In response to an escalating spread of the Coronavirus President Trump initiated a suspension of entry visa’s for persons traveling from China: “The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended and limited” [link].
The travel restrictions went into effect at 5:00pm today. Essentially President Trump is putting the health of Americans first. However, in an effort to politicize the Coronavirus, presidential candidate Joe Biden says travel entry restrictions are “hysteria, xenophobia and fearmongering”:
[…] “We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus,” Biden said in Iowa Friday. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.” (more)
…And just like that Democrats become the party of pro-virus….
The NEW YORK POSThas a good piece showing all the maligning when Trump got a jump on the virus… and now they are saying he waited too long — WHICH IS IT?
…It’s a unique set of characteristics showing that President Trump understood early the need for decisive measures such as travel restrictions on China, which he imposed in January.
Yet for that sensible decision — in defiance of the World Health Organization — he was criticized by Democrats such as Joe Biden as xenophobic, and by China as racist.
“This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia — hysterical xenophobia — and fearmongering,” said Biden the day after the travel restrictions were imposed.
CNN ran a story warning that “the US coronavirus travel ban could backfire” and have the effect of “stigmatizing countries and ethnicities.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, called the ban “racist.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned it would increase “fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.”
At the press conference with Trump on Saturday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the highly respected head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praised the “original decision that was made by the president … [that] prevented travel from China to the United States.
“If we had not done that, we would have had many, many more cases right here that we would have to be dealing with.”
Trump’s travel restrictions began on Jan. 31. Australia and Singapore instituted their own travel limits the next day. Trump’s move bought valuable time to slow the spread of the virus and ease pressure on the nation’s health system before a vaccine is developed — which experts believe is at least 18 months away.
But that hasn’t stopped the barrage of fake criticisms, including that Trump had left the nation dangerously unprepared to cope with a pandemic by cutting funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In an editorial Saturday, the Gray Lady also reiterated its debunked claim that Trump has “muzzled” Fauci.
Yet at Saturday’s 2 p.m. press conference — hours before the Times’ deadline — Fauci emphatically denied the claim.
“I have never been muzzled, ever, and I’ve been doing this since the administration of Ronald Reagan,” Fauci said. “I’m not being muzzled by this administration. That was a real misrepresentation of what happened.”
What shoddy journalism to publish such an incendiary, anonymously sourced claim, without at least including Fauci’s denial.
The anti-Trump narrative rolled on, with increasingly silly attacks. The Washington Post speculated that the coronavirus could be “Trump’s Katrina,” referring to Hurricane Katrina, the response to which had been bungled by President George W. Bush.
When Trump announced a coronavirus task force with the most eminent experts in the nation, CNN blasted him for a “lack of diversity.”….
The media and Democrats push false Trump coronavirus narrative.
When the AP fact-checks Democrats… you know its bad. More from an earlier AMERICAN THINKER article:
…To set the stage, here are a few indisputable facts:
On January 31, 2020, as China confirmed that 259 people had died and there were about 100 cases reported outside of China, President Trump ordered that the U.S. would prevent foreign nationals who had recently visited China from entering the country. He also ordered quarantined American travelers who posed a high risk.
President Trump held a press conference during which (1) he was surrounded by government scientists who explained what was going on (2) he appointed Vice President Pence, a competent, experienced administrator, to be the White House point person on coronavirus efforts.
Democrats also announced that henceforth they would call coronavirus “TrumpVirus” because Trump had appointed Pence to oversee the administrative end of dealing with coronavirus and because Trump said there was no need for panic.
Nancy Pelosi complained that Trump had waited too long to act, even though when she spoke not a single American had died.
Elizabeth Warren said that she would end the “racist” border wall by taking all wall funds and putting them into coronavirus research (never mind that, since time immemorial, sealing borders has been one of the prime ways in which governments have been able to protect their citizens from epidemic disease).
State of emergency declared in the US. $50 billion in aid available and states urged to set up emergency centers.
Laws waived to allow greater availability of hospitals and clear beds for urgent cases—i.e. hospitals can move elderly patients from hospitals to nursing homes more quickly.
Partnership with private sector to test for coronavirus more quickly (results within 24–36 hours). But he says only people should only take tests if they actually have cause to think they have it.
In discussion with pharmacies to make drive-through tests available. Google is developing a website to help people determine whether testing is warranted and direct people to the nearest testing location.
Large retailers are partnering with the administration to fight coronavirus by keeping the supply chain as intact as possible.
One said, “We are normally competitors, but today we are all working together to fight this virus.”
Student loan interest is waived indefinitely.
Secretary of Energy instructed to buy strategic reserve of crude oil as the price is very low.
Unified decisive action to combat coronavirus is imperative.
Coronavirus is now in 46 out of 50 states. Important to look after senior citizens and those with pre-existing chronic conditions.
Nursing homes restricting all visits except for essential staff and end of life situations.
His response was thus:
To which I responded thus:
Since I cannot view behind a pay wall. What is the date of that article JIM G? Important information for me to confirm Fact Check rating it half-true. Out of curiosity… what would have been done different with this “official” was there?? (I THEN LINKED TO THIS POST) Three weeks after it was identified Trump slowed the inflow of it drastically? (<< Against the advice of his Cabinet)
This would have been different?
That is the problem with government… once something is put in place, it never is tore down after it (a) fails, or (b) succeeds in its proposed goal. The Trump Admin is different
…In reality, the pandemic expert — Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer — left the National Security Council (NSC) voluntarily after then-National Security Advisor John Bolton was appointed.
Bolton disbanded the unit that Ziemer was supervising as part of an effort to downsize the bloated NSC staff. The purpose of the unit, which had overseen the global fight against Ebola, had largely been fulfilled.
It is true that Ziemer and his unit have not yet been replaced….
It still should not be put in place, and more of the NSC should be disbanded. And?
A Couple Text Responses
This was in response to someone basically saying Trump got in the way of experts, and that he should just keep his mouth shut:
Dr. Fauci was interviewed at 3am the other morning [March 24th] (10 minutes of you time:DR. FAUCI INTERVIEWED BY WMAL) and the MSM hasn’t referenced his statements once. Also… the quote you are probably referring to is this one: when he was asked if he was worried about this becoming a pandemic:
“No, not at all. We have it totally under control,” Trump said. “It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” (Jan. 22)
This was essentially three weeks after the first Chinese case was announced, and only 10-days after China shared the genetic information of the virus. (The first American known to have it was January 21st.) So I think you may be wanting something from the President that you wouldn’t expect from another. (In contrast to the below excerpted timeline) Trump ordered all flights from China halted January 31st.
By the time he declared a state of emergency (March 13), we had had 49 deaths by that time. It took the previous administration till there were a thousand Americans dead to declare an emergency. I think this is an “orange man bad” scenario. You should listen to Dr. Fauci’s wise words.
And in another text stream I responded to the idea that South Korea did more tests with a note from a friend via Facebook:
Trump said the US did more testing in 8 days than South Korea did in 8 weeks. Because this is literally true (we did 360,000 in 8 days to their 350,000 in 8 weeks), Politifact decided that “more testing” meant per capita so they could claim it was false.
This is an excerpt dealing with some short biographies of people Obama chose to surround himself with. You can see they are radicals who export Marxist ideals into public policy as well as some overtly anti-American positions. I would say “enjoy” the read, but I cannot.
William J. Murray, Utopian Road to Hell: Enslaving America and the World With Central Planning (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2016), 165-174.
Cass Sunstein was the Edward Mandell House/Rexford Tugwell character in the Obama administration. He was appointed to run Obama’s White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in 2009. He left the administration in 2011 to return to Harvard, where he continues to brainwash his students into supporting his anti-Constitutional and totalitarian beliefs.
Sunstein is the consummate Progressive and utopian tyrant. He believes that the Constitution is a “living document”—code words for liberal judges having the power to interpret the Constitution and law in general to support the latest leftist political agenda.
Writing in The Partial Constitution (Harvard University Press, 1993), Sunstein pushed the idea of a “First Amendment New Deal,” which would create a government panel of experts to ensure a “diversity of views” on the airwaves. Imagine a panel of presidential appointees determining what constitutes diversity on TV and radio.
Sunstein also believes hunting should be banned, that animals should have the same rights as humans, and that lawyers should be empowered to file lawsuits on behalf of animals. Despite being against the killing of rabbits or deer, he is, like all Progressives, perfectly agreeable to destroying unborn humans at any stage of pregnancy.
In 2004 he published A Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More Than Ever. In it, he proposed a series of “rights” for individuals that would inevitably result in greatly expanding the power of the federal government over every aspect of our lives.
According to Sunstein, “Much of the time, the United States seems to have embraced a confused and pernicious form of individualism. This approach endorses rights of private property and freedom of contract, and respects political liberty, but claims to distrust ‘government intervention’ and insists that people must fend for themselves. This form of so-called individualism is incoherent, a tangle of confusions.”
Sunstein’s views sound like those of Benito Mussolini or Philip Dru in the utopian novel.
President Obama appointed John Holdren to run the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and to cochair the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Holdren sounds like a very dangerous tyrant in his written statements on population control and other issues. In 1977 he coauthored a book with Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich, titled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment (W. H. Freeman, 1978), which seriously proposed, among other things, that women should be forced to abort their children; that populations should be sterilized by dropping drugs into the water supply; that people who “contribute to social deterioration” should be forcibly sterilized or forced to abort their children; that a “Planetary Regime” should assume total control of the global economy; and that an international police force should be used to dictate how all of us are to live our lives.
Because this was a White House office, the Senate did not have the authority to stop the appointment; however, some senators should have come forward and pointed out on the record that Holdren’s suggestions were very much the same as those of fascist utopian Adolf Hitler.
Holdren openly condemns the free enterprise system as the enemy of the people and a threat to the environment. Writing in his 1973 book, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, also cowritten with the Ehrlichs, he called for a “massive campaign . . . to de-develop the United States” and other Western nations.
According to Holdren, the “mad czar” of science and technology:
De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation…. The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.
Elsewhere, he wrote, “By de-development, we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.”
The Soviet Union successfully did away with “planned obsolescence” by eliminating innovation. As no new cars were designed for decades, vehicles like the unsafe Lada lived on unchanged for decades. Like many Progressives who believe jobs should be “preserved” as a right, Holdren does not understand that artificially preserving outdated industries and nonproductive jobs results in a failure for new industries to come into existence.
Dr. Berwick was picked by President Obama to run the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Knowing that Berwick’s views were so radical, Obama used a recess appointment to get him into this position so he wouldn’t have to undergo Senate scrutiny. Once his recess gig expired, he simply resigned to avoid having to answer questions under oath before a Senate committee.
Berwick has an open love affair with the British National Health Service (NHS). In his own words, “I’m romantic about the National Health Service. I love it!” In fact, he loves it so much that he says it is an “example for the whole world—an example… that the United States needs now.” ‘Why? Because he considers America’s health care system to be “immoral” and an example of the “darkness of private enterprise.” And in typical utopian-tyrant fashion, he believes that only government-enforced “collective action” can override “individual self-interest.”
He was, however, a bit more honest than his boss, President Obama. He openly admitted that under Obamacare, “the decision is not whether or not we will ration care, the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.” Conservatives always find this a terrifying thing about central planners—their willingness, even eagerness, to assume the role of making life-and-death decisions about the fate of other individuals.
So, how is the love of his socialist life working for British citizens, keeping in mind that this is the same system he wanted to bring to the United States? The Boston Globe shares some quotes from UK newspapers:
“Overstretched maternity units mean mothers face a 100-mile journey to have baby.”
“Hundreds of patients died needlessly at NHS hospital due to appalling care.”
“Cash-strapped NHS trust introduces rationing for common children’s conditions.”
“Standard of care in some wards ‘would shame a third world country.”‘
And to top it all off, in Britain 36 percent of patients wait more than four months for nonemergency surgery. In America, only 5 percent do.
According to Berwick, “Any healthcare funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent healthcare is by definition distributional.”
That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? From Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama, there’s a clear socialist utopian model in play that results in the control of Americans’ lives through rationed medical care.
These are only three of the most high-profile utopian totalitarians to serve in the Obama administration, but they are typical of those whom the president picked to assist in an Imperial Presidency in which central planning of society has become the goal.
First Lady Michelle Obama and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg are what could be politely referred to as the “Food Police” by the vast majority of Americans who prefer to choose their own foods. A more accurate description would be Food Nazis, because they both desire to dictate to Americans what they will eat, how much they will eat, and what size portions they will be served at restaurants.
Mrs. Obama’s mind-set about Americans may be defined by her husband’s definition of her during pre—White House years as his “bitter half.” Apparently even President Obama knew that his wife was not capable of seeing a glass half full; how, then, could she possibly see that a hamburger with lettuce and tomato was actually a balanced meal?
Michelle Obama decided early on that she would seize the issues of “childhood obesity” and “food deserts” as her crusade while inhabiting the White House. She and her utopian handlers created the “Let’s Move” campaign to force restaurants, schools, and parents to feed children more “nutritious” meals. Initially she wanted a mere $400 million from taxpayers for her program.
Walter Williams was warning against this years ago:
Without any real evidence, Mrs. Obama has claimed that poor Americans are trapped in what she calls “food deserts,” where they must apparently trudge for miles outside of their dismal neighborhoods to buy a piece of fruit or some celery sticks. According to Mrs. Obama, a food desert is an inner city without a grocery store. She envisioned spending millions of federal dollars to plant grocery stores in those blighted areas so the “poor” won’t have to buy food at mini-marts.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan actually attended Al Sharpton’s National Action Network annual con‑
vention in April 2012. There he told an absurd story about how Barack Obama, who attended Harvard University, knows what “it’s like to take a subway or a bus just to find a fresh piece of fruit in a grocery store.” No fruit at Harvard?
The story may be ridiculous, but Michelle Obama was dead serious about extorting $400 million from American taxpayers to solve the nonexistent problem of food deserts.
In reality there are no such things as food deserts. Researcher Roland Sturm at the Rand Corporation studied food desert claims and found that individuals in urban areas can get any kind of food they want within a couple of miles. He suggested we call these areas “food swamps,” rather than food deserts.
In addition, researcher Helen Lee at the Public Policy Institute in California found that in poor neighborhoods, citizens had twice as many fast-food restaurants and convenience stores as wealthier neighborhoods had, and more than three times as many corner stores. These areas had twice as many supermarkets and large-scale grocery stores as wealthier neighborhoods.
The truth was exactly the opposite of Mrs. Obama’s claim, but hers satisfied the mind-set of the utopians, who believe they alone could solve problems that never existed. Mrs. Obama later began a second crusade to force restaurants and schools to serve “healthy” foods, ban “junk food,” and bully restaurants into serving smaller portions.
Michelle Obama worked in 2010 to get Congress to pass a nutrition bill that would give the Department of Agriculture new powers to regulate school lunches. The bill was passed in December of that year, and now that the regulations have gone into effect, it is having a devastating impact on students and their angry parents.
Under Department of Agriculture edicts, cinnamon rolls and chili are banned. School bands and groups can’t sell candy bars for fund-raising. The government is now mandating portion sizes, including how many tomatoes must go into a salad!
Children are permitted to refuse three items on a tray, but not fruits and vegetables. Of course, the Food Police can’t yet force them to eat their veggies, but it’s not far-fetched to think they might someday. After all, the Obamas have rammed through legislation that initially demanded that nuns buy insurance coverage for contraception and pregnancy. Fortunately the Supreme Court ended that requirement in 2014.
The new federal guidelines, thanks to Michelle Obama, now limit caloric intake to between 750 and 850 a day for schoolchildren. Teenagers require between 2,000 and 3,000 calories a day to be healthy and grow, and high school athletes need up to 5,000 calories per day. In short, the First Lady is responsible for malnourishing kids through the school lunch program.
In 2006 the three-term mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, decided to add the title “Food Police Chief’ to his list of duties in the Big Apple. That year, he banished trans fats from city restaurants and, in 2010, forced food manufacturers to alter their recipes to include less sodium. He failed, however, to remove salt shakers from the tables. Patrons who receive a dish of food at a New York restaurant that they deem not salty enough may still simply add salt.
In spring 2012 Bloomberg decided that New Yorkers had to be protected even more from themselves, so he issued an edict banning soft drinks larger than sixteen ounces. The ban applied to restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums, and arenas.
In August 2012 Bloomberg banned the distribution of baby formula in city hospitals unless it is medically necessary because he, a man, had decided that new mothers should always breast-feed regardless of their weight, professions, or other personal details. Free formula provided to mothers was also eliminated. Bloomberg determined that breast-feeding is best for children and that new mothers should not have a voice in the decision regardless of their circumstances. But Bloomberg did want women to have freedom of choice to kill their young before they are born. He was willing to give moms the option to abort their unborn babies, but not to feed formula to those who are living.
What is next for those like Obama and Bloomberg? Mandated calisthenics each morning at six? Currently the United States seems to be incubating and hatching utopian tyrants at an alarming rate.
[Green on the outside, “red” on the inside]
America is threatened not only by the Food Nazis, but by the Watermelon Utopians, who are working to destroy our industrialized civilization and bring us back to an agrarian society in the name of the environment.
These are the Watermelons. They’re Red (Marxist-Leninist) on the inside, but are using the Green movement on the outside to promote totalitarian central-planned government.
The poster child for this Watermelon movement is Van Jones, a Marxist with a nice smile who hates free enterprise just a bit less than nuclear power and fossil fuels.
In March 2009 President Obama picked Jones to be his “Green Jobs Czar.” In September 2009 Jones resigned after television host Glenn Beck exposed the fact that Jones was a militant Marxist radical.
After his departure from the Obama administration, Jones went to work at the Center for American Progress, a socialist group funded by one-worlder George Soros. Jones also began teaching at Princeton University at the African American Studies and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is a “senior fellow” at the Center for American Progress and is an advisor for the extremist group Green for All, which he founded in 2007.
In an unsurprising way, Van Jones symbolizes the support Barack Obama received from the left that helped him win two terms. Jones also highlights the vast portion of the US population who do want the government to take care of all their needs and are willing to allow government to be the god of their lives in return.
Jones openly said he became a Communist shortly after the 1992 Rodney King riots and the trial. According to Jones, “I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th” and “by August, I was a communist.”
In 1993 he moved to San Francisco and helped found the Bay Area Police Watch, which demonized the police in that city. In 1996 he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, designed to undermine the criminal justice system, which he saw as unjust to minorities. The Baker Center received more than $1 million from George Soros’s Open Society Institute.
As Jones’s commitment to Marxist-type central planning grew in the late ’90s, he became a leader of the group called STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement).
Then in 2006 Jones endorsed an antipolice day held by the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party. Jones considers all American prisons to be racist and nothing more than “slave ships on dry land.”
As a green activist, Jones demanded that America “build a pipeline from the prison economy to the green economy.” He wants the federal government to hire ex-felons to work in “green jobs” to do weather-stripping for energy efficiency in homes and offices. He did not mention if the home and business owners would be informed of workers’ felony convictions.
According to Jones, in an interview on Uprising Radio in Los Angeles, “The green economy will start off as a small subset” of a “complete revolution” against what he calls “gray capitalism.” The goal is the “redistribution of all wealth.”
Part of this anticapitalist effort is being accomplished through Green for All, funded in part by George Soros and our incredibly wealthy former vice president Al Gore—a true multimillionaire of the people. The organization’s alleged purpose is “building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.” In reality the plan would use taxpayer dollars to fund centrally planned government-run boondoggles in the inner cities.
Jones has openly admitted that his green agenda is designed to destroy capitalism. “We are going to push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society,” he said.
I was feeling the steak salad at TILT THE KILT, so I grabbed my newest copy of THE CITY JOURNAL and a book I am reading “Contradict: They Can’t All Be True,” and headed over. I must look like a COMPLETE idiot as I have my faced buried in either of the two… just glancing up to see if there is a change of score in the Blackhawks game (the only thing good to come out of Chicago… that and it’s school of economics [back-in-the-day]). Some good articles in the City Journal this time around. One was so interesting that I scanned a bit of it for others to read.
But before you do — two things. 1) promise to watch “Waiting for Superman” in the future, as well as 2) watching the video directly below, now. The video below is one — even if already seen — will refresh the visuals of what the below article explains:
So you know, UFT stands for United Federation of Teachers, and is the largest teacher union in New York. Here is a portion of the article:
…The UFT has been especially effective because, unlike other interest groups in the city, it gets two bites at the apple—through collective bargaining and through politics. Three structural features of the collective bargaining process skew in the UFT’s favor. First, even in the best-case scenario, in which the city fights for the children’s interests and the union battles to protect its teachers, the result would be something in between—that is, an outcome not fully in the interest of students. Second, the city is a near-monopoly provider of education. Absence of competition reduces pressure on the city to drive a hard bargain with the UFT, while lessening incentives for the union to moderate its demands. Third, the UFT contributes cash and campaign assistance to the politicians with whom it negotiates. To the extent that the UFT backs winners, the union ends up on both sides of the bargaining table. Consequently, negotiated outcomes favor the UFT over time.The United Teachers Federation (UFT) represent most of New York’s public schools, so you understand the acronym below:
In the political arena, no group in New York City can rival the UFT’s manpower and money. Most of its 116,000 members hold college and graduate degrees, making them more likely to be politically active. The union also collects huge sums in dues, which are automatically deducted from members’ paychecks. Each UFT member pays, on average, approximately $600 a year in union dues, bringing the union’s annual revenues to about $70 million—much of it reserved for paying union officials’ salaries, contributions to state and national federations, rent for office space, and the costs of collective bargaining. The UFT also maintains a Committee on Political Education, sponsored by members who voluntarily donate anywhere from 50 cents to ten dollars out of their biweekly paycheck for explicitly political purposes. The fund hauls in more than $10 million a year, about $3 million of which goes for lobbying and protests.
Thanks to its massive war chest, the UFT has become the Democratic Party’s largest underwriter in New York City and State. (It is also a major donor to the left-wing Working Families Party.) Over the last two years, the union has given $1.7 million to city council candidates—all Democrats. According to the National Institute for Money in State Politics, in 2012 (as in most years before and since), the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), largely a state-level extension of the UFT, was the Empire State’s biggest contributor to candidates and parties in state politics. Seventy-nine percent of the NYSUT’s S1.2 million in contributions went to Democrats.
In his book Special Interest, Stanford University political scientist Terry Moe found that from 2000 to 2009, teachers’ unions’ campaign contributions exceeded those of all other business associations in New York State combined by a ratio of five to one. And most business groups don’t try to influence education policy so single-mindedly.
The UFT and the Democratic Party in New York are intertwined in other ways. For example, the union provides office space—next door to its headquarters at 50 Broadway in Manhattan—to the State Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. Then—UFT president Randi Weingarten served as cochair of Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senate campaign. Not surprisingly, during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Senator Clinton dismissed the idea of teacher-merit pay as disruptive. A revolving door of consultants, campaign operatives, and lobbyists connects the UFT and the campaign staffs of state legislators and city council members. Many liberal interest groups in the city—such as Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East, and other public-employee unions—are, for the most part, UFT allies. The union also helps fund other advocacy organizations, such as U.S. Action and the NAACP, and think tanks, such as Demos and the Economic Policy Institute, whose loyalty it can rely on in a pinch.
The UFT’s membership constitutes the largest single voting bloc in mayoral elections. And because teachers and school paraprofessionals live in all parts of the city, they can be decisive in low-turnout city council races. The UFT’s get-out-the-vote operation is rivaled only by its ally, SEIU 1199. In 2013, de Blasio was elected mayor with just 752,604 votes in a city of 8.4 million people. Fully 42 percent of voters said that they belonged to a union household.
The UFT also spends millions each year lobbying city council members and state legisla‑tors. According to the New York State Ethics Commission, the union spent $1.86 million in Albany in 2012. And the New York Public Interest Research Group reports that the NYSUT, to which the UFT contributes substantial revenues, was the state’s second-biggest lobbying spender in 2010, plunking down $4.7 million. (The Healthcare Education Project, a vehicle of SEIU 1199 and the Greater New York Hospital Association, was first.)
The UFT’s extensive political activities ensure that the school system continues to serve the needs of teachers first. The union’s enduring objectives—better pay, benefits, and job protections for its members—are divorced from issues of student achievement, as New York’s declining school performance since the unionization of teachers in the 1960s makes clear. By 1990, nearly 40 percent of freshmen entering high school had been held back in earlier grades, while 23 percent of students dropped out of school altogether. In 1994, only 44 percent of students graduated from high school in four years. Only one in three third-graders could read at or above grade level in 1997….
All this spending means that the New York City school system now lays out $20,226 per pupil — double the national average of $10,608 — based on census data released in May 2014.
Daniel DiSalvo, The Union That Devoured Education Reform, The City Journal (Autumn 2014), 12-13, 16.
Former New York City mayor is pledging to spend $50 million this year to push gun control, the New York Times reports. For this and other deeds (such as taking on obesity and smoking), Bloomberg believes he’s going to heaven.
“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” Bloomberg told the Times.
Here’s the full context of Bloomberg’s heaven quotation:
Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter.But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
B-u-t alas… if you think good works get you into heaven, there is always gonna be someone who is “better” than you.
ENTER Tom Steyer… who has Bloomberg beat by a whopping 50-mil more to “SAVE” the environment. The almost unbearable hypocrisy Reid doesn’t get is his “renting” of the Senate floor to the 1% ~ via Breitbart:
The Republican National Committee says that the Senate Democrats’ all-nighter on the Senate floor Monday evening until 9 AM Tuesday was not about principle. The RNC claims Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats rented out the Senate floor to the environmental cause of one of their biggest left-wing billionaire donors.
RNC spokesman Raffi Williams points to how liberal billionaire Tom Steyer—a major Democratic Party donor—supports environmental causes.
“If you thought living in the Ritz-Carlton was expensive, it’s peanuts compared to the $100 million contribution from California billionaire Tom Steyer which is the going rate to rent Harry Reid’s Senate,” Williams said in a Tuesday statement. “Last night’s talk-a-thon was nothing more than payback for Steyer’s donations to the Democrat Party. Either Mr. Reid or the Democrat Party needs to reimburse taxpayers for their campaign stunt.”….
Bloomberg said he would walk through the gates of Heaven, unhindered. Does this mean Steyer will be choppered in? Also, take note this is the Left connecting entrance into Heaven with THEIR politics. If you are for the 2nd Amendment, do not believe in anthropogenic global warming, you don’t recycle, are pro-life/anti-choice… well… your destined for hell. But it doesn’t have to be this way my children… Bloomberg (a Jew), Harry Reid (a Mormon), and Nancey Pelosi (a Catholic) are all here to guide us to Heaven.
HotAir has a funny reply from a common sense point of view:
Ahem. According to Bloomberg, there may or may not be a God, but Bloomberg will tell Him what to do in the former case. I’m not an expert on Bloomberg’s reform Judaism, but, ah … I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. Or maybe Bloomberg just believes that heaven is the eternal nanny state. Hard to guess, really, from the data presented here, but from Bloomberg’s track record here on this side of the veil, I’d guess that Bloomberg figures to be on Big Gulp/Trans-Fat Watch for the rest of eternity. That may be heaven for Bloomberg, but how many of us dream of an afterlife with a self-important bureaucrat telling us and God how it’s going to be?
As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.” (Matthew 19:24)
….Had the rich ruler sold all as Jesus commanded, he could never have rightfully said, “I purchased my salvation.” No, he could only rightly say, “I spent my entire life as a religious hypocrite, ignoring His second greatest commandment. However, because of His amazing grace, God gave me an opportunity to receive eternal life, a gift of unparalleled worth. I only had to believe in His Son, which I did, and because I believed, I began obeying Him from that time on, repenting of my greed and finding true joy in the process. Praise God for His wonderful grace by which I’m saved!”
When we consider what our salvation cost Jesus and the punishment we deserved for our sins, is there any way we could rightfully boast?
[Yes, if you are extreme progressive, then “works” measures your salvific stature. Did YOU save the planet by planting trees for your carbon footprint? I did. Did YOU recycle, and stop using plastic water bottles? I did. Did YOU talk to people about the dangers of the Keystone XL pipeline? I did. Etc. All this equals what the left considers “good works.”]
1. that riches engross the affections.
2. that people consider wealth as the chief good, and when this is obtained they think they have gained all.
3. that they are proud of their wealth, and unwilling to be numbered with the poor and despised followers of Jesus.
4. that riches engross the time, and fill the mind with cares and anxieties, and leave little for God.
Still, Jesus says Matthew 19:26, all these may be overcome. God can give grace to do it. Though to people it may appear impossible, yet it is easy for God.
We should be fair and really discuss this issue a bit more, including the ideas of Bill O’Reilly as well. As, fallen beings we naturally rebel against God’s clear address to us from the Bible. This rebellion knows no party, age, gender, ethnicity, or the like. Our depravity is truly “multicultural.”
Reformed Apologist thusly adds well to the conversation about BOTH Bloomberg AND O’Reilly. Everybody would be good? R e a l l e e e:
…“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Apostle Paul / Follower of Christ (true to the Scriptures)…
…After putting forth a doctrine of salvation by works, O’Reilly went on to express most ardently that he hopes that justice will prevail at the final judgment. O’Reilly couldn’t have been more clear. Bill O’Reilly does not need God’s mercy and grace. He, also, hopes others will receive the justice they deserve. (I prayed for this lost soul at various times throughout the day. Many verses came to mind, especially that Christ didn’t come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.) Bill O’Reilly is self-righteous and, therefore, on his way to hell.*
I heard the Bloomberg quote on CNBC while driving home. Had I not heard his quote I would not have blogged on this matter.
Bloomberg is a blasphemer. The difference between him and O’Reilly is one of degree. Bloomberg has tried to convince himself (and others) that he has already earned heaven whereas O’Reilly, at best, tries to project that he can and hopefully will merit heaven. That’s a distinction without a relevant difference in the grand scheme of things.
*If we cannot pronounce God’s curses based upon His word, then we forgo the right to pronounce God’s blessings. When O’Reilly professes that he is saved by God’s grace alone, then it can be said that he is on his way to Heaven. It is not biblical to say one can be saved now while they clearly profess that they are trusting in self-merit alone.
The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC.
An eye-popping $13 billion would go to “mitigation” projects to prepare for future storms.
Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.
Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill “Sandy Scam.”
★ $58.8 million for forest restoration on private land. ★ $197 million “to… protect coastal ecosystems and habitat impacted by Hurricane Sandy.” ★ $10.78 billion for public transportation, most of which is allocated to future construction and improvements, not disaster relief. ★ $17 billion for wasteful Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a program that has become notorious for its use as a backdoor earmark program.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who previously declined to slam House Speaker John Boehner over Congress’ stalled Hurricane Sandy aid, took his argument to the next level this morning and suggested federal lawmakers are partially to blame for the delay in the vote on the package because they insert “things that are totally extraneous” into bills such as this. Although Mr. Bloomberg didn’t specify the extraneous problem items, the legislation has been criticized by Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan for being “packed with funding for unrelated items, such as commercial fisheries in American Samoa and roof repair of museums in Washington, D.C.”
“There’s this ‘Christmas Tree effect’ where legislators put in their favorite bills and tack them onto something. The [Obama] administration does that, that’s why you have an omnibus bill–to force everybody to vote for things that would never stand up in the light of day if they were individual,” Mr. Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show with John Gambling. “I’m sympathetic. Yelling and screaming at [Mr. Boehner] is just not my style. It may be effective, it may not be. Everybody’s got to make their own decisions. I think the legislative leaders who criticize and those in the Legislature should stop and think, they do exactly the same thing in terms of ladling on things that are totally extraneous but it’s the only way they get them through.”
…Look at some of what was in the $60 billion bill: $150 million for Alaskan fisheries; $2 million for roof repair at the Smithsonian in Washington; and about $17 billion for liberal activists under the guise of “community development” funds and so-called social service grants. Far from being must-pass legislation, this is a disgrace to the memory of the victims and could taint legitimate efforts to deal with future disasters.
California Republican Darrell Issa had it right when he told Fox News that “They had the opportunity to have a $27- to $30-billion legit relief package, packed it with pork, then dared us not to vote on it.”
Beyond the recriminations is the larger problem that every disaster has become a Washington political opportunity. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is fully funded but does an incompetent job. Federal flood insurance encourages overbuilding in storm zones, so taxpayers pay first to subsidize the insurance and then to save the homeowners who overbuilt. And politicians use the public sympathy after any disaster as an excuse to throw even more money not merely at victims but for pent-up priorities they should be funding out of regular state and local tax dollars.
Mr. Boehner’s sin was ensuring that the House had time to sort the pork from the parochial. Mr. Christie should thank him on behalf of New Jersey taxpayers.
Really the idea of “progressive, democratic evolutionary ethics” is meaningless if true (see here). Dennis Prager discusses a recent defense of Bloomberg’s “soda-ban” by an evolutionary professor from Harvard. He [Dennis] even wrote about this in a recent article:
Control of Language (1984'ish)
To differ with the left is not only definitionally sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, and bigoted (SIXHIRB, as I have labeled it) — it is now against science itself….
The quotation of the week last week had to be that of Harvard professor Daniel E. Lieberman in an opinion piece for the New York Times.
Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology, was among those who publicly defended New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to ban the sale of sugared soft drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces.
And he did so using, of all things, evolution.
Now, we all know that humans have always needed — or evolved to need — carbohydrates for energy. So how could evolution argue for Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on sugar, a pure carbohydrate?
“We have evolved,” the professor concluded his piece, “to need coercion.”
Evolution explains love, altruism, morality, economic behavior, God, religion, intelligence. Indeed, it explains everything but music. For some reason, the evolutionists have not come up with an evolution-based explanation for why human beings react so powerfully to music. But surely they will.
Now, along comes Professor Lieberman, not merely to use evolution to explain human behavior but to justify coercive left-wing social policy.
In other words, the left is not only progressive when it coerces citizens to act in ways the left deems appropriate but also science itself — through evolution — inexorably leads to government coercion on behalf of such policies.
Whereas until now, the democratic left has attempted to persuade humanity that left-wing policies are inherently progressive, this Harvard professor has gone a huge step further. Left-wing policies are scientifically based. This is exactly how the Soviet Communists defended their totalitarian system. Everything they advocated was “naoochni,” “scientific.”
To differ with the left is not only definitionally sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, and bigoted (SIXHIRB, as I have labeled it) — it is now against science itself….
Dennis Prager reads from an editorial written by an evolutionary biologist from Harvard via the New York Times. The professor says that mankind evolved to need a “nanny state,” so-to-speak. This is how tyrannical states thought to be needed by the intelligentsia of the Left. Evolution.
“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.” (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy [New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942], pp. 161-162.)
From First Things: …I’m sorry to be blunt, but the notion that Darwinism supports conservatism is absurd. Steven Pinker notoriously gleaned support for infanticide from the Origin of Species. Other Darwinists have argued that rape and inner–city teenage pregnancy are evolutionary adaptations. None of these is a conservative goal. If Professor Arnhart’s ideas were correct we would expect that university biology departments would be hotbeds of conservatism. Take it from me, they aren’t. Perhaps Prof. Arnhart should explain to John Maynard Smith, the prominent evolutionary theoretician and Marxist, how natural selection supports conservative principles. Or Steven Jay Gould. Or—to show the historical roots of conservative Darwinism—J. B. S. Haldane, who was a big fan of Stalin.
Darwinism—even if true—has no resources to support any real philosophy, whether conservative or liberal, vegetarian or royalist. Organisms have traits, the traits vary, some variations help the organism leave more offspring than other organisms—that’s the whole Darwinian ball of wax. Nothing in Darwinism tells you what those traits should be, either now or in the future, or even what a “trait” is. Nothing says whether it is the average of the traits that is important, the novelties, or the most extreme variation. “Important” has no meaning in Darwinism other than to leave more offspring, which can be done by means pleasant or brutal. A person can use Darwinism to justify any preference; he simply points to some person or animal with the trait he likes and argues that it’s natural. And everyone else can do the same. Postmodernists are not known to be hostile to natural selection…
If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. . . . In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in.’ It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. . . . Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
On the Jon Stewart programs NY Mayor Bloomberg told Jon Stewart that one hundred percent of the 9/11 families agreed with him. Well, if you read how he worded it, you will see politics in action:
“And the family members that I’ve talked to – and I’m chairman of the board of the World Trade Center Memorial – 100 percent in favor of saying, ‘These people, if they want to build a mosque, can build a mosque. The lives of our loved ones were taken because the right to build a mosque or say what you want to say was so threatening to people.'”
Not to mention that in fact many of the 9/11 families are against this mosques chosen area (the red-herring is the Constitutional argument in this debate… no one is talking about that except those that want to obfuscate the issue):
Bloomberg also dismisses, as do others, the many, many Islamic faces that have come out against this mosque as well as the polls:
A recent CBS News poll found that 71 percent of respondents believe it is “not appropriate” to build the mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero, including a majority (57 percent) of Democrats. A Time poll found that 68 percent are following the issue “somewhat closely” or “very closely.” (NewsBusters)
Even though I disagree with the main point behind this following cartoon, it does make me smile as well — KEEP IT UP DEMS!