"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Girl of the Day - Scarlett Johansson

After becoming an icon in the popular culture, she appears to have decided to use her talent in some interesting ways in recent movies like Under the Skin, Chef, Don Jon, and Lucy.   It will be fascinating to watch her try to thread the needle that so many actresses can't thread as she moves into her 30s and older roles.  

But, anyway, who am I kidding?


8 Scarlett Johansson Plastic Surgery

A Thought Experiment on Grubergate

FILE - In this May 12, 2009, file photo Jonathan Gruber, professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, participates in a Capitol Hill hearing on the overhaul of the heath care system in Washington. A supporter of the Affordable Care Act, Gruber says,





















Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online recently offered this observation on what has become known as Grubergate:
In a lot of ways, this spectacle represents not just everything’s that’s wrong with the Obama administration, it’s everything wrong with liberalism and a lot that’s wrong with America itself.  You’ve got this guy who is pretending to be an objective independent analyst, who’s got huge amounts of skin in the game in terms of money he can make off of consulting fees, but also of the prestige being involved and the speeches he could do which haven’t been tallied into these numbers — anyway, it’s millions of dollars – being touted around through a transmission belt of liberal journalists, who all are all pretending to be objective analysts too, quoting each other, reaffirming each other, all with the help of the White House which went along with this soup to nuts – a process which this guy says was all about lies and misleading the American people. And then when caught about it, the same administration tries to dismiss him as if he was just some sort of random White House intruder. The whole thing stinks.

Let's play a thought experiment.  

Imagine there is a University of Chicago economist.   They tend to be somewhat more free market oriented than the Harvard-MIT ilk represented by Gruber.   And imagine there's a Republican President.   A policy is proposed to ratchet back the minimum wage from wherever it ends up at the end of Obama's administration-by-fiat to $5 for teenagers 17 and under who are enrolled full-time in high school.   The policy is touted as a way to permit young people without any skills, particularly poor inner city youths,to gain work experience.   The University of Chicago economist presents "objective" testimony about his studies of the proposal to Congress suggesting that the proposal will have wonderful positive effects on inner city youths.  The President and his Administration make a year-long effort in speeches and other events to "sell" the program to the communities it would affect the most, relatively poor African-American and Hispanic communities in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, St. Louis, Baltimore, D.C., Oakland, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit.   In their speeches they laud the U of C economist's credentials and expertise, arguing that objective economic "science" supports their proposal.  

Imagine it passes.  

Now imagine that the "research" the U of C economist presented was not just wrong, but consciously misleading.   And imagine that, in a light-hearted but revealing moment at an academic conference, he referred to the communities to whom the program was sold as being "stupid" or "ignorant."

Now imagine too that the same U of C economist was secretly being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Republican President's Department of Commerce, and then also getting millions more from private employers (say, McDonalds) who supported the idea because it will allow them much lower labor costs and higher profits.  

Do you think that the media would think that was a news story?  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

From a George Will column about Wisconsin's school choice program, and the federal government's attempts to harass religious schools:

The bigger government becomes, the bolder it becomes in bullying people with legal complexities, confident that its nastiness will rarely be noticed because there is simply too much government to monitor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More on Grubergate

A terrific piece on the Jonathan Gruber Obamacare lies from Jake Tapper, one of the few journalists left who can reasonably be described as objective:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Girl of the Day - Megyn Kelly

megyn kelly





































She's fallen in the honey pot at FoxNews, of course, but I suspect she would have made it big in anything she did.   A smart cookie, even if you ignore the obvious.   She turns 44 today.


Jon Gruber, Rent-Seeker





























The recent kerfuffle surrounding Youtube comments from Jonathan Gruber, the MIT professor of economics who consulted with the Obama administration on the design of Obamacare, is instructive on many levels.

As a political matter, it of course shows how dishonest the proponents of Obamacare were.    From "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" on, Obamacare, as Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is fond of saying, was Potemkin villages all the way down.   Gruber's admissions that the bill was written and sold based on a conscious "lack of transparency" (his words) merely confirms what we knew all alongg.

As a cultural matter, it also has shown in nearly crystalline form how the coastal liberal elites view the rest of us.   What kind of person routinely talks about the "stupidity" of his fellow citizens, as Gruber habitually does?   They look on the rest of us as rubes, as plebeians who need to be governed by an avant-garde of intellectuals from the Harvards of the world.   This is not a new phenomenon -- FDR's Brain Trust was similarly populated by Ivy Leaguers -- but it's become more open.   Gruber is apparently the kind of fellow who might tell you his SAT scores from thirty years ago.... and thinks that it's OK to do so.   He's also the kind of guy who apparently demands that you call him "Dr. Gruber."   As a Ph.D. who wouldn't be caught dead referring to myself as "Dr. Regular Guy" (my rule has always been that, if I can't help you when you're having a heart attack, I shouldn't call myself "Doctor"), all I can say is.... pathetic.

Finally, and perhaps more sadly, as an economic matter Gruber reflects a sad truth about our civilization as a sputtering engine of economic growth.   Truth be told, he undoubtedly is a very smart fellow.   But he went to MIT and then straight to graduate school at Harvard and then straight back to MIT in 1992 at the age of 27 as an assistant professor, without ever pausing apparently to GET A REAL JOB.    What has this smart man ever built or manufactured or invented?   Instead, he has apparently become famous and relatively wealthy (witness the consulting fees he's garnered from federal and state governments) by leveraging his status as an "expert" on health care... by rent-seeking.   To the degree that our civilization's best and brightest find their paths to success in law and lobbying and consulting and crony capitalism and education and government... rather than in business, manufacturing, entrepreneurship... we are likely doomed to a slow and inevitable decline.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Latest From the Regular Son

The ability to paint is mysterious to me.   Great ability is miraculous.   When it's emerging in your own progeny, it's both odd and wonderful.   Anyway, here's the latest from the Regular Son:



Girl of the Day - Jean Seberg

Jean Seberg Photographic Print


Born today in 1938, Jean Seberg was a very lovely actress from the 1960s who starred in a very odd movie that for some reason has stuck in my memory, Paint Your Wagon, a Western musical starring, oddly enough, Lee Marvin and a young Clint Eastwood.   Eastwood singing is one of the most dissonant (culturally, not musically... he actually sings OK and is a fine musician) things I have ever seen or heard.   Imagine John Wayne in drag doing La Cage Aux Folles.

Seberg is an interesting figure.    An Iowa girl, she became best known as the star of French New Wave films, in particular the great Breathless directed by FrancJean Luc Godard (1960).   She also managed to become the target of an FBI counterintelligence probe in the 1960s, which some say led to her blacklisting and drove her into serious depression. 

Sadly, Miss Seberg committed suicide at age 40.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Obama's Aloofness?

2014-10-12-obama.jpg


Here's an interesting description of President Obama from one of the last century's greatest historians, Robert Conquest:

The great intellectual, the great administrator, the great orator lacked one quality essential... to the great political leader.   [He] could fire masses of men to acclaim and follow him.   But he had no talent for leadership among equals.  He could not establish his authority among colleagues by the modest arts of persuasian or by sympathetic attention to the views of men of lesser intellectual calibre than himself.   He did not suffer fools, and he was accused of being unable to brook rivals.... As soon as he had finished [his speech] he left the hall.   There was no personal contact in the corridors.   This aloofness, I believe, may partly explain [his] inability as well as his unwillingness to build a large personal following among the rank and file of the Party.

Doesn't that perfectly capture Obama's arrogance, his narcissism, his unwillingness to credit the intelligence of others, his lack of fellow feeling, even with his ideological compatriots, his distance from his own party's leaders on Capitol Hill?   Wow... Conquest, the great historian of Russia in the 20th Century, really nailed it about our current President.  

Except...

Wait a minute...

Did I read that wrong?...

Oh, oops...

Actually that wasn't Obama Conquest was talking about.   It was this guy.




Leon Trotsky.

My bad.

But, then again, leftists never change, do they?

Is Obama Actually a Wildly Successful President?

barack-obama-laughing


























After the mid-term elections there has been a lot of talk about how the results proved that Obama is a failed President.   The economy has been stagnant, American foreign policy is in tatters, our immigration policy and control of our borders are incoherent; the administration has been wracked with scandals, the most egregious of which have arisen from aspects of the federal government that have become nearly tyrannical (the IRS and the NSA).   We want a robust American economy and a strong and dominant American military respected throughout the world.  We want our borders protected and the rule of law on immigration and citizenship followed.   We don't want our federal government intimidating or spying on American citizens.  

But what if Obama doesn't want the same things we want?

Consider all of the same developments from the perspective of someone who doesn't actually like America, someone who wants America to get a comeuppance, someone whose allegiances are to the Third World, someone who believes Western Civilization has been a collection of evils -- racism, imperialism, capitalism.   Wouldn't all the same things that we think are bad developments instead be celebrated?

Look, I'm not really saying that Obama is some kind of Manchurian Candidate who wanted all along to bring down America.   I think he's a malignant narcissist who cares only about his own place in history as a quasi-Messiah.   I also very much think he wants to cash in big on book deals and speaking engagements after he leaves office.   How can he best do so?   My theory is that he can best do so by solidifying his legacy as a Hero of the Left.
  • Socialized medicine?   Check.
  • Gay marriage?   Check.
  • Draconian environmental regulations?   Check.
  • Tax the rich?  Check.
  • Shrink the military?   Check.
  • Reduce American prestige and power overseas?   Check.
  • Accelerate the transformation of the federal government into a left-wing Fifth Column, even during Republican administrations?   Check.  
If you look at it that way, Obama looks wildly successful as President.

And... just wait for the hagiography to start when he's out of office.   The first black President will, within 25 years, become a secular saint, in the same way that Nelson Mandela did.   He'll command $50 million for a three-book deal the day he leaves office.   He'll get $500,000 a speech and give 50-100 of them a year.   By the time he's out of office 10 years (when he'll still only be 65), he'll likely be a billionaire.  

That's why he's laughing.... all the way to the bank.  

Girl of the Day - Grace Kelly



























It seems quite odd to think that Grace Kelly would have been 85 today.   Perhaps because she died relatively young, and even more perhaps because she retired from acting very early, she seems in my mind to be frozen in the early 1950s when she was easily the most beautiful actress in Hollywood.

Birthday Today - Neil Young



The great Neil Young is 69 today, but looks older.   Hard living, I suspect.   But great, great, unique music, driven by the most idiosyncratic voice in rock-and-roll.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Birthday Today - John P. Marquand


Born today in 1893, Marquand is one of my favorite novelists.   He wrote big bestsellers in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and all of them are good... the type of grown up novel about grown ups that doesn't get written anymore.    My favorites include:  Wickford Point (1939), So Little Time (1943), Point of No Return (1949), and Women and Thomas Harrow (1958).  

He looked like a successful businessman, which, on one level, he was.   He was a professional writer who made his living writing.   He wasn't an academic; he wasn't on a government grant.   In fact, in Wickford Point he gives a hilarious send-up of an academic trying to write a "Great American Novel."   No one teaches him anymore and perhaps few people read him.   But if you want to find out what America was like before the 1960s, i.e., when we were still a coherent civilization, read Marquand or James Gould Cozzens or John O'Hara.  

In a Better World, This Fellow Would Be Facing Prosecution

Here's Jon Gruber, the acknowledged architect of Obamacare, telling an audience of nodding liberal academics how they had to hide the essence of the law (it's a tax on healthy people to pay for healthcare for unhealthy people) in order to get it passed:





Hmmmm... could an enterprising U.S. Attorney on, say, January 21, 2017 (i.e., one appointed by the next, hopefully Republican President) start a public corruption investigation seeking prosecutions of everyone involved in this scheme to defraud?   Under the mail and wire fraud statutes, a scheme to defraud can include "a scheme . . . to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services." (18 USC section 1346).   Well, maybe... but I can tell you that this has a lot more meat than the "prosecutions" of Scott Walker in Wisconsin  over the past couple of years.

This really is the nadir of our civilization. These are all highly educated liberal intellectuals, likely all with Ivy League pedigrees, and they all seem to be nodding in agreement to the notion that committing a vast fraud upon the American public is just "smart politics."  Machiavelli goes mainstream, in other words.

Terrifying.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Obama Trajectory





























If you were a Democrat, what would you think about this trajectory?

  • In 2008 there were 257 Democrats elected to the House.
  • In 2008 there were 58 Democrats (and two independents who caucused with the Democrats) elected to the Senate.
  • In 2014 there are 180-185 Democrats elected to the House.
  • In 2014 there are 43-44 Democrats elected to the Senate (although there are still two independents who might caucus with the Democrats; on the other hand, there's some chance that a relatively conservative Democrat who knows the score in his state like Joe Manchin might switch to become a Republican).
That's what you call a failed Presidency.

Girl of the Day - Hot Stove League Edition

Only five months until baseball season starts!   Can't wait!

Step 5: Continue standing. Bask in adoration.

The Tsunami of 2014

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At one point on Tuesday night, much of the on-air talent for FoxNews were openly laughing at Juan Williams, the lone Democrat on the panels, who was refusing to acknowledge that the election had been a "wave" for the Republicans.    Late in the evening, when it became obvious that Republicans not only would win the Senate, but would win a historic majority in the House, and would also win governorships in blue states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois, even Williams relented.   It was a wave.   But... what does it mean?

1.  The Republican brand is not ascendant.   Let's start with what it doesn't mean.   I don't believe that this election necessarily means that the Republican brand is ascendant.   The GOP ran a largely negative campaign (and correctly so) that criticized the Obama administration on competence grounds without offering any very large new ideas for governance.   They'll have to do so in 2016 if they hope to win the Presidency.   Competence won't be a good enough argument... they'll need an actual program.   My big idea... fracking, fracking and more fracking to make American energy independent and to fuel a 21st century boom, while at the same time defunding the Wahabbis in the Middle East.    This is why the first thing out of the box for the GOP should be a bill to permit the Keystone Pipeline.

2.  The Democratic brand is tarnished, but not dead.   I also don't think that the election means that the Democratic Party brand is ruined forever.   In many of the key Senate races it seemed to me that the problem wasn't the Party, but the specific candidate or the candidate's specific strategy, and sometimes simply the particular state.   Dems are always going to be at a big disadvantage in states like Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, etc., because they are basically conservative states.   For many of them (North Carolina comes to mind), the incumbent Senator had won by a fluke in 2008 when the economy crashed and Obama was a the knight in shining armor coming to rescue us.    But the basic demographics and ideologies of the state lean red, and that meant they were ripe for GOP pickups.   In other states (like Colorado), the candidate for the Dems simply had an outdated strategy.   He ran on the "war on women."   But Americans (and particularly American women) aren't worried about losing contraception... they're worried about Ebola, and open borders, and ISIS.   The Dems in CO were still stuck on 2012 Sandra Fluke when they should have been talking about how to keep American women safe in 2014 from organ-dissolving viruses and Islamist beheaders.   Finally, and without putting too big a point on it... every Democratic candidate in a key Senate race was white.   Kay Hagan... white woman.    Mark Warner... rich white guy.    Alison Grimes... white woman.   Greg Orman.... rich white guy.   It's sad to say, but black Americans tend to vote tribally, and won't turn out in huge numbers unless there is a prominent black candidate to support.   To win, Dems need to field more black candidates.   (The GOP seems to have figured this out... there were a lot of GOP candidates who were either Hispanic or black who won on Tuesday... Tim Scott in SC, the heart of the Confederacy, comes to mind.)    I doubt the Dems will miss this obvious point next time.

3.   The Obama Effect.  Finally, my one big takeaway from the night... the Emperor Has No Clothes moment regarding Obama has finally arrived.   The incompetence of the Obamacare rollout, the failure of the stimulus to stimulate, the various alphabet scandals (IRS, NSA, VA), the myriad failures in foreign policy that have made America look weaker and weaker (chaos in Libya, beheadings in Iraq, nuclear weapons in Iran, an aggressive Russia, a soon to be aggressive China), the cover-ups, the erased emails... it has all added up to bring the country to the tipping point.   But what has tipped us over the edge is simply Obama himself.   He has become an extremely unlikeable figure... the pedantic sourpuss who just keeps boring us with the same cant phrases, who can't really do much of anything himself but always is quick to blame others for the failings; the egomaniac who, despite the ample evidence to the contrary, continues to think he is the smartest thing ever and everyone else is beneath him.   After six years of that, Americans are just sick of the guy.   We've tuned out.   We're not tuning back in.   What this means however is that, where the Democrats might have worried about what their party would do after Obama, now my sense is that they can't wait to lift this albatross from around their neck.  

41







































Drudge has a story up about George W. Bush's new book about his father, 41, which will be published later this month, just in time for the Christmas book-buying season.   My prediction:  it will be a huge best-seller because (a) there is an enormous, albeit quiet respect and even love for the Bush family in the country; (b) because George W. Bush provides such a stark contrast to the current President.   A second prediction:  I won't be the only one to notice the contrast.

Bush’s Prophetic Iraq Warning - Miss me yet?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Top 10 Liberal Myths

From a terrific piece by Kate Bachelder in the Wall Street Journal entitled "The Top 10 Liberal Superstitions":
1. Spending more money improves education. 
The U.S. spent $12,608 per student in 2010—more than double the figure, in inflation-adjusted dollars, spent in 1970—and spending on public elementary and secondary schools has surpassed $600 billion. How’s that working out? Adjusted state SAT scores have declined on average 3% since the 1970s, as the Cato Institute’s Andrew Coulson found in a March report.  
No better news in the international rankings: The Program for International Student Assessment reports that in 2012 American 15-year-olds placed in the middle of the pack, alongside peers from Slovakia—which shells out half as much money as the U.S. per student.  
Someone might mention this to North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is knocking State House Speaker Thom Tillis for cutting $500 million from schools. Per-pupil K-12 spending has increased every year since Mr. Tillis became speaker in 2011, and most of what Ms. Hagan is selling as “cuts” came from community colleges and universities, not the local middle school. Mr. Coulson’s Cato study notes that North Carolina has about doubled per-pupil education spending since 1972, which has done precisely nothing for the state’s adjusted SAT scores.

In case you were wondering, the rest of the top 10 liberal superstitions are:

2. Government spending stimulates the economy.
3. Republican candidates always have a big spending advantage over Democrats. 
4. Raising the minimum wage helps the poor. 
5. Global warming is causing increasingly violent weather.
6. Genetically modified food is dangerous.        
7. Voter ID laws suppress minority turnout. 
8. ObamaCare is gaining popularity.
9. The Keystone XL pipeline would increase oil spills.
10. Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar compared with men.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ace is Killing Mary Burke on Twitter

Ace of the Ace of Spades HQ blog is hilariously spoofing Mary Burke and her "I wasn't fired from my family's bicycle business" position on Twitter:


Unbelievable - Project Veritas' Expose of Voter Fraud by Democrats in North Carolina




Now, maybe James O'Keefe's folks came across some Democratic Party representatives who thought twice about recommending to the undercover "illegal" what they had to know would be felonious non-citizen voting.   Maybe O'Keefe left those parts out.   But this is pretty damning stuff... Democrat after Democrat saying "no problem" when an illegal alien with a Spanish accent tells them she wants to vote.

Remember this next time you hear Democrats talk about how Republicans are trying to "disenfranchise" someone by demanding photo IDs for voting.   The reality is... every time an illegal alien votes, he cancels out the vote of an American citizen, effecitvely disenfranchising them.   In fact, I would argue that not having stringent photo ID (including identifying whether the voter is an American citizen) invariably dilutes the vote of citizens and is itself unconstitutional.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Very Good News About the Walker-Burke Race

From the Marquette poll:

Final pre-election Marquette Law School Poll finds Walker leading Burke in Wisconsin governor’s race

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll finds Republican Gov. Scott Walker leading Democratic challenger Mary Burke 50 percent to 43 percent among likely voters in the Wisconsin governor’s race. Another 3 percent say that they are undecided or that they do not know whom they will support, while 1 percent say that they will vote for someone else. Likely voters are those who say that they are certain to vote in the November election.
Among registered voters in the poll, Walker receives 46 percent and Burke 45 percent, with 4 percent undecided and 1 percent saying that they will vote for someone else.
The poll interviewed 1,409 registered voters, including 1,164 likely voters, by landline and cell phone Oct. 23-26. For the full sample of 1,409 registered voters, the margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points. The margin of error for the sample of 1,164 likely voters is +/- 3.0 percentage points. This is the final Marquette Law School Poll before the Nov. 4 election.
The previous Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Oct. 9-12, found the race tied among likely voters, with the candidates holding 47 percent each, while 48 percent of registered voters supported Walker to Burke’s 45 percent support.



***

My thought... this has probably been the real race all along.   Burke is a nobody and a bad candidate... a trust fund kid with no accomplishments, no husband, no children.   Those last two things might make me sound mean, but it's simply reality... people like Burke who don't have children to me don't have skin in the game.   And they lack the life experience that parents have.   I think most people recognize that, and that the race has always been Walker's.   The MU poll is probably just catching up late to save its credibility... probably by adjusting how it screens for likely voters.   That's a very old gambit of pollsters.

The Lights Are Out Now

main image

They were on Tuesday night for Oscar Taveras' funeral.   I still can't talk about this and don't want to think about it.   I was trying to remember a similar situation in sports... maybe Len Bias in 1986?   I don't know.   But that wasn't one of my Cardinals.   Just a terrible, terrible thing.

Girl of the Day - Nazanin Boniadi




























Iranian-born Nazanin Boniadi plays an analyst turned spy on Showtime's Homeland series.   On the show they appear to dowdy her up a little.   Here's what she looks like in real life:

NazaninBoniadi1


Which leads me to the main problem with Homeland this year (among the myriad plot holes that the show has had every year)... the plot so far revolves around a young Pakistani med student who is related to a famous terrorist, and Carrie Matheson's attempt to turn him into a CIA assset by seducing him.   First she tries using Fara (the Nazanin Boniadi character), but he rejects her.   So Carrie has to do the seduction herself, ending up bedding the 21 year-old boy-man.   But, good gracious... what man in his right mind would reject this girl?   And certainly not for the schizo, 35 year-old spymaster who's just back from having a baby by a C-section (ickily noted during the show's love scene).  

Am I the only one who notices this?

"Worse than anything Nixon ever did."


























Hard to even know what to say about this story about former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, and what happened to her when she was breaking the Benhazi cover-up story:

Next big moment: Attkisson gets her computer checked out by someone identified as “Number One,” who’s described as a “confidential source inside the government.” A climactic meeting takes place at a McDonald’s outlet at which Attkisson and “Number One” “look around” for possibly suspicious things. Finding nothing, they talk. “First just let me say again I’m shocked. Flabbergasted. All of us are. This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America.” That’s all coming from “Number One.” 
The breaches on Attkisson’s computer, says this source, are coming from a “sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency (NSA).” Attkisson learns from “Number One” that one intrusion was launched from the WiFi at a Ritz Carlton Hotel and the “intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool.” 
To round out the revelations of “Number One,” he informs Attkisson that he’d found three classified documents deep inside her operating system, such that she’d never know they were even there. “Why? To frame me?” Attkisson asks in the book. 
So CBS News hires an independent computer analyst whom Attkisson identifies as “Jerry Patel,” also a pseudonym. He finds a massive amount of suspicious activity in the computer, including the removal of all kinds of log messages. The author describes the scene as “Patel” does his work: “Now he’s breathing heavily. It alarms me because it alarms him and he’s not easily alarmed. His voice becomes more formal and he launches into what sounds like a speech for posterity. ‘In my professional opinion, someone has accessed this box … I see evidence that shows a deliberate and skilled attempt to clean the log files of activity.’” Intrusions of this caliber, concludes “Patel,” are “far beyond the the abilities of even the best nongovernment hackers.”

Too easy:   if this were a Republican administration, we'd already have impeachment articles drawn up.

Closer to the truth:  we are in the first moments of what will be a long war between citizens and the soft totalitarianism of the vast federal bureaucracy.  

Two Stories About Voting That Are Really the Same Story

Wisconsin, my home state, passed a voter ID bill years ago, but it has never been implemented due to legal challenges from Democratic Party groups.   They say it disenfranchises the poor citizen who may not have a photo ID.   Reading between the lines, what they mean is that it disenfranchises the poor black citizen and that Republican efforts to pass and enforce voter ID laws are racist attempts to "suppress" the black vote, which, of course, votes predominantly for Democrats.   Whether that is so (the huge black turnouts in 2008 and 2012 suggest that African-Americans don't have trouble getting to the polls), and whether it actually shows the racism of liberals (are black voters really too stupid to obtain photo IDs... I doubt it)... those are topics for another day.

But here are two stories that show that the issue of photo IDs isn't that having them disenfranchises American citizens, but that not having them enfranchises non-citizens.   Here's the first story, about a study of voting patterns in the past few elections:
But persuasive evidence that vote fraud is both real and consequential has appeared. A new academic paper published in the journal Electoral Studies provides evidence of voting by non-citizens that directly contradicts the Democrats’ “nothing to see here” mantra. Under the neutral headline “Do Non-Citizens Vote in U.S. Elections?” three professors from Virginia universities answer in the affirmative. Using an enormous database of voters nationwide (32,800 from 2008, and 55,400 in 2012), the authors find that about one-quarter of the non-citizens who participated in the survey were registered to vote. 
Studying survey responses, the authors judge that non-citizen voters tend to favor Democratic candidates by large margins. 
In many states, their participation wouldn’t be large enough to make a difference, but in North Carolina in 2008, the authors calculate, non-citizens may well have tipped the state into Obama’s column. “So what?” you may say. Even if John McCain had won that state, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the national election. True, but remember the presidential race in 2000? Remember “hanging chad” Florida? 
Several House seats, and one very significant Senate seat, were probably won by Democrats on the strength of illegal votes. In 2008, the authors note, Senator Al Franken won by just 312 votes in Minnesota. That seat was the sixtieth vote to give Democrats a filibuster-proof supermajority to pass major legislation such as Obamacare. “[Voting] participation by just 0.65 percent of non-citizens in Minnesota is sufficient to account for the entirety of Franken’s margin,” the authors write. “Our best guess is that nearly ten times as many voted.”
Now, if that's not chilling enough, here's today's story about how La Raza, the Hispanic immigration pro-amnesty group, is promoting a list of states where there are no requirements for photo ID to vote:
The pro-amnesty Hispanic activist organization the National Council of La Raza helpfully promoted a Washington Post article explaining which states people can vote in without having to use a photo ID. 
“Voter ID laws are at-issue across the country, with newly Republican-controlled legislatures having passed them in numerous states after the 2010 election,” explained The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake. “Most states still request some form of ID, but don’t require it. Another 20 states don’t require identification. In case you’re wondering where your state is at in all of this, a helpful (sic) graphic from the Post’s graphics team.” 
So who ended up using the Post’s helpful graphic? The country’s foremost pro-amnesty Hispanic immigrant organization.

Hmmmm...

This is why Republicans have to win outside the margin of cheating.   Because if the Democrats can steal a close election, they will steal a close election, with non-registered voters, felon voters, and non-citizen voters casting ballots for liberal Democratic candidates who, not incidentally, plan to enact more and more wealth transfer programs and less and less restrictions on immigration and, ultimately, amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

If You've Lost Jimmy Carter...

Oh, dear.

Carter said it was hard to figure out exactly what President Obama’s policy is in the Middle East. 
“It changes from time to time,” Carter said. “I noticed that two of his secretaries of defense, after they got out of office, were very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the president.”

If Jimmy Carter thinks you are weak and vacillating in your foreign policy, maybe you should get out of the President business.  

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/10/08/3344313_jimmy-carter-unhappy-with-obamas.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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