Friday, April 1, 2016

A LOT of important political news and opinion today

Random Thoughts for April 2016. By Robert A. Hall
Feel free to post or forward.


Cruz Declares 'Celebration of Women' at Wisconsin Forum

New Poll: Fox Business Network Poll: Cruz leads in Wisconsin
Excerpt: Cruz garners 42 percent among Wisconsin likely GOP primary voters, while Trump receives 32 percent.  John Kasich comes in third with 19 percent. Among just those who say they will “definitely” vote, Cruz’s lead over Trump widens to 46-33 percent, and Kasich gets 16 percent. There is a big gender gap.  Women back Cruz over Trump by a 19-point margin (46-27 percent).  The two candidates are much closer among men:  Cruz gets 40 percent to Trump’s 35 percent. Cruz’s advantage over the real estate mogul also comes from self-described “very” conservative voters, who give him a 36-point lead (61 percent Cruz vs. 25 percent Trump)

Cruz's Chances. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
When I hear Cruz skeptics arguing the Texas senator faces an uphill climb against Hillary Clinton, I nod and point out that the consequences of an unsuccessful Cruz candidacy are way less harmful than an unsuccessful Trump candidacy. (Unless, of course, a catastrophic blowout of Trump, costing many down-ticket Republicans their seats, convinces every rational Republican that it’s political suicide to change the GOP from fundamentally conservative, free-market, traditionalist, Reaganesque coalition to one that’s fundamentally populist, protectionist, isolationist, and unconcerned with traditional values.)


Worth Reading: Donald Trump didn’t suddenly change in the past few days, weeks, or months. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
He’s the same guy he always was, the same guy that most of us in the conservative movement and GOP have been staunchly opposing for the past year. He didn’t abruptly become reckless, obnoxious, ill-informed, erratic, hot-tempered, pathologically dishonest, narcissistic, crude, and catastrophically unqualified for the presidency overnight. He’s always been that guy, and you denied it and ignored it and hand-waved it away and made excuses every step of the way because you were convinced that you were so much smarter than the rest of us. You were so certain that you were on some superior wavelength giving you special insight into the Donald; only you could tell that it was all an act. Only you could grasp that his constant courting of controversy was just to get attention from the media. Only you could instinctively sense that his style would play brilliantly in the general election and win over working-class Democrats. (SPOILER ALERT: It isn’t.) You insisted that you could “coach him.” You came to those conclusions not because you’re smarter than the rest of us, but because you’re actually more foolish than the rest of us. You insisted Occam’s Razor couldn’t possibly be true -- that Trump acts the way he does because this is who he is, this is the way he is all the time, and he will always be like this. You fooled yourself into believing that Trump was playing this nine-level chess game that only you and a few others could perceive and understand. Only you could see the long game. But there is no long game. He’s winging it. There is no grand strategy. There is no master plan. Trump doesn’t look ahead to the next sentence, much less the next step in getting elected. ... Technically we’re supposed to welcome previous Trump fans-turned-foes with open arms. But barring some miraculous comeback by Ted Cruz, the Trump campaign will have cost the Republican party the presidency after eight years of Obama, and perhaps the Senate and even the House -- not to mention Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court. Years of effort spent attempting to dispel the accusations of inherent Republican misogyny, xenophobia, hypocrisy, ignorance, and blind rage have been undone by Trump’s campaign. And every Trump advocate in front of a camera had a hand in this. (If you don't subscribe to Morning Jolt, a free e-newsletter, I suggest you do. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: What's the Matter with Ted Cruz?
Excerpt: Am I missing something about Ted Cruz? The Texas senator seems to me to be the one true conservative left in the presidential race, and the most true conservative who was ever in it. Graduated cum laude from Princeton, magna cum laude from Harvard. "Off the charts brilliant," said his liberal professor Alan Dershowitz. The first Hispanic solicitor general of Texas. Authored more than 80 Supreme Court briefs and made more than 40 oral SCOTUS arguments. Won important victories on gun rights, the Pledge of Allegiance, the right to display the Ten Commandments. Sponsored close to a hundred bills during his time in the Senate.

Signs of Wisconsin Backlash Against Donald Trump, Who Trails in Poll
Excerpt: The danger signs are mounting for Trump in Wisconsin: Right-wing radio hosts are flaying him, Gov. Scott Walker and other elected Republicans have endorsed Senator Ted Cruz, and a new poll showed Mr. Cruz with a 10 percentage-point lead in the state before Tuesday’s primary.

Poll suggests Donald Trump just stumbled into Scott Walker town. By M.D. Kittle 
Excerpt: Donald Trump just walked into a political buzz saw in Wisconsin. The latest Marquette Law School poll, released Wednesday, just six days before the Badger State votes in the presidential primary election, shows Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with a 10 percent lead over the billionaire “anti-establishment” Trump. But what the numbers might underscore more than anything is most conservatives in Wisconsin like Gov. Scott Walker, and a sizable majority don’t care for Donald Trump. “Walker has an 80 percent approval level among GOP primary likely voters, with just 17 percent disapproving. That is strong support within the party,” said Marquette Law School public policy professor Charles Franklin, who conducted the poll.

Excerpt: As I wrote last week, this is an insurmountable divide within the party and the conservative movement. That means it’s a zero-sum contest. There will be winners and losers. Either Trump wins or #NeverTrump wins (that’s the umbrella Twitter hashtag for a diverse coalition of conservatives who will never vote for the man). There’s no compromise. So if you’re a #NeverTrumper, the debate now is all about the how.

Trump would be least-popular major-party nominee in modern times
Excerpt: If Donald Trump secures the Republican presidential nomination, he would start the general election campaign as the least-popular candidate to represent either party in modern times. Three-quarters of women view him unfavorably. So do nearly two-thirds of independents, 80 percent of young adults, 85 percent of Hispanics and nearly half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Those findings, tallied from Washington Post-ABC News polling, fuel Trump’s overall 67 percent unfavorable rating — making Trump more disliked than any major-party nominee in the 32 years the survey has been tracking candidates.

Conservative women stand up to Trump. By Jennifer Rubin 
Excerpt: Sixteen conservative women journalists, including Mary Katharine Ham, S.E. Cupp, Katie Pavlich and Mona Charen, have signed an open letter concerning Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who has been charged with battery in connection with an incident involving Michelle Fields, formerly a Breitbart reporter:

Donald Trump doesn’t speak for the pro-life movement. By Christine Emba
Excerpt: His play for pro-life support didn’t work, because his statements reflected nothing. Serious members of the pro-life movement would affirm that while they wish to make abortion illegal, they seek to do so in order to save unborn children and to legally recognize the dignity of unborn human life —  not to punish women. Indeed, the movement has historically opposed punishing women who have abortions, noting that women who face unintended pregnancy are often under stress and that the goal of the pro-life movement is to make abortion not the only answer.

Uh oh: Did Trump forfeit his South Carolina delegates by breaking his pledge to support the nominee?
Excerpt: So that’s why Cruz won’t give a straight answer when he’s asked if he’ll break his pledge over Trump insulting his wife. It’s not about proving he’s a “man of his word.” It’s because, as usual, he’s well-versed in the rules and Trump isn’t.
Hard to overstate what a big deal this would be if the challenge prevailed and Trump lost these delegates. By winning statewide and in every congressional district, Trump turned South Carolina into his fourth-biggest delegate haul of the campaign to date. He netted 50 there. If he lost those, his odds of getting to 1,237 on the first ballot would suddenly grow much more difficult, maybe prohibitively so. I wonder if Team Cruz and their loyalists in the SC delegation are really going to press this or if it’s just a way to needle Trump for being an idiot in undermining the pledge.

Donald Trump: Narcissist-In-Chief, Not Commander-In-Chief. By Glenn Swogger, Jr. and Henry I. Miller
Excerpt: Our government seems even less able than usual these days to find realistic political and social solutions to our many problems, domestic and foreign. It is in this context that Donald Trump, asserting that he will “make us great again,” has gained credence and achieved improbable successes at the polls. However, a Trump presidency would not bode well for the nation. Like Trump, charismatic leaders often manifest signs and symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a formal diagnosis the characteristics of which–according to the psychiatrist’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersinclude:

New theory among anti-Trumpers: He’s deliberately sabotaging his campaign
Excerpt: Still, I don’t buy it. To believe Markay’s theory requires you to believe, a la Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter, that Trump actually knows what he’s doing. He’s not a guy in over his head who’s lettin’ it rip on highly sensitive questions about abortion; he’s actually a genius who’s carefully crafting one performance after another which he knows, cumulatively, will succeed in destroying his chances of winning. In Nate Silver’s formulation, Trump is either the most brilliant political tactician of his era or just a guy randomly mashing buttons. I’m going to guess that retweeting a “Melania’s hotter than Heidi Cruz” photo was not, in fact, a coolly calculated play to turn millions of voters against him but really just a juvenile way of high-fiving his fans on late-night Twitter without any thought for the consequences. I.e. mashing buttons. To believe that Trump’s sabotaging himself by playing puppet-master to the entire national media and the GOP electorate is, in an odd irony, basically to accept the “Green Lantern” nature of Trump’s candidacy. He’s convinced his followers that he really does have super powers that’ll let him achieve great things that mere mortal presidents can’t. Now he’s convincing his critics that he has super powers capable of orchestrating a very particular set of circumstances in which he exits from the race while claiming to have been the true victor. (I don't think there is a strategy. I think he's making it up as he goes along, saying where pops into his head (even if he's on record saying the opposite) and bathing his ego in the sticky goo of media attention. ~Bob. Put some faith in Occam’s Razor, the notion that the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Trump acts like he as a hot temper and no impulse control because he has a hot temper and no impulse control. He lashes out blindly against people who he ought to be trying to persuade because he likes lashing out at people, and doesn’t think too far ahead. Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt)

Interesting: The Electoral College: The Only Thing That Matters. It’s a long way to November, but for the moment the GOP is an underdog. Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley
Sabato, a respected political scientist, predicts as of now Hillary will get 347 electoral votes, Trump 191. I don't think it would be that close. ~Bob

Donald Trump Brings Out the Worst In People. By Erick Erickson 
Excerpt: “There are days I think if we shaved Trump’s bad combover we’d find ‘666’ on his scalp. But then I realize he’s just a jackass with a unique ability to let others feed off his jackassery” “Did he really say that?” ask the Branch Trumpidians as their cult leader bobs and weaves between diametrically opposed positions. The word parsing first made famous by a serpent in the Garden of Eden is stock and trade among Trump and the Branch Trumpidians. Along the way, Trump has the unique ability to bring out the worst in practically everybody. Tune in to CNN and watch Sarah Huckabee, a Christian whose dad was a pastor, dodge having to denounce a smear against another Christian.
Tune into Fox and watch Sarah Huckabee’s dad or a variety of other Branch Trumpidians go on the attack against conservatives for upholding their principles or watch Stacy Dash call people who oppose Trump “traitors.” In fact, the most amazing part of it all is how many outright shills there are for Trump who refuse to actually admit they are on his team. 

Perceptions of the presidential candidates, and primary preferences
Excerpt: The share of GOP voters saying Trump would be a good or great president has declined seven points since January (from 56%), while the share saying he would be poor or terrible has increased eight points. Though this change is seen across most Republican groups, the rising share saying he would be poor or terrible is somewhat more pronounced among Republican women than men. Today, 38% of GOP women say he would be a poor or terrible president, up from 24% in January (by comparison, just 24% of Republican men say Trump would be poor or terrible, little changed from 20% in January).

Seven in 10 Women Have Unfavorable Opinion of Trump
Excerpt: Donald Trump's image among U.S. women tilts strongly negative, with 70% of women holding an unfavorable opinion and 23% a favorable opinion of the Republican front-runner in March. Trump's unfavorable rating among women has been high since Gallup began tracking it last July, but after rising slightly last fall, it has increased even further since January. (When you mention this on Twitter, you inevitably get some Trump fan insisting that all of the polls have to be lies, because they love Trump and everyone, and in particular every woman they know, loves Trump. Forget what the data says, my anecdote feels so right! --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt.)

Worth Reading: Republicans shouldn’t talk themselves into supporting Trump. By Whit Ayres
Excerpt: But what about “the missing white voters” whom Trump supposedly would energize and bring into the electorate? Weren’t there more than 4 million whites who voted in 2008 but not 2012? Yes, and Mitt Romney lost by 5 million votes. Had every one of the missing white voters turned out and voted for Romney, he still would have lost. Those whites who did not vote were concentrated in the deepest red states — Arkansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia — where President Obama never had a chance and lack of competition drove down turnout. No evidence exists of a dramatic falloff among white voters in the swing states that decide the outcome of a presidential contest.

Excerpt: Outspoken conservative author and New York Times best seller Brad Thor joined Glenn’s radio program to share his thoughts on the 2016 presidential election Wednesday. ... Well, I got to tell you, listen, I will never vote for Donald Trump. I will never — Hillary is a thorough progressive. I mean, she was on TV last night talking about her progressiveness. I think Hillary would be a disaster for the country but we could survive and come out on the other side stronger. I don’t think we can survive Trump. I’m even at the point now where if a third party or a write-in wouldn’t guarantee that Trump loses, I might even vote Hillary Clinton if that’s what it takes to stop Donald Trump because I think she’s the lesser of two evils.

Excerpt: What primarily drives the Republican front-runner is any opportunity that could benefit his own brand.

Worth Reading: The looming Trump disaster, in three charts. By Greg Sargent

Worth Reading: The Gravitational Pull of Trump's Lies. By Jonah Goldberg, The Goldberg File Or almost every case. This week there have been some cracks in the façade. Trump’s attacks on Heidi Cruz unsettled even Ann Coulter. And his abortion remarks are still sending tremors through the granite foundations of Trump can-do-no-wrong-ism. Joe Scarborough and Breitbart’s John Nolte are talking about what a bad week he’s having and gravely warning Trump to get his act together. As Jim Geraghty has been writing, the problem with such second thoughts is the assumption that something is amiss with Trump or his campaign. This is Trump. This is his campaign. The Trump we see before us is the same Trump. It’s a bit like when Barack Obama said that the Jeremiah Wright he saw denouncing America wasn’t the man he knew. That was nonsense. Obama knew exactly who Wright was, having attended his church for 20 years. It was only when Wright’s act moved to a larger national stage that all of a sudden he became inconvenient to Obama. The analogy isn’t perfect, of course. But the basic point is the same. The Donald Trump of the last week is the exact same Donald Trump many of us saw a year ago or five years ago. He’s always been full of sh*t. He’s always been a total ignoramus when it comes to public policy, lacking the simple sense of patriotic duty to do his homework on the issues. He’s always been a nasty and boorish cad. He’s always pretended to be a conservative while working on liberal assumptions of what conservatives want to hear.

Excerpt: Not only did Trump say that the pledge is null and void as far as he’s concerned, he also went further and told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he doesn’t want the support of Ted Cruz. Here is a front-runner for a major party’s nomination doing all he can to repel his nearest competitor, who has won 5,732,220 votes so far, or 29 percent of the total (Trump has won 39 percent), and speaks for a significant, and highly engaged, faction of the party. Is there any precedent for such a willfully and pointlessly destructive act in modern American politics?

The Daily Trail: Donald Trump's unpopularity is poised to make history
Excerpt: "Three-quarters of women view him unfavorably. So do nearly two-thirds of independents, 80 percent of young adults, 85 percent of Hispanics and nearly half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. "Those findings, tallied from Washington Post-ABC News polling, fuel Trump’s overall 67 percent unfavorable rating — making Trump more disliked than any major-party nominee in the 32 years the survey has been tracking candidates."


Important: 'One shot at the queen': FBI, AG intensify focus on Clinton email probe
Excerpt: Among the issues discussed in the meetings, which have been taking place several times per week, are who will be interviewed and in what order, according to an intelligence source close to the ongoing case. Emails released by the State Department have already shown Clinton and several key aides used the personal, unsecured network to send more than 1,000 messages which have been deemed classified. “In a case like this you get one shot at the queen,” the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said referring to Clinton, the former secretary of state and current front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. “The pressures are enormous on the agents, as the case has to be airtight and perfect.” (You can bet that Lynch, directed by Obama, is looking for a loophole to shoot down the whole thing. But this could be the start of a "black swan" event that boosts GOP chances. ~Bob)

Satire: HILLARY CLINTON ARRESTED! By Col. Andy Weddinton, USMC (Ret)

Interesting: The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase. By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Excerpt: The exception is Bryan Pagliano, the one member of Clinton's inner circle who, with either a written promise of non-prosecution or an order of immunity from a federal judge, began to cooperate with federal prosecutors last fall. Here is what he told the feds. Pagliano has explained to federal prosecutors the who, what, when, how and why he migrated an open State Department email stream and a secret State Department email stream from government computers to Clinton's secret server in her home in Chappaqua, New York. He has told them that Clinton paid him $5,000 to commit that likely criminal activity. He has also told some of the 147 FBI agents assigned to this case that Clinton herself was repeatedly told by her own State Department information technology experts and their colleagues at the National Security Agency that her persistent use of her off-the-shelf BlackBerry was neither an effective nor an acceptable means of receiving, transmitting or safeguarding state secrets. Little did they know how reckless she was with government secrets, as none was apparently then aware of her use of her non-secure secret server in Chappaqua for all of her email uses.

Bill Whittle on Hillary and her email records:

Interesting: In Wisconsin, a close primary against Sanders could spell future trouble for Clinton
Excerpt: There was a danger sign for Hillary Clinton in a dank old industrial warehouse here along the Milwaukee River. The cinderblock walls had been painted over with modernist murals bearing the likeness of Bernie Sanders. This was now a campaign field office. And the volunteers, young and old, who manned a phone bank on Thursday afternoon, vowed never to give up their time — or, for some, even their votes — to Clinton. (The Sanders campaign has called twice for my brother, wanting him to volunteer, assuming that because he registered in the last six months in WI he's a kid. They promise to call back and I say fine. ~Bob)

Hillary Clinton Screens Bill's Calls... Always share a suite with Huma Abedin, which they lock from the inside to bar the Secret Service...
Excerpt: Former president Bill Clinton is having trouble getting wife Hillary on the phone to give her campaign advice. “Those snotty-nosed kids over there are blowing this thing because nobody is listening to me,” Bill told campaign chairman John Podesta, according to Orb Magazine.  According to Page Six, Bill is angry because Hillary's close adviser Huma Abedin carries Hillary's phone with her all the time and screens the calls. (Article by "Sarah Fisher, Truth Revolt"? --Barb)

From the Left: Why a no-indictment for Hillary Clinton would still be a problem for America. By Ruth Marcus
Excerpt: This may sound strange coming from someone who doesn’t expect Hillary Clinton to be indicted and doesn’t think she should be, but I’ve been worrying about what will happen if she isn’t. There is a school of people — a big school, judging from my email — for whom there are only two possibilities: Either Clinton is charged with a crime for mishandling classified — an outcome, this group thinks, that should be devastatingly obvious to anyone with half a brain. Or the Justice Department will squelch the indictment out of a politically motivated desire to protect the likely Democratic presidential nominee. The only disagreement here involves whether Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch will act on her own or under orders from President Obama.


Excerpt: Among likely voters in the Wisconsin Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders holds a 49 percent to 45 percent edge over Hillary Clinton, with 6 percent undecided. 

Other Political News

Stupid in America: Students Are So Bad, Professor Can't Grade Them. By Selwyn Duke 
Excerpt: What does it say when in two days a teacher exhausts the ink in his red pen? Since a nation cannot be “ignorant and free," as Thomas Jefferson put it, it perhaps means we face a threat graver than the Red Menace. Apathetic or even hostile students, dumbed-down tests, often incompetent and ideologically driven teachers, Cracker Jack-box degrees, morally toxic curricula, revisionist history, the new math — education has collapsed in America. And one of the sincere educators, wandering amidst the rubble, recently provided a window into this academic apocalypse. Eileen F. Toplansky, an English professor at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey, laments that a good number of her students are so bad that it’s difficult to even grade their work. She provides many examples of undergraduates definitely not smarter than a fifth grader (the ones on TV, anyway), but opens with this striking unedited submission: (Unprepared to use the language competently, immersed in thinking that's not really thinking but actually just emotionalism, yet confident that they know what they need to know.  And with some faculty buying into their role as daycare providers, making sure no one is ever uncomfortable.  Exams are stressful?  No kidding, Sherlock, they always were, and guess what?  The challenges of life tend to get stressful as well.  My memories of going into some finals in college with a terrible sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because I knew it was going to be very tough and wasn't sure at all that I was ready, are still vivid over 50 years later.  It was all part of preparing for the actual world, which isn't one Big Safe Space, and hasn't ever been so. There are still kids out there who are not delicate flowers, who know how to work, to listen, to learn, there are still good professors too.  But the tide of idiots both at the front and back of the classrooms seems to have been rising for years now, and that's not a good thing for the nation and our future. --Del. My best friend from high school, the late Charles Hofmann, was a life-long Democrat and a chemist for his career. When his job was downsized, after 33 years, he got a teaching certificate and a job teaching chemistry in an inner-city high school. But not having been in teaching, he thought the rules were still like those we had in high school. When a majority of the kids did no work at all and failed all the tests, he failed them, including the basketball tear. The parents, naturally, cried racism. Charlie was fired and the kids given passing grades, though they had learned no chemistry at all. ~Bob. In general, university students today rely too often on Google and wiki, and fail to engage in critical analysis/thinking and creativity. The digital world has yielded countless benefits, but it has ushered in detriments as well. Although nothing new, plagiarism is widespread. More than one colleague has lamented that not giving a high grade results in the student's filing a complaint or giving a low evaluation of the professor. Yes, the world has gone mad. Anonymous Professor)

Campus Lunacy. By Walter E. Williams (Dr. Williams, who grew up poor and black in the Phila projects, is a brilliant economist. ~Bob)
Excerpt: The American Council of Trustees and Alumni publishes occasional reports on what college students know. Nearly 10 percent of the college graduates surveyed thought Judith Sheindlin, TV's "Judge Judy," is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than 20 percent of the college graduates knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than a quarter of the college graduates did not know Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during World War II; one-third did not know he was the president who spearheaded the New Deal. But it is little mystery why so many college students are illiterate, innumerate and resistant to understanding. Let's look at it. Student activists at Brown University complained of emotional stress and poor grades after they spent months of protesting for various causes. They blamed the university for insisting that they complete their coursework. One of the objects of their protest was an op-ed in The Brown Daily Herald, the university newspaper, that was deemed racist because it defended the celebration of Columbus Day. Brown University's faculty recently took care of that and renamed Columbus Day "Indigenous People's Day." Another salient commentary on the mess of PC takeover of academia and the blatant stupidity and cowardice of those in charge. --Del)

Audit: University Of California Screwed Over State’s Own Students In Favor Of Outsiders, Foreigners
It's the Regime's DIVERSIFICATION push for TRANSFORMATION of the US from white Judeo-Christian to black/foreign/Muslim.  They reward the action they want, using capitalist-driven incentives to undermine fair/equal selection on merit.  Regime is paying universities (and hospitals/healthcare organizations) to bring in foreigners of color and discriminating against US citizens and whites/Judeo-Christians.  (AG recently sent 9-page letter demanding law enforcement to ease off prosecution of blacks or face DOJ review à la Ferguson.)  Such a bleak awakening for millennials who expect the government to be the teat to support them from cradle to grave.  Mass Media so intent on ANYTHING Trump that when the Regime shows its strategy, public review is being swept under the carpet, ignored.  The smoke screen of the "election" is working brilliantly to distract and mollify the public/peons as their country crumbles. --Barb

#BlueLivesMatter: Police, terror task force probe motive of heavily-armed gunman who killed trooper
White cop, Marine vet, two kids and a wife, black shooter. Will there be comment from the White House? A WH delegation at the Trooper's funeral? Don't hold your breath. ~Bob

Dumb, Uneducated, And Eager To Deceive: Media Coverage Of Religious Liberty In A Nutshell. Most Reporters Are Simply Too Ignorant To Handle The Job. by Mollie Hemingway
Excerpt: In the aftermath of the abominable media coverage of Arizona’s religious liberty bill, an editor shared his hypothesis that journalists care about freedom of speech and of the press because they practice them. And journalists don’t care about freedom of religion because they don’t. But one of the most interesting things about modern media’s deep hostility toward the religious, their religions, and religious liberty in general is that press freedom in America is rooted in religion.

What’s good for GM is not necessarily good for America. By Joel D. Joseph
Excerpt: General Motors has a very short memory.  And no loyalty.  In 2009, GM received a massive and generous bailout of $49.5 billion from U.S. taxpayers. The U.S. government, and the U.S. taxpayers, lost $11.2 billion on its investment in General Motors.  The government sold its stock in GM for $38.3 billion in December of 2013. ... Buick now makes four of the seven models sold in the U.S. overseas: one in China, one in Poland, one in Canada and one in South Korea. Neither China, nor Poland, nor South Korea helped to save GM, but their economies are the beneficiaries of the “new” General Motors. To be fair, I must admit that the government of Canada (and the province of Ontario) invested $13 billion to help save GM, a small fraction of the tab paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Canada lost about $3 billion as a result of its investment.

CBO: Obamacare’s Uninsured Up 5 Million, Medicaid Dependents Up 16 Million Since Initial Estimate
Excerpt: Last week’s Congressional Budget Office’s Updated Budget Projections: 2016 to 2026 significantly reduced estimates of Obamacare’s benefits, relative to CBO’s estimates published in 2010, when the law was signed: In 2010, CBO estimated Obamacare would leave 22 million uninsured in 2016 through 2019. This month, CBO estimates Obamacare will leave 27 million uninsured through 2019 – an increase of almost one quarter. In 2010, CBO estimated Obamacare would leave 162 million with employer-based health benefits in 2016 through 2019. This month, CBO estimates Obamacare will leave only 155 million with employer-based plans. The number will decrease to 152 million in 2019.

John Doe freedom fighter wins big victory against the IRS. By M.D. Kittle 
Excerpt: The conservative activist who took on Wisconsin’s abusive John Doe investigation and won has been engaged in a similar epic struggle against the IRS.
Eric O’Keefe, director of Wisconsin Club for Growth, also serves as chairman of the board for Citizens for Self-Governance, the limited-government organization that is financially backing a class-action lawsuit by hundreds of tea party groups against the Internal Revenue Service. The litigation alleges the Obama administration’s IRS targeted conservative groups for additional scrutiny, mainly under the regime of Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Unit.

Events of March Crown Obama as the Rodney Dangerfield of World Leaders

Video of ‘US soldier shooting Qur’an’ is a fake made in Russia

Russia promoting chaos and conflict, as they always do.

A Look at Russian Civilization: Power, Truth, Trust, and War. By Roman Skaskiw
Excerpt: ...differences are more important than the similarities for understanding modern Russia, because they tend to be underestimated. The differences are also centuries old, pre-dating the Soviet era which is sometimes falsely described as an aberration from Russia's otherwise completely European trajectory.

The Warblog: We Were Winning When He Left. By  Capt. Dale A. Dye, USMC (Ret.)
Excerpt: It’s not that I don’t think about the war in Vietnam and its effect on me without the stimulus of a t-shirt slogan. Truth be told, I think about that divisive, bloody conflict every day of my life in some way, shape, manner or form. And I’ve decided by now that every veteran who survived to return to the Land of the Big PX from service in Vietnam can truthfully say we — and that includes our often maligned allies in what was South Vietnam — were winning when he or she left Southeast Asia. By any rational reckoning, we were winning every military and diplomatic battle right up until the U.S. Congress sabotaged the effort and robbed the South Vietnamese of any chance at survival. Back in 1975, a Democrat-controlled Congress blithely disregarded promises made, and blocked funding for any war material sent to the South Vietnamese as promised in the Paris Peace Accords. Your bog-standard Vietnam Veteran had nothing to do with that. (My friend Dale Dye has done a nice job on this short comment, echoing the thoughts that I and so very many others have had about the war and how it turned out.  And recently I read the essays of a bunch of high school kids about the war, and was totally depressed that every single one of them was chock full of the false history and the false lessons of that conflict and our involvement.  Academia and the media have twisted the history into The Narrative, where we were the stupid Bad Guys, fighting the indomitable Vietnamese people, and our mighty military was defeated in the end by a bunch of barefoot little guys carrying old weapons.  The ARVN don't even get a mention, even though by the end they killed on the ground more NVA than we did, and the nightmare that descended on the South with the onset of "liberation and justice" as defined by Hanoi isn't even thought of.  How terribly sad for not just us, but for the nation.  A false history leads only to more bad decisions. --Del)

Harvard prof. takes down gender wage gap myth
Excerpt: I've written extensively on how the gender wage gap would be more accurately referred to as the "gender earnings gap," because the gap is due mostly to choices women make and not discrimination. But now you don't have to take my word for it, you can listen to Claudia Goldin, an economics professor at Harvard University. Goldin spoke to Stephen Dubner, the journalist behind the popular podcast "Freakanomics," in a segment about what really causes the gap. ... Goldin argued that once you account for a number of factors, including taking time off from work and different careers, then there isn't "tons of evidence that it's true discrimination."

The ‘Wage Gap’ Myth That Won’t Die. You have to ignore many variables to think women are paid less than men.
Excerpt: But a closer look reveals a different picture. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that its analysis of wages by gender does “not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences.” What factors? Start with hours worked. Full-time employment is technically defined as more than 35 hours. This raises an obvious problem: A simple side-by-side comparison of all men and all women includes people who work 35 hours a week, and others who work 45. Men are significantly more likely than women to work longer hours, according to the BLS. And if we compare only people who work 40 hours a week, BLS data show that women then earn on average 90 cents for every dollar earned by men. Career choice is another factor. Research in 2013 by Anthony Carnevale, a Georgetown University economist, shows that women flock to college majors that lead to lower-paying careers. Of the 10 lowest-paying majors—such as “drama and theater arts” and “counseling psychology”—only one, “theology and religious vocations,” is majority male. Conversely, of the 10 highest-paying majors—including “mathematics and computer science” and “petroleum engineering”—only one, “pharmacy sciences and administration,” is majority female. Eight of the remaining nine are more than 70% male.

Almost Everything You've Been Told About Inequality Is Wrong. By John Goodman
Excerpt: Inequality was the single most popular topic when economists gathered at their annual convention in San Francisco last month. But here is what everyone should know. Most of the studies you read about in newspapers are flawed. A new study exposes those flaws and presents a much rosier picture of the American economy. (Full disclosure: I provided early funding for this study in a previous job.) A typical study of the distribution of income compares people on the top and bottom rungs of the income ladder. The problem: the entire population is on the ladder. That means these studies are comparing retirees with people who are working. They are comparing people who are at the peak of their career earnings with people who are just starting out. Studies of the distribution of wealth typically have an even bigger problem. They count private savings (such as an IRA or 401(k) account) and private pensions as part of an individual’s wealth. But they ignore Social Security and other entitlement benefits, even though people pay taxes to these programs at the same time they are contributing to their private retirement accounts.

More Inequality! Transportation Secretary: Inequitable Distribution of Sidewalks Is Obstacle to American Dream
“Transportation is about more than getting from one point to another--it’s about getting from where you are to a better life,” said Secretary Foxx. (I think to get to a better life we need fewer government busybodies like Foxx. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Torture of American Prisoners by Cuban Agents
Excerpt: Americans visiting Cuba should remember this while there. Every dollar spent there supports the Castros and their failed Communist system. Barry's new buddies. ... Most Americans are unaware that Cuba was deeply involved in the Vietnam War. In fact they had an engineering battalion called the “Girón Brigade,” that was maintaining Route Nine, a major enemy supply line into South Vietnam. Their facilities included a POW camp and field hospital very near the DMZ, just inside North Vietnam. Meanwhile Cuban interrogators worked in Hanoi at a prison known as the Zoo. We know of these operations and some of what happened to our servicemen after so managed to survive and be repatriated in the winter of 1973, during Operation Homecoming.  Following his release Major Jack Bomar, a Zoo survivor, described the brutal beating of Captain Earl G. Cobeil, an F-105F electronics warfare officer, by Cuban Major Fernando Vecino Alegret, known by the POWs as “Fidel.” Regarding Captain Cobeil, Bomar related, “he was completely catatonic. … His body was ripped and torn everywhere…Hell cuffs appeared almost to have severed his wrists…Slivers of bamboo were imbedded in his bloodied shins, he was bleeding from everywhere, terribly swollen, a dirty yellowish black and purple [countenance] from head to toe.” (Fidel Castro sent a whole bunch of people to support the North Vietnamese, and torturers were the best known of all.  And a bunch of the POWs were sent to Cuba, where they suffered for year upon year until finally death came.  They Hanoi sold at least one of their bodies back to us, with a pile of steaming BS about his dying during the war.  We're supposed to forget this?  Never. --Del)

Must Read: Please Stop Saying You Want to Go to Cuba Before It’s Ruined. An Op-Ed by Natalie Morales
Excerpt: So depending on the situation (and how dumb I would like to make that person feel), I will say some version of this: “What exactly do you think will ruin Cuba? Running water? Available food? Freedom of speech? Uncontrolled media and Internet? Access to proper healthcare? You want to go to Cuba before the buildings get repaired? Before people can actually live off their wages? Or before the oppressive Communist regime is someday overthrown? Make sure you hurry and go observe these human beings in the time bubble that was created especially for you so that you could post a #nofilter photo of it on Instagram.” Look, part of me gets it. I appreciate good art direction just as much as anyone else, and I see that Cuba looks like a beautifully destroyed photo op. But it’s not your photo op. The old cars are not kitschy; they are not a choice. It’s all they have. The old buildings are not preserved; their balconies are falling and killing people all the time. The very, very young girls prostituting themselves are not doing it because they can’t get enough of old Canadian men, but because it pays more than being a doctor does. Hospitals for regular Cuban citizens are not what Michael Moore showed you in Sicko. (That was a Communist hospital for members of the Party and for tourists, and I, for one, think Moore fell for their North Korea–like propaganda show pretty hard.) There are no janitors in the hospitals because it pays more money to steal janitorial supplies and sell them on the street than it does to actually have a job there. Therefore, the halls and rooms are covered in blood, urine, and feces, and you need to bring your own sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, and mattresses when you are admitted. Doctors have to reuse needles on patients. My mom’s aunt had a stroke and the doctor’s course of treatment was to “put her feet up and let the blood rush back to her head.” That was it. And this is in Havana, the big city. I can’t be sure, but I’d imagine things there are a lot better than they are in more remote parts of the country.

Alert George Orwell:  WH Censors French President Saying ‘ISLAMIST Terrorism. By Craig Bannister 
Excerpt: The White House website has censored a video of French Pres. Francois Hollande saying that “Islamist terrorism” is at the “roots of terrorism.” The White House briefly pulled video of a press event on terrorism with Pres. Obama, and when it reappeared on the website and YouTube, the audio of Hollande’s translator goes silent, beginning with the words “Islamist terrorism,” then begins again at the end of his sentence. Even the audio of Hollande saying the words “Islamist terrorism” in French have, apparently, been edited from the video. (I love this article.  It's a major insult to the French President to censor his comment to fit Obama's ideas of how to speak. --Del)

Worth reading: America the Weak. By Bing West
Excerpt: The intent of this essay is to advance several observations about how we plan and fight wars, in order to shed light upon why we are performing so poorly. We invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq with inchoate plans and inadequate forces to establish post-war security and governance. After winning the first battle in both countries, President George W. Bush offhandedly decided to build democratic nations, a task for which our State Department and US Agency for International Development had no competence or interest. By default, the mission fell to our military, also without competence but with unflagging devotion and determination. In both countries, our true enemies were rabid warriors determined to win or die. For us, the wars were limited—fought with few forces and many restraints. When the Islamists proved dedicated to an unlimited struggle, we reversed course and withdrew. True, President Bush did increase US forces in Iraq in 2007 and that stabilized the country. However, in 2008 he agreed with the sectarian, serpentine Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to withdraw all American troops by 2011. He threw away his success. When 2011 arrived, President Barack Obama went against the recommendations of the intelligence community, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Instead of politically maneuvering to keep a residual force to check al-Maliki’s dark instincts, Obama pulled out all our troops. He fulfilled Bush’s foolish promise. Al-Maliki then proceeded to oppress the Sunnis, leading to the reemergence of the extremists now called the Islamic State. Obama quit, but Bush made it easy for him to do so.

EPA Dumps 880,000 Lbs Of Toxic Metal Into River, Won’t Answer Any Questions
Excerpt: The Department of the Interior (DOI) was tasked to independently review the Gold King Mine spill, but TheDCNF found the agency was heavily involved with the site both before and after the incident. ...Grantham, however, failed to explain an internal email that said the mine was intentionally breached. She also ignored TheDCNF’s finding that the Gold King Mine crew was actually digging at the bottom of the mine’s water-filled entrance. (Who is going to hold EPA/Regime responsible?  The GOP?  Will the EPA/feds admit they "did wrong"?  So, they poisoned the Navajo nation.  They're just Native Americans, about to be supplanted in the TRANSFORMATION anyway, like the buffalo and the wild mustangs.  The Regime has better uses for the land....Besides, news about Trump and what he has said/unsaid much more important than finding the truth of a toxic dump in a river by the federal EPA. --Barb)

Is it ISIS, stupid? Johnson narrows gap with Feingold in latest Senate race poll. By M.D. Kittle 
Excerpt: Marquette Law School’s latest poll shows Russ Feingold’s lead has dropped to 3 percentage points among likely voters, at 48 percent of respondents supporting Feingold, and 45 percent favoring Johnson.

Religion of Peace News

Worth Hearing: Islamic Terror: What Muslim Americans Can Do
By an American Muslim. ~Bob

Worth Reading: Why Westerners make inviting targets for terrorists. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: China has a long record of persecuting its Muslim minorities. Russia has brutally suppressed the separatist movement of the predominantly Muslim Chechens with bombing and shelling. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered airstrikes against Syrian Muslims without much worry over collateral damage. India has zero tolerance for Islamic radicalism and hits back hard any time Muslim terrorists attack. Given such severe backlash elsewhere, why do radical Islamists prefer to strike Europeans and Americans — from Paris and Brussels to Boston and San Bernardino No place has been more open to Muslim refugees than the United States and the European Union. Together they have accepted several million emigrants from the Middle East since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Slavery: Qur'an Approved: Qatar: Abuse of World Cup workers exposed

Tolerant Islam: Belgium: Imams refuse to pray for the souls of the non-Muslim victims of Brussels jihad massacre

Brussels jihadi was “migrants’ rights activist”

Police probe Scottish mosque figures' links to banned sectarian group
Excerpt: Police Scotland is to investigate alleged links between two prominent Muslim leaders and a banned sectarian group in Pakistan. A BBC investigation has found that Sabir Ali, head of religious events at Glasgow Central Mosque, was president of Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP). This is a political party now proscribed by the Home Office. Links to the group have also been made to Hafiz Abdul Hamid from the Polwarth Mosque in Edinburgh. (They are making a new movie about UK leaders, to be called "Faint Heart." ~Bob)

Another Day, Another Jihad Attack
Excerpt:    Humankind is confronting a deeply troubling quandary. On the one hand is the aspiration of tolerant people whose objective is to forge a world of diverse people into one human society ruled by peace and respect for the inherent dignity and well-being of each member of that family. On the other, Islamic extremists are hell-bent on imposing their stone-age dogma on everyone else

Car bomb in southeastern Turkey reportedly kills 4 police officers
Excerpt: At least four police officers are dead and 20 people hurt after a car bomb struck a bus in southeastern Turkey, government officials tell Reuters. 

Muslim cleric: Jews are “enemies of mankind” and “the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah”

Muslims win prayer case against Webber Academy

US drone strike 'most likely' killed al-Shabab leader responsible for American deaths, official says
Excerpt: A U.S. drone strike "most likely" killed Hassan Ali Dhoore, a senior leader of the terror group al-Shabab who had planned attacks that killed three Americans overseas, a U.S. official has confirmed to Fox News. 

In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA
As Kevin Williamson noted on Twitter, this is yet more proof that the government really should be in charge of everything. --Jonah Goldberg

Man arrested after taking pictures inside Callahan Tunnel
Boston, Massachusetts---Last Sunday a man, ostensibly in USA for medical training, is arrested walking through a tunnel taking photographs. Oddly his name is Mohammed and he is from Bangladesh. Today in Tyngsborough, MA, person (s) unknown somehow attached thermite grenades (burn through solid steel) to high tension electrical grid wires and ignited them electronically. (plot failed and just ignited a brush fire) There was an attempt to fail the electric grid. Anyone gets the feeling that something real bad is coming real soon? --Tom C.

Genocide: Christian Population in Iraq Drops by 80% in Just Over a Decade

Rep. Zinke: The Taliban killed Sgt. McClintock but the Obama White House failed to save him
This represents what happens when micromanagement and PC controls our rules of engagement—friendly KIAa and MIAs. Written by a former SEAL and now US Congressman.  --GBH

Video: The Islamic State hurls accused gays off rooftops to screams of “Allahu akbar!”

Of Interest

An ancient site spotted from space could rewrite the history of Vikings in North America
Excerpt: To date, the sagas have only led archaeologists to one actual, verified Norse historical site in the New World — the 1000-year-old seaside settlement L’Anse aux Meadows on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland. It would take 55 years and a view from space to track down a possible second one. The new archaeological find, announced Thursday, offers tantalizing evidence of a Viking presence 300 miles from the only place in Canada they’d ever been seen before.

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