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Meltdown for Keith Olbermann

In a sign that the Democrats’ strategy for 2010 is not gaining traction among the American people, the man on the moon in the media who best embodies their tack is tanking.  The Keith Olbermann show is sinking faster than the Titanic.  Guess Bush-hatred just doesn’t sell like it used to:

Remember Keith Olbermann?

He was the one-time must-see anti-Bush ranter who helped rescue MSNBC (yes, it’s still on at night) from even worse oblivion years ago.

Well, quietly last month while no one was looking, hardly anyone was watching Keith Olbermann anymore. . . .

In the most desirable TV demographic of 25-54, which Keith will soon outgrow himself, “Countdown” lost 44% of its audience from the beginning of President Obama‘s term until this year. It could have been worse — say, 45%.

Olbermann averaged 268,000 viewers last month in that sector. That’s just several thousand sets of those eyes more than Campbell Brown over on CNN. According to one count, Keith even finished in that time slot behind Nancy Grace. Nancy Grace!

Well, there is some good news.  More people watch his show than any other show in MSNBC’s prime-time line-up.

(H/t:  Instapundit)

Holder in ’02: Hard to Interrogate Terror Suspect with a Lawyer

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:51 pm - February 3, 2010.
Filed under: Legal Issues,Liberal Hypocrisy,War On Terror

It seems that our best sources here at GayPatriot are our readers.  Spartann just e-mailed me a link which showed how in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, on January 22, 2002, Eric Holder had a different attitude on reading terror suspects their Miranda Rights.  From an interview with Paula Zahn:

ZAHN: Final question for you, moving onto the issue of John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban. How much pressure should they put on this man to get information out of him as they interrogate him?

HOLDER: Well, I mean, it’s hard to interrogate him at this point now that he has a lawyer and now that he is here in the United States. But to the extent that we can get information from him, I think we should.

(Emphasis added.)  Eight years later, Holder, now the Attorney General is singing a different tune; he admitted today “that he was the one who made the decision to treat Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as a civilian criminal.

The Corner has details:

“I made the decision to charge Mr. Abdulmutallab [Christmas Day bomber] with federal crimes, and to seek his detention in connection with those charges, with the knowledge of, and with no objection from, all other relevant departments of the government,” Holder says in a letter addressed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senators who have sought testimony from Holder on the treatment of Abdulmutallab.

In an at-times testy letter, Holder endorses the treatment of terrorist attacks as a matter of criminal justice, and implies that Senate Republicans are using the Abdulmutallab case for political gain, saying that his Justice Department relied on procedures that were not criticized when employed by previous administrations

Wonder what caused his change of heart?  Or did he really have a change of heart?  It’s just that back in 2002, he may have playacting for the cameras at a time when then-President George W. Bush was riding high, with strong public support for his tough policies on terror.

Still, I think we should take the guy at his word and wonder why he was so quick to ensure that Abdulmutallab had his rights read to him when, in the wake of 9/11, he thought affording a lawyer to a terror suspect would diminish his ability to provide intelligence that could help protect Americans from further attacks.

The Tea Party Contract from America

Two weeks ago, I suggested that the grassroots activists behind the Tea Party movement craft a compact, a agreement for candidates for federal office to sign to show that they understand our concerns about the burgeoning size of the federal government.  Now, via Instapundit, we learn that there is a move afoot to do just that:

. . . at least one group of tea partyers is turning directly to “we the people” by using technology in an unprecedented way: build a party platform from the bottom up.

Taking cues from the “Contract with America” that led to the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, a group known as Tea Party Patriots used a website to gather ideas for what they’re calling the Contract from America.

In response to my post, Justin Nace, one of our readers sent in a draft compact (full text below the jump).  While I might tweak some of the language and combine some of the points, I think he succeeded in outlining the broad principles of modern American conservatism.  It’s a very good start, but I wonder if in addition to the broad principles of this compact, we need add specific language (of legislation) similar to that included in 1994’s Contract with America.

I do like that this contract is not being generated by elected officials, but by the people. (more…)

Reid Agrees to Swear in Scott Brown Tomorrow

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:36 pm - February 3, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Congress (111th)

That was quick.  Just a few hours after “Scott Brown’s lawyer sent a letter to” his state’s governor asking “that he be sworn in immediately”, Senate Democrats agreed to advance the day of his swearing in:

Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R), the successor to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), will be sworn in to office Thursday afternoon, giving Republicans 41 seats in the upper chamber.

Hey Obama, Can You Spare A Job?

How’s that “job creating” $787 BILLION Stimulus law working out for you again, America?

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg Multimedia) — The U.S. may lose 824,000 jobs when the government releases its annual revision to employment data on Feb. 5, showing the labor market was in worse shape during the recession than known at the time.

Hope and Change won’t feed our families or pay our mortgages, will it?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Do Elections Matter to Democrats?

On January 30, 1996, Ron Wyden edged out Gordon Smith by just over 18,000 votes to win a special election to fill the seat vacated Bob Packwood in the United States Senate.  One week later on Ronald Reagan’s 85th birthday (February 6), according to Wikipedia, the Oregon Democrat took office.  At the time, Republicans held a majority in the Senate.

It has now been twice that time since Scott Brown won a more decisive victory in the Bay State.  And the man appointed as interim Senator is still voting, while the man elected by a considerable majority has yet to be sworn in.  (Wyden had only won with a plurality.)

Seems Democrats are delaying Brown’s swearing in to do favors for the special elections who support their party.  According to Mark Hemingway, on Monday,

Senate Democrats rushed through a party-line cloture vote on Obama’s nominee for Solicitor General, Patricia Smith. Smith got 60 Democratic votes even though a Republican senator produced damning evidence that she lied in Senate testimony regarding her role in a controversial program that unfairly benefited labor unions while she was New York State Labor Commissioner.

Today, the Senate is again trying to perform as many favors for Big Labor as it can before newly elected Republican Senator Scott Brown is seated and Democrats lose their supermajority. Senate Democrats are now trying to rush through the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Becker would be the first union-employed lawyer to be confirmed by the Senate to the NLRB and is very cozy with and has received many paychecks from big politically active unions like the SEIU and AFL-CIO.

If Senate Democrats need to wait to seat Scott Brown, then they should wait on holding any votes until the man elected by the people of Massachusetts takes his seat in the Senate.

Mark Kirk & the Tea Parties

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:42 pm - February 3, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Tea Party

Now that Mark Kirk has won the Republican primary for the Illinois Senate seat, it behooves Tea Party organizers in the Land of Lincoln to rally round the (moderate) Republican.  A Kirk victory helps reduce the strength of the tax-and-spend party in Washington.  That said, Kirk should not take their support for granted.  In the next week, he should sit down with representatives of the movement and listen to their concerns.  He needs show that he recognizes the energy of its adherents and the sincerity of their small-government convictions.

The choice now is no longer between a more conservative Republican and a moderate, but between a moderate Republican who voted against the “stimulus” and Obamacare and an Obama loyalist.  Unlike Dede Scozzafava, Kirk won a contested Republican primary fair and square.  The election may now well be between Lame and Lamer, as Michelle Malkin put it.  But, Lamer will vote for big government any chance he gets and Lame only occasionally.  But, should Republicans win back control of the Senate, a possibility which grows with each passing day, there will be fewer such occasions.

Republicans are solidly ahead to take at least five seats now held by Democrats – in North Dakota, Delaware, Nevada, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. Five more are now considered winnable – Colorado, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and even liberal New York. Two other races, in California and Washington, are tightening daily.

Right now, Illinois conservatives need register their disappointment with Mark Kirk’s imperfect voting record, but they also need realize that Alexi Giannoulias has a far more left-wing, big spending platform than he and is a product of the same political machine which brought us Barack Obama.

And maybe, just maybe, if tea party leaders approach Kirk in the right way, they may well win him over.

Why is Blind Side‘s Oscar Nomination a Surprise?

This morning, Glenn Reynolds linked a post listing the Oscar nomination’s five surprises.  Topping the list was my choice for Best Picture, the Blind Side:

The Blind Side in the Best Picture race? Really?! Over Star Trek, A Single Man, Invictus, and a host of other films that made the top 10 lists other than this one? (Seriously, I would have been less surprised over The Hangover being mentioned instead.) My big fear here is that this nod will cinch Sandra Bullock the Best Actress crown over Meryl Streep, whom, it must be said, I am really rooting for this year, because despite her 16 record nominations, the woman last won in 1982. That’s also only a 0.125 batting average. There weren’t just gasps this morning upon the inclusion; there was also a bit of stuttering.

So, why is post author Ellen Kim so astounded?  Does it somehow irk her that a movie painting Christian conservatives from the South (who happen to vote Republican) has done well both at the box office and with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences?

Or is it that the movie does a great job revisiting of a classic Hollywood theme (fortunate person helping disadvantaged individual overcome self-doubt and realize his potential) to our times?  That it shows the goodness in human hearts and has a happy ending?

So, what if it wasn’t on most tope ten lists?  You know the people who write most of those lists are film critics, often with the learned cynicism of their profession and the politics of the liberal “élite.”

If film critics didn’t have such a jaundiced view of what makes a good movie, they might not be so surprised by the success of this flick.  The villains (if there are any) are not drawn from left-wing stereotypes of those oppressing the unfortunate (you know, corporations, Republicans, Christians, the military, white men, in general). (more…)

Hoosiers Finding it Easier to Say, “Bye, Bayh”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:48 am - February 3, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

The junior Senator from the great state of Indiana has attracted an A-list opponent.  Former Senator Dan Coats is challenging Obamacare supporter Evan Bayh, putting an eighth Democratic Senate seat in play, with GOP chances in New York State (Gillibrand), Washington State and Wisconsin now dependent on whether the parties there can field strong candidates and in California, on the outcome of the contest for the GOP nomination.

Coats should have no trouble raising money and I expect the first head-to-head matchup will show him within striking distance or just ahead of the left-of-center incumbent.

Evan, maybe you shudda thunk twice before voting “Aye” on the “stimulus” and Obamacare.

Put this one in the tossup, leans GOP category.

Obama Not Repeating Clinton’s Mistakes on Gays in Military

Until recently, I had been quite critical of President Obama’s apparent inaction on his campaign promise to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT), but now I’m beginning to see evidence that the way he may well be handling this issue better than he’s handled any other policy issue since taking office.  And that’s not hyperbole.

Shortly after his inauguration now more than seventeen years ago, the then-new President Bill Clinton rushed to repeal the ban on gays serving in the military, something he could (then) have done with the stroke of a pen.  But, he barely consulted the military brass, if at all nor did he secure the support of key Democrats in Congress, like Sam Nunn, then-Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Controversy ensued and DADT was the result.

The incumbent has taken a different tack.  Instead of rushing ahead, as if speed were needed to fulfill a promise to an interest group, Obama has instructed his top defense officials to develop a plan to repeal the ban while preserving the morale and readiness of our armed forces:

“We have received our orders from the commander in chief, and we are moving out accordingly,” [Defense Secretary Robert M]. Gates told the committee. “However, we can also take this process only so far, as the ultimate decision rests with you, the Congress.”

Any change in the policy would not come any time soon, the two officials made clear. Both Admiral Mullen and Mr. Gates told the committee that there would be a Pentagon review, taking up to a year, to study how to implement any change before they expected Congress to act on a repeal.

Look, I wish the Administration had set the process in motion last year. But, the key thing is that he is doing it now and going about it the right way. He’s showing that he understands it’s not just an issue of gay rights, but more importantly one involving national security.  You can just ask our armed forces to change a policy, no matter how wrong-headed that policy is, willy-nilly.

As Commander in Chief, as Chief Executive, he tells the officials responsible for administering a policy that he’d like to change it and asks them to implement the change so as not to impede the smooth operation of their organization.  A very conservative method of promoting change.

Let’s hope we see it in other departments.

And I thought we were harsh on HRC

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:14 am - February 3, 2010.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

Just take a gander at this post over at Queerty where they take on the gay auxiliary to the Democratic Party Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Somonese and HRC’s and Allison Herwitt were among the guests (list here, PDF) for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s January event, where well-connected civilians (read: moneybags from McDonald’s, Altria, Home Depot, and Merck) got to hob nob with senators including Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, Robert Menendez (DSCC’s chairman), and Claire McCaskill (who we identified as the star of today’s hearings).

If you query HRC, they’ll tell you that HRC’s involvement in DSCC invents, and the Democrat party in general, is crucial to their efforts in lobbying lawmakers to pass gay rights legislation. That is partly true. To us, however, it sounds like more of the Gay Inc. organization’s business-as-usual M.O., where the group’s annual budget is devoted to Solmonese making nice with lawmakers in exchange for inaction, platitudes, and delays.

These bloggers contend it’s all about Joe getting a chance to schmooze with the big (Democratic) boys and girls at some swank South Beach resort.  It sure looks like that to us as well.

Well, while HRC may not be a very effective lobbying organization, it is effective at raising money.  And all that money’s got to pay for something, so why not let Joe have a swell time with his fellow partisans?

“It might smell like ineffective strategy” contend the folks at Queerty, “but it reeks of self-aggrandizement.”

Those guys don’t mince words.  Read the whole thing.