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George Will: ‘Alternative Facts’ & Safe Spaces Come from Similar Intellectual Problems

Demotivated students sitting in a lecture hall with one girl napping in college

Myriad intellectual viruses are thriving in academia. Carried by undereducated graduates, these viruses infect the nation’s civic culture.

George Will writes: In 2013, a college student assigned to research a deadly substance sought help via Twitter: “I can’t find the chemical and physical properties of sarin gas someone please help me.” An expert at a security consulting firm tried to be helpful, telling her that sarin is not gas. She replied, “yes the [expletive] it is a gas you ignorant [expletive]. sarin is a liquid & can evaporate … shut the [expletive] up.”

“College, in an earlier time, was supposed to be an uncomfortable experience because growth is always a challenge.”

— Tom Nichols, professor at the U.S. Naval War College and the Harvard Extension School

Tom Nichols, professor at the U.S. Naval War College and the Harvard Extension School, writing in The Chronicle Review, says such a “storm of outraged ego” is an increasingly common phenomenon among students who, having been taught to regard themselves as peers of their teachers, “take correction as an insult.” Nichols relates this to myriad intellectual viruses thriving in academia. Carried by undereducated graduates, these viruses infect the nation’s civic culture.

“Unearned praise and hollow successes build a fragile arrogance in students that can lead them to lash out at the first teacher or employer who dispels that illusion, a habit that carries over into a resistance to believe anything inconvenient or challenging in adulthood.”

— Tom Nichols

Soon the results include the presidential megaphone being used to amplify facially preposterous assertions, e.g., that upward of 5 million illegal votes were cast in 2016. A presidential minion thinks this assertion is justified because it is the president’s “long-standing belief.”

[Read the full story here, at National Review]

“College, in an earlier time,” Nichols writes, “was supposed to be an uncomfortable experience because growth is always a challenge,” replacing youthful simplicities with adult complexities. Today, college involves the “pampering of students as customers,” particularly by grade inflation in a context of declining academic rigor: A recent study showed “A” to be the most commonly awarded grade, 30 percent more frequent than in 1960.

am-u-students

“Rather than disabuse students of their intellectual solipsism,” Nichols says, “the modern university reinforces it.”

— Tom Nichols

And a 2011 University of Chicago study found that 45 percent of students said that in the previous semester none of their courses required more than 20 pages of writing and 32 percent had no class that required more than 40 pages of reading in a week. Read the rest of this entry »

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Childishness and Intolerance on College Campuses Embody What’s Wrong with American Liberalism

hysteria-george-will

Academia should consider how it contributed to, and reflects Americans’ judgments pertinent to, Donald Trump’s election.

George Will writes: Many undergraduates, their fawn-like eyes wide with astonishment, are wondering: Why didn’t the dean of students prevent the election from disrupting the serenity to which my school has taught me that I am entitled? Campuses create “safe spaces” where students can shelter from discombobulating thoughts and receive spiritual balm for the trauma of microaggressions. Yet the presidential election came without trigger warnings?

“Only the highly educated write so badly…the point of such ludicrous prose is to signal membership in a clerisy.”

The morning after the election, normal people rose — some elated, some despondent — and went off to actual work. But at Yale University, that incubator of late-adolescent infants, a professor responded to “heartfelt notes” from students “in shock” by making that day’s exam optional.

Academia should consider how it contributed to, and reflects Americans’ judgments pertinent to, Donald Trump’s election. The compound of childishness and condescension radiating from campuses is a reminder to normal Americans of the decay of protected classes — in this case, tenured faculty and cosseted students.

[Read the full text of George Will’s column here, at The Washington Post]

As “bias-response teams” fanned out across campuses, an incident report was filed about a University of Northern Colorado student who wrote “free speech matters” on one of 680 “#languagematters” posters that cautioned against politically incorrect speech. Catholic DePaul University denounced as “bigotry” a poster proclaiming “Unborn Lives Matter.” Bowdoin College provided counseling to students traumatizedby the cultural appropriation committed by a sombrero-and-tequila party. Oberlin College students said they were suffering breakdowns because schoolwork was interfering with their political activism. California State University at Los Angeles established “healing” spaces for students to cope with the pain caused by a political speech delivered three months earlier . Indiana University experienced social-media panic (“Please PLEASE PLEASE be careful out there tonight”) because a Catholic priest in a white robe, with a rope-like belt and rosary beads, was identified as someone “in a KKK outfit holding a whip.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] A Progressive’s Guide to Political Correctness

Is there a point where the “P.C. Police” are satisfied? Are there ever “enough” rules governing the jokes we tell, the mascots of sports teams, or the symbols on city seals? Or should we want a society as non-offensive as the American college campus? George Will, Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, imagines what an idyllic politically correct universe would look like.


[VIDEO] Bill O’Reilly Yells at George Will: ‘You are LYING…You’re a HACK!’

KILLINGGEORGEWILL

O’Reilly Responds to George Will: He ‘Regurgitates Attacks’ from Reagan Loyalists

“it IS a laudatory book or you CAN’T READ!”

— Bill O’Reilly

“It is doing the work of the left, which knows that in order to discredit conservatism, it must destroy Reagan’s reputation as a president, and your book does the work of the American left with its extreme recklessness…”

— George Will

Bill O’Reilly responded to his Fox News colleague George Will on Thursday night after the syndicated columnist criticized O’Reilly’s book Killing Reagan, calling it a “tissue of unsubstantiated assertions.”

O’Reilly dedicated about a minute of his primetime Fox News show to a response to Will’s column, pointing out first that Will did not correctly distinguish between “slander” and “libel.”

“George Will regurgitates attacks on the book from Reagan loyalists who tried to get Killing Reagan spiked even before it was published, because they wanted a deification of the president, not an honest look at him,” O’Reilly said.

“The book’s perfunctory pieties about Reagan’s greatness are inundated by its flood of regurgitated slanders about his supposed lassitude and manipulability. This book is nonsensical history and execrable citizenship, and should come with a warning: ‘Caution — you are about to enter a no-facts zone.’”

— Will wrote in his column on Thursday

“George Will regurgitates attacks on the book from Reagan loyalists who tried to get Killing Reagan spiked even before it was published, because they wanted a deification of the president, not an honest look at him,” O’Reilly said.

In his column, Will launched a blistering attack on the book, writing that O’Reilly uses little evidence to support many of his claims….(read more)

Source: Mediaite

UPDATE: Josh Feldman writes:

Bill O’Reilly exploded and repeatedly called George Will a “hack” tonight in a fierce battle over whether O’Reilly’s book Killing Reagan is factually accurate.

O’Reilly’s gotten criticism from people close to Reagan over the book, and he fired back by saying they don’t want the truth being told. Will yesterday took things one step further when he tore intoO’Reilly’s book and called it a “no-facts zone.”

Well, responding last night was not enough for O’Reilly, and he invited Will on today. To start, O’Reilly said that Will libeled him and claimed Will was supposed to call him before running the column and didn’t.

Will said he had no such obligation and snarked that it wouldn’t be the first time O’Reilly’s gotten something wrong. When O’Reilly kept on the point, he asked, “Do you want to talk about Bill O’Reilly or Bill O’Reilly’s book?” Read the rest of this entry »


George Will: The Case For Impeachment

impeach

Subpoenaed documents, including 422 tapes potentially containing 24,000 Lerner e-mails, were destroyed. 

george-f-will-114x80George Will writes: “Look,” wrote Lois Lerner, echoing Horace Greeley, “my view is that Lincoln was our worst president not our best. He should [have] let the [S]outh go. We really do seem to have 2 totally different mindsets.” Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, was referring to Southern secessionist states when he urged President-elect Lincoln to “let the erring sisters go in peace.”

Greeley favored separating the nation from certain mind-sets; Lerner favors suppressing certain mind-sets. At the Internal Revenue Service, she participated in delaying for up to five years — effectively denying — tax-exempt status for, and hence restricting political activity by, groups with conservative mind-sets. She retired after refusing to testify to congressional committees, invoking Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

As the IRS coverup of its and her malfeasance continues, the Republicans’ new House leaders should exercise this constitutional power: “The House . . . shall have the sole power of impeachment.” The current IRS director, John Koskinen, has earned this attention.

IRS-moron

“After Koskinen complained about the high cost in time and money involved in the search, employees at a West Virginia data center told a Treasury Department official that no one asked for backup tapes of Lerner’s e-mails.”

The Constitution’s framers, knowing that executive officers might not monitor themselves, provided the impeachment recourse to bolster the separation of powers. Federal officials can be impeached for dereliction of duty (as in Koskinen’s failure to disclose the disappearance of e-mails germane to a congressional investigation); for failure to comply (as in Koskinen’s noncompliance with a preservation order pertaining to an investigation); and for breach of trust (as in Koskinen’s refusal to testify accurately and keep promises made to Congress).

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says the IRS has “lied to Congress ” and “destroyed documents under subpoena.” He accuses Koskinen of “lies, obfuscation and deceit”: “He assured us he would comply with a congressional subpoena seeking Lois Lerner’s emails. Not only did he fail to keep that promise, we later learned he did not look in earnest for the information.”

lernerIRS

After Koskinen complained about the high cost in time and money involved in the search, employees at a West Virginia data center told a Treasury Department official that no one asked for backup tapes of Lerner’s e-mails. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] This Day in History: Tragic Launch of President Johnson’s Titanic “Great Society”

“In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing “just about always or most of the time”; today, 19 percent do. The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so.”

— George F. Will

Source: The Washington Post – The slow decline of America since LBJ launched the Great Society” 

 


EXCLUSIVE: Leaked List of Osama Bin Ladin’s Top-Secret Conservative Book Collection

bin-laden-books

Bin Laden’s Right-Wing Reading List Goes Viral

editor-commen-deskThe list includes an archive of radical right wing books, history books, humor texts, and conservative philosophy belonging to the former al-Qaeda chief, some of which are still being withheld by the U.S. government, but leaked online this afternoon.

Among the volumes of books on law and military strategy that were publicly released this week, are a not-yet-declassified list of books by popular conservative authors such as Ann Coulter, Jonah Goldberg, and Andrew Breitbart, as well as scholarly texts by Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich von Hayek. The collection includes:

The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome by Kevin D. Williamson

Ideas Have Consequences by Richard M. Weaver

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change by Jonah Goldberg

Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek

Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman

God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom by William F. Buckley, Jr.

Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! by Andrew Breitbart

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

Human Action, The Scholar’s Edition by Ludwig von Mises

The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 by George Nash

Witness by Whittaker Chambers

The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot by Russell Kirk

Ethnic America: A History by Thomas Sowell

Natural Right and History by Leo Strauss

The leak comes shortly after the fourth anniversary of Bin Laden’s death at the hands of US special forces…

developing…


[VIDEO] ‘There is nothing more tiresome in modern American life than the indignation sweepstakes we get in all the time to see who can be most angry’

From The Corner,

Responding to the outrage surrounding the Hoosier State’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Will noted on Tuesday’s Special Report…

“Tim Cook, CEO of Apple thinks Indiana is a horrible place. He opened marketing and retailing operations in Saudi Arabia two months before a man was sentenced to 450 lashes for being gay. The selective indignation is itself wonderful.”

Apple-Approved

“There are obviously two important principles at stake here,” Will continued…

“One is, the government should rarely, and only with extreme difficulty, compel people to take actions contrary to their consciences. The other is that when you open your doors to commerce you open them to everybody. That’s a simple thing…You can work this out, but the indignation isn’t helping.”

(read more)

National Review


[VIDEO] Will on Orwellian Email Scandal: The Clintons Could ‘Find a Loophole in a Stop Sign’

At The CornerNick Tell writes:

On Fox News Sunday earlier today, George Will had fierce words for both Clintons in the wake of this week’s revelations about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in her time as secretary of state.

“It’s axiomatic that the worst political scandals are those that reinforce a pre-existing, negative perception. The Clintons come trailing clouds of entitlement and concealment and legalistic, Jesuitical reasonings — the kind of people who could find a loophole in a stop sign.”

Will added, citing the famous “he who controls the past…” mantra of the totalitarian regime in Orwell’s novel 1984,

“Her obvious motive was to conceal. You conceal in order to control. And that’s what makes this literally, strictly speaking, Orwellian. This is a way of controlling what we will know about the history of our country. And it is deeply sinister.”

More Sunday Shows coverage

National Review Online


Jason L. Riley: Will Liberals Ever Forgive Daniel Patrick Moynihan for Being Right?

MOYNIHAN

Still Right on the Black Family After All These Years 

Jason L. RileyJason L. Riley writes: Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the future senator’s report on the black family, the controversial document issued while he served as an assistant secretary in President Lyndon Johnson’s Labor Department. Moynihan highlighted troubling cultural trends among inner-city blacks, with a special focus on the increasing number of fatherless homes.

“History has proved that Moynihan was onto something. When the report was released, about 25% of black children and 5% of white children lived in a household headed by a single mother. During the next 20 years the black percentage would double and the racial gap would widen. Today more than 70% of all black births are to unmarried women, twice the white percentage.”

“The fundamental problem is that of family structure,” wrote Moynihan, who had a doctorate in sociology. “The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.”

[Check out Jason Riley’s book Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” at Amazon]

For his troubles, Moynihan was denounced as a victim-blaming racist bent on undermining the civil-rights movement. Even worse, writes Harvard’s Paul Peterson in the current issue of the journal Education Next, Moynihan’s “findings were totally ignored by those who designed public policies at the time.” The Great Society architects would go on to expand old programs or formulate new ones that exacerbated the problems Moynihan identified. Marriage was penalized and single parenting was subsidized. In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home—and paid them well.

“Economists and policy analysts of the day worried about the negative incentives that had been created,” writes Mr. Peterson. “Analysts estimated that in 1975 a household head would have to earn $20,000”—or an inflation-adjusted $88,000 today—“to have more resources than what could be obtained from Great Society programs.”

“The most critical factor affecting the prospect that a male youth will encounter the criminal justice system is the presence of his father in the home.”

— William Comanor and Llad Phillips

History has proved that Moynihan was onto something. When the report was released, about 25% of black children and 5% of white children lived in a household headed by a single mother. During the next 20 years the black percentage would double and the racial gap would widen. Today more than 70% of all black births are to unmarried women, twice the white percentage.

moynihan1-articleLarge

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, right, an urban affairs adviser to President Richard M. Nixon, left, in 1970.

For decades research has shown that the likelihood of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, dropping out of school and many other social problems grew dramatically when fathers were absent. One of the most comprehensive studies ever done on juvenile delinquency—by William Comanor and Llad Phillips of the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2002—concluded that “the most critical factor affecting the prospect that a male youth will encounter the criminal justice system is the presence of his father in the home.”

[Also see – Moynihan in His Own Words New York Times, September 19, 2010]

Ultimately, the Moynihan report was an attempt to have an honest conversation about family breakdown and black pathology, one that most liberals still refuse to join. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Dr. K on Special Report: ISIS Trying to Draw Jordan into War It Cannot Win

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer cautioned the Arab nation of Jordan against overreacting after the Islamic State burned one of its military pilots alive, warning they could be playing right into the Islamists’ hands.

On Fox News’ “Special Report” on Tuesday, columnist George Will expressed doubt that the savage execution would either demoralize the terrorists’ enemies or win over recruits.

“This is a way to stir the cauldron in a country that is stable, was stable, but is easily destabilized. And that’s what ISIS is after.”

But Krauthammer disagreed, saying he believes the Islamic State is trying to ”destabilize its neighbors” by deliberately drawing the fragile Arab nation into a costly land war in Syria…(read more)

National Review Online


The Gangsters of Election 2014: The Paramilitary Arm of Wisconsin Progressive Democrats’ Campaign to Defeat Scott Walker

swat raid

The Nastiest Political Tactic this Year

imrs.phpThe early-morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens’ homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children’s, were APPROVED-STAMP-panic-redransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told that it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids.

“Such misbehavior takes a toll on something that already is in short supply: belief in government’s legitimacy.”

Some raids were precursors of, others were parts of, the nastiest episode of this unlovely political season, an episode that has occurred in an unlikely place. This attempted criminalization of politics to silence people occupying just one portion of the political spectrum has happened in Wisconsin, which often has conducted robust political arguments with Midwestern civility.

battering ram

Because of Chisholm’s recklessness, the candidate he is trying to elect, Burke, can only win a tainted victory, and if she wins she will govern with a taint of illegitimacy.

From the progressivism of Robert La Follette to the conservatism of Gov. Scott Walker (R) today, Wisconsin has been fertile soil for conviction politics. Today, the state’s senators are the very conservative Ron Johnson (R)and the very liberal Tammy Baldwin (D). Now, however, Wisconsin, which to its chagrin produced Sen. Joe McCarthy (R), has been embarrassed by Milwaukee County’s Democratic district attorney, John Chisholm.

“Chisholm’s aim — to have a chilling effect on conservative speech — has been achieved by bombarding Walker supporters with raids and subpoenas: Instead of raising money to disseminate their political speech, conservative individuals and groups, harassed and intimidated, have gone into a defensive crouch, raising little money and spending much money on defensive litigation.”

He has used Wisconsin’s uniquely odious “John Doe” process to launch sweeping and virtually unsupervised investigations while imposing gag orders to prevent investigated people from defending themselves or rebutting politically motivated leaks.

Midterm_Elections_Governors_-0cbdd-5048

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks in Chicago. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AP)

According to several published reports, Chisholm told subordinates that his wife, a teachers union shop steward at her school, is anguished by her detestation of Walker’s restrictions on government employee unions, so Chisholm considers it his duty to help defeat Walker.

[More Dirty Tactics in Wisconsin Governor’s Race]

[Also see – Gangster government — Michael Barone’s description of using government machinery to punish political opponents or reward supporters]

In collaboration with Wisconsin’s misbegotten Government Accountability Board, which exists to regulate political speech, Chisholm has misinterpreted Wisconsin campaign law in a way that looks willful. He has done so to justify a “John Doe” process that has searched for evidence of “coordination” between Walker’s campaign and conservative issue advocacy groups. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] George Will: GOP May Get a Surprise from Democrats’ Get-Out-the-Vote Effort

editor-commen-deskBefore we dismiss Will’s warning, let’s recall that during the last election cycle, while many influential conservative talking heads were forecasting a Mitt Romney victory, George Will submitted an early prediction that Obama would win. His contrary analysis was met with a collective groan. Karl Rove (who would have a legendary election-night meltdown) and Dick Morris (Morris’ Fox broadcast career effectively ended in the wake of his laughable Mitt Romney landslide claims) were in full triumphalist mode. Will’s unpopular early forecast, siding with Democrat polling predictions, that Barack Obama’s campaign organization would prevail and hand the GOP a loss, was regarded by Romney supporters as treasonous. And by many others (myself included) as a valid warning, but prematurely defeatist.

“This big-name list of losers should be tattooed on the sweaty palms of every GOP operative drawing a paycheck, and haunt the fever dreams of every conservative talking head in the green room.”

Will wasn’t just playing Johnny Raincloud. He was just among the few with his reading glasses on straight that week. Untainted by wishful thinking, Will called it correctly. But even his resolve didn’t last. Sadly, George Will caught the fever, and as election night drew closer, he, too, predicted a Romney landslide.

Blood on the playbook: whether the pundits are right or wrong, the banks still cash their checks

Blood on the playbook: whether the pundits are right or wrong, the banks still cash their checks

[Romney Landslide: Here Are the Biggest Names Predicting It & How It Will Happen]

That’s a Nov. 4th, 2012 list of the men who walked the plank, and made the wrongest election prediction in modern history. Conservative enthusiasts in need of a cold shower should revisit this list. In fact, this big-name list of losers should be tattooed on the sweaty palms of every GOP operative drawing a paycheck, and haunt the fever dreams of every conservative talking head in the green room.

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Perhaps hardened by that defeat, Will would prefer to be less vulnerable this time around. Similarly, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume was on a panel yesterday bitterly mocking the GOP’s misreading of the” voter enthusiasm gap” as a reliable election predictor. Hume sarcastically observed that a depressed, demoralized, unenthusiastic vote counts just as much as an enthusiastic vote. He’s right. The key thing is the actual voting. The GOP’s challenge to the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote supremacy is in the spotlight. And the GOP’s catch-up efforts remain unproven.

Then there’s the wild card. Though neither Will or Hume mentioned this — but we’ve reported on it here — that doesn’t even account for opponent advantages gained in close races by voter fraud.

So let’s update those sports metaphors: If the GOP doesn’t succeed in taking the Senate, it may not be only because of an inadequate “ground game”, or because the GOP “fumbled the ball”. It will also be because they aren’t employing special teams (legitimate vote boosting efforts, locally-organized vote fraud schemes, take your pick) and because election referees aren’t empowered to do their job. When no penalties are called on an opponent’s violations, it’s harder to win. Points won and lost in these hidden margins aren’t officially measured, but can change the outcome of the game. And can produce — or contribute to — some unhappy surprises.

“At this point in the campaign, they’ve saturated people with broadcast ads, so the utility of the last political dollar is pretty small. The return on ‘Get out the vote’ may be much larger, and we may get a surprise this year.”

From last night’s item at The Corner:

Republicans are too focused on how much money is being spent on ad buys in the final weeks of the election cycle, warned George Will. Instead, they should be wary of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts, which upended Republicans in the 2012 elections, he said on Tuesday’s Special Report. Read the rest of this entry »


America Chooses a Navy: Competition with China for the Global Future

USSRonald

George Will writes: Russia’s ongoing dismemberment of Ukraine and the Islamic State’s erasing of Middle Eastern borders have distracted attention from the harassment of U.S. Navy aircraft by Chinese fighter jets over the South China Sea. Beijing calls this sea, and the Yellow and East China seas, the “near seas,” meaning China’s seas. The episodes involving aircraft are relevant to one of Admiral Jonathan Greenert’s multiplying preoccupations — CUES, meaning Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.

“Cascading dangers are compelling Americans to think afresh about something they prefer not to think about at all — foreign policy.”

This is designed to prevent incendiary accidents, a topic of special interest during this month’s centennial commemorations of the beginning of a war that, ignited by miscalculations, ruined the 20th century. Greenert, chief of naval operations, has carrier-based aircraft flying from the Persian Gulf to targets in Iraq. He is, however, always thinking about the far side of the largest ocean.

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One hundred years ago, the principal challenge of world diplomacy, which failed spectacularly, was to peacefully integrate a rising, restless power — Germany — into the international system. Today’s comparable challenge is China. Greenert, who knows well his Chinese counterpart, Admiral Wu Shengli, radiates a serene patience about China. Read the rest of this entry »


George Will: The IRS is Cuckoo Bananas Off the Rails Criminally Insane and It Is Now Thoroughly Corrupted

Okay, George didn’t say Cuckoo Bananas Off the Rails Criminally Insane, he just said off the rails and it is thoroughly corrupted. But, you get the idea…O-SMDGE-CONDENSED

“The IRS is the most intrusive and potentially punitive institution of the federal government and it is a law-enforcement institution and it is off the rails and it is now thoroughly corrupted.”

— George Will

From The Corner:

On Tuesday’s Special Report, George Will reacted to the revelation that the IRS destroyed Lois Lerner’s BlackBerry without searching it, after a congressional investigation into her conduct had begun.

[SMIDGEN REPORT: Federal Attorney Says Backup of Lois Lerner Emails Exist]

[SMIDGEN BOMB: There Are No Missing Lois Lerner E-mails, Justice Department Concedes ]

Will said he could hardly wait for IRS lawyers to show up in court and tell the judge it would be too onerous to stop obstructing justice in this case. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Will’s Take: There Are No Efforts to Deport Millions of Illegals

 NRO – YouTube


IRS Destruction of E-mail Evidence: ‘If Nixon Had Burned the Tapes as People Had Advised Him to, He Would Have Served His Full Term’

obama-nixon

The important question regarding the IRS investigation is how high up in the administration the scandal goes, George Will said on Tuesday’s Special Report.

“That there was targeting of these groups is not disputed…”

“The question that makes this interesting and the question that a special prosecutor would pursue is where does this lead, how high up does this go.”

Will noted that people have been saying that nothing has connected the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups to the White House, but he questions that. He recalled the Watergate scandal, which he said never would have been connected to President Nixon but for the tapes that showed him plotting obstruction of justice.

Nixon oval office

“Something equivalent to burning the tapes may have happened with the hard drive of Lois Lerner.”

Will explained that if Nixon had burned the tapes as people advised him to, he would have served his full time. “Something equivalent to burning the tapes may have happened with the hard drive of Lois Lerner,” Will said…(read more)

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] George Will on Cantor’s Primary Loss: ‘Being in Washington Leadership Not a Good Thing to Be These Days’

George Will‘s commentary on Wednesday’s Special Report

“Mr. Cantor’s great advantage was money, and I think it hurt him. He spent an awful lot of money advertising Mr. Brat’s name, to which a lot of people said, ‘Well, we actually have a choice here.’”

Cantor’s loss likely had little to do with his district’s sentiments to his stance on immigration reform, but rather that

“…he is a member of the Washington leadership, and that is just not a good thing to be these days.” 

(read more)

National Review Online


[VIDEO] The Cool Whip Presidency: For a Supposedly ‘Whipped-Up’ Controversy, Bergdahl Concerns Remarkably Bipartisan

barack_obama-whipped

[UPDATE: See Jonah Goldberg’s commentary: This is more than a “whipped-up controversy.”]

George Will on Thursday’s Special Report.

“…a recurring theme in his presidency, which is there’s no such thing as honest, intelligent disagreement with him…”

Will couldn’t help but note that it isn’t solely Republican lawmakers taking issue with the conditions of the trade.

“If this is ‘whipped up,’ the project of whipping it up is remarkably bipartisan.”

Will said, pointing to concerns raised by West Virginia’s two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller. Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, has also spoken out about the White House’s handling of the situation…(read more)

Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] This Day in History: Launch of President Johnson’s Titanic “Great Society”

JBJ-Great-Society

In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing “just about always or most of the time”; today, 19 percent do. The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so.”

— George F. Will

 

Source: The Washington Post The slow decline of America since LBJ launched the Great Society” 

 


‘Illinois Voters Have Used Many Elections to Make Theirs the Worst-Governed State’

chicago-streets

The Effect of One Party Rule

George Will writes: Democracy can be cruel because elections deprive the demos of the delight of alibis and the comfort of complaining. Illinois voters have used many elections to make theirs the worst-governed state, with about $100 billion in unfunded public pension promises and $6.7 billion in unpaid bills. The state is a stark illustration of the effect of prolonged one-party rule, conducted by politicians subservient to government employees unions.

new Gallup poll shows that Illinois has the highest percentage — 50 percent — of residents who want to leave their state. If Illinois voters reelect Gov. Pat Quinn, they will reject Bruce Rauner, who vows to change the state’s fundamental affliction — its political culture.

Illinois-buildings

The state’s strongest civic tradition is of governors going to jail. Four of the last nine have done so. Lt. Gov. Quinn ascended to the governorship in 2009 because Gov. Rod Blagojevich, of fragrant memory, tried to sell the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated. In 2010, Quinn defeated a downstate social conservative by 32,000 votes out of 3.7 million cast. Quinn’s job approval today is about 35 percent.

(AP Photo/Robert Ray)

Rauner, born a few blocks from Wrigley Field, grew up in a Chicago suburb — his father was an electrical engineer at Motorola; his mother was a nurse. He attended Dartmouth, earned a Harvard MBA and joined the private-equity firm GTCR, where he made enough money to buy his nine homes. When a reporter asked him if he is among the 1 percent, he cheerfully replied, “Oh, I’m probably .01 percent,” an answer that was better arithmetic than politics. Read the rest of this entry »


Will: I Can’t Believe Adults Use Hashtag Foreign Policy, ‘An Exercise in Self-Esteem’

“Are these barbarians in the wilds of Nigeria supposed to check their Twitter accounts and say, ‘Uh oh, Michelle Obama is very cross with us — we better change our behavior’?” 

George Will doesn’t quite understand the thinking behind the first lady’s recent tweet in which she used the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, referencing the Boko Haram kidnapping of Nigerian girls.

“It’s an exercise in self-esteem. I do not know how adults stand there, facing a camera, and say, ‘Bring back our girls.’”

In March, the State Department engaged in a similar strategy to signal its support for Ukraine by tweeting a picture of spokeswoman Jen Psaki with the hashtag #UnitedForUkraine.

 “Power is the ability to achieve intended effects, and this is not intended to have any effect on the real world.” 

 

Review Online


The Sociology of Science

 “Scientists are not saints in white laboratory smocks — they’ve got interests like everybody else.”

— George Will, on Tuesday’s Special Report.

He also took issue with climate-change believers, such as the New Yorker, claiming such reports are “the last word” on the issue:

“Try that phrase — ‘the last word’ — on microbiology, quantum mechanics, physics, chemistry. Since when does science come to the end?”

National Review Online


[VIDEO] Will: ‘Lenin Had a Name for People Like Edward Snowden — Useful Idiots’

Washington Post columnist George Will on “Fox News Sunday”:

Lenin, whose spirit still infuses the government of Russia had a name for people like Mr. Snowden – ‘useful idiots,’ he said, idealists so-called who served the interests of Lenin’s country,” Will said. “We don’t need to listen to Snowden anymore giving us lectures about the virtues of an open society when he chooses to go to earth in Putin’s Russia…”

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Will: Progressives are Wrong About the Essence of the Constitution

Jefferson-Memorial-998x665

 writes: In a 2006 interviewSupreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitutionis “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.

The fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.

Now the nation no longer lacks what it has long needed, a slender book that lucidly explains the intensity of conservatism’s disagreements with progressivism. For the many Americans who are puzzled and dismayed by the heatedness of political argument today, the message of Timothy Sandefur’s “The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty” is this: The temperature of today’s politics is commensurate to the stakes of today’s argument.

The argument is between conservatives who say U.S. politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy. Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty preexists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.

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[VIDEO] George Will: The Left Has ‘a Kind of Tourettes Syndrome’ in Constantly Blaming Race

Eric Holder’s suggestion earlier this week that he and President Obama receive more criticism due to their race is just the latest example of the “intellectual poverty” among Democrats, according to George Will.

“Liberalism has a kind of Tourette’s syndrome these days — it’s just constantly saying the word ‘racism’ and ‘racist.'”

With Democrats facing the unpopularity of Obamacare, a troubled foreign-policy, and an “unprecedentedly bad” economic recovery, the party had started to employ this strategy in to top-gear ahead of the fall midterms…(read more)

National Review Online


[VIDEO] The Hammer: ‘Culture of Left Only Satisfied in Destroying People Who Oppose Them’

Charles Krauthammer calls for a counter-boycott of Mozilla

“This is the culture of the left not being satisfied with making an argument, or even prevailing in an argument, but in destroying personally and marginalizing people who oppose them…”

For The Daily CallerBrendan Bordelon reports:  Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer called for Americans to affect a “counter-boycott” of Mozilla after the company fired their CEO for donating to an anti-gay marriage campaign, calling the move “totalitarian discourse…”

“…This is totalitarian discourse, and it shows a level of intolerance that is absolutely — it should be unacceptable, and people ought to get what they’re giving out and field a counter-boycott.”

Krauthammer spoke on a Fox News panel with USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers and conservative kirsten-powers-smcolumnist George Will, discussing Brendan Eich’s dismissal from popular web browser provider Mozilla after activists discovered he donated $1,000 to California’s Prop 8 campaign — which made gay marriage illegal in the state. Many gay activists boycotted Mozilla, leading to Eich’s eventual termination.

[RELATED: Gay journalist Andrew Sullivan ‘disgusted’ by gay rights ‘fanaticism’ after Mozilla CEO resigns]

george-f-will-114x80Will noted that Eich’s dismissal is “an illustration of a new phenomenon. No one likes sore losers, but now we have sore winners. The gay rights movement is winning — particularly with regard to same-sex marriage — with a speed and breadth that simply takes your breath away . . . Yet unsatisfied with victory, they seem to want to stamp out and punish people for their previous views.” Read the rest of this entry »


George Will: ‘Family Structure is the Best Predictor of Life Chances’

Monday Night’s The Factor. After the clip of Paul Ryan, guest George Will lists reasons that Ryan is a threat to liberal orthodoxy, then closes in on the relevant one:

“…but most important, they’re terrified of his fundamental message, which the President himself has said, and social scientists have documented, that the fundamental problem is cultural. That’s the word.”

Will hits his stride when speaking in universal terms, on a subject which honest people on both the right and the left have already mostly agreed: The steep decline of the two-parent family, and its direct role in poverty.

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“The family is the primary transmitter of social capital. By social capital I mean the habits, mores, customs, dispositions, values that enable you to take advantage of opportunities.”

The tragedy of America is that just as the Civil Rights Movement was heroically removing barriers, legal and other barriers to opportunity, a social regression set in. As a result of the fact that the attitudes, aptitudes, and dispositions necessary to seize opportunities were not being developed among a large cohort of children who did not have intact families.”

As conservatives have long emphasized, it’s not political, it’s not racial, it’s not economic, it’s cultural. 

Here’s the lengthier exchange. Will’s comments are condensed, almost pre-written (perhaps explicitly pre-written and carefully rehearsed) characteristic of his habit of public speaking, but the points he makes involve statistics, discussing a racially-charged topic.

George Will: Until the 1960s, we had this serene hope, that in Jack Kennedy’s words, ‘a rising economic tide will raise all boats’. But we found that a lot of boats were stuck on the bottom. And we tried to figure out why. Pat Moynihan and others looked into it, and came to the conclusion that family structure is the best predictor of life chances. That is, growing up in a two-parent family. When Pat Moynihan published his report, 49 years ago, this month, saying that there’s a crisis among African Americans because, 23.6% of African American children were born to unmarried women, he was called a racist. Today the figure is 72%. 54% for Hispanics, 41% for all American children. This isn’t a white-black problem. This is a cultural problem, across the board.”

Bill O’Reilly: And that’s what Ryan was pointing out, he wasn’t saying saying anything about color…

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George Will: Democrats Are Making Income Inequality Worse

Obama-Reidx

George Will writes: Someone who is determined to disbelieve something can manage to disregard an Everest of evidence for it. So Barack Obama will not temper his enthusiasm for increased equality with lucidity about the government’s role in exacerbating inequality.

In the movie “Animal House,” Otter, incensed by the expulsion of his fraternity, says: “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture.”

Such thinking gives us minimum-wage increases that do very little for very few. Meanwhile, there are farm bills, like the one Obama signed last month at Michigan State University.

MSU was one of the models for the land-grant colleges created under the 1862 Morrill Act, whose primary purpose was to apply learning to agriculture. Today, we apply crony capitalism to agriculture. The legislation Obama lavishly praised redistributes wealth upward by raising prices consumers pay. Vincent Smith of Montana State University says small non-farm businesses are almost 30 times more likely to fail than farms, partly because the $956 billion farm legislationcontinues agriculture’s thick safety net. The geyser of subsidies assures that farm households will continue to be 53 percent more affluent than average households.

“We spend $1 trillion annually on federal welfare programs, decades after Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that if one-third of the money for poverty programs was given directly to the poor, there would be no poor. But there also would be no unionized poverty bureaucrats prospering and paying dues that fund the campaigns of Democratic politicians theatrically heartsick about inequality.”

Certain payments are, however, restricted. People making more than $900,000 annually are ineligible.

Seventy percent of Agriculture Department spending funds food services. Nearly 48 million people — almost as many live on the West Coast (in California, Oregon and Washington) — receive food stamps. This dependency, inimical to upward mobility, is assiduously cultivated by government through “outreach initiatives” to “increase awareness” and “streamline the application process.”

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[VIDEO] The Hammer: ‘Obama is Living in a Fantasy World’ and George Will: ‘We Have to Avoid…Narcissistic Policy Disorder’

 “…To invade Crimea is a huge step and he would only have done it with a president who has shown from the very beginning that he’s living in a fantasy world.” 

[Dr. Krauthammer’s critique of Obama is identical to the recent harsh assessment by the Editorial Board of the Washington Post, in their first outright mutiny since Obama’s been in office. The Hammer, on the other hand, has been doing this for years…]

Erg-Obama-AP

President Bambi contemplates dreams of a global, interconnected, multi-polar, power-sharing, cooperating, interdependent, non-competitive 21st century fantasyland…

“Remember the speech he gave at the U.N. when he started his administration? He said no nation can or should dominate another. I mean, there’s not a 12-year-old in the world who believes that. And he said the alignment of nations rooted in the cleavages of the long ago Cold War make no sense in this interconnected world. As our Secretary of State said today, or yesterday, after all this, this is a 19th century action in a 21st century world. As if what he means is actions where governments pursue expansion, territory domination, no longer exist in this century, as if that hasn’t been a constant in all of human history since Hannibal. They imagine the world as a new interconnected world where climate change is the biggest threat and they are shocked that the Russians actually are interested in territory.”

BONUS ROUND: George Will’s Take…

Will is uncharacteristically restrained here, avoiding blaming Obama’s obvious weaknesses. Though it’s tempting to see this latest eruption of international catastrophes as shaped by avoidable foreign policy failures, the direct result of Obama’s poor judgement and unrealistic goals, I’m inclined to agree with George Will’s larger point. That it can be self-serving, even self-flattering, to think the U.S.’s influence (or lack of influence) is a primary determining factor in world events.

 “We have to avoid . . . narcissistic policy disorder — that is the belief that everything in the world happens because of something we did or didn’t do or said or didn’t say.”

While we can still put pressures on Russia, Will said, “we are not in a position of strength.”

“We are in a position of extraordinary weakness,” Will said, “and I’m not sure it’s Obama’s fault…”

A fair point. However, I don’t agree that the events would have unfolded this way regardless of U.S. policy, or leadership. President Obama’s wishful-thinking, inexperience, and amateurism as an international leader can only be provocative to more aggressive personalities in Syria, Iran, and Russia. We’re paying the price for Obama’s lack of strength and experience. And increasingly, everyone knows it.

— The Butcher

[You can download Dr. Krauthammer’s bestselling Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics [Kindle Edition] from Amazon]

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The Liberal Agenda: Being Good to Liberals

crony-liberals writes:  The many jaundiced assessments of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on the fifth anniversary of its enactment were understandable, given that the sluggish recovery, now drowsing through the second half of its fifth year, is historically anemic. Still, bleak judgments about the stimulus spending miss the main point of it, which was to funnel a substantial share of its money to unionized, dues-paying, Democratic-voting government employees. Hence the stimulus succeeded. So there.

This illustrates why it is so sublime to be a liberal nowadays. Viewed through the proper prism, most imagesliberal policies succeed because they can hardly fail. Each achieves one or both of two objectives — making liberals feel good about themselves and being good to liberal candidates.

Consider Barack Obama’s renewed anxiety about global warming, increasingly called “climate change” during the approximately 15 years warming has become annoyingly difficult to detect. Secretary of State John Kerry, our knight of the mournful countenance, was especially apocalyptic recently when warning that climate change is a “weapon of mass destruction.” Like Iraq’s?

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George Will: Ukraine ‘Asserting Itself’ Against Russia, Putin

From NRO: The Ukrainian protests are a sign of national pride and a rejection of Russian president Vladimir Putin​’s efforts to expand his influence over the region, as George Will sees it. Ukraine’s steadfastness to its distinct nationality and culture are ultimately proving resilient as evidenced by pushing back against Putin’s attempts to neutralize those sentiments, as the Soviet Union did during the mid-20th century.

“Today what you’re seeing is nationality asserting itself against the former KGB operative,” Will said on Tuesday’s Special Report. “There’s no question that Putin, who is seen by the world — certainly by those closest to him in Ukraine — as a thug and killer, is being repudiated.”

With the European continent as a whole largely subdued as a result of economic turmoil, Ukraine’s opposition to Putin offers a different story…

ukraine-violence-crowd

National Review Online


[VIDEO] George Will: ‘When a Politician Says the Climate Debate Is Over, He’s Losing It’

Noah Rothman  reports:  Conservative columnist George Will appeared on Fox News Sunday where he was asked to respond to President Barack Obama’s attribution of most severe weather to the effects of climate change…

“When a politician, on a subject implicating science,” he continued, “says, ‘the debate is over,’ you may be sure of two things; the debate is raging and he’s losing it.”

Will insisted that the repeated refrain from climate change activists, that the “debate is over” surrounding anthropogenic global warming, is an admission that the debate is not only ongoing but that those activists are losing…

green_men_of_climate_alarmism

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2016 Will Be about Health Care: Hillary Will Have Some ‘Splainin to Do

“It is probable that 2016 will be the fourth consecutive election cycle in which Obamacare is a major issue…That will focus attention on the fact that, the first time Hillary Clinton stepped onto the center stage of American politics . . . [President Clinton] turned health care over to his wife, who, in a process both gargantuan and opaque, produced a health-care plan so rococo and implausible that neither the House nor the Senate, both controlled by the Democrats, would even bring it to a vote.”

George Will said this morning on Fox News Sunday.

“So if health care is, as I suspect it will be, a continuing issue in 2016,” Will said, “she has some explaining to do.”

National Review Online


Progressives take lessons from ‘Downton Abbey’

(Photo by Robin Marchant/WireImage)

(Photo by Robin Marchant/WireImage)

George Will  writes:  Many “Downton Abbey” watchers are nostalgia gluttons who grieved when Lord Grantham lost his fortune in Canadian railroad shares. There are, however, a discerning few whose admirable American sensibilities caused them to rejoice at Grantham’s loss: “Now perhaps this amiable but dilettantish toff will get off his duff and get a job.”

“It is fitting that PBS offers “Downton Abbey” to its disproportionately progressive audience. This series is a languid appreciation of a class structure supposedly tempered by the paternalism of the privileged. And if progressivism prevails, the United States will be Downton Abbey: Upstairs, the administrators of the regulatory state will, with a feudal sense of noblesse oblige, assume responsibility for the lower orders downstairs, gently protecting them…”

This drama’s verisimilitude extends to emphasizing that his lordship had a fortune to squander only because he married an American heiress. By battening on what they disdained, this republic’s commercial culture, many British aristocrats could live beyond their inherited means — actual work being, of course, unthinkable.

The deserved decline of Downton’s finances demonstrates why estate taxes are unnecessary: Even when Balzac’s axiom is accurate (“At the bottom of every great fortune without apparent source, there’s always some crime”) and fortunes are ill-gotten, subsequent generations often soon fritter them away. Call this Darwinian redistribution.

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Will: Big Government has Big Consequences

“The point of progressivism is to put in front of the American people an increasingly rich menu of temptations to dependency on government in order to change social norms and, eventually, national character…”

Will said.

Kathleen Sebelius at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Oct. 30. Associated Press

 ”…The president said ‘I want to fundamentally change America,’ and these disincentives to work are part of that.”

National Review Online


President Obama’s Magic Words and Numbers

Politico.com

Politico.com

George Will writes:  Barack Obama, the first president shaped by the celebratory culture in which every child who plays soccer gets a trophy and the first whose campaign speeches were his qualification for the office, perhaps should not be blamed for george-f-will-114x80thinking that saying things is tantamount to accomplishing things, and that good intentions aregood deeds. So, his presidency is useful after all, because it illustrates the perils of government run by believers in magic words and numbers.The last progressive president promised Model Cities, with every child enjoying a Head Start en route to enjoying an Upward obama-magician-150x150Bound into a Great Society. Today’s progressive president also uses words — and numbers — magically emancipated from reality.

Thirty months have passed since Obama said: “The time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Today, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, says Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power has “strengthened.” In last month’s State of the Union address, Obama defined success down by changing the subject: “American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria’s chemical weapons are being eliminated.” If saying so makes it so, all is well.

 “…Obama’s critics should reconsider their assumption that he is cynical. It is his sincerity that is scary.”

Assad, however, seems tardy regarding this elimination, perhaps because the threat of force was never actually made. The Democratic-controlled Senate nullified the threat by its emphatic reluctance to authorize force. Reuters recently reported that Assad had surrendered “4.1 percent of the roughly 1,300 tonnes of toxic agents” he supposedly has. The “.1” is an especially magical number, given the modifier “roughly” attached to 1,300 tons.

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[VIDEO] Small Ball: ‘Shrinkage’ of Presidency Will Be on Display in State of the Union Adress

“In baseball you play what’s called small ball — stealing bases, bunting — when you can’t do anything else,” Will said. “This is the miniaturization of the president’s agenda…”

George Costanza Will previewed Tuesday’s State of the Union address on Sunday, arguing that the president will focus on initiatives like universal pre-K and increasing the minimum wage because his major policy initiatives have been hamstrung.

costanza-shrinkage

 “I was in the pool! I WAS IN THE POOL!”

— George Costanza

“In baseball you play what’s called small ball — stealing bases, bunting — when you can’t do anything else,” Will said. “This is the miniaturization of the president’s agenda.

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[VIDEO] “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on How ObamaCare Screws Young People. For an Audience of… Young People…

New Obamacare Ads Aimed at Young People

A message to millennials: the joke’s on you.

The money quote:

“Next time, maybe pick up a newspaper”

The Obama Administration is having a tough time getting young people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. So they came up with a new ad campaign to help with the problem, though it may do just the opposite.

YouTube

Allahpundit writes:

“…not novel; Leno does it every day. The novelty lies in a show aimed at younger adults emphasizing that Democratic welfare programs do in fact have winners and losers, and more often than not Kimmel’s audience is on the wrong side…The success of the liberal agenda depends upon convincing people that someone else will pay for it. The Kimmel skit here strikes at the heart of that.”

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George Will: ‘New Biggest American Entitlement Is To Go Through Life Without Being Offended’

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Will marvelously said, “[T]he new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended”

George Will: ‘YouTube