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Friday
Oct242014

NHDP - Huffington Post: "Marilinda Garcia Plagiarized Parts of Floor Speech on Same-Sex Marriage"

Huffington Post: "Marilinda Garcia Plagiarized Parts of Floor Speech on Same-Sex Marriage"
 
"Revelations that Marilinda Garcia plagiarized portions of an anti-marriage equality speech she gave on the State House floor from a conservative publication raises serious questions about her integrity and whether she will truly represent the best interests of New Hampshire," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. "Marilinda Garcia needs to come clean with Granite Staters and admit if she's ever plagiarized any other public statements she's made."
 
"Either way, Granite Staters deserve an independent voice who will listen to the needs and concerns of constituents, not a scripted candidate who relies on right-wing talking points to push an extreme Tea Party agenda that is out-of-touch with New Hampshire values," added Lesswing.
 
See here or below for the full Huffington Post story:

GOP House Candidate Marilinda Garcia Plagiarized Parts Of Floor Speech On Same-Sex Marriage

Marilinda Garcia, a Republican U.S. House candidate from New Hampshire, plagiarized portions of a 2012 speech she gave against same-sex marriage, according to an analysis by the left-leaning group Granite State Progress.

Garcia, who was named a "rising star" by the Republican National Committee, delivered the speech as a state representative in an effort to repeal New Hampshire's marriage equality law. The language she used is nearly identical in some passages to a 2010 editorial by the National Review.

"Marriage exists to solve a problem," Garcia said. "That problem is a societal problem that rises from sex between men and women, but not from sex between partners of the same gender. That problem is what to do about its generativity."

The National Review editorial has a very similar paragraph:

Marriage exists, in other words, to solve a problem that arises from sex between men and women, but not from sex between partners of the same gender: what to do about its generativity.

Granite State Progress pointed out many other passages Garcia appears to have plagiarized. She said in her speech, "A man and a woman who unite biologically may or may not have children depending on factors beyond their control, but the point is that a same-sex couple cannot thus unite."

The National Review editorial uses the same words: "A man and a woman who unite biologically may or may not have children depending on factors beyond their control; a same-sex couple cannot thus unite."

Even longer passages from Garcia's speech mimic parts of the editorial. Here is Garcia:

The campaign for same-sex marriage, as evidenced by the immediate abandonment of civil unions, is primarily motivated by one specific benefit, and that is the symbolic statement by the government that committed same-sex relationships are equivalent to marriages. But with respect to the purposes of marriage, they're not equivalent. And so, this psychic benefit can not be granted without telling a lie about what marriage is, and why a society and legal system should recognize and support it.

Here is the National Review:

The campaign for same-sex marriage is primarily motivated by one specific benefit: the symbolic statement by the government that committed same-sex relationships are equivalent to marriages. But with respect to the purposes of marriages, they're not equivalent; and so this psychic benefit cannot be granted without telling a lie about what marriage is and why a society and legal system should recognize and support it.

Garcia changed the wording around a little bit in some passages and included a personal anecdote in her speech, but she did not cite the National Review.

Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, said the plagiarism is evidence that Garcia simply parrots right-wing talking points, rather than thinking for herself.

"Marilinda Garcia is a Koch-funded and scripted candidate who sticks closely to the talking points provided by her big dollar donors. On the occasions she has had to speak in more detail about her own record and positions, she has struggled. Now we learn that she plagiarized major sections of a speech she gave on the House floor. We cannot be certain this was the only time Garcia has taken someone else's work and passed it off as her own," she said.

Garcia's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Wednesday
Apr242013

National Review - Boston and Immigration, Plus #DefenseWeek Continues

 

Good morning,

The editors of National Review look at the harsh realities of the Boston bombings and the impact on the Senate immigration bill. What should we really be focused on when it comes to immigration reform? Answer below, or click here.

Also today on NRO, Defense Week (#DefenseWeek) continues with Colonel Allen West (Ret.) on what history should teach us, is it time to throw out the QDR and start anew by Jim Lacey, and Pete Hegseth and James Rosen chime in on defense spending and the melding of missions between agencies. NRO Defense Week continues tomorrow with Cliff May and Peter Brookes.

ICYMI: In honor of the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Ed Gillespie reflects upon the man and his legacy.

Amy.

***** 

What Boston Means for Immigration Policy

The Editors

The Boston Marathon bombing has intensified objections to the Gang of Eight’s so-called comprehensive-immigration-reform bill, and rightly so: The terrorist attack in Boston underlines several failures in our immigration system — failures that the bill under consideration would do little or nothing to rectify and would in some cases make considerably worse.

From a domestic-policy point of view, the most critical of these failures is the failure to maintain an immigration system oriented toward assimilation — the unapologetic expectation that immigrants will be fully immersed in American life. Assimilation has important cultural and economic benefits. It also makes immigrants less likely to become Islamist terrorists. The case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev — a non-citizen, charged in 2009 with a violent crime, flagged by a foreign intelligence service as a likely Islamic radical and terror threat, who traveled abroad to jihadist hot spots before returning to the United States to carry out his attack — suggests very strongly that our screening-and-evaluations system is broken. The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suggests very strongly that our ability and willingness to fully assimilate immigrants is damaged, much as the London bombings pointed toward the United Kingdom’s inability or unwillingness to assimilate its immigrants.

Assimilation was never part of the agenda for the Tsarnaev family. The bombers’ parents claimed refugee status at a time when their place of residence was Kazakhstan, where there are many ethnic Chechens and little in the way of persecution that would justify refugee status. In fact, Tsarnaev père apparently had little reason to fear persecution in Russia, either: He returned there to live, and his son Tamerlan spent an extended period of time with him there, with side trips to the Islamist hot spot of Chechnya. Tamerlan never became a U.S. citizen (his flagging by the Russian intelligence service as a likely Islamic radical prevented that), his parents had returned to Russia, and he himself was in and out of the country a great deal: not exactly a candidate for what our forebears used to quaintly describe as our national melting pot.

The Gang of Eight bill would move us away from the traditional American ideal of assimilation rather than toward it. It would grant amnesty to many illegal immigrants with a tenuous connection to the United States, and to some who are not even currently living here. At the same time it would do a great deal to increase unskilled immigration, particularly by Hispanics. And it would create a new class of “temporary” workers and their families who would be expected to be in this country but not of it, until those standards are relaxed. Combine these features of the bill and what you have is not a recipe for welcoming new Americans but for encouraging cultural and linguistic separatism.

Most illegal immigrants come here for economic reasons, of course, and not out of any desire to join our country in any larger sense. Others cross the border illegally for entirely different reasons: Among those who took advantage of the 1986 amnesty was “agricultural worker” Mahmud Abouhalima, one of the terrorists who carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Terrorism aside, the main consequence of the 1986 amnesty was to encourage even more illegal immigration and, consequently, even less assimilation.

Rather than tighten refugee-status rules that the Tsarnaevs abused, the Gang of Eight bill would loosen them, for example by removing the one-year deadline for claiming refugee protection once on American soil and by abbreviating the review process for many such claims for protection.

Senator Lindsey Graham and other partisans of the Gang of Eight bill argue that its security provisions would help to ferret out threats. In practice, that is unlikely to be the case. Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s file should have had more red flags on it than a May Day parade, but that was not enough for the FBI to revisit his case or question his travel to Chechnya. As the 11 million illegals testify, our federal bureaucracy and law-enforcement agencies either cannot or will not enforce the immigration laws we already have on the books. The Gang of Eight bill would have them start enforcing our immigration laws — and administer a guest-worker program, and evaluate and process 11 million illegals, and improve the vetting of new immigrants. That is unlikely to prove successful. Senator Graham’s endless infomercial promises to the contrary are either cynical politics or sloppy thinking — both of which are in varying degree characteristic of the Gang of Eight’s overall approach. We would not be surprised if Senator Graham also promised that his bill would relieve lumbago and get rid of hard-to-clean grass stains.

Rather, there will be a great deal of political pressure to clear the “backlog” of legalization-seekers as quickly as possible. And though the possibility may not have occurred to Senator Graham, would-be terrorists are just as likely to take their chances staying illegal in a highly liberalized enforcement environment as to submit to federal background screening under the Gang of Eight bill.

While our piecemeal enforcement at the borders is a national scandal, those who enter the country illegally but overstay their visas account for some 40 percent of illegals. The Gang of Eight bill would require the executive to establish a system of visa controls to address this problem. The problem is this: Congress passed a law requiring that very thing 17 years ago, and has on multiple occasions restated its demand that the law be enforced. So far, nothing doing. That pattern is characteristic of our immigration system in toto: a very fine collection of laws enforced in the most desultory fashion by a government beholden to business interests and ethnic lobbies hostile to the law as written. A government that was serious about restoring its credibility on the issue would at the very least get control of the border and fulfill Congress’s 17-year-old visa-control mandate without attaching a destructive amnesty to the package. Likewise, Janet Napolitano’s proposal for using improved passport technology to track those who come and go across our borders is a very fine idea on its own, no amnesty necessary. But the amnesty is the centerpiece here: To the bill’s proponents, everything else is an afterthought.

The Boston attack is far from irrelevant to the immigration debate. From the failures of law enforcement to the failures of assimilation, the case of the Tsarnaev brothers points both to what is wrong with our existing immigration system and what is wrong with the Gang of Eight’s plan to reform it.

Monday
Apr222013

It's Defense Week on NRO 

Happy Earth Day! 
It is Defense Week at National Review. With sequester now one month old, how have the cuts already hurt military readiness, and what lies ahead in Afghanistan, Asia, and around the world?
Today’s line-up includes Senator Jim TalentBing West, and Jim Lacey. Be sure to check out NRO every morning throughout the week to ensure you don’t miss Colonel Allen West (Ret.), James Rosen, Pete Hegseth, Peter Brookes, Nancy French, Kathryn Lopez, and more.
And out now, our special defense section in the current issue of NR, featuring Victor Davis Hanson, Frederick W. Kagan, Michael Auslin, Keith B. Payne, and Daniel Foster.
  
 
Also today on NRO, the editors examine what is next for extremism at home in After Boston. Why treating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant is paramount to protecting us in the future. Click here to read (also pasted below).
 
AFTER BOSTON
The Editors
The terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in many ways played out along predictable lines: The bombers were foreign-born Islamic militants with an affinity for jihad, our law-enforcement and emergency medical personnel responded with the awesome speed and skill that we too often take for granted, Bostonians behaved with prudence and restraint while the manhunt unfolded, the media performed in the opposite fashion, and, rather than turn into the “Islamophobic” lynch mob of the Left’s fevered fantasies, the American public took a few days to raise millions of dollars to help care for victims of the attack. Terrorists always hope to awaken the worst in us, and Americans reliably disappoint them. In that sense, the American people act in the spirit of Saint Francis: always preaching the blessings of liberty and prosperity, sometimes using words.
The country’s leadership has performed less admirably.
Many acts of terrorism are entirely beyond foresight or prevention. The Boston Marathon bombing was not one of them. Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been investigated by the FBI in 2011 after the Russian government flagged him as a potentially dangerous Islamic radical. Since that time, Tsarnaev all but shouted his intentions from the rooftops, going so far as to make a public YouTube playlist labeled “terrorists,” helpfully published under his own name. Between his domestic-violence arrest in 2009, Russian warnings that he intended to link up with overseas extremists, his subsequent travel abroad (including, according to his father, a trip to Chechnya, a hotbed of Islamic radicalism and the scene of a bloody insurgency), and his recent ejection from a local mosque for disruptive public outbursts and behavior described by one member of his community as “crazy,” there was plenty of reason to be keeping an eye on Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s flagging by the Russians is the reason that his application for citizenship was denied, according to the New York Times. But apparently, it was not enough to keep him on the counterterrorism radar. Contrast that with the performance of the New York Police Department, which has had all manner of unfair abuse heaped upon it for its surveillance of possible terrorist threats originating in the city’s Muslim community — for doing its job, in short. The Obama administration, which leans too heavily upon its favorite tactic of patrolling faraway crossroads with drones, would do better to place more emphasis on human intelligence.
There are of course political aspects to these failings. The Obama administration has promised to remain vigilant for the threat of “right-wing” terrorism. In the wake of the attacks, former Obama operative David Axelrod suggested that the attacks were linked to Tax Day, and Obama’s camp followers in the media were quick to speculate that anti-government militia groups, neo-Nazis, right-wing fringe outfits — anybody but radical Muslims, in fact — were behind the attack. Liberal commentator David Sirota went so far as to publicly offer his fervent hopes that the bomber was “a white American.” Once the identity of the bombers became public, Mr. Axelrod et al. became strangely circumspect.
Our nation’s singular focus on al-Qaeda in the wake of 9/11 should not distract us from the fact that Islamic radicalism is a multifaceted phenomenon, by no means limited to such now-familiar domains as the Arabian Peninsula, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. While highly organized terror networks remain the most significant threat, Islamic radicalism is highly diffused; there need be no Osama bin Laden masterminding every act of violence. But the Boston attack, like 9/11, is a reminder that while there are not always signs of a terrorist assault in the making, we will never see what signs there are unless we are looking.
The Chechnyan insurgency has never loomed very large on our national radar. But the jihadist campaign is a campaign against Western civilization. There may be local targets — Israel for the Arabs, Russia for the Chechens — but the jihad is never limited to targets in the immediate environment. Simply put, every jihad is a threat to the United States, regardless of the particulars of its origin. That this jihad found instruments that were not as disciplined or creative as al-Qaeda or the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades — there is a whiff of Klebold and Harris about the Tsarnaev brothers — is no reason to take it less seriously. If anything, the mutation of the terrorist threat from a handful of centralized radical organizations into a motley collection of militants and misfits with varying degrees of ability and sophistication means that we must be more vigilant.  
As always, intelligence remains the most precious commodity. The elder Tsarnaev brother is dead. The younger is in custody, and it is unlikely that he will ever set foot outside of the succession of jail cells and courtrooms that await him, whether he is treated as an ordinary murderer or, in the event that he is meaningfully tied to al-Qaeda, as an enemy combatant. Determining whether the Tsarnaev brothers were in fact lone wolves or part of a wider enterprise is at the moment our most pressing priority. We should be in no particular hurry to turn him over to the criminal-justice system until our national-security questions have been satisfactorily answered. He can always be remanded to the criminal-justice system for prosecution at a later date.
President Obama and his administration have been wildly inconsistent on the issue of Islamist terrorism. After running a campaign based on abominating the Bush administration’s approach to counterterrorism, the Obama administration took in hand practically every implement from George W. Bush’s toolbox and a few more of its own design. The hated detention center at Guantanamo Bay remains well stocked with the worst the world has to offer, and the senator who was shocked by the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed became the president who signed off on more permanent means of dealing with Islamic militants. But at the same time, he remains a victim of, if we may borrow a phrase from Andrew C. McCarthy, willful blindness on the nature of Islamic supremacists. The attack on soldiers at Fort Hood remains risibly classified as an incidence of “workplace violence” rather than a sneak attack from the Islamic radical Nidal Hassan. When it comes to articulating a national understanding of the threat of Islamic radicalism and a national response to it, Barack Obama is a good deal less articulate than George W. Bush.

Episodes such as this always are studies in contrasts. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer Richard Donohue Jr. was shot while in pursuit of Tsarnaev, and grievously wounded: His heart stopped, and he lost all of the blood in his body. He was saved by 21st-century medicine, wounded in a war with 8th-century savagery. But not every life was saved, nor could they be, which is why it remains imperative that we continue to invest our resources and creativity in the project of stopping these attacks before they happen. The architects of the Boston bombing, like the architects of 9/11, are motivated by a remorseless malice that cannot be reasoned with, bargained with, or bought off. But it can be defeated — in Watertown or Waziristan, in whatever shadow it hides, in whatever cave it retreats into.

Friday
Oct192012

NR editorial: revived "war on women" a rehashed Dem talking point 

A new NRO editorial, “Ignore the Gender Gap,” states that the Democratic campaign’s attempt “to pretend that Republicans are a threat to women’s rights”—also known as the “war on women”—is back, but only because “Obama no longer has a clear lead in the polls” and “his campaign and its allies are returning to the talking points of an earlier season.”

The complete text of the editorial follows. It can also be found on National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/330780/ignore-gender-gap-editors.


Ignore the Gender Gap

By The Editors

 

The “war on women” is back. No, not the Republican assault on the legal equality of women: That never happened in the first place. We mean the Democratic campaign to pretend that Republicans are a threat to women’s rights. Now that Obama no longer has a clear lead in the polls, his campaign and its allies are returning to the talking points of an earlier season.

Obama hit them hard in the town-hall debate at Hofstra University. He took credit for signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which is supposed to promote equal pay for women, and for forcing almost all employers to cover contraceptives in their insurance plans. He claimed, nonsensically, that Romney believes employers should have a say in whether their female employees have access to contraception — in truth, Romney merely believes employers should have a say in whether they finance that access, along with coverage for abortion drugs. There are Obama’s two great accomplishments for American womanhood: extending the statute of limitations for pay-discrimination cases and reducing the out-of-pocket cost of the Pill. The rhetoric is full of “respect for women”; the strategy holds their votes cheap.

It treats them as gullible as well. The president claimed at the debate that by defunding Planned Parenthood, Romney would reduce women’s access to mammograms. Actually, the organization does not perform mammograms. Michelle Obama is among many Democrats, meanwhile, who are making a selling point of her husband’s belief that “we and our daughters have the right to make decisions about our own bodies” — a tactic whose limits can be inferred, even for those who have not seen the polls that show that women are just as likely to be pro-life as men, from her unwillingness to specify the decisions she has in mind. (Starts with A, not an appendectomy.)

In the hours after the debate, Democrats began making fun of Romney for saying that as governor he had gotten “binders full of women” to find qualified appointees — a comment they would never have criticized, or even noticed, had it been said by one of their own. Almost nobody objects to making a special effort to find qualified women to apply for important positions, and Romney’s phrasing was not even especially awkward. The attempt to manufacture an example of Romney’s condescension or cluelessness is evidence of how much more deeply invested the Obama campaign is in its “war” than in America’s actual wars.

One way for Romney to respond to Obama’s strategy would be to emphasize that he is not anti-women, that Obama’s economy has hurt women, and so forth. He has tried this tack at various times in the campaign, and on some occasions it is appropriate: for example, when responding to a question specifically about women, women’s pay, and the like. Not for the first time, though, we would caution Romney against joining the media and Democrats in their obsession with the gender gap. Most women do not vote based on their sex, any more than most men do; and while women are more likely to vote for Democrats than men are, it is an error to assume they do so because of “women’s issues” (as opposed to because women tend to be a bit more liberal than men on economic, welfare, and military issues).

It is also a mistake to think that a large gender gap is a bad sign for Romney. Take a look at the Gallup tracking poll just released, the one that shows a six-point Romney lead. The gender gap in that poll is larger than the one Gallup found at a comparable point in 2008. Men are ten points more likely than women to back Romney now, where they were only seven points more likely to back McCain. Perhaps needless to say, Romney’s overall numbers are better than McCain’s.

Romney’s best moment in the campaign was the first debate, after which his poll numbers jumped among men and women alike. He made no gender-based appeal in that debate at all. Instead, he concentrated on making the case that he would be a better president than Obama, and in particular that his agenda would be better than Obama’s when it comes to wages, job creation, energy prices, and health care. He should learn from that success — and worry not about the Democrats’ binders full of talking points.

Wednesday
Oct102012

NR Editorial: Get Big Bird Off of Welfare 

A new NRO editorial, “Vulture Capitalism,” states that the latest Obama campaign advertisement featuring Big Bird demonstrates that “while Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are rolling out big ideas on taxes, entitlements, and deficits, Barack Obama is clinging to his toys like a frightened child, which very well may be what he is feeling like after his recent trip to the woodshed.”

The complete text of the editorial follows. It can also be found on National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/329846/vulture-capitalism-editors.

For further information contact National Review Publisher Jack Fowler at jfowler@nationalreview.com.

 

Vulture Capitalism

By The Editors

The Obama campaign apparently is being run by a humor-deficient would-be Jon Stewart: On Tuesday, it launched an ill-advised attempt at snark in an advertisement featuring Big Bird. How bad was the ad? Even the yellow fellow himself was embarrassed, and Sesame Workshop, the multimillion-dollar enterprise with the $1 million–a–year president behind Sesame Street, asked that the ad be taken down. Even President Obama’s amen corner in the media was aghast: ABC News’ Terry Moran pronounced it the work of a campaign “in panic mode.” Somebody should remind Barack Obama that he is, for the moment, president of the United States of America, and not auditioning for whichever MSNBC time slot Chris Hayes turned down.

Mitt Romney has promised to end subsidies for public broadcasting, which is an excellent idea for many reasons, beginning with a $16 trillion debt. Those who point out that eliminating mere small-fry outlays like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting won’t balance the budget are undeniably correct — but it is also undeniably correct that we will not balance the budget without eliminating a lot of small-fry outlays like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. We have to do the big-ticket items and the little ones as well, lest we spare the taxpayer the guillotine only to abandon him to a death by a thousand forgone cuts. While Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are rolling out big ideas on taxes, entitlements, and deficits, Barack Obama is clinging to his toys like a frightened child, which very well may be what he is feeling like after his recent trip to the woodshed.

Controlling the deficit will entail some difficult decisions. Getting Big Bird off of welfare is not one of them. Caroll Spinney, the actor who has played Big Bird since the dawn of time, earns a comfortable 1-percenter income and nests in a gated estate in tony Woodstock, Conn. Rich-old-hippie welfare is an idea whose time has gone. Public-broadcasting executives earn incomes well into the six figures and sometimes into the seven figures. Sesame Workshop takes in hundreds of millions of dollars from Tickle Me Elmo and other merchandise. Big Bird is beak-deep in birdseed and does not require a half-billion dollars a year from taxpayers. Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, and many other public-broadcasting programs similarly do not require government support. We have excellent reason to believe that people will open their pockets to pay for Downton Abbey: the fact that they already open their pockets to pay for Downton Abbey through on-demand television services. And if Clinton: American Experience or Tony Bennett: Duets II somehow fails to connect with an audience, the sun will rise in the morn nonetheless.

Public broadcasting is the deathless government program par excellence. It may have made some sense a few generations ago, when there were in effect three broadcast television stations, limited radio offerings, and enormous regulatory and economic barriers standing in the way of new market entrants. But that no longer is the case: Anybody with a few thousand dollars and an Internet connection can launch a television series or a radio program today and reach an audience of millions. We have more television stations than we can watch, more radio stations than we can listen to, and instantaneous connections to most of the world’s media. In fact, we could multiply public broadcasting expenditures a hundredfold and do practically nothing to improve on the already vast richness of our media environment. Firing Line is a beloved memory, but in 2012 such programming would not require a public-broadcasting infrastructure to thrive. If PBS doesn’t do it, 10 million others will.

And while PBS and NPR give very little offense beyond their bland, conventional liberalism, the United States is not the sort of country that should have government-run media — or even media that is only 6 percent government run. Public broadcasting, like so much associated with the progressive heyday, is fundamentally un-republican.

We welcome this debate. The Democrats will, as usual, cry that this is about “the children,” but l’affair Big Bird shows us precisely who the children really are.