When we noted the rather useless NJ poll that simply asked voters if they would today re-elect Obama for a second term (even though he wont be on the ballot for two more years), we stressed how pointless it was to pit Obama vs. "somebody else" on the hypothetical ballot.
In other words:
Perhaps what would be revealing is if National Journal did a poll and inserted the name "Sarah Palin" into the slot of "someone else." Or "Newt Gingrich." Or "Tim Pawlenty." The point being that elections are between two candidates, not an incumbent vs. "someone else." Unless voters know who the "someone else" is, the results are pretty pointless.
Nonetheless, the National Journal poll enjoyed some online buzz because (wow!) "50% say they would probably or definitely vote for someone else."
Well, now Fox News has run a 2012 poll and filled in the "somebody else" slot (and filled it mostly with FNC employees!), and not surprisingly the results are quite different than simply asking people if they'd vote for Obama without giving them a specific challenger.
According to Fox News, Obama would waltz to re-election against Mitt Romney, sail to a second term against Sarah Palin, and probably wouldn't even have to campaign against Newt Gingrich.
So, from now until 2012, you can pretty much ignore media polls that ask voters to pick between Obama and the mysterious "somebody else."
Thanks to this Scott Brown-related dispatch [emphasis added]:
Mass. could benefit if senators set aside partisanship
Right, and if ponies could fly they'd land on rainbows.
This goes back to the point I made yesterday about how the political press refuses to tell the truth about what's been happening inside the Beltway for the last 13 months regarding how the GOP has adopted a radical and unprecedented partisan approach to the White House, to the point where basically every single GOP member opposes all key administration initiatives. We've never seen anything like it in modern American history, but the press pretends like it's normal, and that gosh, bipartisanship is still possible.
Does the Globe really think there's a chance Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Boehner are suddenly going to free their members to vote their conscience on issues and to vote for what's best for their constituents?
The Globe is being almost childishly naive here.
From the January 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
From a January 21 Army Times article:
A company under fire for etching biblical references on rifle scopes used by the U.S. military said Thursday it will stop the practice, and offered to provide modification kits to the Pentagon to enable their removal on existing optics.
Michigan-based Trijicon Inc. made the announcement in a statement released by Levick Strategic Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that specializes in crisis management.
"Trijicon has proudly served the U.S. military for more than two decades, and our decision to offer to voluntarily remove these references is both prudent and appropriate," Trijicon president Stephen Bindon said in a statement. "We want to thank the Department of Defense for the opportunity to work with them and will move as quickly as possible to provide the modification kits for deployment overseas."
Trijicon also said it will remove the inscriptions from all products it has made for the military, but not yet shipped, and that it will provide foreign military services that purchased Trijicon products the same options.
From the Fox Nation:
From Joseph Curl's January 22 Washington Times column:
When the handsome new student arrived on Thursday for a tour of his new school, fellow classmates swooned with delight, lining up to meet the mysterious cool kid and maybe, just maybe, win him over to their clique.
But the newcomer played it coy, running a hand through his perfect hair and flashing his Hollywood smile as he got his flirt on, clearly intent on playing the field for a bit.
"I understand there's an interest in who I am and what makes me tick," he said aloofly. But with a James Dean-like defiance, he added, "I don't owe anybody anything."
Sen.-elect Scott Brown won a special Senate election Tuesday in Massachusetts, giving Republicans 41 members in the Senate, just enough to thwart any legislation pushed by the majority Democrats. While he signed autographs Thursday at the Russell Senate Office Building with his new moniker - "41" - he also made it clear that he may, on occasion, be signing the number "60," too.
But just to make sure, Mr. McCain heaped praised on the charismatic newbie, who isn't yet a senator and who, as the once-obscure state senator joked repeatedly on Thursday, doesn't have an office or even business cards.
"Senator Brown represents, I think, the dreams and the hopes and the frustrations that Americans feel today, and they want the kind of leadership that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts just sent us," Mr. McCain said.
The maverick won chivalry points by escorting the rookie to his next class, past a throng of ogling reporters and photographers, lined up at times 10 deep. He handed the newcomer off to the senior senator from Massachusetts, who immediately tried to make amends to his new classmate for the mean things he'd said behind his new friend's back.
From Sarah Palin's Twitter feed:
From Pat Buchanan's January 21 syndicated column, headlined at WorldNetDaily "Has Obama lost white America?":
Republicans have won three major races -- two of them upsets and one a Massachusetts miracle -- because the white share of the vote in all three rose as a share of the total vote, and Republicans swept the white vote in Reagan-like landslides.
What explains the white surge to the GOP?
First, sinking white support for Obama, seen as ineffectual in ending the recession and stopping the loss of jobs.
Second, a growing perception that Obama is biased. When the president blurted that the Cambridge cops and Sgt. James Crowley "acted stupidly" in arresting black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates -- a rush to judgment that proved wrong -- his support sank in white America and especially in Massachusetts, where black Gov. Deval Patrick joined in piling on Crowley. Deval is now in trouble, too.
Then there was Obama's appointment of Puerto Rican American Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Her militant support for race and ethnic preferences and her decision to deny Frank Ricci and the white firefighters of New Haven a hearing on their case that they were denied promotions they won in competitive exams because they were white caused 31 GOP senators to vote against her.
Immigrants are 21 percent of the uninsured, but only 7 percent of the population. This means white folks on Medicare or headed there will see benefits curtailed, while new arrivals from the Third World, whence almost all immigrants come, get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. Any wonder why all those tea-party and town-hall protests seem to be made up of angry white folks?
What the McDonnell, Christie and Brown victories teach is that the GOP should stop listening to the Wall Street Journal and start listening to these forgotten Americans.
An end to affirmative action and ethnic preferences, an end to bailouts of Wall Street bankers, a moratorium on immigration until unemployment falls to 6 percent, an industrial policy that creates jobs here and stops shipping them to China appear a winning hand in 2012.
From a January 21 post by Mark Krikorian on National Review Online's blog The Corner:
Derb and Jonah's discussion on why Haiti is a basket case misses the point, I think. The question is not "Why isn't Haiti like Denmark?" It's "Why isn't Haiti like Jamaica or Barbados?" Those places certainly have their problems, but they're not dystopian like Haiti. (Haiti doesn't just have the lowest per capita GDP, based on purchasing-power parity, in the Western Hemisphere; the next-lowest, Nicaragua, is at twice Haiti's level.) It's obviously not race -- Caribbean blacks are all from the same basic background. It's not because of their different colonial masters; while Britain's influence in the world has certainly been more salutary than that of France, Guadeloupe and Martinique are also French former sugar colonies in the Caribbean, and they're infinitely better off.
My guess is that Haiti's so screwed up because it wasn't colonized long enough. The ancestors of today's Haitians, like elsewhere in the Caribbean, experienced the dislocation of de-tribalization, which disrupted the natural ties of family and clan and ethnicity. They also suffered the brutality of sugar-plantation slavery, which was so deadly that the majority of slaves at the time of independence were African-born, because their predecessors hadn't lived long enough to reproduce.
But, unlike Jamaicans and Bajans and Guadeloupeans, et al., after experiencing the worst of tropical colonial slavery, the Haitians didn't stick around long enough to benefit from it. (Haiti became independent in 1804.). And by benefit I mean develop a local culture significantly shaped by the more-advanced civilization of the colonizers. Sure, their creole language is influenced by French, but they never became black Frenchmen, like the Martiniquais, or "Afro-Saxons," like the Barbadians. Where a similar creolization took place in Africa, you saw a similar thing -- the Cape Coloureds, who are basically black Afrikaaners, and even the Swahili peoples of the east African coast, who are Arabized blacks. A major indicator of how superficial is the overlay of French culture in Haiti is the strength of paganism, in the form of voodoo -- the French just weren't around long enough to suppress it, to the detriment of Haitians.