August 2016 Archives
With news that foreign hackers have hacked state election infrastructure it seems like the time is right to return to paper ballots.
The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials.
The FBI warning, contained in a "flash" alert from the FBI's Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.
It's more important that elections be trusted and trustworthy than that they be cheap, easy, or efficient. Paper ballots are superior to electronic voting.
Anderson Cooper admirably tries to pin down Hillary on why her behavior was acceptable for a Secretary of State but wouldn't be for a President. Hillary strangely decides to use a metaphor about smoke and fire that any other person would invoke to suggest her guilt.
COOPER: Why was it OK for the Clinton Foundation to accept foreign donations when you were secretary of state but it wouldn't be OK if you were president?
CLINTON: Well, what we did when I was secretary of state, as I said, went above and beyond anything that was required, anything that any charitable organization has to do. Now, obviously, if I am president, there will be some unique circumstances and that's why the foundation has laid out additional ...
COOPER: But didn't those unique circumstances exist when you were secretary of state?
CLINTON: ... if I am elected.
COOPER: Didn't those unique circumstances exist ...
CLINTON: No, no. And, you know, look, Anderson, I know there's a lot of smoke and there's no fire.
Apparently Hillary Clinton sold access to herself and the State Department while she was secretary.
At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million. ...
The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors.
Isn't it worse that these bribes didn't violate the agreements signed by the Clintons?
This egregious corruption would sink Hillary if her opponent weren't Donald Trump.
On Monday, Bill Clinton said in a statement that if his wife were to win, he would step down from the foundation's board and stop all fundraising for it. The foundation would also accept donations only from U.S. citizens and what it described as independent philanthropies, while no longer taking gifts from foreign groups, U.S. companies or corporate charities. Clinton said the foundation would no longer hold annual meetings of its international aid program, the Clinton Global Initiative, and it would spin off its foreign-based programs to other charities.
If these activities would create conflicts of interest for President Hillary, why weren't they a conflict of interest for Secretary Hillary?
Obamacare has destroyed the insurance market in many areas of the country, and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the hardest hit areas are dominated by President Obama's political opponents. It's no coincidence.
According to an analysis from the consulting firm Avalere, as of now, there will be just one insurer offering ObamaCare coverage next year in seven states: Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, Alaska, North Carolina and Kansas. It is possible that more insurers could enter these markets before next year.
In one county in Arizona, there might not be an ObamaCare plan available at all.
Aetna had been the only insurer offering a plan in Pinal County. Unless federal and state officials can find another insurer to fill the void in 2017, the county's 400,000 residents will not be able to buy coverage on an ObamaCare exchange.
The dearth of options in rural, sparsely populated areas is a far cry from what Democrats promised when selling the Affordable Care Act.
The American birth rate is plummeting. The future belongs to those who show up.
The new birth rate numbers are out, and they're a disaster. There are now only 59.6 births per 1,000 women, the lowest rate ever recorded in the United States. Some of the decrease is due to good news, which is the continuing decline of teen pregnancies, but most of it is due to people getting married later and choosing to have fewer children. And the worst part is, everyone is treating this news with a shrug.
It wasn't always this way. It used to be taken for granted that the best indicator of a nation's health was its citizens' desire and capacity to reproduce. And it should still seem self-evident that people's willingness to have children is not only a sign of confidence in the future, but a sign of cultural health. It's a signal that people are willing to commit to the most enduring responsibility on Earth, which is raising a child.
But reproduction is also a sign of national health in a more dollars-and-cents way. The more productive people you have in your society, the healthier your country's economy. It's an idea that was obvious back in the 17th century, when economist Jean Bodin wrote "the only wealth is people."
Writing from Manhattan, Peggy Noonan calls out the global elites for losing touch with the rest of us. To many, "patriotism" is a dirty word.
Affluence detaches, power adds distance to experience. I don't have it fully right in my mind but something big is happening here with this division between the leaders and the led. It is very much a feature of our age. But it is odd that our elites have abandoned or are abandoning the idea that they belong to a country, that they have ties that bring responsibilities, that they should feel loyalty to their people or, at the very least, a grounded respect.
I close with a story that I haven't seen in the mainstream press. This week the Daily Caller's Peter Hasson reported that recent Syrian refugees being resettled in Virginia, were sent to the state's poorest communities. Data from the State Department showed that almost all Virginia's refugees since October "have been placed in towns with lower incomes and higher poverty rates, hours away from the wealthy suburbs outside of Washington, D.C." Of 121 refugees, 112 were placed in communities at least 100 miles from the nation's capital. The suburban counties of Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington--among the wealthiest in the nation, and home to high concentrations of those who create, and populate, government and the media--have received only nine refugees.
Michael J. Totten argues that paying ransom to Iran for the four Americans they kidnapped is bad enough, but we shouldn't ever transfer any money to countries that are openly hostile to us.
Even so, let's just say for the sake of argument that this didn't even resemble a ransom payment. Let's pretend, for the sake of discussion, that Iran released its hostages because it had a guilty conscience and that the arrival of the 400 million in cash was a total coincidence. And let's also pretend--while acknowledging that we're venturing deep into an alternative universe here--that the 400 million shouldn't have gone to the American victims of Iranian terrorism and hostage-taking.
Washington was still wrong to pay Iran the 400 million.
Because the United States shouldn't give money to any nation for any reason that we aren't at peace with. Would Washington have paid back a loan to Nazi Germany in 1943? Of course not. Would the US have given diddly-squat to the Taliban after 9/11? No way. Nor were Osama bin Laden's 100 million dollars in assets ever unfrozen.
Did Hillary's "extremely careless" email practices lead to the execution of an Iranian nuclear scientist who had defected to America?
"The physicist that came out, he defected, he was a treasure trove of information, but the CIA and the Clinton State Department botched it while he was in the States, left him pretty much unsupported," Prince replied, calling it a major mistake to leave Amiri's family in Iran.
"The second time he calls home, the Iranian intelligence service answers the phone. Undoubtedly, they leveraged him. When the guy talks about psychological trauma here in the United States, I'm sure it's because the Iranians were telling him all the things they were going to do to his family if he didn't come home," said Prince.
"Once again, the administration screwed it up. He goes home; of course, he's arrested. And then Hillary's emails, which were in the open, certainly readable by foreign powers, were talking about Hillary's so-called friend, who was a defection, and not an abduction, as the guy was claiming," he added.
Democrats are quick to dismiss fears about voting fraud because Democrats benefit from the fraud.
But there certainly are examples of elections being overturned for reasons of fraud, including mayoral elections in Miami and East Chicago, Ind. We've also seen clear evidence of fraud in more important races. In 2008, illegal felon voters appear to have swung the outcome of the critical 2008 Minnesota Senate election. The day after the election, GOP senator Norm Coleman had a 725-vote lead, but a series of recounts over the next six months reversed that result and gave Democrat Al Franken a 312-vote victory.
Voting should be easy for every eligible citizen, and impossible for everyone else.
Ben Shapiro is right: the Democrats' moral preening over Hillary is absurd.
1. Hillary Is Worse Than Trump. Over the weekend, one major political candidate earned a four-Pinocchio rating from The Washington Post. That same candidate slurred Gold Star families as liars. That candidate was Hillary Clinton, who appeared on national television to explain that FBI Director James Comey had fully cleared her - he had even said she was honest! This, of course, was false. Then Hillary went on to claim that Benghazi Gold Star families must have misremembered her comments to them about a YouTube video being responsible for their children's deaths. Hillary can complain all she wants about Trump's connections with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, but she's the one who handed him a reset button, then cut a nuclear deal that allowed the Russians into our uranium mines. For every Trump sin, there's one just as bad in Hillary's closet - and usually worse, since she was a government actor at the time.
I think we could do better than Trump or Hillary by drawing randomly from the phone book, but alas, that's not how our system works. (Same goes for Congress, and maybe the judiciary -- hey, it works for juries!)