Greg Corombos of Radio America and Andrew Johnson of National Review are impressed with the clear, firm response of Egypt to the ISIS beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. They also shake their heads at the weak White House statements to the ISIS beheadings and the Denmark terrorist attack. And they react to Saturday Night Live calling Fox News “fake news” less than a week after suspending Brian Williams.
Archives for February 2015
Parents Lose Colorado Bathroom Battle
Democrats in the Colorado state legislature have killed a bill that would allow school officials and business owners to restrict bathroom and locker room access to people of the same biological sex.
The legislation was sponsored by Republican State Rep. Kim Ransom of Littleton. She says the bill was very straightforward.
“The bill was actually very simple. It restricted access to a sex-segregated locker room based on an individual’s actual biological sex,” said Ransom.
Ransom’s legislation died in committee on a mostly party line vote of 7-4. One Republican crossed the aisle to oppose it.
In 2008, Colorado enacted a law to provide equal accommodation to restrooms and locker rooms for individuals based on the gender with which they identify, rather than the gender identified at birth. Ransom says she brought her new bill to committee after parents became uneasy about people of the opposite biological sex using the same restrooms as their children.
“I actually brought it forward at the request of some parents and a group that was trying to help some moms that were dealing with young children that were just being exposed to people of the opposite sex,” she said.
Ransom insists her legislation is not designed to prevent transgenders from using their preferred facilities.
“It’s not necessarily addressing the cross-gender or transgender at all. That really wasn’t the intent. It’s people that are abusing that statute,” said Ransom.
Some critics of Ransom’s bill suggest this problem in restrooms and locker rooms is hypothetical and no documented problems have been reported. Ransom says the concern is very real.
“What has happened, not only in Colorado but in other states as well, is that predators can use that equal accommodation allowance to go into the opposite locker room and the manager or the school principal can do nothing to remove them, even if they’re ogling children or looking at them or exposing themselves if they say those specific words that they self-identify with that sex,” said Ransom, who says there are specific stories on record.
“The most egregious one was in Washington state. I believe it was a YMCA locker room. There was a woman in a locker room with her two small girls and there was literally was a man that was completely undressed walking around in that locker room. Whether or not his specific thought pattern was female, his outward appearance was male,” said Ransom.
Another major criticism from Democrats was that it amounted to a violation of the civil rights of people who identify with the opposite gender of their birth. Lifesite News reported particularly scathing remarks from Democratic State Rep. Joe Salazar, who suggested the bill was this generation’s version of Jim Crow.
“The reasons for non-desegregating in the 1950s and ’60s was because Mexicans and blacks somehow were sexual perverts,” Salazar said. “I’m offended by this bill because this is rinse and repeat prejudice.”
Ransom is baffled at such a charge.
“This doesn’t really address civil rights. It doesn’t have anything to do with civil rights,” said Ransom. “I was not trying and the bill was not intending to address the statute that was addressed in 2008. It was trying to empower business owners to just enforce the signs on the door if there were complaints.”
But while she’s not looking to overturn existing laws, Ransom says others need to respect the uncomfortable and unsafe position girls find themselves in when school leaders and business owners have their hands completely tied.
“Locker rooms are a vulnerable place to have your kids, you know shower rooms, locker rooms, changing to go to the pool. You want to have your children protected and make sure there aren’t people of the opposite sex in there with your small children,” said Ransom.
In the end, she says common sense ought to prevail.
“When you look at a locker room, there’s usually a stick person with a dress and a stick person with pants, indicating that it’s meant to be a men’s room and a ladies’ room. We’re just having a lot of crossover due to the current laws. I’m just trying to let parents protect their young children from people that abuse the current statute,” said Ransom.
Three Martini Lunch 2/13/15
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer Oregon Democrats for demanding the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber over corruption involving his fiancee. They also rip President Obama for making a ridiculous video designed to urge millennials to enroll in Obamacare. And we we discuss Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s admission that she was tipsy at the State of the Union address.
American Family in Crisis
More than half of American teenagers do not live with married parents and the family will be destroyed in this country if the U.S. doesn’t start championing marriage and stop rewarding people for having children out of wedlock, according to a new report from the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute.
The fifth annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection” shows just 46 percent of American teens between the ages of 15-17 have grown up with their biological parents always married. For black adolescents, the statistics are far worse.
“This index is particularly acute at a chronic level in the African-American community, where only 17 percent of black teenagers, compared to 54 percent of white teenagers are being raised in intact families and this marks a 21 percent decrease in family belongingness for black teenagers since 1950,” said Ken Blackwell, senior fellow in family empowerment at the Family Research Council.
Blackwell says these worsening numbers carry a whole raft of negative consequences with them.
“It means that we are a nation at risk because there are so many positive benefits of children being nurtured and raised in intact families that too many of our people are missing. It’s having effects socially, culturally and healthwise for too many of our youngsters. And is has an effect on criminality,” said Blackwell.
He says we’ve seen this societal breakdown before.
“We are going to be suffering from the same sort of family breakdown that we find in totalitarian, authoritarian and real major welfare states,” said Blackwell.
“If you look at it across history, there are two things that totalitarian and authoritarian states have done. They’ve weakened or destroyed the family and they have silenced the church, creating a greater dependency on government,” said Blackwell, who says the U.S. is barreling down this ill-advised road by different means.
“That is happening in our country, not through totalitarianism or authoritarianism but through the rapid expansion of the welfare state. It’s having the same disastrous effect in terms of the destruction of the family and the explosive growth in the number of people who are dependent on the government. What we know from historical experience is that the intact family is the incubator of liberty,” said Blackwell.
Blackwell says the biggest problem with government dependency is that is encourages people to make bad decisions.
“The welfare state has an incentive system for families to separate, as opposed to encouraging the intactness of families or maintaining the intactness of families. Welfare states tend to reward families that are not intact. As a consequence, if you want more of something, you reward it,” said Blackwell.
So how can the tide of broken homes be reversed? Blackwell says it will require all hands on deck.
“We know that if we reduce the number of out-of-wedlock births by encouraging young people to refrain from sexual activity until they are married, if we have every institution in our culture supporting a marriage between one man and one woman and if we encourage our young people to stay in school and get a decent education then we know we can reverse this trend,” said Blackwell.
One of those key factors will soon be in front of the Supreme Court. Blackwell reiterates that the numerous benefits of intact marriages are directly linked to strong traditional marriages.
“We’re not going to reverse this trend if we redefine marriage as something other than the natural design of marriage,” said Blackwell.
Three Martini Lunch 2/12/15
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer Republicans for passing the Keystone XL pipeline bill and forcing Pres. Obama to buckle or defy the will of most Americans. They also groan as the U.S. is forced to evacuate diplomats and Marines out of Yemen. And they scoff at reports that Vladimir Putin has successfully negotiated a ceasefire in Ukraine.
‘There’s No Winners at All’
Middle East scholar Dr. Mike Evans says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now stuck in a partisan tug-of-war among American politicians that could cost him his job and he believes whoever convinced Netanyahu to agree to address the U.S. Congress ought to be lose their job.
With just weeks remaining before next month’s parliamentary elections in Israel, Netanyahu and much of Israeli politics are consumed by the partisan battle here in Washington over Netanyahu’s upcoming address to a joint session of Congress over the Iranian nuclear threat.
On January 21, House Speaker John Boehner announced Netanyahu would address Congress on March 3. The White House complained that it had not been notified and called the invitation a breach of protocol, particularly so close to the Israeli elections. Many Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have said they will not attend the speech.
“It’s a horrendous mistake and whoever advised him to do it should be fired,” said Evans. “I’m sick over it. I’m sick that he’s put in that position. Obviously, he’s brilliant and articulate and he knows what’s going on with Iran, but the timing is horrible, absolutely horrible.”
Evans, who is a longtime personal friend of Netanyahu and the author of 67 published books, including “Jimmy Carter. the Liberal Left and World Chaos” and “Atomic Iran,” fears this massive distraction during a tight campaign could give momentum to the more moderate and liberal political elements in Israel, which would be welcome news in the Obama White House.
“It’s a no-win for [Netanyahu]. The opposition party is screaming their heads off, ‘Cancel it! Cancel it!’ So if he cancels it, he looks weak. On the other hand, he has a real genuine message that needs to be heard by the House and by the nation. But the timing is extremely serious and could end up existential for him. It could in fact cost him the election,” said Evans.
According to Evans, the controversy over the speech is such a big deal because the Israelis don’t have many allies and they don’t want to alienate their biggest one.
“A lot of Israelis believe, ‘The world’s against us. The world is against us as they were at Auschwitz.’ And they believe there’s no solution. So they want friends. They desperately want friends and alliances and they don’t want to be alone,” he said.
“So this dilemma with the House is upsetting them terribly because they don’t want to come across and be perceived as being pushy, being arrogant and pressuring an ally like the United States. The average Israeli on the street is really troubled about this,” said Evans.
Furthermore, Evans says Israelis are keenly aware that the vast majority of Jewish Americans are Democrats and that adds to the unease over this debate.
“The Democratic Party has traditionally been extremely strong supporters of Israel. This has not just been defined as a challenge to Obama but as embarrassing the Democratic Party. So it’s very problematic,” said Evans.
If the speech goes forward, Evans worries that the critical message about Iran will be lost and it will end up as a politically bruising experience for everyone, particularly Netanyahu.
“He’s being sucked in to a partisan battle that he didn’t start. It’s a lose, lose, lose. Nobody wins in this one. There’s no winners at all,” he said.
Despite the threat of his friend looking weak at a critical point in the campaign, Evans says the smart thing to do would be to postpone the speech.
“If I was advising him, I would tell him, for security reasons, don’t do it. Postpone the speech. Give the speech, but postpone the speech for a couple of weeks and get out of the drama,” said Evans.
Evans says the race for control of parliament is razor thin right now and he is very cautiously optimistic about the chances of Netanyahu and Likud hanging on to control with a coalition government.
“The vote is very close right now. As a matter of fact, Herzog and Livni have a slight edge. So the elections are very problematic for Bibi. I don’t believe he’s going to lose them because they are a coalition government and he can probably put the government together. but it’s very close,” said Evans.
Election day in Israel is March 17.
Three Martini Lunch 2/11/15
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud NBC News for taking a serious approach to the Brian Williams controversy. They also slam the Obama administration for refusing to admit the president was wrong about the terrorist attack at the kosher deli in Paris being “random”. And they discuss the mixed legacy of departing “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart.
‘It’s the Way You Lose A Country’
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) says Republicans are stuck in a box of their leaders’ own making in the effort to defund President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions and he says Obama’s ongoing aggression on amnesty coupled with a weak GOP response are putting the United States in a very dangerous position.
In December, Republican leaders decided to delay any legislative fight over amnesty until they controlled both chambers of Congress in January. At that time, lawmakers approved most government funding through September but extended Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations only through this month.
In January, the House approved a bill to fund DHS through September while stripping out funds for the implementation of Obama’s unilateral action to grant legal status to some five million people in the country illegally but who have children with legal status. Despite a GOP majority in the Senate, Republicans have been unable to recruit any Democrats to their side on this issue. Without 60 votes, the measure will die and DHS funding would be in limbo.
With activists, media and lawmakers clamoring for a new strategy, Gohmert says Republicans are keeping their powder dry at the moment.
“If we are already talking about Plan B before we give up on Plan A then we’re never going to have any chance on Plan A. If you understand and appreciate the position, it’s tough to talk about a Plan B if you’re still actually honestly pushing Plan A,” he said.
In the meantime, Gohmert says Obama is already taking steps to expand what the congressman calls “unconstitutional amnesty” into a problem involving exponentially more illegal immigrants.
“Obama is now talking about allowing all those people to whom he’s given unconstitutional amnesty the ability to bring in extended family members. They’ll call it immediate family but the five million could turn into twenty million or twenty-five million once you start bringing in all the other family members. This is part of his fundamentally transforming America,” said Gohmert.
Gohmert was staunchly opposed to the December strategy on immigration, known around Washington as a “cromnibus”. Now he says that flawed approach is haunting the GOP.
“We’re in a box because our leadership decided to fund everything the president cared about and only leave Homeland Security unfunded and expected to use that as leverage,” said Gohmert, who believes the only leverage was achieved by the White House as Republicans were left with no good options.
“You’re giving up all the leverage. You’re giving up everything that the president wants and then you’re going to leave us in the position of negotiating by saying, ‘Now, if you don’t stop this unconstitutional, unilateral, amnesty that you are doing illegally, then we’re not going to fund the border patrol. We’re not going to fund people to keep us safe,'” said Gohmert.
For Gohmert, the “cromnibus” strategy in December did not reflect the fierce condemnation of Obama’s actions just a couple of weeks earlier.
“All the right things were said after the November election gave us the majority in the Senate and more seats in the House. We were going to fight, the expression was ‘tooth and nail’. Haven’t seen any teeth or nails coming out on this particular issue,” he said.
The congressman also noted the frustration conservatives had with leadership last summer. In the wake of the surge of illegal border crossings, including many by children, the House leadership tried to pass a border bill before summer recess. Gohmert says Republicans balked at the bill because House Speaker John Boehner would not say who authored it and members knew it did not originate from the House Judiciary Committee as it should.
After the Boehner bill was pulled, Gohmert joined House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) and several other members to craft a stronger bill that passed the House but never received consideration in the Democratically-controlled Senate.
Are Republican leaders committed to stopping amnesty but guilty of employing a lousy strategy or are they not all that distressed by the president’s actions? Gohmert says the jury is still out.
“There’s plenty of reasons to be concerned about the dedication of our leadership, but if Americans keep making their voice heard, then people will listen and that includes Democrats. They will listen when their constituents respond,” said Gohmert, who says the coalition exists to stop Obama in his tracks.
“There are enough union members and Democrats in the country who are feeling the pinch of the illegality of this president’s amnesty that are going to push their Democratic senators and members of Congress to stand more firmly with them,” he said.
Obama’s efforts to add family members to his orders from November is not the only controversy involving Obama and immigration this week. The Center for Immigration Studies released a report a few days ago suggesting 5.5 million people were granted work permits by the administration from 2009-2014 in addition to the 3.5 million approved by Congress, which is supposed to have jurisdiction over the permits.
Gohmert says Obama’s actions are pushing the U.S. to a very dangerous place.
“There’s word that that five may have actually been seven (million). We’re trying to get to the bottom of that. It is outrageous and it is part and parcel of the lawlessness that we’ve been dealing with in this administration. Unfortunately, when you have 50 percent of the American people are saying, ‘Hey, we’re OK with not having checks and balances in our government.’ It’s the way you lose a country,” he warned.
The congressman says America is treading down a path that has brought disaster to those who have traveled it before.
“I believe there’s enough people in the House and Senate that don’t want to lose this country. We don’t want to lose this little experiment, as (Benjamin) Franklin said a republic if we can keep it. If we allow the president to continue this kind of lawlessness, there will not be a republic. We will be morphing more over into more of a totalitarian, dictatorial type country,” said Gohmert.
Ultimately, Gohmert believes any meaningful effort to stop Obama will have to be waged over government funding.
“Then we can start cutting off the things that the president cares about in must-pass legislation that he’s got to sign. There are bills that he cares very deeply about and you can put him on the horns of a dilemma,” said Gohmert, who says there is one thing Republicans need if that’s going to happen.
“We’ve just got to have our leadership feel strongly enough about this that they will use the leverage that we have, instead of giving it away time after time,” said Gohmert.
Three Martini Lunch 2/10/15
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for calling for right to work zones and ordering that union members do not have to pay dues if they don’t like the union’s activities. They also rip President Obama for saying the terrorist attacks at a Jewish deli in Paris were “random.” And they react to MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry asking Attorney General Eric Holder to quack like a duck.
‘The Greatest Deception in History’
The climate change movement is being rocked by another major ethical scandal that journalists and some climate scientists say could serve to expose the movement as “one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time.”
The latest blow against the credibility of the of those demanding urgent, sweeping political change in response to human activity allegedly threatening the sustainability of earth appeared in Saturday’s edition of the London Daily Telegraph. Columnist Christopher Booker cites the work of Paul Homewood on his “Not A Lot of People Know That” climate blog.
Two weeks earlier, Booker noted that Homewood compared the original temperatures recorded at weather stations in Paraguay over a 60 year period with the numbers now being used in climate reports.
“In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming,” wrote Booker.
In the new piece, Booker reports on Homewood’s research into the original and revised data at many other South American weather stations.
“In each case he found the same suspicious one-way ‘adjustments,'” reported Booker.
According to Booker, Homewood is now studying similar data from arctic stations from Canada to Siberia.
“Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded,” he wrote.
Homewood’s research shows a consistent changing of temperature data and always in a way that makes it appear the earth is getting warmer. Moreover, these changes were not made by obscure organizations. They were done through the U.S. government’s Global Historical Climate Network. Additional responsibility lies with the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Climate Data Center.
Climate scientists who do not buy into the global analysis on climate change say this manipulation is a devastating indictment of the movement.
“It’s enormously significant because the whole thrust of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is supposedly the official source of climate change data, have been saying that currently it is warmer than it has ever been in the historic record or the instrumental record,” said Dr. Tim Ball, a former professor of climatology and author of “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science.”
Ball says while Homewood’s discoveries does not amount to breaking news, the reporting by the Telegraph is monumental.
“There’s nothing new about this, other than that it’s finally got into the mainstream media, but only into the conservative mainstream media because the Telegraph is a conservative newspaper in Britain,” said Ball.
Dr. Ball elaborated on the temperature fudging that he says has been going on for some time.
“This adjustment of the historic record has been going on for a very long time. It started with the elimination of a period known as the Medieval Warm Period a thousand years ago, when it was warmer than today,” he said.
Nonetheless, he says Homewood has uncovered valuable evidence of a massive scientific and political con job.
“What is now being disclosed by Homewood, but has been disclosed by others long before this, is that they are adjusting the modern instrumental temperature record so that the older records appear colder than they actually were. What that does is that it changed the gradient or slope of the temperature increase, making it look like the warming is much greater than it actually is. So this is what’s going on,” said Ball.
Ball says the scientific history of events like the Medieval Warm Period are a major problem for activists looking to convince people that human industrial activity over the past few hundred years is responsible for record-high temperatures. So he says they’ve determined to rewrite history.
“They’ve got to keep saying, ‘Oh no, it’s warmer now than it’s ever been.” So anything that suggests it was warmer in the past must be eliminated. So they created the infamous ‘hockey stick,’ which essentially rewrote the historic record,” said Ball.
Homewood’s research and Booker’s reporting have the potential of making this the biggest scandal since the revealed emails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia, in which climate scientists allegedly admitted to manipulating data to reach preferred conclusions. Ball says this new potential scandal could actually be bigger. He says most people couldn’t decipher the contents of the emails very easily but the temperature changes are a very different story.
“This kind of thing is much more clear. When you start changing numbers and you can show that it’s clearly deliberate and it’s clearly all in one direction…this is much more understandable to the public,” said Ball.
Ball expects even more evidence of unethical science to be revealed before long.
“It isn’t just that they lowered the historic temperature. They also reduced the number of stations that they were using to determine the global temperature. They argued that in vast areas, where you only have one or two stations, that one station was representative of the temperature in a 1,200 kilometer radius. I mean it’s absolutely outrageous what they’ve done,” said Ball.
But far from deflating the climate change movement, Ball says revelations like the ones from Homewood will only intensify efforts to enact sweeping policy changes in the U.S. and beyond.
“Look for a cover-up because there’s huge volumes of money involved. There’s political implications with this with Obama with climate change as the key thing. Now they’ve got the pope involved in it. So there’ll be a scramble to counteract this. I mean a real vigorous scramble,” said Ball.
So how will climate change activists fight back against these revelations? Ball expects the same tactics he’s witnessed through the decades in this debate.
“They tell lies. They come out and say severe weather has increased when it hasn’t. They say that the temperature is continuing to increase when it hasn’t. They just tell lies about it and that’s what’s going on. Of course, as everybody knows, it’s not the original crime that gets you in trouble. It’s the cover-up,” said Ball.
“Once the cover-up is exposed, you’re done,” he said.
At the end of his column in Saturday’s Telegraph, Booker says, “This really does begin to look like one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time.” Ball agrees.
“I do think this is the greatest deception in history as I say in my book. There have been scandals in history but they’ve been regional or they’ve only impacted certain areas. This whole climate thing has had a global impact on energy and government policies around the world. So it really is the biggest deception in history. There’s so much money and so many political careers riding on this that it’s going to be a battle royale,” said Ball.