Tuesday, April 7, 2009

RedState Morning Brief: Defense, Palin, Vouchers, Economy plus

Here's another great update I receive that's always chocked full of good info, short (usually), rarely sweet and always to the point. My Sarah Palin friends will appreciate #3. I'm planning on writing about #4 on one of my blogs, grrrrrrrr:

Sign up to get the morning briefing by email here.

1. NYTimes: Obama's Economic Ideas Great... Just Like Hitler's Were?

The New York Times' says Obama and Hitler have GREAT economic plans. So what about that whole Holocaust thing?

For The New York Times economic scene section for March 31, David Leonhardt came across with one of the most amazing admissions about Obama that I've ever seen in the Times. Namely that Barack Obama is just like Hitler. Now, many of you may be solemnly shaking your head in agreement, but in so doing you would be missing why the Times was comparing Obama to Hitler. You see, Leonhardt didn't mean it as an insult. He was saying that it was a good thing that Barack was being like Hitler at least in an economic sense.

Here Leonhardt is taking the trains-on-time track with his Hitler angle by saying that, despite that whole Holocaust and World War II business, Hitler's policies were good for Germany. So good, in fact, that he celebrates the ways he sees that Obama is emulating the mustachioed mad-man's economic prescriptions with the massive takeover of the economy and bloated government spending on "stimulus."

You know the left has lost it when they are invoking the "success" of Hitler to prop up The One!


2. Another Homework Deficiency - Russia Sees Obama's Nuclear-Free Offer As.... A Threat
Homework? Too cool for school....

I don't know about you, but for my entire life whenever I've heard someone prattle about "a world without nuclear weapons," I roll my eyes for at least two reasons. One is the naivete; the other is the practical notion that in such a world, one "kook-with-nuke" would be king.

But it turns out that in Moscow, the Russian leadership sees the Obama offer as something else - yet another move in the game of trying to rein in Russian influence in the world.

In other words, the Kremlin sees this plan as a threat.


3. Levi Johnson Jumps On the Sarah Palin Gravy Train

Anyone else want to make some money off Sarah Palin?

This is Levi Johnson appearing on the Tyra Banks show. He's a clean cut, pretty type. That is, though, a carefully constructed image - constructed by the Palins and McCains as the Presidential campaign unfolded with the news of Bristol Palin's pregnancy.

The real Levi Johnson is something altogether different. The left, when it decided Bristol Palin was fair game, went after Levi Johnson for being a thug and redneck. He was not interested in college - only in scoring with the Governor's daughter. The classic tale of the high school jock who is, in essence, a low life loser in it for a good time. The left and media regaled the rest of us with tales of what a loser the Palin kid slept with.

The left was right. Now, though, they can't be bothered by it. Below is the actual Levi - no preppy clothes. No polish. Just good old boy who knocked up the Governor's daughter. Not exactly the image Tyra Banks and he would like you to think about.


4. Obama Administration defense cuts

He's cutting technologies that will keep us competitive against growing threats from China and Russia

Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed the Obama Administration's restructuring of the Pentagon's top weapons priorities.

There was a lot of information thrown out in the Gates press briefing, but the biggest talking points are likely to be the cuts:

Stop the growth of Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) at 45 versus 48
Retire 250 of the oldest Air Force tactical fighter aircraft in FY10.
End production of the F-22 fighter at 187.
Not pursue a development program for a follow-on Air Force bomber until we have a better understanding of the need, the requirement, and the technology.
Reduce the Navy's carrier force to 10 carriers after 2040.
Delay the CG-X next generation cruiser program.
Delay amphibious ship and sea-basing programs.
End the DDG-1000 destroyer program with the third ship.
"Complete" production of the C-17 airlifter program this fiscal year with the 205 already in the force and currently in production.
Terminate the VH-71 presidential helicopter program.
Terminate the Air Force Combat Search and Rescue X (CSAR-X) helicopter program.
Terminate the $26 billion Transformational Satellite (TSAT) program.
Cancel the planned increase the number of current ground-based interceptors in Alaska.
Cancel the second airborne laser (ABL) prototype aircraft.
Terminate the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) program.
Cancel the vehicle component of the Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.
Reduce the number of support service contractors from our current 39% to 26% and replace them with as many as 30,000 full-time government employees.


5. Democrats Delay Release of Report Showing Success of DC Voucher Program Until After Senate Can Vote to Kill It

Never mind the children.

On Tuesday, March 10, the U.S. Senate voted to terminate the experimental Washington, DC school voucher program, which had been implemented in order to help provide poor minority children in failing DC schools with the same educational opportunities that so many children of Senators, Congressmen, and Presidents within the district have as a result of their advantageous birth.

During his Presidential campaign, President Obama indicated that he would put his personal opposition to vouchers aside "if he saw more proof that vouchers are successful." I would "not allow my predispositions to stand in the way of making sure that our kids can learn," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in February 2008. "You do what works for the kids."

ow, it appears that the Obama administration and the U.S. Senate purposely kept the results of a Congressionally-mandated study showing the benefits of the Washington, DC voucher program from becoming public until after they had managed to spike the program due to its supposed "lack of effectiveness." (The executive summary is available here; the full report can be seen here.)

The result of the Obama administration delaying the release of this report, which showed that participants in the voucher program outperformed those in the district's public schools by a large margin on reading tests, is that the 1,700 low-income, minority children who are currently receiving up to $7,500 in vouchers per year to attend private school instead of their own failing DC public schools, will be forced to return to those publics after the 2009-10 school year, over the wishes of DC mayor Adrian Fenty, who said "it would not be productive to disrupt the education of children who are presently enrolled in private schools," and despite empirical evidence that such a move will consign them to a lower-quality education and a far less optimistic future.


6. Rebuilding the Movement: Online Investment

At some point, competition must yield to collaboration.

Every day in Washington, there is some right-wing group somewhere bemoaning the efforts of the right online. Sadly, for them and the rest of the right, their first thought is "let's do it ourselves", instead of "let's invest in the existing talent."

It's often bemoaned on our side that the left is much further ahead online than the right. This is true. The left has larger blogs than the right, though I still think the right has many more sites than the left. The left has a great online investigative journalism wing that gets picked up by the mainstream media. And the left has a stable of full time bloggers than is not matched on the right. I am a very rare breed on our side.

One area where the left has done a much better job than the right online is investing in blogs as a component of left-wing activism.

On the right, Heritage has its blog. Club for Growth has its blog. MRC has its blog. The GOP has its blog. The list goes on and on and on. When the right wants to get online, each organization does its own thing. That's just the way its done.

To be sure, on the left, there's a bit of the same thing going on, but then you've got groups like Media Matters that function more or less to subsidize left-wing bloggers. Oh sure, they say they are more important than that, but they aren't really.

More importantly, though, is the advertising component. What is the online advertising budget for Heritage? What about for AEI? What about for Americans for Tax Reform? Family Research Council? Leadership Institute? NFIB? NTU? National Right to Work? Club for Growth? The list goes on.

Every day in Washington, there is some right-wing group somewhere bemoaning the efforts of the right online. Sadly, for them and the rest of the right, their first thought is "let's do it ourselves", instead of "let's invest in the existing talent." Until the second becomes the first, the right will keep meeting in private to bemoan its (in)effectiveness online.

Meanwhile, the DailyKos has nine employees and a seven figure budget. Here at RedState, I have a volunteer list of two dozen contributors with full time jobs, me, and no budget.


Sincerely yours,
Erick Erickson Editor,

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