29 September, 2010

Fortress of If Endorsements

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that I have added an endorsement for Adam Kinzinger for Congress at left. Please give to his campaign, and if you live in the Illinois 11th District, vote for him to replace Debbie Halvorson. The Halvorson campaign's continued smearing of Adam Kinzinger has really pissed me off, and has made me conclude that Halvorson does not deserve to be a US Representative.

Another candidate who I think does not deserve to be re-elected is down in Florida. Alan Grayson represents the Orlando metropolitan area, and he has been smearing his opponent with twisted lies to such an extent that even FactCheck.Org has cried foul. So, here is my official endorsement of his opponent, Daniel Webster.

Over in California ("Kah-li-forn-ya"), Van Tran is fighting representative Loretta Sanchez... who has been responding to her opponent by waging a campaign tinged with racism.  Tensions between the the districts sizable Hispanic and Vietnamese communities have been rising for years, and Sanchez recently sought to take advantage of that by appealing to her Hispanic base, telling them that the Republicans and the Vietnamese were conspiring to steal the election from the Hispanics.  For this and other race-baiting transgressions, I would like to say: Van Tran for Congress:

Here's a guy who is basically in a longshot campaign.  Sean Bielat is running against Barney Franks in the Massachusetts 4th District.  Now, normally that would mean he was essentially the GOP sacrificial lamb.  But this year Franks goes into the election cycle wounded politically, in a year that is shaping up to be unkind to Democrats.  Whats more, he's in a district that heavily voted for Scott Brown earlier this year.  So if there is any year where a chance exists to unseat Barney Franks from his perch, this is it.

Sean Bielat for Congress (Massachusetts, 4th District)

 Sean Duffy gets my endorsement for his wonderful ads:

Joel Demos likewise gets my endorsement for the same reason (though he is campaigning in a district so heavily Democrat that he is basically tilting at windmills):

That's it for the moment.  Gonna think about whether or not to make some other endorsements, particularly in various Senate races.

28 September, 2010

Communism's Nuremburg (City Journal)

Guy Sorman at City Journal (a blog which, I must confess, I had not heard of until now) has a very interesting piece on the trials of Communist Khmer Rouge leaders, currently going on in Cambodia.

What the Khmer Rouge brought to Cambodia was in fact real Communism. There was no radical distinction, either conceptually or concretely, between the rule of the Khmer Rouge and that of Stalinism, Maoism, Castroism, or the North Korean regime. All Communist regimes follow strangely similar trajectories, barely colored by local traditions. In every case, these regimes seek to make a blank slate of the past and to forge a new humanity. In every case, the “rich,” intellectuals, and skeptics wind up exterminated. The Khmer Rouge rounded up urban and rural populations in agricultural communities based on precedents both Russian (the Kolkhozy) and Chinese (the popular communes), and they acted for the same ideological reasons and with the same result: famine. There is no such thing as real Communism without massacre, torture, concentration camps, gulags, or laogai. And if there has never been any such thing, then we must conclude that there could be no other outcome: Communist ideology leads necessarily to mass violence, because the masses do not want real Communism. This is as true in the rice fields of Cambodia as in the plains of Ukraine or under Cuban palms.

He also observes:

Nazism’s trial took place in Nuremberg beginning in late 1945, and Japanese fascism’s in Tokyo the following year. But until now, we have had no trial for Communism, though real Communism killed or mutilated more victims than Nazism and Fascism combined. Communism’s trial has never taken place, outside the intellectual sphere, for two reasons. First, Communism enjoys a kind of ideological immunity because it claims to be on the side of progress. Second, Communists remain in power in Beijing, Pyongyang, Hanoi, and Havana.

To this I would also add a third reason: Communism still enjoys a fair degree of support among certain prominent intellectuals, though they now tend to cloak their leanings in other terms to disguise their ideology. Nevertheless, Revolutionary Marxist and Communism have never gained the stigma that Fascism and Nazism have in our culture, even though history has proven them to be a far deadlier strain of Totalitarianism. By all rights Stalin, Lenin, and Mao should be as reviled by the world as Hitler is today, as synonymous with notions of evil as Auschwitz is. I find it appalling that twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening up of Eastern Europe, we are still ignoring its murderous legacy and giving a pass to its atrocities.

Election 2010 tidbits

* The US Federal Seventh Circuit has upheld the exclusion of Sen. Roland Burris (IL-Blago) from the Illinois senatorial Special Election. This means that, no matter who wins in November, Sen. Burris will be leaving during the lame duck session and not after it. Nice discussion about the decision here. This means his entire US Senate career will have lasted around 22 months. Good riddance. (Hat Tip: The Volokh Conspiracy)

* New polls out today for both the Kirk vs. Giannoulias and Brady vs. Quinn races, this time from Pulse Opinion Research/Fox News. In the Senate race, Kirk is ahead by two percentage points 42-40, while in the Governor race Brady is ahead 46-36. Mildly worried about the narrowing in the Kirk vs. Giannoulias race, but its probably to be expected. I still expect Kirk to win, but have been saying it was likely to be closer than I would like. As for Brady, it looks likely he will essentially walk away with this election; Quinn is getting very little, if any, traction against him.

* Another sign that Quinn is in trouble: He has virtually no support downstate.

25 September, 2010

RCP Strangeness


Real Clear Politics has suddenly changed their Poll Averages on both the Kirk vs. Giannoulias and Brady vs. Quinn races -- without there having been any new polls released.

RCP currently has Mark Kirk at +2.0, when they used to have it at +1.3. Bill Brady is currently listed as +9.3, when it used to be +9.2. And like I said, neither race has had a poll released to explain the changes.

Best guess is, RCP discovered some discrepancy in their math, and have now corrected it. I noticed earlier this week that Kirk's RCP average actually went down (from 1.9 to 1.3) with the last Rasmussen poll, despite the fact that the poll showed Kirk up by 3 percentage points. However, I took that as a sign that more numeric weight was being attached to the previous poll (which showed Kirk with a 4-point lead on a sampling almost double Rasmussen's), and hence an overall narrowing of the average. But I guess something still wasn't funky, so it appears RCP took a look to see what was going on.

Now. Watch the Giannoulias campaign accuse RCP of trying to tip the election in Kirk's favor by "cooking the polling books", as it were.

24 September, 2010

Cutest Political Ad of the Year

00:25 is just "Awww...."

More Illinois Election 2010 roundups

These are basically stolen and stolen again from National Review Online's Battle '10 blog, so a tip of the hat to them:

Governor's Race:
Pat Quinn has some questionable financial dealings he perhaps needs to explain. (Daily Herald & Northwest Herald)

Former Governor Jim Edgar thinks Bill Brady's platform of a 10% state budget cuts might not be cutting deep enough. (WBEZ)

The Peoria Journal Star thinks Pat Quinn is essentially giving the race to Bill Brady. (Peoria Journal-Star)

Bill Brady is also definitely bugging the hell out of Pat Quinn. (Peoria Journal-Star)

Senate Race:
Mitt Romney to speak on Mark Kirk's behalf. (Chicago Sun-Times)

(There are some other links on the Battle '10 posts linked above, but these are the only ones I thought were actually of some news)

Karma Bites Communist Professor On The Ass

William Ayers, the retired University of Illinois at Chicago professor who was also a Weather Underground radical, has been unanimously denied Emeritus status by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

The reason?

It seems that the chairman of the U of I Board of Trustees is one Christopher Kennedy. His father was a certain Robert F. Kennedy. The same Robert F. Kennedy who, on June 5 1968, was cut down by a bullet fired by Sirhan Sirhan. The same Sirhan Sirhan who, in 1974, William Ayers partially dedicated his book Prairie Fires to.

From Christopher Kennedy's statement:
"[I cannot in good conscience] confer the title to a man whose body of work includes a book dedicated in part to the man who murdered my father."

Paybacks a bitch, ain't it?

This gives me a good excuse to post this:

22 September, 2010

Kirk vs. Giannoulias Update

As predicted, Rasmussen has released a poll on the Kirk vs. Giannoulias US Senate race -- and it shows Kirk ahead by 3 percentage points, 44-41.

The Giannoulias campaign has launched some negative ads this week in hopes of eroding that lead. But frankly, if the electorate mood I'm feeling is any indication, it won't be enough. Gut feeling is that Kirk has the momentum, if such a thing can be said about this race.

20 September, 2010

Illinois Races updates

With six weeks to go, things are starting to heat up.

* Pat Quinn is starting to sound very, very frustrated that his challenger Bill Brady has a double-digit lead, and is starting to lash out at him. (Link Source: Peoria Journal-Star)

* More and more, media outlets are asking if Illinois is turning purple. (Link Source: St. Louis Today)

* Alexi Giannoulias is complaining about a series of attack ads about to air in Illinois before they are even aired. (Link Source: Fox News Chicago) (oh, come on, Mr. Giannoulias!! Your campaign is running those Kirk Lied ads, which are a complete load of BULLSHIT!)

* But Giannoulias now has another problem he has to contend with: another person connected with his campaign has once more been linked to the Mob. (Link Source: Fox News)

Hat Tip for all of the above: Illinois Today, by Mytheos Holt (Battle '10 Blog, NRO)

Rasmussen should have another poll out this week on the Senate race, probably on Tuesday or Wednesday. Best bet is that it will still show a close race, but with Kirk ahead around 4 percentage points.

Also of interest:

* Democratic candidate Debbie Halvorson (IL-11) has some explaining to do. It seems several people from her campaign were caught on video participating in a rather disgusting, hate-filled protest of Sarah Palin. Halvorson herself has condemned the antics of this group, but other websites have identified members of the protest has being people closely associated with Halvorson's campaign... including her Campaign Manager. Several of her supporters are coming to her aid, with sometimes unintentionally funny results. Meanwhile, the question has to he asked.... how come its always big news if a Democrat is depicted with a Hitler mustache, but the long-standing Left tradition of depicting Republicans as Nazi's goes almost unreported?

By the way, one of the reasons why the Halvorson campaign might be a little angry and frustrated right now is... her Republican challenger Kinzinger currently leads by 20 percentage points. This in a district the Democrats confidently thought was "safe" only a few months ago.

Yamato, Hasshin!

More live-action Space Cruiser Yamato trailers have been released. This is looking really, really cool!

18 September, 2010

New Poll: Brady Up by 10

We Ask America has issued another poll on an Illinois race, and found Republican candidate Bill Brady is leading by 10 percentage points, 42-32. Sampling is the largest of any poll so far, 1,330 Likely Voters.

At the FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times, Nate Silver has calculated an 86.3% probability that Bill Brady will be the next governor of Illinois.

RCP currently has the race listed as "Leans Republican", with Bill Brady up by 9.2. If Bill Brady maintains these kinds of leads the closer we get to election day, it will only be a matter of time before the race is moved one more notch to the right to "Likely Republican".

17 September, 2010

New Poll Still Puts Kirk Ahead

A new poll has come out which once more puts Mark Kirk in the lead, 39-36.

On the one hand, this is a clear indication once more that the momentum in this campaign has swung back to Mark Kirk. This particular poll used the largest sample (1,379 Likely Voters) so far of any polls to date, and still found that Kirk was clearly the preference. But on the other... I've got to admit, I know nothing about the organization behind this poll (We Ask America), and so I really don't have a good feel on their methodology, much less their track record. So while I'm pleased to see another poll with Kirk ahead, I'm a little inclined to suggest that perhaps this poll should carry a little less significant weight than one conducted by an organization with a more proven track record. Still, we take the good news where we can find it.

Still expecting a PPP poll on this race any day now. I'm also mildly surprised that no other major polling organization has chimed in, though I expect that will undoubtedly change soon.

15 September, 2010

Glenn Beck, Progressives and Me (Wall Street Journal)

History professor Ronald J. Pestritto, in today's Wall Street Journal:

"The progressive movement did indeed repudiate the principles of individual liberty and limited government that were the basis of the American republic. America's original progressives were convinced that the country faced a set of social and economic problems demanding a sharp increase in federal power. They also said that there was too much emphasis placed on protecting the liberty of individuals at the expense of broader social justice."

Glenn Beck, Progressives and Me, by Ronald J. Pestritto (Wall Street Journal)

13 September, 2010

New Poll: Brady Up by 13

Oh my.

Rasmussen has today released a poll showing that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady has opened up a 13 point lead over Pat Quinn, 50-37.

I've been noting for months that Pat Quinn's support in this state has been anemic at best, so this shouldn't come as a big surprise. Perhaps even more ominously for Pat Quinn, independent candidate Scott Lee Cohen is starting to eat into Quinn's support, as Cohen seems to be taking most of his votes from Quinn and not from Brady. It would not surprise me if this trend continues. Brady with a 20% + lead in the polls by this time next month? Perhaps not out of the question.

New Polls, Kirk vs. Giannoulias

As long time readers (all three of you!) of this blog know, I've been saying for months that summer polling data is generally unreliable, and that most voters don't start paying attention to upcoming elections until late August at the earliest, and sometime after Labor Day for the majority. I've also been predicting that Mark Kirk will rebound from his stumbles from earlier in the summer, and that he will start to pull ahead in the polling once September rolled around.

Well, two polls that have come out in the last couple of weeks are giving clear indications that the start of that shift has now occurred.

The Chicago Tribune has issued a poll of 600 Likely Voters, and found the race tied at 34-34. And now, Rasmussen has released a poll (750 Likely Voters) which has Kirk leading by 4 percentage points, 41-37 (with 9 points for the Green Party candidate!).

I still think this race will be end up close, but with Kirk prevailing in the end. My read is, if Kirk wins it will be only by 2-3 percentage points. On the other hand, if Giannoulias wins, it will be by an ultra-thin margin, possibly with even less than 1% of the vote. In any case, its very clear that after being handed their best shot at gaining ground over Kirk, the Giannoulias campaign has failed to gain momentum and appears to be in danger of stalling.

The next Rasmussen poll should be out around September 20-22. We're also probably about due for a PPP poll any day now. If the next several poll show Kirk ahead, and especially if they show Kirk's lead increasing, then I think panic will start to set in among Democrats over this race.

01 September, 2010

I Guess He Wasn't A Fan of Mythbusters

James Jay Lee, the Discovery Channel hostage taker, is was apparently a radical, leftwing, eco-Nutjob.

Some choice quotes from a Manifesto and a protest flyer of his:

"2. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it."

"4. Civilization must be exposed for the filth it is. That, and all its disgusting religious-cultural roots and greed. Broadcast this message until the pollution in the planet is reversed and the human population goes down! This is your obligation. If you think it isn't, then get hell off the planet! Breathe Oil! It is the moral obligation of everyone living otherwise what good are they??"

"We are running out of time to save this planet and the Discovery Channel is a big part of the problem, not the solution. Instead of showing successful solutions, their broadcast programs seem to be doing the opposite. Shows like “Cash Cab” and “Dirty Jobs” serve as diversions to keep the focus off what is really important, which is Global Warming and Animal Extinction. Why do they broadcast a show like “Future Weapons” that only promise to destroy the planet even more? And their new lineup “Planet Green” is all about more products and other substandard solutions. Do we really need shows like these when the planet is in crisis? No, instead the focus should be on coming up with new formulas that actually work. Why would the broadcasters and programmers focus more on the destruction of the planet rather than saving it?"

Sounds like this guy really did reject our reality and substitute his own.

Politically incorrect, but here are some choice 'tweets from Jim Geraghty of National Review Online on the Discovery Channel Hostage taker:

"All I'm saying, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team, is that the Sig Sauer 556 rifle is a fine, fine weapon."
"This guy's rampage is near a day care center? F*** him, shoot to kill."
"Discovery channel gunman James Lee was shot at 4:48 p.m., because even the SWAT team doesn't want to fight rush hour traffic."
"Somebody on the Special Response Team just saved Montgomery County taxpayers a great deal in court costs."

Jim Geraghty Twitter Feed

Edit II
Wow.  James Jay Lee is the nutcase who keeps on giving.

The Blast has a rundown of some of the whackjob postings he's made on the internet.