Thursday, April 23, 2015

More interesting political news and conservative opinion

General News and Comment

Loretta Lynch confirmed as attorney general
Excerpt: Lynch was confirmed on a 56-43 vote. 

Exclusive: Clinton charities will refile tax returns, audit for other errors. By Jonathan Allen, Reuters
Excerpt: Hillary Clinton's family's charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors. The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims "absurd conspiracy theories."

Excerpt: Twenty-two of the 37 corporations nominated for a prestigious State Department award — and six of the eight ultimate winners — while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State were also donors to the Clinton family foundation.
The published donor records of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation don't give exact dates or amounts of its contributors, but it is possible to create a general timeline for when many of the corporations donated and when they were either nominated or selected for the award.

Ready for Hillary

Important: NY Times Reports Clinton Foundation Donations May Have Allowed Russia To Buy Control Of US Uranium. By Jeff Dunetz
Excerpt: It's like a game of whac-a-mole every time the Clinton team beats down one scandal, another pops up from a different hole. The latest revelation comes from the NY Times and involves a deal which enabled Russia to own about 20% of the uranium production capacity of the United States for a $2.35 million donation to the Clinton Family Foundation. According to the report a Canadian based company Uranium One, owned the uranium assets was being purchased by Russian state atomic energy agency Rosatom a deal which had to be approved by various U.S. agencies including the State Department. As the State Department was mulling of the deal, the Chairman of Uranium One donated the $2.35 million from his family foundation to the Clintons. It gets worse, not only was there much more heading into the Clinton foundation that the $2.35 but a significant portion wasn't reported.

For Clintons, speech income shows how their wealth is intertwined with charity. By Rosalind S. Helderman 
Excerpt: Bill Clinton was paid at least $26 million in speaking fees by companies and organizations that are also major donors to the foundation he created after leaving the White House, according to a Washington Post analysis of public records and foundation data. The amount, about one-quarter of Clinton’s overall speaking income between 2001 and 2013, demonstrates how closely intertwined Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable work has become with their growing personal wealth.

That Time Hillary Called Marriage a 'Fundamental Bedrock Principle'
Excerpt: “I believe that marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman,” Hillary Clinton said way back in the Medieval days of 2004. (I don't have a problem with gay marriage. The big threat to America is not gays getting married, it's straights having kids and not getting married. But I have a huge problem with people who disagree with me on this, and say what Hillary said in 04 or Obama said in 08 getting death threats and being forced out of business. ~Bob)

Clinton vs. Clinton. By Victor Davis Hanson 
Excerpt: "The average CEO makes about 300 times what the average worker makes," Clinton warned. She is right -- but can best appreciate that fact from her own career and family.
Recently, Clinton has demanded up to $300,000 for brief 30-minute speeches. She apparently believes in the free-market theory that on the lecture circuit, speakers -- like CEOs -- should be paid as much as the market can bear. At UCLA recently, Clinton's fee worked out to about $165 per second. In three minutes of autobiographical chitchat, Clinton pulled in more than the average full-time fast-food worker makes in a year. Note that, directly or indirectly, universities pass such charges on to their student customers, who are currently collectively in debt to the tune of more than $1 trillion.

MSNBC’s Touré Has the Taxman on His Case. By Jillian Kay Melchior
Excerpt: And he’s just one of the network’s four tax scofflaws Touré Neblett, co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle, owes more than $59,000 in taxes, according to public records reviewed by National Review.

Unruly Progressives. Why it’s so hard to make progressives live up to their own rules. By Jim Geraghty
Excerpt: Sure, once in a while, a prominent liberal will run afoul of his brethren. MSNBC dropped its relationship with Alec Baldwin shortly after suspending him in the wake of video footage of the actor allegedly shouting homophobic slurs to a paparazzo. Around the same time, Martin Bashir resigned after he declared, on air, that someone should defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth. But Democrats are given a wide, wide berth for comments they themselves would be quick to label racist. South Carolina Democratic chairman Dick Harpootlian, for example, urged his party to “send Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from.” (That would be Bamberg, S.C., but her parents were Sikh immigrants from India.) Last year, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asked an Indian man at a university Q&A if he was a member of the Taliban.

Excerpt: Smoking, said England’s King James I in 1604, is “loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs.” Three years later he planted a colony in Jamestown. Its tobacco enhanced the royal treasury until Virginia produced a bumper crop of revolutionaries, including the tobacco farmer George Washington. King James might have been less censorious about “vaping,” which almost certainly is less harmful than inhaling chemicals produced by the combustion of tobacco.

Four Pinocchios for Sherrod Brown’s invented George H.W. Bush quote
Excerpt: In our research, we found no evidence that Bush had ever made this remark. In fact, we found that there was only one person who ever quoted Bush as saying this — and that was Sherrod Brown. His language was inconsistent on the number of jobs, and whether he was talking about trade deficits or surpluses. But it was certainly a favorite talking point.

Excerpt: Soon she was traveling all over the city, capturing the misery of the homeless and hungry with her camera. One of her best was chosen to be displayed at an art exhibition in the city. And a fellow who taught over at Berkley happened to attend the event. He took one look at that picture and fell in love with it...and vicariously in love with whomever had taken it.
 While on a trek to Washington D.C. he took a copy of that photo and showed it to a friend who worked for the Farm Services Administration. The FSA fellow liked the pic too and proposed that the photographer go to work for the FSA, traveling about and capturing the misery of the Okie migrants who moved snail like through the fields of the Central Valley, trying to eke out enough to feed their family for the day. So the college professor went back and tracked her down. He told her about what the FSA wanted her to do. For the first time in her life she felt like she could do something to make a difference. She took the job and its daily $3 dollar per diem. ... One of her pictures is known today as "the" iconic image of The Great Depression. It was of a dirt poor migrant woman, supporting two children on her shoulders, as well as the weight of the world. She seems to be wondering what she'll feed these two waifs, if at all...and how her life played out on the long ago day. And they have Dorothea Lange to thank for it.

Hollywood Actors and Economics 101. By Larry Elder
Excerpt: According to The New York Times: "The union, seizing a moment when organized labor is having some success pressuring low-wage employers to pay higher salaries, says many of this city's small theaters — which currently pay actors nothing for rehearsals, and stipends as low as $7 per (hour for) performances — should start paying California's minimum wage of $9 an hour." But then a very Republican thing happened — 66 percent of the union members voted against a higher minimum wage. Their rationale was simple. A higher minimum wage means fewer plays get performed. Fewer plays means fewer opportunities for actors and therefore fewer opportunities to gain experience, stay in practice or possibly get discovered. But the union's national council ignored this advisory vote and ordered, with some exceptions, a $9 per hour minimum wage.

Rising Dragon News

China reportedly issues new warning over North Korean nuclear production
Excerpt: Chinese nuclear experts reportedly warned the U.S. earlier this year that North Korea's nuclear arsenal is larger than previously estimated, creating a heightened security threat to the U.S. and its East Asian allies. (As soon as I saw this I went looking in the Chinese press for any reports on this and so far have not found it (I suspect it is out there but getting short shrift in China). However, I did find articles in Chinese indicating that China is concerned about N Korean nuke production and that N Korea-China relations are not so good since the death of Kim Jung Il. So why is Washington focusing solely on Iran when N Korea and also some Muslim countries have nukes? Answer: Politics, NOT national security. National security has not been a motivating concern in US military policies for many decades. Now, since Saudi Arabia may no longer be a loyal supporter of the petrodollar, China may step in to fill the void. Even though China's AIIB is slowly edging out the US dominated World Bank (which in turn will contribute to worldwide dedollarization in favor of the RMB), China needs the US and that is a plus for the US economy. This report suggests that they may need us for military support against N Korea, which could be the next target for the US military. --Don Hank. One of China's strategies, from the Warring States period, is to "Sit on the mountain and watch the tigers fight." That is, if they can start things between two rivals, both are weakened to China's benefit. ~Bob)

The rumors were true: Scientists edited the genomes of human embryos for the first time. By Rachel Feltman
Excerpt: In March, a rumor surfaced in the scientific community that was intriguing, and perhaps a bit chilling: According to those in the know, researchers in China had successfully edited the genomes of human embryos, altering their DNA in a way never accomplished in our own species. ... The work, led by Junjiu Huang of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, focused on modifying the gene responsible for β-thalassaemia, a blood disorder that can be fatal. They used CRISPR, a cutting-edge gene editing tool that's already made serious waves in the genome editing of other species. By going after genes at the earliest stage of human development -- in a single-celled embryo -- theoretically one can make sure all the subsequent copies of the gene are the superior version.

China's New Investment Bank: A Premature Prophecy. By Mark Fleming-Williams
Excerpt: Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers wrote on April 5 that this month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system. His comments refer to the circumstances surrounding China's launch of a new venture, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Wary of China's growing ambitions and influence, the United States had advised its allies not to join the institution, but many signed up anyway. The debacle was undoubtedly embarrassing for Washington, but even so, Summers' prophecy is a bit premature at this stage.

Gun News

Massachusetts’ New Gun Control Laws Sparked Concealed Carry Surge. By Matt Vespa
Excerpt: Statewide, the number of active Class A licenses — the so-called license to carry category that broadly includes the right to carry a concealed weapon — grew nearly 12 percent between 2013 and 2014. That was a significantly greater jump than in past years, a Globe review of data from the Firearms Records Bureau found. Overall, the number of active gun licenses of all types grew 5 percent, with a total of 355,272 in the state last year. All but five of Massachusetts’ 351 towns and cities saw increases in the number of active Class A licenses from 2013 and to 2014. 

California Implements Statewide Ban On All .45 ACP Ammunition
Excerpt: The California Legislature has passed a controversial Assembly Bill that creates a ban on the future sale and ownership of all .45 ACP ammo. The bill states that the ban on the popular ammunition is in effect immediately, however does include a 60 day grace period prior to state law enforcement enforcing the ban. Though the ban has created a clear divide among the citizens of California, it’s said to be widely supported by political figures across the state. Many politicians and citizens alike feel that that ban is a clear infringement of California citizen’s second amendment rights, however; many feel that the ban is a positive step towards much needed gun control.

Excerpt: While the specific wording differs slightly from state to state, the general guideline is that the threat must be legitimate and proximate, and presenting a risk of serious bodily injury or death.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Ron DeSantis Leads the Charge Against Congressional Obamacare Exemptions. By Kevin Derby 
Excerpt: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., a possible U.S. Senate candidate in 2016, took a larger role in the fight against President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law on Wednesday, leading the charge to end congressional exemptions from the law. DeSantis announced on Wednesday that he was the House sponsor of U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s, R-La., bill ensuring members of Congress and congressional staffers do not receive subsidies -- $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family -- under Obama’s law, treating them as every other American under the law. The bill also ensures congressional offices are not treated as small businesses and exempt from the law.

Undocumented Democrat News

Why Scott Walker Is Right on Immigration. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Immigration has become the third rail of American politics. At a time when the labor force participation rate has fallen to 62 percent and the employment growth for the last 15 years has gone to immigrants, opposing the Super-Amnesty of 12 million illegal aliens is still considered an extreme position… in the Republican Party. So when Scott Walker merely suggested that Congress should make immigration decisions based on “protecting American workers and American wages,” he was denounced for it by… Republicans.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Worth Reading: 18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year
Excerpt: Well, now that more than 40 years have passed, how accurate were those predictions around the time of the first Earth Day? Wrong, spectacularly wrong, and here are 18 examples:
1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

Obama's climate change hypocrisy highlights lack of faith
Excerpt: "Heading down to DC to catch an #EarthDay flight on Air Force One tomorrow with the President," popular scientist Bill Nye out ahead of yesterday's Earth Day celebration. "We're going to #ActOnClimate." Indeed, Nye and President Obama "acted on" the climate on their 1,836-mile round-trip flight to the Everglades. They emitted five times as much carbon in one day as the average American emits over the course of a year. No, Nye's and Obama's climate hypocrisy does not falsify any scientific theory about global climate change. 

Religion of Peace News

White House: American, Italian hostages killed in US counterterror operation
Excerpt: An American and an Italian held hostage by Al Qaeda were accidentally killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation earlier this year, the White House said Thursday, in a stunning and tragic admission. The White House also revealed that two American terror operatives were killed, but the revelation that hostages died -- in an apparent drone strike -- is leading to what President Obama called a "full review." (There were American POWs at Hiroshima. In war, bad things happen The guilt is on those who started the war. we are there because of 9/11. ~Bob)

Adam Gadahn: Al Qaeda terrorist, California native and grandson of a Jew
Excerpt: Then in 2004, Gadahn emerged on television, making threats against the United States in a suspected Al Qaeda video. That year, the U.S. identified him as being linked to Al Qaeda and a potential threat in the United States. A decade long manhunt for Gadahn ended in January when he was killed during the U.S. counter-terrorism operation announced by President Obama announced on Thursday that also accidentally killed two innocent hostages.

Funny: Lindsay Lohan Thought She Was Showing Off Beautiful Arabic Phrase—What It Actually Says Is Priceless

Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria begins Sambisa ground offensive
Excerpt: Nigerian ground troops have joined an offensive on the last known hideout of the Boko Haram Islamist militants, a military spokesman has told the BBC. The vast north-eastern Sambisa forest is where they have many bases - and it has been subject to aerial bombardments since February.

The Wages of Hillary’s War. By Ben Shapiro 
Excerpt: Five years later, Secretary of State Clinton rushed to war, allegedly manufacturing evidence to do so, and with no plan whatsoever for victory. According to The Washington Times, Clinton “was the moving force inside the Obama administration to encourage US military intervention to unseat [dictator Moammar Gadhafi] in Libya.” Clinton claimed that if the West did not intervene in Libya, Gadhafi would pursue a genocide against his enemies; in March 2011, she imagined a scenario in which “Benghazi had been overrun, a city of 700,000 people, and tens of thousands of people had been slaughtered, hundreds of thousands had fled. …” That genocide never materialized, nor did the best intelligence estimates support that argument.
Not only that: Hillary also ignored all available evidence suggesting that the Libyan opposition was honeycombed with terrorists.

Jealous boyfriend killed love rival by stabbing him 20 times to stop him showing 'intimate' pictures of his girlfriend to her Imam father
Excerpt: Gulam Chowdhury, 24, quoted verses from the Quran before stabbing Mohammed Yasser Afzal 20 times in the east London mini cab office where his victim worked. ... Chowdhury claimed killing was justified by Islam and included a passage from the Quran which said: ‘Cut the neck of the man who eyed up his wife’

Circumstantial Evidence. By Joseph Zaalishvili
Excerpt: For me, it is not news that people can act, incited by the true Quran. Because I met them. I have even done reports from the places of execution. When, for example, women were shot for adultery and prisoners were held in damp earthen pits, and then their throats publicly cut, and 11-year-old girls were married off to 50-year-olds, and trafficking in human beings was commonplace, I was in captivity. I miraculously escaped. But, unfortunately, I have to prove that violence is an ordinary everyday event for Muslims. Violence is taught by the Quran and Mohammed. And no common sense or scientific evidence convinces most Muslims that it is nonetheless wrong.

Muslims Must Admit Armenian Genocide. By Tarek Fatah
Excerpt: A hundred years ago this week, as British and French troops were bogged down facing Germany on the western front of World War I, the Kaiser's ally in the east, the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate, was preparing for a new kind of war. A war of extermination. The target of the Turks was their large Armenian Christian population living within the Caliphate, whom the Turks feared was loyal to Russia. (Our leader can't say the word genocide. ~Bob)

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here:


  1. Yesterday, my LTC finally showed up. Counting from the date of my "interview," it took 7 months and 5 days to get. Most of that time--nearly 6 months--was waiting for a record on microfiche from 1969 for a motor vehicle infraction--for which I paid a $25 fine, not exactly a serious crime--to be retrieved and emailed to the investigating officer. The rest was waiting for the actual physical license to be produced and sent to the local PD for me to pick up.

    It seems to me there are several problems here. First is the time it took to produce the record. Had this been a criminal matter or considered "important," it would've shown up in hours or days, not nearly 6 months later. Second is the lack of accountability in the system. If no one knows "where in the queue" any given item is at any given moment; how can managers control what they can't measure? It's a bureaucrat's dream to have authority without responsibility. The third problem is the length of time it takes to make the physical license. As little as I like the Registry of Motor Vehicles for their poor customer service, I have to admire their ability to turn out high quality, secure driver's licenses and state IDs at a consistent rate of 20,000 to 30,000 every week. So, of course, instead of having them do it, the job was given to the Criminal Records Division that struggles to put out 1,000 a week. Fourth and finally is the sheer amount of time the process took. In law, they say "Justice delayed is justice denied." A process that takes 2 or 3 months seems reasonable; four months isn't. Six months is disgraceful. More than seven is likely an illegal restriction on exercise of a Constitutional Right. But, it takes money and time to fight, and now that I've finally received my LTC, it seems fruitless to pursue it further--not to mention possible reprisals ("Littering again, eh? Here's your ticket, Sir").

    Ron P., Shrewsbury, MA

  2. So, it's playing the 'race card' to object when someone makes fun of your ethnicity? No. Sometimes the racism is real and deserves to be called out.