California, New York and Massachusetts are not red states, and they are barometers of just how disastrous even one year of Obama has been for America. Schwarzenegger, Patterson and Bloomberg are not tea party activists. They are liberals, though two of them are officially Republicans, who were thrilled by Obama and were happy to be his allies. What turned them around is Obama's complete disregard for the impact of his policies at a state level.
To Obama, there is only the federal, the centralized government that he and his congressional allies control. Despite being a State Senator, he doesn't see things at the local level, and that has proven to be the biggest public achilles heel for his health plan, which took the worst of its beatings at the Town Halls, and took its wound from Brown's completely unpredictable populist victory in MA.
While Obama has predictably enough tried to reorient himself in a populist direction, making noises about the "banks" again (you know those banks he bailed out), comparing himself to Scott Brown and heading to the rust belt to talk jobs (as I predicted in my last article) -- the party itself is in chaos as the left predictably enough battles the conservative democrats again.
First we had Howard Dean making the rounds to argue that Scott Brown won because MA voters wanted the public option... and sent the message by voting against a candidate who supported the public option. You know things are bad when Chris Matthews is laughing at the former head of the Democratic party who keeps robotically repeating talking points that he himself is smart enough to know is complete insanity.
NOW, almost as incoherently, blamed the Democratic party patriarchy for having too many male Conservative Democrats in western states... which somehow had something with Coakley's loss. In turn newly emboldened Conservative Democrats are flirting with at least paying lip service to lifting the EPA's carbon fist. And middle of the road, but slightly to the right, media types like Zuckerman and Noonan, are also writing carefully worded slams of Obama.
All this can only increase the divide within the Democratic party, with the public option looking like it may become the next Iraq War for the Democratic party. We're only a step away from the nutroots trying to run in primary challenges against conservative democrats, which would be their own Waterloo.
On Scott Brown, the Democrats have had two responses. The dominant party one is cautious respect for his populist showing, from Obama on down. The other is the usual left wing dementia, as embodied by Olbermann and the wonderful outlets of the left like Huffpo, which are busy trying to smear his wife and daughters.
This strategy is incomprehensibly stupid, bypasses the actual candidate, and can only be explained by an uncontrollable rage to hurt Brown and the inability to shift gears from their sexist attacks on Palin.
The big challenge for all the wings of the Democratic party is to reconcile the growing public distrust of government and big government solutions, and concern about spending and the deficit, with their agenda, and naturally they aren't very good at it.
The natural instinct in D.C. is to tackle any problem by spending more money. "Got a deficit." "Let's fix it by spending more money." This isn't parody, this is Nobel Prize winning Enron adviser Paul Krugman doing his best to convince the Democrats to turn all of America into Enron. How then do you fix a problem in which people are concerned about too much government regulation and spending?
You spend more money. Obama's brand new outreach program naturally relies on more spending programs, more bread and circuses aimed at the 'interests' of independent voters. Essentially Obama is going the Krugman route but on a slightly more manageable budget, than Krugman's enronesque plans.
He can't seriously address concerns about spending, because his only approach to any problem is to spend more money. That's like trying to cure an alcoholic of drinking by offering him different flavors of booze. It obviously isn't going to work, and the only people it can win over, are the people who directly benefit from the programs. And not all of them either.
Considering the track record of Obama's job creation work until now, the odds of him reversing the trends that got him into this mess are low. Particularly if he continues ignoring what state governments are telling him about their budgets.
Continuing the roundup, the DNC talking points depend on Democrats deciding that Republicans are now responsible for governing. Of course the thing is a mess of blaming Bush, whining about how hard things are for the poor no-longer supermajority, and formulating incomprehensible sentences.
While Senator-elect Brown's victory changes the political math in the Senate, it does not change the challenges are country faces or the need to address them.
Translation: We still need to pass our agenda, no matter what.
Senate Republicans have an obligation to the American people to join us in governing our nation through these difficult times and to help clean up the mess they left behind.
Translation: It's all Bush's fault... but wait wasn't there a Dem majority since 06? Can a situation of 4 years really be blamed on Senate Republicans? Isn't it the DNC's hacks are actually took on some of the accountability.
It is mathematically impossible for Democrats to pass legislation on our own. Senate Republicans to come to the table with ideas for improving our nation and not obstructionist tactics.
Is it just me or does this paragraph make no actual sense? The DNC needs to spend more money on proofreaders.
Saying "no" might be a good political strategy but it does nothing to create jobs or help improve the lives of struggling Americans.
Translation: Saying "no" is a great political strategy, but we have no idea how to say no to ourselves, so let's trot out the dust bowl rhetoric again.
We understand that there is great anger, anxiety and frustration among voters as the economy continues its recovery.
Translation: We understand that voters are crazy, stupid and dangerous, and we're becoming afraid of them. But don't worry, there's light at the end of the tunnel!
That is why Senate Democrats will continue to do everything that we can to strengthen our economy, put Americans back to work, reform Wall Street and address the health care crisis.
Translation: We understand that voters are angry, so we're going to piss them off some more, and hopefully if we talk about creating jobs, they'll ignore everything we're saying.
Failing to raise the debt limit would undermine our nation's credit worthiness, badly weaken our economy and put Social Security and veterans benefits at risk.
Translation: Failing to raise the debt limit would prevent us from continuing to spend like drunken sailors, and if we can't spend like drunken sailors how are we going to go on undermining our nation's credit worthiness, social security and veteran's benefits? How?
Republicans squandered those surpluses by spending wildly on massive tax breaks for the wealthy and special interests, leaving President Obama with a $1.3 trillion deficit on the day he took office last year.
Translation: Democrats of course had nothing to do with any of the spending. Also there was a Dem majority in congress years before Obama took office. In fact there was one during Obama's term in the Senate.
Senate Democrats didn't create this problem - we are simply cleaning up the fiscal mess that we inherited from the last Administration in order to avoid the economic catastrophe that would be created if the United States defaulted on our debt.
Translation: And we're cleaning it up by wildly increasing the nation's spending in order to create a whole new economic catastrophe for the Republicans to clean up. Ha ha.
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid
Increasing the debt limit does not authorize a single penny of new spending - it allows the government to pay bills already incurred.
Translation: When we authorize new spending, we'll just raise the debt limit again. And again. For the hungry veterans of course. Not for Pelosi's gulf stream jets.
Standing against this measure would demonstrate yet again that Senate Republicans have no real plan to solve our nation's economic challenges they helped create.
Translation: Standing against this measure means we're screwed.
Republicans, now more than ever, have a responsibility to work with us to move our nation forward with economic policies that continue us on the path to recovery.
Translation: Help us, Republicans. We hate you so much.
In other tragic news, Air America is shutting down. Yes again. Randi Rhodes has been seen standing around with a sign reading, "Will Bash Bush for Food."
Also Iran declares that the era of mercy is over for protesters. Apparently in Iran, homosexual rape and shooting young girls on the street is actually merciful. Clearly we need to negotiate more with these people.
In more happy fuzzy news from Iran, Jordanian investigations appear to suggest that Iran and Al Queda collaborated on an attack on an Israeli convoy.
Last week's failed attempt on the lives of Israeli diplomats in Jordan was apparently carried out on instructions from Teheran, sources close to Jordan's General Intelligence Department (GID) revealed on Monday.
The sources said the GID was investigating the possibility that the explosives used in the attack had been smuggled into the kingdom by Iranian diplomats.
The attack itself was apparently carried out by local al-Qaida supporters who received money and explosives from Iran, the sources said.
So to sum up, Iran has gotten fairly cozy with Al Queda. This however should not at all discourage us from doing nothing while they develop nuclear weapons. But fear not, the Fruits of Kaboom are sure to come to the rescue.
Under the glorious gloriousness of Islamic law, a 13 year old girl who had been raped was stoned to death in Somalia.
An innocent little girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, aged only 13yrs was stoned to death in Somalia. She pleaded for her life, a witness explained. "Don't kill me, don't kill me," she cried, according to the man who wanted to remain anonymous. Numerous eye-witnesses say she was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck then pelted with stones by over than 50 men until she died in front of 1,000 jeering spectators. She had been accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law, but sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men, and had attempted to report this rape.
Now, mind you that not very long ago major newspapers were carrying op eds blaming Somali instability on Bush backing the Ethiopian government's push to force the Islamic Courts that are carrying this out, from power. Op Eds that read that the Somali Islamic Courts provided law and order there.
This is what their law and order looks like. But don't worry, the mainstream media is on it.
There are 13 news stories about a protest by left wing anarchists in Israel against Jewish housing in Jerusalem (what the media is now describing as East Jerusalem settlements.) There are three mentions of the 13 year old girl, two in UK papers, and one in the Los Angeles times.
Only the Guardian seems to have even bothered covering the story in any detail, by repeating the Amnesty report.
Amnesty International said the al-Shabab militia, which controls the southern port city of Kismayo, arranged for a group of 50 men to stone Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow in front of a crowd of about 1,000 spectators. A lorryload of stones was brought to the stadium for the killing.
"At one point during the stoning, Amnesty International has been told by numerous eyewitnesses that nurses were instructed to check whether Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was still alive when buried in the ground. They removed her from the ground, declared that she was, and she was replaced in the hole where she had been buried for the stoning to continue," the human rights group said.
But while the media couldn't be bothered to run this story, there are numerous stories bashing Israel over the tiniest of details. No bias there, just the moral low ground.
In other news, the Saudis are increasing their stake in FOX. Ron Paul likes terrorists. And an 80 year old Saudi man married an 11 year old girl, who is also his cousin's daughter.
The father, who took 85,000 riyals (more than $22,000) in dowry, defended his decision to marry off his 11-year-old daughter even though his wife vehemently objected.
"I don't care about her age," he told the paper. "Her health and her body build make her fit for marriage. I also don't care what her mother thinks."
Remind me again how well feminism and Islam work together?
The ACT Midwestern newsletter reveals that the Little Rock shooting may have been Al Queda affiliated as well.
Ted Belman at Israpundit argues that population exchange may be an ideal solution for Israel.
Finally Treppenwitz has a disturbing look at life for Jews in England...
As I mentioned in a previous post, Jews in the U.K. seem to be fairly equally split between being actively critical of the Jewish State, and being apologetically supportive of it (albeit in the safe privacy of their homes and synagogues).
Those who are apologetically supportive often utter phrases like "Of course I love and support Israel, but...", at which point they will list off Israel's real or imagined human rights abuses and crimes of occupation, all of which, they will tell you, make it extremely difficult for them to defend Israel to their non-Jewish friends and co-workers.
Those who are openly critical of Israel simply dispense with the preamble about supporting Israel and launch right into a barely controlled rage about the apartheid-like imprisonment of the Palestinian people, and present thinly veiled justifications for all manner of terror against Israel by the Arabs. This is all the more shocking because it is delivered in extremely cultured, terribly polite, perfectly constructed paragraphs that only well-educated Brits seem able to manage.
For the most part, the British Jewish community seems to keep their collective heads down and try to fit in with their countrymen as best they can. Sadly, in many cases this means trying to be more British than the Brits.
Not only is there a serious problem with passive anti-Semitism in the UK, but active anti-Semitic attacks seem also to be quite prevalent and on the rise.
While I was at Limmud I noticed that security was being handled by an organization called CST. They were literally everywhere on campus, guarding all the doors, wandering the grounds, checking IDs of everyone going in or out. On the one hand, it was nice to see them taking security so seriously. But on the other, we were in the middle of Coventry on a closed university campus during Christmas break. Did anyone even know/care that there were Jews in the area?!
When I asked someone about this they explained that CST was the organization that guarded the synagogues all over London (and presumably in other places in the UK) and that 'normal' life for British Jews was not something an American or Israeli Jew could easily understand.
I was shocked. In the US there are occasional hate crimes against JCCs and synagogues... mostly of the spray-painted Swastika sort. But in England I was seeing a relatively small Jewish community where blanket security was required everywhere that Jews gathered in any numbers.