Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Cruising the Web

Ah, the political courage of Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s environmental problem was on full display in back-to-back events here Monday evening.

First, Clinton appeared at a private fundraiser for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), an embattled incumbent who favors construction of the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline opposed by environmentalists.

Just two hours later, Clinton appeared on a different stage to deliver a speech to the League of Conservation Voters — a mainstream environmental group that strenuously opposes Keystone.

“The science of climate change is unforgiving,” no matter the continued skepticism about its causes, Clinton said. “The political challenges are also unforgiving. There is no getting around the fact that the kind of ambitious response required to combat climate change is going to be a tough sell at home as well as around the world.”

She did not mention the pipeline that Landrieu insists is essential to Louisiana.
She has the same problem that Obama has had in how to appeal to the great majority of Americans who want the Keystone Pipeline built and still craves the donations from environmentalist donors and the votes of those who oppose the pipeline. Guy Benson summarizes Hillary's argument,
We must re-elect Mary Landrieu, whose recent campaign has been all about the importance of Keystone (even if her party kneecaps her along the way)! But this green group's agenda is also vital, and their opposition to Keystone is courageous and principled! And my position on the issue, gotta go!
She'll just keep dodging questions about her position. A true politician of conviction.

Thomas Sowell has some very astute things to say about the results of the rioting in Ferguson.
The first victims of the mob rampages in Ferguson have been people who had nothing to do with Michael Brown or the police. They include people — many of them black or members of other minorities — who have seen the businesses they worked to build destroyed, perhaps never to be revived.

But these are only the first victims. If the history of other communities ravaged by riots in years past is any indication, there are blacks yet unborn who will be paying the price of these riots for years to come.

Sometimes it is a particular neighborhood that never recovers, and sometimes it is a whole city. Detroit is a classic example. It had the worst riot of the 1960s, with 43 deaths — 33 of them black people. Businesses left Detroit, taking with them jobs and taxes that were very much needed to keep the city viable. Middle-class people — both black and white — also fled.

Harlem was one of many ghettos across the country that have still not recovered from the riots of the 1960s. In later years, a niece of mine, who had grown up in the same Harlem tenement where I grew up years earlier, bitterly complained about how few stores and other businesses there were in the neighborhood.

There were plenty of stores in that same neighborhood when I was growing up, as well as a dentist, a pharmacist and an optician, all less than a block away. But that was before the neighborhood was swept by riots.

Who benefits from the Ferguson riots? The biggest beneficiaries are politicians and racial demagogues.

In Detroit, Mayor Coleman Young was one of many political demagogues who were able to ensure their own reelection, using rhetoric and policies that drove away people who provided jobs and taxes, but were likely to vote against him if they stayed. Such demagogues thrived as Detroit became a wasteland.

Ah, the euphemisms that the White House comes up with to excuse the mistakes of this president. When asked about Obama's own response to a heckler was to say "I took actions to change the law" didn't mean that he actually took actions to change the law. No, he was speaking "colloquially." As Allahpundit writes, this is just another version of a "Kinsleyan gaffe."

Gosh, it is such an awful job to be the spokesman for a president. I don't know why anyone would sign up for the job. You basically have to put your honesty and self-respect away in a lockbox for the duration. Poor Josh Earnest can't even come up with a good fake excuse why a soap opera producer would make a good ambassador to Hungary other than she was a donor to Obama. Sure, all presidents reward supporters with ambassadorial positions. And in today's era of telecommunications, the job of ambassador for many countries is really a nothing post. But it is still an insult to a country to send them someone so clearly unqualified for the job.

FIRE achieves another victory for freedom of speech by getting the University of Hawaii to admit that an administrator made a mistake by stopping two students from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution and to change their speech policies. What was that administrator thinking? Campuses are not places today that welcome free speech. Imagine how much worse it would be without an organization like FIRE to go to bat for these students.

Occidental College has a class in which students earn credit for volunteering on a political campaign. The students spent the semester working, almost full-time, for their chosen candidates. And, of course, they were working for Democrats and many of those candidates lost. They learned what a tough and exhausting job being a campaign worker can be. And some of them had to confront a reality that they seem not to be quite ready for.
Other students were even more emotional. Early election night, Tieman started driving from one campaign office to another when Hagan was in the lead. She sang aloud as she drove, excited for the victory.

When it was clear Hagan was going to lose, Tieman began "gross-sobbing and ugly-crying."

"It felt like everything I had poured my heart and soul into ended up not meaning anything," she said.

The two professors teaching the course — Peter Dreier and Regina Freer — were concerned enough that they asked the religious counselor to visit the class.
Maybe they'll learn not to invest so emotionally in any politician. No political loss is worth sobbing and crying.

This sounds about right. Aggravating, but typical.
On Sunday and Monday, the broadcast networks seized on the personal Facebook comments of mid-level congressional staffer Elizabeth Lauten criticizing the Obama daughters – devoting over 14 minutes of national news air time to the controversy in the period of two days. However, it took those same networks several days to even notice the video comments of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber crediting "the stupidity of the American voter" for passage of the law – providing only 8 minutes of coverage to the much larger scandal.

NBC's Today and Nightly News gave the Lauten story 6 minutes 13 seconds, nearly three times what they gave to the Gruber story (2 minutes 23 seconds). ABC's Good Morning America and World News Tonight offered 2 minutes 37 seconds, double the 1 minute 6 seconds they allocated to the Gruber video.

CBS This Morning and Evening News featured 5 minutes 23 seconds of Lauten coverage. After the Gruber video went viral on November 10, it took CBS four days to get to the story, with a full report on the November 13 This Morning and another full report on Evening News that night, totaling a combined 4 minutes 39 seconds.

NBC didn't notice Gruber's offensive comments until November 17, with a report on Today. NBC Nightly News has yet to mention Jonathan Gruber.
Of course, a tweet by an obscure staffer about the Obama daughters is clearly worth much more attention than the confessions of mendacity from one of the people who designed the health care law affecting one-sixth the economy and everyone in the country.

And of course, we all know that the coverage of the stupid tweets will dwarf coverage of the Democratic staffer who just plead guilty to sexual assault. Because if you put a tweet about the Obama girls on a balance with a guilty plea to giving a woman Ambien and then raping her, of course those tweets are clearly more newsworthy. After all, they were written by a Republican who worked for Representative Stephen Fincher whom probably few outside of Tennessee have ever heard of. And the Democratic staffer worked for Senators Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, Herb Kohl, and Representatives Elijah Cummings and Jan Schakowsky. We all know which story the media will spend more time on.

David Harsanyi explains how "everything liberals have told us about energy is wrong."

And now it's Kathleen Sebelius trashing the understanding of the American people. She blames the low "financial literacy of a lot of people" for why we haven't come to embrace the wonders that are Obamacare. And she claims to have been stunned by our illiteracy. As Mary Katharine Ham points out, she was the insurance commissioner and governor of Kansas. Were Kansans so much more financially literate than the rest of the country.
And here’s one more thing about Gruber and Sebelius. The American people, though wise enough to spot this lemon coming off the lot, are a generous folk. They might, indeed, have warmed to the law a bit if it had been executed comptently, if the interface for exchanges was as elegant and user-friendly as, say, Obama’s campaign website, if disruption had been manageable, managed smartly, and damage minimized, they might have given Gruber and Sebelius and Obamacare yet another chance. (I would have advised against this, but the American people are more generous than I.)

Guess whose job it was to get all of that right? The architects and the bureaucrats— the people who know so much better than we do. When Sebelius says the illiteracy of Americans about complicated insurance was a “stunning revelation,” she’s projecting her own lack of preparation and perception on us. Americans knew it was a complicated product and a complex undertaking and were rightly skeptical of her ability to deliver. She, on the other hand, was stunned to find out that micromanaging an entire country’s health care might not work out as smoothly as she envisioned. She was as stunned as Obama was that this didn’t come off without a hitch (though she may have been stunned a couple weeks earlier than Obama, as she saw her project hurtling inexorably toward IT disaster). They had both told themselves and voters that the federal government could do big things, especially when run by the Cult of Competence. There is no evidence that she or Obama tried very hard or even knew how to try to ensure that it would go well.

They had one job. They didn’t do it. Who’s stupid?

Thanksgiving was the time for the Obama administration to once again rewrite the Affordable Care Act. And there are some "Obamacare provisions you haven't heard of will also hike costs and cut your benefits."

Seth Lipsky looks at what the Founding Fathers said about immigration.

Ah, justice under Eric Holder.
The communist and racist New Black Panther Party plotted to bomb St. Louis’ Gateway Arch and assassinate local law enforcement officials, but the Justice Department so far has limited its prosecution of the group to an indictment of two members on minor gun charges.

If you have an ambitious child who is applying to college and wants to go to an elite school, it might not be as much of a shot in the dark as you perhaps fear. That is - if you're willing to apply to a whole lot of schools.