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Friday, November 13, 2015

Cruising the Web

The Washington Post is taking on the challenge from Republicans to devote some equal time to Hillary Clinton's mischaracterizations (i.e. lies) about her own biography. Their Fact Checker gave her two Pinnochios for he claim that she tried to join the Marines, but was turned down because she was a woman. Considering that Carly Fiorina received two Pinnochios for saying that she started out as a secretary and ended up as a CEO all while the Post admitted that that was all true, I don't know how severe a slap on the wrist two Pinnochios really is. But it's nice to see someone remembering one of Hillary's more unbelievable claims. Chris Cillizza looks at some of the other problems in her tales about her personal biography and offers his own explanation for why there is so much attention to Ben Carson's autobiographical details.
his isn't the first time that Clinton might have been caught exaggerating the details of her past life. In a speech in Iraq in 2008, Clinton recounted landing in Bosnia under sniper fire. "There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base," she said.

Videos unearthed of Clinton's arrival showed a very different story -- a calm scene without any obvious danger. Clinton recanted a week after giving the speech, saying that she had misspoken. But she was still whacked for exaggeration by then-candidate Barack Obama's campaign -- an Obama spokesman at the time cited "a growing list of instances in which Senator Clinton has exaggerated her role in foreign and domestic policy-making" -- and given a "pants on fire" rating for the claim by the fact-checking service PolitiFact.

Compare Clinton's exaggerations -- both the one we are sure of (Bosnia) and the one where recollections are hazy (Marines) -- to the spate of recent stories about GOP front-runner Ben Carson and his recounting of his past. It seems, at a minimum, that Carson misremembered/exaggerated the idea that he met with Gen. William Westmoreland and/or was offered a "full scholarship" to attend West Point. And his stories of a violent youth highlighted by a terrible temper, while not proven entirely untrue, have had some doubt cast on them by reporting done by CNN in which his childhood acquaintances seemed to remember things differently.

On their face, the extent of the exaggerations at issue seem very similar. And yet, Republicans note, Carson is being cast by the media as a fraud while Clinton is being given a pass. Liberal bias, they scream.

Maybe. But I think it's less bias for political reasons and more bias for new news stories.

Carson is a totally new political commodity. He had never run for anything before this race. His rise to the top of the field has been heavily reliant on his personal story -- going from abject poverty in Detroit to become one of the world's most renowned brain surgeons. The Ben Carson Story is not one that most people are already familiar with. What's happening now is that getting-to-know-you moment with voters. There's a freshness tied to the Carson story, then -- a freshness that, when linked to his status as the Republican front-runner, makes the vetting of his story have a clear news peg.

Clinton, on the other hand, is, well, not new to the political scene. And her story isn't either. While not everyone is familiar with all of the particulars of the Bosnia incident or her applying for the Marines (or not), there is some sense that she is a known commodity for voters. Hence, no news peg. And less coverage. (Although it's worth noting that the reason I am writing this post at all is because of a fact check by my news organization of a claim made by Clinton on the campaign trail.)
I think Cillizza exaggerates how much doubt has really been cast on Carson's stories. As far as I've seen most of the media criticisms have been shot down. But maybe Cillizza hasn't been keeping up.

And I don't buy this idea that they don't have to spend that much attention because these stories have already been reported. That is the hope that the Clintons always have - that they can wait long enough in the hopes that people will forget. The media doesn't need to pound these stories in every day, but they can present the contrast when they're talking about inconsistencies in Republicans' stories. The media didn't say in 2012 that everyone knew what they needed to know about Romney's record in Massachusetts and so they didn't need to go into all that because they had already done it when he ran in 2008. Clinton should be covered in the same attitude.

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I wonder how much the Iowa-nice population will respond to Donald Trump ranting for an hour and a half about everyone he doesn't like and attacking his GOP rivals.
The usually punctual executive was nearly 40 minutes late. His voice was hoarse, his hair mussed, his tone defensive. He promised to take questions from the audience but instead launched into a 95-minute-long rant that at times sounded like the monologue of a man grappling with why he is running for president — and if it's really worth it or not. Even for a candidate full of surprises, the speech was surprising.

He scoffed at those who have accused him of not understanding foreign policy, saying he knows more about Islamic State terrorists "than the generals do." He took credit for predicting the threat of Osama bin Laden and being right on the "anchor baby situation," a position he says "these great geniuses from Harvard Law School" now back. He uttered the word "crap" at least three times, and promised to "bomb the s---" out of oil fields benefiting terrorists. He signed a book for a guy in the audience and then tossed it back at him with a flip: "Here you go, baby. I love you."

Trump called Republican rival Carly Fiorina "Carly whatever-the-hell-her-name-is," accused Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton of playing the "woman's card" and said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is "weak like a baby." He then devoted more than 10 minutes angrily attacking his chief rival, Ben Carson, saying the retired doctor has a "pathological disease" with no cure, similar to being a child molester.

"If I did the stuff he said he did, I wouldn't be here right now. It would have been over. It would have been over. It would have been totally over," Trump said. "And that's who's in second place. And I don't get it."

....But Trump appeared to unravel on stage Thursday evening before a crowd of roughly 1,500 in Fort Dodge, a small industrial town 100 miles northwest of Des Moines. Many in the crowd were community college students who have never voted in a presidential election, along with teachers, local politicians and a number of farmers from the area. Rather than sticking to his usual, tidy 60 minutes, Trump kept going and going. Campaign staffers with microphones had planned to solicit questions from the audience, but instead stood waiting in the aisles, then sat for a while, then stood again at attention. Those standing on risers behind Trump — providing a backdrop of Iowan faces — eventually gave up and sat down in a falling cascade.

At first, the audience was quick to laugh at Trump's sharp insults and applaud his calls to better care for veterans, replace the Affordable Care Act and construct a wall along the Mexican border. But as the speech dragged on, the applause came less often and grew softer. As Trump attacked Carson using deeply personal language, the audience grew quiet, a few shaking their heads. A man sitting in the back of the auditorium loudly gasped.

The tirade came amid one of Trump's busiest weeks yet on the campaign trail. Trump hosted "Saturday Night Live" last weekend and then spent Sunday doing interviews. Monday night he had a rally in Illinois. Tuesday night was the fourth GOP debate in Milwaukee. Wednesday morning, after about 90 minutes of sleep, Trump attended a breakfast in New Hampshire. Thursday he arrived in Iowa for a tour of a factory, television interviews and the rally at the community college.
I guess he just got tired and lost it. It must really gripe at him to have to compete with Carson. Most Iowan Republicans like Carson. I don't think comparing Carson to a child molester is going to go over well.
Trump said Carson has a "pathological disease" with no cure, comparing it to the incurable mental conditions of child molesters.

"A child molester, there's no cure for that," Trump said. "If you're a child molester, there's no cure. They can't stop you. Pathological? There's no cure."

With his voice growing louder and louder, Trump questioned what sort of person would attack his mother. He questioned how a belt buckle could stop a blade, stepping away from the podium to demonstration how such an attack might happen and how his own belt buckle wouldn't stay in place long enough to stop a knife.

"Anybody have a knife?" Trump asked the audience, which was screened by Secret Service agents who began protecting him this week. "You want to try it on me?"

Trump was flabbergast: "How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?"

And Trump said he doesn't believe that after just a few hours of reflection, Carson found God and overcame his violent temper.

"He goes into the bathroom for a couple of hours and he comes out and now he's religious," Trump said. "And the people of Iowa believe him. Give me a break. Give me a break. It doesn't happen that way. It doesn't happen that way… Don't be fools, okay?"

Trump told the audience that while he might not be "a perfect Christian" like Carson, he has leadership abilities that Carson does not have.

"I know how to do it," Trump said of the presidency. "I really know how to do it."

After 95 minutes, Trump drew to a sudden but long-awaited end. Gripping the podium, he promised to unify the country and win. He also wondered aloud if he should just move to Iowa and buy a farm.

"I've really enjoyed being with you," Trump said. "It's sad in many ways because we're talking about so many negative topics, but in certain ways it's beautiful. It's beautiful."
This does not sound like the rant of a truly rational guy. It's so funny that he's the one questioning Ben Carson's temperament. I'm sure his supporters won't see anything wrong in this. But you can watch the speech yourself and judge Trump's temperament. The Carson spiel begins about 1:20.

Mark Steyn has some thoughts about Donald Trump's praise for Eisenhower's Operation Wetback policy.
At this point in the evening, the candidates were arguing not whether it was disgraceful but whether it was do-able. Trump's response is that not only is it do-able but it's already been done - by a two-term Republican president. Eisenhower, by the way, was the last non-politician to be drafted as presidential nominee .... His sudden reappearance in the GOP pantheon is a fine example of the difference Trump's made to this primary season: without his presence in the race, no-one would be talking about the practicalities of mass deportation of illegal aliens.

Whether that's a good thing is a matter of opinion. But, considering that the erasing of America's borders is the signature issue that propelled Trump to the top of the polls and has kept him there for six months, there's been a curious reluctance on the part of all four debate-hosting networks to get into the subject. Wouldn't it be appropriate, in the present atmosphere, to question Marco Rubio on the Gang of Eight business and get a bit of a ding-dong going between him and Trump? Apparently not.

So two minutes of Wetback Revisited is apparently the closest we'll get. It arose in the context of John Kasich and Jeb Bush's objections to Trump's views on the armies of the undocumented. Kasich actually said, "Think about the families. Think about the children." Then he scoffed, "Come on, folks. We all know you can't pick them up and ship them back across the border. It's a silly argument. It is not an adult argument."

Bush, on the other hand, thought that even talking about this stuff was a mistake that would work only to Hillary's benefit: "They're doing high-fives in the Clinton campaign right now when they hear this."

How pitiful a candidate is Jeb? This pitiful: He's not even competitive in the bleeding-heart compassionate establishment squish sub-section of the primary. Kasich offered sentimentalist pabulum - "Think about the children" - and elite condescension: Trump's position isn't "adult". But Jeb basically previewed his general-election fetal position: We can't talk about this because we have to play this game on the Democrats' terms.

So now it's starting to go down between Cruz and Rubio. Having telegraphed the hits he was going to make on Rubio during the debate, Cruz now opened up on Laura Ingraham's show about Rubio and immigration. Since Ingraham has become fixated on immigration and opposition to anyone who isn't as hardline as she is, this was a good venue for Cruz, but it still seems a bit strange to forego the attacks during the debate and then do it a couple of days later. And, of course, Rubio was ready for the attacks. It isn't as if the Rubio campaign hasn't known that such attacks were coming. He has been able to get away with not answering any questions in the debates about immigration, but that doesn't mean that he didn't get ready for them.
Cruz tweaked Rubio during a Thursday morning interview with conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham. She opened the discussion by asking Cruz to comment on her view that Rubio is a recent convert to conservative immigration policy. "Talk is cheap," responded Cruz, a high profile opponent of legal status for illegal immigrants, derided by some as "amnesty." Cruz then recounted Rubio's participation in the "gang of eight" Senate immigration talks, and of course, his staunch opposition.

Rubio and his campaign pushed back quickly, and didn't let up, in an attempt to paint Cruz as inconsistent and undercut his credibility as an immigration hawk.

The senator said during a news conference in South Carolina that Cruz's approach to immigration isn't "dramatically different" from his. Rubio cited Cruz's support for increasing the number of H1-B visas made available to foreign workers, and the Texan's past proposal to offer work permits to illegal immigrants. Rubio's team followed with a barrage of press releases, tweets and videos of Cruz expressing support for comprehensive reform back when the 2013 immigration bill was being considered.

Republican insiders see risks and rewards in Cruz's apparent to ratchet up his competition with Rubio.

The upside is forcing one of his key competitors to play defense on an issue that is a top priority for base conservatives and has always held the possibility of becoming a political liability in his nomination bid. If Rubio stumbles, it could cause the broad community of big Republican donors considering Rubio hold off in joining his campaign, further neutralizing his rise ahead of first votes in Iowa, set for Feb. 1.

"It's a smart play, said a Republican operative who is neutral in the race.

But Cruz's actions also signal an acknowledgment that Rubio is blocking his path to the nomination. Cruz's strategy relies on consolidating the votes of base conservatives behind his candidacy. But Rubio, despite being an attractive candidate to the so-called establishment wing of the party, hails from the Tea Party and stands to garner support from right wing of the party. Rubio's strategy is built around being a consensus candidate acceptable to all GOP factions.

"Cruz understands that Rubio has his own nomination lane that cuts deeply into his own, which is why he's now trying to define him as something other than a conservative," said a second GOP operative who is neutral in the primary.
Allahpundit has been trying to figure out where Ted Cruz actually stands on what to do with the undocumented immigrants who are already here.
The Times asked him what we should do about the 11 million and he referred them to his amendment about work permits and green cards. Huh. Doesn’t sound like a guy who supports Trump-style mass deportation to me. But it’s hard to say because, somehow, in 2015, three years into Ted Cruz’s Senate career and many months into his presidential campaign, we still don’t have a clear idea of what he wants to do about illegal immigrants. That’s odd, no? For a guy who loves to talk and is constantly patting himself on the back for taking bold stands, he’s been strangely quiet on that topic. Go figure.
So that makes Cruz a bit vulnerable when he is going after Rubio on immigration. And perhaps he should have stuck with his strategy in the debate of holding off attacking Rubio.
Exit question via Harry Enten: Did Cruz move too soon in attacking Rubio on immigration? Rubio’s going to spend weeks now arguing that Cruz isn’t much different than he is on immigration, which would be fine except that Trump’s still at 30 percent in the polls and is seen overwhelmingly by Republicans as the candidate who’d handle immigration best. If Rubio succeeds in framing Cruz as squishy on immigration (if not quite as squishy as he himself is), it’s a golden opportunity for Trump to jump in and attack both of them as pro-amnesty RINOs. Maybe Cruz should have waited until Trump had faded to launch this war. Assuming that Trump ever does fade, that is.

Vox laughs at the schedule of Democratic debates and their choice of having a debate this Saturday. Who is going to watch on a Saturday evening at 9 pm? That sort of date could only have been scheduled because the DNC did not want a large viewership.
The Democratic National Committee, which organizes the party's primary debates, has faced accusations of scheduling them on dates that will receive poor viewership in an attempt to protect frontrunner Hillary Clinton. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has denied these claims. There are other hints Clinton wanted less exposure, including reports that her campaign privately lobbied the DNC for fewer debates.

But when you just look at the debate schedule, it's hard to deny its absurdity — especially when you take a look back at political debates of years past.

....Republicans have scheduled most of their debates on days that historically fare quite well. Democrats have not, with just one Thursday debate. It’s not rocket science, since there’s plenty of data from Nielsen and other companies that help predict when people will be in front of their TV sets. But that also means it’s not rocket science to schedule debates on incredibly inconvenient dates.

The DNC planned debates for times when people don’t want to watch debates

As pointed out by other publications, the Democrats didn’t only plan a debate on Saturday. They also planned a debate six day before Christmas — which, by the way, is also a Saturday. And another one is planned for the Sunday night of Martin Luther King Day weekend, although Democrats are hoping to retain some of the audience from the NFL playoff double-header before the debates. So arguably half of the six debates are on days that are just bad if you want a wide viewership.
Why turn down this opportunity to put their potential candidate before the biggest audience possible? They're turning down free media. It seems an admission that they don't have confidence in Hillary Clinton and are afraid she'll get a tough question or that she'll make some gaffe.

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Oh, it's not good when Kerry and France aren't happy with each other. They're disagreeing about whether the upcoming climate change agreement that President Obama thinks is his most important goal for the remainder of his presidency.
Leaders in France and the European Union are sparring with Secretary of State John Kerry, saying that an upcoming United Nations climate change agreement should be “legally binding.”

Laurent Fabius, France’s foreign minister, responded Thursday to Kerry’s insistence that the agreement is not a treaty and should not have legal force, saying Kerry might have been “confused.”

“Jurists will discuss the legal nature of an accord on whether it should be termed as a treaty or an international agreement,” Fabius told reporters in Paris, according to Reuters.
“But the fact that a certain number of dispositions should have a practical effect and be legally binding is obvious so let's not confuse things, which is perhaps what Mr. Kerry has done,” he said.

Fabius met with Kerry Wednesday, after Kerry was quoted in the Financial Times saying that the deal due to be finalized next month is “definitively not going to be a treaty.”

The European Union agreed with France.

“The Paris agreement must be an international legally binding agreement,” a spokeswoman for EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias CaƱete told the Guardian Thursday. “The title of the agreement is yet to be decided but it will not affect its legally binding form.”

Avoiding a treaty has been the long-standing position of the Obama administration, which argues that previous attempts to get a worldwide climate pact, like the Kyoto Protocol and the 2009 Copenhagen meetings, failed to have much impact largely because countries could not agree to such stringent, internationally binding terms.

Instead, the Obama administration and some world leaders want the agreement, due to be signed next month in Paris, to be the sum of contributions from each country, based on what that country believes is possible.

That format would also allow President Obama to argue that the pact is not a treaty and does not require Senate ratification, a high bar that requires two-thirds of the Senate.
Of course, Obama wants to avoid the Senate because he knows that he'll never be able to get such an agreement through the Senate. But the French and EU know that, without such a treaty, there will be no assurances that the signing countries would follow through on what they agree to.

It's nice when Democrats can take it upon themselves to decide who is and who isn't a minority or even a woman. Remember when Gloria Steinem called Kay Bailey Hutchinson was a "female impersonator" because she didn't have the same positions liberal women have on abortion. Liberals have long despised Clarence Thomas because he's an African American who doesn't agree with their positions. Most recently George Takei, Sulu from Star Trek, called Thomas a "clown in black face." Conservative blacks face this sort of discrimination all the time. And now we get Chris Matthews doubting whether Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz should be classified as Hispanics.
Matthews thought that was amusing. But when he tried to articulate why, he seemed to seriously not know whether Cruz and Rubio should be classified as Hispanic, referring to them awkwardly instead as “Cuban nationals” and “Spanish surnames.”

“So you’re trying to insinuate that Marco Rubio, a fellow, uh, Spanish surname, I’m not sure the right word is Hispanic for them,” he said. “Because they are Cuban nationals or whatever, or come from Cuba. But, uh, is he going to insinuate that he is still basically for what he calls amnesty?”
How is someone of Cuban descent any less Hispanic than anyone else whose ancestors are from anywhere else in Latin America? And why call them "Cuban nationals"? They are both American citizens. Rubio was born here and Cruz's mother is an American. Ed Morrissey writes,
It’s an absurd statement to make, on two levels. Hispanic and Latino are terms that refer to cultures from predominantly Spanish-language cultures. Not only does Cuba qualify, but so does Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, among other Caribbean cultures. For that matter, so does Venezuela, Colombia, Central American nations, and so on. What’s more, Matthews knows better; he’s just trying to insinuate that Rubio and Cruz aren’t authentically Hispanic because they’re Republican, not because they have Cuban ancestry.

On top of that, Matthews then calls both Rubio and Cruz “Cuban nationals,” and follows up by saying they “come from Cuba.” That’s flat-out false. Neither Rubio nor Cruz “come from Cuba,” nor are they Cuban nationals; they’re both American nationals. They have parents who come from Cuba, but Rubio was born here, and Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was a natural-born US citizen. It would be very, very difficult to believe that Matthews is unaware of a small coterie of activists who claim that neither candidate is eligible for the presidency because of the circumstances of their births, and it certainly appears as though Matthews is trying to troll that issue as a way to damage Rubio and Cruz.

Matt Lewis ponders whether Marco Rubio is just "too baby-faced to be president."
In truth, he’s not all that young by modern standards. Ted Cruz is also 44, for example. President Obama was 47 when he won. But Rubio has a more youthful look than either of them, and perception is reality.

There is, of course, a threshold of age and experience that candidates must surpass—both constitutionally and aesthetically. But Rubio easily clears both hurdles. Having been Speaker of the Florida House, as well as serving a term in the U.S. Senate, it’s hard to argue that he lacks experience—especially in a race against candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina. Also, keep in mind that Obama had less by way of formal qualifications before becoming president).

Besides, when was the last time age and experience defeated youth and energy? “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.” “Change you can believe in.” If age and experience were trump cards, Hillary Clinton would have defeated Barack Obama—and Bush 41 would have beaten an Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton. So not only are youth and energy not a disadvantage for Rubio, but he is perhaps perfectly positioned to run against Hillary Clinton....

We can, of course, argue about whether our cultural preference for youthful energy and the decline of respect for our elders (our acceptance of “line cutting” over “dues paying”) are good or bad, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not a settled trend. Even in the Republican primary, it is very clear that the conservative base has little interest in hearing elected officials drone on about how much they accomplished as governor. This is true even when what they accomplished amounts to conservative points on the board. We are aspiration- and future-oriented. We live in a “What have you done for us lately?” world.


Matt Lewis
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YOUTH IN REVOLT11.11.151:00 AM ET
Is Marco Rubio Too Baby-Faced to Be President?
Why the Florida senator’s youth will likely be more of an asset than Democrats would like should he win the GOP nod.
He's 44. He looks like a kid. Should presidents in this day and age be older and more experienced?

This is a question that will be asked more and more as Marco Rubio remains the favorite of the betting markets and the political cognoscenti who believe he will eventually emerge as the Republican nominee to take on Hillary Clinton.

In truth, he’s not all that young by modern standards. Ted Cruz is also 44, for example. President Obama was 47 when he won. But Rubio has a more youthful look than either of them, and perception is reality.

There is, of course, a threshold of age and experience that candidates must surpass—both constitutionally and aesthetically. But Rubio easily clears both hurdles. Having been Speaker of the Florida House, as well as serving a term in the U.S. Senate, it’s hard to argue that he lacks experience—especially in a race against candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina. Also, keep in mind that Obama had less by way of formal qualifications before becoming president).

Besides, when was the last time age and experience defeated youth and energy? “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.” “Change you can believe in.” If age and experience were trump cards, Hillary Clinton would have defeated Barack Obama—and Bush 41 would have beaten an Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton. So not only are youth and energy not a disadvantage for Rubio, but he is perhaps perfectly positioned to run against Hillary Clinton. Remember when he announced his candidacy the day after Hillary announced hers?

“Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow,” he said.

(The ability to make this argument is a huge rationale for Rubio’s candidacy. Jeb Bush, scion of the Bush dynasty and Rubio’s erstwhile friend-turned-rival, could never run on representing generational change.)

The only times I can find where youth has been an impediment have to do with running mates like Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin. Both candidates were effectively air-dropped into the middle of a national presidential campaign. They hadn’t endured the slings and arrows of running for president—the numerous debates and high-profile Sunday morning TV interviews. And they didn’t have the luxury of having their gaffes and mini-scandals trickle out over the course of years.

Conversely, Rubio ran a high-profile U.S. Senate campaign against the sitting governor of Florida, Charlie Crist—and managed to overcome the attacks and “oppo” leaks that one can expect from such a race. He then went on to serve in the U.S. Senate, where he would frequently appear on national TV shows and even champion some landmark, if controversial, legislation (unlike, say, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton).


Hugh Hewitt: Marco Rubio Is Hillary's Worst Nightmare
Daily Surge

There are other reasons why I’m bullish about Rubio. It’s historically difficult for a political party to win three consecutive elections, but as conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt told CNN recently, this matchup would essentially be asking Americans to go “backwards to the future, not forward to the future with a young, dynamic Republican.”

I’m imagining campaign ads showing Rubio and his former Miami Dolphins cheerleader wife, walking hand-in-hand on a beach, with their little children. Now juxtapose that with Hillary and Bill. The contrast would be stark.

We can, of course, argue about whether our cultural preference for youthful energy and the decline of respect for our elders (our acceptance of “line cutting” over “dues paying”) are good or bad, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not a settled trend. Even in the Republican primary, it is very clear that the conservative base has little interest in hearing elected officials drone on about how much they accomplished as governor. This is true even when what they accomplished amounts to conservative points on the board. We are aspiration- and future-oriented. We live in a “What have you done for us lately?” world.

It’s true that, in politics, almost every attribute is a double-edged sword.
Of course, liberals will argue that, although Rubio is young, his ideas are hidebound. This would work on a lesser candidate, but don’t expect Rubio to tolerate it. First, this argument requires a sort of Marxist assumption that history only moves in one direction, and that “progress” is defined as becoming more liberal.

Second, the truth—and we saw this when Hillary Clinton attacked the sharing economy—is that, in many ways, liberalism is more at home with a top-down industrial-revolution, assembly-line model of government. As I’ve said many times before, the guy who uses Uber and manages his stock portfolio on a smart phone shouldn’t be in the party of bureaucratic regulations and the nanny state. Rubio is better suited than any of his Republican competitors to make this argument.
It’s true that, in politics, almost every attribute is a double-edged sword. But given the choice, I’d bank on being the candidate of youthful energy every day, and twice on Sunday. And I doubt I’m alone on that score. In modern America, being too young is almost, but not quite, tantamount to being too good looking.

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So now students are marching for tuition-free public colleges. Who do they think is going to pay for them to hang around campuses searching for opportunities to label themselves as victims? They have so little understanding of how the world works that they think that the government can afford to pay for their free college. But of course this is that the Democrats have been trying to promise them by pledging debt forgiveness. Just what we need - more entitlements when we can't pay for the ones we have. Maybe someone should sit these protesting students down and show them a graph of the anticipated national debt for the years when they're going to be middle-aged trying to save enough money for retirement since Social Security and Medicare will be broke. As it is now, mandatory spending and interest on our debt is projected to eat up 81% of federal spending in 2050, just about time for this bunch in campus now to try to figure out how they're going to be able to retire. And they want to add in another unfunded entitlement? They're obviously not studying any economics while on campus.

You can watch Neil Cavuto try to get one of the spokespeople for the the Million Student March movement to explain how their free tuition should be paid for. It is a demonstration of cluelessness.
Cavuto asked how this agenda would be financed.

“Great question, I mean, you know, so—I’m not sure if you’re talking about a national level or per school?” Mullen said.

When pressed, Mullen said that the top one percent of earners needed to pay tax rates upwards of 90 percent, a rate 10 percentage points higher than that proposed by socialist Thomas Piketty. Mullen said it was worth it.

“I live in a world and I see a system around me where there is a population that is doing nothing to contribute to the progression of society,” Mullen said, referring to the freeloaders at the top who pay more in taxes than the bottom 90 percent of earners combined.

When Cavuto pointed out that even a 100 percent tax on the top one percent of income earners would be insufficient to fund Medicare for three years, much less free college tuition and a $15 minimum wage, Mullen delivered a devastating rebuttal.

“Yeah, I don’t believe that,” Mullen said.

In a rare point of agreement, Mullen and Cavuto said that rich Fox Business Network anchors were unlikely to sign up for 90 percent tax rates.

“You know, people in your position, you know, don’t want to pay 90 percent in taxes, because—” Mullen said.

“I dare say unless you’re high as a kite you wouldn’t volunteer to pay 90 percent,” Cavuto said.

Mullen said that capital flight could be avoided by holding the rich “accountable.”

“Those people need to be accountable,” Mullen said about high earners in Greece who fled high tax rates imposed by Syriza.
This is confiscatory tyranny right before us.

Brendan O'Neill writes at Spiked to explain who made these monster who are the tender "Yale snowflakes" who scream obscenities at a faculty member for daring to have a wife who sent an email telling people to just calm down over the possibility that someone my wear an inappropriate Halloween costume.
Okay, fine. It is indeed interesting, and worrying, that students are so sensitive and censorious today. But I have a question for the hand-wringers, the media people, academics and liberal thinkers who are so disturbed by what they’re calling the ‘Yale snowflakes’: what did you think would happen? When you watched, or even presided over, the creation over the past 40 years of a vast system of laws and speech codes to punish insulting or damaging words, and the construction of a vast machine of therapeutic intervention into everyday life, what did you think the end result would be? A generation that was liberal and tough? Come off it. It’s those trends, those longstanding trends of censorship and therapy, that created today’s creepy campus intolerance; it’s you who made these monsters.

Over the past year, there has been growing concern in the media with the campus crazies who demand trigger warnings on books (lest their content induce PTSD), who cultivate Safe Spaces in which no bruising word may be uttered, and who try to crush everything from Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ (it makes female students feel unsafe) to talks by Germaine Greer (she makes trans people feel unsafe). From Jonathan Chait’s New York essay in January, which bemoaned the return of PC to the Western academy, to the current eyebrow-raising over the Yale snowflakes and their cavalier attitude towards ‘the crucial liberal tradition of free speech’, an anti-PC backlash has emerged, with 40-plus observers looking with horror at the foot-stomping Stalinists of the younger generation.
But there’s a problem with this backlash: it tends to treat this campus tyranny as the handiwork of a new generation. In the words of Todd Gitlin, there is a new ‘generational norm of fragility’. The New Statesman goes further, claiming today’s intolerant yoof are ‘rebelling against their parents’ generation and its liberal deification of free speech’. Excuse me? What liberal deification of free speech? The older generation – including some of very people going pop-eyed over the Yale snowflakes – has been chipping away at free speech for decades. And in the process they nurtured the world we now inhabit, in which words and images are seen as dangerous and our sense of self-worth is viewed as so fragile that we must squash anything, or idea, that threatens it.

1 comment:

Linda Fox said...

Not really surprising to me - I teach Chemistry and Physics in SC, and the math ignorance is appalling. Students rattle off talking points, and are flummoxed when challenged on the "mathy" part of them.