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Thursday, June 30, 2016

What Does The Big Raid Outside Fallujah Mean?

The White House announced today that American planes hit two groups of ISIS vehicles outside Fallujah and that about 250 ISIS soldiers were killed as a result.  The White House celebrated the event as a major victory.

But what does this raid really show?  American air power did destroy many ISIS vehicles and killed 250 ISIS soldiers.  That indeed is a major victory.  It is reminiscent of the crushing use of American air power in the Gulf War and in the invasion of Iraq that began the Iraq War.  The ISIS fighters had no chance once the full force of the US Air Force was unleashed on them.  But president Obama first authorized the use of American air power against ISIS roughly two years ago.  During all that time, this is the first major defeat inflicted on ISIS fighters with the use of overwhelming air power.  Why is that?  It cannot be that this is the first time that ISIS fighters were capable of being hit.  We've all seen the video of the ISIS convoys entering Fallujah or Ramadi or Mosul in Iraq.  Similar scenes played out all over Syria.  There were also ISIS convoys of oil tanker trucks that ISIS used to export and sell hundreds of millions of dollars of oil from Iraqi and Syrian fields.  Since America could easily have wiped out all of these ISIS convoys, why is it only now that a convoy has been hit in this way?

The answer to this question is quite revealing.  Until now, the American rules of engagement set by president Obama have actually prevented ISIS from being hit in a meaningful way.  Our president has restricted the world's strongest military from using its power to defeat the world's worst terrorist murderers.  Obama told us all that his goal is to destroy ISIS, but his actions demonstrated that he did not mean what he said.  It's only now when the ISIS terrorist attack in Orlando is hurting the Democrats politically that Obama is letting some major force be used against ISIS.  For once, the Air Force hit ISIS rather than worrying about what to call the enemy.

It may seem strange that a major victory is actually an indictment of Obama for gross incompetence, but that's exactly what it is.

Now The Dems Want To Ignore The Polls

Think back over the last six weeks.  First Trump clinched the GOP nomination and he moved up in the polls to a slight lead over Clinton.  The Democrats and the liberal pundits in the media told us to ignore those polls.  Then two things happened, Trump got sidetracked with his judge in the Trump University case and Clinton clinched the Democrat nomination.  Hillary moved back ahead in the polls.  The media pundits told us that the race was over; Trump had cratered and could never recover.  Of course, Clinton's upsurge after clinching the nomination lasted no longer than Trump's did.  And then we had major terror attacks with the worst in Orlando and Istanbul.  Trump's advantage in dealing with terrorism moved him back closer to Clinton.  Today, we got a poll from Rasmussen that shows a five point Trump lead.  No one knows for certain if Trump or Clinton is ahead at the moment.  What is undeniable, however, is that Trump has moved up while Clinton has sunk lower.  The race is quite close.

With that background in mind, I laughed out loud when I saw an article by Al Hunt under the headline:  "Ignore the Confusing Polls, Clinton is Way Ahead".  Hunt is one of those hack liberal pundits who always seem to be pushing the latest talking points put forward by the DNC.  His thesis is that the "good" poll show Clinton ahead and the "bad" polls don't.  Also the state polls which show an extremely close race don't matter as much as the "good" national polls.  Another way to summarize Hunt's article is to say that there are a few polls that show a big lead for Hillary, and we ought to ignore all the others.

As I have been writing this post, another new poll just came out.  Investors' Business Daily/TIPP found that the race had tightened slightly since a month ago when they did their last poll.  In a four way race, the numbers are Clinton 37, Trump 36, Johnson 9 and Stein 5%.  No doubt this is another of those pesky polls that Al Hunt would tell you to ignore.

The reality is that the race is far from over.  Trump could win.  Clinton could win.  We would all do best if we focus on the policies that Trump would follow and the ones Clinton says she would follow (who knows if she's telling the truth).

But How Do We Know?

It's fun to watch the reaction from various Democrats to the tawdry meeting held by Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the Phoenix airport.  Bill is, of course, married to Hillary Clinton and is a likely witness should Hillary get indicted.  Lynch is the federal official who supposedly has the final say on whether or not that indictment of Hillary will be filed.  Lawyers often talk about avoiding improprieties or even "the appearance of impropriety".  It's hard to imagine something with more appearance of impropriety than the Clinton/Lynch meeting.  As a result, it's making Democrats in Washington squirm.

The Senate Democrat leadership tells us that Lynch is highly ethical and that nothing was discussed about a possible indictment of Hillary.  Sure.  How do they know that?  They "know" it because that's what Lynch and Clinton said.  But if Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch discussed in detail ways for the indictment of Hillary to "go away", is there anyone who actually believes that they would actually tell anyone that was subject of discussion?  No one is that dumb -- except maybe for the Senate Democrat leadership.

There is no way for any of us to know what Clinton and Lynch discussed.  No way at all.  And that is the problem.

Another British Shake Up

It's been quite a week for the Brits.  First, they voted for Brexit.  Then prime minister David Cameron resigned.  Then leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn lost a vote of no confidence from the Labour members of parliament.  Corbyn's loss was massive; he got less than one quarter of the vote.  Nevertheless, Corbyn announced that he would not resign but would stay and fight.  (We will see how long that position holds.) Today, Boris Johnson, the Tory MP and former mayor of London who led the push for Brexit announced that he would NOT seek to be the prime minister.  That move by Johnson was completely unexpected.  As of now, the most likely new leader of the Tories will be either Michael Gove who pushed for Brexit or Theresa May who campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU.

WOW!  It's almost as good as Game of Thrones.


Exxon Wins a Round

The subpoena by the attorney general of the Virgin Islands to get documents from Exxon in connection with a possible RICO prosecution concerning global warming has been withdrawn.  It's all part of a settlement in which Exxon agreed to withdraw its suit against the VI Attorney General for violations of constitutional rights etc.  It's interesting to see the attorney general crumble in the face of a strong counter-attack by Exxon.  The whole idea of prosecuting Exxon under RICO with regard to global warming has always been a stupid one.  Hopefully, it will get the rapid death that it deserves.

The President of France endorses Hillary

Socialist president Hollande of France said today that the USA should elect Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.  It's no surprise that Hollande would prefer left wing Hillary over Trump.  It is, however, somewhat surprising that Hollande would stick his nose into American electoral politics.  That usually does not work.  Just about a month ago, president Obama tried to convince British voters to vote to stay in the EU.  Obama told the Brits that if they voted for Brexit, they would end up at the back of the line in their dealings with the USA.  The story got a great deal of negative coverage in the British media.  Some have gone so far as to say that the reaction to Obama's threats to the Brits are what finally allowed Brexit to win.  Similarly, there are many who believe that the strong vote obtained by Israeli prime minister Netanyahu in the last election was the result, in part, of the reaction of many Israelis to blatant attempts by Obama to help Netanyahu's opponents. 

I have to say that I am surprised that the Clinton people did not ask Hollande not to make the endorsement.  There's essentially no one (other than maybe John Kerry) in the USA who is going to base their vote for president of the USA on an endorsement from the president of France.  There could be many who would base their vote on opposition to foreign interference in American politics.  Hillary and her fellow travelers in the bubble seem to believe that statements from Hollande will help her cause.  They are so misinformed.

Senator Tim Kaine Got $160,000 in "Gifts" while Governor of Virginia

A few days back, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a former governor of Virginia.  That conviction had been based upon the governor's receiving "gifts" from supporters and others.  Now, the issue of similar gifts has arisen with another former governor of Virginia.  This time, it's senator Tim Kaine who has been at the top of the Hillary Clinton's list of potential vice presidential candidates.  It was uncovered that Kaine got $160,000 in gifts while governor or lieutenant governor of Virginia; the gifts were reported in filings that Kaine made to the state.

Let's be clear:  I'm not saying that Kaine did anything illegal.  We certainly don't know that.  The problem for Hillary, however, is that Kaine did nearly the same thing that got his successor convicted of corruption (only to see that conviction reversed by the Supreme Court.)  Will Hillary actually nominate a vice presidential candidate who collected big bucks while in office even if there's not enough proof to convict him of taking bribes?  For any other candidate, that would look bad.  For Hillary Clinton, it would look like she wanted a running mate who might make her look a little less dishonest by comparison.

More Garbage Stories From the Mainstream Media

In the last few years, Hillary Clinton raised over 100 million dollars from foreign governments and their officials, mostly from Middle Eastern countries where gays are executed and women have no rights.  The story has been mentioned in the mainstream media mostly in passing.  Today, however, AP is pushing a story about how Donald Trump is asking politicians in the UK for campaign contributions.  I saw the headline and decided to investigate because it seemed so unlikely.  I found out that what had happened is that Trump's campaign finance team sent emails to thousands or millions of people on various fund raising lists.  Some of the people who received the emails turned out to be British members of parliament.  None contributed (no surprise there -- such contributions would be illegal.)  One member of parliament asked the Speaker of the House of Commons to see if the Trump fund raising emails could be blocked.  That's the story.  That's the ENTIRE story.

Now let's consider the import of this story about Trump.  There's nothing illegal about sending an email seeking a campaign contribution.  That's something I surely know.  I get multiple emails every week asking for campaign cash.  I also get letters and phone calls.  The solicitations come from all sorts of candidates and groups.  Last week, I answered calls from the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Republican counterpart in the House, the Democrat National Committee, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Connecticut Republican Party, as well as three groups that I think were PACs.  In the mail, we got letters seeking cash that came from senatorial candidates of both parties in five different states (but not my home state of Connecticut.)  We also got requests for money from Congressional candidates in Florida and New Jersey and I had never even heard their names.  Yesterday, I got an email from Carly Fiorina who is still asking for money.  I agree with the MPs, it's an annoyance.  It is, however, perfectly legal.

It would be illegal for Trump to take campaign cash from foreigners should they decide to contribute.  He hasn't done that, however.  It was illegal for Hillary to take cash from foreigners if it was for her campaign or for selling influence at the State Department, etc.  So what does the mainstream media cover?  The answer is no surprise, but it is still disgusting.

The Most Tawdry Clinton Move of the Year

Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch for more than a half hour the other day.  The meeting was not on the schedule of either of them.  Clinton just "dropped by" by boarding Lynch's private jet in a hangar at an airport where they both "just happened to be".  The story is that they just talked about grandchildren and exchanged pleasantries.

So do you believe this?  Remember, Hillary is the one who told us there was no classified material sent or received on her private email server (a lie).  She is also one of  the people who told us that Benghazi was a spontaneous attack resulting from a youtube video (another lie).  Hillary also told us that the Clinton Foundation was just a charity (even though it paid millions for Clinton travel expenses and salaries for political cronies.)  Bill most famously told us that he never had sex with Monica Lewinsky.  Hillary (who knew the truth) blamed the allegations about Lewinsky on some vast rightwing conspiracy.  I could go one, but there are space limitations.  The point is that pathological liars have told us that this was a spontaneous meeting and only pleasantries were discussed.  Do you believe that?  I don't.

It certainly seems as if Attorney General Lynch was discussing the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton with Bill Clinton.  Lynch is the one who has to decide whether or not to indict Hillary.  This meeting is incredibly tawdry.  A prosecutor cannot have secret meetings with the husband of the target of the investigation. 

That one of the Clintons would have a secret meeting with the prosecutors is tawdry but not surprising.  No one ever accused either Bill or Hillary of being the epitome of propriety.  But Loretta Lynch has NO EXCUSE!  If Bill Clinton really just dropped by her plane unannounced, she had a clear obligation to tell him to go away.  All she had to say was "I'm sorry Mr. President, but I cannot meet with you for obvious reasons.  You will have to leave."  Lynch knows that, but she met with Clinton anyway.

This makes me wonder if some deal is being discussed.  It could be that Lynch just got a very high paying job with the Clinton foundation for after her time in office.  It could also be that Lynch was telling Bill that unless Hillary withdraws from the presidential race, she will be indicted.  The possibilities are great.  The impropriety is even greater.

Hillary's Completely Secret Schedule

There's an explosive new aspect to the investigations into Hillary Clinton and the Clinton foundation.  A federal judge named Rosemary Collyer just ordered the State Department to turn over the emails to and from the woman who kept Clinton's schedule when she was in charge at State.  The request covers only the two weeks prior to each of fourteen international trips that Clinton took during her time in office.  The investigators are looking for meetings Clinton held with financial donors that were kept off her official daily and full schedules in order to hide their existence.  According to news reports, Judge Collyer at first did not want to order the production, and she told the investigators that they would need to show a basis for this.  The investigators then produced records of a dinner meeting in Dublin with major contributors/donors that was not on any of Clinton's official schedules.  The order for production was then issued.

Just for clarity, let's remember that as the secretary, Clinton's schedules are required to be complete.  If these emails show that Hillary regularly met with foreign donors (most with business before the State Department) and that she kept all mention of these meetings off her schedule, it is yet another indication that she was selling influence.

Someone once described investigating the Clintons as turning over one stone only to find that there is another stone underneath to turn over.  These days, the overturned stones seem to be revealing more and more corruption.

Picking What's Important

What is the 2016 election about?  In other words, on what basis are Americans picking their next president?  Here is a list of possibilities; think which of them are important to you.

1.  This person would be the best at creating a faster growing economy.
2.  This person would be the best at being politically correct.
3.  This person would be the best at ending the terror attacks by ISIS.
4.  This person would be the best at properly protecting the environment.
5.  This person would be the best at strengthening our national defense.
6.  This person would be the best at creating jobs.
7.  This person would be the best at keeping our enemies off balance.
8.  This person would be the best at saying the right thing whether or not he or she meant it.
9.  This person would be the best at getting things done.

Then there's a list of characteristics about the person.

a.  The stronger leader.
b.  The more honest person.
c.  The person whose idea of right and wrong is closest to yours.
d.  The person who sees the world as it really is.
e.  The person who understands that what one says is nowhere near as important as what one does.
f.  The person who is most likely to respect the Constitution.

There needs to be some combination of these factors that ultimately control the selection.  Don't let your choice be hijacked by some campaign gimmick that focuses on things that make no difference.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Is Hillary Really Losing the Washington Post?

There are few more loyal liberal Democrat pundits than Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post.  That's why his latest column is of major importance.  Cillizza points out that the latest emails from Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state make her story on that subject nearly impossible to believe.  Cillizza properly points out that the fact that nearly 200 new work emails were uncovered in the records of other people that Hillary Clinton never turned over is problematic.  In other words, Clinton's story about how she carefully turned over all of her work related emails is obviously untrue.  After all, we now know that she "missed" (more likely omitted) at least 200 that she did not want to see the light of day.  Cillizza also points out that one of the new emails makes clear that when she took office, Hillary worried that she needed to keep control of her records and directed her staff to get a handle on just how that could be done.  That email delivers a death blow to Hillary's original claim that she only had a personal email server for "convenience".  In many way that "convenience" argument reminds one of the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live who used to mock the veracity of someone's statement by saying, "How convenient!"

There's more from Cillizza, but here's how he finishes his piece:

But revelations like Monday's — a chunk of previously undisclosed emails that are clearly professional in nature — lend further doubt to the story Clinton had told about why she set up a private server and how she handled it after leaving office. For a candidate already struggling to convince voters she is honest and trustworthy enough to be president, stories like this one are deeply problematic.

It sure sounds like Hillary is losing the Washington Post on this story.  What's next?  Will Bill Clinton question her story?

The Need For Honesty

It's a tiring effort to watch the media deal with Benghazi and the all out effort being run by most of the media to protect Hillary Clinton on the subject.

This morning, there's an article announcing that the sister of ambassador Chris Stevens (who was killed in the attack) does not blame Hillary Clinton for his death.  That's not surprising.  Stevens was killed by terrorists, not by the secretary of state.  He knew he was in a dangerous place and he accepted that risk.  But the point of the Benghazi investigations was NEVER to determine if Hillary Clinton should be blamed for the murder of our ambassador.  The focus was on 1) why there was inadequate security at the Benghazi installation; 2) why there were no precautions taken for the anniversary of 9-11, a likely date for a terror attack in the region; 3) why no military help ever arrived to save those left in the CIA annex in Benghazi (hours after the ambassador had been murdered); 4) why the Obama administration lied to the nation and to the families of the dead about who conducted the attack and why; and 5) why no action has ever been taken against the overwhelming majority of the terrorists involved in the attack.  Hillary is involved directly in items 1, 2, and 4.  The others focus on the military, the White House, and the Department of Justice.  Hillary's failures were severe, but they are not the basis actually to blame her for the ambassador's death.

The New York Times came out with a big article proclaiming that the Benghazi panel found no new evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton.  Again, that is a massive bit of misdirection.  Of the five items on which the investigation focused, only item 4 could be considered "wrongdoing".  The rest are indicative of incompetence by president Obama and his administration.  The issue of telling lies to the nation and the families of the dead was pretty well known before the report was issued. 

The reality is that if one reads the report in full, one finds that there is a great deal of evidence of incompetence and even lack of caring by Hillary Clinton and her staff.  That was always the issue.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Watching Labour Melt Down

The results of the Brexit vote were supposed to doom the Tory government in the UK.  David Cameron announced his resignation as prime minister effective upon selection of his replacement by the party.  The likely victor is Boris Johnson who was mayor of London and is a member of Parliament.  Johnson led the fight to secure Brexit.  The left wing press has been crowing for months about the split in the Conservatives' ranks.

Now the tables have turned, and they have done so big time.  The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was faced with a vote of no confidence by the MPs from his party.  The vote was 172 to 40 AGAINST retaining Corbyn as leader of the Labour party.  That's not just a landslide; it is a vote of no confidence of proportions that have almost never been reached in British history.  But here's the amazing part:  Corbyn is refusing to resign.  He says that he was elected by the party members not the members of Parliament and that only they can remove him.  We may soon see the extraordinary sight of the Labour leader having essentially no followers in Parliament.

Most likely, this bone headed stunt by Corbyn to cling to power will end shortly.  He will have to crumble in the face of united opposition from the MPs of his own party.  Otherwise he may doom Labour to extinction.

At the same time, Corbyn's move gives the Tories a little breathing room.  After all, who can talk about splits among the Tories when there are much, much bigger problems with the other main party?

Terrorism in Turkey

There was a major attack today at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey.  As of the latest count, at least ten are dead and many more wounded.  Reports say that this is a suicide bombing.  There are also reports that armed men were seen running from the airport building at the time of the blast.  No one knows for certain what terrorist group is responsible or even how many more people have been killed.

This is a terrible act by some terrible people.  There was no one at that airport who had done anything to deserve this or anything like this. 

It's worth considering a few things in connection with this latest attack:

1.  There is no right to own a firearm in Turkey.
2..  Ownership of automatic and semi-automatic weapons is prohibited in Turkey.
3.  No one may purchase a gun without first passing a vigorous background check and also providing a reason for purchase which the government deems acceptable.
4.  There is no anti-Moslem violence or prejudice in Turkey; nearly everyone in the country is a Sunni Moslem.  The terrorists were not motivated by Islamophobia or any insult of years gone by to Islam.
5.  Despite all this, there was still a major terrorist attack at the airport in Istanbul.

If there were Democrats in Turkey, I wonder how they would explain away this attack.

UPDATE -- The latest is that there are over 50 dead and over 100 wounded.  It also appears that this was an attack by ISIS although that has not been finally confirmed.  It's worth keeping in mind what true evil really looks like, and it is THIS.

The Actual Benghazi Reprot

The House Select Committee investigating the Benghazi attack issued its draft report today.  This lengthy report confirms some things we already knew but it still leaves a bunch of questions unanswered.

First, the report confirms that Hillary Clinton and president Obama misled the American people about the cause of the attack.  It was a terrorist attack, and both Clinton and Obama knew that within minutes of the commencement of the onslaught.  By the time of the release of the story making what happened out to be some sort of reaction to a youtube video, Clinton and Obama both knew that this was false.  Nevertheless, for days thereafter, Obama, Clinton and the entire administration pushed the narrative that this was a spontaneous response to a video rather than a preplanned terrorist attack by al Qaeda related forces.

The report also confirms that no meaningful military response to the attack was ever launched.  There were forces ready to go, but they were never given the final order to proceed.

Second, we still have two overarching questions: 

1.  Why was it that on the anniversary of 9-11, the day of the year when a terrorist attack was most likely, there was a) no military force in the region on standby to respond to any urgent situation, and b) no security precautions taken at a very dangerous outpost like Benghazi? 

2.  As the time passed and no military response was forthcoming, why was no one at the White House or the State Department or the Pentagon leadership monitoring the lack of movement and correcting the situation?

It's pretty clear that the terrorists struck a relatively unguarded US mission in Benghazi on a day when any rational American leader would have understood that the risk of such an attack was greatest.  There was no leadership from either the White House or the Secretary of State in arranging proper security for the Americans in Benghazi.  The result was the quick death of the ambassador and other.

It is also clear that there were not even any assets on standby ready to respond to an attack should that be necessary.  How can that be?  And how can it be that when the belated response just bogged down and collapsed, no one was there to get it moving again?

We already know that the phony Benghazi story was put out by Obama and Clinton to provide a cover story to hide the lack of leadership from the Obama administration.  Now it would be nice to learn why there was no preparation for this wholly predictable attack. 

When Will They Run Out Of Shoes?

Another shoe has dropped in the mess surrounding Hillary Clinton's email during her term as secretary of state.  According to the AP, a whole batch of new email was released today.  All of it consisted of work-related email sent or received by Clinton.  None of it was included in the email that Clinton had previously given to the State Department.  In fact, every one of these new emails was obtained from third parties.  The biggest batch was in the files of Clinton aide Huma Abedin who was forced to turn over her records in response to a court order.

This may not sound like much, but consider this:

1.  Hillary lied to the American people.  She told us all that she had turned over all of her work related emails to the State Department.  She deleted the rest and said that it was all about purely personal matters.  We now know of at least 50 email strings concerning work that Hillary deleted because they turned up on the computers of others like Abedin.  Who knows what else Clinton deleted?

2.  Hillary lied to the State Department.  She represented to the State Department that what she had turned over to them was everything, her entire batch of work related files.  She was required by the Federal Records Act to make such a turn over of EVERYTHING.  By misleading the State Department she was also violating that law.

3.  Hillary lied to a federal court.  Her lawyer represented to the judge that Hillary had turned over all work related emails to the State Department.  I cannot find the correct document on the internet, but my memory is that Clinton submitted an affidavit in which she swore this to be the case.  If my memory is correct, then Clinton most likely committed perjury.  We will need to see how, if at all, the court reacts.

Every time it seems that there is nothing more that can make the Clinton email story worse, another shoe drops.  Will they ever run out of shoes?  It certainly doesn't look like it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

So What Is Advice Worth These Days?

Anyone who knows Hillary Clinton knows Sidney Blumenthal.  Blumenthal (or Sid Vicious as he's known in DC) is one of Hillary's long time friends and advisers.  He helped organize Bill Clinton's defense during the impeachment.  He also worked high up in Hillary's 2008 campaign against Obama.  In fact, when president Obama named Clinton as secretary of state, one of the rules on which he insisted was that Blumenthal could not become a State Department employee.  Sid Vicious had just been too nasty towards Obama to allow him into the Obama administration.

So what was Hillary to do?  She certainly did not want to just follow the rules set down by the president.  Instead, she did what she always does and ignored the rules.  First, she got Sid a consulting job with the Clinton foundation.  Blumenthal worked just part time at most, but he got many hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from the "charitable" donations made to the foundation.  Then when Hillary left the State Department and began planning her run for president, she had Blumenthal shift to giving "advice" to other organizations.  For example, Sid became a consultant providing advice to Media Matters for America.  That's the organization of David Brock, the rabid Clinton supporter who often acts at the main attack dog of Mrs. Clinton. 

According to the Democrats on the House Benghazi committee, Blumenthal admitted that he was paid over $200,000 per year for providing advice on occasion to Brock's organization.  And this was not Blumenthal's only Clinton related job.  Overall, he got an enormous payday just for being Hillary's friend.

It's really unseemly to think that Hillary is paying her henchmen such extravagant sums.  Even a far left outlet like the LA Times expressed discomfort at the big payday given to someone like Blumenthal. 

Just imagine what four years of Hillary would be like.

Here Comes the "Expert" Garbage

The AP is out with an article promoting a "study" by "experts" who look at the effect on the national debt of the economic plans of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Ready for a surprise?  Hillary Clinton's plan only would increase the national debt by a quarter of a trillion dollars over ten years.  Trump's plan would increase the debt by ten trillion dollars during that same time.  It's utter nonsense!

Interestingly, the so called "experts" only looked at the taxation side of the equation in detail.  They ignored changes in spending.  These same "experts" also only looked at a static analysis.  In other words, they ignored the positive effect on economic growth that Trump's plan would have.  They also ignored the fact that Clinton's plans would slow economic growth.  In other words, this study by so called "experts" ignored reality in order to produce a document supporting Clinton and bashing Trump.

Here's a better way to look at the comparison.  Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes in a major way.  She has said that the increase would be on the wealthy, but in Clinton parlance that means everyone who is not poor.  Raising taxes only on the truly wealthy (the so called 1%) would not produce much more in the way of revenue.  Those folks already pay huge amounts in taxes and further increases would lead to many of them altering their investments and their income streams to reduce taxes.  Basically, if your family has income of $50,000 for the year, you could expect higher taxes from Hillary Clinton.  The next effect of raising taxes like that would be to slow the economy.  Instead of growing at 1% per year or less, we could watch the economy slip into recession.  That would cause the amount spent by the federal government for welfare related programs like food stamps, housing subsidies, welfare, job training, and the like to soar.  Most if not all of the additional taxes would go just to pay for the extra welfare spending that the tax increase would cause.

On the other hand, Trump wants a major tax cut.  He also, however, wants major spending cuts.  He wants to replace Obamacare with something much less expensive.  Such a switch alone might save a quarter of a trillion dollars per year or 2.5 trillion dollars over the ten years that the "study" looked at.  Trump also wants to eliminate a bunch of federal programs that amount to roughly 80 billion dollars per year.  He also wants to take on fraud and abuse in Medicare and Social Security.  That could easily be another 100 billion dollars.  The most important thing about Trump's plans, however, is that he wants to cut taxes and simplify the tax code.  He also wants to get rid of unnecessary regulations that are stifling business development.  That should lead to a spurt in the growth rate for the economy.  If Trump's plan gets just a 4% growth rate higher than Hillary's would, that would mean that at the end of his first term, Trump would see an economy about 3 trillion dollars larger than it would be under Clinton.

Let's take a moment to consider that extra 3 trillion dollars in the GDP.  First of all, it would mean millions and millions of new jobs.  It would mean that middle income Americans would see higher wages and incomes.  It would provide the federal government with about an addition 600 billion dollars of tax revenue each year.  It would also result in a massive reduction in the welfare expenses of the federal government.  There's no need to subsidize unemployment compensation for people WITH JOBS.  There's no need for food stamps for people with good paying work.  There's no need to provide welfare payments for people who are supporting themselves through work.  That reduction in spending would mean at least another 150 billion dollars in reduced expenses each year.  That's a total of three quarters of a trillion dollars per year in additional revenue and reduced expenses as of the end of four years.  Because the effect keeps growing, over ten years, it's a difference of more than ten trillion dollars.

So how much of this ten trillion dollars in additional revenue and reduced spending did the "experts" consider in their study?  NONE OF IT!  Not a penny!

And given that Hillary's tax plan would slow economic growth, how much of a slow down did the "experts" factor in to their analysis?  After all, as the economy slows, tax revenues fall and the deficit widens.  Guess what?  They didn't consider that either.

So how could the "experts" do this kind of analysis without considering the effect on the economy that the plan would have?  They say that it would be too speculative to consider anything other than a static analysis.  Think about that.  These people are projecting what will happen over the next ten years.  Do you know what the next ten years will bring?  Of course not.  Neither do the "experts".  By its very nature a study projecting the future is speculative.  It's laughable for these "experts" to refuse to consider positive effects from Trump's plan or negative results from Hillary's and then to tell us it would be too speculative.

The reality is that this is just another of those studies that the media trots out from time to time to promote their point of view.  They want Hillary to win.  They understand that her economic plans will not help anyone but will lead to continuing stagnation at best.  So they feed us "expert" opinion which is nothing more than political wishful thinking.

Why is ISIS Targeting San Francisco?

ISIS released a video warning of impending attacks.  It shows video taken on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  It also shows some other spots in that city.  So why would ISIS target San Francisco? Could it be that ISIS understands that SF is perhaps the best example of a liberal, politically correct city?  If ten ISIS terrorists were marching in formation down a major street in San Francisco, just think how many people would call the police.  Probably, the answer is none; they wouldn't want to be accused of profiling.  If the onlookers were told that the ISIS terrorists were here illegally, then San Franciscans might hold a parade in their honor.  At a minimum, they would hide the terrorists from law enforcement in keeping with San Francisco being a sanctuary city.  I guess the choice makes sense after all.

There Must Be Big Stuff In the Report By the Benghazi Committee

In a move that seems amazingly amateurish, the Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi released their "report" on the results of the committee's investigation today.  It should come as no surprise that the report says that both president Obama and Hillary Clinton acted in a perfectly proper manner.  The report also says that there was nothing that the military could have done to help those being attacked in Libya.

It's a very unusual thing for the minority on a committee to issue its own report before the majority issues the committee's official report.  I cannot find any other instance where this has happened, but it may have.  The point here is that the Democrats on the committee know what it is that the Republican majority has put together in the official report.  It must be very damning stuff for the Democrats to jump the gun like this.    Indeed, my guess is that the recapitulation of the facts from Benghazi will be devastating to Hillary Clinton.  We already know that a few hours into the attack, Clinton went home for the night and didn't even have any further communications about the attack that night.  Most likely, she just went to sleep while the Americans in Libya were under attack.  Maybe she watched a movie.  We don't know what she did.  We do know, however, that she was not monitoring the US response to the attack.

It will be interesting to see what's in the committee report when it gets issued. Hopefully, it won't just be a political document like today's "report" from the Dems.

Good News For The EU

Okay, the European Union just lost one of its main member countries:  the United Kingdom.  It's not all bad news these days, however, in Brussels.  It seems that Albania is now ready to be admitted to the EU. 

For a long time after World War II, Albania was completely isolated.  It was a Stalinist dictatorship surrounded by Yugoslavia and the West.  The Albanians dealt with the lack of access to the Soviet bloc by turning inward and basically cutting off all travel and trade outside the country.  Over the four decades prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, Albania marched proudly backwards.  It was never a very modern country, but by 1990, the Albanians had brought their living standards down to the level of 1850.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the government of long time Albanian dictator Hoxha, there has been some progress moving the country forward.  There are pockets of modernity (okay very small pockets).  There is no question, however, that Albania remains backwards even by Balkan standards.

So why in the world is the EU admitting Albania?  It will not help the current EU member states and it may actually punish the Albanians by forcing them to deal with all sorts of mandates from Brussels that they can ill afford.

If you needed to understand why it is that the Brits voted to leave the EU, the decision with Albania provides a great deal of important information.  Britain will not have to support the Albanians or their institutions.  That will be left to the Germans and the French.

The Supreme Court Oversteps Once Again

Let's assume that the law of a state says that only a doctor licensed by the state can perform surgery.  I think that essentially everyone would agree that setting that rule in place is within the power of the state government.

Let's assume that the laws of that state also set some rather high standards for just who can get a medical license.  It requires a college degree, a med school degree, plus internship and passing a test developed by the board of medical licensing.  Again, essentially everyone would agree that such a rule is well within the power of the legislature.

Now let's add a law that says that any hospital in the state must have an emergency room staffed with certain types of doctors and nurses at all times.  The emergency room is also required by law to have certain types of equipment such as the tools needed to deal with a heart attack.  This is another of those laws that clearly would be within the power of the state to enact.

So let's add something else.  Let's say that the state also has a law requiring all surgery to be performed in a licensed hospital.  These hospitals are regularly inspected and must pass standards for the quality of care provided, the staffing and equipment at the facility and the cleanliness of the facility.  Again, there are few people who would argue that such a law is beyond the power of the state.

Suppose, however, that there are rural areas in the state where there are no licensed hospital.  Let's say there is an entire country which is home to 2000 people and that there are no hospitals there.  In fact the closest hospital is 50 miles away.  Does that change anything?  Must the rules governing the requirement that surgery is to be done at a hospital be modified because the people in certain areas would have to travel to get that surgery?  This is where it starts to get interesting.  Certainly, that is something that has to be considered, but who gets to make that decision?  Our system (and the Constitution) provide an undisputable answer; the decision belongs to the people and their representative in the legislature.  If the voters are unhappy with the decision, they can replace their legislators at the next election.  The courts have no role at all in making that decision.

But now make the surgery being performed an abortion and suddenly all of this changes according to the Supreme Court.  The Court has no problem stepping into a decision which ought to be made by the legislature.  The Texas law requiring doctors doing abortions to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital has been struck down in a 5-3 decision.  It puts too much of a burden on a woman's right to abort her child.

In the example I set forth above, the limitations on the performance of surgery could limit the ability of citizens to get the treatment that they need.  In other words, those limitations on surgery and on the licensing of doctors might mean that some people could die because they just couldn't get treatment.  Even the Supreme Court would agree that the right to continue living is more important than the right to abort a child.  (At least, those two rights are of equal weight, even for the Court.)  Nevertheless, the Court has chosen to jump into a dispute where it has no right to say anything.  This is not a legal decision; rather it is a political decision.  It is just the sort of thing that the courts have no business doing.

Look, I am not arguing now that the Texas limits on abortion providers are good or bad.  That's a different discussion.  I am saying, however, that however that discussion comes out, the ones to make the choice are the legislators and not the courts.

Last week the Supreme Court stopped president Obama when he exceeded his constitutional power by trying to rewrite the immigration laws without action by Congress.  Today, the Supreme Court has exceeded its power in a very substantial way.  Who is going to correct that?

The One Way Ticket To Problems

Did you know that people have been put on the No Fly list directed at suspected terrorists for doing nothing more than buying a one way ticket to the Middle East?  I'm not making this up.  Steve Hayes, a writer for the Weekly Standard, was a featured speaker on a cruise that left from Istanbul.  He bought a one way ticket to that port and boarded the ship.  After the cruise, when he tried to fly, he learned that his purchase had landed him a plum assignment to the No Fly list.  No matter what he did, he could not get his name off the list.  Then, the Secretary of Homeland Security appeared on a Fox News show and was asked about Hayes' problem (Hayes also being a Fox News Contributor.)  The DHS secretary was embarrassed and made a call that got Hayes off the list.

Few people understand that there are a great many people on the No Fly list for every one who actually has any connection with terrorism.  Indeed, there are more than half a million names on the list.  All the current effort by Democrats to deny these people their basic right as an American to buy a gun completely ignores all these innocent people who will be penalized without even having any recourse.  There was a bill offered in the Senate that would have alerted the government when someone on the No Fly list wanted to purchase a weapon and then given the government a short time to ask a court to bar the sale.  It would have required that the government have some sort of evidence of terrorist involvement other than just the dreaded one-way ticket to Istanbul.  The Democrats voted it down because it had been proposed by a Republican.

There really is a problem if terror suspects cannot be stopped from purchasing weapons.  The remedy, however, is not political games but rational action.  I know using rational action when talking about Congress is a stretch, but hope springs eternal.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Few Things No One Seems To Notice

Since it's a Sunday and there is time to ponder things that often get short shrift during the week, I want to point our a few things that get no notice at all by the media and their commentariat.

1.  In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, we have been deluged by many on the left pointing out what a big mistake Britain has made and those on the right mostly approving the action of the Brits.  One of the biggest pieces of evidence used by the libs this weekend is the major decline in the stock markets on Friday, the day after the Brexit vote.

Think about that.  Supposedly, it's the libs who constantly tell us about how evil Wall Street and the banks are.  Bernie Sanders ran half his campaign on breaking up the banks.  Hillary Clinton may have taken more cash from Wall Street and big banks than any candidate in the history of the world, but she still talks about how we need to teach them a lesson.  Here we get something that obviously hurt Wall Street and it's the Democrats who are screaming about how terrible that is.

2.  Donald Trump gave a stemwinder of a speech last Tuesday in which he set forth much of what is wrong with the things Hillary Clinton has done.  Trump also, however, has told us what he wants to accomplish as president.  All we heard from the media after that speech, however, was a few stories about how some of Trump's facts were incorrect.  I saw at least five stories discussing whether or not Hillary kept a bracelet given to her by the sultan of Brunei.  There was next to no discussion of Trump's plans for the country.  Indeed, the only coverage of the plans in the mainstream media last week consisted of stories about Hillary's speech in which she said that unnamed "experts" have said that Trump's economic plans would lead to recession.  There was not detail about what the supposed expert said or any hint of why Trump's plan would supposedly lead to recession.  The media also has not covered the lack of any plan from Hillary on how to get the economy growing again.  Aren't the American people entitled to know what the candidates for president propose (or in Hillary's case don't propose) to do about our stagnant economy?

3.  In the last two days it was announced that the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan has been named a national historic monument.  Stonewall is where the "gay pride" movement began.  I saw an article in which the idiotic senator from Connecticut, Democrat Chris Murphy, announced he was amazed that the Stonewall had been so designated.  Think about that.  The designation was made by the Obama administration.  That means that Murphy is amazed that president Obama would honor a gay pride site.  Now, to be fair, we are talking about Murphy who is usually operating a few French fries short of a happy meal.  Nevertheless, wouldn't you think that the reporters would ask him why he is amazed that Obama would name the Stonewall Inn?

On What Planet Are They?

This is the planet Earth.  I say that because after reading some of the commentary on Brexit, I started wondering on what planet a few of the commentators were living.  In the last two days, I've read that Brexit is the reemergence of Nazism in Europe, that it is the triumph of homophobia and racism, that it means the end of Western civilization and that it is the harbinger of World War III.  Really, these people need to sit quietly for a few minutes and breathe deeply.  They've lost their minds, or at least it seems that way.

There have been some rather unintentionally funny responses to Brexit.

1.  There's the far left response (which I call the Democrat response).  A group of Labour members of Parliament are pushing for that body to ignore the will of the people expressed in the referendum and to vote to remain in the EU.  I call it the Democrat response because these members of Parliament remind me of the superdelegates who locked in Hillary Clinton's nomination even at a point when she was regularly losing primaries to Bernie Sanders.  The elites were telling the common people, in essence, that they don't give a damn about what those common people think.

2.  There's the activist response (which I call the #NeverTrump response).  These are the people who have immediately started a petition for another vote on the question of Brexit.  It may have taken years to put together the first referendum, but these folks want the government to immediately order a second vote even though there is no reason to believe that the result would be any different.  I call it the #NeverTrump response because it reminds me of the totally futile response of the NeverTrumpers after Donald Trump clinched the nomination.  Maybe these Brits can get David French to come over and lead their movement.

3.  There's the name callers.  These are the folks who after Remain lost decided that all those who voted for Leave were evil and started calling the majority of their countrymen racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and even misogynistic.  It was this group that said Brexit was the resurgence of Nazism in Britain (although I don't think Nazism got a very good reception in the UK in the 30s and the 40s.  This group spends too much time on Twitter and other social media.  They've learned that the best way to respond to anything you don't like is to defame anyone who agrees with that position.  It is perhaps the worst result of social media for our society.

4.  Then there are those who use Brexit to explain too much, way too much.  This includes all those pundits who have now told us that the Brexit vote is a sign of how the US presidential vote will turn out.  What utter nonsense.  I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that at least 80% of likely voters in the US presidential election could not tell you 1) what Brexit is; 2) which side won the Brexit vote; 3) what Trump and Clinton had to say about Brexit prior to the vote; and 4) what impact, if any, that vote will have on the USA.  Brexit may explain certain trends in British society; it means next to nothing about the USA.

Look, the Brexit vote is a major development for Britain and the maintenance of self government in that country.  It is important in Europe, especially if other countries follow suit.  (By the way, my favorite is the movement in the Czech Republic which is being called "Czech Out".)  It will have very minimal effect in the USA.

Does Reality Matter?

I wonder if anyone is doing any polling about the "sit-in" held by the House Democrats last week.  What do Americans think of that event?  To be clear, I'm sure that the Democrats are polling privately on the subject.  We should get a good idea what the public thinks when we see what the Dems do after they return following the Fourth of July.  I'm just wondering about public polling.

Here's the thing:  on the one hand we have the reality of the situation.
1.  The bill for which the House Dems were demanding a vote had already been defeated by the Senate.  There is no way for it to pass this year so that makes a House vote purely symbolic. 

2.  The bill for which the House Dems were demanding a vote is almost certain to lose in the House if there ever is a vote.

3.  That same bill is almost certainly unconstitutional.  It takes away the civil rights of American citizens without any due process at all.  The alternative bill which would provide due process was voted down in the Senate by the Democrats themselves.

4.  The so called sit in was all for show.  It may be the only sit in ever in the USA where the participants had a bountiful buffet in an adjoining room for participants who might get hungry.

5.  The only real result of the sit in was an avalanche of fund raising letters from the Democrats to potential donors.

Then on the other hand, we have the political narrative of the passionate House Democrats standing up for America to do something about guns.

I wonder what most Americans believe.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Does Anyone Actually Think About This Stuff?

There's a news story today that president Obama is going to lift the ban sometime this summer on having transgenders serve in the military.  I wonder what will come next.

Consider that news for a moment.  For the last number of years, we have been told over and over again that Obama and his administration is pushing hard to reduce the number of sexual assaults in the military.  Now given the source, I am not sure if there really are many sexual assaults in the military, but let's assume that it is true.  Does it strike you that the best way to reduce sexual assaults is to put soldiers who are physically female but who identify as male into all male barracks?  How about aboard navy ships that may be at sea for months on end?  Does it make sense to have a physically female sailor sleeping in the crews' quarters with all those young men?  Now some would say that the remedy for this is to put the transgenders into the quarters with those of the same physical sex.  That would prevent sexual assaults.  It would also anger the entire LBGT community and would be directly counter to Obama's edict sent to school systems regarding bathrooms, locker rooms and showers.

It just makes me wonder if there is anyone in the Obama administration who actually thinks things through before they act.  I surely doubt it.

Let's Not Lose Sight Of This (or A Bas Abbas)

President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority addressed the parliament of the European Union this past week.  In his speech Abbas told the elected representatives of the EU member states that Jewish rabbis in Israel had called for the Israeli government to poison the wells from which Palestinian people get their water.  I'm not making this up; Abbas actually said this in an address to the European parliament.  Abbas did not identify the rabbis, their statements, or the wells to which he referred.

Two days then go by.  After a firestorm of protest in response to the phony charge, Abbas announced that it turned out that he was misinformed about the supposed statements by unnamed rabbis, so he retracted his statement.  The retraction was issued in English only.

One need not be a genius to have known that there were no Israeli rabbis pushing for the mass poisoning of the Palestinians.  Those are the kinds of things that would have been big news.  Abbas knew that he was just telling lies when he spoke to the European parliament, but that did not stop him.  He had the stage and he decided to go for headlines, the truth be damned.

Why is it that this guy is still in power?  Abbas was elected to a four year term, but that was twelve years ago.  And during all the time that Abbas has stayed illegally as head of the Palestinian Authority, the Obama administration has supported him and sent massive aid as well.  Somehow, however, most of that aid has just not made its way to the people for whom it was intended.  One has to wonder just how enormous Abbas Swiss bank accounts are.  We know that Yassir Arafat had roughly ten billion dollars when he died.  In fact, maybe Yassir is the one who inspired Hillary Clinton in her quest to become a mega billionaire by some very questionable methods.

Terror Attack in Mogadishu

Islamic  terrorists from the al Shabab group blew up a vehicle in front of a hotel in the capital of Somalia and then stormed the building.  The terrorists took many hostages and killed may other hotel guests.  Numbers are not yet known.  Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack and the terrorists themselves made clear that they are part of that group which is linked to al Qaeda. 

Now let's recreate that paragraph the way the Obama administration would report it.

[omitted] from the [omitted] blew up a vehicle in front of a hotel in the capital of Somalia and then stormed the building.  The [omitted] took many hostages and killed may other hotel guests.  Numbers are not yet known.  [omitted] claimed responsibility for the attack and the [omitted] themselves made clear that they are part of[omitted] which is linked to [omitted].

Then the Obama administration would add this:  Many of the dead were killed with guns.  We need to do something about guns.

So there's an attack by an Islamic terror group and Obama would cover that up and then talk about gun control.  Right?

Who's Next After Britain?

Which country will leave the EU next?  Will any?

We already know that there are strong moves in France and the Netherlands to exit the EU.  Marine LePen, the French right wing leader, has pledged to hold a referendum if she wins the presidency in the next election.  The Dutch have been debating the subject for a while now.  Those are two of the biggest economies in Europe; their departure after the British leave would make the EU into Germany and her satellites.

The country that would benefit most from leaving, however, is Spain.  Unemployment in Spain is around 20%.  Because the Spanish use the euro rather than their own currency, it is very hard to see costs of operation in Spain decline to the point at which they are competitive with the rest of Europe, let alone the rest of the world.  Were Spain to drop the euro and go back to the peseta, that currency could be devalued and Spain could reach an equilibrium with the rest of the world.  Spanish products would become much less expensive in world markets.  Sales would soar and employment would pick up as more and more production was needed.  Spain could be put back to work.

The Europeans really need to change their outlook after Brexit.  If Europe were to go back to its original plan of a Common Market, much would improve.  Each country could have its own currency.  Political decisions could be made independently by each country.  The only thing that would remain would be free trade among the members of the Common Market.  That would promote efficient economic growth across the continent, something that has been missing for a long time.

The Next British Prime Minister

With the resignation of David Cameron as the prime minister of the UK, the commonly held view is that his replacement will be the Tory leader who headed the forces seeking Brexit.  That is Boris Johnson who is an MP and was a two term mayor of London.  Here is a picture of Johnson:

Image result for boris johnson
Look at his hair.  My guess is that he would work really well with Donald Trump.

The Honesty of Elizabeth Warren

If someone says Elizabeth Warren, what comes to mind?  For some of you, it will be Pocahontas.  That's Donald Trump's name for Warren.  He gave it to her because years ago she falsely claimed to be part Native American in order to get hired at Harvard Law School.  Some of you will think of Warren as a tireless fighter against big banks and Wall Street.  Of course, for people in that group, you might also want to consider that Warren just endorsed a candidate that has taken more cash from those same big banks and Wall Street than anyone else in history.  It does make one wonder just how serious Warren is in her stated convictions.  A few people will no doubt think of Warren as a potential vice presidential selection by Hillary Clinton.  That would mean that instead of just endorsing the candidate of the big banks and Wall Street, Liz would actually become part of that ticket. 

For me, Warren is a symbol of dishonesty.  She doesn't rise to Clintonian levels; few people could manage that.  Warren, however, is just another Democrat senator who will say whatever she needs to say to satisfy her supporters and who then will do nothing that is not directly in her own self interest.  In many ways, I find it extraordinary that the media and many others are fascinated with Warren.  She barely won her election to the senate.  Once in Washington, she has accomplished essentially nothing.  All she does is talk and talk and talk.  Oh well, I guess that's not too far from the average senator these days.

Putting Brexit Into Proper Focus

The articles on Brexit all talk about how the UK is one of 28 member states of the EU.  This really does not properly explain the impact that Britain's departure will have on the rest of the EU.  Britain is the second largest economy in the EU, behind only that of Germany.  Just under 18% of the economic activity in the EU is in Britain.  In fact, the British economy is larger than the combined economies of the 20 smallest members of the EU.  Perhaps the best way to think of it is this:  if the USA lost two states, it would be reduced by roughly the same number of states as the EU is losing countries with the UK.  But consider the difference if the two states were Texas and Florida or if they were Vermont and Wyoming.  For the EU, the loss of Britain is very much like the former rather than the latter.

The British economy is part of the heart of the European economy.  Just the London financial markets alone are critical to the rest of Europe. 

But there's more.  Without the UK, the EU loses its main counterweight to Germany.  There will still be 27 countries, but the Germans will control more than a quarter of the entire EU economy.  This is not likely to make the other countries happy.  Instead, escaping German domination will likely become a theme for the other national movements that seek to leave the union.


Is An Indictment Imminent?

This may be too much reading of the teal leaves, but there are signs that there is about to be an indictment of Hillary Clinton (or at least an FBI recommendation for indictment).  Consider this:

1.  In the past week, the AP came out with the story that focused on Hillary's email correspondence with Huma Abedin in which Hillary said she did not want to use the State Department secure email system because she wanted to be sure no one could read her personal materials.  This is perhaps the most critical of all of Hillary's emails when it comes to showing her knowledge that the personal system was unauthorized and improper and her intention to keep using it despite that knowledge.  AP confirmed that the email in question was somehow not in the items that Hillary turned over to the State Department last year.  It was only found when the email records of Huma Abedin were obtained by investigators. 

2.  In a surprising move, the official spokesman of the State Department CONFIRMED that the smoking gun email was not in Hillary's email that she turned over.  Until now, State has consistently double talked or avoided the question when asked about items that might embarrass Mrs. Clinton.

3.  AP then released a story that reported that there were at least 75 meetings that Hillary Clinton had held with private political donors, foreign contributors to the Clinton foundation or other contributors with business in front of the State Department while she was in office which somehow were erased off her official schedule.  In other words, State Department records, which are supposed to record every meeting held by the Secretary of State, left off scores of Hillary's meetings which she did not want the public or the press to hear about.

4.  Yesterday, the official spokesman for the State Department was asked about that AP report on Clinton's meetings and said this:

“I am not in a position — nor should I be expected to — to speak of the scheduling habits of a previous secretary of State.  I’m not able to do that.”

That's a rather strong refusal by the spokesman Admiral Kirby.  He did not say he would look into it.  He did not say that sometimes meetings are inadvertently left off the schedule.  No, he just said he couldn't justify Clinton's practices.

There's more, but just these four are enough.  In one week we have two major bombshells that damage Hillary's position in regard to the emails.  Two came from the AP which normally operates as a branch of the Democrat party.  Two came from an official spokesman of the Obama regime.  The AP got the story, no doubt, through a leak.  It certainly sounds like someone high in the Obama administration is preparing the ground for announcing Hillary's indictment so that she will be forced to withdraw from the presidential race.  Alternatively, but much less likely, this could be the result of leaks by the FBI to force the Attorney General to go ahead with the Clinton indictment.  Those leaks would explain the AP stories, but not the State Department spokesman throwing Hillary under the bus.

Whether or not the stories indicate anything is imminent with the indictment, they do show that Hillary Clinton is a completely dishonest woman who thinks that none of the rules apply to her.  Before she went to prison for tax evasion, Leona Helmsley famously said, "Only the little people pay taxes."  I keep expecting to find the quote where Hillary Clinton says, "Only the little people obey the law."

Friday, June 24, 2016

You Really Have To Laugh At the Crazy Liberal Logic

There's an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times today denouncing the Brexit vote as an "isolationist catastrophe".  It's an amazing piece (of garbage).  The two liberal authors equate a British withdrawal from the EU as a move by the UK into isolationism.  The only responsible question after reading the article is to decide whether or not to seek to have the authors committed to an institution for their own protection.

Think about it.  Isolationism is a very American point of view.  For the first 150 years of our nation, our general world view was to stick to the Western Hemisphere and to keep away from the major world powers.  We could do that because we had two things that no other important world power had:  the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean that protected us.  Any European power that wanted to take on the USA in those days would have had to transport an army across thousands of miles of ocean and then resupply that army as the fighting went on.  It was a logistical challenge that was beyond the power of any country at the time.  The USA stayed isolated from the big power conflicts behind our wall of ocean water.  Then came World War I and America's first major venture into the world of major power conflicts.  As soon as that war ended, however, the American people demanded that the USA retreat back behind the two oceans and to stay out of further involvement with world powers.  World War II saw another episode of American world involvement.  When that war ended, however, there was a strong push to go back to isolationism.  There was, however, a difference that quickly developed.  The Soviet Union joined the USA as a power with nuclear weapons.  Combining nuclear bombs with Soviet air power meant that our two oceans could no longer save us from an enemy.  Isolationism died in the face of that logic.

The British have never been isolationists.  They cannot be isolationists.  After all, they are just 30 miles or so from the rest of Europe.  Indeed, they are now connected very closely to the rest of Europe by rail and ferry.  London functions as the financial capital of the continent (some would say the world.)  There is no way to separate the future of Britain from that of the continent.  The UK has to be vitally interested in what happens (and does not happen) all across Europe.

Brexit was not about isolating the UK from Europe.  It was, rather, an attempt by the British people to regain control of their own destiny.  How many people can immigrate into Britain?  That is a question that the Brits want to answer for themselves rather than to get a regulation from the EU bureaucrats directing the answer.  On what terms can the UK trade with its fellow member of the British Commonwealth, Canada?  That is also a question that the Brits want to answer for themselves rather than to be given a directive from Brussels.  What about many taxes that get levied?  Again, the Brits want to answer that themselves.  How about the requirements for the production of British beer or sausages sold in the local pub?  The Brits say that they should set those rules themselves, rather than just receiving an order from Brussels.  Remember, all of these rules from Brussels are not the product of an elected government.  The EU bureaucrats are not subject to political change; they just get hired and that's it.  Simply put, Brexit is about the British people reclaiming their ability to govern themselves.

So how could these two libs tell us that Brexit is an "isolationist catastrophe"?  Obviously, they are wrong, but that is not enough.  The authors of the article clearly do not even know what isolationism is.  It appears that it is a word that they learned as part of some talking point once as being evil.  As a result, they use it without regard to whether or not it applied.  They are not alone.  For example, the moronic liberal commentator Sally Kohn today in effect said on social media that Brexit was roughly the first step to the return of the Nazis.  Obviously, she doesn't even care if she is close to reality.  We're back to the "say anything" type of response that liberal commentators love.

When Was The Last Time?

With today's focus on Brexit, I started thinking about a more general topic.  Specifically, I started wondering about this:

1.  When was the last time there was a terror attack by someone on the no fly list who bought his guns legally in America?

2.  When was the last time that you heard of a terrorist using a gun obtained through any sort of gun show loophole?

3.  When was the last time there was a crime committed by someone with the use of a gun obtained through any sort of gun show loophole?

These are not idle questions.  After all, we just had major political theater with the Democrats of the House conducting a sit-in in the House itself.  The stated aim was to get a vote on a bill that bars people on the no fly list from buying guns and which also closes the supposed gun show loophole.  I was just wondering what all the theater was about.

I've done extensive research and cannot find any terrorist attack (or other crime) committed by someone on the no-fly list with a gun purchased legally in this country.  I also cannot find any instance in which a terrorist used a gun bought through a gun show loophole.  I can't even find an instance in which any crime was committed with a gun purchased through a gun show loophole.

The real truth is that there is no gun show loophole, but that is another issue.  Let's just take the libs at their word and assume that there really is a gun show loophole.  It hasn't resulted in any terror act or any crime.  Does it really merit the silly demonstration by the aging Democrats in the House.  For some of those folks, sitting on the floor meant a real danger of not being able to get back up.

The narrative pushed by the libs is that too many people die each year in gun violence in the USA.  I AGREE!!  Nearly everyone I know agrees!  But what's the point of pushing for laws that won't make any difference. 

Even the Democrats know that these laws will have no effect, but they don't care.  Remember, in the Senate, there were two bills proposed which would have made some changes that the Democrats claim to favor.  The Grassley bill would have barred people on the no fly list from purchasing weapons if the government could show some minimal involvement by the purchaser in terrorism.  The bill would also have increased funding to help get the background check system working better.  It also clarified the definition of mentally ill people who cannot buy weapons.  EVERY DEMOCRAT IN THE SENATE VOTED AGAINST IT!!!!!  They don't want the law, they only want to use the issue for their campaigns.

Brexit is Amazing

Until last night, the British people were fed a steady diet of the inevitability of a defeat for the Brexit forces.  The polls were close, but the pundits all said that there would be a final move towards remaining in the EU.  The bookies all had Remain as a heavy favorite.  The markets in many parts of the world had a week long rally as the view that Brexit would lose took hold.  Well, they were all wrong.  The Brits chose to leave the EU.  Even the prime minister did not get to remain; David Cameron resigned this morning.

It's interesting to watch all the people who opposed Brexit now promoting stories about the bad things that will result from it.  Scotland is going to leave the UK.  Northern Ireland is going to leave the UK too.  At least those are the latest stories pushed by the media.  We will see.  The markets are way down, so is the British pound.  Gold is way up.  Again that is the initial scared reaction from the financial people who rush to profit from the change and force the markets to move in dramatic fashion.  Actually, all that is happening is that the phony rally that preceded the Brexit vote is reversing.  Again, we will see where things are in a few day.  Most likely the panic will recede and things will be back to normal.

In all of this, however, little has been said of the majesty of what happened yesterday.  The British people themselves made a choice for their future.  This was democracy at its most wonderful.  The Brits deserve to be congratulated.

More Proof Everything Hillary Did With Emails Was Intentional

After the news yesterday that the State Department was confirming that Hillary Clinton did not turn over an email containing one of the only discussions about the use of her private email server, I thought things had gotten just about as bad for Mrs. Clinton as possible.  After all, the whole world now knows that Hillary lied when she said that all work-related emails had been turned over.  Even worse, it was now clear that Hillary had tried to hide anything that showed she knew all about the dangers of her home-brew server system.  But today, things are worse.  There's a new story by the AP in which we learn that Clinton's calendar of events from her days as Secretary of State left off at least 75 meetings with major political donors as well as with people who gave hundreds of millions to her foundation and who also had business before the State Department.  Think about that.  Clinton's calendar is the official record of her meetings while she was Secretary of State.  It's a government record, not a personal document belonging to Hillary.  It is meant to be used by historians to see what happened during a particular period.  It is meant also to be used by people today -- especially the media -- to keep tabs on what the Secretary of State is doing.  And this is the record that Hillary Clinton "edited" in order to keep secret her many meetings with political donors and cronies who had business in front of the State Department.  Maybe the best way to think about it is this:  if a government official was selling his or her office to the highest bidder, would that official want a record of the meetings where the bidding occurred?  It seems that Mrs. Clinton did not want any record of these meetings.

What we have is a major one-two punch.  First we learn that Hillary kept back critical emails from the State Department, email that made clear that she was intentionally hiding her actions from the Freedom of Information requests and from Congressional and even administration investigation.  Then we learn that Hillary had at least 75 secret meetings with people showering her with big bucks who also wanted her to have the government do things for them.

Hillary is proving that Donald Trump was correct when he said that she is the "most corrupt" person ever to run for the presidency.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What Else Did Hillary Delete?

We now have confirmation from the US State Department that Hillary Clinton left out certain key emails from the batch that she turned over in her big media performance last year.  You remember the event.  Hillary told the world that she was giving the State Department all of her work related emails and anything that wasn't totally private.  All she kept back were emails about Chelsea's wedding, yoga and the like.  It wasn't very believable coming from a liar like Hillary, and now there's confirmation that it was just another Clinton lie.

The State Department spokesman former admiral Kirby confirmed today that an email between Clinton and Huma Abedin was not among the email that Clinton turned over.  The email was only discovered when Abedin's emails were obtained.  The key here is that the email is a discussion of whether or not Hillary should switch to using a regular government email account on the secure State Department system.  Hillary tells Huma in the email that she is worried that doing so would open her private discussions up to being seen.  In other words, not only is the email a work related document, but it is also the single most important discussion of why Hillary used a private unsecured email in the first place.

Once again, this is very significant with regard to the question of indicting Clinton.  Obviously, Hillary knew what was going on with her server and had the improper and illegal set up for her own reasons (which are outlined in the email.)  Clinton also knew that the email looked bad so it just happened not to be turned over to the State Department with the rest of her documents.  It's a fair inference to draw from that failure that Clinton was trying to hide the document.  She really is a crook and a liar.

No Donor Left Behind

Hillary Clinton unveiled her latest initiative today in a speech to the top officials of Goldman Sachs, J.P.Morgan, Citibank, Morgan Stanley among others.  The text of the speech was not released and no press was allowed.  Leaks from those who were in attendance disclosed, however, that Mrs. Clinton made a great show of announcing her latest proposal for the economy.  She calls the plan "No Donor Left Behind".  Basically, for any company that contributes a minimum of five million dollars to the Clinton foundation, Hillary promises to use the full power of the federal government to get any competitors out of the way.  For five million to the foundation plus at least two speeches by Bill Clinton (at half a million dollars a pop), Hillary will also throw in an autographed picture and an actual "get out of jail free" card just like in the game of Monopoly.  These "get out of jail free" cards, however, will actually work to excuse any executive of the company making the donation from the federal crime of his or her choice.  The last provision of the plan that leaked deals only with media companies.  For every fifty positive stories about Hillary or her administration or for every ten false positive stories on the same subject, Hillary will grant an exclusive interview provided that all questions are submitted and approved in advance.


How Smart is Hillary Clinton?

Watch the very short video and ask yourself this:  How smart is Hillary Clinton?

What a dolt!

Obama's Executive Action on Immigration was UNCONSTITUTIONAL

It's now official.  The Supreme Court let stand today the ruling that president Obama's attempts to rewrite the immigration law under the guise of "Executive Action" was unconstitutional and therefore invalid.  It is a major victory for the rule of law.  The president does not have the power to change the law; only Congress can do that.  Obama's attempt to act as a dictator and announce new laws has been shot down.

This result is extremely important for two reasons:

1.  First, Hillary Clinton has already announced that she supported Obama's action on immigration and that she would make it broader if elected president.  That tells you that Clinton has no regard for the Constitution.  She's prepared to take illegal and unconstitutional actions.  It will be interesting to see if she backtracks now that the Supreme Court decision is in.  She ought to rescind her position on immigration.  My guess, however, is that she will not change anything.

2.  Second, although the lower court enjoined the federal government from proceeding with Obama's plan, we recently learned that the feds went ahead anyway.  The judge was so incensed at what Obama and the Obamacrats had done that he lowered the boom on the government lawyers.  They, after all, were the people who had lied to the court by falsely telling the judge that Obama's edict was not being followed.  There are something like 100,000 illegal aliens who got work permits to which they were not entitled.  Those permits need to be rescinded.  Today!  My guess here too is that nothing will change.  Obama will just thumb his nose to the Supreme Court.

Are They Done In Maryland With The Show Trials?

Today, the judge rendered his decision in the latest criminal prosecution to come out of the death of Freddie Gray.  This was proclaimed by the "experts" as the strongest of the prosecutions.  This was the policeman who was most to blame for Gray's death (at least that is what they told us over and over and over again.)  The judge, however, had other ideas.  He acquitted the defendant of all charges.  From comments that the judge made during the trial, he was less than impressed by the evidence of wrongdoing produced by the state.

This is just the latest defendant that the state has failed to convict.  The first policeman had a jury trial and there was a hung jury.  The second was acquitted by a judge.  The state is 0 for 3.  And it is no surprise.  These prosecutions of police were an attempt by the Baltimore mayor and states attorney to turn what seemed like a tragic accident into a criminal action.  The court in Maryland deserves credit for not permitting mob justice to triumph over the requirements of the law.

Hard Data on Refugee Terrorists

Do you know how many people convicted as terrorists in America or implicated as terrorists in the last 18 months but not yet tried came to America as refugees?  In other words, since 9-11, how many terrorists did the government arrest who were admitted to the USA based on their claims of being "refugees"?

Think about it.  We know that there is a major debate about admitting those who say that they are refugees from fighting in Syria.  President Obama has been admitting tens of thousands.  Hillary Clinton wants to admit five times more each year than Obama has admitted in total so far.  Donald Trump says that it makes no sense to admit refugees if we cannot check them out to make sure that they are not terrorists.  Obama and Clinton call Trump a racist and an Islamophobe because of this position.  Trump says that it only took one terrorist to kill 50 people in Orlando and he would not put Americans at risk by admitting those whose background we cannot verify.

So I ask again, how many people admitted as refugees were later arrested as terrorists?  Have you ever heard of any such people?  Have you read news articles about the problem of terrorists sneaking in as refugees?

Here's the answer.  It became public when a Senate Committee made the details of arrests and convictions for terrorism public for the first time.  There have been forty people, that's 40 people, who were admitted as refugees and then arrested for terrorism in the USA.  To be clear, the arrest does not mean that these people were able to carry out an attack; most attacks were stopped by the FBI or the police.  Nevertheless, there were 40 people who got to the point of being arrested for terrorist activities.

This is a staggering number.  If each terrorist had taken out 25 people, we could have had 1000 dead Americans.  The number is truly upsetting because it only includes people who have been arrested.  Remember, there are all sorts of people who are being investigated but who have not yet been arrested.  For example, until a few weeks ago, the Orlando terrorist had not been arrested.  If he had entered the country as a refugee, he wouldn't even make this list.

The number is also frightening because the numbers of refugees have taken such a major increase.  For a long time, the refugees came from Iraq or Afghanistan and they were people that America had gotten to know during the fighting in those countries.  Only fully vetted people were admitted, and we still had at least 40 terrorists slip through security.  Now Obama is letting in thousands of people from Syria about whom we know next to nothing.  These are the very people that ISIS told us would include hidden terrorists loyal to ISIS.

There really is no reasonable way to conclude that it is safe to admit these refugees.  Without a doubt, Obama and Clinton's policy will lead to the death of a great many Americans at the hands of the terrorists.  It may be too late to ever get a clear explanation of this policy from Obama, but Hillary Clinton should be made to explain how she can favor admission for so many refugees about whome we know nothing when we know that so many fully vetted people have turned out to be terrorists.  People's lives are at stake.