Monthly Archives: October 2010

Earl’s blues

In the Hill’s polls released this week that I noted in “Signs and omens,” nine-term Democratic incumbent Earl Pomeroy had taken the lead against Republican challenger Rick Berg for North Dakota’s at-large seat. Like a lot of vulnerable Democratic incumbents, however, the Hill poll also showed Pomeroy stuck under 50 percent (Pomeroy was at 45 percent, Berg at 44), leading some observers to conclude that his time is up. Pomeroy »

Getting the atmospherics right

In a profile of John Boehner, the Washington Post reports that the likely Speaker to-be is committed to allowing Democrats greater freedom to have their say on the House floor and to letting them bring their proposals to a vote. I hope so. I also hope that he will end the practice of dumping massive pieces of legislation in Representatives’ laps and holding votes before they can read, analyze and »

A surprising game 1

Game 1 of this year’s World Series was quite a strange ballgame. Anyone who watched even the first few innings knows what I mean. At a “macro” level, it was strange to see a final score of 11-7 in a game started by two ace pitchers (Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum). Traditionally, Game 1 match-ups produce relatively low scoring games. This was particularly true before the era of play-offs, when »

Barack Obama — philosophical pragmatist or left-wing ideologue?

With President Obama’s stock well off of its all-time highs, competition for the Obama worship award is not terribly intense this year. Nonetheless, I think Harvard historian James Kloppenberg would be a worthy winner in any year. Kloppenberg has written a forthcoming book called Reading Obama: Dreams, Hopes, and the American Political Tradition, which purports to be an intellectual history of the Great Man. Kloppenberg considers Obama to be a »

The plot thickens in Alaska

A poll of the Alaska Senate race by an outfit called Hays shows Lisa Murkowski in the lead and Joe Miller in third place. The breakdown is: Murkowski 34, Scott McAdams (the Dem) 28, Miller 23. 68 percent of respondents view Miller unfavorably. The poll was taken on October 25-26. For a variety of reasons, I don’t believe the poll was accurate as of that time. For one thing, it’s »

Reason to persevere in Afghanistan

Following up on my post about progress in Afghanistan, a reader sent me the following message he received from a Blackhawk helicopter pilot now serving in the Arghandab Valley: Things are going well. We have seen improvements in the security in around the Arghandab Valley and Kandahar. That can be attributed to the combined effort of ground forces putting the hurt on the Taliban and aviation assets making it easier »

Uncommon Knowledge with Daniel Hannan

I’d never heard of Daniel Hannan before I saw a brief interview with him on Fox News last year. In the face of the government juggernaut led by President Obama, Hannan encouraged Americans to stand up and be Americans. Hannan had caught the attention of Fox News because his video takedown of Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the European Parliament — of which he is a Conservative member — had »

A classic case of Obama’s sophistry and lack of candor

President Obama told a group of liberal bloggers today that his views on gay marriage are “evolving”: I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a »

Mixed reports from Afghanistan highlight the importance of perseverance

Two Washington Post reports from Afghanistan, one suggesting success and the other suggesting failure, may together provide some insight into the war effort. The first report chronicles our success in driving the Taliban out of key parts of Kandahar. An important element in that success is the work of a corrupt Afghan police colonel. His militiamen, who possess local knowledge that regular national forces lack, have assisted U.S. forces in »

A switch in time, how likely?

The emerging consensus (subject to change without notice) is that the Republicans will gain approximately eight Senate seats as a result of next week’s election. If this is a good estimate, then Republicans certainly could gain control of the Senate, but more likely will fall a seat or two short. In the latter scenario, the question of the moment would become whether any Democrats might switch parties. The two most »

Fred Upton — a prospective Republican chairman Democrats can love

With a Republican takeover of the House appearing more and more likely, it’s probably not premature to consider the question of committee chairmanships in the next Congress. One such key chairmanship is that of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which handles not only energy policy, but health care policy as well. As I explained here, Rep. Joe Barton, the Ranking Member of the Committee, faces a tenure limitation »

Protecting the family junk?

The late Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman died at age 52 late last year while his Freedom of Information Act request filed with the Treasury Department was being processed. Pitman had asked the Treasury in January 2009 to identify $301 billion of securities owned by Citigroup that the government had agreed to guarantee. Pitman made the request on the quaint understanding that taxpayers ought to know how their money was »

The Obama Diaries live in Minneapolis

Laura Ingraham is the Dartmouth alum and former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas who hosts a highly entertaining nationally syndicated radio talk show that is carried on 323 stations across the United States. In the Twin Cities it is carried on KTLK 100.3 FM from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. Laura’s most recent project is The Obama Diaries. She is bringing the debut of a show based on the book »

Signs and omens

One of the most striking elements of public opinion over the past year and a half is its steady drift away from Obama and the Democrats. Wanting to believe, voters took a leap into the dark with Obama in 2008. It didn’t take them, or a critical component of them, long to conclude that they had been sold a bill of goods. The signs point to the voters’ intent to »

Independents poised to deal hard blow to Democrats, Part Two

Last night, I discussed the decisive role independents are playing in the Republican push for control of the House, as evidenced by how independents respond to surveys measuring the “generic vote.” Today comes word, via Politico, that independents are breaking significantly for Republicans in key Senate races. Thus, in Kentucky, where Rand Paul led Jack Conway among independents by only 7 points in September, that lead has now expanded to »

The Obama-ACORN connection, and Obama’s false statements about it

During the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, in response to allegations by John McCain that he had “long and deep” ties to ACORN, said the following to ABC News reporter: My relationship with ACORN is pretty straight forward. It’s probably 13 years ago when I was practicing law, I represented ACORN. . .in having Illinois implement what was called the Motor Voter law. . . .That was my relationship, and »

Jim Bunning’s reinforcements

At the end of the Rand Paul-Jack Conway debate the other night, the two were asked to identify the Kentucky legislator they admired most. The question struck me as a set-up to enable Conway to praise Wendell Ford, a popular ex-Democrat for whom Conway once worked, and to bait Paul into praising the far less revered Sen. Jim Bunning. Paul certainly wasn’t about to cite Sen. Mitch McConnell, the model »