Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

LinkSwarm for February 5, 2016

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Presidential elections, Islamic terrorism, gun rights, crooked locksmiths: Something for (almost) everyone in your Friday LinkSwarm:

  • So why did Hillary Clinton take $675,000 for three speeches Goldman Sachs? “That’s what they offered.” I actually like the refreshing honesty about that answer, since we already know Granny Crooked McCankles is all about the benjamins. But Hillary saying she hadn’t decided to run for President yet when she took the money? That’s just pissing on our leg and calling it rain…
  • Why is the Republican establishment willing to consider one heresy to their worldview (subsidizing the working poor) but not another (actually enforcing immigration law and securing the borders)?
  • An inside look at Boko Haram.
  • According to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz gave us ObamaCare. By voting to confirm John Roberts. Before Cruz was even in the senate. Hey, why should Ted Cruz even bother to run for President if he’s capable of time travel?
  • Remembering the genocide Muslim Turkey committed against Christian Armenians.
  • The gun rights movement continues to win victories around the country:

    To recap: Gun-control activists declared Virginia their proving ground and poured unbelievable amounts of money into a state-senate election; then they lost that election; then they bet big on executive actions instituting new gun control; they watched as those actions were not only reversed but gun rights were expanded.

    If we take Virginia as the bellwether that the gun-control activists envisioned, then gun control is dead as a 2016 issue.

  • And according to this legal paper by Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, lower courts are scrutinizing even modest post-Heller gun rights restrictions.
  • West Virginia is on the brink of becoming a right-to-work state.
  • Who knew New Hampshire had such a serious drug problem? Or that they were the hardest-drinking state in the union? (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty via his Morning Jolt.)
  • Old and Busted: “The solution to misguided speech is more speech.” The New Hotness: “Your non-liberal speech is toxic. Goodbye comments!”
  • Debunking the “BernieBro” myth social justice warrior types are trying to gin up.
  • Rick Santorum stops pretending to run for President.
  • Male yahoo employee claims illegal sex discrimination in Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s ranking system.
  • Feminists freak out over people daring to point out how just how unlikable Hillary Clinton is. Then again, when are feminists ever not freaking out?
  • How fake locksmiths are gaming Google maps to rip you off. It’s an eye-opening piece, and another reason you should join Angie’s List
  • “Let me please reintroduce myself…”

    Thursday, February 4th, 2016

    “…I’m a woman of wealth and taste…”

    Hillary, you don’t need to reintroduce yourself. The problem isn’t that we don’t know who you are. The problem is that we do know who you are, and entirely too well…

    More Analysis of the Iowa Caucuses

    Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

    here are a few of the more interesting pieces pieces of Iowa analysis, along with a dollop of general Presidential Race news):

  • How Ted Cruz won Iowa.
  • Texas Monthly‘s Erica Grieder offers up a field guide to Ted Cruz for her fellow reporters. Including such nuggets as “Ted Cruz is not a fire-breathing extremist” (this is true; I’ve never once seen him breath fire) and “Cruz is smarter than us” (which is undoubtedly true for the vast majority of reporters covering him). While I have some quibbles here and there, the piece is well worth reading, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Cruz. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • More: “What they’re failing to perceive is that such an effort reinforced Cruz’s claim that he will work for the people. Trump has been making the same claim, and a lot of people believe him. But in Iowa, at least, Cruz had a chance to show the people that he meant it. That’s what clinched the caucus.”
  • “Cruz won Iowa the old-fashioned way: He earned it.”
  • 13 Quick Takeaways From The Iowa Caucuses. Including the fact that Hillary is a horrible candidate, and the media is far more obsessed with a Republican populist candidate that got 25% of the vote than the Democratic populist candidate that got 50%.
  • Cruz’s 51,000 votes were the most ever for a Republican in the Iowa caucus.
  • “The reason why we were reluctant to tip Cruz as the likely winner, however, was because we were all suckered by The Donald’s hype.”
  • Cruz 1, Ethanol Lobby 0.
  • Hillary Did Not Win Last Night.”
  • How Sanders caught fire in Iowa.
  • “Between the turnout and the result, Iowa’s caucuses provide an early indicator that Republicans are more excited and Democrats less enthusiastic than usual about 2016.”
  • Ace asks where were all those new voters Trump was supposed to bring in?
  • Frank Luntz says that Jeb Bush’s $100 million worth of anti-Rubio ads hurt Bush more than Rubio.
  • Rand Paul drops out.
  • Cruz gets endorsed by South Carolina congressman Jeff Duncan.
  • Winners, Losers, and Observations from Iowa

    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

    Now that was an interesting Iowa caucus! On the Republican side, Ted Cruz came in first (8 delegates), Donald Trump second (7 delegates), with Marco Rubio nipping at his heels for third (7 delegates).

    On the Democratic side, it appears that Hillary Clinton eked out a historically narrow victory over Bernie Sanders. I say “appears” since last night it was reported that results from 90 precincts had gone missing. Given her serial history of lawbreaking, and the entire weight of the DNC all-in on dragging her over the finish line, would anyone put it past Hillary to monkey-wrench the process to avoid a narrow loss?

    Let’s take a look at last night’s biggest winners and losers:

  • Winner: Ted Cruz: Given no chance at the beginning of the cycle, or even a few months ago, Cruz pulled out a clear victory against a candidate given eight months of unprecedented free media coverage. As I noted while following his 2012 senate race, Cruz is a smart, disciplined and indefatigable campaigner, a true conservative, and will make a great President.
  • Loser: Donald Trump: See above. A novice politician pulling 24% and second place in the Iowa caucuses would normally be cause for celebration, but Trump roared into Iowa like a juggernaut on a wave of unbelievable media interest and limped out like a hobbled mule. For all the talk about Trump’s money making a difference, there are few signs any of it was spent on an effective ground game. And for once he wasn’t bragging after the results came in.
  • Loser: Jeb Bush: Remember a year ago how everyone was predicting Bush’s fundraising machine and organizational muscle would bulldoze his rivals aside? Not so much. Bush ended up spending $2,884 per Iowa vote to come in sixth.
  • Winner: Marco Rubio: A strong third keeps him in the game, and he’s well situated to pick up deep-pocketed Bush backers who aren’t turned off by the huge amounts of money they’ve already thrown away.
  • Losers: Governors running for President. It used to be that Governor was seen as the idle perquisite for running for President (Reagan, Bush43, Clinton, Carter, etc.), but not only did Jeb Bush come in sixth, John Kaisch, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Jim Gilmore (who we’ll mention only because he was a governor, since he got a whopping 12 votes in all of Iowa) all did even worse, Martin O’Malley came in an exceptionally distant third on the Democratic side, and Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki didn’t even make it to Iowa. Huckabee and O’Mally have suspended their campaigns, and the other governors should follow suit.
  • Loser: Rand Paul: Few expected Paul to win, but few expected him to do markedly worse than his father. He should drop out
  • Losers: The remaining Republican candidates. At this point there’s no path to victory for Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina or Rick Santorum. They should drop out as well.
  • Winner: Bernie Sanders: He went from being a crazy old socialist with no chance of winning to a crazy old socialist who fought the Clinton machine to a virtual tie.
  • Loser: Hillary Clinton: She desperately needed to win Iowa and got it, maybe (the Iowa Democratic Party is refusing to release actual vote totals, as opposed to precinct results), with the help of some missing ballots and unlikely coin flips, by the skin of her teeth, but she vastly underperformed in a race that was supposed to be cakewalk for her a year ago. “Her inability to ride a first-class ground organization to a decisive triumph underscores the candidate’s weakness and the lack of a message that resonates with primary voters.” And there were accusations that Hillary was using paid staffers as precinct chairmen.
  • It’s now a three man race on the Republican side, and a dog fight on the Democratic side.

    Iowa Caucus Update: CNN Projects Cruz Win in Iowa

    Monday, February 1st, 2016

    “CNN projects Ted Cruz wins…On the Republican side, with 99% of the expected vote in, Ted Cruz leads with 28%, followed by Donald Trump at 24% and Marco Rubio at 23%.”

    On the Democratic side, things are much closer:

    “With 81% of the expected vote in, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders only 50.1% to 49.2%.”

    Edited to add: Fox News also projects Cruz as the winner.

    Early Iowa Caucus Results Have Cruz Ahead

    Monday, February 1st, 2016

    Early Iowa Caucus results show Cruz leading 28% to Trump’s 25%. Given the huge lead in free coverage and buzz Trump enjoyed the last eight months, that has to count as a big victory. Marco Rubio was running third, at 22%.

    Cruz also lead in the particular district caucus National Review attended.

    On the Democratic side, results also have Hillary Clinton barely edging Bernie Sanders 51% to 49%.

    Keep in mind these results are very preliminary, and the usual caveats apply.

    Sanders Up 60% to 33% Over Clinton in NH

    Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

    Bernie Sanders was already up over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, but not by this much:

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has opened up his widest lead yet over rival Hillary Clinton in the crucial state of New Hampshire, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

    The new WMUR/CNN poll out this afternoon shows the Vermont lawmaker with a whopping 27-point lead over the former Secretary of State — 60-33 percent. That’s a climb of 10 percentage points for Sanders since mid-December and a drop of 7 points for Clinton. It marks Sanders’ highest support and widest lead in any poll in any state so far.

    The usual poll caveats and the fact that Sanders hails from neighboring Vermont applies. But that sort of result would have looked positively loony six months ago. Now? It’s just another data point in Hillary’s catastrophic collapse.

    Hillary can surviving losing to Sanders in New Hampshire, but I’m not sure she can survive getting walloped by that much…

    Texas vs. California Update for January 19, 2016

    Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

    Been a while since I did a Texas vs. California update, due to Reasons, so here’s one:

  • Texas ranks as the third freest state in the union, behind New Hampshire and South Dakota. California ranks second to last, just ahead of Massachusetts.
  • Texas added 16,300 Jobs in November.
  • How’s this for heavy-handed symbolism? California’s legislature plans to close one of its doors to the public, but continue to allow access to lobbyists. Because you’ve always got to see your real boss when he comes around…
  • California’s unfunded liabilities for CalPERS and CalSTARS spiked by $24 billion is fiscal 2014/2015. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • The much ballyhooed pension reform plan won’t make it on the ballot this year. Supporters are now aiming for 2018. Who knows how broke California will be by then… (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • That’s probably because the game is rigged against pension reform. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Jerry Brown unveils a budget in California. The budget increases are relatively modest, by California standards, but $2 billion into the rainy day fund isn’t even remotely going to cover California’s huge unfunded pension gap, and most of the structural bloat in the budget remains.
  • More on the same theme:

    While all the numbers are constantly in flux, in 2014-15, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System saw its status fall from 76.3 percent funded to 73.3 percent, likely due to the fact that investment returns fell far below expectations. The long-neglected California State Teachers’ Retirement System, as of June 30, 2014, was 69 percent funded. Combined, the systems report unfunded pension promises of more than $160 billion.

    The current budget shows steep and consistent increases in state funding to the two systems. Whereas CalPERS is set to receive $4.3 billion in state contributions in the 2015-16 fiscal year, which ends June 30, it could receive $4.8 billion the following year. CalSTRS is to receive $1.9 billion this year and about $2.47 billion next year.

    In comparison, CalPERS and CalSTRS received $3.1 billion and $1.26 billion, respectively, in 2011-2012.

    While it is perfectly reasonable for costs to rise over time, the rate that costs have risen for the two giant pension funds is mainly a consequence of California trying to play catch-up for years of inadequate forecasting and planning, aggravated by investment losses. But because the pension systems are run for public employees – CalPERS’ board is full of former public employee union leaders – the necessary changes and adjustments have been made far too late to avoid calamity.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • On the actual mechanics of pension reform, and the impossibility implementing them at the state level in California. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Part 2, examining the possibility of reform at the local level. (Ditto.)
  • “California government, however, serves one purpose. It always reminds America what not to do.” Also:

    California has given us three new truths about government.

    One, the higher that taxes rise, the worse state services become.

    Two, the worse a natural disaster hits, the more the state contributes to its havoc.

    And three, the more existential the problem, the more the state ignores it.

    California somehow has managed to have the fourth-highest gas taxes in the nation, yet its roads are rated 44th among the 50 states. Nearly 70 percent of California roads are considered to be in poor or mediocre condition by the state senate. In response, the state legislature naturally wants to raise gas taxes, with one proposal calling for an increase of 12 cents per gallon, which would give California the highest gas taxes in the nation.

  • Federal judge rejects San Bernardino’s bankruptcy proposal, saying it doesn’t contain enough information.
  • Sacramento continues to ignore the needs of rural residents. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Half of California’s driver’s licenses are issued to illegal aliens.
  • After years at the top of the relocation list, Texas was only the 9th biggest relocation destination in 2015.
  • On the other hand, Texas was still the top destination according to Allied Van Lines.
  • But businesses continue to flee California:

    In California, costs to run a business are higher than in other states and nations largely due to the states tax and regulatory policies and the business climate shows little chance of improving. It is understandable that from 2008 through 2015, at least 1,687 California disinvestment events occurred, a count that reflects only those that became public knowledge. Experts in site selection generally agree that at least five events fail to become public knowledge for every one that does. Thus it is reasonable to conclude that a minimum of 10,000 California disinvestment events have occurred during that period….For about 40 years California has been viewed as a state in which it is difficult to do business. Gov. Jerry Brown’s Administration’s less than candid approach regarding the business climate has misled the Legislature, the news media and the public about the flight of capital, facilities and jobs to other states and nations.

    The study also shows that Texas had the most new facilities opening up in the nation in 2014, with 689. California, despite being the most populous state, tied for 12th with 170.

  • 85% of Marin County’s special district workers collected over $100,000.” Bonus: Their pensions are underfunded too. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Troubled California Wine Retailer Files for Bankruptcy. Premier Cru owes customers almost $70 million for wines it never delivered.”
  • This county-by-county breakdown of recession recovery is full of (very slow loading) data, and I haven’t come close to digesting it yet.
  • Scenes from the Hillary Implosion

    Monday, January 18th, 2016

    The way things are unfolding, it’s almost like the fates themselves have stepped in to stop Hillary from grabbing the Democratic Presidential nomination.

    Hillary’s national lead is slipping faster than it did in 2016.

    The plan to hide Hillary from the prying eyes of voters seems to be backfiring. “The irony is that it would be in her interests rather than those of [Bernie] Sanders to have the debates at times when more people would tune in. She has performed better than he has in debates, which has allowed her to make up for his far greater appeal on the stump.”

    Well, that is until last night’s debate: “Bernie mopped the floor with Hillary.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.) Ditto the Washington Post, which tabbed Sanders as the winner and Clinton as the loser. “She did nothing in the debate to slow the momentum that Sanders is building in Iowa and New Hampshire.”

    It also doesn’t help that the most Googled question ruing the debate was “Will Hillary Clinton get prosecuted?”

    On on top of all this, out comes 13 Hours, Michael Bay’s movie about Benghazi. “This movie is a massive, gaping wound in Hillary’s campaign.”

    Instead of Iowa being the first step in Hillary’s coronation, it looks increasingly likely her campaign’s derailment will start there in earnest. Just like in 2008…

    After $20 Million Down The New Republic Rathole, Chris Hughes Throws In the Towel

    Monday, January 11th, 2016

    No one could have possibly seen this coming, except, you know, every single observer who saw it coming:

    The New Republic, the century-old magazine that was rocked a year ago by the mass exodus of its staff following an effort by its owner to make it more digitally focused, is being put up for sale.

    Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook who purchased a majority stake in the struggling title in 2012, said in a staff memo Monday that he had underestimated “the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate,” and would seek to find a new owner.

    “After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic,” the memo read.

    Translation: I took a still-important liberal opinion magazine and managed to turn it into a Salon-clone that managed to lose even more money than Salon.

    Also this:

    “Immediately following the tumult, the magazine’s Web traffic declined by more than 50%, according to comScore Inc., and hasn’t risen much in the last year. In November, the site attracted 2.3 million unique visitors, down 38% from the same month a year earlier.”

    Publishing an opinion magazine is an expensive, generally money-losing proposition. William F. Buckley, Jr. kept National Review afloat thanks to regular reader fundraising solicitations and money from his own pocket. This is why we’re willing to give NRO a lot of slack when they keep pushing their wine club and yearly cruises. (This path is of course open to The New Republic, except who on earth would want to be trapped on a boat for two weeks with current TNR writers?)

    The New Republic used to fill an important role as a voice of liberal hetrodoxy, despite the magazine’s general decline over the years. After the shakeup, it no longer fulfilled any important role whatsoever except as a cautionary example of what not to do and a method of sucking money from Chris Hughes’ pockets.

    Now let’s see if Hughes can find another clueless liberal millionaire to keep pouring money down the rathole…