I’m Glad I’m Not an Alabama Voter

More specifically, I’m glad I’m not an Alabama conservative. The choice confronting conservatives in the December 12th special senate election is very difficult. But not so tough that our cultural arbiters aren’t eager to give conservatives and Christians the benefit of their wisdom.

The same Opposition Media—Pundit—Celebrity nexus that didn’t condemn Teen Vogue for its recent issue introducing young girls to the “joys” of anal sex, is now urging Christians to vote “their convictions.” This is certainly a welcome change from being characterized as figures of fun who dabble in hate, but I’m still skeptical of the OpMedia’s sudden admiration for our sterling character.

Particularly when they urge us to choose a candidate based on moral beliefs the OpMedia routinely mocks and derides. Our media betters want Christian voters to pick an ideal candidate. Someone who would look good in a Baptist pulpit, instead of the left’s hotel bathrobe.

Naturally, their choice is Democrat Doug Jones instead of hands–on Republican Roy Moore. The argument isn’t all that compelling, particularly when one recalls all of Roy Moore’s alleged victims survived, whereas Democrat Ted Kennedy’s didn’t.

This election is also noteworthy in that it reverses the usual nose–holding option conservatives confront. I recently wrote how I was tired of being told to hold my nose and vote for country club conservatives. The Republican establishment would patiently explain that even though this spineless weathervane could never be depended upon to fight for bedrock conservative issues, he would be marginally better in office than his leftist opponent, since he’s a sure vote for Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader.

This year conservatives have a chance to vote for a somewhat tarnished candidate that will fight tooth and toenail for conservative causes and the establishment tells us to forget about that nose thing and just vote Democrat.

From the beginning I was suspicious of the alleged underage abuse allegations against Moore. I’ve worked in campaigns for over 40 years and timing is a key factor in the negative side of the campaign. I’ve been the media consultant for races where we had devastating information regarding the opponent and we sat on it for weeks or months until such a time as the information could be released and the opposing campaign would not have time to recover.

I suppose I could accept the Washington Post’s claim that their scoop on Moore was generated in–house and not handed to them on a platter like the Russian Dossier. Only, if the stories about Moore’s alleged behavior were “common knowledge,” why did the knowledge only become common nationwide after Moore defeated Luther Strange and it was too late to put someone else on the ballot?

That convenient timing looks like a premeditated decision to hold the story and thereby influence the election. Then there’s the yearbook signature that’s an exact copy of the Judge Moore signature on the woman’s divorce decree from years later, but bears no relation to his unofficial personal signature at the time the yearbook was supposedly signed.

The OpMedia is doing its part to make voting Democrat less painful for wavering conservatives and Christians. Why Democrat Doug Jones’ middle name is ‘Moderate’ according to his glowing press clippings. He’s going to focus on jobs, education and infrastructure. There’s zero mention of Jones being the frontman for a George Soros–funded effort to politicize US Attorneys.

According to Breitbart, the Soros–funded effort supported ‘ending mass incarceration’ and its report — authored by Jones — used language similar to the Obama Justice Dept. effort to grant de facto amnesty to illegal aliens.

Running in the middle and governing from the left is common for Democrats. Last election Virginia had its first transvestite candidate for the House of Delegates. This man in woman’s clothing assured voters that he also intended to focus on meat–and–potatoes issues like transportation.

You can imagine voter’s shock after he won when they learned his first issue in Richmond would be forcing insurance companies to cover ‘gender transition’ and ‘gender reassignment’ surgery. Evidently, the road our shift–shifter was most interested in improving was the one between his house and the gender–bending clinic.

Alabama voters will see the same transition when Jones gets to Washington, absent the pronoun switch.

As far as I’m concerned, the voting decision for Christians comes down to a single comparison. Roy Moore may or may not have fondled babies 40 years ago, but if Doug Jones gets to Washington he’ll be voting to kill babies and fund Planned Parenthood from day one.

That’s why if I were an Alabama voter I’d choose Roy Moore now and support a conservative opponent in the 2020 Republican primary.

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Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Good Groceries Roam

One doesn’t have to be perpetually disgruntled to work in the Opposition Media, but it certainly helps. Not every Democrat operative disguised as a newsman can be assigned to the White House, but that doesn’t mean those unfortunates who aren’t can’t contribute to increasing the national vague sense of outrage.

The Washington Post is filled with stories designed to do just that. Recently the Metro section introduced readers to yet another artifact of our corrupt national system: “D.C.’s grocery gap reflects city’s income divide.”

Now don’t make the mistake I did and assume this is another hunger story. Hunger has been vanquished more thoroughly than Al Gore! The War on Hunger is the only successful social program in the history of Democrat handouts. I defy you to visit a school, mall, theatre, bus station, airport or stadium and find undernourished people.

Winning the War on Hunger was not a painless victory. There was collateral damage just like we see in kinetic conflicts. In Afghanistan collateral damage is typically confined to “wedding parties,” which limits the exposure of the general population. Collateral damage from the War on Hunger hit most of our population. Everything from weddings to wakes was affected. Many victims are still burrowing their way out of the adipose rubble, which tends to concentrate on the waist and behind.

America is now the land of the over–nourished.

Even the kids we’re told are one English muffin from disaster and must therefore eat free breakfast and lunches in government schools are fat. Gyms do a booming business because America is fat. Try this experiment and see if you don’t agree: The next time you go to a mall count the number of people you see who aren’t chewing.

Government bureaucrats and non–profit compassioneers have noticed this worrisome trend. The government compassion gravy train doesn’t attract the type of employee who will march in a Victory over Hunger parade through the streets of New York and then go get a real job. They prefer to redefine the mission and keep the tax dollars flowing.

That’s why instead of stories about hunger, we read about “food anxiety.” That’s a term that covers everything from genuine deprivation to worrying about a gas station burrito. The War on Food Anxiety is so nebulous its participants never have to worry about victory being defined. Traveling alongside “food anxiety” in the mission creep cavalcade is the concept of the “food desert.”

This doesn’t refer to a genuine desert like the Mohave where there is no food. “Food deserts” are a snob’s wasteland, like my old home in Odessa, TX, where there are no upscale groceries and people can’t pronounce “quinoa.”

The WaPost story was something of a hybrid. The Post sniffs, “In 2016, nearly 70 percent — or 34 — of the city’s 49 supermarkets were in four wards that are predominantly white and have the District’s highest household incomes, according to the review by D.C. Hunger Solutions, a nonprofit advocacy group.”

This combines Bernie Bro suspicion of capitalist motives with segregated geography paranoia. In this instance call it “whitebread privilege.” As Beverley Wheeler, director of DC Hunger Solutions, warns, “Grocery-store access is a racial equity issue that must be dealt with, and it’s a health issue. We can no longer pretend we don’t see what we see.”

So what is it they are seeing? Duck hunters are notorious for going where the ducks are. Retail merchants, which includes grocers, are equally notorious for building where the money is. It’s not a black thing, it’s a green thing. For the same reason one doesn’t find many Harris–Teeters in Appalachia.

And what good would it do residents of Wards 7 and 8 in DC to have a grocery store where they couldn’t afford to shop? At one time I defined wealth as being able to shop at Sutton Place Gourmet without worrying about the final tab. But I didn’t torture myself by walking up and down the aisles admiring groceries I couldn’t afford to buy.

Are there benefits to envy of which I’m unaware?

Companies look for average income, crime rates, transportation access and available real estate. This makes choosing the site of a grocery store is about as impersonal as statistics can make it. The decision is not based on a whim like choosing the headquarters for the corporation. Those usually land within a short drive or helicopter jaunt from the Chairman’s favorite home.

Frankly I don’t see how convincing the people she purports to help that their grocery stores are second–class is going to improve morale in those wards. Wheeler is quick with complaints and the Post is eager to amplify, but frankly this strikes me as a “problem” that won’t find a solution.

Any Chance Conservatives Will Finally Fight Back?

(This column was written before the deluge of sexual assault accusations hit the Roy Moore campaign in Alabama. At the time Codevilla’s advice was spot on, now I suppose now all conservatives are left is hope.)

The best moment for conservatives during the Claremont Institute’s panel discussion on “The Resistance and the Violent New Left” came at the end during the question period. An appeaser popped up and asked the panel how can “we” encourage more “leaders” like Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski to run for office instead of “embarrassing” candidates like Alabama’s Roy Moore?

His question was met with dead silence from the panel of William Voegeli and Angelo Codevilla (of the Claremont Institute), Michael Walsh (author and media critic) and Henry Olsen (Ethics & Public Policy Center).

After a lengthy pause Codevilla leaned over toward the microphone and observed Moore “hasn’t lost yet” and we can “vote and hope,” which was the conclusion of the optimism portion of the event.

In a single anecdote the audience saw the problem confronting conservatives today. We are assailed from without by, in Codevilla’s words, “a compact ruling class,” — where establishment Republicans are full participants — along with bike–lock swinging members of Antifa functioning as storm troops. While inside the GOP accommodationists and other Quislings want to restore tranquility by electing more politicians whose first instinct is preemptive surrender.

The situation doesn’t appear to hold much possibility for improvement in the panel’s view, in spite of or possibly because of the election of Donald Trump. Codevilla’s opinion is, “The Resistance has convinced itself Trump is a passing phenomenon.” And a brief one at that. “Trump was elected to be revolutionary against the ruling class and GOP establishment, but in office he has equivocated.”

It’s his belief that what he terms the Cold Civil War will continue to heat up.

Live–and–let–live conservatives are confused by the left’s increasing rhetorical and physical violence in what appears to be a Whittaker Chambers’ moment for the right. In sports, when one side appears to completely outclass its opponent, it’s not uncommon for the victor to display good sportsmanship and ease up rather than pad the margin of victory.

Conservatives see a cultural landscape where their moral positions have been routed. And an indifferent Big Government appears impervious to influence by average voters or election results.

Naturally, many conservatives assume they’ve lost. So why all the leftist violence? Isn’t it time to put the all–conference agitators on the bench?

As Mr. Dooley, not on the panel, said, “Politics ain’t bean–bag.”

“Cultural Marxists are sensing a win and it’s a fact movements get more violent the closer they get to ultimate victory,” explains Walsh. Voegeli posits that when a faction thinks it’s only a matter of time before total victory and the assumption of power in a permanent majority, any display of inhibition is a betrayal of the cause.

Furthermore, the left’s violence and the ideology isn’t likely to be coherent. “A [movement] united by impulse is likely to be impulsive,” Voegeli wryly observes.

The bad news for accommodationist Republicans, like the questioner, is when the left wins there aren’t likely to be many prisoners taken, ideological or otherwise. Academia’s cultural Marxists are marinated in aggressive outrage and moral arrogance. “The Left is taught they’re inherently superior,” Codevilla said.  And as ideologically superior beings, those who disagree are by default intellectual sub–humans with all the tender care and feeding the sub–human label encompasses.

Adapting to the left’s views is going to be difficult if not impossible for principled conservatives, although Lindsay Graham and John McCain may offer conversion therapy.

Olsen says the left defines America as “individual freedom. Anything that stands between desire and its fulfillment is null and void.” This leftist definition of America is intensely personal and subject to abrupt change (Voegeli’s “impulse”), while for conservatives the definition is institutional and relatively fixed. Olsen and Codevilla are united in their belief the differences between left and right are “intractable.”

Consequently, there’s no room for compromise in this ideological fight to the finish. Codevilla warns there are real consequences, “The Resistance expresses the evolving framework of ruling class thought.” The absurd and aggressive ideology one can read with distaste in the HuffPost is a harbinger of the next Democrat administration’s policy. Even Hillary Clinton, according to Codevilla, planned to “crush the deplorables and buy off the pitiables” on her way to victory.

With the exception of Olsen, the panel is united in a belief the left must be confronted and defeated in the street and in the voting booth. Conservatives need leadership, like Trump, that will get in the faces of the left and, not like Trump, be consistent in their opposition.

Walsh in particular has had it, “I can’t emphasize enough what miserable sods these people are. The left is an insane cargo cult of fascists. Until baby boomers are dead you will have no justice and no peace.”

Virginia Election Determined by Angry Swamp Creatures

The Virginia off–year election for governor demonstrates what would have happened last year if the Constitution didn’t require an Electoral College.

Crony Conservative Ed Gillespie carried 82 counties compared to Democrat Ralph Northam’s 13. The 69–county advantage didn’t mean squat though. All that counted was Northam’s 230,853 vote margin that put him in the governor’s mansion.

I assumed that Gillespie’s loss was due to his tepid embrace of President Trump’s populism and a generally uninspiring campaign. Gillespie’s issues may have been a hit with focus groups, but in the real world the campaign landed with a thud.

Gillespie is as much a conservative as Elizabeth Warren is a Comanche. Jeb Bush may have been low energy, but Ed Gillespie was low emotion. When a candidate speaks conservatism as a second language it’s tough to be fluent discussing issues important to the base.

Unfortunately, the numbers don’t support my case for conservatives and Trumpistas rejecting our lobbyist–in–waiting. It’s hard to evaluate intensity since Virginia doesn’t register voters by party. And you can’t compare the 2013 primary to the 2017 primary because in 2013 Republicans held a convention.

Since the big issue for Democrats and the OpMedia was the so–called Trump effect, it makes sense to examine counties carried by the president. It appears many Virginia conservatives were more tolerant of Establishment Ed and his amnesty background than I was.

Ballotpedia identified five counties in Virginia it terms “pivot counties” because they voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. These counties should be the home of swing voters and the type of voter Gillespie would have to hold to win. During the GOP primary the ineffectual but bombastic Corey Stewart won only two of the five counties, indicating swing voters found Enervating Ed an acceptable candidate.

In the general election Gillespie again carried all five of the “pivot counties.” In three his margin was less than Trump’s, but in the other two his margin exceeded Trump’s. Analyst Jim Crumley contends it was Gillespie’s failure to turn out the Trump vote that cost him the election. I disagree. Gillespie got 66 percent of the Trump voters to go to the polls in an off–year election, which is very good when you consider overall voter turnout was only 47 percent.

What beat Gillespie was the remarkable 71 percent of the Hillary voters that Democrats turned out. Then if Gillespie’s loss wasn’t due to conservative turnoff, what was the cause? Simple, this election was the revenge of the swamp creatures. Republicans in the House of Delegates lost a shocking 14 seats and a stunning 11 of those losers were incumbents.

Looking at a color–coded map of the state by legislative district makes my case. All but one of the flipped seats were either in the suburbs of Washington, DC; the government installation–heavy Norfolk area, government–centric Richmond and isolated Communist cells in the university towns of Lynchburg, Roanoke and Blacksburg.

A combination of Big Government and Big Dependency helped the swamp break through the levee and inundate neighboring House of Delegates’ districts. Government pounded the governed.

And who can blame them? Trump has targeted Big Government from his first days in office. It’s a public–spirited swamp creature indeed who would vote for the party of the man who claims to be draining their habitat.

In February of last year — at the time I was on Cruz Control — I wrote a column about the best reason I’d seen so far to vote for Trump. A GovExec.com poll claimed that up to 25 percent of the federal workforce would consider quitting if Trump were elected.

It proved to be just another Big Government lie, but the survey was a useful indicator of attitude. The federal workforce and its various hangers on that include contractors, NGOs, lobbyists, handout seekers and crony capitalists see an unprecedented threat to their livelihood if Trump is successful. That fear and OpMedia–fed loathing led to an unprecedented negative, straight–ticket vote against Republicans.

They didn’t so much vote their pocketbooks as they voted to keep draining yours.

The question for Democrats is can they replicate this success in the 2018 mid–term elections? I’m doubtful. Metro can only export so many federal workers and camp followers to the surrounding DC suburbs. And it’s a cinch Trump isn’t planning to go on a nationwide federal hiring frenzy so he can send more Democrats to the polls.

That doesn’t mean Democrats won’t win by other means. If the Republican Keystone Kongress — the Gang That Couldn’t Govern Straight — doesn’t pass meaningful tax reform or repeal Obamacare; but does pass amnesty for DACA invaders, I predict a wipeout.

One in which I will gladly participate.

Where is the GOP Refund Window?

Scott Daugherty of the Virginian–Pilot has discovered a lawsuit that may make a conservative folk hero out of the lawyer/plaintiff.

Bob Heghmann, a 70–year–old retired lawyer who lives in Virginia Beach, VA, has filed a lawsuit in federal court charging the national and Virginia Republican parties with more than simple bad faith failure to repeal Obamacare, as Republicans had promised voters for over seven years.

His lawsuit contends Republicans “[have] been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats.” Heghmann believes the parties and national GOP leaders raised millions of dollars in campaign funds from trusting voters “while knowing they weren’t going to be able to overturn…Obamacare.”

As far as Heghmann is concerned that’s prima facie racketeering.

Morton Blackwell, a Virginia GOP national committee member named in the lawsuit, issued a two–edged response to the filing. Blackwell began by denigrating Heghmann’s call for legal accountability. He described the case as a “frivolous, nuisance suit that should be thrown out of court by any judge.”

Then he followed up with a statement that sounds more like an amicus brief than a condemnation. “[Blackwell] argued that ‘progressives’ had taken over the Democratic Party and seemed to lament that ‘conservatives’ had not yet taken over the Republican Party.”

Heghmann struck while the outrage was hot, filing just a week after Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell failed to pass an Obamacare repeal–only bill. It’s Heghmann’s belief Republican fund–raising should be just as accountable to donors as any other commercial money raising effort.

If Jim Bakker can go to jail for failing to honor pie–in–the–sky promises, why shouldn’t Republican committees be penalized for failing to honor pie–in–Obama’s–face promises?

Heghmann says, “Republicans could have repealed and replaced Obamacare with two–page bill. But the leadership never intended to do it. They want government control of healthcare, because as far as Republicans and Democrats are concerned it’s their way of balancing the books.”

It’s Heghmann’s belief he can strike a blow for an outraged conservative base because he’s been a contributor, although not to the Virginia GOP or the RNC. The dangerous section of his suit is where he demands the political arms refund donor’s money if Obamacare isn’t repealed.

By his calculations the RNC raised more than $735 million and Virginia Republicans took more than $20 million to the bank between 2009 and 2016 using the repeal of Obamacare as leverage to open wallets around the country.

If a promoter raised almost a billion dollars and promised to build a an energy plant and then didn’t even break ground, he would be guilty of fraud in spite of the fact he’s also probably a green energy advocate.

So why shouldn’t politicians who promise much and deliver nothing be held accountable, too?

That’s easy, just like DC politicians exempted themselves from Obamacare, they also made sure they’re not legally actionable for lying to the public. However, that exemption doesn’t apply to the state and national committees and that’s where Heghmann gets his leverage.

His first hurdle is surviving an expected motion to dismiss the lawsuit. If Heghmann makes it past that milestone, he has some interesting requests for the judge. He wants to limit the jury pool to Republicans who are both registered and voted and are aware of national issues. His contention is a jury of his peers in this instance is an informed and voting jury.

 

 

His goal is not really to obtain refunds, “I don’t want to bankrupt GOP, I want GOP to do what it promised to do.” Heghmann explains, “Money is leverage to get them to do what they are supposed to do.”

Mostly Heghmann is a “full supporter” of Trump who is fed up.

As far as he’s concerned, “Establishment Republicans have in effect repudiated the results of the last election. In their view the people made a mistake when they elected Donald Trump and the establishment is as interested in seeing Trump fail as Democrats are.”

Heghmann just wants the GOP to “support Trump’s agenda.” He has a better chance of getting the money.

You can follow Heghmann’s lead without going to court. Simply attend the next town hall meeting of your GOP Senator or Congressman and demand a campaign contribution refund due to failure to perform.

Should you know other contributors, stand up together and demand refunds in unison. If your politician is too gutless to won’t hold a real town hall meeting, then hold a refund news conference outside his district office when he’s back home.

I doubt you’ll get your money back in either event, but the embarrassment and bad publicity generated for the Obamacare betrayers will be priceless.

Virginia Governor’s Race Is the Establishment’s Revenge

November’s off–year Virginia governor’s race is what conservatives would have faced in 2016 if Trump had done a Hillary as he descended the escalator for his announcement and wound up in A Place for Mom instead of the Oval Office.

Our nominee would have been a bland, white, country club Republican who talked lukewarm TEA Party. A nominee that would have looked just like “Establishment Ed” Gillespie the caretaker conservative running as the Republican in Virginia.

These off–year elections are supposed to send a message to Washington and specifically the White House. If a Democrat wins nationally and Virginia elects a Republican the following year, the result is supposed to mean voters are angry because Democrats went too far.

Conservative voters dissatisfied with the nominee are given a binary choice by party leadership: Hold your nose and support some housebroken Republican or be personally responsible for electing the Democrat.

This hobbling choice is not limited to Virginia. Conservatives nationwide regularly confront this dilemma as yet another cocktail conservative holds their vote hostage to the Democrat alternative.

After years of just following orders my nose is as pinched as Ichabod Crane’s and I’m tired of it. This year instead of sending a message to the White House, where one of the Javanka twins would no doubt intercept it, I want to move the targeting solution about 3 miles from Pennsylvania Ave. to the Republican National Committee.

Instead of an interparty message, I want conservatives to deliver an intraparty message.

Ed Gillespie is a perfect example of a candidate that feels genuine conservatives are good enough to help him win, but not good enough to influence policy once he’s in office. It would have been difficult to find a candidate more out–of–step with the conservatives than Establishment Ed.

The National Review recently endorsed Gillespie and they unintentionally damned him with faint praise. According to those Never Trumpers, Ed deserves our vote because:

  • He joined the Bush White House when George W was low on friends
  • A Gillespie win will send a message
  • Ed wants to cut taxes
  • Gillespie wants someone to open more charter schools

Big deal. For conservatives, the most important issue in Virginia is transportation: Base voters want new roads for a speedy trip in to work and new enforcement for a speedy trip back to Central America for illegals.

Naturally, Enervating Ed is on the wrong side of both parts. He doesn’t mention roads and Giveaway Gillespie supported the failed Gang of Eight bill. He’s part of the Delusion Caucus that’s convinced surrendering to Democrat demands to import more voters will someone result in GOP victories.

As befits a former lobbyist who made a living torturing innocent words, Gillespie assures conservatives he didn’t support “amnesty” for illegals, he only supports “legalization.” So, let me explain to Gillespie — who only speaks conservative–as–a–second–language —any result allowing illegal aliens to remain in the US is AMNESTY, regardless of how you try to focus group your way out of it.

Ed’s idea of tough–minded leadership on illegals is keeping a lid on how many other benefits the piñata holds.

The Washington Post reports that Gillespie is so concerned about conservatism potentially rubbing off on him that he promised business donors that he won’t champion any cultural issues from the governor’s office. This failure to grasp that politics is downstream of culture is why Ed and his cronies are long run losers.

It also appears that groveling doesn’t sell particularly well. The candidate of the rich is trailing the Democrat in fund raising by a two–to–one margin.

Conservatives next year are faced with a president who is ready to betray his promises on ending DACA for younger invaders and Virginia voters this year have a gubernatorial candidate who is just as soft on the rule of law.

My advice is don’t allow your vote to be held hostage by placeholder Republicans. When my family goes to vote in November we will be sending a message to the RNC in the only manner they can understand. We will be voting for write–in candidates for every spot on the ballot. And it’s going to be the same write–in each time.

For the first name, we will write DACA and for the last name Betrayal. We will no longer go–along–to–get–ignored. The only way Republican leadership will pay attention to the base it relies on for victory is when the victories stop.

My advice for Virginia voters is write in “Senor DACA Betrayal: and take a photo of your ballot. Send the picture to your state Republican Party and another copy to the RNC. Let’s show them voters are angry because the GOP hasn’t gone far enough.

Afghanistan Strategy Is the Only Hope for Education Reform

The federal government is currently enmeshed in two gigantic, expensive reform projects, one domestic and one foreign. Both are failures even though the tactics couldn’t be more different. In one — at a cost of $2.5 trillion — Uncle Sam is trying manfully to completely change a political culture.

In the other — at just under $1 trillion — Uncle Sugar won’t touch the culture. What is the same, and the ultimate source of failure, is the obstinate refusal of project architects to recognize their strategy isn’t working now and won’t be working in the future.

We’ll begin with the relatively cheap failure. Since 1980 the Dept. of Education has spent $872,519,440,000 on just primary and secondary education. The scores from the latest nationwide ACT college admission test are so bad that to forestall criticism of the entire effort, the focus has been shifted to the old perennial: The Achievement Gap.

The Washington Post reports, “Scores…show that just 9 percent of students in the class of 2017 who came from low–income families, whose parents did not go to college, and who identify as [minority] are strongly ready for college. But the readiness rate for students with none of those demographic characteristics was six times as high [at] 54 percent.”

Students with one of the three “handicaps” scored 26 percent college ready, while those with two of three came in at 15 percent.

It would be easy to look at the “six times” more successful and assume all was well in education, but don’t. These numbers indicate a failure so large Mitch McConnell could have been supervising the project.

There were 3.3 million high school graduates in the spring of 2017. Two million took the ACT test and of those 1,080,000 achieved scores indicating they are ready for college. The other 920,000 didn’t make the cut. When you add that number to the 1,333,000 graduates that already knew taking the test was a waste of time, the total of unprepared graduates was 2,253,000. So the feds spent $535 billion on these kids (not counting additional billions spent by state and local governments) during the 12 years they were in school and after that stupendous expenditure ($161,000.00 PER STUDENT!) only 32 percent were ready for college.

With those results its only natural the focus would be on the “achievement gap” between minorities and the other categories. In the understatement of the year ACT chief executive Marten Roorda said, “You could argue that those investments should have made a clearer difference and that’s not what we’re seeing.”

There is nothing intrinsically limiting about being a member of a minority. Genetics aren’t holding them back. Culture is holding them back.

This is where the really expensive culture–changing project becomes relevant. In Afghanistan the US is trying to install a modern democratic state in a land with a primitive, medieval, tribal culture whose only bow to modernity is a thin veneer of alternating current.

Yet there are similarities. US minority culture and Afghan culture feature strong tribal or gang–based loyalties. Both have impulsive honor/vengeance pathologies. And both feature poor education and a high illiteracy rate. Islamic fundamentalism is unique to Afghanistan as out–of–wedlock births are limited to the US example.

In Afghanistan experts ignore history and insist the country is just the breeding ground for the next showplace of democracy after the political culture is changed. In the US education experts ignore history and a culture change that’s responsible for education failure in the hope a few more Baby Einstein videos will do the trick.

Afghanistan has been corrupt for centuries and has absolutely no history of impartial representative government. Yet within living memory in the US the family culture, which is the root of education problems, was an asset to learning.

In 1950 the rate of out–of–wedlock births for black women was approximately 18 percent. Today the percentage is 72 percent. Ignoring this has real costs for the children. Spending billions at one end of the education cycle while ignoring the origin of the problem does nothing more than provide permanent, well–paid jobs for bureaucrats.

The feds should have no role in education in the first place. That’s a state and local responsibility. But if the money is going to be spent, spend it wisely. Try to change the dysfunctional culture of out–of–wedlock births and resulting poverty. Political culture change is destined for failure in Afghanistan, but there is a chance to revive the marriage culture here and in turn close the “achievement gap.”

Let’s try the Afghanistan strategy. Attack a dysfunctional culture directly. Emphasize marriage and finishing school before becoming a mother. After 17 years in Afghanistan we’ve made no difference. Here 17 years of culture emphasis could make a big difference.

Millionaires & Billionaires Fighting “Oppression”

Oppression certainly isn’t what it used to be. Instead of vicious police dogs, water cannon, billy clubs and Bull Connor, America is greeted with the sight of millionaires and billionaires kneeling in football stadiums trying to make white America feel guilty without so much as a Chihuahua yapping in the background.

And they aren’t alone. The Opposition Media, celebrity culture, leftist pastors, educators, politicians, various groin activists and Hollywood were all united in condemning the USA for the alleged subjugation of blacks. The protesters had no compunction about attacking the president and insulting the flag.

If this is “oppression” it’s news to Stalin, Hitler, Saddam and Kim Jong–Un. If I were a white supremacist, I think I’d demand my money back. From all appearances it’s whites, conservatives of all colors and taxpayers who are being told to sit down and shut up.

Instead of being a lonely and dangerous stand against institutionalized brutality and “oppression” the “take a knee movement” has rapidly become this fall’s Ice Bucket Challenge. The difference being the Challenge was a showy, self–involved effort on behalf of a real disease, while take a knee is a showy, self–involved effort on behalf of a grievance fantasy.

The left claims to own science, so lets look at the data. First of all the Us is one of the least racist nations on the planet. An investing and investment newsletter, with the credibility–dissolving name of Insider Monkey, performed an analysis of racism polls that included “responses of over 85,000 people from 61 countries” and found the USA didn’t even make the top 25 of the most racist countries.

The number one for racism was India with South Korea at number 25. What researchers did find was the US ranked #12 on a list of the Least Racist Countries in the World. The report concluded, “We believe America, on average, is one of the most racially tolerant countries on Earth.”

So much for “oppression.” But no protest implying malevolence on the part of whites would be complete without including “police brutality.” Data here proves there may be individually brutal cops of all colors, but there is no institutionally brutal police regime threatening blacks or anyone else.

Philippe Lemoine did an analysis of the Police ­Public Contact Survey (PPCS). It’s a 70,000 sample of US residents 16 or older that’s representative of the whole population. Participants are asked if they had an encounter with the police during the past year. If so they are asked for details, including any use of force.

This means data from the survey is based on personal encounters with law enforcement and not speculation on encounters other people have had with cops based on OpMedia reports or “community rumors.”

Lemoine found “just 16 unarmed black men, out of a population of more than 20 million, were killed by the police…These figures are likely close to the number of black men struck by lightning in a given year. The comparison illustrates that these killings are incredibly rare, and that it’s completely misleading to talk about an ‘epidemic.’ You don’t hear people talk about an epidemic of lightning strikes and claim they are afraid to go outside because of it.”

The case for routine police harassment is just as fraudulent. Black men have less yearly contact with police than whites: 17.5 to 20.7 percent. And as for injury, protesters in the stadium have a greater chance of getting a rug burn at the hands of Monsanto than they do a bruise at the hands of the cops.

“Actual injuries by the police are so rare that one cannot estimate them very precisely even in a survey as big as the PPCS, but the available data suggest that only 0.08 percent of black men are injured by the police each year, approximately the same rate as for white men.” Lemoine reports.

It would make more sense to accuse the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of brutality since black men are 44 times more likely to be injured in a car crash.

Lemoine’s conclusion: “The media’s acceptance of the false narrative poisons the relations between law enforcement and black communities throughout the country and results in violent protests that destroy property and sometimes even claim lives.”

So why are the knee people blaming ticket holders and the audience? There aren’t any billionaires, mayors or Members of Congress in the stands. All the people with real power are on the field insulting the blameless over a grievance that doesn’t exist.

During the Civil War black soldiers in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry — immortalized in the movie “Glory” — could distinguish between individual bigots and the flag of the nation that was fighting to free the slaves.

I wonder why privileged football players, and their enablers in politics and the media, can’t do the same.

Kaepernick: When Taking a Knee Is All About Me

Just think — if Tim Tebow had taken a knee for Antifa instead of God he might still be in the NFL. Or at least he could be a topic of conversation for people wondering why Tebow wasn’t playing. I find it ironic a league that is now encouraging “celebrations” after a touchdown, frowned on Tebow offering a quick word of thanks after a score.

Offering a word of thanks certainly isn’t a problem with Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick loses his starting QB job and decides to make himself a spectacle by kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racism in a league that’s 70 percent black.

Tebow loses his starting QB job and quietly accepts an insulting assignment as a blocker on the punting unit, where he suffers broken ribs as a reward for being a team player.

Kaepernick says he can’t “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” and “there are bodies in the street and [cops] getting away with murder.” How this squares with the fact he was adopted by white parents and felt comfortable wearing socks that depicted police as pigs while cops were standing only a few feet away went unexplained.

Both players aren’t particularly good pocket passers and both frequently resort to running with the ball when pressured.

Tebow isn’t offered another chance in the NFL even after spending an entire off–season working with a QB–whisperer to improve his throwing mechanics. Kaepernick evidently spent his off–season growing an Afro that rivals that of Angela Davis in her heyday. Tebow’s football career is over and no reporters are asking if he was blackballed because of his Pro–life Super Bowl ad.

Kaepernick appears to be done, too and the Opposition Media, which invaded the sports page, is convinced he’s being blackballed.

Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post condemns NFL owners, “They care that he is a disrupter–dissenter who refuses to play the stock character role assigned to him and might threaten a bottom line. As a result, they have blacklisted him — there is no other term for it — and in doing so have unintentionally underscored his message about pervasive injustice for blacks.”

Then she can’t tell the difference between being fired for an internal memo meant to stay inside the company and a public workplace insult that offends a majority of the customer base. Jenkins sees equivalence between James Damore, Google engineer who authored the memo, and Kaepernick, “You don’t have to agree with Kaepernick taking a knee during the anthem last season — or Damore’s reasoning and language — to be offended by the fact that they are out of jobs for speaking their well–intentioned minds.”

Her colleague, Jerry Brewer, appears to think Kaepernick is a modern Paul Revere warning America of a resurgence of the Klan as “racists feel empowered again.”

Neither of these hyperventilators gives any credence to what Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown said of Kaepernick. Brown knows something about racism. He played in the Jim Crow NFL before the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Brown knows about personally suffering systemic, government–imposed racism and he thinks Kaepernick is a poseur.

Brown told The Post Game, “I’m going to give you the real deal: I’m an American. I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not gonna do anything against the flag and national anthem… this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.”

That’s not a observation that’s going to generate coverage for Brown in the OpMedia, just as Green Bay Packers Safety Ha Ha Clinton–Dix wearing socks with the names of four Dallas police officers murdered by a Black Lives Matter assassin fell into the media’s memory hole.

I’ve never heard a reporter ask Kaepernick what country he prefers to the US? I doubt it’s China, even though white people have no privilege there. The People’s Republic just passed a law making it illegal to mock the Chinese national anthem and the offense is punishable by up to 15 days in jail.

Reporters also never ask Kaepernick how he will know he’s achieved success. Will it be when blacks are allowed the vote? When a black woman has a top–rated national talk show? When the US elects a black president?

The fact is Kaepernick is a marginal QB with a bad attitude who missed the limelight. He’s also a guy whose commitment to “racial justice” was so immutable he backed off the protests when he was trying to land another team.

It’s time for Kaepernick to find another line of work where insulting Americans is part of the company culture. I hear ESPN is hiring.

DACA: Check Expiration Date Before Relying on Trump Promises

In May of 2016 Donald Trump casually discarded one of his central campaign promises. I thought it was remarkable. While it was traditional for Republican candidates in former campaigns to wait until after their inauguration to break campaign promises, Trump didn’t even wait until he was the nominee.

Trump had repeatedly declared, “By self-funding my campaign, I am not controlled by my donors, special interests or lobbyists. I am only working for the people of the U.S.!” It was a central element in his early appeal.

Jeb Bush may have been making money calls between naps, but Donald Trump couldn’t be bought or rented.

Then poof, it was gone! Trump began soliciting donations from the same contributors he’d been disparaging only a few rallies before. It was so surprising I found myself agreeing with MSNBC which said,” Trump is taking one of the best arguments in support of his candidacy and throwing it out the window.”

Trump didn’t appear to suffer any damage from going back on his word and he saved money to boot, so for him it was win–win. For conservatives this casual discarding of a foundational promise should’ve been an ominous development.

The campaign finance issue was a crowd–pleaser but it didn’t have a direct impact on voters. Most of the people at his rallies weren’t contributors before or after the expiration of his promise, so the brief controversy was tangential.

Trump’s chief attraction to disenchanted voters was built around attitude: Trump wasn’t politically correct and he didn’t give a damn about what elite cultural arbiters thought.

As far as voters were concerned specific issues and their relevance were judged on whether or not the topic fit into the general aura of Trumpismo! For many Deplorables it was personality first — policy second.

But what if it was all attitude and arrogance and the issues that were central to our decision to vote for Trump were just so many applause lines at rallies he’s long forgotten?

Trump has been waffling on “Day One” issues since the end of the campaign. He said he’d move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Then he changed his mind. Trump said he would withdraw from the Paris agreement and then went back and forth for weeks on what should have been an easy decision. Trump said it was time to get out of Afghanistan and then decided to buy into the failed nation–building policies of the Bush that got elected.

Those are bad enough, but his seeming decision to go back on one of his bedrock issues and betray his base could make Democrat dreams come true and render Trump a one–term aberration.

During rally after rally Trump promised to “end DACA.” Trump is notoriously sloppy and inexact with language, but I guarantee that not one person in his base interpreted “end DACA” to mean granting illegal aliens the largest amnesty in history.

That appears to be the plan now. Trump tweeted, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..” As someone pointed out, more DACA beneficiaries have enlisted in MS–13 than have joined the military. Trump has owned casinos so he should know when one’s luck runs out, it’s time to go home.

That applies to DACA, too.

Trump has surrounded himself with functionaries whose political advice would have prevented him from winning the nomination, to say nothing of the presidency. Trump appears to have convinced himself that allowing DACA participants to stay in the US without citizenship isn’t amnesty, but for Trumpistas that’s a distinction without a difference.

Before he cratered on DACA Trump made a number of appearances with Angel Moms, mothers who had suffered the death of a child at the hands of an illegal alien. Angel Moms were great props and gave Trump cover when the OpMedia criticized him for his promises to crack down on illegals.

Now the relationship isn’t so heavenly. Angel Mom Sabine Durden told Breitbart, “…the news about DACA receiving amnesty feels like a horrible nightmare and if true, betrayal of the worst kind.”

Mary Ann Mendoza explained, “President Trump needs to stand firm and keep his promises not only to us Angel Moms and Dads but to All Americans.”

Mareen Maloney agreed, “It is reprehensible that President Trump would go back on his campaign promises to the American’s who elected him, especially the Angel parents and families, to make a DACA deal with Democrats.”

Trump once boasted during the campaign, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Maybe so, but I wonder how many campaign promises he can trash on Pennsylvania Avenue before voters decide they’ve been had?