This Wheel’s On Fire For the Democrats, trouble is coming.

This Wheel’s On Fire

For the Democrats, trouble is coming.

BY Matthew Continetti

April 9, 2010 11:49 AM

As liberals engage in one of their periodic celebrations of how open-minded and intelligent they are, it’s worth taking a moment to assess just how bad a political situation they’ve created for the Democrats. Consider:

Gallup says the Democrats are at their lowest level of approval in 18 years.

The new Fox poll has Obama at 43 percent job approval.

The Pollster.com poll of polls has Obama’s disapproval at 48 percent.

Democratic congressmen continue to flee the sinking ship.

Nate Silver says there’s a better than one-in-ten chance that Democrats lose more than 55 House seats on Election Day.

Obamacare is no more popular than it was before passage (indeed, opposition is on an upward trajectory), and the idea of repeal is relatively popular.

Liberals tend to blame the economy for this horrible situation. But the macroeconomy is slowly recovering (GDP, stocks, and jobs are up), while Democratic fortunes continue to fall. Another tactic is to blame an “anti-incumbent” environment. But, as John Podhoretz points out, those incumbents are all Democrats.

Obama, Pelosi, and Reid misread the 2006 and 2008 elections and embarked on an agenda of which the public heartily disapproves. The stimulus failed. Government-centric housing policy has failed. Health care became law despite public resistance. The Obama budget projects massive deficits and debt far into the future. Taxes, regulations, and interest rates are all set to rise. Absent a massive change in policy and tone on the part of Congress and the White House, it’s hard to see how the Democrats avoid a very, very bad November. Of course the sluggish economy will play a role. But overall, it’s the agenda, stupid.

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Dying for Love: Child Bride Dies After Sex Organs Rupture A religion of peace and love. Muhammad married a six year old, so it’s all good. Obama say: Respect it!

Dying for Love: Child Bride Dies After Sex Organs Rupture

A religion of peace and love. Muhammad married a six year old, so it’s all good.

Obama say: Respect it!

Child Bride Dies After Sex Organs Rupture FOX News

A 13-year-old Yemeni girl who was forced into marriage died five days after her wedding when she suffered a rupture in her sex organs and hemorrhaging, a local rights organization said Thursday.

Ilham Mahdi al Assi died last Friday in a hospital in Yemen’s Hajja province, the Shaqaeq Arab Forum for Human Rights said in a statement quoting a medical report.

She was wedded the previous Monday in a traditional arrangement known as a “swap marriage,” in which the brother of the bride also married the sister of the groom, it said.

“The child Ilham has died as a martyr due to the abuse of children’s lives in Yemen,” the non-governmental organization said.

Her death was a “flagrant example” of the results of opposing the ban on child marriage in Yemen, which was leading to “killing child females,” it said.

The marriage of young girls is widespread in Yemen, which has a strong tribal structure.

The death of a 12-year-old girl in childbirth in September illustrated the case of the country’s “brides of death,” many of whom were married off even before puberty.

Controversy heightened in Yemen recently over a law banning child marriage in the impoverished country through setting a minimum age of 17 for women and 18 for men.

Thousands of conservative women demonstrated outside parliament last month, answering a call by Islamist parties opposing the law.

A lesser number of women rallied at the same venue a few days later in support of the law, the implementation of which was blocked pending a request by a group of politicians for a review.

MUSLIM CLERICS CAUSE DEATH OF ANOTHER CHILD BRIDE

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2010/04/yemen-runaway-child-bride-and-fourth-child-bride-granted-divorce.html 12-year old Yemeni girl dies three days after wedding Some report she was 13 years old. Who really cares? The fact is that all over Yemen girls die because they are forced to marry too young. This one died because acute bleeding caused by sexual intercourse. A few months ago another died in child birth. An ten year old had to seek a divorce after being raped and beaten. These cases are but a tip of a huge iceberg and they are NOT limited to Yemen. The girls are known as “brides of death.” And no, poverty and tribal customs are not solely to blame. Islamist Imams are as they fight tooth and nail any legislative effort to ban child marriage. Maktoob News reports Top Yemeni and Saudi clerics fight child marriage ban.

-Judith Klinghoffer

Tea Partiers vs. Obama’s Zombies

Tea Partiers vs. Obama’s Zombies

By on 4.9.10 @ 6:08AM

There are two kinds of political movements, the trendy (Single Tax, Grangers, No Nukes) and the transformational (New Left, Moral Majority, 1970s Tax Revolt). In the aftermath of transformational mass movements, politics is never the same. Whereas the trendy movement reflects a snapshot in time, the transformational movement leaves an imprint that outlasts its time.

Two new books by conservative authors offer history-as-it-happens takes on two seemingly transformational, albeit conflicting, mass movements. New Human Events editor Jason Mattera’s Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation dissects the president’s spell over young people, while Boston radio host Michael Graham tackles the tea-party movement in That’s No Angry Mob, That’s My Mom: Team Obama’s Assault on Tea-Party, Talk-Radio Americans.

In case the title or arresting drone-like images on its cover didn’t give away the author’s political sympathies, Obama Zombies liberally invokes Barack Obama’s middle name and employs a thesaurus of insults — “throne sniffers,” “schmuck,” “thug,” “dork,” “toolbag,” “girly boy,” “nitwit” — when speaking of the president or his votaries. It is catharsis through reading for those awaiting January 20, 2013 as impatiently as the Bush Haters awaited January 20, 2009.

Obama Zombies is surprisingly then at its best when praising rather than bashing Barack Obama. Especially instructive is the section on the Obama campaign’s exploitation of new media for votes, donations, and publicity. Mattera relays that Obama’s Facebook Friends outnumbered John McCain’s by almost 4-1, his website’s unique visitors in the week leading up to the election beat the Republican’s by more than 3-1, his campaign videos on YouTube bested his opponent’s by more than 5-1, and his Twitter followers dwarfed the Arizona senator’s by roughly 23-1. Mattera’s point is that Obama’s thrashing of McCain among young people wasn’t just for the superficial reason that the Republican was old enough to be the father of his opponent (who, it should be remembered, was old enough to be the father of most first-time voters). Barack Obama communicated to young people through the media in which they communicate. They communicated their approval by voting for him.

Though conservatives can learn from Obama’s thrashing of them on style points in the 2008 election, they can win young people over with substance in upcoming elections. Mattera sees ObamaCare as a generational wealth transfer, in that caps on insurance premiums for older Americans necessarily boost the premiums of younger Americans. The national debt, which, if current trends prevail, will be greater during an eight-year Obama presidency than during the constitutional regime’s 219 preceding years, sits as a weighty burden upon the shoulders of Generation Y.

Unemployment, which the stimulus package promised to rein in, has gotten more out of control since the passage of the spending bill. The pain is felt acutely by young people, whose unemployment rate is higher than the national average. The “Obama Zombies” whose first votes were cast for a better future ironically now face the bleakest job prospects for college graduates in decades.

“The numbers aren’t looking good,” Mattera concedes. “The GOP is getting older, and younger voters are aligning with liberal candidates.” As Obama offered young people change, Mattera’s message is that conservatives must change tactics if they wish to win young people back.

The Tea Parties are in part a reaction against the success of the “Obama Zombies,” though the runaway spending they rail against certainly predated Barack Obama’s arrival in the White House (or even in Washington). However tempting it would be to see Mattera’s “Obama Zombies” as photographic negatives of Graham’s fellow tea partiers, the equation of an issue-driven movement with a personality-driven movement doesn’t compute.

“Every president has spoken out against his rivals,” Michael Graham posits in That’s No Angry Mob, That’s My Mom. “But I can’t think of another president who treated typical citizens this way — not even Nixon, who at least confined his enemies list mostly to big-name political opponents. No administration before Obama’s has cried ‘Hater!’ and released the dogs of war upon the general population. Trashing politicians is good fun. But political attacks against the American people. That’s a new low.”

The template was evident on the campaign trail with the demonization of Joe the Plumber, the stereotyping of rural Pennsylvanians clinging to guns and religion, and the implication that New Hampshire primary voters cast ballots based on race and not the candidates. In governing, the Obama Administration predictably remains stuck in that mold in its rhetorical attacks on tea-party demonstrators. The script, the book hammers home, has been to paint Obama’s opponents as racist, fascist, terrorist, angry mobsters. The attacks on America’s most listened to radio show and America’s most watched cable news outlet are symptoms of the disease that That’s No Angry Mob, That’s My Mob lays out. As Graham vividly puts it, “You’re either with the plan, or in the Klan.”

The strategy of attacking the electorate may be suicidal as far as politics go, but as far as naming the enemy, the Obama Administration has theirs correct. The greatest impediment to its designs on issues from health care to Miranda rights for foreign terrorists has not been Washington opinion or media opinion. It has been public opinion.

In round one of Tea Partiers versus Obama Zombies, which took place last month at the U.S. Capitol, the Obama Zombies attained victory by extending health insurance benefits to 32 million uninsured Americans. Round two takes place this November in polling places across the country. The Obama Zombies’ victory in round one foreshadows their defeat in round two. The outcome of round three may determine which of these seemingly game-changing movements will be remembered as more trend than transformation.

Daniel J. Flynn blogs at www.flynnfiles.com and is the author of A Conservative History of the American Left.

Letter to the Editor

Daniel J. Flynn, the author of A Conservative History of the American Left, blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.

Indiana Right to Life Will No Longer Endorse Democrats

Indiana Right to Life Will No Longer Endorse Democrats

By on 4.9.10 @ 11:40AM

Indiana Right to Life’s political action committee will no longer support Democratic candidates for office after the defection of putatively pro-life Hoosier Democrats Brad Ellsworth, Joe Donnelly, and Baron Hill on the abortion funding language in the health care bill. Ellsworth is running for U.S. Senate this fall.

“Our leadership anguished over this decision,” notes IRTL-PAC chairman Mike Fichter. “Had Democrats like Brad Ellsworth held firm in opposing federal funding for abortion in the health care bill, we likely would have rewarded such action with a bipartisan endorsement policy. Ellsworth’s collapse under pressure from the White House and Speaker Pelosi, as well as the collapse of his colleagues Joe Donnelly and Baron Hill, leaves us with no alternative. Leadership matters, and the reality is that Democratic leaders are advancing an abortion agenda at an alarming rate that will only be checked by a Republican majority.”

Fichter said the bipartisan endorsement policy could be returned if pro-life Democrats challenge their party’s leadership and platform language on abortion. This is a significant move for a major pro-life group. The pro-life movement has benefited from being bipartisan, but in recent years many pro-life Democrats have been going the way of Harry Reid. As one blogger put it “IRL has apparently decided that they have had just about enough of Democrats in Congress talking one way in the district and voting the other way in Washington.”

W. James Antle, III is associate editor of The American Spectator.

SEIU Forms Its Own Political Party

SEIU Forms Its Own Political Party

April 9th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

seiu_moviepic

Who Runs Gov:

In a shot across the bow of Dems, the labor powerhouse SEIU is starting a new third party in North Carolina that hopes to field its own slate of candidates, part of an effort to make the Democratic Party more reliable on issues important to labor, I’m told.

SEIU officials setting up the new party, called North Carolina First, are currently on the ground collecting signatures to qualify as a state party, SEIU officials tell me, adding that there are around 100 canvassers on the ground right now. The goal: To have the party up and running so candidates can run in this fall’s elections.

It won’t be lost on political observers that three House Dems who voted No on reform are from the state: Heath Shuler, Mike McIntyre, and Larry Kissell.

The new project is an outgrowth of SEIU’s earlier vow to hold House Dems accountable for voting against heatlh reform and against labor’s interests in general. That said, presuming the party qualifies at all, it remains to be seen how much clout it will wield.

For instance, it’s unclear which districts the party might field a candidate in, and what the criteria for picking those districts will be. A lot of these things will be determined by availability of candidates and other local political concerns.

It’s also unclear what kind of cash SEIU national will put into this effort — which will also include SEANC, the state employees’ union — and what this will do to relations between labor and the national Dem establishment. But this challenge appears to be a serious experiment in reshaping the landscape of Democratic politics, and it bears watching.

Talking Points Memo:

It seems organized labor is no longer content to leave its political fortunes in the hands of its traditional ally, the Democratic Party. The SEIU announced today that the it’s launching its own political party in North Carolina, and it plans to to field candidates on the ballot this fall.

Union officials have threatened to take on Democrats who voted against health care reform in the past, but the usual tactic has been to endorse a Democratic primary challenger. But in North Carolina — home to several Democratic Representatives who voted against the bill — the SEIU says it will field candidates in the general election as part of what the what the group is calling the North Carolina First party.

“Families need a better choice, a better party – not just for health care, but for job creation and keeping bankers and corporations in check,” party spokesperson Chuck Stone said in a statement.

SEIU — and its local affiliate in North Carolina, SEANC — say that they have more than 100 people on the ground actively gathering the 85,000 signatures necessary to become a recognized political party in North Carolina with a ballot line.

But as Greg Sargent, who first reported the news, writes, the seriousness of the effort is still somewhat in doubt.

“[P]resuming the party qualifies at all, it remains to be seen how much clout it will wield,” Sargent writes. “For instance, it’s unclear which districts the party might field a candidate in, and what the criteria for picking those districts will be. A lot of these things will be determined by availability of candidates and other local political concerns.”

Healthcare aftershocks

Healthcare aftershocks

Politics | Returning to D.C., Democrats prepare to capitalize on the passage of Obamacare | Emily Belz

WASHINGTON—Members of Congress returning in mid-April from Easter recess face a traffic jam of legislation awaiting passage—and pressure from the White House to pass it. Democrats want to turn the momentum they feel from the passage of healthcare reform into more legislative successes before the end of the year. Passing certain measures could help Democrats in the November elections, too.

Campaign finance

During President Obama’s January State of the Union address, he delivered a stern condemnation of a Supreme Court decision on campaign finance and urged Congress to pass legislation to counter the decision. The court’s Citizens United decision allows corporations to spend money in favor of candidates or political issues—but corporations are still forbidden from directly contributing to a campaign. A majority of Americans, according to various polls, opposed at least the principle of an expanded role of corporations in elections. Democrats undoubtedly see political opportunity in passing campaign finance laws to counter the court’s decision.

Financial reform

Almost two years have passed since the financial crisis hit full force, and the Senate has just finished sweating out a financial regulation bill, which initially had input from one Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. The lead Democrat on the issue, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, bypassed Corker in final negotiations over the bill as it became clear that Senate Republicans would oppose the bill. Corker called the Republican strategy an “error” because he believes the measure will become law and find popular support. Wall Street is an easy target in a hurting economy and an election year. The Senate could vote on the measure in coming weeks, and since the House has already passed its own version, the country could see new financial regulations by the summer.

Immigration

A bevy of groups have held rallies in Washington calling for immigration reform—something President Bush attempted without success—but the issue probably won’t appear on the top of the congressional agenda this year. An election year is no time to be passing something as controversial and with so little political payback as immigration reform. President Obama said recently that his commitment to passing comprehensive immigration reform is “unwavering.” 

Cap-and-trade

News articles have marked the death of climate change legislation—”cap-and-trade”—numerous times, but it’s one issue that doesn’t appear to be going away. The cap-and-trade tool itself, in which companies would pay a tax on their emissions, is defunct in Congress, but other measures to address emissions and energy are still alive and kicking. All eyes are on the Senate, since the House passed a cap-and-trade bill last summer. Forty-four Democrats voted against the House bill, so if Congress has any chance of passing a final bill into law, it would have to be substantially different and the vote will need to happen before November elections, when Democrats could lose a number of seats.

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have been scheming up their own bill, which they plan to release in coming weeks. Their collaboration, dubbed “KLG,” is perhaps the measure that has the most possibility of passing at this point. Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have also introduced a bill regulating emissions that could gain bipartisan support in the Senate.

The unspoken worry is that if Congress does nothing to address climate change, the administration will take action on its own, giving the Environmental Protection Agency a long leash to impose regulations. By next year the EPA will begin requiring the country’s largest emitters to buy permits for their greenhouse gases. The KLG bill would replace the EPA’s regulating authority on that issue. President Obama has lately also announced plans to expand nuclear energy and offshore drilling. 

Nancy and Harry want you to choose the best candy bar

Nancy and Harry want you to choose the best candy bar

Peter Wilson

A sample of the level of detail in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare):

SEC. 4205
H) RESTAURANTS, RETAIL FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS, AND VENDING MACHINES
(viii) VENDING MACHINES.-
(I) IN GENERAL.-In the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that-
(aa) does not permit a prospective purchaser to examine the Nutrition Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not otherwise provide visible nutrition in formation at the point of purchase; and
(bb) is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article.
Soon we will be able to make an informed choice between Snickers, M&Ms and Doritos.   Truly history-making. 
My only contact with vending machines is at rest areas, when I need a caffeine and sugar infusion to keep me in my lane.  I already know I shouldn’t buy the stuff, but I figure one Coke won’t kill me.  A little calorie sticker isn’t going to change my destructive habits.  I’m sure this is aimed at vending machines in schools, with some connection to the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project (which by the way received $25 million for each budget year from 2010 to 2014).
Okay, so putting up a sign with the calories in a candy bar isn’t the end of western civilization.  But it’s a bit creepy that grown men and women sit around thinking this is so important that the federal government needs to get involved.