Monday, November 30, 2015

This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University

This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!

Dr. Everett Piper, President
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.
I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”
I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience. An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad. It is supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization.
So here’s my advice:
If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.
If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.
At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.
Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up.
This is not a day care. This is a university!

Only in America

SALEM — A group of Mexican immigrants is suing to reverse a decision by Oregon voters on a 2014 ballot measure that prevents undocumented immigrants from getting Oregon driver cards.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the plaintiffs said the outcome of Measure 88 is unconstitutional because it "arbitrarily" denies driving privileges "to Plaintiffs and others based on their membership in a disfavored minority group."
The plaintiffs also say the referendum was "motivated in substantial part by animus toward persons from Mexico and Central America," and that it amounted to an attempt by the state to regulate federal immigration.
The lawsuit comes nearly a year after Oregon voters resoundingly defeated Measure 88, which would have directed the Oregon Department of Transportation to issue driver cards without asking for proof of U.S. citizenship. The measure failed in the Nov. 4 election with a two-thirds no vote.
"It was an overwhelming rejection of giving drivers' licenses to illegal aliens," said Jim Ludwick, communications director for Oregonians for Immigration Reform. "but somehow that doesn't apply to people who are here illegally and think the law doesn't apply to them."
The measure was a reaction to Senate Bill 833, which passed in the 2013 legislative session with support from Democrats and a few moderate and rural Republicans. Then-Gov. John Kitzhaber signed the bill at a May Day rally on the Capitol steps before a raucous crowd of 2,000 people.
But the law never took effect as opponents quickly organized a campaign to refer it to the ballot.
Since 2008, Oregon has required applicants for a driver's license or permit to provide proof of citizenship. Now, most of those licenses issued to undocumented immigrants have expired.
"It's reached a crisis point for families because they don't have a solution," said Andrea Miller, executive director of Causa Oregon, an immigrant rights group. "We are very excited by this legal strategy, mostly because we continue to see and continue to hear that the driver cards is a top priority and a top need."
The five Mexican immigrants, identified only by their initials in court documents, are joined by two Latino nonprofits, Familias En Acción and Los Niños Cuentan, as plaintiffs in the case. All of the immigrants say they can't apply for or renew their driver cards, according to court documents, hurting their work prospects and family life.

Holiday wishes

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The smartest and most honest man running for president

Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

October 3, 1789


Following a resolution of Congress, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” Reflecting American religious practice, Presidents and Congresses from the beginning of the republic have from time to time designated days of fasting and thanksgiving (the Thanksgiving holiday we continue to celebrate in November was established by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and made into law by Congress in 1941).
In setting aside a day for Thanksgiving, Washington established a non-sectarian tone for these devotions and stressed political, moral, and intellectual blessings that make self-government possible, in addition to personal and national repentance. Although the First Amendment prevents Congress from establishing a religion or prohibiting its free exercise, Presidents, as well as Congress, have always recognized the American regard for sacred practices and beliefs. Thus, throughout American history, Presidents have offered non-sectarian prayers for the victory of the military and in the wake of catastrophes. Transcending passionate quarrels over the proper role of religion in politics, the Thanksgiving Proclamation reminds us how natural their relationship has been. While church and state are separate, religion and politics, in their American refinement, prop each other up.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go. Washington

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Apparently there are limits

Chicago just might be the next city to erupt after the release of a video that shows a black teenager, with a knife, being shot 16 times by a Chicago Police Officer.  The officer has been charged with murder.

Buh Bye Vitter; and a reflection

This has no bearing on my  life whatsoever, but it's kinda nice to see that a dirtbag running a dirtbag campaign has fallen flat on his pompous ass. Let's be clear, the Democrat he lost to is not remotely in line with the liberal elites. But, what's nice to see is that this is a chink in that false premise that there is no such thing as a conservative Democrat. Vitter's response when caught was basically, "Yep, I got caught, but you can suck it cause I ain't going anywhere." Because of the political scene at the time, Vitter would probably have been replaced by a Democrat had he resigned. So, instead he took the "I am a sinner" route, and pulled his wife to his side for good measure. Say what you will about John Edwards, and there is plenty of bad things to say that he rightly earned, he at least had just enough dignity to not pull his wife into that kinda shit show. 

So for reflection sake, here is the Vitter press conference His wife, at the end, makes a heartfelt plea while also condemning the press for showing up at their house and following them around. At the end, she makes the statement that what happened is between her and her husband and with that in mind, everybody should just pack up and go away and let them return to their idillic life. On another thread here, we have a lengthy regurgitation of the shit smear politics that highlighted the Clinton years. In the middle of that thread, TS asked "And of course, the supporter of a serial abuser is? Of course democrats are no saints..then again, they would never hitch their wagon to that horse would they"

When you watch that presser, these are an interesting couple of questions to consider. On the one hand, I did feel for Vitter's wife that it is unfair to drag her into association with her husband's dirt bag actions and it angers me that this is how our society works. It's bad enough someone cheats publicly, but if they can humiliate their spouse even further to get them to stand up publicly and say, "I forgave him so go away now", we do exactly what they ask and give the man a free pass to return to being a full bore asshole. I think Ayn Rand once wrote about "Sanction of the victim", maybe some of you have read it? Cynically, I also see an obvious reality in that whole Vitter fiasco. Nobody questioned his wife about why she stuck around the way that people did about Hillary. Further, rather than step completely away from Vitter, the Republicans basically tip toed around because if they had come down from the hills to shoot their wounded, Vitter likely would have been replaced by a Democrat. So they, like his wife, endured his slime ball actions. 

Coming full circle, Vitter finally had to stand on his own against a candidate who, outwardly, is everything Vitter is not. And he lost. I'd like to think that this has bigger implications and that there will be a similar rejection of shit slinging in the presidential race, but alas, that won't be the case. But, I guess I have to celebrate the small victories when I see them. 

Where is Heather Samuelson? The mystery of the vanishing woman. Things got complicated.

Hillary and the mystery of the vanishing woman who decided which of her emails were to be erased: Key aide has not taken up expected campaign role 

  • Heather Samuelson was tasked with going through Hillary Clinton's emails and decided which should be made public and which deleted 
  • Samuelson was supposed to take a job at the campaign and even relocated to New York, but things got 'complicated' 
  • Her role in the ongoing email scandal is being scrutinized by Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley who wants to know if she had an appropriate security clearance
  • More news on Hillary Clinton's campaign at  
Heather Samuelson was the Clinton aide who was tasked to go through the former secretary of state's emails and then, later on, was to take a job with the 2016 campaign. 
But, according to Politico, Samuelson made the move – from Washington, D.C. to New York, as Clinton's campaign is headquartered in Brooklyn –  but never started her campaign job. 
'She moved to Brooklyn to work on the campaign, but then things got really complicated,' a friend of Samuelson's told Politico, asking to not be named. 
Scroll down for video 
Heather Samuelson (pictured) was tasked with sifting through Hillary Clinton's emails and then was supposed to take a job at the campaign, but, according to Politico, things got 'complicated'
Heather Samuelson was tasked with sifting through Hillary Clinton's (pictured) emails and then was supposed to take a job at the campaign, but, according to Politico, things got 'complicated'
Heather Samuelson (left) was tasked with sifting through Hillary Clinton's (right) emails and then was supposed to take a job at the campaign, but, according to Politico, things got 'complicated' 
Hillary Clinton's email scandal has gotten the attention of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley who's aimed his ire at Heather Samuelson, an aide who sorted through Clinton's emails, and Huma Abedin 
Hillary Clinton's email scandal has gotten the attention of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley who's aimed his ire at Heather Samuelson, an aide who sorted through Clinton's emails, and Huma Abedin 
According to Politico, Samuelson was supposed to work for the campaign and vet senior level hires. 
Samuelson did appear among the staffers that accompanied Clinton to her 11-hour testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. 
'Heather Samuelson has been and is one of former Secretary Clinton's personal attorneys,' Clinton attorney David Kendall told 
He wouldn't expand his comments beyond that and wouldn't say whether Samuelson was technically working for the campaign.
Before the New York City move, Samuelson had been a 2008 campaign staffer before becoming a senior adviser to Clinton at the State Department. 
She was the person assigned to screen Clinton's emails and decide which ones should be handed over to the government.
Her role in the ongoing Clinton email scandal is once again being highlighted because Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent her a letter last Wednesday asking about her security clearance. 
'It is not clear what level of security clearance you had at the different stages of this process, if any,' Grassley wrote, referring to the email sorting. 
The Iowa senator mentioned how the FBI took the emails out of the hands of Clinton's attorney Kendall, who had a Top Secret clearance issued through the State Department, because even that level was 'insufficient to allow him to maintain custody of the emails,' Grassley explained.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (pictured) has been looking into Clinton aides including Huma Abedin who had a 'special government status' that allowed her to work both inside and outside of the State Department, which Grassley is calling a conflict of interest
Sen. Chuck Grassley has been looking into Clinton aides including Huma Abedin (pictured) who had a 'special government status' that allowed her to work both inside and outside of the State Department, which Grassley is calling a conflict of interest
Sen. Chuck Grassley (left) has been looking into Clinton aides including Huma Abedin (right) who had a 'special government status' that allowed her to work both inside and outside of the State Department, which Grassley is calling a conflict of interest 
Using this same line of thinking, Grassley wrote, 'it is imperative to confirm when, how, and why you, and any of your associates, received a security clearance in connection with your work on behalf of Secretary Clinton and whether it was active while you had custody of Secretary Clinton's emails.' 
Grassley said it was 'imperative' to understand Samuelson's background as she was the chief decider on which emails became public record and which were considered personal to the secretary and deleted. 
Attached to the letter, Grassley included 19 numbered questions, some with multiple parts, that he wanted answered for the judiciary committee, giving Samuelson a deadline of Dec. 1. 
So far, there's been no indication by the committee that she's replied. 
Grassley has been sniffing around Clintonland for quite some time now. 
Also in his crosshairs, since 2013, has been top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the wife of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, whose 'special government employee' status allowed her to simultaneously keep working at the State Department, while also taking a paycheck from Teneo, a corporate advisory firm linked to the Clintons. 
This arrangement also allowed Abedin to do work for the Clinton Foundation.
Grassley considered this to be a conflict of interest, while Abedin's lawyer and the Clinton camp have pushed back and said she did nothing wrong, as these arrangements are fairly typical. 
Democrats, and Clinton-aligned groups like Correct the Record, have criticized Grassley more broadly as well, suggesting that his investigations are deeply partisan and part of the Republican plan to derail the former secretary of state's White House ambitions. 
They point to a former Grassley aide, Emilia DiSanto, who now works for the State Department, suggesting that she's been leaking information to her former boss so that he can go after Clinton's people.
'You know the saying, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then it's a duck,' said Correct the Record head Brad Woodhouse to the Hill newspaper. 'We believe she's passing along information to Grassley to hurt Huma .. and to hurt Secretary Clinton. Would [Grassley] be interested in this issue if Hillary Clinton wasn't running for president?' 
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid also blasted his colleague on the Senate floor over the investigations of Clinton. 
'How much taxpayer money is Sen. Grassley wasting on this anti-Hillary Clinton campaign?' Reid said. 'He should be willing to tell us about his committee resources that are being used to investigate Hillary Clinton.' 
For a time, Grassley was holding up a number of State Department nominations too, but on that he's relaxed, now just holding onto three senior positions, as he waits for more questions about the Clinton emails to be answered.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

The ultimate in political correctness

Student leaders have pulled the mat out from 60 University of Ottawa students, ending a free on-campus yoga class over fears the teachings could be seen as a form of "cultural appropriation."
Jennifer Scharf, who has been offering free weekly yoga instruction to students since 2008, says she was shocked when told in September the program would be suspended, and saddened when she learned of the reasoning.
Staff at the Centre for Students with Disabilities believe that "while yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students ... there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice," according to an email from the centre.
The centre is operated by the university's Student Federation, which first approached Scharf seven years ago about offering yoga instruction to students both with and without disabilities.
The centre goes on to say, "Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced," and which cultures those practices "are being taken from."
The centre official argues since many of those cultures "have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy ... we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga."
The concept of cultural appropriation is normally applied when a dominant culture borrows symbols of a marginalized culture for dubious reasons -- such as the fad of hipsters donning indigenous headdresses as a fashion statement, without any regard to cultural significance or stereotype.
But Scharf, a yoga teacher with the downtown Rama Lotus Centre, said the concept does not apply in this case, arguing the complaint that killed the program came instead from a "social justice warrior" with "fainting heart ideologies" in search of a cause celebre.
"People are just looking for a reason to be offended by anything they can find," said Scharf.
"There's a real divide between reasonable people and those people just looking to jump on a bandwagon. And unfortunately, it ends up with good people getting punished for doing good things."
There were about 60 students who participated in the free program.
Acting student federation president Romeo Ahimakin denied the decision resulted from a complaint.
Ahimakin said the student federation put the yoga session on hiatus while they consult with students "to make it better, more accessible and more inclusive to certain groups of people that feel left out in yoga-like spaces. ... We are trying to have those sessions done in a way in which students are aware of where the spiritual and cultural aspects come from, so that these sessions are done in a respectful manner."
Scharf offered a compromise, suggesting she change the name from yoga to "mindful stretching," since that would reflect the content of the program and would "literally change nothing about the course."
"I'm not pretending to be some enlightened yogi master, and the point (of the program) isn't to educate people on the finer points of the ancient yogi scripture," she told the Sun.
"The point is to get people to have higher physical awareness for their own physical health and enjoyment."
According to email correspondence between Scharf and the centre, student leaders debated rebranding the program, but stumbled over how the French translation for "mindful stretching" would appear on a promotional poster, and eventually decided to suspend the program.
Student federation official Julie Seguin sympathized with Scharf over e-mail, defending the use of the term "yoga," and saying, "I am also still of the opinion that a single complaint does not outweigh all of the good that these classes have done."
Seguin said "labeling the CSD's yoga lessons as cultural appropriation is questionable (and) debatable" and called on further discussion with the student executive.

Americans Lose Again

The Camelot Hotel

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Rape Accuser Blasts ‘Evil’ Hillary: ‘Shame on you!’

Getty Images

by BREITBART NEWS22 Nov 20153,209

In one of her first media appearances in nearly a decade, Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who famously accused Bill Clinton of rape, is now speaking out against Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president.

“Shame on you, Hillary, that’s disgusting,” Broaddrick said of Clinton’s attempt to run for high office in part on women’s issues. “Shame on you, Hillary. It’s time to be truthful,” she added.

Broaddrick was speaking in an interview set to air Sunday night on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” the popular weekend talk radio program. An advanced copy of the audio interview was obtained exclusively by Breitbart.

During the exchange with Klein, the notoriously media-shy Broaddrick accused Clinton of complacency in covering up her husband’s alleged sexual crimes and indiscretions.

“I think she has always known everything about him. I think they have this evil compact between the two of them that they each know what the other does and overlook it. And go right on. And cover one for the other,” she said.

She recalled a personal meeting with Hillary in 1978, in which, Broaddrick believes, the future First Lady strongly implied the alleged rape victim must stay silent about her traumatic experience.

Broaddrick said she “almost died” two months ago when she saw a Clinton campaign ad in which Hillary insisted all women must be sided with if they accuse men of sexual assault.

“You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed. We’re with you,” Clinton said in the video, which she addressed to “every survivor of sexual assault.”

Broaddrick responded: “Aaron, the only thing that I would like to say is I hope that someday these two people, these people that I feel like are so evil, will be brought to justice.”

“You know, if I can help in that, I will. But these are not good people for America,” she said of Bill and Hillary.

Broaddrick said she was prompted to speak on Klein’s show after she saw Clinton’s Benghazi testimony last month.  The show airs on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM.

“The only thing that made me consider coming forward again at this time at my age is when I saw her on that Benghazi hearing. Which was really hard to look at. I always turn the channel when either one of them are on TV. But when I saw that look on her face. It was the very same look back in 1978. That lying look.”

Broaddrick said she fears for a Hillary presidency because “she lies. Just like she did in the Bengahzi hearing. She lies. She covers up. Just to imagine her in that position would not be good for America.”

Rape allegations. Bloody lip.

Broaddrick’s story begins when she was a nursing home administrator volunteering for then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton’s 1978 gubernatorial bid.

She said Clinton singled her out during a campaign stop at her nursing home. “He would just sort of insinuate, you know when you are in Little Rock let’s get together. Let’s talk about the industry. Let’s talk about the needs of the nursing homes and I was very excited about that.”

Broaddrick said she finally took Clinton up on that offer in the spring of 1978 when she traveled to Little Rock for an industry convention along with her friend and nursing employee Norma Rogers. The two shared a room at the city’s Camelot Hotel.

Broaddrick phoned Clinton’s campaign headquarters to inform her of her arrival and was told by a receptionist that Clinton had left instructions for her to reach him at his private apartment.

“I called his apartment and he answered,” she recounted. “And he said ‘Well, why don’t we meet in the Camelot Hotel coffee room and we can get together there and talk. And I said ‘That would be fine.’”

Clinton then changed the meeting location from the hotel coffee shop to Broaddrick’s room.

“A time later and I’m not sure how long it was, he called my room, which he said he would do when he got to the coffee shop. And he said ‘There are too many people down here. It’s too crowded. There’s reporters and can we just meet in your room?’”

“And it sort of took me back a little bit, Aaron,” she said of Clinton’s request.

“But I did say okay, I’ll order coffee to the room, which I did and that’s when things sort of got out of hand. And it was very unexpected. It was, you might even say, brutal. With the biting of my lip.”

Broaddrick said she did not want to rehash the alleged rape scene, explaining those painful details are fully available in previous news reports.

She told NBC’s Dateline in 1999 that she resisted when Clinton suddenly kissed her:

Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip … He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him ‘No,’ that I didn’t want this to happen but he wouldn’t listen to me. … It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to ‘Please stop.’ And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip. … When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door he says ‘You better get some ice on that.’ And he turned and went out the door.”

In the interview with Klein, Broaddrick recounted the aftermath of the incident, when her friend Rogers came back to the room after Broaddrick failed to show up to the convention.

“I was in a state of shock afterwards,” an emotional Broaddrick said, clearly still impacted by the event.  “And I know my nurse came back to the room to check on me because she hadn’t heard from me …She came up and it was devastating to her and to me to find me in the condition that I was in.”

“We really did not know what to do. We sat and talked and she got ice for my mouth. …It was four times the size that it should be. And she got ice for me and we decided then I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to get out of there, which we did.”

The detail about Clinton allegedly biting her lip is instructive. One woman who would later say she had a consensual affair with Clinton, former Miss America pageant winner Elizabeth Ward Gracen, would also reveal Clinton bit her lip when a tryst became rough.

Hillary encounter: ‘She knew!’

Broaddrick initially said that she shouldered the blame since she allowed Clinton up to her room.

Three weeks after the incident, Broaddrick says she was still in a state of shock and denial about what she said had transpired. She said she attended a private Clinton fundraiser at the home of a local dentist, where she had an encounter with the Clintons and was directly approached by Hillary.

Broaddrick said a friend of hers who had driven the Clintons to the fundraiser from a local airport informed her that “the whole conversation was about you coming from the airport. Mostly from Mrs. Clinton.”

She recalled: “And so then about that time, I see them coming through the kitchen area. And some people there are pointing to me. He goes one direction and she comes directly to me. Then panic sort of starting to set in with me. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, what do I do now?’”

Broaddrick told Klein that Hillary approached her “and said ‘It’s so nice to meet you’ and all of the niceties she was trying to say at the time.”

“And said, ‘I just want you to know how much Bill and I appreciate the things you do for him.’ And I just stood there, Aaron. I was sort of you might say shell-shocked.”

“And she said, ‘Do you understand. Everything you do.’’’

“She tried to take a hold of my hand and I left. I told the girls I can’t take this. I’m leaving. So I immediately left.”

Broaddrick said that “what really went through my mind at that time is ‘She knows. She knew. She’s covering it up and she expects me to do the very same thing.’”

‘I felt responsible until Bill came back’

Broaddrick said the climate of women’s issues in 1978 was such that “I felt responsible. I don’t know if you know the mentality of women and men at that time. But me letting him come to my room? I accepted full blame.”

“And I thought ‘This is your fault and you have to bear this. There’s nothing you can do. He’s the attorney general. And this is your fault.’””

She said all that changed in 1991, when she said she was at a meeting at the Riverfront Hotel in Little Rock and Clinton approached her there.

Clinton found out she was at the hotel “and they called me out of the meeting and pointed to an area to go down around the corner by an elevator area. And I walked around the corner and there he stands.”

“And he immediately comes over to me with this gushing apology. Like, ‘I’m so sorry for what happened. I hope you can forgive me. I’m a family man now. I have a daughter. I’m a changed man. I would never do anything like that again.’”

Broaddrick said she thought Clinton was sincere until he announced his run for president the following week.

“But still I have to thank him for that day because the blame then went off of me and on to him. And I knew that it wasn’t my fault. I knew that I didn’t use good judgement but I knew that the incident was no longer my fault.”

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015


HHS: Bailing out Obamacare insurers an 'obligation' of the federal government


Ominous signs for the future of Obamacare

Washington Examiner

00:00 / 02:02

The Department of Health and Human Services attempted to reassure private insurers on Thursday that they'll be able to recover losses from participating in Obamacare by claiming it was an "obligation" of the U.S. government to bail them out.

At issue is a provision within the law known as the risk corridors program. Under the program, which runs from 2014 through 2016, the federal government is to collect money from health insurers doing better than expected and use those funds to provide a federal backstop to other insurers who incur larger than expected losses from rising medical claims. The idea was to provide training wheels to insurers in the first years of Obamacare's implementation, and to take away any incentive for insurers to cherry pick only the healthiest customers.

Republicans, fearing that this could turn into an open-ended government bailout in the event of industry-wide losses, included a provision in last year's spending bill that limited the program, requiring HHS to pay out only from the pool of money collected, rather than supplementing it with other sources of government funding. President Obama signed that bill.

Now that insurers have been able to look at medical claims, what they've found is that enrollees in Obamacare are disproportionately sicker, and losses are piling up. For the 2014 benefit year, insurers losing more than expected asked for $2.87 billion in government payments through the risk corridors program, but HHS only collected $362 million from insurers performing better than expected. Thus, the funds available to the federal government only amounts to 12.6 percent of what insurers argue that they're owed.

So insurers are not happy. And now the industry lobbying group America's Health Insurance Plans — which happens to be helmed by Marilyn Tavenner, who previously oversaw the implementation of Obamacare as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — is aggressively fighting for more money.

In a statement issued Thursday, the same day that the nation's largest insurer, UnitedHealthannounced it may exit Obamacare due to mounting losses, Tavenner said, "We've been very clear with the administration about the serious challenges facing consumers and health plans in this Exchange market. Most recently, nearly 800,000 Americans have faced coverage disruptions as a result of the significant and unexpected shortfall with the risk corridors program. When health plans cannot rely on the government to meet its obligations, individuals and families are harmed as a result. The administration must act to ensure this program works as intended and consumers are protected."

In an effort to reassure the industry, CMS, the HHS agency Tavenner previously led, issued guidance reiterating that HHS would use money collected from insurers in 2015 and possibly 2016 to make up the $2.5 billion shortfall that exists in 2014.

But what happens if there still isn't enough money, and after 2016, the program is taking in less than the money sought by insurers?

HHS said it, would "explore other sources of funding for risk corridors payments, subject to the availability of appropriations. This includes working with Congress on the necessary funding for outstanding risk corridors payments."

The agency further added: "HHS recognizes that the Affordable Care Act requires the Secretary to make full payments to issuers, and HHS is recording those amounts that remain unpaid following our 12.6 percent payment this winter as fiscal year 2015 obligation of the United States government for which full payment is required."

In reality, this doesn't mean much at all. Risk corridor payments for 2016 won't be due until mid-2017, and by that point, it will be an issue for a future Congress and future president. Nothing that a previous administration's HHS said in 2015 will really matter.

That said, this is another demonstration that for all of Obama's sanctimonious rhetoric about taking on insurance companies. In reality, his signature legislative achievement was to put government in bed with private insurers. And now that his pet project backfired, he wants taxpayers to take care of those very insurance companies he spent years railing against.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Did Chris Mathews step in it?

So, here was a rant from Chris Mathews the other night that would not seem to line up completely with liberal thinking I found myself agreeing with Mathews to some degree on this, although here is another take from another link that didn't seem to like Mathews less that allegedly pure liberal tone. I won't go point by point on Mathews rant, but something he says near the end does resonate with me, namely that even if we do invade Syria and conquer ISIS, who are we going to hand the country over to? This is where I jump in and divert someone else's words for my own agenda.

I believe the military actions that so many are itching to engage in are the least of our problems. With or without allies, there are quite a few nations we can invade, provided said country does not have an ally like Russia backing them. Nobody was a friend of Saddam, that result was predictable. Not many were friends of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and that also followed a somewhat predictable course. Post action, of course, is where the problems begin. I certainly can't begin to believe I fully understand how Muslim's think. It would appear millions of Muslims do indeed want to have the freedom to practice their religion and enjoy personal freedoms in a manner that is not at all a threat to our country or our way of life. It would also appear, however, that something very different seems to happen in the middle east.

Looking at the refugees fleeing, it seems like they have had enough. Mathew's kind of intimates perhaps they are cowards. I'm kinda starting to wonder something different. Perhaps they realize a bigger picture wherein it doesn't matter if they fight or not because if they fight to depose ISIS while a brutal prick like Assad remains, the ultimate outcome remains the same. They will continue to live in abject, crushing poverty, while they are ripped off by some thug who is supported by a superpower such as the US or Russia. I'm kinda starting to think that if I lived there, maybe I would just opt to bug out too rather than stick around and ultimately just be a pawn of some super power who does not give a damn about me. THIS is what I think one of our biggest problems is. We can invade and conquer a lot of countries, and then have nothing to offer the people who live there other than truckloads of weapons to defend what is in the best interest of the United States.

Asleep at the switch or Perhaps we just don't give a damn anymore?

Just two weeks ago, ISIS was able to destroy a Russian passenger plane, killing more than 220 people with the help of a sympathizer working at the Egyptian airport and now this revelation about our own airport security.

A review of screening and security procedures inside the TSA has revealed that 73 workers approved for access to secure areas are actually on the terrorism watch list.

The report (PDF) summary (it is of course redacted, no doubt so no one goes to jail for negligence)

Despite these layered controls, our testing showed that TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes. According to TSA data, these individuals were employed by major airlines, airport vendors, and other employers. TSA did not identify these individuals through its vetting operation because it is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related categories under current interagency watchlisting policy.

Now, this is a group run by the same DHS that says no terrorists are entering our southern borders, commanded by a president who says he will veto any bill to more completely vet refugees coming from countries known to create people who want to kill us....

8 syrians were just caught at the border yet DEA estimate that they only mange to interdict 1/10th of the drugs transported to the US.  President Obama elicits sympathy for all of those refugee widows.. as one blows herself up killing a police dog but trying to take out as many police as she could.  I seem to remember GI’s in Vietnam being told to be cautious of children carrying hand grenades.

I heard something interesting from David Camaron.  Britain is one of the leading exporters of radical jihadists in Europe.  Facing this fact he said, of course, that government needed to do more to stop the radicalization of these young men and women....   The question I gotta ask is, if these kids come from wholesome, devout Muslim families, attend schools that focus on teaching the 3R’s rather than social engineering and they attend religious services conducted by community minded messengers of peace... how come the government needs to get involved at all?

If this is just a bunch of misguided radicals as Rick suggests, why in a ‘friendly’ (term for a none league scored game) soccer match between Greece and Turkey, when a minutes silence was called to commemorate the deaths of the people in Paris, did the crowd erupt in boo’s and chants of ‘Allahu akbar’.

 Muslims are mad because the mayor of Irving Texas closed down the first Sharia Court in the US...  Seems that 3 in 4 US Muslims would opt for Sharia law over the constitutional laws.... Now that is something liberals and compromising moderates can get their heads around.



   Here are six Conundrums of socialism in the United States of America:    

1. America is capitalist and greedy - yet half of the population is subsidized.

2. Half of the population is subsidized - yet they think they are victims.

3. They think they are victims - yet their representatives run the government.

4. Their representatives run the government - yet the poor keep getting poorer.

5. The poor keep getting poorer - yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.

6. They have things that people in other countries only dream about - yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics.       

Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money.  But we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money   !       What's interesting is the first group "worked for" their money, but the second didn't.   

 Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, no pay raises for our military and cutting our army to a level lower than before WWII,   but we are not stopping the payments or benefits to illegal aliens.  

The Clown car rolls on..........................

On the campaign trail with the most dishonest, bumbling and underqualified pack of presidential candidates in history

By November 17, 2015

National Affairs

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is one of the few "plausible" establishment candidates in the GOP primary. Illustration by Victor Juhasz

Not one of them can win, but one must. That's the paradox of the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, fast becoming the signature event in the history of black comedy.
Conventional wisdom says that with the primaries and caucuses rapidly approaching, front-running nuts Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson must soon give way to the "real" candidates. But behind Trump and Carson is just more abyss. As I found out on a recent trip to New Hampshire, the rest of the field is either just as crazy or as dangerous as the current poll leaders, or too bumbling to win.

Disaster could be averted if Americans on both the left and the right suddenly decide to be more mature about this, neither backing obvious mental incompetents, nor snickering about those who do. But that doesn't seem probable.

Instead, HashtagClownCar will almost certainly continue to be the most darkly ridiculous political story since Henry II of Champagne, the 12th-century king of Jerusalem, plunged to his death after falling out of a window with a dwarf.
Just after noon, Wednesday, November 4th. I'm in Hollis, New Hampshire, a little town not far from the Massachusetts border.
The Hollis pharmacy is owned by Vahrij Manoukian, a Lebanese immigrant who is the former chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican Committee. If you come into his establishment looking for aspirin, you have to first survive dozens of pictures of the cannonball-shape businessman glad-handing past and present GOP hopefuls like Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rudy Giuliani.

Primary season is about who most successfully kisses the asses of such local burghers, and the big test in Hollis today is going to be taken by onetime presumptive front-runner Jeb Bush.
Despite its ideological decorative scheme, the Manoukian pharmacy has some charming small-town quirks you wouldn't find in a CVS. There's a section of beautiful handmade wooden toys, for instance. There's also a pair of talkative parrots named Buddy and Willy perched near the cash registers.
While waiting for the candidate to arrive, I try to make conversation.
"Who are you voting for this year?"
"Hello," says Willy.
"Is Jeb Bush going to win?"
"Rooowk!" the bird screeches, recoiling a little.
It seems like a "no." Bush comes in a moment later and immediately hears the birds squawking. A tall man, he smiles and cranes his head over the crowd in their direction.

Whose dog is that?" he cracks.
Technically, that is the correct comic response, but the room barely hears him. For Bush, Campaign 2016 has been a very tough crowd.

It's hard to recall now, but a year ago, it appeared likely that Bush would be the Republican nominee. He had a lead in polls, and some Beltway geniuses believed Republican voters would favor "more moderate choices" in 2016, pushing names like Mitt Romney, Chris Christie and this reportedly "smarter" Bush brother to the top of the list.

Moreover, the Bush campaign was supposed to be a milestone in the history of post-Citizens United aristocratic scale-tipping. The infamous 2010 Supreme Court case that deregulated political fundraising birthed a monster called the Super PAC, also known as the "independent-expenditure-only committee." This new form of slush fund could receive unlimited sums from corporations, billionaires and whomever else, provided it didn't coordinate with an active presidential campaign.
Decrying the "no-suspense primary" and insisting, "It's nobody's turn," Bush announced his candidacy on June 15th. But he and his Super PAC, Right to Rise, had been raising money all year long.
Fifteen days after his announcement, on July 1st, the books closed on the first six months of Right to Rise's backroom cash-hoovering. Bush was already sitting atop an astonishing $103 million. That was about 10 times the amount of the next-biggest GOP Super PAC, Christie's America Leads fund.

A hundred million bucks, a name that is American royalty, and the apparent backing of the smoke-filled room. What could go wrong?
Only everything! Before his official announcement even, Bush iceberged his candidacy when he crisscrossed the country in mid-May tying his face in knots in a desperate attempt to lay out a cogent position on his brother's invasion of Iraq.
During a remarkable five days of grasping and incoherent answers, in which Bush was both for and against the invasion multiple times, it became clear that this candidate: (a) doesn't understand the meaning of the phrase "knowing what we know now," and (b) doesn't know how to cut his losses and shut up when things go bad. People began to wonder out loud if he really was the smarter brother.
The real disaster was the second debate, when he decided to go after the other "plausible" establishment candidate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and ended up getting beaten to gristle onstage. He was reduced after that episode to admitting, "I'm not a performer." He headed into his New Hampshire trip with reporters pronouncing his campaign "on life support."

The operating theory of the Bush campaign is that there's still a massive pot of donor cash, endorsements and support the Republican Party elders must throw to someone. But can Bush remake his candidacy in time to re-establish himself as a plausible vessel for all of that largesse?
In Hollis, there is little evidence of a remade Bush candidacy. His stump presentation is surprisingly half-assed. He tries to get over with lines like, "We've had a divider-in-chief – we need a commander-in-chief," which are so plainly canned that they barely register, even with a crowd jacked up for any put-down of Obama.
Worse, he issues one of the odder descriptions of the American dream you'll ever hear from a Republican.
"We need to create a society," he says, "where we create a safety net for people, and then we say, 'Go dream the biggest possible dreams.'"
I look around. Did a Republican candidate just try to sell a crowd full of New Hampshire conservatives on a government safety net?

He has one near-excellent moment, when answering a question about Syria and Russia. "I don't want to sound bellicose," he says. (Why not? This is the Republican race.) "But my personal opinion is, we're the United States of f of America. They should be more worried about us than we are about them."

Bush could have become an instant YouTube sensation if he'd completed his thought and said, "We're the United States of Fucking America," but he couldn't do it. That's just not who he is.
Who is he? Minus the family imperative, Bush is easily imagined as a laid-back commercial lawyer in some Florida exurb, the kind of guy who can crack dirty jokes while he runs a meeting about a new mixed-use development outside Tallahassee.
He doesn't seem at all like a power-crazed, delusionally self-worshipping lunatic, and that's basically his problem. He doesn't want this badly enough to be the kind of effortless sociopathic liar you need to be to make it through this part of the process.
Toward the end of his speech, for instance, the pharmacist Manoukian puts the Jebster on the spot. The local apothecary has a proposal he's been trying to make state law that would give drug dealers special status.

They would be like child molesters, always being registered," he says. He wheezes excitedly as he details his plan to strip dealers of all social services. I don't think the plan involves using hot irons to brand them with neck tattoos, but that's the spirit.
The reporters all flash bored looks at one another. People like Manoukian are recurring figures on the campaign trail, particularly on the Republican side. There's always some local Junior Anti-Sex League chief who asks the candidate in a town hall to endorse a plan for summary executions of atheists or foreigners or whoever happens to be on the outs that election cycle.
Bush absorbs the pharmacist's question and immediately launches into a speech about the dangers of addiction – to prescription drugs! Through the din of screeching parrots, Bush talks, movingly, I think, about his "precious daughter" Noelle's problems with prescription pills.
"There are some bad actors," he says. "You have people who overprescribe, people who are pharmacy shopping, doctor shopping..."
Everything he just said is true, but Manoukian, as he listens to this diatribe, looks like someone has hit him with a halibut. Does Bush know he's talking to a pharmacist?

Trump would have killed a moment like this, delivering some dog-whistle-ready line about gathering up all the dealers by their hoodies and shooting them into space with all of the child molesters. Who cares if it makes sense? This is the Clown Car

But Bush has no feel for audience. He doesn't know how to play down to a mob. Nor does he realize how absurd he sounds when a Lucky Spermer scion like himself tries to talk about his "small-business" experience (his past three "jobs" were all lucrative gigs with giant companies that had done business with Florida when he was governor). Despite all this, Bush doesn't seem crazy, nor even like a particularly disgusting person by presidential-campaign standards, which probably disqualifies him from this race.

Lynn Cowan, a Hollis resident, agrees. She thinks Bush comes across as a reasonable guy, but she also thinks his reasonableness is probably crippling in the current political environment.
"It's to his detriment," she says. "And it's sad that we've reached a point where these politicians can't even be on the level."
A few hours later, Nashua, New Hampshire. Rubio strides onstage to a roaring young crowd at the Dion Center of Rivier University. He is like a cross of Joel Osteen and Bobby Kennedy, jacketless with a red tie and shirtsleeves. He is short but prickishly good-looking, all hair and teeth and self-confidence. He's the kind of guy that no group of men wants to go to a bar with, both because he spoils the odds and because he seems like kind of an asshole generally.

There are young women in the crowd looking up at him adoringly, like a Beatle. It's a sight one doesn't often see in presidential politics, but even more seldom on the Republican side, where most candidates are either 500 years old or belong to religions barring nonprocreative use of the wiener. Rubio plainly enjoys being an exception to the rule.
His speech is a total nothingburger, full of worn clichés about America being an "exceptional country," where people are nonetheless living "paycheck to paycheck" and wondering if "achieving [the American dream] is still possible."

But he's so slick, he could probably sell a handful of cars at every speech. His main pitch is his Inspirational Personal Tale™. As he's told it, he's the son of refugees from Fidel Castro's Cuba (actually, they left Cuba before Castro, but whatever) who rose from nothing to reach the U.S. Senate, where he was eventually able to draw a $170,000 paycheck despite a brilliant Office Space-style decision to not quit, exactly, but simply not go to work anymore. Which is pretty sweet.

Actually, that last bit isn't openly part of his stump speech. But if you listen hard enough, you can hear it. Rubio has announced that he isn't going to run for re-election to the Senate, where he recently cast his first vote in 26 days and spoke for the first time in 41. He said he didn't hate the work but was "frustrated" ("He hates it," a friend more bluntly told The Washington Post).
In addition to the stories about laying down in the Senate, old tales about Rubio's use of an American Express card given to him by the Republican Party when he was in the Florida House began swirling again. The stories are complex, but the upshot is that Rubio once used party credit cards to spend $10,000 on a family vacation, $3,800 on home flooring, $1,700 on a Vegas vacation and thousands more on countless other absurdities.
Couple those tales with the troubling stories about his financial problems – the Times learned that he cashed in a retirement account and blew $80,000 on a speedboat he probably couldn't afford – and the subtext with Rubio is that he is probably both remaining in the Senate and running for president, at least partly, for the money.

A debt addict with a burgeoning Imelda Marcos shopping complex was pretty much the only thing missing from the top of this GOP field. Yet he looks like the party's next attempt at an Inevitable Candidate.

It's easy to see why. Rubio storms through his stump speech in Nashua, blasting our outdated infrastructure with perfect timing and waves of soaring rhetoric. We have outdated policies in this country, he says. "We have a retirement system designed in the 1930s. We have an immigration and higher-education system designed in the 1950s. Anti-poverty programs designed in the 1960s. Energy policies designed from the 1970s. Tax policies from the Eighties and Nineties..."
The punchline is something about needing to burn it all to the ground and remake everything into a new conservative Eden for the 21st century. "An economic renaissance, unlike anything that's ever happened," he gushes.
I raise an eyebrow. Any vet of this process will feel, upon seeing Rubio in person, a disturbance in the campaign-trail force. He checks all the boxes of what the Beltway kingmakers look for in a political marketing phenomenon: young, ethnic, good-looking, capable of working a room like a pro and able to lean hard on an inspirational bio while eschewing policy specifics.
A bitter Bush recently pegged Rubio as a Republican version of Obama, a comparison neither Rubio nor many Democrats will like, but it has a lot of truth to it. The main difference, apart from the policy inverses, is in tone. 2008 Obama sold tolerance and genial intellectualism, perfect for roping in armchair liberals. Rubio sells a kind of strident, bright-eyed dickishness that in any other year would seem tailor-made for roping in conservatives.

But this isn't any year. It isn't just our energy, education and anti-poverty systems that are outdated. So is our tradition of campaign journalism, which, going back to the days of Nixon, trains reporters to imagine that the winner is probably the slickest Washington-crafted liar, not some loon with a reality show.
But in 2016, who voters like and who the punditocracy thinks they'll swallow are continuing to be two very different things. In the Clown Car era, if reporters think you're hot stuff, that's probably a red flag.

Concord, New Hampshire, the Secretary of State's office, morning of November 6th. I'm waiting to see Ohio Gov. John Kasich officially register as a candidate for the New Hampshire primary.
In another election, Kasich might be a serious contender, being as he is from Ohio, a former Lehman Brothers stooge and a haranguing bore with the face of a dogcatcher. He exactly fits the profile of what party insiders used to call an "exciting" candidate.
At the moment, though, he's a grumpy sideshow to Trump and Carson whose main accomplishment is that he hogged the most time in the fourth debate (and also became the first non-Trump candidate to be booed). Kasich in person seems like a man ready to physically implode from bitterness at the thought that his carefully laid scheme for power might be undone by a flatulent novelty act like Trump.

Surrounded by reporters in the Concord state offices, Kasich seethes again about the tenor of the race. "I think there are some really goofy ideas out there," he says.

I've driven to Concord specifically for this moment. I want to ask Kasich if maybe this is the wrong time in American history for someone pushing cold realism as a platform. It's a softball – I think he might enjoy expounding upon the issue of America's newfound fascination with "goofy" politicians.
"The people with the goofiest ideas are at the top of the polls," I say. "Do you think maybe being the sane candidate in this race is disqualifying?"
Kasich doesn't smile. Instead, he shoots me a look like I'd just dented his Mercedes.
"No," he hisses.

The candidacy of Carly Fiorina, with its wild highs and lows, has exposed the bizarre nature of this primary season. She was in Nowheresville until midsummer, when she attracted the notice of Trump. At the time, reveling atop the polls in full pig glory, Trump told Rolling Stone that America wouldn't be able to take looking at Fiorina's face for a whole presidency. In the second debate, Fiorina responded, "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said."
Fiorina in the same debate implored Hillary Clinton and Obama to watch Planned Parenthood at work. "Watch these tapes," she said, staring hypnotically into the screen like a Kreskin or a Kashpirovsky. "Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says, 'We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.' "
It was a brilliantly macabre performance, and, according to some, it won her the debate. Even by this race's standards, a tale of evil liberal women's-health workers ripping out the brains of live babies rated a few very good days of what they call "earned media," i.e., press you don't have to pay for.

Of course, Fiorina's claim that she had actually seen a video of someone trying to harvest the brain of a fetus with its legs kicking turned out to be false. Her story matched up vaguely with one video that included a description of a fetus having its brain removed, but no such footage existed, as fact-checkers immediately determined.
Called on her fib by Fox's Chris Wallace, Fiorina doubled down.
"I've seen the footage," she insisted. "And I find it amazing, actually, that all these supposed fact-checkers in the mainstream media claim this doesn't exist."
The week after that appearance with Wallace on Fox News Sunday was her best week in the polls, as she reached as high as 11 percent in some, tying for third with Rubio. She'd clued in to the same insight that drove the early success of Trump: that in the reality-show format of the 2016 race, all press attention is positive, and nobody particularly cares if you lie, so long as you're entertaining.

America dug Fiorina when she was a John Carpenter movie about bloodthirsty feminists harvesting baby brains. But when she talked about anything else, they were bored stiff.

On a Thursday night in Newport, New Hampshire, Fiorina is laboring through her monotone life story of corporate promotions and "solving problems." It's like watching a thermometer move. "Wouldn't it be helpful," she asks, "to reduce the 73,000-page tax code to three pages?"
I chuckle. Even by Clown Car standards, a three-page federal tax code is a hilarious ploy, right up there with Carson's 10-percent biblical tithe and a giant wall across the Central American isthmus. On the way out of the event, a few reporters are joking about it. "Three pages is good," one deadpans. "But I'd like to see her fit it on the label of a really nice local IPA."

Polls have suggested that Fiorina, Carson and Trump were all fighting over the same finite slice of Lunatic Pie (the Beltway press euphemistically calls it the "outsider vote"), a demographic that by late September comprised just north of half of expected Republican voters. That means that for Fiorina to rise, Trump or Carson must fall.
The problem is that after a late-summer swoon, Trump's support has stabilized. And Carson has taken campaign lunacy to places that a three-page tax code couldn't dent. Forget about winning a primary: Carson won the Internet.
Traditionally, we in the political media have always been able to finish off candidates once they start bleeding. The pol caught sending dick pics to strangers, lying about nannies, snuggling models on powerboats, concealing secret treatments for "exhaustion," or doing anything else unforgivably weird is harangued until he or she disintegrates. The bullying is considered a sacred tribal rite among the Beltway press, and it's never not worked.
Until this year. Trump should have been finished off half a dozen times – after the John-McCain-was-a-wuss-for-getting-captured line, after the "blood coming out of her wherever" bit, after the "Mexicans are rapists" episode, etc.

But we don't finish them off anymore. We just keep the cameras rolling. The ratings stay high, and the voters don't abandon their candidates – they just tune in to hate us media smartasses more.

Enter Ben Carson. Reporters early on in the summer thought he was a Jerzy Kosiński character, a nutty doctor who had maybe gotten lost on the way to a surgical convention and accidentally entered a presidential race. In the first debate, he looked like an amnesiac who might at any moment reach into his pocket, find a talisman reminding him of his true identity, and walk offstage.

Then he started saying stuff. First there was that thing about using drones on immigrants crossing the border. Then people began picking apart old stories he'd told, like that a Yale professor in a psych class called "Perceptions 301" had once given him $10 for being honest (nobody remembers that class), or that he'd helped hide frightened white high school students in a lab in Detroit during race riots (nobody remembers that, either).
Everyone who's ever been to an American megachurch recognizes the guy who overdoes the "before" portion of his evangelical testimony, telling tall tales about running with biker gangs or participating in coke orgies (this is always taking place somewhere like Lubbock or suburban Topeka) before discovering Jesus.

As some ex-evangelicals have pointed out, Carson fits this model. He claims in his autobiography, Gifted Hands, that he once tried to stab someone named "Bob," failing only because he accidentally hit a belt buckle. Also, he told reporters decades ago that as a youth he attacked people with "bats and bricks" and hammers. The hammer victim was apparently his mother.
In Gifted Hands, none of this stuff seems any more real than the book's other inspirational passages, like the one where as a college student he prays to God about being broke and gets immediate relief as he walks across campus. "A $10 bill lay crumpled on the ground in front of me," he wrote (the magical $10 bill is a recurring character in Carsonia).

Soon, reporters were interviewing childhood friends, who were revealing what is clear if you read between the lines of Carson's book, which is that he was probably never anything but a nerd with an overheated imagination. "He was skinny and unremarkable," a classmate named Robert Collier told CNN. "I remember him having a pocket saver."
Carson lashed out at reporters for doubting his inspirational tale of a homicidal, knife-wielding madman turned convivial brain surgeon. "I would say to the people of America: Do you think I'm a pathological liar like CNN does?" he said.
This bizarre state of affairs led to stories in the straight press that were indistinguishable from Onion fare. "Ben Carson Defends Himself Against Allegations That He Never Attempted to Murder a Child," wrote New York magazine, in perhaps the single funniest headline presidential politics has ever seen.
Next, BuzzFeed reporters unearthed an old speech of Carson's in which he outlined a gorgeously demented theory about the Egyptian pyramids: They were not tombs for Pharaohs, but rather had been built by the biblical Joseph to store grain. The latter idea he accepted after discarding the obvious space-aliens explanation.

"Various scientists have said, 'Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge,'" he said. "[But] it doesn't require an alien being when God is with you."
Scientists were quick to point out all sorts of issues, like the pyramids not really being hollow and therefore really sucky places to store grain. Then there was the fact that the Egyptians wrote down what the pyramids were for in, well, writing.
The pyramid story sent the Internet, which specializes in nothing if not instant mockery, into overdrive. Carson quickly became perhaps the single funniest thing on Earth. The Wrap ran a piece about Carson being "mocked mercilessly" on social media, where other "Carson theories" quickly developed: that the Eiffel Tower was for storing French bread, brains were actually a fruit, and peanut butter can be used as spermicide, etc. The whole world was in on it. It was epic.
Poor Trump now had to concede that someone else in the race was even more ridiculous and unhinged than he was. The campaign's previously unrivaled carnival expert/circus Hitler was reduced to sounding like George Will as he complained somberly – and ungrammatically – about the attention the mad doctor was stealing away from him.

"With Ben Carson wanting to hit his mother on head with a hammer, stabb [sic] a friend and Pyramids built for grain storage," Trump tweeted sadly, "don't people get it?"

By the end of the first week of November, Carson did not experience, upon close scrutiny, an instant plunge in the polls, as previous front-runners-for-a-day like Rick Perry or Herman Cain had in years past. Instead, he remained atop the polls with Trump, having successfully convinced his followers that the media flaps were just liberal hazing of a black man who threatened leftist stereotypes. And so the beginning of the long-awaited "real race" stalled still another week.
Trump commented during a rally in Illinois: "You can say anything about anybody, and their poll numbers go up. This is the only election in history where it's better off if you stabbed somebody. What are we coming to?"
We are coming to the moment when Trump is the voice of reason, that's what.

Thank you Matt for keeping us informed of the status of the circus.