Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cruising the Web

While Hillary is out there promising to put her husband in charge of revitalizing the economy, it would be very worthwhile if people realized that the president is not "in charge of the economy." Kevin Williamson explains this, although both Republicans and Democrats seem to embrace simplistic explanations that give credit to either Reagan or Clinton for single-handedly rescuing the U.S. economy. It's a much more complicated story.
It is true that the U.S. economy performed to general satisfaction during Bill Clinton’s presidency. But most of the big economic news of the 1990s had little or nothing to do with Bill Clinton, with government policies that were uniquely or mainly the work of Bill Clinton, or with the day-to-day management of public resources by the Clinton administration.

The Clinton-era boom was in no small part a continuation of the Reagan-era boom, which was, like the performance of the economy under previous and subsequent presidents, only partly a product of the president’s economic philosophy and policies. Two of the great economic-policy successes of the Reagan era — the taming of inflation and the bundle of reforms generally described as “deregulation” — were rooted in Carter-era policies. Ronald Reagan knew enough to understand that enduring the recession engineered by Paul Volcker and the Fed was necessary to wring inflation out of the economy, but he wasn’t terribly happy about it, and neither were voters: Reagan’s approval ratings were at 41 percent at the end of 1982, and his unpopularity cost Republicans a couple seats in the House. At the beginning of 1983, Reagan’s job-approval number was down to 35 percent. But in May of 1980, inflation had been 14.4 percent; in May of 1986, it was 1.5 percent, and Reagan’s approval number roughly doubled.
Don't give Bill Clinton credit for the budget surplus at the end of the 1990s.
The federal budget was in surplus (“primary surplus”) toward the end of the Clinton administration, as Mrs. Clinton points out. Why? Partly because of tax increases that Republicans fought vigorously against; partly because of spending controls that Democrats fought vigorously against; partly because of a stock-market bubble that liberated both the Clinton administration and congressional Republicans from making some really tough decisions.

Mere coincidence doesn’t actually tell a very good story for the Clinton administration: During the last quarter of his predecessor’s presidency, real GDP growth was 4.33 percent; during the last quarter of Clinton’s presidency, it was down to 2.89 percent and plunging. By September 2001, U.S. GDP growth was down to less than one-half of one percent and by the end of the year growth was only 0.21 percent. Maybe you think that was the lingering effect of Clinton policies; maybe you think Bush policies took an immediate effect; maybe you think it was other events (there was some economic disruption in September of 2001). In general, the people who know the most about these issues have the least certain opinions on that.
Because people have such shallow understandings of why the economy grows or declines, they tend to give credit or blame to the president at the time without understanding the long- and short-term policies that impact the economy.

As the WSJ points out, even if we were going to give Bill Clinton credit for the prosperity of the 1990s, Hillary Clinton is not advocating the policies that her husband implemented.
The Clinton contradiction is that she claims she’ll produce economic results like her husband did with economic policies like Mr. Obama’s. For the record, let’s lay out the differences between the agenda that helped drive the prosperity of 1993-2001, when the U.S. economy expanded by 3.8% annually on average, and what Mrs. Clinton is proposing to close out the 2010s, when GDP growth has failed to exceed 2.5% in a single year.

Taxes. Bill Clinton raised income taxes in 1993 to a top rate of 39.6%, but Democrats lost Congress in 1994 and he never did that again. In 1997 Mr. Clinton even compromised with the Newt Gingrich Republicans and cut the top capital gains tax rate to 20% from 28%. His wife wants to nearly double the top tax rate on long-term cap gains to 43.4% from 23.8%, in the name of ending “quarterly capitalism.” That’s higher than the 40% rate under Jimmy Carter, and she’d also impose a minimum tax on millionaires and above, details to come.

Today’s progressives remember the 1990s expansion not for increasing opportunity but increasing income inequality, and Mrs. Clinton has adopted this obsession. Presidents who prioritize equality over growth tend to end up with less growth and opportunity that benefits everyone, and thus with more inequality—as in the Obama years.

Trade. The global trading system had a great decade in the ’90s, not least because of Mr. Clinton’s leadership. Most consequentially, he spent political capital to move the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Uruguay Round of global tariff reductions through Congress. His Administration also brokered China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.

Mrs. Clinton has repudiated the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership that she had praised as Secretary of State. She supported Nafta as First Lady but, asked in March if the deal was a mistake, she replied, “You will have to ask the experts, who say on balance some people were helped and some people were hurt.” Now there’s a profile in courage. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton is dissembling on protectionism as Mr. Obama did in 2008, though in this age of populist furies she will have a harder time reneging.

Regulation. Mr. Clinton maintained most of the deregulatory gains that began in the Carter Administration and continued through the Reagan years, and he also liberalized ownership restrictions that had applied to the telecom industry. In 1999 he modernized financial services regulation, repealing the 1932 Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial and investment banking.

Progressives still haven’t forgiven him, and Mrs. Clinton as penance has picked up the Sanders-Warren theme that Wall Street is rigged so rich financiers can steal from the little guy. She wants to extend Dodd-Frank regulation to nonbanks, and she promises to entrench Mr. Obama’s anticarbon central planning at the EPA and expand ObamaCare with price controls on new medicines.

Labor markets. The ’90s saw the lowest U.S. unemployment rate in a generation, which drove wage growth, especially for lower-skilled workers and minorities. The 1996 welfare reform helped by including work requirements and time limits on benefits, expanding the labor force and putting low-income workers on the ladder to upward mobility.

Congress has since added a profusion of new federal tax credits that phase out as incomes rise and thus create infra-marginal tax cliffs that make it harder to escape poverty. Mrs. Clinton is proposing to impose many more such work disincentives. She’ll bestow tax credits on everything from child care to elderly care, from college tuition to businesses that share profits with workers.

To the extent her new mandates for family leave, the minimum wage, overtime and “equal pay” increase the cost of labor, she’ll drive more Americans out of the workforce. Oh, and while her husband spoke of reforming entitlements, Mrs. Clinton wants to “enhance” Social Security benefits and make Medicare available to pre-retirees.

The Clinton Administration was no free market paradise. And arguably his worst economic-policy instinct was making his wife “co-President” for health care—though the implosion of the new entitlement she tried to create helped usher in the Gingrich Congress, which pulled Mr. Clinton to the political center.

The point is that Mrs. Clinton really is now running to be co-President, but this time her ex-President partner won’t be the Bill everybody remembers from the 1990s. At least on economics, her co-President will be Mr. Obama, whose policy results everybody can see in stagnant paychecks and diminished economic prospects. Once was enough.

Jonathan Tobin adds in to explain why Hillary's appeal to Democratic voters by invoking her husband's presidency and leadership on the economy is going to be a problem for her.
The first is that she forgets just how unpopular Bill Clinton’s policies are among the liberal base of the Democratic Party. If the 1990s was an era of prosperity, it is due entirely to the free market and free trade principles Hillary’s husband pursued in cooperation with congressional Republicans. But it is opposition to those ideas that have fueled an unexpectedly potent insurgency against her candidacy from an otherwise unlikely 74-year-old socialist challenger. Clinton has had to tack hard to her left in order to fend off Bernie Sanders in a way that caused her to not only disavow her husband’s policies but also her own record of support for free trade.

This contradiction is no mere detail. Clinton’s only path to victory involves an Election Day turnout of liberals, minorities and young voters that have cheered Sanders’ message. Pundits assume that revulsion against the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency will generate the kind of massive voter turnout that elected and re-elected Barack Obama. But that factor can only be undermined by Hillary’s embrace of a man that embodies a lot of what the political left hates about this country.

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The New York Daily News, in no ways an outlet of the Republican Party, exactly nails how Iran is now treating the American Secretary of State.
It is simply delightful to hear Iran complain that business ain’t been so good since the mullahs okayed a nuclear deal with President Obama.

In fact, Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif professes to be so disappointed that he has recruited Secretary of State John Kerry into trying to coax banks and others to start trading again with the radical Islamist regime.

Obama’s pact delayed Iran’s march toward the capacity to quickly assemble and — just as important — deliver by missile atomic weaponry. In return for Iran’s slowdown, the world lifted economic sanctions that had crippled the country’s economy.

Iran seems to have expected hand-over-fist commerce. Instead, more than a few banks and businesses see too many downsides to opening up shop in Tehran. You don’t say.
U.S. businesses have very good reasons not to do business in Iran.
irst, what self-respecting U.S. corporation would want to sully its good name by trading with a country that persists in calling for destruction of Israel and views the U.S. as the Great Satan?

Second, the U.S. maintains sanctions on Iran for continued ballistic missile testing that shows increased capability to strike Israel with serious weaponry.

Third, the Financial Action Task Force, the world body that sets standards for fighting money-laundering and terrorist financing, continues to, in effect, give Iran pariah status.

In February, the task force declared: “The FATF remains particularly and exceptionally concerned about Iran’s failure to address the risk of terrorist financing and the serious threat this poses to the integrity of the international financial system.”
And then add in Iran's propensity to imprison foreigners and accuse them of spying. And then include how they treat women. What business wants to wade into those dangers? So now Iran is treating John Kerry as their complaisant servant to convince such recalcitrant businesses to get involved. They'd do better to work on the Europeans who are more willing to close their eyes to Iran's evils.

Venezuela is providing a timely and salutary lesson about what happens when socialist policies are allowed to rule a nation. Bret Stephens writes about how he'd explain what socialism is to his young son. Too many western leaders shut their eyes to what was going on in Venezuela because they enjoyed Hugo Chavez's sticking it in the eye of George W. Bush or they wanted his money taken from exploiting the country's huge oil reserves.
Socialism is a mental poison that leads to human misery of the sort you see in these wrenching pictures.

The lesson seems all the more necessary when discredited ideologies are finding new champions in high places. When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died in 2013, an obscure U.K. parliamentarian tweeted, “Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world.”

The parliamentarian was Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labour Party.

Let’s not stop with Mr. Corbyn. In its day, Chavismo found champions, apologists and useful idiots among influential political figures and supposed thought leaders. In Massachusetts there were Joseph P. Kennedy and Rep. Bill Delahunt, who arranged a propaganda coup for the strongman by agreeing to purchase discounted Venezuelan heating oil for U.S. consumers. The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel extolled Chávez for defying the Bush administration and offering “an innovative four-point program to renew and reform the U.N.”

Up north, Naomi Klein, Canada’s second-most unpleasant export, treated Chávez as heroically leading the resistance to the forces of dreaded neoliberalism. Jimmy Carter mourned Chávez for “his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment.”

There are lesser names to add to this roll call of dishonor— Michael Moore, Sean Penn—but you get the point: “Democratic socialism” had no shortage of prominent Western cheerleaders as it set Venezuela on its road to hyperinflation, hyper-criminality, water shortages, beer shortages, electricity blackouts, political repression and national collapse. Chávez and his successor, Nicolás Maduro, gained prestige and legitimacy from these paladins of the left. They are complicit in Venezuela’s agony.
Bernie Sanders has long admired the sorts of policies that Chavez instituted in Venezuela.
As mayor of Burlington, Vt., in the 1980s, he boasted of conducting his own foreign policy, including sister-city relations with Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua and Yaroslavl in the Soviet Union. On a 1985 trip to Nicaragua, he lavished praise on Daniel Ortega’s communist regime—Chavismo’s older cousin.

“In terms of health care, in terms of education, in terms of land reform . . . nobody denies they [the Sandinistas] are making significant progress in those areas,” then-Mayor Sanders told one interviewer in 1985. “And I think people understand that and I think the people of Nicaragua, the poor people, respect that.”

If Mr. Sanders ever rethought or recanted those views, I’m not aware of it.

But the point isn’t what Mr. Sanders may have thought of the Sandinistas in the 1980s or the Chavistas in the past decade. It’s that the type of socialism that the senator espouses—$18 trillion in additional government spending over the next decade, accusations that Wall Street is a criminal enterprise and the continuous demonization of “millionaires and billionaires”—is not all that different from its South American cousins.

Democratic socialism—whether Chavez’s or Sanders’s—is legalized theft in the name of the people against the vilified few. It is a battle against income inequality by means of collective immiseration. It is the subjugation of private enterprise and personal autonomy to government power. Mr. Sanders promises to pursue his aims on the Scandinavian model, as if that was a success, and as if Americans are Scandinavians. It wasn’t. We aren’t. Bernie’s Way paves the same road to serfdom that socialism does everywhere.

That’s a fact Americans might have learned after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. We didn’t. Take the time to tell your kids what socialism is, and does, before they too feel the Bern.
Stephens links to this explanation by Swede Nima Sanandaji , author of Scandinavian Unexceptionalism: Culture, Markets and the Failure of Third-Way Socialism, about why liberals shouldn't point to Scandinavia as the exception that proves that socialism works.
A common notion is that particularly Sweden, and to some extent other Nordic nations, have embarked on a unique economic route: the third way. Third way politics refers to an alternative to free‑markets on the one hand and communism on the other. Indeed, policies did steer sharply to the left during the late 1960s in Sweden. Not only did the overall tax burden rise, but the new system also discriminated heavily against individuals who owned businesses. As politics radicalised the social democratic system began challenging the core of the free market model: entrepreneurship....

The employee funds were the tip of an iceberg of destructive policies introduced during the third-way period. Changes in regulation, taxation and increased state involvement had reduced the growth potential of the previously dynamic Swedish economy. As late as 1975 Sweden was ranked as the 4th richest nation in the world according to OECD measures. The policy shift that occurred dramatically slowed down the growth rate. Sweden dropped to 13th place in the mid‑1990s. In 2014, following a period of recovery from the country’s crisis and significant free market and tax reduction reforms that followed, Sweden had risen to 8th position.

The famous Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck concluded in the late 1990s: “If recent developments of the Swedish economic and social system continue, the ‘Swedish model’ […] will turn out to have been a brief historical episode – an interlude lasting no more than about three decades, from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s.” So far he has been proven right. The failure of third way policies is well known amongst both academics and politicians in the country, and can in turn explain the enthusiasm for market reform that the country has experienced since the early 1990s. It is perhaps surprising how the myth of Sweden’s successful socialist system lives on abroad, decades after state control over the economy was rejected in the country itself.
These are lessons that leftists here in the United States just don't seem to recognize. Someone like Bernie Sanders is still using the history of the 1960s to the early 1990s for their praise of the Nordic model. It is like praising the government policies practiced by states like Illinois, California, and Michigan, and New York have practiced for the last quarter century without looking at what the financial results have been. Remember that President Obama just joked about turning the world over to the Scandinavian countries to be in charge. Maybe Bernie and Barack should check up on what has happened since the early 1990s. Otherwise, someone might quip, "The 1980s called and they want their economics back."

Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today about the phenomenon of people falling for the idea of socialism without understanding its failed history.
It is a common misconception that socialism is about helping poor people. Actually, what socialism does is create poor people, and keep them poor. And that’s not by accident.

Under capitalism, rich people become powerful. But under socialism, powerful people become rich. When you look at a socialist country like Venezuela, you find that the rulers are fabulously wealthy even as the ordinary citizenry deals with empty supermarket shelves and electricity rationing.

The daughter of Venezuela’s socialist ruler, Hugo Chavez, is the richest individual in Venezuela, worth billions of dollars, according to the Miami-based Diario Las América. In Cuba, Fidel Castro reportedly has lived — pretty much literally — like a king, even as his subjects dwelt in poverty. In the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as Hedrick Smith reported in his The Russians, the Communist Party big shots had lavish country houses and apartments in town stocked with hand-polished fresh fruit, even as the common people stood in line for hours at state-run stores in the hopes of getting staples.

There’s always a lot of talk about free health care, but it’s generally substandard for the masses and fancy for the elite. (The average Cuban or Venezuelan peasant — or Soviet-era Russian — doesn’t get the kind of health care that people at the top get.)

In the old Soviet Union, the new communist nobility, whose positions and influence seemed to run in families somehow, were called the Nomenklatura (from the Latin word for a list of names). Despite all the talk about equality, etc., they generally did a lot better than people who didn’t have the right connections. Dissident Milovan Djilas referred to these managers and apparatchiks (another Soviet-era word) as the “New Class.” Where socialist equality was supposed to eliminate the distinction between exploited workers and peasants and their capitalist exploiters, it instead produced a new distinction, between exploited workers and peasants and their “New Class” socialist oppressors.
Reynolds then turns to Sanders' proposals and how they wouldn't achieve what he promises but actually help wealthier people more than poor people.
The Washington Post recently ran a piece originally entitled "Bernie Sanders’ plans have surprisingly small benefits for America’s poorest people." Among other things, it noted that “in general, though, Sanders’ health care plan would benefit affluent households more than it would poorer ones.”

Likewise, a paper from the left-leaning Brookings Institution notes that the biggest beneficiaries of Bernie’s free-college proposal would be rich kids: "Families from the top half of the income distribution would receive 24% more in dollar value from eliminating tuition than students from the lower half of the income distribution.”

Well, America isn’t socialist — though, these days, we’re not really capitalist, either, if by capitalist you mean a free-market economy without much government direction — but we do have our own New Class. And those people tend to be Bernie supporters.

America’s New Class isn’t the super rich (they tend to donate to Hillary Clinton); it's the upper-middle-class employees of non-profits, universities and government agencies. They benefit twice from the kinds of programs that Bernie supports: Often, they’re employed to administer them, or receive funds for providing services (think college administrators who, unsurprisingly, heavily support Bernie and Hillary), and then they also receive the benefits because their kids are more likely to go to college than, say, a Kroger cashier’s.

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Betsy McCaughey reviews the documentary made from Peter Schweizer's book, Clinton Cash. There are some explosive allegations connecting money going to the Clintons from businesses and countries that wanted something from the State Department. It's all very familiar to those of us who remember how money flooded into the Clinton White House and Democratic Party during Bill's presidency.
Schweizer’s research has withstood a year of intense scrutiny from critics because it is fact, not fiction. And the facts are compelling.

The film whisks you around the globe, retracing how the Clintons personally pocketed six-figure speaking fees and collected billions of dollars for their family foundation.

How? By trading on Hillary’s position as secretary of state and possible future president.

She and her ex-president husband sold out to titans, dictators and shady characters in Nigeria, Congo, Kazakhstan and United Arab Emirates, not to mention at Goldman Sachs and TD Bank.

Along the way, the Clintons betrayed the values they profess on the campaign trail: human rights, environmentalism and democracy.

That’s why Schweizer is bringing the documentary to the Democratic convention — to show the party faithful how the Clintons used and abused their liberal principles to amass a fortune.

The Clintons earned the bulk of their money from speaking fees. It was simple: Bill’s fees skyrocketed when Hillary became secretary of state in 2009, suggesting that countries and companies hiring him counted on getting more than just Bill — they also expected to land what his wife had to offer.

For example, a Nigerian newspaper publisher tied to the ruling People’s Democratic Party — which is anything but democratic — paid Bill a whopping $1.4 million to deliver two speeches in 2011 and 2012. The Clintons closed their eyes to the human-rights abuses by Nigeria’s brutal president, Goodluck Jonathan, as they collected their checks.

Secretary Clinton even made an official visit to Nigeria in 2012, congratulating Jonathan on his nonexistent “reform efforts.” It was American legitimacy bestowed at a bargain price. And just the opposite of what Human Rights Watch had implored her to do.

Here’s another example of the pair’s lucrative shenanigans. TD Bank never engaged Bill Clinton to speak during his first eight years out of the White House. But in 2009, four days after Hillary was nominated secretary of state, Bill made the first of a string of speeches for which TD paid almost $2 million. An astounding amount.

And guess what. TD Bank was the single largest shareholder in the Keystone XL pipeline, which required State Department approval. Lo and behold, Hillary Clinton decided to support the pipeline — a heresy to environmentalists — and delayed the Obama administration’s rejection of it.
Wait until Trump focuses on such allegations instead of talking about Bill's horndog behavior.

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John Podhoretz explains how Hillary is running such a "painfully stupid campaign."
Who else but a tone-deaf bumbler would have spoken the insanely infelicitous words — “we are going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” — that destroyed her in West Virginia and made Kentucky so hard for her Tuesday night?

We all know she wanted to sell herself to environmentalists, but surely she could have found a way to do so without celebrating the elimination of working-class jobs during the Populist-Resentment Olympics that constitute the 2016 election cycle. Surely this has to be counted among the dumbest self-inflicted political errors of our time.

But forget that recent boner. How about the fact that she took giant speaking fees from banks and hedge funds and Wall Street in 2013 and 2014 knowing full well she was about to run for president in a party that hates banks and hedge funds and Wall Street?

And did so, moreover, when it was money she didn’t need, given that her family net worth was north of $100 million when she did so?

Just imagine if she had denied Sanders that issue by never having taken the dough in the first place; his candidacy might never have taken off had it not been for the way he hammered her over her refusal to release the texts of her Goldman Sachs speeches.

Call it greed if you like, but idiocy is another suitable word for it.

Look, the least damning theory anyone can come up with about the decision to shield her emails from public view by setting up a private server is that it was an act of paranoid stupidity.

Her uncommonly gifted husband was always getting himself into trouble, but at least it was fun trouble. Her trouble is boring, plodding, unimaginative, ill-considered trouble. Bill Clinton is larger than life. Hillary Clinton is smaller than the office she’s trying so hard to occupy.

When Bernie Sanders starts complaining about the Democratic nomination process is rigged against him, he is referring to exactly what the system of superdelegates within the process was designed to do. Read this fascinating examination of the history of the Hunt Commission which the Democrats used in the early 1980s to create the superdelegate-system in the first place.
It would be easy to caricature the Hunt Commission as a cabal of party bosses scheming in some smoke-filled room. But the record suggests that the participants were genuinely interested in doing the right thing. Throughout the hearings, they affirmed the importance of ensuring equal representation for women and minorities in the party. They believed the creation of superdelegates and the rolling back of primaries would better serve the party, its voters and the country. As the Commission’s final report pointed out, primaries had created a longer, more expensive and divisive nomination process, and the “frontloading” of states early in the process threatened to sew up the nomination prematurely.

Yet the Commission’s work was based on questionable assumptions. Commission advisor Rick Stearns’ cagey defense of superdelegates in 1982 illustrates this best: “It’s like Reagan’s economic policy. If you accept the premise, it’s good.” The premise, in this case, was that politics was the domain of those at the top, those most qualified and best placed to help achieve political victories.

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Republicans have been waiting for years for environmental positions to drive a wedge between some labor unions and the Democratic Party. Jonathan Tobin hypothesizes that that time has arrived.
The defection of key construction unions from the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s voter turnout super PAC because of their refusal to partner with a leading environmentalist donor is troubling in and of itself since it could undermine a key element in the Democratic plan for victory. But the possibility that these blue collar Democrats might be alienated from the party is also bound to give hope to Trump supporters who think his ability to generate working class support can overturn the conventional wisdom about the general election.

The trouble in the Democrats’ ranks stems from the involvement of one of their top donors: Tom Steyer. Though liberals bellyache about the supposedly evil influence of money when it comes from conservative or Republican donors like the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson, they have no problem with left-wing billionaires like George Soros or Steyer, a wealthy environmentalist that has pledged vast sums to help elect Democrats this year. But the problem with Steyer is that his activism runs counter to the interest of construction unions and other working people, who view the efforts of environmentalist to stop oil and gas projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline is costing the labor movement jobs and its members their livelihoods.

That’s why the presidents of seven of the country’s biggest construction unions are threatening to boycott a new super PAC called For Our Future, created by the labor movement to generate a big turnout for the Democrats this fall. They are particularly outraged that the A.F.L.-C.I.O’s President Richard Trumpka was willing to partner with Steyer in the creation of the super PAC. They say that if Steyer and his money remains part of the deal, they want no part of the scheme. In letters to Trumpka that were provided to the New York Times, the union leaders call the deal with Steyer a “politically bankrupt betrayal” of their interests. Not pulling any punches they say the willingness to embrace the radical environmentalist and his leftist ideology is beyond the pale: “We object to the political agenda of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. being sold to a job-killing hedge fund manager with a bag of cash,” the letter from Terry O’Sullivan, the president of the Laborers International Union reads. (Links in original)
Just as Hillary is having trouble convincing coal miners that she truly cares about their welfare after she chortled over the jobs that they were going to lose as environmental regulations shut down coal mines, the Democratic Party is going to have trouble addressing these sorts of workers that their interests are best represented by a party that wants to shut down the projects that provides them with jobs. And Donald Trump has shown the ability to appeal to working class voters that surprised a whole lot of Republican operatives and political pundits. Expect to see Hillary Clinton out there wearing hardhats and telling workers how much she loves them while she simultaneously promises environmentalists that she'll continue the policies that stifle economic growth and provide the jobs for those very workers.

Red State is right. It's going to be a very long five months.

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Women can relax. The House acted to make sure that no bill for conscripting women would be considered this year. Of course, there is absolutely no chance that Congress would pass any new draft, but if they ever did, drafting women would probably have to be considered ever since the Obama administration decided that women can be used in combat.