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Monthly Archives: September 2010

A Little Something With Your Coffee

September 15th, 2010 - 5:45 am

I spent all weekend in DC telling an old story, and just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Besides, with that scary-ass politician’s memory of his, Dick Armey can back me up on this one. So without further ado, here it goes.

Twenty-six years ago, my son’s namesake, Preston Green, heard freshman congressman Dick Armey speak at some event or other hosted by the Association of Steel Distributors. Now I don’t know what Armey said that evening, and I’m not sure my grandfather, even were he alive today, could properly recollect. On the other hand, my grandfather’s steel-trap memory might have remembered it wholesale for all I know.

But whatever it was Armey said that night, it was so spot-on that the freshman congressman from Texas became the first –and only– out-of-state congressman to whom Preston M. Green ever wrote a check. And when I related this story to Armey at his own FreedomWorks headquarters last Saturday afternoon, the former congressman said, and I quote:

Yes, back in St. Louis, I remember. My first out-of-state contribution!

And my grandfather’s first out-of-state contribution — and his last, too.

So when you read that Dick Armey or his FreedomWorks group is up to some good deed, please believe that the deed is, indeed, good. That’s the judgement I received a quarter of a century ago. And from what I saw last weekend, that judgement holds true today.

ASIDE: FreedomWorks is moving from their present location, due to death threats (and a real-life bomb scare) from the usual suspects on the left. So if they hit you up for a few extra bucks, don’t think less of them.

What Happens in Washington…

September 14th, 2010 - 6:23 pm

Lies! Lies! Lies!

On second thought, this might explain a lot.

Live from Washington… It’s Trifecta!

September 14th, 2010 - 5:56 pm

Thanks to Tabitha Hale and Sarah Desprat’s best efforts, FreedomWorks got Scott Ott, Bill Whittle and me first class tickets (not really) to DC last weekend for BlogCon. And since we were there on Dick Armey’s dime, we put on a pretty good show for everybody. So –

Trifecta: Is the Tea Party the last, best hope for America?

Handicapping the House

September 14th, 2010 - 9:51 am

Lots of movement in the three weeks since we last did this. Twelve seats shifted position, ten of them from left to right. But first, the big picture.

Using RCP’s poll averaging, if the election were held to day (and don’t you just have to love that caveat), the Democrats would have a lock on 193 seats of their current 255-seat majority, including three pickups from the GOP side of the aisle. The GOP would start with 205 seats, up from their current 178 seats, and I’ll let you do (and awe at) the math yourselves. In the middle are 37 seats in the Toss Up category. 36 of them currently belong to Democrats.

What that means is, the Dems are playing defense in 114 races, while the GOP has to defend the hides of …wait for it… a grand total of 16 Congresscritters. Meanwhile, the GOP would seem to be only 13 wins away from that magical 218 majority number.

How’s that Democratic money advantage looking? Still ever-so-advantageous? Not quite, or at least that’s the view from here.

OK, on to the action, where the view is a little more muddled than I might have just indicated.

Moving right to left are NV03 and South Dakota’s at-large single district. In NV03, Dina Titus is one of those freshmen Democrats swept in on the Obama Wave in 2008. The district itself is probably still more red than blue, and like the rest of the state has a terrible problem with unemployment. Her opponent, Republican Joe Heck, is one of those citizen-candidates we all love so much — “soldier, physician, father” — hasn’t gained quite enough traction. This is one to watch, and I’ll going to see if I can get him on Coast to Coast Tea Party before the election.

South Dakota will be a tougher nut to crack. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is a solidly Blue Dog Dem, and voted against Obamacare. That ought to provide her with some protection against challenger Kristi Noem. The polls are tight, but Noem has never been ahead.

(By the way, the Washington Post seems to have taken down members’ voting records. All their own links go to a custom 404 Error page. Nice, eh?)

Now for the ten seats moving right.

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It’s Alive!

September 14th, 2010 - 8:21 am

What a –long– weekend. Three days in DC with Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks for the 9/12 rally, doing the usual blogger stuff. And by “blogger stuff,” I mean, drinking until 4AM at the Kruiser Kabana, which you know must be fun because it’s spelled with an extra K. Plus, we taped a live Trifecta (coming soon on PJTV), networked our heinies off, and ate surprisingly well for a government town. So I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when on Sunday, I felt like I had whatever it was that kept Bill Whittle running on maybe five cylinders on Saturday.

And then yesterday was the Denver 9/12 rally, with the lovely S.E. Cupp and the evil genius Andrew Breitbart — although why anyone would stick around to hear them speak after me was and remains a mystery. But so totally worth three hours in the heat, regardless.

All that was followed up by the somewhat more mundane tasks of getting my four-year-old to taekwondo and swimming lessons yesterday evening, and gosh I just don’t know what happened to the blogging.

So from here on out until Election Day there’s only one more trip planned, so everything — I mean everything — gets covered here, because this is the most important election in our lifetimes. It’s more vital to our future than 1980, and the results have the potential to be bigger than 1994.

Make it so, as the bald dude said.

After this cup of coffee, I’m going to dig through the polls and get you the latest Handicapping the House feature, which should be coming weekly up to and including November 2.

And then another cup of coffee, and not one more damn speech for a while.

A Very Special Episode

September 8th, 2010 - 7:07 pm

Trifecta: 9/11, nine years on. Have we learned anything? What’s changed? What needs changing?

And behind the scenes, Scott’s finish had Bill and my chins all a-quiver. Yours will, too.

Don’t Read This Post

September 7th, 2010 - 3:14 pm

Financial Times‘s Edward Luce got in the best line of the day:

While Mr Obama is rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, his fellow Democrats are putting on dresses and heading for the lifeboats.

My apologies if you need to drink away the mental picture of Dennis Kucinich in a dress — but at least I didn’t fire up Photoshop for the occasion.

It’s the Same Old Song

September 7th, 2010 - 2:37 pm

It’s a short little ditty, reported by the Jerusalem Postt:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told interviewers that he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday.

Abbas reportedly said that his position is no different from those Arafat present in previous negotiations, and that his staff is the same as Arafat’s.

He also hinted that the PA may fall apart if there is no hope for a solution in the near future. He then repeated that the PA will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Benjamin Netanyahu should walk out. There’s nothing further to discuss.

Required Reading

September 7th, 2010 - 12:50 pm

Jeffrey Goldberg spent three days with a self-reflecting Fidel Castro. Today’s is the first of several parts — and I’m going to be following them all. A sample:

Castro’s message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, was not so abstract, however. Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the “unique” history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence.

I don’t mean to imply that Castro is a changed man — he clearly isn’t. But there are some pleasant surprises in here.

Coffee-Fueled Rambling

September 7th, 2010 - 9:42 am

A selection of headlines from Tuesday, September 7, 2010, in no particular order.

GOP Makes Gains Ahead of Midterms – Balz & Cohen, Washington Post

Obama’s Shrinking Presidency – Richard Cohen, Washington Post

You Say Recession, I Say Depression – John Judis, The New Republic

Obama’s Foreign Policy Has Failed – Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast

As Economy Struggles, Confidence In Obama Wanes – Jay Levine, CBS News

Dems wary of WH’s huge new spending plan… – Darlene Superville, AP

Dems Are Distancing Themselves From Obama, Angry Over Economy, Health Care Fallout – Jimmy So, CBS News

First Read: GOP tidal wave may be building – NBC’s First Read

Going Against Former Boss, Obama’s Former Budget Director Says Bush Tax Cuts Should Be Extended for Two Years – Jake Tapper, ABC News

I could keep going, but I’ve gotten bored with all the copying & pasting — and I think I’ve done enough to drive the point home.

Here we are, the first Tuesday of the campaign season, and the President, his agenda, and his majorities have all been declared fini — by leftwing columnists and left-leading news sources. Whether that’s actually true is debatable, and nothing is settled until election night.

Think back now to 1994. The press didn’t turn on President Clinton like this until after the GOP swept through Congress. Then of course, Clinton triangulated, lured Newt Gingrich into overplaying his hand, and quickly reestablished the “relevance” the MSM was afraid he’d lost.

You’d think the left would be as patient with their Chosen One as they were with Clinton, but no, the End Times Are Nigh, to judge by the headlines.

Can we speculate as to why? Yes! We! Can!

My own theory is that the Complicit Media knew exactly what they were peddling back in 2007-08 — a progressive of no particular merit and no particular accomplishment. But he could sure read a speech, and he could sure pass himself off as a post-partisian moderate — so long as nobody looked too deeply into his past. And the Complicit Media was more that willing to help with that last bit, even though it meant sacrificing whatever was left of its credibility.

So they might also know that this man of no particular merit and no particular accomplishment has reached the limits of his meager abilities, that Obama really can’t turn his Administration around. He hasn’t got the training, the experience, or the temperament to do so. They know it, and now we know it, too. And so the media bloodbath is going to be phenomenal. Even more so, if the Republicans do the near-unthinkable and grab hold of the Senate, too.

That’s my theory, and I could be wrong on any point. But right or wrong, the next 12 months are going to be shockingly instructive about the nature of the media, the American electorate, and our peevish, petulant President.

Obama Puts the Transmission Into “R”

September 6th, 2010 - 10:31 pm

Hey, it turns out you can teach a new dog old tricks. From today’s NYT

As part of his emerging program to jolt the economic recovery from its stall, President Obama will call this week for allowing businesses to deduct from their taxes through 2011 the full value of new equipment purchase, from computers to utility generators, to increase demand for goods and create jobs.

The upfront deduction would allow businesses of all sizes to keep more money now and would give large corporations, many of which are sitting on cash because of uncertainty about the economy, an incentive to spend and invest.

Back in the Olden Times, an “accelerated depreciation” package just like this was a part of that cruel gruel the GOP served up as “Reaganomics.” But to the degree President Obama is coming on board, I’ll salute him.

Bad Blogger — Bad, Bad!

September 6th, 2010 - 3:31 pm

On the stump today, President Obama said, “Some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time and they’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog.”

I haven’t heard any talk like that about the President — although I do wish he’d quit making a mess on the rug.

Must-See Radio

September 4th, 2010 - 5:51 pm

I don’t know how he did it, but Ed Driscoll got Thomas Sowell to come on this week’s PJM Political, to talk about his new book.

Oh, sure, there’s lots of other great stuff on the show — but you’ll listen just for Dr. Sowell.

In It to Win It

September 4th, 2010 - 5:47 pm

Coast to Coast Tea Party: A chat with Joel Pollack, who who took on Barney Frank as a student at Harvard, and is now taking on the most liberal member of Congress in Illinois Ninth Congressional District. This guy’s got a resume like you wouldn’t believe, and a brain to match.

And if nothing else, it’s the most fun I’ve had doing this show.

The police force goes to pot, the Post Office hits the bottle and Newsweek hits a new low — all on another exciting episode of… The Week in Blogs!

The Song Remains the Same

September 3rd, 2010 - 2:37 pm

Here’s what others are saying:

Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It’s clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It’s the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week….Parenting and governing don’t have to be dirty words: the nation can’t be run by an angry two-year-old.

Actually, that was Peter Jennings in 1994.

Somebody Call the Whaaaaambulance

September 3rd, 2010 - 12:06 pm

Yesterday, I warned you we’d see a lot more “blame the victim” stuff coming out of the press, to rationalize Obama’s (and the Democrats’) abysmal poll numbers. And as if on cue, here are a few choice bits from Eugene Robinson Friday column:

“Americans are in a mood to hold their breath until they turn blue.”

“This isn’t an ‘electoral wave,’ it’s a temper tantrum.”

“The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.”

We love you, too, Eugene.

It’s For Your Own Good

September 3rd, 2010 - 7:45 am

Trifecta: Kathleen Sebelius wants to send you to camp — reeducation camp.

Get your goodthink on, comrades!

Abandon Ship of State

September 2nd, 2010 - 9:29 pm

Here’s the dish:

Former Obama administration car czar Steven Rattner is coming out with a new book that depicts him swashbuckling through the financial crisis and also shows Obama as “out to get” the car companies and the administration making political decisions about how to deal with bankrupt automakers GM and Chrysler.

Well, nobody to the left of …anyone… should be shocked by this “revelation.” Carving up the goodies and dishing them out to friends and patrons is what crony capitalism is all about, and it doesn’t matter if we’re talking Democrats or Republicans.*

But what I did find shocking was that the first tell-all book on the Obambi is being released well before the second anniversary of the first term in office. Usually, this stuff comes out in middle of a President’s second term. Or sometimes as an October Surprise at the end of the first term — at the very earliest.

This isn’t rats fleeing a sinking ship. This is oliphants jumping off the Titanic.

(Hat tip, Glenn, as per all-too-often.)

(more…)

Blame the Victim

September 2nd, 2010 - 5:10 pm

In a Time magazine piece, reporter Michael Sheerer (and David Axelrod with the assist!) trying out a new meme to explain away President Obama’s descent through the polls: Blame his victims. Here’s Exhibit A:

One explanation for Obama’s steep decline is that his presidency rests on what Gallup’s Frank Newport calls a “paradox” between Obama and the electorate. In 2008, Newport notes, trust in the federal government was at a historic low, dropping to around 25%, where it still remains. Yet Obama has offered government as the primary solution to most of the nation’s woes, calling for big new investments in health care, education, infrastructure and energy. Some voters bucked at the incongruity, repeatedly telling pollsters that even programs that have clearly helped the economy, like the $787 billion stimulus, did no such thing.

“The stimulus has clearly helped the economy.” That’s quite an assumption, given that by the President’s own yardstick, the thing has been a dismal flop. Furthermore, I think voters understand that the stimulus was yet another attempt to borrow from the future to make today a little nice — which is exactly how we got into this mess. So, contrary to Sheerer’s assertion, the American public seems to be quite a bit smarter than your average Beltway reporter and not the other way around.

And now, Exhibit B:

When challenged about his declining popularity, the President tended to deflect the blame — to the state of the economy, the ferocity of the news cycle and right-wing misinformation campaigns. Aides treated the problem as a communications concern more than a policy matter. They increased his travel schedule to key states and limited his prime-time addresses. They struggled to explain large, unpopular legislative packages to the American people, who opposed the measures despite supporting many of the component parts, like extending health insurance to patients with pre-existing conditions or preventing teacher layoffs. “When you package it all together, it can be too big to succeed as a public-relations matter,” says Axelrod.

See? Americans are just too dumb to understand that the health bill is good for them — we can’t see the forest (Obamacare) from the trees (all those “component parts”) we tell pollsters we like. That this bill was passed in the most outrageous way, and that we can plainly see those bits we like are smothered in horse waste — well, we shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads about the little technical details.

So your average reader, of which Time has literally tens, might read this thing and wonder if maybe he didn’t get it all wrong, if maybe he judged Obama too harshly. And we’ll see lots more of this stuff, going into November.

Don’t fall for it.

The Pot Calling the Kettle Whitey

September 2nd, 2010 - 4:40 pm

Trifecta: In which three overwhelmingly white guys defend the predominantly white Glenn Beck and take on the colorful characters in the Mainstream Media.

The Banality of Victory

September 1st, 2010 - 5:26 pm

Trifecta: Who can take a big win, and turn it into dread? The Obama man can!

Battering the Walls

September 1st, 2010 - 4:27 pm

If the GOP is going to retake Congress, it’s going to be in places likes Pennsylvania’s 12th district, where Tim Burns is taking on Jack Murtha’s protege,

I talked to Burns for today’s Coast to Coast Tea Party, and he’s an impressive candidate.