Surprise, Surprise! Top 2014 political donors gave overwhelmingly to… Democrats

Obama, Reid, and Pelosi

Democrats took a thumping in the 2014 midterm elections. And though Harry Reid and many of his colleagues actually campaigned against the influence of money in politics, a POLITICO report reveals (not surprisingly) that Democrats were the recipients of millions in campaign contributions from wealthy businessmen.

Kenneth Vogel writes:

POLITICO’s analysis of top 2014 donors suggests that liberals have gotten over their big-money qualms.

Donors who gave exclusively or primarily to Democratic candidates and groups held down 52 of the top 100 spots — including by far the biggest donor of disclosed 2014 cash: retired San Francisco hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer.

He donated more than $74 million to Democratic candidates and supportive committees, but it was the way he gave that highlighted both the potential impact and the limitations of the new breed of mega-donor to shape elections.

Sony’s Fake (Maybe) Hack and Real National Security

The Interview

In attempting to write a humorous, post-holiday, light-hearted few words about the silliness of “The Interview” being offensive to the North Korean dictatortots, the usual poking around occurred to see what other, more engaged writers on the issue had to say. Oddly, what appeared at first blush to be a minor flap over a (probably) mediocre film (disclosure: haven’t seen it, likely won’t, until boredom and/or curiosity wins) took on more significance when it became clear that there is some debate as to whether or not the North Koreans actually hacked Sony — exposing embarassing emails — to lob threats in retaliation for the film’s release.

As most people know, that led to a canceling of the release and a subsequent release online in a patriotic stand to show those pesky tyrants we Americans do not bow to threats and intimidation.

But now — and forgive me for being slow on the uptake but I’ve been pleasantly family immersed — there’s some doubt as to whether the North Koreans hacked Sony at all (they’ve claimed they never did).

It’s been a week since the U.S. government blamed North Korea for the cyber-attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment — and many security experts still aren’t convinced Kim Jong-un is the culprit.

The FBI’s announcement, rather than settling the debate, has only fueled widespread speculation over the source of the attack.

Skeptics claim the evidence the FBI cited is flimsy and inconclusive. They question whether Pyongyang really had the motive, or the ability, to scramble Sony’s systems.

And they’re pushing a range of alternative theories.

Wanted: Average Joe to drive in Obama’s Presidential Motorcade

Obama Motorcade

Apparently, all it takes to be a volunteer driver in the presidential motorcade is a driver’s license, a clean record, and a friend in the White House, according to the New York Times.

Michael Schmidt writes (emphasis added):

At the front of the [Presidential Motorcade] were bulletproof black sport utility vehicles and limousines driven by Secret Service agents who had spent hundreds of hours learning how to maneuver at high speeds.

Bringing up the rear were police cars with their lights flashing and a Secret Service ambulance that follows the president wherever he travels.

And in between were several vans filled with White House staff members and journalists, being piloted by volunteers like Natalie Tyson, a 24-year-old Bay Area graduate student wearing fluorescent orange sunglasses.

“Wow,” she exclaimed as she hit the gas and the van lurched within a few feet of the one in front of it. Then she slammed on the brake. Then she hit the gas again.

“Sorry about that,” she said.

She returned her hands to the textbook 2-and-10 positions on the steering wheel.

Socialist “single-payer” healthcare crashed and burned in America’s most liberal state

Vermont Single-Payer

Bill O’Reilly sent Jesse Watters to Vermont over the summer to see just how liberal the Green Mountain State is. The state legislature has a handful of elected officials from the “Progressive Party,” a political party further to the Left ideologically than even the most liberal Democrats. In Congress, Vermont sends an avowed Socialist and one of the most liberal Democrats to the Senate. And, of course, Vermont is well-known for having elected Howard Dean, a laughably-liberal governor-turned-presidential candidate.

So when Vermont went even further than Obamacare and enacted a single-payer system for health insurance, liberals nation-wide looked to that state as a beacon of hope for socialized medicine.

Writing in The Atlantic in December 2013, Sean McElwee notes:

Governor Peter Shumlin signed a revolutionary single-payer plan, Green Mountain Healthcare—the culmination of decades of work by progressive politicians in the state—into law in May 2011. The new system aims to guarantee universal insurance coverage, improve benefits for those who are currently underinsured, include universal dental care and vision care, and increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate to doctors in order to avoid cost-shifting.

For Christians, glorifying God and accepting torture are incompatible

Birth of Christ

The recent Senate Torture Report should be a wake-up call to Christians. Especially in light of Christmas. As believers we give thanks each December that God became man and was born to die for sinners like us. But the truth of Christmas should do more than provoke a seasonal cheer and religious attitude. It should transform our entire lives. That includes our worldview, and how it relates to others.

Christians have long bemoaned the growing secular influence of the Christmas holidays and society in general. “Keep Christ in Christmas”. “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. But if we fail to honor Him with how we live, does it matter what people think of Christmas?

What should be far more disturbing to us than whether or not someone says “Happy Holidays” is the willingness of American Christians to be satisfied with only a veneer of talking points while turning a blind eye to evils within our own borders. The recent revelations from the Senate Intelligence Committee are just the latest example of this.

On the Nature of Our Servitude

Freedom

We are not free

I do not expect much difficulty in convincing you that you are not a free person. Any regular reader of this blog would likely accept the proposition without argument. But for those who don’t, consider that free people could never be forced to bail out an entire industry, like we were with TARP; and free people would not tolerate the mass counterfeiting of their money - as we have with QE; and free people would never be forced to pay others to spy on them and invade their privacy - as we are with the NSA; and free people would not be imprisoned for non-violent activities - as we are by the millions in the drug war; and free people do not go to war to serve the vanity and/or pocketbooks of a select few - as we have for the Neocons; and free people don’t let a few busybodies decide how and in what manner they can earn a living - as we do with government licensing. In light of this and much more one really has to wonder how anyone could still believe we are “free”.

Private Charity will provide for children of murdered NYC cop, not government

Jaden Ramos

By now you’ve probably heard of Jaden Ramos, the New York City teen whose father was murdered in an apparent response to the death of Eric Garner over the summer. Unequivocally, murdering police officers as a response to a situation like Garner’s iscompletely unacceptable. And the deaths of these two officers are tragic.

But, as is often the case (particularly here in the United States) in the wake of tragic incidents like this, the American people are stepping up; specifically, the New York Yankees.

Check out this New York Daily News story:

Yankee owner George Steinbrenner died in 2010, but his appreciation for the men and women in blue who protect New York City lives on.

For 32 years, Steinbrenner’s Yankee Silver Shield Foundation has provided for the education of the children of New York City police officers, firemen and Port Authority employees who died in the line of duty, and will do so for the family of NYPD officer Rafael Ramos, gunned down by a cold-blooded killer Saturday along with his partner, Wenjian Liu.

The foundation will pay for the education of Ramos’ son, 13-year-old Jaden, and another son, Justin, who attends Bowdoin College in Maine.

Pope Francis no Prophet on Profit

Pope Francis

Last month, Pope Francis, worldwide leader of the Catholic Church, in an address to a United Nations conference on nutrition, declared that food is a basic human right that should not be driven by profit concerns and market manipulations.

With all due respect to His Holiness, he has it exactly backward. The more important something is to basic human existence, the wiser we are to allow it to be provided by the free market. Because, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once noted, if you put the government in charge of the desert, within five years there would be a shortage of sand.

This is not an abstract, philosophical position. Just look at the nations that have followed the Pope’s advice, where governments have taken control of food production in the name of administering the precious commodity equitably. Russia, under the governance of the former Soviet Union, saw millions of its citizens either malnourished or dying of starvation, despite having land which contained among the world’s richest natural resources.

Please, no: Hillary vs. Jeb 2016 is already happening

Hillary vs. Jeb 2016

Please, no. It’s already happening.

The slow-moving train toward the inevitable candidacies of both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush left the station this week with the latter’s announcement on Facebook that he would launch a leadership committee in January to begin a possible run for the White House.

The Facebook note reads:

Columba and I are so proud of the wonderful adults our children have become, and we loved spending time with our three precious grandchildren.

We shared good food and watched a whole lot of football.

We also talked about the future of our nation. As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.

In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.

In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America.

This, apparently, caught the Clinton machine off guard.

POLITICO reports on this “tortoise and hare” race:

A New Relationship with Cuba May Be a Good Thing, Just Not Necessarily For Who You Think

Cuban Embargo

There are several arguments being bandied about regarding President Obama’s desire to normalize relations with our little Commie friend to the South, Cuba. And they run the gamut: some think it’s a sign of weak negotiating prowess and simply bad policy (we give more than we get, etc.); some think the embargo a failed prospect that should be, in the interests of the Cuban people, tossed to the wind, but that Congress should have been included in the decision; and others think it’s all just a swell idea and hurray because Cuba and the USA are about to be besties! (I’m sure there’s a selfie joke in there somewhere).

Congress, understandably, is pushing back — again, something that will likely be a common theme over the next two years — with Marco Rubio making as clear a statement as any I’ve heard on the matter:

“I anticipate I’ll be the chairman of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee on the Foreign Relations Committee” in the new Congress, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a press conference hours after the release of American prisoner Alan Gross from a Cuban prison was announced along with the administration’s plans to normalize relations with Cuba, including opening an embassy there.

 


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