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The Patriots News Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:29:00 GMT  

The National Popular Vote Fallacy
In 2000, out of a total popular vote of 101,455,900, the Gore-Lieberman ticket won a narrow majority, 50,999,900 votes (50.26%) to 50,456,000 (49.74%) for Bush-Cheney.

http://www.cnsnews.com/rss/headlines.xml Sun, 05 May 2013 05:17:45 GMT  


http://www.newsbusters.org/node/feed Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:29:00 GMT  


Sun, 01 Feb 2015 00:56:22 GMT  


Breitbart Feed Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:29:00 GMT  

MN State Rep Wants $329,000 Refund from Jonathan Gruber for Work With 'Beyond Laughable' Error Rates

Minnesota State Representative Greg Davids is calling for embattled MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, the "architect" of Obamacare, to return all $329,000 he was paid by the state of Minnesota as a subcontractor on a 2011 contract to analyze the state's plan to develop its Obamacare health care exchange, MNSure.

On November 21, Davids sent a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson requesting her to investigate Gruber's work.

"In recent weeks," Davids wrote, "significant concerns have been raised regarding the contract between the State of Minnesota and Dr. Jonathan Gruber entered into in March 2011. In light of troubling remarks by Dr. Gruber and MNsure, I believe that a review of Dr. Gruber’s work, and payments made to him, is necessary."

On December 9, Davids sent a second letter to Swanson.

"Earlier today," Davids wrote, "in testimony before Congressional investigators, Dr. Jonathan Gruber refused to answer questions regarding compensation for his work with state-based insurance exchanges. The evasiveness displayed by Dr. Gruber reinforces my concerns expressed in the previous letter."

"I implore your office to investigate Dr. Gruber’s work and its relationship to MNsure’s fiscal troubles," Davids requested again, "and urge you to explore all possible remedies for recovering the taxpayer funds wasted on his report."

"To date," Davids told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement on Wednesday, "I have received word via phone call that the Attorney General's office was working on a response, but nothing in writing yet."

Davids blasted Gruber's projections for the state of Minnesota about enrollment for the state's health care exchange, MNSure, when it launched.

"MNsure, Dr. Gruber and Governor Dayton's Administration repeatedly guaranteed that the exchange would serve 1.3 million Minnesotans by 2016, including over 600,000 in commercial plans - a financial necessity to avoid a taxpayer bailout," Davids told Breitbart News.

"Those projections were so far off that it has proved absurd," Davids said.

"Instead of 500,000 private enrollees by the end of 2015, MNsure has repeatedly lowered Dr. Gruber's projections and now estimates that fewer than 70,000 will enroll in private plans by the end of next year," Davids added.

"The error rate for Dr. Gruber's work is beyond laughable," Davids stated.

"It is a shame," Davids continued, "that nearly $600,000 in public funds was used for projections that were inaccurate from the moment MNsure opened. The Dayton Administration has essentially used over $150 million in taxpayer money to build a broken IT system for public health programs."

Davids, who has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1991, is scheduled to become Chairman of the powerful House Taxes Committee in January.

"There has been little to no transparency in Dr. Gruber's work with MNsure," Davids told Breitbart News. "Given that Dr. Gruber missed the deadline to submit his final report by four months - thereby avoiding scrutiny during the legislative process that led to MNsure's creation - it is sadly unsurprising that he may have failed to live up to other aspects of his taxpayer-funded contract," Davids concluded.

A Breitbart investigation into the state of Minnesota's 2011 contract in which Gruber was paid $329,000 as a subcontractor to develop economic projections using his proprietary Gruber Microsimulation Model has uncovered a disturbing pattern of billing practices that indicate a lack of oversight. April Todd-Malmlov, the former executive director of MNSure, the state's Obamacare health exchange, was the official responsible for that oversight.

Breitbart obtained copies of the Gruber invoices, the contract,  and the Gruber subcontract in a public records request filed with the state of Minnesota.

Though the contract, which was signed by former executive director Todd-Malmlov, clearly specifies that all Gruber's invoices should be itemized in detail, the invoices submitted by Gruber and paid by the state of Minnesota were notably lacking in itemization.

Gruber's invoices do not specifically tie to deliverables specified in the contract other than to assert vaguely that some of them were delivered. The invoices do not consistently refer to the deliverables specified in the contract, nor, with the exception of the final report, do they specify the dates the deliverables were completed, to whom they were delivered in the state of Minnesota, nor whether they were formally accepted by specific bureaucrats in the state of Minnesota.

Despite these shortcomings, former executive director Todd-Malmov authorized all of Gruber's interim payments as well as his final payment.

Gruber delivered two final reports, one in 2012 and one in 2013, each about 60 pages long. Todd-Malmlov formally certified her acceptance of both these reports.

But records obtained by Breitbart News from the state of Minnesota indicate there is no auditable trail for the work product that resulted in those final reports.

In addition, Gruber's invoices do not track specifically to the deliverables identified in Exhibit B of the contract. The deliverables in that exhibit are labeled Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, and Deliverable D. None of Gruber's invoices refer to Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, or Deliverable D.

The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable B is cryptic at best in describing what was delivered. The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable C actually does not match what is specified as Deliverable C in the contract. Only the final Gruber invoice--which refers to the final report referenced in Deliverable D-- tracks with any degree of specificity to the contract.








New York to Ban Fracking; Environmentalists Cheer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits.

New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has banned shale gas development since 2008, when the state began an environmental review of the drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing.

Wednesday's announcement, though not final, means a ban is all but etched in stone.

"Never before has a state with proven gas reserves banned fracking," said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with Earthjustice, adding that the decision "will give courage to elected leaders throughout the country and world: Fracking is too dangerous and must not continue."

Industry and its supporters expressed outrage at the decision.

"We are very disappointed that it appears the governor is unwilling to be a leader and is going to pass the buck at the expense of New Yorkers," said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

"This technology has been used for over 65 years in the United States. It's been demonstrated repeatedly after drilling millions of wells that we're able to do it while protecting the environment and protecting the people."

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he is recommending a ban, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, responded that he would defer to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on the decision.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will put out a final environmental impact statement early next year, Martens said, and after that he will issue an order prohibiting fracking.

About 30 anti-fracking activists cheered the decision at a rally outside Cuomo's New York City office, chanting "Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for saving our air!" and "New York banned fracking — and next, United States!"

Zucker and Martens on Wednesday summarized environmental and health reviews that concluded fracking carries risks that haven't been studied enough.

The drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale, which also runs under Ohio and West Virginia, was made possible by high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which releases gas from rock by injecting wells with chemically treated water at high pressure.

The technique has generated tens of billions of dollars in industry profits and landowner royalties, and has reduced energy bills and fuel imports. But it has also brought concerns and sparked protests over air and water pollution, earthquakes, property devaluation and truck traffic.

Zucker said he had identified "significant public health risks" and "red flag" health issues that require long-term studies before fracking can be called safe. He likened fracking to secondhand smoke, which wasn't fully understood as a health risk until many years of scientific study were done.

Martens noted the low price of natural gas, the high local cost of industry oversight, and the large areas that would be off limits to shale gas development because of setback requirements, water supply protections and local prohibitions. Those factors, he said, combine to make fracking less economically beneficial than anticipated.

Even if drilling were allowed in New York, it probably wouldn't take off any time soon because of the uncertainty around regulations and legal challenges and the huge number of promising drilling locations that remain in Pennsylvania, David Spigelmyer, president of the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition, said last week.

The Marcellus Shale is enticing to energy companies because of its proximity to the major demand centers of New York City and New England, which is paying more for gas because of delivery constraints. But the regulatory uncertainty remains too high to commit to drilling in New York, Spigelmyer said.

In states where fracking is not yet allowed or is happening but is subject to criticism, New York's move excited some anti-drilling activists.

"The more fracking expands, the more opposition grows," said Sharon Wilson, of the group Earthworks, who has organized anti-fracking activists in Texas, California and Colorado. "Industry is its own worst enemy because they continue to deny the impacts."

Fracking supporters decried the New York move. Karen Moreau, executive director of New York's branch of the American Petroleum Institute, said the Cuomo administration is denying landowners the right to develop their mineral resources.

"The secretary of energy, the U.S. EPA administrator and President Obama recognize the benefits of fracking, and yet the Cuomo administration simply did not want to anger their activist base," Moreau said.

Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition, which represents leaseholders, accused Cuomo of appeasing "environmental extremists" for political gain.

"Is our health department ignoring impacts of other energy options and suggesting that we continue with our reliance on coal and nuclear energy?" Fitzsimmons said. "Did our health department consider the health effects of poverty and unemployment?"

Cuomo said he is expecting lawsuits will be filed "every which way from Sunday."

In California, energy companies have been using a type of fracking to extract oil for many years and are pushing to expand such drilling. Environmental groups hope the New York decision will influence Gov. Jerry Brown, who has largely supported fracking. A scientific study is due to be released next month.

Californians will ask now, "If it's not safe for New Yorkers, why should we think it's safe for us?" said Charles Margulis, with the California branch of the national Center for Environmental Health, a nonprofit organization.

___

Associated Press writers Jon Fahey and Jenn Peltz in New York, Emily Schmall in Dallas and Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.








Goodlatte: Court's 'Unconstitutional' Executive Amnesty Opinion 'Good Sign'

The recent court opinion declaring portions of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration to be “unconstitutional” bodes well for future litigation against the president’s recent order, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte tells Breitbart News. 

Tuesday, District Court Judge Arthur Schwab ruled that aspects of Obama’s executive actions go “beyond prosecutorial discretion” to actually legislating. He made these judgments as part of an opinion dealing with a criminal case.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Schwab wrote.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Goodlatte — whose committee has jurisdiction over immigration matters — said he agreed with Schwab’s analysis and expressed optimism about future court challenges to Obama’s executive actions. 

"I agree with Judge Schwab that President Obama's unilateral rewriting of our immigration laws violates the separation of powers and the President's duty to enforce the law,” the Virginia lawmaker said. “This ruling is a good sign for the states' lawsuit challenging President Obama's unilateral, unconstitutional actions.”

Goodlatte continued, saying that when Congress returns next year it must look at all options to take on Obama’s executive actions.

“Congress will continue fighting the President's actions early next year and should consider all the tools it has at its disposal, including potential litigation. Additionally, I am hopeful that the states will be successful in their effort to stop the President's actions from being implemented.”

Goodlatte recently signed on to an amicus brief the conservative American Center for Law and Justice submitted Tuesday in support of the recent lawsuit 24 states have filed challenging Obama’s executive amnesty. 

“The President’s executive overreach on immigration must be stopped,” he stressed Tuesday in announcing his support of the brief.









Politics and Election News - Election Projection Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:29:00 GMT  

First preliminary projections for the 2016 Presidential Election
Today's news that 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney would forego a third run for the White House caused me to recalibrate Election Projection's first preliminary presidential projections of the 2016 election cycle. Since the Republican and Democratic candidates ...
Update on EP's 2016 Presidential Election preliminary numbers
I wanted to post a quick update on my progress as I continue crunching the numbers and developing pages for the 2016 Presidential Election. The polls at this obscenely early juncture in the next year's race for the White House favor ...
2016 election coverage is under construction
Program note: I'm working behind the scenes to build all the pages EP will need for the 2016 election season. This will be an ongoing process over the next several weeks. During this period you may encounter broken ...

DrudgeReportArchives.com Recent Headlines Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:29:00 GMT  

Anti-austerity anger as hundreds of thousands march...
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MichelleMalkin.com Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:29:00 GMT  

Koch-a-geddon watch: Salon picks up slack for Harry Reid while he recovers

**Written by Doug Powers

Harry Reid is still functioning at some 50 percent of his normal fear-mongering, demagoguing self after a horrific Abdomenizer accident, but fortunately Salon has graciously stepped up to the Koch-derangement plate to help out:

null

Planetary disaster! If that doesn’t do Harry Reid proud, nothing will.

About the level of political spending by the Koch brothers, destroyers of worlds:

(h/t Twitchy)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Grateful for the assistance
Choose to refuse: Say NO to PARCC/SBAC testing

no-parcc-ing

Choose to refuse: Say NO to PARCC/SBAC testing
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2015

This is National School Choice Week, but I want to talk about parents’ school testing choice. Moms and dads, you have the inherent right and responsibility to protect your children. You can choose to refuse the top-down Common Core racket of costly standardized tests of dubious academic value, reliability and validity.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I’m reminding you of your right to choose because the spring season of testing tyranny is about to hit the fan. Do you object to the time being taken away from your kids’ classroom learning? Are you alarmed by the intrusive data-sharing and data-mining enabled by assessment-driven special interests? Are you opposed to the usurpation of local control by corporate testing giants and federal lobbyists?

You are not alone, although the testing racketeers are doing everything they can to marginalize you. In Maryland, a mom of a 9-year-old special needs student is suing her Frederick County school district to assert her parental prerogative. Cindy Rose writes that her school district “says the law requires our children be tested, but could not point to a specific law or regulation” forcing her child to take Common Core-tied tests. Rose’s pre-trial conference is scheduled for Feb. 4.

The vigilant mom warns parents nationwide: “While we are being treated like serfs of the State, Pearson publishing is raking in billions off our children.” And she is not just going to lie down and surrender because some bloviating suits told her “it’s the law.”

Pearson, as I’ve reported extensively, is the multibillion-dollar educational publishing and testing conglomerate — not to mention a chief corporate sponsor of Jeb Bush’s Fed Ed ventures — that snagged $23 million in contracts to design the first wave of so-called “PARCC” tests.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers raked in $186 million through the federal Race to the Top program to develop the nationalized tests “aligned” to the Common Core standards developed in Beltway backrooms.

As more families, administrators and teachers realized the classroom and cost burdens the guinea-pig field-testing scheme would impose, they pressured their states to withdraw. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of states actively signed up for PARCC dropped from 24 (plus the District of Columbia) to 10 (plus D.C.). Education researcher Mercedes Schneider reports that the remaining 10 are Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio and Rhode Island.

State legislators and state education boards in Utah, Kansas, Alaska, Iowa, South Carolina and Alabama have withdrawn from the other federally funded testing consortium, the $180-million tax-subsidized Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which administered field tests last spring to three million students in 23 states. In New Jersey, the parental opt-out movement is “exploding,” according to activist Jean McTavish. Many superintendents have conceded that “they can’t force a student to take a test,” NJ.com reports.

Last week, Missouri [CORRECTION: Mississippi] withdrew from PARCC, while parents, administrators and the school board of the Chicago Public Schools spurned PARCC in the majority of their 600 schools.

In California, the Pacific Justice Institute offers a privacy protection opt-out form for parents to submit to school districts at pacificjustice.org. PJI head Brad Dacus advises families to send the notices as certified letters if they get ignored. Then, be prepared to go to court. PJI will help. The Thomas More Law Center in Michigan also offers a student privacy opt-out form at thomasmore.org.

Don’t let the bureaucratic smokescreens fool you. A federal No Child Left Behind mandate on states to administer assessments is not a mandate on you and your kids to submit to the testing diktats. And the absence of an opt-out law or regulation is not a prohibition on your choice to refuse.

Here in Colorado, the State Board of Education voted this month to allow districts to opt out of PARCC testing. Parents and activists continue to pressure a state task force — packed with Gates Foundation and edu-tech special interest-conflicted members — to reduce the testing burden statewide. For those who don’t live in PARCC-waivered districts, it’s important to know your rights and know the spin.

In Colorado Springs, where I have a high-schooler whose district will sacrifice a total of six full academic days for PARCC testing this spring, parents are calling the testing drones’ bluff about losing their accreditation and funding.

“The Colorado Department of Education is threatening schools to ensure that 95 percent of students take these tests,” an El Paso County parent watch group reports. “Be assured that MANY parents across Colorado — FAR ABOVE 5 percent in many schools — are refusing the tests, and not one school yet is facing the loss of accreditation, funding, etc. As long as schools can show that they gave a ‘good faith attempt to get 95 percent to test, they can appeal a loss of accreditation’ due to parental refusals to test.”

You also have the power to exercise a parental nuclear option: If edu-bullies play hardball and oppose your right to refuse, tell them you’ll have your kid take the test and intentionally answer every question wrong — and that you’ll advise every parent you know to tell their kids to do the same. How’s that for accountability?

Be prepared to push back against threats and ostracism. Find strength in numbers. And always remember: You are your kids’ primary educational providers.

***

Previous:

Revolt against the testing tyrants
Pushing back against PARCC/Achieve Inc. lobbyists
Get to know the Common Core marketing overlords
Rejecting Jeb Bush’s Fed Ed racket: Florida turns against Common Core
Look who’s data-mining your toddlers
Time To Opt Out of Creepy Fed Ed Data-Mining Racket

Related resources:

No PARCCing
Fight Common Core
Truth in American Education

Choose to refuse: Say NO to PARCC/SBAC testing by Michelle Malkin Creators Syndicate Copyright 2015 This is National School Choice Week, but I want to talk about parents’ school testing choice. Moms and dads, you have the inherent right and responsibility to protect your children. You can choose to refuse the top-down Common Core racket […]
Drunk gov’t worker exposes White House security flaw

**Written by Doug Powers

It wasn’t Joe Biden after all.

The white House drone mystery has been solved:

It was 42 degrees and raining lightly around 3 a.m. on Monday when an inebriated off-duty employee for a government intelligence agency decided it was a good time to fly his friend’s drone, a 2-foot-by-2-foot “quadcopter” that sells for hundreds of dollars and is popular among hobbyists.

But officials say the plan was foiled, perhaps by wind or a tree, when the employee — who has not been named by the Secret Service or charged with a crime — lost control of the drone as he operated it from an apartment just blocks from the White House.
[…]
In the process of what officials describe as nothing more than a drunken misadventure, the employee managed to highlight another vulnerability in the protective shield that the Secret Service erects around the White House complex.

The Chuck Yeager of toy quad-copter pilots works for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Rumor has it that he’s a former GSA party planner.

The Secret Service has responded to fence-jumping incidents by adding layers of fence horizontally, and now they’ll have to extend vertically a half mile or so.

Sen. Chuck Schumer smells a regulatory opportunity:

For people like Schumer, the words “long overdo” and “regulations” are redundant.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Drunk droning

http://kkk.bz/?feed=rss2 Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:29:00 GMT  


RedState Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:29:00 GMT  

The White House is Preparing for the Obamacare Tax

Over the past few weeks, I’ve already covered the troubles people could face with the upcoming Obamacare tax if they don’t register for health insurance by February 15th. Obviously, the White House is aware of this, and they understand well just how angry the upcoming tax could make people. The Obama administration’s solution? Dole out more exemptions! From the New York Times: Obama administration officials and | Read More »

The post The White House is Preparing for the Obamacare Tax appeared first on RedState.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve already covered the troubles people could face with the upcoming Obamacare tax if they don’t register for health insurance by February 15th. Obviously, the White House is aware of this, and they understand well just how angry the upcoming tax could make people. The Obama administration’s solution? Dole out more exemptions! From the New York Times:

Obama administration officials and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act say they worry that the tax-filing season will generate new anger as uninsured consumers learn that they must pay tax penalties and as many people struggle with complex forms needed to justify tax credits they received in 2014 to pay for health insurance.

The White House has already granted some exemptions and is considering more to avoid a political firestorm.

But the article does not stop there. The Times make sure to note just how complicated this tax filing season will be:

Timothy S. Jost, an expert on health law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law who supports the Affordable Care Act, said: “It will be very easy to find people who are unhappy with the new tax obligations — people who have to pay a penalty, who have to wait forever to get through to somebody at the I.R.S. or have to pay back a lot of money because of overpayments of premium tax credits.”

Taxpayers normally report income and compute taxes annually. But the health care law is different. Consumers may be subject to tax penalties for any month in which they had neither insurance coverage nor an exemption.

The calculations will be relatively simple if all members of a household had coverage for every month of 2014. They can simply check a box on their tax return. But lower-income people often have changes in employment, income and insurance. If any members of a household were uninsured in 2014, they must fill out a work sheet showing coverage month by month, and they may owe penalties.

To claim tax credits, consumers need to fill out I.R.S. Form 8962, which includes a matrix with 12 rows and six columns — a total of 72 boxes, to compute subsidies for each month of the year.

And of course, as the article notes, the federal government has authorized over 30 different types of exemptions from the Obamacare tax, not including any new ones they might add in the future. At some point, you have to wonder if anyone will end up paying the penalty.

Figuring out your taxes is never an easy process, but Obamacare has clearly taken a painstaking process and made it an excruciating one. If you haven’t signed up for health insurance already, now is the time to do so if you wish to avoid the upcoming tax penalty. Whether you’re considering getting your insurance, make sure your Congressmen and Senators know that you want Obamacare repealed in its entirety.

The post The White House is Preparing for the Obamacare Tax appeared first on RedState.

Let me FIFY, National Journal: “Why Don’t White DEMOCRATS Elect Minority Reps to Congress?”

*My* party isn't the one with the problem when it comes to convincing white voters to vote for minority candidates with shared values.

The post Let me FIFY, National Journal: “Why Don’t White DEMOCRATS Elect Minority Reps to Congress?” appeared first on RedState.

Titles like that annoy me. Essentially since when this is the first paragraph:

It’s an enduring contrast in Congress: Minority legislators are much less likely to represent districts where whites constitute a majority of the population than whites are to hold districts where racial minorities comprise the majority.

…and this is the ninth paragraph:

The evidence suggests[*] it may[**] be easier for minority Republicans to attract support from white voters than it is for minority Democrats. Only 14 of the 88 minority members in the House are Republicans. But they are eight of the 15 minority House members holding majority white seats. They especially have an edge in districts that are at least 70 percent white. Of those eight seats held by minority Republicans, six are in districts that are 70 percent or more white.

You see, my party doesn’t actually have a problem electing minority candidates in Republican districts. Our problem is that we need more minority candidates in the first place – which is something that I’ll be the first to say we should work on, but it’s still fundamentally different from the Democrats’ problem. Which is to say, white Democrats get cranky when it comes to electing minority candidates in their district.  Heck, they have a real problem electing them in statewide contests.

Which we all know.  Alas, articles like the National Journal’s are currently the closest we can get to the mainstream media actually discussing them. And people think that American liberal/progressive culture has no taboos…

(Image via Shutterstock)

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*’Suggests.’

**’May.’

The post Let me FIFY, National Journal: “Why Don’t White DEMOCRATS Elect Minority Reps to Congress?” appeared first on RedState.

Spain’s Radical Left is on the Rise, too.

By now we are all aware of Syriza’s win in the Greek elections last week. In the postmortem analyses, more than a few observers have wondered if the radical Left’s success in Greece will embolden similar parties in other European nations. Now, it looks like we’re starting to get our answer. In Spain, who probably has the worst economic and fiscal situation in Europe outside | Read More »

The post Spain’s Radical Left is on the Rise, too. appeared first on RedState.

By now we are all aware of Syriza’s win in the Greek elections last week. In the postmortem analyses, more than a few observers have wondered if the radical Left’s success in Greece will embolden similar parties in other European nations. Now, it looks like we’re starting to get our answer. In Spain, who probably has the worst economic and fiscal situation in Europe outside of Greece, the fledging Podemos (“We can”–sound familiar?) Party was able to turn out what’s estimated to be hundreds of thousands of people for  a rally. As the Associated Press reports:

Hundreds of thousands of people marched through Madrid on Saturday in a show of strength by a fledgling radical leftist party, which hopes to emulate the success of Greece’s Syriza party in the Spanish general election later this year.

Podemos supporters from across Spain converged around the Cibeles fountain Saturday before packing the avenue leading to Puerta del Sol square in what was the party’s largest rally to date.

[...]

The party’s rise is greatly due to the charisma of its pony-tailed leader, Pablo Iglesias, a 36-year-old political science professor.

Hailing from the Madrid working class neighborhood of Vallecas, Iglesias prefers jeans and rolled up shirt sleeves to a suit and tie and champions slogans such as Spain is “run by the butlers of the rich” and that the economy must serve the people.

“We want change,” Iglesias told the crowd. “This is the year for change and we’re going to win the elections.”

The circumstances behind Podemos’ rise are fairly similar to what has happened in Greece. Both countries, as I noted earlier, are struggling economically and financially, both parties leaders are charismatic men around 40 years old, both movements have a strong academic presence (including the leader of Podemos), and both are capturing the hearts and minds of their countries, it seems.* It remains to be seen how successful Podemos will be in the Spanish elections later this year, but if you Angela Merkel or any of her friends in Brussels, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about a rally like this.

And don’t forget, it can happen here, too. Barack Obama is far from the worst the Left can give us.

*=Some of that description almost sounds like our own country, heh.

The post Spain’s Radical Left is on the Rise, too. appeared first on RedState.

Tech at Saturday Afternoon: FCC redefines broadband, making the distinction pointless

So it’s official: FCC is completely detached from reality and declaring that if you don’t have 25 MBit/s download speeds, you might as well have dial up because you don’t have “broadband Internet.” Remember, this is a speed Netflix says is only required for ‘Super HD video’, so even speeds sufficient for ordinary HD Netflix streaming are no longer deemed ‘broadband’ by FCC. This means | Read More »

The post Tech at Saturday Afternoon: FCC redefines broadband, making the distinction pointless appeared first on RedState.

So it’s official: FCC is completely detached from reality and declaring that if you don’t have 25 MBit/s download speeds, you might as well have dial up because you don’t have “broadband Internet.”

Remember, this is a speed Netflix says is only required for ‘Super HD video’, so even speeds sufficient for ordinary HD Netflix streaming are no longer deemed ‘broadband’ by FCC. This means FCC’s definition of broadband is meaningless. and all stats involving broadband access and competition are tainted. If they say “X% of Americans have only 1 broadband provider,” it’s based on this meaningless definition.

If dial-up and 20Mbit Internet are both sub-broadband per FCC, then the definition of broadband really doesn’t mean anything. It covers such a, heh, broad spectrum of experiences that the grouping does not enlighten us.


Emboldened by Obama’s regulatory efforts, China wants to regulate the Internet via software, and destroy copyrights in the process.

The Republican Net Neutrality bill addresses every issue the activists claim is important, and in fact bans fast lines in a way that Title II does not. Democrat opposition to the bill proves Net Neutrality was a lie all along, and its proponents were all liars or dupes.

FCC is still looking to give preferred private companies a leg up under the guise of Net Neutrality. That’s why they want to regulate peering agreements, and that’s why Netflix has been pushing for this all along. Picking winners and losers. That’s all Net Neutrality is.

FCC wants to track your every movement. They’re just using 911 as an excuse.

Cybersecurity efforts are important. But we don’t want to grow government to get it, so voluntary information sharing is the best bet. Find out about threats to deal with them.

So, patents. I called it. The IEEE, which has been regulating WiFi standards, made agreements with patent holders. If you agree to license your patents to asks for them under terms that are both reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND, that is they have to be realistic royalties, and you can’t stick it to your competitors), then your patents can be used in the international WiFi standards.

Now allegedly under pressure from Barack Obama, IEEE is trying to force a change from RAND licensing to Royalty Free – that is, socialize the patents. That’s not fair to the patent holders who went into this expecting reimbursement. They have every right to pull out of this if they don’t agree, I believe.

The post Tech at Saturday Afternoon: FCC redefines broadband, making the distinction pointless appeared first on RedState.


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For the woman in your life, get her something that says what should happen to Obama.

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