Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words of caution

Scott Brown's win last night in the special election for the Massachusetts senate seat made vacant by Ted Kennedy's death was a game-changing event and warmed the cockles of my heart. If a Republican even came close in deep-blue Massachusetts, that would be a shot across the bow of the far-left Obama agenda. But let's be realistic on a couple of points:
  1. A stronger candidate than Martha Coakley, running a better campaign, could have won
  2. Many Baystaters are opposed to the current health care reform bill because they've already got a version of that plan statewide in Massachusetts and don't want to pay taxes for a federal one
Just the same, Massachusetts voters sent a clear message that party and incumbency matter less than the issues. The absolute worst thing Obama and the Democratic leadership can do now is stick to their guns and keep pushing their agenda. Clinton got the message loud and clear in 1994 and tacked right, ensuring his reelection in 1996. I'm not sure Obama has the humility to do the same.

Update: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has his own cautionary notes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Putting things in perspective

Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star cartoonist Clay Jones nails this one, and reminds us that there are far bigger things than what we're usually pissing and moaning about or discussing around the water cooler.

Clay's a friend of mine, and we spar off and on over our divergent political views, but he's often spot-on with his observations.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cheap shot

I've said before that one constant in life is that liberals always feel themselves intellectually superior to their ideological counterparts. Always. A column on the special senate election in Massachusetts in today's Boston Globe by Brian McGrory is a case in point.

McGrory starts by spinning Democrat Martha Coakley's free fall in the polls as nothing more than crappy campaigning on her part. While that's certainly true in part, the idea that voters in such a deep-blue state are weary of Democratic policies isn't even considered.

Then, while describing Republican Scott Brown's effective and tireless campaigning, McGrory just can't help himself...he's got to slip this in:
And, let’s be honest, his nights probably aren’t tied up with Mensa meetings.
Cheap shot from a cheap journalist.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reuters: Good thing for Haiti Bush no longer president

It amazes me how deep and enduring is the Bush hatred in the media. Since no amount of mental gymnastics can link George Bush to the earthquake in Haiti, Reuters has to content itself with singing hallelujahs that Bush isn't around to handle the American relief efforts.
The administration urgently sought to show it had learned from the mistakes of Obama's predecessor, who was criticized for the initial U.S. response to a tsunami disaster in south Asia in 2004 and for his handling of Hurricane Katrina's onslaught on the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005.

The White House also took pains to show Obama was staying on top of events, in contrast to Bush, widely seen as detached as Katrina battered New Orleans for days more than five years ago.
So on top is Obama that he spent the whole day yesterday talking health care reform with Democratic cronies.

Actually, I don't recall any real criticism over the US response to the tsunami in 2004. Sure, other countries will always bitch that we don't do enough while they themselves do nothing, but we're used to that.

Haiti: Hell on earth

The situation in Haiti appears worse than anything anyone can imagine with the immediate death toll - that is, deaths caused by injuries sustained during the earthquake itself - possibly numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Even at the low end of those guesses - say 100,000 dead - that's a little over 1% of Haiti's total population of 9 million. For comparison purposes, the US would have to suffer 3.3 million dead from a single event to hit that percentage. And keep in mind that the ultimate death toll is likely to be much, much higher in the weeks and months that follow, thanks to disease and loss of medical care infrastructure.

Here's a link to Network for Good which has a pretty good round-up of charitable organizations from which you can choose to donate. And you will donate, won't you?