CONTENTS: Core Protests; Murray – Defends Richwine; Gosnell not an aberration; Hanson – terrorism therapy; Cooke – Carney Waterloo; IRS out to get us; IG report on IRS; IRS leaks; York – IRS & OCare; Erickson – Henry II; Drain IRS swamp; Nixon-esque scandal; Echo – Watergate; Five scandals; Hayes – Benghazi grows; York – Obama BenG; GOP & TEA slander; Ledeen – memos; Pethokoukis – Obama shut down?; PA courts scrimp; PA bottom 10; Common core opposed; Entitled to immigrate?; Lies about Libya; A murderer’s brain; Announcements
“The problem was not just that elites seeking to ingratiate themselves with the Obama administration routinely indulged in such willful blindness, but that these absurdities filtered down to the day-by-day protocols of our intelligence and law-enforcement bureaus.” Victor Davis Hanson
“ . . .“using the salad fork for the entree is inappropriate. Using the Internal Revenue Service for political purposes is a criminal offense.” George Will
“. . . in the public’s eyes. the Obama administration now risks combining Carter-level incompetence with Richard Nixon’s untrustworthiness. . .” James Pethokoukis
1602: English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold led the first European exploration of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
1756: England declared war on France in America, beginning the Seven Years’ War.
1911: The Supreme Court upheld an order for the dissolution of the Standard Oil Company, ruling that it was a monopoly.
1940: Crowds of shoppers scrambled to buy nylon stockings the first day they went on sale in selected stores.
1951: AT&T announced that it is the first U.S. corporation to have 1 million stockholders. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
Jo: Protest Common Core in PA
“Although the federal government has denied it, many of us believe that Common Core is an attempt by the Feds to take over public education in the United States, just as Obamacare is a federal takeover of our health care. Please read the following information regarding hearings being held next week in Harrisburg and contact the representatives on the House Education Committee if you agree. Common Core is a major, long-term problem, but the immediate issue is the fact that the House hearing on Common Core will not be fair and balanced in that only a proponent of Common Core is speaking to the representatives. It will literally take about two minutes to E-Mail the House Education Committee and say something like the following (putting it in your own words if you wish, or copying it directly from the text below). Please sign your name and town after the E-Mail. FYI, a pdf file of a more detailed letter that I wrote and included in the body of MY E-Mail to the representatives is attached. I put my name and full address in the E-Mail to the representatives but deliberately did not include in in the pdf copy of the letter b/c I don’t mind if others use it in their E-Mails to the representatives. If you want to use it, you could just attach it and say that you are in agreement with this letter that someone had sent you. Otherwise, it’s just fine to include the (very) abbreviated version below.
“Dear Chairman Clymer and the House Education Committee:
“It has come to the attention of many of us that the House Education Committee is holding a hearing on the Common Core standards (CCS) on May 14. Evidently, the only speaker will be Secretary of Education Tomalis — a proponent of the CCS. Why hasn’t at least one of the innumerable knowledgeable individuals who oppose the implementation of CCS in PA been invited to speak at this hearing? In contrast, the PA Senate is enabling both sides to present their cases at the Senate hearing on May 15. I strongly urge the PA House to also provide a fair and balanced hearing by allowing the viewpoints of those who recognize the deleterious consequences of the CCS initiative to be presented on May 14.”
To do this, just copy and paste the following E-Mail addresses in your E-Mail as shown below. It literally should take about two minutes.
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, RepSantarsiero@pahouse.net, email@example.com, Wtallman@pahousegop.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Charles Murray, NRO: “In Defense of Jason Richwine”
“His resignation is emblematic of a corruption that has spread throughout American intellectual discourse.
“On Wednesday, the Washington Post revealed that Richwine’s 2009 Ph.D. dissertation at Harvard’s Kennedy School had said that, on average, Latinos have lower IQs than do non-Latino white Americans and the nation should consider incorporating IQ into immigration decisions. The blogosphere and some elements of the mainstream media erupted in denunciations.
“On Friday, the Heritage Foundation announced that Richwine had resigned.
“I have a personal interest in this story because Jason Richwine was awarded a fellowship from my employer, the American Enterprise Institute, in 2008–09, and I reviewed the draft of his dissertation. A rereading of the dissertation last weekend confirmed my recollection that Richwine had meticulously assembled and analyzed the test-score data, which showed exactly what he said they showed: mean IQ-score differences between Latinos and non-Latino whites, found consistently across many datasets and across time after taking factors such as language proficiency and cultural bias into account. I had disagreements then and now about his policy recommendations, but not about the empirical accuracy of his research or the scholarly integrity of the interpretations with which I disagreed.
“In resigning, Dr. Richwine joins distinguished company. The most famous biologist in the world, James D. Watson, was forced to retire from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2007 because of a factually accurate remark to a British journalist about low IQ scores among African blacks. In 2006, Larry Summers, president of Harvard, had to resign after a series of attacks that began with his empirically well-informed remarks about gender differences. These are just the most visible examples of a corruption that has spread throughout American intellectual discourse: If you take certain positions, you will be cast into outer darkness. Whether your statements are empirically accurate is irrelevant. . .”
NRO Editors: “Gosnell Is Not an Aberration”
“A jury in Pennsylvania has convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell of three counts of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, and several counts of performing illegal late-term abortions at his facility in West Philadelphia. Gosnell is eligible for the death sentence, an end that would be as close to justice as earthly powers can mete out in this episode. The English language does not contain a word sufficient for describing the crimes of Kermit Gosnell; ‘murder’ will do, but only for legal purposes.
“Gosnell’s human abattoir is the logical endpoint of our morally fraudulent national approach to abortion, the proponents of which maintain that they wish the procedure to remain “safe, legal, and rare,” in Bill Clinton’s cynically triangulating formulation, while at the same time resisting any and all restrictions upon the procedure. Gosnell’s murders are not an aberrant abuse of the abortion license but an inevitable result of it.
“Gosnell had thousands of enablers: every judge and justice who has declared every abortion sacrosanct, every politician who has blocked meaningful regulation and oversight of the practice, and every intellectual who has furthered the notion that what resides in a woman’s womb is nothing more than a meaningless clump of cells. Barack Obama, who as a state senator in Illinois worked against establishing protections for infants marked for abortion but outside the womb, must assume his share of guilt in this matter. So must those who voted for him because of his abortion absolutism rather than in spite of it.
“Gosnell’s crimes produced stunning imagery: the severed spines, the severed limbs, a floundering baby struggling for life in a toilet. But Gosnell’s brutality was in fact not much different from what happens on any abortionist’s table. . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Terrorism as Therapy”
“The killing of Osama bin Laden was supposed to have cut the hideous head off a mutant snake. His death officially destroyed the “core” of the aberrant al-Qaeda. The removal from power of the outlier Qaddafi was likewise to have put an end to the artificial obstacle to the natural evolution toward democracy in Libya. In those regards, an al-Qaeda–inspired, pre-planned hit on the American consulate, resulting perhaps in a full-fledged Mogadishu-like shootout, just was not in the administration’s pre-election cards. No one was disposed either to beef up security in the face of escalating threats, or to send in teams in extremis to save the besieged Americans, or to give an honest appraisal afterward of what had transpired.
“Meanwhile, the opportunity to blame the entire mess on an easily caricatured right-wing Christian Islamophobe crackpot was too tempting — as Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, and the president himself found as they serially damned the suddenly-to-be-imprisoned Mr. Nakoula. He was a con artist, but not the provocateur of the Benghazi violence — and yet he proved a perfect vehicle for showcasing the administration’s multicultural bona fides. In terms of explaining away the lapses in Benghazi, the challenge arose of how many ways top officials could damn the unfortunate Mr. Nakoula — as if each denunciation made it unnecessary to utter the word ‘terrorism’ or ‘al-Qaeda.’ . . .”
Charles CW Cooke, NRO: “Jay Carney’s Waterloo”
The White House spokesman flounders in front of a newly curious press corps.
“‘Thank you for that question,’ White House spokesman Jay Carney said feebly when, early in Friday’s press conference, the issue of Benghazi was raised. And then he reflexively tried to recruit the questioner to his side. Look, Carney insisted, those darned Republicans are involved in an ‘ongoing attempt to politicize a tragedy that took four American lives.’ We’re not going to fall into their trap and ask questions of the administration, are we? We’re not like those other outlets that are engaged in a ‘pattern of spreading misinformation.’ Right, guys?
“Evidently, Carney had not yet realized that things had changed. What had been a fringe story had by now gone mainstream: The New Yorker had written that new evidence ‘seriously undermines the White House’s credibility on this issue’; ABC News’s Jonathan Karl had averred that developments “directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said . . . in November; Thursday’s Morning Joe panel had agreed that the news was troubling for the White House; and George Will was gearing up to go onto the Sunday shows and complain that the nation had been “systematically misled.”
Newly intrigued, the assembled press corps ignored Carney’s ploy; so, too, his flippant, Obamaesque insistence that “efforts to re-fight the political battles of the past are not looked on kindly by the American people. ‘Benghazi might well have ‘happened a long time ago,’ as Carney hilariously assured the media on May 1, but the fourth estate was now interested. . .”
IRS . . .
Links (Thx Matt Drudge!) 6 AM, 5/15/13
POLITICO: OBAMA LOSES DC...
McCONNELL: 'We've Only Started to Scratch the Surface of This Scandal'...
FRANKLIN GRAHAM: IRS TARGETED US, TOO...
Rev. Billy Graham Endorsed Romney...
IRS requests stalled applications of conservative groups up to 13 months...
'They were asking for a U-Haul truck's worth of information'...
Official speedily approved exemption for Obama's brother's 'charity'...
'Corrective actions have not been fully implemented'...
Emily Miller, Washington Times: “Conservatives aren’t paranoid, the IRS really is out to get them”
“The left likes to make conservatives out to be crazy, conspiracy theorists — using terms “black helicopter” and “tin foil hats” to mock them. However, as the old saying goes, ‘Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.’
“After two years of denials, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finally admitted that it had abused its power by going after conservative groups who oppose big government during the 2010 election. President Obama called it “outrageous” on Monday, but claimed to only know about it from news reports on Friday.
“However, his spokesman, Jay Carney, said the White House counsel has known the truth since April. IRS top officials have known since 2011 that their agents were deliberately picking on right-wing groups, but saved the revelation until Mr. Obama was safely into his second term in the White House. . .”
Brad Plumer, WaPo: Final Inspector General IRS Report
Wynton Hall, Big Govt: “Progressive Group – IRS Gave Us Conservative Groups’ Confidential Docs”
“The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.
“The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.
“ProPublica says the documents the IRS gave them were ‘not supposed to be made public’ . . .” http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/14/Progressive-Group-Says-IRS-Gave-Them-Confidential-Docs-On-Conservative-Groups
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “IRS scandal raises fears about enforcing Obamacare”
“. . . The IRS is critical to Obamacare. The structure created by the Affordable Care Act requires the government to know about both the health care coverage (or lack of it) and the financial resources of every American. The IRS, which already knows the latter, was the only agency with the reach to do the job.
“A look at the text of the health care law reveals that much of it consists of amending the Internal Revenue Code to give the IRS more power. When Obamacare goes fully into effect in January, every American will have to prove to the IRS that he or she has “qualifying” health coverage, meaning coverage with a list of features approved by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. That will be done by submitting a document to the IRS, something like a W-2, to confirm coverage.
“The IRS will also decide who is, and who is not, eligible for Obamacare’s subsidies. The law authorizes the IRS to share confidential taxpayer information with the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of determining those subsidies. And since subsidies don’t just apply to a relatively small number of the nation’s poorest citizens — under the law, they can go to a family of four with a household income of nearly $90,000 — they will affect a huge segment of the population.
“In addition, the IRS will keep track of even the smallest changes in Americans’ financial condition. Did you get a raise recently? You’ll need to notify the IRS; it might affect your subsidy status. Have your hours been reduced at work? Notify the IRS. Change jobs? Same. . . “
Erick Erickson, Red State: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent group?”
“Like Henry II, Barack Obama never specifically asked that tea party groups and conservative be targeted. But by both his language and the “always campaigning” attitude of his White House, he certainly sent clear signals to Democrats with the power and ability to fight conservatives to engage as they could. Given his rhetoric against his political opponents, it is no wonder sympathetic Democrats in the Internal Revenue Service harassed and stymied conservative groups and, though little mentioned, pro-Israel Jewish groups and evangelical groups.
“During Campaign 2008, Barack Obama famously told Democrats to take guns to knife fights.
“In 2009, the White House created an email address firstname.lastname@example.org and encouraged people to report their neighbors who might disagree with Obamacare. The DNC admitted the White House was engaged in collecting information on people.
“During August recesses in 2009, the Obama Adminstration told Democrats in Congress to “punch back twice as hard” at Republicans.
“In 2011, the Obama White House set up a ridiculous website called Attack Watch to document and expose those hostile to them.
As I wrote in 2009, the Obama team brought back the politics of personal destruction. I noted then a Politico story that reported
“The vast new left-wing conspiracy sets its tone every morning at 8:45 a.m., when officials from more than 20 labor, environmental and other Democratic-leaning groups dial into a private conference call hosted by two left-leaning Washington organizations.
“In 2012, the White House directly coordinated with outside groups to influence the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision. About the time these meetings with “dozens of leaders of nonprofit organizations” were happening in the White House, tea party groups were suddenly getting inquiries from the IRS, bogging them down and distracting them from the fight at hand.
“President Obama did not have to tell the IRS specifically to harass conservative, evangelical, and Jewish groups who might oppose him. His rhetoric on the campaign trail and in the permanent campaign of the White House operations made clear what he wanted. . . “
Boston Herald: “Editorial: Draining the IRS swamp”
“Another creature has just emerged from the growing swamp of the Obama administration and it’s not pretty.
“?An inspector general’s report due out later this week will confirm what a number of conservative organizations have long known — that they were the target of unfair scrutiny and harassment by the Internal Revenue Service. But with every passing day the number of organizations targeted — now estimated at some 300 — and the scope of the IRS inquiry grows. And so does the level of backpedaling by government officials.
President Obama claimed yesterday that he found out about the scandal only last Friday when it broke in the news. If it is as described, he said, “That’s outrageous.”
“Always the last to know, poor baby. Even though members of Congress were asking questions in March 2012 when then about-to-depart IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman insisted — under oath — that there was no such targeting.
“The targeting was aimed . . .
Drudge Links, 5/15/13
MEDIA . . .
Joe Battenfeld, Boston Herald: “Obama knee-deep in Nixon-esque scandal”
“. . . Republicans could not even have scripted this one. The agency most hated by voters, the Internal Revenue Service, admits to going on a Nixonian witch hunt against Tea Party and conservative groups during the re-election campaign.
“This is a story even the most partisan Massachusetts liberal cannot defend. It’s so bad that even Ed Markey is calling for heads to roll.
“Now we learn that the Justice Department has secretly obtained the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors in what appears to be an investigation of an AP story that disclosed details of a CIA operation that stopped a terrorist attack.
Going after the Tea Party is one thing, but the media? What an outrage. Who knows, the press may get so mad they won’t laugh at Obama’s jokes during the next White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
“This does not bode well for Obama’s second-term agenda . . .”
George Will, WaPo: “In IRS scandal, echoes of Watergate”
““He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to . . . cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”
— Article II, Section 1, Articles of Impeachment against Richard M. Nixon, adopted by the House Judiciary Committee, July 29, 1974
“The burglary occurred in 1972, the climax came in 1974, but40 years ago this week — May 17, 1973 — the Senate Watergate hearings began exploring the nature of Richard Nixon’s administration. Now the nature of Barack Obama’s administration is being clarified as revelations about IRS targeting of conservative groups merge with myriad Benghazi mendacities.
“This administration aggressively hawked the fiction that the Benghazi attack was just an excessively boisterous movie review. Now we are told that a few wayward souls in Cincinnati, with nary a trace of political purpose, targeted for harassment political groups with “tea party” and “patriot” in their titles. The Post reported Monday that the IRS also targeted groups that “criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution.” Credit the IRS’s operatives with understanding who and what threatens the current regime.
“Jay Carney, whose unenviable job is not to explain but to explain away what his employers say, calls the IRS’s behavior ‘inappropriate. . .’”
TRENDS . . .
Bryan Preston, PJM: “And Then There Were Five Obama Scandals…?”
“The Environmental Protection Agency stands accused today of showing favoritism toward liberal groups over conservative groups.
“Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Conservative Enterprise Institute.
“CEI reviewed Freedom of Information Act requests sent between January 2012 and this spring from several environmental groups friendly to the EPA’s mission, and several conservative groups, to see how equally the agency applies its fee waiver policy for media and watchdog groups. Government agencies are supposed to waive fees for groups disseminating information for public benefit.
“For 92 percent of requests from green groups, the EPA cooperated by waiving fees for the information. Those requests came from the Natural Resources Defense Council, EarthJustice, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, The Waterkeeper Alliance, Greenpeace, Southern Environmental Law Center and the Center for Biological Diversity.
“Of the requests that were denied, the EPA said the group either didn’t respond to requests for justification of a waiver, or didn’t express intent to disseminate the information to the general public, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner. CEI, on the other hand, had its requests denied 93 percent of the time. . .”
Stephen Hayes, Weekly Std: “The Benghazi Scandal Grows”
“. . . In an email at 2:44 p.m. to Chip Walter, head of the CIA’s legislative affairs office, Petraeus expressed frustration at the new, scrubbed talking points, noting that they had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided. Petraeus noted with evident disappointment that the policymakers had even taken out the line about the CIA’s warning on Cairo. The CIA director, long regarded as a team player, declined to pick a fight with the White House and seemed resigned to the propagation of the administration’s preferred narrative. The final decisions about what to tell the American people rest with the national security staff, he reminded Walter, and not with the CIA.
This candid, real-time assessment from then-CIA director Petraeus offers a glimpse of what many intelligence officials were saying privately as top Obama officials set aside the truth about Benghazi and spun a fanciful tale about a movie that never mattered and a demonstration that never happened. . . “
Also: Glenn Kessler, WaPo: “Obama’s claim he called Benghazi an ‘act of terrorism’” . . . four Pinocchios (Tx Jo!) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obamas-claim-he-called-benghazi-an-act-of-terrorism/2013/05/13/7b65b83e-bc14-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_blog.html
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Benghazi is all about Obama”
“. . . There are three issues in the Benghazi matter. The first is whether the administration reacted properly to the growing threat to American diplomats in Libya in the months leading up to Sept. 11. The second is whether the administration reacted properly during the attack itself. And the third is whether the administration covered up its actions in the days, weeks and months after the attack.”
Charles Johnson, Daily Caller: Mark Levin – Republican establishment bought into “kooky Tea Party slander”
“Congressional Republicans were asleep during the IRS audit scandal, and the Internal Revenue Service’s own inspector general did a pretty good job, according to radio talk host Mark Levin.
“In an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller, Levin explained how his legal group, Landmark Legal Foundation, helped expose the ongoing IRS scandal by filing a complaint with Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. Levin also encouraged Congress to “do its job and use its powers of investigation.”
“‘This [IRS scandal] was publicly known at the time,’ Levin said. ‘There were news reports in a number of outlets. We actually decided to take some action. The idea wasn’t just to bang pots and pans, but get something done.’. . .”
Michael Ledeen, PJM: “Memo Reading for Idiots: Missing Video Hidden in Third Edit”
“It takes a special skill to read bureaucratic memos. When I was getting ready to work at the State Department way back in the last century, Henry Kissinger gave me good advice:
“The only reason to write a memo is if you want it leaked.
The key decisions and the real motives are very rarely written down; most of the time the truth is hidden. Deliberately. Remember the “vanished” 18 minutes of Nixon’s tapes?
“And of course, the Brits did it elegantly (h/t Jeff Warren, video embedded above).
“The memos have to be read — not as accurate reflections of a policy debate, but as posturing for instant history. It’s what the author(s) want(s) the journalists — working on deadline, and not very eager to dig deeply enough to figure out what was really going on — to write for their readers.
“So, Roger L. Simon is right (he is always right) when he flags “the mystery of the missing video.” Somebody must have said to somebody else: “Hey! Let’s blame it on the video.”
“I think I know when that happened, even if I don’t know who said it or to whom: it happened between versions two and three of the 12 draft memos. The first two talk about ‘attacks’ that were ‘spontaneously inspired’ by events in Cairo. However, number three edits out “attacks” … and replaces it with ‘demonstrations.’
“It took about five and one-half hours to get from ‘attacks’ to ‘demonstrations’. . .
James Pethokoukis, AEI: “Scandals may shut the door on Obama’s progressive experiment”
“Democrats and left-wing pundits have long argued that Barack Obama would be their Ronald Reagan, a president who significantly shifted the nation’s political and economic landscape. With reelection and a second term, as Andrew Sullivan wrote last September, Obama would become ”an iconic figure who struggled through a recession and a terrorized world, reshaping the economy within it, passing universal health care, strafing the ranks of al -Qaeda, presiding over a civil-rights revolution, and then enjoying the fruits of the recovery.”
“Republicans and conservatives, on the other hand, have tended to see Obama as Jimmy Carter: The Sequel — an inexperience naif with delusions of grandeur who presided over a collapsing economy at home and retreat abroad. But for about 15 minutes after Obama’s reelection, many on the right may have harbored fears Obama would indeed be the anti-Reagan, launching a generational turn toward progressivism built on the economic and foreign policy failures of the Bush administration. Obama’s aggressive election night and inaugural speeches didn’t help.
“But the defining mission of the Obama presidency, to usher in a new Progressive Era, is foundering. . .
“. . .Bottom line: At least Americans thought Carter was honest. But in the public’s eyes. the Obama administration now risks combining Carter-level incompetence with Richard Nixon’s untrustworthiness. Hardly a formula for a political revolution, much less a modestly successful presidency.”
PA . . .
Melissa Daniels, PA Independent: “Pennsylvania courts tout savings as state proposes dip in funding”
“HARRISBURG — In Pennsylvania, the judicial system isn’t much different than the other two branches of government when it comes to worrying about money.
A 2013 State of the Commonwealth’s Courts report released this week shows the court system is working to cut its costs as it prepares for a slight decrease in funding next year.
“At one-half of one percent of the state budget, the judiciary’s lean budget has never had deep pockets for easy savings,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille said in the report.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget for the 2013-2014 year provides $308.1 million for the judiciary, down from $309.2 million this year, as the court requests $324 million. . .”
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Pennsylvania in Bottom 10 States for Business (Again)”
“Chief Executive Magazine released its 2013 ranking of the states. Once again Pennsylvania is in the bottom ten with a rank of forty-second.
“The comments from most of the CEO’s are not flattering:
“God help anyone dealing with PA’s department of revenue.”
“I consider [Pennsylvania] the ‘stupid state’ not because it is consistently bad, but rather is inconsistent, which is far worse to plan business.”
“Pennsylvania Environmental regulations and their bureaucracy make it difficult to plan and build new projects in a timely manner.”
“But, it is not all bad . . .”
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Groups on right and left oppose Common Core standards in PA”
“The implementation of the so-called Common Core standards in Pennsylvania public schools is facing united opposition from teachers unions and tea party groups – two political factions that rarely, if ever, play on the same team. Though they have different reasons for opposing the Corbett administration’s phase-in of the new academic standards and the testing that comes with them, both groups agree that the Common Core represents a new, unfunded mandate on the state’s 500 school districts.
The Common Core is a national set of goals and expectations – not, strictly speaking, a curriculum – for public schools. It is an outgrowth of the federal No Child Left Behind program and was adopted by Pennsylvania in 2010, though the state made changes to match the national standards with pre-existing state standards.
“Along with the new standards comes a new form of standardized test, known as the Keystone Exam, which will be given to all students during 11th grade. Though they were originally developed independent of the Common Core, the state has adapted them to fit the new standards and began administering them this year.
But that test is causing some of the concern. If students fail the new Keystone Exams more than twice, they will be given the option to complete a non-test assessment to prove they have the knowledge necessary to graduate.
“Teachers’ unions and Democrats say those rules will require extra time and effort from teachers, and they don’t see the state being willing to put up the extra cash necessary to cover costs. . . ”
IMMIGRATION . . .
Ying Ma, PJM: “Immigrating to America Is Not an Entitlement”
“Immigration law may be broken but you don’t fix it by rewarding law breakers.
“As the drumbeat for comprehensive immigration reform grows louder, the related public debate has not become any more edifying. Self-serving Democrats, delusional Republicans, and shameless illegal aliens (who prefer to call themselves “immigration rights activists”) insist that legalizing some 11 million illegal immigrants in this country is the right thing to do and label those who disagree as anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic.
“Amid the finger pointing and political intimidation, some fundamentally flawed assertions have repeatedly surfaced. Below is some common sense that highlights the absurdity of the faulty assumptions.
“Immigrating to the United States is a privilege, not a right. It certainly is not an entitlement program.
“Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform like to emphasize that America’s immigration system is broken, and they are right. Yet they often justify illegal immigration by pointing out that even if aspiring immigrants wanted to get in line for legal immigration, many do not have a line to get into — because they do not have relatives in this country with whom to reunite or they cannot qualify for a limited number of visa categories (such as those for work, education, or investment).
“Few acknowledge that in life, reality is by nature more unpleasant than our most fervent wishes. Just because people really, really want to come to the United States does not mean they have the right to do so.
“By numerous measures, America’s tax system is broken as well, and supporters of limited government resent the fact that their tax dollars are extracted to fund a bloated welfare state they despise. Nevertheless, these individuals continue to pay their taxes. Similarly, those who wish to move to America should not be excused from respecting this country’s laws.
“Certainly, changes to the existing system should be made. For instance, proposals to increase the flow of high-skilled labor make perfect sense. But America’s broken immigration system is not a justification for illegals to walk across the border or overstay their visas.
“Do not let anyone obfuscate the difference between legal and illegal immigration. Denouncing the latter does not mean being hostile to the former. . .”
MIDDLE EAST . . .
Thomas Sowell, RCP: “Lies about Libya”
“What we were told repeatedly last year by the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the American ambassador to the U.N., was that there was a protest demonstration in Benghazi against an anti-Islamic video produced by an American, and that this protest demonstration simply escalated out of control.
“This ‘spontaneous protest’ story did not originate in Libya but in Washington. Neither the Americans on duty in Libya during the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, nor officials of the Libyan government, said anything about a protest demonstration.
“The highest American diplomat on the scene in Libya spoke directly with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by phone, and told her that it was a terrorist attack. The president of Libya announced that it was a terrorist attack. The C.I.A. told the Obama administration that it was a terrorist attack.
“With lies, as with potato chips, it is hard to stop with just one. After the “spontaneous protest” story was discredited, the next claim was that this was the best information available at the time from intelligence sources.
“But that claim cannot survive scrutiny, now that the 12 drafts of the Obama administration’s talking points about Benghazi have belatedly come to light. As draft after draft of the talking points were made, e-mails from the State Department pressured the intelligence services to omit from these drafts their clear and unequivocal statement from the outset that this was a terrorist attack.
“Attempts to make it seem that Ambassador Susan Rice’s false story about a “spontaneous protest” was the result of her not having accurate information from the intelligence services have now been exposed as a second lie to excuse the first lie. . .”
End Notes . . .
Caroline May, Daily Caller: “Obama: IRS targeting of conservatives ‘intolerable and inexcusable’”
Time to make like nice . . .
WIQ note (Limbaugh segment):
If you want to look irritable, wear a Pelosi thong and ratchet it up tight . . .
WTSP: Florida quietly shortened yellow light standards & lengths, resulting in more red light camera tickets for you
Tim Adams, UK Guardian: “Raine – How to spot a murderer’s brain”
Thx Ted . . . Russ Barkley and his cadres figured out that impaired CNS prefrontal areas underlay ADHD. Further, 40% of ADHD males demonstrate oppositional behavior and 40% of those exhibit conduct disorder, including property destruction and rape. Bottom lines – we can be accurate about a group of individuals rather than about any individual in the group . . . and Raine rehashes old data . . .
“. . . When Raine started doing brain scans of murderers in American prisons, he was among the first researchers to apply the evolving science of brain imaging to violent criminality. His most comprehensive study, in 1994, was still, necessarily, a small sample. He conducted PET [positron emission tomography] scans of 41 convicted killers and paired them with a “normal” control group of 41 people of similar age and profile. However limited the control, the colour images, which showed metabolic activity in different parts of the brain, appeared striking in comparison. In particular, the murderers’ brains showed what appeared to be a significant reduction in the development of the prefrontal cortex, “the executive function” of the brain, compared with the control group.
“The advancing understanding of neuroscience suggested that such a deficiency would result in an increased likelihood of a number of behaviours: less control over the limbic system that generates primal emotions such as anger and rage; a greater addiction to risk; a reduction in self-control; and poor problem-solving skills, all traits that might predispose a person to violence.
“Even two decades ago, these were difficult findings to publish, however. When Raine presented a far less controversial paper in 1994 to a peer group, one that showed a combination of birth complications and early maternal rejection in babies had significant correlation with individuals becoming violent offenders 18 years later, it was denounced as “racist and ideologically motivated” and, according to Nature magazine, was simply further strong evidence that “the uproar surrounding attempts to find biological causes for social problems will continue”. Similarly, when, 15 years ago, at the urging of his friend Jonathan Kellerman, the child psychologist and crime writer, Raine put together a proposal for a book on some of his scientific findings, no publisher would touch it. That book, The Anatomy of Violence, a clear-headed, evidence-based and carefully provocative account of Raine’s 35 years of study, has only now appeared.
“The reason for this delay seems mired in ideological enmities . . .”
Recommended: Adrian Raine, The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime
About $21 at Amazon or Barnes . . . also, Russell Barkley, (1997) ADHD and the Nature of Self Control. NY: Guilford.