Circular Logic

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the cancelled 2017 Arctic expedition of the University of Manitoba.

The article reports:

The University of Manitoba has canceled its 2017 Arctic expedition because there is too much ice to execute the mission safely. The U of M headlines: “Large Canadian Arctic climate change study cancelled due to climate change.”

So too much ice is the result of climate change? I thought we were concerned about global warming. Generally speaking, global warming does not result in more ice.

After explaining how the extreme ice conditions made the expedition impossible, the University of Manitoba explains:

This experience, and climate change conditions currently affecting Churchill, Man., clearly illustrates that Canada is ill prepared to deal with the realities of climate change.

Someone needs to explain to these scientists that the climate has been changing constantly (and cyclically) since earth began. I refuse to believe climate predictions from people who have been consistently wrong for more than forty years. Does anyone remember ‘the coming ice age‘ headlines of the seventies?

 

 

 

 

Where Are The Fact Checkers?

On Saturday, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story about one of Hillary Clinton’s recent stories. For whatever reason, the mainstream media never bothered to fact check the story. The article at Power Line pointed out some of the more obvious errors.

The story had to do with Hillary Clinton taking the LSAT (the exam required to get into Law School). She claims that she took the LSAT at Harvard where she encountered a barrage of male chauvinism. The first obvious problem with the story is that Hillary attended Wellesley College. Did Wellesley students take the LSAT at Harvard? Maybe. Maybe not.

The second problem with the story is that she claims that she and her friend were some of the only women in the room and were subjected to heckling by the men in the room.

The article reminds us:

Hillary was a senior during the 1968-1969 school year, and presumably took the LSAT in the fall of 1968. Women were not exactly pioneers in the law business at that time. Seven percent of the first year law class of 1969 was female, a percentage that rose rapidly over the next few years.

She included the following statement in her story:

One of them even said: ‘If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I’ll die.’ And they weren’t kidding around. It was intense. It got very personal.

Either the man was misinformed or she is lying. Take your pick. This is the background:

Her senior year began in autumn, 1968. She says she was a senior during this harrowing experience, which is when the LSAT is normally taken. But the LBJ administration ended all graduate school deferments on February 16, 1968, except for medical, dental and divinity students, when Hillary was still a junior in college.

Hillary also told this story to New York Magazine in 2016.

Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the truth is even more questionable than her relationship with Bill Clinton.

 

The Fight For Honest News Continues

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about Sharyl Attkisson, the investigative reporter who resigned from CBS’s Washington Bureau in March of this year.

Ms. Attkisson tells her story in her book Stonewalled: My Fight For the Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.

In the book, Ms. Attkisson describes the hacking of her computer while she was at CBS:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It is scary that our government is involved in this sort of thing.

John Hinderaker comments on Ms. Attkisson’s story:

If the Obama administration hacked into a reporter’s computers, used them to spy on her, and even prepared to frame her for a potential criminal prosecution by planting classified documents, aren’t we looking at the biggest scandal in American history? Perhaps I’m forgetting something, but I can’t come up with anything to equal the stunning lawlessness on display here–if what Attkisson says is true (which I don’t doubt), and if the administration is the guilty party.

John Hinderaker suggests that she file a lawsuit against the offending agency. Ms. Attkisson’s story is another example of a government that is out of control.

It’s Only Unfair When The Other Guys Do It

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about a video  Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, has done for the Democrat Senatorial Campaign. The video warns that if the Republicans take over the Senate, they might use a “tricky, little-known maneuver” to “ram through” their “right-wing policies” with only 51 votes, instead of the 60 votes “usually required” in the Senate. In case you have forgotten, that ‘tricky little-known maneuver’ is called reconciliation and was used by the Democrats to pass ObamaCare.

On October, 18, 2011, James Capretta posted an article at National Review which stated the following:

Without reconciliation, Obamacare would not have become law at all. It’s true that the main Obamacare structure was passed by the Senate in December 2009 under normal rules for legislative consideration. That’s because Democrats at that time had 60 votes (including two independent senators who caucus with them). They didn’t need to resort to reconciliation to pass the bill as long as  all 60 of their senators stuck together and supported passage, which they did.

But then Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate race in January 2010; the Democrats lost their 60-vote supermajority and could no longer close off debate on legislation without the help of at least one Republican senator.

At that point, the president and his allies had two choices. They could compromise with Republicans and bring back a bill to the Senate that could garner a large bipartisan majority. Or they could ignore the election results in Massachusetts and pull an unprecedented legislative maneuver, essentially switching from regular order to reconciliation at the eleventh hour, thereby bypassing any need for Republican support. As they had done at every other step in the process, the Democrats chose the partisan route. They created a separate bill, with scores and scores of legislative changes that essentially became the vehicle for a House-Senate conference on the legislation. That bill was designated a reconciliation bill. Then they passed the original Senate bill through the House on the explicit promise that it would be immediately amended by this highly unusual reconciliation bill, which then passed both the House and Senate a few days later, on an entirely party-line vote.

The article at Power Line states:

Reich knows all of this, but he is secure in the knowledge that the Democrats’ rank and file, including the donors to whom MoveOn’s video is addressed, are ignorant of the most basic facts of government and do not have memories that reach back to the distant past of 2010. So there is no effective constraint on dishonesty if you are a Democrat bent on fundraising.

In order to survive, a representative republic needs an informed electorate. It is unfortunate that at the moment America does not have one.

Hopefully This Bad Behavior Will Not Be Successful And Thus Will Not Be Repeated

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about the continuing Democrat party attacks on Charles and David Koch. The article reminds us that “It is rare for the Democratic Party to send out a fundraising email that fails to invoke the specter of the “Koch brothers,” who are treated essentially as bogeymen.”

The article reports:

This is unprecedented in our history. Never before has a political party based a campaign on demonizing individual, private citizens who hold opposing beliefs and who exercise their First Amendment right to participate in the political process. In my view, it would be a very bad thing if attacks like those the Democrats have made against Charles and David Koch–which, frankly, border on the insane–were to become the norm.

Charles and David Koch are American citizens who have been very successful in business and are exercising their right to free speech. To attack them for their wealth and involvement in politics is an example of class envy at its worst. Hopefully the attack will not be successful and will not be repeated in future campaigns. The politics of pitting one American against another in the way the Democrats have done is very unattractive.

The Pictures Tell The Story

As President Obama goes around the country praising the economic growth in America, there is another side of the story.

Yesterday, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted the following charts:

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 3.41.36 PM

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The charts are taken from a booklet put out by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee. The booklet includes another chart which explains the low unemployment numbers that were released today–the workforce has significantly decreased. If the unemployment rate reflected the number of workers that have left the work force, the number would be considerably higher.

workforceparticipationratePlease follow the link above to the booklet to see the eleven charts that explain what is happening to the American economy and to the Middle Class in America.

The Initial Case Against The Internal Revenue Service

As the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues and the Democrats continue to obstruct the investigation, there is one part of the investigation that is finished.

Scott Johnston at Power Line reported yesterday that under a consent judgment entered earlier this week, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The IRS released the donor list of NOM to a gay rights group that opposed the legislation NOM was supporting.

The article reports:

NOM’s statement on the settlement is posted here. The statement quotes NOM chairman John Eastman: “In the beginning, the government claimed that the IRS had done nothing wrong and that NOM itself must have released our confidential information. Thanks to a lot of hard work, we’ve forced the IRS to admit that they in fact were the ones to break the law and wrongfully released this confidential information.” Hmmmm.

That sounds strangely similar to what is happening in Washington in the investigation of the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party.

The article at Power Line concludes:

Reminder: The charge that Richard Nixon “endeavored” to misuse the IRS made its way into the second of the three articles of impeachment voted against him by the House Judiciary Committee. Nixon’s efforts to misuse the IRS were futile. They went nowhere. Nixon and his henchmen desired the IRS to “screw” their political opponents, but their efforts were a pathetic failure.

Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained that the IRS was a “monstrous bureaucracy…dominated and controlled by Democrats.” As we have come to see, Caulfield was on to something. By contrast with Nixon’s failures to misuse the IRS, the IRS has very effectively “screwed” Obama’s political opponents, and we have yet to learn what the president knew and when he knew it.

The War On The Koch Brothers Continues

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about Harry Reid and the Democrat Party‘s continuing war on the Koch brothers. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will appear at a screening of the movie, “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition.” The screening will take place Tuesday evening in the Capitol Visitor Center.The movie is a documentary that Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) participated in.

Think about this a minute. A sitting Senate Majority Leader is putting the power of his office behind an attack on two successful American businessmen who have not broken any laws. What in the world is this about? It’s about the fact that the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United broke the monopoly that labor unions had on campaign donations. Notice that the attack is on the Koch brothers, no mention is made of the impact money from George Soros or other left-leaning millionaires has had on American political campaigns.

Because it’s Friday, and we should have at least a little fun, I present to you a video from YouTube which adds entertainment value to the problem:

Enjoy.

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It Took A While, But The Truth Is Out

This post is based on two articles–one at Power Line by John Hinderaker, and one by Sharyl Attkisson at sharylattkisson.com.  Both articles deal with the cover-up of what happened in Benghazi in September 2011.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a picture of the memo that called for the misleading talking points:

BenghaziMemoThere is a second memo between Susan Rice and Eric Pelofsky shown in the John Hinderaker article. This memo expresses concern over the fate of the ambassador.

John Hinderaker observes:

The other striking fact about the emails is the complete absence of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Maybe someone was keeping them informed, but they are never mentioned in the emails (except when someone prepares a statement to be issued under their names). During the crucial hours, they are never referred to. There is no suggestion that they are playing a part; that they are in the loop; that they are making decisions; or that they are, in any way, important players. Maybe there are more emails, not yet disclosed, that would reflect their roles. Or maybe they really were ciphers–seat warmers with no concerns beyond the political, not expected to do anything in an hour of crisis.

Sharyl Attkisson reports:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told me today that the government apparently tried to keep the Rhodes email out of Congress and the public’s hands by classifying it after-the-fact.

“They retroactively changed the classification,” Chaffetz says. “That was an unclassified document and they changed it to classified.”  

 In the past month, the government has supplied 3,200 new Benghazi-related documents under Congressional subpoena. In some instances, Congressional members and their staff are only permitted to see the documents during certain time periods in a review room, and cannot remove them or make copies.

 Chaffetz says that the State Department redacted more material on the copies provided to Congress than on those that it was forced to provide to JudicialWatch.

 One of the most heavily-redacted email exchanges is entitled, “FOX News: US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm.” The Fox News article was circulated among dozens of officials including Rhodes and then-Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough but the content of their email discussion is hidden.

The White House lied about Benghazi and then covered up its lies. The lies were told for political purposes–it was the middle of an election campaign. This is an impeachable offense, but America does not have the stomach for impeachment right now. It would be a mistake for the Republicans to go down that road at all. However, an effort should be made to get this story into the mainstream media and make sure Americans are aware that they have been lied to and are still being lied to. The only reason we have these emails is the work of Judicial Watch.

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A Scandal Under The Radar

John Hinderaker at Power Line has posted a number of articles about the use of the Washington Post by the Democrat party to attack the Koch brothers about the Keystone Pipeline. Never mind that the Koch brothers have no connection to the Pipeline or that building it would not help their business, the Washington Post still reported supposed connections as fact. I haven’t written about the scandal because it is complicated and hard to detail in a concise manner. However, John Hinderaker appeared on Fox News and explained it beautifully.

The video is posted on YouTube:

This is an example of why many Americans, including myself, do not trust the mainstream media.

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The Timeline Of The IRS Scandal

This article has two sources, an article posted in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and an article posted by Scott Johnson at Power Line today. Both articles printed the timeline of events surrounding the IRS’s attempt to curtail the free speech of groups that opposed the Obama Administration.

One of the most telling events on the timeline is from the Wall Street Journal article:

• Feb. 11, 2010: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) says he will introduce legislation known as the Disclose Act to place new restrictions on some political activity by corporations and force more public disclosure of contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations. Mr. Schumer says the bill is intended to “embarrass companies” out of exercising the rights recognized in Citizens United. “The deterrent effect should not be underestimated,” he said.

All of this was in response to the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed corporations to make political donations. This ruling finally leveled the playing field–the unions had been contributing massive amounts of money to political campaigns for years. (See rightwinggranny.com). The actions of the IRS were an attempt to undo the leveling of the playing field that occurred with the Citizens United decision.

Please follow one of the links above to see the timeline. It paints a picture of a genuine attempt to limit free speech in America.

The President may or may not have given any direct orders regarding the use of the IRS to limit free speech, but the ending paragraph of the Wall Street Journal article truly sums up what happened:

In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.

Unfortunately we are dealing with a President who chooses to act more like a king than a president.

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A Victim Of IRS Targeting Speaks Out

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about the testimony recently  given by Catherine Engelbrecht before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Some of Mrs. Engelbrecht’s testimony is reported in the article:

In nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and I never dealt with any government agency, outside of filing our annual tax returns. We had never been audited, we had never been investigated, but all that changed upon submitting applications for the non-profit statuses of True the Vote and King Street Patriots. Since that filing in 2010, my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.

* In 2011, my personal and business tax returns were audited by the Internal Revenue Service, each audit going back for a number of years.

* In 2012, my business was subjected to inspection by OSHA, on a select occasion when neither my husband nor I were present, and though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant, it still issued fines in excess of $20,000.

* In 2012 and again in 2013 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at my place business.

* Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted my nonprofit organization on six separate occasions – wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all my files.

The story continues:

I also refuse to let a precedent be set that allows Members of Congress, particularly the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to misrepresent this governing body in an effort to demonize and intimidate citizens. Three times, Representative Elijah Cummings sent letters to True the Vote, demanding much of the same information that the IRS had requested. Hours after sending letters, he would appear on cable news and publicly defame me and my organization. Such tactics are unacceptable. It is for these reasons that immediately after this hearing I am filing a formal complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics and asking for a full investigation.

If we as Americans continue to elect people who engage in this sort of behavior, we will all eventually pay the price. This is a direct attack on someone who was attempting to insure that an election was honest, and they were attacked by the government. Is that the country we want to live in?

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Lawyers Are Revolting Against Attorney General Holder

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about a letter the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys sent Holder three days ago. The letter was in reference to the Attorney General‘s support of the Durbin-Lee bill, which would overturn the current mandatory minimum sentences not only for marijuana violations but for all drug offenses, including major and repeat trafficking in heroin, meth, PCP and other extremely dangerous, and often lethal, drugs.

The article quotes the letter:

We believe the merits of mandatory minimums are abundantly clear. They reach to only the most serious of crimes. They target the most serious criminals. They provide us leverage to secure cooperation from defendants. They help to establish uniform and consistency in sentencing. And foremost, they protect law-abiding citizens and help to hold crime in check.

The Justice Department under Attorney General Holder has a history of ignoring laws and practicing unequal justice. Hopefully, if this law is defeated, the Justice Department will continue to do its job in accordance with the current law.

Putting drug dealers back on the streets more quickly does not help our society in any way.

 

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About The Claim That Women Are Paid Less Than Men Who Do The Same Job

First of all, if there were real wage equality, mothers would be the highest paid workers ever–they are on call 24/7, often act as family CEO’s, peacemakers, custodial staff, grounds keepers, in charge of grocery logistics, family nurse, and often hold a job outside the home as well. If there were true wage equality, mothers would make more than most company presidents.

However, in regard to President Obama’s statement on Tuesday night that “You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.” This is simply not true.

The argument against this statement comes from three articles from people with very different political persuasions. On November 5,2012, Real Clear Politics posted an article by Dean Kalahar, on January 29, 2014, the American Spectator posted an article by Natalie deMacedo, and on January 30, 2014, Power Line posted an article by Scott Johnson.

All three articles said essentially the same thing–the figure of 77 cents on the dollar does not represent equal work–it represents the overall workplace and does not take into consideration the fact that many women work part time or that men tend to go into the higher paying professions–engineering, medicine (as doctors), etc.

What should be considered here is that women don’t always have the luxury of dedicating themselves to the high-paying corporate fast track. Women have to make a choice of priorities–motherhood versus career. While many women in lucrative careers can afford good child care, women in jobs in industries that do not pay as well often have difficult choices to make. That is not the government’s fault or the government’s responsibility–it is simply the way that things are.

Many years ago, I spent a few years working as a temporary employee. I learned a few things along the way. One of the things I learned was that pay scales in various industries vary a great deal. I have no idea why this is, but it was very obvious during the early 90’s in New England. I definitely considered that fact when I finally accepted a full-time job. It is also good to remember that a good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say. The 77 cents on the dollar quote is a good example of that.

Just for the record, this is the statistic that was not cited (from the American Spectator):

Women congregate in different professions than men do, and the largely male professions tend to be higher-paying. If you account for those differences, and then compare a woman and a man doing the same job, the pay gap narrows to 91 percent. So, you could accurately say in that Obama ad that, “women get paid 91 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”

Many men tend to go into science and engineering fields which generally pay more. Women who stay at home with children are factored in as earning nothing. Therefore, the 77 cent stat is a misleading one.

Rosin adds that the reason women are making less could largely depend on more complicated issues, such as maternity leave, marriage, and a lack of childcare options. Debates on those topics can be saved for another day.

Remember, any good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say!

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What Spending Cuts?

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line about the omnibus spending bill recently passed.

The article states:

…Which illustrates, for the umpteenth time, a point I have made over and over: budget/spending deals that purport to dictate spending many years into the future are a joke. No Congress can bind a future Congress. When a Congressman tells you that a purported ten-year deal cuts spending in the “out years,” grab your wallet and run. The out years never come.

***Because the defense cap was lower in 2014 under the original Budget Control Act, defense spending does not meaningfully increase from 2013 enacted levels. Nondefense spending, however, receives an increase that is 10 times larger than defense. The 5 percent rate of growth of nondefense spending is almost three times the projected 1.7 percent rate of inflation (see table below).

Spending Chart 02

As you can see, the budget does not decrease–it increases! Then why is the only actual cut the decrease in the cost of living adjustment (COLA) to military retirement?

The article concludes:

The other point that emerges from these spending numbers is that discretionary spending is relentlessly being squeezed out by entitlements. The real constraint on the growth of both defense and non-defense discretionary spending is the explosion in entitlements–Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and now Obamacare. With the Democrats vowing to fight to the last ditch to resist any sort of entitlement reform, and with federal debt having risen to more than $17 trillion–another budget-crusher as soon as interest rates rise again–there is simply no money for the social spending boondoggles that the Democrats would dearly love to finance. I suppose we should count our blessings.

***This paragraph is taken from a Senate Budget Committee report.

 

 

 

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Did We Mean To Give Fallujah To Al Qaeda?

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about the fact that Al Qaeda has taken over the city of Fallujah in Iraq. American lives were sacrificed to free that city from terrorists, and now it has fallen back into the hands of Al Qaeda.

A friend who is more familiar with Iraq than I am tells me that the fall of Iraq was inevitable whether America left forces there or not. I am not so sure.

The article reports:

A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U.S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago. …

In Fallujah, where Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in 2004, the militants appeared to have the upper hand, underscoring the extent to which the Iraqi security forces have struggled to sustain the gains made by U.S. troops before they withdrew in December 2011. …

Events Friday suggested the [Marines’] fight may have been in vain.

“At the moment, there is no presence of the Iraqi state in Fallujah,” said a local journalist who asked not to be named because he fears for his safety. “The police and the army have abandoned the city, al-Qaeda has taken down all the Iraqi flags and burned them, and it has raised its own flag on all the buildings.”

I may be naive, but I believe that the people of Iraq would have stood with us to gain their freedom had we chosen to stay and fight the evil that is Al Qaeda with them, I believe that the country could have become a democracy. Now we will never know.

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The Kickoff For The Silly Season

Generally speaking, the silly season is the four to six-month period before a major election when you are deluged by television and radio ads and phone calls from various candidates. It is a time when you have to look behind everything you hear to see who is putting the information out there and if there is any money involved in your hearing it. If you are a low-information voter, you will probably be totally mislead by the process. If you are a high-information voter, you may be slightly wiser, but you will be sick of the entire process by the time the election arrives. Right now we are in the run-up to the November 2014 Congressional elections, but the day after that election, the 2016 presidential election campaign begins. Actually, it has already begun.

Today, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about a New York Times article about Benghazi. The New York Times is already preparing the way for Hillary Clinton to run for President in 2016. It is preparing the way by rewriting the history of Benghazi in a way that scrubs out any lies or mistakes made by the Hillary Clinton State Department and places the blame for the death of Ambassador Stevens anywhere but on Hillary Clinton.

The article at Power Line reports:

The Times, attempting to shore up Hillary Clinton’s 2016 candidacy, tries to show that the attacks on American facilities in Benghazi that took place on September 11, 2012, were not orchestrated by al Qaeda. The paper’s reporter reaches this conclusion, as Paul and Tom show, by simply ignoring most of the relevant facts. Further, the paper tries to resurrect the theory that an obscure YouTube video had something to do with the death of four Americans. Sure, that’s highly plausible: for the first time ever, movie critics were armed with mortars.

The article at Power Line asks three basic questions:

1. Why didn’t Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, respond to any of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ several requests for increased security?

2. Where were Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the night of September 11, 2012, and what orders, if any, did they give?

3. Why haven’t the perpetrators of the murders been found and punished?

I’m not likely to vote for Hillary Clinton for President, but I still would like to see those questions answered before she runs for office.

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About Those Jobs Numbers

John Crudele at the New York Post has posted a few articles raising questions about how the Obama Administration is calculating unemployment numbers. He posted one yesterday. Mr. Crudele has pointed out that unemployment numbers are coming from the Census Bureau and that in 2010 one of its enumerators was caught fabricating interviews.

The article reports:

The Census Department surveys that went into the November jobless rate actually took place during the week that included Nov. 5 instead of the normal Nov. 12 week.

The Labor Department did put in a note about the survey week change in its November report.

But it should also have included another line that said: “The data for the unemployment rate may have been compromised. Lots of people are looking into the matter right now. We’ll get back to you on whether you should believe these numbers or not.”

John Hinderaker posted a story about the jobs numbers at Power Line today.

The article at Power Line includes the following chart:

120613-600x375

The chart shows what has happened to the labor participation rate since 2008–it dropped like a rock and stayed there.

The article at Power Line quotes James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute:

    1. There are still 1.1 million fewer employed Americans today than right before the recession started, despite a potential labor force that’s 14 million larger. And there are 3.6 million fewer full-time workers than back in 2007.

    2. The employment rate, the share of Americans with a job, is 58.6% — exactly where it was in November 2009.

    3. If the labor force participation rate were where it was a year ago, the jobless rate would be 7.9%, not 7% (and 11.3% if the LFPR were at prerecession levels, though closer to 9% if demographics-adjusted).

The article at Power Line concludes:

Back in the heady days of 2008 and 2009, the Democrats were universally confident that the economy would improve dramatically, as it always does after a recession, regardless of the policies the Democrats followed. All they would need to do was take credit when the time came. The bitter lesson of the last five years is that federal policies do matter. The American economy is diverse and resilient, but if our government’s policies are stupid enough, they can blight the prospects of an entire generation.

If you were planning to break out the champagne because of the 7 per cent unemployment rate, you might want to hold off for a little bit. If you want to turn this around, think before you vote.

 

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There Is No Resemblance To Truth In These Statements

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about President Obama’s speech today regarding ObamaCare. The President is still campaigning–he is not even approaching the idea of solving problems. The speech simply repeated the idea that the only failure on the part of ObamaCare was due to the lack of support by Republicans. There was no acknowledgement of the fact that the Republicans might have some valid points or than their objections to ObamaCare might be well founded.

The article quotes the President’s speech:

Now, we may never satisfy the law’s opponents. I think that’s fair to say. Some of them are rooting for this law to fail — that’s not my opinion, by the way, they say it pretty explicitly. (Laughter.) Some have already convinced themselves that the law has failed, regardless of the evidence. But I would advise them to check with the people who are here today and the people that they represent all across the country whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act.

Maybe he can’t satisfy the law’s opponents because it is a bad law. If President Obama keeps up this sort of rhetoric, he will reduce the Democrats to a minority party for the foreseeable future.

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Rules For Radicals In Action

Saul Alinksy, the original community organizer, wrote a book entitled, “Rules for Radicals.” Rule #4 states, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)” Unfortunately that rule has been used excessively by many of the American political left. The latest example has to do with the Keystone Pipeline.

Two people the American political left loves to hate are the Koch Brothers. Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line describing how the political left is using the Koch Brothers as an excuse to oppose the Keystone Pipe Line. So what is the connection between the Keystone Pipeline and the Koch Brothers? Well, before I go into that, I would like to mention the connection between the Keystone Pipeline and Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett controls Berkshire Hathaway which owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Burlington Northern Santa Fe will be shipping oil by rail if the pipeline is not built. The railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

But, back to the Koch Brothers. A website called Grist claims that the Koch Brothers will make “as much as $100 billion in profits if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is given the go-ahead by President Obama.” So let’s look at the claim. First of all, the construction of the Keystone Pipeline would result in Koch Industries paying more for oil–not less. (See the article at Power Line for details). The article at Power Line also deals with the claim that the Koch Brothers own a good part of the acreage the oil for the pipeline will come from. Actually, it turns out that the Koch Brothers lease the acreage and that if the pipeline is built, it will take 476 years for the Koch Brothers to break even after the construction of the Pipeline.

The article at Power Line concludes:

So what is going on here? Rich liberals hire kids–recent college graduates, or maybe college or high school students–to produce idiotic “research reports” that can be dismantled by anyone familiar with arithmetic, let alone the oil and gas industry, of which these kids obviously know nothing at all. The claims these reports make are completely divorced from reality, but liberals don’t seem to care. The Huffington Post headlines: “Keystone XL Pipeline Could Yield $100 Billion For Koch Brothers.” PolicyMic: “Actually, You Probably WILL Guess Who Stands to Make $100 Billion Off the Keystone XL Pipeline.” TruthDig: “Koch Brothers Stand to Make $100 Billion From Keystone Pipeline.” And, of course, the Kos Kidz are all over it.

This isn’t just stupid, it is insane. It is also, unfortunately, a good example of what modern liberalism has come to. No regard for truth, just blind hatred.

Rules for radicals at work.

 

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Hmmmmm

This is a sign (posted on PowerLine) outside one of the monuments in Washington, D.C. I have a few questions. When was the sign made up? Who authorized the sign? Who paid for the sign? How was the sign made after the government was shut down?

The article at Power Line also makes a very interesting point:

The irony of an American citizen being chased away from a memorial to Thomas Jefferson because, well, you can’t visit monuments when our government is 17% shut down, is almost too much. But consider the significance of the fact that a guard was present. That expense was being incurred, just as if the memorial were open; so why did it need to be closed? The difference was that instead of being there to provide security, the guard’s role was to chase away any visitors who were bold enough to ignore the signs and the yellow tape.

All of which is more evidence that the Obama administration is engaged in a massive charade to hype the damage allegedly done by the partial shutdown. It corroborates the Park Service ranger quoted by the Washington Times who said, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

Please follow the link above to the Power Line article to read about the American citizen who was chased away from the Jefferson Memorial.

 

 

 

 

 

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I Guess It Depended On Where You Were

New England had a hot July this summer. I live in a house without central air-conditioning, and we ran between two and three air conditioners most of the month. Usually we run two for about two weeks. Well, I guess there were other places that just weren’t quite that warm.

This is a map from a website called climatedepot.com:

RecordEvents-21Aug13

The map shows high and low record temperatures from July 24 through August 21. This was posted on their website yesterday.

Meanwhile, Steven Hayward at Power Line points out that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will begin its battle to convince us that global warming is real and man-made within the next few weeks. The IPCC will bring out its report in three sections–Science, Impacts, and Mitigation. The Science report is due out next month.

We already know from past scandals that much of the data used to prove global warming was cherry-picked–important warming periods were left out to skew the data. We have the emails to prove this. So why is the UN trying to convince us that global warming is real and that we are responsible? Because any bureaucracy in any governmental organization likes to grow and likes to control more people and more money. If the IPCC can convince Americans and other wealthy countries that unless they give all kinds of money to non-wealthy countries we will all die, chances are we will give them the money. Unfortunately, this is not about concern for the earth–this is about taking money from wealthy countries and giving it to other countries (generally run by tyrants who will live gloriously at our expense while giving nothing to the people of their countries.)

The earth’s climate goes through cycles. It has gone through cycles before man was here. Those cycles are somehow built into the way the earth works. So far we have not successfully figured out how those cycles work. In recent years the National Weather Service in America has predicted catastrophic hurricane seasons caused by global warming. We have had some severe hurricanes, but it has been a long time since we have seen a catastrophic hurricane season.

The bottom line here is that we as people do not control the earth. We could give all the money we have to corrupt dictators in third-world countries, and we still would not control the earth. We need to do everything we can to keep our air and planet clean, but giving money to countries that will not spend money responsibly helps neither us or the earth.

 

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An Interesting Perspective On Immigration Reform

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the economic impact the current proposals regarding immigration reform will have on the incomes of Americans.

This week in his weekly address, President Obama stated the following:

The Senate’s plan would also provide a big boost to our recovery. And on Wednesday, we released a report detailing exactly how big a boost that would be.

The report is based on the findings of independent, nonpartisan economists and experts who concluded that, if the Senate’s plan becomes law, our economy will be 5% larger in two decades compared to the status quo. That’s $1.4 trillion added to our economy just by fixing our immigration system.

Here in America, we’ve always been a nation of immigrants. That’s what’s kept our workforce dynamic, our businesses on the cutting edge, and our economy the strongest in the world. But under the current system, too many smart, hardworking immigrants are prevented from contributing to that success.

John Hinderaker points out:

And who might those supposedly “independent, nonpartisan economists and experts” be? When you check out the actual report, here is who they are:

President’s National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget, and the Council of Economic Advisers.

In other words, extensions of the office of the president. His appointees–high level flacks.

That’s the first problem with that statement. The second problem is explained by a Power Line reader with amazing math skills who sent a note to Power Line which definitely disputed that claim.

The reader reports:

The claim is that aggregate GDP will be 5% higher in 20 years than otherwise, equal to $1.4 trillion in constant dollars. By simple algebra that means they are assuming a status quo future GDP of $28 trillion and therefore an immigration-enhanced GDP of $29.4 trillion. But wait! What about GDP per capita, the only meaningful measure of economic growth for the populace? Well…population will increase from today’s 315 million to about 378 million under the current immigration and population levels, and to about 410 million with the new immigration regime, conservatively estimated. [Ed.: That is a VERY conservative estimate.] Simple arithmetic demonstrates that future GDP per capita without the new immigration levels is $74,000, whereas with increased immigration it is $71,700.

…Their plan is simply to import scores of millions of unskilled 3rd world immigrants, covered by a fig leaf of a few hundred thousand high skilled STEM workers, 90% of whom we can easily do without, in order to create “economic growth” — in the aggregate — by a massive population expansion from the outside–but not growth that will benefit existing native born Americans at all. And that is not counting the inevitable economic drawbacks of this grotesque giantism — overcrowding, land use issues, infrastructure deterioration, and environmental degradation, to name a few.

The ability of some of our elected leaders to lie in order to further whatever agenda they have is amazing to me. I would love to see our immigration policies reformed–they are awful. However, the current changes proposed by the Senate are not the answer. The incremental proposals coming from the House of Representatives might better solve our current problems.

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Does This Mean Mayor Bloomberg Will Put The Salt Shakers Back On The Tables At New York City Restaurants?

On June 21, a website called PreventDisease.com posted a story stating that there is no benefit in reducing salt intake and it may even be dangerous. In the past, New York‘s Mayor Bloomberg has attempted to limit the use of salt in New York City’s restaurants.

Now the Democrat food police (yes, I realize that Mayor Bloomberg is a Republican, but check the circumstances of his becoming mayor) have a new issue. First Lady Michelle Obama has been trying to change the lunch programs in our schools.

On Friday, Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line about the latest escapades of the Democrat food police.

The article quotes a Washington Times article:

“[Food service manager Nicky] Boehm and her staff worked hard to implement the new regulations, but there were just too many problems and too many foods that students did not like and would not purchase,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Abdoo about the National School Lunch Program in a statement reported by EAGNews.org. “Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money.”

The school system decided to instead create its own lunch menu for next year.

The district lost about $100,000 trying out the federal menu, which offered such meals as “part” of a chicken patty on a minicroissant, EAGNews.org reported.

Would that satisfy you? It would be really nice to see children eat better, but I am not sure that is something the government can accomplish. It seems to me that it’s not even an education problem. Most people over the age of twelve understand that eating fast food every night or living on potato chips and sugar is not a good idea. The only thing that will reduce the obesity rate in America will be American’s deciding that they want to lose the weight. It comes down to individual choice.

The ‘nanny state’ is not really helpful to anyone. As science changes regarding salt and other foods, the government may not be in a position to undo the regulations it set in place. We don’t always make the correct personal choices, but we all have the right to make those choices.

 

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Ignoring History

One of the best headlines of the day comes from Steven Hayward at Power Line. The headline reads, “Did Something Happen at Gettysburg?” This week is the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg. There have been commemorative observances all week of the sesquicentennial observances all week. Neither the President or the Vice-President has attended any of the observances.The mainstream media has not widely covered the events.

Breitbart.com posted the following:

Guelzo (Historian Allen Guelzo, author of the New York Times bestselling book Gettysburg: The Last Invasion) noted that it was mostly just ordinary people who showed up to the Gettysburg memorial, not just Americans but people from around the world who wanted to pay tribute to perhaps the most significant event and moment of sacrifice in our nation’s history. He also noted that the three-day commemoration of the event, July 1-3, was not covered by any of the major networks.

 “Where is the Today Show? Where is Good Morning America?” said Guelzo.

 Attendees have mostly shown great reverence to the honor and sacrifice of the men who fought on both sides of the battle, according to Guelzo. Most have honored Abraham Lincoln’s dictate in the famous Gettysburg Address: “never forget what they did here.” The “they” that Lincoln referred to were the soldiers in uniform on the battlefield 150 years ago who bled and died for the cause and the country that they believed in. 

 Visitors endured torrential rainfall to see the battlefield as tens of thousands came to pay tribute to this special moment in American and world history.

Gettysburg was an important event in American history. It is a shame that the Obama Administration and the mainstream media have ignored it.

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