Friday, August 31, 2012

A One Term Proposition

Americans for Prosperity say:

Journalists for Obama, I mean Politifact, declares this ad "False." Not because Obama didn't say that he would halve the deficit by the end of his first term. But because he didn't say his failure on the deficit would cause him to be a one-term president. He was referring to something else.

So there. Doesn't that make you feel better?

Obama's Guardians

James Taranto observes how the mainstream press protects President Obama when he says something stupid like "If you've got a business, you didn't built that. Somebody else made that happen."
Obama's journalistic supporters live in a bizarre alternate reality in which a politician's actual words mean nothing. When the president says something foolish and offensive, he didn't say that. Meanwhile every comment from a Republican can be translated, through a process of free association, to: "We don't like black people."
The question of race is central to the leftist media's protectiveness toward Obama, who has both benefited and suffered from a racial double standard. As the late Geraldine Ferraro pointed out in 2008--and was attacked for pointing out--Obama would not have risen so quickly had he been white. No sane person believed that stuff about casting down the oceans and mending "the planet," but a lot of Americans thought electing a black president would be a salve for racial wounds. 
Obama rose in 2008 as a symbol of racial aspirations--the black aspiration to be recognized as fully American and the white aspiration to redeem the sin of racism. That made it difficult to criticize him, much less to mock him. John McCain's campaign was hobbled by a fear of appearing racist, and Obama himself received a degree of deference that is excessive for any politician.
 The left has not moved beyond seeing Obama as a racial symbol, and that is for two reasons. First, his record as president doesn't have much else to recommend it, so that crying racism is about the best they can do as an argument for re-election. Second, it is of great psychological importance to American left-liberals to believe that their opponents are racist and they themselves are not. Their self-image as a moral elite revolves around the imputation of invidious racial attitudes to others.

Bald-faced Gene Robinson

Gene Robinson falsely accuses Paul Ryan of lying about the closing of the Janesville GM plant.

From his column:
The whopper with which those pesky fact-checkers are having a field day is Ryan's attempt to blame President Obama for the shutdown of a huge General Motors plant in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wis. Ryan's point of reference was a visit Obama made to the plant during the 2008 campaign.
"A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant," Ryan said. "Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: 'I believe that if our government is there to support you ... this plant will be here for another hundred years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that's how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight."
In other words, Obama promised to help those workers by keeping the plant open but failed to deliver. This is a bald-faced lie.
As Glenn Kessler, author of The Washington Post's Fact-Checker column, has noted, Obama visited the Janesville plant in February of 2008. GM announced the plant's shutdown in June 2008 -- five months before Obama was elected and seven months before he took office. Ryan should be blaming George W. Bush, not Barack Obama.
But Robinson and Kessler and wrong. The plant wasn't shut down in 2008. It was shut down in April of 2009, after Obama took office. In any case, there is nothing incorrect about what Ryan said. Nothing at all. Ryan did not lie. He didn't even get the facts wrong.

He reasonably and fairly associated the shuttering of the Janesville plant - one that with "government support" Obama said should be around "for another 100 years" - with the lack of an economic recovery that Obama clearly promised but was unable to deliver.

It's Kessler and Robinson who are misleading their readers by unfairly and incorrectly calling Ryan a liar. Obama gave false hopes to those workers and workers across the country and its Ryan who Robinson and Kessler accuse lying.

No wonder so many people have lost faith in the mainstream press to be fair and get things right.

UPDATE: More here about fact-challenged fact checkers. And here and here.

Girl Power

Before Mitt, there was Condi and Susana. My print column is up.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Madonna Disappoints, Kenney Whines

In Philly, Madonna takes stage 3 hours late, booed. Disappoints Philly councilman Jim Kenney:
“Yo Madonna! It’s 10:15. Some of us have to work tomorrow while you sleep ‘til noon with cucumbers on your eyes.”
Work? A Philadelphia councilman? Kenney's idea of work is to trash the First Amendment and order employers whose religious views he disagrees with to get out of town.

Apparently, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to do that sort of work. Damn Madonna. Thanks to her, "Cucumber" Jim Kenney didn't get his own beauty rest. The heart bleeds.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Valley Swim Club Victims Collect

Hey, Remember the VSC? The black kids finally collected. Does that mean "justice" prevailed? Hardly.

My thoughts on it at the time can be found here and here.

"This Man Will Not Fail"

I don't know if Ann Romney's speech reads better or sounds better. Either way, it's pretty darn good.

For Race-Baiting Dems...

The name they dare not speak is Love.

A Good Night

Not a bad slogan for the GOP: Heart and Spine. The one-two punch of Ann Romney and Chris Christie to kick off the Republican Convention.

At the Movies

The surprise hit of the summer, 2016: Obama's America, is provocative, insightful, and hard to believe. My print column is up.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Two can play abortion politics...

Hayek For Dummies

Richard Epstein is always interesting. Here he explains Hayek to the intellectuals who prefer not to understand.

A Poisonous Pen

Not only can Michael Ramirez draw, he can write too.

The Real Romney

Today, David Brooks is more than amusing. He's downright funny goofing on Mitt Romney and the media caricatures of him.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meet Artur Davis...

... a former Democratic congressman from Alabama who has had it with Obama and the intolerant leftism of his party.

On the Penn State Mess...

... nice to hear from someone else who actually get's it.

I'm Not Dead Yet!

I am the Middle class and my death has been greatly exaggerated.

Good Luck, Joe!

Joe Watkins has 30 days to
">come up with a plan to fix the Chester Upland School District.
Should be a snap.

Now Showing: 2016: Obama's America

Spencerblog was shocked to find the new documentary 2016: Obama's America is showing at the AMC Theater at Granite Run Mall.

Isn't showing an unflattering political documentary this close to the election a violation of campaign finance laws and the U.S. Constitution? Wow! We're going to see it before the feds show up and close down the theater.

Oh wait. The Citizens United case made it clear that the federal government couldn't restrict political speech, no matter how much it offended certain politicians in our political class.

We're going to see it anyway. If we can get in. Apparently, it's drawing a pretty good audience.

UPDATE: Just the film this afternoon. It was surprisingly well attended, mostly by senior citizens. Big crowd for a Monday afternoon. And, get this, they burst into applause at the end.

I will be columnizing on this for Wednesday paper. Stay tuned.

Unhappy Obama Voters

The most effective ad of the campaign.

Mitt's Not All Bad? Gosh!

Andrew Ferguson is Learning to Like Mitt Romney.
Now that he’s officially the Republican nominee for president and has an excellent chance of becoming the most powerful man in the world, I feel free to admit, in the full knowledge that nobody cares, that I never liked Mitt Romney. My distaste for him isn’t merely personal or political but also petty and superficial. There’s the breathless, Eddie Attaboy delivery, that half-smile of pitying condescension in debates or interviews when someone disagrees with him, the Ken doll mannerisms, his wanton use of the word “gosh”—the whole Romney package has been nails on a blackboard to me.
But then he read a book...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Weird Debate on Rape Pregnancies

There is a weird debate going on in this country and it involves the number of women who get pregnant from rape. It's apparently a big issue right now

Senate candidate Todd Akin kicked it off saying that women rarely get pregnant during a rape because their bodies have a way of shutting it down.

Now, all sorts of news people are trying to get to the bottom of the Great Rape Debate.

I found this article in the New York Times. It makes clear that few if any women's health experts believe that female rape victims are able - consciously or unconsciously - to shut down their reproductive organs during the assault.

And that sure sounds right. What doesn't sound right are the numbers provided by women's health experts as to the number of women who get pregnant during a rape yearly.

The experts cite a 1996 study that avers more than 32,000 rape victims a year conceive during the assault. That is apparently the only study ever done on the question. They also say that only 5 percent of rape victims get pregnant. Based on those figures, that means some 640,000 women were raped that years. But the FBI says about 90,000 "forcible rapes" are reported (their term not mine) annually. So maybe only 1 in 7 rapes are reported.

But still 32,000 sounds like an awful lot of pregnancies resulting from rape. Especially given the fact that according to sex crime experts only half the rapists ejaculate in the commission of their crimes and many others penetrate their victims non-vaginally.

In 1999, a pro-life doctor named John Willke analyzed the crime data on rape and postulated far that less than 1 percent get pregnant as a result. You can check his statistical analysis here. Willke is a proponent of the theory that stress and trauma can make it more difficult for a woman to get pregnant, though he doesn't make a very strong case

Still, he only attributes a 50 percent reduction in the number of pregnancies he figures occur as the result of a rape - from about around 700 a year to less than 300. That's a pretty big disparity - 32,000 to 300.

Either way, there seems to be a pretty strong consensus in this country that rape victims should be allowed to abort their pregnancies if they want. Though, not all of them do.

Pro-lifers who believe that a human embryo is a human being are pretty stuck with having to be against abortion even in cases of rape and incest, whether there are 300 or 3,000 or 30,000 such cases of them.

But then staunch pro-choicers are stuck with having to defend partial-birth and other late-term abortions  on demand.

The rest of the country is in the middle and need not pay too much attention to extremists in this argument. This much is probably true, to the extent that Democrats attempt to exploit the Akin's unfortunate (for him) comments, it could turn off moderates who don't like thinking too much about rape, incest, abortion and all that other messy stuff.

Pushing these issues too hard at their convention will offend moderate and independent voters. It remains to be seen if the Dems understand that.

Boys Will Be Boys, So Get Rid of Them!

Under a headline: Men, Who Needs Them? a professor of biology and criminal justice at Boise State University posits that men are no longer necessary to the survival of the species.
If a woman wants to have a baby without a man, she just needs to secure sperm (fresh or frozen) from a donor (living or dead). The only technology the self-impregnating woman needs is a straw or turkey baster, and the basic technique hasn’t changed much since Talmudic scholars debated the religious implications of insemination without sex in the fifth century. If all the men on earth died tonight, the species could continue on frozen sperm. If the women disappear, it’s extinction.
Ultimately the question is, does “mankind” really need men? With human cloning technology just around the corner and enough frozen sperm in the world to already populate many generations, perhaps we should perform a cost-benefit analysis.
I suppose that's true. Even more true, is that men are the only minority group whose extinction can be kidded about in the pages of the NYT. It is hardly likely the paper of record would run a column asking the burning question, Blacks, Who Needs Them? Or Jews, Who Needs Them? 

The author points out...
... women live longer, are healthier and are far less likely to commit a violent offense. If men were cars, who would buy the model that doesn’t last as long, is given to lethal incidents and ends up impounded more often?
Of course, nobody in their right mind would buy a man. Fortunately, since we officially got rid of slavery, men are no longer considered property. But it is fun to dehumanize them for the sake of making a point. What that point is, I have no idea.

UPDATE: Great minds think alike... skip down to the second item

Here Come the Sandusky Lawsuits

The first is filed... in Philadelphia, of course, where the juries are extra generous to plaintiffs. And then there is the matter what, thanks to the media, America knows about the case and when it knew it. My print column is up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Professor Mann Owned by NRO

It's always nice to see a whiny, lawsuit-threatening college professor told to F off. Definitely click on the letter from NRO's lawyer. It's a pip.

T-shirt of the Week

For all your silly T-shirt needs click here.

Augusta, Akin and The War on Stupid

The War on Women is lost. The War on Stupid is not. But Stupid's winning. Of Mice, Masters and Men, my print column is up

Our Clownish VP

Joe Epstein can't help but delight in the comedy stylings of Joe Biden.

With Democrats wondering whether President Obama should keep Joe Biden as his running mate, and some of them even suggesting Hillary Clinton as his replacement, I'm already beginning to miss the vice president. Mr. Biden, after all, supplies comic relief, a thing always in great need and inevitably in short supply in American politics. He is the only politician in recent years whose every utterance isn't predictable. Joe Biden himself must often be astonished at what comes out of his mouth.
 The hair-plugs, the shysterish suits, the wiseguy demeanor, the low-grade lawyerly confidence of utterance, it's a grand show the vice president puts on. The first clue we had of Mr. Biden's quality was the long, lost Anita Hill weekend, back in 1991 during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he displayed his talent for asking all the wrong, which is to say so many of the embarrassing, questions. It was the way he asked them—with that smirky certainty of his own unproved astuteness—that is signature Joe Biden.
Read it all. It's a pip.

Hope Springs

A mediocre movie gets a wonderful review from someone, I suspect, is the most underrated reviewer in the business.

Worth reading for this alone...
That is not the case with Tommy Lee Jones, to put it mildly. Jones’s specialty has always been the unexpectedly extraordinary man, whose world-weary demeanor masks an inexhaustible intelligence and hard-won wisdom (or devilish villainy). Arnold is none of these things. He’s a well-meaning, repressed, parochial fellow who finds himself forced out of his comfort zone and scrambles, sometimes desperately, to get back to it. With a precision and subtlety he has never before shown in his 40 years on screen, Jones simply becomes Arnold Soames of Omaha, Nebraska—a man whose carefully circumscribed life begins to disintegrate right in front of him. He is heartbreaking. When would you ever have thought Tommy Lee Jones could break your heart? For that gift alone, Hope Springs deserves to be celebrated.
Good stuff.

Putting PA. in Play

Paul Ryan in Pennsylvania...

Romney/Ryan may lose the Keystone State but not without a fight.

Dreams of Our Fore Fathers

Anti-Obama documentary drawing big crowds even in NYC?

No wonder Obama hates the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case.

Comical Double Standards

The Washington Post editorial pages bravely weighs in on GOP Senate Candidate Todd Akin and his ridiculous comments about rape and pregnancy.
LITTLE WONDER that Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate, is trying to back away from his comments about abortion and rape. So ignorant and offensive were his remarks that members of Mr. Akin’s own party, including its presidential standard-bearer, issued strong condemnations, though it took them a while to get strong enough. Mr. Akin was utterly unconvincing in explaining that he “misspoke.” It is scary that someone so ill-informed could hold elective office or have a chance of becoming a senator.
The war against Todd Akin's stupid comments is completely justified. If only the Washington Post would apply the same standards against the stunningly stupid comments against Democrats like Barack "You didn't built that" Obama, Joe "Y'all will be back in chains" Biden and Sheila "Mars Rover" Jackson "Any photos of the flag the astronauts left behind?" Lee.

I mean, really!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Apocalypse Not

The invaluable George Will recounts the virtues of human ingenuity.
In 1980, economist Julian Simon made a wager in the form of a complex futures contract. He bet Paul Ehrlich (whose 1968 book “The Population Bomb” predicted that “hundreds of millions of people” would starve to death in the 1970s as population growth swamped agricultural production) that by 1990 the price of any five commodities Ehrlich and his advisers picked would be lower than in 1980. 
Ehrlich’s group picked five metals. All were cheaper in 1990.
The bet cost Ehrlich $576.07. But that year he was awarded a $345,000 MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant and half of the $240,000 Crafoord Prize for ecological virtue. One of Ehrlich’s advisers, John Holdren, is Barack Obama’s science adviser.

He Went Back!

Burning question of the Day at The Root: Paul Ryan Had a Black Girlfriend! Does It Matter?

Short answer: Only to liberals and racist blacks. And both those voting groups are growing smaller by the day.

The Nation's Major Masters Malfunction

Some cretin named Dave Zirin at the far-left Nation magazine has opined that the Condoleezza Rice shouldn't be admitted to Augusta National Golf Club. She should be standing trial at the Hague for war crimes.


Zirin is entitled to his goofy opinion but is it too much to ask for him to get basic facts of the story straight.

This clown writes:
This is a club where as recently as 2002, after a series of protests, then–club President Hootie Johnson said that Augusta National would never admit a woman, not even “at the point of a bayonet.” 
That's just factually wrong. What Johnson wrote was:
"There may well come a day when women will be invited to join our membership but that timetable will be ours and not at the point of a bayonet." 
It's easy to see how Zirin would get confused. "There may well come a day..." is very much like "never..." isn't it?

What a moron!

My own take on this can be found in tomorrow's paper and at

Outlawing Charity

In Chester Township you get cited for giving out free lunches to kids. In Phoenix, they cite you for giving out free water to the thirsty. The stupidity of government bureaucrats knows no bounds.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Voter ID: Legal, Sensible, Works

The headline on NRO: Pennsylvania Takes on Voter Fraud.
 In his ruling, state judge Robert Simpson concluded that a voter-ID requirement is “a reasonable, non-discriminatory, non-severe burden when viewed in the broader context of the widespread use of photo ID in daily life.” Further, he wrote, “protecting public confidence in elections is a relevant and legitimate state interest.”
Judge Simpson also found that there were relatively few Pennsylvanian voters without ID, despite the plaintiffs’ claim that there were 1 million such voters. Judge Simpson rejected the ACLU’s attempt to “inflate the numbers” and threw out the testimony of their expert as “not credible.”
Upper Darby Supercop Mike Chitwood might put it another way: Not in Our State, Scumbags!

An Issues Campaign

I don't know... Is Joe Biden really an important campaign issue?

Uh Oh!

Obama: My God! If I've lost Newsweek, I've lost the country.
Advisor: Forget it. No one reads Newsweek anymore.

Of Con Games and Krugman

Paul Krugman accuses>/a> Paul Ryan of perpetuating of "con game" with "Ryanomics." 

As opposed to the sort of responsible budgets and fiscal future being foisted on America by the President and his party?

At one time, Prof. Krugman recognized Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme." Now he criticizes and insults anyone who recognizes it Ponzi premise - transfer payments from a large but shrinking group of investors to a much smaller but growing group of recipients.

What is Obamanomics but a con game that we can tax the rich to prosperity? The only way America can become more like Sweden, Prof Krugman's idea of a fair and just society, is to tax the middle class at substantially higher rates. You would think that an Ivy League econ professor and Nobel prize winner would be able to DO THE MATH that proves this incontrovertible truth.

No wonder he reminds me so much of Carmen Ghia from "The Producers."

It's a movie about a couple bumbling shysters who raise millions more to produce a play than it costs and then do everything they can to make sure its a failure. Sounds like Obamacare to me. A program designed to fail by liberals and to be replaced by their dream of a single-payer healthcare system.

As con games go, brilliant! As a good direction for the country to go - not so much.

UPDATE: From Theodore Dalrymple's excellent "Universal Mediocrity" about the British Healthcare system...
Doctors are less and less members of a profession; instead, they are production workers under strict bureaucratic control, paid not so much by result as by degree of conformity to directives.
This can happen under any system with third-party payment: it is an old observation that he who pays the piper calls the tune. But to have only one paymaster is to compound the problem, to make sure that there is only one tune. Therefore, even when the paymaster gets something right, an intangible harm is done.

And often, of course, unique paymasters do not get things right, since they have little incentive to do so, if not positive incentives not to do so. For example, the NHS recently abandoned its attempt to introduce a single database containing the entire population’s medical records—after $20 billion had been spent on the project. There is absolutely nothing to show for the money, except possibly a number of new information-technology millionaires. Historians will later sift through the records to decide whether incompetence or corruption was more to blame.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chester Township vs. Prattis

In the battle between Angela Prattis, a free-lunch-giving mother of four, and the Chester Township Board of Supervisors, the powers that be are looking a bunch of mellon heads.
We seem to have gotten to the point in history where every act of private charity, no matter how small, has to be approved of and taxed by some government board.
My print column is up.

UPDATE: Comment of the Day from Tollie Mitchell:
Someone called me who used to work with this woman. I cant tell you the name of my source, but they said that she hasnt paid taxes for 10 years. We must stop her because it's not right for black folks to look after their own. They need smart white people to take care of them and tell them how to live. The next thing you know, they could get uppity and start voting for Republicans.

But I understand Prattis is a Democrat. Even so, we need more like her.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Tough Break, A New Start

When things looked bad for Ashley Young people stepped up and helped out. My print column is up.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Philly Government Breaks Gun Law?

Philadelphia political hacks seem to have violated state law in publishing the names of people who have been denied gun permits. These jerks should have known better.

A civil rights advocate writes:
If I were one of these people listed, I’d be filing the lawsuit right now. This is unconscionable. The criminals that run that city clearly think they are above the law. I say we ought to show them who can get away with what. I count at least $29,000 dollars worth of violations here, and attorneys fees will probably drive that higher by orders of magnitude. They should be made to pay for this.
Whoever authorized this should be fired.

Biden Unchained

Today's best headline on a column:
"Obama-Biden: Hope and Chains"
Pretty good column by Debra Saunders too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Voter ID in Place for November

(Posted from Dannytheman)

The judge has ruled on the law to have ID to vote in Pennsylvania and the winner is Law Abiding people.
You can read the ruling here.

"Those seeking the injunction did not establish that "disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable," he said.
Commonwealth witnesses offered more credible testimony, he wrote. ("He" being Judge Robert Simpson and emphasis is mine)

Does Romney/Ryan = Reagan?

Jeffrey Lord recalls how Reagan and Reaganism won the country from 1980 to 1988. Will history repeat itself? Maybe. But Mitt Romney isn't Ronald Reagan. Paul Ryan is. But he's not at the top of the ticket and VPs usually have only a tiny impact on presidential races.

Still, worth reading.

Middle Finger States

Stupid is as stupid does when it comes to piling on Penn State and caring about what doesn't matter. My print column is up.

American Cutey Pie

Maureen Dowd is trying to sell the idea that Paul Ryan is a cruel man. "Cute" but cruel, for wanting to cut unaffordable and unsustainable government entitlements for future beneficiaries (people under the age of 55).

Ms. Dowd writes cute...
Unlike some of the right-wing ayatollahs, Ryan doesn’t threaten with moral and cultural gusts of sulfur. He seems more like a friendly guidance counselor who wants to teach us how to live, get us in shape, PowerPoint away the social safety net to make the less advantaged more self-reliant, as he makes the rich richer. Burning the village it takes to save it, so we can avoid the fiscal cliff, or as he and his fellow conservative Cassandras ominously call it, “the debt bomb.”
Cute. There is no debt bomb. But what's this...

The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for.
This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation's gross domestic product.
That's from a year-old story from those conservative Cassandras at USA Today. It is now 2012 and the debt is trillions higher.

Nothing to worry about. Nothing to see here but the scariness of Paul Ryan, who wants to burn down America in order to save it.


UPDATE: About as cute as a hissing cat.

Paul Ryan Vs. The Swedish Model

No. Not her. The Swedish government model.

But now that I have your attention, William Voegeli explains the deal European welfare states make with their people and the difference between Americans and, say, Swedes.

In Sweden, for example, the world’s most comprehensive welfare state, the most affluent tenth of the income distribution pay 26.7 percent of all taxes. This is virtually identical to their percentage of “all market income,” which is 26.6 percent. (See “Growing Unequal,” a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.) In the United States, by contrast, those in the top tenth pay a portion of all taxes, 45.1 percent, that is a third larger than the portion, 33.5 percent, of the total income they receive. Other famously generous welfare states, such as France, Germany, and Denmark, resemble Sweden, having tax systems far less progressive than America’s.
Why? Because America’s party of the Left must contend with our Don’t Tread on Me Jeffersonianism. To reassure voters more likely than Europe’s to fear ambitious government, the Democrats offer a different package deal: “We’ll build a welfare state that gives things to you, does things for you, and — best of all — someone other than you, someone richer than you, will pay for it.” Thus, Barack Obama promised (as did Hillary Clinton, his 2008 Democratic rival) to expand old social programs and launch new ones without raising any federal tax on any family with an income below $250,000. Having met the easy political challenge, persuading voters to accept government largesse, Democrats have voted “Present” when confronted with the hard part, persuading voters to pay for that largesse. The hard part, however, determines the fiscal feasibility of the easy part.
America's middle class gets a lot more in government benefits than we're willing to pay for. And the politicians who get themselves elected by giving us these goodies know if they ask us to pay (higher taxes) we'll toss them out on their ears.

So they run up deficits and debt instead and we let them. Paul Ryan says this has got to stop. He believes the welfare state needs to shrink. And he is willing to cut benefits to future (not current) beneficiaries to see that happen. Obama believes the welfare state needs to grow but refuses to ask the middle-class to pay for all of the wonderful bennies we get.

Democrats hope to allow tax rates to soar on everybody come this January when the Bush tax cuts expire and they hope to blame Republicans for it happening.

What's clear is that when it comes to paying for government, raising taxes on the rich just won't do it. Taxes have to go up on everybody who pays them. And when it comes to income taxes, that's just 52 percent of the American people.

Either you're for higher taxes and bigger government. Or you're for lower taxes and a smaller government. You can't be for both.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chemo Sabe!

Bowled Over

President Obama appointed Erskine Bowles to co-chair his deficit reduction commission and then completely ignored his recommendations for political reasons.

Wonder what he thinks of Bowles opinion of Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan.

Obama Fiddles While Economy Burns

If you think Barack Obama walked into an economic mess as president, just remember what it was like the day Ronald Reagan set foot in the Oval Office.
In January 2009, Obama inherited an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent. Average inflation for the previous year was 3.8 percent. The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate home mortgage was 6 percent.
In 1981, Ronald Reagan inherited an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent and on a steep uptick. The inflation rate was 13.5 percent. And the rate for a new home mortgage was 13.7 percent. The purchasing power of those on fixed incomes had fallen by 30 percent under Carter, throwing millions of seniors and others below the poverty line. There were gasoline shortages and long, long lines at filling stations. Carter himself described the mess the country was in as a “malaise.” Economists had to coin a new word for it, “stagflation”– a supposedly impossible combination of very high inflation with even higher unemployment. Carter based his presidential campaign on raising taxes on millionaires, crusading against “the three-martini lunch” (more likely among TV stars, agents, journalists, and others in the Manhattan crowd than among businessmen; it was a small and petty campaign based on resentment).
Sound familiar?

Obama = Carter.
Romney = Reagan? We'll have to see if the voters gives him the chance.

Thou Shalt Not Steal!

At least wait until after the church service.
UPPER DARBY — Theft and not prayer was on the mind of a woman who entered St. Laurence Church on Sunday during the distribution of Holy Communion and stole another woman’s handbag, according to police.
The devil, as always, is in the details.
“Within an hour, there was a report of a purchase of $22 worth of gas from the Hess station on West Chester Pike, in Havertown, with the stolen card,” Chitwood said.
“Then she apparently went to McDonald’s and placed a $34 order and fled from the drive-through window without the food when asked to sign the receipt. Not only is this woman a thief, she’s a hungry thief. There was a report of a male in the car with her when she went to McDonald’s.”
 The lunchtime order included two Big Macs, two supersized French fries, two large mocha frappes, one 20-pack Chicken McNuggets and two grilled chicken salads.
 The thief was described as a white female in her 50s, with blond hair and the smell of alcohol on her breath.
Sacramental wine? Or something a little harder?  

Campaign Shocker: Ryan NOT a Progressive!

John Nichols at The Nation magazine notices that Paul Ryan has a problem with progressivism.
No kidding.
What Ryan did not mention was the political philosophy that underpins what is universally recognized as "the Wisconsin Idea." The vice presidential candidates's thinking was shaped by Atlas Shrugged author Ayn Rand and Austrian economists, not by the progressive political ideals of the first Wisconsinite to lead a national political ticket into serious competition for the White House: governor, senator and 1924 presidential candidate Robert M. La Follette.
In fact, the House Budget Committee chairman is expressly at odds with his home-state's progressive tradition.
It seems to have escaped Nichols attention that with the election and retention of their conservative governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin voters are at odds with their "progressive tradition." Maybe its time to change Wisconsin's form of government from a democracy to benign dictatorship run by college professors. At least they would protect the state's vaunted tradition of progressivism.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meet the Little Chester Charter That Could

The Chester Charter School for the Arts is still looking for a few good students. My print column is up.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Democratic Mudfest

The Hershey School Get's It's Mind Right

The Milton Hershey School has changed its opinion about the safety of accepting HIV-positive students, thanks to a lawsuit and a bit of advice from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

When you're a plaintiff's attorney it's always nice to have a sympathetic victim for whom to go to bat. It helps to be a good coach too.

My print column on the capitulation of the Milton Hershey School is up.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Virtual School

It's time to take more advantage of technology to get kids learning. Welcome to Internet School.

We have big problems with our schools—and need new ideas about how to fix them. Deep changes are needed in our attitude toward teaching, leading education scholar Diane Ravitch wrote recently in the New York Review of Books.
We need smarter, better-educated recruits to the profession. We need to value a teacher's experience properly and discard the thought that idealistic college graduates with no experience make brilliant teachers automatically.
Fair enough. But we need other solutions too. We need plans that make direct use of our biggest assets: parental anger, and people's selfish but reasonable willingness to give some time to improve their own children's education now, versus someone else's in 20 years.
Local Internet schools are a promising way to mobilize existing talent. Much infrastructure is required that doesn't exist. But the parts are all spread out on the table. All we need is to fit them together properly.
Faster please.

And He Wants the Gold Medal

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hershey School Capitulates

The Milton Hershey School gives in and offers HIV-postive teenager a spot in its class of 2016. I'll have plenty more to say about this here and in Friday's print column.

Environmental Flexibility

Megan McArdle on giving cities and states more power and flexibility when it comes to environmental issues and taking some of it away from our clumsy federal government.
In my view, greater state flexibility is a necessary, but not sufficient, for meaningful environmental reform. Environmental problems are hard, and the best solutions are not always apparent. Even where there is a broad consensus on the desirability of a particular policy approach, questions of implementation and design remain. Experimentation and innovation are necessary to discover how best to get these details right. I believe that greater reliance on property rights and market institutions will lead to more effective and equitable environmental protection, but until such approaches are tried, the claim is speculative. Only by trying new approaches can we learn which measures best succeed, or fail.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Goring the Media

Media luminaries bid a fond farewell to Gore Vidal. Andrew Ferguson calls them on it.

The most puzzling thing about the career of Gore Vidal, who went toes-up last week at 86, was the reverence in which he was held by people who might have known better. . . .
For decades Vidal had said that Franklin Roosevelt knew in advance of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and let the slaughter come anyway, and when 9/11 gave him the chance to make the same slander against another president, he went even further and speculated that George Bush had colluded with his vice president to encourage the terrorist attacks. At his death a critic at the Washington Post summarized the Vidalian view with an uncommon mildness: "He took an acerbic view of American leadership."
The man must have felt bulletproof. With implausible romances like Lincoln and Burr he filled more readers' heads with more historical crapola than anyone since Parson Weems. ("So powerful as to compel awe," said Harold Bloom of Vidal's make-believe histories.)
He thought the Bilderbergers and members of the Bohemian Grove controlled world finance. ("He is a treasure of state," said R.W.B. Lewis.) He befriended Timothy McVeigh and spoke warmly of him. ("Vidal did not lightly suffer fools," said the obit writer in the New York Times.) He dished out anti-Semitism in a dozen different venues with imperturbable serenity. ("Both by temperament and by birth he was an aristocrat," said the Times.) He called William F. Buckley a crypto-Nazi. ("Vidal was known for his . . . scathing wit," said Diane Sawyer on ABC.) He wanted to try Henry Kissinger for war crimes and suggested that John McCain had invented tales of his torture at the hands of the Vietnamese. ("A savvy analyst and glorious gadfly on the national conscience," said the L.A. Times.) . . .
I was interested in Diane Sawyer's brief obituary on her ABC evening news show. It centered on the notorious confrontation (on ABC TV) between Vidal and Buckley in 1968, in which Buckley countered Vidal's accusation of Nazism with the vigorous insight that Vidal was "queer"—not high on the list of Buckley's scathing witticisms either. In recalling the event, Sawyer identified Vidal as the "celebrity novelist," while taking special care to tag Buckley as the "arch-conservative."
Why arch? The two tags make for a curious imbalance. For 50 years Buckley's views were safely on the rightward edge of the American popular consensus; Vidal's were shared by a tiny minority—cranks and ignoramuses in Hollywood, Manhattan, Northwest Washington, D.C., various college towns, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Yet it is Buckley who earns the ideological intensifier "arch."

Voter Fraud and the Frauds Who Say It Doesn't Exist

For those who say voter fraud doesn't happen, read this...

In the '08 campaign, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman was running for re-election against Democrat Al Franken. It was impossibly close; on the morning after the election, after 2.9 million people had voted, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes.

Franken and his Democratic allies dispatched an army of lawyers to challenge the results. After the first canvass, Coleman's lead was down to 206 votes. That was followed by months of wrangling and litigation. In the end, Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes. He was sworn into office in July 2009, eight months after the election.

During the controversy a conservative group called Minnesota Majority began to look into claims of voter fraud. Comparing criminal records with voting rolls, the group identified 1,099 felons -- all ineligible to vote -- who had voted in the Franken-Coleman race.

Monday, August 6, 2012

And the Winner for the Most Hysterical Comment Goes To...

... some genius named John Benante for this bit of casuistry on my Sunday column...

I know that Spencer is a right-wing ideologue, but he is worse than that. So, he would take issue, apparently, with same-sex partners "french kissing in a public place" - but not, I must assume, with opposite sex partners doing the same thing? What about mixed-race couples? They would have been fair-game for the likes of Spencer just a couple decades ago. Also, it seems to Spencer as if it should be perfectly fine for a restaurant to actively discriminate against serving homosexuals, as the restaurant supposedly wouldn't be "breaking any federal laws." People like him felt the same way about blacks a few decades ago. I've never much respected Spencer, but I find him completely loathful now. And here's something for this... gentleman to chew on. How about if a restaurant chooses to deny service to people with disabilities because their very presence makes some people feel uncomfortable? Would he be okay with that, if no federal law was being broken? Or would that be "different" somehow because no holy book that he's aware of condemns disabilities. (Though that's not completely true. People who were not physically "right" were not permitted to enter the temple. Old Testament. I don't know the verse(s), but it's there.
Benante apparently missed Friday's column in which I made it pretty darn clear that I am against both same sex AND opposite sex couples' Public Displays of Affection. As in...
Two dogs copulating on my lawn - I spray them with a garden hose
Two gay people copulating on my lawn - I spray them with a garden hose
Two straight people copulating on my law - I spray them with a garden hose.
So let me add mixed-raced and disabled couples to the mix, plus any other sort of combination of people one can imagine...


As for simply serving the disabled... the biblical verse Bernante is looking for can be found in Leviticus:

“Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, or a man that is broken footed, or broken handed, or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; no man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish, that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them.”
Benante is apparently unfamiliar with the Americans With Disabilities Act. While God is allowed to refuse service to the disabled if He so desires, Red Lobster isn't. And doesn't. It even serves "shellfish," another Old Testament no-no. And while restaurant owners are under no federal obligation to serve people based on their sexual orientation, there are plenty of state and local law forbidding such discrimination. As if they're really necessary.

The point of the column has to do with the government (and its administrators) respecting the First Amendment, specifically the right of free citizens to speak their minds without fear of government retribution.  

I hope my position is now clear to the unfortunate Mr. Benante. Unlike his feelings toward me, I do not find him "completely loathful." I do find him sadly and pathetically ignorant. And utterly lacking of a sense of humor.