Udall or Udull?, Part 2

About ten days ago we noticed here that Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall, who got into office chiefly on the benefit of his family name (though his dad Mo was no great shakes in the intelligence department either), is having a tough time against Rep. Cory Gardner.  He did poorly in his one debate with Gardner out in Grand Junction.  Now Udall is declining any further televised debates with Gardner, and the local CBS affiliate is letting him have it:

That’s going to leave a mark.  But small wonder when you see how easily flustered Udall is, in this 40-second clip from his Grand Junction debacle against Gardner:

JOHN adds: This is the idiot whose proposal to repeal the First Amendment, as it relates to participation in politics, is now the Democratic Party’s pet project. God help us.

Hath not a Timesman cultural literacy?

Joe Biden made waves when he referred to “shylocks” in a speech on Monday. He made waves because he didn’t realize the term was offensive to Jews, drawing as it does on Shakespeare’s problematic portrayal of the Jewish moneylender in The Merchant of Venice.

The late, great John Gross devoted an outstanding book to the portrayal of Shylock through the ages. The book provides a humane literary and historical education all by itself. Even if Biden didn’t need it, I would highly recommend it.

The Obama administration’s treatment of Israel is a helluva lot more offensive and anti-Semitic than Biden’s current demonstration of his ignorance and insensitivity, and I would prefer that Biden be held to answer for that rather than this. But the grievance merchants of institutional Jewish life have already exacted their pound of flesh, so to speak.

Joe Biden is a repeat offender in giving rise to ethnic offense. If Biden were a Republican, he would probably have been driven from office by now. That he is a Democrat is of course his saving grace, again so to speak.

Here is the beauty part. New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro opened himself up to the rather powerful inference that he is clueless in something like Bidenesque proportions with his tweet below. This whole “shylocks” thing was over his head.

I’m not sure why Twitchy isn’t on the case. Barbaro’s tweet has generated some funny responses that are accessible here.

Via the Washington Free Beacon.

UPDATE: This just in (also with funny responses):

Kansas “Independent” Comes Out of the Closet as a Democrat

You are probably generally aware of the situation in Kansas, where long-time (and not very inspiring) Senator Pat Roberts survived a primary challenge by insurgent Milton Wolf, but was badly weakened for the general election. The Democrats shrewdly talked their endorsed candidate out of the race, and instead are coalescing behind “independent” candidate Greg Orman. Kansas voters surely would not elect Orman if they knew that doing so would keep Harry Reid in place as Majority Leader, but Orman’s “independent” stance is confusing quite a few Kansans.

It shouldn’t. On Monday, Orman came out of the closet by endorsing the Democrats’ Udall proposal, which would repeal the First Amendment as it relates to participation in political campaigns. Under the Democrats’ amendment, Congress would have the unfettered power to “regulate” raising and spending money on political campaigns. To take just one example, a Democratic Congress could exercise this power by making it a felony to contribute to the campaign of anyone who is not an endorsed Democratic Party candidate.

Orman’s support for Harry Reid’s pet project, intended to muzzle Republicans, tells you all you need to know about his real views. In the Senate, he would be a Reid acolyte. I am pretty sure a majority of Kansans wouldn’t intentionally vote for someone who wants to repeal the First Amendment, but–like Orman–the Udall proposal is flying under false colors. Democrats promote it as merely an effort to reverse Citizens United. Like Orman’s claim to be an independent, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Whether Kansas voters will figure this out by November remains to be seen.

The Kansas cliffhanger is a reminder that when insurgent novices challenge Democrats or run for open seats (Ron Johnson is a great example), they can do a great deal of good, and deserve our enthusiastic support. On the other hand, when they mount primary challenges against incumbent Republicans, including mediocre ones like Roberts (lifetime American Conservative Union rating 86%), they are likely to serve no one’s interests but the Democrats’.

Hirsi Ali heightens the contradictions

Our friends at the Washington Free Beacon have dug up the brief video clip below of Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at Yale on Monday. This is the clip of her speech that has been running on FOX News. I would like to post a video of her speech in its entirety (please write me at powerlinefeedback@gmail.com if you know where one is), but this is what we have now. The Free Beacon reports:

Despite more than 30 student organizations petitioning her appearance, Somali-American women’s rights activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program’s “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West” event, during which she said the current state of Islam is in need of reform.

“You live in a time when Muslims are at a crossroads,” Ali said. “Every single day there is a headline that forces the Muslim individual to choose between his conscience and his creed.”

Ali spoke directly to the Muslim Students Association (MSA), whose representatives approached Buckley Program President Richard Lizardo and requested that Ali be disinvited. Lizardo said that was a “nonstarter.” The MSA now denies that such a request was made.

“I want to end my presentation tonight with a few questions for the Muslim students of Yale and hopefully in this age of technology, beyond,” Ali said.

“I want to ask you: Why do you find energy, resources, time, and solidarity to silence the reformers and dissidents of Islam? Why don’t you direct all that energy to expelling the preaching teacher who has infiltrated your homes, your streets, your neighborhoods, your mosques, your schools, and Muslim centers?”

Ali said that to fight the symptoms of radical Islam, it is necessary to first address the core of Islam.

“The Muslim world is on fire. And those fanning the fire are using your core creed,” Ali said. “With every atrocity they commit, they remind the Muslim of his commitment to submit to Allah. Will you submit passively or actively or will you finally stand up to Allah?”

The Free Beacon post carries links to the relevant sources on which its report is based. Here is the video.

UPDATE: Lauren Noble writes from the Buckley Program to advise that the full vide (from which FOX drew for the clip) will be posted at their YouTube channel shortly. I will post it here separately on Power Line as soon as it is available.

Spencer on the Case: It’s Not About the Climate

We noted here last week that a UN “Leaders Climate Summit” is getting under way in New York next week, but that no world leaders are showing up. Obama, however, is planning to turn up, though that does not falsify our conclusion that no world leaders are showing up. (Anyone want to bet there will be a fundraising event on the itinerary somewhere? The golf game is a given.)

We’ve also noted ad infinitum, ad nauseam that much of the energy (pun intended) behind the climatistas has nothing to do with the climate, and everything to do with obtaining power and smashing capitalism. But the irredoubtable Dr. Roy Spencer (a real NASA scientist) offers up today his list of “Ten Reasons Why Tuesday’s UN Climate Summit Isn’t About the Climate.” All ten are gems, but if you’re in a hurry here are the first four:

1. There is no way with current technology to get beyond 15%-20% renewable energy in the next 20 years or so….and even that will be exceedingly expensive. No matter how much you care about where your energy originates, physics and economics trump emotions.

2. The UN doesn’t care that global warming stopped 17 years ago. It doesn’t matter. Full steam ahead.

3. The UN’s own climate models have grossly over-forecast warming. Doesn’t matter. Full steam ahead.

4. Scientists and politicians have had to resort to blaming severe weather events on climate change. Like, we never had severe weather before? Really? (Oh, BTW, severe weather hasn’t gotten worse.)

Ebola crisis provides warning to unprepared America

I don’t think we have written about the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and I confess that I haven’t even thought much about this tragedy, other than to find it odd that President Obama is sending in troops to help deal with the matter. Fortunately, our friend Tevi Troy (along with Scott Gottlieb) has written an excellent piece for the Wall Street Journal about the inadequacy of the response to this crisis. Tevi is president of the American Health Policy Institute and a former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services. Gottlieb is with AEI and was deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

The subtitle of the article gives you the flavor: “The slow response to the worsening crisis in Africa shows how vulnerable the U.S. is to bioterror or a pandemic.” The authors cite three respects in which the response has been inadequate.

First, we drastically underestimated the timing and scope of Ebola’s transmission and still can’t accurately measure the magnitude of its spread. The same thing happened during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.

Second, although Congress has passed measures to assist in the development and stockpiling of therapeutics to counter epidemics, there are not enough market-based rewards for innovation and risk-taking. Federal grants are awarded to offset the direct costs of development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures but not the true cost of risk-taking to develop novel approaches. No surprise there.

Third, and again this is not surprising, the World Health Organization “is more a politically-minded policy-making body than a relief agency.” While Ebola was spreading in West Africa, the WHO was mounting an international campaign to combat what the “grave concern” raised electronic cigarettes.

Under-reliance on market-based incentives and over-reliance on a politically-minded international body. Par for the course in the Age of Obama.

The authors conclude:

Thirteen years ago, soon after the 9/11 attacks, letters laced with anthrax killed five Americans. Just as 9/11 revealed the country’s vulnerabilities to terror attacks, the anthrax episode exposed the need for better routine surveillance and strategic stockpiling of key countermeasures against viral outbreaks or bioterror attacks.

We’re still far less prepared than we should be, and far more vulnerable than we’re admitting.

The question of Muslim immigration

We have a profoundly serious problem of illegal immigration, but we also have a problem of legal immigration, Unfortunately, it is a problem that can barely be discussed. Is there anyone who thinks the continued stream of Muslim immigration from countries with active jihadist groups is a good idea? Canadian poet and essayist David Solway broadly raises the problem of Muslim immigration in the PJ Media column “The new colonizers.” I think he gives voice to reasonable concerns in the back of many minds:

[W]hat I find truly offensive as a citizen of a Western democratic state is the unwillingness of a substantial immigrant cohort to assimilate into the modes, manners and practices of the country that has graciously received it, but rather to insist that the host conform to the guest and accept his established views and rooted premises. Such people, fixed in their chronic orthodoxies, will not abandon their imported attitudes and presuppositions where these conflict with the staple usages of the majority. They refuse to monitor their fractious offspring seduced by the temptation of jihad (and to cease feigning astonishment when their treasonable acts come to light), to repudiate entirely the fraudulent and lethal notion of collective “honor” that bleeds into violence and guilty concealment, to stop treating women as servants and sexual commodities validated by the prescriptions of scripture or the assumptions of a primitive ethnology, and in general to respect the values of everyday conduct, legitimate assembly and consensual decency that enable a society to preserve its settled way of life.

Anyone with a modicum of perceptiveness must be cognizant by now that Islam is advancing its millennial agenda in two ways, that is, via a classic pincer movement: the tactic of terrorism, and the strategy of immigration as elaborated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the latter project an immensely powerful force owing to its stealthy and insidious nature, abetted by leftist and liberal sympathies and policies. By this time its cover should have been blown, and we must begin to speak out, to agitate for legislation to revise our immigration protocols, to reject outright the social camouflage of political correctness, to expose “outreach” and “interfaith” programs for the confidence games they are, to investigate the hotbed mosques spreading like bunkers throughout the land, and to lobby our congressional and parliamentary representatives to pass laws militating against the depletion of our welfare resources, the exploitation of our legal system to silence critics of Islam (known as “lawfare”), and the use of our human rights tribunals that deprive us of our…human rights.

Whole thing here, and all of it is worth reading.