Filed under: Domestic Policy, Education, Freedom, History, Law, National Security, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Civics Education, Learning the Basics, Our Failing Schools
The disturbing news that only 36 percent of Americans polled can name the three branches of our government surfaced in the wake of national Constitution Day last Wednesday. That’s from a new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
Only 38 percent of Americans knew the Republican Party controls the U.S. House of Representatives, 17 percent thought the Democrats are still in charge. Just 38 percent know that Democrats run the Senate while 30 percent believe Republicans control the Senate. Only 27 percent knew it takes a 2/3 majority of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.
Annenberg released the survey in partnership with the Civics Renewal Network, a group of 25 nonpartisan organizations including the Library of Congress, the Newseum and the National Archives that offer free civics education resources.
Another Group, the Civics Education Initiative, is pushing to require more civics education in high schools by requiring students to pass the same citizenship test that immigrants do when they come to the U.S. That group will introduce legislation in seven states that would require passing the citizenship test before you could graduate from high school.
The sample questions in the article in the link have little to do with the Constitution and apparently new citizens are asked up to 10 civics questions from a list of 100. You must correctly answer six questions to pass the civics portion. Oh please, could we possibly make it easier? Get serious. If the Washington Post representation is accurate, it should be a lot harder.
And we should certainly be ensuring that graduating high school seniors actually know something about their country. Bring back Schoolhouse Rock!
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2014, Freedom, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, The United States | Tags: Americans Want Growth, Economic Growth and Jobs, Not Reducing Income Inequality
“A prominent Democratic polling firm has found that voters don’t view reducing income inequality as a top priority. Instead, they want economic growth.”
(emphasis added) WSJ columnist William Galston has the story:
Surveys of 3,000 Americans conducted between January and March of 2014 by the Global Strategy Group found that fully 78% thought that it was important for Congress to promote an agenda of economic growth that would benefit all Americans. Support for policies that help the middle class and bolster equal opportunity for everyone were also highly rated. Strategies to spread wealth more evenly and reduce income inequality received the least support. 53% believe that fostering economic growth is ‘extremely important,’ compared with only 30% who take that view about narrowing income inequality.” (emphasis added)
Well, well, well, well. But I thought that reducing income inequality was the bright shining goal of all Democrats. This is a leftist polling group! The results didn’t receive much attention when they were released in April, nor since. James Freeman suggests that “the findings would have rudely interrupted the months-long media celebration of Thomas Piketty and his error-filled and widely unread book on income inequality. And the survey data suggest that the core message of President Obama and his political outfit Organizing for Action is off target. From increasing the minimum wage to forgiving federal student loans to mandating more pay for women, the Obama economic message is all about redistributing wealth, not creating it.”
Specifically, Mr. Galston notes that by “a remarkable margin of 64 percentage points (80% to 16%)” voters “opt for a candidate who focuses on more economic growth to one who emphasizes less income inequality.”
Trouble is, there is a deep secret on the Left. Democrats do not know how to create growth. The basic idea behind this version of the Democratic Party is that all good things are done by government, and only by government. All the stuff that Obama has done to benefit his cronies — the wind farms, the solar arrays, the rejection of the Keystone pipeline extension, the rejection of private enterprise are meant to create growth, but to reward Obama’s bundlers and supporters first. Cast your mind back across the Obama administration’s efforts at progress. Any rapid economic growth there? Anywhere?
Have you not noticed that whenever the subject comes up, Obama starts talking about roads and bridges or infrastructure—apparently with no recognition of the fact that such governmental projects require layers and layers of permissions and plans and approvals and fundraising that would put any such project off for at least five years, probably more with the usual environmental lawsuits. Any jobs involved go only to union workers, but that is by design. Jobs for ordinary people seem not to be involved. Who listens to the people anyhow?
War on Women. ObamaCare. Minimum Wage. Renewable Energy. Building from the Middle Class Out. More Government Job Training. Economic Patriotism.
Their new focus on “economic patriotism” is exactly the problem. They cannot conceive of allowing American companies to escape any taxes by moving, and the only solution is to devise laws to prevent their doing so. I rest my case.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2014, Freedom, History, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Eliminate Republicans' Free Speech, Repeal the First Amendment, Winning is Everything!
Democrats don’t like the give and take of normal political disagreement. They don’t want to argue and discuss and give a little to get what they want. They want to win, to be in charge completely, and to bring an end to the Republican party entirely, and just have us go away. No dissension, no arguments. Just begone.
And they especially want to repeal the First Amendment by allowing Congress to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns. Democrats like to claim that this is simply reversing the effect of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases. but the bill sponsored by Senator Tom Udall goes much further than that. This is a remarkably bad bill, favored by Harry Reid and most Senate Democrats.
Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—
(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and
(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates. …
Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.
The states would be given similar powers to restrict participation in state elections.
Congress could thus set extremely low contribution and spending levels which would guarantee the re-election of incumbents. Could they set a high level for incumbents and a low level for challengers? Why not? Even the ACLU has come out in opposition. They pointed out some of the implications:
Congress could be allowed to restrict the publication of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s memoir “Hard Choices” were she to run for office.
Congress could criminalize a blog on the Huffington Post by the president of the League of Conservation Voters accusing Senator Marco Rubio of being a “climate change denier.”
A district attorney running for reelection could selectively prosecute political opponents using state campaign finance restrictions.
A state election agency, run by a corrupt patronage appointee, could use state law to limit speech by anti-corruption groups supporting reform.
In the absence of any real convictions, Democrats claim their real goal is “social justice.” but of course there is no such thing. There is just one kind of justice which is embodied in our laws and our courts. It has grown out of English Common Law, which in turn has grown out of decisions by judges and courts over the centuries.
Their real goal is winning. Being in charge. When they win elections, they can prosper from being part of the government and making laws the way they want to and directing the country — like offering everyone free health care, for example. That worked out well.
This is the general atmosphere in which Democrats are trying to gut the First Amendment to the Constitution. They just can’t handle all that freedom of political speech — especially when it comes from Republicans.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Education, Election 2014, Health Care, Immigration, National Security, Politics, Russia, Terrorism | Tags: Looney List of Concerns, Minority Leader Pelosi, The War on Women
Nancy Pelosi has slipped another cog. Desperate Democrats are trying to revive their “War on Women” theme for the upcoming election. I don’t believe women are that stupid.
Minority leader Pelosi said, on a conference call, that American women have been victims throughout the history of the nation. We’ve already established that President Obama is a little hazy on history. Seems Ms. Pelosi is as well.
It was a struggle all the way, Pelosi whined. Women marched, women starved. Women were starved. Women were force-fed. Women could barely speak up in their own homes.
Women left their homes to take the message. And it was successful, and the right to vote, again, so precious, so hard fought. …We hope women will continue to exercise forcefully, because than all of the issues we care about, whether it’s equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave, affordable quality child care, raising the minimum wage, women’s health and —and safety issues will all be well served.
I suspect she’s been watching Downton Abbey too much. Equal pay for equal work has been settled law since 1963. Paid sick leave is offered by most employers, with a limit as to how long you can have a sick leave. Endless sick leave is not in the cards.
Raising the minimum wage is bad economics, especially harmful to minorities who also vote.
Young Muslim women are being recruited as sex slaves for ISIS fighters. That would seem to be a matter of concern for women. Yazidi women captured by ISIS are set to daily rape and killed if they try to escape. An attack across our southern border is said to be imminent, but the matter of urgent concern is that Republicans are trying to prevent women from getting the right to vote?
Getting pregnant is not a desperate matter of women’s health, but a matter of choice. If you choose to get drunk and have sex when you shouldn’t, or choose to have unprotected sex, or choose to have sex outside of marriage, or choose to take your panties off — that’s a lot of choices you have before you even consider getting an abortion. And then you make choices about legal or illegal, carrying a baby to term, keeping the baby or putting it up for adoption so it will have a better mother. Lots and lots of choices.
Remarkable lot of things unmentioned by Ms. Pelosi. ISIS, the Federal Debt, Russia invading Ukraine, the crisis at VA hospitals, the failures of ObamaCare, the president’s inability to decide on a strategy against terrorists, the lack of job opportunities, the crisis at the border, with illegal immigrants being funneled into our schools unable to speak English and uncleared for contagious diseases.
These are big important issues for every citizen, and Nancy Pelosi is concerned with re-fighting the woman’s right to vote. That was settled in the 19th Amendment way back in 1919. You would think she would have noticed that there are even women serving in the House of Representatives. Truly embarrassing.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Don't Disagree With Us!, Just Shut Up!, Tracking Hate Speech
Just when the news is full of the depredations of the newly-named Islamic State, we learn that our government is creating a database to track “hate speech” on Twitter. The feds will spend nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and “hate speech” on Twitter.
Watch what you are tweeting, folks. The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” (of course it would be “memes,” not words or ideas) and what it considers “false and misleading ideas” with a major focus on political activity online. Sorry, free speech is out. Old fashioned nonsense! What we need is control. No unpleasant words allowed. And don’t go ‘denying’ Global Warming!
The university has so far received $919,917 for the project.
“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”
“The open-source platform we develop will be made publicly available and will be extensible to ever more research areas as a greater preponderance of human activities are replicated online,” it continues. “Additionally, we will create a web service open to the public for monitoring trends, bursts, and suspicious memes.”
They are calling it “Truthy” a name from Stephen Colbert. It will attempt to catalog how information is spread (and how to shut it down?). They claim to be completely non-partisan, but suggest that some tweets are engineered by “the shady machinery of high-profile congressional campaigns” according to the website.
“Truthy” claims to be non-partisan. However, the project’s lead investigator Filippo Menczer proclaims his support for numerous progressive advocacy groups, including President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, Moveon.org, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, and True Majority.
Filippo Menczer is a professor of informatics and computer science at Indiana University. You can tell that the project is completely non-partisan because it would never even occur to any Republican or Conservative to attempt to trace “hate speech” on Twitter. Republicans don’t even believe there is such a thing as “hate speech”, which presumes to read the mind and intent of the speaker, something quite impossible.
Republicans believe in free speech which is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” and that even includes political speech, which would suggest that this effort is out of line. The response to nasty speech, which can be distinguished from “hate speech” is Shame.
The government-funded researchers hope the public will use their tool to squeal on other tweeters. They want to know why some “memes” go viral and others don’t. I don’t think it takes $1 million to answer that one.
I find it absolutely astonishing the extent to which Democrats are frightened by those who disagree with them, and struggle to find ways to silence them. But I have a pretty good idea of just why they do it.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2014, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Statism, Taxes | Tags: Getting Poorer, Median Point in Wealth, Recovery? Not in Net Worth.
From the New York Times via Paul Caron, the taxprof:
Median household net worth has fallen 36% since 2003. The typical household is now worth a third less.
Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.
The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.
Funny, President Obama keeps telling us how much the economy has recovered, and all the new jobs.