Archive for April 11th, 2009

Rasmussen: 79% Believe Jesus Christ Rose from the Dead

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


Overall, women tend to be stronger believers in Jesus Christ than men. Eighty-seven (87%) of women and 70% of men believe Jesus rose from the dead; 89% of women and 74% of men think he was the son of God; 91% of women and 85% of men believe he actually walked the earth.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Catholics believe Jesus rose from the dead along with 86% of Protestants and 97% of Evangelical Christians. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Catholics also think Jesus was the son of God. That view is shared by 90% of Protestants and 97% of Evangelical Christians. Finally, 87% of Catholics, 95% of Protestants and all Evangelical Christians surveyed believe that Jesus Christ walked the earth.

Video: CNN Criticizes Obama For Bow

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Summary of articles on polarization,

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


Karl Rove cites numbers from the Pew Reseach Center to argue that Barack Obama “has done more to [quickly] polarize America” than any president “in the past 40 years.”

Michael Gerson uses the same numbers to call Obama “the most polarizing new president in recent times.”

Michael Dimock, Pew’s associate director, responds via Greg Sargent:

“It’s unfair to say that Obama has caused this divisiveness or to say that he is a polarizing president,” Dimock said. He claimed that this phenomenon is driven by long-term trends, uncommon Dem enthusiasm, and the Republican tendency to be more hostile to opposing presidents than Democrats.

CBS’s Sarah Dutton and Gallup’s Jeff Jones share historical “polarization” data collected by their organizations.

Andrew Sullivan and Charlie Cook are watching the independents (and remember, we now have separate charts that break out Obama’s approval rating among Democrats, Republicans and independents).

More from Nate Silver, Chris Cillizza, Amy Walter, Jay Cost, Peter Wehner, Eric Kleefeld, Chuck Todd et. al., DemfromCT, Steve Benen, Glen Bolger and Ed Kilgore.

Michael Barone Says Goodbye to U.S. News

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Michael Barone’s last column for US News.

Should Obama Be Faulted for the Lack of Bipartisanship?: Jay Cost

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Jay Cost:

My criticism of the President is not that he shares most of the blame. Instead, we should spread the blame for partisan polarization around. Obama gets some. So do Bush, Clinton, the other Bush, Reagan, Carter, and all the way back to John Adams. Pelosi and Reid get their fair share. And of course McConnell, Boehner, and congressional Republicans get just as much. Ultimately, everybody gets some of the blame because heated partisanship is in part a consequence of our electoral system, which only few of us wish to change.

Instead, my criticism of the President is that he promised to be above this. He made that the core pledge of his candidacy, the principal reason he should receive the nomination and ultimately the presidency over the dozen or so other contenders across both parties who had better résumés but had been part of the partisan hackery. It was always going to be damned near impossible to move beyond heated partisanship – given all the structural forces that have been at work since the founding, and the ones that have been increasing in the last half century or so. In my opinion, that excuses President Obama for not moving us beyond it – but it does not excuse candidate Obama from promising that he could. Either he knew better and should not have made that promise (and, by extension, should not have run, given the centrality of this promise) – or he didn’t know better and was just naïve. Either way, it is appropriate to hold him to account.

AFP: China congratulates NKorea’s Kim on re-election

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


Chinese President Hu Jintao congratulated Kim Jong-Il on his re-election as leader of North Korea, state media said Saturday, amid widespread international condemnation of Pyongyang’s rocket launch.

Hu said in a message that Kim’s re-election on Thursday as chairman of the powerful National Defence Commission is an “expression of sincere support and profound trust”, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

“I believe that the fraternal Korean people will surely register steady fresh successes in the construction of Korean-style socialism… under the leadership… headed by you,” Hu was quoted as saying.

Ginsburg rejects reliance on American law

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

NY Times:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In wide-ranging remarks here, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defended the use of foreign law by American judges, suggested that torture should not be used even when it might yield important information and reflected on her role as the Supreme Court’s only female justice. The occasion was a symposium at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University honoring her 15 years on the court.

“I frankly don’t understand all the brouhaha lately from Congress and even from some of my colleagues about referring to foreign law,” Justice Ginsburg said in her comments on Friday.

The court’s more conservative members – Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas – oppose the citation of foreign law in constitutional cases.

“If we’re relying on a decision from a German judge about what our Constitution means, no president accountable to the people appointed that judge and no Senate accountable to the people confirmed that judge,” Chief Justice Roberts said at his confirmation hearing. “And yet he’s playing a role in shaping the law that binds the people in this country.”

Ramesh Ponnuru on health care

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


The most intelligent and civil critique of my New York Times op-ed on health care came, not surprisingly, from Ezra Klein-even if he does praise me with what, for him, counts as a faint damn (“Ramesh Ponnuru knows a lot more about health care policy than your garden variety conservative”). Michael Cannon has nobly risen to my defense, and of course I agree with his remarks. One additional point that I would make is that I think Klein inadvertently mischaracterizes my objection to universal coverage. It’s not that it goes too far. It’s that it goes (in my view) in the wrong direction. I want far-reaching changes in our system of health-care financing, too, and I think the proposals I briefly outlined in that op-ed would bring them. A reform that aims at universal coverage is not the only alternative to the status quo.

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—April 8 and 9

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Bench Memos:

April 8:

2005-A split Ninth Circuit panel, in an opinion by notorious activist judge Stephen Reinhardt, rules in a habeas case (Musladin v. Lamarque) that under clearly established Supreme Court law a defendant on trial for murder was deprived of his right to a fair trial by an impartial jury when the trial judge permitted family members of the victim (or, as Reinhardt insists on referring to him in quotes, the “victim”) to wear buttons bearing the deceased’s photograph.  In 2006, a mere two months after oral argument, the Supreme Court (in Carey v. Musladin) unanimously reverses the Ninth Circuit.

April 9:

2001-A Ninth Circuit panel, in an opinion by Stephen Reinhardt, rules in Doe v. Otte that application of Alaska’s Sex Offender Registration Act (commonly termed a “Megan’s Law”) to those whose crimes were committed before enactment of the Act violates the constitutional bar on ex post facto punishments.  The Act requires sex offenders in the state to register with law-enforcement authorities, and it provides that a central registry of information about offenders will be made public.  The Ninth Circuit concludes that the Act imposes criminal punishment and therefore may not be applied retroactively.

On review (styled Smith v. Doe), the Supreme Court in March 2003 reverses the Ninth Circuit by a 6 to 3 vote (with Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer in dissent).

Recent GOP congressional recruits

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

The Next Right:

New York 24th: Richard Hanna. Self-described political amateur Hanna nearly beat Democrat Mike Arcuri, losing by only 10,000 votes. He deserves another shot.

New York 29th: Senator Cathy Young. Senator Young would be a top recruit, bringing a ton of political sense, fundraising skill and organization to the race. She would be an excellent contrast to Democrat Eric Massa.

North Dakota At-Large: Drew Wrigley. Wrigley’s coming off a successful and popular term as U.S. Attorney. He’s well-connected and knows how to run — he managed Governor John Hoeven’s first statewide campaign.

Economist: why car stereos aren’t stolen much anymore

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Graph below fold.

Mark Perry:

Criminologists and industry experts say the biggest reason stereo theft has declined is that car manufacturers started installing good stereos. In the late 1990s, companies realized that they could charge more for their cars if they installed a high-quality factory sound system. And that, it turns out, made them theftproof.

Poll: 57% Plan To File Income Taxes Electronically

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


The majority of Americans (57%) say they plan to file their taxes electronically this year rather than by mail, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Thirty-one percent (31%) will file the traditional paper way through the mails, and 12% are undecided.

Women (61%) are more likely to file electronically than men (52%). Younger voters are far more likely to file their taxes that way than their elders.

Roughly seven-out-of-10 Americans who earn more than $60,000 per year say they will file electronically. Lower-income earners are less likely to do so.

Poll: Women Like Fast Cars

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


It’s true; we always knew it. Sociological data tell us that what women really like is expensive cars, be they fast or slow:

Psychologists proved what car-dealers have boasted for generations: the car one drives is key when it comes to turning a woman’s head. The university team showed women pictures of the same man sitting in two cars – a £70,000 silver Bentley Continental and a battered Ford Fiesta.

The women, who were aged between 21 to 40, picked the man sitting in the Bentley ahead of the same man in the Ford.

I should hope so! The funny thing about this study is how oblivious men were:

The researchers say the men tested in the same way are not impressed by whatever car a woman drives because they judge purely on her face and figure.

Men: impractical as always! I have to say, though, that a woman who fails to choose a man seated in a Bentley over the same guy in a “battered Ford Fiesta” is in need of remedial training.

Like a lot of middle-aged guys, I acquired a relatively impressive car long after it could do me any good–I was married–and I can attest from personal experience that Chrysler vehicles manufactured in the 1950s which were bought for under $100 and have gaping holes in the floorboard covered over with logs, and whose gears are prone to seizing up so that long stretches of highway must be navigated in second gear, are not exactly, in the parlance of a later age, chick magnets.

Which, I guess, is consistent with the empirical evidence linked above.

Powerline on Obama: Carterism redux

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


In the new issue of the Weekly Standard Reuel Marc Gerecht usefully summarizes the armed intransigence of Iran’s current leadership and decries “the return of weakness.” Commening on Iran’s drive to produce a nuclear weapon, Gerecht observes:

The Obama administration now runs the risk of appearing weak in its dealings with Tehran. Whether through mirror-imaging or conflict avoidance, it has set the stage for an embarrassing denouement. Unless Washington can convince itself, and then the Europeans, to implement draconian sanctions, Iran will get its nuke. Once that happens, the appeasement (or engagement) reflex will come powerfully into play. The Islamic Republic’s appetite to push its newly obtained strategic advantage could prove irresistible.

The clerical regime has never abandoned its ecumenical outreach to Sunni militants. American success, or more likely failure, in Iraq or Afghanistan could be a powerful spur to Iran to strike. State-supported terrorism, which would be both denied and nuclear-protected, could come ferociously back at us. It was a truly nervy move for Damascus, Tehran’s closest Arab ally, to have the North Koreans build a uranium-processing plant (the one the Israelis bombed in September 2007). But then, terrorist-supporting “rogue states,” by definition, do nervy, unexpected things.

I think Gerehct considerably understates the case concerning Obama’s message of weakness, but his article fairly sketches out the stakes. Elsewhere in the Standard Peter Berkowitz complements Gerecht. Berkowitz explains why they’re nervous in the Gulf downwind from Iran.

AP: Officer Charged With Harassing Delaware Gov.

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

The AP:

The Delaware Department of Correction says a correctional officer charged with sending harassing e-mails to the governor has been placed on leave with pay.

Department spokesman John Painter says 50-year-old Steven Lenhart of Dover was placed on leave Friday pending the outcome of the investigation of the charges.

Video — NH Sen. Gregg: Obama a ‘leftist’

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


Fidel: How can I help Obama?

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

LA Times:

How’s this for hope and change: U.S. officials flying to Cuba, not to interrogate prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but to meet with the Castro brothers in order to ease the 50-year tensions between the two nations.

The aging, ailing, cigar-smoking icon Fidel Castro had three members of Congress visit with him today in Havana, which resulted in the bearded one asking, “How can we help President Obama?”  In an effort to improve the relationship between Cuba and the U.S., Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) were the first U.S. officials to meet with the 82-year-old former dictator since his intestinal surgery in July 2006.

Saving money by using less classroom paper

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Miami Herald:

In classrooms throughout South Florida, paper is becoming more of a relic than an educational staple.

The result: homework done online. Paperless term papers. Math problems completed on an interactive whiteboard. An entire course of physics problems contained on a single compact disc. And, schools hope, savings in an ever-tightening budget crunch.

”It’s budget, it’s green, it’s best educational practices,” said Mark Strauss, principal of Virginia Shuman Young Elementary in Fort Lauderdale.

When Is A Bow Not A Bow

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Politics Nation:

*Dodge of the day: Robert Gibbs denies that the president bowed to Saudi leaders at the G-20 conference, explaining that he simply bent down “to shake his hand.” As CNN’s Dan Lothian followed up, Gibbs sarcastically adds: “I can only imagine that this is a great cause and concern for many people struggling with the economy.”

Why Did Geithner Contradicted Congressional Testimony in 24 Hours?

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

CNS News:

( - An Arizona congressman wants to know why Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner isn’t facing tough questions over his apparent about-face on whether the U.S. would consider China’s request to abandon the dollar as the global currency, in favor of a mix of currencies.

Geithner told Congress under oath Tuesday that he wouldn’t consider China’s proposal to shift away from the U.S. dollar toward a world currency — then the following day (Wednesday) said the U.S. would “be open” to the idea.

Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.) thinks the Treasury secretary’s swift about face demands an explanation.