Free Markets, Free People

Government

Clinton and paving the “Road to Serfdom”

Sometimes you see a quote that just infuriates you, because it is so wrong.  It is wrong in substance, because this is not what our Founders believed at all.  And it is wrong in context, an implication that what you pay in taxes is due because you are renting something the government or others own.  Anyway, Kevin Williamson does a bang up job of making the point based off of this one liner from Hillary:

Terry Shumaker, former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad (I wonder what that gig cost him) and current abject minion in the service of Mrs. Clinton, quotes Herself telling an audience in New Hampshire: “Service is the rent we pay for living in this great country.”

You do not owe service to this country … at all.  This is the “Elizabeth Warren” school of lefty politics.  Living in this country and working our rear ends off to produce wealth is what makes this great.  The country is a creation of those who have done and are doing that now.  Government is the parasitic institution that likes to claim credit for what it has “done” when it doesn’t have nor has ever had the assets to do what it claims.  Government too is a creation of those living in the country and not the other way around.

Williamson likens what Clinton said to a very old age which I thought we’d gotten past:

There is a very old English word for people who are required to perform service as a rent for their existence, and that word is serf. Serfdom is a form of bondage.

Americans are not serfs. We are not sharecroppers on Herself’s farm or in vassalage to that smear of thieving nincompoopery in Washington that purports to rule us.

We don’t owe you any damned rent.

Nope.  And, in fact, the government and politicians “serve” at our sufferance.  But that sort of thinking, the thinking Clinton espoused in her quote, is why so many people refer to the “Democrat plantation”.  Because frankly, that’s precisely how the elite of that party view the citizens of this country … share croppers and plantation workers.   And we all know what the bulk of plantation workers were.

And make no mistake, the Clintons and even the Sanders of this world see themselves as members of the elite.  The plantation owners.  The Queen in her medieval castle who, unfortunately, must sally out every few years and be around the serfs long enough to garner the minimum support necessary to keep herself (themselves) in power.

The Nanny State is simply another name for the plantation or that feudal plot.  The serfs get the minimum shared equally while they “serve” to “earn” it.  Meanwhile the Queen and her court get whatever they want, to include umpteen million in speaking fees, ignoring laws that would put anyone else under the jail and pretending that the law is important to them, when, in fact, they see it as nothing to concern themselves with.

When they obviously break the law, meh.  When a serf does, the Red Queen yells, “off with his head”.

Back to the quote though.  That quote says so much about why we’re in the shape we’re in now.  And it reflects an attitude that bodes even more travail. Someone who actually believes that should be kept as far away from the Oval Office as is possible.

I suggest a max security jail somewhere in Colorado.  Or reopen Alcatraz.  Let the Queen rule there.

~McQ

You can’t make this stuff up

Guess who said this?

At the end of a get out the vote campaign event in New Hampshire on Wednesday, […] was asked about […] plans for protecting cyber security.

“It is one of the most important challenges the next president is going to face,” […] said.

[…] said that the technology offenses conducted by hostile states have become more advanced. […] named Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea as countries that are just going to accelerate their attacks on the cyber infrastructure of the United States.

“We first have to figure how to create what would be an understanding with these nations that we will not tolerate their cyber theft and their cyber evasiveness, and we certainly would never ever sit still for a cyber attack,” […] said.

No.  Instead we’ll  just put secret material on a private server located in a bathroom somewhere and you can just help yourself.

And yes, it was Hillary Clinton, the irony impaired candidate.

The AP reported that during Clinton’s time at the State Department that it was one of the worst agencies in the federal government at protecting its computer networks. The deteriorating situation continued well into when John Kerry took over.

Incredible.

~McQ

Quotes of the day – Climate Change and Science

Actually, we have a few QOTD and most come from Dr. John Cristy who recently gave testimony in a Congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming than surface thermometers.  You can read his full testimony here.

The quote I’m referring too, however, goes to the heart of this matter like no other. It gets to the reason so many who are skeptical continue to doubt the validity of  the alarmist’s theory.

“It is a bold strategy in my view to actively promote the output of theoretical climate models while attacking the multiple lines of evidence from observations,” Christy wrote. “Note that none of the observational datasets are perfect and continued scrutiny is healthy, but when multiple, independent groups generate the datasets and then when the results for two completely independent systems (balloons and satellites) agree closely with each other and disagree with the model output, one is left scratching one’s head at the decision to launch an offensive against the data.”

Even more to the point was this:

“Following the scientific method of testing claims against data, we would conclude that the models do not accurately represent at least some of the important processes that impact the climate because they were unable to “predict” what has already occurred. In other words, these models failed at the simple test of telling us “what” has already happened, and thus would not be in a position to give us a confident answer to “what” may happen in the future and “why.” As such, they would be of highly questionable value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident understanding of how the climate system works.”

“Highly questionable value” is an understatement.

Christy

The predictions, as they’ve proven themselves, are useless for determining policy.  They. Are. Wrong! Christy has a number of other charts available at the “full testimony” link, which point out how wildly wrong the climate models are.  They’re not even close.  Meanwhile, the scientists who have based their science in data vs. obviously incorrect models are the one’s that are the one’s under fire, with alarmists going so far as to call for their jailing for disagreeing with them.

Bottom line, it all comes down to the Richard P. Feynman quote that’s been flying around the net lately – “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”  And, as we’ve pointed out, the observable data simply doesn’t support the theory.

Not that it will stop particular ideologically driven politicians from doing what they want to do in this regard:

A few weeks ago, a group of 13 prominent environmental law professors and attorneys released a 91-page report outlining this new approach, which would allow EPA to use existing laws to quickly and efficiently regulate all pollution sources, in all states — not just power plants and cars. The experts concluded, “It could provide one of the most effective and efficient means to address climate change pollution in the United States.”

Or, put another way, one of the largest power grabs in US history and certainly nothing beyond the man in the White House.

But, you know, damn the facts, full ideological speed ahead for him.  It’s never been about science with him, it’s always been about ideology and power.

~McQ

That ever changing Clinton email defense may be running out of excuses

Anyone who has ever worked in or around classified material understands how draconian the rules concerning their use are.  If revealed to unfriendly eyes, it could mean lives.  Namely the lives of sources or their handlers.  And, not only that, it would likely give those who oppose us a look at the means and methods by which we gather intelligence.

Hillary Clinton threw that all out the window when she made a decision, at the beginning of her term as Secretary of State, to use a private server located in a bathroom somewhere outside the government’s secure nets.  There was no gradual migration to that server for “convenience” (something she first tried to claim), but instead a very deliberate act and decision to circumvent the restrictions she’d face within such a government net.  Oh, and to be able to dodge accountability.

So then she dropped back to another excuse.  No classified material was ever sent to that server.  When that one blew up, the next excuse was that no material “marked” classified was ever sent.

Here’s the thing, however.  Unless you’re a complete idiot, you know what does or doesn’t fall within the realm of classified … especially if you’re the Secretary of State.  And its not like this was all new to her.  She’d served as a US Senator and been privy to classified material before and was certainly briefed on how to handle it.  One can’t imagine, given the stringent rules surrounding the handling of classified material, that she didn’t receive additional briefings when she took State.

She chose to ignore them all.

And her latest excuse?  Well, Chris Cillizza pretty much declares it dead:

That defense hit a major snag on Friday when the State Department announced that it, too, had found “top secret” information on Clinton’s server — 22 emails across seven separate emails chains. The information, the State Department said, was so secret that those emails would never be released to the public.

The Clintonian response?  Well, it’s classic, you have to say that:

The Clinton team quickly pivoted. “After a process that has been dominated by bureaucratic infighting that has too often played out in public view, the loudest and leakiest participants in this interagency dispute have now prevailed in blocking any release of these emails,” said campaign spokesman Brian Fallon.

Calling for the release of the allegedly top secret emails is a smart gambit by the Clinton folks since it makes them look as if they have nothing to hide while being protected by the near-certainty that the State Department won’t simply change its mind on the release because the Clinton team asked them to.

That’s right, ask for the emails to be released and when they’re not, for obvious reasons, claim someone (VRWC) is trying to smear you.

But what were in those emails? John Schindler says it’s pretty volatile stuff … something anyone would know, markings or not, was very highly classified:

Discussions with Intelligence Community officials have revealed that Ms. Clinton’s “unclassified” emails included Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover. Worse, some of those exposed are serving under non-official cover. NOCs (see this for an explanation of their important role in espionage) are the pointy end of the CIA spear and they are always at risk of exposure – which is what Ms. Clinton’s emails have done.

Not only have these spies had their lives put in serious risk by this, it’s a clear violation of Federal law. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, enacted due to the murder of the CIA’s station chief in Athens after his cover was blown by the left-wing media, makes it a Federal crime to divulge the true identity of any covert operative serving U.S. intelligence if that person has not previous been publicly acknowledged to be working for our spy agencies.

You probably recall  Valerie Plame was a NOC and the stink her supposed exposure brought.   The media was all over that … but this?  Yeah, they’ve mostly been forced to report on it, but not very enthusiastically.

If this is the case, Ms. Clinton has committed a very serious breach of security that is and should be punishable by conviction and jail time.

The problem, as has been stated recently, is she’s a powerful politician … not one of the little people.  And we’re becoming more and more acquainted with how the “law” works now for the powerful among us, aren’t we?

Interesting times.

~McQ

Stray Voltage

Explaining the Trump phenomenon – I think this is pretty close:

“American presidential elections usually amount to a series of overcorrections: Clinton begat Bush, who produced Obama, whose lax border policies fueled the rise of Trump. In the case of Trump, though, the GOP shares the blame, and not just because his fellow Republicans misdirected their ad buys or waited so long to criticize him. Trump is in part a reaction to the intellectual corruption of the Republican Party. That ought to be obvious to his critics, yet somehow it isn’t.”

The GOP more than shares the blame, they are the direct reason a person like Trump has traction.  Gutless, spineless and afraid to do what they were elected to do election after election has finally turned on them.  They’ve been warned for a while.  The rise of the Teaparty should have given them a clue, but it was business as usual for establishment GOP types.   This last Congressional election and their ineffectiveness while in the majority appears to have been the last straw.  Trump is their creation, and they still don’t understand why.

Speaking of Bernie and why his socialism is attractive to so many, I think this is pretty close as well:

“In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.”

We’ve actually seen “the long run” in the late and unlamented Soviet Union.  We have examples with us today via North Korea where famine and poverty stalk the population constantly, Cuba, where they live in the ’50s and work for $20 a month and Venezuela, where it failed utterly and the population is now trying to dig out from under the ruin.   But Bernie supporters, apparently, think his version will work.

In the “thank the good Lord” department, this:

President Obama is not interested in sitting on the Supreme Court once he leaves office, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.

If you think he’s been a disaster as a president, imagine the damage he could do on the Supreme Court.

Interesting.  When given a choice:

The number of dues-paying workers within the state’s labor groups has fallen steadily since GOP Gov. Scott Walker signed his signature legislation, 2011’s Act 10, which repealed most collective bargaining for most public workers. But new federal statistics show that trend intensified in 2015 after Walker and GOP lawmakers followed up on Act 10 by approving so-called right-to-work legislation last spring….

In 2015, 8.3% of Wisconsin workers, or 223,000 in all, were members of unions. That was down sharply from the 306,000 people, or 11.7% of the state’s workforce, who belonged to unions in 2014….

Labor unions are another thing the left isn’t “pro-choice” about.

ICYMI, Al Gore’s apocalyptic predictions expired recently.  Yup, Manhattan isn’t submerged in water (unless you want to count the latest footage in frozen precipitation) as he had predicted 10 years ago.  David French does a riff on the doomsayers:

Gore’s prediction fits right in with the rest of his comrades in the wild-eyed environmentalist movement. There’s a veritable online cottage industry cataloguing hysterical, failed predictions of environmentalist catastrophe. Over at the American Enterprise Institute, Mark Perry keeps his list of “18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions” made around the original Earth Day in 1970. Robert Tracinski at The Federalist has a nice list of “Seven big failed environmentalist predictions.” The Daily Caller’s “25 years of predicting the global warming ‘tipping point’” makes for amusing reading, including one declaration that we had mere “hours to act” to “avert a slow-motion tsunami.”

Indeed.  But the fact of the epic failure of their predictions, they will simply reinvent themselves as they always have.  Here’s French’s chaser:

Can we ignore them yet? Apparently not. Being a climate hysteric means never having to say you’re sorry. Simply change the cataclysm — Overpopulation! No, global cooling! No, global warming! No, climate change! — push the apocalypse back just a few more years, and you’re in business, big business.

Dead on.  Anyone remember who was one of the first investors in the carbon trading scam?

It appears that deploying other Clintons just isn’t quite working out as Hillary hoped.  Bill has been playing to small rooms and Chelsea, well, let’s just say she hasn’t much drawing power, or so it appears:

Chelsea Clinton hosted her highly-hyped Soul Cycle fundraiser for her mother in New York City on Wednesday afternoon.

The $2,700-a-head event, which offered just 60 seats at the popular cycling studio’s Tribeca location and promised guests a photo with Chelsea, was expected to sell out quick while raising some easy money for the Hillary Clinton campaign but was ultimately a flop.

Apparently they fire sold some of the seats at $50 each at the end to fill more and ended up with less than half the bikes filled.  This should have been a slam dunk in NYC if Hillary has the pull most think she does in the city.  Or else it’s Chelsea.  Or both …

The Trumpless debate?  Apparently about the same viewership as the previous debate with Trump included.   Make what you will of that, but regardless, Trump gave his opponents an open field last night and, at least as I view it, came off as a petty, spoiled brat throwing a tantrum.  Like I said, my view.

Have a great weekend!

~McQ

 

Bogus Bernie burned by WaPo (Democrats with bylines)

Don’t expect this sort of treatment should Queen Hillary ever get the nomination.  Expect every one of the GOP candidates to be treated like this if they’re even somewhat viable.  The Washington Post takes Bernie to the whipping post:

Mr. Sanders’s story continues with fantastical claims about how he would make the European social model work in the United States. He admits that he would have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to pay for his universal, Medicare-for-all health-care plan, and he promises massive savings on health-care costs that would translate into generous benefits for ordinary people, putting them well ahead, on net. But he does not adequately explain where those massive savings would come from. Getting rid of corporate advertising and overhead would only yield so much. Savings would also have to come from slashing payments to doctors and hospitals and denying benefits that people want.

He would be a braver truth-teller if he explained how he would go about rationing health care like European countries do. His program would be more grounded in reality if he addressed the fact of chronic slow growth in Europe and explained how he would update the 20th-century model of social democracy to accomplish its goals more efficiently. Instead, he promises large benefits and few drawbacks.

And that’s just a sample.  They pretty much trash the low information, economically illiterate’s dream candidate.  Bernie’s the “free stuff” guy, yet even he has to admit that someone has to pay for his “free stuff”.  Of course those who support him stop listening right after “free”.

But that’s really not the point.  Hillary is sinking in the polls.  The presumptive favorite is in a tight race in the first two primary states.  Bernie, despite the fact that he’s clueless, is almost even with the chosen one of the big time Washington media establishment.  You know, the one’s with Democrats with bylines?  Way to close for comfort.  And Clinton isn’t helping.  In fact, it seems she’s beginning to crack a little bit.  Additionally, she’s wearing thin with the voters who are just as tired of the circus she was a ringmaster in as they are of the Bush dynasty.  And all these reminders of her past residence in the big house is beginning to make inroads and erode her support. Then there’s that email thingie.

So up steps the editorial board of the WaPo to take a few well aimed pot shots at her closest competitor.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily disagree with anything they say about Bernie.  I just question the timing and intent.

That said, I loved this chaser they included near the end:

Mr. Sanders tops off his narrative with a deus ex machina: He assures Democrats concerned about the political obstacles in the way of his agenda that he will lead a “political revolution” that will help him clear the capital of corruption and influence-peddling. This self-regarding analysis implies a national consensus favoring his agenda when there is none and ignores the many legitimate checks and balances in the political system that he cannot wish away.

 Sounds a lot like someone who has occupied the White House for the last 7 plus years.  Someone that the editorial board of the Washington Post was wild about, regardless of the fact that he’s acted precisely in the way they now deplore.
Funny that …
~McQ

Free water for Flint is bad, because … no government regulation?

You can’t make this stuff up and it again points out something that I’ve wondered about for some time …. do these publications actually have editors?

Again, it’s the Atlantic.  The writer is David Graham.  His problem?  Well, you see, various corporations are providing the citizens of Flint, MI … you know, the town where the government managed to make the drinking water undrinkable … free water.

Bad, says Graham, very bad … in the long run:

That these firms are stepping up to deliver water is good news for Flint’s schools and citizens in the immediate term. But a one-time infusion of gallons of fresh water doesn’t do much to address the systemic failures of government that led to the water crisis in the first place. By making four for-profit corporations into a de facto public utility, the gift might actually risk making things worse in the long run.

Ye gods.  I must be missing something Mr. Graham.  Why is this bad again?

Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Pepsi aren’t just charitable organizations that might have their own ideologies. They’re for-profit companies. And by providing water to the public schools for the remainder of the year, the four companies have effectively supplanted the local water authorities and made themselves an indispensable public utility, but without any amount of public regulation or local accountability. Many people in Flint may want government to work better, but with sufficient donations, they may find that the private sector has supplanted many of government’s functions altogether.

So, wait, they fill in where government has utterly failed and you’re worried that the citizens may say, “wow, these guys are better than government” or something?  Well, if they’re providing water to schools for the remainder of the year they already are, aren’t they?  So, again, what’s the problem sir?

Oh, I bet I know … privatization.  Don’t want any privatization now, do we?  Lord help us if the citizens of Flint should find out that nasty “for profit corporations” might be able to deliver a basic commodity like water better than government, huh?  And especially if they can do it cheaper as well!

Let’s remind Mr. Graham of something he wrote prefacing the whole “OMG, for profit corporations might be seen in a positive light” nonsense:

The Flint water crisis is above all a human tragedy: The effects of lead exposure on development can be lifelong and irreversible. But it is also a fundamental failure of government. At all levels, government failed to protect citizens.

Not only did it fail to protect its citizens, it failed spectacularly in the delivery of a very basic “every-city-does-it” sort of duty – potable water.  Government has always claimed that only it can reliably deliver such a commodity safely.

Yeah, well Flint disagrees.  And it should be clear to Mr. Graham that despite “public regulation” and “local accountability”, that government failure occurred.

Now what, sir?!  Any bets on who will be held accountable?  In government, I mean.

Yeah, me neither.

~McQ

Here’s the government you should fear

Mostly because of its liberty stifling oppression:

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in trying to prosecute ExxonMobil for supposedly lying to its shareholders and the public about climate change, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that Harris is investigating what ExxonMobil “knew about global warming and what the company told investors.”

Neither Harris nor Schneiderman recognizes the outrageousness of what they are doing—which amounts censoring or restricting speech and debate on what is a contentious scientific theory. In fact, they want not just to stop anyone who questions the global warming theory from being able to speak; they want to punish them with possible civil sanctions or even criminal penalties. As I said before about Schneiderman, Harris needs a remedial lesson in the First Amendment.

Perhaps we should investigate what Harris “knows” about global warming or climate change, which Harris (and Schneiderman) treats as if it is a proven, unassailable, incontrovertible fact.  However, as the Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris has pointed out, “flaws discovered in the scientific assessment of climate change have shown that the scientific consensus is not as settled as the public had been led to believe.”

In fact, what Harris and Schneiderman are doing is treating the “contentious scientific theory” as a proven fact.  It isn’t even close to being proven and instead a very believable assembly of facts to the contrary has made the ‘theory’ seem more like a religion than a reality.  John Cleese … John Cleese for heaven sake … said it best:

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So why is government so insistent that the world is heating up?  Why does it show this bias … and bias it is.  Roy Spencer notes:

I’m not claiming our satellite dataset is necessarily the best global temperature dataset in terms of trends, even though I currently suspect it is closer to being accurate than the surface record — that will be for history to decide. The divergence in surface and satellite trends remains a mystery, and cannot (in my opinion) continue indefinitely if both happen to be largely correct.

But since the satellites generally agree with (1) radiosondes and (2) most global reanalysis datasets (which use all observations radiosondes, surface temperatures, commercial aircraft, satellites, etc. everything except the kitchen sink), I think the fact that NOAA-NASA essentially ignores it reveals an institutional bias that the public who pays the bills is becoming increasingly aware of.

Because there are large … very large … wads of taxpayers money at stake.  There is the UN’s chance to redistribute the wealth, a dream the Third-World Debating Club has harbored for decades.  So alarmism remains the way in which governments and the UN try to peddle their product.

And, as Dr. Spencer says, the public, who pays the bills, “is becoming increasingly aware of” the bias and the fact that the alarmists have yet to prove their point, to wit:

Thermometers Still Disagree with Models …that even if 2015 is the warmest on record, and NOAA has exactly the right answer, it is still well below the average forecast of the IPCC’s climate models, and something very close to that average forms the basis for global warming policy. In other words, even if every successive year is a new record, it matters quite a lot just how much warming we are talking about.

Oh, and about that 2015 being the warmest year on record, again, the data doesn’t support the claim:

We now have the official NOAA-NASA report that 2015 was the warmest year by far in the surface thermometer record. John and I predicted this would be the case fully 7 months ago, when we called 2015 as the winner.

In contrast, our satellite analysis has 2015 only third warmest which has also been widely reported for weeks now. I understand that the RSS satellite analysis has it 4th warmest.

Oh my … and El Nino was kickin’ this past year, wasn’t it?  In fact, per Spencer “El Nino …that a goodly portion of the record warmth in 2015 was naturally induced, just as it was in previous record warm years.”  Or said another way, the warmth was due to a weather event, not global warming.

But of course, the incurious press ran with the headline of the “warmest year evah!” and now governments of California and New York are on record of considering certain speech which doesn’t support the government line to be punishable under the law.

So what do we have going on in the two states?  Something we thought was dead and buried:

These investigations are reminiscent of the old Soviet Union, where Joseph Stalin persecuted those who he thought had the “wrong” scientific views on everything from linguistics to physics.  Besides sending them a copy of the Constitution so they can review the First Amendment, residents of both New York and California might also want to include a copy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book, “In the First Circle,” in which he outlined the Soviet government’s suppression of dissenting scientists and engineers.

And that’s precisely the problem here.  This, to us old timers, is precisely how the Soviet Union (and China) operated.  Of course it made no difference in the reality of science.  What is, is.  But it certainly made a difference in the lives of those who were persecuted by the state because they disagreed with the State’s version of science.

The bottom line is that the state attorneys general of New York and California are not acting like level-headed, objective prosecutors interested in the fair and dispassionate administration of justice. They are instead acting like Grand Inquisitors who must stamp out any heresy that doubts the legitimacy of the climate change religion. They are treating an unproven scientific theory as if it is a creed than cannot be questioned, probed, examined, or doubted.

Indeed.  Welcome to the USSA.

~McQ

The death knell of establishment politics?

As much as the media would like to cast what’s going on during the GOP presidential nomination process as a “crisis for the GOP”, the Dems have their own establishment crisis problem.  And it is getting very little media coverage.  But Kim Strassel talks about it today in her WSJ piece.  As much as the Democrats (and media) would like voters to believe the right is melting down and heading toward Tea Party land, it seems clear the left is getting ready to “Move On.”

On both sides, frustration with the establishment is the most evident feature:

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s struggles are self-imposed. She’s a real-world, political version of Pig-Pen, trailing along her own cloud of scandal dust. Even Democrats who like her don’t trust her. And a lot of voters are weary or unimpressed by the Clinton name. For all the Democratic establishment’s attempts to anoint Mrs. Clinton—to shield her from debates and ignore her liabilities—the rank and file aren’t content to have their nominee dictated.

Especially because many of those rank and file belong to a rising progressive movement that has no time or interest in the old Clinton mold. Barack Obama’s biggest legacy may prove his dismantling of the Democratic center. He ran as a uniter, but he governed as a divisive ideologue and as a liberal, feeding new fervor in the progressive wing.

These progressives proved more eager than even the Republicans to steadily pick off Democratic moderates—and helped the GOP to decimate their ranks. The Democratic congressional contingent is now at its smallest size since before FDR. But boy is it pure, and it retains an unwavering belief that its path to re-election is to double down on the Obama agenda.

I have to admit loving the characterization of Hillary as “Pig Pen”.  That notwithstanding, you’d think Hillary, who has prepared for this since Bill first stepped into the White House, would be a natural choice of the left.  But then how does one explain the rise of someone who uses the term “socialist” to describe himself because communist would likely be a bridge too far?  It’s because the left and right have drifted further apart over the years and the “establishment” of both parties has been set adrift.  It’s because to more and more Americans (who didn’t live during the Cold War and didn’t see the wreck the Soviet Union was when it imploded) are enamored with the idea of “equality” as the left now describes it.  Equal income, high minimum wage, free this and free that.  When you’re an economic illiterate, those things are appealing.  And when you further believe the government is the instrument of all things good, well, you’re on the road to serfdom.

Just as Donald Trump is busy calling out the GOP pretenders to the throne, the lefty heroes are undermining the chances of the anointed one:

The president insists that financial institutions were entirely to blame for the 2008 crisis, and that government’s role is to transfer more from those greedy capitalist owners to poor Americans. Out of this class warfare came the likes of Occupy Wall Street, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and today a Sanders campaign that describes “wealth and income equality” as the great “moral issue” of our time.

Mrs. Warren, a progressive hero, went out of her way last week to praise the Sanders Wall Street “reform” plan. Even Joe Biden wanted in on the action, lauding Mr. Sanders and suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was still “relatively new” to the income-inequality debate. Hillary is stuck trying to explain why her campaign donations from bankers aren’t a disqualifier.

The usual subjects have also rallied around the Clinton opposition:

These movements and activists (who also embrace the gun debate, and the women’s-rights debate, and socialized health-care debate) are now the beating heart of the Democratic Party. And they are rallying around Mr. Sanders. MoveOn.org has endorsed Bernie. The liberal Nation magazine has endorsed him. Bill McKibben, the head of 350.org, has endorsed him. Jodie Evans, the co-founder of the antiwar group Codepink has endorsed him. Celebrity activists like Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo are feeling the Bern.

Now no one is saying that all that is enough.  But for both parties, if ever they figured out they had missed their wake up call, this is the season that drills that home.  For too long, both establishment parties have taken their voters for granted, essentially merged into a tax and spend entity that no one is satisfied with, and have missed the proverbial boat for government reform.  Of course, reform is defined differently by the right and left, but you get my point.

The party that is in trouble this year isn’t the GOP or the Democrats, per se.  It is the party of establishment politicians who’ve ignored the restless and frustrated voters one election too many.  People are tired of the Obamafication of politics – talk, talk, talk and then do what the hell you want to do.

We’ll see how it all turns out, but it is one of the more interesting political periods of my lifetime – and I’ve been around since Truman.

~McQ

Who changed the deal?

That’s the question here.  Which entity decided, arbitrarily, to change the conditions of the agreement?

DC officials are furious as Walmart has reneged on a promise to build stores in lower-income areas of the city. Walmart announced last week that they will be shuttering 269 stores throughout the country. (The already-existing three DC stores will remain open.) The company cited the unexpectedly high building and labor costs as to why they would not move forward with the additional locations, but was more open in a meeting as to how DC’s labor laws, including its higher minimum wage, are making it harder to operate a business.

Let’s see.  Was raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour within the District a part of the deal?  Do you think Walmart would have agreed to build had it known that such a raise in labor costs was in the offing?  My guess is “no”.  Thus the citing of “unexpectedly” high … labor costs.   And obviously, it also costs more, then, to build the store in a union town, because when the lowest paid worker gets a raise such as this, guess what happens to the pay of the higher paid workers?  That’s why unions back the minimum wage.

The WaPo sheds some more light on the subject:

Evans said that, behind closed doors, Walmart officials were more frank about the reasons the company was downsizing. He said the company cited the District’s rising minimum wage, now at $11.50 an hour and possibly going to $15 an hour if a proposed ballot measure is successful in November. He also said a proposal for legislation requiring D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, and another effort to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers were compounding costs and concerns for the retailer.

“They were saying, ‘How are we going to run the three stores we have, let alone build two more?’ ” Evans said.

Exactly!  When the government that made the deal then changes the conditions, it isn’t the company which is the problem.  It is the government assuming the power to set the labor cost for the company (plus this new fund that’s likely to pass into law) which is at fault.  If anyone should be “furious” it is the company and the citizens now denied the low cost of goods Walmart would have brought to those neighborhoods.  A perfect example of the government engaging in “bait and switch”.

So who, exactly, is it that gets hurt?

Why the very people they were purported to want to help.

The poor.

What a surprise.

~McQ