Archive for Premo Mondone

Hillarynomics: Businesses don’t create jobs « Hot Air

Hillary Clinton & Martha Coakley

Hillary Clinton & Martha Coakley

If you have a job right now, don’t thank the company that hired you or the investors that created the company. According to Hillary Clinton, they didn’t build that. At first arguing that hiking the minimum wage would not cost jobs, the presumed Democratic presidential frontrunner then extended those thoughts in a very peculiar way:

At a Democratic rally in Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton’s attempt to attack “trickle-down economics,” resulted in a spectacularly odd statement. …

She went on to state that businesses and corporations are not the job creators of America. “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” the former Secretary of State said.

It’s actually a total non-sequitur. “Trickle-down economics” has to do with expanding investment, which actually worked spectacularly in the 1980s, but it’s not a theory on which the entire concept of job creation relies. One can criticize “trickle-down economics” without offering the entirely vapid argument that corporations and businesses don’t create jobs. They don’t get created by book tours, after all. The tens of millions that Hillary Clinton collects from publishers and speeches pay for a handful of staff jobs at the Clinton Foundation, perhaps, but that same cash turned into investment would create jobs that actually produce goods and services in a market, which then create secondary jobs, and so on.

Besides, Hillary’s argument here is entirely divorced from reality and actual data. The miminum-wage bill for which Hillary Clinton voted passed in 2007 and took effect in stages, beginning that summer. In June 2007, the Household Survey of the BLS showed that the US economy had 146.063 million jobs in June 2007, just before the increase took place. Last month’s data showed that the US economy had 146.6 million jobs — an increase of less than 500,000 in over 7 years, not “millions of jobs” as Hillary claims here. In fact, the 146.6 million is the highest it’s ever gotten since the passage of that law. In the same period, the civilian workforce participation rate has gone from 66% to 62.7%. On a population basis, there are a lot fewer people working after the last minimum wage hike, not more, and wages are actually down, not up.

Read complete article via Hillarynomics: Businesses don’t create jobs « Hot Air.

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Rand Paul just gave one of the most important foreign policy speeches in decades – Vox

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Sen. Rand Paul just gave one of the most important speeches on foreign policy since George W. Bush declared war on Iraq. But instead of declaring war on another country, Paul declared war on his own party. Or, at least, its entire approach to foreign policy.

In his address last night at the Center for the National Interest — a think tank founded by Richard Nixon — Paul gave, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of how he thinks about foreign policy. His moderate non-interventionism is a far cry from his father’s absolutist desire for America to exit the world stage. But Paul’s stance is light years away from the hyper-hawk neoconservatism that’s dominated Republican foreign policy thinking for decades.

Paul is signaling that, when he runs for president in 2016, he isn’t going to move toward the Republican foreign policy consensus; he’s going to run at it, with a battering ram. If he wins, he could remake the Republican Party as we know it. But if he loses, this speech may well be the reason.

Paul tacks to Obama’s right — but not the way you think

In the speech, Paul outlined four basic principles for conducting foreign policy.

First, “war is necessary when America is attacked or threatened, when vital American interests are attacked and threatened, and when we have exhausted all other measures short of war.” But not otherwise.

Second, “Congress, the people’s representative, must authorize the decision to intervene.” No more war without express authorization.

Third, “peace and security require a commitment to diplomacy and leadership.” That means expanding trade ties and diplomatic links around the world.

Fourth, “we are only as strong as our economy.” For Paul, the national debt and slow growth are national security crises.

In the abstract, this doesn’t tell you a whole lot about what Paul believes. But when he gives specific examples of where he agrees and disagrees with Obama’s policy, the core idea becomes clearer: Paul wants to scale down American commitments to foreign wars.

Read complete article via Rand Paul just gave one of the most important foreign policy speeches in decades – Vox.

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Putting the ‘O’ in EbOla | National Review Online

o_ebola

Dear Reader (especially self-monitoring readers overjoyed that Ronald Klain has been named Supreme Allied Commander in the War on Ebola. What could go wrong?),

This will be the single greatest “news”letter of all time. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. Pathos, logos, and ethos will leap into the San Diego Zoo bear pit of your mind and shout “Bear Fight!” When it is over, you will feel like you kissed your long-lost love both goodbye and hello at a Paris train station. You’ll be rested, as if you just woke from a nap by a waterfall using a panda bear’s belly as a pillow. While it’s not true we only use 10 percent of our brains, you will feel like that had been the case up until now. You’ll be able to cook twelve-minute brownies in seven minutes. You will never have to eat kale again. This will make total sense to you. Suddenly, whether asked to train cats to use a human toilet or use a semicolon correctly, you’ll say, “Of course, a child could do it.”

Now, even grading on my own curve, this was a remarkably stupid paragraph to write. The first rule of writing is “Sacrifice a bull to Crom before you start typing” (“Is that what we’re calling it now?” — The Couch). No, the first rule of writing is that there is no first rule, save perhaps “Always write in the language of your intended reader.”

(I mean, if I wrote this in Esperanto or Iroquois I’d lose a lot of you pretty quickly. But I believe good writing — like good jokes and good food — is whatever works. But some kinds of writing are riskier than others, which is why my Epic Poem (So epic I needlessly capitalized both “Epic” and “Poem”!) about the cancellation of Firefly molders in my desk drawer).

In fact, the reason that first paragraph was so dumb is that it violated a rule that transcends even the obscure-rightwing-free-“news”letter industry. No, really.

That rule is: Never overpromise. The common phrasing is “never overpromise and under-deliver,” but under-delivering is almost inherent in the word “overpromise.” It’s not an overpromise if you fulfill expectations. In other words, managing expectations is really important.

Read complete article via Putting the ‘O’ in EbOla | National Review Online.

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CDC: You Can Give—But Can’t Get—Ebola on a Bus | CNS News

Dr. Thomas Frieden

Dr. Thomas Frieden

(CNSNews.com) – Dr. Tom Frieden, director for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a telephone press briefing Wednesday that you cannot get Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus, but that infected or exposed persons should not ride public transportation because they could transmit the disease to someone else.

Dr. Frieden also reported that a Dallas health-care worker who has been diagnosed with Ebola had a temperature of 99.5 when she flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday.

Frieden’s statement came in response to CNSNews.com’s question regarding a video message from President Barack Obama last week addressing Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa, in which the president told residents they “cannot get [Ebola] through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus.”

During the conference call, CNSNews.com asked Frieden: “In a video message to countries in West Africa that are experiencing Ebola outbreaks, President Obama told residents they cannot get the disease by sitting next to someone on a bus. But CDC recommendations state that travelers in West Africa who begin to show possible symptoms, or people who have experienced a high risk of exposure, should avoid public transportation, including buses. And we’ve also seen large amounts of concern regarding potentially infected people traveling on airplanes.

“My first question is, did the CDC vet this video message before it was released and posted on U.S. embassy websites, and is it true that a person runs absolutely no risk of contracting Ebola on public transportation, such as a bus?”

“Yes, CDC vetted the message, and, yes, we believe it’s accurate,” Frieden responded.

“I think there are two different parts of that equation,” he continued. “The first is, if you’re a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone? And the answer is no.”

“Second, if you are sick and you may have Ebola, should you get on a bus? And the answer to that is also no. You might become ill, you might have a problem that exposes someone around you,” he said.

Read complete article via CDC: You Can Give—But Can’t Get—Ebola on a Bus | CNS News.

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First Whitewater prosecutor says ‘serious crimes’ were uncovered in probe – Yahoo News

Hillary Clinton a LONG time ago.

Hillary Clinton a LONG time ago.

The first federal prosecutor to probe the financial dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton says he was poised to bring high-profile indictments against top Arkansas political and business figures — based in part on testimony from a chief witness against the then president — when he was abruptly replaced by a panel of federal judges, throwing his investigation into turmoil.

“I was angry, frustrated and above all disappointed that I was not going to be able to carry through and finish bringing the indictments,” writes Robert Fiske, a former U.S. attorney who served as the original independent counsel in charge of the Whitewater investigation, in a forthcoming memoir, “Prosecutor Defender Counselor.”

Fiske — ever the punctilious prosecutor — offers no judgments on the conduct of the Clintons, nor on that of the man who replaced him, Kenneth Starr.

But in his first extensive public comments on his Whitewater investigation, in his book and in an exclusive Yahoo News interview, Fiske contends his removal had a devastating impact on the agents and prosecutors working the case: It ultimately caused the Whitewater probe to stretch on for years longer than it needed to under Starr, a conservative former federal appellate judge who had no prosecutorial experience.

“The simplest way to put it, after I was replaced, the lawyers on the staff in Arkansas said the agents for the FBI and IRS were totally demoralized,” Fiske said in the Yahoo News interview. “They thought we were on the brink of doing all these great things, and now that was not going to happen.”

The long-ago Whitewater probe seems likely to be revived by political foes if, as is widely expected, Hillary Clinton runs for president. (The Clinton library is due to release new documents, including some that are expected to include Whitewater files, this Friday.) For years, the Clintons have sought to portray the entire investigation as a politically inspired witch hunt, pushed by partisans hunting for any ammunition they could find to damage the president and first lady.

“I’m still waiting for them to admit that there was nothing to Whitewater,” Bill Clinton said in a recent appearance.

But the new account of Fiske, a pillar of the New York legal community, offers a more complicated picture. He describes how he had quickly uncovered “serious crimes” in the Whitewater investigation but that his probe was cut short after conservatives falsely accused him of a “cover up.”

“There were indictments, there were convictions,” said Fiske when asked about claims that there was “nothing” to the investigation. “People went to jail. There was never any evidence that was sufficient to link the Clintons to any of it, but there were certainly serious crimes.”

Read complete article via First Whitewater prosecutor says ‘serious crimes’ were uncovered in probe – Yahoo News.

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Food Stamp Recipients Top 46 Million for 35th Straight Month | CNS News

(CNSNews.com) – The number of Americans on food stamps has topped 46,000,000 for 35 straight months, according to data from the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

From September 2011 through July 2014, the latest month for which data is available, the number of persons participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has exceeded 46 million. As of July 2014, there were 46,486,434 beneficiaries of the SNAP program.

While the number of persons participating in SNAP in July declined slightly from the 46,496,252 who were participating in June, the number of households participating increased in that same time frame from 22,714,042 in June to 22,715,583 in July.

In fiscal year 1969, the average monthly participation in the SNAP program was 2,878,000. In fiscal year 2013, it was 47,636,000, an increase of 44,758,000 or 1,555 percent.

In 1969, the national population stood at 202,676,946, meaning the 2,878,000 persons on food stamps represented 1.4 percent of the population. In 2013, the national population stood at 316,128,839, meaning the 47,636,000 average persons participating in SNAP represented 15.1 percent of the population.

In 2013, one in five American households, or 20 percent, participated in the SNAP program. In 2013, there were 23,052,396 households that participated in the SNAP program, which was 20 percent of the 115,013,000 population.

via Food Stamp Recipients Top 46 Million for 35th Straight Month | CNS News.

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Obama to immigration activists: ‘No force on Earth can stop us!’ | Human Events

The "Dreamer" President

The “Dreamer” President

There have been a number of recent attempts to explain President Obama’s fumbling, disconnected management style as everything from fatigue – he’s tired, disappointed, perhaps a little depressed, and just wants to be left alone to enjoy the perks of the office for the rest of his term – to a ponderous, hesitant approach better suited to academia than the executive branch.  Jim Gerghty at National Review ran through four of these theories, beginning with the idea that “‘No-Drama Obama’ doesn’t have a crisis mode”:

He’s spent his adult life in so many relatively calm, methodical, slow-paced institutions — academia, state legislature, part-time law career, the U.S. Senate — that he can’t move or work fast. He’s perpetually deliberative, taking his time, getting sucked into “analysis paralysis”, looking for that elusive final piece of information that will clarify it all, ultimately basing his decision upon “what the experts say.” (This means he needs reliable experts – not a HHS Secretary not being honest about the state of Healthcare.gov, a VA Secretary unaware of abuses within his own department, and so on.)

On CNN, at the height of the VA scandal, Gloria Border quoted an unidentified former White House staffer saying, “People don’t like to tell him bad news. Part of it is the no-drama culture.”

But Barack Obama can generate plenty of drama when he really wants to.  When it’s time to throw the rest of America under the bus and pander to his favorite new constituency, he’s more theatrical, and hysterical, than any Broadway production.  Here he is talking to “immigration activists” on Thursday evening:

Read complete article via Obama to immigration activists: ‘No force on Earth can stop us!’ | Human Events.

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The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist | National Review Online

This guy has no shame.

This guy has no shame.

We’re being had. Again.

For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.

Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.

Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group.

The who?

There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.

You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the –Iranian–?Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.

The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Its leader, Mushin al-Fadhli (believed to have been killed in this week’s U.S.-led air strikes), was an intimate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaeda who dispatched him to the jihad in Syria. Except that if you listen to administration officials long enough, you come away thinking that Zawahiri is not really al-Qaeda, either. Instead, he’s something the administration is at pains to call “core al-Qaeda.”

“Core al-Qaeda,” you are to understand, is different from “Jabhat al-Nusra,” which in turn is distinct from “al-Qaeda in Iraq” (formerly “al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” now the “Islamic State” al-Qaeda spin-off that is, itself, formerly “al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Sham” or “al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant”). That al-Qaeda, don’t you know, is a different outfit from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula . . . which, of course, should never be mistaken for “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” “Boko Haram,” “Ansar al-Sharia,” or the latest entry, “al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent.”

Read complete article via The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist | National Review Online.

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