An In-Depth Look at Scam PACs

March 2nd, 2015

If you remember my pieces exposing Conservative Action Fund, Conservative America Now and Patriots for Economic Freedom as scam PACs, you know it’s an ongoing concern.

Now Right Wing news has done an in-depth piece on 17 high-profile PACs, only three of which gave more than 50% of the money raised to candidates. It was particularly disappointing to see Tea Party Express use only miserable 5% of the funds raised on candidates and campaigns.

Read the whole thing, including their caveats about the difficulty in measuring spending from some groups.

Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll. Front-Runner? Not So Much.

February 28th, 2015

Rand Paul won the 2015 CPAC Presidential Straw Poll with

Paul came in first with 25.7%, while Scott Walker came in second with 21.4% of the vote, and Ted Cruz came in third with 11.5% of the vote, just edging out Dr. Ben Carson at 11.4%. (Carson is 2016′s Herman Cain: The attractive outsider with no real chance of winning. The presidency is not an entry level job…)

Complete results via the magic of Twitter:

Does this mean Rand Paul is the GOP front runner? Not really, since that total is down four points from his father Ron Paul’s showing in 2011. Ron Paul would go on to pick up a smattering of delegates and place first in the U.S. Virgin islands primaries, which did not catapult him to the nomination. Mitt Romney placed second in the CPAC poll before going on to win the nomination.

Now, I happen to believe that Rand Paul is a much more viable GOP candidate than Ron Paul was (though not as viable as Scott Walker or Ted Cruz), but the Rand Paul’s CPAC win shows no sign of him breaking out of Ron Paul’s ideological base, which is not enough for him to win more than (at most) three or four primaries.

Based on polls in Iowa and elsewhere, Scott Walker should probably be considered the font-runner, and the CPAC result doesn’t change that.

Sergeant Leonard Nimoy, RIP

February 28th, 2015

I already put up super brief obituary for Leonard Nimoy on my other blog, but I wanted to highlight something Kurt Schlichter pointed out, namely that Nimoy was a member of the U.S. Army. He enlisted in the army reserves during the Korean War, serving for 18 months and mustering out as a Sergeant.

His stint in the military might even have helped Nimoy land the role of Spock:

“After leaving the military, Nimoy landed a large number of small parts in television. One of his early appearances was in a mid-60s TV show about the Marine Corps called The Lieutenant, produced by a young executive named Gene Roddenberry.”

Rest in Peace.

LinkSwarm for February 27, 2015

February 27th, 2015

Welcome to the Friday LinkSwarm, where two themes are jihadis enjoying the benefits of the welfare state, and Hillary Clinton enjoying treating campaign finance laws as “optional suggestions.”

  • 96% of Australian jihadis who joined the Islamic State were on welfare.
  • Sweden’s national job agency fires its entire network of “immigrant resettlement assistants” because they were finding them jobs with the Islamic State.
  • And the hits keep coming: Swedish expert on “Islamophobia” now fighting for the Islamic State.
  • Another day, another 24 people murdered by jihad in Nigeria. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • “If it bleeds, it leads”? Not when it comes to gang rapes in Muslim countries.
  • What the hell? Terrorism trials come to a halt after the Obama Administration orders military judges to move to Guantanamo Bay until the trail is finished.
  • How one Nebraska woman lost her health care three times thanks to ObamaCare.
  • Dana Milbank is very, very upset that Scott Walker isn’t biting on liberal gotcha questions. Oddly enough, I don’t think this concern extends to Hillary Clinton ducking Benghazi questions…
  • Speaking of Hillary, blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says that, despite her boasts to the contrary, Hillary didn’t do squat to help him. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • The Clinton Foundation took millions of dollars in donations from foreign donors while Hillary was Secretary of State. Maybe Hillary thinks every 3 AM call is a chance to ask for more money… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Related tweet:

  • Hillary-linked firm: Campaign finance laws are for the little people.
  • “Barack Obama has a great, big, heaping dose of Holden Caulfield in him.” So he’s an annoying, whiny loser…
  • “Every Obama speech has a villain, and that villain is often other Americans who disagree with the president.”
  • So Turkey isn’t willing to lift a finger to save Kurds or Yazidis, but they’re willing to invade Syria to protect an Ottoman tomb.
  • Mike Rowe defends minimum wage jobs and says why there’s no such thing as a “bad job.” “Work is never the enemy, regardless of the wage. Because somewhere between the job and the paycheck, there’s still a thing called opportunity, and that’s what people need to pursue.”
  • The PLO and the Palestinian Authority have been found liable in terrorism jury trial. Does this mean funds can be garnished directly at the UN? (Hat tip: Legal Insurection.)
  • Did you know that there was a prison riot at a Texas illegal alien holding facility?
  • Allah: The worst communicator ever:

  • Liberals are shocked that college “study centers” designed to attack Republicans are being closed by Republican legislators. “Mr. Nichol said the center’s only agenda was to raise the profile of poverty in the state through research, teaching and advocacy.” One of these things is not like the others. Research and teaching are fine. Do your “advocacy” on your own time and dime, not the taxpayers.
  • Given the (obvious) news that the Justice Department wouldn’t be indicting George Zimmerman, Legal Insurrection took it upon themselves to review all the myths around the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial.
  • Chicago has it’s own secret black site prison. It’s almost like it’s a corrupt one-party police state…
  • Wikipedia: “Alexis Tsipras is a Greek politician who is the 186th Prime Minister of Greece since 26 January 2015.” By my calculations, that works out to about 5 Prime ministers a day…
  • UCLA strives to make its council Juden Frei.
  • Anti-antisemitism amidst the yobs:

  • Got to admit: That’s one hell of an effective personals photo:

  • Texas vs. California Update for February 26, 2015

    February 26th, 2015

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • CalPERS believes that it has police powers to seize property to sell to support public employee pensions. “It is hard to imagine a bigger or more blatant example of collusion between business interests and government employees at the expense of ordinary private citizens.” Plus the impossibility of maintaining the 7.5% returns necessary for the pension fund to remain solvent. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • CalPERS and CalSTARS want direct proxy access for candidates for corporate boards.
  • Speaking of CalSTARS, the cost of funding it going forward looms large on California’s horizon.
  • Stockton exits bankruptcy.
  • Daughters of Charity Health Systems sues the SEIU over interference in a merger deal.
  • Part of the demands from California’s liberal Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris to approve the merger include forcing currently Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.
  • It’s all but impossible for the Middle Class to live in Silicon Valley.
  • West coast port strike ends. Yet another reason to ship through Houston instead…
  • Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick files a bill for $4.6 billion in tax relief.
  • Texas Right to Work laws help keep the state prosperous, but more can be done.
  • Right-to-Work Bill Passes Wisconsin Senate

    February 26th, 2015

    The passage of Right-to-Work legislation in the Republican-controlled senate is no surprise, but the quick, efficient manner they’ve done it in is gratifying.

    A right-to-work bill passed through the Wisconsin State Senate with a 15-17 majority and no amendments Wednesday as union-backing protesters gathered inside the Capitol building.

    The vote comes after a rushed Senate Labor Committee hearing Tuesday and upcoming State Assembly debates to come next week. If the bill passes, Wisconsin will join 24 other right-to-work states and would abolish laws making union dues mandatory, which critics say would dissolve private sector unions.

    Republican lawmakers unexpectedly announced on Friday they would take up the legislation in an extraordinary session to pass the bill as quickly as possible

    Majority Leader Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Wednesday at the Senate debate it is time for Wisconsin to modernize its economy to keep up with competing states in the Midwest. He said passing right-to-work legislation is a step toward this goal and toward individual freedom.

    Also: “Two gallery members interrupted Fitzgerald’s testimony to loudly express their opposition to right-to-work and as a result, Capitol Police escorted them out of the parlor. Senate President Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, warned gallery members another interruption would lead to the expulsion of the entire gallery.”

    It’s almost as if the ridiculous recall circus completely united the Republican majority against union bullying!

    Republicans hold a 63 to 36 edge in the Wisconsin Assembly, so Right-to-Work legislation should pass easily there and go on to a quick signature from Governor Walker.

    Nice job, Wisconsin union goons and left-wing allies! If you hadn’t alienated so many ordinary Wisconsinites with your embarrassing, hysterical temper tantrum, none of this would have been possible…

    Greece Suspends Soccer

    February 26th, 2015

    Greece has suspended their top soccer league due to violence:

    The new Greek government suspended competition in the top-flight Super League indefinitely after violence at a weekend match between the top two football clubs in the country.

    Sunday’s game between bitter Athens city rivals Panathinaikos and away team Olympiakos was marred by a pitch invasion despite a heavy police presence.

    The players and officials of Super League leader Olympiakos were also pelted with various projectiles and flares amid ugly scenes.

    Good thing Europeans aren’t completely soccer crazy, or that Greeks aren’t already pissed off at the continuing economic crisis or successive governments telling them precisely the lies they want to hear.

    (An aside: This is an actual sentence on CNN.com: “Following these incidents, the ruling Syriza Party has made its decision to impose a suspension, which will be the third team [sic] this season that Greek football has been halted.” That’s some mighty fine proofreading, CNN…)

    I think this is footage from the scene:

    Evidently Greek government is as incompetent at maintaining a “heavy police presence” as it is at everything else except deficit spending.

    Soccer hooliganism is hardly a novel phenomena in Europe, but I suspect this incident gives us a glimpse of the widespread simmering anger in Greece over the perpetual debt crisis. Having been brought to power by that anger, it looks like Syriza is badly underestimating its depth and how to manage it. If they were smart, they’d be far wiser to let some of it boil off in soccer brawls rather than let it keep building without an outlet.

    In a country that can no longer afford bread, it’s deeply unwise to start banning circuses…

    Lithuania Reintroduces Conscription

    February 25th, 2015

    With Russia still fighting it’s thinly disguised proxy war in Ukraine, other former Soviet states have to be nervous. That’s why Lithuania is reintroducing conscription.

    To my mind, all of the Baltic countries should go to a universal service model like Switzerland or Israel: Everyone does a stint in the military, and everyone has an assault rifle at home (with a good smattering of handheld antitank weapons amidst the civilian populace as well).

    The Baltic countries should all make it as hard as possible for Russia to occupy any parts of their country. Indeed, I would suggest that right now, disguised Ukrainian special forces units should be attacking critical infrastructure (rail lines, bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, etc.) all across Russia.

    Evidence suggests that Putin regards the economic damage being done to Russia by sanctions as an acceptable cost for digesting part of the Ukraine. That cost needs to keep rising to deter both present and future aggression.

    “You are blocked from following @AlecBaldwin”

    February 25th, 2015

    Keith Olbermann was given a Twitter-induced suspension by his employer ESPN over insulting Penn State students for a pediatric cancer fundraiser (of all things) this week. While noting my own little dust-up with Olbermann, I observed that it was high time that Olbermann, like Alec Baldwin, learned that Twitter was not his friend.

    At which point I discovered that I was blocked by Alec Baldwin:

    BaldwinBlock

    I’m honestly not sure why, since I only tweak him over his anger management issues about once or twice a year. (As opposed to earning my Amanda Marcotte block by consistently pointing out her extensive hypocrisy and willful ignoring of evidence in the UVA and Duke lacrosse (non-)rape cases.) Maybe he’s doing the GamerGate block thing, or using some other block list.

    Evidently I’m not alone:

    Time to break out this again:

    Wisconsin Unions Double Down On Stupid

    February 24th, 2015

    If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then Wisconsin union leaders may be clinically insane.

    Their suicidal idée fixe is on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his labor law reforms. You may remember how the rude, narcissistic, and counterproductive intimidation tactics employed during the Walker’s recall election backfired on them.

    Indeed, it was the recall election that made Scott Walker what he is today:

    The ferocity of the anti-Walker attacks during the recall attempt cannot be understated: no stone was left unturned, no “scandal” or slip of the tongue left unmentioned, and this may only help candidate Walker going into 2016. The Democrats spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours digging, scooping, ad-cutting, and hammering. They threw the kitchen sink at the guy in 2012, threw their neighbor’s sink at him in 2014, and now nobody on the block will let them inside to pee. Out of useful topsoil, what do they do now?

    Had the Democrats not targeted Walker with a recall, that massive fundraiser network, the national profile, the party unity, and his highly developed get-out-the-vote team almost certainly wouldn’t exist. He may have still won re-election, but he would be just another Midwestern Republican governor who enacted reforms and faced push-back, not the conservative folk hero of a party longing for a win. He would most likely resemble Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a reformer but hardly a man with a cult following. There would still be plenty of new problems with the governor his opposition could cite, instead of leaving him mostly vetted for 2016.

    They shot the king and missed, making a balding, sleepy-eyed executive into a god among a growing horde of followers. That’s bad enough for the Progressive set. In the unlikely event he wins the Republican nomination and the presidency? They struck the match that ignited their own national hell.

    And what happened after Walker’s reforms went through and public employee unions could no longer force people to join? Union membership plummeted. Over 100,000 workers availed themselves of the opportunity to escape union clutches when they were finally allowed to. That’s why unions will never forgive Scott Walker: his reforms proved that workers hated the unions that supposedly represented them.

    And Walker’s success has emboldened Republicans in other states to take on unions, which has the Democratic Party terrified. “Public-employee unions are a mechanism for the involuntary transfer of taxpayers’ money to the Democratic party.”

    Now Walker and the Republican legislature aim to make Wisconsin a full right to work state. Naturally, Democrats and unions (the latter being an extension of the former) are gearing up to fight it.

    Strategically, I understand why Democrats and unions have to fight this fight. What I don’t understand is why the anti-Walker crowd continues to employ the same “stuck on stupid” tactics against Walker that have lost them the last three elections.

    Loud, annoying protest in the capitol rotunda guaranteed to alienate swing voters? Check.

    Marches? Chants? Check.

    Clenched fist Socialist Realism iconography? Check.

    About the only thing they’re missing from the recall circus is the drum circle.

    They even sent union goons to harass Walkers’ parents at their home. Because that’s such a sure fire way to win over people.

    Now word comes that Wisconsin Unions are contemplating a general strike. Presumably because they couldn’t think of anything else so likely to: A.) Fail, and B.) Lose the supporting of those few remaining independents their previous tactics hadn’t already turned off.

    It’s like Wisconsin unions are doing everything they can to get Scott Walker elected President in 2016…