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Dutch King: the Party’s Over

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Like all European monarchs, he doesn’t have any political power, but Dutch King Willem-Alexander is certainly using the bully pulpit to great effect:

King Willem-Alexander delivered a message to the Dutch people from the government in a nationally televised address: the welfare state of the 20th century is gone. In its place a “participation society” is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government.

The king traveled past waving fans in an ornate horse-drawn carriage to the 13th-century Hall of Knights in The Hague for the monarch’s traditional annual address on the day the government presents its budget for the coming year. It was Willem-Alexander’s first appearance on the national stage since former Queen Beatrix abdicated in April and he ascended to the throne.

“The shift to a ‘participation society’ is especially visible in social security and long-term care,” the king said, reading out to lawmakers a speech written for him by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government. ”The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.” Rutte may be hoping that the pomp and ceremony surrounding the king and his popular wife, Queen Maxima, will provide a diversion from the gloomy reality of a budget full of unpopular new spending cuts he revealed later in the day.

It really is true that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money, as welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic are discovering. The Dutch, however, are the canaries in the coal mine, a small country with big problems that include a declining birthrate, high levels of Muslim “immigration” and a general cultural lassitude that if unchecked will spell the end of the Dutch people. It may be too late, but at least somebody’s trying…

Unlike, say, in Finland, where 15,000 Finns rallied in favor of “diversity” the other day, after a member of the Finnish parliament had the effrontery to post his opposition to “multiculturalism” on Facebook.

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Everything That’s Wrong with America in One Phrase

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

And here it is:

On a muggy summer evening, a woman stood on a midtown Manhattan street corner and switched between raising her hand for a taxi and glancing at her phone, possibly for an Uber car. ”She’s going to take whoever comes first,” yellow cab driver Jatinder Singh speculated as he scouted out the scene.

While New York City riders have increasingly more choices in how to get from here to there with the rise of e-hailing apps — and lawmakers grapple with how to regulate the booming industry — the drivers who keep cars moving are stuck in the middle.

By “regulate,” of course, they do not mean how to make the co-existence of Uber and the New York City taxi cartel function smoothly and effectively. Oh no. They mean how to put Uber out of business or, at the very least, fork over large sums of money to the city’s graft merchants in exchange for being allowed to operate a private business within the borders of the United States of America.

 

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Ready for Biden? He’s Getting Ready for You

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Smelling blood in the water, Joe Biden is ready to throw his hat into the ring:

A political adviser of Joe Biden has revealed is ’90 percent in’ when it comes for his decision to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden’s advisers told ABC News that ‘his political team has been ramping up in recent days, entering what they call a more active phase’, according to the program This Week.

‘In camp Biden, there are discussions about fundraising and launching a political action committee, and while the vice president himself hasn’t authorized any of these moves, one adviser tells ABC News he believes Biden is 90 percent in,’ Cecilia Vega reported Sunday. Biden, 72, has said publicly he would make a decision at the end of the summer, and the vice president was largely inspired toward the move by his late son, Beau Biden, who died in May from brain cancer.

In case you missed it, Maureen Dowd devoted her Sunday column to floating the story as well.

Many Democrats fret that she seems more impatient than hungry, more cautious than charismatic. They are increasingly concerned that, aside from the very liberal Bernie Sanders, who could be approaching his ceiling in the early states, there is no backup if something blows up…

Joe Biden is also talking to friends, family and donors about jumping in. The 72-year-old vice president has been having meetings at his Washington residence to explore the idea of taking on Hillary in Iowa and New Hampshire. He gets along with Hillary and has always been respectful of the Democratic Party’s desire to make more history by putting the first woman in the Oval Office. But going through the crucible of the loss of his oldest son, Beau, to brain cancer made the vice president consider the quest again.

Only a matter of time, especially as Hillary’s woes mount.

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Jeb Bush Can Pander in Spanish, Too

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Just in case everybody wasn’t entirely clear on the last and least of the Bush clan’s position on “immigration,” he decided to say it in Spanish:

In his first Spanish-language television network interview since launching his 2016 presidential campaign, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush fielded questions ranging from the upcoming presidential debate to Donald Trump, from Latin American foreign policy to his favorite music, and whether he had ever experienced discrimination.

Bush shared the experience his son George P. Bush, who is now 39, had when he and his Hispanic teammates traveled north to Ocala, Florida, to play in a baseball game. ”George, he’s dark-skinned, and they spoke horrible things about those from Miami,” Bush recalled, without offering details. “I had to explain … that people who hate are not the majority, and we must accept them and move forward.”

Hold it right there — does anybody in this day and age really believe that? At a baseball game? In Florida? The mind boggles. Like a liberal, Jeb appears to think it’s still 1963 in America. 

Bush, who is fluent in Spanish and speaks the language at home with his Mexican wife, Columba, has been busy this week courting minority voters.

Pressed by Diaz-Balart about immigration reform, Bush promised he would make the issue a top priority if elected president. ”To arrive here legally has to be easier than to arrive here illegally,” said Bush. Like other Republicans, he wants to see U.S. borders secured before allowing the country’s estimated 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally to obtain legal status. “I know we can do it,” he said. Bush said immigrants in the country illegally would have to pay “a small fine” and learn English to remain in the country as legal residents, and would not be eligible for government benefits.

And if you believe that, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn, etc.

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Where Will Hillary! Be in 2017 — the White House or the Big House?

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Hillary Clinton says she’s running for president, but at this point in the inexorably unfolding Clinton Scandals, it may be all she can do to stay out of jail:

With U.S. intelligence officials scrambling to contain damage from potentially hundreds of spy agency secrets in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private emails, questions are mounting over why the Justice Department has not yet opened a criminal investigation against the Democratic presidential front-runner for mishandling a mountain of classified information.

While some secrecy experts believe Mrs. Clinton will be able to build a strong case that material on her server was not classified at the time it was moving through her emails, others assert that what the former secretary of state did was far more egregious than the mishandling of information that saw former CIA Director David H. Petraeus sentenced to two years probation and a $100,000 fine.

“I don’t see how the Justice Department would be able to avoid at least investigating this,” said Kevin Carroll, a former CIA officer and secrecy lawyer in Washington. “What Petraeus did was really small in comparison, because there was no exposure of any information to any foreign intelligence services.”

Yes, but Petraeus posed an outside threat to the re-election of Barack Obama, so he had to go. A more apt comparison might be to former CIA director John Deutch. From the report:

Deutch continuously processed classified information on government-owned desktop computers configured for unclassified use during his tenure as DCI. These unclassified computers were located in Deutch’s Bethesda, Maryland and Belmont, Massachusetts residences, 3 his offices in the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB), and at CIA Headquarters. Deutch also used an Agency-issued unclassified laptop computer to process classified information. All were connected to or contained modems that allowed external connectivity to computer networks such as the Internet. Such computers are vulnerable to attacks by unauthorized persons. CIA personnel retrieved [classified] information from Deutch’s unclassified computers and magnetic media related to covert action, Top Secret communications intelligence and the National Reconnaissance Program budget.

The OIG investigation has established that Deutch was aware of prohibitions relating to the use of unclassified computers for processing classified information. He was further aware of specific vulnerabilities related to the use of unclassified computers that were connected to the Internet. Despite this knowledge, Deutch. processed a large volume of highly classified information on these unclassified computers, taking no steps to restrict unauthorized access to the information and thereby placing national security information at risk.

Furthermore, the OIG investigation noted anomalies in the way senior CIA officials responded to this matter. These anomalies include the failure to allow a formal interview of Deutch, and the absence of an appropriate process to review Deutch’s suitability for continued access to classified information.

What happened to Deutch? Don’t ask me, ask the New York Times:

If the director of central intelligence transfers highly classified materials to insecure computers at his home, he may well be violating the law, and his conduct requires an immediate and full investigation. But when faced with just such actions by John Deutch in late 1996, the C.I.A. and the Justice Department badly fumbled the case. They are now scrambling to make amends, with Justice belatedly initiating a criminal investigation. But the affair once again demonstrates that the agency cannot adequately investigate itself and that Attorney General Janet Reno has consistently failed to enforce the law against top Clinton administration officials.

Mr. Deutch was a demanding and effective leader of the C.I.A. who did much in his short tenure to address the agency’s past abuses and reform its practices. But enlightened leadership does not provide immunity from the law, and Mr. Deutch’s carelessness cried out for a rigorous investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of a seasoned prosecutor. Instead, it received cursory examination by the C.I.A. and no investigation by the F.B.I.

You’ll be astonished to learn that the Belgian-born Deutch was pardoned by Bill Clinton on his way out the door in 2001.

It seems clear that Mr. Deutch received special treatment because he was a top official, and that Ms. Reno gave him the benefit of the doubt, just as she has done for others in the administration. For an experienced prosecutor, she has an uncanny instinct for ignoring or misreading the evidence and the law when top officials are credibly accused of misconduct. Before the books are closed on this case, the actions of Mr. Deutch and his former colleagues must be carefully examined. If the evidence warrants prosecution, the high positions they held should be no barrier.

Wonder if the Times would write the same editorial about Mrs. Clinton today?

 

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‘Public Employees’ Livin’ High On the Hog at the University of California

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

No wonder the Left infiltrated academia in the eighties; they could still spout the same nonsense but get handsomely paid for it:

A day after UC moved to raise the minimum wages of its lowest-paid workers, the university’s governing board on Thursday awarded 3% salary increases to 15 of its most highly paid executives. Those officials include five campus chancellors and four hospital and healthcare leaders. New salaries for the 15 range from $231,750 for Anne Shaw, chief of staff for the UC regents, to $991,942 for Mark Laret, chief executive of UC San Francisco’s medical center. Many of the them had salaries above $400,000 before the new increase.

The new pay scale for the five chancellors are: $772,500 for UC San Francisco’s Samuel Hawgood; $516,446 for UC Berkeley’s Nicholas Dirks; $441,334 for UCLA’s Gene Block; $436,120 for UC San Diego’s Pradeep Khosla; and $424,360 for UC Davis’ Linda Katehi. Others on the list include the UC system’s chief investment officer, Jagdeep Bachher, whose salary now will be $633,450; UC’s general counsel, Charles Robinson, $441,334; and UC Davis’ medical center chief executive, Ann Madden Rice, $848,720.

Officials said that much of the raises will be paid from such budgets as medical center revenues and investment gains and not from state funds or tuition. But student leaders criticized the hikes and said such distinctions about funding sources don’t matter.

For once, I agree with the students. The administrative bloat at major universities is the reason why tuition is so high. Parents ought to think about that when decided where to send their little geniuses.

Regents say that these executive pay scales, while impressive to the average UC student and employee, are often below rates at competitive universities across the nation. Monica Lozano, the chairwoman of the regents, said the board approved the raises to ensure consistency across the system and to recognize that “these are people who are leading very large segments of a very complex enterprise.”

The vote was unanimous. Gov. Jerry Brown, who is a regent and frequent critic of high executive pay at UC and Cal State, did not attend; he was participating in an environmental conference at the Vatican.

Meanwhile –

Starting this fall, all UC students will have to participate in new, university-wide training sessions on preventing and reporting of sexual violence. While UC’s individual campuses previously had such training, the new in-person and online sessions will have university-wide material and standards, officials said. A systemwide training for faculty and staff is scheduled to start in January, they said.

You read that right: the governor of California, his state in crisis, is at the Vatican discussing how many pins can dance on the head of an angel with the pope, whose flock of Christians is being eradicated from their ancestral homelands in the Middle East, while back home UC students have replaced Shakespeare with social-justice indoctrination.

Why Do Government Services So Often Suck So Badly?

 

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Tragic, Really: Bin Laden Family Members Die in Air Crash

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Karma is a bitch:

Osama bin Laden’s stepmother, half-sister and brother-in-law died after a private jet owned by the family exploded into a fireball after overshooting a runway while trying to land outside London. Hampshire police confirmed the dead terrorist’s stepmother Rajaa Hashim, his sister, Sana bin Laden, and his brother-in-law, Zuhair Hashim, were all killed. The plane’s Jordanian pilot also died in the crash.

The Saudi ambassador to the UK offered his condolences to the Bin Laden family, who own a major construction company in Saudi Arabia. The statement said: ‘His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud … has paid his condolences to the family and relatives of Mohammed bin Laden at Blackbushe Airport in Britain for the great loss they have suffered as a result of the crash of the plane that was carrying the family.’ A further statement said the embassy would work with the British authorities to ensure a quick repatriation of the bodies for burial.

No further comment, but please — feel free.

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‘Migrant’ Invasion of Britain Temporarily Halted at Calais

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The ongoing invasion of Great Britain by “migrants” from Africa has been temporarily halted by a beefed-up police presence at the Channel Tunnel. But how long can a few cops hold back the horde?

French police said Saturday around 300 migrants in Calais attempted to reach Britain via the Channel Tunnel overnight, a significant drop from previous nights after security in Calais was beefed up. On Thursday night, French authorities faced more than 1,000 attempts by migrants camped out in the port of Calais to reach the undersea tunnel. That number was already significantly down on the more than 2,000 daily attempts by migrants to breach the defences recorded earlier in the week. Ten migrants have died attempting to smuggle across the Channel to England since June. France this week sent 120 additional police officers to the northern port city to stem the crisis.

A spokesman for Eurotunnel, operator of the trains that link Britain and France through the tunnel, said there was “much less disruption” at its terminal near Calais since the reinforcements arrived to bolster a 300-strong existing police contingent.

On Friday, according to British news reports, Calais was a war zone:

FLAMES filled the air in Calais after striking French ferry workers blocked roads with burning tyres leaving the port now resembling a WARZONE. The protest has taken place after negotiations with the French government over job cuts broke down. Fires, which are currently blocking access to the harbour, have plunged the crisis zone into further chaos. It comes after Britain’s borders faced more disruption last night as hundreds of migrants including children stormed the Eurotunnel.

David Cameron has said Britain is threatened by a “swarm” of foreigners and the migrant crisis in Calais was likened to a “warzone.” Migrants were pictured clinging to a lorry as they left the port of Dover, while others in Calais were seen clambering over fences with children in tow. More than 4,000 increasingly aggressive and desperate migrants largely from war-torn failed African states have stormed through fences in a bid to clamber aboard trains to ‘El Dorado’ UK.

The “migrants” — the current euphemism for “invaders” — had vowed not to be intimidated by the arrival of more security police –

Migrants massed around the entrance to the Channel Tunnel said on Thursday they would keep trying to sneak across to Britain, undaunted by the arrival of 120 extra riot police on the French side. A police officer said the number of migrants trying to enter Britain eased slightly overnight compared to earlier in the week, with about 800 migrants around the site and some 300 intercepted by police. That compared to an estimated 1,500 attempts by migrants to enter the tunnel on Tuesday night and 2,000 on Monday. Some were probably repeat attempts by the same people.

Some 3,000 migrants live around the tunnel entrance in a makeshift camp known as “The Jungle”, making the northern French port one of the frontlines in Europe’s wider migrant crisis alongside Italian and Greek islands used an an entry point for those crossing the Mediterranean from Africa or the Middle East. Freight and passenger traffic through the rail tunnel have been severely disrupted in past weeks as migrants desperate to enter Britain have stepped up attempts to board trucks and trains traveling from France.

“All Europe, you know that the England is good. All, everybody knows that,” a 25-year-old Sudanese migrant who gave his name only as Mohammed told Reuters.

As Dan Hannan tweeted today: “Doublethink on the Left: Britain is uniquely harsh, racist etc, yet it’s perfectly understandable for migrants to prefer it to France/Italy.” It’s also perfectly understandable that members of an expansionist, eliminationist ummah should want to “emigrate.” What’s not understandable is why Christendom should let them.

Britain Realizing Full Extent of Muslim Rape-Gang Problem

 

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In Michigan, Bad News for Unions with Hands in Workers’ Pockets

Friday, July 31st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

If the GOP had any strategic sense — which it of course does not — it would forget about the two coasts for the time being and crack the Democratic electoral stronghold of the upper Midwest during presidential election years. A lot of decent Americans live there, albeit bitterly clinging to the German-Scandinavian liberal inclinations of their forefathers, and only belatedly realizing that Farm-Labor parties are so 1930s. By taking states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan off the board for the Dems, it reduces the donkeys’ huge California gimme and levels the playing field. Hey, look — it’s Donald Trump! Meanwhile –

Public sector workers may freely exercise right-to-work under a 4-3 ruling passed down July 29 by the Michigan Supreme Court. The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) challenged Gov. Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and members of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission on the constitutionality of Public Act 349 of 2012 (right-to-work).

The UAW argued that PA 349 was unconstitutional regarding workers classified as civil service employees and that the Civil Service Commission has the authority to compel civil service workers to pay an agency fee to the union or risk being fired. Justices Viviano, Markman, Young and Zahra ruled that while the Civil Service Commission has control of salary, benefits, grievance procedures and employment conditions, it does not have the authority to require involuntary payments to the union. Adopting an argumentprovided by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, the majority held that agency fees were akin to a tax on public employees and that the Michigan Civil Service Commission lacked the power to tax.

As Scott Walker showed in Wisconsin, stripping the unions of their coercive dues-collecting powers weakens them severely, since they have less money to kick back to their Democrat buddies in the state legislatures. Michigan’s still not where Wisconsin is today, but it’s getting there.

RELATED: The Pension Reckoning Is Only the Beginning.

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Finally: Some Common Sense About Cecil the Lion

Friday, July 31st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

It’s impossible for me to get weepy over the death of a cat, even a lion, much less want to hunt down and punish the poor schnook caught up in the center of this manufactured-outrage mess. So it’s great to see some common-sense analysis in the pages of my alma mater, Time magazine, about the reason behind the lion’s death. (Not, by the way, “murder.”) Here it is:

Earlier this month, a 55-year-old American dentist named Walter Palmer went on a safari holiday in western Zimbabwe, where, over a 40-hour period, he maimed, cautiously tracked, and finally killed a lion. Palmer, a veteran big-game hunter, insists that he had secured the necessary hunting permits, unaware at the time that his target was the most famous lion in Africa.

Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest wildlife reserve, and the lion Palmer killed was its star attraction. It even had a name: Cecil. For killing Cecil, Palmer has become a figure of global hate, and the lion depicted not so much as a bloodthirsty killer himself but a sort of cuddly mascot, who would affably tag alongside caravans of delighted tourists. #CecilTheLion was a top trending topic on Google and Twitter around the world throughout Tuesday — although nobody seemed to notice that he bore the same first name as the now reviled British adventurer and colonizer Sir Cecil Rhodes, who founded the white settler state of Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was formerly known, and whose statue was recently pulled down in Cape Town.

So there’s that. But wait, it gets even less politically correct:

It is no accident that one of the two men who accompanied the dentist on the safari, and who have now been arrested, was a farmer (the other was a professional hunter hired by Palmer as a guide). State wildlife officials claim that Honest Trymore Ndlovu helped lured the lion off the wildlife reserve and onto his property, Antoinette Farm, where the beast was killed.

Why would he do such a thing? Perhaps because he is a farmer in a country where agriculture is an industry of destitution. Zimbabwe was once celebrated as the “breadbasket of Africa,” whose fertile earth supplied the world with abundant tobacco, corn and wheat. Today, 76% of its rural population lives in abject poverty, dependent on foreign food aid and desperate measures — like the poaching of the wildlife that inhabits its otherwise barren lands, or rendering assistance to those who want to hunt or poach.

How could such a thing have happened?

In 2000, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe enacted a disastrous land-reform policy. Farms were divided up and nationalized and many plots were handed out to generals and ministers. Thousands of white landowners were violently evicted from their farms, which were then parceled into smallholdings and given to black Zimbabweans. The destruction of property rights led to a disintegrating economy and widespread poverty. Poaching — to feed the insatiable demand for rhino horn and ivory in China and other parts of Asia — became rife and much of the wildlife in Zimbabwe was simply wiped out.

Until 2000 Zimbabwe had a successful wildlife-management program, with many big-game animals flourishing. But by 2003, a staggering 80% of the animals that had lived on Zimbabwean safari camps (which employed firm quotas to regulate animal population sizes) had died. By 2007, there were only 14 private game farms in the country, compared with 620 prior to the land seizures of 2000, according to a National Geographic report. With the protection of private game reserves nearly nonexistent, once abundant wildlife began dying off, hunted by desperate farmers with no other options for sustenance.

Mugabe, 91, has led Rhodesia/Zimbabwe since his communist-backed forces brought down Ian Smith’s government in late 1979. Since then, a country that should be among the most prosperous in sub-Saharan Africa has seen an astounding run of “bad luck.”

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Email Troubles Not Going Away for Dowager Empress of Chappaqua

Friday, July 31st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

And this woman is running for president?

The U.S. intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday.

The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information on Mrs. Clinton’s private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.A U.S. official directly familiar with the notification, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said the notification of possibly hundreds of additional emails with classified secrets came from the State Department Freedom of Information Act office to the Office of Inspector General for the Director of National Intelligence.

This is, of course, Klassic Klinton: get caught red-handed, admit to some minor “sloppiness,” vow to get to the bottom of things, then stonewall and hope to God it blows over. Not this time:

The U.S. official said the intelligence community has been informed that secret information had been contained in some of Mrs. Clinton’s private emails that originated from the FBI, the DNI and the CIA as well as a spy satellite agency. It is believed the 30,000 emails remain on a thumb drive in the possession of Mrs. Clinton’s private attorney, David Kendall.

The official said the intelligence community’s first response was to take steps to secure the handling of remaining 30,000 emails and make sure they were handled on top-secret servers to avoid any further breaches, and then to assess any damage to national security from the insecure handling and release of information already in some of the publicly disseminated emails.

“Containment first, then a damage assessment is how this must be handled,” the official said.

Sounds like the same approach the Clintons take to everything they touch. And yet Hillary! waddles on.

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What’s In Those Secret Iran Documents?

Friday, July 31st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Just when you think the Obama administration can’t get any more contemptuous of the American people, it tops itself:

Scattered around the U.S. Capitol complex are a series of Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facilities, or SCIFs, which are typically used to hold Top Secret information. But today in these deeply secure settings are a series of unclassified documents — items dealing with the Iran nuclear deal that are not secret, but that the Obama administration is nevertheless blocking the public from reading.

The Obama administration delivered 18 documents to Congress on July 19, in accordance with legislation requiring a Congressional review of the nuclear deal. Only one of these documents are classified, while the remaining 17 are unclassified. Yet many of these unclassified documents cannot be shared with the public or discussed openly with the press. The protocol for handling these documents, set by the State Department and carried out by Congress, is that these unreleased documents can only be reviewed ‘In Camera’ — a Latin term that means only lawmakers and staffers with secret clearance can read them, held in various Congressional SCIFs.

It’s diabolical, really: hiding unclassified documents in SCIFs:

Most staffers were hesitant to discuss — let alone share — a number of these documents, even though they’re not classified, because they require a secret clearance to view. By mixing a classified document with unclassified documents, critics of this arrangement contend, important facts are being kept from the public just as Congress is deciding whether to support or oppose the Iran deal.

“The unclassified items… should be public. This is going to be the most important foreign policy decisions that this Congress will make,” a Republican Senate aide told The Daily Beast. “This is the administration that once said it would be the most transparent administration in history. They’re not acting like it.”

Hey, fella — we’re nearly seven years into this nightmare now and you haven’t figured out that every word out of the mouth of every administration official is a lie, then you haven’t been paying attention. “Trust us,” just isn’t going to cut it any more, if it ever did.

Meanwhile, over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol goads our roundheeleed Republican Congress to demand access to some other important documents regarding the Islamic Republic and its continuing war against America:

The bad news is that the Obama administration doesn’t want us to have all the information available to judge {Iran] and its behavior. The good news is that Congress can insist the information be provided.

Here’s an important instance. We have been told by six current or former intelligence officials that the collection of documents captured in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound includes explosive information on Iran’s relationship with al Qaeda over the past two decades, including details of Iran’s support for al Qaeda’s attacks on Americans. Some of these officials believe this information alone could derail the deal. We haven’t seen it. But the American people should see it all before Congress votes on the deal in September.

The bin Laden documents have long been the subject of a behind-the-scenes battle between the White House and elements of the intelligence community. After an initial scrub of the documents in the months after the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, the Obama administration let them sit untouched for as long as a year. When officials at the DIA and Central Command requested access to the collection to extract intelligence and provide it to war fighters, they were initially denied. And soon after the team from DIA and CENTCOM was given limited access to the documents, they were ordered to stop their exploitation. What they did see was illuminating.

Among the most significant were documents that shed new light on the complicated relationship between Iran and al Qaeda.

Well… what would he be doing differently?

Highly credible senior intelligence officials who have seen the bin Laden documents say that the collection includes important information about al Qaeda and Iran. The White House has consistently blocked the release of that information. It will take concerted action by the leadership of Congress—in particular, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr along with Chairman Nunes—to wring this information out of the administration.

Not to demand these documents—not to insist on having access to them despite all the administration’s protestations and obfuscations, not to allow the American people to understand the whole truth about the Iranian regime with which the administration has negotiated this agreement—would be an abdication of responsibility on the part of Congress that history would judge harsh.

Assuming history survives a nuclear attack, that is.

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Socialism: Fails Every Time It’s Tried

Friday, July 31st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Are we sure we want an avowed socialist running for president? What could possibly go wrong?

Venezuelans are struggling to call abroad as telephone carriers fall behind on payments to international partners amid a currency crisis that is leaving the country increasingly cut off from the rest of the world. The South American nation’s largest private telephone operator, Movistar, quietly ended service to all but 10 countries in May. The other major private operator here, Digitel, cut service to more than 100 countries around the same time, and later told congress it was tens of millions of dollars in debt to foreign providers.

The changes have not been formally announced. Instead, Venezuelans are making the unhappy discovery when they dial an international number and bump into an ominous pre-recorded error message.

Caracas shopkeeper Wilmer Ruiz realized last week that he couldn’t call his family in Cuba or a friend who immigrated to Ecuador. Both countries have been staunch allies of Venezuela’s 16-year socialist revolution. ”We’re just falling behind the rest of the world in every way,” Ruiz said.

The country — which by rights ought to be one of the richest in Latin America — has devolved into a typical Third World basket case and nobody seems to understand why. Must be that “bad luck” we hear so much about.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Or “socialism.”

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Cruz to Obama: Let’s Settle This Like Men

Friday, July 31st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

One of the reasons for Donald Trump’s continuing high standing in the early polls is his perceived willingness to stand up to PC bullies and speak his mind. Now along comes Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, standing up to the man who put the “bully” back into the bully pulpit:

According to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is essentially financing terrorism. And he’s not backing down after the president called his comments “outrageous.”

“If this deal is consummated, it will make the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz said during a round table Tuesday. “Billions of dollars under control of this administration will flow into the hands of jihadists who will use that money to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder Europeans.”  Cruz has said the remarks before.

On Monday, Obama responded to criticism of the deal. He also addressed Cruz’s comments, and others from members of GOP lawmakers, calling them “outrageous attacks” that crossed the line. “We’ve had a sitting senator, who also happens to be running for president, suggest that I’m the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” Obama said during a press conference from Ethiopia. “Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but it’s not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now.”

Crossed what line? Vigorous give-and-take between independent branches of government, each member of which is sworn to uphold the Constitution, has long been a hallmark of American republican democracy. If you can’t take the heat, as another Democrat president famously said, get out of the kitchen.

In fact, a debate on Obama’s latest vengeful attempt to shove bad policy down the throats of a people he so obviously holds in contempt is very much what we do need. So Cruz has called Obama to take it outside:

“Yesterday, I invited President Obama to participate in a debate, I would be happy to debate him … anywhere in the country in the next 60 days, to discuss the substance of this deal. If he believes that this deal can be defended, I would encourage him to defend it in front of the American people,” Cruz said. “If he’s unwilling to do so, then he can send as his proxy Secretary of State John Kerry because on the merits, this deal is catastrophic for the American people.”

What fun it would be to see that on Pay Per View.  Don’t hold your breath, though.

Sean Hannity: Three Senators Confirm that Mitch McConnell Lied to Ted Cruz

 

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Would Cat-Lovers Give Up Their ‘Pets’ to Save the Earth?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

I think we all know the answer to that question. But don’t take it from me — take it from the New York Times:

Jennifer L. McDonald is an ecologist by profession and a cat person by avocation. Some years ago, Tiggy, her ginger-and-white shorthair, would bring home freshly killed mice and shrews for her consideration. Dr. McDonald, now an associate research fellow at the Center for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter in England, was curious about the impact of pet cats like Tiggy on wildlife. Fewer mice might be nice. But cats, natural hunters, pounce on birds and rabbits, too.

“You can’t pick and choose a cat’s prey,” Dr. McDonald said. If owners realized how much prey their pets killed, she wondered, would they be willing to contain their cats to protect wildlife? She and her associates studied the question. The answer, published recently in the journal Ecology and Evolution was unequivocal and emphatic.

No.

And not just “no,” but “hell no.”

Dr. McDonald surveyed owners in two British villages about cats they allowed to roam outdoors. Owners were asked to predict the amount of prey taken by their cats and document the actual killings. Owners in one village were then asked whether they believed pet cats had an ecological impact.

Researchers also asked owners about their willingness to keep cats indoors during prime hunting time, from dusk to dawn. The idea was flatly rejected, with some owners providing unsolicited commentary: “My cat chooses for herself whether to stay in or go out,” one wrote. Pointing to “a dissociation between actual and perceived predatory behavior,” the researchers concluded that “the cat owners in this study reject the proposition that cats are a threat to wildlife.”

Of course they do. Because this is what your brain looks like on toxoplasmosis, the parasite that lives in cat feces and can affect the brains of cat-owners, especially women, turning them into cat-hoarders.

Since 1992, a series of studies have been carried out in the Czech Republic comparing the personality characteristics of individuals who have anamnestic antibodies to T. gondii, and are thus assumed to have a latent infection, and those without such antibodies. The personality questionnaires used in these studies have been Cattell’s 16-personality factor (16PF) questionnaire2–6 and Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) personality test.7,8

Consistent and significant differences in Cattell’s personality factors were found between Toxoplasma-infected and -uninfected subjects in 9 of 11 studies, and these differences were not the same for men and women. After using the Bonferroni correction for multiple tests, the personality of infected men showed lower superego strength (rule consciousness) and higher vigilance (factors G and L on Cattell’s 16PF). Thus, the men were more likely to disregard rules and were more expedient, suspicious, jealous, and dogmatic. The personality of infected women, by contrast, showed higher warmth and higher superego strength (factors A and G on Cattell’s 16PF), suggesting that they were more warm hearted, outgoing, conscientious, persistent, and moralistic. Both men and women had significantly higher apprehension (factor O) compared with the uninfected controls.

See also: “How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy,” As the article notes, it’s not simply Krazy Kat Ladies who are risk; we all are:

After an infected cat defecates, Flegr learned, the parasite is typically picked up from the soil by scavenging or grazing animals—notably rodents, pigs, and cattle—all of which then harbor it in their brain and other body tissues. Humans, on the other hand, are exposed not only by coming into contact with litter boxes, but also, he found, by drinking water contaminated with cat feces, eating unwashed vegetables, or, especially in Europe, by consuming raw or undercooked meat. Hence the French, according to Flegr, with their love of steak prepared saignant—literally, “bleeding”—can have infection rates as high as 55 percent. (Americans will be happy to hear that the parasite resides in far fewer of them, though a still substantial portion: 10 to 20 percent.) Once inside an animal or human host, the parasite then needs to get back into the cat, the only place where it can sexually reproduce—and this is when, Flegr believed, behavioral manipulation might come into play.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has the right idea.

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Left Arguing Over How Many More Entry-Level Jobs to Destroy

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Ho-hum; another day, another “minimum wage” argument, as if there were a giant pot of money hidden away somewhere that could be tapped in the name of “fairness.”  Isn’t there?

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. 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.

As anybody with even a rudimentary understanding of economics knows, the real “minimum wage” is $0.00, which the amount I’m willing to pay in a free economy for work that I don’t really need or care to have done. To force me to pay more than that is the mark of a command economy, which means that I am forced to subsidize works that is of little or no real value.

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.

I bet he did. Let’s cut to the chase. The Left doesn’t care how many jobs are lost to minimum-wage hikes; in fact, they’re a feature, not a bug. Because the real push here is for a guaranteed minimum income — something, believe it or not, floated in 1969 by the Nixon administration — provided by the dwindling ranks of suckers private-industry taxpayers who will be forced at gunpoint to pay until the entire country collapses.

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Unhappy McConnell Dresses Down Fractious GOP Senators, Then Fobs Them Off

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Mighty Mitch, having bamboozled not only Kentuckians but the entire nation into returning him as Senate majority “leader,” is displeased with his caucus:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got his hands on something he believed to be damning: An email from Sen. Mike Lee’s aide to conservative activists plotting to use an Obamacare vote as a political weapon. So McConnell quickly summoned the GOP to a closed-door session in the Senate’s Mansfield Room Monday night. And he made sure his caucus read the email, placing a copy on every Republican senator’s chair before they arrived. A lawmaker in the room described the mood as “combative.”

One GOP senator after another objected to the Lee aide’s tactic and called for GOP unity, including party leaders like John Thune of South Dakota and the retiring Dan Coats of Indiana. Two senators in tough reelection races — Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — were vocal, as was Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), sources said. The email, Republican leaders believed, was what they needed to marginalize conservative hardliners who had thrown their plans into disarray the last several days.

Let’s go down the list. Coats is a time-serving non-entity who’s shuffling off to the old folks’ home. Thune had promise, but that seems to have vanished in the windswept wasteland of whichever Dakota he’s from. Johnson of Wisconsin is actually a good guy and a good conservative with a good chance of losing his seat, but Ms. Ayotte flashed her true colors by aligning with the McCain-Graham axis and has disqualified herself from future consideration on a national ticket. In short, who cares what they think?

The sitdown appeared to be an effort by McConnell to impose order in his caucus after days of infighting, initiated by Cruz, who accused McConnell of “lying” in a hard-charging series of floor speeches and public statements. Cruz, along with Lee, have sought to use arcane Senate procedures to force through simple majority votes on a range of conservative causes — to take a hard line on Iran, defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare.

But Lee, extending an olive branch of sorts, decided not to push the matter Monday night. And GOP senators said during the session that using the filibuster-proof reconciliation process remained the best bet to move a repeal of Obamacare this year, attendees said.

Well, no rush, guys. Here’s McConnell’s super-awesome plan to repeal Obamacare with just 51 votes, coincidentally announced after the Monday night -come-to-Jesus Senate confab:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell championed a renewed push to bypass a filibuster and repeal Obamacare with 51 votes on Tuesday, he announced in a joint statement with Utah Senator Mike Lee, one of the most conservative Republicans in the chamber. ”Republicans are united in working to repeal the broken promises of Obamacare,” McConnell said in the statement, adding that the Senate will “continue our effort to use reconciliation … to fulfill the promise we made to our constituents.”

Lee, who has often been at odds with McConnell, has long advocated using Senate procedures to try and kill the president’s health care law. “A Senate vote to repeal Obamacare on a simple majority basis through reconciliation is the best way to pursue that goal,” Lee said in the statement. “The Majority Leader and I are committed to using reconciliation to repeal Obamacare in the 114th Congress.”

Yeah, right. And here’s why it won’t work:

McConnell does not have the authority to decide unilaterally that a given law can be repealed through reconciliation; instead, parliamentarians, the umpires of Senate procedure, interpret the relevant rules and precedents whenever a disagreement arises. Much of Obamacare does not qualify for reconciliation under the Byrd rule, the regulation that governs the process. Some Republicans believe that McConnell has done more to deter colleagues from pushing for a full repeal than he did to convince the parliamentarians that it would be possible under the Byrd rule. “Internally, they’ve been aggressive in terms of, whenever this subject comes up, saying we can only do so much,” says one senior GOP Senate aide.

We’re being played. Again.

 

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Another Obamacare ‘Exchange’ Bites the Dust

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Vermont, Oregon, Hawaii, now Louisiana: one by one by one they collapse under the weight of their sheer economic impossibility:

Bleeding cash, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) announced Friday that Louisiana’s Obamacare health insurance co-op will be closing its doors by the end of 2015. It will be the second collapse of an Obamacare health care co-op this year and the third since the Obama administration rolled them out in 2012 as a competitor to commercial health insurance companies.

From the beginning, the Louisiana co-op was fraught with high-paid consultants who were not even from Louisiana, but Georgia. It also suffered from an apparent conflict of interest. George Cromer, its CEO, simultaneously served the Louisiana House of Representatives as chairman of that legislative body’s insurance committee.

Roughly 18 months into its existence, in September 2012, the Louisiana co-op received $66 million from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By 2014, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported that the co-op had burned through half of its cash and suffered a net operating loss of $23 million. The co-op had only enrolled 17,000 paid subscribers out of a total state population of 4.6 million, according to state census data.

Obamacare has been a colossal disaster, but as I noted here yesterday, that was the whole point all along.

 

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Oh-Oh: MSM Starting to Notice that Hillary! Is Stumbling

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Don’t take it from me; take it from Michael Gerson in the Washington Post:

The most surprising revelation in recent presidential polling is not that Donald Trump has low favorability in key states — a welcome indicator of national sanity — but rather that Hillary Clinton’s numbers are almost as bad. Put another way: A vacuous, gaffe-prone, xenophobic, conspiracy-minded reality television star whose nomination, by most accounts, would destroy the GOP has about the same approval ratings in Colorado and Iowa as the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination. A recognition begins to dawn: Democrats may be coronating a wounded queen.

Wee, what was your first cue? The eight years of investigations of the Bill Clinton administration? Or the more recent stuff, like Benghazi and the emails? Should the Democrats be foolish enough to actually nominate the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua for president, their candidate will sure rank as the most corrupt and least-skilled politician ever to stand for national office.

Horse-race polling conducted early in a presidential contest means very little, as President Fred Thompson and President Howard Dean can attest. But while early polls are not predictive of outcomes, they can be indicative of weaknesses. In a recent CNN/ORC poll, 57 percent of adults did not consider Clinton honest and trustworthy. According to an AP-Gfk poll, only 31 percent of likely voters think the word “honest” describes Clinton well. And in a recent Quinnipiac poll of key states, 59 percent of Iowa voters, 55 percent of Virginia voters and 62 percent of Colorado voters did not believe that Clinton is honest and trustworthy.

Clinton’s response? “People should, and do, trust me.” A statement not particularly worthy of trust.

No, people shouldn’t and don’t, not unless they were born yesterday with an Obama baby pacifier in their mouths. Tick, and may I add, tock:

Senior Democrats are seeing what the rest of us see — a Clinton campaign that is burning money and losing ground. At what point do party leaders begin a panicked search for alternatives? Not yet. But when? “When public sentiment consistently falls in this [polling] category,” a former Democratic official told me. “When people say enough is enough and can’t deal with the Clinton psychodrama anymore. They [both Clintons] feel this is the normal condition.”

This former official thinks that Clinton has the month of August to right her listing campaign. If that doesn’t happen, Vice President Joe Biden’s colorful trial balloon may rise. And when a candidate’s main argument is inevitability — as Clinton’s is — doubts are a crack in the ice that quickly spreads.

I still think the Democrat standard-bearer in 2016 will be Elizabeth Warren, who checks all the boxes Hillary! does — female, white, elderly, wealthy, leftist, preachy and schoolmarmish. But she has one advantage that Mrs. Clinton lacks, and which is of paramount importance to the low-information, short-attention-span voters who make up the Democrat base: nobody ever heard of her until last night.

More: 

Why Trump Is Leading the GOP Pack

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Remember the ‘Affordable’ Care Act? Suckers!

Monday, July 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
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You remember how the average family was going to save $2,500 a year on “health care,” and how if you liked your plan and your doctor, you could keep them, right? After all, the president of these United States looked us right in the eye and told us so. Well, that was then — the baited hook to get us to fall for the scheme — and this is now:

State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states.

Hawaii’s marketplace, the latest cautionary tale, was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million and enrolled 8,200 customers for individual coverage in 2015. Unable to sustain itself, the state marketplace is turning over sign-ups to the federal HealthCare.gov for 2016.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia fully control their markets. Experts estimate about half face financial difficulties. Federal taxpayers invested nearly $5 billion in startup grants to the states, expecting that state markets would become self-sustaining. Most of the federal money has been spent, and states have to face the consequences.

“The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents,” said a statement from the office of Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige, announcing last month that his state’s sign-ups were being turned over to the federal government.

Obamacare never had anything to do with “affordability” or even “health care.” It was merely Obama’s camel’s nose under the tent, in order to seize control of the insurance industry by forcing the citizens to buy their products, then offer substandard, expensive plans and provide taxpayer subsidies for those who — surprise! — couldn’t afford the new mandates. And now you know what the plan really was all along.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled the Obama administration can keep subsidizing premiums in all 50 states through HealthCare.gov, no longer is there a downside for states turning to Washington. If the decision had gone the opposite way, state exchanges would have been a leaky lifeboat for preserving a major expansion of taxpayer-subsidized coverage under the law. With the pressure gone, “I think you are going to see much more of a hybrid across the nation,” said Peter Lee, who heads California’s state-run marketplace. Covered California fell short of its sign-up projections this year by nearly 20 percent, but Lee says it remains “a solid business proposition.”

Obama knew it, the Democrats knew it, some of us knew it. The Supreme Court knew it, too, and twice the justices could have put this unconscionable fraud to sleep, and twice they failed. Thank you, Chief Justice John Roberts.

Oh, and look: Another Obamacare ‘Exchange’ Bites the Dust

 

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Dowager Empress of Chappaqua’s ‘Campaign’ Gets More Bad Polling News

Monday, July 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The betting windows are now open: Hillary! Clinton’s Last Day As a Presidential Candidate. Get your markers down:

Recent surveys suggest that Hillary Clinton may be more reliant on the non-white vote in November 2016 than you might have assumed. A poll released Sunday from NBC/Marist reinforces one from last week by Quinnipiac University that found her to be as unpopular as Donald Trump in key swing states. In Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton’s net favorability — those who view her positively minus those who don’t — was negative-23 and negative-20, respectively.

Among Democrats, we’ll point out, the numbers were much, much higher, which comports with her first-place position in caucus/primary polling in those states. But among all voters? It sinks, matching what Quinnipiac found in Colorado, Iowa and, to a lesser extent, Virginia. Part of this, as we’ve explained before, is that Clinton’s favorability tends to swell when she’s not running for office and dip when she is… notice, too, that her net favorability now is lower than at any point over the last 10 years.

Now there’s a heckuva candidate: the more you see of her, the less you like her. But it all makes sense. Hillary!’s poll numbers were always high based on sheer name-recognition alone; she’s the Kim Kardashian of politicians, and you can’t avoid her even if you wanted to. But when she waddles into your town, looking for your vote, you check to make sure your wallet is secure and your children are safely at home.

As Hillary! Craters, Democrats Search for Panic Button

 

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McConnell Senate Fails to Repeal Obamacare Yet Again

Monday, July 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

You’ve been had, folks:

A procedural vote Sunday to repeal Obamacare couldn’t win over a majority of the GOP-led Senate, while a bid to revive an obscure exports agency succeeded, delivering twin blows to conservatives as they navigated a thorny path toward a highway bill that’s raised questions about civility and Republican discord in the august chamber.

Allies of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked off a kooky weekend session by scolding Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, for flouting the Senate’s rules of comity. The 2016 presidential candidate accused Mr. McConnell on Friday of lying about whether he’d struck a deal to revive the federal Export-Import Bank, which faces a slow death after its charter expired June 30.

“We’re not here on some frolic or to pursue personal ambitions,” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, said, adding he worries about the future of the institution.

As I wrote just before the last election, the ideal outcome for conservatives would have been a GOP retaking of the Senate and a loss of McConnell’s seat in Kentucky to Alison Lundergan Grimes. As for Orrin Hatch, I stand by what I wrote over at National Review back in 2012:

Most Republican eyes are on the upcoming Wisconsin June recall election and the fates of Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch, but two other races to watch carefully are the primaries of Senators Dick Lugar of Indiana and Orrin Hatch of Utah. Both men were born in the 1930s and have been in the Senate since 1976. If the GOP is to have a future as a conservative party, it’s time for them to go.

Hatch is the worst kind of Republican establishment figure, who feints to his right when he needs to placate the people he “hates” and then, once safely ensconced in the comfy chair for six more years, resumes pursuit of his first love: Senate “comity.”

Besides, who cares about the “future of the institution,” so aptly characterized by P.J. O’Rourke as a Parliament of Whores?  The Senate was changed irrevocably by the passage of the 17th Amendment, one of the disastrous “Progressive-Era” amendments that also gave us Prohibition and the income tax. Now the Senate is controlled by a bunch of time-serving, bum-kissing, arse-protective hacks determined to squelch any views that run afoul of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party.

As many predicted, the procedural vote to repeal Obamacare received only a 49-43 plurality, well short of the 60-vote supermajority needed to limit debate and advance to an up-down vote. The Ex-Im vote easily surmounted that hurdle, 67 votes to 26, clearing the way for it to be added to the bill later on. Twenty-four Republicans and every Democrat who cast a vote Sunday backed the Export-Import Bank measure, while the Obamacare measure fell short on a party-line vote.

It was the first time the Senate voted on Obamacare repeal in this Congress, although its budget assumed the law’s repeal. While the GOP holds the majority, eight lawmakers — five of them Republicans — missed the weekend vote.

The next time you’re tempted to vote Republican because the Democrats are even worse, stop and ask yourself this: in what way?

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Faced with Shortages, Venezuela Nationalizing Food Distribution

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Yeah, this will work:

What began as rumors of state meddling in the food-distribution market in Venezuela were finally confirmed on Monday. The Nicolás Maduro government is compelling the country’s food producers to send up to 100 percent of their output to state-owned distribution centers and stores, in an attempt to solve the nation’s shortage problems.

This according to Pablo Baraybar, president of the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber (CAVIDEA), who explained that the National Agro-Food Superintendency — a governmental entity in charge of managing food distribution in the country — has ordered affiliated firms to send the majority of their products to PDVAL, MERCAL, Bicentenario supermarkets, and other establishments of the state-run network. In Venezuela, the national government manages the distribution of food. It’s the executive, through the ministries, who decides which stores in what part of the country will get the products.

Oil-rich Venezuela should be among the strongest and most civilized nations in Latin America, but of course it’s not: it’s a devolving hellhole of a socialist basket case.  Meanwhile, Tim Worstall at Forbes writes to remind the Venezuelans what happened when the Soviets tried the same scheme:

My predicted outcome from this is that Venezuela is now one harvest away from serious starvation.

The point of this history stuff is to see what didn’t work and then not repeat it. Yet Maduro appears to be selecting the very worst public policies of the past as those that he will impose today. Confiscating the food off the farmers is just going to lead to no farmers and no food.

Someone really should tell the President about 1930s Ukraine.

But remember: socialism and communism have never really been tried yet!

 

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Violence Erupts in Former East Germany Over ‘Asylum Seekers’

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Since the end of the war, Germany has had one of the most liberal asylum regimens in Europe. But what was meant as partial atonement for the sins of the Third Reich has now morphed into something increasingly ugly:

Two people were wounded when far-right protesters against the expansion of refugee accommodation in the east German city of Frankfurt an der Oder clashed with counter-demonstrators on Saturday, police said. The evening before, three people were wounded and one person arrested in Dresden, about 190 km (118 miles) away, when around 100 supporters of the right-wing party NPD had an altercation with opponents, police said.

Germany is having to accommodate a record-breaking number of asylum-seekers this year as ever greater numbers flee conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. The country expects to receive about 450,000 asylum applications in 2015, more than double from 2014 when around 200,000 people applied.

The government is worried about growing hostility towards immigrants, which has led to demonstrations and some violence towards refugees, including attacks on refugee accommodation. Since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 200 assaults on refugee shelters — already more than in the whole of 2014.

“Asylum” was meant to shelter innocent victims of political or religious persecution, not people fleeing their own countries’ econoic or social dysfunction, and was certainly never designed to accommodate cultural aliens arriving in these kinds of numbers.

“As a state, we are swamped with the sheer number of people,” Matthias Kahl, deputy interior minister in the east German state of Brandenburg, home to Frankfurt an der Oder, told Reuters in the city of Eisenhuettenstadt. ”The authorities are overwhelmed with building shelters and housing the people and the communities are overwhelmed with accommodating the children in kindergartens and schools.”

Meanwhile, in Finland, a member of Parliament is in hot water for daring to call for an end to “multiculturalism”:

The leader of the populist Finns Party has so far remained silent after a prominent MP called on his followers to “fight until the end” against the “nightmare called multiculturalism.” Olli Immonen, member of parliament for the northern Finnish town of Oulu, posted his remarks in English on Friday night on Facebook and on the website of the nationalist organisation Suomen Sisu, of which he is the chair.

The MP, an outspoken opponent of immigration who on his website describes the need to fight the “Islamification” of Finland, predicted in his post “’The ugly bubble that our enemies live in will soon enough burst into a million little pieces.” He added that “We will fight until the end for our homeland and one true Finnish nation.”

This is not going to end well.

The remarks drew widespread condemnation from other politicians, who accused him of inciting hatred. However the 29-year-old’s own party leader, Timo Soini, who is also the country’s foreign minister, has so far been unavailable for comment.

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The Left’s Public Enemy No. 1: Scott Walker

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The Left's Public Enemy

That’s what the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank thinks:

Walker then went on to celebrate his triumphs over the demonstrators who objected to his dismantling of Wisconsin’s public-sector unions, portraying the pro-union forces as violent thugs. “Those big government interests — they believe they can win by intimidating elected officials,” he said. “There were amazing things they did to try to intimidate us. The good news is we didn’t back down. We remembered the reason we were elected was not to serve the few in our state capitol, but to serve the masses.”

This is the essence of Walker’s appeal — and why he is so dangerous. He is not as outrageous as Donald Trump and Sen.­­ Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), but his technique of scapegoating unions for the nation’s ills is no less demagogic. Sixty-five years ago, another man from Wisconsin made himself a national reputation by frightening the country about the menace of communists, though the actual danger they represented was negligible. Scott Walker is not Joe McCarthy, but his technique is similar: He suggests that the nation’s ills can be cured by fighting labor unions (foremost among the “big government special interests” hurting the United States), even though unions represent just 11 percent of the U.S. workforce and have been at a low ebb.

“Dangerous” to a big-government, partisan Democrat  like Milbank, maybe. Encouraging to the rest of us.

This year, Walker likened the union protesters in Madison, Wis., to the murderous Islamic State: “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.” Before that, he described public-sector union members as the “haves” taking advantage of the “have-nots” — the taxpayers.

He denounced the protests against his efforts to undo the unions as “thuggery.” He described collective bargaining as a “corrupt system” and diagnosed union leaders as having a “sense of entitlement.” After beating public-sector unions and surviving recall, Walker this year signed anti-union right-to-work legislation. He has said he doesn’t think the minimum wage serves a purpose, and he has opposed prevailing-wage and living-wage requirements.

Gee, Milbank says this like it’s a bad thing.

More: 

How Scott Walker Will Win’ 

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Obama’s Gay Advocacy Gets Chilly Reception in Ancestral Homeland

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

President Obama’s plea for gay rights didn’t go over big in his father’s birthplace of Kenya:

President Barack Obama and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta sparred over support for gay rights here Saturday, with Obama urging fast changes and Kenyatta saying it was not something Kenyan culture or society would “accept.” Linking LGBT discrimination in Africa to the history of Jim Crow laws in America, Obama said ensuring gay rights must be a priority on a continent — and in a country — where bias against gays is accepted, and violence against gays is common.

Standing by Obama’s side at a joint press conference here in front of the Kenyan state house, Kenyatta repeated what he has said before about gay rights: it’s “a non-issue.” Kenyatta’s remarks were the ones that drew applause among the Kenyan audience.

“For Kenyans today, the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue. We want to focus on other issues that really are day-to-day issues for our people,” Kenyatta said.

Why an American president should make this “non-issue” a cornerstone of his foreign policy in Africa is open to speculation. Especially given his late conversion to the cause:

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Here We Go Again: ‘Clinton Denies…’

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

It’s like a bad movie from the nineties and we’re trapped in the theater with a bunch of lunatics:

Hillary Clinton told reporters Saturday that she never sent or received classified information using her private e-mail server when she served as secretary of state, and that the facts on the issue “are pretty clear.” The Democratic presidential hopeful spoke briefly about the growing controversy surrounding her use of the server after a Democratic gathering at the Madison County Historical Complex in Iowa. Reporters raised the issue during a news conference that followed the event.

“I am confident that I never sent or received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” Clinton said. “What I think you’re seeing here is a very typical kind of discussion, to some extent disagreement among various parts of the government, over what should or should not be publicly released.” Clinton reiterated that she wanted the emails in question to be made public as soon as possible, and expressed no opinion as to whether the Department of Justice should investigate.

I realize there’s a whole generation that’s been born and grown up since the first-run of this horror thriller, but do we really want to read headlines about denials, investigations, allegations of criminal wrongdoing, etc. for the next four to eight years? Because with these two, that’s all your going to get.

Clinton reiterated that she wanted the emails in question to be made public as soon as possible, and expressed no opinion as to whether the Department of Justice should investigate. ”They can fight over it or argue over it. That’s up to them. I can tell you what the facts are,” she said.

Thus speaks the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, waddling into history.

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Clinton ‘Charity’ Tapped Brits for £50 Million in Taxpayer Money

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

What a racket:

Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money has been siphoned through charities linked to Hillary Clinton, it emerged last night. British politicians – including Gordon Brown – stand accused of diverting huge amounts of cash through the organisations after falling under the spell of the US presidential candidate and her husband Bill.

At least £50 million of taxpayer-funded foreign aid money has gone to Clinton charities, which are at the centre of allegations in the US that foreign governments used donations to buy influence. The UK is one of the biggest donors, handing over more than £20 million last year alone to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), an organisation chaired by former President Bill, 68, and whose board includes the couple’s daughter Chelsea, 35. Since 2011, a total of £48.9 million has gone into the coffers of this charity alone.

Tory backbenchers say the revelation is symptomatic of the fact that the Department for International Development has so much money to spend that large amounts have to be simply handed to global charities, often leading to huge amounts of waste.

Alas for the Brits, as Hillary!’s sham campaign sputters to a halt, this was not money well-spent. A bright new day in American history is finally dawning, and it doesn’t include either of the Clintons.

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As Military Strength Plummets, the New York Times Cheers Cutbacks

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Of course they do. In this case, it’s a no-brainer, two-fer: the Times can kick America in the teeth and blame it on the Republicans:

The Army’s plan to cut 40,000 troops, as well as 17,000 civilian employees, over the next two years is unsettling many American communities. Congressmen and senators in the affected districts are railing against the reductions and insisting they will fight to reverse them. But the cutbacks are a sensible and necessary move, and they should not come as a surprise since it was Congress that approved big cuts in federal defense spending.

Plans to shrink the active duty force to 450,000 troops from 490,000 have been known since February 2014 when Chuck Hagel, then the secretary of defense, made the proposal as part of his 2015 military budget. By 2017, the Army, which had 490,000 troops before the Sept 11 attacks and reached 570,000 troops during the Afghan and Iraq wars, will decline to its lowest level since World War II.

Good thing there’s nothing going on the world that might require, you know, an army or anything. And, naturally, the cutbacks will be tough for all those poor morons who were not smart enough to become psychiatrists or Wall Street traders or writers for The Simpsons.

The reductions in troops and civilian staffing will be difficult for those who lose their jobs and for the communities that depend on military bases. The Army has programs that can help ease the transition, including special incentives for troops to retire early. Christopher Preble, a vice president of the Cato Institute, a think tank, says his research shows that many communities where bases are closed and troop levels are reduced “do adapt and recover,” and many eventually emerge with “a robust and more diversified economic base.”

President Obama and Congress need to make sure the Army is well positioned to do its job, but that does not mean maintaining bases and a level of troops that go beyond what the country needs and can afford.

Because, in the “Progressive” world view, that money we waste on national defense could be spent so much more effectively elsewhere.

 

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As Hillary! Craters, Democrats Search for Panic Button

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
Hillary Clinton, Hillary 2016

stocklight / Shutterstock.com

 

It’s no longer a question of whether Hillary! Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016; it’s only a question of when she will drop out of the race rather than face humiliation a second time:

Democrats are seeing warning signs after a new poll showed Hillary Clinton losing three swing states and deep in negative territory on questions of character. One Democratic strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity described the poll results as “the canary in the coal mine.” The poll, from Quinnipiac University, surveyed voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. President Obama won all three states in both of his presidential election victories, but they went for former President George W. Bush almost as uniformly in 2004 and 2000. When the pollsters tested Clinton against leading Republican contenders Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, she lost every state to every opponent. Among the most alarming findings, from a Democratic perspective, was the indication that Clinton, widely considered the party’s front-runner, would lose Colorado by 9 points to Walker and would lose by at least 6 points to any of the three candidates in Iowa. Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic consultant who has worked with Clinton in the past but is not involved with her current campaign, described the findings as “absolutely dangerous” for the party.

Losing a state like Colorado by nine points to Scott Walker (who will be the GOP standard-bearer in 2016) would mean an electoral disaster for the Democrats is in the offing. If it’s not close in Colorado or Iowa, it means the Democrats would likely lose every swing state, including Walker’s own Wisconsin, and be confined to their electoral ghettos in New England and on the West Coast.

But it is not just the head-to-head match-ups where Clinton struggles. Other findings are also poor for her, including on the question of whether voters trust her. Those results seem ominous given that the former first lady has been in the public eye for around a quarter-century, making impressions of her more difficult to change. She has also struggled on questions of honesty before. The Quinnipiac poll showed Coloradans asserting by an almost 2-1 margin that Clinton was not honest or trustworthy: 62 percent said she was not, whereas only 34 percent she was. The findings were not much better in either Iowa or Virginia. Respondents distrusted Clinton 59 percent to 33 percent in the former, and 55 percent to 39 percent in latter.

Crazy as it seemed only a couple of months ago, look for both Al Gore and John Kerry to start testing the waters by the fall. Now, Democrats are running around with their hair on fire.

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U.S. May Release Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

A succession of American presidents have adamantly refused to release Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish-American spy for Israel who did tremendous damage to the American intelligence community during the late phase of the Cold War and has been in prison since 1987. Now the Obama administration is considering releasing him:

The Obama administration is preparing to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison, according to U.S. officials, some of whom hope the move will smooth relations with Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.

Such a decision would end a decades long fight over Mr. Pollard, who was arrested on charges of spying for Israel in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison. The case has long been a source of tension between the U.S. and Israel, which has argued that a life sentence for spying on behalf of a close U.S. partner is too harsh. Israel has for years sought Mr. Pollard’s early release, only to be rejected by the U.S. Now, some U.S. officials are pushing for Mr. Pollard’s release in a matter of weeks. Others expect it could take months, possibly until his parole consideration date in November.

A parole hearing for Mr. Pollard was held in early July. Mr. Pollard’s lawyer, Eliot Lauer, said he hasn’t heard from the parole commission “and I would expect that either I or my client would be the ones who would be notified.’’ That hearing would have been the moment for the U.S. to object to Mr. Pollard’s pending release. Mr. Lauer wouldn’t say if the government raised objections.

Some U.S. officials strongly denied Friday there was any link between the Iran deal and Mr. Pollard’s prospective release, saying that any decision would be made by the U.S. Parole Commission. A White House spokesman referred questions to the Justice Department, where a spokesman declined to comment on a matter which may be before the Parole Commission. Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declined to comment.

Vox, of all places, has a useful primer on Pollard here:

It’s important to be clear here: There is zero doubt that Pollard stole secret US intelligence and passed it on to Israeli officials. His motivation, however, is a little less clear — which is part of why Pollard has become something of a cause célèbre among Israelis.

If the administration actually does release him, there’s a decent chance it’s about the Iran deal. The administration could be trying to mend frayed ties with Israel in the deal’s wake. It also could be trying to woo pro-Israel lawmakers not to kill the Iran deal.

Prior to the current administration, this would have caused a (very quiet) justifiable furor in the IC –Pollard’s crimes were far more serious, and consequential, than merely “spying for an ally.” But now, with most U.S. “secrets” safely in the hands of the Chinese and other enemies, one might well quote Hillary! Clinton and ask what difference, at this point, does it make?

American officials are concerned that the Chinese government could use the stolen records of millions of federal workers and contractors to piece together the identities of intelligence officers secretly posted in China over the years. The potential exposure of the intelligence officers could prevent a large cadre of American spies from ever being posted abroad again, current and former intelligence officials said. It would be a significant setback for intelligence agencies already concerned that a recent data breach at the Office of Personnel Management is a major windfall for Chinese espionage efforts.

As has often been noted of Barack Obama: if he were working for the other side, what, exactly, would he be doing differently?

 

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Ya Think? Sane Democrats Worried Party Is Moving Too Far Left

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The “Progressive” overreach is now heading straight off the cliff — have a nice ride:

Centrist Democrats were wiped out in the 2014 elections and in their absence emerged a resurgent liberal movement, embodied most recently by the surprisingly competitive presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But the suddenly ascendant left — its populist overtones becoming part of the mainstream Democratic pitch — is worrying Democrats who want to compete on Republican-leaning turf. The party lost every competitive gubernatorial and Senate race in the South last year. And Democrats didn’t fare much better in the heartland.

Now, as Bernie Sanders’ surge foreshadows a new burst of progressivism, moderate Democrats are looking to their counterparts in Washington with a plea: Don’t freeze us out. “The national Democratic Party’s brand makes it challenging for Democrats in red states oftentimes and I hope that going forward, the leaders at the national level will be mindful of that and they will understand that they can’t govern the country without Democrats being able to win races in red states,” said Paul Davis, who narrowly failed to unseat Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback last year.

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen, Mr. Davis. The Democrats are in the grip of a mania that can only end in total victory over the country as founded or their electoral destruction. Given their abysmal track record as the party of slavery, segregation, secularism and sedition, we can only hope it’s the latter.

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Maybe There Won’t Always Be an England

Friday, July 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Not that that’s a bad thing, but…

Britain’s fighter aircraft fleet is set to shrink to its smallest in the RAF’s history as ageing jets retire by the end of the decade, a new analysis warns. Numbers will be squeezed to only around 127 front line combat jets at best under current plans to retire Britain’s Tornado GR4s and early model Typhoons in 2019, before new F-35 stealth fighters arrive.

Defence chiefs have already warned that the RAF’s fast jet fleet is stretched to the limit and the new analysis from IHS Jane’s warns it is “perverse” to cut numbers further. The RAF’s 87 remaining Tornados and 53 tranche 1 Typhoons are scheduled to retire in 2019. By then, only 15 to 20 of the new F-35B jump jets will have arrived according to the analysis. The resulting fleet will be “the lowest number that the RAF will have fielded since its creation in 1918”.

The RAF’s reduced fighter fleet will be made up of technically advanced planes but “no aircraft, no matter how capable, can be in more than one place at any time”, said Gareth Jennings, aviation desk editor at Jane’s. RAF chiefs have already told David Cameron they are struggling to provide enough fast jets to protect UK airspace, patrol the Falklands, bolster Nato flights in Eastern Europe and fly strike missions over Iraq.The analysis says that with those threats unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, “the further loss of UK air power at such a precarious time as this seems somewhat perverse”.

You can say that again. But the current European and American consensus seems to be that the maintenance and expansion of the Welfare State is far more important than the preservation of the State itself. And in any case, what good are RAF fighter jets against an enemy that arrives every day at Heathrow, having flown commercial?

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Italians Finally Rise Up Against ‘Migrants’

Friday, July 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Long-suffering Italians, whose country is bearing the brunt of the “migrant” crisis, have had it:

Migrants arriving at a new shelter outside Rome needed riot police to protect them from far-right activists and furious residents. In the north, locals vandalized a home to keep asylum seekers from moving in. Traditionally a nation of emigrants, Italy is now struggling to absorb a ceaseless influx of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is under pressure to stem the flow and his government is fighting to calm tensions.

Migrant arrivals have already exceeded 85,000 this year, following 170,000 in all of 2014. While many of the newcomers look to move swiftly to wealthier northern Europe, some 85,000 are housed in Italian shelters – up from 60,000 last year… Not a day goes by without reports on the Italian news of rescues, shipwrecks, drownings or crimes by immigrants. EU solidarity has been limited – this week the European Union failed to agree to divvy up 40,000 asylum seekers in Greece in Italy among its members.

Highlighting the friction, residents in the northern town of Quinto di Treviso last week raided neighboring apartments where about 100 migrants were housed, throwing furniture and mattresses into the street and setting them on fire.

Well, when you refuse to conceive the next generation of Italians (Italy’s birthrate is mortally low), the space is going to get occupied by somebody else.

 

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Why Trump Is Leading the GOP Pack

Friday, July 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Matthew Continetti at the Free Beacon gets it exactly right about the appeal of The Donald:

A brash showboat and celebrity, self-promoter and controversialist, silly and mocking, a caricature of a caricature, Donald Trump is no one’s idea of a serious presidential candidate. Which is exactly why the radical middle finds him refreshing. Not an iota of him is politically correct, he plays by no rules of comity or civility, he genuflects to no party or institution, he is unafraid of and antagonistic toward the media, and he challenges the conventional wisdom of both parties, which holds that there is no real cost to illegal immigration and to trade with China.

Trump’s foreign policy, such as it is, is like Perot’s directed not toward Eurasia but our southern border. Unlike Perot, whose campaign emphasized the twin deficits of budget and trade, Trump has taken on illegal immigration from Mexico, fighting with both the identity politics left and the cheap labor right, with both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Like Perot too he has seized the public imagination, masterfully exploiting the media’s craving for ratings and for negative portrayals of Republicans, turning CNN into TNN, the Trump News Network, the finest and most exclusive cable channel on air.

Trump would enjoy press coverage no matter what he ran on. But the fact that he has chosen, perhaps unwittingly, illegal immigration to be his cause makes the coverage all the more polarizing, visceral, contentious, spiteful. He dared say what no one of his wealth and prominence ever says—that illegal immigration is not limited to DREAMERs and laborers and aspirational Americans, that it is not always, as Jeb Bush put it, an “act of love,” that also traversing our southern border are criminals, rapists and narcotics traffickers and human smugglers, displaced souls from illiberal cultures who carry with them not only dreams but nightmares, bad habits, and other costly baggage. That his poor phrasing was sickeningly confirmed in early July, when an illegal immigrant who had been deported several times shot Kathryn Steinle dead in broad daylight on a San Francisco pier, only strengthened Trump’s connection to the radical middle. So did the drug lord El Chapo’s escape from prison soon after Mexico received an extradition request from the United States.

Donald Trump will never be president of the United States; conservatives understand  that. Nor is he a conservative; conservatives understand that as well. But he is a battering ram, whose crockery smashing can have a salubrious outcome if only conservatives understood that, too.

What Do Donald Trump and Barack Obama Have in Common?

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