The Bookworm Beat (11/14/14) — Emptying the inbox (and Open Thread)

Woman writingNo thoughts today, either profound or self-centered. Just a burning desire to share with you all the wonderful things that come my way:

Dr. Jonathan Gruber — the gift that keeps on giving

It seems as if every conservative writing is churning out good stuff about what Gruber said, who he is, and what it all means. I can’t add to what they’re saying, but I can pass it along.

Charles Krauthammer does an excellent job of summarizing the meaning behind Gruber’s and the Left’s arrogant manipulation of the American people. Apropos that arrogance, I keep thinking of Mary Poppins trilling that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” What Gruber is saying (and what all Progressives think) is that the only way to get stupid, infantile, self-serving, greedy American’s to swallow the bitter, but necessary, pill that is redistributive medicine (or redistributive anything), is to coat it in sticky-sweet lies.

My friend Tom Elia explains the mainstream media’s impressive disinterest in Gruber’s equally impressive revelations about Obamacare and the American people.

So far, Rich Lowry has my favorite Gruber summation:

Most liberals would never come out and call Americans stupid in a public forum, as Gruber did. But the debate between conservatives and liberals on health-care policy and much else comes down to how much average Americans can be trusted to make decisions on their own without the guiding, correcting hand of government. An assumption that Americans are incompetent is woven into the Left’s worldview. It is reluctant to entrust individuals with free choice for fear they will exercise it poorly and irresponsibly.

Roy Avik notes that Gruber’s admissions about the Obamacare reality — a reality the Democrats intentionally hid from “stupid” Americans — are entirely accurate. Obamacare is a tax, it did drive up prices, it does burden young, healthy people, and it’s entirely redistributive.

Lastly, a little more from Gruber himself, this time speaking to Esquire Magazine in September 2013:

Gruber saves some special scorn for the Republican governors who have bravely said no to…Free Money!

“What I don’t get is these stupid governors who are turning down the Medicaid expansion,” he said. “This is preposterously stupid. First of all, your low-income people get health-insurance, and you get billions and billions of dollars of stimulus in health-care spending. For example, there are one million uninsured Floridians who are below the poverty line. The federal government is saying we’ll pay to insure them, and, in addition, we’re sending billions of dollars to you. And Rick Scott says no. There is no basis for turning this down except to put your political agenda ahead of the needs of your state’s citizens. They say they’re worried about the federal deficit? Why? They’re governors, for god’s sake. This is one of the criminal failures of our political system. It is an enormous failure.”

Did the administration hide immigration figures in advance of the election?

I think it did. And it did so, not on your behalf, but on behalf of these people:

Illegals taunt immigration officers as amnesty nears

Allahpundit for Republican strategist

I really like Allahpundit’s idea for responding if (as seems likely) Obama grants amnesty to millions of illegal aliens:

So here’s an idea. Boehner and McConnell call a press conference flanked by Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Paul Ryan. If any Republican governors eyeing 2016 want to attend too, they’re invited — Christie, Walker, Jindal, Jeb Bush, whoever. At the presser, B&M make a short statement: The GOP intends to challenge Obama’s amnesty in court as an unconstitutional infringement on separation of powers. If, however, they lose that suit, they’ll encourage any Republican successor to O to use the amnesty precedent in other areas of policy, starting with tax reform. Specifically, they’ll advise the president to issue an executive order barring the IRS from collecting more than 10 percent of adjusted gross income from American taxpayers, a de facto flat tax. Like Obama’s amnesty, that order will be temporary; a Democratic successor could rescind it with one stroke. Like Obama’s amnesty, that order will be aimed at a highly contentious issue on which Congress is currently deadlocked. If the opposition party doesn’t like the order, they can simply join the majority party in Congress in passing a compromise bill that supersedes it, just as Obama always says about the GOP and immigration. The point, obviously, is that the practice of dubious executive power grabs at Congress’s expense can work for both parties. And will. Smarter liberals digested that point months ago, which is why they’re leery of O’s amnesty. Dumber liberals will need it explained to them, verrrrry slooooowly. Once it is, if they’re still gung ho about the president appointing himself national lawgiver, well, okay. I guess that’s America now. At least they won’t act surprised when President Cruz starts doing this stuff.

And yes, Allahpundit realizes that you can’t claim someone is acting unconstitutionally and then boast that you’ll do it yourself. Allahpundit’s got an answer for that too, so you should read his whole post.

Gamergate marks the first time any non-political group has pushed-back against political correctness

Gamergate has seen feminists attack gamers for being misogynistic. (It’s a very long and confusing story, but that’s kind of the bottom line.) Milo Yiannopoulos explains that, rather than seeing Gamergate as a nerd war, we should recognize it as a significant moment in political correctness’s long march against free speech. Gamers, who tend to be apolitical (mostly because they care about nothing but the game), have not reacted like any other group subject to a PC attack:  Instead of retreating and apologizing, they’re fighting back, and they’re fighting hard:

Lovers of video games, on seeing their colleagues unfairly hounded as misogynists, on watching journalists credulously reporting scandalous sexual assault claims just because a person was perceived to be “right-wing” and on seeing the games they love attacked and their very identities denied and ridiculed, have said: no. This will not stand.

The reaction in the press has been bewilderment and, then, apoplectic rage, driven at least in part by a media establishment that sees video gamers—the supposed dorks and basement-dwellers of popular imagination—mounting a credible and effective defence against the liars, frauds, neurotics and attention-seekers who have already destroyed morale and wrecked culture in the comic, sci fi and fantasy worlds.

In other words, some of the bitterness comes from people who are shocked that it took video gamers to say, “No more of this, thank you.”

The Obama administration and Israel

A couple of “compare and contrast” links:

1.  Israel is being besieged by rabid killers who want to wipe out her population. The Obama administration advises Israel to exercise restraint.

2.  Obama’s administration insults Netanyahu by calling him “Aspergery.” Israel, by contrast, gratefully uses its citizens with autism to provide invaluable help in defending this beleaguered nation.

Will you be at all surprised to learn that Loretta Lynch, the woman Obama plans to nominate as Eric Holder’s replacement, while attending Harvard Law, belonged to an aggressively anti-semitic, pro-Palestinian student group? No, I’m not surprised either.

I have two comments to make in connection with this revelation about Lynch. First, it supports my theory that one should always view with deep suspicion anyone who graduated from Harvard Law after 1980. Unless that graduate can prove that he’s not a radical, unprincipled, anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Christian Leftist (as Ted Cruz, for example, has proven repeatedly), assume that he is. Second, a lot of people join stupid organizations or have bad beliefs when they’re young. The problem with Obama’s people is that, rather than wising up and being repentant about those sins of youthful stupidity, they still hold firmly to those same beliefs.

Rasmea Odeh murdered two Jews in Israel in 1969. She was eventually released from Israeli prison via a swap and made her way to America under false pretenses. Now that she’s been revealed as a cold-blooded killer, the Detroit Muslim community is rallying around her, calling her a “icon” and “pillar of her community.” That pretty much sums up the whole value system of Obama supporters right there, doesn’t it?

The craziness and immorality of environmentalism

I’ve got two articles reflecting the fact that the Left, when untethered (as it’s been for the last six years), becomes ever more aggressive in its abandonment of common sense and common decency:

Thanks to the environmentalists, who have been “4 wheels, no brakes” for decades now, cash-strapped California is spending $40,000 per Cormorant when it comes to trying to remove the last remnants of an old, seismically unsound section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, now that a safe, shiny, ridiculously over-budget section has finally (after 25 years of planning and building) taken its place.  This meshugas explains why, in drought-stricken California, a state subject to droughts roughly ever 30 years, it’s impossible to build new, much-needed reservoirs.  Between environmentalists,  politics, and unions, they cannot be built.

The climate-change branch of environmentalism, says Matt Ridley, is disproportionately high in upper-class Leftist elitists, disproportionately low in people with scientific knowledge and common sense, and indecently committed to a dubious course of action that increases poverty worldwide, even as it denies the poor simple things such as food and fuel.

Bill Whittle on his top five conservative principles

Pat Condell on Britain’s cultural problem — abasement to Islam

If I’ve shown this before, I apologize. It’s good enough, though, to watch twice:

Teaching the teacher

Mike McDaniel has become a true friend over the years, even thought we’ve never met in person. I just know from our frequent correspondence, and from reading his blog, that he is a kindred spirit, and someone who would inevitably become a friend no matter how or where we met. Mike is also a teacher and, I suspect, a very good one, given his superb communication skills, his well-ordered mind, his vast fund of knowledge, his commitment to his students, and his great sense of humor. Despite these attributes, Mike believes there’s always room for improvement, so he’s asked his readers to chime in about his pedagogical approach to the research project his high school students must do. What do you think?

Here’s what I think: None of my son’s teachers have ever defined so clearly what a thesis statement is. Indeed, none has clearly defined anything. My daughter, who loves reading and writing, was unaffected by these pedagogical failures. My son, who wants as little as possible to do with either reading or writing, suffers badly. I can tell you that nothing would be better for him than to have an English teacher who is a military vet, a former police officer, a stickler for good grammar and structure, and a clear communicator. I wish I could transport Mike to our local high school (which is a very good one) for the duration of my son’s academic career there.

If you feel like a good cry….

Read the story, then watch the embedded video.