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As Venezuela slowly starves and the economy has all but shut down, guess who the richest person in the country might be?
The daughter of Hugo Chavez, the former president who once declared ‘being rich is bad,’ may be the wealthiest woman in Venezuela, according to evidence reportedly in the hands of Venezuelan media outlets.
Maria Gabriela Chavez, 35, the late president’s second-oldest daughter, holds assets in American and Andorran banks totaling almost $4.2billion, Diario las Americas reports.
The figure would make Gabriela Chavez wealthier than media mogul Gustavo Cisneros, whom Forbes named the wealthiest Venezuelan earlier this year with $3.6billion in assets.
I know … purely a coincidence. But it does prove, if true, that socialism does pay … those in charge (I’m sure this wasn’t something he saved up from his army pay). The rest? They get stores with nothing on the shelves and hyper-inflation. Brilliant.
Jazz Shaw is thinking Hillary may shrug off email flap (he’s speaking purely in a political sense, not if someone grows a pair and actually arrests and indicts her):
The bottom line is that there are a significant number of Americans out there – mostly Democrats, but not all – who seem to be telling us, yes, you’ve made your point. Hillary is all those things you said she was. But what the heck. I’ll vote for her. And one of the major reasons for this is that this email server story simply isn’t resonating with people.
Well, to be fair, it’s not resonating with those people. The reason it isn’t resonating with other people is they really haven’t heard much about it thanks to the media. But for those that have, they want the allegations investigated. Look, yellow dog Democrats are going to vote for their particular yellow dog – regardless of the cur’s pedigree, problems or evidence against it. In this case I think Clinton will find a minion to take the fall, and, in effect, will shrug it off. But that doesn’t change Shaw’s point … even if she’s in prison orange, those people will vote for her.
Megan McArdle talks about the nonsense that is going on at colleges everywhere. That is the cosseting of the student body who have become so fearful of ideas that they don’t like that they invoke “safety” as their concern.
Students demanding that campus life be bowdlerized to preserve their peace of mind seem to believe that the best way to deal with trauma is to avoid any mention of it. But Lukianoff and Haidt argue that this is exactly backward; chronic avoidance breeds terror. The current climate on campus is a recipe for producing fearful adults who are going to have difficulty coping in an adult world. It’s as if we were trying to prepare the next generation of American citizens by keeping them in kindergarten until the age of 23.
I’m not sure that anyone should be surprised. These are the kids who come from the era of everyone gets a trophy and we don’t keep score so the other team won’t feel bad. Why in the world would any one expect anything else from them. When they finally gain the halls of ivy, they’re conditioned to eschew competition. So the idea of competing ideas, especially ideas they’re not comfortable with, is terrifying.
They’ll do great in the real world, won’t they?
Meanwhile, on another planet:
If Vice President Joe Biden makes the leap into the Democratic presidential race, he could promise that he would serve just one term in the White House, journalist and author Carl Bernstein said Friday.
“And one thing that I keep hearing about Biden is that if he were to declare and say, because age is such a problem for him if he does, I want to be a one-term president. I want to serve for four years, unite Washington. I’ve dealt with the Republicans in Congress all my public life,” Bernstein told CNN’s “New Day.”
“I think there’s a conversation going on to that effect among his aides and friends,” he said. “It could light fire to the current political environment.”
It would be a back-fire, if anything. Anyway, the circus could use one more clown.
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?
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.
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.
It’s up on the podcast page. You won’t want to miss the engaging story about Dale’s testicles.
Hillary Clinton, Greek love, and tyranny can all be found in this week’s podcast, available on the Podcast page.
In which we hear the dulcet tones of Hillary Clinton’s speechifying. On the Podcast Page.
This week’s podcast is up on the podcast page. Hey, you know all these special snowflakes that have to retreat to safe zones when they hear speech that triggers them? One of them is gonna be president someday.