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Howard Safir: Anti-Police Rhetoric Unlike Anything I’ve Seen in 45 Years

Originally posted on TIME:

Police lives matter. Let’s demonstrate it nationally.

Michael Brown and Eric Garner died resisting arrest. Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu died doing their job. It is a very important distinction. Michael Brown and Eric Garner were committing crimes. Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were protecting all the citizens of New York City.

The national dialogue on proper and effective policing has been totally distorted. Activists purporting to represent the majority of the black community have been bolstered by a 24 hour news cycle that gives them unwarranted credibility. I do not believe for one minute that Al Sharpton represents the feelings of most hardworking, law abiding black American families. I know through dozens of community meetings during my time as NYC Police Commissioner that what the black community wants most is what we all want—a safe environment in which to live their lives.

There are 18,000 police departments in…

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New York Post Cover: ‘MISSING INACTION': ‘De Blasio Avoids Families of Executed Cops, Stays Silent’ December 22, 2014

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[VIDEO] ‘I Can Breathe’ Pro-NYPD Demonstrators Rally, Clash with Anti-NYPD Protesters

About 100 pro-NYPD demonstrators rallied outside New York’s City Hall tonight, some wearing shirts reading “I Can Breathe” in response to similar Comic Sans-fonted t-shirts bearing the dying words of Eric Garner, “I Can’t Breathe.”

 


[VIDEO] Students Agree to Deport Americans in Exchange for Illegal Immigrants

Students at George Washington University signed a petition to deport one American citizen in exchange for one illegal immigrant. More than two-thirds of the students approached by Campus Reform agreed to sign the petition.

Maggie Lit reports: Students at George Washington University (GWU) willingly signed a petition supporting the deportation of one American citizen in exchange for one illegal immigrant.

Immigrant Petition

“Please sign our petition for President Obama to deport one American citizen, in exchange for one undocumented immigrant,” read the petition. “Everyone must be allowed a shot at the ‘American Dream.’ Americans should not be greedy. Let us right the wrongs of our past and make another’s dreams come true.”

“If somebody were to sign up for this program and they were going to go through all the effort to become this one undocumented immigrant than I think that’s enough will power and enough desire, they should be able to come in.”

“It makes sense,” one student told Campus Reform. “Like, I’ve noticed that there is a lot of like hatred against undocumented immigrants and it’s not necessarily their fault.”

GeorgeWashington

“Everybody deserves a shot and we shouldn’t rule anybody out,” said another. Read the rest of this entry »


Setting the Record Straight on ‘1-in-5′

Originally posted on TIME:

If you’ve followed the discussion about sexual assault on college campuses in America, it’s likely you’ve heard some variation of the claim that 1-in-5 women on college campuses in the United States has been sexually assaulted or raped. Or you may have heard the even more incorrectly abbreviated version, that 1-in-5 women on campus have been raped.

As two of the researchers who conducted the Campus Sexual Assault Study from which this number was derived, we feel we need to set the record straight. Although we used the best methodology available to us at the time, there are caveats that make it inappropriate to use the “1-in-5” number as a baseline or the only statistics when discussing our country’s problem with rape and sexual assault on campus in the way it’s being used today.

First and foremost, the 1-in-5 statistic is not a nationally representative estimate of the prevalence…

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SPIKED: Rolling Stone‘s Rape Hoax Speaks to a New Hysteria on U.S. College Campuses

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The Unravelling of the Rolling Stone Article is Not an Isolated Event

Sean Collins reports: For years now, academics and activists, backed by university administrators and government officials, have promoted the idea that there is a rape epidemic on US campuses, enabled by a ‘rape culture’ that pervades social life. This notion has created a frenzied and highly emotional atmosphere in colleges, with accusations flying and campus tribunals handing down sentences for what are essentially criminal acts. The stunning news that Rolling Stone now disowns its story that claimed a female student was gang-raped at a University of Virginia (UVA) fraternity shows that the drive to root out ‘rape culture’ is spinning out of control.

“We’re living through a full-blown panic, akin to the daycare sexual abuse scandals of the 1980s and early 1990s, with bad consequences for both women and men.”

The Rolling Stone article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, described in graphic terms how a young woman, ‘Jackie’, was lured by her date to a room in a fraternity, where she was allegedly raped by seven men, as part of a premeditated initiation ceremony. The terrible details included: smashing Jackie through a plate-glass table, cutting her badly; the men laughing in response to her cries, and saying things like ‘grab its motherfucking leg’; the men calling each other names like Armpit and Blanket. Appearing after a three-hour ordeal, three friends discourage Jackie from reporting this to the police or the university, or from going to a hospital, because they fear they will be banned from future parties at this fraternity. Read the rest of this entry »


FULL DEMISE: Rolling Stone’s Cuckoo Bananas Rape Story Exposed as Fraud

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Erik Wemple reports: Even as Rolling Stone’s Nov. 19 story “A Rape on Campus” unraveled last week, the magazine claimed that writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely did her due diligence in investigating an alleged gang rape on Sept. 28, 2012, at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia that had victimized a then-freshman by the name of Jackie. “Dozens” of Jackie’s friends, Rolling Stone told this blog, had spoken with Erdely for the story — some off the record, some on the record.

“Dozens,” of course, means 24-plus.

“Publications can be excused for getting things wrong; that happens all the time. What’s inexcusable, however, is that in this case, Rolling Stone did nothing to stave off catastrophic error…”

As a second heavily reported story by Washington Post’s local staff has revealed, however, Erdely’s reportorial sweep didn’t net three rather critical friends. “Randall,” “Cindy” and “Andy” were identified in the Rolling Stone piece as three eager helpers who came to Jackie’s aid on the night of Sept. 28, 2012, when she allegedly experienced a traumatic situation. The three told The Post that the story reported by Rolling Stone doesn’t match what Jackie told them that night.*

“As The Post reports, the friends were “never contacted or interviewed by the pop culture magazine’s reporters or editors,” meaning that neither Erdely nor the magazine’s fact-checkers lifted a finger to check with the story’s most obvious source of corroboration.”

And perhaps most critically, the latest revelation from The Post casts either account into doubt, as the man that Jackie cited as her date that night appears not to have been a student at the University of Virginia.

“What’s the excuse for the failure to reach the friends? We’ve asked for an explanation on this front as well…”

It all raises a mind-boggling possibility: that Erdely made an exhaustive effort to interview peripheral sources, leaving no time for the central ones. The Erik Wemple Blog has asked Rolling Stone for an inventory of the friends interviewed by Erdely, as well as other information about the reporting. That’s an extravagant request — but presumably Rolling Stone is already compiling such a file, if it’s serious about figuring out how it produced the shoddiest piece of journalism in recent memory. We haven’t heard back from the magazine. Read the rest of this entry »


Enhanced Interrogation: The Verdict is In

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Mollie Hemingway: Why The Media’s Fact Problems Are Way Bigger Than Rolling Stone

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Too many reporters have “Jackies” — politicians and causes they trust uncritically no matter what.

mollie writes: George Packer argues in The New Yorker that journalism’s big crisis is just a business crisis. In the very first paragraph, noting the collapse of Rolling Stone’s story about a violent gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity, he makes the absurd claim it “has no larger significance for journalism beyond itself.” Later he digs in:

There’s no ongoing wave of plagiarism, fabrication, and inaccuracy; like earlier scandals (The New Republic’s Ruth Shalit and Stephen Glass; the Times’ Jayson Blair; CBS News’s Lara Logan; Alastair Reid, formerly of this magazine), Rolling Stone’s problems don’t reveal an across-the-board collapse of standards. Such journalistic sins remain the exceptions, with an ancient ancestry; they’re just easier to uncover in the Internet age.

UVa Fraternity

It’s absolutely true that we don’t have a wave of outright fabrication-out-of-whole-cloth. But what we have is much worse. We have a tsunami of inaccuracy that is generally tolerated, embraced andStrange-Media-Planet-250 even celebrated so long as it serves the right political and cultural goals.

“The media’s tsunami of inaccuracy is generally tolerated, embraced and even celebrated so long as it serves the right political and cultural goals.”

Yes, the latest shocking revelations about Sabrina Rubin Erdely and Rolling Stone’s journalism are stunning. They really, really messed up. Even more than we previously realized. They should receive every bit of oppobrium coming their way. But they should not be the scapegoat for a problem that is riddled throughout journalism. Waving it away in denial, as Packer tries to do, only announces one’s cluelessness.

Shattered Glass

Stephen Glass was a journalist at The New Republic who made up stories, or significant parts of them. Three dozen of the 41 stories he wrote for The New Republic were said to be fabricated in part or in whole, along with articles for George and Rolling Stone.

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Where have I heard this story since?

I knew Stephen Glass was full of it in 1997 after I read his absolutely incredible story about all the sex and crazy partying done by young Republicans at a conservative gathering called CPAC. Read the rest of this entry »


Rolling Stone‘s Fabricated Panic of the Year: Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s Fiction Unmasked

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The Washington Post has an update on Rolling Stone‘s UVA story that strongly implies, without outright saying so, that the gang rape at the center of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article might be fabricated. Post reporter T. Rees Shapiro spoke at length with the three friends who met up with Jackie, the student who says she was raped, on the night in question. In the Rolling Stone story this scene was crucial. Erdely described Jackie as standing mute in her bloody dress, the Phi Kappa Psi house where the alleged rape happened looming in the background, as her friends callously debated whether they should take her to the hospital and risk ruining their social reputations. This set up the larger theme of a university culture and social scene indifferent even toAPPROVED-STAMP-panic-red the most brutalized victims of rape.

“Jackie’s friends could never find this junior in the UVA database nor on social media. She provided her friends with a picture of him, but the Post has since learned that the guy in the picture is a high school classmate of Jackie’s who does not go to the University of Virginia and was in another state…”

Earlier, those friends told the Post that Jackie told them she’d been forced to have oral sex—a much different story than what Jackie told Rolling Stone. This new Post article adds some details that make the entire account seem more suspicious. Jackie had told her friends—referred to by the pseudonyms “Cindy,” “Andy,” and “Randall” in the original story and in the Post’s follow-ups—that she had a date on Sept. 28, 2012, with a handsome junior in her chemistry class. (In the version she told to Rolling Stone, that date was with someone she’d met at her lifeguarding job.) But in the Post story, the friends imply that this junior might not exist and may have been invented by Jackie to make Randall jealous.non-stop-panic-pearls

“Jackie has now given her friends two different names for the man she was with that night. Neither of them was in fact with her, ever dated her, or even knew her all that well. She appears to have invented a suitor, complete with fake text messages and a fake photo, which suggests a capacity for somewhat elaborate deception.”

When the friends first heard about this junior, they were intrigued and asked Jackie for his number. They started exchanging text messages with him, and he described Jackie as a “super smart hot” freshman. He complained, though, that she liked a “nerd 1st yr”— meaning Randall—who is “smart and funny and worth it.” Jackie’s friends could never find this junior in the UVA database nor on social media. She provided her friends with a picture of him, but the Post has since learned that the guy in the picture is a high school classmate of Jackie’s who does not go to the University of Virginia and was in another state participating in an athletic tournament on the night of the alleged rape. (More recently, Jackie gave her friends the name of a different guy. The Post also contacted him, and he said he’d never met Jackie.)

The Post story doesn’t connect all the dots, but it’s not hard to do. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Michael Brown, ‘Gentle Giant’


Columbia Law School Lets Traumatized Students Postpone Exams: Harvard Med Student Paralyzed in Accident, Doesn’t Complain, Completes Exams, Graduates

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Transcript: Jon Gruber’s Opening Statement to the House Oversight Committee

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Written Testimony of Professor Jonathan Gruber before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, December 9, 2014

[PDF – Gruber-Statement-12-9-ObamaCare]

Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings, and Distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify voluntarily today. I am pleased to be able to address some statements I have made regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the reactions to and interpretations of those statements.

I am a Professor of Economics at MIT. I am not a political advisor nor a politician. Over the past decade I have used a complex economic microsimulation model to help a number of states and the federal government assess the impact that various legislative options for health care reform might have on the state and federal health care systems, government budgets, and overall economies. I have had the privilege of working for both Democratic and Republican administrations on health care reform efforts. For example, I worked extensively with Governor Romney’s Administration and the Massachusetts legislature to model the impact of Governor Romney’s landmark health reform legislation. I later served as a technical consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provided similar support to both the Administration and Congress through economic microsimulation modeling of the Affordable Care Act.

I did not draft Governor Romney’s health care plan, and I was not the “architect” of President Obama’s health care plan. I ran microsimulation models to help those in the state and federal executive and gruber-townhalllegislative branches better assess the likely outcomes of various possible policy choices.

[More – Katie Pavlich – TownHall.com]

After the passage of the ACA, I made a series of speeches around the nation endeavoring to explain the law’s implications for the U.S. health care system from the perspective of a trained economist. Many of these speeches were to technical audiences at economic and academic conferences.

Over the past weeks a number of videos have emerged from these appearances. In excerpts of these videos I am shown making a series of glib, thoughtless, and sometimes downright insulting comments. I apologized for the first of these videos earlier. But the ongoing attention paid to these videos has made me realize that a fuller accounting is necessary.

I would like to begin by apologizing sincerely for the offending comments that I made. In some cases I made uninformed and glib comments about the political process behind health care reform. I am not an expert on politics and my tone implied that I was, which is wrong. In other cases I simply made insulting and mean comments that are totally uncalled for in any situation. I sincerely apologize both for conjecturing with a tone of expertise and for doing so in such a disparaging fashion. It is never appropriate to try to make oneself seem more important or smarter by demeaning others. I know better. I knew better. I am embarrassed, and I am sorry.

In addition to apologizing for my unacceptable remarks, I would like to clarify some misconceptions about the content and context of my comments. Let me be very clear: I do not think that the Affordable Care Act was passed in a non-transparent fashion. The issues I raised in my comments, such as redistribution of risk through insurance market reform and the structure of the Cadillac tax, were roundly debated throughout 2009 and early 2010 before the law was passed. Reasonable people can disagree about the merits of these policies, but it is completely clear that these issues were debated thoroughly during the drafting and passage of the ACA. Read the rest of this entry »


Photo of the Day: ‘Under Oath’

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ObamaCare’s Casualty List

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Permanent Political Damage: The Worst Law Since FDR ’s National Industrial Recovery Act and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff

Mary Landrieu ’s defeat in Saturday’s Louisiana Senate runoff was no surprise, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored as inevitable. Ms. Landrieu was a widely liked three-term incumbent, and her GOP foe was hardly a juggernaut, yet she lost by 14 points after Washington Democrats all but wrote her off. Think of Ms. Landrieu as one more Democrat who has sacrificed her career to ObamaCare.

[Also see – Scott Gottlieb: ObamaCare’s Threat to Private Practice]

 “Their goal is to expand the entitlement state whether the public likes it or not, figuring that sooner or later enmity will subside and new programs will acquire a constituency. So it has always been in the Entitlement Age—until ObamaCare.”

It’s hard to find another vote in modern history that has laid waste to so many political careers. Sixty Democrats cast the deciding 60th vote for the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010, but come January only 30 will be left in the Senate. That’s an extraordinary political turnover in merely three elections, the largest in the post-Watergate era. As it happens, the law has been nearly as politically catastrophic for Democrats as Watergate was for Republicans.

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[Read more – FDR’s 1933 National Industrial Recovery Act – The 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff]

Three of the ObamaCare 60 died in office, while 19 declined to run for re-election. Some of the retirees left for reasons such as becoming Secretary of State ( John Kerry ), but others left because their own re-election prospects were hardly stellar. Think Chris Dodd of Connecticut in 2010 or Virginia’s Jim Webb in 2012. At least Democrats succeeded them.

“Liberals like Ms. Pelosi take solace in believing that these losses were worth passing national health care, but she may be wrong even about that political bet.”

Yet no fewer than eight of the retirees handed their seats to Republicans: They include Ben Nelson, of Cornhusker Kickback fame, who deprived his state of the pleasure of returning him to private life in 2010. After five terms, Jay Rockefeller was increasingly out of step with West Virginia, not least on ObamaCare. Max Baucus (Montana), Tim Johnson (S.D.) and Byron Dorgan (N.D.) would have had rough rides had they tried to stick around. Read the rest of this entry »


Oscar Contender 2014

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@bennyjohnson


Scott Gottlieb: ObamaCare’s Threat to Private Practice

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A true legislative alternative to ObamaCare would support physician ownership of independent medical practices, and preserve local competition between doctors and choice for patients.

Scott Gottlieb writes: Here’s a dirty little secret about recent attempts to fix ObamaCare. The “reforms,” approved by Senate and House leaders this summer and set to advance in the next Congress, adopt many of the Medicare payment reforms already in the Affordable Care Act. Both favor the consolidation of previously independent doctors into salaried roles inside larger institutions, usually tied to a central hospital, in effect ending independent medical practices.

“ObamaCare has accelerated many of the detrimental trends doctors see in their profession, and introduced new ones.”

Republicans must embrace a different vision to this forced reorganization of how medicine is practiced in America if they want to offer an alternative to ObamaCare. The law’s defenders view this consolidation as a necessary step to enable payment provisions that shift the financial risk of delivering medical care onto providers and away from government programs like Medicare. The law’s architects believe that doctors, to better bear financial risk, need to be part of larger, and presumably better-capitalized institutions. Indeed, the law has already gone a long way in achieving that outcome.

“Reformers in Washington need to do a better job of explaining how market-based alternatives to ObamaCare are a better outcome for the structure and delivery of health care. And how they intend to preserve the entrepreneurship, autonomy and physician ownership that have long been the hallmark of American medicine.”

A recent Physicians Foundation survey of some 20,000 U.S. doctors found that 35% described themselves as independent, down from 49% in 2012 and 62% in 2008. Once independent doctors become the exception rather than the rule, the continued advance of the ObamaCare agenda will become virtually unstoppable. Read the rest of this entry »


Quietly, Quietly, Rolling Stone Changes Its Rape Story Apology

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Major changes appeared Saturday in Rolling Stone’s apology for a widely-read story alleging a female student was gang raped at the University of Virginia.

The original three-paragraph note was published Friday and came in the wake of a storm of criticism over Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s story about an unidentified student named “Jackie.” The note concluded with a paragraph that said “discrepancies” in Jackie’s story had appeared and that the magazine “misplaced” its trust in her.

But Saturday, much of that language was suddenly missing, despite the post’s continued publication date of Dec. 5 and without mention of an update or correction. The new concluding paragraph acknowledged that the magazine made mistakes, then said “these mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.”

The original version of the note was signed by Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s managing editor. By Saturday, Dana’s signature had disappeared and the note had grown from a total of three paragraphs to four. Read the rest of this entry »


Matt’s Manic Mischief

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Zerlina Maxwell: ‘No Matter What the Facts Are, We Can’t Let It Interfere With Our Agenda’

Not long after I posted this, NRO‘s Tim Cavanaugh posted this excellent analysis. In fact, the post-disaster analysis that’s been accumulating is even better than the initial disaster, its richness and flavor improving as it marinates, some of it is even injection-basted. I’m starting a list of links. Watch this space for updates.

 


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