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The Patriots News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:28 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 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:29 GMT  


http://americandaily.ws/index.php/amdws-rss Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:29 GMT  


Breitbart Feed Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:29 GMT  

Obama Admin To Brief Goodlatte On Immigrant ID 'Surge'

With questions swirling about the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ solicitation for material to create millions of new immigrant IDs and work permits, the agency has agreed to brief House Judiciary Committee staff, Breitbart News has learned. 

Breitbart first reported Sunday that USCIS has issued a draft solicitation for vendors that can supply the materials necessary for millions of Permanent Residency Cards (PRC) and Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.”

Monday, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) revealed that his staff have demanded a briefing. 

“It is alarming that the Obama Administration seems to be silently forging ahead with its plan to unilaterally grant millions of unlawful immigrants legal status and work authorization,” Goodlatte said at the time.

A House Judiciary aide confirmed to Breitbart News Wednesday that the agency has agreed to brief the committee staff but noted such a meeting has not yet happened. The aide did not provide any information about when the briefing will occur.

With President Obama poised to take executive actions on immigration after the midterm election, White House Press Secretary John Earnest faced a barrage of questions Wednesday from reporters about the USCIS solicitation. 

Earnest denied — to skeptical reporters — that the order provided hints about Obama’s executive action plans.

Nevertheless, many questions remain about the solicitation which explained the agency is looking for a contractor that can handle a “surge” of 9 million ID cards in a single year and up to 34 million cards for the entire contract. 

“The Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential 'surge' in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements,” the solicitation reads.








CDC to Monitor Travelers from West Africa–but Only in 6 U.S. States

The Centers for Disease Control announced it will be taking additional precautions with travelers coming from Ebola-stricken West African nations. 

According to the Associated Press, the state and local health officials will now be monitoring all travelers coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea into the United States for Ebola symptoms for 21 days.

The program will begin Monday and, the AP reported, it will be in just six states to start off: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Georgia.

"These new measures I'm announcing today will give additional levels of safety so that people who develop symptoms of Ebola are isolated quickly," CDC Director Tom Frieden said, according to The Hill.

Additionally, the travelers will be asked to monitor themselves as well and be given kits to track their temperature, the AP reported

Despite many calls for travel restrictions, the Obama administration has refused to institute a travel ban.








Exclusive: Top Lawyer At ICE Resigns

The top lawyer at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has resigned weeks before President Obama is expected to issue a major executive amnesty.

Peter S. Vincent, ICE's principal legal advisor, resigned, telling colleagues in an email Tuesday afternoon “I have decided that the time is right for me to make a change and to move on to other opportunities and challenges.”

There is no evidence Vincent's departure is related to potential executive actions by the president, although the timing is conspicuous.

Gillian Christiansen, a spokeswoman for ICE, said “Any insinuation that his departure is a reflection on ICE efforts to focus resources through prosecutorial discretion, or any possible administrative action related to immigration reform is inaccurate and a discredit to the tireless work he has performed for the agency over the past six years.”

In his farewell email to colleagues, Vincent did not provide any specific reason for his departure, nor any information about his plans after leaving the agency.

Christiansen said Vincent's “true passion lies in legal and international affairs and that is what he is planning to pursue in the next phase of his career.”

In addition to his title as “principal legal advisor,” Vincent also carried the title “senior counselor for international policy.”

Vincent was a key player in the implementation of President Obama's “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival” program issued in 2012, for instance issuing 2011 guidance to ICE lawyers about the program.

In the email, Vincent recounted how ICE's work is often controversial.

“As I have often said, much of what we do at ICE to protect the homeland is, for better or worse, guaranteed to upset exactly 50 percent of the public, 100 percent of the time. You, more than any other group of dedicated professionals and committed public servants, are best suited and ideally situated to handle the incredibly delicate balance of protecting the homeland while, at the same time, remaining sensitive to compelling humanitarian concerns,” he said.

“Mr. Vincent has been a proud and valued member of ICE’s leadership team and his contributions will be greatly missed by the agency,” Christiansen said.  









2014 Election News - Election Projection Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:29 GMT  

Rasmussen poll gives Republican Foley lead in CT Gov race
Connecticut is colored red on today's 2014 governor election map thanks to Rasmussen's latest survey which shows Republican challenger Tom Foley enjoying a 7-point lead over incumbent Democrat Dan Malloy. The margin is unchanged ...
Race highlight: Wisconsin Governor
One of the most competitive gubernatorial races in the country comes out of the Badger State. Incumbent Republican Scott Walker is trying to fend off a very strong challenge from educator Mary Burke. Scott has a history of ...
Seventy-three pundit ratings changes dominate numbers
Whew! That was a lot of work! Today's update is posted - finally - and the House numbers have shifted a bit more in the GOP's favor. Republicans are now projected to extend their majority by a net 6 seats. That's one more than ...

DrudgeReportArchives.com Recent Headlines Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:29 GMT  

Legendary WASH POST editor Ben Bradlee dies at 93...
WEDNESDAY Deadline for American Hostage...
PEW: WEB NEWS LEANS LEFT, LEFT, LEFT...
CHRISTIE GETS READY: 'IT'S TIME TO START OFFENDING PEOPLE'...

MichelleMalkin.com Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:29 GMT  

Obama question dodge of the day: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen twists self into pretzel

**Written by Doug Powers

At yesterday’s New Hampshire Senate debate, incumbent Jeanne Shaheen didn’t deny that she’s voted with Obama 99 percent of the time (I was surprised it was that low), but when asked to answer yes or no to the question of whether Obama’s done a good job, Shaheen went into full “pretzel twist” mode:

The moderator should have asked her if she voted for Obama and it might have gotten really funny.

Other Dems are also attempting to run out the clock on this election.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Running out the clock
The Hunter Biden Chronicles

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.38.47 PM

The Hunter Biden Chronicles
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2014

Everything you need to know about Beltway nepotism, corporate cronyism and corruption can be found in the biography of Robert Hunter Biden. Where are the Occupy Wall Street rabble-rousers and enemies of elitist privilege when you need them? Straining their neck muscles to look the other way.

The youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden made news last week after The Wall Street Journal revealed he had been booted from the Navy Reserve for cocaine use. His drug abuse was certainly no surprise to the Navy, which issued him a waiver for a previous drug offense before commissioning him as a public affairs officer at the age of 43. The Navy also bent over backward a second time with an age waiver so he could secure the cushy part-time job.

Papa Biden loves to tout his middle-class, “Average Joe” credentials. But rest assured, if his son had been “Hunter Smith” or “Hunter Jones” or “Hunter Brown,” the Navy’s extraordinary dispensations would be all but unattainable. Oh, and if he had been “Hunter Palin,” The New York Times would be on its 50th front-page investigative report by now.

Despite the disgraceful ejection from our military, Hunter’s Connecticut law license won’t be subject to automatic review. Because, well, Biden.

Biden’s bennies are not just one-offs. Skating by, flouting rules and extracting favors are the story of Hunter’s life.

Hunter’s first job, acquired after Joe Biden won his 1996 Senate re-election bid in Delaware, was with MBNA. That’s the credit card conglomerate and top campaign finance donor that forked over nearly $63,000 in bundled primary and general contributions from its employees to then Sen. Biden. As I’ve reported previously, Daddy Biden secured his custom-built, multimillion-dollar house in Delaware’s ritziest Chateau Country neighborhood with the help of a leading MBNA corporate executive. Average Joe went on to carry legislative water for MBNA in the Senate for years.

Hunter zoomed up to senior vice president by early 1998 and then scored a plum position in the Clinton administration’s Commerce Department, specializing in “electronic commerce” before returning to MBNA three years later as a high-priced “consultant.” While he collected those “consulting” (translation: nepotistic access-trading) fees, Hunter became a “founding partner” in the lobbying firm of Oldaker, Biden and Belair in 2002.

William Oldaker was Papa Biden’s former fundraiser, campaign treasurer and general counsel — a Beltway barnacle whose Democratic machine days dated back to Teddy Kennedy’s 1980 presidential bid. Under Oldaker’s tutelage, Hunter lobbied for drug companies, universities and other deep-pocketed clients to the tune of nearly $4 million billed to the company by 2007.

Coincidentally, then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama personally requested and secured cozy taxpayer-subsidized earmarks for several of Hunter’s clients.

Hunter got himself appointed to multiple corporate board positions, including a directorship with Eudora Global. It’s an investment firm founded by one Jeffrey Cooper, head of one of the biggest asbestos-litigation firms in the country. SimmonsCooper, based in Madison County, Ill., donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Biden the Elder’s various political campaigns over the past decade — all while the firm poured $6.5 million into lobbying against a key tort-reform bill, which former Sen. Biden worked hard to defeat. Cooper also contributed to the Delaware attorney-general campaign of Hunter’s older brother, Beau, and paid Beau for legal work on lucrative asbestos-litigation cases.

Hunter also was previously a top official at Paradigm Global Advisors, a hedge fund holding company founded with Vice President Biden’s brother, James, and marketed by convicted finance fraudster Allen Stanford. As Paradigm chairman, Hunter oversaw half a billion dollars of client money invested in hedge funds while remaining a lobbyist at Oldaker, Biden and Belair. Cooper chipped in $2 million for the ill-fated venture, which went bust amid nasty fraud lawsuits.

Continually failing upward, Hunter snagged a seat on the board of directors of taxpayer-subsidized, stimulus-inflated Amtrak, where he pretended not to be a lobbyist, but rather an “effective advocate” for the government railroad system serving the 1 percenters’ D.C.-NYC corridor.

So, where does a coke-abusing influence peddler go after raking in gobs of Daddy-enabled dough and abusing the U.S. Navy’s ill-considered generosity? Back to Cronyland! Hunter joined Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings — owned by a powerful Russian government sympathizer who fled to Russia in February — this spring. The hypocritical lobbyist-bashers at the White House deny he will be lobbying and deny any conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, Just Like You Joe was whipping up class envy in South Carolina last week. “Corporate profits have soared,” he railed, thanks to “these guys running hedge funds in New York,” who are to blame for “income inequality.” You know, like his son and brother and their Beltway back-scratching patrons.

The Bidens: They’re not like us.

The Hunter Biden Chronicles by Michelle Malkin Creators Syndicate Copyright 2014 Everything you need to know about Beltway nepotism, corporate cronyism and corruption can be found in the biography of Robert Hunter Biden. Where are the Occupy Wall Street rabble-rousers and enemies of elitist privilege when you need them? Straining their neck muscles to look […]
Labor Secretary has brilliant idea to boost labor force participation

**Written by Doug Powers

The labor force participation rate is at its lowest level since 1978. Why? According to Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who almost makes Robert Reich look like a supply-sider, too few people are being paid not to work, or something:

Paid leave will improve the nation’s labor participation rate, currently at record lows, Labor Secretary Tom Perez said on Monday.

“It is a sleeper issue that will sleep no more,” Perez told a gathering at the National Press Club.

“Every first Friday of the month, the most frequently asked question I get, ‘What can you do, Tom, to increase labor force participation?’ Well, let’s talk about paid leave and let’s compare the United States with Canada,” Perez said.

“The labor force participation rate of women ages 25 to 54 in the year 2000 in the U.S. and Canada was virtually identical. Today, Canada is ahead of us by roughly 8 percentage points, in large measure because they have generous paid leave laws and they provide affordable access to affordable child care.


This guy should be forced to wear a Marxist dunce cap, but I might agree with his version of paid leave as long as Perez was the first one paid to leave.

In the private sector, what good is more “paid leave” is there are no jobs from which to get paid leave? Well, that’s why people like Perez believe there should be more government jobs:

null

The Perez full employment theory explained in just a few seconds here.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Progressive genius

http://kkk.bz/?feed=rss2 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:30 GMT  


RedState Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:16:30 GMT  

ObamaCare: failure at any price

It was rather refreshing to see the very brief return of cost/benefit analysis to the American Left during the Ebola crisis.  You had to listen carefully to hear it, but

The post ObamaCare: failure at any price appeared first on RedState.

It was rather refreshing to see the very brief return of cost/benefit analysis to the American Left during the Ebola crisis.  You had to listen carefully to hear it, but the muddled arguments against imposing a travel ban on the West African outbreak nations boiled down to an assertion that the safety benefits would not be worth the costs, which would be paid primarily by inconvenienced West Africans, whose prosperity America was held vaguely responsible for, because slavery.

It’s quite reasonable to measure cost against benefits, but the Left hates doing it, because many of their ideas look less attractive – if not downright absurd – when such calculations are made.  Much of modern politics can be thought of as the art of promising benefits without regard to cost.  If necessary, cost gets straitjacketed and locked in a closet until the political discussion is over.  The related subject of exactly who covers the cost, and how that group overlaps with who gets the benefits, is considered extremely rude to bring up.  Politicians are very generous with other peoples’ money.  No one is more gregarious than the liberal politician who has never, in his life, been forced to make a business payroll, but is eager to burden those who do with minimum wage increases.

All sorts of ideas are palatable to the American electorate only because they don’t think about the cost.  (The belief that the Evil Rich can cover those costs out of loose change from their treasure vaults is another way of ignoring cost, because people who think that way are convinced looting the rich is a “soft” crime – they’re not really injured by confiscatory taxation, because they have plenty of money to spare.)  For example, no Big Government enthusiast likes to talk about the way rising fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles kill people, but it is undeniably true – the fatality rates for traffic accidents rise as cars get smaller and lighter.  It’s a trade-off, and such standards have benefits, ranging from consumer savings on gas to environmental benefits, but nobody wants to think about those benefits in terms of human lives lost.

ObamaCare is a fantastic example of how abject failure can be portrayed as success, provided the costs are completely ignored.  In this case, people who complain about their personal costs – rising insurance premiums, lost access to doctors – are actively muzzled.  It’s infuriating, but also undeniably amusing, to watch ObamaCare apologists claim that if you just ignore everyone injured by the program, and count only those who seem pleased with it, it looks like it’s working.  It’s hard to imagine an enterprise that wouldn’t look good under that kind of analysis.

But even the sole metric of “success” ObamaCare defenders can point to, the number of people who gained insurance coverage under the program, does not hold up well under scrutiny, and it falls apart like wet tissue paper when measured against the cost of the program.  Edmund Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski took a look at those enrollment figures at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, using numbers for the second quarter of 2014 that captured enrollments delayed by what they delicately describe as “numerous problems experienced by the exchanges,” and concluded that the vast majority of “ObamaCare enrollments” are actually Medicaid enrollments.  Furthermore, the net number of people who gained new insurance under the Affordable Care Act is far smaller than the numbers bandied about by the Administration and its apologists, because most of them are people who found out the hard way that President Obama was lying when he promised they could keep their old insurance plans:

Our analysis of the data is reported in more detail in our latest paper, but our key findings are that in the first half of 2014:

  • Enrollment in individual-market plans (both on and off the exchanges) increased by 6,254,564 individuals.
  • Enrollment in private employer-sponsored group plans declined by 3,788,978 individuals.
  • In the states implementing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, enrollment in Medicaid grew by 5,716,977 individuals.
  • In the states not implementing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, enrollment in Medicaid grew by 355,674 individuals.

Applying a little arithmetic to those four key data points yields the following observations:

  1. The drop in employment-based coverage offset 61 percent of the gains in individual-market coverage, for a net increase in private-sector coverage of 2,465,586 individuals.
  2. Total Medicaid enrollment increased by 6,072,651 individuals, with 94 percent of that growth occurring in the states that adopted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
  3. The total, net increase in health insurance coverage (private-market and Medicaid combined) during the first half of 2014 was 8,538,237 individuals, but 71 percent of that coverage gain was attributable to Obamacare expanding Medicaid to able-bodied, working-age adults

Thus, while most of the attention this year focused on the new health insurance exchanges, the data indicate that a significant share of exchange enrollments were likely the result of a substitution effect—meaning that most of those who enrolled in new coverage through the exchanges already had coverage through an individual-market or employer-group plan.

Given that increased enrollment in Medicaid accounted for 71 percent of the net growth in health insurance coverage during the first half of 2014, the inescapable conclusion is that, at least when it comes to covering the uninsured, Obamacare so far is mainly a simple expansion of Medicaid.

Which is something the American people should have been given an honest opportunity to debate, but Obama and his allies were too busy blowing smoke about a brilliant technocratic reinvention of the insurance industry, under the wise guiding hand of the omni-competent State… okay, stop laughing, that’s what these people really believe, and they made you pay for it.

They made you pay a lot for it.  That train wreck of an ObamaCare website ended up costing us nearly $2 billion altogether.  (Wouldn’t you have preferred the Department of Health and Human Services to spend that money on oh, say, Ebola preparedness instead?)  The cost of Medicaid rose from $265 billion to $305 billion in just the first year of fully-functional ObamaCare, and it’s projected to double over the coming decade.  Subsidies for non-Medicaid enrollees were $17 billion in ObamaCare Year One, but they’re projected by the Congressional Budget Office to soar 800 percent within ten years.  “The combined $707 billion that the federal government will spend on Medicaid and ObamaCare subsidies in 2024 is roughly equal to the $716 billion the CBO estimates the government will spend on national defense that year,” CNS News tartly observes.

Meanwhile, insurance premiums are rising by so much that the numbers had to be kept secret from the American people until after the midterm elections, and insurance deductibles have gotten so out of hand under ObamaCare that many of its “enrollees” are afraid to use their “benefits.”  Many of them end up doing exactly what ObamaCare was supposed to prevent people from doing: marching into hospital emergency rooms to get “free” care.  The huge constellation of new taxes swirling around ObamaCare will drain more money from the private sector in various ways; the widely hated medical-device tax has been credited with killing over 30,000 jobs all by itself, and is so toxic that a couple of weeks ago, Hillary Clinton spent a full five minutes stammering nonsense to avoid answering a question about whether she would support repealing it.

That all adds up to a huge amount of money confiscated, and wealth destroyed, in the service of ObamaCare.  Arguments will rage forever about how much health care spending would have risen without the program, and how many peripheral costs should be figured into the total bill.  (Let us postulate that if you’re one of the people who lost his job because of the medical device tax, you probably take a dimmer view of ObamaCare than a previously uninsured person with pre-existing conditions who now has a health-insurance policy, 80 percent of which is paid for by other people.)

But look at those enrollment numbers from the Daily Signal again.  6.3 million people bought policies, but 3.8 million lost the insurance they used to have – a net increase of a paltry 2.5 million paying customers.  How can anyone argue that the immense cost to the American people as a whole – to say nothing of the burden placed on countless People Who Work Hard and Play By the Rules who got sandbagged by insurance cancellations and premium hikes – justifies such a modest achievement?  And that’s without getting into customer satisfaction, which isn’t great for ObamaCare, even among the previously uninsured.  Medicaid is not well-loved by its beneficiaries, either, which is something we should have discussed at length before shoveling another 6 million people into a program with chronic fiscal problems.

Forget about the cost, and ObamaCare, like many other government programs, looks a lot better.. which is why you should never, ever forget about the cost.

The post ObamaCare: failure at any price appeared first on RedState.

Governors Breakers Report October 22, 2014

As promised yesterday, the second half of the latest installment of my roundup of the RCP polling averages (these for the Governor's races), looking at what share of the remaining

The post Governors Breakers Report October 22, 2014 appeared first on RedState.

10 22 GOV Chart

As promised yesterday, the second half of the latest installment of my roundup of the RCP polling averages (these for the Governor’s races), looking at what share of the remaining undecided vote would need to break in the GOP’s direction to win each race. The overall trend across numerous races since October 1 (even since yesterday, when I started gathering these figures) is positive, but a lot of these races remain incredibly close, and several high-profile races have had disappointing news.

First up, the big board:

10 22 GOV Breakers

There have been new polls in every race since October 1, thanks in large part to YouGov polling every race, although many of the less competitive races have not been polled in almost three weeks. Nebraska is now the only race without enough polls to compute an average. The biggest change is that we finally have some polling in Arizona, showing Doug Ducey out to a much healthier lead than the sparse polling had previously indicated.

The most worrisome races right now:

-Wisconsin, where the most recent poll nudged Mary Burke ahead of Scott Walker, and where there are very few undecided voters left to pick from after three Walker gubernatorial campaigns in five years. Walker, if he wins, will be a formidable national candidate, but this race is putting his ability to seal the deal and get his voters out to a stern test, and one has to think that the unsecret nature of his national ambitions aren’t helping him in a blue state.

-Florida, where Rick Scott got a ton of terrible press from an unforced error in “Fangate,” refusing to go onstage at the beginning of a debate because Charlie Crist had violated debate rules by bringing his omnipresent fan to blow cold air up Orange Charlie’s trousers. You can’t really blame the voters for despising both of these candidates, but Republicans will have to bank on the economic progress made on Scott’s watch and the staggering degree of Crist’s craven, unprincipled opportunism.

-Illinois, where Pat Quinn pulled off a miraculous escape in 2010 (running ahead of his party’s Senate ticket, which lost to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark Kirk38%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard38%) and has a slight lead over self-funding tycoon Bruce Rauner.

-Alaska, where Sean Parnell is 2.5 points back of the “independent” Walker-Mallot ticket, although Alaska is notorious for bad polling in general and polls that understate Republican strength in particular.

Many of the other races with Republican leads are extraordinarily tight, especially in New England, where the GOP leads in Massachusetts and Connecticut by a hair and trails slightly in an ugly three-way race in Maine (Rhode Island remains a tantalizing possibility – recall that as recently as 2006, there were GOP governors in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and New York). And as I noted this morning over at The Federalist, the trend in recent years has been for Democrats to win an indordinate share of statewide elections decided by less than 1 point, so just going into Election Day with a tiny lead is no reason to get comfortable (although you’d still rather be ahead in the polls than behind).

The overall trend since October 1 has been positive in many more races than it’s been negative:

10 22 GOV Trendline

That’s a nice recovery by Tom Corbett, but he’s still toast. Larry Hogan is also putting enough pressure on Anthony Brown that the White House felt compelled to dispatch the president to stump for Brown. Let’s zero in on the trendline in the 16 most competitive races:

10 22 GOV Trends Top 16

Republicans have gained at least a point in their standing in twice as many races as the Democrats have, albeit in some cases (like New Hampshire) cutting into a lead that will likely prove insurmountable. But the news has gotten less nerve-racking for Sam Brownback and more comfortable for Rick Snyder in their re-election bids. The average across these races is a 1.4 point improvement for Republicans, but notice that unlike the Senate races, we’re still dealing with an average poll standing of 43.6 points for the Republicans across these races, 43.4 for the Democrats – which leaves an awful lot of undecided voters less than two weeks from Election Day.

The post Governors Breakers Report October 22, 2014 appeared first on RedState.

Follow the Money: Apple Inc.

Unless you’re completely off the grid, you’ve read about Apple’s most recent releases including updated iPads, their latest operating system for Macs and of course the new iPhone 6 and

The post Follow the Money: Apple Inc. appeared first on RedState.

Unless you’re completely off the grid, you’ve read about Apple’s most recent releases including updated iPads, their latest operating system for Macs and of course the new iPhone 6 and Apple Pay. As a result of these products that seemingly can’t stay on the shelves, Apple’s earnings, which were released on Tuesday showed a revenue of $42.1 billion.

Clearly, Apple has come a long way from the days when TIME Magazine described Apple in 1997 as “arguably one of the worst-managed companies in the industry.”  The Cupertino design team has turned out winner after winner for years. Our phones, cameras, maps, televisions, books, stereos and plane tickets are all the same object now. You can soon add another item to that ever-growing list, and anyone who is opposed to Common Core should take note, because Apple is quickly inserting itself into an area that will affect parents and students for years to come – classroom materials.

How you ask? In 2013, Apple and Common Core developer Pearson teamed up to win an implementation contract that would preload iPads with Pearson’s Common Core curriculum for Los Angeles United School District. The deal represented the bulk of a technology development plan of over $1 billion that would distribute iPads and computers to students and faculty across the LAUSD for the purpose of aligning curriculum to meet Common Core standards.

Giving kids access to technology to learn is obviously a great thing, and the potential with tools like the iPad in classrooms presents tremendous opportunity to improve learning overall.  However, with that kind of money exchanging hands in just one city, one has to wonder about the obvious conflict of interest and cronyism inherent in Apple supporting a radical transformation of American education and the implementation of technology-reliant standards in the classroom.

Consider the concept of “Challenge Based Learning”, an initiative developed by Apple to study and promote strategies that “encourages learners to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems.”  While the stated goals may be noble, a simple analysis shows a company developing a need that will be served by its very own product.

In fact, former Apple Development Executive and current CEO at The Challenge Institute, Mark Nichols wrote in 2012, “Districts and schools will be tempted to simply align existing content or purchase packages and software ‘aligned’ to the standards without fundamentally re-thinking the process. To manage the instructional change inherent in the Common Core different instructional frameworks are necessary.”

In simpler terms, the drive to implement Common Core is two-fold: change the entire concept of curriculum and develop the technology as the new medium in which that curriculum is delivered.  Nichols continued by saying, “CBL provides a concrete framework and set of resources for districts, schools and individual teachers to fundamentally ‘shift’ the way the learning community goes about the business of learning.”

We all learned E=MC2 in our classrooms.  Now there’s a new one to add to our thought process:  Apple + Pearson = National Common Core Implementation.

Knowing this, it is not a surprise to see that Apple has significant involvement with advocacy groups pushing the implementation of Common Core Standards. For example, Apple is listed as a corporate partner with the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank with close ties to the Obama Administration that has championed Common Core as “one of the most important reforms to American public education in decades.”  Also, Apple is a Strategic Partner for the New Media Consortium which has promoted “Tablet Computing” as a tool for developing “personalized learning environments” as part of a Common Core implementation strategy.

Pushing Common Core’s implementation deserves close examination from conservatives as billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, not to mention what, and more importantly how, our children are learning in the classroom. Obviously, Apple sees long-term revenue streams from the implementation of a new curriculum and is willing to go to bat to defend Common Core and finance the PR campaign to do so.

Chris Walker is the Executive Director of 2nd Vote, a conservative shopper app. To find out more, download the free app or visit 2ndVote.com.

The post Follow the Money: Apple Inc. appeared first on RedState.

Arab Spring: the gift that keeps on giving

When the Obama regime engineered the overthrow of the governments of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt during the much ballyhooed "Arab Spring" the administration did not have a strategic or geopolitical

The post Arab Spring: the gift that keeps on giving appeared first on RedState.

isis tunisia

When the Obama regime engineered the overthrow of the governments of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt during the much ballyhooed “Arab Spring” the administration did not have a strategic or geopolitical goal in mind, rather it was carried out strictly in the service of domestic politics. Obama wanted to prove that he was the “anti-Bush.” He wanted to demonstrate the efficacy of “smart power.” And he wanted to be able to wage war on the cheap– war via drones and air strikes and proxy armies — that could overthrow regimes he didn’t like and replace them with friendly (or non-malign) regimes without the monetary or political cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So far it has worked really well. Libya has transformed from a totalitarian hell-hole to an Islamic terrorist hell-hole. Egypt went from a pliable military dictatorship to an Islamic dictatorship and back to an military dictatorship, albeit one that doesn’t trust us and owes us nothing. Syria’s Assad still stands but the effort to take him down have destabilized the entire region and created a humanitarian crisis of truly epic proportions. This brings us back to the little country that started it all: Tunisia:

Nearly four years after the Arab Spring revolt, Tunisia remains its lone success as chaos engulfs much of the region. But that is not its only distinction: Tunisia has sent more foreign fighters than any other country to Iraq and Syria to join the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

Woo hoo! Win!

There are some interesting takeaways in this story. The Islamist movement seems to be taking on more of an eschatological bent, looking at the ongoing struggle through the lens of end times rather than necessarily striving towards an actual physical regime. The establishment of a Caliphate is viewed in the way some Christian fundamentalists view Israel. ISIS seems to be actively marketing the availability of family life to young men who see this as being out of their reach.

Many insisted that friends who had joined the Islamic State had sent back reports over the Internet of their homes, salaries and even wives. “They live better than us!” said Walid, 24.

Wissam, 22, said a friend who left four months ago had told him that he was “leading a truly nice, comfortable life” under the Islamic State.

“I said: ‘Are there some pretty girls? Maybe I will go there and settle down,’ ” he recalled.

When this is placed in the context of reports of young women heading for ISIS territory (my post here plus this from Colorado), a more coherent ISIS strategy seems to appear.

There are three main points to consider before we try this again:

1. If a regime does not present a threat to the US or to its neighbors, to a great extent you are better off working within that regime to bring about change than overthrowing it. Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt were all notably harmless except to internal dissidents.

2. If you overthrow a totalitarian regime, the only force that will be available to take over is a more totalitarian faction. This is because to organize politically under a totalitarian regime you have to be totalitarian yourself. It is no accident that the only political opposition left to Hitler was communist. It is no surprise that Islamist of various stripes of fascination with terrorism took over Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

3. If you don’t have a viable successor regime waiting in the wings or you don’t want a multi-year occupation effort you might want to leave well enough alone.

 

The post Arab Spring: the gift that keeps on giving appeared first on RedState.


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