This week marks the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” and as the joke goes, “Poverty won.” Five decades after a blizzard of programs began descending on the American people, the poverty rate remains essentially unchanged.
That’s a little unfair. What counts as poverty today would not have seemed so impoverished 50 years ago, when many of the poor lived without electricity and were no strangers to hunger. Today, the biggest health problems of the poor are more likely to stem from obesity than from anything approaching starvation. Defenders of the war on poverty — and the massive bureaucracy that has built up around it — insist that underfunding is to blame.
That’s a tough sell. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector estimates that we’ve spent $20 trillion on these programs — not counting Medicare and Social Security. We spend $1 trillion to $2 trillion more every year, depending on how you do the math. But, apparently for liberals, that’s still too stingy. Perhaps the problem isn’t how much we’re spending, but how we’re spending it.
If you drew a Venn diagram of where the hard Left and the libertarian Right agreed, the overlapping shaded part would include a bunch of social issues — gay marriage, drug legalization, etc. — but almost no economic issues. Save one: the universal basic income (UBI).
Cancer Battle Could End Coburn’s Senate Career Early
Sen. Tom Coburn says he’s “plenty healthy enough” to serve out his second term in office, but won’t run for re-election in 2016, as he has indicated before.
The Oklahoma Republican has been privately undergoing intensive treatments for a recurrence of prostate cancer and may be facing surgery that could sideline him temporarily or permanently, according to Politico.
A decision about his future time in office may come in February, when he finds out if he will have to undergo major surgery.
“I’m a straight shooter,” Coburn told Politico in an interview. “When I get ready to make a decision on what I’m going to do, I’m going to put it out there.”
Coburn’s health issues have come up just as Oklahoma’s senior Sen. Jim Inhofe, 79, is dealing with serious health and personal issues of his own. The Republican went through quadruple bypass surgery in October, just weeks before his son, Perry, died in a plane crash. Inhofe has returned to work and plans to run for re-election, and Coburn, likewise, plans to keep working for as long as he is able.
When Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, one of the Navy SEALS who died fighting in Benghazi, met with Hillary Clinton, she assured him that, “We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.” And they got him, officially on charges of violating parole, unofficially on charges of violently offending violent Muslims.
The woman whose policy had overthrown the Libyan government and then placed a barely defended diplomatic facility in the middle of a city of terrorists, did not promise the grieving father that his son’s killers would pay. She promised him that the man who offended his son’s killers would pay.
Not only would his son be the first casualty of that appeasement policy, but the Constitution that his son had sworn to support and defend would be the second casualty.
Mark Basseley Youssef is not the first filmmaker sent to prison by a Democrat in the White House for making the wrong kind of movie that interfered with his foreign policy. The first man was Robert Goldstein whose movie, the The Spirit of ’76, about the American Revolution, came at a time when Woodrow Wilson was trying to get Americans deeper into aiding the British in World War I.
The antics of former NBA player Dennis Rodman in North Korea have puzzled many observers but should come as no surprise. Rodman is actually part of a longstanding American tradition of propping up Stalinist regimes at the nadir of their brutality. It all started with Stalin himself.
“One must not make a god of Stalin. He was too important for that.” That is the sort of thing one cannot make up. It comes from I Change Worlds (1935) by Anna Louise Strong, an American journalist who helped found the Moscow News, an English-language Soviet publication staffed by American Communist women “of quite exceptional horror,” as the Manchester Guardian’s Moscow correspondent Malcolm Muggeridge put it. He wrote that Strong bore an expression of such overwhelming stupidity it actually gave her a rare kind of beauty.
Strong also wrote for such prestigious publications as the Atlantic, and remained a faithful member of Stalin’s alibi armory, denying or defending every atrocity. That got her no seniority with the boss and in 1949 Stalin had Strong arrested and charged her with espionage. She duly transferred her allegiance to Mao Tse-Tung and lived in Communist China until her death in 1970.
While Strong was defending Stalin, Muggeridge broke the story of Stalin’s forced famine in the Ukraine, which claimed millions of lives. But according to Walter Duranty of the New York Times the Ukraine at the time was a veritable cornucopia, flowing with milk and honey. In Duranty’s narrative famine was impossible under the scientific, planned economy of the USSR and the wise leadership of Stalin. Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize and later admitted he knew the full horror of the famine all along. His favorite expressions included: “I put my money on Stalin,” and “you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”
MS. STREEP ONCE BLASTED THE APPLE GROWERS WITH FALSE JUNK SCIENCE CLAIMS ABOUT ALAR. DISNEY IS LONG DEAD BUT EMMA THOMPSON IS ALIVE AND WELL AND CONTINUALLY SHILLING FOR THE “PALESTINIANS” AND BASHING ISRAEL AND THE LEGACY OF MARGARET THATCHER…..AND DOES FAR MORE HARM THAN A DEAD DISNEY….RSK
Hollywood actress Meryl Streep blasted Walt Disney as an anti-Semitic misogynist in an unusually long and scathing speech at a film awards dinner on Tuesday night, Variety reported on Thursday.
Ironically, Streep’s nine-minute speech was to honor the actress who portrayed ‘Mary Poppins’ creator P.L. Travers in The Walt Disney Company’s ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ Emma Thompson, who the Zionist Organization of America denounced on Thursday for her letter in the Guardian advocating for a boycott of Israel’s Habima Theater troupe, which is to perform later this year at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, in London.
Variety aptly described the scene at the awards dinner on Tuesday night: “The National Board of Review dinner is like the big pre-game to the Golden Globes, where wine bottles are uncorked in New York and don’t stop flowing until the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s gala on Sunday. But this year’s ceremony will forever be remembered for its nine-minute tour-de-force speech from Meryl Streep.”
“There was plenty of effusive Thompson praising in the speech — with phrases like ‘she’s practically a saint’ and ‘she’s a beautiful artist’ — and it ended with a poem that Streep had written for her friend titled ‘An Ode to Emma, Or What Emma is Owed.’ But Streep also made a point of blasting Walt Disney for his sexist and anti-Semitic stances.”
According to Variety, “Streep talked about how Disney ‘supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group’ and called him a ‘gender bigot.’ She read a letter that his company wrote in 1938 to an aspiring female animator. It included the line, ‘Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that task is performed entirely by young men.’”
Katie Pavlich over at Town Hall scores this video find. It shows NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyer Christina Swarms addressing a venomous rally for cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal in Philadelphia. In the video, she says how proud the NAACP is to represent Mumia Abu Jamal.
Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal killed police officer Danny Faulkner before becoming a celebrity among leftists. I appeared on The Kelly File last night along with Danny Faulker’s widow to talk about Debo Adegbile’s advocacy on behalf of the murderer.
President Obama nominated Adegbile to head up the Justice Department Civil Rights Division. His nomination is currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In the video, the NAACP lawyers make it clear the NAACP is in the game because of race. That is important because yesterday before the United States Senate, Debo Adegbile testified under oath that the NAACP’s decision to represent the convicted cop killer had nothing to do with race. Katie Pavlich’s money quote:
Governor Chris Christie’s press conference was impressive. I think he’d be well advised to remember that it was also fairly un-Christie-like. He was not the usual gruff, combative Christie we’ve come to know – the guy who tries to discourage difficult questions by making the questioner feel like a idiot for asking them.
That tactic may have caught up with him in this instance.
Emails confirm that massive September traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge and in Fort Lee were orchestrated by a top Christie aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, and a couple of Christie appointees to the Port Authority – likely in retaliation for the Fort Lee mayor’s refusal to support Christie’s reelection bid. Christie insists these underlings were acting without his knowledge, and that he barely knows Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich. To his credit, the governor moved swiftly to fire Kelly and another aide who was implicated – the Port Authority appointees had already stepped down. Christie certainly is not acting like a boss who is worried that disgruntled scapegoats can compromise him, or that other shoes could drop that implicate him. And he managed in his presser to convey that decisiveness and air of innocence with humility and contrition. This serves him well. If there is nothing more to the story, it will help him ride out the downside he is stuck with: his failure to manage his staff competently and his creation of an office climate in which they plainly thought their political hardball was acceptable behavior.
The Castro regime just turned 55. At the same time, what do they have to show for it? The answer is nothing, specifically in the area of human rights.
From the beginning, the regime shut down dissent and closed newspapers. The political prisons were full of Cubans, in some cases for simply calling Castro a communist.
This is a regime built on lies and more lies, as Fabio Rafael Fiallo, a Dominican-born economist and author, reminded us:
“Still more unfounded are the expectations that the Cuban regime is trying to nurture the political realm.
While Raúl Castro proposes to President Obama to establish a “civilized relationship” between their two countries, the Cuban regime continues to repress members of the dissidence, denying them the right to express their views, beating them brutally and submitting them to recurrent arrests.
Arrests of dissidents have in fact been on the rise: 4,000 in 2011, 5,000 in 2012 and more than 5,300 in 2013.
It takes a certain chutzpah to write a book that announces something will—or won’t—happen, and that if it does or does not happen the world will look considerably different than it does today—or not. This is not like predicting snow for Thursday. But Ilan Berman’s Implosion: The End of Russia and What it Means for America is up to the challenge. Berman reads economic, demographic and military trends to determine whether Russia will undergo its second major transformation in less than 100 years. Or not.
Either way, the trends provide a blueprint for policy makers who want to maximize American national interests in Russia, Eurasia and the Pacific. Part of the blueprint is translated directly from the Russian. The last 75 pages of this slim volume consist of “The Foundations of Russian Federation Policy in the Arctic Until 2020 and Beyond,” and the “National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation to 2020.” Both are windows into current Russian thinking, particularly regarding the Arctic, which is covered in some detail in the body of the book.
A bit of history: The collapse of communism and the demise of the USSR was a surprise to a lot of people who saw the Soviet Union as an unstoppable juggernaut. Economist and demographer Murray Feshbach was not among them. Chief of the jaw-breaking USSR Population, Employment and Research and Development Branch of the Foreign Demographic Analysis Division of the Census Bureau for more than 20 years, Feshbach, who might have served as Berman’s muse, toiled largely in obscurity. He noted rampant alcoholism, diseases (such as diphtheria) that had been eradicated in the West, abortion trends, and life expectancy in Russia. He took his findings to the Pentagon, where only a handful of people were interested in a back story to Soviet domination—but those who paid attention saw cracks in the mighty edifice.
The disconnect between the past and the present in the Middle East is growing fast. Consider the anachronism called the Arab League.
In December, after an “emergency meeting” called by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby declared that “not one” Israeli soldier could remain in the territory of Palestine. An Arab League report condemning American support for “Israeli security expansionist demands” was also cited in Middle Eastern news sources but made little impression in the West.
The statement made little impression on US Secretary of State John Kerry who was “grateful that the Arab League as a whole and Saudi Arabia individually will be significantly involved in helping build support for this effort.” He also promised to update “our Arab League partners.”
The very idea that the Arab League is a ‘partner,’ and the League’s recent pronouncements, are reminders of the Arab-Israeli conflict as it once was; an era when furious expressions of “unity” over Palestine were taken seriously, and which mostly excluded the Palestinians.