Labor Watch November 2015: Right to Work 2.0: Politicians and bureaucrats use licensing and other rules to stop the creation of jobs. Here’s what to do about it.

Right to Work 2.0
Politicians and bureaucrats use licensing and other rules to stop the creation of jobs. Here’s what to do about it. [PDF here.
By Derek Khanna

Summary: Unions and other advocates of Big Government defend policies—license requirements, for example, and other “barriers to entry”—that make it difficult if not impossible to create new businesses and new jobs. Existing businesses are also often backers of laws and regulations that limit competition, stifling innovation and growth. But real reforms—policies that might be called “Right to Work 2.0”—could knock down these barriers.

if, in 2005, a 21-year-old Mark Zuckerberg decided to launch what was then called “”—but before he could do so he had to apply for his organization to be a “licensed social network” in every state.

► Imagine that to apply to be a licensed social network, Zuckerberg needed to pay large licensing fees to 50 states and regular renewal fees, while maintaining addresses in every jurisdiction, and be subject to lawsuits therein. Instead of hiring coders, Zuckerberg may have hired lawyers. He may even have had to hire a lobbyist. If that didn’t work, he may have had to pay PAC donations for political help to get approval across the country.
► What if Zuckerberg had to take an exam to become a licensed social network provider? Not a joke exam, but an exam that had a passage rate comparable to the bar exam?
► What if a licensed social network was only lawful if it followed certain prescribed market models, like prohibiting a private beta version to colleges and requiring it be open to everyone across the country before launching to the public?
► Lastly, what if this exam was created, run, and operated by Myspace and Friendster, then the incumbent social networking companies?
If that were the state of the law in 2005, there would be no Facebook.

This scenario may sound absurd. But today this sort of absurdity is the status quo in most states for many occupations. In fact, such requirements affect more than 25% of all occupations. It is not a coincidence that we see dynamic competition and growth in websites and apps, while the rest of the economy has slowed to a crawl.

Occupational licensing
The way that occupational licensing stifles employment opportunities is well-known. Across the country, licenses are required for locksmiths, ballroom dance instructors, manicurists, interior designers, upholsters, and, in Washington, D.C., even tour guides. All 50 states require licenses for anyone working with hair, which usually includes all hair braiders, despite the inconvenient fact that hair braiding is not actually taught in cosmetology school. [See the article by Steven J. Allen on page 4.]

Regulations like these affect real people. Clark Neily’s book Terms of Engagement chronicles the story of how regulations on the floral industry impacted one individual:

Sandy Meadows was a widow who lived by herself in Baton Rouge and

[Click HERE for the rest of the article.]

Media bias: 8 types [a classic, kinda]

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]

News media bias has been a hot topic lately, brought into sharp focus by the media’s desperate attempts to make Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look mainstream and moderate, and to make sensible, mainstream Americans look bigoted and extreme.

The bias may be worse than we’ve seen before—due, I think, to the near-elimination of diversity in the nation’s top newsrooms—but the problem is not new.

Evidence of that: a draft chapter I wrote, roughly 23 years ago, for a book that was to be published by the Media Research Center, a watchdog group.

As I did recently with a 25-year-old column on Global Warming ( ), I present it to you, dear reader, exactly as I found it in my files. It ends abruptly; I’m sure I was supposed to write a conclusion. In a couple of instances, I would phrase things differently if I were writing it today. (For example, despite my expectations, Nelson Mandela turned out to be a peacemaker, seeking reconciliation in his country and preventing  the bloodbath that could have taken place. He’s dead, and his country has resumed its march toward disaster, but at least he held it off for a while. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that, as I reported back in 1993, he had been a revolutionary communist and an advocate of violence, changing his attitude later.)

Anyway… Here it is, like Oliver Cromwell, warts and all: my look at the eight types of media bias.



Media bias takes several form. Here are the major categories:

1) Bias by commission: a pattern of unfounded assumptions and uncorrected errors that tend to support a left-wing or liberal view. The national media regularly report “facts” that don’t stand up to scrutiny: that the Reagan and Bush Administrations cut funding for social programs, when in fact social spending rose dramatically in both administrations; that the rich grew richer and the poor grew poorer during the Reagan years, when all income groups grew richer; and perhaps most scandalously, that there are three million homeless people in the United States. This statistic didn’t come from a government report or an academic study with a strict methodology. It came from homeless activist Mitch Snyder in 1983. How did Snyder count the homeless? He called up shelter providers and asked them.

Examples of bias by commission abound. During a March 1991 “Face the Nation,” host Lesley Stahl blamed an increase in the number of cases of measles on Reagan-era cuts in the federal immunization budget. The budget actually went from $32 million in 1980 to $186 million in 1990. She claimed that infant mortality is increasing in the United States; in fact, it has not increased since at least 1960, it has declined an average 2.5 percent a year since 1980. Between 1989 and 1990, it fell six percent.

A few days earlier, Dan Rather began a broadcast of the CBS Evening News with these words: “A startling number of American children are in danger of starving….Good evening. One out of eight American children is going hungry tonight.” But the report on which Rather based his report made no such claim. Robert Fersh, head of the liberal group issuing the hunger “study,” the liberal Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), The Christian Science Monitor: “I wasn’t asked much [by reporters] to clarify it.” To this day, no one knows where Rather got the assertion about “starving” children.

In fact, the national media are sometimes more impressed with (and less skeptical of) reports by liberal interest groups than government reports. Marianna Spicer-Brooks, Executive Producer of Face the Nation, told an MRC analyst that “studies” from the liberal Children’s Defense Fund, which aren’t original research but reworked data from government agencies like the Census Bureau, are more reliable than the Census Bureau itself. She asserted: “This is my own peculiar feeling about the Census Bureau. It has proved itself to be unreliable on a number of various issues, but the Children’s Defense Fund has made it their business to check out the statistics. They’re specialized.”

To find bias by commission often requires research. Unfortunately, while reputable books and studies have no credibility without footnotes, the media (especially television reporters) often ask you simply to believe them. But when reporters cite a specific group or study, get a copy of the original report. You may even find (as we have with the FRAC report) that liberal reporters exaggerate liberal groups’ research. Find experts in the field, and ask them if a story’s statistics ring true.


2) Bias by omission: a pattern of ignoring facts that tend to disprove liberal or left-wing claims, or that support conservative beliefs. This can be the most damaging bias, especially when the media build a crisis, and then refuse to report facts that oppose their earlier reporting.

Take the reporting of environmental “crises.” Recently, we’ve learned that a ten-year government study has found that acid rain has caused no discernible damage to forests and lakes. We also learned that the dioxin scare that caused the evacuation of Times Beach, Missouri, was highly exaggerated. But neither of these stories were covered by all of the national media. To date, the acid rain study has been ignored by the networks (except for 60 Minutes). Some TV reporters continue to report on acid rain as if the report never happened. The Times Beach story aired only on ABC.

Go back in time to the 1990 “budget summit,” when President Bush agreed to break his “no new taxes” pledge. Not one network reporter managed to compare the overall budgets of 1990 and 1991 (which showed a $100 billion increase despite those crushing “budget cuts.”) Not one network reporter pointed out the obvious — that spending “cuts” are often only cuts in projected increases.

When South African revolutionary Nelson Mandela visited America in June 1990, we found that none of the networks mentioned his communist past. None reported that he welcomed to his New York City platform three of the four Puerto Rican terrorists who shot and wounded five U.S. congressmen in 1954. When Mandela went to Cuba to celebrate the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution with Fidel Castro in July 1991, the networks did no story.

News refuting the promise of “socialist brotherhood” — such as the murder of millions of people in the Ukraine or in Cambodia is often ignored, sometimes for years or decades. During the years the Khmer Rouge murdered millions of people, the networks devoted less than thirty seconds per month per network to the human rights situation in Cambodia. When and if such news is reported, the role of the Left is played down or ignored. In the case of Cambodia, some reporters still place the majority of blame on the United States.

In early 1992, CBS reporter Betsy Aaron warned about bias by omission: “The largest opinion is what we leave out. I mean, it sounds simplistic, but I always say worry about what you’re not seeing. What you are seeing you can really criticizing because you’re smart and you have opinions. But if we don’t tell you anything, and we leave whole areas uncovered, that’s the danger.”


3) Bias by story selection: a pattern of highlighting news stories that coincide with the agenda of the Left while ignoring stories that coincide with the agenda of the Right.

Contrast the media’s treatment of ethical charges against Ed Meese when he was Attorney General and Jim Wright when he was Speaker of the House (and second-in-line? for the presidency). We compared the number of stories about Meese in January and February 1988 and stories about Wright between January 1987 and February 1988. The media covered charges against Meese in 17 times as many stories in just one-seventh the time. The nightly newscasts on ABC, NBC, and CBS carried 26 reports of charges against Meese in just two months, compared to zero stories against Wright in 14 months.

As it turned out, none of the charges against Meese were sustained, while the charges against Wright drove him from office in disgrace. Anti-Meese charges were considered news, regardless of whether the charges were justified, but accusations against Wright (mostly by Congressman Newt Gingrich of Georgia) were ignored month after month — until the liberal group Common Cause joined in the criticism.

When White House Chief of Staff John Sununu was investigated by The Washington Post for his extensive government travel habits, the Post devoted 27 stories to the supposed scandal. But at the same time, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin had also flown in a lot of government planes, including a flight back from a ski vacation in Colorado. The Post did no story on Aspin (Until we held a press conference and called them on it. Then they did one.)

Often, charges made by conservatives are (at least initially) written off as the product of paranoia. Charges made by the Left — that the Korean airliner shot down by the Soviets in 1983 was on a spy mission, or that the Reagan campaign negotiated to delay the release of the Iranian hostages in 1980 — are taken seriously, regardless of the strength of the evidence.

After the Korean airliner shootdown, in which a U.S. Congressman was killed, major news outlets promoted the theory that the airliner was on a spy mission for the CIA; more than three times as many stories promoted the theory rather than rebutting it, according to a study of six top media organizations. In a supreme irony, it was Russian reporters who later exposed the fact that the Soviet government found the plane’s black boxes, covered up the discovery, and lied about it — strong evidence that the Soviets knew they were shooting down an unarmed civilian aircraft.


4) Bias by placement: a pattern of placing news stories so as to downplay information supportive of conservative views. Does a story appear across the top half of the front page, or is it buried back with the obituaries and the horoscope? News editors (or whichever staffers lay out a given newspaper) exercise great discretion in their placement of stories. The news they consider most important and/or most likely to sell papers goes “above the fold” on the front page, where it can be read as the newspaper sits on the rack. Less important stories go on the bottom half of the first page, on the first page of other sections of the paper, on page two or three, and so on. The (supposedly) least important stories appear in the back pages.

There are limitations on an editor’s discretion, of course.  They must fit stories together in an attractive way, a job that is like assembling a giant jigsaw puzzle. They must use graphic elements such as charts, graphs, and color photos effectively.  But as a general rule story placement is a measure of how important the editor considers the story.

When The Washington Post was investigating the travel habits of Sununu and reported 27 stories in 68 days, they put the Sununu story on the front page eleven times, guaranteeing that the story would remain on the front pages of other papers and early in radio and television newscasts.

Another form of placement is the placement of facts within a story. News stories are usually written in a “pyramid” style — that is, the most important facts are supposed to appear early in the story, with each paragraph a little less important that the previous paragraph. Newspapers use that style for two reasons: (a) so that editors, editing a story to fit the available space, can cut from the bottom up, and (b) so that the average reader will get the most important facts. Editors know that, the farther down you go in a news story, the fewer readers you have.

When the liberals at People for the American Way released a report questioning the travel habits of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, The Boston Globe broke the story on its front page, but didn’t mention People for the American Way until the eighth paragraph, after the story had jumped from page 1 to page 17. The Washington Post story the next day put the group’s name at the very beginning of the report.

Studies have shown that, in the case of the average newspaper reader and the average news story, most people read only the headline. Some read just the first paragraph, some just the first two paragraphs, and some read just to the bottom of the column and don’t bother to read the continuation. Very few people read the average story all the way through to the end, especially if it is continued in another section of the paper.

Robert Rector, a poverty expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, laughs at his regular “slot” in Washington Post news stories on studies released by liberal groups. Rector regularly appears in the second-to-last paragraph of Post stories, which the Post then calls balanced. Rector’s own studies are regularly ignored by the Post.

One of the most obvious expressions of bias by placement came in The Washington Post’s coverage of abortion rallies in 1990. Post ombudsman Richard Harwood took his own paper to task, noting the NOW pro-abortion rally dominated the front page, generating a dozen stories taking up 15 columns of space. The pro-life rally received two stories in the “Metro” section.


5) Bias by the selection of “experts”: the use of such phrases as “most experts believe” and “observers say,” or a reporter’s deliberate selection of experts who share his point of view. When a reporter says “most experts believe…,” he often means, “I believe…” Quoting an expert by name does not necessarily add to the credibility of a story, because the reporter may choose any expert he wants. Often a reporter picks an expert who will provide him with a quote supporting his (the reporter’s) personal opinion.

Experts in news stories are like expert witnesses in trials.  If you know whether the defense or the prosecution called a particular expert witness to the stand, you know which way the witness will testify. And when a news story only presents one side, it is obviously the side the reporter supports.

Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution is one of the most quoted experts in Washington. So he knows how journalists often go looking for quotes to fit their favorite argument into a news story. Hess wrote in The Washington Post: “If I don’t respond appropriately, they say they’ll get back to me. Which means they won’t. This is a big city and someone else is sure to have the magic words they are looking for…TV news is increasingly dishonest in that increasingly its stories are gatherings of quotes or other material to fit a hypothesis.”    On the CBS Evening News on January 22, 1990, anchor Dan Rather introduced a story on the latest events in the Soviet Union with the sentence: “Bruce Morton sampled the debate in this country.” But Morton’s sampling ranged from left to left: Ellen Mickiewicz of the Jimmy Carter Center, Ed Hewett of the Brookings Institution, William Hyland of the liberal-leaning journal Foreign Affairs, and CBS consultant Stephen Cohen.

In September 1990, The Washington Post reported on the Census Bureau’s annual measurement of poverty. Post reporters Spencer Rich and Barbara Vobejda wrote: “Economists across the political spectrum said yesterday the current economic picture could mean an even greater rise in poverty.” The Post followed this with two experts: Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution and Isabel Sawhill of the Urban Institute, two indistinguishable liberals.


6) Spin: emphasizing certain aspects of a news story in the hope that other aspects will be ignored. Party spokesmen who talk with reporters after a presidential debate, seeking to convince them that their candidate won, are called “spin doctors.” One expert on the news media, Professor Michael Robinson, explains that “spin involves tone, the part of the reporting that extends beyond hard news.”

Our favorite example of spin control comes from CBS economics correspondent Ray Brady, the networks’ Prince of Darkness when it comes to negative news on the economy. On October 12, 1989, home prices were down. That’s great news for buyers, but not for sellers, so Brady focused on the sellers: “In the past, the American dream of owning your own home always had a sequel — live in it, then sell it at a huge profit…So another dream has faded.” Five months later, on March 16, 1990, home prices were rising, so the conclusion switched to the buyers: “So they keep looking. Thousands of young couples like the Wares, looking for that first house, looking for what used to be called the American dream.”

Two networks often put different spins on the same story. When President Bush decided to reconsider the definition of a “wetland,” ABC’s Ned Potter focused on critics of Bush: “George Bush gets reminded on days like this that he pledged to be the environmental President. He’s likely to face stiff opposition from some Congressmen who say he’s just caving in to business.”

But two days later, NBC had a different spin. Reporter Henry Champ described how many opponents of federal wetlands policy weren’t just greedy businessmen: “Suddenly, thousands of people who thought themselves bystanders saw themselves as victims: vacation homeowners, retirees, rural homeowners. For example, even though the Maryland coast is dotted with farms centuries old, building lots were now being reclassified as wetlands.” Comparing the differences in how different media outlets report the same story will often highlight the approaches and biases of each outlet on a range of issues.

Legal reporters use spin control by asserting that only liberal judges are interested in defending “individual rights.”   When liberal Supreme Court justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall resigned, reporters repeatedly warned that the conservative Court would repeal civil liberties. CNN’s Candy Crowley intoned: “Also at risk in a court without Brennan: the limits of individual freedom.”

As scandals go, the media can practice spin control by creating a media phenomenon over an issue, and then when information surfaces that challenges their theory, the story dies without retraction. Take, for example, the three networks’ response to the “October Surprise” theory, which suggested that the Reagan campaign bargained with the Iranians to delay the hostage release until after the 1980 election. The networks did 27 evening news stories on the theory in 1991. But when major exposés in Newsweek and The New Republic challenged the dubious sources behind the theory, the network evening news shows did nothing. (By early 1993, Senate and House reports had thoroughly discredited the October Surprise theory, but the networks failed to look at how they had been used.)


7) Bias by the labeling of activists, organizations, and ideas. The media’s power to label people is one of its most subtle, and potent. Responsible conservatives are sometimes stigmatized as “far right,” “ultra-conservative,” or “right-wing extremists,” while radicals, even Marxists, are called “progressives,” “liberals,” or “moderates.”

The paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould may be a Marxist, but one point he makes is certainly valid: that labels tell you as much about the person applying the labels as they tell about the subject being labeled. Gould wrote, “Taxonomy [the science of classification] is often regarded as the dullest of subjects, fit only for mindless ordering and sometimes denigrated within science as ‘stamp collecting’ . . . . If systems of classification were neutral hat racks for hanging the facts of the world, this disdain might be justified. But classifications both direct and reflect our thinking. The way we [put things in] order represents the way we think.” In other words, classifications, or labels, matter.

Think about that the next time you hear a TV reporter, when you hear the hard-line Communist coup plotters in the USSR called “conservatives.” Terms like “right-wing” are used to describe hard- line communists and staunch capitalists, Israeli Zionists and Soviet anti-Semites, apartheid-loving bigots and Clarence Thomas supporters. And liberals complain about conservatives being “simplistic.”

Meg Greenfield, editorial page editor of The Washington Post, notes that “every time there is a confrontation somewhere in the world, we manage to dub the good guys liberals and the bad guys conservatives and pretty soon that is the common currency.”

Sometimes labeling bias takes the form of not labeling people and organizations in ideological terms. For example, conservative groups are almost always identified as conservative, while liberal groups are described in neutral terms such as “women’s group” or “civil rights group,” or favorable terms such as “children’s rights supporters,” “free-speech activists,” or “clean-air advocates.”

Consider the two major women’s political organizations in the United States — the conservative Concerned Women for America and the liberal National Organization for Women. By all measures, NOW is at least as far to the left as CWA is to the right. But an MRC study of three newspapers (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post) and the three news magazines showed that NOW was labeled liberal in only 10 of 421 newspaper stories (or 2.4 percent of the time) in 1987 and 1988. CWA, with three times the membership of NOW, was only mentioned in 61 stories in the same time period, but was labeled conservative 25 times (41 percent).

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), consistently rated by various groups as one of the three or four most liberal U.S. Senators, rarely receives an ideological label in news stories, while Senator Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina) is consistently referred to as “conservative,” “right-wing,” or “far-right.” One study showed that Helms was labeled ten times as often as Kennedy.

The same pattern holds true for comparisons of the conservative Heritage Foundation and the liberal Brookings Institution, conservative civil rights expert Pat McGuigan and liberal Ralph Neas, and various other similar pairings. The conservative organization or individual is almost always labeled, but the liberal counterpart is not. Why? Because the national media see liberal groups as “us” and conservative groups as “them.”

The examples we have listed are from the national media, but the same principles apply to local media. It is up to you to examine the media in your area and determine the extent to which labeling and other types of bias appear. Once you have acquainted yourself with the above examples, you should find it easy to spot local bias.


8) Bias by policy recommendation. As we have mentioned, when reporters list possible solutions to society’s problems, the solutions are almost always on the agenda of the Left (“raise taxes,” “cut defense,” “have taxpayers pay for abortions,” “issue more government regulations.”)

Most news stories simply relate a sequence of events, but an increasing number mix reporting with specific recommendations for government policy. Time magazine’s “Planet of the Year” story at the end of 1988 included — as examples of the actions government “must” take to avoid ecological catastrophe — a wish list of liberal and ultraliberal ideas. Time has recommended a raising the tax on gasoline at least 24 times in the last four years. On August 8, 1990, Detroit reporter S.C. Gwynne asked for the biggest tax hike: “The most effective solution, many experts say, would be a combination of market incentives and somewhat higher fuel-efficiency standards. A stiff gasoline tax of $1 per gal. would encourage consumers to choose more economical autos.”

For several years ABC’s World News Tonight has run a nightly series of reports called the “American Agenda.” These are essentially essays in which reporters highlight various proposals for solving the nation’s problems. While some reports have publicized creative private solutions to social problems, often the reports endorse the same old government “solutions.”

On December 3, 1991, ABC reporter Carole Simpson promoted the programs of France’s socialist prime minister, Francois Mitterand, as more efficient and caring than the United States:

“When you see how France cares for its children, you can’t help but wonder why the United States won’t do the same for our children. Americans continue to study and debate what to do about poor children, but the French decided long ago. Their system of social welfare is based on the belief that investing in the children of France is investing in the future of France.”


Obama’s Permanent Protest


CRC’s Matthew Vadum has a column in today’s FrontPageMag.

Here it is:


Obama’s Permanent Protest:  Why the rise in rioting and civil unrest under Obama is no coincidence, but part of the plan

By Matthew Vadum

After making America poorer, weaker, less free, more race-obsessed and balkanized throughout his tumultuous presidency, Barack Obama is gearing up to use his two tax-exempt nonprofits to continue attacking what remains of the republic’s civil society after he leaves office in 14 months.

Obama’s presidency “has been pockmarked by rioting, looting and protests,” as he “encouraged the nonstop civil unrest exhausting the nation,” writes the Hoover Institution’s Paul Sperry. Obama and his “army of social justice bullies” are going to make things worse before he leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017.

Our indefatigable Community Organizer-in-Chief is planning to use Organizing for Action (OfA) and the Barack Obama Foundation to continue punishing America for its imaginary sins and to promote manufactured controversies long after he leaves the White House.

Chicago-based OfA has trained “more than 10,000 leftist organizers, who, in turn, are training more than 2 million youths in [Saul] Alinsky street tactics,” according to Sperry. This “army of social justice bullies” will carry on Obama’s campaign to fundamentally transform America.

OfA is a less violent version of Mussolini’s black shirts and Hitler’s brown shirts, or of the government-supported goon squads that Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Cuba’s Castro brothers use to harass and intimidate their domestic opponents. OfA units brought muscle to the 2011-12 fight in Wisconsin over that state’s out-of-control government labor unions. OfA has bludgeoned Democrats that Obama deemed insufficiently left-wing, especially red-state congressional Democrats who had been wavering on the issue of Obamacare.

Continue reading →

Green Watch November 2015: The Kitzhaber-Hayes Affair: Oregon’s four-term governor falls to an environmentalist scandal


The Kitzhaber-Hayes Affair
Oregon’s four-term governor falls to an environmentalist scandal [PDF here]
by Jim Pasero

Summary: Four-term Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber first came to the state’s highest office by ruthlessly forcing a fellow Democrat, the incumbent, out of the position. But two decades later, when an epic scandal forced him out, he publicly wept for the state’s loss of pleasant “public discourse.” This is part one of a two-part report on a “green” scandal that reaches from Oregon to surrounding states, to the nation’s capital, and to other countries.

[Editor’s note: Whatever you think of his politics, you have to view John Kitzhaber as one of Oregon’s most successful politicians. He was an emergency room physician who became a state representative and president of the state Senate, the creator of a healthcare rationing “death panel” scheme that was a precursor to Obamacare, the longest-serving governor in his state’s history, and one of the fathers of policies that, even after his departure from public office, promote a radical “green” agenda in Oregon and far beyond.

Yet across the country the Governor will be remembered most of all for his ultimately disastrous relationship with Cylvia Hayes, a woman who committed immigration fraud, bought land for an illegal marijuana farm, and, while on the payroll of billionaire-backed environmentalists, pushed Kitzhaber to pursue anti-taxpayer schemes ranging from a hidden gasoline tax to an “index of well-being” that hid governmental failure from the voters.

The Kitzhaber-Hayes scandal resulted in his resignation and in an FBI investigation still active as this is written. The probe has subpoenaed tens of thousands of documents and is peeling back the layers of corruption and cronyism that make up the modern environmental movement. —SJA]

On February 13, just a month into his fourth term, Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-Oregon) resigned. In his resignation letter, he explained that he was a victim.

I must say that it is deeply troubling to me to realize that we have come to a place in the history of this great state of ours where a person can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced by the media with no due process and no independent verification of the allegations involved. But even more troubling—and on a very personal level as someone who has given 35 years of public service to Oregon—is that so many of my former allies have been willing to accept this judgment at its face value.

It is something that is hard for me to comprehend – something that we might expect in Washington, D.C., but surely not in Oregon. I do not know what it means for our shared future, but I do know that it is seriously undermining civic engagement in this state and the quality of public discourse that once made Oregon stand out from the pack.

Among those who helped push him out of office—the leaders of his party, including Secretary of State (and now Governor) Kate Brown, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek—the letter may have evoked pity or sadness. But to those who saw him as a colossal political figure, the governor’s tone was whiny and pathetic. Kitzhaber was no longer the powerful and historic four-term governor. He was just another politician who, with his career in ruins, felt sorry for himself and couldn’t accept that his situation was his own fault—the kind of loser who, as he headed out the door, asked state employees to delete his e-mails. [Click HERE for the rest of the article.]

Divestment campaign shows how the ignorant and superstitious prevail on campus

With the triumph of racist, anti-Free Speech extremists in the conflict at the University of Missouri [see below for links to news stories and commentaries on the UM crisis], it’s a good time to take a look at another campus campaign based on ignorance and superstition: the effort to pressure colleges and universities to get rid of their investments in carbon-based fuels (commonly and wrongly called “fossil fuels”).

The National Association of Scholars has a new report, posted at (PDF at, that details the effort.

To give you a taste of what’s in the NAS report, here’s a timeline showing how the “divestment” movement grew from nothing to a national campaign, one that threatens public pensions funds and other investment funds as well as those of academic institutions.

A digest of the timeline from the NAS report:


October 2006. Bill McKibben, a visiting professor at Middlebury College, and six students organize Step It. Over the period 2008-2011, the group (also known as 1 Sky) becomes It is the leading organization in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

[NOTE: “350” refers to the level of carbon dioxide, or CO2, that the group believes is the maximum if humans are to avoid disaster – 350 parts per million, or 1/2857th of the atmosphere. The figure in the 19th Century is believed to have been 280 parts per million, or 1/3571st of the atmosphere. The current estimate for atmospheric carbon dioxide is 400 parts per million, or 1/2500th of the atmosphere, the rough equivalent of five tablespoons of water in a 50-gallon tub.]



Fall 2009. The Sierra Student Coalition’s Campuses Beyond Coal campaign urges colleges to shut down on-campus coal power plants. This effort becomes the foundation for the divestment campaign.



October 2010. After Professor George Lakey (Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania ) takes students on a fall break visit to West Virginia coal country, the student group Swarthmore Mountain Justice forms to oppose coal mining and demand divestment from the “sordid sixteen” carbon-based fuel companies with “the dirtiest environmental and human rights records.”



June 2011. Student groups meet in Washington, D.C. at offices of the Wallace Global Fund (named after former Vice President Henry Wallace, 1948 presidential candidate of the Soviet-front Progressive Party; founded in 1995 by Wallace’s son).  The students launch a series of divestment campaigns, “Divest Coal,” at six colleges.

November 2011. The Carbon Tracker Initiative in London releases a report warning about that energy companies already have, in their reserves, five times more carbon-based energy sources than would be sufficient to trigger catastrophe. These are (supposedly) “stranded assets” that cannot be used and are, therefore, worthless – the equivalent of worthless mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis.



January 2012. Hampshire College, the first school to divest from South Africa during apartheid, is the first academic institution to divest from carbon-based fuels.

July 2012. Divestment activists at Swarthmore College and Earlham College go on a “Divest Coal Frontlines Listening Tour” in Appalachia. On July 28, they join with Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS) to shut down Hobert mine, the largest strip mine in West Virginia, for three hours. Students plan to double the number of campus campaigns to 12 by the fall.

Summer 2012. The divestment movement grows to 50 campaigns, including at Brown University, Harvard University, and Columbia University.

August 2012. Bill McKibben’s article “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” in Rolling Stone goes viral. Based on the five-times-catastrophe argument [see November 2011, above], McKibben argues that 80 percent of all carbon-based fuel reserves must be left in the ground.

November 2012. Bill McKibben launches a “Do the Math” speaking tour at 21 cities in the United States, and launches the Go Fossil Free: Divest from Fossil Fuels! Campaign (counting 100 separate efforts). Unity College in Maine divests. Go Fossil Free counts 100 active campaigns.

December 2012. Seattle commits to divest its daily operational budget.



February 2013. Sterling College in Vermont divests. The first national student divestment activist “convergence” is held at Swarthmore College with students from 77 colleges and universities.

March 2013. College of the Atlantic in Maine divests.

April 2013. Green Mountain College in Vermont divests. Eleven students at Rhode Island School of Design hold the first sit-in.

May 2013. declares “Fossil Freedom” day with 50 protests and rallies. The Swarthmore College board of trustees meets with students, staff, and faculty to discuss the issue; 100 students with Swarthmore Mountain Justice disrupt the meeting and take over the microphones to make demands on divestment and other left-wing causes. San Francisco State University Foundation commits to divest from direct holdings in coal and tar sands.

Summer 2013. Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network forms.

October 2013. The Harvard President calls “climate change” “one of the world’s most consequential challenges” but rejects divestment as a dangerously “instrumentalizing” the endowment. Foothill-De Anza Community College Foundation in California divests from direct holdings.  Naropa University in Colorado freezes investments in carbon-based fuel companies and pledges to divest within five years.

December 2013. Go Fossil Free launches “#RejectionDenied,” a Twitter hashtag and the name of strategy to “escalate” campaigns and overturn rejections. Peralta Community College District in California pledges to divest within five years.



February 2014. Prescott College in Arizona pledges to divest within three years.

April 2014. San Francisco State University hosts a second divestment convergence, with more than 200 students attending. Pitzer College in California announces that it will divest from all direct holdings by the end of the year and create the Pitzer Sustainability Fund within the endowment to invest in “environmentally responsible investments.” In California, Humboldt State University, which hasn’t held direct investments in carbon-based fuel companies for more than a decade, adopts a “stricter” investment policy related to “concerning sectors” such as casinos, tobacco and alcohol, utilities, and aerospace and defense.

May 2014. A student participating in “Divest Harvard” is arrested for blocking access to a building. Stanford University divests from direct investments in coal companies.

Summer 2014. The Divestment Student Network forms the “Escalation Core” to orchestrate more aggressive actions. Students take “#BankOnUs” pledges to continue organizing.

June 2014. The British Medical Association becomes the first medical organization to divest from fossil fuels. Union Theological Seminary announces that it will divest all “separately managed accounts” and withdraw from any commingled funds that “are not central to our portfolio.” University of Dayton, a Jesuit university in Ohio, commits to eliminate fossil fuel holdings from its domestic equity accounts and “invest in green and sustainable technologies or holdings.”

September 2014. One day before the People’s Climate March (PCM) in New York City, the PCM Youth Convergence draws thousands of student activists for training and launches “UnKoch My Campus” efforts to reject funding from the Charles Koch Foundation. The PCM itself draws a claimed 400,000 people (New York Times estimate: 311,000). The Rockefeller Brothers Fund announces that it will reduce coal and tar sands to one percent of the portfolio by the end of the year and “determine an appropriate strategy for further divestment over the next few years.”  At the Climate Summit in New York City, the UN releases a divestment action plan.

November 2014. Students at Syracuse University occupy the president’s office demanding divestment and making other left-wing demands. Canada’s first Fossil Free Convergence brings together 80 students. Seven student members of Divest Harvard file a lawsuit against Harvard for failing to divest; they say the university is guilty of “mismanagement of charitable funds” and they claim Harvard is funding “climate change denial” which has “a chilling effect on academic freedom” and undermines graduates’ job prospects. (The suit is dismissed in March 2015.)

December 2014. California State University-Chico commits to divest within four years. California Institute of the Arts, which has no direct investments in carbon-based fuels, will withdraw 25 percent of its indirect investments over the next five years.



January 2015. Goddard College in Vermont divests. The University of Maine System divests from direct investments in coal companies. University of Maine Presque-Isle announces that it divested in 2013-2014.

February 2015. The New School in New York announces its divestment plan and the creation of a curriculum to make students into “climate citizens.” Pushing back against divestment, the Environmental Policy Alliance releases a cartoon video depicting a boy who “breaks up” with carbon-based fuels and ends up without electricity, modern technology, or consumer goods. organizes Global Divestment Day, with 450 events in 60 countries. Natalie Portman, Cornel West, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. endorse Divest Harvard. Brevard College, a Methodist-affiliated college in North Carolina, commits to divest by 2018.  The “multidenominational” Pacific School of Religion in California commits to divest.

March 2015. The Guardian newspaper, partnering with, launches a petition to urge the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to divest. In the first 24 hours, 60,000 people sign the petition. “Divestment spring” begins with a sit-in at Swarthmore College. UN “climate change” official Christiana Figueres endorses the sit-in. (The sit-in ends when the board of trustees agrees to consider the proposal – which, in May, they reject.) Another sit-in, involving 20 students, is held at University of Mary Washington. William Bowen, president emeritus of Princeton University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, denounces divestment in a Washington Post op-ed. Syracuse University announces it will divest from direct holdings [which, it turned out, the school didn’t have] and screen out carbon-based fuels.

April 2015. The Guardian announces its plan to divest. About two dozen student stage a sit-in at Bowdoin College, and 48 students sit-in outside the president’s office at Yale. Divest Harvard holds Harvard Heat Week, with speeches by Bill McKibben, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, and former Senator Tim Wirth. University of Washington announces it will divest from direct holdings in coal companies by the end of the year.

May 2015. Adler University in Illinois divests. The University of Hawaii System divests and commits to reducing exposure in commingled funds to one percent.

June 2015. Rhode Island School of Design divests from direct holdings in fossil fuels. Georgetown University announces it will divest from direct investments in coal.


As the authors of the NAS report note: “The fossil fuel divestment movement is an attack on freedom of inquiry and responsible social advocacy in American higher education. The movement impresses on a generation of students an attitude of grim hostility to intellectual freedom, democratic self-government, and responsible stewardship of natural resources. This study shows how that is happening.” Again, you can download the report at (PDF at




Here are links I promised above, dealing with recent, disastrous events at the University of Missouri:


In a stunning confession, Politico admits: We hate Ben Carson, so we just make stuff up about him [OK, they didn’t actually admit it]

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

Today, the top candidates for the Republican presidential nomination include Dr. Ben Carson, Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina, the first woman to head one of the country’s top 50 businesses.

To Progressives, that lineup is a real problem. The Progressive movement grounds much of its appeal in identity (i.e., racist/sexist) politics and in the myth that its adversaries – conservatives, Republicans, non-leftist religious people, members of the Tea Party movement, et al. – are the ones who are racist and sexist. Yet a look at the GOP lineup strongly indicates otherwise. In the words of Chico Marx: Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

Progressives are attempting to solve the Carson/Rubio/Cruz/Fiorina problem by declaring that those candidates aren’t really African-American, Latino, or female. The Republicans are imposters, you see, or, at least, fakes, dirty rotten lyin’ liars.

This week, they’re focused on Dr. Carson, who in recent polls has been in first or second place for the nomination. CNN staffers looked into some of the stories in his autobiography, such as his tale about almost stabbing a friend, and were unable to verify the stories—or, at least, the CNN people claimed that they looked in the stories and were unable to verify them. Even if the CNN people are telling the truth (and there is no reason to believe them), their lack of results does not prove, or even indicate, that Carson is lying.

Think of the stories your best friend has told you about his or her childhood. Could you prove all of those stories happened? Would you assume that any story lacking definitive proof was a lie?

It turns out, by the way, that Carson’s mother, Sonya, verified the stabbing story in a 1997 interview in Parade magazine ( ):

A young actor [in a movie about Carson] recreated the moment when, at 14, Ben Carson pulled a knife on a classmate and tried to stab him in the abdomen. Only the boy’s metal belt buckle kept Ben from cutting him–and going to prison instead of to Yale. “Oh, that really happened,” Sonya told me. “I sat him down and told him that you don’t accomplish much by being a bully. You accomplish more with kindness than you ever do by being harsh.”

Yet the CNN story, and a similar hit-piece in the Wall Street Journal, suggested, without evidence, that Carson makes stuff up. [For those who came in late: The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page is mostly conservative, with occasional interventionist/RINO tendencies; the Journal’s reporting staff is as kooky/ignorant/leftwing as other papers’.]

The main attack on Dr. Carson was related to a passage in his 1990 autobiography, in which Carson recounted a story from 21 years earlier:

At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, we had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going.

The Detroit News reported on an apparent discrepancy ( ):

Westmoreland’s Memorial Day schedule on May 30, 1969, indicates he was in Washington. The schedule says Westmoreland had a morning meeting with national security adviser Henry Kissinger, laid a wreath at an 11 a.m. memorial service in Arlington National Cemetery and had a 5 p.m. “boat ride on the Potomac.”

The Detroit News on Friday reviewed Westmoreland’s schedule for the dates in question among his official papers housed at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pa.

The Army records and Detroit News archival records show Westmoreland was in Detroit on Feb. 18, 1969, for a dinner honoring a Vietnam War veteran. The banquet was for Congressional Medal of Honor winner Dwight Johnson, a Detroit African-American who risked his life “beyond the call of duty,” according to a website about black participation in the Vietnam War.

…so, most likely, Carson misremembered a February dinner, 21 years earlier, as occurring in May. He may have conflated two events, the Memorial Day parade and the dinner honoring Dwight Johnson. As this is written, that is the only part of Carson’s story about the scholarship offer that has come under attack.

Well, attack by serious people.

Most of the folks in the news media aren’t serious people.

Thus, we get this, from Politico:

sja deception blog Ben Carson original headline in Politico 151109


Oh, the news media explained to us, we know that Dr. Carson was lying because West Point doesn’t offer scholarships. Over the past few days, I’ve seen supposed experts point this out, the “fact” that West Point doesn’t offer scholarships, on ABC News, NBC News, and CBS News.

Except that, the real world, West Point does give out scholarships. In fact, it gives a scholarship to each and every one of its students.

…as seen in this ad, which appeared in the September 1992 issue of Black Enterprise magazine:

sja deception blog West Point ad in Black Enterprise 151109


“Each year about 1200 young men and women take advantage of the opportunity to attend West Point on a full government scholarship,” according to the ad placed by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

As the leading ROTC student in Detroit, an African-American from a background of poverty, at a time when the Army was highly interested in recruiting qualified African-Americans, it is undoubtedly true that Carson could have had an appointment to West Point if he had sought one.

Perhaps Dr. Carson made up the story about meeting Westmoreland and going to dinner and. The problem for the media is that, as of this writing, there is no reason to think that he did.

Some “news” stories suggested that he had claimed he applied for West Point, but, as far as I can tell, Carson has always said that his only college application was to Yale.

Politico eventually changed its headline ( ):

sja deception blog Ben Carson revised headline in Politico 151109

Of course, that headline, too, is false. He never “claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied.” (Note the sarcastic quotes around “scholarship.”) He said, plausibly, that he was offered a scholarship to West Point—that is, a nomination to West Point—but that he didn’t apply.


The excuse that we hear from the news media for their so-far-fraudulent attacks on Ben Carson is that they’re just vetting him the way they did Barack Obama. Republicans are just a bunch of whiners, they say, for complaining about getting the same level of scrutiny that Barack Obama did.

Hah! In a future column, I’ll take a look at how the news media failed to expose, or simply ignored, the falsehoods in Barack Obama’s life story. (I’ll bet you didn’t know that his iconic autobiography, the one that made him famous, was an autobiographical novel, never meant to be taken literally. Yep.)

A final note:

It’s not just Carson’s so-called race that makes him a threat. Leftist Professor Marc Lamont Hill declared ( ):

The greatest lie in American history is the myth of the self-made person. Nobody makes themselves. We’re all shaped by communities, by people who struggled and sacrificed for us, by governments that offer safety nets. And what Ben Carson is able to do essentially is reject all that stuff and say that I was saved.

[Radio host ben Ferguson to Hill: “The government didn’t make me, though, Marc.”]

[Hill:] Ben Carson is able to say, “I was saved by Jesus and hard work.” That allows him to reject a safety net. That allows him to push back against the expansion of a welfare state. That allows him to resist tax cuts for the middle class and poor and tax hikes for the wealthy. It allows him to create an entire narrative where people say, “Hey, wait a minute, why are you doing this?” Ben Carson can say, “Hey, because I did it myself,” and it makes white voters feel comfortable to say that, “Look, this black guy himself is telling me poor people [inaudible] . . .

You might say “You didn’t build that.” ( )

Briefly Noted: November 2015


The Obama White House has rolled out the red carpet several times for the purported civil rights leaders of Black Lives Matter. Recent White House visitor Phillip Agnew, head of Dream Defenders, which describes itself as “an uprising of communities in struggle, shifting culture through transformational organizing.” It calls for “the destruction of the political and economic systems of Capitalism and Imperialism as well as Patriarchy.” Two-time Communist Party USA vice presidential candidate Angela Davis, now Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, is on its advisory board.

Left-wing financier George Soros is under fire in his native Hungary for promoting illegal immigration in that country, which is currently being swamped by mostly Muslim illegal aliens from the Middle East. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who leads the national-conservative party known as the Fidesz–Hungarian Civic Alliance, accused an array of Soros-funded groups of “drawing a living from the immigration crisis.” Soros has written in op-eds that “frontline states like Hungary were shirking their asylum obligations” and that each European asylum seeker should be provided “with $16,800 annually for two years to help cover housing, health care and education costs,” reports. Orban spokesman János Lázár quipped that Soros “keeps bombarding the international public with his earth-shattering plans, quite obviously, in the name of true selflessness which he has manifested in so many ways in the countries where his activities have resulted in sovereign default in the past 30 years.”

Ready for jail? Shady class-action lawyer and Hillary Clinton 2016 bundler Mikal Watts has been indicted in Texas for false statements and identify theft connected to his lawsuit against BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Watts, who allegedly invented plaintiffs to represent in the lawsuit, raised upwards of $100,000 for the pro-Clinton super PAC Ready for Hillary two years ago and hosted high-dollars fundraisers for President Obama, Washington Free Beacon reports. “My grandmother was a labor union activist,” he previously told WFB, describing himself as “born and raised on grassroots politics.” He also gave $290,000 to The American Worker Super PAC.

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League of Women Voters: A Legacy of Liberal Issues and Causes


League of Women Voters
A Legacy of Liberal Issues and Causes
By John Gizzi, Organization Trends, November 2015 (PDF here)

Summary: The 95-year-old League of Women Voters isn’t quite what it seems. It has long enjoyed an enviable reputation as a nonideological, nonpartisan, good-government group, but contrary to popular belief, it supports Democratic candidates for public office and left-wing policies. The liberal nonprofit favors the pro-choice side of the abortion debate, a clampdown on how much can be donated to political campaigns, and imposing stronger, economy-damaging environmental regulations. (The League was previously profiled in the March 2000 issue of Organization Trends.)

The League of Women Voters was launched in 1920 to assist a group of Americans who were poised to cast their first-ever votes in the coming national elections. This included the presidential contest between Republican Warren Harding and Democrat James M. Cox.

The newly franchised voters were the women of America.

Established six months before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, the League was primarily concerned with the roughly 20 million new women voters carrying out their new constitutional right and responsibility.

At its “christening” during the final meeting of the National American Women Suffrage Association in Chicago, League organizers took pains to emphasize that their new organization was “nonpartisan” and would not endorse individual candidates.  Its concerns would be public information and influencing the platforms of the major parties. “For almost 90 years,” reads the current mission statement, “the League has helped millions of women and men become informed participants in government.  And it has tackled a diverse range of public policy issues.”

In its early years, the League embraced issues such as so-called social justice and economic reform. After World War II, the League was in the forefront of the campaign for U.S. membership in the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

The League was an early leader in the crusade for civil rights for black Americans. As current League President Elisabeth MacNamara observed, “We have always actively opposed any restrictive laws that would have limited the constitutional rights of Americans.”

In recent years, the League has embraced more esoteric causes. It has been a steady voice for legislation to deal with climate change, establish stricter gun control and environmental legislation, and make the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) the law of the land. Almost since the Roe v. Wade ruling by the Supreme Court overturned state restrictions on abortions in 1973, the League has embraced the pro-choice position. Long a champion of tougher federal regulation of campaign finance reform, the organization weighed in as a “friend of the court” in opposition to the Citizens United case before the Supreme Court that concluded in the affirmation of the right of independent organizations to spend freely on behalf of candidates and causes.

They’re nonpartisan – NOT!
Most recently, the League has been a vociferous opponent of school vouchers and laws requiring photo identification to vote. In 1999, the League joined in a legal challenge to a Florida law, strongly backed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush (R), that permitted the vouchers.

Perhaps the strongest and most recent evidence that the League has a major flirtation with the Democratic Party is its support letting citizens’ commissions rather than state legislatures draw the boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts. This concept has increasingly become a cause célèbre for Democrats nationwide as Republicans have taken control of both houses of legislatures in more than half the states. A recent Supreme Court case upheld the power of such commissions to handle redistricting, with the League of Women Voters joining in on the side of the plaintiff with a friend-of-the-court brief.

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It’s the news media’s world. You just live in it.


[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

. . . [E]very one of these candidates says, “Obama’s weak, Putin’s kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he’s going to straighten out.” And then it turns out, they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators. If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you. [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]

Thus spoke President Obama, who, along with Hillary Clinton, has refused ever to participate in a debate on Fox News, presumably because Democrats quake in fear of questions from Megyn Kelly.

After the laughable, unprofessional performance by CNBC “moderators” (“extreminators”??) during last week’s Republican debate, there’s been a lot of discussion about changing the rules for future debates. There was even a summit outside D.C. bring together representatives from most of the presidential campaigns, to work out a set of rules/demands such as a ban on “gotcha” questions (however one defines the term).

It’s not the first time people have considered reforms of a broken system, in which leftists and partisan Democrats (the vast majority of political reporters at the national level) ask mostly supportive questions at Democratic debates and, at Republican debates, try to make the candidates look silly or extreme. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (for whom I worked as senior researcher in the 2012 campaign) once suggested that the candidates themselves conduct the back-and-forth during a presidential debate, with a moderator present only to keep things moving along.

The problem of news media bias has been obvious for years—decades—but, in the context of the debates, it wasn’t dealt with at an earlier point because the Republican Party hierarchy has been focused on its main priority, preventing the nomination of a candidate from the mainstream/grassroots/Reagan/Tea Party wing of the party. GOP bigwigs fiddled with the debate system for this election, but with the intention of ensuring that the nomination would quickly fall to a candidate with high name ID and lots of money. (The plan was to help Jeb Bush or, if he failed, another Establishment candidate, but that plan didn’t work very well in the Age of Trump.)

The Left dominates the news media (along with the entertainment media, the academic/pseudointellectual world, and the Too Big to Fail businesses that depend on government cronyism and are perfectly willing to cut deals with the Obama/Clinton/Sanders crowd if money is to be made). News media bias provides the Left with a tremendous advantage, one akin to a sport team having all the game officials on its side. Every activist on the conservative, libertarian, or free-market side has to deal with this bias throughout the day every day.

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George Soros: National Borders Are The Enemy


Capital Research Center senior Matthew Vadum has a column in today’s FrontPageMag. Here it is:

George Soros: National Borders Are The Enemy
The radical billionaire denounces his native Hungary for protecting its borders and culture

By Matthew Vadum

The preeminent funder of border-busting campaigns in the U.S. and overseas now openly admits his efforts in Europe are aimed at destroying national borders on that continent.

The unusually frank statement from frequent coup kingpin George Soros comes after Hungary’s prime minister accused him of helping to orchestrate the ongoing invasion of the landlocked nation and the rest of Europe by illegal aliens. Soros is arguably the biggest mass migration-promoting coyote on the planet. He is also an admitted Nazi collaborator, described by David Horowitz as a “deracinated Jew,” who argues that Muslims are treated so badly in the West that they are the new Jews. Soros doesn’t care that these migrants and Syrian war refugees are largely Muslim men and that intelligence agencies fear that many of the new arrivals have connections to Islamic terrorism.

Besieged Hungarian premier Viktor Orbán said the ongoing invasion of his country is “driven, on the one hand, by people smugglers, and on the other by those [human rights] activists who support everything that weakens the nation-state.”

“This Western mindset and this activist network is perhaps best represented by George Soros.”

“His name is perhaps the strongest example of those who support anything that weakens nation states, they support everything that changes the traditional European lifestyle,” Orbán said in a radio interview. “These activists who support immigrants inadvertently become part of this international human-smuggling network.”

Left-wing groups are relentlessly attacking the prime minister. Bloomberg News reports that human rights organizations have criticized Orbán “for building a razor-wire fence on the border, tightening asylum laws and boosting his support among voters with anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

But Orbán, who leads the conservative nationalist party known as the Fidesz–Hungarian Civic Alliance, shows no signs of backing down in his defense of his homeland. Last month he accused an array of Soros-funded groups of “drawing a living from the immigration crisis.”

Orbán spokesman János Lázár quipped that Soros “keeps bombarding the international public with his earth-shattering plans, quite obviously, in the name of true selflessness which he has manifested in so many ways in the countries where his activities have resulted in sovereign default in the past 30 years.”

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