Last week, I explained what the Common Core State Standards are and how, despite the federal government's saying it's staying out of the classroom standards business, there is much evidence to show that the feds are intricately linked to them.
The first way I demonstrated that was by pointing out that the feds have spent $350 million of taxpayer money, funding and giving grants and waivers to muscle and bribe states and local school districts to accept CCSS. And all of that was done without a single act of Congress, meaning the federal government — including the White House — dumped protocol again to dodge accountability.
Somebody cue the Debbie Downer horn. How bad are things for President Obama? In recent days, the Washington Post has brought us a double-barreled downer blast from two pundits who normally support the president.
All you need to know about Dana Milbank's and Ruth Marcus' columns you can glean from their respective final sentences, which read: "Maybe the president does understand that the game is over." And "Can he recover? I’m sorry to say: I’m not at all confident." Wah-wah, indeed! More after the jump.
According to some estimates, there are more than 100 million traffic signals in the U.S., but whatever the number, how many of us would like Washington, in the name of public health and safety, to be in sole charge of their operation? Congress or a committee it authorizes would determine the position of traffic signals at intersections, the length of time the lights stay red, yellow and green, and what hours of the day they can be flashing red.
While you ponder that, how many Americans would like Washington to be in charge of managing the delivery of food and other items to the nation's supermarkets? Today's average well-stocked U.S. supermarket stocks 60,000 to 65,000 different items from all over the U.S. and the world. Congress or some congressionally created committee could organize the choice of products and their prices. Maybe there'd be some cost savings. After all, what says that we should have so many items from which to choose? Why wouldn't 10,000 do?
That simple fact explains the growth of federal power following World War II. It also explains why President Obama's health care law will spur a reversal of that trend.
The growth in federal power got started in the New Deal era, but the decisive event took place on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.
"Never before or since has America been so unified," according to historian Craig Shirley. "There were virtually no Americans against their country getting into World War II after the unprovoked attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor." In that unity, and in a desire to preserve the nation, Americans trusted their government as never before or since.
Shirley's book, "December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World" documents the change in a riveting day-to-day account.
Amidst a colorful description of the daily routines from a bygone era, Shirley recounts how President Franklin D. Roosevelt was swiftly authorized to do much more than expand the military and fight other armies. He was given more power than any president ever. In fairness to FDR, authorized is too tame a word. The president was expected to put all of the country's resources, private or public, to use in the war effort.
Before it was over, Roosevelt and his team ran all aspects of the American economy and life. That included banning the sale of private automobiles so that factories could build military aircraft, commandeering all raw materials needed for the war effort, censoring the media, wage and price controls, imprisoning citizens of Japanese origin, and much more.
But he won the war.
His successor, Harry Truman, began the process of winning the peace. After World War II, the U.S. enjoyed an economic boom unrivaled in history.
In short, the successful implementation of a response to Pearl Harbor gave the federal government a fair amount of credibility and a large dose of goodwill. Politicians of the time, sincerely convinced that a larger government would be good for the economy and the nation, seized the moment. In a clean break from America's history, Congress quickly declared that the federal government would instantly assume responsibility for managing the economy.
As long as the economy kept rolling along, nobody complained.
By the 1960s, however, the next generation of politicians was well along the way to squandering the good will and credibility it had earned.
Politicians of the '60s still dreamed of an ever-growing government role in running the country. Most of those in power remembered the heady days of World War II when the government ruled every facet of American life. They wanted such power for themselves.
But American voters didn't share the enthusiasm. Most were willing to accept a bigger role for the government than their parents and grandparents had, but there were limits. When the economy stumbled and the Vietnam War divided the nation, faith in government faded.
President Obama hoped to restore that faith so that voters would believe in government solutions as much as they did after Pearl Harbor. But pragmatic voters are more interested in reality than rhetoric. The failed implementation of Obama's health care law will leave the nation skeptical of central government solutions for decades to come.
To find out more about Scott Rasmussen, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
"A conservative is a liberal mugged by reality," goes the old saying. We doubt Kirsten Powers will completely eschew her left-of-center ideology anytime soon, but it is abundantly clear that the Fox News contributor has been mugged by ObamaCare's empty promises.
Bob Parks of our sister site MRCTV put together a little video that compares Powers's full-on rah-rah cheerleading of ObamaCare earlier this year -- before her personal run in with the so-called Affordable Care Act -- with a decidedly chastened Powers AFTER she found herself the victim of the health care overhaul's boosting her health care premiums. Watch the video embed below the page break, and be sure to check out other videos at MRCTV.org.
Updated below | Pity the poor MSNBC graphics guy who is probably on thin ice if not already packing up his desk over this.
During a segment on Thursday's NewsNation about the president's announcement he would grant health insurance companies to have a one year reprieve from canceling "substandard" plans outlawed by ObamaCare, one of the onscreen graphics read (emphasis mine), "Pres.: Failed rollout put burden on Democrats." [see screen capture below page]
"The Democrats Need to Stop Freaking Out About Obamacare and Take Charge," huffed the headline for Michael Tomasky's 9-paragraph November 14 Daily Beast story -- filed hours before the president's press conference -- addressing reports that nervous congressional Democrats were considering getting on board with a Republican proposal to make President Obama's "if you like it you can keep it" promise a reality.
The leftist writer groused that cable news in general, but Fox News in particular, were ultimately to blame by creating a "soap opera" political culture which makes a huge deal out of passing political travails:
"[Former president] Clinton did President Obama no favors this week when he endorsed a growing push on Capitol Hill to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to allow people to keep their existing individual health insurance policies if they want to," MSNBC.com's Zachary Roth lamented in his November 13 story, "What's Bill Clinton up to on Obamacare?"
The teaser on the MSNBC.com main page was more hard-hitting: "The underminer-in-chief?" asked the headline emblazoned over a black-and-white photo of a half-smiling Clinton [see screen capture below page break]. Roth went on to explain that Clinton's proposed solution "would badly—perhaps fatally—undermine Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment," presuming, of course, that that's a bad thing. After mentioning how the White House is dancing around this little embarrassing incident, Roth followed up with quotes from two left-wing activists who are disenchanted with the former president's remarks (emphasis mine):
You see, when then-President Clinton proposed a government-run health care overhaul, he "promised [Americans] would lose" their health care plan because Clinton's initiative was predicated on government building from scratch a top-down approach that left had to rip up millions of health care contracts in order to put in place a top-down government-knows-best framework. That scared the dickens out of folks, and so, accordingly, liberal "health-care reformers swung far to the other side," when they continued to eternal crusade to have government "reform" health care, Klein explained (emphasis mine):
ObamaCare boosters in Colorado are treating young women "cheap sluts who don’t care about their health or well being other than getting cheap birth control pills to have sex with strange men," complains Washington Times opinion writer Emily Miller in a November 12 post at the newspaper's website.
"The latest marketing campaign implies that young women would only be interested in Colorado's government-run health care exchange if they get coverage for birth control pills to have sex with strange men," Miller noted, going on to describe what she considers the "most offensive ad" [see below page break for illustration] which...:
Thus far, at best, ObamaCare has achieved just 10 percent of the Obama administration's 500,000 new-users goal for the first month of the rollout of the health care overhaul. Significantly more people have signed up for taxpayer-funded Medicaid, but that doesn't do a lick of good for the private health insurance pools offered on the federal exchanges.
Not even MSNBC.com can ignore such a story, although the Lean Forward network reserved the right to spin it as best they can. "Health care enrollment falls short of expectations," noted the bland headline for Michele Richinick's November 12 story. "A report out Tuesday shows the enrollment numbers from the first month of Obamacare fell short by thousands of registrants," noted a caption on the network's website. Sounds like the journalistic understatement of the year.
So it appears the Associated Press has discovered what conservative and libertarian economic critics have been saying all along: top-down government regulation to promote "green energy" has numerous unintended consequences, including negative repercussions for the environment.
In their November 12 article, "The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push," AP writers Dina Cappiello and Matt Apuzzo laid out how "the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today," adding (emphasis mine):
Columnist Michael Cohen, in an op-ed for the New York Daily News, tells us, essentially, that President Obama's lie that people could keep their health care plans if they liked them is not just defensible — because it was in service to the greater good of imposing Obamacare on an otherwise unwilling populace — but darn near laudable.
Obama is to be praised for having the courage to deceive us because we are not enlightened enough to know what is in our best interests. The headline of the column is "Behind Obama's lie, our own immaturity." The subhead digs the knife in further: "We can't handle the truth."
In 2007, a group of governors and state education chiefs got together to try to remedy the declining and degraded U.S. public academic system. Their goal was to establish a new set of standards that better prepared kids for college, careers and their ever-changing, hyper-connected and globally competitive world.
In short, as a result, the Common Core State Standards were born.
Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore has taken to Twitter today to politicize Veterans Day with predictable political rhetoric about Republican-proposed cuts to food stamps affecting veterans, etc. But one tweet that virtually everyone should agree went beyond the pale was an egregiously beyond-the-pale reference to veteran suicides: "Today, as every day, 22 American veterans will commit suicide. Happy Veterans Day." [see screen capture below page break]
Armed with evidence compiled by NewsBusters senior editor and Media Research Center director of research Rich Noyes, MRC president Brent Bozell sent letters to members of the boards of directors of two prominent newspapers in Utah, demanding that they offer their readers fair and balanced coverage of U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R). You may recall that both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News savaged the Tea Party conservative senator for his attempt to defund ObamaCare.
"Your paper can no longer claim that Sen. Lee’s strategy was out of proportion or radical," Bozell wrote Ellis Ivory, chairman of the board of directors for the Deseret News Publishing Company. "Already the nation is seeing ObamaCare for the disaster that it is" with "more than 3.5 million... losing existing health insurance plans as a result of ObamaCare," the MRC founder noted, adding:
The Coalition is an effort spearheaded by our friends at the Family Research Council (FRC) -- and joined by NewsBusters parent the Media Research Center as well as other conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation-- to fight back against attacks on the religious freedom of the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country. These violations of religious liberty happen more often than you might think, especially as the major national news media outlets have paid little attention to incidents like these documented in the FRC's October 1 study, "A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military":
We here at NewsBusters usually pay no mind to Tom Toles, the editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post. He's paid to render his opinion through his work -- although the quality of both his cartooning the cleverness of his observations are, to be charitable, debatable -- so it takes something really egregious to get on our radar.
That happened today when Mr. Toles compared Republican critics of ObamaCare with segregationist Democrat George Wallace, depicting the iconic Republican elephant mascot standing in a doorway marked "health care door" and proclaiming [see cartoon below the page break]:
Washington's political class fundamentally misunderstands the role of politics and government in American society. They act as if government is the central force in American life and that its decisions guide the course of the nation. In historical reality, societal trends embrace new technology and the deep currents of public opinion lead the way. Government follows along a decade or two behind.
A quick review of our nation's history shows that the first 200 years were characterized by changing technology and expectations moving us to a more centralized nation.
Last August before a closed meeting of Republican leaders in Boston, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said, "We are not a debating society. We are a political operation that needs to win."
Tuesday night, Christie won. Big time. In one of the nation's bluest states, Christie got 60.5 percent of the vote. His Democratic opponent, Barbara Buono, claims she lost because "Democratic political bosses" made a deal with Christie "despite him representing almost everything they're against. ... They did it to help themselves politically and financially." In other words, they voted out of self-interest. Imagine that. Self-interest in politics.
A former DMV clerk, Maria Cavallaro, and her accomplice, Jose Calderon, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to helping roughly 300 individuals "most of them illegal immigrants" to obtain Virginia-issued "driver's licenses, learner's permits and identification cards for those... [who] were not eligible for them," Washington Post staffer Matt Zapotosky reported in the November 7 paper.
Suffice it to say, such a pervasive criminal conspiracy merits prime real estate in a major metropolitan newspaper, but Post editors seem to disagree, placing the 14-paragraph story on page B8 of Thursday's paper, the very back page of the Metro section:
The first election cycle in the Lone Star State with a photo ID mandate went off without a hitch on Tuesday. In fact, voter turnout was up 66 percent over the last comparable election cycle in 2011, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office.
But that has done nothing to stop MSNBC's fear-mongering as the network's Zachary Roth hacked out a piece ominously warning in the headline, "Texas voting suggests trouble on the horizon." Roth opened his piece with a woman who insists her being required to sign an affidavit when voting on Tuesday was part of some grand conspiracy to suppress the women's vote for Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) next year:
The New York Times has been notoriously biased and wrong for a long, long time. On things large and small. The Old Shady Lady is at least consistent - if they want to advance Leftism, no facts shall impede them.
Their Ron Nixon is part of a century-plus-old pathetic tradition.
The day after suggesting that Democratic primary voters in Florida should vote for turncoat Charlie Crist to better ensure the chances of taking back the governor's mansion, MSNBC substitute host Joy-Ann Reid conducted a short and rather tense interview with Nan Rich, a former state senate minority leader. You may recall that Reid suggested yesterday it would be "toxic" for Sunshine State Democrats to let a "purity test" scuttle Crist's nomination and with it liberals' best chances to take the governor's mansion.
Reid was "pressed for time" to squeeze the interview into Tuesday's tightly-programmed Martin Bashir program, but even allowing for that, it seemed to me that Reid was annoyed that Rich was gumming up the works and preventing a coronation for Crist, who naturally would have the backing of President Obama. Judge for yourself by reading an excerpt of the transcript and/or by listening to the MP3 audio of the segment:
A non-binding vote in 11 Colorado counties on the question of seceding from the Centennial State to form a brand new state of North Colorado is "the start of a new and lamentable trend that... may be with us for a long time in American politics," groused the Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky in his November 5 story, "Colorado's Strange Secession Vote."
Of course, Tomasky noted correctly, a push for the formation of a new state is not going anywhere soon. But, the liberal journalist insisted, the long-term plan is really more sinister and perhaps racially-charged (emphasis mine):
In her closing "Clear the Air" commentary on the November 4 Martin Bashir program, substitute host and longtime Florida resident Joy-Ann Reid rewrote the political history of Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who announced today that he will run for the governorship in the 2014 election cycle.
Reid suggested that Florida Democrats should get over their suspicions about the turncoat and get behind Crist to better ensure that the governor's chair is flipped over to Democratic control. In doing so, however, Reid virtually threw liberal African-American and loyal Democrat Kendrick Meek under the bus: