Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Lessons of Wendy Davis’s Success Story


Her false heroic tale fits in with the Left’s women-can-do-it-themselves propaganda.

‘I came from a place of struggle,” insisted Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis after theDallas Morning News revealed that key details of the life story she had successfully shopped to the mainstream media were false. She wasn’t a 19-year-old mom when she was first divorced, but 21. She lived with her second husband in the very comfortable Mistletoe Heights neighborhood of Fort Worth, not in a trailer park made famous in a thousand admiring profiles. She lived in the trailer park for just a few months. One of Ms. Davis’s struggles, apparently, is with the truth.

Davis isn’t the first politician to campaign falsely as an up-from-poverty candidate. William Henry Harrison, scion of a wealthy family, campaigned in 1840 as the “log cabin and hard cider” candidate against Martin Van Buren. It worked, though Harrison didn’t live to relish his success. The story about his two-hour inaugural address causing him to catch pneumonia is probably untrue — he didn’t fall ill until three weeks later. It may have been the snakeweed or leeches that gave him the septicemia that killed him, or it may have been the office seekers, who reportedly so crowded the White House that he couldn’t find a place to rest when he felt sick.

You might suppose that reflections on the Internet age — and the impossibility of hiding the truth — will now follow the tale of Harrison’s successful deception. Not really. What’s surprising about the Davis tale is that someone actually took the trouble to question her account, because her “narrative” appeals so strongly to the liberal imagination. We just love the “little woman who conquers the world” stories, especially if (well, okay, only if) she favors abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, a higher minimum wage, and universal pre-K.

Davis did grow up in difficult circumstances — her parents divorced and Davis went to work early. She also made poor decisions, moving in with a boyfriend at the age of 17.

Her story of working hard to better herself, first at community college and then at Texas Christian University and Harvard Law School is a tribute to her tenacity and intelligence.

But it requires a pretty calculating coldness to omit from her story husband number two, Jeff Davis, the lawyer she married when she was 24 and lived with for 18 years. It was he who paid her tuition at TCU and Harvard Law, cashing out his 401(k) and borrowing money to do it. It was he who cared for her two daughters while she went to Boston to study law for three years. And it was he who got custody (with no contest) after the divorce. He notes ruefully that she left the marriage at a key juncture: “It was ironic,” Davis told the Dallas Morning News, “I made the last [Harvard] payment, and it was the next day she left.”

No outsider can ever know what goes on in a marriage and it isn’t our place to speculate, but Davis herself made her single-mother-beats-the-odds personal story a key part of her campaign. Just before the Dallas Morning News story broke, Davis was the subject of a fawning profile on the Today Show. Maria Shriver introduced the story of the plucky gubernatorial aspirant over chyrons touting “Doing it all” and “On her own two feet.” Her personal story, we were told, “resonated across this country.” Davis visited the trailer park with Shriver, and spoke of having to scrape together enough money to keep the lights on, sometimes working two jobs. Her 18-year marriage to a man who committed himself to her welfare and went into debt to help her achieve her career goals was practically airbrushed out, just mentioned in passing — “she married again for a time” — to explain the appearance of her second daughter. The rest is Harvard triumphalism and her star turn filibustering an abortion law in the Texas senate.

Wendy Davis achieved success the way most successful people do — through hard work and the support of a loving family. She, and the press who lionize her, seem all too eager to suggest that she somehow did everything all by herself. This false heroic tale is a common trope on the left these days — women doing it all by themselves. It’s more than partisan hackery. It reinforces the very damaging notion that women don’t need husbands. Many, many women are swallowing this propaganda and acting on it. They, their children, and our society are suffering mightily as a result.

Source — Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2014 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Chromosone-free San Francisco: Free Crack Pipes Urged To Slow Spread Of HIV


SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Brows were raised and eyes rolled back when needle exchange programs were first implemented to stop the spread of disease. Giving away free and clean syringes to heroin users seemed preposterous to many. Now it is a common practice and almost universally accepted as a means to prevent the spread of HIV. Could the same happen with free crack pipes?
Soon after our story was posted Friday, KPIX 5 received a flurry of phone calls and emails from city officials denouncing the idea to distribute the crack pipes.
Mayor Ed Lee was first with a statement, via an email from his spokesperson, Christine Falvey: “Mayor Lee is not aware of this exploration and is not supportive. There are many other HIV interventions that could and should be explored before ever considering this.”
Barbara Garcia, Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, elaborated in a phone call to KPIX 5.
“This is a recommendation from a community group,” Garcia said. “And we get lots of different kinds of recommendations. That recommendation has not come to me. And I’m telling you that if it did, I would say ‘absolutely no, we are not going to distribute crack pipes.’ We have a lot of things to consider for those who are using crack for improving their health. And the distribution of crack pipes is not something I’m going to consider.”
Earlier, Tracey Packer, the director of community health equity for the San Francisco Dept. of Public Health, said the city of San Francisco may examine the idea. Packer oversees the city’s HIV prevention efforts.
“It is inaccurate to say we are ‘considering’ the program,” Packer said. “We are at the exploration point. We are looking at data and information.”
Crack pipe distribution programs have been successful in Canada, said Laura Thomas, a member of the HIV Health Services Planning Council (HPPC), the group that recently suggested San Francisco consider a similar program.
“San Francisco has a long history of being at the cutting edge of things that we have turned out to be very right on… and I would like to see this one be another of those things that we were right about before the rest of the country catches on,” said Thomas.
Why give out free crack pipes? Unlike used needles, which pierce the skin and can immediately infect someone who shares it, the sharing of crack pipes doesn’t have that same likelihood of physical contamination of HIV.
Instead, officials said, the main focus of this program would be as an outreach effort. Crack users are a population identified as at major risk to have HIV and they often become disconnected from medical services and stop taking their medicine.
“It may seem counter intuitive, but it’s a great program,” said Thomas.  “Once you can bring people into your program, make them feel respected, taken care of, then they’re more likely to come back and get on HIV meds and want to be engaged and taking care of their health.”
Thomas is also the Deputy State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. When we asked her about the inevitable negative reaction, she said it’s all part of a learning curve.
“It’s similar to the reaction a lot of people had to needle exchange in the early years where as now, it’s very well accepted that syringe access is incredibly effective and cost effective at reducing new HIV transmissions,” she said. “Unfortunately, the cost of that learning curve is often peoples’ lives and we don’t have time to waste on this, so we need to start implementing this now.”
The HPPC has put together a study group to consider whether such a program would work in San Francisco. There is also a question of legality, considering crack pipes are considered illegal drug paraphernalia.
“We rely on our community partners to bring us information on health risks in the community,” said Packer. “We will work with the council to explore the data around this issue.”
Harmeet K. Dhillon, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, voiced disapproval of the recommendation.
“Continuing the theme of San Francisco being the Utopian petri dish of America, this is the utmost of San Francisco absurdity,” Dhillon said. “The use and abuse of cocaine in every form is a serious scourge on the most vulnerable populations in our city, but rather than fighting the problem and providing real solutions to these addicts, we just seem to be giving up and enabling their self-destructive behavior. There is zero evidence showing that handing out ‘clean’ crack pipes to addicts will do anything to prevent the spread of HIV and other diseases, and this just sounds like another pathetic idea to entertain viewers of ‘The Daily Show.’”

Hillary2016 Update Reflected in Benghazi Poll?


Do you agree with the bipartisan Senate report's conclusion on the Benghazi attack that the attack was preventable?

Read more:

Number of millionaires explode in spite of Obama's anti-American, anti-energy independence agenda


Number of millionaires per capita in North Dakota skyrockets

FARGO - North Dakota has made impressive gains in climbing up the ladder of millionaires per capita.

A new report shows North Dakota jumped 14 slots – the biggest rise of any state – in the rankings for 2013 by Phoenix Marketing International.

The Flickertail State ranked 29th, a bit below the middle of the pack, in the ratio of millionaires to total households. That ratio, 4.59 percent, lags behind the national average, 5.16 percent.

The rankings measure investable wealth and glean information from the Federal Reserve, Census Bureau and Nielsen Co., a polling firm.

Next-door neighbor Minnesota ranked 14th, with a millionaire ratio of 5.56 percent.

Still, North Dakota’s rise in millionaires last year was meteoric, thanks largely to the booming Oil Patch.

“It’s a little rare to see a state jump like North Dakota did,” said David Thompson, managing director for Phoenix Marketing International.

“It’s not unexpected, given the economic boom you’re having out that way,” he added.

In 2007, before the oil boom really took off, North Dakota ranked 47th, and remained near the bottom until surging last year.

“There is no doubt that the increase in millionaires in North Dakota is a result of the western North Dakota energy production,” said Paul Meyers, a financial consultant and president of Legacy Wealth Management in Fargo.

In western North Dakota, monthly oil royalties ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 are not unusual, he said.

“When you have that kind of income, your net worth is going to grow, and you’re going to start making that millionaire’s list pretty fast,” Meyers added.

Despite the obvious gusher of money from the oil boom, other factors have helped drive up wealth in North Dakota.

The rise in farmland values is a big factor in North Dakota’s mushrooming wealth, Meyers said.

He noted that a 640-acre section of farmland worth $5,000 an acre is worth $3.2 million. “I think land values are a big part of it,” Meyers said, referring to wealth gains in the state.

North Dakota had a record 1,126 people who reported incomes of more than $1 million on their 2012 income tax returns, according to state Tax Department records.

Although the Tax Department does not track average incomes by county, a compilation of incomes by school district shows oil-producing areas have the highest average incomes.

Figures for 2011, the most recent comparisons available, show the average income for the Williston School District was $114,746, compared to $79,438 in Dickinson, $59,621 in Fargo and $56,292 in Grand Forks.

Although millionaires still make up a small part of the population, the rise in per capita income in North Dakota has been significant.

In 2012, North Dakota’s per capita income was $51,893, ranking it sixth in the nation, above the $42,693 level for the United States. In 2003, North Dakota’s per capita income, $27,161, ranked 38th, and lagged behind the $31,481 figure for the U.S.

North Dakota’s not the kind of place where people flaunt their wealth, with ostentatious displays of fashion unusual, Meyers said. In recent years, farmers have felt freer to buy expensive farm machinery, he said.

High-end marketers could take notice of North Dakota’s dramatic upswing in wealth, Thompson said. “These luxury marketers go where the money is,” he said.


Crony Communist Bloomberg's One Last Act Of Sleeze


EXCLUSIVE: Bloomberg gave 311 contract worth $10M to company behind Obamacare rollout

CGI, the Montreal-based company that was fired by the feds after the botched rollout of, was awarded a contract by the Bloomberg administration to overhaul the city's 311 call system — hours before Bill de Blasio was sworn in as mayor.

 Then-Mayor Bloomberg made the call to give contract to improve the 311 system to a firm at the center of Obamacare website fiasco.


Then-Mayor Bloomberg made the call to give the contract to improve the 311 system to CGI, the firm at the center of Obamacare website fiasco.

In one of its final acts, the Bloomberg administration pushed through a costly contract to modernize the city's 311 call system — hiring the same company fired by the feds for the botched rollout of the Obamacare website.
The city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, known as DoITT, awarded the contract to the Montreal-based company CGI on Dec. 31, hours before Bill de Blasio was sworn in as mayor.
Bloomberg administration officials were keen on approving the deal because the former mayor sees the 311 hotline as one his legacies, sources said.
But rival companies are up in arms, saying CGI has little if any experience managing call centers. A website,, has popped up to protest the contract.
CGI has never overhauled “a 311-type system,” said a source in the information technology industry.
“We’re transferring a service New York City provided to its people to a service New York City is contracting to outside parties to do. It’s a serious situation.”
Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal (left), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 24 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with contractors that built the federal government's health care websites.


Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal (left), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 24 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with contractors that built the federal government's health care websites.

The contract will cost taxpayers $10 million this year — and potentially tens of millions more in future years.
The last-minute nature of the contract has piqued the interest of Controller Scott Stringer, whose office has a 30-day window to raise objections before the contract becomes final.
"We are conducting a thorough review and analysis ... which includes an examination of the vendor's track record and expertise in projects of this nature," Stringer spokeswoman Nicole Turso said.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration declined to renew its contract with a CGI subsidiary to design and build the government’s health insurance website,, after myriad glitches thwarted countless Americans from buying coverage.
CGI spokeswoman Linda Odorisio defended the deal: "CGI was awarded the contract for system integration services for New York City's 311 system through a full and open competition.”
She added, “We look forward to working closely with ... city officials as they bring new capabilities to their 311 system.”
The Obama administration declined to renew its contract with a CGI subsidiary to design and build the government’s health insurance website,, after myriad glitches thwarted countless Americans from buying coverage.


The Obama administration declined to renew its contract with a CGI subsidiary to design and build the government’s health insurance website,, after myriad glitches thwarted countless Americans from buying coverage.

The Bloomberg administration decided to upgrade 311 because of concerns the system could fail during emergencies, when it is flooded with hundreds of thousands of texts and calls, a DoITT spokeswoman said.
The upgraded system would be cloud-based, meaning some data would be stored on computers outside of the city by another vendor, Microsoft.
First responders also have voiced concern about the contract, because a malfunction in the 311 hotline, which is for non-emergency calls, would prompt people to call the 911 help line, which is for emergencies.
“We're concerned that whoever the city selects has to be a vendor that has hands-on experience with similar systems, and a track record in keeping systems just like this running," said Robert Ungar, a spokesman for unions representing city first responders.
“This is New York City, it's not a good place to guinea pig an experiment. We want the city to pick a vendor with provable hands-on experience,” he said.
It’s not the first time CGI has been hired by the city for tech work, but the contract would be by far the largest with the city. In 2013, the company was paid about $10 million for its work under several city contracts.
A DoITT spokeswoman said the agency stands ready to “work closely with CGI to handle all facets of the project, including solution architecture, design, development, and integration, to ensure project success.”
DoITT is one of the city agencies awaiting the appointment of a new commissioner by de Blasio.Mayor Bloomberg’s last appointee to head the agency, Rahul Merchant, stepped down this past week.

Written arguments due in case of Youngwood woman's confiscated bird


The squawk over Gizmo the parakeet may quiet down next month.
Following a brief court appearance on Friday, Westmoreland County Judge Gary Caruso ordered attorneys for the pet bird's owner and the state, which confiscated the 27-year-old fowl last year, to submit written legal arguments within 10 days.
Lawyers agreed there are no disputes over the facts in the case.
At issue is whether Gizmo can be legally returned to owner Faith Good, 63, of Youngwood.
Last spring, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials cited Good for possessing eight illegal birds. In June, she pleaded guilty to summary offenses before District Judge James Falcon.
Good was fined $500, and the state confiscated from her home the eight birds, including Gizmo, a monk parakeet that the commission contends cannot be owned by private citizens in Pennsylvania.
The birds are considered to be agricultural pests that could ruin crops and cause power outages by building nests on electrical lines.
“It's contraband,” Assistant District Attorney Kelly Hammers said. “She was convicted of a statute that says it is contraband. There is no spite or ill will and no dislike of animals. We're officers of the court.”
Wildlife Conservation Officer Matthew Lucas said the bird has been kept in a menagerie, where it has been cared for since its confiscation.
Lucas said Gizmo has outlived its life expectancy, as monk parakeets typically live about two decades.
Good was not in court on Friday.
“She's distraught,” said her attorney, Anthony Rosner. “This is her bird, and it's been her pet for 26 years. There's been an amazing amount of support for this woman and this bird.”


Ben Carson: Obama State of Union a Lesson in Communism?


President Barack Obama plans to make income inequality a focus of his January 28 State of the Union address, but Dr. Ben Carson thinks he should contrast economic theories instead.

Obama should use his address to Congress to educate people on the difference between capitalism and communism," and then ask them which system would they like," Carson said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

The public's response would likely be "eye-opening" to Obama, Carson said.

A new Fox News poll shows that only 13 percent of Americans are "angry" about income inequality and think the government should be involved in correcting it. Another 21 percent agree it is a problem, but don't think it is the government's responsibility to solve. And 62 percent say that's just "how things work."

"The big problem is the government," Carson said. "If they would get out of the way I think the gap would naturally be bridged."

He suggested concentrating on equality of opportunity and equality of education. He suggested reallocating how property tax money is allocated to schools. Currently, schools in wealthy areas get more money.

Free markets have led the United States to being a "pinnacle nation," Carson said.

Leftist policies of raising taxes on the richest while pushing for higher minimum wages for the poorest do little to close the gap, he said, since the rich can put their money into interest-bearing accounts, while the poor are left waiting for jobs, such as with the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which are in limbo because of government regulations.

"Get out of the way and let the economy work," Carson said.

A retired professor and celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University, Carson has been discussed as a possible presidential candidate for 2016.

He reiterated his line to Cavuto that he has no desire to run.

" I, as a patriotic American citizen, will do whatever needs to be done," he said. "But that is not my intention."

Source: NewsMax

Activist Fail: Fracking protestors glue themselves to wrong gas station


Missed it by that much.

That’s how the six gluees have to feel after such a mistake.
The group thought they were attaching themselves to pumps at a gas station owned by a company called Total.
They were upset after the company announced they would invest millions in shale oil and fracking.
But there was a pretty big oops involved.
Station manager Reezwan Patel told The Bolton News in Ruston Lane UK, “Total don’t own the station any more. It is owned by Certas Energy, but the signs haven’t changed yet.”
“We had to close for six hours,” Patel grumbled.
“With the loss of custom and the damage to the pumps, it could be a couple of thousand pounds we have lost.”
Patel said the group had varied reactions when told of their mistake.
"The peaceful protesters were very polite and actually apologized for what happened, but the others were very stupid and have cost us a lot of money.”
 The group has been charged with criminal damage and criminal trespass.

Leftist Strategy: Cost for "learning about our enemy" likely to deter many


9/11 Museum entry fee raises questions

First came the 9/11 attacks and the price in lives lost. Now comes the price tag to remember them and the dilemma of finding a peaceful way to resolve the sticker shock.

Visitors to the 9/11 Museum will be confronted by scenes of destruction — and a $24 admission price.
Visitors to the 9/11 Museum will be confronted by scenes of destruction — and a $24 admission price.
The announcement by the 9/11 Museum to charge a $24-per-person admission fee was greeted on Friday by the equivalent of a loud and mournful groan.

But, despite criticism that the price was too high, no major political figure on either side of the Hudson River stepped forward to try to block it — or even resolve the nettlesome quandary over museum finances, which has simmered for years beneath attempts to preserve the legacy of the 9/11 attacks.

If anything, the official confirmation of the long-rumored ticket price — and the prospect that a family of four would have to plunk down almost $100 to enter the museum — was more ammunition for the continuing battle for control over Ground Zero and how to memorialize the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

That conflict, which has divided victims’ families and museum organizers for several years amid a vicious war of words, now seems certain to continue as the museum prepares to open its doors this spring.

Indeed, on Friday, supporters and critics of the museum were openly sniping at each other.

A coalition of victims’ relatives and first responders that includes former Waldwick Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Corbett issued a statement calling the $24 price a “disgrace” that would fund “a revenue-generating tourist attraction” with a “bloated” budget.

“The rich will visit the museum, but the poor and middle-class families won’t be able to afford it,” said the group, which calls itself 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims.

A museum spokesman, Michael Frazier, dismissed the group’s comments, saying the museum would continue its efforts to gain federal funding to offset an estimated $63 million annual operating budget. And Charles Wolf, who lost his wife in the collapse of the trade center’s Twin Towers and has often been an outspoken supporter of the museum, declared he was “100 percent in favor” of the $24 fee.

“I want this museum to be on a firm financial footing,” Wolf said, labeling the critics as just “one small group.”

“At this point, there is no federal help whatsoever,” Wolf said. “I don’t want this thing to open and run into financial trouble.”

Governor Christie’s office did not respond to email and telephone requests for comment. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also remained mum.

“They don’t want to deal with it,” said Sally Regenhard of Yonkers, whose son, a probationary New York City firefighter, was killed on 9/11. She has become a leading critic of the museum, calling it a “no-man’s land for politicians.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, who joined her colleague, Sen. Charles Schumer, also a Democrat, in co-sponsoring a failed attempt to push through federal funding for the museum, declined to comment specifically about the $24 fee.

But in a statement issued by her office, Gillibrand said, “Nobody should be denied the opportunity to visit this sacred ground to honor and reflect upon the heroes we lost because they can’t afford it.” She declined to say how someone who can’t afford the $24 price would gain admission to the museum.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Friday that he supported efforts to gain federal funding for the museum and the adjoining memorial park.

“I don’t think we’re getting what we deserve,” de Blasio said. “If we can get that federal help in, we’ll get that admission down as much as possible.”

De Blasio stopped short, however, of criticizing the museum and its ticket price — or suggesting how the price could be lowered.

“I’d like to see them do better, but to be fair to the museum, they could do a lot better if the federal government would hold up its end of the equation,” said de Blasio, who also declined to speculate on what a fair admission price might be or whether New York City should contribute funds to offset costs.

“I don’t want to conjecture the specifics of the admission structure,” de Blasio said. “I’d like to hear from the museum what they think is right if they had the resources.”

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, which oversees a number of important memorials, including the Gettysburg Battlefield, also declined to enter the debate. Jane Ahern, a park service spokeswoman, said her agency would have no comment until such time when it might be formally ordered to take over the running of the 9/11 Museum and memorial park. She said such an order would require congressional approval.

“Our only time to comment would be if Congress put forth a bill for the National Park Service to step in,” Ahern said. “That’s when it becomes our place.”

What seems to be evolving is that the 9/11 Museum, while clearly a national landmark, will continue to be run by a non-profit foundation until politicians figure out whether the government should play a role in its administration.

But the ticket price announcement re-focused attention on the operation of that foundation — in particular the fact that its president, Joseph Daniels, and its director, Alice Greenwald, are each paid more than $354,000 in salaries and benefits.

In addition, another 10 top foundation staffers each receive salary-benefits packages valued from $185,364 to $291,096, according to the 2012 financial figures posted on the museum’s website. The figures are the most recent to be made public by the museum.

Museum officials took great pains on Friday to say that victims’ families would receive free admission and that the general public could enter free of charge from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Frazier, the museum spokesman, said “there’s a system that is being developed” to allow free admission for first responders and recovery workers who participated in the nine-month cleanup of Ground Zero. But he declined to say what that system would be.

On Friday, the museum scheduled a special preview of “never before seen exhibition images.” It also released several studies showing that the museum had incurred some unusual costs, including a $10 million annual bill for security and another $7.5 million to pay for utilities in its cavernous space beneath the 9/11 memorial plaza.

But the release of the images and details of the museum’s costs did little to stifle the debate over the ticket price — or the unsettling feeling about the ongoing conflict among victims’ relatives like Thomas Acquaviva of Wayne.

Acquaviva, who lost his 29-year-old son, Paul, at the trade center, said he supports the museum in general. But when asked about the ticket price, he said: “I think it should be free.”

He paused, then added one more sentiment: “The federal government should pitch in.”