Uneven Candidate Vetting, HRC Signed Form, Carson Attacked

Editor’s Note – Vetting the candidates is hard work, you really have to dig hard into the past and pick apart everything that person ever did or said, that is unless you are Obama or a Clinton according to most on the left in media.

Candidates often forget we have the internet, FOIA laws, and video, yet when a Clinton gets caught, we get crickets from the MSM. When someone on the right gets caught – hell hath no fury…

On a day when another Presidential candidate is being questioned about accounts he wrote about many years ago that some claim are not true, Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) seems to skate along with little to no scrutiny from the mainstream media over laws she is alleged to have broken as Secretary of State and the lies about that video.

Ben Carson Spars with Alysin Camerota over Vetting in lengthy interview
Ben Carson Spars with Alisyn Camerota over Vetting in lengthy interview – click image to view videos

Then today we see that HRC did sign a little piece of paper after all – one similar to the one that got General Petreaus in so much hot water, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement briefing form.

Of course we point out the hypocrisy that is evident, but when people like Charlie Rose are stunned by statements another candidate made on his show about HRC, he is stunned. However, no one is stunned when CNN went after Ben Carson, but Rubio’s factual statements about Clinton stun Rose?

How dare anyone point out the lies that are so obvious, the Queen is wearing no clothes? How do you not know this after three years and call yourself a journalist or anchor newsman?

HRC may be ‘too big to jail‘ but the American voter needs to know about the voracity and truthfulness of all the candidates, not just the enemy of the main stream media – those on the right. With almost daily revelations of just how corrupt HRC is/was, it is simply stunning that a CNN story can be so hot, yet a real hot issue is ignored.

The following revelation shows yet another facet of HRC, congenital liar. But politico tries its best to disprove what we all know, HRC regularly transmitted and received hundreds of “born classified’ information. It is really irrelevant whether they were ‘Top Secret” or not, the document referred to below, signed by HRC shows she knew what she was doing was wrong. Try spinning that Politico.

See Marco Rubio skewer Charlie Rose over the obvious:

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The families of the four who died in Benghazi deserve better, they deserve justice and so does the rest of America.

Clinton Signed NDA Laying Out Criminal Penalties for Mishandling of Classified Info 

Dem presidential candidate and top aides signed NDAs warning against ‘negligent handling’ of classified information

By  – Washington Free Beacon

As the nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton was responsible for ascertaining whether information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security, according to a copy of an agreement she signed upon taking the job.

A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information.

WhatSCI.NDA

Experts have guessed that Clinton signed such an agreement, but a copy of her specific contract, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute through an open records request and shared with the Washington Free Beacon, reveals for the first time the exact language of the NDA.

“I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation,” the agreement states.

Clinton received at least two emails while secretary of state on her personal email server since marked “TS/SCI”—top secret/sensitive compartmented information—according to the U.S. intelligence community’s inspector general.

The State Department said in September that Clinton’s private email system, set up at her Chappaqua, N.Y., home, was not authorized to handle SCI.

The Democratic presidential frontrunner defended her unauthorized possession of SCI and her sending of emails containing classified information by claiming that the information was not marked as classified when it was sent or received.

The language of her NDA suggests it was Clinton’s responsibility to ascertain whether information shared through her private email server was, in fact, classified.

“I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department … in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be SCI,” the agreement says.

The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the NDA.

According to government security experts, the type of information that receives a TS/SCI designation is sensitive enough that most senior government officials would immediately recognize it as such.

“TS/SCI is very serious and specific information that jumps out at you and screams ‘classified,’” Larry Mrozinski, a former U.S. counterterrorism official, told the New York Post in August. “It’s hard to imagine that in her position she would fail to recognize the obvious.”

Additional emails on Clinton’s server contained information that was “born classified,” according to J. William Leonard, who directed the U.S. Information Security Oversight Office from 2002 to 2008.

“If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it’s in U.S. channels and U.S. possession,” Leonard told Reuters in August.

Clinton’s NDA spells out stiff criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure of SCI.” The FBI is currently investigating whether Clinton’s private email server violated any federal laws.

In addition to her SCI agreement, Clinton signed a separate NDA for all other classified information. It contains similar language, including prohibiting “negligent handling of classified information,” requiring her to ascertain whether information is classified and laying out criminal penalties.

It adds, “I will never divulge classified information to anyone unless: (a) I have officially verified that the recipient has been properly authorized to receive it; or (b) I have been given prior written notice of authorization” from the proper authorizes.

Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, Clinton’s two top aides, also signed copies of the classified information NDA.

Mills sent classified information to officials at the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2012, an email released by the State Department in September shows.

Mills’ NDA required her to inquire about the classification of information in her possession if she was unsure about its status. However, her attorney said that she “presumed” that the information she sent to the foundation was unclassified because it had been sent to her at her unclassified State Department email address.

New Hillary emails don't match her testimony – too big to jail?

Editor’s Note – It is clear that Hillary Clinton and her supporters have seemingly won a political victory but that does not erase the clear fact that she has lied, lied often, and lied about her lies under oath. Since Obama has ‘transformed’ the rule-of-law system we rely upon for a civil society and replaced it with rule by fiat and man, she may just get away with it.

We will never get closure on Fast & Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and so many other scandals if we allow this to continue. Is she ‘too big to jail’?

While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently a candidate for president of the United States, thinks she has dodged the Benghazi bullet (opinions still vary on that one) she is still under investigation for burbling classified information on her email server, states a Friday story in the McClatchy DC. As the Weekly Standard notes, at least one recently released email did contain classified data because part of it was redacted due to its being classified.

But one national security attorney named Edward McMahon Jr, claims flatly that Clinton is “too big to jail” regardless of her guilt or innocence in the matter.

Honorable???
Honorable???

The theory is that high-profile defendants such as Clinton get off for the same type of behavior that lower level officials go to jail for. The idea may come as a surprise to Scooter Libby, an aide for Vice President Dick Cheney, who was prosecuted for revealing the name of CIA analyst Valerie Plame to the media.

General David Petraeus, a former CIA director, was forced to plead guilty to a misdemeanor on the charge of mishandling classified documents when he showed them to his biographer, who also happened to be his mistress.

FBI Director James Comey, a Republican, would be the official who would recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton. However Attorney General Loretta Lynch, an Obama appointee, would make the final approval. The situation sets up a nightmare scenario for the Democrats.

If Comey recommends an indictment and Lynch refuses, the charge of political justice follows as night follows day. On the other hand, if Lynch decides to indict, Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency is, for all practical purposes, over.

The real nightmare kicks in if Hillary Clinton, under indictment, refuses to drop out, choosing instead to do what she always does and play the victim. In that case, Vice President Joe Biden, tanned, ready and rested, may not be able to pull the Democrats out of the fire. Hillary Clinton would make history as the first major candidate for president under criminal indictment. (Examiner)

If Americans blithely look the other way, and leaders do not restore the rule-of-law, why bother having any law? An oath was taken to faithfully execute the law, but that is now a mere oxymoron.

There are two videos to view, one on her discrepancies between her testimony and email releases, and also whether she is too big too jail:

State Department emails conflict with Clinton’s Benghazi testimony

By Catherine Herridge – Fox News

Newly released emails conflict with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee, according to a review of the transcripts and public records. One of the conflicts involves the role played by Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.

Regarding the dozens of emails from him, which in many cases were forwarded to her State Department team, Clinton testified: “He’s a friend of mine. He sent me information he thought might be of interest.

Some of it was, some of it wasn’t, some of it I forwarded to be followed up on. He had no official position in the government. And he was not at all my adviser on Libya.”

But a newly released email from February 2011 shows Blumenthal advocated for a no-fly zone over Libya, writing, “U.S. might consider advancing tomorrow. Libyan helicopters and planes are raining terror on cities.”

Re-examining Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony:

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The email was forwarded by Clinton to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan with the question, “What do you think of this idea?”

hillary-clinton-and-sidney-blumenthalA second email from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 2011 also advocated for a no-fly zone, with Blair stating, “Please work on the non-fly zone, or the other options I mentioned. Oil prices are rising, markets are down. We have to be decisive.”

In the end, Clinton advocated for the no-fly zone and was able to gather support within the Obama administration to implement it.

In another email from March 5, 2012, Clinton appears to use Blumenthal as what is known in intelligence circles as a “cut out,” a type of intermediary to gather information, allowing the policymaker plausible deniability.

In this case, the emails focused on the increasingly chaotic and fragmenting political landscape in Libya after dictator Muammar Qaddafi was removed from power.

In the one-page document, Blumenthal writes that Jonathan Powell, a former senior British government adviser to Blair, is “trying to replicate what we did in Northern Ireland by setting up secret channels between insurgents and government, and then, where appropriate, developing these negotiations.”

This type of backchannel discussion helped bring about the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

Clinton responded two hours later. “I’d like to see Powell when he’s in the building,” with her staff responding, “Will follow up.” In both instances, Clinton’s actions further undercut sworn testimony to the Select Committee that Blumenthal was “not at all my adviser on Libya.”

Another area of conflict involves security and aid requests. In an exchange with Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., Clinton told the House committee none of the requests for diplomatic security reached her.

“Too big too jail?”

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“That’s over 600 requests,” Pompeo said. “You’ve testified here this morning that you had none of those reach your desk; is that correct also?”

Clinton responded, “That’s correct.”

However, the State Department website, under a section on embassy security, states that the secretary has overall responsibility for the well-being of personnel on assignment.   The buck does not stop with “security professionals” as Clinton has testified.

It states: “The Secretary of State, and by extension, the Chief of Mission (COM), are responsible for developing and implementing security policies and programs that provide for the protection of all U.S. Government personnel (including accompanying dependents) on official duty abroad.”

Yet, the new emails show a request for humanitarian aid sent by the late Ambassador Chris Stevens did reach her desk. The Aug. 22, 2011 email from Stevens was circulated among Clinton staff and delegated for action in under an hour.

With the overthrow of Qadaffi, Stevens wrote that the Libyan opposition, known as the TNC, would soon release a statement saying it would “insure the delivery of essential services and commodities (esp. addressing the acute shortages of fuel, children’s milk, and medication for blood pressure and diabetes).”

Seventeen minutes later, Clinton responded, “Can we arrange shipments of what’s requested?”

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

While the request for humanitarian aid from Stevens did reach her office, during her testimony, Clinton emphasized, “Chris Stevens communicated regularly with the members of my staff.

He did not raise security with the members of my staff. I communicated with him about certain issues. He did not raise security with me. He raised security with the security professionals.”

The emails also further depict Clinton’s treatment of sensitive material. A February 2012 email shows Clinton sent an urgent message to an office manager that a white briefing book, used for sensitive and classified information, was left on her desk.

The office manager confirmed when it was correctly stored in the State Department safe.

The 7,000 pages released Friday leave no doubt that Clinton’s personal account mingled information now considered classified with the mundane such as social media requests and the taping of a television period drama.

On Feb. 1, 2011, Clinton sent a “Linkedin” request from a “Susan Kennedy” to a State Department IT specialist asking, “How does this work?”

An email from Feb. 23, 2012, from the State Department’s senior official on Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, called “Bingo!” is fully redacted, citing the B1 exception which is classified information.

And in January that same year, Clinton wrote to an aide, “I’m addicted to Downton Abbey which runs on Sunday night and reruns on Thursday at 8pmb. Since I missed it Sunday and will again tomorrow so wondering if we could tape a DVD for me.”

President Obama, meanwhile, is now under scrutiny after having told CBS’ “60 Minutes” he was not aware of Clinton’s personal account – even though the White House said Friday there are emails between the two, only they will not be available under FOIA requests until after Obama leaves office.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, when asked if he knew about Clinton’s use of a private email server, Obama twice said, “No.”

At this point, between 600 and 700 emails have been identified containing classified information. An intelligence official familiar with the review says there is no such thing as “retroactive classification,” the information is born classified, and the State Department only has the right to declassify information it produced.

While Clinton testified that 90-95 percent of her emails were captured by the State Department system, and nothing she sent or received was “marked classified,” the State Department said that estimate represents the campaign’s data and not their own.


Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

No Debate; CNBC Debate Moderators' Abysmal Performance

Editor’s Note – Here at SUA we often find ourselves watching endless coverage of Congressional hearings, reading almost every headline published and devouring most of the more impactful articles in depth and you can bet the house on the fact that we watch every debate, sometimes more than once.

But last night may prove to be one of those “I paid for this microphone” moments we will remember for decades to come – an abysmal performance by all at CNBC we may never forget.

It not only started out bad with insipid pre-debate banter that over ran into the time the candidates were being introduced where one commentator actually brought up previous memorable debate moments like the Reagan line, presaging more memorable moments about to be heard.

Debate moderators Carl Quintanilla (L), Becky Quick (C) and John Harwood  question candidates at the third Republican Presidential Debate hosted by CNBC, October 28, 2015 at the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.  AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images) But will they still have jobs after last night?
Debate moderators Carl Quintanilla (L), Becky Quick (C) and John Harwood question candidates at the third Republican Presidential Debate hosted by CNBC, October 28, 2015 at the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Ironically, that Reagan v. Bush debate was also on NBC when Ronald Reagan so famously scolded the moderator then like Mitt Romney should have scolded Monica Crowley in  2012.

Mr. JON BREEN, Moderator: Would the sound man please turn Mr. Reagan’s mic off for the moment?

Mr. RONALD REAGAN, GOP Presidential Candidate: Is this on? Mr. Green…If you ask me… I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!

Reagan may have gotten the name wrong, but he certainly put Breen in his place and last night, Sen. Cruz put the entire panel of moderators in their rightful place – ignominy!

Last night we saw virtually every candidate feel the need to scold the moderators from CNBC and correctly so in our opinion. In fact, many think Crowley recovered okay but John Harwood and Becky Quick may have ruined their careers with their performances last night.

These two may take the gold and silver as the following article explains, but it was more than Mr. Priebus on the carpet now, it may also have been the death knell from Jeb Bush who was bested at least twice, one by Rubio and then by Chris Christie:

The mainstream media—as represented by the business cable network’s principal moderators, Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick, and especially John Harwood—took it on the chin as candidate after candidate, to hearty applause from the partisan audience at the University of Colorado, pointed out that their questions were inaccurate, unfair, or otherwise plain silly.

“Are we truly talking about fantasy football?” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie demanded after Quintanilla asked former Florida governor Jeb Bush whether the online sports industry should be regulated as a gambling enterprise by the federal government.

Bush however may be the biggest loser for another reason, not only did he get bested by his former “student” he also wasted his scant time (he had the least) on talking about his fantasy football prowess instead of how to fix the nation.

Perhaps our favorite line of the night also came from Senator Cruz when he pointed out the irony of an all democratic set of moderators at a Republican debate as well as Democrat debates:

…nobody watching at home believed that any of the moderators had any intention of voting in a Republican primary. (Read the entire transcript here.)

Senator Cruz rightfully scolds the moderators...
Senator Cruz rightfully scolds the moderators…

Also, why were there so many moderators and why were they always appearing to yell? Jim Cramer…shake the head folks! Last night proves what we all know…media bias is a clear and present danger to our nation!

Please watch here for the “ten best moments” as compiled by the Washington Post then read on:

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CNBC’s Harwood Now Media Bias Poster Boy After Career-Altering ‘Moderating’ of GOP Debate

I had to watch it again.

I had to make sure I witnessed what I just witnessed.

And upon absorbing the whole thing and double checking my notes from watching last night and again this morning before sunrise, they were practically identical. Conclusion: CNBC, a solid niche network with solid talent, just performed the worst moderation of any debate — and we’re including all presidential, vice presidential, fictional… the one fromOld School (Will Ferrell’s Frank the Tank vs. James Carville moderated by Jeremy Piven’s Dean Pritcher), the one from Clueless (Alicia Silverstone vs Amber on the plight of Haitian refugees) — in American history.

So who’s to blame? Here’s your Top 3 culprits:

1) Gold — John Harwood.

I was foolish enough to believe that Harwood, who doesn’t hide his biases leftward, would be professional and (more importantly) aware enough of being on the biggest stage of his career to ask substantive questions without editorial. First question out of the gate? Dubbing the GOP frontrunner’s (RCP average) candidacy as fiction, as right out of a “comic book.” That set the tone for the entire evening, and most of the candidates on stage sensed what was happening. Ted Cruz, who tied winning this debate with Marco Rubio, seized the opportunity with this haymaker:

“Let me say something at the outset,” said Cruz. “The questions that you have asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people do not trust the media.

“This is not a cage match,” he said.

“And if you look at the questions: Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math. John Kasich, will you insult two people over here. Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues people care about.”

I’ve never been one to reflexively use the term “liberal mainstream media” anywhere–TV, radio, columns. It’s a beaten-down term that sometimes has some weight (via a specific hard example) behind it, but oftentimes doesn’t (via reaching to connect the dots around conspiracy theories). And it’s used so often that the impact gets lost (Google any instance the term “liberal mainstream media” has been used in this space, win valuable prizes). But last night wasn’t one of those times where Republicans and conservative media were whining without warrant for being treated different than their Democratic counterparts. They were treated differently. Blatantly. At two points Harwood outright lied (yes… lied… these weren’t cases of simply misstating the facts).

The first instance regarded Rubio’s tax plan, which Harwood had to correct himself on in a story written two weeks ago:

HarwoodTweet

HARWOOD: Senator Rubio, 30 seconds to you. The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale. Since you’re the champion of Americans living paycheck-to- paycheck, don’t you have that backward?

RUBIO: No, that’s — you’re wrong. In fact, the largest after- tax gains is for the people at the lower end of the tax spectrum under my plan. And there’s a bunch of things my tax plan does to help them. Number one, you have people in this country that…

HARWOOD: The Tax Foundation — just to be clear, they said the…

RUBIO: …you wrote a story on it, and you had to go back and correct it.

HARWOOD (now lying): No, I did not.

RUBIO: You did. No, you did.

The second time Harwood lied regarded the length of the debate itself. Per about 1,000 media outlets and the network itself, CNBC had planned for three hours, but shortened it to two after Trump and Carson threatened a boycott. And when Trump was bragging about getting the network to acquiesce to his demands quickly, Harwood inexplicably insisted the debate was two hours all along. It’s not hard to imagine an executive producer back in the control room using the CBS Sports director line from the movie Tin Cup, when Kevin Costner’s Roy McAvoy was self-destructing on the final hole of the U.S. Open: “That’s insane! Somebody tackle him!”

Needless to say, no objective person will take Harwood seriously about anything for a very long time. This was career-altering stuff we witnessed last night.

2) Silver — Becky Quick.

She had Trump dead to rights on a disparaging quote regarding Mark Zuckerberg and Rubio (calling Rubio the Facebook founder’s “personal senator” on his own website). We’ll avoid the details, because the true relevance here is Quick’s preparation and sourcing. Here’s the transcript:

QUICK: You have been very critical of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who has wanted to increase these number of H1b —

TRUMP: I was not at all critical of him. In frank, he’s complaining that we’re losing some of the best people … I am all in favor of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley.

QUICK: So where did I read this and come up with this you’re —

TRUMP: Probably, I don’t know. You people write this stuff.

Moderator 101 stuff: If you’re quoting someone to their face with millions watching, you might want to have the source of where that quote came from at the ready. Quick did not, even after having weeks to prepare for such a moment. Again, like Harwood, this was another unforced error that will at least ensure she’s never part of any presidential debate going forward.

3) Bronze — Reince Priebus.

The RNC Chair should take a few lessons from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who rules with a Vladimir Putin-like iron fist when it comes to debates, format, moderator selection, etc. You can blame CNBC all you like, but Priebus agreed to this Fugitive-esque train wreck. Many conservatives on Twitter are calling for him to be fired for allowing Harwood anywhere near the moderator table and not vetting the network better beforehand. That won’t happen, of course, but if and when it eventually does, mark Oct. 28/CNBC in your calendar for when that ball got rolling.

Honorable mention — Saturday Night Live. Will NBC mock their own sister network the way they did Fox and CNN for prior debates? Don’t count on anything too edgy… we’ll put it that way.

The Republicans held their third debate last night. It was so bad, it had to be viewed twice just for confirmation alone. And just like the first two debates, the next day we’re not talking about who made the best arguments, presented the best ideas or who appeared the most presidential.

Instead, in a recurring theme on this reality show: It’s all about the moderators, the food fights, and in last night’s case, the unmistakable bias marinated in snark.

 

Establishment GOP, throws in towel? "A sign of weakness!"

Editor’s Note – The ‘Establishment’ GOP throws in the towel without even putting up a fight? Does the ‘Ol’ Guard’, establishment GOP,  represent “We the People” or even those that put them into their offices?

The Senate GOP Plan to Surrender Debt Control to Obama

By Mike Flynn – Breitbart News

Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), are reportedly planning legislation allowing President Barack Obama to lift the nation’s debt ceiling on his authority, according to sources on Capitol Hill.

Under the potential Senate Republican plan, Congress would merely retain the right to “disapprove” of the President’s action to lift the nation’s debt limit. But disapproving the action would require a hard-to-reach two-thirds vote of both chambers of Congress.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, regarding the financial crisis. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Political observers may recognize this move. It is similar to the Corker-Cardin legislation that allowed Obama to agree to the nuclear deal with Iran. The Corker legislation simply allowed Congress to disapprove the action, albeit with a vote threshold that was almost impossible to attain.

It conveniently allowed the Iran deal to come into force while enabling Republicans to vote against the treaty in everything but name.

Adopting the Corker framework for the debt ceiling does two things important to Sen. McConnell. It would allow the nation’s debt ceiling to increase, empowering the Treasury Department to continue borrowing funds.

It would also allow most Republicans to cast symbolic votes against lifting the debt ceiling. They could then campaign saying they were against raising the debt ceiling in the upcoming elections next Fall.

It’s a plan only a politician in Washington could love. It also goes a long way to explain the visceral disgust most voters feel towards Washington. On a more fundamental level, it explains the existential crisis gripping the Republican party.

The debt ceiling limits the amount of debt the federal government can accumulate, and is now set at $18,100 billion.

The federal government is borrowing additional funds for the expected 2016 budget, so it will hit that limit sometime after Nov. 3. Unless raised again, the ceiling would bar additional borrowing, and would force politically painful cuts in annual federal spending.

The Republican party in Washington is basically in the business of hiring hit-men, to ensure it has a solid alibi when a crime is committed.

The operational strategy of the Republican party now is to avoid any protracted political fight with Obama or the Democrats and hope to gain marginal political advantage in the next election. It presumably is working for a day when it control all levers of government by such a margin that it can enact its platform with zero political risk.

In the coming weeks, while most of the political world is consumed with the battle to replace

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as House Speaker, the Congressional calendar is chocked-full of measures that the Washington establishment thinks must be passed. A new spending bill must be authorized by early December.

The Treasury Department says the debt ceiling must be lifted in early November to avoid a potential default on the nation’s debt. There is a “need” to shore-up the Highway Trust Fund and a desperate push by corporate donors to reestablish the Export-Import Bank.

The pending Senate plan to give Obama the power to lift the debt ceiling is preview of how Republicans plan to navigate these waters. They would rather cede Congressional authority over the purse to Obama than have a debate or fight.

If Senate Republicans go through with a Corker-type bill granting Obama the power to lift the debt ceiling, as seems likely, it raises the question not only of why we have Republicans, but why we have a Senate.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary; Socialism,"It doesn't work"!

Editor’s note –  Fact check – Bernie Sander’s, currently 2nd place. He’s been a Senator for 16 years, representing Vermont.  A Socialist. Age 74.

Does Bernie Sanders know what it means to be a Socialist? Both Karl Marx (Marxism) and Adolf Hilter (Nazism) considered themselves Socialists, and Communism is similar.

Bernie Sanders’s Denmark Comments Show He Doesn’t Even Understand His Own ‘Socialism’

By Kevin D. Williamson – National Review

It had to be Denmark, didn’t it? If you are the sort of person who has better things to do — which is to say, a fully functioning adult who is not professionally obliged to follow these things — then you probably missed the exchange between Mrs. Clinton and Senator Sanders at last night’s debate, when she lectured him that the United States isn’t Denmark and he responded with a rousing defense of the Danish model.

Never mind, for the moment, that neither of these batty old geezers has the foggiest idea of what’s going on in Denmark, or in the other Nordic countries. Denmark, like Sweden before it, has been engaged in a long campaign of reforming its famously generous welfare state.

The country’s current prime minister is the leader of a center-right party, which, strangely enough, goes by the name “Left,” Venstre. (You might even call it libertarian; its former longtime leader wrote a book bearing the positively Nozickian title “From Social State to Minimal State.” ) Denmark has been marching in the direction exactly opposite socialism for some time.

Our friends at the Heritage Foundation rank its economy the eleventh most free in the world, one place ahead of the United States, reflecting Denmark’s strong property rights, relative freedom from corruption, low public debt, freedom of trade and investment, etc. Don’t tell Senator Sanders, but Denmark’s corporate tax rate is a heck of a lot lower than our own.

Senator Sanders is not very serious about imitating Denmark. Denmark has a large and expensive welfare state, which Senator Sanders envies.

He doesn’t envy the other part of that handshake: Denmark pays for that large and expensive welfare state the only way that you can: with relatively high taxes on the middle class, whose members pay both high income taxes and a value-added tax.

If Senator Sanders were an intellectually honest man, he’d acknowledge forthrightly that the only way to pay for generous benefits for the middle class is to tax the middle class, where most of the income earners are.

Instead, he talks about taxing a handful of billionaires to pay for practically everything. Rhetorically, he’s already spent the entire holdings of the billionaire class many times over. Sanders’s line of thinking seems to go: ‘Bankers, money, evil, greedy, Make Them Pay!’

But Senator Sanders does not seem as if he thinks a great deal about these things. He worries about the size of the holdings of our largest banks (I’d bet a dollar that he could not explain the difference between an investment bank and a commercial bank) and frets that six big banks have assets equal to 65 percent of U.S. GDP.

<> on July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.
<> on July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.

He does not consider that in Switzerland there are two banks whose combined assets are well more than twice Switzerland’s GDP, a reflection of the fact that the moneyed people and institutions of the world have a great deal of confidence in Swiss financial institutions, or that similar parties invest with American institutions for similar reasons.

And never mind that Denmark’s largest bank has assets totaling 1.6 times Denmark’s GDP — a lot more than the 65 percent split among six banks in the United States that so troubles Sanders.

Democrats are positively delusional about this stuff, talking about Glass-Steagall as though not repealing it would have changed one thing about the way business was done at a pure-play investment bank such as Lehman Bros. or Bear Stearns.

The policy is entirely unrelated to the problem, but neither the Democratic presidential candidates nor their voters understand the problem or the policy.

They know only that Copenhagen is lovely, and people like Senator Sanders enjoy citing its “example” while shouting such nonsensical sentences as “Free health care is a right!”

Denmark is on the mind of Francis Fukuyama, whose Political Order and Political Decay has now been issued in paperback, to the delight of cheapskate readers everywhere.

Fukuyama, borrowing from a group of developmental economists, introduces his readers to the phrase “isomorphic mimicry,” by which he means the error that poor and developing countries make when they adopt the formal institutions of the developed world in the absence of the underlying values, habits, and culture that make those institutions effective.

This is part of the problem he calls — surprise — “getting to Denmark.” Fukuyama: The problem is that Denmark did not get to be Denmark in a matter of months or years. Contemporary Denmark — and all other developed countries — gradually evolved modern institutions over the course of centuries.

If outside powers try to impose their own models of good institutions on a country, they are likely to produce what Lant Pritchett, Michael Woolcock, and Matt Andrews call “isomorphic mimicry”: a copying of the outward forms of Western institutions but without their substance.

(Here is the Pritchett-Woolcock-Andrews paper, which is well worth your time.)  

That isomorphic mimicry is a great stumbling block. We’re right now in the end stages of failing, spectacularly, in a project to impose liberal democratic institutions on a Muslim world that isn’t much interested in them, but some of our more energetic conservative interventionists still seem to believe that one day an Arab or a Chinese is going to happen across a copy of the U.S. Constitution and build a Connecticut in the Orient.

Cult is the first word in culture, which bears some consideration: The American revolutionaries emerged from a Puritan-Quaker culture shaped by the hardships of colonial life with the savage frontier in front of them and the Atlantic Ocean at their backs; the French revolutionaries emerged from a decadent Catholic culture shaped by court life and European rivalries.

Both parties cried “Liberty!” but one produced the Bill of Rights and the other produced the Terror. The cultural distance between 21st-century Anglo-American liberals and tribal jihadis in the Hindu Kush is rather greater than was the distance between Thomas Jefferson and the Abbé Sieyès.

Aping the superficial attractive forms of alien polities is not an error limited to the poor and the backward. Our progressive friends argued that Obamacare is just like the Swiss health-care system, which is generally quite highly regarded, and it is, with one important difference: Switzerland is full of Swiss people and the United States is not.

The Swiss health-care system turns out to be poorly suited for a country that isn’t Swiss. Any bets on how well the Danish welfare state is going to play in Mississippi and New Jersey? Progressives who imagine that Americans are one election away from getting to Denmark do not understand Denmark, or America, or much of anything.

— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent at National Review.