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I Have A Dream, You Have A Dream, Glenn Beck Has A Dream
Talking About The Talking About The Talking… Do You Feel Cynical Or Dizzy?
Beware The Zombie Curmudgeon Who Talks Of Tits
Put your hands up for the updates:
I Have A Dream, You Have A Dream, Glenn Beck Has A Dream
Talking About The Talking About The Talking… Do You Feel Cynical Or Dizzy?
Beware The Zombie Curmudgeon Who Talks Of Tits
Filed under Smatterings Of Nothing
Frank Newport at Gallup:
Republicans lead by 51% to 41% among registered voters in Gallup weekly tracking of 2010 congressional voting preferences. The 10-percentage-point lead is the GOP’s largest so far this year and is its largest in Gallup’s history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.
Chris Good at The Atlantic:
Gallup’s tracking goes back to 1950; the largest lead was 32 percentage points in favor of Democrats in July 1974, before Richard Nixon resigned over Watergate.
Are the new numbers evidence of a galvanized GOP base in already-conservative districts or a general Republicanizing of the country? Tough to know, but probably some (or a lot) of both
To put this in perspective, until this month, the biggest lead the GOP had held in the history of Gallup’s polling was … five points. Why the eeyorism, then? Well, (a) Rasmussen has new generic ballot numbers out today too and the GOP’s actually lost a few points since last week, driving them down to their smallest lead since mid-July. Not sure how to square that with Gallup, especially since Ras polls likely voters and Gallup polls registered voters. The enthusiasm gap should mean a bigger spread among the former than the latter (and until today, it has), and if Gallup’s numbers are merely a reaction to last week’s dismal economic news, it’s surpassingly strange that the same reaction isn’t showing up in Rasmussen. Also, (b) Gallup’s generic-ballot polling has already produced one freaky outlier this summer. Granted, today’s numbers are more credible because they’re part of a trend, but read this Jay Cost piece about how bouncy Gallup’s numbers have historically been at times. Hmmmm.
Neil Stevens at Redstate:
This Gallup result is so large, I had to see what it shows in the Swingometer. As always, I boil it down to two party results. In 2008 we had a 56 D – 44 R split, and this Gallup simplifies to a 45 D – 55 R split. So the swing is from a D+12 to an R+10, or a 22 point swing.
So right now, that means Gallup of all polls, using Registered Voters, is projecting in the Swingometer a 60 seat Republican gain for a 238 R-197 D majority. The last time an election took the Democrats that low was the election of 1946, saith Wikipedia. Election night in 2004 took them to 202 for the second lowest.
Rasmussen today, by contrast, shows only a 20 point swing, a 57 seat Republican gain, and a 235 R – 200 D majority, still lower than an election since Truman has taken the House Democrats. If I then take the mean of these two and double weight the Rasmussen Likely Voter poll, I get R+58, the new projection.
Paul Mirengoff at Powerline:
The “enthusiasm gap” is even more pronounced. Gallup finds that Republicans are now twice as likely as Democrats to be “very” enthusiastic about voting come November, the largest such advantage of the year.
I’m obliged to add that anything can happen during the next two months. But more than any old thing will be required if the Democrats are to avoid a crushing defeat at the end of those two months.
John McCormack at The Weekly Standard
The biggest problem for the Democrats is that there seem to be very few things that can happen between now and Election Day that can reverse the Republican momentum. The latest round of economic reports seem to establish fairly clearly that the economy is likely to remain flat or depressed during that time period and I doubt we’ll be getting any good news out of the jobs report that will be released this coming Friday, and it is primarily the economy that is driving voter anger at this point in time. Outside of some massive scandal that hurts Republicans or an international crisis that causes the public to rally around the President, both of which are unlikely, the pattern we’re in now is likely to be the one we’re in on Election Day. That’s bad news if you’re a Democrat.
UPDATE: Nate Silver at NYT
Noam Scheiber at TNR
Jim Antle at The American Spectator
Gov. Chris Christie fired state education commissioner Bret Schundler this morning after Schundler refused to resign in the wake of the controversy over the state’s loss of up to $400 million in federal school funding.
“I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me,” Christie said in a press release. “As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler’s service as New Jersey’s Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration.”
A deputy commissioner will be named acting commissioner while the governor searches for the next person to fill the $141,000-a-year position, two officials briefed on the situation said.
Rich Bagger, Christie’s chief of staff, asked Schundler to resign on Thursday evening because he “misled” the governor and senior staff about what happened during a presentation in Washington, D.C., the officials said.
On Wednesday, Christie publicly said Schundler had tried to give the correct information to a bungled question during the presentation, but video from the U.S. Department of Education released Thursday proved that did not happen.
John McCormack at The Weekly Standard:
Upon posting the YouTube clip yesterday of a Chris Christie press conference, I remarked how Christie had impressively turned the tables on an issue that could have embarrassed him. A clerical error by his education department–failing to list 2008-2009 funding levels–resulted in the loss of $400 million in federal education funding. Why, Christie asked, didn’t an Obama administration bureaucrat just pick up the phone and ask New Jersey’s education department for the right number?
Well, NJ.com reports, it turns out the feds asked Christie’s education director for the number in person, and he failed to correct the application
Christie had relied on Schundler’s insistence that his team had provided the data to the Obama administration to blast the White House for being too rigid about paperwork rather than relying on the data. The Department of Education responded by publishing the review video, putting Christie in a tough spot. He had little choice but to give a strong reaction to the revelation.
Not that Schundler didn’t deserve it, if the evidence is complete. Not only did his team botch the presentation, he apparently deceived his boss about the situation rather than just admit to the error. Executives can deal with failure, but deception is another thing entirely. If an executive can’t trust his staff, then he or she has to find replacements more worthy of trust. That’s probably more true in politics than in the private sector, but it’s true enough in all arenas to know that Schundler couldn’t expect to keep his job after this.
By taking action, Christie can minimize the embarrassment, but it’s not going to be an overall plus for him; it will just limit the damage and bring the incident to a swift conclusion.
The Star-Ledger further explains,
Ousted state Education Commissioner Bret Schundler today said he asked Gov. Chris Christie to be fired from the work he considered his “life’s dream,” rather than resign, so he could receive unemployment benefits to pay his bills.
Apparently Schundler, “once hailed as a rising star in conservative circles,” has gained a new appreciation for taking advantage of federal assistance.
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo:
Back in the day Brett Schundler was the rising star of the NJ GOP, making his mark as the uber-conservative Mayor heavily Democratic Jersey City. He made his name in the ‘cut every benefit cut every everything’ wing of the party.
But today when Gov. Christie (R) asked him for his resignation as state Ed Commissioner result of errors and misrepresentations from Schundler in a matter costing the state $400 million in federal “Race to the Top” money he asked if he could be fired instead so he could collect unemployment benefits.
David Dayen at Firedoglake:
Schundler is the former mayor of Jersey City (a Democratic city) and a candidate for Governor in 2001.
Christie does hold Schundler accountable for what he calls “lying to me,” but hasn’t held himself accountable for publicly siding with Schundler before getting independent verification of the facts. As the Star-Ledger editorial board says, “Schundler may not be at fault in this latest episode. The governor is the one who made the false claim.”
But accountability doesn’t reach to the top, at least not in New Jersey.
Filed under Education, Political Figures
Richard Esposito, Christine Brouwer and Brian Ross at ABC News:
Two men taken off a Chicago-to-Amsterdam United Airlines flight in the Netherlands have been charged by Dutch police with “preparation of a terrorist attack,” U.S. law enforcement officials tell ABC News.
U.S. officials said the two appeared to be travelling with what were termed “mock bombs” in their luggage. “This was almost certainly a dry run, a test,” said one senior law enforcement official.
A spokesman for the Dutch public prosecutor, Ernst Koelman, confirmed the two men were arrested this morning and said “the investigation is ongoing.” He said the arrests were made “at the request of American authorities.”
Frank James at NPR:
NPR’s Carrie Johnson has a bit more information from law enforcement officials on the detention of the two men in Amsterdam from a United Airlines flight from Chicago:
“One of the men is from Yemen. Another man who joined him lives in the Detroit area.
Officials say the Yemeni man taped cell phones, watches and other items together in his suitcase. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he had a dangerous intent.
Under Dutch law, the men can be detained while the investigation continues.
She also passes along the following statement from U.S. law enforcement:
“Suspicious items were located in checked luggage associated with two passengers on United Flight 908 from Chicago O’Hare to Amsterdam last night. The items were not deemed to be dangerous in and of themselves, and as we share information with our international partners, Dutch authorities were notified of the suspicious items. This matter continues to be under investigation.”
The test involved traveling separately to Chicago’s O’Hare airport with a fake bomb or two in a suitcase (not to mention a box cutter and three large knives). The suitcase was then checked onto a flight to Dulles, with connecting flights to Dubai, and finally Yemen. The two suspects having met up at O’Hare, boarded a flight to Amsterdam instead. The luggage with the fake bombs was recovered at Dulles when it was realized that the suspect who checked it had not actually boarded the flight from Chicago to Dulles. The Chicago to Amsterdam flight being rather long, there was at least time to notify the Dutch who were happy to arrest the men upon landing. I assume the fly team has already been dispatched to Schiphol to collect these gentlemen and return them to the USA. The fake bombs were first discovered at the airport in Birmingham, where al-Soofi boarded his flight to O’Hare. He was allowed to proceed, suggesting either incompetence or brilliance on the part of federal officials – I’m not sure which. In addition to the objects in his luggage he was carrying $7,000 in cash and arrived at the airport wearing bulky clothing out of season…
John Schulenburg at Gateway Pundit:
What’s shocking about this is that before he even got to Chicago he was stopped in Alabama for “further screening” because of “bulky clothing” and then upon further investigation of his checked baggage, they found all sorts of shady things including 7 grand in cash, a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three cell phones taped together, several watches taped together, a box cutter and three large knives.
Daniel Foster at The Corner
When they saw the cell phone taped to the Pepto Bismol bottle, did they … run a test to make sure it was Pepto in there or did they just wave it through? And if they were so concerned about the contents that him checking his luggage on one flight and boarding another in Chicago triggered a panic response, why on earth did they let him fly with that bag at all? It’s not like a jihadi would refuse to remotely detonate a suitcase in the cargo hold just because he’s aboard the same plane.
Basically, it sounds like this guy wanted to see just how many red flags he could send up and still be allowed to board an intercontinental flight. Answer: Quite a few, as it turns out. Which was also true of Flight 253, of course, another attempted terror attack that involved a bomber trained in … Yemen, the new number-one hot spot of international terrorism. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Justin Elliott at Salon
Filed under GWOT, Homeland Security
Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give an update:
A Stabbing In A New York City Taxi Cab
Filed under Smatterings Of Nothing
Nate Jones at Time:
Students at Nettleton Middle School must be doing great on their American History exams, because their school is almost literally living in the past!
Segregation is still alive and well in parts of America. At Nettleton Middle School in Nettleton, MS, students are forbidden from running for certain student government positions if their skin is the wrong color. Each year, three of the the four executive positions are set aside for white students; one of the four is set aside for a black student. The highest rank a black student can hold? Vice-President, in 8th grade.
Even worse is the situation for students who are neither black nor white, who cannot apparently run for any office.
The policy was busted by the mother of a mixed-race student who had wanted to be class reporter, a position reserved for black students. As the mother, Brandy Springer, wrote to the blog Mixed and Happy, her daughter was denied on the basis of her matrilineal whiteness. When Springer complained to the school board, she says:
“They told me that they ‘Go by the mother’s race [because] with minorities the father isn’t generally in the home.’ They also told me that ‘a city court order is the reason why it is this way.'”
But don’t think the school is racist! The district has posted a statement on the policy, saying it is “under review.” Well, glad that’s solved
Irin Carmon at Jezebel:
If we still have segregated proms in the American South, including in Mississippi, why not segregated middle school elections? Welcome to Nettleton Middle School, where not only are class elections segregated, but the president slots are designated for white students.
But even segregated proms have an apparent black equivalent. In this middle school class officers election, there’s no pretense of separate but equal: The highest a black student can aspire to is vice president of just one of the classes. Because it’s not like a black person can be president or anything!
This is what I mean when I say that we’re only 40 years removed from the civil-rights movement. These attitudes took generations to materialize, and while we’ve come a long way, it’s unreasonable to expect that they’ll disappear in a few decades. On the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic march on Washington, racism isn’t as bad as it was, but it’s not an abstraction, and it’s not a thing of the past.
The school, which has a black principal, is 74 percent white and 26 percent black. I suspect the policy was written to ensure that blacks would win a share of class offices. And it will be dropped like a rock very quickly.
Once the policy went public, the superintendent put up a statement saying “the processes and procedures for student elections are under review.”
As bizarre as it seems, the intent was doubtless benign. As Joanne Jacobs points out, the school’s principle is black and the school “is 74 percent white and 26 percent black.” The intent, rather clearly, was to ensure that at least one black officer was elected per class.
I’m not sure what’s more interesting: That this has been going on for “more than 30 years” and people are just now complaining or that it was started 30-odd years ago. Presuming “more than 30″ doesn’t mean “almost 40,” that means this policy started in the late 1970s — years after official segregation ended.
Then again, I was slightly befuddled that the Alabama high school from which I graduated in 1984 and to which I transferred in 1980 had a “minority” spot in the Homecoming Court. A black girl could theoretically have been elected Homecoming Queen, since there was no rule that she be white (Yes: In those days, it was presumed she’d be a she and have always been one) there was a guarantee that at least one would be represented. Since we never had more than one or two black girls in our class, it was rather surreal.
MSNBC reports that the school board for Nettleton Middle school met in an emergency session today and voted to reverse its policy of apportioning student council positions by race:
“It is the belief of the current administration that these procedures were implemented to help ensure minority representation and involvement in the student body,” Superintendent Russell Taylor said in a statement.
“Therefore, beginning immediately, student elections at Nettleton School District will no longer have a classification of ethnicity. It is our intent that each student has equal opportunity to seek election for any student office.”
Rachel Slajda at Talking Points Memo:
Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) confirmed in a press conference yesterday that a man identified as a suspect in an alleged arson at Carnahan’s campaign office is a former paid campaign worker.
The man, Chris Powers, was arrested but has not been charged in the arson case. In a phone interview this morning with TPMmuckraker, Powers denied having any involvement with what local reports have described as a “fire bombing.”
“I’m innocent,” Powers said. “I was at home when Congressman Carnahan’s office was fire bombed. I have nothing to do with it.”
In the early morning hours of Aug. 17, someone broke a back window in Carnahan’s St. Louis campaign office and set a small fire, which caused minor damage in the office. Police arrested a suspect some hours later. They released him the next day, but have not divulged the suspect’s name. Police say it is up to the prosecutor’s office whether to issue a warrant; without it they can’t hold a suspect or release his name.
Powers’ identity was first reported yesterday by the St. Louis blog Gateway Pundit. After the claim gathered steam online, Carnahan held a press conference and confirmed that Powers is a former campaign worker. Carnahan said Powers was paid as a canvassing worker for about a week, but was fired for “not doing his job.”
When TPM asked Powers if he was the person initially arrested by police, Powers referred us to his lawyer, who was not immediately available for comment.
As several blogs have reported, Powers wrote a reader blog at TPMCafe under the name Ripper McCord. (Any TPM reader can create a reader blog and comment on the site, and Powers is not affiliated with TPM.)
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:
Far Left website TPM Muckraker took the offical walk of shame today and admitted that one of their unhinged bloggers was arrested for firebombing Congressman Russ Carnahan’s office. The suspected firebomber blogs at TPM under the name “Ripper McCord.” When Leftie Bloggers Attack…
Moe Lane at Redstate:
Today, Talking Points Memo finally released an article on the affair, in which it reported both that Powers denied any involvement in the original attack, as well as implicitly denying any relationship between TPM and Powers beyond the latter’s ability to post diaries at TPM:
As several blogs have reported, Powers wrote a reader blog at TPMCafe under the name Ripper McCord. (Any TPM reader can create a blog and comment on the site, and Powers is not affiliated with TPM.)
No explanation was offered as to why TPM declined to cover for almost a week the firebombing of a Democratic Congressman’s campaign office; a firebombing which featured at one point a TPM diarist as prime suspect.
No further arrests have been made in the case as of the time of this article.
This development makes for yet another don’t-jump-to-conclusions morality tale, but perhaps more people should take heed of it. Certainly the crowd who rushed to blame Tea Party activists and Republicans for the attack have some apologies to make, just as they did when the Left assumed that conservatives murdered a man who was later determined to commit suicide.
On the other hand, though, being a suspect does not mean being guilty. I’ve received a lot of e-mail from readers declaring that this demonstrates the violence inherent in the Left system, and so on. So far, the police haven’t even charged Powers. If they do, they’ll have to prove their case in court. I’d remind people that the police thought they had their man in the Atlanta Olympics bombing when they accused the one guy who took action to save lives with planting the bomb in the first place — only to find out that the real bomber was serial terrorist Eric Rudolph. Richard Jewell had to fight for years to get his reputation back before passing away in 2007.
The fact that the suspect list, at least the acknowledged suspect list, includes a disgruntled worker should be reason enough to scold those who leaped to conclusions in the first place, but let’s not do the same thing now. There may well be other suspects in the case of whom we are unaware. Until the police actually file charges and publish their evidence, maybe everyone should just hold their powder and see how the situation develops first.
So . . . we have some guy who was hired at the very lowest level of a campaign, got fired for “not doing his job” and is “disgruntled.” And he also was a glorified commenter at TPM. Not exactly the stuff of scandal or “walks of shame” here.
Jon Bershad at Mediaite:
Earlier this week, three alleged terrorists were arrested in Canada. As investigators looked into their history, a truly bizarre piece of information surfaced. One of them, Khurram Sher, had appeared on Canadian Idol, a show which is exactly like American Idol except for having super polite judges. We’ve got the clip of his appearance in which he sings a song by fellow public menace Avril Lavigne and (SPOILER AND HORRIBLE PUN WARNING) bombs horribly.
Best terrorism story evah? It’s like watching a real life Da Ali G show. Only, you know, funny.
His way of redeeming himself in Allah’s eyes for singing a chick song while doing the robot and moonwalking on national TV?…
Three possibilities: (1) He was auditioning as a goof and figured his new persona would make it extra goofy, (2) he gambled that a “humble immigrant” trying his darnedest would have a better shot at advancing to the next round than a tone-deaf physician, or (3) he was already a jihadi sympathizer at the time and operating under deep, deep — deep — cover. To paraphrase Mediaite, the last place you’d look for an Al Qaeda plot is a guy on a talent show “doing the robot while singing a song written for teen girls.” And a moonwalk. Don’t forget the moonwalk.
Three men are charged in a plot to build IEDs and funnel money to terror groups in Afghanistan. Assuming that the charges are true, this clip is stark evidence of how quickly radicalization can happen.
Suzi Parker at Politics Daily:
Can Bristol Palin dance?We might find out if she ends up as a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” the second biggest show on television behind “American Idol.”Bristol, 19, the oldest daughter of Sarah Palin, may be tangoing on season 11 of the dance competition. She could be appearing along with David Hasselhoff, Audrina Patridge, The Situation and Brandy in the upcoming season, which premieres Sept. 20. ABC would not confirm any guest stars for the season. The official lineup will be announced Monday.Earlier this summer, Bristol and her on-again, off-again fiancé, Levi Johnston, were rumored to be shopping for a reality television show. Johnston and Bristol are the parents of Tripp, who was born in Dec. 2008. Bristol is reportedly taking her Tripp with her to Los Angeles where “Dancing With the Stars” is filmed.
All true according to sources! Phew. It is going to be a banner year. Maybe this is Bristol’s revenge on Levi for his philandering — the two were rumored to be starring together in their own reality show, up until they split and it became a Levi solo project. One thing I can say with assurance is that Steve Krakauer will be excited, ideally this line-up will result in Levi getting into a jealous feud with The Situation over Bristol.
Meanwhile, can you just imagine the liberal heads exploding if Bristol does well on the show? Oh, boy. I hope she’s ready for the vitriol that’s sure to be aimed her way. On the other hand… it’ll be worth watching just for the hateful “ZOMG BRISTOL IS WINNING ITS A CONSPIRACY!!!!1!!11!!” commentary alone.
Filed under GWOT, Political Figures, TV
Ten Years After…
Peter Finn at Washington Post:
Thomas Joscelyn at The Weekly Standard:
Andy McCarthy at The Corner:
Jennifer Rubin at Commentary:
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit
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Tagged as Andy McCarthy, Commentary, Gateway Pundit, Gitmo, History, Jennifer Rubin, Jim Hoft, Michelle Malkin, Middle East, National Review, Peter Finn, The Weekly Standard, Thomas Joscelyn, War On Terror, Washington Post, Weasel Zippers, Yemen