In a formula as old as government itself, we see a government created problem (it takes over student loans, college costs inflate, college debt burden increases) and now Hillary Clinton, in the guise of future government, offers a solution. Let’s make college affordable again (or, in other words, shift $350 billion of the cost to taxpayers).
Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce a $350 billion plan Monday to make college affordable and relieve the burden of student debt for millions of Americans, drawing on popular tenets of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. …
At the heart of the plan, dubbed the New College Compact, is an incentive program that would provide money to states that guarantee “no-loan” tuition at four-year public universities and community colleges. States that enroll a high number of low- and middle-income students would receive more money, as would those that work with schools to reduce living expenses. Because Pell grants, a form of federal aid for students from families making less than $60,000, are not included in the no-debt calculation, Clinton anticipates lower income students could use that money to cover books, as well as room and board.
This is like Obamacare … just a step toward “free” college. Obviously, an estimate of $350 billion is likely to be woefully short of the real cost (they always are). And when the program crashes and burns, well, the next logical step (at least to “progressives” who have no clue about economics) will be to make college “free”, like many other “progressive” countries. Because, you know, wish it to be so and it will be so!
C. Ronald Kimberling analyzes the initiative:
Hillary’s plan for higher education violates so many principles of the Constitution, federal law, and economic common sense that it takes the breath away. In a nutshell, she would spend $350 billion a year to support public (i.e., governmental) colleges and universities with the proviso that a two-year associate’s degree would be “free” to students and a four-year degree would cause no one to have to incur student loan costs. In exchange for direct federal subsidies to the public colleges, states would be required to appropriate more funds for such colleges, Pell Grants could be used only for student living expenses, interest rates on existing student loans would be reduced to eliminate federal “profits” on such loans, and for-profit colleges would be subjected to even stronger regulations than at present.
Her plan is significantly more expensive than the ideas put forward by self-described socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. Constitutionally, this violates the 10th Amendment, and it also violates the Department of Education Organization Act. It also runs counter to fifty years of bipartisan tradition, stemming from the Higher Education Act of 1965, which settled a 1950s-60s debate about whether federal aid to higher education should focus on direct subsidies of higher education institutions or on portable, voucher-like assistance to students in favor of the latter alternative. It places unfunded mandates on the states, and it enhances a public higher education monopoly of government-run colleges over private non-profits and for-profits, both of which are completely excluded from this federal largesse. All this takes place at a time when technology and disruptive innovation are creating more alternatives to traditional post-secondary education than we ever had before. In short, she takes President Obama’s regulatory approach toward enhancing a public sector monopoly and puts it in warp drive. Even I am flabbergasted by the audacity and scope of this proposal.
Again, looking at Obamacare, we know Constitutional or legal limits are hardly an obstacle. She might have a bit of difficulty getting through a Republican Congress but that assumes a Republican Congress. Given their performance these last 2 years, you have to wonder. And you certainly have to wonder about the Supreme Court, if it ever got to that stage. They’d likely find a “right” to higher education somewhere in some mythical document (certainly not the Constitution) with John Roberts being the 5th vote for.
Sanders, of course, plans on taxing “Wall Street transactions” to pay for his plan. Clinton just plans to “close loopholes” – the catch all phrase for tax hikes. Most likely, they’d end up borrowing it.
One might wonder why, when we borrow 40% of the money the federal government spends, that we’re discussing a $350 billion plan at all for anything except defense. But if the government wants to spend money on education, perhaps a better target would be primary education, and a better plan would be school choice to better prepare students for higher education down the road. Perhaps we can teach them the real definition of affordable somewhere along the way, too.
Oh … and perhaps we can get the government out of the loan business and make it a competitive sphere again?
Yeah, that’s going to happen.
I’m sure the title doesn’t particularly surprise anyone who has watched the creep in the White House operate over the past few years. But while the GOP clown car steals all the headlines (because naturally that’s where the mainstream media would prefer to focus), we have this little side show going on where Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has dared to oppose his Royal Emptiness’s desire concerning the awful Iran deal. That has helped even some Democrats realize that this particular Emperor really is naked, his clothes having been a figment of the media and true believers. He’s now reduced to going after his own, in the sense that Democrats are about all that still have any belief in this man’s abilities.
This has led a few on the far left to label Schumer an “Israeli Jew traitor” for his opposition to the deal.
Tablet Magazine isn’t amused at all with the utterings of Mr. Obama, and they tell you why:
Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.
This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.
And shaken they should be. The mask if finally down. Finally. All the pretending in the world won’t change what Obama has said and implied. That’s what he believes. It is extremist and, frankly, extraordinarily biased, but it isn’t anything new for Democrats or the left. Just ask Condi Rice or Justice Thomas. It is identity politics at its finest. And, ironically, it is an attempt to destroy someone who was, once, an ally.
What in the world ever happened to the adults in politics? The statesmen? How have we allowed these creatures to take over our system?
Questions to ponder as, for the most part, the media focuses on Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly.
Glenn Thrush thinks Donald Trump symbolizes the “crisis for control of the GOP“. Frankly, I think Trump symbolizes the complete disenchantment the right holds for the establishment GOP.
The FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsecured email account is not just a fact-finding venture — it’s a criminal probe, sources told The Post on Wednesday.
The feds are investigating to what extent Clinton relied on her home server and other private devices to send and store classified documents, according to a federal source with knowledge of the inquiry.
“It’s definitely a criminal probe,” said the source. “I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.
“The DOJ [Department of Justice] and FBI can conduct civil investigations in very limited circumstances,” but that’s not what this is, the source stressed. “In this case, a security violation would lead to criminal charges. Maybe DOJ is trying to protect her campaign.”
Whitewash or actual probe? Seeing as how Democrats want to continue to hold the White House (despite hard feelings between Clintons and Obama) and DOJ has simply become a political tool in the last 6 years, I have no confidence that it will, in fact, be an actual probe. Look for a whitewash report at a critical point in the campaign. We know how it should go. I sincerely doubt that it will actually go that way.
No I won’t be watching the GOP “debate”. I have no interest in the race at this point, especially with 17 candidates, most of whom are clowns and all of whom will be trying to shoot themselves or the other guy in the foot. And I’d be careful to committing to a drinking game this time around. You may end up not waking up for 3 days.
Perception is reality for many, and in the case of the Planned Parenthood vids, the Democrats are on the ugly side of perception with their continued support of the organization.
Democrats like to talk about the importance of being on the “right side of history.” This phrase was invoked frequently during the same-sex marriage debate. Yet when faced with a series of videos detailing grotesque human rights abuses against unborn children by Planned Parenthood Federation of America doctors, Democratic Party forces have eschewed all concern for historical or moral rightness.
Pope Francis has correctly described the unborn as “the most defenseless and innocent among us.” But in the sordid tale of strategic crushing of the unborn to better harvest their hearts, lungs and livers, many Democrats have incredibly cast an organization with a roughly $1.3 billion annual budget in the role of the innocent and defenseless. Hillary Clinton emerged as Planned Parenthood’s highest profile protector Monday, decrying the “assault” against her allegedly helpless campaign donors.
This goes way beyond the “right to choose”. And, until Democrats realize that and dump their support and defense of Planned Parenthood, they will remain on the ugly side of this situation. Here’s hoping they remain as tone deaf as they’ve been so far.
Secret language we’re supposedly not “allowed” to see, $150 billion going to Iran which both acknowledge “could” be used to fund terrorism and now this:
American intelligence has detected Iran attempting to sanitize Parchin, the military site where the Islamic Republic is suspected of carrying out tests on detonators that could be used to trigger nuclear explosions, Josh Rogin and Eli Lake of Bloomberg View reported on Wednesday.
Meanwhile the supposed Secretary of State of the United States whines about trust and who will be to blame if the vote goes against the deal:
“The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,” Kerry said. “This”—a congressional rejection—”will be the ultimate screwing.” He went on to argue that “the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.”
Because, you know, the Iranians can always be trusted to uphold their end of the bargain.
Aw, what the hell, give him a Nobel Peace prize. After Obama’s it and $1 will likely buy you a cup of coffee in most places – except Starbucks.
We see any number of Social Justice Warriors who try to redefine words to fit their agenda. As we’ve pointed out repeatedly, words mean things, specific things. This article about, of all things, pizza, helps to handily illustrate the point:
Because last week I made the mistake of asking her for a marinara – which is a simple tomato and garlic pizza – with the addition of mozzarella.
As soon as I say the words, Emanuela looks at me with disbelief and, in retrospect I realise, disgust.
“You can’t have a marinara with mozzarella,” she says. “It doesn’t exist.”
“What do you mean, it doesn’t exist?” I reply, oblivious to her hostility, since she’s quite aggressive at the best of times. “I’d just like a marinara but with some mozzarella on top.” Unwittingly I make matters worse by miming her mozzarella-sprinkling action.
“La marinara is a pizza rossa,” she states frostily. “A pizza rossa is made with tomato and without mozzarella. So you can’t have a marinara with mozzarella because there’s no such thing.”
If one is allowed to redefine the meaning of things, words or whatever as it suits them, real communication is impossible. And that’s precisely what SWJs want. The ability to redefine words to mean what they want them to mean and to shut you up. It’d be nice if we would all tell them that the definitions of the words they try to use “don’t exist”.
Dale keeps you abreast of the daily numbers and if you even glance at them semi-regularly, you know they’re not particularly good.
So how have we been doing lately economically? Well, a little historical context might help:
In the 138 years from 1870 to 2008, the US economy expanded by about an average of 3% a year. After the revisions to GDP data from 2012-2014, we see that the U.S. economy since the financial crisis has been growing an average of 2.0% a year versus the earlier 2.3%. The difference between 3% and 2% may not sound like much, but think of it this way:
At a 3% growth rate the economy doubles in about 24 years.
At a 2% growth rate the economy doubles in about 36 years – 50% MORE time!
And don’t forget, while the government tries to sell you on 2% being the new norm (and you should like it), much of the recent GDP results have involved huge government spending. So it is actually worse than the 2%.
Here’s a fairly interesting bottom line:
Today there are 136 people receiving some sort of government benefit for every 100 people employed in the private sector.
That can’t go on indefinitely. Greece and Puerto Rico have already demonstrated that. And, although it isn’t the only factor leading to this economic demise, it certainly is one of them.
You see, math and reality don’t bow to ideology and fantasy.
In a few days the usual “outrage” for the “war crime” of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima will begin to wend its way around the world.
That narrative grows stronger each year – mostly because of the death of the generation that fought the war in the Pacific and because the narrative continues to be fueled by a need for moral preening and fact free opinion that doesn’t ever seem to die out.
My father was one of those who fought through the Pacific war. His bonafides were Saipan, Leyte and Okinawa. He was a recon guy. And following Okinawa, his next job was going to be the recon of the landing sites on Kyushu, the big southernmost island on what was considered the Japanese “mainland”. Operation Downfall. To be opposed by the Japanese “Ketsu Go” in defense of the Japanese home.
My dad never talked much about the war, but I remember the first time I brought up Hiroshima and the bomb and how many people it killed. He didn’t waste much time on niceties, but turned his hard eyes on me and said, to both me and my two brothers, “if we hadn’t dropped that bomb, you and your bothers wouldn’t be here. And a lot of your friends wouldn’t be here. Because I wouldn’t have come back from the war and neither would have their dads.”
That was it. He had no sympathy for the apologists. He felt they were making their case in a contextless and ignorant way. They didn’t know the facts, they hadn’t fought the enemy all the way across the Pacific and they hadn’t the foggiest notion of the mind of the enemy he had fought. So he dismissed their criticism out of hand.
Bill Whittle had a similar experience as you’ll see in this video. What Whittle does, however, is muster facts to make the argument that backed what my Dad had said all those many years ago. He points out why it was both necessary and prudent to do what was done and how, in the end, it probably saved literally millions of lives.
Watch it. Understand why Jon Stewart, who is featured in the video, is essentially ignorant and, frankly, stupid when he calls Harry Truman a “war criminal”. And when the anniversary of this comes around on August 6th, be armed with these facts and do the generation that is all but gone a favor – dispute those that are historically ignorant and feel the urge to do a little moral preening to the detriment of those that fought and won that war.
Don’t let them get away with their moral preening and don’t let them ignore the facts for the narrative. The decision to drop these bombs was hard, but it was right. And it is the sort of decision none of those who stroke their own vanity by claiming the moral superiority of the present have ever or will ever be called upon to make.
All I have to day is “thank you” to those who made this tough but just decision.
Thank you for my life.
A Kentucky man shot down an $1,800 drone hovering over his sunbathing daughter and was then arrested and charged with first degree criminal mischief and first-degree wanton endangerment.
“My daughter comes in and says, ‘Dad, there’s a drone out here flying,’ ” William H. Merideth, 47, told a local Fox News affiliate reported Tuesday. The Bullitt County father shot at the drone, which crashed in a field near his yard Sunday night.
The owner of the drone claims he was only trying to take pictures of a friend’s house, the station reported.
“I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property,’ ” Mr. Merideth said, noting that the drone briefly disappeared when his daughter waved it off. “Within a minute or so, here it came. It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky. I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.”
Most people would say, “good for him”. He felt his privacy and property rights were being violated by some possible peeping Tom and he took action to protect both. As he says, he “didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.”
He had a good, sound reason to take action:
“He didn’t just fly over,” he said. “If he had been moving and just kept moving, that would have been one thing — but when he come directly over our heads, and just hovered there, I felt like I had the right.”
“You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy,” he said. “We don’t know if he was looking at the girls. We don’t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing.”
Exactly. The unknown, coupled with the concerns plus the fact that the drone was purposely and repeatedly being flown where it had no permission to fly, prompted Merideth to action. And he removed the possible threat.
End of story?
Hardly. The 4 people who were engaged in flying and hovering the drone over his property showed up to confront him. Then the police showed up. Who got arrested? Well the property owner, of course.
As Scott Shackford of Hit & Run points out:
You’d think it would be obvious that it’s not a good idea to pilot an expensive piece of surveillance equipment just casually over other people’s properties, not just out of respect for other people’s privacy, but because you could lose the thing.
You’d think. But instead it is the man who was guarding both is privacy and his property rights who ends up going to jail. Apparently his expectation of privacy and his property rights concerning trespass weren’t enough to save him from catching a ride in the police van.
Tell me again about our “Constitutional rights” to both privacy and property? Apparently drone’s trump them.
Ezra Klein of Vox interviews Bernie Sanders. Meh. Nothing particularly newsworthy there. But in the process of this softball interview, the question of immigration comes up. Read the exchange:
You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …
Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.
Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …
But it would make …
Excuse me …
It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?
It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?
I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.
OK, you can quit laughing now. Klein caught flat footed and gasping. Sanders echoes exactly what the right has been saying while at the same time trying to put the blame on … the right.
Yeah, no sale Bernie, but the rest? Right on. Nailed it. Oh, and about that $15 minimum wage … yeah, you just killed it.
In reality Bernie likens businesses who want cheap labor with the “right wing”. Hardly true but for many on the left, business = “right wing”.
However, to categorically call “open borders” a “right-wing” idea is simply absurd. It certainly isn’t the right in this country pushing for amnesty and open-borders (well, except for some establishment GOP types). It isn’t the right-wing that has established sanctuary cities. And it definitely isn’t a right-wing federal administration refusing to enforce immigration laws.
But you all knew that.
So what is Bernie telling us with all this nation-state talk? That maybe, its really a form of “national socialism” he prefers?
Oh, wait …
As you’ll see it’s as unachievable and utopian as all the other “clean energy” plans we’ve heard. In fact, IBD calls it a “farce”. And rightfully so.
Why? Well here are the basics:
Clinton says she has two big goals that she’ll start working on “day one” to combat climate change. First is to expand solar energy supplies by 700% by installing half a billion solar panels by 2020. Second is to power “every home in America” with renewable energy by 2027.
She describes these as “bold national goals.” The more appropriate label is “expensive pipe dream.”
Again, the latter description is more apt. Consider the goal of half a billion solar panels by 2020. That’s 5 years from now, folks. We all know that solar panels are a) expensive and b) don’t live up to their billing as to making us energy independent (well unless we are willing to carpet every sun touched surface on our house and property with them). So how will she accomplish this goal? Well, with your tax dollars (or borrowing) of course. Subsides, tax credits, outright grants, subsides to solar panel manufacturing and big government projects that install millions of panels in desert areas (Environmental impact? Only pipelines have that.).
My goodness, haven’t we done this before? And what’s that popular definition of “insanity”?
Also consider that perhaps the cleanest renewable energy, one that has contributed most to the use of renewable energy, is hydroelectric energy (46%). That source has been in decline due to pressure from environmental groups. We have less hydroelectric power now than we did in 2000. And that trend is likely to continue.
Biomass comes in second (9%) and is also in disfavor with environmental groups (greenhouse gasses).
That leaves three “renewable” sources – geothermal, solar and wind. Between the three, they currently contribute just “6.7% of the nation’s electricity capacity, according to the Energy Department.” In total, we have about 15% of our energy from all renewable sources. So you get an idea of how small the contribution of these three really are.
While Clinton didn’t say much about the other two, wind is a favorite of the renewable energy crowd. The problem with both wind and solar is the usual – powerful environmental groups oppose both. Especially groups concerned with the negative impact on wildlife they’ve demonstrated. It is no secret that both wind installations and large solar instillations are abattoirs for wildlife, especially birds.
So how likely is a President Clinton to see this bit of campaign positioning come to fruition? Well thankfully not very. It’s a slapdash bit of campaign nonsense. It is pure pandering with no hope of realization. It is the usual political campaign “policy” making that is all talk with no walk. It has no possibility of being realized and is just thrown out there to feed the base and keep them happy. It is the underpants gnomes in action.
It doesn’t even stand up to casual scrutiny. But don’t worry, her base has no reason for even casual scrutiny. If she said it, they believe it and that ends it.
Meanwhile, upon finishing her delivery of this devilish clever energy plan, she boarded her private jet and smoked off to her next destination.
Or, said another way, I don’t feel so chipper today.
Hopefully tomorrow, I’ll be hitting on all cylinders.
Until then, back to bed.
According to some, that’s exactly what is happening:
While no one is predicting that the Islamic State will become the steward of an accountable, functioning state anytime soon, the group is putting in place the kinds of measures associated with governing: issuing identification cards for residents, promulgating fishing guidelines to preserve stocks, requiring that cars carry tool kits for emergencies. That transition may demand that the West rethink its military-first approach to combating the group.
“I think that there is no question that the way to look at it is as a revolutionary state-building organization,” said Stephen M. Walt, a professor of international affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is one of a small but growing group of experts who are challenging the conventional wisdom about the Islamic State: that its evil ensures its eventual destruction.
Granted, the tools it uses to establish and maintain control are terror and violence, however that’s not much different than hundreds of totalitarian regimes throughout history. And, at this point, it is in its first generation of “rulers”, which means they’re likely to be the most true to their warped “principles”. So corruption, pre se, isn’t yet a problem (they’re too frightened of their own organization to accept bribes, for instance).
Remember history, say the experts:
Drawing on parallels from history, experts say, the group’s violence can be seen in a different light. Mr. Walt mentioned the guillotine of the French Revolution, and the atrocities of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the Communist one in China — imperfect analogies, to be sure, but ones that underscored the violence and oppression that can precede creation of a revolutionary state.
Then there’s Pol Pot’s Cambodia. It finally failed, but the same formula was applied there.
The problem, of course, is this isn’t the way it had to be. Certainly the left will say “if that evil Bush hadn’t invaded Iraq, it wouldn’t be that way”. Well with people often disappearing into wood chippers in Saddam’s day, Iraq was already that way.
The problem, as we face it now, really comes down to ideology and neglect – squarely placed in this administration’s lap. Gen. Ray Odeirno, outgoing Army Chief of Staff, said as much in an interview:
But Odierno had pointed words on the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria – suggesting it didn’t have to be this way.
“It’s frustrating to watch it,” Odierno said. “I go back to the work we did in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 and we got it to a place that was really good. Violence was low, the economy was growing, politics looked like it was heading in the right direction.”
Odierno said the fall of large parts of Iraq was not inevitable, reiterating concerns about the pace of the U.S. troop withdrawal there.
“If we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have been prevented,” he said. “I’ve always believed the United States played the role of honest broker between all the groups and when we pulled ourselves out, we lost that role.”
But this administration wasn’t interested in staying longer regardless of the possible negative outcome of pulling troops from Iraq early. It had a campaign promise to fulfill, one of the few it ever has fulfilled. So it made routine SOFA negotiations impossible for Iraq to agree with, then blamed the lack of an agreement on Iraq and pulled our troops out before the job was done – giving ISIS the opportunity to rise.
Odierno made it clear that wasn’t the only problem we’ve let ‘rise':
“Two years ago, we didn’t think we had a problem in Europe. … [Now] Russia is reasserting themselves. We didn’t think we’d have a problem again in Iraq and ISIS has emerged.
“So, with Russia becoming more of a threat, with ISIS becoming more of a threat, in my mind, we are on a dangerous balancing act right now with capability.”
The answer to these problems? Cut the end strength of the Army so we’re even less capable.
Can’t you just feel it?
We’re in good hands.