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Archive for November, 2009

Runyan to Do NFL, Then Run for Congress

A correction on my assumption from an earlier post via Politico.

Former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jon Runyan confirmed tonight that he’s running against Rep. John Adler (D-N.J.), but before he launches his political career, he’s returning to the National Football League with the San Diego Chargers.

Runyan, who had been out of football for the 2009 season, signed a one-year contract this evening with the Chargers, where he will play for the remainder of the year,

“Win or lose, these will be my final games as an NFL player. Last night, I personally informed the Republican County Chairmen in NJ’s 3rd Congressional District that after the season is over I plan to officially retire from football and pursue a campaign for the United States Congress,” Runyan said in a statement.

“I want to thank all of the people who have been encouraging me to run next year and let them know that I look forward to a successful end to my career on the field, and a spirited campaign against Congressman Adler in 2010.”

Runyan looks like the early GOP favorite, winning support from Burlington County Republican leaders, but he’s never been involved in politics until he expressed interest in the race. And now that he’s playing football and won’t be able to prepare for a campaign until season’s end, other Republicans may look to challenge him in the primary.

There’s only about six games left in the current NFL season, so Runyan’s biggest concern will be a possible of lack of fund raising for his candidacy.  The current Cook Political Report lists NJ-03 as a “Likely Democratic” with a Presidential Voting Index of R+1.

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Quick Hits

Adopted Man Seeks Birth Parents, Discovers He’s Charles Manson’s Son

What’s the most shocking thing for me, is that the only source I can find for this story is the UK Sun.

Green Bay Fox Affiliate Sits Down with Lawton

So, if this interview is right, it was all about Lawton’s unwillingness (or inability) to fund raise.

There’s a word for that in politics: Loser.

So That’s a “No” for Congress Then

After weeks of speculation he was going to run for Congress in Pennsylvania, NFL offensive tackle Jon Runyan instead has been signed by the San Diego Chargers to play out the rest of the season.

No word if this merely delays a Runyan run, or ends it completely.

Dems in Congress to Pay for “Jobs Bill” With Tax on Stock Transactions

Since I’ve already ripped this idea to shreds when Congressman Steve Kagen, MD introduced it as his “revolutionary idea” to finance the Health Care Bill, I’m not going to rehash it again now that there’s movement by the “Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act of 2009.”

The real question we should be asking ourselves is this: Since he’s endorsed the concept in the local media (The video is available still at WFRV.com), when will Kagen just come out and not only endorse the bill, but co-sponsor it as well?  To do likewise would be hypocritical.

Oh, please read the 500+ comments on the story at The Hill.  Not a single one in support of it on the main page.  In fact, most are intelligent enough to call out the idea for what it is.  A real pity Congress doesn’t.

I’ve Missed Melanie Kirkpatrick at the Wall Street Journal…

This column on “Franksgiving” is a must-read when it comes to the arrogance levels of FDR’s Presidency.

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Cartoon of the Day


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The Muppets Do “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Because two things few people hate (The Muppets and Queens’ “Bohemian Rhapsody”) together are a great thing. (Via Mashable)

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PPP Polling: Feingold Would Beat Thompson

I have some issues with the polling — mainly that it took place over a weekend, which is never a good time to get a solid poll sample — but expect this to be the headline all over Wisconsin political websites as Public Policy Polling (PPP) out of North Carolina says that as of this past weekend, Russ Feingold leads former Governor Tommy Thompson in a theoretical Senate match-up.

Democrats are having to work harder than expected to defend a lot of their Senate seats in 2010, but it doesn’t look like Wisconsin will be one of them.

Russ Feingold leads former Governor Tommy Thompson 50-41 in a possible match up.  He takes 88% of the Democratic vote to Thompson’s 82% of the Republican vote and also holds a 47-41 lead with independents.

Thompson no longer has the popularity that propelled him to four terms as Governor.  45% of voters in the state have an unfavorable opinion of him to just 38% who view him positively. Even 25% of Republicans view him negatively and he has little crossover support, with just 17% of Democrats saying they have a favorable opinion of him.

Feingold’s numbers are almost a mirror image with 45% of voters approving of his job performance to 37% who disapprove. Feingold also holds solid leads against a couple of minor Republican candidates- 47-32 over Dave Westlake and 48-34 over Terrence Wall.

Last month, a poll by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute put this match-up as Thompson 43 – Feingold 39; I forget what the numbers in a Feingold-Westlake and Feingold-Wall match-up were.  The inconsistency of the polling only means more polling is probably coming down the road.

At this time, I have a hard time buying the numbers because 1) It’s a Democratic Polling firm, so you have to always put whoever is the partisan-leaning entity into account, and 2) weekend polling traditionally tends to lean-heavily to Democrats.  That’s not to say they aren’t correct, but it’s hard to believe that 25% of Wisconsin Republicans now disapprove of Tommy Thompson.  If anything, that’s likely them venting their frustration with the constant media self-aggrandizing Thompson seems to be doing with his Hamlet act of “Will I run for another office again?”

(For my money, it’s unlikely he’s running for anything.  Tommy just likes the attention.)

I’ve been going over the rest of the PPP results issued today, and while the Thompson news will make headlines; if I were a Democrat, I’d be worried, because these are not the results you want to be seeing twelve months out from the mid-term elections.  I’ll hope to have a post on that later on.


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Obey’s “War Surtax” An Old, Tired Idea

Much like Dave Obey, it’s a vintage idea of the anti-war left for years.  Except of course with Obey, it is a nice look into the liberal mindset of “How We View Wars.”

See, to Obey and friends (And by friends, I’m gonna say the rest of the Democratic members in the Wisconsin Congressional delegation), they don’t view wars as the way one defends freedom.  To them, they see them as an unfair means to end the progressive advancement in America.

Don’t believe me?  Just read Obey’s own words.

The White House says domestic politics is irrelevant to its pending Afghanistan decision, but domestic politicians beg to differ. “There ain’t going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan,” the liberal warhorse David Obey told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, before threatening a “war surtax” if President Obama does end up granting General Stanley McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops.

“That’s what happened with the Vietnam War, which wiped out the Great Society,” the House Appropriations Chairman said with his customary subtlety. “That’s what happened with the Korean War, which wiped out Harry Truman’s Square Deal. That’s what happened with the end of the progressive movement before the ’20s when we went into World War I. In each case, the costs of those wars shut off our ability to pay for anything else.”

Well, that’s one reading of 20th-century national security, but another way of putting it is that the real liberal objection to the war on terror is that it takes away from domestic spending priorities like ObamaCare. For many Democrats, the goal isn’t victory in Afghanistan, but victory on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Obey last floated a war surtax in the Iraq debate of 2007, and this year’s iteration would be imposed on all taxpayers up to 5% on the highest income bracket. Combined with the House health-care surcharge of 5.4 percentage points and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, that would bring the top federal marginal rate to above 50%. Economic growth, in other words, would be hostage to both the anti-antiterror and the single-payer left, if that isn’t redundant.

I’ve read Obey’s said much the same about World War II ending the New Deal.

Here’s hoping the Duffy Campaign jumps on this.

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Cartoon of the Day


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David Axelrod Worried Dems May Lose Obama’s Senate Seat

(The New York Times Via Politico)

Things are not looking good for Democratic Senatorial recruitment for what should be an easy open seat defense.

Axelrod concedes that he and Mr. Obama failed to persuade Attorney General Lisa Madigan to run for the Senate seat vacated by Mr. Obama. “She would have walked into the seat,” Mr. Axelrod says. White House qualms about the Democratic frontrunner, Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois treasurer, are self-evident, with worry that the Republican challenger, Representative Mark Kirk, will be needlessly formidable.

“The Blago saga will hang heavy over our politics, and that’s what Kirk’s banking on,” Mr. Axelrod says.

My friend Liz Mair, formerly with the RNC and now with an independent consulting firm, has mentioned to me the Democratic front-runner in FIB-Land has numerous ties to organized crimes beyond the trouble from his connections to former Governor Blagovich.

Early polling has shown Mark Kirk in the lead.

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Cartoon of the Day


Makes you wonder how many late-year births are tax credit related…

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Man “Locked-In” for 23 Years Conscious the Entire Time

This whole situation reminds me of an episode of “House” from last season with actor/musician Mos Def as the patient.  More frightening thing isn’t the number of patients listed as being in a coma, but simply seen as brain-dead.

A car crash victim diagnosed as being in a coma for the past 23 years has been conscious the whole time.

Rom Houben was paralysed but had no way of letting doctors know that he could hear every word they were saying.

‘I dreamed myself away,’ said Mr Houben, now 46, who doctors thought was in a persistent vegatative state.

He added: ‘I screamed, but there was nothing to hear.’

Doctors used a range of coma tests before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was ‘extinct’.

But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally.

Mr Houben described the moment as ‘my second birth’. Therapy has since allowed him to tap out messages on a computer screen.

Mr Houben said: ‘All that time I just literally dreamed of a better life. Frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt.’

His case has only just been revealed in a scientific paper released by the man who ‘saved’ him, top neurological expert Dr Steven Laureys.

‘Medical advances caught up with him,’ said Dr Laureys, who believes there may be many similar cases of false comas around the world.

The disclosure will also renew the right-to-die debate over whether people in comas are truly unconscious.

Mr Houben, a former martial arts enthusiast, was paralysed in 1983.

Doctors in Zolder, Belgium, used the internationally accepted Glasgow Coma Scale to assess his eye, verbal and motor responses. But each time he was graded incorrectly.

Only a re-evaluation of his case at the University of Liege discovered that he had lost control of his body but was still fully aware of what was happening.

This is exactly the sort of thing one wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy.

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