Americans don’t like big government

October 31, 2006 at 3:55 pm

A recent CNN poll shows that Americans think the government is doing too much:

A quarter century after the Reagan revolution and a dozen years after Republicans vaulted into control of Congress, a new CNN poll finds most Americans still agree with the bedrock conservative premise that, as the Gipper put it, “government is not the answer to our problems — government is the problem.”

The poll released Friday also showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans perceive, correctly, that the size and cost of government have gone up in the past four years, when Republicans have had a grip on the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House.

Discretionary spending grew from $649 billion in fiscal year 2001 to $968 billion in fiscal year 2005, an increase of $319 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Queried about their views on the role of government, 54 percent of the 1,013 adults polled said they thought it was trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Only 37 percent said they thought the government should do more to solve the country’s problems.

Who are our military men and women?

October 31, 2006 at 3:37 pm

Michael Barone links to a report of ours at the Heritage Foundation. The report directly contradicts the notion that our military is composed of under-educated men and women:

Overall, the wartime recruits are more similar than dissimilar to their civilian counterparts. The all-volunteer force displays near proportional representation of income backgrounds. Whites serve in approximate proportion to their population, although representation of minority groups varies. Recruits must meet educational standards, and the military provides resources for furthering education to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend four-year colleges. Although rural representation is disproportional, the military offers the opportunity to gain new skills and enter industries that are not available in rural areas.

With regard to income, education, race, and regional background, the all-volunteer force is representative of our nation and meets standards set by Congress and the Department of Defense. In contrast to the patronizing slanders of antiwar critics, recruit quality is increasing as the war in Iraq continues. Although recent recruiting goals have been difficult to meet, re-enlistment is strong and recruit quality remains high. No evidence supports arguments for reinstating the draft or altering recruiting policies to achieve more equitable representation.

Who is Kerry kidding?

October 31, 2006 at 3:00 pm

John Kerry today called a press conference to address the growing uproar over his recent comments denigrating the troops and their mission in Iraq. Instead of apologizing for his brain-dead comments, Kerry tells everyone that they misunderstood him and that he was referring to the President’s education, not the troops.

He then went on to pander to the Kos kids by acting tough and calling people names. Kerry vowed to fight back against “these Republicans” who are lead by “stuffed suit spokesmen” (reference to Tony Snow) and “doughy” Rush Limbaugh.

“Americans are sick of this,” said Kerry.

Well, he probably got that right.

UPDATE: Pasted below is Kerry’s press release:


CONTACT:  Liz Richardson 978-257-7424

October 31, 2006
Statement of John Kerry Responding to Republican Distortions, Pathetic Tony Snow Diversions and Distractions

Washington – Senator John Kerry issued the following statement in response to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, assorted right wing nut-jobs, and right wing talk show hosts desperately distorting Kerry’s comments about President Bush to divert attention from their disastrous record:

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.”

What they wouldn’t do

October 31, 2006 at 2:10 pm

A lot of attention has rightfully been devoted to the laundry list of liberal pieces of legislation that is likely to be advanced in a Democrat-controlled Congress. But Majority Whip Roy Blunt makes a good point, there is equal reason to fear what a Democratic majority would not do.

“One of the greatest powers of the Speaker is the decision of what will be voted on in the first place,” said Blunt in a statement released this morning. “As former Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill put it, ‘if [a Speaker] doesn’t want a certain bill to come up, it usually doesn’t.’ Can the American people trust liberal San Francisco values when it comes to our nation’s priorities on immigration reform, tax relief, job creation, and homeland security?”

In this press release, Blunt runs down a list of issues ranging from national security and taxes to immigration and border security to highlight key initiatives that would be locked up in a Democratic Congress.

Liberal foreign policy

October 31, 2006 at 12:15 pm

The Heritage Foundation’s Peter Brookes previews the potential/likely foreign policy shifts that we can expect from a Congress run by a liberal majority:

On Iraq, many Democrats - led by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) - have said they’d push for an immediate “redeployment” (i.e., withdrawal) of U.S. troops, leaving who-knows-what kind of nightmare behind.

A premature withdrawal would cause unimaginable instability in the Middle East. And there’s no doubt that jihadists would chalk up Iraq as proof positive that terrorism works - adding it to other “successes” in Lebanon (1983) and Somalia (1993).

Worse, an ignominious U.S. retreat would prove to countless other troublemakers that America is nothing more than a paper tiger.

A liberal majority would also drastically change course on North Korea, pushing for direct U.S. talks with dictator Kim Jong Il - despite his recent missile tests and nuclear blast. Caving in to Pyongyang’s demands for one-on-one negotiations would reward its nuclear brinkmanship and blackmail. The lesson wouldn’t be lost on its nuclear kindred spirit, Iran.

Speaking of Iran, it’s not clear what a liberal congressional leadership would do. They don’t seem to say much about it - other than carp about the White House’s multilateral efforts to curb the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions.

But you could clearly forget about missile defenses to protect the homeland and troops deployed overseas. Liberals see such defenses as provocative. (In fact, leaving ourselves deliberately vulnerable to ballistic missiles is truly provocative - and foolhardy.)

What would a liberal Congress propose regarding the terrorists/terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay? Some of these prisoners are so dangerous even their own countries won’t take them back. What of the Patriot Act, Terrorist Surveillance Program or the terrorism-financing surveillance efforts that have been so successful in preventing another attack on the homeland for more than five years?

Here’s a clue: 90 percent of House Democrats voted against the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program; 80 percent voted against the terrorist interrogation bill. All these counterterror programs are at risk if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gets the speaker’s gavel next year . . .

Foot in mouth disease…exhibit A

October 31, 2006 at 12:01 pm

This is one of those rare moments when a politician lets his actual true colors show. Unfortunately for Kerry, I don’t think too many Americans, let alone the men and women of the Armed Forces, will take this comment very well…nor should they. Serving your nation in the way our military does in Iraq is as noble an endeavor as they come. It is not, as Kerry apparently believes, a job America sends screw-ups to go do.

Blogging for dollars

October 31, 2006 at 11:10 am

Danny Glover has put together a terrific post in which he details the salaries of some of the web’s top bloggers.

Subpoena time

October 31, 2006 at 10:13 am

The MSM is going to love the political theatrics that will surely ensue should Democrats take the House:

Democrats vow to flex their subpoena and investigative muscles if elected to lead Congress next month and will take on President Bush’s use of wiretaps.

“We have not had significant issues addressed from an oversight standpoint — we’ve not issued one subpoena,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who as ranking member of the House Homeland Security Department is in line to lead the panel.

“Leadership, in agreement with the chairman, just decided that it [investigations] was not a priority,” Mr. Thompson said. “That will not be a problem with the new Congress.”

Democrats have an outside chance of taking complete control of Congress, but a better chance of winning one chamber, and in this series, The Washington Times will look at how such a transfer of power will affect U.S. policy and politics.

Both of the Democratic Capitol Hill leaders, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, have said Mr. Bush is threatening civil liberties in the name of war and pledged to force the administration to obtain court orders before issuing wiretaps of terror suspects.

Democrats say that Mr. Bush’s wiretaps without court orders violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) — created in 1978 to ensure court oversight — and that they will legislate allowances to obtain the subpoenas in a speedy manner.

“We will pass tough and smart legislation to deal with this important legislation,” said Jim Manley, spokesman for Mr. Reid.

Let the Democratic infighting begin

October 31, 2006 at 9:35 am

The Washington Post — especially staff writer Jonathan Weisman — seems like it/he is always writing about GOP infighting. If the Democrats retake the House, will their much more fractured party’s divisions be highlighted in like manner? This Post piece suggest an affirmative answer to that question is possible:

As Democrats enter the final days of their push to take back control of the House in next week’s election, two divisive backroom leadership fights are brewing within the party, raising fears that Democratic unity could be fraying even before the first votes are cast.

For some Democrats, the battle between Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), the minority whip, who had been expected to ascend to majority leader without opposition, and Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.) threatens the party’s efforts to appear ready to govern.

In what could be another high-profile showdown, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), the ambitious former White House aide who runs the Democratic campaign arm of the House, may seek the third-ranking post of majority whip, pitting him against Democratic Caucus Chairman James E. Clyburn (S.C.), the only African American in a leadership position.

This could exacerbate racial strains in the House, since both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have complained that Emanuel is insensitive to minority concerns. Members of the black caucus accused him of using strong-arm tactics to collect dues for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Hispanic caucus withheld its dues last year until Emanuel hired a Hispanic staffer at the DCCC.

NRO Editors: A friend in need

October 31, 2006 at 9:30 am

I missed this National Review editorial yesterday in support of Rick Santorum:

t will be no surprise to anyone that we favor Rick Santorum’s reelection as a senator from Pennsylvania. He has been a fine moderately conservative lawmaker, the moderation owing mainly to his state’s unionism and statism. He has led the fight for reform of welfare and Social Security, and he is superior to his opponent, Robert Casey Jr., on the broad range of issues from trade to defense to marriage.

What makes this race unusual is that both candidates profess to be pro-life. Casey is from a great pro-life family in Pennsylvania politics: His father was denied a chance to speak at the Democratic convention in 1992 because he was likely to use the opportunity to argue that his party’s tradition of defending the weak and vulnerable ought to apply to unborn children. Casey’s position on abortion may very well help him win the election. Pro-life liberals, who usually have to swallow hard before they cast a vote, will be eager to support him. Some pro-life conservatives may think that their energies are better spent on races where a fellow pro-lifer is running against a supporter of the abortion license.

Even on the life issues, however, we see a contrast between Santorum and Casey. Each brings some distinctive advantages to the fight for life, but on balance the contrasts tell strongly in favor of Santorum.

UPDATE: Also see this NY Times piece on Santorum today.

Senate to get more “Senatey”

October 30, 2006 at 8:48 am

The upper chamber stands to return to its more traditional days with the ascension of either Mitch McConnell or Harry Reid to majority leader. The Washington Post explains:

Some congressional scholars say it could mean greater bipartisan accord because McConnell and Reid are consummate deal-makers whose top priority is legislative achievement, whereas Frist’s presidential ambitions have shadowed his comments and deeds as majority leader. But both men are also dogged by questions about financial dealings that could provide ammunition for opponents in the next Congress, which is virtually sure to be narrowly divided.

McConnell and Reid rose through the Senate ranks by mastering the rules and building strong relationships with colleagues. Both are combative lawyer-politicians who overcame childhood challenges and are now in their mid-60s. Unlike Frist, a surgeon, they are veteran practitioners of the Senate’s opaque, clubby brand of politics, with no apparent desire to become president or grab television time to espouse their parties’ goals.

Many senators say that either Reid or McConnell, because of their backgrounds, can lead the Senate with more skill than Frist, 54, who struggled to build winning coalitions on issues such as immigration, Social Security and the nominations of several judges and John R. Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

It looks like it is going to be McConnell. Also worth noting, is the potential leadership structure for the Senate GOP caucus. If Santorum wins he will be whip. If he loses, the odds on favorite to be whip is Trent Lott. You can say alot about Lott, but one thing is for sure: The guy knows how to make the Senate work.

The other members of Leadership will be Kay Bailey Hutchison at the Republican Policy Committee. Jon Kyl will be leading the Senate conference and John Ensign will head up the NRSC in a tough 2008 Presidential election season

Weekend links…and video

October 28, 2006 at 8:48 am
  • Christians and politics
  • DC crime map
  • Ned’s history lesson
  • Senate Dems’ worst week
  • Talking Googlebombs
  • Andrew Sullivan, ace conservative
  • Restaurants in Anacostia?

Santorum maintains focus on national security

October 27, 2006 at 8:41 am

Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum kicked of a series of four speeches yesterday across the state in which he addressed “a gathering storm.”

The Philly Inquirer:

As other Republicans attempt to steer away from Iraq and terrorism, Sen. Rick Santorum argued yesterday that America must stop “sleepwalking” while “evil enemies” plot the nation’s destruction - making foreign policy a focal point in the final days of his campaign.

In the first of a two-day series of speeches across the state, Santorum also described his Democratic opponent, Bob Casey Jr., as being “unready, unqualified for the high office he seeks at a time when our survival as a free people is at stake.”

Santorum linked Iran and North Korea with a network of enemies that include Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Islamic extremism in general. Quoting Winston Churchill, Santorum said that, as in the lead-up to World War II, America does not recognize the “gathering storm.”

“Unlike the past, the wicked are not just building a military machine that can threaten us with a large war on the ground and in the air, they are building weapons of mass destruction unlike anything we have ever seen… . The consequences are higher than they’ve ever been,” Santorum told cadets at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne.

Santorum is no stranger to this topic. Aside from being one of the Senate’s leading hawks on Iran, Santorum recently delivered a major policy speech at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on the same issue.

On Iraq, Dems offer no alternative

October 27, 2006 at 8:40 am

The New York Times:

Democratic leaders and candidates are virtually unanimous in opposing the president’s conduct of the war, and most advocate American disengagement — either quickly or slowly. But most are not calling for an immediate withdrawal of American forces or offering a vision of what postwar Iraq should look like. They say they stand for change, but the variety of formulations is dizzying.

Nineteen House members sponsored a bill to cut off funds for the war. The Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania opposes a deadline for ending American involvement in Iraq. The Democratic candidate for Senate in Ohio wants all the troops out within two years. Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the current minority leader who is likely to be the next speaker of the House if Democrats win back the chamber, is calling for immediate steps to begin to remove American forces, with all of them out of Iraq by the end of 2007.

GOP leadership praises Secure Fence Act signing

October 26, 2006 at 3:55 pm

House GOP leaders Dennis Hastert, John Boehner and Roy Blunt today held a conference call with conservative bloggers in which they praised the President’s signing of the Secure Fence Act. “This is a good day for us,” said Hastert.

The trio emphasized securing the borders as the first step towards legitimate national security.

Also of note, John Hawkins of Right Wing News asked if there had been any efforts to get secure members in the House to cough up some of their campaign funds to help not-so-safe members in tough races (Hawkins was referencing this story).

Hastert said that those members have been asked to give “more than 10 percent” of their funds and Boehner ensured listeners that many of those members would indeed be forking over the cash soon.

For more on the Secure Fence Act see Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s blog post here.

They can’t kill Jack!

October 26, 2006 at 3:04 pm

That would be messed up…

McCain-Feingold update

October 26, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Paul Teller at the RSC blog has this timely reminder:

Just a quick reminder that we are currently living under the speech-muzzling McCain-Feingold/ Shays-Meehan law (Public Law 107-155), which makes it harder for citizens groups and individual citizens to participate effectively in the campaign process.  For now, McCain-Feingold/ Shays-Meehan Part Deux (H.R. 513), which would muzzle groups like the College Republican National Committee and the Club for Growth, is dead.  But expect the campaign finance “reformers” to be back in action in 2007 with another push for increased federal campaign speech regulations.  The good news is that conservatives, led by RSC Chairman Mike Pence, will again push a freedom-based approach (H.R. 1316) to campaign finance.  Stay tuned…

I don’t understand Chris Matthews

October 26, 2006 at 10:26 am

Chris Matthews keeps insisting that this stupid ad running in Tennessee is a racist ad. If I understand his argument it is this: the ad is racist because white guys in Tennessee are racist and they cannot help but get infuriated when they think of a white woman dating a black man. Maybe I am mischaracterizing his argument, but watch him make the argument below and see if you agree.

There is an argument to be made against this ad and it is this: it is tacky and unbecoming of an ideal political race. Ideally candidates would run ads about issues and they would dialogue with one another so that an educated public could make up their minds and cast their votes accordingly. But, I suppose, that is lala land.

The argument against this ad should not be that white guys in Tennessee are too stupid, bigoted and racist to handle this 30-second spot. That is insulting.

Faith and politics

October 26, 2006 at 10:04 am

Here is a great video from Hot Air discussing the faith and politics double standard. Harold Ford can film ads in a church and wear his faith on his sleeve because he is a “new Dem,” while a Republican who did the same would be roundly criticized by the MSM.

Mary Katharine at Townhall observes:

This candidate for Senate is praying to the Lord with his staffers. Is that even legal? I’m sure it’s not. Only a backwoods, Jesus-freak Republican would sink so low, with his anti-science, voo-doo, Duby-lovin’ beliefs…Oh, wait. What? That’s Democrat Harold Ford? Oh, how refreshing and genuine. He’s not your daddy’s Democrat. I’ve heard that. Very charismatic, they say. Where’s my checkbook?

Pelosi’s first 100 days

October 26, 2006 at 9:24 am

This compilation of Nancy Pelosi’s agenda items that would be enacted in her first 100 days as Speaker seems about right.

Santorum warns of “gathering storm”

October 25, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Senator Rick Santorum will launch a series of Pennsylvania speeches tomorrow in which he talks about what he calls “a gathering storm.” Santorum has often said he thinks we live in a time like no other and he has challenged many to acknowledge the threats America faces today. I have always thought this was his strong suit — speaking about the threats of Islamo-fascism in morally unambiguous terms.

Read the press release in the extended section.

Read the rest of this entry »

First there was the Blogometer…

October 25, 2006 at 6:16 pm

…now there is the Rightometer.

UPDATE: Speaking of the Blogometer, Erick at Red State has a few issues to discuss.

Senatorial power ratings

October 25, 2006 at 6:06 pm

Wonder who the most powerful Senators are? Check out the ratings here.


October 25, 2006 at 11:26 am

I haven’t been paying much attention to the Tennessee Senate race, but as I watched an interview with Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford yesterday on CNN’s Situation Room I noticed something that had to be commented on.

Ford spent the better part of his on air time attacking his opponent Bob Corker for the ad below which a third party group has put on air.

Ford attacks the ad as “smut”:

BLITZER: Do you believe this ad that the Republican Party is running against you, showing this seemingly naked blond woman enticing you that this is a racist ad. Are they playing the race card?

FORD: I don’t know what they’re playing if it’s race or not, but I do know it’s sleazy and it’s promoting smut and it’s coming on during family programming time in my state. The question I have is if my opponent wants it down, he should be able to get it down. If he doesn’t have the influence to convince Republicans in Washington to take a sleazy, awful, smut-pushing ad down in our state, how on earth can voters trust him to stand up for them in Tennessee to the Republicans?

On air Ford conveyed an aura of disgust with the “smut.” Well fine, you can make that argument. But if you make the argument that this ad “promotes smut” then should you not also argue that Hugh Heffner’s Playboy Magazine, a publication dedicated to pornography, promotes smut much more? The answer of course is yes. Of course you should.

But Harold Ford would be a hypocrite if he made that argument because he apparently thinks the Playboy organization is one that is harmless. He has admitted to attending a Hugh Heffner party because, as he says in the clip below, “he likes football and he likes girls.”

It is offensive that Ford would be so holier-than-thou on air with Wolf Blitzer when his personal actions appear to give him zero credibility when it comes to labeling this ad smut.

I am not judging Ford for going to a Playboy party — that is not my place — but I am asking that he be consistent. It is inconceivable to me that Ford did not see much more scantily clad females at his Playboy party than the ladies in this ad. Isn’t that the point of Playboy parties?

Pundits are so fickle

October 25, 2006 at 10:14 am

The Influence Peddler catches Dick Morris doing a complete 180 on the midterm elections in just over a week. Check it out here.

Bush should talk like this more often

October 25, 2006 at 9:29 am

Yesterday President Bush rolled up his sleeves and told the truth about liberal inclinations to raise taxes and he did it in an amicable way:

President Bush accused Democrats on Tuesday of being “genetically disposed” to raise taxes, as he sharpened his rhetoric on the economy in an effort to rally Republicans to the polls next month.

Appearing here on behalf of GOP congressional hopeful Vern Buchanan, Bush mocked Democrats for what he described as their misplaced pessimism that tax cuts would not stimulate the economy. He said it was only one of many poor predictions by the Democrats and suggested they are making another mistake in their growing confidence that they might take the House next month.

“I think they may be measuring the drapes,” Bush said to titters within the crowd of GOP partisans. “If their electoral predictions are as reliable as their economic predictions, November 7th is going to be a good day for the Republicans.”

Speaking of raising taxes, make sure to take a peek in the extended section to read a list of tax cuts that Dems will do their best to “let expire” (read raise taxes) if they take control of Congress. The list was put together by the Republican Study Committee:

Read the rest of this entry »

National Journal taunts conservative ’sphere

October 25, 2006 at 9:15 am

I like this little challenge from National Journal (subscription only):

You know who they are, the “safe” lawmakers in each party who amass huge warchests and then sit on them, quietly refusing to help vulnerable colleagues publicly begging for cash. Names like Meehan and Shelby come to mind. Sorry, guys. That gig might be up. — In yet another sign of their growing influence, Dem bloggers are shaming unopposed House Dems into donating a combined $26M to Dem candidates. (Bloggers have also nudged cash-heavy WH’08 Dems like Bayh, who has $11.3M in the bank). The Washington Times presses the NRSC’s case today, noting that Shelby, who isn’t up ’til ‘10, has a whopping $11.6M on hand (he spent a total of $1.9M in his ‘04 campaign). Will the right’s less active blogosphere join the chorus? — The debate focuses squarely on House Dems and Senate GOPers, highlighting a bizarre truth about cong. campaign cmtes. While the DSCC and NRCC traditionally have little trouble raising money from members, the NRSC and DCCC have long equated such tasks with pulling teeth. Will faceless bloggers achieve what powerful colleagues have failed to do?

UPDATE: John Hawkins is all over it.

Armey apologizes for Dobson remarks

October 24, 2006 at 2:15 pm

Today Dick Armey told a group of conservative bloggers (myself included) assembled at his Freedom Works office in Washington, DC that he was sorry for the remarks he made in which he called James Dobson “a thug.” Those comments “were extremely hurtful,” said Armey who acknowledged that they were too harsh.

Armey told the group that he had been thoroughly repramanded by his close friend Mike Pence and that he “deserved” it and he “took it like a man.”

Still, said Armey, he stands by his claims that Dobson and others like him have from time to time behaved like “bullies” in their conduct with Congress. There are too many in the evangelical movement, said Armey, who have mistaken a call to spread freedom with a call to spread righteousness. Emphasizing the latter instead of the former has resulted in a mindset that is open to big government encroachment on individual liberty.

What it is all about

October 24, 2006 at 11:22 am

Thomas Sowell writes a superb piece for NRO today in which he points out that Democrats may win back Congress by employing the exact opposite strategy that Republicans employed in 1994. Rather than proposing a forward looking Contract with America, Dems have decided to criticize, denigrate and denounce all things Republican while offering no solutions of their own. And, Sowell points out, that just may work.

But that shouldn’t be what this election is all about. Even though Republicans have abandoned the base on many issues — Sowell notes immigration and the White House insistance on pushing an amnesty bill as the big one — there are bigger things at stake:

Senate Republican leaders deserve whatever happens to them. If this election were about the fate of one political party rather than another, it would hardly be worth thinking about.

But elections are not about which politicians get to keep their jobs, though the media cover the news as if the political horse race is the issue. Elections are about the fate of 300 million Americans and the future of this nation.

That fate hangs grimly in the balance as two irresponsible regimes in North Korea and Iran seek to gain nuclear weapons. Neither leader of these regimes can be deterred by threats of nuclear retaliation, as the Soviet Union was deterred.

Both are like Hitler, who was willing to see his own people decimated and his own country reduced to rubble rather than quit when it was obvious to all that he could not win. If you can imagine Hitler with a few nuclear weapons to use to vent his all-consuming hatreds in a lost cause, you can see what a nuclear North Korea or a nuclear Iran would mean for America and the world.

It is obscene that our media should be obsessed with some jerk in Congress who wrote dirty e-mails to congressional pages — and was forced out of Congress for it — when this nation faces dangers of this magnitude.

It would be worse than obscene for some voters to cut off their nose to spite their face by either staying home on election day or actually voting a blank check from America for a party with a decades-long history of irresponsibility on national defense.

Even today, Democrats are arguing for more talks with North Korea and Iran, as if talk is going to stop such regimes from going nuclear, any more than talks with Hitler in the 1930s deterred him.

This is no longer about hawks and doves. It is about ostriches who bury their heads in the sand — and about those voters who are prepared to give a blank check to ostriches.

Indeed, well said.

Roseanne Barr wants Congress to raise the minimum wage

October 24, 2006 at 10:51 am

Andy Roth points to the below video in which Roseanne Barr teams up with the AFL-CIO and ACORN to pitch a raise in the minimum wage.

Andy writes:

In this video, they interview “Erin”. She actually earns more than the minimum wage, but not much more. She says she is single, has no kids, and lives with her parents. And she works loooong hours, almost 40 hours a week! Every week!

But cheer up if you feel sorry for Erin. She doesn’t know what she wants to do right now, job-wise or school-wise, but she says she’ll probably go and get a 2-year degree so that she can get a better job, one that pays more than the minimum wage. She expressed interest in being a pharmacy tech.

As Roseanne Barr says after the interview, “Pretty depressing, huh?”

Okay, without the sarcasm, I hate to make light of Erin’s situation. If she’s really having problems, I don’t mean to gang up on her. But from what she said in the video, I think she’s just a young kid who’s working hard to improve her lot in life. And she’s moving in the right direction. Go Erin!

Roseanne Barr is another Hollywood liberal meddling in affairs she knows nothing about. If Barr and her cohorts got their way, rather than helping Erin, they would hurt her because, as so often is the case, liberal policies wreak havoc on the lives of the people they purport to help.

The Heritage Foundation’s Tim Kane explains:

A survey published in the Winter 2005 Journal of Economic Perspectives, an academic publication, reports that 71 percent of economists at America’s top universities agree with the statement “a minimum wage increases unemployment among the young and unskilled.” About one-third of the economists agree outright, and another third agree with reservations. Think about that: the consensus among top economists is that the very existence of a minimum wage harms those who, according to its supporters, need it most.

Here is another paper worth reading on this subject in which James Sherk concludes:

Due to unintended effects, a law can achieve the opposite of its supporters’ intentions. The minimum wage is such a law. It is intended to reduce poverty, but it does not. Instead it encourages teenagers to drop out of school and reduces low-income workers’ future job prospects and earnings. Good intentions are not enough. Congress should not pass a destructive minimum wage hike that will harm the most vulnerable American workers.

I am all for helping people like Erin. But it is not the federal government’s job to do that by passing terrible legislation. And to be certain, a misguided, silly liberal policy like raising the minimum wage will hurt rather than help.

Sadly, should Dems win back the House, prepare for this policy to become law.

Could Pennsylvania really elect this guy?

October 24, 2006 at 9:31 am

If the Pennsylvania Senate campaign has proven anything it is that the Democratic candidate for Senate, Bob Casey, Jr., is not Senatorial material. Time and time again Casey has been shown to be lacking in substance and personality, yet he continues to hold a lead in the polls over Rick Santorum.

Today, we are yet again reminded that Casey is not the sharpest tack in the box. In this bizarre interview with the Philly Inquirer (who may want to rethink their endorsement of Casey after this exchange) Casey dances around the NSA wiretapping issue with pirhouettes that would make a balerina blush.

Inquirer: Let me ask you to shift gears to the anti-terrorism initiatives. Last night in the debate, I think you said that you’d support warrantless wiretapping. How does that square with your suspicion about this White House? Why would you be willing to let them do that without judicial oversight? And on the Military Commissions Act, would that have been something you would have supported? In general, your outlook on anti terrorism initiatives.

Casey: Yeah, I think going backwards the, with regard to the detainees and interrogation, look, we’ve had people like John McCain, and you could give other examples as well, but people who have looked at this for a long time who have been very serious about making sure that we are very tough in our interrogation, that we get as much information as possible from those we detain and interrogate and also John McCain, showing the kind of independence that Rick Santorum never seems to show, took on the administration and I think they, based upon their experience, I think they got it right and I think I would have support that.

Secondly, on the question of wiretaps, my position all along has been we’ve got to do everything possible and give every tool that government agencies need, intelligence, law enforcement, give them the tools they need to fight this war on terror. And I think we, in terms of wiretapping, whether its terrorists, known terrorists, or suspected terrorists, we’ve gotta give this government all the tools it can. And I think what we’ve seen in the past is the system that has been set up when its operated according to the law, and when the administration goes and puts a wiretap in place and then comes back later and gets a warrant after the fact, the system that has been set up is a pretty solid system, but they often don’t comply with it. You can support having a lot of tough wiretapping, but also support the kind of tough oversight of the administration, which I think has been lacking. And I think we can have the two in balance at right.

Inquirer: Well, it might have been misreported this morning, but it certainly seemed to me as if you were endorsing the NSA program which is warrantless wiretapping without court oversight.

Casey: Well, I think, look, my position all along has been you’ve got to have the ability to wiretap known or suspected terrorists, and I am going to make sure that everything I do in this area is focused on anti-terrorism and making sure that we are being as tough as possible to ferret out any kind of plot or and kind of terrorist activity.

Inquirer: Bob, it’s real simple, and it seems to me you are dancing around it. Either you believe that the President or his designees need to go to the FISA court and provide some probable cause for the wiretapping, or you don’t. They say they don’t. They say they can do it on their own say so and there’s no oversight of whether the person they’re wiretapping is actually credibly a terrorist suspect or not. That’s the issue. Do they have to go through the FISA court or not? Nobody’s debating that we need to wiretap suspected terrorists.

Casey: You know very well that Senator Specter has worked very hard on this to try to get this right and I think with bipartisan cooperation, working with people like Senator Specter, as I know I can, that we can get this right. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t see what the…

Inquirer: It’s a real simple question. Do they need to go through the FISA Court as the FISA law has said since 1973 or don’t they? They say they don’t. We say they do. What do you say?

Casey: I think it’s worked well.

Inquirer: What has worked well?

Casey: I think it’s worked well when you use that system and you use it in the context of making sure that we are doing everything possible to, to…

Inquirer: So, are you saying that the president has been breaking the law since 2002, or whenever the NSA program started?

Casey: I’m saying that people like Senator Specter have a lot of questions about whether or not the law was broken. I don’t think anyone has made a determination about that. I think that’s pretty clear.

Hat tip: Powerline

What will they do?

October 23, 2006 at 10:08 am

We have already seen a list of Democratic priorities that may be enacted if and when liberals wield power after the midterms. But here is some more from a recent Newsweek piece profiling a Dem majority:

Dingell is careful to say he is not out to get George W. Bush, or the Republicans, and insists he will extend his hand to his GOP colleagues and conduct “oversight thoughtfully and responsibly.” He says “there’s no list” of things he wants to investigate. But in the next breath, he quickly ticks off a list of things he wants to investigate: The Bush administration’s handling of port security and the threat of nuclear smuggling; computer privacy; climate change; concentration of media ownership; the new Medicare Part D program, which he calls a “massive scandal,” and the secret meetings of Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force. “This is a hardheaded administration,” Dingell says. “So we’ll probably have lots of hearings.”

The House of Representatives is full of John Dingell Democrats—exiled committee chairmen awaiting the day they can reclaim the center chair on the dais. All carry lists—if only in their heads—of issues and outrages they believe Republicans have failed to probe because such questions would be politically embarrassing to the president. Henry Waxman of California is another Democratic old-timer whose ire never dims. A tireless investigator, he’s in line to head the Government Reform Committee, and plans to take aim at Halliburton and alleged rip-offs and contract abuse in Iraq. Then there’s Charles Rangel, the New York congressman who’s never met a cable show he didn’t like. He is set to take over the Ways and Means Committee, and wants to take a hard look at the Bush tax cuts. John Conyers of Michigan has waited for years to head the Judiciary Committee. He’s likely to convene hearings on the Patriot Act and domestic wiretapping. In the past, he has suggested the possibility of impeachment hearings for President Bush. “When the Clinton administration was in office, there was no accusation too small for the Republicans to rush out the subpoenas,” Waxman says. “When Bush became president, there wasn’t a scandal big enough for them to ignore.”

The piece goes on to suggest that Nancy Pelosi will not allow her committee chairman to “turn the Capitol into a courthouse,” but I wonder how effective she can be in that endeavor. But even if she is successful in tempering the liberal urges of her chairmen, it bears noting what her alternative agenda will be:

The idea is to bring popular bills that the GOP has opposed to the floor of the House—a minimum-wage hike, prescription-drug reform—and dare Republicans to vote against them. It’s part of a larger package the Dems are billing as Six for ‘06, their version of the “Contract With America,” which the GOP used to win in ‘94. Demo-crats plan to enact the 9/11 Commission recommendations and screen all containers at U.S. ports, put more money into counterterror operations and increase benefits for veterans. At home, they say they’ll vote for tax deductions for college tuition and cut student-loan rates while raising taxes on big oil companies and corporations that move overseas.

In other words more spending and bigger government. The only people who can outspend this Republican Congress (although there have been some improvements in this area of late) are the Democrats.

This isn’t a Dems-are-worse-so-vote-Republican argument. It is simply a matter of fact.

The most competitive Senate races

October 23, 2006 at 9:46 am

John Hawkins runs down the list.

Dems confident in victory

October 23, 2006 at 8:24 am

The Democrats are beside themselves right now with glee. This NY Times piece has what could prove to be numerous priceless quotes from Democrats predicting a House turnover. Democrats are enjoying watching Republicans try to dig out of the hole they have dug themselves, but they should be very aware that pride goeth before a fall.