Friday, October 30, 2009

Thanks, But No Thanks

Gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey are being closely watched for what the results might tell us about the mood of the public, and as an early referendum on the Obama Administration. We'll reserve comment until after the elections, but if the outcome is negative for the Democrats consider the following scenario: Democratic candidates next year eschewing Obama's offer to come to their state and campaign on their behalf. (The President wants to come to town? Thanks, but no thanks!) This happened to Clinton and Bush, we recall, but in both instances only after incumbent fatigue had set in well into their second terms. Will Obama be a liability for his party barely one year into his term?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pop Goes the Culture

Years ago, RedStateVT's Connecticut neighbors would talk about how they would see David Letterman out jogging on the back roads or skating on the local ponds. Occasionally, one would reach out with a friendly comment or question for the uber-hip Dave. And in return they would get a sarcastic riposte from the cultural icon. What people do in private often tells you a lot.

It's been a rough stretch for Dave. First, he is forced to apologize for his uncharitable remarks about Sarah Palin's daughter, then he is revealed to be pulling a Clinton and having sex with his employees. And so how does he respond? He starts again on the Palin jokes. Well Palin will have the last laugh as reports indicate soaring pre-orders for her book. Meanwhile, the Left is falling all over themselves talking about her ghostwriter. Do they honestly think that Bill Clinton sat down and pecked out his now forgotten autobiography?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Snowe Job


Snowe issued a statement Monday, saying she was "deeply disappointed" with Reid's decision on the public option. She argued that a decision in favor of a trigger "could have been the road toward achieving a broader bipartisan consensus in the Senate." "It's unfortunate the Senate majority leader decided to take a different path, because he did say it was a pretty good doggone idea with respect to the trigger in September, so I don't what has happened to change his mind," she said later. "It's regrettable, because I certainly have worked in good faith all of these months on a bipartisan basis and, as you know, have been standing alone at this point as a Republican to do so because I believe in good public policy," Snowe added.

RedStateVT hopes Senator Snowe has now learned that bipartisanship is a one way street.....


President Obama must be feeling the squeeze. On the one side are his usual detractors: Republicans, Conservatives, Free Marketers, the opinion guys at Fox, etc. On the other side are a far more dangerous group: The Ultra Left. There are increasing signs (a protest rally here, a brief news item on CNN there) that the Left is ready to step up their criticism of Obama. The laundry list of grievances ranges from the merely misguided to the truly nut job (he hasn't surrendered in Iraq and Afghanistan and brought the troops home, he hasn't prosecuted the insurance industry, he hasn't thrown Dick Cheney in jail, etc.) There is no wrath like the wrath of the Left toward one of their own. RedStateVT recalls political commentator Juan Williams - a Democrat, but an entirely reasonable guy - making this point several months back.

So how did Obama get into this bind? He has said something to the effect that everyone sees him and his presidency through their own prism. That's a bit self-aggrandizing for us. We look at it this way. Obama is in reality an Ultra Left guy. He surrounds himself with Reverend (God damn America!) Wright, Bill (the Weathermen didn't do enough) Ayers, Van (Bush blew up the Towers) Jones, Kevin (Practice safe sex with minors) Jennings, Anita (Long live Mao!) Dunn, etc. Yet he cannot let Middle America know just how radical he really is. And so he variously claims not to know or not to have heard or not to have seen and instead he talks about there being no Red States or Blue States. On policy issues, he is finding that he cannot do what the Ultra Left wants him to do and - in reality - what he wants to do. He can't simply mandate that all Dems back him on government run health care. He can't pull all the troops out of Afghanistan (let alone add 40,000 more!) and risk the consequences. And so he dithers, and studies, and holds more meetings and plays for time trying to figure out how to enact a radical agenda in a country that increasingly appears to want nothing to do with it. Mid-term elections may restore some balance to the political equation, but Obama will soon face a much bigger threat from his radical base. If they turn on him there will be nowhere to hide.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fox in the White House

RedStateVT has watched in bewilderment as the Obama administration has picked a public fight with Fox News. On the surface, it is so counter-intuitive a strategy that it has us wondering just what the motivation can be. The Obama-ites have to know that they cannot silence Fox News, nor can they turn the network into the fawning MSNBC.

So by attacking Fox is the hope that they will at least get the network to tone it down?

Alternatively, do they hope to besmirch Fox’s reputation and, therefore, undermine its effectiveness?

Or, are they so arrogant and self-righteous that they are simply engaging in the Chicago-style politics that we often hear about?

We are hard-pressed to guess at the motivation, but we are pretty certain that it is not working. Fox is not backing down and the actions of the White House are now even turning off members of their own party:

A White House effort to undermine conservative critics is generating a backlash on Capitol Hill — and not just from Republicans. “It’s a mistake,” said Rep. Jason Altmire, a moderate Democrat from western Pennsylvania. “I think it’s beneath the White House to get into a tit for tat with news organizations.” (from 10/23/2009)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

RedStateVT Responds to Loyal Readers

Loyal Reader tedbob asks how insurers can be kept honest in the absence of a public option.

RedStateVT believes that free market competition is the single best way to ensure “honesty” in the delivery of insurance services (or just about any product, for that matter). If Insurer X can deliver a product more cost-effectively than Insurer Y, the consumer will flock to X. Y will be forced to become more efficient or risk failure. Problems inevitably result, however, when the government steps in and attempts to over-regulate an industry or limit competition which happens in the case of health insurance. For all the myriad of reasons that the mortgage funding market blew-up, it is undeniable that Barney Frank’s exhortation to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “roll the dice” (i.e. increase lending to risky borrowers) was prima facie. Frank is condemned to the seventh circle of RedStateVT hell for his actions, and for his refusal to own up to them.

RedStateVT worked in the insurance industry for 21 years and so is arguably qualified to share some insights. The first is that there are no evil geniuses working at insurance companies figuring out how to screw the public in order to earn otherworldly profits. If this was the case, people would flock to work in the industry and the market would buy up its stock. Neither of these things happens and the truth is that, by and large, the companies are looking to serve their customers in an honest way. Unfortunately, the nature of the insurance contract lends itself to abuse and insurers must protect the honest customers from the potentially dishonest. We are truly sorry if Joe Public discovers that he has terminal cancer and that he has no life insurance to protect his soon-to-be impoverished family. But that does not give Joe the right to now buy a life insurance policy and fail to disclose his condition. Joe should have passed up the big screen TV and the bass boat and bought an insurance policy years ago.

Loyal Reader Cro-magnon argues for a “big tent” Republican Party in response to RedStateVT’s call for cutting Olympia Snowe loose. The big tent theory harkens back to deceased Republican strategist Lee Atwater, who RedStateVT generally admired. RedStateVT agrees that the party should be big enough to embrace Conservatives, mainstream Republicans and most Libertarians. It is not big enough, however, to shelter Democrats masquerading as Republicans such as Specter did for years. And as for Snowe? We’ll respect Cro-magnon’s view for now, but keep a close watch on how she responds going forward to the balance of the Obama agenda.

Loyal Readers may suggest a topic by sending an e-mail to

Thanks for your thoughts. We’ll dissect more comments and feedback in future posts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life Imitates RedStateVT

We caught Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in a brief interview on television last night and found him impressive. RedStateVT will keep a closer eye on the Governor as speculation grows that he may eventually run for the presidency. Pawlenty made a similar point to that found in our 9/30 post entitled Health Scare.....namely, the absurdity of Obama's claim that a public option is ultimately required to keep private insurers honest. Pawlenty (and RedStateVT) note that this same argument can be made to justify a government version of any private industry! Is this Obama's version of free market capitalism?

In our 10/13 post entitled Memo to Olympia Snowe we noted the absurdity of calling bipartisan the recent vote on the health care bill. Saturday Night Live spoofed this last week equating it to saying "hola" to your housekeeper and claiming that you are bilingual.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Non-Decider

RedStateVT is still thinking about Afghanistan and what it will tell us about the Obama Administration. As the days drag on without a decision from the Commander-in-Chief, we cannot help but think back to the way in which GWB was derided when he labeled himself "the Decider." Now we have Obama as "Hamlet on the Potomac" or "the Non-Decider."

Let's re-create the timeline here. General Stanley McChrystal's report to Obama requesting more troops is reported to have been delivered on August 31. The report became public on September 20. Shortly thereafter, the General gave a speech in London, reiterating his call for more troops in what has been interpreted as an attempt to put pressure on the President. So by all accounts it has now been approximately 50 days since the request for 40,000 more troops was made.

Obama and "Rahm-bo" Emanuel must have concluded that they had to create some sort of a smokescreen to hide their indecision behind. And so this past weekend, Dems hit the talk shows - and even dragged out Uber-Military Strategist John Kerry (remember him?) - to explain that a decision couldn't be made until the Afghan government was more stable. As if!

Now, in an interesting development we have the following report from Fox News:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that the Obama administration cannot wait for the Afghan election to be resolved before making a decision on troop levels, appearing to be at odds with White House officials who have tied a decision on U.S. strategy to the resolution of the election and political stability.

Will this be enough for the Non-Decider to make up his mind? Or will Gates get reprimanded the way McChrystal was? Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Last Monday we commented on Afghanistan (see The War Obama Wanted To Fight). Ann Coulter's weekly column provides a detailed recap of Dem - and Obama - strategy on Afghanistan. As with all Coulter columns, it is essential reading.

Speaking of essential reading, Hillsdale College publishes a monthly commentary that is invariably thought-provoking. (

And finally, last week we presented a hypothetical scenario in which George Bush was awarded that Nobel Peace Prize. We wondered whether liberals would then understand more clearly why some people objected to the choice. In that same vein, we thought it would be fun to revisit the recent controversy in which young schoolchildren were asked to sing Obama's praises. In our revised scenario, the lyrics are now as follows:

Thank you Mr. Bush for standing tall
You kept us strong so we won't fall

You said "no more" and took a stand
Fighting enemies in a foreign land

And so we honor you today
With hands on hearts we have to say:


Any liberal objections?

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Earlier this week, we noted that - notwithstanding Obama's decision to stand down on missile defense - Russia announced that it would not support tougher sanctions on Iran. And now comes the following in yet another example demonstrating the success of the 2009 Obama Apology Tour:

France will not send any more troops to Afghanistan, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in an interview with a French newspaper on Thursday. "Is it necessary to stay in Afghanistan? I say 'yes'. And to stay to win ... But France will not send a single soldier more," Sarkozy told Le Figaro. (source:

What is it that they call it when you keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Two Faces of Pat Leahy

One of RedStateVT's favorite Dick Cheney stories occurred in 2004 when the Vice President met up with Vermont's senior Senator Pat Leahy. At that time, to show his disapproval of the Iraq War, Leahy had been uttering the single word "Halliburton" at every opportunity. This despite the fact that Cheney had severed ties to Halliburton and placed his assets in a blind trust. Obviously fed up with Leahy, the Vice President told him to get lost......only those weren't the exact the words he used. Then to try and draw a penalty in the hockey equivalent of falling to the ice when an opposing player taps you, Leahy expressed shock and bewilderment. Got to love Cheney....when later asked if he regretted his choice of words, he replied: "No, it felt good."

Liberals like Leahy just do not get the fact that many people - the Vice President included - have not spent their entire career working in government. In fact, in an examination of Leahy's official web site, it does not appear that he has ever had a private sector job dating back to 1964! With Ted Kennedy's passing, look for the media to crown Leahy as the new "lion of the Senate."

Anyway, we pass along the following from the Vermont GOP which outlines Leahy's current shenanigans with respect to judicial appointees:

"The original version of the Federal Judgeship Act, proposed in March 2008 and co-sponsored by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, was supposed to give both parties a say in the composition of an expanded federal judiciary. Then the election results would determine which party's President got to nominate the judges. The idea was to pass a plan and then have it go into effect after the inauguration of the election winner in 2008. It had bipartisan support. Yet with a Democratic President now in the White House, Mr. Leahy wants to be sure Mr. Obama gets to do the picking-and not wait until the next election. His plan would create nine additional permanent appeals-court judgeships in five circuits, including two on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the Northeast and four on the overstretched Ninth in the West. It would also create three more temporary appeals court judgeships-seats that would last for 10 years through either 2019 or 2020. On the federal district courts, which are a step below the appellate bench, the Leahy bill would create another 38 permanent and 13 temporary judges."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nobel Redux

For those liberals who don't get the bewilderment of many over the selection of Obama as recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize RedStateVT offers the following redaction of events circa 2003:

The Nobel Prize Committee today announced the selection of President George W. Bush as the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In bestowing this award, the Committee cited Bush’s efforts to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Committee noted: “even though the final outcome of these efforts have not yet played out, President Bush stood steadfast, ignored those who said it could not or should not be done and at great risk to his own legacy promoted the cause of freedom.”

On another note, RedStateVT was pleased to see others picking up on yesterday's Obama - Carter syllogism. Here's a link from PajamasMedia:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Memo to Olympia Snowe: You're Fired!

Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, said Tuesday that she would support the Democrats’ landmark health care legislation. “Is this bill all that I would want? Far from it,” Ms. Snowe said at a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee. “Is it all that it can be? No. But when history calls, history calls.” (New York Times, 10/13/2009)

It is past time for Republicans to clean house and purge the party of non-Republicans. Arlen Specter tortured Bush for years, before finally admitting what everyone already knew. Namely, he was not a Republican. And now Maine's Olympia Snowe is pulling a Specter and betraying her party. The liberal media, along with Obama and the Democrats will now ridiculously claim that they have a bi-partisan compromise on health care. RedStateVT calls on RNC head Michael Steele to give Snowe her walking papers.

Pardon But Your Naivete Is Showing

Threatening Iran with harsh new sanctions to advance negotiations over its nuclear program would be “counterproductive,” Russia's foreign minister said Tuesday, throwing cold water on the Obama administration’s hopes that Russia had been persuaded to cooperate with its effort to intensify the global pressure on Tehran. (New York Times, 10/13/2009)

Less than one month after Obama appeases the Russians (and betrays American allies Poland and the Czech Republic) by cancelling an anti-missile defense system, he receives his payback. The Russians give him a middle finger salute on Iran. Is it too early to say that Obama is looking more and more like Jimmy Carter?

Monday, October 12, 2009

The War Obama Wanted to Fight

There will be lots more to say on Afghanistan if Obama ever gets around to deciding whether or not to send in more his hand-picked general has requested, we might add. But for starters, it is useful to revisit Obama's position during the campaign when he recited the Democrat party talking points word for word. Iraq was the wrong war, no WMDs, no al Qaeda, Bush lied, etc. Also, he would have liked the chance to have a beer with Saddam, Uday and Qusay. (I made that last one up.) The dilemma he faced, however, was the dilemma all liberals face: namely how NOT to appear weak on national defense.

The answer was to focus on Afghanistan. The Taliban were an easier enemy to explain. Al Qaeda had definitely been hanging around and you didn't have all that Shia- Sunni- Kurd complication. So one would think that Obama would now be eager to take General McChrystal's advice. (And by the way, doesn't he remember that the surge in Iraq was successful?) So what is holding him back?

Well here is his current dilemma. If he doesn't support an increase in troop levels he will be perceived as having lost Afghanistan and will be a one-term President. He will be tagged rightly with a "weak-on-defense" label and it will stick. On the other hand his biggest fans on the far left will never forgive him if he doubles down. They are already dragging out the Viet Nam analogies and will turn on him quickly. There is some speculation that Obama will make a "split the baby" decision and send in some, but not all, of the 40,000 troops requested. There would be no other way to interpret this than as a weak-kneed decision. So will Obama risk alienating the Code Pink crowd? That is the question and the answer will say a lot about him.

Friday, October 9, 2009


RedStateVT has to give credit where credit is due. In that regard, even President Obama appeared genuinely taken aback by the decision to award him the Nobel prize. He certainly realizes that he does not merit it.

The Nobel Committee disgraces itself for what is transparently a political ploy. But bear in mind that this is a group which seems to know no shame having previously awarded the prize to that great peacemaker Yasser Arafat, a.k.a., the Mahatma Gandhi of the Palestinian people.

And then there is that other notable recipient, Jimmy Carter, coddler of dictators around the world. In 2008, Carter famously placed a wreath on the grave of Arafat. Could it be that Obama realizes that he doesn't want to be in company with the likes of these two?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Times Crimes

RedStateVT was a loyal follower of the New York Times for decades, reading it every morning on the commute into Manhattan. For nostalgic reasons we are deeply saddened to see the slow and steady decline of the paper. The Times and others may blame the rise of the Internet, the 24 hour news cycle or sun spots, but the fact of the matter is that the wound is self-inflicted. The reflexive liberal ideology of the Times has been well documented and, in fact, there are web sites devoted to pointing out how its biases have compromised the paper's integrity and driven readers away.

Recently the Times has been called to task for failing to report on the ACORN and "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones scandals. In an internal post-mortem of why the paper did not write about these events, Public Editor Clark Hoyt said it has been suggested that the Times: "has trouble dealing with stories arising from the polemical world of talk radio, cable television and partisan blogs." And further: "a newspaper like The Times needs to be alert to them or wind up looking clueless or, worse, partisan itself." Yes, by all means, it would be wrong to appear either clueless or partisan.... RedStateVT has a tip for the Times. Don't get left behind again! Sean Hannity has picked up the story of "Safe Schools" Czar Kevin Jennings and is now calling for his removal. The positions Jennings has taken will curdle milk. So with Jennings the next czar to possibly face the wrath of the proletariat, the question is: will the Times learn from its past mistakes and write the story? (A quick search of the on-line Times today shows nary a mention.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Corporal" Sanders' Utopian Vision

For fellow Vermonters.....heck for anyone! I ran across this clip of Vermont's crazy old uncle in the attic, Corporal Sanders, talking about his vision of American capitalism. (Predictably, he also uses the opportunity to blame George Bush for assorted transgressions.) The bulk of the video finds Bernie extolling the benefits of cradle-to-grave health care, free education, and more vacation time for workers. You'll love the image of working families frolicking at the sea shore.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


In nearly nine months in office, President Obama has found time to meet with Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Vladimir Putin. But this week he won't see the Dalai Lama, a peaceful religious leader who has long been a friend to the U.S. and an advocate of human rights for China's six million Tibetans. (WSJ, 10/6/2009)

A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots. A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian--a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver. The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth. (WSJ, 10/5/2009)

While most Americans normally ignore parliamentary detail, with health care looming, voters are suddenly paying attention. The Senate is expected to vote on a health bill in the weeks to come, representing months of work and stretching to hundreds of pages. And as of now, there is no assurance that members of the public, or even the senators themselves, will be given the chance to read the legislation before a vote. (Washington Examiner, 10/6/2009)

With economists forecasting that unemployment could hit 10 percent before job growth returns, perhaps in mid-2010, Democrats face month after month of bad news on the jobs front in a midterm election year, when a president’s party typically loses Congressional seats. Charlie Cook, a longtime nonpartisan election analyst, said last week that he was raising the odds of Democrats losing their House majority to about 50-50. (NYT, 10/5/2009)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Anyone catch the Fox News special last night on ACORN? Here's a link from the Fox website (,2933,558224,00.html) but it is unclear at this point when it will be re-run. The recent footage of ACORN workers appearing all-too-willing to facilitate crimes pales in comparison to ACORN's past "issues." These include credible accounts of voter registration fraud, threats to companies that don't play ball with ACORN and the revelation that the brother of ACORN's founder embezzled a million dollars. It is a chilling account. Bill Clinton recently revived his wife's dopey accusation from years ago of a "vast right wing conspiracy." Turns out, the real ideological conspiracy has been playing out for years under the ACORN banner.

It's worth reminding readers that Vermont's own dynamic duo: Pat Leahy and "Corporal" Sanders were among a tiny number of Senators who voted recently NOT to cut off government funding to this corrupt organization.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


RedStateVT is pleased to recognize the following as Knuckleheads of the Day:

Dan Rather - the disgraced newsman's defamation suit against CBS is thrown out in a unanimous ruling. Rather vows to appeal! We wonder how he will find the time given his continuing efforts to prove that GWB skipped out a week early on his Texas Air National Guard service.

Woody Allen - the disgraced director signs on in support of disgraced director Roman Polanski. You cannot make stuff like this up!