Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cruising the Web

On its fifth-year anniversary of the passage of Obamacare, IBD reminds us of the five biggest lies and exaggerations made by the Democrats about the bill.

Daniel Greenfield refutes the "myth of Bibi Netanyahu's racism." In the media's horror over Netanyahu's warning about arabs being bused in, they ignored all the arab communities that did vote for him.
The residents were uninterested in any of the accusations of racism being aimed at Netanyahu by the media. Instead they were interested in housing. As one resident put it, “I used to sleep in a cave with my goats. Now I ask my daughter what wallpaper she wants in her room.”

Netanyahu’s election comment about Arabs being bused in to vote has been seized on as a useful excuse to explain how the media’s poll numbers that showed Netanyahu losing align with the actual results by claiming that a rash of racist Israelis rushed to vote. But that fails to explain why the exit polls were still badly wrong. A more realistic explanation is that the media’s polling was biased against Netanyahu. But it’s easier for the media to accuse Netanyahu of racism than admit to its own biases.

When Netanyahu warned about Arabs being bused in, he obviously was not talking about his own Arab voters, but the Joint Arab List whose MKs include Ahmed Tibi, who claimed that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, Tibi’s brother-in-law, Osama Sa’adi, who represented Hamas terrorists, Haneen Zoabi, who met with Hamas officials and defended the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens and Jamal Zahalka, who attended a Hamas rally and claimed that Israel would be destroyed.

Also on the list is Masud Ghanim, a Muslim Brotherhood member who called for replacing Israel with an Islamic Caliphate and stated that he supports Hezbollah.

The Joint Arab List is composed of several parties. Hadash has its roots in the Israeli Communist Party. Despite the name, it rejects Israel and its only remaining Jewish MK is Boris ‘Dov’ Khenin, the son of David Khenin the party’s co-founder and General Secretary of the Communist Youth Union. Balad was founded by Azmi Bishara who fled Israel after being investigated as an enemy spy. Balad had already been suspended for calling for war against Israel. The United Arab List emerged out of the local Muslim Brotherhood franchise and is stacked with Muslim Brotherhood members.

The Muslim Brotherhood believes that the Islamic apocalypse requires exterminating the Jews.
A lovely group all around. The media are ignoring the variety of Arab voters in Israel and how a sizable group supported Likud.
Those Arabs that support Israel want to see a strong country and they don’t wring their hands when conservative Israeli politicians say politically incorrect things. The Joint Arab List wants to see it gone and those who vote for them are no more likely to spare the Jewish State no matter how softly it speaks.

Israel’s cultural conflict is a complex one. It doesn’t just pit Jews against Arabs or Muslims against Jews, it pits Arab Druze against European Jewish leftists and Aramean Christians against Arab Muslims. The left prefers cheap shots to actually understanding the complexities of a country that can’t be summed up with a keffiyah and a protest sign. After their election defeat, Obama and the media have decided to reduce Israel to Netanyahu and Netanyahu to the devil. It’s the easy way out, but it fails to take account of men like Ayoub Kara or Father Naddaf, of the Likud landslide in Arab-al-Naim and of Lieberman’s wins in Arab towns and villages. The Jews and Arabs are more complex than the left would like them to be.
Complexity is never of concern when there is demagoguing to be done.

An additional irony is how angry Obama is with Netanyahu for saying exactly what Obama's own Secretary of State has said.
According to the April 18, 2013 U.K. Telegraph: "Mr Kerry, the US secretary of state, told the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the 'window' for a two state solution was 'shutting'.

'I think we have some period of time, a year, a year-and-a-half, or two years and it's over,' he said."

And what happened two years after Mr. Kerry's prophecy that at the maximum, after two years, the two-state solution is "over"? On March 16, 2015, Netanyahu asserted that there won't be a Palestinian state.

And then, a funny thing happened. Instead of rejoicing at his secretary of state's powers of clairvoyance and prophecy, President Obama became enraged: "'We take him [Netanyahu] at his word that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,' Mr. Obama said."

But why "evaluate" "other options" regarding Mr. Netanyahu, who, after all, merely confirmed what Mr. Kerry stated two years prior? Shouldn't Mr. Obama rather "evaluate" Mr. Kerry?

Betsy McCaughey refutes the whole idea that Hillary Clinton should be a feminist icon who will crash the glass ceiling.
But in truth, even then she was riding on Bill’s coattails. She got the law job in 1977 — surprise — just after he was sworn in as the state’s attorney general. Then, two years later when he was inaugurated as governor — bingo! — she was vaulted to partner. Hardly the struggle she now recalls. Though Hillary was called a trial lawyer, her former colleagues told The New York Times they can’t remember her ever trying a case.
Fast forward to 1993. Newly inaugurated President Bill Clinton announced a Task Force on National Health Care Reform and made his wife the chair. It was Hillary’s big moment.
With trademark naivete and arrogance, she insisted on keeping secret the names of 500 advisers, barred the public and the press from Task Force meetings and presented a Rube Goldberg revamp of the nation’s entire health system to Congress as a fait accompli before even getting its input. Within four months, a federal judge ruled the Clintons were violating federal open meeting laws, and The Wall Street Journal ridiculed her meetings as “an exercise in Soviet-style Kremlinology.“ Hillary’s M.O. was to vilify critics (including me) as “extremists.” Her mismanagement sabotaged the momentum to get health reform done, even in a Democratically controlled Congress, and set the cause back years.

Geoffrey Norman explains the real power in Iowa and why it is such a shame that this is the first state in the presidential contest.
The big political interest of the state is in corn. More specifically, in a corn product that Americans are compelled to buy if they want to drive a car, run a boat, use a chain saw or leaf blower … to do virtually anything that requires the use of a gasoline burning, internal combustion engine. Iowa is about ethanol....

Consumers never “voted” to put ethanol in their cars. In fact, there were warnings that it would damage the engines of older models. Ethanol is roundly hated by users of smaller engines. Mechanics who work on two-stroke engines are kept busy cleaning up the fouled carburetors of snow blowers, lawnmowers, string trimmers and the like. Furthermore, gasoline with ethanol blended in delivers less energy than pure gasoline.

But that, we were told, is just the price you pay if you want “energy independence” and assorted environmental benefits that were said to be the result of ethanol use. And there was the national security pitch for ethanol, as made by former CIA director James Woolsey who once said that American corn famers were “at the tip of the spear on the war against terrorism.”

In war, some people profit. Even excessively. So Iowa and other corn states prospered at the expense and inconvenience of the rest of the country. But that’s the way it goes in the political spoils game....

The country is awash in cheap oil. To the point that it is running out of storage capacity. The arguments for an ethanol mandate have been demolished by the technology of fracking. Iowa needs that first-in-the-nation caucus to keep the candidates in line and, hence, the famers planting corn fence-row to fence-row and the distilleries on line.
So everyone running for president travels to Iowa and speaks up for this stupid mandate. One reason I liked John McCain in 2008 is because he was honest enough to speak up against the mandate while in Iowa.

Judith Shulevitz wrote in the NYT this weekend about how college students are being encouraged to hide from ideas that scare them. And now these young adults are being encouraged to retreat to "safe rooms" when there are opinions being expressed that make them uncomfortable.
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

Safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being “bombarded” by discomfiting or distressing viewpoints. Think of the safe space as the live-action version of the better-known trigger warning, a notice put on top of a syllabus or an assigned reading to alert students to the presence of potentially disturbing material.
Really? Isn't college a place where students should be encouraged to hear opinions with which they might disagree?

Kevin Wiliamson explains how we've come to a point where the word of this president and his administration is just not to be trusted.
‘Can I trust what the president says? That’s a yes-or-no question.” So inquired U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in response to having been lied to by the Obama administration. The administration wants to use a presidential decree to enact an amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants; half of the states have rallied behind Texas in arguing that this is unconstitutional, that the president is arrogating to himself a legislative power that is properly Congress’s. Lawyers for the Justice Department, led by Kathleen Hartnett, assured the court that no action on DAPA — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents — would be taken until Judge Hanen had made a ruling on whether to issue an injunction against it.

“Like an idiot, I believed that,” the judge says.

The Obama administration, being what it is, ignored its promise to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas and began handing out reprieves as fast as it could, issuing more than 100,000 of them. When the annoyed judge demanded to know why the Department of Justice had lied to a federal court, Hartnett argued that the reprieves were being handed out under a different set of guidelines. The judge was not buying it. Among other things, the administration is offering three-year grants of immunity, which are not authorized by the earlier authority under which it purports to be operating.
That's this administration - lying to a federal judge.

Greg Lukianoff of FIRE has a scary story from Chicago state University which attempted to pressure a school administrator to file a false charge of sexual harassment against a professor the university wanted to silence.

Feminists should rethink their assertion that men cannot speak about women's issues.
Second, if abortion advocates who believe men shouldn’t comment or vote on women’s issues were logically consistent, they would also support barring women from weighing in on “men’s issues.” But no one has proposed that (nor should they). When California Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced the National Prostate Cancer Plan Act earlier this year, nobody suggested that she withdraw her sponsorship because, as a woman, she doesn’t, as Davis might put it, have the equipment.

Likewise when various congressional committees have held hearings on National Football League concussions and steroids in baseball, we don’t remember anyone ever proposing that women legislators recuse themselves because women don’t play in either the NFL or the major leagues.

Taken a step further, Simpson’s logic might mean that the opinions of abled-bodied people should be discounted when considering policies that deal with disability. Or that the votes of immigrant legislators should count for more than those of the native-born on bills that address immigration. The possibilities—and the absurdities—are endless.

Third, when politicians vote, they don’t (or shouldn’t) consider only their own interests; they’re elected to office to represent their constituents. When Boxer introduced her prostate cancer bill, she may or may not have had strong personal convictions about improving prostate cancer screening and early detection. But she introduced the bill as the elected representative of millions of the people who live in her state, including the nearly 20,000 California men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.

Beware if you're smoking Colorado pot.
Colorado's legal marijuana is three times stronger than it was a generation ago and is often contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, fungus and bacteria, a startling chemical analysis of 600 samples has found.
Additionally, modern pot has very low levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, the compound that medical marijuana advocates say gives the drug its healing properties. In most samples, the CBD levels were so small they were undetectable.

Allahpundit points to an idea by Kurt Schlichter of a poison pill to get Democratic support for blocking Obama's deal with Iran.
Allahpundit points out that such a ban would also include Saudi Arabia and Iraq. How about limiting the proposal to not making executive agreements when the religious leader who runs the country calls for death to America?

And yet another lie from Hillary about her emails.

Ouch. John Steele Gordon, a historian whom I admire, writes that "Ted Cruz is a right-wing Barack Obama."
Barack Obama was spectacularly unprepared to be president and, except for the true believers, his presidency has been a disaster because of it. He had no executive experience whatever but was supposed to be the chief executive officer of the largest organization on earth, the federal government. He had no political leadership experience, having been a backbencher in both the Illinois Senate and the United States Senate, with no legislative accomplishments to his credit. He had no foreign affairs experience. He has proved to be a terrible negotiator, ideologically rigid and contemptuous of any opinion but his own, although negotiating—getting to yes—is the very essence of politics. Today Senator Ted Cruz is announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. Is he qualified?
Think of how much of that could also describe Ted Cruz. Just because conservatives agree with Cruz doesn't mean he would make a good president. This is what particularly makes me reject Cruz as a candidate I'd support.
5) Negotiating skills. Like Obama, Cruz doesn’t seem to have any and no desire to use them if he did. He’s a bomb-thrower and an ideologue, insisting on touchdowns or nothing rather than moving the ball down the field.