Last week, the New York Post‘s John Crudele broke the story that the Census Bureau, which conducts the Current Population Survey (CPS) that is the basis for the unemployment rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has been falsifying the data since 2010. Curdele interviewed a person who was caught by the Census Bureau in 2010 simply making up data, with the employee claiming his superiors told him to do so because his region was not successfully interviewing enough people for the survey. According to an anonymous source, that effort intensified in the months leading up to the 2012 election, with September 2012’s data specifically falsified to President Barack Obama’s favor, and continues to the present time.

These allegations are currently being investigated by both the House Oversight Committee and the Inspector General of the Census Bureau, with the BLS also quite interested in them.

One place they can start is comparing what came out of the CPS to a measure of unemployment conducted by Gallup, started in January 2010. There are a couple of key differences between the CPS and Gallup which make a comparison a bit harder:

– While the CPS uses a reference week that includes the 12th of the month (5th of the month in November), Gallup uses a 30-day rolling average.
– The CPS surveys (or claims to survey) 60,000 people age 16 and over, while over the course of each 30-day rolling average, Gallup surveys 30,000 adults.

Fortunately, the BLS releases, as part of its dataset, the data from the portion of the CPS that covers adults, or about 57,500 surveyed out of approximately 153,000,000 considered part of the labor force. That allows an apples-to-apples comparison:

Gallup-CPS

For the most part, the CPS measure of adult unemployment is significantly lower than Gallup’s measure. How significant? Let’s take a look at Gallup’s measure on the day that puts the CPS reference day right in the middle of the rolling average, the 27th day of the month (20th for November and also December to avoid an artificial post-Christmas spike). The CPS unemployment was calculated by dividing the number of unemployed by the number considered to be in the workforce, so I could get much closer than to the nearest tenth of a percentage point reported. The raw data was not available for Gallup’s measure of unemployment, so I took the closest possible number to the CPS measure that still rounded to Gallup’s tenth of a percentage point reported.

Gallup-CPS divergence

Polls, which is what the CPS and Gallup measures really are, come with a margin of error, within which the true value can be expected either 90% or 95% of the time. For the CPS, the 90%-confidence margin of error is +/-0.20 percentage points and the 95%-confidence margin of error is +/-0.24 percentage points. For Gallup, the 90%-confidence margin of error is +/-0.28 percentage points and the 95%-confidence margin of error is +/-0.34 percentage points.

Two polls are considered to be in good agreement when their values are within each others’ margin of error. Meanwhile at least one poll has to be wildly incorrect when the difference between the two is more than the sums of their margin of error. Out of 46 months’ worth of data:

– 18 months saw Gallup’s and CPS’s measures of unemployment disagree by more than the combined 90%-confidence margin of error of 0.49 percentage points, with 17 months having Gallup’s measure higher.
– 8 months saw the measures of unemployment disagree by between 0.28 percentage points (Gallup’s 90%-confidence margin of error) and 0.49 percentage points, with another 3 months seeing a disagreement between 0.20 percentage points (CPS’s 90% confidence margin of error) and 0.28 percentage points.
– 17 months saw the measures of unemployment in “good agreement”, disagreeing by less than 0.20 percentage points.

When two polls wildly disagree more than they are in “good agreement”, one of them has to be wrong. Given the disagreement has been almost invariably in the administration’s favor, and there already was a proven round of fakery in the CPS, it sure looks like the official measure of unemployment has been cooked longer than a burnt turkey.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Saturday the last day of the month and the week.

Most important of all it is the end of the first month of my Magnificent Seven Bloggers.  Later today the final post of the month for my magnificent seven will go up and I’ll send out my final payment of the month for that final article paying them in full.

You have been treated to topics like Church history from Pastor George Kelly Common Core’s Kobayashi Maru from AP (Lady Liberty) Dillon , a bit of Venezuela from Fausta, Indoctrination vs education from Baldilocks The sanity of homeschooling from Linda Szugyi , What Smoking Taxes actually do to a culture from Marathon Pundit and the Left’s Lawfare in Wisconsin from Steve Eggleston and today you will get one more piece from Steve rounding out the contributions from my Magnificent Seven.

Unlike the litigious bloggers of the Huffington Post my seven have not just been promised exposure, each has been paid for their work since day one.

That’s why AOL will never come calling with $315 Million or even 2 Million because if they did they’d not only would they have to pay my writers, but I’d likely just start a new even bigger venture along these same lines with the dough.

It would be very cool if eventually the story ended with a huge site, linking hundreds of conservative bloggers and with our own staff of paid reporters, but for now we’re still the beginning and on this last day of the first month of my Magnificent Seven I’m $179 shy of ending that first month with all my writers paid in full AND the mortgage paid in full too.

One tip jar hit of $179   or two at $90 or Four at $45 will get it done.

I can’t promise that this will eventually grow into that ultimate conservative powerhouse driving supporting and electing conservatives as my ultimate plan, but succeeding in the small things will make the large things possible.

Two final thoughts

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Thanksgiving is a season of both reflection and gratitude.

Each year during the fourth Thursday of the month of November, our nation pauses from its interminable business, social, and societal activity to enjoy a time of feasting and festivity.

Why do we set aside a special time to give thanks?  Why is this tradition still important for those of us who live in the digital age that is the 21st century?  There are many reasons to enjoy a special season of thanks, but perhaps if we take a look at the historical roots of our country we can see why a time of “thanksgiving” is vitally important for the renewal of our nation.

What many of us in America do not appreciate is that in the late 1500s and early 1600s, Religious Freedom was not an absolute right.  In much of Europe, whatever the religion or faith of the King or Sovereign might be – his faith or lack thereof had a direct bearing on the religion of the people that he ruled.  If the king was Catholic (Spain), then Catholicism was the official religion of Spain.  If the king were Protestant (England), then the people of that realm became Protestants.

The Puritans were people who were directly affected by a worldwide movement known as the “Protestant Reformation.”  The Protestant Reformation took place from roughly 1517 to 1646 (the Protestant Reformation inspired reforms in the Catholic Church that led to what is known as the Catholic Counter-Revolution that resulted in “The Council of Trent”).

Your ability to worship in Europe of the 1500s and 1600s without external disturbance was a tenuous right at best.  One of the fortunate by-products of “The Protestant Reformation” is that it decentralized the ability of European rulers to control the religious affections of their subjects.  The people of Europe began to slowly, but surely, as time went on experience a burgeoning growth in the area of religious liberty.

It is in a proper understanding of the growth of religious liberty that makes the Puritans so important to our nation’s founding.

The men and women who left Europe in 1619 and who signed The Mayflower Compact in 1620, came to America and left behind their worldly possessions; they sacrificed everything that they had or known in order to come to a place where they could worship GOD as their consciences dictated and as they believed the Holy Bible instructed them.

The original Puritans bequeathed a tremendous legacy of faith, life, freedom, and educational pursuits for their future descendants.  A short list of some of their amazing accomplishments is would include things such as:

  1. They founding and formation of what has become known as the Ivy League series of schools:  Harvard (1636); Yale (1701); Brown; Dartmouth; Princeton; and the University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Nearly 40 years before John Locke wrote his masterpiece “Two Treatise on Government,” the descendants of the Puritans had introduced a form of self-government or a representative assembly into the new world known as “The House of Burgess.”
  3. The original Puritans introduced the concept of the “Protestant Work Ethic” into the new world that led to unprecedented level of material prosperity and upward mobility for all who would later come to America’s shores; and finally,
  4. The Puritans in their devout Christian faith laid the foundation for a nuanced understanding of the natural law concept that later led to these immortal words in The Declaration of Independence “…that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.  Among these are the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”…

So, as we consume much food and drink and enjoy the presence of our friends and loved ones during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, let us remember that the American experiment rests upon the foundation of two distinct pillars of “Faith and Freedom.”

Let us rejoice in the tremendous legacy that the Puritans have left us and let us commit ourselves anew to transmitting the pillars of “Faith and Freedom” to our posterity.

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Olimometer 2.52

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It’s Thanksgiving. Time for one of my train of thought diatribes that will either make fans of those reading and have them heading back for seconds or have people humming Crazy Train by the end of the article. Maybe a bit of both. Anyhoo — It’s also time to reflect on what we’re grateful for, spend time with family, watch college football, watch parades with over-sized cartoon character balloons float by and eat ourselves until we lapse into food comas. Some of us, in the wee hours of the morning, will rise and engage in the American version of the ‘running of the bulls’ known as “Black Friday”.

There are some folks just can’t seem to slow down for even twenty-four hours and really unwind over a holiday. Me? My version of “Black Friday” does not include such rushing around, urgency or stalking gifts like prey on the savannah. Nope.  I have no problem rolling out of bed as late as my young children will let me, padding down to the kitchen for my morning injection of caffeine and then lazing through the deals on Amazon.com.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to shop just like the next gal. I just don’t relish being mowed down by people who think Christmas shopping is a contact sport. My day will include watching parades, The Peanuts holiday classics and of course, my Thanksgiving favorite, Home for the Holidays. Can’t go on writing without playing the clip of one of my favorite scenes. This is the dinner scene, which epitomizes both the dysfunction and awkwardness of some family interactions with the added bonus of being chock full of Robert Downey Jr. comedy win.  NSFW warning

 

Of course, all that shopping mayhem comes after the food, drink and more food, drink and food and drink… lather, rinse, repeat. There’s the meal to deal with first and I guarantee you this year will have a slice of Obamacare conversation fun with a side of “how’s that hopey changey stuff workin’ out for ya?”  Those of us dealing with liquid courage fortified, progressive family members who just can’t let it go — Ace has some tips for you. Personally, I try to avoid politics talk at the holidays. I do enough of it every day as a blogger. Holidays are my reprieve.  When relatives on the other side of the political fence does bring it up, I politely side step the first time and even a second. If they persist… well, they’ve had fair warning and you should be recording it with your phone.  Nothing is a better wet blanket and subject changer than a liberal given a verbal wedgie caught on camera. Just sayin’.

 

 

Those were the days

When I was younger – school age, Thanksgiving often included some kind of artistic expression like tracing your hand. You know, a hand turkey? Your thumb becomes the head and you decorate the other fingers like they were feathers. I can remember half our the class one year making Pilgrim hats and the other half making Indian vests out of paper grocery bags, complete with papooses for the girls. Almost every year without fail, there was the inevitable Thanksgiving luncheon. Moms and dads showed up and the cafeteria served turkey and stuffing.

When I got older, Thanksgiving meant an essay or research paper. Some of the over-achievers would make Mayflower replicas or pilgrim settlement dioramas. These tasks all reminds me of The Peanuts, which are staples in our house on every holiday. Their straightforward take on just about everything is something sorely missing these days. I dare say some of the politically correct parents probably find Peanuts appalling. I find them refreshing.  Sally sums it up nicely:

Going back to the research paper bit, I always seem to remember Myles Standish first. One thing that irked me then and still irks me now, is most places spell his name Miles when it’s really Myles. Pet peeve I suppose. Anyway — Standish was, for all intents and purposes, the Pilgrim’s military leader.  The Pilgrims hired him to both lead and coordinate the defenses of the Plymouth Colony. The consensus is that Standish was stationed in Holland as part of Queen Elizabeth’s army when he was engaged by the Pilgrims to become their military leader. His duties were not only of a defensive nature, he was instrumental in some of the exploration of the area we know today as Cape Cod. At History.com, there is a decent summary of the departure of the Mayflower for America.

 

Myles Standish Proud

The farthest thing from history lessons and The Peanuts is probably my retro taste in 80’s music. Peanuts are nostalgic and so is music for most folks. This might be jumping the train tracks a bit I know, but for me the name Myles Standish also conjures up the opening to R.E.M.’s song

The song Begin the Begin is the first track off R.E.M.’s fourth album, Life’s Rich Pageant, which came out in 1986. Yep. I’m a bit of an R.E.M addict… still.

Begin the Begin was meant to be a protest song, which in a historical way, suits the reference it makes to Myles Standish. Standish after all was basically accompanying protesters. I think I also like this song because how often do we see historical references like that in lyrics any more? The number of kids getting the reference the first time around today would probably be less than those who get the obscure references in a Dennis Miller stand up routine. That failure to grasp onto knowledge is becoming a systemic failure nationwide. No one thinks anymore – hence the rise of the low info voters.  But I digress…back to the song.

The opening lyrics:

Birdie in the hand for life’s rich demand
The insurgency began and you missed it
I looked for it and I found it
Myles Standish proud, congratulate me

A philanderer’s tie, a murderer’s shoe
Life’s rich demand creates supply in the hand
Of the power, the only vote that matters

Silence means security, silence means approval
Watchin’ Zenith on the TV, tiger run around the tree
Follow the leader, run and turn into butter

 

The song overall is a statement on the corruption of society and its institutions. . It’s also got a bit of the ‘look at me!’ bit in the line ‘Myles Standish proud, congratulate me.’  Shorter:  Look at me, see what I’ve created of what you rejected. The last refrain I included above (bold text), for me,  is a little shout out to the media right now.  You reap what you sow, guys.

When it came out, Reagan had just been re-elected and Iran-Contra was swirling in the media. The title itself was a call to arms that is arguably more applicable today, given the transparency issues and scandal of the Obama administration, than when first written.  Hopefully, our history books will read in a more straightforward manner like a Peanuts cartoon or have the brutal honesty of an R.E.M song. That would be something to be grateful for I think.

As I said in the opening paragraph, you’re either going back for seconds with a re-read or humming Crazy Train. Well, enough of the train of thought ramblings from me, pass the pie and whipped cream. Enjoy your food comas, folks. Either way, let’s begin again…Take a page out of Linus’ book and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The Canadian kid goes to Bogota, Colombia, indulges in misbehavior, gets away with it, and now the locals want to, too:  Justin Bieber’s visit to Bogota opened doors for Colombian graffiti artists. Well, pardon my old-fogieness, but “graffiti artist” is an oxymoron. Vandalism is what comes to mind. But, when you’re a celebrity who gets paid thousands of dollars, you get away with it,

The 19-year-old Canadian heartthrob gave a concert on an October night and then took to the streets of this capital, wearing a hoodie and spray-painting a Canadian maple leaf atop a marijuana leaf alongside a tribute to his dead hamster, Pac. It all happened under the watchful eye of the metropolitan police, whose officers served as security detail.

Now the Colombian authorities have to deal with hundreds of “street artists” doing their thing not only in Bogota, but also in Cali, Medellin and other big Colombian cities – with others in smaller cities sure to join in.

What happened next? For one, Bogota outlined sanctions for defacing public property.

And Justin, who was told that, when he returns to Colombia, he may have to give a free concert for children (so the little kids may get to see him up close as a role model?), went on to Brazil, where he spray-painted the walls of Rio de Janeiro’s Hotel Nacional:

At this rate, he may get a show at the Whitney Museum in New York.

As a general rule, I like being right.  Whether in politics, or when my child has “looked everywhere and it’s not there,” or whatever the occasion.  It feels good to be right, especially when somebody else is insisting over and over that I am wrong.

The bestest part is when an opponent actually realizes his mistake.  Awareness dawns; the arguments trail off . . . oh the joy of that moment.

What a shame I haven’t been able to enjoy being right about Obamacare.  Vats of Schadenfreude are ready for drinking.  It looks delicious, this German brew.  Then the flood of painful stories on the internet, as well as first-hand accounts from friends, puts a damper on the mood.trainwreck

Also, I can’t stop wondering.  How will this play out?  I’d love to assume that this train wreck will prove once and for all what a monumentally bad idea it is for the federal government to “fix” all societal woes.

But of course that’s hardly a given.  Via Peter, I see that Neo-Neocon feels a similar wariness:

“We’re talking belief here, and affiliation of the deepest sort.  Self-image and self-worth.  I can’t quite imagine most of the people I know turning their backs on liberalism—or even, really, on Obama, more than feeling just a mild diminution of admiration—as a result of this.”

A friend recently sent me an elated message about how her die-hard-liberal mom was now Officially Disillusioned with Obama.  That’s practically a miracle itself, but here’s the thing.  In order for the story to be a success, her mom can’t just be disillusioned with one politician.  She has to understand the fact that federal bureaucracies shouldn’t control gigantic swathes of our economy.

If it were just a matter of website glitches, the media would be able to stay in protect-the-president mode.  But “you can keep your plan” and “we will save you money” went straight into the toilet.  And things will continue to worsen.  So in order to preserve their beliefs, liberals will have to blame President Obama.

Bill Clinton has already demonstrated how to throw Obama under the busThis editorial is another example.  The editorial board is reduced to writing things like:

“With his presidency in grave peril, President Obama had little choice  . . . .”

Watch out for those buses, Mr. President.  And notice how the underlying belief in a totalitarian system remains unshaken:

“No doubt, this is an ugly chapter in the long march toward universal coverage. But a return to the bad old days would be worse.”

Ah ha.  The long march toward universal coverage.  Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are in lockstep.  The President says he isn’t, but previously said he was.  Perhaps the President knew all along that Obamacare would fail, and in the midst of the crisis he intends to usher in a universal, single payer system.

If that is the case, it appears that implementation of the Obamacare failure is not going according to plan.

Hmm.  What exactly was the plan?  So far, it looks about as well-conceived as the underwear gnomes’ plan for profitunderwear gnome

  • Phase One:  Implement Obamacare
  • Phase Two:  ?
  • Phase Three:  Universal Coverage!

Poor planning notwithstanding, we may get there.  After all, how much of a stretch is it to imagine the United States nationalizing the healthcare industry, when you consider these facts:

“We long ago socialized education. We’ve practically socialized home mortgages. We’re willing to socialize car manufacturing losses. We’ve accepted the socialization of big bank losses. We’re well on our way to socializing even groceries . . . .”

But even that rather pessimistic article doesn’t explain Phase Two.  How do the Democrats sell a government takeover of healthcare in the aftermath of an Obamacare failure?

The Democrats assumed they didn’t have to plan that part.  They thought the arguments against insurance companies and in favor of further government intervention would write themselves.

Oopsies.

In my adult experience, I have never seen government malfeasance laid so bare.  Charles Krauthammer is right; a tremendous opportunity exists.

We just have to keep hammering away at the lies (or broken promises, or misspoken words, or whatever works best for your audience).  Most importantly, we have to hold all Obamacare advocates’ feet to the fire, not just the President’s.

If the pain of Obamacare is as big and bad as I think it will be, maybe we don’t have to convert the die-hard liberals, anyway.  If there are still enough people out there snoozing their way past politics, maybe the pain will finally wake them up.

We can fill in Phase Two, and turn the plan into this:

  • Phase One:  Implement Obamacare
  • Phase Two:  Hold Obamacare Advocates Responsible for its Myriad Failures
  • Phase Three:  Repeal Obamacare and Implement Real Free Market Solutions!

Outstanding.  All we need now is a deck of cards.

Lake County, Illinois
Lake County, Illinois

Mayor Rahm Emanuel favors adding 75 per pack to Chicago’s cigarette taxes. On top of the federal, state, and county fees, this new tax, if enacted, will force Chicagoans to pay $7.42 in taxes–the highest in the nation.

As I am the Marathon Pundit, the only smoke you’ll see me exhale is the kind that came out of my lungs during today’s chilly morning run.

But increasing tobacco taxes effects everyone. Because when smoking taxes go up, a number of things happen. Some quit, which is a good thing, others smoke less, while others seek out their smokes in cheaper jurisdictions, such as Indiana. The southeast side of Chicago borders the Hoosier State.

Even worse, some retailers sell cigarettes without the local tax stamps–not only depriving jurisdictions of revenue, but making it more difficult for honest merchants to compete. For convenience store owners, tobacco sales account for 40 percent of their sales.

Chuck Goudie of ABC 7 Chicago remarked earlier this month about Cook County–where Chicago is and where I live–that black market cigarette profits “are as high as dealing drugs– all at taxpayers’ expense.”

At taxpayers’ expense? Yep. And because smoking tax revenues almost never match bureaucrats’ collection forecasts, eventually funds need to come from elsewhere. So other taxes eventually are hiked. As James Thurber titled one of his stores, “You could look it up.”

The Heartland Foundation quipped that Rahm’s proposed move is “a tax hike Al Capone could have loved.”

Scarface Al, arguably the most famous Chicagoan of the last century, knew a lot about smuggling and illegal markets.

If you remember the IRS scandal, where the IRS slow-walked unnumerable applications for non-profit tax status of conservative groups, you probably will see what is happening in Wisconsin as the next step. Last weekend, The Wall Street Journal featured a brief look at what is essentially legal persecution of virtually every group that helped Governor Scott Walker survive his recall election last year.

A bit of background is in order. Public unions had dominated local politics, especially school boards, for years. They had so much power at the school board level that the teachers’ union had their own health insurance company able to overcharge for health insurance. Further, even though the Milwaukee County public employees’ union did not ask for the pension enhancers that led Walker to run for and become Milwaukee County Executive back in 2002, they refused to give them up and were otherwise thorns in Walker’s side throughout his 8-plus years as County Executive.

Near the end of his run as County Executive, Walker asked the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, headed by Democrat John Chisolm, to open a John Doe investigation into an appointee suspected of embezzeling funds intended for veterans. That morphed into a multi-year investigation of Walker’s county staff and donors to his 2010 gubernatorial campaign headed by assistant district attorney Bruce Landgraf. Despite the fact that the John Doe proceedings are supposed to be secret, many tidbits that were played by the media, and specifically the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as the Democrat Party of Wisconsin as embarrassing to Walker leaked out during the run-up to his recall election in 2012. After plea-deal convictions of 6 low-level people including the original target, and rather questionable tactics against several people later exonerated, including jailing a businessman for contempt of court because he refused to break state law and turn over credit-card information, that John Doe investigation quietly ended shortly after Walker won his recall election.

Landgraf, apparently unsatisfied that the first John Doe investigation wouldn’t get Walker out of office, opened up a second John Doe targeting virtually every vocal group supporting Walker and the 11 Republican state senators who faced recall elections even before the 2012 set of elections. M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Reporter has been doing yeoman’s work on the various aspects of this, and I will refer you to Wisconsin Reporter for the 13 pieces (so far) he has written.

In short, the groups are being targeted with subpoenas asking for all communications they made since 2011 and their donor lists, something that is, if memory serves, not a public document in Wisconsin. The fact that it is a John Doe investigation means that the targets are not to disclose that they are targets under penalty of law.

Three unnamed targets of the second John Doe have tried to get it stopped as an overly-broad overreach of prosecutorial power. A 3-judge panel on the Madison-based 4th District Court of Appeals shot that down yesterday. One of the judges was Joanne Kloppenberg, last seen failing to steal a Supreme Court seat from Justice David Prosser in 2011. A second was Brian Blanchard, architect of the Capitol caucus “scandal” in 2002 that attempted to make the Dane County branch of the DPW the dominant power in Wisconsin politics.

THE GOP & THE AMERICAN BLACK VOTER

Perhaps no other phenomenon has perplexed the Republican political establishment as to why it is that in every Presidential election of recent memory that upwards of 90% or more of the Black vote always seems to go the Democratic aspirant for President.

For years the Grand Old Party (GOP) has wondered what it must do to increase its share of minority voting participation.  There was one time in which the (GOP) was the natural home of the Black American voter.

Perhaps a historical analysis would be helpful at this juncture.  Let us take a brief look at American during the midst of the Civil War.

The year was 1863 and President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the blacks living in the Confederacy from perpetual bondage and servitude.  Blacks – or Negroes as they were referred to back them were elated and proclaimed that Lincoln was mightily used by “Divine Providence” to set them free.

Over the next few years, the Republican controlled congress would pass landmark legislation which included sweeping changes to our national character:

  • The Republican controlled 38th Congress that passed the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery; the Republican controlled Congress passed the14th Amendment that granted freedom to the former slaves; and the Republican Controlled 40th Congress passed the15th Amendment that conferred the voting franchise on Black Americans.
  • Furthermore, from the end of the Reconstruction Era of 1877 to 1932, Black Americans identified the (GOP) as the party of Liberty, Political Freedom, and Economic Growth.

What happened to change this political paradigm within the Black American community where they left the Republican party and defected to at that time the party of the Ku Klux Klan and States Rights?  This writer suggests that the Black vote was lost to the (GOP) due to three watershed Presidential elections – each sixteen years apart – from a 32 year period from 1932 through 1964 ( Presidential elections in 1932, 1948, and 1964).

1932 – America was in the midst of the “Great Depression.”  The incumbent President was the Republican Herbert Hoover.  Mr. Hoover was bewildered over why the economic downturn which began on Black Tuesday in 1929 was so persistent.  President Hoover offered America a “balanced-budget” and Governor Franklin Roosevelt of New York offered America an unbridled optimism later to become known as his New Deal.  For the first time in history, many Black Americans abandoned the party of Lincoln and cast their votes in large numbers for a Democrat for President.

President Roosevelt created his “ Black Brain Trust” which was an early harbinger of a “Black presence” in a Cabinet position and he signed an Executive Order 8802 in 1941 which banned discrimination in the Defense Industry.  The order also established the Fair Employment Practices Commission to enforce this new policy.

1948 – The incumbent President was Harry Truman.  Many political observers thought that the 33rd President of The United States was in over his head.  Mr. Truman did not possess the natural charisma of Mr. Roosevelt.  However, President Truman did several things that forever endeared him to Black Americans:

  • 1947 – President Truman became the first sitting president to ever address the convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); this was an unprecedented step by an occupant of the Oval Office;
  • 1948 – President Truman signed an Executive Order desegregating the nation’s military.  Again, in Ancient Rome, one of the quickest way for a person outside of the empire to gain citizenship and credibility was by serving in Rome’s legendary army.  President Truman knew that as Whites and Blacks served together in the military that the walls of Jim Crow segregation would eventually come tumbling down;
  • 1948 – President Truman signed another Executive Order outlawing discrimination within the Federal Government

These bold moves by the 33rd President of the United States enabled him to gather 80% of the Black “Negro” Vote on Election Day in November of 1948.

1964 – Sixteen years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson was running for the office of the Presidency against Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona.  In the summer of 1964, President Johnson signed the historic Civil Rights Act which was one of the most sweeping pieces of “human rights” legislation passed anywhere by any government in history.  The Civil Rights billed outlawed the remaining vestiges of “Jim Crow segregation” in both the North and the South and it prepared the way for Black Americans to fully participate in all aspects of American Political, Economic, and Social Life.

Unfortunately, while 80% of Republicans in both the Senate and the House voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Senator Goldwater opposed the bill on “Libertarian / Constitutional grounds.”

[This writer is a lifelong admirer of the late Senator and notes that Mr. Goldwater’s devotion to “Constitutional principles” was unassailable.  However, while Senator Goldwater was “legally correct,” he was both “politically and morally” on the wrong side of this historic issue.  In his native state of Arizona, Senator Goldwater worked tirelessly to desegregate the military and to integrate many of the institutions in his home state.  Liberals often forget that Mr. Goldwater despised segregation, but his chief concern was the unwarranted accumulation of power by an overarching Federal Government (was he an early proponent of “Tea Party” convictions?  Smile!).

On election night in 1964, President Johnson received 94% of the Black vote and the final nail in the coffin took place – Black American voters now solidly identified with the “Democratic party.”

If the GOP is to make inroads into both the Black and Latino constituencies, then there must be a carefully laid out and concerted long-term strategy – similar to the one carried out by the Democrats from 1932 through 1964 – that enables the GOP to stay true to its beliefs in “limited government,” but at the same time expressing to politically displaced minorities that the GOP – to quote former President Ronald Reagan – is a “big tent” that welcomes ALL PEOPLE who subscribe to the vision of our founding fathers in Free enterprise, Religious Liberty and Limited Government.

Those of us engaged in political debate know the term ‘new tone’. We’re used to seeing the hyperbolic, vitriol packed statements from legislators, talking heads and the like. Seeing people called racists, bigots, terrorists and worse have increasingly filled the airwaves and have been pounded out into articles and blogs all over the internet. Sadly, this is par for the course when it comes to political debate. I’ve been subjected to various incarnations of new tone in my time and have come to dub such attempts as ‘shutuppery‘ — as that is really a truer connotation of what these tactics are about; getting the opposing opinion to shut up.

In a rather unsettling series of events, we’re now seeing it displayed in discussions and forums on education. When forced off their talking points and scripts, officials are getting ugly. Specifically, those dealing with Common Core. Most upsetting was the recent statements from Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. Duncan took aim at mom’s recently. Yep, moms.  Not just any mom’s, but “white suburban moms”.  War on women anyone? Heck, War on Moms? Duncan has performed an apoloattack, saying his comments were “clumsily phrased“. Yeah, right…whatever. Here’s what the Washington Post reported:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.” – Washington Post

Just consider for a moment that the top education official in our country has just gone after parents – moms in particular –  in a rather rude and bigoted manner.  Not really confidence inspiring and, in fact, it’s a rather horrifying attempt at bullying on a national level.Dan Savage, call your office!

Here is the full quote as posted by the Daily Caller:

“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan told education officials at a conference in Richmond, Va.

Yeah, it’s fascinating how parents across the country are pushing back to the stealth adopted, untested, unproven, age inappropriate, unrigorous, poorly planned and poorly implemented, costly educational federal overreach of Common Core. Many of us have figured it out, others are figuring it on a daily basis. Revolt is going on in every single state that has adopted it. Parents might be more brilliant than you think, Arne and I am sure that’s pretty scary for you. To borrow a sentiment from Instapundit: He’s a putz. He should go.  YEP.

 

Michelle Malkin jumped right on the Washington Post story’s report with two feet and pushed back in her customary, straight-forward style:

The preposterousness of Duncan’s tirade is outweighed only by its arrogance and falsehood.

As a brown-skinned suburban mom opposed to Common Core, I can tell you I’ve personally met moms and dads of ALL races, of ALL backgrounds, and from ALL parts of the country, who have sacrificed to get their kids into the best schools possible. They are outraged that dumbed-down, untested federal “standards” pose an existential threat to their excellent educational arrangements — be they public, private, religious, or homeschooling.

Duncan’s derision betrays the very control-freak impulses that drive Common Core. He presumes that only technocratic elites in Washington can determine what quality standards and curricula look like. He pretends that minority parents and students in inner-city charter and magnet schools with locally-crafted, rigorous classical education missions simply don’t exist. A textbook liberal racist, Duncan whitewashes all minority parents and educators who oppose Common Core out of the debate. And he condescendingly implies that the only reason “white suburban moms” object to Common Core is that their children are too dumb to score well on tests that are…a complete and utter mess.

Read the Whole Thing

Per usual, Malkin hits the nail on the head. You cannot paint this movement with a single brush stroke.  Those speaking out come from all walks of life, religion and socioeconomic status. They also aren’t all moms – as Ethan Young can clearly attest to. Pretty sure Nick Hladick can back that up as well. Trying to Alkinsky-ize Common Core opponents isn’t going to work. These are our kids. In a nutshell: We’re not shutting up.

 

Some related stories for your shutuppery viewing pleasure:

Robert Small in Maryland: Forcibly removed, arrested and then all charges dropped after he dared question officials at an open meeting in Baltimore. This particular incident went viral as it was captured on video:

 

Lt. Governor Dan Forest of North Carolina sent a 20 page letter of questions on Common Core to the state school superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson. The response he received was less than helpful if not down right snarky, claiming she’d need 10,000 pieces of paper to answer him.  The Lt. Governor did finally receive a reply, and it was incredible.  Dr. June Atkinson had sent over dozens of boxes containing thumb drives, CD’s and over 40,00 documents. That means each answer to his original list of questions took 597 pages.  Watch the video the Lt. Governor posted about it:

 

Parent Natalie Adams of Colorado was given a no trespass order for asking questions about data collection of the Common Core by inBloom.

 

A parent in North Carolina was told by their child’s principal they were causing ‘unrest’ by attempting to discuss Common Core with other parents.

 

Parents in NY were treated to Education Commissioner John King canceling forums when dissent and rejection of the pre-packaged presentation at the Poughkeepsie event was overwhelming. King has since reinstituted the forums, however you now need a ticket to enter and the events have ‘fixed’ formats. That didn’t stop parents from continuing to speak out in Albany, Port Chester and Whitesboro. Here is a clip from the forum at Ward Melville High school of an educator that went viral. In it she tells King he’s “awoken the mommies” and he’s in trouble:

AMEN!

 

In Florida, school board member Amy Kneessy called 911 over what she claimed intimidation by another board member. The Blaze reported the incident:

Brevard County School Board member Amy Kneessy says she called 911 after school board candidate Dean Paterakis refused to give up the microphone, intimidated her and hurled allegations at school officials. A short time after the 911 call, Paterakis claims a deputy forcibly removed, or trespassed, him from the Sept. 12 meeting.

 

In Wisconsin, Dr. Gary Thompson testified on the negative effects of Common Core testing on at-risk youth. His reward was not to be asked questions and engage in debate but to be asked who paid for his testimony and smears of ‘extremism’.  Dr. Thompson was undeterred and shot back, “Let me get straight to the point: On behalf of every African-American, Latino, Autistic, gifted, depressed, anxious and learning-disabled child in the state of Wisconsin, I demand your immediate resignation from public office.