Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cruising the Web

Andrew Stiles points out that Hillary Clinton, after the Orlando murders, called out quite a few Clinton Foundation donors, the Saudis, Qataris, and Kuwaitis, for not doing enough to cut funding for terrorist groups.
Qatar and Kuwait both made donations while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state.

The Clintons’ ties to these government extend well beyond their gifts to the foundation. The Saudi royal family also donated $10 million to help fund the construction of Bill Clinton’s presidential library, on top of a $3.5 million gift to the University of Arkansas. Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, the longtime director of the Saudi intelligence agency, is a former classmate of Bill Clinton, who was paid $600,000 to give two speeches in Saudi Arabia while Hillary was serving as secretary of state and facilitating a $29 billion arms deal with the Saudi government.

Former president Bill Clinton has praised the Qataris as “intelligent, forward-looking” investment partners for their work with the Clinton Foundation. He also earned between $500,000 and $1 million for two speeches funded by Qatari entities. Qatar was the only foreign government donor to the Clinton Foundation that actively lobbied the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
Why should these countries change their behavior? Stiles points out that Wikileaks had released cables indicating that Clinton had complained about those countries not doing enough to confront terrorism when she was Secretary of State. So they would get complaints from her, while they'd give money to the family Foundation, and nothing else would happen. It was clear that the Obama administration wasn't going to do anything more tangible than express their displeasure so they probably can live with her speeches blaming them because they know nothing will come of it. If Hillary were truly angry with them, perhaps she would return some of those millions. We know that's not going to happen just as we probably won't see any reporters press her on this.

Rich Lowry warns those who have or plan to endorse Donald Trump that they're going to be facing some very uncomfortable moments over the next few months.
Although this potential downside of a Trump nomination was obvious, the Republican establishment barely lifted a finger to stop him in the primaries, gripped by a faux sophisticated fatalism (even at the beginning, it was allegedly too late to stop him) and by an abiding hatred of Ted Cruz. It has reacted in shock and dismay at Trump’s attacks on the judge hearing the Trump University case, as if it were unaware the party had nominated a man whose calling card has been out-of-bounds, highly charged personal attacks on his opponents.

It must have missed it when he took shots at Ben Carson’s Seventh Day Adventism. It wasn’t watching TV that time when he doubted that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. It put it out of its mind that one of his main arguments against Cruz was that he was a Canadian ineligible for the presidency, and that he liked to sneeringly let it drop every now and then that Cruz’s real name is Rafael. And Trump’s birtherism? Hey, who hasn’t harbored suspicions that the president might have been born in Kenya and covered up his secret with a fraudulent birth certificate?

If Trump didn’t call Curiel a Mexican unworthy of hearing his case, you’d almost wonder what had knocked the candidate off his game. But the Republican establishment seems to have believed that it had an implicit pact (unbeknownst to Trump) that he could have the party so long as he didn’t embarrass it too badly.
Yeah, that's not going to happen. Donald Trump has demonstrated that he doesn't have any willpower to control his own rants and tweets. So any Republican politician who expresses support for Trump will end up having to answer questions every time Trump says something outrageous. They're in a really dangerous position.
The truth is that Trump is a wedge issue against his own party. Disavowing him means upsetting all those good Republicans who voted for him in the primaries, while supporting him means owning his irresponsible positions and statements. There is no good answer, which is why faith in a Trump “pivot”— to a more disciplined, conventional candidate — runs so deep in the establishment. Sen. Bob Corker, who will be a perfect running mate for Trump if he wants a wing-man uncomfortable with much of what he says, is constantly talking about the pivot. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus applauded Trump’s use of a teleprompter the other night as if the candidate’s wooden reading of the text was some sort of fundamental breakthrough.

This is all misplaced. Donald Trump may have many talents. Not being Donald Trump isn’t one of them.

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Jay Nordlinger has a question for President Obama.
“After a jihadist atrocity, you’ve often counseled Americans against Islamophobia. A neighbor of the San Bernardino mass-murderers said he did not want to report his suspicions of the couple because he did not want to be accused of Islamophobia. People around the Fort Hood mass-murderer said the same thing. Now a former co-worker of the Orlando mass-murderer says that their employer did nothing about the guy because he was Muslim — and they thought they had to tread very lightly around him.

“Does any of this give you pause? Which do you think is the larger problem, or greater danger, in America: Islamophobia or jihadism, including murder, and mass murder at that?”

Glenn Reynolds endorses this comment by an Indiana blogger,
I wish that TV talking heads would quit calling this "officially the worst mass shooting in US history". Will you people quit keeping a leaderboard? There are sick f***s watching you that take that as some sort of challenge as they update their .xls spreadsheets

Hmmm. PJ Media points to this unfortunate connection in the Orlando shooter's background.
Gun control proponents have been blaming the 2nd Amendment for Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen's easy access to guns, but the terrorist had been working for a major Department of Homeland Security contractor for nearly a decade, and had somehow passed two screening and background checks with the company. Concerns about Mateen's "angry, loud, and profane" outbursts apparently went unheeded for years.

G4S Secure Solutions USA Inc. is the same security contractor that has been quietly transporting vanloads of illegal aliens to selected urban areas around the country, as was reported here at PJ Media earlier this month.

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Rod Dreher posts an anonymous letter from a veteran police detective working in a major college town detailing what his experience has taught him - almost all allegations of sexual assault that he has investigated came about because of excessive alcohol. He tells a horrifying tale of what goes on regularly on college campuses. He concludes,
Eliminate the binge drinking and hook- up cultures that a vast, vast majority of reported sexual assault victims willingly participate in, and you would eliminate practically all reported sexual assaults in this country. Eighty percent of them at least would disappear because you would eliminate the victim side of the crime triangle.

We do not do our young people, be they men or women, any favors when we shrug off self- destructive behavior as just “sowing wild oats” in 2016 because it is well beyond that in our fallen and broken culture. Young people, though they may be of legal age for a lot of this activity, still need guardrails.
I saw a lot of drunkeness back in the day when I was in college. And that was when 18-year olds could drink legally. But there was nothing like this detective's description of young women actually planning to drink to extent that they would pass out. They go out to bars already drunk and then drink a few more drinks and then go home with some guy they just met. The guys are also drinking excessively. So no one is using good judgment. This all matches what I've long thought - we don't have a rape culture problem on college campuses - we have a drunken, hook-up culture problem.

Jonah Goldberg derides the standard liberal line about how all they want is to "start a conversation." Lots of time what they really mean is that they want to demonize those with whom they disagree. He cites Katie Couric's dishonest editing of her documentary on guns as well as those who have perpetrated hate-crime or false-rape allegations.
Then, when the facts come to light, instead of apologies we’re saturated with a fog of pomposity and self-justification: We were just trying to start a conversation. Raising awareness of the larger issue is more important than the mere facts....

Even when liberals call for an “honest conversation” about this, that, or the other thing, what they really mean is they want everyone who disagrees with the prevailing progressive view to fall in line.

Almost invariably, when I hear calls for “frank talk,” “honest dialogue,” or a new “national conversation,” I immediately translate it as, “Let the next chapter of indoctrination begin.” It’s a way of luring dissenters from political correctness out into the open so they can be smashed over the head with a rock.

Remember, behind every obvious double standard is a hidden single standard. For instance, earlier this year, The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer came out with a book attacking libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch called Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. When asked by NPR’s Steve Inskeep what the nefarious supervillains of her screed were really up to, she ominously explained, “What they’re aiming at is changing the conversation in the country.”

Well, so are left-wing billionaire George Soros and his minions. So is Mayer herself. So are all of these campus fraudsters and activists. And so is Katie Couric. But when someone on the other side of the ideological chasm questions the official narrative, they must be demonized or otherwise silenced. Why? Because the last thing progressives want is to start an honest conversation. They want to have their conversations — and only their conversations.

Heat Street reports on Twitter's Trust and Safety Council that was supposed to get rid of bullying and harassment on the social media site. But they seem to be interested only in certain speech. They seem less interested in shutting down anti-Semitic tweets.

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President Obama has finally found an issue that he won't try to solve by using some sort of executive action - closing Gitmo. Reuters reports,
The Obama administration is not pursuing the use of an executive order to shutter the Guantanamo Bay military prison after officials concluded that it would not be a viable strategy, sources familiar with the deliberations said.
As Ed Morrissey points out, such an action would have faced bipartisan opposition.
Ever since taking office, Congress has barred the transfers of Gitmo detainees to the US, a necessary component of shutting down the facility. The White House has routinely vowed to veto defense spending authorizations containing these riders, but the truth is that the ban on transfers has significant bipartisan support. The latest such threat prompted Mitch McConnell to ridicule Obama’s position last week as nothing more than a “stale campaign pledge” that he had no real intention of fulfilling — and no way to do so even if Obama did intend on it.

Without a path through Congress, there would be very little the White House could do to close the facility now, and almost no time in which to do it. Obama could attempt to close the entire Guantanamo Bay naval base and hand it back to Raul Castro, but that would almost certainly require Senate approval — and would create a political firestorm the likes of which have not been seen since the Panama Canal treaties of 1977.

This is what liberals do when they're in office.
A recent study by The Heritage Foundation revealed that President Barack Obama has created a whopping total of 20,642 regulations during his presidency. Now that he’s in his final year in office, we face an additional 2,000 proposed rules he intends to push through to complete his tarnished legacy.

The Heritage study also pointed out that these rules are costly: Just last year, the administration racked up $22 billion in regulatory costs—equaling “a dollar for every star in the galaxy.”
And then people seem surprised at the lack of economic growth in the past seven years.

Andrew Badinelli points out
that Hillary Clinton moved so far to the left during the primaries that she will have a bit of difficulty moving back to the center. Of course, she's always been a flip-flopper, but in these days of youtube and social media, she'll have a harder time denying her flops and flips.
Clinton has moved left as a result of these pressures. You name the issue, she’s flopped on it. The oft-mentioned Trans-Pacific Partnership? She supported it on the record numerous times before deciding to oppose it after Bernie’s criticisms. Federal minimum wage? While Bernie called for $15, Hillary said $12, and then later claimed at a Democratic debate to have supported $15 all along. Arctic drilling? As secretary of state, Clinton issued permits for drilling, but as Bernie amped up criticisms of the program, she flopped again. The list goes on, but only confirms what we’ve known for a long time: Hillary Clinton’s compass points toward but one place – the Oval Office.

And she knows that if she wants to get there, she needs to bring more than a few Sanders supporters into the fold. Her eagerness to please has already been well satirized, but she may soon find herself in an even more frustrating predicament: courting two opposed camps at the same time.

Traditionally, presidential candidates will go farther out toward their side’s edge of the ideological spectrum throughout the primaries before moderating themselves during the general election. Energize your base early on, the logic goes, and then move toward the middle to make a wider appeal. That move will be tough in this case: The fact that the alternative is Donald Trump will probably convince some Bernie purists, but a lot of them remain emotionally committed to opposition, even after Hillary’s thumping victory in California.

Can Hillary appeal to this core Left that handed Bernie 23 state primaries, and at the same time convince moderate voters that she’s somebody they can trust?

The New York Post tells the story about how a commonly-used photo of Hillary Clinton, wearing sunglasses and checking her email on her BlackBerry led to the State Department's investigation of her use of a private server for her emails. They had no idea that she used emails because they didn't have any on record, but then a satirical Tumblr page started posting "Texts from Hillary" and used that photo on its page. The Department noticed that and decided they needed to find out what those emails were because they would need them to fulfill FOIA requests.

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