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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Boucher In Full Retreat

How did Congressman Rick Boucher go from this ...

"This is a responsible measure. It is carefully balanced."

... and this:

"I intend to vote yes, and I intend to encourage all other members of the committee to do the same."

... and this:

"But I am committed in the full committee to be supportive of this bill to encourage others to be supportive.”

... and this:

"Last week, Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat who has made protection of coal interests a priority, also endorsed the legislation."
"U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher voted for cap-and-trade legislation but said he doesn’t endorse the House-passed version of the bill."

He voted for it but doesn't support it?

He endorses it but doesn't endorse it?

What in God's name does that mean?

I'll tell you what it means: Boucher knows he's made a monstrous mistake and is now fighting for his political life.

From the Kingsport Times-News:
Boucher seeks changes in cap-and-trade
By Hank Hayes

U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher voted for cap-and-trade legislation but said he doesn’t endorse the House-passed version of the bill.

The Abingdon Democrat, in a meeting with members of the Times-News Editorial Board, explained his vote on the controversial and complex climate change bill designed to enable the federal government to cap industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

“I voted for it because I had to do that to be part of the process and to make the changes that have been made,” Boucher said of the bill that passed by a seven-vote margin in the House and is now being considered by the Senate. [link]
In other words, he sold his vote. For "thirty pieces of silver" he abandoned us in favor of his friends in Washington.

Citing the Times-News article, Red State has this:
Rick Boucher Regrets Selling Out His District
A Critical Backer of Cap-&-Tax Suddenly Won't Take Credit

There are a few things to note here. First off, I’m not sure that the White House will appreciate Boucher essentially arguing that he has to vote for a terrible, job-destroying bill because if he doesn’t, the Obama administration will really sock it to Virginia. Further, the way to stay relevant on Capitol Hill is by voting against a bill. I realize that Boucher has only been in Congress for 26 years, but it’s the sort of thing some Members realize in as little as a decade. If you vote for a bill, the sponsor tends to think he has your support; if you vote against it, he’s more likely to try to win you over.

But of course, Boucher really doesn’t believe what he’s telling his local press. He’s hoping they’re a bunch of rubes that don’t see through his fiction. We can tell that’s true because Boucher was a critical backer of the bill, whose work and support won others over, too.

If that doesn’t make thousands of his constituents feel better, then what will? They ought to be honored to be part of something bigger than themselves - a real sacrifice. Boucher won’t even have that, as his job has always been secure.

And if you’re paying attention, you might wonder whether Boucher’s attitude about the president’s agenda seems to have suddenly changed now that he may finally face a serious Republican opponent. It’s interesting to see what motivates people.

Two points:

1) Those "rubes" Boucher is hoping won't see through his fiction referred to above include you and me.

2) "It’s interesting to see what motivates people." Yeah. Abject fear of losing his handsome gig up there in the Magic Kingdom can be a serious motivator, can't it.

But to the point: Rick Boucher is now running - not walking - from the legislation he so recently endorsed with enthusiasm. Because he knows the people here in Southwest Virginia are outraged by his sellout.

Problem is, he can't take his vote - his sellout - back. The damage is done. At least the damage that he can do. The future of Southwest Virginia - especially its precious coalfields - is now in the hands of the Democratically controlled Senate and ... OBAMA.

May God have mercy on us.

Like I Said

I'm not the only one who thinks the Washington Post is trying to gin up a controversy where none exists. Again. Journey with us down Macaca Boulevard:
Is the Washington Post trying to 'Macaca' Bob McDonnell?
By Michael Barone, Senior Political Analyst, Washington Examiner

In the 2006 campaign season the Washington Post ran more than a dozen front-page stories on Senator George Allen’s reference, at an August 11 campaign stop almost 400 miles from Washington, to an opposition campaign staffer as “Macaca.” One of these stories, perhaps, had enough news value to be worthy of the front page; the others were placed there with the obvious intent of defeating Allen and electing his Democratic opponent Jim Webb, who did indeed win by a 50%-49% margin.

Now there’s a campaign on for governor of Virginia, and the news editors of the Post seem to be using their front page once again to defeat the Republican candidate, Bob McDonnell, and elect Democrat Creigh Deeds. To provide a fair perspective, we’ll start a Macaca watch, to list stories which make the front page of the Post not on the basis of news value but solely and obviously to defeat the Republican candidate.

Item number one on the Macaca Watch is the Sunday front page story on the thesis Bob McDonnell wrote in 1989 at Regent University where he obtained a masters degree in public policy and a law degree. This is, as the story acknowledged, a publicly available document and its contents would certainly be a legitimate part of an article on McDonnell’s background and the evolution of his political views. But the first paragraph of the story, prominently on the front page, sends the culturally liberal voters of Northern Virginia in the Post’s local circulation area a pretty clear message: you better not vote for this guy. He went to an “evangelical” school (Regent University Law School), described feminists as “detrimental” and “said government policy should favor married couples over ‘cohabitors, homosexuals or fornicators.’”

Item number two on the Macaca watch is Tuesday’s front page story headlined “Governor’s Race Erupts Over McDonnell’s Past View.” The “eruption” consists of a bunch of emails sent out by Democrats quoting from McDonnell’s thesis and a McDonnell conference call with reporters answering questions—pretty routine campaign stuff, hardly front page material.

The obvious agenda here is to raise the specter that if McDonnell is elected, all women in Virginia will be fired from their jobs and forced to stay home knitting or driving car pool. We’ll see how much longer the Post can keep this story on the front page. [link]
As I wrote yesterday, this ploy worked for the Washington Post before. And we ended up with that nitwit James Webb as our senator because of the success of the machinations. Why not try it again?

It is interesting, though, that Michael Barone saw the transparency in all this, just as I had. Raw, naked propagandizing. That's all it is.

As These Things Usually Go

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this rather notorious bit of "hate" was actually perpetrated by someone in Democratic Congressman David Scott's own office.

Why? Though right-wing fanatics are always blamed, left-wing dolts are always the culprits.

The latest:
Death threat on Rep. John Salazar "unfounded"
By Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post

Grand Junction police say the report of a death threat against U.S. Rep. John Salazar turned out to be "unfounded."

The threat reportedly had been made outside Salazar's Grand Junction office Aug. 24 as health care reform opponents and supporters squared off.

"People who witnessed the interaction between the man who made the complaint and the suspect confirmed they never heard any direct threats made regarding Congressman Salazar," said Kate Porras, spokeswoman for the Grand Junction police.

"Also, a (Grand Junction police officer) in close proximity when the interaction took place never heard any direct threats made against Salazar by the suspect," she said. [link]
Why would this guy accuse protesters outside the Democrat's office of having made death threats? Well, the media eat this stuff up. It fits the "right-wing hate" template, you see. And it stokes the fires of actual hate. See below.

Is This The GOP You Know?

Jeff Poor:

Only on MSNBC, the network that prides itself as the "place for politics" could you see this type of anti-religion, anti-conservative vitriol.

On MSNBC's Sept. 1 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," host Keith Olbermann entertained the musings of Dan Savage, a syndicated sex columnist, author and gay-rights advocate about religious conservatives and their participation in public policy debate.

"When you have a party that claims to speak for God or claims that God is on its side, the rhetoric heats up and the anger heats up because it's not just a battle about ideas and positions and what's good for the country or bad for the country," Savage said. "It's a battle about what God wants and what God doesn't want. It's easier to demagogue about your enemies and to despise them and to dehumanize them in this really personal and vicious way."

"To despise them and to dehumanize them in this really personal and vicious way." Sound like anyone you know? Besides this gay-rights sex columnist?

They're At It Again

The Washington Post's effort to macaca Bob McDonnell continues apace this morning. This time columnist Ruth Marcus was ordered to attack the GOP candidate for governor for having written something decades ago about something that is, in fact, absolutely inconsequential.

With all the issues before the voters, the Washington Post decides to concentrate on this:
The Macaca Thesis
What Bob McDonnell Can't Explain Away
By Ruth Marcus, Washington Post

Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, didn't really mean it when he equated homosexuality with drug abuse and pornography as evils that "the government must restrain, punish, and deter."

I am prepared to accept that McDonnell's views have evolved in the past 20 years. The shift in public attitudes toward gay rights has been remarkable; it is certainly possible that McDonnell's hostility toward homosexuality has moderated -- somewhat.

Similarly, nothing can change a sexist's mind as effectively as having daughters; McDonnell's experience with watching his daughters earn master's degrees and serve in Iraq no doubt informed his current views about working women.

And, as with Sotomayor, I agree that the better guidepost to how a Gov. McDonnell would operate is examining the performance of Attorney General McDonnell or Del. McDonnell.

On that score, it seems just as likely that McDonnell's supposed restraint stems from pragmatic acceptance of political reality as from a marked change in views. There's every reason to think that McDonnell would govern as conservatively as the current politics of the state would allow. His professions of relative disinterest in social issues are unconvincing.

As for his efforts to dismiss the thesis as the idle musings of a callow youth: Those are simply insulting to the voters of Virginia. [link]
That's rich. A northeast liberal telling the people of Virginia what insults them.

Anyway, Macaca II continues ...

Manufacturing Is On The Rebound

Except where it counts:
Manufacturing Grows After 18 Weak Months
By Jack Healy, New York Times

After 18 months of layoffs, plant shutdowns and other declines, the country’s manufacturing sector grew in August, offering another piece of evidence that the economy was pulling out of recession.

The Institute for Supply Management’s survey of factories and industry had been edging higher this spring, as the blistering pace of economic declines began to level off. But last month, the group’s manufacturing index turned positive, rising to 52.9, from 48.9 in July.

President Obama called the numbers “a sign that we’re on the path to economic recovery.”

Still, most industries were not hiring, an indication that the labor market remained weak. The manufacturing employment index contracted again in August, although at a slower pace than in past months. Four industry groups said their payrolls were growing while nine reported decreases.

Manufacturing jobs have been devastated by the recession, with some two million positions lost since the downturn’s official beginning in December 2007. [link]
So manufacturing output rose but so did unemployment in the manufacturing sector. The good, the bad.

Things are turning around? Maybe.