Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is he finished?

Hard to believe, but the State of the Union speech finally wrapped (before I put The Bliss Index™ to bed...Thursday night).

A few quick facts:

  • It was the second-longest SOTU speech...evah.
  • The president used the personal pronoun, "I," approximately 132 times.
  • For the first time in recent memory, the first lady was not introduced.
  • For the first time in SOTU history, a Supreme Court justice rebutted the speech - while it was in progress.
  • It was "Joe Biden Bobblehead Doll Night" at the U.S. Capitol.

History being made...

Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Samuel Alito tells the law school prof he doesn’t know the law.

"Not true..."

Someone else kept score Wednesday night. (Hard to believe it was the Associated Press.)

He offered “Hope and Change”…so much for the change part.

And finally: Yes, racism still lives. (But probably not where most expected...)



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Radio active...tonight

It’s been a busy news day and we’ll delve into some of the big topics on The John Batchelor Show tonight around 9 p.m. (PST). I’ll join John to discuss the State of the Union speech, the state of California, the state of Silicon Valley (i.e.: Apple’s just-released iPad) and more.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the long-awaited iPad...

You can listen to the show at WTTK-FM 96.9 Boston, WABC-AM 77 NY, WMAL-AM 630 Washington, D.C., XM/Sirius Satellite Radio and on more than two dozen other stations (check local listings for details). If you’re not in one of the listening areas, you can tune-in via any of those stations’ websites.

And as alwaysthanks for listening.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Saving the Middle Class?"

Attempting to address the nation’s intertwined economic and unemployment crises - not to mention put the brakes on his and the Democratic Party’s sliding poll numbers - the president announced earlier today that his administration would enact a series of measures to “reverse the overall erosion in middle class security.”

I’ll be joining a panel discussion on the administration's efforts tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” The conversation will focus on a plan that includes “a package of modest initiatives intended to help families pay for child care, save for retirement, pay student loans and care for elderly parents.” The announcement is being seen by some White House watchers as a preview of what to expect when the president delivers the State of the Union speech Wednesday night.

The president - as candidate - on saving the middle class...(Toledo, Ohio, on October 13, 2008).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday night - lite

It's a chilly night here at the HQ of The Bliss Index™, so rather than trying to keep warm by keying-in copy at a rapid rate, we'll just give you a quick rundown of some interesting tidbits floating around out there today/tonight.

Ghost in the Machine? The photo below is a hot subject of debate right now. Why? Because if you look behind the president, there appears to be a figure of some sort looking out the window at him as he passes. The story goes that the Secret Service said there was no one in that office at the time and it's merely a "trick of the light." I dunno. I think if you look closely enough, you can see Jimmy Carter looking on from the great beyond.

Cue the Rockwell/Geico song...

So the terror alert level in the UK is now at “severe”…Still not as bad as “bloody ‘ell!”

The alert level is now at "toasty"...

Speaking of terror alerts: Looks like we might have to raise our alert level to “No Frumpy.”

O’, Canada! One more reason to love our nutty neighbors to the north. (No, not those folks up in Minnesota.)

Thank a Canadian...

How are Saudi Arabia and Venezuela alike? Well, both places are run by people who fall under the heading of “not so nice.” Oh, yeah, and they’ve both got oil. Lots and lots and lots of oil.

Hugo Chavez, oil baron...

“Charges Withdrawn in Military Commissions for Sept. 11 Suspects” is the headline from our friends at Fox. Anyone wanna place a bet on how this is gonna end?

SayBye-bye, Ben.”

“Do us a solid,” President Barack Obama’s brothers-in-arms ask. “Stop yakking about all that other stuff and talk about a subject that matters to voters – jobs. You know, that thing none of us will have if you don’t get things moving.”

Actually, it's making up fake jobs in fake companies in fake districts...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Money, money, money...

Now that the Supreme Court has opened the door for corporations to make big gifts to political campaigns, those same corporations are slamming their doors in the faces of politicians begging for spare change. And a lot of ‘em don’t think the big guy in D.C. is doing such a hot job, either.

Go away...

First, a Republican wins Teddy Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts. The Supreme Court decides corporations, unions and every other group is equal. Then, Air America goes belly-up. Could things get any worse this week for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Blackjack)? Yep. They just did.

Thanks for coming - now go away...

Speaking of the SCOTUS campaign cash decision: Why do Democrats so vehemently oppose the high court’s decision? Might it be because it levels the field by taking away their advantages in fundraising? Of course, the GOP isn’t doing itself any favors.

Mr. Moneybags...

Now that the health care/insurance reform bill is more DOA than a week-old corpse in the waiting room, the majority party has decided to tackle (spin wheel o’ misfortune)…unemployment. This should end well.

Hmm, what other problems can I successfully handle?

Remember the 2008 election campaigns? Remember one particular party’s pledge to those “evil Bush tax cuts?” Um, yeah, about that pledge…um, not so much.

Speaking of money troubles: From TIME’s “Man of the Year” to “what did you say your name was, again?”

Don't cry, Ben. It will all be over, soon...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dead Air...

News item: Air America noses in...

From its very beginning – yes, from its concept in some loony brainstorming session where “well-meaning” folks were discussing how they’d take down Rush Limbaugh/talk radio and the ascending Fox News – Air America was in a flat spin. A death spiral.

I’m sure it was a smashing the time (probably made all the more edible with the help of a few drinks…maybe some other “agents of enhancement”). “We’ll fight fire with fire!” no doubt was the battle cry. “If Limbaugh can steal make empty headed voters pull the lever for those guys with an “R” next to their name, I’m sure we can come up with a host or two – NO! A WHOLE RADIO NETWORK! – dedicated to presenting the other side. And once they hear our arguments, there’s no way they won’t buy it. There’s no way they can resist! I mean, look at the way we suck ‘em in with movies and TV.”

Yep. It was a great ideajust like that time we thought about putting screen doors on all our submarines!

Well, Air America finally…with a resounding thud.

"Ladies and gentlemen…the pilot has some bad news. Um, yeah. We’re going to be making an unplanned landing here. And, um, well, return your seats to their upright positions lock your trays up and kiss your backsides goodbye. We’re going in – hard. Oh, and thank you for flying Air America."

On Thursday, the all-liberal content/host radio network announced that due to “very difficult economic environment,” it was kaput.

From the start, it was only a matter of time before Air America experienced “Controlled flight into terrain.” The economic model was weak, the entertainment was all but missing and programming/content was so predictable that it was nearly possible to turn off any given show, come back several hours later and know exactly what would be airing. In short, it wasn’t worth listening to unless you were driven by an incessant need to constantly hear someone attack (pick one or more): the GOP, big business, the GOP, the Pentagon, the GOP, America’s history of (fill in your favorite reason to loathe the U.S.)…oh, and the GOP.

“It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding down of the business,” the chairman of Air America Media, Charlie Kireker, said in a memorandum. His statement was published on

You could hear the schadenfreude as far away as Dick Cheney’s house.

“The company, which was founded in 2004, never found a substantial audience or sound financial footing. It filed for bankruptcy protection in 2006, but managed to stay on the air at that time. The network churned through several owners and several attempted reinventions, with little to show for it.” (h/t: NY Times)

The network – founded in 2004, made a point of positioning itself as a liberal alternative to conservative talk radio host Limbaugh and the multitude of others who have worked to follow in his footsteps. At one time, the network was carried nationally on approximately 100 stations, but early on it experienced money woes. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2006 and in 2007, a group of new investors bought a one-way ticket to nowheresville on Air America for $4.25 million.

United States Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) – who had previously built a career on “Saturday Night Live,” – hosted an Air America show from 2004 to 2007 before running for office. Rachel Maddow, who also hosted on Air America, has since gone on to a lucrative career with her own prime-time show on MSNBC. In addition to those two, Air America had a list of hosts that included Ron Reagan Jr., musician Steve Earle, comedian/actress Janeane Garofalo and rapper Chuck D.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we know you have a choice when you pick your radio station…so we thank you for…wait – they’re still listening to conservative talk radio? Oh, no…we’re going in!”

I'm sorry I couldn't do anything about the Minnesota U.S. Senate race, but I like to think I did my part to bring Air America down...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another day, another protest...

Welcome to San Francisco!

More than 200 homeless people from throughout the city and their advocates (some bused in from Oregon, Sacramento and the East Bay), kicked off a protest in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza this morning with calls for better - and more accessible - housing for homeless throughout the nation.

Mr. Flav...

At the barricades, megaphone turned to "11"...

The protest, which was an interesting mix of Berkeley-based activists (a few wearing Tiffany signature jewelry) and some of the city's most destitute citizens, was noisy but non-violent. Speakers worked the lunch time crowd - the rally lasted approximately two hours - with chants, speeches and songs. Protestors carried placards in English as well as Spanish, and an impromptu "field kitchen" that provided free Mexican-style food attracted numerous attendees.

Capt. Amerikka and his slogan-emblazoned flag - "hate it or leave it!"...

The protest's "field kitchen" provided free food to all at the event...

Speakers called for money to be diverted from defense ("Stop Funding War!!") and other budgets to causes supporting the poor. "Housing is a human right!" was shouted at regular intervals, and one yell leader got the crowd to repeat his chants of, "Free health care! Free housing! Free everything!"

The crowd in Justin Herman Plaza...

The protest drew a significant number of marchers carrying signs demanding housing written in English and Spanish, which protesters said recognized the growing number of Latino homeless.

The evening after...

(Apologies to the original photog/source: Amendola/AP - appearing in the NY Daily News)...

The U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts is history…but that doesn’t mean we still can’t talk about it.

I’ll be on The John Batchelor Show tonight, 10:30 - 11 p.m. (Eastern Time)/7:30 – 8 p.m. (Pacific). We’ll touch on the Massachusetts results and discuss what it means for the rest of the nation. You can listen to the show on WTTK-FM 96.9 Boston, WABC-AM 77 NY, WMAL-AM 630 Washington, D.C., XM/Sirius Satellite Radio and on more than two dozen other stations (check local listings for details). If you’re not in one of the listening areas, you can tune-in via any of those stations’ websites.

And as always…thanks for listening.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


In a repeat of another big American election-related faux pas, The Boston Globe ran an online headline earlier today reminiscent of The Chicago Tribune's premature political obituary.

Just as Give 'em Hell Harry did to his opponent in 1948, GOP candidate Scott Brown thumped his opponent in Massachusetts' U.S. Senate special election - despite the news media's insistence otherwise.

When all was said and done, the onetime underdog handily beat state attorney general Martha Coakley - one of the worst campaigners in modern American political history. Evah.

Just a few weeks ago, Brown trailed the heavily favored Democrat by double digits, but by the time Coakley surrendered tonight, the GOP upstart had won big (6 points-plus at "press time").


Massachusetts, a "blue-blue" state, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 3-1, not only failed to support Coakley, but more than 20 percent cast ballots for Brown. In retrospect, Coakley is coming under intense criticism for running a campaign that not only failed to address the largest concerns of voters - namely jobs and the economy - but she ran headlong to embrace President Barack Obama's health insurance reform plan - this at a time when Americans -and Bay Staters - are rejecting the proposal in growing numbers.

While Brown's election means the GOP now has filibuster power in the Senate, it's unclear as to whether Democrats will ramrod the Senate's version of the bill through the House - unchanged - as suggested by Speaker Nancy Pelosi(D). Regardless, on a whole host of other issues Brown now represents the chief stumbling block - the 41st vote against Obama's agenda.

The victor: U.S. Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.)...

Brown, who will finish out the remaining two years in the late Edward M. Kennedy's term, is one of three Republicans (including the governors of New Jersey and Virginia) elected in the afterglow of Obama's inauguration last January.

These results have Democrat pollsters, pundits, party members and incumbents rightfully worried about the coming mid-term elections...not to mention a president with a severely weakened ability to now bring about the second half of "Hope & Change."

Brown's victory speech...

The Massachusetts special election!

With the special election for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts today, the night’s going to be busy one on the radio…

To kick things off, I’ll be on Dave Congalton’s “Hometown Radio” broadcast on KVEC-AM 920 all along the Central Coast. From 6 – 7 p.m. (Pac Time), the two of us will discuss the Brown vs. Coakley race, its implications, and we’ll taking phone calls from listeners.

Then, around 9 p.m. (Pac Time), I’ll be on The John Batchelor Show and (cross your fingers) we should have a better idea of the Massachusetts results. You can listen to the show at WTTK-FM 96.9 Boston, WABC-AM 77 NY, WMAL-AM 630 Washington, D.C., XM/Sirius Satellite Radio and on more than two dozen other stations (check local listings for details). If you’re not in one of the listening areas, you can tune-in via any of those stations’ websites.

And as always…thanks for listening.

Monday, January 18, 2010

It could all come down to tomorrow's vote...

Sources: Obama advisers believe Coakley will lose

Martha Coakley(D) vs. Scott Brown (R) - Massachusetts votes for its next U.S. Senator on Tuesday - and the nation waits anxiously...

“Washington (CNN) - Multiple advisers to President Obama have privately told party officials that they believe Democrat Martha Coakley is going to lose Tuesday’s special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy for more than 40 years, several Democratic sources told CNN Sunday. The sources added that the advisers are still hopeful that Obama's visit to Massachusetts on Sunday - coupled with a late push by Democratic activists - could help Coakley pull out a narrow victory in an increasingly tight race against Republican state Sen. Scott Brown. However, the presidential advisers have grown increasingly pessimistic in the last three days about Coakley's chances after a series of missteps by the candidate, sources said.”

When The Bliss Index© was put to bed, Brown was leading by at least 5 points - and in some cases as many as 9 points – in pre-election polls. If Brown beats Coakley, the Massachusetts state Attorney General, handpicked by the Boston Machine, it will be one of the greatest upsets in modern American political history. In a state where Democrats outnumber GOP registrants by about 3-1…in a state where the Kennedy’s are not just royalty but their name is spoken in hushed, reverent tones…in a state where the last time a GOP candidate won a senate seat was when JFK was still stretching his legs in the U.S. Senate…where the idea of someone who might end up taking the late-Ted Kennedy’s seat…it’s almost too much to imagine/hope for...

Yes we can.

If Brown wins, not only will he have signaled that perhaps the sequel to “Camelot” is weakening at the box office, but also that any additional installments might not see the light of day. Immediately, though, he presents a tough challenge to the Obamacare effort: he becomes the 41st GOP vote, effectively strangling any future votes on the effort to nationalize health care. Thus, the race becomes a referendum for/on the administration…which motivated the president to travel to Massachusetts on Sunday for a last-minute bit of rallying.

The president didn’t get all the love he was hoping for when he came to speak for Coakley on Monday…

So, as a service to voters and non-voters alike, here’s a last-minute run-up to tomorrow’s special election.

Is history repeating? More than 200 years ago, a bunch of colonists – dressed as Native Americans – threw British goods into a Massachusetts harbor. Thus, the Boston Tea Party was born. Now, we’ve got conservatives, independents and others revolting against the administration and Congress…and we’ve got the modern Tea Party. In addition, if polls hold up, Bay State voters are once again going to throw their rulers’ “goods” into the (figurative) harbor when they elect a Republican to the U.S. Senate for the first time since the mid-1950s. As columnist Mark Steyn so aptly puts it (again, referring to one of the great moments of the American Revolution), tomorrow’s vote could be “The Scott Heard ‘Round the World.”

White House to everyone: “Even if Coakley loses, we’re shoving Obamacare down your throats.” They’ve got the plans in place. According to a report by the Associated Press, “The likeliest scenario would require persuading House Democrats to accept a bill the Senate passed last month, despite their objections to several parts.”

Yes, the Dems are worried. According to The Hill, “Democrats pulled out all the stops in Massachusetts on Monday but are bracing for a loss in Tuesday’s special election.” Some Dems have even said they’d do just about anything to prevent a Brown win.

If you’re behind in the polls in Massachusetts, do you really want to take on a Red Sox legend?

Add Schilling: He’s an even more important asset in Mass. when he and Doug Flutie join together. (If Brown signs-up Bobby Orr and Larry Bird, he will automatically be named King of the World.)

If you’ve seen any of Coakley’s appearances or any of her ads, you’ll notice the person she’s really running against is…George W. Bush. Hmmm. I guess she didn’t read her ballot closely enough.

If you’re the Dem candidate – and, apparently, Martha Coakley is – you’re praying for sunny skies on Tuesday.

Everyone thinks of the Bay State as the mecca of Eastern elitism…that is, except for the run-of-the-mill folks who live there. “Unlike the past when a liberal who lives in Beacon Hill, and the plumber who fixes his sinks and lives in Somerville could generally be relied upon to both vote for Ted Kennedy, this year the plumber from Somerville has a choice that easily appeals to *him* and will stick it to all those Ha-vahd snobs who have always looked down at him. Scott Brown can win, because he authentically appeals to a voting block that has been taken for granted in the Bay State for a long, long time...” (h/t: Charlie Foxtrot)

Finally, enough about Coakley being a “poor campaigner.” Heck, even the best of ‘em can blow it…as evidenced here.

“Republican Scott Brown is a regular guy who drives a truck with nearly 200,000 miles on it. He says the truck has brought him closer to the people as he’s traveled around Massachusetts during the special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. Today Barack Obama campaigned for Martha Coakley in Boston and bashed Scott Brown and truck owners several times during his speech. Obama told the crowd, ‘Anybody can own a truck.’ Of course, Obama’s latest attack on middle class Americans surprises no one. Obama has a history of this. Later Scott Brown responded to the president’s attack. FOX News reported: Brown took that opportunity to slam the president on government spending…’Mr. President, unfortunately in this economy, not everybody can buy a truck,” Brown said in a statement. “My goal is to change that by cutting spending, lowering taxes and letting people keep more of their own money.’”
(huge h/t: Gateway Pundit)

Here are the president's remarks:

...and here is Brown's original ad the president was poking at...

Which guy is the politician who sounds like someone you know is talking to you...not down to you?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend odds & ends...

It's a three-day weekend so you're getting your nightly edition of The Bliss Index© between sips of our favorite adult beverage...and a tad later/earlier than usual. We present this collection of tidbits gathered from all over...


About that promise of transparency? Yah, not so much.

Well, he's pretty transparent...

“Come with me if you want to…be taxed more.”

The Taxinator....

It’s a miracle! The NY Times’ Maureen Dowd manages to get through an entire column without mentioning a Hollywood movie/celebrity/scandal/plot device/line.

Teddy…they hardly remember ye.

"Explain how this is going to work..."

This might just be the definition of “amateur hour.”

She’s gone from an object of pity to one of disdain.

Looks like the loser might end up being a loser.

A couple of winnahs? (Photo: Christian Science Monitor)

Add Massachusetts and the U.S. Senate: Feel free to ignore the wishes of voters.

During this year’s Super Bowl, Chrysler will present a 60-second television ad. (30-second spots are going for approximately $3 million each.) Can you guess who paid for it? If you guessed you and me, you move to the front of the line.

Enjoy your ad!

A hero for our time: “Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more courage and dedication than the United Nations, who abandoned patients out of fear.” (h/t:

Gupta does the right thing...
Charter member, Idiots Hall of Shame: Pat Robertson. He gets a letter from you-know-who.
Pat Robertson: idiot, evil...or a lot of both?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Idiots for as far as the eye can see!

There's just something about Fridays that brings out the idiots.

Maybe it's all the idiots running for the exits at the same time...piling onto elevators, clogging freeways, turning bars into Land of the Idiots.

Who cares? Let's just roll out this Friday's offerings...

Did you hear the one about the shoe-in running for the U.S.Senate (as a Democrat) in a blue-blue-blue state that hasn't had a GOP since the mid-' a state that has Dems out-numbering Republicans by more than 3 to 1...campaigning for Teddy Kennedy's seat...and that Obamacare could very well hinge on her winning it? No? Well, in short she's running herself into the ground. A seat that is often viewed as "owned" by Dems has now gone over to the GOP candidate (State Sen. Scott Brown) in pre-election polls with just a few days in the run-up remaining. Even her own party is calling her an idiot.

Martha Coakley: Massachusetts State Attorney General…U.S. Senate hopeful…full-blown idiot. (Reason for being an idiot No. 356 - this was a photo published by her own campaign.)

Idiotically behind the curve - finally.

Those MSNBC gals smarter than “idiot” Palin? Yah, sure, you betcha!

Idiots abound!

Did I mention idiots? Yes, they’re everywhere.

Is idiocy transmitted from person to person?

You’d have to be an idiot to believe the promise that he wouldn’t tax you. Was he crossing his fingers ? (Labor unions – you’re smarter than we thought.)

Lethal Idiot 1.

Sir…thank you for setting that idiot straight.

Fur-free? Yes. Fabulous? That’s in the eye of the beholder. Idiot/hypocrite? Absolutely.

Only an idiot blames his tools.

Can you believe this idiot?

Radio bonus: I'll be on John Batchelor's radio show beginning at 6 p.m. (Pacific Time) tomorrow night - Saturday, Jan. 16 - to discuss a number of recent events, including the Google-China dust-up and the state of the State of California. You can listen to the show at WABC-AM 77 NY, WMAL-AM 630 Washington, D.C., WTTK-FM 96.9 Boston, and on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio. If you’re not in one of the listening areas, you can tune-in via any of those stations’ websites. (Guaranteed "idiot-free" radio!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Radio waves...

I'll be on the John Batchelor Radio Show tonight to discuss a variety of news and political issues. We'll kick things off around 8:30 p.m. (Pac Time). The show can be heard on WABC-77 AM in NYC, WMAL-630 in DC, WTTK-96.9 FM in Boston and on XM/Sirius satellite.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Great Race

Last night's Boston "D"(ebate) Party.
(L-R: Scott Brown-R, Martha Coakley-D, Joe Kennedy-L)

The best line of the night...

When Massachusetts lost its senior U.S. senator back in August, there was grave concern among those in the Obama Administration - and those in Congress pushing for a nationalized health care system - that with their “lion” now gone, much of their fight would disappear as well.

Edward M. Kennedy is gone but certainly not forgotten. At almost every turn, his name is intoned. Among liberals, especially in Massachusetts, it’s “let’s do this for Teddy.” Among conservatives in Massachusetts – and everywhere else – it’s “never again.”

To be sure, there are strong personalities in the U.S. Senate but none carried the Kennedy mantle/gravitas and none made liberal causes – particularly health care/insurance “reform” their legacy like Teddy did.

Since his "departure," we’ve seen Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Fisherman’s Wharf) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-ialects) come together with the president to buck the polls, despite them showing the majority of Americans against the trio’s bill. The proposed Obama-Pelosi-Reid law managed to get by in the House with relative ease (thanks to a Dem majority), but the bill before the Senate passed on party lines (60-40) only after the votes of certain Democrats were bought by Reid and paid for by taxpayers.

One of the last hopes opponents of the bill have is that the race for Kennedy’s seat – there is a special election on Jan. 19 – might result in a Republican being elected and bring a filibuster-enabled minority (59-41) to the fore.

They can dream, can’t they?

It’s a mighty big dream. In Massachusetts, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least 3-1, there hasn’t been a GOPer representing the Bay State in the upper house of Congress since 1956. When it comes to Blue States, Massachusetts is among the bluest. You could say it’s “Kennedy Royal Blue.” Despite all this, the contest represent s the Republicans’ best chances in more than a half-century.

Enter Scott Brown. He’s a lot like Mitt Romney, only not as wealthy or Mormon. The State Senator, Army Reserve Lt. Colonel (JAG Corps) and former Cosmo model (true) pledges to be tough on terrorists, wants to finish the job in Afghanistan, doesn’t like Obamacare, and is giving the Democrat – Martha Coakley – a run for her party’s money. Coakley, who has run a horrible campaign, is the state’s Attorney General. She’s fully invested in passing Obamacare and wants the U.S. out of Afghanistan quicker than you can say, “Let’s invite the Taliban and al Qaeda over to Pakistan to play with the nukes.” The biggest issue in her very liberal quiver: she’s pro-abortion. Oh, and she also detests George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh. (There is a third candidate, Libertarian Joe Kennedy – no relation to Teddy – who is smart and able but doesn’t stand a chance; though he could siphon votes from Brown.)

Currently, Brown is trailing in all polls but many have him behind by a very small margin. This has Coakley – and the DNC – very, very nervous. In fact, between now and the 19th, you’ll be seeing a parade of Democrat big guns roll into town to prop up Coakley’s sagging campaign. (They’re thinking, holy cow! This is a state where – sort of like the old Woody Allen joke goes – to win in Massachusetts, 80 percent of winning is being a Democrat and showing up.)

In last night’s final debate, which was between all three candidates, it appeared that Brown cleaned Coakley’s clock. In addition to her clear stand on getting out of Afghanistan (Brown says to stay til the job is done…and that he agrees with the president’s position to finish the war), the Massachusetts AG was very fuzzy when it came to how she would deal with terrorists (Brown decries detainees like Khalid Sheik Muhammad not only getting a trial on U.S. soil, but being given Constitutional rights.) Kennedy’s main thrust was to cut spending across the board – entitlements, Obamacare proposals, even funding for the war. (Further pointing to growing voter interest in Brown: prior to, during and after the debate, his campaign ran a special online fundraising effort, boosting his hopes an d chances as it raked-in more than $1 million in one day.)

The two biggest lines of the night came from Brown. The first was his response to moderator David Gergen calling it a race for “the Kennedy seat.” Brown corrected him quite smartly as evidenced in the clip above. The other line had to do with what it would mean if he were elected. I will be the 41st vote against the Obamacare scheme, he said.

And that’s what it comes down to, plain and simple: If Coakley is elected, the only delays the national health care/insurance bill will face in being implemented will be procedural. If Brown wins, it’s a whole new ballgame.

Special bonus from The Bliss Index™: The attack ad (below) released by the Coakley campaign today didn't last long. In fact, her campaign team pulled it after just a couple hours. The chief reason? They spelled "Massachusetts" incorrectly. (Maybe if Coakley is elected, she'll sit on an education committee.)

If you're going to run for the U.S. Senate, you should at least know how to spell the name of the state you want to represent...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The shoe is on the other foot...

"There is this standard where Democrats feel that they can say these things and they can apologize when it comes from the mouths of their own. But if it comes from anyone else, it is racism."Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee

True, true, true - especially when it comes to this weekend’s news that U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) described President Obama as "light skinned" and possessing no "Negro dialect" in a conversation with reporters described in the new book, “Game Change.”

Shall we dance? The president and the majority leader in better times...

Reid did have something to say after being busted: “"I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words," said Reid in a statement. ”I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments."

President Obama said in a statement that he and Reid had spoken about the matter on Saturday afternoon. "I accepted Harry's apology without question because I've known him for years, I've seen the passionate leadership he's shown on issues of social justice and I know what's in his heart," said Obama. "As far as I am concerned, the book is closed."

But it’s nothing new. Consider the following:

  • "You cannot go into a Dunkin' Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent."
  • "My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth largest black population in the country. My state is anything [but] a Northeastern liberal state."
  • "I mean, you got the first mainstream African American [Barack Obama] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy."
  • "There's less than 1% of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4% or 5% that is, are minorities. What is it in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with." - Sen. Joseph Biden Jr., (D., Del.), 2006-07, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, 1987-95 Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations, Candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, 2008

-- "Everybody likes to go to Geneva. I used to do it for the Law of the Sea conferences and you'd find these potentates from down in Africa, you know, rather than eating each other, they'd just come up and get a good square meal in Geneva." --Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D., S.C.) 1993

--Reid once rushed to declare Justice Thomas to be “an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.” When pressed for specifics, Reid declared that one of Thomas’s opinions was similar to “an eighth-grade dissertation” — far inferior, Reid said, to the opinion of Justice Scalia in the same case. Except that Thomas’s short opinion was perfectly logical . . . and Scalia hadn’t even written an opinion in the case. Law professor Eugene Volokh decried Reid’s comments about Thomas as “unfounded assertions of incompetence” backed up with “false statements” and “mischaracterizations.” What was it about the black justice Thomas that Reid didn’t like? That made him inferior to the white justice who hadn’t even written an opinion in the case? Hmmm? (h/t: Patterico’s Pontifications)

--“In the book "Game Change," there’s this item -“[A]s Hillary bungled Caroline, Bill’s handling of Ted was even worse. The day after Iowa, he phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife. But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”

--"Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he's 'blacker than Barack Obama.'"

For a nice collection of other quotes from the party of tolerance and inclusion, check this out.

Late add Reid: Looks like he might be in a little bit deeper.

A final note: It’s worth checking out this item at The Weekly Standard – ”Obama in '02: 'The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott.”

And a special closing number...courtesy of our current Secretary of State (and the president's former campaign opponent):

Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't quit your day job...if you've got one

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Who needs results when you’ve got great promises? Hoisted on his own petard

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Sea Lions) tries to reinsert the public option into the House healthcare bill even though it has almost zero chance of surviving in the Senate. If I didn't know any better, I'd think she was trying to kill it.

"This won't hurt a bit..."

Labor pains: You know all that support unions gave candidate Barack Obama on his way to the White House? They’re being rewarded for it now.

Add health insurance reform efforts: Because he was so successful last time he tried

And some politicians and pundits wonder why ordinary citizens are a bit dubious when it comes to a massive restructuring of our government, economy and way of life…

The numbers don't lie...

The opposite of full disclosure? This

The Spirit of Ted Kennedy (as opposed to his spirits) could live on when it comes time to vote for the health insurance bill. At least his legacy won’t include a federal drivers’ education act.

Teddy - you're these guys.

The Feds produced their much-anticipated December Jobs Report. Can you believe how much better the unemployment situation is now? Ooops…read that wrong. Sorry. Looks like the groundhog saw his shadow. Another bad month for jobs.

The same story - over and over again...

Quick question: if you “misrepresented” something important to government officials, how much trouble would you be in? Guess what? – It looks like our own federal government is misrepresenting unemployment…possibly by as much as 32%.

Add skewed unemployment figures: According to Heidi Shierholz over at the Economic Policy Institute, “The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the jobs situation continued to worsen at the end of 2009 as 85,000 jobs were lost in December. Unemployment held steady at 10.0%, but only because the labor force declined by well over half a million (661,000) workers in December. If those workers had been in the labor force and counted as unemployed, the unemployment rate would have risen to 10.4%. Long term unemployment continued to rise, with nearly 40% of all unemployed workers being unemployed for more than six months. Unfortunately, the hoped-for positive job growth has not yet materialized and we are still seeing modest job losses. (According to Don Surber over at The Daily Mail, the figure is actually higher – try 10.7%)

According to this story from Reuters, there are nine reasons why the December jobs report is bad for Democrats. (Really? Only nine?)

Speaking of Democrats: Pelosi came out with a doozy of a news release today: “Pelosi Statement on New Report That Health Reform Will Create 4 Million More Jobs Over the Next Decade-Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on a new report released today by the Center for American Progress that shows that health insurance reform will create up to 4 million more jobs over the next decade than would be created without reform. The report finds that health care reform could increase the number of jobs in the United States by about 250,000 to 400,000 per year over the coming decade. ‘We know that health insurance reform will help save lives, save money, and save Medicare. But Americans need to know that reform will actually save and create millions more jobs—lessening the burden of skyrocketing costs on small and medium-sized businesses all across America. Reform is critical to the health of our economy and to the health of our people.’” The truth, though, the health care industry is already doing pretty well when it comes to adding jobs. In fact, it’s added 631,000 jobs since the recession began.

So I guess the job’s done?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Promises, promises, promises...

So what's a lie (told over and over again) between "friends?"

Right now, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S. Dixie) must be feeling pretty righteous...

Count 'em - eight!

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Sourdough) says that "there has never been a more open process" in Congress. Riiiiiiight.

Add “open process”…not according to C-SPAN’s CEO.

Last add “open process”…Rep. Joe Sestak (R-Steelers) blames Democratic leaders for the plunge in public support for overhauling the health care system, saying Wednesday they failed to defend proposals that helped carry the party to victories in 2008. ‘They said it would be transparent. Why isn't it?’ said Sestak, a Delaware County Democrat, in a meeting with Tribune-Review editors and reporters. ‘At times, I find the caucus is a real disappointment. We aren't transparent, not just to the public but at times to the members.’"

Add lack of transparency (when it comes to…the health insurance reform bill)…The Washington Examiner not only takes The Hold Trinity – President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Slot Machines) and Pelosi – but the Washington press corps as well. “To be sure, many of the reporters on the Hill gripe and complain to each other and to their editors about these closed-door meetings. And many of them stand keeping vigil outside the doors, waiting for Reid or Pelosi to come out and offer them a morsel of information. But that's not good enough. It's time for a sit-down protest by journalists whose first job is to uphold the public's right to know what its government is doing. Invite readers to come join them in demanding open meetings. The last thing Reid and Pelosi want is the spectacle of the Capitol Hill Police dragging protesting journalists away from the closed doors. It's time to show some cojones, people.”

U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Payoff) as quoted in a Nebraska newspaper: “I think it was a mistake to take health care on as opposed to continuing to spend the time on the economy.” Better late than never?

Add Nebraska: Could the “Cornhusker Kickback” actually kill the bill? Time, and the courts, will tell.

Lame Duck/Weak Rino: Apparently California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking at least one principled stand before he wraps-up his final year in office – he’s fighting the health insurance reform bill. “You’ve heard of the bridge to nowhere. This is health care to nowhere.” Now there’s a memorable line.

Another non-Nebraska politician unhappy with the deal Nelson wrangled: U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Walmart) “said she was disappointed about a provision in the Senate’s health care bill that will require the federal government to permanently pay the entire cost of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, while only paying the costs of expansion in the other 49 states for three years.” I guess now that she knows how much other folks sold their votes for, she wants a bigger cut.

Add Blanche: It looks like she’s not the only person in Arkansas upset with the health insurance reform fiasco.

Hey all you married people out there who are excited about the health insurance reform bill: About now, you’re probably thinking, “I shoulda stayed single.”

Let me get my TV Guide: So the president wants to move the State of the Union speech back to Feb. 2 in hopes the Health Care Bill is passed by then. The downside to his strategy – he could alienate a very important voting bloc (fans of ABC’s “Lost,” which premieres that night).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Live from San Francisco...

I'll be in the KSFO-AM studios Wednesday night (Jan. 6) as I join the roundtable on John Batchelor's radio show from 7:30-8 p.m. (Pacific Time) to discuss events in California, the west and elsewhere.

John and I will be joined by Jim Carlton of The Wall Street Journal and Joe Garofoli of The San Francisco Chronicle.

You can listen to the show at WABC-AM 77 NY, WMAL-AM 630 Washington, D.C., and on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio. If you’re not in one of the listening areas, you can tune-in via any of those stations’ websites.

Thank you for your support!


We're not even through the first week of 2010 and the new year is already full of surprises...

Like this surprise! - BREAKING NEWS - LATE ADDITION TO THE BLISS INDEX: It appears that U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) will retire. This story will continue to develop...

Pop quiz: Which media organization is asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Alcatraz) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Casinos) to open Congress’ planned non-televised behind the scenes "health care reform" talks? Is it, a.) the New York Times; b.) NBC; c.) NPR; or d. ) SURPRISE! the Congressionally created C-SPAN?!?! (If you picked “d,” you win.)

I am surprised Madame Speaker turned on the president…

“In a huge surprise, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) has just announced he will not seek reelection.” In a totally unrelated surprise, news organizations will soon have something special to tell us about Sen. Dorgan.

Say goodnight, Mr. Senator...

Add Democrats: to some, it's a surprise that they’re “dropping like flies.”

In a decision that totally surprised the Kennedy Royal Family, the Obama Administration “signaled a sudden urgency yesterday to resolve the nine-year dispute over building a wind farm off Cape Cod.” Teddy Kennedy (yes, that guy who helped bring President Barack Obama along) and his family – not to mention Native Americans in the area – fought tooth and nail to make sure the giant windmills didn’t sully the rich folks’ view from Cape Cahd. Note to the rest of you poor suckers across the fruited plains: wind farms are coming to a vista near you, like it or not.

With scenery like that, it's no wonder Teddy and the rest of the Cape Cod Sopranos fought to keep the coast clear of unsightly structures...

Senator John McCain (R-AARP) might very well be on his way to his long-deserved retirement. Considering the manner in which he ran against an empty suit – and lost – is it any surprise?

Stop thinking about the Senate dining room and start thinking about the early bird special at Hometown Buffet...

I don’t think anyone should be surprised that Iran doesn’t want Sen. John Kerry (D-Gigolo) to visit…whether he comes on a swift boat or jet.

Senator John Kerry being swiftboarded...

Frankly, I’m surprised that theBrits – considering the short shrift they’ve been given by the current administration – tried to help when it came to the Christmas Crotch Bomber. I’m sure they were warmly thanked…not.

George W. Bush is going to be so surprised when he finds out he’s up against the Democrats again in the coming elections. (Then again, maybe not.)

Add Democrats and the next election: Why are they taking that approach? According the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund, “How worried are Democrats about the mid-term voting only 10 months away? "If the election were held today, we'd lose the House," Democratic campaign consultant Tom King told the Huffington Post this week, expressing a view that HuffPo says is echoed by a number of Democratic strategists in off-the-record conversations.” Considering what's come out of Washington, D.C., this past year (and what hasn't), no one should be surprised.

How much would you fork over to see the look of surprise when one of these flies up the robes of a bin Laden buddy? This is one of those projects that makes me feel extra good about being a taxpayer.

Hey, about a surprise party?

Don't you just love surprises?