Scene above: Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
WE'RE ON TWITTER, GO HEREWE'RE ON FACEBOOK, GO HERE
Please note that you can leave a comment on any of our posts at our Facebook page. Subscribers can also comment at length at our Angel's Corner Forum.
Happy New Year to our entire readership. May 2011 be glorious for you and the United States of America.
Note to subscribers and donators: The Angel's Corner, normally published on Friday night, will be published sometime over the weekend, as no sober person would read it on New Year's Eve.
DECEMBER 31, 2010
TAKE THAT, FCC – AT 9:36 A.M. ET: Oh boy, Obama's guys at the FCC are going to love this – wall to wall TV coverage of the Rose Parade tomorow...featuring a float honoring Ronald Reagan. There will be chest clutching in the Obama bureaucracy. From The Politico:
At the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., you can always expect marching bands and flower-bedazzled floats ... but presidents?
Former President Ronald Reagan — a two-term governor of the Golden State — will be featured in a special float at the New Year's Day event.
CNN says that this is "the first time that the Rose Parade has ever included a presidential-themed float."
"The Rose Parade feature is designed to kick off a celebration events to commemorate the centennial of Reagan's birth," reports CNN. Reagan would have turned 100 in February 2011, and there are numerous events planned to mark the occasion.
Reagan's float will be 55 feet long and 26 feet high, featuring photos from throughout Reagan's life. The float will be sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and made possible by Jelly Belly, maker of Reagan's favorite candy.
COMMENT: Reagan's 100th birthday year will provide a chance for Republicans to celebrate greatness. They might use the time to find out why Reagan became iconic – he celebrated American values, he understood the lessons of the 20th century, and he was an eternal optimist. He also knew how to communicate his ideas, and never spoke down to the American people.
One of Reagan's greatest skills was his ability to speak above the media and directly to citizens. It is a rare talent, but one needed by the next Republican candidate for president, who will face a media crowd even more hostile than the one Reagan faced in 1980, when he defeated Jimmah ("I'm the best ex-president evah") Carter.
Many today don't realize how controversial Reagan was when he ran for president. He was regularly ridiculed by pundits as a warmed-over movie actor with no qualifications to be president...pretty much the same thing that some said about Lincoln and FDR. And he was hardly the favorite of much of the Republican establishment, which usually leaned toward sturdy old reliables who went on to lose.
So, 2011 will be the year of Reagan. I'm surprised the FCC is letting that float be shown on TV. Isn't there a regulation against conservatives, or is that just in the pipeline?
OBAMA II – AT 8:34 A.M. ET: We've said here many times that the British writers are often sharper observers of American politics than are their American counterparts. Nile Gardiner, a British conservative, has an especially perceptive, and decidedly negative, piece on Obama and his prospects. From London's Telegraph:
Ignore the revisionist hype in sections of the liberal media about President Obama staging a (mythical) political comeback – this is a presidency with an approval rating of 45 percent (according to the RealClear Politics poll of polls), that presides over a nation where just 27 percent of voters think the country is moving in the right direction, and which just 29 percent of Americans think will be returned to power in 2012.
No tingle up his leg.
The political landscape still looks strikingly bleak for the “transformational president” as he goes into 2011. 2010 was a stunningly bad year for Barack Obama, no matter how much the likes of The New York Times or The Washington Post might try to sugar coat it.
You mean, they're not entirely accurate?
Gardiner gives four reasons why Obama is in hot water:
1. The midterm elections were a defeat of epic proportions for the Obama Presidency.
When Barack Obama spoke of a “shellacking” at the midterms, it was a huge understatement. The Republicans scored a significantly bigger win than they did in 1994, with their biggest gain in the House of Representatives in 62 years – since 1948.
2. Conservatism grew increasingly dominant in America.
As a recent Gallup survey showed, 48 percent of Americans now describe themselves as “conservative”, compared to 32 percent who call themselves “moderate”, and just 20 percent who call themselves “liberal”...
...Barack Obama, the most liberal US president of the modern era, has a natural liberal constituency comprised of just one in five Americans, which certainly does not bode well for 2012.
3. The Left lost ground and engaged in a brutal civil war.
2010 was a monumentally bad year for the liberal establishment in the United States, not only in electoral terms but in terms of increasing divisions within its ranks, as well as the continuing decline of the “mainstream” liberal media. Conservative media, from Fox News to The Wall Street Journal, have had a tremendous year, increasing market share while establishment giants from CNN to network news outlets continue to decline.
4. The Tea Party became more powerful than the president at the ballot box.
A small grassroots movement with barely any resources evolved into the most successful US political movement of this generation, sparking a national protest against the Big Government policies of the Obama administration, and a powerful call for a return to America’s founding principles. The Tea Party was initially mocked and jeered by its political opponents, including the president, but later came to be feared by the Left as it flexed tremendous political muscle.
COMMENT: My, my, I hope they don't show Gardiner's article to the president. Maybe Mr. Obama should consider another line of work.
At the same time, any president has substantial political resources, and this one is a great campaigner. As we've said here, don't count him out. If the Republicans work as hard to lose the 2012 election as they've worked to lose other elections, they may actually lose it.
OBAMA, 2010 – AT 8:16 A.M. ET: There are a number of year-end reviews on the news network. You don't need another one here. But I did want to comment on this second year of the Obama administration.
The president has fallen from grace, but remains politically potent. He is being treated more as a human being, less as a demi-god, come down to save us. Even some of his backers are starting to demand that he adhere to the standards expected of a man who holds the highest office. This week, no less a worshipper than Chris Matthews, who, you'll recall, felt a tingle up his leg every time Obama spoke, suggested that the president finally release his long-form birth certificate to prove he was born when and where he claimed. And the new governor of Hawaii, the extreme left-wing Neil Abercrombie, pledged that he would "prove" Obama was born in Hawaii.
Incredible that this "birther" issue has resurfaced. I'm not a birther. I believe the president was born in Hawaii on the day he says he was, but his failure to release his long-form birth certificate violates fundamental political standards, and he should do it. Clearly, there is something embarrassing on the paper. I suspect that his father listed Barack as a Kenyan citizen, something irrelevant under American law, if he was born on our soil. The American people will understand, as long as Obama has told the truth about when and where.
At the same time, get ready for the love affair between press and president to be rekindled in 2011. It is clear that some journalists are petrified that their 1960s moment will disappear with the 2012 election, and that they'll be required to graduate to the emotional age of 21. This could be a disaster, and a deep disappointment to many.
THE FUTURE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY – AT 11:21 A.M. ET: The liberal Democrats went wild in Congress during the past session, but it was moderate Democrats who paid the price. From The Hill:
Only 12 House Democrats out of the 40 who represent districts won by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 survived the November election.
The good news: This group of mostly Blue Dog Dems made it through one of the worst national environments for Democrats in years, which bodes well for their 2012 prospects.
The downside: Several of them will be targets again, particularly Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who defeated Republican challenger Jesse Kelly by a little more than 4,000 votes.
Between retirements, runs for higher office, a primary defeat and one sex scandal (New York Rep. Eric Massa), another eight Democrats in conservative-leaning districts didn't run for reelection in 2010. Republicans went eight for eight in those open seat races.
A ninth opted for a party switch, which didn't work out any better — Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) lost a GOP primary after defecting from the Democrats.
Bottom line: The liberals, who tend to come from safe districts, will pay no price for their recklessness. The Democratic Party, in fact, has become more liberal as a result of the election. And what is remarkable is that no prominent liberal has expressed any concern over the devastation in the moderate wing. Political purity seems to be the goal, and political purity is what they got.
Oh, by the way, that also cost them the House of Representatives.
A SICKENING SPECTACLE – AT 9:01 A.M. ET: This story is a warning, a warning of what government agencies can do in their own interest, even in the face of a serious emergency. From Fox, an exclusive about the New York blizzard:
Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts -- a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles, The Post has learned.
We've seen, in TV reports, how many ambulances have been stranded. One baby died because of ambulance delays.
Miles of roads stretching from as north as Whitestone, Queens, to the south shore of Staten Island still remained treacherously unplowed last night because of the shameless job action, several sources and a city lawmaker said, which was over a raft of demotions, attrition and budget cuts.
"They sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important," said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.
Halloran said he met with three plow workers from the Sanitation Department -- and two Department of Transportation supervisors who were on loan -- at his office after he was flooded with irate calls from constituents.
New York's Strongest used a variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process -- and pad overtime checks -- which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes, the sources said.
This story will grow, especially as we're likely to have more storms this winter. Now let's see what Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who loves to lecture the public on its moral responsibilities, will do.
Bad snow days have destroyed the careers of many mayors in northern climates. Mayor Mike prides himself on being a great manager. So manage, Mike, manage.
PRESS BIAS? NAH – AT 8:30 A.M. ET: Our diligent press is on the case again, demanding that government in a free society RELEASE THE DOCUMENTS THAT ALL AMERICA DEMANDS. We refuse to wait any longer. The future of the nation is at stake. Hear that? From CBS News:
Despite repeated requests dating back to October 2008, Alaska has yet to release the public record of former governor Sarah Palin's official emails from her time in office. As the Anchorage Daily News reports, the release has been delayed 14 times, and two more delays are now pending.
Four journalists, an activist and an author have been seeking emails from Palin's state email account as well as from private accounts on which she conducted state business. The activist, Andree McLeod, argues that Palin and her successor, Sean Parnell, are abusing power by delaying their release.
As the Daily News notes, the emails may eventually be released: Parnell's office this week announced a plan to release them by May 31st of next year - more than two-and-a-half years after they were requested.
I just don't know how this nation will survive without those e-mails.
Now, about President Obama's academic record, his health record, even his birth certificate...
QUOTE OF THE DAY – AT 7:48 A.M. ET: One of the most discouraging reports in recent days tells us that the Obama administration is forging ahead with policies and regulations that blindly accept the "settled science" of climate change – that it is caused by human activity – despite substantial doubts from a number of researchers.
Climate change has become a political, not a scientific issue. Accepting the "settled science" is demanded by the left, which wants to use the climate-change "crisis" as an excuse for transferring vast sums from developed countries to third-world countries, the "victims" of global warming.
But S. Fred Singer, the former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service and professor emeritus at the University of Virginia, has been campaigning against the "settled science" mantra. What he says about science is worth considering:
A commonly cited "proof" for anthropogenic global warming (AGW) claims there is a "scientific consensus" - based mainly on a flawed study by University of California science historian Naomi Oreskes, published in the journal Science in December 2004. However, a 2003 poll by German researchers of 530 climatologists in 27 countries showed just 34.7 percent endorsing the AGW hypothesis, while 20.5 percent rejected it - with the rest undecided. In a 2006 survey of 793 members by the National Registry of Environmental Professionals, 41 percent disagreed that recent warming "can be, in large part, attributed to human activity." There are statements from scientific groups and professional societies on both sides of the issue.
But even if a majority of scientists had voted for AGW, that's not how science works. Unlike in politics, the majority does not rule. In fact, every advance in science has come from a minority that found that observed facts contradicted the prevailing hypothesis. Sometimes it took only one scientist; think of Galileo or Einstein.
Very well said, and the entire article is well worth reading. The media is doing its usual absysmal job of covering this subject. It shouldn't be too difficult for a team of trained science reporters to determine what we know and what we don't know about global warming, yet no one seems to want to do it. Why the fear? I think we know why. Left-wing trendiness dominates the media, and it isn't going away.
"What you see is news. What you know is background. What you feel is opinion."
- Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
of The New York Times.
"Councils of war breed timidity and defeatism."
- Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, to his
THE ANGEL'S CORNER
Part I of The Angel's Corner was sent late last night.
Part II will be sent over the weekend.
Subscriptions to URGENT AGENDA are voluntary. Why subscribe to something you're getting free? To help guarantee that you'll continue to get it at all, and to get The Angel's Corner, which we now offer to subscribers and donators.
Subscriptions sustain us. Payments are through PayPal and are secure, but you do not have to sign up for a PayPal account. Credit cards are fine.
FOR A ONE-YEAR ($48) SUBSCRIPTION, CLICK:
FOR A SIX-MONTH ($26)
GREAT DEAL: ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION WITH ANOTHER SUBSCRIPTION SENT TO SOMEONE ELSE ($69) - PERFECT FOR A SON OR DAUGHTER AT SCHOOL. (TELL US AT email@example.com WHERE YOU WANT THE SECOND SUBSCRIPTION SENT.) CLICK:
IF YOU DON'T WISH A SET SUBSCRIPTION, BUT PREFER TO DONATE ANY OTHER AMOUNT TO SUSTAIN URGENT AGENDA, CLICK:
SEARCH URGENT AGENDA
It's a privilege for me to post periodic pieces at Power Line. To go to Power Line, click here. To link to my Power Line pieces, go here.
CONTACT: YOU CAN E-MAIL US, AS FOLLOWS:
If you have wonderful things to say about this site, if it makes you a better person, please click: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a general comment on anything you see here, or on anything else that's topical, please click: email@example.com
If you must say something obnoxious, something that will embarrass you and disgrace your loving family, click: firstname.lastname@example.org
"The left needs two things to survive. It needs mediocrity, and it needs dependence. It nurtures mediocrity in the public schools and the universities. It nurtures dependence through its empire of government programs. A nation that embraces mediocrity and dependence betrays itself, and can only fade away, wondering all the time what might have been."
- Urgent Agenda
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe a post on this website falls outside the boundaries of "Fair Use" and legitimately infringes on yours or your client's copyright, we may be contacted concerning copyright matters at:
4 Martine Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606