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Showing posts from May, 2012

Spashdown! SpaceX Dragon returns to Earth

The SpaceX Dragon- the first privately-owned spacecraft to rendezvous with the International Space Station, and potentially the next spacecraft to carry Americans into space- completed its inaugural mission this morning, spashing down in the Pacific Ocean off Baja California.

The photo to the right is of an earlier test of the Dragon's parachutes.

The combination of the debt crisis and a lack of will on the part of the Obama administration had stopped the American manned space program virtually in its tracks. The Constellation program, designed not only to replace the Space Shuttle but to provide vehicles for an eventual return to the moon and then a manned voyage to Mars, was cancelled by the Administration- although, in fairness, the president later partially reversed himself and gave the go-ahead to the Orion spacecraft, but not to the Ares I or Ares V boosters.

American astronauts had been forced to utilize the Russian Soyuz capsule and booster to reach the ISS. The first unm…

Rasmussen Tracking Poll for 5/31

Romney 46%, Obama 45%. Perhaps more telling: for the first time this year, Romney leads in all four of the large swing states, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.

Rasmussen, of course, surveys likely voters. Interestingly, the two most recent Gallup polls of registered voters shows a similar result: Romney 46%, Obama 46%. While history would seem to be marginally on the President's side, this is going to be a very competitive election, and a very close one. And it's anybody's to win.

Except Gary Johnson's, of course! ;)

When we put the Lord to the test, we fail

You shall not put the Lord your God to the test,as you tested him at Massah.--Deuteronomy 6:16, ESV
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”--Matthew 4:7, ESV

It's always sad when it happens. But not surprising. The Bible clearly warns against presuming upon God's promises. Yet a small group of American Pentecostals- a fringe group of a fringe group- persists in handling venomous snakes as evidence of their faith that God will do what He has not promised to do, and prevent them from dying of bites inflicted by venomous snakes they tease in church.

Sometimes He doesn't. Nor should that be surprising. He hasn't promised to.True, Jesus is quoted in Mark 16:17-18 as saying, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hand…

Early Obama backer Davis quits Democratic party

Arthur Davis, a former Alabama congressman who seconded Barack Obama's nomination at the 2008 Democratic convention, has quit the Democratic party, citing its increasingly anti-business, anti-growth ideology.

"If I were to run for office (again)," Davis said, "it would be as a Republican."

Davis was one of the first members of Congress to endorse the President four years ago. The Romney campaign cited Davis's decision as an example of disillusionment with the direction of the Obama administration even within the president's own party.

HT: Drudge

For the Obama campaign, is the best defense a pathetic offense? And who is he offending today?

President Obama- who has been carefully shielded by the liberal media from his repeated and habitual gaffes a great deal more substantial and damaging than any verbal knots George W. Bush ever tied himself in- has done it again.

Ironically, POTUS was in the middle of awarding a posthumous medal to a member of the World War II Polish resistence when he referred to "a Polish death camp." Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted that the remark was "a matter of ignorance and incompetence." Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk reacted by saying that the gaffe "hurt all Poles," and said that the Polish government expected more from Washington than mere "regret" over the incident.

The White House says that Mr. Obama "mispoke."


Meanwhile, the media- which is usually content to ignore and downplay Mr. Obama's gaffes when they would crow and chortle over those of his predecessor- are trying to defend their man by passing…

Three from Rasmussen

President Obama and Gov. Romney are tied with 45% each in today's tracking poll.

48% say that they agree with Romney on the issues; 46% say the same about POTUS.

And the president holds a 42% to 40% lead among independents.

Rasmussen, unlike the other pager polls, surveys only likely voters, not all registered ones.

Feminist? That's a laugh!

Whenever I am confronted with the logical non sequitur that since only women get pregnant, only women are entitled to have an opinion about abortion, I reply that half the victims of abortion are male.

But few fetuses are aborted because they are male. On the other hand, at least one Planned Parenthood counsellor seems to have no problem at all with the idea of aborting fetuses because they're female.

HT: Drudge

Vets favor Romney by big margin; Obama holds one-point lead in Rasmussen tracking poll

Mitt Romney has a 58%-34% lead over President Obama among veterans, according to a new Gallup Poll.

The President leads among non-veterans by a margin of 48%-44%%. The Gallup poll has the two running neck-and-neck among registered voters, with 46% each.

Meanwhile, President Obama holds a one-point lead over Gov. Romney, 46%-45%, in today's Rasmussen daily tracking poll of likely voters. In the last 15 days, each candidate has in led seven polls. One poll ended in a tie. The candidates have been within two points of one another on every day but one for the past two weeks.


And while we're on the subject of Memorial Day and Chamberlain, here's what may be the greatest fifteen minutes of martial heroism I've ever witnessed on the screen. Again, it kind of reminds one of what Memorial Day is all about.

At the summit of Little Round Top, the afternoon of July 2, 1863...

In memory of the fallen- and of those who didn't fall

What Jeff Daniels as Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain says here about the 20th Maine and the Army of the Potomac is true of the American fighting man and woman of every war.

Thanks to you all. The world owes you a debt it can never fully comprehend.

Dragon docks with the ISS

A spacecraft named Dragon made history today. And- surprise!- it's American, not Chinese.

It had help from the International Space Station, of course.

SpaceX's Dragon capsule- an unmanned version this time- was captured by a nechanical arm extended from the International Space Station today, marking the first time a privately financed spacecraft has docked with the station.

This historic moment also brings us to the brink of not only the first privately-financed manned orbital mission, but the advent of a privately-financed alternative to the Space Shuttle that can routinely carry both supplies and astronauts to the ISS.

When it comes to space, America is back, folks- and it's the private sector that has gotten us there!

HT: Drudge

Romney re-takes lead in Rasmussen tracking poll

Today's Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll: Romney 45%, Obama 44%, Third Party 6%, Undecided 5%.

With margins this far into the margin of error, of course, the change in leads probably doesn't mean much. If anything, we simply have further reinforcement of the point that this November's election is going to be close.

The Kings make the Blackhawks look bad

Steve Rosenbloom of the Tribnails it: the longer the Kings hang around in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the worse the Blackhawks look- and the more depressing it becomes that GM Stan Bowman apparently doesn't have a clue.

The Kings are everything the present edition of the Hawks stopped being when they had to take that salary cap hit after winning the Cup two years ago: proficient on special teams, large and physically dominating, defensively competent, and possessed of above-average goaltending. But after two years of finishing back in the divisional pack and then being eliminated in the first round, Bowman apparently hasn't had it sink in yet that the problem with the Hawks isn't that they underachieve.

It's that ever since the championship, they've lacked the talent to be a geniune Stanley Cup contender. Moreover, they've lacked it at easily identifiable places which somehow don't seem to appear on the Bowman radar screen.

Here, meanwhile, are ten free agents w…

Try again, Mr. President

The Obama campaign's over-the-top smear campaign against Mitt Romney's record at Bain continues. It's a smear campaign so outrageous that increasing numbers of prominent Democrats are crying foul.

Now, possibly the most reliably left-wing American newspaper that isn't The New York Times- the Washington Post- has run an opinion piece by Marc Theissen stating that Romney's Bain record isn't what should worry people.

It's Obama's own public equity record.

HT: Drudge

Obama retains one-point lead; thoughts on that "third party" stat

Figures for the Rasmussen Presidential Daily Tracking Poll for 5/24/12: Obama 45%, Romney 44%, Third Party 6%, Undecided 5%.

Meanwhile, the Gallup website has an interesting analysis of ten key factors in what is shaping up to be a very close election.

I'd be interested to know about that "third party" statistic. I suspect that it reflects support for Libertarian Gary Johnson among supporters of Ron Paul for the GOP nomination rather than for the nascent "centrist" third party that seems to be coalescing around New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The figure is consistently running in the 4-6% range.

If in fact it does represent defecting Republicans- as seems likely- there is a strong chance that it could throw the election to Obama. Johnson, of course, has no chance of being elected himself. But if you add that consistent 4 to 6% to Romney's totals, this is a very different race.

NC Baptist "pastor" volunteers for natural deselection

Stupidity is not an adaptive trait. And if Darwin was right at all, this particular idiot's genes are not long for this world.

"Pastor" Charles Worley wants to put gay men and lesbians in seperate enclosures with electrified walls and keep them there "so they don't reproduce."

Where does one even begin?

Defrocking would be a good start, followed by excommunication. Unfortunately Baptist ecclesiology would probably mean that Worley would still find a pulpit somewhere from which to spout his unChristian ignorance.

And I wonder whether he realizes how much help he's giving the pro-gay "marriage" folks by enabling them to portray all of us who support traditional marriage as being ignorant, hate-filled bozos like him.

HT: Drudge

Does Iowa Republican platform committee know how to read?

Tuesday night I went to the meeting of the Polk County Republican Central Committee, where, due to a change in legal requirements (the Central Committee is the nominating body for county offices if there is a special election), I had to be chosen as one of the two members from my precinct who would remain members (three people had been elected at the February caucuses).

I've been a Central Committee member before, so I realized that there would be plenty of oddballs on the committee. It sort of comes with the teritory.

There were, of course, the usual assortment of Ron Paul supporters and other extremists of various descriptions. I knew that a disproportionate percentage of Iowa Republicans (and Democrats, for that matter- although for obvious reasons the media ignores it) are stone crazy. I expected a certain number of birthers to be involved, and truthers, and other mixed nuts. But I wasn't prepared for the news about the state party's proposed platform.

It seems that …

Gay "marriage" stance deals POTUS a huge blow in Florida

According to a new poll, 23% of Florida independents are less likely to vote for President Obama because of his stand on same-sex "marriage."

And according to the same poll, Mitt Romney has opened up a six-point lead in the Sunshine State.

That's too much for even the Gore campaign to steal. Even with SCOFLA's help.

HT: Drudge

Manny Pacquiao to the Gulag!

Michelle Malkin has an excellent article over at NRO Online about the persecution of a Catholic boxer who opposes same-sex "marriage" by those who hate people who disagree with them.

One thing about this controversy: it has brought out quite clearly the demi-Stalinism of the American Left, which responds to dissent by seeking to silence it and to banish the dissenter to some sort of cultural Gulag.

As Bill Buckley once said, the difference between a conservative and a liberal is that a conservative thinks that people who disagree with him are wrong, whereas a liberal thinks that people who disagree with her are evil. And liberals, it seems, are on a perpetual crusade not only to refute, but to destroy those whom they see as evil.

Same-sex "marriage" is not about same-sex "marriage"

Interesting article over at the National Review Online entitled "The Gay Divorcees," by Charles C.W. Cooke." It goes a long way toward proving a rather central point about the same-sex "marriage" controversy: it isn't about same-sex "marriage" at all.

19 states and the District of Columbia have instituted either "marriage" or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples since 1997.The most recent census indicates that, nationally, only 150,000 gay couples- one in five- have taken advantage of them. Nor is this a function of the fact that 41 states have no such arrangement. In Massachusetts, for example, there were only 3,000 same-sex "marriages" a year for the first four years they were legal, and many of the couples came from other states.

In Norway, 1,300 gay couples registered as legal partners during the first eight years such relationships were established. During the same time, 190,000 straight couples got married.

In Swed…

This is history. MAJOR history.

The SpaceX Corporation's privately built Falcon 9 rocket sent an unmanned Dragon capsule into orbit early this morning, loaded with supplies for the International Space Station.

If all goes well, on Friday Dragon will become the first private vehicle to dock with the ISS. SpaceX would then use the Falcon 9/Dragon combination to deliver supplies to the station on a regular basis.

SpaceShipOne, piloted by astronaut Mike Melville, became the first private vessel to carry a human being into space in a 2004 sub-orbital flight. Dragon could carry the first privately-launched astronauts into orbit. Soon, the combination may be ferrying astronauts to the ISS and back to Earth, a privately owned and operated replacement for the Space Shuttle.

The reusable Dragon will return to Earth May 31.

HT: Drudge

A fundamental problem with contemporary journalistic terminology

I've always been appalled by the way the press uses the word "fundamentalist-" the name of an historical movement in American Protestantism actually aimed at reducing the barriers between denominations by identifying the "essentials" of the Faith- as what Martin Marty (one of the worst offenders, ironically) once called "an ecclesiastical cuss word."

"Fundamentalist" is a nasty name journalists call people anywhere theologically to the Right of themselves. Conversely, "moderate" is journalese for "liberal," "liberal" for "radical," and....well, you get the picture.

Interesting thoughts over at Get Religion on how these terms are being (mis)used by the media with reference to recent controversies in the Roman communion.

Will Winslow be a Bear?

Jay Cutler may well feel like a little kid on Christmas morning when camp opens this summer.

First, the Bears landed his favorite target when he was in Denver, Brandon Marshall. Now, rumors are flying that a deal may be in the works to bring star tight end Kelvin Winslow to Soldier Field from Tampa Bay.

You know, I don't think I've looked forward to a Bears season so much since the year we won the Super Bowl.

ADDENDUM: Nope. He went to Seattle.

The NAACP tragedy

The NAACP's absurd and ill-advised decision to declare same-sex "marriage" a civil right is a tragedy that deprives a noble organization with a glorious heritage of all future credibility.

Or rather, it has just as much (and just as little) credibility as the American Psychiatric Association does after its totally political, rather than scientific, decision in 1973-74 to declare homosexuality non-pathological. The little-known story of how homosexuality became officially "normal" is told here. Don't count on seeing it told many other places, though.

One thing should be said on behalf the NAACP decision: as ill-advised as it was, it had a great deal more integrity than the APA decision to "de-pathologize" homosexuality did. As a APA member asked at the time, "What are we going to declare normal next- schizophrenia?"

In Des Moines, a nice partial eclipse. Main event: August, 2017!

To the right is an indication of what we saw here in Des Moines last night when a stretch of the Western United States was watching their annular eclipse.

We come close to a total eclipse here in August of 2017, though it looks like I may have to do what I did for the 1994 annular and journey southward a way to see totality. I've been looking forward to it all my life, and I can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures from the part of the country where yesterday's eclipse reached annularity. And here are some more.

To the left is the path totality will take for the August, 2017 eclipse. Looks like southern Iowa or northern Missouri might be my best shot. Or I might end up in southern Illinois again, from where I saw the annular eclipse of 1994!

They say that even an annular can't compare to the spectacle of a total eclipse, the only kind in which the solar corona (the plasma "atmosphere" of the sun) is visible. It's one of the most beautiful sights in natu…

Obama's lead opens up to three points

Today's Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll result: Obama 47%, Romney 44%, Third Party 5%, Undecided 5%.

Rasmussen also reports today that 44% of Americans see Mitt Romney's business experience as a plus. 33% disagree. It would appear that Mr. Obama's attempts to paint his opponent as a heartless plutocrat may not be going over quite as well as he had hoped.

Dershowicz: Drop murder charges in Trayvon Martin case

George Zimmerman doubtless was rude to Trayvon Martin. If he'd had better manners, the whole tragedy would have been avoided- and we'd be spared the constant cute photos of the 12 year old who eventually would become the mustachioed 17 year old aspiring juvenile delinquent who assaulted and tried to kill him. Moreover, the silly law which invites such tragedies by allowing practically anyone to carry a hand-gun was directly responsible for an ugly incident becoming a lethal one.

But in view of the medical evidence- anecdotally available long before Zimmerman was charged in the Martin case, and the reason why police did not bring charges at the outset- prominent liberal lawyer Alan Dershowicz says that special prosecutor Angela Corey acted unethically in witholding evidence pointing to Zimmerman's innocence, and that she should drop the charges against Zimmerman.

There is plenty which stinks to high heaven about this incident, and Martin- punk though he was- should not be …

Get ready for today's 'Ring of Fire' eclipse

In 1994, I drove from my home in Kellogg, Iowa to Normal, Illinois to view a rare celestial event: an annular solar eclipse. Another one will occur in a matter of hours, and will be visible in a path from northern California through parts of western Texas, including Lubbock.

An annular eclipse takes place when the moon passes directly between the sun and one's viewpoint on earth, but is too far away to completely cover the sun's disk. The result is a "ring of fire" effect which everybody should experience at least once.

I'd been told what to expect by a parishioner who, as a missionary's son, had seen an annular eclipse in South American. Just as he predicted, he birds started to settle in for the night. The temperature dropped appreciably. I noticed a bizarre phenomenon he'd mentioned: any round hole- including the shadow of the space between one's index finger and thumb when one made an "OK" sign- displayed a crescent shape. and at annularit…

Obama retains lead- but his philosophy takes a hit

President Obama has increased his lead over Gov. Romney in the Rasmussen tracking poll to two points. Today's results are as follows: Obama 46%, Romney 44%, Third Party 5%, Undecided 5%.

Meanwhile, a Rasmussen poll has dealt the president's philosophy a bit of a hit. It seems that 64% of the American people would prefer fewer government services and lower taxes. Only 25% say that they would prefer more government services.

Or not. After all, the same question has garnered essentially the same results since 2006- a year when the Democrats scored an historic victory in off-year elections.

It's about behavior, not orientation

The success social liberals have had in changing society's attitude toward homosexuality seems to me to be largely due to two factors.

The first is the social Left's deftness at confusing the issues. And the second is social conservatives' ineptitude at identifying them. It's hard to tell which has had the greater impact on the current one-sided debate on gay "marriage" and other issues regarding homosexuality.

For years after the position became scientifically untenable, the cultural Right played into the homosexualists' hands by arguing that sexual orientation is either a matter of voluntary choice, or at most a bad habit. Even now, they continue to allow the debate (such as it is, given the Right's ineptitude in waging it) to center on sexual orientation.

But orientation is not, and never has been, the issue. I wish I could say that there are not a very large number of idiots who continue to argue that sexual orientation is somehow a mere matter of ch…

Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll for 5/17/2012

Romney 46%, Obama 45%, Other 4%, Undecided 4%. The Rasmussen poll surveys only likely voters, and is generally a better predictor than the other major polls of the election's outcome.

Meanwhile, Gallup reports that Mitt Romney's favorability rating is now at 50%. President Obama's is 52%.

And with recent polls showing Mr. Obama's lead among registered voters at only three points, and Gov. Romney actually leading among women in one poll, Micheal Barone thinks the President's re-election headquarters in Chicago must be near panic.

Israel, U.S. ready strike on Iran- but it will be Israel that takes it

As Iran's nuclear project reaches a critical point, both the United States and Israel have prepared plans to eliminate the threat by military means.

As a practical matter, any attack will undoubtedly be made by Israel. I cannot imagine President Obama authorizing one- nor should he.

Israel will take care of it for us. And while the Paulistas and the Far Left will moan and groan, nobody familiar with Iran's ties to Hezbollah or the implications for the national security of both Israel and the United States if that crowd got ahold of nukes will bat an eyelash.

Bottom line: an Iranian nuke would place not only Tel Aviv, but Chicago and Kansas City and Houston, in dire peril.

HT: Drudge

Romney's lead narrows

Mitt Romney's lead over President Obama in the Rasmussen tracking poll has narrowed in recent days. It is now down to only one point- 47% to 46%. Needless to say, this is well within the margin of error.

Interestingly, the same poll shows that 51% of the American people trust Romney's economic judgment more than the President's. And a new Gallup poll shows that a solid majority of Americans expect Mr. Obama to win in November.

Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll for 5/12/12

Romney 50%, Obama 42%, third party 4%, undecided 3%.

The Rasmussen poll is the only major poll which surveys only likely voters, as opposed to registered voters. This has two consequences. First, Rasmussen polls consistently show Republican candidates doing better than other polls do- or, perhaps more accurately, shows Democratic candidates not doing as well. The reason is that Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters are less likely to actually vote than Republicans and Republican-leaning voters.

The second consequence is that the results of final Rasmussen polls generally more accurately predict the actual results of elections than do the other polls.

Today's Rasmussen tracking poll

Romney 50%, Obama 43%.

This is the one major poll which samples only likely voters, rather than everybody. Since Republicans are more likely to vote than Democrats, Rasmussen polls tend to show Republicans doing better than other polls- but also more accurately predict the final outcome of most elections.

Coach Q staying- and unless Stan Bowman gets his head together, he needs to go!

Despite rumors that he would be going to the Montreal Canadiens, Coach Q is staying with the Hawks.

For which, huzzah!

"I love this organization," says the first coach since Rudy Pilous to lead the Warriors of the Four Feathers to Lord Stanley's mug.

Speaking of which, somebody needs to give Stan Bowman a good, swift kick in order to bring him back to reality. The Hawks, as presently constituted, are not a Stanley Cup contender, and haven't been since 2010.

They need more talent. Urgently. The GM's apparent conviction to the contrary is more than worrisome; it will prevent them from becoming more than a middle-of-the-pack playoff team they actually are, no matter what Bowman thinks. The 2010 Stanley Cup champion is history. Bowman needs to start living in the present- and getting some size around the opponent's goal, some help on special teams, and maybe another defensive defenseman, while keeping a wary eye on Crow between the pipes.

This is beginning, in fact, t…

The same standard should apply to both Romney's and Obama's high school records

Mitt Romney has admitted- and apologized for- some rather disgusting bullying behavior against gay students when he was in hight school, 45 years ago.

Those who choose to try to make this an issue anyway should reflect that President Obama, too, has a past when he was that age that he would like to forget.

If one is inclined to hold one of these gentlemen's high school behavior against him, in all consistency the same standard should be applied to the other.

HT: Drudge

Is the election going to be a Romney landslide?

I recently mentioned that Rasmussen polls tend to trend Republican. Although I knew why, somewhere in the tangled synapses of my brain, I'd forgotten.

Dick Morris just reminded me.

Rasmussen is the only one of the major pollsters which polls likely, rather than merely registered, voters. And since Rasmussen's tracking poll has showed Romney something like five points ahead for a while now, Morris thinks that rather than the squeeker everybody is expecting, Romney may be elected in a rout this November.

From your word processer to the voters' ears, Mr. M.!

HT: Real Clear Politics

Lugar's defeat is a defeat for America

The defeat of Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind) by Tea Party-backed State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in his state's GOP primary is an ominous sign tor the nation.

True, Lugar- the distinguished former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, arguably the best-qualified Republican to run for president in 1996, and the third longest-serving member of the Senate- is 80 years old. But he exhibited an ability to work with Democrats as well as fellow Republicans that the country desperately needs in this time of increasing partisanship and ideological polarization. His opponent is a much more conservative type whose ideological rigidity was his main asset in the primary, and will likely make him a lot less valuable to the nation should he succeed in defeating his moderate Democratic opponent.

He probably will. But Lugar's defeat turns the GOP's retention of this seat from a certainty to a mere likelihood.

Mourdock is in favor of abolishing the Department of Health, Educatio…

Obama comes out of the closet on gay "marriage"

President Obama deserves credit for his decision- misguided as I believe it to be- to drop his "evolving" position on same-sex "marriage" and come out in favor of it. If this is what he truly believes, he ought to be frank and honest with the American people in saying so- even if, as I believe, it's going to hurt him in November.

Whether Joe Biden blundered into forcing his hand or not, it's always good to see a politician level with the American people- and actually rather refreshing.

The qustion arises, though, as to how we who support marriage as God instituted it and- to speak in more civilly appropriated terms- for the reasons for which society has always espoused it should respond. I agree with the Manhattan Declaration folks that we should avoid getting into Facebook wars over this. The Left can be counted on to continue its intellectually dishonest presentation of gay "marriage" as a civil rights issue even though sexually monogamous rela…

Joe Biden strikes again

Vice-President Joe Biden has once again stuck his foot in his mouth.

Even as President Obama tries to mollify both the Democratic Left and the American mainstream with a mushy-mouthed assurance that his position on same-sex "marriage" is "evolving," the Administration's walking gaffe machine came out strongly in favor of modifying society's oldest institution to fit the demands of political correctness.

It's worth remembering that al Quaeda once planned President Obama's assassination with the express rationale of putting the inept Biden in the White House. The question of why any thoughtful American would want to take the risk of this guy remaining one heartbeat from the presidency strikes me as an excellent one.

HT: Drudge

Europe Obamas. Will America?

Yesterday voters in France and Greece revolted against austerity policies which cut back on unsustainable social programs those nations simply could not afford. As a result, the long-term economic prospects for both are looking a great deal bleaker than they did 48 hours ago- including their prospects for being able to actually afford such programs again anytime soon, or even to sustain them in the long term.

Socialist François Hollande defeated incumbent French president Nicholas Sarkozy, probably ending a brief period in which France could reasonably be seen as more or less America's friend again. Germany- Europe's economic mainstay- warned France that there would be no renegotiation of the deal to keep the Euro afloat based on Sarkozy's austerity programs, which Hollande opposes. The government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that steps to spur France's economic growth which would push up French debt levels remain unacceptable. Meanwhile, voters i…

What if they gave a campaign kickoff, and nobody came?

The Obama campaign held its kickoff yesterday at Ohio State, the largest university in one of the key swing states.

The stadium was half empty.

Meanwhile, it seems that Mitt Romney just can't win. Throughout the primaries, the moderate candidate has had his conservative credentials challenged. And now, it seems, the Obama campaign is determined to portray him as a dangerous reactionary and plutocrat. POTUS implored the American people not ot "take a chance" on Romney, whom he said wants to make slashing cuts on education, clean energy, and health care for the elderly.

This from a president who has increased the deficit by as much in one term as George W. Bush did in two, and has borrowed more money than all the presidents from Washington through Clinton combined.

Dude, if we don't get that deficit under control- the one you're as responsible for as anybody- we're not going to have the money to do anything for education, clearn energy, or the elderly.

Not even Soci…

Al Quaeda: CBS and Olberman good, ABC okay, Fox News bad

Memos exchanged between Osama bin Laden and American-born media advisor Adam Gadahn reveal that the late terrorist regarded CBS News as "close to unbiased." Gadahn saw ABC News as "all right," and was a fan of Sixty Minutes, but disliked Fox News.

CNN's English version was seen as reflecting too close a connection to the American government, but its Arabic version received the al Quaeda spokesman's seal of approval.

Gadahn wrote that he "used to think that MSNBC channel may be good and neutral a bit," but that it was now in his doghouse for firing Keith Olbermann and Hezbollah supporter Octavia Nasser.

HT: Drudge

Dark Shadows on-the-air mishaps, or The Show Without Out-takes

With the Johnny Depp spoof of classic Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows opening on May 11, I thought it might be well to revisit some of the moments which so endeared the show to kids of my generation.

The show was shot on a "shoot to tape" basis, which meant that rarely was a scene reshot no matter how badly it was botched. Few, of any, of these are outtakes. Most ran exactly as you see them below.

Afterward is an interview with Jonathan Frid, who portrayed Barnabas Collins, the Depp character- and TV's first vampire sex symbol. Frid passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 87.

A great moment in horse racing

The convention in horse racing circles is that a horse may be named anything that isn't obscene or in bad taste. As it happened, it was here in Des Moines, at Prairie Meadows, that we learned that there are work-arounds.

I first saw this race on TV, and laughed so hard my sides hurt. The horse that won the race is named "Hoof Hearted."

Obama-Biden campaign slogan

"Hope" and "Change" are things of the past, as far as the Democrats are concerned.

The Obama campaign can't very well use "change" as their slogan this year, and apparently they're "hope-" less as well. They've announced "Forward!" as the Obama-Biden campaign slogan for 2012.

The RNC, though, has another suggestion:

HT: Drudge

Submission accomplished

CNN's Chris Matthews, who said during the last presidential campaign that every time he heard Barack Obama speak he got "a thrill up my leg," has embarrassed himself by gushing excessively about Mr. Obama in public once again.

Matthews compared Mr. Obama's speech to American troops in Afghanistan to the St. Crispan's Day speech by the title character in Shakespeare's Henry V.

It continues to fascinate me that a president who has lost few opportunities to apologize for America and abase himself (and, given the office he holds, the nation) before the world over the past four years is now being presented to the public as the second coming of Winston Churchill. Yes, he deserves credit for having made the decision about Osama bin Laden that any president would have made once the surest tip we had ever had about Obama's location fell into our laps- even though he waited seven months to make it. Whether he deserves credit for having accidentally been the president…