Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump Ejects Obama Holdover

by John and Andy Schlafly

Last Friday was Donald Trump’s seventh full day as President, but there was no time to rest. At 4:42 p.m., just as many federal bureaucrats were starting the weekend, Trump signed executive orders that carry out his pledge to temporarily restrict travel from Muslim terrorist nations, including Syria and Somalia, until we come up with a better way to identify those who would do us harm.

Under the new policy, the privilege of visiting the United States would be suspended for 90 days for citizens of 7 of the most dangerous Muslim nations. Refugee admissions would be suspended for 120 days, andSyrian refugees would be suspended indefinitely.

“We’ve taken in tens of thousands of people,” Trump said. “We know nothing about them. How can you vet somebody when you don’t know anything about them and they have no papers?”

“We have enough problems,” Trump continued. “I am going to be the president of a safe country.”

Over the weekend, thousands of apparently organized protesters disrupted airports and delayed travelers around the country, while ACLU lawyers rushed papers before Obama-appointed judges. More Americans were inconvenienced by the protesters than the handful of foreign visitors who were briefly detained by U.S. customs and immigration officials.

On Sunday Chuck Schumer, the new Senate minority leader, cried crocodile tears as he denounced “this evil order.” As President Trump commented to laughter from the media, “There’s a 5 percent chance they’re real. I think they were fake tears.”

Federal employees returned to work on Monday, and some were fired up to resist the new president’s policy. At the State Department, bureaucrats were circulating a “dissent memo” which included the sanctimonious phrase “We are better than this.”

At the Justice Department, an Obama holdover named Sally Q. Yates has been the Acting Attorney General while Senator Jeff Sessions awaits Senate confirmation as our nation’s 84th Attorney General. As a merely acting official, serving temporarily in a job to which she was not confirmed, she was supposed to be a temporary caretaker, not a policy maker.

On Monday afternoon, Yates announced that “for as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order.” By early evening, Sally Yates was no longer the Acting Attorney General.

When President Obama issued his executive orders known as DACA and DAPA, which directly violated our immigration laws by granting work permits to illegal aliens, his Justice Department defended them all the way to the Supreme Court. When President Trump issues executive orders upholding our immigration laws passed by Congress, government lawyers refuse to defend them, undermining the rule of law.

Defending the temporary suspension of entry by non-U.S. citizens, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller pointed out that “No citizen of a foreign country has a constitutional right to enter the United States.” Otherwise, anyone who is denied a visa to visit our country could sue for the massive benefits that the taxpayers provide to citizens and legal residents.

Stephen Miller also warned of the “permanent intergenerational problem of Islamic radicalism” that has transformed much of Europe into no-go zones for native Europeans. We should be concerned about similar pockets of unassimilated immigrants in our country, such as Minnesota’s large concentration of refugees from Somalia.

President Trump quickly replaced the defiant acting Attorney General Yates with a U.S. Attorney who would defend his appropriate executive order limiting foreign citizens from seven Muslim nations from entering into our country. Trump appointed Dana J. Boente, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who said he will enforce Trump’s order.

An Attorney General who served under President George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, pointed out that Yates should have resigned from her position if she disagreed with Trump’s executive order about immigration from certain nations associated with terrorism. Yates could have attempted to persuade Trump to change the order if she disagreed with it, and she should have then resigned if she did not want to enforce it.

Instead, the Obama-appointed Yates sent out a blanket order to all attorneys in the Department of Justice not to defend an order by the President, for whom Yates and all Department of Justice attorneys work.

Defiance by Democrats continued in the Senate in their unprecedented walking out of committee votes on two of Trump’s nominations to his Cabinet, Rep. Tom Price for the Department of Health & Human Services and Steven Mnuchin for the Treasury Department. Both nominees have majority support on the Senate Finance Committee and in the entire Senate, but the Democrats resorted to stall tactics to delay their confirmation.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), one of the longest-serving and most mild-mannered members of the U.S. Senate, criticized the stunt as “the most pathetic thing I’ve seen in my whole time in the United States Senate. I think they [the Democrats] ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots.”

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Women want to stay home with kids

The NY Times reports:
Why Women Quit Working: It’s Not for the Reasons Men Do ...

Certainly women who have dropped out are not typically encumbered in the same ways as many men. They are much less likely to have a criminal record or a disability. They are getting college degrees in greater numbers, and many of the sectors that they have traditionally dominated — lower-paid service jobs — are growing compared with middle-class occupations where men have ruled. Nor are they whiling away their jobless hours playing video games, which some economists suspect is helping to lure men away from the time clock.

But women are still the primary caregivers — for children, aging parents and ailing relatives.

“Child care, that’s my main thing,” Krystin Stevenson said, explaining why she had not yet returned to the work force.

Hardly any men who have dropped out say it is because they are helping with children or other family members, said Nicholas Eberstadt, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
Maybe this is news to the NY Times, but it has been true for centuries.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Darkness of the Women’s March

by John and Andy Schlafly

President Trump’s inaugural address was well received by the people who voted for him, but the media reacted with predictable hostility as the plain-spoken non-politician repeated the themes he used so successfully during the campaign. Newspapers called the speech dark, a word that was repeated by almost every reporter.

Trump was certainly blunt about the challenges facing our country, but his address was sweetness and light compared to the truly dark rhetoric of those who demonstrated in Washington the following day. It was billed as the “Women’s March” on Washington, but it featured every kooky cause you ever heard of (and several you probably haven’t).

Speakers at the “Women’s March” were consumed with the grievances of those who think they are oppressed by institutional prejudice. They were obsessed with the rights of illegal immigrants, Black Lives Matter, Muslims, refugees, and unusual sexual preferences.

Abortion was repeatedly celebrated at the march, which was co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood. Most speakers used the euphemism “reproductive rights,” although one speaker, Kierra Johnson, said “I am unapologetically abortion positive.”

A speaker named America Ferrera announced, “As a first-generation American born to Honduran immigrants, it has been a heart wrenching time to be a woman in this country. Our rights have been under attack. Our freedom is on the chopping block for the next four years.” Doesn’t Ms. Ferrera realize how fortunate she is to be a woman born in the United States, instead of Honduras?

Muriel Bowser, the self-proclaimed “chick mayor” of Washington, D.C., “soon to be the 51st state” (not!), said: “Mayors have to stand up for immigration rights, for reproductive rights, for LGBTQ rights. We have to stand up to fight climate change from the mayor’s office.”
The next speaker, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, seemed out of place as he told the mostly female audience to “call Congress on Monday and tell your Senators we do not accept Betsy DeVos as our Secretary of Education.” Conservative women were not welcome at the Women’s March.

Actress Ashley Judd kept repeating “I’m a nasty woman” among other vulgar chants. “I feel Hitler in these streets,” she continued, as she raged against “racism, homophobia, trans-phobia, misogyny, and white privilege.”

Zahra Billoo, speaking on behalf of the radical Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said: “I am an American Muslim woman, a daughter of immigrants, a person of color, a community organizer, and a civil rights lawyer. I am proud to be among Donald Trump’s worst nightmares.”

She went on: “Our liberation is interconnected. When Muslims are harassed by the FBI, when our LGBTQ friends are attacked in hate crimes, when our black brothers and sisters are gunned down by police officers, when what is left of native land continues to be stolen, and when undocumented individuals among us are targeted, we all hurt. But we are also fired up.”

The next speaker was Janet Mock, who proclaimed: “I stand here as someone who has written herself onto this stage to unapologetically proclaim that I am a trans woman-writer-activist-revolutionary of color.” Janet Mock, it turns out, used to be Charles Mock before he had surgery in Thailand to mutilate his male anatomy.

By her own account, Janet Mock’s Siamese surgery was financed with money that Charles had earned as a teenage prostitute, or as Janet now says, a “sex worker.” Do American women really have something to learn from that bizarre experience?

“Our approach to freedom must be intersectional,” Mock continued. “My liberation is directly linked to the liberation of the undocumented trans Latina yearning for refuge, the disabled student seeking unequivocal access, the sex worker fighting to make her living safely.”

Mock was referring to the trendy doctrine of intersectional feminism, which defines the feminist movement within a general theory that all minority groups are victims of oppression by white men. That explains why 82-year-old Gloria Steinem was almost the only non-minority on the program.

Signs proclaimed “refugees welcome” and many speakers referred to them. Why refugees at a women’s march? These things don’t happen by accident: a tax-funded refugee contractor helped sponsor the march.

“If you are coming to the March, join our HIAS delegation and speak out in support of refugees. HIAS will provide signs and stickers,” according to the website of an organization that receives more than half of its income from U.S. taxpayers.

Other tax-funded agencies were there, too. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards organized a mass call-in to members of Congress to keep the funds flowing to her organization from which she draws a salary of well over $500,000 a year.

One demonstrator, who apparently didn’t get the memo about intersectional grievances, carried a homemade sign that read: “Women are foolish to think they are equal to men. They are far superior.”

Yes, women are superior to men in some ways, because only they can bring us the future by bearing children. But to make that future a brighter one requires defense of motherhood, something that a real women’s march (the March for Life) does this Friday.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

St. Louis article on Eagle split

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
ST. LOUIS • The late conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly formed her storied national grass-roots organization, the St. Louis-area-based Eagle Forum, more than 40 years ago.

It took one 40-minute phone call last April for it to start coming apart. ...

It will all be on display in the St. Louis area this week, when two groups of people who each claim to be the real heirs to Schlafly’s movement hold concurrent events a few miles apart.
One side had the blessing of Phyllis Schlafly, while the other side sued to cut her off from the organization she founded.
“I’m very sorry to say my mother was isolated from her best friends in the last six months of her life,” Cori said in an interview last week. “There were a number of people who were banned from seeing her.”

She added: “I had no conflict with my brothers before the advent of Ed Martin.”
I am one of those brothers, and our mother was not isolated from any of her friends. Except for the last couple of weeks of her life, any of her friends could call her or visit her at any time.

I had nothing to do with Ed Martin. He was hired by the Eagle Forum boards, and could have been similarly fired, if the boards were unhappy with him.

The bigger issue is Donald Trump, not Martin:
“We have no respect for that man [Trump],” former longtime Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams told the Dallas Morning News shortly after Trump’s St. Louis event. “[Schlafly’s endorsement] is going to be widely dismissed. At 91, it is just totally unfair to impose upon someone who has such a beautiful legacy.”

Without naming Martin, Adams added that “I think this was very much a manipulation. When you’re 91 and you’re not out with the grass-roots all the time, it is very much taking advantage of someone.”
So this gang of 6 is attempting a hostile takeover of Eagle Forum c4 because they hate Trump and they hate Martin.

It was absolutely Phyllis Schlafly's own personal intention to endorse Donald Trump. She wrote articles and gave interviews about how he was the right man in 2016, just as Ronald Reagan was the right man in 1980. She coauthored a book with Martin. No one could have manipulated her into such a decision, if she did not want to.

President Trump just thanked Phyllis Schlafly in a speech Thursday evening. The NeverTrumpers are certainly not the heirs to her movement.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump thanks Phyllis

Here is the video:
Donald Trump thanks Phyllis Schlafly during the Inauguration VIP Dinner for her early support of him in the 2016 campaign.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Democrats hate new Education Secretary

Politico reports:
After her bumpy confirmation hearing Tuesday night, President-elect Donald Trump’s Education secretary pick was a social media sensation Wednesday. Video snippets showed DeVos struggling to answer questions about the best way to measure student performance. Her suggestion that allowing states to permit guns in and around schools could help protect against grizzly bears was relentlessly mocked on Twitter. Perhaps most damaging was DeVos’ suggestion that states should handle enforcement of a federal law that protects the civil rights of children with disabilities.
Sound bad? Not if you actually listen to what she said.

Al Franken asked a rambling and incoherent question about testing proficiency and growth, and she answered:
“I think if I am understanding your question correctly around proficiency, I would correlate it to competency and mastery, so that each student is measured according to the advancements that they’re making in each subject area,” DeVos said.
Franken went on to rant about having limited time to ask questions, but he wasted all his time to give a speech.

The answer seems completely correct to me.
Earlier, Tim Kaine had asked DeVos whether all schools that receive taxpayer funding should be required to meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

“I think that is a matter better left to the states,” DeVos responded.
The point of Kaine's question was whether she would continue the extremist Obama administration policy of using the federal govt to force local schools to allow boys to use the girls bathrooms and locker rooms.

I sure hope she wants to leave the matter to the states and local school boards.
The grizzly bear comment came in response to questions from Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) about gun control in schools. DeVos said decisions on gun access should be made by local and state governments. She then referred to a small rural school in Wapiti, Wyo., where earlier in the hearing, Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) had said the school had to ward off grizzly bears.

“I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies,” DeVos said.
The point is that if a Wyoming school neads to take measures to stay safe from bears, then the feds should not interfere.

DeVos is hated by the leftists and public school teachers associations because she wants parents to have some choice about where they send their kids to school. The Democrats depend on brainwashing the next generation, and the last thing they want is a parental right to opt-out of the brainwashing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Hazing of the President

by John and Andy Schlafly

A new president is supposed to enjoy a “honeymoon” of good will and support from the press and public after he assumes the office once held by George Washington. But Donald Trump and his Cabinet nominees are receiving what can only be described as a hazing without precedent in recent American history.

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a member of Congress for more than 30 years, has received inordinate attention for his irresponsible declaration that “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.” We’re told he’s a “civil rights icon,” but in his 30 years in Congress John Lewis cast more than 100 votes against legislation to protect the civil rights of unborn children.

Lewis is one of more than 38 Democratic Congressmen who announced their intention to boycott the presidential inauguration this year. Their boycott has been joined by an assortment of celebrities from Hollywood and the music industry, such as Elton John and Celine Dion, who declined invitations to perform at inaugural-related events.

One of the boycotters is the Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, who decided not to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony after “Boycott Bocelli” appeared up on social media and the blind tenor decided he was “getting too much heat.” Trump, who once hosted an evening with Bocelli at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, said, “It’s sad people on the left kept him from performing on a historic day.”

Another singing star, Jennifer Holliday, reneged on her commitment to perform, saying: “I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgment and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.” She and her family reported receiving anonymous death threats from fans feigning outrage that she would use her talent to honor our new president.

Another no-show is the singer BeyoncĂ© Knowles, who was caught lip-syncing “The Star Spangled Banner” to pre-recorded accompaniment at the last presidential inauguration in 2013. BeyoncĂ©’s faked performance was a closely guarded secret until someone noticed that the superb musicians in the U.S. Marine Band were merely pretending to play their instruments while the band’s director, Col. Michael Colburn, was energetically pretending to conduct them.

An anti-Trump boycott was declared against the L.L. Bean catalog store merely because Linda Bean, a granddaughter of the founder and one of 50 family members who co-own the company, had supported Trump. Linda Bean courageously protested the “bullying” campaign against her which would injure the company’s 9,000 employees.

When asked to justify his statement that Trump is not “a legitimate president,” Rep. John Lewis claimed there was “a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others to help him get elected.” Lewis’s conspiracy theory was ironic to conservatives who were accused of “McCarthyism” whenever they warned about the dangers of Communism.

During the Cold War, there really was a worldwide conspiracy based in Moscow in which Soviet Communists manipulated liberal fellow travelers and other “useful idiots” to subvert the American way of life. Communism collapsed in Russia 25 years ago, but four years ago President Obama influenced the presidential election by concealing his planned appeasement of Putin.

While running for reelection in 2012, President Obama told Putin’s puppet president Medvedev: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, it’s important for him (Putin) to give me space. After my election I have more flexibility” — to which Medvedev replied in English, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Once he was safely reelected, in March 2013 Obama cancelled plans to build missile defense interceptors in Poland. Obama’s decision gave Putin exactly what he wanted and effectively ended President Reagan’s vision of strategic defense against Russia’s dangerous nuclear-armed ICBMs.
The hazing of the new administration goes beyond Trump himself, who often fights back on Twitter, and extends to nominees for Cabinet positions. First up was Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware asked Tillerson to support the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the U.S. Senate has refused to ratify for the last 34 years. Mr. Tillerson wisely disavowed his previous support for the treaty “in a different role” as CEO of Exxon Mobil, saying that in his new role in the Trump administration, “I acknowledge the concerns people have about subjecting any of our activities to international courts.”

The Democrats’ obsession with “climate change” consumed much time in the hearings, as the new California Senator Kamala Harris berated the nominee for CIA director to say that he believed in it. She also asked Mike Pompeo to commit that his “personal views” on “the importance of having a traditional family structure for raising children will not impact internal policies at the CIA.”

Not to be outdone, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren demanded of Dr. Ben Carson, “What other actions will you take to adapt to or prevent climate change while you are HUD Secretary?” Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown asked Dr. Carson if he believes that “HUD has a duty to provide housing opportunities for LGBTQ people.”

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Trump-haters are personae non gratae

The Wash. Post reports:
They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again.

But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered. In Trump world, these establishment all-stars say they are “PNG” — personae non gratae.

Their transgression was signing one or both of two public “Never Trump” letters during the campaign, declaring they would not vote for Trump and calling his candidacy a danger to the nation. ...

Some of the “Never Trump” letters signers fear they are at the bottom of the pecking order, below those who expressed verbal opposition to Trump’s campaign but did not sign either of the letters.
Here is a typical comment:
What were they expecting??? For Trump to say, "Awww, shucks, I know you didn't really mean it! C'mon in! Business as usual, boys!"
They were as vile as the Dems. Why should those who behaved like children get to sit at the adults' table?
OK, Trump doesn't have much experience in some areas. He'll be able to find other competent advisors --without those losers. That's what any successful businessman would do.
And another:
Why would anyone hire someone who vowed to have you defeated?!
Trump does not need back-stabbing Republicans. He might be better off hiring Democrats.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Soros bets against America

BI/Yahoo reports:
Hedge fund legend George Soros lost a lot of money following the election of Donald Trump, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Journal's Gregory Zuckerman and Juliet Chung, citing people familiar with Soros' trading, the billionaire became bearish directly after the victory of Trump and those bets seem to have come back to bite him. ...

Soros was a supporter of Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton, contributing millions to super PACs backing her campaign, ...

Since Trump's victory, Soros has continued to criticize him, ...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Obamacare Repeal Is on the Way

by John and Andy Schlafly

As soon as the newly elected 115th Congress was gaveled to order last week, both houses got to work on the long-promised effort to “repeal and replace” the failed legislation known as Obamacare. The Senate, with its more cumbersome rules, began 50 hours of debate on a budget resolution that will eventually repeal much of the law by reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority of 51 Senators.

In the House, “replace” was launched with a bill endorsed by the 170-member Republican Study Committee, which is by far the largest caucus in the chamber. In introducing the bill, RSC chairman Mark Walker and lead sponsor Dr. Phil Roe stressed their intention to protect the small number of Americans who currently benefit from Obamacare, while improving the system for the much larger number who have been harmed.

Only about 16 million Americans (5% of our population) directly benefit from Obamacare. That number includes 12 million covered by Medicaid expansion plus 11 million who bought insurance on the exchanges, minus 7 million of those who previously had insurance.

Another estimate by the American Action Forum puts the number of Obamacare beneficiaries at only 13-14 million people, which is just 4% of the population. On the other hand, about 8 million Americans have been hit with fines for refusing to buy an inferior product.

For the great majority of Americans who received no benefit from Obamacare, their damages include higher premiums for health insurance, higher deductibles, higher taxes to fund the system, and reduced competition among insurance providers. It’s no wonder that polls have consistently shown that Americans want to throw out Obama’s signature law and start over with better ideas.

A poll by CNN in July 2014 reported that only 18% of Americans believed that Obamacare made them or their families better off, while 35% said it made them worse off. More recently, a poll conducted in February 2016 by the liberal National Public Radio (NPR), which spent years promoting Obamacare with our tax dollars, found that only 15% of those polled said they were personally benefited or directly helped by Obamacare, while 26% said they were directly harmed by the law.

The fraud of Obamacare started with calling itself “affordable.” Its basic theory was to force everyone to buy a very expensive standardized plan, and then set up a complex system of subsidies to help people pay for what they can’t afford.

To accomplish that impossible goal, the Democratic Congress in 2010 passed a 2,500-page bill, which the Obama administration reinforced with 20,000 pages of regulations. The new Republican bill, at only 184 pages, understands that the key to making health insurance “affordable” is to allow people to save money by buying the insurance they need for their families, without the unwanted mandated benefits that jack up the price.

So much of the high cost of health insurance is due to benefits mandated by federal and state government. The latest mandate for health insurance is to provide gender transition, including surgery, for people who feel the need to live in the opposite sex.

In California, a man serving a life sentence for murder has just received sex-reassignment surgery, and will spend the rest of his life sentence in a women’s prison. That surgery cost an estimated $100,000, which will be split between federal and state taxpayers.

In New Jersey, a woman who wants to become a man is suing a Roman Catholic hospital for refusing to perform a hysterectomy. The lawsuit claims that an Obamacare regulation requires all hospitals, regardless of their religious beliefs, not to “discriminate” against transgender persons.

So long as the medical profession observed the 2,500-year-old Hippocratic Oath, which cautions first, do no harm, most doctors would refuse to remove a healthy organ for purely psychological reasons. Now doctors are told that basic health care for transgender persons includes surgery to mutilate their bodies by removing healthy organs.

The transgender mandate can be traced to Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which issued a new rule last May purporting to implement a provision of Obamacare. Fortunately, a federal judge in Texas has temporarily enjoined that regulation, ruling on December 31 that it “is contrary to law and exceeds statutory authority.”

The Republican “replace” bill includes several simple ideas to give families much greater freedom of choice over their own health care. It would eliminate the crippling restrictions on health savings accounts, such as the rule that prevents you from using your HSA to pay health insurance premiums.

By unleashing health savings accounts, the bill would finally realize the vision of Phyllis Schlafly’s friend, the late J. Patrick Rooney, who built Golden Rule into the nation’s largest provider of individual health insurance. Seeking to level the playing field between individual and employer-owned insurance, Rooney recognized that a part-time waitress without employer coverage should enjoy the same access to health care as a corporate executive.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Friday, January 6, 2017

School choice is a parental right

Reason blogger Robby Soave writes:
A recent New York Times story that slams the free market approach to education policy is rife with inaccuracies. Amazingly, the author of the piece misrepresents the very data she is using to build her erroneous case against school choice.

"Free Market for Education? Economists Generally Don't Buy It," claims Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy, and economics at the University of Michigan, in The Times. This is a betrayal of expectations, according to Dynarski, because economists generally understand that free markets produce better outcomes than central planners (much to the chagrin of education professors). Economists are usually the ones calling for less regulation and more unrestricted capitalism; if they're super conflicted about markets in education, that would be a serious indictment of the school choice approach.
He is right that the NY Times is lying about the data, but I have a different point. It gives the impression that most economists are against school choice, but only about 5% are against it.

Both sides are a little sloppy about what is meant by terms like "better outcomes" and "higher quality". They act as if there is some agreement about what is better.

If there were agreement about what is better, then we could require the public schools to do that. But there is no such consensus. For example, some say teaching English is paramount while others are more concerned with LGBT bathrooms.

Free markets in things like cars give better outcomes partially because competition forces higher quality cars, but also because diverse cars are better able to meet the demands of consumers.

Supposed you asked: Would consumers be better served by having a choice of cars to buy?

Most everyone would say yes, because having a choice is better than not having a choice.

So why would anyone say that choice leads to a worse outcome? Presumably they think worse schools will somehow trick students into going there. Or maybe they don't like the costs of competition, such as undermining teachers unions. For example, the Democrat Party gets a lot of support from public school teachers unions, so it is against anything that the teachers unions don't like.

Is there a concern that people will choose worse schools? If so, then how is it that economists or other do-gooders know better than the parents?

This goes right to the heart of the merits of school choice. The best argument for school choice is not that charter school students will have better test scores or other objectively-defined advantages.

The better argument is that parents should have the right and authority to decide what is best for them and their kids. One school might suit the needs of a particular child better. Choice also makes the school more accountable to the parents, so they can switch to another school if something is unsatisfactory.

Leftists generally believe that families should not have that sort of autonomy, and that the schools should be used to indoctrinate the next generation and absorb them into the collective. So leftists hate school choice.

Discussion of charter school test scores is a smoke screen. Likewise with homeschooler test scores. I guess some parent homeschool their kids in the hope of getting higher test scores. but most have other reasons, and those parents should have the right to base their own decisions on their own judgments and priorities.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Stay Engaged: The Battle Resumes on Jan. 20

by John and Andy Schlafly

As soon as the election results sank in, sleepy federal bureaucrats woke up and shifted into high gear, furiously finalizing regulations that could be issued before President Obama leaves office. According to The New York Times, President Obama “is using every power at his disposal to cement his legacy and establish his priorities as the law of the land,” and the new rules are “intended to set up as many policy and ideological roadblocks as possible before Mr. Trump takes his oath of office on Jan. 20.”

Some of these last-minute regulations can be revoked by President Trump on his first day in office. Others can be overturned by Congress under the Congressional Review Act, a process that requires only 51 Senate votes if the Senate acts within 60 legislative days after the rules were published.

Washington’s permanent governing class is also preparing to fight the new president in every possible way. Ground zero of the opposition is the Center for American Progress (CAP), which employs hundreds of staffers and enjoys a budget of $50 million.

“Our goal is to be the central hub of the Trump resistance,” CAP’s president recently announced. It has just hired retiring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s deputy chief of staff, who said, “I hope to bring a relentlessly aggressive attitude” to the organization whose website promises to “push back rapidly and forcefully” against the incoming Trump administration.

Founded in 2003 by John Podesta, who took a leave of absence to run Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, CAP is now run by a former Hillary aide named Neera Tanden. Since 2011 she has been president of both CAP itself, which claims to be a nonpartisan think tank, and its affiliated “action fund,” which shares the same office and staff.

In the 1970s, Phyllis Schlafly pioneered the idea of having (c)(3) and (c)(4) organizations work together under one roof, each with its own separate board and tax status, but with common leadership and staff. For decades, her organizations were the only major interest group to adopt that dual structure, which was blessed by a 1983 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Unlike Phyllis Schlafly, who frugally managed small donations from thousands of supporters, Neera Tanden enjoys millions of dollars in grants from major corporations and foundations. Among the household names that have given five- to seven-figure donations to CAP are Walmart, AT&T, Microsoft, Facebook, Citibank and Bank of America.

With major corporations funding the opposition to Trump, and with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce openly opposing Trump’s popular positions on trade and immigration, the Trump administration will have to fight on every front to accomplish what his supporters are expecting. Many of the same corporations that fund the Left to oppose Trump are also funding the Republican Congress, where they will try to enact Speaker Paul Ryan’s agenda instead of President Trump’s.

President-elect Trump is preparing for the coming battle by keeping “the two Steves” on board. While the media focuses on the parade of people being nominated for various cabinet secretaries, the President-elect’s most important appointments were for his White House staff: Stephen K. Bannon as chief strategist (formal title: senior counselor to the president) and Stephen Miller as chief speechwriter (formal title: senior adviser to the president for policy).

The value of Steve Bannon can be judged by testimonial published last week by the great David Horowitz, who has chronicled a lifetime of battling the Left in a series of books including Radical Son. Horowitz, who also helped Stephen Miller start a conservative student club at Duke University, nominated Stephen Bannon for “man of the year” because of Bannon’s indispensable role in guiding Trump to victory.

Horowitz sees in Bannon what Bannon saw in Trump: someone with “an affinity for the blue-collar voters who eventually put Trump over the top. Instinctively combative, Bannon understood how important it was for the candidate to break free from the mainstream media filter that was busy crucifying him.”

“Most importantly,” Horowitz wrote, “Bannon and Trump shared a courage unique in Republican quarters. Call it character. The ability to stand firm under fire. For Bannon and Trump, getting America back on track took precedence over hurt progressive feelings. They did not back down under even the heaviest left-wing fire.”

In his own year-end interview with his former colleagues at Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon promised: “I think 2017 will be, actually, more exciting than 2016 was.” But he cautioned Trump supporters to “stay engaged” in order to “hold people accountable.”

“The Hobbits and the Deplorables had a great run in 2016,” Bannon continued. “Everybody mocked them and ridiculed them, and now they’ve spoken. I think people are engaged; they feel like they have a voice. It’s going to be a great year. Stay engaged.”

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Remembering Phyllis Schlafly

Donald T. Critchlow writes in Politico:
Phyllis Schlafly, who died in September at age 92, left as her greatest legacy the election of Donald Trump.

A longtime grass-roots conservative activist, Schlafly got on board the Trump steamroller early on when, in March 2016, she rose from her sick bed to join the candidate on stage at a primary rally in St. Louis. Ill with terminal cancer, she stood with the help of aides as she told the enthusiastic crowd, “I think he has the courage and the energy — you know you have to have energy for that job — in order to bring some changes, to do what the grass roots want him to do, because this is a grass-roots uprising. We’ve been following the losers for so long. Now we’ve got a guy who’s going to lead us to victory.”

For those who followed Schlafly’s long political life, her support for Trump should not have come as a surprise. ...

Schlafly first came onto the national scene in 1964 as the best-selling author of A Choice, Not an Echo, a book she self-published in support of the Barry Goldwater movement and that sold millions of copies. She represented a grass-roots populist sentiment that stood against globalism, internationalism and crony capitalism. ...

Even if she died before witnessing it, Trump’s election marked a final victory for Schlafly and the populist right. Of course, the full extent of that victory will be determined by Trump’s success in the White House, but there’s no question that Schlafly will be remembered for the passionate activism that helped get him there.