Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Ted Cruz: ‘Religious Liberty’s Never Been More Under Assault’ in America
Ted Cruz spoke at Liberty University today and talked at some length about how big the threat against religious freedom is in the United States. He railed against the IRS and spoke up in support of Hobby Lobby, declaring that “religious liberty’s never been more under assault.”
Cruz brought up an Air Force chaplain who got in trouble for saying there are no atheists in foxholes. Cruz laughingly asked if it’s not supposed to be the job of a chaplain “to be insensitive to atheists.”

He railed against the government forcing groups like Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor to “violate their religious beliefs,” which he found especially ironic because of how Pilgrims came to the U.S. to begin with to flee religious persecution. He told the audience that there needs to be a call to action where people of faith should “stand and speak, no matter what the consequence.”
RELATED:  Kindergartner Allegedly Told to Stop Praying at Lunch

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Charles Krauthammer: Claim of Seven Million Obamacare Enrollees Is ‘Phony Number’
Charles Krauthammer doesn’t believe seven million people have actually enrolled in Obamacare, telling Bill O’Reilly Tuesday night that the White House is throwing out “phony numbers” by broadening their standards in order to attain a personal victory.

Both men agreed that the goal of Obamacare was to eventually convince the country to shift to full government control of the health care system, with Krauthammer saying it at least would have been clearer than “this insane mishmash” in the middle. He then charged that President Obama and the White House is not being honest when it says that a little over seven million people have signed up.
“These numbers that they are touting are phony numbers… That’s like saying anybody who goes on Amazon, orders a nifty stereo set, puts it in the shopping cart, has purchased the stereo set. I assure you it’s not going to show up at your house until you pay for it.”
Krauthammer charged that the goal from the beginning was to make health care, “the great liberal objective,” a reality by any means necessary. And he found it laughable for Democrats to keep asserting it’s the law of the land, because “nothing that’s written in the law matters, they decide what the law is every Wednesday morning.”
RELATED:  Limbaugh: ‘How Many People Are Signing Up’ for Obamacare Out of Fear?

Dating Website OkCupid Displays Liberal Terrorism: Asks Users to Boycott Mozilla Firefox Due to Browser CEO’s Gay Marriage Opposition is now actively asking Mozilla Firefox users to reconsider their browser choice due to the new Mozilla CEO having publicly expressed his opposition to gay marriage in California.

On Monday afternoon, a note appeared on the OKCupid homepage for Mozilla users only, asking that they switch to another browser in light of Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, having been a vocal supporter of Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot initiative that created a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Back in 2008, Eich donated $1,000 to the campaign supporting Prop 8, with Mozilla’s name attached as his employer in the public database. When he became CEO this year, boycotts emerged primarily among the web development community.

Below is a screenshot of what a Mozilla user would see on their home page, including links to download alternative browsers:

And the full text:
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.
However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid:
[Google Chrome] [Internet Exploder] [Opera] [Safari]
Thank you,
Users are able to continue on to after scrolling through and reading the note.
UPDATE: A Mozilla spokesperson issued the following statement:
Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally. OK cupid never reached out to us to let us know of their intentions, nor to confirm facts.
RELATED: The New Mozilla CEO's Political Past Is Imperiling His Present

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bill Maher Reads Quote On “Lazy Black People” From….Michelle Obama
Real Time host Bill Maher went to bat to a degree for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) by comparing his recently-criticized remarks about “inner city men” to an excerpt from a May 2013 speech by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Maher — who noted the “hushed silence” from the crowd regarding Obama’s remarks — specifically quoted from her commencement speech at Bowie State University, in which she said too many young Black people “can’t be bothered” to get a job.

“Instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV,” she said at the time. “Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.”

“I just read this, and you thought it was Paul Ryan,” Maher told comedian W. Kamau Bell.

“Because you told me it was,” Bell replied.

“For a reason,” Maher said. “I’m just asking: Is something less true if a white person says it about black people?”

Maher then said it sounded like Obama agreed with Ryan.

“This sounds even more like, ‘Hey Black people, don’t be lazy,’” Maher said. 

“She’s talking to Black people,” Bell retorted. “We talk to each other differently than we talk to you.”

But Ryan, Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden told Maher, was blaming the Black and Latino communities for their problems. 

“When you look at his budget, what does his budget do?” Tanden said. “Cuts all the programs in these communities — programs that have helped create jobs — and takes it and, until now, his budget has given massive tax cuts to the wealthy.”

Former Rep. Rick Lazio (R-NY) then accused Democrats of squandering the chance to ameliorate the problems when they were in charge of “most of these inner cities,” on top of having a sitting Democratic president in office and a recent majority in Congress.

“They don’t vote,” Maher said of city voters. “They don’t think it makes a difference.”

“Paul Ryan, I would say, made an awkward statement,” Lazio said, as Tanden looked on in apparent disbelief. “At least that guy’s out there talking about poverty. And what happens when Republicans or conservatives pop their head up and start talking about poverty, is that they get smacked down and called a racist.”
RELATED: Michelle Obama Discusses Education Among Blacks and Acting White

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Politiks As Usual: In The News 3/30/14

Hollywood, Leave My Childhood Alone: A Guide to What You Can Maim

What Happens When The Facts Don’t Fit The Progressive Script?

Homofascists Turn Their "Gay" Guns On Mississippi

Moviegoers Flood 'Noah' With $44 Million

A Whole Lotta Democratic Corruption Going On

Politico's Dylan Byers: MSNBC in Freefall

How Unborn Babies Become 'Clinical Waste'

Hundreds of Children Abandoned by Illegals Heading into US

NYT Frets as GOP States Burden Blacks Based on 'Unfounded' Vote Fraud Fear

It Has Begun: Connecticut Raises Minimum Wage to $10.10

7 Ways Noah Turns the Bible Upside Down 

Harry Reid Will Refund Campaign For Gifts

Friday, March 28, 2014

Maryland, Carroll County Commissioner Violates Federal Judge’s Order, Mentions Jesus at Meeting
Can a public official mention Jesus at an official meeting? According to a federal judge in Maryland, the answer is no. According to Carroll County commissioner Robin Frazier, it’s yes — and she’s willing to go to jail to defend what she sees is her right to free speech and religious expression:
“Out of respect for my colleagues — I’m not sure how strongly they feel about it. I’m willing to go to jail over it,” Frazier said during the meeting, referring to Jesus Christ twice despite the ruling.
“(Let) the Lord Jesus Christ to admit me to render these deserved thanks and praises for thy manifold mercies extended toward me. Let thy blessings guide this day, and forever, through Jesus Christ and his blessed form of prayer, I conclude my weak petitions,” she said during the meeting.
After receiving complaints, some Carroll County residents and a group called American Humanist Association issued a warning to the board about “sectarian prayer” during meetings in 2012 and then followed up with a lawsuit in April 2013.
“After the judge has already agreed with us that that’s what’s going on, I think it’s particularly troubling that one of the council members saw fit to violate not only the Constitution but the judge’s very specifically ruling that they can’t be doing this,” said Monica Miller, an attorney for the American Humanist Association.
This fellow seemed to have the best take on the situation:
“My concern is, really, who cares? If they say Jesus, I mean, does it really offend anybody?” questioned resident Brian Resch.
The question is really this: do people have a right to be free from offense at board meetings? After all, Carroll County isn’t establishing a “county religion” by having one of its members pray openly. No one else’s rights to faith or lack thereof have been infringed; the local government isn’t taking roll at the local church to make sure everyone attends. The imposition of silence on religious expression by the judiciary, fueled by those who simply cannot abide the expression of faith, causes more egregious damage toward liberty than a prayer at a board meeting or school graduation does.

There is no doubt that Frazier’s act is deliberately provocative, and one can debate whether that’s an effective witness to faith or not in terms of charity and goodwill. However, isn’t the remedy at hand the next election, rather than a gag order from the federal government?
RELATED: MI union contract gives “special consideration” to “non-Christian” teachers

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bill O'Reilly (Rightfully) Calls Democrat Congresswoman Barbara Lee A 'Race Hustler'

Anyone who really thinks there's a single, black, Democrat politician out there who truly cares about the needs of Black people in this country is either lying to themselves or a fool:
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly brought Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on "The O'Reilly Factor" Tuesday to discuss charges of racism made by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) against the former vice presidential candidate.

In recent remarks on poverty, Ryan referred to the "tailspin of culture in our inner cities." Lee in turn called Ryan's comments a "thinly veiled racial attack."

“Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says 'inner city,' when he says, 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black,'" Lee said in a statement.

On O'Reilly's show, Ryan said he has no bad feelings toward Lee, noting he's "a big boy" and understands that "if you challenge the status quo, sometimes you'll be misinterpreted." 

O'Reilly fervently disagreed, saying "race hustlers" such as Lee don't want to have a conversation and that they "get voted into office by portraying their constituents as victims."

"And it's all your fault and it's my fault and it's rich people's fault and the Republicans' fault," O'Reilly said. "It's everybody's fault except what's going on ... The race hustlers don't want to solve the problem."

Watch the full exchange above.
UPDATE: 12:58 p.m. -- Lee released the following statement in response to O'Reilly's remarks: 

Unfortunately we’ve come to expect language like “welfare queens,” “food stamp president,” and now “race hustlers” from the right wing and Mr. O’Reilly. It is disgusting and divisive and should never be accepted in our national discourse. 

For us to achieve the American dream for all, we must engage in this conversation that has been sparked about race and poverty, even if it is difficult for some. Racial discrimination, poverty, and income inequality remain issues that must be debated and addressed, and these kinds of ‘code words’ only get in the way of solving the real problems.

As members of Congress, we must come together to present a budget and funding priorities that create opportunity for all. We must make critical investments in job creation, education, and job training. Among many issues, we must address extending unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage, enacting criminal justice reform, and securing voting rights for communities of color, so that we can truly find solutions to these critical issues.
RELATED: The Left’s Laughable Effort to Label Paul Ryan ‘Racist’ Crumbles

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Illegal Immigrant Supporting Dream Act Fails in New York; Opposed By 56% of Voters
A new poll shows a majority of New York voters oppose tuition assistance for illegal immigrants. The data, collected by the Siena College Research Institute, comes days after a version of the Dream Act, doing just that, failed to pass the New York Senate. The bill provides an estimated $20 million through TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) to undocumented students:
OSC estimates that TAP awards to undocumented students would have cost $20 million if the New York State DREAM Act were in effect in the current year based on the conservative assumptions that all full-time students would apply for TAP and receive the maximum award.
The poll itself shows that, of the 56% that oppose the Dream Act, a majority of moderates, 18 to 34 year olds, and people in an "other" party also oppose the bill. 

This revelation should signal to serious lawmakers that the time has come to oppose laws that favor law-breaking over legal, tax-paying citizens. When 76% of legal New York State college students do not have access to tuition assistance, does it make sense to spend more money on "undocumented" students? The tide of discontent among U.S. taxpayers should send a signal to idealistic, left-wing politicians that think the rights of undocumented immigrants should supersede those of the American citizen. 
RELATED:  DHS giving illegal immigrant ‘petty’ criminals second chance in waiver application process

Monday, March 24, 2014

New York Times Editorial Distorts, Misleads, and Lies to Readers on HHS Mandate
With many political debates, I try to give opponents the benefit of the doubt on intentions. Sure, raising taxes is a bad thing, but some politicians and pundits believe higher taxes will benefit society. Some people think we need to spend more, and others really fear climate change.

When it comes to the HHS abortifacient/contraception/sterilization mandate, however, I’ve almost stopped being that generous with the left’s media and thought leaders. This New York Times Magazine editorial is a prime example as to why. Almost from start to finish, the piece misleads and misdirects readers about the mandate, its opponents, and religious freedom.

Here are several examples:

First, the editorial says “for-profit corporations will ask the Supreme Court to take a radical turn and allow them to impose their religious views on their employees” by not providing contraception coverage as required by the mandate. This is a falsehood for at least two reasons: For one, the individual insurance market is an option for coverage, and colleges, high schools, Wal-Marts, and many other organizations provide birth control for free or very low prices.

Furthermore, most employees are “at-will” employees, meaning they can leave anytime they wish. If they want employer-covered contraception, plenty of companies will provide it.

In other words, many options exists for employees — and I haven’t even mentioned abstinence yet, which is 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

Next, the editorial says exemptions from the mandate “would significantly harm other people.” This is clearly not true, as pointed out above, because options abound.

Third, the editorial makes the claim that a Supreme Court decision against the mandate “would flout the First Amendment, which forbids government from favoring one religion over another — or over nonbelievers.” In fact, the mandate gives special treatment to those who believe contraception, abortion drugs, and sterilization, and puts those who disagree with the mandate at a distinct First Amendment disadvantage with regards to speech and religion.

The editorial also argues that the mandate does not include coverage of abortion-inducing drugs:
The companies’ owners remain free to worship as they choose and to argue (incorrectly) as much as they want that some of the contraceptive drugs and devices on the F.D.A.’s list actually induce abortions.
It has been proven time and time again that the mandate covers abortion drugs. For just two examples of this, check out what Live Action’s Drew Belsky and I wrote a couple of months ago, or check out this incredibly thorough analysis of that question by Just Facts.

Finally, the editorial states that “the government plainly has a “compelling” interest in reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions, and in furthering women’s health and equality.” Actually, women’s health would benefit from fewer contraceptives, and contraception use only lowers the abortion rate after increasing it dramatically. And if the editorial board wants fewer “unintended pregnancies,” it should start with encouraging abstinence. Pregnancy is a fairly common result of engaging in sexual relations, after all.
There are other statements in the editorial that need to be debunked, but this is just a sampling of the misleading and outright falsehoods it possesses.
RELATED:  Four Years of Obamacare Failures Is Long Enough

Politiks As Usual: In The News 3/24/14

Source: Flight 370's Altitude Dropped After Sharp Turn

Mary Landrieu Is Paying—and Getting Paid Big—for Her Stance on Global Warming

Obama's Destruction Of The Military Is By Design

Dad Who Fathered 98 Kids Offers Free Sex 

Cruz: GOP Should ‘Continue to Defend Life’ and ‘Defend Traditional Marriage’ 
Giuliani: de Blasio Turning New York City in Wrong Direction
If It's Sunday, The Washington Post Is Promoting Fellatio In the Movie 'Nymphomaniac'
Nate Silver: GOP Has 60 Percent Chance to Take Senate in 2014

Colorado House To Consider Controversial Vaccination Law 

Jimmy Carter Thinks The NSA Monitors His Emails
Drudge, White House in Twitter Spat over Obamacare Mandate Payment

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Victory for Academic Freedom: Jury Rules UNC-Wilmington Retaliated Against Conservative Professor
A jury in North Carolina on Thursday found that the University of North Carolina-Wilmington retaliated against criminology professor Dr. Mike Adams for his political and social views. 

Adams, a Townhall columnist, explained last year that despite his track record of success at the university in terms of teaching, research and service, he was denied a promotion to full professor because of the views he advanced in his opinion columns. He described the promotion process as being “replete with procedural irregularities and with direct criticism of [his] columns and [his] beliefs.” 

The ACLJ, who represented Adams along with Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Travis Barham, explains further

When Dr. Adams submitted his application for full professor, university officials rejected it through the use of a completely-fabricated promotion standard, passed along false and misleading information about his academic record, explicitly considered the content of his protected speech in promotion documents, and – incredibly – allowed a professor who’d filed a false criminal complaint against Dr. Adams to cast a vote against his application.

“[N]o individual loses his ability to speak as a private citizen by virtue of public employment,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit wrote in 2011. “Adams’ columns addressed topics such as academic freedom, civil rights, campus culture, sex, feminism, abortion, homosexuality, religion, and morality. Such topics plainly touched on issues of public, rather than private, concern.” 
The university hired Adams, a former atheist, in 1993 as an assistant professor, and promoted him to associate professor in 1998. The “campaign of academic persecution that culminated in his denial of promotion to full professor” began when he converted to Christianity in 2000, which greatly influenced his views on social and political issues. 

“We are grateful that the jury today reaffirmed the fundamental principle that universities are a marketplace of ideas, not a place where professors face retaliation for having a different view than university officials,” Barham said

“The jury saw what we have long known to be true about the wrong done to Dr. Adams,” said Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “The verdict is a powerful message for academic freedom and free speech at America’s public universities.” 

Update: According to the ACLJ, the verdict was only for liability. The judge will later decide Adams' relief. 
RELATED:  Teachers Union Contract Gave "Special Consideration" to Non-Christians

Federal Judge Defies Eric Holder: Yes, Arizona and Kansas Can Require Voters To Prove Their Citizenship

How about coming to America the right way? After all illegal is illegal and other countries around the world don't allow a tenth of the crap illegals get away with here:
Under the oh so august leadership of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Obama administration has been doing their very best to thwart various states in their individual endeavors to implement voter ID laws. In this latest iteration of that ongoing battle, the Federal Election Assistance Commission has so far refused to help state officials in Kansas and Arizona change federal election registration forms to include proof of citizenship. 

Both states have new voter-ID measures measures that require new voters to provide a birth certificate, passport, or other documentation to prove their citizenship, while the federal registration form only requires that new voters sign a statement declaring that they are citizens. On Wednesday, a federal judge basically told the Obama administration to stop deliberately getting in the states’ way on this one, via the LA Times:
A federal judge has ruled that Kansas and Arizona should be allowed to require voters to provide evidence of U.S. citizenship, in a case closely watched by both sides dealing with the question of voter eligibility.
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita, Kan., ruled that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission had no legal authority to deny requests from the two states to add the citizenship requirement. In the ruling, released Wednesday, he ordered the commission to revise the national form immediately. …
“This is a huge victory for the states of Kansas and Arizona,” Kobach said in a prepared statement emailed to reporters. “They have successfully protected our sovereign right to set and enforce the qualifications for registering to vote. We have now paved the way for all 50 states to protect their voter rolls and ensure that only U.S. citizens can vote.”
“Today’s decision is an important victory for the people of Arizona against the Obama administration, assuring that only Arizona residents and not illegals vote in Arizona elections,” Arizona Atty. Gen. Tom Horne said in a statement.
“Only Arizona residents and not illegals”? Well, that of course is just ridiculous, because as we know perfectly well by now — we know, because progressives continuously tell us so — voter fraud is absolutely not a real thing. Voter-ID laws are just vacuous excuses made up by Republicans in order to maliciously disenfranchise minority voters. “Proof of citizenship” requirement? Ha! I mean, can you say “racist dog whistle”?
RELATED:  Holder: Sure, “we’re not opposed to photo identification in a vacuum” — just when it comes to voting, really

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Russian Leaders Laugh At Barack Obama

But then I imagine it'd be hard for any world leader to respect a Godless, far-Left, mom jeans-wearing POTUS who throws like a girl:
Russia’s deputy prime minister laughed off President Obama’s sanction against him today  asking “Comrade @BarackObama” if “some prankster” came up with the list.

The Obama administration hit 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials with sanctions today as punishment for Russia’s support of Crimea’s referendum. Among them: aides to President Vladimir Putin, a top government official, senior lawmakers, Crimean officials, the ousted president of Ukraine, and a Ukrainian politician and businessman allegedly tied to violence against protesters in Kiev.

It remains to be seen whether the sanctions will dissuade Russia from annexing Crimea, but one an early clue that they will not be effective came just hours later when President Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state, perhaps an early step towards annexation.

U.S. official have warned of additional sanctions for Russian action, hoping it will deter Russia from any further aggression towards Ukraine, but it didn’t appear to upset the often outspoke Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
Rogozin, a friend of actor Steven Seagal,  took to Twitter to tweak Obama, tweeting  he thinks “some prankster” came up with the sanctions list.

In a later tweet addressed to “Comrade @BarackObama,” he asked, “what should do those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or U didn’t think about it?”

Another Russian on the sanctions list, Vladislav Surkov, also seemed unconcerned.

Surkov,  a top Putin ideologue often called the Kremlin’s grey cardinal, reportedly told a Russian newspaper, “It’s a big honor for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.”

Here’s who gets hit with the sanctions:

U.S. officials said that, among the sanctioned individuals were the “key ideologists and architects” of Russia’s Ukraine policy, while adding that some of the Russian officials were included in the list for their role in curbing “human rights and liberties” in Russia.

The sanctions freeze any assets under American jurisdiction and prevent American banks from doing business with the named individual, essentially freezing them out of the international banking system. The sanctions also impose a ban on their travel to the United States. Separately, but in coordination with the White House, the European Union announced sanctions today on 21 individuals that it plans to name later. U.S. officials told reporters that the American and European lists “overlapped” in some area, but declined to say how.

While some of the sanctioned officials are bold faced names, the White House move is unlikely to affect Russia’s decision making with regard to Crimea’s bid to join the Russian Federation. Russia’s stock market actually improved on the news that so few officials were included on the list. U.S. officials warned that, if Russia does go ahead with annexation of Crimea, additional penalties will follow, with more, harsher measures to come if Russia attempts to enter eastern Ukraine.
RELATED:  Russian Policy and American Timidity

Monday, March 17, 2014

Liberals Now Smearing Paul Ryan As "RACIST!!!"
One of the worst traits of some left-liberals is their easy resort to calling those who disagree with them bigots or racists or worse. There are some sites on the web that seem almost entirely devoted to patrolling the discourse for any sign of sin. This one’s a homophobe; this one’s a racist; so-and-so said this and that could be – shock! – prejudiced. It can sometimes be a way to avoid engaging arguments rather than tackling them. And so, on cue, Paul Ryan is taking heat for these remarks:
We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.
He noted that “Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard – those guys have written books on this.” Cue liberal freakout. Josh Marshall focuses on the citation of Murray:
When you start off by basing your arguments around the work of Charles Murray you just lose your credibility from the start as someone actually interested in addressing poverty or joblessness or really doing anything other than coming up with reasons to cut off what little assistance society provides for its most marginalized members or, alternatively, pumping up people with racial resentments against black people and giving them ersatz ‘scholarship’ to justify their racial antipathies.
That’s because Murray’s public career has been based on pushing the idea that black urban poverty is primarily the fault of black people and their diseased ‘culture.’ Relatedly, and more controversially, he has argued that black people are genetically inferior to white people and other notional races with regards to intelligence. Yes, that last part should be crystal clear: Murray is best known for attempting to marshal social science evidence to argue that black people are genetically not as smart as white people.
Sigh. Josh seems to be arguing that Murray blames all resilient urban black poverty on culture …. and then blames it all on genes! Pick one canard, would be my advice. And the truth is: in The Bell Curve, Murray was concerned about the role of genes and environment in the resilient IQ differentials among different ethnic groups, as anyone who actually read his book (I did, most liberals wouldn’t) would know. As for the notion that Murray is useless in actually attempting to help urban poverty, has Josh ever heard of the book Losing Ground? It was the key text for the Clinton welfare reforms of the 1990s – which even Obama now concedes he dismissed too easily. 
And it is simply untrue that Murray has argued that “black people are genetically inferior to white people and other notional races with regards to intelligence.” Murray’s work specifically insists that there are countless African-Americans with higher IQs than countless whites and Asians and Hispanics. (He has recently focused his efforts on white poverty as well – which would seem to disprove some of Josh’s claims.) It’s just that the bell curve (which was the title of the whole fricking book) starts at a slightly different place for different racial groupings – something that drives blank slate liberals nuts with cognitive dissonance. Years later, the differentials still exist. Why do you think there are de facto quotas to prevent brainy Asians from dominating the Ivy League? But of course, nothing drives ideologues nuts like reality.

One more thing: I’m sure Murray has gotten used to this distortion of his work. But it still strikes me as outrageous that a scholar like Murray is subjected to being called a racist of the worst sort and a dishonest scholar – simply because the resilient data support his core point, and because he dares to cite genetics. (It’s an old and great line that liberals believe nothing is genetic but homosexuality, while conservatives believe everything is genetic except homosexuality. For my part, it seems pretty damn obvious that almost all human behavior is a function of both – and the interaction between them.)
Josh goes another round:
Weigel notes that it’s not necessarily clear that Ryan was referencing The Bell Curve. He might just as well have been talking about Losing Ground, the critique of liberal social policies, particularly welfare, which put Murray on the map in the 1980s or his more recent work on the ‘white underclass’. To which I would say, maybe? Who knows? And really, who cares? At the risk of sounding wrenchingly corny, The Bell Curve is a bell you simply cannot un-ring. 
As Joan Walsh notes here, in the years since publishing The Bell Curve, Murray has slightly softened his argument. He now refers to IQ and what he believes is the mental inferiority of African-Americans not as ‘genetic’ but rather as ‘intractable.’ By this Murray seems to mean that there are too many factors playing into intelligence to definitively say genetics are behind what he claims are the mental/intellectual shortcomings of black people. The deficit is simply ‘intractable’ – by which he means that whatever mix of genetics, culture and circumstance create it, nothing can be done to change it in any meaningful way.
But if Josh had read the original book, he would have seen that that was Murray’s argument all along! “Intractable” means a function of both culture and genes. Now I should make clear that I’m not entirely persuaded by Charles’ thesis. I think it’s too fatalist and gloomy. The plasticity of IQ is obvious, and culture may matter far more in the long run. If Murray’s thesis requires no government action to help the poor, I’m as opposed to it as David Frum. But Murray is an intellectual adventurer. He speaks things we only talk about in our own heads. And his original prediction – that modern, SAT-based, liberal economies will, over time, lead to greater and greater inequality has not exactly been proven unfounded, has it? And referencing Murray – along with Bob Putnam, one should add – is perfectly appropriate when talking about arguments about poverty and how to tackle it.

Michael Sean Winters gives Ryan the benefit of the doubt:
First, we on the left have been complaining that Republicans like don’t give a hoot about the poor, and not without cause. I remember Cong. Ryan speaking at Georgetown in 2012 and talking about subsidiarity and federalism and how the federal government should not be the lead actor in anti-poverty efforts. I thought at the time: That would be credible if he could point to any single Republican governor or mayor who was actually attempting some innovative anti-poverty efforts, but he can’t, so the invocation of subsidiarity in this regard is a smokescreen. It is obvious that Ryan has been trying to wrestle with the issue of poverty since then, and I think we have an obligation not to throw his words back in his teeth the second they are uttered. That is not the way to create a bipartisan consensus on the need for our nation to confront lingering poverty in our midst.
By the way, check out Murray’s responses in our Ask Anything series to get his recent take on the Bell Curve criticism. A long thread on race and IQ is here.
RELATED:  MSNBC’s Alex Wagner Finally Finds Kneejerk Racism Accusation That Isn’t Legitimate

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Politiks As Usual: In The News 3/16/14

Iraq Law Would Allow 9-Year-Old Girls To Marry

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search Grows As Pilots Face Increased Scrutiny

'19 Kids and Counting' Stars: We Won't Kiss Until Marriage

What Kind of God Do You Believe In?

Cardinal Dolan ‘Fully Supportive’ of Teaching That Homosexual Activity is Immoral

Priebus: Jolly Election Spotlights Republicans' 'Positive Vision'

Sen. Rand Paul Wins Presidential Survey

50 Years Later, We Know That the NYT Distorted the Kitty Genovese Story to Drive an Agenda

Networks Minimize Bad News For Dems, Tout Obama Shopping at the Gap

Air Force: Christians' Religious Speech Not Legally Protected Right

Maine Hospital Facing $27 Million In Costs Due To Obamacare

Why Some Christians' Kids Blow Off God – and Why Mine Didn't

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Dunham Disconnect: NYC Media Love for Lena Isn’t Shared by Rest of America
Lena Dunham was recently crowned “America’s new queen of comedy” in a recent cover story in Vogue.
Her Girls character, Hannah Horvath, says she is “the voice of her generation.” 

And on the heels of her Saturday Night Live hosting gig last week, Vulture declared the 27-year-old as “The Host of Her Generation.” 

The term “bubble” has been written about in this space before. It is defined as a world where folks in TV news live in, a world where 10-18 hours a day is consumed by what is going on in the world, what the hot stories are, and how to best present these stories to an audience. Oftentimes however, bubble stories don’t match what audiences tuned in for. But bubble stories play nicely to people that matter in the industry places like New York (because that’s where most media companies and publications are headquartered), so the feedback on the content is invariably positive, although the thing that matters most—ratings, the size of an audience showing interest—may not reflect that sentiment. 

Need proof? Just check out the hysterical coverage of any snowstorm that hits New York. Six inches is headed towards Manhattan? Better get the extra-obnoxious breaking news banner out! Six inches in Philadelphia? Kansas City? An ice storm in Dallas? Oklahoma City? Yawn. Doesn’t affect us. 

Which brings us back to the bubble phenomenon around Ms. Dunham… 

Is she a relative success? Absolutely. She has her own HBO show and is the toast of Manhattan media. She and her boyfriend got to hang at the White House with the President and First Lady last summer. She’s like a daughter to Judd Apatow. She has 1.45 million Twitter followers. She got multi-millions in an advance book deal. And she isn’t riding to stardom just because she’s the next pretty face who can also act like Julia Roberts or Scarlett Johansson or Jennifer Lawrence before her. 

But the next queen of comedy? 

The voice of a generation?

The host of a generation? 

The numbers tell a much different story. 

For starters, her HBO show is one of the lowest rated on the network, averaging about 800,000 viewers per first-run episode. That number sounds pretty good until comparing it to other HBO shows such as True Detective (3.1 million), the late Sex and the City (3.5 million) or Game of Thrones (4.97 million). But if you read review after review after (glowing) review, the only conclusion one could come to was Dunham was single-handedly keeping the network from extinction. 

As for the voice/host of a generation, it’s a nice sentiment until seeing that said generation isn’t exactly flocking to their televisions to see her host the likes of Saturday Night Live. In that capacity last week, Dunham—despite getting naked again for the 101st time since entering the national stage two years ago—helped SNL register its second-lowest audience of the season. For context, the Dunham-hosted show was even 20 percent lower than the show hosted by the less-hyped Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) the week prior. This result comes despite as big a promotional push as you’ll see for a non-NBC employee leading up to the show in the form of featured appearances on Late Night with Seth Myers and The Today Show. And none of it mattered. 


Because, in my opinion, Lena Dunham is who she is: Largely unfunny, profoundly annoying, extremely self-important. And don’t even think about asking her any obvious questions during a press conference…she’s proven to be more thin-skinned than Alec Baldwin. Just ask reporter Tim Molloy of The Wrap, who politely asked why there was so much nudity on Girls, particularly by its lead character. 

Here was Dunham’s response:

“Yeah. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem,” she said.

That’s when Judd Apatow—who was also at this press conference, jumped in and got personal. 

“Do you have a girlfriend?” he asked.

“Sure,” replied Molloy. 

Apatow: “Does she like you?”

Molloy: “Yeah.”

Apatow: “Let’s see how she likes you when you quote that with your question and just write the whole question… and tell me how it goes tonight.”

Whatever that means. 

What Dunham and Apatow can’t seem to grasp is that Mr. Molloy isn’t alone in his perspective. You can’t meet anyone who knows Dunham’s work who doesn’t ask the same question about the nudity aspect. The simple theory here is Lena doesn’t have anything resembling depth in the acting or comedy department, so she resorts to shock value. Audiences find the act tired, repetitive and self-absorbed, so they tune out. 

There are bubble stories that play very well in New York. A little snow hits, the “national” media (mostly based in Manhattan) lets the rest of the country know about the horror they’re about to endure. 

Same goes for the blizzard of coverage around the dusting of snow that is Lena Dunham’s talent. 

The media may be very much into her…

But to almost everyone else on the planet without a byline—those outside the bubble—it hasn’t exactly been love at first, or 101st, sight. 
RELATED:  Lena Dunham apologizes for making off-color joke about sexual molestation 

Monday, March 10, 2014

'Six Californias' Instead of One?
"I love Germany so much that I am glad there are two of them," the French novelist and Nobel laureateFrancois Mauriac commented acerbically during the Cold War. Investor Tim Draper loves California so much that he thinks there should be six of them.

Draper is one of Silicon Valley'ssuperstar venture capitalists, an early funder of numerous high-tech enterprises, including, most famously, Skype and Hotmail. He is also the prime mover behind the "Six Californias" initiative, a proposal to partition the nation's most populous state into six smaller ones. From north to south, those new states would be: Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley (including San Francisco), West California (including Los Angeles), and South California.

With 38 million people spread over such a vast and varied territory, Draper argues, a monolithic California has grown ungovernable. The state's population is more than six times as large as the average of the other 49 states, and too many Californians feel estranged from a state government in Sacramento that doesn't understand them or reflect their interests. He is far from the first to say so. Plans to subdivide California have been put forward since the earliest days of statehood in 1850. In an 1859 plebiscite, voters approved by a landslide a proposal to split off Southern California into a separate state. (The measure died in Congress, which was in turmoil over the looming Civil War.)

Can Draper's six-state plan do better? It moved one step closer to plausibility last month, when California's secretary of state gave backers the go-ahead to begin collecting the necessary petition signatures to put "Six Californias" on the ballot. If 808,000 signatures are submitted by July 14, the measure could go to voters in November.

Clearly, a six-way Golden State split is the longest of long shots, and critics aplenty have already started blasting Draper's proposal. But even many of the critics agree that California has become an unwieldy, unmanageable mess.

"No other state contains within it such contradictory interests, cultures, economic and political geography,"writes Keith Naughton at PublicCEO, a website that covers state and local California issues. "It has become impossible to even remotely reconcile the array of opposing forces. The only way to get anything done is to shove laws and regulations down a lot of unwilling throats." In the Los Angeles Times, business columnist Michael Hiltzik claims the economic fallout from the Six Californias plan would be "horrific" — he's especially disturbed that the proposed new state of Central California "would instantly become the poorest state in the nation," while Silicon Valley, where Draper lives, would be one of the wealthiest. Yet Hiltzik concedes that "Californians have lost contact with their government as more budgeting and administration [have] been upstreamed to Sacramento" and as state policies have "taken decision-making for everything from pothole repair to art and music classes out of the hands of the locals."

It's been a long time since an existing state was partitioned into smaller states. It last happened in 1863, when 50 northwestern counties of Virginia were renamed West Virginia and admitted as the 35th state. More than 40 years earlier, Maine, which had been part of Massachusetts since the 1650s, voted overwhelmingly for a divorce, and eventually entered the union as a new state in 1820. In both cases, separation was driven, then embraced, by communities and people who had grown alienated from a state government dominated by interests they didn't share. West Virginia's mountain people had chafed under Richmond's rule, and sharply opposed the formation of the Confederacy. Mainers had long complained that the Legislature in Boston — where Maine was underrepresented — was not only too far away, but too willing to sacrifice their interests to those of Massachusetts.

Maybe those chapters from 19th-century history have no relevance to California today. Or maybe Draper is onto something that shouldn't be dismissed too casually. Last September, in California's rural north, Siskiyou County and Modoc County voted to pursue secession from California and support the creation of a new State of Jefferson. Local residents crowded the Siskiyou board of supervisors' chambers, and when a speaker asked who in the audience favored the idea, the local paper reported, "nearly every hand in the room was raised."

Conventional wisdom says Draper's scheme hasn't got a chance. But venture capitalists have a knack of seeing openings and opportunities that most people miss. Would "Six Californias" would be an improvement over the status quo? That's definitely a debate worth having.
RELATED:  California drought: More than 255,000 homes and businesses still don't have water meters statewide

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Politiks As Usual: In The News 3/9/14

Most Corrupt Town in America in Danger of Being ‘Wiped Off the Map’

Is Ben Carson 2016's Sleeper Candidate?

I Was On Death Row, And I Was Innocent

Former 17 Year Marijuana Addict Urges Other States To Say No To Recreational Pot

No, Atheism and Conservatism Are Not Compatible 
Santorum: GOP Should Follow Pope's Example to Gain Followers
Obamacare Surcharge Appearing on Restaurant Bills Across the Country
George Will: Obama Donor Investigating IRS Scandal ‘Kind Of A Sham’ 
NBC Warns: Midterm Election 'Holds the Fate of the Rest of the Obama Presidency'
Ed Schultz Goes from Supporting Keystone to Comparing It to 'Vietnam' 

Chick-Fil-A Targeted By Black Mob

Iraqi Bill Would Allow 9-Year Old Girls to Marry, Husbands to Demand Sex

Can a Jew Get Down With Hot Jesus From 'Son of God?'

Koch Industries Responds To Harry Reid Attacks

Liberal Rutgers Group Asks That Condoleezza Rice Be Denied Honorary Degree Because She's Black and Conservative
Have you heard the news?

Condoleezza Rice lacks “moral authority.” She fails to meet the standards of “exemplary citizenship” and she does not have what it takes to “inspire” graduating college seniors.

That crazy thinking comes from the New Brunswick Faculty Council of Rutgers University. They voted last week to ask university leadership to cancel Rice’s invitation to be this year’s Commencement Speaker and receive an honorary degree.

Yes, apparently the first African-American woman to serve as National Security Adviser and the nation’s Secretary of State doesn’t have what it takes to be honored by Rutgers.

Rice holds a Ph.D. in political science. She has taught college for decades. She was Provost of Stanford University. She worked her way up from a working-class family in the segregated South to the highest echelon of world power and politics.

But according to the Rutgers faculty council, all of that is negated by her service in President George W. Bush’s administration.

They cited her roles in pushing the false claim of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They also point to her support for using enhanced interrogation techniques to get information from terror suspects.

The facts are right. The conclusion is wrong.

I, too, disagreed with many of the policies Rice faithfully supported as a member of the Bush administration. But only partisan hatred can blind the faculty to her extraordinary level of accomplishment for herself and her country.

Rice is smart, disciplined, hard-working and the model of an inspiring modern American. She personifies the American Dream. She is living inspiration for a young person trying to accomplish great work no matter what the barriers. And in Rice’s generation there were some serious barriers starting with her race and gender.

That is why New Jersey Republican State Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini called the Rutgers faculty’s wrongheaded decision "appalling and an embarrassment to our state."

"This is nothing more than a political firestorm fueled by their hatred of an opposing ideology, and President George W. Bush in particular. Dr. Rice and the people of New Jersey deserve better," Angelini said.

There is an added element at play here. There is a disgraceful double standard amongst liberals, particularly those in academia, in the hatred they direct at black conservatives.

We saw this last April when the conservative neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson was forced to step down as a Commencement Speaker for Johns Hopkins University (where he ably served as the head of pediatric neurosurgery).

Liberals on the Hopkins campus mobilized against Carson because he criticized President Obama’s health care reform law and said that he opposed gay marriage.

I am not a conservative but I have spoken out for years against the staggering amount blind hatred directed at black conservatives by liberals.

Liberals are shockingly quick to demean and dismiss brilliant black people like Rice, Carson, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Professor Walter E. Williams and economist Thomas Sowell because they don’t fit into the role they have carved out for a black person in America.

Black Americans must be obedient liberals on all things or risk being called a race traitor or an Uncle Tom.

I’ve experienced some of this vitriol firsthand when I have veered by liberal orthodoxy. I wrote about it in my book “Muzzled – the Assault on Honest Debate.”

This shunning of Rice is especially troubling coming from a great American university. This is the place where debate and dissenting views are to be valued as sacred.
RELATED:  Rutgers president reaffirms selection of Condoleezza Rice as commencement speaker

Porn Star/Whore Belle Knox Is Too Stupid To See How Pornography Exploits and Oppresses Women

Women with any kind morals everywhere should be outraged at this whore for trying to make porn look like any other job while supposedly sounding "educated" while doing it. But sex for money, whether you're a "porn star" or a street hooker, is no different no matter what kind of deceptive spin you attempt to put on it:
In what may be one of the splashiest media sagas of this year, a Duke University freshman has revealed her secret porn performer persona after being "outed" to her classmates by an insensitive male friend earlier in February. The student, known now by her stage name "Belle Knox," has vociferously defended herself through editorials submitted to the feminist website xoJane, and has enjoyed a great deal of support from sex positive quarters, though not without a good amount of admonition from sources both within Duke and on the web at large.

Of course, a good chunk of the criticism Knox has received has been of the reprehensible and personal sort, including threats and harassing messages sent through social media. These attacks are of course odious and inexcusable, and no amount of disagreement with Knox's message can justify them. This kind of behavior is not only harmful, but disproportionately aimed at women in the public sphere.

That having been said, Knox's agenda is misguided. Knox, a self-described libertarian with reluctant GOP affiliations, believes that performing in porn is a direct affront to the patriarchy, the term she uses for general systematized and institutionalized oppression of women. According to Knox:

We deem to keep women in a place where they are subjected to male sexuality. We seek to rob them of their choice and of their autonomy. We want to oppress them and keep them dependent on the patriarchy. A woman who transgresses the norm and takes ownership of her body — because that's exactly what porn is, no matter how rough the sex is — ostensibly poses a threat to the deeply ingrained gender norms that polarize our society. [xoJane]

Knox's mission, in other words, is to attack the oppression of women by intentionally flouting sexual norms, such as the expectation of some level of modesty or exclusivity in partners. But does that actually undermine patriarchy? I doubt it.

It's notable, for instance, that the major media venues who are now airing Knox's feminist editorial are only doing so because she's a curious sexual tabloid spread. That women's bodies are easily marketed is no strike against the patriarchy, and that a woman can get attention for her political views only after appealing to male sexual desire certainly doesn't seem to indicate any serious move in the direction of equality.

But let's leave aside whether this theoretically breaks the barriers of sexuality and focus on a side of porn that has gotten far less attention in this debate. What material good do women gain from the porn industry?

At the performer-level, porn is a notoriously treacherous place to make a career. While female performers might make more than their male counterparts, most of them just don't get paid that well, thanks in part to the rise of piracy, cam sites, and the glut of material online. And dwindling profits mean not only pay cuts for performers, but an increased willingness to jockey to meet the demands of a mostly male audience. This competition has two major negative outcomes for Knox's anti-patriarchal project.

First, it means that male consumers dictate the terms of what's depicted. As a result, male desire impacts the work and health of performers. For example, a 2012 study found that porn performers in LA had higher rates of STIs than prostitutes working in Nevada; the study authors chalked the prevalence of infections up to the reluctance of studios to enforce condom use because visible condoms aren't arousing. In other words, the industry drive to respond to male sexual desire could well be the reason performers like Knox are in danger of contracting life-threatening illnesses like HIV. Is this what bucking the patriarchy looks like?

Two, porn doesn't feature the kind of workplace a woman — or for that matter, a man — should want to join. While one could imagine building protections within the industry against unsafe sex practices, that's a difficult task in the absence of any labor union, as porn performer Jenna Jameson has noted. It is unclear to me how working without any collective bargaining power in an unsafe industry is a helpful move for women. Now, I don't mean to imply that Knox is secretly unhappy in her niche, but many women are surely suffering in a low-paying industry with little control over working conditions that pose significant threats to their long-term health.

The obvious retort is that while the material conditions of porn performers might leave something to be desired, the work of porn performers helps non-performing women at large by challenging gender roles. (This is heavily disputed, of course, with many women expressing concern that readily available porn imbues young men with disastrously misguided expectations of women's bodies and committed sexuality.) But it is difficult to imagine, even in that case, how porn really challenges gender roles.

Her assertion is that by making a choice — any choice — she's bucked the patriarchy because she's asserted her decision-making capabilities. But this is only a net increase in one particular woman's freedom, which means both that it isn't any improvement for the status of women as a whole, and also that it only signals an increase in liberties, but not necessarily any gain in measurable well being. This is perhaps satisfactory in a libertarian frame, wherein freedom is the ultimate value, but for women who are interested in measurable material gains, it leaves almost everything to be desired.

One hopes young women paying attention to Knox will choose not to campaign for ambiguous increases in freedom, but rather in targeted betterments in the arenas of life you can take to the bank: good and fair wages, health, and safety in the workplace. In the world of porn, none of those goods are on offer.
RELATED: Duke Porn Star Speaks Out: ‘I’m Not Being Exploited, I Love What I’m Doing’