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Monday, July 27, 2009

America on the Brink

According to Human Events:

Just before the 2008 elections, the conservative economist and commentator Thomas Sowell warned that a Barack Obama presidency would prove a "point of no return" for America.

Why? Because once in power, Dr. Sowell explained, President Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress would effect such radical changes in our nation's economy, legal structure and social fabric that there would be no rolling them back.

Today, we stand on the brink of Dr. Sowell's prediction coming true.

Consider the following...

WE ARE ON THE BRINK of a government takeover of the health care industry that will empower federal bureaucrats to make life-and-death decisions about your medical care -- a system certain to favor the politically well-connected over ordinary citizens, as it does in Canada -- and that will put all your private medical records in a government database (don't worry, they promise never to use them against you)

WE ARE ON THE BRINK of confirming a Supreme Court nominee who believes that her own ethnic prejudices as a "wise Latina woman" are more important in deciding cases than our laws or Constitution -- a woman who has ruled that discrimination is just fine when practiced against white males

WE ARE ON THE BRINK of enacting "cap-and-trade" legislation that will cripple American competitiveness in the global economy, double home utility bills, add thousands to the cost of new cars, and cost U.S. workers an estimated 2.5 million jobs per year -- while doing next to nothing to impact a "global warming" problem that is largely fictitious to begin with

WE ARE ON THE BRINK of becoming a nation where a majority of citizens receive lavish government handouts and benefits but pay no federal income taxes -- while continuing to vote themselves still more benefits from the shrinking minority who do pay taxes (at ever more "progressive" rates)

We are on the brink, in short, of a revolutionary transformation of our system of government and our way of life -- one that will turn us into a European-style social-welfare state where only politicians, government bureaucrats, and their favored interests are able to thrive -- and where the only "liberty" that remains is the government's unlimited freedom to control every aspect of your life.

I ask you now, my friend: Would you want to live in such an America? Would you want to bequeath such an America to your children and grandchildren?

Neither would I. But guess what? We don't have to. Because believe me when I say...

It's NOT Too Late to Stop This
Nightmare From Coming True

But we'll have to fight. And we'll have to pull together -- as conservatives, as patriots -- as never before.

Because make no mistake: Our would-be masters in Washington will stop at nothing to secure the power they've come to think of as theirs by divine anointing.

Already, they are using the full force of federal power to crush whatever opposition stands in their way. For instance:

* They fired AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin for blowing the whistle on the misuse of AmeriCorps funds by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California and a prominent supporter of President Obama.
* They silenced the author of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report that was skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government, on the eve of a vote on "cap and trade" legislation
* They abruptly "retired" longtime Amtrak Inspector General Fred Weiderhold just after he met with officials of the government-subsidized rail service to discuss evidence of its meddling in financial audits and probes.

And there is worse to come as they prepare to silence conservative talk-radio by reviving the Fairness Doctrine... and to enact "card check" laws that would expose anti-union workers to intimidation and harassment... and to pass the so-called Freedom of Choice Act to force pro-life medical professionals to refer patients for abortions.

And who will stop them? The "watchdogs" of the mainstream media? The ACLU? Don't make me laugh.

But all is not lost -- far from it. For as bleak as things may seem right now, freedom of speech and of conscience is not dead in America. It's just gone underground...

... to The Conservative Underground -- where people like you and me are free to think, say, and believe whatever we wish, no matter what the forces of political correctness may have to say about it.

Here in The Conservative Underground, you're free to speak your mind even if...

* ... you don't believe that Barack Obama is the Second Coming of J.C. (unless that J.C. is Jimmy Carter)
* ... you don't believe that man-made "global warming" is a proven fact -- much less an excuse for destroying the U.S. economy -- just because Al Gore says so, especially when hundreds of respected scientists publicly disagree with him
* ... you don't believe that the way back to prosperity in America lies in soaring tax rates and massive new spending programs that will add trillions to the federal deficit and eventually lead to runaway inflation
* ... you don't believe that power in America should be transferred from our duly elected representatives to a small army of unelected "czars" (over twenty, at last count) appointed by President Obama
* ... you don't believe that the U.S. Constitution is a "living document" that means whatever any Supreme Court majority declares it to mean
* ... you do believe in all the old-fashioned virtues and principles -- such as faith, family, freedom, and self-reliance -- that made America great, and can help restore that greatness once again.

If those are the things you value most -- and that you think are still worth fighting for, no matter how bleak things may seem at the moment -- then let me be first to say...

Welcome to the Conservative Underground

Your thoughts.

Interesting e-mail from Mike Huckabee

This is really interesting:

Dear Conservative Friend,

In July 2007, Barack Obama promised a group of his supporters that, if elected president, he would sign perhaps the most evil piece of legislation in the history of our republic.

It's called the "Freedom of Choice Act," or FOCA -- but don't let the Orwellian title fool you. It isn't about "freedom" or "choice" at all. It's about forcing each and every American citizen -- regardless of his or her view on abortion -- to support abortion-on-demand not just as a "fundamental right" but as a taxpayer-funded entitlement.

But the compulsion wouldn't stop there. Because FOCA would also run roughshod over the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and hospitals that oppose abortion on religious or moral grounds -- forcing them to provide or counsel for abortion or face professional de-certification, loss of funding, lawsuits, and even prosecution.

Not only that, FOCA would immediately strike down any and all state restrictions on abortion -- even those with wide popular support, such as prohibitions on partial-birth abortion and parental notification requirements for minors seeking abortions.

Make no mistake: FOCA is the most radical piece of pro-abortion legislation ever proposed, one that would go far beyond Roe v. Wade in making abortion a government-protected and taxpayer-supported "right," through all nine months of pregnancy.

That's why I'm asking you today to support HUMAN EVENTS in its efforts to stop this outrageous piece of legislation before it ever reaches President Obama's desk.

Let me explain why this is possible -- and how
HUMAN EVENTS plans to do it...
You see, in his 2007 campaign pledge to Planned Parenthood members, Obama promised that signing FOCA would be "the first thing I'd do as president." The only reason he hasn't followed through on that promise is that Democratic-controlled Congress has yet to introduce and pass it.

Why the delay? For one thing, they've had bigger fish to fry -- such as trillion-dollar "stimulus" packages and a new government-run health care system. They learned from Bill Clinton's immediate post-election action on gays in the military not to squander a new president's honeymoon period on divisive social legislation.

But also, by delaying, they can lull their pro-life opponents into thinking that FOCA has been tabled, while quietly building support for it in a stealth propaganda campaign that is already underway using major media outlets -- such as the Washington Post, which recently ran a piece in its "On Faith" section called "Why Fear FOCA?"

But with your help, HUMAN EVENTS will defeat the pro-abortionists' "stealth" media campaign with its own media blitzkrieg designed to counter pro-FOCA lies and propaganda with the facts.

Here's how it will work...
The main weapon in HUMAN EVENTS' media blitzkrieg will be an in-depth Special Report called, "The Facts About FOCA: Truth vs. Propaganda in the Battle Over the Most Radical Pro-Abortion Law in American History."

Written in consultation with the finest legal minds of our time, "The Facts About FOCA" will reveal how, despite pro-abortionists' attempts to soft-pedal its potential impact in order to ensure swift passage, the Freedom of Choice Act would:

* Establish abortion as a "fundamental right," elevating it to the same status as the right to vote and the right to free speech -- going beyond any Supreme Court decision in enshrining unlimited abortion-on-demand into American law

* Eliminate every restriction on abortion nationwide -- including 44 states' laws concerning parental involvement, 40 states' laws on restricting later-term abortions, 46 states' conscience protection laws for individual health care providers, 27 states' conscience protection laws for institutions, 38 states' bans on partial-birth abortions, 33 states' laws on requiring counseling before an abortion, and 16 states' laws concerning ultrasounds before an abortion

* Compel taxpayer funding of abortions through state and federal welfare programs, federal employee insurance plans, and in military hospitals.

* Force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions

* Force doctors and nurses to provide counseling and referral for abortions

But creating "The Facts About FOCA" is just the beginning. HUMAN EVENTS will then publicize and distribute it on a massive scale, both in print versions and online, to provoke a massive outpouring of voter outrage that will stop this evil law from being enacted.

Included among the activists, opinion-makers, and other influential citizens to whom HUMAN EVENTS will distribute "The Facts About FOCA" will be:

* Pro-life, conservative, and/or Republican activist groups on HUMAN EVENTS' own extensive nationwide list, with an invitation to help spread the word by ordering and distributing inexpensive bulk reprints of the report

* Top editors, reporters, and syndicated columnists on every major metropolitan and regional paper in America, plus many local ones. HUMAN EVENTS will give them blanket advance permission to reproduce the report in whole or in part, without paying royalties

* Talk-radio hosts in every radio market in the country, from Rush Limbaugh on down. Again, HUMAN EVENTS will allow them to quote from it as extensively as they wish, at no cost

* TV news editors, anchors, and reporters at all the networks and cable news channels, as well as local affiliates

* All 435 members of the U.S. House and Senate, with additional copies for their staff members and committee aides

* More than 150,000 dedicated HUMAN EVENTS readers

And you, of course, will be first to receive "The Facts About FOCA" -- no one will get it before you do!

YES - because they've done it before
In 2004, HUMAN EVENTS helped an obscure organization with no money known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth publicize their claims about John Kerry. They had planned a commercial for a small number of local TV markets. But before it even ran, HUMAN EVENTS posted the ad on its website and leaked it to Matt Drudge -- then sent out hundreds of thousands of email messages calling attention to it over several weeks.

Result? Tens of millions of people were able to view an ad that otherwise would have reached a few hundred thousand at best. That, in turn, helped make a #1 New York Times bestseller out of Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, published by HUMAN EVENTS' sister company, Regnery -- provoking the New York Times itself to concede, "If John Kerry loses the presidential election, Unfit for Command, by John E. O'Neill and Jerome R. Corsi, will go down as a chief reason." He did, and it was.

I promise you, HUMAN EVENTS can accomplish the same sort of thing with "The Facts About FOCA."

But They Need YOUR Help
Creating and distributing "The Facts About FOCA" on a massive, nationwide scale will not come cheap. But it will be worth every penny if it helps defeat this deadly and freedom-destroying legislation.

It wouldn't be fair to pass on that cost to HUMAN EVENTS readers by hiking subscription rates. And unlike most liberal publications, they receive no support from big corporations or foundations -- for whom they're about as "politically incorrect" as you can get.

Which leaves people like you -- dedicated conservatives who share not only HUMAN EVENTS' pro-life principles, but their commitment to making an impact on the great political struggles of our day.

It's going to be tough, but I believe we can do it. Your donation will help HUMAN EVENTS "fight the good fight" against FOCA, and support it in its ongoing mission to promote limited government, individual liberty, and traditional values.

And to express their gratitude for your donation of just $75 or more, HUMAN EVENTS will send you a complimentary hardcover copy of The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life, written by National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru.

Of course, any amount you send will be greatly appreciated -- and they'll send you a copy of their special report, "The Facts About FOCA," to thank you for your contribution big or small.

Donate now so we can bring "The Facts About FOCA" to the American public -- and stop the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act" in its tracks.

Best Regards,

Mike Huckabee

This is absolute craziness. Your thoughts on this matter are welcome.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Interesting e-mail from Redstate

I thought I'd front-page it for all to see:

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: A RedState source sat behind a top aide to Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and heard the aide admit that "the increase in Hospice care which will solve the prolonging of life issue." As you know, Democrats have been open about their desire to push seniors toward euthanasia as a cost savings option. In fact, the Democrats already have in the legislation a provision requiring senior citizens to receive instructions every five years on dying with dignity.

It's always great to hear liberals speak when they think no one is listening.

Rep. Paul Tonko is a freshman Democrat from Albany, NY. He's a typical non-descript eastern machine politician whose a robot for Obama and Pelosi and doesn't have too many original thoughts. Earlier this week one of his top aides was flying to Washington from the district. She was accompanied by what appeared to be a special interest Washington DC lobbyist, who probably came to Albany to attend some type of big money golf, gambling, and cigars fundraiser for Tonko.

Anyway, unbeknownst to them, a hero of the conservative movement sat quietly behind them. It was impossible to avoid listening to their boisterous conversation, and Tonko's aide didn't disappoint.

Naturally, most of the banter dealt with the health care bill, and here are a few of the gems:

The two were talking about whether Tonko would even be given time to read the bill. She told the lobbyist, "well he pays me to read it for him".

"[The] costliest part [of the Obama healthcare bill] will be the physician's rate cut," she said. Lots of political capital is going to be spent to get that through.

And, for the crowning glory, the aide feels that "probably the best part of the bill is the increase in Hospice care which will solve the prolonging of life issue."

This seems to prove the argument that the Obama bureaucrats will eventually decide who lives and who dies.

Isn't "hope and change" wonderful?

Sincerely yours,

Erick Erickson

This is pure insanity on the Democrats part. Hospice care doesn't prolong life, what a Hospice does is to help a dying person live out his final days in a comfortable environment. Appalling. Your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PA-SEN: Toomey down 1 against Specter, LEADS by 4 against Sestak

Via Quinnipiac:

Arlen Specter (D-inc) 45%
Pat Toomey (R) 44%

Arlen Specter (D-inc) 47%
Peg Luksik (R) 40%

Pat Toomey (R) 39%
Joe Sestak (D) 35%

Joe Sestak (D) 39%
Peg Luksik (R) 30%

Arlen Specter (inc) 55%
Joe Sestak 23%

Pat Toomey 47%
Peg Luksik 6%

This is great news!!! If the GOP can take this state that Obama won 55-44, then this certainly signifies the downfall of an Obama Nation. GO TOOMEY!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

PA-GOV: If election were held today, GOP would win

Quinnipiac University came out with a new poll this morning on the gubernatorial race in Pennsylvania and showed something that I've not seen in 5 years, a generic Republic beating a generic Democrat.

Republican 38%
Democrat 37%

So who could those candidates be according to this poll?

Tom Corbett 38%
Jim Gerlach 15%
Pat Meehan 9%

Dan Onorato 16%
Jack Wagner 16%
Tom Knox 13%

If this holds true, then this will signify the downfall of the Obama Nation. I am hopeful that we nominate someone like Corbett, cause he'll win. PA State GOP controls the state senate, and is only 3 seats away from taking the state house. This would potentially put us in total control of redistricting in a state Obama won by 11%. I am sure one of our Pennsylvania readers can fill everyone in on who is really who in PA. GO CORBETT!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Senator Sessions, you are a good man.

Before I ramble on about the back and forth between Senator Sessions and Judge Sexist Soutemayor, I would like to point out that I'm probably one of the few Political Pundits not following the Soutemayor Confirmation Hearings because I believe it's a foregone conclusion that she'll, sadly, be confirmed. I say she's confirmed 61-39. I think Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins vote yes and Ben Nelson votes no. However, here's the back and forth between Senator Sessions and "Judge" Soutemayor:

SESSIONS: Welcome. It's good to have you back, Judge, and your family and friends and supporters. And I hope we'll have a good day today, look forward to dialogue with you. I got to say that I liked your statement on the fidelity of the law yesterday and some of your comments this morning.

And I also have to say had you been saying that with clarity over the last decade or 15 years, we'd have a lot fewer problems today because you have evidenced, I think it's quite clear, a philosophy of the law that suggests that the judge's background and experiences can and should -- even should and naturally will impact their decision what I think goes against the American ideal and oath that a judge takes to be fair to every party. And every day when they put on that robe, that is a symbol that they're to put aside their personal biases and prejudices.

So I'd like to ask you a few things about it. I would just note that it's not just one sentence, as my chairman suggested, that causes us difficulty. It's a body of thought over a period of years that causes us difficulties.
And I would suggest that the quotation he gave was not exactly right of the wise Latina comment that you made. You've said, I think six different times, quote, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion." So that's a matter that I think we'll talk about as we go forward.

Let me recall that yesterday you said it's simple fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make law; it's to apply law. I heartily agree with that. However, you previously have said the court of appeals is where policy is made. And you said on another occasion the law that lawyers practice and judge declare is not a definitive -- capital L -- Law that many would like to think exists," close quote.

So I guess I'm asking today what do you really believe on those subjects. That there is no real law and that judges do not make law? Or that there is no real law and the court of appeals is where policy is made? Discuss that with us, please.

SOTOMAYOR: I believe my record of 17 years demonstrates fully that I do believe that law -- that judges must apply the law and not make the law. Whether I've agreed with a party or not, found them sympathetic or not, in every case I have decided, I have done what the law requires.

With respect to judges making policy, I assume, Senator, that you were referring to a remark that I made in a Duke Law student dialogue. That remark, in context, made very clear that I wasn't talking about the policy reflected in the law that Congress makes. That's the job of Congress to decide what the policy should be for society.

In that conversation with the students, I was focusing on what district court judges do and what circuit court judges do. And I know noted that district court judges find the facts, and they apply the facts to the individual case. And when they do that, they're holding, they're finding doesn't bind anybody else.
Appellate judges, however, establish precedent. They decide what the law says in a particular situation. That precedent has policy ramifications because it binds not just the litigants in that case, it binds all litigants in similar cases, in cases that may be influenced by that precedent.

SOTOMAYOR: I think if my speech is heard outside of the minute and a half that YouTube presents and its full context examined, that it is very clear that I was talking about the policy ramifications of precedent and never talking about appellate judges or courts making the policy that Congress makes.

SESSIONS: Judge, I would just say, I don't think it's that clear. I looked at that on tape several times, and I think a person could reasonably believe it meant more than that.

But yesterday you spoke about your approach to rendering opinions and said, quote, "I seek to strengthen both the rule of law and faith in the impartiality of the justice system," and I would agree. But you have previously said this: "I am willing to accept that we who judge must not deny differences resulting from experiences and heritage, but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate."

So first, I'd like to know, do you think there's any circumstance in which a judge should allow their prejudices to impact their decision-making?

SOTOMAYOR: Never their prejudices. I was talking about the very important goal of the justice system is to ensure that the personal biases and prejudices of a judge do not influence the outcome of a case.
What I was talking about was the obligation of judges to examine what they're feeling as they're adjudicating a case and to ensure that that's not influencing the outcome. Life experiences have to influence you. We're not robots to listen to evidence and don't have feelings. We have to recognize those feelings and put them aside. That's what my speech was saying ...

SESSIONS: Well, Judge ...

SOTOMAYOR: ... because that's our job.

SESSIONS: But the statement was, "I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage, but continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate." That's exactly opposite of what you're saying, is it not?

SOTOMAYOR: I don't believe so, Senator, because all I was saying is, because we have feelings and different experiences, we can be led to believe that our experiences are appropriate. We have to be open- minded to accept that they may not be, and that we have to judge always that we're not letting those things determine the outcome. But there are situations in which some experiences are important in the process of judging, because the law asks us to use those experiences.

SESSIONS: Well, I understand that, but let me just follow up that you say in your statement that you want to do what you can to increase the faith and the impartiality of our system, but isn't it true this statement suggests that you accept that there may be sympathies, prejudices and opinions that legitimately can influence a judge's decision? And how can that further faith in the impartiality of the system?

SOTOMAYOR: I think the system is strengthened when judges don't assume they're impartial, but when judges test themselves to identify when their emotions are driving a result, or their experience are driving a result and the law is not.

SESSIONS: I agree with that.

SESSIONS: I know one judge that says that if he has a feeling about a case, he tells his law clerks to, "Watch me. I do not want my biases, sympathies or prejudices to influence this decision, which I've taken an oath to make sure is impartial." I just am very concerned that what you're saying today is quite inconsistent with your statement that you willingly accept that your sympathies, opinions and prejudices may influence your decision-making.

SOTOMAYOR: Well, as I have tried to explain, what I try to do is to ensure that they're not. If I ignore them and believe that I'm acting without them, without looking at them and testing that I'm not, then I could, unconsciously or otherwise, be led to be doing the exact thing I don't want to do, which is to let something but the law command the result.

SESSIONS: Well, yesterday, you also said that your decisions have always been made to serve the larger interest of impartial justice, a good -- good aspiration, I agree. But in the past, you've repeatedly said this: "I wonder whether achieving the goal of impartiality is possible at all in even most cases and I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women, men or people of color we do a disservice to both the law and society." Aren't you saying there that you expect your background and -- and heritage to influence your decision-making?

SOTOMAYOR: What I was speaking about in that speech was -- harkened back to what we were just talking about a few minutes ago, which is life experiences to influence us, in good ways. That's why we seek the enrichment of our legal system from life experiences.

That can affect what we see or how we feel, but that's not what drives a result. The impartiality is an understanding that the law is what commands the result.

And so, to the extent that we are asking the questions, as most of my speech was an academic discussion about, what should we be thinking about, what should we be considering in this process, and accepting that life experiences could make a difference. But I wasn't encouraging the belief or attempting to encourage the belief that I thought that that should drive the result.

SESSIONS: Judge, I -- I think it's consistent in the comments I've quoted to you and your previous statements that you do believe that your backgrounds will accept -- affect the result in cases, and that's troubling me. So that is not impartiality. Don't you think that is not consistent with your statement, that you believe your role as a judge is to serve the larger interest of impartial justice?

SOTOMAYOR: No, sir. As I've indicated, my record shows that at no point or time have I ever permitted my personal views or sympathies to influence an outcome of a case. In every case where I have identified a sympathy, I have articulated it and explained to the litigant why the law requires a different result.

SESSIONS: Judge...

SOTOMAYOR: I do not permit my sympathies, personal views, or prejudices to influence the outcome of my cases.

SESSIONS: Well, you -- you -- you said something similar to that yesterday, that in each case I applied the law to the facts at hand, but you've repeatedly made this statement: Quote, I "accept the proposition" -- I "accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench, and that my experiences affect the facts I choose to see as a judge."

First, that's troubling to me as a lawyer. When I present evidence, I expect the judge to hear and see all the evidence that gets presented. How is it appropriate for a judge ever to say that they will choose to see some facts and not others?

SOTOMAYOR: It's not a question of choosing to see some facts or another, Senator. I didn't intend to suggest that. And in the wider context, what I believe I was -- the point I was making was that our life experiences do permit us to see some facts and understand them more easily than others.

But in the end, you're absolutely right. That's why we have appellate judges that are more than one judge because each of us, from our life experiences, will more easily see different perspectives argued by parties.
But judges do consider all of the arguments of litigants. I have. Most of my opinions, if not all of them, explain to parties by the law requires what it does.

SESSIONS: Do you stand by your statement that my experiences affect the facts I choose to see?

SOTOMAYOR: No, sir. I don't stand by the understanding of that statement that I will ignore other facts or other experiences because I haven't had them. I do believe that life experiences are important to the process of judging. They help you to understand and listen but that the law requires a result. And it would command you to the facts that are relevant to the disposition of the case.

SESSIONS: Well, I will just note you made that statement in individual speeches about seven times over a number of years span. And it's concerning to me. So I would just say to you I believe in Judge Seiderbaum's (ph) formulation. She said -- and you disagreed. And this was really the context of your speech. And you used her -- her statement as sort of a beginning of your discussion.

And you said she believes that a judge, no matter what their gender or background, should strive to reach the same conclusion. And she believes that's possible. You then argued that you don't think it's possible in all, maybe even most, cases. You deal with the famous quote of Justice O'Connor in which she says a wise old man should reach the same decision as a wise old woman. And you pushed backed from that. You say you don't think that's necessarily accurate. And you doubt the ability to be objective in your analysis.

So how can you reconcile your speeches which repeatedly assert that impartiality is a near aspiration which may not be possible in all or even most cases with your oath that you've taken twice which requires impartiality?

SOTOMAYOR: My friend, Judge Seiderbaum (ph) is here this afternoon, and we are good friends. And I believe that we both approach judging in the same way which is looking at the facts of each individual case and applying the law to those facts.

I also, as I explained, was using a rhetorical flourish that fell flat. I knew that Justice O'Connor couldn't have meant that if judges reached different conclusions -- legal conclusions -- that one of them wasn't wise.
That couldn't have been her meaning, because reasonable judges disagree on legal conclusions in some cases. So I was trying to play on her words. My play was -- fell flat.

It was bad, because it left an impression that I believed that life experiences commanded a result in a case, but that's clearly not what I do as a judge. It's clearly not what I intended in the context of my broader speech, which was attempting to inspire young Hispanic, Latino students and lawyers to believe that their life experiences added value to the process.

SESSIONS: Well, I can see that, perhaps as a -- a layperson's approach to it. But as a judge who's taken this oath, I'm very troubled that you had repeatedly, over a decade or more, made statements that consistently -- any fair reading of these speeches -- consistently argues that this ideal and commitment I believe every judge is committed, must be, to put aside their personal experiences and biases and make sure that that person before them gets a fair day in court.

Judge, on the -- so philosophy can impact your judging. I think it's much more likely to reach full flower if you sit on the Supreme Court, and then you will -- than it will on a lower court where you're subject to review by your colleagues in the higher court.

And so, with regard to how you approach law and your personal experiences, let's look at the New Haven firefighters case, the Ricci case. In that case, the city of New Haven told firefighters that they would take an exam, set forth the process for it, that would determine who would be eligible for promotion.

The city spent a good deal of time and money on the exam to make it a fair test of a person's ability to see -- to serve as a supervisory fireman, which, in fact, has the awesome responsibility at times to send their firemen into a dangerous building that's on fire, and they had a panel that did oral exams and not -- wasn't all written, consisting of one Hispanic and one African-American and -- and one white.

And according to the Supreme Court, this is what the Supreme Court held: The New Haven officials were careful to ensure broad racial participation in the design of the test and its administration. The process was open and fair. There was no genuine dispute that the examinations were job-related and consistent with business purposes, business necessity.

But after -- but after the city saw the results of the exam, it threw out those results, because, quote, "not enough of one group did well enough on the test."

The Supreme Court then found that the city, and I quote, "rejected the test results solely because the higher scoring candidates were white. After the tests were completed, the raw racial results became the -- raw racial results became the predominant rationale for the city's refusal to certify the results," close quote.

So you stated that your background affects the facts that you choose to see. Was the fact that the New Haven firefighters had been subject to discrimination one of the facts you chose not to see in this case?

SOTOMAYOR: No, sir. The panel was composed of me and two other judges. In a very similar case of the 7th Circuit in an opinion offered by Judge Easterbrook -- I'm sorry. I misspoke. It wasn't Judge Easterbrook. It was Judge Posner -- saw the case in an identical way. And neither judge -- I've confused some statements that Senator Leahy made with this case. And I apologize.

In a very similar case, the 6th Circuit approached a very similar issue in the same way. So a variety of different judges on the appellate court were looking at the case in light of established Supreme Court and 2nd Circuit precedent and determined that the city facing potential liability under Title VII could choose not to certify the test if it believed an equally good test could be made with a different impact on affected groups.

The Supreme Court, as it is its prerogative in looking at a challenge, established a new consideration or a different standard for the city to apply. And that is was there substantial evidence that they would be held liable under the law. That was a new consideration.

Our panel didn't look at that issue that way because it wasn't argued to us in the case before us and because the case before us was based on existing precedent. So it's a different test.

SESSIONS: Judge, there was a -- apparently, unease within your panel. I -- I was really disappointed. And I think a lot of people have been that the opinion was so short. It was pro curiam. It did not discuss the serious legal issues that the case raised. And I believe that's legitimate criticism of what you did.

But it appears, according to Stuart Taylor, a respected legal writer for the National Journal -- that Stuart Taylor concluded that -- that it appears that Judge Cabranes was concerned about the outcome of the case, was not aware of it because it was a pro curiam unpublished opinion. But it began to raise the question of whether a rehearing should be granted.

You say you're bound by the superior authority. But the fact is when the re -- the question of rehearing that 2nd Circuit authority that you say covered the case, some say it didn't cover so clearly -- but that was up for debate. And the circuit voted, and you voted not to reconsider the prior case. You voted to stay with the decision of the circuit.

And, in fact, your vote was the key vote. Had you voted with Judge Cabranes, himself of -- of -- of Puerto Rican ancestry -- had you voted with him, you -- you -- you could have changed that case.
So in truth you weren't bound by that case had you seen it in a different way. You must have agreed with it and agreed with the opinion and stayed with it until it was reversed by the court. Let me just mention this. In 1997...

LEAHY: Is that a question or a...

SESSIONS: Well, that was a response to some of what you said, Mr. Chairman, because you misrepresented factually what the -- the posture of the case.

LEAHY: Well, I obviously...

SESSIONS: In 1997...

LEAHY: I obviously will disagree with that. But that -- we'll have a chance to vote on this issue.

SESSIONS: In 1997 when you came before the Senate and I was a new senator, I asked you this. In a suit challenging a government racial preference in quota or set-aside, will you follow the Supreme Court decision in Adarand and subject racial preferences to the strictest judicial scrutiny," close quote. In other words, I asked you would you follow the Supreme Court's binding decision in Adarand v. Pena.
In Adarand, the Supreme Court held that all governmental discrimination, including Affirmative Action programs, that discriminated by race of an applicant must face strict scrutiny in the courts. In other words, this is not a light thing to do. When one race is favored over another, you must have a really good reason for it, or it's not acceptable.

After Adarand, the government agencies must prove there is a compelling state interest in support of any decision to treat people differently by race. This is what you answered: "In my view, the Adarand court correctly determined that the same level of scrutiny -- strict scrutiny applies for the purpose of evaluating the constitutionality of all government classifications, whether at the state or federal level, based on race," close quote. So that was your answer, and it deals with government being the City of New Haven.

You made a commitment to this committee to follow Adarand. In view of this commitment you gave me 12 years ago, why are the words "Adarand," "Equal protection" and "Strict scrutiny" are completely missing from any of your panel's discussion of this decision?

SOTOMAYOR: Because those cases were not what was at issue in this decision. And in fact, those cases were not what decided the Supreme Court's decision. The Supreme Court parties were not arguing the level of scrutiny that would apply with respect to intentional discrimination. The issue is a different one before our court and the Supreme Court, which is what's a city to do when there is proof that its test disparately impacts a particular group.

And the Supreme Court decided, not on a basis of strict scrutiny, that what it did here was wrong -- what the city did here was wrong, but on the basis that the city's choice was not based on a substantial basis in evidence to believe it would be held liable under the law. Those are two different standards, two different questions that a case would present.

SESSIONS: But Judge, it wasn't that simple. This case was recognized pretty soon as a big case, at least. I noticed what perhaps kicked off Judge Cabranes's concern was a lawyer saying it was the most important discrimination case that the circuit had seen in 20 years. They were shocked they got a -- basically one-paragraph decision per curiam unsigned back on that case.

Judge Cabranes apparently raised this issue within the circuit, asked for re-hearing. Your vote made the difference in not having a re-hearing in bank. And he said, quote, "Municipal employers could reject the results" -- in talking about the results of your test, the impact of your decision -- "Municipal employers could reject the results of an employment examination whenever those results failed to yield a desirable outcome, i.e., fail to satisfy a racial quota," close quote.

SESSIONS: So that was Judge Trabanas's (sic) analysis of the impact of your decision, and he thought it was very important. He wanted to review this case. He thought it deserved a full and complete analysis and opinion. He wanted the whole circuit to be involved in it. And to the extent that some prior precedent in the circuit was different, the circuit could have reversed that precedent had they chose to do so.
Don't you think -- tell us how it came to be that this important case was dealt with in such a cursory manner.

SOTOMAYOR: The panel decision was based on a 78-page district court opinion. The opinion referenced it. In its per curium, the court incorporated in differently, but it was referenced by the circuit. And it released on that very thoughtful, thorough opinion by the district court.

And that opinion discussed Second Circuit precedent in its fullest -- to its fullest extent. Justice Cabranes had one view of the case. The panel had another. The majority of the vote -- it wasn't just my vote -- the majority of the court, not just my vote, denied the petition for rehearing.

The court left to the Supreme Court the question of how and employer should address what no one disputed was prima facia evidence that its test disparately impacted on a group. That was undisputed by everyone, but the case law did permit employees who had been disparately impacted to bring a suit.
The question was, for city, was it racially discriminating when it didn't accept those tests or was it attempting to comply with the law.

SESSIONS: Well, Judge, I think it's not fair to say that a majority -- I guess it's fair to say a majority voted against rehearing. But it was 6 to 6. Unusual that one of the judges had to challenge a panel decision, and your vote made the majority not to rehear it.

Do you -- and Ricci did deal with some important questions. Some of the questions that we have got to talk about as a nation, we've got to work our way through. I know there's concern on both sides of this issue, and we should do it carefully and correctly.

But do you think that Frank Ricci and the other firefighters whose claims you dismissed felt that their arguments and concerns were appropriately understood and acknowledged by such a short opinion from the court?

SOTOMAYOR: We were very sympathetic and expressed your sympathy to the firefighters who challenged the city's decision, Mr. Ricci and the others. We stood the efforts that they had made in taking the test. We said as much.

They did have before them a 78-page thorough opinion by the district court. They, obviously, disagreed with the law as it stood under Second Circuit precedent. That's why they were pursuing their claims and did pursue them further.

In the end, the body that had the discretion and power to decide how these tough issues should be decided, let alone the precedent that had been recognized by our circuit court and another -- at least, the Sixth Circuit -- but along what the court thought would be the right test or standard to apply.

And that's what the Supreme Court did. It answered that important question because it had the power to do that -- not the power but the ability to do that because it was faced with the arguments that suggested that. The panel was dealing with precedent and arguments that rely on our precedent.

SESSIONS: Thank you, Judge. And I appreciate this opportunity. And I -- I would just say, though, had the procurement opinion stood without a rehearing requested by one of the judges in the whole circuit and kicked off the discussion, it's very, very unlikely that we would have heard about this case or the Supreme Court would have taken it up. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Sessions, you are truly a beacon of hope in this country run by Far Left Chain Gangs. I hope you continue doing what is best for the people of Alabama and for this country as a whole. Just my thoughts, and I'd like to know yours.

TX-GOV: Hutchinson to run

Via CQ Politics:

After months of running an "exploratory" campaign for governor -- and raising oodles of money for that prospective 2010 race -- Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison made it official Monday: She is challenging Republican incumbent Rick Perry in the gubernatorial primary next March.

Hutchison also announced Monday, at a news conference in her hometown of Dallas, that she raised $6.7 million for her campaign in the first six months of this year, ending what her campaign said was "the first phase" of her bid for governor. Hutchison earlier had transferred $8 million from her Senate campaign treasury to her account for the governor's race, which now reports more than $12 million in cash on hand.

"While phase one of the campaign was designed to ensure we have the resources to deliver Kay's conservative message to voters across our state, it is now time to begin delivering that message," wrote Rick Wiley, Hutchison's campaign manager, in a memorandum.

He added that Hutchison would hold a formal announcement event in August, when Congress will be on its summer recess.

Perry's campaign earlier said that he raised $4.2 million in a nine-day period that ended June 30, and had $9.3 million in total cash reserves. Texas law barred Perry from raising money until June 22, after the state legislative and gubernatorial veto sessions ended.

Both of these longtime figures in statewide politics represent elements of the Republican Party's rise to political dominance in Texas, formerly a Southern Democratic stronghold.

Hutchison was serving as state treasurer when she won a June 1993 Senate special election -- she succeeded Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, who had resigned to become President Bill Clinton's first Treasury secretary -- then was easily re-elected to full terms in 1994, 2000 and 2006.

Perry was elected in 1998 as lieutenant governor to Gov. George W. Bush, who greatly expanded the GOP's grip on political power in the state. Perry moved up to governor in late 2000 after Bush was elected to his first of two terms as president. After a routine victory for a full term in 2002, Perry struggled through a four-way race in 2006 in which he won with a 39 percent plurality and a 9 percentage-point margin over his closest competitor.

Perry has moved aggressively in recent months to strengthen his Republican primary base by taking outspoken conservative stands on issues. He is trying to position himself to the right of Hutchison, who has for the most part voted a strongly conservative line as a senator but is more moderate than Perry on some matters, especially social issues such as abortion rights.

The Democratic field presently includes Tom Schieffer, a businessman and ambassador to Australia and Japan during Bush's presidency. The primary could also include musician Richard "Kinky" Friedman, an independent candidate in the 2006 election who is exploring a 2010 campaign as a Democrat.

This isn't good news. This means Perry's road to renomination is hobbled with someone who only seems to represent the special interests of Washingtom. We need Perry. He's the only thing protecting Texas from Obama's multi-Trillion dollar ponzi scheme. Perry is a proven leader. VOTE PERRY!!!

IL-SEN: McKena won't run

Via The Hill:

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna said Monday that he will not seek his state’s open Senate seat next year if Rep. Mark Kirk (R) does, clearing the way for Kirk to have a smooth primary.

Just three days after Kirk was telling colleagues that he had decided not to run because of the primary opposition, McKenna released a short statement saying he and Kirk have reached an accord.

“As party chairman my goal has been to build Party unity,” McKenna said. “Mark Kirk and I met last evening as part of an ongoing discussion about the U. S. Senate race. I reassured Mark that if he chooses to be a candidate, I will not oppose him.”

Kirk has been weighing the race for months, and soon after state Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) said last week that she wouldn’t run for the seat, he put out the word that he would run. But it soon became clear that McKenna, who had been eyeing the race himself while Kirk deliberated, was set on running himself.

That led Kirk to spread the word that he would back off his intention to run. Discussions over the weekend have apparently averted further conflict.

The announcement concludes five days' worth of high drama in the Senate race, which is set to be one of the biggest and most expensive in the country. Kirk’s candidacy is the GOP’s top hope for winning the former Senate seat of President Obama, and it puts a blue state in play for Republicans.

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) is running on the Democratic side, and businessman Chris Kennedy (D) could also jump in the race. But there is plenty of unrest over which direction the Democratic primary is headed, making Kirk’s clear primary an advantage at this point.

Appointed Sen. Roland Burris (D), like Madigan, announced last week that he will not run for the seat. He polled poorly in the primary and didn’t figure to have much of an impact on the race anyway.

Ugh, Mckenna was potentially the only good Conservative that could put up a good fight against Faux Republican Mark Kirk. Maybe Congressman Peter Roskam or Diplomat Alan Keyes could run for us.

Your thoughts.

MI-07: Walberg rides again

Via Roll Call:

Add former Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg’s name to the list of House Republicans defeated in 2008 who are seeking their former seats in 2010.

Walberg, who lost re-election to now-Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), announced Tuesday morning that he will run for his old seat next year.

“I cannot sit idly while Congressman Schauer votes to raise taxes, spend trillions we don’t have and bring the failed Granholm strategies he advanced in Michigan to Washington D.C.,” Walberg said in a statement, referring to unpopular Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).

With the backing of the cash-flush Club for Growth, Walberg came to Congress in 2006 after he defeated moderate Rep. Joe Schwarz in the GOP primary. Schauer narrowly defeated Walberg with 49 percent of the vote in 2008.

The Michigan Republican is the third former GOP Member who lost last cycle to announce he is running in 2010. Former Reps. Steve Chabot (Ohio) and Steve Pearce (N.M.) have announced bids for their former seats, plus Rep. Virgil Goode (Va.) is also mulling running to reclaim his 5th district seat.

Last cycle, a handful of Republicans who were defeated in 2006 ran again but found little success in reclaiming their seats. Among them were former Reps. Melissa Hart (PA), Ann Northup (KY) and Jim Ryun (KS).

Great news! We finally have a Conservative enough candidate that we can get behind for this House Seat. We need to defeat Mark Schauer in light of his recent vote in favor of Cap & TAX. Go Walberg!!!

PA-GOV, PA-06: Gerlach to run for Governor

Via The Allentown Morning Call:

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach has alerted top officials at the National Republican Congressional Committee that he'll run for governor next year in lieu of a reelection effort in Congress.
The decision is expected in an announcement Tuesday. It sets up a GOP primary battle for governor of Pennsylvania between the four-term suburban Philadelphia lawmaker and Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett and leaves the Republican Party facing a battle to retain a congressional seat that Gerlach has held since the district was drawn at the turn of the decade.

A Gerlach spokesman didn't immediately return a call for comment.

Gerlach has been pondering a gubernatorial bid for months and seeks to build on a strong base of support in the Philadelphia area and his roots in Lawrence County, in western Pennsylvania. He also spent more than a decade in the Pennsylvania General Assembly -- as a member of the House and then the Senate -- before joining Congress in 2003.

Still, he will be considered an underdog in the race to replace Gov. Ed Rendell. Corbett cemented his status as a heavyweight statewide candidate last fall, when he was the only Republican to win a statewide contest, collecting more than three million votes in defeating John Morganelli.

Gerlach's retirement from Congress gives Democrats an opening in the 6th District, a seat the party has been after for years only to fall short in every contest against Gerlach. In four straight elections, the party's candidate has lost by no more than 4 percentage points.

Doug Pike, a former Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board member, is the only Democratic candidate in the race so far -- and he has pumped $500,000 of his own money into the campaign. But that is unlikely to deter other Democrats from jumping into a race for an open seat.

Republicans haven't been keen on Gerlach retiring and now have their work cut out for them as they look to recruit a viable candidate. State House Rep. Curt Schroder has expressed interest in running should Gerlach run for governor.

I don't really like Gerlach, so I was gonna support Corbett either way. If State Representative Curt Schroder runs for PA-06, then I expect him to win. If he doesn't, then the Democrat will probably win.

Your thoughts.

GA-GOV Fundraising Numbers

Earlier this week fundraising data for the first half of the year was released (in off-years fundraising numbers are realesed biannually in GA state races like GOV, Lt. Gov., SoS, etc.) and there were some surprises on both the Democratic and GOP side with expectations exceeded by some and underacheived by others with one notable exception who has not formally declared his candidacy yet, former Governor Roy Barnes.

GOP side:

Nathan Deal raised over $1.2 million, really incredible given his detachment from statewide politics. Deal concerns me as a really difficult general election candidate because he is rather unknown outside of his district unlike other foot-in-mouth Republcan Congressmen in GA and he can raise a ton of $$$.

Eric Johnson raised close to $1 million, somewhat like Deal and this number came out of nowhere, but given his leadership role in the State Senate and his unique geographical location, like Deal, he was able to rake in the big bucks.

Karen Handel, while raising significantly more than Porter or Poythress, will need to do better than $431,178.57 in December to make it through a bruising GOP primary. I think she has a good chance of being passed over in favor of either Deal, McBerry, or Oxendine if the poor fundraising continues.

Austin Scott's $180,620.00 is not going to cut it. His walking tour of Georgia would be interesting in other circumstances(like if there were an incumbent running), but in an open race with a LOT of different options on the GOP and Democratic side, I don't see him having a chance.

John Oxendine's over $1 million raised so far makes this fundraising period not as critical for Oxendine as other candidates, yet $416,580.35 this year so far is lagging in comparison to Deal and Johnson, but going forward it will be interesting to see whether GOP donors will help him maintain his current frontrunner status.

Democratic side:

Dubose Porter only raised $231,250, slightly more than Democratic Attorney General candidate Rob Teilhet, which says a lot for Teilhet, but is a rather discouraging statement about Porter's viability in the primary. I don't think Porter's populist message will catch on with voters, and he'll need to ramp up the fundraising if he's serious about this gubernatorial race, otherwise I think it'd be wise for him to look elsewhere for higher office.

David Poythress, while sitting on a nice amount ($304,045.00), lacked in the first half of 2008 raising a paltry $156,462.20 especially considering he spent $196,407.42 over the same amount of time. I know he's in it for the long haul but to be taken seriously he'll need to turn the fundraising around ASAP.

Thurbert Baker raised close to $700,000. For a candidate who only started raising money in April, this is surprising and higher than many expected.

Roy Barnes, as stated above, has just launched his website and has not started fundraising in earnest reporting, $0 raised so far, but given his penchant for fundraising in the past ($22 million in 2002), I think Barnes might bring in a solid amount come December, but with his frontrunner status come expectations that have to be met to secure the Democratic nomination without a fratricidal primary.

Your thoughts.

VA-GOV: McDonnell has bigger War Chest

Via The Hotline:

Bob McDonnell, the GOP candidate for VA governor, trailed his Dem rival in furndraising for the last month-long filing period, but having sailed to the nomination without a fight, McDonnell has been able to squirrel away more money and heads into the general flush with cash.

The McDonnell campaign has almost $5M on hand as of 6/30, the end of the last reporting period. That's nearly double the amount reported by Dem state Sen. Creigh Deeds' team.

McDonnell raised approximately $1.8M between 5/28 and 6/30 from 3,452 donors -- with 2,181 donors who contributed $100 or less. Seventy-five percent of McDonnell's donors are from the Commonwealth.

Neither the RNC nor the RGA funneled money to McDonnell during that period.

"Our campaign enters the final four months of the race in a strong financial position to carry our positive message of new jobs and more opportunities to every region of the state," said McDonnell campaign manager Phil Cox. "Despite the fact that we were on television for over half of the period, we maintain a nearly 2 to 1 cash on hand advantage over our opponent. ... Today's report is a further demonstration of the broad appeal, and growing momentum, of our campaign. Virginians are rallying around Bob McDonnell's positive message."

Deeds announced yesterday that he raised $3.4M in June and has $2.7M on hand. But his most recent total was bolstered by contributions from the DGA ($400K), SEIU ($100K) and AFSCME ($500K).

These numbers are simply impressive! I believe that if these fundraising numbers hold, McDonnell will win and end almost 8 years of the Democratic Taliban's regime here. GO MCDONNELL!!!

NJ-GOV: Christie romps by 12% and 9%

Via Quinnipiac:

Chris Christie (R) 53%
Jon Corzine (D-inc) 41%

Chris Christie (R) 47%
Jon Corzine (D) 38%
Christopher Daggett (I) 8%

Great numbers! This clearly shows the decreasing popularity of Jon Corzine and the Democratic Taliban's regime nationwide. These numbers ought to hold up through election day. Go Christie!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In case you missed it

Al Franken (D-MN) has been sworn in as US Senator. A sad day in the history of this country. We now get to pay for his LSD Trips with taxpayer dollars. Pathetic. Your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

NH-SEN: Ayotte to run?

New Hampshire's Republican Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has resigned her office to consider a campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2010:

"Today, I have submitted my letter of resignation to Governor Lynch effective Friday July 17, 2009. I want to thank the Governor for appointing me as Attorney General. I have had the honor of serving two Governors of different parties and I am grateful to both of them for allowing me to serve. It has been a privilege to serve the people of New Hampshire. I have been honored to work with our dedicated and courageous law enforcement officers to keep New Hampshire a safe place for our families. I have been proud to work with Governor Lynch to improve our criminal laws to protect our children from internet crimes and sexual predators.

Recently, many New Hampshire citizens have urged me to run for United States Senate. I appreciate their confidence in me. After discussing this matter with my husband, Joe, and our family, I have decided to resign as Attorney General in order to explore a campaign for the United States Senate. The Attorney General’s Office has a long tradition as a nonpartisan, independent office. In the five years I have served as Attorney General, I have been deeply committed to maintaining that tradition and the integrity of the Office. I do not intend to discuss my future plans or politics in any detail until such time as I leave the Attorney General’s Office."

The news gets better and better for us. Remember when the Democratic Taliban was stating that this seat was almost certainly going their way, well we don't hear that anymore now do we?

HT: Campaign Spot

VA-GOV: McDonnell beating Deeds

Via PPP:

Bob McDonnell (R) 49%
Creigh Deeds (D) 43%

This is great news. It means the eventual end of the Democratic Taliban's almost 8 year regime here. I can't believe it, a new day is breaking, it's been too long since I felt this way!!! We absolutely cannot fail here. If we do, then we as a party will simply cease to exist. GO MCDONNELL!!!

HT: The Hedgehog Report

Friday, July 3, 2009

AK-GOV: Palin Resigning!!!

My fellow Americans, our long, national nightmare is over.

Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that she will step down as Alaska's chief executive by the end of the month. She will not seek election to a second gubernatorial term in 2010.

As the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, Palin had been considered one of the front-runners for the GOP nomination in 2012.

"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," Palin said at an announcement from her home in Wasilla. "Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine."

Palin was elected governor in 2006. She was tapped as Arizona Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate last year.

Palin said she was transferring authority to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will be sworn in at the Governor's Picnic on July 26. Video Watch Palin's announcement »

Palin added in a statement that she was "determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is not the easiest path. ... Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional lame duck status in this particular climate would just be another dose of politics as usual, something I campaigned against and will always oppose."

A Republican source close to her political team told CNN's John King that it was a "calculation" she made that "it was time to move on." The governor's "book deal and other issues" were "causing a lot of friction" in her home state, the source said, adding that he believes she is "mapping out a path to 2012."

Another source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Palin "thinks she has accomplished goals she has set forward. ... She sees what a positive influence she has had on people's lives from traveling the country in the last year."

Following Palin's announcement, the Democratic National Committee blasted what it called her "bizarre behavior."

"Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long shot national political ambitions or she simply can't handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down," DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said.

"Either way, her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today."

Republican strategist and CNN contributor Ed Rollins said, to a certain extent, Palin's announcement makes her look "terribly inept."

"I think everyone is shocked by this, and I think to a certain extent everyone is going to assume there's another story. You don't just quit with a year and a half to go. You certainly don't do this as a stepping stone to run for president. You finish the job that you're in, and obviously she's not doing that," he said.

"I think people are going to be very suspicious because of the timing. You don't quit on the Friday of a three-day holiday. If you are going to do this, you think it through, you give a good speech," Rollins said.

In an interview last month with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Palin said she was unsure about her re-election bid because she needed to focus on her state and her family.

This move is just plain stupid. No Governor that has ever, EVER resigned from office, especially 3 years in advance, has never ever been elected President. On the bright side, I can finally say good riddance to this Nowhere Man and move on with my life. Sarah Palin is finished politically IMO. Your thoughts.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

NH Numbers

Via University of New Hampshire:

Favorable / Unfavorable
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D): 50 / 36
Sen. Judd Gregg (R): 53 / 24
Paul Hodes (D): 32 / 23
John Sununu (R): 43 / 38
Charlie Bass (R): 33 / 23
Kelly Ayotte (R): 45 / 8
Frank Tausch (R): 5 / 4

2010 Senate
Ayotte 39%, Hodes 35%
Hodes 43%, Sununu 41%
Hodes 40%, Bass 38%
Hodes 45%, Tausch 25%

Good numbers. Only way I will watch this race is if Ayotte runs. If the other Faux Republicans run, then I'll not watch this one. Again, I'm so glad that Faux Republican John Sununu is not running. He joined Democrats in filibusters of the USA Patriot Act and the Bush Administration's 2003 energy bill. He is not a real Conservative if this is true. Your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Senate Updates:

MN-SEN: Oh joy. After a prolonged 6 month battle with the Courts, the Courts ruled in favor of Comedian?, former Air America Radio Show host, and escapee from the insane asylum Al Franken. The election certificate was signed, and Franken will be seated next week. Congrats Minnesota, you've elected probably the biggest moron in the history of this country(second only to Sean Penn), and I'd hate to say this, but you will pay, big time, for this. The voters have spoken, and for that, they shall suffer, because now they have to pay for his LSD trips with taxpayer dollars. Again, I hope you're happy Minnesota.

NH-SEN: Finally some good news. Former Senator? John Sununu will not run for the GOP nomination.(HT: CQ Politics) Ah goodie, one less Moderate we have to worry about. We need a true Conservative here, or else I will not worry about losing here.

CT-SEN: Economist and CSP endorsee Peter Schiff, who's been considering running for Chris Dodd's Senate seat, released an internal poll taken for him by Wilson Research Strategies. Schiff loses the general to Dodd, 42-38. Better news here is that Dodd is still getting creamed ex-Rep. Rob Simmons, 47-38(lets hope it stays that way :-)). One thing the poll doesn't test results in the GOP primary.

OH-SEN: Car dealer Tom Ganley announced his candidacy for the GOP primary for the open Senate seat. Ganley owns 38 dealerships, so he's not just your average used car dealer. He vows to self-fund Romney style in his DOA fight against former Congressman Rob Portman.