May 12, 2013, 11:34am | Ed Morrissey
Yes, yes, but what are the sample splits? Just kidding! Rasmussen has good news for moms today — expect a call or visit from 95% of your kids:
Most mothers should expect a visit or a phone call today, even though Mother’s Day has slipped in importance in recent years.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 64% of American Adults whose mothers are still alive will visit them for Mother’s Day. Another 31% plan on calling their mothers in honor of the day. Just four percent (4%) with living mothers plan on doing neither of those things.
Maybe it’s a little churlish to point this out, though:
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Americans believe being a mother is the most important job for a woman in today’s world, showing no change from last year but down from previous years. Twenty-four percent (24%) say being a mother is not a woman’s most important job, while another 17% are undecided. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of women say being a mother is not the most important role for a woman in today’s world, a view shared by 20% of men.
By comparison, 71% of all adults believe being a father is the most important role for a man to fill in today’s world.
It’s good to see a renewed focus on the need for fathers who take the job seriously. Today, though, their job is to wait on wives hand and foot, find brunch lines that aren’t too long, and quit griping about honey-do lists for a day.
Just don’t send this post to my wife, please.
Happy Mothers Day to all our Hot Air moms!
May 11, 2013, 3:25pm | Ed Morrissey
I’ll be appearing on tonight’s Tom Sullivan Show on Fox Business News at 7 pm ET, with repeats at 10 ET and tomorrow at 3am, 5am, & 7pm ET. Topics will include the sharp decrease in gun violence, the issue of increasing disability claims, and Mark Sanford’s return to Congress.
May 11, 2013, 12:45pm | Ed Morrissey
“Why do you need Google on your face?” Scott Stein notes that Google already has had some privacy issues in the past. Frankly, I’m more concerned with the safety issues. Stein notes that the proliferation of smartphones already has drivers texting and e-mailing when they should be watching the road, and this won’t improve that problem by much.
But what about the surveillance issue and privacy? That’s going to be a big question, but not as big as the price tag:
$1500 to look like the Borg? Pass, at least for now. I wear prescription specs and have no desire to wear contact lenses (my astigmatism doesn’t make me a great candidate for them anyway), so I won’t be trying out Google Glasses any time soon. I don’t think it will take too long, though, before these become as ubiquitous on the street as people with Bluetooth earpieces holding phone conversations.
Speaking of which, I recently joked that twenty years ago, we assumed anyone walking around talking to no one in particular was crazy; now we just assume they’re on a cell phone call. How about people who stare at you for no discernible reason in the age of Google Glasses? Do we assume they’re lost in thought, as we do now, or videotaping us?
May 11, 2013, 11:47am | Ed Morrissey
Distractions, distractions. The editors at the Washington Post castigate the IRS and demand a full and independent inquiry in their lead editorial today, and immediately reject any proposal that allows the agency to investigate itself over their admission that they targeted groups for scrutiny based on their political affiliations. They also pose a question near the end that’s worth pondering, emphasis mine:
Did some officials hope never to reveal this wrongdoing? Did others hope it could quickly get lost in the weekend news cycle? Misguided, if so. We hope to hear Democratic leaders as well as Republican ones loudly saying so.
Actually, one would have to be nuts to think this will disappear over a weekend news cycle. Rather than getting lost in other news, it actually reinforces an emerging pattern of executive-branch intimidation that exists in the Benghazi scandal and the Inspectors General corps, most recently regarding Afghanistan reconstruction funds, and more.
That doesn’t mean some organizations won’t try to downplay it in the hopes it will go away:
Not front page material in the Grey Lady’s news judgment. But good enough for page A-11. With the third paragraph reassuring readers that an agency spokesperson had insisted
… that the move was not driven by politics, but she added, “We made some mistakes; some people didn’t use good judgment.”
Compare that to the WaPo’s much more skeptical tone in the editorial:
The agency said that it now has rules in place to make sure this sort of thing never happens again. How could such basic safeguards not have existed in the first place? And what are the new rules? In response to our questions, officials did not say.
So what did the Times’ editorial have to say? Er …. nothing. The persecution of conservative groups by the IRS wasn’t enough to get the Gray Lady’s editors interested, apparently.
May 11, 2013, 10:48am | Ed Morrissey
This is a curious story, and not just for the obvious irony:
Italy has a massive unemployment problem. So why do they need immigrants to flood into the country in order to meet the pizza demand? Is this “a job Italians won’t do,” or is it a sign of perverse incentives that make being unemployed more attractive than working in a pizzeria? Is it because it costs too much to hire, for tax and regulatory reasons? I’m genuinely puzzled, and not just because my first job was working in a pizza shop. It’s not that awful to make pizzas.
By the way, I agree with the American tourists interviewed in the spot. With only a couple of exceptions, the pizza in Italy (or Rome, at least) is superior to most of what one finds in the US.
May 10, 2013, 3:36pm | Guy Benson
With much due respect to my friend Ed, I think his post about Gallup’s new poll on abortion and Gosnell buries the lede. While Gallup’s data on the Gosnell trial and the media coverage thereof is certainly interesting, I was more struck by the attitudes it measured on the larger question of when abortion should be legal:
- A solid 58 percent majority of adults believes abortion should be legal (a) never, or (b) “only in a few” circumstances. By contrast, just 39 percent hold the traditional “pro-choice” view that abortion should be legal in “all” or “most” cases.
- Among those selecting one of the two pro-life options (never or rarely legal) are 57 percent of women (!) and 57 percent of young people.
- Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to second (64 percent) and third (80 percent) trimester abortions. Lila Rose, call your office.
Pro-lifers are regularly sneered at as “extremists” by people who support taxpayer-subsidized, purely elective, late-term abortion-on-demand. Perhaps these statistics will give the sneerers pause, if only for a fleeting moment. Opposing abortion in all or most cases isn’t merely mainstream, it’s a majority position. Also, this question is often cast as a “women’s rights” issue. It seems tens of millions of American women must have missed that memo, as did a majority of young voters, who are supposed to be charging to the left on all “social issues.”
May 10, 2013, 3:12pm | Erika Johnsen
Daniel Snyder is owner of the Washington pro football team he grew up adoring. Would he ever consider changing the team name that many American Indians and others believe is a racial slur?
“We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder told USA TODAY Sports this week. “As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.”
What if his football team loses an ongoing federal trademark lawsuit? Would he consider changing it then?
“We’ll never change the name,” he said. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
May 10, 2013, 2:32pm | Ed Morrissey
Via both RCP and my brother Jason Mattera, who played this for me last night while guest-hosting the Jerry Doyle show. Now that people can get their own health insurance through ObamaCare, Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) says in a hearing, they don’t have to marry badly for their health … or something:
“It’s an interesting angle, to talk about people who really only have jobs for the health insurance as being one angle to that. I had a friend who got married to the wrong person just so she could have heath insurance. So, we’ll also have a lot of less bad marriages as a result of this,” Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) said at a Small Business subcommittee hearing on Health and Technology on Thursday.
So, ObamaCare cures stupidity. Is there no end to its brilliance?
By the way, Jason and I had a lot of fun during the show in recalling our bachelor days, when we used to impress women at nightclubs by talking about the size of our health insurance plans. Unfortunately, that ended up with us arguing about who had the biggest pharmacy coverage, and that just never ends well.
May 10, 2013, 1:42pm | Ed Morrissey
This is an unexpected development:
Texas authorities are launching a criminal investigation into last month’s deadly fertilizer distribution facility explosion in West, Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday.
The announcement was made on the same day authorities arrested Bryce Reed, a West emergency volunteer who was a first-responder to the disaster.
Authorities have not tied the arrest to the deadly blast.
McLennan County sheriff’s records clerk Betty Duncan told CNN that Reed was arrested for possession of a destructive device, booked early Friday, and is in the custody of U.S. Marshals.
One thing might not have anything to do with the other; it could just be a coincidence. On the other hand ….
On Monday, the state fire marshal’s office said it ruled out four potential causes: weather, natural causes, anhydrous ammonium, and ammonium nitrate in a rail car.
The fire began in the fertilizer and seed building, but authorities still were trying to figure out the exact spot, the fire marshal’s office said Monday.
The blast happened about 20 minutes after the first report of a fire at the fertilizer facility. It registered on seismographs as a magnitude-2.1 earthquake and could be felt 50 miles away.
Keep an eye on this story, perhaps especially on the federal involvement. Until now, no one had intimated that this might be a deliberate act.
May 10, 2013, 12:11pm | Guy Benson
The voiceover and visual effects may be a tad melodramatic, but this video gets to the heart of the Hicks/Clinton element of the Benghazi scandal:
There are three issues in the Benghazi matter. The first is whether the administration reacted properly to the growing threat to American diplomats in Libya in the months leading up to September 11. The second is whether the administration reacted properly during the attack itself. And the third is whether the administration covered up its actions in the days, weeks, and months after the attack. Many Republicans have been fixated on the cover-up, mostly because of the obvious falsehood of UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s statements in the days after the attack. But by far the most consequential issue in the Benghazi matter is what the administration did during the attack itself. In those hours, American lives were at risk, and there are real questions about whether the U.S. military did everything it could to save them.
Then again, a strong case can be made that the lead-up to the attack is just as damning and confounding. We now know that Amb. Stevens was in Benghazi (a) at the behest of Sec. Clinton, (b) on a hugely symbolic day, (c) in an exceedingly dangerous city, (d) at a compound that had twice been attacked previously, and (e) in a country to which high-level administration officials had repeatedly denied requested security upgrades. Stage two of this outrage — the attack itself — likely never would have transpired if any one of those factors had been different.
May 9, 2013, 5:30pm | Guy Benson
I’ll be guest hosting Hugh Hewitt’s nationally-syndicated radio program this evening, which airs live from 6-9 pm ET. Confirmed guests include Mark Steyn, National Review’s Charles W. Cooke, James Lileks, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and our very own Mary Katharine Ham. We’re also efforting a member of the House Oversight Committee. As you might imagine, the show will be Benghazi-heavy, although we’ll hit a number of other subjects, too. I hope you’ll tune in!
UPDATE – Hugh has posted the transcripts of my discussions with Steyn, Sen. Rubio, Rep. Jordan and Priebus.
May 9, 2013, 4:37pm | Allahpundit
I haven’t read the book and I’m not sure I’m nerdy enough to appreciate the movie, as nerdy as I am. But it’s not a superhero flick, and that’s all that matters. Two thumbs up.
May 9, 2013, 2:12pm | Allahpundit
Via NRO, the best part here is Charlie Rose’s funereal expression in introducing the clip. (He does somehow manage a smile afterward.)
May 9, 2013, 1:35pm | Ed Morrissey
As I suggested earlier this week, the problem of interring Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been resolved with a big helping of discretion:
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in an undisclosed location outside the city of Worcester, police said Thursday after a frustrating weeklong search for a community willing to take the body.
“As a result of our public appeal for help, a courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased,” Worcester police said in a statement.
Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst said the body was no longer in Worcester and is now entombed. Police did not specify where the body was taken.
Nor should they. Better in this case to let sleeping dogs lie … in almost every sense of those terms.
May 9, 2013, 1:12pm | Guy Benson
Over at Townhall, I’ve distilled yesterday’s marathon hearings down to twelve bona fide revelations. I undertook the project for two reasons: First, to help inform people who genuinely care about the truth, but who — like most normal human beings — had neither the time nor bandwidth to follow the proceedings for hours on end. And second, to debunk the lefty line that “nothing new” came to light yesterday, and that the whole endeavor was just a “gotcha” re-run. The full piece includes hyperlinks and several embedded videos. Here’s an even shorter version:
(1) Career diplomat Gregory Hicks was ordered not to cooperate with Congressional investigators by Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, a move that he said was unprecedented over 22 years of service.
(2) Hicks went from hero to “effectively demoted” pariah once he started raising objections to the administration’s patently false talking points.
(3) Sec. Clinton was personally informed that the assault was a terrorist attack as it unfolded. The YouTube video tale was a complete red herring, and a “non-event” in Libya. And top administration figures knew it — days before Sec. Rice’s infamous talk show rounds.
(4) A small American fighting force in Tripoli was twice ordered to stand down as they prepared to deploy to Benghazi during the eight-hour attack. Who grounded them, and why, remain mysteries.
(5) The State Department’s chief of security in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, testified that Sec. Clinton was “absolutely” aware of his team’s repeated requests for more security assets in the months leading up to the attack, all of which were denied.
(6) Amb. Chris Stevens was in Benghazi on 9/11 at Clinton’s behest; she wanted to make the Benghazi compound a permanent diplomatic post.
(7) Some of the Libyan guards at the consulate were “certainly complicit” in the attack.
(8) Amb. Stevens was dragged to a hospital under the control of Ansar al-Sharia, the radical Islamist group primarily responsible for the attacks. US officials didn’t go to retrieve him because they believed they’d be walking into a trap.
(9) The US government didn’t request permission to fly any aircraft into Libyan airspace during the attack, perhaps suggesting that no rescue mission was ever seriously considered, let alone triggered.
(10) It was (again) definitively established that budget shortfalls had absolutely nothing to do with the lax security situation on the ground in Libya, despite claims from committee Democrats.
(11) Whistle-blower Mark Thompson offered to testify before the administration’s internal (ARB) investigation, but was not invited to do so. The leaders of the ARB were invited to participate in House hearings, but they declined. Committee Democrats asserted the opposite of the truth in both cases.
(12) Two whistle-blowers responded to Sec. Clinton’s infamous question about the administration’s bogus talking points, “what difference does it make?”
Benghazi happened “a long time ago” … yet we have no satisfactory explanations for the dreadfully inadequate security presence in Libya, no confirmation on who issued stand down orders (and why), and no accountability for the fabricated talking points that were disseminated to the public on behalf of the president. Also, no arrests. But aside from all of that, nothing to see here, folks.
May 9, 2013, 12:24pm | Allahpundit
What makes this blown call worse than the dozens of other blown calls in baseball every month? Two things. One: If they call it correctly, it’s a tie game instead of a loss. Two: They actually reviewed this on instant replay — and still got it wrong.
Firing offense? We’re way past simple negligence here. Click the image to watch.
May 8, 2013, 6:31pm | Ed Morrissey
I hadn’t even heard of this until today. Wrigley had launched a new product called Alert, a chewing gum where each stick had the caffeine equivalent of a half-cup of coffee. Today, they pulled it off the market at least temporarily “out of respect” for the FDA’s concern over caffeine in the food supply.
The company said Wednesday that it has stopped new sales and marketing of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum “out of respect” for the agency.
The FDA said it would investigate added caffeine in foods just as Wrigley rolled out Alert late last month. A stick of the gum is equivalent to half a cup of coffee.
Well, I’m not sure I see the need for caffeinated chewing gum, but I’m also not sure why the FDA is getting tweaked over it, either. If Wrigley wasn’t disclosing it, that’s one thing — but it was the selling point for Alert. Consumers would have been purchasing it for its caffeine content; presumably they’d buy existing brands if they only wanted a specific taste or a sugar hit.
If Washington is getting perturbed by products that mix sugar and caffeine and are offered in an unregulated manner to all customers over the counter, why wouldn’t they take a greater interest in, oh, Starbucks? I’m pretty sure that a triple-shot venti peppermint mocha latte would be the equivalent of a whole pack of Alert.
May 8, 2013, 3:01pm | Ed Morrissey
When I settled down to listen and watch the House Oversight hearing on Benghazi today, I put the Twitter feed of CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson up in a separate browser page. Attkisson has proven herself to be one of the leading reporters on Benghazi, and I expected to get a lot of good context to the testimony in a real-time basis by keeping a close eye on her updates. And I was right … for a half-hour or so. At 12:38 pm ET, Attkisson posted this:
counterterror expert mark thompson says he wanted special emegency FEST team to respond to Benghazi but was told that option had been taken
— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) May 8, 2013
off the table at a meeting earlier in the night. White House previously told CBS News that’s not FEST’s purpose.
— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) May 8, 2013
However, Thompson today testified that’s precisely, in his view, the purpose of FEST.
— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) May 8, 2013
After that … nothing. Not a word through the rest of the hearing, even though there were a number of explosive revelations provided by Gregory Hicks, Mark Thompson, and Eric Nordstrom.
Allahpundit wrote about CBS’ apparent unhappiness with Attkisson for her tireless journalism on Benghazi. Did they pull her off the story? I’ve submitted a question about her status through the CBS News website, and I’ll update this if any more information comes through.
Update, 5:57 pm: No activity so far on Sharyl’s Twitter feed, and no word back from CBS on my inquiry, although that might end up lost in the website’s response bureaucracy. I’d note that the Dylan Byers piece at Politico that discussed the alleged mutual antagonism between CBS and Attkisson was posted at 11:52 am ET, just 16 minutes before Sharyl’s most recent tweet. That could be a coincidence, but a look through the tweets before 12:08 looks like Attkisson was planning to live-tweet the entire hearing.
Update, 9:12 pm: Attkisson filed a report on tonight’s CBS News:
Good to see her on the story.
May 8, 2013, 11:41am | Allahpundit
May 8, 2013, 11:01am | Ed Morrissey
After my sojourn in Vatican City for the papal conclave, I subscribed to the Vatican’s wire service so that I can keep a closer watch on news about Pope Francis and his work. Much of it is interesting to me but in a non-news manner, as the Pope sets about to accomplish in his own way the commission given to St. Francis of Assisi — “rebuild my church.” An item today is more provocative, and worth sharing:
Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – “The men and women of the Church who are careerists and social climbers, who ‘use’ people, the Church, their brothers and sisters—whom they should be serving—as a springboard for their own personal interests and ambitions … are doing great harm to the Church.” This is what Pope Francis asserted in his address to the participants in the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) whom he received in audience this morning.
The pontiff spoke to the sisters of obedience, poverty, and chastity: “Obedience as listening to God’s will, in the interior motion of the Holy Spirit authenticated by the Church, accepting that obedience also passes through human mediations. … Poverty, which teaches solidarity, sharing, and charity and which is also expressed in a soberness and joy of the essential, to put us on guard against the material idols that obscure the true meaning of life. Poverty, which is learned with the humble, the poor, the sick, and all those who are at the existential margins of life. Theoretical poverty doesn’t do anything. Poverty is learned by touching the flesh of the poor Christ in the humble, the poor, the sick, and in children.”
“And then chastity, as a precious charism, that enlarges the freedom of your gift to God and others with Christ’s tenderness, mercy, and closeness. Chastity for the Kingdom of Heaven shows how affection has its place in mature freedom and becomes a sign of the future world, to make God’s primacy shine forever. But, please, [make it] a ‘fertile’ chastity, which generates spiritual children in the Church. The consecrated are mothers: they must be mothers and not ‘spinsters’! Forgive me if I talk like this but this maternity of consecrated life, this fruitfulness is important! May this joy of spiritual fruitfulness animate your existence. Be mothers, like the images of the Mother Mary and the Mother Church. You cannot understand Mary without her motherhood; you cannot understand the Church without her motherhood, and you are icons of Mary and of the Church.”
Continuing, Pope Francis spoke to the superiors about service. “We must never forget that true power, at whatever level, is service, which has its bright summit upon the Cross. … ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them … But it shall not be so among you.’—This is precisely the motto of your assembly, isn’t it? It shall not be so among you.—’Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave’.”
“Your vocation is a fundamental charism for the Church’s journey and it isn’t possible that a consecrated woman or man might ‘feel’ themselves not to be with the Church. A ‘feeling’ with the Church that has generated us in Baptism; a ‘feeling’ with the Church that finds its filial expression in fidelity to the Magisterium, in communion with the Bishops and the Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, a visible sign of that unity,” the pontiff added, citing Paul VI: “It is an absurd dichotomy to think of living with Jesus but without the Church, of following Jesus outside of the Church, of loving Jesus without loving the Church. Feel the responsibility that you have of caring for the formation of your Institutes in sound Church doctrine, in love of the Church, and in an ecclesial spirit.”
“The centrality of Christ and his Gospel, authority as a service of love, and ‘feeling’ in and with the Mother Church: [these are] three suggestions that I wish to leave you, to which I again add my gratitude for your work, which is not always easy. What would the Church be without you? She would be missing maternity, affection, tenderness! A Mother’s intuition.”
This comes shortly after Pope Francis’ decision to continue the discipline of Benedict XVI for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, who stand accused of straying from Catholic doctrine in their work in the US.
Side note: Most of the media has translated “spinsters” to “old maids.” I don’t know how Pope Francis put it in Italian, and my Italian is poor enough that I wouldn’t get the nuance of either expression anyway. VIS has it as “spinsters,” but I don’t think there’s a lot of difference in either definition or tone to make this more than just an interesting and amusing distinction.