Unimpeachable Tales in Washington

 

Written by Robert Knight

All this talk of Republicans on the verge of impeaching President Barack Obama is nonsense, stoked by Democrats and a few wistful conservatives who dream aloud about what, in a constitutional republic, should actually happen to a lawless president.

With Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) running the U.S. Senate, however, it’s not going to happen right now, regardless of the clear merit. If the U.S. House passed an impeachment resolution, Reid would give it no more respect than a used tissue – after waving it around to whip up the party’s base.

House Speaker John Boehner has said this clearly to no good effect other than to provide more ammo to the Left. His denials have had roughly the same impact as when Richard Nixon assured us, “I’m not a crook.” It’s never good to repeat something that your opponents want to pin on you.

But now we have to listen to revisionist history on top of all this.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) impugned the motives of Mr. Boehner for bringing to a floor vote last Wednesday a resolution to sue Mr. Obama for usurping powers delegated by the Constitution to Congress. The measure passed on a party line vote of 225 to 221.

“I ask my colleagues to oppose this resolution for it is in fact a veiled attempt for impeachment and it undermines the law that allows a president to do his job,” Ms. Jackson Lee said, reading from the North Korean Constitution. Just kidding about that last part.

She noted, as reported by the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, that Democrats who were upset over the war in Iraq “did not seek an impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had his authority. President Obama has the authority.”

To do what? Anything he wants, apparently.

Ms. Jackson Lee seems to have forgotten that she was one of 11 Democrat co-sponsors of a resolution introduced by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in June 2008, entitled, ”Impeaching George W. Bush, President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors.”

If you don’t think that was about impeachment, I have some cool, arid, mountainous, seaside property to sell you in Ms. Jackson Lee’s Houston, Texas district.

Just because the impeachment bill didn’t go anywhere doesn’t mean Ms. Jackson Lee can rewrite history, even if that’s her hobby. In January, she said that Americans have done little to help the poor, and that the word “welfare” should be replaced by “transitional living fund.”

As noted on the website DiscovertheNetworks.org, on other occasions, she declared in 2005 that the United States has been a constitutional republic for 400 years (not 217 years), and that astronaut Neil Armstrong planted an American flag on Mars (not the moon).

She outdid herself back in 2010, when she took to the floor to tell fellow congressmen that, in Vietnam, “Victory had been achieved. Today we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for a better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they are living side by side.”

The North won the war in 1975 and tucked the South into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976.

On the bright side, at least Rep. Jackson Lee knows that Vietnam is a country or two. Many graduates today think that “Vietnamese” is merely a type of ethnic food.

Speaking of the concept of “victory,” I’d like to go retro for a moment and take issue with something regarded for decades in the popular and political culture as really clever. In 1966, U.S. Sen. George D. Aiken, a liberal Republican from Vermont, suggested that the United States should declare victory in Vietnam and leave. That sage advice has been repeated ad nauseum over the years.

I bet the immediate victims of the communist takeover or the hundreds of thousands of boat people who fled are not laughing. To be fair to Sen. Aiken, what he actually said was far more nuanced:

“The United States could well declare unilaterally … that we have ‘won’ in the sense that our armed forces are in control of most of the field and no potential enemy is in a position to establish its authority over South Vietnam. … It may be a far-fetched proposal, but nothing else has worked.”

Even before Twitter, this half-serious analysis became “declare victory and pull out” – the all-purpose, smart aleck answer to what America should have done. In fact, it’s still being used in reference to Iraq, which is descending into murderous madness. Are we laughing yet?

The same month that Ms. Jackson Lee made her gaffe about Vietnam, she spoke at an NAACP meeting where, as “Gateway Pundit” Glenn Reynolds reports, she derided Tea Party members as racists, saying:

“All those who wore [Klansman] sheets a long time ago have now lifted them off and started wearing [applause], uh, clothing, uh, with a name, say, I am part of the Tea Party.”

Well, this fits President Obama’s supporters’ mantra that anyone opposing his authoritarianism or disastrous foreign policies is a hater.

Responding to the House vote to sue him, Mr. Obama actually told Republicans, “just stop hatin’ all the time.”

Whatever else that is, it’s not presidential. It’s right down there with Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. warning Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert at a hearing, “you don’t want to go there, buddy.”

In a few years, Ms. Jackson Lee will probably tell us that the two men had been discussing vacation plans.


Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.com, where this article was originally posted.

Big Government’s IT Problem

There’s a reason so many states didn't create their own health exchanges. 

Written by Michael Barone

Earlier this week, I was thinking of writing a column about the lying and duplicity of Obamacare backers who argued that the difference between providing subsidies in states with state-run health exchanges and providing no subsidies in states with federal exchanges resulted from inadvertence or a typographical error.

Typical among them was MIT health-care expert Jonathan Gruber. The folks at the Competitive Enterprise Institute found video of him in 2012 arguing that all or most states would create their own exchanges because they wouldn’t get subsidies if they let the federal government run their exchanges. That was just a “speako” (the oral equivalent of a typo), Gruber replied.

And Phil Kerpen of American Commitment published 2010 comments from New Republic health-care maven Jonathan Cohn in which he explained that “a state could opt out of the exchanges.” But it’s “not something I’ve looked into that closely,” Cohn added.

Yet people like Gruber, Cohn, and columnist E. J. Dionne attacked the D.C. Circuit’s Halbig v. Burwell decision – which, quoting the statute’s language, ruled that subsidies can’t be paid in states with federal exchanges – as “judicial activism,” based on a typo.

And White House press secretary Josh Earnest, not evidently a legal scholar, explained that Congress wanted to give lots of people lots of money – so who cares what the law says?

But, on reflection, I decided that there’s something other than blatant dishonesty and political hackery going on here. It’s something that discredits Obamacare in particular and big-government enterprises generally more than run-of-the-mill partisan dishonesty: Cohn in 2010 and Gruber in 2012 evidently really believed that almost all states would set up their own exchanges, because their residents would get more money than if the feds ran the exchange.

That’s how federal powers have increased over the years. Congress can’t order states to adopt policies, but it can dangle money in front of them if they meet certain conditions. That’s how we got the 21-year-old drinking age even though the 22nd Amendment recognizes states’ powers to regulate alcohol.

As Cohn notes, that’s how Medicaid, passed in 1965, worked, too. Forty-nine states signed on by 1972. Only Arizona held out until 1982.

So why did 36 states refuse to create their own health exchanges? One reason is that Obamacare turned out to be massively unpopular. Another is that conservative policy experts argued it would weaken the law. Most important, setting up health exchanges is hard to do. Government doesn’t handle information technology well, here or around the world. The State Department’s visa system is currently offline for weeks, keeping businessmen, tourists, and exchange students from entering the country. The FBI had to abandon a massive IT project after spending hundreds of millions of dollars. These bureaucracies did a good job of delivering passports and maintaining files in the industrial age. But they can’t keep up in the information age. Moore’s Law says that computer capacity doubles in two years or less. Government procurement cycles are a lot longer than that.

Governors and legislators had reason to fear that state health exchange IT wouldn’t work well (as it hasn’t in about half the states that tried), and that they would get blamed — and blamed for being associated with an unpopular law.

All of which suggests a broader lesson. Government was reasonably good at replicating the bureaucratic processes of large corporations in the industrial age. But it’s not very good — it’s often downright incompetent — at replicating the IT processes of firms such as Walmart and Amazon.

Markets work better than government ukase in the information age. The Medicare Part D prescription drug program, with many market components, has produced high satisfaction and costs lower than projections. Obamacare has not done as well.

Obamacare required states to expand Medicaid or lose all Medicaid funds. In June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that this violates the Constitution. Once they had a choice, some Republican states chose more Medicaid money. But 21 states have said “No, thanks” to the extra funds, and three are debating the issue. Only 54 percent of Americans are receiving Medicaid programs Obamacare promised to give — or impose on — everyone.

This is not what Obamacare boosters like Gruber and Cohn expected. They thought Obamacare money would be too tantalizing to resist. But for many or most states, it wasn’t.

The Obamacare cheerleaders failed to understand that in this information age most Americans mistrust big-government policies.


— Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.  This article was originally published at National Review Online.

$20.4 Billion Migrated Out of Illinois

The Tax Foundation posted a fascinating map earlier this week showing the migration of personal incomes between states – where personal income was subtracted from one state and added to another, along with the movers.

Florida benefited the most—interstate migrants brought a net $67.3 billion dollars in annual income into the state between 2000 and 2010. The next two highest gainers were Arizona ($17.7 billion) and Texas ($17.6 billion).

Illinois, with our high taxes and low employment came in third from worst ($-20.4 billion).  New York won the dubious honor of losing the most income ($-45.6 billion).  California came in second ($-29.4 billion).

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Gaza, Liberals, and Moral Equivalence

Gaza conflict

Written by Michael Medved

A big majority of Americans say Israel is justified in its response to Hamas, but a CNN/ORC poll shows revealing ideological differences in attitudes toward the Middle East.

Among Republicans, 73% stand with Israel, and among Independents that support remains strong at 56%. But among Democrats, only a minority – 45% – feels the Jewish state is justified in its military response in Gaza to stop rocket attacks and terror tunnels.

This attitude indicates that liberals have not only lost touch with public opinion but they’ve disconnected from reality. If Dems withhold their high-minded approval to a measured, targeted mission to prevent rocket assaults and to block kidnapping missions through the terror tunnels, then what Israeli response would they accept and recommend? Do they expect the Jewish state to absorb countless missile attacks without complaint, and to accept terrorist invasion of their towns and farms, in order to impress the enlightened souls of the international community with their moral superiority? At what point would Democrats deem a military reaction appropriate? After 1,000 rocket attacks? Or 5,000?

This is insanity, of course. Across the spectrum, Americans who back Israel outnumber those who don’t by nearly two-to-one (60-34%) but the reaction of demented Democrats reflects the leftist embrace of moral equivalence- their rejection of clear distinctions between right and wrong. Liberals love to prance and preen, advertising their own above-the-fray arrogance by citing imperfection on all sides. But there’s a difference between imperfection and painful mistakes in the fog of battle, and deliberate evil and blood lust.

Fortunately, conservatives feel far more comfortable with moral absolutes, and so rally to the support of Israel in this hour of need. Yes, sometimes distinctions are obvious between right and wrong, while some conflicts do come down to a struggle behind good and evil. American Jews, who fatuously gave 70% and more of their support to Barack Obama in both his presidential races, should keep this contrast in mind on the next Election Day.

Those tender souls who believe that the two sides share joint responsibility for the civilian casualties must meanwhile confront two questions.

First, what could Hamas do to stop the violence immediately? The answer should be obvious: If they halted their rocket attacks, and cooperated with destroying or incapacitating the terror tunnels into Israel, this brutal war would end quickly. Israel has already accepted two cease fires, one sponsored by Egypt and the Arab League, the other by the UN. Hamas rejected both offers.

Which raises the second question: what must Israel do, considering the Hamas intransigence, to bring the killing to an end?

For those who criticize current Israeli policies, what plan of action would advance the cause of peace more effectively? If Israel rewarded Hamas with some face-saving concession for the war the terrorists started, it would only encourage more wars-of-choice by the Gaza gang. If the world accedes to their demands because Hamas unleashed an orgy of deliberate destruction, that makes violent outbursts all the more likely in the future.

Rula Jabreal on MSNBC and other public apologists for murderous jihad claim that American media tilt overwhelmingly toward Israel. But the only positive treatment of the embattled Jewish state stems from its ability to describe war aims while no one on the other side will explain the aims of Hamas. Instead of explaining why Gaza thugs opted to launch a major war, Hamas sympathizers cite meaningless and false clichés about the way that pressure on any population necessarily generates violence and hatred. Yes, 100 rocket attacks a day may express such hatred but it has no purpose whatever other than satisfying the bloodlust of crazed killers and fanatics.

In this contest, the distinction between the two sides isn’t fuzzy, difficult or obscure. Israel is fighting to put an end to violence; Hamas is fighting to perpetuate and intensify terror aimed at random civilian targets. If Hamas disarms, there’s a chance that brutality would give way to some form of wary coexistence. If Israel disarms, it’s obvious that her residents would bear the brunt of increased attacks and looming disaster.

The moral contrast remains so clear that only the most stubborn and blinded relativist could refuse to acknowledge it. One war aim is admirable. The other is evil.

It shouldn’t be difficult for any individual or organization to decide which of the two sides deserves passionate support.


This article was originally published at TruthRevolt.org.

Gays Are 1 in 50, Not 1 in 4

1 in 50 graph_3

Written by Dr. Michael L. Brown

According to a 2011 Gallup poll, Americans thought that 25 percent of the population was gay (meaning one out of every four people), while those aged 18-29 put the figure at closer to 30 percent (meaning almost one in every three people). The reality is that less than 2 percent of the population is gay (meaning fewer than one in 50 people), and many gay leaders know this is true.

People of America, you have been duped.

For many years, we were told that “one in every 10 Americans” was gay, a figure based on the massively flawed 1948 study of Alfred Kinsey. (Kinsey actually relied on data from male prisoners to come up with his statistics.)

Even though gay activists knew the figure was inflated, they used it as a convenient lie, since, as two leading gay strategists noted in the late 1980s, “there is strength in numbers.” (For details, go here.) As expressed by a gay leader a few days ago, “The truth is, numbers matter, and political influence matters.”

In other words, if Americans realized that less than 2 percent of the population was gay rather 10 percent (let alone 25 percent), they would have a very different view of “gay rights.”

To be sure, it is wrong to bully or oppress or mistreat anyone based on gender or ethnicity or romantic attractions, so that is not the question. And whether gays are 1 percent of the population or 90 percent, they should not be mistreated.

But you don’t overhaul the legal system to the point of attacking freedoms of speech, conscience, and religion based on the sexual and romantic desires of a tiny percentage of the population, nor do you engage in a massive social experiment, like redefining marriage, because of a statistically tiny group of people.

Back in 2003, in their official brief in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas U.S. Supreme Court decision, a major coalition of 31 gay and pro-gay organizations used the figures of 2.8 percent of the male population and 1.4 percent of the female population as identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

This means that these activist organizations were fully aware that the 10 percent figure was completely bogus and yet they never protested when that figure was used to advance their cause. Why expose such a useful lie?

In 2011, UCLA law school’s Williams Institute released a study done by Dr. Gary J. Gates, who serves as the Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy. His official bio also states that, “Dr. Gates co-authored The Gay and Lesbian Atlas and is a recognized expert on the geography and demography of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender  population. … Many national and international media outlets regularly feature his work.”

According to Dr. Gates, just 1.7 percent of the population identifies as gay, with about the same figure identifying as bisexual.

Contrast this with an informal poll I conducted while speaking at a Christian youth conference last month, asking these committed young people what percentage of the population was gay. (Some of these kids were home schooled and most seemed less aware of the more notorious cable TV shows, so they were less worldly wise than your average young people.) The first teen answered, “Thirty percent.” The second said, “Forty percent.”

Where in the world did they get such ridiculous figures? You can thank the media for that, by which I mean the sitcoms, dramas and movies along with the major news outlets. (For an enlightening Pew Research survey, go here.)

But this is where things get very interesting. For years gay activists worked to get a sexual-orientation question on the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a document of major importance in both government policy and public perception.

That question was included in the 2013 survey, and the results, released last month, made for shocking story lines: “1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual.”

These figures approximated the ones used by conservative leaders for years, because of which we were mocked as liars and vilified as haters. Now the government confirmed what we knew to be true.

Gay and lesbian leaders weren’t happy with the results, with Dr. Scout, director of the nonprofit CenterLink’s Network of LGBT Health Equity, stating, “If we really are 2 percent vs. 4 percent, it means people are going to say, ‘OK, I’m only going to care half as much.’”

How about changing that to, “If we really are 2 percent vs. 25 percent, people are going to say, ‘OK, I’m only going to care one-twelfth as much.’” And take note: Dr. Scout only claimed that 4 percent were gay.

Bisexual leaders were concerned as well, with Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston, opining, “For such a respected survey as the NHIS to produce such a small number is a blow.”

“It’s just going to make it harder for us when we’re going out and talking to people about the bisexual population,” she said. “We have a real hard time already with people not taking the bisexual identity seriously.”

But it gets more interesting still. An article in the Washington Post entitled, “Gay rights groups dispute federal survey’s estimate of population,” notes that the 2013 National Adult Tobacco Survey came up with results that “more resembled what gay-rights groups had expected. It found that 3.5 percent of Americans considered themselves gay, lesbian or bisexual, with 1.9 percent labeling themselves gay or lesbian, and 1.6 percent identifying as bisexual.”

This means that gay-rights groups knew full well that, rather than being one in 10, their numbers were closer to one in 50, with fewer than one in 60 identifying as bisexual.

The truth is that America has been lied to and duped, and gay activists have been complicit in the deception, if not actively leading the way in the ruse. With the new survey out, it’s time to expose the lies.

The reality is that fewer than one in 50 Americans identify themselves as gay, out of which only a minority wants to be “married.”

How foolish, then, to redefine marriage, restrict freedoms of conscience, speech, and religion, and engage in a massive social experiment based on such a tiny percentage of the population.

We won’t be duped again.


This article was originally posted on the ChristianPost.com website.

Science Claims the Difference Between Liberals & Conservatives Could Be Genetic

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What separates liberals from conservatives?

Researchers are finding that these differences are becoming more and more attributed to basic biology.

Political psychologists and political scientists are increasingly convinced that our previous ideas about the differences between liberals and conservatives — that our beliefs come solely from friends, family, upbringing and personal interests — is wrong.

It’s now suggested that liberals and conservatives disagree because they differ genetically, physiologically and psychologically.

University of Nebraska’s John Hibbling and his colleagues argue that the differences between liberals and conservativeslie in “the nature of their physiological and psychological responses to features of the environment that are negative.” Conservatives, so it seems, have a “negativity bias,” responding much more rapidly to threatening or negative stimuli.

Read more at IllinoisReview.com

Modified by Matthew Medlen.com