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After reading this article, it’s clear that Jeb Bush’s campaign will insist that he’s picking up momentum:

A brand-new national NBC/WSJ poll finds Jeb Bush leading the crowded Republican presidential field, with 22% of GOP primary voters saying he’s their first choice. He’s followed by Scott Walker at 17%, Marco Rubio at 14%, and Ben Carson at 11%. While Jeb had a similar five-point lead in our April NBC/WSJ poll, you see his current position has strengthened when you look inside the numbers of this new poll. (It was conducted during the buildup and coverage of Bush’s official presidential announcement on June 16.) The latest survey shows him ahead among self-identified conservative GOP primary voters, when he was in third place in April behind Rubio and Walker. And as we unveiled on Sunday, 75% of Republican primary voters in our new poll say they could see themselves supporting Bush, up from 70% in April and 49% in March. Bottom line: While Jeb has plenty of potential problems to overcome (his last name, his positions on immigration and Common Core, his desire to run a general-election campaign instead of one aimed at GOP primary voters), this poll is very good news for him.

First, the poll’s sample is a tiny 236 likely primary voters. That’s less than half of a single night’s sample for Rasmussen’s polling. That makes this poll virtually junk in terms of its predictive value on that part alone.

Next, Jeb’s support has dropped a point since the April NBC/WSJ poll. In April’s poll, Gov. Bush had a 9-point lead over Gov. Walker and a 5-point lead over Sen. Rubio. Gov. Bush garnered 23% to Gov. Walker’s 14%. Now, it’s 22% for Gov. Bush, 17% for Gov. Walker. That isn’t great news a week after Gov. Bush’s official announcement. That means that Gov. Bush essentially didn’t get a bounce from his official entry into the race.

There’s another thing that’s worth noting. The NBC/WSJ poll is the only poll where Gov. Bush has topped 20%. If we exclude the NBC/WSJ poll and we take the last 5 polls, Gov. Bush has gotten 9%, 12%, 13%, 10% and 10% from Monmouth, Fox News, CNN/ORC, ABC/WashPost and Quinnipiac respectively. Given the predictive value of this NBC/WSJ poll, it’s more than justifiable to question this poll. Frankly, I don’t know how you take it seriously. Apparently, Allahpundit has taken it a bit too seriously:

Bush leads with 22 percent, then Scott Walker at 17, then Rubio at 14 — and remember, Walker hasn’t formally announced yet. Part of Jeb’s big bounce in this poll may be due to the positive buzz he got after finally declaring his candidacy; Walker may be the next to bounce as those now-tuning-in Republicans are formally introduced to him.

It’s difficult to take this NBC/WSJ poll seriously, especially in light of the fact that Gov. Bush has had difficulty getting into the last 5 national polls. Why should I believe that a poll with a microscopic sample that shows a candidate with twice his RCP average support?

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Based on this article, Hillary’s attempt to capitalize politically on the Charleston Massacre is failing. Check this out:

Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered on Saturday her boldest remarks yet on race and gun violence, topics that have quickly become some of the most prominent and divisive in the presidential campaign, particularly after Wednesday’s mass shooting in Charleston, S.C.

“It’s tempting to dismiss a tragedy like this as an isolated incident, to believe that in today’s America bigotry is largely behind us, that institutionalized racism no longer exists,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech in San Francisco. “But despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished.”

Invoking President Obama at times, Mrs. Clinton called for a “common sense” approach to gun laws, pledging to take swift action if elected. She did not, however, make clear how she would navigate the divide in Congress that has undercut Mr. Obama’s own efforts to pass gun laws. “The president is right. The politics on this issue have been poisoned,” Mrs. Clinton said. “But we can’t give up. The stakes are too high. The costs are too dear. And I am not and will not be afraid to keep fighting for common sense reforms.”

Mrs. Clinton, it’s easy talking about “common sense reforms” without explaining the details. Who isn’t for common sense reforms of whatever the subject is? The thing about “common sense reforms” without including the reforms’ details is that it sounds like a cheap politician repeating a focus group-tested message. That isn’t a solution. One thing that’s apparent is that Mrs. Clinton isn’t interested in leading.

Will Mrs. Clinton propose a ban on assault weapons like her husband passed? Or will she propose closing the non-existent gun show loophole? Will she propose things like they passed in Colorado and New York? Will Mrs. Clinton propose something entirely different? Proposing gun control legislation will fire up Hillary’s supporters. It won’t solve problems.

The important question that Ed Henry or other journalists with integrity should ask Sec. Clinton is how gun control would’ve made a difference at that church in Charleston last week. If she can’t answer that, then the next question should be why Hillary’s pushing gun control when it wouldn’t have solved anything.

It’s time reporters put Hillary on the spot. Let Hillary know that we’ll reject her if she isn’t offering solutions. Send Hillary the message that we won’t tolerate her chatting about checking off items from her ideological wish list.

It’s becoming a matter of routine to hear that Scott Walker is leading in another poll or that he’s won another straw poll. Gov. Walker was the final speaker at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he won another straw poll with surprising strength:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got some of Philadelphia’s brotherly love in a Republican straw poll of declared and presumptive presidential candidates this weekend.

But Scott Walker got more.

The Wisconsin governor left the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference with 25.3 percent of the poll, taken among the 600-plus party leaders and activists from 20 states who attended, according to a news release from the event. Christie won 11.6 percent, taking second place. He edged out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had 11 percent. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who tied with 9.6 percent.

Gov. Walker’s message is simple: he’s a fighter that wins:

Seeking to differentiate himself from some of his potential rivals who serve in Congress or have been out of office for some time, Mr. Walker said he was a unique combination of fighter and election and policy victor. “We fight the good fight and win those fights over and over and over again,” he said.

It’s impossible to argue with Gov. Walker’s history of success. The record speaks for itself. If ever there was an election that showed elections aren’t about the past, this is that election. Gov. Walker appears able to fight and win on that turf, too:

Mr. Walker also mocked the president on national security, citing Mr. Obama’s recent speech in which he said climate change was the biggest threat facing America. “I’ve got a message for you, Mr. President. The number one threat to the military, the number one threat to America, the number one threat to the world is radical Islam. It’s time we do something about it,” he said to roaring cheers.

President Obama admitted that he doesn’t have a complete strategy to defeat ISIS. Unfortunately for solutions-oriented Americans of all political stripes, that isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing. It’s impossible to think of President Obama as a policy wonk. It’s impossible to think of him as anything more than a political hack.

Saying that climate change is the “biggest threat facing America” requires mocking. Thankfully, there are several serious conservative candidates who are capable of taking over as commander-in-chief. Right now, the one winning the straw polls and leading in the polls is Gov. Walker.

If anyone needed confirmation that the Iron Range thinks that they’re being treated like second class citizens by Metrocrats like John Marty, this week’s Onions ‘N Orchids might provide some of that proof:

Orchids: To the DFL Iron Range Delegation. You all did an exceptionally good job representing corporate mining and corporate agricultural interests during the recently ended legislative session. You pulled the rug out from beneath the feet of Democratic Gov. Dayton. Being Democrats in name only, it would be appropriate now for you folks, led by Sen. Bakk, to either retire or switch to the Republican Party. That would at least give us voters a choice in the 2016 elections. Let’s get some Democrats back in office from the Iron Range.

Orchids: To Tom Bakk for standing up to and beating John Marty and the green metro liberals; so-called allies and friends of the Iron Range, but they are nothing but a bunch of back stabbers. Jerry Janezich sold his Iron Range heritage and bent his knees to the Green Liberals, even traveled to Seattle, Wash. to march and protest against industry with them. Where did it get him? Nowhere!

I get it that that first ‘orchid’ is sarcastic. Calling Bakk a “Democrat in name only” is proof that the Metro DFL has lost its mind. Apparently with them, it’s their way 100% of the time or they’ll excommunicate the heretics from the DFL.

Let’s get something straight. John Marty is upset because the MPCA’s Citizens Board soon won’t exist. That’s a great thing. Lots of businesses have followed the law and gotten their MPCA permits, only to have the Citizens Board reject the approved permit. Contrary to Sen. Marty’s contention that they were just a bunch of citizens reviewing the MPCA’s work, they were environmental saboteurs.

They’re most famous for sabotaging 2 major dairy farm projects. Thanks to the anything-but-Citizens-Board, those farms are now located outside of Minnesota. Though these were the highest profile cases of environmental sabotage, they weren’t the only cases.

The question now confronting suburban voters is whether they’ll support DFL politicians that support the DFL’s radical environmental agenda. Do they really think that’s in their best interest?

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This video is one of the most intense, emotional and unforgettable videos I’ve ever seen. I won’t be surprised if I never forget it:

Representatives for the 9 victims of the Charleston church shooting were given the option of making a statement to the confessed gunman. While some representatives chose not to make a statement, the representatives who spoke through their pain and forgave the shooter despite their intense pain. Here’s a sampling of their statements:

“You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that I know,” Felecia Sanders, mother of victim Tywanza Sanders, told Dylann Roof, speaking from the courtroom. “Every fiber in my body hurts … May God have mercy on you.”

The daughter of Ethel Lance, another of the nine victims in the Wednesday night attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, had a similar message for the 21-year-old alleged killer, who police believe attended a Bible study meeting at the church, where he was embraced by strangers only to open fire on them for no apparent reason. “You hurt a lot of people,” she said, “But I forgive you.”

“Repent. Confess. Give your life to the one who matters the most, Christ, so He can change your ways no matter what happens to you and you’ll be OK,” said Anthony Thompson, who represented the family of victim Myra Thompson.

Thursday, the nation heard too often from politicians pandering to their political supporters during a time of grief. It’s understatement to say that they disgraced themselves. Hillary Clinton and President Obama were particularly offensive in that respect.

Friday, America heard from the victims’ families. Through their grief, they still managed to live out the things Pastor Clementa Pinckney taught them at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. With their statements, they taught our ‘leaders’ how to lead. Citizens showed us how to unite our nation. Hillary and President Obama failed miserably at uniting the nation.

To be fair, not all political leaders failed in striking a uniting tone. Ben Carson shined in his attempt to be a uniter:

CARSON: The heart of the matter is not guns. The heart of the matter is the heart, the heart and soul of people. This young man didn’t wake up yesterday and suddenly turn into a maniac. Clearly there have been things in his background, in his upbringing that led to the type of mentality that would allow him to do something like this. And one of the things that I think we really need to start concentrating on in this country is once again instilling the right kinds of values, particularly in our young people. We’re so busy giving away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness that we have people floating around out there with no solid foundation of beliefs.

Guns aren’t the problem. They’re inanimate objects, capable of inflicting incredible pain or stopping senseless violence. Guns are just the tool of choice used by evil people to destroy human life.

Thankfully, the people representing the victims of this senseless violence understand that. I’d rejoice if our ‘leaders’ figured that out instead of their grandstanding.

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Hillary’s panderfest on the Charleston shootings was a portrait of the type of ‘leadership’ she’d bring to the White House. Here’s what she said that’s dangerous:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton challenged the nation Thursday to take new actions to curb gun violence in her first reactions to the shooting inside a historically black Charleston, S.C., church that left nine dead.

“How many people do we need to see cut down before we act?” she asked, during a summit of elected and appointed Latino politicians meeting in Las Vegas. She began by saying that her thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families in the shooting, before turning to a broader discussion of police. “So as we mourn and as our hearts break a little more, and as we send this message of solidarity that we will not forsake those who have been victimized by gun violence, this time we have to find answers together,” Clinton said.

That thinking is straight from the progressives’ surely-we-must-do-something chapter of their strategy handbook. It’s filled with emotion, which is understandable. Unfortunately, it’s equally devoid of constructive ideas, much less solutions.

This is essentially Hillary’s “I feel your pain” moment. That’s nice but saying that we have to curb gun violence, then not offering a solution is cruel.

Let’s unwind this a bit. The alleged murderer was a bigot who’d been in trouble with the law relatively frequently. That’s indisputable, verified fact. He’d gotten kicked out of a Charleston shopping mall and told never to return. Instead of never returning, he tried returning, only to get thrown out again.

His punishment for these actions? His father bought him a handgun for his birthday. There are laws already on the books that prohibit criminals from owning guns. Would another law covering the same thing matter? I’m betting it wouldn’t. BTW, I’d prosecute the father for supplying the weapon to his obviously deranged son.

Remember that the alleged murderer was a bigot. He read skinhead literature, too. One of his friends said that he’d planned this “for 6 months.” There’s another human failure. If this friend knew this, why didn’t he contact authorities?

Finally, what gun control legislation would’ve prevented this heinous crime? We know that gun control laws that’ve been proposed in the last 5 years wouldn’t have stopped Sandy Hook or Aurora or the shooting of Gabby Giffords.

The first step to solving these violence issues is for Democrats to stop blaming the guns. The people who’ve done these killings are violent individuals. Until you change people’s hearts, no laws will matter.

In typical progressive do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do fashion, Russ Feingold has exposed himself as just another typical career politician:

According to a report earlier this week by the Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice, Feingold’s political action committee, Progressives United PAC, bought 100 leather-bound copies of the ex-senator’s 2013 book, along with 1,000 hardcover copies. Feingold also received $77,000 in salary from both the PAC and its nonprofit companion.

Of course, Feingold’s act for years has been not having an act. As a champion of campaign finance reform, he has consistently condemned the pernicious effects of money in politics. But evidently his distaste for campaign cash wasn’t enough to keep him from bathing his cronies in greenbacks.

The PAC was created with the stated goal of “directly and indirectly supporting candidates who stand up for our progressive ideals.” But instead, it appears it existed almost solely to support salaries for Feingold loyalists who lost their jobs after his 2010 loss to businessman Ron Johnson. Bice calculated that nearly 90% of the $7.1 million raised between January of 2011 and March of 2015 went to fundraising or staff salaries, including $317,823 to Feingold’s former chief of staff, Mary Irvine. All told, Feingold, Irvine and eight former staffers drew salaries or consulting fees from the fund.

We’re talking about the same principles as the Clinton Foundation except on a significantly smaller scale. The Clinton Foundation was essentially a holding spot for Hillary’s campaign-in-waiting:

The media’s focus is on Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, and whether she took official actions to benefit her family’s global charity. But the mistake is starting from the premise that the Clinton Foundation is a “charity.” What’s clear by now is that this family enterprise was set up as a global shakedown operation, designed to finance and nurture the Clintons’ continued political ambitions. It’s a Hillary super PAC that throws in the occasional good deed.

Other than in scale and the Foundation’s “occasional good deed”, how is Feigold’s PAC different than the Clinton Foundation?

This is a big deal. It isn’t that progressives will abandon Feingold. It’s that independents that thought of him as a straight shooter will abandon him. This will still be a featured race in 2016 but this Journal-Sentinel article will definitely hurt Feingold.

Laurel Beager’s interview with Sen. Bakk highlights Sen. Bakk’s disconnect with reality. Nothing demonstrates that better than this paragraph:

Some of the disappointment of the session may stem from high expectations going into the session, he said. “We came off a tremendously successful biennium in 2013-14 with a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate and Democratic governor. We did things that were historic.”

After the all-DFL government, voters threw out the DFL House majority. They didn’t see it as “a tremendously successful biennium,” which is the only opinion that matters. Further, Speaker Daudt is viewed as the most popular legislator in the state from either party. It isn’t really close.

That’s especially true considering the fact that DFL senators tried throwing Bakk out as Senate Majority Leader during Friday night’s special session. Add into that equation the fact that some progressive bloggers started a petition to remove Sen. Bakk as Majority Leader. That petition had 584 signatures 24 hours later.

Sen. Bakk survived the hostile takeover but that’s hardly proof that he’s heading into a calm 2016 session. The same bloggers that wanted Bakk gone as Senate Majority Leader were upset with the news that he’d negotiated a tax relief package with Sen. David Hann, the Senate Minority Leader. After sessions like that, it isn’t surprising that Sen. Bakk got out of St. Paul in a hurry:

After Sen. Majority Leader Tom Bakk traded his suit for jeans, got in his car and headed north at 6 a.m. Saturday following adjournment of the special session, he said he became incredibly emotional.

“You’ve been so wrapped up in everything for five and half months you can’t help but reflect on what happened, what didn’t happen and the things you could have done differently to get maybe a little better outcome. Because it can always be better,” he said. Three and a half hours later, when he arrives at his home in Cook, he’s emotionally exhausted. The leader of the Minnesota Senate must be deep in the trenches of the session and he said he’s emotionally and physically exhausted.

He then heads for some time at the lake cabin. “I can get away from the phones, the mail, and just watch a bobber for a couple days,” he said.

For someone who’s been ambushed and who’s done some ambushing, I can imagine him wanting nothing to do with St. Paul for a while.

The last 2 nights, Megyn Kelly has featured Amherst University’s decision to expel a student after a woman accused him of rape. Here’s the video of Monday night’s segment:

There’s no excuse for what Amherst University did. First, the fact that a woman waited 2 years before ‘reporting’ a rape should’ve been a hint to Amherst that this case should be viewed with a healthy bit of skepticism. Second, after the alleged rape was reported, the female student’s texts were recovered from a third party. They showed that the female student did more than consent to having sex. The texts showed she initiated sexual contact. In fact, it went further than that. After having sex with the man she accused of raping her, she texted another male student and asked him to “entertain” her.

It’s disturbing is that Amherst didn’t reverse the male student’s ejection from Amherst after the texts were discovered. What’s more disturbing is that the accused student wasn’t allowed representation. Further, it was against US Department of Education rules to let that female student to be cross-examined by the male student’s attorney because it might be a traumatic experience for the accuser.

This unnamed male student has hired legal counsel. They’re likely to file a lawsuit against Amherst and the Department of Education for violating the student’s due process rights. If ever there was a slam dunk case, this is it. Amherst didn’t show any interest in the accused student’s constitutional rights. The accused student was stripped of his ability to defend himself. When exculpatory evidence was discovered and presented to Amherst, it was treated as if it didn’t exist.

This is the video of last night’s segment on the Amherst story:

That the US Department of Education put together these guidelines that leave students essentially defenseless against accusers is disgusting. Brit Hume is right. It’s an article of faith that there’s a culture of rape on college campuses. The studies that purport to show this epidemic have been thoroughly discredited. Another thing that’s disgusting is that the US Department of Education would implement a plan that ignores students’ constitutional rights. The DOE didn’t water down the accused students’ constitutional rights. The US DOE just threw these students’ constitutional rights out entirely.

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Kirsten Powers’ latest column is, being charitable, misguided:

Pope Francis will release a teaching letter, known as an encyclical, on Thursday that’s thought to be the first in the church’s history to focus on the environment. A leaked version of the document endorses the notion that human activity contributes to climate change and that this menace disproportionately harms the poor.

Many U.S. conservatives are not pleased, believing that that the Vatican is blindly bending to elite opinion and stepping out of its lane. Leave the climate change issue to the politicians, they argue. Some conservative Catholics have expressed concern to me that Pope Francis is pulling a “reverse Galileo” by endorsing science that could turn out to be wrong, thus harming the credibility of the Catholic Church.

Perhaps there should be more concern in the alternative. If the science is correct, then how would the church’s silence in obeisance to conservative climate skepticism enhance its credibility? After all, the American Association for the Advancement of Science announced in 2014 that the scientific consensus that “climate change is happening, and human activity is the cause” is as airtight as the “science linking smoking to lung and cardiovascular diseases.”

Climate change isn’t science. It’s conjecture built on models that don’t use accurate temperature data. The process itself is flawed, too. They don’t use the double blind procedure. That’s the gold standard in scientific testing because it ensures that the person who does the data analysis doesn’t do the data collection or inputting the data.

As for this consensus, it’s overrated when the scientists are corrupt. This is the Hockey Stick graph used in the IPCC’s report:

Here’s the modified hockey stick graph used in a later release of the IPCC report after scientists objected to the first Hockey Stick graph:

Those graphs don’t look like each other. At all. So much for consensus and the airtight nature of the science.

The Catholic Church’s credibility won’t crumble because of Pope Francis’ encyclical. Pope Francis’ credibility, though, is already struggling. Thus far, he seems more like a far left activist than a pontiff.

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