Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York


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You can hear my appearance, yesterday, on "The Conservative Hispanic" here.




STOLEN ELECTION? – AT 7:39 P.M. ET:  The late comedian, Red Buttons, used to feature a segment on his TV show introduced by a song called "Strange Things are Happening."  And they are, right here in America, a week before a major election.  Investor's Business Daily Reports:

'It can't happen here," most Americans would say about the chances of voting one way and seeing your votes recorded the opposite. But that's what happened in early voting in North Carolina's unfortunately named Craven County last week.

Voter Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern found that "an electronic voting machine completed his straight-party ticket for the opposite of what he intended," the New Bern Sun Journal reported.

Laughinghouse "pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked," the local paper reported. "He cleared the screen and tried again with the same result."

Election personnel eventually straightened it out, but clearly a less observant Republican voter would have inadvertently voted for every Democrat on his ballot.


In Boulder City, Nev., meanwhile, where voters use computer screens, another disturbing episode was reported by Fox News. When voter Joyce Ferrara and her husband went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, they — and several others, according to Ferrara — found that Democratic incumbent Harry Reid's name was already checked. The county registrar's explanation: The high-tech voting screens are sensitive.

The Nevada case is especially disturbing because the seat of the most powerful Democrat in the Senate is at stake.

COMMENT:  There are many, many close races to be decided next week.  Late polls today show a number of races tightening, with Democrats making some, but limited gains.  The temptation to cheat is great.

Remember the recent charge that Eric Holder's Justice Department is refusing to prosecute voter fraud cases when the defendant is a minority?  You can be sure that charge has been absorbed by politicians in some big cities, where fraud can often decide an election.  We think especially of St. Louis and Chicago, with a bit of Philly thrown in.  What risk is there of cheating, when you know you won't be pursued by the Justice Department?

The issue of voter fraud should be taken very seriously.  The man in the White House reperesents a notorious big-city machine.  I would not be shocked if cries of "fraud" are heard across the political landscape next Tuesday night, possibly in the tight Illinois race for Obama's old Senate seat and in the tight Senate race in Pennsylvania.

October 26, 2010      Permalink

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SETBACK – AT 7:16 P.M. ET:  Carly Fiorina, Republican candidate for the Senate from California, has suffered a personal setback.  From The Politico:

California Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina has been hospitalized with an infection related to her post-breast-cancer surgery, according to her campaign.

Fiorina was admitted to an unspecified Los Angeles hospital Tuesday morning to receive antibiotics, according to a statement released by her chief of staff, Deborah Bowker. The illness takes Fiorina off the campaign trail at a crucial time in her tough contest with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

"While this will impact her campaign schedule today, Carly is upbeat, and her doctors expect her to make a quick and full recovery and be back out on the campaign trail soon," Bowker said.

COMMENT:  It may seem cold to consider the political implications of this, but we must.  It reminds voters that Carly isn't entirely recovered.  No one has to say anything.  This can't be good.  Latest polls show Carly four points behind Boxer, and she won't be out delivering her message.

We wish her well.  She didn't deserve this.

October 26, 2010       Permalink

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QUOTE OF THE DAY – AT 9:47 A.M. ET:  Juan Williams was fired by NPR last week for not having the opinions assigned to him by liberal white society.  Among other things, he expressed a certain apprehension when seeing Muslims aboard an airliner – an emotion the great majority of Americans probably experience.

Juan was accued of intolerance.  I'm sure the word "Islamophobia," now trendy on the left, was thrown around.

Well, ever hear of Molly Norris?  She's a West Coast cartoonist who suggested a "draw Mohammed" day.  The result?  She's had to go into hiding to avoid being killed.  I haven't seen much protest about this from the guardians of our civil discourse.  Have you?  David Harsanyi, of the Denver Post, notes:

If you can ever find the Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris ask her about religious tolerance. Norris has reportedly gone "ghost" after finding herself on an Islamic terror hit list for her insulting cartoon. (Let me know when a journalist makes an atheist, Mormon or papal hit list.)

Free speech didn't exactly work out that well for Molly. There was only a faint outcry about her predicament. The tolerance crowd was busy smearing anyone who didn't like idea of a mosque near ground zero a bigot.

That's OK, most cartoonists understand that nearly every topic is open to them. Nearly.

And since most of us still enjoy nearly unlimited free expression, perhaps NPR will explain its reverence to open dialogue at some point during the next 600 hours of shilling for charity.

Perhaps NPR can even take a few moments to explain to American Muslims why they're thought of as children who can't handle the slightest perceived politically incorrect comment.

And maybe they can carve out a few minutes for groups that instigated and rationalize shutting down journalists. Perhaps they can explain how they perceive themselves "liberal." It seems to be a misnomer for the ages.

Sure is.  Liberalism ain't what it used to be.  The phonies of the left eventually destroy themselves, but do a great deal of damage on their path to self-destruction.  NPR, with its huge infusion of funds from George Soros, may turn out to be one of the most damaging of institutions.

October 26, 2010       Permalink

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RAHMING IT THROUGH – AT 9:07 A.M. ET:  Rahm Emanuel's path to the mayor's office in Chicago has gotten progressively easier.  That's an important job because the mayor of Chicago is a traditional kingmaker in the Democratic Party.  From The Politico:

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., saddled by his ties to disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and a relationship with a female “social acquaintance,” has opted not to run for mayor of Chicago.

The decision by the Democratic congressman to sit out the race means former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, considered a frontrunner, has one less opponent to fend off in his bid for the mayor’s office, which he has long coveted.

Jackson’s announcement, in a statement Monday, makes him the second congressman in as many weeks to choose not to join the crowded field taking shape to replace longtime Mayor Richard M. Daley. Rep. Luis Gutierrez also said no.

Both Jackson and Gutierrez had considered running for mayor before, even when it would have meant a primary challenge against Daley, but did not.

COMMENT:  Emanuel is hardly popular in the Chicago Democratic machine, and he's not a member of one of the ethnic groups that traditionally competes for power.  So he still will face competition.  But the heavy hitters have struck out before him.  "Mayor Rahm" doesn't sound so unusual. 

I don't think an Emanuel mayoralty will make much difference in the 2012 presidential election, as Obama would probably take Illinois pretty easily, without Rahm's help.  But beyond that...

October 26, 2010      Permalink

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THE STANDINGS – AT 8:45 A.M. ET:  With a week to go, the standings in the polls remain remarkably stable.

In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey has restored his momentum.  The Morning Call tracker now puts him up eight.

But the Connecticut Senate race looks grim, with Quinnipiac confirming other polls and putting Blumenthal up 12 over McMahon.  Linda McMahon was on TV last night reminding us that Scott Brown was behind in the polls by an even greater margin at this time in his campaign.  Yeah, true, but Linda isn't Scott Brown, unfortunately, although she's run a very respectable campaign.  Hope for a miracle.

RealClearPolitics pegs the House at 222 Republicans, 180 Dems and 33 toss ups.  It takes 218 for a majority.  But RCP pegs the Senate at 48 Dems, 44 Republicans and 8 toss ups, unchanged in days.

And note this, from David Paul Kuhn at RCP:

Republicans are likely to have the advantage drawing congressional seats for the first time since the modern redistricting process began in the 1980s.

Welcome to the furthest reaches of the coming Republican wave. The GOP is on track to win at least the House in one week. But the story extends far beyond Washington. Republicans' gains in the states will likely match those in Congress, or possibly exceed them.

There'll probably be more polls later today.

October 26, 2010       Permalink

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Well, actually we'll just know if the Republicans will get a chance at bat.   I suspect they will. 

One big question this morning:  How much impact will the "enthusiasm gap" have?  From USA Today:

One week before Election Day, Democrats face a record-setting "enthusiasm gap" that positions energized Republicans to score sweeping victories in next week's congressional elections, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

Despite across-the-country rallies by President Obama and get-out-the-vote efforts by his allies, only 37% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning registered voters report more enthusiasm than usual about voting, a decline from early in the year.

Meanwhile, 63% of Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters say they are more enthusiastic than usual, the biggest advantage for either party on this key measure in any midterm election since Gallup began asking the question in 1994. Then, Republicans had a 9-point enthusiasm advantage in a year Democrats lost control of the U.S. House and Senate.

Now, the enthusiasm gap is 26 points.

COMMENT:  Goody.  Let it grow, let it grow.  Everything this week will be devoted to the "ground game," the get-out-the-vote effort.  Democrats generally have an edge in that game, but the enthusiasm gap may well dull that edge considerably. 

Dick Morris said last night that if a Republican is a few points behind a Dem incumbent at this point, the Republican is likely to win.  I think that's true.  The extra enthusiasm has got to be worth those points, and more.  I hope it is worth those points in, especially, California and Washington state, so that Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray can plan retirement parties.  Maybe a joint party.  They're very big on communal efforts on the left. 

October 26, 2010     Permalink

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BULLETIN:  PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES REJECTS ROYAL CONNECTION – AT 8:06 P.M. ET:  Explaining to a Hispanic audience why he hasn't gotten immigration reform through, President Obama made a concession today that will rock the political world and disillusion his remaining passionate supporters – all six of them.   

“My cabinet has been working very hard on trying to get it done, but ultimately, I think somebody said the other day, I am president, I am not king."

I'm just shocked at this, and a little bit hurt.  I thought he was king.  I wish he wouldn't spoil the illusion like this.  Don't you agree?

What is he going to say next – "I'm not God?"  That'll really do it.  I mean, who would support him after a zinger like that?  But I really don't think he'll go that far.  After all, he wants to be faithful to his self-image.  And, while it's true that he hasn't turned water into wine, he has turned prosperity into poverty, and let's not underestimate that.  And he has turned tens of millions of supporters into opponents.  How many of those Bible guys did that

So, okay, I'll buy it:  The king part is gone, but the Heavenly part...we're hangin' on.

October 25, 2010      Permalink

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NOW WE KNOW – AT 7:44 P.M. ET:  I've been worrying about this recently.  What kind of country are we?  What progress have we made?  Now we have the answers, from the definitive source.  No arguments after this:

America is no better off now than it was in the late 1970s and early 1980s, says former President Jimmy Carter. From national politics to relationships with other nations, there is a lot of room for improvement.

"We had almost complete harmony with every nation on Earth," the Nobel Peace Prize winner said of his administration. "We not only preserved peace for our country, we never went to war. We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a missile."

What an arrogant, pompous jerk.  He makes Obama look like Mr. Humility.  Our "almost complete harmony" included Iran taking American hostages and the USSR invading Afghanistan.  Other than that, things were ducky.

While the above issues may be similar, today's American political scene is vastly different. Carter says he had wonderful bipartisan cooperation, with Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate supporting him.

That doesn't exist now.

Oh please.  There was such bipartisanship that the Republicans, in the person of a certain Mr. Reagan, threw him out of office. 

Among the proudest moments of his tenure was when he got two-thirds of the U.S. Senate to vote for the Panama Canal treaties, which guaranteed that Panama would gain control of the Panama Canal in 2000 — the United States had exercised control of the canal since 1903.

Easy to give things away.  Carter could have been elected president of Panama.  It was here that he had his problems.

I don't recommend this article.  You've suffered enough.

October 25, 2010     Permalink

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ELECTION UPDATE – AT 10:46 A.M. ET:  Latest polls show, more or less, a continuation of trends we've been following.

In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey seems to have recovered from a recent drop, and is now up five points over Democrat Joe Sestak in this critical race for the U.S. Senate.  That's according to a Morning Call tracker.

In Connecticut, sadly, super-dull Richard Blumenthal appears to be pulling away from wrestling magnate Linda McMahon in their race for the Senate.  Linda has run a good campaign, but I suspect that her background in the wrestling business has done fatal damage.  Connecticut, the nation's wealthiest state, is a bit prissy and proper, and sweaty wrestlers are not in demand.  Rasmussen has Blumenthal up by 13 percent.

In another critical race, for Obama's old Senate seat in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune poll has Republican Mark Kirk up three over his Dem opponent, whose name I can't spell.  That's too close for comfort.  In Illinois a Republican must win a clean victory to actually get the job.  If the vote is close, the Daley machine in Chicago can usually find enough votes in a closet to fix things.

A Politico generic poll has Republicans up five percent. 

October 25, 2010      Permalink 

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AND IN THE REAL WORLD – AT 9:09 A.M. ET:  When the election is over next week, we'll still be left with the stark realities of world politics.  From the AP:

Iran has imposed new restrictions on 12 university social sciences deemed to be based on Western schools of thought and therefore incompatible with Islamic teachings, state radio reported Sunday.

The list includes law, philosophy, management, psychology, political science and the two subjects that appear to cause the most concern among Iran's conservative leadership - women's studies and human rights.

"The content of the current courses in the 12 subjects is not in harmony with religious fundamentals and they are based on Western schools of thought," senior education official Abolfazl Hassani told state radio.

Hassani said the restrictions prevent universities from opening new departments in these subjects. The government will also revise the content of current programs by up to 70 percent over the next few years, he said.

COMMENT:  Give me the minds of youth, said Adolf Hitler.  We forget that the nature and ferocity of our enemies will be shaped by what they teach their children.  Iran is heading more and more into the darkness of the Middle Ages, a darkness that will soon be protected by nuclear weapons.

We wonder if Western "educators" will protest this latest censorship within Iran, or will fear that any statement will bring the wrath of leftists who are informally teamed with Islamic fundamentalists to bring down the West.  I'll guess the latter path will be chosen.  Why criticize a dictatorship when you can, with far greater acceptance in the academic world, criticize a democracy?

The news from Iran continues to be more and more depressing.  There has been absolutely no progress in our half-hearted campaign to curtail Iran's nuclear program.  Even the Israelis are now starting to make strategic plans for an Iran equipped with nuclear weapons, a profound comment on the failure of Western diplomacy.

We're heartened only by the fact that, with the GOP in control of the House, important foreign-policy issues will be aired, rather than suppressed by the Dems' left-wing committee chairmen.

October 25, 2010      Permalink 

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From sources in India:   A teleprompter will be in use for the first time in the Central Hall of Parliament when US President Barack Obama addresses MPs on November eight.

As per the tentative programme being worked out, the address by Obama, who once said that "America has its roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi", would not be for more than 20 minutes.

I'm moved that an American president will introduce the technical miracle of the teleprompter to the Indian parliament.  I'm less moved to learn that "America has its roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi."  In the immortal words of Johnny Carson:  "I did not know that."  And neither did anyone else.

October 25, 2010      Permalink

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OH, DEAR ME.  WE WEEP FOR THEM, WE WEEP – AT 8:38 A.M. ET:  What a bunch of sad sacks these Obamans are.  Have you ever seen people in politics who feel more sorry for themselves?  They are the classic bullies:  Punch them and they cry.  From the Daily Beast:

As the GOP prepares for a rout in November (The Daily Beast’s Election Oracle forecasts a 50/50 split in the Senate and a substantial Republican lead in the House), the Obama team seems powerless to stop it. Howard Kurtz on its fascinating belief that the bully pulpit has been downsized, forcing the leader of the free world to shout for attention:

Imagine if the Chilean mining disaster had happened here in the States. President Obama would have been hammered for 69 days for failing to rescue the men, right up to the moment the first one was pulled to safety.

That’s the sensibility inside the White House these days: If there’s a bad story out there, even one far removed from the presidential orbit, the Obama crowd will own it. Every administration feels besieged at times, pilloried by the press, misunderstood by the public. But conversations with White House officials suggest a team that feels almost snakebit during a midterm election that is likely to produce substantial losses.

"There’s an alternative story here that we’re trying to tell,” says Dan Pfeiffer, the communications director. "But there’s an element of spitting in the ocean."

COMMENT:  Oh, please.  Sometimes I think the Obama White House would make a good setting for a daytime soap opera.  The president is getting his message out, it's just not the message Americans want to hear.  When a president continually demeans his own country and his own citizens, some might suggest that he's carrying the wrong speech.

But in this White House, pure of heart and incapable of error, there is no understanding of this at all.  It's just a bad time, that's all.  And it's so unfair.  It's so...BUSH (!!). 

The White House is fighting the last war.  They're campaigning like it's 2008, not realizing that they've already governed.  You know governed.  That's the thing you do when you get the job.  No one told them.

October 25, 2010      Permalink

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BORDER AREA ATTACK – AT 8:27 A.M. ET:  News comes this morning of a brutal attack in Tijuana, Mexico, that will focus attention once again on the violence on our borders:

TIJUANA, MEXICO – A client at a drug rehab center in the Mexican border city of Tijuana said Monday that a gang of armed men burst into the building and gunned down 13 recovering addicts there.

Prosecutors have not yet confirmed the number of dead. Police at the scene say at least 10 were killed.

The witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Jesus, for fear of reprisals, said he was attending a movie showing on the first floor of the center, and had stepped out for something to eat when the attacked occurred late Sunday.

When he returned, his fellow clients told him the attackers made the addicts lie on the floor, and then sprayed them with bullets. Other clients sleeping upstairs in the center also survived. There are normally about 45 clients at the center.

COMMENT:  The southern-border issue has been remarkably quiet in recent weeks.  The Democrats certainly don't want to discuss it, and Republicans have focused on the economy.  This new incident, however, might re-focus attention on the volatile situation we face in the south. 

I hate to put a horrible incident like this in political terms, but, inevitably, there will be a political effect.  Tijuana borders on California, where a major Senate race is being fought. 

Stand by for more on this.  A border incident conjures up the whole issue of illegal immigration, which may well act as a hidden force in balloting a week from tomorrow.

October 25, 2010     Permalink

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"What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.


"Councils of war breed timidity and defeatism."
    - Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, to his
      son, Douglas.



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