Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Record High 57% of Americans Don't Trust Media

From Gallup:
"For the fourth straight year, the majority of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 57% who now say this is a record high by one percentage point."
. . .

"These findings also further confirm a separate Gallup poll that found little confidence in newspapers and television specifically."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anti-First Amendment Thuggery

Mark Steyn:
Take this no-name pastor from an obscure church who was threatening to burn the Koran. He didn’t burn any buildings or women and children. He didn’t even burn a book. He hadn’t actually laid a finger on a Koran, and yet the mere suggestion that he might do so prompted the President of the United States to denounce him, and the Secretary of State, and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, various G7 leaders, and golly, even Angelina Jolie. President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in.

Aside from all that, this obscure church’s website has been shut down, its insurance policy has been canceled, its mortgage has been called in by its bankers. Why? As Diana West wrote, why was it necessary or even seemly to make this pastor a non-person? Another one of Obama's famous "teaching moments"? In this case teaching us that Islamic law now applies to all? Only a couple of weeks ago, the President, at his most condescendingly ineffectual, presumed to lecture his moronic subjects about the First Amendment rights of Imam Rauf. Where's the condescending lecture on Pastor Jones' First Amendment rights?
Read the whole post. Mark Steyn is, as usual, brilliantly right. Unfortunately for us.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Huffman Shooting Himself in the Foot

Coyote over at NW Republican has a good review of the problems Jim Huffman is creating for himself.

Huffman has not ginned up excitement about his candidacy. He has not found a key issue to hammer--not even Obamacare, unemployment (Oregon's unemployment is currently 7th worst among the states), or the unsuccessful stimulus plan.

Bureau of Labor Statistics graphic
So, instead of finding a winning strategy for a very attractive candidacy (even the Oregonian likes him), Huffman has opted to focus on what sort of candidate he is not.
Now why on earth would Republican Senatorial Candidate Jim Huffman pick this point in the campaign to stick it to the folks who helped him win his only campaign (the Republican primary election.)?
“My campaign people, when I started, wanted to turn me into a tub-thumping firebrand, and that’s not just in my personality. Nor do I like where that ultimately takes us.“

And it’s a good thing he’s not more like Beck, he continues: “If I were to get Glenn Beck to come out here and speak on my behalf, I don’t think that would be a good thing in the state of Oregon. Similarly with Sarah Palin.”
. . .
You don't like "where that ultimately takes us?" And just where is that Mr. Huffman?

Where is Sarah Palin "taking" us that you don't really like?
. . .
There is a reason why Republicans all across the nation (and even here on the left coast) are running strong and respectable campaigns and yet the race in Oregon is basically over. There is a major sea change going on in politics now. A changing of the tide and folks like Sarah Palin, Glen Beck and yes those "campaign people" who helped you win your primary are all part of it.
Coyote is 100% right. Why isn't Huffman focusing on attacking his opponent? Instead he thinks it wise to diss those who are bringing new enthusiasm to the party.

I don't follow Glen Beck, but Sarah Palin has a .700 batting record in endorsing winning candidates. If you are one of four (Oregon, Hawaii, Maryland, Vermont) of 37 Republican senatorial candidates who is almost definitely in the "lose" column, you could do worse than look at what has made her long-shot endorsements winners.

I donated to Huffman's campaign, but am now seeing it as almost lost money--except taking it off my Oregon income taxes. Unfortunately, I could have found better recipients than Huffman who seems to be politically clueless.

Having academic smarts is not the same as being able to get things done. It is especially telling that Huffman is unwilling to learn from others how to run a good campaign. (Even Christine O'Donnell, with all the media cuts against her, seems to have a better chance of winning in Delaware, a very blue state, than Huffman with almost no media criticism in Oregon.)

It may be that Huffman's gratuitous negative mentions of Palin and Beck are not so much trying to endear himself to "moderate" Republicans as trying to defang possible blow back in academia where he hopes to return. The left reigns supreme there and does not willingly suffer departure from the left party line.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dem Strategist: Has Palin Saved the GOP?

Paul Goldman, political strategist and former head of Virginia's Democratic Party, thinks so:
"There has been a lot of carping about Republicans' prospects for November since Palin-backed candidate Christine O'Donnell defeated longtime Delaware officeholder Mike Castle for the Republican Senate nomination Tuesday. But contrary to conventional wisdom, the 2008 vice presidential nominee has kept the party strong. How? She has kept the Tea Party faithful inside the GOP tent. Had she instead encouraged these disillusioned voters to mount third-party challenges across the 2010 general-election ballot, dozens of Democratic incumbents, not to mention challengers, would be smiling like Woodrow Wilson in 1912 [when Democrat Wilson won because Teddy Roosevelt formed his own party and ran as an independent rather than support incumbent Republican President Taft.]"
[emphasis added]
Goldman ribs Republican guru Karl Rove for missing the big picture:
"Establishment Republicans, including former Bush aide Karl Rove, have said this year that the strength of the Tea Party movement has sometimes forced the nomination of contenders with weak prospects for winning a general election. This is surely right; O'Donnell's upset on Tuesday is merely the latest example, but there were similar complaints about the Nevada Senate contest. But O'Donnell's victory follows a long GOP pattern in the Northeast of established, old-school moderates being denied the nomination in favor of fresh, sharper-edged conservatives, as happened with New Jersey Sen. Clifford Case in the 1978 Republican primary, Sen. Jacob Javits in New York (1980) and, most recently, Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. The bigger picture here is not about a dearth of moderate Republicans in the Northeast. And yes, on Nov. 2, events in Delaware might leave some Republicans wondering what might have been. But this would seem a small price to pay to avoid a massive party split thanks to the protest vote still sweeping across the country."
[emphasis added]
Goldman's entire piece is well worth reading.

Maybe We Should Ask Karl Rove to Attack Jim Huffman

From a goal of $50,000 to a goal of $1 million in three days? Not bad.

Where is Karl when we need him?

You can donate to Huffman here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Class on 122nd

Pretty classy young man quoting Charles Spurgeon.

UPDATE: For those who may not know, Charles Spurgeon was the great British Baptist preacher called the "Prince of Preachers". Among many notable achievements, he published a sermon every week from 1856 until 1891 (months before his death). Those sermons sold 25,000 copies each week. I wonder if, adjusted for population growth or not, any other preacher has matched that distribution/sales record.

Time to Downsize Google?

Maybe a spate of Google badware warnings is correct, but there are suspicious factors.

The Portland Tribune site is listed as dangerous. These screenshots were taken September 15th.

But, the info on the "black listing" says the report came in on September 16th.

Then the NW Republican website came up as dangerous this morning in Google Chrome (but not in Firefox).

Because it had links to

Here's a short discussion about Google's possible erroneous badware labeling.

The Weekly Standard just had a short piece on Google's strange map problems that happened to coincide with a major political/social event that Google's founders don't favor.

And, of course, there is Google's mistaken gathering of personal information in their street mapping effort in dozens of countries.
"Google said during a review it found it had "been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open networks".

"The admission will increase concerns about potential privacy breaches.

"These snippets could include parts of an email, text or photograph or even the website someone may be viewing."
[emphasis added]
A mistake? Germany's federal commissioner for data protection and freedom of information doesn't think so:
"'So everything was a mistake, a software bug! The data was collected and stored without the authorisation of the project's managers
or even the company's managers. If go along with this story, this means the software was used without having been properly tested beforehand,' [Peter Schaar] says.

"'It acquired billions of records unintentionally, without anyone in the company noticing, not even Google's internal data protection officials, who were still defending the company's practices two weeks ago.'"
Google seems to have too much power and insufficient capacity (or will) to make sure it is responsibly used. Google CEO Eric Schmidt famously declared:
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
Time to downsize Google?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ABC O'Donnell Interview

O'Donnell handles herself well. A little comeuppance for the screechers?

UPDATE: Governor Palin weighs in.

UPDATE 2: Brent Orrell of the Frum Forum has some interesting analysis of voting numbers in Delaware (and New Hampshire). It seems that 32% of Republicans and only 12% of Democrats voted in the Delaware primary yesterday. With that turnout Republicans outvoted Democrats almost 2 to 1!
Republican turnout numbers continue to be impressive. In Delaware, the O’Donnell-Castle match-up drew almost 60,000 voters compared to 33,000 for contested statewide races on the Democratic side. The Delaware Secretary of State reports that Republican turnout was 32 percent compared to just 12 percent among Democrats. In New Hampshire, where independents can vote in primaries, Republican turnout in the Democratic-leaning 2nd District was 55,000 compared to just 31,000 for the contested primary on the other side.

In Four Years Newspapers Drop Significantly as Direct News Source

From the Pew Research Center:
When asked if they had a chance to read a daily newspaper yesterday, just 31% of Americans say they read a newspaper, the lowest percentage in two decades of Pew Research Center polling. When online news consumers are later probed separately if they happened to read anything on a newspaper website, the total rises to 37%, but even this more inclusive measure of newspaper readership is on a downward trajectory. Four years ago 43% reported some kind of newspaper reading, in print or online. These percentages still may miss some people who access newspaper content indirectly through secondary online sources such as news aggregators or search engines.
Though radio as news source has lost 37% of its audience since 1991 and television has dropped 15%, newspapers lost almost 45% of their direct news audience.

More bad news is that a big chunk of the fall off for newspapers came in just the last four years at a time when both TV and radio had a more or less stable news audience.
Daily audiences for TV and radio, by contrast, are holding steady. Television remains the most prevalent source of news; 58% of Americans say they watched the news or a news program on television yesterday, a percentage that has changed little over the past decade. About a third (34%) say they listened to news on the radio yesterday, which is little changed from recent years, but far lower than during the 1990s.
H/T Michael Barone

One reason why Oregonian readership continues to decline.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Taxes on Businesses Mean Less Oregon Jobs?

What do you know. Higher taxes (including Measure 66 taxes) on Oregon businesses mean fewer Oregon jobs. From the Wall Street Journal:
"Target Plastics Inc., a Salem, Ore., maker of custom plastic products, used to have seven employees, but now it has only two full-time workers, with an additional person working half-time, said owner Melissa Hescock.

"'I've basically cut back because of the amount of taxes,' Ms. Hescock said, including recent state increases and anticipated future federal boosts. 'I have fewer people doing more work.'"
[emphasis added]
Wonder if the Oregonian will follow up on this WSJ reporting.

H/T Jennifer Rubin

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Palin Wins Duel of Wits with Schwarzenegger

Former Governor Sarah Palin easily won a duel of wits with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday.

Schwarzenegger tweeted:
Over Anchorage, AK. Looking everywhere but can't see Russia from here. Will keep you updated as search continues.
along with this twitpic:
What was obviously meant to show Schwarzenegger's wit, fell flat because you can see Russia's Big Diomede Island from Alaska's Little Diomede Island even though you can't see it from Anchorage (660 miles away). It's as witty as tweeting "Over Portland, OR [300 miles from the California border]. Looking everywhere but can't see California from here. Will keep you updated as search continues."

However, Governor Palin, who the joke was aimed at, turned the tables on Schwarzenegger with real wit.
Arnold should have landed; I could have explained our multi-billion dollar state surplus & US energy security efforts. What's he been up to?
Palin tripled Alaska's savings in her 2-1/2 years as governor, and Alaska is anticipating a $2.2 billion surplus in 2010.

Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, has been in the saddle during the collapse of California's state budget from a positive $4 billion beginning balance in 2008 to a projected -$20 billion in 2011. From California's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office:
Ooh, that hurts!

H/T Conservatives4Palin

Thomas Anthony Casoria--Hero

Thomas Anthony Casoria
It's too easy to think of the almost 3,000 killed on 9/11 as just numbers. But, they were vibrant people who loved and were loved. And some, like Thomas Anthony Casoria, were heroes. I first posted this in 2006, and I post it again today because it's right to remember and honor men and women like Tommy Casoria.

Thomas Anthony Casoria was killed by Al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001.

Tommy was only 29. He was a firefighter with the New York Fire Department, Engine Company 22. He lived his life in direct opposition to the values of the terrorists. He died trying to save lives.

Tommy responded to the call for help in Tower One of the World Trade Center. Here's what one of his cousins, Jo-Ann Casoria, wrote:

Tommy absolutely loved his job and he loved sharing stories of his workdays with his older brother, Carlo, also a firefighter.


Tommy radioed in his location twice after Tower Two fell. He and two of his "brothers," Vinny Kane and Mike Elferis, were carrying a paraplegic down the stairwell, when a call came in that another firefighter needed aid. Tommy answered that call, as did many others.

Tommy was engaged to be married. Though he never got the chance to spend those happy honeymoon years with his fiancee, Terri, or raise a family, he left a legacy of love and friendship along with his heroism.

One of Tommy's friends, Richard Vitale, wrote:

Let me tell you about Tommy. This man was the funniest guy I ever worked with. It was always a blast. Tommy could simulate anyone's voice with great detail. I never worked with anyone like him. What a great guy! Tommy knew what was right and what was wrong. He never crackled under peer pressure. Even when he tried to work for me for Thanksgiving. He stood strong. That was some reaction we got from the Truck, wasnt it, Tom. Maguire got red as a tomato. I remember when he told me he was going to get married. He was so happy and in Love. What a big smile he had on his face. I teased him about "dont do it", however, I thought what a lucky man to be in love this much. Tommy was respected and loved by everyone.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Oregon in Violation of National Voter Registration Act

Update: Here's a link to the report on Oregon's failure to remove anyone from its voting records due to death. See page 62 of the report (page 68 of the pdf).
- - - - - - -
Oregon is in violation of the National Voter Registration Act.
. . . Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act . . . requires states to remove ineligible voters from their registration rolls — people who have died or moved away, and felons who have not yet had their voting rights restored. The longer such names remain on a registration list, the greater the chances that a fraudulent vote will be cast in their names.
For the period 2006 to 2008 Oregon didn't remove a single dead voter.
[Christian] Adams’s letters [of warning to non-compliant states] are based in part on a report filed with Congress by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in June 2009 on the impact of the NVRA. It includes voter-registration statistics from the states for 2006–2008. This data shows some amazing results. For example, Adams says, there must be a fountain of youth in states such as Maryland, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Tennessee: None of them removed a single dead voter during that two-year reporting period.
Oregon Secretary of State incompetence? Corruption? Your call.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Newspaper Ad Revenue Continues to Decline

Newspaper ad revenue dropped again in the 2nd quarter of 2010.

The $5.694 billion 2nd quarter total (click on the quarterly link) is the lowest since 1983.

Considering the value of 1983 dollars in terms of 2010, the plunge is even worse. According to an Oregon State University calculation chart, $5.694 billion in 2010 dollars is worth $2.545 billion in 1983 dollars. Comparing the actual dollar value, one has to go back to before 1971 (the earliest year on the Newspaper Association of America's advertising revenue chart) for an equivalent figure.

The slight silver lining is the rate of decline has slowed to -7.62%. This compares with a drop of -11.42% in the 1st quarter of 2010 and a -25.63% 4th quarter for 2009. It's the first single digit drop after ten quarters of double digit losses.

2nd quarter: -07.62% $5.694 billion
1st quarter: -11.42% $5.247 billion

4th quarter: -25.63% $6.913 billion
3rd quarter: -28.85% $5.820 billion
2nd quarter: -30.15% $6.164 billion
1st quarter: -29.70% $5.923 billion

4th quarter: -20.59% $9.296 billion
3rd quarter: -19.26% $8.193 billion
2nd quarter: -16.07% $8.825 billion
1st quarter: -14.38% $8.425 billion

4th quarter: -11.60% $11.706 billion
3rd quarter: -09.00% $10.147 billion
2nd quarter: -10.20% $10.515 billion
1st quarter: -06.40% $9.840 billion

The highest quarter total was 4th quarter of 2000 with ad revenue total of $13.934 billion. This year's 2nd quarter total is less than half of the 2000 2nd quarter total ($12.109 billion)--or in similar dollar terms worth slightly over a third (36%) of the 2000 2nd quarter value.

H/T Editor & Publisher

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wyden Pushes Oregon to Opt Out of Obamacare

Senator Ron Wyden wants Oregon to opt out of Obamacare and is pushing for it sooner rather than later. Wyden is also walking back his own call for the individual mandate which forces individuals to buy healhcare insurance or face a fine.
"In a letter to the state's Health Authority office, Wyden announced that he will introduce legislation to accelerate the start date for state waivers from 2017 to 2014, if not earlier for Oregon specifically.

"In addition, he strongly suggested that the state should use the provision to exempt Oregon from the individual mandate, which would penalize those individuals who refuse to purchase insurance coverage. The mandate was a feature of Wyden's own health care bill but has proved to be remarkably unpopular among voters."
Now that might be a policy both liberals and conservatives can get behind. Have all 50 states opt out of Obamacare.

H/T Michelle Malkin

V-J Day - End to an "Open-Ended" War

invasion of France - FDR Presidential library photo
Today is the 65th anniversary of V-J Day (Victory over Japan) and the end of World War II.

The war, which saw the loss of over 400,000 US soldiers and over 600,000 non-mortal woundings, was aimed not only at victory but a victory in which the enemies must agree to "unconditional surrender". That was the policy of President Franklin Roosevelt and President Harry Truman. Neither FDR nor Truman blanched at an "open-ended" war or waffled on "unconditional surrender".

For Roosevelt total victory included relocation camps for American Japanese. It required a foot soldier invasion of Europe on D-Day. It meant persevering in a brutal and costly war in the Pacific and a total victory over Japan. For Truman it included planning for an even more brutal and costly invasion of Japan than the invasion of Europe. And, it meant dropping two atomic bombs on Japan to end the war.

invasion of Iwo Jima - World War II Data Base photo
Victory was the goal for Roosevelt and Truman--even at the cost of more than a million American deaths and woundings.

Too bad that President Obama doesn't echo the vision and courage of FDR:
My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944
Listen to FDR's entire speech/prayer here.

American Cemetery in Normandy

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Oregon Unemployment and Income Woes

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

July (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate:

12.3% - California
8.8% - Idaho
10.6% - Oregon
8.9% - Washington

Added to this are state income woes. Raising taxes on corporations and the rich is bringing in significantly less than expected.
"The latest numbers show Measure 66, which set higher tax rates on households making more than $250,000 a year, and on individual filers making half that, has brought in about $70 million in additional collections to date. The measure also lowered the amount that could be deducted for paying federal taxes.

"We're thinking we're right around half of what we expected about this time,' said Paul Warner, head of the Legislative Revenue Office.

"At that pace, Oregon government would bring in less than $300 million for tax years 2009 and 2010 from the retroactive higher tax rates, instead of the $472 million that had been estimated before the election."
Hmm. You make the business climate harder by retroactively(!) raising taxes which results in continuing high unemployment as well as a lot less state income than expected. The Democrat led state legislature never seems to learn.

Earl Blumenauer Interviewed--and Not

H/T NW Republican