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Theater Audience Boos Tea Party Billionaire David Koch

Tweet David Koch masks his role as one of the top financiers of the Tea Party movement and pro-polluter front groups by loudly tacking his name to more laudable charities, like the New York city ballet. Koch, who has professed his devotion to “The Nutcracker” ballet performance by Alexei...

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Hanoi Jane Pins Tucson Shootings on Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Tea Party

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 11-01-2011

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Jane Fonda — who traveled to North Vietnam during the war to propagandize against our troops and to pose cheerfully with the sort of anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down our pilots — still hasn’t finished making her contributions to American politics. The tragic events in Tucson Saturday were yet another opportunity for her to vent her hatred of patriots. Here‘s what she’s been spewing on Twitter:

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That she can’t even spell Beck’s first name is an indication of the general cluelessness of a Hollyweird liberal elitist, but also confirmation that she is not familiar with his show, his books, or probably even his message. He’s a conservative, therefore if something bad happened, he did it.

There is zero evidence that Hanoi Jane’s line of thought has any justification whatsoever. Jared Loughner was not exactly Tea Party material. But having to listen to these despicable smears is a price we have to pay for not enforcing the law against treason.

jane fonda anti-aircraft gun
This should have been the last we heard from Hanoi Jane.

On tips from G. Fox, Wiggins, and Antara. More at Atlas Shrugs.

Moonbattery

Jane Fonda Blames Giffords Shooting on Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 08-01-2011

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Jane Fonda has blamed Saturday's tragic shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, on former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, and the Tea Party movement.

Obviously possessing no facts about the alleged shooter, the liberal actress and activist tweeted the following moments ago:

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NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Jane Fonda is nuts

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 08-01-2011

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The madness of Hollyweird, in 140-character tweets:

Michelle Malkin

Jane Fonda Blames Giffords Shooting on Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 08-01-2011

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Jane Fonda has blamed Saturday's tragic shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, on former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, and the Tea Party movement.

Obviously possessing no facts about the alleged shooter, the liberal actress and activist tweeted the following moments ago:

read more

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Jane Mayer, Target

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 07-01-2011

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The New York Post has the story:

Who is behind the apparently concerted campaign to smear The New Yorker's Jane Mayer? For several weeks, the Daily Caller, a conservative Web site — co-founded by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel, a former aide to former vice president Dick Cheney — have had a reporter poking around what they thought would be a scandalous story about Mayer. The allegations were serious — that Mayer borrowed or plagiarized from a liberal blogger and other mainstream publications for an Aug. 30 smackdown in The New Yorker on the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. In the end, even the Daily Caller found the allegations to be unfounded, and to its credit, abandoned the story. The story is dead but the person or persons behind the allegations remains a shadowy mystery.

New Yorker Editor-In-Chief David Remnick said, "Everyone agrees there's no story here, and we're baffled by why someone would go through almost 10 years of articles when no one has ever raised ethical questions about Jane's reporting. It seems like someone is trying to stir up trouble where none exists."

Memo to Remnick: Mayer is a dangerous journalist, who has done heroic work in exposing the war crimes of the past president and crew. She also knows more about Clarence Thomas than anyone else has forgotten. She matters because the truth matters. Taking her career down is important for many.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Coming Soon: Jane Fonda’s Burqini Workout DVD

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 04-01-2011

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The Malaysian national news agency, Bernama, has shown a more irenic side of Islam, reporting on Dec. 31 that “Islam does not prohibit any activity, including aerobics, to be carried out in the compound of a mosque as long as such activities do not contravene Syariah [sharia] principles, PAS [Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party] spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said.

He said it should not be a problem for either Muslims or non-Muslims to conduct any activity outside or inside the mosque.

“In Islam, it is not wrong for certain quarters to hold activities in mosques because even during the time of Prophet Muhammad, non-believers were also allowed to enter mosques because they also acted as the centre for various activities, including politics,” he told reporters after delivering a Friday sermon at Dataran Ilmu, here Friday.

The Kelantan Menteri Besar was commenting on the action of Serdang Member of Parliament Teo Nie Ching who was reported to have entered the compound of Taman Cheras Jaya Mosque in Balakong, Selangor in tight attire and participated in some aerobics exercise with the congregation of the mosque, which was deemed as disrespecting the house of worship.

Nik Abdul Aziz said the question whether the member of Parliament was wearing immodest dress was the second thing that needed to be addressed.

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Teo Nie Ching, so take a look (scroll down). I can imagine that such a woman exercising in tight attire could distract attendant worshippers. Thank heavens none of the chunky nuns who have enriched Catholic liturgies since the 60s by erupting in madcap “liturgical dance” were put together like Teo Nie Ching. Seeing them in leotards really might have disrupted the sacred atmosphere.

What’s telling about this story is the fact that Teo Nie Ching comes from the comparatively secularist Democratic Action Party, which describes itself as “democratic socialist.” The party’s platform is refreshingly free of references to the “excellent example” of a seventh-century polygamous slave-owning warlord, and speaks instead of

the right to work and concern for the well-being of people of all classes, the right to a humane and clean environment, the right to comprehensive education and training of one’s choice, as well as the right to participate in administration and all decision-making processes.

The DAP also calls for

cultural democracy. There must be equal rights and opportunities for the different cultures within each society as well as equal access for everyone to the national and global cultural heritage.

How jarring to hear Ms. Teo Nie Ching scrutinized over whether she worse “modest dress.” How strange Islamic rhetoric sounds alongside the principled, rational discourse of the DAP. Yet this divide is the one that faces every country that contains a significant Muslim population, alongside others who have internalized the necessity of arguing policy based on reason, appeals to natural law, and other philosophical means of arriving at truth.

As Robert Reilly explains in his sobering book (which I will review this week) The Closing of the Muslim Mind, Islamic philosophy essentially ended with the defeat of the Mu’tazilites-who constituted the one serious attempt to incorporate the classical heritage of Greco-Roman reason into Islamic thought. The victory of proud obscurantists such as Abu Hamid Al Ghazali (1058-1111) sounded the death-knell of Islamic philosophy-a discipline Al Ghazali mastered in order to destroy it-in much the way that postmodernists in the West study modern science in order to dismantle its claims to objectivity and trustworthiness.

Such science, despite its effectiveness at predicting natural events and providing us with technological solutions that enhance human life, is not to be trusted. Indeed, it deserves to be seen through a “hermeneutic of suspicion,” rife as its presuppositions are with patriarchal, Western notions of objectivity and mathematical certitude. (Just for fun, check out scientist Alan Sokol’s famous nonsense paper “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” written in the jargon of postmodernist literary criticism, which he submitted to the lit-crit journal Social Text. Impressed by its impenetrable jargon and metronomic leftist references-and utterly flummoxed by the science it pretended to deconstruct-the editors duly published the paper in Social Text‘s issue #46/47, spring/summer 1996.)

That last melancholy fact reminds us that we should not be surprised when socially “liberal” multiculturalists side with Muslims against the West. They both embrace a mystical faith in transformative politics that will dismantle what they see as the hopelessly corrupted status quo. Both groups reject our appeals to deductive reasoning or the Western philosophical and scientific tradition, in favor of crass reliance on identity politics and force.

The sophisticated barbarism of the academic Left, in alliance with the old-fashioned kind that canes people for stealing and executes them for changing religions, is eerily reminiscent of the romanticized pseudo-science that became fashionable in Germany in the 1920s and 30s, as people wearied by thinking, hungry for cheap meaning and fast results, handed power to mystics with pistols.

I hope that decent people like Teo Nie Ching continue to raise their voices in Malaysia’s mosques-whether or not they decide to break a sweat.

Jihad Watch

Federal Pay, Tax Cuts and Jane Fonda

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 04-12-2010

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In episode 39 of our podcast, we look at misleading statements about the pay of federal workers versus private sector workers. Plus, we debunk a talking point about the Bush tax cuts and tell you the story of an old (and now reincarnated) chain e-mail about Jane Fonda.
[podcast]http://factcheck.org/Images/image/radio/FactCheckRadio_episode39.mp3[/podcast]
For more on …
FactCheck.org

Blame Jane Falsehoods

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 03-12-2010

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Q: Is President Obama honoring Jane Fonda as one of the women of the century?
A: No. That was done 11 years ago by Barbara Walters of ABC News.

FULL QUESTION
A recent chain e-mail claims that Obama will honor Jane Fonda. Is this true?

Never Forgive A Traitor
For those of you too …
FactCheck.org

Blame Jane Falsehoods

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 03-12-2010

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Q: Is President Obama honoring Jane Fonda as one of the women of the century?
A: No. That was done 11 years ago by Barbara Walters of ABC News.

FULL QUESTION
A recent chain e-mail claims that Obama will honor Jane Fonda. Is this true?

Never Forgive A Traitor
For those of you too …
FactCheck.org

Geritol Jane and the Sexagenarians

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 25-11-2010

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Pretty in pinko?
American Thinker Blog

Jane Austen’s Tight Prose Thanks To Editor

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 23-10-2010

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AP breathlessly reports, “Academic: Jane Austen had helping hand from editor.”

She’s renowned for her precise, exquisite prose, but new research shows Jane Austen was a poor speller and erratic grammarian who got a big helping hand from her editor.

Oxford University English professor Kathryn Sutherland studied 1,100 handwritten pages of unpublished work from the author of incisive social comedies such as “Pride and Prejudice.” She said Saturday that they contradicted the claim by Austen’s brother Henry that “everything came finished from her pen.”
“In reading the manuscripts, it quickly becomes clear that this delicate precision is missing,” Sutherland said.  She said the papers show “blots, crossings out, messiness,” and a writer who “broke most of the rules for writing good English.”  ”In particular, the high degree of polished punctuation and epigrammatic style we see in ‘Emma’ and ‘Persuasion’ is simply not there,” Sutherland said.

Sutherland said letters from Austen’s publisher reveal that editor William Gifford was heavily involved in making sense of Austen’s sensibility, honing the style of her late novels “Emma” and “Persuasion.”  Gifford did not edit earlier books such as “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice,” whose inconsistencies have sometimes been blamed on bad printing.  ”In fact, the style in these novels is much closer to Austen’s manuscript hand,” Sutherland said.

This isn’t the least bit shocking.  There’s a reason publishers employ editors, after all.

I’ve never worked with literary types but have edited book manuscripts, journal articles, and blog posts written by highly intelligent subject matter experts.  With rare exceptions, indeed, I was able to improve their work.   It’s not necessarily that I’m a better writer than they are — in some cases, at least, I wasn’t — but that a second, trained set of eyes — particularly ones with no emotional investment in the words on the page — can almost always spot weaknesses and suggest improvements.

It works both ways:  I’ve frequently published writing where someone else edits and improves my work.  Even editors need editors.




Outside the Beltway

On Catch Shares and Jane Lubchenco

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 01-10-2010

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(Jonathan H. Adler)

Ron Arnold attacked Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for seeking to impose industry-killing restrictions on fishing off the New England coast. Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute rose to Lubchenco and the Obama Administration’s defense, arguing out that the industry’s woes are a legacy of fishery mismanagement and that NOAA’s efforts to implement “catch-share” management systems (aka ITQs or IFQs) are a step in the right direction.  Murray’s right and Arnold’s wrong.

Absent restrictions on entry, fisheries fall victim to the tragedy of the commons, as so many have. Efforts to limit entry through regulatory restrictions on gear, fishing effort and the like have failed miserably the world over. What has succeeded, however, is the recognition of property rights. Most commonly, this has meant allocating transferable shares to portions of the annual fishery catch among those who fish in an area. This limits the catch, but it also aligns the incentives of the fishermen with the sustainability of the underlying resource. It’s precisely the sort of property-based approach to environmental protection those on the right should endorse. Indeed, one of the Bush Administration’s (many) environmental failings was its failure to push more aggressively for the implementation of catch-share systems in domestic fisheries.

Arnold wants to call catch-share regulations “cap and trade” for fisheries. This is inaccurate and unfair. While both a catch-share system and cap-and-trade involve the allocation of transferable rights in a common pool, they are not the same, and they do not create the same incentives for participants. In cap and trade systems, as for carbon emissions, the value of the emission right is solely dependent upon the government set cap and its value as a factor input in the production of energy or for some other purpose. In the fishery context, the interest of the share owner is directly tied to the value of the underlying resource. Those with catch-shares have an interest in seeing that the total catch (the “cap”) is set at the optimal level, as this will maximize the present value of the catch-share. Indeed, in the fishery context, for reasons I explain in this paper, once rights are allocated, fishery participants have every incentive to set the cap themselves at the optimal level –and, provided the transaction costs are low enough, have greater incentive and ability to do so than any government agency. Not so with cap-and-trade for carbon.

As Murray notes, there may be reasons to criticize the Obama Administration’s environmental policies, but Lubchenco’s efforts to bring catch-share management systems to more fisheries is not among them.




The Volokh Conspiracy

Errors In Jane Mayer’s New Yorker Article Attacking the Kochs

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 02-09-2010

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(Ilya Somin)

Others have pointed out various flaws in Jane Mayer’s New Yorker article attacking Charles and David Koch for their donations to various libertarian causes. But I think it would be helpful to outline her three biggest errors in one place: the false claim that the Kochs’ funding of libertarian organizations is somehow secret; the assertion that it it is part of a “pro-corporate agenda”; and the argument that the Kochs’ donations “dovetail with their economic interests.”

I. The Myth of a “Covert War.”

The title of Mayer’s piece is “The Covert Operations: The Billionaire Brothers Who are Waging a War Against Obama.” Throughout, she tries to insinuate that the Kochs’ efforts to fund various libertarian organizations are somehow secret or deceptive. In reality, there is nothing hidden about the Kochs’ efforts. They have openly funded a variety of libertarian and free market causes since the 1970s. The Kochs openly helped found the Cato Institute — the first prominent libertarian think thank — in 1977. David Koch was the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president in 1980, and they have publicly contributed to numerous libertarian organizations since then. Their role in doing so is open and well-known, and has been chronicled by many previous writers. In the late 1970s, conservatives at National Review worried that Koch funding would push libertarians away from anti-communism towards foreign policy isolationism — one of many indications that their role wasn’t hidden even back then. Brian Doherty has a length discussion of the Kochs’ efforts in his comprehensive 2006 history of the libertarian movement.

There is also nothing secret or unusual about the fact that the libertarian organizations the Kochs contribute to oppose many of Obama’s economic policies. Given the vast expansion of government entailed by Obama’s agenda, it would be surprising if libertarians reacted in any other way. In the same way, we (including most of the organizations the Kochs contribute to) also vocally opposed the GOP’s massive expansion of government in the Bush era (e.g. - this book by Cato’s Michael Tanner, and here). In sum, it is no secret that that Kochs support various libertarian organizations, and it is also no secret that these organizations are highly critical of Obama’s economic policies — often on much the same grounds as they previously attacked Bush’s.

Mayer cites some of this publicly available history in her piece. But her constant rhetoric of secrecy and covertness obscures the true nature of the Kochs’ role. She tries to make the perfectly normal activity of philanthropists openly giving to causes they support for ideological reasons seem shady and conspiratorial. “Covert Operations” makes for a better headline than the more accurate “Libertarian Philanthropists Continue Longstanding Pattern of Openly Donating to Causes they Support.” 

II. The Myth of a “Pro-Corporate Agenda.”

Mayer claims that the Kochs’ support of libertarianism is part of a “pro-corporate agenda” intended to help business interests. Frank Rich makes an even cruder version of the same charge in his recent New York Times column. This is based on a simplistic and highly inaccurate equation of free markets with the interests of big business. 

In reality, as economists since Adam Smith have often pointed out, business interests often benefit from government intervention. Large corporations routinely lobby for government subsidies, government contracts, regulations that suppress their competitors, tariffs that exclude foreign competition, porkbarrel spending, the use of eminent domain to transfer property to themselves, and so on. Most recently, big business interests have benefited from the bailouts of the banks and auto companies, and health insurance companies benefited from the “individual mandate” in Obama’s new health care bill, which is likely to give them considerable additional business. I criticized the equation of free markets and “pro-business” agendas in more detail here and here.

The Kochs and other libertarians could reasonably be accused of having a “pro-corporate” agenda if they supported government interventions that benefit big business even as they opposed those that do not. That is in fact the position taken by most business lobbyists and large corporations. The charge might have some bite if they simply ignored pro-corporate government interventions, criticizing only those that seem to help the poor. In reality, however, libertarians — including the Koch-supported organizations — have vocally and consistently opposed virtually every pro-corporate government intervention since the libertarian movement began. Libertarians were among the leading critics (sometimes almost the only critics) of all of the interventions I catalogued in the previous paragraph. 

III. Do the Kochs’ Donations “Dovetail” With Their Business Interests?

To her credit, Mayer admits that the Kochs are, at least in large part, motivated by ideological commitment rather than narrow self-interest alone. But she also contends that their donations and ideology “dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests.” It is undoubtedly true that there are some issues where libertarian policies would benefit the Kochs financially. That, however, is hardly compelling evidence. Libertarianism is an ideology with implications for a wide range of policy issues. Some of these are likely to correlate with the business interests of any large business just by random chance. Had the Kochs funded a wide range of liberal organizations instead, Mayer could have easily found some correlations there too. As Todd Zywicki points out, many of the libertarian causes the Kochs support have no conceivable connection to any financial interest of theirs (e.g. — drug legalization, curbing police abuses, school choice, increasing protection for the rights of criminal defendants). 

Even more telling, some of these causes actually cut against the Kochs’ interests. Todd mentions the case of the auto bailouts. Government subsidization of the auto industry surely benefits oil companies such as Koch Industries. An example from my own field of expertise is the protection of property rights against eminent domain. Oil companies often benefit from takings (see here and here for recent examples). Yet the Cato Institute, the Institute for Justice, and many of the other groups the Kochs fund are among the leading critics of eminent domain. Cato’s Regulation magazine even recently published an article urging property rights activists to focus more attention on oil company takings (the article also notes that Institute for Justice-supported reforms have helped curb such takings already, but argues that IJ has not focused on the issue enough). 

These three errors are the most important flaws of Mayer’s piece. But they are not the only ones. There are also various smaller ones. For example, as Ed Lasky shows, Mayer uncritically and incorrectly accepts claims that liberal philanthropist George Soros only supports causes unrelated to his economic interests. I don’t agree with Lasky’s assertion that Soros’ giving is mainly motivated by a desire to “use his billions to make more billions by tapping his friends in high places in the Democratic Party.” Just as the Kochs support many libertarian causes unrelated to their interests, Soros supports many liberal causes unrelated to his. But it’s clear that some of the causes Soros supports are also likely to benefit him. Mayer also incorrectly describes the Bill of Rights Institute (for which I have done some consulting work) as a group that “promotes a conservative slant on the Constitution.” 

Much of Mayer’s article covers issues that I’m not familiar with. So I don’t know whether those parts are accurate or not. But her errors on subjects that I do know something about don’t exactly fill me with confidence in the reliability of the rest of her work.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST WATCH: I am an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute (an unpaid position). I have also done some work for the Institute for Justice, Cato, and a couple other organizations that the Kochs donate to. Much of this work was pro bono, while in some cases I received small payments (Gven the vastly greater amount of research funds available from liberal foundations, I could almost certainly have gotten as much or more from liberal funders had I been a left-wing academic). I should also mention that I have published articles in journals and spoken at conferences sponsored by organizations that got some of their funding from George Soros. 




The Volokh Conspiracy