DeMint: Let’s Read the Omnibus Spending Bill Before Voting On It
@ The Weekly Standard

Harry Reid just unveiled a pork-laden $1.1 trillion and 2,000-page omnibus spending bill this afternoon, and Senator Jim DeMint (R, S.C.) has offered an audacious response: he’s going to force the Senate to actually read the bill before voting on it.

“Democrats haven’t given Republicans or the American people time to read the bill, but I’ll join with other Republican colleagues to force them to read it on the Senate floor,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

Such a tactic is rarely employed, but any senator can force a full reading of legislation, which is usually skipped by unanimous consent.

I hope Sen. DeMint is serious. I really do.

Is Sarah Palin Too Dumb to Be President?

I hate to keep harping on this, but this is an excellent article on Palin that shouldn’t be missed:

Is Sarah Palin Too Dumb to Be President?
by Jeffrey Lord @ The American Spectator

As the New York Times Magazine recently noted, there is a caricature now abroad in the land of the former Alaska governor “as a vapid, winking, press-averse clotheshorse.” In other words, Sarah Palin is an idiot. Dumb as a post. Too dumb, but of course, to be president.

This mother of five with a successful marriage, the woman who, without benefit of a famous name or marriage, has been elected successively to positions as city council member, mayor, president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors, served as the appointed (by the then-governor) chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission before being elected governor herself — this before becoming only the second woman to be tapped for a major party vice-presidential nomination, a successful author and bona fide TV star like Reagan — this is the woman who is now presented by everybody from GOP Establishment types to liberal enemies as just a vacant Barbie-style version of other men who were too dumb to be president. Goldwater? Romney? Ford? Reagan? Kemp? Bush 43? Bush 41? Like them all, Sarah Palin is just too dumb to be president.

To ask why so many elites dismiss Sarah Palin as dumb is to ask not only the wrong question but to willfully ignore a by-now very, very distinct pattern. It is, yes, a pattern of modern media treatment with prominent Republicans that is discernible as far back as Dwight Eisenhower. But in fact what some call Palin Derangement Syndrome is merely the modern face of elitist arrogance that has been present since the evolution of America itself as just one more colonial outpost of the British Empire.

The only people who are dumb — really dumb — are those inside the Republican political-consultant complex who think that by nominating someone other than Governor Palin they will have a nominee capable of avoiding this particularly dumb fate.

The Republican nominee for president in 2012 is being prepared by the American liberal media to be presented as a woman — or man — who is too dumb to be president. It is a preposterous proposition on its face, all on the list being, like Palin, people of enormous accomplishment in life. It is even more preposterous in the face of the utterly laughable idea — now validated by the actual results of the 2010 elections — that the Harvard-trained President Obama has been some sort of a whiz-bang genius in the White House. With unemployment riding perpetually just shy of double digits, the nation’s treasury massively in debt to the tune of trillions, with all this “outreach” to Islamic countries who still inspire would be bombers and terrorists — the real question may be “is the someone too dumb to be president already president?”

But no one in the liberal media will ask this of any liberal president. Republicans and conservatives only need apply for the “too dumb to be president” title.

I can accept the argument that Palin may not be able to communicate her intelligence in a manner that certain segments of the American population will accept. But this meme that she is an idiot needs to be shot down with extreme prejudice. Her record manifestly disproves such a notion.

The Palin Factor

The Palin Factor: Even Republican Elites Don’t Get It
by Lance Fairchok @ American Thinker

Taxes, utilities, law enforcement, education, and myriad other things fill a mayor’s day. Palin did it for ten years and did it well. It is true community organizing. It is a leadership proving ground with measurable human consequences — America and America’s problems in a microcosm. Palin cut her teeth there and made it to the governor’s office, where, brief though her tenure was, she excelled. Her entry into national politics was perhaps premature, but the crucible of the 2008 election cut away much of her naïveté.

Here in flyover country, we see an honest woman with our values and our best interests at heart. She is not a liar, nor is she a fool, and she is as angry as we are. The “we love her but don’t want her to be president” push poll is meaningless two years out from 2012. It is a tool to mute enthusiasm for her. The electorate is tired of “old boys” and their endless manipulations. The Tea Party and Sarah Palin are not sitting back, content to savor the latest victories. The spin-masters and talking heads who lament Palin’s lack of “gravitas” forget that Obama has “gravitas” aplenty. Obama’s attitude is a façade and an affectation, while Palin, love her or hate her, is the real deal. Unlike Obama, you can read the details in her résumé. That counts for something now.


By the way, I had the chance to read America By Heart yesterday, and what I found inside were things that my own mother has said more than once. The values that Palin stresses – patriotism, personal responsibility, industry, genuine religious tolerance, sympathy for the handicapped, etc. – are those embraced by most ordinary Americans. I saw no sign that she intends to establish some sort of Pentecostal theocracy in the U.S. As a matter of fact, she devotes an entire passage to praising our Founders for including religious toleration in our “Charters of Freedom.”

That people continue to accept the media narrative where Palin is concerned is a sign of sheer laziness. Her real positions are not state secrets. Not by a long shot. Do the research and find out what our Alaskan “mama grizzly” really thinks.

On the News and Around the Web

First, have some more Chris Christie porn:

If this guy ran for president, I’d be outright excited to cast my vote for him.


In other news, who else is deeply concerned about the developing conflict between North and South Korea? My boss and several of my students have family over there, so I will certainly be monitoring that situation closely. I just wish we didn’t have this team advising Obama. Meep!

On Sarah Palin

All joking aside, I’m really looking forward to the first episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska tonight, and I say that with dead seriousness. I’ve been in love with Mrs. Palin since those key months of 2008. I even stood in the rain for two hours to hear her speak the day she made a campaign stop in my area — and I was joined by several thousand others. Indeed, I would marry Mrs. Palin if she weren’t, you know, straight and already happily married to Todd (and if I weren’t an obedient Catholic).

Yes – in 2008, Palin was not ready for the national stage. She botched interviews she should not have botched and appeared – to independents – to be troublingly ignorant on several important issues. I believed, however, that her deficiencies could be quickly overcome. Her neighbors had repeatedly placed her in positions of leadership in her native state, so it was clear that they at least believed she had the capacity to adapt and learn. No population, no matter how rural, is going put its fate in the hands of the village idiot.

What mattered more to me in 2008 was Mrs. Palin’s character. Knowledge gaps can be filled. A fundamental character flaw, however, is harder to fix. Obama won millions of adoring fans during the 2008 campaign through his verbal virtuosity. It’s now two years later, and the bloom has come off that rose. Why? Because Obama has a bad character. He is notoriously arrogant, yet also remarkably thin-skinned. He treats his fellow Americans like they are naughty and stupid school children — and is surprised when his countrymen decry his condescension and rebel at the ballot box. Despite his elite education and his capacity to weave a web of pretty words, Obama is an unfit leader. Even a few of his fellow Democrats are whispering this truth behind the scenes.

It may be true that Palin was not ready for the national stage in 2008, but I think it’s also true that the national stage was not ready for her. Most of our politicians – and our journalists, for that matter – hail from urban areas. This elite tends to be cosmopolitan — and if it deigns to acknowledge religion at all, it only does so on Sunday morning. Mrs. Palin, on the other hand, swept in from the remote northern climes, carrying with her a little-understood faith and a passionate attachment to her home. She was largely self-taught – contrary to popular leftist belief, she did in fact read voraciously as a child – and when she spoke, she sounded as if she had just stepped off the set of Fargo. Our elite considered all of these facets unforgivable sins. Obama was accepted by our “betters” as American despite the significant amount of time he spent in Indonesia; Mrs. Palin, meanwhile, was treated as some kind of hideous foreign entity.

But despite my suburban childhood, I am drawn to Palin and repulsed by Obama — and my feelings go beyond mere politics. I am drawn to Palin’s rootedness — and to her common sense approach to all things ethical and political.

I am not frightened by the fact that Palin is a Pentecostal. People associate the Pentecostal movement with weird televangelists and people shouting in tongues, but Pentecostals can be found everywhere, and they’re generally pretty normal people. For goodness sake, there’s even a Pentecostal in the Obama administration. His name is Joshua Dubois, and he’s the head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Pentecostalism boasts 580 million adherents of every Christian denomination worldwide (including Catholics, although we call them Charismatics), and the vast majority of those believers are poor. Leftists should be falling all over themselves to welcome Pentecostals into the government in the name of social justice. But, of course, for all its moral preening, our elite left actually dislikes the real, concrete poor. The concrete poor have this icky habit of wearing their faith on their sleeves.

Regarding education, meanwhile, Mrs. Palin and I have at least one thing in common: we both cut our teeth on C.S. Lewis. Lewis is not on the left’s approved list of books (for obvious reasons), but he was in fact a brilliant thinker. His works on Christianity are masterpieces in the history of Christian apologetics, but I think he was even more insightful when he commented upon mid-century Europe’s intellectual zeitgeist. I’m sure Mrs. Palin would agree with my contention that, in Lewis, we can find explanations for many of Western civilization’s current ills.

Palin and I also approach controversial issues in a similar manner. When I was in college (at the hardly prestigious Worcester Polytechnic Institute), I had the opportunity to speak at an undergraduate bioethics conference. The organizers put me in a room with several other students who were also presenting papers which argued against the legalization of physician assisted suicide, so I got a chance to see approaches to the topic that were different from mine. What I noticed was this: while the other students depended upon the arguments of eminent philosophers (Immanuel Kant was often referenced, for example), I argued from common sense, citing the likely social consequences of legalizing PAS. At the time, I had only a glancing familiarity with the great philosophical treatises, but I still came to a conclusion that was similar to that of my peers.

From my observation, Mrs. Palin has also built her worldview in this common-sensical manner. She may not know who F.A. Hayek or Milton Friedman are, but she doesn’t need to. The evidence that these authors were right can be found all around us, and Palin, a natural philosopher and a very smart woman, has gathered that evidence and has managed to draw the correct conclusion without the help of a top-flight education.

The upshot? In many ways, Palin is me.

Mrs. Palin, however, has one thing that I do not: a love of place. As a Navy brat, I moved all over the U.S.A. Consequently, although I’ve lived in Virginia for all but a few of the past 17 years, I don’t feel Virginian. I do have this strong general sense of being an American, to be sure, but there is no one town – no one state – to which I feel connected. Dad has Ambler, PA; Mom, I think, has Salt Lake City, Utah; I have nothing. Palin, on the other hand, is 100% Alaskan. Alaska is in the marrow of her bones; Alaska is in the blood that courses through her veins. And I envy her for that. I envy her for that because I believe G.K. Chesterton was on to something when he argued that a person who is rooted has a fundamental advantage. As he wrote:

… The man in the saloon steamer has seen all the races of men, and he is thinking of the things that divide men — diet, dress, decorum, rings in the nose as in Africa, or in the ears as in Europe, blue paint among the ancients, or red paint among the modern Britons. The man in the cabbage field has seen nothing at all, but he is thinking of the things that unite men — hunger and babies, and the beauty of women, and the promise or menace of the sky.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media do not perceive this depth in Palin. Our journalists are so wedded to their urban, cosmopolitan worldview that they are incapable of seeing Mrs. Palin as anything other than a dumb beauty queen from the sticks. And because of this bigotry – yes, I said bigotry – they have attacked Palin mercilessly for the past two years, in the process convincing many people who otherwise like Palin that she is unelectable. This fills me with an incandescent rage.

This guy needs to be cloned!

Rep.-elect West plans to join Congressional Black Caucus
@ The Hill

West, one of two black Republicans elected to Congress in Tuesday’s election, said he plans to join the Democratic-dominated bloc, to challenge, in West word’s, the CBC’s “monolithic voice.”

“I plan on joining, I’m not gonna ask for permission or whatever, I’m gonna find out when they meet and I will be a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and I think I meet all of the criteria and it’s so important that we break down this ‘monolithic voice’ that continues to talk about victimization and dependency in the black community,” West said on WOR radio.

If West does this, it will be beautiful. Can’t you just imagine how the other members of the CBC will respond when this guy…

… walks into the room? West will probably make them cry. LOL!