I remember a classic sci-fi short story which mentioned that the sign above the gate of the Space Academy read, "God bless you." This was a key phrase for cadets to learn, the story explained, because experience on hundreds of alien worlds in first contact situations had demonstrated that it was the only thing one could say to E.T. that could not be misunderstood in such away as to cause an incident.
Just saw a new Rasmussen poll, and I don't know who is more delusional: the 44% of Americans who think that Christians are treated fairly in the Muslim world, or the 61% who think that Muslims are treated fairly in ours.
Michael Barone opines that the between the blatantly political indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry by a prosecutor who makes a habit of dilatory indictments of Republican officials and President Obama's politically self-destructive urge to unilaterally enact amnesty by executive fiat, Democrats need a lawyer to tell them, in Elihu Root's words, "that they're damn fools and ought to stop."
The coral snake- our only North American relative of the cobra, the krait, the taipan, and the other deadly snakes of Africa, Asia, Australia and the oceans- is our most venomous serpent. But it has a competitor.
Snake venoms are divided into two groups: the hemotoxic, which attack the blood and other tissues, and the neurotoxic, which attack the nervous system and paralyze the diaphragm, preventing the victim from breathing. The coral snake and its Old World relatives have neurotoxic venom; our American pit vipers (the cottonmouth, the copperhead, and most rattlers) have hemotoxic venom. But the vicious and deadly Mojave Green rattler is a rarity: its venom is both hemotoxic and neurotoxic, and is nearly as potent as the cobra's.
23% say we spend too much, and 30% think the amount we spend is about right.
That still makes 53% that are essentially clueless on the subject, which should gratify disciples of Barack Obama, Rand Paul, and Pat Buchanan. But the American people are catching on. The percentage who think we should be spending more is up seven points from last month.
So maybe there's some hope for our brethren who traditionally have trouble deciding whether they're disciples of Christ or of Plato. And who knows? Maybe, if we look hard enough, we might even find a few crypto-Lutherans in the ELCA.
Bruce Braley has, at this point, run precisely one ad (at least that I've seen) that wasn't a bogus attack on Joni Ernst.
Braley's favorite harrangue seems to be based on three absurd notions: that minimum wage jobs are intended to be the means by which people and families support themselves, that raising the minimum wage will help the poorest among us rather than causing their employers to eliminate jobs they can no longer pay people to do, and that Joni Ernst is somehow out of touch because she knows better than to believe either absurdity.
But the real heavy carrying in Braley's almost exclusively negative campaign has been done by an out-of-state billionaire's pet PAC, Tom Steyer's environmental group NextGen. Steyer's group has simply recycled discredited ads from previous campaigns, and used them to attack Ernst.
Chutzpah is a wonderful Yiddish word that has been defined as that quality exhibited by a person who murders both of his parents, and when called to account pleads for mercy on the ground that he is an orphan.
Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley has chutzpah. A member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Braley has missed 79% of the committee's meetings, having better things to do-things often involving fund raising for his Senate campaign.
And now his Senate campaign is hiring unemployed veterans through a temp service at $12-$14 an hour to tell their peers how great Bruce Braley is for veterans!
One thing is certain: whatever Braley lacks as far as zeal in fighting for veterans in the midst of the VA scandal, he makes up for in chutzpah.
Ah, well. Perhaps some of that money he raised when he should have been at that VA reform hearing will do a few veterans some good after all.
Lt. Col. Ernst, Braley's opponent, is a combat veteran of Desert Storm.
Ernst pointed out that while she is philosophically opposed to the idea of the subsidies "in a perfect world," as long as they continue she will fight to see that the Iowa initiatives are included. NextGen, the left-wing environmental group which sponsors the ad, says that Iowa voters "won't buy" the distinction.
Christopher Rants, upon whose column NextGen based the ad, says that it misrepresents what he wrote.
A series of well-made negative ads focusing on Ernst's signing of a pledge supposedly supporting oil interests rather than renewable energy sources- a significant source of employment in Iowa- may well be having an impact.
So far, Ernst has not responded to the attacks. It should be noted that she was forced to run to the Right of her comfort zone in the primary by the extreme nature of the Iowa Republican party, and may now be paying the price.
The Iowa Democrat party, it should be noted, is just as extreme.
Braley, on the other hand, has been the target of ads pointing out that he has missed 75% of full House Veterans' Affairs Committee meetings (79% of all meetings relating to that committee), despite the VA scandal and his own boasting about his work supporting veterans.
I recently saw a poll which said that if the 2012 election were held today, not only would a majority of voters be very surprised, but 53% of them would vote for Mitt Romney.
Yes- as this article from across the pond indicates- events since the election have vindicated Romney on issue after issue where he and President Obama clashed during the campaign. And I continue to hold Romney in high regard. But the bottom line is that he's still the poster child for wealth and privilege, and a sitting duck for Democratic class warfare.