Tag Archives: Election

Are there any candidates Christians can get excited about in 2016?

Iowa Republican Primary Poll
Iowa Republican Primary Poll

Well, at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference, four candidates shined – according to the left-wing Politico, no less.

Intro:

At the latest GOP cattle call, about a dozen presidential contenders rolled through a Washington, D.C. ballroom over a three-day period to tout their socially conservative bona fides at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference. Most of the 2016 hopefuls managed to impress evangelical and other conservative Christian voters by championing religious freedom, highlighting support for traditional marriage and stressing the importance of family and family values.

Here’s their summary of the 4 winners:

Ted Cruz

Cruz flat-out owned this event, firing up the crowd like no other candidate did — attendees were still talking about him two days after he spoke. The Texas senator delivered a rousing call to action aimed at the evangelical community, saying that 50 million of them sat home in 2012 but could make the difference in 2016. “If people of faith show up, if we stand for our faith and our liberty and the Constitution, we will win and turn the country around,” he said. To a rapt crowd, Cruz did his best Reagan impression when he promised “Morning is coming. Morning is coming.” And he tore into what he framed as the Obama administration’s assault on religious liberty — a prominent theme at the conference. When Cruz finished, the crowd mobbed him.

Bobby Jindal

The Louisiana governor, who is expected to announce his presidential bid next week, is trailing badly in the polls but his appearance Friday was a chance to impress evangelicals — and he seized the moment. More than just about any other candidate, Jindal is a champion of religious liberty, and at the Faith and Freedom conference, he came out swinging. He blasted big business for making an “unnatural alliance” with liberals who opposed controversial religious freedom measures in Indiana and Arkansas. He tweaked Obama and Clinton for, in his view, “evolving” to support same-sex marriage only when the polls suggested it was safe — something Jindal pledged he would never do. He warned darkly that freedom, particularly religious freedom, is under assault, a stance that went over well with the crowd.

Scott Walker

The Wisconsin governor, the son of a preacher, met an enthusiastic crowd as he keynoted the closing session on Saturday night. The audience greeted him with a standing ovation after the president of Concerned Women for America introduced him by ticking through his record of opposition to abortion rights, and the speech itself was punctuated by attendees standing up to applaud. He reiterated his support for religious liberty, and his recitation of his confrontation with unions was well-received. But the biggest and most sustained applause of the night came as the governor offered a hawkish riff on foreign policy, tearing into the Obama administration for its approach to ISIS, Syria and Iran. Walker, who has been seeking to burnish his national security credentials ahead of an all-but-certain presidential run, appeared most energized during that portion of the speech — and the audience responded.

Carly Fiorina

The former Hewlett-Packard executive, who has shined at other GOP cattle calls, did it again Saturday. Attendees, particularly female attendees, were buzzing about her morning speech on the final day of the conference. Some noted that they had gone in knowing little about her, but had come out impressed with her resume and her energetic speech, praising her delivery as clear and direct. For Fiorina, who is known as her party’s most frequent and vigorous critic of Hillary Clinton, raising her standing in the polls is essential — her long-shot bid all but depends on qualifying for the primary debate in August, an event she nodded to in her remarks.

My first choices are Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz. I like Walker the best, though, because he has more accomplishments than Cruz (who is not able to build consensus to get legislation moved forward) and his state is doing better financially than Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana (Louisiana is struggling with a huge budget deficit).

Clinton Foundation fundraising branch in Sweden lobbied State Department for sanction relief

Hillary Clinton: secretive, entitled, hypoctritical
Hillary Clinton: secretive, entitled, hypoctritical

More bad news for the Clinton machine, this time reported in the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

Bill Clinton’s foundation set up a fundraising arm in Sweden that collected $26 million in donations at the same time that country was lobbying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department to forgo sanctions that threatened its thriving business with Iran, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Times.

The Swedish entity, called the William J. Clinton FoundationInsamlingsstiftelse, was never disclosed to or cleared by State Department ethics officials, even though one of its largest sources of donations was a Swedish government-sanctioned lottery.

As the money flowed to the foundation from Sweden, Mrs. Clinton’s team in Washington declined to blacklist any Swedish firms despite warnings from career officials at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm that Sweden was growing its economic ties with Iran and potentially undercutting Western efforts to end Tehran’s rogue nuclear program, diplomatic cables show.

“Sweden does not support implementing tighter financial sanctions on Iran” and believes “more stringent financial standards could hurt Swedish exports,” one such cable from 2009 alerted Mrs. Clinton’s office in Washington.

Separately, U.S. intelligence was reporting that Sweden’s second-largest employer, telecommunications giant Ericsson AB, was pitching cellphone tracking technology to Iran that could be used by the country’s security services, officials told The Times.

By the time Mrs. Clinton left office in 2013, the Clinton Foundation Insamlingsstiftelse had collected millions of dollars inside Sweden for his global charitable efforts and Mr. Clinton personally pocketed a record $750,000 speech fee from Ericsson, one of the firms at the center of the sanctions debate.

Now the last time I blogged about these issues, I think what was said was that if a company had offices in America, as Ericsson does, then they would be subject to sanctions from America for dealing with Iran, depending on what they were doing.

What’s interesting is that the responses to inquiries from the media:

The foundation, however, declined repeated requests to identify the names of the specific donors that passed through the Swedish arm.

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign offered no comment or explanation despite two weeks of requests.

When Mrs. Clinton became President Obama’s secretary of state in 2009, she vowed to set up a transparent review system that would ensure any of her husband’s fundraising or lucrative speaking activities were reviewed for possible ties to foreign countries doing business with her agency, insisting she wanted to eliminate even the “appearance” of conflicts of interests.

But there is growing evidence that the Clintons did not run certain financial activities involving foreign entities by the State Department, such as the Swedish fundraising arm and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative based in Canada, or disclose on her annual ethics form the existence of a limited liability corporation that Mr. Clinton set up for his personal consulting work.

The Washington Times article is a must-read, and please do share it. We have to make sure that we do not elect another Democrat who will take our country even further away from its conservative roots. If exposing Clinton Foundation finances stops the Democrats from getting more pro-abortion, anti-marriage Supreme Court picks, then that’s what we have to talk about.

By the way, this is not the first story to come out on dealings like this… we already had one from Canadian allies of the Clinton Foundation, and another from a Ukrainian donor who was dealing with Iran.

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Clinton shell corporation “WJC, LLC” allowed non-disclosure of speaking fee revenue amounts

Hillary Clinton: secretive, entitled, hypocritical
Hillary Clinton: secretive, entitled, hypocritical

This is from James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal.

First, about the “pass-through” / “shell” corporation:

If the Clintons had any wit, they’d have called it Everyday Americans LLC. The Associated Press reports that last week’s financial disclosures by inevitable Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “omit a company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president [the candidate’s husband] has legally used to provide consulting and other services, but which demonstrates the complexity of the family’s finances.”

The company is known as WJC LLC. The first set of initials stand for William Jefferson Clinton, the second for limited liability company. As the Small Business Administration website explains, an LLC “is a hybrid type of legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership.” An LLC doesn’t pay corporate income tax but rather passes profits along to its “members” (owners) as personal income.

There’s no evidence the Clintons failed to comply with the applicable laws in this matter. “Under federal ethics disclosure rules, declared candidates do not have to report assets worth less than $1,000,” the AP reports. Since WJC LLC is a “shell” or “pass-through,” which holds no assets, it falls short of that threshold by roughly a grand. The rules require Mrs. Clinton only “to identify the source of her spouse’s income and confirm that he received more than $1,000,” which she did in at least one case that “surfaced in emails from Bill Clinton’s aides to the [State] department’s ethics officials.”

But because there is no obligation to disclose how much money the spouse earned, “the precise amounts of Bill Clinton’s earned income from consulting have not been disclosed, and it’s not known how much was routed through WJC, LLC.” More is known about the Clintons’ extravagant speaking fees—“as much as $50 million” for him during her tenure as secretary of state—which went directly to them or the Clinton Foundation.

But that’s not all! When Hillary was Secretary of State, her department approved arms deals (SALE OF WEAPONS) to parties who made donations to her Clinton Foundation.

Amazing:

Graver for the Clintons is a report yesterday from David Sirota and Andrew Perez of the International Business Times. (Sirota is the left-wing author who enjoyed a dubious 15 minutes of fame in 2013 when he penned a piece for Salon titled “Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber Is a White American.”)

Sirota and Perez report that they found “dozens of arms sales,” worth $165 billion, that were “approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department” and “placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire.” In some cases, the sellers of the armaments were also Clinton Foundation donors. The report opens with this example:

Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States’ oil-rich ally in the Middle East.

Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region’s fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.

But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At a press conference in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for [Mrs.] Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”

These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing—the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15—contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.

Sirota and Perez also cite fishy-looking speaking fees to Mr. Clinton, such as $175,000 from the Kuwait America Foundation “paid in the same time frame as a series of deals Hillary Clinton’s State Department was approving between the Kuwaiti government and Boeing.”

And now, there are connections between the Clinton Foundation and the FIFA scandal that’s now in the news.

The radically leftist Daily Beast:

Both Bill Clinton and his family’s charity have been tied to soccer’s governing body, as well as Qatar’s disastrous World Cup bid.

And just like that, another Clinton Foundation donor is in the news.

The Clinton global charity has received between $50,000 and $100,000 from soccer’s governing body and has partnered with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association on several occasions, according to donor listings on the foundation’s website.

Several top FIFA executives were arrested Wednesday in Zurich and face corruption charges stretching back two decades, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Involvement with the embattled body extends beyond the foundation to Bill Clinton himself. The former president was an honorary chairman of the bid committee put together to promote the United States as a possible host nation for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

When the U.S. lost the 2022 bid to Qatar, Clinton was rumored to be so upset he shattered a mirror.

But apparently Qatar tried to make it up to him.

The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, partnering with the State of Qatar, “committed to utilizing its research and development for sustainable infrastructure at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to improve food security in Qatar, the Middle East, and other arid and water-stressed regions throughout the world,” according to the Clinton Foundation website.

The cost of the two-year project is not listed on the Clinton Foundation website, but the Qatar 2022 committee gave the foundation between $250,000 and $500,000 in 2014 and the State of Qatar gave between $1 million and $5 million in previous, unspecified years.

FIFA, which has never been a bastion of ethics, was heavily criticized for awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup to Russia and Qatar, respectively, in part because of their abysmal human-rights records.

The Guardian reported in 2013 about “appalling labor abuses,” including possible forced labor and worker death on Qatar’s World Cup infrastructure projects. It is also considered to be too hot to play soccer in Qatar in the summer.

Seriously, is Hillary Clinton the kind of person we want to sent to the White House?

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In one day, Bill and Hillary Clinton got over $1 million for FOUR speeches

Wow, “dead broke” indeed.

The Weekly Standard reports:

Disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission by Hillary Clinton provide fascinating details of the remarkable money-making machine that is the once-and-possibly-future first couple. Between January 2014 and the filing of the forms on May 15, 2015 (up to and including a speech by Bill Clinton to the American Institute of Architects the day before the filing), the Clintons made about $30 million, approximately $25 million from speeches alone.

Both of the Clintons have given speeches regularly in the 16-month period covered in the filing with rarely more than a few weeks off in between engagements. Often events are crowded together during a period of several days, sometimes with more than one speech on the same day. On a single day last October, Bill and Hillary delivered a total of four speeches, taking home over $1 million. Those four speeches fell in the middle of a three-day blitz that brought in a total of $1,511,000. (Mrs. Clinton edged out her husband $786,000 to $725,000.)

[…]Although the audiences for the Clintons vary widely, the actual content and duration of the speeches is not always revealed. However, a YouTube video of Bill Clinton’s recent speech to the American Institute of Architects, apparently recorded by an attendee, shows that the $250,000 fee paid to Mr. Clinton purchased the group a 23 minute speech, an hourly rate of about $652,000.

On a per-hour basis, she makes more than all of the CEOs of the largest companies.

Look:

$300,000 an hour for a speech
$300,000 an hour for a speech

That’s from this astounding article from the Washington Examiner.

Excerpt:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is drawing a populist bead on lavish Wall Street pay packages as she revs up her march to the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but in some respects the fat-per-speech fee she can charge puts her far ahead of the top 10 highest-paid American CEOs.

“I think it’s fair to say that if you look across the country, the deck is stacked in favor of those already at the top. There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the American worker…,” Clinton said during her first campaign swing last week at an Iowa community college.

Bashing Wall Streeters is part of Clinton’s strategy of remaking her image to appear more sympathetic to middle class voters, while also appealing to left-wing Democrats who are attracted to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and the even more radical supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist who talks of seeking the 2016 nomination.

Let’s compare the per-hour rate of pay for Hillary compared to the top American CEOs:

On that basis, the CEOs are pikers compared to an hour of Clinton speaking for $300,000. Hammergren, for example, makes only $63,076 for the same hour of labor. Clothing magnate Ralph Lauren, the second best-paid CEO on the Forbes list receives $32,067. Vornado Realty’s Michael Fasitelli, the third-place CEO, gets $30,961 per hour.

And this is what her speeches are like:

Is that worth millions of dollars? When you put this together with the secretive Clinton Foundation, it looks like something else might be going on here.

The radically leftist New York Times is saying that the “dead broke” Clintons made $30 million in a 16-month period.

Astonishing:

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband made at least $30 million over the last 16 months, mainly from giving paid speeches to corporations, banks and other organizations, according to financial disclosure forms filed with federal elections officials on Friday.

The sum, which makes Mrs. Clinton among the wealthiest of the 2016 presidential candidates, could create challenges for the former secretary of state as she tries to cast herself as a champion of everyday Americans in an era of income inequality.

The $25 million in speaking fees since the beginning of last year continue a lucrative trend for the Clintons: They have now earned more than $125 million on the circuit since leaving the White House in 2001.

In addition, the report shows, Mrs. Clinton reported income exceeding $5 million from her memoir of her time as secretary of state, “Hard Choices.”

Now, she wants to save us from the “1%”. She’s the 1% of the 1% of the 1%.

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What UK Prime Minister David Cameron will do, and an extra thing that he should do

CON = 331 (+24), LAB = 232 (-26), SNP = 56 (+50), LIB = 8 (-47), UKP = 1 (+1), OTH = 22
CON = 331 (+24), LAB = 232 (-26), SNP = 56 (+50), LIB = 8 (-47), UKP = 1 (+1), OTH = 22

Here’s an article from the radically leftist UK Independent, which is furious with the Conservative Party victory in Thursday’s national elections.

In it, they explain what Cameron intends to do:

David Cameron will use the Conservative Party’s first majority in the House of Commons for nearly 20 years to “deliver” on a radical agenda to cut welfare, shrink the size of the state and re-define Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Conservative insiders said Mr Cameron would move to the right to consolidate support among his backbench MPs after five years of compromise with the Liberal Democrats.

Among Mr Cameron’s first legislative priorities will be to enshrine an EU referendum into law, bring in the so-called ‘snoopers charter’ to give police greater powers to monitor internet communications and give English MPs a veto over legislation only affecting England.  The Tories also intend to publish plans to scrap the Human Rights Act within their first 100 days. All proposals had been previously blocked by the Lib Dems.

I always think of the UK as the biggest dupes when it comes to global warming, especially after the Climategate e-mails came out showing that that there was a concerted effort to falsify data and persecute global warming skeptics. But, like Canada’s Conservative Party, the UK Conservative Party is taking a stand against the pseudo-science.

Look:

As well as deep welfare cuts The Independent understands that the Department of Business and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, previously run by the Lib Dems, will be among the biggest casualties in terms of spending reductions.

Oliver Letwin, the Tories’ policy chief, has spent the campaign in Whitehall drawing up proposals to merge quangos and slash Government regulation. These are likely to form a key part of the spending review. The review has been made more difficult by Mr Cameron’s late and unexpected election pledge to find an extra £8bn for the NHS. This has yet to be funded and if the Tories stick to their other tax and spending commitments could require further cuts. Most senior Tories had expected to be negotiating another coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats, giving them the flexibility to raise taxes to fund their additional spending commitments. As it is they are now bound to implement legislation binding the Government not to increase income tax, national insurance or VAT rates for the next five years.

Quangos are “quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations”. Abolishing or merging these will put a serious dent in government over-spending – and overreach.

The Democratic Unionist Party factor

Cameron would do well to add the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) members to his coalition. Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan says that “On immigration, on constitutional reform, on defence, on Europe, on rural issues, on education, on law and order, the DUP is, well, conservative.”The Conservatives need 323 seats to govern. They have 331 by themselves, and 8 more would help them in case there are any rebellions from within their own ranks. If he can get the lone UKIP member on board, that would help too, giving him a majority of 340.

More about the DUP:

The DUP bills itself as “right-wing in the sense of being strong on the constitution”, but “to the left on social policy”. The party’s members show a strong leaning towards the Conservatives, Professor Jonathan Tonge notes, backing them by a ratio of seven to one over Labour. The DUP also back the Conservatives on areas like Europe, with Nigel Dodds insisting that any coalition they are involved in would need to offer an EU referendum.

[…]The DUP, which has close links to the Dr Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church, has frequently sparked controversy for how it discusses homosexuality. This has led to David Cameron facing tough questions earlier this month during a Q&A when one audience member wanted him to vow not to go into coalition with the DUP because of its views on LGBT rights, something he refused to rule out.

[…]The DUP also oppose the right of women to an abortion, with Jim Wells saying it should be ruled out for rape victims. The party has also called for a parliamentary debate on resinstating the death penalty.

It sounds like they are even further right than Cameron, which is good, because Cameron is what Americans would call a RINO.

Give Scotland enough rope to hang itself

But the most important thing for Cameron to do is to give Scotland full fiscal autonomy.

This is even something that the SNP leader wants:

Nicola Sturgeon was forced to admit in the second Scottish leaders’ debate that her MPs would be prepared to vote next year for full fiscal autonomy, which according to experts would make Scotland £7.6 billion worse off.

[…]In March, she suggested it might not happen straightaway as she faced claims it would cost almost 140,000 jobs and leave Scotland with a higher deficit than Spain.

[…]It would mean Scotland opting out of the Barnett Formula which currently sets Scotland’s public spending block grant, and gives Scots around £1,200 extra per head.

[…]In March, Ms Sturgeon dismissed warnings from the impartial Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that her general election demand for full fiscal autonomy would create a multi-billion pound financial black hole in Scotland’s finances.

Daniel Hannan thinks this would be a great idea:

Commentators struggle to explain the rise of the SNP: why, seven months after rejecting separation, should Scots turn to the separatist party? Those commentators miss the point. The SNP knows fine well (as Scots say) that opinion has not moved on the independence issue. Nicola Sturgeon had to keep promising that there’d be no re-run of the vote.

No, the SNP is better understood as Scotland’s version of Greece’s Syriza or Spain’s Podemos – a far-Left, populist insurgency. Like those parties, it has a touching belief in its ability to conjure wealth through alchemy.

[…]There is a very weak link in Scotland between taxation, representation and expenditure. Because of the Barnett Formula, Scottish politicians get to spend money that has been raised through taxation elsewhere. This incentivises their constituents to vote for high-spending parties. Over time, that tendency has become self-reinforcing to the extent that the very act of calling for fiscal restraint is seen as alien, un-Scottish.

Not all Scots are on the Left, obviously. There are some free-marketeers in the land of Adam Smith. But the prevailing assumption among Holyrood politicians and pundits is that higher spending is a defining national characteristic. They don’t use those words, of course. They say, “We’re a compassionate, fair-minded people”. But it’s what they mean.

What can be done about it? Well, the SNP demands full fiscal autonomy, and David Cameron should hurry to meet that demand. Partly because linking taxation to expenditure north of the border might allow a revival, over time, of Right-of-Centre politics in Scotland. Partly because the measure will also be popular with English taxpayers. Partly, too, because, without such a reform, separatism will revive. And partly because greater autonomy for Scotland could bring about a new, devolved settlement for the entire United Kingdom, something that is long overdue. Mainly, though, because most Scots say they want it, and the SNP has won an unarguable mandate. What are we waiting for?

The Scottish electorate – by and large – make Greek socialists like Tsipras / Syriza appear fiscally prudent. They need to find out how economics works the hard way. Let them make their own decisions, and maybe when they are picking leaves off of trees to feed themselves in a few years, they will come to their senses and be ready to deal. It’s very important for people who are led by their feelings and who pursue dreams against reality to crash and burn, so that they understand the value of practical people who have worked hard, saved and played by the rules.

The Scots are voting for slogans like “stop austerity” without any idea of how difficult working and saving really is for taxpayers, of which there are precious few in Scotland. Let them face the consequences of their own folly, and then come back to the negotiating table with a weaker hand, just as Greece is doing now. Maybe if Cameron does this in the UK, it will inspire Harper to do the same with Quebec in Canada. Just give Quebec full fiscal autonomy and then cut off the equalization payments that allow them to live far beyond their means. Make them grow up.

One thing is for sure. The UK electorate (aside from Scotland and Wales) has impressed me. This is the beginning of a period of liberty, prosperity and security for the UK, and I for one am envious that they are getting a head start on it, while we have to wait another year and a half before we join them by electing a Republican president, and holding the House and Senate.