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Showing posts from October, 2014

So WHO is trying to buy this election? Hint: It ain't the GOP

I've always been greatly amused by Democratic ads- we're seeing them a lot this year- calling the GOP a party of "plutocrats" that is trying to "buy" elections.

It generally turns out that rich out-of-state radicals outspend rich out-of-state conservatives by a wide margin. In our Iowa Senate race, the Tom Steyers and the George Soros types have outspent the Koch brothers and all those other demonic rich Republicans by a wide margin.

And not only that, but the same pattern holds all over America.

If anybody is trying to "buy the election" (as one Democratic ad here in Iowa specifically charges wealthy Republicans with doing), it's the Democrats- our real elitist party.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Correction

My statement in a couple of recent posts that the leftist Des Moines Register has endorsed Joni Ernst for the U.S. Senate turns out not to be true.

What I took for an editorial when I encountered it on line turns out to have been an exceptionally well-written letter to the editor. In fact, the Register will likely endorse Democrat Bruce Braley- an eventuality the Ernst campaign sees as so likely that she canceled her appointment to meet with the Register's editorial board.

Apologies for the mistake. I gave the Register too much credit.

There goes the Sun: today's solar eclipse in the Midwest

A partial solar eclipse, covering  about two-thirds of the Sun here in Des Moines, will take place from 4:31 PM to 6:44 PM locally (sunset is at 6:20.) It will come closest to totality at 5:40 PM.

Do NOT look directly at the Sun! Even a relatively brief period of staring at our local star can cause permanent eye damage! The only exception would be if you have a pair of Mylar "glasses" especially designed for the purpose. These are generally made of cardboard, and are available at various "nature stores" (also online, though it's a bit late for that). Some people use welder's goggles, but this is not a smart practice; experts say that they will not filter out some kinds of eye-damaging radiation.

What you can safely do is take two sheets of white paper, make a pin prick in one, and hold it between the sun and the other sheet (a few feet will do). The pinprick of light on the second sheet will be darkened in precisely the way that the Sun is darkened by the …

Conversation with a Braley backer

Just had an interesting conversation with a Braley worker.

He was talking to a voter, and I overheard the conversation. Being the obnoxious person I am, I asked him whether he was telling lies about Joni Ernst.

He denied it. "We aren't telling too many lies about Ernst," he said. Interesting wording, that.

"I'm talking, for example, about that 'pledge' to give tax breaks to the rich and to companies that move jobs overseas," I replied. The claim was first made in a series of ads sponsored by billionaire Tom Steyer, and has since been repeated in a number of ads sponsored by the Democratic party itself.

"That's not a lie," he responded.

"Politifact disagrees," I pointed out.

"The pledge says that she'll give takes breaks to special interests," he repeated.

"No," I replied. "I've read the pledge. In fact, it merely promises that she won't support tax increases for anybody without offsets.&qu…

The Democrats' "ground game" can still save Braley

Here's a great article on the Senate race here in Iowa.

The race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is going to be close. How close remains to be seen. Joni Ernst is ahead. The polls differ as to her margin, but it's clear that it's not big enough to inspire much confidence.

The situation is pretty much as described in the article: the GOP has by far the better candidate. In fact, Ernst is indeed one of the "breakout stars" of the party; if she wins next month, she's going to be a national figure and possibly a presidential candidate some day. She leads in the polls. She has the momentum. She has run an excellent campaign while her opponent has repeatedly dropped the ball. The voters like her, and don't like her opponent.

And she still might lose.

The Democrats- as we learned to our sorrow two years ago- have an excellent "ground game" here in Iowa. The labor unions and various radical groups that thrive in this state produce …

Obama pollster predicts 'crushing defeat' for Democrats, unless....

...somehow African-American voters can be energized, as they were for POTUS's re-election two years ago.

Which I don't think is going to happen.

Last week's Iowa Poll showed Joni Ernst's lead over Bruce Braley here in Iowa cut from six points to one. But polls out this week showed Joni leading by two, three and four points. And perhaps most telling of all, PBS's Gwen Ifill conceded defeat in the Iowa Senate race last night.

I'll be spending plenty of time in the coming weeks making phone calls for Joni and for congressional candidate David Young. I have a feeling election night will be a lot more fun this time than it was two years ago.

Another bad sign for the Dems: when people at Salon write that the GOP will win, but that it's meaningless.

HT: Drudge

Braley's faux 'October surprise'

A sexual harassment lawsuit involving Joni Ernst has been filed- conveniently only weeks from election day.

It's an old trick: get the accusation out there close enough to the election for the charge to be heard, but without leaving time for the matter to be resolved. If you recall, they used it against Dubyah in 2004. Dan Rather lost his job for falling for it.

Didn't work then. Won't work now.

Is Pope Francis a disciple of Jesus, or of Commissioner Reagan?

Gene Veith is worried that the Roman Catholic church is going the way of liberal Protestantism- that is, falling into the trap of meek, shallow acquiescence to the values of the world instead of discipleship and the bold proclamation of the Word- because of the weasel-words which seem to be coming out of the Vatican Conference on the Family regarding homosexuality and other matters.

Maybe. But the universalist heresy has been rampant in even relatively conservative Catholic circles for some time. The Church of Rome needs badly to reflect on the reasons why there is no St. Origen. Rahner's nonsense about "anonymous Christians" has been kicking around unsuppressed for quite a while. The present Pope's approach to the struggle for the soul of Western culture- either verbally inept or simply a massive wimping out, depending on how pessimistic one is about where his pontificate and the Roman church is going- is really only an outgrowth of a phenomenon which has been going…

A question easily answered

The new draft Vatican document on homosexuality asks whether the Church can make room for them in its community.

The answer: if they're celibate, of course.

If they're not, no- not without breaking with divine revelation and two thousand years of Christian teaching,and in the process forfeiting any claim to be even part of Christ's Church.

The answer hasn't changed since St. Paul, writing by divine inspiration, closed the question for all time.

Braley somehow keeps a straight face while defending his ads

Here's a post over at The Hill on the second Ernst-Braley Senate debate here in Iowa.

One comment on Braley's remark that "sound bites have consequences." When you take sound bites out of context in such a way as to distort what the candidate is saying, as Braley's ads often do, the consequences are also somewhat distorted.

Just as they're meant to be.

HT: Real Clear Politics

I'm sure his mother loves him, for one thing

Here's a chuckle: student supporters- given a day off and even extra credit to attend a Democratic campaign rally- struggle valiantly to name Joe Biden's accomplishments and assets.



And here, adults- some of them not exactly firm in their support for the vice-president in 2016- undertake the same Herculean effort.

The word "moron-" used in this video's title- is a bit harsh, seems to me. They just aren't having a good day:



By now, of course, we're all used to associating the name 'Joe Biden' with the urge to laugh out loud. Maybe that's it: Joe Biden stimulates our national endorphins!

HT: Drudge

Meanwhile, back home in Chicago...

Alderman Bob Fioretti, who is running against  Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has released a poll purportedly showing that the mayor is less popular than rush hour traffic.

Meanwhile, Chicago Teachers' Union president Karen Lewis, the mayor's most formidable potential opponent, has been hospitalized with dizziness and "discomfort."

Ms. Lewis's illness is not believed to be serious.

HT: Drudge

The kritarchy strikes again

We, in our times, have seen the failure of our once-vaunted American system of checks and balances between the branches of government. The Judicial Branch, unchecked, has turned itself into a kind of unelected, standing Constitutional Convention, ignoring the law and the Constitution iself at will and instead enforcing its peculiar ideas about what they should say.

We, in America (as is the case to an even greater extent in Canada) have become a kritarchy- a nation governed by judges. Instead of interpreting the laws, our judges are effectively the ones who make them.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by Virginia of a U.S. Circuit Court ruling usurping the right of the legislatures of five states to define marriage, and forcing them- on spurious constitutional grounds- to permit the historical oxymoron of same-sex marriage.

The kritarchy must be brought under control. Marriage is an institution which has historically existed to protect child bearing and child raisi…

It's an anagram for 'Spiro Agnew'

The Drudge Report headline on this story is "SCIENTISTS GROW PENISES."

I could see how this would be a problem for female scientists. Or, for that matter, for those already gifted with one such organ. Sharks have two penises, but few human males can adequately manage the one they're born with, much less an extra one.

 But the article linked to clarifies the matter: the appendages in question were grown in a lab.

Dick Cavett used to be quite amused by the fact that "Grow a penis" is an anagram for "Spiro Agnew." Pehaps this story will afford Mr. Cavett a moment of nostalgia.

HT: Drudge

Sigh.

DIVORCE COURT JUDGE: Do you want to live with Mama Bear?
BABY BEAR: No. She beats me.
JUDGE: So do you want to live with Papa Bear?
BABY BEAR: No. He beats me.
JUDGE: So who do you want to live with?
BABY BEAR: I want to live with the Chicago Bears. They don't beat anybody!

Back to the future

Today is the fifty-seventh anniversary of the Soviet launching of Sputnik I, an event which traumatized America has few things in modern times other than Pearl Harbor, political assassinations, and 9/11 have managed to do. Not only our international prestige but our self-esteem took a hit it from which it took us more than a decade to recover. Suddenly we found ourselves second to the Soviets- of all nations!- in scientific achievement and space exploration.

And it's happening again. Once more, we've been left behind in the exploration of space by not only Russia but even China, and further traumas are in the offing.

To his credit, President Obama has approved a proposal to contract with private industry to develop an American space vehicle capable of taking astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Since the end of the space shuttle program, we've had to hitch our rides with the Russians on board their Soyuz vehicle.

Meanwhile the Chinese are aggressively …

YYY-E-E-E-S-S-S-S!

For many years, I've alternated between being amused and being frustrated by the blithe (and completely erroneous) assumption by both the media and other segments of the Left that the "progressive" viewpoint is the mainstream American viewpoint, and that those who don't happen to share it are somehow "extremists." The risible title of Jonathan Alter's book on the 2012 campaign, The Center Holds, is a good example. Somehow, we're supposed to believe that the leftmost president in our history represents the Center.

Of course, Alter probably believes that he himself is in the Center. So it follows (I guess) that anybody he agrees with must also be.

He's wrong on both counts.

It's to laugh. No Republican governor has ever, to my knowledge, suggested (as New York's Andrew Cuomo did a while back) that anybody who disagrees with him or with her on abortion, gay "marriage," and other controversial issues needs to move out of his state.…

This would make a good campaign commercial for Joni Ernst and David Young