Michelle Malkin

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Fast Lerner: Subpoenaed tech guy who worked on Hillary’s private server says he’ll plead the 5th (sound familiar?)

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 21:07

**Written by Doug Powers

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Lois Lerner and Solyndra execs took the 5th before Congress and are doing just fine, so the bar of non-accountability has been set. Has anybody in this administration really been held accountable for anything? There’s no reason not to be defiant and just run out the clock:

A former State Department staffer who worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail server tried this week to fend off a subpoena to testify before Congress, saying he would assert his constitutional right not to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself.

The move by Bryan Pagliano, who had worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009, came in a Monday letter from his lawyer to the House panel investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
[…]
“While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that the members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right to invoke the protections of the Constitution,” his attorney, Mark MacDougall, wrote.

Two other Senate committees have contacted Pagliano in the past week, according to a copy of the letter, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

But everything Hillary did was totally on the up-and-up — it’s just that her people don’t like to publicly brag about how compliant and transparent she was, or something.

According to the WaPo, Pagliano worked in the IT department at State from May 2009 until February 2013. I’m just guessing he knows that if he wants to work at the White House in 2017 he’ll keep his mouth shut in 2015 and 2016.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Eric Cantor: Poster boy of the Beltway crapweasels

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 08:22

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 8.16.22 AM

Eric Cantor: Poster boy of the Beltway crapweasels
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2015

Ooouuuch. My sides are still aching after last week’s comical announcement by GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush that he had snagged the coveted endorsement of notorious electoral reject Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader kicked to the curb by disgusted voters in Virginia’s 2014 primary election.

Newsflash to GOP elites: Getting Cantor’s support is not like landing a prized marlin. It’s like hooking one of those hideous bottom-feeding blobfish named the world’s ugliest creature.

Inside the Beltway, The Washington Post reported, “Cantor remains well-liked and respected in the Virginia business community and among the Republican donor class in the commonwealth.”

But outside the Beltway, the failed Republican revolutionary-turned-Wall Street influence-peddler is a snortle-inducing spectacle on both sides of the political aisle.

In Cantor’s endorsement statement Thursday, he praised Bush as a “true conservative leader” who “can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness.” That’s empty babble coming from the epitome of an out-of-touch, self-aggrandizing, revolving-door ruling class.

BushCantor share the same smug condescension toward Americans who believe in strict immigration enforcement and putting American workers first. Cantor fecklessly lied to voters during the campaign season about his position(s). He showered his district with anti-illegal immigration flyers that fraudulently portrayed him as standing up to President Obama on amnesty. But on Capitol Hill, he championed the DREAM Act for illegal alien students, huge H-1B visa increases to quench Big Tech’s appetite for cheap foreign tech workers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce/AFL-CIO’s collaboration on massive immigration expansions.

While Cantor lip-synced to the limited-government tea party message, he boogied in backrooms with his pork-barrel pals. He assailed Obama’s bloated stimulus and then celebrated the high-speed rail boondoggles in his state funded by it. As a celebrated “young gun” on the right, Cantor preached fiscal responsibility, while blowing nearly $170,000 on fancy steakhouse dinners across the country in his last year in office.

Like Bush (and Gang of Eight cheerleader Sen. Marco Rubio), Cantor was the beneficiary of — and water carrier for — generous Silicon Valley and Big Business contributors. Cantor’s biggest donors included New York financial conglomerates the Blackstone Group ($65,500) and Goldman Sachs ($26,000), and California tech company Oracle ($25,000).

By contrast, the biggest donors to Cantor’s successful challenger, libertarian economics professor Dave Brat, were Virginia couple Gerry and Karen Baugh of Baugh Auto Body ($5,400), Michigan writer and artist Louis McAlpin ($5,200), and retired Virginia couple Martha and Kenneth Schwenzer ($5,200).

One outside group, the American Chemistry Council, spent a whopping $300,000 on soft-money ads to protect Cantor — an amount that exceeded Brat’s entire campaign funding.

Likewise, while Bush fashions himself a champion of the American worker, he pompously pushes the Gang of Eight amnesty as the only “adult” plan in the room. While he poses as a champion of American parents, students and “school choice,” he trashes activist moms and zealously crusades for failed Fed Ed rackets and data-mining schemes masquerading as “higher standards.” And while he stumps for the ordinary American’s “right to rise” through conservative principles, he has parlayed his political career into a multimillion-dollar collection basket from liberal special interests and corporate cronies who fund his Common Core advocacy — including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the GE Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Intel and Pearson Education.

BushCantor seem to think everyone else will suffer from Sudden Election Amnesia Syndrome and grant big-spending, open-borders Republicans blanket amnesty for their betrayals. But what Brat told voters in Virginia about Cantor goes for voters nationwide as Bush flounders. “Eric Cantor doesn’t represent you,” Brat bluntly warned. “He represents large corporations seeking a never-ending supply of cheap foreign labor. He doesn’t care about how this will affect your livelihood, your schools, your tax bills or your kids’ chances of finding a job.”

The disgraced seven-term representative from Virginia’s affluent 7th district, who turned his back on grassroots constituents in favor of cashing in on power, now promises to work closely with Bush “as they chart a course to the White House.”

Here’s to Cantor’s success in helping Jeb navigate his same path to loserdom. Bon voyage!

Commence victimization phase: HuffPo finds the terrible truth Hillary’s emails reveal

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 05:59

**Written by Doug Powers

How many federal laws did Hillary Clinton break with her email shenanigans? How much classified information did foreign governments manage to get their hands on?

Put all that on the back burner, because HuffPo Politics reported what Hillary’s emails really reveal

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Hey, that was exactly my takeaway too!

Hillary Clinton has long been a champion of policies to facilitate work-life balance, particularly for women. Yet as secretary of state, members of her staff reported feeling stressed and found it difficult to take time off.

Part of the trove of State Department emails released late Monday show staffers discussing the breakneck pace of their work and imploring each other to take days off.

In one 2009 email, Anne-Marie Slaughter urged top Clinton aide Huma Abedin to begin her Christmas vacation a few days early, on Dec. 21. “I would urge you to — for your own sake. The pace is absolutely killing and you deserve it,” she told Abedin.

Slaughter added that if Abedin, then Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, decided to take that day off, other staffers “would feel much freer to do so.”

How terrible. HuffPo should encourage the government to find and release even the emails she’s deleted so Americans can understand that Hillary’s staff worked to the point of exhaustion (mostly finding and deleting emails). Why should the full measure of their sacrifice be known only to Russian and Chinese government hackers?

null Above: Average work day at the State Department under Hillary Clinton

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Peer-reviewed study: Obama’s mixed messages contributing to climate change, mass confusion

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 11:19

**Written by Doug Powers

Do a simple search for “Arctic ice melt” and you’ll see all kind of alarming results. Here’s just one from May: Arctic Ice Melting Faster and Earlier With Dire Results.

And just a few days ago: Extreme Arctic sea ice melt forces thousands of walruses ashore in Alaska.

President Obama is in Alaska making the same warning, and then some:

Pres Obama said melting glaciers contribute to rising sea levels – "projected to rise another one to four feet this century."

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 1, 2015

Obama also said “if you like your plan you can keep it,” but whatever — it’s the kind of fossil fuel emission warning that has maximum impact when delivered by a man who just flew over six hours on a private jumbo jet.

Anyway, the bottom line is that the Arctic is melting and we’re all probably going to drown as a result, which for some reason is why oceanfront property values keep going up. Go figure.

Obama then followed up his dire ice melt doomsday scenario with this:

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Mixed messages we can believe in!

Why did Team Obama make their alarmist trek to Alaska in late summer instead in the dead of winter? The science is settled on the rhetorical nature of that question.

While in Alaska, Obama will appear on “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” Obama’s survival challenge will be to complete 36 holes on a course with no snack bars, and then to fashion a lean-to using nothing but his golf bag and empty Nicorette boxes.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Hillary Clinton email proves without a doubt she’s the ‘future’

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 10:26

**Written by Doug Powers

The wind-up:

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And the pitch, from the latest batch of non-deleted emails the State Department released last night:

An exchange with former staffer Phillippe Reines on July 24, 2010, had the subject line “I-Pad Questions.” Clinton’s questions include how to charge the Apple tablet and how to update a news reader app.

Reines asks Clinton if she has a wireless Internet connection, and she replies: “I don’t know if I have wi-fi. How do I find out?”

Totally qualified to run a private server containing information foreign nations would be attempting to access.

Hillary’s the “future,” alright, provided you’re viewing it from about 1997.

(h/t Twitchy)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Salesmanship fail: Rep. Patrick Murphy channels his inner Neville Chamberlain to pitch Iran deal

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 21:57

**Written by Doug Powers

You might have thought that with all the memos, emails and phone calls flying back and forth among those who were trying to sell Congress and the American public on the Iran deal that somebody at the top would have made an important point to fellow supporters: “When pitching the deal, never, ever say anything that remotely sounds like Neville Chamberlain at Munich. EVER!

But that kind of warning obviously was either never issued or not heeded, as Florida Dem Rep. Patrick Murphy demonstrated:

“I believe deeply in the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel. This debate has proven to me that America and Israel are fortunate to have so many passionate, diverse voices who all want the same things: a nuclear-free Iran, a secure Israel, and peace in our time. In the interest of all three, I will be supporting this deal and voting against a Resolution of Disapproval in September.”

“Peace in our time” might as well say “hold my beer, I wanna try something…”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Peak pandering: Ahead of Alaska visit, Obama officially renames Mt. McKinley

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 08:48

**Written by Doug Powers

Waving a wand and changing the name of an entire mountain to please the locals a day before you visit the state has set a new gold standard for pandering. Ironically enough, the name of William McKinley, a proponent of the fiscal gold standard, is being officially removed from the tallest mountain in America in order to do so:

President Barack Obama on Monday will officially restore Denali as the name of North America’s tallest mountain, siding with the state of Alaska in ending a 40-year battle over what to call a peak that has been known as Mount McKinley.

The historic change, coming at the beginning of a three-day presidential trip to Alaska, is a sign of how hard the White House will push during Obama’s remaining 16 months as president to ensure his fight to address climate change is part of his legacy.

Renaming the mountain, which has an elevation of more than 20,000 feet (6,100 meters), makes headlines for his climate quest while also creating goodwill in a state that has not been broadly supportive to the Democratic president.

“Denali” is a word used by native Alaskans that roughly translates to “please don’t let the EPA anywhere near this place.” Are you as surprised as I am that he didn’t name it after himself?

The Department of the Interior needs to be drug tested:

https://twitter.com/Interior/status/638095591860502528

Too bad “the mountain” didn’t also tell this administration that ISIS is growing like crazy and “death to America & Israel” cheerleading is NOT just rhetoric from a “politician.”

Obama’s three-day visit to Alaska begins today, and he’ll point out the effects the burning of fossil fuels have had on the state after crop dusting it with 747 emissions. Apparently this administration doesn’t have faith that the environment in Alaska can “restore itself” like it does in places they are directly responsible for contaminating.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

‘Degrade and ultimately destroy’ ISIS update: JV team ‘growing like crazy’

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 13:03

**Written by Doug Powers

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Not even a year ago, President Obama pledged to bring down ISIS:

"Our objective is clear: We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive & sustained counter-terrorism strategy." —Obama

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 11, 2014

Let’s check in and see how the “JV team” has been brought to its knees since then:

Despite recent developments with Turkey allowing the U.S. to conduct strikes from their bases, the radical Islamic caliphate is showing strong resistance, and their numbers continue to multiply.

“To quote one U.S. official, ISIS’s international branches are growing like crazy,” Engel said on Meet the Press. “ISIS has spread rapidly across north and west Africa, Arabia, Afghanistan, even into the far east. ISIS has expanded far more quickly and extensively than al Qaeda ever did.”

All while a Pentagon inspector general is investigating allegations that intelligence assessments have been skewed to back-burner reality and instead support White House claims that ISIS is losing.

But you know what all this means, right? Time to escalate the war against climate change!

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

With friends like these: Iran deputy foreign minister welcomes Harry Reid’s Senate filibuster intention

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 10:32

**Written by Doug Powers

Harry Reid has accused Republicans who oppose the nuke deal of “empowering” Iran’s hardline ayatollahs. So, irony being what it is, an Iranian deputy foreign minister, who serves at the pleasure of an Ayatollah who waves pompoms while crowds chant “death to American and Israel,” has reportedly offered his full backing of Harry Reid. The Senate Minority Leader has vowed to filibuster attempts to reject Obama’s last hope to salvage a foreign policy legacy the nuclear agreement:

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Americans by a 2-to-1 margin don’t want Congress to put their stamp of approval on the Iran deal, but the Iranian negotiators are appreciative that they have someone in U.S. Congress like Harry Reid looking out for their interests:

Deputy Foreign Minister Hamid Baidi-nejad has welcomed a plan by U.S. Democratic congressmen to filibuster a likely rejection of the Iranian nuclear deal.

Writing on his Instagram page on Saturday, the diplomat said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s recent remarks about the filibuster intentions give a bright perspective about the case, ISNA reported.

Now all Reid’s got to do is try to get Baidinejad elected to the U.S. Senate before the vote.

Remember when Reid was for the filibuster before he was against it before he was for it again?

(h/t @BillKristol)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Lincoln Chafee dooms candidacy after reminding DNC crowd he’s been scandal-free for 30 years

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 17:28

**Written by Doug Powers

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What’ll get a Democrat presidential candidate booed by a crowd full of DNC loyalists? Well, if Hillary’s also in the house and you drop even the smallest of hint that your political career has been on the up-and-up, you just drove the final nail in your campaign’s coffin:

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is using his address to the Democratic National Committee to introduce party leaders to his record in the Senate, the statehouse and local government.
[…]
And in a pointed remark that seemed aimed at Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chafee told the DNC: “After 30 years in public service, I’ve had no scandals. That’s not easy in Rhode Island.”

Bragging about going 30 years with no scandal = automatic disqualification and raspberries from the pro-Hillary DNC crowd:

Lincoln Chafee: "After 30 years in public service, I have no scandals." (Some boos from audience)

— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) August 28, 2015

Chafee claiming to not have any liberal badges of dishonor blew any chance he might have had to be President Hillary’s Metric System Conversion Czar.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Denver corruptocrats’ Chick-Fil-A smokescreen

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 09:58

Denver corruptocrats’ Chick-Fil-A smokescreen
by Michelle Malkin
Creators SyndicateCopyright 2015

Holier-than-thou liberals on the Denver city council are waging war on Chick-fil-A in the name of tolerance and diversity. Now, let me tell you what the squawking is really all about: It’s a distraction, a feint, a mile-high smokescreen.

Spiteful Democrats claim they are upholding progressive “Denver values” by delaying approval of an airport concession contract with the Christian-owned restaurant chain. But the politically correct storm over same-sex marriage (which Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy personally opposes) is convenient cover for the local government’s serial mismanagement, bloated spending and shady contracting practices.

Denver International Airport concessionaires raked in more than $322 million in gross revenue last year amid longstanding complaints of political favoritism and dirty dealing that date back to the facility’s construction in the mid-1990s.

You should know that while Denver’s city council leftists falsely accuse Chick-fil-A of discriminatory practices, they’ve been embroiled in litigation over bid-rigging allegations involving a separate $53 million airport concessions contract. Last fall, a retail group filed suit against the city council rubber-stampers and Denver International Airport officials for allegedly conspiring to help the winning bidder snag a seven-year deal to run the airport’s duty-free shops.

The plaintiffs in the case, DIA Retail, uncovered what they call “systemic” misconduct and manipulation of the award process, including multiple violations of rules prohibiting contact between the winning bidder, Hudson Group, and government officials after submitting their request for proposal.

Then there’s the city’s own audit of the airport’s “disadvantaged concessionaire program” released in May, which showed that Denver officials are much better at preaching to others about “diversity” than practicing it themselves. After finding that half of DIA’s food and beverage revenue was concentrated in the hands of three operators, the auditor exposed “questionable” financial wealth claims by some concession owners certified by the city as “economically disadvantaged.”

Gaming the airport contract system is as popular a Colorado pastime as skiing and rock-climbing.

In April, a jury indicted city employee Larry Lee Stevenson, a supervisor in Denver’s Excise and Licensing Department, for allegedly accepting a cash bribe to help a local business get a deal to run parking operations at the airport. DIA’s nearly $40 million “minority-owned” mechanical construction contract, which the city awarded to black female businesswoman Denise Burgess, is a massive front for non-minority subcontractors, according to a Denver Post investigation last year.

“Burgess Services is not equipped to carry out a mechanical project. It subcontracts the construction work to other companies,” the paper found. “Yet the entire contract value counts toward the airport project’s overall minority- and women-owned business-enterprise participation goal of 30 percent. In reality, minority- and women-owned businesses are doing only a fraction of the work on Burgess’ contract.”

And the cost of that work keeps soaring.

DIA overspending is epidemic. Another scathing audit identified skyrocketing cost overruns in the airport’s hotel and transit construction project — scheduled to soar from an initial estimate of $500 million to at least $730 million — thanks to shoddy recordkeeping and nonexistent oversight.

What kind of financial controllers are at the wheel? Fraudulent accountants like Laura Trujillo, who was fired earlier this summer after the Mountain States Employers Council concluded that “there was no record of Trujillo ever having a CPA license, no record of her ever having applied for such a license, and no record of her ever having applied to take the CPA exam in Colorado.”

Perhaps the sanctimonious Denver city council should spend less time finger-wagging at other businesses and more time minding its own sordid henhouse.

Is this really the best idea?

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 22:58

**Written by Doug Powers

If this doesn’t pump you full of confidence that federal and state governments are coordinating to reduce options for potential terrorists, nothing will:

A Minnesota man, who Homeland Security identifies as a terror suspect who is on the “No Fly” list, now has his Class A commercial license, which will allow him to drive semi-trucks.

The FOX 9 Investigators revealed last May that Amir Meshal was attempting to get his Class A license from a South St. Paul Truck Driving School. The $4,000 tuition was paid for through the state workforce program.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirms he was granted the license after passing a road test on August 8.

In May 2014, Meshal was removed and trespassed from a Bloomington, Minn. mosque, Al Farooq, after he was suspected of radicalizing young people who would later travel to Syria. According to the police report, religious leaders said, “We have concerns about Meshal interacting with our youth.” Meshal had previously been asked to leave an Eden Prairie, Minn. mosque for similar reasons.

Worry not though, because the man on the U.S. no-fly list might not be focused on driving big rigs all the time. That’s because he’s trying to be licensed to drive school buses:

A spokesperson said Meshal has also applied for a school bus endorsement, pending the outcome of a criminal background check.

How confidence-inspiring.

(h/t Twitchy)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Thursday open thread: Hillary talks gun control in wake of Va. shootings; Pentagon conforms ISIS threat to match WH narrative

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 09:37

**Written by Doug Powers

There’s a lot going on in the news that I won’t be able to get to individually this week, so here’s a weekday open thread for discussion about anything you like.

Here are a couple things to start it off:

As if the shooting in Virginia on live TV that left a reporter and a photographer dead wasn’t terrible enough, liberal politicians sensed an opportunity to push a political agenda. Among them, Hillary Clinton:

Heartbroken and angry. We must act to stop gun violence, and we cannot wait any longer. Praying for the victims' families in Virginia. -H

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 26, 2015

Just chillin’ in Opportunist-ville.

Hillary followed that up with a slew of specifics about what proposals would have prevented the crime. Wait, no, that didn’t happen.

*****

President Obama has downplayed ISIS as the “JV team” and touted “success stories” where his administration’s policies have eliminated or greatly reduced terror threats overseas. The Pentagon has been made fully aware that any attempt to insert reality into that narrative is not welcome at 1600 Penn:

Senior military and intelligence officials have inappropriately pressured U.S. terrorism analysts to alter their assessments about the strength of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, three sources familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. Analysts have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is, according to these sources, and to paint an overly rosy picture about how well the U.S.-led effort to defeat the group is going.

Reports that have been deemed too pessimistic about the efficacy of the American-led campaign, or that have questioned whether a U.S.-trained Iraqi military can ultimately defeat ISIS, have been sent back down through the chain of command or haven’t been shared with senior policymakers, several analysts alleged.

In other instances, authors of such reports said they understood that their conclusions should fall within a certain spectrum. As a result, they self-censored their own views, they said, because they felt pressure to not reach conclusions far outside what those above them apparently believed.

By the way, these are the same conditions under which the government’s climate change “science” reports and Iran deal analyses are developed. Confident in their veracity?

*****

Bumped to Sundays we much.

*****

“Orwell, party of 320 million, your table is ready”:

Here’s a map of how the federal government is working with local communities to create change: http://t.co/ZiyIzAZfuT pic.twitter.com/BzIHWv7P2l

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 26, 2015

I think the green areas are everyplace the EPA has polluted beyond recognition.

Have a good Thursday all!

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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