Friday, January 22, 2016

Cruising the Web

This is how secret the emails on Hillary's unsecured server were:
Some of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her private server contained information so secret that senior lawmakers who oversee the State Department cannot read them without fulfilling additional security requirements, Fox News has learned.

The emails in question, as Fox News first reported earlier this week, contained intelligence classified at a level beyond “top secret.” Because of this designation, not all the lawmakers on key committees reviewing the case have high enough clearances.

A source with knowledge of the intelligence review told Fox News that senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, despite having high-level clearances, are among those not authorized to read the intelligence from so-called “special access programs” without taking additional security steps -- like signing new non-disclosure agreements.
Yet she had those documents on that server and then she allowed her lawyer and his assistants to go through that server to pick out the supposedly personal emails to delete.

It's just now that people are finding out that back on 2013 Donald Trump had basically the same position on amnesty that he criticizes Rubio for now.
Although Donald Trump likes to smear his opponents -- as he did with Ben Carson late last year, and he's doing now with Ted Cruz -- Cruz likes to talk about the issues. The reason for this difference in strategy is obvious: the Texas senator's policy views are conservative whereas Trump's are not. This means that the only way for Trump to beat Cruz is to avoid talking about policy. That's why he's getting personal. All the time.

The only policy issue he does talk about is illegal immigration. The problem with that is that he's not telling voters the truth: he's not the border hawk he pretends to be. As Cruz pointed out on Twitter today:
That's quite a change from what he's saying now. If Marco Rubio is to be excoriated for reversing his position from 2013, shouldn't Donald also get some heat for his flip-flop?

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John Kerry seems rather blithe
that all this money we're going to free up for Iran will end up in the hands of terrorists.
Days after Iran received hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief from the controversial nuclear deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday admitted a good portion of the massive funds will go to terror.

Speaking at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Kerry spoke about the massive kickback Tehran is receiving after nuclear sanctions were lifted last weekend.

"I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists," he acknowledged to CNBC.
Might nice of him to admit what everyone else knew about this deal. Perhaps this administration is finally understanding that money is fungible. Ed Morrissey adds,
“Other entities”? The “other entities” would include Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy army, which Iran directly funds and commands. The group (as “Hizballah”) has been on the State Department’s list of “groups considered terrorists,” as Kerry tries to slough off the context, since 1997. Hamas, the organization that Iran has directly armed, was put on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list at the same time. Perhaps the Secretary of State needs a link to refresh his memory?

Or perhaps he could check in with Treasury on the status of the IRGC. They also have it on their lists as a terror-related group, which is why the US tries to block its access to international banking. The Quds force, a subsidiary unit of the IRGC, has its own listing at Treasury.

Even if the funds don’t get immediately dropped into the bank accounts of terrorists, the sanctions on Iran at least provided some limitation on how much they could afford to move to their proxies and their own in-house forces of terror. The economic pressure that sanctions created forced them to put money aside to keep their people from rising up in revolt. Now that sanctions have ended, oil sales will boost their economy, giving the mullahs much more breathing space to stabilize their domestic situation — and allowing a vast increase in the amount of cash they can direct into their sponsorship of terror throughout the region.

That’s one reason this deal is such a disaster. It takes Iran off the leash in exchange for a ten-year delay in their development of nuclear weapons at best. It reveals the Obama administration as hopelessly naive, and in way over their heads.

The Washington Post has another nothingburger of a scoop that is supposed to tell us something about Marco Rubio. It turns out that, when he was 18, he was arrested for being in a public park after it had closed and had been drinking a beer. Wow! No wonder the guy grew up to marry a woman who got traffic tickets. Maybe he was arrested while being Hispanic.

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Bernie Sanders has an ad that features lots of happy people coming to see and hear Bernie playing to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's lovely song, "America."
I've always liked that song so I probably wouldn't mind seeing this ad a lot on TV just to hear the song. But, as Jim Geraghty notes, the ad says nothing about Bernie.
. . it’s brilliant because it says nothing about Sanders. The not-so-subtle subtext is, “lots of Americans like Bernie Sanders, they’ve all come to look for America, ergo, Bernie Sanders is America.” The only thing he says in the commercial is, “I’m Bernie Sanders, and I approved this message.”

The only reason to not like Bernie Sanders from this ad is if you have a strong aversion to cows, snow, or Simon and Garfunkel.

People might respond differently to an ad that features Sanders calling for $19 trillion in new taxes including a hike in payroll tax, a carbon tax, free college tuition for every idiot you know, federal subsidies for private pensions, price controls on new drugs, and an open support for making America “look more like Scandinavia.”
My husband commented to me that liberals detested Reagan's 1984 ad, "Morning in America" because they thought it said nothing wrapped up in gauzy images of happy Americans. Well, that ad was jam-packed with information compared to Sanders' ad. We'll see if those same criticisms that Reagan's ad engendered will crop up for Sanders' ad.

Charles Lane looks at how Bernie Sanders inveighs against the power of the wealthy and how they're ruining the country. Then Lane reviews how much money some billionaires have given to progressive causes.
Reviewing this history, you could almost get the impression billionaires have done more to advance progressive causes than Bernie Sanders has.

One way to square these data with Sanders’s rhetoric would be to say that supporting the left exonerates billionaires from membership in the billionaire class, as Sanders defines it. The hallmark of the class, Sanders senior adviser Tad Devine told me, “is the use of wealth and power to intervene in the political system for one’s own economic self-interest.”

Fair enough: Many, if not most, billionaires do, indeed, back conservative, pro-business candidates and causes. Wall Street titan Paul Singer is an example. Yet even Singer agrees with Sanders that same-sex marriage should be legal, and once set up a super PAC to support GOP candidates who were sympathetic to it as well.

It’s complicated, this issue of economic “self-interest.” Does Elon Musk favor tougher carbon regulations and generous electric-car subsidies because, like Sanders, he cares deeply about the planet, or because they help make his multibillion-dollar stake in Tesla more valuable?

Seattle’s Nick Hanauer says that he’s funding the higher-minimum-wage movement and other anti-inequality causes to “preempt the revolutionaries and crazies” who would otherwise lead an uprising by the have-nots; this, he says, will enable him and his fellow plutocrats to “escape with our lives” and “get even richer.”

Or maybe the mundane reality is that what motivates a lot of billionaires are their own pet notions and personal causes — pot for Soros, Israel for Sheldon Adelson — not some monolithic class interest.

Plutocrats’ spending on candidates and elections is huge and influential, but not nearly as decisive, or as unidirectional, as Sanders would have it. Sometimes, in fact, the results billionaires get confirm that old saw about a fool and his money.

IBD points out that
Hillary likes to evoke Bill Clinton's economic success, but she rejects the policies that led to the economic growth during his presidency.
Hillary Clinton has come out firmly against banking deregulation. She wants to hike taxes on capital gains. She wants to expand the welfare state and dramatically increase the size of government — by $1 trillion and counting. She wants to rein in cops and release felons from prison.

She also says that she'll seek Bill Clinton's input on how to grow the economy because of what "was accomplished under my husband's leadership in the '90s — especially when it came to raising incomes for everybody and lifting more people out of poverty. ... I'm going to ask for his ideas, I'm going ask for his advice."

But what Bill — or at least the Bill Clinton who was in the White House from 1993 to 2001 — would probably tell her is to abandon every one of her far-left proposals if she wants to see a return to strong GDP growth.

It was President Clinton, after all, who deregulated the banking industry (or partially deregulated it, at least). He also signed a sweeping welfare reform bill that imposed strict work requirements for beneficiaries and lead to the lowest poverty rates in history. In 1997, Clinton signed a tax cut that, among other things, lowered the capital gains tax rate.

And it was Clinton who famously said in 1996, "The era of big government is over" and who oversaw years when federal spending dropped from 21% of GDP down to 18%.

That's not to say that Bill pursued all of these policies on his own. After taking control of the House in 1995, Republicans forced his hand on welfare reform, spending restraint and the cap gains cut.

But whoever wants to take credit, the fact is that the combination contributed to the longest expansion in the history of the country — lasting 120 months.k
So whose policies are more similar to those of Hillary Clinton's: Bill Clinton or Bernie Sanders? It's not even close. Her husband's polices are now choices that she rejects and she advocates almost the direct opposite of many of those policies.

Awww. Bill is getting worried about Hillary's campaign.
Bill Clinton, according to a source with firsthand knowledge of the situation, has been phoning campaign manager Robby Mook almost daily to express concerns about the campaign’s organization in the March voting states, which includes delegate bonanzas in Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Texas.

Many Clinton allies share the president’s desire for more organization on the ground; they see enthusiasm that’s ready to be channeled, but no channel yet in place. “Iowa matters a ton, but it seems to be the campaign’s only focus," said one person close to the campaign's operations in a March state — one of nearly a dozen Clinton allies with whom POLITICO spoke for this article. "It’s going to be a long primary, and the campaign seems less prepared for it than they were in 2008.”
With all the time she's had to plan this campaign, how can she not be well-organized in Iowa? That was her fatal error back in 2008. You'd think that that would be the one mistake they wouldn't make again.

Former Senator Jim DeMint lays out his arguments why the Senate should not get rid of the filibuster for appropriations bills.

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Ian Tuttle contrasts
how the left, including Hillary Clinton, got so very outraged about Anita Hill's allegations against Clarence Thomas with how the left and Hillary responded to Juanita Broaddrick's claim that Bill Clinton assaulted and raped her. Remember that all Hill accused Thomas of was asking her out and making some off-color jokes. All Thomas was accused of doing was making Anita Hill feel uncomfortable. Somehow, that was treated as the most terrible behavior any many could inflict on a woman in the workplace. Anita Hill Was treated as a feminist heroine even though there were lots of dubious aspects about her story. Yet the reaction is so much different from how Broaddrick's allegations have been treated by the left even though she had a lot more collaborating evidence to her story than Hill did.
Compared with Broaddrick’s, that accusation was mild. In her initial Senate testimony, Hill only went so far as to call it “offensive behavior.” But Hill found a stalwart backer in one Hillary Clinton, then the wife of the “boy governor” of Arkansas, who one week before the allegation broke had announced his campaign for the presidency.

Hill’s accusation was entirely unsupported. The only person to publicly back Hill’s claim, Angela Wright, was rejected as unreliable by the Senate Judiciary Committee before she could testify, and Hill’s own testimony altered during a grilling by then–Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter, who said afterward that he believed Hill had committed “flat-out perjury.” Senator Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican, noted that after the period of alleged harassment, Hill made personal visits to Thomas, breakfasted with him, dined with him (twice), rode alone in a car with him, and initiated eleven calls to him between 1984 and 1987.

Yet at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in August 1992, the future first lady hailed Hill as someone who had “transformed consciousness and changed history with her courageous testimony.” “All women who care about equality of opportunity, about integrity and morality in the workplace are in Professor Anita Hill’s debt,” she added. That was ten months after Thomas had declared the confirmation proceedings a “high-tech lynching” and the Senate had confirmed him to the bench.

By contrast, Juanita Broaddrick’s claim was supported by not one but five witnesses and a host of circumstantial (though no physical) evidence. Broaddrick’s colleague Norma Rogers, who was attending the conference in Little Rock with her, says she found Broaddrick in her hotel room crying and “in a state of shock” on the morning of the alleged assault, her pantyhose torn and her lip swollen. According to Rogers, Broaddrick told her that Bill Clinton had “forced himself on her.”

At the time, Broaddrick (then Juanita Hickey) was having an affair with David Broaddrick, who would become her second husband. David Broaddrick told Dateline NBC that he remembers Juanita’s arriving home with a swollen lip and telling him that she had been assaulted by Bill Clinton.

And three other friends — Susan Lewis, Louis Ma, and Norma Rogers’s sister Jean Darden — all maintain that Broaddrick told them about the rape, too. (Rogers and Darden stand by their stories but have pointed out that they have an apparent conflict of interest: As governor, Clinton commuted the life sentence of the man who murdered their father.)
So if Hillary wants to pretend that she is such a supporter of women who accuse men of assault and she thought Anita Hill was such an admirable person, why the silence on Broaddrick? We all know why. Just remember Broaddrick's story every time you hear Hillary bringing out her supposed feminist bona fides.