Monday, October 13, 2014

Cruising the Web

If a nurse in Dallas could get Ebola because somehow proper procedures in the hospital weren't followed correctly, what are the chances that the soldiers we're sending to West Africa might contact the disease? These people who are willing to work with Ebola patients whether here or in Africa are truly saintly.

How typical of the most transparent administration ever - they're not going to release the report of the investigation into how Bowe Bergdahl ended up going missing from his base and being captured by terrorists.

There is an addition to the story about how Senator Hagan's family's business benefited from the passage of the stimulus. Mighty convenient that.

And how typical that the Raleigh News and Observer sat on the Hagan story for two weeks.

Fred Barnes describes how Democratic candidates this year are running on a platform of fakery to try to convince voters that they are something they are not.
They’re no longer partisan Democrats or liberals or tied to President Obama’s agenda or allies of Senate majority leader Harry Reid or House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Instead, they’re fakes.

In this cross-dressing effort, a favorite tactic of Democratic senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina is to claim she’s bipartisan. “One of the things I love about North Carolina is that unless you’re talking about basketball you don’t have to pick a team,” she says in a TV ad. “That’s how I get results for folks here at home. Republican or Democrat, if a good idea works for middle-class families, I’m all for it.” Republicans, however, note that Hagan has voted with Obama
96 percent of the time.

Democrat Michelle Nunn, running for the open Senate seat in Georgia, says she too is eager to work with Republicans. In a debate last week with Republican David Perdue, she declared: “If you want to have people that are going to work together pragmatically to do things that will matter in people’s lives .  .  . and you want to put the people of Georgia first, then I’d ask you to look at my candidacy.” Nunn is adept at sounding like a Republican. She’s said she might not vote for Reid to continue as Democratic leader in the Senate.

That touches on another tactic: separation from party leaders. Senator Pryor was quoted as saying at a fundraiser: “Possibly the best thing that could happen .  .  . this election cycle would be if Mitch McConnell gets beat and Harry Reid gets replaced.” Pryor says he wants Senator Chuck Schumer of New York to take over from Reid. His GOP opponent, Tom Cotton, says Pryor has voted with Obama—and thus with Reid—
93 percent of the time.

Other Democrats won’t confess their position on Reid. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, in a televised debate last week, was mildly critical of Reid but dodged the question of removing him. Senators Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Begich of Alaska and Grimes have flatly declined to answer whether Reid should stay on....

Like other Democrats, Hagan portrays herself as a victim of attacks funded by the Koch brothers. In her telling, it’s as if a great wrong has been committed. It’s true the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity has aired ads tying her to Obama. On her website, there’s a sign-up to “help Kay fight back against the Koch brothers.” She doesn’t acknowledge the help she’s received from well-heeled Democratic groups from outside North Carolina. Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC alone has spent $1.4 million defending her and $8.7 million trashing Tillis.

When Clinton was in Arkansas last week, he took up the victimhood theme. “Out-of-state money buying television ads,” he said, is turning Pryor’s bid for reelection into a protest against Obama. Forget Obama, Clinton said. He urged voters “to think about what would be best for our children and grandchildren.” He spoke as if the $4.2 million that Reid’s PAC has spent against Tom Cotton didn’t exist.

I’ll stipulate that Republicans are capable of camouflaging their candidates when that’s required. But Democrats are a lot better at it, as we can see with our own eyes this year.

Just imagine if a Republican male candidate had said in a debate about a female opponent that she's never "worked manually for a living" in contrast to himself who had worked with his "body." The uproar would be trumpeted from every mountaintop. But when a Democrat says it...not so much.

Last week was "No More Che Day." There is a lot that young people should know about the guy whose face they wear on their T shirts.
For example, most students probably do not know that Che said, “We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish socialism, rivers of blood must flow.” One could easily attribute this quote to Adolf Hitler—but it was Che Guevarra.

Why do our colleges which claim to uphold standards of “tolerance,” allow students and faculty to idolize and celebrate the life of a man who had no tolerance for others and rejected peaceful approaches?

However, maybe that isn’t so shocking since Che also said, “Youth should learn to think and act as a mass. It is criminal to think as individuals.” This seems to be the direction that colleges are going today—with many schools trying to suppress free speech through “free speech” zones and other restrictive campus policies.

The unemployment rate is much higher than the official statistics.
Regardless of reasons, the net effect of a steadily rising adult population and sharply falling labor force isn’t pretty. It’s as if 217,000 adults joined the economy during the last month and yet made no attempt to help out. And on top of that, an additional 98,000 who were doing something in August also halted any attempt to pull a handle on our economic wagon in September. The headline number released last week - 248,000 new jobs created during September - pales in comparison to the much larger exodus of job seekers from our labor force.

A similar result occurred in August: 203,000 new members of the adult population joined, while the labor force shrunk by 268,000.

The culprit is the rapidly declining labor force participation rate. Pre-recession, it was 66 percent of the adult population or higher, but has now been at 63 percent or lower for all but one month of the last year. Looking for the difference between those two numbers can obliterate the officially stated unemployment rate of 5.9 percent.

The Economic Policy Institute, a Left-leaning think tank supported by labor unions, has factored out the retirees and other demographic exits from the labor force and still comes up with more than 6.3 million “missing workers” not counted in the official unemployment statistics. EPI says honestly counting them as unemployed zips the real September unemployment rate up to 9.6 percent.

Ed Rogers explains at the Washington Post why it's a myth that Obamacare is working.
They say Obamacare is working. But the millions who lost the plans they liked have not had those plans reinstated. Obamacare hasn’t insured a meaningful share of the uninsured – which, oh by the way, was the original reason given for why we have to endure this trauma in the first place. And worst of all, with very few exceptions, Obamacare hasn’t made health care more affordable or more accessible.

Ed Morrissey highlights what he wonders is maybe "the worst campaign ad ever." I'd rank it right up there with Elizabeth Dole's idiotic ad suggesting that Kay Hagan might be, gasp!, an atheist.

So what's the deal with Naomi Wolf? Remember this was a woman who was an adviser to Al Gore.
Wolf suffers from the radical self-delusion that mistakes bonkers political views for uncommonly brave opinion. As Toni Bentley wrote in her brilliantly caustic Times review of Vagina: A New Biography, Wolf “has rendered herself less than unreliable over the past couple of decades, with one rant more hysterical than another.”

And that was before she was just asking the media to do its job and investigate claims that ISIS’s Western victims might be actors or CIA agents or Mormon missionaries. “Of course a new British hostage has been allegedly beheaded in a video with no media skiing [sic] if it is a real video,” Wolf recently wrote on Facebook. “The propaganda is coming too fast for me to keep up with. Tempting to throw in the towel...”

Note to our fascist overlords in Washington: make the propaganda go even faster and let’s make Wolf’s temptation a reality.

Gosh, Bruce Braley has a real problem with foot-in-mouth disease. Now he's describing young entrepreneurs as "sitting around" and "drinking beer." What is the point of denigrating young entrepreneurs?

Kevin Williamson ponders celebrities who argue a sort of anti-American exceptionalism. Example du jour - Eva Longoria.
The actress and Democratic activist Eva Longoria, who apparently has never heard of France, was ruthlessly mocked this week for her claim that the United States “is the only country that promotes monolingualism.” Both of the assumptions behind that statement are false: The United States does not promote monolingualism, and some other countries, and would-be countries such as Quebec, do. Ms. Longoria is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, where state standards at the time of her high-school education generally required two years of the same foreign language, and where neither the University of Texas nor Texas A&M, which Ms. Longoria attended, will admit students without two years of the same foreign language. Ms. Longoria currently is a resident of California, a state in which official business is conducted in more than 30 languages. As for other countries, suffice it to say that neither China nor Mexico is offering driver’s-license exams in Farsi. Spain has one language with national official status — guess which....

Ms. Longoria’s error is interesting to me because it is an example of anti-American Exceptionalism, i.e. the common belief among progressives that the United States is uniquely backward and knuckle-dragging in various critical ways. Most often, you hear that idea’s characteristic phrase — “We’re the only country in the civilized world that . . . ” in the context of the health-care debate, or when Democrats are arguing for sundry welfare benefits or employer mandates such as maternal leave.
Williamson brings up those who liked to accuse the U.S. of being the only advanced country that did not provide "universal health care." Well, that's demonstrably not true. And these American critics don't seem to enjoy noting the one aspect where we truly are exceptional.
There are many policies in the United States that are radically different from those in other countries. For instance — and for the moment — when we talk about freedom of speech, we really mean freedom of speech, at least until Harry Reid and the Democrats get around to repealing the First Amendment. Canada and the United Kingdom talk a pretty good game about freedom of speech, but, as Charles C. W. Cooke and others have reported here, theirs is a hollow commitment. If you are a Canadian churchman whose sermon hurts the wrong set of privileged feelings, you can go to jail. Certain political ideas are officially verboten in Germany.

So the United States is practically alone in the world in not suppressing unpopular political views and religious ideas. Should we change that, and become more like Venezuela or Singapore? Ms. Longoria might consider that the United States really is practically the only nation in the civilized world that would accept tens of millions of illegal immigrants with the level of docility on display for the past several decades. Perhaps she’d prefer a more German response?

The entire American political model is based on codifying policies that were in effect practically nowhere else in the world in the late 18th century. The supposition that people could get along without a king or a state-run church or a national censor, that they could choose their own faiths, speak their own minds, print their own newspapers, carry their own guns, and choose their own leaders without oversight from a hereditary aristocracy — at the time of the American founding, those ideas were considered more or less bonkers in most of the civilized world.

That’s a real fault line between conservatives and progressives: The Right tends to see those policies and institutions unique to the United States as markers of our liberty and excellence, while the Left sees policies and institutions unique to the United States as indicators that we are simply a few rungs on the evolutionary ladder behind Finland. It’s American Exceptionalism vs. anti-American Exceptionalism, and the latter tendency is by no means limited to such lightly informed Democratic emissaries as Eva Longoria.

Democrats fear that their worst fears about turnout this election may be coming true. We'll certainly see if all those vaunted get-out-the-vote tactics to use the latest in metrics to appeal to voters that Obama used in 2012 will work this year when he's both deeply unpopular and not on the ballot.

George Will explains why he takes campus rape more seriously than Scripps College which disinvited him because he dared to question campus rape policies.
My argument was that sexual assault is so serious – we rank it in our Western law as just shy of murder … and we have lots of laws against it. And if someone is accused of rape – it’s serious business – and should be put in the hands of professionals, that is the criminal justice system, instead of jerrybuilt, due-process challenged, semi-courts on campuses.

So this is one way for a news talk station to try to make more money - play all Beyoncé all the time.

Greg Orman is really ignorant of how the Senate works when he claims that he won't support either Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell for majority leader.
Orman appears to believe that will make him the Senate's kingmaker, but experts say it just doesn't work that way. Each party in the Senate elects its own leader, and the leader of the party that holds the majority is the majority leader. Orman could only vote if he chooses to join one party or the other. "He has to pick a team before he can vote for team captain," says one Senate GOP aide. If Orman chose to stand outside that process, insisting on Murkowski or Heitkamp, that would mean whichever party has 50 votes becomes the majority, with the other having 49. Orman will have simply made his vote immaterial. "His entire premise is bulls--t," says one Senate GOP aide.

It's hard to say what effect, if any, Orman's novel ideas on the Senate are having on the race. Maybe it's all inside baseball, something voters just don't care about.
It shouldn't be surprising that Chris Matthews is a hypocrite, but it should always be pointed out.

If you live in the Raleigh area, you might be interested in heading to Quail Ridge Books on Thursday to hear James McPherson to talk about his new book about Jefferson Davis, Embattled Rebel. I was lucky enough to hear McPherson talk about Gettysburg and take a group of teachers on a tour of the battlefield. He was such a great speaker and a real gentleman in his willingess to answer questions and sign books.