Patterico's Pontifications


New York Times: Even Though Ted Cruz’s New Book Is A Best Seller, We Refuse To Put It On The Bestseller List

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

That Ted Cruz. Can he be any more of a thorn in the side of Democrats and the Republican professional political class, as well as being a tough challenge for the major media outlets whose pressing mission is to smear him? He’s blunt, articulate, savvy to the media games, maintains his composure during “gotcha” interviews along with compelling interviewers to stay on point, and most frustratingly of all, he remains faithful to the Constitution and to the core principles of conservatism. Without shame, without reservation, and without hesitation. He is everything the left and the GOP elites hate. He speaks truth to power, and that is simply unacceptable. Further, to their chagrin, Cruz welcomes any challenges to his positions and uses them as opportunities to spread the message of conservatism, and to get the facts out and set the record straight.

The unmitigated gall.

Now, to top it off, Cruz has written a bestselling biography. And how seemingly irked is the New York Times by this? Enough to not add the book to their bestseller list:

Cruz’s “A Time For Truth,” published on June 30, sold 11,854 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Bookscan’s hardcover sale numbers. That’s more than 18 of the 20 titles that will appear on the bestseller list for the week ending July 4. Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance,” which is #2 on the list, sold fewer than 10,000 copies. Ann Coulter’s “Adios America,” at #11, sold just over half as many copies.

“A Time For Truth” has also sold more copies in a single week than Rand Paul’s “Taking a Stand,” which has been out for more than a month, and more than Marco Rubio’s “American Dreams,” which has been out for six months. It is currently #4 on the Wall Street Journal hardcover list, #4 on the Publisher’s Weekly hardcover list, #4 on the Bookscan hardcover list, and #1 on the Conservative Book Club list.

This week, HarperCollins, the book’s publisher, sent a letter to The New York Times inquiring about Cruz’s omission from the list, sources with knowledge of the situation said. The Times responded by telling HarperCollins that the book did not meet their criteria for inclusion.

“We have uniform standards that we apply to our best seller list, which includes an analysis of book sales that goes beyond simply the number of books sold,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy explained when asked about the omission. “This book didn’t meet that standard this week.”

Asked to specify those standards, Murphy replied: “Our goal is that the list reflect authentic best sellers, so we look at and analyze not just numbers, but patterns of sales for every book.”


White House Rolls Out New Regulations To Diversify America’s Neighborhoods

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

The Obama administration, believing that there is no problem too big or small, real or imagined, that a little governmental social engineering can’t fix, has released its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule in an effort to eliminate any lingering “segregation” in America’s neighborhoods and communities:

When the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, it barred the outright racial discrimination that was then routine. It also required the government to go one step further — to actively dismantle segregation and foster integration in its place — a mandate that for decades has been largely forgotten, neglected and unenforced.

[T]he Obama administration will announce long-awaited rules designed to repair the law’s unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore. The new rules, a top demand of civil-rights groups, will require cities and towns all over the country to scrutinize their housing patterns for racial bias and to publicly report, every three to five years, the results. Communities will also have to set goals, which will be tracked over time, for how they will further reduce segregation.

However, given that racial segregation in housing is already illegal, what is the real goal in re-making our neighborhoods? Stanley Kurtz suggests that it’s not about racial integration but rather it’s about economic integration:

Race and ethnicity are being used as proxies for class, since these are the only hooks for social engineering provided by the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Like AFFH itself, today’s Washington Post piece blurs the distinction between race and class, conflating the persistence of “concentrated poverty” with housing discrimination by race. Not being able to afford a freestanding house in a bedroom suburb is no proof of racial discrimination. Erstwhile urbanites have been moving to rustic and spacious suburbs since Cicero built his villa outside Rome. Even in a monoracial and mono-ethnic world, suburbanites would zone to set limits on dense development.

Moreover, as evidenced by the four goals of the AFFH, it’s far more than just housing being impacted:

[I]mproving integrated living patterns and overcoming historic patterns of segregation; reducing racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty; reducing disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets such as education, transit access, and employment, as well as exposure to environmental health hazards and other stressors that harm a person’s quality of life; and responding to disproportionate housing needs by protected class.

The White House has been very quietly readying the finalization of the AFFHR, and with good reason:

With the Department of Housing and Urban Development ready to release new regulations meant to diversify wealthy neighborhoods, American voters overwhelmingly say that it is not the government’s job to try to bring those of different income levels to live together.

The poll questioned 1,000 people who are likely to vote and determined that 83 percent of respondents say it is not the government’s job to diversify neighborhoods in America so that people of different income levels live together, but 8 percent say that it is a role for the government and 9 percent are not sure. An additional 86 percent say that government should not play a role in deciding where people can live, while a small 8 percent says that the government should.

Crazy Americans, right?

And while the White House offers this manipulative rationalization of the AFFH:

“Unfortunately, too many Americans find their dreams limited by where they come from, and a ZIP code should never determine a child’s future,” Julian Castro, the secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development, said Wednesday in a written statement. “This important step will give local leaders the tools they need to provide all Americans with access to safe, affordable housing in communities that are rich with opportunity,”

Kurtz leaves readers with a reminder of what could happen if Republicans wake up and push back:

[T]he political implications go deeper still, to every level of government. Westchester County, New York, where AFFH has had a dry run of sorts, is now administered by Republican county executive Robert Astorino. Many forget that before the Obama administration tried to force Westchester County to cast aside its own zoning laws and build high-density, low-income housing at its own expense, Westchester was a liberal Democratic county run by liberal Democrats. After all, this is where Bill and Hillary Clinton live. At the local level, the Obama administration drove Westchester into the arms of the Republicans. The same thing could happen nationally, at every political level. But only if the frog wakes up and jumps by November of 2016.


Ken White on the Reason Subpoena

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:56 am

This is awesome. It’s an honor to know this guy.

Death Panels!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

New York Times:

Medicare, the federal program that insures 55 million older and disabled Americans, announced plans on Wednesday to reimburse doctors for conversations with patients about whether and how they would want to be kept alive if they became too sick to speak for themselves.

The proposal would settle a debate that raged before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, when Sarah Palin labeled a similar plan as tantamount to setting up “death panels” that could cut off care for the sick. The new plan is expected to be approved and to take effect in January, although it will be open to public comment for 60 days.

The cost of end-of-life care is a growing problem. In a true market economy, health insurance would address this. Health insurance would not be tied to your workplace or limited to one state. It would be like life insurance: a choice you could make. (I know: choice! what a concept!) Young people could decide early on whether they wanted to pay for unlimited care when they hit old age — and if they did, their premiums would reflect it. The premiums for such care would be very, very high, and most would probably choose to forego the coverage. Those who declined to get health insurance at all would get charity care.

It would not be a perfect system. No system is perfect. There are no solutions. Only trade-offs.

But instead we have a view that the poor and rich should not be treated differently with respect to health care. “Why should the rich receive better quality health care in their old age just because they’re rich and could afford health insurance?” Increasingly we have this attitude about everything. Why should the rich be able to afford life insurance? Why should the rich be able to afford nicer cars? Why should the rich be able to afford houses in nice areas? Vacations? Yachts.

What is lost in such discussions is the critical question of incentives, and the fact that goods and services must be produced. They don’t sit in a pile, waiting to be grabbed.

In a society where you earn according to the value you provide society, value is provided and everyone benefits. The pool of available goods and services grows. In short, the pie gets larger and there is more to go around.

In a society where you are given stuff even though you provide zero value, no value is provided and everyone suffers.

The economic theories of a socialist idiot like Bernie Sanders are the theories of people who want to sound like they care and don’t think things through to the next step.

The next step, in a society where the huge cost of medical care for the old is taken over by the government, is to ration those services. Because the demand for end of life services is not connected to any choice made by the individual, that demand will be unlimited, and cannot possibly be met by the government. Government begins by providing incentives to health care professionals to get old people to end their lives. The final step is rationing.

Death panels, in other words.

We are finally taking that first step. Sarah Palin saw it years ago, and was vilified by our “betters” for saying so. She was, in fact, the “liar of the year.”

She never said she could see Russia from her house. But she did say she saw this coming.

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