Thursday, November 22, 2018

A short hiatus

My son is getting married this weekend so am taking a few days off blogging. I should however be back after the weekend


Trump’s asylum ban blocked by San Francisco judge

So the illegals can apply for asylum.  No harm in applying.  But will their applications be accepted?

An American federal judge blocked President Trump today from denying illegal migrants the chance to apply for asylum in the US.

The US president declared this month that America would ban any foreigner who entered the country without a visa the right to asylum. Under the proclamation, Mr Trump said only people who enter at official checkpoints — as opposed to sneaking across the border — can apply for asylum.

However, Jon Tigar, a district judge in San Francisco, ruled today that the president cannot “rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden”.

His ruling comes into effect immediately and applies nationwide. The declaration lasts until December 19 when the judge has scheduled another hearing to consider a permanent injunction.

The legal row over asylum comes as 3,000 Central American migrants have reached Tijuana, a Mexican town near the border with California. They have pledged that they will try to storm the frontier to enter America. Mr Trump has sent more than 5,000 troops to the border to block their entry.



Bill Nelson won the Florida recount’s ‘found’ votes 74 percent to 26 percent

Talk about disparate impact.

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) beat out Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) for the Florida Senate seat, but looking back on the recount totals, 25 percent of Bill Nelson’s gained votes in Florida recount were in Broward County alone, even though Broward County only made up 8 percent of the state’s total vote count. Was it fraud?

Looking at the county data from election night to what happened in the Florida recount for the U.S. Senate seat, and Broward County and a few other counties do stand out as anomalous. That is to say, these few counties chalked up a disproportionate share of recount votes in favor of soon to be former Sen. Nelson compared to their shares of the population: Broward, Orange, Miami-Dade, Alachua, Suwannee, Leon, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hamilton.

What you might expect would happen is that there would be a certain change in the vote tally between the initial count from election night, which includes early voting, and a manual recount, and that those differences would be roughly distributed evenly throughout the counties based on their overall percentage of the population, accounting for machine error and the like.

Instead, in the recount, 5,325 new votes were recorded, which Nelson won 74 percent to 26 percent statewide, about the same as Broward County. In Orange County, Nelson won the new recount votes 84 percent to 16 percent, 91 percent to 9 percent in Alachua County and an absurd 98 percent to 2 percent in Miami-Dade County.

Overall, Broward County accounted  for 24.8 percent of the entire state’s recount net votes in favor of Nelson even though it only accounted for 8.3 percent of the state’s total vote count, Orange County accounted for 12.3 percent even though statewide it only accounted for 5.8 percent of total votes, Miami-Dade was 11.7 percent versus 9.8 percent, Alachua was 3.2 percent versus 1.4 percent, Suwannee was 0.8 percent versus 0.2 percent, Leon was 2.3 percent versus 1.7 percent, Hillsborough was 6.6 percent versus 6.4 percent and Pinellas was 5.6 percent to 5.3 percent.

Nelson picked up about 2,529 votes in the recount, cutting the victor Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-Fla.) lead to a little more than 10,000 votes. Of the 2,529 votes Nelson picked up in the recount, 67.3 percent of those were in these 10 counties even though overall they only made up 41.5 percent of votes cast statewide.

Meaning the recount itself for whatever reason is what produced the irregularity. Only two of the 10 counties that produced anomalies in favor of Nelson were ones that Scott won, but being so much smaller they can more or less be discounted as they only produced 29 out of the 2,529 net votes in favor of Nelson, or just 1 percent.

Also interestingly, the recount statewide only resulted in net gains for Scott in eight out of 67 counties. Four had no net gain or loss. 55 counties produced gains for Nelson.

President Donald Trump, before the recounts were underway, noted that recounts always favor Democrats. On Nov. 9, he tweeted, “Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they ‘found’ many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. ‘The Broward Effect.’ How come they never find Republican votes?”

Trump has got a point. In some of these counties almost all of the new votes “found” after Election Day favored Democrats, and statewide three-quarters of the new votes favored Democrats.

Now, I’m not saying there was fraud. What I am saying is that the difference between what these particular counties initially reported and what they reported in the recount stand out as anomalies, particularly considering their shares of the state’s population. Where did all these new votes come from? Someone should find out.

It could be that the new votes simply were not delivered in time to make the machine count, but then turned up in the manual count, including provisional ballots. But isn’t that why there are state-imposed deadlines?

Voter suppression does not appear to have been at play as a reason for the votes to have not been initially counted, unless anybody believes Democrats were suppressing their own votes in the initial count in counties they overwhelmingly control.

The fact is, Broward County and other Democrat-heavy counties in Florida produced disproportionate shares of recount votes in favor of Bill Nelson that, on the surface, appear irregular. In order to rule out any potential fraud and to make sure this doesn’t happen again, the state Attorney General and the Justice Department Civil Rights Division should look into it — before 2020.



Leftists Claim Gillum Lost Florida Because of Racists, Forget Obama Won State Twice

Lose an election? Blame irrational voters.

That was the explanation given by many liberals after Democrats failed to win the White House in 2016 — blind misogyny among Americans made them unable to vote for a woman, even for female voters. Now, racism is being trotted out to explain how Andrew Gillum lost Florida.

Gillum, who is black, ran a tough campaign for governor against Republican Ron DeSantis. After a down-to-the-wire vote recount, the Republican has emerged victorious … but now the inevitable race card is being waved once again.

As the Tampa Bay Times reported, many liberals in Florida, including a state senator, have decided that skin color is the main reason Gillum was handed defeat. “Andrew Gillum would have won if he were white,” declared Judy Beck, one of several Democrat voters the newspaper talked to.

“That sentiment is widely shared among Gillum supporters, who saw poll after poll suggest Gillum was headed for a victory,” the Times reported.

Of course, even that statement is bizarre. If Florida voters are allegedly so racist, why did the candidate poll so well?

As Townhall astutely noticed, however, the “Florida is racist” narrative falls apart under basic scrutiny. Anybody with a memory slightly longer than a goldfish will remember that in two recent presidential elections, those same voters had no problem embracing a black candidate.

“President Barack Obama beat white Republican candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012” in Florida Townhall pointed out. Obama, you may have noticed, is black. (His opponents, in case anyone forgets, were white.)

So the liberal narrative is now that for a period of eight years, Florida voters eagerly supported the first black president. Then, inexplicably, in the last month, millions of them in a state filled with all different ethnicities changed their minds and decided that dark skin is evil.

Again, it simply isn’t possible that they preferred DeSantis’ leadership for their state. No. For Democrats It has to be racism.

This is the problem with the liberal narrative: By twisting themselves into pretzels trying to explain election losses, they’re not only insulting huge swaths of voters, they’re also setting themselves up for more failure by refusing to learn anything. (See also: Clinton, Hillary R.)

If liberals would drop the denial for a few minutes and do some honest soul-searching, they might realize that it was Gillum’s position on the far left and not his skin color that put off voters in a fairly moderate state.

But that, of course, would require Democrats to admit that their message has drifted outside of the mainstream. It would require them to be rational.



Another Leftist attempt to deceive

If you followed the Georgia gubernatorial election, you probably know that the Democrats have placed the onus for Stacey Abrams’ loss on the allegation that Brian Kemp, in his role as Georgia secretary of state, deliberately engaged in voter suppression.

In her preposterous non-concession concession speech on Friday, Abrams said that “democracy failed Georgia” and basically implied Kemp was behind it. At issue were several Georgia laws involving “exact match” voter registration and purging non-active voters from the rolls.

Almost anyone involved should have known this. However, if you’ve been on Twitter recently and have some Democrats on your feed, you probably have seen a few tweets like this:

1.5 million purged by Brian Kemp

53k registrations on hold

4.5 hour lines

214 polling places closed

Dems falsely accused of cyber crimes

Candidate overseeing own election

A Republican won the Georgia governor's race, but it was tainted by voter suppression. As secretary of state, the Republican oversaw his own election, in which a slew of restrictions and missteps prevented people from voting.

Prominent Twitter user @AG_conservative was sick of seeing these sorts of complaints, so he put together a Twitter thread in which he addressed the accusations.

If no one else is going to respond to this, I guess I will have to. This list is intentionally misleading to give readers who don't know the facts a false impression and thus undermine a legitimate election. Thread with the truth about each of these accusations:

The "1.5 million purged" is the total number of voters that have been removed from the rolls since 2012. Many have been removed because they moved, committed felonies, died etc.

The overwhelming majority of the rest were removed because of Georgia's "Use it or lose it" law. And you may be surprised to find out who was responsible for that law. Or not.

This law was passed in 1997 by A Dem legislature and a Dem Governor in Georgia. Similar laws have been upheld by SCOTUS.  It requires the rolls to be updated by removing voters that have not voted for some time and do not respond to contact from the state.

Worth noting that the reason there was a large spike in 2017 was that the legally required maintenance was not done in 2015. 3 state officials oversee this effort to prevent major errors. None of them are Brian Kemp.

As for the 53,000 registrations on hold, he pointed to the “exact match” law — something that was often dismissed or glossed over by the media.

These registrations were labeled pending, but that occurred because there was some discrepancy between their registration and their files. All of these voters could still vote w/ normal ballots as long as they provided ID at the polling place

As for the lines, well, welcome to Election Day. Of course, that’s something voters could have avoided and it had little to do with Kemp:

These registrations were labeled pending, but that occurred because there was some discrepancy between their registration and their files. All of these voters could still vote w/ normal ballots as long as they provided ID at the polling place.

5 Hour lines. Yes, there were long lines at some polling locations. That happens on election day. GA does have early voting options. Local officials manage those place and it has little to do with the Secretary of State.

Ok. Let me further elaborate on this one. Most places had relatively short waiting times (varies by time of day). There was ONE polling location (Anniston Elementary School) in ONE county (Gwinnett) that had machines malfunction, which led to that wait.

"214 polling places closed"

This is the total number of polling places closed across the state since 2012. Those places were consolidated with other locations to save money. Those decisions were made by local County officials to save money, and have 0 to do with Kemp.

"Dems falsely accused of cyber crimes"

This one probably has the most basis for controversy, but the investigation is still pending. Dems hired cybersecurity experts to test a voter info page after a report from a voter about vulnerabilities. This raised red flags

I don't think Kemp's office handled the allegation in #5 well, especially given how close they were to the election, but almost all of the other examples were legitimate activities that had little to do with Kemp. Creation of a myth to suggest otherwise undermines our elections.

Yes, all the evidence and that apparently still doesn’t make it right. The only thing that would have made it right, one guesses, is if Stacey Abrams had won. If not, well, it was definitely voter suppression — and of the racist variety, no less.

This should be treated as a joke, but the media has been covering Abrams’ allegations as if there was a definite ring of truth behind them. There isn’t. All they have to do is look at the facts. We’ve presented them before, but this is the best adumbration of it that we’ve seen thus far.

The pretense that Gov.-elect Kemp did anything wrong is insulting to our intelligence and to the democratic process. It’s time for Democrats to admit that they lost, that it was a fair election and that their baseless, race-baiting innuendoes have poisoned the process.

Nothing less, at this point, will suffice.



NBC report highlights need to confirm Trump nominee for public housing

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Senate confirmation of Hunter Kurtz to Assistant Secretary of Public Housing in response to an NBC News report on many multifamily housing units failing their inspections:

“Secretary Carson has made it a priority to push for a complete overhaul of the public assisted housing program, with a goal towards to eliminating all substandard living conditions. Incredibly Senate Democrats have blocked the Trump administration nominee for Assistant Secretary of Public Housing, Hunter Kurtz, who would oversee this critical public safety and health area within HUD. If anything, the NBC report highlights the importance of confirming the President’s nominees to put the Trump agenda into place and enforce housing law. The Democrats think it’s funny when they play politics with Trump’s nominees, when in reality hamstringing attempts to improve the lives of those who need housing assistance is anything but.”



Election posters

Election posters can be a strong guide to the policy of the party that puts them up.  That was certainly so in prewar Germany.  So I have collected a few Nazi posters over the years.  They often show how Leftist was Hitler's appeal.  A new such poster has come my way.  It is below. It tells the workers how much better is life under the Nazis. The worker orientation is of course traditionally Leftist

The lines at the bottom translate as follows:

Before: Unemployment; Loss of hope
        Neglect, strikes, lockouts
Today:  Work, joy, duty, racial comradeship
Therefore give your voice to the Leader (Hitler)

I am not a native speaker of German so would welcome a possibly better translation from anyone who is


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 21, 2018

Pregnant women who take paracetamol could lower their child's IQ and raise their risk of autism, research finds

No drug is free of side-effects but I have long noted that paracetamol (APAP) is much more dangerous than aspirin, principally because of its well-established liver toxicity.  The findings below would seem to add to that message but maybe not.  People who take a lot of painkillers are probably of worse health overall.  So maybe all we are seeing is that the children of unhealthy mother are unhealthy too.

The journal article is "Prenatal Exposure to Acetaminophen and Risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Regression Analysis of Cohort Studies" and the authors  there are also cautious about the meaning of the findings.  They say: "These findings are concerning; however, results should be interpreted with caution given that the available evidence consists of observational studies and is susceptible to several potential sources of bias.

Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy risk lowering their child's IQ, a study has revealed. Taking the drug is also associated with a higher risk of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and autism. 

Researchers from US universities, including Harvard, reviewed nine studies that looked at 150,000 mothers and babies in total.  Their findings suggest that the balance of hormones in the uterus are altered by taking paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen (APAP).

One study analysed found a three-point drop in IQ for five-year-old children whose mothers had taken paracetamol for pain relief without fever. Other research shows youngsters exposed to the drug in the womb struggled with speech.

It's not the first time scientists have found a link between paracetamol use and delayed speech.

In January, research from New York found that taking the go-to-pain relieving drug during pregnancy delays babies' speech by up to six times. 

Expectant mothers who take acetaminophen more than six times during their early pregnancies are significantly more likely to have daughters with limited vocabularies, the study found. 

Paracetamol is generally available without prescription and is the most commonly used medication in pregnancy. 

Research this year has shown the common painkiller can raise a child's risk of ADHD by up to 30 per cent, and up to a 20 per cent for autism, when taken by their mothers.

The study, led by Dr Ilan Matok, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, analysed 132,738 mother-child pairs over three-to-11 years.

Dr Matok said: 'Our findings suggest an association between prolonged acetaminophen use and an increase in the risk of autism and ADHD.'



Bernie Sanders Vows in Tweet to ‘Put an End’ to Walmart's ‘Outrageous Greed’ with ‘The Stop WALMART Act’

It's pretty clear that, as a traditional Leftist, what drives him is rage at wealth.  His real aim is to tear down the rich, not lift up the poor

In a flurry of tweets on his Twitter page late last week, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) vowed to “put an end” to Walmart’s “outrageous greed” by introducing “The Stop WALMART Act.”

“While Walmart claims it cannot afford to pay its workers $15 an hour, it was able to find enough money to pay its CEO more than $22 million last year,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders on Twitter Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. “Tomorrow @RepRoKhanna and I will be introducing The Stop WALMART Act to put an end to their outrageous greed.”

A day prior, Sen. Sanders went after the Walton family specifically, noting the amount he claims they make in one day and reiterating his intention to introduce legislation to compel Walmart to pay its workers more money.

“Last year, 4 members of the Walton family of Walmart made $12.7 billion in 1 day,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders in a tweet on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. “It would take a full-time Walmart worker making $11/hr over 653,000 years to make that much.

“Thursday, @RepRoKhanna and I are introducing legislation to make Walmart pay its workers a living wage,” continued Sanders in the same tweet.

It would take a full-time Walmart worker making $11/hr over 653,000 years to make that much.

Thursday, @RepRoKhanna and I are introducing legislation to make Walmart pay its workers a living wage.

“The Walton family on Walmart owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans. “Meanwhile 55% of Walmart’s associates are food insecure.

“This is what we mean when we talk about a rigged economy, and why I’m introducing a bill tomorrow to make Walmart start paying a living wage.”

In another post, Sen. Sanders retweeted a piece from on the unveiling of the “Stop Walmart Act.” The CNN piece did acknowledge that Walmart “raised its minimm wage to $11 an hour” this past February.

In a final tweet on the topic to date, Sen. Sanders said Friday, “I say to the Walton family of Walmart: The American people are sick and tired of subsidizing your greed. Get off of welfare and pay your workers a living wage.”



Ocasio-Cortez Makes Embarrassing Gaffe; Doesn’t Know What The 3 Branches Of Govt Are

She must be the most ill-informed politician of all time.  She has only her hate going for her.  She even appears to hate some of her fellow Leftists

New York Democratic Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who will officially become a member of Congress in January, has no idea how the federal government works.

On Saturday night, the young socialist held a Facebook live video chat to urge people to support Democrats taking back “all three chambers of Congress.”

“The Progressive movement works and it wins in all districts. If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress– three chambers of government,” she said.

After realizing there aren’t three “chambers” of government, she attempted to clarify by saying she meant the House, Senate, and White House.

The three branches of government are the legislative, executive, and judicial. And it was quite obvious to many that the socialist darling had no idea what she was talking about.



Prison Reform: Major Achievement for President Trump

Trump has endorsed the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill. It would  expand rehabilitative opportunities and reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes

Ken Blackwell
The FIRST STEP Act is the beginning of a transformation of America’s federal criminal justice system into what it should have always been: a system that makes America safer. This legislation unites conservatives, police, civil rights advocates, civil libertarians, business leaders, and supporters of social justice. Supporting this legislation means supporting an America that is fair.

The fact that law-enforcement groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and The International Association of Chiefs of Police support this legislation indicates this is nothing of what critics' claim. In fact, it is a conservative issue whose time has come at the federal level. I have battled with many of my friends about what criminal justice reform is and what it is not.

As conservatives, we should ensure that the punishment fits the crime. Our judicial system should not be one size fits all. Yet an adherence to rigid mandatory minimum laws means that federal judges too often must impose a sentence that cannot be adjusted based on the specific facts of the case. This is not a conservative position.

It is also not a conservative position to put faith in a bureaucratic system like the Bureau of Prisons as a tower of virtue. We know what bureaucracies do — primarily spend too much money with a lot of overhead and no real solutions to problems. A prison population that is overwhelmed with low-level crimes like selling an elephant tusk on the Internet or violating a fishing license is absurd.

Or take Weldon Angelos, a man who was sentenced to 55 years in federal prison because he sold marijuana while possessing an otherwise legal firearm, even though he never used the gun. The judge in this case had no choice but to impose an absurd sentence for a low-level drug offense.

Even as we feel a moral command to ensure our criminal justice system reflects our values, it is important to remember that the First Step Act is not an article of faith. It is based on proven results in states across the country. Indeed, it is red states like Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina that have proven we can both cut crime and incarceration at the same time.

Part of these states' recipe for success was expanding proven rehabilitation programs, including those with a faith component, which has been excluded from the federal component. I have many friends and colleagues who have been in prison ministries that see results, whether it is through education or helping prisoners to turn their lives around. The empathy we show the less fortunate is a mandate by God to do justice but to love mercy.

This legislation provides a way for prisoners to reenter society and become productive citizens again via education and job programs that get them back on the right track. Ninety-five percent of prisoners who enter federal prison will one day get out. Why would we not do what we can as a society to make sure they are connected with their families?

The First Step Act invests $250 million over the next decade in such programs, but research suggests by reducing recidivism we will obtain a strong return on this investment.

This legislation is a win for the American people, but it is also a win for this president. Not only would he be transforming the lives of millions of Americans, he would be achieving something his predecessor only gave lip service to. Even when he had complete control of Congress, Barack Obama didn’t even try to move legislation that would most notably impact the African-American community.

I see the leadership of this president. Donald Trump has not forgotten about the disenfranchised, whom the Left always says it is looking out for.

This is a law-and-order president who believes in justice, and the First Step Act will get us closer to true justice. It is surprising that supporters of President Trump would not see how significant and important this would be for the president and the country. It would show he can work across the aisle leading with conservative principles, as he has for the past two years.

It’s time to get it done!



Stoking Division
Do you recall during the final 2016 presidential debate when Donald Trump was asked to preemptively surrender by accepting the results of the presidential election if he lost? Trump said it would depend on the circumstances. In other words, he wasn’t going to accept cheating.

Democrats and their media allies were shocked and outraged. Hillary Clinton accused Trump of “denigrating” and “talking down our democracy.”

Well, Democrats were shocked again on Nov. 8, 2016, when they lost the presidential election. Hillary Clinton refused to accept the results on Election Night. She sent her campaign chairman, John Podesta, out to tell the crowd to go home.

And almost immediately, Clinton’s top campaign officials met and plotted out a narrative to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s election by promoting the idea that he colluded with the Russians.

They have convinced a sizable percentage of the country that the president was not duly elected, that the election was stolen from them. They further undermined the confidence of the same portion of the country that is already inclined to violence.

As I have noted before, the Left has been engaging in political violence for decades. It subsided for a time, but came roaring back with the Occupy Wall Street movement in the Obama years and then with the rise of antifa.

One recent poll found that as many as 35% of Americans feel it is okay to engage in violence to pursue political ends.

Fast forward to 2018. Once again, Democrats are the ones refusing to accept the results of the elections and “talking down our democracy.”

Lawyers representing Stacey Abrams, the Democrat nominee for governor of Georgia, are preparing to go into court to demand a new election. She is being encouraged by top Democrats, all possible 2020 contenders, who are stoking the fires on the fringe Left by suggesting that the Georgia race was “stolen” from Abrams.

At a financial summit on Tuesday, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said, “I think that Stacey Abrams’ election is being stolen from her, using what I think are insidious measures to disenfranchise certain groups of people.”

That same evening, Hillary Clinton told an audience in Austin, Texas, “If [Abrams] had a fair election, she already would have won.”

And speaking to Al Sharpton’s group Wednesday, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said, “If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it. It’s clear. It’s clear. I say that publicly.”

Ironically, they are saying this when it seems more and more races are being stolen by the Left. By the way, all three federal judges who have been dragging out the election disputes in Florida and Georgia are Obama appointees!



72 percent say media ‘dividing Americans,’ spreading ‘hate’

Nearly three-quarters of the country believes that the media are “dividing Americans” along political, racial, and gender lines, a stunning condemnation of the press, according to a new national survey.

What’s more, the Zogby Analytics poll provided to Secrets said that the media bias is sparking hate and misunderstanding.

And while Americans also blame President Trump for dividing voters, the survey analysis said the media are worse. Those surveyed, said Zogby Analytics, “felt the mainstream media spreads hate and misunderstanding, also felt that President Trump is responsible for the spread of hate and misunderstanding, but more voters overall, and in most sub-groups, blame the media slightly more!”

While 7-in-10 men and women agreed that the media are to blame for dividing the nation, Republicans were nearly unanimous while just 51 percent of Democrats said the press was to blame.



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)


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

If Trump Ended Birthright Citizenship by Executive Order, He’d Be Enforcing Existing Law

President Donald Trump’s critics have found something else to rend their garments over: his determination to end so-called “birthright citizenship.” Why, they thunder, it’s unconstitutional. And even if it could be changed, it can’t be by executive order.

They’re wrong on both counts.

That probably comes as a surprise to many Americans, including some who consider themselves Trump supporters. Haven’t we all been told for years that if you’re born here, you’re automatically a U.S. citizen? It’s all right there in the 14th Amendment. No matter who your parents are or what their status is, you’re an American. Simple as that.

Or is it? Consider the actual wording: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.”

Seems pretty cut and dry, but check out that crucial clause: “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” It’s easy to mumble over it, but we shouldn’t. The Senate included it there for a reason when it passed the amendment in 1868: to make it clear that not everyone born here is automatically a citizen.

Being born here is only half the equation. You also must be “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” The original proposed wording of the amendment did not include that phrase. It was inserted specifically to make it clear that the law did not, in fact, confer citizenship on everyone born here.

Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, a member of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction and a strong supporter of the Citizenship Clause, noted that Congress intended to exclude “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States.” Supreme Court cases decided in the years soon after the amendment’s passage confirm this view.

Moreover, says constitutional scholar Edward Erler: “It is hard to conclude that the framers of the 14th Amendment intended to confer citizenship on the children of aliens illegally present when they explicitly denied that boon to Native Americans legally present but subject to a foreign jurisdiction.”

Notes Hillsdale College’s Matthew Spalding: “Few developed nations practice the rule of jus soli, or ‘right of the soil.’ More common is jus sanguinis, ‘right of blood,’ by which a child’s citizenship is determined by parental citizenship, not place of birth.”

In short, it was wise of Congress to limit the scope of the amendment. And those who misinterpret it are wrong. Trump should be commended for trying to bring current understanding back in line with the original intent of the framers.

That leaves us with the question of whether he would be right to set this issue straight via an executive order. Some people who agree with him on birthright citizenship, such as National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy, believe that he shouldn’t. They argue that it should be done by the same body that issued the amendment in the first place: Congress.

In other words, this is a job for Congress, the branch of government that creates our laws, not the executive, which enforces them.

According to McCarthy, a president cannot “unilaterally change an understanding of the law that has been in effect for decades under a duly enacted federal law.”

Granted, but as constitutional scholar Hans von Spakovsky points out, “that assumes the ‘understanding’ is the correct one. If that understanding actually violates the plain text and intent of the law, the president as the chief law-enforcement officer can, and indeed has an obligation, to direct the federal government to begin applying and enforcing it correctly.”

To put it another way, the president here would not be attempting to make a new law, but to enforce the correct view of an existing law.

Sure, his order would be immediately challenged. Perhaps we’d even wind up with Congress clarifying the original intent of the law. All the more reason to do it. Fairness demands that we get this issue settled—and soon.



The kosher-industrial complex

When there's a need, a free market will answer it

by Jeff Jacoby

IN THE 1960s and 1970s, when my four siblings and I were kids, we weren't allowed to eat Oreo or Pepperidge Farm cookies. Tootsie Rolls were off-limits, too. So were Bazooka bubble gum and Jelly Bellies. And though we often heard the commercial jingle proclaiming "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee," that was a claim the Jacoby youngsters could never verify empirically.

Our parents weren't opposed to sweets. But we grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home where kashrut — the kosher dietary laws — were observed. And none of those yummy treats was kosher.

Now, however, all of them are kosher, along with scores of thousands of other products available in American supermarkets — everything from salsa and spring rolls to salmon and scotch. And thereby hangs a tale: a tale of age-old religious commitment combining with capitalist innovation and in the process transforming a major US industry.

With kosher food as with so many other things, where there is a need, a free market will satisfy it.

America has undergone a kosher revolution. It wasn't all that long ago that demand for kosher food was restricted to a tiny niche of the public — Jews amount to less than 2 percent of the US population, and only a minority of Jews keep kosher. When my mother, who was raised in a non-observant Jewish home in Ohio, began keeping the dietary laws in the early 1950s, she at first had so much trouble finding kosher food that in three months she had lost 20 pounds.

Today, kosher is everywhere. More than 40 percent of packaged foods and beverages now sold in the United States are kosher, their labels bearing the logo of a trusted kashrut-certifying agency, such as the Orthodox Union (OU) or Star-K. Mainstream supermarkets routinely stock large kosher sections. Some grocery chains have become a kosher foodie paradise. American consumers spend an estimated $13 billion annually on kosher food, with sales growing by double digits each year. In her 2010 book Kosher Nation, a deep dive into kashrut in contemporary America, journalist Sue Fishkoff explained that the desire for food certified as kosher goes far beyond the relatively tiny demographic of observant Jews.

"More than 11.2 million Americans regularly buy kosher food, 13 percent of the adult consumer population," Fishkoff writes. "These are people who buy the products because they are kosher, not shoppers who pick up Heinz ketchup, Miller beer, or Cheerios because they like the taste or the price." But only about 1.5 million of those customers are Jews committed to keeping kosher, she points out, which means that "at least 86 percent of the nation's 11.2 million kosher consumers are not religious Jews." Eighty-six percent!

The rules of kashrut, which originated in biblical times, govern both the permissibility and the preparation of food. Some foods are explicitly banned, such as shellfish or pork. Others, such as beef and poultry, are allowed — but only if the animal was properly slaughtered and the meat drained of blood. Moreover, dairy and meat products may never be combined. As with most codes of law, the general principles are only the starting point. The devil is in the details, which multiply exponentially when food is processed and packaged in industrial facilities, with ingredients that often include additives, emulsifiers, colorings, or enzymes sourced from manufacturers worldwide.

With the rise of 20th-century food technology, determining whether a product was kosher increasingly required expertise far beyond the ken of a typical Jewish homemaker. That led to the birth of professional, nonprofit kashrut agencies. "In the early 1920s, the OU came up with a plan to offer food manufacturers a kosher supervision and certification process that would be recognized by Jewish consumers nationwide," Fishkoff recounts. The first company to take up the offer was Heinz, whose canned vegetarian beans began carrying kosher certification in 1923 — a distinction the company played up in advertising targeted to Jews.

But other companies were slow — very slow — to follow suit. In 1945, the OU's kosher symbol appeared on just 184 products made by 37 companies; by 1961, that had grown to 1,830 products from 359 companies — still a mere drop in the food-industry bucket.

Gradually, though, market demand for kosher food was spreading beyond observant Jews. Vegetarians began to see kosher certification on a dairy product as a guarantee that it contained no animal byproducts whatsoever. Muslims, for whom pigs are anathema, learned that the kosher symbol on a package meant there was no pork or lard inside. Other consumers came to associate kashrut with a higher level of purity than US law mandates — an association encouraged by the tagline of a famous Hebrew National hot dog commercial: "We're kosher, and have to answer to an even higher authority."

Critical mass was reached in the late 1980s. "Applications for kosher certification have been pouring in at a rate of 25 to 30 a month, double that of five years ago," observed The New York Times in 1989. Food companies had discovered that the costs of going kosher — replacing ingredients, upgrading equipment, paying for on-site supervision — were more than repaid with increased sales. Jelly Belly, for example, had to spend $650,000 to replace the non-kosher starch it had always used in its candy. Yet within a year of becoming kosher, the company's chief operating officer exulted: "Our product is flying off the shelf."

Big Food's stampede to kashrut has turned kosher certification into a global operation. According to OU officials, the agency now certifies 800,000 products produced in more than 8,500 plants in nearly half the world's countries. And OU is only one (albeit the largest) of the kashrut agencies.

Some foods, of course, can never be kosher. Unlike the forbidden Oreos of my youth, McDonald's Double Cheeseburgers and New England clam chowder will never be brought under the tent. But kosher has undeniably gone mainstream. In the rise of the kosher-industrial complex, all parties have come out ahead. It has generated a vast array of formerly inaccessible options for a small religious minority. It has enabled a key industry to meet a growing market demand and reap billions of dollars in revenue. It has enriched contemporary American culture with one of the most ancient food traditions of all. And it has done it all not through top-down coercion, but through voluntary private cooperation.

What could be more quintessentially American?



GOP House Scrambling To Pass Agenda Before Democrats Take Over

With the impending change in power in the House of Representatives following the midterm elections, the outgoing majority Republicans have a ticking clock to make headway on their agenda initiatives.

According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, Republican representatives are optimistic that they will be able to pass key legislation before the end of their term.

Ohio’s Republican Rep. Jim Jordan named a list of priority bills that he thinks Republicans should try to send to President Donald Trump’s desk before Republicans lose their majority.

“Republicans still have an opportunity to do what we said,” Jordan told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Tuesday.

“We should fund the border security wall, pass a farm bill that requires able-bodied adults to work if they receive welfare, and keep working to hold the FBI and (Department of Justice) accountable for their misconduct during and after the 2016 election,” he said.

Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, recommended that Trump find bipartisan issues that both parties will agree to push forward.

“The Democrats risk looking like a party having a temper tantrum if they continue to just resist and persecute,” Schlapp said to TheDCNF. They may dislike the president but he persists and they need to find a way to be constructive.”

“The administration should also try to work on issues they can work together on like infrastructure, 5G, increasing labor availability, limiting overseas military engagements and the Nat’l security issues around China,” he continued.

“The Democrats have a chance to look like they are ready for this moment and with big problems voters will be judging if this is a fling or a long-term commitment.”

Prior to the midterms, outgoing House Majority Leader Paul Ryan promised Trump a “big fight” to find funding for the border wall as soon as midterm elections had passed, The Associated Press reported.

“We intend on having a full-fledged discussion about how to complete this mission of securing our border and we will have a big fight about it,” Ryan said during a speech at the National Press Club.

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady was positive as he spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Brady said Republicans will pass legislation before the end of the year if they’re not obstructed by Democrats.

Among the issues that Brady believes Republicans should address are the Family Savings Act and Tax Reform 2.0.

“So we’ve got a couple of priorities for the lame duck. Obviously, Tax Reform 2.0 passed out the House in July with 44 Democratic votes for the three bills, so we’re hopeful that we can find bipartisan support and common ground for some of that here in the lame duck,” Brady said, according to The Daily Caller.

“I think, especially the Family Savings Act, which is a big step forward on helping families and workers save more and earlier. I think we’ve done good bipartisan work there, with the Senate as well, so I’m hopeful,” he added.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who is slated to win the Senate seat following the end of the Florida recount, told TheDCNF that he plans to work with “everybody” on crucial legislation.

“I think everyone comes up here with an idea of what they’d like to accomplish for their citizens they represent,” Scott told TheDCNF on Wednesday.

“I’m in the same position. I’m going to work with everybody I can to get stuff done and I hope everybody else does the same thing.”



Trump Predicts Democrats Will ‘Come to Their Senses,’ Threatens Government Shutdown If They Don’t

President Donald Trump said Saturday the looming arrival of a caravan of migrants would make the coming weeks a time to take a stand for border security or risk a government shutdown.

Trump said he thinks Democrats will “come to their senses” and no shutdown will be necessary.

The president spoke to the media briefly Saturday as he was preparing to leave for California. “We’re talking about border wall, we’re talking about quite a big sum of money, about $5 billion,” Trump said.

The proposal has been a hard sell for many Republicans and is rejected by most Democrats. It is now coming to the fore as an issue because border wall funding is part of a bill that must be passed by Dec. 7 to keep the government fully operational.

“I think probably, if I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security, when you look at the caravans, when you look at the mess, when you look at the people coming in, this would be a very good time to do a shutdown,” Trump said.

Trump said he does expect that eventuality, the Washington Times reported.

“I don’t think it’s going to be necessary, because I think the Democrats will come to their senses, and if they don’t come to their senses, we will continue to win elections,” he said.



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)


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.


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.



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)


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.



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.



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.



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




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