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Friday, October 31, 2014

Cruising the Web

The Washington Post predicts that the election could tip a historic number of state legislatures to the Republicans. I well remember the gains that the GOP made at the state level in 2010 and thinking how that would help them for the decade because they would be in charge of redistricting after the 2010 Census. Any solidifying that they can do of those gains before 2020 would help set them up for the next decade. However, they have to worry about ticking off voters once they have control of state legislatures. They could just gain power in 2015 right in time to lose it in 2020 by trying to go too far, too fast and then facing the barrage of misleading ads about making cuts in education in favor of tax breaks for the rich such as Thom Tillis has faced in North Carolina.

Stu Rothenberg notes the history that Barack Obama could well be on the way to facing.
President Barack Obama is about to do what no president has done in the past 50 years: Have two horrible, terrible, awful midterm elections in a row.

Charles Krauthammer argues that this election is not about nothing, but is one about the economy, competence and people's sense of our nation's helplessness and confusion abroad.
Moreover, U.S. flailing is not just demoralizing at home. It is energizing the very worst people abroad. Being perceived as what Osama bin Laden called the “strong horse” is, for a messianic movement on the march, the ultimate recruiting tool.

Will this affect the election? While there is widespread dissatisfaction with the administration’s handling of the Islamic State, in most races it has not risen to the level of major campaign issue. Its principal effect is to reinforce an underlying, preexisting sense of drift and disarray.

The anemic economy, the revulsion with governmental incompetence and the sense of national decline are, taken together, exacting a heavy toll on Democratic candidates. After all, they represent not just the party now in government but the party of government.

In fact, Obama is likely to have the worst midterm numbers of any two-term president going back to Democrat Harry S. Truman.

Truman lost a total of 83 House seats during his two midterms (55 seats in 1946 and 28 seats in 1950), while Republican Dwight Eisenhower lost a combined 66 House seats in the 1954 and 1958 midterms.

Obama had one midterm where his party lost 63 House seats, and Democrats are expected to lose another 5 to possibly 12 House seats (or more), taking the sitting president’s total midterm House loses to the 68 seat to 75 seat range.
Jay Cost refutes the idea that Obama's election in 2008 presaged some sort of permanent Democratic majority.
There are no permanent majorities in American politics. For over a decade, Democrats have been salivating at the prospect of demographic changes propelling them to permanent majority status. Obama in particular has been active on this front, and has ruthlessly divided the country along race, gender, and class lines in the hope of speeding this process along. But he has overlooked two historical realities.

First, demographic change has been part and parcel of the American political landscape since the Founding, and yet the parties adapt. We can go back to the Federalist/Jeffersonian divide of earliest days. The latter enjoyed a demographic edge for a time because of the fast expansion of the West, but the old Federalist ideology eventually became the backbone of the Whigs, who were competitive against the Jacksonians. Federalism and antislavery then inspired the Republicans. So demography “doomed” the ideas of the Federalists, until of course a homespun Illinoisan named Abraham Lincoln united the whole North around a reworked version of their economic program. More recently, consider: In 1928 it was the Catholic vote that flipped Massachusetts from Republican to Democrat. In 2004 a majority of white Massachusetts Catholics gave their vote to George W. Bush, a Methodist from Texas, over John Kerry, a Catholic from Massachusetts.

Second, despite our political class’s pretensions to power, they remain mere pawns in a broader game designed by James Madison. Madison wanted a large republic precisely so demagogues could never build a fractious majority, as has been President Obama’s clear ambition. A society that covers a large space with many people actually makes it harder to do what this president has so long wanted. Per Madison: “Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other.”

We are seeing this play out right now. Obama’s coalition in 2008 was relatively large—at 53 percent of the vote—but unstable. In a country as vast and diverse as ours, all such coalitions are bound to be unstable. And what we have seen is Republicans poach a critical mass of the Obama vote away, in 2010 and likely in 2014, to foil his agenda. Just as Madison might have expected.

The Atlantic Magazine explains why liberal cities have become so unaffordable for the middle and lower classes.
In 2010, UCLA economist Matthew Kahn published a study of California cities, which found that liberal metros issued fewer new housing permits. The correlation held over time: As California cities became more liberal, he said, they built fewer homes.

"All homeowners have an incentive to stop new housing," Kahn told me, "because if developers build too many homes, prices fall, and housing is many families' main asset. But in cities with many Democrats and Green Party members, environmental concerns might also be a factor. The movement might be too eager to preserve the past."
Kate Bachelder identifies the top ten liberal superstitions that are on view in this election. I just wish that we would see refutations of such stupidities as spending more money improves education or that women earn 77% of what men earn.

Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke has a lame excuse about why she was fired lost her job from the company her own family owned and ran. She says that her position was eliminated after restructuring. And her family just couldn't find any position for her even though she was a wonderful executive. Sure. And then what did this take-charge executive do after her position was eliminated?
She left the company in June 1993, taking a two-year break to snowboard, travel and work for a bicycle trade group. John Burke said he asked his sister to return to Trek in 1995.
Yes, that's what competent businesswomen do - take a two-year break to snowboard. Even a relatively favorable Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story that points out that those making the accusations against her are Republicans writing on a conservative site, they still have this tidbit.
Mary Burke also served as commerce secretary under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle from 2005 to 2007. Her predecessor in that role, Cory Nettles, has said that Burke's no-nonsense style upset some in the business community.

"She was very, very tough," Nettles said recently. "People take umbrage at that."

In a September 2006 email that first surfaced two weeks ago, Nettles expressed a far harsher opinion of Burke.

"She's a disaster," Nettles wrote at the time to another political appointee who was still working under Burke at the state Department of Commerce.

Here's a chilling story of how ISIL killed the males and enslaved the Yazidi girls and women when they overran that region of Iraq. There are now an estimated 4,601 Yazidi women missing.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cruising the Web

Boy, how times change. The generation that fell so deeply in love with Barack Obama is now over their romance with him.
More than half – 51 percent – of America’s millennials who say they will “definitely be voting” in November prefer a Republican-run Congress, with only 47 percent favoring Democrat control, according to a Harvard Institute of Politics poll.

This marks a significant departure from the institute’s findings before the 2010 midterm elections, when America’s 18-29 year olds who were definitely voting favored Democrats 55 percent to 43 percent....

What’s more, the poll found that only 43 percent of millennials approve of President Obama’s job performance, while 53 percent disapprove. It is his second-lowest rating in the institute’s polls since he took office. The figures are only slightly worse for Obama among those who will “definitely be voting”: 42 percent approve, 56 percent disapprove.

The results showed a stark divide in presidential approval along racial and ethnic lines. Only three in 10 young whites approve of the president’s performance, while nearly eight in 10 young blacks approve. Hispanic youth approval fell to 49 percent, down from 60 percent just six months ago.
This generation has come of age during a great slowdown of the economy. Every year I see my students go off to college full of dreams for whichever career they've been thinking about. Some do find the jobs they're hoping for. But some come back and seem almost ashamed that they haven't found the sort of job they hoped for or any job at all. And often it is some of my brightest students who are having trouble finding jobs in the careers they've been dreaming about. So much for "hope and change." There have been changes, but not the ones they hoped for.

Stephen Hayes refutes the trope the media have latched on to - that this is an election "about nothing." Au contraire. There are two different ideologies for voters to choose from. They just don't seem to be choosing the one that the MSM prefers.
Not only is this election not about nothing, it is being fought over exactly the kinds of things that ought to determine our elections.

It’s about the size and scope of government. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the security of the citizenry. It’s about competence. It’s about integrity. It’s about honor.

It’s about a government that makes promises to those who have defended the country and then fails those veterans, again and again and again. It’s about a president who offers soothing reassurances on his sweeping health care reforms and shrugs his shoulders when consumers learn those assurances were fraudulent. It’s about government websites that cost billions but don’t function and about “smart power” that isn’t very smart. It’s about an administration that cares more about ending wars than winning them, and that claims to have decimated an enemy one day only to find that that enemy is still prosecuting its war against us the next. It’s about shifting red lines and failed resets. It’s about a president who ignores restrictions on his power when they don’t suit him and who unilaterally rewrites laws that inconvenience him. It’s about a powerful federal agency that targets citizens because of their political beliefs and a White House that claims ignorance of what its agents are up to because government is too “vast.” In sum, this is an election about a president who promised to restore faith in government and by every measure has done the opposite.

As even Barack Obama acknowledges, the upcoming election is about his policies and those elected officials who have supported them. It’s about an electorate determined to hold someone responsible for the policy failures that have defined this administration and the scandals that have consumed it—even if many in the fourth estate will not.
Maybe the reason some in the media are arguing that this is an election about nothing is because it's really an election about Barack Obama. And the verdict isn't favorable. And it's not a problem that the President can fix by shuffling out some of his staff and cabinet members.

Sean Trende examines the theory of an "emerging Democratic majority" and concludes what I thought when I first heard about it. American history is full of elections when one party seemed to be so dominant that the other party would wither away. And then just a few elections later, the situation reverses. That is the beauty of our system - it leads to some sort of leavening between the parties so no party achieves a permanent majority. Once the party achieves dominance, they start going too far in reading the mandate from the American people and eventually the voters want to try someone else. That is why the Reagan years didn't lead to a permanent Republican majority and the Clinton and Obama years certainly didn't achieve partisan dominance.

William Voegeli remembers when liberal writers thought that conservatives can't govern because they don't trust government. And now Voegeli argues that liberals have trouble governing. They make excuses for the failures of the Obama administration that the problem was that they needed to work harder at implementing their policies.
How is it possible that grownups, ostensibly dedicated to the proposition
that government can solve problems, must learn such an elementary lesson
over and over? One explanation for this anomaly is that liberals are,
regarding any social ill, adamant that government do something, but
unconcerned about whether it accomplishes anything.

Noble goals remain noble whether they’re attained or not. And liberals can easily demonstrate their own nobility by demanding new programs and bigger budgets, as opposed to the hard work of making sure existing programs are effective, or are abandoned if they can’t be made effective. If, as Georges Clemenceau said, war is too important to be entrusted to soldiers, the Obama administration may end up demonstrating that social problems are too important to be remedied by liberals.

Timothy writes on "Kay Hagan's corporatism and cronyism" and how it has enriched both her campaign treasury and her family members. It's not a pretty picture.

The repellent Democratic congressman, Alan Grayson, is refusing to support his estranged wife and children who are now living on food stamps. He argues that she wasn't legally divorced from her first husband so their marriage wasn't legitimate. But those are still his children. Isn't he legally required to contribute to their support? After all, he's the 17th riches member of Congress.

This isn't felicitous news about Scott Walker's Democratic opponent in Wisconsin, Mary Burke. The man who supervised her when she worked for her father's company, Trek Bicycle, is now saying that she was fired for her incompetence. And it was her own brother, John Burke, who had to argue for her to be let go.
According to Albers, it was John Burke who first sounded the alarm that the European division was struggling mightily.

“Her performance in Europe was not good,” he says. “We were losing a lot of money for us at the time. I don’t remember the amount, but it was considered significant based on where we were [as a company] at that particular point in time.”

“And also, we were encountering personnel/people problems over there. The people were threatening to leave the company. Many of them were.”

Primarily, Albers contends, because of the managerial style of their supervisor, Mary Burke.

“Her way of managing was kind of a ‘her way or the highway’ kind of approach to things,” Albers explains, adding that her subordinates “felt that she wouldn’t listen to them and was just imposing things on them that didn’t make sense.”

“So because of all that—which had gone on for a while, obviously—John Burke went to his father basically saying, ‘We need to make a change over here.’ Obviously, being a family situation, this was extremely sensitive and very difficult to pursue. So Dick Burke came to me and said, ‘Before anything is done here, would you go over there and give me your thoughts on what the situation is like?’”

Albers flew to Trek’s European headquarters and quickly discovered that John Burke wasn’t exaggerating.
And now she wants to run the state of Wisconsin. This is not a great job recommendation.

How false accusations of domestic abuse ruined one NBA player's chance at a career.

CBS has no comment on Sharyl Attkisson's accusations about how they protected Obama from negative stories about his administration. Typical.
James Taranto ponders the inconsistencies of the administration's position on quarantining servicemen and women who are returning from West Africa all the while pressuring states and offering up presidential photo ops to resist mandatory quarantining returning civilians including medical personnel who have worked with Ebola patients. The administration can't explain why there should be such completely different policies.
Let us suggest two practical distinctions, either or both of which may explain the disjunction in policy. The first is that forestalling the military quarantine order would have required Obama to overrule a recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—that is to say, to make a decision. Pressuring the governors, by contrast, involves only behind-the-scenes kibitzing and public bloviation.

The second is snobbery. Recall that quote from Nurse Hickox’s lawyer: “She’s a very good person.” She and others like her, according to the president, are doing God’s work, and—in pointed if inaccurate contrast to military servicemen—are “experts.” The logic would go something like this: You can’t quarantine her. She’s one of us.

When the going gets tough, all the Democrats have left is despicable race-baiting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cruising the Web

The administration is getting lost in their excuse-making about why soldiers who are, according to them not working with patients, should still undergo quarantine when they return, but medical workers who have been in direct contact with Ebola patients, don't need such quarantine. They're trying to argue that the military aren't volunteering to go to West Africa so we can treat them differently. Josh Earnest gives the example of the haircuts that those in the military must undergo in contrast to civilians. As Noah Rothman writes,
I’m not trying to be reflexively contrary, but how does it make any sense that soldiers whose movements and mission is “circumscribed” should be isolated and monitored, but voluntary health care workers, who cannot be tracked, should not be avoid being quarantined if they are suspected of displaying Ebola-like symptoms?

Moreover, if the aim is not to scare health care workers from voluntarily traveling to West Africa, what does he think an involuntary quarantine of American troops will do? Did I miss the conscription act that the president signed into law? Why wouldn’t think cavalier disregard for the interests of American troops serving at their own discretion overseas have a depressing effect on future enlistments?

The White House’s logic simply does not make any sense.

In the fight against this Ebola outbreak, the United States and the West in general are winning a number of victories. The spread of the infection appears to be slowing in West Africa, and health care workers who are treated at an early stage of Ebola infection in the United States have made remarkable recoveries.

The administration’s defensiveness on the issue of quarantine, and the partisan and inconsistent way in which it has attacked those who have embraced this precautionary measure, only saps the public of more faith in government officials to be able to contain the spread of this disease dispassionately and with a modicum of competence.

Maybe this is why people are suspicious about plans to allow returning medical workers to isolate themselves in a responsible manner.
The city’s first Ebola patient initially lied to authorities about his travels around the city following his return from treating disease victims in Africa, law-enforcement sources said.

Dr. Craig Spencer at first told officials that he isolated himself in his Harlem apartment — and didn’t admit he rode the subways, dined out and went bowling until cops looked at his MetroCard the sources said.

“He told the authorities that he self-quarantined. Detectives then reviewed his credit-card statement and MetroCard and found that he went over here, over there, up and down and all around,” a source said.

Spencer finally ’fessed up when a cop “got on the phone and had to relay questions to him through the Health Department,” a source said.

Officials then retraced Spencer’s steps, which included dining at The Meatball Shop in Greenwich Village and bowling at The Gutter in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, no one can find our new Ebola Czar, Ron Klain. But he was available for that first-day photo op.

Oh, and don't trust blood tests to tell us whether a person is going to develop the virus. It only shows up in the blood just about the time when the infected person is about to be infectious.

Jeffrey Goldberg has an eye-opening article in The Atlantic about how the Obama administration really regards Bibi Netanyahu. Apparently, they just can't stand the Israeli prime minister. One senior official calls him "a chickens**t." They blame him totally for the fact that there has been no peace concluded between the Palestinians and Israel.
Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.) But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickenshit.” I thought I appreciated the implication of this description, but it turns out I didn’t have a full understanding. From time to time, current and former administration officials have described Netanyahu as a national leader who acts as though he is mayor of Jerusalem, which is to say, a no-vision small-timer who worries mainly about pleasing the hardest core of his political constituency. (President Obama, in interviews with me, has alluded to Netanyahu’s lack of political courage.)

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”

I ran this notion by another senior official who deals with the Israel file regularly. This official agreed that Netanyahu is a “chickens**t” on matters related to the comatose peace process, but added that he’s also a “coward” on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat. The official said the Obama administration no longer believes that Netanyahu would launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to keep the regime in Tehran from building an atomic arsenal. “It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”
So the U.S. pressured him not to attack Iran and when he doesn't, they conclude that he's a “chickens**t” That makes sense. They just can't hate Netanyahu enough. We don't hear this sort of characterization from leaks about what the administration thinks of Hamas leaders or the leaders in Iran or Turkey's Erdogan or any other leader in the Middle East. Only our ally gets this sort of disdain. Netanyahu is the world leader who "frustrate[s]" the White House and State Department the most. How telling.

Wouldn't a story like this perhaps put Putin on the list of most frustrating world leaders?
Hackers thought to be working for the Russian government breached the unclassified White House computer networks in recent weeks, sources said, resulting in temporary disruptions to some services while cybersecurity teams worked to contain the intrusion.

Bret Stephens explains why Israel is, in turn, so fed up with this administration.
The real problem for the administration is that the Israelis—along with all the other disappointed allies—are learning how little it pays to be on Barack Obama’s good side. Since coming to office in 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed, against his own inclination and over the objections of his political base, to (1) recognize a Palestinian state; (2) enforce an unprecedented 10-month settlement freeze; (3) release scores of Palestinian prisoners held on murder charges; (4) embark on an ill-starred effort to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians; (5) refrain from taking overt military steps against Iran; and (6) agree to every possible cease-fire during the summer’s war with Hamas.

In exchange, Mr. Kerry publicly blamed Israel for the failure of the peace effort, the White House held up the delivery of munitions at the height of the Gaza war, and Mr. Obama is hellbent on striking whatever deal the Iranians can plausibly offer him.

Oh, and Mr. Kerry also attributes the rise of Islamic State to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Maybe if the Israelis grovel a bit more, Mr. Obama will oblige them by recognizing a Palestinian state as his parting act as president. Don’t discount the possibility.

The CW is that Obamacare isn't an issue in this election. But are people really going to forget this fact?
The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health care more affordable, but a newly released study of insurance policies before and after Obamacare shows that average premiums have skyrocketed, for some groups by as much as 78 percent.

Average insurance premiums in the sought-after 23-year-old demographic rose most dramatically, with men in that age group seeing an average 78.2 percent price increase before factoring in government subsidies, and women having their premiums rise 44.9 percent, according to a report by HealthPocket scheduled for release Wednesday....The premium increases for 30-year-olds were almost as high as for 23-year-olds — 73.4 percent for men and 35.1 percent for women — said the study, titled “Without Subsidies Women & Men, Old & Young Average Higher Monthly Premiums with Obamacare.”

D.C. McAllister proposes how to reach "Wal-Mart moms."

Typical. Harry Reid's PAC is trying to connect Thom Tillis to Trayvon Martin's death. And they don't care if they distort the facts in the case in order to make their tendentious claims.

The WSJ explains how "Obama soaks the rich, drowns the middle class."
The curse of the U.S. economy today is the downward trend in “take-home pay.” This is the most crucial economic indicator for most Americans, but when President Obama said in a recent speech at Northwestern that nearly every economic measure shows improvement from five years ago, he conspicuously left this one out.

Most workers’ pay has not kept up with inflation for at least six years. Even as hiring picked up over the past year, wages and salaries have inched up by 2%, barely ahead of inflation. This probably explains why half of Americans say the recession never ended. They are experiencing what Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen last week described as “stagnant living standards for the majority.”

Why aren’t wages rising? There are several reasons, including that many jobs today don’t pay as well as the ones lost during the recession. ObamaCare has made health insurance more expensive for businesses—as the nation’s biggest employer, Wal-Mart , recently reported—and that takes a bite out of take-home pay. Yet one factor is often overlooked: the tax increase on “the rich” at the beginning of 2013....

The overall effect of the 2013 tax hike was not minor. The highest income-tax rate on small business income has risen to almost 42% from 35%. That’s a 20% spike in the small business tax for successful companies. When the government takes more, there is less to plow back into the business or invest elsewhere.

This may help explain the paradox that even as American businesses today are generally efficient and highly profitable, they aren’t reinvesting in new plants, equipment and technology or hiring more workers at the pace they normally would. Business investment was up last quarter—a hopeful sign—but over the recovery the trend has been sluggish.

Bruce Fein argues for something I've always believed in. We should stop electing judges.

Mickey Kaus has fun mocking the MSM's desire to pretend to be running a neutral story that isn't actually a neutral storyline, what he calls a NSL.
The “gridlock” line isn’t neutral, of course. What would ending gridlock look like? Maybe, to the MSM, a non-gridlocked agenda is as “obvious” as it is to David Brooks. But it’s still an agenda. Front and center in this agenda currently is some kind of immigration amnesty deal. Sure, you could break the immigration gridlock the other way — with a focus on border enforcement before amnesty. But that’s not the break the MSM has in mind — and anyway President Obama would never sign it. So “voters want to end gridlock” translates smugly into “voters demand what the MSM, including NBC, wants,” if not precisely what the Democratic president wants.

Does it matter that this may in fact get the reality of the midterms 180 degrees wrong — voters seem poised to vote against amnesty and for an focus on border security, for example, against breaking the gridlock the “obvious” MSM way?

There's good news and bad news for each party in the early vote data. One might as well read tea leaves. Unfortunately for pundits, we won't know until after the election if the early-voting totals correlate at all with the entire election vote totals.

Millennials want jobs and having rap stars pander to them isn't enough.

According to Gallup, the issues that the Democrats have been pushing such as gun control, global warming, or a supposed "war on women" are not issues that voters are concerned about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cruising the Web

Sharyl Attkisson has a book coming out next week about her experiences working for CBS trying to cover Obama scandals such as Fast and Furious, spending on the stimulus, and Benghazi. She's won numerous awards for her investigative journalism, but that didn't seem to help when she started digging too deeply into Democratic scandals. Kyle Smith has a profile of Attkisson detailing how the Obama administration, as she titled her book, stonewalled her investigations.
Sharyl Attkisson is an unreasonable woman. Important people have told her so.

When the longtime CBS reporter asked for details about reinforcements sent to the Benghazi compound during the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack, White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor replied, “I give up, Sharyl . . . I’ll work with more reasonable folks that follow up, I guess.”

Another White House flack, Eric Schultz, didn’t like being pressed for answers about the Fast and Furious scandal in which American agents directed guns into the arms of Mexican drug lords. “Goddammit, Sharyl!” he screamed at her. “The Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable. You’re the only one who’s not reasonable!”

Two of her former bosses, CBS Evening News executive producers Jim Murphy and Rick Kaplan, called her a “pit bull.”
That was when Sharyl was being nice.

Now that she’s no longer on the CBS payroll, this pit bull is off the leash and tearing flesh off the behinds of senior media and government officials. In her new memoir/exposé “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington” (Harper), Attkisson unloads on her colleagues in big-time TV news for their cowardice and cheerleading for the Obama administration while unmasking the corruption, misdirection and outright lying of today’s Washington political machine.
And she's also exposing how CBS was shilling for Obama and blocking negative stories about the administration.
Reporting on the many green-energy firms such as Solyndra that went belly-up after burning through hundreds of millions in Washington handouts, Attkisson ran into increasing difficulty getting her stories on the air. A colleague told her about the following exchange: “[The stories] are pretty significant,” said a news exec. “Maybe we should be airing some of them on the ‘Evening News?’ ” Replied the program’s chief Pat Shevlin, “What’s the matter, don’t you support green energy?”

Says Attkisson: That’s like saying you’re anti-medicine if you point out pharmaceutical company fraud....

Attkisson mischievously cites what she calls the “Substitution Game”: She likes to imagine how a story about today’s administration would have been handled if it made Republicans look bad.
In green energy, for instance: “Imagine a parallel scenario in which President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney personally appeared at groundbreakings for, and used billions of tax dollars to support, multiple giant corporate ventures whose investors were sometimes major campaign bundlers, only to have one (or two, or three) go bankrupt . . . when they knew in advance the companies’ credit ratings were junk.”

....One of her bosses had a rule that conservative analysts must always be labeled conservatives, but liberal analysts were simply “analysts.” “And if a conservative analyst’s opinion really rubbed the supervisor the wrong way,” says Attkisson, “she might rewrite the script to label him a ‘right-wing’ analyst.”

In mid-October 2012, with the presidential election coming up, Attkisson says CBS suddenly lost interest in airing her reporting on the Benghazi attacks. “The light switch turns off,” she writes. “Most of my Benghazi stories from that point on would be reported not on television, but on the Web.”
She's not a conservative ideologue, but it's amazing how covering this administration fairly makes her sound like a conservative. It also demonstrates how different things might have been in 2012 if more reporters had demonstrated her dogged fairness.

The Hill profiles the GOP's rising female stars.

This NYT story about how the IRS has seized accounts of individuals who weren't even under any suspicion is just flabbergasting.
For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.

The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”

The federal government does.

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.
How does this even happen? It shows how far the IRS has grown beyond just trying to collect revenue. Once again the Institute for Justice is on the side of the angels.

If you thought that Louisiana's screwy jungle primary system was going to cause problems, add this into the mix.
If Louisiana State University’s two conference losses earlier this year had briefly quieted anxious chatter in Bayou State political circles, the school’s Oct. 25 victory over Ole Miss has both college football fans and Senate campaigns in the state keeping a close eye on the rest of the season.

The Southeastern Conference is holding its championship game Dec. 6, the same day Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy — both LSU graduates — would face off in a runoff if neither takes a majority of the vote on Election Day.

The issue for the campaigns: The game is in Atlanta, and if LSU qualified, tens of thousands of voters would be out of state on that day to cheer on the Tigers. Motivating turnout on a Saturday a few weeks before Christmas is never easy, but the exodus of a portion of the voting base — or simply not paying as much attention to politics — would add an unpredictable wrinkle.
Roll Call looks back at 10 moments this election season that had an important impact on the races.

Another great ad targeting Bruce Braley for suing over chickens.

James Hamblin at The Atlantic catches up with Dr. Steven Hatfill - remember him - he was the doctor whose reputation was trashed by being connected to the anthrax poisoning and being named as a person of interest even though no proof was ever found. Hatfill is actually an expert on communicable diseases and he has some disturbing warnings about what we don't know about Ebola.

How could the Obama administration not have thought through their policy on whether soldiers returning from West Africa should be quarantined? How did they get to the position that soldiers returning are now being quarantined at the same time that the administration is arguing against quarantines for people entering the U.S. from the same area, including medical workers who have been working with Ebola patients? Every day we have some fresh example of how slipshod the policymaking is on Ebola. The President sent American troops over to West Africa and yet they hadn't figured out how to bring them back safely? Amazing. The CDC keeps contradicting itself. As Mary Katharine Ham writes of the questions that White House correspondents are asking at the press briefing: "Let's be real; you're making this up as you go, right?" Sure seems that way.

If you thought the Hobby Lobby decision had clarified the role of forcing employers to violate their religion when it comes to abortion, think again. California is now ordering churches to fund elective abortions. Don't they have any Constitutional scholars in their government?

Philip Klein is thinking about Hillary Clinton's Kinsey gaffe when she said last week, "Don't let anybody tell you that, you know, it's corporations and businesses that create jobs.” Now she's backtracking and saying she "short-handed" her supposed point about outsourcing. Klein thinks that Hillary's misspeaking is what happens when she tries to "co-opt" Elizabeth Warren's populism.
To be clear, this one comment isn't going to be an issue for Clinton assuming she seeks the presidency in 2016. But it is illustrative of how Warren's presence in a Democratic nomination fight could create problems for Clinton, even if the Massachusetts populist doesn't ultimately prevail.
Hillary is quite awkward when she tries to fake her populism. Such a challenge to her from the left could create lots of such gaffe-filled moments for Hillary.

CNN realizes that there is a reverse gender gap this year for Democrats among men.

Yup, the UNC academic scandal is now a punchline on SNL. That is not good.