light.

  • Yeah, what’s not to miss? Increasing poverty rates, falling real wages, number of uninsured up, budget busting fiscal policy (war, tax cuts, Medicare part D each cost more than any of Obama’s initiatives and none were paid for). And then there is torture, war, codpiece diplomacy, global hatred against the US. Tax cuts for the rich, subsidies for energy companies, lax regulation, cronies and hacks instead of professionals, politicization of the Justice Department. Oh yeah, bring this guy back.

  • And just think Tony, he is more popular than the empty suit you voted for. Better luck next messiah.

  • But Don.

    That’s a 1970’s number.

    Is that why its a “guilty pleasure”?

  • No it’s a guilty pleasure Don because it is bad music and I love it anyway as I discussed in this post:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/07/25/waterloo/

  • For those of you who listened to Obama’s speech tonight, compare and contrast:

  • I know it’s odd to pick on just one of the idiotic things coming from Tony’s screed, but this:

    subsidies for energy companies

    is just odd. Yes, because before George Bush, energy companies never received subsidies. Yes, that evil crony capitalism. It’s a good thing that we ended that practice under Barack Obama. I mean, it’s not like his administration is trying to single-handedly prop up the wind and solar industries.

    But that’s the thing. Most of what Tony complains about can be said fourfold for the Obama administration. I mean, politicization of the Justice Department? Hello, black panthers. Cronies and hacks in the administration? Two words: Katherine Sebelius. and Joe Biden. And so many more.

    But don’t be upset with poor Tony. All that hope and change, and what has really changed?

  • You’ll have to do better than that, Paul. Lets leave aside the phony Fox News/ Koch brothers controversies (black panthers? give me a break!). Let’s focus on the economy. Again: falling real wages, rising poverty, rising numbers of uninsured, massive unfunded fiscal loosening. And let’s focus on foreign policy – war and torture. Torture. Did I mention torture?

  • One can only imagine the meltdown Tony will be in election night this year. It is difficult for a hard core supporter of Obama to watch his administration plumb new levels of ineptitude and failure. For those seeking comic reading, you might wish to read Tony’s endorsement of Obama and a fisking of it by TAC’s Michael Denton.

    http://forthegreaterglory.blogspot.com/2008/08/obamas-minion.html

  • Paul: “All that hope and change, and what has really changed?”

    Not enough. We still have war, and there is no accountability for complicity in the torture regime. We still have the domination of politics by monied interests, the theology of American exceptionalism, and refusal to stand up to Israel. We still have the most unequal society since the Gilded Era, and unions still have insufficient power to protect workers. We have no immigration reform. And we have no real chance of putting a price on carbon emissions, meaning that the suffering of the poorest countries of the world will continue.

    But it is still infinitely better than Bush, or hypothetical McCain. We have universal health care and the first reforms to curb the rise in healthcare costs. We have financial sector regulation – weaker than it should have been, but significant (judging by Wall Street outrage). And how about, in unison with an international effort coordinated by the G20, saving the world from a second Great Depression? And yes, while monetary policy did the heavy lifting, increasing public deficits (combined automatic stabilizers and discretionary stimulus) compensated for the calamitous collapse in private demand. This is basic economics, but Republicans have a history of not understanding basic economics. And then there is the direct financial sector interventions (recapitalization, asset purchases, guarantees, stress tests) that restored stability – in many cases, too lenient on the banks for my liking, but God help us if McCain and Boehner had been taking these decisions.

    I suggest you simply thank Obama and continue in the security of your economic lives!

  • The empty suit’s speech was better than I thought. But, of course Obama avoided giving Bush credit for the surge’s success, especially when he opposed the surge. Obama does not have much of knack for displaying charity to his opposition especially when he was wrong about the surge.

    Mornings Minion,
    You certainly are infatuated with “torture”. Although, maybe you should since “torture” or EIT’s saved lives more than once during the Bush administration. So, white voter discrimination at the polls is okay with you?

    Gee… Under Obama now we’re experiencing high unemployment, looking forward to multiple tax increases across the board, rising medical costs due to Obamacare, and he wants to pass Cap & Trade to make your energy bills skyrocket.

    OH! Joy! What More Could a Citizen ask for? (sarcasm)

  • Yeah, what’s not to miss? Increasing poverty rates, falling real wages, number of uninsured up, budget busting fiscal policy (war, tax cuts, Medicare part D each cost more than any of Obama’s initiatives and none were paid for). And then there is torture, war, codpiece diplomacy, global hatred against the US. Tax cuts for the rich, subsidies for energy companies, lax regulation, cronies and hacks instead of professionals, politicization of the Justice Department. Oh yeah, bring this guy back

    Until I got to the tax cuts for the rich, I was trying to figure out if Minion was talking about Bush’s or Obama’s term.

    Minion, seriously. Obama’s foreign policy has been from a Catholic perspective atrocious. Maybe it would have been better than McCain, but considering the willingness of Obama’s administration to assassinate citizens and some of the other decisions of his administration, it is very difficult to find a significant foreign policy decision that Obama has made that Bush would not have made. Indeed, he appears to plagiarized it.

  • We have universal health care

    So is your favorite flavor of kool-aid grape or lemon? I would think grape because it’s kind of like wine and that’s not so bad. But yeah, that’s a great thing to hang you hat on. I mean, it’s not like it is already leading to exploding premiums, economic uncertainty, and oh and that whole selling out of the unborn. But of course we both know that’s not much of a concern of yours.

    Anyway, nice dodge of my point, as always Tony. I know it’s tough, what with your guy crashing and burning to the point that George Bush – the guy that you so loathe and detest – is more popular than Barack Hussein Obama. Mmmmm, mmmm, mmmm.

  • Italics off.

  • Wait a minute, is this the same MM who assured us a year back that the GOP was finished as a major political party, and would instead remain a regional rump party in the South only.

    Suffering from a little bit of unfulfilled expectations, are we?

    Well, it doesn’t surprise me that MM think Obama was still the best choice. If Obama nuked Iran and invested the entire US budget in cheese curls, he’d still be sure that any Republican would have been worse — since they’re all eeeeeeevil nihilist dualists.

    The key thing, given we live in a republic, is that most other people are a little more cognizant of reality.

  • eeeeeeevil CALVINIST nihilist dualists.

  • Also, correction on MM’s rant: We do not have universal health care, even in 2014 when the health care bill actually goes into effect. Obama’s bill was only planned to reduce the number of uninsured, not eliminate it. And that’s according to its own projections, forget what actually ends up happening…

  • Dear God, Teresa, you cannot do evil so that good might come of it. Even if torture saves lies, it is intrinsically evil, which means it can never ever be defended. Ever. If you are even suggesting otherwise, you are stepping into some very dangerous territory, and become no different from an abortion supporter. You can quibble all night taxes and spending. You might be fundamentally wrong, but you are not stepping into a moral abyss. But defend torture, and that’s exactly where you are.

  • You have a point, Michael, but at least the torture has stopped. And I fully believe a McCain presidency would be conspiring with the odious Netanyahu regime to foment war with Iran. Fundamentally, the GOP needs war and violence to lubricate its electoral engines.

  • Do you have some evidence that the torture has stopped? This would be good news indeed, but although I have heard promises that it will stopped, I have not seen concrete steps towards eliminating torture. I am afraid I am a bit skeptical; after all, we don’t know what goes on in hidden locations.

    As far as Iran, I don’t think so. Popularity is the key for McCain, and people didn’t want another war. Right now he’d be trying to solve the economy and ignoring everything else, just like Obama. If the economy were different, maybe, but America’s appetite for war is gone now and McCain aims to please.

    War and violence might help the GOP’s electoral engines, but the current outlook on the cycle suggests that they don’t need them.

  • Fair enough, let’s see what the CBO said then, shall we? It will reduce the number of uninsured by 31 million, and make sure that it becomes affordable to all, with premiums falling in the individual market quite substantively, with more modest falls in the large and small employer markets. Overall, the deficit will reduced by $130 billion, testament to the delivery system reforms, Of course, you won’t hear this on Fox News.

    And let’s not try to use the unborn as a weapon here, again. As you well know, the pro life protections embodied in this act are far superior than anything in the private market today. But don’t let me stop you using the unborn to push forward a liberal economic agenda.

  • Is it just me, or is it REALLY, really amazing that even though Obama just declared the effective end of the nation’s longest war since Vietnam, very few people I know seem to care, and that STILL isn’t going to save the Democrats from electoral disaster in November, nor is it likely to stop Obama’s downward spiral in public approval?

  • Fair enough, let’s see what the CBO said then, shall we?

    Oh, they said that, yes. But only when given some highly unrealistic assumptions they were forced to work with. Let’s not buy the bridge in Brooklyn, shall we?

  • Fair enough, let’s see what the CBO said then,

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh it’s so cute that you think that those numbers are even remotely realistic.

  • It really boggles the mind that the dominant opinion here is that Obama was the inferior choice in 2008. Given everything that has happened on the economy, it truly beggars belief! Good night!

  • I would stick with the American history and political philosophy, Paul. The economics of health care isnt really your thing.

  • And seriously, while I know that it is doubtless true that you believe McCain and Netanyahu would be forming all sorts of evil and wily plots together — that does not mean that those of us who are more realistic need have similar suspicions.

  • Awwww, looks like Tony A doesn’t like being confronted by reality. Well, toodles, Tony. I’m sure your buddies at VN will comfort you in your delusions.

  • It really boggles the mind that the dominant opinion here is that Obama was the inferior choice in 2008. Given everything that has happened on the economy, it truly beggars belief!

    Heavens to Betsy! You’re right. If we’d had McCain in we might have not had a big enough stimulus, and unemployment might be over 8% now!

  • MM,
    Just because Leftist human rights organizations call something to be “torture” doesn’t make it “torture” in reality. Pulling fingernails or burning parts of the body is torture but EIT’s are not torture. Try reading a little from Dave Armstrong on this issue.

  • To all:
    As I’ve said previously on this topic, and even my Father in law agreed, “At this point, I miss Bill Clinton!”

    MM,

    How can you *POSSIBLY* say that this bloodthirsty pro-abortion monster is better than Bush?

  • By the way, regardless of one’s definition of whether waterboarding or any other practice is “torture” (and the hairsplitting by Republicans on this one always smacks of the same hairsplitting done by pro-aborts), torture was a non-issue in the 2008 election.

    George W. Bush was not running for office in 2008, though Obamanation supporters would have us think that.

    In fact, the only Republicans who supported waterboarding, etc., were voted out of the primary.

    Palin has never said anything on this issue one way or the other.

    McCain is against torture. He lost some “street cred” for opposing the thing about the CIA guide, merely because he felt that the way to reform the CIA and the Army was to reform each one directly.

    Barr opposes torture, and so does Baldwin. So using torture as a voting issue in the 2008 president election was a non-starter.

  • Exactly, GodsGadfly.

    In fact, the only torture supporter running for President in 2008 was the guy who thought it was okay to leave babies to die alone in a closet.

    You know, the one Tony supported.

  • Teresa. Waterboarding is torture. Prolonged sensory deprivation is torture. Cold cells are torture. Stress positions are torture. These have always been recognized as torture, including in law. I have a funny feeling that if Al Qaeda or the Iranian revolutionary guards captured some Americans and subjected them to exactly the same treatment, you would cry torture. But to claim it’s only torture if the other side does it is the most odious form of moral relativism. Let me repeat – you are following a line of reasoning that defends a grave intrinsically evil act. And remember, Gaudium Et Spes puts physical and mental torture up there with the very worst sins.

  • Because Gadfly, the man you loathe so much is not directly responsible for a single abortion. The man you love so much gave the order to torture and began a gravely war that led to, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of people dead, wounded, or displaced. It is pellicidly clear as to who has the most blood on his hands.

  • Technically, it doesn’t put them among the “very worst sins,” it lists them among things that are “intrinsically evil,” which means they can never be done justly. Intrinsic evil is the nature of the act and does not have to do with its sinfulness, which is bound up in the knowledge and motivations of the actor.

  • Could you possibly be suggesting, Darwin, that unemployment today would be lower under a McCain presidency? That’s pretty bizarre. I would love to hear the logic behind that one!!!

  • For example, one of your colleagues, Henry Karlson, a while back did a piece on lying as an “intrinsic evil.” He made some good points, but he conflated “intrinsic evil” with “mortal sin.” An action that is always wrong–intrinsically evil–may not always be mortally sinful, as you liberals like to say about contraception. Actions that are normally mortally sinful are not if the person lacks sufficient knowledge.
    Some acts which are intrinsically evil are merely venial sins. Again, referencing Karlson’s piece, if a parent tells a child a “noble lie” to explain a difficult concept or avoid a meltdown, that *may* be an intrinsically evil act, but it’s still a venial sin.

  • That’s pretty bizarre. I would love to hear the logic behind that one!!!

    Why is it any more bizarre than just assuming that it would have been worse absent the stimulus or other actions taken by the administration? You have offered no evidence or proof that President Obama and his minions in Congress have taken any action that directly led to enhanced economic output. You have simply asserted it as though we are to take your assessments as Gospel. Sorry, no thanks.

  • “It really boggles the mind that the dominant opinion here is that Obama was the inferior choice in 2008. Given everything that has happened on the economy, it truly beggars belief! Good night!”

    What beggars belief is that the social and intellectual world that you inhabit is so tiny that you can’t see the range of possible perspectives on economic and social issues.

    Seriously Minion, you need to leave the echo chamber you spend most of your time at over there and explore the world a little more. It’s good that you come here to be put in your place now and again, but you should go out and learn some more.

    You might discover that this president is at least as widely reviled as Bush ever was. You might also discover that his economic polices aren’t really that drastically different. They both work with the same set of Wall Street executives, they both use the government to protect powerful economic interests.

    You might finally figure out that the pathway to a moral economy is not through increasing the power of the state, but increasing the freedom of the people to do good – to create jobs, to save money, to discover and meet each other’s needs through voluntary cooperation.

    You might also figure out that it is the empty promise of the state to “take care of” everything from poor people to education and health care that is what creates the very individualism, indifference, apathy and consumerism that you believe government intervention must be used to addressed.

    You might learn that the assumption that, sans an interventionist economic regime, people will simply let the poor and vulnerable rot in the streets indicates a view of human nature and sin that is far closer to Calvinism than anything “economic liberals” with a Christian conscience believe.

  • Agreed, Gadfly, and this is why I noted torture’s rather high rank in Gaudium’s list of shame. But intrinsic evil is still the correct rebuttal against those like Teresa who claim good was done, as the objective of the act remains evil and thus can never be defended,

  • Paul, again I think you are getting a bit of your depth here. This is what I do. The overwhelming consensus is that without the emergency actions undertaken, the situation today would be far worse. You forget that in the last quarter of 2008, the specter of a second Great Depression was all too frighteningly real.

    As door quantification, this is obviously difficult. Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi estimate that without the package of monetary, fiscal, and financial sector policies, output would be a whopping 6.5 percent lower, and 8.5 million more people would be jobless. Looking narrowly at the stimulus bill, the CBO estimates that It raised real GDP by between 1.7 and 4.5 percent and increase the number of people employed by between 1.4 and 3.3 million. Now, we can argue that this was too small or not effectively targeted, but this does not give any comfort to the GOP side – a McCain presidency would have gone for something dramatically smaller, and chosen tax cuts, which is not very effective stimulus.

  • I see your Waterloo and raise you an improved Mamma Mia via Clive James.

  • I am sorry Robert H, but I have no choice but to respond with Dancing Queen.

  • My apologies to good music lovers everywhere who will now need a mind wipe after viewing this thread.

  • This is what I do.

    God help all.

  • As for the misnamed stimulus bill, it had virtually zero impact on the economy:

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/26/news/economy/NABE_survey/

    What it actually did was to allow states and municipalities to use fed dollars for road and other construction projects and transfer their funds to other areas, putting off the day of reckoning for getting their fiscal house in order, and that had virtually no impact on unemployment.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=9527995

  • “This is what I do.”

    Malpractice?

  • I like to shake the hand of the guy who assembled the “Miss me yet?” poster. It’s almost like he posed for the occasion.

  • The overwhelming consensus is that without the emergency actions undertaken, the situation today would be far worse. You forget that in the last quarter of 2008, the specter of a second Great Depression was all too frighteningly real.

    Perhaps the consensus at Vox Nova. While it is clear that actions had to be taken, it is not clear the money spent was spent as prudently as it needed to be. Indeed, a more thought out stimulus might have actually stimulated something. As it is, the money’s spent and no one my age can find a job. Hard to imagine it getting much worse, and there are no more arrows in Obama’s quiver. Obama had his chance and his money to save the economy, and he botched it.

    As far the benefits of healthcare reform, I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s not an accomplishment until it’s actually accomplished.

  • “It’s not an accomplishment until it’s actually accomplished.”

    Perhaps this is Obama’s (and Morning’s Minion’s) “Mission Accomplished” moment.

  • Blaming Obama for the economy is pretty foolish. Left-wing friends of mine did the same with Bush when he was elected, given that we had a slight downturn due to the one-two punch of the dot com bust and 9/11, both of which were out of Bush’s control. Partisans should remember that the massive Wall Street bailout was engineered under Bush, not Obama, and if I had to guess, I’d say that Bush may very well have done something similar to Obama’s stimulus package. After all, Bush is no fiscal conservative by any means.

    (I’m also of the opinion that if Gore had won in 2000 we would have entered a war against Iraq sooner than under Bush. Why? Because Gore most likely would have held onto most of the Clinton-era advisers who had been drawing up plans for invasion for years, and almost did launch hostilities in 1998.)

  • Could you possibly be suggesting, Darwin, that unemployment today would be lower under a McCain presidency? That’s pretty bizarre. I would love to hear the logic behind that one!!!

    No, MM. I just don’t think it would have been any worse. The only things that have happened which I find it pretty persuasive actually helped the economy are things that would have occured either way or occured before Obama came into office: the original Wall Street bailout (which may have avoided a wider banking collapse, though I don’t find the counterfactual 100% convincing there anymore) and monetary policy which either administration would have followed.

    I find it staggeringly unconvincing that the “stimulus” bill actually did much to improve the economy — especially because rather than a direct stimulus into immediate spending much of it was a dump of spending the Democrats had been wanting to do for a long time anyway (a good deal of which still hasn’t been spent.) If anything, it’s possible McCain would have got money into the economy faster as I imagine he would have been persuaded to support some sort of immediate “tax credit” which would have hit the consumer economy in the short term — though I think it would probably have been a bad idea.

    I think the Detroit bailout was a staggeringly bad idea, though it’s possible McCain would have been persuaded to do the same. And cash for clunkers and the home purchase subsidies both appear to have been total empty calories in terms of helping spur a long term recovery.

    So no — while I don’t think Obama has done anything to make the economy much worse than a McCain presidency would have, I really don’t think he’s done anything to make it better either.

    I think the magic ability of politicians to make the economy better is vastly overrated.

  • I think the magic ability of politicians to make the economy better is vastly overrated.

    This is really among the most bizarre assumptions in MM’s writings. He seems to think that Presidents have magical economic powers – that Clinton deserves credit for the prosperity of the dot-com boom (but not the bust – that was Bush’s fault!); that Bush caused the financial crisis in some way that made the Fed, Congress, and millions of Americans blameless; that the fiscal stimulus must have had positive effects because Obama wanted it too. From someone who should know better, it’s pretty amazing to see him making ridiculous causal economic claims any time it might provide an additional argument in favor of Democratic politicians.

  • Concur with the problems on the stimulus part. Work on our state Childhood Coordination committee. Stimulus passed 2/09. Got our first check 9/09. First money still wasn’t spent until 12/09. What is that, ten months. Still a lot of the money unspent due to all the red tape and figuring out what to spend it on. A total mess.

  • You miss a few crucial points. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times keeps pointing to something important – the huge shift in the private balance between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, from a deficit of 2.2 per cent of GDP to a surplus of 6.6 per cent. If that huge shift had not been counterbalanced by an increase in public deficits, the implications would have been diasastrous.

    Nobody is also noting the clear liquidity trap, when monetary policy has reached its clear limits, with short-term interests rates hovering around zero. This is precisely when fiscal policy works without crowding out.

    It seems that most of you are not quibbling with the idea of stimulus, but the size and composition. It is clear that it should be been bigger and more targeted toward what works, especially since a double dip seems likely, and with unemployemnt higher than projected. But look at the CBO’s numbers. It is patently clear that the stimulus had a huge impact on unemployment and without it, the situation would be far worse today. You forget that when we want to boost demand quickly, the quality of the project is not the essential issue. To slightly paraphrase Keynes, having somebody dig holes in the ground and cover them up might stimulate the economy more than invesment in high speed rail that takes years to put into effect.

    What works? Again, there is a great deal of consensus. Multipliers are highest for infrastruture investment and social safety nets. They are lowest for tax cuts and tax credits. I believe a major problem with the stimulus, in terms of adequate bang for buck, was that almost half of it took the form of tax cuts.

    There is an even greater problem. What really matters from a demand management perspective is the total government deficit. And what we see is loosening at the center being neutralized by tightening at the states, which (given legal requirements) are running severely procylical fiscal policies. In my view, this is having a severe negative effect.

    Oh, consensus? Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is the overwhelming consensus among serious thinkers, governments, and central banks. In fact, I can count on one hand those who claim stimulus was counterproductive – I can think of the Polish finance minister and the Bundesbank, which still thinks inflation is Germany’s number one problem (and some of the ECB who share the German view)! I don’t even count Republicans here, as I’m restricting more sample to the adults in the room, to those who think seriously about economic problems. Republicans are not in this category, where the dominant view is that cutting spending in the deepest recession in 60 years boosts growth, and tax cuts work exotic magic.

  • What works? Again, there is a great deal of consensus.

    No, there ain’t.

  • The appointment of Sonia Sotomayer and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court make Obama the most damaging president of our and our childrens’ lifetimes.

  • So in other words, the stimulus was better than doing absolutely nothing but probably worse than paying people to dig holes and fill them. Well, that makes me feel a lot better about Obama’s stimulus. I feel so so silly for not joining those serious thinkers in voting for Obama.

  • Of course people have been claiming its been working even before a good part of the money was spent. So let’s stop spending it if its worked so well (there is still some unspent.) And let’s put to an end talk about more stimulus.

  • >It seems that most of you are not quibbling with the idea of stimulus, but the size and composition. It is clear that it should be been bigger and more targeted toward what works, especially since a double dip seems likely, and with unemployemnt higher than projected. But look at the CBO’s numbers. It is patently clear that the stimulus had a huge impact on unemployment and without it, the situation would be far worse today. You forget that when we want to boost demand quickly, the quality of the project is not the essential issue. To slightly paraphrase Keynes, having somebody dig holes in the ground and cover them up might stimulate the economy more than invesment in high speed rail that takes years to put into effect.

    I’m not necessarily quibbling with the idea that stimulus could work in some conditions in some times and places, no. I’m quibbling with whether Obama’s stimulus achieved much of anything in this particular situation — and if it did so to any degree to which a hypothetical McCain set of actions would not have. I don’t have to deny that stimulus might work somewhere (or might even have achieved something in our economy) to deny that Obama’s had much of any impact on keeping our economy from being worse than it is.

    Also, I think it’s arguable that Keynes’ classic hole digging wouldn’t achieve that much in a modern economy such as that of the US. The issue is, in order for the stimulus spending to really kick start private demand, you need people to imagine that it will continue. In the 30s, doing WPA work wasn’t that far from what a lot of workers would have been doing anyway, and it also helped to smooth the transition from agricultural to industrial labor which was going on at the same time. (After all, the depression had effectively hit agriculture well before 1929.) We no longer have an economy that works that way, so even if you could get people to come out and dig holes and fill them in again, it wouldn’t fool people into thinking the economy was back on track and returning to normal spending patterns. Instead, they’d be struggling to put money away for the expected crash when the public funds ran out.

    Frankly, in that sense, a McCain plan which involved more basic tax credits might have been as or more efficient. (And before you get worked up about multipliers, keep in mind that a good deal of what actually got spent of the stimulus in the first 18 months was the tax credits. So if anything Obama did worked in regards to stimulus, it was arguably tax credits rather than spending.)

    Oh, consensus? Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is the overwhelming consensus among serious thinkers, governments, and central banks. In fact, I can count on one hand those who claim stimulus was counterproductive – I can think of the Polish finance minister and the Bundesbank, which still thinks inflation is Germany’s number one problem (and some of the ECB who share the German view)!

    Given the relative condition of our economy and Germany’s at the moment, are you sure your “consensus” is really in that big a position to throw stones?

  • What relative to Germany? Here is the picture:
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/what-about-germany/

    Germany, but the way, despite the rhetoric, implemented a sizeable fiscal stimulus. But if you really to see a country were stimulus worked big time, look to China.

  • So you said that Germany dissents from the overwhelming consensus (which I’m not convinced is actually all that overwhelming outside of your own policy circles) but then the refutation of the claim it would be okay to follow Germany’s policies is that Germany has seen roughly the same percentage changes in GDP as we have over the last couple years (while maintaining significantly lower unemployment). Hmmmm.

  • Also, in re China, given that China has an economy at a very different place from ours, I’m not clear at all that the claim that stimulus works there means it is a great idea here.

    And again, the basic fact it’s hard for your argument to avoid is that whether you and Krugman think a much larger and somewhat different stimulus would have been a good idea or not — Obama’s stimulus as it in fact existed pretty clearly didn’t have much of an effect either way (except perhaps via the tax credits) because of the way it was structured and the type and timescale of spending. Thus it’s hard to argue we would have been in a different place with McCain.

    That’s okay. You can continue to love Obama anyway. You wouldn’t be yourself if you didn’t. You just can’t expect the majority of the rest of the country to do the same because they don’t have your precommitments.

  • The different between China’s stimulus and the U.S. stimulus is rooted in each’s broader economic situation. China is in the stronger position, thus her “stimulus” will be perceived to work. Look at Japan: all their stimulus resulted in a lost decade, but they are STILL in an overall better position than the U.S. thanks to their citizen’s savings rate. These nations can AFFORD and ABSORB the costs (economic AND political) of stimulus, much in the same way Americans endured the Hoover and Roosevelt “stimuli.”

    So, no, Mr. Bush, I do not miss you. Nor do I miss your predecessor, nor will I miss your successor, and so on and so forth.

    I simply don’t understand why we are so opposed to the pain of economic contraction. Wouldn’t we be better off working towards ridding ourselves of the losses and malinvestment, over entrenching the behaviors that resulted in the collapse?

    Tragic.

  • Actually, the person that we can “thank” for this financial fiasco is Lyndon Baines Johnson who started the GSE’s (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) which caused this economic downturn. This is another instance of government entities trying to compete in the private sector and then screwing up, and then in turn ends up screwing the American people.

    Here is my post on this subject:
    http://teresamerica.blogspot.com/2010/08/marxismsocialismliberalism-fail.html

  • Obama-worshipping marxists masquerading as catholic pedagogues can have their beliefs/biases, they cannot fabricate what happened nor what is happening.

    Mainly, they are irrationally irritated that us idiots, us NASCAR-loving retards, us God and gun clutching nitwits are awakening up to the fact that Obama has nothing but bull crap and that’s the way things are falling … apart.

    Right, keep castigating Bush for the same stuff Obama and his moron minions are doing ten times more intensely. If these acts were so bad, why is the obagenius repeating them at warp speed?

    This especially irriates the left elites. America won the Iraq war (despite Obama, Biden and all of them voting against funding our soldiers and repeatedly asserting the war was lost and they tacitly preferred genocide), liberated 25,000,000 people and established a democracy despite the left’s best efforts at preserving tyranny.

    Re Chiner: Don’t look now but they may be developing an unprecedented (among obama-worshipping morons) housing boom that may turn into tragic economic bust.

    You read it here.

  • MM,

    Your Krugman reference made me laugh.

    🙂

  • Here is an example of why we must stop FOX News. It reports right-wing propaganda against our leader – Obama.

    Fact: Obama is trying (a judge stopped him) to end oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico – so what if 130,000 people go broke and the prices of gasoline and home heating oil go through the roof – he can blame Bush!

    From FOX:

    “Today, even though President Obama is against off shore drilling for our country, he signed an executive order to loan 2 Billion of our taxpayers dollars to a Brazilian Oil Exploration Company (which is the 8th largest company in the entire world) to drill for oil off the coast of Brazil! The oil that comes from this operation is for the sole purpose and use of China and NOT THE USA! Now here’s the real clincher…the Chinese government is under contract to purchase all the oil that this oil field will produce, which is hundreds of millions of barrels of oil..

    We have absolutely no gain from this transaction whatsoever!”

    Wait, it gets more interesting.”

    Guess who is the largest individual stockholder of this Brazilian Oil Company and who would benefit most from this? It is anti-American BILLIONAIRE, George Soros, who was one of Obama’s most generous financial supporter during his campaign.”

    “If you are able to connect the dots and follow the money, you are probably as upset as I am. Not a word of this transaction was broadcast on any of the other news networks!”

    The facts are confirmed in a Wall Street Journal article. No way!! Wait!!! WSJ is owned by Murdoch!!! Gotta be lies!!!!!

    When they tire of blaming Bush they have their fall back position: call them all RACISTS!

  • Since we are talking music and economics, allow me to pull us out of the 70’s and into the 21st century.

  • Tito:

    Yeah, I kept hearing “Paul Krugman is the embodiment of Catholic social teaching” go through my head when I was reading MM’s comment.

  • Darwin, Germany dissents from nothing. The Bundesbank is a major opponent of any fiscal policy loosening. Merkel makes a lot of noises about fiscal retrenchment, but if you look at the numbers, Germany implemented a pretty sizeable fiscal stimulus in 2009. Another amazing fact is that Germany managed to avoid any increase in unemployment during the crisis, which can be traced to its subsidized short-term work program.

  • Teresa, I’ve been refuting these arguments for years now. On the Community Reinvestment Act, the idea that poor people and minorities are to blame for the crisis. Three points. First, the CRA dates to 1997, while the crisies relates to the first decade of this century (and Bush even watered down the CRA in 2004). Second, the CRA is restricted to banks and thrifts that are federally insured, while most subprime loans were issued by mortgage originators outside the jurisdiction of the CRA. Third, the most dangerous lending was made precisely by those entities not subject to the CRA. In fact, as central bankers like Ned Gamlich and Janet Yellen have noted, the CRA has been quite prudent, with impressively low default rates.

    Now, onto the GSEs. Again, you have a problem with timing – why no crisis for the past 40 years? Of course, you can point to problems with the GSEs, and I might even agree with you, but you cannot say they are responsible for the crisis. Why? Simple facts. At precisely the time of the subprime boom (2004-08), the share of agency securization fell sharply, while the share of securization by private players rose precipitously – and this is where the problem arose.

    Honestly, you have a hard time accepting that the market was at fault here. The Church has no such problem. The pope has pointed to greed, pure and simple.

  • A “consensus” that excludes the ECB and any Republican is a strange sort of beast.

  • Honestly, you have a hard time accepting that the market was at fault here. The Church has no such problem. The pope has pointed to greed, pure and simple.

    Did greed not exist prior to the first decade of this century?

  • BA,

    You’re not thinking about this right. Greed was of course at fault, but greed requires a catalyst in order to cause catostrophic economic results. Bush was of course that catalyst. Indeed, such a catalyst that home prices began to spiral to unrealistic levels back in the 90s in anticipation of his arrival on the scene.

    The lesson here is, do not elect Bush! This will cause greed to wreck the economy. Even now that Bush is no longer available to run for office, you must not elect someone just like. All Republicans are just like him. If you elect them, then greed will suddenly fission and consequence will be dire.

    You have been warned.

  • “Stay out the Bushes!”

    At least the left is staying on message, even if it’s a message the vast majority of voters – who have moved on – don’t really care about.

    Ironic that Move On and its ilk can’t seem to follow its own advice and … you know … move on.

  • Wow. I actually agree with Minion on the CRA. It originally goes back even further to 1977. No bank was EVER forced to make an unprofitable loan.

    But equating “the market” with “greed” is absurdity, it is nonsense.

    The easy money policies of the Federal Reserve encouraged reckless economic behavior. A truly free market does not tolerate recklessness, because it does not subsidize failure. I don’t disagree that greed was involved, but it was facilitated by government.

    Don’t you get it? People who are willing to work hard and honestly for their money prosper in free markets. It is those who turn to government for special favors, or who look to get something for nothing, or who live beyond their means, that are the greedy ones.

  • Wow. I actually agree with Minion on the CRA. It originally goes back even further to 1977. No bank was EVER forced to make an unprofitable loan.

    If it makes you feel better, I agree with Minion on the CRA as well (although I wouldn’t agree that no bank was ever forced to make an unprofitable loan; perhaps you just mean that the loans in question weren’t guaranteed to be unprofitable, as opposed to this just being more likely?)

  • Do you have some evidence that the torture has stopped?

    It’s kind of charming that a grownup could possibly be so naive as to think that our government or any government that ever will exist could be trusted if or when it claims not to torture.

  • On the Community Reinvestment Act, the idea that poor people and minorities are to blame for the crisis.

    Wrong, at least so far as our particular discussions went. The idea concerned the war on lending standards, which began in earnest with the 1992 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston report: “systemic underwriting issues relating to the treatment of African American and Hispanic borrowers.” And so policymakers got with the mortgage industry to change their practices and “redouble” efforts to better serve “under-served” communities. To take one of many examples: Countrywide’s ‘House America.’ Seriously, go look into that lending program. It was a wild ride for a while, with ideology in the driver’s seat.

    Such consequences were a big, and a hugely under-reported, story of our financial and housing crisis. Not the only part of the story, no of course not. But this part, so uncomfortable to think too much about, served “diversity” for a while and everybody got rich for a while, all the time feeling great about themselves and giving out lots of awards to one another.

    Cheap and easy credit – when we should have been requiring at least 10 percent down, and when we should NOT have been looking at credit offering rates as evidence of “racism,” but at default rates as evidence of racism (where there were no gaps, by the way).

    In other words, you cannot understand what happened without looking at this big issue that you so casually and ideologically dismiss.

  • I cannot believe that you guys are all arguing about which banking bill caused our economic crisis, when the banking bills have nothing to do with it.
    Both socialist and capitalist economics depend upon population growth. The presumption is that there will always be more people to work and produce, and more people to buy stuff.

    This crisis was predicted by Human Life International in 2003. They sent an appeal to President Bush to ask him to repeal NSSM-200, with a detailed rebuttal of the document, and statistics showing how the US’s worldwide population control agenda had destroyed the economies of countries like the Philippines. They predicted that there would be a worldwide economic collapse by 2008.

    Of course, they’re not the first. Pat Buchanan has been saying for years that depopulation was going to cause our economy to implode, as has Archbishop Chaput. That’s not counting the Popes.

  • A sustained population decline presents a severe problem for a society, not population stasis.

    It would have to be an inventive piece of economic theory which would have demographic factors as generators of the real estate bubble, the decay of lending standards, the proliferation of mortgage and asset-backed securities, and credit default swaps.

  • A “consensus” that excludes the ECB and any Republican is a strange sort of beast.

    And large swaths of the population of professional economists to boot, whose complaints about public spending crowding out private spending and the size of the multipliers derived from public expenditures have not been confined to obscure academic journals. Implicitly outside the consensus also is the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, which showed production levels stabilizing in the Spring of 2009 before any stimulus could have had its effects.

  • The idea concerned the war on lending standards, which began in earnest with the 1992 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston report: “systemic underwriting issues relating to the treatment of African American and Hispanic borrowers.”

    I believe that a war typically involves two opposing sides. Banks were generally quite happy to lower lending standards and to seek out underserved communities, for the simple reason that doing so was making them a lot of money. If that severed “diversity” then that was just icing on the cake, but it would have happened anyway even if our society didn’t give two figs about the diversity idea (e.g. Spain).

  • BA,

    You are completely correct. But the reason the “diversity” angle is important is because it gave large-scale PC cover to both the banks (who were happy to speculate so long as prices were rising) and the government (as Clinton and Bush and Obama are of one accord here: let’s “expand opportunity”!).

    This is why I despise such corporatism and value-transferrence: governmental and big business elites have a lot of tools – including “serving the underclass” – to make out like bandits.

    In the meantime, small business – the very backbone of our economy – gets hammered time and time again.

    To put it crudely, it’s the top and the bottom verses the middle, and things could get ugly – especially since we have imported so much cheap labor and exported so many manufacturing jobs. Our elites deserve contempt.

    MM and other leftists: you care about the poor? Join the chorus to stop destroying middle class wages. Start with severely restricting immigration.

  • Jonathan,

    Why do banks need PC-cover in order to make loans? I don’t see it.

    And immigration isn’t destroying middle class wages. George Borjas’ data shows that immigration actually *raises* the wages of high school graduates (and he is at the pessimistic end of the scale when it comes to immigration).

  • for the simple reason that doing so was making them a lot of money.

    About 8% (by value) of the sum of residential mortgage debt was of the subprime variety. If I am not mistaken, the banks involved in subprime lending (Washington Mutual the exception) curtailed their subprime business in 2005; AIG also ceased writing credit default swaps on mortgage-backed securities derived from subprime infected pools. If what I have read is correct, ALT-A loans were not, ‘ere 2001, all that prone to default. The primary problem was the unwarranted inflation of prices, which affected all classes of loans.

  • The banks do not PC cover in order to make loans, although such cover was helpful when the speculation bubble was going. That was not my point. The point was that the banks (especially those backed by the government and those wishing to be granted permission to grow larger) were happy to use the mantra of “expanding opportunity” to destructively expand credit. There were perverse incentives. These things are not terribly disputable: 1). there has been a massive lowering of credit standards 2). one big, underreported factor was the PC-laden homeownership drive, covering quite a lot of people who should not have received lines of credit 3). The whole big ball of speculation came crashing down.

    Is this “blaming minorities?” Well, I blame the banks, the government, and those (many of them minorities, many of them not) who took out such loans. This is what I mean by the destructiveness of the big business / big government nexus – it’s bad for those that save and don’t speculate by taking on massive debt loads that may not be paid back.

    As for your link, we could trade links and studies all day long. But my argument would have extremely strong anecdotal evidence excluding all links and studies. From the fact that teenagers have essentially dropped out of the labor market (their entry-level jobs replaced by whom?, even as I grant the point most would rather be indoors) to the raft of news articles over the past decade about a rush of applications to processing plants and other manufacting jobs after verfication checks open up positions.

    These folks (and God bless them, I would want to leave many of those countries too) do depress American wages. Now, they aren’t taking our information-based jobs, so it’s easy to say, “who cares?” I don’t mean to suggest you don’t, but many don’t, and we all should. A sample:

    http://blog.al.com/bn/2009/05/immigration.html

    http://www.cis.org/node/1582

  • The point was that the banks (especially those backed by the government and those wishing to be granted permission to grow larger) were happy to use the mantra of “expanding opportunity” to destructively expand credit.

    And my point was that banks didn’t need to use mantras about expanding opportunity in order to expand credit. Sure, it’s a nice thing to talk about, but the credit expansion would have happened even if diversity was something nobody cared about.

    As for your link, we could trade links and studies all day long. But my argument would have extremely strong anecdotal evidence excluding all links and studies.

    Ah yes, who needs data when you have anecdotes.

    George Borjas is the most prominent anti-immigration economist around. If even his data shows that immigration actually raises the wages of high school graduates, what are the chances that you actually could provide “links and studies” showing that immigration was destroying middle class wages? Not high, I suspect.

  • Since when does George Borjas qualify as an ‘anti-immigration’ economist? He has been an advocate for controlled and targeted immigration and I believe has produced data showing immigration is injurious to certain classes of workers.

  • MM and other leftists: you care about the poor? Join the chorus to stop destroying middle class wages. Start with severely restricting immigration.

    No comment from me. Just wanted to draw people’s attention to this.

  • “Ah yes, who needs data when you have anecdotes.”

    Data is built by observing a pattern of incidents and anecdotes, and the (many) stories from the processing, farming, manufacturing, and service sectors about expanded labor driving down wages is sufficent evidence for me.

    And as for your data and your studies – that is all well and good, but the informed opinions of right-liberal / libertarian economists does not mean they are well done, complete, or correct. To take your example of Borjas – from my second link, as elsewhere, Camarota (among others) has highlighted work that contradicts a positive or net neutral impact upon wages (see footnotes 20 to 24).

    Again, we trade studies and numbers all day long. But then again, our jobs are computer-based. What about those actually in the field of manual labor? Let’s be like Cesar Chavez and do what’s in their best interests – advocate for high wages.

  • I think you need to build a bibliography and review the studies comparatively rather than dispose of statistical studies in favor of journalism.

    As is, I doubt when you add it all up you are going to find that immigration is injurious economically to the population in aggregate. I think you will find (and I believe Borjas has found) that it is injurious to native unskilled labor. Thomas Sowell has been among the critics of free immigration and his concern for this social stratum is part of that.

    There are, of course, non-economic problems with mass immigration as a social policy.

  • Art Deco,

    Stasis is bad for the economy when the economy is based upon constantly making *more* houses and *more* cars, to sell to an ever-increasing population. The US had its economic prosperity in the 50s-early70s because of the “Baby Boom.” It started on a trend of presuming that people would continuously need bigger houses and more cars. Then the women went into the workforce because of the Pill, and there was theoretically more money to throw around, and while people started having smaller families, they had more “money.”

    Then these small families grew up, and the kids grew up immature because of the perpetual immaturity granted by the “Sexual Revolution.” So the aging Boomers have had to support their twenty-something stoner offspring, and the generation that’s supposed to be picking up the weight on the economy is playing video games.

    Meanwhile, our “service economy” is based upon taking resources from Third World nations. As someone in the Philippines said a few years ago, “How can overpopulation be our economic problem when we are an agricultural economy?” Countries like the Philippines, which provide food for the rest of the world, are depopulating and losing the workforces which are supposed to be growing the food. Less workforce means less agriculture.

    This means less food, so more starvation in the Third World, and higher prices for food in “first world”.

    The magic tricks you’re talking about in the finance and banking industries only delayed the inevitable which should have happened in the late 1990s.

  • Data is built by observing a pattern of incidents and anecdotes

    No, it isn’t (the old saying “the plural of anecdote is not data” would seem to be applicable here).

    Do you understand how you might be able to find a couple of examples of people losing jobs to immigrants even if the overall effect of immigration was to increase wages?

    the informed opinions of right-liberal / libertarian economists does not mean they are well done, complete, or correct.

    Is Borjas a right-liberal/libertarian economist? I’m sure that would be news to him. I cited him because he is the most prominent economist who take a pessimistic view of immigration. The fact that you would dismiss him as a libertarian (while simultaneously citing other portions of his research that don’t contradict what I said) is curious.

  • Godsgadfly,

    You seem to be assuming that productivity per worker is some kind of constant, which it’s not. The United States, for example, produces more food today than it did in 1900, despite the fact that far fewer people work in agriculture now than did so in 1900. Likewise, manufacturing output for the U.S. is roughly triple what it was in the 1970, despite there being fewer Americans employed today in manufacturing.

  • GodsGadfly:

    One can think of a sense of well-being as being derived from phenomena in the economic and non-material realm. The latter is not derived from technology and may advance or recede in a fashion that can be described but not anticipated.

    The former can be understood as have components readily measured (e.g. manufacturing output) and those not (domestic labor not subject to market transactions). The component of well-being manifest in production advances for a number of reasons – increase in the size of the pool of labor, increasing investment borne of deferral of gratification, technological adaptations, and refinements in the division of labor. Neither technological adaptation nor refinement in the division of labor are dependent upon ever-increasing population.

    The improvement in this aspect of well-being is not necessarily expressed in a larger number of units of merchandise or in merchandise of larger size. It may be expressed in improved quality of merchandise (my thirteen year old car being more reliable than any new car my father bought prior to 1975), in more leisure, in conveniences (comparing here the oil furnace I have with the coal furnace my grandfather tended in the winter time), in personal attention, in greater efficiency in the use of inputs, &c.

    Meanwhile, our “service economy” is based upon taking resources from Third World nations.

    I have to say, I have absolutely no clue as to what you are referring.

    Countries like the Philippines, which provide food for the rest of the world, are depopulating and losing the workforces which are supposed to be growing the food. Less workforce means less agriculture.

    1. The United States is a net exporter of food stuffs.

    2. The population of the Philippines is not declining.

  • I’m well aware Borjas is not a libertarian, but the conclusions you seem eager to attribute to him (even when that CIS report, among others, details how he thinks immigration hurts wages) are common libertarian-flavored arguments. Well, the wider borders crowd right and left is wrong, and the studies we could trade now I’m willing to bet will come to increasingly recognize this – perhaps through the lens of widespread community disunity, as has happened with David Frum.

  • Ladies and Gentlemen;
    I have enjoyed your discussion very much but would like to see it framed in the context of Catholic teaching, dogma, etc. not political left/right/libertarian idology. I can get political based discussion almost anywhere but it is much more difficult to get intellectual Catholic based reasoning on current events or political schemes. Thank you.

  • Art Deco,

    You have no idea about sweat shops? Rice production?

    Yes, the population of the Philippines is not “declining,” but that’s not what the person was saying: he was saying that it was ridiculous to say they needed to reduce their population to improve their economy.

    In any case, instead of nit-picking my meager translation of it, why not read HLI’s analysis? Or Pat Buchanan’s _The Death of the West_?

  • Blackadder,

    I’m presuming that you need workers in order to produce *money*. If twentysomethings are sitting in their parents’ basements playing games and making inane comments on the internet instead of generating income, how can they possibly be contributing to the economy?

  • In any case, instead of nit-picking my meager translation of it, why not read HLI’s analysis? Or Pat Buchanan’s _The Death of the West_?

    Time is short. I could do that, but neither are going to produce an analysis of the situation that is not derivative (or if it is original, it is likely to be completely cockeyed). Although I am aging badly in this respect, I can still read academic research in economics and geography with some degree of critical engagement as well as syntheses produced by people for whom this sort of study is their vocation. As for coming to an understanding of the normative aspect, that is much more difficult for someone with my background. I have never heard either Mr. Buchanan nor the directors of HLI are in the business of providing good secondary literature to the social encyclicals, &c.

  • You people sicken me and make me ashamed to be a Catholic. The Bush admisnistration was a shameful disgrace to our country and democracy everywhere. He bought his way on to the ticket, smeared and created lies about his own party members (McCain) stole both elections and did everything he could to undermine freedom and liberty in his 8 dreadful years. If Obama has failed in anything it is to bring the Bush criminals to justice and stand up to the cancer that is the republican party.

  • “If Obama has failed in anything it is to bring the Bush criminals to justice and stand up to the cancer that is the republican party.”

    Ted, November 2 this year is going to be extremely painful for you. Great!!!!

Political Miscellania 8/31/10

Tuesday, August 31, AD 2010

A roundup of recent political news:

1.  GOP Takes Unprecedented Lead On Gallup Generic Congressional Ballot– Gallup has been running the generic Congressional ballot since 1942.  Yesterday it showed Republicans ahead by 10 points.

The Republican leads of 6, 7, and 10 points this month are all higher than any previous midterm Republican advantage in Gallup’s history of tracking the generic ballot, which dates to 1942. Prior to this year, the highest such gap was five points, measured in June 2002 and July 1994. Elections in both of these years resulted in significant Republican gains in House seats.

2. The Senate Is In Play– Albert Hunt is a political reporter who has been around forever.  He is also a political liberal.  That made his column yesterday especially interesting:

Forget conventional wisdom: Republicans have a real shot at taking control of the Senate, as well as the House, in the U.S. midterm elections.

Go here to read the entire column.   I of course have been predicting since last December that the GOP would take both the House and the Senate.

Continue reading...

$13 Trillion of Debt…Nothing to Show For It

Friday, August 27, AD 2010

Recently a Senator made the following statement:

“We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet” and, “in my view we have nothing to show for it.”

What right wing Republican made that statement?  Well actually it was Democrat Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Of course Bennet’s rhetoric is completely belied by his drunken sailor voting record when it comes to spending.  However his statement is still interesting for two reasons:

Continue reading...

7 Responses to $13 Trillion of Debt…Nothing to Show For It

  • One economist after another says that public expenditure is an inefficient means of manipulating aggregate demand unless you have slack in the economy a good deal more severe than we have seen or says that the characteristics of the economy have changed in the last 70 years and it no longer has the practical effect it once did. The economic numbers produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate the stabilization of production levels last year occurred too quickly after the stimulus was enacted to be attributable to it. Japan went up to its eyeballs in debt over a period of 13 years to no discernable effect. Yet, not too many weeks ago, I see Joseph Stiglitz on television saying the stimulus was ‘not big enough’. You begin to wonder if there is not some hidden agenda there.

  • One other thing, Treasury issues held by the public are approaching $9 tn. The bulk of the remainder are held by the Social Security Administration as parking places for payroll tax revenue. The Federal Reserve holds about $0.9 tn.

  • Point of Information,

    The $4 trillion held by SS and Medicare trust funds is not sitting in a vault or in an FDIC-insured checking account. It’s US, nonmarket debt paper. It may as well be Confederate dollars.

    Once SS/Medicare tax receipts (cash paid by you) fall below the benefits cash pay-outs, the guvmint will need to tax you to repay to SS/Medicare the UST debt paper and they pay benefits.

    Plus, the guvimnt will need to tax somebody to just pay the interest on the other $9 trillion.

    Whence the fit hits the shan.

    PS: The $.9 trillion held by FRB – they printed that money. It’s called monetization of the debt.

    PPS: Does the debt figure include $1.6 trillion FNM/FRE directly owe and $6 trillion they indirectly guaranty?

  • The debt figure would not include loan guarantees, no. The federal government’s liabilities with regard to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not the face value of the outstanding mortgage-backed securities but the future losses due to defaults.

    The Federal Reserve always maintains a stack of U.S. Treasury securities with which to trade. While I think this stack has increased some in the last two years, the large run up in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has been from the purchase of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt. It made sense to increase the size of the monetary base given the increase in demand for real balances, which is why prices have been fairly stable in the last two years, rather than declining at a 9% rate, which is what they did during the period running from 1929 to 1933.

  • Will Rogers said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know that ain’t so.”

  • Point of clarification,

    “The $4 trillion held by SS and Medicare trust funds is not sitting in a vault or in an FDIC-insured checking account.”

    That’s true, as far as it goes.
    – If it were sitting in a vault, that’d be deflationary, which would be bad.
    – If it were sitting in a checking or savings account, that would suggest it was being invested somewhere and generating a positive return. I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but I think a lot of folks would get the willies if the Federal Government held $4T in stocks and corp bonds as a matter of course.

    Obviously, the Federal Government spends its FICA and Medicare tax receipts pretty much the moment it receives them. The non-marketable bonds are an IOU.

    If the Federal Government does its job well, its efforts (which cost money to perform) will continue to create an environment in which the private economy grows, which eventually provides the taxes to honor those IOUs without increasing the individual tax burden.

    If the Federal Government does a bad job, they’ll honor the IOUs via higher taxes and additional deficit spending.

Tea Party Claims Another Scalp

Wednesday, August 25, AD 2010

Pro-abort incumbent Lisa Murkowski, apparently was defeated in the Republican primary in Alaska for the US Senate nomination by Palin endorsed pro-life Joe Miller, a tea party activist.  This is the most stunning political upset thus far this season.  Miller was widely viewed as a sure loser going into election night, especially by the internet Journal Slate which began a story on Monday with this opening:  On Tuesday, in her home state, Sarah Palin’s favorite will probably get trounced. Joe Miller is widely expected to lose by a large margin to incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary—an embarrassing defeat for the former governor, who has endorsed Miller, but also to Miller’s other major backer, the Tea Party Express.  Go here to read this monument to far sighted political prognostication.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Tea Party Claims Another Scalp

  • Here are other bits of wisdom from the author of the Slate piece.

    http://www.prospect.org/cs/author?id=2232

    This broad is the news director of a television station in Alaska, a position acquired after working at an opinion magazine. Fred Barnes said a while back that in his years at the Weekly Standard, he could scarcely recall a single member of the staff or intern who had been hired by an ordinary metropolitan newspaper. Funny how that works.

  • Political reporting in this country Art is mostly 90% “That is what I hope happens” and 10% “Well this is what the facts say”.

  • The dnc propaganda organ, you call it the media, spews 90% fiction to advance the mythical liberal narrative.

  • I just hope IF he wins I hope he can beat the Democrat.

  • The only time Alaska has elected a Democrat to Congress in the last 36 years was when the Republican was under indictment.

    Miss Gutierrez offers her post-mortem here:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2265056/

    Some of the commenters proceed to hand her her ass.

  • I haven’t seen an exact tally of how many Tea Party candidates have won in the primaries, but I heard that not all of them have been as spectacular. However add a Sarah Palin endorsement and voila! Tea Party score. So is Palin the codeine in the Tea Party Tylenol?

    I think she is the secret ingredient. The reason in short, IMHO, is that the Tea Party people are focused on economic issues, and I don’t fault them for that. But to put it bluntly, Palin brings God and Guns to the party. That completes the “Reagan coalition” on the issues.

    Please disprove me on this if I am off; as I said, I don’t have an exact tally.

  • Pauli, her endorsement of Clint Didier didn’t help him beat out Dino Rossi to win the primary here in Washington state.

  • Dino Rossi. Yeah, sounds like a good fella. Maybe he can fit Patty Murray with a pair of concrete overshoes.

    Either way, I ain’t sayin’ nothin’.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman!

The Best Candidate for Congress You've Never Heard Of

Tuesday, August 24, AD 2010

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Every election there are candidates running for Congress who are decided underdogs in their races, but who would make superb representatives if they can pull off an upset.  My personal favorite this cycle is Teresa Collett running in Minnesota 4.  She has an uphill fight.  In 2008 the pro-abort incumbent, Betty McCollum, won by 37 points.  However, Ms. Collett is running a feisty campaign and I believe she is beginning to gain some traction.

She is a professor of law at the University of Saint Thomas.  She has a distinguished history of pro-life activism:

Continue reading...

8 Responses to The Best Candidate for Congress You've Never Heard Of

  • Awesome pro-life record… but the views expressed in the video are not too inspiring… I would love to see a new breed of true Catholic politicians that would be courageously pro-life but at the same time understand the need for government’s intervention to offset the greed of big business and safeguard the basic necessities of the most vulnerable of our society.

  • You can’t be pro-contraception and still call yourself pro-life. I wonder where she comes down on public funding of contraception.

    -Tim-

  • Hey! A Ron Paul connection. Respect.

  • This post gets a “thumbs down” from Mr. Winters, who continues his vendetta against TAC. He invokes the “Three-Fifths Compromise” and interstate highways in his new fulmination.

    Whichever of you guys owes him money, please pay up. He’s going to short out another keyboard very soon.

  • “This post gets a “thumbs down” from Mr. Winters, who continues his vendetta against TAC.”

    Well in that case Dale I am truly convinced now that Ms. Collett is a superb candidate if she can cause Mr. Winters to vent his spleen against someone other than Robert George!

    http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/2010/08/michael-sean-winters-reveals-his-ugly.html

  • It will indeed be a pleasure for me to vote on 11/2 for Teresa Collett. She is the only intelligent candidate running for MN CD4!!

  • As a resident of MN 4th District, Teresa Collett is the best candidate we’ve had go up against the feeble minded Betty McCollum since she’s been in office. Betty knows it too, since she has so far ignored Teresa’s request to debate her 4 times before the November election. It is pretty much accepted that Rep. McCollum is not very smart, and as such will be destroyed in a debate with Ms. Collett.

    Betty McCollum is an ultra liberal, rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. She has never met a spending bill she hasn’t supported, and is decidedly anti business and anti taxpayer. She’s voted for TARP, for the Stimulus, for ObamaCare, and Cap and Trade. In 10 years in office, the most significant legislative achievement she has is a bill she authored renaming a post office was signed into law.

    Betty represents St. Paul, a city with a very vibrant Jewish community — yet she is anti Israel and pro Hamas. She actually kicked representatives of the largest Jewish political action committee out of her office. Betty McCollum calls herself Catholic — yet her policies are pro abortion, anti family, anti marriage and anti God. The most insulting thing this woman has done was stand in front of Congress and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, leaving out the words “Under God.” You can see the video of this insulting incident here:

    http://mncdneedschange.blogspot.com/2010/07/video-betty-mccollum-doesnt-want-you-to.html

    It will be my pleasure to vote for Teresa Collett this fall, and I encourage all of my neighbors in MN CD4 to do the same. We can do so much better than Betty McCollum!

  • Betty McCollum must go; the previous poster hit the nail on the head. Betty is an intellectual fly-weight that would be challenged in a debate with Paris Hilton.

    In 10 years she has
    – Voted 98.4% along party lines
    – Introduced 40 bills, only 1 passed (renaming New Brighton’s Post Office)
    – Debated 2 times

    Betty is useless and needs to go before she hurts America further!

Senator Kay Hagan Just Does Not Get It

Saturday, August 21, AD 2010

Miss Kay Hagan is doing a poor job of defending the “merits” of ObamaCare to a mother who has sick children.  In addition to her sick children, her and her husbands benefits have been cut down or eliminated in order to comply with ObamaCare.

Yet Miss Hagan insists on pushing for more European style socialism.

(Hat Tip:  Culture War Notes)

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Senator Kay Hagan Just Does Not Get It

  • She had to pass the bill so we could see what was in it.

    Remember in November.

  • I have just returned from a week’s vacation, staying with long-time friends in Switzerland.

    Here is what I know about their healthcare system: (My friends are, BTW, very happy with their health care).

    First-of-all, health insurance in Switzerland is absolutely mandatory! Virtually no exceptions!

    And, no, it’s not “Socialized Medicine”.

    You buy health insurance from private insurance companies and you go to your own private physician/health care provider. Your monthly premium can vary based on deductibles which you choose.

    Insurance companies cannot by law make a profit on the basic coverage which they must offer to all. And applicants cannot be rejected based on prior medical conditions.

    Where insurers can make a profit is on supplementary coverage, such as
    private rooms, etc.

    And, yes, there are co-pays.

    In Switzerland there is no Medicare.

    My friends are both in their late sixties and they participate in the mandatory insurance to the tune of what we here in the USA pay, about $13K per year. This includes their daughter who lives in Africa, three people.

    For the most part employers do not provide tax-favored medical insurance coverage to employees unlike here in the USA.

    One more thing: There is a government subsidy to those people whose insurance costs more than 8% of their income.

    Would this work in the USA?

2 Responses to Those Voices Don't Speak For The Rest of US

Electoral Tsunami Coming

Wednesday, August 18, AD 2010

Three recent polls indicate what a wipeout the Democrats are facing in November:

1.  The Republicans have a 12 point lead on the latest Rasmussen Congressional Generic ballot, the highest lead they have ever had in that poll:

Republican candidates have jumped out to a record-setting 12-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending Sunday, August 15, 2010. This is the biggest lead the GOP has held in over a decade of Rasmussen Reports surveying.

Continue reading...

11 Responses to Electoral Tsunami Coming

  • If we had a third party alternative, you might be right. But let’s remember we’re talking about Republicans. They ride elephants, not white horses. They bumbled two wars, Katrina, and the economy in the living memory of everybody who’s out of diapers. I wouldn’t discount the Dem’s abiities to play politics when their survival instinct kicks in.

    This election looks a lot more like a hockey game between the Yankees and the Cowboys. Two fine traditions totally out of their element. A team of teenagers could have thrashed either one of them.

  • The Republicans are about as popular as used car salesmen Todd with most Americans. However, the Democrats have managed to remind Americans of what tends to happen since World War 2 when the Party of the Jackass is given complete power, and most Americans are shocked and angered by it. I have never seen signs clearer of an electoral avalanche. Compared to 1994 the prospects for the Democrats were positively rosy in the polls. The Republicans will win this election overwhelmingly because they are not the Democrats. How they fare in 2012 will depend on how they do and how the economy does.

  • Todd and all,

    Yes!! That ought to distract people from the economy/unemployment as they worsen; the wars the libs did not end; the gulf oil spill they made more devastating; the first victims of rationing of health care, . . .

    They had to pass the bill so they’d know what was in it.

    They stifle the economy and scare employers into not hiring. Then people give up looking for jobs, and are not counted in the unemployment rate. Problem solved!

    Mort Zuckerman (erstwhile Obama-zombie now awakened), “There is a widespread feeling that the government doesn’t work, that it is incapable of solving America’s problems. Americans are fed up with Washington, fed up with Wall Street, fed up with the necessary but ill-conceived stimulus program, fed up with the misdirected healthcare program, and with pretty much everything else. They are outraged and feel that the system is not a level playing field, but is tilted against them. The millions of unemployed feel abandoned by the president, by the Democratic Congress, and by the Republicans. The American people wanted change, and who could blame them? But now there is no change they can believe in.”

    “The devil is come unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12

  • They bumbled two wars, Katrina, and the economy in the living memory of everybody who’s out of diapers.

    Public perceptions are what they are. It should be noted, however, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency employs only about 6,500 people to cover the whole country. Absent the imposition of martial law, the legwork of order maintenance and relief will be the work of local agencies for the most part. Those in New Orleans and Louisiana have their deficiencies. It might also be noted that the salient event in New Orleans (which distinguishes it from Mississippi) was the failure of a piece of public works. Capital expenditures are undertaken over periods of decades (and in this case were joint ventures of federal and local authorities).

    With regard to ‘the economy’, the argument that the Federal Reserve was responsible for generating an asset bubble is a dubious one promoted by purveyors of Austrian economics. That is something most unusual for a Democratic partisan to be seconding. Of course, the President and Congress might have erected legislation prohibiting (or requiring exchange trading) of credit default swaps and derivatives (a project Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers torpedoed during the Clinton Administration), containing the use of leverage (which Robert Rubin was advocating more of while being paid $119 million as chief guru at Citigroup), or inducing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to improve their accounting and underwriting standards. Actually, Mr. Bush did recommend legislation with the last object (co-sponsored by John McCain). It ran aground when Barney Frank rallied the opposition. On the staff of Freddie Mac was his boy toy Herb Moses. In charge of these enterprises was (among others) Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, and James Johnson. Now in what context might one recognize those names???

  • Yet another sign of things to come: in Illinois, pollsters including Rasmussen and PPP place Republican Bill Brady anywhere from 9 to 13 points ahead of Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn.

    Moreover, despite heavy advertising in the Chicago media market by the Democratic Governors Association hammering Brady for his allegedly “extreme” pro life and other social/fiscal conservative views, when asked which candidate they believe has “extreme” views, more voters say Quinn does.

    The bottom line is that the DGA campaign is at the very least, failing to make any impression. I rather suspect it’s backfiring in Brady’s favor because — surprise, surprise! — not all women, even in Chicago and its suburbs, think abortion on demand and big government liberalism are great things.

    Of course the never-ending Blago saga (for non Illinois residents just joining us, he was found guilty of one count of lying to the feds yesterday, and the jury deadlocked on 23 — that’s right, 23 — other counts, which are likely to be retried) probably won’t help the Dems any either.

  • Oops, bad sentence structure there. I should have said “he was found guilty YESTERDAY of one count of lying to the feds.” Although Blago probably did lie to the feds and everyone else yesterday (and the day before and every day before that as well).

  • Art,
    Count me among those who hold the Fed accountable at least in part. Unlike some so-called Austrians, I think bubbles are inevitable precisely because markets don’t act perfectly. Markets act perfectly only in laboratories that assume perfect information and perfect rational behavior — two circumstances that never occur. Given this practical limitation, business cycles occur, and every expansion part of the cycle involves some type of bubble or other. Always. The Fed has nothing to do with that. But this time the Fed acted repeatedly and aggressively to prevent any organic contraction. Throughout the last decade the Fed dropped the discount rate at the moment it caught even a whiff of a contraction. I suppose part of this was hubris — the idea that they were skilled enough to manage the money supply to allow expansions to last forever. Pretty silly in retrospect. But I suspect part of it was driven, perhaps unconsciously, by foreign policy. The attack on 9/11 occurred at about the time an organic contraction was developing, and Fed members (being human beings and Americal patriots) did not want our enemies to think they caused it. As the War on Terror dragged on the Fed probably felt some (self-imposed) pressure to keep the economy humming. They allowed cheap money to flow and while this deferred the inevitable correction it permitted the bad behavior (stupid lending and borrowing) to continue much longer than a free market would have permitted since the market’s natural medicinal contraction was not allowed to occur to correct it. Indeed, the artificially-gotten profits just induced ever more bad behavior until the inevitable happened. By that time he Fed had reduced the rates to the point where a liquidity trap robbed it of any ability to continue its well-intended but misguided policy. As in most things in life — plenty of blame to go around — a little greed here, a little hubris there, add a touch of common error and pour on some good intentions and you have the human condition, I’m afraid.

  • If I understand correctly, the Federal Reserve gradually raised the discount rate during the period running from 2002 to 2006. This was insufficient to contain the asset bubbles.

    The rate of increase in consumer prices during the period running from 2001 to 2008 was modest, so I think your critique would be more appropriately applied to the administration and Congress, which damaged public finances with a discretionary tax cut.

  • I certainly hope things improve but political solutions are too transient in the context of a fickle electorate. As the attachment to traditional christian traditions wane, in an ever increasingly culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse society, as it is and for a long time shall be in America, predictability
    is likely an uncertain hope.

    Don, I pray that this country finds the cohesiveness to remain a country rather than devolving into chaos. I have become a stranger in the place I was born and raised. It is amazing, really, but very disconcerting as well.

  • Fair point, Art. I concede that my recollection of the discount rate history was incorrect. Certainly fiscal policy was poor. Bush granted Congress a free hand in spending (no vetos) in exchange for a free hand to prosecute the War on Terror. Whether one wants to blame the resulting fiscal mess on the rise in domestic spending or the discretionary tax cut depends on where you sit, but no question the behavior was irresponsible.

  • Whoa Nellie… check out this tidbit from Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed today:

    “We’re screwed.”

    “Sneed hears rumbles that was the private reaction of Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine upon learning former Gov. Blago’s case was going to be retried … and was the reason Kaine kept a low media profile after the verdict. (Kaine was at an event in Iowa City when he learned about the verdict.)

    • The flip side: ”This simply isn’t true,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan. ”I’m not subject to every conversation . . . and the chairman wasn’t even made aware of the verdict until after he finished his event last night. He has not addressed the issue.”

    What?

    • Translation: Dems are already facing difficult races this November because of President Obama’s plummeting poll numbers and the nation’s economy. Top Dems had hoped a verdict — not a mistrial — would have been the end to the Blago debacle.”

One Response to Not Ready for Prime Time

  • this Democratic National Committee has live a slightly more beneficial polling locator they call up Raise Your Vote. this great site still needs your handle and zip code, but then displays your own assigned polling station and also best route to get there in your home office.

Political Miscellania 7/14/10

Wednesday, July 14, AD 2010

A roundup of recent political news. 

1.  Deficit Cancer-Erskine Bowles, co-chairman with Allan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming, of President Obama’s debt and deficit commission, is Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff.  Therefore I was somewhat surprised at how forthright he was recently when he made this statement: 

Bowles said that unlike the current economic crisis, which was largely unforeseen before it hit in fall 2008, the coming fiscal calamity is staring the country in the face. “This one is as clear as a bell,” he said. “This debt is like a cancer.” 

The commission leaders said that, at present, federal revenue is fully consumed by three programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. “The rest of the federal government, including fighting two wars, homeland security, education, art, culture, you name it, veterans — the whole rest of the discretionary budget is being financed by China and other countries,” Simpson said. 

“We can’t grow our way out of this,” Bowles said. “We could have decades of double-digit growth and not grow our way out of this enormous debt problem. We can’t tax our way out. . . . The reality is we’ve got to do exactly what you all do every day as governors. We’ve got to cut spending or increase revenues or do some combination of that.” 

Statements like this help keep spending and the national debt at the forefront of the issues confronting the nation and that is not good news for Obama and the Democrats in November. 

2.  Obama 40-On January 5, 2009 I made the following prediction here:  “8.   Obama’s popularity rating will be around 40% by the end of 2009.”  The latest ABC-Washington post poll here indicates that is about the amount of support the President currently enjoys: 

Public confidence in President Obama has hit a new low, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. Four months before midterm elections that will define the second half of his term, nearly six in 10 voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country, and a clear majority once again disapproves of how he is dealing with the economy. 

A CBS poll released yesterday also shows Obama at 40% 

 
3.   Hurricane GOP– Charlie Cook is one of the best political prognosticators in the business.  Personally his politics lean in the port direct, but I have always found his analysis to be very accurate.  Here is what he thinks is ahead in November in an article entitled Hurricane GOP On The Way:
 

Among all voters, there has been a significant swing since 2008 when Democrats took their new majority won in 2006 to an even higher level. But when you home in on those people in this survey who are most likely to vote, the numbers are devastating. The NBC/WSJ survey, when combined with a previously released NPR study of likely voters in 70 competitive House districts by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger, point to an outcome for Democrats that is as serious as a heart attack. Make no mistake about it: There is a wave out there, and for Democrats, the House is, at best, teetering on the edge.
To be sure, things could change in the four months between now and November 2. The GOP’s failure to get Republicans to vote in the May 18 special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th District underscores that the party can’t just sit back and await spontaneous combustion in terms of turnout. Still, the potential is here for a result that is proportional to some of the bigger postwar midterm wave elections. These kinds of waves are often ragged; almost always some candidates who looked dead somehow survive and others who were deemed safe get sucked down in the undertow. That’s the nature of these beasts. But the recent numbers confirm that trends first spotted late last summer have fully developed into at least a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.
Given how many House seats were newly won by Democrats in 2008 in GOP districts, and given that this election is leading into an all-important redistricting year, this reversal of fortune couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Democrats.
Go here to read the rest at the Cook Report.
Continue reading...

4 Responses to Political Miscellania 7/14/10

Political Miscellania 6/24/10

Thursday, June 24, AD 2010

A roundup of recent political news.

1.  Nikki Haley, see the above video, crushed her opponent in the runoff 65-35.  She survived bizzare accusations of infidelity, attacks on whether she is a Christian, her parents are Sikh immigrants, and outright racism.  She is only 38 years old, her youth being something she has in common with the new generation of conservatives running and winning this year.  She has a 20 point lead on her opponent in the general election and is the odds on favorite to win in the fall and be the next governor of South Carolina.

2.  Tim Scott handily won his runoff against Paul Thurmond for the Republican nomination for Congress from South Carolina 1.  This is a heavily Republican district, so Mr. Scott, who many consider to be the most conservative member of the South Carolina legislature, will now almost certainly be the first black Republican congressman from South Carolina since Reconstruction.

3.  The bad news for the Democrats for November just will not stop.  Gallup released a poll this week which shows a huge enthusiasm gap in favor of the GOP.

The current average is based on four measures of this enthusiasm question since February, including the recent June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll. In that poll, 53% of Republicans said they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting and 39% were less enthusiastic, while 35% of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic about voting and 56% were less enthusiastic.

Republicans’ net score of +14 more enthusiastic in the latest poll compared with the Democrats’ net score of -21 represents the largest relative party advantage Gallup has measured in a single midterm election-year poll. More generally, Republicans have shown a decided relative advantage in enthusiasm throughout 2010, averaging a net score of +28, compared with Democrats’ net score of 0.

(Gallup instituted a separate enthusiasm question in March on its Daily tracking survey, which asks voters to say how enthusiastic they are about voting this year as opposed to comparing their current enthusiasm to their enthusiasm in prior elections. This new enthusiasm question lacks a historical trend but has also shown a consistent Republican advantage throughout the year.)

The 28 percentage-point party difference in net scores on the “more enthusiastic than usual” question in 2010 is the highest Gallup has measured in a midterm election year, with 1994’s 17-point Republican advantage the only other midterm election-year gap coming close. (See the table at the end of the article for full data by party.)

Continue reading...

One Response to Political Miscellania 6/24/10

  • Re: Patty Murray’s challengers… Akers is solid, but he just doesn’t have much of a following among folks here in WA. He’s a businessman from Bellingham, who intends to streamline or LEAN out the bureaucracy.

    Rossi is (in my mind) a Johnny-come-lately to the race, and is the supposed establishment choice. He has name recognition, but he has yet to win a statewide race. In my time here, he’s the guy that lost to Christine Gregoire (governor) twice.

    Clint Didier is the man who has won my support. He’s a former tight end for the Redskins, and even caught a TD pass in the Superbowl. He’s a farmer, and a football coach back in Easter WA. By no means is he a polished politician, he admits quite frankly that he is not a polished politician.

    The Washington State Republican Party recently held their convention. Terra Mork, a local activist and pro-life conservative gives her take on the convention here and here. Additionally, Michelle at “Life of the Party”, another local local activist and pro-life conservative gives her endorsement to Didier as well.

    Anecdotally, the signs you see around town for Senate candidates are primarily for Didier. I have not seen one for Rossi. I’ve only seen one for Akers and one for Murray. WA is typically a blue state, but the enthusiasm seems to be falling mostly behind Didier, as Terra’s report of the straw poll seems to indicate. It should be interesting to see how the top two primary plays out to see who really will be on the ballot in the general.