Monday, April 18, 2016

Cruising the Web


More states chose delegates to the convention this weekend and, once again, Ted Cruz smoked Donald Trump.
The weekend was another delegate bloodbath for Donald Trump.
In Georgia. In Wyoming. In South Carolina. In Kansas. In Florida. Ted Cruz put on a clinic, mobilizing his GOP activist base to capture at least 50 delegates on Saturday while Trump came away with about a dozen in another bruising defeat that undermines his chances to become the Republican presidential nominee.

If Trump fails to clinch the nomination by the end of primary season on June 7, the nomination will likely be decided at a contested convention in July. And Cruz, after picking up scores of loyal delegates who he expects will stick with him if the convention takes multiple votes to resolve, is radiating confidence about his ability to prevail in that scenario.

Days like Saturday explain why.

Local and statewide Republican Party organizations around the country held about about 20 conventions and caucuses to elect national delegates, with more than 90 slots up for grabs in a shadow primary process that Trump has blasted as “rigged” against him.
At some point, you'd think that the Trump campaign would get organized and do better, but it hasn't happened yet. So all he has left is whining and threats.
fter a week of crying foul against a “rigged” delegate process, Donald Trump addressed the Republican National Committee by name at his first of two New York rallies on Saturday.

Threatening a “rough July” if the RNC doesn’t “get going and straighten out the system,” Trump said he was really saying it all for the people. “I guess I’m complaining because it’s not fair to the people,” Trump admitted, later adding, “The people want their vote … They want to be represented properly.” The threat comes a month after Trump told CNN that he thought there could be “riots” at the Cleveland GOP convention this summer should the establishment push for a brokered convention.

“You better get going,” he warned the RNC by name to cheers from the crowd of a few thousand people.
He doesn't like the results of his incompetent campaign, he has to lie about how it all came about to deceive his supporters and get them jazzed up to come out and bring the pain to the Cleveland campaign.

Kevin McCullough notes that Trump didn't bother trying to win delegates in Wyoming.
For the third or fourth time in a row now, Trump basically abandoned his team on the ground in a state where he presumably wishes to win delegates. Wyoming delivered the final 14 delegates of their state's delegation this weekend.

Ted Cruz jetted over to make a speech to the convention (like he did in North Dakota, Iowa, and Colorado.) Trump decided to stay home in New York (where he's going to easily win his home state) on Tuesday to do? Only God knows what...

But what he's NOT doing is going to a state where delegates are in play, where he could go make a speech, where he could seek to get voters to listen to his ideas, and try to actually earn delegates.

Evidently he didn't even care enough about even TRYING to win delegates that he failed to help his state organizers field a full slate for the 14 spots that are open.

Poor George Clooney. He's just forced to raise money to support the liberal candidates he prefers. And he wished there could be laws limiting money in politics so he wouldn't have to put his money where his ideals are.
Clooney hosted two weekend fundraisers in California on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Donations for attendees at an event in San Francisco topped out at $353,000 per couple, which Clooney acknowledges is an "obscene amount of money."

So... Of 59 spots that Trump could have worked to get delegates elected to run for the remaining 14 openings he somehow managed to get 5 elected?

UNDECIDED got three times more delegates elected to the final ballot than Trump did.


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Ilya Somin looks at how PrResident Obama has neglected to get congressional support for his military interventions in Libya and Syria. While Obama may look at his failure to secure LIbya after supporting intervention as his worst mistake, he doesn't acknowledge that, contrary to what he proclaimed before being elected president, he led this country into two military actions while ignoring the War Powers Act or asking Congress for a declaration of war.
The administration’s argument that the Libya conflict was not a real war (or even a case of “armed hostilities” covered by the War Powers Act) because “U.S. operations [in Libya] do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces,” does not even pass the laugh test. You don’t have to be a legal scholar to understand that launching numerous air strikes for the purpose of overthrowing a government qualifies as war, and certainly as “armed hostilities.”

The illegality of the war was not unrelated to the resulting “sh*t show,” which Obama himself now decries. Because the administration did not bother to get congressional support and otherwise secure a broad public consensus in favor of the intervention, it sought to minimize political risk by ending the US military role as quickly as possible. That predictably created a power vacuum, which has since been exploited by radical Islamists and others who may be as bad or even worse than the brutal Gadhafi regime we helped overthrow. If Obama had obeyed the Constitution and the War Powers Act, we might either have stayed out of Libya entirely, or made a larger-scale effort more commensurate to the task at hand. Either would likely have been better than the administration’s strategy of intervening while minimizing political exposure by pretending it wasn’t a real war.

These painful lessons of the Libya war are directly relevant to the administration’s current similarly illegal war against ISIS. It too violates both the Constitution and the War Powers Act – and for much the same reasons as the Libya intervention. Although the fighting has now gone on for almost two years and has expanded to include US ground forces, the administration has so far failed to get the legally required congressional authorization. Last year, it did briefly float a badly flawed draft authorization for the Use of Military Force that got little traction with either Democrats or Republicans. Obama also passed up an opportunity to legalize the war and bolster political support for it by invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

In the Atlantic interview, the president suggested that winning the war against ISIS is “his most urgent priority for the remainder of his presidency.” But so far, at least, his handling of the conflict has disturbing parallels to the flawed strategy adopted in Libya. In both cases, the administration deployed enough force to get the US involved in the conflict, but not enough to ensure success. Both failures to secure a broad political consensus in favor of the intervention created incentives to minimize short-term political risk by strictly limiting the scope of US action. That has the virtue of minimizing US casualties; but it also increases the risk of failure.

With both Libya and ISIS, flouting the Constitution was not only bad in itself, but has also greatly increased the risk of a tragic outcome on the ground, one that is likely to cost the lives of many innocent people. Sadly, the resulting “mess,” as Obama calls it, may well be left for the next president to clean up.

Roger Simon contemplates "Obama's bizarre Iranian love affair."
It now appears clear that Obama, for all his protestations in 2011, was never serious about overthrowing Assad. (We already know he didn't turn out to be serious about his redline for the despot's use of chemical weapons on his people.) When presented with a military plan to overthrow Assad in 2012 by supporting more moderate rebels who then still existed, we now learn Obama demurred.

Why? I doubt the mullahs would have approved of the overthrow of their Syrian ally, and Obama, from the outset, was above all things bent on making a deal with Iran. He still is, even though he doesn't really have one, not one that anyone understands anyway or has seen. The little bit of a deal he has is a moving target manipulated entirely by Ayatollah Khamenei who, unless Obama is actually an Iranian agent (I doubt that, but anything's possible), has played our president like the proverbial violin and doesn't seem as if he's ready to stop.

In the last week or so Obama has decided to ignore the putatively sanctioned Iranian missile tests -- the ones with "charming" admonitions for Israel to be wiped off the surface of the Earth emblazoned on the fuselage in Hebrew and Farsi -- and seemingly agreed to the ayatollah's demand that Iran should be allowed into our dollar system. A hundred and fifty billion evidently wasn't enough.

Irony of irony, this latest financial sellout to Iran will be administered by Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew -- an orthodox Jew. (How does that man sleep?) Lew assured the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last July that “Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York or hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks.” That was then. This is now.

Even when Obama, seemingly for propriety's sake, mildly criticizes Iran, it comes off as bizarre: “When they launch ballistic missiles with slogans calling for the destruction of Israel, that makes businesses nervous.” Businesses nervous? How about six million Israeli human beings?

The Supreme Court is going to hear United States v. Texas, the case on Obama's executive actions to get around inconvenient immigration laws. The WSJ explains why the President's case is so dangerous to our constitutional system.
The case implicates the Constitution’s separation of powers and the basic precepts of self-government. The Anglo-American legal tradition began as the English rebelled in the late 1600s against the Stuart kings who claimed the power to suspend or dispense with laws passed by Parliament. The first two grievances against the Crown in America’s Declaration of Independence concerned such “Abuses and Usurpations.”

The Framers wrote Article II’s Take Care clause to prevent the President from claiming the same lawmaking powers. The executive shall—not “may”—execute Congress’s laws faithfully, in one of the Constitution’s most specific instructions.

Congress has debated a more generous immigration policy during the Obama years, and all the while Mr. Obama insisted he couldn’t act alone. “I am President. I am not king,” he told Univision in 2014. “I can’t do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the executive branch to make it happen.”

But reform failed, and two weeks after the 2014 midterm election Mr. Obama decided he could act like a legislature: “I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing.” He has no such authority....

If Presidents can use “enforcement discretion” to suspend laws, the next one may choose to lower the capital gains rate by informing taxpayers the IRS won’t collect tax-evasion penalties over 15%. Environmental regulations could be ignored through a similar trick.

This should deeply trouble the liberal Justices as much as the conservatives. This case gives them an opportunity to reset the political system for the post-Obama era. His lawless integration of the executive and legislative functions deserves a rebuke before the practice becomes a permanent feature of U.S. politics.
Read the entire thing so you can get a better idea of what is at stake in this case.

USA Today uses Donald Trump to argue that the Supreme Court should rule against the President in United States v. Texas.
The order's biggest flaw, however, is the precedent it would set by giving the president sweeping authority to interpret immigration laws virtually any way he or she sees fit. The same people who think Obama should have broad powers over immigration enforcement will feel a lot differently if a Republican wins the White House in November.

Imagine what orders Ted Cruz or Donald Trump would issue if elected president. Trump has advocated mass deportations, temporarily banning entry of foreign Muslims, and building a border wall financed by confiscating the remittances that undocumented workers attempt to send to their families back home.

In an interview with NBC News this year, Trump said he wouldn't hesitate to issue executive orders, noting that Obama had “led the way” with his actions.
If it takes Trump to make liberals realize that they shouldn't support executive overreach, at least one good thing will have come out of his campaign.

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Byron York analyzes where the Donald Trump campaign went wrong. He identifies two key decisions.
The first moment occurred in February, in the first weeks of voting. After a second-place finish in Iowa, Trump won New Hampshire in a near-landslide, South Carolina by double digits, and then cleaned up in Nevada. He took three of the four early states in impressive fashion.

At that point, it was not unusual to hear Trump aides declare confidently that they had the race wrapped up. That wasn't a crazy idea; after all, there had never been a Republican candidate who won those states and didn't go on to claim the nomination. The plan was for Trump to win big on March 1, Super Tuesday, after which the race would effectively be over. Or perhaps the campaign would go to March 15, when Trump would again win big and it really would be all over. The Trump campaign oozed confidence and the belief that victory was at hand.

In retrospect, the importance of the February confidence was that it convinced Trump and his aides — reinforced their inclination, really — that they did not need to do the ground-level, shoe-leather work of organizing and delegate recruitment required to solidify ballot-box victories in many states. With big popular votes, the feeling was that Trump did not have to line up people to attend county, district, and state-level conventions in the states he had won to make sure that the delegates picked would be loyal to him, not just on the first ballot, when most would be bound to vote for him, but on the second ballot and beyond.

The view from TrumpWorld was that there would be no second ballot, so all of that county convention stuff was unnecessary. In a number of key states, Trump laid off most or all of his staff almost immediately after the voting was over. Doing so was not an inadvertent mistake; it was a strategic decision.
As a result of Trumpian hubris, they made a bad decision and didn't put the effort in to making sure that Trump got their people in place as delegates to the convention because they just didn't understand how the system worked.

If Trump really thought that he had wrapped the nomination up, he should have been trying to unite the Republican Party while turning to the general election. Trump has tried to do this at some points, but he just can't help himself. So, what did he do after the Brussels terrorist attack - that should have been an opportunity for him to have seized the initiative and play to his strengths.
It was a big chance for Trump to play President Trump. So what did he do, the very next day? He used Twitter to attack Heidi Cruz, not only changing the subject of the campaign but also reinforcing earlier charges that he does not respect women — all while alienating Republican primary voters at the very moment some of them were coming around to the idea of Trump the nominee.

"I'd say the biggest mistake he's made has been allowing the #NeverTrumpers to sow doubt about him right at the moment he should have been consolidating support," a #NeverTrump activist told me via email. "If Trump had really made the 'strategic pivot' that some of his apologists claim he is capable of for the general, he would have done it after his March 15 wins and dispatching of Rubio. Instead, he continued the same controversy-stoking, cable-news baiting behavior as before, creating big questions about his electability and buying time for his opponents to demonstrate that there is a path to beating him."
He followed up that mistake with all sorts of mistakes ahead of the Wisconsin primary from his bumbling of the abortion question with Chris Matthews and his insults of Scott Walker.

Trump will still have a good couple of weeks because the primaries take place in states where he should do well. But he could have been doing even better if he and his campaign hadn't made some key mistakes. It has helped him to have gone a couple of weeks without saying anything truly outrageous. Apparently, it's made a difference to have new aides.
It took Manafort a few days to get up to speed. But since his arrival, Trump has been remarkably outrage-free. He's still giving the same basic performance in his rallies, but he has been a little more discriminating in his press appearances — two straight weeks without appearing on a Sunday chat show — and has stayed away from doing obviously dumb things, like attacking his opponent's wife. The campaign hopes the bad period is over.

Now the question is whether Trump has the discipline to stay on a relatively error-free course. He had some very good luck when the GOP primary schedule took him from his disastrous performance in Wisconsin to his best state of all, New York, and then to other friendly northeastern states. But Trump will need more than luck to suppress the impulses that have gotten him into trouble in the past. He'll need to be a better candidate.

Guy Benson refutes the argument that Trump's followers are spouting now that Trump's polling numbers now are better than Reagan's were at this point in 1980. But then facts don't matter to the Trumpkins.

The Daily Caller lays out a typical sleazy connection between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary's State Department.
Hillary Clinton’s Department of State awarded at least $13 million in grants, contracts and loans to her longtime friend and Clinton Foundation donor Muhammad Yunus, despite his being ousted in 2011 as managing director of the Bangladesh-based Grameen Bank amid charges of corruption, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The tax funds were given to Yunus through 18 separate U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) award transactions listed by the federal contracting site USAspending.gov.

They highlight how Clinton mixed official government business with Clinton Foundation donors. Yunus gave between $100,000 to $300,000 to the foundation, according to the Clinton Foundation website.

Groups allied to Yunus received an additional $11 million from USAID, according to the contracting website. Yunus had business relationships with all of them.

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The Boston Globe describes New York's voting procedures as some of the most difficult for voters in the country.
Several dozen supporters of changing the system in New York held a rally Thursday, saying it was one of a number of factors that have depressed turnout in past state elections.

‘‘New York state has some of the most archaic voter laws in the entire country,’’ said state Assemblyman Fred Thiele, an independent from Long Island. ‘‘It’s hard to register to vote. It’s hard to get an absentee ballot. There’s no early voting in New York. There’s no voting by mail. If you want to vote in New York you really have to want to, and even if you want to vote sometimes they won’t let you vote.’’

Turnout numbers for New York City and state suggest that voters are either apathetic or, as the critics say, kept away by rules that make it hard to cast a ballot.

Just 58 percent of the city’s registered voters participated in the 2012 general election and only 26 percent of registered voters took part in the city’s 2013 general election, when Democrat Bill de Blasio was elected mayor.

‘‘Turnout in recent elections in New York has been abysmal and yet our laws often prevent, rather than encourage, people from participating,’’ said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who supports changes to state law including Election Day registration and greater access to absentee ballots.
How can this be? Democrats usually want to blame Republicans for laws that supposedly make it difficult to vote, but Democrats have been running the state with only one Republican governor, George Pataki in the period from 1975 to the present. Pataki left office on December 31, 2006. Couldn't all those Democrats since then have gotten around to make the laws on voting easier?

While rehearsing the history of past divisions within parties, Michael Barone pooh poohs the idea that Donald Trump would break the Republican Party.
Those divisions have not been replicated in the response to Donald Trump’s disruptive candidacy. It has been noted often that his 37% of primary and caucus votes so far come disproportionately from downscale, non-college-graduate, modest-income voters. But not uniformly. My examination of the results suggests that Mr. Trump’s support comes disproportionately from those low in what the scholars Robert Putnam and Charles Murray call social capital or social connectedness—people who are not likely to participate in civic activities, or regularly attend church or social clubs. Republicans with high social connectedness—most notably Mormons—have given Trump very few votes.

People of low connectedness seem unlikely to be the basis of a movement to permanently transform the world’s third oldest political party. Even if Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination and somehow overcomes current polls to be elected president, there will be few Trump clones among Republicans in Congress and in state and local office.

If he is nominated and defeated by a wide margin, he will not leave behind a Trumpist movement with the popular and intellectual depth of the conservative movement following Goldwater’s defeat 52 years ago—his legacy may be little more than an impulse toward opposition to trade agreements and legalization of illegal immigrants. If he is not nominated and tries to run as an independent, he will not have the support of as significant a third-party apparatus as Theodore Roosevelt did 104 years ago.

As this is written, it seems likely but not certain that Mr. Trump will fall visibly short of the 1,237-delegate majority, and that he will inflict significant damage on the Republican Party by protests or perhaps an independent candidacy. But probably nothing like the serious, though temporary, damage inflicted by that vastly more talented, experienced and intellectually serious disruptive New Yorker, Theodore Roosevelt.

Stuart Taylor, who covered the original Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, lays out what the HBO dramatization leaves out in order to slant the story to Anita Hill and ignore the many times Hill lied in her testimony.
Despite a surface appearance of fairness, “Confirmation” makes clear how it wants the hearings to be remembered: Ms. Hill told the whole truth and Mr. Thomas was thus a desperate, if compelling, liar. Her supporters were noble; his Republican backers were scheming character assassins.

This is consistent with how the media conveyed the story at the time and, especially, in the years hence. Yet immediately after millions of people witnessed the hours of televised testimony, polls showed that Americans by a margin of more than 2 to 1 found Judge Thomas more believable than Ms. Hill. Viewers of “Confirmation” were deprived of several aspects of the story that might have made them, too, skeptical of Ms. Hill. The most-salient of many examples:

The movie ignores Ms. Hill’s failure to mention either in her initial written statement to the Judiciary Committee or in her FBI interview some of the most shocking charges about Mr. Thomas’s behavior that she added in testimony three weeks later. Worse, when asked about these omissions, Ms. Hill claimed that the FBI agents had told her that she need not “discuss things that were too embarrassing.” Both agents flatly contradicted this.

“Confirmation” also doesn’t mention that Ms. Hill denied—five times—in sworn testimony any recollection of being told by a Democratic staffer that she might be able to force Mr. Thomas to withdraw without being publicly identified. The movie thereby avoids needing to report that, after conferring with her lawyers, Ms. Hill admitted having been told this.

Viewers also weren’t told about Ms. Hill’s implausible claim that a fear of losing her job was a key reason she had followed Mr. Thomas—despite finding him repellent—when he moved from the Education Department to become chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1982. Much evidence—including the fact that she enjoyed job protection as a career employee—suggests that Ms. Hill must have known her Education Department job was secure. Avoiding this problem, the film mentions only her alternative, and less than plausible, claim that Judge Thomas’s offensive behavior had suddenly ended, only to begin again at the EEOC.

The film takes at face value Ms. Hill’s shifting claims that the more than 11 phone calls she placed to Mr. Thomas in the six years after she left the EEOC were to return calls from him or on “professional” matters. It omits such contrary details as this Jan. 31, 1984, message from her for Mr. Thomas that a secretary had jotted down: “Just called to say hello. Sorry she didn’t get to see you last week.”

“Confirmation” also tries to erase the fact that nobody else has ever accused Mr. Thomas of sexual harassment or of talking as dirty as Ms. Hill said he did. The movie presents another former EEOC employee, Angela Wright, whom Mr. Thomas had fired, as a credible witness. She could have clinched the case, the movie suggests, by testifying that Mr. Thomas did to her the same thing that Ms. Hill accused him of doing.

Ms. Wright decided not to testify under what the movie portrays as pressure from then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden. But “Confirmation” avoids showing why it was clear to Mr. Biden by then that Ms. Wright had so little credibility that her testimony might have backfired. Thelma Duggin, a former colleague both of Mr. Thomas and Ms. Hill, told the FBI that Ms. Wright had vowed “to get him back” for firing her.

With its veneer of evenhandedness, “Confirmation” does show a single former female colleague, and two males, as character witnesses praising Mr. Thomas. But the film doesn’t mention that almost a dozen other women gave similar, cumulatively powerful testimony. They swore that Mr. Thomas treated women with respect, nurtured their careers and was proper to the point of prudishness at work.

The reality remains, HBO notwithstanding, that while it is hard to believe Anita Hill simply made the whole thing up, she was far from credible—and the behavior that she alleged was inconsistent with everything else we know about Clarence Thomas.
Shame to HBO for ignoring the full story so that it could sell the Democratic Party's slant.

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SNL is still enjoying satirizing Hillary and Bernie. This week they brought in Larry David to reprise his perfect impersonation of Bernie Sanders and Julia Louis Dreyfus to ask some questions in her role from Seinfeld. I love that SNL's Bernie uses "yadda, yadda, yadda" as his answer to how he's going to "break up the big banks." That's just about all his proposal has when it comes to specifics. In fact, most of his answers on policy are basically throwing out a demagogic line to appeal to the masses, promising to provide free stuff to people, and then yadda, yadda, yadda.


It seems that Alexander Hamilton's presence on the $10 has been saved. And I bet it wouldn't have happened if there hadn't been a hit Broadway musical to raise Hamilton's image and popularity at this time. Of course, if Treasury Secretary Jack Lew weren't such a short-sighted panderer to feminists, this wouldn't have been an issue in the first place. I guess putting together an economic plan that set the country on the road to financial viability and established the fundamentals of our financial system as well as arguing vigorously to get the Constitution adopted while writing a majority of the Federalist Papers just wasn't enough. You have to be a hit on Broadway also.

The whining from feminists who now have to wait for the $20 bill to be redesigned so that a still-unidentified woman can be placed on it is just a treat. They're now upset that there is a proposal to commemorate famous events that took place at the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill and such a mural would most probably include opera singer Marian Anderson's appearance singing there in 1939 after the DAR refused to let her sing at their auditorium. But that would not be enough for feminists.
"Nobody looks at the back of the bill, and that's not likely to change," the group wrote. "A vignette without a woman's portrait on the front of the bill (even if she must share with Hamilton) will be seen as a token gesture and an affront to Americans of all ages who are expecting you to reveal your choice of a singular woman based on their input. As a friend of ours put it, relegating women to the back of the bill is akin to sending them to the back of the bus. The Rosa Parks analogies are inevitable."
Oh please. The whole push to put a woman on the currency is all about tokenism. Consider the women who had been considered to replace Alexander Hamilton: Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Sacajawea, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, and Sandra Day O'Connor. Only the most misguided of feminists could argue that any of the women were of comparable consequence in American History to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, or Benjamin Franklin. However, I have no problem at all with taking Jackson off the $20. He was not a good president. Today, he is reviled for his support for Indian Removal, but a man who almost single-handedly destroyed the American economy driving it into the Panic of 1837 should not be featured on the currency. And his demagoguery and embrace of partisan politics set a very bad precedent that echoes down to today. I'm happy to see him gone. Though I would also argue that Harriet Tubman would be a much better choice than Eleanor Roosevelt. All Eleanor did was give speeches and work within the context of her husband's presidency. Harriet Tubman risked her life over and over to rescue slaves from the South and then to serve as a spy behind Confederate lines during the Civil War. How can serving in the luxury and safety as First Lady ever compare with such courage?

Oh, and one more thing. Putting a woman on the "back" of a bill is not akin to Rosa Parks. Please rein in the hyperbole. It's a piece of paper that is reversible. It's not putting a whole race at the back of the bus and arresting them if they have the temerity to sit elsewhere. Gosh, sometimes I am so embarrassed for my gender. Get over yourselves, ladies.

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Yet again a university demonstrates how to handle student protesters.
Students at Clemson University who refused to leave a campus building they had attempted to occupy experienced a surprise — and a bitter taste of the cruel, real world — Thursday evening when police arrested them.

The brief occupation began, as such occupations often do these days, with a set of seven demands — and seven grievances — posted by a student group called See the Stripes.

The occupiers’ motley list of demands includes a demand that the taxpayer-funded university “prosecute criminally predatory behaviors and defamatory speech” on social media. See the Stripes also seeks a multicultural center which will serve as “a safe space” for minority students and a new name for Tillman Hall, a campus building named after white supremacist Democrat Benjamin “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman. Additionally, See the Stripes members say they remain really mad because a fraternity threw a “Crip-mas”-themed Christmas party well over a year ago.
Well Pitchfork Ben Tillman was an odious person. I bet if they worked quietly to lobby to get that changed, they could do so just as Duke University students go Charles Aycock, a racist governor's name removed from a dorm. Oh, and both Tillman and Aycock were, of course, Democrats.

And a university should not be prosecuting speech and the whole idea of a "safe space" to segregate out the races seems quite contrary to what we should be encouraging on our college campuses.

Here's another example of how silly the campaign to fill whites students with a permanent sense of guilt has gotten. Now we have an advocate of multicultural education giving a workshop to make white teachers realize how very racist they are.
Heather Hackman operates Hackman Consulting Group and was formerly a professor of multicultural education at Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University, where she taught future teachers. On Friday, Hackman was given a platform at WPC [White Privilege Conference] to deliver a workshop with the lengthy title “No Freedom Unless We Call Out the Wizard Behind The Curtain: Critically Addressing the Corrosive Effects of Whiteness in Teacher Education and Professional Development.” The long title masked a simple thesis on Hackman’s part: Modern education is hopelessly tainted by white supremacy and the “white imperial gaze,” and the solution is to train prospective teachers in college to be activists as well as pedagogues.

In fact, Hackman argued teachers shouldn’t even bother teaching if they aren’t committed to promoting social justice in school.“Education is the practice of freedom. And as a result, we have to have [teaching] students becomes activists as well as teachers.”

Creating educators who are proper activists, Hackman continued, means training them to not only to encourage diversity but also to engage with the systemic oppression she says is pervasive in the entire educational system. In Hackman’s telling, virtually everything associated with being a good student in modern education is actually just a tool of racist white supremacy.

“The racial narrative of White tends to be like this: Rugged individual, honest, hard-working, disciplined, rigorous, successful,” she said. “And so then, the narrative of U.S. public education: Individual assessments, competition, outcome over process (I care more about your grades than how you’re doing), ‘discipline’ where we care more about your attendance and making sure you’re not tardy than we care about your relationships … proper English must be spoken (which is just assimilation into standard U.S. dialect), hierarchical power structure, and heavy goal orientation.”

While the traits listed may simply be regarded as positive traits for success in the modern world, Hackman described them as specific cultural traits chosen and emphasized to favor whites to the detriment of non-white groups, who are forced to assimilate white traits such as good discipline and goal orientation or else be left behind.

Hackman’s natural solution, then, is to train teachers to move away from all these aspects of white privilege in education. She routinely touted the benefits of collective assessments (measuring student learning at the class level instead of determining whether each student knows the material), as well as eliminating all school grades entirely.

Hackman said when she was a professor, she freely employed these methods with her own students. She once let a student complete an essay assignment as a graphic novel, and allowed students to write in non-standard English or even foreign languages she herself couldn’t read.

“If I don’t know [your language,] frankly, that’s my issue,” she said. “All I need to know is that you’re thinking about it, I don’t really care how you do it.”
That's just too wonderful. She allows students to turn in papers in a language she doesn't know. What is the point? And think how demeaning that is to minority students to come right out and state that grading them and asking them to write clearly, attend classe,s and be on time is something they should be expected to do. If a white professor made the same claims for minority students, it would be considered vicious racism. These people are beyond satire. (Link via Thomas Lifson)

Here's another silly example
of how strained the fight against supposed white privilege has become.
Southwestern University in Texas has canceled its annual production of “The Vagina Monologues” because its author, Eve Ensler, is white — and featuring a performance written by a white lady would just not be inclusive to women of other races.

Instead, the school will host a performance of “We are Women,” which promises to “address similar experiences while emphasizing women of color,” according an article in the Megaphone, the school’s official newspaper.

“I felt that limiting women to only Eve Ensler’s work was doing a disservice to both the women performing and to the audience at large,” Rachel Arco, the sophomore who organized the performance, told the Megaphone.

“This performance will largely be done with works by women of color,” she continued. “In doing so, it will be more representative of the experience of women, rather than only offering the white woman’s experience.”
Wow! Depriving college students of seeing "The Vagina Monologues"! If only the patriarchy had realized that all they needed to do what point to the race of the playwright.


It costs a lot of money and effort to maintain Lenin's corpse.
Maintaining the corpse of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin isn't cheap. In fact, the Russian government this year will spend about $200,000 for work of a "biomedical nature" to ensure the communist leader's body remains in "lifelike condition," the BBC reports. Lenin's preserved body, now nearly 146 years old, has been on public display in a mausoleum in Moscow for more than 90 years, according to the Atlantic. The disclosure on the cost of maintaining the body came via the country's procurement agency website. The preservation process, per a 2015 Scientific American report, includes being "reembalmed" every other year, which entails, "submerging the body in separate solutions of glycerol solution baths, formaldehyde, potassium acetate, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid solution, and acetic sodium." Lenin also wears a rubber suit under his dress clothes to keep a layer of embalming fluid covering him while on display.

4 comments:

Suvy Boyina said...

I don't like Jackson one bit, but Jackson wasn't the source of the Panic of 1837. The Panics of the US in the 19th century were tied to the monetary policy of the Bank of England in the same way that the financial crises of the rest of the world today are tied to the policy of the Federal Reserve. The most interesting part is the relationship between commodity prices.

With that being said, I'm actually really glad Jackson did what he did with the banking system. Nicholas Biddle should've had no business being in charge of the Second BUS. This was a guy who thought it was a good idea to corner the cotton market after the Second BUS got dismantled and went broke in the process. No one that does anything like that should be allowed to have the centralized authority of controlling a banking system. I'm sorry, but that's straight up dumb.

Secondly, Jackson basically created a financial system that was remarkably flexible and adaptable. The problem with centralized institutions in banking that last a long time and provide "stability" is that they become rigidified. Jackson's "pet banking" system, as corrupt as it may have been, did the country a lot of good because it decentralized the financial system to states during development. I think something like 50-60% of all banks created would go bust within the first 5 years after their creation during the "pet banking era", which is automatically something most historians consider bad. But note that financial historians don't agree on that assessment.

When you have such institutional flexibility in finance, what it allows for is extremely financing for local enterprises. If something goes wrong, the consequences are entirely localized. So it allows for remarkable trial and error in the economic system and is a great system for rapid development once your country has basic stock and bond markets.

Hamilton's designs were necessary in the late 18th and early 19th century to allow for the creation of stock markets, bond markets, other capital markets, and financial markets more generally. I love Hamilton more than anyone else, but what Jackson did at that time was absolutely necessary.

Suvy Boyina said...

Most historians are horribly mistaken when they look at Jackson as someone who didn't understand banking. He actually understood money and banking very well. His public comments may not have made sense to a lot of historians, but they were largely political. What he did to the banks ranges on the borderline of redemption in my eyes for all the other things he did. Recessions and long contractions aren't bad economically. Financial crises or constant bank failures may be volatile and have social costs, but they do speed up development when done at the right time.

I can really go into the details of why his view of money and banking was so advanced, but that's a different issue for a different day.

Suvy Boyina said...

I'll also add that I was absolutely furious when I found out that Jack Lew wanted to "diminish" Hamilton on the $10 bill. I also think it'd be a good idea to remove Jackson from the $20, move Hamilton to the $20, and then put someone else on the $10. I've been saying that for a while.

mark said...

Betsy,
You missed the point of what Clooney said. He was very clearly not looking for sympathy or pity. He was merely stating his opinion that our political system is corrupt.