(Video) Do Big Unions Buy Politicians?

June 8, 2015

We’ve all heard of corporate lobbyists and the influence they can buy for their clients in D.C., but what about the influence of big unions over government, specifically government employee unions? When looking at all levels of government –local, state, and federal– unions like SEIU and AFSCME may be the real masters. In this Prager University video, Professor Daniel DiSalvo explains why:

Though DiSalvo doesn’t use the word, the relationship between unions and pols, particularly Democrats, is a “kickback scheme.” For more on that, click.


Did Hillary Clinton buy the New York Times endorsement in 2008 for $100,000?

June 7, 2015
Above the rules.

Above the rules.

That’s the implication in this Washington Free Beacon article. As Alana Goodman portrays it, the Clintons not only dish out favors in return for money, but they know how to play the game the other way, too:

A little-known private foundation controlled by Bill and Hillary Clinton donated $100,000 to the New York Times’ charitable fund in 2008, the same year the newspaper’s editorial page endorsed Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary, according to tax documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

The Clinton Family Foundation, a separate entity from the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, has been the family’s vehicle for personal charitable giving since 2001.

It is funded directly by the Clintons and distributes more than $1 million a year to civic and educational causes.

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund is a charity affiliated with the newspaper that assists underprivileged New Yorkers. It is run by members of the New York Times Company’s board of directors and senior executives.

The Times’ editorial board endorsed Clinton against Democratic challengers John Edwards and Barack Obama on January 25, 2008, writing that she was “more qualified, right now, to be president.”

At the time, there were reports that the Times board had leaned toward endorsing Obama, but was overruled by then-chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., whose family controlled the paper. Sulzberger’s cousins and Times Company directors, Lynn Dolnick and Michael Golden, chaired the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund in 2008.

The Clinton Family Foundation did not list the specific date the donation was made in its public tax disclosure forms. Neither the Times nor a representative of the Clintons responded by press time to a request for comment. Clinton ended her presidential campaign on June 7, 2008.

The CFF’s $100,000 contribution to the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund is larger than its typical donations.

Of the 47 organizations the CFF donated to in 2008, only six groups received more than $50,000. Most received between $2,000 and $25,000. The CFF has not donated to the Neediest Cases Fund since 2008.

The Times endorsement was controversial at the time because there was speculation about whether it was swayed by pressure from the Clintons.

Just like all the favorable State Department decisions that came after foreign governments and business interests made big donations to the Clinton Foundation (or paid Bill for speeches), I’m sure this is all one big coincidence.

Now pull my finger.

(Psst! Read the rest!)


Hillary Clinton knows the nicest people

June 1, 2015
Above the rules.

“Who? Never heard of him.”

A guy who would intimidate women who accused Bill Clinton of “sexual harassment” (1) and who made a hobby of impersonating US agents:

And you thought Sidney Blumenthal was shady.

Few people have heard of Cody Shearer, the unsanctioned diplomat, private eye, and Clinton flunky whose name surfaced in connection with the so-called intelligence reports Sidney Blumenthal was channeling to Hillary Clinton during her time at the State Department. But this shadowy fixture of the Clinton machine was everywhere in the 1990s — including war-torn Bosnia, where he became the subject of a State Department investigation after he represented himself as an agent of the U.S. government and took cash from a genocidal warlord.

Now evidence suggests Shearer, working with his partner Blumenthal, was up to something similar during the 2011 revolution in Libya. And like in the 1990s, the Clintons were lurking on the margins. Much of the intelligence contained in memos fed to the Clinton State Department by Blumenthal was not just self-serving — it was provided by someone with a history of misleading foreign sources, misrepresenting himself as an agent of the U.S. government, and creating trouble for both himself and the United States abroad.

So, a woman who ran her own private email server through which she conducted official government business and who ran her own off-the-books diplomatic and intelligence network now thinks she should be President of the United States… oooh-kay.

I’m telling you, a Hillary Clinton Oval Office would be a thing  of beauty: a paranoid law-breaking operation that would make Nixon’s “plumbers” look like Boy Scouts.

Perhaps we should start getting the impeachment papers together now, just in case.

Footnote:
(1) What a less deferential but more honest person would call “assault” or even “rape.”


Recycled: 2035 Himalayan Glacier Claim

May 28, 2015

Phineas Fahrquar:

Amazing. This claim was totally debunked, yet the Green Cultists are pushing it again. They must think the public has the memory capacity of an ant, or something.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Himalayas

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Alarmists are busy recycling old debunked climate claims, in a desperate effort to build up momentum for the upcoming Paris climate conference.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald;

Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink at least 70 per cent or even disappear entirely by the end of the century as a result of climate change.

Researchers in Nepal, the Netherlands and France have studied weather patterns on the roof of the world and then created a model of conditions on Everest to determine the future impact of rising temperatures on its glaciers.

“The worst-case scenario shows a 99 per cent loss in glacial mass … but even if we start to slow down emissions somewhat, we may still see a 70 per cent reduction,” said Joseph Shea, who led the study.

The IPCC, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to…

View original 112 more words


Los Angeles: union hypocrisy on parade #RaiseTheWage

May 27, 2015
x

Union economics adviser at work

You have to love the moxie of these racketeers: demand a economically nonsensical minimum wage, $15 per hour, and then, when the city is about to implement it, demand an exception for union members because business owners have threatened to do the logical thing: cut jobs.

From The Los Angeles Times:

Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.

The push to include an exception to the mandated wage increase for companies that let their employees collectively bargain was the latest unexpected detour as the city nears approval of its landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

Let’s review a basic lesson in economics, shall we, from another progressive, heavily unionized city:

Like I’ve said many times before: the laws of economics cannot be repealed by legislative fiat. Raise the cost of labor, and businesses will be faced with a choice from among four options — pass the costs on to the consumer; reduce labor costs by cutting hours or whole jobs; eat the costs and accept lower profits; or cease doing business in that jurisdiction, either by moving or closing shop. Ritu Shah Burnham may have loved her business, or she may have hated it. But, regardless, she’s come to the conclusion it isn’t worth staying in business in Seattle. She isn’t the first, and other small businesses in other progressive cities have made the same choice.

Apparently Rusty Hicks understands economics better than the Los Angeles city council and realizes he stands to lose union (dues-paying) jobs when the minimum wage goes up. So, he wants the freedom to negotiate a lower wage, more in line with economic reality. Fine. He’s pursuing his members’ interests.

How odd that he doesn’t want to allow that same freedom to all workers and business owners.

Afterthought: There is actually a sneaky benefit to this for the unions, besides preserving jobs. If unions can negotiate lower wages, there would then be an incentive for non-union businesses to unionize. That would lead to more union jobs and more dues coming into the union’s coffers. Oh, Rusty. You sly dog, you.

via Michael Strain


Move over, Nicolas Cage; Hillary Clinton is the real “Lord of War.”

May 27, 2015
"Obama loan officer at work."

Clinton Foundation staff at work

No, there’s no direct evidence that reveals bribery or other corruption, but the pattern of large donations to the Clinton Foundation occurring roughly at the same time as the Clinton-lead State Department awarded favorable decisions to the donors is pretty suspicious. Maybe not a “smoking gun,” but definitely a lot of shell casings lying around.

Which is fitting, since it seems Hillary was one of the most accommodating arms-dealers on the planet:

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure — derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) — represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House.

American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.

The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.

Now, I’m not one of those who’s squeamish about selling arms to unsavory governments; sometimes the interests of the United States will make this necessary in pursuit of a greater goal. This happened a lot during the Cold War. And let’s not forget the Great Progressive, FDR, sold untold amounts of arms to Stalin, one of the true monsters of history, in order to defeat Hitler in World War II. The needs of foreign affairs and war often make for strange bedfellows.

But, somehow —call me “crazy!”— I don’t think FDR’s Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, was taking note of Russian gold going to the “Hull Foundation” while shipping planes to Uncle Joe.

Let this sink in:

In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.

There’s much more at the IBT article. Be sure to read it all.

By any standard of public decency and good government, Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be running for president. She should be hiring defense attorneys to represent her (and Bill!) in a federal bribery investigation.

But, I suppose it’s too much to expect the leading and sole serious candidate for a major party’s nomination to be held to the same rules as the rest of us. Especially under Obama, and especially when it’s a Clinton.

via The Washington Free Beacon

Related: Why am I not surprised? Read all about Bill Clinton’s “shell corporation.” I can almost hear the money-laundering machines whirring away. (h/t Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt newsletter)


“Clinton Cash” has the Clintons terrified

May 5, 2015
Above the rules.

No proof

We’re barely into the formal campaign season, and Lady Macbeth has only just launched her coronation march election campaign. And yet the revelations coming from Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash” —which hasn’t even been published yet— are doing such damage to Hillary Clinton’s campaign that they’ve put out a video attacking the author and arguing “nothing’s been proved.”

Yeah, they’re wetting themselves:

In the 2.5-minute introductory YouTube video, Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon says the book is “full of sloppy research and attacks pulled out of thin air with no actual evidence.” Fallon goes through all the biggest allegations from the book, cutting to footage from various TV networks, all of which point out the lack of direct evidence or a “smoking gun.” (The new Clinton website also lists “10 Things You Should Know” about the book, linking to media coverage of various sections of it.)

“The bottom line is this: as secretary of State, Hillary Clinton made decisions based on her commitment to protecting America’s national security and standing up for freedom and dignity around the world, not the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation,” Fallon says.

For those who haven’t been following the multi-episodic saga of Clinton corruption, the short version is this: Peter Schweizer is a conservative investigative journalist and historian who has written generally well-regarded books on cronyism and corruption on both sides of the aisle. “Clinton Cash” is his latest. It goes into (at least in part) the “amazing coincidences” surrounding big-money foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation, big payments to Bill Clinton for speeches, and favorable State Department decisions (1) for those same donors and speech-purchasers. It’s apparently credible enough that those noted right-wing conspiracy rags, the New York Times and the Washington Post, have taken allegations made in advance copies of Clinton Cash, investigated, and amplified on them. Add to this the battering taken over Benghazi and her email server scandal, and it’s no wonder that Hillary’s trustworthiness rating has gone into a death spiral. Like I said, Clinton, Inc., is panicking, and this video is just one sign.

And yet, as Noah Rothman points out, the whole Clinton defense amounts to personal attacks on critics and cries of “You got nuttin’ on us!”

Heck of an argument for being made president, that.

PS: You know what the fun part is? I mean, aside from watching Lady Macbeth see Birnham Wood come slowly closer to Chappaqua Dunsinane. It’s the realization that, beyond Hillary, the Democrats have no one. Nobody. Not a soul who is a credible candidate. Martin O’Malley? Please, his chances went up with Baltimore. Senator Warren? I doubt her act will play well outside of Massachusetts and Berkeley. Governor Cuomo? He’ll be too busy organizing his defense in criminal court. Nah, the Democrats have tied their fortunes to Hillary, for better or worse.

And “worse” is still to come.

Footnote:
(1) Such as letting a Russian company that surely does Vladimir Putin’s bidding gain control of  20% of the US’ uranium supply. I wonder if the donation came in 30 pieces of silver.

UPDATE: Jay Cost disagrees with me about Senator Warren. And, on reflection, I think he’s right.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,476 other followers