Fraudie Foodies Exposed

McDonald’s just turned in a lousy earnings quarter, but don’t say I didn’t warn you this was coming.  The company is promising “fresh thinking,” which will prompt all the Big Mac deniers to make the obvious jokes about offering fresh food.

Except that it turns out there is no one easier to fool, apparently, than snobby foodies.  Check out this three-minute video out of Europe (it’s in Esperanto or something, so you need to click on the “closed caption” or “cc” button at the bottom for English subtitles), in which some merry pranksters dress up some McDonald’s food in haute cuisine disguise, and totally fool the foolish foodies. My favorite is the young lady who says: “It definitely tastes a lot better, and that fact that it’s organic is definitely a good thing.”

Next up: Maybe we’ll recycle one of those “ban di-hydrogen monoxide” petition drives.

Anne Kuster’s ghoulish pro-choice rally

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Annie Kuster, a Dartmouth grad, represents New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District. She’s a “pro-choice” Democrat.

Kuster is locked in a tight race with rising star Republican Marilinda Garcia. Larry Sabato rates the race “leans Democratic.”

This morning, Kuster held a rally to announce that she has received the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire, the state’s leading pro-abortion outfit. The rally was held in a room decorated with a skeleton and other spooky Halloween decorations. These items were intermingled with various “pro-choice” signs.

Naturally, the ghoulishness of the juxtaposition was lost on Kuster, her staff, and her pro-abortion supporters. Perhaps it will not be lost on swing voters in the Second District.

“Bruce Bailey” for “governor of Iowa”

With control of the Senate at stake, Barack Obama can’t quite stand the thought of remaining on the sidelines. This, perhaps, is why he keeps injecting himself into the race by telling people that his policies are on the ballot and that endangered Democratic incumbents are “folks who vote with me.”

Obama’s desire to participate may also explain why Michelle Obama went to Iowa not long ago to campaign for Rep. Bruce Braley, an inept candidate who, by some accounts, is trailing Republican Joni Ernst in each of the state’s congressional districts including the one he represents.

The First Lady’s visit didn’t go well, though. She called the Democratic Senate nominee “Bruce Bailey” and referred to him as a Marine veteran, even though Braley never served in the Corps.

Michelle is an amateur politician. Before President Obama’s presidency sank, she was a natural at stirring up friendly crowds with rants on behalf of her husband. This skill doesn’t easily translate into boosting the candidacy of strangers. In short, her mistakes, though embarrassing, were excusable.

By contrast, Obama’s press operation is staffed by professionals. Yet it too can’t do right by Braley. Yesterday, it released via email a transcript of Michelle Obama’s appearance in Iowa on behalf Braley. Unfortunately for the beleaguered candidate, the subject line of the e-mail referred to him as the “Democratic candidate for governor.”

The White House’s subliminal message seems to be: Bruce Bailey, won’t you please come home.

Senate Democrats aren’t amused. One senior aide told the National Journal that “the ineptitude of the White House political operation has sunk from annoying to embarrassing.” Another Senate official told the Washington Post that Obama’s comments thrusting himself into the election were “not devised with any input from Senate leadership.” No kidding.

To drive home the point, Senate Democrats are complaining that the White House political team is behaving like a junior varsity operation. My take is that, like their narcissistic boss, the White House operatives are geniuses when Obama’s electoral skin is at stake and bunglers when the fate of other Democrats is on the line.

Poll shows “war on women” theme isn’t working, among other good news

A new AP/Gfk poll provides lots of good news for Republicans. Perhaps most significantly, it shows that female likely voters no longer favor the Democrats in this election.

AP/Gfk surveyed 1,608 adults. The sample included 968 likely voters. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.8 for all respondents and 3.6 for likely voters.

Last month, the survey found that female likely voters favored having a Congress controlled by Democrats by a margin of 47-40. Now, they favor Republican control by (a statistically insignificant) margin of 44-42.

Likely voters as a whole would like to see Republicans control Congress. The margin here is 47-39. However, among all adults the Democrats come out ahead by 38-36, a statistically insignificant margin.

Thus, the Democrats can pin their hopes on strong voter turnout. However, the survey finds little voter enthusiasm. The share who report that they are certain to vote in this year’s contests has risen just slightly since September, and interest in news about the campaign has held steady.

Likely voters prefer the Republican candidate in their particular district. Forty percent said they would vote for the GOP candidate in their House district; 32 percent said they would vote for the Democrat. This leaves a large number of “undecideds,” given how close we are to the election.

Republicans come out ahead on the issue that matters most to voters — the economy. Likely voters trust the GOP to deal more effectively than Democrats on this front by a margin of 39-31.

National security is always an important issue, and its importance has been magnified recently with the rise of ISIS. Republicans have a big advantage — 22 points — on the issue of protecting the country. They have a 10 point advantage when it comes to being trusted to deal with an international crisis.

Ebola is an electoral “wash” according to the survey. Same-sex marriage doesn’t seem to be much of a factor either.

The bad news for the GOP is that it remains unpopular. Most likely voters have a negative impression of the Republican Party, and 7 in 10 are dissatisfied by its leaders in Congress.

This, presumably, helps explain why there are still so many undecided voters — the GOP isn’t trusted enough to have yet sealed the deal. I suspect that last year’s partial government shutdown continues to contribute to the negative image.

Polarization? Consensus? Compromise? Nonsense

Both the estimable Bill Galston today and Wall Street Journal veteran political reporter Gerald Seib yesterday are making much of last week’s ABC News/Washington Post poll that finds a large jump in the number of people who say they prefer candidates who seek “consensus” and “compromise” over “sticking to principles.” The number who say “compromise” over “principle” has risen from 34 percent in 2010 to 50 percent today. Naturally this is taken as a sign that voters are turning away from “polarization,” and are disgusted with a “gridlocked” Congress. It is an implicit rebuke to the Tea Party, because as we know liberals are never intransigent about anything.

But before “No Labels” and other transgendered transpartisan enthusiasts get their hopes up, it ought to be pointed out that the polls showing Congress with approval ratings in the single digits probably represent the salient feature of our polarized time that each party (and their independent “leaners”) blame the other party for gridlock and lack of compromise, and when you add those together, you get a 90 percent disapproval rating for Congress.  That’s one reason why people tend to approve of their own House member or Senator while disapproving of Congress as a whole.

It wasn’t always so, you say? Yes, but that was back in the day before every aspect of life was turned into a national political issue. Or put another way, the increase in polarization and bitter political fights is directly proportional to the growth of the federal government. This is highly uncongenial to liberals, for whom ever-expanding federal government is religion. And most quantitative political scientists avoid studying this because it is uncongenial to their biases. But it was predicted in a 1960 book that is still regarded as a classic in politics science, E.E. Schattschneider’s The Semi-Sovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy in America.

Then finally let me stick in the usual caveats about attitude polling and public ignorance. And maybe the best way of making this point is to share this short bit from Elaine Kamarck’s splendid little book How Change Happens—Or Doesn’t (Kamarck was one of those smart moderate liberal DLC types in the 1990s, now a Harvard professor, natch):

In 1978 the political scientist George Bishop and his colleagues at the University of Cincinnati conducted a very important poll of adults in Cincinnati. They asked the following question: “Some people say that the 1975 Public Affairs Act should be repealed. Do you agree or disagree?” When the question was asked without what the authors referred to as a “filter” (a sentence giving the respondent an excuse to say that they didn’t know or care) one-third of the sample had an opinion on the question, and of those opinion was split 15.6 percent in agreed and 17.6 percent disagreed. Several years later, in 1995, the Washington Post conducted a second poll on the 1975 Public Affairs Act and whether or not it should be repealed. This time the pollsters asked respondents to agree or disagree with a very specific statement: “President Clinton has said the 1975 Public Affairs Act should be repealed.” This time 43 percent of the public expressed an opinion with Democrats supporting repeal and Republicans opposing it.

Punch line: There is no 1975 Public Affairs Act.

Those lyin’ Dems, by the numbers

On two occasions this campaign season, against all the odds, President Obama has said something useful and, even more improbably, something true. On those occasions he advertised the fact that the Democratic Senate candidates running for reelection in states such as Colorado, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Alaska, North Carolina, and Arkansas are in the bag for him. When their vote is needed, Obama can count on it, and when they tell the voters of their states they wake up every day thinking how best they can protect their interests, as Jeanne Shaheen did last night in her debate with Scott Brown, they are playing the voters for chumps.

Now comes the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham with the beautiful graphic below to illustrate the phenomenon. Can we mark this Exhibit A?

Obamatons

As a member of the minority in the House since 2010, Bruce Braley has been free to serve his own purposes over the past four years. That obviously doesn’t apply to the other featured candidates on the Post’s list. They have all faithfully toed the party line as necessary.

FOOTNOTE: The layers of fact checkers and editors at the Post apparently failed to observe that the Colorado Senator’s first name is Mark, not Tom (who is Mark’s first cousin and the Senator from New Mexico). Tom Udall is not to be confused with Mark Udall. Tom Udall only votes with Obama 94 percent of the time.

Via Allahpundit/Hot Air.

Obama’s surge

President Bush gave us the surge that turned the tide in Iraq and secured victory until President Obama threw it away. Obama, however, is making plans for his own surge, this one in the United States and against the law of the land. Jonathan Strong of Breitbart News dug up a GSA request for proposal for Card Consumables that provides a shocking glimpse into the future. Here is how a Washington Times editorial describes it after a brief preface referring to the Haitian surge:

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Friday threw open the door to as many as 100,000 Haitians, who will now move into the United States without a visa. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, rightly and accurately denounced enabling Haitians awaiting a U.S. visa to enter the country and legally apply for work permits as “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority.”

This was just the beginning. The immigration agency earlier this month had solicited a printer able to handle a “surge” of 9 million green cards “to support possible future immigration-reform initiative requirements.” In an ordinary year, about 1 million green cards are issued, and over the life of this contract the company is expected to produce up to 34 million cards, a figure representing an increase of the population of the United States by 10 percent.

The cards do not come with automatic voter registration, but that’s obviously what the scheme portends. President Obama’s promised “executive actions” to bring about this enormous wave of amnesty constitute a transparent and cynical ploy to expand the Democratic voter base, creating a permanent majority. Republicans running for the House and Senate should demand that Mr. Obama lay his green cards on the table now, before — and not after — the Nov. 4 elections. No other campaign issue carries as much of an impact on the future of the nation.

The editorial also contemplates the consequences of Obama’s surge:

In economic terms, importing millions of unskilled workers creates competition for the diminishing number of available jobs. Combine a flooded job market with the Democratic proposals for a doubling of the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and millions more American citizens will be without a job. Those who do have jobs will pay to provide federal freebies, from Obamaphones to Obamacare, to the formerly illegal aliens now with a green card.

As the recent influx of minor children over the southern border demonstrates, word of amnesty on the way travels fast. Handing green cards to those who cheated the system and entered the country illegally creates an incentive to millions more to follow in their path, collecting as many benefits as possible along the way. It’s a disaster in the making — indeed already here — for public health and national security, straining the welfare state to its limit.

Asked about the RFP by Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering at a news conference yesterday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest punted. if only a few other news organizations joined in with questions, it might be possible to get a few answers and place the issue before the voting public before election day.

UPDATE: Via Drudge, I see that the AP’s Alicia Caldwell reports on the story here.