Bill Clinton

Sex, Lies, Taxes, and Spies

Whether it is the disastrously foolish economic policies of the Obama administration, the frightening Big Brother infringements upon our privacy rights, or the endless stories of political corruption and abuse of power, it often seems as though the America of just a decade ago might as well be a nation on another planet. The problem is, unless sane and educated people (as in, with a depth of knowledge of history, NOT the effluent that passes for education in so many schools and colleges today) stand up and vocally point out that the inmates have taken over the asylum, things will only continue to get worse.

A few recent examples:

Obama claims progress has been made on the jobs front, with the most recent jobs report showing 162,000 new jobs created in July, and the official unemployment rate dropping another 2/10ths of a point. What was curiously absent from his self-adulation was any mention of the fact that the 162k number was below the 175k economists had expected, and far, far below the number of jobs needed to actually improve job growth and the economy.

Diving deeper into the BLS (Bureau of labor Statistics) report, we find that, of the one million or so jobs created since January, only 220,000 were full-time, meaning an astounding 78% of all new jobs created this year have been part-time. It should also be noted that the small drop in the unemployment rate is, as has been the case since Obama took office, the fact that many Americans have simply given up hope of finding a job, and are no longer counted against the government’s official unemployment rate.

In related economic news, the city of Detroit recently became the largest American city to ever file for bankruptcy. Laughably, despite the fact that Detroit has been on a six-decade long run of exclusive rule by liberal Democrats, these same Democrats now claim the failure of Detroit stems from Republican policies.

Remember when Democrats cared about budget deficits?

At the very same time they’re playing up a return of the Clinton legacy to the White House by coalescing around 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Democrats have rejected a key point of then-President Bill Clinton’s approach to politics and a more sound economy.

Writing at Roll Call, Nathan Gonzales notes that a bipartisan achievement — like balancing the budget, for example — is not something about which Obama-era Democrats are particularly concerned:

“Like every generation of Americans before us, we have been called upon to renew our Nation and to restore its promise. For too long, huge, persistent, and growing budget deficits threatened to choke the opportunity that should be every American’s birthright. For too long, it seemed as if America would not be ready for the new century, that we would be too divided, too wedded to old arrangements and ideas. It’s hard to believe now, but it wasn’t so very long ago that some people looked at our Nation and saw a setting Sun,” Clinton said in his signing speech.

Today’s Democrats are singing a slightly different tune.

Democrats, including the president, don’t believe the deficit is an immediate problem. And while Republicans are touting and advocating for a “balanced budget,” Democrats want a “balanced approach.” The new Democratic approach includes a mix of spending cuts and tax increases but has no intention of balancing the budget, at this point.

KY Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to Challenge Senator Mitch McConnell


Alison Lundergan Grimes, the 34-year-old Secretary of State of State in Kentucky, announced her intention to challenge Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014.

“I have met with supporters, we had a great conversation,” Grime said at a news conference in Frankfort, Ky.. “We can next make the best move, the best difference by running for the U.S. Senate.”

Grimes, a Democrat elected in 2012, lacks the national recognition that McConnell has, but has the support of many high level Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton. Clinton is a long-time family  friend of Grimes’ father, and reportedly told Grimes’ that he and Hillary would support her campaign against McConnell.

McConnell immediately issued a response to the Secretary’s announcement: “Accepting the invitation from countless Washington liberals to become President Obama’s Kentucky candidate was a courageous decision by Alison Lundergan Grimes and I look forward to a respectful exchange of ideas,” he said. “The next sixteen months will provide a great opportunity for Kentuckians to contrast a liberal agenda that promotes a war on coal families and government rationed health care with someone who works everyday to protect Kentuckians from those bad ideas.”

Polling in late May indicated that Senator McConnell was tied with Grimes’ in a hypothetical race.

Internet Analogies: Remember When the Internet Was the Information Superhighway? (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, I described the history of government intervention in the funding of the Internet, which has been used to exempt commercial users from paying for the use of local Internet infrastructure. The most recent intervention, known as “net neutrality”, was ostensibly intended to protect consumers, but in practice, requires that consumers bear all the costs of maintaining and upgrading local Internet infrastructure while content and application providers pay nothing. This consumer-funded commercial subsidy model is the opposite of the approach the government took when funding the Interstate Highway System: The federal government makes commercial users pay more for their use of the highways than consumers. This fundamental difference in approach is why net neutrality advocates abandoned the “information superhighway” analogy promoted by the Clinton Administration during the 1990s.

Internet Analogies: Remember When the Internet Was the Information Superhighway? (Part 1)

Remember when the Internet was the “information superhighway”? As recently as 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) still referred to the broadband Internet as, “the interstate highway of the 21st century.” Highways remain a close analogy to the Internet, yet by 2010, net neutrality advocates had replaced Internet highway analogies with analogies to waterworks and the electrical grid. They stopped analogizing the Internet to highways when they realized their approach to Internet regulation is inconsistent with government management of the National Highway System, which has always required commercial users of the highways to pay more for their use than ordinary consumers. In contrast, net neutrality is only the latest in a series of government interventions that have exempted commercial users from paying for the use of local Internet infrastructure.

Bill Clinton warns Democrats on gun control

While the National Rifle Association (NRA) has bungled the narrative in the wake of the tragedy at Shady Hook, President Barack Obama and Democrats still face major hurdles in pushing gun control legislation through Congress.

During his appearance on This Week, David Plouffe, Obama’s senior adviser, boasted that there there were enough votes in both chambers to push part of the gun control measures through Congress. But whenever politicians start talking about this issue, there are always concerns about potential electoral problems — a point that has already been acknowledged by Senate Democratic aides.

In a speech to Democratic donors over the weekend, former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, warned his party not look down at gun owners, noting the electoral consequences:

“Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them,” Clinton said.

“A lot of these people live in a world very different from the world lived in by the people proposing these things,” Clinton said. “I know because I come from this world.”
Clinton recalled Al Gore’s 2000 campaign against George W. Bush in Colorado, where a referendum designed to close the so-called gun show loophole shared the ballot with the presidential ticket. Gore publicly backed the proposal, while Bush opposed it.

Rahm Emanuel tried to intimidate BuzzFeed reporter

Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, has a reputation for being a bully. While his style was once described by Bloomberg as “take no prisioners,” there is a pattern of rather odd behavior that has earned him the nickname “Rahmbo.”

In 1997, The New York Times reported that Emanuel began stabbing a steak during a dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas, shortly after Bill Clinton was elected president. The Times recalled, “Emanuel grabbed his steak knife and, as those who were there remember it, shouted out the name of another enemy, lifted the knife, then brought it down with full force into the table.”

“‘Dead!” he screamed,” noted the Times.

Another example of Emanuel’s weird behavior was when he sent, according to The Daily Beast, a “dead fish in a box” to a pollster who was late delivering results. This story is frequently mentioned by conservatives talk show hosts, such as Sean Hannity, to show his ruthlessness.

But Michael Hastings, a reporter for BuzzFeed, got to see Emanuel’s strongarm tactics first hand. After a speech on November 8th of last year, Hastings asked the Chicago mayor about his role in fundraising for Priorities USA, the pro-Obama super PAC that ran an ad implying that Mitt Romney killed a union worker’s wife.

Democrats worried about gun control issue in 2014

Harry Reid

Even though President Obama is pushing Congress to take up his gun control policies, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who is up for re-election in 2016, doesn’t want to take the lead on the issue, according to the Washington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement Wednesday that he  hopes to move forward on gun control legislation “early this year” and that “all options should be on the table moving forward.” But Reid sounded more skeptical over the weekend, telling a Nevada television station that Obama’s most ambitious request – a new federal ban on assault weapons – likely couldn’t be passed by the House and Senate in the current political environment.

Senate Democratic aides said that unlike debates in recent years on health-care reform and fiscal policy, Reid is likely to step back on the gun issue, allowing longtime gun control advocates, including Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), to steer legislation to consideration by the full Senate.

The Post notes that Reid benefited from the NRA staying out of this 2010 bid for re-election, though they didn’t endorse him either, and that there is concern that Obama’s push for gun control “could be a significant factor in at least 10 of the 23 Democratic Senate seats up for grabs” in 2014.

No, Congress isn’t going to repeal the 22nd Amendment

Jose Serrano

While laying in bed on Sunday evening trying to recover from the world’s worst cold, I got an e-mail from a family member with a link to a story with the headline — “Abolish Presidential Term Limits Bill Introduced.” The family member remarked, “Well, here you go!  If this is true, the first move has been made toward Obama’s third term.”

This story has been out on Facebook and Twitter over the last couple of days and, frankly, the reaction is a bit absurd. H.J.Res. 15, introduced by Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), would indeed repeal the 22nd Amendment, which was ratified in 1951.

The 22nd Amendment states:

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

Suderman: We need Clinton-era spending

Bill Clinton

President Barack Obama and Democrats, as well as a handfull of Republicans, are completely fixated on the raising taxes on top-income earners as part of any “fiscal cliff” deal that is eventually worked out.

The insistence is troubling because the issue at hand isn’t taxes. Sure, the recession and subsequent slow recovery has caused tax revenues to dip, but that is to be expected of any economic downturn. What has led to our current situation is Washington’s addiction to spending.

We hear President Obama and his apologists talk about Clinton-era tax rates, as if that were some sort of “holy grail.” However, Peter Suderman explains that if we’re going to get Clinton-era taxes, we should get Clinton-era spending as well:

Most of us can agree that the Clinton years, which saw growing median incomes as well as tiny deficits and steady economic growth, were economic good times, and we’d all like to see that sort of economic performance repeated. If that’s the case, then why should we limit ourselves to just replicating one tiny fragment of Clinton-era governance—higher tax rates on a fairly small number of earners? Why not replicate other aspects of Clinton’s policy mix as well?

Probably because that would entail mentioning something that Obama’s frequent invocations of the Clinton years always ignore: that Clinton’s spending levels were far, far lower than they have been for the last four years—or than President Obama has called for them to be in the years to come.

That’s true no matter how you measure it.

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