Archive for November, 2009

Only 27 percent of GOP will admit Obama’s win was legitimate?

This may be the most remarkable polling number I’ve seen in a long time.

As part of its most recent national poll, Public Policy Polling asked the following question: “Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?”

Overall, 26 percent of the Americans polled said they believed ACORN stole the election for Obama. That number is troubling enough, but the number among Republicans polled was shocking. According to PPP, just 27 percent of Republicans said they believed that Obama won the election legitimately, while 52 percent said ACORN stole it.

I don’t know how many Democrats believed that the election of George W. Bush in 2000 was illegitimate. It was a substantial number, especially in the days and weeks right after the election, but I don’t think it was ever anything near 52 percent. And even though the claim was groundless, the strange events of 2000 — the fiasco in Florida and the …

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Jesse Jackson reduced to a parody of himself

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Jesse Jackson

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan, who made credible runs for the GOP presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996, has long since ceased to be a force in the conservative movement. His appeals to racial resentment became a little too transparent, and his need for the spotlight drove him to say and do things that embarrassed his party. In recent years, Buchanan has been quoted and cited far more often by liberals, who cast him as a convenient if outdated caricature of the right, than by those on the right who used to support him.

Buchanan has a close counterpart on the left: Jesse Jackson. Three years younger than Buchanan, Jackson also ran credible campaigns for his party’s nomination. He too has been left behind by changing times, with his own appeals to racial resentment increasingly rejected by those who once turned to him for leadership and inspiration.

Over the last 15 to 20 years, Jackson has allowed himself to become the conservatives’ favorite black man, the …

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World, U.S. have to adjust to new power structure

I’ve always found Victor Davis Hanson, the historian and National Review columnist, a bit cartoonish and over the top. He has a habit of letting his passions and conclusions get waaaay out in front of the evidence. This is the guy, you might recall, who back in February was proclaiming that “We are quite literally … teetering on an Obama implosion.” That was just two weeks after Obama’s inauguration.

So when I saw a Hanson column headlined “Circling Sharks Smell American Blood,” I figured I knew what to expect: yet another conservative condemnation of Obama’s performance on his Asia trip, in which observers all over the world noted a more humble approach to geopolitics and America’s role in the world.

For many on the right, such an argument is no doubt tempting. However illogicially, it offers a way to project the blame for America’s relative decline onto one person — a man who they already hate for other reasons. And while Hanson indulges in a bit of that, he also …

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China’s ascent traced back to Clinton-era trade deal

Harold Meyerson, at the Washington Post, traces the economic rise of China — and the relative decline of the United States, now deeply indebted to the Chinese — to a trade deal signed by President Clinton and then approved by Congress in 2000:

The U.S. trade deficit with China was roughly $60 billion in 1998, the year before we reached the accord granting China permanent normalized trade relations. Over the following decade, it ballooned to $268 billion, and tens of thousands of U.S. factories closed down. The trade deficit is the major reason China is awash in dollars — about 800 billion of them — and has become our largest creditor. And it is the major reason why boosting consumption in the United States, in an attempt to reverse the recession, has the peculiar effect of boosting production and employment in China just as much as if not more than happens at home….

So as we try to rebalance our relationship with China, let’s not entertain any illusions that our growing …

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Fathers and sons and war, another chapter in an age-old story

Sgt. Chris Head holds his 11-month-old son Wyatt after a send-illeoff ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville. The 802nd Ordnance of the U.S. Army Reserve is being deployed today to Afghanistan. AJC photo by Hyosub Shin

Sgt. Chris Head holds his 11-month-old son Wyatt after a send-off ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville. Head's unit, the 802nd Ordnance Company of the U.S. Army Reserve, is being deployed today to Afghanistan. AJC photo by Hyosub Shin

I was struck by this photo on the front page of the AJC’s Metro section today and thought I’d post it here, just as a reminder. There’s an awful lot happening in that photo.

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Ladies and gentlemen, “the best health care system on Earth!”

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

It’s a good thing that physicist Stephen Hawking was born in Great Britain, with its nationalized health care system. Because if he lived here in the United States, with its gaping holes in health-care coverage, he’d probably be dead or shuttered away in a human warehouse by now.

Just ask Kenny Whitey. He’d tell you all about it.

If he could.

Whitey is a trucker who was seriously injured on the job. Now his workman’s comp company has gone out of business, leaving him and his family out of luck and out of options. As the Gainesville Times reports:

“Overall, Whitey’s medical bills total around $47,000 per month.

“He just started physical therapy three weeks ago. The doctors said that they saw a 2 percent improvement. When you have a brain injury, 2 percent is a lot of improvement and now we don’t have any way to pay for that,” Pat Whitey said.

“The van company that has been transporting him to his appointments isn’t being paid now, and we can’t expect them to …

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Breach between Israel, White House a bit more public

The breach between the Israeli government and the Obama administration becomes a little more public:

from the Israeli daily Haaretz:

“The White House responded angrily Tuesday to Israel’s plan to build 900 new housing units beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem, despite specific objections from the U.S., saying that “we are dismayed.”

In a statement, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs voiced the U.S.’s disappointment with “the Jerusalem Planning Committee’s decision to move forward on the approval process for the expansion of Gilo in Jerusalem.”

The Jerusalem municipal planning committee approved the construction plan Tuesday despite an expose in Israel’s Yedioth Aharonot newspaper earlier in the day revealing that the U.S. has specifically objected to the construction outlined in the plan.

“Ata time when we are working to relaunch negotiations,” the White House spokesman went on to say, “these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed. Neither party should engage …

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You mean, Hollywood got it wrong about 2012?

The end-of-the-world saga “2012″ was Hollywood’s biggest moneymaker of the week, drawing $65 million in U.S. ticket sales and $225 million worldwide. Apparently, there’s a real market out there for inflated, exaggerated, over-the-top fear-mongering. Those of us who pay more attention to politics than to movie-making never would have guessed that.

Right, Glenn Beck?

The good news is, we’ve got real-life rocket scientists to calm people down.

The Truth about 2012 from NASA Lunar Science Institute on Vimeo.

I wonder if this guy could do a “birther” video next.

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It’s time for true fiscal conservatism to assert itself

By instinct and upbringing, I’m a fiscal conservative. The family credit cards are all paid off, for example, and I still drive the first new car I ever bought, a 1980 Toyota.

Politically, I’m a fiscal conservative as well. No, not a fiscal conservative as the GOP has tried to define it, but an actual fiscal conservative. I believe that in normal times the federal government ought to be raising as much in tax revenue as it spends, and spending no more than it brings in. (Note that these are not normal times.)

The Republican Party has tried, with some success, to redefine “fiscal conservative” by looking only at one side of the ledger. A fiscal conservative in GOP parlance is someone who cuts taxes, period.

Oh, they give lip service to cutting spending. They promise it, but they never deliver it. Quite the contrary. Federal spending under Ronald Reagan, for example, increased much faster than it did under Bill Clinton, even after adjusting for inflation. But since Reagan also …

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MSNBC apologizes for showing fake Palin photos

Good. Glad to see it. Even with an acknowledgement that the photos were false, they shouldn’t have been broadcast. (from TPM).

MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan apologized this morning for using fake photos of Sarah Palin last Friday in a segment about the former Alaska governor, and for not acknowledging their inauthenticity.

The pictures, which were widely circulated during last year’s presidential campaign, show Palin’s head photoshopped onto other women’s bodies. In one, “Palin” is wearing an American flag bikini and holding a rifle; in the other, the faux Palin is wearing a tight black miniskirt.

“I want to apologize to Gov. Palin and all our viewers. On Friday, in a very misguided attempt to have some fun in advance of Palin’s upcoming book, Going Rogue, our staff mistakenly used some clearly photoshopped images of Ms. Palin without any acknowledgment, and on behalf of the show I would like to say that this was completely unacceptable. We should have never used those photos in …

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