Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Biden: I've Never Criticized The Tea Party, Just Those Times I Said They Were Crazy And Acted Like Terrorists

Matt Vespa

Vice President Joe Biden was stricken with amnesia during his interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews last night when he said that he never criticized the Tea Party.

“You never heard me criticize the Tea Party,” said Biden. “And the reason I didn’t is there’s a lot of people who are scared and beat up and what happens—they lost a lot in what happened during the Bush administration,” he added.

Yeah, in 2011, you likened the Tea Party to terrorists, Joe:

Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.

Biden was agreeing with a line of argument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting.

“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

Now, Biden denies that he used the word terrorism, telling CBS News’ Scott Pelley at the time that he allowed Democrats to vent their frustration over obstacles during budget talks with Republicans:

Biden told Pelley he let lawmakers "vent" about the deal, which includes spending cuts but may not include revenue increases. (Some liberal House Democrats have vowed not to back the deal.) But he says he did not assert that he agreed with the terrorism comparison.

"What happened was there were some people who said they felt like they were being held hostage by terrorists," he said. "I never said that they were terrorists or weren't terrorists, I just let them vent."

Okay—he says it’s not true. There’s a lot of latitude when closed-door meetings are involved in any situation. Regardless, in 2014, he again criticized the Tea Party, calling them “crazy.”

Whatever the case, it’s clear that Biden has criticized the Tea Party. Whether it’s calling them crazy or likening them to terrorists, he’s lashed out at them; good, hard working people who just want smaller government, less taxes, less regulations, and more jobs. The horror! The horror!

All the News That Fits

Yes, There Is a Coup On in America

Wrong, Hillary: No Medical Evidence Finds Abortion Can Save A Mother’s Life

In the most recent presidential debate, Hillary Clinton claimed late-term abortions are sometimes necessary to save women’s lives. That’s great rhetoric, but it is not supported by even a single medical study.

Before examining the “abortion to save women’s lives” question, it is first important to note that only about 1.2 percent of abortions (about 15,000 per year) take place after 20 weeks of gestation. Of these, a good portion are due to partner abandonment or parental pressure.

Another chunk are due to an adverse diagnosis of fetal development or simply fear of a fetal defect after exposure to some drug, for example. So only a small percentage of late-term abortions are done with the sole intent of saving the mother from a dying from complications with pregnancy.

But even that small number of “lifesaving” abortions is questionable, because the best medical evidence reveals that of the few women who die of disease while pregnant it appears there’s not even one cause of death abortion can prevent (see “Therapeutic Abortion: The Medical Argument,” in the Irish Medical Journal).

Abortion Is Never a Lifesaving Procedure

Here’s a quick example. Abortion is often recommended for pregnant women who are diagnosed with cancer. But there is zero evidence that those who have abortions are more likely to beat cancer or survive compared to those who refuse abortion. Similarly, the researchers found, there was not a single death among the women who died that an induced abortion could have predicted or prevented.

Now, skeptics may rightly wonder if they should trust my reliance on a single study. In response, I’ll note this study has been around for more than 20 years and no one advocating an abortion has published a study to dispute these findings—despite the abortion industry’s access to hundreds of millions of abortion records worldwide. If they had data to support the myth that abortion saves lives, they would have published it. Absent any evidence, they simply ignore contrary evidence and continue to appeal to the “common sense” myth that abortion is necessary, at least in some hard cases, to save women’s lives.

The lack of medical evidence for any benefit from abortion (in saving women’s lives) is further magnified by the fact that record linkage studies have proven that abortion is associated with a decline in overall health and increase in short- and longer-term mortality rates among women exposed to abortion. There is even a dose effect, with the negative effects on longevity multiplied with each exposure to abortion.

So not only does abortion fail to reduce mortality rates among women, it actually contributes to higher mortality rates (most notably in a three-fold increased risk of suicide compared to women not pregnant and a six-fold increased risk compared to those who carry to term), but also due to other negative impacts on women’s health.

Doctors Want Abortion to Save Themselves Trouble

The real reason doctors recommend abortion for pregnant women facing a disease is that abortion makes it easier for the doctor to focus on just her disease. Abortion instantly reduces the number of patients doctors have to worry about by half.

After an abortion, doctors no longer have to avoid treatments that may hurt the baby. Plus, they no longer have to worry about lawsuits in the unlikely event the baby will be born with any birth defects, which may or may not be associated with the doctors’ treatment decisions. In short, many, if not most, “therapeutic” abortions are of more benefit to the doctor’s interests than the woman’s interests.

It is also very clear in the medical literature that women who undergo a “therapeutic” abortion experience the highest rates of depression, grief, guilt, divorces, and other psychological problems. The negative psychological effects of late-term pregnancy are undisputed, even by pro-abortion experts. It’s doubtful parents considering a late-term abortion are informed of this, however, especially when there is any indication of fetal anomaly.

In these cases, those advising abortion are often operating from a eugenic mindset. They are ideologically biased to encourage abortion of the “unfit” and to exaggerate the negatives of carrying to term while underestimating the psychological, physical, familial, and spiritual costs of inducing an abortion.

As can be easily imagined, the psychological costs for women (and their families) who originally intended to carry to term are magnified by the fact that they were originally excited about having a child, have been bonding with their babies for many months, and only after this bonding have felt “obligated” to abort for therapeutic reasons.

Here’s the bottom line: even if a doctor is convinced abortion is necessary to save a woman’s life, he or she should disclose to the patient and her family that a “therapeutic” abortion poses its own risks to her future physical and mental health. The doctor should also admit that the recommendation to abort can only be justified by appeals to the “art of medicine,” not any actual statistically validated studies.

Read More Here

Newt Gingrich Is Right: Journalists Are Obsessed With Sex

Last night, Fox News host Megyn Kelly had former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on her show. He’s a fan, albeit a critical one, of Donald Trump and they were talking about the election. You can watch it here:

Kelly begins by talking about how the Cook Political Report now predicts the GOP will lose the Senate. She asks if that shows that the GOP chose the wrong candidate. Gingrich says Charlie Cook is not infallible and that there is unprecedented early voting among Republicans in Florida and Pennsylvania. It’s unclear what he meant, since Pennsylvania does not have early voting.

It’s a contentious interview, as they fight over all the polls that show Trump doing less well than he needs to. “I don’t take polls as seriously as people who’ve never run for office,” Gingrich says, which would be news to everyone who knows how much success he had poll-testing his major campaign initiatives.

But Gingrich argues that intensity is on Trump’s side and that anger at corruption will hurt Hillary Clinton. After four minutes of this back and forth, Kelly reminds Gingrich that Trump has a bunch of problems related to calling women fat or making unsolicited advances on them, which she proceeds to detail for the viewers who had lived under rocks for the past couple of weeks.

Gingrich notes that one night the networks spent 23 minutes on allegations against Trump versus a total of 56 seconds on the news about Hillary Clinton’s dream of a borderless Western Hemisphere.

Kelly conditionally refers to Trump as a “sexual predator” and that’s when things really start to get heated. Gingrich gets upset and Kelly says, “Your defensiveness may speak volumes, sir.” She proceeds to detail some more of the allegations against Trump, and says that these stories must be covered. They fight over the relative amount of time she’s spent on sexual assault allegations versus stories coming out of WikiLeaks and he says, “You wanna go back through the tapes of your show recently, you are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy.”

She denies it but says she is fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what you’re getting in the Oval Office. So Trump says, “So we’re going to send Bill Clinton back to the East Wing because after all you are worried about sexual predators.”

Kelly says that women are concerned about these allegations and he asks if she wants to comment on whether the Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator. He dares her to use the words “sexual predator” in conjunction with “Bill Clinton.” She declines the opportunity and says he’s not on the ticket. She ends the interview by saying, “And you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them, Mr. Speaker.”

So that’s some good television! The Hill’s media reporter Joe Concha said afterwards, “It’ll be interesting to see who takes what side between Newt and Megyn Kelly just had a blowout of unique proportions.”

I’m not sure how interesting it was. Trump fanatics loved the segment because they thought Gingrich got the better of Kelly. Trump haters, which include most of the media, proceeded to tweet out the “fascinated with sex” line and they all expressed shock or horror.

When Gingrich said, “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” I mumbled under my breath, “It’s true. I am fascinated with sex.” But, then again, it’s one of my favorite things to write about.

What was funny about all the media responses to this segment, though, was that they basically proved Gingrich’s point. He said they don’t care about policy so much as distractions, and they immediately took to their fainting couches and screaming rooms to protest that what Newt said was “bizarre” and that he had “melted down” and “lost it.”

Totally apart from the interview which, full disclosure, I simply found enjoyable and entertaining on both sides, here’s how this media reaction came off to me.

“You all don’t cover policy.” — Newt
“Oh yeah, we will show you by freaking out over what you said! And then who will be proven right?” — the media

Of course many reporters care about sex more than policy. That’s a given. But if this election has shown us anything, it’s that many political journalists care about many things more than they care about policy.

The Lengths We’ll Go to Avoid Substance

Take this New York Times list that received a ton of praise from, well, people in the media:

I’m sorry, but what is that? It’s a good idea for a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton to spend money on, perhaps, but why would a newspaper do that? It would be one thing if the newspaper were also publishing a list of Clinton’s ever-changing story about her private email server, or a list of every foreign donation she received at the Clinton Foundation, or the most damning things she’d said while serving as secretary of State. But they don’t.

But were those pages really better spent on insults than on policy? At this stage of the race, in particular? Really? And if you bothered to read them, many weren’t even insults so much as descriptions. Or they were just true mean things. Here are four insult topics in a row that give a taste:

The Cruz-Kasich pact
“dead on arrival!”
“joke of a deal”
“not being honored”
“almost dead”
“Very dumb!”

Leaked D.N.C. emails
“really dumb”
“should never have been written”

“really dumb but record setting”

The Democratic debate
“very boring”
“really boring”

I mean, does anyone disagree with any of these statements Trump made? Yes, there are tons of insults, too, but including his claim that the DNC emails that were leaked show “bad judgment” muddies the waters.

Ignoring Substance from Debates

Or what about last week’s debate, where moderator Chris Wallace did what few moderators at prior debates did? It was far and away the best and most interesting debate in part because he focused so much on substantive policy issues. As I previously wrote:

This was far and away the most substantive debate of the bunch. A friend I watched with made the point that Wallace set higher expectations for the candidates and allowed them to reach higher. He asked a few personal questions, such as about pay for play at the Clinton Foundation and allegations Trump has mistreated women. Most questions dealt with policy, including questions about debt, the Supreme Court, abortion, the right to keep and bear arms, immigration, and Obamacare. When they failed to answer, he asked them to do so. He forgot to do that with a question about Bill Clinton’s treatment of women and Hillary Clinton’s role in enabling that.

Yet even when armed with an hour and a half of substantive differences on policy issues that are important to the current election, the media chose to obsess — and I do mean obsess — over Trump’s comment that “I will look at it at the time” regarding accepting November 9 election results. That quip led every debate story across the land.

Ignoring Substance from Gettysburg Speech

Last week, Trump unveiled a 100-day plan for what he would do if elected. It included six measures to root out corruption and special interest collusion in DC, including the proposal of a constitutional amendment for term limits. It had seven actions to “protect American workers,” including renegotiating NAFTA and canceling payments to United Nations climate change programs in favor of American environmental infrastructure spending.

He said he’d cancel every unconstitutional executive action and order issued by President Obama, select a new Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia, cancel federal funding to sanctuary cities, begin removal of criminal illegal immigrants, and suspend immigration from terror-prone nations. He had various pieces of legislation he wanted to pass, including a tax simplification act, an anti-offshoring act, an investment in energy act, a school choice act, a replacement for Obamacare, an affordable childcare and eldercare act, an act to build a wall on the southern border, an act to create a task force on violent crime, an act on expanding military investment, an act to target special interests in politics.

I had to go to Trump’s website to learn about this because all the stories I came across focused instead on a few seconds Donald J. Trump spent claiming he’d sue his accusers. Not that mentioning that is unimportant, but some perspective is in order. It sounds like I wasn’t alone in my frustration over how the media spun things so very far away from substance.

Here’s what Bob Nolan of Mission Viejosaid to the editors of the Los Angeles Times:

To the editor: Hearing of Donald Trump’s policy speech in Gettysburg, Pa., on Saturday, I opened my Sunday Times to read about it. What I found was an article buried on Page A12 giving almost no detail. (“‘All of these liars will be sued when the election is over’: Donald Trump denounces accusers,” Oct. 22)

The article characterized the speech as a rehash of old information, laced with familiar charges of a corrupt media, threats against the women accusing him of sexual misconduct and allegations of a rigged election. Of course, the article did not mention the main text of the speech and his commitment to the voters and glossed over some of the new points outlined by Trump.

I found the full text of the speech elsewhere and realized it was an excellent summary of his game plan for his first days as president. People have been complaining about lack of substance; this speech had it, but it was not reported by The Times.

Whether you love him or hate him, Trump is correct: The election is rigged and the media are corrupt.

The Candidates’ Flaws Do Not Exonerate the Media

Yes, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hate talking about substance, particularly at a deep level. Hillary is running a dry, disciplined, textbook campaign and Trump is distracted by literally everything, no exceptions. Their followers may support them thanks to the policies they believe they’ll espouse, but the candidates don’t seem particularly good at making policy the centerpieces of their campaigns.

Trump’s message is something about fighting the corruption of DC and the failure of the elite to make better immigration, economic, or foreign policy. But all of that is subordinate to whatever distracts him at a given moment. Clinton’s message seems to be that she will keep the gravy train rolling and she is not Donald Trump.

The media should, like Wallace did in the debate, focus at least somewhat more on policy despite the desire of both candidates to focus on Trump’s personal life. Whether or not Clinton or Trump or even the American people care about entitlements, entitlement collapses will care about them. Whether or not they’re more interested in beauty pageant goings-on than foreign policy, a war with Russia could change that perspective.

And the people should, like Mr. Nolan of Mission Viejo, demand more substance as well. The media we get is the one we tolerate and ask for. Stories about substantive policy disagreements don’t bring in as many viewers and readers as other stories. It’s foolish to expect journalists — with a few notable exceptions such as Jake Tapper of CNN— to make substantive policy discussions a priority and to make them fun and interesting to watch.

But yeah, we in the media care far more about sex than policy. And we care more about insults than policy. And we gossip about the very least-important things, because that’s human nature. But let’s not feign offense when called out on it.

Read More Here

Our Dire Economy Should Dominate Election Talk

Youth-unemployment - 900

With just two weeks until the election, talk must turn to the economy, and how everyday Americans are being oppressed with out-of-control expenses and regulations.

Donald Trump must also stay focused on a few other important matters, such as:

pointing out the contents of Hillary Clinton's emails, which show her corruption, collusion with foreign governments and anti-Christian leanings restating how he will let Obamacare die so Americans aren't trapped by their ever-rising health care costs and reassuring Christian voters that he will work to protect their religious liberties, which are increasingly under attack.

In these final days before November 8, Trump must stay laser-focused on these few issues, rather than defending himself or getting off track. There's too much at stake.

But for someone who works daily with finances, the economy looms large, and the starting point for discussing this economy is a labor participation rate stuck at 1978 levels, a lack of jobs, and the lowering of the bar for every economic indicator. The poverty rate has increased every year this president has been in office.

The constant attacks on American exceptionalism, the demonizing of profits and the criticism of "fat cat" job creators can't hide the fact that real wages have not increased for more than a decade. The fallout has decimated the middle class over the last seven years, even as this administration celebrates an unprecedented seven straight years of two percent or lower GDP growth.

Disappearing Jobs

The Obama administration celebrates the creation of 14 million jobs while failing to acknowledge that twice that number have disappeared. Unemployment rates among youth in the inner cities remains at record highs. According to government numbers, under-employment is still close to 10 percent. The part-time labor force is higher than ever, too. Average hours worked per week have continued to hover around 34.5 since 2009.

Because of fear that surely things could get worse -- including lackluster wage growth, uncertainty and unprecedented increases in the cost of healthcare -- we will continue to see no significant boost in consumer spending.

What's worse is that our national debt is likely to increase, too. This is a president who in 2008 in Fargo, North Dakota, said that $9 trillion in debt that had been created from George Washington through George Bush was irresponsible and unpatriotic. Then he went on to become president and more than doubled the debt accumulated from the first George to the second.

Fictional Unemployment Numbers

I wish someone would spend time exposing the fact that -- as shown by high under-employment and low labor participation -- the government's figure of a 5 percent unemployment rate is laughable at best. It is not something that should be celebrated; such a statistic can only be lies, deception or phony math.

Even the Federal Reserve knows it's a lie or it would have raised interest rates a long time ago. This may be the first time in history where we've had so-called full employment with no corresponding upward pressure on wages. Millions are still afraid of losing their jobs, poverty rates continue to rise, and the GDP can't seem to even get above what is necessary to keep up with the demographic of changes of a population.

Let's keep our eye on the ball. Little else than these few issues should be discussed during the next two weeks.

Read More Here

Migrants Leave ‘The Jungle,’ Some Setting Fire to the French Refugee Camp

France Migrants_perr (1)__1477485916_198.49.27.212

CALAIS, France (AP) -- Large portions of the makeshift refugee camp known as “the jungle” went up in flames Wednesday, as departing migrants set fire to shelters and tents before police moved in to relocate them out of northern France.

Hundreds of French police have swooped into the camp near the city of Calais, where thousands fleeing war and poverty have lived in squalor as they waited for a chance to sneak across the English Channel into Britain. Police are moving migrants to reception centers around France where they can seek asylum.

Migrants have flocked to the Calais region for decades, but the camp has grown as Europe’s migrant crisis expanded. As it evolved into a massive slum supported by aid groups, France finally decided to shut it down.

As the reality of the mass evacuation took hold, fearful migrants from Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and Pakistan braced for a new reality. Some pledged to just keep moving.

“This jungle is no good,” said Muhammad Afridi, 20, from Pakistan. “We go to a new jungle.”

The main alley through the camp near the city of Calais burned overnight, leaving skeleton-like hulks on either side of the road. Firefighters delved into the camp’s deepest recesses, trying to prevent a massive conflagration.

Gas canisters popped as they exploded in the heat. One aid group’s truck burst into flames.

Migrants stood and watched. Some laughed.

Steve Barbet, a spokesman for the regional authorities, said one migrant was hospitalized. About 100 migrants were evacuated.

The camp once housed 6,300 migrants, according to authorities, but aid groups said the number was much higher.


AP Writer Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed to the story

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read More Here