Search Results

HOUSE SPEAKER SELECTION DELAYED: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has dropped out of the race for House Speaker. Boehner has delayed the GOP conference vote (slated for today) indefinitely.

It happened suddenly. A source close to McCarthy told National Review on Wednesday that the majority leader was confident that he had secured about 200 votes, and possibly gotten all the way to 218. At 1:00 P.M., just an hour after the scheduled meeting at which he withdrew from the race, came a statement from his office: “Over the last week it has become clear to me that our conference is deeply divided and needs to unite behind one leader. I have always put the conference ahead of myself. Therefore, I am withdrawing my candidacy for speaker of the House.”

Almost immediately, new names for the position began to float on Capitol Hill. Trey Gowdy (“If the Hillary hearing goes well, Trey Gowdy will get a tremendous amount of pressure,” says one House Republican, referring to the Benghazi committee’s scheduled interview with the former secretary of state, set to take place later this month. “I don’t know that he has the heart to do it.”) Peter Roskam. Jason Chaffetz. An interim speaker. Somebody, anybody.

In a phone call, McCarthy tells National Review he wants Ways and Means Committee chairman Paul Ryan to run, but Ryan issued a statement Thursday ruling out a bid. So right now, McCarthy says, the conference may be ungovernable. “I don’t know,” he says. “Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom.”

McCarthy’s move followed something of a political rock bottom of his own that stretched over two brutal weeks. Even before he announced his bid, he faced resistance from conservatives who viewed him as too closely tied to Boehner, the outgoing Speaker. All week, the Tea Party Patriots had been circulating T-shirts on Capitol Hill with the term “McBoehner” emblazoned across the front, along with an orange, wine-swilling, cigarette-smoking amalgam of Boehner and McCarthy.

Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)–a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives–is now emerging as a more likely contender, obtaining the official endorsement of the House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is still in the race, but appears to have fewer votes lined up than Webster.

Chaffetz was expected to finish third in the GOP caucus vote after McCarthy and Rep. Daniel Webster, a Florida Republican who on Wednesday nabbed the endorsement of the 40-something-strong House Freedom Caucus.

Rep. Steve King, one of the House’s more conservative members, said that he saw Webster with up to 70 votes in the race so far and that he was far ahead of Chaffetz.

“What I saw was Webster’s numbers growing,” King said. “I didn’t see that Chaffetz’s numbers were growing and they may have shrunk, I don’t know.”

King said McCarthy’s withdrawal was an opening for Webster, not Chaffetz.

Asked whether Chaffetz now had a better shot, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was abrupt.

“No,” said the former chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee that Chaffetz now heads.

Boehner has not scheduled a new date for the GOP conference to vote on his replacement. Rumors are flying that Boehner is maneuvering to stay on as Speaker until a clear GOP consensus emerges. I have even heard rumors that Boehner is considering staying on as Speaker after his term of office expires (he has also announced that he will not seek reelection), as the Speaker of the House does not have to be an elected member of the House.

If Boehner stays on as Speaker much longer, it will be horrific for the GOP, further deepening the anger of the base and dividing the members of the House. It’s long past time for him to go, and his feeble attempts to stay on any longer is only harming, not helping, the GOP.

The GOP conference needs to pick a replacement as soon as possible. Once the GOP conference has picked its candidate, it will be incumbent upon all members of the GOP to unite and support that candidate, regardless of which “side” the candidate is on. To do otherwise would be to allow the Democrats to pick the next Speaker.

BUT ACKNOWLEDGING THIS DOESN’T FEED HILLARY-FRIENDLY “WAR ON WOMEN” THEMES: Barbara Kay: Don’t sell fathers short: They are as crucial to a child’s well being as a mother.

WHY DID CNN CUT THE LENGTH OF THE DEMOCRATIC DEBATE FROM THREE HOURS TO TWO? “Bernie and Hillary are too old to stand for 3 hours.”


A political humorist named Mark Dice took a camera to the streets of San Diego and decided to interview Hillary Clinton supporters, acting as if he was one of them.

He told them that Clinton planned on instituting a “white privilege” tax.

In other words, she planned on taking money from each and every Caucasian and distributing it among the other races.

Guess what? They not only bought it, they agreed with it.


TO BE FAIR, IT’S JUST MEANT TO BE A CAMPAIGN TALKING POINT: Obama administration has doubts that key Hillary gun proposal can work.

Current law requires those who are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms to get a federal firearms license — and to conduct background checks on buyers. Private sellers don’t need to conduct such checks. Gun control advocates have argued that administrative rules defining what that phrase means are too vague, allowing many private sellers who are actually selling guns as a quasi-business to do so without running checks on buyers. They argue that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms could tighten this up with a rule that narrows the definition of who is “engaged in the business.”

The Obama administration looked at this idea, officials tell me, studying whether “engaged in the business” could be defined with, say, a threshold number of guns sold — say, 50 or 100 per year. If this were done, those who identify as private sellers (and sell without background checks) but sell that many guns could no longer do so without getting a license and performing background checks.

But the idea quickly presented complications. One former administration official involved in these discussions tells me that some officials worried it would present new and unforeseen enforcement problems. One senior administration official says some worried internally that defining a commercial seller through a hard sales threshold — as opposed to, say, leaving it to the discretion of law enforcement to determine who is a commercial seller — could be subject to legal challenge and could end up sweeping in people selling guns who clearly were not engaged in it as a long term business. This could create untold logistical — not to say political — difficulties.

“It was very clear that it was way more complicated than the other stuff being looked at,” the senior administration official tells me.

It’s less complicated if you don’t really care about the results.

A HILLARY DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND! Hillary Clinton: I Totally Oppose The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement I Negotiated In 2012, even though “In her 2014 memoir, Hillary Clinton listed the negotiation of TPP as one of her key accomplishments as Sec. of State.”  As Twitchy asks, “Did TPP flip-flopper Hillary even READ her book before sending it to GOP candidates?”

The Washington Free Beacon video supercut rounds up 24 Times Hillary Clinton Championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership While Secretary of State:

Jack Tapper of CNN notes that the number is nearly double: “45 times Secretary Clinton pushed the trade bill she now opposes.”

And don’t get her started on NAFTA, either, which further demonstrates the paradox of Hillary’s campaign. It’s entirely based on the good time nostalgia of the 1990s, even though she has repudiated seemingly every aspect of her husband’s post-Reagan centrism that helped to create it, as part of her increasingly quixotic efforts to lock down her party’s radical socialist base.

Speaking of which, at Hot Air, Allahpundit writes, “the Hillarybot has decided that it’s in her interest to move left to protect herself against Sanders. Bad idea. Because not only will she irritate centrist Dems and Obama-worshipping liberals by crossing him on this, but hardly a single Sanders voter will reconsider her based on this position given how transparently politically calculated it is. As Gabe Malor says, ‘Clinton will get a 5 point bump from this. In the ‘not honest or trustworthy’ polls.’ In fact, if you were searching for a reason to watch next week’s debate, now you’ve got one: It should be high comedy watching Sanders feed Hillary tons of sh*t for her sudden pandering reversal on TPP. Can’t wait.”

Related: Plenty of room on Hillary’s server for a little Journolist-style action as well.

WELL, THAT’S NOT HER STRONGEST SUIT: If Joe Biden runs, it’ll be a “character campaign” against Hillary.


Occasionally a member of the chattering classes writes something that is not just wrong, that is not just irritating, but that is genuinely dangerous. Matthew Yglesias’s latest essay at Vox is just such a piece. Writes Yglesias:

From her adventures in cattle trading to chairing a policymaking committee in her husband’s White House to running for Senate in a state she’d never lived in to her effort to use superdelegates to overturn 2008 primary results to her email servers, [Hillary] Clinton is clearly more comfortable than the average person with violating norms and operating in legal gray areas.

This is, for him, a point in her favor:

Committed Democrats and liberal-leaning interest groups are facing a reality in which any policy gains they achieve are going to come through the profligate use of executive authority, and Clinton is almost uniquely suited to deliver the goods. More than almost anyone else around, she knows where the levers of power lie, and she is comfortable pulling them, procedural niceties be damned.


She truly is the perfect leader for America’s moment of permanent constitutional crisis: a person who cares more about results than process, who cares more about winning the battle than being well-liked, and a person who believes in asking what she can get away with rather than what would look best.

So Hillary’s ethics — or the lack thereof — are Vox-approved; that’s good to know. Or to put it another way:


Earlier: Politico’s “Glenn Thrush calls Hillary’s homebrew email system ‘badass.’”

Lord Acton, call your office.

DRIP, DRIP: FBI probe of Clinton e-mail expands to second data company. “The additional data, provided by Connecticut-based Datto Inc., could open a new avenue for investigators interested in recovering e-mails deleted by the former secretary of state — now the Democratic presidential front-runner.” Read the whole story to see how the WaPo’s Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman spin this as Republicans vs. Hillary rather than Hillary vs. Justice.

SPELUNKING IN THE MEMORY HOLE: Jesse Walker: Why Was There a 12-Year Gap in the Gun Debate? What happened to gun control from 2000 to 2012? Funny you should ask…

When Hillary Clinton unveiled her plans for new gun controls yesterday, she sounded a nostalgic note for her husband’s years in the White House. “There are a lot of ways for us to have constitutional, legal gun restrictions,” she said. “My husband did. He passed the Brady bill, and he eliminated assault weapons for 10 years. So we’re gonna take them on. We took them on in the ’90s. We’re gonna take them on again.”

Some voters, listening to this, might wonder whether anyone was taking “them” on after the ’90s ended. The short answer is: not really. Oh, the anti-gun lobby was still around, and they would occasionally send me lonely-sounding press releases. And some fights still flared up over local laws, with two of those battles making it to the Supreme Court. But as far as national politics were concerned, there was a great gap in the gun debate: a period of more than a decade when Washington did not see a significant push for new restrictions on the right to bear arms.

As with any historical period, we can argue about when exactly this started and stopped. But if precise dating is your thing, you can say it began on November 7, 2000, and ended on December 14, 2012. The first is the day Al Gore failed to carry his home state of Tennessee, a loss many observers blamed—along with his losses in several other swing states—on his support for stricter gun laws. The second is the day of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Well, 2012 is also the year the Democrats basically wrote off the possibility of recapturing the South, and decided instead to focus on minority voters. Plus:

Pleasing as this may sound to some parts of the Democratic coalition, other activists on the left have been wary. Bill Clinton’s gun controls were tightly linked to his tough-on-crime posturing; indeed, by driving Republicans to oppose what was presented as law’n'order legislation, they were a classic case of Clintonian triangulation. His assault weapons ban, a law generally regarded as having no notable impact on crime rates, was embedded in the crime bill of 1994, a law that did so much to amp up incarceration that the former president eventually apologized for its effects. His Gun-Free Schools Act, also passed in 1994, helped launch the era of zero tolerance and the school-to-prison pipeline. Basically, the Clinton-era anti-gun rhetoric that this year’s candidates have been reviving overlapped heavily with the Clinton-era carceral policies that the candidates have made a big deal of rejecting. And the more the party’s leaders flirt with ideas like an Australian-style confiscation of weapons, with all the intrusive policing that would require in a gun-loving culture like America’s, the more that tension will look like a full-fledged contradiction.


THE CHEWBACCA DEFENSE COMES TO POLITICS:John Kasich: Medicaid Expansion Is Type of Policy that Could Reduce Mass Shootings.

Related: “John Kasich renews push for strict ‘green energy’ mandates.”

Between Trump and Kasich, I’m happy that there are more Democrats in the race to offset the far left rantings of Bernie and Hillary. But when will they join the other party and make it official?

YES, VIOLATING RULES IS EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT IN A PRESIDENT:  No, actually it’s not.  But it might very well be for Vox editors.  As long as she only violates the RIGHT kind of rules.

ANDREW KLAVAN: FORGET WHERE’S WALDO — WHO’S HILLARY? “But the real question is not whether she’s corrupt. Duh. The question is: Who the hell is she when she’s at home? What does she believe, aside from appeasing this portion of the base or that? What’s her vision, aside from herself in the Oval Office? What’s her pitch to America, aside from the fact she’s female? Really. I can choose between the Republicans on the basis of their policies and their characters. But when it comes to Hillary….  Who the hell is she?”

Want a serious answer? The last half-dozen chapters of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism — written during the period when it was assumed that Hillary had the Democrat nomination for 2008 in the bag, and not some unknown junior Midwest rookie senator named, as Teddy Kennedy would have said at the time, Osama or Obama, or whatever it was, give an excellent insight into her worldview and its sources.


Contrast SNL producer-creator Lorne Michael’s kid glove treatment of Hillary with how Gerald Ford’s press secretary Ron Nessen was demolished when he stupidly volunteered to host the show in its first season. Michaels’ then-wife (and a writer on the show) admitted afterwards, the goal of the show’s writers was “The President’s watching. Let’s make him cringe and squirm” — and he certainly did.

A big difference though: despite many of them being Democrats, NBC’s elite old guard upper management were genuinely shocked by the tone of Michael’s then-new show; for that same reason, Johnny Carson would have little to do with them, despite sharing virtually all of their politics.

These days, Lorne Michaels, as the producer of both SNL and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is NBC’s upper management, and the tone he instilled via SNL is the tone of NBC-MSNBC-Comcast.

But then, as original Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts liked to quip, “you can only be avant-garde for so long, before you become garde.” Or palace guard, in the case of Michaels, who last year was accused by one of his writers of giving Mr. Obama veto power over SNL jokes. Wouldn’t want the president cringing and squirming or anything.

CRAZY UNCLE JOE–YEAH, CRAZY AS A FOX: Biden himself leaked word of his son’s dying wish.

Joe Biden has been making his 2016 deliberations all about his late son since August.

Aug. 1, to be exact — the day renowned Hillary Clinton-critic Maureen Dowd published a column that marked a turning point in the presidential speculation.

According to multiple sources, it was Biden himself who talked to her, painting a tragic portrait of a dying son, Beau’s face partially paralyzed, sitting his father down and trying to make him promise to run for president because “the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.”

It was no coincidence that the preliminary pieces around a prospective campaign started moving right after that column. People read Dowd and started reaching out, those around the vice president would say by way of defensive explanation. He was just answering the phone and listening.

But in truth, Biden had effectively placed an ad in The New York Times, asking them to call.

Before that moment and since, Biden has told the Beau story to others. Sometimes details change — the setting, the exact words. The version he gave Dowd delivered the strongest punch to the gut, making the clearest swipe at Clinton by enshrining the idea of a campaign against her in the words of a son so beloved nationally that his advice is now beyond politics. This campaign wouldn’t be about her or her email controversy, the story suggests, but connected to righteousness on some higher plane.

Biden’s “Uncle Joe” schtick is designed to camouflage the career politician inside who has no qualms about lying to further his own ambitions. You know, the man who plagiarized his law review comment and falsely claims that he played college football, graduated in the top half of his law school class (he was 76 out of 85), had a blue collar upbringing, that his first wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver (there is no evidence the driver was drunk), and that he was a skeptic of the Iran nuclear deal.

Biden has displayed, over a long period of time, a near-pathological propensity to lie in order to aggrandize himself. That he would “embellish” the story of his dying son’s last words–and plant the story himself with the New York Times–is just another example of this pattern.

Run, Joe, run!

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: How Hillary Clinton kept her wealthy friends close while at State Department.

HER ADMINISTRATION SHOULD REALLY FINISH OFF THE ECONOMY: Hillary Hits Obama for Being Too Strict on Illegal Immigrants on Telemundo.

The L.A. Times put the phrase “funemployment” into wide circulation to Orwellianly describe life in the Obama economy; what phrase will they popularize to disguise the lack of jobs in Hillary’s?


In sharp contrast, Saturday Night Live, which could arguably be considered a spinoff of the magazine due to the high crossover of writers and talent during SNL’s earlier, funnier startup days, is now “Basically a Hillary Clinton Campaign Ad,” as even the (equally Hillary-supporting) Daily Beast notes.

(H/T: Iowahawk, who adds that late Lampoon/SNL firebrand “Michael O’Donoghue [would be] spinning in his grave at 175,000 RPM” if he knew the pathetic corporatist fate of the TV show he helped pioneer.)

OBSCURING LINKS TO BENGHAZI: Hillary Clinton’s incomplete timeline on her personal e-mail account.

WE DON’T WANT TO HOPE THIS IS TRUE: Because it makes us feel like horrible people, but… but… but… Hillary has long history of beating up Bill behind closed doors: book.

WE CAN ALSO ONLY HOPE: Hillary Clinton’s legal adviser warns her — Time to lawyer up.

BIAS OF ASSOCIATED PRESS SHINES THROUGH: While casually flipping through the Saturday edition of a local paper, the Key West Citizen, I happened upon a short piece under the “Nation” section about Carly Fiorina, the title of which caught my eye: (as I’m sure it did many others) “Fiorina makes distortion of Planned Parenthood a centerpiece.

After Googling this title, it turns out that the larger, “parent” piece (no pun intended) of the blurb was written by Bill Barrow at AP, as it appears in newspapers throughout the country, and contains the typical mainstream media’s minimal, begrudging attempt at “balance,” which is then robustly counterbalanced with thinly disguised bias, as evidenced in word choices and selective quotes.

But the patently biased headline itself–without any content at all– appears on the webpages of multiple local papers and televisions stations throughout the country (here, here, here, here, and here, for example).

And the blurb that is being spawned from Barrow’s larger piece is so one-sided that I almost spit out my coffee.  The Key West Citizen piece is not available online (the paper’s horrible search engine turns up nothing on “Carly Fiorina” at all). But it’s very short, so I will reproduce it in toto for the Insta readers to enjoy:

Fiorina makes distortion of Planned Parenthood a centerpiece

Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina has spent the last two weeks repeating an erroneous description of videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists. That seems bound to continue as she makes her opposition to Planned Parenthood a centerpiece of her 2016 campaign.

Campaigning in South Carolina on Friday, Fiorina said she “absolutely” stands by her criticism of Planned Parenthood. She accused the women’s health organization–it’s also the nation’s largest abortion provider–of pushing “propaganda” against her while being “aided and abetted by the media.”

Oh, the irony of that last sentence!

The AP’s aiding and abetting of a hit job against Fiorina aside, notice the incredibly lopsided content of this blurb. It contains several assertions:

1.  Carly Fiorina has spend the last two weeks lying;

2.  She has been lying about Planned Parenthood videos that were “secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists”;

3.  Fiorina opposes Planned Parenthood; and

4.  Planned Parenthood is a provider of “women’s health,” which just happens to also include a large number of abortions.

There is no discussion of the content of the videos at all. The piece implies that there are some loony bin, right-wing activists who have secretly recorded some videos that distort Planned Parenthood, a provider of “women’s health.” Most readers, who rely on the mainstream media, have probably never even seen these disgusting Planned Parenthood videos. So they read this piece and assume that Cary Fiorina is going around lying about them simply because she–like other conservatives, of course–is opposed to “women’s health.”

She is, in short, a woman who cannot be trusted on women’s issues. The desired implication for the reader of the AP piece is that Carly Fiorina is a liar and opposed to “women’s health.” 

One cannot even imagine the AP running a piece on Hillary Clinton that is so overtly biased. I mean, Hillary would never lie or distort anything, right? 

THE HILL: Democrats’ Benghazi panel talking point proven false.

Democrats claimed this week that the House’s special committee investigating the 2012 violence in Benghazi, Libya, was the longest inquiry of its kind, but fact-checkers on Friday proved them wrong.

In fact, there have been at least four special congressional committees charged with investigating various incidents that have run longer than the Benghazi panel, Politifact discovered.

The claim that the Benghazi committee had been in existence longer than any other special investigation committee was incorrectly reported by The Hill as well as The New York Times, ABC News and other media outlets.

The existence of the former committees pokes a hole in a frequent talking point for critics of the Select Committee on Benghazi, including the campaign of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of State during the 2012 attack.

Honestly, at this point that’s the least of her problems. But yeah.

ACTUALLY, LET’S POLITICIZE MASS SHOOTINGS: “If you want to guarantee that Hillary Clinton loses, liberals, press her to call for stricter gun laws and hint that you want to take their Glocks from them. That’s about the only way you’re going to blow 2016.”

CRIMINOLOGIST JAMES ALAN FOX: Umpqua shooting – a tragedy, not a trend. “I certainly don’t mean to minimize the suffering of the Oregon victims and their families, but the shooting spree is not a reflection of more deadly times. Consider the facts. According to a careful analysis of data on mass shootings (using the widely accepted definition of at least four killed), the Congressional Research Service found that there are, on average, just over 20 incidents annually. More important, the increase in cases, if there was one at all, is negligible. Indeed, the only genuine increase is in hype and hysteria.”

Hillary’s got an email scandal that won’t go away. Obama has a series of Mideast debacles of near-Bibilical proportions. Naturally, they — and their loyal allies in the press — would rather we be hysterical about something else.


As legendary Russian ambassador Alexi de Sadesky would say, her source was the New York Times.

VESTIGIAL BRAIN ACTIVITY DETECTED: Colorado Governor Backing Away from Hillary.


‘​Good morning, ma’am,” a member of the uniformed Secret Service once greeted Hillary Clinton.

“F*** off,” she replied.

That exchange is one among many that active and retired Secret Service agents shared with Ronald Kessler, author of First Family Detail, a compelling look at the intrepid personnel who shield America’s presidents and their families — and at those whom they guard.

Kessler writes flatteringly and critically about people in both parties. Regarding the Clintons, Kessler presents Chelsea as a model protectee who respected and appreciated her agents. He describes Bill as a difficult chief executive, but an easygoing ex-president. And Kessler exposes Hillary as an epically abusive Arctic monster.

“When in public, Hillary smiles and acts graciously,” Kessler explains. “As soon as the cameras are gone, her angry personality, nastiness, and imperiousness become evident.” He adds: “Hillary Clinton can make Richard Nixon look like Mahatma Gandhi.”

Note this conclusion: Kessler’s “astonishment at Hillary Clinton’s inhumanity should reverberate inside every American’s head. As he told me: ‘No one would hire such a person to work at a McDonald’s, and yet she is being considered for president of the United States.’”

Well, McDonald’s expects its employees to be competent and have certain minimum skills.

OREGON: Another mass shooting in a gun-free zone.

As I wrote several years ago, now, People don’t stop killers. People with guns do.

Prediction: The press will talk about this endlessly for the rest of the week so as not to have to talk about Hillary’s email scandals and Obama’s Mideast debacle.

FOR THE WORSE. Washington Post: How Bernie Sanders would transform the nation.

If he becomes president, Sanders would spend an enormous amount of money: $3.27 trillion. At the very, very least. But he is not just a big-spending liberal. And his agenda is not just about money.

It’s also about control.

With lefties, it’s always about control. Nice to see the WaPo admit that here, even if the piece is probably designed to help Hillary.


OUR POLITICAL/JOURNALISTIC CLASS: MORE INCESTUOUS THAN THE HAPSBURGS. Press Ignoring Blatant Conflicts of Interest Exposed in CBS Benghazi Coverage. “This one’s a joint effort involving Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, a recently deceased former CIA operative named Tyler Drumheller who worked with Blumenthal — and CBS News. . . . Hemingway presented evidence that Drumheller influenced CBS’s coverage of the Benghazi, Libya attack which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others, coverage which “just so happened” to protect the Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton and discredited a story a year later presented by 60 Minutes’ Lara Logan.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Clinton Foundation courted Putin-linked Russian donor.

Clinton Foundation officials courted a Russian billionaire to join a 2012 meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, seeking the advice of State Department staff about the invitation.

The well-connected charity wanted to invite Viktor Vekselberg, founder of major Russian conglomerate Renova Group, to attend the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City that year. Amitabh Desai, the foundation’s director of foreign policy, asked a top aide to Hillary Clinton if the State Department would be troubled by the invitation, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Vekselberg, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been involved in multiple corruption investigations spawned from his far-reaching commercial activities in oil, aluminium and investments.

Renova Group has donated as much as $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show.

She hangs with all the best oligarchs.

HUMA, DON’T LOSE THAT NUMBER: Oh how the mighty have fallen:

In a don’t-push-the-red-button Cold War-esque maneuver, Hillary Clinton released this ad during the 2008 primary season, asking voters who they would want to lead the country during a world crisis. Sleeping children, a ringing telephone, the undertone of grave importance heard in the speaker’s voice, it’s all there — and frankly, kind of creepy.

Time magazine’s description of Hillary’s infamous “3:00 AM” ad from February 2008.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that Benghazi will be an major issue for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because she failed to pick up the “3 a.m. phone call.”

The jab was a reference to Mrs. Clinton’s own 2008 campaign TV attack on then-Sen. Barack Obama, which questioned whether he would be ready to answer a emergency 3 a.m. phone call to the White House.

“I think Benghazi was the 3 a.m. phone call that she never picked up,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton missed ‘3 a.m. phone call’ on Benghazi,” the Washington Times, April 12, 2015.


Click to enlarge.

“STITCHES: So, this is embarrassing: Hillary Clinton can’t turn on phone. No, really [screenshot],”, yesterday.

GEE, I DUNNO–PROSTITUTES AND FOREIGN “DONATIONS” MAYBE?: Where have all of Bill and Hillary’s millions gone?

Since Bill and Hillary Clinton left the White House in 2001, they have earned more than $230 million. But in federal filings the Clintons claim they are worth somewhere between $11 million and $53 million. After layering years of disclosures on top of annual tax returns, Forbes estimates their combined net worth at $45 million. Where did all of the money go? No one seems to know, and the Clintons aren’t offering any answers.

From 2001 to 2014 the power couple spent $95 million on taxes. Hillary’s 2008 presidential run cost her $13 million. Their two homes cost a combined $5 million, and the Clintons have given away $22 million to charity. All of this is according to FEC filings, property records and years of tax returns. Add it up and you get $135 million. If the Clintons made $230 million, spent $135 million and have just $45 million left over, what happened to the other $50 million?

“That’s kind of strange,” says Joe Biden’s accountant, Walter Deyhle. “You have to report all of your assets. You have to report assets that are owned by your spouse.”

It seems unlikely that the Clintons could have spent all of it. Over 14 years $50 million averages out to $3.6 million in extra expenses per year, or $9,800 per day. . . .

It seems unlikely, but they could have given it away overseas: Donations to foreign charities are not deductible and would not be listed on tax returns. Billionaires like Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, Lakshmi Mittal of India and Joseph Safra of Brazil have donated to their foundation. Maybe the Clintons are returning the favor?

Maybe. Quid pro quos are not unusual among wealthy donors. Or maybe the Clintons are just big spenders with a lavish lifestyle.

Maybe an investigative reporter should ask the Clintons and actually investigate this.

AT THIS POINT, ISN’T THE REAL QUESTION WHAT PRESIDENT BIDEN WOULD DO? Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Mess Up Prescription Economics.

Hillary Clinton thinks drug development should be riskier, and less profitable. Also, your health insurance premiums should be higher. And there should be fewer drugs available.

This is not, of course, how the Clinton campaign would put it. The official line is that Americans are just paying too darn much for drugs, and she has a plan to stop that. . . .

Eliminating the side payments seems eminently sensible. (Yes, yes, you can strip my libertarian card, but market-rigging contracts shouldn’t be enforced.) It also seems reasonable to require some sort of comparative effectiveness research. Other provisions will certainly drive down drug prices, at the risk of also driving down innovation.

Still other provisions, however, are simply bad economics. In what other market do we worry about having a second product available that’s merely just as good as the first? Should we really only have one antidepressant, one statin, one blood pressure medication, and so forth? Might there be variation among patients so that drugs that are statistically about equally effective in large groups are nonetheless individually more or less effective for different people? Might one drug’s side effects be better tolerated by some patients than another’s? Might having two drugs in the category help keep prices down?

Then there is notion that we should force pharmaceutical companies to spend a set percentage of their revenues on R&D. This seems to me to be … what’s the word I am looking for? Ah, I’ve got it: “insane.”

For one thing, compared to virtually any other industry, pharmaceutical companies already spend an enormous fraction of their revenues on R&D. Why assume that it ought to be higher? Or even more risibly, exactly the same at every company?

Because you’ve never run a business in your life? Related: Obamacare’s Nonprofit Insurers Are Failing, Predictably.

IT TAKES A POTEMKIN VILLAGE TO PROP UP HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN: What Was a Member of Clinton’s ‘Secret Spy Network’ Doing While Working for CBS News?

According to WEEKLY STANDARD sources, Drumheller was active in shaping the network’s Benghazi coverage. His role at the network raises questions about what went wrong with the retracted 60 Minutes report on Benghazi that aired in October 2013. Despite his former life as a high ranking CIA official, Drumheller was laden with political baggage, making him a curious choice to be consulting with a major news operation—especially so given that he was working directly with Sidney Blumenthal, whose primary occupation appears to be manipulating media coverage on behalf of the Clintons.

And note that “David Rhoades, the current president of CBS News, is the brother of Ben Rhoades, a White House national security advisor. If Ben’s name sounds familiar, that is likely due to his reported role in the editing of the now infamous Benghazi talking points.

Meanwhile, on a lighter ghost note: Hillary’s ‘Spontaneous’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Question Came From Former Staffer.

It’s Potemkin Villages all the way down, to coin a phrase. Or as Iowahawk quips, “DC media: more incest than Appalachia’s trashiest hillbilly trailer park.”

HILLARY, LIKEABILITY AND THE LENS: At City Journal, Matthew Hennessey writes, “even with a quarter-century of ‘public service’ under her belt, Hillary can’t seem to connect with the average American:”

All politics is performance, but presidential politics is performance art. The successful candidate adjusts each appearance—whether on stage or on camera—in order to come across as knowledgeable, sincere, reasonable, diplomatic, and, above all, presidential. An actor used to working on stage alters his performance when he appears before a camera. Auditoriums are big; they need big voices and oversize personalities to fill them. Like stage actors, politicians working a live audience need to play to the last row. When a politician speaks from a podium, hosts a town hall meeting, or presses the flesh, the goal is to have each member of the audience leave thinking the performance was delivered directly to him.

Television screens, by contrast, are smaller, and demand a different type of performance. You don’t have to work so hard to get someone watching you on television to think that you’re talking directly to him. Close-ups reward subtlety, honesty, and true emotion. A camera is like an X-Ray machine. “[T]he camera looks into your mind, and the audience sees what the camera sees,” writes the actor Michael Caine in his book, Acting in Film. You can’t lie to a camera; it will expose you. Ronald Reagan understood this better than anyone.

The good news for Hillary is that coming across as genuine on camera is a skill that can be taught. Of course, it helps if you have talent. It’s even better if you take the job seriously, which, according to Klein, she did not. “I decided I had enough with the camera and the recordings and the coaches,” Hillary allegedly said. “I got so angry I knocked the f- -king camera off its tripod. That was the end of my Stanislavski period.” (It’s perhaps worth pointing out that Constantin Stanislavski, the Russian actor and director credited with pioneering an approach to acting eventually known as “the Method,” worked in live theater, not in film.)

Of course, when it’s focused on politicians, the TV camera lies all the time — just explore how made-for-television Barack Obama was in 2008; his on-air skills will serve him well when he leaves office at the end of next year, but meant nothing in terms of allowing voters to predict that the global disaster of his presidency. The same could be said to a lesser extent with Hillary’s own husband, who was remarkably telegenic in 1992, and then preceded, at least for the first two years of his presidency until a Republican Congress could prop him up, to forget virtually all of his campaign promises.

But there’s no doubt that Hillary, like Al Gore in 1999, comes across stiff, robotic and elitist when on TV – even to the most sympathetic of interviewers. But then, maybe that’s the problem – Ronald Reagan knew he was in a hostile media environment virtually every time he walked into a TV studio, and yet had the skill to project his charisma past the interviewer, to the viewers at home. In contrast, as Nick Gillespie writes at Reason on Hillary’s interview with Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokeswoman Lena Dunham:

The interview is worth reading in its entirety, especially against the backdrop of Hillary Clinton’s falling poll numbers and her obvious interest in mounting something like a charm offensive. Dunham is clearly a willing co-conspirator in humanizing the candidate, as when she brings up a favorite “cold shoulder” dress of Clinton’s:

It was a design of my friend Donna Karan. And like everything I do, it turned out to be controversial. I’m hardly a fashion icon.

In moments such as these, Dunham’s (and Clinton’s) starfucking side undercut any pretension to reaching the average man or woman. Beyond the utterly unconvincing humblebrag declaration that she’s not a fashion icon but only a beleaguered gal trying to make it in a heartless world, Clinton can’t not place herself in the world of New York couture and high fashion. These are precisely the sorts of moments when Clinton loses the little people.

That’s a far cry from how her (now vegan!) husband chose to present himself to the world when running for the White House against the patrician George H.W. Bush — as a sort of cigar smoking, pot-smoking (but not inhaling!) Big Mac chomping new age good ol’ boy in 1992.

But then it could be worse — Hillary could be crying poverty again.

UH OH: Teamsters’ wariness of Hillary could spell trouble for her and her party.

I’M MORE WORRIED ABOUT THE RUBBER MASK:  After lizardoid beings have to pass somehow. Hillary Clinton’s secret face-lift.

WAR ON WOMEN: Biden Is Democrats’ Best Hope For President, Says Poll. Every time it looks as if Hillary has a shot, the patriarchy yanks it away!

HE’S ANGLING FOR A LOVE NEST IN THE HAY-ADAMS HOTEL INSTEAD: Hillary Clinton not sure if Bill Clinton would get West Wing office.

Hillary Clinton isn’t sure if former President Bill Clinton would have an office in the West Wing if she is elected president.

“He’s a pretty busy guy, I don’t know anything like that,” Hillary Clinton said after MSNBC’s Chuck Todd asked her what role Bill Clinton might play on her team.

“I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch. I just want to be sure that we get the chance to earn the votes of the American people and to win the White House back,” Hillary Clinton said in response to a question about Bill Clinton having a West Wing office.

In the interview airing on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily,” Clinton lauded her husband as a “great advisor” who “knows as much about the economy and how to get jobs created and how to help people see their incomes rise as anybody that I could talk to.”

But she wouldn’t elaborate on the role that the former president would have in her potential administration.

Internship director.

THINK HOW MANY MORE THINGS SHE COULD WRECK: How Hillary wrecked the State Department’s digital information system.


Update: Great minds think alike!

KEN CUCCINELLI: “Yes, Hillary Clinton Broke the Law.”

Since there has been much evasion and obfuscation about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email use, it seems appropriate to step back and simply review what we know in light of the law. It’s also instructive to compare Clinton’s situation to arguably the most famous case of our time related to the improper handling of classified materials, namely, the case of Gen. David Petraeus.

Instead of turning his journals — so-called “black books” — over to the Defense Department or CIA when he left either of those organizations, Petraeus kept them at his home — an unsecure location — and provided them to his paramour/biographer, Paula Broadwell, at another private residence. . . . On April 23, Petraeus pled guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials under 18 USC §1924. Many in the intelligence community were outraged at the perceived “slap on the wrist” he received, at a time when the Justice Department was seeking very strong penalties against lesser officials for leaks to the media.

According to the law, there are five elements that must be met for a violation of the statute, and they can all be found in section (a) of the statute: “(1) Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, (2) by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, (3) knowingly removes such documents or materials (4) without authority and (5) with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location [shall be guilty of this offense].” . . .

While it’s possible for a private residence to be an “authorized” location, and it’s also possible for non-government servers and networks to be “authorized” to house and transfer classified materials, there are specific and stringent requirements to achieve such status. Simply being secretary of state didn’t allow Clinton to authorize herself to deviate from the requirements of retaining and transmitting classified documents, materials and information.

There is no known evidence that her arrangement to use the private email server in her home was undertaken with proper authority. . . The intent required is only to undertake the action, i.e., to retain the classified documents and materials in the unauthorized fashion addressed in this statute. That’s it.

But of course laws are for the little people, or at least (in the case of Petraeus), people whom the Obama Administration finds inconvenient or threatening.

THE EMPATHY MODULE IS A KNOWN ISSUE THAT WILL BE PATCHED IN THE NEXT UPGRADE CYCLE: Hillary Clinton Shows Zero Emotion as Mother Tearfully Recounts Son’s Suicide.

YOU SPELLED “LYING LIAR WHO LIES” WRONG: Washington Post: Hillary Clinton’s incomplete timeline on her personal e-mail account.


In 2008, NBC waited until Obama was securely in place as the Democrat nominee before beginning their search and destroy mission on Hillary. That culminated in Keith Olbermann’s violent eliminationist rhetoric in late April of that year, demanding “Somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out.”

If not Hillary, which Democrat has NBC’s corporate backing this time around?

Related: “Every GOP candidate better have their contingency plan ready for when Hillary isn’t the nominee. We weren’t in 08 and it screwed us.”

ONLY SO MUCH LIPSTICK YOU CAN PUT ON AN ARKANSAS RAZORBACK: Spielberg tried – and failed – to make Hillary seem likeable.

JOURNALISM: Dave Weigel Reminds Us Of — And Minimizes — Hillary 2008 Strategy Memo “Otherizing” Obama. “I dare any fair-minded person to read this and conclude that Penn wrote this ‘as a warning, not a strategy.’”

Plus: “Kudos are due to Weigel for unearthing the memo, but not for his characterization, which is so hyper-charitable that it is not really accurate. Weigel’s piece highlights the critical need to read source documents and not accept Big Media’s characterization of those documents.”

WHY WALKER FAILED AND WHY FIORINA IS IN FOR TROUBLE: “The Democrats see Fiorina as Mitt Romney in a dress, and can’t wait to tear her apart. After all, by their lights, she’s not a ‘real’ woman, is she?”, Michael Walsh writes.

Building on their dehumanizing hatred for black conservatives such as Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice, that was the rule the left established for both Hillary in early 2008 – when she was an obstacle for Obama – and then for Sarah Palin.

FOR THE CONNECTED, THERE ARE ALWAYS “WAIVERS:” Hillary Clinton personally signed deal that let top aide collect two salaries.

BECAUSE TO A CLINTON, A “LIE” IS JUST SOMETHING SOMEONE ELSE MISUNDERSTOOD:  Hillary Clinton campaign completely changes story on “wiped” email server.  Clinton’s campaign is political schizophrenia and gaslighting all the way down.

THEY’D FORGIVE HER IF SHE WERE GOOD AT IT: John Fund: Democrats Wake Up to How Bad a Liar Hillary Is.

OH DEAR: Is it too late to vote for SMOD? New Polls Show Why Joe Biden Is the True Democratic Frontrunner. Though to be fair, Slow Joe is at least funny.  Like a heart attack.


At Power Line, John Hinderaker  adds, “The other candidate who stands out as an anomaly is Donald Trump. His net favorability score is even worse than Hillary’s at 36/57/5. And, like Mrs. Clinton, Trump is a figure about whom just about everyone has formed an opinion. On honesty and trustworthiness, too, Trump is an outlier. 35% consider him honest and trustworthy, while 57% say he is not, and 8% have no opinion. Trump has not been a fixture on the political scene for decades like Hillary Clinton, so maybe he has more room to change voters’ perceptions. But based on this Quinnipiac data, it appears that the candidates with the worst chances of winning the presidential race are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”

IF SHE’S TALKING, SHE’S LYING: More Hillary Clinton Email News, More Hillary Clinton Falsehoods.

JOURNALISM: Hillary Clinton sits for interview with Lena Dunham.

THE HILL: Emails to hound Clinton for months. “For Team Clinton, it’s become the equivalent of a courtroom quagmire. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is finding it difficult to move past the controversy over her email setup while she was serving as the nation’s top diplomat, in part because of the nearly three-dozen legal challenges related to it. There are 35 separate, active public records lawsuits against the State Department that deal with the emails of Clinton or her top aides.”

READY FOR HILLARY BILL! Dems want bigger role for Bill Clinton.

Democratic fundraisers are urging Hillary Clinton to make Bill Clinton a bigger part of her presidential campaign, particularly when it comes to fundraising.

The donors, who have contributed some of the biggest checks to President Obama and the Democratic Party, are disappointed by the lack of face time, overall communication and gratitude from Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.

“Fundraising is not a natural strong suit for Hillary,” one top Democratic fundraiser bluntly said.

Hillary Clinton is “lacking a certain personal touch,” the person said. The source added that the former secretary of State “publicly, is a little stiff.”

Donors think Bill Clinton, who so far has been on the sidelines of his wife’s presidential bid, could fill a void for the campaign.

“She doesn’t come across as naturally comfortable in these settings,” the donor said. “Bill Clinton is the complete opposite. The more social an environment, the more at ease he feels.”

Uh huh.


A treasure trove of documents from former President Bill Clinton’s administration shows a young staffer — Rahm Emanuel — pushing his boss to get tough on illegal immigrants and seize crime-fighting from the Republicans as a defining issue.

The previously restricted memos from Emanuel to Clinton are among thousands of White House documents made public this year through the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The documents were kept secret until 12 years after Clinton’s second term ended in 2001.

That was also around the time that Harry Reid was a similarly anti-illegal immigration hardliner using remarkably Trumpian language:

Reid authored the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993 to remove asylum seekers, end birthright citizenship, expand deportations, and exclude legal immigrants from public assistance. The bill also included amendments that closed loopholes dealing with criminal aliens and mandated more cooperation between local and federal law enforcement, the Conservative Review reported on Tuesday.

“Our borders have overflowed with illegal immigrants placing tremendous burdens on our criminal justice system, schools and social programs. The Immigration and Naturalization Service needs the ability to step up enforcement,” Reid said in a statement.

“Our federal wallet is stretched to the limit by illegal aliens getting welfare, food stamps, medical care and other benefits often without paying any taxes,” Reid continued. “Safeguards like welfare and free medical care are in place to boost Americans in need of short-term assistance. These programs were not meant to entice freeloaders and scam artists from around the world.”

So just to review, despite their obvious shortcomings in regards to the First and Second Amendments (some things never do change), the Democrats of the 1990s were anti-illegal immigration, pro-welfare reform, pro-defense of marriage, took a hard regime change-oriented stance towards Saddam Hussein, and when it came to the economy, as Bill Clinton said in 1993, “We’re Eisenhower Republicans here. Here we are, and we’re standing for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market. Isn’t that great?”

And it was, in spite of Bill’s sarcasm. No wonder the 1990s are looked upon so warmly by many.

Too bad Hillary is running against all of those policies, but you can’t have everything.

HILLARY’S HEALTHCARE STRATEGY: Scapegoat Drug Companies For ObamaCare Cost Increases.

NBC: OUR OMERTÀ IS SHOWING! Brian Williams returns to television, riding out his contract with NBC on its little-watched cable subsidiary, MSNBC. “There was no mention of the media scandal that galvanized the nation in February and cost Williams his prestigious post at NBC,” USA Today reports:

It was as if nothing had happened, as if Williams hadn’t been off the air for nearly two-thirds of a year after an episode that led to an embarrassing demotion and a substantial pay cut. Williams will now anchor breaking news for MSNBC, NBC”s sister cable news network where Williams used to work, and will have no regular time slot.  He also will occasionally anchor special reports on NBC.

It had been telegraphed that Williams won’t speak further about the scandal and will not subject himself to interviews about it.

How does that work exactly? Are conversations with Williams only approved with the caveat that the interviewer not bring up how he wrecked his career? Will any interviewer attempt to get Williams on the record, ideally with cameras rolling, on this topic? Do politicians get carve-outs on embarrassing issues before they go on a live NBC or MSNBC show?

I mean, besides Hillary, Obama, and other Democrats, of course.


UH OH: “Another apparent discrepancy has arisen in what Hillary Clinton has said about her emails. When The Des Moines Register asked her about the latest twist in the private server saga on Tuesday, she said she had no new answers.”


Shot: “Marco Rubio to attend fundraiser hosted by man who owns a signed copy of ‘Mein Kampf.’”

—Drive-by headline at the Politico, today.


FDR was livid. [The] succession of irritations [from John O'Donnell of the New York Daily News] had become too much. The war had been going badly, the pressure was great, and Roosevelt reacted. At his December 18 [1942] press conference, Roosevelt shocked the correspondents when he handed Earl Godwin [of the Washington Times-Herald] the German Iron Cross to give to the absent O’Donnell. The Iron Cross was a symbol of O’Donnell’s aid to the enemy. The incident did not stop there. When O’Donnell returned from the war in 1945 and along with another Patterson-McCormick correspondent asked for credentials to attend While House press conferences, the president said no because of “their isolationist, anti-British, anti-Russian pens.” The response became public when the Philadelphia Record reported that Steve Early threatened resignation before Roosevelt finally yielded.

—A passage from the 1990 book FDR and the News Media by Missouri School of Journalism historian Betty Houchin Winfield, which I quoted in a 2010 post at Ed titled “Springtime for Roosevelt.”

(And then there are the “art” collections of Obama’s former press secretary and this prominent Hillary fundraiser…)

HILLARY CLINTON’S EMPIRE OF DIRT: Victor Davis Hanson writes, “The more she castigates others, the more she convicts herself:”

Hillary Clinton has developed a strange but habitual tic of railing and remonstrating about hot-button issues and egregious behaviors that offer windows into her own plagued soul, past and present. It is as if Hillary has become an ailing Johnny Cash singing “Hurt” — draped in black at the end, a faint simulacrum of his once combative self, seeking new resonance through a rocker’s lyrics for the confession of his own sins: “I wear this crown of s— / Upon my liar’s chair.”

In her Freudian calls for solutions to the sort of ethical and moral transgressions that have defined her own long career, near the end of it, Hillary Clinton seems to be asking in vain of her dissipating cadres of true believers, “What have I become?”


As she limps along, wounded, on the campaign trail, her flat, half-hearted sermons are best translated as, “You could have it all, / My empire of dirt. / I will let you down. / I will make you hurt.”

Read the whole thing — though, I must admit, I’ll still trying to wrap my brain around the notion of VDH quoting Trent Reznor…

OF COURSE IT DOES: New sexual assault survey suffers same problems as others.

A new survey released Monday purports to prove that 1 in 5 women (or more) will be sexually assaulted while in college.

The survey, conducted by the Association for American Universities, included responses from 150,000 students at 27 colleges and universities, including many Ivy League schools. Despite this large number of responses, the survey still suffers from the same problems as so many others trying to prove the existence of “rape culture” and scare colleges into expelling innocent students based on no evidence (or evidence to the contrary).

The researchers who developed the survey acknowledged fairly up front in their report that a “non-response bias” may have resulted in estimates that are “too high because non-victims may have been less likely to participate.” The researchers also acknowledged the large difference in estimates across the 27 schools, meaning that “1 in 5″ is not the national percentage of victimhood, despite what every other news outlet will be claiming.

“[M]any news stories are focused on figures like ’1 in 5′ in reporting victimization. As the researchers who generated this number have repeatedly said, the 1 in 5 number is for a few [institutions of higher education] and is not representative of anything outside of this frame,” the researchers wrote. “The wide variation of rates across IHEs in the present study emphasizes the significance of this caveat.”

Next, the survey’s developers “specifically avoided” using the words “rape” and “assault” so that, as they said, “respondents would use a set of uniform definitions when reporting on the types of events that were of interest.”

A skeptic might see this as an attempt to get higher responses by avoiding such harsh words. Indeed, that’s what the Washington Post did, as they admitted, to get “dramatically” higher results.

The other major problem with this survey and all others is the expansion of the definition of “sexual assault” to include everything from a stolen kiss to forcible rape. When broken down, 11.7 percent (about 1 in 9) of students across all 27 universities “reported experiencing nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching by force or incapacitation” since enrolling in college.

While on paper forced kissing sounds bad, think of how this has been employed in movies without it appearing to be sexual assault. (Remember when Indiana Jones sexually assaulted someone? Neither do I.) Again, on paper this seems bad, and we can all imagine a scenario where a forced kiss is indeed sexual assault, but it seems absurd to assume that all of them are.

Well, it’s not absurd if your goal is to inflate the numbers in support of “War on Women” agitprop in support of Hillary’s floundering campaign, and to create more power and positions for campus educrats.


And that brings us to the next problem with this and other surveys: Respondents not believing they were victims of sexual assault. Nearly 60 percent of students who had responded to what researchers defined as sexual assault said they did not report the incident because they did not consider it serious enough. Vast majorities of students gave this as the reason for individual classifications of assaults, including harassment (78.6 percent), sexual touching due to physical force (75.6 percent) and sexual touching due to incapacitation (74.1 percent). These were the types of “sexual assault” most students said they had experienced.

That might imply that students themselves don’t believe what they experienced was sexual assault in the way that the media and the White House want them to believe.

Hey, you can’t have phony solutions if you don’t first have a phony crisis.


BECAUSE NARRATIVE: How is it allowed to go unnoticed that Sanders suggests that economic growth was better under Richard Nixon than under Barack Obama? “There is little to no curiosity among our media elite about how a Democratic candidate for president is able to campaign on a shrinking middle class, record highs of unemployment, record lows of workforce participation, record wage stagnation, and record entitlement dependency, while a Democratic president simultaneously travels around the country touting his economic success on all counts. . . . It seems newsworthy that in the run-up to a pivotal election, a presidential candidate is not only actively campaigning against the record of a sitting president of the same party, but gathering auspiciously large crowds by doing so. Of course, if the media were to report on the fiery John Reed–inspired rhetoric Sanders is blasting out to his zombie hordes at sold-out arenas, the carefully crafted Hollywood script of Barack Obama’s successful presidency would come tumbling down.”

OF COURSE IT WAS: Heilemann Confirms: It Was Hillary Who Started Rumor Obama Not Christian.

DALEK: What Type of Non-Person Is Hillary Clinton?

REP. JARED POLIS (D-CO) HASN’T PUT HIS SCANDALOUS REMARKS ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT BEHIND HIM YET: Prosecutor from Polis’s District: ‘Shadow’ campus system is no solution to sexual assault.

Although universities adjudicate student discipline, it is a serious mistake to equate investigation and resolution of felony sex assault with cheating on a test or drinking or smoking in a dorm room or the other normal fodder of the university discipline process, where due process on some level is important, but of an entirely different quality than the criminal justice system provides.

We should never tolerate the adjudication of serious felony behavior outside the criminal justice system. There are many reasons:

1. The risk of wrongful conviction is too great. The rigorous due process of the criminal justice system exists for mainly one reason: to make sure society can have confidence that one who is found guilty is, in fact, guilty. Relaxing due process, or having investigations not handled by well-trained professionals can lead to wrongful conviction.

2. The risk of traumatizing victims of sex assault. Interview and handling of victims and witnesses in sex crimes requires skill, sensitivity and time. Clumsy or repeated interviews can be traumatic for victims.

3. Those guilty of serious felony behavior present a societal risk, not just a campus risk. To suggest that sex assault on campus is primarily a campus problem is just plain wrong: it is a societal problem and deserves a societal response through the criminal justice system.

4. The criminal justice system is public and the public can observe, evaluate and criticize the proceedings. University conduct investigations carry the inherent secrecy of the discipline process, which can leave the public questioning the fairness of an investigation and the accuracy of the determinations.

The federal government’s decision to tie campus funding to a one size fits all investigative approach can interfere with criminal investigations. Fair, effective, sex assault investigations take time and cannot be handled by investigators under pressure to rush to a particular conclusion due to financial pressures on the university. Also, “warning letters” or warning bulletins, or campus-based “stay away from each other” orders can, if issued prematurely, prevent law enforcement from determining the truth of alleged criminal behavior.

Of course, that only matters if you actually care about justice. If you’re just pushing bureaucratic employment and Hillary-friendly “War On Women” talking points, then who cares what happens to individuals?


The pundit class’s commitment to the conventional wisdom allowed them to miss the conditions on the right that led to the Trump surge over the summer – a dynamism that is evolving into an uprising among a healthy plurality or even a majority of Republican primary voters against professional politicians. The expert political observer is equally committed to subordinating empiricism to their understanding of how things should work when they survey the Democratic race. Clinton should have the nomination locked up. The Democrats should be committed to her campaign. If Clinton were to somehow fail to win both Iowa and New Hampshire’s early contests, her prohibitive organizational strength in the South should prove an insurmountable firewall. Amid all of these shoulds, pundits have ignored or overlooked the 2016 election cycle’s myriad coulds.

A Democratic revolt is well underway. If it snowballs, only those who should know better will have been caught by surprise.

RELATED: “On Sunday’s This Week, ABC’s Matthew Dowd provided a dose of reality as to why Hillary Clinton continues to see her poll numbers decline and chalked it up to ‘the theory of Hillary is always much better than the actual reality of Hillary running for president.’”

WE CALL IT VOIGHT-KAMPFF FOR SHORT: Ricochet needs to amend their podcast opening; their weekly segments open with an audio montage featuring Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Chris Christie uttering these famous last words of politics:

● “I’m not a crook.”
●“I’ll never tell a lie.”
● “I’m not a bully.”

We can now add one more, courtesy of Hillary Clinton, who when asked to describe herself “in three words” by Face the Nation host John “Destroy the GOP” Dickerson instead chooses five:

“I am a real person,” the “I’m not a witch” of the 2016 election cycle, and as Rick Wilson tweets, “prima facie evidence of a failed Turing Test.”

Or yet another example of our ongoing national Voight-Kampff test on this potentially animatronic presidential candidate.

WELL, YES: Democrats: Sanders unelectable.

The surging popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders has done little to alleviate the chief concern that Democrats have about his presidential bid: Namely, that he’s simply unelectable on a national stage.

The Vermont Independent has quickly closed the gap on frontrunner Hillary Clinton in national polls, while overtaking the former State secretary in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Supporters say his rising momentum and populist message will carry him to the White House.

But Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has spent a career operating largely from the left-most fringes of the Democratic Party with which he caucuses, stirring worry that he simply couldn’t compete against a Republican perceived as a more establishment figure.

“No matter how well you think of Bernie — and all of us do — … when the politics of it all hits the road, I don’t feel — and I feel most members don’t feel — that he can be elected,” said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).

Nothing says “fresh face for the Democratic Party” like a guy who resembles Montgomery Burns. And whose policy ideas are over 50 years old.

IT’S ALWAYS NICE to make Twitchy.

WOMEN ARE FLEEING HILLARY because they think she lied about her email server. Well, she did. And is. And will continue to.

BIRTHERS, THEN AND NOW:  Video: Hillary, who started the “Obama is a Muslim” thing in 2008, appalled that Trump might think Obama is a Muslim.

In early 2011, right around the time that proselytizing atheist Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman Bill Maher admitted on the air that he doesn’t think Obama is a Christian, Scott Johnson of Power Line quipped, “One of President Obama’s most prominent and least attractive qualities is his vanity. It almost disposes of the speculation that Obama is a Muslim. The man can’t be a Muslim; he worships himself.”

RELATED: Trump Being Criticized for ‘Not Responding’ to Birther Question.

OBAMA THROWS HILLARY UNDER THE BUS: “The central mission of Barack Obama’s White House in the waning days of his administration is to communicate to the public that none of this is his fault,” Noah Rothman writes at Commentary:

The aim was to identify reasonably secular moderate fighters in Syria, transfer them to third-party countries in the region, train them, equip them, and reintroduce them into the theater of operations. By August of this year and $500 million later, the Pentagon acknowledged that only 54 Syrian rebels had been prepared for combat. Less than a month later, almost all of them had been killed or captured. General Lloyd Austin told Congress this week that only “four or five” are continuing the fight against ISIS in Syria.

This self-evidently failed half-measure is a substantial embarrassment for this White House, and the administration’s insular and paranoid handlers cannot allow that. As is the wont of this pathologically defensive administration, they have gone about looking for blame-worthy figures outside the ever-shrinking circle of Obama loyalists. “The finger, it says, should be pointed not at Mr. Obama but at those who pressed him to attempt training Syrian rebels in the first place,” New York Times reporter Peter Baker revealed, “a group that, in addition to congressional Republicans, happened to include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

The White House all but washed its hands of the training program after General Austin’s testimony.

“It is true that we have found this to be a difficult challenge,”[White House Press Secretary Josh] Earnest said. “But it is also true that many of our critics had proposed this specific option as essentially the cure-all for all of the policy challenges that we’re facing in Syria right now. That is not something that this administration ever believed, but it is something that our critics will have to answer for.”

Forget for the moment a craven and humiliating self-defense that rests on the notion that the president was led by the nose into executing this flawed strategy, and the inescapable conclusion inexplicably promoted by this White House that the commander-in-chief is simply too pliant and irresolute. The desperation of blaming not merely Republicans but the Democrats’ best hope for retaining the presidency and preserving Obama’s achievements in office, Hillary Clinton, is pusillanimous in the extreme.

Read the whole thing. And get ready for the most surreal final year of a president ever. Pass the popcorn — and at the rate Obama is going, perhaps the anti-radiation pills as well.

OF COURSE SHE DOES: Hillary Clinton pushes campus sexual assault myths. If she told the truth, that rape on and off campus has been plummeting for over 20 years, her whole War On Women campaign would collapse.

FLEEING THE SINKING SHIP: Big business donors, Obama cabinet drop Clinton charity event.

More bad news for the Clintons. With Hillary’s presidential campaign slipping in the polls against Sen. Bernie Sanders and facing a potential fresh challenge from Vice President Joe Biden, six giants of the corporate world are bailing out on the Clinton Global Initiative.

On Sept. 26, CGI, a branch of the Clinton Foundation, convenes its 11th annual meeting with a star-studded cast. Bill and Chelsea Clinton will be joined by Ashley Judd, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Ted Danson, Tina Brown, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates and George Soros. What will be missing is more than a million dollars from a who’s who of corporate behemoths that sponsored the meeting last year. Six high-profile firms ended their cash donations, to be replaced with only one similar high-profile corporate donor so far.

USA TODAY has confirmed that sponsors from 2014 that have backed out for this year include electronics company Samsung, oil giant ExxonMobil, global financial firms Deutsche Bank and HSBC, and accounting firm PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). Hewlett-Packard, which just announced major layoffs, will be an in-kind donor instead of a cash contributor, and the agri-chem firm Monsanto has cut back its donation. Dow’s name is missing from the donor list as well, but the chemical company’s exit is not confirmed.

High-profile corporations might not be the only key supporters backing away from association with the Clinton family’s charitable arm. In 2014, eight national leaders, kings, presidents and prime ministers, appeared on the program for CGI’s annual meeting, including the president of the United States and the prime minister of Japan. This year, only leaders from Colombia and Liberia are currently on the program.

You almost feel sorry for Hillary as the inevitability falls apart again. Almost.

ASHE SCHOW: One year since White House launched ‘It’s On Us’ campaign, where are the results?

On Sep. 19, 2014, the White House launched the “It’s On Us” campaign, its latest attempt to combat campus sexual assault.

If the measure of a successful program is the number of celebrities that endorse it, then “It’s On Us” has been a rousing success. But in the year since the campaign was launched, the Obama administration has been unable to point to one tangible success of the program.

Earlier this month, the administration sent out a “fact sheet” highlighting the first year of the campaign and including everything President Obama and his administration has done to combat sexual assault and violence against women. One thing noticeably absent from the press release: One iota of evidence that any of the numerous committees, task forces, programs, campaigns or speeches has made a dent in the number of sexual assaults.

The only tangible result that this campaign was intended to produce was a firming up of the “War On Women” narrative that was supposed to solidify female votes for Hillary. Problem is, it turns out women don’t much like Hillary. Men either.

And, hey, campus sexual assault has already been dropping on its own since 1992, so no harm done.

ANNALS OF SMART DIPLOMACYTM: Finger-Pointing, but Few Answers, After a Syria Solution Fails.

By any measure, President Obama’s effort to train a Syrian opposition army to fight the Islamic State on the ground has been an abysmal failure. The military acknowledged this week that just four or five American-trained fighters are actually fighting.

But the White House says it is not to blame. The finger, it says, should be pointed not at Mr. Obama but at those who pressed him to attempt training Syrian rebels in the first place — a group that, in addition to congressional Republicans, happened to include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

At briefings this week after the disclosure of the paltry results, Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, repeatedly noted that Mr. Obama always had been a skeptic of training Syrian rebels. The military was correct in concluding that “this was a more difficult endeavor than we assumed and that we need to make some changes to that program,” Mr. Earnest said. “But I think it’s also time for our critics to ‘fess up in this regard as well. They were wrong.”

In effect, Mr. Obama is arguing that he reluctantly went along with those who said it was the way to combat the Islamic State, but that he never wanted to do it and has now has been vindicated in his original judgment. The I-told-you-so argument, of course, assumes that the idea of training rebels itself was flawed and not that it was started too late and executed ineffectively, as critics maintain.

Either way, it underscored White House sensitivities about the widening Syrian catastrophe.

Out: The Buck Stops Here. In: I’m Passing This Buck Anywhere I Can. Worst. President. Ever. And with language like this, even the New York Times seems to be starting to acknowledge his failure.

HMM: Clinton lawyer balked at first effort to delete classified email.

Hillary Clinton’s personal attorney balked at the State Department’s first effort to erase a newly-classified email from the thumb drive containing about 30,000 messages she turned over to her former agency, according to just-released correspondence.

Clinton lawyer David Kendall said deleting the now-secret message could run afoul of promises he previously made to the House Benghazi committee and two inspectors general to preserve electronic copies of all Clinton’s work-related message from her tenure as secretary of state.

“I have responded to each preservation request by confirming to the requestor that I would take reasonable steps to preserve the 55,000 pages of former Secretary Clinton’s emails in their present electronic form,” Kendall wrote to Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy on June 15. “I therefore do not believe it would be prudent to delete, as you request, the above-referenced email from the master copies of the [Microsoft Outlook] PST file that we are preserving.”

The letters shed more light on the unusual arrangement State eventually set up to allow Kendall to hold classified information in his law office. The set-up — which has been questioned by Senate Republicans and private attorneys who’ve not received similar approval — involved installing a safe in the office of one of Kendall’s colleagues at D.C. law firm Williams and Connolly.


MEET THE NEW BOSS: “Who Really Won The Cold War?”, John Schindler asks at the Federalist:

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party has sent shockwaves far beyond Britain. There has been disbelief that the United Kingdom’s storied left-wing party opted to be led by a man so obviously contemptuous of his own society. In the wake of their recent electoral debacle under the uninspiring Ed Miliband, Labour has chosen as its leader an activist who resembles a walking leftist cliché.

* * * * * * * *

Barack Obama is the most left-wing president ever on social justice, yet he is a darling of Wall Street. Hillary Clinton, despite her belated interest in social issues, is deeply enmeshed in high finance and will never challenge it. Thus Bernie Sanders, who is an amalgam of Old and New Left, is treated like an atavism by mainstream liberals when he opens the economics can of worms.

Read the whole thing.

WATCH: Hip Hillary Does ‘Tonight Show’ Skit with Faux Trump.

Between now and November 2016, Comcast-NBC-Universal will be going all-in to help Hillary limp over the finish line to reap the corporatist rewards to follow.


Hillary Clinton Is Stuck In A Poll-Deflating Feedback Loop.
—Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEightPolitics.

● Jake Tapper to Jimmy Kimmel: Hillary Could Get Coverage Like Trump’s If She’d Do Interviews.
—Jeffrey Meyer, NewsBusters.

How bad is Hillary as a retail politician? As with Al Gore in 1999, the same media that anointed Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and would love nothing more than to clear the decks for his successor are all complaining about her lack of interviews and robotic tone.  But how many reboots does she have left?

HOW OBAMA HAS FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED POLITICS: Michael Barone writes, “In this presidential cycle voters in both parties, to the surprise of the punditocracy*, are rejecting experienced political leaders:”

They’re willfully suspending disbelief in challengers who would have been considered laughable in earlier years.

Polls show more Republicans favoring three candidates who have never held elective office than 14 candidates who have served a total of 150 years as governors or in Congress. Most Democrats are declining to favor a candidate who spent eight years each in the White House and the Senate and four as secretary of state.

Psephologists of varying stripes attribute this discontent to varying causes. Conservatives blame insufficiently aggressive Republican congressional leaders. Liberals blame Hillary Clinton’s closeness to plutocrats and her home-brew email system.

But in our system a widespread rejection of experienced leaders ultimately comes from dismay at the leader in the White House. In 1960 Richard Nixon, after eight years as vice-president and six in Congress, campaigned on the slogan, “Experience counts.” No one is running on that theme this year.

Well, America abandoned the notion that “experience counts” as a presidential resume enhancer in 2008. As CNN admitted in late November of 2008 after it was too late to make a difference, “The Americans who are comparing [Obama] to those remarkable predecessors [Lincoln, FDR, JFK, and Bill Clinton were name-dropped in the article] are putting a lot of faith in a man they barely know.” Why would voters start caring about that sort of minutia now?

* Unexpectedly!

(Via Betsy Newmark.)


BERNIE SANDERS HAS AN INCONVENIENT MESSAGE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: “Currently, there is a 2016 presidential candidate barnstorming his way across the country to hyped-up, adoring crowds while caterwauling about the establishment failures of the ruling political class, claiming to be the candidate of the people and the only one in the running that cannot be bought by Washington special interests. His blustery non-conformities are reverberating throughout the fringe base of the party and captivating the media’s attention,” Stephen L. Miller writes at NRO. “I am of course referring to (*ahem* Democratic) socialist Bernie Sanders, who one day out of the blue seemingly just decided to get up and run for president after giving up on the New York Times crossword and Sudoku:”

But the biggest mystery seems to be how Sanders is able to get away with it after seven years of a president whom he ideologically agrees with almost point for point. If a “political revolution,” which Sanders often likes to declare is the goal of his candidacy, depends on the working poor or unemployed, then by definition it needs as many of those people as possible to carry it out. The key to this kind of messaging is mobilization, and in particular the mobilization of the angry and disenfranchised (See Black Lives Matter and the Occupy movement). Saul Alinksy once referred to this dynamic as receiving power in reaction to a threat. If your goal is to get elected on the backs of the young, angry, poor, and unemployed, then the means to your end is not to create less of those kinds of voters, it’s to create more and keep them angry. Beyond this, Sanders’s hyper-populist message is dependent on the media reporting on how popular it seems. At Bernie campaign rallies, media almost always report crowd sizes like they’re reporting on a U2 concert, but the second he opens his mouth the tweets and the stenographing magically stop.

Yes, what on earth could be the cause for the media blackout?

CHIP WOOD: Blame Obama and Clinton for the refugee crisis. “The humanitarian crisis is absolutely horrific. And frankly, the blame for it can be laid squarely at the feet of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As Fred Hiatt put it in The Washington Post, the Obama administration has presided ‘over a humanitarian and cultural disaster of epochal proportions.’” Yeah, pretty much.

THE NIGHT BEFORE: HOBNOBBING WITH JEB: “It’s clear — he said as much — that he is itching to run against Hillary Clinton,” Roger Simon writes of his first meeting with the former Florida governor.

If only Jeb didn’t seem even more eager to run against the GOP base first, he might be better positioned for his wish to be granted.

THE DEBATE WE WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE: At Ricochet, Jon Gabriel looks back of a summer of Trumpian silliness and wistfully writes, “The 2016 election was the grand battle conservatives had been hoping for since Ronald Reagan left the Oval Office. The roster of candidates was to be a who’s-who of smart, proven, center-right leadership:”

We aren’t discussing America’s $18.4 trillion national debt and our insolvent social programs. The stagnant economy and an expansionist China, Russia, and Islamic State. Burning cities at home and burning countries abroad.

Instead we’re trading GIFs of a reality show star on “The Tonight Show,” giggling about menstruation, and wondering if the most impressive GOP field in a generation are a bunch of “dummies” or if they’re a bunch of “losers.”

These are serious times. We are not a serious people.

Well, the American people chose a reality show candidate in 2008 — the comic book superhero “Lightworker,” who could be seen on comic book covers and in the form of plastic action figure replicas, when not appearing on professional wrestling TV shows asking, “Do you smell what Barack’s cooking,” and who modestly pledged that by merely besting Hillary Clinton to win the Democrat nomination, “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Of course voters want more of the same in 2016.

CHRIS MATTHEWS’ DOG WHISTLE? HE ACCUSES BILL KRISTOL OF BEING NEOCON PUPPET MASTER: “Matthews, as we’ve documented time and again, revels in hitting Republican politicians for ‘dog whistle’ and ‘code word’ racial pitches in political messaging. Certainly Matthews has to be aware of the not-so-subtle nature of his vicious attack on a prominent Jewish conservative thinker and how it walks like and quacks like anti-Semitism.” Also in the same post, video from earlier this year “wherein Matthews whined about pro-Israel ‘piggish money people’ and their influence on GOP politics.”

All that being said, I think John Nolte of Big Journalism is correct when he writes about Kristol’s threat to support a third party, “The old GOP Establishment hotness was demanding Trump pledge in writing to support the Republican nominee, even if it isn’t Trump. He has since done so. It now looks as though the new GOP Establishment hotness is threatening to support a third party candidate if Trump wins — the same third party maneuver the Establishment loudly and repeatedly assured would mean a Hillary Clinton victory if Trump chose that route.”

Ross Perot, call your office.

WHEN YOU’VE LOST ANDREA MITCHELL: White Women ‘Abandoning’ Hillary Clinton ‘in Droves,’ Mitchell Reports:

During Tuesday’s edition of NBC’s Today morning program, news anchor Andrea Mitchell addressed a trend that probably has former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff feeling “trumped:” White women are “abandoning” the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential campaign “in droves.”

The host of Andrea Mitchell Reports – which airs at 12 noon weekdays on the MSNBC cable channel — started her report by stating: “Hillary Clinton is reaching out to that group that she’d always counted on: white women voters who are now abandoning her in droves during the last two months. “

Gee, I can’t imagine why women would be turned off by the Clintons.

RELATED: In Shift, Hillary Clinton Says Rape Victims Have Right to Be Believed.

PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS HARDEST HIT: Wall Street’s latest panic: Trump could win:

The CEO of one large Wall Street firm, who declined to be identified by name criticizing the GOP front-runner, said the assumption in the financial industry remains that something will eventually knock Trump off and send voters toward a more establishment candidate. But that assumption is no longer held with strong conviction. And a dozen Wall Street executives interviewed for this article could not say what might dent Trump’s appeal or when it might happen.

“I don’t know anyone who is a Donald Trump supporter. I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who is a Donald Trump supporter. They are like this huge mystery group,” the CEO said. [Shades of Pauline Kael! -- Ed] “So it’s a combination of shock and bewilderment. No one really knows why this is happening. But my own belief is that the laws of gravity will apply and those who are prepared to run the marathon will benefit when Trump drops out at mile 22. Right now people think Trump is pretty hilarious but the longer it goes on the more frightening it gets.”

The latest frightening broadside for the Wall Street class came on Sunday when Trump said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that executive pay in America is “a complete joke” and promised to raise taxes on “the hedge fund guys.” In a statement sent to POLITICO on Monday from his campaign, Trump relished in the attacks from Wall Street, singling out both Bush and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, another favorite on Wall Street.

“Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton will continue to let Wall Street and the ‘hedge fund guys’ rip off the people by paying no or very little in taxes,” Trump said. “They have total and complete control of Hillary, Jeb and others running. My campaign is self- funded. The only people that have control of me are the people of the United States.”

By the time of the 2008 election, Wall Street abandoned Republicans, preferring Michael Bloomberg’s nanny state and Barack Obama’s arugula to the GOP’s traditional values, as Kevin D. Williamson wrote the following year:

Wall Street isn’t politically agnostic, and there’s more to its politics than money. Culture matters, and you won’t find a lot of Pentecostal churches in Greenwich, Conn. Wall Street guys, for the most part, do not have time for social conservatives. “Of course these guys aren’t conservative,” says one longtime bond trader. “Why the [expletive deleted] would they be? We’re talking about guys who live in Manhattan, guys with manicures and eight-figure bank balances. And their wives–their wives aren’t showing up at parents’ day at Brearley with a Sarah Palin button. It’d be like showing up in flip-flops from Wal-Mart. Like showing up in a [rather lengthier expletive deleted] tracksuit.”

This cultural divide is particularly visible in New York City politics. “Ten to 15 years ago, half of the Upper East Side [officeholders] were Republican,” says John Mills, executive vice president of the Lexington Democratic Club. “There’s not one Republican there now. Abortion and gay rights are two of the biggest issues, and there are a lot of Jewish voters here not comfortable with Christian conservatives.”

Wall Street has no love for the southern, rural, and evangelical. But it’s not just the Jesus stuff–the southern and rural parts matter, too: Republican congressmen tend to represent places like Glasscock County, Texas, America’s most Republican jurisdiction, which reliably gives 90-odd percent of its votes to the GOP. Those districts are not going to feel the pain of the financial markets the way New York, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut are. The bailout is not very popular in farm country. Wall Street knew there was a gathering storm in the markets, and it didn’t want to find itself at the mercy of small-town and rural Republicans’ riding to the rescue.

And thus, the birth of the man Glenn likes to call “President Goldman Sachs.”

As Kevin noted, Wall Street abandoned the American heartland in 2008, so it shouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that someone showing up with an anti-Wall Street message resonates with voters there. I’m disappointed it’s a rather punitive and populist message than a conservative one, but historically, fire and brimstone populism has always allowed a candidate to position himself as the champion to a large group of disenfranchised voters.