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How will Hillary wiggle out of this one?

You know you’re asking yourself that question:

The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications—more sensitive than previously known.

You may or may not remember this, but in March of this year, she stated flatly, “there is no classified material” on the server.  How she expected anyone to believe she could conduct her job as Secretary of State with that being true is left to you to imagine.  And, it seems, no one did:

The untruth revealed, [Mrs.] Clinton changed her story in July to claim that no email was specifically marked as classified. Not that it matters. Clinton wants Americans to ignore the fact that federal rules put the onus on government officials like the secretary of State to protect classified material, even when it’s not marked as such.

You know, “accountability”?

So now, she’s agreed to “voluntarily” turn over the server and the emails.  James Taranto gives us a little insight into that:

In fairness to Mrs. Clinton, it appears her decision to turn over the server and the thumb drive was “voluntary” in the formal—dare one say Clintonian—sense that she yielded to the investigators’ request rather than wait for an order.

Because, you know, for a Presidential candidate, such an order would have been politically damaging.  So the “voluntary” aspect gives the campaign and the Clintons at least a little “good spin” on a very bad event.  You can almost hear the klaxons sounding and the announcement of “battle stations, battle stations” within the campaign.

But back to that accountability thing:

Fournier notes further that “government officials have been convicted of mishandling unmarked classified material.”

Yes.  Yes they have.  But that’s not how the Princess of the Ozarks figures this should go.  So who does she need?

Mr. Obama, of course:

And at least one critic is now speculating that the possibility that she is in legal jeopardy is influencing Mrs. Clinton’s policy pronouncements.

On Monday, as the Los Angeles Times reports from Manchester, N.H., Mrs. Clinton “made her most forceful defense yet of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran on Monday, saying that ‘all bets are off’ if Congress were to reject the deal and warning of the potential impact to America’s standing in the world”:

“The Europeans, the Russians, the Chinese, they’re going to say, ‘We stuck with the Americans. We agreed with the Americans. We hammered out this agreement. I guess their president can’t make foreign policy,’ ” Clinton said at a campaign stop in Manchester. “That’s a very bad signal to send in a quickly moving and oftentimes dangerous world.” . . .

“I’ve gone into this detail because you’re going to hear a lot about it in the weeks ahead,” she told an audience of more than 500 at the foot of a ski slope in New Hampshire’s largest city. “So please, educate yourself. . . . We have to pursue diplomacy if we expect to be able to solve difficult problems with the rest of the world supporting us.”That’s odd. Earlier, as we noted last month, Mrs. Clinton refused to take a position on the Trans Pacific Partnership—of which she was a forceful advocate as secretary—because, as she said, “I thought it was important for the Congress to have a full debate without thrusting presidential politics and candidates into it.” She now gives precisely the opposite reason for taking a clear position, if not a particularly well-argued one, on the Iran deal.

Ah, what a surprise.  It is pleasing to be politically malleable, isn’t it?  Principles … well, she left those at the Watergate hearings.  It is raw politics and “I’ll do what ever it takes” to gain power for her.

One has to wonder how ever the cult of true believers can stomach her paranoia and willful disregard for the law.  This is who they want to be President of the US?

Anyway, is Obama the key to how she wiggles free?  Will her attempt to provide him his much desired legacy find this all to be “much ado about nothing?”  Will she actually ever be held accountable for what others have been jailed for?

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 11 Aug 15

The Labor Market Conditions Index for July came in slightly below expectations at 1.1 vs a revised 1.4 in June. 

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for July rose 1.3 points to a better-than-expected 95.4.

Productivity rose 1.3% in the 2nd Quarter, while growth in Unit Labor Costs was held down to 0.5%.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales growth rose to a still-soft 1.9% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.7%.

Wholesale inventories rose a surprising 0.9% in June, while a weak 0.1% rise in sales left the stock-to-sales ratio at a hefty 1.30.


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Government creates a problem and then offers a solution

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.

Ed Morrissey notes:

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.

~McQ

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Barack Obama: Antisemite and bigot

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.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 7 Aug 15

The Labor Department reports that a mediocre 215,000 net new jobs were created in June, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.3%. Also unchanged was the labor force participation rate, at 62.6%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2%, while the average workweek increased by one tick to 34.6 hours.

Consumer credit rose a strong $20.7 billion in June, including a strong gain of $5.5 billion for revolving credit.


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Economic Statistics for 6 Aug 15

Chain stores reporting sales today say that July was a weak month, with lower rates of year-on-year sales growth compared to June.

A major Army troop cut made for an outsized 105,696 layoff count in July, according to Challenger.

Gallup’s US Payroll to Population Employment Rate was unchanged at 45.5% in July.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to 270,00. The 4-week average fell 6,50 to 268,250. Continuing claims fell 14,000 to 2.255 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.2 points to 40.3 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $0.9 billion last week, with total assets of $4.486 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-9.0 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply grew by $12.1 billion in the latest week.


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Stray Voltage

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.

I’ll believe it when I see it:

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”.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 5 Aug 15

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 4.7% last week, with purchases up 3.0% and refis up 6.0%.

ADP estimates that only 185,000 net new private sector jobs were created in July.

Rising imports in June led the US trade deficit to rise to a higher-than-expected $-43.8 billion for the month.

Gallup’s US Job Creation Index remained unchanged at 32 in July.

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index surged 4.3 points to a surprising 60.3 in July.

The PMI Services Index rose 0.9 points in July to 55.7.


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