Daily Archives: January 24, 2010

Lots of different viewpoints over at Politico

The site’s “Arena” section contains pithy comments from all over the spectrum so you can pick and choose. Naturally, I pick this one:

Bill BishopAuthor and editor :

Interesting contrast: On the front page of the Times yesterday, there was a story about the trouble Colorado Republican Scott McInnis got into when he was represented on the Fox network as being the “Tea-Party-backed candidate” for governor.  Tea bag leaders objected, saying they didn’t work for any party and they certainly weren’t there to be labeled by any network (even Fox).

Today, the front page of the Times reports: “Obama Moves to Centralize Control Over Party Strategy.”
Two entirely different ways of approaching politics. The first is decentralized, locally controlled and runs counter to centralized authority. The second is centralized and expert-driven.

It’s not really a surprise that Obama would do what he’s doing. That’s the way he’s run his administration — centralized and heavy on experts. And, yes, Democrats, people have noticed that despite all the town halls and round tables and listening sessions, this is an administration that makes its final decisions based on the opinion of its 21st century D.C. collection of the “best and the brightest.”

Republicans have long been quicker to recognize what moves people. And they realize now that centralized authority is the stink that is marking Democrats for the kill. So, in Massachusetts, the Rs took pains to make it appear that the party had its hands off Scott Brown’s candidacy. The Ds talked about the need to give the party complete control of government and to carry on the Kennedy dynasty.

It took four years for the Ds to figure out how Republicans won in ’04. Democrats don’t have that much time to figure this one out.

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Gee, yah think?

Obama endorses “Deficit Reduction Panel” to meet after November elections.

Obama’s statement gives new momentum to efforts in the Senate now to attach such legislation this coming week to a pending debt ceiling bill. But the endorsement comes so late that it risks being seen as just a ploy to win over swing Democratic senators whose votes the White House needs to lift the federal debt ceiling.

The Republicans were always trying this trick, without success.

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Campaign spending in the Massachusetts race

Interesting story on the Brown – Coakley race. I won’t spoil the ending as to who won, but in terms of raising cash, both blew out the doors the last ten days. According to the Boston Globe, each side spent about the same (although Brown raised so much that he couldn’t spend it all and has $4.1 million left in his campaign coffers). What catches my attention is the role of the Internet – these millions came in from across the country, very quickly.

“The Weld for Senate campaign didn’t even have a website, and this was one of the top Senate races in the country,’’ Gray said. “Kerry had one but he was cutting-edge.’’

The pace at which money can be raised, with the help of the Web, from contributors almost anywhere and spent almost immediately continues to accelerate. That has enabled the outside interest groups that have proliferated in the past six years “to impact campaigns very late in the campaign in a way that was impossible before,’’ Gray said.

In the Kerry-Weld race, external sources of funding were much more limited than now. To raise money out of state, the candidates had to get on an airplane and waste a day or two, rather than issuing a plea for contributions online. The national parties each contributed less than $600,000 to their respective candidates and some labor unions provided about $750,000 in aid to the Democrat, Gray said.

Democrats were the early masters of the new technologies, which were raised to an art form by the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama. The special election in Massachusetts showed that Republicans have now also become quite savvy, said Paul Watanabe, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

“It was a mistake for people to think that only the left can organize and use these tools effectively,’’ Watanabe said.

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We’ll expect Ollie Stone to make a film about this

I just love his devotion to democracy

Chavez shuts down opposition television station. Sean Penn, Jimmy Carter unavailable for comment.

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Here’s a sure winner

Dinner's served, and you're the main course!

That master of bankruptcy, hot air and failed marriages is conducting a “free” seminar on real estate investing in Stamford. Could anyone be stupid enough to go to this fellow for advice? Hell, I bet it’s a sell-out.

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White House: nothing to see here; move along, move along

As we live a life of ease Every one of us has all we need Sky of blue and sea of green In our yellow submarine

Axelrod: no staff shake-up planned. You know, that’s entirely possible because when the Left is so deep in denial (see NYT editorials, Frank Rich, Daily Kos, etc.) and truly don’t believe anything happened up in Massachusetts last week, why would they want to change a thing? Full speed ahead, Mr. Boatswain, full speed ahead.

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Al Qaeda recruiting Somalis in Sweden

Off they go to the promised land. On the one hand, who’ll miss them? Hand them one-way tickets and a bottle of aquavit and wish them a fond farewell. The trouble is, these same guys are also responsible for attacking Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, so their enthusiasm for jihad against infidels is not limited to those living in the horn of Africa.

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Maybe it would help if the NoKos sent another missile over the island

Okinawa votes against U.S. military base.

The election, in the small rural town of Nago, hundreds of miles from Tokyo, was a de facto referendum on a plan by the U.S. government to adjust American military positioning in Okinawa, shifting resources away from heavily populated areas of the island to a more rural portion of the island.

The incumbent mayor, Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, had accepted the plan, while his opponent, Susumu Inamine campaigned against him largely over the base issue. “This election means that we will not allow construction of the new military camp,” Mr. Inamine said in declaring victory.

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Here’s a shocker

Instapundit: UH OH: Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified. “The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders. Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.”

UPDATE: Political pressure and, of course, money: lots of it.

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Five days in jail for CocoCandy

The Bronx: cops seized two men after finding crack cocaine in their van, kept in jail for five days until testing demonstrated that the drug was in fact sugar-based candy. Oops! Sorry. “Sweet happens” say the unrepentant police. The sooner we get rid of immunity for police and prosecutors, the sooner this behavior will stop.

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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste

Brit indicted for selling phoney bomb detectors to Iraq. Thousands of innocents have died from reliance on these things.

Someone reached the Iraqi government with bakeesh and they ordered thousands of them and issued them to their army and police force.

An associate of ATSC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said the devices were manufactured at a cost of $250 each by suppliers in Britain and Romania. “Everyone at ATSC knew there was nothing inside the ADE 651,” he said.

The Iraqi government, according to its auditors, paid $40,000 to $60,000 for each device, although it determined that ATSC was marketing the device for $16,000. The additional money was said to have been for training, spare parts and commissions.

Shortly after the arrest on Friday, the BBC reported that it had arranged a lab test of the device and found that its bomb-detection component was an electronic merchandise tag of the sort used to prevent shoplifting.

The perpetrator, undaunted, showed the true mettle of an entrepreneur:

The Times of London quoted Mr. McCormick in November as saying that the device’s technology was similar to that of dowsing or divining rods used to find water. “We have been dealing with doubters for 10 years,” he said. “One of the problems we have is that the machine does look primitive. We are working on a new model that has flashing lights.”

BBC Video Here:

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Ghost at the White House?

Over at InstaPundit they’re having fun trying to guess the identity of the ghost peering from the White House at Obama. Suggestions include Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover – I think it’s Wesley Mouch. UPDATE: Walt points out that there’s a face in the tree to the right – so there is. Walt says, “Bernie Madoff”, I’m guessing Obama’s brought ents to the White House to placate the Greens after his failure in Copenhagen.

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