CNN Cuts Ties with Donna Brazile Over Clinton Coziness

As reported by Politico:

CNN says it is “completely uncomfortable” with hacked emails showing former contributor and interim DNC chair Donna Brazile sharing questions with the Clinton campaign before a debate and a town hall during the Democratic primary, and has accepted her resignation.

Hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks show Brazile, whose CNN contract was suspended when she became interim DNC chair over the summer, sharing with the Clinton campaign a question that would be posed to Hillary Clinton before the March CNN Democratic debate in Flint, and sharing with the campaign a possible question prior to a CNN town hall also in March.

In a statement, CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas said that on Oct. 14, the network accepted Brazile’s resignation.

“On October 14th, CNN accepted Donna Brazile’s resignation as a CNN contributor. (Her deal had previously been suspended in July when she became the interim head of the DNC.) CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate. We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor,” Pratapas said. …

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Clinton Allies Target Comey Over New Email Probe

As reported by Bloomberg Politics:

Hillary Clinton’s allies dramatically escalated attacks on FBI Director James Comey in a bid to stem political damage from his disclosure the agency is reviewing a new batch of files that may be related to an investigation of the former secretary of state’s e-mail practices.

Harry Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, delivered an unusual rebuke to the FBI chief in a letter Sunday that said Comey may have broken the law by revealing the review so close to the election, and suggested the agency is sitting on potentially damaging information about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Reid’s scorching letter — typical of the combative Nevadan’s style — was one of the most confrontational messages being delivered by Clinton supporters, who took to talk shows, newspaper opinion pages and social media to question the propriety of Comey’s disclosure.

Late Sunday, one Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, called for Comey’s resignation. Judiciary is among the congressional committees that oversee the FBI, and Cohen is the top Democrat on a subcommittee with jurisdiction over matters involving ethics in government. …

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How Would President Hillary Affect California?

Photo courtesy SEIU International, flickr

Photo courtesy SEIU International, flickr

Should Hillary Clinton be elected president on Nov. 8, how would that affect California?

1) National recession. As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard just reported in the Telegraph, “The risk of a U.S. recession next year is rising fast. The Federal Reserve has no margin for error. Liquidity is suddenly drying up. Early warning indicators from U.S. ‘flow of funds’ data point to an incipient squeeze, the long-feared capitulation after five successive quarters of declining corporate profits.”

Uh-oh.

There are ways to deal with this. When something similar happened 35 years ago, President Reagan and Fed Chairman Paul Volcker met it with cuts in taxes and regulations and stabilizing the dollar at $350 an ounce of gold – even though Volcker pushed up interest rates to kill off the 1970s inflation. As Reagan later admitted, it was a mistake to delay the bulk of his tax cuts to 1983. But when the tax cuts finally freed the economy, that year it grew at 7 percent, and at least 4 percent annually until President George H.W. Bush’s “Read my lips! New taxes!” tax increase of 1991 sparked a recession.

Donald Trump’s program would be similar. But we’re talking here about Hillary, who wants more taxes and regulations. Assuming Republicans still control the House, she’s unlikely to impose higher taxes; but taxes won’t go lower, either. And President Obama has shown how executive orders can greatly increase the intrusive powers of the regulatory state. She has regretted promising, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” And she supposedly believes those jobs will be replaced by “green jobs.” But that just means more Solyndras.

2) Massive California budget deficits. If the Fed increases interest rates, that finally would end its Zero Interest Rate disaster, now more than eight years long, which has devastated middle-class savings. But raising interest rates would tank the places money has been forced to go: the stock market and real estate.

That would shrink California tax collections, which rely abnormally on income, capital gains and (despite Proposition 13) property taxes. The state’s $7 billion “rainy day fund” would dry up fast. Soon we’d be back to $20 billion-plus deficits.

3) Split-roll tax increase? The deficits would spark calls for yet another tax increase to keep the state spending spree going. If Democrats again grab 2/3 of both houses of the Legislature, they could pass tax increases themselves, with no Republican input. But moderate Democrats likely would torpedo that. And Gov. Jerry Brown probably would say it should be put before voters for the June or November 2018 ballots; probably the latter because of greater (more liberal) turnout.

With the Proposition 55 income tax increase (or “extension”) likely having passed in 2016, it would be tough to push income tax rates yet higher, say to 15 percent from an already staggering 13.3 percent. Moreover, the declining revenues would be due to a drop-off in income and cap gains taxes, so increasing taxes on lower revenues wouldn’t help that much.

So the push would be for a split-roll tax on property, with Prop. 13’s protections remaining for homes. A higher tax would be levied on commercial property, possibly with an exemption for apartments. As we’ve seen whenever this proposal has come up, it would be a battle royale between the public-employee unions and such anti-tax groups as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, who probably would win.

Here are a couple of “positive” things for California:

4) More defense spending and jobs. Hillary heavily pushed for the bombing in 1999 of Serbia over Kosovo and in 2011 of Libya. She also supported the Iraq and Afghan wars; as well as other wars in Ukraine, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, etc. And every chance she gets she attacks Russian President Vladimir Putin and says Donald Trump is his puppet. Wars are the greatest way to boost defense spending because you have to replace the depleted materiel.

Moreover, a President Hillary would have stronger political and economic ties to California than any president since Reagan and, before him, Richard Nixon of Yorba Linda. As did LBJ in the 1960s, the Bushes moved a great deal of defense spending to Texas. So did Vice President Dick Cheney, the former chief of Houston-based Halliburton. Assuming she doesn’t get into a nuclear tiff with Putin and get us all killed, that will mean more defense industry jobs for Californians. Also more jobs in the U.S. Army’s Mortuary Affairs service.

5) A more level playing field with other states. Enthused AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, “[A]ction taken by California to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will have far-reaching effects by encouraging other states, the federal government, and other countries to act.” That hasn’t happened. Instead, AB 32 and similar legislation have pushed businesses and jobs to other states.

But if Hillary is elected, she’ll impose AB32 and similar legislation nationally. Likewise, although she won’t be able to raise the national minimum wage to the $15 an hour California soon will have, she certainly will be able to convince Republicans to boost it from the current $7.25 – say, to $12. Who cares if a higher minimum wage destroys the jobs of poor people? That will mean more jobs for Hillary-supporting social workers.

But the greater relative damage to other states from her policies would mean fewer jobs leaving California for those states. Although jobs still would depart for more sensible countries.

My suggestions to ride out the tough years of a Hillary administration: Get a job in the defense industry or as a social worker. And if she keeps up her belligerence toward Russia, dig a bomb shelter.

Veteran California columnist John Seiler now is a freelance writer. His email:[email protected]

This piece was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Never Trump’s Bed Wetters and Washington Generals

As Bill Clinton apparently said to every woman other than his wife that he ever met, let’s get the sex thing out of the way first.

Years ago Donald Trump engaged in piggish locker room talk, leaving the media and the NeverTrump pearl clutchers in a frenzy. To be painfully blunt, any male who has been in athletic locker rooms and claims not to have heard or participated in such blather is either lying or a candidate for Vestal Virgin status. Doubting that there are many Vestals among either the media or NeverTrump, the conclusion is clear – they’re all lying, as frankly are 99 percent of the locker room talkers.

This is the same media that labelled the waddling sot from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, as the “lion of the Senate,” ignoring that he murdered a young woman. This is the same media that winked, chuckled and guffawed at the eight-year occupant of the Oval Office who was accused of rape and serial molestation. Their protestations about words, not deeds but words, are as sincere as Captain Renault’s about gambling in Rick’s Café.

The NeverTrumpers having fainting spells over the comments need to put on their big boy pants, get over it and put the good of the country above their prissy, prudish, holier-than-thou theatrics. Mike Huckabee referred to them as “bed wetters,” and they richly deserve that title.

As to the plethora of women coming forth to say Trump committed various sorts of sexual battery on them, some as long as 30 years ago, their accusations don’t pass the smell test. We are to believe that all of them – not some, not most, but all – kept these indignities to themselves all these years, and coincidentally decided to step forward a month before the election. Right.

In the wake of Trump’s words – again, not actions but words – NeverTrump recruited some new members for their Quisling Caucus to make the media rounds denouncing the only candidate who can keep Hillary from shredding the Constitution. The new batch came in three varieties. Has-been, mainly vociferously pro-abortion politicians, members of the GOP establishment’s consultant corps and inside-the-beltway lobbyists. These folks were rewarded with their 15 minutes of fame and then some, because they are Republicans, at least technically. Though a better name for them and their fellow NeverTrumpers would be the Washington Generals.

washinton-generalsReaders of a certain vintage will remember the Harlem Globetrotters. Since the 1930s they have been a wonderfully talented and entertaining basketball team, which is still touring. Their “games” combine athleticism, comedy and theatrics. They do play basketball, but with this asterisk. Their opponents are always a team called the “Washington Generals,” and the Generals always lose. Over the thousands of games they’ve played, the Generals have beat the Globetrotters only once.

The similarities between the NeverTrump leadership and the Washington Generals is striking. Both groups get paid well for what they do, which is put up a good, entertaining “fight” … and then lose. The Trump candidacy would never had gotten traction if the self-appointed, insular, ossified conservative “leaders” in the D.C./New York axis had the slightest feel for rank-and-file conservatives or had successfully opposed President Obama the past eight years.

The Trump insurgency was and is powered by grassroots conservatives who got wise to the game and realized that while the show could be entertaining, the results were always the same – we lose. They want to replace the GOP’s and conservative movement’s Washington Generals with a team that knows how to win.

For that feeling, for wanting a team that plays to win, these conservatives are sneered at and belittled by the likes of the supercilious, ever smirking Billy Kristol and the strutting popinjay George Will. They are mocked and mercilessly attacked in the pages of magazines like the Weakly Standard and the once proud National Review.

There is little risk and in fact substantial upside in this for NeverTrump’s Washington Generals. Their sinecures (for UCLA grads that means a position requiring little work but that pays well) as the liberal establishment’s favorite conservatives will continue and be enhanced by a Trump loss.

It’s a win-win for the liberal establishment and NeverTrump’s Washington Generals. The liberals can continue to surround themselves with a trained poodle act of non-threatening Republicans and conservatives. Our Washington Generals can continue to pull down large lobbying contracts, appear on Sunday morning TV talk shows, exhibiting their intellectual and moral superiority to bumpkins and rubes who don’t understand that all power and wisdom resides inside the D.C. beltway.

There will be many salutary effects of a Trump victory, the main one being preventing Hillary from filling the federal judiciary and bureaucracy with Stalinist activists who will launch search-and-destroy missions against conservative institutions, conservative individuals and conservative thought. Not far behind that benefit however will be the retirement – or irrelevance – of the conservative movement’s Washington Generals. Our country, our movement and our party deserve a team that is interested in winning, not just putting on a good show. It’s time to trump the Washington Generals.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

WikiLeaks: Clinton Strategists Considered Moving CA Primary to Aid Campaign

hillary-clinton-biopics-cancelled-ftrProminent Democratic strategists who would eventually get top posts in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign debated the political strategy of moving the date of California’s primary election, according to hacked emails recently released by WikiLeaks.

In December 2014, prior to Clinton announcing her candidacy, Robby Mook and John Podesta (who would become Clinton’s campaign manager and campaign chairman, respectively) discussed their preference to keep blue stats like California late in the primary process.

Mook had been contacted by another Democratic strategist, Chris Lehane, who served in Bill Clinton’s administration. According to the email, Lehane had called Mook about the California primary after speaking with Podesta, who had given Lehane the impression that he wanted to move the date.

Mook sought clarification, as he believed there was already a strategy in place to keep reliably Democratic states late in the primary process.

“FYI–Lehane called me about CA primary and I told him that the operating strategy is to keep blue states late (i.e. don’t move CA),” Mook wrote to Podesta. “He said he was at dinner with you and was under the impression that you wanted to move it earlier. He’s wondering how to proceed and I said I’d try to get us on the same page and go back with an answer. Are you ok with me saying that we both want CA to stay where it is?”

There was no reply from Podesta in the email dump. But an email from March 2015 — just weeks before Clinton officially announced her candidacy — showed Mook hoping California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon would weigh in on the timing of the primary.

“I met with Cal State Senate President. Super enthusiastic,” Podesta wrote to Mook in an email with the Los Angeles Democrat’s name in the subject line. “Do anything including travel to other states. Also volunteered to line up other state senators.”

“Fantastic,” Mook exclaimed. “Did he mention moving the primary date at all?”

A spokesman for de Leon did not immediately return requests for comment. Clinton’s campaign did not immediately respond as well.

Complaints of a rigged process

This election cycle has been rife with complaints and conspiracy theories that the Democratic nomination process was skewed toward Clinton.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley complained the Democratic National Committee scheduled the debates to favor Clinton. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had his own concerns.

Indeed, the complaints of a rigged process from the public and Clinton’s primary opponents and their supporters — some of the complaints were supported by other Wikileaks dumps — were so great that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was ousted from her perch atop the DNC.

No biggie?

As voters know, the date of California’s primary did not change. And Clinton won handily in June, as well as in 2008 against Barack Obama.

According to John J. Pitney, Jr., a Roy P. Crocker professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, those two facts should quiet concerns of a “rigged” election in a “Clinton-friendly state.”

“Conspiracy-minded Democrats might pounce on the staff chatter, but it’s not the kind of thing that makes a difference to voters,” Pitney said. “The issue might get more traction if there are revelations that states did shift dates in a deliberate effort to help Clinton, or if Clinton herself was involved in the effort.”

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Strong Debate for Trump, But Did It Shake Up the Race?

clinton-trump-debateAs reported by Fox News:

Donald Trump had his strongest debate performance here in Las Vegas, and Hillary Clinton had to deal with probing questions about Wikileaks disclosures, late-term abortion and open borders.

In the end they were evenly matched, an outcome that favors Trump as the less experienced debater. But the 90 minutes moderated by Chris Wallace did little to change the dynamic of a race in which the Republican nominee is trailing.

Instead, in an unusually substantive and largely civil encounter, the candidates played to their respective bases on such issues as immigration and abortion.

So while Trump supporters have reason to cheer their man, who was far more sure-footed than in their first faceoff on Long Island, he did not shake up the race.

But Trump may have undone whatever progress he made with a single answer, refusing to say he would accept the results of an election he has increasingly described as rigged. “I will look at it at the time,” he said, adding that “the media is so dishonest and so corrupt” that it has “poisoned the minds of voters.” Clinton called that answer “horrifying” and said Trump often blames a loss on a rigged system, even when his “Apprentice” show didn’t win an Emmy three years in a row.

That will undoubtedly be the big headline coming out of the debate and will dog Trump between now and Election Day. …

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4 Things To Watch In The Last Presidential Debate

As reported by Captial Public Radio:

The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. It’s the last chance either candidate will have to make a closing argument before tens of millions of voters.

It follows yet another unprecedented week in the campaign, in which Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election, predicting that it will be stolen from him through media bias and massive voter fraud.

Clinton has a lead in the polls nationally and her battleground map of opportunities appears to be growing. The Clinton campaign is even talking about making an aggressive play for Arizona.

Here are four things to watch for as the two candidates meet in Las Vegas.

1. What is Trump’s strategy?

That hasn’t been clear in the past couple of weeks. When you type “Is Trump trying” into the Google search bar, the first thing that comes up is “to lose.”

This question has been Googled millions …

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Wikileaks: Jerry Brown Planned to Back Hillary Clinton All Along

Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes, flickr

Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes, flickr

A Wikileaks email release this week suggests that California Gov. Jerry Brown planned to endorse Hillary Clinton all along, despite remaining publicly neutral between Clinton and rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) throughout most of the primary election, until it was almost over.

The email, dated November 2014 and sent by Clinton aide Cheryl Mills to campaign chair John Podesta, indicated: “He wants folks to privately know he is ready to go when she is. If she runs, he’s ready to help.”

More than a year and a half later, with just one week to go before the California primary, Brown made his support for Clinton public. However, his support was rather bland, citing the fact that Clinton’s nomination had become inevitable, and arguing that she would be a better choice than Republican Donald Trump — rather than making a strong positive case for Clinton. He also was at great pains to praise Sanders, even drawing parallels between Sanders’s campaign and his own 1992 run:

I have closely watched the primaries and am deeply impressed with how well Bernie Sanders has done. He has driven home the message that the top one percent has unfairly captured way too much of America’s wealth, leaving the majority of people far behind. In 1992, I attempted a similar campaign.

Brown seemed to entertain the idea of a run of his own, telling NBC News’ Chuck Todd that he would have tried to reach the White House for a fourth time if he were ten years younger. He stressed that climate change would be among the more important issues that any president would have to face in office.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Donald Trump on Offense at 2nd Debate

As reported by Fox News:

Donald Trump needed to stop the bleeding – and at the least, the Republican nominee may have done that. He delivered an unsparing debate performance Sunday against Hillary Clinton which may not have won over many undecided voters but assured his base that Trump the fighter hasn’t been knocked out despite the controversy over a 2005 tape of him making lewd comments about women.

Significantly, he won praise Monday morning from running mate Mike Pence. In normal circumstances in a normal election cycle, that praise would be taken for granted – but it followed widespread speculation about the Indiana governor and staunch Christian conservative’s willingness to stay on the ticket in the wake of the vulgar footage controversy.

“The real story this morning is that Donald Trump stepped up and won a debate last night that seemed to be against all odds,” Pence told “Fox & Friends” on Monday.

The words of praise come after a host of prominent elected Republicans abandoned the ticket over the weekend because of that 2005 footage. But Trump’s closest supporters and advisers were suggesting in the wake of the debate that those lawmakers overreacted. …

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Trumped-up trickle-down

 

trump-clinton-debateIn the post-debate spinning, few noted Hillary Clinton’s pride in coining “Trumped-up trickle-down” economics to accuse Donald Trump of policy malfeasance. However, it is important, because every time anyone has ever used the term “trickle-down” economics (or its rhetorical cousins, “tax cuts for the rich,” “voodoo economics,” etc.) it has been a trumped-up, intentional misrepresentation.

No supply-side economist ever promoted “trickle-down” economics. That was invented by big government opponents of market freedom, just as Marx named capitalism to make it appear harmful rather than to correctly describe it.

Trickle-down is a defamatory characterization used to misdirect attention away from how voluntary market arrangements benefit all. Its central false premise is that taxing high-income earners less, leaving them more take-home income, benefits them alone. That is abetted by the mistaken zero-sum view that more income for some must reduce others’ incomes.

When people, however rich or poor, get richer through voluntary arrangements, they do not hurt anyone except those suffering from envy. Each party is better off, as they see it, or they would not participate. But changes in the measured distribution of income distort that fact.

If I create a massively successful software program, my measured income will increase, but every buyer will also gain because they face better options than before. This holds true even if their imperfectly measured share of total income is lower because my income has risen.

Unfortunately, forcible redistribution proponents’ campaigns to punish higher income earners (given rhetorical cover as paying their “fair share,” which is always “more”) diverts debate from the central question — are others helped or hurt? Worsening the productive incentives of high-income people induces them to do less for others with their resources, harming them.

Of course, if a rich person or a rich politician gets richer by rigging the political process, that is objectionable. But it is not a market failure, requiring a government solution. It is a government failure, which undermines the benefits competitive markets provide for all, whose solution requires removing government from the theft-and-transfer business, not expanding its role in it.

Supply-siders have always focused on improving productive incentives, and trying to make those improvements as durable as possible. That is why they focus on permanently reducing tax rates and rolling back regulatory burdens where their burdens are most adverse, because that is where it improves productive incentives most. The immediate measured benefits in financial markets will, it is true, go to those who currently own the assets affected by those changes. But treating that as solely a “tax giveaway to the rich” ignores that what is primarily rewarded is using the resources at one’s disposal to do more of what others value, and spending less time and effort trying to minimize unjustifiable burdens.

Improved supply-side incentives will increase labor supply by increasing take-home wages. It will increase rewards for acquiring new skills, for added capital investments to increase worker productivity, for secondary workers to enter the labor force, for in-migration of productive people from less-friendly tax and regulatory climates (or reduced out-migration) and for productive risk-taking. They will also reduce incentives for tax evasion, for tax cheating, and for buying things people desire less because of the distortion of tax deductibility. Each of those changes will benefit Americans. Doing the opposite, which criticisms of “trickle-down” economics are the rationalization for, harms Americans.

There is no reason to add “Trumped-up” to “trickle-down economics.” Such assaults have always been trumped-up distortions, trying to get people to look at incomes others have earned, and envy them, forgetting that, in competitive markets, they were earned by making others better off. And the pretend solutions not only violate Cicero’s millennia-old definition of justice as “giving every man his due,” they harm the very people whose votes they are trying to buy with the imagery of soaking the rich.

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University, an adjunct scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a research associate of the Independent Institute, and a member of the FEE faculty network. His books include Apostle of Peace (2013) Faulty Premises, Faulty Policies (2014) and Lines of Liberty (2016).