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The Worst Gift Show and Rose Marie

I hope you enjoyed the “worst gift received/best gift never given” show on Tuesday. The highlight was Rose Marie’s call, which Duane has posted at It generated many reactions and a column which I will post tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all posters here!

What Is The Worst Thing About Obamacare?

This is a new application of the Hughniverse. I intend to take and reproduce this thread at, so please don’t post on it if you don’t want the information that appears on the screen to be posted on the public blog.

Please be specific and use citations if possible. Please avoid rants, which I will edit out anyway. I’d like to use the talents of the Hughniverse participants to focus in on the best arguments about why Obamacare is such a terrible initiative.

D’Sousa v. Shermer; The Manhattan Declaration and The Good and Faithful Servant

On Wednesday I hosted a debate between Dinesh D’Sousa and Michael Shermer on the subject of to whom it was we would be giving thanks this Thanksgiving, the latest in my series of conversations between believers and deniers. The audio is of course here in the Hughniverse and the transcript will be up at later this weekend.

This week also saw the launch of the Manhattan Declaration, and the delivery of my new book The Good and Faithful Servant, both of which deal with the obligations of a Chirstian in a democratic republic like ours.

So this is an open thread on all those subjects: Your reaction to the debate, the declaration and to the discussion. Have a great Thanksgiving.

The Central Valley and the Delta Smelt

Friday’s broadcast from Fresno was very different from the ordinary remote because so many of the guests were suffering personally from the federal government’s decision to drastically reduce water deliveries to california’s Central Valley in the name of protecting the Delta smelt. Because I have practiced endangered species and natural resource law for two decades, I am used to the absurd consequences brought about by the variety of laws that operate in this area, especially the federal Endangered Species Act, but human suffering on this scale as a result of the laws is unprecedented.

All of it is unnecessary. It could be stopped almost immediately. When President Obama next tals about his concern for the unemployed, keep in mind that he has it in his power to put tens of thousands of farm workers and those who depend upon their paychecks –like the people who sell them food, clothing, cars etc– back to work but refuses to do so.

The “jobs summit” should begin with a declation by the president that the pumps will be turned back on and stay on. If he refuses to act in this case, why should anyone believe that he cares about the employment numbers at all?

My question: Do you think the president will do anything to get the water flowing again? Anything at all?

Contributing to Toomey and Castle

Over at, I use the example of a California start-up, QuantumSpehere, to illustrate how real job growth occurs, and then segue to an appeal for contributions to two GOP senate campaigns in 2010 –Mike Castle’s in Delaware and Pat Toomey’s in Pennsylvania.

Castle is a Republican moderate and Toomey a GOP conservative. We need both to win if we are to re-establish some crucial balance in the Congress. Questions: Have you contributed to either? Will you (like, right now)? Would you be willing to start with the one who is least like you ideologicially as an exanple of giving towards an effective blocking force in the Congress?

And do you think the conservative grass roots understand the need for moderates like Castle and the GOP moderates the need for conservatives like Toomey if a governing majority is to be rebuilt?

Election Prediction and Commentary Thread, Plus A Pitch For “The Good and Faithful Servant”

Well friends, what are the predictions for Tuesday’s four races –VA, NJ, New York’s 23rd and CA’s 10th? Virginia will be a wipeout, and I think Hoffman wins as the power of new media will have successfully conveyed to the Republicans in New York’s 23rd that to keep the seat they have to vote for the Conservative Party’s Hoffman. If Dave Harmer actually beat Garamendi in CA’s 10th that would be a stunner with far reaching implications, but I don’t expect it.

Virginia will be a wipe-out and that will be a huge message to Congressional Democrats cosnidering Obamacare. The problem is they may be in too deep already to see any advantage in retreat, though Evan Bayh, Blanche Lincoln and Michael Bennet –senators from red to purple states– will have to study the VA results closely.

And please let me know if any among you have adopted The Good and Faithful Servant for your small group study. I’d like to find a few test groups that will let me knopw how it works out.

The Frum Exchange

Much e-mail about the exchange with David Frum running about 10 to 1 endorsing my approach to the interview which I call escalating impatience, but with some very thoughtful critics who believe I ought to have allowed David more time to dissemble. Your thoughts?

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