Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cruising the Web

Ben Shapiro goes off on what he has learned from Trump's FEC filing.
Lots and lots of things which should make it clear Trump isn’t serious about winning the presidency; the historic inability of the candidate to raise money leaves the GOP in a precarious position hovering over a chasm of electoral disaster unless the party awakens and jettisons the con man who is their prospective nominee. Here are 11 facts you need to know from the FEC filing and comparing it to other filings:
Not only has he raised an insignificant amount of money in comparison to what a candidate running for a local county commissioner might need, much less the presidential nominee of a major party, but a substantial percentage of the money he's spent has gone to...himself.
2. The Trump campaign paid 20% of its campaign spending in May, $1.1 million, to firms he owns and for travel reimbursements for his children.

3. The Trump campaign spent $432,000 renting out Trump’s own resort, Mar A Lago....

7. Trump paid Tag Air $349,000. Trump owns Tag Air....

The Trump campaign spent $737,059.96 at Trump-owned businesses in May; $1.37 million of the recipients from the Trump campaign have "Trump" in their name.
Campaign money is also going to pay a salary to ... Donald J. Trump. Nice work if you can get it.

Then there are the misguided choices on what he's spending money on such as overpaying his very few campaign aides. And there are the skewed decisions he's making on where to put his money.
Trump’s priorities? Check this out: in May, the campaign spent $208,000 on HATS, as opposed to $115,000 on online advertising, $48,000 on data management, and $38,000 on communications consulting.
This is the guy who argues that his successful business experience is the reason why he is qualified for the presidency.
he Trump campaign has $1.3 million on hand and is $45.7 million in debt.
No wonder he is having trouble raising money. Who wants to give up hard-earned money to donate to the guy who is channeling money to himself or wasting it on hats? Shapiro points out that Trump, who has been the presumptive nominee for a month and a half has substantially less money on hand than Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders.

As Ian Tuttle writes, his campaign is a scam.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s apocalyptically bad fundraising report, a new word seems in order to describe the exercise in grift being played out on the national stage. Call it a scampaign.

The presumptive Republican nominee’s FEC filing, released yesterday, is quantitative confirmation that Trump is not running a presidential campaign so much as another of his success-immune business schemes.
So, if his ability as a businessman is exposed once again as lacking; he is exposed as totally ignorant on almost every major policy question, he is ticking off and repelling way more people than he's attracting, tell me again what the argument is for his candidacy.
With Trump, it’s always a question whether you’re getting played, and as the question pertains to his presidential run, the FEC filing effectively proves that the answer is yes. Would someone worth “TEN BILLION DOLLARS” be pinching the edges of the toothpaste tube? Would he be trying to bilk donors out of their money — not to build campaign infrastructure and start advertising, but simply to cover his own out-of-pocket costs?

Of course not. And potential donors know it. Any money-man who was thinking about getting behind this effort is going to reconsider. Every right-leaning super PAC is going to look around for alternatives. No one wants $1 out of every $5 that he donates going to fill the coffers at Mar-a-Lago.

But that is what is happening. Just like his opponent on the Democratic side, Trump has no qualms about turning the advantages of public life to private gain, about erasing the line between public service and private enrichment — and even for pennies. Trump has always been concerned, first and foremost and solely, about his own bottom line. Now, he’s simply taken the grift national.

It’s Scampaign 2016, and we’re proving a nation of suckers.

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Ah, the real reason why Corey Lewandowski is out of the Trump campaign:
The perception inside Trump’s inner circle was that “Corey was trying to isolate Trump and cut him off from even Ivanka and Jared,” said a longtime Trump business associate who speaks to the family and its representatives regularly. “That was overstepping his bounds.”

Ivanka Trump, who for months had expressed misgivings about Lewandowski’s temperament and qualifications for the job, last week grew increasingly resolute in her calls for his termination, according to several people in and around the campaign and the family. One person close to the campaign said it got “to the point where she was going to distance herself from the campaign if Corey didn’t go.”
It must be rule number one for campaign operatives not to tick off the family members. Apparently, in addition to not knowing how to run a modern presidential campaign, Lewandowski also didn't know that you should never get between a man and his daughter.

Dennis Prager explains the moral emptiness of supporting Hillary simply because she is a woman.
Offering Hillary Clinton to one’s daughter as a model to aspire to — given the former secretary of state’s long history of lying; her mockery of all the women who accused her husband of sexual harassment, assault, and even rape; and her recent history of selling the power of her office to enrich herself and her husband — is telling one’s daughter that gender trumps decency. As such, it speaks volumes about how insignificant character is to Clinton supporters.

In addition, putting aside the amorality and immaturity of gender solidarity, having a female president will be as useless to women as having a black president was to blacks....

It is only the Left that claims that it’s important to have members of one’s own gender or of one’s ethnic or racial group in political power. This claim is fraudulent. One of the most successful ethnic groups in American history, Asian Americans, has virtually no political power. Has that deleteriously effected Asian Americans?

So how will having a woman in the Oval Office actually help women? It will only make more and more women depend on the government rather than on a husband or on themselves. It will do as much for women as black leaders have done for blacks. In other words, unless you think that dependency is good thing, it will do more harm than good.

Gabriel Malor explains what is really going on with the Democrats' demagoguery on gun control. If they really were interested in compromise, they would have voted for Senator Cornyn's amendment that would accept the provision on banning those on the terror watch list from buying guns temporarily, but added a provision that someone could challenge and the authorities would have to go to court to prove why that person is a threat even if he or she hasn't been indicted or convicted.
Rather than agree to the incremental gun control measures Republicans proposed, the Democrats chose to pass no gun control legislation at all. At some point after loudly demanding legislation for more than a week, Senate Democrats decided it would be better for their reelection prospects that no gun control bills pass the Senate during the election season. Their decision was hypocritical, unprincipled, and pure politics.

Republicans were willing to link the terrorism watch list to a gun sales ban, as Democrats have demanded. The price of agreement was due-process protections for Americans placed on the list. But apparently due process is too much for the Democrats. They would rather have no sales ban than a sales ban that comports with the Fifth Amendment. The Democrats similarly rejected an incremental expansion of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Apparently, some gun control is not worth sharing credit with the Republicans.
This reminds me of George W. Bush's efforts to pass immigration reform. The Democrats could have gone along with his proposal and they would have gotten much of what they wanted then and want now. But they wanted to deny Bush any sort of victory and keep immigration as an issue. So here we are a decade later without any reform having passed and just questionable executive actions by Obama that are before the Supreme Court now.

Then, as Malor writes, the Democrats, after having voted down the compromise, resorted to some of the ugliest, partisan demagoguery we've heard yet.
Not content to merely vote against incremental gun control, Senate Democrats then decided to throw a tantrum about it. Murphy sleazed that Senate Republicans “have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted her agreement. Sen. Harry Reid nonsensically accused Republicans of blocking the very gun control measures Republicans had proposed.

Make no mistake: Senate Democrats rejected two incremental gun control bills for no other reason than that Republicans were voting for them. Democrats’ hatred for Republicans was more important to them than the moral standards they claim to possess.
Think of the reaction if Trump said the same thing about Obama and Clinton. At the mere suggestion that he's saying something along those lines, people are up in arms. And yet here we have Democratic senators coming right out and saying such ugly things just because Republicans wanted to protect due process rights. When you consider that a lot of people who are placed on the terror watch list will disproportionately be Muslims, ask yourself which party is perfectly fine with denying rights to minorities? David Harsanyi writes,
We’ve come a long way since Hillary’s, “I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic.” The idea that the other side might be debating in good faith is no longer entertained. Appeals to emotion make no room for such subtleties.

With this, Warren is no better than Donald Trump. You will remember the media distress when Trump insinuated (and later denied) that Barack Obama was sympathetic to terrorists. You also might remember last week, when John McCain blamed the president for the rise of ISIS, and we discussed how terrible this was for an entire news cycle.

Surely indicting a major political party — in Congress, this party represents the majority of the American people — of aiding Islamists should be an equally big deal? Surely someone will ask Clinton to denounce this incendiary rhetoric. Surely some melodramatic New York Times op-ed columnist will call out Warren for tossing “the truth around with the callous disdain of a spoiled child.” I can’t wait for the house editorials condemning attacks on decorum and cable news network break-out sessions lamenting the putrid state of civility in Washington.

Can anyone remember a Republican, even in the height of the Patriot Act debate, questioning a Democrats’ loyalty in this explicit a manner? In contrast, Ari Fleischer’s “watch what you say” comment is a mild rebuke. These days, Republicans who disagree with the president can be accused of “betting against America,” “making common cause” with hardliners who chant “Death to America,” and being guilty of conventional treason.

More consequentially, though, we’re also a long away from liberals opposing extra-judicial watchlists that adjudicate guilt without due process. On Monday, Democrats passionately argued that “potential” terrorists — a term used by more than one senator yesterday — should be denied constitutional rights. These days, Democrats refer to adherence of the Fifth Amendment as a way not to protect the innocent but as a “terror gap.”

All of which can get a little confusing. Because while Democrats in the Senate were accusing the GOP of conspiring with Salafi jihadists, the administration was still acting as if the Orlando massacre had nothing to do with ISIS — at all.
Media moral hand-wringing is only in response to something a Republican might say. The Democrats have carte blanche to be as vile as they wanna be.

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If the terrible murder of MP Jo Cox last week may or may not have helped move polls in Great Britain toward Remain, this story might move them back toward Exit.
THE Channel Tunnel and Calais ferries were shut down after an army of stone-throwing migrants tried to force their way into the UK.

Roads approaching the Eurotunnel Shuttle and ferry terminals were turned into a warzone as French riot police fired tear gas in a desperate attempt to keep the mob at bay.

England football fans were caught in the chaos as gangs of migrants blocked traffic in a bid to break into lorries bound for the UK.

Eyewitnesses report the horde were throwing rocks at cars and chanting: “F*** the UK.”

....Thousands of England and Wales fans almost missed their Euro 2016 match amid border crossing chaos at Dover.
If violence by migrants trying to get to the UK didn't give Brits qualms, almost missing the Euro 2016 match must really be upsetting.

Jonah Goldberg sees parallels between the problems and inherent weaknesses of the entire EU project with what our country faces. The EU was built on the theory that there are these all-knowing experts out there whom we can put in charge of government and they will make all the right decisions that can't be made in a messy democracy. Elites particularly like this approach since it reinforces their sense of self importance. These self-proclaimed elites also see mass immigration as nothing but a benefit to the economy of Europe and those who oppose such a policy must be benighted racists and nationalists. Nationalism is, of course, an evil which begets world wars.
There are parallels aplenty here in the United States. For generations, American elites, particularly on the left side of the aisle, have insisted that democracy gets in the way of optimal decision-making. Stuart Chase, an economic adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt, wanted an "industrial general staff with dictatorial powers" to run the economy. In 1962, John F. Kennedy declared: "Most of the problems ... that we now face, are technical problems, are administrative problems." These problems "deal with questions which are now beyond the comprehension of most men." Columnist Thomas Friedman openly yearns for the American government to be "China for a day" so it could overrule democracy and the rule of law in pursuit of "what works."

This attitude virtually defines the Obama administration's approach to everything from climate change (the Environmental Protection Agency, not Congress, destroyed the coal industry) to immigration (even President Obama admitted his executive orders would be unconstitutional, then went through with them anyway). Hillary Clinton's disdain for the rules regarding her server and email, whether criminal or not, have the distinct stench of aloof aristocratic arrogance (as does her family's foundation).
As Goldberg points out, such dissatisfaction leads to a throw-the-bums-out mentality that helped fuel the Trump and Sanders candidacies. Even if they both go down in defeat this year, those who turned to them will still be unhappy with the society that the elites have created. And if Brexit fails in the vote this week, that doesn't mean that almost half the country will be unhappy with the decision.

Yeah, this will defeat terrorism.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that love and compassion are the best responses to terrorism during remarks to the media in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday.

Lynch said the Department of Justice stood in solidarity with the LGBT community “in the light” following a Muslim terrorist’s massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub last week.

“We stand with you to say that the good in this world far outweighs the evil, that our common humanity transcends our differences, and that our most effective response to terror and to hatred is compassion, it’s unity, and it’s love,” Lynch said. “We stand with you today as we grieve together, and long after the cameras are gone, we will continue to stand with you as we grow together in commitment, in solidarity, and in equality.”
If only we had more compassion for ISIS sympathizers, we'd have less terrorism.

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Janet Yellen doesn't seem to have gotten the memo from President Obama and Hillary Clinton about how his policies have helped the economy recover.
In Ohio on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton touted President Barack Obama's economic policies, remarking how his plans have helped create millions of private sector jobs in the past six and a half years. She indicated she would build on his supposed success.

Meanwhile, at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen offered an assessment that contradicted Clinton’s sunny report.

"For the last few months, as I mentioned, job gains averaged 100,000 on a strike-adjusted basis, which is a substantial slowdown from the first quarter and last year," Yellen noted.

That’s not where her unfortunate analysis ended. The Fed chair also said economic growth had been “uneven” and business investment outside of the energy sector was “surprisingly weak.”