Sunday, July 31, 2011

Watch Obama Debt Ceiling Speech, July 31, 2011

Earlier today:


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A Call for Contributors

Pundit Press is slowly growing, in case you didn't hear. That's why we're asking for those that read the site and think that they should be heard if they would like to write for our blog. Your level of participation is up to you-- an article a day, an hour, or per week. It's a no-pay but rewarding experience.

We're looking forward to your response.

Send all inquiries to punditpress-at-gmail.com.

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The Month in Review

June has been another busy month on Pundit Press. Our articles have reached across the blogosphere again. We're at 201 subscribers, 146 Twitter followers, and 121 followers. And if you're interested in writing for us, send us an email at punditpress-at-gmail.com.

In the last month we've had 256 articles.

Aurelius: 80 articles, down from 101. This is 31.2% of the sum.
Thomas: 64, down from 97, or 25.0% of the total.
Danny Butcher: 63 total, down from 64. This is 24.6% of the total.
Mr. K: 22, down from 41. This is 8.6%.
Unlikely Hospitalist: 13, down from 31. This is 5.1% of the total.
Dr. Owens: 5, up from 4.
Dr. White: 6, up from one.
Kaptain Krude: 1, same as last month.
Joe C. 2, up from 0.

This month we received 109,995 pageviews, up 80.0% from last month.

Top Articles of the Month

1. Anders B. Breivik Facebook Account Found, by Thomas with 11,584 hits, or 10.5% of our total hits.
2. Anders B. Breivik Twitter Account Found, by Thomas with 10,362 views, or 9.4% of the sum.
3. New Utøya Picture Released, by Thomas, with 6.9% of the total.
4. Anders Behring Breivik Facebook Profile Description, by Aurelius, with 7,490 hits, or 6.8% of the total.
5. Horrible New Picture from Utøya Appears to Show Gunman Walking Through Victims, by Thomas with 7,121 hits, or 6.5%.
6. Inevitable: Left Pushes Norway Shooter/Palin Link by Thomas with 7,034 hits, or 6.4%.
7. Another Utøya Picture Released by Thomas, with 6,098 views, or 5.5%.
8. 20-30 Killed in Utøya, First Picture from Utøya by Thomas, with 5,871 pageviews, or 5.3%.
9. Anders Breivik Photos by Thomas with 5,633 views, or 5.1% of the total.
10. Watch President Obama Speech Live Video, July 25, 2011 by Thomas with 4,564 hits, or 4.1%.
11. Anders. B. Breivik Possible Utøya Shooter, Oslo Bomber by Thomas, with 1,541 views, or 1.4% of the total.
12. Breivik to Face Norway's Maximum Jail Sentence: 21 Years by Aurelius, with 1.2% of the total.
13. Video: Bad Call from Pirates Braves Game by Thomas with 1,303 views.
14. O.J. Simpson Admits to Killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in Self Defense? by Unlikely Hospitalist with 1,160 views.
15. Anders Breivik YouTube Video by Aurelius with 1,074 hits.
16. Utøya Shooter Picture by Thomas with 1,063 hits.

Top Contributor of the Month

This month it goes to Thomas, for coverage of the tragedy in Norway.

Those that linked to Us:

Instapundit
Hot Air
Michelle Malkin
Ann Coulter
Transterrestrial Musings
Big Journalism
Human Events
Front Page Magazine
Gateway Pundit
Linkiest
Director Blue
WCBM

Tomb of the the unknown blogger (for anyone we missed)

Notes

- We are less disappointed in Joe.
- What happened to Mr. K?

Obama Speech on Deal Deal Live/Streaming, July 31, 2011

Update: The speech is over. Here is the video.

The President is scheduled to speak at 8:40pm:


Streaming live video by Ustream

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Breaking: Debt Deal Struck

It's about freaking time:  CNN, Fox News, and President Obama are all confirming that a deal on the debt ceiling have finally been struck.  If the President hadn't led from behind, it most likely would have been solved months ago.

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Plaxico Burress to Join Jets

I'm a Jets fan and I'm pleased:
Former Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress(notes) will return to the Big Apple after spending two seasons out of football. After a whirlwind free agency tour, Burress and agent Drew Rosenhaus have agreed to terms with the New York Jets on a one-year, $3.017 million deal. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the deal is fully guaranteed. Reports indicate that the extra $17,000 in the total was a small vanity point, as Burress' jersey number was (and is) #17.

And as has been before, it appears that Rex Ryan was a major drawing card.

"I know they have a good team and everybody knows Rex," Burress said of the Jets' head coach yesterday. "I think he's great. He stands behind his players, I think his players have a lot of respect for him and they play hard for him. … He's a great coach, great personality. He seems like he's always upbeat."

Burress also has a new Twitter BFF in Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez(notes).
Burress
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D.B. Cooper Identity/Case Solved?

Back in the day, I used to listen to a lot of Coast to Coast. For those unfamiliar with the very popular radio program, it was once hosted by a man named Art Bell. It normally discussed the meaning of life, the existence of God, the JFK assassination, urban legends, ghosts, and God. That's when I listened to it nightly. Unfortunately, more recently it has taken a strong turn towards conspiracies and psychics, and is now hosted by the occasionally able, but not as good as Mr. Bell, George Noory.

One thing that was discussed a lot a few years ago was D.B. Cooper. Honestly, this case never intrigued me because it was a cold case with a bunch of red herrings and a myriad of stories and versions from different people.

Well, guess what: the case may soon be solved:
The FBI today revealed that it believes it has America's most elusive fugitive finally in its sights 40 years after famed hijacker DB Cooper disappeared when he jumped out of a plane over Washington.

Investigators said that they are testing the fingerprints of a new suspect after what they said is the 'most promising' lead to date in its bid to crack America's only unsolved hijacking.

A mystery hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper, also known as DB Cooper, boarded a Northwest flight in Portland for a flight to Seattle on the night of November 24 1971, and commandeered the plane, claiming he had dynamite...

The FBI today announced that it has a new suspect in the case who they are hoping to link to a tie Cooper left on the plane and cigarette butts in an ashtray using DNA testing and fingerprints.

There have been more than 1,000 suspects over the past four decades, but the FBI have described the new lead as 'looking like our most promising one to date'.
Sketches of the Criminal

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Change? Iraq More Dangerous than One Year Ago

After President Bush initiated the surge that turned the tide against insurgency in Iraq, candidate/Senator Obama slammed the move as pointless and ineffective. Well, he's proven once again that he has no idea what the hell is going on:
The security situation in Iraq is more dangerous than it was a year ago, according to a government watchdog report issued Saturday that cites more attacks on U.S. troops, a continuing wave of assassinations targeting Iraqi officials and a growing number of indirect rocket strikes on Baghdad’s Green Zone.

“Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work,” Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the U.S. special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, wrote in his quarterly report to Congress and the Obama administration. “It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago.”

The findings contrast with public statements by U.S. diplomatic and military officials in Iraq and come as Washington awaits a final decision by Iraqi leaders on whether they want U.S. troops to stay in the country beyond the expiration of a three-year security agreement in December. U.S. officials have said they are willing to extend the American military presence into 2012 only after receiving a formal request from Iraqi leaders.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top leaders postponed a meeting scheduled for Saturday to debate any future U.S. military presence, once again dashing hopes of quickly resolving the issue. Maliki instead was scheduled to appear before the Iraqi parliament to defend plans to cut the 46-member cabinet down to 30 members — another long-simmering political dispute that appears far from resolution.

With about 46,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq, U.S. military officials are urging Maliki and his colleagues to reach a final decision before tens of thousands of U.S. troops begin departing this fall.
President Obama
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U.S. Senate Votes Down Reid Bill 50-49

The U.S. Senate took up Senator Reid's proposed debt-ceiling hike earlier this afternoon, and as expected, was voted down with no real surprises from either side of the aisle. It failed yesterday in the House of Representatives.

Republican Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) voted for Reid's proposal; Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) voted against it from the right, while Independent Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) voted against it from the left.

Reid initially voted for his proposed legislation before switching his vote for procedural reasons.

What say you?

Obama Disapproval Breaks 50% Threshold; Approval Lowest in Obama Presidency

It's about time.  Despite trying to appear like the adult in the room, the American people are realizing what President Obama has been throughout this entire debt debate: a spectator.  Mr. Obama has led from behind, letting his party down while trying desperately to paint Republicans as radicals.  He failed and the evidence cannot be much starker:


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"Tentative" Debt Deal Reached

Is the crisis over?  Maybe:
Democratic and Republican Congressional sources involved in the negotiations tell ABC News that a tentative agreement has been reached on the framework of a deal that would give the President a debt ceiling increase of up to $2.4 trillion and guarantee an equal amount of deficit reduction over the next 10 years.

The details are still being worked out, and a senior White House aide tells ABC News, "talks continue but there is no deal to report."

Congressional leaders plan to brief their members on the framework tomorrow. The reaction from both parties' rank-and-file will determine whether this tentative deal becomes a final deal.

Here, according to Democratic and Republican sources, are the key elements:

-A debt ceiling increase of up to $2.1 to $2.4 trillion (depending on the size of the spending cuts agreed to in the final deal).

-They have now agreed to spending cuts of roughly $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

-The formation of a special Congressional committee to recommend further deficit reduction of up to $1.6 trillion (whatever it takes to add up to the total of the debt ceiling increase). This deficit reduction could take the form of spending cuts, tax increases or both.

-The special committee must make recommendations by late November (before Congress' Thanksgiving recess).

-If Congress does not approve those cuts by December 23, automatic across-the-board cuts go into effect, including cuts to Defense and Medicare. This "trigger" is designed to force action on the deficit reduction committee's recommendations by making the alternative painful to both Democrats and Republicans.

-A vote, in both the House and Senate, on a balanced budget amendment.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hey Look, Someone Made a Video About Something We Broke Months Ago

It's nice to be ahead of the rest of the internet sometimes... At other times, you're so far ahead no one notices.  This is one of those times.

Good video anyway:


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Civility: A Compilation of 'the GOP is Insane/Terrorists/Extremists' Articles

In the aftermath of the horrific shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in January, President Obama made a rousing speech calling for civility in politics. In the speech, he told Americans that "only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation". Furthermore, the President explained:

Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

Not withstanding the Left's perverse blaming of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party for the attack-- with the debt ceiling debate forefront in Washington, the Left that President Obama represents should be out in front in attempting 'humble discourse,' right?

There are some legitimately non-hyperbolic editorials coming out from the Left. However-- a disproportionate amount coming from actual establishment news organizations and writers should be cause for alarm. Yes, there is the regular alarm-pulling at the Nation and the Daily Kos-- but there is a troubling trend. The most heavy-- and even obscene terms are being thrown at the GOP. Below are just some examples from this month alone.

- William Yeomans, Politico: Tea Party's Terrorist Tactics
- Paul Waldman, American Prospect: Underestimating Right Wing Insanity
- Nicholas Kristof, NY Times: GOP Zealots Threatening America's Security
- Andrew Leonard, Salon: New GOP Hostage Demand: Kill ObamaCare
- E.J. Dionne, Washington Post: Tea Party Extremism Endangering Nation
- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA): "Cult Fringe" Holding Up Debt Ceiling Increase
- Gene Lyons, Salon: A Republican Party Divorced From Sanity
- Gary Younge, The Guardian: Debt Ceiling Crisis Exposing GOP Madness
- Bill Maher: Maher: Where Were The "Teabaggers" Before "Blackie McBlackman?"
- Senator John Kerry (D-MA): Kerry: Tea Party Republicans a "Group of Absolutists, Extremists"
- Robert Kuttner, American Prospect: The Joys of Fanaticism
-  Paul Krugman, New York Times: The GOP Went Insane Long Ago
- Robert Reich, Huffington Post: The Wrecking Ball Right
- Joan Walsh, Salon: GOP's Extremist 2012 Field Helps Obama
- Jonathan Chait, The New Republic: The Republican Crazy Is Not an Act
- Mike Littwin, Denver Post: Tea Partier Crazies Want U.S. to Default
- Tina Brown, MSNBC: GOP Are Suicide Bombers in Debt Negotiations
- Martin Frost, Politico: The tea party Taliban 
- Politico Cartoon: Norquist as the Mad Hatter
- Fmr Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH): 'Crazy'-sounding candidates can't beat Obama
-George Zornick, the Nation: The 'Right-Wing Nutters' Who Are Pushing the Country to the Brink
- Katrina vanden Heuvel, the Nation: The GOP Wants to Sabotage the Economy
- Andrew Leonard, Salon: The House GOP's debt ceiling hara-kiri
- Morning Joe, MSNBC: Is GOP Extremism the Problem in Politics Today?
- Steve Benen / Washington Monthly: How big is the House GOP's sane contingent?

And this is without delving into Kos, TPM, FireDogLake, Democratic Underground and others. Does anyone else see a meme or is it just me?

Hat tip to RealClearPolitics for helping me index and organize.

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Did President Obama Want the Debt Negotiations to Fail?

The weeks of squabbling on Capitol Hill have failed to bring about any solution to the short term increase of the debt ceiling to longer term issues of entitlement reform or large spending cuts. In fact, it now appears that the situation may be getting worse.

Instead, President Obama has repeatedly come on television to discuss the debt ceiling debate, while couching himself as between the Congressional Republicans and Democrats. To many observers, this could show aloofness or incompetence-- but perhaps this shows an intentional attempt to allow the two sides to make him look like a 'reasonable center.'

Take, for example, the President's role in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling. President Obama's negotiations with John Boehner eked out a plan to save $4 trillion over ten years, including about $800 bill taken from increased tax revenues. Both sides had agreed on this plan. The White House even threw in a sop about tax reform:

The White House was agreeable to parts of the deal — notably, the proposal for nearly $800 billion in added tax revenue.

"They were willing to accept our number," the GOP aide said. The group also talked about overhauling the tax code.

"We walked out of the room thinking we were making good progress on the tax reform," the aide said.

Abruptly, and without prior warnings, the White House abrogated the earlier potential solution and instead demanded $400 billion more in tax revenue, shattering the fragile plan:

The White House must have known that to Boehner-- and especially the Tea Party elements in the GOP, this would be not only unsavory, but unacceptable.

So since the President and his advisors made this deliberate decision to push an unpushable envelope, it comes to the question of whether this idea was made to push the increasing meme that the GOP was made up of 'extremists.'

With the bully pulpit, consider the speech the President made on July 25, which some called a desperate attempt to stay relevant but could instead be seen as the 'middle ground' ploy:
Yes, many want government to start living within its means. And many are fed up with a system in which the deck seems stacked against middle-class Americans in favor of the wealthiest few. But do you know what people are fed up with most of all?

They’re fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word. They work all day long, many of them scraping by, just to put food on the table. And when these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington. They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans. They’re offended by that. And they should be.

The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.

Although a lot of the criticism was leveled at Republicans, the idea of blaming Congress in general is a winner, politically. The President has repeatedly attempted to be seen as the 'adult in the room' and instead has grasped defeat from the jaws of victory on the debt deal.

He is attempting to be the only one left standing, because-- let's face it-- he is the President and the office commands respect. And in the case of a default or whatever comes our way Tuesday, he will be in the most televised position to blame everybody but President Barack Obama.


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Friday, July 29, 2011

List of Republicans Who Voted Against Boehner Debt Bill

Love them or hate them, here is the list of the 22 Republicans who voted against Speaker of the House John Boehner's Debt Bill:

Amash:
Bachmann:
Broun:
Chaffetz:
Cravaack:
DesJarlais:

Duncan (SC):
Gowdy:
Graves (GA):
Huelskamp:
Johnson:
Jordan:
King (IA):
Latham:
Mack (FL):
McClintock:
Mulvaney:
Ron Paul:
Scott (SC):
Southerland:
Walsh:
Wilson (SC):

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House Debt Vote Results

UPDATE: The bill just passed with 218 yes votes.

It now appears that the bill sponsored by Speaker of the House John Boehner is going to pass the House. As of 6:19 PM the bill needs just four more votes, with 213 Republicans voting yes, 16 voting no. All Democrats have voted no.

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Did the Boehner Bill Pass?

UPDATE: The bill just passed with 218 yes votes.


It now appears that the bill sponsored by Speaker of the House John Boehner is going to pass the House. As of 6:19 PM the bill needs just four more votes, with 213 Republicans voting yes, 16 voting no. All Democrats have voted no.

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Watch Boehner Speech Video Live

Happening now:


Streaming video by Ustream

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Watch Debt Limit Vote Video Live

Happening now:


Streaming video by Ustream


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Obama Approval Rating Crashes to New Low

Barack Obama's standing with the public appears to be dwindling during the ongoing debt negotiations. Add to that a sour economy and a public souring the President is less-approved of than just several months ago. After a brief respite after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the President's job performance is not well-received by the people at large.

Case in point is the most recent Gallup tracking poll. Taken over the course of three days, the rolling poll is among the most accurate in the business. According to the poll, the President's ratings have been falling the last several weeks. In a similar Rasmussen poll out today, his performance is rated favorably by 46%.


For Gallup, which usually tallies a higher approval rating for Obama than Rasmussen, this is not the case. The latest three-day average has Obama's rating down-- significantly.

Approve: 40%
Disapprove: 49%
Other/dk: 11%

Obama's approval rating had shrunk in recent weeks. For example, it had been hovering at 42% in Gallup recently. However, now that it has reached 40%, it is the lowest approval rating that Obama has had since elected. It was at 43% before bin Laden was killed May 2.

Now there is word that GDP growth is slowing and the debt issue is still on the table. To make matters more complicated, the July jobs numbers are coming out next week and could damage his ratings further.

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Interview with For Repeal

Pundit Press is proud to present its 41st interview in our ongoing interview series. Today we're interviewing Bill from For Repeal, which pushes for the repeal of ObamaCare. For Repeal allows citizens to sign up to show their support of repeal and also offers information about the legislation and the efforts to end it. Check them out today!

1. When and why was For Repeal created?

For Repeal, an initiative of the Conservative Action Fund, was publicly launched on Wednesday, July 20, as the first and only user-powered and action-driven movement to repeal Obamacare. For Repeal will primarily focus on repealing a few of the provisions of Obamacare at a time, and we will provide the American public with the resources and tools it needs to repeal the outrageous law that is Obamacare.

2. What is the pledge goal in the next year?

Our immediate goal is to get 1,000 pledge signers that are also active volunteers through the various tools we provide to activists so that they can get involved.

3. If ObamaCare was disassembled-- who would be more likely to do it, the Congress or a federal court?

As stated before, our focus is on repealing a few components of Obamacare at a time. Though we certainly implore all efforts to repeal the bill in its entirety, we also realize that doing so will be a tremendous challenge. As such, we will empower grassroots activists around the country to get involved in efforts to repeal elements of the bill -- we have already had some success with this, as we have been able to repeal the 1099 provision, and there is increasing scrutiny over the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

4. Would the Conservative Action Fund support Congressional Democrats that pledge to end ObamaCare?

The Conservative Action Fund does not endorse any candidate or political organization. However, we certainly applaud the Democrats who have been willing to stand up against this terrible and hurtful bill.

5. Will ObamaCare be the albatross that sinks President Obama's 2012 bid?

Given that a majority of Americans are clearly opposed to the bill, there can be no question that it has contributed to Obama's falling approval ratings. We still face a difficult election in 2012, and Conservative Action Fund stands ready to help elect a Republican President.

6. Anything else you'd like to add?

We want to encourage any person who is opposed to Obamacare to sign up and get involved in our grassroots movement to repeal the law. It takes less than 30 seconds to get involved, there are a number of initiatives with which you can already help, and we will continue to keep our team informed of new ways they can help kill the bill. Sign up at ForRepeal.com!

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Video: Allen West Slams Tea Party "Schizophrenia"

On Laura Ingraham:



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The Corrupt Bargain

In American History slogans, catch phrases, and grand titles have often come to serve as signposts marking out eras and pointing the way to popular notions of what passes for an understanding of the national mood or circumstance in a particular period of time.  Examples include: “Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute!” a slogan which spurred us on to our first undeclared war against the Barbary Pirates.  Remember the Maine!” a slogan used by the newspapers at the end of the nineteenth century to gin up support for a war against Spain, and a war which launched the United States as a colonial power.  The Square Deal,” the “New Deal,” the “Fair Deal,” and the “Great Society” all designate government programs aimed at the redistribution of wealth, and of course “Camelot” immediately brings forth visions of the youthful, inspiring, inept, and immoral Kennedy years.
In an effort to advance the cause of verbal economy by recycling a catch phrase from the past, I propose that we label House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed plan for raising the debt limit as “The Corrupt Bargain.”
Looking back the original Corrupt Bargain refers to the compromise which defeated a hero, elected a president, and ultimately led to that president’s defeat.
In 1824, as today, America’s political system was under unbearable stress.  There were two major political parties; the Federalists who were the political descendants of Hamilton and the centralized government party and the Democratic-Republicans who were the political heirs of Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists.
During the election of 1824 the Federalists collapsed as a party while there were five major candidates and scores of minor ones running as Democratic-Republicans.  The candidate officially backed by the Democratic-Republican Party was William H. Crawford, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Monroe.  He had been chosen by the Democratic-Republican Caucus in Congress and had little popular support.
The confusing outcome of this election showed the growing power of an electorate fast outgrowing the original restrictive voting practices of the Federalist era and beginning to display the impact of mass appeal campaigning.  Andrew Jackson, the hero of the battle of New Orleans came out on top with Ninety-nine electoral votes and 43% of the popular vote.  John Quincy Adams, the son of the second president and Monroe' secretary of state, won eighty-four electoral votes and 30% of the popular vote.  Crawford won forty-one electoral votes.  Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House came in fourth with thirty seven electoral votes.  Since no one had enough electoral votes to win, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives.  They had to choose between the top three candidates, which immediately disqualified Clay, and since Crawford had very little popular support it was immediately seen as a contest between Jackson and Adams.
In this situation Clay, as Speaker of the House, held the commanding position.  He held similar views in most areas to Adams and had actually split that wing of the party siphoning off enough votes to deny Adams a win.  However, Clay was an outspoken opponent of Jackson ,and after more than a month of bargaining he threw his support behind Adams securing his election as the sixth president.  Adams then appointed Clay as his Secretary of State a post that had been the stepping-stone to office for the four previous presidents.
While this politically expedient arrangement worked well for the election it did not work out so well for the administration or for the future of either Adams or Clay.  The supporters of Jackson branded it as the “Corrupt Bargain” and used it to immediately launch the bitter 1828 presidential campaign.  The Jackson Democrats pointed to the Adams-Clay bargain as the symbol of a corrupt system wherein Washington elites disregarded the will and interests of the people to pursue their own ends.
All of which brings us to Speaker Boehner and his various plans, trial balloons, and phone interviews he is presenting to the nation as a means of raising the debt limit.  And make no mistake about it that is his goal.  He is a career politician and a quintessential Washington insider.  He and the other leaders of the Republican Congressional Caucus are as attuned to the voice of their constituents as the Democratic-Republican Caucus was in 1824.  The grassroots Tea Party which swept the 2010 elections and which made him Speaker clearly want an end to yearly deficits and to an ever-increasing debt.  Yet every plan the perpetually-re-elected Republicans present including Paul Ryan’s, merely cuts the present deficit and slows the growth of the debt, but they do not end the deficit spending or reduce the debt.  In other words they propose to drive us to the poor-house a little slower than their Democrat opponents.
These same neo-conservative progressives caved during the lame duck session after the paradigm shifting election of 2010 breathing life into the freshly hobbled Obama Administration by agreeing to a stealth stimulus in return for an extension of all the Bush tax cuts.  They caved during the series of continuing resolution battles allowing more spending in exchange for cuts in discontinued programs and layoffs of none-existent federal workers.  They have either colluded or have been out-maneuvered by an administration determined to fundamentally transform America. 
Now they stand with the strongest card conservatives have held since the Clinton impeachment debacle.  A card dealt by the hard work and strategies of the Tea Party.  This card is the ability of the House to just say no to any more deficit spending.  By refusing to pass a bill to raise the debt limit the House can stop our slide into the financial abyss.  When a shopaholic has maxed out all their credit cards and reached the limit of their available lines of credit the answer is not to give them a higher limit or new cards.
Yes, the alternative will be tough but we have spent our way into this corner and we have to work and save our way out.  Since neither party seems willing to drain the swamp it is time to flood the swamp with calls, letters, and visits.  Demand that our representatives represent us and not themselves or their fellow insiders.  Stop the deficits!  Pay down the debt! And don’t make a Corrupt Bargain that will lead us and our posterity further down the road to serfdom.  Don’t sacrifice the future for the expediency of the present.  Don’t mortgage the innocent lives of the unborn for the fleeting luxury of a self-indulgent present or we will all endure a shabby future in a second-rate Chinese financial dependency that was once the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Watch Obama Speech on Debt Limit Video Live, July 29, 2011



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Time For "Gas Industry" Outrage

The folks of South of 5 and 20 are a little upset. Seems they are taking offense at all the sniping coming from environmenalists directed at the "gas industry". If you live in any area of the Marcellus Shale you know what they are talking about and recognize the frustration. But who exactly is the nebulous and ever suspicious "gas industry"?

The pro-energy, pro-jobs, pro-prosperity point of view is always represented as "the gas industry." What the "mainstream" media, which does not do well with economics, is missing is that the "gas industry," as they understand it, does not exist. Unlike coercive government programs, the "gas industry" would not exist if every man, woman, child and reporter didn't choose to consume energy on a daily basis. The "gas industry" is really nothing but a willing servant, doing the demanding bidding of the common man. But the "gas industry" is much easier to demonize than, say, Mrs. Smith's fifth grade class, which can study environmentalism in a nice warm classroom in January in the Finger Lakes, instead of shivering in a crude shelter in the woods, hoping to survive until spring.

Wait a second, I am the "gas industry", too? Well now I am angry! But just for fun, I would like to up the ante just a bit. What if we were to find out that the money used to finance all this industry outrage were coming from far left, philanthropic organizations and individuals like the Sandlers, or the Heinz Endowments, or George Soros?

Who are the multi-million dollar foundations and activists, nonprofits, media groups and academics that are attacking the natural gas industry and its safe, effective hydraulic fracturing process? Who spreads myths and lies about a business that has created thousands of jobs and has delivered energy extracted from U.S. lands to millions of Americans, reducing our dependence on foreign countries?

“Environmentalist groups and activists want you to believe that they — and by extension the land, water and air that we all treasure and want to protect — are endangered because so-called ‘big’ fossil-fuel companies allegedly have a huge advantage in spending on lobbying and messaging,” said Chesser, who is also a senior fellow for the Commonwealth Foundation. “Our report shows that ‘Big Green’ also play a big money game — often built on lies and distortions, which unlike energy, are useless to the public and harmful to the issues debate.”

Paul Chesser and Mark Newgent have put together some very interesting pieces of this puzzle in a 12 page policy brief entitled "The Great Frack Attack: The War on Natural Gas". It's only 12 pages and provides some very interesting reading. More from the ATI Press Release:

Among its revelations the report, titled “The Great Frack Attack: The War on Natural Gas,” exposes efforts by the Sandler-funded ProPublica, which to date has dedicated 120 articles in an assault on natural gas and hydraulic fracturing. Former subprime mortgage lenders Herb and Marion Sandler, who have joined George Soros in support of Center for American Progress and many other leftist groups, poured more than $9 million into ProPublica to help launch it on its mission. Herb Sandler serves as chairman of its board of directors.

Also examined in the report are the funding activities of the Heinz Endowments, overseen by liberal icon Teresa Heinz Kerry, which recently expanded its anti-gas funding dramatically. Among the Heinz grants were thousands of dollars for “outreach and organizing” and to “characterize pollution impacts” from drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. Another large Heinz grant went to a University of Pittsburgh public health center run by alarmist Conrad Volz, who left his position in April after several errors were found in a report where the natural gas industry was falsely accused of dumping carcinogenic agents into drinking water supplies.

The Oscar-nominated movie “Gasland,” activist groups Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future and PennEnvironment, and dozens of other national and state groups come under scrutiny in the report as well.

Thanks to the Instapundit, I happened across Alykhan Velshi, whose ad campaign is premised on the notion that oil exports ultimately underwrite the values of those states that produce them. "'Conflict oil' funds 'dictatorhship' and 'terrorism' and results in 'women stoned to death'.

Conflict Oil vs Ethical Oil

For the first time in my lifetime, we do have a choice about satiating our energy needs. The reality of the world makes it a very easy choice for me. Drill Here, Drill Now!

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Neat: Epic Argument on "Hannity" Breaks Out (With Video)

Enjoy:



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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vote: Should the Boehner Budget Bill Pass?

With the United States on the verge of defaulting on its debt, both Republicans and Democrats are working furiously to push their agenda.  The only person who seems to be on the sidelines is President Obama, who repeated has stated that he has "a plan," but refuses to release any details on paper about it.

One man that has pushed a bill is Republican John Boehner.  Mr. Boeher's bill would increase the debt ceiling nearly one trillion dollars and sets up the nation for another debate over the debt (and deficit) several months from now.  Democrats in the Senate have unanimously said that they would vote against the bill, even though they claim that they want the ceiling raised.  Most likely, Democrats will unanimously vote against the bill in the House.

However, the majority of the House is Republican.  Yet, the bill is facing serious trouble, as many Tea Party Republicans are opposed to it for several reasons.  This includes the lack of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, a wish for deeper cuts, and/or a belief that the debt ceiling shouldn't be raised in the first place.

So, the question is: Do you believe that Speaker of the House John Boehner's bill should pass?




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Breaking: House Vote Postponed

According to Fox News, there will be no vote on Speaker of the House John Boehner's debt ceiling bill tonight.

Update-  CNN confirms.

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Report: Boehner to "Tweak" Bill Before Vote

According to Fox News, Speaker of the House John Boehner will "tweak" his debt ceiling bill before it is to be voted on.  What exactly he will change is unknown.  Likewise, when exactly a vote will take place is unknown.

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Live Blog: House Votes on Boehner Plan

UPDATE: 9:34 PM

According to Fox News, Speaker of the House John Boehner will "tweak" his debt ceiling bill before it is to be voted on. What exactly he will change is unknown. Likewise, when exactly a vote will take place is unknown.

UPDATE: 7:00 PM

Two items of note - 1. The House is in recess and 2. Boehner's likely to hold a vote tonight, regardless of whether he has the votes, or not.

UPDATE: 6:32 PM

Speaker Boehner's spokesman says there will be a vote tonight.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: 6:11 PM

Excellent question from Ed Henry of Fox News: "If Speaker Boehner is struggling this much to get through this measure, what can pass [the] House?"

That's what scares me.

UPDATE: 6:02 PM

I am done live-blogging - at least until they start voting - but I want to leave everyone with this: any GOP no votes that change will be because of Speaker Boehner's ability to lead; not his ability to bribe.

UPDATE: 5:47 PM

So what does this mean?

Well, House Republicans are still not united (or, at least not united enough) to pass their leadership's proposal and force Senator Reid's hand on the debt.

UPDATE: 5:45 PM

Whoa, Nelly! Final vote on passage has just been postponed until later.

UPDATE: 5:38 PM

Pelosi continues to blather about protecting the children; the children's water and the children's grandparents. Probably their pets too.

UPDATE: 5:33 PM

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California): "Republicans want to dismantle decades of progress for the middle class." Yes we do, because progress has us in debt.

UPDATE: 5:27 PM

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has slammed Democrats on accounting tricks and gimmickry in Senator Reid's proposal.

UPDATE: 5:23 PM

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Illinois) just brought Martin Luther King into the debate on raising the national debt-ceiling. Oy vey.

--Original Article-

The House of Representatives will be voting shortly on Speaker John Boehner's proposal to raise the national debt-ceiling; cut spending and guarantee congress considers the Balanced Budget Amendment sometime later this year.

I support passage of the plan, but current whip counts have the vote coming in close - due to revolt by Tea Party members and obstructionism by Democrats, even the supposed blue dogs. Thus anything can happen over the next sixty-to-ninety minutes on Capitol Hill.

Stay tuned for updates through-out the evening and turn on C-SPAN for debate.

Watch Boehner Bill Live Video Live

Going on now:



Live streaming by Ustream

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Watch Debt Limit Vote Video Live

Vote coming up soon



Live streaming by Ustream

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Gov. Christie Taken to Hospital after having Difficulty Breathing

The nation's best governor lands in the hospital for cautionary reasons:
Gov. Chris Christie was hospitalized this morning after he complained of having trouble breathing, according to the governor's office.

A spokesman, Michael Drewniak, said Christie suffers from asthma, and was taken to Somerset Medical Center in Somerville "out of an abundance of caution."

Drewniak said the governor was "doing fine: and undergoing tests.

At town hall events, Christie often tells audiences that he has asthma. When explaining the difference between the federal government's health care plans and New Jersey's, he describes going to his local pharmacist to refill his inhaler prescription.

Christie had been scheduled to attend a bill-signing ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in Hillsborough, but the event was canceled. He is also expected to take questions at 7 p.m. tonight on "Ask the Governor," a monthly call-in radio show on New Jersey 101.5 FM, but there was no indication whether he would participate.
Governor Christie
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Muslim Soldier Arrested Near Fort Hood; Bomb Materials, Ammo Found in his Room

Scary, but thank God they caught him:
FBI agents discovered a bevy of bomb-making materials in the hotel room of an AWOL soldier who was arrested near Fort Hood, Texas, the military base where a 2009 shooting spree killed 13 people, a Defense Department official told CNN on Thursday.

Pfc. Naser Abdo, a Muslim American who refused to deploy to Iraq and later went AWOL after facing child pornography charges, was arrested by police in Killeen, Texas, just outside Fort Hood.

Killeen police received a call from a gun shop owner about a suspicious man in the store who was asking questions about .40-caliber ammunition and then bought three boxes of 12-gauge ammunition and a magazine for a pistol, the defense official said.

He paid cash and departed in a cab. He then went to a surplus store and allegedly bought a military uniform.

FBI agents searching the soldier's hotel room found gunpowder, shotgun shells, 18 pounds of sugar, a pressure cooker, four magazines and ammunition, the defense official said.
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Case Closed: Liberal Hypocrisy in the Debt Ceiling Debate and Their Lies Put to Bed

Whether the debt ceiling will be raised is a huge political issue in Washington.  Republicans want to slow down spending if they are to vote in favor of increasing our debt (if at all), while Democrats believe that the government should be able to spend whatever it sees fit.  This article looks to put to bed some misleading claims (and outright lies) that are coming from the Left.

Of course, many Democrats are blaming Republicans for this entire mess and are citing racism in mass amounts.  Read it on twitter.  Democrats are falling all over themselves to say that Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling numerous times while he was in office.  Unfortunately, anyone who has eyes can see that many of their claims are either exaggerated or simply political posturing.  For example, they can't even get the number of times Congress voted the debt ceiling up right:

Five times!
No, seven times!
No, twelve!

Screw it, nineteen!
But, hey, why let facts get in the way, right?  Forget the fact that the debt ceiling increases under President Bush were for much smaller amounts (that link is to NPR, which I'm sure will make liberals' heads explode).

If we are to believe the second twitter post above, that would mean President Bush raised the debt ceiling a little under $600 Billion each time the debt ceiling was raised.  How much is the President trying to raise the debt ceiling now?  $2.4 Trillion.  That's more than four times the average of President Bush.  Damn, don't you just hate facts?

So the big thing now is that the debt ceiling is an issue.  Democrats are flailing, lying until they are blue in the face that the debt ceiling was never an issue under Bush.  Raaaaaaaaacism!  Well, here's the inside scoop to the sheep that actually believe that:  you are wrong.  Very wrong.
President Bush
Back in the year 2006, the debt ceiling was a huge issue.  But guess what:  Democrats opposed raising it.  And guess who led the charge.  Senator Barack Obama.  I'm sorry, is he a racist because he disagreed with President Bush?  The answer to anyone who has a brain, of course, is no.  However, if you are to use liberal logic, then yes, Mr. Obama is a racist.

And guess something else.  The debt ceiling raise barely passed.  Every. Single. Democrat.  In the Senate voted against it.  It passed 52-48 (again, the source is AP.  Is your head exploding yet?).  But, oh shucks, it's the Republicans that are partisan, right?

Oh, and the liberal argument that Republicans never said boo under Bush is an utter lie.  In fact, a simple Google search provides hundreds of articles about Republicans calling for a balanced budget under (gasp!) President Bush.  By the way, the last article I cited is from the New York Times from 2006.

And just to make this article complete, here is a quote from Mr. Obama on the floor of the Senate from 2006:
Senator Obama- Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America's debt problem.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is "trillion'' with a "T.'' That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President's budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion...

Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here.'' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.
Hypocrite

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Russian Official: Republicans "Monsters of the Cold War"

Well, the President has at least one supporter:
A top Russian official today called Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) "radicals" and "monsters of the Cold War" and warned that the U.S.-Russia relationship would collapse if Republicans came to power.

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to NATO, met with Kyl and Kirk yesterday in Washington -- but they probably won't be meeting again anytime soon. After the meeting, Rogozin let loose on the senators in an extensive interview with the Russian news service RIA Novosti, and sought to warn the Russian public of what he sees as the dangers of a return to Republican rule in America.

Rogozin accused the two senators of threatening to scuttle the U.S.-Russia reset by stalling or attacking U.S.-Russian cooperation on several issues, such as nuclear arms control and missile defense.

"Today in the Senate, I met with Senators Jon Kyl and Mark Kirk. The meeting is very useful because it shows that the alternative to Barack Obama is a collapse of all the programs of cooperation with Russia," he said. "Today, I had the impression that I was transported in a time machine back several decades, and in front of me sat two monsters of the Cold War, who looked at me not through pupils, but targeting sights."

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Democrats to Obama: Illegally Raise Debt Ceiling Yourself, Invoke 14th Amendment (With Pictures)

For some reason, Democrats are now calling on President Obama to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally by "invoking" the 14th Amendment.  They cite a little-known provision that they say allows him to do so.  That provision reads:
“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion shall not be questioned.”
You'll notice that it does not say that the President can unilaterally raise the debt ceiling.  You'll also notice that the sentence is specifically made for the states that rebelled against the union during the Civil War.  And if you have done any research what-so-ever, you'll learn quickly that the Supreme Court decided that this passage is no longer relevant today:
The Supreme Court has said in passing that those words have outlived the historical moment that gave rise to them.
But hey, what are a few facts between friends, right?

Thus, Democrats who are blind enough to follow President Obama have decided that they are also blind enough to do absolutely no research or thinking and have declared that the President must quickly and illegally raise the debt ceiling.  These poor souls are just a few examples in a long list of people who are sheep to the Democratic Party:

One:
Two:
Three:
Four:
Five:
Six:
Seven:
"Haters are going to hate?"  Seriously?

Anyway, bask in the glorious stupidity of Democrats who clearly cannot think on their own.

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Holy... Latex Casey Anthony Mask Sells for $999,900 on Ebay

Can you say cha-ching?

Would you spend a million dollars on this:
On the bright side: free shipping!
And of course:

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Franken Holds Up "Welcome Terrorists" Sign to Protest Republicans

Civility?
How about moron.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Video: Christie on Debt Ceiling Debate

Here is the New Jersey Governor on the debt talks:



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White House Now Rick-Rolling People

In response to this tweet from user wiggsd:
The White House responded by tweeting this:
Which linked to a video of this:


New White House Spokesperson?
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Video: Bad Call from Pirates Braves Game

Here is video from perhaps the worst call ever made in the Braves/Pirates game last night.

Watch here:
http://espn.go.com/blog/SweetSpot/post/_/id/14246/we-have-a-new-worst-call-ever

Poll: Giuliani, Romney Would Beat Obama if Election Were Held Today

Dun dun duuuun:
Looking ahead to November, it seems there are three possible candidates who could give President Obama a difficult time. President Obama would lose his re-election if Rudy Giuliani (53% to 47%) or Mitt Romney (51% to 49%) was the Republican nominee. Each candidate would receive 50% of the vote if the President was running against Ron Paul. Right now, President Obama would win re-election against the 10 other candidates presented.
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Ralph Nader Looking for Democrat to Primary Obama in 2012

This would be awesome:
Consumer activist Ralph Nader said Tuesday that he’ll launch an initiative soon to field primary challenges to President Obama in key states.

Nader, who waged two presidential campaigns as a third-party candidate, is working with a group of frustrated Democrats who are hoping to turn up the heat on Obama from the left.

“It’s an initiative to scan the possibilities of people who may run,” Nader said in a phone interview. “My guess is that it’s almost 100 percent sure there’s going to be a primary challenge to Obama from somebody or somebodies — plural — in some states.”
Nader’s effort follows comments over the weekend by Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), a liberal independent who caucuses with Democrats, that it would be a “good idea” for Obama to face a primary challenge in 2012.

Sanders brusquely declined to talk Tuesday about his weekend remarks, saying only that he hadn’t heard from anyone in the White House about the comments.
Nader
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The Hammer on Debt Negotiations

Charles Krauthammer shares his strong opinion on Bill O'Reilly last night.



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Interview with Transterrestrial Musings

Pundit Press is proud to present interview number 40 in our ongoing series. Today we're interviewing Rand Simberg, the founder and editor of Transterrestrial Musings. He writes about politics and space policy at TM and will be receiving a space journalism award this coming weekend from the Space Frontier Foundation. He agreed to take part in an interview to highlight his cool site. Make sure to check out the site and bookmark!

1. When and why did you start Transterrestrial Musings?

It was October 2001, a few weeks after 911. But it wasn't a result of 911 -- it was a result of something that fortuitously happened a week or two earlier. Glenn Reynolds had started a blog, and a mutual friend of ours (Jim Bennett, who would later write The Anglosphere Challenge) emailed me with a link, writing, "Hey, look what Glenn is doing."

A few days later, 911 happened, and the rest is history for his blog, but I saw him doing the kind of "letters to the editor" thing without needing an editor, and said to myself, "I could do that, too." So I found some blog software (Graymatter), installed it on my server, and I was off to the races. Unfortunately, due to some glitches in software changes/updates over the past decade (frightening to think that it's coming up on both Glenn's and my tenth bloggiversary), I've lost the very earliest posts, but most of it is still there in one form or another. I've been on Wordpress for the last two or three years after giving up on Moveable Type.

Interestingly, if you look back through his archives, you'll note that his posts used to be a lot longer when he first started, because he didn't have as many outlets for his writing. The same has happened to me over the years. I now only write long blog posts when I don't think I can place them somewhere else where they'll find a greater, more appropriate audience (e.g., Pajamas Media, Popular Mechanics). I won't deny that knowing him before he was Instapundit probably helped me get started, because he was probably more willing to link my stuff in the beginning, but he's always been very much about introducing new voices to the blogosphere, regardless of whether he knew them or not, if he found them.

2. Do you believe that space can be successfully privatized in the next century?

No, I believe it can be successfully privatized in the next decade (for various values of "privatized"). I think that by 2020 there will be regular traffic to and from private space facilities on private launch systems with private, or other-government (e.g., Japan, Netherlands, Korea, et al) money. I also think that someone will have flown around the moon on a non-government system by then. Private moon landings, and settlements, will occur in the twenties (which will be "roaring" in their own way).

3. Was the cancellation of the Constellation project a disappointment?

It was a disappointment that it took so long to happen, because it was obvious to anyone who understood the issues from its inception that it would be a disaster. It was a horrific waste of money if you were truly interested in getting humans beyond earth orbit, or if you are an American taxpayer. Unfortunately, Congress seems determined to keep the zombie marching on, because it provides jobs in the right states and congressional districts of the only congresspeople who care about space, because they want the votes and campaign contributions that come from steering NASA money in the right direction.

4. Do you see the debt ceiling drama ending in either a) real cuts or b) a default?

As of Monday night the 25th of July, I think there will be a deal that results in real cuts, but not major ones. I hope it's enough to soften the blow of the debt downgrade, and that the markets will perceive that it will damage Obama enough that real cuts will be coming in a year and a half. The Senate in 2012 is a foregone conclusion, just because of all the Democrats up for reelection. It will be a completion of what started last fall. The Republicans may even have a supermajority. I'm not a Republican, but after the last five and a half years, I'll be looking forward to that.

5. Has President Obama been better or worse than expected?

Ideologically, he's been pretty much exactly as expected. Anyone who thought that the only senator with a voting record to the left of Barry Sanders would be a centrist was delusional. He has, shockingly, been even more incompetent than I expected, which was a pretty high bar. That is both good and bad, as many of the things that he has been trying to do would be disastrous if he were better at accomplishing them, but he did manage, with the help of Pelosi/Reid, to ram the health-care disaster through. On the other hand, he's now proving to be politically incompetent as well, which I'm hoping (and expecting with fingers crossed) to mean that we'll have someone else to kick around two Januaries from now.

I always thought that his political competence was highly overrated. He won because the public was tired of the Republicans (including many fiscal conservatives), McCain ran an awful campaign (and was hard to get enthused about in general), the media gave him a tongue bath instead of vetting him, and the economy melted down in the middle of the campaign. Not to mention that everyone wanted to feel good about themselves and prove what an enlightened nation we were for voting for the black guy. Even I thought that it was a good reason to vote for him (the only one). Now that they've gotten that out of their system, they can dump him in good conscience next year.

6. Anything else you'd like to add?

If you want to start a blog, write what you know and what you're passionate about. I've had a lot published on a lot of topics, but at the end I think I'm best known for my space-policy stuff, and I think I've gotten a lot of people to think a lot differently about that topic because of my blog. If so, I'm very happy, because I think it's a lot more important subject than the politicians do.

http://www.transterrestrial.com/

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