The Baehr Essentials

Every year, about 1.5 million Americans (1 of every 200) receive a cancer diagnosis, and a bit over a third that number succumb to the disease.  At age 61, writer Christopher Hitchens drew the short straw, and is gravely ill with esophageal cancer,which has metastasized to his lungs and lymph nodes.  Hitchens has long been a controversial figure. He was the British journalist mocked by Tom Wolfe, in Bonfire of the Vanities.  A long time leftist, and critic of Israel, 9/11 proved to be the "mugging"  that shook his politics and world view. . Long an opponent of organized religion, especially  the Catholic Church, and a fierce atheist, Hitchens brought his verbal powers into the fight against radical Islam.  In the article below, Hitchens describes his new life as a cancer patient.  In a future article he promises to consider the subject of how an atheist  deals with the fact that so many of his friends are praying for him.  Read this one


In Portland, Oregon , the big foot of government shuts down a child's
lemonade stand.   Portland is a lovely city.  But like its neighbors to  the north and south, San Francisco and Seattle, its politic lean so far left, that basic common sense has disappeared. But at least  these cities are nuclear free zones, which should really help if North Korea launches missiles at them.  I recall one very Portland story -- the park near the river on the west bank side, was the overnight sleeping quarters for many of the city's homeless young people. The Mayor, to show her caring empathetic side, renamed the park- Dignity Field. 


I get asked all the time, how I think the November races will turnout.  If the generic ballot advantage the GOP now holds (6% on average) is maintained, I think the GOP will win back the 39 net seats they need to win control of the House.  The big number that is haunting the Democrats is the 9.5% unemployment rate.   There are only two more jobs reports to be issued before the midterms, and there is no pattern established in recent months that would suggest that the unemployment number is headed much lower in the next two months. With unemployment so high, voters think the stimulus was an expensive waste of money, and they see big deficits and little return for the investment of borrowed dollars.

As for the Senate, I think the GOP will make major gains, but picking up a net 10 seats to take control is a very tall order.  But even if the GOP misses this year, the 2012 races will provide a very favorable playing field to complete the job, with 24 Democratic held seats  and only 10 GOP held seats in play.

Here is my up to the minute rundown on the Senate races:

GOP held seats:

The most vulnerable seat is Florida, where Governor and independent candidate Charlie Crist holds a slim lead over Marco  Rubio. 

The GOP is ahead by modest margins (around 5 points ) in open seat races in Ohio  and Missouri, and by about 10 in Kentucky (Rand Paul) and New Hampshire in two other open seat races.   Incumbent

Richard Burr is also ahead by about 10 points in North Carolina.  

Democratic held seats:  

The GOP is safely ahead in open seat races in North Dakota and Indiana and in Arkansas, where Blanche Lincoln is doomed.  The GOP is up by about 10 points in the open seat race in Delaware , though this race, Castle versus Coons,  has tightened a bit of late.   The GOP is narrowly ahead in Pennsylvania (an open seat) and Colorado (an appointed Senator).  Illinois (open seat), Wisconsin, and Washington State are all tossups with very small leads for one candidate or  the other.  The Wisconsin race looks better every day for the GOP.  Democrats are ahead by about 5 points in Nevada and California. A GOP long-shot opportunity is Connecticut where self funded GOP candidate Linda McMahon has narrowed Richard Blumenthal's lead to 10 points. 

Michael Totten interviews Benjamin Kerstein on  the prospects for peace in the Middle East. They are bleak.

Rick Richman provides all the links you need on the Goldstone Report, which is still doing damage to Israel:  

It looks like the U.S gave the Lebanese army the weapons that were used to fire at Israeli soldiers the other day on the border area. The Lebanese army is more and more aligned with Hezb'allah, and Shiites now fill the ranks of the officer corps and conscripts.