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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Black Lives Matter accuses Dems of 'placating' the movement

By Mike Lillis - 08-31-16 19:34 PM EDT

Black Lives Matter is going after Democrats for what the group deems a "placating response to our demand to value all black life."

Responding to a leaked memo from the Democrats' campaign arm outlining "best practices" for defusing the group's aggressive protest tactics, Black Lives Matter offered a brusque message Wednesday: "Stop pacifying and take us seriously."

"We are disappointed at the DCCC's placating response to our demand to value all Black life. Black communities deserve to be heard, not handled. People are dying," the group said in a statement.

"Whether Republican, Democrat or otherwise, our elected officials have an ethical and democratic responsibility to make legislation that reflects the needs of their constituents. That includes Black people facing life-threatening challenges because of racist, failed policies."

The memo in question, issued last November to staff within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), noted that the party's presidential hopefuls had "struggled" when faced with Black Lives Matter protests and offered advice for House candidates to avoid similarly uncomfortable confrontations.

The memo emphasized that campaign staffers "should offer to meet with local activists" and "let activists know the campaign wants to engage in an open dialogue." It suggested setting up "personal or small group meetings" in lieu of public forums and advised campaigns to convey an understanding that "a history of systemic racism continues to confront the daily lives of African Americans."

"Listen to their concerns," reads one bullet point.

"Don't offer support for concrete policy positions," reads another.

The DCCC issued a statement Wednesday following the leak, saying the party "highly respects and values the leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement" and "highly encourage[s] our candidates to not only embrace the importance of this movement, but to meet with and listen to community activists to partner social change."

The message didn't appear to mollify the concerns Black Lives Matter leaders had with the tone of the initial memo. Their statement came out several hours later, urging policymakers of all stripes to give greater urgency to race-related issues.

"We demand, and are fighting every day for, a radical transformation of American democracy where all Black lives are valued," the group said.

"We encourage all policymakers and elected officials to read the Movement for Black Lives policy platform and commit to legislation in the first 100 days that ensures that #BlackLivesMatter."

Are Polls Missing Covert Support for Trump?

(John Hinderaker)

Rasmussen Reports (which, I believe, Scott Rasmussen sold several years ago) isn’t always “right,” in the sense that its surveys predict election results. But Rasmussen consistently asks interesting questions. Today, Rasmussen investigated whether there is hidden support for Donald Trump that is not showing up in the polls:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 17% of Likely Republican Voters are less likely this year to let others know how they intend to vote compared to previous presidential campaigns. Just 10% of Likely Democratic Voters say they are less likely to tell.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 25% say they are less likely this year to say publicly which presidential candidate they will vote. Unaffiliateds have leaned in Trump’s direction in recent weeks in our White House Watch survey…

Fifty percent (50%) of all voters think most reporters will try to help Clinton with their coverage, while only 11% believe they’ll try to help Trump.

That is true, obviously. But this is interesting:

Twenty percent (20%) of both conservative and moderate voters are less likely to reveal their choice for president this year. Only 10% of liberals say the same.

So that provides some empirical support for the idea that there is a slim margin of Trump support that is not showing up in the polls. For what it is worth, I don’t believe it. The so-called “Bradley effect” has repeatedly failed to appear, and I am now convinced that it is a fiction.

On the other hand, polls in general, not just in the U.S. but around the world (Israel, the U.K.) have been unreliable in recent years. More often than not, they have erred in underestimating conservative turnout. So I think all of the polls should be viewed with considerable skepticism. But, is there a vast throng of Trump voters who are somehow hiding from pollsters? No, I don’t think so.


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US election 2016: Trump arrives in Mexico to meet President Pena Nieto

US Republican candidate Donald Trump has arrived in Mexico to meet President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The trip is contentious as during his campaign Mr Trump has branded Mexican migrants "rapists" and "murderers", and vowed to build a wall along the border.
He will face protests on his visit, with ex-President Vicente Fox among those saying he is not welcome.
Mr Trump will later fly to Phoenix, Arizona, to deliver a key speech on measures to tackle illegal immigration.
Mexicans tell Trump: 'You're not welcome!'
Donald Trump's Hispanic voter 'doomsday'
'Me gustan los tacos!': A Spanish phrasebook for Trump's visit
The Republican has seen his poll ratings slip since the party conventions last month.
Both nationally and in key states, he trails Hillary Clinton, who enjoys particularly strong support among minorities.
Mr Trump tweeted that he was looking forward to meeting President Pena Nieto.
Mr Pena Nieto has invited both US candidates to visit, but has faced criticism at home over Mr Trump.
Vicente Fox told CNN: "We don't like him. We don't want him. We reject his visit."
Former First Lady Margarita Zavala tweeted: "We Mexicans have dignity, and we reject your hate speech."
At least two demonstrations are planned in Mexico City.
But Mr Pena Nieto said: "I believe in dialogue to protect Mexican interests in the world and, principally, to protect Mexicans wherever they are."
Analysis - Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter
Mr Trump going to Mexico is a bold move. It shows he is willing to confront a nation he has mocked in the past. It may make him - dare I say? - look statesmanlike. And if President Pena Nieto slams him afterwards, it could end up working to Mr Trump's benefit. 
There is no better way to get conservatives to rally around a candidacy than to have a foreign leader cast aspersions on the nominee.
One risk is that Mr Trump might say or do something controversial while there, although this probably will be a very tightly controlled meeting. 
Another is that Mr Trump's base, the voters who cheered as he called undocumented Mexican immigrants "rapists" and "drug dealers", will consider this visit consorting with the enemy. 
The stakes were already considerable for Mr Trump's immigration speech on Wednesday night. They just got higher.
Mr Pena Nieto has previously accused Mr Trump of hurting US-Mexico relations and compared the Republican's rhetoric to that of German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Mr Trump has threatened to stop cash sent home by Mexicans based in the US until the country pays for the wall he intends to build.
BBC Mexico correspondent Katy Watson says that prospect has worried many Mexicans who rely on remittances from their families who live in the US.
Mr Trump blames Mexico for the disappearance of jobs from the US, with companies choosing to locate south of the border to take advantage of cheaper labour costs.
In June he expressed anger after a leading golf tournament was moved from one of his courses to Mexico, accusing the PGA Tour of putting "profit ahead of thousands of American jobs".
Mr Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said he would be "very presidential" in the meeting with Mr Pena Nieto.
Running mate Mike Pence said Mr Trump's acceptance of the invitation showed what a "decisive leader" he would be.
Hillary Clinton's campaign has not yet said if she will travel to Mexico.
Mexicans tell Donald Trump: 'You are not welcome'
What Trump has said about Mexico
"They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists" - May 2015
Mexico is "ripping off the US more than almost any other nation" - February 2015
"Mexico continues to make billions on not only our bad trade deals but also relies heavily on the billions of dollars in remittances sent from illegal immigrants in the United States" - from his immigration plan
...and what Mexico has said about Trump
President Pena Nieto spoke out against Mr Trump's "strident rhetoric" in March, adding: "That's how Mussolini got in, that's how Hitler got in, they took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps, which humanity was going through at the time, after an economic crisis."
His predecessor, Felipe Calderon, insisted: "Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall."
After Mr Trump vowed to reclaim all remittances derived from illegal wages, Mr Calderon's predecessor Vicente Fox, told the BBC: "Is Trump going to steal the money? How can any human being think like that? It's incredible."

Evolution of the American dictatorship

Homeland Security readying contingency plan to take over election security

Clinton emailed classified info after leaving State: report

The Hill
By Rebecca Savransky - 08-31-16 08:48 AM EDT

Hillary Clinton emailed classified information after leaving the State Department, The New York Post reported Wednesday.

The Democratic presidential nominee sent an email to a group of diplomats and aides on May 28, 2013, about the "123 Deal" - a 2009 agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. regarding nuclear energy production - according to the Post.

The email, which was sent months after she left the State Department, went to people including Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, diplomat Jeffrey Feltman, policy aide Jake Sullivan, diplomat Kurt Campbell, State Department chief of staff Cheryl Mills and top aide Huma Abedin.

It was sent from the address - which is associated with Clinton's private email server - and has been heavily redacted because it includes information that is classified, according to The Post.

The message will be declassified on May 28, 2033, according to markings on the email, which was obtained by the Republican National Committee through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The email is redacted because it includes "information regarding foreign governors" and "foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources," according to publication.

"Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information was so pervasive it continued after she left government," Republican National Committee research director Raj Shah told the Post.

"She clearly can't be trusted with our nation's security."

Iran’s Ongoing Military Buildup

Last week Iranian naval vessels subjected U.S. warships to what U.S. officials called “harassing maneuvers risking dangerous escalation.”

In an incident last January, Iran illegally detained a group of U.S. sailors—using the fact that their boats had veered into Iranian waters as a supposed justification.

In last week’s incidents, Iran couldn’t even use that excuse since the American ships were in international waters.

First, on Tuesday, Iranian ships buzzed the USS Nitze, a destroyer, in the Strait of Hormuz. They “ignored repeated radio, whistle and flare warnings from the Nitze and slowed their approach only when they were within 300 yards of the U.S. ship.” 

And in last Wednesday’s even more serious incidents, ships of the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) harassed two U.S. coastal patrol ships and a U.S. destroyer in the northern Persian Gulf. 

Finally one of the coastal patrol ships, the Squall, had to fire three shots in the general direction of one of the IRGC ships to get it to stop chasing after the Stout, the destroyer.  

As Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen note, Iran is 

[testing a] tactic called the “swarming boat” to destroy U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

The swarming boat attack is just what it sounds like: a number of fast boats equipped with missiles and torpedoes attack enemy ships from multiple angles to damage or destroy them as quickly as possible.

On Thursday the State Department hit back by calling the Iranian ships’ actions “unacceptable,” which should put fear in the hearts of the power-holders in Tehran. 

And that was last week.

Further events this week might not have the drama of a precarious naval standoff, but are at least as significant.

On Monday it was reported, and visually recorded, that Iran had deployed its Russian-made S-300 missile-defense system at its Fordo uranium-enrichment site.

The S-300 is one of the world’s most advanced long-range missile-defense systems. Russia was initially supposed to supply it to Iran in 2010—but froze the deal when it came under U.S. and Israeli pressure to do so, citing UN sanctions on Iran as a pretext.

But that was then. The 2015 nuclear deal with Iran opened a brave new world in which the nuclear-related sanctions were lifted, and in which Russia has felt free to fill more and more of the vacuum left by a retreating U.S. 

Israeli analysts see the S-300 as potentially impeding an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. There is also concern that the system could reach Syria or Hizballah, compromising Israel’s aerial supremacy.

Again, the State Department has an answer—so to speak. Spokesman John Kirby has “expressed concern”; he 

told a press briefing Monday that the US was unhappy with the sale of the S-300 system as well as its placement at Fordo…. 

Kirby said the US would be in contact with allies regarding the deployment of the battery.

“As we get more information, obviously, we’re going to stay in close consultation with partners going forward,” he added, without giving more details.

One doesn’t get the feeling that the Russians and Iranians are thinking, “Damn, why did we do that.”

And, finally, Iran announced on Sundaythat it would soon start building two nuclear plants in Bushehr, in addition to the nuclear plant that’s already there. That one was built by Russia, and the new ones will also be constructed as part of a deal with Russia. 

That deal involves the building of eight reactors in all.

There are no reports of any official U.S. reaction, reflecting the fact that the existing Bushehr reactor, and the prospective ones, are ostensibly “civilian” in nature.

For that reason the existing Bushehr reactor was left out of the JCPOA, the nuclear deal signed in July 2015. But at that time nonproliferation expert Henry Sokolski told the Washington Free Beacon that leaving it out of the agreement was a mistake:

“That reactor can produce enough plutonium for dozens of bombs per year,” he said. “Iran could remove the fuel from the reactor and use a small, cheap reprocessing plant to extract plutonium, and get its first bombs in a matter of weeks.”

That will be all the more the case, of course, when it has a slew of such reactors.

Iran is a malevolent, expansionist power with a fanatic ideology. About eight years ago, when the Obama administration took office, it had already been so for decades; and it still is.

Today, though, under the thin guise of a “deal” that—at best—defers some aspects of its nuclear development for a decade, Iran—with Russia at its side—repeatedly laughs in Washington’s face as it steadily builds its military power. It is the world’s most acute security problem, and—despite “concern”—is only getting worse.

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Way Beyond a Double Standard

Consider the following entirely plausible news cycles:

Following the killing of 28-year old Lakeesha Taylor in gang crossfire as she was pushing her 4-year-old daughter on a swing in Detroit’s dangerous Precinct 9, former Michigan governor (and current Hillary Clinton surrogate) Jennifer Granholm (D) posted a message on Facebook: “Michigan’s serious problems will never improve under the heartless leadership of Republican Governor Rick Snyder, the same man who didn’t bat an eyelash or lift a hand for months as hundreds of minority children were being poisoned by the water in Flint. If Americans don’t want a president from the party which doesn’t care if you’re healthy or even alive, we have to elect Hillary Clinton in November.”

In response, dozens (or perhaps hundreds) of liberal activists, Democratic politicians and Hollywood celebrities “shared” the post, adding their own support in comments such as “It’s about time someone calls out the evil GOP” and “Trump = Hitler.” The New York Times editorialized that “While Granholm’s rhetoric may be initially shocking, her fundamental point is correct: Republicans simply do not value the lives of many Americans.”

Later the same week, conservative comedian Ricky Travis — while hosting a large fundraiser for the victims of the recent Louisiana flooding — took some jabs at current Democratic National Committee chairperson Donna Brazile. Ms. Brazile was born in, and attended college in, Louisiana and was in attendance at the event. Among Travis’ comments: “I thought the title of Donna’s book, ‘Cooking with Grease,’ related to getting her hair too close to the stove.” And, “The country would be better off if she were hit by a bus, but with legs as big as Donna’s, the bus would probably lose.”

Reaction was immediate and furious, and rightly so. The head of the NAACP issued a press release saying “Mr. Travis’s hateful remarks represent everything that’s wrong with so-called ‘conservatives’ in America today.” Writing for the Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson opined: “If it were possible for the entertainment industry to ensure that Ricky Travis never be allowed to set foot on stage again, never be allowed to ‘entertain’ again, that would be a good start.” And Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the next leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate, told CNN that “Travis is the living embodiment of a hate crime. I can’t imagine who thinks this guy is funny.”

These stories — a Democratic politician politicizing a tragedy to the applause of the American left, and a furious liberal reaction against wildly inappropriate comments made by a conservative comedian — are fictional.

But in the real world, as demonstrated in two instances in the past week which are mirror-images of the stories above, Republicans are pilloried for perhaps slightly unwise statements which Democrats would be cheered for, and no attack on a conservative public figure is too nasty, aggressive, or obscene to cause a liberal to stand up for basic decency and the “tolerance” we’re told by the left to embrace.

Last Friday, Nykea Aldridge, an African-American mother of four who was pushing her three-week old infant in a stroller, was shot in the head and killed on Chicago’s South Side.

It might have been yet another unmentioned tragedy in the city run for the last 85 years by a Democratic political machine, a city known for the violence and murder and mayhem in its low-income neighborhoods despite long having some of the nation’s most stringent gun control laws, a city which has just experienced its most violent month in 20 years with more than 400 people shot and roughly 80 murders. (Yes, that’s a single month in Chicago.)

But it was noticed because Ms. Aldridge was the cousin of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, now a member of the Chicago Bulls. DWade announced the death on Twitter: “My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough.” He continued the next morning with “RIP Nykea Aldridge… #EnoughIsEnough” and “These young kids are screaming for help!!! #EnoughIsEnough.”

Donald Trump, continuing his recent rhetorical emphasis on the harmful impact of Democratic policies on communities of color (including specific mention of the risk of being shot while walking down the street), jumped in with some arguably-too-soon politics: “Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”

The reaction on social media was swift outrage:

  • “You’re not saying anything meaningful — you shallow, insincere, opportunistic fecal stain”
  • “They’ll vote for you because you celebrate every shooting with a ‘nailed it!’ tweet?”
  • @realDonaldTrump so to be clear…did you predict or orchestrate the shooting?”
  • And the good-old standby, “@realDonaldTrump f**k you b**ch.”

An hour later, Mr. Trump offered his condolences to Wade and his family. But the damage was done.

Clarence Page, veteran writer for the Chicago Tribune, offered, without any apparent intention of hyperbole, “Trump loves Chicago for its murders.”

Actor and occasional activist Don Cheadle (whose Twitter icon seems to show a murdered and disemboweled Donald Trump — you tell me) joined the fray, telling Trump “You are truly a POS.” Minutes later, he added “He doesn’t give a fkk. More red meat to his alt-right troglodytes.”

You get the picture.

To be clear, even my Spectator colleague Jeff Lord said of the tweet, “Maybe it was a little clumsy but I don’t think it was opportunistic.” I’d say it was a little of both.

Yes, it would have been much better politics to lead with the condolences. But enough with the left’s faux outrage. What about the innumerable examples of liberal “I told you so” hyper-politicization of every shooting outside of Barack Obama’s city, sometimes while the bodies are still warm? Will a prominent black columnist or actor ever decry those pandering politician’s paeans to gun control or their painting the blood of the victims on to the hands of Republicans? I think not.

Now consider my hypothetical scenario above in which a Democratic politician politicized a murder. Are not the plaudits of liberal talking heads and “journalists” and celebrities entirely credible?

Outrage is a one-way street.

And so, by the way, is humor — or what passes for it these days.

On Saturday night, Ann Coulter walked into the lion’s den when she attended the taping of Comedy Central’s roast of actor Rob Lowe. Actually, that description is unfair to lions who would have treated their dinner more mercifully than these tolerant liberals treated Coulter.

(Note: Ann Coulter will join my radio show this morning (Wednesday, 8/31) at 7:20 AM Mountain Time/9:20 AM Eastern Time to discuss her new book, “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome,” and I’m sure we’ll take a few minutes to talk about the despicable behavior of star actors, comics, and even, sadly, Peyton Manning, at the roast. You can listen live at or on your iHeartRadio app by tuning to TalkRadio 630 KHOW in Denver.)

The purpose of the evening was to roast Lowe, who with a history of media successes and failures interspersed with sex tapes, including one with a 16-year old girl, is certainly a target-rich environment. Indeed, some of the jokeswere pretty tough, such as from comedienne Nikki Glaser: “Rob defies age… restrictions. Really, you’re a (%$&^@!) Adonis, I hate you. You look like you’re sculpted. You put the ‘statue’ in ‘statutory rape.’ God, I had such a crush on you when I was a little girl. If only I’d known that’s when I had my best shot.”

But the true brutality was saved for Ann Coulter. Frankly, I don’t want to repeat the vast majority of what was said to and about Ann, while she sat among the smirking self-satisfied celebs. Let’s say there were many insults offered about her looks (including by Manning), most of which offered little pretense of even trying to be funny. What troubled me most, however, were the comments of the above-mentioned Glaser and British “comedian” Jimmy Carr, both of whom spoke without any actual humor about their wish that Coulter would die.

Glaser: “Ann, you are awful. The only person you will ever make happy is the Mexican who digs your grave.” That was just before she suggested that Coulter “has written 11 books, 12 if you count Mein Kampf.” And Carr: “Ann is one of the most repugnant, hateful, hatchet-face b—-es alive. It’s not too late to change, Ann. You could kill yourself!”

Ann Coulter has heard everything before. She’s hardly a thin-skinned shrinking violet and she has long recognized the “tolerant” left for the bunch of hypocritical thought-police bullies that they are. Nevertheless, nobody whose only offense is expressing (non-violent) political opinion should be subject to such abuse.

It’s true that online conservatives tweeted negative reaction to Coulter’s treatment at the hands of the Hollywood liberal elite; indeed they (and I) were probably more upset than Coulter was. When she got a chance to speak, Ann told the assembled lions, “I am so overwhelmed with the love in this room. As a right-wing hate-monger, it is fantastic to be at a big Hollywood shindig with all these glittering celebrities that isn’t a fundraiser for Obama.” She later added, “There is nothing you can tell me to discourage me. My whole career has been an Ann Coulter roast.”

So while some of us were angry on Ann’s behalf, where was the “tolerant” left?

Esquire magazine tweeted a link to its own article (which I won’t link to) about the “meanest Ann Coulter jokes from the…roast.” Nowhere in the article did they suggest that a comedian calling Ann a “racist c**t” was anything other than the typical “low-down dirtiest, most insulting jokes we hear…at Comedy Central roasts.” (That particular comic, the youngest Saturday Night Live cast member, was offered to me as a guest on my show this week and I refused to have him.)

Liberal online rag reported on the evening that Ann “attempted to match other attendees quip-for-quip, but predictably failed, and equally predictably was unfazed,” as if a political writer is supposed to “match” professional comedians “quip-for-quip” and as if her not showing reaction to the barrage of reprehensible insults made them OK. Salon’s writer added helpfully that Ann was the event’s “most irrelevant and out-of-place attendee.” Because nothing says “irrelevant” like not being a liberal in Hollywood.

Former musical star Jewel, embodying liberal tolerance, expressed her modest discomfort at an event guest twice being called the c-word: “As a feminist I can’t support everything that’s been said tonight. But as someone who hates Ann Coulter, I’m delighted.”

Again, consider my fictional account of a conservative comedian offering inappropriate jokes about a prominent liberal. You know that the online reaction of the left would, to quote the wisdom of Kim Kardashian, “break the Internet.”

Yet when it comes to the savage and unfunny attacks on Ann Coulter, it’s crickets from the celebs and the “mainstream” media alike.

Meanwhile, the last two adjectives Cher has used to describe Donald Trump are “fkng traitor” and, at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, “f**king idiot,” but at least the latter was, as one report put it, “to wildly enthusiastic applause” just before she went on to compare Mr. Trump to Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Did I mention the applause?

I often say that complaining about liberal bias and hypocrisy is like complaining about a puppy peeing on a rug. It’s just what they do, and if you don’t like it then don’t get one.

As for Ann, and I’ll try to remember to ask her this directly, she could easily assume that, as Oscar Wilde put it, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” If history is any guide, she’ll soldier on with her conservative rabble-rousing, proving the liberal haters right about one thing: She remains utterly unfazed by them.

But there is a lesson in the treatment of both Trump and Coulter by those many liberals who dwell on the Internet and in television studios: Don’t ever forget it, you are the enemy, and we will do anything and say anything to hurt you and we will not stop until you are defeated and, with any luck, dead.

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Hillary’s Economic Plan Will Cost Americans Jobs And Income

Several weeks ago, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke to an audience in Warren, Michigan laying out her plans for the economy should she become president. She asked four questions of her audience, of which the first was: “Which candidate has a real plan to create good-paying jobs?” Evidently, not Hillary Clinton.

Her plan for taxing the rich to create a “fair” economy looks like a populist’s dream on paper, but two National Center for Policy Analysis studies found that her economic plan would simply continue along the same dismal track of the current administration — except worse. Her effort to redistribute income will mean hiking capital gains taxes for high-income earners, imposing a 30 percent effective tax rate on households earning $1 million or more (the “Buffet rule”), and a 4 percent surcharge on multi-millionaires.

Hillary’s Plan Hurts Everyone, Not Just the Rich

Many who just read that paragraph will think Okay, it’s those rich people, and it doesn’t apply to me. True, the tax changes themselves would have little effect on tax liabilities for 90 percent of Americans. Households in the top 10 percent of the income distribution, who currently pay 53 percent of all federal taxes, would pay 80 percent of the additional tax collected.

But nothing happens in a vacuum, and Hillary should know better. When compared to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) baseline estimates, broadly measured income — which includes wage income, some tax-exempt sources of income, and employer contributions to health insurance premiums — would fall for every income decile except one.

Let me repeat that: nine out of 10 income deciles, including the bottom 10 percent of earners, would be slightly worse offunder Hillary’s plan than the status quo. Of the bottom 90 percent of earners, the bottom 10 percent would experience the largest drop in broad income of almost 1 percent. While this decline may be insignificant to the wealthy, it means something to a family trying to make ends meet.

How can this be? Isn’t Hillary’s economy supposed to be an economy that works for all? Maybe not. In another study of her plan’s effect on the economy as whole, our NCPA analysis found her reforms would generate 49,000 new government jobs in 2017, but at a loss of 207,000 private-sector jobs compared to the CBO’s baseline estimate. In other words, Hillary’s plan would kill four private-sector jobs to create one public-sector job.

Killing Private Jobs to Pad Bureaucracy

In the long-term, in 2026, the cost would be even greater: one government job would cost five private-sector jobs. If Hillary wants to go to bat for working families, as she claims, these families would have to be working. Yet it doesn’t look good for them. Our studies show that Hillary’s plan would cause business investment to fall $19 billion in 2017 alone, about 0.7 percent less than CBO estimates. Without business investment, there is no job growth for the middle class. In fact, so many fewer people will be working in a Hillary Clinton economy that Social Security payroll tax revenues would fall under her plan by $47 billion over 10 years, leaving a severely underfunded program in even worse shape.

Without business investment, there is no job growth for the middle class.

“What we have here is a plan to destroy hundreds of thousands of private-sector jobs just to pad government payrolls, while, in the process, doing almost nothing to improve tax fairness,” said David Tuerck, co-author of the NCPA study and executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute in Boston.

Clinton’s plan would raise an additional $615 billion in tax revenues over 10 years, most of it coming from increases in the personal income tax. But it won’t cover the estimated $1 trillion in pet projects she has in mind, including another round of stimulus for infrastructure and green jobs. News flash: It didn’t work when President Obama tried, and it surely won’t work again.

Hillary’s tax plan mirrors misguided Keynesian practices and redistributionist policies that have grown the economy at a snail’s pace for the past eight years. Suffice it to say she will surround herself with bureaucrats ready to hand out “shovel-ready” jobs at taxpayers’ expense, while the economy drags on and the national debt grows.

Read More Here

Russia’s Cyber Warfare Has Bigger Aims Than Electing Donald Trump

Russia is meddling in the U.S. presidential election. From the email hack of the Democratic National Convention in July to the cyberattacks on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and recent reports of hacks at The New York Times and other media organizations, evidence is mounting that Moscow has launched a sophisticated effort to interfere with and disrupt the November elections.

But not for the reasons you might think. At first glance, it looks like Russia favors Donald Trump and wants to undermine Clinton. And why not? Trump is certainly the pro-Kremlin candidate. He has nice things to say about Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, and even said he would be “looking into” recognizing Crimea as part of Russia. It would be easy to conclude, as some commentators have, that Putin wants to see Trump in the White House.

However, the truth isn’t quite that simple. As tempting as it is to see Russia as a partisan player on Trump’s side, the Kremlin’s goal isn’t to see a particular candidate win. The goal is much more insidious: to undermine American confidence in our political system. That is, the Kremlin’s real target is liberal democracy itself.

Whether Trump realizes it or not, he is nothing to Putin but a useful idiot in this larger effort.

Russian Cyberattacks Follow A Certain Ruthless Logic

To understand Russia’s long game, consider its methods. On Monday, Yahoo News reported the FBI discovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases, in Arizona and Illinois. The hacks prompted the FBI’s Cyber Division to issue a “flash” alert to state election officials across the country, warning them to enhance the security of their computer systems. Federal officials believe hackers managed to download the personal data of some 200,000 Illinois voters and introduce malicious software into Arizona’s voter registration system.

As with other high-profile cyberattacks this summer, this one shows signs of Russian state-sponsorship. According to Yahoo News, the FBI alert included eight IP addresses that were the source of the two attacks, and one of those addresses has surfaced before in Russian criminal underground hacker forums.

Just like the DNC and Clinton hacks, official sources confirmed this latest hack was authentic. Whatever emails or documents the Russians release through Wikileaks or other channels, everyone will know the leaked information is legitimate, not fabricated. The next logical step for Russians, having established the veracity of the information they leak, will be to introduce false and misleading information.

Disinformation Is A Weapon Of War

Injecting disinformation into the news cycle is a well-established tactic of Russian influence operations, hearkening back to Cold War programs the Soviets called “active measures,” in which secret agents would plant false news stories in the Western press. Disinformation of this kind has long been an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, the idea being that it’s easier, and cheaper, to persuade Russia’s enemies than to kill them. The difference now is that technology makes it possible to coordinate false information and flood news cycles and social media networks in ways that were impossible during the Cold War.

On Sunday, The New York Timespublished a detailed account of Russia’s sprawling and highly sophisticated disinformation campaigns underway across the globe. During recent public debates in Sweden about entering a military partnership with NATO, for example, social media was inundated with false information about what the partnership would entail, including wild claims that NATO would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil and it would have the authority to attack Russia from Sweden without the government’s approval.

None of it was true, but the sheer volume of social media echoing these claims was enough for them to seep into the mainstream news cycle. According to the Times report, when Sweden Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist traveled the country to promote the NATO pact, he repeatedly faced questions about the false claims.

Something similar happened during the recent coup attempt in Turkey, with a flood of Twitter posts claiming the U.S. airbase at Incirlik had been surrounded by thousands of armed police. The story didn’t gain the same traction as the anti-NATO narrative did in Sweden, but it demonstrates the extent to which Moscow is willing to employ Twitter trolls in coordination with official news channels like and Sputnik, the two main state-controlled media outlets that publish in English, to advance false storylines and distorted information.

Soviet ‘Active Measures’ Are Back

Here in the United States, something similar has been underway for months, with suspiciously coordinated social media trolls shilling for Trump on Twitter, amplifying his anti-NATO and anti-Ukraine pronouncements. It took the mainstream media a while to catch on to this—conservative writers like Erick Erickson were writing about pro-Trump Russian troll farms back in April—but now it’s undeniable that Moscow is working on multiple fronts to disrupt our elections and give credence to Trump’s repeated claims that the election, like the entire politic system, is “rigged.”

The Russians have chosen their moment well. American confidence in public institutions is languishing at historic lows, while the vast majority of Americans report anger and frustration at the federal government. That lack of trust has helped propel Trump, a political outsider, to the top of the Republican Party ticket. It fueled the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders. Now Moscow is exploiting it in the service of a grand strategy, with far greater implications than a single U.S. presidential election.

After all, if Putin can convince Americans that liberal democracy is nothing but a sham, he will accomplish what no leader of the Soviet Union ever could. Decades after we thought it was over, Russia will have finally won the Cold War.

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Unsafe in the Gulf

(Scott Johnson)

The Obama administration has declined to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, though it has richly earned such recognition. President Obama doesn’t want to do anything to alienate his putative friends in Islamic Republic of Iran. His putative friends, however, continue to harass American forces in the Gulf and to take actions that humiliate the United States. As his putative friends express their contempt for him, President Obama pays them no nevermind. 

The New York Observer notes in an excellent editorial that in three separate incidents last week Iranian fast boats buzzed our warships in international waters in the Strait of Hormuz. “In one of the encounters,” the editorial observes, “an American captain found it necessary to fire warning shots from his ship’s 50-caliber gun to warn off the fast-approach Iranian craft. That is not something an American commanding officer does without severe concerns about navigational safety or possible attack.”

What is a subordinate of the Commander in Chief to say? General Joseph Votel is the Commander of Centcom. Asked about recent incidents in the Gulf at a press conference yesterday (video below), General Votel displays the constraints inherent in his position. He calls on Iran “to be the professional force that they claim to be.” He observes that “professional maritime forces don’t operate in that way.”

Do tell! I don’t want to be judgmental, but one might reasonably infer that the IRGC, answering directly to the Supreme Leader, is not operating as a professional maritime force.

“What we see with the Iranians is not particularly responsible. It’s provocative in some cases and it’s unsafe,” General Votel says. Harsh!

Taking a cue from the Commander in Chief, General Votel even instructs the regime in its own best interests: “What I see is this is principally the regime leadership trying to exert their influence and authority in the region, and they are trying to do it in provocative ways that are unsafe, unprofessional, and really, I think, work against their objectives in the long term here.”

Hey, it’s not just the Islamic Republic of Iran that is humiliating the United States. President Obama has made his own contribution, and he continues to do so.

Via Jack Heretik/Washington Free Beacon.


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