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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’
July 31st, 2012 at 12:30 pm
Government Chasing Doctors Out of Practice
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Over the weekend a New York Times profile of my (and Ashton’s) hometown of Riverside, California sounded the alarm over the crisis-level shortfalls of doctors practicing in America. For a publication as married to do-gooder liberalism as the Times, it’s tone was surprisingly fatalistic:

The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000.

Health experts, including many who support the law, say there is little that the government or the medical profession will be able to do to close the gap by 2014, when the law begins extending coverage to about 30 million Americans. It typically takes a decade to train a doctor.

Well, there is at least one thing the feds could do: get out of the way. A helpful explainer from the Heartland Institute shows how badly government distorts the market for doctors:

[The Heritage Foundation's Kathryn] Nix points out that when Congress passed the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, it included a cap on the number of residency positions Medicare is allowed to fund. The step wasn’t controversial at the time, and in fact it had the support of multiple organizations, since concerns abounded at the time that the United States had an oversupply of physicians.

Since then, the number of residency positions funded by Medicare has remained unchanged, capped at 1996 levels despite exploding population growth and increased demand. Groups such as the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have since changed positions and now support increasing the 1996 cap or eliminating it entirely.

“The biggest concern is that the demand is going up as the population ages,” Nix continued. We’re going to have more people on Medicare, elderly who need more medical attention. The new health care law will exacerbate the problem, first of all by increasing and subsidizing demand, but several of the provisions of the new law will discourage physicians from staying in the profession and will discourage young people from joining it.”

An utterly avoidable human tragedy, bred by ignorance. Who could’ve anticipated that capping supply would lead to shortages? Anyone who’s ever cracked a basic economics textbook, that’s who. We can argue over the proper methods for restructuring Medicare, but it should be obvious that “restrict the number of doctors and leave everything else the same” isn’t going to cut it.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. As has been widely noted, Obamacare’s virtually indestructible Independent Payment Advisory Board has the potential to morph into precisely the kind of “death panel” Sarah Palin warned about.

Bureaucratic incompetence has long been a bugbear of conservatives. But the day is soon arriving when the bean counters will go from costing money to costing lives.

May 15th, 2012 at 1:41 pm
GOP Establishment About to Take Another Hit in Nebraska?
Posted by Troy Senik Print

As the 2012 election cycle has progressed, one of the growing memes on the left has been that the Tea Party has lost a lot of the anti-establishment momentum it had in 2010, when it was responsible for electing U.S. Senators like Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, and Florida’s Marco Rubio. The pundits have been a little quick on the trigger finger.

Last week, 35-year Senate veteran Richard Lugar went down to defeat in Indiana at the hands of the Tea Party candidate, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a race that we chronicled at length here at CFIF. Today, voters heading to the polls in Nebraska may deliver a similar shock to the GOP establishment.

The establishment choice, state Attorney General Jon Bruning, has been under fire for exactly the kind of crony capitalism that has come to define Tea Party distaste for business as usual. It was long thought that State Treasurer Don Stenberg — who enjoyed the support of Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, FreedomWorks, and the Club for Growth — would be the conservative alternative to Bruning. But in recent days, Bruning’s numbers are falling without Stenberg’s rising proportionately.

The reason is a third candidate, State Senator Deb Fischer, who has recently emerged from relative obscurity thanks to endorsements from Sarah Palin and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. According to recent polling, there’s a very real possibility of Fischer pulling off an upset of epic proportions and walking away with the nomination. And while Stenberg’s supporters aren’t happy to see their man failing to close, they’re already suggesting that Fischer would be an acceptable alternative to Bruning and the business as usual he represents.

We’ll have to watch the polls tonight to see how this thing resolves, but one thing’s for sure: even the worst-case scenario for Tea Partiers (a narrow win by Bruning) would send a powerful message to the GOP establishment in Washington: the Tea Party is here to stay.

April 2nd, 2012 at 2:05 pm
Good Riddance, Arlen Specter

It’s been a rough re-launch into the public consciousness for former Senator Arlen Specter (R/D-PA) since switching parties and losing the Democratic primary in 2010.

While hocking his memoirs during media appearances Specter has made off-color comments about Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, and Rick Santorum, insulted at least one radio host, and drawn attention to his book’s portrayals of former fellow senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) as a “walrus” and John Thune (R-SD) as looking like a movie star “in or out of clothes.”

The Blaze website has a helpful compilation of Specter’s lowlights during his media blitz, including Glenn Beck’s radio show co-host reading excerpts from Specter’s book; such as the nugget about the time another senator cut in front of Specter to get a ‘free’ (i.e. taxpayer-funded) massage in the Senate gym.  Arlen’s take-away from the experience: collegiality is dying in the upper chamber.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Politics is not a bad profession.  If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”  In Specter’s case, Reagan’s observation still holds true.

January 11th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Can Romney Defend Democratic Capitalism?

I’m glad to see the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page echoing Troy’s advice to Mitt Romney to get out in front of the Bain-bashing and make a full-throated defense of free market capitalism.  But as both Troy and the Journal seem to allude to, Romney doesn’t appear capable or willing to make the case for democratic capitalism; the kind of market economy that emphasizes equal access and opportunities instead of guaranteed outcomes.

The way I’m using the term, democratic capitalism disdains the unfairness many perceive in the crony capitalism of Obama’s Solyndra deal, and in the bailouts of companies deemed too big to fail.  Americans don’t like it when public employee unions get tenure protections and better benefits than the private sector.  People feel cheated when General Electric pays no federal income taxes thanks to loopholes only the wealthy like Warren Buffet can exploit.  For the free market to work, people have to trust it, and right now Wall Street, the White House, and many other entrenched special interests from unions to rent-seeking businesses are making everyday Americans think the capitalistic system they’ve been sold is far from democratic.

In a sense, democratic capitalism is at the heart of Sarah Palin’s appeal.  Her entire career in Alaska was built around taking down entrenched interests enriching themselves at the expense of a fair system.  She exposed a corrupt state oil and gas commission; disrupted the state GOP’s patrician good old boys club by defeating an incumbent governor; and won a fight with a major oil company over its ability to exploit Alaska’s natural wealth without sharing some of it with residents.  These were the accomplishments that made her a maverick and put her on John McCain’s vice presidential radar.  When Palin was toying with a presidential run this time around, she gave a major speech blasting distortions of the economy that make the market less fair, and ultimately, less free.  Better than anyone to date, Palin communicates the Tea Party’s angst over Big Government into a larger narrative about the dangers posed by any segments of society that threaten the democratic element in America’s form of capitalism.

Now, I’m not saying that Mitt Romney is a foe of democratic capitalism.  What I’m saying is that he doesn’t appear comfortable articulating his understanding of the free market in a message that applies equally to executives and frontline workers.  That’s probably because he’s never been a frontline worker.  Of course, he’s worked hard – graduating with honors from Harvard law and business schools demands it – but as the son of an auto executive and governor whose first job out of graduate school was telling CEO’s how to fix their companies, Mitt Romney has never experienced capitalism from the factory floor.  That means he will have a hard time explaining the virtues of capitalism to people near the destructive end of capitalism’s creativity.

Fairly or not, if Romney is the nominee liberals will savage him as a member of the 1% who made millions replacing people with technology and exporting many of the remaining jobs overseas.  Conservatives who favor the free market should hope that Romney discovers how to articulate the democratic element of capitalism soon and well.  He could start by reading Troy’s excellent remarks as soon as possible.

November 21st, 2011 at 8:40 pm
GOP Voters Smarter than Kathleen Parker

Washington Post columnist and failed CNN host Kathleen Parker caused a stir this weekend with a piece claiming that the alleged ‘know-nothingness’ of Sarah Palin is infecting Republican primary voters.  The evidence, as Byron York of the Washington Examiner points out, points the opposite way.

So far, there have been three Republican candidates who rose and fell quickly in the polls: Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Cain.  Each rose because voters liked some combination of his or her message, experience, and personal appeal.  But each fell mostly for one reason: Republican voters became concerned about whether they knew enough to be president.

Because the GOP base is conservative, and because the candidates each presented a strong conservative message, it’s hardly a surprise that each received a friendly response early in the game.  But once each candidate’s performance in debates or on the stump raised questions about whether he or she had a base of knowledge broad and deep enough to serve as president, Republican supporters began to peel away.  Bachmann now ranks sixth in the RealClearPolitics poll standings, while Perry is fourth.

The candidate who has consistently stayed near the top of Republican polls is Mitt Romney.  There are no questions about whether he knows enough to be president.   The candidate who is rising at the moment, as Parker points out, is Newt Gingrich, about whom the same is true.  And the candidate who has stayed around the middle tier of the race is Ron Paul, who, for whatever problems exist in some of his policy positions, has not faced questions about his knowledge of the issues.  At the bottom tier of the race, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman have also not faced such questions.

Somehow Parker styles all of this — informed candidates rising, uninformed candidates falling — as a “tide of know-nothingness” engulfing the Republican party.  If that were really the case, wouldn’t it be the other way around?

As J. Robert Smith of the American Thinker reasons, Parker’s position on Palin and the GOP is less about sound analysis, and a heckuva lot to do with her tack to the left as she’s ascended the media ladder from National Review to the Washington Post.  Parker might want to stop by the offices of George Will and Charles Krauthammer to hear how her fellow Post columnists kept their principles and their audience.  After all, conservatives don’t need another David Frum telling them how out-of-touch they are.

October 25th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Like It or Not, This is Your Presidential Field
Posted by Troy Senik Print

I’m in agreement with Quin’s sentiment, expressed below, that the Republican presidential field could have benefited from a few more entrants, especially if it was accompanied by getting rid of some of the dead weight currently in the field (at this point, I’d be happy for the debates to be four-man affairs with Romney, Perry, Gingrich, and Cain). For some perspective, imagine the lineup on stage for a debate between those who passed on the race: John Thune, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie. That’s a group that is depressingly more presidential than our current crop.

I don’t share Quin’s optimism, however that the field is going to change. Mike Pence has pretty safe odds to become the next Governor of Indiana, a prospect that’s not worth sacrificing for a long shot presidential bid out of the House of Representatives. Bobby Jindal would have engaged in something just short of electoral fraud if he jumped in the race only days after winning a second term as governor (the Iowa Caucuses will actually be held before he is even sworn in for his next term).

One factor, however, is nearly dispositive: timing. Next Monday is the filing deadline for the Florida Primary. Tuesday is the deadline in South Carolina. If we’re going to see anyone else in the field, it’s going to have to happen in the next few days. Putting together a campaign on that timeframe — particularly when most of the big donors and premium staffers have already been snatched up — is next to impossible, which means this field is almost certainly set. Like it or not, the next time you the see the candidates take the stage at a GOP debate, you’ll be looking at the future Republican presidential nominee.

September 16th, 2011 at 4:20 pm
Kotkin, Palin, and the Coming Middle Class Revolt

An interesting critique is starting to surface: Big Government and Big Business are conspiring to enrich themselves at the expense of job and wealth creation for the middle and lower classes.  Demographer Joel Kotkin is noticing it.  So too, is potential GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

As Kotkin notes, grassroots Democrats are noticing that President Barack Obama’s neglect of job creation is costing their members dearly.  (Just ask California Democrat Maxine Waters.)  Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Perry is weakest on the issue of crony capitalism.  Palin’s critique of the Big Business-Big Government axis could expand a core Tea Party theme into a viable national campaign.

Of course, this argument may fizzle, but it’s interesting to see quite different commentators coming out with the same idea.

September 9th, 2011 at 3:13 pm
New York Times Flatters Palin

New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas did today what precious few liberal commentators would: give Sarah Palin a fair hearing.  “Confessing” a knee-jerk reaction to Palin that writes-off the former Alaska governor before she speaks, Giridharadas nonetheless noted Palin’s striking analysis of the current political scene from a recent speech in Iowa:

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

This is the kind of anti-establishment populism that Palin articulated to victory against incumbent Republicans in Alaska (first, fellow members of the state’s Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, then the sitting governor).  Indeed, one of the main reasons John “Maverick” McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate was because of her willingness to buck the system in favor of her principles.

As just what might those principles be as president?  Giridharadas says:

Ms. Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism.

On one side would be those Americans who believe in the power of vast, well-developed institutions like Goldman Sachs, the Teamsters Union, General Electric, Google and the U.S. Department of Education to make the world better. On the other side would be people who believe that power, whether public or private, becomes corrupt and unresponsive the more remote and more anonymous it becomes; they would press to live in self-contained, self-governing enclaves that bear the burden of their own prosperity.

No one knows yet whether Ms. Palin will actually run for president. But she did just get more interesting.

August 15th, 2011 at 5:05 pm
Wall Street Journal Urges More Republicans into the Presidential Race
Posted by Troy Senik Print

After months in which the shape of the Republican presidential campaign has been amorphous, the events of the past weekend have, at long last, given the GOP contest some definition. Rick Perry is in, Tim Pawlenty is out, and Michele Bachmann is walking away victorious from the Ames Straw Poll. And now, conventional wisdom is beginning to congeal around the notion that the final showdown will be a three-way race between Perry, Bachmann, and Mitt Romney.

That conventional wisdom, however, isn’t good enough for the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, as authoritative a voice as there is in the print wing of the conservative movement. In a staff editorial today analyzing the prospects of the candidates in the race, the Journal’s ed board weighs the candidates in the balance and finds them wanting. It wraps up on this brusque note:

Republicans and independents are desperate to find a candidate who can appeal across the party’s disparate factions and offer a vision of how to constrain a runaway government and revive America’s once-great private economy. If the current field isn’t up to that, perhaps someone still off the field will step in and run. Now would be the time.

There are still some major Republicans flirting with– or being courted for — a race for the White House. Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani fall into the former category, while Paul Ryan and Chris Christie are the two names most frequently cited for the latter. Will any of them get in? Those prospects probably defend on the performance of Perry, who has the chance to close down the field by filling the conservative vacuum or blow it open by becoming the second coming of Fred Thompson. To paraphrase a dictum familiar in Perry’s home state, the eyes of the party are upon him.

July 19th, 2011 at 9:51 pm
Media Attacks on Bachmann Migraines a Sign of Growning Desperation
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Two developments have intersected in recent weeks to put Minnesota Congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann squarely in the media’s crosshairs.

The first is the fact that Sarah Palin shows no signs of getting into the presidential race anytime soon, depriving the MSM of its pinata of choice. The second is that Bachmann’s clear conservative principles and energetic personality are translating into real results. Just today, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Bachmann rocketing into second place (behind Mitt Romney) for the Republican presidential nomination.

Bachmann, like Palin before her, lives a life remarkably free of Beltway trappings and seems to have committed a cardinal sin amongst the punditocracy: she actually believes in her conservative principles. That may be the reason that a story as desperate as this is dominating today’s political news:

Presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann confirmed Tuesday she suffers from migraine headaches, but stressed they would not get in the way of her seeking the position or serving as commander in chief.

“Like nearly 30 million other Americans, I experience migraines that are easily controlled with medication,” Bachmann, R-Minn., said in a statement. “Let me be abundantly clear — my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief.”

… Bachmann’s son, Lucas Bachmann, told The New York Times that the migraines were not incapacitating. “She is probably not going to run a mile, but in terms of being able to engage, she can comprehend and assess information — without a doubt,” said Lucas Bachmann, who is a medical resident in Connecticut specializing in psychiatry.

Good lord. A presidential candidate is revealed to have one of the most common chronic medical ailments in America and all of a sudden the media is worried that Kim Jong-Il will get the jump on her because she’ll be in a dark room with a damp washcloth on her face? John F. Kennedy spent most of his administration loopy on painkillers, steroids, and (on at least one occasion) anti-psychotics, and still manages to get royal treatment from the press to this day. There was one crucial difference, however: Kennedy and the press read from the same sheet of music.

For the anti-establishment Bachmann, this train of abuses will likely continue. At this rate, expect to see a hard-hitting expose on whether her proclivity for hangnails may prevent her from properly using the veto pen by later in the week.

June 16th, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Palin’s Emails Show She’s Smarter than Critics Think

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze has compiled the findings of two different analyses on Sarah Palin’s recently released emails from her time as Alaska’s governor.   Key finding: Palin’s emails indicate she has writing skills equal to an 8th grader.

If that doesn’t sound necessarily impressive, consider that Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is scored as 9th grade level, while Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” is between 8th and 9th grade level.

And let’s not forget Palin’s sample came from emails she was dashing off to staff.  According to the analysts, Palin’s writing abilities exceed those of most Americans and most American CEOs.

Not bad for a Grizzly Mama unilaterally disdained for her lack of intellect.

June 1st, 2011 at 5:53 pm
Palin Plays the Media

Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times continues his excellent political commentary with an hilariously accurate take on the effect Sarah Palin’s bus tour is having on the “lamestream” media:

The media on campaigns is accustomed to being courted, even catered to with assigned airplane seats, meals, transportation to events, seats waiting, transcripts, the upcoming advance schedule, self-serving secrets confided.

But now they want/need Palin more than vice versa. They know the ratings when she’s on. And they know bosses love ratings. So, they follow along in the exhaust.

“I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media,” Palin said on Fox. “I think that it would be a mistake for me to become some kind of conventional politician and doing things the way it’s always been done with the media, in terms of relationships with them.”

May 27th, 2011 at 8:49 pm
Second Round of GOP Presidential Candidates Coming?
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In my column this week and a discussion here on the Freedom Line blog with Tim, we focused on the current state of the GOP presidential field, which has been defined in recent weeks by a series of high profile non-starters: Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Donald Trump, and John Thune, amongst others. After Daniels — the most recent to take a pass — made his intentions public last weekend, conventional wisdom began to congeal around two intertwined propositions: that the GOP field was essentially set and that grassroots Republicans were dissatisfied with the field. Not so quick.

Not only is the field not set in stone, it may be about to get a shot in the arm courtesy of three potentially top-tier candidates. Reports this week have Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry all seriously eying a run. For those keeping score at home that’s one of the most successful Republican executives in the last half century, the most dynamic personality that the GOP has produced since Reagan, and the governor of a state that has been an economic powerhouse in the midst of a national downturn, respectively. Get ready for an interesting summer.

February 1st, 2011 at 7:35 pm
MSNBC Incapable of Detecting Satire
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In a recent Freedom Minute, we told you how MSNBC’s journalistic irresponsibility included an incident where Rachel Maddow falsely accused a Republican Congressman of having advance knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing and failing to act. Apparently, Maddow’s show hasn’t added any fact-checkers since that earlier faux pas.

On last night’s broadcast, Maddow lit into a litany of conservative critics of President Obama’s Egypt policy. One of her targets, however, deserves special attention. According to the Atlantic Wire:

The Internet’s finest satirists hooked a big fish in the media world last night. In an embarrassing segment on her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow slammed conservatives for attacking President Obama’s Egypt policies. Her targets included Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former ambassador to the UN John Bolton and Stephenson Billings at ChristWire.org. Only problem is Stephenson Billings is not a real person. He’s a fictional byproduct of a website that also warns readers that the Xbox Kinect is a terrorist training tool and the Japanese have created scary robot babies which “threaten humanity.”

The article that caught Maddow’s eye called for an “American-led invasion” into Egypt and begged former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to lead the war cry.

“The escalating crisis in Egypt could become a defining moment for Sarah Palin,” Billings wrote. “Governor Palin needs to speak out publicly and forcibly for an American-led invasion to protect our interests in North Africa.”

It’s embarassing to see any supposedly mainstream news show get duped like this. But when a show as self-consciously snarky as Maddow’s can’t detect satire, it’s also a nice bit of poetic justice.

January 3rd, 2011 at 5:09 pm
Demography Is Destiny; So Too Running Mates?

With much of the 2012 presidential election coverage centering on Republican candidates, it’s worth noting – as this blog from the National Interest does – that President Barack Obama posted lopsided support among African-American and Hispanic voters during the 2008 campaign (95% and 67%, respectively).  Those numbers will likely grow as Hispanics continue to increase their share of the voting base.

So, what’s a WASP-ish GOP frontrunner like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, or even Sarah Palin to do?  Any contestant eyeing a general election takedown of Obama-Biden (or even, heaven forbid, Obama-Clinton) should make travel plans for Santa Fe, New Mexico.  There newly inaugurated Governor Susana Martinez can teach them how to frame a winning position on illegal immigration: “It’s not about the Mexican population.  It’s about the Mexican border.”

That message, combined with Martinez’s career as a state prosecutor and traditional values stances, earned her 30% of the Hispanic vote in a heavily Democratic state.  It’s the kind of success story that just might earn her a place as the next Vice President of the United States.

December 8th, 2010 at 5:17 pm
Savvy Move by Palin Not to Seek RNC Chair

Sarah Palin’s decision not to seek the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee is smart politics.  Palin rightly notes that the job is mainly fundraising, something that doesn’t get the Mama Grizzly’s blood moving quite like making speeches and endorsements.

Good for Palin.  She’s right about the RNC job, which should go to someone with a proven track record for raising money and get out the vote support from all branches of the Republican Party.  Of course, it would be great to see a conservative at the helm, but it probably should be someone who is much more adept at party building than movement leading.

August 27th, 2010 at 10:20 am
Liberal Hypocrisy: Eugene Robinson Praises NYC Mosque, But Beck Rally Is “In-Your-Face Provocation?”
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Are liberals becoming so desperate and deranged that they’re no longer intellectually capable of recognizing their comic hypocrisy?  Exhibit A:  The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson.

Opponents of the proposed Ground Zero mosque in New York accept proponents’ right to build there, but correctly point out that having a right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.  According to Robinson, however, opponents are guilty of “lies, distortions, jingoism, xenophobia.”  Robinson also claims that “opportunistic” mosque opponents “obviously do not” understand that “we have a Bill of Rights that protects our freedoms against the whims of public opinion.”

That was Robinson on Tuesday, August 17 – just last week.

Fast forward one week, and Robinson is singing a different tune.  Perhaps what remained of his intellectual hard drive was wiped clean.  In his commentary today, Robinson labels Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally this weekend on the national mall in Washington, D.C. an “in-your-face” event, and says it “is obviously intended to be a provocation.”   And just like the mosque opponents he demonizes, he suddenly emphasizes the difference between having a right and doing what’s right:

Let me state clearly that Glenn Beck has every right to hold his absurdly titled ‘Restoring Honor’ rally on Saturday.  But the rest of us have every right to call the event what it is:  an exercise in self-aggrandizement on a Napoleonic scale.”

Obviously, Robinson’s substantive critique of the Restoring Honor rally is no more rational than his attacks on Ground Zero mosque opponents.  It’s remarkable, however, how quickly Robinson began to distinguish a right to do something versus doing what he considers to be the right thing.  It’s possible, of course, that Robinson suddenly saw the light and understood the folly of his attacks against Ground Zero mosque opponents.  Unfortunately, it’s more likely that he merely suffers from hypocrisy and severe intellectual vertigo.

August 25th, 2010 at 7:14 pm
The Palin Effect

It’s always great to see conventional wisdom types baffled when someone shuns their advice and proves successful anyway.  This week’s example is Sarah Palin, the political icon who continues to irk the government-media establishment by endorsing people she thinks should govern – not those whom others think should win.

No other likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate has been as outspoken in endorsing 2010 candidates.  True, Palin doesn’t always taste victory (see Washington state’s Clint Didier), but she wins way more than she loses.    According to Time, she’s 8-3 this cycle.  Even more impressive that record was made in 11 tightly contested races where many of Palin’s endorsements went to underfunded long-shots.

Time will tell if Sarah Palin can muster enough support to win the GOP presidential nomination, and after it, the presidency.  But for now, she is the unquestioned difference maker in tight GOP races.  Come 2012, there will quite a few people owing her their support.

August 25th, 2010 at 1:06 pm
A Tea Party Victory in the Last Frontier?
Posted by Troy Senik Print

That’s the way it looks after last night’s Republican senate primary in Alaska. Despite plenty of polling that showed him out of striking distance, attorney Joe Miller now looks poised to take down incumbent Lisa Murkowski once the final votes are tallied in the great untamed north.

Miller should be an interesting candidate to watch. He’s a true constitutionalist, calling for the abolition of the Department of Education and the phasing out of Medicare and Social Security.

Those positions, combined with his endorsement from Sarah Palin in the primaries, are going to lead the press to paint him as some sort of unhinged reactionary. That’s going to be tough, however, considering that Miller is a West Point grad with a master’s in economics and a law degree from Yale.

We noted last week that Tea Party activitsts are going to have to focus on ideas in addition to elections, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t savor victories when they can get them. Joe Miller could be a great addition to Washington — especially if he reverses the Senate’s longstanding hostility to unshaven legislators.

April 12th, 2010 at 10:48 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Diversion
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.