WASHINGTON — The government is handing out nearly $2 billion for new solar plants that President Barack Obama says will create thousands of jobs and increase the use of renewable energy sources.
Obama announced the initiative in his weekly radio and online address Saturday, saying the money is part of his plan to bring new industries to the U.S.
“We’re going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America,” Obama said.
The two companies that will receive the money from the president’s $862 billion economic stimulus are Abengoa Solar, which will build one of the world’s largest solar plants in Arizona, creating 1,600 construction jobs; and Abound Solar Manufacturing, which is building plants in Colorado and Indiana. The Obama administration says those projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.
Obama’s announcement came a day after the Labor Department reported that employers slashed payrolls last month for the first time in six months, driven by the expected end of 225,000 temporary census jobs. Meanwhile, private-sector hiring rose by 83,000 workers.
The unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent.
Obama said that while it may take years to bring back all the jobs lost during the recession, the economy is moving in a positive direction. He placed some of the blame for the slow pace of recovery on Republicans, saying GOP lawmakers, “are playing the same old Washington games and using their power to hold this relief hostage.”
Obama has said that to bring the nation’s economy back from the brink of a depression, it was necessary to add to the country’s debt in the short term.
Republicans have tried to capitalize on that growing sum. Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss said in the Republican’s weekly address that the country’s $13 trillion debt is a national security issue that will leave the U.S. vulnerable and force future generations to “pay higher taxes to foot the bill for Democrats’ out-of-control spending.”
CHICAGO – The Chicago City Council on Friday approved what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the nation, but not before lashing out at the Supreme Court ruling they contend makes the city more dangerous because it will put more guns in people’s hands.
The new ordinance bans gun shops in Chicago and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or in their garages, with a handgun. It becomes law in 10 days, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said.
The vote comes just four days after the high court ruled Americans have the right to have handguns anywhere for self-defense — a ruling that makes the city’s 28-year-old ban on such weapons unenforceable.
“I wish that we weren’t in the position where we’re struggling to figure out a way in which we can limit the guns on our streets and still meet the test that our Supreme Court has set for us,” said Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, minutes before the council voted 45-0 to approve the ordinance.
It was swift action for a council that typically takes far longer to pass ordinances, but Mayor Richard Daley — who promised the city would not “roll over” if the court ruled against the city’s handgun ban — clearly wanted to give police a law they could begin enforcing as quickly as possible.
“You have to get the tools to the police,” Daley said.
And even though the ban remains in effect until it is struck down by an appellate court, Georges said it was important to pass a new law to clear up confusion Chicagoans might have about what kind of weapons they can legally own and how they can use them.
Some residents applauded the vote.
“There’s just too much killing going on (and) we need protection,” said Mary Fitts, a retiree who came from her home on the South Side to watch the vote. “You can’t even sit on your front porch.”
Others, like Senesceria Craig, wondered how much good it would do. “They’re not going to abide by it,” she said of criminals, pointing out that her 20-year-old daughter was shot and killed with a handgun in 1992, 10 years after the city’s ban went into effect.
But gun rights supporters quickly criticized Daley and the City Council and promised lawsuits.
“The city wants to put as many hurdles and as much red tape in the way of someone who just wants to exercise their constitutional right to have a gun,” said Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association in Illinois.
Vandermyde would not say when lawsuits might be filed. But he said the ordinance would be attacked on a number of fronts — including requiring prospective gun owners to pay $15 for each firearm registered, $100 every three years for a Chicago Firearms Permit, not to mention the cost of the required training — saying they all add up to discrimination against the poor.
“How are some people in some of the poorer neighborhoods who merely want to have firearms for self-defense supposed to afford to get through all this red tape?” he asked.
David Lawson, one of the plaintiffs in the case decided by the Supreme Court this week, agreed. He wondered if a challenge could be raised over the issue of training, saying it’s unfair to require training but prohibit that training from taking place in the city.
Daley and Georges said they expect lawsuits but that they were confident they could withstand legal challenges.
The ordinance also:
• Limits the number of handguns residents can register to one per month and prohibits residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.
• Requires residents in homes with children to keep handguns in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks and requires residents convicted of a gun offense to register with the police department, much as sex offenders are now required to do.
• Prohibits people from owning a gun if they were convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence or two or more convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Requires prospective gun owners to be fingerprinted, take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range.
• Calls for the police department to maintain a registry of every registered handgun owner in the city, with the names and addresses to be made available to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders.
Those who have handguns, illegal under the ban, would have 90 days from the day the ordinance is enacted to register those weapons.
Residents convicted of violating the ordinance face a fine of up to $5,000 and be locked up for as long as 90 days for a first offense, and a fine of up to $10,000 and as long as six months behind bars for subsequent convictions.
Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, chairman of Keep America Safe, and an increasingly prominent voice in national security politics, has released a statement calling for Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele to resign:
RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s comments about the war in Afghanistan were deeply disappointing and wrong. The chairman of the Republican party must be unwavering in his support for American victory in the war on terror — a victory that cannot be accomplished if we do not prevail in Afghanistan. I endorse fully Bill Kristol’s letter to Chairman Steele. It is time for Chairman Steele to step down.
Cheney joins Weekly Standard editor Kristol, former South Carolina Republican Party chair (and Steele opponent) Katon Dawson, and prominent conservative blogger Erick Erickson in calling for Steele’s resignation. The controversy started after Steele was recorded telling a group of Republican candidates Thursday that the war in Afghanistan is “a war of Obama’s choosing.” “This was not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in,” Steele told the group, adding that “the one thing you don’t do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan.”
Rifle through a stack of Tea Party candidate resumes, and Joe Miller’s will stand out.
The man who wants to turn a fellow Republican, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, out of office is a graduate of Yale Law School and West Point, a decorated combat veteran and former judge. Many Tea Partiers share his disdain for Washington, its political gridlock and mounting debt, but not his credentials.
The message he conveys, though, is straight from the Tea Party script: He fears the nation is veering toward socialism and insolvency. He says Murkowski is too liberal.
To Miller, Alaska’s senior senator is complicit in the ballooning U.S. debt and spending and has a voting record that would make a Democrat proud. His agenda envisions
a federal government with reduced limits. He would cut off federal dollars for the United Nations, gradually privatize Medicare and Social Security and disband federal departments that aren’t spelled out in the Constitution, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Education Department.
“The problem,” he says, “is incumbency.”
In an election year marked by Tea Party activism, Miller is part of the next wave of Republican primary candidates counting on a public weary of Washington and the stale economy, and eager for fresh faces. In more than a dozen primaries in the months ahead — among them Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, Colorado, Arizona, Washington state and Florida — Tea Party candidates are determined to upend the status quo and capture GOP nominations.
Could Miller be the next Rand Paul or Sharron Angle — Tea Party-backed candidates who stunned GOP powerbrokers in Kentucky and Nevada?
Murkowski, a moderate and the first woman elected to Congress from Alaska, “is pretty safe but you never know,” says Judy Eledge, president of the Anchorage chapter of the Alaska Federation of Republican Women.
Eledge, who is not aligned with either candidate, says Murkowski’s biggest challenge will be reassuring conservatives. On Friday, the senator announced her opposition to President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan.
As a state legislator, Murkowski voted to raise alcohol taxes and against a bill to restrict publicly funded abortions. As a member of the GOP Senate leadership, she has displayed a centrist streak. Independents who make up more than half Alaska’s registered voters can vote in the Aug. 24 primary, which analysts say will benefit the incumbent.
Miller has gotten a boost from endorsements from Sarah Palin, the Tea Party Express and local Tea Party groups. But Murkowski has $2 million in the bank and has a familiar name in Alaska politics. Her father, Frank Murkowski, was a governor and senator. As governor, he appointed his daughter in 2002 to the Senate seat he had held.
Former Alaska lawmaker Andrew Halcro, a friend and supporter of Lisa Murkowski, says her moderate brand of politics fits well in a state where most voters don’t belong to any party. But the prevailing sour mood in the U.S. poses a threat.
“Like a lot of states, you have an angry populace” in Alaska, Halcro says. “If I’m Lisa, I am worried because these guys have an appealing message — down with government, down with incumbents.”
Surprises are the norm this year.
Three-term Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah was ousted by Tea Partiers at the state GOP convention in May. Tea Party darling Angle engineered a come-from-behind victory in Nevada over an establishment-preferred candidate and will challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November. Rand pulled off a surprise win in Kentucky’s Senate race over a party favorite. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was forced out of the GOP by Tea Party-backed Marco Rubio and is running as an independent. In South Carolina, Palin’s support and Tea Party activists helped GOP state Rep. Nikki Haley emerge from a crowded field to capture the GOP nod for governor.
In Colorado, the GOP Senate nomination appeared destined for a former lieutenant governor, Jane Norton. But Republican prosecutor Ken Buck has emerged as a rising Tea Party star by blending grass-roots organizing, a message of ideological purity and a folksy appeal he shares with candidates such as Angle.
In Tennessee, a Tea Party Republican seeking a congressional seat in a crowded field has made headlines by opposing construction of a suburban Nashville mosque. Candidate Lou Ann Zelenik says the “Islamic training center” is part of a political movement “designed to fracture the moral and political foundation of Middle Tennessee.”
“Until the American Muslim community finds it in their hearts to separate themselves from their evil, radical counterparts, to condemn those who want to destroy our civilization … we are not obligated to open our society to any of them,” Zelenik says. She hopes to replace Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon, who is retiring after 13 terms.
In Washington state, former professional football player Clint Didier is questioning the Republican credentials of party-recruited candidate Dino Rossi in the scramble to take on three-term Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.
The true test of the Tea Party candidates is whether they can attract moderate and independent voters to win in November.
Republican Ron Johnson, the owner of a Wisconsin-based company that makes plastic packaging materials, has called for reducing the size of the government, opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants and cap-and-trade legislation, and advocates repealing the health care
overhaul law. He’s also said man-made global warming hasn’t been proved and he questioned how Social Security is different from a Ponzi scheme.
Johnson is willing to spend as much as $15 million of his money to unseat three-term Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.
Alaska, which fared better than most states in the recession and where every fourth worker holds a government job, has not been a center of Tea Party unrest. Nonetheless, in advance of the primary, Murkowski appears to be moving defensively to the political right. Her first campaign ad depicts her a strong conservative who wants to shrink government and taxes. A snapshot on her website shows her with a shotgun on her shoulder. She’s calling for repeal of the health care overhaul.
Miller has criticized Murkowski for the growth of Washington spending on her watch and her vote for 2008 bank bailouts, issues that bedeviled Bennett in Utah. His website features a point-by-point breakdown of Murkowski’s votes on issues from abortion to energy policy, contrasted with his own.
As Washington considers capping carbon emissions, Murkowski’s moves are being shadowed by Miller, who believes the science behind climate change is inconclusive.
“I have smoke that comes out of my chimney. You are going to tell me the federal government has a right to regulate that? Somehow it’s affecting interstate trade? Or somehow that smoke is going to impact a resident of the state of Washington?” Miller asks. “I just don’t buy off on that.”
“Ultimately, much of what the federal government does today needs to be transferred over to the states,” he says.
One clarification: This isn’t a list of the top conservatives in America, although in many cases these Twitter-users and leading conservatives overlap. There are plenty of terrific conservative writers, politicians, and activists who don’t use Twitter, or if they do, they don’t use it well. But if your goal is to keep up in rapid-fire fashion with the conservative movement, here are the places to go.
1. @ewerickson — RedState is arguably the most important conservative blog in the world, and RedState’s top guy, Erick Erickson, is prominent on Twitter. This, of course, makes him an obvious choice for the top spot. Erickson’s significance is increased by his willingness to call-out fellow Republicans who stray from conservatism.
2. @NewtGingrich — It should be no surprise that former Speaker Gingrich, who has always embraced ideas, innovation and technology, should also embrace Twitter. Though not prolific on Twitter, Gingrich doesn’t just use the medium as a top-down communications tool to get his message across, he also interacts with the Twitter community.
3. @EdMorrissey — Aside from consistently providing interesting and insightful commentary, Ed Morrissey of the popular conservative blog HotAir serves a vital function on Twitter for online conservatives: He often acts as an unofficial conservative liaison to mainstream journalists, engaging them in friendly debates and conversations.
4. @MelissaTweets — While many conservative writers, politicians and activists have wisely leveraged Twitter to advance their ongoing efforts, the medium seems to have propelled Melissa Clouthier to our attention. To be sure, Clouthier is also a good blogger and podcaster, but this mom (who also runs a part-time chiropractic practice) has Tweeted her way into conservative opinion leader status.
5. @JoeNBC — As his Twitter bio, “Keep Calm and Carry On” implies, former congressman (and MSNBC host) Joe Scarborough advocates mutual respect and civil debate. Some conservatives, no doubt, believe Scarborough isn’t conservative enough, but he serves an important function, injecting common-sense conservative principles into the consciousness of an audience that otherwise may never hear opposing viewpoints.
6. @jstrevino — Josh Treviño is a co-founder of RedState and founder and president of Treviño Strategies and Media, Inc. Not a passive Twitterer, Treviño frequently engages in heated conversations and debates — and often uses his keen intellect and quick wit to lampoon his liberal adversaries. If Joe Scarborough’s Twitter feed is about staying calm, Treviño’s feed is about getting caffeinated.
7. @JimGeraghty — National Review’s Jim Geraghty is an essential follow for anyone interested in campaigns and elections. Prone to humorous one-liners that get Re-Tweeted, Geraghty recently noted that, “Now we know what caused Gen. Petraeus’ fainting spell last week: A shocking premonition.”
8. @seanhackbarth — The online communications adviser for the Senate Republican Conference, Sean Hackbarth is probably the most embedded and engaged of all GOP congressional staffers in the conservative Twitter community.
9. @KevinMaddenDC – The former Romney (and DeLay and Boehner) spokesman turned public affairs VP (and frequent cable TV talking head), Kevin Madden provides a center-right/ D.C. “insider” perspective. Expect smart insights into political strategy and messaging as well.
10. @mkhammer — The Weekly Standard’s Mary Katharine Ham brings her unique sense of humor and acute political analysis to Twitter.
11. @bdomenech — Another RedState co-founder, Ben Domenech, currently writes for the New Ledger. From critiquing news websites or the “old world publishing business” to creating controversy over Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation, Domenech is always interesting.
12. @PatrickRuffini — As might be expected, a lot of Republican tech consultants are on Twitter, but Ruffini’s feed is always relevant and engaging.
13. @AndyRoth — The Club for Growth is arguably the most powerful force in Republican primary elections, and Andy Roth is their VP of government relations. If you’re interested in knowing where fiscal conservatives stand on a certain issue — or if you’d like the occasional free market economics lesson — this feed is for you.
14. @StevenErtelt — His Twitter bio says it all: “As the founder and Editor of LifeNews.com, Steven Ertelt has provided the pro-life community with news via the Internet since 1993.”
15. @dmataconis — If you’re looking for snarky insight into what the libertarian wing of the conservative movement thinks on a given issue, ‘Below the Beltway’s Doug Mataconis is a good feed to follow.
16. @allahpundit — HotAir’s Allah Pundit is as mysterious as the unexplained links he Tweets. His “hmmmm” Tweets are always must clicks.
17. @PhilipaKlein — Philip Klein is a correspondent for The American Spectator and closely follows legislation and elections. Klein often takes unpredictable stances, such as his recent full-throated defense of former Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel.
18. @MikeRiggs — A staff writer at the Daily Caller, Mike Riggs tends to represent the libertarian wing of the conservative movement. Riggs’ Tweets are often hilarious — and always irreverent. Those opposed to salty language in their morning Tweets should skip this one.
19. @Cubachi — We don’t know Jennifer’s last name, but we do know her Twitter handle, “Cubachi,” relates to her Cuban/Chinese heritage. Jennifer exercises an outsized influence on Twitter, due to her ongoing conversations with other prominent conservatives. Jennifer is prolific on Twitter, and this includes her coverage of events like American Idol and the World Cup. Non-conservatives who think conservatives are boring old white men who only talk about policy would find following Cubachi to be an enlightening experience.
20. @johnhawkinsrwn — A popular conservative blogger who runs Right Wing News and is a frequent columnist for Townhall.com, John Hawkins does not mince words. Those looking for a daily dose of pure, unadulterated, conservative red meat Tweets need look no further.
21. @MichelleMalkin — Though not prolific on Twitter or overly interactive with the community, Malkin has embraced the medium to a greater extent than most conservatives of her stature.
22. @snarkandboobs — The conservative Twitterverse is stacked with interesting conservative ladies who have taken to the medium with a vengeance. Lori Ziganto is one of the best.
23. @rsmccain — Robert Stacy McCain has aptly been described as “the conservative Hunter S. Thompson.” Now imagine if Hunter Thompson was on Twitter!
24. @danriehl — Most notable for his willingness to call-out powerful conservatives, Dan Riehl blogs at Riehl World View. In Riehl’s world, no one — from RedState’s Erick Erickson to National Review — is above questioning.
25. @CalebHowe – RedState blogger Caleb Howe is a prominent presence on Twitter. Count on Caleb for sometimes funny — and other times extremely harsh — Twitter rants from the right.
Long considered a tool for fomenting socialist revolution in America, the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” was a sociopolitical theory developed by left-wing ivory tower-dwellers Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. I’m sure the foil hat-wearing adherents of this line of thinking will complain here about my oversimplification of the plan and general lack of nuance, but basically, it seeks to undermine the (American) government by overloading said government with dependents needing welfare.
Apparently, this will force the government into recognizing that there are a lot of dependents out there (artificially created, no doubt), which would inevitably lead to the United States’ government establishing a guaranteed national income or some such poppycock. You see, folks? This is what happens when you let sociologists from the Ivy League be taken seriously.
Sadly, many in the Democratic Party have adopted this strategy as a way to build their base and solidify their political power, believing that Cloward and Piven knew what the hell they were talking about and that, by some miracle, crashing the national economy by using welfare and other government payout programs as a tool would bring about even larger government.
This seems a clear-cut case of throwing the logical conclusion to the four breezes so we can focus on our much-wanted outcome: a socialist fantasy-land for all the little boys and girls everywhere across the land.
Now, I may not be an Ivy League professor or even a lowly graduate, but it seems to me that bloating government and overloading already burdened bureaucracies would totally crash them. As in: they’re over. Kaput. No existen más.
If the demands on the state are so great that they force a breakdown of the existing bureaucracies, basically bankrupting the government, how in blazes is it then possible to further increase the size of government to provide everyone the same pay every year? It isn’t.
First, adding people to the welfare rolls depletes the numbers of gainfully employed citizens, reducing revenues and increasing government costs. Second, with these new people now dependent on government, they are less likely to seek gainful employment (since getting money for free is fun and all). This will establish a larger permanent welfare class. Third, there will soon arise a situation where those who remain gainfully employed cannot work hard enough or long enough to generate the revenues needed to provide for the ever-increasing number of takers.
This cycle continues until all meaningful revenues dry up and the system essentially chokes on its own largesse and dies. Then, Cloward and Piven would have us believe, a new, bigger government/bureaucracy/candy store of others’ labors will arise to make sure everything is fair for everyone forever. This leaves unresolved the question: Now that the government is broke and the productive sector is broke and/or gone, who’s going to finance this?
No one. We have just entered a state of sociopolitical and economic upheaval. It will not, however, render a large, omni-providential state that will be able to assure everyone’s equitable financial well-being in perpetuity. In fact, it won’t even get off the ground.
What will likely happen instead is a brief state of chaos wherein the dependent drones of the government trudge zombie-like to collect their “benefits” and “entitlements.” Then, seeing that those goodies can no longer be had, they probably turn like a spider monkey on their masters, who promised them these things would keep on coming. Then, desperate, some of these folks might move out into the suburbs and rural areas to pillage and plunder for those things they “need.” After a few nasty encounters with the well-armed populace, this activity will shortly be curtailed, and some semblance of order will be restored in some areas.
This is what some might call a WTSHTF scenario (I’m not good with acronyms, but I think it means something bad), or an anarchy state whereby small regions will band together for common defense. Whether it be a rudimentary (albeit modern) version of feudalism or ancient Greek-style polis or small geographic regions that unite for survival — it matters not. Small government will be achieved. And that would be the antithesis of what Cloward and Piven want.
In short, overloading the state will destroy the state, not make it bigger and better. Of course, once I get my degree from Yale, I may think differently. I’ll keep you posted.
Hoss Varad is an American political observer, philosopher, satirist, and all-around politically incorrect kind of guy. More of his drivel can be found at junkpanic.com.
Crofton, Maryland – Brian Murphy, Republican Candidate for Governor of Maryland, will announce his candidate for Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday, July 6th, at 11:00 a.m. at Murphy for Maryland Headquarters, 2145 Priest Bridge Drive, Unit #17, Crofton, MD 21114.
Brian Murphy, a Maryland businessman, has selected a running mate whose experiences and expertise perfectly complement his own. Murphy’s running mate has served the United States with distinction, including duty in the United States Marine Corps, the FBI, the office of Federal Inspector General, and as a Congressional Investigator. Mr. Murphy’s running mate currently serves as a college forensics professor.
This event is open to press and public. Doors will open at 10:00 a.m.
And so we get to the peak of the peak; the top ten Minnesota Conservatives that Minnesota liberals and Democrats hate! These, for the most part, are the people who drive Minnesota liberals into paroxysms of rage because…they disagree with them.
Drum roll please!
10. Ed Morrissey: Yeah, I’m surprised the mild-mannered Morrisey made the top ten, too. Maybe it’s the effortlessness of it all that they hate so much; Ed, my radio colleague, mows through national lefties like a riding mower through a cabbage patch, and doesn’t break a sweat, and makes it back to the Morrissey Mansion in time for reruns of The Wire with the First Mate; he may have more influence on national opinion than Media Matters, and until recently he did it for the love of the game. If you were George Soros, you’d hate that.
9. Norm Coleman: There is nothing the left hates worst than apostates; we’ve seen how they detest female conservatives throughout this poll; Democrats who flip parties are one circle of Lib Hell removed from them. Norm flipped when he was mayor of Saint Paul, and went on to be the best Senator this state has had in years, and the best we’re likely to have until at least 2014.
8. Mitch Berg: Huh? Me? A guy with a blog that gets a respectable but strictly-C-list 2,000 visits a day? OK, I claim home field advantage; I got a lot of votes, but my passion index was the lowest on the Top Ten. Still, it’s fun to see! Thanks!
7. Jason Lewis: Let’s not mince words; Lewis is to Minnesota conservatism what the Wright Brothers were to aviation; before them, conservatism and heavier-than-air flight were both theories; it took them to make it all happen. Jason Lewis brought the Reagan Revolution at long last to Minnesota. His impact on politics in this state is easy, and wrong, to understate. Before Jason Lewis, Arne Carlson was the face of the GOP in Minnesota. Without Lewis, he still very well might be. And that makes the DFL and media’s (pardon the redundancy) jobs harder. And we know how liberals hate to work.
6. David Strom: If Jason Lewis brought the Reagan Revolution to Minnesota, David Strom taught that revolution how to invoke Hayek and spell Friedman and, by the way, how to make their representatives do it, too. If the DFL sold dartboards, his picture would be on them.
5. Michael Brodkorb: Michael – my former NARN co-host – cut his public-image teeth as the owner of Minnesota Democrats Exposed, and became the Matt Drudge of the Minnesota alt-media almost overnight. He didn’t just eat the Dems’ lunches every day; he ran laps around them, and never broke a sweat, ever. If anyone has ever let the air out of the Minnesota political media establishment’s tires, it was Brodkorb. He’s earned the hate!
4. Katherine Kersten: The Twin Cities’ leftymedia hated Kersten partly because she didn’t know the secret handshake; she didn’t get her late, lamented column after years of covering city council meetings and dog shows and one-car crashes; she actually had a productive career – but there are few things journos hate worse than people who get printed in newspapers without bothering to join the Order of Most High Priests of Information. And if journos hate her, then the DFL will hate her too (even without considering that she’s a female and a conservative, which puts her beyond the pale); and Democrats hate whomever their superiors tell them to hate. So Kersten became a reviled figure, even though most of those doing the reviling, the Twin Cities leftyblogs and their followers, had put no more thought into it than dog puts into fetching a stick. Although she’s #4, she had the second-highest “Passion Index” – average ranking – of anyone in the poll.
3. Rep. Tom Emmer: Of course, there’s almost nobody the Democratics hate more than any conservative who can beat them. Emmer finished third; I suspect it’ll move up after the Dems have to figure out how to make Mark Dayton beat him this fall. I suspect Tom’ll make a run for #2. But not #1. You’ll see why.
2. Governor Tim Pawlenty: The DFL hates him for the same reason the Persians hated King Leonidas of Sparta; because he almost singlehandedly stymied them on pure personal and conservative principal for four years, fighting against two DFL-controlled chambers and a media that would have to develop a whole lot of integrity to be called merely “in the bag for the DFL”. TPaw is only reason all income above the “living wage” hasn’t been confiscated from you by the State of Minnesota and given to AFSCME. In a just world, he’d be in the top three contenders for the White House. He knows how to beat back the DFL like perhaps nobody in history; he’s more than earned the hatred.
And finally, the most-hated conservative in Minnsota…
1. Rep. Michele Bachmann: It wasn’t even close. She not only got more votes overall, but never finished lower than #2 in anyone’s rankings, and even then only two or three times. Her “Passion Index” is just south of a perfect “10″, over two points higher than the next highest contender, Kersten. Bachmann is everything the left hates rolled up into five feet three inches of explosive charisma; she’s a pro-lifer who’s spent a life putting her money where her mouth is (five biokids and a couple dozen foster kids), she’s been sounding the most articulate jeremiads about the federal spending orgy of anyone on Capitol Hill; she is one of the faces of the Tea Party (which, to the horror of the left, is led and largely peopled by women); she endures the most scabrous assaults of anyone in Washington, slips them all and bobs back up smiling and shooting from the hip (with an AR15 – oh, yeah, she’s a perfect 100 on Second Amendment issues, too). Bachmann is unabashedly Christian and Reaganite and Pro-shining-city-on-the-hill – all things that give Minnesota liberals seizures. And not only is she a woman, but she’s among the leaders of this year’s conservative female revolution, which threatens to undercut the Democratics’ traditional monopoly on the female vote.
You can see steam shoot out of lefties’ ears when her name is mentioned – partly for what she stands for, and partly for how she does it; with the pure glee that comes from always kicking your opponents’ asses in every way.
Congrats, Rep. Bachmann!
So there we go for this year! Maybe this will be an annual, or at least biennial, tradition…