Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 11:58 am
[This is part of the script from the latest episode of my podcast, "Consider This!"]
A Rasmussen poll release on June 27th found that 26% of Obama voters think Tea Partiers are a bigger terror threat than radical Muslims. Fred Thompson asked in a tweet, “So… how many people were killed by exploding Constitutions?”
Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 at 12:32 pm
A portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was struck down by the Supreme Court. The Act itself wasn’t chucked, just the way that it was determining which states came under it. The era of poll taxes and literacy tests are gone, and the disparity between whites and blacks regarding voter participation have been erased. The state with the largest gap between white and black voter turnout these days is Massachusetts, for cryin’ out loud. And in Mississippi in the 21st century, black turnout exceeds white turnout. But the VRA was still punishing the South for race disparities in voting that have long been remedied.
So then, is 50-year-old data better than current information when trying to determine who should come under the Voting Rights Act? Have we learned nothing from the mistakes of the past? The four liberal Supreme Court justices, Attorney General Eric Holder, and President Obama would answer No to both those questions, at least based on the outrage they feigned over the ruling. They can’t seem to bring themselves to believe that progress has actually occurred. Or they’re pandering to their base. Either way, to call requiring these stats to be updated “turning back the clock” is cognitive dissonance of the highest order. The request is that the clock be turned forward, and Democrats are against it. Or they are pretending to be against it, and hoping that their base isn’t paying attention.
If you are a Democrat, and you’ve wondered why Republicans are often wary of laws that try to remedy sins of the past, this is exhibit A. Here is a law trying to do such a thing, but it’s stuck in the culture and racism of the 1960s, and any attempt to acknowledge repentance from those sins is taken, by liberals, to be just as bad. And if you want to take politically corrective legislation like the Voting Rights Act and update it for today’s reality, you must be racist.
Ronald Reagan quipped that government programs are the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth. But the Supreme Court didn’t do away with the VRA, it just said that it should be relevant. Those politicos that spoke out against this eminently reasonable decision are, in my mind, just as irrelevant as 50-year-old statistics.
Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 5:24 pm
The housing bubble, anyone remember it? That’s when people who would not have otherwise been able to get credit to buy a house were given it anyway because the government pressured banks to do it. Everybody gets a home, and if you’re against this policy, you clearly hate the poor. Then the bubble burst, defaults were rampant, and more government programs had to be thought up to save us from the previous government programs. And, as Bruce McQuain notes at the Q&O blog, yes, the government’s meddling is what caused that sub-prime mortgage meltdown, which then was a huge contributor to the subsequent recession.
And now we have this.
The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place.
President Obama’s economic advisers and outside experts say the nation’s much-celebrated housing rebound is leaving too many people behind, including young people looking to buy their first homes and individuals with credit records weakened by the recession.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to … create public policy to repeat it. It’s allegedly being instituted to allow the poor to participate in the housing recover, but you can be sure that it won’t be a temporary measure, because any attempt to return to semi-sane credit checks will, will, be demagogued, once again, as eeevil Republicans throwing the poor out on the streets. This has to prove without a doubt that Democrats only care about intentions, not results. Even if the results have just finished happening.
Short-attention span voters love this stuff. Obama just thinks anything Bush did he can do better, and in this case, he very well could. We just did this, like, six years ago, and Barney Frank told us it was all good and not to worry. And then we had to bail out a bunch of banks, because we made them make loans to people who couldn’t pay them back, because, you know, racist / sexist.
Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 12:38 pm
The President has been treating the cuts from the sequester as some sort of budget Armageddon; blaming Republicans and talking up how much they’ll hurt. Here’s another perspective on these cuts from people who look more closely at our financial situation.
Credit rating agencies are shrugging off sequestration, saying the U.S. government will need to do more to reduce the deficit if it wants to prevent a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.
While the agencies say the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts represent at least a step towards deficit reduction, they argue much more is needed to prevent the United States from losing its “AAA” rating.
“It’s not the most ideal outcome,” said David Riley, Fitch Rating’s global managing director for sovereign ratings, on CNBC Europe. “You’d rather have intelligent cuts and some revenue measures as well … but we don’t live in an ideal world, and it’s better to have some deficit reduction than none at all.”
The agencies view it as a positive sign that Congress did not simply scrap the unpopular sequester. Erasing the cuts without coming up with an alternative, something pushed by some liberal lawmakers, would have added to the deficit and debt and further pressured agencies to downgrade the nation’s credit rating.
They are glad Congress didn’t scrap it, but the year’s still young. In any event, when you hear Democrats freak out about these cuts, just remember that the credit agencies are yawning.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 12:12 pm
When a nut shot Gabby Giffords, the Left blamed it on the Tea Party and thought Sarah Palin should apologize or reach out. LA shooter Chris Dorner idolizes the Left, and suddenly the media is a model of restraint.
Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force in the universe that they were. Had either shooter possessed even a tenuous link to a conservative group, a media-driven hysteria about the malevolent influence of right-wing broadcasters and commentators would be gripping the nation today. Fortunately, when a crazed shooter’s ideology is explicitly and demonstrably left-wing, the media displays admirable restraint about linking a gunman’s politics to their acts of violence.
Monday, February 11th, 2013 at 12:44 pm
It’s one thing to criticize decisions. It’s another to realize you have to make the same ones you criticized. But Barack Obama has been continuing the same war policies from the Bush administration that he ran against. It’s amazing what getting the job has on your view of the job
If President Obama tuned in to the past week’s bracing debate on Capitol Hill about terrorism, executive power, secrecy and due process, he might have recognized the arguments his critics were making: He once made some of them himself.
Four years into his tenure, the onetime critic of President George W. Bush finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country’s core values in the name of security.
(Oh, and the NY Times is just now realizing this?)
Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 1:14 pm
No, the Bush tax cuts didn’t cause the recession. Yes, Obama’s "recovery" has been the worst in history. These and other economic realities can be summed up in this graph. (Click for a larger version.)
A sex scandal involving adults and children under their charge. No, not the Catholic church of the 60s; the public schools of today.
While he did get the number wrong, Romney was right in that those who pay the least in income taxes are the least likely to vote for him.
The number of scientific papers that had to be retracted last year was a 10x increase over the rate during the previous decade. And a study of those retractions finds that 3/4ths of those retractions were due to misconduct rather than honest mistakes.
Good news in the stem cell debate. "Two stem-cell researchers have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their groundbreaking work in cellular reprogramming, a technique that unleashed a wave of advances in biology, from cloning to the possible treatment of diseases using a patient’s own cells." That is, there is less of a reason to use embryonic stem cells, when adult ones will do just as well.
Hedging their bets? "A survey by the Pew Research Center discovered that 2.4 percent of Americans say they are atheists and 3.3 percent say they are agnostic. Among the atheists and agnostics, however, 6 percent said they pray daily."
Need more money for your school district, by proving how many students attend? Make them wear microchips. Privacy takes a back seat to cash.
And finally, some apt scripture for the VP debate last night. (Click for a larger version.)
Thursday, October 4th, 2012 at 1:03 pm
I know I’m biased, but Romney was mopping the debate floor with Obama last night. Even on the ObamaCare vs RomneyCare situation, he’s came out on top.
Some of the big-name liberals were astonished as well. Jeff Jarvis, media critic at BuzzFeed tweeted, "How did Obama get backed into the corner defending the death panel?" Indeed, Sarah Palin deserves an apology. Bill Maher had to admit, "i can’t believe i’m saying this, but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter". Markos Moulitsas of The Daily Kos top liberal blog lamented, "Nobody likes seeing a prevent defense in action, and that’s what Dems saw tonight."
Some good Tweets from the Right, too.
James Taranto: It’s a close one, but I’ll say Obama had a better night than Lehrer.
David Limbaugh: Again — listen to Obama- in almost every answer he focuses on what is and isn’t fair. He never addresses what will work esp 4 growht [sic] & debt
Blogger Ace of Spades quotes a pollster: Frank Luntz: "I have not had a group that swung this much. This is overwhelming for Romney. This is a big deal."
Again, I know I’m biased, but I think Romney won on substance as well as style; explaining the $716 billion he would put back in Medicare (and why), why RomneyCare was at least passed in a bipartisan way (as opposed to ObamaCare), and, as I said, getting Obama to admit and even defend "death panels".
It was a great first day of the rest of the campaign. Hopefully, this will translate into votes.
Monday, September 24th, 2012 at 1:03 pm
First, Senator Harry Reid comes out with an allegation that Mitt Romney had times in the past 10 years when he paid no taxes. His source remain some anonymous person formerly of Bain Capital. He beats this drum for weeks, in the media and on the Senate floor, insisting Romney prove his innocence instead of Reid prove his guilt.
Then Romney releases a summary of his past 20 years of tax returns. At no time in the past 2 decades did his effective tax rate dip below 13%. With that allegation proven false, does the Left demand accountability of Harry Reid, for making these unfounded charges? Do they ask who his unreliable source was?
No, they ask 10 more questions of Romney!
Y’know what this sounds like? It sounds like the Birthers who, after Obama produced his birth certificate, asked more and more questions of him, and dissected the PDF file that was given to them.
And what’s really telling is, if you look at the comments on that second link, there are those who are upset — upset — that Romney did not take his full charitable deduction for the $4 million he gave to charity so that he could say he never paid less than 13%. "That jerk; he gave more to charity than he took credit for!" Wow, really? Is that the petard you want to hoist yourselves on? And really; if he had taken the full deduction and brought his effective rate down to 9%, you would have been OK with that?
Yeah, right. The screaming would have only been louder.
It’s Birtherism for taxes. I need to come up with a catchy name for that.
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 at 11:49 am
That’s the title of an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the results of a new study on how school vouchers affect their recipients.
President Barack Obama last month signed an executive order promising to "improve outcomes and advance educational opportunities for African Americans." The order instructs federal agencies to "promote, encourage, and undertake efforts" to increase "college access, college persistence and college attainment for African American students." Unfortunately, his administration remains opposed to the Opportunity Scholarship program in Washington, D.C., which lets students—mostly low-income and African-American—use a voucher to attend a private school.
Perhaps Mr. Obama will reconsider his position on vouchers now that we have for the first time tracked the impact of a voucher program all the way from kindergarten (in 1997) to college enrollment (in 2011). Our study compared students who won a voucher lottery with students who didn’t—the only difference between the groups was the luck of the draw, the gold standard in research design.
The study shows that an African-American student who was able to use a voucher to attend a private school was 24% more likely to enroll in college than an African-American student who didn’t win a voucher lottery.
Some take issue with voucher programs because the parents might actually spend the money on >gasp< religious schools (as noted in the article).
And given the money involved, they got better results for a lower cost.
These impacts are especially striking given the modest costs of the intervention: only $4,200 per pupil over a three-year period. This implies that the government would actually save money if it introduced a similar voucher program, as private-school costs are lower than public-school costs. To get a similar (19%) increase in college enrollment among African-Americans from a class-size reduction effort in Tennessee in the late 1980s, the public-school system had to spend $9,400 per pupil (in 1998 dollars).
But one of the barriers to this successful program is…politics, of course.
President Obama is certainly correct to identify the particularly steep educational barriers that African-American students must surmount if they are to become college-ready. And he seems to have nothing against private school per se, as he has long sent his own daughters to private schools. Yet—apparently thanks to opposition to vouchers from powerful teachers unions—the president still hasn’t taken the next step and helped open private-school doors for low-income children as well.
One more reason to consider when stepping into the voting booth this November.