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Voters’ Transparent Disgust for Obamacare Fails to Penetrate Gruber’s Stupidity

November 19, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Obama

FrankenG-640-LIIt’s ironic that conservatives are so outraged over MIT healthcare economist Jonathan Gruber’s comments about lack of transparency being necessary to pass Obamacare due to the stupidity of the American people. It’s conservatives who saw through bill architects’ obfuscation and contempt for voters’ intelligence, and liberal suckers who fell prey to their sweet nothings.

Consider Gruber’s history of “misspeaking”:

Recently the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of King v. Burwell to reconcile disparate lower court rulings regarding whether the federal government can create a health care exchange with tax credits for the 37 states that decided not to set up their own Obamacare exchanges.

Although the administration claims that the failure to specify the legitimacy of establishing a federal exchange is a typo, Philadelphia accountant and self-described “nobody” Rich Weinstein caught Gruber on tape arguing that this funding stipulation was necessary to get states to participate in Obamacare and set up their own exchanges.

Recently Weinstein unearthed video of Gruber admitting at a conference at the University of Pennsylvania, “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies… [I]f you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in… it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass.”

Gruber subsequently claimed that his remarks were an “off the cuff,” inaccurate, one-off expression of his sentiments.

Then Gruber was caught in a second video saying the exact same thing. Gruber again claimed that he misspoke off-the-cuff.

Then Gruber was caught in a third video saying the exact same thing. Once again, Gruber characterized his comments as a misstatement.

Then Gruber was caught in a fourth video saying the exact same thing. Gruber isn’t even bothering to defend himself anymore.

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest disavowed Gruber’s comments, claiming that they don’t represent the views of the administration—though Obama once claimed he had “stolen ideas from [Gruber] liberally.” Obama paid Gruber $400,000 of taxpayers’ money for the privilege of incorporating those ideas into Obamacare.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went further, saying she didn’t know who Gruber was and that “he didn’t help write our bill.” Then video emerged of Pelosi citing Gruber by first and last name and institutional affiliation, and commenting on the pivotal role he had played in shaping the bill’s cost-cutting measures. Pelosi’s spokesman lamely responded, “She said she doesn’t ‘know who he is,’ not that she’s never heard of him.”

To paraphrase Pelosi, I guess we have to pass the law so we can find out who wrote it.

Meanwhile, visitor logs show that Gruber attended 19 meetings at the White House to discuss the bill.

As Slate’s John Dickerson points out, the left played up Gruber’s influence on Massachusetts’ health care bill before the 2012 presidential election, and argued that Gruber’s Obamacare ideas were identical to those that influenced Romneycare. If the left can use Gruber to bash Romney, then the right can certainly use him to indict Obama.

Even The New York Times called Gruber a liar for not disclosing his sole-source consulting gig with the Department of Health and Human Services before penning a pro-Obamacare column in their pages.

But what makes the controversy so upside-down is that conservatives saw through the administration’s lack of transparency and paternalistic attitude all along. Obama and Gruber’s constituents were the ones who were snookered.

Let’s see: Was that The Washington Times that was stupid enough to be taken in by Gruber’s lies about the amazing cost-cutting properties of Obamacare? Was it FOX News? Was it conservative radio? No, it was The New York Times, whose editors desperately wanted to believe Gruber’s reassuring lies.

Was it economist Thomas Sowell who blithely gushed over Gruber’s rosy projections? Was it George Will? Was it Charles Krauthammer? No, it was liberal columnist Ron Brownstein, who published a 2,600-word puff piece on Obamacare in The Atlantic, parroting Gruber’s claims without bothering to learn or report that Gruber had a paid contract with the administration.

Brownstein’s article was so influential that President Obama declared it “mandatory reading for all senior staff… [E]veryone involved in, or covering, the health care debate should see the piece.” Brownstein centered his piece around Gruber’s analysis, citing Gruber five times in the first three paragraphs. Yet we’re supposed to believe that Gruber had no influence on Obama’s healthcare bill.

The Democratic National Committee invoked Gruber’s name and contributions to Obamacare in 71 emails they sent subscribers. Liberal politicians who lauded Gruber included Obama, Pelosi, Harry Reid, and John Kerry. Yet we’re supposed to accept that no one in the party ever heard of Gruber or was influenced by his ideas.

Left-wing politicians and wonks uncritically cited Gruber’s work as evidence that Obamacare would insure 30 million more Americans, all while lowering costs, increasing choice, and failing to hire a single new doctor. How gullible can you get?

The people who should be most outraged over Gruber’s comments aren’t conservatives, who saw through the administration’s ruse from the start, or hardened liberals, who will spin Gruber’s comments and never admit their error. It’s independent and center-left Democrats who gave the administration the benefit of the doubt, because they thought their hearts were in the right places.

As conservatives have charged from the start, bill architects were always lying, and always believed that voters’ motivations were too venal and simplistic for them to be able to make wise decisions for themselves.

Obamacare authors’ failure to see how thoroughly America rejected their scam reveals how transparently stupid they are.

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Slightly Better Than Eric Holder Is Still Pretty Awful

November 12, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Crime/Ethics

eric-holder-loretta-lynch-7c14ac64016affe7If it’s not a red flag that President Obama nominated U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as the next Attorney General on a Friday evening, without notifying top GOP Senate officials including presumptive Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, then the fact that Lindsey Graham is already gushing over her should be.

Democrats and RINOs alike are extolling the credentials of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, including her role in high-profile cases such as U.S. vs. Volpe (the Abner Louima case) and prosecution of an illegal immigrant smuggling ring involving owners of nine New York City 7-Eleven stores. But several bright spots on Lynch’s resume don’t compensate for some troubling aspects of her career and legal philosophy.

Like Holder, Lynch champions the practice of trying terrorist suspects in civilian rather than military courts. She argues that this procedural adjustment is necessary in the age of home-grown extremists, and is also the best and perhaps only way to gain valuable intelligence from suspects to help thwart future attacks. She fails to explain, however, why intelligence-gathering can’t be accomplished in more secure military courts that are isolated from the mainland and the citizenry.

(On a positive note, at least Lynch has spent part of her career prosecuting terrorists—in contrast to her predecessor, who defended them.)

Lynch claims that voter ID laws that require people to prove they are who they say they are before voting are racist and will undo the legacy of the civil rights movement. She’s apparently unmoved by the fact that citizen journalist James O’Keefe recently filmed election officials in dozens of polling places consenting to give him ballots belonging to people who hadn’t voted in years in her home state of North Carolina. She has pledged that her Justice Department would continue Holder’s legacy of wasting millions of taxpayer dollars suing states over such laws, even though they’ve already been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Lynch has had nothing but effusive praise for the divisive and disastrous tenure of Holder, the first Cabinet-level official in American history to be held in criminal contempt by Congress—with the support of 17 Democrats.

Lynch is better than Holder only in the sense that anyone would be better than Holder, who’s in a loathsome class of his own.

As Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollak noted, Lynch will have to answer tough questions about the Department’s actions in the aftermath of Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, the decision to dump the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, and incitement of racial mistrust in the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases. She will have to provide responses for these questions, as well as her thoughts on the propriety of Obama’s imminent immigration amnesty pronouncement, even though Obama undoubtedly nominated her because she is outside his political circles and won’t be linked to these policies. Lynch may not have had a role in any of the aforementioned miscarriages of justice, but she will have to say how she plans to right those wrongs—or whether she even sees them as wrongs.

Pollak also suggests that Obama may be hoping Republicans will be reluctant to criticize a history-making black female nominee, just as they were his presumptive Secretary of State nominee Susan Rice. (If Republicans take a tough line against Obama’s nominee, prepare to be assaulted with a predictable slew of left-wing opinion pieces claiming that the GOP is “Lynch-ing” her.)

Senate Democrats are itching to start Lynch’s confirmation process and wrap it up before newly elected Senate Republicans take office in January. Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill offered this lame excuse for prompt confirmation: the grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri could be released any day now, and we will desperately need an Attorney General to butt in and inflame racial politics—I mean offer words of wisdom and investigate atrocities committed against rioting protestors.

The New Republic’s Sam Kleiner criticized Grassley for cautioning that “U.S. attorneys are rarely elevated directly to this position.” Kleiner sniffed, “The suggestion that a U.S. attorney is unequipped to serve as attorney general makes about as much sense as claiming that a governor is unprepared to serve as president.” Except that, um, two paragraphs later Kleiner admitted that “[I]t is rare for a U.S. attorney to be selected directly for the position of attorney general.” So I guess some caution is warranted after all, as long as it doesn’t come from a Republican.

It doesn’t matter whether, as Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly recently claimed, Lynch is the most acceptable choice out of anyone Obama might nominate—i.e. is slightly less awful than Eric Holder.

After the drubbing Democrats suffered in the midterms, in which Americans made clear their disgust with Obama’s party, why should Republicans settle for a marginally less horrific nominee for the nation’s top law enforcement post who will serve during Obama’s final kamikaze two-year rampage in office?

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Democrats: We Didn’t Want to Win Anyway

November 05, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Elections: 2014

sour-grapesDemocrats’ sour grapes after the 2014 midterms are so acerbic they’re practically vinegar.

According to the left’s spin on the electoral results, hinted at before their trouncing and now solidified into Democratic doctrine, winning the Senate is a curse for the GOP.

That’s right—Democrats spent nearly two billion dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours campaigning and volunteering to achieve an outcome they didn’t even want.

I know liberals love throwing billions of dollars of other people’s money at intractable problems they have zero chance of solving, but this is ridiculous.

According to this argument, Republicans are now in charge of both chambers of Congress, which means that they’ll be blamed for future gridlock. As The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote, “Republicans have set themselves up for chaos, if not outright fratricide.”

Except that there will be minimal gridlock in Congress compared to the gridlock under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The gridlock will be between Congress and the White House, and the press will blame it on Obama.

When the Republican House and Senate—whose members are much closer to each other ideologically than either is to Obama—pass bills that are popular with the American people and send them to the president, and Obama stonewalls and sits on them and makes excuses for not signing them, the public will see where the real political dysfunction lies: with Democratic politicians who thwart the will of the people and blame Republicans. Obama may denounce a popular bill on ideological grounds, or perhaps ignore it and go play golf, but either way voters will see who’s “not getting anything done.”

There are many other reasons why, contrary to Democratic pall-casting, Republicans winning the Senate is a fantastic outcome. For one thing, the GOP currently has 52 seats, and will likely win 2 more undecided races in Alaska and Louisiana. If they take the Presidency (and Vice-Presidency) in 2016, they’ll have leeway to lose as many as four net seats to Democrats in 2016 and still retain the Senate. And they’ll need that leeway, because the 2016 Senate landscape is much less favorable to Republicans than in 2014.

Another advantage of taking the Senate is that this year’s election results are eroding the questionable reputations of left-leaning polling prognosticators faster than you can say “Five-Thirty-Eight.”

The biggest surprise in Nate Silver, Sam Wang, and other statisticians’ election forecasts wasn’t their GOP under-predictions in seat tallies. It was the extent to which they underestimated Republicans’ victory margins:

  • Out of 34 Senate races, polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 26 and Republicans’ in only 8
  • Of the 7 competitive races in which Republicans sought pickups—Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina—polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 6, with New Hampshire the sole exception (1% over-prediction for Republican Scott Brown)
  • Polls over-predicted Democratic performance in the three additional states Republicans picked up, including Montana (12%), South Dakota (8%), and West Virginia (6%)
  • Over-prediction of Democrats’ performance also included Tennessee (12%), Kentucky (9%), Virginia and South Dakota (8%), and Maine and Iowa (7%)
  • Out of 35 governors’ races, polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 28 and Republicans’ in just 7

As Silver—who was recently lecturing us on how polls usually under-predict Democratic performance—admits, “[T]he average Senate poll conducted in the final three weeks of this year’s campaign overestimated the Democrat’s performance by 4 percentage points. The average gubernatorial poll was just as bad, also overestimating the Democrat’s performance by 4 points.”

That’s a lot of Democratic over-predicting for something the left allegedly didn’t want in the first place.

One final boon from the midterm results is that they exposed the futility of Democrats’ bogus “War on Women” meme.

If Republicans are waging a war on women—or minorities—then their opening salvo appears to be saddling their adversaries with political power.

In 2014 the GOP demonstrated their contempt for women and nonwhites by electing or reelecting:

  • Joni Ernst, the first woman from Iowa to win a U.S. Senate seat and first female combat veteran in the Senate
  • Shelley Moore Capito, the first female senator from West Virginia and first Republican senator from the state in half a century
  • Mia Love, the first black female Republican elected to Congress
  • Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s first female governor (reelected)
  • Mary Fallin, Oklahoma’s first female governor (reelected)
  • Susana Martinez, New Mexico’s first female governor and first Latina governor in the U.S. (reelected)

Meanwhile, female Democratic candidates lost in droves, including incumbent North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, Kentucky senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, the latter two of whom didn’t even win the female vote in their states.

The War on Women campaign theme was such a bust that even the Denver Post endorsed Cory Gardner over Mark Udall—the latter of whom they endorsed six years ago—because Udall “devoted a shocking amount of energy and money” trying “to frighten voters rather than inspire them.”

The GOP also elected Tim Scott, the first African-American from South Carolina in the Senate, and the first black Southern senator since Reconstruction—a result the left celebrated by calling Scott vile racist names.

Don’t listen to Democrats who pooh-pooh the 2014 midterm results just like they did four years ago. Good news is good news, and we’re going to need a lot more of it in 2016.

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You Say ISIS, Liberals Say U.S.

October 29, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: War on Terror

53777866The left has just proven that the U.S. is as brutal as the Islamic State.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the Islamic State waterboarded its American and British hostages before it killed them. The U.S. also waterboarded several terrorist suspects. Ergo, we are as savage as the Islamic State.

The site Left Wing Nation, for example, intoned, “[W]e have reaped what we have sown… The first Fox News talking head to call this ‘torture’ should be taken out into the street and kneecapped.” (Author Justin Rosario apparently doesn’t find it ironic to accuse conservatives of supporting torture while advocating the kneecapping of broadcasters.) He continues, “I look forward to the torture apologists twisting themselves into pretzels to condemn what they’ve been championing for the last decade.”

In fact, the U.S. might be even worse than the Islamic State. According to liberal logic, Westerners who joined anti-American terrorist groups were disillusioned with the U.S. and Europe because of rampant Islamophobia, and felt that no other group besides IS could be their ideological home. If only the West didn’t hate peaceful Muslims, then these marginalized persons wouldn’t have become radicalized enough to join a group too extreme even for al-Qaeda.

Also, IS waterboarded prisoners because they were imitating us.

Rosario admits that James Foley, Stephen Sotloff, Alan Henning, and other murdered hostages probably would have been killed no matter what the U.S. did to its prisoners, but adds, “I’m also quite certain the horrors they had to endure leading up to their deaths can be laid solely at the feet of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their ‘legalized’ torture regime… They must be so proud of what they’ve unleashed on the world.”

I know that I’m proud of what they’ve “unleashed on the world,” so I happily accept Rosario’s challenge to condemn IS’s actions while championing them on the U.S.’s part:

First, Islamic State captors not only waterboarded their prisoners—not to gain information, by the way, but simply to inflict suffering— they starved them, chained them to radiators, hung them upside down by their feet, squashed dozens of them into tiny cells, beat them while they were naked, and carried out mock executions on them.

Also, um… carried out actual executions on them, in the form of beheadings that they recorded on film, which they then distributed around the world.

I seem to have missed the stage of the Iraq War in which the Bush administration interrupted Gitmo prisoners’ World Cup tryouts to haul them in front of cameras and behead them.

IS is more savage than the monsters of the French Revolution, who at least used a guillotine with a sharp blade to decapitate their victims in one stroke. IS sawed off the heads of their victims with glorified steak knives.

The most egregious crime of which the left has accused U.S. intelligence services is: waterboarding three high-level terrorist suspects under strict medical supervision to ensure no permanent damage. That’s it. While beheadees were forced to wear neon orange jumpsuits, waterboardees under U.S. custody were probably given neon orange life preservers to make them feel like they weren’t drowning.

Unlike IS, the U.S didn’t demand millions of dollars in ransom for its prisoners. That’s because we didn’t capture suspects to raise money to fund our Defense Department, but rather to gain intelligence that would prevent the slaughter of more of our civilians.

And citing what a few miscreants in Abu Ghraib did—which doesn’t approach the brutality of what IS did—doesn’t make the case that we’re as bad as the enemy. The Abu Ghraib pranksters disobeyed protocol and were punished for their actions. IS militants followed standard IS operating procedure.

IS underlings would have gotten in trouble if they hadn’t tortured and beheaded their prisoners.

In addition, IS grabbed noncombatants, including journalists, doctors, and medical aid workers. The U.S. nabbed only suspects with terrorist connections.

IS captured, tortured, and killed their hostages in an attempt to keep the rest of the world from challenging them on the battlefield and halting their territorial gains in Iraq. IS targeted intrepid journalists to intimidate reporters from relating to the world what was happening in Iraq. The U.S., in contrast, apprehended terrorists to glean information that would prevent al-Qaeda and IS attacks against the West.

Most importantly, IS is a terrorist organization whose charter is to establish a worldwide caliphate. The U.S. is a Western democratic republic whose mission is to stop organizations like IS from enslaving hundreds of millions of innocents in Iraq, Syria, and the rest of the Middle East, and to prevent IS from reversing the gains the U.S. made during the Iraq War.

Only if you believe that the U.S.’s moral standing is no greater than that of the Islamic State could you argue that what America has done in the war on terror is as bad as what IS has done.

From liberals I would expect no less.

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4 Out of 5 Presidential Election Voters Prefer Governors

October 22, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Elections: 2016

Republican_Governors_Association_Logo-500I used to think Republicans needed to run either a governor or a senator as our next presidential nominee, but after studying the electoral history, I’ve decided that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is right—it’s gotta’ be a governor.

Or at least it does in 2016, given that the senatorial map is much more favorable to Democrats in 2016 than in 2014, and that Republicans’ likelihood of keeping the Senate (assuming they grab it in 2014) skyrockets if Republican senatorial candidates are able to run on the coattails of a strong Republican presidential candidate.

And consider the following facts about strong presidential candidates:

Forty percent of all presidential winners in U.S. history have been former or current governors, including Jefferson, Monroe, and Tyler (Virginia), Van Buren, Cleveland, and both Roosevelts (New York), Polk and Andrew Johnson (Tennessee), Hayes and McKinley (Ohio), Wilson (New Jersey), Coolidge (Massachusetts), Carter (Georgia), Reagan (California), Clinton (Arkansas), and George W. Bush (Texas). A similar percentage—thirty-seven percent—have been former or current senators.

But twenty-one percent of all winners ran for president while sitting governors. In contrast, only three winners—seven percent of the total—ran while senators, including Harding, Kennedy, and Obama.

If you count only elections after 1854, the year the Republican Party formed, thirty-one percent of winners were sitting governors, compared to only ten percent who were sitting senators.

So we’ve elected as president former or current governors from New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, California, Arkansas, and Texas. If we’re trying to repeat history, Christie (New Jersey) and Rick Perry (Texas)

In an intriguing analysis, Patrick J. Egan recently identified Republican governors John Kasich (Ohio), Bill Haslam (Tennessee), Robert Bentley (Alabama), Brian Sandoval (New Mexico), and Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota) as having higher-than-expected support in the polls in their current reelection bids, controlling for statewide factors such as party control of the legislature and percentage of voters who usually choose the Republican presidential candidate. Egan suggested that these governors’ higher-than-predicted popularity margins make them especially strong potential candidates in a general election.

A few Republican governors have been getting presidential buzz—Christie, Rick Perry (Texas), Scott Walker (Wisconsin)—but most haven’t, including Rick Scott (Florida), Mike Pence (Indiana), Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), Susana Martinez (New Mexico), Nikki Haley (South Carolina), Sean Parnell (Alaska), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Jan Brewer (Arizona), Nathan Deal (Georgia), and a dozen others I haven’t mentioned.

Why aren’t more of these governors household names, at least among Republicans? Do we want to learn something from electoral history and win the 2016 presidential election or don’t we?

I’ve argued that the executive branch may be a more natural fit for the Republican Party, and less suitable for Democrats, because governors have more “actual responsibilities” such as balancing budgets, making unpopular decisions without being able to hide behind 99 weasels or vote “Present,” and fighting sleazy opposition party opponents who file baseless accusations that risk embarrassing entire states. This suggests that the best route to the presidency for Republicans is through governorships.

The directive that we choose a governor as our 2016 nominee does rule out some fantastic Senatorial candidates—such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Mike Lee. But let’s save these politicians—each just 43 years old—and others in the adolescent stage of their careers for an election in which the Senate map is favorable to Republicans again, or at least until these candidates have served as governor.

And just because Christie is on the warpath demanding a gubernatorial nominee doesn’t mean he’s the one we should pick. I’d be equally happy with Walker, Perry, or former Governor Mitt Romney.

Radio host Mark Levin, willfully misinterpreting Christie’s remarks (as usual), recently cited the counterexample of Abraham Lincoln, one of only three presidents whose highest elected office attained was U.S. Representative. But clearly Lincoln is an exception that proves the rule. (And remember that only three sitting senators have ever been elected president.) Nominating a sure-thing liberal Republican rather than taking a chance on a viable conservative candidate would be a betrayal of principles. But why can’t we aim for a conservative and someone with governing experience?

If we acknowledge which high-profile office is most commonly held by those elected president, then the first stage of our 2016 nomination process is clear: We’ve got to choose a Chief Executive as our next nominee for Chief Executive.

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Nobel Peace Prize Committee Still Lauding Frauds

October 15, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: War on Terror

tumblr_mjgwj3FzTe1qzxm3co1_500Conservative sites have been posting joint portraits of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Malala Yousafzai and former winner President Barack Obama with captions implying that one of the photo’s subjects deserved the award and the other didn’t.

They’re right that one of the two winners is more deserving than the other. Unfortunately, he doesn’t much deserve it, either.

As no one has been reporting in the press, education activist Malala Yousafzai may hold the distinction of being the youngest hit speaker on the international Marxist convention circuit.

Last year Malala prepared remarks for the 32nd Congress of the Pakistani branch of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). In her statement, which was read in her absence by “Comrade Javed Iqbal, a Pakistani comrade,” she gushed, “First of all I’d like to thank [Pakistani Marxist organization] The Struggle and the IMT for giving me a chance to speak last year at their Summer Marxist School in Swat and also for introducing me to Marxism and Socialism.”

While other teenage girls idled away August making crafts and learning to swim, Malala spent her summer at a camp studying Lenin and Trotsky.

In her statement Malala declared, “I would like to send my heartfelt greetings to the congress. I am convinced Socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades to take this struggle to a victorious conclusion. Only this will free us from the chains of bigotry and exploitation.”

Yes, this is the same Malala who was shot in the head on a school bus by the Taliban in 2012, endured a long and painful recovery, and resumed her work as an education activist.

This Malala promotes an ideology that was responsible for the deaths worldwide of 94 million people in China, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea, Africa, Afghanistan, and Cuba.

Malala merely rejected one murderous totalitarian ideology—radical Islam—to flirt with another, even more murderous totalitarian ideology—Soviet-style Marxism. Applause, please, comrades.

Officially, Malala’s cause is the transformative power of education to improve people’s lives and the eradication of disparities in girls and boys’ education in hard-line Islamic societies. Yet if her ideal communitarian society came into being, then people’s intellectual and economic power would be diminished even further, and the sexes would be equal only in that their educational opportunities would be equally stifled and impoverished.

If Malala preaches that Marxism and socialism are the only way forward, then she doesn’t believe a word she says about freedom, dignity, or respect.

Some might argue that Malala’s dalliance with totalitarianism is a mere schoolgirl crush, a regrettable youthful phase she’ll grow out of once she experiences more of real life. Great—but then why are we giving Nobel Peace Prizes to naïve children with no understanding of the world? (The same question could be asked about Obama.)

Others have suggested that Malala is a mere mouthpiece for her father’s communist propaganda—an even more damning indictment of her worthiness of the prize.

It’s clear that a big reason the Nobel committee was delighted to give Malala the award alongside Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi is that it allows them to go around cheering about some supposed symbolic unity in the Indian-Pakistani conflict.

But such a mentality assumes that India and Pakistan—proxies for the West and radical Islam—are on an equal moral playing field and share culpability for prolonging their ideological struggle. Yet India and Pakistan don’t have the same moral weight: one is a pro-Western, pro-democracy, free economy that assists with the war on terror; the other is an anti-Western, anti-Israeli theocracy that gives comfort and aid to those perpetrating that war.

Satyarthi, who is sixty years old, has been a child labor and anti-human trafficking activist for decades, and actually deserves the prize. Like Malala, he survived physical attacks and improved the lives of tens of thousands of children—yet unlike Malala has not gone on record extolling the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Should anyone be surprised that one of Nobel’s 2014 co-winners has such a background? This is the same committee that lauded former Al-Jazeera owner Al Gore, anti-Semite Jimmy Carter, modern terrorism founder Yasser Arafat, Marxist terrorist and liar Rigoberta Menchu, and white-haired commie Nelson Mandela.

It would have been shocking if the committee hadn’t granted the award to someone with loathsome political credentials. When I first heard they had given it to Malala (before I knew she was a Red), I was suspicious about why they had chosen such an honorable recipient.

If the committee wanted to grant the Peace Prize to an anti-Taliban activist who has risked his life, why not honor Malala’s fellow Pakistani Zahid Khan, founder and head of Swat Quami Jirga, the anti-Taliban tribal council, who was also shot in the head, survived three assassination attempts, but has yet to endorse the ideology that brought us forced collectivization, great famines, and the gulag?

As Khan graciously put it, “Malala is a talented girl, no doubt… I have been attacked. Shot. Almost killed. But no one is honoring me. The state hasn’t given me a cent in compensation.”

In addition, dozens of other anti-Taliban activists have been shot and killed in recent years, but apparently their stories didn’t incorporate a politically correct feminist slant, and therefore weren’t enticing enough to the committee.

Hard as it is to believe, the committee has honored someone even less deserving of the Peace Prize than Obama. Obama’s mentors may have been Saul Alinsky, Frank Marshall Davis, and Jeremiah Wright, but give him credit—at least he’s not an avowed Marxist.

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Treat Potential Ebola Carriers Like Terrorism Suspects

October 08, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Miscellaneous

chemicalWhile armchair security experts and Pollyanas-in-power battle it out on the airwaves, the real solution to the Ebola threat is so elusive because it’s already out there—and it’s already been rejected.

After 9/11, sensible Americans demanded more aggressive airline passenger screening measures that discriminated in extremity of application among the most likely terrorism suspects and those who were literally incapable of committing such attacks.

For example, no one was complaining about the general public having their suitcases run under an X-ray, but some suggested that perhaps we didn’t need to feel up 90-year-old great-grandmothers in wheelchairs with oxygen tubes and terrified toddlers in training paints. Perhaps it would be wiser and more efficient, they suggested, to give a touch extra scrutiny to passengers who possessed many terrorist-aligned characteristics: male, foreign, twentysomething, Middle Eastern, bearded, Islamic-garb-clad.

But the left screamed about racial profiling, and wimpy Republicans who didn’t want to seem Islamophobic placated them, and soon Amish, Hindu, and Wiccan citizens alike were pointlessly taking off their shoes, belts, and coats, packing 3-oz. toiletries in Ziploc bags, and submitting to invasive body scans.

Now the country is panicking about a threat to the homeland from another continent, in the form of an infectious disease that has stricken two U.S. victims—Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Duncan and Dallas County Sheriff Deputy Michael Monnig.

The left is urging us to stop stereotyping and admit all and sundry who want to gatecrash the U.S. from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, while conservatives are panicking and demanding that we seal the borders.

If we had learned our lesson on passenger screening during the most acute phase of the Islamic terrorism threat, we’d know how to deal with Ebola now, but since we haven’t, here are the steps we must take to prevent it from entering the country:

  • The most likely Ebola suspects get the most scrutiny.

If you want to find Ebola carriers without banning everyone from traveling internationally, you have to look for signs of infection, and there’s no way to screen for deadly contagious diseases in a politically correct manner. The characteristics we should look for are country of origin, country from which one is traveling, high body temperature, other signs of illness, and whatever additional characteristics reliable medical agencies tell us are Ebola indicators. If the presence of these factors is correlated with certain races or accents, too bad.

  • Those who cannot possibly have Ebola do not receive extra inspection.

Not being politically correct means targeting likely candidates for extra investigation, but it also means not turning airport security queues into Soviet-style breadlines by forcing everyone to endure the tedious battery of physiological tests and intense questioning that genuine Ebola candidates should undergo for the sake of fairness.

  • Screening happens before boarding and after deplaning.

Screening after passengers deplane is even more important than screening before they board. Ebola is not an airborne disease, and co-passengers aren’t at risk unless a carrier has a fever of 101.5° F or higher. Due to Ebola’s prolonged incubation, a carrier could board without showing symptoms, yet start showing them before the flight is over.

  • Authorities do what’s in the public interest.

Just as transportation security officials who run background checks and find evidence of a terrorist threat pull suspects aside and turn them over to law enforcement, those who discover Ebola warning signs must refuse potentially afflicted passengers the right to board and direct them to the appropriate medical personnel.

So if the politically correct, left-wing solution is a failure, why shouldn’t we ban flights from Liberia and other affected African nations?

Conservatives’ Ebola hysteria reflects their recent frenzy over immigration. You can tell, because they’ve been framing their proposals for combating Ebola as “securing the border.”

But in the same way that we shouldn’t ban all flights from the Middle East to prevent terrorism, we don’t need to ban all flights from Africa. Amazingly, as with terrorism, the free market will take care of the situation.

Do you think airlines will continue to route hundreds of flights through Ebola-stricken African countries without taking precautions to prevent victims from sweeping into this country and spreading the virus—a public relations disaster that would bankrupt them? Unlike secretly protectionist conservatives, airlines don’t want flights banned, because they’ll lose business. So their next-most-favored course of action is to go overboard on security procedures, such that people will want to keep flying even if they’re inconvenienced.

The left is correct about one thing: the best way to prevent the spread of Ebola to the U.S. is to end the outbreak at its source, i.e. West Africa—which means we can’t start banning travel to and from the continent. I don’t like the fact that Obama was quicker to send troops to Africa to deal with Ebola than to Iraq to deal with ISIS, but—as with terrorism—it’s better to control the situation there than to use a piecemeal solution to address it as it trickles across our borders.

Both extremes—turning a blind eye to the problem and banning intercontinental travel—can be avoided by adopting the strategy we should have assumed after 9/11: not being afraid to identify high-risk targets and screen them without fear of being labeled politically incorrect.

After all, dealing with Ebola and terrorism may someday involve not only the same tactics, but the same suspects.

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Voting Isn’t a Right, It’s a Privilege

October 01, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Miscellaneous

nr.granderson.opinion.cnn.640x360All these recent voter disenfranchisement charges, lawsuits, and Supreme Court cases are baffling to me, because not only are their rationales specious, but they’re predicated on the hilarious premise that we need more people voting. In fact, we need fewer.

Can you imagine what our Founding Fathers would think about how the practice of voting is carried out today, given the current makeup of the electorate, and given how politicians manipulate uninformed Americans by building “coalitions of voters” like Lego blocks, or how celebrities sway them by fetishizing the act of voting? Do you think the likes of Sam Adams and Noah Webster intended for people who don’t know what the two political parties stand for, which parties the candidates belong to, or who the major candidates are, to decide our country’s future?

As suggested by Massachusetts Provincial Governor and TMZ prognosticator James Warren, “Let the youth of America… instead of indulging a rapturous admiration for the modern superficial speechifyers in favor of an American monarchy [aka Obama]… before they embrace the chains of servitude [aka Obamacare], let them scrutinize their own hearts, and inquire, if their pride and their independency of spirit, will suffer them to lick the hand of a despotic master.” Why yes, I believe they will! Even back in the 18th century, our Founding Fathers predicted Obama Girl.

Think about all the voting rights movements throughout our nation’s history—for African Americans, women, young adults. Those movements were led and fought for by groups that were committed to, interested in, and knowledgeable about the political process and what was at stake in the next election. Most of the activists pushing for voting rights for blacks, women, or 18-year-olds probably could have blown the average voter out of the water with their political savvy.

Nowadays it isn’t knowledgeable, principled groups agitating for changes to voting laws so their voices can be heard. In fact, it isn’t even the groups themselves advocating for changes.

It’s liberal organizations hoping to swell their party’s ranks who are the ones pushing for polling places to be prohibited from requesting photo identification from voters who are supposedly too lazy or dumb to fill out a form. It’s racial grievance-mongers and ethnic balkanizers demanding that ballots, polling place instructions, and election flyers be printed in 9,000 languages so that native Catalonian and Hmong speakers can choose the next leader of the free world without having to know what he stands for.

It’s Democratic Congressmen arguing that states that haven’t been racist hotbeds since—well, since they were governed by Democrats—should be forced to abide excessive federal oversight of their redistricting processes for all eternity. It’s left-wing front groups claiming that not letting felons vote is a barbaric human rights violation.

Most recently, it’s unions crying that not allowing people to “early vote” 24-7 from Labor Day to Election Day in Ohio is insensitive to the unpredictable work schedules of single black mothers, even though the latter are free to request absentee ballots like everyone else.

Note that opposition to the entire sea of humanity showing up on Election Day to metaphorically throw darts at a piece of paper so they can feel like they’ve fulfilled their civic duty has nothing to do with wanting to disenfranchise minorities—unless you count the uninformed as a minority. I may hold divergent views on their politics, but I’d rather have Neil deGrasse Tyson voting for President than Snooki.

Exactly what purpose is served by pushing people who know or care nothing about the issues or candidates to vote? Sure, they can, but should they? In our country, anyone who was born in the United States and is 35 years of age or older can run for President. Does that mean he should?

Some political scientists have argued that ignoring politics is rational, because the average person has so little influence on the political process that it’s a waste of time for him to become so informed. That makes some sense—but then why do those same people who have declined to become politicos trudge out on Election Day every two or four years and screw things up for those of us who care about the issues?

I’m not arguing that we need to legally prohibit ignorant people from voting, as one commentator has suggested. Tying the U.S. Naturalization Test to voter registration is one way to take care of the matter, but I think a little social pressure on ignoramuses to stay home on Election Day should do the trick.

If you’re not into politics, that’s fine. Really! There are lots of other potential pursuits for you out there, like real estate and macramé. But please have the courtesy to leave the voting to the experts—i.e. people who can name the two candidates on Election Day.

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Liberal Immodesty on Climate Change Threat Sets Record Highs

September 24, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Environmentalism

????????????????????????????????According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer 2014 was the hottest on record—a claim that President Obama gleefully trumpeted at the United Nations’ Climate Summit on Tuesday. Major news outlets have uncritically repeated the refrain.

NOAA reported, “The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for the June-August period was [a] record high for this period, at 0.71°C (1.28°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), beating the previous record set in 1998.”

Interesting. Did NOAA’s analysis highlight all the cold records broken this past summer, this past year, and in recent years, globally and regionally? Did the mainstream media hype all of those records when they were broken?

For example, the U.S. had its coolest summer in five years, and New York City its coolest in a decade. The UK and Austria saw their coolest Augusts in 21 and 8 years, respectively. New England recently experienced record early frost.

Even NOAA’s report inadvertently admits, when it cites 2014’s second-, third-, and fifth-place finishes in various warming categories, that the planet isn’t warming.

For example, their admission that “The global land surface temperature was 0.99°C (1.78°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F), the second highest on record for August, behind 1998 [emphasis added]” reveals that the Earth has been cooling since 1998.

Their claim that “The June-August worldwide land surface temperature was 0.91°C (1.64°F) above the 20th century average, the fifth highest on record [emphasis added]” discloses that there were four separate years when this period was hotter than summer 2014—which again means that the Earth has cooled since then.

Yet none of the global warming computer models that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cited in its late 20th/early 21st century reports predicted zero global warming over the next decade and a half, which is what we’ve seen since 1998. Not one.

Note that all of the above evidentiary exceptions to the global warming hysteria were cited by either NOAA or mainstream publications hyping the NOAA announcement. We haven’t even gotten to data reported by global warming skeptics, i.e. real scientists.

For example, Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That—the most popular climate skeptic site on the Internet—notes that record low temperatures were twice as frequent as record high temperatures in the U.S. this year, and three times as frequent in July.

Weather.com similarly documents the large number of all-time cold temperature records broken in the U.S. over our cooler-than-average summer.

And although shills for the NOAA report point out that summer 2014 was cool on the East Coast but warm on the West Coast, the winter of 2013-14 was the 34th-coldest on record nationally. Doesn’t anyone remember that painful phenomenon we experienced known as the polar vortex?

In addition, weather disturbances such as hurricanes and tornadoes—which climate change proponents claimed were increasing due to global warming—have been at record lows.

And we’re not even addressing the growing body of evidence, increasingly infiltrating the mainstream media, that factors other than anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are primarily responsible for global warming. We’re just trying to get some honest data on whether the globe is even warming—and, to put it mildly, environmentalists aren’t helping.

The lesson to be learned from all this partisan hype is that you can’t just pick the records you want to report on and ignore the rest, as liberals always accuse the right of doing on climate matters. You can’t arbitrarily decide on the timeframe and location to be examined, then crow because some record was set there. From 9am on March 4 until 3pm on July 15 in the Northeastern corner of Siberia, record high temperatures were recorded!

Honest metrics must be chosen and agreed upon beforehand—prior to a single measurement being taken—and assessed without bias, with no flashing quirky extreme results that you found after weeks of fishing through the data. In fact, real scientists try to disprove a phenomenon’s predominantly accepted explanation, even—or especially—if they espouse it, so they can see whether it survives rigorous scrutiny.

But according to liberal logic, if tank top sales are up in West Hollywood while the Antarctic witnesses record icecap growth, then the latter can be safely ignored while the former can be hyped as rock-solid proof of our urgent need for climate justice.

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Hillary’s Steak-Out

September 17, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Elections: 2016

hillary-clinton-iowa-videoSixteenByNine540How many lies can Hillary tell at one Steak Fry?

At a recent popular annual event in Indianola, Iowa hosted by retiring Senator Tom Harkin, the nation was reminded of just what we’re in for when Hillary 2016 starts barnstorming hamlets and state fairs across the country in support of the candidate’s lifelong goal—connecting on an emotional level with even a single voter.

Before Hillary and Bill fake-grilled steaks in front of supporters, the potential candidate stuffed us full of the following whoppers:

  1. “Good to see you! You guys having a good time? We’re having a good time today.”

No, you’re in the ninth circle of Hell, slumming it with ordinary folks and begging for their votes due to an American electoral quirk that crowns Iowa’s caucus as the first unofficial national Presidential primary. It’s a good thing your dais was so far from the crowd, because if you were any closer, folks’ jaws would drop at the disconnect between your fake grin and your contemptuous eyes.

  1. “Hello, Iowa! I’m back!”

Hillary makes it sound like she was ever really there, or like she ever wants to recall her time in Iowa rather than obliterate it from memory. She was trounced and humiliated by a junior Senator and a pretty-boy philanderer in 2007, and she’d rather be sewing Monica Lewinsky knee pads than revisiting Iowa.

  1. “It really does feel like just yesterday when I was here. As I recall, there was a young senator from Illinois there, and I wonder whatever happened to him.”

Of course Hillary has been thinking nonstop about Obama, grinding her teeth over the fact that the notoriously inexperienced community organizer—who her husband once claimed should be getting real politicians coffee—beat her to the punch solely because she’s so hideously unlikeable. After reluctantly joining his administration, Hillary started counting the days till she could resign as Secretary of State and hop aboard the coattails of the second Commander-in-Chief she’s tried to ride to the Presidency.

  1. “We [Obama and I] went from rivals to partners to friends.”

No, you went from smug condescension toward Obama to venomous enemies to using him as a stepping stone to further your ambitions. You were never partners except in advancing your political careers; and you were never friends, because you’ve never had any real friends, only people you use, people who fawn over you, and people you throw lamps at.

  1. “Under President Obama’s leadership, our economy is on the road to recovery.”

If by “recovery” you mean historic withdrawal of able-bodied workers from the labor force and miserably low levels of job creation, then yes!

  1. “I’ve got a few things on my mind these days.”

You’ve had only one thing on your mind since the day you graduated from Wellesley, which is to be President, President, President, even if you have to eke out victory on your deathbed and run the country for 200 days like President James Garfield, just so you can go down in history as the woman who cracked the glass Presidential ceiling.

  1. “First, and most importantly, Bill and I are on constant grandchild alert.”

First and most importantly you’re on constant alert for Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden to get caught up in massive scandals. But perhaps Chelsea’s offspring is second!

  1. “And then of course there’s that other thing. Well, it is true. I am thinking about it. But for today that is not why I am here. I’m here for the steak.”

This may be true. Hillary probably does love steak, or some equally hearty fare.

  1. “Too many people only get excited about presidential campaigns. Look, I get excited about presidential campaigns, too.”

You don’t get excited about Presidential campaigns, you run your marriage, your life, and your hairstyles around them, and your plea to Iowa fans to get excited about the midterms is genuine only in that you care if they’ll help you get elected. If your political strategists calculate that you’ll be more likely to win the Presidency in 2016 with Republicans taking the Senate, then you’ll be scheming behind the scenes to bring about that outcome.

10. “Let’s not let another seven years go by.”

You’d let eternity go by if you never had to walk in a pantsuit through grassy, tick-filled plains with tacky middle Americans gawking and screaming while your husband captures all the attention.

Politicians are by definition artificial, but Hillary Clinton would hold the distinction of being the fakest President ever elected.

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