CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

Newsmakers

ARCHIVE - NOVEMBER 2014

The Best of The Best

Who is America's
best Senator?


Wisconsin's
RON JOHNSON!

And here's why!


Senate


Will Harry Reid hang
on as Senate Majority
Leader in 2014?
Photo from foxnews.com
It is looking like it
might slip away.

It's going to be close…
Keep an eye on our
election coverage!

House


Can John Boehner keep
his raucous caucus in
the driver's in 2014?
oxnews.com
Probably, but only if he
avoids unforced errors
like a bruising brawl on
immigration.

Keep an eye on our
election coverage. There
will surely be lots of
twists and turns.

"WE CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!", or "THOU SHALT BEAR FALSE WITNESS", or...

2014/11/25 - Just what exactly is the message the Ferguson protester types are trying to convey? It's hard to tell, but observers are being presented with an inablility to grasp reality.

Last night the grand jury came down with its decision not to indict police office Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The aftermath was predictably violent and counter-productive, and will probably continue on a negative and destructive path for some time.

Eyewitness accounts vary widely, but more and more it seems that the accounts of witnesses who corroborated the officer's story have held up under scrutiny, while witness accounts that contradicted the officer have broken down and fallen apart under the light of objective and forensic evidence.

Yet it seems to matter not a whit to the protesters. Their minds are closed to any evidence that might run contrary to their preferred narrative. They give mob rule a bad name - they want a scalp, facts be damned.

If that was the pre-existing mentality in the community, then it is not hard to see how the "hands up" story arose and took command. Possibly, either someone of ill will - maybe with an axe to grind - intentionally lied; or an innocent bystander who was incapable of viewing the tragedy outside of a preferred narrative didn't get it quite right. From there it escalated until it spun out of control. Facts be damned.

The media hasn't helped with its biased reporting. One indicator of manipulative journalism are references to Brown's age, or references to him as a "kid". In fact, Brown was 6'4", 292 pounds, the human equivalent of a hippopotamus. "Cop shoots giant" and "Cop shoots kid" are separate and different tragedies.

The willingness of mainstream media reporters to divest themselves of professional journalistic standards has been pathetic - and revealing. They have rejected professional integrity as a principal, and now rely on hearsay and false witness to build and hype a false, fake, fraudulent story, because that phony story fits with their far-left radical extremist ideology. Facts be damned.

Nor has it helped that some of the worst of the race hustlers like Al Sharpton have adopted the cause to feed their own empires. Why do media outlets - all of them including Fox News but especially MSNBC - legitimize this guy by putting him on TV and in the papers?

Nor has the White House - Attorney General Holder, President Obama - helped by jumping in and legitimizing the thugs and de-legitimizing not only the police, but our larger societal structures as well. Their threats to pursue federal race hate charges have only proved to provoke the agitators all the more.

What does it say about the community, that those who support the officer's account are intimidated into silence, while their "churches", contradicting the Ninth Commandment, make heroes of those who bear false witness?

And the Brown family who cannot see that their son was a violent lout who robbed stores, assaulted shopkeepers? A brute who attacked a law enforcement official who was merely attempting to defend the truly innocent - not Brown, but the victims of Brown's violence?

This is a community that is lied to by its politicians, lied to by its leaders, is lied to by community organizers, is lied to by the media - is there any surprise that they cannot be honest with themselves?



WHY DEMOCRATS NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM ELECTED OFFICE

2014/11/19 - It's been a while since we picked on someone else's writing, so why not do that today?

Ezra Klein's blog Vox had an article today "Are Democrats out of new ideas?" The entire article could have answered that question in three letters ("Yes"), but there had to be more to it than that, so I foolishly decided to waste my time and read it.

Klein was writing about his visit to a conference organized by the (misclassified) think tank, Center for American Progress (CAP), and seemed just a tad underwhelmed regarding... well, the lack of... thoughts, which is not what you want a "think tank" to run low on. Three items in the article begged for comment.

First, Klein takes up the serious issue of declining household incomes. Incomes sank throughout Obama's first term before finally flat lining in 2013, 8% below 2007 levels. In discussing the problem of suppressed wages, Klein quotes CAP's president Neera Tanden as follows:

"We did this report that showed that if you look at the prototypical family — double earner, two kids — their wages have stood still since roughly 2000, but their cost of living has gone up by about $10,000 because of things like child care and health care. We have had tax policy that has ameliorated that challenge by about $5,000. But they still have $5,000 less than they did before. So you can see why they're getting kind of irritated."

Now does that make any sense at all? She takes credit for handing out pain relievers while lamenting the persistence of the illness her medicine is actually causing. It doesn't even seem to occur to this "think tank" president that maybe the solution is NOT tax code manipulation, but rather, that pro-growth tax reform and reducing red tape would increase private sector employment and exert upward pressure on wages. Simple inviolate supply and demand, the policy path to prosperity. Nope, too simple, beneath the dignity of a "think tank".

Note also the Gruberesque sleight of hand Tanden performs to obfuscate the problem. The problem is not flat incomes since 2000, it is the decline and stagnation of incomes during the Obama years. This is the actual real world experience of most Americans, while Obama never stops congratulating himself on how great things are. "So you can see why they're getting kind of irritated." Indeed.

Instead she gloats that leftists "ameliorated" the problem by adding more complexity and loopholes and cross-subsidies and distortions and dislocations to the tax code, an amelioration that is in fact the very essence of the problem: Soviet-style top-down central-planning that suffocates innovation and economic risk-taking, leading to the slow growth and stagnant wages that we "enjoy" today.

This is the "thinking" at what Klein calls "the most influential of the liberal think tanks". This think tank's ideas are as futile as the Soviet Union from whence they came. Their statist solutions are just a con-job, a shell game where nothing is created, stuff just gets shuffled around, and a lot of time and energy and resources are wasted in the process. And all the while bureaucrats and plutocrats skim the house-take from these "comprehensive" legislative nightmares. Government of the government, by the government, for the government.

Unfortunately, this is the thinking of today's Democratic Party, its officials, its officeholders. The party no longer believes in free markets or the private sector. The Democratic Party has chosen to stand in favor of statist big-government Rube Goldberg machines such as ObaMcCare. It has chosen to stand in opposition to the law of supply and demand. It is a socialist party.

A second comment on Klein's report. He quotes Tanden that "The difficulty for progressives in the last few years has been that trying to think up ideas that can make it through the House Republicans has limited the debate".

Tanden has spent too much time in DC, not grasping that House Republicans are merely a proxy for the people. The Democrats' "difficulty in the last few years" is that they cannot get their ideas past the people. The Democrats were not crushed by the Republicans, they were crushed by We The People.

It should come as no surprise that the media makes little of the takeover of the Democratic Party by socialists and left wing extremists. In the past progressives "Gruberized" their ideas in order to legislate them, but now that legerdemain has been laid bare. Voters are catching on, they are seeing what the Democratic Party has been morphing into, and they are not liking it. "So", as Tanden says, "you can see why they're getting kind of irritated." Yes, irritated at Democrats and their policy debacles.

A third and final comment. Looking forward to the 2016 elections, Klein concludes by saying "It might be enough for Hillary Clinton to simply unify the Democrats' larger presidential coalition against the Republicans." Uhh, did he actually say "simply"? Unfortunately for Mr. Klein and his Democrats, it's not that simple at all.

The Democrats do not have a "larger presidential coalition". What we saw in 2008/2012 was an aberration, a phenomenon known as Barrack Obama, the most profoundly gifted liar this country has ever seen. It was a "larger phenomenon coalition". Hillary Clinton is stale, musty, passé. A relic. Her time, if it every came, has most certainly gone. And so has Obama's "larger presidential coalition". It's over.

With progressive policies on the ballot, but without their charlatan-in-chief to pitch them, disaster awaits Democrats in 2016. Elizabeth Warren could give Democrats a fighting chance, or she too could prove a disaster. Everyone else is a guaranteed disaster in the making, a victim of a Republican landslide of Reaganesque proportions.



Random Ramblings


November 26, 2014 - "Democrats blew it".

So said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in a speech yesterday. He said that it was a mistake to prioritize healthcare reform, a "reform" that has helped so few and at the same time hurt so many.

So when the House again votes to repeal ObaMcCare in January, and this time it actually goes to the Senate for a vote, will Chuck vote to repeal? Naaaaa...

Schumer still is a very long way away from facing his villainy head on - he has yet to admit that at its core it is a dreadful piece of legislation. Buy hey, maybe he will surprise us with a vote to repeal... Naaaaa!!



November 24, 2014 - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned. Or been fired - depends on who you ask. Emperor Obama now moves on to his fourth SecDef in less than six years.

The Emperor needs to ask himself, as House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon said, whether the problem is with all the other guys, or with himself. It should be pretty obvious what the most intelligent Commander-in-Chief ever thinks the answer to that is...

Most any serious military person has derided Obama's unserious ISIS strategy,
as we have as well, so it was inevitable that conflict would arise between the feckless leader and his honorable commanders.

The Imperial Palace has submessaged that there were competence issues with Hagel, but after Obamacare, the VA Hospitals, Benghazi and so forth, Americans have a pretty good notion of where it is that incompetence reigns supreme.

So who will replace Hagel? Well, the real question is, who would want to? Who would to make a fool of himself by committing to a misguided vision, attempting futile missions, all the while reporting to a geopolitical imbecile and his posse of sycophants?



November 18, 2014 - Keystone XL Pipeline legislation fell one vote short in the Senate, 59-41. Fourteen Democrats joined all forty-five Republicans in the failed bipartisan effort to pass a bit of unusually constructive legislation.

A USA Today poll released last week shows those note in favor at a mere 25%, while support is an overwhelming 60%, a ratio of more than 2:1. That's as close to unanimous as you ever get in America.

McConnell and Boehner have already promised to reintroduce the legislation in January when nine Republican votes are added in the Senate, all of whom are strongly committed in the support for Keystone XL.

While five of the crossover Democrats will no longer be with us in the new year, Michael Bennett (CO), Tom Carper (DE), Bob Casey (PA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), Jon Tester (MO) and Mark Warner (VA) will be back.

With fifty-four Republicans and nine Democrats in favor in the incoming 114th Congress, the legislation should pass easily in the new year.

It will be interesting to see if there are any miscreants who switch sides. Watch Harry Reid - he was a "Nay" this time, but he is vulnerable in 2016 and may want to parade an unnecessary run-up-the-score "Yea" vote after the bill has already passed.




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