Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Obama Administration Misled Americans During the 2013 Debt-Ceiling Debate

The Obama Administration Misled Americans During the 2013 Debt-Ceiling Debate
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430620/2013-debt-ceiling-debate-white-house-misled-americans
By Veronique de Rugy — February 2, 2016

Obama’s Growing Conflict of Interest in the Clinton E-Mail Scandal

Obama’s Growing Conflict of Interest in the Clinton E-Mail Scandal
By Andrew C. McCarthy 

Obama's Islamophobia

Barack Obama suffers from serious case of the real Islamophobia -- fear of telling the truth about Islam. Even though a "progressive," he says nary a word about the rampant misogyny and homophobia in Islam or about Sharia law whose medieval strictures are preferred by 51% of American Muslims. Nor does he seem to care that so few of these same American Muslims actively oppose radical Islam. The president prefers the Hamas-linked CAIR to courageous reformers like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. But that's no surprise. For Obama, radical Islam doesn't even exist.
Instead, he claims American citizens are mistreating their Muslim brothers and sisters when anyone with a web browser can see that simply isn't true and is yet another Obama lie. In fact, anti-Muslim acts in the USA are few and far less than those against Jews. According to the FBI,  in 2014, 57% of hate crimes targeted Jews, only 16% Muslims. Moreover, hate crimes themselves are  extremely infrequent in this country, only 1140 (again from 2014) in a nation with a population well over 320 million. Compare hate crimes to burglaries -- 2,159,878, according to the FBI, in 2010 -- and it becomes obvious how minuscule the threat is, particularly to Muslims. It's almost non-existent.
Yet Obama continues to hector us about our anti-Muslim bias. Actually what he is demonstrating is an unconscious contempt for Muslims, treating them like children who need to be coddled.  And as most parents know, coddling children is a sure way to ratify, even encourage, bad behavior.
Obama's choice for his first mosque visit did just that. From Investor's Business Daily:
President Obama is conferring legitimacy on a Baltimore mosque the FBI just a few years ago was monitoring as a breeding ground for terrorists, after arresting a member for plotting to blow up a federal building.
IBD has learned that the FBI had been conducting surveillance at the Islamic Society of Baltimore since at least 2010 when it collared one of its members for plotting to bomb an Army recruiting center not far from the mosque in Catonsville, Md.
Agents secretly recorded a number of conversations with a 25-year-old Muslim convert — Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain — and other Muslims who worshipped there. According to the criminal complaint, Martinez said he knew “brothers” who could supply him weapons and propane tanks.
So what is Obama after?  The Muslim vote, obviously. But he is equally obviously, and more importantly, working out his own identity crisis, a long and winding road that has taken him from the madrassas of Indonesia to the pews of Reverend Wright.
But that is a familiar tale that will be told and retold in the years to come as more information comes to light.  What should concern us now are its immediate ramifications in immigration policy.  The tardiness and tentativeness with which the president dealt with extreme instances of Islamic terror from Paris to San Bernardino bespeak tremendous moral and emotional confusion -- his fear of saying anything bad about Islam. He wishes these events would go away because he doesn't know how to "contain" them in the psychoanalytic sense.
Simultaneously, the president has made clear that he intends to control as many crucial policies as possible himself during his last year in office through executive action.  Because of that, we must pay special attention to Obama's "Islamophobia."  Our lives may depend on it.

Don's Tuesday Column

          THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson   Red Bluff Daily News   2/09/2016

              Islam is as Islamists do

As I write, the news broke that Tehama County Superintendent of Schools Charles Allen “will be leaving his office before his term is up because he is facing having his credentials revoked.” A well-written and very authoritative letter by Lou Bosetti, with support and endorsements by other respected former educators and administrators, appeared on this page advocating the immediate appointment of Harley North to the position.
The controversy surrounding Allen’s questionable credentials arose in the election that he won against North. This column concurred with the position of Allen’s opponents and North’s supporters. Some insisted that questions regarding Allen’s credentials were overblown; the money and persuasive power of the teachers’ union supported Allen.
The union was playing typical union politics, using our collective taxes that pay the salaries of educators, from whose forced union dues are derived the very monies used—in a thinly-veiled special interest campaign—to support their preferred candidate. I agree with F.D. Roosevelt and union leader George Meany that public employees have no business unionizing, and certainly no business swaying elections.
“Obama visits US mosque,” by AP reporter Darlene Superville, appeared in last Thursday’s Daily News. BHO decried the “hugely distorted impression” of Muslim-Americans and cited the fears of “young Muslims worried they’ll be rounded up and kicked out of the country…Muslims are concerned about terrorism but are too often blamed as a group ‘for the violent acts of the very few.’”
Obama cited “bullied children,” “vandalized mosques” and other instances of “unequal treatment.” He implies that Americans are failing to 1) differentiate between good Muslims and bad Muslims and 2) defer to the proper Muslim authorities and organizations in forming our attitudes about Islam and Islamic terrorism (BHO: it’s not Islamic).
Has Barack Obama spoken out in similar forceful fashion condemning anti-Semitic violence and hate crimes (also, not Islamic anti-Jewish hate)? How about the violence and terrorism inflicted on Christians by Muslims across the world (just coincidental and un-Islamic)?
AP and the rest of the Mainstream Media provided sloppy stenography for the “correct” version of the issue. No questioning of the president’s narrative appeared; no insight to the complex-but-troubling practices and beliefs of Islam.
For that, one has to find articles like “Obama’s Islamophobia,” by Roger L. Simon (searchable by title). “Barack Obama suffers from a serious case of the real Islamophobia—fear of telling the truth about Islam. Even though a ‘progressive,’ he says nary a word about the rampant misogyny and homophobia in Islam or about sharia law whose medieval strictures are preferred by 51 percent of American Muslims. Nor does he seem to care that so few of these same American Muslims actively oppose radical Islam. The president prefers the Hamas-linked CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) to courageous reformers like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. But that’s no surprise. For Obama, radical Islam doesn’t even exist.
“Instead, he claims American citizens are mistreating their Muslim brothers and sisters when anyone with a web browser can see that simply isn’t true and is yet another Obama lie. In fact, anti-Muslim acts in the USA are few and far less than those against Jews. According to the FBI in 2014, 57 % of hate crimes targeted Jews, only 16 % Muslims.”
Also, look up “Obama Defends the Faith,” by Scott Johnson (Powerlineblog.com). “President Obama seems to believe in nothing more than he does the defense of Islam. He specializes in pronouncements on what is truly Islamic and what is not [which always] preserve the good name of Islam.” Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, the San Bernardino jihadis—not Islamic.
Not only Obama’s words but his deeds—as in the Baltimore mosque (Islamic Center of Baltimore) he chose to visit—illustrate the quandary he finds himself immersed in without any apparent self-awareness. Zuhdi Jasser of the Islamic Forum for Democracy said this: “As a Muslim American I’m just insulted, this is disgraceful that this is one of the mosques—or the mosque—that he’s chosen to visit.”
Investor’s Business Daily editorialized: “President Obama is conferring legitimacy on a Baltimore mosque the FBI just a few years ago was monitoring as a breeding ground for terrorists, after arresting a member for plotting to blow up a federal building…According to the criminal complaint, (25-year-old Muslim convert) Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain,” conversed with other Muslims who worshiped there.
“He indicated that if the military continued to kill their Muslim brothers and sisters, they would need to expand their operations by killing U.S. Army personnel where they live. He said that in the Quran he learned that Islam counsels Muslims to ‘fight those who fight against you.’”
Well, not surprisingly, CAIR (an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation prosecution) reportedly chose the ISB mosque for Obama. ISB is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America “which federal prosecutors in 2007 named a radical Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas front, and an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator in a scheme to funnel more than $12 million to Hamas suicide bombers—and ISB has helped organize the terror-tied ISNA’s conferences. The Shariah-compliant mosque was led for 15 years by a radical cleric—Imam Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh—who once represented a federally designated al-Qaida front group.” (go to Donpolson.blogspot.com, click the “Islam” link, for these and more)
              “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” as Jesus said.

Scientist Ruthlessly Debunks One Of NOAA’s Central Climate Claims

Photo of Michael Bastasch
In face of intense criticism from alarmist scientists, Dr. John Christy went to great lengths in a Tuesday congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming than surface thermometers.
“That’s where the real mass of the climate system exists in terms of the atmosphere,” Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama and Alabama’s state climatologist, said in a Wednesday hearing before the House science committee.
“When a theory contradicts the facts” you need to change the theory, Christy said. “The real world is not going along with rapid warming. The models need to go back to the drawing board.”
Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, convened a hearing on the implications of President Barack Obama’s recent United Nations deal in Paris, which agreed to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
Christy doesn’t think signing onto a U.N. deal is good for Americans, and challenges the very data politicians and environmentalists rely on to push green energy policies.
“One of my many climate interests is the way surface temperatures are measured and how surface temperatures, especially over land, are affected by their surroundings,” Christy wrote in his prepared testimony.
Christy recently co-authored a study with veteran meteorologist Anthony Watts that found the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was basing its temperature adjustments on “compromised” temperature data.
The study found most of NOAA’s 1,218 thermometers were sited near artificial surfaces and heat sources like concrete, asphalt, and air conditioner exhausts that were causing more warming to show in the U.S. temperature record than was present at weather stations that were well-sited.
Christy and Watts surmised NOAA was basing its temperature adjustments (efforts made to get “biases” out of the temperature record) on bad data.“I closely examined individual stations in different regions and have come to the conclusion that the magnitude of the relatively small signal we seek in human-induced climate change is easily convoluted by the growth of infrastructure around the thermometer stations and the variety of changes these stations undergo through time, as well as the variability of the natural ups and downs of climate,” Christy noted in his testimony.
“It is difficult to adjust for these contaminating factors to extract a pure dataset for greenhouse detection because often the non-climatic influence comes along very gradually just as is expected of the response to the enhanced greenhouse effect,” Christy added.
But that’s why Christy argues satellite-derived temperatures are a better way to look at how greenhouse gases are impacting the Earth’s climate.
“The bulk atmospheric temperature is where the signal is the largest,” Christy said in the hearing, referring to the greenhouse gas effect. “We have measurements for that — it doesn’t match up with the models.”
Satellite-derived temperatures have come under fire recently by scientists more alarmist about global warming than Christy, but the Alabama climatologist addressed those criticisms.
“Because this result challenges the current theory of greenhouse warming in relatively straightforward fashion, there have been several well-funded attacks on those of us who build and use such datasets and on the datasets themselves,” Christy said.
Climate models for the bulk atmosphere (where satellites measure temperature) show 2.5 times as much warming as has been observed by satellites and weather balloons.
“It is a bold strategy in my view to actively promote the output of theoretical climate models while attacking the multiple lines of evidence from observations,” Christy wrote. “Note that none of the observational datasets are perfect and continued scrutiny is healthy, but when multiple, independent groups generate the datasets and then when the results for two completely independent systems (balloons and satellites) agree closely with each other and disagree with the model output, one is left scratching one’s head at the decision to launch an offensive against the data.”


Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/02/scientist-ruthlessly-debunks-one-of-nasas-central-climate-claims/#ixzz3z9Iy6SJz

Monday, February 8, 2016

Obama to Visit Muslim Brotherhood-Aligned Mosque


After seven years of pandering to and appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, Barack Obama will mark the crowning moment of his presidency: today he will -- for the first time as president -- visit a mosque in the United States.
A White House official says he intends to “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation.” The Washington Post added that he was making the trip “to promote religious tolerance at a time when rhetoric linking Islam with terrorism is growing.”
In other words, Obama is going to the mosque because of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and other Republican candidates whom the media has roasted for linking Islam with terrorism.
Of course, the mosque he has chosen to visit is ... the Muslim Brotherhood-linkedIslamic Society of Baltimore. Obama is more concerned with Republican rhetoric linking Islam with terrorism than with the increase in such rhetoric emanating from Muslims themselves, drawn directly from Islamic canon.
The latest Islamic State video is titled “Kill Them Wherever You Find Them”. This is a quotation from the Qur’an (2:191, 4:89, 9:5).
A few weeks ago, a convert to Islam named Edward Archer shot and seriously wounded Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett. He then engaged in rhetoric linking Islam to terrorism, saying:
I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic state. That is why I did what I did.
Will Obama discuss these examples -- and there are countless more -- of Muslims linking Islam to terrorism when he visits the Islamic Society of Baltimore? Will he challenge this mosque and other U.S. mosques to institute honest, transparent, inspectable programs that teach against the understanding of Islam that gives rise to jihad violence?
Not likely. He is going there to celebrate the contributions Muslims have made to our nation. But he will never address the contributions which do not fit his narrative; he will never consider presenting Americans with an objective weighing of the negatives balanced against any positives.
We all know of the economic and quality-of-life negatives he thinks disappear if he chooses to ignore them, like the remodeling of the New York skyline. And the expensive transformation of government buildings in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere into veritable fortresses, each with lovely massive stone blocks outside to prevent jihadis from using truck bombs. Muslims alone provided the impetus for huge advances -- and huge expenses -- in the development of technology used to screen passengers in airports. Muslims are responsible for air travel being transformed from a glamorous, adventurous activity to a cramped, hectoring, inhospitable affair, with glum, shoeless hordes holding up their beltless trousers while jumping through intrusive and inefficient checkpoints.
We also owe Muslims for insisting upon the political correctness that requires everyone to be humiliated equally. Passengers are poked, prodded, threatened, herded like cattle, and treated as likely criminals while America is hamstrung from efficiently focusing on the true source of the problem.
We also must credit Muslims with increases in the U.S. government. It is now bigger, wealthier (on your tax money), and watching you more closely than it was on September 10, 2001. Muslims can take a bow for the creation of at least two government agencies -- the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security -- plus a massive expansion in the budgets of all manner of intelligence and law enforcement entities.
Those bloated budgets are one manifestation of what is actually the greatest contribution that Muslims have made to our nation: the slow destruction of the American economy. Osama bin Laden explained that he mounted the 9/11 jihad terror attacks in order to weaken the American economy; in October 2004 he rejoiced at how he had induced the Americans to spend, spend, spend to try to stymie him:
Al-Qaeda spent $500,000 on the event, while America, in the incident and its aftermath, lost -- according to the lowest estimate -- more than $500 billion, meaning that every dollar of al-Qaeda defeated a million dollars.
And that was in 2004. How many more billions have been spent since then, even aside from the billions wasted on the nation-building misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan? If Osama were alive today, he could look with satisfaction on an America that is poorer, uglier, meaner, more dangerous, less productive, and less efficient than it was on September 10, 2001.
These are undeniable contributions that Muslims have made to our nation, and they are, of course, nothing to celebrate. Obama is certain to allude to none of it at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. Instead, he will -- if he follows the pattern of similar remarks he has made previously -- speak in airy generalities and indulge in a few wild exaggerations. Maybe he will mention Muhammad Ali or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He will then bask in the comfort of knowing that he, the ISB members, and the mainstream media covering the event are morally superior to Trump, Carson, and anyone else.
Like those of us who might have the racist, bigoted idea that a president of the United States has no business visiting a mosque whose former imam was a member of a group that is dedicated in its own words (according to a captured internal document) to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house.”
None of that will come up in today's media lovefest. In Obama’s America, preening that you are not a “racist” and a “bigot” is far more important than being concerned that many Muslims actually do want to eliminate, destroy, and sabotage the nation he is sworn to protect.

Bernie and the high cost of ‘free’ health care

Bernie and the high cost of ‘free’ health care


“If you think health care is expensive today,” humorist P.J. O’Rourke once opined, “just wait until it’s free.”
History has repeatedly demonstrated the undeniable truth of O’Rourke’s dictum, but that hasn’t stopped politicians from promising that the next time really will be different. The latest to promote this version of hope over experience is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is promoting his plan for “Medicare for All” as a key part of his presidential campaign.
Given that Medicare is running some $40 trillion in the red, that might not be the best model, but Bernie’s undeterred. In fact, Sanders’ plan would actually cover more services than Medicare.
And, it would do away with all of Medicare’s modest cost-sharing components like co-payments, deductibles and premiums. When Sanders promises free health care, he means it.
But, as O’Rourke warned us, BernieCare will really cost us a whole lot more. Sanders’ own estimates suggest that BernieCare would cost roughly $13.8 trillion over its first decade of operation, roughly a 30 percent increase in federal spending.
To pay for it, Sanders would sock us all with a big tax hike. He would increase the top income-tax rate to 52 percent and add hefty hikes in capital gains taxes and estate taxes. Corporations would face a new 6.2 percent payroll tax, which would mean either fewer jobs or lower wages. He would also hit every American with a new 2.2 percent income tax.
And this doesn’t count the likely impact of all this taxing and spending on the economy. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation, for instance, estimates that Bernie’s plan would reduce GDP by 9.5 percent over the long term, and reduce after-tax income for all Americans by an average of 12.8 percent.
In fairness, of course, businesses and workers would no longer have to pay the health care costs that they now incur, including insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, so it’s possible that some people may end up paying less even after all the new taxes, lost jobs and lower wages. But the arithmetic suggests there will be far more losers than winners in the BernieCare casino.
And all of this assumes that BernieCare will reduce health care costs by as much as 47 percent, according to independent estimates. How? Well, Sanders is far less clear on that than he is on how he’ll increase taxes. His plan contains exactly one paragraph on cost control, including a promise that “government will finally be able to stand up to drug companies.”
Perhaps this lack of specificity is because Sanders knows that the way other countries with single-payer systems “get health care spending under control,” as Bernie promises, is by denying care.
Single-payer systems in countries such as Great Britain and Canada do spend less on health care than we do. But they do so at the cost of less care, less innovation and longer wait times.
There’s a reason why more than half of all new drugs are patented in the United States, and why 80 percent of non-pharmaceutical medical breakthroughs, from transplants to MRIs, were introduced first in this country.
But as bad as BernieCare is liable to be, it’s particularly ironic to watch supporters of Hillary Clinton and President Obama criticizing “socialized medicine.” Where do they think we’ve been heading for the last six years? ObamaCare may not be quite as expensive or comprehensive as BernieCare, but it still represented an enormous government takeover of the health care system.
Like BernieCare, ObamaCare — and HillaryCare before that — was based on the idea that government should make our health care decisions, not individual doctors and patients. Obama always said he really wanted a single-payer system. He settled for ObamaCare because he couldn’t get single-payer through Congress. If Sanders would rush us a little faster down the road toward government-run health care, that road has already been paved by Obama and Clinton.
Hillary wants to “build on ObamaCare.” Sanders has more grandiose plans.
But they’re arguing about how fast to drive on the road to hell. Their destinations are the same. It’s a destination that means bigger government, more taxes and rationed health care for all Americans.

Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

The left orientation of industrial relations

   
Mitchell Langbert has a new article out, in which he demonstrates that the field of industrial relations (like legal academia) is dominated by left/liberal pro-union, pro-regulation perspectives, and has only token representation of free-market scholars and views. Here is the abstract:
I show that the field known as industrial relations (IR) leans overwhelmingly to the political left. I investigate the voter registration and political contributions of IR researchers, showing overwhelming Democratic Party favor. I construct a data set of participants in the IR field, which contains 920 U.S.-based person-roles (deriving from 709 actual persons). Included are the authors of the 539 research articles published in four periodicals 2009–2013: (1) the annual meeting proceedings volume of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), (2) Industrial and Labor Relations Review, (3) Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, and (4) the Journal of Labor Research. I also include the editors of the periodicals, the officers of LERA, and a sample of LERA’s ordinary members. The data suggests that the ratio of Democratic-to-Republican voter registration among participants in IR is roughly 10 to one. I find a similar ratio when looking at those who have made contributions to Democratic and Republican candidates for office. I also show that Democratic lopsidedness at the three mainstream IR journals becomes more extreme at the higher stations (officers and editors, as opposed to ordinary members and authors). Also, I analyze the content of the 539 articles for union support and regulation support; the mainstream IR journals are overwhelmingly pro-union and pro-regulation.
Download Langbert’s article here. And, for more on the lack of intellectual diversity on campus, check out Heterodox Academy.
Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz is a Professor of Law at Georgetowna Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, and an occasional Broadway producer.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/01/30/the-left-orientation-of-industrial-relations/

Sunday, February 7, 2016

GUARDIAN DECLARES DISCUSSION OF IMMIGRATION OFF LIMITS


The Guardian, Britain’s left-wing newspaper, has decided to ban or limit comments on articles that deal with immigration, race or Islam. The paper’s explanation is interesting:
Certain subjects – race, immigration and Islam in particular – attract an unacceptable level of toxic commentary, believes Mary Hamilton, our executive editor, audience.
By “race, immigration and Islam,” she means Islamic immigration. This is of course a controversial subject. What does she mean by “toxic”?
“The overwhelming majority of these comments tend towards racism,…
What does it mean to tend toward racism? I suspect that in the Guardian’s view, any expression of skepticism about the wisdom of mass immigration from Islamic countries “tend[s] toward racism.”
…abuse of vulnerable subjects,…
By “vulnerable subjects,” the Guardian editor does not mean the thousands of women who have been sexually assaulted by Islamic migrants.
…author abuse…
Does “author abuse” mean something more than disagreeing with the (left-wing) author? One would have to judge that comment by comment.
…and trolling, and the resulting conversations below the line bring very little value but cause consternation and concern among both our readers and our journalists,” she said last week.
In my opinion, a large majority of comments on newspaper sites “bring very little value.” Is this especially true of articles on Islamic immigration? I don’t think so. It is interesting that “caus[ing] consternation” among “our journalists” is now a ground for restricting comments.
As a result, it had been decided that comments would not be opened on pieces on those three topics unless the moderators knew they had the capacity to support the conversation and that they believed a positive debate was possible.
I am not sure when European leftists think that a positive debate on immigration is possible, given that they reflexively label anyone who expresses concerns about mass immigration “far right.” Can the Guardian have a “positive debate on immigration” with the “far right”? I doubt it. Hence, no comments.
This was not a retreat from commenting as a whole, she said; it was an acknowledgement, however, that some conversations had become toxic at an international level – “a change in mainstream public opinion and language that we do not wish to see reflected or supported on the site”.
This is a fascinating sentence. It acknowledges that there has been a change in “mainstream public opinion,” which, as a result of experience, has turned against mass immigration all across Europe. So what the Guardian has always sneered at as “far right” is now the majority view. Will that cause the Guardian to rethink its open borders position? Of course not! The paper “do[es] not wish to see” the majority’s opinion “reflected or supported on the site.”
Voila! If you see an opinion you disagree with–strongly, on an issue you care about–block it. That is the liberal way.