Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

LinkSwarm for May 5, 2015

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo! My efforts to move the LinkSwarm back to it’s usual Friday position by posting early have failed, so I’m trying to get it there by letting it drift back one day later each time…

  • “Canadian Partnership Shielded Identities of Donors to Clinton Foundation.” Just in case you missed that. Because trying to keep up with all the sleazy bribery angles of the Clinton Foundation is like trying to drink from the firehose…
  • Speaking of which:

  • “Hillary may want to talk about inequality, but is there any better example of a couple who gorged at the trough of Wall Street and foreign autocrats, chose not to follow the rules, never could stop chasing more and more money and (in Hillary Clinton’s case) went to extraordinary lengths to destroy “personal” e-mails that might have pulled back the curtain on all that?” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Hillary hires Scott Hogan, an organizer of the failed “Everytown” gun-grabber astroturf to run her “Grassroots” campaign. Hopefully he’ll bring Hillary the same outstanding success he brought to gun control…
  • Russian stooges in Ukraine: “Soviet terror famine? No, that was all just a big misunderstanding!” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Islamic State murders 600 more Yezidis. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • The Islamic State also claimed post facto credit for the Garland attack.
  • Speaking of which, here’s an interview with Bosch Fawstin, the winner of the Draw Mohammed contest. (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.)
  • Emergency room visits up under ObamaCare.
  • Lefty lawyer Laurence Tribe calls Obama’s “force everyone to use green energy without congressional approval” plan unconstitutional. “After studying the only legal basis offered for the EPA’s proposed rule, I concluded that the agency is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority.”
  • Drug cartel violence heats up in Mexico: “Gunmen shot down a Mexican military helicopter Friday in the western state of Jalisco, killing three soldiers, and set fire to buses, blocked roads, and attacked banks and gas stations in a sharp escalation of violence against the government.” This is evidently the handiwork of the New Generation drug cartel.
  • Minimum wage hike hits San Francisco Comic Store.
  • When the Social Justice Warriors started attacking the company Protein World over their “Beach Ready” ad campaign, Protein World didn’t cave, they fought back. Result: They earned an additional $1 million in four days.
  • Not understanding that the Presidency is not an entry level job, and that the Republican field was already packed, Ben Carson joins the Presidential race.
  • Ditto Carly Fiorina, whose tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard was not an unqualified success, and whose 2010 California Senate race lost to Barbara Boxer by 16 points.
  • And evidently Mike Huckabee is going to run as well.
  • Texas Democrats are furious that a new ethics bill might keep them from scratching each other’s backs. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • The Austin American Statesman is moving printing and packing operations to San Antonio and Houston, resulting in about a 100 jobs lost in Austin. Previously. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Social Justice Warriors can’t even win elections at UCLA.
  • Austin’s Highland Mall closed on April 30th.
  • Vox Provides List of Clinton Foundation Donors

    Friday, May 1st, 2015

    From the blind-squirrel-finds-an-acorn department, here’s another rare interesting and useful piece from Vox that actually lists 181 major donors to the Clinton Foundation that also had business with Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

    Tidbits:

  • Microsoft/The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was the number one donor, giving at least $26,000,000, and possibly a great deal more, as no upper limit was reported.
  • The State of Qatar (and “related entities”) was the fourth largest donor, giving between $1,375,000 and $5,800,000. Rich Qatar individuals are also among the biggest backers of the Islamic State.
  • Goldman Sachs was the fifth largest donor, giving between $1,250,000 and $5,500,000. So much for all that “Occupy Wall Street” rhetoric from Democrats…
  • ExxonMobil was the ninth largest donor, and gave between $1,001,000 and $5,005,000. By liberal standards, shouldn’t this disqualify Hillary from talking about global warming ever again?
  • The “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa,” of which I was heretofore unaware, was tied for giving the tenth largest amount, between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000. They’re a Gates Foundation-backed entity that appears (from cursory research) to be pushing genetically modified crops (including those from Monsanto and Cargill) as a solution to Africa’s hunger problems. The question is why the money flows from Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa to the Clintons and not the other way around. Except, of course, for the fact that the money always seems to flow to the Clintons, and not the other way around…
  • Monsanto themselves gave between $501,250 and $1,006,000.
  • The American Cancer Society gave between $100,000 and $250,000. Why is the Cancer Society giving money to the Clinton Foundation? Has anyone asked?
  • Semiconductor equipment giant Applied Materials (for which I worked for four years more than a decade ago) gave between $100,000 and $250,000. Doing business globally, there are many reasons they could have sought favorable rulings from the State Department. However, some semiconductor equipment (specifically ion implanters, and possibly others) can be used (with modification) to enrich uranium.
  • This just scratches the surface on a Clinton Foundation scandal where new revelations seem to be dropping every day. But it’s a solid jumping-off point for additional research.

    Also, it offers a opportunity to troll liberals: “Do you think that Ted Cruz receiving money from Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil and Monsanto makes him a tool of big business?” Then after they answer…

    Texas vs. California Roundup for April 30, 2015

    Thursday, April 30th, 2015

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup, albeit a somewhat smallish one:

  • UC-Berkley misused nearly $2 million in National Science Foundation funds on staff salaries, travel expenses, and booze.
  • How California teacher’s unions indoctrinate children with left-wing propaganda.
  • Thanks to overly generous pension rules, Vallejo may be headed for a second bankruptcy. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Eureka, California will be laying off police to pay for pensions. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Farmer Brothers coffee roasters is moving from California to Denton. (Previously.)
  • Jerry Brown has ordered a radical cut in California’s greenhouse gases. Evidently he wants all of California’s manufacturing to move out of state…
  • Though Texas does a vastly better job than California managing statewide finances, local debt is close to California’s:

    Among the top ten most populous states in the nation, local debt in the Lone Star State was the second highest overall, at $219.7 billion. Only California’s local governments had amassed more, at $269.2 billion.

    On a per capita basis, local debt in Texas ranked as the second highest ($8,431 owed per person), with only New York in tougher shape ($10,204 owed per person). The average local debt burden among all mega-states was $5,956 owed per person.

  • So California may use drought bond money to pay for water not for people, but for the Delta Smelt?
  • West Coast truckers strike over alleged millions in wage theft. You may have gathered that I’m not exactly a pro-union guy, but from what a relative has told me about the trucking industry, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the strikers were fully justified in this instance…
  • Baltimore is the Natural Fruit of the Democratic Welfare State

    Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

    Despite the best effort of the far-left to spin it as such, the riots in Baltimore were not an “uprising” against “oppression.” (What oppression, the tyranny of CVS stores selling goods people want and the racism of fire hoses?) Instead, they were the standard, predictable outcome of the American welfare state.

    Liberals pounced on Rand Paul citing a lack of fathers for the Baltimore riots, but he is essentially correct. Walter Williams addresses the theme:

    In 1950, female-headed households were 18 percent of the black population. Today it’s close to 70 percent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children lived with the biological mother and father. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black households were two-parent households. Herbert Gutman, author of “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925,” reports, “Five in six children under the age of six lived with both parents.” Also, both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

    A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia found that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families (composed of two parents and children). What is significant, given today’s arguments that slavery and discrimination decimated the black family structure, is the fact that years ago, there were only slight differences in family structure among racial groups.

    Coupled with the dramatic breakdown in the black family structure has been an astonishing growth in the rate of illegitimacy. The black illegitimacy rate in 1940 was about 14 percent; black illegitimacy today is over 70 percent, and in some cities, it is over 80 percent.

    The point of bringing up these historical facts is to ask this question, with a bit of sarcasm: Is the reason the black family was far healthier in the late 1800s and 1900s that back then there was far less racial discrimination and there were greater opportunities? Or did what experts call the “legacy of slavery” wait several generations to victimize today’s blacks?

    Charles Murray made an exceptionally strong and well-researched case in Losing Ground that this rise in illegitimacy is a direct result of the perverse incentives of the American welfare system, in that single women garner far more welfare benefits than married women. (Another factor blighting inner city prospects is the loss of entry levels jobs for those who never attended college, some from globalization, but even more from an unchecked flow of illegal aliens taking those same jobs for lower wages and no government-mandated job benefits, thus knocking them off the first rung of the economic opportunity ladder.)

    That welfare dependency was a big reason welfare was reformed in the 1990s to require more wlefare recipients to work. Naturally the Obama Administration gutted those reforms.

    As John Nolte puts it, Baltimore is the direct result of Democratic Party policies:

    Contrary to the emotional blackmail some leftists are attempting to peddle, Baltimore is not America’s problem or shame. That failed city is solely and completely a Democrat problem. Like many failed cities, Detroit comes to mind, and every city besieged recently by rioting, Democrats and their union pals have had carte blanche to inflict their ideas and policies on Baltimore since 1967, the last time there was a Republican Mayor.

    In 2012, after four years of his own failed policies, President Obama won a whopping 87.4% of the Baltimore City vote. Democrats run the city of Baltimore, the unions, the schools, and, yes, the police force. Since 1969, there have only been only been two Republican governors of the State of Maryland.

    Elijah Cummings has represented Baltimore in the U.S. Congress for more than thirty years. As I write this, despite his objectively disastrous reign, the Democrat-infested mainstream media is treating the Democrat like a local folk hero, not the obvious and glaring failure he really is.

    Every single member of the Baltimore city council is a Democrat.

    Liberalism and all the toxic government dependence and cronyism and union corruption and failed schools that comes along with it, has run amok in Baltimore for a half-century, and that is Baltimore’s problem. It is the free people of Baltimore who elect and then re-elect those who institute policies that have so spectacularly failed that once-great city.

    Kevin D. Williamson expands upon the theme:

    American cities are by and large Democratic-party monopolies, monopolies generally dominated by the so-called progressive wing of the party. The results have been catastrophic, and not only in poor black cities such as Baltimore and Detroit. Money can paper over some of the defects of progressivism in rich, white cities such as Portland and San Francisco, but those are pretty awful places to be non-white and non-rich, too: Blacks make up barely 9 percent of the population in San Francisco, but they represent 40 percent of those arrested for murder, and they are arrested for drug offenses at ten times their share of the population. Criminals make their own choices, sure, but you want to take a look at the racial disparity in educational outcomes and tell me that those low-income nine-year-olds in Wisconsin just need to buck up and bootstrap it?

    Black urban communities face institutional failure across the board every day….

    Baltimore’s police department is, like Detroit’s economy and Atlanta’s schools, the product of the progressive wing of the Democratic party enabled in no small part by black identity politics. This is entirely a left-wing project, and a Democratic-party project…

    The evidence suggests very strongly that the left-wing, Democratic claques that run a great many American cities — particularly the poor and black cities — are not capable of running a school system or a police department. They are incompetent, they are corrupt, and they are breathtakingly arrogant. Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore — this is what Democrats do.

    And, as Allen West notes, it is more specifically a black democratic problem:

    The population of Baltimore is 622,000 and 63 percent of its population is black. The mayor, state’s attorney, police chief and city council president are black, as is 48 percent of the police force. But as 36-year-old Robert Stokes says, “You look around and see unemployment. Filling out job applications and being turned down because of where you live and your demographic. It’s so much bigger than the police department.”

    Everyone wants to have an honest conversation about race, so let’s us endeavor to do just that. Now, of course, when you speak the hard truth about race issues in America – and not just the liberal progressive talking points – and you’re white, you’ll be branded a racist. And if you’re black, well, y’all just watch the comments below and see the denigrating drivel.

    Snip.

    Every single major urban center in America is run by Democrats — more specifically, liberal progressives, black or white. The morass that became Detroit. The killing fields of Chicago. The depravity of Washington DC. The shame of South Dallas. And yes, even the place that was once my home, Atlanta — even with all the successful black entertainers…

    Just do the assessment yourselves, who are the elected officials heading up the urban centers? And where does one find the most dire socio-economic statistics?

    Yet we hear these rioters blame whites — well, they need to make sure they’re specifically blaming the correct whites — those on the left. Blacks have been herded into these inner city clusters, a new economic plantation and in this 50th year of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society — well, the unintended, or maybe intended, consequences are deplorable.

    There was a time when America’s disasterous welfare policies could be chalked up to good intentions gone awry. That time had long since passed. It seems that both a large, welfare-dependent underclass, and a small cadre of thugs willing to riot over racial grievance-mongering at the drop of a hat, benefit the Democratic Party.

    At what point do we conclude that the destructive welfare policies the Democratic Party promotes and maintains exist not despite their exceptionally harmful effects on poor black Americans, but because of them?

    Texas vs. California Update for April 24, 2015

    Friday, April 24th, 2015

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • The Manhattan Institute has a new report out discussing how California’s pension spending is starting to crowd out essential services. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Austin is the number one city in the country for technology job creation.
  • Texas unemployment is down to 4.2%.
  • That’s the lowest unemployment rate since March of 2007.
  • Marin County Grand Jury:

    Unfunded pension liabilities are a concern for county and city governments throughout California. Reviewing this problem in Marin County, the Grand Jury examined four public employers that participate in the Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (MCERA): County of Marin, City of San Rafael, Novato Fire Protection District, and the Southern Marin Fire Protection District, hereafter collectively referred to as “Employer(s)”

    The Grand Jury interviewed representatives of the County of Marin, sponsors of MCERA administered retirement plans, representatives of MCERA, and members of the various Employer governing boards and staff. It also consulted with actuaries, various citizen groups, and the Grand Jury’s independent court-appointed lawyers.

    In so doing, the Grand Jury found that those Employers granted no less than thirty-eight pension enhancements from 2001- 2006, each of which appears to have violated disclosure requirements and fiscal responsibility requirements of the California Government Code.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • The Marin Country lawyer: Nothing to see in this Grand Jury Report! Critics: Hey, aren’t you pulling down a cool $434,000 by “triple dipping” the existing system? (Ditto.)
  • Why does the University of California system have to hike tuition 28%? Simple: Pensions.

    As with other areas of state and local budgets, a big factor is pension costs, which for UC have grown from $44 million in 2009-10 to $957 million in 2014-15. And the number of employees making more than $200,000 almost doubled from 2007-13, from 3,018 to 5,933.

    While total UC employees rose 11 percent from October 2007 to October 2014, the group labeled “Senior Management Group and Management and Senior Personnel” jumped 32 percent.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Los Angeles Teacher’s Union gets a 10% pay hike over two years.
  • Like everything else associated with ObamaCare, covered California is screwed up.
  • BART wants a tax increase. This is my shocked face. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • And by my count, there are 157 BART employees who make more than $200,000 a year in salary and benefits…
  • California state senate committee votes to raise California’s minimum wage to $13 by 2017. If I were Gov. Greg Abbott, I’d be ready to start sending Texas relocation information packets to large California employers the minute this gets signed into law.
  • California-based Frederick’s of Hollywood files for bankruptcy. The retail lingerie business just isn’t what it used to be…
  • Torrence, California newspaper wins Pulitzer Prize for reporting on local school district corruption.
  • Priorities: Carson, California approves $1.7 billion for an NFL stadium even though they don’t have an NFL team to put in it.
  • Dilbert’s Scott Adams weighs in on California’s drought:

  • Did I Say the Clintons Earned $2 Million Off Russian Uranium Deals? I Meant $31 Million

    Friday, April 24th, 2015

    Looks like yesterday’s story on the Clinton bribe machine underestimated the amount of money the Clinton Foundation received from oligarchs connected to the Rosatom energy agency.

    By an order of magnitude.

    The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

    Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

    Like getting his wife to approve deals once she was Secretary of State.

    If I wrote a novel in which a major American political figure received at least $33 million (and counting) from Russian oligarchs, and still ran for higher office, it would be rejected as too unbelievable…

    The Clinton Foundation Bribe Machine

    Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

    The Clinton Foundation foreign bribery scandal just keeps getting bigger:

    The headline in Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when the newspaper served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

    The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

    But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

    At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

    Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

    And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

    Now the Clinton Foundation is having to refile five years of tax returns:

    Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

    The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims “absurd conspiracy theories.”

    The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

    Snip.

    For three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.

    Those entries were errors, according to the foundation: several foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation’s work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period. Those governments were identified on the foundation’s annually updated donor list, along with broad indications of how much each had cumulatively given since they began donating.

    I’m sure that common Americans can relate to simply leaving tens of millions of dollars off their tax returns. Happens all the time! “Oh hey, I forgot to report this $29 I won at slots in a layover in Las Vegas. Oh, and also this $2.35 million I got from shady Russian oligarchs! Just completely slipped my mind! Silly me!”

    Donating money to the Clinton Foundation also appears to be the fastest way to win State Department awards: “Twenty-two of the 37 corporations nominated for a prestigious State Department award — and six of the eight ultimate winners — while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State were also donors to the Clinton family foundation.”

    There once was a very old lady
    Whose financial dealings were quite shady
    She made a great dash
    Scooping up Clinton Cash
    Then told her media flacks “Now save me!”

    (Hat tips: Ace of Spades, Jammie Wearing Fool.)

    Texas House Votes To Defang Runaway Travis County Public Integrity Unit

    Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

    More good news from the Texas legislature: The Texas House has voted to remove jurisdiction over statewide elected and appointed officials from Travis County’s corrupt, partisan Public Integrity Unit. Instead, such investigations would be handled by the unimpeachable Texas Rangers rather than the likes of Ronnie Earl and Rosemary Lehmberg.

    It was only a historical fluke that Travis County managed to exercise such authority in the first place, and given the Public Integrity Unit’s willingness to pursue abusive vendettas against Republican political figures such as Tom DeLay and Rick Perry, removing that responsibility was long overdue.

    Democrats will no longer be able to get revenge against Republicans from the Travis County prosecutor’s office for what Republicans and voters have done to them at the ballot box over the last two decades…

    Hillary Clinton and Sir Mix-A-Lot

    Thursday, April 16th, 2015

    Sometimes I amuse myself:

    Might have some real content coming later today…

    John Wiley Price Update

    Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

    Remember John Wiley Price, the longtime Dallas Democratic political fixture arrested on bribery charges?

    Well, he’s now on his second court appointed lawyer.

    At taxpayer expense.

    Price is accused of taking $950,000 in bribes over a decade from businesses seeking county contracts or other approvals. He earns $141,236 a year as a county commissioner and owns various cars and two Oak Cliff houses.

    Federal agents seized more than $450,000 from Price in 2011 as part of their investigation. Price had about $11,000 in cash on him when he was arrested in July, authorities said.

    Yeah, that sounds like some serious grinding poverty Price is facing. (Just for balance, the lefty Dallas Observer says that politicians getting public legal aid after indictment is not all that uncommon. And Price’s case is complicated by having so many “assets” tied up via civil forfeiture.)

    Maybe he and Hillary Clinton could compare notes on being broke…