Saturday, October 30, 2010

Political Digest for October 31, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.

Election Problems Hotline—Please share
The Republican Party has set up a Hotline for election day, 1-888-775-8117, which will be staffed by attorneys, to handle polling issues and possible voter fraud or intimidation. If folks even guess that it might be taking place, they should call for free advice.

Vote Fraud—What to Watch For
Excerpt: There’s been lots of talk about voter fraud this election season. Already machines have purportedly preselected candidates and in other places, documents demonstrate non-citizens are registered to vote. Anyone who says voter fraud doesn’t exist has no credibility. I’ve covered elections for over 10 years. I’ve seen it over and over again with my own eyes. I’ve proved it in federal court. It is significantly more common than Sasquatch. But what does voter fraud look like? What can citizens be on the lookout for when they participate in their election? Let me share some examples:

Great Article: A Little Lady Predicts a Big Win
Excerpt: Well, I think we know where this one's going. The polls came like waves this week. Independents breaking hard for the GOP, those making under $50,000 going Republican, the party has a 20% lead among college graduates. Gallup says 2010 is looking better than the year of the last great sweep, with 55% of respondents now saying they are Republican or lean Republican. It was 49% in 1994. RealClearPolitics has 222 House seats going to the Republicans, 175 to Democrats, and 38 toss-ups, of which 36 are currently held by the Democrats. The president's approval numbers remain well below 50%, and Congress's disapproval numbers above 70%. Let's say the polls are pretty correct. If they are, two big facts present themselves. One is that the Obama coalition broke under pressure. We'll see if they regroup. America turns on a dime, we're in a time of quick and constant change. But Barack Obama's lines have been broken. On the other side, not only is a big Republican wave coming, but a rough coalition seems to be forming. It is the coalition that did not come together in 2006 to save Congress for the GOP, and did not come together in '08 to elect John McCain. The tea party saved the Republican Party by, among other things, re-energizing it. But it's also becoming clear the tea party did so without turning off the center. This is news. Six months ago the common wisdom was that the tea party was going to scare independent voters and make them run screaming from the tent. "There was an awful man in an Uncle Sam hat and a woman talking about repealing some amendment. I can't take it, Harry!" But the center doesn't appear to be scared. Maybe it doesn't scare easy. Maybe getting scared is what happens next time, not this time. Or, my hunch, maybe the center, some of whose members have expressed a certain antipathy or standoffishness toward the tea party, simply doesn't care that it feels a certain antipathy or standoffishness. Because such feelings are beside the point right now, a self-indulgence suited to less crisis-laden times. And we are in crisis. Our spending is ruinous, the demands of government are too great. It doesn't matter if you like the style of those who want to turn it around, join them and try to turn it around. One of the things Rep. Paul Ryan says has seeped into the electorate: We have only a short time to fix things, we have to move now. What's rising now on the Republican side is big but not fully known and will evolve, will change itself and direct itself and maybe even settle some old issues as it goes forward in the next few years. It promises to be turbulent, and rich in meaning. We'll know in the early hours next Wednesday how it all turned out. But here is one way you'll know it's huge: Anna Little wins in New Jersey. If she wins it means the Republican wave swept all before it. Not that she's expected to. She's running for Congress in the Jersey Shore's Sixth Congressional District, which went for Mr. Obama over Mr. McCain 60% to 38%. She's the Republican mayor of Highlands, population 5,000, up against incumbent Frank Pallone, an 11-term Democratic veteran who won in 2008 by 35 points. A Monmouth University poll has her down seven points. On the bright side, numbers guru Nate Silver just increased her chances of winning from 2% to 5%, and Charlie Cook changed the listing of the race from safe Democrat to likely Democrat.

Israel: Obama's Not So Hidden Agenda
Excerpt: To be sure, ties between the United States and Israel - far and away America's most important and loyal friend in the Middle East - have improved lately from the nadir to which Mr. Obama plunged them since he took office. That has nothing to do, however, with a change of heart or agenda on the part of the President and his administration. Rather, it is a reflection of a cynical calculation forced upon the Obama White House by its panicked congressional allies. Already laboring under the backbreaking burden of their association with a president and his agenda that have become huge liabilities, Democrats on Capitol Hill faced wholesale defections of their Jewish constituents and funders if their party's leader persisted in his assault on Israel. Public letters and private conversations had the desired effect: Barack Obama began treating his Israeli counterpart with a modicum of respect and the optics of a restarted peace process - however shortlived or doomed - helped conjur up an image of a renewed partnership between the two nations. Make no mistake about it, though: Once the 2010 elections are behind him, it is a safe bet that President Obama will revert to form by once again exhibiting an unmistakable and ruthless determination to bend Israel to his will. Worse yet, he will be able to take advantage of a vehicle for effecting the so-called "two state solution," no matter how strenuously Israel and its friends in Washington object: The Palestinians will simply unilaterally declare themselves a state and ask for international recognition - and Mr. Obama will accede to that request.

Terror Plot Thwarted as US-bound Explosives Seized
Let’s not jump to conclusions. We don’t know they were Muslims. Has anyone been watching the Swedish Bikini Team, I ask you? ~Bob. Excerpt: Authorities on three continents thwarted multiple terrorist attacks aimed at the United States from Yemen on Friday, seizing two explosive packages addressed to Chicago-area synagogues and packed aboard cargo jets. The plot triggered worldwide fears that al-Qaida was launching a major new terror campaign. President Barack Obama called the coordinated attacks a "credible terrorist threat," and U.S. officials said they were increasingly confident that al-Qaida's Yemen branch, the group responsible for the failed Detroit airliner bombing last Christmas, was responsible. Parts of the plot might remain undetected, Obama's counterterror chief warned. "The United States is not assuming that the attacks were disrupted and is remaining vigilant," John Brennan said at the White House. One of the packages was found aboard a cargo plane in Dubai, the other in England. Preliminary tests indicated the packages contained the powerful industrial explosive PETN, the same chemical used in the Christmas attack, U.S. officials said. The tests had not been confirmed. In the U.S., cargo planes were searched up and down the Eastern Seaboard, and an Emirates Airlines passenger jet was escorted down the coast to New York by American fighter jets.

The "Religious Institutions that Qaeda Targets
Excerpt: As you probably know by now, the President made a brief statement this afternoon regarding suspicious packages from Yemen containing explosive devices that were intercepted overseas en route to synagogues in Chicago. But let's not let the day end without taking note of this amazing quote reported earlier today: "Since two of the suspicious packages that were intercepted were addressed to religious institutions in Chicago, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the Chicago area should be vigilant for any unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from overseas locations," said FBI Special Agent Ross Rice. Does Agent Rice really believe that an attempt by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to send bombs to synagogues is a sign that mosques need to be vigilant? (Actually, not impossible. The majority of the innocent victims murdered by Muslims in the name of Allah are fellow Muslims who believe a little differently, or happened to be in the way or not support that particular group of savage murderers. And, yes, stop telling me about the Crusades, Europe’s answer to Muslim invasions, and about how Christians did this in the middle ages. We got over it. Time they did too. ~Bob.)

Interesting Details Surrounding the Al Qaeda Cargo Plane Plot Out of Yemen
Excerpt: By now, you've likely heard the key details surrounding an Al Qaeda plot involving explosives found aboard cargo planes bound for the U.S, originating from Yemen. Here are a few interesting details on Yemen that I became aware of this afternoon after speaking with an intelligence source who actually flew out of Sana'a, Yemen to Dubai yesterday, around the time the explosives were found.

Woman who ‘posted Al Qaeda Printer Bombs’ Arrested in Yemen as Home Secretary Says Device Could Have Blown Jet Out of Sky
Excerpt: A woman accused of posting two printer bombs found on board cargo planes in the UK and Dubai has been arrested in Yemen. Investigators said the woman was detained as part of a manhunt for a number of suspects believed to have used forged documents and ID cards that played a role in the plot that was thwarted yesterday. Yemeni officials this evening said the suspects are believed to have links to Al Qaeda's faction in Yemen. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates had provided him with information that helped identify the woman as a suspect.

I saw America today
Excerpt: I was among more that 200 people gathered on the tarmac at the Meridian Air Navel Station to welcome Sgt. Eric C. Newman, 30, of Waynesboro, Miss. home from Afghanistan. He did not exit to cheers and hugs but was greeted by respectful silence. Military men and women, bikers, policemen, firemen, all in formation riveted their attention as Sgt. Newman disembarked from the plane carrying him. He exited in a flag draped coffin, killed in action in Afghanistan. The family stood near the hearse and as Sgt. Newman’s casket approached he was greeted by his new wife and his mother as they draped their arms around the casket where their beloved husband and son lay. There would be no married life for the newly married couple and another mother had given her son in the name of freedom.

Happy Halloween
I was going to go Trick or Treating dressed as the Deficit, but when I got in costume I couldn’t move—too big. And it really scared the little kids. ~Bob.

AZ GOP Finds 1 of 4 Last Minute Voter Registration Requests Are Fraudulent!
No surprise. Standard leftist “ends justify the means.” ~Bob. Excerpt: The Arizona GOP has uncovered hundreds, if not thousands, of bogus voter registrations by the far left SEIU group Mi Familia Vota.

Alarming Trends
Excerpt: A recent Chicago Tribune editorial pointed out some unpleasant truths. Nearly one U.S. household in two receives some sort of government benefit every month, a slightly higher percentage than the households which do not pay any income tax. Another 13% pay neither income nor payroll taxes. As the number receiving benefits and the number not paying for benefits increase, there is greater pressure from those two groups to demand more and politicians are unwilling to resist such large groups’ demands. There is no free lunch. We already see state regulators becoming stricter on granting or continuing exemptions from taxes. Will the feds be next?—the Howe & Hutton Report. (This is why dealing with the deficit is almost impossible regardless of party—only the coming fiscal collapse will fix it. With great pain. ~Bob.)

G.O.P. House Projection Steady at Plus-53 Seats
Silver is a leftie, but usually has good data and calls it pretty straight. ~Bob. Excerpt: FiveThirtyEight’s House projection is unchanged over the past 48 hours. Over the course of its simulation runs, our model found Republicans gaining an average of 53 seats, which would bring them to 232 total. Democrats are given a 16 percent chance of holding the House, down slightly from 17 percent on Wednesday. Increasingly, there seems to be something of a consensus among various forecasting methods around a projected Republican figure somewhere in the 50-60 seat range. Several of the expert forecasters that FiveThirtyEight’s model uses, like the Cook Political Report, the Rothenberg Political Report, and Larry Sabato, have stated that they expect the Republicans’ overall total to fall roughly in this range. A straw poll of political insiders for Hotline on Call found an average expectation of a 50-seat gain. And some political science models have been forecasting gains somewhere in this range for some time. The forecast also seems consistent with the average of generic ballot polling. Our model projects that Republicans will win the average Congressional district by between 3 and 4 points.

Wikileaks' Pitiful Antiwar Propaganda
Excerpt: Wikileaks is leaking again, and the left is ecstatic. In particular, they're simply wild about Wikileaks' revelation that American soldiers turned a blind eye to Iraqi soldiers mistreating captured enemies, marking many reports with "no further investigation" necessary. The UK Guardian gloated, "The systematic viciousness of the old dictatorship when Saddam Hussein's security agencies enforced order without any regard for law continues." These abuses are tragic and problematic. They make our job harder in Iraq and Afghanistan -- or, more specifically, media revelations of these abuses make our job harder in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, this is also a war. In order to stay alive and save the lives of their comrades, soldiers can do dire things while prosecuting a war. Liberals and do-gooders seem utterly ignorant of the fact that war is dirty business, should never be regarded as anything even slightly resembling polite society, and should never be imagined as anything else but a cold-hearted business meant to kill, defeat, destroy, and demoralize the enemy. Orders come from Four Stars, not Emily Post.

Soros and the Collapse of the Left
Excerpt: Now let me get this straight: George Soros, Media Matters, and the White House, in some unclear capacity, have unveiled their master plan to destroy the right: isolate and nullify Fox News by getting people fired from NPR. NPR pink-slipped Juan Williams for the equivalent of stating that when he sees it's raining out, he gets his umbrella. NPR president Vivian Schiller, evidently divining that disparaging fears of Muslim terrorists wouldn't play well in a country that has suffered three serious terrorist attempts in a little over a year, added that this was merely the latest of a series of Williams outrages, but she produced no examples. (Schiller now says that she "regrets" how the firing was handled.) Obviously, there has to be another reason, and when we look around, we find none other than the Prog Twins, Soros and Obama. (Not to forget David Brock...or is that the stupidest statement I ever typed?) Obama has been having bad dreams about Fox, so Soros contributes a cool $1.8 million to NPR for the purpose of hiring one hundred investigative reporters to learn the truth about Bigfoot. Another $1 mil went to Brock's Media Matters for the purpose, I imagine, of mixing more mud to fling -- they don't do anything else. Then, as soon as the checks cleared, Williams finds himself out on the street.

Democrats Lose Hold on Latinos and Women as Party's Base Drifts
Excerpt: In the final stretch of this volatile and polarizing midterm election, while the beleaguered Democrats duck to ward off an approaching Republican steamroller, rippling cracks are widening in two of the most reliable and loyal Democratic voting blocs, women and Latinos. The past several weeks have exposed troubling frustration, anger and apathy among white Democratic female voters and among Latino Democrats. More alarming for Democrats than the "enthusiasm gap" between Democrats and Republicans is emerging evidence that women and Latinos are drifting away from their longtime political home and moving across the line toward the GOP. (Democrats are also losing support among independents, Roman Catholics, college graduates, the 30-44 demographic and suburbanites, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll published Oct. 28.) As if this trend needed underscoring, the GOP this year put together a stronger lineup of Hispanic candidates for major office than the Democrats did. In fact, in the 74 elections this year for governor or U.S. Senate, there is not a single Democratic Hispanic nominee – not a one. At the same time, the GOP fielded three top-tier Hispanics in predominantly blue states, and all three candidates are leading in Senate and governor races and are expected to win handily on Nov. 2. (Now our problem becomes holding on to them. I doubt their basic philosophy has changed much; they're angry at the continual push to the far left by the Washington Dems and their continual dithering on the economy. If they think we've gone "too far right," or we also fail to improve the economy, we'll just lose them back again. Ron P.)

Chuck Schumer really, really wants Harry Reid’s job
Excerpt: With Harry Reid in serious danger of losing re-election on Tuesday, Democrats are naturally wondering who might replace him as the party's top leader in the Senate should he not return to Washington. It's no secret that Chuck Schumer desperately wants the job, and today, the New York Times examines the senior New York senator's attempts to quietly position himself as Reid's successor. In perhaps the only time the word "subtly" has ever been used to describe the brash attention-getting Schumer, the Times notes that he has been doing everything he can to help out fellow Dems in need — contributing cash, headlining campaign events — in the hopes that they'll remember him when it comes time to elect party leaders in the next Congress. There's just one problem: Schumer isn't alone in his leadership ambitions. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Reid's current No. 2 and, perhaps most awkwardly, Schumer's D.C. roommate, also has designs on the job (and, as we noted months ago, the support of the White House). What's more, telegraphing those ambitions too bluntly — Schumer's usual M.O. — could backfire, given that Reid isn't exactly out of a job yet. That means Schumer is proceeding with the lightest of touches these days — making it clear that he's in the leadership race but not to the point where he's seen as measuring new drapes for the leader's office. The Times story doesn't quote Schumer — which bears witness to the senator's newly retiring mien. But Schumer's allies deliver the message that the New York Democrat is pained by Reid's situation and that Schumer would find it "bittersweet" to succeed the man to whom he owes "much of his success." Schumer, the paper notes, regards Reid "like a brother" and recently bought him a Netflix subscription. (Is that why Reid bombed in his debate with Sharron Angle — watching too many DVDs?) (Durbin is a trial lawyer and their interests come first with him. Being from New York, Schumer can’t undercut Israel as much as most lefties like to do. ~Bob.)

The Enemy Next Door
Excerpt: The Mexican drug wars have become an old story. Media of all types have given extensive coverage to the battles between and among criminal gangs and federal police and military. Nonetheless, the Obama Administration has continued a policy of avoiding recognition of the danger of the open warfare that exists immediately south of the United States border with Mexico. The federal and state governments of Mexico have reacted quickly to deny commentary that challenges their commitment to enforcing law and order in their jurisdictions. From Washington comes an active effort to counter any claims by local law enforcement in the Southwest that suggest any increase in trafficking in narcotics and human smuggling. After organizing Department of Justice lawyers to bring the State of Arizona to court over their law attempting to enforce existing federal statutes on illegal immigration, the Obama White House has done everything it could to play to the politics of the Spanish-heritage population in the United States. This has included downplaying the power wielded by Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13) and the other Hispanic gangs in major cities throughout the U.S. and their organization in American prison societies. The Administration's unwillingness to deploy major units of federalized National Guard troops to inhibit illegal border crossing was first thought to be some form of economy measure and/or turf conflict with the Department of Homeland Security. It has turned out, however, to be in response to Mexico's President Felipe Calderon's fear that a heavily armed U.S. border would be deemed by his political opponents as an indication of his government's weakness against American attempts to preempt Mexican sovereignty. Desirous of supporting Calderon, President Obama's domestic strategists found a device to once again create a seemingly logical decision out of a false premise.

Will Boxer Vote for "Empathy for Sexual Sadists" Judge?
Excerpt: Does Senator Boxer (D-California) approve of judges giving a pass to sexual sadists who rape and murder girls? I ask because she has been silent on President Obama's outrageous judicial nominee who has a history of excusing sexual crimes against women. Judge Robert Chatigny called sexual sadism a "mitigating factor" in the case of a serial rapist and murderer. He gave light sentences for child sex predators and possession of child pornography. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected his overturning of Connecticut's law requiring registration of sex offenders. Chatigny's egregious actions in the serial murderer case led to seven state prosecutors filing complaints that he violated judicial ethics. They accused him of exceeding his judicial authority, abandoning neutrality, acting as an advocate to rescue a sadistic murderer from execution, and defying the rulings of higher courts. Yet President Obama nominated this man not once, but twice to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Nary a peep so far from Senator Boxer, even when the chilling details of Chatigny's aggressive - and unethical - interference in a serial murder case revealed his sympathy for sexual violators. Michael Ross was convicted of murdering eight women and girls. In prison, he described his crimes for a documentary titled, "The Serial Killers." Clips of the video are available on the Internet, so Senator Boxer can see if she agrees with Chatigny's conclusion and extreme intervention on behalf of this cold-blooded killer. Ross explains how he tied up 14-year-old Leslie Shelley, put her in the trunk of his car, and "took the other girl, April Bernaise [also 14] out and I raped her, and killed her, and I put her in the front seat." Then he pulled Leslie out of the trunk and brutally killed her. Of his last victim, Wendy Baribeault, 17 years old, he said: "I raped her, and I killed her. It wasn't pleasant. It wasn't a nice rape."

Bibles Burned, Hymnbooks Slashed in Bradford Attack
Spread the word they are going after Qur’ans next. Losing a head or two will slow them down. ~Bob. Excerpt: Yobs in West Yorkshire burned Bibles and slashed hymnbooks in an attack against a Methodist church in a village near Bradford. The distressing attack on Birkenshaw Methodist Church was discovered earlier this week when an art group went to the church to hold their meeting. Upon arriving they found that a large crucifix had been ripped from an interior wall, the chairs had been slashed, and wires leading to the church’s speakers and piano keyboard had been cut.

England: One Law for Muslims, one for the Rest —England’s Slippery Sharia Slope
Excerpt: England is fast becoming but simple a plot of land floating in the sea instead of a nation of culture guided by a rich legal tradition. It is a tail of warning for the USA, the moral of which is don’t allow minorities to set up a parallel culture or you will cease to be a nation of laws. You will, in fact, cease to be a nation at all. England is on the verge of having a bifurcated legal system, one for their various religious peoples and one for the rest of the native population. Two recent stories show the degradation of the British legal system and the inequities that it creates. In a BBC story by Innes Bowen, The end of one law for all?, the question is asked: “Ethnic and religious courts are gaining ground in the UK. Will this lead to different justice for different people?” How could this be that hard to answer? Naturally, the BBC strives to make it seem as if all is right and good with this destruction of the English legal system because, after all, these people are just doing what “their culture” requires that they do, neatly ignoring the fact that they are in England and NOT back in their own homeland. Aydarus Yusuf has lived in the UK for the past 15 years, but he feels more bound by the traditional law of his country of birth – Somalia – than he does by the law of England and Wales. “Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law. It’s not Islamic, it’s not religious – it’s just a cultural thing.”

Psychiatric Manual DSM-IV-TR Labels free Thinkers, non conformers as Mentally Ill
This would cover almost all the Founding Fathers. Stepford wives are fine, though. ~Bob. Excerpt: It is now confirmed by USWGO News that the DSM-IV-TR Manual labels free thinkers, non conformers, civil disobedient advocates, those that question authority, and people considered hostile toward the government (aka Oath keepers and local militias) as mentally ill with the illness titled “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. It was reported on October 8 2010 from OffTheGrid News that anybody who is disobedient, defiant, a free thinker, or even considered hostile toward authority was to be labeled by psychiatrists as ‘Mentally Ill’.

Good cartoons
Not too political.

Is NASA Covering Up the 100-Year Starship?
Excerpt: But what is the Hundred Year Starship? Some experts argue that any program that suggests putting humans into space for their entire life, or for multiple generations, is doomed from the start, since many people react negatively to the idea of leaving the planet and never returning. Others are more supportive, saying it is the only way to settle a space colony. Speculation about colonization takes many forms, and some of the freshest ideas sound a bit peculiar. Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies, who wrote in the Journal of Cosmology recently, suggest sending four astronauts on a one-way mission who “establish their presence” and do not come back. (...) The main issue has to do with a basic physics conundrum. In order to travel the great distance to Mars (about 35 million miles), a starship would need a tremendous amount of fuel. Yet fuel adds more weight -- in fact, every pound you add to a ship requires 4 pounds of fuel. The more fuel you add, the more you need simply to move the ship's bulk, making it impossible to go one-way to Mars, much less roundtrip. (Within the past year, a Japanese research experiment proved a light-sail (propulsion by the force of light wavicles impacting on the sail to push it away from the light source) would work. Fusion, on the other hand, requires such a high velocity to gather enough particles of “loose” hydrogen to power an engine as to be impractical for any mission within the solar system (the ship would be largely across the system before it got up enough speed to function, and if we could move it that fast, we wouldn’t have this problem to begin with). “Rockets,” as we currently know them, are probably not the right way to go; they’re just too slow, starting from Earth. Better we should establish a base on the Moon and build craft there, in one sixth of Earth’s gravity from materials harvested from the Moon itself. It wouldn’t happen overnight, but it shouldn’t take 100 years to do, either. Ron P.)

Virginians share lesson learned: GOP in power not so bad
Excerpt: President Obama and other Democrats are going around the country making the same argument as party leaders made in Virginia last year: If you elect Republicans, they'll drive the car right back into the ditch. Virginians overwhelmingly ignored that advice, and a year later many say they have few regrets and are generally pleased - if not ecstatic - about what Republicans have done. Voters, including some who didn't back him, credited Gov. Robert F. McDonnell with working hard and engineering deep budget cuts from a generally fractious General Assembly with relatively little heartache. The result of those efforts was a narrow surplus by the end of the fiscal year, achieved through bipartisan action and without the tax increase that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine proposed before leaving office. "This state hasn't gone backwards," said Steven Herborn, 55, of Chesapeake. He has supported candidates in both parties over the years but wants Republicans to take over Congress next week.

Hezbollah (Maybe) Finances Campaign Against Sharron Angle
I’d rate this as possible, perhaps probable, but unproven. ~Bob. Excerpt: To say that Democrats are in a de facto alliance with Islamic terrorists is hardly hyperbole, as demonstrated by Hezbollah’s campaign to keep Harry “This War Is Lost” Reid in office by funding attacks on Sharron Angle. Via Debbie Schlussel: Muslim activist Tarek Beydoun of Dearbornistan paid for 250,000 robo-calls to Nevada voters against Sharron Angle, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate who will-G-d-willing-beat Harry Reid in November. Beydoun, a recent college grad, in his 20s claims he’s upset with Angle’s comments about Islamic sharia ruling Dearborn. … The scoop is that Beydoun worked for a Hezbollah-funded newspaper and a Hezbollah charity raided by the FBI and that it’s highly unlikely that Beydoun, himself, has the means to personally fund 250,000 robo-calls against Angle. So who is paying for it? My sources say that it may be Hezbollah cash, funneled to Mr. Beydoun, who identifies himself as a “Democratic consultant.” He’s actually a Hezbollah activist and very open about that. And until Beydoun — a proud supporter of Hezbollah, whose Shi’ite Muslim South Lebanese family is prominent in the terrorist organization — shows us an accounting of where the money came from, it’s pretty safe to assume that the money came from sources connected with Hezbollah. … Beydoun, himself, worked for Al-Mabarat Charitable Organization in Dearbornistan, for which he raised money and served as spokesman to the press at the time FBI agents raided it in 2007 for financing Hezbollah. None of this should come as surprise, considering that in 2008 Hamas not only endorsed Obama, but operated phone banks on his behalf — for which it was well compensated with our money.

It CAN Happen Here
Excerpt: In September I was part of a conference in England on the subject of “The Anglosphere and the Future of Liberty.” Just before I introduced our dinner speaker, the British politician and journalist Daniel Hannan, a friend handed me a finely printed card which read, “Socialism: It’s not just for Europeans any more.” Oh, the shattering simplicity of the perfectly obvious! Hannan’s remarks, as it happens, dilated on this sorrowful theme: how America was becoming more and more like contemporary Europe, and why this was a bad thing. This is also the theme of his short, lively, polemical, and irresistible book. Buy it. Read it. It will probably make you angry. It will certainly make you better informed about what is happening to America. And like the book from which it takes its title, F. A. Hayek’s 1944 masterpiece, The Road to Serfdom, Hannan’s book is essential intellectual equipment for Tea Partiers everywhere. If you cherish freedom and value independence and self-reliance, you will like this book. If you value security above all else, and look to government to take care of you, you will be frightened by it. The New Road to Serfdom is in equal parts a paean to ordered liberty and an admonition against the snares of central planning and rule by cadres of self-perpetuating elites. Europe has gone down that road with baleful results for freedom and prosperity that Hannan outlines but that are still ill-appreciated on this side of the Atlantic. When it comes to the European Union, Hannan knows whereof he speaks. For the last 11 years he has been a member of the European Parliament for Southeast England for the Conservative party. He has watched with dismay as political power and sovereignty have drained away from the 27 member states and have been invested in Brussels. In dismay, but not in silent dismay. In a series of coruscatingly brilliant speeches (many of which are freely available on the Internet: Google is your friend), he has stood up for freedom, local prerogatives, and fiscal prudence and against their statist alternatives. Cato the Elder was in the habit of ending his speeches with the imperative: “Carthago delenda est.” (Carthage must be destroyed.) Hannan has deployed a similarly tonic use of the gerundive at the conclusion of his own speeches: “Pactio Olisipiensis censenda est.” (The Lisbon Treaty must be put to a vote.)

America's Election is a Referendum on Europeanisation
Excerpt: In a three days’ time, American voters will choose between the European model advocated by their present rulers and the constitutional principles adumbrated by their founders – principles, as I never tire of pointing out, inherited from Britain. Before casting their ballots, voters might like to ponder where Europeanisation leads. I explore the question at length in The New Road to Serfdom, A Letter of Warning to America. If you don’t have time to read my book before polling day, at least look at Roger Kimball in The Weekly Standard. They knew a thing or two, the heroes who gathered in Philadelphia’s old courthouse. Their sublime doctrines have served to keep America independent, democratic and free. Think hard before you trade in their model for something else.

Iraq through night-vision goggles
Excerpt: This week sees the publication of a truly extraordinary book, written by men who consciously thought of themselves that way. Nightcap at Dawn: Soldiers’ Counterinsurgency in Iraq was collectively written by a group of highly intelligent warriors and appears under the collective byline of J.B. Walker; it is privately published with all its proceeds devoted to military families. You can shop for it at (I should mention that I was peripherally involved in advising on its publication.) These recollections, pooled experiences, and shared sacrifices constitute the most authentic account yet produced of the Iraq battle as viewed through night-vision goggles, gun sights, meetings with tribal and clan elders, attempts to succor innocent victims and to guard voters, and much besides. Its vernacular is blunt but not crude. In the most vivid firsthand manner, it confronts the appalling difficulty of fighting an enemy to whom human life is no concern at all and to whom the opportunity to prove this every day is a boasted military advantage.

China's Fast Rise Leads Neighbors to Join Forces
Excerpt: China’s military expansion and assertive trade policies have set off jitters across Asia, prompting many of its neighbors to rekindle old alliances and cultivate new ones to better defend their interests against the rising superpower. A whirl of deal-making and diplomacy, from Tokyo to New Delhi, is giving the United States an opportunity to reassert itself in a region where its eclipse by China has been viewed as inevitable. President Obama’s trip to the region this week, his most extensive as president, will take him to the area’s big democracies, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, skirting authoritarian China. Those countries and other neighbors have taken steps, though with varying degrees of candor, to blunt China’s assertiveness in the region. Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India are expected to sign a landmark deal for American military transport aircraft and are discussing the possible sale of jet fighters, which would escalate the Pentagon’s defense partnership with India to new heights. Japan and India are courting Southeast Asian nations with trade agreements and talk of a “circle of democracy.” Vietnam has a rapidly warming rapport with its old foe, the United States, in large part because its old friend, China, makes broad territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Three Charts that Will Infuriate Taxpayers

Radical in the White House
Excerpt: Stanley Kurtz hit an Organizing for America nerve during Barack Obama’s campaign for president. Stanley, a Harvard-educated social anthropologist, is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and has written for National Review and National Review Online for over a decade. When he started not only asking questions but digging into Barack Obama’s academic and activist past, the campaign tried to shut him down — literally, organizing a phone slamdown on Chicago radio. Well, this still is America. And so Stanley has done what he is trained to do — research and present evidence to present a complete picture, in this case of the man who is currently president of the United States. The fruit of that project is a gripping, meticulous new book, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, which he discusses with me here.

The Odyssey of Islamism in America - Amil Imani
Excerpt: Islamism is a mutation of Islam and is rapidly advancing on two fronts. In every Islamic country, it is cowing the non-radicals while recruiting more and more radicals into its ranks. In non-Muslim lands, flush with petrodollars, Islamism is establishing itself as a formidable force by enlisting the disaffected and attracting the delusional liberals with its promises. For the faithful, there is the added incentive of Allah's heaven and its irresistible attractions. Wherever Islam goes, so goes its ethos. Throwing acid in the face of women who fail to don the hijab (or who just go to school), flogging people for sporting non-Islamic haircuts, and stoning to death violators of sexual norms are only a few examples of a raft of daily barbaric acts of Islamists in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. Other forms of Islamic brutalities such as honor killing have already found their way to America, Germany, and other European countries with ever-burgeoning Muslim populations. Reading about these religiously mandated horrific acts and even seeing them on television or the internet may momentarily repulse, but the acts do not terribly concern many Americans on the whole. After all, those things are happening on the other side of the world, and those people deserve each other; we are safe in fortress America. So goes the thinking. But "Fortress America" is a delusion that even the events of 9/11 seem to have failed to dispel. Many prefer to believe that the assault of 9/11 was an aberration, since nothing like it has happened since, and it is unlikely that anything of the sort will ever happen again . So goes the wishful thinking. The reality portrays a vastly different picture. America is far from a fortress, given its vast wide-open borders. It is a nation of laws where all forms of freedom are enshrined in its Constitution; it's where Americans live by a humane ethos diametrically different from Islamist savagery. Sadly, these differences confer a great advantage to the Islamists and place America in imminent danger.

John Kerry and the People in the Cheap Seats
Excerpt: Cap and Trade has been called an invitation to massive corruption by Britain's former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lawson. Now, someone who sits in the House of Lords can hardly be accused of squatting down in one of those cheap seats Kerry despises. Lord Lawson says if you really want to deal with carbon emissions, tax carbon emissions. And give tax credits to the poor so they can cope. That's not my preferred option, but it's not Kerry's, either. What Cap and Trade would do, of course, is nationalize all American enterprise. It would have the federal government control all decisions about what to produce, where to produce it, when to produce, where to market it, and how. This is the reason why Europeans -- those smarter folks Kerry likes more than he likes our "know-nothing" voters -- teasingly call the Greens watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside. Are we against science and truth merely because we object to Kerry's Cap and Trade legislation? Bjorn Lomborg, the famed "Skeptical Environmentalist," has said Cap and Trade is the worst way to go about dealing with global warming. Even if we imposed Cap and Trade, with all of its ability to straitjacket the already paralyzed economy, Lomborg says it would result in barely a one-degree difference in global warming by the end of this century.

State releases landmark global warming rules
Excerpt: Roughly 600 of California's major polluters -- from oil refineries to power plants and factories -- will face mandatory limits on the amount of greenhouse gases they emit, starting on Jan. 1, 2012, under new rules released today by state air regulators. The facilities will be able to trade pollution credits under a new "cap and trade" market, and will be allowed to use projects that offset global warming, such as tree planting, to cover up to 8 percent of their emissions limits. The new rules are part of AB 32, the landmark law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 and now at the center of a bruising ballot fight in next Tuesday's election. The law requires that California's greenhouse gas emissions be cut to 1990 levels by 2020, a drop of about 15 percent from current levels. "Everything is designed to reward efficiency and clean energy," said Stanley Young, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board, which wrote the rules. "This sends a signal that clean energy pays off, and that's where we want to be." The air board -- a nine-member body appointed by the governor -- is scheduled to vote on the rules Dec. 16. If it approves them, as expected, California will become the first state in the nation with mandatory limits on emissions from a wide variety of industries that most climate scientists say are contributing to global warming through the burning of fossil fuels like natural gas, coal and oil. (Notice that all these businesses and utilities are referred to, almost defined, as "polluters," or in other words, evil. Just as gun control is about control, not guns, this is really about control and not pollution. We already have adequate air pollution laws from the federal government, and anyone who has taken a trip outside the USA can tell you how much of a difference it has made. I wonder when--because it will come to this if allowed to do so--individual people will be defined as polluters and required to breathe less, especially those evil conservatives. And anyone else who dares to question, think, or have feelings. Like Juan Williams. Ron P.)

Final Meltdown Begins: "We've lost our minds," says John Kerry of midterms
Excerpt: In case you need another reason to be annoyed at the Stewart/Colbert rally this weekend, here’s one: It’s going to suck up all the media oxygen at a moment when insanely gratifying pieces about Democrats throwing tantrums could (and should) be getting written instead. I’m counting on a big day from the press on Monday, at least. A big, teary, tantrum-y, schadenfreudean day. It’s a slight variation on the Democrats’ theme this year – that the problem is with messaging. Kerry is astonished that the party in power – his party – is facing a backlash for policies that have turned out to be unpopular with weary taxpayers, as if this is somehow a new and strange phenomenon in American politics. And while Republican obstructionism is to blame for, well, pretty much everything – including the failure of his own energy bill (which was shelved by his own majority leader, Harry Reid) – Democrats have nonetheless managed to lead the most productive Congress since the New Deal. Talk about having it both ways. Nowhere in the speech did Kerry acknowledge the 21,000 jobs lost in Massachusetts just last month, or the widespread discontent that was marked by the election of the Bay State’s own Scott Brown last January. Heck, why talk about practical realities when you can point your finger at (sigh) Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh? “It’s absurd. We’ve lost our minds,” Kerry said. “We’re in a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don’t weigh in. It’s all short-order, lowest common denom denominator, cheap-seat politics.” See, this is what makes Waffles a cut above the usual conservative whipping boy. Most Democrats, when pressed, fall back on either the “messaging” excuse or the “voters are morons” lament. Not Kerry; he covers all his bases. Compare and contrast to Slow Joe’s latest pearl of wisdom in Iowa today: The vice president told Democrats at the rally to take Republicans’ ideas seriously, a variation on what he’s said at over 100 other fundraisers for Democratic candidates and incumbents this fall. “Don’t take these stupid ideas lightly,” Biden said in Dubuque. “They mean it.”… “Next time a Republican tells you anything about fiscal responsibility, laugh at them,” Biden said.

Major Court Victory for Military Voters
Excerpt: Congratulations to the Military Voter Protection Project — they have broken new legal ground in protecting military voters. A Maryland federal court ruled today that it is a violation of a soldier’s constitutional rights to not receive his complete ballot on time. The court ruled that the John Doe officer stationed in Iraq had standing to sue based on deprivations of their constitutional rights. This is an enormously important decision which will affect the 2012 elections. This means that military members need not wait on the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., at the Justice Department to sue. It may end the monopoly on DOJ’s oversight of military voting, which is a good thing for everyone in uniform. (YES! Perhaps a few hundred lawsuits can make them enforce the law. Or openly repeal it where everyone can see the rascality for what it is. Ron P.)

NPR and the Liberal Subculture that Worships It
Excerpt: ...(T)hese are not particularly helpful arguments. One is little more than openly acknowledged snobbery, and the other appears to make the bizarre claim that more coverage by definition equals better coverage, as if a patient were more likely to survive surgery with ten doctors in the operating room instead of one. Given the ready availability online of translated foreign media, moreover, one wonders why those interested would require their news filtered through an American radio network in the first place. Beinart does, however, do us the service of reiterating NPR’s most beloved talking point: “NPR doesn’t get a lot of public money.” This endlessly repeated assertion is apparently so important that it appears on NPR’s own website, where it features prominently in the ombudsman’s frequently asked questions page. “NPR receives no direct funding from the federal government,” the network states. This begs the question, of course, of why — if the public money it receives is so minor — NPR and its defenders fight so ferociously to retain it. The answer appears to be hiding in plain sight, in the networks admission that: "Approximately half of NPR’s funding comes from NPR member stations. In an average year, NPR funds about 45 percent of its operations with membership dues and program fees from member stations." These member stations are, in turn, subsidized by local, state, and federal tax dollars. The manner in which NPR receives public funding appears, therefore, to be akin to that long-practiced method which in other contexts is known as “money laundering.” Indeed, one imagines there are drug cartels that run more honest operations.

They're Not Even Trying to Hide It Any More: Communist Party USA Openly Collaborating With Obama Campaign, DNC and Unions
Certainly from their website trying to turn out votes for Democrats and cite groups like Obama’s “Organizing for America” as resources. I Googled “Communist Party USA” and came up with this site: Which said, “12 days to go: The election depends on you! If the grand alliance that elected Barack Obama comes out in full force to vote we can stop the Tea Party/Republican takeover and continue moving forward.” They also have a link to the AFofL/CIO get out the vote page. There was a time not long ago when Democrats stood against Communists too. JFK for one, who was likely killed by a Castro-linked agent. ~Bob.

Nancy's suicide squad
Excerpt: After ordering Pickett's charge, Robert E. Lee reputedly mingled on the Gettysburg battlefield with his soldiers fortunate enough to have survived the debacle. "It's all my fault," he said. Will Nancy Pelosi have a similar moment of regret after next Tuesday, when -- whether Republicans take the House or not -- many of her troops won't be coming back? For now, she maintains that "we haven't really gotten credit for what we have done," which is axiomatic as far as it goes. "Credit" is not typically what a party gets for passing signature legislation consistently opposed by the public, as Pelosi did with malice aforethought on health care. She considered a few of her members expendable in the glorious cause, but appears to have gone over-board with the expending. Pelosi needed to flip key moderate Democrats who initially voted "no" on the health bill to "yes." She might as well have asked them to quit on the spot. The Washington Post finds that in the eight districts where a Democrat switched from "no" to "yes," a Democrat is favored to win in only one. In the five districts where a Democrat switched the other way, the Democrats look stronger. If Pelosi had the political interest of her embattled members at heart, she should have brought health care up only as a vehicle for as many as possible to vote "no." Since Labor Day, the Democrats who have included health care in their advertisements have tended to be the "nay" votes touting their opposition. Rep. Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota briefly was an exception. Now, he's up with an ad saying, "I know I've disappointed you with a vote here or there." As if to say congressmen occasionally slip up and vote to create a disruptive, $1 trillion new entitlement program sold under brazenly false pretenses. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, running for Senate, has cut a winding path. He supported the law earlier this year. When it began to drag him down in his Senate race, he talked of repeal. Now, he says he regrets supporting it at all. The logical endpoint of this progression is shooting a hole through the law, as he did with the cap-and-trade bill in a famous TV ad. He might want to bring a howitzer.

US waiving penalties for use of child soldiers
Who will those child soldiers be fighting? ~Bob. Excerpt: In a move criticized by human rights organizations, the Obama administration has decided to exempt Yemen and three other countries that use child soldiers from U.S. penalties under the 2008 Child Soldiers Prevention Act. In a memorandum to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama said he had determined that "it is in the national interest of the United States" to waive application of the law to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Yemen. He instructed Clinton to submit the decision to the Congress with a written justification for the move. Obama's memo, released by the White House on Monday, did not include the justification. Administration officials have said, however, that cutting off military aid to those four countries as required by the law would do more harm than good. And they have said that continuing close cooperation with them can be a more effective way of changing their practices.

Sovereignty And Territory
Excerpt: In the Nineties, the “culture wars” were over “God, guns and gays”. The overreach of the statists has added a fourth G: Government itself is now a front in the culture war, and a battle of the most primal kind. Is the United States a republic of limited government with a presumption in favor of individual liberty? Or is it just like any other western nation in which a permanent political class knows what’s best for its subjects? Pat Cadell, the former Carter adviser and Democratic pollster, surveying popular discontent over the summer distilled it to a single question: Who is sovereign? The people or the political class? To which the political class responds by modifying Barbra Streisand: People? People? Who needs people? In California, the people can pass a ballot proposition, but a single activist judge overrules them. In Arizona, the people’s representatives vote to uphold the people’s laws, but a pliant judge strikes them down at Washington’s behest. It is surely only a matter of time before some federal judge finds the constitution unconstitutional. It is never a good idea to send the message, as the political class now does consistently, that there are no democratic means by which the people can restrain their rulers. As Pat Cadell points out, the logic of that is “pre-revolutionary”.

Political Digest for October 30, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

My new slogan, borrowed from the Army recruiting commercials, and used below. “There’ stupid and then there’s PC Stupid!”

Important: Shipping out jobs: A myth pols find convenient
This old, useful canard is all over the TV attack ads here in Chicago, because the voters are highly ignorant of basic economics. ~Bob. Excerpt: With campaign season comes predictable charges that Candidate X favors "tax breaks for corporations that ship US jobs overseas." It's a bogus claim. With unemployment still stubbornly high, Americans are rightly worried about the economy. And politicians of both parties -- from President Obama on down -- have seized on US multinational companies as a convenient scapegoat. The charge sounds logical: Under the US corporate tax code, US-based companies aren't taxed on profits that their affiliates abroad earn until those profits are returned here. Supposedly, this "tax break" gives firms an incentive to create jobs overseas rather than at home, so any candidate who doesn't want to impose higher taxes on those foreign operations is guilty of "shipping jobs overseas." In fact, American companies have quite valid reasons beyond any tax advantage to establish overseas affiliates: That's how they reach foreign customers with US-branded goods and services. Those affiliates allow US companies to sell services that can only be delivered where the customer lives (such as fast food and retail) or to customize their products, such as automobiles, to better reflect the taste of customers in foreign markets. In 2008, US companies sold more than $6 trillion worth of goods and services through overseas affiliates -- three times what US companies exported from America. And, no, those affiliates aren't mainly "export platforms," set up to ship goods back to the United States: Almost 90 percent of what they produce abroad is sold abroad. It's not about access to "cheap labor," either: More than three-quarters of outward US manufacturing investment goes to other rich, developed economies like Canada and the European Union. That's where they find the wealthy customers, skilled workers, open markets, efficient infrastructure and political stability to operate profitably. Indeed, US manufacturing companies invest a modest $2 billion a year in China, compared to $30 billion a year in Europe. Nor do jobs created by those investments come at the expense of American workers. In fact, the more workers US multinationals hire abroad, the more they tend to hire at their parent operations in America. Ramped up production at affiliates stimulates demand at home for managers, accountants, engineers and sales reps. It also stokes demand for the export of higher-end components and services from the US-based parent. But the charge is worse yet -- because if Congress were to repeal the tax exemption for income earned abroad, it would kill American jobs. Affiliates would have to pay the relatively high US corporate income-tax rate, rather than the usually lower rate imposed by the host country -- putting US affiliates at a competitive disadvantage with their foreign counterparts, which would still be paying the lower domestic rate. Without the ability to defer taxes on income earned and kept abroad, US multinationals would be forced to cut back their foreign operations, ceding important markets to their competitors from Japan, Korea or the European Union. That would mean fewer foreign sales and fewer jobs created by their US operations. But it's the big picture that really shows how absurd these claims are. Year after year, the rest of the world invests more in their affiliates here in the United States than American companies invest in operations outside our country.

A Crossroads Election by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Most elections are about particular policies, particular scandals or particular personalities. But these issues don't mean as much this year-- not because they are not important, but because this election is a crossroads election, one that can decide what path this country will take for many years to come. Runaway "stimulus" spending, high unemployment and ObamaCare are all legitimate and important issues. It is just that freedom and survival are more important. For all its sweeping and scary provisions, ObamaCare is not nearly as important as the way it was passed. If legislation can become laws passed without either the public or the Congress knowing what is in those laws, then the fundamental principle of a free, self-governing people is completely undermined. Some members of Congress who voted for ObamaCare, and who are now telling us that they realize this legislation has flaws which they intend to correct, are missing the point. The very reason for holding hearings on pending legislation, listening to witnesses on all sides of the issue, and having Congressional debates that will be reported and commented on in the media, is so that problems can be explored and alternatives considered before the legislation is voted into law. Rushing ObamaCare into law too fast for anyone to have read it served no other purpose than to prevent this very process from taking place. The rush to pass this law that would not take effect until after the next two elections simply cut the voters out of the loop -- and that is painfully close to ruling by decree. Other actions and proposals by this administration likewise represent moves in the direction of arbitrary rule, worthy of a banana republic, with only a mocking facade of freedom. These include threats against people who simply choose to express opinions counter to administration policy, such as a warning to an insurance company that there would be "zero tolerance" for "misinformation" when the insurance company said that ObamaCare would create costs that force up premiums. Zero tolerance for the right of free speech guaranteed by the Constitution?

The Bear Election
Excerpt: There's an old joke that says that to survive a bear attack, you don't have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than the other guy. (A bit morbid we know but apt.) In this election, the bear is the voting public -- a public dissatisfied with the pace of change, anxious about its economic future and ready to shake up the political status quo. The two political parties are the two guys running from the bear. Democrats, if all the political prognostication is accurate, are the ones likely to be swallowed up. But Republicans would be making a gross miscalculation if they thought their escape from the bear merited any sort of celebration. In the New York Times/CBS News poll released this morning, 46 percent of people had a favorable view of the Democratic Party while 48 percent saw it in an unfavorable light. The Republican Party was held in lower regard; 41 percent viewed it favorable while 52 percent regarded it unfavorably. Those numbers only tell half of the story, however. The political atmospherics -- just one in three people think the country is headed in the right direction, one in five voters say the economy is in "fairly good" shape and just one in ten (14 percent) approve of the job Congress is doing -- all point to significant unrest in the electorate. That unrest, coupled with the widespread understanding that Democrats are in charge of all the levers of power in Washington, seem likely to overwhelm the very real doubts that voters -- and particularly independents -- have about the Republican brand. Never before -- in modern political memory at least -- has a party so unpopular with voters been on the verge of such sweeping gains, a development that should rightly be read by astute GOP strategists as less an affirmation of their agenda than a warning signal of what be waiting for them at the ballot box in two years time. Returning to our "bear election" theory, being the "other guy" only works for so long. If -- and it now seems far more likely than not -- Republicans are handed control of the House or, in a much longer shot, the Senate, the bear will turn to the GOP to see what they can do. Simply standing in opposition won't be enough. While President Obama will continue to bear -- heyooo! -- considerable burdens in terms of producing accomplishments to take to the public in 2012, he will also be able to call on Republicans to walk the walk as well. There is always a tendency -- prevalent among both parties -- to assume that an electoral victory is a broad validation of their agenda and views.

Muslims Wearing Things
Interesting. I thought Juan Williams was incorrect, because when they attack us, they don’t do so openly as Muslims. War is deceit as Muhammad said. There’s Stupid and then there’s PC Stupid. I thought it was beyond PC Stupid to fire him for expressing an opinion, rather than debate him.

Alaska poll shows Joe Miller slipping to third
Given how tough a write-in is, this may be another Tea Party gift to Harry Reid. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Hays Research Group poll shows attorney Joe Miller (R) falling to third place in the three-way Alaska Senate race against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams (D). The survey showed "write in candidate" taking 34 percent, McAdams garnering 29 percent and Miller trailing with 23 percent.

Obama beating Reagan?
Doesn’t drive me over the edge. Because a team years ago came from 20 points down to win the Super Bowl doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for your team to be 15 points down this year. On the other hand, much will depend on the next two years. Clinton did well running against an obstructionist Republican Congress. Much depends on who the GOP nominates. People opposed to Obama are stupid if they are complacent. ~Bob. Excerpt: This will likely drive some people over the edge. Recent polling indicates that President Obama is in better shape politically today than Republican icon President Ronald Reagan was at the same point in his first term. That’s right. Obama at the midterm outpolls Ronald Reagan at this point in his presidency. The National Journal/Congressional Connection poll conducted with the Pew Research Center over Oct. 21-24 found that 47 percent of the public would like President Obama to run again in 2012. While that number isn’t overwhelming, it certainly beats Reagan’s number in August 1982 — an underwhelming 36 percent, according to Gallup. At that point, 51 percent said Reagan should not run for reelection, and his numbers worsened after the midterm elections that year. Of course, we all know, President Reagan won reelection in 1984 despite these troublesome early numbers.

Newt Gingrich: Out of the wilderness and into the mix for 2012
I like Newt. He’s right on most issues, especially the challenge presented by Islamist Jihadism, very bright, experienced, and a historical view lacking in most candidates on either side. That said, he has a LOT of baggage, and you can’t be a good president unless you get elected. But think he’d be a stronger candidate and better president that Palin or Huckabee, for example. Excerpt: It has all the makings of Newt Gingrich's favorite kind of election: A cranky electorate. A Democratic president on the ropes. Republicans poised to take one or both houses of Congress. In fact, 2010 feels a lot like 1994 - especially if you happened to be sitting with the rapt conservatives in the ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel here on Tuesday, when the former House speaker railed against Democrats as the "party of food stamps" and President Obama as an elitist with no "idea what American exceptionalism is." What's different, of course, is that Gingrich is no longer leading his party's assault on the ramparts - he isn't even on a ballot. And yet, just like in the old days, Gingrich is pretty much everywhere you look: raising millions for the Republican Party, stumping for candidates in 30 states, hurling verbal hand grenades on Fox News and Twitter. In other words, Newt Gingrich looks an awful lot like a man who is running for president. The former speaker, who flirted with the idea in the past, is less coy about it this time. Gingrich says he won't make an official announcement until early next year. But he notes that he is already "transitioning" his four businesses so that they don't become political impediments.

Obama's imaginary tax cut
Excerpt: How many times have you heard the president and the congressional Democrats say Americans who make less than $200,000 a year have not had, and will not have, any of their taxes increased? Unfortunately, it is not true, and it is likely to become a whole lot worse. The 111th Congress has already enacted $352 billion in net tax increases and may, in the upcoming lame-duck session, enact the largest tax increases in history, which will hit every man, woman and child - as well as every business in America. The good folks at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) have put together the data on what the current Democrat-controlled Congress has done already. I have summarized their analysis in the accompanying table. The tax increase of $725.7 billion dwarfs the tax cuts of $373 billion, leaving a net tax increase of $352 billion. But it gets worse. Just $107.6 billion of the tax cuts are permanent - the rest are temporary - but all of the $725.7 billion increases are permanent.

A Pre-Election Day Prediction: Massachusetts Will Retire Barney Frank
Hard to believe. This article seems more likely intended to motivate the base than a real prediction. Barney is a terrific campaigner. I served with him in the Massachusetts legislature and like him personally, though we disagree on most issues. I spoke on the senate floor for his bills prohibiting discrimination against gays. I gave a moment’s thought to running against Barney for Congress in 1980, as I was a popular senator and my district covered about 25% of the Congressional district. Barney won 52-48 against an unknown with no money. But Barney raised $500k for the race. I would have had to raise at least half that. And Massachusetts was due to lose a seat. They would have put me in with GOP Rep. Silvo Conte and I’d have had no chance, so would have had it for only one term, if I won, and you’d have had to bet on Barney. Most of all, the fire had gone out of my belly—I retired undefeated from a then-safe senate seat two years later, wanting out of politics. ~Bob. Excerpt: Like a movie shown out of focus and at a high rate, the election in Massachusetts’s Fourth Congressional District has been exhilarating but difficult to appreciate fully. However, in the last week, the film has slowed and there is a laser-like focus to the race. Massachusetts will do it again. A little-known but young, intelligent, and energetic candidate will transfer a seat thought to be impregnable by the Democrats and the pundits into the Republican camp. Support for this prediction is both objective and subjective. Recent polling shows that the race has narrowed to a gap that is well within the range that cannot be measured accurately by polling. Moreover, the polls show that Bielat’s momentum has continued to build and that the momentum has occurred among crucial independents and in the usual Democratic strongholds in the southern part of the district. Frank’s support, which has been consistently below 50% (a crucial indicator of an incumbent’s chances), does not appear to be rising. The curve of Bielat’s support is on a vector to exceed Frank’s support before the date of the election. (I truly hope this turns out to be a correct prediction, but when I went to school, “too close to call” meant exactly that. Bielat’s supporters need to bust their buns to have ANY chance to win. Ron P.)

Move over, McConnell: Boehner poised to drive GOP agenda
Excerpt: A Republican takeover of the House will reorder the relationship between the top-ranking GOP leaders in Washington, Rep. John Boehner (Ohio) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Republican insiders say. For the past two years, McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has been the most powerful elected Republican in the federal government. Since January of 2009, he has often held the Senate Republican Conference together as the last line of defense against President Obama’s agenda. Boehner, the House GOP leader, has played a less tactical role — but that is about to change. Polls suggest Republicans are on track to pick up 45 to 55 seats in the House on Election Day, paving the way for Boehner to become Speaker and set the chamber’s agenda. Like McConnell, Boehner has kept his conference unified against Democrats, but with less impact, since House rules give the controlling party broad power to limit debate and pass legislation with simple majority votes. But if the GOP controls the House after the election, the power dynamic in Congress will change. As Speaker, Boehner would be able to put Senate Democrats on the defensive by sending them legislation to extend tax cuts and trim spending. Senate Democrats, at least 20 of whom face reelection in 2012, will be forced to take tough votes on bills that did not have a chance of passing in the 111th Congress, making Boehner the quarterback of the GOP offense.

Court Allows Use of Stolen Social Security Number
Excerpt: The Colorado Supreme Court has reversed the conviction of a man who admitted using someone else's Social Security number to obtain a loan, concluding that the defendant wasn't really trying to assume a false identity. The opinion was written by Michael Bender, who was joined by Mary Mullarkey, Gregory Hobbs and Alex Martinez. A strongly worded dissent by Nathan Coats was joined by Nancy Rice and Allison Eid. The case involved Felix Montes-Rodriguez, who was convicted of criminal impersonation for using another person's Social Security number on a loan application. (Let us hope for his next fraud, he uses the judge’s SS number. ~Bob.)

It Costs $424 Per Gallon, It Ruins Your Engine, But It Is Green!
Excerpt: US navy completes successful test on boat powered by algae. The experimental boat, intended for use in rivers and marshes and eventually destined for oil installations in the Middle East, operated on a 50/50 mix of algae-based fuel and diesel. The navy plans to roll out its first green strike force, a group of about 10 ships, submarines and planes running on a mix of biofuels and nuclear power, in 2012, with deployment in the field scheduled for 2016. The current cost of a gallon of algae-diesel mix is $424 a gallon. The early versions of algae-based fuels had a short shelf life, with the fuel separating in the tank, sprouting, or even corroding engines. “They had some not very good characteristics at the end of the day,” he admitted. But the navy appears committed. Last month it placed an order for 150,000 gallons of algae-based fuel from a San Francisco firm. OK. So they purchased $64 million dollars worth of corrosive green algae which sprouts in the engine and needs to be supplemented with diesel and nuclear. (The US Navy is now being used to push the green agenda. I wonder how many sailors and Marines will miss out on some protective device to pay for this? The top line links to the original article in the (UK) Guardian, but this assessment is too good to pass up. Ron P. At some point not far in the future, we will pay a huge price when it becomes clear that the purpose of a military is to fight and defeat enemies who would enslave and our people and destroy our free way of life, not as a taxpayer-funded Petri Dish for the latest progressive experiment. ~Bob.)

Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys ahead of Jack and Harry
Excerpt: Mohammed has become the most popular name for newborn boys in Britain. It shot up from third the previous year, overtaking Jack, which had topped the list for the past 14 years but was relegated to third spot. A total of 7,549 newborns were given 12 variations of the Islamic prophet. Since 1999 the number of babies called Mohammed, however spelled, has increased by more than half. In 1999 the name was given to 4,579 newborns. Going even further back, the single spelling Mohammed appeared at 73 in the list in 1964 and 87th in 1944. (I suppose if you named you dog or pet pot-bellied pig Mohammad that might get you some unfavorable attention. ~Bob.)

Scruggs Represents the System at its Worst
Excerpt: A new book titled “The Fall of the House of Zeus” by newspaper reporter Curtis Wilkie reads like, as the Wall Street Journal describes, a John Grisham novel. Unfortunately, this story isn't fiction. The book tells the story of Dickie Scruggs, the infamous Mississippi trial lawyer who made his vast fortune on asbestos and Big Tobacco cases, was found guilty of bribery and sent to prison in 2008. In a feature on the book, the Wall Street Journal describes Scruggs’ former kingdom, the world of Mississippi politics, as a “network of fixers and back-scratchers who have controlled the state for half a century.” The book quotes Scruggs at a Prudential Financial panel discussion in 2002: “The trial lawyers have established relationships with the judges that are elected. They’re state court judges; they’re populists. They’ve got large populations of voters who are in on the deal. They’re getting their piece in many cases. And so, it’s a political force in their jurisdiction, and it’s almost impossible to get a fair trial if you’re a defendant in some of these places . . . The cases are not won in the courtroom. They’re won on the back roads long before the case goes to trial. Any lawyer fresh out of law school can walk in there and win the case, so it doesn’t matter what the evidence or the law is.” (See below for why the Trial Lawyers continue to get rich. Guess whose hide it comes out of? ~Bob.)

Trial Lawyers Donate Millions of Dollars to Democratic Candidates
Excerpt: Trial lawyers representing investors, injured people and consumers have donated millions of dollars this election cycle to Democratic political candidates

Risky side effects of vaccine act challenge: Trial lawyer win could be another blow to pharmaceutical industry
Excerpt: Today, the vast majority of America's children reach adulthood. We take that fact almost for granted. But what if diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria and polio, which crippled and killed so many children in prior generations, were still widespread? What if we lacked the vaccines that have wiped out these scourges, or if they were prohibitively expensive? What if the research efforts to develop new vaccines stopped? These questions are at stake in the case of Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue is the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVI) of 1986. The NCVI was passed when a liability crisis was driving vaccine makers out of business. Why? Because vaccines are inherently dangerous. Yes, immunization prevents large numbers of individuals from contracting a dehabilitating and potentially fatal disease. But we also know that a few individuals will react adversely to immunization, no matter how safely and carefully a vaccine is designed and manufactured. This is unfortunate, to say the least, but the benefit provided to the vast majority of individuals clearly outweighs the detriment to the small number harmed by the vaccine - except, of course, in the eyes of the plaintiffs' bar. A series of lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers in the 1970s not only caused several critical vaccines - including for diphtheria, tetanus toxinoids, pertussis (DPT), polio and measles - to increase dramatically in price, but threatened to make them unavailable.

Clinton says he tried to talk Florida Senate candidate out of race
Excerpt: Former president Bill Clinton tried to persuade Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race, he acknowledged Thursday night, saying that Meek didn't have enough money to win the race. Clinton told the congressman that he could make a greater impact if he quit the three-way race and endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I), a Clinton official confirmed Thursday. But Clinton himself would not elaborate in an interview with CNN on the specifics of his conversations with Meek, a longtime friend. 9if a conservative said a black candidate should drop out—or called the President “dude” as Jon Stewart did—the media would scream racism for weeks. Maybe years. ~Bob.)

Take a Whiff: Southern California Republican Uses Ad That Really Stinks
Excerpt: Ewww! Are you ready for a political ad that really stinks? If you live in Southern California, you could be on the receiving end of a "scratch and sniff" mailer sent out by the campaign of Republican Van Tran, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez in the Orange County district. Tran's campaign manager told the Orange County Register the ad looks like a perfume packet but actually smells like trash. What the big idea? "It's the stench of Washington," the flier announces." Something smells rotten about Loretta." Democrat Sanchez's campaign manager Caroline Hogan says it's a gimmick -- no foolin' -- and in poor taste. Uh, yeah. Sanchez, who is in her seventh term, is facing a stiff challenge this time. Tran, a California state legislator, got a boost in September when Sanchez told a Spanish-language television station that Republicans and Vietnamese-Americans "are trying to take away" the congressional district away from "us." She later apologized for a "poor choice of words." Earlier this week, the Register endorsed Tran, saying he had made jobs and the economy the "focal point of his campaign." (Over the top. Instead of saying “Something smells rotten about Loretta,” I think the gimmick would have worked if he said, “Something smells rotten in Washington—and Rep. Sanchez votes to keep it that way.” Just my take, but I had pretty good political instincts. No pun intended. ~Bob.)

There They Went Again
Excerpt: Democrats and their allies are already rationalizing their likely defeat next Tuesday, variously blaming the economy, GOP obstructionism, corporate money, or an inexplicable collapse in President Obama's communications skills. Whatever minor truth lies in these excuses, they obscure the larger reality: Americans appear ready to repudiate Democratic governance for the fourth consecutive time. Far from being a unique historical event, a GOP victory on Tuesday will repeat the pattern we have seen since the 1960s. Four times Democrats have won control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and four times they have attempted to govern from the left. Each time Americans saw that agenda and its results, and they rejected it at an early opportunity. Maybe there's a lesson here. We cite the 1960s as a watershed because it marked the creation of the modern Democratic Party. The Southern conservatives who had checked the left since the de facto end of the New Deal in 1938 were swept away by LBJ's 1964 landslide. Democrats implemented their fondest ambitions—the Great Society, Medicare and Medicaid—only to lose 47 House seats in 1966 and the White House two years later, as the Democratic coalition split over Vietnam and flower power.

Taking It to the Mat in Connecticut
The one good thing about electing a liar to the senate is you don’t have to brake him in. ~Bob. Excerpt: It has been said that American politics and professional wrestling share a paucity of honest emotions. But Linda McMahon, who as CEO built World Wrestling Entertainment into a billion-dollar company, might think comparing wrestling to politics insults wrestling. As she seeks the Senate seat being vacated by Chris Dodd, she says the honesty deficit concerns not emotions but facts. Her Democratic opponent, Richard Blumenthal, who served six years in the Legislature, has been Connecticut's attorney general for 20 years, so he knows how to parse sentences. Yet his penchant for (to be polite) tactical imprecision goes beyond his various falsehoods -- he says he "misspoke" every time -- about serving in Vietnam. He says he served on "active duty" in the Marine Reserve. That is true only if training is counted. He says he joined in 1970 even though the draft lottery gave him a high number that made him unlikely to be conscripted. His number, however, was 152, and men with numbers up to 195 were vulnerable to induction. In 2002, he said he enlisted because he had a "pretty low draft number." On MSNBC he intimated that he would not take "special interest" or PAC money, promising fundraising "from ordinary citizens." But he flew to Vancouver, British Columbia, for a PAC fundraising event for him and 11 other Democratic Senate candidates. Blumenthal said it was not for Harry Reid. Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie reports that the invitation to the event and documents filed with the Federal Election Commission say Reid was among the beneficiaries. Blumenthal says it was an opportunity to discuss problems "affecting ordinary people." Rennie says the top ticket price was $43,200.

The Biggest Election Myths of 2010
Excerpt: If on Election Day voters hear tales of frolicking unicorns, flying pigs and President Obama walking on water, don't worry. Consider them more myths of the 2010 campaign season. Elections are about who wins. But the months leading up to elections are also about laying out a narrative. The more a party is losing, the wilder its explanations. The less the press identifies with the winning side, the more it presents them as fact. That's why 2010 has already had its fair share of political fairy tales.

Obama's Plight
Bush better? Ouch! ~Bob. Excerpt: Whether you prefer to believe expert predictions that it will be a "maelstrom," a "bloodbath," or merely a "blowout," Republicans are poised to make substantial gains in Congress next Tuesday and deliver a severe blow to the Obama presidency in the process. Just two years after sweeping into power on a platform of hope and change, Obama finds himself and his agenda a political liability to Democratic candidates throughout the nation. Though he took office with a 67 percent Gallup approval rating in January 2009, it stood at 44 percent in the most recent survey and has dipped as low as 41 percent. And though he built his candidacy by positioning himself as the anti-Bush, by a 48 percent to 43 percent margin, Americans now think that George Bush was the better president, according to a new survey by Democratic pollster Doug Schoen. The same poll found that 56 percent of the nation wants Obama fired in 2012. It's true that as sharp as Obama's decline has been, the speed of his reversal of political fortunes should serve as a warning to Republicans who are feeling emboldened right now. Just as Obama's meteoric rise has been followed by a precipitous fall, he could conceivably make a triumphant comeback two years from now. That said, the two most recent examples of presidential comebacks following defeats in the midterm elections are Bill Clinton after Republicans took back Congress in 1994 and Ronald Reagan after Democrats gained 26 seats to build on their majority in 1982. But there are a number of reasons why Obama's situation is different.

'Slasher' in line to lead House panel
Excerpt: Fred Upton is no longer known as the “Young Slasher,” but the Michigan Republican is preparing to bring a sharp edge to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton earned the nickname early in his career for repeatedly offering floor amendments imposing across the board cuts on spending bills. Now, the 12-term congressman hopes to be chairman of the panel that will be a major focus of GOP efforts to fight President Barack Obama on everything from health care to energy policy to business regulation. Already, he’s planning an attempt to repeal portions of the Democrats’ health care reform law – his way. “I know there’s going to be a vote to repeal the whole thing if we take over, but in all likelihood we’re not going to have the votes to override,” Upton told POLITICO. “I look at this a little bit like a Jenga game. It’s a good game with my kids. We’re going to look at the pieces.” Upton has a conservative track record going after fraud, abuse and spending mismanagement, lessons he learned as a key staffer in President Ronald Reagan’s White House Office of Management and Budget. "If you work at OMB, you know where everything is buried," said a long-time Upton friend tied to the domestic auto industry. "Then, you put 25 years of experience in the House in understanding every program that's out there. And there's one person who can inject some common sense into all that's coming through the committee. He's the guy."

Muslim students in Malawi desecrate New Testaments
Many will be offended, but I doubt anyone will die because of this, as they would if it happened to copies of the Qur’an. That is the difference between the two religions. ~Bob. Excerpt: Muslim students attending a Catholic primary school in Malawi tore up New Testaments that were being distributed by the Gideons International organization, which promotes the distribution of Bibles. “Although the school’s director had made it absolutely clear that no New Testaments were to be given to the Muslim pupils and that in no way was any student obliged to take a copy of the book, there was a subsequent uproar on the part of some Muslim youths, who tore up the New Testaments, threw them, howling at their teachers, and then threw the torn-up pages out onto the streets,” Aid to the Church in Need reported. “The behavior of the youths has been an indicator of a danger in our midst,” said Father Medrick Chimbwanya, the parish priest. “Normally, the primary school youth in Malawi would not have the courage to tear up any book in the presence of their teacher, let alone a holy book. My conclusion is that there must be some awful training given to these youths which if left unchecked, means that we may have dangerous militants in Malawi in the near future.” 28% of Malawi’s 13.2 million residents are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics; 52% are Protestant, and 13% are Muslim.

Two teenage girls executed by Somali militants
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Somali militant group publicly executed two teenage girls Wednesday after accusing them of being spies for the Somali government, according to the group, eyewitnesses and a relative of one of the girls. "Those two girls were evil and they were spies for the enemy (the Somali government), but the mujahedeen caught them and after investigation, they admitted their crime, so they have been executed," said Sheikh Yusuf Ali Ugas, commander of Al-Shabaab in Beledweyne, a town in central Somalia. The teens were blindfolded with their hands behind their backs against a tree, and shot, according to a local journalist. A resident of Beledweyne told CNN that Al-Shabaab called on the town's residents to come out and watch the execution. "Hundreds of people came out to watch the execution," he said. "It was very bad ... the girls looked shocked and were crying but [no one] could help." A relative of one of the teens denied they were spies. "My cousin, Ayan Mohamed Jama, was just 16 years old and she was absolutely innocent," said the relative, who did not want their name used out of fear of retribution from Al-Shabaab. "And Al-Shabaab caught her and the other girl between El-gal and Beledweyne and simply accused them of what they were not." The other girl, said the relative, was 15. Al-Shabaab refused their families' request to see the teens while they were in detention, "and they executed them at a public gathering, so this is inhumane and cruelty."

Muslim groups urge boycott of Niger vote
Because it gave separation of Mosque and state, unacceptable to Islam, which is a political party and system of government as well as a religion. ~Bob. Excerpt: It also formalises a separation of powers between the secular state and Islam in a country 98 percent of whose 15 million citizens are Muslim. “Separating state and religion means quite simply that Allah does not figure as a priority in this state funded by the money of Muslims -- that you can govern Nigeriens with all sorts of atheistic, anti-religious ideologies and ideas," said Harouni Fodi of the Islamic association Anassi.

Armed gunmen seen in Vekol Valley along I-8 may be Mexican assassins
Excerpt: On Monday, a Pinal County, Ariz. sheriff's deputy spotted two Hispanic males armed with long rifles along Interstate 8 in the Vekol Valley. The men were hiding in the bush next to the road, and fled when the deputy spotted them. As they fled, one suspect dropped a backpack containing a loaded magazine and .223 caliber ammunition. Other evidence discovered at the scene indicated that a load of marijuana had recently been transferred to a vehicle. Law enforcement was unable to catch the fleeing gunmen.

Excerpt: Once the pressure for a consensus disappears, the politicization of the science can disappear along with it. And scientific debate about climate change can be scientific again. What role for scientists in the politics and policy deliberations? One of the things I really like about David Robert’s scheme is that climate scientists are removed from the political debate. Scientists and science inform the debate, but the political battles stay in the realm of politics. While I support the general idea of the climate hawks and doves, I don’t support this idea put forward by John Rennie and Keith Kloor that somehow I could make this all work by declaring my position as a climate hawk. I think this is exactly what not to do: the beauty of this idea is that it separates the climate science from the politics. This only works if the scientists stay out of the politics. Climate scientists have no particular expertise on politics, economics or social ethics. A scientist’s personal sense of values and morality has no more legitimacy in this debate than any other individual’s personal sense. There’s an additional reason for climate scientists to stay out of the public debate on this topic: they are biased because of their personal research interests and results, with professional egos and other factors likely weighing into their policy preferences. (It is just barely possible Dr. Curry has found a way to deal with the climate debate that will take all the rancor away and put the science back in. It seems too easy. Ron P.)

Scientists In Hiding
Excerpt: Academics who dare to question the scientific establishment’s consensus on Darwinism or global warming increasingly find themselves ostracised and demonized Three months ago I spent a fascinating few days in a villa opposite Cap Ferrat, taking part in a seminar with a dozen very bright scientists, some world authorities in their field. Although most had never met before, they had two things in common. Each had come to question one of the most universally accepted scientific orthodoxies of our age: the Darwinian belief that life on earth evolved simply through the changes brought about by an infinite series of minute variations. The other was that, on arriving at these conclusions, they had come up against a wall of hostility from the scientific establishment. Even to raise such questions was just not permissible. One had been fired as editor of a major scientific journal because he dared publish a paper sceptical of Darwin’s theory. Another, the leading expert on his subject, had only come lately to his dissenting view and had not yet worked out how to admit this to his fellow academics for fear that he too might lose his post. So embedded in our culture is the assumption that Darwin was right that few realise that it was Darwin himself who first raised some of the most basic objections to his own theory. If each form of life gradually evolved through tiny variations, as he asked in The Origin of Species, why does every fossil we find so identifiably belong to a discrete species? Where are all the ‘intermediate forms’ between one species and another? How could his gradualist theory account for all those complex organs, such as the eye, which require so many interdependent changes to take place simultaneously? How could it account for those startling ‘evolutionary leaps’, when all sorts of changes emerged together in an improbably short time, such as those needed to transform land mammals into whales in barely two million years?

Would He Rather Fight Than Switch?
Excerpt: It follows that the success or failure of President Obama’s response to a new Republican Congress will depend very much on whether he accurately reads the public’s mind. If he thinks the country is center-right, he will accommodate, as Clinton did. If he thinks it is center-left, he will “give ’em hell,” as Truman did. So far, the president has telegraphed that he intends to fight. He has warned that a Republican victory would mean “hand-to-hand combat.” A comment the president made in a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine suggests he expects Republicans to move his way, not vice versa: "It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible either because they didn’t do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn’t work for them, or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way.” What is animating this sentiment? Part of the answer appears to be Obama’s belief that, deep down, the country is with him. He seems to think that Republicans—much like their forebears in 1946—have made political hay out of economic uncertainty, but that when it comes time to govern they will have to come to the table, his table, or suffer a rebuke in 2012. (...) They saw the 2008 presidential election as the first of many victories for this new majority. The president’s apparent plan to fight the GOP makes sense in light of this theory. If he thinks his election really was a leftward realignment, it follows that he will hold the new line against the conservatives, who in this view cannot sustain their coalition into 2012.

Send Biden back to history class
Excerpt: Vice President Biden has regularly delivered impromptu comments of dubious logic and questionable relevance since assuming the second highest office in the land. His remarks are usually harmless, though calling Obamacare "a big deal" was both crass and embarrassing. Now Biden has made a statement that exposes an apparent ignorance of American history that is genuinely disturbing coming from the man who is one heartbeat away from the presidency. Speaking on a campaign swing in New York on Wednesday, Biden offered this gem about the role of government: "Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive. In the middle of the Civil War, you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States. ... No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years." Biden's words are perfectly suitable as a liberal Democrat's expression of blind faith in the good intentions of politicians and bureaucrats, but they also reflect a fantasy version of American history. As the Cato Institute's Tad DeHaven pointed out, private enterprise, not government, built America's railroads. To that end, DeHaven quotes Cato transportation expert Randall O'Toole: "Early American railroads were built almost entirely with private funds. These railroads provided such superior transportation that by 1850 they had put most toll roads and canals out of business. Individual states still competed with one another for business -- and may have offered various favors to the railroads serving those states. ... For the most part, however, no federal and few state subsidies went to railroads in the eastern United States." As for President Lincoln and the Transcontinental Railroad, DeHaven points us to Jim Powell, another Cato scholar, who notes that the federal subsidies reflected the fact that there was no market then for such a railroad line. Ultimately, the federal government's effort to spend the grandiose scheme into being succeeded in building a transcontinental rail line, but along the way it also inspired Credit Mobilier, one of the worst government corruption scandals in American history.

What to Watch For Tuesday
From The Patriot Post
As Tuesday's mid-term elections near, Democrats are facing historic losses in Congress. Granted, this isn't because voters love the GOP -- far from it. It's because Democrats have done an even more abysmal job of governing than Republicans did. Here are a few races to watch. Nevada: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trailing in most polls to Sharron Angle, who came out of nowhere to win the GOP primary thanks to backing by the Tea Party. Despite having a massive campaign war chest in a state that Barack Obama won by 12 points just two years ago, Reid could very well join Tom Daschle as Democrat leaders who lost re-election. Illinois: Obama may be in for particular embarrassment in his home state, as GOP Congressman Mark Kirk leads Democrat Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias for Obama's former Senate seat. Normally, Illinois would be in the "safe" column for Democrats -- not this year. Delaware: Can Christine O'Donnell pull off the upset against Democrat Chris Coons to take Joe Biden's former Senate seat? It's not likely, as she trails by double digits in the polls. However, the Leftmedia have taken a particular interest in taking out O'Donnell, which makes us wonder if this race is closer than it seems. Alaska: Incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has mounted a surprisingly successful write-in campaign after losing the primary to Tea Party-backed attorney and Army vet Joe Miller. If voters can remember how to spell her name, she has a chance to become the first winning write-in candidate since Strom Thurmond (R-SC) in 1954. Democrat Senate incumbents are likely to lose in Arkansas and Wisconsin, and Democrats are certain to lose seats that retiring senators Evan Bayh and Byron Dorgan are vacating in Indiana and North Dakota, respectively. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Joe Sestak is trailing conservative Republican Pat Toomey, and in West Virginia, popular Democrat Gov. Joe Manchin is neck-and-neck with businessman John Raese in his bid to assume the late Robert Byrd's seat. Manchin is campaigning hard against Obama, who is deeply unpopular there. Two late-concluding Senate races that bear watching are in California and Washington. If Republican Carly Fiorina can knock off the loathsome Barbara Boxer in the Golden State, and if Dino Rossi can eke out a win against Patty Murray in Washington, Republicans may well pull off the 10-seat swing they need to take control of the Senate. In the House, Democrat prospects look even worse. Multiple committee chairmen are sweating it out, including Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, Ike Skelton of Missouri and John Spratt of South Carolina. Even Barney Frank, chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, is in trouble in Massachusetts. Republican Sean Bielat, a Marine and businessman, is charging hard, and Frank is stuck below 50 percent in the polls, which is dangerous territory for a long-time incumbent. Michigan's 85-year-old John Dingell, who's been in Congress since 1955 and is the longest-serving member in that body's history, is also in a tight race against Dr. Rob Steele, a fiscally conservative cardiologist bent on repealing ObamaCare. Veteran political guru Charlie Cook says of the number of seats Democrats will lose, "To be honest, I think the odds are higher that it's over 60 than under 40." Republicans need to take 39 net seats to gain control of the House. Cook declared that he'll be "sacking groceries" if that doesn't happen. Across the nation, the electorate is riled up. According to Rasmussen, "65% of Likely U.S. Voters say if they had the option next week, they would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start all over again." Sounds good to us. Perhaps Michelle Obama summed it up best: "This year's elections are just too important to sit out. There's so much at stake right now for our future and for our children's future." Fellow Patriots, this is a critical election, the first of many battles in our fight to restore Essential Liberty and the Rule of Law. Be sure to bring a few like-minded friends to the polls with you. Here are several handy voter guides for your reference.