New Prager University Video: How Teachers Unions Hurt Schools

The latest from Prager University:

Did you go to public school? Do you have a child, relative, or friend in public school? The answer is most likely “yes”. Public schools matter to everyone. They are the main educator of America’s children. So when groups that have a huge affect on education aren’t primarily interested in, well, education, there’s a problem. Those groups are teachers unions.

In our newest free, 5-minute video, Stanford Professor of Political Science Dr. Terry Moe explains why teachers unions are hurting America’s children, and what we can do about this. Here’s Prof. Moe’s book on the topic.

The Obama Administration in Their Own Words

Politics is a messy, convoluted affair, and understanding its many debates and controversies usually requires steady news consumption, a working knowledge of dueling philosophies, and familiarity with a daunting array of statistics, laws, background, and mechanics that just don’t lend themselves to 5-second sound bites and 30-second TV spots.

But often, the offensiveness, idiocy, and hypocrisy of politicians’ words speak for themselves, and homework isn’t necessary for the average American to see how wrong they really are. The Obama Administration has many, many such quotes just waiting to scare voters into the waiting arms of Mitt Romney…if only Team Romney would have the good sense to use them.

If I were running Mitt’s campaign, one of the many things I’d do differently would be to take the below quotes (many of which come from John Hawkins’ excellent list), develop TV ads based around some of them, and list the rest in full-page newspaper ads, with one simple message:

“They don’t respect your values, your freedoms, your judgment, your lifestyles, your struggles, or your country. It’s time for leaders who do. Romney-Ryan 2012.”

Driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents — #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back – $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” – Barack Obama

“The way I think about it is this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn’t have that same competitive edge we needed over the last couple of decades.” – Barack Obama

“We’ve lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam and unleashed all the potential in this country.” – Barack Obama

“I don’t believe it is possible to transcend race in this country.” – Barack Obama

“White folks’ greed runs a world in need.” – Barack Obama, quoting sentiments candidate Obama claimed to have never heard Rev. Jeremiah Wright express

“After my election I have more flexibility.” – Barack Obama, to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them […] And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” – Barack Obama

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.” – Barack Obama

Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” – Barack Obama

“Whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.” – Barack Obama

I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process.” – Barack Obama

“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” – Barack Obama, to a woman whose mother was initially denied a pacemaker

“I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something: there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” – Barack Obama

“I do think that at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” – Barack Obama

“I actually believe in redistribution.” – Barack Obama

“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” – Barack Obama

“Answering that question [when babies get human rights] with specificity is above my pay grade.” – Barack Obama

I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” – Barack Obama

In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” – Barack Obama

“‘You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.” – Joe Biden

“You share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand – I’m not second-guessing – of one child per family [through forced sterilization and abortion].” – Joe Biden

Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy.” – Joe Biden

In things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” – Attorney General Eric Holder

“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe.” – Energy Secretary Stephen Chu

“We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.” – Energy Secretary Stephen Chu

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act.” – Energy Secretary Stephen Chu

“It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.” – Science Czar John Holdren

“Sounds like a dumb law…but I think that the question of whether it’s a dumb law is different from the question of whether it’s constitutional, and I think that courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are senseless just because they’re senseless.” – Justice Elena Kagan, on whether Congress has the power to force people to eat vegetables

America is “just downright mean.” – Michelle Obama

“For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country.” – Michelle Obama

“Sometimes it’s easier to hold on to your stereotypes and misconceptions. It makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That’s America.” – Michelle Obama

“What I notice about men, all men, is that their order is me, my family, God is in there somewhere, but me is first.” – Michelle Obama

New Prager University Video: Proving Media Bias

Check out the latest video from Dennis Prager’s fantastic Prager University series. Here, UCLA Political Science Professor  Tim Groseclose (author of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Distorts the American Mind) “explains his peer-reviewed study, which quantifies how slanted America’s news media really is. He says that if it were not for the media’s significant leftward bias, Americans would almost certainly vote more conservative.”

The Historical Malpractice of Equating Gay Marriage and Interracial Marriage

All liberal rhetoric has two basic goals: pander to some class-, sex-, or race-based voting bloc, and defame whoever disagrees with liberals. Nowhere is this more evident than in the same-sex marriage debate.

Perhaps in response to African-American pastors’ backlash against President Barack Obama’s endorsement of redefining marriage, the Left has resurrected the argument that opposing same-sex marriage is no different than forbidding interracial marriage, making today’s conservatives no better than yesterday’s racists. Today we remember with shame our ancestors who senselessly kept white and black lovers apart, the argument goes; how are those trying to prevent gay marriage any better?

It’s a powerful question—to those who don’t know anything about either the marriage debate or the history of anti-miscegenation (interracial marriage) laws. Fortunately, a little knowledge is more than enough to expose this attack for the cheap demagoguery it is.

For starters, race is a superficial characteristic having nothing to do with marriage’s meaning, while gender has everything to do with it. Men and women uniquely complement one another both as lovers and as parents, because theirs is the only pairing that naturally creates children and gives children what they need for a well-rounded upbringing. Children need role models of both genders in order to understand themselves and relate to the opposite sex. They need one parent to reinforce their sex’s strengths and another to temper its weaknesses. They need a mother’s disposition to nurture and a father’s emphasis on discipline. Numerous studies confirm this. Moms and dads come in all skin colors, but only women can be mothers, and only men fathers, which gives traditional marriage a clear rationale: binding together naturally procreative couples for the sake of their potential children.

Conversely, anti-miscegenation wasn’t motivated at all by substantive concerns about marriage’s function; it was merely one front in a much broader campaign to keep the black population oppressed and the white gene pool pure.

Marriage defenders’ motives couldn’t possibly be further from those of segregationists, and neither could the impact of their policies on the group in question. Defining marriage as a man-woman union simply means the state won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That’s it. No prohibition whatsoever on cohabitation, sex, benefits (which can be addressed without redefining marriage), contracts, or even wedding ceremonies. The central motivation of marriage redefiners isn’t to correct a tangible injustice, but to win government endorsement for gay relationships—in other words, they’re driven by the subjective value they place in marriage’s symbolism.

The effects of the anti-miscegenation laws that once plagued interracial couples, on the other hand, were all too tangible. While some states simply denied their relationships formal recognition but otherwise left them alone, many criminalized—and punished—cohabitation, sex, and the performing of wedding ceremonies between whites and non-whites. Indeed, consider the incident that sparked Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that struck down anti-miscegenation. Richard and Mildred Loving married in the District of Columbia, moved to Virginia, and were indicted. The judge gave them a choice: spend a year in prison, or get out of Virginia.

Jail time? Forced eviction from a state? Where in any of the thirty-eight states that reject same-sex marriage do gay couples face anything of the kind?
The comparison between same-sex and interracial marriage is historical malpractice of the worst order, a malicious lie that not only derails an important cultural conversation but also insults those who faced true bigotry in this country. This superficially clever smear might be a hit among clueless college kids receptive to whatever boosts their own sense of superiority, but liberals may see it backfire among voters with longer memories.

Scott Walker Stands Victorious as Wisconsin Embodies the Best of Democracy

They tried fleeing the state to indefinitely halt the legislative process. It failed. They poured all the hate they could into their demonstrations and propaganda. It failed. They tried intimidating legislators. It failed. They tried pressuring businesses into supporting them. It failed. They tried persecuting a judge. It failed. They tried demonizingRepublican financial contributors. It failed. They tried smearing the governor’s professional ethics and personal morality. It failed. They tried lying to the public about budgets and benefits. It failed. They tried flouting the law by judicial fiat. It failed. They had teachers commit fraud and indoctrinate their students. It failed. They tried hiding data that undermined their case. It failed. They even managed to get Voter ID out of the way to simplify election fraud. That failed. In total, they cost taxpayers over $9 million.

The motley alliance of union thugs, partisan sycophants, education establishment snobs, left-wing fanatics, and brainwashed college kids that came together to preserve government-employee unions’ stranglehold over Wisconsin took the best shot they had against Governor Scott Walker.

Well, their best just. Wasn’t. Good. Enough.

After more than a year of liberals justifying demagoguery and mob agitation with insipid chants of “this is what democracy looks like,” the state of Wisconsin reaffirmed its trust in Walker in a glorious display of actual democracy—not the shout-down-the-Special-Olympics kind, but the cast-votes-and-count-‘em-up kind.

Though the sore losers will never, ever admit it, June 5, 2012 may go down in history as the day Wisconsin proved America’s slide into fiscal ruin isn’t inevitable, that special interest groups aren’t invincible, and that greed and misinformation don’t have absolute dominion over the public consciousness.

Above all, Wisconsin proved that courage is still viable in American politics—that principled action to serve the long-term interests of the whole over the selfish desires of the loudest or the most well-connected doesn’t have to be a political death sentence.

Granted, the Wisconsin Left has by no means been destroyed (nor has the moderate wing of the GOP). The Democrats and their supporters won’t grow morally from the experience, and the unions are still a force to be reckoned with. But their veneer of invincibility is gone, and it’s never coming back. The conventional wisdom of American politics is being rewritten as we speak.

As conservatives go forward with their economic and social agendas, we also need to take measures to make sure the Left can’t put Wisconsin through this insanity again. In particular, we need to fight to reinstate Voter ID, reform the recall process so it can’t be exploited to punish policy decisions, and do somethingabout classroom indoctrination.

Be proud, Wisconsin. You showed America what democracy looks like at its best.

In Which Our Feminist Betters Laud a Killer Communist

If liberals think they can score political points by tying their opponents to extremists, then I’ll see their latest example, Francis Grady, and raise them one Angela Davis.

Davis is a tenured University of California professor (of course), a self-professed Communist, a former Black Panther, and a likely accessory to the 1970 killing of Judge Harold Haley (she was acquitted despite over twenty witnesses, thanks to fellow Communists providing a dubious alibi and ideological brethren in the jury).

Though her primary causes are race and class, she’s found her way into the abortion debate thanks to a speech she delivered at the University of Kansas at the invitation of the February Sisters, the following passage of which feminist Pace University Law Professor Bridget Crawford highlights on her blog (though she omits what Davis “was in jail in Marin County” for):
I was asked to write a statement [for a San Francisco “reproductive rights” rally – CF] that very specifically engaged with the issue of abortion rights.  Of course, I was in favor of women’s abortion rights, but I did not want to take women’s abortion rights out of the context of the broader conglomeration of issues that constitute women’s reproductive rights.


At that time, we had learned that vast numbers of Native American women had been sterilized.  We’d also learned about the extent to which Puerto Rican women were used as guinea pigs by pharmaceutical companies in the production of what was then the new birth control pill. So, I wrote a statement in which I tried to make connections between women’s reproductive rights and women’s right to be free from forced sterilization. The statement wasn’t read.


My position was, I cannot talk about abortion rights in isolation from these other issues.  I’ve come to understand that when we talk about feminist epistemologies, we speak precisely about the ability to think, together, about things that often do not cohabit the same analytical space.
While San Francisco pro-aborts certainly could have used a good reminder that there are far worse things in life than not being able to abort your offspring, that’s also what makes Davis’ position so twisted: her insistence that abortion is central to reproductive freedom on the same level as sterilization and unscrupulous medical testing. Abortion kills a separate human being the mother regrets creating, undoing something she could have easily prevented in the overwhelming majority of cases. Sterilization prevents a woman from every having children again. In what universe are they comparable?

This is perhaps the greatest sin of modern leftists who claim the mantle of feminism for themselves: the intertwining of a noble cause with greed and injustice, using the honor of the former as cover for the shame of the latter, deceiving and intimidating people into accepting the lie that allegiance to their agenda is the only way to escape the scarlet letter of “sexist.” And what more fitting personification of that sin than a radical who aligns with some of history’s worst monsters in the name of “rights”?

Granted, the average pro-choicer doesn’t support the Black Panthers or the Communists like Angela Davis does. Heck, I’m not sure the average pro-choicer even knows who Angela Davis is. But if pro-lifers are expected to answer every time a lone extremist acts in our name, then so-called “feminists” who invite Davis to speak at their events and cheerfully disseminate her “wisdom” should have to do the same.

New at Live Action – Bachmann-Bashing ThinkProgress Fails Biology 101

My latest Live Action post:

If you write for the Health section of a prominent website, shouldn’t you have a working knowledge of basic human biology? Apparently not if that website is ThinkProgress, where Rebecca Leber claims to have caught pro-life Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann in an inconsistency about women’s health.

Discussing health care on MSNBC, Bachmann said:

What we want is women to be able to make their own choices […] We want women to make their own choices in healthcare. You see that’s the lie that happens under Obamacare. The President of the United States effectively becomes a health care dictator. Women don’t need anyone to tell them what to do on health care. We want women to have their own choices, their own money, that way they can make their own choices for the future of their own bodies. [Emphasis in original.]

Leber questions the “irony” of Bachmann’s answer, given the “GOP war on women targeting Planned Parenthood, abortion services, and contraception coverage”:

Bachmann doesn’t believe a women’s right to choose applies in all cases, though, promising on the presidential campaign trail that in addition to supporting an abortion ban, she wouldn’t allow exceptions for rape or for the woman’s health.

It seems pro-aborts have been misusing terminology so long that they can no longer recognize its proper use.

Read the rest at Live Action.

So What’s This About Muskets and the Commerce Clause?

In their desperation to make ObamaCare’s individual mandate not seem blatantly illegal, liberals have taken to citing a 1792 law requiring Americans to purchase muskets as proof that they’re not stretching the Commerce Clause beyond the Founders’ intent. Too bad for them that Randy Barnett at Volokh nuked that argument over a month ago:
5. At the hearing, Professor Dellinger mentioned that Congress had once passed a law requiring individual male citizens to provide themselves with muskets, gear and uniforms of a certain specification. I believe Professor Dellinger was referring to the Militia Act of 1792, which required all able-bodied male citizens, 18 years of age or older, to be enrolled in a militia and provide themselves with certain supplies for that service. 
a. Do you believe Congress most likely relied on its Commerce Clause powers in passing that statute?
Congress was relying on its Article I, section 8 power “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States . . . ” The militia power, and the duty of a citizen to serve, pre-existed the formation of national government.
b. Do you believe the Militia Act of 1792 would have been a permissible exercise of Congress’ authority if it were based solely on Congress’ Commerce Clause powers?
It would not.
c. In your testimony, you alluded to jury duty, selective service registration and several other actions the federal government requires of each individual citizen. You described these as traditionally-recognized requirements that were necessary for the continued function of the government itself. In 1792, the United States did not have a permanent standing army. Do you think service in the militia was among those traditionally-recognized requirements necessary for the continued function of government? 
Without question, it was considered a fundamental duty of citizenship. Congress is now seeking to add an new and unprecedented duty of citizenship to those which have traditionally been recognized: the duty to engage in economic activity when Congress deems it convenient to its regulation of interstate commerce. And the rationales offered to date for such a duty would extend as well to the performance of any action, whether economic or not, when Congress deems it convenient to the exercise of its power over interstate commerce. The recognition of so sweeping a duty would fundamentally alter the relationship of American citizens to the government of the United States.

New at Live Action – States Burn Through Cash Defending Pro-Life Laws from Sore Losers with Lawyers

My latest Live Action post:

Though the moral cost of abortion is rightly the primary focus of pro-life activists, it’s also worth noting that the “right to choose” and its various penumbras impose a more literal cost on society as well. The Kansas City Star reports that the state of Kansas has paid almost $597,000 this year to defend pro-life laws against legal assault:

The office says it paid nearly $317,000 to Foulston Siefken, a Wichita firm helping defend a budget provision denying federal family planning dollars for non-abortion services to Planned Parenthood. The group has a federal lawsuit against the measure.
The attorney general’s office paid almost $177,000 to Thompson, Ramsdell & Qualseth, of Lawrence, to help defend health and safety regulations for abortion providers. Two Kansas City-area physicians challenged the rules first in federal court and then in state court.
The same law firm also received nearly $104,000 for work in a federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against a law restricting private insurance coverage for elective abortions.

This is insane. There is no reason why states should be legally compelled to accept federal taxpayer money for abortion providers. There is no reason why states shouldn’t be able to prefer to contract with medical service providers who aren’t involved with abortion. And especially considering how many government regulations we tolerate without litigation in everyand I do mean every – other aspect of our lives, there is no reason abortion clinics or insurance coverage regulations should stand out as grounds for legal conflict.

Read the rest at Live Action.