Entries in Washington Post (5)

Monday
Sep102018

Booker’s “Spartapuss moment”. It was all a fake. 

The philosopher Christopher Lasch predicted this.  Way back in 1978, Lasch wrote a book called “The Culture of Narcissism” in which he predicted what would come from “the dotage of bourgeois society.”  Lasch saw the coming man-child, the “narcissistic personality” of our time… “their emotional shallowness, their fear of intimacy, their hypochondria, their pseudo-self-insight, their promiscuous pansexuality, their dread of old age and death.” People who had lost their memory, without history… “a culture that has lost interest in the future.”   

Even before social media made it possible for anyone/everyone to become an overly self-regarding, self-celebrating, living-in-the-moment celebrity – Lasch saw it coming – and he saw “leaders” like Cory Booker, once himself king of the Twitter realm, a politician who offers his childish “feelings” and a false intimacy in place of rational discourse.  A Peter Pan.   

Forty-years ago, Lasch wrote that the cultural Narcissists’ outlook on life was revealed in “the new consciousness movements and therapeutic culture; in pseudo-confessional autobiography and fiction; in the replacement of Horatio Alger by the happy hooker as the symbol of success; in the theater of the absurd and the absurdist theater of everyday life; in the degradation of sport; in the collapse of authority; in the escalating war between men and women…”   

Last week Senator Booker contrived an “I am Spartacus” moment, as a juvenile would, not to teach but in order to attract a moment’s satisfying attention.  His ego sated, to boost celebrity his acolytes sent record of the moment to the four corners of the globe.  But it was all play-acting, make-believe, false, fake… more like playing dress-up, as children do. 

During the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Senator Booker threatened to release confidential documents relating to Judge Kavanaugh's service as a lawyer in the Bush administration.  "I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate," our brave Booker said, "This is about the closest I'll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus' moment."

For his “I am Spartacus” moment, Senator Booker posed that he was in real danger – that he could be prosecuted for revealing confidential correspondence that had been provided to a Senate Committee by someone facing confirmation hearings.  Booker was acting against the kind of basic confidences most small town council members understand when they enter into “executive session” to discuss a personnel issue.  Booker called another Senator a “bully” (shades of the school yard again?) for suggesting otherwise.

Except that it wasn’t even that, because Senator Booker had sought and received permission from committee counsel of both parties.  There was never a “Spartacus moment” because – like a true Narcissist, Booker loves himself so much that he would never place himself in such danger.  He just likes the celebrity that comes with pretending to do so… and so he made it all up. 

No less than theWashington Post reported that the so-called "confidential" correspondence was already cleared for public release before Booker's floor show, confirming the fact with both Democratic and Republican aides on the judiciary committee. 

"We cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker's staff asked us to," confirmed Bill Burck, Bush's presidential records representative. "We were surprised to learn about Senator Booker's histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly. In fact, we have said yes to every request made by the Senate Democrats to make documents public." 

A confirmed narcissist never likes to be called out, and when Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau questioned Senator Booker’s actions and suggested it was a stunt, Booker accused him of violating the U.S. Constitution and threatened the reporter with prosecution.  Yes, Booker probably is a few bricks short of a full load.   

What this all shows is that someone on his staff needs to provide the Senator with new reading material.  This way, when he is dreaming about the kind of super hero he would like to pretend to the world he is (and that he would like the world to celebrate that he is), he’ll get it right, and keep it closer to reality.   

So no more “Spartacus” by Howard Fast for Senator Booker.  There are too many words for a start.

From now on, his staff should have him read “I am Spartapuss” by Robin Price.  It is something a Peter Pan will understand.

Thursday
Aug302018

The Washington Post calls bullshit on BLM talking points

A member of the Left has to be really bad for the establishment Washington Post to hit them like this.  “Taking a knee” will never be the same…

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/video/fact-checking-beto-orourkes-response-to-nfl-anthem-protests/vi-BBMDyRF

 

Tuesday
May222018

FACT CHECK: McCann campaign spins tales about candidate’s past

John McCann has brought up that silly claim again.  About him and his chart and how it saved America. 

He first did it last summer, while he was still directly employed by the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County.  John McCann shopped around a tale about how he stopped HillaryCare and saved America. Here is a transcript of a video recording of McCann telling his tall tale to the Sussex County Republican Committee on December 27, 2017.   

"I'm the only candidate with an actual proven record of doing things... I was gone (sic) to the United States Senate to take on the Clinton Health Care Plan.  I designed a chart, it was presented to the country, and the chart was credited -- by others, not by me -- with saving the United States from 16 years of government controlled healthcare." (Candidate John McCann, on video) 

Many people familiar with the long battle to stop the Clinton Health Care Plan disputed John McCann's story.  They said they never heard of him and accused him of taking credit for the work of dozens of others.  They noted that there was a plethora of graphs and charts but that only one got national coverage.  It wasn't John McCann's.

The Clinton Health Care Plan began with a speech by President Bill Clinton in September 1993.  Legislation was introduced in November 1993.  Hearings were held and the debate went into 1994.  In January 1994, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) unveiled his famous chart that detailed the bureaucratic morass that was the Clinton Health Care Plan. As the legislation was amended, dozens of subsequent charts were built off this one, noting those changes and updates. 

Earlier this year, we published a link to a C-Span video of the United States Senate Floor on January 27, 1994.  The video is 11 hours long and unedited.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?54084-1/senate-session

At two hours and thirty minutes (2:30) into it, Senator Specter speaks on the issue and appears with his famous chart. About six minutes into his speech, he explains that staffer Sharon Helfant was responsible for creating it. He goes on to explain how the Washington Posthad a story a day earlier mentioning Helfant and her role in developing the chart.  Numerous national newspapers covered it, and in each story, Sharon Helfant is credited with creating the chart.  John McCann is not mentioned.

C-Span caught the whole thing and it is now part of history.  Numerous newspapers wrote about it.  The campaign of candidate John McCann has disputed that history.  Presumably with their candidate's approval, they issued a media statement that made this boast by the candidate:  "Yes, I authored the chart that killed Hillarycare."

The statement by John McCann's campaign continues:  "A conservative blogger made an accusation regarding my involvement in stopping Hillary Clinton’s healthcare proposal back in the early 90s when I was a fellow in former Senator Arlen Specter’s office (R-PA), insisting that I have overstated my role and plagiarized a graph used to stop Hillarycare.

The basis of these accusations stems from a CSPAN video in January 1994 where my boss at the time, former Senator Specter, credited Sharon Helfant (whom I never worked with) for creating a chart (I never saw) to help explain how bad Hillarycare was for American taxpayers."

The McCann campaign included a paragraph from the Congressional Record for August 10, 1994, at the tail end of the battle to stop the Clinton Health Care Plan.  By this time, it had been amended and re-amended.  The legislation went through more than 130 permutations and, in the end, was scrapped when the Democrats lost control of Congress in November 1994, and were unable to bring the bill up in 1995, as they had planned.  Here is that snippet from the Record:

 

Read it carefully.  "John McCann, an internon my staff who helpedme prepare the chart on the Mitchellhealth care bill." 

Thousands of names of individuals and groups are read into the Congressional Record each year for everything from boy scout troops to the winners of fishing tournaments.  It is a  small favor, often bestowed by members of Congress.  Rarely does it become the centerpiece of someone's candidacy for Congress. 

The McCann campaign also included a paragraph from a letter from Senator Specter's office to John McCann's professor at the Fels Center of Government, where he was a student:  "In the summer of 1994, the Senate rejected the Clinton proposal to take over one-seventh of the entire U.S. economy in large measure because of John McCann’s charts and graphs which clearly showed the flaws and weakness of the proposal." 

Again, read it carefully: "John McCann’s charts and graphs..."  

Plural.  As an intern, John McCann obviously worked on many updates and permutations of the original chart (which he now claims not to have seen, despite the news coverage of it, or Ms. Helfant, who he claims not to have known, despite her prominence on the Specter staff and her preeminence within that staff on matters related to health care).   

Of course, it is a grandiloquent letter of recommendation, which either means that Senator Specter's office was prone to that sort of thing or that they liked and appreciated John McCann's work as a college intern.  Neither alters the record, which is clear.

When he is not outright fibbing, John McCann is prone to puffing himself up to make himself look like more than he is.  Pity.

Friday
Feb022018

Did John McCann lie about his role in ClintonCare?

For months we've been hearing congressional candidate John McCann brag about stopping Hillary Care from happening in the 1990's.  The story goes that as a college intern (or "fellow" as he puts it) John McCann claims to have been responsible for ending Hillary Care... yep, all by himself.  McCann claims to have come up with a graph.  That's right.  A graph.  

First, a graph is just a prop -- a visual aid that a speaker makes come alive.  

McCann has been behaving like a self-important, overblown junior academic.  By pointing to himself, taking credit, he is ignoring all the hard work of all those Senators and Congressman and Rush Limbaugh and talk radio and the medical professionals and all those thousands of conservative activists and all the reams of studies and research and opinion pieces and thousands of graphs of all those conservative and libertarian think tanks -- not to mention the Republican legal staffs of both the House and the Senate.  Nope, not them... it was "me" says McCann. 

Second, it wasn't his graph.  The Senator he was interning for -- liberal Republican Arlen Specter -- gave credit to the graph's creator in a speech on the floor of the Senate.  Her name was mentioned in a Washington Post article.  

C-Span caught the whole thing... and now it is part of history. 

The web link below from C-Span is an 11-hour video of the U.S. Senate Floor on January 27, 1994.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?54084-1/senate-session 

At two hours and thirty minutes (2:30) into it, Senator Specter speaks on the issue and appears with his huge chart.  About six minutes into his speech, he explains that staffer Sharon Helfant was responsible for creating it.  He goes on to explain how the Washington Posthad a story a day earlier mentioning Helfant and her role in developing the chart.  

Yep, C-Span caught the whole thing... and now it is part of history.  That history doesn't jive with the way congressional candidate John McCann has been bragging.

Monday
Jul112016

Black Lives Matter not supported by facts?

Here is a very interesting column by writer John Hinderaker, followed by links to two other related stories.  Is the violence that we are seeing being manufactured by the media or is the problem as disproportionate as some claim?  Read for yourself and decide.  We will provide more data as we find it or it becomes available.

 

ARE BLACKS DISPROPORTIONATELY INVOLVED IN POLICE SHOOTINGS?

 

Listening to liberals like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, you would think that enormous numbers of black men are being gunned down by police officers. When the issue is debated, many take it for granted that a vastly disproportionate number of blacks are involved in police shootings–in fact, if you didn’t know better, you might think that only blacks are ever shot by policemen.

 

The numbers tell a different story. Like all statistics, they bounce around from year to year, but let’s go with the Washington Post’s study of police shootings in 2015. The Post found that 990 people, almost all of them men, were shot and killed by law enforcement last year. Before you start calling them victims, however, note that the Post also found that in three-quarters of these incidents, police were defending either themselves or someone else who was, at that moment, under attack. That leaves around 250 cases that were not obvious self-defense or defense of a third person. That doesn’t mean, of course, that those shootings were unjustified.

 

What was the racial breakdown of those who were shot by police in 2015? The largest number, 494, almost exactly half, were white. 258 were black, 172 were Hispanic, and the remaining 66 were either “other” or unknown. (Interestingly, Asians are rarely shot by police officers.)

 

The 258 blacks represent 26% of the total. That is about double the percentage of blacks in the American population. Is that prima facie evidence of racism on the part of law enforcement? Of course not. It is common knowledge that blacks have an unusually high rate of contact with the police, both as victims and as perpetrators. In 2012-2013, the Department of Justice found that blacks were the perpetrators of 24% of all violent crimes where the race of the perpetrator was known (in 7.8% of violent crimes, it was unknown).

 

So the percentage of blacks fatally shot by police officers (26%) is almost exactly equal to the percentage of blacks committing violent crimes (24%). Indeed, given that the black homicide rate is around eight times the white rate, it is surprising that the portion of blacks fatally shot by policemen is not higher.

 

Liberals might argue that blacks are disproportionately the victims of unjustified shootings by law enforcement, but I have not seen anyone try seriously to make that case. The Post took a pass at supporting the liberal narrative by arguing that “unarmed” blacks are shot at a higher rate than whites. But the Post failed to note that, according to its own data, blacks are much more likely to attack police officers while unarmed. I don’t know why this is, but in general, I think that unarmed people who assault police officers are likely to be high on drugs. The Post also failed to point out that blacks are much more likely to assault police officers with motor vehicles. That counts as “unarmed.” We had a case like that recently in Minnesota, where a black perpetrator tried to run down a police officer and the officer shot him in self-defense.

 

One can slice the Post’s 2015 data in various ways. One question is whether there is a racial disparity with regard to whether the policeman or someone else is under direct attack by a perpetrator–i.e., an obvious case of self-defense. I did the math, and it turns out that, for whatever reason, the percentages are a little different for each ethnic group. (You can measure anything by ethnic group, and in all likelihood the numbers won’t be exactly the same. If it is to your political advantage, you can call that difference a “disparity” or a “gap.”)

 

According to the Post’s numbers–and you should bear in mind that a subjective process of classification lies behind each instance–80% of whites who were fatally shot by police officers in 2015 were in the midst of an attack on the policeman or someone else. According to the Post, 71% of blacks were shot while attacking someone, while 66% of “others” and 62% of Hispanics were shot while attacking the policeman or someone else. If you take these differences seriously, which you probably shouldn’t since re-classifying a small number of instances would dramatically change the results, they might be an argument for discrimination against Hispanics and Asians. Blacks turn out to be a relatively favored group, by this measure.

 

In short, the data on police shootings show that blacks are involved in such incidents just about exactly as often as one would expect, given their violent crime rate. Slicing and dicing the numbers is interesting, but doesn’t generate any obviously relevant correlations that would change that finding. Which means that, unless someone can make a compelling argument based on the data, which we have not yet seen, the Black Lives Matter movement is founded on a lie

 

Two related articles: 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/11/arent-more-white-people-than-black-people-killed-by-police-yes-but-no/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/upshot/surprising-new-evidence-shows-bias-in-police-use-of-force-but-not-in-shootings.html?_r=0