Last week, Townhall columnist Chuck Norris compared teachers unions to the mafia. Now he's expanding his attacks on public education, complaining about "scientific paradigms" and calling public schools "indoctrination camps":
On Dec. 27, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote about his vision for the University of Virginia (chartered in 1819): "This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it."
But what should happen 200 years later when our public schools and universities avoid the testing of truths? Or suppress alternative opinions because they are unpopular or politically incorrect? Or no longer tolerate opinions now considered errors or obsolete by the elite? What happens when socio-political agendas or scientific paradigms dominate academic views to the exclusion of a minority's even being mentioned?
What happens when the political and public educational pendulum swings from concern for the tyranny of sectarianism in Jefferson's day to secularism in ours? What happens when U.S. public schools become progressive indoctrination camps?
Townhall's David Stokes writes:
This brings us back around to public employee unions. President Kennedy signed an executive order in 1962 effectively lifting a long-standing ban against government employees organizing to bargain collectively. This, in fact, ushered in an era of unprecedented government growth at taxpayer expense.
Just one problem: That did not happen.
Here's a chart showing federal government spending as a share of GDP from 1900 to 2010, courtesy of the website USGovernmentSpending.com, which is maintained by right-wing writer Christopher Chantrill:
Notice what it doesn't show? That's right: it does not show an "era of unprecedented government growth" following Kennedy's 1962 decision to lift the ban on collective bargaining by government employees.
Obama is the "Girls Gone Wild" president: Stick a lens in front of him and he'll take off his shirt, mince about like a coed, and babble nonsensical nothings to an audience oddly fascinated by his antics.
Wow. That's pretty bad. The verb "mince" is often used as an anti-gay pejorative.
Shapiro then goes on to diagnose the president with what he claims is "clearly a psychological condition," presumably drawing on the extensive psychiatric expertise he developed by staying in a Holiday Inn Express last night:
Obama's desperate need for attention is clearly a psychological condition. He drinks in applause like a washed-up movie star. It is usual for neglected children to develop narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), typically characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a strong sense of entitlement, preoccupations with utopian fantasies, elitism, manipulative tendencies and pathological need for praise.
President Obama was abandoned by his parents during childhood. Now he exhibits the textbook symptoms of NPD. He thinks his powers are godlike in import; "I have a gift, Harry," Obama once told Sen. Harry Reid. He believes he is entitled to positions of power and prestige. He has never worked a real job in his life, yet deigns to tell the rest of us that he embodies our hopes and dreams.
Yeah, it's so weird that the President of the United States thinks he's "entitled to positions of power and prestige"! (Or maybe, as President, Obama simply holds a position of power and prestige?) Sadly, running the executive branch of government for the most powerful nation on earth isn't a "real job," according to Townhall columnist Ben Shapiro, whose bio notes he is also "a regular guest on dozens of radio shows around the United States and Canada."
Heritage Foundation president and Townhall columnist Ed Feulner hates government deficits and debt. We know this because he devoted a column last August to "a Tide of Red Ink." And because he declared last November that "the people … cried out against … soaring debt." And because in December, he complained that the "extension of unemployment insurance" would "add to our already disastrous long-term fiscal problem." And that "The debt problem … is real. And it's getting worse. The national debt is set to double over the next decade, due to out-of-control spending in Washington. The inevitable result, The Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl assures us, is higher interest rates, slower economic growth, and rising tax rates."
So given Ed Feulner's principled and consistent opposition to government deficits and debts, I was excited when I saw the headline on his latest column: "Reagan's True Legacy." Finally, I hoped, a conservative columnist would take a break from the hagiography and acknowledge that Reagan was responsible for massive increases in both annual deficits and national debt, as these charts from Feulner's own Heritage Foundation show.
Alas, the word "deficit" does not appear in Feulner's examination of "Reagan's True Legacy." Nor does the word "debt." Perhaps it isn't deficits Feulner hates -- it's Barack Obama?
It's bad enough that he ignores inconvenient facts in a column purportedly about "Reagan's True Legacy" -- but Feulner actively misleads as well. "Reagan created a genuine economic miracle," Feulner tells us. "Americans of every class -- rich, middle-class and poor -- saw their wealth increase." In fact, the Reagan years were awfully good for the rich (as are most years) but did little for the rest of the country. Annual wages for the top one percent of earners soared, while wages for 90 percent of Americans stayed essentially flat through the 1980s. Don't hold your breath waiting for a conservative columnist to mention that.
It's hard to top Andrew Malcolm when it comes to hilarious Palin poll-spinning, but Townhall's Bruce Bialosky gives Malcolm a run for his money with this attempt to explain away Palin's declining poll numbers:
First, the MSM is comparing her current approval ratings to those of December, 2008, when she was the leading light of the Republican Party. As the losing presidential candidate, Senator McCain had fallen into some disfavor while Ms. Palin, the charismatic, young Vice-Presidential nominee, represented the party's future. Republicans in Congress had not yet started to assert themselves, and 2012 was a distant thought. Her sky-high 70% poll numbers from that time were bound to fall, as almost any politician's would.
Sarah Palin did not have "sky-high 70% poll numbers" in December of 2008. For the three months from November 1 2008 through the end of January, 2009, Palin's favorable rating* was stuck in the high 30s -- with more than half of Americans having an unfavorable impression of her. Bialosky's attempt to claim that Palin's poll numbers simply show natural erosion from an astronomical level is false: She had bad numbers in late 2008, and they've gotten worse.
Third, Ms. Palin had very little competition for the affections of the populace. That scenario ran for a long time – actually for about a year. Then America met Chris Christie, the new Governor of New Jersey, Bob McDonnell, the new Virginia Governor, and Scott Brown, who captured Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. Each of these men, elected in the first post-Obama ballot, drew attention away from Ms. Palin and changed the overall perspective of the voters.
One little problem with the theory that Palin's popularity has suffered as Bob McDonnell's has soared: Nobody in America knows who the heck Bob McDonnell is. Other than that, though: Genius!
* Though Bialosky refers to Palin's "approval ratings," I'm going to assume he means "favorable ratings," as pollsters don't tend to assess job approval ratings for Facebook celebrities. (Pollster.com tracks Palin's favorable ratings but not approval ratings; PollingReport.com also lists favorable ratings for Palin but not approval ratings.) Bialosky didn't refer or link to any specific poll, probably because he made up his claims about Palin's December 2008 approval.
Townhall columnist Star Parker has an impressively unhinged reaction to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
Homosexual behavior is unacceptable by these moral standards.
President Obama said that repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell "will strengthen our national security."
I cannot think of anything more dangerous to our national security and the ongoing strength of our nation than the collapse of our sense that there are objective rights and wrongs.
Really? The single greatest threat to national security and the strength of the nation is the existence of some openly gay Marines? That's the best news I've heard all day.
Townhall columnist Tony Blankley, a top aide to House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the 1990s, completely misrepresents that era:
Bill Clinton, of course, is famous for triangulating between the Republicans and the Democrats, moving to the center/right, signing the Republican welfare reform bill (which he had twice vetoed before the election of 1994, when the GOP thumpingly took back the House and Senate), agreed to the Republican-proposed balanced budget (which he steadfastly opposed before the election), proclaimed that the era of big government was over and, in his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, bragged about signing into law 14 items that had been in the Republican "Contract with America."
Bill Clinton did not veto welfare reform before the 1994 election. Didn't happen. In fact, he didn't veto anything before the 1994 election: The first veto of his presidency came in June of 1995. Clinton vetoed GOP welfare reform proposals in late 1995 and early 1996, after which he built up a 20-point lead over Bob Dole before signing a welfare package in August 1996. The difference between Tony Blankley's completely false history and the reality of what happened is not a trivial matter of misremembered dates: It fundamentally undercuts Blankley's point.
Nor did Clinton oppose a Republican-proposed balanced budget prior to the 1994 election, as Blankely suggests -- in part because there was no such budget. (Republicans did produce alternative budgets in 1993 and 1994 but neither was balanced.) In fact, the Republicans -- every one of them -- opposed Clinton's deficit-reducing 1993 budget. In the winter of 1995-96, Clinton vetoed the Republican budget, again undermining Blankley's portrayal of Clinton as quickly caving to GOP demands after the 1994 election.
Finally, I have no idea what Blankley thinks is the basis for claiming that Clinton "bragged" in his 1996 convention speech about "signing into law 14 items that had been in the Republican 'Contract with America.'" That contract contained only 10 bills -- and wasn't mentioned in Clinton's speech. More broadly, the suggestion that the speech was some conservative capitulation to the Republicans is ludicrous. In it, Clinton bragged about the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban and a minimum-wage increase -- none of which was popular with Republicans. He excoriated Republicans for producing a budget that contained "cuts that devastate education for our children, that pollute our environment, that end the guarantee of health care for those who are served under Medicaid, that end our duty or violate our duty to our parents through Medicare." He blasted the GOP's "risky $550 billion tax scheme that will force them to ask for even bigger cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment than they passed and I vetoed last year." And so on.
I understand why conservatives like Blankley and Andrew Malcolm want to pretend that Bill Clinton governed like an arch-conservative: He had considerably more success than the most recent president who was actually conservative. But it would be nice if they used some examples that are, you know, true.
Today on Townhall.com, columnists Floyd and Mary Beth Brown are arguing for a filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, claiming that she is a radical:
Consider this: Elena Kagan is a radical. Barack Obama and his allies in the left-wing media have made every attempt to paint Kagan as a "moderate," but this truth is evident if you listen to her answers. She has a life-long history of extreme and radical left-wing political activism and her personal history clearly indicates that she will not hesitate to pursue Obama's far-left wing agenda from the bench.
Specifically, the Browns parrot the tired claims that Kagan has socialist views and that she banned military recruiters from campus. We've debunked these myths on several occasions.
And furthermore, it is the height of irony for Floyd Brown to be attacking someone else as radical. Brown is perhaps most famous for being the creator of the infamous Willie Horton ad that stoked racial fears against then-Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.
Brown is also a birther, having falsely claimed that President Obama has not proven "definitively that he is born in the United States."
Right-wing media have falsely claimed that the White House offered Andrew Romanoff a job in exchange for dropping out of Colorado's U.S. Senate election, and have falsely alleged or suggested that the White House committed a crime in doing so. In fact, both Romanoff and the White House have said no formal job offer was made, and legal experts have repudiated the claim that this practice would constitute a crime.
Right-wing media have falsely claimed that Attorney General Eric Holder "refus[ed] to say 'radical Islam' is a cause of terrorism." In fact, Holder specifically mentioned "a radical version of Islam" as a possible motivation for Faisal Shahzad, a suspect in the attempted Times Square bombing.
Conservative media are pushing the falsehood that "the nuclear option" refers to the budget reconciliation process in order to accuse Democrats of hypocrisy for previously criticizing the nuclear option and now considering using reconciliation to pass health care reform. But Democratic criticism of a 2005 Republican proposal to change filibuster rules is in no way inconsistent with passing health care reform through reconciliation -- a process that has repeatedly been used to pass legislation, including major health care reform.
Radio host, Townhall.com columnist, and Fox News Channel contributor Sandy Rios wants to know if Rep. Mark Kirk is gay, or if Kirk's roommate is gay. Probably whether Kirk has ever even met a gay man, too, though she doesn't quite spell that out in her strange diatribe.
Nor is Rios entirely clear on why she wants to know if Kirk is gay. On the one hand, she keeps suggesting that as a gay man, Kirk would be vulnerable to blackmail, apparently for fear of being ostracized if he was outted. On the other hand, Rios writes "Homosexuality has now been mainstreamed and de-stigmatized. Any reason not to be open and honest has now been removed," which would seem to undermine the whole "blackmail" fear.
One thing Rios is sure of: Being gay is just like sending sexually-explicit messages to teenagers working as congressional pages:
[P]ress and Republicans alike are rushing to pooh-pooh what, in spite of the weakness of the messenger, has been the topic of discussion in Washington and elsewhere for quite some time. So, where is the reporting? Where are the cameras? The gleaning of records? The follow up on accusations?
Republicans did the same thing in the Mark Foley/Congressional page scandal. Republican leaders knew about Foley but for some inexplicable reason, covered for him. Do they want to repeat the same here?
The rest of Rios' anti-gay screed is just as spurious, like her claim that we need to know if Kirk is gay "Because we are at war" and a gay Kirk might vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, "in spite of the fact that military experts from the top down have argued continually that open homosexuality will harm unit cohesion and have a detrimental effect on morale."
That would be news to General John Shalikashvili, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has said "if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces." And to Charles Larson, a four-star admiral and former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy who joined more than 100 other retired Admirals and Generals in calling for the repeal of DADT. And to former Defense Secretary William Cohen and Colin Powell, both of whom have said the policy needs to be reviewed.
From McCullough's column:
When Tiger Woods wrapped his SUV around a neighborhood tree, following his running over a fire hydrant, few if any knew of the damage that would be done to his family in the following days. With what looks likely to have been more than a dozen women, with more being revealed each news cycle, no one is surprised that the wealthiest athlete ever and the most successful golfer in history is experiencing the pain that is his to bear. Causing his children and wife to be put a risk of life, health, reputation, and a stable home, the golfer is depressed, saddened, and to no one's surprise desiring to withdraw to his gated community, and even to his window-shades-drawn home as he seeks to examine his sinful nature, his ability to hurt those he loved, and wonder if his life will ever get put back together again.
Yet for all the agony that Woods' actions have caused his God, wife, children, endorsement clients, and fans his actions pale in comparison to the merciless march the current administration is on to empower themselves, seek to increase the divide between the powerful and the needy, and in the end ruin the lives of families in America today.
Tiger's only chance at redeeming his psyche, his life, and somewhere far down the road his game, is to ultimately choose to be a different person. He must volitionally make better choices, better friends, and cling to the real love of one woman. I personally believe that those tasks are made easier if he also couples those choices with a genuine belief, faith, and trust in God.
President Obama's chances at redemption are actually easier, all he must do is admit the truth, and make a handful of different choices about policy. If he wished to redeem his party's chances of avoiding serious losses in 2010 he would specifically choose to drop the public option in health care, insure the prevention of any federal monies used for abortion, scrap "Cap & Trade", reject the current 2 trillion dollar budget that is headed for his desk, and extend federal tax reductions for small businesses.
None of that would make him a conservative, or even a Republican, but it would demonstrate a genuine humility that took the lives of those he serves seriously.
And while his numbers are falling, and he has slid into a tie with current Republican front-runner Gov. Mike Huckabee, he has not yet suffered enough--nor sensed the suffering of the American people enough (just yet)--for him to take the serious steps that Tiger Woods is being forced to do.
Because of this, "We the People" feel very much like the wife who has been cheated on and even abused by neglect, dishonesty, lies, and trickery.
Thus the only question left to answer is, "Whose love and affection is the nation's President truly pursuing?"
Conservative media outlets including The Washington Times and Fox News have pushed the claim that health care reform proposals under consideration by Congress are unconstitutional. However, legal scholars -- including one who recently served as a special counsel to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) during Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation proceedings -- have pointed out the flaws in conservatives' arguments, including the facts that regulation of the health care sector falls under Congress' broad power to regulate interstate commerce and that Congress has repeatedly passed laws regulating health care and health insurance.
Glenn Beck and other conservative media figures are now attacking President Obama's proposal to extend the length of school days and the school year, adding to conservative media's recent penchant for fearmongering about children in order to smear progressives. Beck and Rush Limbaugh claimed government mandates for longer school days would give the government more time to "indoctrinate" kids, and Michelle Malkin said Obama is acting as "school czar."