ANNOUNCEMENTS: Ryan’s book; Rallies for Officer; FIDF – September 2nd; TPPatriot – “EndtheBorderCrisis.com; StopHamasNow; “AMERICA” BY D’SOUZA
LEADS: THOMAS – Self-loathing Brits; BREITBART TV – Cameron attacks multi-culturals; EDMUNDS – Pro Jewish demos; McDOWELL – Net neutrality; McCARTHY – Strategy; ROSE – Myth & ice caps, WILL – Ryan’s way forward.
NATIONAL: CHAFETS – Jews to turn on Dems?; BROWN/EPSTEIN – Obama banned; WOOD – Pay more to migrate; DAVEY – Ferguson signs up voters.
IMMIGRATION: BEDARD – 37.5M illegal kids
ISIS: DARCY – Cameron greatest threat in history; BOYER – BO caught off-guard; YAHOO! – Saudi warnings; DRUDGE links.
UKRAINE: BIGELOW – Near war; DRUDGE; links.
PA: FUND – A GOP disaster; KNEPPER – Little data for Common Core; STAUB – PA’s debt $14.5M per taxpayer; MARTIN – The death industry; FOLMER – Memo; FOLMER – Medical pot.
END NOTES: BRODY – “Labor” Day; GOLDBERG – Shhh, Mr. Pres.
ANNOUNCEMENTSF Training TBA; 9/2 FIDF Wine Tasting; “Medical” cannabis meetings; 9/17- CAP fund-raiser.
“‘Nature,’ Galileo observed four hundred years ago, ‘abhors a vacuum.’ That sucking sound you hear when reading the alarming list of what Secretary of State John Kerry might have rushing wind is the sound of a profound leadership deficit. It’s what happens when a great power abdicates, when it stops acting like an adult and gives free rein to its inner community organizer, its inner selfie. It’s Lord of the Flies writ large. Roger Kimball
“Feinstein, a democrat, said she agreed with Senate colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who “laid the basis for confrontation” in a New York Times op-ed published Friday” Good sense? Or marriage to a defense contractor?
ANNOUNCEMENTS . . .
Paul Ryan: “The Way Forward”
Ryan is GOP establishment but also has some life in him. He hosted Hannity’s show last night and pushes a book . . . $19 at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Way-Forward-Renewing-American/dp/1455557560; Autographed copies, try Bookworld,
2451 Milton Ave, Janesville, WI 53545, (608) 756-4331.
FIDF: September 2nd: FIDF Wine tasting, cheese, music . .
6:30-9:00 PM, $18.
Beth Or, 239 Welsh Road, Maple Glen, PA
Featuring: Josh Shapiro (Montgomery County Commission); Yaron Sideman (Israel Consul General); Israeli IDF Attache; Parent of one lone soldier; and former lone soldier.
RSVP: 215-383-2890. Sponsorship levels available.
September 12th, 7 PM: VF Patriots September Meeting
PHOENIXVILLE SENIOR CENTER, 153 CHURCH ST., PHOENXVILLE
Several months ago we watched Dennis Michael Lynch’s “They Come to America II”, the cost of Amnesty. At our September meeting we will watch and discuss the sequel, “We Ride to DC”.
DML was in NYC the horrible day of the 911 attacks. Following that event, he decided to give up his thriving business and travel the country to see for himself and document what is really going on in our Nation. He found that nothing in the main stream media reflects what is really going on in America. Not on jobs, people NOT in the workforce, race baiting, Benghazi, IRS, illegal immigration, and so much more.
DML as a grassroots film maker attended conservative rallies for anti-abortion and a 911 biker rally where thousands participated and the MSM completely ignored it. He believes we need a resurgence of National pride as in the Regan era and a rebuilding of the American memory.
The film is both uplifting and frustrating. Please join us. Come prepared to sign an anti-amnesty petition.
Feel free to bring snacks and drinks. There is no cost but donations are important to VFP to cover costs of meeting venues, printing, supplies, etc.
Thank you! Hope to see you all on Friday, Sept. 12, 7:00.
TEA Party Patriots: EndtheBorderCrisis.com
Sign the National Petition to End the Border Crisis Now!
Stop Hamas Now
106,767 signed . . . as of 8/20/14, 8 AM . . .
King of Prussia, PA
UA King of Prussia 15 IMAX & RPX. Tickets available at website!
The book … three weeks now at #1 on NYT bestseller list!
LEADS . . .
Sean Thomas, UK Telegraph: “The self-loathing of the British Left is now a problem for us all”
And in Manhattan, Chicago, LA, and San Francisco . . .
“It’s often been observed that a certain type of British Lefty hates Britain – and that they reserve particularly hatred for Englishness. Back in 1941 George Orwell made this acute remark:
“England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution.
“So what’s new? The difference today is that this shame and self-hatred now dominates Left-wing thought, whereas it was once balanced by the decent Left: who were proud to inherit the noble traditions of radical English patriotism.
“Evidence for this disease is all around us, but shows up particularly in two red-button issues-of-the-day: the independence referendum, and the appalling revelations from Rotherham.
“First, Scotland. The latest polls show that the United Kingdom is close to breaking up. This is a remarkable state of affairs when you consider that, a year ago, polls were two to one against partition. How has this occurred? Because we have allowed the British Labour party to lead the No debate.
“This was a disastrous decision, given that, as Orwell noted, Labourites and Lefties revile and deride so many of the things perceived as quintessentially British. Take your pick from the monarchy, the flag, the Army, the history of rampant conquest, the biggest empire in the world, the supremacy of the English language, anyone who lives in the countryside, the national anthem, the City of London, the Royal Navy, a nuclear deterrent, the lion and the unicorn, duffing up the French, eating loads of beef – all this, for Lefties, is a source of shame. . . “
Breitbart TV: “Cameron Attacks Multiculturalism: ‘Adhering to British Values’ Is ‘Not a Choice’”
“. . . Cameron did say that “Britain is an open, tolerant, and free nation. We are a country that backs people in every community, who want to work hard, make a contribution, and build a life for themselves and their families.”
“While he emphasized Britain’s openness and tolerance, he added, “We cannot stand by and allow our openness to be confused with a tolerance of extremism, or one that encourages different cultures to live separate lives and allows people to behave in ways that run completely counter to our values. Adhering to British values is not an option or a choice, it is a duty for those who live in these islands, and in the end, it is only by standing up for these values that we will defeat this extremism, protect our way of life, and keep all our people safe.”
Donna Rachel Edmunds, Breitbart: “LONDON: Thousands Gather in Massive Demonstration against UK Anti-Semitism”
“Over 4,500 people thronged the streets of London outside the Royal Courts of Justice today to protest about the rise of anti-Semitism on the streets. The attendees carried banners reading “zero tolerance for antisemitism” and “prosecute hate before it’s too late” as they listened to speakers including Chief Rabbi Mirvis, Maajid Nawaz from the Quilliam Foundation, and Douglas Murray.
“It was organised by the group Campaign Against Antisemitism UK, who describe themselves as “a network of activists committed to countering the rising tide of antisemitism spreading throughout the UK and Europe.” Advertising the event on their Facebook page, the campaigners explained the need for the rally:
“‘We have all been having dinner table conversations about ‘the situation’. We worry together about the rise in antisemitism and commiserate: ‘It’s terrifying, isn’t it?’ People are even wondering aloud whether the UK, our country, where we are rooted, is a safe place for Jews to bring up children.
“Yes, there is a rising tide of antisemitism and yes, it is terrifying, but it will only get worse unless we stand up for ourselves. You must have asked yourself whether you are content to worry quietly, or whether you are willing to stand and do something – go to protests, write letters, report antisemites to the Police. One of your responses to that question was to ‘like’ our page. Now it’s time to ask the others around the dinner table. . .”
Robert McDowell, WSJ: “Net Neutrality vs. Free Speech”
“Cable interests are trying to drag Internet ‘edge’ providers down with them into the regulatory abyss.
“The “edge” of the Internet is where consumers go to get content such as movies from Amazon, streaming online TV shows from broadcasters and apps from companies like Uber. Thousands of start-ups sprout each year while billions in private risk capital is being plowed into a new economy that is providing unprecedented consumer freedom and benefits. Today’s Internet blossomed precisely because the government kept its hands off of it.
The FCC’s attempt to turn the Internet into what amounts to a federally regulated public utility—all in the name of protecting consumers—has produced tortured logic among cable interests: If Internet service providers are going to be regulated, then websites that their subscribers watch—especially broadcasters’ sites—should be regulated too.
“According to comments filed with the FCC by Time Warner Cable and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, broadcasters should not be allowed to take down or withhold the content they produce and own from online distribution even if subscribers have not paid for it—as a matter of federal law. In other words, edge providers should be forced to stream their online content no matter what. Such an overreach, of course, would lay waste to the economics of the Internet. It would also violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against state-mandated, or forced, speech—the flip side of censorship. . .”
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “In Search of a Strategy”“Obama isn’t the only one who needs a coherent approach to the worldwide jihad.
“Is it better to have no strategy or a delusional strategy?
“The question arises, of course, after President Obama’s startling confession on Thursday that he has not yet developed a strategy for confronting the Islamic State, the al-Qaeda-rooted terrorist organization still often called by its former name, ISIS – an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Al-Sham refers to Greater Syria.
“You may have noticed that President Obama calls the group ISIL, preferring the acronym that refers to the Levant to the one referring to al-Sham. After all, anything that invokes Syria might remind you of red lines that turned out not to be red lines and the administration’s facilitation of the arming of ‘moderate rebels’ who turned out to include, well, ISIS. The fact is that the president has never had a Syria strategy, either — careening from Assad the Reformer, to Assad the Iranian puppet who must be toppled, to Assad who maybe we should consider aligning with against ISIS — ISIS being the “rebels” we used to support in Syria . . . unless they crossed into Iraq, in which case they were no longer rebels but terrorists . . . to be ‘rebels’ again, they’d have to cross back into Syria or cruise east west to Libya, where they used to be enemy jihadists spied on by our ally Qaddafi until they became ‘McCain’s heroes’ overthrowing our enemy Qaddafi.
“No? Well, congratulations, you may have caught mental health, a condition to be envied even if it would disqualify you from serving as a foreign-policy and national-security expert in Washington. In either party. . .”
David Rose, UK Mail: “Myth of arctic meltdown: Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago…despite Al Gore’s prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now”
“Seven years after former US Vice-President Al Gore’s warning, Arctic ice cap has expanded for second year in row
“An area twice the size of Alaska – America’s biggest state – was open water two years ago and is now covered in ice
‘These satellite images taken from University of Illinois’s Cryosphere project show ice has become more concentrated.”
George Will, NRO: “Paul Ryan’s Way Forward”
“The congressman reminds us that government depletion of social capital harms the culture.
“. . . ‘Society,’ Ryan writes, ‘functions through institutions that operate in the space between the individual and the state,’ and ‘government exists to protect the space where all of these great things occur.’ Hence government has a ‘supporting role’ as ‘the enabler of other institutions.’ Progressive government, however, works, sometimes inadvertently but often deliberately, to subordinate or supplant those institutions. This depletion of social capital is comprehensively injurious to the culture. And ‘all the tax cuts in the world don’t matter much if you don’t get the culture right.’
“Progressivism aims to place individuals in unmediated dependency on a government that can proclaim, as Barack Obama does: ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’ Meaning, people depend on government for what they are and have.
“Few of today’s progressives are acquainted with their doctrine’s intellectual pedigree or its consistent agenda. . .”
NATIONAL . . .
Zev Chafets, Fox: “Will Jews turn on Obama, Dems in 2014 and turn out for GOP?”
“This year, as in every election year since Barack Obama has been in the White House, we are hearing the cry of the hopeful Republican: This is the year that Jewish voters and donors and activists are going to turn on the president and his party and turn out for the GOP. “The hope stems from a few observable truths. President Obama is not a great friend of Israel and he visibly doesn’t get along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The American Jewish community – white, assimilated and prosperous – is out-of-place in a Democratic Party determined to build a coalition around an appeal to racial gender minorities, unmarried women, the LGBT community, immigrants and the dependent poor. And while the Jewish community is shrinking because of low birthrates and intermarriage, its Orthodox wing – strongly pro-Israel and socially conservative – is gaining in numbers and self-confidence.
“All this, according to some conservative pundits, has created a tipping point. In November, they say, Jews could turn out in key congressional elections, especially in Senate contests, and vote for Republicans who have made support for Israel a signature issue. And in 2016, fed up with Obama’s chilly attitude toward the Jewish state and his weakness in the face of Islamic aggression, Jews could abandon their traditional affiliation with the Democrats and give their energy, their contributions and their votes to the Republicans. “I hate to rain on anybody’s inaugural parade, but this is sheer fantasy.
“Jews are not simply supporters of the Democratic Party; they are at the heart of everything from union leadership to campaign funding, think-tank policymaking to grass roots organizing.
“Three of the four liberal justices on the Supreme Court are Jews. There are 10 Jewish U.S. senators and more than 20 Jewish members of the House.
“In contrast, after the departure of Majority Leader Eric Cantor, there isn’t a single Jewish Republican in Congress (or in any statehouse). And 2014 isn’t going to reverse that . . .”
Carrie Brown & Jennifer Epstein, Politico: “Obama’s campaign no-fly zone”
“In an election that Republicans want to make all about President Barack Obama, the White House is determined to make him all but disappear in the battleground states that matter.
“The White House is putting the finishing touches on a post-Labor Day schedule that will send the president to states where he’s still popular, such as: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California, Obama officials and Democratic operatives said this week.
“But in the red states that will determine control of the Senate, Obama will remain scarce. That means no personal campaign visits to states like Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana and North Carolina. He may do some targeted outreach through robocalls, digital ads and conference calls, but the campaign plan is clear: Stay away from candidates he’s already hurting.
“Obama’s no-fly zone for certain Senate campaigns reflects the deep concern among Democrats about his drag on the national ticket. Obama can’t seem to get his poll numbers out of the low 40s, he’s struggled through an endless stream of foreign policy crises, and he’s the last person that many candidates want to be forced to defend on the campaign trail. . .”
Robert Wood, Forbes: “U.S. Hikes Fee to Renounce Citizenship By 422%”
“To leave America, you generally must prove 5 years of U.S. tax compliance. If you have a net worth greater than $2 million or average annual net income tax for the 5 previous years of $157,000 or more for 2014 (that’s tax, not income), you pay an exit tax. It is a capital gain tax as if you sold your property when you left. At least there’s an exemption of $680,000 for 2014. Long-term residents giving up a Green Card can be required to pay the tax too.
Now, the State Department interim rule just raised the fee for renunciation of U.S. citizenship to $2,350 from $450. Critics note that it’s more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries. The State Department says it’s about demand on their services and all the extra workload they have to process people who are on their way out.
Monica Davey, NYT: “Getting Ferguson Majority to Show Its Clout at Polls”
“FERGUSON, Mo. — Down the street from where the body of Michael Brown lay for hours after he was shot three weeks ago, volunteers have appeared beside folding tables under fierce sunshine to sign up new voters. On West Florissant Avenue, the site of sometimes violent nighttime protests for two weeks, voter-registration tents popped up during the day and figures like the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. lectured about the power of the vote.
“In this small city, which is two-thirds African-American but has mostly white elected leaders, only 12 percent of registered voters took part in the last municipal election, and political experts say black turnout was very likely lower. But now, in the wake of the killing of Mr. Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white Ferguson police officer, there is a new focus on promoting the power of the vote, an attempt to revive one of the keystones of the civil rights movement. . .”
IMMIGRATION . . .
Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner: “In just 6 months, 37,477 illegal immigrant kids released, only 280 deported”
Standards of living will probably increase in Latin America: We, again, should bill them or seize land for every illegal . . .
“The Obama administration has released a huge majority of illegal immigrant children who poured over the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this year into dozens of tony counties without notifying the public, while deporting just 280, according to new reports.
“Those counties include some of the most exclusive in the nation, including the Washington suburbs of Fairfax and Loudoun in Virginia and Howard and Montgomery in Maryland. Fairfax received 1,023.
“States like California and New York were given large numbers of the unaccompanied children, while President Obama’s home state of Illinois, where experts expected many to go, received only 175, according to the list.
“The HHS statistics covered only January to July. Federal officials expect another huge surge of children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to begin next week when the temperatures cool. One independent expert said that the second wave this year could include another 30,000 illegal children.
“And next year could be even worse. . .”
ISIS . . .
Oliver Darcy, The Blaze, “U.K. Prime Minister Warns of ‘Greatest Terrorist Threat’ in History. Hours Later, Obama Made This Comment at Fundraiser.”
“President Barack Obama said at a Democratic National Committee event Friday night that things are safer today than they were in the previous three decades.
‘[I] promise you things are much less dangerous now than they were 20 years ago, 25 years ago or 30 years ago,’ Obama said after referencing challenges posed by the Islamic State terror group, the Ukrainian crisis and China’s advancing economy.
“The president’s remarks came just hours after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron warned that his county is facing the “greatest terrorist threat” in history and as U.S. officials say there has been a ‘significant increase’ in jihadi chatter leading up to the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“Obama, however, said that the ‘truth of the matter’ is that the ‘world has always been messy.’ . . .”
Dave Boyer, Washington Times: “Obama administration caught off guard by Islamist threat in Iraq”
“The White House is facing questions about whether it underestimated the threat from Islamic State militants in Iraq after the surfacing of a 2011 speech by John O. Brennan, then President Obama’s counterterrorism chief and now CIA director, who dismissed the danger of an Islamic caliphate as ‘absurd.’
“‘Our strategy is … shaped by a deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals, strategy and tactics,’ Mr. Brennan said on June 29, 2011. ‘I’m not talking about al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen. We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are.’
“Two years later, the Islamic State declared a caliphate in a territory covering northern Syria and northwestern Iraq. Although the militants don’t meet Mr. Brennan’s definition of ‘global domination,’ they are enough of a threat to Iraq and the West that Mr. Obama last week ordered airstrikes and a humanitarian mission to blunt the group’s swift progress.
“Mr. Brennan’s dismissive remarks were similar to what Mr. Obama told The New Yorker magazine in a January interview in which the president described Islamic State fighters as amateurs. . .”
Yahoo!: “Saudi king warns West will be jihadists’ next target”
“. . . ‘If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,’ he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.
“Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East,” said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States. . .”
Drudge Report (8/31/14)
UKRAINE . . .
We’re using a familiar procedure to gain Vlad’s cooperation: Gradually increase the intensity of punishments until the critter stops responding. A more effective technique is to start with the maximum severity and use it many fewer times. But socialists don’t understand such things . . . and the Russians have a long history of resisting deprivation and punishments. See Rubin, Michael (2014) Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes. NY: Encounter; also Glick, Caroline (2014) The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.
William Bigelow, Big Peace: “Ukrainian President Poroshenko: ‘Very Close’ to ‘Full-Scale War’ with Russia”
“Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Sunday that his country and Russia are “very close to the point of no return,” which he defined as full-scale war, after this week’s revelation that Russian forces have entered Ukraine.
“Poroshenko said Russia will face full retaliation if Vladimir Putin allows any offensive action on Ukrainian land: ‘Indeed, I think that we are very close to the point of no return. The point of no return is full-scale war, which already happened under territory controlled by separatist and instead of separatist, regular Russian troops. Any offensive action, which would be undertaken, if it happens, would be point of no return.’
He continued, ‘And that’s why we undertake enormous efforts to stop that, and to bring the discussion in a diplomatic form, in a diplomatic dialogue. The issue, the essence of the discussion is also very easy to understand; this is the peace plan.’
Poroshenko expressed his desire to draft a peace plan Monday at a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group created by the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE). “‘The discussion would be not only for the hostages, including the hostages which illegally kept in Russia,’ Poroshenko concluded; ‘discussion would not only be with the monitoring and verifying mission of the OEC, including the mission alongside of the border, but, I cross my fingers, I hope that it would be cease-fire. I think that this discussion can be very effective.’ . . .”
Drudge Report (8/31/14)
PA . . .
John Fund, NRO: “Anatomy of a GOP Disaster: Losing PennsylvaniaAnd is being led in the poles by a man who loves to raise taxes . . . the larger truth may be that Tom has been kinda boring . . .
Governor Corbett has lost support by raising taxes and giving ground to public-sector unions.
“All over the country Republican governors are either poised for easy reelection (such as Ohio’s John Kasich and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval) or running even or better against Democrats (Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott). Then there is Governor Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. The latest independent poll has him down a shocking 49 percent to 24 percent (with a quarter of voters undecided) against Democrat Tom Wolf.
“How did Corbett become such an outlier? The answers show just how much trouble Republicans get into if they allow machine politics and public-sector unions to dictate their agenda. . .
“Pennsylvania is indeed an anti-reform state. Though once dominated by a GOP machine, it gave way to a Democratic-run machine with the advent of the New Deal. Now, the Keystone State is dominated by public-sector employee unions with their hooks buried deep inside both parties.
“Time and time again, Corbett’s agenda was blocked by key Republicans in the legislature. His effort to pass school vouchers was whittled down to a measly $75 million increase in tax credits for private schools. His bid to finally privatize the state’s antiquated system of state liquor stores was thwarted. Ethics reform was dead on arrival. “This year, Corbett lashed himself to the mast and vowed to steer public-employee pension reform to passage. ‘Sixty-two cents of every new dollar in revenue, goes to the pensions,’ he told groups up and down the state. His proposal to change the pension plans for all new state and public-school employees ran aground when the GOP state house blocked it.
“Corbett’s conservative allies urged him to press for ‘paycheck protection’ — blocking the state from deducting union dues from state-worker paychecks — as the key to overriding union influence in the legislature. ‘Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Michigan’s Rick Snyder have both demonstrated how union power can be curbed by ending the union-only deduction-for-politics privilege,’ Matt Brouillette, president of the state’s conservative Commonwealth Foundation, told me.
“But at a pro-reform meeting of the Associated Builders & Contractors of Pennsylvania this spring, Corbett gave ‘paycheck protection’ only a passing reference in his speech. When pressed by a member of the audience, he mumbled, ‘I’ve told everyone, if you get that bill on my desk, I’ll sign it.’ But he made no special lobbying effort for the measure, just as he allowed his political team to discourage primary challenges to pro-union GOP legislators in the 2012 midterm elections. Paycheck protection died this summer. “We took an internal GOP caucus vote, and we were a few votes short in the house,” atate representative Richard Saccone told me at an Independence Hall Association event in Philadelphia this July 4th. ‘The unions have powerful influence on a few of our members.’
“Governor Corbett’s failure to either anticipate the intransigence of some of his GOP legislators or build outside pressure on them has been compounded by his retreat on the pledge he made in 2010 not to raise taxes or fees. . .”
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Very Little Evidence Supporting Common Core”
“According to proponents, Common Core Standards and the “modified” PA Core Standards will improve the quality of our students’ education. We have noted previously that this is not the case. Additional evidence is now available to back up the assertion that Common Core does not deliver.
“George Washington University put together a compendium of sixty research papers covering a variety of topics related to Common Core. Of the sixty papers, only two focus on what impact Common Core has on test scores. An article on NRO summarizes the findings:
“…Both papers employ the dubious correlation-across-states methodology, and both give mixed results at best.
“The first paper, by two Michigan State professors, examines the relationship between states’ math scores in 2009 and the similarity of their math standards (pre–Common Core) to the Common Core math standards. The authors initially find no correlation in the 50-state universe. They are able to detect a positive relationship only with an ex post division of states into two separate groups, with the smaller group consisting of 13 states with low scores despite strong standards. The authors acknowledge that ‘these analyses should be viewed only as exploratory in nature, merely suggesting the possibility of a relationship.’
“The second paper, published by Brookings, follows up on the Michigan State analysis. It finds that states’ test score gains between 2009 and 2012 show no relationship to the similarity of their standards to Common Core. There was no positive correlation even when using the favorable groupings from the Michigan State paper. The one encouraging finding in the Brookings paper is that states with stronger implementation of Common Core seem to show greater gains. But the author warns that, even if the correlation is genuine, the effect size is tiny.” (Emphasis added.)
“Common Core implementation in Pennsylvania will cost an estimated $645 million. If taxpayers are spending that kind of money on something wouldn’t it be nice if it actually worked?
“If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to stop Common Core in Pennsylvania visit nopacommoncore.com.”
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “Study: PA’s debt would cost taxpayers $14,500 each to pay off today”
“. . . Truth in Accounting, an economic think tank based in Chicago, released its Fiscal Year 2013 State of the States Report last week. It determined Pennsylvania is a “sinkhole state,” meaning it’s “sinking in debt.”
“While the Keystone State owns $38.9 billion in available assets, it owes more than $100 billion, the report says. That makes for $62 billion in obligations, which have been pushed toward the future.
“To pay that debt off today, every taxpayer would have to pony up $14,500 — enough to send a Pennsylvania resident to a state university for two years and leave him or her with some beer money, too. It’s the 14th-worst figure in the country.
“One of the reasons Pennsylvania is in this precarious financial position is state officials use antiquated budgeting and accounting rules to report Pennsylvania’s financial condition,” the report says. . .”
Rachel Martin, PA Independent: “No rest for the death industry as it awaits high court decision”
“The case pits a group of 20 funeral home directors, funeral home owners, businesses and others against what they allege is an outdated system that imposes requirements that are unnecessary, protectionist and ultimately increase prices for consumers.
“In May 2012, federal Judge John E. Jones III partially ruled in their favor, finding in his 159-page opinion that many of the rules governing funeral homes in Pennsylvania were antiquated and amounted to a ‘protectionist regime.’ He threw out rules requiring embalming rooms for each facility, prohibiting food in funeral homes and allowing random inspections, among others.
“When the State Board of Funeral Directors appeared to do little in reaction to his ruling, Jones issued a scathing memorandum, calling its conduct ‘the very epitome of bad faith.’
“‘That the Board would cling to a law that is so outdated and patently unconstitutional in so many ways is as embarrassing as it is unconscionable. Frankly, the members of the Board should be ashamed of themselves,’ the justice wrote.
“Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the 3rd Circuit disagreed and found the lower court had essentially used the wrong standard in reviewing the regulations. . .”
Senator Mike Folmer, Week of Sept 1st
“Pennsylvania’s Pension Crises Column I recently submitted a column to the local news outlets in the 48th Senate District regarding Pennsylvania’s Pension Crises. You can read it here: http://www.senatorfolmer.com/2014/08/21/pennsylvanias-pension-crises/
If you missed a past column, no problem! You can view them on my website at: www.senatorfolmer.com/columns/.
Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law With students returning to the classroom, and 1.5 million of those students being transported on Pennsylvania roads each day, here are some reminders regarding the Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law:
Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.
Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
The penalties if convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law include: $250 fine; five points on driving record; and 60-day license suspension. For more information on Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law and further traffic safety information, visit www.JustDrivePA.org.
Mike Folmer: “Medical cannabis”
Medical Cannabis Town Hall Meetings I will be participating in a series of Town Hall meetings focusing on my Senate Bill 1182, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act. The following are among the scheduled times, dates and locations:
6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 Hosted by: Indiana Armstrong Patriots Rustic Lodge 2199 Oakland Avenue, Indiana, PA 15701
7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 Hosted by: Representative Mike Vereb Lower Providence Township Building 100 Parkland Drive, Eagleville, PA 19403
END NOTES . . .
James Brody: “Labor” Day on Two Pounds of Wheat
Economist Gregory Clark (2007) argues that Malthus was correct about human society. That is, deaths and births must, over the longer term, equal each other and the standard of living rises only as population falls. Implication and data: hunter-gatherers worked less and had a healthier life than British laborers for 5-6 centuries before 1850. Women, of many cultures and for many years, capable of having a dozen children, averaged 2.0. Thus, “good” things for your living standard include (p. 37) limited fertility, bad sanitation, violence, harvest failure, infanticide, income inequality, selfishness, and indolence. Bad things include fecundity, cleanliness, peace, public granaries, parental solicitude, income equality, charity, and hard work. According to Clark, the average worker can be productive and healthy on two pounds of wheat per day! And the horrid work of Kenneth Gosnell was not only sought by his customers but approved by bureaucrats and indolent fathers-who-might-have-been.
Clark is respected. Liberal economists hate him. I’m shocked but curious about shutting down the government because it does so many “bad” things. More later . . .
Meanwhile, give some thought to Zev Chafets’s article.
Clark, Gregory (2007) A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World. Princeton University Press.
Jonah Goldberg, NRO: “Shhh, Mr. President”
“. . . Yesterday at his news conference, the president said he doesn’t have a strategy yet for the Islamic State. The blowback required the White House to send out his spinners like a farmer sending out his sons in search of a wayward hog. Personally, I don’t care that the president doesn’t have a strategy for the Islamic State — yet. One of the downsides of leading from behind is that it by definition allows problems to fester and become more complex. (“In other news today, six people burned to death as firefighters watched another building burn to the ground as part of Fire Chief Obama’s ‘firefighting from behind’ initiative.”)
“How to deal with the Islamic State right now is a very tough question, particularly if you’re Barack Obama. What bothers me is his decision to announce to the world he has pretty much no idea what he’s doing. Taking your time to formulate a strategy, even — especially! — a strategy necessitated by your own mistakes and inattention is entirely defensible.
“But when the world already thinks you’re weak, vacillating, and overwhelmed, saying in the pithiest way possible that you’re weak, vacillating, and overwhelmed strikes me as a mistake. But hey, what do I know, I’m just a guy transporting a dingo across the continent. . .”
Stop Hamas Now
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