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Palin’s latest poll number parallels Obama’s

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:38 pm - December 7, 2009.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Sarah Palin

Guess it helps when you can get your own message out without the active interference of the mainstream media, well, with greatly reduced interference.  I mean, during her book tour, the media isn’t letting up, just not attacking her with the ferocity of their campaign coverage last fall.   If any of the internet news aggregators offer headlines about the former Alaska Governor, they tend to be critical of that accomplished reformer.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll (which tends to lean Democratic) released earlier today found that

Americans are split on Palin, with 46 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of her and an equal amount saying they have an unfavorable view of last year’s Republican vice presidential nominee.

Looks like she’s doing just a tad better than the president.  The current pollster average has 48.4% of Americans disapproving of the job he’s doing with only 47.8% approving:

Wonder what his numbers would look like if the media treated him as they do her.

UPDATE: Come to think about it, maybe I should have picked a different title.  While Palin’s poll numbers are on an upward trend, Obama’s are heading south.  Not quite parallel that.

Stimulus has been so successful, Obama wants a do-over

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:24 pm - December 7, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Economy

When Barack Obama started telling us about jobs that his economic policies would “save or create,” many noted those first two weeks.  I mean, how can he measure the number of jobs saved?  He can tell us that, well, his economic program is succeeding because if we hadn’t had it, we would have lost 3,500,000 more jobs than we did.

Now, touting the success of his program, he’s asking to do it all over again.  So, maybe that’ll help save another few million jobs because the last one sure didn’t create any.  We’ve lost over 2.8 million jobs since the first one passed in February.  Apparently convinced that  more government money will help continue the progress made by the first “stimulus”, “President Obama will propose using $200 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to support creating jobs“.

His own words notwithstanding, guess the Democrat is not really aware of the private sector’s capacity to create jobs.

As Jim Geraghty puts it, “Obama’s plan to deal with unemployment at 10 percent is exactly the same as his plan to deal with unemployment when it was 7.6 percent.

Some people just never learn.

Sometimes, there is justice

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:00 pm - December 7, 2009.
Filed under: LA Stories

I had to run a few errands this afternoon, the first at the Staples on Wilshire.  After picking out my purchases, I went over to wait in the checkout line.  Traditionally, at this staples, people gather near a certain display cabinet and wait their turn for the next available cashier.

Well, one guy, maybe in his mid-20s, seeing no line behind the one open checkout lane, rushed to stand behind the woman having her purchases rung up by a hapless clerk.  I moved my lips to protest, but was just not in the mood to fight him.  Well, this cashier seemed to be quite new on the job and was taking her time ringing up that shopper.  I was getting frustrated, this being the third time in as many days where, at fast food restaurants or other stores, I dealt with such service.

I felt like letting my would-be purchases drop onto the floor and storming out when, all of a sudden, this one Staples employee with a smile on her face, while walking over to the adjacent checkstand, said to me (then the only person in line), “I’m opening up over here” or some such. As I was placing my purchases in front of her, she said, “Sorry to keep you waiting, sir.”  She sounded like she meant it.

Not only was she polite, but she was she was also efficient.  She had rung up my purchases in no time.  Soon, with a cheerful smile, she was wishing me a pleasant afternoon and I was rushing out the door, off to my next errand.  Only then did I regret not getting her name so I could e-mail the store to express my appreciation.

Oh, and, one more thing, the last thing I saw in the store was the guy who had cut in front of me still waiting while the hapless clerk (at his register) struggled to ring up his purchases.  And a woman was having her purchases rung up by the kind and efficient clerk.

Some little things do make a big difference.  And some moments like this are to savor.

Why GOP must embrace small government philosophy of Tea Parties

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:48 pm - December 7, 2009.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Freedom,Tea Party

While all too many on the left (and in the MSM) continue to ridicule the Tea Parties being held across the country this past year, they represent the largest grassroots phenomenon of 2009.   If the GOP can tap into the energy of these parties, Republicans will repeat the results last month of elections in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the counties surrounding New York City and avoid the mistakes of New York’s 23rd Congressional Districts.

Republicans continue to improve their standings in generic party matchups against Democrats, leading in the Gallup survey  for the first time in years:

2010 Generic Congressional Ballot -- Preferences of Registered Voters -- 2009 Trend

Today, however, Rasmussen finds that a hypothetical Tea Party candidate would run ahead of a Republican:

In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the Tea Party comes out on top. Thirty-three percent (33%) prefer the Tea Party candidate, and 30% are undecided. Twenty-five percent (25%) would vote for a Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.

This shows that voters still remain skeptical of the small government bona fides of the GOP, or, as law professor William A. Jacobson more ominoulsy puts it, “the Republican establishment needs to understand that it has lost its base.”  People still remain skeptical of the GOP’s commitment to the principles which helped Republicans win the White House in the 1980s and Congress in the 1990s, but at the same time embrace those principles. (more…)

Wonder what Robert Gibbs has to say about this?

Reid Compares Opponents of Health Care Reform to Supporters of Slavery

(Well, actually, most Republicans don’t oppose health care reform, they just oppose Reid’s version of health care reform.)

Recall when White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said those comparing Democrats to Nazis were standing “on thin ice”. Wonder if he’ll offer a similar reprimand to Ol’ Harry?

Is Chuck DeVore in this for himself or for California?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:46 pm - December 7, 2009.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics,Ronald Reagan

Sometimes there is good reason to run against the Republican establishment.  When it taps candidates who favor big government initiatives and pro-union legislation, GOP leaders put their own interests ahead of the rank and file of their party.  Yet, sometimes, some conservatives have come so much to scorn the GOP establishment that they have forgotten why they’re opposing the establishment.  It’s as if opposing that establishment has become a thing into itself, opposing it for the sake of opposing it.

So resentful is Chuck DeVore that Washington Republicans tapped Carly Fiorina, his rival for the GOP Senate nomination in the Golden State, that his campaign, in a bid to raise a few bucks, is tarring that Reagan Republican as the choice of the “D.C.-based Republican establishment.”

In a fund-raising e-mail to supporters, DeVore mentions Carly’s appearance, but doesn’t criticize anything she said.  That is, it’s not her message that bothered him, but the GOP’s choice to have her offer the message.  This isn’t about ideas, it’s about self-interest.

DeVore all but gives away the game in the concluding line of his e-mail, “Any amount you can donate will go to support our conservative cause and defeat the establishment in Washington, D.C.” And I thought the goal was to defeat Barbara Boxer. She’s the one who’s liberal partisanship and big government ways have not helped the Golden State these past seventeen years.

In delivering the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, Carly Fiorina made her conservative bona fides increasingly clear. And Chuck DeVore used that appearance to continue his war on the GOP establishment. But, unlike Marco Rubio in Florida, DeVore’s battle is not against an establishment candidate who backs big-government policies, but against a conservative Republican who shares Ronald Reagan’s vision.

And don’t we want to push the GOP establishment in the direction of that good man’s great ideas?

Do Democrats prefer appeasing liberal base to promoting national interest?

Nearly a full year into the Obama Administration, we’re getting a real sense that the new kind of politics is promised in that campaign was just that a promise.  Transparency is going out the window, with a closed door meeting on government openness and relaxation of rules for disclosure for unions.

And on health care, we’ve got the President and congressional Democrats thumbing their nose at the American people.  While polls show opposition to the various Democratic health care reforms increasing with each passing day, indeed, increasing despite mostly favorably coverage in the mainstream media and an aggressive promotional campaign by the President and his team, they press on.

One wonders why the Democrats persist on such an unpopular initiative when voters would rather they focus on fixing the economy, bringing down unemployment and lowering the burgeoning deficit.  Over at the Wall Street Journal, John Fund may have found the answer; it’s all about appeasing the Democratic base:

. . . many in the trenches are uneasy about the sprawling, complex bill they privately acknowledge has no bipartisan support, doesn’t seriously tackle soaring costs and will increase insurance premiums. That may explain Majority Leader Harry Reid’s haste—he has ordered a rare Sunday session this weekend to hurry up the debate. Public support for the bill averages only 39.2% backing in all polls compiled by Pollster.com.

But buried in the surveys is an explanation for the Democratic obsession to pass the bill: An overwhelming 76% of Democrats back it. “They believe the liberal base expects them to deliver and will punish them if they don’t,” says Democratic pollster Doug Schoen, who worked for Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

So, now finally we have an idea of the new kind of politician we have in Barack Obama. New, this type may be on the national stage, but typical he is in the Windy City.  An executive who sees it his job to push the policies of his machine, his cronies, no matter what the cost.

If Obama is so concerned about bringing down the deficit . . .

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:36 pm - December 7, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Economy

. . . why does his team appear to be so eager to “repaid TARP funds for a new job-creation program“:

The Obama administration will lose $200 billion less than expected from the federal bailout program and is looking at using part of the savings to fund new job creation efforts.

A Treasury official said that the administration now believes the cost of the financial rescue program will be at least $200 billion below the $341 billion estimate it made in August.

Um, fellas at the AP, it’s now the Obama Administration that will lose $200 million less, it’s the federal treasury which will be spared the loss.  But, then again maybe our friends at the AP have become so enamored with Mr. Obama that they can’t separate the two.

Why is GLAAD taking up Adam Lambert’s Cause?

When it comes to Adam Lambert, gay organizations should either ignore the guy or criticize him for helping foster the image that gay people are obsessed with sex and flaunting that in the public square.

While many gay and lesbian singers, actors and talk show hostesses live their lives openly, they leave the sexual aspect of their lives where it belongs: behind closed doors.  Now, after Lambert’s recent stunt at the American Music Awards, he has certainly extended his fifteen minutes, maybe to twenty, maybe to a full half hour, but he has done little to make himself anything more than a pop culture phenomenon.  He even made the list of Barbara Walters Most Fascinating People of 2009.  He certainly be on the 10 faded stars of 2010.

And he doesn’t do much to improve the image of gay people.  Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen De Generes he surely ain’t.

You’d think an organization “dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation,” would not want to encourage antics such as Lambert’s.  Well, despite that mission statement, GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) remains, in their words, “steadfast in our assertion that Adam Lambert is being subjected to a double standard by ABC as an openly gay performer. We do not support ABC cancelling Adam Lambert’s past and future performances.“  Guess that wanted to be inclusive of those who engage in such public stunts as his.

Um, fellas, it’s not because he’s an openly gay performer.  It’s because he behaved in a juvenile manner on a nationally televised awards show.

Do the folks at GLAAD feel they need to defend this guy just because he’s gay?  (more…)

Kevin Jennings & The Problem of Gay Fiction

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:46 am - December 7, 2009.
Filed under: Gay America,Literature & Ideas

Having reviewed the list of books recommended on the reading list designed by Kevin Jennings (and the subject of a recent post), a reader said she found a curious shortage (absence?) of books published before the 1980s.  Indeed, she was struck that he did not include E.M.Forster’s early twentieth century novel of homosexual love, Maurice.

Beyond Maurice and the novels of Jim Grimsley, there is a paucity of gay fiction that deals eloquently and deftly with the emotional aspects of coming out and coming to terms with homosexuality.  Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar does have its moments.  In the comments to that aforementioned post, some of our readers mention Mary Renault‘s fiction, particularly The Charioteer (which I have not read).  (And Patricia Nell Warren’s The Front Runner has some choice passages.)

Given the paucity of good gay fiction, especially of such fiction without scenes of explicit sex, if Jennings had decided to compile a list of books without sex scenes, that list would be small indeed.  It is sad that so many gay men who take it upon themselves to write about their (our?) lives must needs describe the sex act itself whereas gifted writers for millennia have written about sexuality without describing the act itself.

We need need serious fiction, stories which help us explore the complexity of our sexuality and can describe the emotional rewards of monogamous love.  Perhaps, such books are out there, perhaps, they are even on Mr. Jennings lists, but given what I’ve read, given the conversations (and publications) in the debate on gay marriage, I’m doubtful.  Too many see marriage as a right and gratuitous literary descriptions of the sex act an entitlement.

All that said, there are a few books out there which do explore the emotional aspect and complexity of our sexuality.  It just doesn’t seem that (m)any of them are on Mr. Jennings’ list.