Saturday, May 18, 2013

Open Thread And Blank Slate

"Imagine the sound of one hand clapping."


AndrewPrice said...

It's like the sound of one open thread posting late... eerily similar actually.

Patriot said...

Vox Populi again huh?......Okay, here goes:

* Why is the storyline being pushed by the left that the Repubs had better not over-reach and politicize this scandal or it will cause these scandals to dry up in the media? And why do some Repubs insist on stating over and over that "this is not political?"

* Without lessening up one bit on the hearings and subpoenas, the Repubs (if they're, hurts!) should use this as a golden opportunity to completely change our tax system. Similar to what you propose Andrew.

* The Dems/Left are trying hard every day to find just the right spin on these in order to protect Obama. "He's aloof." "He's too busy with the economy." "The government is too big for any one person." etc., etc., etc. One day they will find the correct wording and that will be his legacy for these scandals.

* What does a leader do other than set the tone for their organization? Both Hillary and Obama set the tone for our foreign policy and how to "punish our enemies." What did the oh so intelligent Obama expect his minions to do when he publicly states over and over, basically Henry II line of Thomas Becket "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Well guess what? 4 of his followers interpreted his ravings literally, and killed Becket. Why do we think that with all of Obama's public pronouncements of his "enemies" that his loyal acolytes wouldn't put in practice what he is preaching...anyway they can?

* Why is Hollywood so intent on not portraying Islamists terrorists, but rather making evil government contractors the greater danger to America? (I'm looking at you Ironman #)

* Love him or hate him (I should hate him) Tiger Woods is still a phenom and will probably end up winning over 100 golf tournaments. As he's no longer loved and admired, he's using the public's perception of him as a driving force for his singular ability to focus on the game. He's pretty damn amazing.

* What do you think will be the solution to Google Glasses intrusion into out personal lives? Interesting technology that appears to be very easily abused. Now someone can almost stalk a complete stranger they pass on the street. I think our whole concept of "privacy" has been eroded so much, that if you are around other people, in cities let's say, there should be no expectation of privacy (cc cameras, drones, satellites, police stops, etc.). On to Montana!

* Prediction: Obama will resign in 2015 citing health reasons due to evil Repubs constantly badgering him and not letting him do his job. If only they would not have handcuffed him he could have turned everything around!

Tennessee Jed said...

I made the mistake of posting a couple of light hearted photo's of the IRS people as Michael Corleone, Frank pentangeli, and Dana Carvey as "church lady" and drew hysterics from some friends from the left. It was interesting that almost all their comments mention Bush. That is the typical partisan response from both sides when "their guy" can't be rationally defended." Still, I thought it might be fun to let you folks have a go at one comment. I think it is probably stolen since I'm pretty sure I've seen it before as an ode to Obama. I'll post it in a separate box, but would be interested in your thoughts:

Tennessee Jed said...

Here it is: "So, take a moment and imagine if a Republican President inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression, and 2 wars, then: Ended the recession less than six months after taking office Cut job losses by more than 50% less than 4 months after being elected Ordered the successful killing of Osama bin Ladin Ended the war in Iraq Saved the American auto industry Presided over record growth in corporate profits Increased domestic oil production to levels not seen since the late-90′s The stock market increased by about 120% from it’s 2009 lows The Dow Jones industrial average shatters previous record highs Ended record job losses less than a year after taking office Unemployment dropped from 10% to 7.6% Created over 6.5 million jobs for 38 consecutive months of job growth Helped aid in the liberation of Libya and the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi Championed the largest deficit reductions since World War II Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than the combined totals of their predecessor Was given Israel’s highest civilian award, the Medal of Distinction–the first sitting President to receive the award Just imagine if all of that happened while a Republican was President. They would be a hero, a legend, one of the greatest Presidents ever to grace the oval office and spoke about in Republican folklore for decades to come. Instead, it was a half black Democrat, therefore he’s a socialist, not a “true American” and the “worst President in history.” Funny how that works, right?""

BevfromNYC said...

TennJ - He/She left out his Nobel Peace Prize...

And he/she is right. Any President WOULD be a hero. But Obama has pretty much not done any of those things. Okay, he did kill bid Laden by himself with no help from anyone including the Navy Seals, but hey, why quibble.

On lighter note: Kevin Williamson, National Review theatre critic who threw a woman's cell phone at a wall after repeated asking her to shut it off, is now a hero. Everyone is singing his praises for doing what others have been so afraid to do. Thanks Kevin!

Patriot said...

Tennessee Jed....Where to start right? Amazing how well we're doing as a country since Obama was anointed. The only indisputable "facts" in the rant come right after "Instead,..."

Tennessee Jed said...

I had forgotten my lessons about anything political on FB. I think I remember seeing that exact post previously. Something no doubt whipped up on one of those websites like "" or Little keith Olbermann. It was chock full of all those cherry picked numerical misleads about job creation that even the liberal "factcheckers" had to denounce.

tryanmax said...

Patriot, I apologize in advance for the serious answers to your rhetorical questions.

1st – The lib line is CYA. When the public started to care about Benghai and wondered why the trusted media wasn’t on it, the MSM pretty much flat-out said they ignored it b/c Republicans cared so much. They’re maintaining that line and using it as a cover to move as slowly as possible on the rest. As to the Repubs, they have to use that line to maintain a contrast to the scandal itself, which was totally political.

2nd – I couldn’t agree with you and Andrew more!

3rd – Depends who you mean by “we.” We on the right pretty much expected all of this. The “we” on the left think whatever they must to get through the moment, even it contradicts the previous moment. The Royal We (that’s everyone) just didn’t see it coming. As the saying goes, “A person is smart; people are stupid.”

4th – Do you really have to ask? On the off shot that you do, it’s b/c they’ve bought hook, line, and sinker the notion that our military might caused terrorists to growed like Topsy. I won’t say there isn’t some merit to the theory, but there is absolutely no merit to the notion that the way to correct the problem is to lay down arms and let ourselves be overrun. But Hollywood believes otherwise.

5th – Golf ain’t my thing.

6th – I’m one of those who doesn’t believe there should have ever been any expectation of privacy while in public. The terms are opposite. I’m not a technophobe and I don’t think I could ever be. Every new technology spawns a counter-technology. Sometime soon, jammers will be all the rage, will easily fit in your pocket, will have extraordinary battery life, and will probably be a feature on your iPhone.

7th – It’s not what I expect. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

tryanmax said...

So, I was doing a little math this morning and I worked something out:

(Carter + Nixon) * LBJ = Obama

It was easier than I thought.

T-Rav said...

Jed, my one-line response is "You mad, bro?"

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, The problem of "overreach" isn't how far they go, it's how they talk about it. They should push this as far as they can, but no further and never get ahead of the public on what the public is willing to do.

What they need to avoid is screaming "impeachment," overstating or over-promising, and spinning doomsday scenarios. That's how you blow a scandal because you shift the focus from the misconduct to your own idiocy.

Think about it this way. When someone tells you that they got mugged, you have sympathy for them. When they start going on television and telling you that it's the greatest outrage mankind has ever seen, you lose that sympathy. When they then turn their "victim status" into an interest group to demand changes in the laws to get ideological things they want... you begin to despise them. The mugger is long forgotten.

Same thing here.

Screaming that this is the end of the world or that Obama must be impeached only turns the whole crime political and shifts the focus to our own motives.

That's what people mean by over-reach.

AndrewPrice said...

On terrorists, there's actually a very simple reason that has nothing to do with ideology: familiarity.

The public doesn't know or care about Islam. They don't recognize the names. They don't understand the causes, nor do they care. They don't see it as a genuine threat to themselves. They don't understand the root causes of what they are upset about, nor do they see how Islamic terrorism transfers into a storyline they care about.

In short... Americans have no interest in an Islamic villain because they can't relate to or understand the villain.

It's the same reason they don't set stories in Mozambique or Xingjian.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Uh... that's all bullshit. It's all spin and none of it is true.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, They aren't even facts, they are spin. For example, he didn't "save the auto industry," he save GM and he sold Chrysler to the Italians. Ford was fine.

The Great Recession didn't start until his watch. Unemployment is still higher than it ever was under Bush. The 6.3 million jobs figure is made up.

Sure, the stock market rose 120% from it's lows in 2009, but it's right where it was when Bush was still in office.


AndrewPrice said...

Professor tryanmax, I think your question is close, but not quite:

Obama is:

1. Carter's incompetent economic mismanagement.
2. LBJs socialism.
3. Bush W's cronyism.

all of which is run through...

4. Nixon's imperial presidency and paranoia.

So I would write the formula like this:

(Carter + LBJ + Bush W) * Nixon = Obama

AndrewPrice said...


For everyone with a copy of my book, I need your feedback, please. I'd like to publish it soon.


Joel Farnham said...

What gets me are the ones who think it is okay for government to suppress those who they don't like. To them, IRS is just a tool. What they don't realize is that the IRS is a double-ended double-sided blade.

What I would like is the gang of eight, instead of concentrating on immigration, concentrate on reining in the IRS. That, I think, is the right thing to do.

Patriot said...

Compare and Contrast:

Patriot said...

Sorry about the links guys and gals....Can't figure out how to insert correctly :-(

Koshcat said...

Patriot, the reason the media is warning the republicans about over-reaching is they are setting the table to protect Obama. They did the same with Clinton. All we heard was how silly and stupid the republicans and how Victorian, anti-sex jerks the republicans are.

I remember there was a leftist nurse bitching about it they day the vote to impeach came down. After about an hour of listening to this I reminding her that this wasn't about sex, it was about rape. He was accused of sexual harassment and rape. He then lied under oath which as a lawyer he should have known better. He could have refused to answer the question as to relevancy, etc. He then refused to cooperate with the investigator and congress. So he showed contempt for his wife, his profession, our oval office, the presidency, the court system, congress, and the American people. She left me alone for the rest of the day.

Just like the Clinton problem was more than "just sex" despite what the media kept telling us, these will be swept away. Let's be clear, the IRS did EXACTLY what Obama asked them to do publicly. So either Obama specifically asked the IRS to work as his minions or the IRS on their own did this to help Obama. The first is worrisome but not surprising for a Chicago politician. The latter is much more problematic because it is a bureaucracy self aware and out of control.

Commander Max said...

I'm trying to figure out the brain trust that thinks the IRS scandal is a good deflection for Benghazi.

Joel Farnham said...


Here are your links.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

How two people handle umbrellas.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, You mean this doesn't make total sense to you =>

"Hey, there's some obscure scandal about an event that no one cared about when it hit the news the first time involving my foaming-at-the-mouth idiotic enemies claiming that I 'lied' by telling my administration to label something differently than they would have!

Oh no!

Maybe I should tell them that I've been using the IRS to hunt down my political enemies. Yeah, that will kill off this Benghazi thing!"

Makes total sense to me.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, They're doing both. Rubio's and the other Republicans in the group have been out there blasting away on the IRS thing too.

On the IRS thing, the real crime in my opinion is what you say, that Obama used the power of the federal government to attack political opponents. That's beyond unacceptable in a democracy.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, You clearly don't understand the umbrella issue. Obama can't hold the umbrella himself because he's not strong enough. And he can't let himself get wet because he would melt like a witch. Ergo, this was the only solution... short of moving it inside, but that require foresight, which Team Obama does not have.

BevfromNYC said...

You know what is even better about "umbrella-gate"? The Marines holding the umbrellas looked more dignified than the President of the United States...

Joel Farnham said...


I think that it is the height of Obametric hubris that the "IRS Scandal" was put out there to calm the Benghazi waters. From what I gather, the Obama Regime thought it could smooth over the IRS stuff with firing the acting head of the IRS. Which Obama did shortly after the story broke. The problem is the shmuck was due to leave in early June, 2013. The real architect of the IRS tyranny is now in charge of the IRS enforcement of ObamaCare. Doesn't that make you feel warm and fuzzy? Oh, and she already struck. She has in her possession either 60 million health records or 10 million. Reporters can't seem to get it straight.

Talk about unintended consequences. Now Benghazi investigation has been reinvigorated. Also, the EPA now has people sniffing around their flanks.

K said...

Joel: What they don't realize is that the IRS is a double-ended double-sided blade.

When the press is monolithic leftist? They've been ignoring this for years. When government workers know which party keeps them employed and their children fed?

Given a republican president in office this scandal would have been busted wide open years ago.

K said...

Since this is an open thread I feel a musical interlude wouldn't come amiss:

Vivaldi Rocks

rlaWTX said...

tryanmax, I like your math... "(Carter + Nixon) * LBJ = Obama"

Commander Max said...

I was being sarcastic, as I'm sure you were.

Obama would have less problems if he decided to nuke Russia.

But to ask a serious question from a legal perspective. Is this a huge can of legal worms for the IRS?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, To be fair, who doesn't look more dignified than Obama?

AndrewPrice said...

K, Good call! Vivaldi is one of my favorites.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Nobody invents an administration-destroying scandal involving an agency everyone hates that just happens to be doing something illegal and which fits all of the attacks on the President just avoid a scandal that no one outside of the ranks of Obama-haters cares about and which doesn't involve anything illegal. That's like shooting yourself in the head to avoid feeling the pain of a bug bite on your ass.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Legally speaking, we're in a very murky area. On the one hand, they are in clear violation of things like the Hatch Act and some other anti-political-activity laws. They may be in violation of privacy laws as well.

What I don't know is if those things carry prison time or just fines or possibly termination. In fact, I'm not even sure termination is possible given the union rules these employees would have been under.

Is there a civil suit? My first instinct says no, but I haven't researched it. It's rare that you can get to a federal employee who is doing their job, even if they are doing it maliciously.

All of that said, however, I am not an expert on government employment law nor the other laws that may apply to these employees. It could well be that there are clear laws that criminalize this behavior which I don't know anything about. I suspect that if this conduct is illegal, then we'll hear the specific laws they violated soon. Then I can look it up and we'll know more.

Joel Farnham said...


I don't think I implied that this was invented. I think what happened is that the Obama crew decided that they wanted to get Benghazi off the national radar with something that they think is minor and quickly disposed of by firing a guy who is already on the way out.

Their thinking goes, "No one died. The applications were only delayed not denied. We can show that Obama is above it all by having Obama fire a guy who is already leaving two weeks early."

These people don't think they are doing anything wrong. They think and feel they are heroes of the American People and the Progressive movement. The ends justify the means.

I watched the testimony of the acting head of the IRS. He is not a man who fears Congress. As long as he has selective memory loss, he can't be found guilty of anything. The major portion of the tyranny happened off his watch. He was not responsible for the delays. The one responsible is now working on ObamaCare for the American People.

This was a huge miscalculation. And it remains to be seen if it was a miscalculation. So far, all we have is, (This is a paraphrase.) 'Oopsie. My predecessor must have done it. I know who called for it, but I forgot the name. Someone told me, but I don't have the name of the person who told me the name of who called for it. My bad.'

Unless someone gets jail time for this, I don't think we will find out.

Joel Farnham said...


This is bad. This is a form of racism with out races.

Conservatism groups---> Blacks. Heavily investigated by IRS. Guilty until proven innocent.

Progressive groups---> Whites. Pushed to the head of the line. Lightly investigated if at all.

This attitude extends all through the government. The EPA routinely discriminates against conservative groups. FOIA requests have a dollar value assigned to them. EPA routinely waives the fees to Progressive groups.

As I said before, they feel they are heroes. Fighting the good fight against the forces of evil. They don't need marching orders. They know evil when they see it. The lowly ranking ones aren't true believers, they are just trying to hang on to their jobs which they feel underpaid and over worked.

BevfromNYC said...

So I was listening to the Sunday morning pundit shows -

Candy Crowley State of the Union had Dan Pfeiffer, Obama's chief advisor on. In the course of the "conversation" on Benghazi, Pfeiffer stated emphatically that Obama would not have been involved in the talking points. No President would have.

So Pfeiffer said (to me) that when an Ambassador is murdered in foreign country, the President is not involved in what will be told to the American people? He just goes about his business, in this case campaign fund raising in Vegas while others decide what the lies will be?

My head exploded (it was messy to clean up too.)

Now he's on "Meet the Press". He is already blaming this all the Republican's fault. Still no there there. "They are trying to drag Washington into a swamp". [I contend at this moment we are trying to drag Washington OUT of the swamp].

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That is definitely messy to clean up.

In all seriousness, what a stupid thing to say! That's the sort of thing comedians should be blasting away at for months... if they weren't all fellow travelers. It gives the image of Obama sitting in the Oval office, twiddling his thumbs and practicing his putting as things happen all over the rest of the government.

Maybe things are worse than we thought?

Kit said...

The IRS head Stephen Miller has said that "I do not believe that partisanship played a role".

Then what WAS their motivation, Director Miller?

Kit said...

Excuse me, I mean "Commissioner Miller".

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think Obama is simply following the playbook on scandals. You ignored the one that doesn't matter (Benghazi) and you point out that the people pushing it are obsessed, while you do damage control over the one that can kill you and that means offering up sacrificial victims.

As for the government discriminating, yes it does, and this is the perfect timing for conservatives to address that. That's another reason that trying to turn this into impeachment is stupid. If Obama will offer up the IRS as a sacrifice, take it and pass laws criminalizing/penalizing (firing and loss of pension for example) this kind of discriminatory behavior. Purge the agency.

Do the same to the EPA... then the rest.

Then, when you have that, keep pushing higher up. Bleed Obama agency by agency before you declare him at fault.

But you have to go step by step to get a meaningful victory.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It's a ludicrous statement on its face.

BevfromNYC said...

"It gives the image of Obama sitting in the Oval office, twiddling his thumbs and practicing his putting as things happen all over the rest of the government."

Andrew - Chris Wallace asked Pfeiffer what Obama was doing ...well, listen.

He throws everything in there...conspiracy theorist, indignation, the kitchen sink..,but never answers a legitimate question about what Obama was doing and is offended that Wallace would ask such an impertinent question.

I seem to remember how very important 7 minutes were 12 years ago. Now we're talking almost 7 hours...

BevfromNYC said...

The whole IRS "it's not partisan' thing has been going on for 2 years now. When a Congressional committee ask two years ago at the behest of complaints from TP groups, the IRS officials said they would look into...nope, no problem there. All groups were treated exactly the same way. When pressed, they were asked to provide a list of liberal group who were also asked to provide the same addition information. The IRS official swore there were groups, oh, yes, there were! but on further review, they could not come up with one example, not one.

Commander Max said...

I(as well as just about everybody else) can only wish for the IRS to be buried in lawsuits. There have been privacy violations before Obama was elected. Such as Joe the Plumber suddenly had a whole lot of financial info made public. Only a few days after questioning Obama. I'm sure that was supposed to send a message. This whole thing is really scary.

Every time I hear the Dems(Obama's people) blame Reps for something. It reminds me of the movie Death Race 2000(the original). Where they kept blaming France for all the countries problems.

Koshcat said...

Andrew, you are right that these scandals don't lend themselves to lead to impeachment. But, they could lead to reigning in some departments. This could look as a win-win-win for the republicans if they do it right. Each basic talking point could be led by different members who have embraced these issues in the past.

1. This activity by the IRS and the tapping of AP phones is an example of what happens when the feds get too big and too powerful. - Rand Paul

2. The activities such as the IRS shows that much of the government has too much time and money on its hands just looking for ways to spend it. -Paul Ryan

3. The events of Benghazi just illustrates why even Hillary Clinton had concerns about Obama receiving the 2am phone call. -John McCain

Keep battering but don't cross into crazy town. I like your idea of attacking the minions in government supporting Obama when they should be working for all of us. Team Obama will use the defense that the GOP just hates Obama and are probably racists. Don't fall for it; attack the ideas for which he stands not the person.

Koshcat said...

BTW, those aren't quotes just topics that each individual could focus on in the relentless attacks.

tryanmax said...

Interesting thing Pfeiffer said:

"...the premise of your question is that somehow there was something that could have been done differently, OK, that would have changed the outcome here. The accountability review board has looked at this. People have looked at it. It's a horrible tragedy, what happened, and we have to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Very odd to suggest a premise on behalf of your adversary that you don't even refute.

tryanmax said...

Changing subjects: what does anybody know about "Common Core"?

All I know from talk radio is that it is a "massive power grab by the federal government to control education."

That doesn't really tell me a lot.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I haven't researched it, but my understanding is that Common Core is a program which is meant to identify a core set of knowledge that all American students should learn. The idea is to create a national minimum standard which everyone should achieve. From what I've seen, it's fairly traditional stuff, but not always.


The teachers unions hate it and claim it was created by "corporations without the input of teaching professionals!" Right, because after 60 years of failure, we should trust the teachers.

Think tanks on the right hate it because it "imposes" (voluntarily) a national standard and we all know that an school board of idiots in West Virginia dun no skuuling better than them national folks.

The left hates it because they oppose standards of any sort because then progress can be measured and that means kids can be measured and teacher performance can be measured.

The public seems to like it.

In the past few months, "conservative" talk radio have started to notice it and they have since been busy turning it into a boogeyman with the usual assortment of fantasy assertions and out-of-context quotes to make it sound like it's part of the gay/enviro/socialist agenda to turn out kids into the sex slaves of gay Mexican abortionists. Same old, same old.

tryanmax said...

The left wants progress w/o standards. That sounds about right.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I think that's easily the best strategy to make something meaningful out of this. Smearing Obama isn't meaningful. Purging the agencies of politicization would be meaningful. And this is the perfect opportunity.

So you take what you can get... you reform agency by agency. You keep digging as you go and working your way up the ladder. It's the death of a thousand cuts with significant long term victories won all along the way.

And once you have everything you're going to get, then you see if all the cuts you've inflicted on Obama along the way are enough to deliver a bigger blow or not. But you don't do that until you've gotten everything you can along the way because jumping to the last step first just doesn't work. That's the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass... and that's not how you win games.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The left thinks standards are bad. They want everyone to be part of a giant malleable lump. Then they, and their kids, can be the new ruling class. That's why they send their kids to private schools that do all the things they claim the public schools shouldn't be doing.

As an aside, to give you an example of how the talk radio set are now attacking the standards, they discovered that in a very lengthy list of "recommended reading" about technical articles (the core program wants kids to learn to read more technical stuff as well) was listed some publication by the EPA on how their regulatory process works!!!! OMG!!! They're trying to turn our kids into enviroweenies!!!!

Notice, however, that (1) this was only one of a dozen examples of recommended reading, i.e. it was not required, and I have seen conservative books listed as well, (2) it is not a political document, and (3) the same people who claimed this would brainwash our kids simultaneously claimed that the kids wouldn't read it because it's "too boring"... thus disproving its value as propaganda and ironically proving the need to teach kids to learn to read "boring" things like laws.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, I love Death Race 2000 and I think the preposterous way they blame France for everything is really funny.

But yeah, it does remind me of Obama a lot... everything is ALWAYS someone else's fault.

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax - All that from Pfeiffer was filler to suck up time. Yes, we all agree that it was a great tragedy. No one was disputing that. And what Congress is trying to accessed is what happened, when it happened, who is responsible, who was left out of the loop and why, and at what point this could have been avoided if the right people were apprised of the situation before hand etc. Until there is a full accounting, how can we possibly "make sure it doesn't happen again"?

But saying things like "it's a plot by the Republicans to make Obama and Clinton look bad" and there is no "there, there", does not help.

Having watch the pundit show this morning (something I normally don't do) I was pleased to see the Republican guests did not take the bait. They played it well. No one went to "crazy town" and even Chris Matthews show he commented that even Michelle Bachmann had been restrained. I actually watched Matthews show and he has really been riled up by the whole AP thing and, at least for now, the little "tingle up his leg" has stopped tingling.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's called desperation. Those are the things you say when you have no decency and no defense.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Matthews has had eruptions over this and is apparently really angry at Obama.

Bachmann came out screaming about "impeachment" right at the opening gate, but someone seems to have shut her up.

It's been interesting to watch because for the first time in a long time, the Republicans have achieved near-unity.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I agree. They know that they hav to play all of this very professionally. Let's hope they stick with that.

McConnell was being baited on Meet the Press (?) and didn't take the bait. He kept repeated that all of these issues (Benzhazi, IRS, and AP) need to fully and thoroughly investigated and let the facts speak for themselves. In a "gotcha" try, they even pulled out some 25 year old tape of McConnell going off on the IRS because they were targeting liberal groups. He didn't take the bait either. He was somewhat sympathetic in the AP subpoena issue, but would only go so far as to repeat over and over that breaches in national security are very important. Of course, HuffPo interpreted that to mean that he agreed that the DOJ was right to secretly obtain the records.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm really impressed with how they're handling all of this. They have given the media nothing they could use to shift the focus.

Have you noticed too that CBS's "the Republicans altered the emails" claim has basically died?

Joel Farnham said...

Common Core is high sounding concept until you get to the actual curriculum. It is purported to promote diversity. The locals aren't teaching the children enough.

The curriculum stops teaching Algebra for the 7th grade. It is way too hard. It also teaches about tolerance for gays by having girls stand in class and kiss. It teaches religious tolerance by having the girls wear burkas for a day.

It too is a two way sword. If, let us say, Santorum gets to be President, he can mandate that all children be taught Christian Orthodoxy. The curriculum is very malleable, but only from the Federal Government. The locals have little to no say in it.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, Bev, if a peon like me can do all the relevant homework in a few minutes as I did the other day to discover that "altered" didn't really mean "altered," maybe CBS figured they had overreached on that one and didn't need any more teeth in their butts.

Near as I can tell, HuffPo has nearly no cred with independents.

As to the general Dem response, I think "vast right wing conspiracy" is still in a lot of memories, so that card isn't playing as well this round.

Joel Farnham said...

One other thing, Common Core tests. If a student, home schooled or other wise can't pass the tests, then they don't graduate. The result is the Federal Government decides what goes on those tests.

It is another form of control that the Feds have stealthily put in place. Forty five of 50 states have adopted them, including Texas. Texas is where a teacher, against his wishes, put his students in burkas. A middle school in New York is where girls where taught how to ask another girl for a kiss.

AndrewPrice said...


1. Common core does not give the federal government ANY power. The curriculum still needs to be adopted by the states, AND states have leeway over how it gets enforced. In other words, the feds ultimately have NO power.

2. What you say about Santorum is impossible because the constitution prevents it.

3. The burqua thing happened in Texas. That was how a Texas Board decided to implement the standards. There is nothing in the standard suggesting that approach.

4. The kiss thing you are talking about took place in a single middle school in New York... if it even happened. The only people reporting it are fringe sites. Again, this is not in the standard.

5. The Common Core curriculum on math does not stop Algebra in 7th grade.

So, none of that was true.

BevfromNYC said...

It looks like CBS has retracted that the emails were altered and that they did not make it clear that it was a synopsis of the emails that altered the meaning and that they didn't actually alter the email itself. At least I think that is what they are copping to - shoddy reporting.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm amazed. It's not like CBS to ever admit their made up allegations against Republicans were wrong. Interesting times.

Commander Max said...

Standards in schools? Oh heaven forbid, the only standards kids should know is how to fill in bubble sheets(remember those).

It's going to be interesting to see how all of this plays out. Even the EPA has been playing favorites, I'm sure there are a lot of other agencies that have been playing the same game. After all leadership come from the top, Hitler ran Germany in a very similar way. He set it up to be insulated from the slaughter. But everyone new different, but fear is a powerful motivator.

tryanmax said...

Another correction: Texas is one of the states that did not adopt common core. Texas uses something called CSCOPE which stands for nothing (I mean the acronym). It was developed in Texas by Texans for Texans. No place else uses it.

You may be confused because Glenn Beck frequently conflates Common Core with CSCOPE in spite of their myriad differences. Beck hates it despite professing continuously how straight Texans' heads are.

For my part, no place that molds giant stars into the concrete of their elevated roadway supports has its head on straight.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, The standards are coming. For years, education has been the domain of the ideologues. On the left, you had the "nobody is special" crowd and the "no funding is enough" teachers unions. On the right, you had the religious fanatics and then the culture warriors. Now you can add things like the vaccine freaks, who seem to be on both sides.

Starting about 15 years ago though, a new crowd appeared and they've just sidestepped the ideologues to bring a more corporate approach. That means standards and accountability. The results has been steadily rising performance.

This has drawn the ire of the ideologues on both sides because their goal isn't improved education, it's indoctrination. But by and large, the ideologues are just being ignored as states are more realizing that they need to show results rather than just show high funding to win residents.

That's resulted in a huge shift in this direction.

On the government, Mitch McConnell called it a "culture of intimidation" today. So they definitely are pointing their rhetoric in the right direction.

BevfromNYC said...

BTW - My mistake. It was ABC that broke the news. I may have overstated a "retraction" but they said that the emails were mischaracterized, not altered. Bad Republicans for forcing the issue into the open with mischaracterization and on all three stations with disinformation and leaving out pertinent info (sounds somewhat familiar in the context of Benghazi talking points memo, doesn't it)

And they are copping to being misled to make Benghazi blow up. Not that they misrepresented that Republicans had altered actual emails and presented them as real.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I had no idea they did that. I wonder if Florida molds giant Mickey Mouse ears into theirs? :)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Either way, that attempt to hijack the scandal is dead.

Joel Farnham said...

Google Cscope and Common Core. You will find a plethora of sites showing that Cscope was derived from Common Core.

Anthony said...

It's disgusting how the media is second guessing the cop who accidentally shot the college student in Long Island. I'm sure the cop is devastated, but all the blame rests on the shoulders of the thug who hid behind the woman then pointed the gun at the cop.

tryanmax said...

Joel, and every one of those sites is spouting the same "the government is stealing your children" line. You'll forgive me if their obvious bias makes me dubious of their other claims. The abundance of those websites is what caused me to bring the question here. It's pretty well impossible to find an actual discussion about Common Core/CSCOPE online.

If that's all I have to go by, then I'm left to believe that both are about nothing but making kids wear burquas and drawing communist flags. If that's truly the case, then the legislatures of at least 47 states must be filled with dunderheads.

As far as I can tell, Common Core is just the latest iteration of government quid pro quo to get DoE dollars. I was hoping to find out what makes it different than what's come before.

So far, all I know is that my home state (NE) believes our own standards are higher than Common Core's and they're looking to see whether it's possible to go in with it without lowering our state standards. I was hoping to get a sense of the gap.

tryanmax said...

Oh noes! Whilst burrowing down the rabbit hole, I saw an article complaining that one Common Core lesson plan includes a video on the changing Chinese economy. Heaven forbid we discuss actual world events. To even suggest that China's shifting economy toward a more capitalist system is at the heart of their emerging prosperity...why, it's communist propaganda, I tell you! All the children need to know is that we are better than those slant-eyed commie bastards!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Here's a very good debunking of the Common Core Conspiracy Theory. LINK

Here's an important chunk:

The most prominent criticism of Common Core is that it abandons classical literature and instead forces students to read dry government manuals. This claim reflects a profound and perhaps deliberate misunderstanding of Common Core literacy standards, which do encourage increased exposure to informational texts and literary nonfiction. The goal is to have children read challenging texts that will build their vocabulary and background knowledge, a strategy grounded in what education scholar E. D. Hirsch has shown: A broad, content-rich curriculum reduces the achievement gap between the middle class and the poor.

Common Core suggests that, as a student progresses through the grades, the nonfiction proportion of materials should increase until, by the end of high school, it represents 70 percent of total reading in all classes. The standards explicitly warn that English teachers “are not required to devote 70 percent of reading to informational texts.”

These “informational texts” include foundational documents of American history — the Gettysburg Address, Common Sense, and works of thought leaders like Emerson and Thoreau. Given the evidence that most American students cannot identify the decade in which the Civil War occurred, one would think that enhancing student knowledge of our nation’s rich history would be welcome.

But facts be damned when there are standards to undermine! Headlines blare: “Common Core Nonfiction Reading Standards Mark the End of Literature.” Reporters lament that To Kill a Mockingbird is being stripped from the “U.S. school curriculum.” Never mind that there is no “U.S. school curriculum” from which beloved literary classics are to be dropped — or that To Kill a Mockingbird actually appears on the list of “exemplar” texts supported by the standards.

Perhaps the most curious Common Core criticism comes on the math side, with opponents arguing that the standards are squishy, progressive, and lacking in rigorous content. While Common Core math standards do articulate ten math “practices,” mathematical content dominates the K–12 expectations. Unlike many of the replaced state standards, Common Core demands “automaticity” (memorization-based familiarity) with basic math facts, mastery of standard algorithms, and understanding of critical arithmetic. These essential math skills are not only required but given high priority, particularly in the early grades. The math standards focus in depth on fewer topics, and ones that coherently build on one another over time.

AndrewPrice said...

And for your head-scratching enjoyment, here are the nonfiction "suggested reading" items which the DailyCaller has decided will melt kid's brains into good little Marxists:

Here are a few recommended informational texts.

“Invasive Plant Inventory,” by the California Invasive Plant Council. This is just a list of invasive plant species in California.

“Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” by the U.S. General Services Administration. The executive order was made under President Bush’s administration, and calls for efficiency and sustainability to be driving motivations in resource management.

“Recommended Levels of Insulation,” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While assuredly a fascinating read, The DC News Foundation was unable to review “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” because the website was hacked.

“FedViews,” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. This report from 2009 explains that the federal stimulus helped to stabilize the economy and asserts that there is no link between deficit spending and inflation.


tryanmax said...

Well that tears it. NRO is now officially a RINO leftist mouthpiece. It's the only rational explanation.

I think what is sadly reflected in much of the opposition to Common Core is a failure of the standing educational system to imbue the last generation of Americans with critical thinking skills.

I can easily imagine that many would react to the "FedViews" item above as Keynesian indoctrination. It only takes an iota more imagination to realize this document would most likely be introduced into a discussion on the pros and cons of the stimulus approach. Certainly, the teacher presiding over the classroom could work to interject his/her own opinion--there's nothing to avoid that. But the mere presence of that particular document in the curriculum does not impose a particular worldview. If that is how learning worked, The Prince would be kept under lock and key if it were kept at all.

tryanmax said...

Actually, I remind myself that if the above were the case with learning, Machiavelli would have never written it in the first place.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, We're all RINOS now.

On your point about how education works, this is the problem with all the conspiracy theory thinking that is going these days (on the left and the right). It is "reasoning" based on cherrypicking facts, which are then reduced to an absurdity, followed by a wide-ranging conclusion:

1. There are hundreds of books mentioned.
2. I can find one book that includes information that I don't agree with.
3. That means that book will be the ONLY book that is taught and it will have 100% power to brainwash children.
4. Ergo we must stop this before all children become brainwashed leftists.
5. Ignore all facts, reasoning, and history to the contrary.

It's idiocy and fear mongering masquerading as "being informed."

Moreover, I kind of chuckled at the idea of "the classics" vanishing. First, there were very few classics in education already when I went to school. BUT more importantly, the "classic" we read were written by homosexuals and communists/socialist and social justice types. Yet, the same people who now freak out about a single executive order think nothing of making their kids take a whole semester to read about social justice stories like "To Kill A Mockingbird" or "A Tale of Two Cities" or the pro-socialist "For Whom The Bell Tolls" or any number of books that support socialist ideas.

It shows that these fears were developed in a vacuum.

tryanmax said...

I'm convinced that the average conservative doesn't even know what socialism is. To many, it simply is a tag applied to any government action they disagree with and that makes their opposition "principled" rather than curmudgeonly.

I've tried to no avail to explain to conservatives that socialism is doing good things all around us, that in fact it is a completely unavoidable phenomenon, that socialism can and does coexist with capitalism all the time, that government in even its most basic form is inherently socialist, and that knowing which forms of government directed socialism to oppose requires a deeper understanding of what exactly socialism is.

The typical response is, "No no no no! You don't understand: Capitalism, gooood! Socialism, baaaad!

AndrewPrice said...

I'm not sure "socialism" is a meaningful word actually. There's no agreed upon definition for what it really means. Some see it as state ownership. Others see it as communal behavior. Others see it as "favoring more government intervention than I do."

In a way, it's like the word "good" or "bad" -- a value judgment. It has such different meanings to different people that it's essentially just a vague adjective.

I think it's much better to be more precise so that people know what you really mean and what you really object to.

Capitalism too is becoming that way as lots of people who are anything but free-market oriented try to hide behind the word.

tryanmax said...

I usually have that conversation in the context of explaining how the left and the right talk past eachother and, in order to start a dialogue, you have to start by understanding the other side's terms as they do. So in that sense, socialism to the average liberal just means communal behavior. You're not going to get anywhere with that person if you start the conversation by saying you oppose hospitals and fire departments.

But the average conservative I meet is hellbent on shoving their definitions of things down other people's throats.

AndrewPrice said...

Before I get accused of attacking conservatives, which I'm not, let me just say that a lot of conservative rhetoric lately requires you to believe certain things and understand certain words to have certain meanings before it will make sense. When the public doesn't accept the premise, the rest is hopeless.

One thing I have to credit the left with is that they are smarter at choosing their nonsense words. Everybody wants "fairness" even if the word is meaningless.

AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, I've decided that Prometheus is an attack on militant atheism. I'm thinking of writing an article on that. There are some interesting things that have occurred to me.

Commander Max said...

My mother is a retired teacher, and union thug, so I heard it all. The time when home schooling was first picking up(1990's), you should have heard it. You would have thought kids were being abandoned in the street.
But the one thing that she said that was jaw dropping was the union line. You know it well, teacher's jobs, the district is out to get us, etc. But one thing was missing, the students. No mention, what came across to me was they were irrelevant.

I did come across a blog that discussed the subject that college wasn't really necessary for most jobs. Even high school was a bit of a waste. Kids need to learn work skills not sit in classrooms. Kids come out of collage with huge loans and way to pay it back.

Apprenticeships would be more valuable to provide real skills.
To relate it to your profession, I have an ex-girlfriend that went through ASU's 3 year law college. I talked to her some time after that, she told me she thought it was a waste. She could be fully prepared to practice law(she ended up a divorce attorney) in nine months.

It later dawned on me, that all of the stuff I do I didn't learn in school. I never took a class on machining, productivity, metallurgy, or even product design. Everything I learned came from a desire to learn, so I had the motivation to create my own education. Out of all the time I spent in school(ten years, family crap) I can only point to one 2 credit class that I would call valuable. The rest was good for knowledge, but not anything I would call helpful to my work environment. After all we are all different we all learn in different ways. I was a horrible student because I didn't want to be there, it was really boring. I know I'm not alone. I can only ponder how many kids with great potential have been lost.

Kit said...

Has anyone noticed how the environmentalist movement has slowly toned down their rhetoric.

1970s-1990s: WE'VE GOT TO SAVE THE PLANET!!!



AndrewPrice said...

Max, There are many aspects to education that people don't consider when they claim it doesn't help. It's the basic knowledge that lets us do other things. It also teaches the discipline and responsibility need to function in the work environment.

Your friend who thinks she could do law school in 9 months is wrong on several levels. Yes, divorce law is the easiest type of law there is, but if you're going to do it right (and few do) you also need to understand property law, contract law and tax law -- each of which really require you to understand the theory before you try to do the practice. What she is saying would be the same faulty idea as a surgeon saying, "Hey, I only work on noses, why do I need to learn all this other stuff about the body? I never use it."

On the unions, they are quite clear that they don't care about the students.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, They're still trying -- mega storms, massive hurricanes, drought, "wars for water", mass starvation, flooded cities. Their doomsday desires haven't changed.

Commander Max said...

That wasn't my experience in education, the only thing I remember learning was to how to watch a clock and hope the day will end soon.

There is something else to consider, she complained about endlessly going over case law(I do remember that). Since not all schools have to follow identical programs, granted I've only taken one law class. But there is a possibility that the college she attended was that poor, and skewed her perspective(do colleges do that? No!LOL). I agree law is no simple thing to grasp. But I have been in colleges that had such poor leadership the professors were doing what they wanted. Thus leaving students to fend for themselves.

Since we are taking about the level of quality in education. Here is an example of such nonsense. My wife has a masters in civil engineering(BA in physics), she never saw a set of plans until she got into the work force. She wrote lots of reports in school, but nothing about the primary means of communication in her field. Now if I would have continued studying architecture they get to creating a set of plans at the masters level. Plans are different than drawings, they are the primary means of communication in that field. In the field that is what your going to be doing most of the time. But the schools place a low value on that aspect of the field. But they don't tell you about the regulatory side either.

It's like studying to be a writer, but you don't write anything until you reach the masters level. It wouldn't surprise me if that's happened, I've heard of crazier stuff.

The one I liked was that aliens were going to take us away in 1985.
Along with all the oil will run out by 2000.

Joel Farnham said...


I went to Cscope. I then went to their partners' sites which Cscope derives their curriculum. Almost every one had some form of Common Core statement. This is after people have claimed up and down that Cscope and Common Core are totally different. When someone lies about their source, there must be more to it.

One piece of Common Core Curriculum is about Global Warming and that it is caused by humans. This has been challenged time and again. Another piece is about the attack on 9-11-2001. That one flatly states that the United States deserved it. Check it out yourself. It will take you about three hours.

Three different items, verified separately. One a direct lie. The rest opinion.

The main complaint about the books is that most of them were published after 2000. The only ones which are allowed support the belief that the United States is horribly racist.

Oh yeah, the reason why Common Core is being brought out is because of it's Curriculum. That and young people can't get a diploma unless they pass the tests based on Common Core Curriculum. Common Core Curriculum comes from Washington DC based organizations. Barack Obama provided seed money from the stimulus package for it.

Please do a little more research.

National Review Online has an interesting take on it. Link In this article I noticed Gov Perry rejected Common Core. The real problem is Cscope is Common Core.

tryanmax said...

Joel, Do you really think I haven't been to the main CSCOPE and Common Core websites? If the research is as easy as all that, please provide links. It's no work for you since you've already done it once. That is the only way to ensure that we both have seen the same info. Your current approach is designed to maintain me at a disadvantage.

Kit said...

"They're still trying -- mega storms, massive hurricanes, drought, "wars for water", mass starvation, flooded cities. Their doomsday desires haven't changed."

But you don't hear the "We're killing the planet" nonsense. Mainly because it is nonsense. The planet Earth has been through asteroids, earthquakes, volcanos, and, yes, climate change.
In fact, Michael Crichton outlines the whole thing here (read by Charlton Heston). Length 3min 13sec

"You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity."

tryanmax said...

FYI: THIS represents the type of discussion I was hoping to have on the subject of Common Core. You'll note that this is an anti-Common Core piece, though it finds no boogeymen under the bed.

Joel Farnham said...


If you go to the Cscope main page.

Look for the resources menu. Click it.

Click on the ICON for Hand to Mind.

Look down the page to find Hot Topics.

You will find Common Core. Click it.

This is the only public one Cscope admits to. In the internal document that I checked out, it led me to another site called Epslen.

The connection is quite clear and unambiguous.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, The reason you go over cases in law school is that being a lawyer is about learning to understand how the law works. Legal decisions aren't like physics equations where you have a formula and a single correct answer. Instead, law deals with judgmental issues like "what is reasonable behavior," for which there is no clear answer and so much of it depends on the circumstances. Basically, case law is like a million philosophical puzzles that all come together to create a single set of only somewhat clear rules. By making you read and analyze thousands of decisions, they are teaching you what is relevant, what isn't and how to extract the real meanings. Without knowing that, a lawyer is pretty useless.

As for what you learned in school, I would assume you weren't born knowing our history, world history, how to read and write, the contents of the classics, how to do basic math and science.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. On schools not being very practical, that's been a common criticism for some time. A lot of schools are starting to address that stuff, but then they run into complaints that they aren't meant to be trade schools either.

tryanmax said...

Joel, you do realize that all you've managed to prove is that a company that creates educational materials designs them to be cross-compliant with multiple curricula. I'm not seeing any smoking gun that CSCOPE or Common Core are communist, Islamist, Mexican homosexual indoctrination programs.

Joel Farnham said...


I have proven that Cscope is connected to Common Core in a basic way. That means that anyone who tells you Cscope is not connected is lying to you. That also means that Cscope backers could be lying about something else. Like the actual curriculum.

We are getting anecdotal evidence around the nation that Common Core and Cscope have in their curriculum certain objectionable material. Until that curriculum is laid bare for all to see, speculation as to what is in it mounts.

Also, you are not paying attention to who was behind it. It is linked to Bill Ayers. It is linked to Obama. Do you want them to teach your kids?

Why is this sprung forth full and complete? Why can't there be a national talk on just what the standards are that Common Core espouses? Why is it put into schools, 45 states out of 50 have already accepted Common Core, with out some one knowing? I did not hear about Common Core until my step-daughter talked about it. Now, she has to comply with it. Why wasn't I notified that there is going to be a huge change?

Common Core and Cscope is not a voluntary thing. It is now required. It is a done deal. Yet, we are just now getting some idea of what it is?

Whether it espouses Communist, Islamist or Mexican homosexuals is of no matter. No one knows what is in it except the company, yet every school now has to get Common Core. It is for the children.

Your question should be, "Why did someone lie about it?" Or possibly, "Why did my state buy this?" And maybe, "What is in it?"

From the anecdotal evidence and the fact that Bill Ayers and Barack Obama like it, means to me that it is no good. You may find that it is the greatest thing since slice bread. It has been put in without my knowledge. I want it out.

This is from Town Hall. Yes, I know. A right wing fanatical organization bent on the destruction of the world.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, You are being fed a line of conspiracy bullshit.

1. You've alleged that Cscope is based on Common Core. You then claim that somehow means you can link one stupid incident under Cscope to Common Core. That's wrong. That's the same misuse of logic that says that the Pope is responsible for the Westboro Baptists because they're all "connected."

2. It is false to say this is not voluntary. It is voluntary. The states are free to accept it or rejected it or amend it, as most have done. 45 of 50 states have adopted it in one form another. This is no less or no more voluntary than any of the state curricula that came before it.

3. The claim that "No one knows what is in it except the company" is false. You can read exactly what's in Common Core online.

4. The claim that it must be evil if Obama likes it is nonsense. That's lemming thinking. It's the kind of false logic used by con-men like Glenn Beck when he has no other argument.

Let me point out that 46 state legislature, most dominated by Republicans, have passed these standards. Most Republicans who pay attention to education like it. Conservative education heavy-weight Michelle Rhee likes it.

The people who don't like it are the uninformed morons in the Glenn Beck conspiracy theory of the day club.

And I've looked at all the articles you've pointed to and I've found exactly four objections:

1. The false claim it will lead to a nationalization of education.

2. The false claim that it will force kids to read more technical material instead of fiction.

3. One incident involving how Texas implemented a different set of standards.

4. One unverified incident involving a single kiss in a single middle school in New York.

That's it. And that gets wrapped up into conspiracies of secret forces pushing unknowing curricula on unsuspecting kids to make them into zombies. It's bullshit.

tryanmax said...

Joel, My initial question asked what Common Core was in the face of claims that it was a "massive power grab by the federal government to control education." CSCOPE most certainly cannot fall within that description as it is a state program. You jumped in to claim that it is Fed control and immediately mentioned Texas--a false conflation. So who is lying to me?

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