Monday, November 19, 2018


A New Face and a New Mission For Republicans

Address by David Horowitz to a gathering of Colorado legislators following the mid-terms

Here’s my lesson from the recent election in my newly adopted state: You’re too damn nice.

Democrats call Republicans “racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, xenophobes” and “Nazis.” And Republicans call Democrats … “liberals.” Stop it! What are Democrats liberal about except sex, drugs, spending other people’s money, coddling criminals, giving America’s mortal enemies like Iran the benefit of the doubt, nuclear weapons and billions in cash to finance their terrorist activities, and opening borders to terrorists, sexual predators and whoever comes along? Democrats don’t even believe in due process any more. Innocent until proven guilty? That’s for aging white men – Republicans. The Democrats are satisfied with guilt by accusation. The Democratic Party is a party of racists, character assassins and, oh, liars. Say it.

Democrats, as should also be apparent from this election are the party of the rich – they outspent you by $330 million in this election. Why are you keeping that a secret? Why don’t you ever mention that fact and nail them for their hypocrisy as pretending to be champions of the poor? Democrats are the party of race and gender oppression: if you are white Christian and male, you are guilty before the fact, and if you are female or “of color,” you are innocent even if the facts prove you guilty. Democrats control every inner city of size in America 100%, and have for 50 to 100 years. Every injustice, every oppression, every killing field, every failed school system which year in and year out destroys the lives of poor mainly black and Hispanic children, Democrats are 100% responsible for. Yet you are too polite to ever mention it. Democrats are a party of racists with their boot heels on the necks of the inner-city poor, mainly black and Hispanic. Fight fire with fire. Before you say anything else, blast them with these facts. You need this to neutralize their efforts to demonize you.

How did the Democratic Party become a party of leftwing racism and anti-Americanism? Through the schools. From kindergarten to university, American schools have been transformed by the ideological left into training and indoctrination centers for radical, anti-American ideas. On every publicly funded university campus from Boulder to Fort Collins, without exception, conservatives are as rare as unicorns, and conservative required texts and speakers as well. This purging of conservatives from publicly supported schools does not happen by accident. Yet it has happened over a forty-year period without any challenge from Republican legislators.

Fifteen years ago, I came to Colorado to launch a campaign for an Academic Bill of Rights that would ensure that university students were presented with two sides to controversial questions, presented in a fair-minded manner, and that they would have access to required readings from conservatives as well as leftists. I met with eleven of you at the Brown Palace. John Andrews who was then leader of the Colorado senate sponsored a resolution supporting my bill that was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature.

But Republicans lost the elections the following year, and nothing was ever done to implement viewpoint diversity in the educational system. During the next fifteen years, while Republicans did nothing to push back, the academic left became more and more radical, so now the primary curriculum of the liberal arts divisions of Colorado public universities, teaches hatred of white Christian males, and hatred of this great democracy they created.

I’m back again to try to prod you to do something so that the destructive left doesn’t have another 15 years to groom communist cadres to enter the Democratic Party and work to destroy this country.

To begin with, I would like to persuade you to form a committee or caucus that focuses on education, and specifically on what is taught in the classroom, rather than just educational budgets and the like. Let me give you can idea of what is being taught in the classroom. Here is a curriculum that ought to make your hairs stand on end. It is called “Forms of Oppression.”

When I hear the word “oppression” in reference to America, I immediately know that there is an anti-American Marxist behind it. No one is oppressed in America – although you couldn’t tell that to Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren or the Democrat National Committee, who think America is a nation of racial and sexual hierarchies, and is characterized by systemic racism and sexism. This is the leftwing, identity politics fantasy that warps the thinking of progressives and Democrats. The reality is nothing of the kind. No one – no race, no gender, no class - is oppressed in America. If they were there would be an exodus from this country. If you are oppressed and you are free to leave, you do. No one is leaving America. There are legions and caravans composed of people of color risking their lives to come here. Why do you think Haitians risk their lives to become Americans? To be oppressed? On the contrary. They are desperate to come here because they have more rights, more privileges, more freedom and more opportunity as black Haitians in America than they do in Haiti, which has been run by blacks for over 200 years.

But in our schools they are teaching that America is a system of racial and sexual hierarchies oppressing women, minorities and the poor. This is the curriculum “Forms of Oppression” I just mentioned:



So, whites, heterosexuals, successful people, Christians are oppressors, while “people of color,” women, gays, poor people, and all religions but Christians are oppressed. And social justice requires attacks on white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege, class privilege and Christianity. This is the creed of cultural Marxism, and it is the current philosophy of the Democratic Party, and the American educational system, including all of Colorado’s universities.

This particular curriculum I have outlined – or rather provided the outline of, is not for college students, however. It has been drawn up especially for K-12 students. It is, in fact, a K-12 curriculum underwritten by the Santa Barbara California School District to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars. The organization responsible for it, which calls itself “Just Communities,” is already operating in a dozen states, and is only one of dozens, maybe hundreds of similar radical organizations that are providing K-12 curriculums across the country, including Black Lives Matter, and the Muslim Brotherhood front group, CAIR.

To combat these sinister forces, my organization has drawn up a “Code of Ethics for K-12 Teachers,” which would, if enforced, stop the current use of K-12 classrooms as political platforms for the left, and restore the only kind of education appropriate to a democracy – one that teaches students how to think, and doesn’t tell them what to think.

If you’re not familiar with what is going on in K-12 schools across the country, kindergarteners and first graders are being taught that they have “gender fluidity” and “white skin privilege,” and that the election of Donald Trump was a tragedy. The National Science Foundation has given a $1 million grant to Drexel University to train 20 teachers in “Social Justice in Mathematics,” which consists of using leftwing statistics as examples in arithmetic problems. Apparently no part of the K-12 curriculum is to be free of indoctrination in racist, destructive, and discredited leftwing ideas.

The whole nation witnessed what this politicization of the K-12 schools can entail following the Parkland School shooting, when Democrat-aligned teacher unions across the country, recruited their K-12 students to leave their classrooms and participate in a gun control “March for Life” to advance a specific Democrat political agenda.

How would the “Code of Ethics for K-12 Teachers” stop this politicization of our educational system? By legislation that would declare partisan advocacy unprofessional and unacceptable for K-12 teachers. Based on the Hatch Act, which prevents civil servants from using their position to advance partisan political agendas, the Code forbids public school teachers from advocating for a political candidate or political party in the classroom, and extends that principle to preventing them advocating on either side of any controversial issue. A controversial issue is defined as any issue that appears in the platform of a political party.

I would like you first to form an education caucus which would focus on these curriculum issues and see that teachers adhere to a professional standard appropriate to a democracy like ours. In addition to forming the aforementioned education caucus, I would like you to put the K-12 Code in statutory form, as has already been done in Virginia, and is being done in other states. Obviously, the legislation cannot be enacted at this moment, since you have lost your majority. But the battle is itself important, something that unlike Democrats, Republicans don’t often understand. The battle itself will draw attention to what is actually going on in our schools, and will have the effect of mobilizing parents to fight back.

I consider this to be one of the most important battles Republicans can wage. Not only because it exposes the racism of the identity politics left, and their abuse of our children. But because our country and its principles cannot survive if we surrender our schools to people at war with them.

SOURCE

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Crooks and Communists Fight to Lead House Democratic Caucus

These are the charmers in the new Democrat House

The chair of the Democratic Caucus is one of those influential positions that nobody thinks twice about.

In 2016, Rep. Linda Sanchez got to be the vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus and her appointment was touted as an identity politics first. To get the job, Rep. Sanchez had to beat out Rep. Barbara Lee, an admirer of murderous Communist dictator Fidel Castro. And Sanchez only beat out Lee by two votes.

Together with sister, Loretta Sanchez, who had warned, "the Vietnamese and the Republicans are... trying to take this seat", the Sanchez sisters were also the only disgraceful sister duo in the House.

Rep. Sanchez had set her sights on serving as the chair of the Democratic Caucus, a position formerly held by luminaries like Senator Bob Menendez, Rep. John Larson, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Dan Rostenkowski, sent to prison for mail fraud. But then her husband was indicted on corruption charges.

Sanchez announced that she was dropping out of the contest to due to “an unexpected family matter.”

”Earlier today I learned that my husband is facing charges in Connecticut,” Sanchez stated. “After careful consideration of the time and energy being in leadership demands, I have decided that my focus now needs to be on my son, my family, and my constituents in California."

James Sullivan, Sanchez’s husband, who served as the chair of the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Corporation, along with others is accused of misusing $800K from CMEEC on trips to the Kentucky Derby and luxury golf resorts, chartered planes and high end hotels.

The Justice Department press release mentions, “trips for Sullivan and his family members to attend the Kentucky Derby in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and airfare for a flight for Sullivan’s wife to travel to Key West, Florida, in December 2014.”

That refers to Rep. Linda Sanchez, whose House Democrats bio claims that she had fought to help “hard working people get ahead”.  Or at least the hard working horses at the Kentucky Derby

It’s best to focus on the needs of your constituents in California when flying to Florida and Kentucky at the expense of homeowners in Connecticut and the Department of Energy is no longer an option.

Sanchez’s office had claimed that the Kentucky Derby trip had been okayed by the House Ethics Committee whose approval she had sought “out of an abundance of caution”.

And then the FBI investigation began.

But that’s not the end of that scandal.

Norwich Public Utilities had also paid out $35,000 to settle a harassment complaint against Sanchez's husband by a female employee.

The love story of Sanchez and Sullivan was the usual romantic Democrat tale of crony love at taxpayer expense. Sullivan met Sanchez while on a trip to lobby Congress for an exception for stimulus spending for the Metropolitan District Commission in Hartford.

Sullivan talked Rep. Larson into getting his guys a taste of that sweet stimulus spending. Then Rep. Larson introduced his new best friend to Rep. Sanchez and it was a match made in the swamp.

James Sullivan brought back $90 million back for the MDC and married his blushing bride in Rep. Larson’s office. Rep. Sanchez described their relationship as, “down to earth, committed and heartfelt.”

Now it’s Sullivan who might end up being committed.

Rep. Larson, a major stimulus booster, was the former chair and vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Sullivan’s relationship with Rep. Larson dated back to his college days. Sullivan had tried to run for Congress and his bio describes him as “long active in Democratic Party politics” and a "delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention." He won his primary and was backed by the New York Times.

Sullivan seemed to combine his lobbying with JMS Consulting while serving as a board member and chairman at the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative and a board member and chairman at Norwich Public Utilities. Sullivan had been paid to lobby for the Metropolitan District Commission.

While Sullivan was on the CMEEC board, MDC got into business with the CMEEC. Sullivan was also paid to lobby for Brightfields, a solar energy company, which partnered with CMEEC for the “largest solar and energy storage system in Connecticut”.

If Rep. Sanchez had been a Republican, the entanglement of a House vice-chair in vice would have been front page news. Instead it was carefully buried. There were few stories about it before the midterms.

And almost all the coverage has been local.

With Rep. Sanchez out, the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Caucus has become a two person race between Rep. Barbara Lee, an admirer of Fidel Castro, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who was paid $1.65 million by a law firm for which he worked, even while holding public office, allegedly without any clear sign of ever working on a case. Once in the House, Rep. Jeffries had vowed to tackle Republican corruption.

It’s a tough choice.

Rep. Barbara Lee is a radical leftist who praised Castro for having, “led a revolution in Cuba that led social improvements for his people.”

“We need to stop and pause and mourn his loss,” she had declared after his death.

Rep. Sanchez had only beaten out Rep. Lee for vice chair of the Democratic Caucus by two votes.

According to Jeffries, he received $1.52 million from a personal injury firm from the $25 million judgement for Eugene Sims, an armed criminal shot during a struggle over a gun with a police officer.

The race between Rep. Lee and Rep. Jeffries will divide the Congressional Black Caucus between its older hidebound members and a new generation of smoother activists. Either way though the position will belong to the Progressive Caucus: Lee, Jeffries and Sanchez are all members of the radical lefty club.

But some members are more radical than others.

If Rep. Barbara Lee becomes the next House Democratic Caucus chair, she will be its most “progressive” yet. Lee has a history with the Black Panthers and of collaborating with Communists. When Rep. Lee accuses Trump of colluding with Russia, it’s coming from a woman who did collude with the USSR.

“Outraged by President Trump’s 2 hr meeting w/Putin, the man who orchestrated attacks on our democracy. Where do his loyalties lie?” Rep. Lee demanded.

That might be a better question to ask a politician who aided Communist regimes throughout the Cold War, and who was publicly supported by the Communist Party in the United States. She’s an opponent of Israel, and opposed military action after 9/11. She’s also the likely next House Dem Caucus chair.

Rep. Lee used to serve on the board of a Soviet front group. Now she’ll be near the top of the Dems.

The new Democrat House will be divided between corrupt crooks and crooked Communists. The nearly $1 billion that bought them the House in the midterms will be used to steal trillions at taxpayer expense.

Edwin Edwards had famously run against a neo-Nazi on the slogan, "Vote For the Crook. It's Important." The Democrats may have lost their chance to vote for the crook. They’re stuck with the Communist.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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Sunday, November 18, 2018



Laura Ingraham Issues Dire Warning To GOP: Fix Voter Fraud Or Kiss 2020 Goodbye

Laura Ingraham is sounding the alarm for the GOP to fix voter fraud or else risk losing the 2020 election at their own peril.

In an op-ed for Fox News, Ingraham began by recalling the John F. Kennedy victory over Nixon, where voter fraud in Illinois and Texas is believed to have been what propelled the young Democrat to victory in 1960.

“We may be witnessing yet another in a series of stolen elections in Florida,” she began. “Democrats are experts at pulling swifties at the ballot box, you know, it is widely believed that they resorted to voter fraud in Illinois and Texas to tilt the election of John F. Kennedy over Nixon in 1960. And they may be up to their old tricks again.”

The Daily Wire reports:

Since last week’s mid-term election, all eyes have been focused on Broward County in Florida, where County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes has been exposed as a woman of either gross incompetence or shrewd machinations. Finding ballots in the trunks of people’s cars, lack of transparency with officials on the ballot counting process, and mixing illegal provisional ballots in with legal ones are just a few of the allegations leveled against her. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has even called for Snipes to step down.

Ingraham rightly noted that Republicans who raised the issue of voter fraud in Florida were roundly dismissed by the media, with both The New York Times and Chris Cuomo of CNN asserting that no proof exists of voter fraud.

She provides some helpful facts:

Things are so bad in Palm Beach that Governor Rick Scott, who is in a tight Senate race there, sued the county election supervisor, Susan Bucher.

The judge determined that she had illegally withheld over voted and under voted ballots from the canvassing board. And worse, she has refused to allow public scrutiny of the ballots.​

And the governor has also sued Broward County election supervisor — something of, kind of her own rock star, these days, Brenda Snipes. Now, Snipes is a piece of work. Her predecessor literally walked out of her office in 2003 for a grave and neglect mismanagement and incompetence. Practically a tradition down there in Broward. And in May, a judge found Brenda Snipes guilty of illegally destroying ballots during a primary election in 2016. Then in August, a court found her guilty of secretly opening mail-in ballots, which is illegal in her state.

Then on Friday, Governor Scott won his lawsuit against Snipes. The court found that in this election, she continued to “discover” new ballots. She was found in violation of the state’s public records law and has been ordered to release information to Governor Scott. So far, she hasn’t complied with the order.

Ingraham concluded her piece by warning the GOP that they have to take voter fraud seriously or risk losing the 2020 election, which could come down to close calls in key swing states.

“We cannot allow this flouting of the rules and procedures by corrupt officials or political hacks,” Ingraham asserted. “We can’t let it stand. If we allow this to go unchecked, it will undermine our democracy, and like a contagion, it’s going to spread across the nation.”

“If this isn’t cleaned up, I’m telling you, the GOP can kiss any hopes of restoring their majority, let alone a presidential victory, well, they can kiss it bye-bye in 2020,” she concluded.

SOURCE 

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Nancy Pelosi Isn’t Radical Enough For The Democrats: It’s Ocasio Cortez’s Party Now

Socialist know-nothing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the future of the Democrat Party. Nancy Pelosi is its past, but she’s probably its present too despite threats to deny her another Speakership.

Spectator USA reports:

The Ocasio-Cortez contingent in the party has determined that Nancy Pelosi simply isn’t radical enough. That will be news to many on the American Right for whom she has served as a longtime bĂȘte noir and whose strident advocacy of San Francisco values provided fodder for countless Republican campaign ads and fundraising letters.

For Republicans she’s a radical who favors amnesty, citizenship, and voting rights for illegal aliens, government funded abortion on demand, and impeaching the president. But in the current Democrat Party she’s a mushy moderate. For her part, Ocasio-Cortez spent Tuesday, her first day in Washington, DC, protesting climate change in Pelosi’s office. And here I thought climate change was President Trump’s fault.

So what do Democrats want? For one thing, they seem to want people decidedly to the Left of Pelosi. After all, in the recently past election they elected not only Ocasio-Cortez but also fellow-travelers like Lauren Underwood in Illinois and the Israel-hating Ilhan Omar who has been accused of marrying her brother. But that doesn’t mean Pelosi won’t take up the Speaker’s gavel again. She’s a shrewd and ruthless political operator who retains the loyalty of much of the caucus, even though some progressives promised in their campaigns this fall that they would not support her. And Democrats might not want internal strife right now.

Two years ago, when Donald Trump’s victory made the white working class that year’s electoral unicorn, some Democrats thought they needed a leader like Tim Ryan, a white, male, blue-collar Democrat from a rust-belt district in Ohio. He unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for Speaker in 2017 and said the day before the midterms that he might do so again. This year, with a raft of recently-elected radical progressive women, Democrats are unlikely to find him compelling.

Democrats have, as ever, an aggressive legislative agenda that would, in Barack Obama’s words, ‘fundamentally transform the country’ but they know it’s going nowhere. House Democrats will probably pass a massive expansion of Medicaid, an amnesty bill, and maybe legislation to take control of elections away from the states. They won’t become law, but they will whet the appetite of their base and give them rallying points for their campaign to take control of the Senate in 2020 when Republicans will be defending 22 seats. But for now, with a divided Congress, everything but essential legislation will be mooted until 2021.

But unlike Republicans who, under the ineffectual leadership of the Ryan-McCarthy team dithered away two years of unified government, Democrats will use the power they have. And that means aggressive application of the House’s subpoena power to defame, delegitimize, and destroy the president and everyone in his circle. Already incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has made it clear that he intends to ‘go all in on Russia’ and impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

At this point, Nancy Pelosi, who was long on the leftward fringe of her party, is now no longer truly representative of the new Jacobins who form the center of power. But so far none have emerged to challenge her. That’s mostly structural: the powerful committee leaders, who ascend to power on seniority and fealty are mostly devoted to Pelosi, while the claque most likely to want to oust Pelosi is composed largely of backbenchers and incoming freshman.

What’s more, Pelosi has the backing of the institutional Left. The Washington Post reports that the pro-abortion lobbying and donation dispensing juggernaut, Emily’s List has made calls to incoming Democrats supporting Pelosi and that ‘The leaders of two major unions — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the American Federation of Teachers — sent letters Monday declaring their support.’ So while there’s probably an appetite for new leadership there is no obvious new leader. And as politicos are wont to remind us, you can’t be someone with no one. This means that the 78 year old Pelosi is very likely to become the next Speaker.

But given her age and often remarked upon public disorientation, Democrats should be considering the future. And that means grooming the next generation by replacing Steny Hoyer and others in the leadership structure. Ambitious Democrats who want to lead their party in the post-Pelosi era should be focusing their efforts there.

SOURCE 

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Socialism’s Empty Seduction

The overarching message of “The Opportunity Cost of Socialism”—a study recently released by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)—is that the advocacy of socialism cannot reasonably be based on policy preferences; its attraction has always been grounded in a combination of wishful thinking and ignorance. For example, the new CEA study shows that the socialist approach to “single payer” health care advocated by many on the left would cost much more and deliver much less, resulting in the significant worsening of mortality and morbidity, not just higher taxes and reduced economic growth.

One prominent opinion page editor described the CEA study’s conclusions to me as too obvious to warrant mention. That reaction reflects the problem the study seeks to remedy. Obvious facts about socialism are not discussed enough. Few people are willing to read 50-page studies like the CEA’s, and there has been very little media coverage of it—journalists or politicians who could summarize the CEA findings haven’t seen sufficient reason to do so (or may themselves be among the uninformed advocates of socialism). That is too bad because the ignorant advocacy of socialism is currently a significant threat to our democracy.

Socialism has existed in many forms which lie on a continuum, from the central planning nightmare of the USSR, to the Scandinavian democratic experiments of several decades ago. The idea that unites the various embodiments of socialism along that continuum is that economic freedom is counterproductive to the aspirations of humanity. It would be far better and fairer, socialists argue, for the state to distribute scarce resources rather than letting the market allocate goods and services by itself. Socialism seeks control of economic decisions, either through central planning or through expropriative taxation and regulation, in the interest of the common man.

The difference between market-based and socialist economies is not the presence of redistributive policies per se. For over a century, around the world, market-based economies have taxed and redistributed wealth, and provided a host of services such as public education and care for the poor, sick, and elderly. The difference is that in market-based systems taxation is regarded as an unfortunate burden, which is employed out of necessity to ensure that other priorities are achieved. In contrast, in socialist regimes, taxation is not regarded as an undesirable consequence, but as a means to prevent individuals from counterproductively controlling their collective economic destiny.

Socialism’s appeal has always been its false promise to create wealth better than capitalism can. Advocates of socialism promise great economic achievements, which they argue are worth the price of reduced individual economic liberty. It is worth remembering that Karl Marx regarded socialism as an economic necessity that would emerge out of the ashes of capitalism precisely because capitalism would fail to sustain wealth creation. Marx made many specific, and erroneous, predictions about capitalism, including its declining profitability and rising unemployment. His analysis did not consider permanent economic growth in a capitalist system to be a possibility. And his “historical materialist” view of political choice claimed the rich and powerful would never share power voluntarily with their economic lessers, or create social safety nets. Writing in the mid-19th century, Marx fundamentally failed to understand the huge changes in technology, political suffrage, or social safety net policies that were occurring around him.

Not only has socialist theory been wrong about the economic and political fruits of capitalism, it failed to see the problems that arise in socialist governments. Socialism’s record has been pain, not gain, especially for the poor. Socialism produced mass starvation in Eastern Europe and China, as it undermined the ability of farmers to grow and market their crops. In less extreme incarnations, such as the UK in the decades after World War II and before Margaret Thatcher, it stunted growth. In most cases, socialism’s monopoly on economic control also fomented corruption by government officials, as was especially apparent in Latin American and African socialist regimes. The adverse economic consequences of socialism led the Scandinavian countries to dial back their versions of socialism in the past decades. If the United States had imitated Scandinavian-style socialism, the CEA study estimates that our GDP today would be 19 percent lower.

Socialism has been abandoned in virtually all of the developing world. Countries today do not seek to emulate the disasters of North Korea, Cuba, or Venezuela. They also avoid high taxation of the rich. That reflects the recognition that countries compete with each other for capital. Expropriating the rich tends to make them leave, and when they leave they take their wealth with them.

This philosophical shift in the developing world is a major change since the 1980s when socialism was still fashionable among some. The shift away from socialist thinking was grounded in the growing body of empirical evidence about the kinds of policies that produced growth and poverty alleviation—that is, policies that used markets as a lever of economic development. Now developing countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, India, China, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia are known as “emerging economies,” a description that recognizes their need to emerge from state control of their economies through privatization, free trade, and the creation of viable private financial intermediaries to promote growth and poverty alleviation. All around the developing world, socialism is understood as a false promise, an ideological opium that repressive elites use to retain and expand power. Capitalism, in contrast, is seen as the force that has lifted over a billion people out of poverty worldwide since 1990.

To historians, that was obvious long before the 1980s. Socialism has never conquered poverty. It has never competed with capitalism as a means of effectively allocating resources and promoting sustainable growth. Over the past half century, scores of economic historians have sought to explain the factors that produced the economic progress that Europe and some of its offshoots enjoyed in the 18th-20th centuries. This group of scholars, which includes Angus Maddison, Joel Mokyr, Eric Jones, David Landes, Deirdre McCloskey and Douglass North, tend to hold quite diverse political preferences, but they universally agree on the facts: Government policies that safeguard a combination of personal economic freedom, secure property rights, and the ability of individuals to gain personally by participating in markets have promoted the effort and innovation that conquered poverty and promoted growth through the ages.

The facts about socialism and capitalism may shock the young people of America, many of whom lionize Bernie Sanders, an unapologetic socialist who honeymooned in the USSR, as the new conscience of our nation—and many of whom, 51 percent according to Gallup, now have a positive view of socialism. Only 45 percent have a positive view of capitalism. That represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views about capitalism in just the past two years.  Many of these young people are thoughtful and intelligent—but they are also ignorant about the history and economics of the systems they favor or condemn. This is the main reason why they must read this important CEA study.

SOURCE 

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CNN Legend Larry King: CNN 'Is Not a News Network'

Radio and TV legend Larry King, who hosted Larry King Live on CNN for 25 years, said that CNN today is "not a news network" but an "opinion" network -- "they stopped doing news."

King, who has worked in radio and TV since 1957 and has won an Emmy, two Peabodys, and 10 Cable Ace Awards, made his remarks on the Nov. 15 edition of the Law & Crime Network, an online program that covers the U.S. justice system.

When asked about CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta's recent hostile tangle with President Donald Trump, Larry King said, “Jim [Acosta] was a little out of line. I wouldn’t have gone that far. He [Trump] answered one or two questions then he didn’t want to answer anymore."

"You got a room full of people all of whom have the right to ask questions," said King.  "Jim might have gone a little too far. The president kept going back to him, referring you could run CNN, who should run CNN. To me, you know what this was? Eighth grade. It was the playground, ‘That’s my ball and I want to play today on the team.’ It was childish.”

The host then asked, "My question is, what is the role of the journalist? Should they become the star of the story?"

King, who has conducted more than 33,000 interviews in his career, said,  “No. I’ve been in the business 61 years and I’ve always felt that the guest was the star. The person your asking the question of is, for want of a better term, the star."

"At a Trump press conference, Trump is the star," said King.  "You try to learn as much as you can from him. But you’re not bigger than him. It isn’t about you. It’s about him."

Commenting on his old network, King said,  “The terrible part to me is, after all those years at CNN and now – is to see CNN has become — as is Fox, and MSNBC — Trump networks. There’s the anti-Trump network, the partial anti-Trump network

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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Friday, November 16, 2018



Howard Dean: Republicans will 'have a terrible time because they’re getting older and whiter'

The usual Leftist one-sided commentary.  He forgets that today's young Leftists will mostly be tomorrow's wiser conservatives: As life educates them, they become more conservative.  Both Churchill and Reagan started out as liberals.  The drift from Left to Right through the lifespan is very common

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was pleased with the party’s performance in last week’s midterm elections — and not just because it regained control of the House.

According to Dean, a much more important trend emerged. “Young people are taking over the Democratic Party, and that’s a very good thing,” the former Vermont governor said in an interview with Yahoo News’ “Bots & Ballots.”

“There’s a huge grassroots movement in this country run by people who are mostly under 35,” Dean said. “And they basically did all of the organization.”

That youth movement, according to Dean, puts the party in a much better position than the GOP. “Republicans, I think, are going to have a terrible time because they’re getting older and whiter,” he said. “And that’s not the direction the country’s going in.”

SOURCE

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'Hate Crimes' and Demo Demonization of 'Racist' GOP

Leftist leaders blame Republicans 24/7, so it's no wonder the rank and file believe it.   

“Most Democrats see Republicans as racist, sexist,” blared the headline to a new Axios poll. An astounding 61% of Democrats view their Republican counterparts in this very negative light. (Frankly, we’re surprised it’s only 61%.) Other adjectives that a substantial number of Americans use to describe people of the other party include greedy, corrupt, ignorant, spiteful, and evil.

Granted, this wasn’t a reliably scientific poll and we don’t bring it up because the results are airtight. But they certainly do affirm what we’ve long warned: Heated political rhetoric has consequences, and primarily it’s being driven by the Democrat/Leftmedia complex.

These leftist leaders insist 24/7 that everything Republicans say, think, or do is racist. We’re even told that hiring people based on merit is racist. Notably, it is Republicans who fight for school choice for minorities stuck in failing inner-city schools, In some areas, minorities are noticing; in others, not so much. And it’s Republicans, not Democrats, who are lifting minorities out of poverty. Blacks in particular are thriving under President Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, just before the midterms, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared Trump “the most racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted president in history.” Is it any wonder that rank-and-file Democrat voters believe what they’re hearing?

Kim Hart of Axios explains the problem with that: “If Americans are this convinced that the other side isn’t just wrong, but dumb and evil, they’ll never be able to find enough common ground to solve real problems. And they’re more likely to elect leaders who can’t do it, either.” As we explained before Thanksgiving 2016, leftist demonization of half the country is why Trump won, though, granted, he wasn’t elected to “find common ground.”

In related news, the FBI reports that 2017 saw a 17% increase in reported “hate crimes,” including a 37% spike in crimes targeting Jews. The Washington Post reports, “Of the more than 7,000 hate crime incidents in 2017, more than 4,000 were crimes against people, ranging from threats and intimidation to assault [and] murder. More than 3,000 were crimes against property, ranging from vandalism to robbery to arson.”

A few observations:

First, this increase is fueled largely by more cities and law-enforcement agencies reporting a category called “hate crimes” — as in 1,000 additional sources nationwide. Second, we’ve long questioned the very category of “hate crimes” because it’s so subjective and because it motivates people in favored victim groups to report crimes that didn’t actually happen — a fad of hate-crime hoaxes. Third, the increase of anti-Semitic sentiments in the country is driven by Democrats and by so-called “alt-right” racists who are all “alt” and no “right.”

Finally — and the reason this relates to the poll where we began — is that leftists blame Trump. The leftist, hate-hustling Southern Poverty Law Center certainly does, and the Leftmedia takes its cues about “hate” from these supposedly unbiased propagandists. Moreover, writes Vox’s German Lopez, “The [FBI] report covers the first year of President Donald Trump’s time in the White House, and he’s been repeatedly criticized, from his campaign to his presidential statements and tweets, of stoking racist sentiment, particularly against immigrants and refugees.”

If “hate crimes” are “rising,” all the better to solidify that blame-Trump narrative and to further divide the country by vilifying all the “deplorables” on the Right. The predictable result is polls showing that everyday Democrat voters view their Republican counterparts as evil racists.

SOURCE

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Some people need to see socialism to believe it is bad

Seeing is believing.

People around the country were baffled when exit polls showed Robert or Beto O’Rourke won more votes from native Texans than incumbent Senator Ted Cruz in the midterm elections. But this should not be a surprise, it should be a lesson — some people need to experience socialism to understand its disastrous effects.

Exit polls found that 57 percent of people who moved to Texas (also known as transplants) voted for Cruz while 51 percent of those born in Texas voted for O’Rourke.

While many Texas conservatives blamed the liberalization of the state on transplants from California and New York moving to the area for lower property values, it seems the opposite is taking place. These people are not bringing their liberal ideas, but running away from them.

Chuck DeVore of the Washington Examiner explains, “The lack of economic freedom in California compared to Texas is likely why, according to census, from 2012 to 2016, a net of 521,052 Californians left the state. Texas was their most popular destination, with a net of 114,413 Californians moving 1,300 miles east to the Lone Star State.  In the five years through 2016, some 542,432 more Americans moved to Texas than moved out, supporting a growth rate double that of California’s.”

It seems those who have experienced the socialist policies of high tax states are fleeing to Texas and voting to keep those taxes and regulations low.

Conversely, youth in Texas have rallied behind O’Rourke, increasing youth turnout by 500 percent in the midterm election.

For the youth and those unexposed to progressive policies, increasing government spending with expanded Medicare and free tuition seem like good ideas. But for those who just left a state burdened by these policies, they are reprehensive to reinstitute them.

Nationally, this can also be seen by some immigrant groups who tend back the Republican Party after legally entering the country to escape socialism at home.

In Florida, Cuban voters have historically leaned right, and in 2018 tended to pick Ron DeSantis for Governor and Rick Scott for Senator — the Republican picks.

Similarly, Russian immigrants, particularly Russian-speaking Jews, who grew up under Soviet rule, backed Donald Trump in 2016 and rejected progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders.

Janna Sundeyeva told the Atlantic in 2016, “I don’t like big government… I would ask [left wingers]: Have you ever lived under a revolution? Do you know what it’s like? When someone comes and takes your family member in the night?”

Another Russian immigrant simply said, “To defend the country from Hillary, I would vote [for] a dinosaur.”

Immigrants who have experienced the harm of big government policies and socialism that strip individuals of their rights overwhelmingly lean Republican so as to avoid bringing that danger to this country. Individuals living in high tax, big government states are fleeing to low tax, individual liberty-based states. The pattern is the same — those who know socialism, know it does not work. Yet the left is working tirelessly to convince young voters there is a chance for the socialism to bloom here in the United States, it is critical the populations who have experienced this harm work to prevent that from coming true.

SOURCE
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Trump is not a bad dream

A bit of realism from the Left

Donald Trump is not a bad dream. The world has to accept that he's a waking reality. Remember all the talk of impeachment? It's been two years now. Far from being impeached, he's entrenched himself.

After an ineffectual first year in the presidency, he has worked out how to exert power. He now has a solid record of getting his way. At the end of two full terms, Barack Obama had kept 48 per cent of his election promises, according to the non-partisan Politifact. After just half of one term, Trump has either delivered or is working towards 53 per cent of his. He's broken just 8 per cent.

He's accomplished most of his topline pledges. Among them, stopping immigration from terror-prone countries (the so-called Muslim ban), income tax cuts, company tax cuts, tearing up trade deals, putting taxes on China, pulling out of the Paris accord, impaling the Iran one. He has delivered a majority of the US Supreme Court to conservatives. And the midterm elections last week his party increased its dominance of the Senate.

And in the House? In the 153 years since the US Civil War, the president's party has lost an average of 35 House seats in midterm elections. On the current count, Trump's party has lost 32. This result is "so very normal", writes sociologist Musa al-Gharbi of Columbia University in The Washington Post, that Democrats need to adjust their frame of reference. The midterm results for Trump are eerily similar to those for Ronald Reagan, he points out. Reagan went on to win a second term in a landslide.

But Trump is hated, isn't he? Depends who you ask. He remains unpopular with most of his people, yes. But his grip on the Republican Party is extraordinary. His approval rating among Republicans remains around 90 per cent. The American left talks of waging "resistance". But America is becoming more like Trump, not less. The Democrats have fallen in behind Trump on trade. They aren't proposing bigger immigration intakes, either. "Most Americans in both parties also agree with Mr Trump that America's old allies need to look out for themselves and stop relying on the US to protect them," writes US foreign affairs analyst Robert Kagan in The New York Times.

As time goes on, Trump looks less like an aberration, more like a culmination. The foreign governments who prefer to think that he's just a passing squall need to realise that Trump's America is "not a spasm but a new direction in American foreign policy, or rather a return to older traditions," says Kagan, traditions of "the kind that kept us on the sidelines while fascism and militarism almost conquered the world". The headline on his analysis: "'America First' Has Won."

SOURCE

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Capitalism: Understanding Its Secret

The socialists of today, who would have you believe that competition under capitalism is merely another exploitative form of anarchy, do not appreciate the actual situation.

Those of us who are fans of capitalism deeply understand that capitalism is the source of wealth in our modern economy. We also know that governments do not create wealth but merely acquire funds by taking money (via taxes) from productive people who can manage to earn a profit from their business endeavors.

Many of the people who disagree with us think that capitalism is just an anarchistic, zero-sum game that paves the way for rich folks to exploit poor folks and to steal the products of workers’ labor. So which side of this contentious debate is on the right track?

The Law of the Jungle

For a clue, let us first look at some of the things that differentiate humans from animals. Wild animals exist in a state of true anarchy. This word “anarchy” means “no government,” which is the environment where these creatures must live out their lives.

Animals must compete for survival under the law of the jungle, where might makes right and violence is the arbiter of all conflicts.

Animals must compete for survival under the law of the jungle, where might makes right, the ends justify the means, and violence is the arbiter of all conflicts. The animals set up a pecking order in their flock or herd. All of them compete for the top spot and eventually arrange themselves into a hierarchy that defines who gets to do what in their society.

Humans, on the other hand, do not necessarily need to live in anarchy but may form various forms of government to decide how to control behavior among members of their society. Regardless, people also set up pecking orders, except with more nuanced detail. The boss is in charge, and the workers mostly do his bidding while jockeying for better positions among themselves. Everyone who has ever held a job has observed this type of behavior in the workplace.

Producers vs. Consumers

Now let us compare competition in the primitive realm of animals to competition among the more advanced society of humans. Consider a community of lions that live on the Okavango Delta in Botswana and feeds on a herd of Cape buffalo. When a lion kills a buffalo, the chief lion, depending on the pecking order established in the pride, gets first dibs on the carcass. When the chief has satisfied his hunger, the other lions get to feed based on their standing in the lion hierarchy.

In an economic sense, the animals are consumers with no way to become producers.

Lions are at the mercy of nature in providing the limited resource of food, the buffalo herd. If their environment suffers a drought, the buffalo herd will decline, and thus the lions will also suffer a decline in their food resource. When the weather and the flow of the river are more generous, the buffalo herd will flourish and thus so will the lions. The lions have no way otherwise to manage the health and well-being of the buffalo, even though this represents their only food source. The animals are stuck in their limited natural environment with no way to improve upon their anarchistic lifestyle. In an economic sense, the animals are consumers with no way to become producers.

What does the human do in a similar situation? People may discover they like to eat lamb chops, so they gather a bunch of sheep together and build a fence around a pasture to keep the animals safe from other predators. They provide the sheep with food and water and an environment where they can breed and grow a larger herd. These folks realize their sheep have wool coats that may be harvested without harm to the animals and be fashioned into cloth for clothes and many other items.

Somebody discovers he likes the taste of apples, so he saves some of his harvest from the one apple tree he discovered in the forest and plants the seeds to make a grove of trees, and eventually an orchard. Once he has more apples than he can eat himself, he can use the surplus to help feed the sheep, or he can sell his apples to other folks who wish to buy them.

People, through their ingenuity and labor, create wealth where no wealth existed before.

The Creation of Wealth

People, through their ingenuity and labor, create wealth where no wealth existed before. They may engage in production until they have more lamb chops and applesauce than they know what to do with. This wealth becomes a benefit to their society. So the humans have an ability to use their intellect and labor to advance the flourishing of their species, whereas the lions may only exert their labor to carve an existence from the limited resources provided by an uncaring Mother Nature.

Under a system of economic freedom and freedom of competition where the individual human owns the means of production and is free to dispose of his property as he sees fit (a viable definition of capitalism), he is motivated to continue working so he may create even more wealth and trade it with other like-minded people for the fruits of their labor. Unlike the animals, humans can become producers as well as consumers.

The Secret

Note that men and women will lose their motivation to work and create wealth if they are not permitted to benefit from it. If someone creates a large herd of sheep and an orchard of apple trees and is then heavily taxed by the government, this person may decide his or her labor is not worth the effort. Similarly, if roving bands of thieves steal the fruit and run off with the lambs, the owner will have to divert some labor into hiding wealth and thus be unable to be as productive as before.

The socialists of today, who would have you believe that competition under capitalism is merely another exploitative form of anarchy, do not appreciate the actual situation.

Now, here is the secret I promised in the title to this essay. It is a quote from the book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics by George Reisman. In Section 10 of Chapter 10, Reisman states the concept succinctly: “ ... under capitalism, competition is the diametric opposite of the law of the jungle: it is a competition of producers in the production of wealth, not of consumers in the consumption of wealth.”

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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Thursday, November 15, 2018


The Art of the Veto

To pass a bill over the president's objections requires a two-thirds vote in each Chamber.  The Donks don't have that in either chamber.  So with the co-operation of the Congressional GOP, Trump can block everything coming from the Donks until they give him his wall.  They would have to deal or be impotent for two years.  The Senate could simply fail completely to schedule a vote on anything passed up from the House -- as they already often do -- And that would stop all Democrat in initiatives dead, with not even the conditions for a override vote being met

By Robert Romano

By last count, Republicans lost at least 32 seats in the House in the midterm elections, and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is once again poised to be elected House Speaker. This means all legislation will now have to be worked out between a Democratic House and a Republican Senate led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

To navigate these new waters in 2019, President Donald Trump has signaled a willingness to negotiate but he must remember that his greatest leverage could come in the House minority if he wishes to plot a more conservative path.

Certainly there will be last-minute attempts in the lame duck session to get things done with Republican majorities, which may or may not work. Time is not a luxury. Democrats will believe they can get a better deal in January and will block legislation in the Senate. It’s up to Trump to convince them otherwise.

Looking forward, then, with at least 199 members in the House, Trump and the GOP should have enough votes to sustain any presidential vetoes if they play their cards right. All Trump needs are 145 members who are willing to stand with the President.

It’s how Reagan got tax cuts and defense spending done with a Democratic House in the 1980s, and it’s how Trump can still get things done in 2019.

In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump wrote, “The worst thing you can do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.” He was right. It was the major reason why Republicans, besides increasing defense spending, were not able to accomplish much in enacting the President’s agenda — including fully funding and building the southern border wall — despite having majorities in both houses of Congress.

So terrified were Republicans in Congress were of a partial government shutdown, they never even tried to deliver full funding for the wall. It would cost them control of the House, the sage advisors in the D.C. establishment warned.

And therefore the wall was never funded. The government was not shut down. And the House GOP lost the election for the House and their majority anyway. Go figure.

This time, Trump does not have to make that mistake. Instead of relying on a Republican House majority to deliver the wall, he can instead use the art of the veto. He can veto the spending bills until he gets what he wants — as long as one-third of the House is willing to stand with the President and sustain the veto.

As Trump wrote in his book, “The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you have. Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet, needs. Or best of all, simply can’t do without.”

Trump added, “Leverage: don’t make deals without it.” Well, a presidential signature is needed to pass legislation in Congress.

But to get the legislation he wants, the President must be willing to say no deal. Veto the spending bills in 2019. To ratchet up the pressure, Trump and House Republicans could threaten not to provide back pay for federal workers deemed non-essential in a government shutdown situation, but this will require spines of steel by members.

The President should therefore consult with Republican leaders in both chambers on any potential negotiating strategy with Democrats in 2019, but in the end, Trump must be willing to go to bat legislatively for his agenda if he want to see it through.

The first two years of Trump’s term, he relied on outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to deliver key parts of his agenda. That failed, and Republicans arguably lost their House majority because of it. They didn’t fully repeal and replace Obamacare. The wall was not built. Non-defense spending was not cut as in Trump’s proposed budget. And so forth.

It wasn’t all the House’s fault. Obamacare repeal and replace actually passed the House, but it ran into a stone wall in the Senate. Once the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted against the bill, it was done. Still, it was House Republicans who paid the price on Nov. 6. Since then, they certainly did not do much to advance their cause. Where’s the wall?

Trump should be able to leverage that failure now to galvanize House Republicans behind the proposition of sustaining his vetoes. He may have to retool his legislative team at the White House to adjust to the new reality — and to exploit Pelosi’s weak position. If Congress cannot override the veto, Pelosi will have to come to the table to deal on the spending bills. She cannot impose her will on the Senate and the White House, something House Republicans had to painfully learn in 2011 and 2013. Now it’s Democrats’ turn to learn the same lesson.

SOURCE 

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Socialists Won’t Rest Until We Have Single-Payer Health Care. We Must Stop Them

The 2018 midterms could someday be remembered as the beginning of the Democratic Party’s full embrace of creating a single-payer health care system in the United States. For the first time in American history, a large number of Democrats, many of whom identify as socialists, openly campaigned for the creation of a government-run health insurance model.

For instance, Democratic Socialists of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won 78 percent of the vote on Election Day, championed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “Medicare for All” proposal, calling it the “ethical, logical, and affordable path to ensuring no person goes without dignified healthcare.” According to Ocasio-Cortez, “Medicare for All will reduce the existing costs of healthcare (and make Medicare cheaper, too!) by allowing all people in the US to buy into a universal healthcare system.”

Ocasio-Cortez says she supports a universal system that would include “full vision, dental, and mental healthcare - because we know that true healthcare is about the whole self, not just your yearly physical.”

The cost of enacting such a radical program would be astronomical. Researchers at the Mercatus Center say Sen. Sanders’ plan would cost $32.6 trillion in its first decade, and they note that even if Congress were to double taxes paid by individuals and corporations, it wouldn’t be enough to pay for the program. That should terrify you, especially since the U.S. government’s deficit for the 2018 fiscal year was $782 billion and the national debt now stands at a $21.7 trillion.

But as shocking as the price tag for single-payer health care would be, it pales in comparison to the numerous health care-related problems that would be created by such a model. For starters, the government has an absolutely terrible record of providing health care. One example is the Veterans Health Administration, which is run by the federal government. It routinely suffers from underfunding and long wait times, which has forced the agency to allow veterans to go elsewhere to receive care. As the Military Times notes, “About one-third of all VA medical appointments today are … conducted by physicians outside the department’s system.”

The Washington Examiner reported in 2017, “VA documents also show there are currently 184,520 veterans across the nation waiting longer than 30 days for an appointment and more than 45,000 new veteran patients waiting more than 90 days. Internal VA documents also indicate 479,239 veterans nationwide are waiting for physician requested follow-up appointments over 30 days for the period July to September 2017.”

The Examiner also reported, “Internal Department of Veterans Affairs data provided by whistleblowers reveals the agency is only filling about half of its capacity to make medical appointments,” which means many of the VA’s problems are related to mismanagement and inefficiencies.

The VA also struggles to find health care professionals to fill open positions. Pew notes “40,000 of the 335,000 positions in the Veterans Health Administration are vacant,” and most of these positions are for nurses and doctors.

Medicaid also has a long track record of failing to provide adequate coverage for enrollees. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology found Medicaid patients in California died from cancer at much higher rates than those enrolled in private health insurance plans. According to the study’s researchers, they found “substantial and persistent disparities in survival for patients with either no or other public insurance compared with private insurance for all 5 of the cancer sites examined.”

Many doctors, especially highly skilled specialists, refuse to take on patients with Medicaid coverage because of Medicaid’s low reimbursement rates. An important 2011 study found doctors are 35 percent less likely to accept a new patient enrolled in Medicaid than they are to accept a patient with private health insurance.

If the federal government can’t properly run the VA system or Medicaid—or even the Post Office—why does anyone think it could manage one of the largest industries in the United States today?

Even more troubling is the danger posed to individual liberty by a single-payer health care system. In a world in which the government pays your health care bills, it has an incentive to reward and punish behavior. Why not tax overweight Americans more money under a single-payer scheme? Don’t they cost the system more? Why not force Americans to quit smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol? Aren’t those activities associated with numerous health dangers?

Single-payer systems are also notorious for rationing care. In October, the Telegraph (U.K.) noted, “A report by Fertility Fairness reveals that local commissioners are imposing ‘arbitrary’ criteria such as male body mass index (BMI), as well as age, as a means of restricting access to IVF,” which is used to help couples struggling to have children.

In other words, the masterminds in England have determined some men are just too fat to have children.

This story comes on the heels of reports indicating the English National Health Service’s forthcoming 10-year plan will make group appointments with primary care doctors—which could include as many as 15 patients—the “default” option for patients with long-term health problems.

For these and countless other reasons, conservatives and other supporters of individual liberty need to begin mobilizing against some left-wing Democrats’ plan to introduce a single-payer system in the United States. If Democrats manage to gain even more power in 2020, they will almost certainly attempt to enact a single-payer plan similar to Sen. Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal. To save our republic (and lives), we must stop them.

SOURCE 

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A rather fun picture:  Nancy Pelosi as a little girl smiling at the big dominant male



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Florida elections in limbo as recount looms

It’s nowhere near as bad as 2000, but the mess in Florida’s Broward County is at the very least a cautionary tale about massive mail-in and early voting, with events in Arizona adding to the fire.

As a series of tweets by Sen. Marco Rubio flagged on Thursday, Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes was refusing to report the number of ballots still to be counted, or even to provide regular progress reports. A judge late Friday ruled that she’s in violation of the state public records act.

In the past, courts slapped Snipes for illegally destroying ballots in the wake of a contested 2016 vote count for a House seat and again this February for opening mail-in ballots before they’d been authenticated.

Her office has also had troubles with leaving ballot measures off some ballots, illegally reporting early-voting results before the polls closed and on and on.

Now some Republicans suspect Broward’s late count (and similar slow reporting from next-door Palm Beach County) is allowing shenanigans to favor the Democratic candidates for governor and US Senate. Already, they’ve reduced GOP election-night leads enough to force statewide recounts.

Even if it all comes down to incompetence, not chicanery, it could taint the final results.

The same is true in Arizona, where Republicans have gone to court over local election officials’ decisions to continue validating mail-in ballots long after Election Day — something the GOP lawyers say violates the law. This could upend the Senate race, where late-reported votes have put Democrat Kyrsten Sinema ahead of Republican Martha McSally, who led Wednesday morning.

Set your partisan blinders aside, and it’s easy enough to see why Republicans will scream if they see highly irregular and far-from-transparent action by local officials in heavily Democratic counties “stealing” a US Senate seat. Or why Democrats will be furious if GOP “vote suppression” does the “stealing.”

One bottom line: Early voting and vote-by-mail won’t be any cure-all for the woes of New York City’s Board of Elections, as Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson suggest. Gifted bunglers can always find a way to mess up.

SOURCE 

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The big three current differences between conservatives and progressive

No. 1: Conservatives and progressives have different views about individuals and communities.

Conservatives ask: “What can I do for myself, my family, my community, and my fellow citizens?”

Progressives ask: “What is unfair?” “What am I owed?” “What has offended me today?” “What must my country do for me?”

The traditional American ethic of achievement gives way to the progressive ethic of aggrievement.

As opposed to a variety of individuals making up one American community, progressives seek to place individuals in a variety of competing communities. The first creates unity. The second, identity politics.

No 2.: Conservatives and progressives have different views about diversity and choice.

For progressives, different ethnicities and gender identities are welcomed but a variety of opinions and ideas are not.

Just look at two areas of public life dominated by the left. On college campuses free speech is under attack. If you’re a conservative working at a social media company or using one of their platforms to share your views, you may find your job eliminated or your account deleted.

And when it comes to choice, progressives love the word, but they don’t want it to apply to our decisions on education, health care, and even how and where we live out our religious faith.

Conservatives take a different approach.

Parents, not the zip code they live in, should choose the school that is best for their child.

We all need health care, but we don’t all need the same kind or same amount. And while people should be free to live as they choose, no one should be forced to endorse or celebrate those choices if it violates their religious beliefs.

Conservatives say people should have choices. Progressives say one political solution fits all.

No. 3: Conservatives and progressives have a different view of “We the People.”

Whether it’s the Second Amendment, immigration, or putting limits on abortion, if we the people don’t pass laws progressives approve, they turn to judges, executive orders, and government bureaucrats behind closed doors to overturn the will of voters.

Whatever one may think about the wisdom of hiking the minimum wage, banning plastic straws, or removing controversial historical monuments, conservatives believe voters closest to the issues should be the ones making such decisions for their communities—not lawmakers in Washington or a panel of judges fives states away.

To sum it up, conservatives believe in individual rights, not special rights. Conservatives believe in allowing Texas to be Texas and Vermont to be Vermont. And conservatives believe we the people can vote with our feet about where we want to live and what laws we want to live under.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

**************************



Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Beto 2020? How O'Rourke became a Texas sensation who could shape the future of the Democrats

I reproduce in full below an article from the Leftist "Guardian". Like many others, I had noticed the popularity of O'Rourke among Leftists. I had heard nothing of what ideas he stood for and wanted to find out.  So I read the article below carefully.  I found nothing in that long article about his ideas.  The only thing that came close was his approval of the kneeling footballers.  Essentially, he appears to be a man of no ideas, a policy emptyhead.

Contrast that with "Build the wall" and "lock her up", which are succinct but very clear policy proposals.  I in fact wonder why Trump has initiated no legal proceedings against Hillary.  There certainly seem "prima facie" grounds for at least some charges.  I suspect that Trump has simply acted within the wise Western tradition of mercy to the defeated -- something I wrote about recently

So I can only assume that O'Rourke is a smooth-talking supporter of each and every sort of grievance and that he conveys a pervasive dislike of America as it is.  He presumably supports standard Leftist talking points such as free healthcare for all and raising the minimum wage but that in no way makes him unique and therefore does not explain his notable drawing power. It would be sad indeed if such an emptyhead were to attain significant political office in America

O'Rourke is however well within a grand old Leftist tradition of policy vacuity.  When a Leftist sees a problem his reponse is usually little more than "pass a law"!  Any thought about the causes of the problem is minimal and simplistic

Ezra Klein, self-described "wonk" and editor of the Leftist "Vox" site has an article up under the title, "To beat Trump, House Democrats need to fight on policy, not just scandals" -- so he too sees Leftist vacuity as a problem


When Beto O’Rourke, the punk rock guitarist turned US congressman for the distant border town of El Paso, announced in March 2017 that he was going to run for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat in Texas, the spokesman for the state’s Republican party quipped: “Who?”

No one is asking who Beto O’Rourke is now. He may have lost his plucky bid to win the first statewide election in Texas as a Democrat since 1994, but he came so close that he thoroughly wiped the smirks off Republican faces.

Less than three percentage points separated the incumbent senator and his insurgent challenger – 50.9% Cruz, 48.3% O’Rourke – 222,922 votes out of more than 8m cast.

For O’Rourke it marks a phenomenal achievement. In just 19 months, almost unassisted, he took the Texan Democratic party from its virtually moribund condition, gave it a stiff dose of adrenalin, and brought it back to life.

For Texas, and for the US, the fact that O’Rourke came within striking distance represents something even bigger – the hope that the second largest state in the union might finally be freeing itself from the iron grip of the Republican party.

That in turn raises a tantalizing prospect for progressives everywhere – if O’Rourke could do it in Texas, a place synonymous with the modern hardline Republican party, what could he do in other parts of the US?

“If you look at the top line and see O’Rourke losing, you’re missing the point,” said Bethany Albertson, associate professor at University of Texas at Austin. “No Democrat has come close in Texas in decades, voter turnout was way up, and young people who have never voted before were drawn for the first time into the democratic process.”

That’s a formula that the Democratic party nationwide is desperate to replicate. But how did he do it? What was the secret of the Beto magic?

When O’Rourke set out on his unlikely mission he did so with the contemporary equivalent of a horse and cart. As Rolling Stone has pointed out, at that point he had two aides, both of them old friends from El Paso, and a rented sedan.

He put them to good use. By election day he had spawned a vast army of 25,000 volunteers and had raised $70m – all of it through small donations through the online portal ActBlue, not a penny through big corporate donors – more than any US Senate campaign in history.

O’Rourke wore through a lot of shoe leather in the process. He crisscrossed a state that is larger than France – from his hometown of El Paso to the eastern border of Texas is 900 miles – visiting each of its 254 counties. His message was: “I wouldn’t vote for a politician I had never seen either.”

Wherever he went, he sprinkled seeds of Democratic rebirth. Using digital apps, he empowered volunteers in each county to begin mobilizing their neighbors. It was entirely decentralised, with next to no quality control, which meant trusting volunteers implicitly – but it succeeded in unleashing huge reserves of untapped energy.

Carrie Collier-Brown, a lawyer from the suburbs of south-west Austin, was one of the new Beto super-volunteers. She described what it has been like this year creating a team of about 150 volunteers in her area out of nothing.

“We built the infrastructure out of scraps and with no instructions,” she said. “It feels like we’ve been flying by the seat of our pants all year.”

Together with a “bunch of pissed-off suburban women”, as she puts it, she set up in January a group of volunteers which they called “Blue Action Democrats”. Every weekend they knocked on hundreds of doors, liaising closely with the local Beto O’Rourke campaign staff.

In the final weeks of the election they were supported by “pop-up offices”, more than 700 of which mushroomed across Texas. The offices were improvised out of volunteers’ spare rooms, studies, garages, garden sheds – any space where the all-important get-out-the-vote drive could be spearheaded.

The numbers tell the story. Sixty-eight percent of registered voters in Collier-Brown’s area turned out and cast their ballot – twice the proportion in the last midterm elections in 2014 and slightly more even than the 2016 presidential election.

Collier-Brown said that there was a price to pay – “My kids are very close to calling me Aunty Carrie” – but the gains have been immense. “The Beto campaign has taught us an important lesson: that connecting with your neighbors is how to engage everyone, how to take back our democracy, and ultimately how to win elections.”

Collier-Brown is part of one of two key electoral groups which O’Rourke focused on more than any others – white women (or Anglo women as they are known in Texas). Exit polls show that O’Rourke attracted the votes of 39% of Texan white women – compared with the 29% who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Mark Jones, a professor of political science at Rice University, thinks that 10-point swing was partly explained by a female backlash to the vulgarity, aggressive posturing and sexual impropriety of Donald Trump. But that was not all.

“Beto O’Rourke wasn’t just campaigning against Trump. He was campaigning for a different kind of politics that are optimistic, positive. He spoke to thousands of people who are upset about the divisiveness in America today.”

Soon after O’Rourke had conceded defeat on Tuesday night, he addressed thousands of his loyal supporters in a baseball stadium in El Paso. He told them: “We’re not about being against anybody. We are not going to define ourselves by who or what we are against, or what we are afraid of or scared about. We are great people.”

That message also spoke to the second key group mobilized by his campaign – young people. Again, the numbers tell the story.

In 2016, Clinton attracted the votes of 55% of the 18-29 age range in Texas, to Trump’s 36%. This week, O’Rourke won a stunning 71%, to Cruz’s 29%.

Not only did he win over young people in far greater proportions, he also crucially managed to unlock a door that has been frustratingly closed to progressive causes in vast swaths of America for years. He persuaded young voters who usually overwhelmingly opt to stay at home in midterm elections to get off their couches, get over to the polling stations, and vote.

Figures for overall Texas turnout have yet to be completed, but early voting data is again stunning. The number of 18 to 29-year-olds casting an early ballot this year was five times greater than in the 2014 midterms.

One crucial explanation for how O’Rourke opened the door on young voting was that he speaks to Texans in their own language. Literally so, if they are Hispanic – having grown up in El Paso, a city with an 80% Latino population, he is bilingual in Spanish and flips effortlessly between idioms.

He also speaks the language of the young. He is fluent in Instagram and Snapchat, and has a flair for producing viral videos, whether air-drumming to the Who or skateboarding through a Whataburger parking lot.

When the Guardian talked shortly before the election to Karl Rove, the ultimate political kingmaker in Texas who helped turn the state Republican in the 1990s, he was dismissive about O’Rourke’s most viral video. In it, the Democratic candidate defended NFL players who had taken the knee during the national anthem in protest at police brutality, saying there was “nothing more American” than that.

For Rove, that video demonstrated that O’Rourke would never be able to win over the mainstream of the Texan electorate as he was too outspokenly liberal. What Rove may not have counted on, however, was how electrifying such a statement might have been for many younger Texans who are more receptive to new expressions of patriotism.

O’Rourke amplified his natural affinity with younger voters through a heavy push on social media. Much of the $70m he raised through small online donations – twice the amount brought in by his opponent – went on digital advertising, especially on Facebook where ads were kept to six seconds or less and tightly targeted both geographically and on voters’ personal interests.

According to the Texas Tribune, for much of 2018 his campaign invested more than any other political advertiser on Facebook. In the last six months more than $6m of O’Rourke ads on the site were viewed almost 20 million times.

Young voters, white women, Latinos, online fundraising, digital advertising, social media, volunteering, shoe leather – the Beto O’Rourke campaign had it all in terms of modern electioneering. It may have been largely improvised, and there was no instruction manual, but it did the job.

Not only did it bring O’Rourke within a whisker of pulling off the biggest political upset in decades, it also had a knock-on effect for other Democratic candidates lower down the ticket.

What is being dubbed the “Beto coattail” syndrome played a major role in taking back the US House of Representatives for the Democrats by boosting turnout and thus helping Collin Allred in Dallas and Lizzie Fletcher in Houston unseat incumbent Republican Congress members.

The impact was even more pronounced in the state legislature where two Republican state senators were turfed out and at least 12 Texas House seats flipped from the Republicans to Democrats.

In many ways the explosion of energy that O’Rourke has brought to the progressive movement in Texas bears comparison to the equally audacious campaign conjured up by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

Both politicians are notable for their charisma and rhetorical skills, and for the skill in which they communicated through social media and in person.

Which is why, perhaps inevitably, whispers of “Beto 2020” can already be heard floating in the Texas wind. “Beto has done the near impossible,” said Mark Jones. “If he wants to run for the White House, there’s definitely a lane open for him.”


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7 Staggering Quotes Made by Progressive Democrats’ Empty-headed New Star

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked political observers in June after defeating 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th District by nearly 14 points.

The 29-year-old self-described socialist who has become known as the “Sarah Palin of the Left” has used her new national voice to stump for left-wing challengers to establishment Democrats in primaries across the country.

As the fresh face of the progressive left heads to Washington, here’s a look back at some of the congresswoman-elect’s hot-button statements made in media appearances along the campaign trail.

1. Capitalism in the Crosshairs

“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs,” said Ocasio-Cortez in an interview on PBS’ “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover” in July when pressed on why the unemployment rate was low in a capitalist system. “Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their kids.”

Ocasio-Cortez continued to argue the days of capitalism are numbered:

And so I do think that right now we have this no-holds-barred, Wild West hyper-capitalism. What that means is profit at any cost. Capitalism has not always existed in the world, and it will not always exist in the world. When this country started, we were not a capitalist [nation], we did not operate on a capitalist economy.

2. Backpedaling on Israel

In the same interview, Ocasio-Cortez also referred to the situation in Palestine as an “occupation” by Israel.

When Hoover asked Ocasio-Cortez to clarify her position after pointing out the term “occupation” was controversial, Ocasio-Cortez, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from Boston University, struggled to explain her comment.

“I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “You know, for me, I’m a firm believer in finding a two-state solution on this issue.”

3. Explaining the Extinction of the Middle Class

In another interview, speaking with former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett on the liberal podcast “Pod Save America,” Ocasio-Cortez claimed the “upper-middle class doesn’t exist anymore.”

Ocasio-Cortez was discussing the political ideology of the country’s different socioeconomic classes when she made the claim:

I think that politically, this upper-middle class is probably more moderate, but that upper-middle class doesn’t exist anymore in America, and thanks to the continued deregulation of Wall Street, thanks to the continued gutting of working- and middle-class people, we need stronger champions.

However, both the Urban Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute have presented evidence showing the upper-middle class is actually growing.

4. A Simple Payment Plan for Progressive Medicare

When asked in an interview with Jorge Ramos last week about how to pay for Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-V.T., “Medicare for All” proposal, which Ocasio-Cortez has put at the center of her campaign, Ocasio-Cortez responded, “You just pay for it.” She continued:

People often say, how are you gonna pay for it? And I find the question so puzzling because, how do you pay for something that’s more affordable? How do you pay for cheaper rent? How do you pay for—you just pay for it.

During this election cycle, Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats like Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who lost the Florida gubernatorial race, have claimed Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan would save the country $2 trillion if implemented, but the claim has been criticized by fact-checkers as inaccurate.

In fact, a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University shows the plan would cost more than $32.6 trillion over 10 years, requiring historic tax hikes.

5. Comparing Climate Change to World War II

In a speech on her economic plan, Ocasio-Cortez likened combating climate change to the challenge posed by Nazi Germany in World War II, surmising the United States confront the issue with the same amount of resources.

“So we talk about existential threats, the last time we had a really major existential threat to this country was around World War II, and so we’ve been here before and we have a blueprint of doing this before,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding:

What we had was an existential threat in the context of a war. We had a direct existential threat with another nation, this time it was Nazi Germany, and the Axis, who explicitly made the United States as an enemy, as an enemy. And what we did was that we chose to mobilize our entire economy and industrialized our entire economy and we put hundreds if not millions of people to work in defending our shores and defending this country. We have to do the same thing in order to get us to 100 percent renewable energy, and that’s just the truth of it.

6. Shutting Down Debate on Fossil Fuels

According to Fox News, Ocasio-Cortez declared at a campaign fundraiser there was “no debate” that fossil fuel production should be stopped.

“There’s no debate as to whether we should continue producing fossil fuels. There’s no debate,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

7. Carrying the ‘Organizer’ Torch to Washington

When asked by Chris Hayes on MSNBC about what she plans to do once she gets to Congress in two months, Ocasio-Cortez struggled to develop a coherent response and failed to offer any specifics. Instead, Ocasio-Cortez delivered this message on air:

Well, I think a lot of it has to do with changing our strategy around governance. You know there’s a lot of inside baseball and inside the beltway as you, you always hear that term thrown around. But there are very few organizers in Congress. And I do think that organizers operate differently. It’s a different kind of strategy. And what it is, is really about organizing and, and really thinking about that word: organizing. Segmenting people. Being strategic in their actions in really bringing together a cohesive strategy of putting pressure on the chamber instead of only focusing on the pressures inside the chamber.

To which Hayes responded, “That’s a really interesting thought.”

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