David Vitter

When does a political scandal take its toll?

There is a great deal of talk about political scandals at the moment. Most of it is beltway and of no consequence, with the scandal largely manufactured by an opposition out of real ideas.

The polls should give them a clue as to what the public believes.

THere is some evidence though, actually quite a lot of evidence, to suggest what it is precisely that finally bites when a scandal runs.

Your allies may be quick to abandon you during a scandal if you?re expendable (think John Edwards), but if you?re, say, the president,?they may be more likely to rally to your side. Scandals may also be?more damaging for black candidates?(PDF)?than for white ones. Additionally, scandals may be more likely to emerge?when the opposition party has a lower opinion of the incumbent and when it?s a slow news week?(PDF).?Voters?think worse of scandals involving financial problems?than they do of sex scandals, especially when abuse of power is involved. They are also?quicker to forgive (or forget) sex scandals than financial ones?(PDF). Read more »

Obama gives bird blenders 30 year licence to kill eagles


I hate wind power…it junks up the view, makes an unholy racket and slaughters birds, in particular raptors.

But Obama has now given the companies running bird blenders a 30 year licence to kill eagles.

The Obama administration has just given wind turbine operators the license to kill birds and eagles for 30 years, a move welcomed by the wind industry but derided by environmentalists and Republicans.

The Interior Department changed a rule that now enables the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend the amount of time renewable?energy?companies can kill migratory birds and eagles in a bid to boost green energy development. Wind operators can now get a permit to kill birds for 30 years, up from five years.? Read more »