And then there were Nine ..

Almost 200 applied to be our Next Great Political Blogger. Our judges have selected 9 finalists. Now it's up to you!:

  • You'll find 3 submissions for each blogger. Everyone was asked to respond to the same challenge.
  • The finalists were issued two challenges: "What are the top 3 reasons Sarah Palin should be our next President"
    and "What are the top three reasons Scott Brown misled MA voters"
  • All bloggers had the same amount of time for the challenge.
  • Click on the challenge name or the tag line for any blog to read it in full.
  • Vote for your favorite by clicking the radio button next to the blogger.
  • When you've made your selection, click 'Confirm Your Vote' to review your votes and confirm.
  • Voting ends Saturday December 11, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced near December 17th.

Go ahead, get started!
  Our 9 Finalists   Rick Silva
Michael Stopa
Kevin Townsley
Gordon Plutsky
Adam Ramey
Jim Moran
Kevin McCarthy
Michael Greenstein
Ed Kelleher
Adam Ramey
The Blog Entries  When Tim Cahill entered the race for Governor of Massachusetts, it looked as if he could win. He bucked his own Democratic Party.....  click to read or hide

Orginal Blog

When Tim Cahill entered the race for Governor of Massachusetts, it looked as if he could win. He bucked his own Democratic Party and set forth to run a non-partisan, center-right campaign. At first, the idea seemed plausible. He had statewide name-recognition, oodles of money in the bank, and poll numbers putting him on top of the incumbent, Deval Patrick. I suppose Cahill figured that all of this, plus the fact that most Massachusetts voters are unenrolled in either political party, would work to his advantage.

And then reality set in. Cahill's old pals in the Democratic Party walked away from him. The Republican Governor's Association began to pour countless dollars in to the race. By Christmas of 2009, the presumptive Republican nominee, Charlie Baker, overtook Cahill. Since then, Cahill's campaign has been inching ever closer towards irrelevance. Most recently, his top advisors and his running mate have all jumped ship. It would seem that all is lost and that the best thing to do would be to endorse Baker and leave the race honorably.

Well, that is what a logical candidate would do. Cahill seems to defy logic at every pass. The more I think about it, Tim Cahill seems to have a lot in common with the lovable madman of Spanish literature, Don Quixote. Like Quixote, Tim lives in a delusional world, a world in which polls are wrong and the establishment is "out to get him." It's fair to say that Tim's paranoia is only exceeded by that of the 9/11 "truthers." Despite mounting evidence that he has no shot at winning, Tim refuses to quit. What's more: like a madman, he actually believes that he can win.

On the one hand, you want to admire his tenacity, just like the lovable Don Quixote. On the other hand, you want to question his motives. While Quixote's charging at windmills had little practical impact on life, Cahill's crusade has real implications in the Governor's race. Every poll that has been released since 2009 has Deval Patrick under 50%. This means that if there was only one main anti-Deval candidate, they would likely win. However, Cahill's reluctance to quit is splitting the moderate-to-conservative vote. As a result, Deval will likely win reelection.

Now, I could be just as delusional as Tim's campaign and start to come up with conspiracy theories of my own. For example, I could argue that Tim is in cahoots with Governor Patrick in order to hand him reelection. However, since I live in the real world, I will refrain from such thought experiments.

At this moment, Tim has two options. He can stay in the race and be remembered as the deranged villain who gave Deval Patrick a second term. Alternatively, he can leave the race and be remembered as a likeable Don Quixote. I know what a rational candidate would do. The questions is, does Tim?

Entry One

What are the top 3 reasons Scott Brown has misled MA voters?

I remember January 19 like it was yesterday. I was sitting with a group of friends in upstate New York watching a somewhat snowy television. We were watching Fox News' coverage of the Massachusetts special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. During most Massachusetts elections, watching returns is rather pointless. The Democrats dominate the state in voter registration, executive offices, the state legislature, and the delegation to Congress. To add insult to injury, the Republicans are usually inept, nominating candidates who do not have a snowball's chance in Hades of winning. Occasionally, as in the case of the great Jack E. Robinson, the Republican candidate at least makes the election humorous. But I digress.

This election was somehow different. The Democrats nominated Martha Coakley, the state attorney general who actually made John "Lurch" Kerry seem exciting. The Republicans went with state senator Scott Brown, a good looking, well-spoken legislator with a knack for connecting with voters. Riding his pickup truck around the state, Scott rallied the silent majority and, to my astonishment, won the election that January night.

I simply could not believe it: a Republican from Massachusetts winning Kennedy's seat! Could Massachusetts finally be emerging from decades of a blue abyss? Was a previously-silent conservative majority propelling a solid conservative to Washington from Massachusetts?

In a word, no. Though the national Republican Party supported Scott Brown and though he took a stand against Obamacare, it turns out that Scott is not quite what he led us to believe. Is he a Republican? Yes. But, is he a conservative? No. As luck would have it, Senator Brown has hoodwinked us on a number of accounts. I will go through these in no particular order.

Scott acted as if he was an all-round conservative. Though he towed a conservative line throughout the campaign, Brown is no conservative. Is he conservative on some issues? Sure. Overall, he is actually quite liberal. Using rigorous statistical methods, University of Chicago political scientist Boris Shor found that Scott is and has been a very liberal Republican, more liberal than Susan Collins or even the infamous Dede Scozzafava. (Remember her?)

Scott said he was a fiscal conservative. Okay, so Scott is more liberal on social issues. This is not shocking in Massachusetts. What is really important is that he is a fiscal conservative - right? Wrong. Scott voted for the multi-billion dollar jobs bill (which created no jobs) and for the Democrats' woefully misguided financial reform bill. Billions of dollars and oodles of new regulations and absolutely nothing positive in return. Oh, wait - that's right - my ATM fees are going up.

Scott pledged to be a "clean" politician. So much for that. The millions he has racked up at lobbyist parties and fundraisers since his election say it all.

Maybe I was delusional or daydreaming, but I really thought Scott was going to be different. In the end, he turned out to be just another RINO.

Entry Two

What are the top 3 reasons why Sarah Palin should be the next President of the United States?

Sarah Palin should not run for the office of President of the United States (POTUS). She lacks the gravitas, the knowledge, the leadership skills, and, frankly, the seriousness that is required of this job. Though she fails squarely on the right flank of the Republican Party, her numerous verbal gaffes and excessively-folksy style make her come across as, for lack of a better phrase, a female version of George W. Bush.

There, I said it. (Waiting for the hail of gunfire to pass.)

Now that I have that off my chest, I can tell you why I think Sarah Palin should be the next POTUS. I know what you are thinking: didn't he just go off on a diatribe against Mrs. Palin? While I do not think she should run and that there are many more qualified conservatives waiting in the wing, I do think she would be a vast improvement over over-hyped, over-rated, and politically dysfunctional presidency of Barack Obama. Here are three reasons why I think this is the case.

First: she is on the right side of almost all issues. Sarah supports fiscal restraint, low taxes, gun rights, and strong national defense; she opposes abortion, same-sex marriage, cap-and-trade, and endless government bailouts. Unlike the rest of the Republican crop, she has not wavered on any of these issues throughout the years. Most importantly, she is on the exact opposite side of Obama on all these issues and, since we know he is almost exclusively wrong, she must be correct.

Second, she connects with the average American voter. Sarah and Todd Pailin are two, loving parents raising a family of normal kids with (somewhat) normal lives. They camp, hike, and enjoy the sorts of activities that millions of families across the nation do. Contrast this with the Obamas who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lavish vacations in Europe and who probably never camped outdoors a single time in their lives. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with having an expensive vacation, because as far as I am concerned there is not. What is far more important here is the level of disconnect between President Obama and the average "American Joe." This is especially important in tough times like these.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, Sarah is genuine. When she tells you her position, she is frank, honest, and unequivocal. She does not pretend to be anything other than who she is. Obama, on the other hand, cannot seem to articulate what exactly he believes. Sure, there was the whole "hope" and "change" thing, but those words were so vague as to render them meaningless. Without the aid of a teleprompter, Obama just bumbles along, unable to assemble a coherent thought. Even with all of her quirks, Sarah never leaves you in doubt on any issue.

There you have it. Should Sarah run? No.

Rick Silva
Rick Silva lives on the North Shore with his wife and kids. He plans to start contributing to in January.
The Blog Entries  ..  click to read or hide

Original Blog

Gubernatorial Candidates with Values: A Very Short Story

The Massachusetts governor's race is like The Price is Right. You don't win by being your best. You win by being just a little less crazy than your opponent. When your opponent bids $200 for that brand new car, you don't bid $10,000, you bid $201. You may be way off base, but at the end of the day you will drive away in that fabulous new car just the same.

Appearing just a little less crazy seems to be Charlie Baker's strategy. Baker is the most socially liberal Republican ever to run for Governor of Massachusetts, and he appears to be banking on the fact that Deval Patrick is just a little worse.

To be fair, if you are a fiscal conservative there are good reasons to vote for Baker. Baker wants to reduce the sales tax to 5%, cap state pensions at $90,000, and raise the retirement age for state employees from 55 to 60.

But if you are a socially conservative voter in the commonwealth, you are between a rock and a hard place. Even the Republican candidate this year is a social lefty. If you care about protecting the traditional family or the lives of unborn children, you are out of luck.

Before even one vote is cast, you know that not only won't the next governor work to protect the things you hold dear, but he will row in the opposite direction. You already know what kind of judges will be appointed; you already know what kind of bills will be signed. If you are a values voter, the election is already over. You lost.

Welcome to Massachusetts. The land where Republicans seem like Democrats, Democrats seem like socialists, and the Green-Rainbow Party almost seems reasonable by comparison. Only in Massachusetts can both the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates be seen marching in Boston's gay pride parade alongside transvestites and sadomasochists.

Rock bottom for values voters was when Baker - yes, the Republican candidate - selected openly gay State Senator Richard Tisei as his running mate. Tisei co-sponsored HB 1728, the "bathroom bill," a bill that would allow anyone to use public restrooms based on their "gender identity," which the bill defines as "a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual's assigned sex at birth."

While Baker does not support the bill himself, you can't help but wonder what criteria Baker used in selecting Tisei as his running mate. This has conservative voters scratching their heads, wondering "who are the good guys again?"

My guess is that Charlie Baker will narrowly eke out a victory. He will be the next winner on The Price is Right because he appears just one dollar less crazy than Deval Patrick. But regardless of who wins, we all know who the losers will be. The losers will be the legions of kids growing up in an upside-down society shaped by politicians who don't know right from wrong.

Entry One

Three ways that Senator Brown misled voters, and why you should be thankful for them

When Scott Brown was elected in January, Republicans partied like it was 1999. After all, he is the first Republican from Massachusetts to be elected to the U.S. Senate since 1972. If November's election proves nothing else, it is that Massachusetts elects a Republican about as often as Bill Belichick smiles: not very often.

But now some conservatives, particularly Tea Partiers, feel they were misled by Candidate Scott Brown because once he was elected he:

  1. Helped the Democrats advance the Jobs Bill
  2. Voted for the Democrats' Wall Street Reform Bill
  3. Distanced himself from the Tea Party

Senator Brown - along with four other Republican Senators - broke with GOP leaders and joined with Senate Democrats on a major jobs bill. That infuriated some conservatives because Candidate Scott Brown was touted as "the 41st Senator" who could join GOP filibusters and obstruct President Obama's domestic agenda.

When Brown voted with Democrats - and two Maine Republicans - on the Wall Street Reform Bill, inflamed conservatives got crankier than Andy Rooney. Adding insult to injury, Brown turned down an invitation to join Sarah Palin for the Tea Party Rally on the Boston Common.

While the Tea Party's frustration is understandable, they should ask themselves this question: How would you like to be a Republican Senator from Massachusetts?

Scott Brown is like the guy at the driving range who drives the cart that picks up golf balls. Everybody is taking shots at him, left, right and center. Brown knows that at the driving range called Massachusetts, almost all of the golfers are lefties. He knows that if he spends too much time catering to righties, he may as well drive his truck back to Wrentham right now. He is simply not going to get reelected in 2012 if he consistently votes the Republican party line.

Let's face facts, Massachusetts conservatives, as much as we would love to elect a true conservative to the U.S. Senate, it's just not in the cards. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, your choices are a moderate Republican or another Democrat. Christine O'Donnell couldn't get elected in Delaware, and she wouldn't have a snowball's chance in Hell in Massachusetts.

Before conservatives jump off the Scott Brown bandwagon and donate their brown barn jackets to the Salvation Army, they should think long and hard about the alternative. Ask yourself this question, Tea Party: Would Massachusetts really be better off with Martha Coakley or John Tierney or Barney Frank in The People's Seat? The answer is a resounding no.

Maybe Scott Brown did mislead voters, but he is still head-and-shoulders above any senator that Massachusetts has had in a very long time. Brown has done some very good things in the Senate, including voting against an unqualified Supreme Court nominee and opposing the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell". Scott Brown is a good senator and a good man. We should be thankful to have him.

Entry Two

There are three important reasons that Sarah Palin should be the next President of the United States

Outside of the Clinton administration, there haven't been many women in the Oval Office

In the 21st century, is it really so crazy to consider a woman for the job of president? The country has had 44 presidents and all 44 have been men. Today there are women CEOs, women astronauts, women entrepreneurs, and women linebackers. (Well, maybe not that last one, but all the others).

There was a lot of excitement about breaking barriers when President Obama was elected. As historic as that election was, blacks represent only 13% of the country. But half of the people on the planet are women. Is there really a good reason that we won't give one the chance to lead the country?

She writes stuff down on her hand like a regular person

Back in February Sarah Palin gave a speech in Nashville. When the media discovered that she had written notes on the palm of her hand, she was openly mocked by everybody from Saturday Night Live to the White House Press Secretary.

But Sarah Palin is a regular person. Regular people are busy. They go from work to pick up the kids then they run to the grocery store. Unlike Harvard elites, they don't have a teleprompter to scroll reminders like "have the executive chef pick up popsicles for Sasha".

Writing notes on your hand is something real people do in the real world. I've done it; you've done it; the mailman has done it.

The country is $13 trillion in debt and faces critical problems ranging from war to unemployment to illegal immigration. Where presidential candidates write their reminders is the very least of our problems. She can scrawl notes in crayon on a chicken for all I care.

Sure, she is quirky but her quirks are authentic, not manufactured by some high-priced Washington image consultant.

She did it on her own

Sarah Palin succeeded on her own terms. That success was due to her hard work and savvy. She didn't ride in on the coattails of a powerful husband, in stark contrast to a certain other female with presidential ambitions. (I don't want to mention any names, but her initials are Hillary Rodham Clinton).

Governor of Alaska is a substantial job that comes with veto power. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces, including the Alaska National Guard and Alaska State Defense Force. Tina Fey can satirize her all day long, but there is no denying that Sarah Palin is an accomplished politician and leader.

Compared to some of the empty suits that the major parties have put forward for president over the last few years, Sarah Palin is a breath of fresh air. Let's give her a chance.

Does she have the experience? Does she have her finger on the pulse of the American people? Can she do better than the current president?

You betcha!

Jim Moran
The Blog Entries  Republicans are helpless, this is the first election without a Kennedy around since 1944, you would think they could build on Brown momentum.....  click to read or hide

Original Blog

Republicans are helpless, this is the first election without a Kennedy around since 1944, you would think they could build on Brown momentum.

Here's what we got - Charlie Baker, electrifying right? It's October and his best ad says "We can do better" scintillating, just scintillating.

Charlie looks good on paper, trouble is people are looking at him not the paper. Why does Charlie want to be governor? What will Charlie do? When you say we can do better do you mean like Romney Care better? Or maybe just Jane Swift better? Or are you conjuring up the good old days when Weld and Cellucci ran the commonwealth for partial terms? Ah yes those were the days.

Look the difficulty is more than just giving Baker a personality transfusion, Massachusetts republicans just don't get it. Joe Malone tried to bring up a difficult personal issue of his opponents - but republicans need to play nice. Why I even heard Howie down play it when Joe tried to discuss it on Howies' show. Gentlemanly, honorable, polite republicans get creamed in the general election.

And it's not like Massachusetts voters are unwilling to support a republican candidate; they will and they have: exhibit A: Scott "41" Brown. Just after Christmas last year I sent Scott a donation of $35.00 it was a lark a silent protest on my behalf, but something happened Scott gave the voters a reason to vote for him.

Let's see what Republican congressional candidates are doing:

Signs signs everywhere a sign. John Golnick are you kidding me? If you want to make an issue about these signs then rip one up bring it to the highway department and demand our $3,000 refund.

Sean Bielat - "it's time for a change" see Charlie Baker. I remember voting against Frank in the early eighties in Fitchburg MA, voting against someone didn't work then and won't work now. By the way when was the last time Barney represented Fitchburg?

Bill Hudak - Wake up!! In another era John Tierney would have resigned and you would have walked into office - see Richard Milhouse Nixon. But John Tierney is not going to resign - see William Jefferson Clinton. Answer the question why should I vote for YOU!!! And saying you will put America back on track doesn't cut it. Get specific.

Jeff Perry - WOW. I don't care if less than 10% of it is true. You not only have to tell me why I should vote for you but you have to tell me how I explain supporting you to my wife, two daughters, two sisters, five sisters in-law, six nieces, my mother, my mother in-law and her mother. And because you didn't address it with your primary opponent and put the issue to rest over the summer you now have less than two weeks to convince us all.

November 3rd headline: Nation repudiates Obama's agenda 49 states see huge republican gains only Massachusetts stays the course.

Entry One

Scott Brown - Phenom or farce?

The majority of MA voters lean liberal and liberal democrats have long sought major healthcare legislation. Being this close after 40 years brings emotion to the forefront. The cruel irony of Kennedy's seat being up for a special election instead of an easy appointment made by the Governor may have boiled over those passions. Sentiments like Joan Vennochi's description of Scott as a "frisky truck driving guy" with "pretty packaging" represent the typical light weight dismissal of Scott's candidacy early on, that only became more pointed when it was too late. Still, Scott misled many independent liberals with his claim to be for healthcare reform just not this healthcare reform (ObamaCare), and that is patronizing when you realize Scott did support Massachusetts's state 2006 HealthCare reform bill soon to be better known as "RomneyCare".

The few conservative MA voters felt once again like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the ball away. Scott says he is a Republican but barely a month into office he casts his vote with Harry Reid in favor of Obama's job stimulus bill, ugh. Scott's statement that it "didn't cost a lot of tax dollars" earned his place as a RINO and made him a target of Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin.

Tea Party voters were just coalescing at the time of the campaign. Varley head of the Greater Boston Tea Party stated they had not endorsed Scott though they did organize a fundraiser and acknowledged other tea party groups have in fact endorsed him. For Massachusetts Tea Party voters the decision was personal and they took great pride in supporting the seemingly hapless candidacy of Scott Brown early on in the campaign. Varley showed great patience after Brown snubbed Sarah Palin's visit to Boston and hoped Brown was on their side with things that mattered. He wasn't - Brown's support of Obama's financial reform is way out of line with TeaParty platforms, the unexpected last minute change of support smacks of political maneuvering. Varley says her support of Brown is now in serious doubt.

"As a young man I worried what others thought of me, as I matured I learned not to care what others think of me, now I realize no one is (nor ever was) thinking of me." Tom Bresnahan

No one was thinking of Scott Brown in 2009.

Scott Brown did what was best for Scott Brown just like Ted Kennedy did what was best for Ted Kennedy.

Why did he mislead the voters of MA?

For their vote.

For the liberal vote,

for the conservative vote,

for the teaparty vote.

A little from each of them was enough.

Will it be enough in 2012?

This time he has a war chest of financing, he has the power of incumbency and when it comes to MA - voters have proven tolerant of their politicians transgressions (political and otherwise).

Just remember Scott - give us a reason.

Entry Two

Sarah Palin should be president because she can win.

No, not just she thinks she can win; Mitt Romney thinks he can win;

but Sarah can win.

She can win with the TeaParty's help.

Social media marketing crept up on Republicans in 2008, that won't happen again. But consider who will best maximize social media's effectiveness I suggest a passionate group of volunteer TeaParty members. Money can't buy passion and the TeaPartyer's passion is real, it is organic, it has been pent up and they are screaming to be heard.

Last month they put up their own candidates in tough races and they won.

Boehner said his leadership team "reflects a new majority ready to be humbler, wiser, and more focused than its predecessors on the priorities of the people"

And that it has these traits because it was "forged in the fires of a new movement that repudiated Washington"

Do you think Boehner gets it?

The presidential wannabes get it too.

The problem they have is it is too late to acquire their support without Sarah's endorsement. Sarah Palin is the undisputed face of the movement; she gave them credibility from the beginning. No other republican can garner their support without her blessing.

Sarah tells us what she stands for, she tells us what she will do.

TeaParty voters were disillusioned with W's fiscal policy and are apoplectic with Obama's. They don't want Sarah because she's a woman (sorry Hillary no sisterhood here). They want Sarah because she speaks plainly and she does things ordinary people understand like selling her predecessors' luxury jet.

2012 is still two years away - a long time in politics, who besides Alan Keyes took serious opposition to an unknown Obama in 2004. But which other republicans do you think the TeaParty will enthusiastically support:

Jindal? Pawlenty? Huckabee?!?! Newt? John "3rd times a charm" McCain.

Republicans have a penchant for putting up candidates who "deserve it" because it is "their turn" think McCain & Dole. Stop this sentimentality and focus on fighting and winning. We have to.

In the coming years the US will feel a lot of pain when China stops buying our debt.

China a nation 4 times more populous than us, just 20 years removed from subsistence farming will have their own political movement questioning their leaders continued investment in a nation of excess while they live under a state enforced one child policy.

And that pain will be nothing compared to when they start calling in the debts they own.

Hopefully long before that day arrives, Sarah Palin the "Thatcher" like stateswoman will come out of retirement, summon all her political acumen and do for the US what it hasn't got the political will to do for itself- sell our Chinese creditors the Alaskan oil reserves we do not use in return for retiring our debt. Only she a former president, and native Alaskan would have the clout to pull it off.

Michael Greenstein
Michael Greenstein earned his J.D. Degree from George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC. Served as a Naval Officer during the Vietnam War. Criminal Defense Attorney, Defender Assoc. of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. Associate, Law Firm of Baron & Stadfeld, Boston, MA Chief District Aide, U.S. House of Representatives, 6th C.D., Salem, MA. Staff. Served as Liaison on Nuclear Weapons Freeze issue. Traveled the District, Commonwealth, the Nation & the world promoting the Freeze. Worked with Congressman to kill the development, production & deployment of the MX Missile. Historians consider this initiative to have been the beginning of the end of the Nuclear Arms Race between the US and the former Soviet Union.
The Blog Entries  ..  click to read or hide

Original Blog


Maybe I'm just an eccentric. But you see I am someone born to Democrats, raised a Democrat, toiled in the vineyards for Democrats, lived my whole life a Democrat and considers himself a true blue, through and through Democrat. So why is it this year I feel impelled to pull the Republican lever for every candidate on the ballot.

Of course I consider myself a moderate, centrist, Harry Truman kind of Democrat. While I believe in the necessity and inevitability of progress in the domestic political arena, I am certain this kind of progress can come only over time and only after a foundation in the form of a national consensus has been established. To force-feed something as vast and far reaching as Obamacare down the throats of a resistant American people is unacceptable.

I also believe in the concept of American exceptionalism as well as a muscular foreign policy, both of which seem to cut across the grain of the Democratic Party. The Democrats perceived and very real weakness on these issues puts America at risk in this very unpredictable and dangerous world.

As a result the Democratic Party both here in Massachusetts and on the national level do not speak either for me or to me. I've been made to feel a political apostate even though I'm still a true believer. Yet because I cannot subscribe to the ultra-liberal orthodoxy that the Party would impose on all its members, I have been left to my own devices.

Because of who I am I could not in good conscience switch parties. So what do I do to change this unacceptable dynamic.

As all politics are local, I've decided to vote for change in Massachusetts. Let's shake things up here at home. I am certain there isn't one right thinking man or women who would not agree that one-party rule is bad for the body politic. It's expensive, inefficient and in instance after instance has proven to be an incubator for corruption. We need a clash of ideas fought on a level playing field. Only then are we likely to find those solutions to the myriad of problems we face that the majority of people would favor and support.

What's called for is a "wave" election right here within the borders of the Bay State. With the level of voter dissatisfaction with the status quo at an all time high, the time for institutional change is now. Not that it will be easy, for it won't. I hearken back to the Scott Brown race for the Senate. Here was a very winning candidate up against a drab, riding a once in a lifetime tsunami of voter enthusiasm, right on the issues of the moment, and in a race he should have won by 20 points he barely wins by 5 percentage points.

Until the structural Democratic advantages in Massachusetts are dismantled the kind of healthy political discourse I seek is not likely to be realized.

Entry One


When Scott Brown won "the people's seat" he declared that he owed nuthin' to nobody. Because the independent voter was the critical difference in his race he was not beholden to any party, be it Republican or Tea, nor any special interest group. All he was committed to do was to work on behalf of Massachusetts and be honest with all of us.

So why did he brazenly lie. By word and deed he exclaimed that his election represented the dawning of a new age of politics in Massachusetts. That he had irrevocably loosened the steely death grip of one-party rule in the Bay State. That from this time forward there would be the clash of ideas played out on a level playing field. That for Republicans their years of wandering in the wilderness were at an end. And that Massachusetts was once again the land of milk and honey for the Grand Old Party.

As the recently concluded elections so vividly and wretchedly revealed nothing could be farther from the truth. In truth Scott Brown and his election stirred the beast from its slumber and it awakened ravenous. When the Democrats realized they had just lost what they believed was theirs by right, they gave the Republican Party a brutal thrashing.

Total political domination by one party reigned supreme, the Democrat's power unsurpassed, even supercharged, crushed the candidacy of Charlie Baker, who would have made a great governor in these hard economic times, and elected the likes of the hack's hack, Suzanne "is it a primary or a principle residence" Bump.

That was no speed bump the Republicans ran over. Hell no, that was more like running into a bridge abutment at warp speed.

And it was no one's fault more than Scott Brown's. He did it by being a stealth candidate and sneaking up and blindsiding the legions of government toadies, union thugs, trustifarians and moon bats. May Scott Brown's teeth crack in his mouth for his perfidy and for dashing our hopes. Thanks Scottso, we can now say goodbye and good night to the dreams of a healthy two party state for at least another fifty years.

Oh yeah, there's the other smaller stuff that's been disappointing. With all of his fund- raising, not that any of it will do him any good when he runs for re-election, and traipsing around the country on behalf of other Republican candidates he seems distressingly like all those pols who have preceded him and not the glistening, unblemished champion of the people he promised to be.

He also said he would cross the aisle if need be to effectuate change, but he never suggested he would be civil to the uncivil and unspeakable Barney Frank. Sufferin' succotash, the mere thought of the two of them together just made my hair burst into flames and I think my head's about to explode.

Entry Two


The other day I found myself in the company of several lovely ladies of various ages and differing socio-economic strata. Sarah Palin's name was mentioned in passing and like a group of union big wigs and government hacks dancing over the lifeless candidacy of a Massachusetts Republican for high office they set upon the Mama Grizzly and began to savage her.

They mocked and belittled Palin's speech, intelligence and experience. The mere thought of her running for the Presidency of the United States of America resulted in gales of hysterical laughter. Had I been less discrete, I might have said this to them.

Ladies, you scoff at Sarah Palin's readiness to be President. To be fair, let us compare her to the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, one Barack "Barry" Obama, and see how she fares.

So her speech patterns and accent are grating to your ears. I'm sure the rest of the country finds our dulcet Massachusetts accent "wicked awesome". But have you taken the time lately to seriously listen to her. She is no longer the deer caught in the headlights she once was when she first burst onto the national stage. Never at a loss for words when questioned, she is now so much more certain of herself and self-assured. There's always a clever and catchy turn of phrase. In unscripted moments on the air, she's "flippin'" articulate.

Now compare this to the Prez who without his best friend TOTUS ( Teleprompter of the United States) is a stumbler and a bumbler who makes even the painfully inarticulate George W. Bush sound like the great orator Pericles.

As for executive experience she has had some whereas he had none. She at least was a Governor albeit of a small state while he was a community organizer, an Illinois legislator who was best known for voting "present" on any bill that might have been meaningful, thereby displaying early on a disturbing lack of resolve and political courage that has haunted and crippled his Presidency. Many things may be said of Palin, but being "irresolute" isn't one of them.

Next comes brains. Sarah Palin has yet to prove she's intellectually curious, but she is certainly and without doubt street smart. I find it to be an amusing contradiction when you consider she hails from a state that has fewer streets than most.

The "brilliant" Obama has shown himself to be dull witted at best in executing his initiatives, be it the closure of Gitmo, allowing Pelosi and Reid to craft and then shove Obmacare down America's throat, being rolled by the Generals in both Afghanistan and Iraq, his response to the oil spill in the Gulf, and in launching his world-wide apology tour to the everlasting chagrin of the American people.

So ladies, compared to Barack Obama, Ms. Palin makes for a plausible President. How's that workin' for ya.

Gordon Plutsky
The Blog Entries  Take yourself back to January 2009. Barack Obama was taking office with huge Democratic majorities in both houses, some said the start.....  click to read or hide

Original Blog

Take yourself back to January 2009. Barack Obama was taking office with huge Democratic majorities in both houses, some said the start of a new progressive era. Fast forward to the 2010 midterms and Democrats are about to be swept out of the House and Senate. Is this a wave election? A red wave will wash over the US, but it is a continuation of a wave that started in 2000 and will only get stronger.

We will soon look back at 2008 as an anomaly - a unique time when an unpopular president and fatigue from two wars (and Katrina) turned off independent voters in a big way. Here is why the Republicans will be setting up shop in DC for many years to come:

Geography is destiny for the House and it favors the GOP. The most telling fact is that Democratic voters tend to live in highly concentrated pockets of states and congressional districts - generally in the northeast, upper mid west and the west coast. Areas that are steadily losing population to the more Republican south and southwest - people moving along with House seats and electoral votes. The House will turn back to red this November and stay that way for quite a while.

The future of the Senate looks strong for the Republican as they will probably wind up with roughly 48 seats in 2010. That is just the appetizer. In 2012 and 2014, the Democrats will have to defend 44 seats to the Republican's 22. Where are the Democrats defending seats in 2012? How about traditional red state like Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and North Dakota. And swing states which are trending Republican in 2010 - Ohio, MO., NH, VA, and FL. It is possible to hit a filibuster proof 60 seats by 2014 - just in time to repeal Obamacare.

Thanks in part to the Tea Party; the Republicans are on the road to fixing their messaging and branding. They are back to the party of free markets, limited government and a strong national defense. The social issues and "values" that turned off independent voters are on the back shelf. The growth of right wing blogs and social media has given the movement energy while the Citizen United ruling is providing a funding advantage.

Since the revolution, there has been an anti-government streak in the American people. Popular culture portrays government officials as having an evil agenda or as bumbling fools. Our heroes are rugged individuals are people who fight the system. No one grows up dreaming of being a government official or politician.

The most important and telling survey is the one Gallup does every year - it tells us that only 20% (down from 22% in 08) of Americans identify as liberal with 35% moderate and 42% conservative (up 5% since 08). For the past two years, the liberal 20% has attempted to tell the 80% how to live and spend their money.

Entry One

Scott Brown, the rough road ahead.

Scott Brown is a nice guy in the ultimate no-win situation. He is a republican in a state where less than 15% of the voters are actually registered republicans. In November 2010, the voters of Massachusetts once again proved that they are among the most left leaning in the country. In 2009, Brown leveraged anger over heath care and a horrible opponent into an upset win. From the day the took office, it was clear he was focused on being reelected even if that meant not being the conservative hope many supporters were expecting. There are three general areas where he has disappointed.

Not only did he support the financial reform bill, but his support was crucial in getting it passed. What was even more telling was his behind the scenes horse trading with Harry Reid and Barney Frank to get it done. On the surface his intentions were good as he made a side deal that helps Mass. based State Street Bank. Sure, that is his job, but as a result he helped pass a giant, expensive bill and helped make a bunch of rich local bankers richer. Not exactly the stuff of a Tea Party Hero.

In a similar vein, his vote was critical in passing a $19 billion "jobs" bill that was of dubious value for job creation and certainly added more to the mounting deficit. Like the financial reform bill, this was the kind of federal government over reach he was sent to stop. Somehow the 41st vote became the 60th. His strategy appears to be position himself as an independent voice, but that is a flawed strategy. Every time you turn around he is paling around with John Kerry in bike shorts, not pretty. In fact, he is pulling an Obama - angering his opposition while disappointing his base. Scott Brown would be better off sticking to conservative principals and framing the 2012 election as a clear choice between himself and the standard issue liberal he is sure to run against.

Another disappointment was his late engagement in the most recent campaign. It was not until the last few weeks did he become visible for Charlie Baker and the other statewide and congressional candidates. More enthusiastic support may have helped Baker, Jeff Perry or Mary Z win their close races. His lack of energy here in Mass. was notable as he jetted around the country helping other republicans raise money. Ironically, his lack of support for Charlie Baker may come back to bite him. Gov. Patrick has already said that he won't run for a third term, which positions him to run against Brown in 2012. Patrick has become an excellent campaigner and has an ability to raise funds and get out the vote. Scott Brown has about 18 months to decide who he is politically, and if he goes down in two years it should be swinging like a real conservative.

Entry Two

Sarah for President?

Sarah Palin for President? What? On the surface the concept may seem crazy or far fetched, but at one point so was the candidacy of Obama, or Carter or even Reagan. Just for a moment, forget all the crazy media bashing she has endured and the goofy situations (i.e. Levi, Dancing with the Stars) she has put herself in and mull over the below profile. If you asked a lab to construct the perfect candidate for 2012, that candidate would look something like Sarah Palin.

Positions: A candidate who believes in state's rights, limited government and low taxes. Someone who is for a strong US military, and been an outspoken critic of the administration's response to terrorism. She is former small business person who is unabashed in her support of free and open markets, and less government red tape. Her positions on faith and family while the object of jokes from the media elite, are an advantage with millions for voters. Her Facebook post on "death panels" was a fastball at Obama's head and put him back on his heels. He never got the public back to his side on the heath care debate after that dust up.

Experience: Worked her way up the ladder via retail politics - city counsel, mayor, governor. These are positions that build executive experience and accountability in the areas of budgeting and managing personal. It makes her more qualified on some level than Obama was to take office, and is certainly on par with the other major GOP candidates who are mulling a run in 2012. She is a tough and dogged campaigner who connects with people on an emotional level.

Personality: We have seen a trend towards conservative women in politics, and you can argue Palin kick started that trend. She is youthful, engaging, funny, and yes, very attractive. These attributes do not make a great president, but they certainly don't hurt. She is a mom whom the vast majority of voters can relate to, and when she talks about sending soldiers in "harms way" it is not an abstraction, but real. Her son is in the military. While Obama is criticized for his cold detachment, Palin is empathy and understanding as the mother of a developmentally challenged child.

There is no current politician who has a better understanding of the new media world - she has created her own media channel - on Fox, on Facebook and Twitter, a new book, a reality show and countless personal appearances. There will be plenty of candidates for the 2012 GOP nomination and none of them come close to Palin for generating excitement. In fact, against a line up of dull middle age white men, she will shine. Obama is in tough shape, and he has lost the support of the white independent voter - the ones who took a flyer on him in 2008. These are just the kind of fed up voters who may take a chance on Sarah Barracuda.

Kevin Townsley
Kevin Townsley is twenty-two years old and a lifelong resident of Topsfield Massachusetts. Raised on Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr he has always been incredibly passionate about politics. Kevin has also devoted much of his time to music, spending time in China and a year in Russia studying Viola performance. Kevin is currently studying philosophy at the University of Toronto. After graduating he hopes to attend law school and ultimately pursue a career in politics.
The Blog Entries  Any Conservative will tell you that the most frustrating reality facing our side is the double standards.....  click to read or hide

Original Blog

All Conservatives are Bigots?

Any Conservative will tell you that the most frustrating reality facing our side is the double standards to which we are held. Whether it's race relations, religion, sexual orientation, foreign policy, or corruption, a single toe out of line can mean the end of a career.

This was highlighted Thursday when Juan Williams, an NPR political analyst and Fox News contributor, was fired from NPR for a comment he made, on the O'Reilly Factor, concerning Muslims: "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous." NPR considered this a revelation of Mr. Williams' latent hatred of Muslims. Of course everyone knows that all Conservatives are really bigots; some just hide it better than others. What shocked so many people, however, is that Mr. Williams is by no stripe a Conservative. The only explanation seems to be that his real crime wasn't making some innocuous statement about Muslims; rather, he had the audacity to engage in a serious debate with Conservatives.

Now, people may be shocked at the firing of minority-liberal Juan Williams, but the facts are that Conservatives have lived under this standard of lunacy for decades. Consider George Allen or Trent Lott whose political lives were snuffed out due to a single off-hand remark. Meanwhile the Democrat party is populated by teflon-would-be-tyrants who can drown a woman in their Delmont or join the KKK, yet nothing sticks.

A large allotment of the blame for these double standards rests on the Liberal Media. Any honest individual can admit that the MSM has a serpentine lean towards the Left, and that this results in a grievously dishonest portrayal of political reality. Watch MSNBC on any given night and you'll walk away thinking Barney Frank is an amicable, articulate, and well-toned heterosexual who opposed the "affordabbllelbleb" housing push over the last two decades.

While it may be infuriating or humorous pointing out the disgraceful truth ju-jitsu of the MSM, it should be noted that Republicans are primarily at fault. Not only do we engage the slanders of the left as serious debate, we often eat our own for even the slightest offense. The current political environment is evidence of this. In a year where Conservatives may take back both the senate and the house, it is our fellow Republicans doing the most damage to some of our most promising candidates.

The rub is that this self destructive tendency has a much larger effect than a defeated candidate here or there. By engaging the distorted hysterics of the left we are forwarding their principal agenda: to characterize Conservatives as evil, lunatics, or even sub-human. We are only giving Democrats justification for their unjustifiable actions.

Entry One

Stand for Something that Works.

Only a Massachusetts Conservative can truly understand the sense of relief and exuberance that accompanied the election of Scott Brown to the United States Senate. However, a sense of disillusionment with Senator Brown has been growing ever since, coming to a head this week as he joined Democrat Senator Ron Wyden in introducing the Empowering States to Innovate Act.

Originally elected as the last line of defense against Obamacare, Senator Brown has seemingly abandoned his convictions and chosen to capitulate and pander in almost McCain-like fashion. Rather than standing with his party in an effort to repeal a hopelessly broken bill, Senator Brown stands across the aisle promising an unending stream of reform-reform legislation.

Senator Brown's support of the Financial Reform bill is further evidence of his willingness to accept the false premises constantly employed by Democrats. Even while openly acknowledging the bill as a flawed entity that failed to address any real concerns, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he praised its fiscal solvency. It may be a massive and unnecessary liberty squelching boondoggle, but it pays for itself. Again Senator Brown chose to 'reform' the irreparable rather than reject it.

The question must be asked, is Senator Brown naïve or does he essentially lack the principles that he espoused while running for office? Supporting 'reform' may sound sensible and moderate, but in Washington reform is nothing more than a shibboleth. If the problems lie in massive unrestrained bureaucracies, how does the institution of larger less accountable bureaucracies resolve anything? How is that reform?

It would seem that Senator Brown simply doesn't hold limited government as a core principle. He would undoubtedly object, but the reality remains that many of his actions in the Senate have been grossly incompatible with a limited government philosophy.

It may be argued that Senator Brown is merely attempting to win reelection in 2012, but is that really any better? Principles are only principles if you hold them in earnest, regardless of political or populist headwinds. Senator Brown campaigned as a candidate who would set Washington in a new direction; one of smaller government and fiscal responsibility. That message won him the election in 2010. Abandoning that message isn't going to win him reelection in 2012.

Entry Two

The Eternal Candidate

What qualifies an individual to be President? Considering the current administration, it can't be political experience or excellence in some relevant field. Perhaps writing two autobiographies is qualification enough. If that is the case, then Sarah Palin has just entered the arena of Presidential hopefuls.

Obviously not all Republicans would like to see Sarah Palin on another Presidential ticket. The media is likely to cast Palin as the standard for the Republican Party, and push for her nomination. Any other potential candidates will be measured against her, and not in a positive way. With the memory of President Bush fresh in our minds, the prospect of another four to eight years of attack media is terrifying. Ignoring Sarah Palin's qualifications, however, would be a grave mistake. It should become the goal of the Party to enumerate what sets Sarah Palin apart.

Sarah Palin respects the United States, the Constitution, and most importantly its people. She's consistent about her message, and she doesn't let the other side frame the debate. She has all of the positive qualities that Barack Obama lacks. Qualities that are arguably a prerequisite for someone who hopes to seek office.

The fact that our current President does not respect the people or institutions that he represents makes me think that we need to redefine the standards of excellence in Washington. A Harvard degree or two autobiographies can't replace the fundamental principles needed for leadership.

Not all Republicans want Sarah Palin for President and that's fine. But whether Sarah Palin decides to run for office or not, her principles should be on the ballot in 2012.

Ed Kelleher
The Blog Entries  The health care bill runs to almost two thousand pages and took only a few months to write. War and Peace, depending on the edition.....  click to read or hide

Original Blog

On the Length of Bills

The health care bill runs to almost two thousand pages and took only a few months to write. War and Peace, depending on the edition, comes in at about one thousand pages. It took Tolstoy seven years. Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, written over twenty years, takes up six volumes, each volume containing between five and six hundred pages.

I commend our politicians on doing something great writers are notoriously unable to do: produce a massive work within the confines of a year. Not having read the bill, I'm not in a position to comment on its literary qualities, nor do I think it's reasonable to expect that bills should be written with the reader's pleasure in mind, as if a bill were a thing to read by the fire with one's dog and a glass of Riesling. (While the speeches of Burke and Cicero can be read in such a fashion, I don't know why, except as a sort of penance for some very evil deed, anyone would willingly read the utterances of our politicians). Still, in exchange for struggling through hundreds of "heretofores" and subordinate clauses, might not the reader of the health care bill-or any bill-rightfully demand that he not be made to read one more "heretofore" than necessary? We must train our politicians, or their staffs, to edit bills as rigorously as great writers edit their own work. War and Peace, while indisputably a doorstopper, could have propped the door to a vault had not Tolstoy trimmed it. Henry James, of course, was famous for his belief in editing: even the comma, he held, must have its own justification, not simply as a piece of grammar, but as a contribution to the art itself.

Now I understand why politicians make bills so long. If they made them short, they would feel obligated to read them, but by making them unmanageably long, they can rationalize basing their vote on an abstract composed by one of their staff. No one feels bad about using Cliff Notes to pass a test on Don Quixote; what embarrasses us is when we use Cliff Notes to pass a test on Ethan Frome. A bill should not detain a reader longer than a novella would, and yet most do. Therefore, I recommend that Congress, before considering another measure, pass a law prohibiting the passage of laws longer than what I consider one of the great novellas, Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, which is about one hundred pages. Though I would not prevent bills over one hundred pages from being debated, and even passed, a provision of the bill would clearly state that all language past page one hundred of any bill would be unenforceable. (Those members that whip leaders wanted to discipline might have their pork barrel projects consigned to page three hundred and fifty-nine). If a sentence at the end of page one hundred carries on to the next page.

Entry One

Scott Brown Question

The fighting words of Senator Scott Brown have given way to conciliatory ones. He speaks like a politician now; the insipid phrases "reaching across the aisle" and "working across party lines" come from his lips with increasing frequency. Doesn't he know that the people waiting across the aisle are Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, who still, even after her party's drubbing, seems as committed as ever to strutting around the Capitol like some colossus with her gavel ready to club anyone who disagrees with her? If politics is indeed the art of compromise, Senator Brown would be wise to ascertain the willingness of Reid, Pelosi, et al, to shift to their right before he shifts anymore to his left. The Senator himself seems to admit that he was naïve to overestimate the democrats' goodwill. In a Boston Globe article of November 5, he said, "I've voted with [the democrats] probably about 29, 30 percent of the time. They've voted with me zero." He's like a lover courting a young woman who gives him just enough to keep up his suit, but never enough to encourage it.

It was too much to expect the Senator to singlehandedly block Obamacare-we elected a man, not Hercules-but his vote in support of the financial reform bill drafted by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd was unconscionable. He was sent to Washington to stop Obama's agenda, and instead we find him facilitating the passage of a major item of it. What is remarkable is the Senator's willingness to support a bill written by the two men who helped destroy the economy and now, most obscenely, are patting themselves on their wide backs for propping it up. While the Senator's insistence that he is going to be an independent voice in the Senate is admirable, it almost appears he voted for the Dodd/Frank bill just to prove that he is not beholden to his party. He might have found other ways to satisfy us on this score than by voting for a bill that once again inflicts the collective wisdom of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd on an economy that is still reeling from the first installment of it.

In less than two months, Senator Brown will no longer be number 41. But he's already lost the spirit of being number 41. He's not the barn burner we all thought he would be. With the arrival of reinforcements in the form of six more Republican senators, and ten times as many Congressman, the spotlight has left the Senator, leaving him free to play footsie with a party that should, by rights, be seeking his approval. A year ago he seemed to Republicans so powerful; now, most strangely, he seems neutered. Recently, he declared himself the underdog for reelection in 2012. If he thinks this is because the democrats swept Massachusetts he is mistaken. It is because people are still unsure where the occupant of the People's Seat stands.

Entry Two

Palin Question

In her open letter to newly elected Republicans, Sarah Palin advised them to "readjust" if liberals begin applauding anything they do. Palin, unlike her former running mate John McCain, has not had to worry about applause coming from that quarter. Indeed, tired of attacking Palin, many liberals are savaging her daughter, and undoubtedly will demand a recount should Bristol win "Dancing with the Stars." Not since bored liberal computer programmers invented games to assassinate George Bush has there been such animosity toward a politician, who does not even, we must remember, hold office. The attacks are only going to get worse, for liberals, and for that matter establishment Republicans, are no longer laughing at Palin's prospects in 2012.

Most politicians must go back three generations in their family history to find someone who lived a life Americans can relate to. (Most politicians, you see, only get their hands dirty figuratively). Think of John Edwards forever reminding voters his father was a mill worker, or Dick Gephardt telling anyone who would listen-and not many people would-that his father was a milk truck driver. Palin doesn't have to hire a genealogist to scour for ancestors who lived tough, demanding lives. She has lived such a life. The reason John Kerry was such a poor candidate in 2004 was that voters got the sense he never left the drawing room. Palin is a great candidate for precisely the opposite reason: she seems never to have been in a drawing room.

What liberals perceive as Palin's deficiencies are really her assets. Take, for instance, her education. If Palin had attended Yale and then Harvard, as Bush did, liberal elites would perhaps find her less objectionable, but how are they to comprehend someone who went to four different colleges and got a concentration in something as practical as journalism? All they can do is sneer at her, as if their own intelligence and judgment were unassailable. They're either too obtuse or scared to recognize that the next election is not going to be a referendum on Palin's intelligence (should she run), but their beloved President's, whose brilliance, most troublingly for him, is no longer being taken for granted.

If Palin lacks the traditional political pedigree, she does have the support of the Tea Party. No other prospective Republican candidate can command the potential force of this movement as she can. While Huckabee and Romney try desperately to ingratiate themselves with the Tea Party, Palin has long known the password and is now sitting at the controls. Her force seems irresistible. Unlike Obama's endorsement, hers was pined after, and those who got it generally won. Five million people watched the first episode of Palin's television show. Legions of Tea Partiers, anxious to see her on the 2012 ticket, are voting for Bristol in the meantime. Palin's new book arrives in bookstores this week. If Bristol wins and Palin's book outsells Obama's recent offering, democrats will have some very troublesome omens to interpret.

Kevin McCarthy
The Blog Entries  One always has to wonder about the wisdom (if any) of Sarah Palin. You will remember that the laughingly under-educated former half-term ex-quitting of Governor.....  click to read or hide

Original Blog

Palin's Positively Putrid Political Pals

One always has to wonder about the wisdom (if any) of Sarah Palin. You will remember that the laughingly under-educated former half-term ex-quitting of Governor of Alaska was incapable of naming any newspapers or magazines that she currently reads; did not know what the "Bush Doctrine" was; did not know that South Africa was a country and thought that the bank bailout was "to help those that are concerned about health care reform". She could not name a single Supreme Court case other than Roe v Wade. She also invented "death panels" which were deemed the "biggest lie of 2009" and believed that Vladimir Putin spent all his free time "rearing his head" in the "airspace of Alaska". In simple terms, Sarah Palin has proven to be a moron.

Perhaps in an effort to redeem her public image, Sarah Palin has shied away from any substantive discussion of domestic or foreign policy during the last year or so. Instead of potentially embarrassing herself yet again by revealing a true lack of knowledge, she has elected to spend her time endorsing Teapublican candidates for office. Her plan has failed. The radically nutty right-wing conservatives upon whom Palin has bestowed her blessing are as crazy or crazier than "Mama Grizzly". Consider these examples.

Clint Didier: Teapublican candidate for a Washington U.S. Senate seat. Didier ran on a platform of opposing what he called "government handouts". Apparently however he did not oppose government handouts to himself, as he received farm subsidies, for wheat and corn, [that] amounted to $103,888. Didier was defeated in the Republican primary election.

Nikki Haley: Haley is the Teapublican nominee in the South Carolina gubernatorial election. The State newspaper has raised questions about unethical behavior that led Haley to obtain an unwarranted $100,000 fundraising job and a further $42,000 from a state contractor while she was a state legislator. Before obtaining this income under questionable circumstances Haley's personal financial situation was collapsing, with half of her family's income paying off interest on her mortgage. After these revelations her numbers have decreased dramatically in recent polling. Much like the most recent Republican Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, it has been alleged that Haley has had at least two extramarital affairs.

Carly Fiorina: Fiorina is the Republican nominee for a California U.S. Senate seat. She was formerly the disgraced CEO of Hewlett-Packard Company. She was forced to resign from the company after nearly driving it into the ground in 2005. In April 2009, the business magazine web site Condé Nast Portfolio listed Fiorina as one of "The 20 Worst American CEOs of All Time". Fiorina is hoping to garner a lot of votes this November but The Los Angeles Times research of public records indicated Fiorina had failed to vote in most every election that she has been eligible to cast a vote. This week Fiorina publicly stated that she believes that Sarah Palin is qualified to be President of the United States. 'Nuff said.

Entry One

Turn Out The Lights: For Scott Brown The Tea-Party Is Over

Remember back in January when Republicans and Tea Partiers were giddy over the election of Scott Brown to "Ted Kennedy's" Massachusetts Senate seat? Well, something funny happened on the way to the 2012 Republican nomination for President. Scott Brown has demonstrated that he is not the dependable conservative rubber-stamp that the Teapublicans thought they had elected. Indeed, the Republicans' "Poster Child for Massachusetts Relevance" has misled his supporters on at least three occasions.

First, he never had that opportunity to cast his oft-referenced 41st vote against Health Care Reform. The Democrats outmaneuvered Brown and denied him the chance to become a Republican hero when they passed the law via the reconciliation and modification procedure that required only 51 Senate votes. In fact, the historical record will reflect that Brown's first meaningful Senate vote was cast in favor of a Democratic Party jobs bill that was bitterly opposed by Teapublicans.

Secondly, in May, the clothing-challenged former centerfold model broke with the Republicans once again and voted in favor of cloture on the Democratic Party's Financial Reform bill which stymied the GOP's filibuster efforts and assured the bill's passage into law. In that instance, Brown's was the decisive 60th vote, albeit for the wrong party. A huge victory for the Democrats and another betrayal of the conservative Tea Party/Republican cause.

Finally, Scott Brown demonstrated a clear lack of judgment during the 2010 mid-term elections. In what appears to have been an attempt by Brown to mend fences with the Grand Old Party, he endorsed the full slate of Massachusetts Republicans. Problem is, that list included two individuals with highly questionable character flaws. Bill Hudak was exposed as an extreme radical by means of his yard sign which characterized President Barack Obama as a mass-murdering Islamic terrorist. Jeff Perry of course, was the former State Police supervisor who allegedly failed to intervene as a subordinate officer illegally strip-searched a 14-year-old girl in his presence. Scott Brown's irresponsible endorsement of those individuals called his own judgment into question as he chose party loyalty over sober character assessment. Both candidates were decisively defeated and Brown's influence within both his own party and his constituency was diminished.

The once invincible Scott Brown is now vulnerable. Sarah Palin's endorsement and the resultant influx of out of state Tea Party campaign contributions were largely responsible for Brown's surprise election victory. Brown in turn, was expected to repay that investment by means of voting along the Tea Party line, and Palin counted upon Brown's future loyalty. Brown however, deceived the Tea Partiers by often voting alongside Democrats and he double-crossed their idol Palin not only by failing to appear at her Boston Tea Party rally last April, but also by announcing on "The Today Show" that he would endorse Mitt Romney for president. Suffice to say, the Teapublicans are unlikely to mimic George W. Bush by saying, "Brownie... you're doing a heck of a job".

Entry Two

Sarah Palin should be President for three reasons. First, we live in a celebrity driven society and Palin is much more of a celebrity than Barack Obama was when she criticized him for the same in 2008. Secondly, as "Mama Grizzly" Sharron "Fluoride In Our Water Is A Communist Plot" Angle warned; Tea Partiers might resort to their "2nd Amendment remedies" should someone other than Palin be elected. Finally, Palin's election would culminate the "dumbing-down" of America. Our reality-television obsessed population would be graced with a President that appears on a reality show, a President's daughter that appears on a reality show and the President's grandson's father appearing on a reality show. A trifecta of First Family idiocy.


(sung to "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald ")

The legend lives on from the North Slope on down
To the town of Wasilla, Alaska
Sarah Palin did say, "I'll be famous some day"
When she did it became a disaster

She met up with her fate sometime in '88
When her TV career was a failin'
And everyone knew, as her parents did too
She would soon be the "Bride of Todd Palin"

Long before she did wed, she conceived in his bed
That was the end of her abstinency
While laid out on her back, she gave birth to son Track
The result of an unwed pregnancy

She was now in a lurch cuz of her right-wing church
But she carried on without a care
She had a beehive hairdo, but had nothing to do
That all changed when she became the Mayor

She appointed some crooks then she banned some good books
No one lasted if they weren't on her team
Wasilla's deficit grew, kids fired-up on home-brew
The town became a year-round drug-spree scene

She became the next Gov and to show the state love
She proposed to unite remote shore banks
But once in a bind she politely declined
To that bridge now she said, "Thanks, but no thanks"

John McCain now you see had to choose a VP
His campaign was certainly failin'
He wanted a she that was trés "mavericky"
So he chose Alaska's Sarah Palin.

But poor press reviews of her live interviews
With Couric and Gibson oft replayed
Showed she couldn't spar with the nightly news stars
Let alone outperform Tina Fey

The election was lost and poor Sarah was tossed
From her seat on "The Straight Talk Express"
She went home and did pose in her RNC clothes
But her governorship was in distress

She had enough of it, so she just up and quit
She went "Rogue" and then joined the Tea Party
Health Reform they chastised with her "death panel" lies
They're as clueless as Laurel and Hardy

Karl Rove gave her some lip about endorsement slips
When her "lil grizzlies" took such a nailin'
But her character flaws will be the final straw
For the wreck known as Sarah L. Palin

Michael Stopa
The Blog Entries  Few activities, at least among those suitable for political blog exposition, are as much fun as watching liberals painting.....  click to read or hide

Orginal Blog

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa

Few activities, at least among those suitable for political blog exposition, are as much fun as watching liberals painting themselves into a corner. It's like watching the fat guy climb up the rickety swimming pool slide in America's Funniest Home Videos: the hilarity is in the anticipation. It's like the comedy first made famous by Laurel and Hardy, the catastrophe is built in from the beginning. Liberals' focused mindset would be admirable, even endearing, if the rest of us weren't trapped in the corner or squashed under the collapsing slide along with them.

Read the Daily Kos or (if you're in a lighter mood) the New York Times. Listen to the President or Pelosi or Reid. In every speech, in every blog these days, there is a single repeated, bleating note in the background. It is the note of perplexity. After two years of unrestrained progressivism, liberals everywhere are deep in thought. They are faced with the questions: (1) why isn't it working? and (2) why isn't it popular ? Only to the liberal mind could this be considered a doubly deep conundrum.

For example, the unemployment rate is 10 %, the growth in the GDP is anemic, business investment is dreary and consumer confidence stinks. But, think the liberals, we have spent nearly a trillion dollars in Keynesian stimulus. The recent report by the President's Council on Economic Advisors pronounced the stimulus program a success because, I'm not kidding, they spent it all faster than they had planned and very little of it was outright stolen. What we bought with our trillion dollars was wind power that costs more than ordinary electricity and obstacle courses in our roads, but hey, it wasn't just wasted. Liberals see a theory implemented to the letter, and they ask: why isn't it working?

On the President's signature issue, healthcare, subversive enterprises like McDonalds are opting out because Obamacare is going to cost too much and insurers like Harvard Pilgrim are cancelling Medicare Advantage for seniors because the cuts to the program force doctors to stop accepting it. Premiums are skyrocketing everywhere, more than 50% of the people continue to favor repeal of Obamacare and liberals ask: why isn't it popular?

The liberal answer is to repent. They have erred. They are very sorry. How could they have been so foolish? On the economy: we miscalculated how deep the Bush hole was and we didn't throw enough money at it. And on healthcare (and everything else): we just haven't explained it properly.

The Harvard philosopher W. V. Quine talked about a "web of beliefs," how we can't simply flip one deeply held principle without, ultimately, flipping all our beliefs. Liberals must conclude that Bush screwed it up more than we thought and that they haven't explained it to people clearly enough. The only other conclusions, that they're policies are wrong and that people don't like them, would be too wrenching.

Entry One

What are the top three reasons that Scott Brown has misled MA voters?

From euphoria to a profound sense of betrayal, Scott Brown has taken some conservative Massachusetts voters on a breathtaking ride this year. Brown appeared in Mechanic Hall on January 17 to a throng which overflowed around and about Worcester and the thunderhead had pretty much gathered itself up. When the lightning bolt struck on January 19, and Senator-elect Brown archly offered to drive his famous truck to Washington D.C. so that the President could see it, Massachusetts Republicans were bedazzled.

By late summer, some of those same voters were assembling in Lincoln Square in Worcester with a different agenda. Scott Brown bumper stickers, split down the middle, were everywhere and one angered voter (and my friend) even had a knife sticking out of his back (the knife went through the Brown bumper sticker). The main origin of the disappointment was "FinReg," or the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, for which Brown had just voted.

The financial regulation bill was such a horrible piece of legislation, beginning with the two names attached to the masthead, that it really requires a little explanation as to why a supposedly conservative Republican would support it. The law essentially codifies the principal which it claims to eliminate, namely, too-big-to-fail. It regulates all manner of financial activities including (at least in one incarnation of the bill) the payment plans which orthodontists extend to their patients. It does not, however, regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The intent to capture and tame the cause of so much financial havoc is laudable. But the panic was not, as far as I know, caused by parents defaulting on their kids' braces.

The best that can be supposed for Brown (with whom I have not spoken on the issue) is that he considered the bill unstoppable in any case and used his vote to bargain for the removal of $19B in taxes from the legislation.

Did Scott Brown mislead Massachusetts voters in this? Did he mislead voters in one, two or three other ways? Undoubtedly, as all politicians do, he did. One could suggest that maybe Charlie Baker would have been well-advised to mislead voters a little more recently as to how many state workers he was planning to axe when he got into office. However unlike Baker, Brown has now been elected. And the bar is therefore higher. He said he was a "Scott Brown Republican."

I don't feel that Brown mislead me, even though I have profoundly disagreed with him on FinReg and the earlier jobs bill. Some voters, particularly conservatives, are not sure they know who he is. I don't know for sure who he is either. But I know who he isn't. And I'm still elated that he is not Ted Kennedy.

Entry Two

What are the top three reasons why Sarah Palin should be the next President of the United States?

I am thankful that God put Sarah Palin on Earth where and when He did. I am convinced that it shows that He hears our prayers. I am also convinced that it shows that He has a sense of humor.

Back in the summer of 2008, Nancy Pelosi had already been fondling her hammer for two years, dark clouds were rolling in from Mordor (i.e. Chicago), and things in the Grand Olde Party were getting pretty dull. It is easier to see in retrospect how dull they were. In fact, they were nothing short of stupefying. George Bush, in spite of surging us to victory in Iraq had nevertheless pretty much sucked the ideological life out of the conservative movement. Bush's protégé, John McCain, had somehow ridden the steam-powered GOP machine bandwagon to the nomination, vanquishing the wisdom of Huck, the youth of Mitt and the sparkle of Rudy. About the only Republican on the scene with something like an excited following was the Fed-obsessed Ron Paul. And back then, Republicans didn't drink tea, they drank bourbon.

When Sarah Palin came to town she did for the GOP much what Maria Rainer did for the moribund von Trapp family in The Sound of Music, she brought the hills alive. Suddenly it became possible to say we worked hard for our money and we want to keep more of it. Suddenly it was obvious that the proper response to a sanctimonious utterance of "community organizer" was to laugh out loud.

Alas, it didn't last very long. The left launched an inquisition spearheaded by that intellectual juggernaut, Charlie Gibson and Sarah Palin faltered. She might have survived on her own. But bound to McCain there were too many contradictions. The left claimed a kill.

So what about 2012 ? Everyone will give you their reasons why Sarah Palin shouldn't be President in 2012. But there are some very good reasons why Palin would be our best choice at least among the top three.

First, repealing Obamacare is critical. We can't get bogged down splitting hairs about Romneycare. We need instinct and decisiveness here, not deft management.

Second, of the three leading prospective candidates (Palin, Huckabee and Romney) Palin is the most likely to actually start sending illegal aliens back to their home countries. Here, we absolutely need a president who is fully committed to it. Newt would also do it. But of the top three, it's Palin.

Finally, the war against radical Islamic fundamentalism, and struggles with our international foes in general, will get a boost from such a believer in American Exceptionalism. Moral clarity is essential here - and Sarah Palin has got moral clarity. Citizens will feel safer and, needless to say, our troops will, in record numbers, be hanging a picture of their President next to their beds as an inspiration to...well, patriotism.