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.
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.