Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AKSen: Tea Party triumph, Murkowski concedes

They're not laughing at the Tea Party movement any more. Tea Party favorite Joe Miller is the Republican nominee for the US Senate in Alaska. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was essentially handed the job by her father, in 2002 when he resigned that seat and became governor, conceded this evening.

He will be the next Last Frontier senator. In a Tweet, political consultant Larry Sabato said, "AK is not going to have 2 D U.S. senators. It's a miracle Dems got Begich(D) elected in '08. Miller will be part of growing Tea Party caucus."

Miller's win is a triumph not just for the Tea Party movement and the Tea Party Express, which targeted Murkowski for defeat, but also for Sarah Palin, one of the few prominent Republicans to back Miller.

As for the Tea Party Express, it's next champion is Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, a solid conservative who faces Republican-in-name-only Rep. Mike Castle, who voted for cap and trade and the anti-free speech DISCLOSE Act.

Delaware's primary is September 14. Prospects of a GOP takeover of the Senate continue to improve. But as Mark Levin said on his show after Castle's DISCLOSE Act vote, "A Republican majority with Mike Castle is not a majority."

Related post:

DISCLOSE Act closes door on free speech

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Four Corners Furtherance: Different scenes of Bryce Canyon

Yes, Bryce Canyon National Park has geologic amphitheatres and hoodoos, but there is plenty of wildlife too.

Ravens are common in Bryce, I didn't see them anywhere else during my Four Corners trip. With the exception of the extreme upper Midwest and the Appalachians, ravens tend to reside west of the 100th meridian in the United States.

Occupying a similar western range is the mule deer. I saw an occasional deer while driving through Utah and Colorado, although these three were the only ones I was able to photograph. There's a colony of endangered Utah Prairie Dogs in the park, although the critters were not cooperative in regards to posing for pictures.

I haven't written much about trees yet. Those are Ponderosa pines and Douglas firs on the right. And where there are trees, there are forest fires, one of which consumed the Douglas fir stand pictured below.

Related posts:

My running partner this afternoon: A buck
California Collision: Mule Deer

Earlier posts:

"Hell of a place," Bryce Canyon
Red Canyon
Cedar Breaks
Taylor Creek Trail
Kolob Canyons
Animals of Zion National Park
The geology of Zion National Park
Overview of Zion National
Moqui Cave
Arizona's White Mesa and roadside stands
The dogs of Kayenta
Monument Valley at sunrise
Monument Valley at sunset
The road to Monument Valley
The monument is closed and in the wrong spot
More of Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park and the Ancients
Gerald R. Ford Memorial Highway
Flatlanders battle the Rocky Mountains and a car gets altitude sickness
Buffalo Bill's gravesite
Buffalo Bill's Scout's Rest Ranch
My rattlesnake sighting

Anti-surge Obama to address nation on Iraq success

President Obama, who opposed the successful 2007 Iraq troop surge, will address the nation this evening on the occasion of pulling our last combat troops from that nation.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) presents a different viewpoint than what Obama will probably express tonight:

From Politico:

Hours before President Barack Obama’s address to the nation on Iraq, House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio will challenge the commander in chief caustically for his handling of the Middle East.

"Some leaders who opposed, criticized and fought tooth and nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results," Boehner will say in remarks prepared for delivery to the American Legion’s 92nd national convention in Milwaukee. "Today we mark not the defeat those voices anticipated — but progress."

The speech follows a Boehner address on the economy last week, as the would-be House speaker updates his policy chops.

"I support our counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, but the president must do more to emphasize his commitment to ensuring its success rather than focusing on meeting arbitrary deadlines for withdrawal," Boehner will tell the American Legion. “Using campaign promises as a yardstick to measure success in Iraq and Afghanistan runs the risk of triggering artificial victory laps and premature withdrawal dates unconnected to conditions on the ground."
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Harry Reid refuses to answer EFCA question

At 14.3 percent, Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV must know that the so-called Employee Free Choice Act is a jobs killer--well, because it is, so I can understand his reluctance in supporting it. As you'll see in this YouTube video, the aloof Reid can't answer a question from a supporter who wants to know if the senator backs EFCA.

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Phil Krone, 1941-2010

One of the common observations I receive about Marathon Pundit is that readers usually don't leave comments. I'm not entirely sure why that is, perhaps that scary picture of me frightens people.

But I have readers--and sadly there is one less now. Phil Krone, a liberal Democrat of the old school--remember, liberal originally meant "open-minded" and "generous," died of cancer at his home on the West Side of Chicago last week.

Krone told me a few times that he liked how I wrote things, but not necessarily what I wrote. Pat Hickey knew Krone better than I did, he called him a "gentleman liberal patriot." Krone would tell me what he thought by e-mail. He even called me on the telephone a couple of times to about a Marathon Pundit entry. There are many ways express opinions on a blog post.

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Mike Royko said of Krone, he was "your classic political insider, comfortable with the corporate types and on cordial terms with the Daley family and most other mainline Chicago politicians."

He and his wife bought run-down Jackson Boulevard homes in the 1970s when the entire West Side seemed to face two destinies: desolation or disarray. Much of that part of Chicago is blighted, but not Krone's pocket.

I finally got to meet Krone in 2008 at a conservative bloggers' conference. He was the only liberal--excuse me, classic liberal, there. He had guts, he had charm, and he was damn smart. Which is probably why he was admitted into that right wing summit.

Rest in peace.

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Dems running away from Pelosi

Politico is reporting this morning that some Democrats facing tough challenges this fall, including North Carolina's Heath Shuler, South Dakota's Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, and Ohio's John Boccieri, are not only running against Republican opponents, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well.

It's an exercise in self-preservation, although the last time a party appeared on the verge of losing its House majority, it was the GOP in 2006. I don't recall GOP candidates running against the speaker at that time, Republican Dennis Hastert.

But the Democrats are in more trouble than I thought. For instance, the man given the difficult task of maintaining the Democratic majority in the lower chamber, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen was asked about the anti-Pelosi Dems. "I think the Democratic leaders have said the job of the members," the Maryland congressman said, "is to reflect the views of their constituents as best as they are able."

Why weren't they doing that for the last eighteen months?

Big trouble.

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