Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cruising the web

Here's an interesting poll result from PPP. They looked at three Democratic House incumbents, two of whom, Larry Kissell and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, voted against the health care bill and one, Vic Snyder, who voted for the bill. They all have relatively similar support among those voters who support the health care bill, but Snyder is being hurt the most among those voters who oppose the bill. PPP concludes that Herseth Sandin and Kissell made the right decision for their political futures.

Politico looks at all the criticisms for Obama's political machine, Organizing for America. It seems more politics as usual instead of the change Obama promised. And liberals criticize OfA for not being more successful. Hey, it's the message, not the medium.

Anne Applebaum had a powerful column
yesterday pointing to what she calls the "international jihadi elite," those jihadists coming from wealthy or solidly middle class backgrounds, yet who want to go kill westerners. We fool ourselves if we think they are rising up out of the depths of poverty. And we need to do more to counter their arguments.
The case of Bayrak and her ilk also suggests the need for another kind of anti-terrorism strategy. Too often, we still consider public diplomacy to be a sort of public relations activity, the "promotion" of American values. Instead, we should think about it as an argument. The Bayraks and Balawis of this world are engaged in constant debates -- in Internet chat rooms, in the halls of publishing houses, in mosques. Are they hearing enough counterarguments? Are we helping the people who make the counterarguments? I suspect that they don't and I'm certain that we aren't -- nearly a decade after Sept. 11 -- and that has to change. Intellectuals may wear glasses and read books, but neither prevents them from throwing bombs -- or from strapping them inside their underwear.
John McCain's former campaign director, Steve Schmidt, continues his battles against Sarah Palin. I realize that he wants to cast blame elsewhere for McCain's disastrous campaign, but does he think that any of this will help him get another job for anyone? No politician wants to hire a guy who, not only directed what everyone considers a miserable campaign, but who then spends his time after the election bashing one of the people on the ticket. I guess that all that is left for him is a job on CNN as a political commentator bashing more Republicans.

John Fund predicts that Harry Reid will drop out of the race. Perhaps. He has little chance of turning the race around at this point. However, his electoral weakness doesn't seem to be harming his ability to run the Senate the way he wants. He just doesn't seem like a guy who gives in; he prides himself so much on his own self image as a feisty, down-to-earth, former boxer.

Charlie Rangel is warning
about the difficulties in the House approving the Senate form of the bill. They're still arguing over how to fund their plans. The House liberals want to exempt union health plans from the tax on expensive plans. If they do that, they're acquiring new problems on how to pay for it all. I guess they'll have to add in more gimmicks like promising more Medicare cuts in the future that they'll never make or moving back the date when the benefits kick in. Of course, scaling back their plans doesn't seem to be on the table.

The Iron Chef episode on the White House garden used "stunt vegetables" for the cooking instead of the ones picked from the White House vegetable garden. Is nothing pure?

As a sign of problems for Democrats in Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick's numbers ahead of his reelection campaign are pretty abysmal.
Patrick's approval rating sits at just 22%, with 59% of voters in the state disapproving of the job he's doing. He has the support of only 8% of Republicans and 12% of independents, but perhaps most worrisome for him at this point more Democrats (40%) express disapproval than approval (36%) of him.
Remember how he was supposed to be the proto-Obama?