From time to time, someone who blogs at The Atlantic named Conor Friedersdorf, self-identified as a Venice Beach writer, critiques columns that I write. His commentary is usually illogical and sometimes puerile — and his latest post about my prior essay on the fallout from the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case is unfortunately no exception. But before offering a reply to Friedersdorf I might offer some advice. The way to reach our goals of racial parity is not to downplay black urban male youths’ statistical underperformance in terms of test scores and GPA records, or statistical overrepresentation in criminal activity, but to
After graduating college, Friedersdorf worked for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. He began writing for The Atlantic in November 2009. He was an intern for The Daily Dish blog, and in 2010 was hired as Senior Editor and "underblogger" to Andrew Sullivan.
He graduated from Pomona College in 2002.
Never mind the unusual name, he is just a garden variety liberal kid (purporting to have "right-leaning views" - yeah, right), who "underblogged" for Andrew Sullivan. And probably tags along behind Sullivan wherever he goes.
When the Pelosi-Reid-Obama troika triumphantly celebrated cramming through the ACA (Affordable Care Act) over majority sentiment, they crowed that this was the president´s signature achievement and ACA soon took on the name of its creator, ObamaCare. Though not one of them, nor any of the Democrats in the Senate who voted it into law uni-partisanly had read it, they all assured us that we´d grow to really, really like it. Boy, were they wrong.
A new report from the Texas-based Quorum Report, published by longtime Texas journalist Harvey Kronberg, says that House Speaker John Boehner plans to push amnesty legislation through the House, after the primary filing deadline for candidates. The move would prevent Tea Party from challenging GOP lawmakers who support amnesty in 2014. Scott Braddock reported on Tuesday that “in recent weeks, various Texas business interests have told Quorum Report that Boehner has been telling them that he will start holding immigration votes not long after the filing deadline has passed.”
The historic IT disaster known as the Obamacare web site has been of intense interest to me, since I´ve been a Senior Software Engineer for decades, and I have personally participated in, witnessed, and reported on (as a technology reporter) a number of IT disasters. But even so, the size of the Obamacare web site catastrophe on October 1 still takes my breath away. When I first heard, shortly after October 1, that there was 500 million lines of code in Healthcare.gov, I quickly rejected that figure, because it´s impossible.
In politics, process matters often nearly as much as — if not more than — substance, and the procedure by which the filibuster was weakened last week by Senate Democrats is likely far more problematic than the rank hypocrisy of their doing so. It is hard to view the Democratic majority’s use of the “nuclear option” as anything other than an admission of weakness and of curbed ambition. After the increasingly problematic Obamacare debacle, it seems as though President Obama and his fellow Democrats have given up the hope of governing through a national consensus. Instead, Obama has signaled that
It may be that the best way conservatives can win an important political battle is to appear not to be fighting one. Harry Reid’s nuking of the Senate filibuster last week might provide the perfect opportunity. Ideologues may not want to hear this, but bear with me. The American electorate desperately wants to see somebody important appear to put the public good ahead of partisanship. Surveys for years have made this clear. The first party to convincingly offer a constructive middle ground — somewhere, anywhere — will be the first party to start escaping the astonishingly low poll numbers that plague
On Tuesday, November 12, Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse walked into Mitch McConnell’s office to clear the air. Contrary to the rumors, Sasse wanted to say, he hadn’t secretly vowed to oppose McConnell’s leadership if elected. In fact, he hadn’t been asked to make such a pledge and would never have even considered it. That was the plan, anyway. As soon as Sasse sat down, McConnell lit into him, criticizing him for working with the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) as well as for posting a viral YouTube video in which he demanded “every Republican in Washington, starting with Minority Leader
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard by now that 52 Senate Democrats voted to end the filibuster for executive branch and judicial nominees after eight years of employing it against President George W. Bush. The hypocrisy is award-worthy. And unless you can’t get cable or radio signals under that rock, you’ve no doubt heard clips from 2005 of every prominent Democrat speaking on the sanctity of the filibuster and against the “nuclear option,” and every prominent Republican saying the opposite. Control of the Senate and White House has flipped since then, and the scripts have too. But here’s
De Blasio’s recent mayoral victory was a sad day for New Yorkers. Electing him was proof that the constituency in NYC is morally, philosophically, and educationally bankrupt. And if the mayor sticks to his positions that he declared as candidate De Blasio, NYC will be financially bankrupt as well. A strong argument can be made that the entire election was a public service union push. For four years now, the public service unions have waited to negotiate their contracts until Bloomberg was out of office. The time has come for the unions. De Blasio, from a position of patronage, will roll
Fresh off the disastrous rollout of Obamacare which Senate Majority Leader Reid and (now former) Speaker of the House Pelosi rammed through Congress using unconventional procedures and with zero Republican support, his extremist wing compelled him to make yet another ham-handed move which predictably will hurt his party in the long run more than it will help it. Since the issue has for the most part been poorly explained in the major media, let me explain what has happened and why I think this will prove a major miscalculation.
A great deal of attention has been focused on the political fallout that Democrats in Congress will face because of their support for ObamaCare. Beyond video of Mary Landrieu in 2009 saying just what Obama was saying about people being allowed to keep their old health plans, surely the video of Nancy Pelosi that we had to "pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it" ought to be part of any Republican´s campaign against Democrats in the congressional midterm elections.
The second presidential midterm has historically been a disaster for the political party whose man is in the White House. In 2006, Republicans lost both houses of Congress as Bush fatigue not only led voters to vote against Republicans, but also led many Republicans to stay home. Although there have been a few anomalies -- like 1998, when the Senate Republicans´ cravenness in Clinton´s impeachment trial opened the door for modest Democrat gains; in 1986; in 1974; in 1966; in 1958; and in 1942 (a third midterm, but in a four-term presidency) -- the party in power generally suffers dramatic
A major GOP donor who told Breitbart News Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made disparaging remarks about the Tea Party movement and about Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) continues to stand by his original story after claims that the reports were not accurate. This individual reported that on the Oct. 30 fundraising call American Crossroads’ Karl Rove and Steven J. Law held with McConnell, “McConnell specifically talked about Mike Lee by name, specifically talked about Ted Cruz by name, and he specifically talked about the Tea Party by name,” the donor told Breitbart News in response to a
New York — The anchor who might beat Bill O’Reilly gets her eyelash extensions applied one at a time, with tweezers and dabs of glue, about 90 minutes before showtime, right after a motorized gun sprays foundation over her face, neck, shoulders, collarbone and sternum, wiping out a galaxy of light freckles that spreads across her — Let me stop you right there. Photos of the day Uruguay legalizes marijuana, Kiev police pull back from protesters, aging U.S. prison population and more. Tuesday´s Photos of the day Would you write this way about a man? About O’Reilly himself? At least that’s what Megyn Kelly might ask at
In August 2013 I became very sick with what I thought was a cold. After a few days I lost vision in my left eye and I checked into the hospital. I soon found out that what I thought was a summer cold was actually Strep bacteria poisoning my blood stream. The bacteria blinded my left eye, ate a hole through my heart, caused five strokes on both sides of my brain and forced the removal of my prosthetic left knee. Dr. Lee was the surgeon assigned to perform open heart surgery. What was originally scheduled to last four hours ended
The health director who approved the release of President Obama’s birth certificate has died in a plane crash, Hawaiian officials said Thursday. Loretta Fuddy died after the Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft she was travelling on went down shortly after leaving Kalaupapa Airport at around 3:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) on Wednesday. The other eight people on board were rescued, Richard Schuman, president of Makani Kai Air, told NBC News early Thursday, adding that that there was no indication as to why the plane had crashed. Fuddy hit the headlines two years ago when she approved a waiver request allowing Obama to
Fox News host Megyn Kelly has made herself the center of a racial controversy by declaring that Jesus Christ and Santa Claus are white. On Wednesday night, Kelly was responding to an article by Slate writer Aisha Harris, who wrote an article entitled “ Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore .” The popular news host told viewers of “The Kelly File,” her hit FNC program, “When I saw this headline, I kinda laughed and I said, ‘Oh, this is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it´s racist to have a white Santa.’ And by the way, for all you kids
Views of the tea party are at all-time lows in a new poll, as primary challenges to establishment Republicans continue to heat up Washington. Just 30 percent of Americans view the tea party favorably in a new Gallup poll released Wednesday, the movement’s lowest point since Gallup began polling about it during its rise in 2010. Also in a first, a majority of Americans had an unfavorable view of the tea party, at 51 percent. Similar numbers of respondents described themselves as proponents or opponents of the tea party: Twenty-two percent identified themselves as tea party supporters, while 24 percent said they
Columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked new Obamacare rules unveiled by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a late Thursday conference call, saying the Obama administration is “approach[ing] banana republic lawlessness” by issuing the decrees. Krauthammer spoke with Fox News’ Bret Baier on a panel with Juan Williams and Judge Andrew Napolitano, as the three reacted to Sebelius’ new directives for insurance companies. “This is exactly a reaction to a deep understanding among Democrats that [Obamacare] is a train wreck,” he said. “And it’s a panic reaction. As the judge said, this is utterly lawless. This now approaches banana republic lawlessness.
WASHINGTON – It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the budget deal.“Embrace the suck,” House minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi told fellow Democrats Thursday morning, a source told Politico.“We need to get this off the table so we can go forward,” she added. It’s a way of telling her colleagues the budget deal negotiated with Republicans is the best they can get. Democrats are fuming that the bipartisan budget deal doesn’t extend unemployment benefits for more than a million Americans. One of Pelosi’s top lieutenants, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Thursday it
Fearing that many people will think they have health insurance coverage when they do not, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is "urging" insurance companies to "give consumers additional time to pay their first month´s premium and still have coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014." Insurance companies should cover people who haven´t yet paid, in other words. With just a few weeks to go until Obamacare takes full effect, Sebelius announced additional changes on Thursday, some that tell insurance companies how to run their business and others that "strongly" encourage insurance companies to waive their rules -- on premium payments,
THE Internet has been abuzz over the spectacle of President Obama and the prime ministers of Britain and Denmark snapping a photo of themselves — a “selfie,” to use the mot du jour — with a smartphone at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa on Tuesday. Leaving aside whether it was appropriate, the moment captured the democratization of image making that is a hallmark of our gadget-filled, technologically rich era. Manifestly undemocratic, in contrast, is the way Mr. Obama’s administration — in hypocritical defiance of the principles of openness and transparency he campaigned on — has systematically tried
If you go down on the ice today you´re sure of a big surprise - a rare glimpse of 20 polar bears gorging on a bloody midnight feast. These photographs show a rare cluster of males, females and cubs all dining out on the remains of a whale carcass. They spent a night and a day stripping every last morsel from the mammoth sea creature. Usually Polar bears are solitary and would never tolerate being so close to each other. But with food in plentiful supply and bellies dragging on the floor they seem too lethargic to fight.Wildlife photographer Michal
The Sexiest Man Alive is being enlisted to spice up Obamacare. Pop singer Adam Levine, who won the designation from People magazine last month, is among the celebrities who’ll be promoting enrollment in online health insurance exchanges as part of a social media campaign kicking off tomorrow. With enrollment totals behind administration projections after the botched start-up of the federal exchange, 17 state exchanges joined by an advocacy group are drawing on Obama administration allies in entertainment and sports to promote sign-ups, using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Reprising a tactic President Barack Obama successfully employed in his 2012 re-election, organizers
A landmark budget agreement that passed in the U.S. House on Thursday faces certain death in the Senate unless at least five Republicans step up to support it--but so far there are no takers at all. The GOP´s Senate leaders plan to launch a procedural effort to kill the plan over a laundry list of objections--including a claim that it short-changes military veterans and other government retirees. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin conceded that he needs to find Republicans who will vote for the measure after Republicans announced their intention Thursday night to block the deal. ´We need Republican votes to pass