She has fulfilled her role as scapegoat

I guess that there was no way that they could blame this on George Bush! From The Wall Street Journal:

Kathleen Sebelius to Resign Health Post
Move Comes After Health-Insurance Enrollments Reached 7.5 Million
By Louise Radnofsky and Carol E. Lee | Updated April 10, 2014 11:53 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who led the government’s troubled rollout of the 2010 health-care law, will step down, her spokeswoman confirmed Thursday, capping a rocky five years in the Obama cabinet.

President Barack Obama was expected to announce on Friday that Mrs. Sebelius, 65 years old, will be succeeded by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, according to senior administration officials.

Mrs. Sebelius’s departure came after months of speculation that she would resign over the shaky implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A wave of technical problems initially prevented consumers from buying insurance plans on, while millions of Americans had their plans canceled because they didn’t meet the law’s requirements.

The fallout became one of the greatest political liabilities of Mr. Obama’s presidency and is expected to shape November’s midterm elections.

Mrs. Sebelius appeared to be moving past that rough patch in recent weeks as insurance enrollments surged. On Thursday, she told lawmakers the administration believed at least 7.5 million people had picked plans through and similar state-run exchanges to date. That number exceeded prior enrollment projections.

More at the link.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

It’s not much of a surprise that Secretary Sebelius is leaving; it’s fairly rare for cabinet secretaries, regardless of whether the President is a Republican or Democrat, to stay for two full presidential terms. Now that Mrs Sebelius has taken the heat, her (probable) successor, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget, begins with a clean personal slate: she will be able to take credit for whatever successes HHS has, while Mrs Sebelius will still wind up with all of the blame. The Journal again:

Mrs Burwell has a low public profile but is one of the most experienced officials in the Obama White House. As a young graduate of Harvard University and Oxford University, she worked in the administration of President Bill Clinton, on the National Economic Council and in the Treasury Department before becoming deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. She was a confidante and protégé of Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Mrs Burwell was the official who actually ordered the government shutdown in October of 2013. But even though President Obama said Mrs Burwell, when he nominated her for the position at OMB, was “part of a team that presided over three budget surpluses in a row,” she has since been part of the team which presided over the largest budget deficits in our history.

Mrs Burwell has a strong reputation as a problem solver, but she also has a reputation as someone who knows and understands business, yet is part of a very business unfriendly administration. Her baccalaureate degree from Oxford was in philosophy, politics and economics, but her economics are those of the President she serves . . . and his economic policies have been failures.

The problem was not Kathleen Sebelius, and the solution will not be Sylvia Burwell; the problem is with the entire notion that the federal government is responsible for seeing to it that the individual receives health care coverage. Perhaps Mrs Burwell can slightly ease the problems associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but she will be unable to fix the philosophical problem which underpins the whole thing.

Economics 101: Would you like fries with that?

I suppose that, technically, a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies is the same as a BA in History or Economics, but the obvious question is: for what does it prepare a student after college?

Graduate school, I suppose, to become a Mistress of Arts or even a Doctor of Philosophy in Gender Studies, and hope that you can land a tenure-track professorship at some college.

But if I were a human resources director at some corporation, and I received a résumé from someone who claimed a degree in Gender Studies, it would go straight in the trash: who wants to hire a walking discrimination lawsuit, which is exactly what would be the most probable result of hiring a Gender Studies graduate?

The smart HR director would look for students who were smart enough and serious enough to major in something serious, something which would be of reasonable help in a professional career.

The very obvious question

From the man that Robert Stacey Stacy McCain recently said was in the running to be the Pyrite State’s “most right-wing professor,” Donald Douglas:

Brandeis University Withdraws Honorary Degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A woman with perhaps the world’s most compelling story of escape from radical Islam, now feeling the brunt of the leftist correct thought-enforcers.

From Ed Morrissey, at Hot Air, “Brandeis withdraws honorary degree offer to Ayaan Hirsi Ali“:

Brandeis University originally invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at its spring commencement, and created a storm of controversy on its campus. It has now withdrawn that offer, and may have created a storm of controversy outside of its campus as well. The former Dutch parliamentarian has long spoken out against the excesses of Islam, from her own painful personal experience to the radicalism that fuels terrorism and war. Apparently, Brandeis just figured this out, which raises a number of questions…

Keep reading.

Also at Protein Wisdom, “The totalitarian Left has embraced Islamism, let no one dissent.” (via Memeorandum).

The obvious, but thus far unasked (rhetorical) question: if the speaker in question was a zealous anti-Israeli writer and activist, someone speaking out against Zionism, would Brandeisa Jewish university — have withdrawn the invitation and honorary degree?

Robert Stacey Stacy McCain has a bit more.

Democrisy: Attorney General Kathleen Kane caught lying (again)

Kathleen Kane won the election to become Attorney General in Pennsylvania, basing much of her campaign on a promise to investigate whether political connections dragged out the Commonwealth’s investigation and charging of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on child sexual abuse charges. Mrs Kane cast herself as a fearless crusader against political corruption, but it’s looking like that was a false front. From the front page of today’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

Sources: U.S. prosecutors made no judgment on sting case

Philadelphia’s district attorney rebuked state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane on Friday March 21, 2014. AP (Click to enlarge)

Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers | Last updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 1:08 AM | Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 9:05 PM

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia never deemed a sting operation that targeted public corruption as too weak to prosecute, according to District Attorney Seth Williams and law enforcement sources familiar with the brief federal review of the investigation.

The sources and Williams say the prosecutors never came to a judgment about the investigation one way or another before the state attorney general asked them to halt their review.

Their statements echo a declaration by the Philadelphia office of the FBI, which said it made no judgment about whether the case was suitable for prosecution.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has said “federal authorities” endorsed her view that the sting was fatally damaged. She has declined to identity the federal officials involved, saying they had asked for anonymity.

Read more at here.1 This is from The Philadelphia Inquirer, a newspaper with a liberal editorial orientation, and one which routinely supports Democrats, and the rest of the story paints a very ugly picture of a very pretty woman’s political lies.

So, we have the interesting spectacle of a crusading, crusading! Democrat Attorney General, diligently investigating whether a Republican slow-tracked the investigation into Mr Sandusky, even though the Commonwealth did arrest, bring charges, try and convict the pedophile while the Republicans were still in office, but quashing an investigation which allegedly had four Democrat state legislators and at least one other Democrat official on tape accepting “cash or gifts.”2

This was how Attorney General Kane was described just last December:

Kathleen Kane Is the Democrats’ New ‘It Girl’
By Salena Zito – December 29, 2013

A former midlevel prosecutor’s ambition and rise in Pennsylvania politics is a sign of the times in American politics.

In under a year, Kathleen Kane has gone from an unknown Lackawanna County assistant district attorney to the powerful position of the state’s attorney general. If you believe the gossip surrounding her, she is a prospective candidate for every elected office imaginable, including governor, U.S. senator and president.

When Kane, the wife of a wealthy Scranton businessman, ran for attorney general last year, she benefited from a Bill Clinton political score that needed to be settled. Her better-known, union-endorsed primary opponent, former Congressman Patrick Murphy, had done the unthinkable in 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the state Democrat primary.

Clinton repaid that favor by fundraising, endorsing, cutting ads and bringing out the big guns for Kane over Murphy. He thereby reminded Pennsylvanians and Washington political-watchers that the Clinton machine still has big game in a big state — and that Kane was their girl.

Kane won and, ever since, has dabbled in the politically hot topics that secure wins in bigger Democrat primaries, issues such as gay marriage, climate change and big business.

First, despite her campaign promise to not act like a politician as attorney general, she announced this summer that she would not go to court to defend the state’s ban on gay marriage — even though her job is to defend state laws, regardless of her personal feelings or political ambitions.

More at the link. Governor, senator or president? While The First Street Journal doesn’t see lying and corruption as any bar to a Democrat seeking higher office — note that former Governor Edwin Edwards (D-LA) is running for Congress just three years after his release from the penitentiary — when The Philadelphia Inquirer goes after a Democrat for corruption in Pennsylvania, that Democrat is in some real trouble. When Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, a Democrat, attacks a Democrat state Attorney General who is rumored to have higher political ambitions, it tells you that Mr Williams might have those same ambitions himself.

In the meantime, conservatives like Robert Stacey Stacy McCain are calling for the immediate resignation of a married freshman Republican congressman caught on tape kissing a married part-time staffer. Perhaps conservatives hold Republicans to a higher standard than liberals do to Democrats. The Delaware Liberal has been all over Attorney General Beau Biden (D-DE) and his office accepting a plea bargain and sentence that kept a wealthy child rapist out of prison, but unless I just missed it, I haven’t seen a single call by any of the authors or commenters there for Mr Biden to resign; if Mr Biden runs for re-election (as he is planning to do), you can bet your last farthing that the Delaware Liberals will vote for him again.

As I said, a different standard.

  1. The link under the headline is different, and is sometimes restricted; this link is different, and may last longer.
  2. Mrs Kane said that the five officials had committed crimes, but that the case was too tainted to be successfully prosecuted.

We are not surprised

From The Wall Street Journal:

Pro-Russia Protesters Seize State Buildings in Eastern Ukraine
Demonstrators Storm Regional Government Headquarters in Donetsk and Kharkiv
By James Marson | April 6, 2014 4:41 p.m. ET

KIEV, Ukraine— Anti-government protesters calling for closer ties with Moscow seized regional government headquarters in two cities in Ukraine’s east Sunday in the most serious unrest there in the past month.

Around 200 pro-Russian demonstrators broke into the government building in the industrial city of Donetsk, raising a Russian flag and demanding the local council call a referendum on the industrial region joining Russia. Protesters also seized the regional government building in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

The unrest comes amid a Russian warning, repeated several times in March, that it is prepared to intervene to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine’s east and south from alleged threats of attack by Ukrainian nationalists. Russia says the government in Kiev, swept to power by protests that ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych, a Russian ally, is illegitimate. Moscow last month invaded and annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and has massed tens of thousands of troops on its western border with Ukraine, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

Pro-Russian protests that flared in Ukraine’s eastern cities after Mr. Yanukovych’s ouster late February had appeared to be fading. While the crowds of several hundred demonstrators in Donetsk were no larger than at other protests in recent weeks, Sunday marked the first time in nearly a month that government buildings had been seized in the eastern region of the country.

Russia’s invasion of Crimea came after a group of armed men seized the local parliament building there and appealed for Russian help. As in Crimea, a majority of people in the east speak Russian, but surveys show less than half want their region to join Russia.

As usual, there’s more at the original.

As we have noted previously, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and though it was under consideration for such, Ukraine dropped its application when the now-deposed pro-Russian President, Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, came to power. As we said then, with Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s move to seize the Crimea after President Yanukovych was deposed, there are 28 NATO Presidents and Prime Ministers and Kings and Queens who are very glad that Ukraine opted out of the membership process.

We have seen this before. In a move every bit as authentic and spontaneous as the Gleiwitz incident, pro-Russian Ukrainians and ethnic Russians in Crimea rebelled against the Ukrainian government in Kiev, following President Yanukovych’s removal, and it wasn’t long before Russia seized the Crimea. Now, Russia has some 40,000 troops massed on Ukraine’s eastern border, and Gen. Philip Breedlove, USAF, NATO’s supreme allied commander Europe, has said that Russia is in a position to invade the Ukraine on just twelve hours notice. Given the United States and Europe’s strong, strong! response to the seizure of the Crimea, dripping with sarcasm the possibility exists that President Putin might not believe that seizing the eastern portion of Ukraine holds much risk for him.

It’s like a play in football that works; until the defense manages to stop it, the offense will keep using the play.

Russia nearly doubled natural gas prices for Ukraine, which Ukraine promptly rejected, but all Russia has to do is say, OK, fine, you don’t want to pay the higher prices, then we won’t send you any gas. Ukraine threatened to take Russia to court, but that threat is meaningless; there is no court with any enforcement powers which could compel Russia to behave differently. Given that 40% of the natural gas Russia sells to the rest of Europe travels through pipelines going through Ukraine, the other European nations will pressure Ukraine to surrender; the rest of Europe won’t tolerate seeing factories shut down and homes go cold just to stand by Ukraine.

In the end, Vladimir Putin will win again, because there isn’t anyone willing to stand up to him.

Rule 5 Blogging: From Across the Pond

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Kate Moss in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week, as Piers Morgan returns to Blighty, here are some of the women who carry guns and protect his sorry ass.

Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore (SIC) Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore (31) joined the RAF as a pilot in 1998.  Originally from Lincolnshire she has served as an instructor on the Hawk aircraft at RAF Valley in North Wales and is currently flying Tornado GR4 with XIII Sqn based at RAF Marham in Norfolk. The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is proud to announce that a female pilot is one of two candidates selected to join the world-famous ‘Diamond Nine’ for the 2010 display season.

Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore (SIC)
Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore (31) joined the RAF as a pilot in 1998. Originally from Lincolnshire she has served as an instructor on the Hawk aircraft at RAF Valley in North Wales and is currently flying Tornado GR4 with XIII Sqn based at RAF Marham in Norfolk.
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is proud to announce that a female pilot is one of two candidates selected to join the world-famous ‘Diamond Nine’ for the 2010 display season.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: From Across the Pond’ »

From Around the Blogroll

The Five on Fox put up the above photo; hat tip to Gretchen for it.

Gretchen noted that the Distinguished Gentleman’s money woes began when his wealthy (third) wife kicked him to the curb, and his Wikipedia biography lists four ethical “controversies” associated with Mr Moran.

Jim Moran, a Democrat, represents the eighth district of Virginia, which is the Arlington area. He is one of the few congressmen who are fortunate enough to be able to live in their districts and commute to work in the Capitol, so it’s pretty difficult for me to have a lot of sympathy for his financial plight.1 I have a bit of sympathy for congressmen from Wyoming or Kentucky, who have to maintain a separate residence in the Washington area — and some elect to sleep in their offices rather than buy or rent a separate home:

The Huffington Post contacted every freshman House member of the 113th Congress, and more than two-thirds responded. Of those, four confirmed that their offices would double as their Capitol Hill homes.

Reps. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) are the newest members of Congress who have elected to live in their offices, staff members confirmed.

When asked why, a spokesperson for each of the four declined to give additional reasons.

The concept of lawmakers sleeping in their offices is nothing new. However, the trend — which was a practice popularized in the 1990s by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) — gained new fervor after the 2010 elections.

In 2011, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reported that at least 33 members of Congress — 21 of them freshmen — lived in their offices. Although a few Democrats have taken to sleeping in their offices, the practice is more popular with conservative members: Republicans made up 26 of the 33 representatives taking up residence in their offices, according to CREW.

Some lawmakers who were elected in 2010, like Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), have continued to sleep in their offices despite making an annual congressional salary of $174,000 — roughly four times that of the average American.

But for Mr Moran, no, I have no sympathy at all.

And now on to what’s happening in the blogosphere this week:


  1. I’d point out here that, when he was a Senator, Joe Biden used Amtrak to commute daily to his home in northern Delaware.
  2. In the case cited, the accused would probably have been acquitted by even the looser preponderance of the evidence standard used in civil cases.

Today on Truth Before Dishonor!

I was planning on writing about the subject of the vote fraud discovered in North Carolina myself today, but, alas! I have to do something really radical like work for a living, and don’t have the time to do the subject justice. Fortunately, the great John Hitchcock was able to take care of it for me. I’ll leave the comments closed on this article, so that the discussion can be had on Truth Before Dishonor. However, I’ll add Sister Toldjah’s comments:

“Bbbut I thought there was no such thing as voter fraud – and in the event there was concrete evidence, it was “usually just a small few – not worth implementing raaaacist voter ID laws!” – me, channeling NC liberals after hearing the news.

It’s fascinating, really.  As the information was being tweeted out, liberals who have  a vested interest in getting NC’s supposedly “toughest voter ID laws in the nation” tossed off the books on the grounds that they’re “racist” or something didn’t stop to consider anything but the fact that this seriously undermines their case.  Keep in mind, they don’t even know if most of the people who double voted were Republicans or Democrats. In their mind, the law is racist and voter fraud doesn’t exist (except when the GOP wins elections, of course). Perhaps they assumed it was mostly Democrats who fraudulently voted in two different states and seek to change the direction of the debate.  After what the left has gotten away with here and elsewhere over the last several decades come election time, can you blame them for going on the defensive? :)

Anyway, I suspect there will be much more to come on this story very soon as both “sides” of the debate jockey for position, with the left trying to “debunk” the report as fast as they can.  And it goes without saying that the North Carolina mainstream media, reliably left wing, is “urging caution” on the NCSBE’s findings because the local “real” journos, of course, are the ultimate decoders and deciders of what’s definitively true and not in North Carolina politics – in spite of the fact they’ve been notably partisan in the past against Republican efforts to curtail voter fraud.

William Teach has more as well. Oddly enough, other than Fox News, the professional media have very much stayed away from this story, but I’m certain, certain! that it’s simply while they pursue their investigations.

Drunken decisions

From Robert Stacey Stacy McCain:

Internet Douchebag Patrol
Posted on | April 2, 2014 | 57 Comments

Look, it’s not as if there were a shortage of actual news for me to blog about today. For example, my friend Shaun McCutcheon won a landmark Supreme Court decision today, and there’s all kinds of commentary about McCutcheon v. FEC.

Here is a guy from Alabama who has bought me beers whose name is forever destined to be cited as a legal precedent and yet, I feel myself constrained merely to make brief notice of the decision, because the Internet is swarming with douchebags today.

I’m talking about you, Gregory Bernstein of Vanderbilt University.

Do I need some overprivileged college freshman to lecture me about “rape culture”? No, I most certainly do not. I’ll quote your ridiculous Huffington Post sermonette only briefly:

Rape culture is a culture in which we allow responsibility for sexual violence to be shifted from the rapist to the victim. Rape culture is a culture in which our first reaction upon learning about an alleged assault is to doubt victims, to ask what they were wearing, or what they were drinking. Rape culture is a culture in which myths and misconceptions about rape are allowed to be taught as truth.

Two words for you, Greg: Individual responsibility.

Cultures don’t rape people. Rapists rape people. What is objectionable about these endless “rape culture” lectures is that they represent an effort to demonize all men, to create a collective responsibility for crimes committed by individuals. Or, allegedly committed, as the circumstances in some cases are strongly disputed.

More at the link. Mr McCain is correct about one thing: crimes are the individual responsibility of the people who commit them, and Mr Bernstein has fallen into the “feminist” trap of trying to blame the “culture” and men in general for the crimes of a few, and that’s hogwash. However, Mr McCain mockingly quoted another paragraph from Mr Bernstein, on a point in which I think Mr Bernstein was dead on target:

But here, Greg, let me quote you briefly once more:

It’s time for individuals as well as colleges and universities to re-teach what it means to have consent. Consent is active, continuous, and given freely. Consent requires sobriety. Consent can be withdrawn. Consent to one sexual act is not consent to all sexual acts. “No” doesn’t mean “convince me.”

Restraining my urge to offer a sarcastic reply I’m sure I would regret, let me say this: You’re attempting to repeal human nature.

Such is the feminist “rape culture” project in its pure essence. As I’ve said before, the argument boils down to, “Shut up, because rape.”

All men must submit to feminist re-education, so angry lesbians can teach them to be as meek and harmless as geriatric eunuchs.

The short sentence emboldened and highlighted in red is the one which I see as important.

Mr Bernstein’s message might have been mocked by Mr McCain, but, you know what, he’s right on this point. If you get drunk and copulate, there is a more than negligible chance that your “date” will have some real regrets when she sobers up, and those regrets can have some pretty serious legal consequences. If your “date” decides that she was raped, and presses charges, even if you are acquitted, the information that you were charged with rape will remain on the public record forever, and you will be out many thousands of dollars in legal bills.

When Mr Bernstein says, “It’s time for individuals as well as colleges and universities to re-teach what it means to have consent,” he’s right. How many frat parties are there where young ladies and gentlemen get stinking drunk and wind up doing things that they would not do if sober? It’s not just copulation, but pictures, almost always of the girls, taken in various stages of undress or in flagrante dilecto, and posted on the internet, which can have long-lasting implications, or even, as Donald Douglas reported, dying from drunken stupidity. Colleges need to point this out, simply as a matter of due diligence, because the mixture of raging hormones, youthful daredevilry and alcohol does not always lead to happy endings.

Colleges will never be able to completely eliminate alcohol use — even the Naval Academy failed in this — but they can damned well point out what problems can occur.

Mr McCain is correct that Mr Bernstein seems to want to repeal human nature: young men and women get horny and want sex, and alcohol loosens the inhibitions which normally restrain such people from being too stupid about it, but the legal implications are now very serious. What seems like a great idea when you’re intoxicated isn’t always so great the next morning, and taking such serious decisions — and the decision to copulate is always a very serious one — when you’re drunk can expose you to the consequences of drunken decisions.

Mr McCain derided Mr Bernstein with the sentence, “All men must submit to feminist re-education, so angry lesbians can teach them to be as meek and harmless as geriatric eunuchs,” but I think that he missed the point. It’s true enough that the radical feminists have a real problem with males being actual men, but what Mr Bernstein was talking about isn’t males being men, but males not being men, males being thugs, males being criminals. Males can be rapists, but actual men are not.

Obviously at a law school!