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September 01, 2010




I almost bolded that part because "intense frisson" is so memorable. In fact that's what I typed into Google to retrieve the article! He totally nails it. If you haven't read the entire essay, I highly recommend it. It's five years old but he was way, way ahead of the curve.

Originally published in my fave arty conservative rag The New Criterion, but their link is subscription only, so here's a repost at FreeRepublic.

It's the demography, stupid

Melinda Romanoff


As far as conspiracy theory goes with the Booth family, John's father, Junius, made some threats against another independent thinking President.

So, indeed, the apple you pick up to throw at trolls, doesn't fall far from the tree after all.

[I had a whole screed in here, but thought better of it. My historical beef with, oh, never mind...)

Danube of Thought

Yes, CapH, or at least I infer that from the way he denounced the Mussulmen's expressions of outrage.


Oops - there is a typo in the second sentence of the FR version of Steyn's article. It should read:

Much of what we loosely call the western world will not survive this century

Big difference.


The commentors as Hotair are live blogging the Fiorina v Boxer main event, in case anyone is interested.
Persoanlly, I can't watch blockhead Babs without dry heaving so I'll have to take their word for how it's going.


So it's like the Sheen clan, two generations of crazy, Martin, the narrator for Stone's JFK, Charlie a certified truther,


Thanks for the link and clarification Porch.


29 people were killed by Sunni/Deobandist/Wahhabist terrorists/suicide bombers in Lahore today, primarily Shias....

religion of peace, my ass....

Melinda Romanoff


It's not ALL the cartoon's they were concerned about, but the three that the travelling Imams had inserted into the mix, from dubious sources, including the famous occluded picture from the French Pig calling competition.

Just something to remember, as a distinction.


Well, since the birfer thing has been brought up again. One thing has been bothering me. People think that Obama keeps bringing up the BC to make his opponents look like frothing idiots. I don't think he's that smart. Witness his "spread the wealth around" comments to Joe the Plumber. Witness his "bitter clingers" comments in SF. Witness the flipping off on the campaign trail. No, I think he just brings it up in a nya, nya, nya, nya, nya, you can't make me, kind of way. I sincerely hope it bites him in the ass.


The great Jay Cost is moving to The Weekly Standard.

Jim Miller

A minor point, but I like to tie up loose ends: Our squirrels are so good at taking care of themselves that they have been taking over Britain from the native squirrels.


At a certain point, there are diminishing returns, who cares you were born, Mr. President, what do you have to say about
your floundering economic program, the health
care plan that loses support by the day, the
war in Afghanistan, that you said was the right one to intervene in.

Melinda Romanoff


Unfortunately, it won't. Only the Democratic Party may "credential" the candidate of their choice. Who they put up is their business, and no one has ever, I mean ever, tested in court the requirements for holding the office.

Oh, except once. Was John McCain eligible?

So, as a rule, rules apply to conservatives and their ilk, but, so long as it gets us what we want with the Democratic Party, not so much.

Again. (And Herein lies the problem with Establishment GOPers. The process is what is important...(Where have I heard that before, oh yeah, Holbrooke, his godliness' gift to the Mideast).

Danube of Thought

Football season is upon us. We are about to emerge from our seven-month trek through the sports desert.

I am hard-put to contain myself.

Melinda Romanoff


Now you bring up distractions, you're not being constructive, just obstructionist.

So, be quiet.

[I think I got the speech, right.]

Melinda Romanoff


3-13, Chicago, I am morbidly sorry to say. Gerry Angelo has paid for another season of offensive injuries and defensive rejuggering, all at the expense of, at most, two players they kept of merit.

And I fade for the night.

G'night all.


Only the Democratic Party may "credential" the candidate of their choice.

Did any of the States bandying it about pass BC requirements?


John McCain was not eligible. He was born with dual allegiances.
He makes us say birfir so he can eat our brains. So we don't talk about his dual allegiances.
He was born here, with dual allegiances
See what happens when I am distracted


Appropriate eye candy LUN

Danube of Thought

John McCain was not eligible

Actually, he was. He was a "citizen at birth," which is the closest synonym we have to "natural born citizen." He had such citizenship by act of congress, which in fact was retroactively applied, but all in accordance with the constitution.

The 14th Amendment is irrelevant to the meaning of the term "natural born." It simply established a class of citizen whose citizenship could not be affected by congressional enactment; it in no way limited the congress from establishing additional classes.

Danube of Thought

Mel, you must come to grips with the fact that Jay Cutler will never take any team to the promised land. Period.


--John McCain was not eligible. He was born with dual allegiances.--

TK, I'm with you on a child with a foreign parent not being natural born but McCain's only problem was he was born outside the US, but to citizen parents.
I see no reason, congress could not, by statute, as DoT says, clarify that issue. The mere happenstance of a military brat being born outside the US does not seem to me produce the foreign allegiances the Founders and the drafters of the 14th amendment were concerned with.


They never banked on anyone this alienated from American culture and politics, being
at the levers of power. They had read of
Alcibiades and Catiline, but they thought
the press would weed them out


Panama thought he was their citizen.

The resolution that congress passed was "non-binding." They decided nothing.

The founders did remove the "natural born" portion on the 1st naturalization act, regarding births overseas to American citizens.


I'm with you on a child with a foreign parent not being natural born

I don't know if I agree with this, at least from a practical point of view. It would, for example, mean that I would not qualify to become President, though of course this is not something I would want.

I was made in Canada and born in the US to parents who held a green card (or its equivalent back then). They later became US citizens and thereby renounced their former citizenship. There is no issue with loyalty on my part, and it seems silly to preclude a potential President on this basis.

This certainly is not a legal argument, but honestly the suggested requirement makes no sense.


Not to belabor this, but if this definition of "natural born" is right, Jindal should be written off as any sort of Presidential hopeful. "According to Jindal, his mother was already four months pregnant with him when they arrived from India," so I suspect that they had not become citizens yet. The reference is from that infallible source, Wikipedia.

It would also mean that my younger brother would qualify and I not, since my parents became citizens between our births.

This makes sense?


Well, nine hours on, my 2nd Britannicomment hasn't appeared yet. I typed out a third taking a guess at what happened. (For those who haven't been following, some guy who used to be in charge of deciding whether the first volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica went to 'Ae' or 'Ad' has a blog where rse found a largely incoherent and self-refudiating post, which had as its one nugget of a grotesque simulacrum of a real thought a string of words something like "any of the violent xenophobes who are offended by the Ground Zero Mosque have made a decision to be offended".)

My disappeared comment quoted Martin Luther King's recitation of the enormities inflicted on him and others of our countrymen, because one of the nine categories he listed had examples such as, "your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs." I was curious whether Encyclopedia Boy thought Dr King and his mother had made a wrong-headed, conscious decision to be bothered by such talk.

Well, I quoted the entire sentence. And I suspect that some form of comment moderation - possibly automatic - eliminated the comment based on one ugly word. To make sure nobody decided to take offense, you see.


Weigel, at Slate, is floored that Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney signed an affidavit on behalf of LTC Lakin's request for discovery in his upcoming trial.
Story is LUN..

Ralph L

This from Pogo at Althouse made me laugh:
Local squirrels cheered until they realized that the human phrase 'He's nuts' did not mean what they had hoped

DrJ is an anchor baby!

There's a simple solution to that problem. Deport illegal parents when they apply for a birth certificate. They can take the child with them. Thus all illegal fetuses will be born off the books and will remain illegal aliens and not citizens.



What if you were made in Iran or North Korea and your parents had allegiance to them when you were born?

Jury is out on Jindal. Don't know if his parents were U.S. citizens prior to his birth.

Remember Levin argues that subject to the jurisdiction refers to "sole allegiance" to the U.S. This applies to people with ties to any foreign country.

Ralph L

DrJ, George Washington's parents weren't US citizens, either, so you're in good company.


--Panama thought he was their citizen.--
That would not appear to reach the level imposed by any constitutional or legal threshold for witholding natural born citizen status that I'm aware of.

--This makes sense?--

Doc, the question isn't does it make sense in a particular case; virtually all laws don't under certain circumstances, but does it make sense for the cases it is directed primarily toward.
When I read the legislative and constitutional background material it seems pretty clear what was orginally intended and that they had good reason even if it might preclude certain quite worthy individuals.


What if you were made in Iran or North Korea and your parents had allegiance to them when you were born?

I've not know anyone from NK, but I'd be fine with a made-in-Iran Persian-American (groan). Those that I have known really love being here, and usually are very charming.

So it makes sense to you that younger sibling would qualify, owing to the parent's subsequent citizenship, but older sibling is precluded because they were not citizens when that child was born?


No existing Federal law defines "natural born citizen"; and no existing Federal law specifies who is, and who is not, a "natural born citizen". Modern-day laws use the word "citizen", but the term "natural born citizen" does not appear in any existing Federal statute
In 1790, Congress passed the Naturalization Act of 1790, which used the term "natural born citizen" in connection with foreign-born children of U.S.-citizen parents:

And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens ">http://web.me.com/joelarkin/MontereyDemographicHistory/Naturalization_1790.html"> (Naturalization Act of 1790)

Five years later, Congress repealed the 1790 Act and replaced it with the Naturalization Act of 1795. In the 1795 Act, the words "natural born" were deleted, leaving just "citizens":

... and the children of citizens of the United States born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States. ">http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/naturalization/naturalization_text.html"> (Naturalization Act of 1795)

You will find the term “natural born” never to be used again. The time period in which it was changed was the period that the founders had direct input on the future of the country. They said no “natural born citizens” shall be born on foreign soil(McCain) only “citizens.”

Does this reach a legal threshold of ours, if not Panama’s?



The bloodhound gang?

Oh well, I kinda like it.


It would "make sense" and "seem reasonable" and "feel fair" if the set {natural born citizen} were defined to include exactly those who would have been citizens at birth when the constitution was written.

For example ... if anchor babies (born here non citizen parents) were not considered citizens at birth when the constitution was ratified, then they would not be considered "natural born citizens" today, even though today they are considered "citizens at birth".


if you were born on American soil, you're American as far as I call tell. And that includes embassies, military bases, etc. born of American parents. Where does that leave American Indians?


DrJ, It only makes sense in the "lady justice is blind" sort of way. If you and your brother were both born here, to U.S. citizen parents, and he was only 34, should we rethink the requirement of being age 35 for POTUS?

What if you lived in Canada for a while and were only here for 12 years, should the 14-year requirement be waived?

If it is not so reasonable to change these two qualifications, why does the senate keep trying to change the "natural born" one?

This is a tough issue because there is always a personal situation involved. The cop does not care how badly I have to go to the bathroom; if I am speeding I get ticket.



Doc, the question isn't does it make sense in a particular case; virtually all laws don't under certain circumstances, but does it make sense for the cases it is directed primarily toward.

That's right of course. The natural-born citizen issue is TK's, but it is not mine. I don't think it will matter for Obama, and it certainly is no issue for me. President? Yeah, right. Some people tried to get me to run for state office in Arizona, but I declined that "honor." I'm no politician -- ask Clarice or OL.

Still, it just hit me today that my brother could run for that office and I could not, simply because of the timing of some paperwork. He's a lucky boy, I guess!


Matt, the state department has various statues about being born overseas, both on and off base. They all confer “citizenship.” Not “natural born citizenship.”

I like the Indian thought.
The ">http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=480"> 1866 Civil Rights Act states:

All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States

You may have a group that has standing to fight SCOTUS for a definition of "natural born."
This will get some research time from me.


Have been hearing hints of problems in China recently and clicked on a tweet by someone I can no longer remember but here's the gist:

If They Can’t Afford Wheat Let Them Buy Real Estate? Why the Price of Food Will Guarantee a Chinese Real Estate Crash

We all know how regulation of food prices end, and it should be clear to Chinese government as well, but I guess they will need to find out the hard way. Unfortunately too many ordinary Chinese will suffer in the process while those who are responsible for the mess will keep on giving speeches and lectures on a very full stomach.

Should have said at the beginning this is very OT...


Thanks Glasater


Well you gotta' admit, our new Senior Senator has hutzpah.

These quotes from our College Dropout Senator, Mark Begich, on Lisa and the guy who beat her, Joe Miller:

Begich said he and Murkowski worked well on Alaska issues together. "She was a good partner," he said. "As a matter of fact, we co-sponsored quite a few things together, when it dealt with Alaska."

As for Miller, Begich noted during an interview that the Republican is an "Ivy League lawyer. ... We have enough lawyers in the Senate. We don't need any more."

Guess Joe's West Point record, Military combat experience, Yale Law school time and record of serving as a Judge in Alaska doesn't quite measure up to the standards of Begich, who happened to have the advantage of being the son of a Congressman but still couldn't put out the effort to make it through 4 years of undergrad. ">http://www.adn.com/2010/09/01/1435678/murkowski-defeat-costs-state-seniority.html?mi_pluck_action=comment_submitted&qwxq=6608879#Comments_Container"> Link


Sarah Palin's forthcoming book:
`` America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag''

With a title like that there couldn't possibly be any preening between its covers… lol


I'm moving to ">http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/russians_urged_nation_smoke_and_5wlCek8ijJwjYliTQ4mGAN"> Russia.


While you were sleeping...

Stephen Hawking figured out that The">http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/02/stephen-hawking-big-bang-creator">The Universe was Not Created by God, so I guess your Sunday's are free now for more football!

And Scientists announced that last winters massive Northern Hemisphere Snowfalls were ">http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11152077"> actually caused by Weather not by Climate. tho' no word yet on which one is responsible for the unprecedented Southern Hemisphere Freezeoff. In this PC charged climate climate you'll have to weather whether weather done it.

And Brit Archeologists have discovered that Roman soldiers in 1st Century Britain ">http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/aug/29/roman-ninth-legion-archaeology-fashion"> wore sox in their sandals so they were the first dweebs.


This guy sounds like a student of John Holdren's Malthusian ravings. And lucky us, Holdren is Obama's Science czar---very bit as enviro-terroristic as Lee.

Oldtimer @ 8:21 has it right. Here is #7 in the kook's manifesto -
"7. Develop shows that mention the Malthusian sciences about how food production leads to the overpopulation of the Human race. Talk about Evolution. Talk about Malthus and Darwin until it sinks into the stupid people's brains until they get it!!"



Am watching last nights O'Reilly re-run which has video of Barney Frank on Leno talking about legalizing pot, pot smokers, etc.

I only bring this up because when pot plants were discovered in Barney's back yard last year he said he knew nothing about it and didn't even know what it looked like. Now suddenly he knows tons about it and wants to legalize it.

My goodness he has done a lot of research in the last 12 months or so.


The news came out in 2009, but the pot bust occurred in 2007. It is sorta hard to remember because IT WASN'T REPORTED!!!
No one was overheard saying 'macaca' so it wasn't really BIG news.


Here is the Barney Frank/Leno video.

Just sickening. Money, money, money!!! The government needs more money!!! Raise money by taxing marijuana & gambling. Encourage addictions & then the government can start some more programs under the auspices of solving the problems that come from citizens being pot heads & in debt to casinos.

How about the government quit spending, spending, spending?

Melinda Romanoff


It's not your money, remember that, and your anxiety will just ebb away.

Or so I'm told by my lovely Senator Durbin.


"Lovely Senator Durbin.

" you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."

Lovely is not the word I would use to describe Sen Durbin.


With physical safety, I've gotta buckle my seat belt, wear a helmet, eat right, get my fat ass moving, etc. for the good of society. So society doesn't have to pay for my recklessness.
But with sorta moral safety guards the mantra is "we must have freedom"! Freedom to gamble, do drugs, visit the gay bath houses, deconstruct marriage, etc.. Who cares about the cost to society.
Physical safety is #1 if there is no God, & this earthly life is it for us. Moral safety is #1 if there is a God & we care about the next generation & eternity more than indulging our every whim.
More gambling & pot smoking can NOT be a good thing for society.


That defense brief in favor of Al Quahtani, well you know how I feel about thatparticular clan, that sought to murder Durbin and the other Senators, was really abysmal. Coud we have Zombie Charles Percy back in that seat.

In the LUN, Gamal and Rauf, seem to make friends "all around," it makes one wonder what other projects the community board has approved

Melinda Romanoff


As we used to say about our late Rep. Rostenkowski, "Sure he's a thief, but he's OUR thief."

It used to be funny, not any more.

Melinda Romanoff


I'd take Zombie Ev Dirksen over Zombie Chuck Percy (especially since he's still alive) any day.


Is he now, I'd though he'd passed on, but yes
Zombie Dirksen is just fine. 'a billion here,
a billion there, . . .brains"


Jay Cost's first daily report is up now. Makes quite the fool of Nate Silver (admittedly easy to do). LUN


Last week I began to notice more of a national interest in the Barney Frank v Sean Bielat race - much like it happened with Scott Brown. As with Brown, the national interest came relatively late compared to what was going on in MA.

I suspect Barney is trying to campaign in his own special way by going on Leno. Leno ought to ask Sean Bielat to come on as well.


Some of Nate's "inimical wisdom" is on display, in his work in Esquire, a kind of additional torture, in dentist office, one was the demographic certainty that Republican
were dead as a doornail, after a few months, it was Republicans could only come back by
promising high taxes, there was no third followup

Rick Ballard

Romer's Farewell

Summary: Unexpectedly

Keynote: But I desperately hope

Analysis: She sincerely believes that macroeconomic models have a utility despite the evidence provided to her by reality over the past three years. Until macroeconomic models allow input of "Kendonesian commie elected" as a variable she's going to be surprised by every sunrise. Her apologia is also self referential in that she resorts to model output (as does the CBO) as "evidence" regarding the efficacy of policy measures taken. She does so without a hint of self awareness concerning the fact that the models have had no predictive value in the current mess.

The fact that President Alfred E. Neuman appointed Wile E. Coyote as his chief economic adviser isn't too surprising. One might wonder what's in the new box from the ACME Economic Team sitting on his desk. It's just a shame that we're going to find out the hard way.


Well she threw out all her research on tax and fiscal policy, in favor of this new fangled 'alchemy' of stimulus spending. "Where is Beeks," I mean Goolsbee, been hiding himself, or will it be the return of Gene Spurling


“You go to a meeting with him I’m told, businessmen are invited to meet him at the White House, he hauls out the damn teleprompter, and he reads it to them.”

LMAO!!!! Get rid of that damn teleprompter.

But, but, Chrissy, if he did that then you would see what his real I.Q. is! Be careful what you ask for lefties.

Well, at least she knows where the blame lies.  Why doesn't she highlight if for hoi polloi?

Wow, Rick, Romer flys right over 'regulatory failures and unsound practices that contributed to a housing bubble'.


The same Chris Matthews that said, "... it's a Great Gatbsy country, you can actually create your own identity and become a person. This guy Barack Obama, not to get too basic about it, did everything right."

The identity has been created alright...it is being fed to Barack via a teleprompter.


TOTUS needs a raise 'combat pay" and a vacation, Matthews is just figuring this out now

Rob Crawford

I see Bubu is back.

Poor little bigoted twerp. Can't extricate himself from the "honey trap".



good pick up Rick, as usual. It would be funny except for the fact that we the taxpayers are stuck with the joke. C Romer packs her academic bags and econometric models 20 months ago to help ACME left-wing politicians fix the economy. She, and they fail, so she packs her bags and models again and heads back to academia where the real world won't intrude on her models, only like-minded left-wing peer reviewers--oh boy are they peers. Oh, and her failure becomes epic fail for us taxpayers in a deflating world, who are stuck with the 3+ TRILLION DOLLAR debt she and ACME drummed drummed up. What a disgrace.

A Conservative Teacher

You're so wrong- a 'Tea Bagger' is liberal code for 'anything that I disagree with all looked at uncritically and unthinkingly', so by that logic, the guy was a tea bagger.


Speaking of which, here's more about the 'teabagger' by that criteria, in the LUN


Sean Trende has bad news for the Dems:

Bigger Than 1994

There has been a flurry of political stories in recent weeks about the electoral difficulties Democrats face this fall. It seems Washington is finally catching on to the fact that the Democrats' hold on the House is in dire jeopardy, and that a 1994-style, 52-seat pickup is a real possibility.

But this should not come as a surprise, as the data have been pointing to Democratic losses in the 50-seat range in the House for some time now. Washington continues to be disconnected from the political reality that the polls and the electorate have been sending consistently over the past year. After all, the deterioration in Democratic fortunes has not just recently put the House in play. In a piece written in April, I explored how bad things could get for Democrats:

So how bad could 2010 get for the Democrats? Let me say upfront that I tend to agree with analysts who argue that if we move into a "V"-shaped recovery and President Obama's job approval improves, Democratic losses could be limited to twenty or twenty-five seats.

That said, I think those who suggest that the House is barely in play, or that we are a long way from a 1994-style scenario are missing the mark. A 1994-style scenario is probably the most likely outcome at this point. Moreover, it is well within the realm of possibility - not merely a far-fetched scenario - that Democratic losses could climb into the 80 or 90-seat range.

The country has not enjoyed a "V"-shaped recovery; rather, economic analysts are now seriously debating whether a double-dip recession is coming. President Obama's job approval ratings have declined, rather than improved. The Democratic party's standing in the generic ballot has declined as well.

From that same piece in April:

The RCP Average has Republicans leading Democrats by 2.8 points on the generic ballot test. That should equate roughly to a 225-seat Republican majority (Republicans won the national vote by 5 points in 1994), which would almost represent a 50-seat pickup.

But many of these polls survey registered voters. Polling among likely voters, such as Rasmussen Reports, shows Republicans up by about 8-10 points, which would probably represent a seventy-seat pickup.

And the polls of the most highly energized voters are even worse for Democrats. Recent NBC/WSJ polling found that Democrats led by three points among registered voters. But among those most interested in the November elections, Republicans led by 13 points.

This reminds me of the polling that showed Martha Coakley up 15 points in early January, but which also showed her and Scott Brown tied among those most interested in the race.

In reality, barring some major and dramatic turnaround in the political landscape, the 50 seat GOP wave has now in many ways moved closer to the floor for Democratic losses. With the economy continuing to flounder and with fewer than 60 days until Election Day, the potential for a once-in-a-century type of wave that would lead to GOP gains in the 60-90 seat range is increasing.

The latest Gallup generic ballot tracking finds that, among registered voters, Republicans are leading by ten points, 51 percent to 41 percent. Three of the four highest leads for the GOP since Gallup began tracking the generic ballot in 1942 have been measured in the past month alone (and Republicans won the House seven times during those intervening years, with as many as 246 seats which would be a 68 seat pickup today).

Moreover, this is a poll of registered voters. This poll only partially accounts for a massive 25-point "enthusiasm gap" between the parties (highly enthusiastic partisans are more likely to answer a phone and sit through a survey). If Gallup had been using a likely voter screen, it would likely have shown upwards of a 14 point lead for the GOP. The last time a party won the national vote by fourteen points was in 1964, when the Democrats won 295 seats in Congress (in 1974 they won the national vote by 17 points and won 291 seats).

Nor is this cherry-picking the data. The RCP Generic Ballot Average, which is predominately comprised of registered voter polls, for the Democrats currently stands at a +4.8 percent edge for the Republicans. That probably translates to a 8 to 10 point edge for Republicans among the actual electorate.

What makes this election cycle so devastating for the Democrats is that the Republicans have had their numbers reduced so severely in the past two cycles. Republicans were reduced to 42.5 percent of the popular vote in 2008 - their lowest total since 1974. Their share of the two party vote (i.e. just Republicans and Democrats) was 44.5 percent. Even a dead-cat bounce in a neutral environment would have netted the Republicans twenty seats after plumbing those depths.

As a result, if the GOP were to win the national vote by ten points this year - again, roughly what the RCP Average suggests when transformed into a likely voter model - that would represent over a ten point gain for the GOP over the course of a single election. A gain in the popular vote of that magnitude in a single cycle hasn't occurred since 1932, when Democrats jumped from 45.9 percent of the popular vote to 56.2 percent of the popular vote, netting 97 seats in the process.

There is one danger for Republicans here. The high enthusiasm gap means that their base voters are extremely likely to vote. But turning out new voters in places like the Birmingham suburbs (R+29) or Midland/Odessa (R+28) does the GOP no good in House races, although in certain states it could have a significant effect on Senate and Governor races.

In other words, Republicans might have a very inefficient vote distribution. This problem continually afflicted the GOP in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Republicans came very close to winning the national popular vote in 1966 (1 point), 1968 (2 points), 1972 (4 points), 1980 (3 points), and 1986 (3 points). Yet they never won more than 44% of the seats in Congress, because their vote was concentrated in a few districts. A similar effect could potentially deny the GOP the truly massive gains that a double-digit national vote victory would suggest.

Right now, the idea of gains in excess of 60 seats for the GOP is unthinkable to many. Gains of that magnitude haven't happened in over 80 years. But unthinkability is not evidence. What actual evidence we have reminds us that no political party has hit the trifecta of a lousy economy, an opposition at its nadir (in terms of seat loss), and an overly ambitious Presidential agenda in over 80 years. All these macro factors are pointing to a massive GOP blowout, and they will not be changing between now and November. The Democrats need to hope that the micro factors save them from a once-in-a-century storm.


Libertarian David Harsanyi wants to know, and he has some pertinent questions and observations:

Should U.S. Military Be Nation Building?

In the 1959 film "The Mouse That Roared," an imaginary European nation called the Duchy of Grand Fenwick declares war on the U.S. "There isn't a more profitable undertaking for any country than to declare war on the United States and to be defeated," explains the nation's military leader.

So it goes. The staunchly rational New York Times right-of-center columnist David Brooks asked readers this week how the nation-building reconstruction project in Iraq is working out.

Remarkably well, you'll be pleased to learn.

Economically, Iraq is the 12th-fastest-growing economy in the world; oil production is back; living standards are improving; about 20 million Iraqis have cell phones. When it comes to political freedom, Iraq ranks fourth in the Middle East -- which, let's be honest, is like finishing fourth in the weak NFC West.

Though no one likes to play the part of the Ugly American, isn't there a more pertinent question we should be asking ourselves? Like, "What's in it for us?"

President Barack Obama claims that the end of the combat mission is no time for victory laps. But the president, who once accused the Bush administration of intentionally sending soldiers to die in Iraq to create a political distraction, now asserts that "America is more secure."

Are we? It is far-fetched to believe that 50,000 U.S. troops remaining in Iraq in a "training and backup role" will be withdrawn by the end of 2011 as scheduled.

Recently, coordinated bombings in 13 cities across Iraq killed more than 70 people and wounded hundreds of others. If the violence continues to escalate, are these 50,000 American troops going to take a "backup role" in Iraq's ethnic and religious wars?

Doubtful. And less secure.

Our long-term presence in Iraq, in fact, is likely to impede any ability to react militarily to genuine threats. Americans don't have the appetite for it. So if the Islamic radical leadership of Iran -- which many experts believe filled the vacuum left by the toppling of Saddam Hussein -- is, as many believe, an imminent nuclear threat, we are powerless to stop it.

And if every military action in defense of U.S. interests now comes with an obligatory 10-, 20- or 40-year Marshall Plan, you've made it even more politically unpalatable.

There are other questions that make the claim "we're more secure" highly suspect. If we do leave, where is the evidence that Iraq (or Afghanistan, for that matter) will blossom into a secular democracy and an ally in the war against Islamic radicalism?

Doubtlessly, it is Islamophobic to bring this up, but Americans are dying not only in the war on terror but also to codify Shariah. Brooks claims that in Iraq, "the role of women remains surprisingly circumscribed." (Surprisingly?) Actually, that's just a polite way of saying -- and I quote directly from the Iraqi Constitution -- "Islam is the official religion of the State and it is a fundamental source of legislation."

That's one reason many of us regret our support of the Iraq war. Though I am not reflexively isolationist, I am reflexively suspicious of social engineering. And nation building is social engineering on the grandest of scales.

Decent people, no doubt, are pleased to hear that the Iraqi people are doing well. If war makes us more secure, why only Iraq and not Yemen? Or Iran? Or Cuba? Doesn't everyone deserve to live in freedom? Do not all people deserve to own cell phones and have a decent garbage disposal system?

Or do we reserve those perks for those who pretend to have WMD?

The question isn't whether nation building can work. It probably can. The question is whether it was worth it.



If you aren't violating "fair use" with respect to copyright law, you sure a re violating it with respect to the readers of these here comments.


Also OT but looks like the moderate GZM is refusing to condemn the murder of a few jews, including a pregnant one. LUN


Here's more from our 'moderate Imam, in the LUN. The Trende piece was good, although as
Laura says there always has to a 'but monkey'
the Harsanyi piece makes Brooks seems sensible, which is no mean task

Rob Crawford

Speaking of which, here's more about the 'teabagger' by that criteria, in the LUN

Why are so many conservatives attempting to let the left off the hook for this nut? The left made him; their scare stories are what he built his fantasy world around.

Yes, he was a nut. Yes, he probably would have found some other reason to commit violence.

But after listening to the endless whining from the left about how maybe, possibly, it could happen that someone might commit violence because they heard something a hair too strident from the right -- and that would mean blood on all our hands -- shouldn't the goddamn left have to live up to fifty goddamn years of telling people the world's going to end unless we give up industrial civilization?!

Rick Ballard


Thank you for the link to the "new" Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard. It's obvious that he was very constrained by the Time editors at RCP and I'm very happy to see him writing with a much more agreeable style.


Perhpas the Ivy League should begin granting formal credentials in "Scientistic Illusion". It would be an Arts degree focused upon interpretation of shadows via whatever statistical gymnastics were deemed appropriate to generate a level of correlation which could be construed (and peddled) as "evidence" of causation. With just a little effort I can foresee a brand new juice box Atmospheric Economist waving his PhD as he sits down to his desk at the WaPo or NYT.


Thanks for the Junius Boothe stuff, Melinda.

While there are crazy people who end up on the Left or on the Right - the Right seems to have more safeguards against those crazy people drawn to it acting out.

The Left seems to be more encouraging of its crazy people to push the envelope, express themselves, "who are they to judge".

Will Bunch, from Philly Inquirer, and several others lefty blogs have tied the upstate NY Mosque/teenager crime to the Ground Zero Mosque.

Sure, the actual news article they cite calls into question the comparision -- there'd been a long history of teenagers screwing around with "the cult house" - and such, but - hey - getting from A to N is much easier if you just ignore the rest of the letters.


Stack, Bedell, Bishop, that guy in Pittsburgh who's name escapes me right now, who boasted of violence on his myspace page, and now Lee,
He had already been arrested before in that building, it really is inexcusable he was allowed to get that far

Rob Crawford

While there are crazy people who end up on the Left or on the Right - the Right seems to have more safeguards against those crazy people drawn to it acting out.

Lefties admire the violent among them. They think the willingness to commit atrocities is a sign of commitment.

See, for example, the iconic status of Che Guevara.

hit and run

that guy in Pittsburgh who's name escapes me right now

I call BS. You throw a line like that in there every once in a while to make yourself look human and your memory fallible.

It's a sweet gesture.


Via JammieWearingFool .. Too funny ..

Phew! Ladies Nights Ruled Constitutional

Now I'm as anti-radical feminist as the next guy, but in the days I'd be trolling bars if I stumbled across a place where young ladies were consuming copious amounts of alcohol at bargain prices the last thing on my mind was who was the evil genius behind this scheme. In fact, during college we'd always be sure to go out with the girls to the $2 all you can drink nights since it usually meant plenty of cheap booze for us anti-feminist cavemen.


Barone's column this morning is pretty good.


No, honestly, I don't remember the name, I recall he was a huge Obama fan, liked to work out, and was a real misogynist psycho, who had been complaining because he had laid off
in recovery spring, or whatever they were calling it, last year


Wow, someone put something in Instapundit's Wheaties this morning. In response to a post at Volokh that argues Obama is still a Christain, even if he's a Marxist one:

"Some practitioners of ‘liberation theology’ (including the black liberation theology variant) may simply be Marxists looking for some broadly-appealing rhetoric to add to their political program. Other practitioners, however, may be sincerely and otherwise-orthodox Christians who truly believe in both Christianity and Marxism, and in the liberation theology fusion of the two. . . . Similarly, I would suggest that many of the pastors in slave states in antebellum America who taught that slavery was legitimate because of the slaves’ inherent racial inferiority were also sincere Christians, albeit grossly mistaken in their teachings on this matter.”

Insty responds:

And — to take things beyond the Obama question — on a similar moral plane. In fact, if you look at a Marxist Utopia — say, Cuba — what you’ll see is basically a plantation. At the top, you’ve got the Massa and his family — Fidel, Raul, et al. — followed by various layers of overseers — the Communist Party apparat, the secret police — and House Negroes — e.g., the state-controlled media — all living off the surplus labor of the Field Negroes, whose produce is disposed of not according to their own desires (that would be capitalism!) but according to their betters’. This, we’re told, is for the best, since they aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions anyway, and the Massa looks after them with food, housing, and health care. Slaveholders even defended their system as more humane and less exploitative than atomistic capitalism, conveniently ignoring the role of the lash, just as apologists for Marxism conveniently ignore the role of the gulag.

Except, for some strange reason, I think he isn't really talking about Cuba there.


In other news, four Greenpeace protesters had to be rescued from an offshore drilling rig in Greenland because of severe weather caused by an early onset of Arctic winter, according to the Guardian.

Captain Hate

Has the MFM questioned Al Gore on the influence of his dipshit pseudoscience scam on that deranged lefty yesterday?


Andrew Bostom attacks the historical foundations of the "Cordoban Initiative," and does a pretty good job--although I don't understand his failure to even mention Henry Kamen and Benzion Netanyahu, and a few other historical details that would have bolstered his already strong case:

The Cordoba House and the Myth of Cordoban ‘Ecumenism’

Imam Feisal Rauf, “founder and visionary [1]” of the Cordoba Initiative [2], apparently sees the construction of a triumphal mosque within the 9/11 World Trade Center attack’s zone of destruction [3] as a fulfillment of his vision for Islam in America. As Rauf stated in his 2004 What’s Right with Islam, a work limited to treacly Islamic propaganda:

For many centuries, Islam inspired a civilization that was particularly tolerant and pluralistic. … Great philosophers such as Maimonides were free to create their historic works within the pluralistic culture of Islam.

Rauf envisions this invented past as a model for the future “Sharia-compliant” America he desires.

Self-proclaimed “contrarian” Christopher Hitchens asserted his distaste [4] for those in charge of the Cordoba Initiative, especially Rauf, characterizing the imam’s utterances about the 9/11 atrocities as “shady and creepy.” Yet even Hitchens upheld [4] the Andalusian myth of Cordoba, calling it:

The site of an astonishing cultural synthesis, best associated with the names of Averroes ibn-Rushd and Moses Maimonides …

Hitchens gleaned this, apparently, from his reading of the pseudo-academic apologetics of María Rosa Menocal’s The Ornament of the World, which he insisted was “the finest recent book on the subject.”

Pace Hitchens’ uninformed praise, Menocal’s superficial hagiography ignores the mid-20th century studies of Evariste Levi-Provencal and Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq, and more recently Jane Gerber’s focused 1994 analysis debunking the “Golden Age” myth in Muslim Spain as:

[The] aristocratic bearing of a select class of courtiers and poets, [which consisted only of] garishly packaged … gilded moments.

Whitney Bodman, associate professor of comparative religion at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has provided [5] the most egregious misrepresentation of “Cordoban ecumenism.” He invoked it specifically to defend Imam Rauf’s GZM project and to condemn its opponents –who now represent 70% of both the U.S. [6] and New York [7] populations — for failing to understand “ … the difference between the Muslims of al-Qaeda and the Muslims of Cordoba.” Professor Bodman’s warped narrative [5] was punctuated by the utterly ahistorical claim that the purported idyllic interfaith relations and glorious cultural symbiosis of Cordoba were abruptly terminated by the Spanish Catholic Inquisition:

The name “Cordoba House” is significant. It is named after the famed medieval Spanish city of Cordoba where philosophers, mystics, artisans and poets — Muslim, Christian, and Jewish — lived and shared together. … Its libraries were vast, and the translations of Arabic works into Latin changed Europe and Christianity forever. Among the resident luminaries were Maimonides, a noted Jewish intellectual, the poet Ibn Hazm, and Averroes, the Muslim philosopher and mystic. … With the coming of the Inquisition and Christian exclusivism, the brilliance of Cordoba faded, but its significance endures as a vibrant, inter-religious community.

Reinhart Dozy (1820-1883), the great Orientalist scholar and Islamophile, wrote a four volume magnum opus (published in 1861 and translated into English by Francis Griffin Stokes in 1913) titled Histoire des Musselmans d’Espagne (A History of the Muslims in Spain). Here is Dozy’s historical account of the mid-8th century “conversion” of a Cordoban cathedral to a mosque:

All the churches in that city [Cordoba] had been destroyed except the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Vincent, but the possession of this fane [church or temple] had been guaranteed by treaty. For several years the treaty was observed; but when the population of Cordova was increased by the arrival of Syrian Arabs [i.e., Muslims], the mosques did not provide sufficient accommodation for the newcomers, and the Syrians considered it would be well for them to adopt the plan which had been carried out at Damascus, Emesa [Homs], and other towns in their own country, of appropriating half of the cathedral and using it as a mosque. The [Muslim] Government having approved of the scheme, the Christians were compelled to hand over half of the edifice. This was clearly an act of spoliation, as well as an infraction of the treaty. Some years later, Abd-er Rahman I requested the Christians to sell him the other half. This they firmly refused to do, pointing out that if they did so they would not possess a single place of worship. Abd-er Rahman, however, insisted, and a bargain was struck by which the Christians ceded their cathedral.

Indeed by the end of the eighth century, the brutal Muslim jihad conquest of North Africa and of Andalusia had imposed rigorous Maliki jurisprudence (one of the four main Sunni schools of Islamic law) as the predominant school of Muslim law. Thus, as Evariste Lévi-Provençal (1894-1956) — the greatest modern scholar of Muslim Spain, whose Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane remains a defining work — observed 75 years ago:

The Muslim Andalusian state thus appears from its earliest origins as the defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, more and more ossified in a blind respect for a rigid doctrine, suspecting and condemning in advance the least effort of rational speculation.

For example, the contemporary scholar J.M. Safran discusses an early codification of the rules of the marketplace (where Muslims and non-Muslims would be most likely to interact) written by al-Kinani (d. 901), a student of the Cordovan jurist Ibn Habib (d. 853) — “known as the scholar of Spain par excellence,” who was also one of the most ardent proponents of Maliki doctrine in Muslim Spain:

[The] problem arises of “the Jew or Christian who is discovered trying to blend with the Muslims by not wearing the riqā [cloth patch, which might be required to have an emblem of an ape for a Jew, or a pig for a Christian] or zunnār [belt].” Kinani’s insistence that Jews and Christians wear the distinguishing piece of cloth or belt required of them is an instance of a legally defined sartorial differentiation being reconfirmed. … His insistence may have had as much to do with concerns for ritual purity and food prohibitions as for the visible representation of social and political hierarchy, and it reinforced limits of intercommunal relations.

Notwithstanding Professor Bodman’s allusion [5], Ibn Hazm (d. 1064) was hardly just a Muslim “poet,” nor was he a paragon of ecumenism.

He was a viciously anti-Semitic Muslim theologian whose inflammatory writings helped incite the massive pogrom against the Jews of Granada which killed 4000, destroying the entire community in 1066. And Averroes — despite his “philosophical studies” — was also a traditionally bigoted Maliki jurist who rendered strong anti-infidel Sharia rulings and endorsed classical jihadism for the very same Almohads who eventually turned upon him.

Moreover, what Maimonides escaped in the 12th century — disguised as a Muslim — was nothing less than a full-blown Muslim Inquisition under the Muslim Almohads.

The jihad depredations of the Almohads (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations in Spain and North Africa. This devastation — massacre, captivity, and forced conversion — was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim “inquisitors” (antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries) removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators.

Ibn Aqnin (1150-1220), a renowned philosopher and commentator born in Barcelona, also fled the Almohad persecutions with his family. He escaped, like Maimonides, to Fez. Living there as a crypto-Jew, he met Maimonides, and recorded his own poignant writings about the sufferings of the Jews under Almohad rule.

Ibn Aqnin wrote during the reign of Abu Yusuf al-Mansur (r. 1184-1199), four decades after the onset of the Almohad persecutions in 1140. Thus the Jews forcibly converted to Islam were already third-generation Muslims. Despite this, al-Mansur continued to impose restrictions upon them, which Ibn Aqnin chronicles.

Expanding upon Jane Gerber’s thesis about the “garish” myth of a “Golden Age,” the late Richard Fletcher (in his Moorish Spain) offered a fair assessment of interfaith relationships in Muslim Spain and his view of additional contemporary currents responsible for obfuscating that history:

The witness of those who lived through the horrors of the Berber conquest, of the Andalusian fitnah in the early eleventh century, of the Almoravid invasion — to mention only a few disruptive episodes — must give it [i.e., the roseate view of Muslim Spain] the lie.

The simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was of tranquility. … Tolerance? Ask the Jews of Granada who were massacred in 1066, or the Christians who were deported by the Almoravids to Morocco in 1126 (like the Moriscos five centuries later). … In the second half of the twentieth century a new agent of obfuscation makes its appearance: the guilt of the liberal conscience, which sees the evils of colonialism — assumed rather than demonstrated — foreshadowed in the Christian conquest of al-Andalus and the persecution of the Moriscos (but not, oddly, in the Moorish conquest and colonization). Stir the mix well together and issue it free to credulous academics and media persons throughout the western world. Then pour it generously over the truth … in the cultural conditions that prevail in the west today the past has to be marketed, and to be successfully marketed it has to be attractively packaged. Medieval Spain in a state of nature lacks wide appeal. Self-indulgent fantasies of glamour … do wonders for sharpening up its image. But Moorish Spain was not a tolerant and enlightened society even in its most cultivated epoch.

But far more alarming than the corrosive apologetics about medieval Muslim Spain are the expressed ideas and tangible behaviors of “moderate” Muslims actively promoting modern Spain’s re-Islamization.

For example, events surrounding the completion of the new Granada mosque were marked by celebratory announcements on July 10, 2003, of a “return of Islam to Spain.” At a conference entitled “Islam in Europe [8]” that accompanied the opening of the mosque, disconcerting statements were made by European Muslim leaders. Specifically, the keynote speaker at this conference, Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, a Spanish Muslim leader, encouraged Muslims to cause an economic collapse of Western economies (by ceasing to use Western currencies and switching to gold dinars). The German Muslim leader Abu Bakr Rieger told Muslim attendees to avoid adapting their Islamic religious practices to accommodate European (i.e., Western Enlightenment?) values.

Writing in the immediate aftermath of the Madrid 2004 train bombings, Islamic scholar Mordechai Nisan discussed the contention by the “moderate” founder of the Institute of Islamic Education, M. Amir Ali, that medieval Spain had actually been “liberated” by Muslim forces [9], who “deposed its tyrants.” Nisan extrapolated this ahistorical narrative line, and pondered:

Reflecting on March 11 [2004] as Muslim terrorism killed 200 and wounded 1,400 in Madrid, one wonders whether one day this event will also not be commemorated as a liberating moment.

We must also ponder whether Imam Feisal Rauf, whose 2004 What’s Right with Islam was published and marketed in Muslim Malaysia as A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Da’wah [Proselytization] From the Heart of America Post-9/11 [10], considers the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11 a similarly “liberating” occasion.

Danube of Thought
At the time of Senator McCain’s birth, the pertinent citizenship provision prescribed that “[a]ny child hereafter born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such child is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.” Act of May 24, 1934, Pub. L. No. 73-250, 48 Stat. 797. The Supreme Court has interpreted the phrase “out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States” in this statute to be the converse of the phrase “in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” in the Fourteenth Amendment, and therefore to encompass all those not granted citizenship directly by the Fourteenth Amendment. [Footnote: United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 687 (1898) (“The words ‘in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ in the first sentence of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution, must be presumed to have been understood and intended by the Congress which proposed the amendment ... [as] the converse of the words ‘out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States,’ as habitually used in the naturalization acts.”)]

Under this view, Senator McCain was a citizen at birth. In 1937, to remove any doubt as to persons in Senator McCain’s circumstances in the Canal Zone, Congress enacted 8 U.S.C. 1403(a), which declared that persons in Senator McCain’s circumstances are citizens by virtue of their birth, thereby retroactively rendering Senator McCain a natural born citizen, if he was not one already. This order finds it highly probable, for the purposes of this motion for provisional relief, that Senator McCain is a natural born citizen. Plaintiff has not demonstrated the likelihood of success on the merits necessary to warrant the drastic remedy he seeks.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup (N.D. Cal), in an order dismissing the complaint in Robinson v. Bowen, Septeber 17, 2008.

Rob Crawford

Except, for some strange reason, I think he isn't really talking about Cuba there.

He's not just talking about Cuba.

Dave (in MA)

Is there anyone who reads anduril's paste in the entire Internet posts?


I womdered what kind of a fool, would file such a stupid lawsuit, answer, the head of
the party that Alan Keyes was on the ballot for in 2008, I know it was news to me as well

Captain Hate

Speaking of lawsuits, here's another winner from Steadman Shabazz Holder:

In the new suit, filed Monday, the Justice Department says Phoenix-area Maricopa Community Colleges (MCC) discriminated against almost 250 noncitizen job applicants by requiring them to fill out more documents than the law requires to prove their eligibility to work.

It’s “unlawful to treat authorized workers differently during the hiring process based on their citizenship status,” said Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in a statement. The government is “acting now to remedy this pattern or practice of discrimination.”


--In response to a post at Volokh that argues Obama is still a Christain, even if he's a Marxist one:--

The tenets of Marxism cannot be reconciled with Christianity as Marxism is entirely materialistic and concerned solely with the pursuit of an unobtainable and false physical heaven on earth through confiscating other's wealth.
A smart guy once put it this way:

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Danube of Thought

Excellent pre-election stuff from Pat Caddell here.


Dave (in MA): anduril is a sick puppy. Most of us just ignore him. The more you complain, the worse he behaves.

Jack is Back!

Good news:

I have it on good authority that TM has purchased the CashWord app for Typepad.

The way it works is that it counts the number of original text to copy and paste text. The differential is then charged at a rate of 20 cents per word. Soon we will have to re-log in and register using a debit or credit card so that TM can be able to assess the penalty of un-original thought and expression. LUN's will not be affected and bandwidth will be optimized.

I like the fact that more and more original thought will be expressed as it normally is here by 99.9% or JOMers.

Did I mention that all copy and paste text that is in Bold will be excised an additional 10 cents per word?


Sure, but that doesn't affect "Spunkmeyer" who's special brand of logic, needs a high
pressure hose, to clean off.

OT, btw, all of you from hit to DAve and TC, stay safe, with earl's approach


I just got my boots from The Boot Campaign! They are so excellent!! I have no idea where I will ever wear them, but they are wonderful! Maybe I'll be clop, clopping down Constitution Ave. for the 9-12 Tea Party!

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