Friday, May 31, 2013

Hillary donor sentenced to prison for 28 months

The AP reports:
A northern Virginia businessman was sentenced Friday to more than two years in prison for illegally funneling nearly $200,000 to Hillary Clinton's political campaigns in 2006 and 2008.

William Danielczyk, 51, of Oakton pleaded guilty in February to violating campaign-finance laws by reimbursing employees of his company, Galen Capital, and others who were recruited to attend fundraisers and make contributions Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns.
Danielczyk changed his plea to guilty plea only after his elaborate cover-up scheme failed:
The scheme was first exposed more than five years ago by The Wall Street Journal. At the time, Danielczyk lied and said he had not reimbursed people for making contributions. Prosecutor Eric Gibson said the lies to the media were just a small part of Danielczyk's efforts to hide his scheme, including falsely describing reimbursements to his straw donors as bonuses and "consulting fees" and swapping out a laptop computer with incriminating evidence that he was obliged to turn over to the FBI.
Prosecutors allege that Danielczyk made the donations in hopes of getting an Ambassadorship.

PREVIOUSLY on Democrat fundraising:
Yet another Democrat fundraiser arrested
Democrat fundraiser indicted
Top Dem fundraiser pleads guilty
Clinton Donor indicted
Top Dem fundraiser pleads guilty
Corruption loses a key advocate
How to buy a congressman
How politics is done
Bernie Madoff was a major donor to left/liberal causes.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Benghazi news coverage explained

There are less than six degrees of separation between the Obama administration and the news media that report on it:

For more on this, click here or here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

How closely did the IRS coordinate with the White House?

How often does the White House ordinarily meet with the IRS?  What we found out during this subject the past week was quite suspicious.  The Washington Examiner writes:
Everson [who headed the IRS under Bush] said he remembers making only one trip to the White House between 2003 and 2007 and said he felt like he'd "moved to Siberia" because of the isolation. [Emph. added]

By contrast:
Top IRS officials, whose agency was under investigation for targeting conservative groups, visited the Obama White House more than 100 times over two years while the probe was going on, far more often than in previous administrations and frequently enough that Republicans suspect White House officials knew about the targeting. [Emph. added]
When asked during his testimony to Congress, the only explanation that Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman offered for those visits was that he was at the White House for the Easter Egg Roll:
Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly: There would be many reasons you might be at the White House. What would be some of the reasons you might be at the White House?
Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman: Um, the Easter Egg Roll with my kids. Questions about the administrability of tax policy they were thinking of. Our budget. Us helping the Department of Education streamline application processes for financial aid.
If the White House directed the IRS to silence Obama's political enemies, that is a big scandal.

On the other hand, if the WH had nothing to do with it, it is, as James Taranto frequently points out, an even bigger scandal, one that attacks the heart of the Progressive ideal of a huge administrative government.  If parts of such a government can, on their own, abuse their rules to attack political enemies, then our government has problems that can't be solved by the next election.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

JFK admired Fascism

A young John Kennedy toured Europe in the 1930s and wrote in his diary about Nazism.  The Daily Mail reports:
President Kennedy's travelogues and letters chronicling his wanderings through Germany before WWII, when Adolf Hitler was in power, have been unearthed and show him generally in favour of the movement that was to plunge the world into the greatest war in history.

'Fascism?' wrote the youthful president-to-be in one. 'The right thing for Germany.'

In another; 'What are the evils of fascism compared to communism?'

And on August 21, 1937 - two years before the war that would claim 50 million lives broke out - he wrote: 'The Germans really are too good - therefore people have ganged up on them to protect themselves.'
In 1937, JFK, the future Democrat President, was merely 20 years old.  One hopes that his judgment improved with age.

Today, Democrats repeatedly try to claim that conservatives are 'Nazis'  (remember "BusHitler"?).  This goes against a history of Democrats actually admiring national socialism.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

California takes a small step back from the brink

Andy Vidak
Democrats control all the levers of power in California but that control weakened today.  In what had been a safe Democrat district, Republican Andy Vidak won an open California State Senate seat with 52% of the vote.  Even with some votes remaining to be counted, his Democrat opponent, Leticia Perez, conceded defeat today.  Vidak's victory threatens the Democrats recently acquired Senate supermajority, potentially restricting their ability to raise taxes.  The Sacramento Bee explains:

Vidak's victory shaves the Democrats' margin in the Senate, which had been 29-11, by one seat, but another Democratic senator, Curren Price, is due to resign to take a seat on the Los Angeles City Council. Thus chances have dimmed for the Democratic supermajority to pass a constitutional amendment or a tax increase, both of which would require two-thirds legislative votes.

Last November, for the first time in living memory, the Democrats gained supermajorities in both California houses as well as as the Governorship.  Without a Senate supermajority, they will, as in years past, be forced to compromise with Republicans.

Perez outspent Vidak by nearly 2-to-1.  But, Vidak, a cherry farmer, had the advantage of better name recognition.

In 2014, Vidak will have to run for reelection.  However, at that time, redistricting kicks-in for his district, CA's 16th Senate District, and it switches from safe-Democrat to safe-Republican.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Study: Male upper body strength strongly correlates with political views

The (UK) Daily Mail reports on a new psychological study:
Men who are physically strong are more likely to take a right wing political stance, while weaker men are inclined to support the welfare state, according to a new study.
The conclusion that liberals are wimps is appealing but the Daily Mail got it wrong: the actual study results are more complex than that.  I found the original research paper on SSRN (both abstract and full text available).  The abstract, in full, states:
Over human evolutionary history, upper body strength has been a major component of fighting ability. Evolutionary models of animal conflict predict that actors with greater fighting ability will more actively attempt to acquire or defend resources than less formidable contestants. Here, we apply these models to political decision-making about redistribution of income and wealth among modern humans. In studies conducted in Argentina, Denmark and the U.S., men with greater upper body strength more strongly endorsed the self-beneficial position: Among men of lower socioeconomic status (SES), strength predicted increased support for redistribution; among men of higher SES, strength predicted increased opposition to redistribution. As personal upper body strength is irrelevant to payoffs from economic policies in modern mass democracies, the continuing role of strength suggests that modern political decision-making is shaped by an evolved psychology designed for small-scale groups.[Emph. added]
In other words, the study concludes that (a) strong upper-class men oppose redistribution but (b) strong lower-class men support it (think of the stereotypical Marxist/union thugs).

The study, a joint project of three universities, reached the same conclusion in each of three countries studied: Argentina, the US, and Denmark.  At the risk of getting technical, here is their figure 1 which has the correlation coefficient data supporting their conclusions (you will need to click on the figure for a larger, more legible view):

Put another way, this study says that liberals are a coalition of rich wimpy men and strong poor men.  By contrast, conservatives are a coalition of rich strong men and poor weak men.

The study found that women are different from men: a woman's upper body strength did not affect her politics.

Partisans would like to think that it is the smart people who support their side.  In reality, though, that doesn't work: both sides have their share of both smart people and dumb people.

By contrast, this study, with its exceptionally strong correlation coefficients, seems to be on to something more substantial.  I suspect, though, that future studies will find that a person's politics are more determined by some aspect of a person's anxiety levels for which physical strength is just one contributing factor. 

WELCOME to readers of Instapundit, Transterrestrial Musings, the (Sydney) Daily Telegraph, and CultureWarNotes.

Monday, May 13, 2013

History repeating itself: Hillary's tall tales

If Hillary's behavior toward Benghazi seems strange, consider the travel office scandal from 1993.   In search of patronage jobs, Hillary ordered that the travel office staff be fired: WH head administrator David Watkins quoted her as saying "We need those people out. We need our people in. We need the slots.''   The firing occurred despite the fact that many of those fired had worked steadily in the WH for decades serving many presidents.

The firing of the travel office staff was not in anyway a crime: it was perfectly legal.

Yet, for the Clintons, that wasn't enough.  In a Nixonian abuse of governmental power, White House pressure led to the prosecution of one of the travel member of the office, Billy Dale, on trumped up charges, charges that were quickly dismissed by the jury.

So it appears to be with Benghazi.  The administration could simply have claimed to have made the best decisions they could based on the information from Libya available at the time while condemning the Monday-morning quarterbacks.  Instead, they concocted a ridiculous story about a movie protest.

Why take such extraordinary steps to cover up something that was legal to begin with?  We have all known kids whose first instinct, when caught with a hand in the cookie jar, was to lie.    Hillary seems to be one of those kids who just never grew out of it.

Related, from Hope n'Change:

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