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SHOT: Smallest U.S. Wage Increase on Record Muddies Pay Picture. ” Signs of a nascent pickup in U.S. worker pay proved fleeting as wages and salaries climbed in the second quarter at the slowest pace on record. The 0.2 percent advance was the smallest in data going back to 1982.”

Chaser: Clintons earned nearly $141M from 2007 to 2014, tax returns show. On Facebook, John Steakley comments: “Recessions are for the little people.”

HUMA ABEDIN’S “SPECIAL EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP”: The Washington Post reports that longtime Clinton confidant and aide, Huma Abedin (also wife of disgraced Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner) was overpaid by the State Department and may have violated the State Department’s conflict-of-interest rules due to her “special employment relationship” with the Clintons:

In letters sent Thursday to AbedinKerry and the Office of Inspector General, [Senator Chuck] Grassley wrote that staff of the inspector general had found “at least a reasonable suspicion of a violation” of the law concerning the “theft of public money through time and attendance fraud” as well as “conflicts of interest connected to her overlapping employment.”

Grassley also raised the possibility that efforts to investigate Abedin’s actions were thwarted because many of her exchanges were sent through Clinton’s private e-mail server. . . .

Since 2013, Grassley has been inquiring about Abedin’s “special government employee” status, which during her final six months at the State Department allowed her to take outside employment with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo, a firm led by longtime Bill Clinton aide Douglas Band.

 Paul Mirengoff over at PowerLine notes:

By allowing it, Clinton wasn’t just helping a friend boost her income. She was increasing the potential leverage of the Clinton machine, and in ways that could, and maybe did, benefit the Clinton Foundation.

The Abedin scandal is thus related to the “Clinton cash” scandal.

It is also related to Hillary’s email scandal. According to Grassley, the State Department investigators have “reason to believe that email evidence relevant to [its] inquiry was contained in emails sent and received from her account on Secretary Clinton’s non-government server, making them unavailable to [the investigators’ office] through its normal statutory right of access to records.”

It’s all just another thread in Clinton’s intertwined, rotten ball of corruption. The fact that her closest aide-de-camp has received special favors and status is par for the course.

“SOCIALISM ALWAYS STARTS WITH THE SAME PROMISES AND END WITH THE SAME DISASTERS,” Glenn tweeted earlier today, linking to a Bloomberg report that “Venezuelan soldiers seized a food distribution center rented by companies including Nestle SA, PepsiCo. Inc and Empresas Polar SA in Caracas as the government looks to boost support ahead of elections.”

Nestlé, eh? That business name rings a bell; it’s what launched Jonah Goldberg to write Liberal Fascism, which focused several chapters on a century’s worth of corporatism, the intertwining of government and corporations, much beloved by the namesake publisher of Bloomberg (and in an even more radical form by Bernie Sanders), which the post-Weimar government of Germany dubbed the Gleichschaltung. As Jonah told Kathryn Jean Lopez in 2009, at the apogee of the left’s Hopenchange Obamamania:

You know, when I first started pondering the book, I thought it might be all about economics. About ten years ago I went on a junket to Switzerland and attended a talk with the CEO of Nestlé. Listening to him, it became very clear to me that he had little to no interest in free markets or capitalism properly understood. He saw his corporation as a “partner” with governments, NGOs, the U.N., and other massive multinationals. The profit motive was good for efficiency and rewarding talent, but beyond that, he wanted order and predictability and as much planning as he could get. I think that mindset informs the entire class of transnational progressives, the shock troops of what H. G. Wells hoped would lead to his liberal-fascist “world brain.”

If you look at how most liberals think about economics, they want big corporations and big government working in tandem with labor, universities (think industrial policy), and progressive organizations to come up with “inclusive” policies set at the national or international level. That’s not necessarily socialism — it’s corporatism. When you listen to how Obama is making economic policy with “everyone at the table,” he’s describing corporatism, the economic philosophy of fascism. Government is the senior partner, but all of the other institutions are on board — so long as they agree with the government’s agenda. The people left out of this coordinated effort — the Nazis called it the Gleichschaltung — are the small businessmen, the entrepreneurs, the ideological, social, or economic mavericks who don’t want to play along. When you listen to Obama demonize Chrysler’s bondholders simply because they want their contracts enforced and the rule of law sustained, you get a sense of what I’m talking about.

I don’t think Obama wants a brutal tyranny any more than Hillary Clinton does (which is to say I don’t think he wants anything of the sort). But I do think they honestly believe that progress is best served if everyone falls in line with a national agenda, a unifying purpose, a “village” mentality expanded to include all of society. That sentiment drips from almost every liberal exhortation about everything from global warming to national service. But to point it out earns you the label of crank. As I said a minute ago about that “We’re All Fascists Now” chapter, I think people fail to understand that tyrannies — including soft, Huxleyan tyrannies — aren’t born from criminal conspiracies by evil men; they’re born by progressive groupthink.

And they all end the same way, as Glenn noted today. In the meantime though, if anybody can up the chocolate ration, I’m sure the post-Chavez government, having seized one of Nestlé’s assets, can.

EMAIL REVEALS HILLARY CLINTON WAS FED QUESTIONS BEFORE MEET THE PRESS APPEARANCE: Which isn’t all that surprising, considering that it’s NBC providing their usual public relations service to Hillary, Obama, and the Democrats. In 2013, after Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s infamous gaffe on MSNBC, in which she mispronounced the word “mislead” as “myzled,” Tammy Bruce asked, “How do you mispronounce a word you’re not reading? Unless, of course, MSNBC has a script for her in the teleprompter.”

Last year while writing at Mediaite, Noah Rothman described how the network helpfully edited US Senate candidate Michelle Nunn’s response to a question about whether the Georgia Democrat would vote to repeal Obamacare, “to make it seem more nuanced and conservative,” by cutting off the end of the interview where “Nunn clearly said she would oppose the ACA’s repeal, placing her firmly in line with the majority of the members of her party.”

But then, deceptive video editing (see also: Zimmerman, George) and supplying talking points to Democrats are all in day’s work for the networks that serve as the home to Brian Williams and Al Sharpton. Or as Iowahawk tweeted yesterday with a flashback to the early days of rigged television at NBC:

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KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANTS! Clinton rips Bush’s ‘right to rise.’

Hillary Clinton lit into her GOP rival Jeb Bush as the two presidential contenders gave dueling speeches at the National Urban League’s annual conference on Friday.

Clinton, speaking first, threw Bush’s “Right to Rise” campaign slogan back at him to paint the former Florida governor as hypocritical on issues important to the black community.

“Too often we see a mismatch between what some candidates say in venues like this and what they actually do when they are elected,” she said.

“I don’t think you can credibly say that everybody has a right to rise and then say you are for phasing out Medicare or for repealing Obamacare.”

Yeah, ObamaCare’s great for small business.

DEMOCRATS BEGIN TRYING TO DRAFT UNCLE JOE: With Hillary Clinton’s candidacy appearing ever weaker, Democrats are beginning not-so-subtly to draft Joe Biden into running for President. A recent example is today’s piece in the National Journal by Josh Kraushaar, “Joe Biden’s Political Moment”:

But a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation. Throughout the summer, Clinton has been hammered over using a secret, personal email server as secretary of State—one that government officials believe may have compromised the country’s national security and allowed her to conceal (and delete) email correspondence. Meanwhile, as she faces energetic opposition from her party’s progressive base, she’s decided to tack to the left, offering little to disaffected swing voters dissatisfied with Obama. Her campaign operatives believe it’s worth mobilizing the Democratic Party’s ascendant constituencies without offering much to the (shrinking) number of voters in the middle.

In the process, however, her favorable ratings have hit all-time lows, with clear majorities of Americans saying they don’t like her and have trouble believing she’s trustworthy. . . .

Suddenly, if you’re Joe Biden, running for president makes a lot more political sense.

If Obama’s former campaign strategists truly believe that a Democratic candidate only needs to mobilize and microtarget the base to win the presidency, who better to do that than Obama’s unfailingly loyal No. 2? Biden, after all, pushed the president to come out for gay marriage against his best political instincts. He led the administration’s uphill fight for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, heading its task force on the subject. He’s helped with the administration’s lobbying effort for its Iran deal, pitched wary Democrats on the benefits of fast-track trade, and stood by the president’s side when he praised the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding Obamacare subsidies.

And at a time when authenticity is a highly valued asset—for betteror worse—Biden boasts the natural political skill set that Clinton clearly lacks. He’s a happy warrior who enjoys campaigning and isn’t constrained by talking points or rope lines. He’s able to ham it up with union rank-and-file, while also giving a stem-winding speech blasting Republicans in Congress. His all-too-frequent malapropisms are endearing at a time when voters are cynical about scripted politicians.

A “happy warrior.” Yeah, well, it’s easy to be happy when you’re ignorant. Biden’s rather long history of plagiarism–in law school, and as a public servant–is a telltale sign that he lacks the intellectual chops to serve as President. Democrats’ attempt to draft Biden–despite his intellectual deficit– is an amusing indicator of their growing panic over Clinton’s candidacy.

RELATED: Clinton campaign said to be growing edgy over possible Biden run.

SCLEROTIC ONE PERCENTER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LAUGHS AT THE IDEA OF HER BEING A CHAMPION FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: Which is entirely par for the course, since in April, “Hillary admitted that she was ‘surprised’ to learn that the people who told her small businesses have struggled in recent years were actually correct,” as Joel Gehrke of NRO wrote:

Clinton noted that small business creation has “stalled out,” to her chagrin. “I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it,” she said while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”

The struggles of small businesses during President Obama’s administration are hardly a new subject on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney raised the issue throughout the 2012 presidential election.

And Hillary’s disdain for small business is hardly a new subject. In 1999, the late Tony Snow wrote:

When told [in 1994, that Hillarycare, the prototype for Obamacare] could bankrupt small businesses, Mrs. Clinton sighed, “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized small business in America.” When a woman complained that she didn’t want to get shoved into a plan not of her choosing, the first lady lectured, “It’s time to put the common good, the national interest, ahead of individuals.”

Hey, that last sentence sounds even better in the original German: “Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz.”

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OR NOT. AFTER ALL, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? The movie Hillary Clinton should be very, very worried about.  Weirdly, a movie might make more difference than the actual event.  Strange times we live in.

CORRUPTION ALL THE WAY DOWN:After Hillary Clinton helped settle tax case, UBS increased foundation support. If we elect Hillary Clinton we owe Al Capone a posthumous pardon and an apology.

SANDERS/TRUMP 2016! Could labor be getting ready to bail on Hillary in favor of Bernie?

THE POLLING ON THIS MUST BE TRULY AWFUL: White House Won’t Commit to Veto of Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood.

UPDATE: Hillary Throws Planned Parenthood Under The Bus. Like I said, the polling on this must be truly awful.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Swiss bank’s donations to Clinton Foundation increased after Hillary intervention in IRS dispute.

WASHINGTON POST: For Democrats, there’s no right answer on Planned Parenthood.

The surprise of today’s Republican press conference on Planned Parenthood came when one of the freshman class’s stars praised Hillary Clinton. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa.) described how undercover videos had found the family planning group’s executives coldly discussing the sale of fetal body parts, and said that even Democrats were recoiling.

“The American people, Republicans and Democrats alike, are horrified by the utter lack of compassion showed by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies,” said Ernst. “In fact, now, Hillary Clinton is calling these Planned Parenthood images disturbing, and I agree.”

That line had the intended effect. It rattled abortion rights supporters, reminding them that the Democratic frontrunner for president had hedged on their issue. The fight to defund Planned Parenthood is only the latest in a series of conservative attempts to shift the conversation on abortion, from one that bedevils Republicans to one that flummoxes Democrats.

Bernie Sanders is hedging, too.

MOE LANE: The ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’ trailer. “It looks… a bit more serious than the stuff that Michael Bay usually does.” Plus: “I don’t… think that Hillary Clinton is stupid enough to seriously try to get the movie suppressed. But she must be tempted. Ach, well, she should have made better life choices.”

DRIP, DRIP: Hillary Clinton’s former spokesman turns over 20 boxes of emails. Hmm. Mysteriously appearing boxes of records? That sounds familiar. Plus: “Hackett also told the court that State couldn’t produce all of the documents requested by the AP at this time — including one related to Huma Abedin’s role as a ‘special government employee.’ He said the agency is still awaiting work-related emails from former agency officials Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills. Hackett did not say whether the documents being sought were from a personal account or State.gov account.”

ROLL CALL: Democrats’ Window to Find Strong House Candidates Slowly Closing.

When former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller passed on a bid in the Silver State’s 3rd District last week, it sent Democrats back to the drawing board again to find a nominee for this Tossup seat in 2016.

Miller’s decision to sit the race out was a disappointment for national Democrats, who thought his profile would make him a strong candidate for this highly competitive seat. But it’s indicative of a larger issue Democrats face this cycle: Recruiting House candidates in 2016 hasn’t been as easy as many predicted two years ago.

More than a year from Election Day, Democrats are without top-tier recruits in five of the 11 races rated Tossups by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. Democrats are also searching for strong recruits in at least five more of the 15 other districts rated as competitive in 2016.

The holes in the roster contrast with the message former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel pushed last cycle. In a June 2013 interview with BuzzFeed, Israel said he spoke to a number of candidates in the early days of the 2014 cycle who were reluctant to run in a daunting midterm environment. Israel said candidates wanted to wait to run until 2016 — when presidential turnout and the promise of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of the ticket would make for a better Democratic year.

“Whoever has the job of recruiting for the DCCC after I leave will not have a difficult job for as long as people believe Hillary Clinton is gonna be on the ballot,” Israel told BuzzFeed at the time.

Well, . . .

OPPOSITE WORLD:

Liberals are more upset over the death of a freaking lion than Planned Parenthood running a baby chop shop and more outraged over Tom Brady destroying his phone than Hillary Clinton destroying thousands of emails and continually lying out of her liar hole about it.

Opposite world. We live in opposite world.

From Hannah Bleau of the Young Conservatives Website.

DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY: The Hill: $15 Minimum Wage Divides Democrats.

Democrats are divided on how much to lift the nation’s minimum wage, an issue that has long united the party.

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is pushing to raise the federal wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $15. But budget experts warn such a hike could eliminate millions of U.S. jobs.

What’s the problem? Eliminate jobs, create new welfare-dependent Democratic voters! But wait, there’s more:

Many liberals on and off Capitol Hill have embraced the $15 figure, seeing it as an important remedy for addressing the nation’s growing income disparity. Democratic leaders, however, have been reluctant to back it, rallying instead around smaller increases.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) want to push the minimum wage to $12 per hour. President Obama has edged his support to higher levels in recent years, from $9 to $10.10 and now $12. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, backed $15 per hour for New York fast-food workers on Friday but hasn’t specified a wage floor for the nation.

The various positions underscore the tightrope party leaders are walking on the minimum wage increase, a concept highly popular among voters.

Unlike prior battles with Democrats on the issue, Republicans have significant ammunition in this fight. They point out that raising the minimum wage would mean lost jobs.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Congress’s official score-keeper, issued a report last year estimating that, while an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 would hike incomes for roughly 16.5 million workers, it would leave another 500,000 unemployed.

A former CBO director said this week that a hike to $15 per hour would eliminate “many more jobs … because it would cut much further into the distribution of wages.”

“The effect is not linear, it rises much faster,” said the ex-CBO chief, who requested anonymity.

Pandering to low-information voters is hard to resist. Then blame the consequences on greedy Republicans.

CAMILLE PAGLIA: THE CLINTONS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF MONICA LEWINSKY:

Bill Clinton used her.  Hillary was away or inattentive, and he used Monica in the White House–and in the suite of the Oval Office, of all places. He couldn’t have taken her on some fancy trip? She never got the perks of being a mistress; she was there solely to service him. And her life was completely destroyed by the publicity that followed.  The Clinton’s are responsible for the destruction of Monica Lewinsky! They probably hoped that she would just go on and have a job, get married, have children, and disappear, but instead she’s like this walking ghoul.

Fifteen years later, that’s still the sad role left for her to play.

Yes, it’s like something out of “Wuthering Heights” or “Great Expectations”– some Victorian novel, where a woman turns into this mourning widow who mopes on and on over a man who abused or abandoned her.  Hillary has a lot to answer for, because she took an antagonistic and demeaning position toward her husband’s accusers.  So it’s hard for me to understand how the generation of Lena Dunham would or could tolerate the actual facts of Hillary’s history.

So have the times and standards changed enough that Clinton would be seen as Cosby, if he was president today?

Oh, yes!

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Hillary Clinton’s Upside Down Tax Reforms.

I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER GODDAMNED WORD ABOUT MY CARBON FOOTPRINT: Video shows Hillary Clinton boarding private jet just hours after launching global-warming push – and she’s using a French aircraft that burns 347 gallons of fuel every hour! “Its itineraries are secret because the owner has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to withhold flight plans from the public.”

KURT SCHLICHTER: The Coming — And Hilarious — Democrat Implosion. “Republicans fear a repeat of 1992, with a squishy Bush at the head of the ticket watching helplessly as some populist businessman/novelty act hands the election to a Clinton. But Democrats should fear the far more likely repeat of 1968. . . . Nineteen sixty-eight was the year normal Americans saw the Democrats for what they were, and that’s the danger for them in 2016 too.”

Plus: “Hillary is America’s First Wife, a sour, sexless, disapproving presence eager to spend the next eight years telling us all how we are failing to measure up to her exacting standards.”

IT’S AMAZING THAT HILLARY, WITH HER EXTENSIVE PRIVATE-SECTOR EXPERIENCE, DOESN’T GET THIS: What Clinton’s Capital Gains Plan Won’t Do:

On the margin, it’s probably going to affect investment if you raise capital gains taxes by a lot — and nonetheless, this is not going to do much to shift the incentives toward longer-term thinking at companies. That’s because Clinton seems to fundamentally misunderstand the reason that public companies are so focused on short-term results that impact their stock price, rather than longer-term growth. To the extent that you think this phenomenon is real, and a problem, the issue is not that American investors, for reasons known only to themselves, have developed the attention spans of gnats. Instead, I’d argue that the problem is the massive shift toward institutional management of equity assets.

Here’s SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar on this phenomenon in 2013: “The proportion of U.S. public equities managed by institutions has risen steadily over the past six decades, from about 7 or 8 percent of market capitalization in 1950, to about 67 percent in 2010.” Stocks used to be the province of affluent people who might hold them for decades — and might well take it into their head to show up at your shareholder meeting and delicately inquire why the chief executive officer is getting paid so much when quarterly results look pretty dismal. Now they’re the province of everyone — and everyone is in the hands of professional managers who don’t care how much the CEO is getting paid, would rather sell and buy something else than chivy the board into doing its job, and need to deliver price appreciation pretty regularly, lest their Morningstar profile become tarnished, or the regulators start asking the company to increase contributions.

Add to that the fact that you can now log in every day to see exactly how your 401(k) is doing, and you can see how short-termism might come to dominate executive offices.

But whether or not you think that institutional management is actually unleashing a great plague of short-termism upon the land, the important point is that the prevalence of institutional management will prevent you from fixing this problem by manipulating the capital gains rates. Pension funds do not pay taxes on the assets in their funds. Neither is your tax-deferred retirement fund subject to these taxes. And even taxable mutual funds are probably not going to be very responsive to this change, for a few reasons.

How are cattle futures treated under her plan?

WAPO: Why Hillary’s Numbers Are Down In States That Matter.

BUILDING A BRIDGE TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR: “Bernie Sanders’ campaign speech in this suburb of New Orleans felt more like a union organizing rally from 1915 than a modern American presidential campaign pitch in 2015:”

“At the top of my list is the issue of income and wealth inequality … it’s the great moral issue of our time, it’s the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time,” he said at the top of his speech, before spending most of his hour-plus time on stage repeatedly hammering away at progressive economic issues.

There were nods to social issues, though Sanders rarely spoke about them separate from economic concerns, instead repeatedly linking social concerns to fundamental economic issues.

“For kids who graduated high school, who are between the ages of 17 and 20 if those kids are white their real unemployment is 36 percent. If they are Hispanic, 37 percent. If they are African American … the real unemployment rate is 51 percent,” Sanders said to boos.

Similarly, on women’s issues, Sanders said, “Speaking to my brothers here today, you’ve got to stand with us on this issue … when women earn nothing more than the same level as men, we’re going to take a huge chunk out of poverty.”

Bernie makes the country sound like it’s still at perigee of FDR’s Great Depression. Will the media ever explore the cognitive dissonance separating their own feel-good economic reporting post-November of 2008 and Hillary’s running as Obama’s successor, versus Sander’s nostalgic sepia-toned fire-and-brimstone doomsday rhetoric?

DRIP, DRIP: Watchdogs: Clinton emails ‘never’ should’ve been sent on private system.

Two government watchdogs at the center of an investigation over Hillary Clinton’s personal email server say she shouldn’t have sent classified information over her private system while serving as secretary of State.

“This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system,” the inspectors general for the State Department and intelligence community said in a joint statement on Friday.

True. Related: Hillary’s Email Troubles Deepen.

ADMIT IT, DEMS: HILLARY COULD STRANGLE A PUPPY ON LIVE TV, AND YOU’D STILL BACK HER.

MATT WELCH: Admit it, Dems: Hillary Could Strangle a Puppy on Live TV, and You’d Still Back Her (UPDATED: It’s worse than you think).

A quick recap: Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, violated guidelines from the National Archives and her own State Department by using her own private email server for professional correspondence, and then destroying whatever messages she deemed destructible.

At first Clinton claimed that she needed a single non-governmental email account for “convenience,” because she only had one phone. That claim turned out to be provably false. Next, she claimed that it didn’t matter much, because “The vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department.” The latter half of that claim turned out to be provably false, too. She further insisted that none of the emails contained classified information, a claim that many people with intimate knowledge of such things—such as a former senior State Department official—described with phrases like “hard to imagine.” And her assertion in a CNN interview this month that she went “above and beyond” the email disclosure requirements was—wait for it—false.

In sum, the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential frontrunner brazenly violated government transparency policy, made a mockery of the Freedom of Information Act, placed her sensitive communications above the law, and then just lied about it, again and again. Now comes word that, unsurprisingly, two inspectors general are recommending that the Department of Justice open a criminal inquiry into the matter. One of their findings was that the private server, contrary to Clinton’s repeated claims, contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.”*

So how much do Democrats value basic transparency, accountability, and honesty in their presidential candidates? Not bloody much, if you go by the handy polls over at RealClearPolitics.

Party first, party always.

HAS HE SAID ANYTHING SIMILAR ABOUT HILLARY? Trump launches offensive against Walker.

“Wisconsin is in turmoil,” Trump told a boisterous crowd at a rally in Iowa. He pointed to the state’s roads, schools and hospitals, which he said were all “a disaster.”

Walker, who is leading polls in Iowa, remains one of Trump’s biggest rivals in the race.

If Trump worries about people thinking that he’s a Hillary shill, maybe he should dispel those rumors by going after Hillary.

SHE’LL DO FOR THE MARKET WHAT SHE DID FOR RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA! Hillary: capitalism needs a “reset.”

TRUMP ON THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS: “I DON’T THINK THE DEMOCRATS WOULD HAVE DONE THAT:”

Giving Democrats a pass on the financial crisis is like giving Bill Clinton a pass on the rise of Al Qaeda in the years before 9/11. If you wanted to choose one single soundbite from the past two months to support the case that Trump’s a Democrat in Republican clothing, this would be it. On the other hand, the way populist hero-worship works is that whatever the hero says is true and correct whether it contradicts ideological orthodoxy or not. If Trump says Republicans alone were to blame for the crash, well … that’s just his way of reminding the Beltway RINOs that they’re complicit in the subprime crisis too. He’s trying to tear down the GOP establishment. Why would we begrudge him this hugely damaging lie in service to that noble cause? The most important thing now is to stop Bush; reminding the world that Jeb’s brother presided over the crash helps do that, even if Democrats are destined to pull this soundbite and beat the hell out of the eventual GOP nominee with it in attack ads. The reason it’s called a “cult of personality” is because, ultimately, it’s about personality, not about correctly apportioning blame for the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression in the middle of a presidential race.

Gee, I was really looking forward to Trump’s nuanced insights into Bill Clinton’s role in radically expanding the Community Reinvestment Act:

But as Allahpundit writes above, “The most important thing now is to stop Bush.” And play the role of stalking horse for Clinton. It’s deja ’92 all over again.

RELATED: The Donald is Still Hillary’s Best Friend.

PATHETIC: HILLARY CLINTON’S CAMPAIGN ‘STEAMROLLED NYT FOR A REWRITE’ (AND GOT IT):

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As BuzzFeed’s C.J. Ciaramella tweeted, “Passive voice: the politician’s best friend.” Much more from Dylan Byers of the Politico:

The Times also changed the headline of the story, from “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email” to “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account,” reflecting a similar recasting of Clinton’s possible role. The article’s URL was also changed to reflect the new headline.

As of early Friday morning, the Times article contained no update, notification, clarification or correction regarding the changes made to the article.

One of the reporters of the story, Michael Schmidt, explained early Friday that the Clinton campaign had complained about the story to the Times.

“It was a response to complaints we received from the Clinton camp that we thought were reasonable, and we made them,” Schmidt said.

Just as the Politico’s Glenn Thrush described Hillary’s home-brew email server as “badass” in March, earlier this week, New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal admired her efforts at stonewalling his newspaper and other news sources:

“How do you think this crazy pack of Republican candidates and the level of their conversation has made the race for Hillary?” Susan Lehman, the podcast’s host, asked editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal about six minutes into their discussion.

“I think she’s basically ignoring it, which is extremely intelligent,” he responded. “And this is going to sound rather strange coming from a journalist,” Rosenthal added, apparently referring to himself, “but she’s also ignoring the press which I don’t think is such a terrible idea.”

“I don’t think [Hillary Clinton’s] not talking to the press is an issue,” Rosenthal continued. “Sincerely, who cares?”

Obviously no one at the Times — gee, why could that be?

ORWELLIAN MUCH? HILLARY PUTS ‘FUN CAMPS’ ASIDE TO PROPOSE ‘CARING CORPS.’

Yet another reminder that Jonah Goldberg’s early 2008 book Liberal Fascism was written with the assumption that Hillary would be the Democratic frontrunner that year; quotes from her on her worldview make up several of its later chapters.

For a cinematic look at what Hillary’s “Fun Camps,” the village it takes to raise a child, and the Caring Corp which would oversee both might look like, last year’s chilling dystopian sci-fi film The Giver starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep is also well worth checking out.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HAS HANDED GOP CANDIDATES A GIFT — THEY’RE RUNNING WITH IT: “The strategy is simple: No Republican politician should answer a question about abortion without first demanding that Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton answer for their positions.”

DEM SPIN: TRUMP IS BEHIND THIS! Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email. “Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday. The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton’s private account contained ‘hundreds of potentially classified emails.’ The memo was written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.” (Bumped).

HILLARY CLINTON NEEDS TO ADDRESS THE RACIST UNDERTONES OF HER 2008 CAMPAIGN: From left-leaning journalist Ryan Cooper at The Week.

Should Hillary address the racist overtones of her 2016 campaign as well? Hey, if her campaign is still around in 2016, absolutely.

RELATED: “The stakes are high in 2016 – more so for Democrats than they were in 2012, when Barack Obama’s allies went so far as to accuse Mitt Romney of complicity in negligent homicide. We may come to look back on that campaign as an epoch of civility. If the GOP nominates a competent candidate, and they have a variety from which to choose, Hillary Clinton and her allies will have to scorch the earth in order to win. The torches are already lit.”

NY TIMES MOVES CRUZ BEHIND JIMMY CARTER ON BESTSELLER LIST DESPITE SELLING 58% MORE BOOKS.

Their editors can try to hide it as much they like, but isn’t it obvious by now how deeply in the tank the Gray Lady is for Ben Nelson’s presidential bid?

WAIT A SEC: UN INSPECTORS WILL BE FORCED TO RELY ON SAMPLES PROVIDED BY … IRAN? “In other words, if nuclear inspectors get a hot tip that Iran is conducting (or conducted in the past) atomic-bomb work at a secret site, they don’t get to go to the site themselves and take samples from the soil, the walls, etc, to see if there’s uranium present,” Allahpundit writes at Hot Air. “They get their samples … from Iran. That’s like drug-testing a junkie by asking him to bring a sample from home.”

Plus this: “Exit quotation from Philip Klein: ‘The premise of every Kerry answer is — Iran was the stronger power here, they had all the leverage. We were lucky to get anything.’”

So is Kerry there to make Hillary’s tenure at Foggy Bottom look infinitely better by comparison, or is he setting up his own entry into the Democratic presidential race? Or both?

NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR: ISN’T IT AWESOME HOW HILLARY’S STONEWALLING THE PRESS? If you’ve ever thought that among all the major American newspapers, the Gray Lady existed the most in its own alternate universe, Sean Davis of the Federalist confirms your worst suspicions, with a profile of Andrew Rosenthal, the Times’ editorial page editor.

Rosenthal provided the initial spin on the George H.W. Bush supermarket scanner incident in 1992 as a claim that the former head of the CIA was a technological luddite. This week he critiqued the performance of GOP presidential candidate “Ben Nelson” by declaring “Everything Ben Nelson says is ridiculous,” (audio at link) and recently proclaimed himself a postmodern D-Day(!) truther, according to Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

THE CORRECT ANSWER IS THAT IT’S BECAUSE EVEN THEY AREN’T CYNICAL ENOUGH: Why Hillary Clinton and her rivals are struggling to grasp Black Lives Matter. “Black Lives Matter” is an unabashedly racist movement led by unabashed racists.

CNN’S SALLY KOHN BLAMES ABORTION VIDEOS ON ‘WHITE SUPREMACY.’

Planned Parenthood founder and Hillary Clinton muse Margaret Sanger could not be reached for comment.

KASICH REVEALS HILLARY CAME TO HIS ENGAGEMENT PARTY:

Sean Hannity, who interviewed Kasich after his announcement on Tuesday, asked the Ohio governor about comments he’s made downplaying the IRS and Benghazi scandals.

“You said, ‘I’m more worried about how we’re going to fix America than Hillary’s email server and you said, ‘I don’t believe you beat her by talking about Benghazi or her emails–”

“No, you don’t,” Kasich interrupted Hannity.

While he said these issues would likely come up in a campaign, Kasich said, “My opinion, the Republican that can best articulate a big  message…”

Kasich trailed off, but then added, “Look, I’ve known Hillary a long time. When I got engaged to be married she came to the party, OK? ”

Hannity asked if Kasich agrees with the fifty-seven percent of Americans who find Hillary to be dishonest and untrustworthy.

“I’m not going to start questioning people’s honesty or — I just don’t do that, Sean. I mean, where does that get us?” Kasich said. “I want the county to be unified.”

“Let’s put the country first and the personal attacks second,” he added. “We can all have opinions, but I don’t want to be a voice of negativity in America.  I want to be a voice of positivity in America.”

And establishment GOP types wonder why Trump and his pugilistic tone is sucking the oxygen out of the big tent.

AWESOME: CARLY FIORINA SCHOOLS CNN, HILLARY ON ABORTION ‘EXTREMISM:’ “Carly Fiorina put on a clinic on CNN yesterday, parlaying an abortion question designed to put conservatives on defense — and offering her an opportunity to score points against a fellow Republican — into an aggressive attack on Hillary Clinton’s abortion extremism. Flip the premise.”

YOU DON’T LIKE ME, YOU REALLY DON’T LIKE ME! That Hillary’s weakness shows in CO, IA, and VA may provide a glimmer of hope for the GOP, Steve Green writes.

BLUE CIVIL WAR: Hillary Clinton’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ Triangulations.

Last month, Clinton herself said “all lives matter” in a speech at a black church, arousing the ire of some progressives—though not enough to make her apologize for using the phrase, as O’Malley did after his roasting at Netroots. Clinton’s statement Tuesday indicates that she likely won’t make the mistake of saying “all lives matter” again, at least during primary season.

It might be tempting to dismiss Hillary’s triangulation on “black lives matter” as petty primary posturing with little political significance. In fact, it points to a very real division within the American left, with important implications for the future of the Democratic Party—namely, the division between economic populists who rally around the politics of class and social progressives who rally around the politics of identity.

Sanders, Hillary’s chief rival, is clearly a social liberal, but the unifying theme of his platform—which includes single payer healthcare, a Wall Street crackdown, and a 90 percent top tax rate—is economic populism. Clinton has attempted to adopt a left-wing populist tone during the primary campaign, but as a private jet-setting multimillionaire whose top donors are Wall Street banks, she cannot credibly position herself to Sanders’ left on class or economic issues. Her Facebook statement rebuking Sanders and O’Malley on race—along with other policy moves like her celebration of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision and her leftward pivot on immigration—can be seen as an effort to compensate for her populist deficiencies by emphasizing her identity politics bona fides.

Oh, goody.

HILLARY CLINTON channels Dick Nixon.

A CASE STUDY IN HOW MEDIA PROTECT HILLARY CLINTON: Hillary Clinton’s on board with strangling the burgeoning gig economy, such as Uber. You wouldn’t know that by reading news reports on that very topic, though.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Hillary Clinton’s Man In Morocco: Clinton campaign fails to disclose bundler actively lobbying for Morocco.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign failed to list a registered lobbyist for Morocco in its legally required disclosure of all bundled fundraising done by lobbyists, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.

Edward Gabriel, who was named U.S. Ambassador to Morocco by former President Bill Clinton in 1997, now runs the Gabriel Company, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm that has had the government of Morocco as a client since 2002 and has been paid more than $3.7 million by the nation since that point.

Though Gabriel appeared on a list posted to the Clinton campaign website on Wednesday afternoon of all the bundlers that have raised over $100,000, his name is absent from documents filed to the Federal Election Commission listing all the other registered lobbyists that have been fundraising for the campaign.

All contributions bundled by registered lobbyists must be disclosed to the FEC each quarter.

Rules are for the little people.

TRUMP REFUSES TO RULE OUT THIRD PARTY BID as GOP candidacy blows up: “And if he runs as a third party candidate, he could well deliver the White House to Hillary Clinton – a past recipient of Trump praise and campaign contributions.”

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): U.S. Median Household Income Is Lower Than It Was In 1996. Hillary’s proposed solutions won’t help that.

WITH HILLARY, OF COURSE: Flashback: Politico: Where Birtherism Began. “The answer lies in Democratic, not Republican politics, and in the bitter, exhausting spring of 2008. At the time, the Democratic presidential primary was slipping away from Hillary Clinton and some of her most passionate supporters grasped for something, anything that would deal a final reversal to Barack Obama.”

MARTIN O’MALLEY BOOED OFF STAGE AT NETROOTS NATION AFTER SAYING “ALL LIVES MATTER:”

The long knives are out at Netroots Nation 2015, but for once they aren’t pointed at the Republicans. The infighting has gotten ugly because the non-Hillary Democrat candidates were apparently not focused intently enough on the #BlackLivesMatter movement. No other topics of discussion seem to be acceptable this year, and the high profile speakers got an earful if they strayed from that script or dared say something more general about the needs of the entire population of the nation. The first, and probably biggest loser of the day was Martin O’Malley, who showed up there and foolishly began talking about things like income inequality and prison reform. The crowd wanted none of it and began chanting, “Black Lives Matter” until O’Malley was silenced and the stage was given over to a “Black Lives Matter activist” who explained that they didn’t need to hear about those other things. That’s when O’Malley attempted to respond and foolishly uttered the one phrase which will get you hounded to the ends of the Earth with that crowd.

Reading the above passage from Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw, I can’t help but think of a quote from a 2007 article by Norman Podhoretz,  “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

It was of an evening in the year 1960, when I went to address a meeting of left-wing radicals on a subject that had then barely begun to show the whites of its eyes: the possibility of American military involvement in a faraway place called Vietnam and the need to begin mobilizing opposition to it. Accompanying me that evening was the late Marion Magid, a member of my staff at Commentary, of which I had recently become the editor. As we entered the drafty old hall on Union Square in Manhattan, Marion surveyed the 50 or so people in the audience and whispered to me: “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

The memory of this quip brought back to life some sense of how unpromising the future had then appeared to be for that bedraggled-looking assemblage. No one would have dreamed that these young people, and the generation about to descend from them politically and culturally, would within the blink of a historical eye come to be hailed by many members of the very “Establishment” they were trying to topple as (in the representative words of Prof. Archibald Cox of Harvard Law School) “the best informed, the most intelligent, and the most idealistic this country has ever known.”

More incredible yet, in a mere decade the ideas and attitudes of the new movement, cleaned up but essentially unchanged, would turn one of our two major parties upside down and inside out.

And because the “Progressive” left is in reality trapped in 1960s-vintage amber, the “fun” never ends:

RELATED: This would make a great wedge issue for the GOP:

“THE LAST DECADE COULD BE DESCRIBED AS THE COMEBACK OF SOCIALISM,” Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation writes:

Wall Street is acting as though more government intervention will calm financial markets, when it is excessive intervention of government that created the crisis in the first place. Greece is socialism on steroids — a place where the government gives a lot of things away for free, few people work, and millions receive government pensions, paychecks or welfare benefits. Fifty percent of young people don’t have a job and over half of Greeks retire before age 60. The wagon is full and no one is left to pull it. Now Greece thinks that the Germans or the, EU, the IMF or the United States is going to pay for it all. The crash is coming very soon and the standard of living in Greece will surely plummet. Thank you, socialism.

But there are so many more dominoes that could come crashing down. Almost all of Europe is a financial sink hole. The debts as a share of gross domestic product are 100 percent or more and the public spending as a share of GDP is now just shy of 50 percent.

Pundits on the left such as Paul Krugman can only lamely respond to the European meltdown by arguing that there is “too much austerity” even as debt loads keeps rising every year. The one nation in Europe that didn’t use massive Keynesian stimulus, Germany, is the one place where the economy is still functioning.

We shouldn’t discount two subsets of socialism – corporatism and the Gleichschaltung. And speaking of both of them, back in October of 2008, Jeff Dobbs morphed Goldman Sachs’ and Obama’s logo together, which Glenn has run numerous times over the last several years to highlight Obama’s cozy relationship with Wall Street in general, and that brokerage firm specifically. Dobbs has updated his Photoshop with a new version:

hillary_goldman_sachs_logo_7-17-15-1

Let’s hope it won’t be getting a regular workout after November of 2016.

RELATED: “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. made hundreds of partners rich when it went public in 1999. Its performance since then has turned Lloyd Blankfein into a billionaire.” It helps to have friends in high places.

TWEET OF THE DAY…GOOD HEAVENS. THE AP PUBLISHED THAT PICTURE OF HILLARY? EDITION:

Perhaps AP is trying to make amends for their “hey, somebody shoot Ted Cruz please!” photo last month.

THE ASTRONAUT STORY IS ALMOST CERTAINLY FAKE, but Hillary’s right that we should be mapping asteroid locations. Not sure if it’s Hillary, or the Politico reporter, who doesn’t understand the difference between an asteroid and a meteorite.

WELL, SHE’S AN UNAPPEALING PERSON WHO’S RUNNING A LOUSY CAMPAIGN: Hillary favorables tumble in new AP-GfK poll.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: The Hill: K Street Bundlers Flock To Hillary.

Of the presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton had the most support from K Street bundlers in the second quarter of 2015, new reports show.

Clinton’s team of 40 lobbyists cobbled together nearly $2.1 million in donations during the period that falls between April and July.

The help comes from some of Washington’s hottest firms and the nation’s largest companies — including lobbyists for Starbucks, Microsoft and Exxon Mobil.

But remember, she’s fighting for the little guy against the big corporations.

FULL METAL HILLARY: “Hillary Rodham Clinton said that she once visited a recruiting office in Arkansas to inquire about joining the Marines,” the New York Times reported in 1994:

She told the group gathered for lunch in the Dirksen Office Building, according to The Associated Press, that she became interested in the military in 1975, the year she married Bill Clinton and the year she was teaching at the University of Arkansas law school in Fayetteville.

She was 27 then, she said, and the Marine recruiter was about 21. She was interested in joining either the active forces or the reserves, she recalled, but was swiftly rebuffed by the recruiter, who took a dim view of her age and her thick glasses. ‘Not Very Encouraging’

“You’re too old, you can’t see and you’re a woman,” Mrs. Clinton said she was told, adding that the recruiter dismissed her by suggesting she try the Army. “Maybe the dogs would take you,” she recalled the recruiter saying.

Hillary claiming that sexism played a role seems kind of odd, considering that women served in the Marines in World War I – and World War II (see also: Bea Author, WWII Marine truck driver), and that Hillary’s spouse wasn’t exactly a pro-military guy himself during this period.

In any case, “It was not a very encouraging conversation,” Hillary claimed. “I decided maybe I’ll look for another way to serve my country.”

Which leads us to…2001: A Hillary Odyssey! “When she was younger, Hillary Clinton dreamt of being an astronaut:”

That’s what the 2016 Democratic frontrunner said during a New Hampshire town hall event on Thursday when Clinton was asked if she supports space exploration and investment in NASA.

“When I was a little girl, I guess I was a teenager by then, I was you know like 14 I think and the space program was getting started and I wanted to be an astronaut,” Clinton said. “I wrote to NASA and I said what do I have to do to be prepared to be an astronaut and they wrote back and said thank you very much but we’re not taking girls.”

Clinton added that she doesn’t lose sleep over the rejection, noting “that thankfully changed with Sally Ride and a lot of the other great women astronauts.” But the former secretary of state made clear that she wholeheartedly supports NASA’s planetary exploration.

And speaking of daunting explorations, Hillary of course also once claimed she was named after the man who bested Mount Everest – despite her being born in 1947 and Sir Edmund Hillary reaching the top of Everest in 1953.

(And don’t get her started on taking sniper fire in Bosnia.)

No word yet if Hillary also took the initiative to clean up the pollution at Love Canal, invented the Internet and/or inspired Erich Segal’s Love Story.

IS TNR IN THE TANK FOR HILLARY, and implying that Bernie Sanders is a pedophile?

TRIBUNE OF THE WORKING CLASS: Lobbyists, lawmakers rake in cash for Hillary.

More than 100 individuals each helped bundle together $100,000 or more for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run since April, according to an announcement from the campaign Wednesday evening.

Reps. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) made the list, in addition to lobbyists David Jones of Capitol Counsel and Steve Elmendorf of Elmendorf|Ryan.

The website does not include the exact amount that individuals raised.

Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who now works as a partner at McGuireWoods, also appears. Bayh, his wife and the firm’s political action committee hosted a fundraiser for Clinton last month.

“We had a fantastic turnout and the event was a huge success raising more money than we had expected,” L.F. Payne, president of McGuireWoods Consulting, said in a statement.

The Clinton campaign says it raised about $47.5 million in the second quarter — which spans from April to June. It spent about $18.7 million and still has $28.9 million cash on hand.

Bundlers play a key role, especially in presidential races, proving to a candidate that they can bring in much-needed cash needed to keep the expensive operation running.

Those private jets don’t pay for themselves.

FORMER CLINTON AIDE TURNED CNN COMMENTATOR OBSESSED WITH HILLARY’S ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.

GENDER GAP: Hillary Clinton’s White Male Voter Problem: Democrats fear that their party’s declining appeal with white voters, particularly white men, will bite them in 2016 despite strong performance with growing demographics. Well, you know, spend a few decades telling people they’re the root of all evil and they may be less inclined to vote for you.

CAMILLE PAGLIA: “Most of the American electorate has probably been ready for a woman president for some time. But that woman must have the right array of qualities and ideally have risen to prominence through her own talents and not (like Hillary Clinton or Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) through her marriage to a powerful man.”

UPDATE: From the comments: “Being the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua is not a qualification for the office of President, or even dog catcher for that matter…”

“Dowager Empress of Chappaqua.” Heh.

UPDATE: Apparently, that phrase was coined by Michael Walsh. I like this, too: “It’s not really a campaign, of course, but more like a stately waddle toward the White House.”

DEMS VENT HILLARY FRUSTRATIONS IN NEW VIDEO; ‘SHE DODGES AN ANSWER ON EVERYTHING:’

“Whenever asked any, even slightly controversial question, Hillary Clinton will constantly vacillate on it. She dodges an answer on almost everything.”

When compared to Clinton, another Democrat said Sanders is “talking straight about what’s needed.”

“My perception is he doesn’t need to test his policy positions or what he stands for before he says something and I find that trustworthy,” she told PJ Media.

A Northern Virginia Democratic voter said Sanders speaks the truth regardless of the subject, contrary to Clinton. He said it is “very hard “ to support Clinton as “the Wall Street candidate.”

But wouldn’t that make for the appropriate level of continuity with President Goldman-Sachs?

WHY IS HILLARY DOWN ON UBER? ONE WORD: CONTROL. Hillary Clinton Talks Uber.

In her first major economic policy address of the 2016 campaign, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton raised questions about the effect that companies like Uber and Airbnb are having on American workers. . . .

Later in the speech, Clinton vowed to “crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors” — a possible reference to something like the recent California Labor Commission decision that threatens to undermine Uber’s business model.

To be sure, Clinton does not want to destroy the sharing economy. She acknowledged that “these trends are real” and “none is going away.” But she may believe that, with the right application of political muscle, the new economy can be forced to conform with the antiquated blue social model — that is, the midcentury vision of steady, regulated, unionized employment with generous benefits.

As we have argued again and again, this notion is unrealistic. Like it or not, this 1950s model of economic organization is breaking down, and has been for several decades, thanks to globalization, demographic changes, technological innovation, and other trends that simply cannot be reversed. Measures like the California decision are futile and counterproductive. We should treat the emergence of a more entrepreneurial, dynamic landscape as an opportunity to be engaged with productively, not a danger to be henpecked by regulations better suited to the last century.

But all this change and innovation offers insufficient opportunities for graft.

BUILDING A BRIDGE TO THE 1930s: “Hillary Clinton’s Uber Speech Belongs in 1930s America,” Kevin D. Williamson writes at NRO:

Economically, the Clinton-Sanders-Warren-O’Malley project is stuck squarely in 1938. Theirs is a country in which tax rates can be set without reference to global competition; in which the taxi commission and the trade union are the heroes while the entrepreneurs and the dissenters are a royal pain in the ass; in which families can simply not be trusted to determine which services suit their needs and which do not. It’s a country in which our heinously outdated, grossly illiberal, neo-Prussian educational system is to be set more firmly in place — even as it crumbles and falls. It is a country in which the state must determine which firms are Good and which firms are Bad, and reward or punish them according to its whim. It is a country in which Upton Sinclair is an up-and-coming writer, and in which anybody who doubts the efficacy of federal control is in danger of falling headfirst into a rendering vat.

Hey, 1938 actually would be “Progress” of a sort — in November of 2008, Time magazine Photoshopped Obama into the second coming of FDR in 1933, complete with jaunty cigarette holder for that week’s in-kind contribution to the DNC from Time-Warner-CNN-HBO. Curiously though, they meant their cover blurb, “The New New Deal,” as a compliment, and not a warning.

Meanwhile at Commentary, Noah Rothman charts “The Regressive Goals of Progressivism in America:”

Much of Clinton’s economic platform can be written off as constituency maintenance. As the power of organized labor in the United States has contracted amid unfavorable economic realities, this paranoid and cornered institution has grown rabidly protective of the privileges it earned in the 20th Century. Democrats are more than happy to take advantage of the organizational muscle and campaign contributions that they can exploit from labor unions, even if that means sloughing off its image as the party of tomorrow.

It was this impulse that led President Barack Obama to lament the “structural changes” in the economy that have replaced bank tellers with automatic teller machines and airport ticketing agents with kiosks. The left has always regarded the creative destruction inherent to capitalism as a problem to be managed and guided (or abolished altogether). But this fundamental aspect of market economics can only be leashed for so long before it must be suppressed through state-sanctioned coercion. Democrats who are consumed with the project of hiking the minimum wage will be shocked to discover that those states and municipalities that pass wage hikes have only incentivized and accelerated the process of automating rote tasks. And to inhibit this innovative evolution further, the left must again appeal to the power of the state. Only the threat of force can compel the tides of history to recede.

Rarely have Republicans been in such an advantageous position, blessed as they are with an opposition party that is so consumed with the preservation of unearned privilege and the maintenance of special interests. While the left stands athwart history, yelling “stop,” they victimize the millions of average Americans who benefited from cheaper taxis, no-frills hospitality services, and reduced retail prices as a result of a lack of brick-and-mortar overhead. The modern “progressive” wants nothing more than to roll back the clock to the turn of the 20th Century. If Republicans cannot make the case for advancement better than the spooked Luddites who today dare call themselves “progressives,” they should clear the field for those who can.

If anybody can blow it, it’s the Stupid Party.

BASICALLY, WHAT ELSE HAS SHE GOT? Why Hillary Clinton Made Gender Such A Big Deal In Her Economic Speech.

INSTEAD OF COVERING THE ADMINISTRATION, THEY COVER FOR THE ADMINISTRATION: Major papers avoid latest IRS scandal news.

JAMES TARANTO: Mrs. Clinton’s Deceptive ‘Bargain:’ The inevitable one fails Econ 101.

According to Hillary Clinton, Americans were a lot lazier when she was granddaughter Charlotte’s age than they are today.

To be sure, she made that claim while seeming to say the opposite. “Previous generations of Americans built the greatest economy and strongest middle class the world has ever known—on the promise of a basic bargain,” she said in today’s much-hyped economic-policy speech.

She described the “bargain” as follows: “If you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead. And when you get ahead, America gets ahead. But over the past several decades, that bargain has eroded.” Mrs. Clinton’s campaign tweeted a chart to illustrate the point.

The source is the Economic Policy Institute, a left-liberal think tank affiliated with Big Labor. The fever chart shows labor productivity rising by 240.4% between 1948 and 2014. During the same period according to the chart, “hourly compensation” grew by 108.3%.

The Clinton campaign version of the chart doesn’t define the terms, but we tracked down an earlier version, in an EPI report from last year. The “hourly compensation” figures are not for all workers but for “production/nonsupervisory workers in the private sector.” Private-sector managers and all government employees are left out. The productivity figures, on the other hand, are for the entire U.S. economy, making this something of an apples-and-oranges comparison.

“You’re working harder but your wages aren’t going up,” declares the Clinton campaign version of the chart (though not the EPI one). The latter part of that statement is defensible, though it depends on what the meaning of “are” is.

The hourly compensation figures are adjusted for inflation, which means that real compensation for nonsupervisory workers has risen by 108.3% since 1948. Note that’s an increase of 108.3%, which means that such compensation has in fact more than doubled during that period.

Yet as EPI points out, most of the increase took place in the first half of the 65-year period in its version of the chart (which stops in 2013): Hourly compensation rose 93.5% between 1948 and 1979 and only 8% from 1979 through 2003. Thus it’s accurate to say that compensation growth for nonsupervisory private-sector workers has been stagnant during the past 3½ decades, including the (Bill) Clinton and Obama years as well as the Reagan, Bush and Bush ones. Since the compensation figures include noncash benefits, it’s possible that wages have declined somewhat.

The first half of the Clinton campaign’s claim, however—the claim, directed at those nonsupervisory personnel, that “you’re working harder”—is either a demagogic lie or a falsehood born of shocking economic illiteracy.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

WHAT IF HILLARY GAVE A SPEECH AND NO ONE CARED? “Judging from Memeorandum, that’s what happened.”

Plus: “Oh, get that, Hillary opponents? Better not attack her or Richard Cohen, et al., will be moved to — gasp! — defend her. What bilge! You know, if we have to hold back attacking a woman lest men feel the need to defend her simply because she’s a woman, then we shouldn’t have a woman President.”

GREATEST TROLL EVER: Uber Promotes ‘Senior Mobility’ on Same Day Hillary Attacks Company.

BERNIE SANDERS IS SURGING, AND SENATE DEMS AREN’T SO HAPPY: “The Senate backbencher is drawing huge crowds on the trail, but his Democratic colleagues warn voters not to buy the hype.” Because, you know, it might hurt Hillary.

“Bernie is a socialist and claims that title,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), an early Clinton supporter. “I just don’t believe that someone who is a self-described socialist is going to be elected to be president of the United States.”

The problem is, a lot of Dems feel ignored by the Inner Party. As with the GOP and Trump, if you ignore people they’ll find their own spokesman.

DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY: Jim Webb confronts leftists: ‘Not my Democratic Party.’

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who is waging a long-shot bid for president, acknowledged Sunday that he is out of step with his own Democratic Party but vowed that he will connect with working-class Americans.

“The party has moved way far to the left. And that’s not my Democratic Party,” Mr. Webb said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We need to bring working people back into the formula.”

You’re not hearing much of that from Hillary.

WHY WHITE PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS BE RACISTS: Because, as D.C. McAllister writes at the Federalist, “The Left Incites Racial Controversy to Secure More Power.”

Or between now and November 2015, simply to keep the dissipated remnants of the once-rabid Obama coalition sufficiently together to help Hillary crawl over the finish line.

WHEN HILLARY TALKS ABOUT THE MIDDLE CLASS TOMORROW, I’LL BET SHE WON’T MENTION THIS: California’s war against the middle class: Massive income inequality pushes a growth in crowded rental households and lack of income growth.

But you know who did talk about it today? Carly Fiorina:

I think income inequality is a huge problem. And let’s look to the state of California where I lived for 12 years, liberal policies have been in place for decades, and yet 111 billionaires, good for them, the highest poverty rates in the nation, the exodus of the middle class, the destruction of industry after industry. Now they’re destroying agriculture in California.

The truth is, Hillary Clinton’s ideas create more income inequality. Why? Because bigger government creates crony capitalism. When you have a 70,000 page tax code, you’ve got to be very wealthy, very powerful, very well connected to dig your way through that tax code. So, she made to cry income inequality, what I will continue to point out is the fact that every policy she is pursuing will make income inequality worse, not better, crony capitalism even worse, not better. And meanwhile, we will continue to crush the businesses that create jobs and middle class families.

Indeed. Because economic freedom offers insufficient opportunities for graft.

EXTREMISM: The Democrats Turn Left.

During the 2012 election, Barack Obama memorably attacked the Republicans’ rightward shift, saying that Ronald Reagan could not win a modern Republican presidential nomination. That may be true, but it’s also true that Bill Clinton could not win a modern Democratic presidential nomination—as evidenced by the fact that Hillary Clinton has had to renounce the majority of her husband’s positions in order to be competitive.

This left-populist resurgence comes even as the nation might be poised to drift rightward, for two reasons. The big challenge—and opportunity—facing America today is the decline of the postwar welfare and managerial state beginning in the 1970s (what we call the “blue model”). The Democratic party’s orthodox response to this trend is to try to shore up what’s left of that model, and rebuild some of what’s been lost. But as Walter Russell Mead has documented at length, the blue decline traces, at least in part, to economic and demographic factors like globalization, technological change, and the aging of the population that simply can’t be put back in the genie’s bottle.

And it’s not clear that the majority of the American public wants policies aimed at reviving the blue model anyway.

But none of the alternatives offer sufficient opportunities for graft.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Pols’ High Anxiety Over Higher Ed.

College, once a sure ticket to the middle class, is causing a lot of anxiety these days. People are concerned about its cost, about low graduation rates and about the poor employment prospects of some graduates.

Hillary Clinton complained about the burden of student debt in a speech in New York last month. Senator Marco Rubio devoted much of a speech on economic opportunity this week to his own ideas for reforming higher education. We’re beginning to see the outlines of two rival approaches to addressing these problems. Democratic solutions center on increased federal spending and regulation, and Republican ones on increased competition. As a result, the next election could matter more than most for the future of higher education.

In particular, progressives want to use increased federal funding as leverage to get schools to act the way federal policymakers want them to. Thus President Barack Obama’s proposal to spend $60 billion to eliminate tuition at community colleges that “adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes.” A related idea is to have the government publish ratings for colleges, the better to make them responsive to the desires of Washington. The progressive approach exposes newer players, such as for-profit schools, to special scrutiny.

Conservatives, on the other hand, increasingly favor policies that provide new options for students: new educational institutions, new financing methods and new information for evaluating them. Rubio wants to liberalize accreditation rules to break up what he calls the higher-education “cartel.” He wants to make it easier for private institutions to extend student loans in return for a share of students’ future income. He thinks vocational education should get a greater share of federal funds. He thinks prospective students should have access to data about how well graduates of specific college programs fare at getting jobs. And he wants higher-education institutions, whether new or old, for-profit or not, to be accountable to customers rather than to the government.

If they’re accountable to customers rather than to the government, though, that reduces politicians’ leverage.

RICH KARLGAARD & MICHAEL S. MALONE: Building a Winning Political Team: Ronald Reagan knew how to do it. So did Bill Clinton. Their secret? They ignored the conventional wisdom.

As the 2016 presidential candidates start the long downhill run to the primaries early next year, the real test of their campaign teams begins.

If history is any guide, many of today’s highflying contenders will fall to earth in the next nine months, dragged down by dysfunctional organizations. What is astounding is that for all their experience running gubernatorial, senatorial or corporate staffs, most of this year’s candidates will repeat the same mistakes that have sunk their predecessors for generations.

For example, Jeb Bush is assembling a team of “superstars,” some of the best names in the campaign business. Hillary Clinton has pulled together staff based primarily on their compatibility and loyalty to her. Both strategies are usually recipes for disappointment.

We have been studying how effective teams work. Much research has been done the past 15 years that can shed light on this question—by anthropologists, sociologists, brain scientists and even cultural historians, who have uncovered common organizational archetypes that have held through the ages. If we’ve learned anything, it is that conventional wisdom about building and leading successful teams is almost completely wrong. . . .

As sensitive as presidential candidates are to the tiniest shifts in public opinion, they can be shockingly obtuse about problems in their own organizations. But even an excellent politician can crash and burn without the right support from a well-oiled team. Remember: In business you can come in second or third and still be successful, but not in politics.

True.

SO IF HILLARY IS ELECTED, HUMA ABEDIN WILL HAVE A BEDROOM AT THE WHITE HOUSE. The real question is, will Bill?

YOU’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BLOG:

BERNIE SANDERS IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S ID:

The other aspect of Sanders’ candidacy that is so interesting is the media’s coverage of it. Sure, he’s said a ton of nutty things that would make Todd Akin blush (e.g., claiming that cervical cancer is caused by an insufficient number of orgasms), but the lack of coverage of those remarks is not what I’m talking about. As Stephen Miller has noted on Twitter, what’s interesting is that while reporters at his events will regularly tweet about the size of his crowds or energy of his supporters, they rarely mention the substance of his remarks. Why that is so is unclear. Is it because he’s saying things that make Democrats look strange, or is it because he’s saying things that make Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look bad? I suspect it’s a combination of both. Either way, the disproportionate amount of media coverage given to Trump vs. Sanders is instructive of how many reporters view their roles: as amplifiers of Republican nonsense and silencers/explainers of Democratic nuttery.

Would you want to be the Democrat operative with a byline or a microphone telling your audience that according to hot presidential candidate Sanders, the real unemployment rate under the president you worked so hard to elect is at 10.5 percent?

Which isn’t to say that the GOP doesn’t have its own Monster from the ID, of course.

HUMA TO MOVE IN WITH HILLARY: The double entendres in this story are most entertaining. “If Hillary makes it to the White House, so will Huma Abedin.” Apparently, Huma’s getting her own bedroom if Clinton wins. Wonder if her husband, Anthony Weiner, will be allowed to sleep over? Somehow I doubt it.

 

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Clinton Aide Helped Outside Employer Get High-Profile Clinton Speech. “Hillary Clinton’s top aide at the State Department who simultaneously worked for New York University helped arrange Clinton’s high-profile speech at the school in 2009, according to internal State Department emails released last week. Clinton aide Cheryl Mills was working as both State Department chief of staff and as NYU general counsel from January to May 2009, the Washington Free Beacon first reported last month. Mills helped the school bring Clinton as its May 13, 2009, commencement speaker and was involved in her speech-drafting process, emails indicate.” First Huma’s double-dipping, now this?

WHAT’S REALLY BEHIND BERNIE SANDERS’ BOOM? “He can’t win and he will never be a VP pick, but he is relevant,” Ron Radosh writes:

The only real question is this: will Hillary do something to make her candidacy vulnerable, at which point Elizabeth Warren might decide to enter the race herself, forcing Sanders to withdraw and throw his support to her? Or could Joe Biden, for the moment standing in the wings, enter the race and take away from Hillary the moderate voters among Democrats she now has supporting her?

But could Sanders and Donald Trump finally come together to form a bipartisan populist Pangaea presidential bid? Imagine the possibilities!

Good and hard, as Mencken would say.

DEAR ARIANA GRANDE: LICKING DONUTS ISN’T GOING TO HELP FAT KIDS.

RELATED (So Very Related): High-Profile Hillary Clinton Supporter: ‘I Hate Americans. I Hate America.’

TREY GOWDY: HILLARY CLINTON IS FLAT-OUT LYING ABOUT US NOT SUBPOENAING HER.

To be fair, though:

UPDATE: “In short, she’s lying about everything.”

SMART REPUBLICAN STEALS A MARCH ON DONALD TRUMP. So this morning I noted that, in response to Donald Trump’s drum-beating on murder by illegal aliens, even Democrats like Steny Hoyer and Hillary Clinton were condemning “Sanctuary Cities.” And I commented: “I mean, with Steny Hoyer and Hillary Clinton coming out against sanctuary cities, who can disagree? Don’t turn illegals over to ICE, lose all your federal funding. Trump can barnstorm on this one every time there’s a splashy new crime by an illegal.”

As far as I know, Trump hasn’t picked up on this, but I just got this from Sen. Tom Cotton’s office: Cotton Introduces Legislation to Block Sanctuary Cities from Receiving Federal Law Enforcement Grants. Maybe Republicans are learning. . . .

LLOYD GROVE BLISTERS: Hillary Plays The Victim in CNN Interview. “Any Clinton supporters who hoped that a New Hillary would emerge from Tuesday’s televised grilling of the Democratic presidential frontrunner had to be brutally disillusioned. . . . Advertised by her associates as warm and funny in private, she came across as guarded, quibbling, and pokerfaced under the TV lights. . . . The candidate was, by turns, self-justifying and pugnacious, and occasionally just plain inauthentic, as she complained about her and her husband’s victimization by right-wingers and scandalous book authors—the correct people to blame, in her view, for the fact that six out of 10 voters don’t consider her ‘honest and trustworthy,’ according to a recent CNN poll.”

ALL POLITICIANS ARE TO SOME DEGREE FAKE AND SCRIPTED. BUT HILLARY TAKES IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL: WaPo: The Making Of A Hillary Clinton Echo Chamber.

One day in May, operatives from a Washington-based super PAC gathered New Hampshire mayors, state representatives and local politicos at Saint Anselm College for a day of training.

They rehearsed their personal tales of how they met Hillary Rodham Clinton and why they support her for president. They sharpened their defenses of her record as secretary of state. They scripted their arguments for why the Democratic front-runner has been “a lifetime champion of income opportunity.” And they polished their on-camera presentations in a series of mock interviews.

The objective of the sessions: to nurture a seemingly grass-roots echo chamber of Clinton supporters reading from the same script across the communities that dot New Hampshire, a critical state that holds the nation’s first presidential primary.

The super PAC, called Correct the Record, convened similar talking-point tutorials and ­media-training classes in May and June in three other early-voting states — Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina — as well as sessions earlier this spring in California.

Presidential campaigns have for decades fed talking points to surrogates who appear on national television or introduce candidates on the stump. But the effort to script and train local supporters is unusually ambitious and illustrates the extent to which the Clinton campaign and its web of sanctioned, allied super PACs are leaving nothing to chance.

That’s because Hillary is a terrible candidate with poor speaking skills, an unappealing personality, and not much ability to think on her feet.

Best line: “The super PAC’s effort comes as Clinton struggles on the campaign trail to appear accessible and genuine.” If you can fake that, Hillary, you’ve got it made!

HOWARD KURTZ: HILLARY ROPING OFF PRESS IS LIKE DUKAKIS IN THE TANK: And note that Hillary and her Democratic operatives with bylines — as supine then as they are now — consented to playing the same rope games in 1992, as this vintage C-Span video illustrates. I wonder if they were using the same safeword back then as well?

WHO MAKES THE FOX NEWS DEBATE AND IS IT FAIR, ASKS ROGER SIMON: “It’s still very unlikely but I will say this — an actual election between Dr. Ben Carson and Hillary Rodham Clinton would be one of the most extraordinary events in American history.  If that long shot came to pass, oddly enough, I’d be betting on Carson, possibly by a landslide.   Standing next to Ben Carson, Hillary would look like a character from The Exorcist – and you know which one.”

HASN’T SHE SUFFERED ENOUGH CRANIAL TRAUMA ALREADY? Warren bill could create headache for Hillary. “Warren’s re-introduction on Tuesday of Glass-Steagall, which would require big banks to split up commercial and investment banking, is popular amongst the liberal base. Proponents contend that President Bill Clinton’s repeal of the legislation in 1999 was part of deregulation that contributed to the 2008 economic collapse, an allegation that many economists — and the Clintons — vehemently dispute.”

SO IF I WERE TRUMP, I’D BE CALLING FOR LEGISLATION WITHHOLDING FEDERAL FUNDS FROM “SANCTUARY CITIES” NOW: Illegal deported five times who shot woman: I came back to San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city. I mean, with Steny Hoyer and Hillary Clinton coming out against sanctuary cities, who can disagree? Don’t turn illegals over to ICE, lose all your federal funding. Trump can barnstorm on this one every time there’s a splashy new crime by an illegal. And if you can afford to pay people to research and publicize those, that’s going to be often.

HILLARY “WHITE POWER” CLINTON: Clinton tweets, then deletes, photo of man with ‘white’ tattoo.

AND THEY SAY SHE LACKS A SENSE OF HUMOR! ‘People should and do trust me,’ says Hillary Clinton.