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Obama’s Fundamental Transformation Is Falling Apart

 

A Democrat loves a bureaucrat; the one thinks he can change everything and should; the other one believes that it can be done and moves whatever is in the way to do so. Knowing this, Obama knew that he had a bureaucracy poised and ready to push left. It was just a matter of planting a few key seeds, removing a few sorry weeds, and watering generously with authority, money, and praise. The rest would take care of itself. You see the domestic agenda is largely the welfare agenda with a little environmental and consumer advocacy thrown in. So it was heavily allied with the left long before Obama was seated in office. Any pretense of an apolitical nature had always been just that.

These bureaucrats had to be frustrated with the W years; compassionate conservatism was a dud. In fact, it was worse than a dud, sharing as it did what was perfectly good secular civic authority with, of all things, religiously affiliated groups. There is nothing a bureaucrat despises more than charity (and most charity is Christian). Charity interferes with, no it diminishes, the mission. It satisfies constituents and it does so with a sense of subtle obligation. For the bureaucrat, all missions are forever and every constituent is like a heroin addict converted to government methadone. Those charities, those Christians, were stealing constituents, man; the whole raison d’etre.

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Love of Flying: AirVenture

 
2017 Boeing Plaza

Each year near the end of July, about 600,000 people make a pilgrimage to AirVenture, sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. For EAA members, their love of all things flying brings them back every year. One local EAA member has been to Oshkosh since 1978, missing only twice due to work and a house move. Like many of the 5000 volunteers, he answers questions from those who fly-in (where are the bathrooms…) and helps tie down their planes. AirVenture is a major tradeshow for aviation vendors, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) usually makes a major announcement. For many, the afternoon airshow with special aircraft, such as Warbirds (mostly World War II), military jets, and great aerobatic flyers such as Sean Tucker is the reason to attend.

Two of our family vacations combined a trip to Oshkosh with the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. Our 1992 trip went to Oshkosh for 2 days, followed by 3 days of wilderness canoeing. We reprised this vacation in 1994 with 3 days of Oshkosh and 4 days of canoeing. The highlight of Oshkosh ’94 was to see the three Apollo 11 Astronauts discuss the 25th anniversary of their moon adventure. Instead being in the crowd up front, we went behind the platform and saw them up close (<20’) as real people. Within the Oshkosh crowd, there was no apparent security present.

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Former Student Opens Fire at Florida High School, Multiple Deaths Reported

 

A 19-year-old gunman attacked students at his former high school in Broward County, Florida. The story is still developing, but officials have reported “numerous fatalities” at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Fourteen injured victims have been transported to local hospitals. From the Miami Herald:

According to law enforcement sources, the shooter, former student Nicolas de Jesus Cruz, is in custody. Helicopter footage shortly before 4 showed police frisking a handcuffed young man outside a squad car. Dressed in a maroon shirt and dark trousers, he was placed in the squad car as TV choppers filmed the scene. He gave no visible sign of being injured, but authorities have said Cruz was transported to Broward Health North.

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Exclusive Transcript: Liz Warren Addresses Native American Controversy

 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–MA) spoke at a meeting of the National Conference of American Indians on Wednesday. She attempted to settle the controversy about her claimed Native American ancestry and if it was used to secure a position as an Ivy League professor. A rush transcript of the event follows.

How! I wait many moons to speak at your great powwow here beside flowing waters of mighty Potomac. It good to join-um circle of my people. My happy tribe.

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Transgender Tragedy Continues

 
Transgender student Nicole Maines listens during a hearing before the Maine Supreme Court. A lawsuit accuses a school district of breaking a state law in 2007 when it stopped letting Nicole Maines use the girls’ bathroom and required to her use a staff bathroom after a student’s grandfather complained. Maines was born a boy.

Last week the American Civil Liberties Union sued Alabama state officials in a federal district court on behalf of three transgender individuals. The plaintiffs all suffer from gender dysphoria: Darcy Corbitt and Destiny Clark are men but want to obtain Alabama driver’s licenses that describe them as female; John Doe is female but seeks to change her driver’s license to one identifying her as male.

In this latest court case, the ACLU is challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s Driver License Policy Order No. 63, which requires that a person either submit an amended birth certificate or “a letter from the physician that performed the reassignment procedure.”

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Yeah, But It’s a Dry Heat

 

Through most of the ’90s, I worked for a software company in Dallas, doing vertical market insurance administration software. We were the market leader, due in large part to how responsive the company was to customers desires and satisfaction. Part of making this happen was bringing the customers into the process twice a year, for the Product Showcase and the User Forum.

The Product Showcase was always held in Dallas, demonstrating all the new products and features that had been built in the previous year. There was no canned demo software or proof of concept versions; everything we would show was real, working software at least theoretically ready for release, so that was always a stressful event of those of us showing new stuff.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Make Some Babies!

 

Yesterday, there was a surprising story in the New York Times about the falling fertility rate. That wasn’t the surprising part; it’s that this was framed as a negative for our society. In the Upshot blog, Lyman Stone writes,

As a result, the gap between the number of children that women say they want to have (2.7) and the number of children they will probably actually have (1.8) has risen to the highest level in 40 years. (From 1972 to 2016, men have expressed almost exactly the same ideal fertility rates as women: In a given year, they average just 0.04 children below what women say is ideal.)

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This Is So Crazy

 

From the Daily Wire, a story about a transgendered, male-to-female “mother” being given a drug so she can breastfeed her adopted baby.

I will admit that when my first husband and I were beginning the process of adopting a fifth (!) baby, I thought about whether — should we get a newborn — I might be able to kick the ol’ yabbies back into gear and give the kid at least a year of mother’s milk. Naturally, I imagined it magically undoing any nutritional deficiencies or substance abuse issues that he or she might have been subjected to in utero.

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Flyover Country, Ep. 71: Conservatism with Tom Meyer

 

Terry and Ryan are joined by Tom Meyer, former Editor at Ricochet.com and all-around smart guy. He is given an opportunity to respond to last week’s anti-anti podcast, briefly (and would like to remind everyone that anybody who disagrees with him on the topic of Trump is ugly, bad, and lacking in sexual prowess). However, the bulk of the podcast is devoted to an upcoming series of podcasts designed to discuss conservatism in general. We take questions from liberal friends and hope to create a basic understanding of what exactly it is that we believe. We encourage any and all feedback or disagreement. Please comment in the comment section at Ricochet, and email any questions to [email protected].

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Rep. Andre Carson’s Bigoted Dinner Disqualifies Him from Office

 

Rep. Andre Carson (D–IN) is an unacceptable leader who has a history of making bad choices and associating with bad people. Those bad choices became sickeningly apparent when it was learned he had dinner with terrorist supporter President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and known bigot and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. Indianapolis must vote Andre Carson out of office; They cannot have someone that irresponsible as their representative.

Carson attended the dinner in 2013 with fellow Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison and Gregory Meeks.

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When Is a Thought Crime Worse Than Murder?

 

Someone asked a question the other week that really got me thinking: is it possible that idol worship is worse than murder? The question seems ridiculous on its face – after all, we believe in Free Will and in the freedom to make one’s own mistakes, so why should worshipping idols be such a problem? But murder… murder is something uniquely and especially evil, snuffing out a life and all that it might yet achieve (not to mention the damage to the murderer). We all know that murder is a major crime, while people who have wrongheaded notions about Gaia or pantheistic tendencies are just harmless fools. … Right?

Actually, once the question was asked, I started thinking it through, and I came to the opposite conclusion: murder, as bad as it is, is not the worst crime. Idol worship is actually worse, and if you’ll keep reading, I’ll explain why.

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The Social Justice Left Keeps Trying to Out-Stupid Each Other and All of Them Are Winning

 

Dang, I thought this was easily the stupidest story I was going to read today: A feminist rabbi just wrote a book about how gender inequality and “rape culture” came about because God slut-shamed Eve in the Garden of Eden, or something.

I want you to think about this. Here is a young, beautiful, intelligent, naked woman living in a state of Grace. She’s hungry, so she does the most natural thing in the world and eats a piece of fruit. For following her instincts, trusting herself, and nourishing her body, she is punished. Her punishment? She will never again feel safe in her nakedness. She will never again love her body. She will never again know her body as a place of sacred sovereignty….

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Steele Dossier Intrigue

 

In August 2007, it all seemed so easy. Barack Obama announced on the campaign trail that, if elected president, he would banish backroom intrigue with an unprecedented commitment to transparency. By 2016, that promise had been abandoned, as the Obama administration erected barriers to public access to information that surpassed those of previous administrations. That veil of secrecy has been only partially lifted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 election allegedly in collaboration with the Trump campaign.

On this score, I agree with the Hoover Institution’s Paul Gregory, who has extensively studied Russian propaganda tactics, that the Russians knew that they could not influence the outcome of the election with a few well-timed tweets. But they understood that a disinformation campaign could raise the specter of collusion with either party, which would then weaken the presidency no matter which candidate won. So far, this strategy has worked brilliantly. We now know that the Democratic National Committee, through the research firm Fusion GPS, financed the efforts of British spy Christopher Steele to dredge up dirt, contained in his famous dossier, on a supposedly deep Trump-Russia connection in the run-up to the 2016 election. Opposition research is part of the grand American political tradition, and this tidbit from the opening line of Steele’s dossier was an intended bombshell: “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.”

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What’s Been the Economic Impact of Trump’s Deregulation Push?

 

“Pro-growth” economic policy is about more than just tax reform. Smart deregulation also has the potential to boost growth. Indeed, the Trump administration is counting on deregulation as a key lever for turning a 2% economy into a 3% (or higher) economy. In a report last October, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers declared that “deregulation will stimulate US GDP growth” and favorably cites research finding that “excessive regulation” suppressed US growth by an average of 0.8% per year since 1980.

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Should Conservatives Back Trump’s “Blue Apron” Welfare Reform?

 

First, let me say officially and on the record — I love Blue Apron. I had their “Soy-Glazed Korean Rice Cakes” earlier this week (see photo). If America’s food-stamp recipients were getting actual Blue Apron meals, their lives would immediately improve. But here’s what the Trump administration is actually proposing:

Think of it as Blue Apron for food stamp recipients.

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Nature’s Course

 

When the children were small, one of their favorite outings was to the Frog Pond.

Don’t bother to conjure an image of a pristine body of water surrounded by verdant meadows with maybe a cow or two mooing nearby. Such places exist in Maine, but for reasons I can no longer recall, our family got into the habit of visiting what amounted to a glorified puddle alongside Route 90.

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When Elites Slip Up and Say What They Really Think

 

While speaking before an audience of wealthy oligarchs in Dubai, George W. Bush opened his yap and told us what he really thought about illegal immigrants.

“Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, but there are people who want [to] put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that. We ought to say thank you and welcome them.”

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How to Sell Assisted Suicide the Right Way

 

Several states, including Massachusetts and Delaware, are now actively considering measures that would legalize assisted suicide, joining the five states and the District of Columbia that have already done so. As always, however, various sticks in the mud (such as certain religious organizations and disabled-rights groups) are doing their best to stand in the way. So progress has been slower than many enlightened people had hoped.

Worse, in advocating for assisted suicide, it is the very organizations who stand to benefit the most from it — the third-party payers — who are doing the most harm to the cause. Indeed, it is likely that unless the insurance companies and government agencies that pay for healthcare get their acts together, assisted suicide — even if fully legalized — will never reach the potential its advocates hope for.

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