Speaking of horribly un-PC things current political figures said in years past, the Ace of Spades blog has dug up video of a “horrible old racist” using disgusting triggering language such as “illegal aliens,” “criminal aliens,” “deportation” and “secure our borders.”  Guess who said it and where, then click the link to see if you were correct.

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/366136.php

 

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Yet another infuriating reminder of why this election is not about who said what about Miss Universe 20 years ago:  The Inspector General for the Veterans Administration reported that the VA shortchanged 33,400 disabled vets who are unable to leave their homes by a total of $110 million in benefits.  That was offset somewhat by the $44.3 million in homebound benefits they sent to vets who weren’t eligible for them.  One homebound disabled veteran was shortchanged by $350 a month.  On the bright side, it was finally corrected…after he went underpaid for nine years.  The VA blamed faulty computers and poor training and management. 

Answer honestly: which Presidential candidate do you think is more likely to reform the VA, replace the faulty computers, fire the incompetents and instill better training and management?  The one who buys used Blackberries off of eBay?

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/10/02/housebound-vets-denied-millions-in-benefits-by-va.html

 

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There’s been a lot of talk about the opportunities Donald Trump missed to attack Hillary Clinton during last week’s debate, but one of the easy pop flies he dropped was when she touted her economic plan.  She somehow will create jobs and make business boom by instituting trillions of dollars in new taxes and mountains of new micromanaging federal regulations.  Because it’s worked great the past eight years!  Just look at that stunning 1.2% GDP growth under Obama.

While Hillary brags about all the economists who love her plan (Flashback: Last January, 170 economists released a letter endorsing socialist Bernie Sanders’ plan, too), Larry Kudlow is not among them.  At the link, he compares the Clinton and Trump plans and runs down a list of all the Clinton tax hike proposals that her supporters adamantly deny exist. 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/10/01/hillarys_red_army_march_of_tax-hike_destruction_131946.html

 

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There are so many laws on the books that it’s said we all violate 10 of them before breakfast without even knowing it.  There are a number of problems with that: such laws kill freedom and stifle innovation, they empower the government with the abuse of selective prosecution, and they foster a double standard.  We’ve seen that recently when Hillary Clinton was let off the hook for violating laws she should have known all about, while non-elites are told that ignorance of the law is no excuse.  That applies to people who were careless with government intelligence, but also to cases such as the retiree who was charged with a crime for accidentally driving his snowmobile into a National Forest Wilderness Area in Colorado when he got lost in a blizzard. 

If any good comes out of “the Hillary defense” (ignorance of the law), maybe it will make Americans question why we have so many laws and enforce them so unequally, and demand that our lawmakers do something about it.  A new article in Reason magazine makes the case for ending the era of “accidental criminals.”  Check it out and let me know your opinion in the comments. 

http://reason.com/archives/2016/10/01/no-more-accidental-criminals

News you might have missed!

September 30, 2016

What is the medical diagnosis when your blood boils every time you read about the Veterans Administration? I ask because I have that condition. The latest outrage comes from the VA health center in Albuquerque, where dozens of veterans who tested positive for colorectal cancer were not informed in a timely manner, putting their lives at risk. Three of them waited for three to nine months before being informed, and a fourth was never told at all and only discovered he had cancer when he went to a doctor for the pain. Of those four, two have already died.

If you are thinking of withholding your vote from Trump or helping Hillary win by voting for a third party, and all the arguments about the economy, the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court and the rest haven’t swayed you, then please consider this: Hillary represents a continuation of the current Administration’s VA practices. Trump has vowed to reform the VA and put our veterans first. And we know that he’s an expert at saying, “You’re fired!” Isn’t it long past time we had someone who will put that skill to use on the VA?

http://freebeacon.com/issues/veterans-cancer-died-delays-va-hospital/

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The Washington Post asks the question that’s keeping Americans awake every night in a cold sweat of fear and trepidation: “Is my dog’s Halloween costume sexist?” Before you despair at your fellow Americans’ insane priorities, read the hilarious comments and be reassured that this lunacy has only infected people who write for the Washington Post, not (most) people who read it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2016/09/29/is-your-dogs-halloween-costume-sexist/?tid=sm_tw

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The final revisions for second quarter GDP growth are in. The economy officially grew at a whopping 1.4%. That keeps Obama on track to become the first President in history never to preside over a single year of GDP growth above 3%. Plus, while Hillary Clinton demonizes corporations and promises to soak the rich with new taxes, corporate profits over the past four quarters have declined by 4.3%. She also promises to supercharge the economy with four more years of the same liberal nostrums of taxes, regulations and government spending that have given us one of the weakest recoveries from a recession ever. Investors Business Daily points out that it’s the slowest of the 10 recoveries since World War II. If Obama’s recovery had even matched the average of those recoveries, the US economy would be $2.2 trillion bigger than it is now.

And yet, liberals keep pumping out memes to share around Facebook that try to convince us that Obama’s amazing record on economic growth outshines even Reagan’s. No, not by a longshot. A farmer can brag that his corn is growing, but if it only grows three inches in a year, everyone’s going to starve.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-29/final-q2-gdp-comes-14-us-set-grow-slowest-pace-financial-crisis

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Remember those media reports about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being booed by the crowd at a performance of the Broadway musical, “Hamilton”? Well, turns out there’s video of his arrival in the theater, and I'll bet you a Hamilton that it proves otherwise:

http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/28/media-says-netanyahu-totally-booed-at-hamilton-video-says-otherwise/

Donald Trump found himself on the defensive during much of Monday’s debate. Perhaps he hadn’t anticipated that in addition to battling Hillary Clinton over her mischaracterizations of his views, he’d have to counter the moderator as well. If so, this event had to be a rude awakening for him regarding the brutal reality of media bias and his need to prepare well for it. On Monday night, NBC’s Lester Holt couldn’t resist interrupting and pompously “correcting” Trump on his own views, repeatedly.

In one exchange, Holt insisted that Trump was not correct in stating he had not supported the Iraq war. “The record does not show that,” he said. By “record,” he was referring to an offhand comment during a 2002 Howard Stern show, before Trump had even considered the issue in detail.

In interviews from 2003 and 2004 --- with FOX News’ Neil Cavuto and Esquire magazine, respectively --- “the record” shows that Trump clearly did not support the war in Iraq. And the Esquire piece includes what turned out to be an accurate prediction of the long-term consequences of an invasion and resulting leadership vacuum. If only our leaders had been looking at the same crystal ball!

So which “facts” should so-called fact-checkers (and moderators, but I repeat myself) be using? All too often, they limit themselves to the “facts” that further their partisan goals.

For the full story, along with some refreshingly accurate fact-checking, click here.

http://ijr.com/2016/09/702847-a-2003-clip-has-surfaced-that-flips-the-script-on-trumps-iraq-war-opposition/

Paul Ryan

September 28, 2016

We’re seeing it: Nothing brings Republicans together better than the threat of a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Gosh, what a unifying force she’s turning out to be!

What appeared to be hopeless fragmentation --- wildly played up in the media --- within the GOP is morphing into cohesiveness as we get closer to the finish line. Evidence of this comes in the form of post-debate support from none other than Paul Ryan.

The Speaker had positive things to say about Trump’s first big one-on-one debate. We all wish Trump had offered more detailed responses and had dared to bring up a host of issues that the moderator, unbelievably, failed to mention at all. But in a strong and hopeful statement at a news conference Tuesday morning, Ryan praised him as a “spirited voice” and one who “showed that for 90 minutes he could go toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton.”

It seems obvious that Donald Trump saw this debate as his “warm-up” for the contests to come. He’s a political novice, pitted against the Politician Of All Politicians, and there’s been a learning curve, to be sure. But now, when Hillary Clinton smugly says, “One down, two to go!” I can just hear him thinking, “You better believe it, sister.”

This post is sponsored by Iris Plans.

By now, you’ve probably heard debate analysis until you’re tired of it (I heard from a number of people who got tired of the debate itself and tuned out halfway through), but I’ll throw in my two cents. I think I have a unique perspective most of the talking heads don’t have, since I’ve actually participated in Presidential debates, including debates with Donald Trump.

First of all, when you listen to all the armchair quarterbacking about who won or lost, remember that there are two scales for determining that, and the one the pundits use is almost entirely irrelevant. They like to judge the winner on points, as if it were a UIL high school debate. By that measure, I think we can all agree that Hillary did everything a good, practiced debater should do. She obviously studied for days, memorizing what stand-up comics call “hunks,” or carefully-crafted pieces of a monologue, each word painstakingly honed to accomplish the multiple goals of making herself look steady, experienced and well-informed and her opponent seem dangerous and unready. You could easily imagine her rehearsing into her bathroom mirror, practicing smiling while sticking in the shiv.

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Trump, on the other hand, often seemed to be winging it. He’s great at that, and he landed some solid hits, but he also let a lot of softballs whiff by. He sometimes went into rhetorical cul-de-sacs, repeating the “we make bad deals” theme that can make him sound like a one-trick pony. And he let Hillary (and moderator Lester Holt, but more on that later) put him on the defensive too often. For instance, he could have brushed off some of the piddling attacks on non-issues like birtherism or what he once allegedly said about a beauty pageant contestant by reminding viewers of the serious issues America faces and how such petty nonsense pales in significance to Clinton’s demonstrated record of failure on national security and the economy. But he missed many such opportunities. Plus, Hillary made it all the way through the debate without fainting or having a seizure. I know that sounds facetious, but a lot of people were watching very closely for signs of ill health, and she managed to “power through” admirably. So on the “Tracy Flick” high school debate “win through doing homework” scale, I’d have to give the debate to Hillary.

However…

The only judges who really matter are the undecided voters in the viewing audience. And I doubt that many of them were watching to hear what Hillary said (although if she had passed out, that might have influenced their votes.) After more than 30 years in politics, Hillary Clinton is known only too well. Her carefully focus-grouped speeches about all her government experience and her 25-point plans don’t impress anyone who knows that it was bad experience and that her plans are nothing but more of the same foreign policy weakness that’s letting ISIS, Iran, Russia, China and North Korea eat our lunch and the same old big government control policies of tax/regulate/spend (sorry: “investments”) that have exploded the debt, crippled small business and put Obama on track to be the first President in history never to preside over a single year of GDP growth above 3 percent (One of Trump’s best moments came when he declared that America can’t afford four more years of her kind of experience.) And does anyone with a memory longer than a housecat’s truly believe that the 2008 meltdown was caused by tax cuts and not by Clinton/Carter policies that forced banks to give home loans to people who couldn’t pay them back? Hofstra University should’ve issued a “trigger warning” to conservatives that they might hear some revisionist history that would cause them to do double-takes that could induce whiplash.

No, undecided voters likely won’t be swayed by Hillary’s shiny new plans to deal with the disasters caused by her previous plans. Many of her claims were downright laughable, such as her smug assurance that she’s uniquely qualified to fight cyber threats from foreign governments, when we all know she thinks you “wipe” a server with a dust cloth and destroy data by hitting smartphones with a hammer, and all her own emails are all over WikiLeaks. I would also hope everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a “nuclear button” – the only person who ever traveled to Russia with a Staples-like prop push-button was Hillary. And her attempts to spark Internet memes with painful canned groaners like “trumped-up trickle down” – she said that twice, as if it would sound wittier the second time – landed with a clunk and just drew attention to her lack of spontaneity.

After 30 years of exposure to Hillary, anyone who has still not decided to support her is likely someone who really doesn’t want to but is scared of the alternative, after hearing the non-stop Democrat/media depiction of Trump as a crazy, fire-breathing, sexist, racist fascist or any other “ist” the liberals can think up. Trump proved to fence-sitters that he can show restraint when attacked, which was the whole point of goading him. For instance, when Hillary brought up some left-field accusations of sexist things he’d allegedly once said, he could have pointed out the bull elephant in the room – her husband Bill -- but he declined in deference to Chelsea being present. That may have frustrated conservatives who wanted to see blood drawn, but Trump was appealing to the undecideds who wanted to be reassured that he was a palatable alternative to Hillary. Not taking the bait helped him clear that low bar. By that far more important standard, Trump was the winner, because he was playing for votes, not an A+ from the media debate judges.

By the way, one of the best comments I saw online was from a poster on the Yahoo News comments section, who said that Trump reminded him of a doctor with no bedside manner. He tells you that you need to lose 100 pounds and stop smoking. You’re offended, you’re angry, you come up with 10 reasons why he’s crazy…and then you finally realize that he’s the only one telling you the truth.

Finally, a word on moderator Lester Holt. I’m hearing a lot of complaints about bias, and they’re not unjustified. Some of the bias was by omission; for instance, Holt devoted a ridiculous amount of time to the long-past-its-shelf-date birtherism story (news flash: Obama isn’t even running this year), yet never brought up the Clinton Foundation and its pay-to-play scandal, the immunity deals the FBI handed out like pizza discount coupons to Hillary insiders, her family’s enrichment through speeches to Wall Street banks and foreign nations with business before the government, her plan to greatly increase the flow of Syrian refugees and many other issues far more relevant to this election. And as Clinton kept giving shout-outs to her “fact-checkers” (the greatest misnomer of 2016) to save her, Holt answered her call, repeatedly arguing with Trump on her behalf (actual fact-check: Trump’s claim about the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk was correct). But there’s no point in a Republican whining about the moderator being a biased liberal. It goes with the territory. Besides, if Holt didn’t slant the questions and drill down harder on Trump, he might find himself exiled to the Siberia of TV news channels, MSNBC. Who can blame him for wanting to avoid that?

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The First Debate

September 26, 2016

Tonight is the first Presidential debate, and the media are abuzz: Will Trump maintain his presidential composure or lose his temper? Will Hillary manage to remain vertical all the way through it? Will her Tracy Flick-like devotion to wonky homework and detailed 50-point plans make people forget that we’ve followed liberal plans like hers for the past eight years, and they’ve made a wreck of the economy and the world (seriously, she tries to scare us with what might happen if Trump were in power while ignoring that under hers and Obama’s watch, the word “beheadings” returned to the daily headlines for the first time since the French Revolution).

One thing that Hillary should be prepared for is that unlike the media, Bernie Sanders and the FBI, Trump will not roll over and make it easy for her. Her camp already tried to rattle him by inviting Trump critic Mark Cuban to sit in the front row. I can’t imagine that would bother Trump, but he returned fire with a Howitzer by inviting alleged Bill Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers to sit in the front row, which set off a series of calls by Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and other alleged victims, clamoring for tickets to come fill the arena.

I’m sure the media can’t believe Trump “went there,” because both they and previous GOP candidates have always studiously refused to. But Trump is a different kind on candidate in more ways than one. He’s not a genteel Ivy Leaguer who fights by the Marquess of Queensberry rules. He’s a Queens-born street fighter. I know from personal experience that he is incredibly cordial to anyone who doesn’t attack him. But if you try to sucker punch him, you’d better brace for him to slug you back twice as hard.

Still, I think that anyone hoping for a Trump meltdown will be disappointed. Trump wrote “The Art of the Deal,” and he knows how to get what he wants. He is surely aware that most Americans don’t want Hillary Clinton for President, but they’ve been frightened by a relentless media onslaught painting him as the worst human since Hitler. All he has to do is show the world that he’s nothing like that media-created cartoon and come across as a reasonable alternative to Hillary Clinton, because, just as in previous elections, that’s all that most voters are looking for.

Arnold Palmer

September 26, 2016

There are only a handful of athletes so good at what they do that their names become synonymous with excellence in their sport. When it comes to golf, even Tiger Woods will tell you that that the “king,” the man whose name will forever stand for greatness on the links, is Arnold Palmer. Palmer died Sunday in Pittsburgh at 87, ending an astounding 52-year career as a professional golfer that encompassed 95 professional wins and 62 PGA Tour wins.

But Arnold Palmer was more than just a great golfer. Even more important, he was also a great human being. In the 1980s, he and his wife were given a tour of the small neonatal ICU and pediatrics unit of the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Deciding that the city could do better, he lend his name and his fundraising efforts to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for children. He urged the staff always to strive to make it one of the best hospitals in the world. Today, the hospital’s website cites his legacy of caring by recalling how he said that none of his achievements in golf compared to being a part of saving the life of a child.

Arnold Palmer may be gone, but his name will live on, in golf, on the children’s hospital that bears it, and let’s hope, as a sorely-needed sports role model for current and future generations.