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Archive for February 2nd, 2012

Charles Murray, relegated to the footnotes

Posted by Charles II on February 2, 2012

Bashing Charles Murray is all the rage since the publication of his book, Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010. Charles Pierce manages to swat Murray and David Brooks with one stroke, while Adam Serwer gets Murray and the American Enterprise Institute with another.

But it’s such overkill. This month, I got Charles Murray as the Cracker Jacks prize in my copy of Imprimis, the magazine produced by Hillsdale College, and mailed to me faithfully every 30 days for over a decade despite the lack of any indication whatsoever that I belong to that tribe.

And Murray does not disappoint. The article he writes, “Do We Need a Department of Education?” is so historically illiterate that the only place that would publish it is… Hillsdale College.

Take the claim that education is not a constitutional function, and that the Framers could not have possibly thought that Congress should get involved because it is not enumerated in Art. I Sec. 8. It’s historically-illiterate baloney, of course, which (after throwing up a giant smokescreen) Murray tacitly admits by saying he’s in the minority on this [fn 1].

Next, Murray asks whether there are any serious problems in education that can only be solved on the federal level. Murray admits that segregation did create a case for federal intervention. He claims that the first major federal spending on education was triggered by Sputnik, which is easily proven false by, well, looking at the facts [fn2] if not also by looking at Murray, who also says that it was in 1965 (eight years after Sputnik) that spending really increased [fn 3], but he contends that the increase in spending justified by desegregation no longer serves a purpose, which is an idiotic argument [fn 4].

Next, Murray asks what the federal track record is. This is not a very smart question and Murray admits that the feds did not cause a decline in educational achievement nor prevent a rise in it [fn 5].

Murray says that “The bachelor of arts degree as it has evolved over the last half-century has become the work of the devil.” [fn 6]

Murray says, contrafactually, that the only positive developments in education have been home schooling and charter schools [fn 7].

In short, the only thing that’s newsworthy about Charles Murray is that anyone pays any attention to him. He’s a fraud who doesn’t even know basic American history, misrepresents and misuses statistics, and lies.

Could be a VP candidate, mebbe.
(Click to read the footnotes)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in education, frauds, Republicans as cancer | 4 Comments »

Oak Park Heights City Council To Boondoggle Bridge Boosters: Not So Fast!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 2, 2012

Despite bespoke polls being flogged by the Boondoggle Bridge’s booster club (and one wonders if the question “Would you back the megabridge if you knew that a far less expensive alternative existed?” was asked; somehow I doubt it), the “inevitable” megabridge is looking more evitable with every passing moment:

The Oak Park Heights City Council last night approved a resolution questioning the availability of federal funds available for utility relocation with regards to the St. Croix River Crossing project.

In the resolution, Oak Park Heights asks “Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Representative Michele Bachmann provide a clear response as to the availability to the City of the $3.66 million dollars in the 2005 SAFETEA-LU for utility relocation grant as amended and passed in the United States Senate on January 23, 2012 in S- 1134, as in the form of Congressional Budget Office analysis.”

Go read the whole thing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 16 Comments »

Oh, what a piece of work is Han…del

Posted by Charles II on February 2, 2012

Komen Senior Vice President of Public Policy Karen Handel re-tweet
(image from

Komen Senior Vice President of Public Policy
(image from!/karenhandel/status/8080771312)

Meet Karen Handel, Senior Vice President of Public Policy FAIL. It’s just malicious gossip that Handel promised to end funding for Planned Parenthood well before the Stearns congressional hearing began. Gossip like this:

“I will be a pro-life governor who will work tirelessly to promote a culture of life in Georgia. … I believe that each and every unborn child has inherent dignity, that every abortion is a tragedy, and that government has a role, along with the faith community, in encouraging women to choose life in even the most difficult of circumstances. …since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.” [Signed, Karen Handel]

[She] “promised to eliminate funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings provided by” Planned Parenthood, according to Jezebel.

Posted in abortion, abuse of power, liars | 3 Comments »

Dulcet tones to begin your day

Posted by Charles II on February 2, 2012

Via Avedon, Nancy Griffith

Posted in Just for fun | 1 Comment »

In Praise Of Tupperware

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 2, 2012

Did you know Tupperware, in addition to burping storage containers, makes really cool and dishwasher-safe hand-powered choppers, food processors, and whipped-cream makers? And a lot else besides?

This ain’t your grandma’s Tupperware. Though grandma’s Tupperware wasn’t a bad thing — it allowed her to still earn income without needing to get a day job outside the home in a period where women were being forced back out of the workplace. In fact, Tupperware wouldn’t be the institution it is today without the hard work of one woman, Brownie Wise.

Hail to you, Tupperware!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on In Praise Of Tupperware

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