Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tolerance Comeuppance?

Rick Santorum on Religious Liberty

h/t:  A.F. Branco
       The College Fix 
      

Sharyl Attkisson Shames the American Press

Sharyl Attkisson on the American Press


Sharyl Attkisson, an award winning investigative reporter for CBS News for over 20 years, has acute insight on the timidity of today's American journalists.  She was Stonewalled (2014) by the Obama White House for asking uncomfortable questions to the Executive Branch.  Attkisson had to leave the Tiffany Network for her own venue to continue to report with integrity.


It is much easier for "jo-whore-nalists" to ask  non-probing questions and rely upon press releases to ensure easy access to those in power. And this does not even consider how reporters,who lean 90 percent liberal, shade inconvenient truths and toss softball questions to help politicians with whom they are ideologically aligned.

No wonder the so called "White House stenographers with press credentials"  gave Hillary Clinton a standing ovation at a Journalistic excellence ceremony without taking questions, despite the former Secretary of State being embroiled in the ClintonEmail scandal. 

Jeb Bush: Hillary Can't Do the Heisman

Jeb Bush on Hillary Clinton



Typically, the Heisman refers to an award given to the outstanding college football player in the United States since 1935.  The Heisman Memorial Award trophy is distinct as it is a  lost wax process bronze casting design by well known sculptor Frank Eliscu that depicts a skilled and powerful football player, sidestepping and straight-arming his way to a touchdown.

Sculptor Frank Eliscu and the Heisman Trophy


Recently, when former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, the undeclared Republican Presidential hopeful invoked the Heisman when surveying the 2016 political playing field. Jeb Bush was asked about all of  chaos in the Middle East which the Obama Administration's foreign policy precipitated (namely Libya, ISIS and an inchoate Arab nuclear arms race).  Governor Bush responded that:

 "I think she can’t do the Heisman on the first four years of the Obama foreign policy. She’ll try. I mean, she’s going to, look, this is very Clintonian, I think, to figure out a way to get out of a mess."

Bush invoked the image of the Heisman stiff arming opposition before striding into the end zone for a score. Certainly, the big bench of talented GOP Presidential candidates will seek to stop Hillary from side stepping opposition blocking her way to the South Lawn of the White House despite screens from the Lamestream Media.

It should be remembered, however,  that the Heisman Award is an honor given by sportwriters (journalists) through a beauty contest vote.  There is concern about the Heisman curse that designated winners often do not perform well the big game or during their careers  in pro football despite the honor and the hype of the Heisman. Certainly, parallels can be made to Hillary's proto Presidential campaign and presumed coronation at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Will Rogers on Stupidity

Will Rogers on Stupidity

Monday, March 30, 2015

Obama Unsteady After Golf Junket


It was near record cold and windy day  for the end of March in the District of Calamity.  But this did not deter the Celebrity in Chief President Barack Obama from hitting the links. He hopped on Air Force One to Palm City, Florida with Houston Astros owner Jim Crane and partial owner of the Boston Celtics Glenn Hutchins to play the private Florida National Golf Club. Coincidentally, half of the foursome had close connections to the energy industry (including one from the much maligned Halliburton Corp.).

The Press Pool assessed that this was not a working trip as one wag reported: "You can tell this is a non work trip ... someone forward of the press cabin ordered 3 beers at 9:26 a.m.".   Hmm.  There were no reports on how Mr. Obama golfed on his 222nd round since assuming the Oval Office, as the Press Pool was relegated to maintenance shed at the Florida National Golf Club.

However, as President Obama returned to DC at Joint Base Andrews, in Landover, Maryland, President Obama was unsteady as he walked the ramp deplaning from Air Force One.



So what difference does it make how he handled his handicap if he had a good good time?  Well, for taxpayers, the junket was estimated to cost $850,000 just for flight (which will be reimbursed for a fraction of the cost).  But at least there was not a beheading in close proximity to the golf excursion as with ISIS execution of James Foley.

Considering the Clinton Emails "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

Carly Fiorina impeaches Hillary Clinton's Email Shrouding

MSNBC's Ed Schultz excused Hillary Clinton as being technologically challenged for not understanding that a person can have two email accounts on one device. Perhaps, but not exactly someone who confidently took the bridge to the Twenty First Century.

But the Clintons' insistence on exclusively relying upon  private servers for State Department business which are conveniently wiped clean when under federal scrutiny allows inquiring minds to wonder what electronic communications were being shielded. 




"[S]aying all those e-mails she erased were just like her and Bill Chatting is like Richard Nixon saying those erased moments on tape were he and Pat talking."

Arthur Schlessinger on History

Arthur Schlessinger on History

Thursday, March 26, 2015

“Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music, fresh from Lynchburg, Virginia."

Jamilah Lemieux on Country Music

 As Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the first major politician to throw his hat in the ring for a White House run, pundits scrutinized many aspects of the candidate's narrative.  Senator Cruz revealed that he started listening to country music after the terrorist attacks on 09/11/2001 presumably because of the patriot messages in the music.

While adding color commentary on MSNBC, Ebony Digital's Senior editor Jamilah Lemieux painted with a broad brush a caricature of ignorant and intolerance tea  party types.


    

 Within two segments, MSNBC apologized for the outrageous opining, but it revealed the true colors of a network which prides itself that it "Leans Forward".

Thomas Holcroft on Life

Thomas Holcroft on Life

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Soft Spoken Presidential Hopeful Dr. Ben Carson Comes Out Swinging for the Campaign

Dr. Ben Carson, the retired chief of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, has experienced a meteoric rise in conservative political circles since he upstaged President Barack Obama with a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013.  Carson’s mild mannered delivery of critiques of the Obama-nation coming from a faith filled physician with a compelling personal story stole the show.

Carson’s remarks before the National Prayer Breakfast, as well as CPAC and the Faith and Freedom Coalition spawned a “Draft Ben Carson” campaign, which raised nearly $12 million in over a year.  The “Run Ben Run” movement played upon peoples’ enthusiasm for a thoughtful prospective politician’s candidacy, but the unaffiliated Super PAC had dubious spending patterns, rolling most of the garnered donations back into the fundraising operation.

In early March 2015, Dr. Carson announced that he was forming an Exploratory Presidential Campaign Committee, which was all but a pro-forma announcement of a White House run.  Since then, Dr. Carson has made numerous media appearances which has inspired increased scrutiny.

Just after the Exploratory Committee announcement, Dr. Carson was drawn into a debate on CNN’s “New Day” with Chris Cuomo on whether homosexuality is a choice.  Carson commented that convicts  "go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they're gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question," This view syncs with Dr. Carson’s Seventh Day Adventist background and traditional marriage premises but did little to advance his candidacy.



Shortly afterwards, Carson backtracked on the statement saying "I realized that my choice of language does not reflect fully my heart on gay issues." Later, Carson declared that he would no longer speak about gay issues. But the damage had already been done.  Glenn Beck called this quote “the dumbest thing I’ve every heard”, which led Beck to declare that Carson’s candidacy was over just as it begun. That may have been hyperbole, but it was unwise for Dr. Carson to touch today’s third rail of politics in a wonton way. Carson squandered his wider introduction to the public by allowing himself to be painted a bigot for a peripheral point.

As part of the media barnstorming effort, Dr. Carson engaged in a thoughtful radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, a politically center right Salem Radio host who prides himself on not conducting ambush interviews.  Since the 2016 Presidential Campaign cycle may well pivot on foreign policy issues, Hewitt asked about Russian provocations and Western response.  When asked how NATO should respond if Putin made a move on the Baltic States would we go to war, Dr. Carson responded:  “Well, if we have them involved in NATO. We need to convince them to get involved in NATO and strengthen NATO”.

Hewitt later followed up on an inference that Carson did not seem aware that the Baltic States were part of NATO.  Dr. Carson rejoined: “Well, when you were saying Baltic state, I thought you were continuing our conversation about the former components of the Soviet Union. Obviously, there’s only three Baltic states.”  Unfortunately that clarification was as clear as mud as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were former components of the Soviet Union and have some ethnic Russian speaking communities still residing there (which was the pretext for Russia effectively seizing Crimea and try to take the  Donbass).  Hewitt is known for in-depth interviews and going into the proverbial weeds to explore military issues.  Carson’s ignorant answers on defending our Baltic State NATO partners exposes a serious chink in his campaign armor and exhibited a lack a preparation.

Dr. Carson granted a long form interview with GQ magazine which was conducted at Armstrong Williams abode. The resulting piece from Jason Zengerle : “What if Sarah Palin were a brain surgeon?” frames Dr. Carson as the Tea Party’s great White House hope, while sliming him with the Alinsky inspired animus associated Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK).  The pull quote from Carson’s GQ interview involved Armstrong Williams egging on Ben Carson to opine on Obama’s optics.  The soft spoken Dr. Carson pronounced: “Like most psychopaths--that’s why they’re successful. That’s the way they look. They all look great...he's trying to sell what he thinks is not true. He’s sitting there saying, ‘These Americans are so stupid, I can tell them anything.’”

Dr. Ben Carson on Psychopaths

Dr. Carson is a renowned neurosurgeon, not a psychiatrist, so taking a swipe at President Obama as a psychopath is off the mark.  Such a distant diagnosis from Charles Krauthammer (who was trained as a psychiatrist) seems reasonable, but from Dr. Carson it seems like a harsh characterization.  Part of Carson’s political charm is his mild mannered air of authority.  Being bombastic by characterizing the Obama obsession with optics and fooling “idiotic” Americans sacrifices this strength.  Moreover, this pugilistic “psychopath” trope was nothing new and unlikely to garner much new support.

Ben Carson has proudly declared: “I'm not a politician and that I never intend to become a politician. Even if I'm elected to office, I'm not going to be a politician because they tend to do things that are politically expedient. And I'm not trying to do things that are politically correct.”  In this day and age, not being considered a Beltway Establishment politician is an advantage to base voters who tire of political lies and political correctness.

However Dr. Carson is making plenty of rookie mistakes in on the political field. Allowing a Draft movement to exploit donations which never really make it to the actual campaign may dismay donors. Opining on hot button issues like homosexuality without successfully connecting it to preserving traditional marriage, which should really be an ancillary campaign issue in the first place.  Taking partisan pot shots like labeling the incumbent a psychopath which mars his soft spoken demeanor and popular appeal. Giving extensive access to media outlets like CNN and GQ on the proto campaign roll out which would play gotcha journalism.  Then there is the sin of going on friendly media like Hugh Hewitt unprepared, exposing a key weakness of the candidacy, namely foreign policy chops.

Dr. Carson was no stranger to making controversial statements, such as his interview with conservative radio firebrand Mark Levin in which an animated Dr. Carson called white liberals the worst type of racists for putting blacks in a box.


That perspective may be provocative and perspicacious as a pundit, but it sounds like another thing altogether on the campaign trail, especially with spin coming from other campaigns' opposition research laundered through the compliant press.

 As Dr. Carson continues to move closer to declaring his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, he has come out swinging for the fences.  Unfortunately, he seems to be off balance for some of the pitches and creating lots of wind.  To mix sports analogies, the off balance stance on the campaign hustings makes him prone for sucker punches from the Lamestream Media.

Dr. Carson could make great contributions to shaping the campaign conversation in the 2016 Cycle.  His tremendous personal story shatters the liberal labeling of Republicans as the party for old white men.  Dr. Carson’s faith history underscores a potential appeal to evangelical voters, which would be key to victory in the Iowa Caucuses.  As a physician, he would be given great credence for critiquing Obamacare.   So Dr. Carson should eschew some of his ardor against being a politician and get good advice which best represents his brand as a thoughtful outsider who will not abandon promises because it is politically expedient.

John D. Rockefeller on Character

John D. Rockefeller on Character

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bob Schieffer on US-Israeli Relations


Hillary Clinton: "My relations with the press has been at times, shall we say, complicated..."


Hillary Clinton was playing for laughs with her  quip about new relations with the press when keynoting the Robin Toner Journalism award from Syracuse University.



However, it will be interesting to see how her ironic rhetoric meets reality.

Last summer, for a Clinton Global Intiative function, New York Times reporter Amy Chozick complained how reporters had handlers and were separated from the event which they were trying to cover. So that's how the Clinton's treat presstitutes, even friendly faces. 

When Hillary chose to address the State Department email controversy, the former Secretary of State made a brief press appearance in a controlled situation at the United Nations.  Even during the 15 minute close encounter with the UN credentialed press, Mrs. Clinton was reading off prepared answers and was shooed away by staff when questions got tough.  But that makes sense if the presser was just about damage control. Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris distilled the UN event in three words "Go to hell."

Even for the Toner Prize Celebration, Mrs. Clinton originally indicated  that she would not be taking any questions. So perhaps Hillary's self effacing script was meant to make nice with journalists and generate news pegs without saying anything substantial. If so, that is a wise use of smart power on the hustings, but say little about leadership.  It may also have been meant to counter the widespread perception the Hillary Clinton is a joyless politician.

So, assuming the Mrs. Clinton's charm offensive is not a total joke, her vow to be more transparent can quickly be tested by turning over the "Clintonemail" domain server to inquiring Congressional committees  such as Rep. Trey Gowdy's (R-SC 4th) House Select Committee on Benghazi or designated third parties.  Since Dick Morris asserts that neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton knows how to type, this search should also include emails from key aides like Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills who also had email accounts at Clintonemail while working at the State Department. 

How is that for an even more complicated relation with the press?

Editors Note: On Aphorisms and Authenticity

As DistrictofCalamity.com, marks its third anniversary, it seems right to reflect upon its methods and message.

One of the prominent features of this site are aphorisms. This is deliberate to have daily, pithy memes which can be inspiring, provocative or entertaining.  What was originally intended as an impetus to post every day evolved into a feature which gives short yet thought-filled memes.

While DistrictofCalamity.com is oriented towards politics, not all wisdom of the world is drawn from the Federal City.  This site revels in public policy analysis which is intended to last longer than the average politician’s promises, so it should not be locked into quotidian Capital Hill struggles.

Rather than just list texts which make eyes glaze over, DistrictofCalamity.com pairs the pearl of wisdom with a narrative graphic. Often the graphic depicts  the originator of the phrase so readers can match the meme to a person.  But illustrating the gist of the quote can also be effective.

Some readers have challenged the use of quotes.  After posting a quote attributed to Soren Kirkegaard, the interlocutor demanded “Are you a REAL Kieregaard scholar? If so, cite chapter and verse to the origins of the quote.”   Well dear reader, the answer is no but not that it matters.

 DistrictofCalamity.com posts over 300 daily quotes a year.  Rarely are memes simply cut and pasted from other sites. The Pearls of Wisdom project is a labor of love which encompasses an eclectic range of art, history, literature, philosophy, politics,  pop culture  and humor.  However, it takes  time to locate, create, arrange and publicize an alluvia of aphorisms, particularly without repetition.

Regular readers may notice that quotes are often correlated to the calendar, reflecting anniversaries, issues of the day  and times of the season.  In addition, strings of quotes may project a larger theme pointing to issues which impact the District of Calamity (sic).

When a saying  sounds shaky or too good to be true, some effort is made to corroborate the quote, but it is not always a scholarly citation.



So for the Kierkegaard question, consider the site’s quotes to be as reliable as Wikipedia.  It may be inspiring and even informative but you need to do your own homework to be certain before putting it in your dissertation.

Some critics have claimed that quotes are taken out of context, such as Bobby Jindal on immigration and  assimilation.  This critique was comical as a 55 minute video of the speech in question was also embedded in the post.  It is dubious if the progressive protestor spent the same time appreciating the quote in context before pulling out the proverbial poison pen.  But even when chapter and verse can be given, it is not usually included lest a meme look like a pharmaceutical disclaimer chyron or the credit roll for Bambi Meets Godzilla.



A reader recently claimed that a quote about society from Cal Thomas was confusing because it could mean anything.  Well, knowing who said something can be illuminating.  If the reader knows who Cal Thomas is, then the prescriptions for fixing society would be quite clear.  Nevertheless, the gist of the aphorism that our leaders are a reflection of societal values is valid without that insight.

Another website visitor was agitated about a piece about bigotry by George Bernard Shaw.  The reader offered an unsolicited education about Shaw’s social sins. In this instance, the source of the quotation was provocative and intentionally ironic considering Shaw’s Faustian socialistic foundation-- however the truth of the aphorism was indubitable.

The internet can be a conduit of thoughtful two way communication.  So if readers can correct a mis-attributed meme, it is appreciated and may be incorporated as warranted.  Unfortunately, contributors have demanded corrections which were not warranted and perseverated.  For example, a graphic countered the claim that Ted Cruz knew nothing about a Second Amendment case.  Cruz was associated with arguing the Heller case before the Supreme Court, when in actuality he had only offered an amicus brief.  The mis-attribution was noted and credit was given, but the correction did not moot the gist of the post so it was not withdrawn.  But that was not satisfactory to the correspondent, who harbored a hatred for the politician.

While it is hoped that you will be inspired and intellectually stimulated by aphorisms, if you question the authenticity, please offer gentle correction with affirmative information if necessary. Feedback can be useful and is often incorporated without fanfare.  In the end, if a reader finds that one's charitable contribution is unsatisfactory, then please seek truth where you can find it. 

P.J. O'Rourke on Economics

P.J. O'Rourke on Economics

Monday, March 23, 2015

Alan Dershowitz on Ted Cruz

Alan Dershowitz on Ted Cruz

Governor Moonbeam and the Green Global Leadership Test

As Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was barnstorming the mainstream media before the presumed Republican presidential candidate makes his intentions official, he spoke about Climate Change on Late Night with Seth Myers.




The Lamestream Media would love to paint Senator Cruz as one who sets the world on fire, not just from misunderstood political metaphors but also due to partisan politics on the environment.

Ardent environmentalist Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) used his appearance on Meet the Press as a forum to besmirch Senator Cruz as being unfit for office due to a green global leadership test.


Although this is Jerry Brown's fourth term as Governor of California, long time political observers can recall how Governor Moonbeam hesitated in taking prevailing scientific wisdom in eradicating the Mediterranean fruit fly in 1981, which compounded problems.   Lest anyone believe that Jerry Brown was virtuously standing up for green health concerns, when he ran for governor in 2010, Brown quipped: "If I see a Medfly, I'm going to spray that sucker. I'm not waiting this time."

Notwithstanding Governor Moonbeam's scientific shilly shallying on the Medfly, Brown backs his bluster against a Tea Party bete noir with the 90% scientific consensus statistic.  Well, at least Brown did not use the Al Gore settled science canard.  Wonder if how much of this consensus was based on the falsified East Anglia hockey stick model.  Then there is the temptation for climate scientists can  to claim "the sky is falling" for more money to study the issue.

Senator Cruz noted that satellite data over the last 17 years has not shown any increase in temperatures.


What have leading climate scientists had to say about this mercurial anomaly?


Governor Moonbeam's Green Global test seems little more than a progressive popularity contest and paint your political opponents as ignorant knuckle draggers.  As Governor Brown admitted on Meet the Press, he would have run for President (again) if he were only 10 years younger. But he probably would have run as a watermelon candidate-- green on the outside and red on the inside. 






Cal Thomas on Government

Cal Thomas on Government

Friday, March 20, 2015

Jon Bon Jovi on the Future

150320a Jon Bon Jovi

In the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks of 09/11/01, stunned stars hastily put together a televised Tribute to Heroes.  Jon Bon Jovi's acoustic rendition of "Living on a Prayer" had a raw earnestness which captured the zeitgeist of that uncertain American future. 

 

Albert Einstein on Adversity

Albert Einstein on Adversity

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bobby Jindal on Assimiliation

Bobby Jindal on Assimiliation


During  the American Action Forum Fred Malek speaker series, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal noted why welcoming immigrants while inculcating American values is important for our polity. 




Glenn Beck on Justice

Glenn Beck on Justice

Friday, March 13, 2015

There's More Than a Snowflake's Chance that Ted Cruz is Running for the White House

Caroline Cruz on the 2016 Election Cycle

At this point of the 2016 Presidential election cycle, most prospective Presidential nominees are playing coy about their intentions to run for the White House.   Many media personalities will jocularly try to get a story by coaxing the candidate to declare his or her intentions on the air.  Serious candidates need to sound interested to prospective supporters, yet not proverbially put the cart before the horse by declaring not at a time and place of their own choosing. 

So Glenn Beck's exchange with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the end of a lengthy radio interview included the obligatory "ask".  However, the junior senator from Texas gave a memorable deflection.  


When some politicians claim quote their children, it sounds as if the kids were cued off of a teleprompter. An infamous example was President Jimmy Carter's alleged exchange with daughter Amy about the dangers of nuclear war during a 1980 debate with Ronald Reagan. 

The quote from Caroline Cruz certainly sounds like a six year old's logic.  While the quip intimated that the family blesses Senator Cruz intention to throw his hat in the ring, it also served as a light hearted feint to the question of declaring. 

Running for President is a grueling effort to constantly travel, raise funds, react to opposition in real time and try to project a positive prospective policy.  Many politicians refrain from continued combat in the political arena to supposedly spend more time with family.  It is a twist to conventional logic to a family to encourage a campaign to gain a back yard for a dog.

Yes Caroline, there is more than a Snowflake's chance in Texas that Ted Cruz is running for the White House. But now was not the time to color in that picture and say it with surety. 



Valerie Jarrett on the White House

Valerie Jarrett on the White House

Neil Young on Direction

Neil Young on Direction  

 Neil Young's pearl of wisdom was contained in the song "We Never Danced" in association with the film "Made in Heaven" (1987).

Robert Frost on Communication

Robert Frost on Communication

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Larry Witmore on Voting Standards

Larry Witmore on Voting Criteria   People may question if  they should take a a Comedy Central host seriously, such as Larry Witmore. But consider the accolades which Jon Stewart received for his "real fake news",  these strange sentiments should not be readily dismissed.

 So President Barack Obama gets a pass for the color of his skin for being first, but Dr. Ben Carson can not garner such unfailing support? Why not always embracing the maxim of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
But that isn't funny. Neither are such strange voting standards.

Strange days are these-- most peculiar brother.

Was Hillary Clinton Just Technologically Challenged?


During Hillary Clinton's brief media appearance at the United Nations, President Obama's first Secretary of State claimed that the kerfluffle concerning Hillary's emails stemmed from the fact that she did not want to carry two smartphones to have two separate email accounts. 

Syncophants in the Lamestream Media, like MSNBC's Ed Schultz, sought to sympathize with Hillary's alibi by suggesting that older people are overwhelmed by technology.




The problem is that but a fortnight ago, Hillary Clinton admitted that she now  carries both an iPhone as well as a Blackberry.  So Special Ed's technologically challenged excuse both rings false as well as suggesting that the 67 year old Mrs, Clinton is not quite with it.

Hillary's assertion about not being able to have two email accounts on a smartphone seems silly to most Americans.  Of course, the matter is not the technological capability but control.  Personal emails on a work issued handset becomes the employer's property.  This is why many people dual fist cell phones. For federal functionaries, the standard was a secure phone provided by the government and an unsecure phone for personal emails. That is an inconvenient truth for Madam Secretary Clinton.

But how can Hillary plausibly posit being technologically challenged when the domain Clintonemail.com was established the day Mrs. Clinton's confirmation hearings for Secretary of State began in the Senate in 2009.  That sounds kind of suspicious for an official who is uncomfortable with technology.

As Mrs. Clinton questionably claimed that she had adhered to all controlling legal authority on preserving federal records, Hillary refused to surrender the server to an independent authority to vet the scrubbed email account as it contained emails from her and President Clinton.

While this press availability was meant to tamp down a scandal which was obscuring positive earned media for the Hillary 2016 proto-campaign. But the event may have multiplied the questions among ordinary Americans and intensified the political and legal pressures associated with Hillary emails.

h/t: Kevin Siers



G.K. Chesterton on Temperament

G.K. Chesterton on Temperament

Monday, March 9, 2015

Is Common Core a Co-Creation of Political Correctness and Crony Capitalism?


During a forum  held by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, Granite State professor Dr. David Pook offered that he helped craft the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts because of "white privilege".  




Ironically, the Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire (which has a 91% Caucasian student body) where Pook serves as chair of the History Department, does not use those Common Core standards because they are inferior.

So why do some politicians continue to champion Common Core? Some have suggested crony capitalism. 

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) is a big backer of Common Core.  Kathleen Jasper, a former Florida educator and founder of ConversationED.com, suggest that there may be pecuniary interests in pushing Common Core.  Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education is heavily tied to Pearson, a leading education publisher and test making company.  So Pearsons publishes the k-12 books, they create the tests, they score the tests and coincidentally keep the data.

Per Jasper, Pearson garners between $15-$30 for each test administered.  Due to No Child Left Behind and Race For the Top federal mandates, students have to retake the tests over and over again until they achieve an acceptable score.  So kids keep constantly taking tests (without knowing why they failed) and businesses like Pearson profit from processing the perpetual paperwork. 

Presuming this is an accurate assessment, it is ironic to see how Educrat's political correctness works well with crony capitalism in Common Core which imposes a regime which profits from failure to educate well. 


Trey Gowdy on Hillary Clinton's E-Mails

Trey Gowdy on Hillary Clinton' E-Mails     Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC 4th), the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, responded to the Hillary E-Mail controversy on CBS's Face The Nation.



 Some cynics wonder why Chairman Gowdy is now in the forefront about Hillary's sui generis e-mails while heading the State Department, as the Select Committee had knowledge of this practice going back to last summer.  Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor so he is patiently building a case and did not want Ms. Clinton to testify before he had all of the information vetted.

While a litigator in an Article III court wants all relevant information, such a broad request could be framed as a witch hunt or a fishing expedition in the political realm.  So now that there is sufficient public pressure, the former Secretary of State may feel compelled (for continued electoral viability) to "step up" and completely surrender the cyber records and not just feign compliance.



 Chairman Gowdy, who first came to office as part of the 2010 Tea Party wave elections, may distinguish himself between the bluster and the brashness of the District of Calamity by building a compelling case to discern what happened in the Benghazi bungle of September 11, 2012.

But if Gowdy fails to impressively interrogate the former chief of Foggy Bottom, conservative cynics may echo Hillary's last Congressional testimony--"What difference, at this point, does it make?"  Combined with Speaker Boehner's capitulation on DHS funding with a rider excluding Executive Amnesty (which lost 167 Republican votes on final passage), conservatives might wonder if having friends like that in high office whether they need enemies.

Former Secretary of State Clinton claimed that we should strive to figure out why the Benghazi bungle happened.  Could it be due to insecure communications from hdr22@clintonemail.com (or mau-suit@clintonemail.com)?  Or a pattern in the Obama Administration to use backdoor, off official communications, to convey inconvenient truths? It does not seem that it was just Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder, as we should not forget the pseudonym Richard Windsor (a.k.a. EPA chief Lisa Jackson ).  So much for the Obama Administration being the most transparent regime ever, as they took their anti-secrecy award in 2011 in a closed door presentation.