Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, January 29, 2010

UN holding peace talks with the Taliban?

If you can believe it ...

Let's remember that the UN is hardly an organization to be trusted. I haven't trusted them, ever, and their official presence is always seen as a detriment. They're a world bureaucracy, and nothing more. They should be shunned, thrown out of NY, and disbanded. For a long time, the UN has proven that it is, literally, a revised League of Nations. The difference between the UN and the League of Nations is that the UN still hasn't learned that it's an irrelevant organization that only socialists believe in, and the rest of the world looks at as a interfering body with no relevance whatsoever. But, despite that, the UN has decided that it can help out in Afghanistan by brokering a peace deal between the West and Taliban forces:

Taliban commanders held secret exploratory talks with a United Nations\ special envoy this month to discuss peace terms, it emerged tonight.

Regional commanders on the Taliban's leadership council, the Quetta Shura, sought a meeting with the UN special representative in
Afghanistan, Kai Eide, and it took place in Dubai on 8 January. "They requested a meeting to talk about talks. They want protection, to be able to come out in public. They don't want to vanish into places like Bagram," the Reuters news agency quoted a UN official as saying, referring to the Bagram detention centre at a US military base outside Kabul.

The Dubai meeting was confirmed to the Guardian by officials with knowledge of the encounter, but they said they could provide no further details.

It was the first such meeting between the UN and senior members of the Taliban. The fact that it took place suggests that peace talks have revived since exploratory contacts between emissaries of the Kabul government and the Taliban in Saudi Arabia last year broke down.

It also suggests that some Taliban members might be prepared for the first time to put faith in an international organisation to broker a deal to end the nine-year war.

News of the Dubai meeting surfaced at the end of a day-long conference in London intended to map out a transition over five years from a Nato-led military campaign to Afghan-led effort involving more political, social and economic measures to end the fighting.

As part of the transition, Afghan forces are due to take lead responsibility for security in a handful of provinces by the end of this year, assume the lead in the most violent regions within three years, and take overall responsibility for security across the country in five years. If successful, the transition would pave the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

Hello? You can't negotiate peace with a group that wants the West destroyed and burned to the ground. This is a sad fact that peaceniks seemed to have missed. The Taliban and al Qaeda aren't interested in peace. They're in the middle of a jihad to take down the West for some perceived wrongs that we've already corrected.

The US and the West are no longer in Saudi Arabia, which was the prime focus of bin Laden's reason for jihad against the West. We are in Afghanistan because it was the Taliban and al Qaeda that concocted and launched an attack on America from that country. We want peace with the Taliban when they ultimately surrender. (We can argue tactics and strategy at a later date. That IS NOT the focus of this piece.)

The UN thinks they can broker a peace deal, and they neglect to see that the peace deals brokered by the Pakistanis with militants in Pakistan (Taliban and al Qaeda) haven't been met yet. To the Taliban, a "peace deal" is no different from a peace deal worked out by the Israelis and their aggressors -- it's ink on a page until the aggressor rearms itself to attack again. That's all this is. It's a stalling tactics by the Taliban, and one would think the UN knows better than to negotiate with a rabid pit-bull. Then again, I've never given the UN credit for having intelligence.

Publius II

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Politico -- "Top Dems at war with each other"

That's the headline at the top of the page at The Politico, and it should give us a warm, fuzzy feeling. But don't buy into it too much because we know that if any group knows how to wheel and deal, it's the Democrats. Don't believe me? Ask Ben Nelson about his bribe to get on board health insurance reform, or Mary Landrieu's "Louisiana Purchase" bribe. Trust me, while this is coming out now, this isn't likely to last long. Today, they're at each other's throats, and next week it'll be all crimson and clover:

President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be all smiles as the president arrives at the Capitol for his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, but the happy faces can’t hide relationships that are fraying and fraught.

The anger is most palpable in the House, where Pelosi and her allies believe Obama’s reluctance to stake his political capital on health care reform in mid-2009 contributed to the
near collapse of negotiations now.

But sources say there are also signs of strain between Reid and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and relations between Democrats in the House and Democrats in the Senate are hovering between thinly veiled disdain and outright hostility.

In a display of contempt unfathomable in the feel-good days after Obama’s Inauguration, freshman Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) stood up at a meeting with Pelosi last week to declare: “Reid is done; he’s going to lose” in November, according to three people who were in the room.

Titus denied Tuesday evening that she had singled out Reid, but she acknowledged that she said Democrats would be “f—-ed” if they failed to heed the lessons of Massachusetts, where
Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat last week.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), a Pelosi ally, took his shots at the Senate on Fox radio Tuesday, describing the Senate as the “House of Lords” and accusing senators of failing to “understand that those of us that go out there every two years stay in touch with the American people.”

["Stay in touch?" Hello, Mr. Clyburn, the majority of Americans aren't happy with the health insurance reform ideas, with cap and trade, with the stimulus, and with the Congress spending future generations into poverty. You morons would know this had any of you listened to those confronting you last August in your townhall meetings. But, then again, you had to be serious about those meetings instead of busing in union thugs to squelch, shout down, and intimidate those turning out to question their representative's thinking.]

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
told reporters the legislative process in the Senate is “broken” — prompting Reid to later quip: “I could give you a few comments on how I feel about the House.”

Pelosi and her allies blame the collapsing health reform negotiations, in part, on Obama’s reluctance to sacrifice political capital to seal a final deal in mid-2009. House Democrats also resent that Emanuel and other White House officials forced them to take tough votes on cap and trade and health reform while allowing Reid and Senate Democrats
months of fruitless frittering on the details.

“She’s mad at them, but she knows it’s time to move on,” said one Pelosi friend, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t cleared to speak on her behalf.

In recent days, Pelosi and her team have struck a new, tougher tone with the White House,
resisting pressure to quickly accept the Senate’s health bill, even with assurances that it would later be altered.

OK, the problem here is that the Democrats are trying to ram a seriously contentious piece of legislation down the throats of the American people, and they're facing a backlash that hasn't been seen since 1994. While I'm not fully up to speed on the House races this year, I know that the Senate is facing an uphill battle when it comes to the midterms.

Harry Reid is in dire straits; facing the prospect he might be "Daschled" this November. He is increasingly unpopular in Nevada, and faces at least two, if not three, possible Republican contenders that will beat him handily.

Roland Burris will lose in his primary (if he runs), and will almost certainly lose in the general election.

The Dodd, Dorgan, and Biden seats will likely flip to red in the fall. The only one that might be safe is the Biden seat now that his son is out of the running, and Ted Kaufman has remained rather hawkish on national security issues. The Dodd seat is done like dinner as Connecticut voters are clearly not pleased with the man and want a serious change in political position.

Blanche Lincoln is facing a serious battle to retain her seat in the wake of her decision to side with Democrats on health insurance reform. Ben Nelson was booed by his constituents for his sell-out vote on health insurance reform. Mary Landrieu is neither here nor there, but her constituents aren't happy with her accepting the bribe to sign on to the health insurance reform. Michael Bennet, appointed to replace Ken Salazar, is also facing problems with his reelection bid.

Kirsten Gillibrand might lose her seat, as well, depending on who challenges her. Recent polls show that if George Pataki challenges her, he would "trounce" her handily. (Of course, if this were Pete King, he'd mudstomp her easily, too.) Rasmussen reports that Evan Bayh could have problems in his reelection bid despite the fact that Mike Pence has announced he won't challenge him this year. And the one senator that most believed would be a safe bet is now facing problems of her own. Barbara Boxer is watching her reelection race tighten in the face of challenges from Carly Fiorina, Chuck Devore, and Tom Campbell. (Ms. Fiorina is within three points of her, Devore is within six points, and Campbell is within four points.)

Will all ten senators fall? Possibly, but not likely. (At this point the only one I think is "safe" is Boxer.) So we have a chance of taking nine from the Democrats this November from the Senate. And if this is the case for the Senate, is it any wonder why certain prognosticators -- Charlie Cook among them -- predict a loss in excess of 20-30 seats in the House this fall for Democrats.

Where did the Democrats go wrong? The same place Republicans did when they had their majorities. the difference is the Republicans took longer to cook their own goose, and the Democrats will do it inside of four years (2006-2010) with their radical overreach on a legislative agenda that the people in this nation do not support. A recent CNN poll shows only three in ten Americans want the health insurance reform passed, as it is right now. On the stimulus (read: Pork-A-Palooza) only a quarter of Americans believe it's doing the job that Congress and the president promised to help the middle class.

All of this doesn't bode well for Democrats in the fall. Their demand to pass the most radical agenda since FDR's New Deal is being met by sincere and boisterous resistance by the American electorate. Quite frankly, they should have known this would happen, and they should've also seen that Americans weren't going to take the "sit down and shut up" response from Democrats in stride. I'll be blunt: Americans are downright pi$$ed at the hubris they're seeing from the party they chose to run things. Democrats have had absolute control of the executive and legislative branches since last January. The public signed up for the "hope and change" that Barry promised them. Americans have seen that this isn't what they signed up for, now, and buyer's remorse could translate to some serious trouncing this fall.

The Democrats brought this one themselves, as much as the Republicans brought their losses in 2006 and 2008 on themselves. The difference between the two is we realize our mistakes. The Democrats, on the other hand, don't see their mistakes, and would prefer the "little people" just shut up; quit questioning their authority.

Democrats, welcome to America. We have a right to question and disagree, and by God, you'll hear it this fall. You reap what you sow.

Publius II

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"The Audacity of Oops"

I really like Chris Buckley. Not only is he the son of the late William F. Buckley -- a "god" amongst conservatives -- but he's got a wry, sly sense of humor that few can truly appreciate. I've read his books, and I won't lie to readers. I have laughed my @$$ off on more than a few occasions at that wit and satire. Today he pens piece for the Daily Beast where he thoroughly gives a dressing-down of the president that, God only wishes, he had given the president back in 2008 instead of buying his hopey-changey BS. Dear readers, "The Audacity of Oops":

My fellow Americans,

Tonight I can report to you that the state of the union, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being excellent, is a 9.8.

Now, you may ask—and I wouldn’t blame you for asking—how I came up with that number. You might be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute. I’ve got no job, no health insurance. My house isn’t worth half the amount of my mortgage, and I just got called up by the National Guard to do a fifth tour in Afghanistan. How the heck did he come up with 9.8?”

So it’s a good and valid question. And the answer is that 9.8 is pretty good, considering the mess my predecessor and the Republicans left me. Fair enough? I think so.

A year ago, I inspired the nation to have the audacity to hope that I would change the political culture in Washington. Now, it turns out I’m another hack politician.

I want to acknowledge some folks in this chamber here tonight. The cipher-faced, light-skinned fellow right behind me is Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, from the great state of Nevada, home of gambling, legal prostitution, and empty nuclear-waste facilities.

Over the last year, Harry has managed to do something I wouldn’t have dreamt possible: make me look like a total tool of the political establishment. How did he manage that? How did I manage that?

A year ago, I inspired the nation to have the audacity to hope that I would change the political culture in Washington. Now, a year later, it turns out I’m another hack politician—from Chicago, where, believe you me, we know a thing or two about hack politics.

I was going to set a new standard. Now I’m just a complicit bystander as Harry bribes, among others, a senator from Nebraska who wants his state to get a free pass on Medicare—in return for his vote on a health-care reform bill that would make the Founders weep, or throw up. Or both.

What a difference a year makes. But I’m pleased to report that before I came up here tonight, I was able to sign a contract with my publisher for a new book. I’m going to call it The Audacity of Oops.

As you know, it is customary procedure, during a State of the Union, for one Cabinet officer not to attend, so as to provide continuity of government in the event someone, say, flies a plane into the Capitol Building or sets off a nuclear bomb or what-have-you. Tonight, you will be reassured to know that Secretary Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security is at an undisclosed location, making sure that, as she would put it, the system goes on working.

I can further report that Secretary Napolitano has come up with an ingenious plan to prevent a recurrence of the Christmas bombing attempt. From now on, all planes flying into the United States will carry not air marshals but Dutch artists. For we now know that when it comes to disabling well-born Nigerians attempting to detonate their underpants, Dutch artists are proven first-responders.

Meanwhile, we must, and will, continue to strip-search 82-year-old white, Protestant grandmothers and 2-year-olds, lest we annoy the tender sensibilities of Muslim countries that practice, among other time-honored religious rituals, genital mutilation of young women, live burial of homosexuals, and stoning and beheading of adulterous women. God forbid we should upset them. We’re Americans. We’re better than that.

As they say, read it all. It's a good thing to see that not only can right-leaning pundits who supported this disgraceful president have buyer's remorse, but it's even more heartening to see they can take comedic shots at this man when no comedian thought anything was funny about him.

The problem is that the joke is on America for trusting this rube to sit in the Oval Office and lead (yeah, right) this great nation.

Publius II

Hubris and narcissism defined

OK, we all know that Barry is full of himself. Like an A-typical Hollyweird star, he has sycophantic yes-men/women surrounding him daily telling him just how gosh darn special he is. It's the whole Stuart Smalley persona that he's been living with for years -- "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." Yeah, keep telling yourself Barry, and someday you'll believe that lie. But enough about that. It seems as though he's still trying to use his strength of persona to persuade people to buy his bull. Even Representative Marion Berry is blown away by this hubris:

Berry recounted meetings with White House officials, reminiscent of some during the Clinton days, where he and others urged them not to force Blue Dogs “off into that swamp” of supporting bills that would be unpopular with voters back home.

“I’ve been doing that with this White House, and they just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”

Oh. My. God. We've got him now, and we're supposed to trip over ourselves because the Narcissist-in-Chief is in DC, and he's going to work hard to get this crap sandwich passed? Are you frelling kidding me?

Someone want to point out his approval numbers aren't exactly spectacular? This is the man who said he'd rather be a good one-term president rather than a mediocre two-term president, so the mirror on the wall is telling him the truth that he's being far too narcissistic on this issue (and a whole host of others.)

If Bill Clinton, who didn't have his first-term poll numbers drop through the floor like Barry's have, couldn't get this passed then where in the Hell does Barry see he can pass this on his persona alone? Self-important people like Barry think that their charisma alone can get the job done. Too bad the American people don't share his idealism. We've seen what the Congress wants to hand us in this health insurance "reform" and we're not happy with it. We're downright ticked about it. We don't believe that this will reform anything that will affect us, and it's more likely it'll be a severe detriment to our lives.

But Barry, and Nancy, and Harry are dead set on feeding us this crap sandwich. Just like our moms used to feed us that revolting, nasty cough syrup before bed when we were sick, all on the auspice that we'd get better. Well, we didn't know then that something so disgusting could make us better. And now he wants us to believe what he wants to ram down our throats is going to make our health care better. He's lying, of course, but that's not stopping him. He's dead-set on an agenda that will do this nation more harm than good, and he thinks he can make us take this on charisma alone.

Newsflash, Barry: You aren't our moms. The cough syrup you're trying to feed us not only tastes like crap, but we know bloody well that it's not going to help us. It's going to hurt us; Hell, it's going to screw us. That's why we don't want it. A smart politician would recognize that. So now we know that not only are you narcissistic, but you're a dumb @$$ to boot.

Publius II

Friday, January 22, 2010

Courting disaster

No, this isn't a book review of Marc Thiessen's new book but rather an examination of what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday. Both The Weekly Standard and Captain Ed take note of the Homeland Security Committee meeting yesterday where senators demanded to know why Abdulmutallab was mirandized, and why no intelligence chiefs were contacted prior to him being read Miranda rights. In fact, Senators Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman will introduce a bill requiring intelligence directors be contacted if foreign terrorists are caught on US soil:

The legislation would address a serious error that occurred in the handling of the so-called Christmas Day terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was charged in civilian criminal court.

At a Homeland Security Committee meeting Wednesday, Senator Collins learned during her questioning of witnesses that none of the three top U.S. intelligence officials had been consulted about that important decision. The determination to place Abdulmutallab into the U.S. civilian court system was made without their input or knowledge.

Senator Collins said this mistake “may have prevented the collection of valuable intelligence about future terrorist threats to the United States. Frankly, I was stunned to learn that the decision to place the captured terrorist into the U.S. civilian criminal court system had been made without the input or the knowledge of any of those three top intelligence officials: the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

“These officials were never consulted by the Department of Justice. The decision was made without them.” ...

Senator Collins said that the decision to place Abdulmutallab in civilian court “likely foreclosed the collection of additional intelligence information. We know that interrogations of terrorists can provide critical intelligence, but our civil justice system, as opposed to military detention, encourages terrorists to ‘lawyer-up’ and stop answering questions.

“Indeed, that was the case here. Abdulmutallab had provided some information to law enforcement officials in the hours immediately after his capture, and we surely would have obtained more if we had treated this foreign terrorist as an enemy belligerent and placed him in the military tribunal system.”

Her bill would require that the nation’s senior intelligence officials be consulted before the decision is made to try future foreign terrorists in civilian court.

“This bill forces the law enforcement and intelligence community to recognize that preventing the next attack should be their first priority,” said Senator Lieberman. “Terrorists like Abdulmutallab are not acting alone and they are not merely criminals – they are enemy combatants fighting for Islamist terrorist organizations – and likely have vital information that will help us in this war.”

Said Senator Ensign: “The United States is moving in a direction that threatens the national security of our country. The fact that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was read his Miranda rights and was placed under civilian court jurisdiction is as perplexing as it is dangerous.

“Compounding this decision further, we learned just yesterday that the President’s principal advisors on Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Defense were not even consulted on that decision,” said Ensign. “This more clearly illustrates that this Administration is more concerned with gently prosecuting terrorists than it is with extracting important intelligence from them that would help prevent future attacks and protect the citizens of this country.”

This is Eric Holder's doing, no doubt about it. When questioned before the committee, none of the intelligence chiefs could say exactly who made the decision, but Byron York connected the dots. While his suspicions haven't been confirmed, he makes the case:

It was Holder who made the decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a criminal trial in New York. It is Holder who has expressed his desire to grant full American constitutional rights to foreign terrorists. It is Holder who is leading the administration’s sputtering effort to move some Guantanamo inmates to the United States. And it is Holder who is apparently cutting other parts of the government out of crucial terrorism decisions like the treatment of Abdulmutallab. …

That was the message of Wednesday’s testimony from Blair, Leiter, Napolitano, and Mueller, all of whom were out of the loop on the Adbulmutallab decision. Their accounts left a number of Republican senators shaken; as the GOP lawmakers see it, the decision to read Abdulmutallab Miranda rights was a dreadful mistake, one that could have serious consequences down the line. There should be some accountability.

So on Thursday all seven Republicans on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Holder asking for a full explanation: Who made the decision and why, and whether the administration now has “a protocol or policy in place for handling al Qaeda terrorists captured in the United States.”

Republicans were troubled by the decision even before Wednesday’s testimony showed that major administration figures knew nothing about it. Now, the lawmakers want to know what happened, and they believe the only person who can tell them is Holder.

The intelligence chiefs were never consulted. Mueller stated he never received a call, but his people had been notified by the Department of Justice. That means Holder, and frankly he's way out of his jurisdiction. Abdulmutallab is an intelligence and military matter, not a civilian matter, and thanks to Eric Holder's arrogance and hubris Abdulmutallab has shut his mouth, and will be enjoying his time outside of a detention facility, far from any interrogators.

I'm going to be frank here. I think Holder needs to be fired. This was not only an incompetent decision, but it could have disastrous results. Eric Holder is a petty bureaucrat who thinks that because he's the Attorney General he's got a license to do whatever the Hell he wants with regard to terrorists captured on US soil. These animals would gladly slit his throat, torture him, or blow him up just as much as they'd want to do that to any other American. This smacks of a turf war in the government, and that was just one aspect of how we were able to get hit on 11 September.

Abdulmutallab is a foreign terrorist. His flight flew into Detroit from Amsterdam. This isn't within his jurisdiction, and he bloody well knew it. Senator Ensign is more than correct. This administration is far more concerned in prosecuting these animals in a civilian court rather than turning them over to interrogators when they're caught so we can extract every piece of intelligence from them. If there's a terrorist attack that is thwarted or successful in the near future on American soil Eric Holder should be fired. His incompetence on this matter alone is enough to warrant him being dismissed as the AG. We need intelligence to maintain our security and prevent attacks. We can't do that if Holder's only goal is to make sure these animals get a lawyer and their non-existent constitutional rights are maintained.

P:ublius II

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Barry

On this historic day I found a piece online that Democrats may want to read. It is, by far, the best analysis I've seen on the aftermath of the Brown victory in Massachusetts. From Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen from The Politico:

Scott Brown has turned this town upside down.

Usually, the tendency among political reporters and operatives alike is to overreact and overinterpret elections.

And there are caveats to the stunner in Massachusetts. Yes, this was a
special election, which often produces unusual results. Yes, Democrat Martha Coakley ran a timid, sometimes terrible, campaign for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat. And it’s true that Massachusetts is not as liberal as many people assumed.

But none of that counters the stunning reality of an election where breathtaking results more than justify breathless analysis. Here’s why:

The lock is broken

There is no way for Democrats to spin an upside to losing their 60th vote in the Senate.

Without it, the health care bill that passed one month ago with 60 votes would go down today. Same goes for any other bill Republicans decide to torpedo with unity, obstruction or whatever one wants to call zero votes.

It's not obstruction. It's a healthy democracy. Like it or not, elected Democrats need to wake up and realize that they caused this mess. Since hitting the ground in January of 2009, even before Barry was inaugurated, they started talking about the radical legislation they wanted to pass. That included the health insurance reform, cap and trade, immigration reform, and spending money the nation doesn't have now, didn't have then, like drunken sailors. And they were drunk -- on power.

We believed that, by some miracle, the Tea Party movement would wake them up. That they'd see the outrage of the nation. But they blew off the movement as some sort of extreme right-wing hatefest, comprised of ignorant people. In their hubris they ignored us. When they took to the town halls to "explain" the health care/insurance reform in August, they were met by a wave of chafed and annoyed American citizens. Again, we were ignored, and in some instances we were assaulted by union thugs that were bused in by the very people who wanted to speak to the American people. The victories in New Jersey and Virginia were the first answer we had for the powers that be, and now Scott Brown is a clear shot across the bow of the Democrat's leaking ship.

The fear is unleashed

Any Democrat with even the faintest fear of a tough race in 2010 is rattled. It was easy for some to rationalize the defeats in New Jersey and Virginia last year — and even the flood of polls showing bad news since then.

They are in denial no more: If Democrats can lose in Massachusetts, they can lose anywhere. That is the mind-set that will shape the next nine months for Democrats. It will affect who runs for reelection, who bolts on big votes, who gives money and who speaks out against Obama. All of this will make governing harder.

The focus has been on the special election for the past week. But Democratic insiders were equally concerned about other signs of trouble that got insufficient notice: Polls show Democrats could lose the New York Senate seat, Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson’s favorable ratings plummeted in Nebraska, new polls showed Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) trailing badly in his swing district, and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) is in a statistical tie and in more trouble than previously expected.

Let's not forget who else is in deep kimchi. Harry Reid's poll numbers don't look stellar. His approval is in the low forties, and he is losing on a general election ballot to EVERYONE in the race, be they Republican or Democrat. The last time we saw numbers that bad, the citizens of South Dakota were preparing to give tom Daschle his walking papers. Blanche Lincoln isn't fairing well in Arkansas, either. While her numbers are considerably better than the Majority Leader's she still faces a very tough reelection bid. Roland Burris and Michael Bennet -- both appointed Democrats from Illinois and Colorado, respectively -- haven't exactly shined on their constituents. Burris faces a great deal of criticism and scrutiny, no doubt in relation to his connections to Rod Blagojevich. Bennet, on the other hand, was touted as a moderate Democrat, and he hasn't acted like it.

The soon-to-be vacant seats in Connecticut and North Dakota (Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan, respectively) are looking they will flip red this coming November. Dodd's financial shenanigans concerning his sweetheart Countrywide mortgages, and his connection to the financial collapse (begun mostly by a housing bubble that didn't just pop, but rocked the nation to its financial core) have made him a very disliked person in Connecticut. He can't garner any sort of serious support in his home state, and the citizens are ready to take their frustration out on him at the polls. Going red isn't unheard of. As for Dorgan, other than being in favor of every radical piece of legislation that's come down the pipe in the Senate, the man hasn't done anything to really kill his reelection bid. The voters in North Dakota have signalled they want a change, plain and simple.

The leaders are rattled

It has been an ugly 24 hours of blame-casting for Democrats. In fact, it's the first time in the Obama era that so many Democrats aired their private grievances in such a public way.

The White House blamed Martha Coakley’s campaign. Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to fault Senate Democrats. Senate Democrats, in turn, put the blame back on Coakley, who had campaign officials thrashing the White House and Senate leaders by mid-day Tuesday — hours before the polls closed.

Chalk this up to frayed nerves. But the Democratic unity that brought health care to the brink of passage will be tested like never before in coming days. Democrats on Capitol Hill told us they could be headed for a major clash with Obama. The reason: Obama’s agenda — getting health care to prove he can govern and earn reelection — could quickly be in tension with lawmakers' agenda of saving their jobs.

That's why this election was so important. In the days leading up to the special election in Massachusetts, the once-jubilant Democrats were quickly depressed as the polls tightened; Brown basically surging to a lead in the final week of the campaign. He raised over one million dollars a day last week. Democrats were shaken in their Get Out The Vote efforts when many, many Democrats turned them down, and informed those volunteers they were going to be voting for Scott Brown. The earthquake in Massachusetts seems to have finally reached Washington, DC.

Prior to this election there were two interesting soundbites that I heard. The first was from Harry Reid where, once again, he stated the Democrats would resort to the reconciliation option to pass health insurance reform IF Martha Coakley lost. She lost, and now there's nary a word of that option because many Democrats on Capitol Hill have been outspoken in the last couple of days stating, on the record, that Reid can't count on their support. The same message is being relayed to Nancy Pelosi. Now, we know that these two will do whatever it takes to "buy" the votes they need, but if I were an elected politician in DC there's no bribe they could offer me to cook my own political career. Again, remember that Democrats are agreeing right now that if Massachusetts can lose a Senate seat, ANYONE in Congress could lose theirs too.

The angry independent wins

Ideologues and hard-core partisans dominate the leadership of both parties and the cable TV debates. But it’s the independents who are the deciders in most elections.

This voting bloc has swung decisively against Democrats, starting this past summer. A review of polling in Massachusetts, in other states and nationally shows the same thing: By about a 2-to-1 margin, independents have turned on Democrats.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that two-thirds of independents would prefer Republicans controlled Congress. The same polls show the voters don’t even like Republicans. A CBS News poll showed only one-third of independents approve of Obama’s handling of the economy — a nearly 20-point drop in less than one year.

In all three big Democratic losses this past year — in New Jersey, Virginia and now Massachusetts — better than 60 percent of independents said they backed Republicans.

Democrats took the Independents for granted. Remember how the majority of Democrats campaigned in 2008, including the president himself. They campaigned like moderates, spoke of working in a bipartisan fashion, and to take care of the serious problems the nation faced. (The president's own history was well known to the Republicans and conservatives. Republicans who voted for Barry believed he'd do better than Bush and the Republicans in DC did.)

The Independents bought into that campaign, and had no problem in not only electing Barry, but also in securing a lock on the Congress by the Democrats. After all, why not give the other side a chance the same way they gave our side that chance starting in 2000, right? Wrong. They saw quickly the sort of radical agenda that the Congress and the president were geared up to pass. It started with the Pork-A-Palooza stimulus package, continued through the virtual seizure of two, major US car companies, passing legislation telling companies that accepted bailout money how much they could pay their executives, can and trade passed through the House (dead in the Senate), and now an out-and-out attempt to takeover the health care industry and the health insurance industry. After seeing what they bought, they had a buyer's remorse that could very easily be the Democrat's Waterloo at the ballot box in November.

Grand Old Possibility

Democrats are right that polls show the vast majority of the public holds Republicans in even lower esteem. But that might not matter because they blew the last two elections — and no longer own what Washington does.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and others are bragging that they have a real shot at winning back the House. They would need to net 40 seats to do so.

Republicans say they have recruited some quality candidates in winnable seats. Democrats grudgingly agree. But Republicans are getting their clocks cleaned when it comes to fundraising, especially by the House campaign committees. Democrats gleefully agree.

The special election — and the enthusiasm it has generated among conservatives — will make it a lot easier for the GOP to raise money and recruit volunteers. It gives conservatives, many of whom remain frustrated by memories of free-spending Republicans when they controlled things, now have a cause. The NRCC blasted out a fundraising appeal overnight — and plans to leverage the results to convince candidates to run in races once seen as unwinnable. GOP fundraisers say the special election — combined with Obama’s new attacks on Wall Street — has some big companies hedging their bets by investing more in the minority.

And this was the point of the party's strategy right from the start. While some int he electorate moaned and groaned about the Democrats being in control, strategists saw a prime opportunity. As I pointed out above, the Democrats are drunk on power. We sat back and let them run with their little power trip, but we didn't go along with it. The only time we did was on the stimulus, and we saw what happened in the aftermath. "Snarling" Arlen Specter jumped parties. He believed that he had a better prospect being reelected by being a Democrat; by being in the party in the majority. It backfired because he will be gone in November. If Joe Sestak doesn't take him out in the primary, Pat Toomey will trounce him in the general election.

the Democrats enjoyed the ride while it lasted, but now they're worried. As the campaigns start up, the Republicans are ready to go to the people with their case -- their ideas -- as to how they'll work to fix the things screwed up by their colleagues across the aisle. The economy is going to be the focus of the midterms, and the Democrats have shown they're woefully inept at fixing it. In fact virtually everything they've done has exacerbated the problems. When they took over, unemployment was hovering around 7.5%. Now it's 10%, and real unemployment numbers have us free-falling to around 20%. So they have a serious problem to deal with, and they're not helping themselves by showing arrogance towards their constituents; sometimes even being antagonistic towards them (as Dianne Feinstein did back in July of last year, calling the police on senior citizens in her office.)

The Obama magic has vanished

Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying Obama would throw his support behind Democrats in New Jersey, Virginia and Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts — and lose all of them.

Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying he would celebrate his first anniversary without having gotten health care, financial regulation or energy legislation signed into law. And that less than 50 percent of the public would hold a favorable view of his presidency.

Obama clearly remains popular at the personal level, a big asset that Republicans privately concede could easily help turn things around for this White House in the months ahead. But it is similarly clear that the Obama magic of 2008 has vanished. His personal popularity is plainly not transferable to other Democrats. His power with Democrats is somewhat diminished.

It wasn't a smart move for Barry to go into Massachusetts to campaign for a woman so clearly flawed. Two gaffes cost he a lot of votes yesterday, and when prognosticators look at the campaign as a whole, they'll agree. First, there ARE terrorists still in Afghanistan. She stated there weren't, just ten days after eight CIA officers were blown up by a suicide bomber. Three days before that, three American soldiers were killed in a firefight that took place on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. She said that during a debate, and tossed in that it was time for an "exit strategy" out of Afghanistan. That doesn't resonate well with voters, especially those who have loved ones in harms way.

Her second gaffe was in claiming Curt Schilling was a Yankee's fan. Anyone who lives on Boston, and eats/breathes/sleeps/lives sports -- even the passing watcher, and not a hardcore fan -- knows that Curt Schilling not only isn't a Yankees fan, but he was the ace pitcher who helped the Boston Red Sox win its first World Series in 86 years. (Also, it was Schilling's performance in the sixth game of the ALCS series against the Yankees that forced a game seven, making the Red Sox the first team in baseball history to come back from a three-to-one deficit.) Like it or not, not knowing about a prominent sports figure in your home state/town is a death knell. As Jon Stewart pointed out on The Daily Show "That's like asking John Lennon who his favorite Beatle was, and his answer was 'Mickey Dolenz.'"

But, I digress. Barry's magic isn't completely gone. He still has popular support across the nation, and he still has his liberal sycophants in the Congress. Barney Frank stated, yesterday on NPR, that it was time to change the filibuster rule to prevent Republicans from engaging in one to slow down or stop the president's agenda. (Not only is this a sign of panic on the part of Democrat leaders in Congress, but it's a bad signal to send to the nation that just because you don't have a filibuster-proof majority, it's time to end the filibuster. Talk about petulant.)

It's clear that Barry can't seem to get his mojo back, and pass it off to other Democrats. He's failed to do so twice, and if we look at his record, the GOP is three-for-three in special elections. He's sporting a big, fat goose-egg in all three races. Democrats will probably not be asking him to help them campaign because he might be more of an albatross around their necks.

The Democrats definitely have a far-reaching problem they need to take care of, and we're not sure if they can do it and still salvage the midterms. People are determined to end their overwhelming majorities in Congress. I cited, at the beginning, several senators in deep trouble. The same goes for the House, as more than a few have spoken out on the health care/insurance reform. They won't support it. Granted, this election likely won't have killed the efforts, but the current legislation working its way back through the Congress just might be.

Publius II

Mr. Brown goes to Washington

Good morning, dear readers, and welcome to the starting line for 2010. Unless you've been sitting in a Taliban cave you know that the Massachusetts Massacre occurred last night. Scott Brown pulled off the impossible, and defeated an extreme, know-nothing Democrat to end the legacy of the Kennedys in the US Senate. For those that missed the drama that unfolded last night, you can recap it here at Geraghty the Indispensable's site. Scroll down to "Tuesday, January 19, 2010" and scroll through his updates. The wheels came off the Coakley campaign right around 3 PM EST yesterday when she fired off the "Don't Blame Me" memo to staffers and key supporters. Within an hour, or so, the Democrat Senatorial Committee and the DNC fired back at her basically stating that the loss was all her fault, and not theirs. About two hours after the polls closed (give or take a few minutes) Coakley conceded the race. By then, the writing was on the wall as Michelle Malkin noted late last night with the interactive map showing a see of red across Massachusetts; Brown 52%, Coakley 47%, and separated by 106,177 votes.

So, what did we find out about this election? Even people in Massachusetts are fed up with the crap coming out of Washington, DC. In fact, when looking at the numbers broken down by Scott Rasmussen -- the ONLY person to do ANY exit polling last night (and he paid for it out of his own pocket to get these numbers) -- they send a clear message to Democrats:

In the end, Brown pulled off the upset in large part because he won unaffiliated voters by a 73% to 25% margin. The senator-elect also picked up 23% of the vote from Democrats. [Our polling shows that 53% of voters in Massachusetts are Democrats, 21% Republican and 26% not affiliated with either party.]

- Coakley also barely carried a usually reliable Democratic constituency. Union workers went for her by just six points, 52% to 46%.

- Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters in the state say health care was the most important factor in their voting decision. Brown made it clear in the closing days of the campaign that he intended to go to Washington to vote against the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

- Twenty-five percent (25%) of Massachusetts voters say the economy was most important.

- Forty-seven percent (47%) favor the health care legislation before Congress while 51% oppose it. However, the intensity was clearly with those who are opposed. Just 25% of voters in Massachusetts Strongly Favor the plan while 41% Strongly Oppose it.

- Fifty percent (50%) say it would be better to pass no health care legislation at all rather than passing the bill before Congress. ...

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters in the state offer a favorable opinion of Brown while 47% say the same about Coakley.

- Twenty-eight percent (28%) say Brown is Very Conservative politically; 44% say he’s Somewhat Conservative, and 22% view him as a political moderate.

- Thirty-five percent (35%) say Coakley is Very Liberal; 36% say she’s Somewhat Liberal, and 21% view her as a moderate.

Interesting numbers, to say the least. Rasmussen finished off his night with a final look at the numbers, and they are as telling as the original ones he posted:

As noted in data released earlier, 56% of Massachusetts voters named health care as the most important issue. That suggests it was a big issue, but Democrat Martha Coakley actually won among those voters by a 53% to 46% margin.

· Among the 25% who named the economy as the top issue, Republican Scott Brown came out narrowly ahead, 52% to 47%.

· Only two other issues—national security and taxes—were named as most important by at least five percent (5%) of voters. Brown clearly had the edge on both.

· Among those who named national security as most important, Brown won 67% to 29%.

· For those who saw taxes as number one, it was Brown 87%, Coakley 13%.

The picture gets even murkier when you look at the correlation between approval of the health care plan.

· Among those who Strongly Favor the plan before Congress, Coakley won 97% of the vote.

· Among those who Strongly Oppose the plan, 98% voted for Brown.

· Coakley also picked up 90% of those who Somewhat Favor the plan while Brown was supported by 78% of those who Somewhat Oppose it.

· One key to Brown’s victory is that 41% Strongly Opposed the plan while just 25% Strongly Favored it.

Last February, President Obama listed four priorities for Congress to act upon. Voters in Massachusetts, like voters
nationwide, named deficit reduction as the top goal and health care second.

· Among those who named deficit reduction as most important, Brown won 79% to 21%.

· Among those who named health care reform as the top presidential priority, Coakley won 85% to 19%.

· While advocates of reform argue that passing health care reform will reduce the deficit,
voters nationwide overwhelmingly believe that the plan will cost more than projected and increase the deficit.

There was a strong correlation between opinions about the president and votes in the Massachusetts race.

· Among those who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is handling the job, Coakley won 96% to three percent (3%).

· Among those who Strongly Disapprove, Brown won 97% to two percent (2%).

· Brown also won the vote from 95% of those who Somewhat Disapprove of the president’s job performance.

· However, among those who only Somewhat Approve of the job he's doing, Coakley received just 69% of the vote.

Now, why do I find it interesting? Well, let's start with the obvious. For the better part of a year last year, Democrats/liberals alike derided the Tea Party movement. We were a bunch of muckrakers; slack-jawed, mouth-breathing, backwoods idiots that knew nothing of politics. (This just goes to show how effete these "elitist" snobs really are.) So, to contradict their views on that grass-roots movement, clearly the people understood the gravity of this particular special election. Look at the numbers, and see for yourself. They don't look good for Coakley, in general. In addition, pundit after pundit kept claiming, on the heels of the @$$-whooping we took in 2008, claimed that the Reagan era of conservatism was dead. The election of Scott Brown shows us different. It shows us that conservatism, when contrasted with lock-step liberalism, wins, and wins overwhelmingly.

Today pundits, talking heads, and elitist journalists are claiming this wasn't an overwhelming win for Scott Brown. Let's put this in perspective for some of those so-called political geniuses: Brown won by 5 points and over 106,000 votes. For 47 years Ted Kennedy held this seat; the "Lion of the Senate" was seen as a virtual, permanent member of the Senate as no one had unseated him, or even threatened to. In Democrat-controlled Massachusetts, the voters (53% of which are Democrats) opted for a clear change in the direction their state was going in terms of the representation in the Senate. (The news is reporting of an aftershock -- a 6.1 aftershock -- in Haiti. Pardon the bad joke, but could we say that aftershock was caused by the earthquake that rocked Massachusetts yesterday?)

All kidding aside, this was a major upset. Just a couple short months ago, Martha Coakley held a comfortable lead over Scott Brown by over thirty points. No one thought Brown had a snowball's chance in Hell of winning this race. But the groundswell of support wouldn't be stopped. The people in Massachusetts put him over the top because they believed he'd be a welcome breath of fresh air. Let's hope that he is. At the very least the Republicans now have 41 votes in the Senate, and provided we don't get any weak-kneed, round-heeled Republicans, that means we can mount (and hopefully maintain) a filibuster not only on health insurance reform, but on cap and trade, on immigration reform, etc., at least until the Democrats wise up and invite our side in for negotiations. (History lesson for Democrats -- this nation was founded on the idea that we should all work together to make this a better nation. The nation, right now, is sick and tired of the one-party rule in DC.)

Captain Ed has issued a flag of caution in the elation still present from last night and we couldn't agree more.

First, no he shouldn't give the GOP response for Barry's State of the Union speech. Based on the numbers above, Brown wasn't elected because of the dislike of the president. The majority of Massachusetts voters still think the president is doing a good or fair job. So to put him out there to give the response would appear petty and petulant; rubbing the president's nose in this loss. (Not a smart move considering Barry called Brown last night to congratulate him.)

Second, drop the meme that he could be a viable candidate for president in 2012. We just elected a man who had ZERO private sector experience, and 143 days under his belt in the US Senate. Brown would be put in the same boat, and be just as savaged by liberal pundits, on the same points we made, should he decide to make the run. He's a senator, folks, not the party savior.

Third, let's remember that he is much closer to Rudy Giuliani than he is to Sarah Palin. He has some socially moderate views. Yes, he's pro-life. Yes, he's pro-defense. Yes, he's a fiscal conservative. But he does have some moderate views. Does that mean he'll be like the Maine sisters or Lindsey Graham? Not likely, but he does have some views that will rankle conservatives. He'll be a solid vote on issues that matter to the base; much like John McCain is (for the most part), but he won't be a lock-step conservative.

This note of caution comes about to keep the base grounded. Yes, it's a great thing that Scott Brown won the race, and we're sure the celebrating will still be going on today amidst the GOP base. But let's keep our heads out of the clouds. This isn't the end of the line for us. This is the beginning of the race for the 2010 midterms. We have less than eleven months to go before the midterms take place. Scott Brown is the shot heard 'round the nation. I'm sure a few Democrats are polishing resumes this morning in anticipation of being unemployed the day after the election in November. But we have a lot of work to do to make that dream come true. Scott Brown is the opening volley in the upcoming fight. Let's remember that, shall we?

Publius II

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let the Democrat feeding frenzy begin if Coakley loses

For ardent pols and wonks, in the wake of a defeat there is always finger pointing as to why a campaign failed. Democrats have already started the feeding frenzy before the ballots are all counted:

As they face the growing possibility that Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley will lose the race to fill the seat formerly held by Sen. Ted Kennedy, some Democrats are settling on a new strategy to blame the defeat not only on Coakley's inept campaign but also on her personality and strained relations with both the Kennedy family and President Obama. At the same time, Democrats are working to position themselves to push Coakley aside and focus on defeating a Sen. Scott Brown, should the Republican run for a full six-year term in 2012.

"Everybody is scrambling and freaking out," says one Democratic strategist of the mood among Democrats now. Coakley's run has taught the once-triumphant party that "a lackluster, uninspiring campaign is not going to get it done, even in the bluest states." But with feelings running deep, some Democrats are blaming Coakley in a much more personal way.

"She's kind of aloof," the Democrat says. "There are people who will vote for her who don't really have a sense that they like or trust her. The Kennedys aren't really fond of her. She basically announced her campaign the day Ted died, and didn't give Vicki the opportunity to think about [running to replace her husband]. From the Kennedy side of the ledger, there's no great love for Coakley. They look at her as kind of a predatory politician."

Coakley made no secret of her desire to run for Kennedy's seat well before Kennedy died in August of last year. Kennedy nephew Stephen E. Smith later told the Boston Herald, "She set up a committee six months before my uncle died. There were people on the corner with a huge 'Coakley for Senate' sign two days after his funeral." Coakley formally announced her candidacy a week after Kennedy's death. One of Coakley's main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Rep. Michael Capuano, told the Herald, "I couldn't do it. I couldn't step over someone's grave."

As far as Obama is concerned, Coakley was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Coakley, a Massachusetts superdelegate, announced her support for Clinton in May 2008, after it was clear that Clinton had little or no chance to win the nomination -- and long after Sen. Kennedy and prominent Kennedy family members backed Obama. Even at the Democratic convention, as Obama's forces tried to unify the party behind his candidacy, Coakley cast her vote for Clinton. Only later did she switch her support, reluctantly, to Obama.

If Coakley loses, the resentments those actions created will come to the fore in a wave of recriminations and blame-placing. "There's going to be a lot of finger-pointing after the fact," says the strategist. And at least among Democrats, all the fingers will point at Coakley; besides allowing Democrats to vent at Coakley, blaming her will have the effect of insulating President Obama from criticism that the election was a referendum on his policies, particularly the Democrats' unpopular national health care plan.

It's not her fault that Barry decided to make an ill-advised play this past Sunday, making it clear that this election is the nexus of his health insurance reform, and she jumped on board that meme like a good, little soldier. But even the Democrats should have seen the problems she created in jumping into this race, and positioning herself early to take the seat that Kennedy held for over 50 years. It didn't help her in the early goings of this campaign to constantly remind people she believed this seat was a "legacy seat" and should remain in the hands of Democrats.

Her campaign was poorly run. She made no case for the voters to support her, really, other than "vote for me because I'm a democrat, and Kennedy was a Democrat." The debate that was held between her and Scott Brown was a disaster for her. She consistently used the "legacy seat" excuse as to why voters should vote for her, and when pushed on the issues, such as national security, she didn't know her @$$ from a hole in the ground. When pressed on the health insurance reform that is winding its way through the Congress, like the very Congress-critters that "wrote" the bloody thing, she didn't have any specifics on what was in the draft. (I emphasize "draft" because, as far as most people know, there isn't anything really on paper yet. What we know of the Senate bill was literally hammered out by Senate Democrats with little input from Republicans during the debate over the proposed legislation.)

We know that this always happens. When John McCain was defeated in the 2008 presidential election, the GOP wasted little time in pointing fingers at his mistakes. (Disclosure for readers: We did this, as well, but the point of our observations was in noting his mistakes, and analyzing his campaign. And unlike most GOP strategists, we didn't put the blame on Sarah Palin, and her alone. There was plenty of blame to go around.) IF Martha Coakley loses today (and we believe she will) the knives will come out for her, and her aspirations of national office will be done. No Democrat will come near her. Instead of trying to help her hone her message and iron out her drawbacks, they're going to throw her to the wolves. (Not that she doesn't deserve it, but the Democrats have a tendency to "eat their young" in the wake of a failed election. Unless you're Al Gore, and you have a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud nations of their wealth in a hoax that's been thoroughly outed.)

Turnout in Massachusetts is said to be high today. Brown has all the momentum behind him, and this election is literally his to lose. Based on the polls, he's beating her by three to six points, depending on which polls you watch or believe. Zogby is predicting a Coakley win though the margin is small, and the other polls don't show that at all. (Mind you that Zogby hasn't exactly had a great track record in predicting electoral outcomes recently, the 2008 presidential election aside.) The voters of Massachusetts know exactly what Martha Coakley represents.

She's the sixtieth vote in the Democrats continuing march towards turning this nation into a socialist state. (Yes, we have a level of socialism in America, but not to the extent the Democrats would like, hence their rush to get as much enacted before the midterms as possible.) Massachusetts unemployment numbers are sitting at 8.8% (right sidebar on the page) which means they're suffering just as much as the rest of the nation is, and just like the rest of the nation there appears to be no end in sight. Much of that is due to Massachusetts blue-state politics and policies. But Martha Coakley doesn't represent an end to the state's woes. She represents a continuation of them, and this is why she should lose today. And make no mistake that if she does lose, the Democrats will throw her under the bus quicker than the president does with anyone who embarrasses him.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Via "Rogue" at Hot Air Geraghty the Indispensable is already reporting on a level of voter fraud in Massachusetts with at least one poll worker handing out an absentee ballot at a polling place. Michelle Malkin is also keeping an eye on any reports of potential voter fraud (she has the same story Geraghty has about the absentee ballots ... written in Spanish, no less, and not being handed out in a polling place. The activist is walking around handing them out):

"They’ve just posted video of a woman in Lawrence, MA, carrying around blank absentee ballots in Spanish today. She explains how she’s telling people to mark Martha Coakley’s name. The woman handing out the ballots identifies herself as “Isabel Melendez” and says she has a talk show in which she promoted Coakley’s candidacy."

Michelle also pointed out back on 15 January that the SEIU union thugs were out in force in Massachusetts.

Just remember folks, "if it's not close, they can't cheat."

Publius II

Monday, January 18, 2010

Give Biden credit where credit is due

God love Slow Joe Biden. No man quite puts his finger on the obvious as much as he does, and today a Politico story puts a fine point on his stating the obvious:

Vice President Joe Biden said at a Florida fundraiser Sunday that the 60-seat threshold for passing legislation in the Senate put a dangerous new roadblock in the way of American government.

"As long as I have served ... I've never seen, as my uncle once said, the constitution stood on its head as they've done. This is the first time every single solitary decisions has required 60 senators," Biden said. "No democracy has survived needing a supermajority."

Despite that dire warning, Biden said he's "optimistic" the country will appreciate the administration's accomplishments: "The American people are very smart, and we'll demonstrate by November that the project is working."

Who, exactly, is standing the Constitution on its head. It's not the Republicans. We're more than willing to WORK with Democrats on passing important legislation. What we won't be is part of the rubber-stamp Congress that's all in favor of passing the president's radical, left-wing -- nay, socialist -- agenda.

Taking over car companies? Banks? Mortgage lenders? And now health insurance? This isn't an American agenda. This is the agenda of a far-Left radical that thinks he can undo 233 years of history in America. The Founding Fathers and Framers NEVER would have stood for or supported this sort of action, legislative or otherwise.

Before now, we have never needed a supermajority to pass the majority of legislation from the US Congress, but now we do. Why? The Democrats campaigned on NEEDING 60 senators to be able to enact their legislative agenda so they could bypass the opposition on every level. That's a fact, folks. Look back to the election of 2008, and look at how many elected Democrats stated they needed sixty votes to pass the president's agenda. In 2002 and 2004 President Bush said he needed a majority int he Senate to be able to pass his judicial nominees out of the body, and onto the federal bench. It was ONE issue. The rest of the time we were more than willing (to a detriment, some would say) to work with Democrats on a variety of legislative matters. That's how the Congress is supposed to work. Then, Democrats did everything they could to block judicial nominees -- MORE than qualified nominees. We needed the votes to break that log-jam.

Now, the Democrats need a bunch of yes-men -- rubber-stamping know-nothings -- to pass an agenda that the American people are wholeheartedly against. The majority of people didn't like the bailouts. They sure as Hell don't like the government being involved in the car and banking industry. And, by God, they are against the government's attempted seizure of the health insurance industry. If the Congress were serious about real reform in the health insurance industry, there'd be no need for a supermajority. They'd be in favor of it, provided it was serious reform. But what's been proposed isn't serious. It's a sham; a ruse to lull people into the sense that the government knows what's best for us.

They don't. They never have. This reform is no reform. We wouldn't need sixty votes int he Senate every time a bill is passed if the damn Democrats would quit locking out Republicans in the creation of legislation, and the negotiations thereof. But they have, and now the Democrats are reaping what they have sewn.

Biden's right: The constitution is on it's ear, but it is not due to Republicans.

It's because of the petty crap from his own party.

Publius II

D-Day in Massachusetts tomorrow

For those living in a Taliban cave in Pakistan (just kidding) there is a special election tomorrow in Massachusetts. Up for grabs is the vacancy is the seat in the Senate from Massachusetts; what is "lovingly" referred to as the "Kennedy seat." (For Democrats, and for the record, it ain't his seat no matter how much money was used to buy it. Scott Brown was correct -- it's "the people's seat.") Polls have been jumping all over the place on this race, but the main point of recent polls is clear: IF we are to believe the nonpartisan polls, Brown has this one in the bag. This is a point that Captain Ed makes this morning:

What are we to believe about all of the polling coming out of Massachusetts over the last week? After all, no one would have predicted even a close race for Scott Brown at the end of December. Are we to believe that he could ride almost out of nowhere and derail Democratic attempts to replace its “liberal lion,” Ted Kennedy? According to Pollster.com, that’s the reality, regardless of which polls one chooses to believe:

So what might you believe about these data? You could refuse to cherry pick the polls. That has long been our view here at Pollster.com. Our job is to summarize the trends as best we can, without partisan favor. If you do that, we get a 8.8 point Brown lead.

Perhaps you only trust non-partisan polls. Then the Brown lead is 6.8 points.

Maybe you are a Dem, who doesn’t trust the Republican pollsters. Then Brown leads by 6.5 points.
Or you are a Dem who doesn’t trust the non-partisan pollsters either and who does believe in the leaks from the Coakley campaign. Then Brown’s lead is 3.8 points. (This is the only estimate that includes the leaks.)

Or you are a Rep who trusts GOP and nonpartisan polls only. Then Brown leads by 11.3. (There aren’t enough Rep polls to run a Rep only estimate to parallel the Dem only, but I’d think an 11 point lead would be satisfying enough for Reps.)

There may be other ways to cut these data (IVR vs conventional phone, pollsters you’ve heard of vs ones you haven’t) but it seems quite unlikely that any but the most selective reading of these data can find that the race remains a dead heat. Brown has a lead, as of Sunday night.

In short, regardless of the polls anyone pays attention to (unless you're a Coakley fan/supporter) things don't look good for Martha Coakley. She's looking to be on the receiving end of a very bad election result. She's looking at a loss that she can't explain, despite Barry's last minute push on Sunday,/li> for what would be, ultimately, his sixtieth vote in the Senate. Things don't even come close to looking good for Coakley given the last minute polling and the turnout models. Captain Ed points out that, aside from a freak snowstorm in Massachusetts (not an unheard of event; is Al Gore in town?) this should be a virtual cakewalk for Brown. And let's be honest here: When it comes to elections aside from the presidential elections, liberals don't turn out, and they sure as Hell don't turn out when the weather is bad.

This special election should, in all respects, go for Scott Brown. While many liberals claim that such a victory doesn't mean a damn thing, in the long and short of it it does mean a lot. A Republican winning the vaunted "Kennedy seat?" ((GASP)) God forbid! In the end no matter what liberals do, the people will turn out to take away that sixtieth vote for health care reform, for crap and tax, and for the ominous immigration reform looming on the horizon. In short, voters will turn out to deny the Democrats a sixtieth vote in the Senate on an out-of-control liberal/socialist agenda that doesn't jive with the founding principles of this nation.

What Barry and Democrats forget is that this nation is, inherently, conservative, and the majority of the nation stands beside its founding principles. Martha Coakley represents more of the liberal agenda that is 180 degrees contrary to those ideals, and that's why they should lose. Let's hope the polls and turnout models are correct tomorrow.

Publius II

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Issue Up!!

Yada, yada, yada ... you all know the drill. It's the 16th of the month, and that means the new issue of Common Conservative is up and waiting for you guys. So, what're you waiting for?

This post will remain at the top of the page until Monday so you can all just click on the links you want to.

The Chief starts us off with a report card for Barry, and needless to say, it's hardly the "B+" he gave himself. (No doubt Mr. Lindaman remembered not to use a red pen in correcting the president. After all, we don't want to hurt his precious self-esteem.)

Larry Simoneaux examines the airport security measures in light of the attempted Christmas Day jihadist attack.

Marcie and I take a close look at the intelligence failures since Barry took office, and we're pretty sick of the "bureaucratic" excuses.

The Chief kicks off our guest articles with a book review of Leon Weinstein's new masterpiece "Looking for Hugh: The Capitalist Guidebook." (For regular readers, Mr. Weinstein isn't writing about Hugh Hewitt.)

J.J. Jackson wonders if Glenn Beck is the new face of conservatism. (I, personally, wouldn't say he is, but he's a driving force behind the conservative resurgence today.)

Ralph Reiland takes a gander at the wrong-headed ideas coming from Barry's administration in terms of national security and domestic policy.

John Lillpop puts the Democrats under a microscope after their idiotic gaffes regarding race, especially with regard to the president.

Peary Perry takes shots at California for the state's demand that the federal government bail them out because of their own, wrong-headed approaches to fiscal irresponsibility.

And Thomas Glennon pays tribute to two combat veterans that go unnoticed because they don't wear their honor on their sleeves.

Enjoy reading!

Publius II