Patterico's Pontifications

2/16/2012

Live Chat Now!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 pm

Just had an impulse to do one. Haven’t done it in a while.

The usual instructions: You see the chat window below? Look at the bottom. Enter your name or pseudonym where it says “Your name.” Enter your comment in the second window just under that, and hit send. I will have to approve your comment before it appears, but I’m online right now, and will approve most comments within a minute. Usually within seconds.

IMPORTANT: Note the buttons at the bottom. You will probably want to turn off “autoscroll.” It bothers a lot of people.

Iran Helping Al Qaeda Plan Spectacular Attack on Europe?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 pm

More clearing the decks from the last few days:

Iran and al Qaeda’s core leadership under Ayman al Zawahiri have established an “operational relationship” amid fears the terror group is planning a spectacular attack against the West.

There are concerns such an attack, possibly targeting Europe, would be in revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden by the US last year.

Sky News’ intelligence sources have said Iran has been supplying al Qaeda with training in the use of advanced explosives, “some funding and a safe haven” as part of a deal first worked out in 2009 which has now led to “operational capacity”.

Retaliating against Europe?

My tipster asks: “Is targeting Europe instead of the US a sign they can’t reliably hit us, or a sign they’ve decided having a Democrat in the White House is better than a Republican?”

Good question. Could be disinformation, too, I suppose. But my tipster’s conjecture is a real possibility.

In a post below, Karl asks about issues that might affect the election. A giant terrorist attack could certainly do that. Perhaps the terrorists realize that such an attack would be more likely to result in a Republican president.

If this theory is right, awful Democratic candidate = safety from terror!

And you thought there was nothing good about having Obama in office!

P.S. Luckily, if it turns out Iran is giving safe haven to terrorists, you can bet your bottom dollar that Obama will go take care of business.

And then you can lose your bottom dollar.

Rampant Voter Registration Irregularities

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:09 pm

Clearing the decks after a busy few days, we see . . . nothing. Nothing to see here, folks:

More than 24 million voter-registration records in the United States— about one in eight — are inaccurate, out-of-date or duplicates. Nearly 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states, and perhaps 1.8 million registered voters are dead.

Those estimates, from a report published today by the non-partisan Pew Center on the States, portray a largely paper-based system that is outmoded, expensive and error-prone.

But never fear. We are assured this could not lead to rampant fraud:

Experts say there’s no evidence that the errors lead to fraud on Election Day. “The perception of the possibility of fraud drives hyper-partisan policymaking,” said David Becker, director of Pew’s election initiatives.

The message: don’t let the possibility of voter fraud make you overreact. Or, indeed, act at all.

If only voting were important. Then, maybe we could treat it seriously.

The GOP field’s big weakness

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 7:50 am

[Posted by Karl]

Allahpundit is probably not the only righty nervous over the current election polling, even though it is still too early in the cycle for deep concern.  The polling is likely the product of a media environment hyping good economic news and the GOP intra-party fighting.  However, folks right of center should not get into a mode of blaming a left-leaning media.  The establishment will probably spend much more time on dropping unemployment claims than rising foreclosures or the combo of rising gas prices, falling gas consumption and retail sales.  (A recovery led by declining unemployment figures seems odd, given that unemployment is generally considered a lagging indicator, but I digress.)  But most forecasters were predicting some economic growth this year, and the right should never be rooting for bad economic news.

James Pethokoukis offers Republicans advice for how to win if the economy keeps improving.  Some of it — the JFK-esque “we can do better” approach is alright, some of it (the economy is built on debt, Obama did not really fix our structural problems) is true, but unlikely to resonate with the mushy middle in a decently improving economy.  As the out-party, the GOP may need another issue to mitigate an improving economy.

Finding such an issue is sometimes not easy.  In this cycle, two possibilities spring immediately to mind.  The debt bomb might be an exploitable issue,as Americans (including the Obama administration, rhetorically) recognize the current path is unsustainable.  However, as just suggested, the issue may lose some potency with the mushy middle if the economy grows decently.  Moreover, the Democrats and their media would likely do their best to reframe any discussion of the debt into a Mediscare campaign.

The other obvious issue is Obamacare, the president’s still-unpopular signature legislation.  Mitt Romney would be a poor candidate to exploit this issue, given his stubborn refusal to abandon Romneycare.  In contrast, Rick Santorum has had a cogent critique the Obamacare/ Romneycare paradigm of government-controlled healthcare.  On the other hand, if Santorum became the GOP nominee, the Democrats and their media would do their best to steer any discussion of healthcare into a discussion of Santorum’s aversion to contraception.  And for whatever reason, Santorum seems to relish debating a question which likely alienates the mushy middle, instead of assuring them his focus would be on the issues important to them.

Anyone who reads me regularly knows I harp on the fundamentals.  If the economy does improve significantly, any Republican would have difficulty winning.  Accordingly, I do not fault Republicans for focusing on the economy.  However, the GOP field’s biggest weakness may be how ill-suited they seem to be in talking about anything else.

–Karl


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