Archive for September, 2010

Paladino vs the Post

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Conventional wisdom says that this Carl Paladino versus Fred Dicker of the New York Post episode probably won’t go over very well for Paladino as he tries to become the next governor of New York.

Then again, this not your conventional election year.  I’ll be interested to see what the next round of polling data has on this race.

And this is somewhat interesting–this isn’t the first time that Dicker and New York politicians nearly came to fisticuffs.

Katie Couric answers a question, discovers that she’s irrelevant

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s some interesting insight into the mind of Katie Couric and Old Media:

In a news environment that has been irrevocably disrupted by the Internet, the role of broadcast news anchors has evolved out of necessity. Their ability to focus international awareness on the key issues of our time remains unparalleled, but the attention span and consumption habits of their audience has changed.

And so the question becomes: How will one of the nation’s most familiar faces and sources for news will adapt, adopt and become adept in the context of a news cycle that refreshes as often as a click on a Web browser? By the time Couric presents the 22 minutes of news as CBS’s anchor each evening, the Web has long since digested, analyzed and commented upon each item. There are few scoops by 6:30 p.m. Eastern.


The network evening newscasts still matter. “I’ve spent my whole career trying to ask important questions, listening, asking followup questions,” said Couric during her conversation with Tim O’Reilly. Her evening news show still receives millions of viewers every night.

The trouble is that, as Couric observed during her talk, their average age is 62. The news networks have to shift gears to be relevant in a 24/7/365 environment where young consumers watch video on demand, browse news through the recommendations and status updates of friends, and watch content on Internet-enabled mobile devices as well as glowing flat screen televisions.


Couric has joined Twitter, distributed video podcasts in iTunes, published Web-first video to and launched an iPhone app.


The open question for Couric will be in whether she can leverage new media to reach new audiences and break through the information overload. Her questions to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin were unquestionably a factor in the 2008 election. The network anchors will continue to play a role in holding policy makers and presidential candidates accountable, because of their access. But the days of towering figures like Cronkite, Brinkley, Chancellor, Brokaw or Jennings letting the nation know “the way it is” are over.

I’m hard pressed to find any real reason that Couric became anchor of CBS Evening News other than that she was a popular face on NBC’s Today show.  That was in 2006, which might as well be decades ago when it comes to new media.  The bottom line is, there really isn’t much there but fluff.

So yeah, she’s joined Twitter, producing podcasts, etc., and therefore, thinks she’s important to the process of how most people get their information. Who’s downloading a Katie Couric podcast?  And I haven’t checked but I’m sure she has a blog on the CBS website.  Who’s reading that to get anything relevant that’s not filtered through Viacom/CBS Corp. spin cycle?

About that Democratic party majority

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

This piece in today’s Journal runs along the same line as my previous post on how the Obama White House (plus its liberal enablers in the House and Senate) and its radical agenda are hurting Democrats on the campaign trail:

If Democrats running against the White House prevail, the result could have a profound impact on the party’s ability to govern. More than 30 Democrats with proven records of independence are campaigning on this theme, and scores more have started trying to do so late in the game. Even if the party maintains control of the House, it almost certainly won’t have a functioning liberal majority, Democratic aides and lawmakers say. Conservative Democrats would be emboldened to go their own way, especially if many colleagues who stuck with the president lose.

Rep. Bobby Bright, an Alabama Democrat who calls himself a “fiercely independent” conservative, said the Democratic leadership largely let conservative House Democrats vote according to the dictates of their districts, a low-risk approach for a party with 77 more seats than Republicans. A loss of even a dozen would put Democratic conservatives in the catbird seat, assuming they return and remain united.


In Democratic caucus meetings throughout 2009 and this year, White House senior adviser David Axelrod repeatedly made the case that wavering Democrats would be tarred by Republicans with the president’s agenda whether they liked it or not. So, he argued, they might as well vote with the White House.

But resistance to the agenda is rewarding some House Democrats as the midterm elections approach. Mr. Bright from Alabama voted against the president on health care, climate change, the stimulus act and Wall Street regulation—and in one of the most conservative districts represented by any Democrat, he is strongly in the running.

You don’t say?  You mean voting on a conservative agenda will get you reelected? Shocker!

I’ve always maintained that one of the big reasons the Democrats were able to gain majorities in 2006-2008, was that moderate Democrats in red and purple states were able to win, in lieu of  a Republican party gone astray.  Voters in those districts wanted conservative candidates, they just happened to find them in the Democratic party as opposed to the GOP.

With those majorities in place, ramming the Obama agenda (veering to the left) through the congress was not going to sit well with those voters.  The result is what you see now–a potential collapse of that center majority.

It’s all about the POTUS

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Reid Wilson sums up the Democrats’ problem for this election season:

[…] West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) faces a more difficult race for the state’s open Senate seat than he once contemplated. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee purchased television time on Manchin’s behalf, even though most surveys peg his approval rating north of 60 percent. But Manchin finds himself running neck and neck with businessman John Raese, who took just 34 percent of the vote when he ran for the seat in 2006.

Manchin’s problems are manifest in one individual: President Obama. Obama took just 43 percent of the vote in West Virginia in 2008, and his popularity has only slid further. Republicans are using the same playbook against Manchin as they are against other Democrats, labeling him an Obama rubber stamp.

In a coal state that fears cap-and-trade legislation as a threat to an already teetering economy, that label is deadly. Manchin, who won re-election in 2008 with more than 70 percent of the vote, suddenly finds himself in serious jeopardy as Republicans build rhetorical bridges between him and the national Democratic Party. If those associations can hurt the popular Manchin, they can hurt lesser-known House members running their first re-election campaigns.

In 2008, every politician in the Democratic party, up and down every ticket were elbowing each other to jump on Obama’s Hope and Change Express.

For the 2010 midterms anyway, that train has derailed.

What’s going on in Delaware?

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m having some trouble trying to comprehend this:

Ms. O’Donnell is ubiquitous on conservative cable shows and talk radio, with her candidacy hyped by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party Express, based in California. But you can barely find a trace of Ms. O’Donnell or her campaign in Delaware itself, a state that is smaller than some national parks.

Whatever else Ms. O’Donnell may symbolize, she stands for the idea that politics in the online age is increasingly borderless and can often be shaped more by national causes than by anything having to do with local constituents.


The bulk of the contributions her campaign has received have come from outside Delaware, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and until this week she had no campaign office in the state. She and a few aides were working out of her town house.

If Ms. O’Donnell is actually running anything like a traditional campaign for the Senate, there isn’t much evidence of it right now. The campaign’s Web site lists no public events at which voters or reporters can meet her or hear her speak. (And in any event, Ms. O’Donnell has declared herself off limits for interviews with national reporters.) Last week, a spokeswoman for Shirley & Bannister, a Virginia-based consulting firm that the O’Donnell campaign recently hired, said she would find out about any scheduled appearances by the candidate, but then she stopped returning e-mails.

At the state Republican headquarters in Wilmington, staff members said Monday that they had no information about whether Ms. O’Donnell was out campaigning. A pile of O’Donnell yard signs, leaning against a wall near the door, was the only obvious signal that the party even had a Senate candidate. (The headquarters continues, though, to get calls from out-of-state voters who are furious at the local party for not supporting Ms. O’Donnell.)

After she won the primary, I wrote that the O’Donnell campaign would have to hunker down and work their tails off to get the message out about what she stands for, set the narrative and take her message to the people of Delaware.  Part of that was going out and pressing the flesh with some old-fashioned politicking.

I disagree with O’Donnell’s decision to stop doing media interviews–I’m not a fan of when politicians do that as it makes it appear as if there’s something to hide, or they lack confidence in themselves.

But back to the Times piece.  I understand the grassroots campaign is an online phenomenon more than anything (over $2 million raised doesn’t come in the mail), and people more astute than I on these matters have better insight as to what’s really going on in Delaware.  At least I hope so, anyway.  But I’m just getting the feeling that O’Donnell is not going about this the right way, and needs to get out there more and not less.  Again, I hope I’m wrong.

UPDATE. It’s been a little more than two weeks since the primary and the O’Donnell campaign still hasn’t run a television ad.  Jim Geraghty scratches his head:

We are a month away from Election Day, and so far, the O’Donnell campaign has yet to air a television ad. I am informed by those close to the campaign that the ads should be going up “soon,” with the precise launch date still being determined by those producing the ads.


[T]he Chris Coons campaign and the DSCC have each aired two ads since the primary, and obviously O’Donnell has endured being the punchline of every late-night comedian and Saturday Night Live. This race may turn on whether or not her image in Delaware voters’ minds has been irrevocably set, or whether she can show that there’s much more to her than her old appearances on MTV and Bill Maher’s show.

T minus thirty days…

Grayson’s lunacy helps out Webster

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Being a liar and a lunatic has it’s advantages for your opponent:

Daniel Webster, a Republican running for the House in Florida, sent out a fund-raising appeal Tuesday, according to a spokesman — not long after his Democratic opponent, Representative Alan Grayson, went up with an advertisement comparing Mr. Webster’s stances on women’s issues to the Taliban’s.

The response? Brian Graham, the Webster spokesman, says the campaign raised more than its original goal of $50,000 the first day the appeal went out. On Wednesday evening, a graphic on the candidate’s Web site appeared to show that the campaign had surpassed its revised goal of $100,000.

“Today has been better than we expected,” said Mr. Graham, who added that the campaign had also placed fund-raising pleas on Google and the Drudge Report. “We’ll be re-evaluating that goal again.”

Coupled with this morning’s bombshell poll from Florida, this is even more good news from Florida’s 8th district. 

Dan Webster for Congress

FL-8: Grayson down 7 in latest poll

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Eventually, being an insane liar catches up with you.  Being part of Obama’s Democrats circa 2010 doesn’t help much either:

In one of the most closely watched U.S. House races in the nation, Republican Daniel Webster now holds a 7-point lead over Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson in Central Florida’s 8th Congressional District, according to a new Sunshine State News Poll.

Webster, a former state senator, leads the freshman congressman 43-36 in the survey of 559 likely voters conducted Sept. 25-27. TEA (“Taxed Enough Already”) Party candidate Peg Dunmire drew 6 percent and NPA hopeful George Metcalfe garnered 3 percent, while 9 percent remained undecided (2 percent cited “other” and 1 percent refused to state).

Digging deeper, the numbers look even worse for Grayson as 51 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the Orlando-area congressman.

“Grayson has real problems here,” said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News.

He’s even more unpopular than the president, which is not surprising given how controversial he has been with his rhetoric, overall style and TV ads.”

Lee added, “It’s fascinating that both Grayson and the president have virtually the same image (a positive/negative ratio of 34/51), but Grayson is actually disliked more by independents (36/47 favorable/unfavorable) while Obama is only 36/37.”

Keep in mind that Grayson is a rock-star to liberal Democrats.  To them, his flame-throwing and ignorant comments and lies exemplify what the entire Democratic party should be about.  No moderates, remember?

The Great War is finally over?

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

This is amazing.  Apparently, the First World War officially ends this weekend.  Who knew?

Categories: World News Tags:

Finding out what’s in the health-care reform bill

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

“If you like your existing health insurance plan, you can keep it” was the big pseudo-slogan for President Obama while stumping for healthcare reform last year.

It’s so benevolent and kind for our Federal overlords to bestow upon us the privilege of keeping existing healthcare coverage.

That is until, you can’t:

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has notified customers that it will drop its Medicare Advantage health insurance program at the end of the year, forcing 22,000 senior citizens in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine to seek alternative supplemental coverage.

The decision by Wellesley-based Harvard Pilgrim, the state’s second-largest health insurer, was prompted by a freeze in federal reimbursements and a new requirement that insurers offering the kind of product sold by Harvard Pilgrim — a Medicare Advantage private fee for service plan — form a contracted network of doctors who agree to participate for a negotiated amount of money. Under current rules, patients can seek care from any doctor.

We became concerned by the long-term viability of Medicare Advantage programs in general,’’ said Lynn Bowman, vice president of customer service at Harvard Pilgrim’s office in Quincy. “We know that cuts in Medicare are being used to fund national health care reform. And we also had concerns about our ability to build a network of health care providers that would meet the needs of our seniors.’’

Cuts in Medicare you say?  There’s a couple hundred Democrats out on the trail right now who will deny this fact to the bitter end of their political careers (in about five weeks), not to mention that healthcare “reform” will eventually price out private healthcare providers, thus leaving consumers with–little choices and higher costs.

Funny how that is the opposite of what Democrats promised healthcare reform would accomplish.

Lunatic Alan Grayson strikes again

September 28, 2010 1 comment

The lunatic Alan Grayson, Congressman from Florida’s 8th Congressional district, put together this lame, yet offensive smear ad vilifying his opponent, Republican Daniel Webster as “Taliban Dan”:

Some background on the ad:

Grayson accuses his Republican opponent Daniel Webster of being a religious fanatic and dubs him “Taliban Dan.” But to make his case, Grayson manipulates a video clip to make it appear Webster was commanding wives to submit to their husbands, quoting a passage in the Bible. Four times, the ad shows Webster saying wives should submit to their husbands. In fact, Webster was cautioning husbands to avoid taking that passage as their own. The unedited quote is: “Don’t pick the ones [Bible verses] that say, ‘She should submit to me.’”

The ad, which first aired Sept. 25, starts by saying, “Religious fanatics tried to take away our freedom in Afghanistan, in Iran and right here in Central Florida,” cutting to a clip of Grayson saying, “Wives submit yourself to your own husband.” Later the ad cuts to a clip of Webster saying, “She should submit to me. That’s in the Bible.” And twice more, it shows him saying, “submit to me.”

It’s standard extremist left-wing fare: scare mongering, religious bigotry and nothing but hate.  In other words, a perfect ad for a nutcase like Alan Grayson.

The problem is that the accusations are false and misrepresents Webster’s recorded comments.

Fact Check.Org reports:

We contacted both campaigns to gather information on the claims in the ad and to obtain a copy of the video to better understand the context of Webster’s remarks. We also contacted the Institute of Basic Life Principles, which is a non-denominational Christian organization that runs programs and training sessions. Robert Staddon at the institute provided us with the section of Webster’s speech (see the video below) that deals with the Bible verse in question.

In an email, Staddon said the video was “taken from a talk to fathers” at the Advanced Training Institute regional conference in Nashville in 2009. ATI is a religious-based program developed by the Institute of Basic Life Principles “to support parents in raising their children to love the Lord Jesus Christ.” Bill Gothard, the founder of the Institute of Basic Life Principles, said that Webster home-schooled his children using the institute’s curriculum and has given speeches at the training institute on more than one occasion.

The full context of the remarks make clear that Webster is not telling wives to submit to their husbands. Just the opposite.

[Transcript of original comments]

Webster:   So, write a journal. Second, find a verse. I have a verse for my wife, I have verses for my wife. Don’t pick the ones that say, ‘She should submit to me.’ That’s in the Bible, but pick the ones that you’re supposed to do. So instead, ‘love your wife, even as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it’ as opposed to ‘wives submit to your own husbands.’ She can pray that, if she wants to, but don’t you pray it.

Fact Check continues:

…[T]he Grayson campaign’s interpretation is aided only by selectively editing the video to concoct a phrase that doesn’t even exist in the video: “She should submit to me. That’s in the Bible.” That’s a mash-up of two sentences that read: “Don’t pick the ones that say, ‘She should submit to me.’ That’s in the Bible, but pick the ones that you’re supposed to do.”

This is the second time in as many weeks that the Grayson campaign has resorted to cheap gimmicks to attack his opponent. As we wrote last week, Grayson falsely claimed Webster “refused the call to service” during the Vietnam War. In fact, Webster received routine student deferments in high school and college, and was disqualified for medical reasons after college.


[T]he ad’s claim that Webster would “deny battered women . . . the right to divorce their abusers” is a distortion. The claim is based on legislation he sponsored in the Florida House of Representatives 20 years ago. The bill, HB 1585, would have allowed Florida residents the option of a “covenant marriage,” which would limit their divorce rights. Under the proposal, couples could dissolve a covenant marriage only in cases of adultery. But that would not have applied to anyone who did not choose to enter a covenant marriage. The legislation died in committee in June 1990. Webster has not advocated for covenant marriages as a congressional candidate.

When the ad was first put up in the 8th CD, the left-wing blogs had a field day, mindlessly following Grayson’s lies without looking into the facts or background of the statements.  Again, the ad  plays into the left-wing thirst for hate and smears, facts and the truth be damned.  It’s like throwing fish to the seals and the seals applauded accordingly.  Will any of them correct themselves?  Will any of them retract their ignorant statements condemning Webster or his wife?

Don’t hold your breath.