Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Cruising the Web

How typical. CBS plays only Prime Minister's nice words about President Obama and left out his criticism.

George Will nails it.
Can we trust the government to do its job? On Fox News Sunday columnist George Will parried: “What isn’t its job nowadays?” Will offered a quick run-through of governmental prerogatives in the early twenty-first century: “It’s fine tuning the curriculum of our students K-12. It’s monitoring sex on campuses. It’s deciding how much ethanol we should put in our gas tanks. It has designed our light bulbs. And it’s worried sick over the name of the Washington football team. This is a government that doesn’t know when to stop.”

Overreaching government is the natural consequence of progressivism, said Will, the “distilled essence” of which is that government is “a a) benign, that is, disinterested force — that’s false — and b) it is stocked with experts who are really gifted at doing things.”

Can we have faith in government? “I think we have much more to fear from excessive faith in government than from too little faith in government.”

Matthew Hennessey details how Connecticut is using the Sandy Hook massacre on little evidence to go after homeschoolers. Because, on the advice of the murderer's psychologist and schools, he was home-schooled in his high school years, a commission investigating the massacre is recommending that home schooled students be brought to school officials for mental and emotional evaluations. As if none of the other troubled youths who massacred students had attended public schools.
Couched in Schmeiser’s jargon, the committee’s recommendations may seem unobjectionable, but they’re really an opportunistic bid for in loco parentis—schools as substitute families and teachers as substitute parents. Such a broad mandate to foster mental and emotional wellness may be necessary inside the complex social ecosystem of a public school, where parents voluntarily send their children. But empowering a local school district to reach inside families and execute programs of social and emotional learning—perhaps against the will of parents—is unambiguously a violation of the right to homeschool as expressed by Connecticut’s education laws. More than that, though, it’s a call for a radical restructuring of the traditional relationship between children, their families, and the state.

The commissioners, like most social engineers, insist they are only motivated by a desire to protect vulnerable kids. “The purpose of this recommendation is to make sure that kids get what kids need. If they have needs that aren’t being addressed, just because the parent has chosen to remove them from the school setting . . . their needs are still going to be met,” said commissioner Kathleen Flaherty. Homeschooling, from this point of view, is an obstacle to the necessary provision of essential public-health services. It is a screen through which well-intentioned state bureaucrats can’t see, making it harder for them to build what Schmeiser—who in 2004 published an academic paper examining “the Anglo-American legal treatment of sadomasochistic sexual practices”—calls “communities of care.”
Today they recommend such psychological tests for homeschooled students. How long before that recommendation stretches to all children?

Common sense from Bill Maher. How pleasant.

Mischievous videographer James O'Keefe has video of staffers for Kentucky's Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes saying that her announced opposition to Obama's energy policies is all pretend and just part of a "lying game" that she has to say to get elected. Scott Johnson has the same thought that I did - how many other Democratic campaign organizations has O'Keefe gotten to say the same thing about their candidates?

Ramesh Ponnuru points to several races and what we can learn from them depending on who wins.

So much for Hillary Clinton's abilities as a manager.
The State Department's Office of Inspector General has released another “management alert” detailing rampant mismanagement within the agency, much of it during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tenure.

The inspector general’s latest “management alert” — the third released by the agency's internal watchdog in a little over a year — warns that the State Department’s management and oversight of grants has become a serious financial liability.

“The management and oversight of grants poses heightened financial risk to the Department of State,” Inspector General Steve A. Linick said in a report dated Sept. 26 but released Sept. 30.

Linick became the agency’s inspector general in September 2013, ending a vacancy that had lasted nearly six years.

After Linick assumed the role, he almost immediately issued two "management alerts." The latest alert in September marks the third of its kind in the IG’s history. Each alert issued by Linick has related to issues that festered and went unaddressed during Hillary Clinton’s tenure.
Just imagine what she could do with an entire federal bureaucracy to mismanage.

Naomi Wolf has gone complete around the bend. It is not enough that she wrote a biography of the vagina to theorizing that the ISIS beheading videos are staged by the U.S. government and that our real goal in sending the military to western Africa is to bring the Ebola virus back to the U.S. as preparation for a military takeover of the government. And this is a woman who was once regarded as a respectable feminist. Now she's just a punchline.

Speaking of idiots, Oliver Stone doesn't mind publicly endorsing Putin's strongarm tactics. And he's not hesitant to blame the Ukrainian government for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 even thought the only evidence for that is propaganda from Russia.

John Hart examines the extent to which Harry Reid controls the Democratic Party.
The most important, underreported, and poorly understood story in this election cycle — and perhaps American politics — is the degree to which so much hinges on one man: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.).

As majority leader, Reid has single-handedly taken control of the national agenda in ways that rival the president’s authority. He has unilaterally brought the Senate to a standstill and shielded vulnerable incumbent senators from tough votes in order to protect his position of power. And it isn’t just Republicans who are complaining.

As the Washington Free Beacon reported, Senator Mark Pryor (R., Ark.) was recently caught on tape telling donors, “I think possibly the best thing that could happen . . . to this institution, this election cycle would be if [Senate minority leader] Mitch McConnell gets beat and Harry Reid gets replaced.”
This is damaging to Pryor because it raises an obvious question: If he was so unhappy with Reid as leader, why didn’t he ever take action to replace him? Like virtually every Democrat in the Senate, he is afraid of openly challenging Reid’s authoritarian style.

Pryor’s private complaint and public inaction points to the real story of 2014. The reality is that there are no red-state Democrats in the Senate. There are only Reid-state Democrats. Reid alone sets the agenda of every state represented by a Democrat or liberal independent. He is, in effect, the third and most senior senator in each of those states. The implication for voters is this: If you want Harry Reid to be your senator, vote for the Democrat or independent (i.e., in Kansas, Greg Orman).
So a vote for a Democratic senator is a vote both for Obama's policies and Harry Reid's politics. Ponder that. And if you wish to continue having a Senate where bills are bottled up and not voted on and neither party gets to have an amendment voted on unless Harry Reid says so, by all means wither vote for a Democrat or stay home because that's what you'd be endorsing.

And don't buy Bill Clinton's desperate plea to Arkansans not to let their anger at Obama influence them to vote against Mark Pryor. It would just be a vote for Obama's policies and Reid's leadership.
"[Republicans] are really running against the president, aren't they?" Clinton said. "They see the polls, the president is unpopular in Arkansas."

"They want you to make this a protest vote," Clinton continued. "They're saying, you may like these [Democrats], but hey, you know what you've got to do. You've got to vote against the president. After all, it's your last shot."

Clinton argued that a vote for Cotton, whom he never mentioned by name, would be a vote against raising the minimum wage, against affordable interest rates for student loans, and against equal pay for women. The former president suggested that Arkansans are being seduced to vote against their own interests by anti-Obama ads paid for by out-of-state groups trying to help Cotton win.
Because Clinton knows so well what is anyone's best interests. Ya think he's worrying that 2016 voters might not vote for his wife because they're, as he said yesterday, "in a snit" about Obama? That thought must really burn the Clintons.

We could have several intrastate competitions in the 2016 race for the GOP nomination.

Pinpricks airstrikes in Syria aren't getting the job done. And ISIS keeps advancing.

If you're worried about Ebola, add in this terrifying fact.
The U.S. health system is now under assault by antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Drug-resistant bacteria killed 23,000 people in America last year and caused 2 million illnesses. It is getting worse, health experts say.

Fears of Ebola have ratcheted up since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that the first case of the disease had been diagnosed on U.S. soil. But unlike Ebola, which officials insist has little chance of getting out of control domestically, some bacterial infections are now resistant to all antibiotics and are completely untreatable.

Atlantic Magazine explains the psychology behind grocery stores giving away free samples. Happily, I'm able to resist the moral pressure to buy something given to me as a free sample.