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NY Times Chides D.C. Bible Museum, Suggests Critics of Islam as Bad as ISIS

NewsBusters - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 20:11
<p>The <em>New York Times</em> jabbed at Christians and conservatives in two articles Saturday related to museum exhibitions. Emily Cochrane nitpicked the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., while an art critic looking at a Paris exhibit on the history of Christians in the Middle East suggested the French populist Marine Le Pen was as bad as the jihadists of ISIS.</p>

Not News: Hillary Claims Broaddrick, Jones Are 'Misremembering History'

NewsBusters - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 19:17
<p>In a Friday radio interview, Hillary Clinton failed to answer a question about her hostile, orchestrated actions against women who credibly accused her husband of sexual harassment and assault during the 1990s. In the process, she accused the alleged victims of "misremembering or misinterpreting history." On Laura Ingraham's Friday evening Fox News show, Paula Jones took strong exception to Mrs. Clinton's nonsense. Naturally, the establishment press hasn't covered what Mrs. Clinton said.</p>

Dowd: GOP ‘Empowered’ Clinton’s Predatory Behavior With ‘Tainted’ Justice Thomas

NewsBusters - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 18:32
<p>ABC’s make-believe Republican Matthew Dowd went completely off the rails Sunday during his appearance on <em>This Week</em>. During the panel discussion of the latest sexual harassment allegations around the country, Dowd went off the deep end and claimed Republicans “empowered” Bill Clinton’s sexually predatory behavior and “gave up their values” by putting “tainted” Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.</p>

The Comedy Team of Hillary and Franken

The Stream - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 17:28

I’m feeling a bit like Al Pacino in Godfather III. “Just when I thought I was out on vacation, she pulls me back in.”

Last year I warned those who weren’t around in the 90s that a Clinton presidency would be exhausting. (That from someone who voted twice for Bill. Hillary was thrown in at no charge, as they liked to say.) Should she win, hardly a day would pass without a Clinton scandal, shock or bit of silliness. Hardly an hour without some bit of corruption or moral corrosion.

I was wrong. Hillary lost and still the nation’s stuck with the nonsense.

Clinton also slammed the “politicization of the Justice Department.” That’s a classic. Like “I’m not some housewife just baking cookies.” Or the “vast right wing conspiracy.” Or “What difference, at this point, does it make?!” Or “deplorables.”

Last week, Clinton gave an interview to Mother Jones that was the mother of all Clinton-esque moments. She likened to a dictatorship the notion of investigating any connection between Russia bribing US officials to get our uranium, her foundation getting $145 million from those interested in the deal, and her signing off on the deal. Clinton also slammed the “politicization of the Justice Department.” That’s a classic. Like “I’m not some housewife just baking cookies.” Or the “vast right wing conspiracy.” Or “What difference, at this point, does it make?!” Or “deplorables.”

The head of the DOJ met with her husband in the middle of an investigation into her criminal activities and forced the FBI director to describe that investigation as a "matter." That same FBI not only changed the wording of their original assessment in her favor. It's just been revealed they deliberately gave the investigation "special status" to keep the investigation away from the career guys and in the hands of a small group led by then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe’s the guy whose wife got $700K from Hillary's henchman Terry McAuliffe for her “campaign” in the midst of the investigation.

Ironically, Clinton declaring the Uranium One allegations baseless and debunked came while other outlets were playing old video of Clinton saying the sexual allegations against her husband are baseless and debunked.

Then, in another interview, Hillary once again attempted to nullify the election. She said there were “questions about its legitimacy” and Russian interference was responsible for her loss. And she bemoaned the lack of remedy in our system to rectify the situation.

Remember when Trump suggested he might not accept the results of the election if it was proven there was funny business? She basically called him a traitor. Here she is openly rejecting the 2016 election, which was certified by all 50 states. By her own standards, does Benedict Arnold need to make some room for Hillary in history’s penalty box?

Bill the Predator, Sen. Gillibrand the Opportunist

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who owes her political fortunes to the Clintons, now says Bill should have resigned because of the Lewinsky scandal. Why does she say that now? Because Gillibrand is thinking of running for President and doesn’t want the weight of the Clintons on her back. I love her campaign slogan: “I’m Behind You 100% … Until I Push You Off a Cliff.”

She’s not alone. You’re hearing a lot in recent days from Democrats and the media about the “Reckoning” with Bill Clinton’s behavior. The Clintons, they say, are over.

I suspect it isn’t the result of self-examination. It’s self-preservation. The Storm is coming. It will shake the foundations (and Clinton Foundation) so strong the media won’t be able to hide it.

But by shedding the Clintons now, they’ll be able say they’re old news.

Al Franken

Sen. Al Franken may be the only one in Washington praying for the Storm to hit. The photo of him groping the sleeping Leeann Tweeden has put a big target on his head. Even his old show Saturday Night Live took a shot at him last night.

Although Democrats are loath to call their criminals and creeps to account, Franken poses a problem. You can’t well object to Alabama electing Roy Moore after allegations of assault when you’ve got photographic proof of your guy with his paws on Tweeden’s chest.

Franken has apologized. Tweeden has accepted. Hillary’s applauding his accepting responsibility. I had no idea she was even familiar with the concept.

Still, the question arises: Would he have apologized if Tweed hadn’t released the picture? Of course not. It’s not like he apologized in the 11 years since the incident.

I do credit for Franken for not saying, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

I also am not in the chorus of those calling for Franken to resign over this. Yes, Franken is an obnoxious unfunny blowhard who stole his 2008 Senate election from incumbent Norm Coleman. If he did resign I might well sing the chorus from “Hey, Hey, Goodbye.”

The Comedy World

However, given my background I have a different perspective than most. The comedy world is bawdy, risque, vulgar and offensive. Like coal dust for miners it simply is part of the work atmosphere. When I worked for All Comedy Radio our lawyers made every visitor and guest sign a release absolving ACR of any responsibility for what they might see and hear.

The perpetual search for a gag or joke can easily leave you oblivious to lines of taste and decency. It’s the job hazard. For men and women both. (Kathy Griffen and the severed Trump head, being one example.)

I’d love to say I was completely above such things. Yes, I tended to avoid blue humor and when I was in a position to make it happen our content cleaned up dramatically. However, I am also the guy who wrote a bunch of jokes about Columbine an hour after it happened. I get that Franken can look at his groping photo now and go, “What in the world was I thinking?!”

I’m not excusing Franken. He’s responsible for his actions. I’m simply pointing out that his antics with Tweeden are no more surprising than finding flour all over a baker.

What I am doing, based on the grace God showed me, is granting Franken a couple years out of the comedy world to have purged himself of its harmful effects. If there are no accusations of harassment since he’s been a senator, then I’m okay with letting Tweed’s acceptance of his apology and her desire for him not to be booted stand.

Then I hope the next time he’s up for re-election the voters of Minnesota will decide against the blowhard. Hey, who knows? Perhaps Franken & Clinton can become the next Martin & Lewis.

Just watch yourself, Hillary, if you do any USO shows.

NBC Downplays Bill Clinton Sex Allegations With Family’s Talking Points

NewsBusters - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 15:48
<p>With the national discussion centered on sexual harassment and sexual assault, many in the liberal media had been itching to get to the allegations directed at the President. The media seemed to have recently gotten the ‘okay’ to pursue the claims when Hillary Clinton brought them up in a radio interview. It’s hypocritical for Clinton to lead the charge because of her philanderer husband with a rape charge. But that wasn’t a problem for NBC’s <em>Sunday Today</em> who disregarded it using Clinton’s defense.</p>

Zimbabwe President Defies Mounting Pressure to Leave Office

The Stream - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 15:24

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe defied calls to quit Sunday, saying he will preside over a ruling party congress in December in an announcement that could trigger impeachment proceedings this week and more protests demanding his ouster.

In a televised address, the 93-year-old Mugabe acknowledged what he said were “a whole range of concerns” of Zimbabweans about the chaotic state of the government and the economy, but he stopped short of what many people in the southern African nation were hoping for -- a statement that he was resigning after nearly four decades in power.

The once-formidable Mugabe is now a virtually powerless, isolated figure, making his continued incumbency all the more unusual and extending Zimbabwe’s political limbo. He is largely confined to his private home by the military. The ruling party has fired him from his leadership post, and huge crowds poured into the streets of Harare, the capital, on Saturday to demand that he leave office.

Yet the president sought to project authority in his speech, which he delivered after shaking hands with security force commanders, one of whom leaned over a couple of times to help Mugabe find his place on the page he was reading.

The Central Committee of the ruling ZANU-PF party voted to dismiss Mugabe as party leader at a meeting earlier Sunday and said impeachment proceedings would begin if he does not resign by noon Monday. Mugabe made no reference to the party moves against him, instead saying he would play a leading role in a party congress planned for Dec. 12-17.

“The congress is due in a few weeks from now,” Mugabe said. “I will preside over its processes, which must not be prepossessed by any acts calculated to undermine it or compromise the outcomes in the eyes of the public.”

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Mugabe has discussed his possible resignation on two occasions with military commanders after they effectively took over the country on Tuesday. The commanders were troubled by his firing of his longtime deputy and the positioning of unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe to succeed him. He referred to the military’s concerns about the state of Zimbabwe, where the economy has deteriorated amid factional battles within the ruling party.

“Whatever the pros and cons of the way they went about registering those concerns, I, as the president of Zimbabwe, as their commander in chief, do acknowledge the issues they have drawn my attention to, and do believe that these were raised in the spirit of honesty and out of deep and patriotic concern for the stability of our nation and for the welfare of our people,” Mugabe said.

The deputy whom Mugabe fired, former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is positioned to become Zimbabwe’s next leader after the party committee made him its nominee to take over from Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Committee members stood, cheered and sang after Mugabe was removed from his post as party leader. Meeting chair Obert Mpofu referred to him as “outgoing president” and called it a “sad day” for Mugabe after his decades in power.

“He has been our leader for a long time, and we have all learned a great deal from him,” Mpofu said. But Mugabe, he said, “surrounded himself with a wicked cabal.”

The meeting replaced Mugabe as party chief with Mnangagwa and recalled the first lady as head of the women’s league, in decisions set to be ratified at the party congress next month. The committee accused the first lady of “preaching hate, divisiveness and assuming roles and powers not delegated to the office.”

Zimbabwean officials never revealed details of Mugabe’s talks with the military, but the military appeared to favor a voluntary resignation to maintain a veneer of legality in the political transition. Mugabe, in turn, has likely used whatever leverage he has left to try to preserve his legacy or even protect himself and his family from possible prosecution.

Hours before Mugabe spoke on television, Chris Mutsvangwa, head of the country’s liberation war veterans, said more protests could occur if the president does not step aside. He said he was concerned that the military could end up opening fire to protect Mugabe from protesters.

“We would expect that Mugabe would not have the prospect of the military shooting at people, trying to defend him,” Mutsvangwa said. “The choice is his.”


Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or republished.

City Councilman Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegation from 10-Year-Old

The Stream - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 15:15

A Republican Indianapolis city councilman resigned Friday following sexual misconduct allegations from underage girls.

Jeffrey Miller, 50, a Republican city councilman, resigned from his position after being accused of molesting two young girls at his home, NY Daily News reported.

Miller faces three felony counts of child molestation, according to court records in which he is quoted as acknowledging there might be truth to the allegations. Miller was arrested Friday and faces between two and 12 years in prison if the allegations of sexual molestation are true, the IndyStar reported.

One of the alleged victims, a 10-year-old girl, told her father about the alleged incident involving Miller following the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations. The young girl told investigators that Miller touched her buttocks, under her clothes, and "where the legs meet the groin," according to court documents. The other girl told investigators that Miller touched her buttocks while he gave her a piggy-back ride.

"I defer to [the children]. If I've done something they're uncomfortable with ... perception is reality," Miller told investigators, denying any alleged sexual misconduct despite admitting to touching them and giving massages.

Miller is a widower with a 10-year-old son.   Follow Gabrielle on Twitter

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Copyright 2017 The Daily Caller News Foundation

Meet These Five Stellar Conservatives Trump Just Added to His Supreme Court List

The Stream - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 15:00

On Friday, President Donald Trump announced the addition of five individuals to his outstanding list of potential candidates for a future Supreme Court vacancy.

As was the case with the lists Trump put out during his presidential campaign, these new additions to the list are conservative men and women who are committed to interpreting the Constitution according to its original public meaning.

While there are currently no vacancies on the Supreme Court, rumors abound that Justice Anthony Kennedy may retire in the near future. Here's a look at the new names.

Amy Barrett

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Age: Approximately 45

Barrett, a former University of Notre Dame law professor, was recently confirmed to the 7th Circuit. After graduating from Rhodes College and Notre Dame Law School, Barrett clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman on the D.C. Circuit and Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

She then worked in private practice (where she was part of the team that represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore) before starting her career in academia, teaching briefly at George Washington University and the University of Virginia before joining the Notre Dame Law faculty in 2002.

Barrett is a prolific writer, having published in leading law reviews across the country on topics including originalism, federal court jurisdiction, and the supervisory power of the Supreme Court.

In 2010, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed her to the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, where she served for six years.

At her confirmation hearing in September, Senate Democrats chided her for her writings as a law student in 1998 and asked inappropriate questions about her Catholic faith. But Barrett received robust bipartisan support from the legal community, including from Neal Katyal, a prominent liberal who served as President Barack Obama's acting solicitor general.

Britt Grant

Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia Age: Approximately 39

Appointed to Georgia's highest court by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016, Grant previously served as the state's solicitor general and in other capacities in the state attorney general's office. She also worked in the George W. Bush administration, serving on the Domestic Policy Council and the Office of Cabinet Affairs.

Grant began working at the White House weeks before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and after that horrific day, her mission became making government "as effective as it can be and as protective of liberty as it can be."

Earlier in her career, she served as an aide to then-Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., on Capitol Hill, clerked for Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit, and worked in private practice at Kirkland & Ellis, one of the top appellate law firms in Washington, D.C.

She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Wake Forest University.

In a letter recommending her appointment to the state's high court, Kavanaugh praised Grant's "superb" writing, which is "[o]ne of the most important duties" of judges. In her 11 months on the bench, she's heard numerous cases and displayed her excellent writing abilities.

In a recent decision reinstating criminal charges against a woman who secretly filmed her boss in the nude, Grant wrote a special concurrence agreeing with the judgment but not the reasoning of the majority. The majority analogized a state law criminalizing "hostile intrusion or surveillance" by a private party with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She explained, "[t]he statute cannot bear the weight that the Fourth Amendment puts on it when addressing the behavior of private parties and not of the government" and that it "addresses a privacy interest quite different than the one that we all share against government search and seizure."

Brett Kavanaugh 

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Age: 52

A former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy and graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Kavanaugh worked as a senior associate counsel and assistant to President George W. Bush and as an associate independent counsel.

He was nominated to the D.C. Circuit in 2003 but not confirmed until 2006.

Former Attorney General William Barr stated that Kavanaugh "quickly established himself as one of the key outside lawyers I went to on some of my toughest legal issues. He has a keen intellect, exceptional analytical skills, and sound judgment. His writing is fluid and precise. I found that he was able to see all sides of an issue and appreciate the strengths and weakness of competing approaches. He was particularly effective in dealing with novel issues which required some original thinking."

Since joining the bench, Kavanaugh has distinguished himself as a thoughtful, apolitical jurist, who is not afraid to stake out bold positions on complex issues. We included him on The Heritage Foundation's list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

Kavanaugh recently delivered the annual Joseph Story Distinguished Lecture at Heritage -- joining the ranks of Justice Clarence Thomas and many other renowned federal judges. He spoke eloquently about the judiciary's essential role in maintaining the separation of powers.

Kevin Newsom

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Age: Approximately 45

Kevin Newsom, former all-star appellate lawyer, was confirmed to the 11th Circuit in August. After graduating from Samford University and Harvard Law School, Newsom clerked for Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain on the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. He then worked in private practice before serving as Alabama's solicitor general.

After five years of government service, Newsom went back to private practice where he became a partner at Birmingham's Bradley Arant.

Before joining the bench, Newsom had an extensive Supreme Court practice, arguing four cases at the high court and authoring dozens of cert. petitions and amicus briefs. Newsom has won countless awards for his work, including the National Association of Attorneys General's Best Brief Award four times.

He has argued more than 30 cases in federal appellate courts across the country as well as in Alabama's appellate courts. In 2011, Roberts, the chief justice, appointed Newsom to the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.

Patrick Wyrick

Justice, Supreme Court of Oklahoma Age: 36

Patrick Wyrick is the youngest person on the Trump list, at 36 years old. Then again, Joseph Story was only 32 when he was nominated by President James Madison to serve as an associate justice to the Supreme Court, a position in which he served with great distinction for nearly 34 years.

Wyrick was appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court last February, after serving as the state's solicitor general for six years.

As solicitor general, Wyrick argued cases before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and also successfully argued Glossip v. Gross (a case challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection) before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma and that school's College of Law, Wyrick clerked for U.S. District Court Judge James Payne.

When Wyrick was nominated to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, then-State Attorney General Scott Pruitt described Wyrick as "a superb lawyer" and "a constitutional scholar well-versed in both state and federal law ... " He added that Wyrick's "wisdom, compassion, and integrity are unparalleled among the many public servants with whom I've had the pleasure of working."

In his short time on the bench, Wyrick has written some noteworthy opinions, including the majority opinion in a case striking down a fee that the Oklahoma Legislature imposed on cigarette companies for violating a provision in the Oklahoma Constitution that sets forth the procedures that must be followed before enacting a "revenue raising" measure.

Although young, Wyrick's meteoric legal career could ultimately land him on the high court.

We commend the president for taking the utmost care in continuing to identify outstanding individuals to serve on all levels of the federal bench.


Copyright 2017 The Daily Signal

Syrupy! Mediaite Puffs Chris Cuomo: He's Nonpartisan? And Fights Like Muhammad Ali?

NewsBusters - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 13:58
<p>Is Mediaite owned by CNN? On Friday, the website posted an interview with CNN morning anchor Chris Cuomo that sounded like an in-house CNN newsletter. Or maybe Joe DePaolo was measurably gushier than a CNN press release. The headline was "Mediaite Profile: CNN New Day’s Chris Cuomo is a Fighter." They compared Cuomo to Muhammad Ali in his interviewing skills, and bizarrely insisted he's not a partisan. DePaolo never got around to asking if perhaps viewers could suspect he's a Democrat, since his father and brother have been liberal-Democrat governors of New York. </p>

MoveOn Says Toss the Electoral College — Because They Want to Win Elections the Easy Way

The Stream - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 13:00

Would you like to be governed by the big cities on both coasts plus Chicago and Detroit? Cities that can’t manage their own affairs very well? I didn’t think so.

MoveOn’s members do. The lefty activist group hosts a petition to “Abolish the Electoral College.” It demands “presidential elections based on popular vote. One person one vote to determine the one leader who is supposed to answer to all the people of the country.” It claims, as I write, 651,408 signers.

The Democrats’ Big Advantage

Democrats already have a big advantage even with the electoral college. As I wrote in May about Hillary Clinton’s astonishing ability to lose an election she had in the bag, the Democratic candidate starts knowing he’ll get almost one-third of the electoral college votes he needs. He gets them just by winning California and New York’s 84 votes. As he will.

He’ll also win Illinois, New England and the Pacific Northwest. That adds 48. He’s up to half of what he needs without breaking a sweat or spending a dime.

Normally safely Democratic Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin add 46. That’s 198 of the 270 he needs. Democratic-moving Florida and Virginia add 42. That makes 240.

What does the Republican have? 157 votes, if we take the states that voted Republican since 2000. Not nothing, but not 198 to 240 either.

You have to work hard to lose with an advantage like that. Or do stupid things, like not visit Wisconsin. Or pull some cheap tricks, like cheat Bernie Sanders and alienate his supporters. Here’s another good one: present yourself as a defender of the oppressed while taking vast amounts of money from the people they think oppress them.

Or insult people who might vote for you if you didn’t look down on them. Like calling them “a basket of deplorables. … Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.” Not a smart move, Hillary.

If the election were a 100 meter dash, the Democrat would start about 15 meters ahead of the Republican. He could lose, if he fell down or pulled a muscle. Otherwise he wins.

Here’s the explanation: “The Electoral College has outlasted its usefulness,” they say.

It is part of the constitution, written when communication was by pony express. Voters currently living and voting in a “red” or “blue” state are disenfranchised, because their vote doesn’t matter. Eliminating the electoral college means: no “swing” states getting all the attention and all the campaign stops and all the empty campaign promises. The electoral members are selected by the two main political parties, Republican and Democrat, disenfranchising all other voters, independent, Libertarian, etc. End it now.

The Real Result

I think we know why they want to abolish the electoral college: Because it prevents Democrats from winning every presidential election. Maybe I’m being unfair, but I don’t remember liberals showing much interest in the subject after Barack Obama’s two victories.

I don’t remember them being too annoyed with the electoral college after George Bush’s second election. But a Republican was elected, you object. Yes, but the Democrat came closer to winning the electoral college than he did the popular vote. Just 60,000 people in Ohio vote from him rather than Bush, he’s president, even losing the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.

So why do they want to abolish the electoral college, which favors them already? To make sure the country elects a Democrat. If you want the details, read my Clinton Won the Popular Vote, Yeah -- Because of California. Make sure as far as politically possible, I mean, because this party lost an election it should have won the way water runs downhill.

The short version: Clinton won the popular vote by 2.86 million votes. She got all of those and way more -- almost 4.3 million -- in California. One state. By itself. 1.6 million of those came in Los Angeles county alone.

Without California, one state out of fifty, Clinton loses the popular vote by 1.4 million votes. Without California and New York, just two states out of fifty, she loses it by almost 3 million votes. Drop Illinois and she loses by almost 4 million votes. Add the other reliable Democratic states and she gets farther and farther behind. 

Almost forgot those midwestern cities. Chicago, for example, preferred Clinton to Trump by about 768,000 votes. That’s about one-quarter of her national advantage.

MoveOn’s Very Bad Argument

That’s why MoveOn’s petitioners want the president elected by a simple majority. Their argument doesn’t make a lot of sense. It rejects the electoral college because the people who created it used the technology of the time to send mail. (The Pony Express wasn’t created for another 75 years, but we’ll leave out that bit of historical ignorance.) Say what? Would the petition’s writer say that Plato and Aristotle hadn’t thought deeply about politics because they didn’t wear pants? Would they laugh at Abraham Lincoln because he didn’t write the Gettysburg Address on a Macbook Air?

It doesn’t get better. Voters in solidly Democratic or Republican states “are disenfranchised, because their vote doesn’t matter.” But of course their votes matter. They matter in giving each candidate the base he needs to win the election. OK, the vote of a guy in a swing state like Ohio might be (at a guess) .0000003% more likely to change the election than the vote of a guy in Texas or California. That doesn’t enfranchise him or disenfranchise his peers in solid Red or Blue states.

This is the funny one: “Eliminating the electoral college means: no ‘swing’ states getting all the attention and all the campaign stops and all the empty campaign promises.” Soooooo … their votes count because they get “empty campaign promises”? That’s a good thing? 

Anyway, even without the electoral college, the candidates will still go to the swing states more than the others. Because that’s where the swing voters are. 

Maybe the easiest way to counter the petition is this: Does anyone outside the leftwing of the Democratic party want to be ruled by the state that re-elects Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters, treated Harvey Weinstein as a god, and four times elected a governor named Moonbeam? 

ESPN's Scott Van Pelt Insults Millions Who No Longer Watch It

NewsBusters - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 12:31
<p>In a <em>Sports Illustrated</em> "Off the Board" podcast released on Thursday, ESPN's Scott Van Pelt took several cheap shots at the network's critics, in the process demonstrating how horribly out of touch he is with financial realities at his the network. Van Pelt aimed particular venom at those who have decided that they didn't need to have cable TV any more when ESPN selected Caitlyn-formerly-Bruce Jenner as its 2015 annual Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner, calling them "so dumb that I can’t even pray for you because you’re beyond hope."</p>

Lawmaker Compares Homeschooling to ‘Child Abuse;’ Two Homeschooled Graduates Respond

The Stream - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 08:23

A senior Democratic lawmaker recently compared homeschooling with child abuse. She made the comments during an executive session over a controversial bill on “conversion therapy” for kids with gender dysphoria.

Rep. Marjorie Porter aired her views in an executive session in the New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on Health and Human Services on October 26. Witnesses speaking on condition of anonymity told Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) that they were shocked to hear the legislator make the comments in that context. The session wasn’t recorded.

As two homeschooled graduates, we’d like to set the record straight for Ms. Porter.


My homeschooling experience began in 1982. On our East Texas property sat a one-room cabin perfect for homeschooling. My mother was militant about our studies. Each day she expected us to be standing by our desks at 8:30 ready to say the Pledge of Allegiance, the pledge to the Christian flag and the pledge to the Bible. We’d then sing as our day began.

Our studies were based on the Christian A.C.E. curriculum We were expected to set goals for our studies each day and to follow through. We weren’t allowed to speak without raising a flag atop our desks. Our mother would then come to us and work through problems with us, or handle whatever we needed.

The 1980s were a scary time to homeschool. Homeschooling didn’t have the acceptance that it does today. There was no cooperation between homeschooled children and public school education. It was too risky to tell anyone what we were doing because we were afraid the local school superintendent would cause problems for us. We had friends who went to jail for homeschooling their children. So, every time a car would drive up our driveway we got quiet, just in case the stranger came from the state.

My homeschooling experience gave me a solid academic foundation, contrary to the stereotype from peers and family members back in the ’80s.

I have little doubt that the academics were superior to what we would have received at the local public school. A.C.E. is a self-paced curriculum with a great foundation in English studies. My two sisters and I graduated a year earlier than we would have otherwise. I finished my curriculum in the spring of 1990 at age 16, wrapping up with a 96 percent grade average overall.

My education didn’t stop there, however. I went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Journalism from The University of North Texas (with a 4.0 GPA and an induction into Kappa Tau Alpha, an honor society for those who exhibit excellence in communication and journalism). I had the opportunity to study abroad at Oxford University. Finally, I am almost finished with my PhD in Communication from Regent University. I have about a year left, including the dissertation.

My homeschooling experience gave me a solid academic foundation, contrary to the stereotype from peers and family members back in the ’80s. Am I an anomaly? Absolutely not.


Mom began homeschooling her children in the 80s, when it was rare. So rare, in fact, that she was arrested. (Turns out homeschooling was not illegal, something attorneys explained to local Oklahoma authorities. Mom was quickly released.)

Thankfully, things changed. I was homeschooled in Texas from the mid 90s to 2011, when I graduated high school at 17. My parents wove a curriculum for me that catered both to my hungry imagination and the need for structure.

As a homeschooled kid, the questions you get are predictable. For instance, "Do you do school in your pajamas?"

Some friends adopted routines that did allow them to pajama-school. But it didn't work for me. I rose early, did chores and worked out. School began around 8:00 and was completed by early afternoon. Afterward I'd play outside, read or get whisked to an extracurricular activity. 

Which leads to another question homeschoolers get: "How do you make friends?" 

It would take pages to recount the diverse activities I enjoyed, so I'll stick to the highlights. I was heavily involved in church. I also participated in 4-H, competing in everything from shooting sports to talent shows. 

Mom began homeschooling in the '80s, when it was rare. So rare, in fact, that she was arrested.

From sixth grade through twelfth, I played on the local homeschool basketball team. We competed in leagues and at state and national tournaments for private and home schools (yes, those exist!). 

I attended a weekly co-op with hundreds of other homeschoolers. It was the perfect opportunity to experience both the competition and camaraderie of a traditional classroom -- and the benefits of learning from adults besides my parents.

Many homeschool parents are asked: "Are you qualified to teach that?" Sometimes, the answer is no.

So in junior high I learned algebra from a pastor and math professor who offered classes twice a week. Later, a tutor guided me through geometry and physics. From seventh grade on, a beloved mentor honed my passion for writing into a skill. She even sparked my interest in journalism. 

Which is what I majored in at Patrick Henry College, where I graduated with honors in 2015. During college I had the opportunity to work in Washington, D.C., producing a talk show on WMAL radio during my senior year. Today, I'm happily working in my field. 

Like Nancy, I'm not an anomaly. The homeschoolers I grew up with are leading their own successful lives. They've become artists, military veterans, engineers, business owners and everything in between. While many of our experiences overlap, none exactly mirrors another. 

That's the beauty of homeschooling. 

Academic Achievement

Recent research suggests there are about 2.3 million homeschooled students in the U.S. According to Brian Ray, Ph.D., president of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), the homeschooling numbers are booming, at a rate of 2 to 8 percent each year.

Parents said the biggest reason they homeschool their children is concern over the school environment. Beyond that, they want to instill moral and spiritual values. They’re also concerned about the education their child would receive at a public school. 

There are about 2.3 million homeschooled students in the U.S. They outperform public school students on standardized tests, and are “typically above average” on measures of social development.

So, how do homeschoolers perform? Homeschooled students outperform public school students on standardized tests from 15 to 30 percentile points. Public school students average around the 50th percentile mark while homeschoolers average around the mid-high 80s on the same tests.

The education level of parents does not necessarily reflect academic achievement in homeschooled students. That is, there is little disparity in students’ achievement based on whether their parents have a college education or a high school education. Also, the level of government control or state regulations on homeschooling does not impact students’ academic achievement. 


One of the many questions homeschooling parents get is, “What about socialization?” According to Ray, homeschoolers are once again ahead in the race.

“The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional and psychological development,” he wrote in a recent article. “Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service and self-esteem.”

Part of that is, as Liberty described, due to homeschoolers’ ability and choice to become involved in sports, 4-H clubs, church ministries and an endless list of extracurricular activities.

What to do with Negligent Parents?

We’ve all heard about those homeschooled students who perform poorly because of parental negligence. This is a small minority. In general, parents homeschool because they want their children to receive a better education. So they invest a lot of time and effort in their children’s education.

Still, there are outliers. New Hampshire’s Berlin School District Supt. Corinne Cascadden believes that homeschooled children in her district are not being educated at all. She called for a bill that would “restore the requirement for some kind of third-party review of student progress that was eliminated by a law that took effect in 2012,” reported New Hampshire’s Union Leader.

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But more control isn’t the answer, said attorney Mike Donnelly of HSLDA. “Tools already exist” to take care of negligent parents, he said. “Truancy laws and a child abuse statute exist if education guidelines are not being followed. There’s no need to impose additional burdens on [homeschooling] parents because of a few.”

At the same time, Michelle Levell, director of School Choice for New Hampshire, contends there’s no evidence Cascadden’s claims are true. 

Don’t Turn Back the Clock

Homeschooling has made huge strides in recent decades. But many of those strides are even more recent than you might imagine. As The Daily Signal reported in 2014, homeschooling wasn’t legal in every state until 1996. And where it was legal, it faced a stigma that sometimes resulted in arrests, as we can attest. 

In general, homeschooled students shine both academically and socially. Cultural acceptance of home education continues to grow. Millions of families are leaping aboard the homeschool train. There is simply no reason for New Hampshire, or any state, to turn back the clock. And there’s absolutely no justification for comparing it with child abuse. 

Military Photo of the Day: Between Yudam-ni and Toktong Pass

The Stream - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 08:00

“Marines halted on the road between Yudam-ni and Toktong Pass while other troops are clearing the ridges of Chinese.” November, 1950

From the Oliver P. Smith Collection (COLL/213), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections





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David Brooks on PBS: Roy Moore's Christian Backers Guilty of 'Heresy' and 'Idolatry'

NewsBusters - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 00:19
<p>They began the week-in-review segment on Friday’s PBS NewsHour with the Al Franken groping scandal, and both liberal Mark Shields and pseudoconservative David Brooks felt that Franken’s offense was minor compared to the Roy Moores and Bill Clintons…and Donald Trumps. Brooks repeated his recent line that Clinton’s impunity in these matters in the 1990s created a hostile environment for all women – and then added a new spin for “balance.” Christian defenders of Roy Moore at this point are practicing “idolatry" and are simply “heretics.”</p>

Not News: Blacks Commit Growing Share of Reported 'Hate Crimes'

NewsBusters - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 00:10
<p>The Federal Bureau of Investigation published its annual hate crime statistics earlier this week. The press has dutifully fallen into line with the predictable narrative that the 5 percent reported in hate crimes in 2016 occurred because of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The numbers tell a different story.</p>

An Evangelical Appeal to President Trump Regarding His Al Franken Tweets

The Stream - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 00:00

Dear Mr. President,

I write to you with the utmost respect and with great appreciation for all you have done for the pro-life cause and to help preserve religious liberties in our nation. And as an evangelical leader who voted for you last year, I write as a friend, not as a foe. Would you kindly consider if there might be some truth to my words?

I know that you were surprised and moved when you received so much support from evangelical Christians. You weren't exactly a poster boy for the conservative Christian faith. And to be totally candid, it was hard for many of us to support you, since sexual purity and marital faithfulness are very important to us.

Yet we believed you would be a strong leader willing to take on the Washington establishment. We believed you would stand with Israel and that you would be a far better choice than Hillary for many obvious reasons. Though we hardly expected you to be a saint, we believed you took our counsel seriously.

I'm appealing to you as an evangelical leader to reconsider whether you should be leading the charge against him.

Even when that terribly embarrassing tape came out with your vulgar comments about women, we were still willing to vote for you. After all, the tape was over 10 years old, and you made clear that you weren't proud of it. And to be frank, you were hardly known for having a lofty sexual ethic back then.

In any event, your voters were willing to forgive and move forward, with the hope that scandals like this would remain in the past. And we weren't entirely convinced that the women raising further sexual charges against you were credible.

Either way, you got our vote, and I know you appreciated our support.

Inappropriate Gleefulness

In that light, it strikes me (and many others) as quite inappropriate that you are gleefully tweeting against Senator Al Franken, asking, "Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while [Leeann Tweeden] sleeps? ….. And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?"

Certainly, Franken's actions are inexcusable. He will face the heat for those actions in the Senate and beyond. But this happened more than 10 years ago, similar to your infamous conversation with Billy Bush about what you, as a star, could do to women. So if it was hypocritical of Franken to lecture people about sexual harassment and respect for women, is it proper for you to do so?

Receiving and Showing Mercy

Jesus taught a parable about the importance of showing mercy to others after we ourselves have received mercy. If we don't, mercy will not be shown to us again. (When you can, please read Matthew 18:23-35). Do you see how this could be relevant to you today?

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I know Al Franken has been one of your political opponents. And I can understand why you jumped on the news of his misconduct in 2006. In fact, your staff has forcefully defended your "Al Frankenstein." Without a doubt, it's appropriate that Senator Franken faces an uncertain political future.

I'm simply appealing to you as an evangelical leader to reconsider whether you should be leading the charge against him with your influential tweets.

I too have received much mercy from the Lord. In that spirit, I ask you to step back and spend a few quiet minutes before Him, reflecting on how much mercy He has had on you.

From that perspective, you might reconsider your approach to Senator Franken's current crisis.

FCC Finally Puts an End to Regulations Made for 1970s Media World

The Stream - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 23:42

On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission -- led by Chairman Ajit Pai -- put a long-overdue end to a set of FCC rules that limit ownership of media outlets in America.

The most controversial of these was a 1975 rule banning newspapers from owning broadcast stations. (The FCC also repealed a similar rule limiting TV and radio cross-ownership).

Predictably, the decision has been met with outrage by supporters of regulation, who say the decision imperils consumers and their access to information. They could not be more wrong.

In their action on Wednesday, Pai and the FCC simply recognized that the media world does not look at all like it did in the 1970s, and ignoring this fact only puts unnecessary burdens on struggling media trying to survive.

While Pai has earned a reputation as a foe of overregulation -- famously vowing at one point to take a "weed whacker" to unnecessary rules -- this was no rash decision by the FCC. The agency in fact has been considering the need for these rules almost continuously since 1996.

During that time, it has become abundantly clear to anyone with a computer or a phone that these rules were written for a media world that no longer exists.

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As Pai put it recently, the now-repealed rules presumed that "the marketplace for news is defined entirely by pulp, rabbit ears, and transistor radios."

But that marketplace, if it ever existed, was toppled long ago by new technologies and new choices for consumers, as anyone with a PC or a phone already knows.

The challenge for consumers has been more over how to sort through the mountains of information presented to them, rather than how to access more content.

At the same time, "old" media has been in freefall. Newspaper circulation in particular has plummeted, with print newspaper advertising dropping 50 percent since 2008. Hundreds of daily papers have closed their doors, with many of the rest no longer publishing on a daily basis.

At the same time, broadcast television has moved from an essential outlet to one among many distribution systems for news and entertainment.

The power over information that the FCC's rules were meant to control simply is no more. In today's marketplace, the old media is threatened rather than threatening.

But rather than help newspapers and broadcasters attempt to right their ships, the FCC's restrictions make it harder to do so by making it impossible for them to combine their resources to compete in the marketplace.

The FCC deserves kudos for standing up to controversy and acknowledging the undeniable: The media world of the 1970s has been erased forever. And the government red tape made for that world should be erased as well.


Copyright 2017 The Daily Signal

Franken's 'Funny' Photo Could Have Ruined Him In 2008 Senate Race

NewsBusters - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 22:01
<p>Imagine if LeeAnn Tweeden’s picture of Al Franken groping her breasts for laughs while she slept on a 2006 military plane flight had come out during his 2008 Senate campaign. The election result was so disputed that Franken wasn’t seated in the Senate until July of 2009. Add that picture, and the Senate wouldn’t have an Al Franken harassment problem today.</p>

John Heilemann and the Corruption of the Liberal State Media

NewsBusters - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 21:00
<p>The latest example is to be found from MSNBC’s John Heilemann, who, in a discussion with ex-Bush 43 White House alum-turned-MSNBC host Nicole Wallace, said the following in a discussion of Alabama Judge Roy Moore. Wallace asked: </p>


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