Jeb Bush has said Donald Trump "should be treated like the frontrunner" for the Republican nomination. On Tuesday, the Bush campaign continues to do just that with a short web video aimed squarely at the leading GOP contender's past "liberal" views on taxes, health care, and abortion as well as Trump's friendship with Hillary Clinton.
"Liberal things Trump says, liberal things Trump believes," reads the text before several video clips of Trump play. One clip goes back 16 years and shows Trump saying he is "very pro-choice," while another comes from the August 6 debate where the reality-TV star says "as far as single-payer [health care], it works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland."
The Bush ad also feature Trump touting tax increases on "high-income people", praising the stimulus package, and touting Hillary Clinton as a good possible negotiator with Iran. Watch the ad below:
The Bush video follows a Trump online video that sought to link Bush's referring to parents who illegally immigrate to the U.S. as an "act of love" to those illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes while in the U.S. Bush's campaign responded that Trump has supported "soft-on-crime politicians" and has a costly immigration plan that is "not conservative."
A number of presidential candidates this cycle, including Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, and Rick Perry, have attempted to argue that Trump's positions and affiliations are not conservative. Those criticisms do not appear to have dented Trump's position in the Republican primary.
The State Department released another tranche of emails from Hillary Clinton's private server Monday evening. While messages between Clinton and other State and administration officials concerning the most interesting and consequential subjects (like the Benghazi attacks) were heavily redacted, others continued to be revealing about how Clinton's State Department operated.
One characteristic has been the obsequiousness of Clinton's staff toward their boss, while another has been the the eagerness to engage in petty office politics. An email released Monday captured both of these qualities. On May 27, 2010, Philippe Reines, a senior advisor to Clinton involved primarily with communications, emailed Clinton's private email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), copying fellow aides Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan. The subject line was "Women."
"I for one loved that you finally called out the ogrish males on your staff who roll their eyes at womens [sic] issues and events," wrote Reines. "But fyi I'm pretty sure I saw [redacted] roll their eyes at the very moment that you were obviously referring to them."
"They just don't get it," Reines added, presumably referring to the "ogrish male" who rolled his eyes.
Hillary Clinton's recently released emails includes a memo sent by David Brock titled, "Memo on Impeaching Clarence Thomas."
The purpose of the document might suggest Clinton, or at least those closest to her and in her circle, are interested in impeaching Justice Thomas.
The document contains information from Brock about his book, The Real Anita Hill, and other similar points on Justice Thomas's personal life.
The document contains details of Brock himself potentially intimidating women close to Justice Thomas. These details were from a 2001 New York Times article, in which the author reached out to a colleague of Thomas, Kaye Savage.
"Reached at home in Washington last night, Ms. Savage said that Mr. Brock had tried to intimidate her but that he had not told her the source of the negative information."
In the memo found in Clinton's email, Brock notes his use of "journalistic sleight-of-hand involving a written statement Savage had given me under duress":
(Personal note: Though I confronted Savage with the information in an effort to get her to recant, she never did, although I made it appear otherwise by journalistic sleight-of-hand involving a written statement Savage had given me under duress about her interviews with Mayer and Abramson in my Spectator review).
His memo followed this note with this New York Times passage:
Frank Rich, NYT (12-29-94): "This time Mr. Brock's partisan desperation has led him to a tactic that is beyond the pale of even tabloid journalism and that would make any citizen think twice before speaking freely to any journalist: He tried to bully a source in Strange Justice, a one-time Hill and Thomas associate named Kaye Savage, to get her to sign a statement denying her own contribution to the book."
Jamin Raskin, a law professor and associate dean at American University in Washington, received a call seeking advice from Ms. Savage after her encounter with Mr. Brock a few weeks ago: "She was distraught and said Brock was threatening to reveal damaging information about her from a divorce situation unless she agreed to retract everything she had said to the authors of Strange Justice, he said in an interview. 'I told her this is a clear violation of journalistic ethics and might be blackmail and that she shouldn't give in to it. She was beside herself because she had told the truth."
The points on women seem to be an effort to disqualify Thomas on women's issues. Brock quotes Eleanor Smeal, President of Feminist Majority Foundation, who says:
"And let's face it, the Supreme Court these are life-time appointments. We are sitting here with a Supreme Court that elected this president by a five to four decision, but a Supreme Court that could reverse Roe v Wade and many many serious things affecting women..."
Cancun The Conference of States Parties—the first meeting of nations that have ratified the controversial Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)—wrapped up in Cancun on Thursday. Because it’s wisely not ratified the ATT, the U.S. was there as an observer.
So was I. And on Thursday, I got to observe as the U.S. got played.
Nominally, the ATT is about controlling the illicit arms traffic, and about encouraging nations to show responsibility in whom they sell arms to. On its face, that’s a sensible idea. What isn’t so sensible is believing that a treaty will force nations to do what they evidently don’t want to do.
For example, the ATT will supposedly bring transparency to the arms trade by requiring nations to declare their arms imports and exports. Well, if they want to do that, they can: They don’t need a treaty to impose the responsibility.
The entire treaty is littered with similar paradoxes, and it’s further poisoned by the overweening tendency of the progressive activists who support it to spend most of their time blaming the U.S. (and Israel, of course) for the world’s problems.
The Senate, under the leadership of Republicans Jerry Moran and Jim Inhofe, has made it clear that the ATT isn’t wanted there, and the House, led by Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, has been just as inhospitable. As a result, the U.S., a mere treaty signatory, didn’t have a vote at Cancun.
It wouldn’t have mattered if we did. When the U.S. had an opening chance to object in public to the conference’s rules, we didn’t take it. After that, decisions were taken by majority vote. Of course, voting isn’t everything: the U.S.’s voice is more important than a single vote.
Or so I thought. But not a lot at Cancun went our way. The CSP adopted a modified version of the UN’s assessment scale to fund its activities, meaning that, if we’re ever silly enough to ratify the treaty, we’ll be on the hook for 22 percent of its costs.
Against behind-the scenes objections by the U.S., the CSP also adopted majority rule decision-making. And it put the treaty’s secretariat in Geneva, where they will likely be housed with those of the U.N., even though the U.S. has always wanted to keep the treaty’s institutions separate.
But the kicker came on Thursday as the conference was wrapping up. One of the U.S.’s biggest objectives was to make sure that the secretariat stuck strictly to administrative duties, and didn’t become a headquarters for expanding, re-interpreting, and implementing the treaty.
Late Thursday, the president of the conference suddenly presented a new program of work for the secretariat, a program that wasn’t administrative at all, including “collating best practices on the implementation and operation of the Treaty,” and “identifying lessons learnt and need for adjustments in implementation.” That’s exactly what the U.S. didn’t want the secretariat to do.
One of the perks of covering the alcohol beat is the occasional complimentary sample that arrives by mail. It’s usually a medium-sized package containing, at most, a 750-ml. bottle. Often it’s smaller: A sample of the delicious Chopin wheat spirit Single was 375 ml. in size, Woody Creek vodka from Colorado measured a mere 100 ml., and Wild Turkey’s Master’s Keep came in a plastic flask (and good to the last drop). So when the interns showed up to my office carrying two enormous cardboard boxes, I was intrigued—as were the interns.
I’d been expecting a sample of Cachaça 51, the leading brand of the Brazilian spirit distilled from fermented sugar cane, but because of a misunderstanding with the distributor, I ended up with an entire case—12 bottles of the stuff. Suddenly I was like those midlevel gangsters handing out swag to my associates. (Next week it’s furs!) Everyone seemed excited and grateful to receive a bottle, but was anyone quite sure what to do with it?
I was reminded of a line from David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948): "From time to time, my friends have said to me, ‘Dave, I have been given a bottle of vodka. What the (mustn’t say the naughty word) do I do with it?’” Embury’s suggestion: “If, therefore, you need grain alcohol to dilute your tincture of iodine or to rub on your back and the corner drug store is closed, just use vodka. Of course the vodka is half distilled water but that won’t harm your back at all.”
Needless to say, he was not a fan of vodka, which, since 1949, has been defined by the government as “neutral spirits distilled from any material at or above 190 proof, reduced to … 80 proof [or 40 percent alcohol], and, after such reduction in proof, so treated as to be without distinctive character, aroma, or taste.” But as it turns out, there are a good many people out there who prefer not to taste the booze in their booze. In that respect, vodka is the most versatile (mixable) of spirits.
Like vodka, cachaça is colorless. On the other hand, it’s distilled at less than 190 proof, lending the spirit more odor, flavor, and character. And, as Smithsonian magazine reporter Natasha Geiling explains, “because cachaça is distilled from raw sugarcane, it retains a grassy, sulfurous, earthy quality that rum lacks—rum, by turn, is sweeter with more notes of vanilla.” So what can we make with it?
The immediate answer is the caipirinha, a distinctly Brazilian concoction involving cachaça, sugar, and lime, served on the rocks. The first one I ever tasted was at the late Café Atlantico here in the District, a South American outpost of the José Andres empire. The lime and sugar were so thoroughly muddled that it tasted like limeade. Three limeades later, and it was Carnival.
More recently at home, I made a caipirinha based on the Cachaça 51 recipe. It calls for practically one lime per glass and I could have added a bit more sugar—then again, the more sugar you add, the more it tastes like limeade, and suddenly the kids are wondering why Dad is trying to get the family to form a conga line.
Last Friday, I moderated a panel at Hudson Institute titled, “Why is Qassem Suleimani Smiling? The Iran Deal and Sanctions Relief for Terrorists.” (See video of the event here.) The panel’s focus was not speculative—for instance, how the regime might spend the signing bonus promised by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or how the deal might moderate the regime, or reconfigure Iranian society—but rather looked at the regime’s actual behavior over the last 36 years. In particular, the panel discussed Iran’s acts of terror against Americans, especially servicemen and women.
The panel included three career, now retired, U.S. army officers, all with first-hand knowledge of Iran’s war against America—Captain (retired) Michael Pregent, Colonel (retired) Derek Harvey, and General (retired) Jack Keane. Pregent, a former intelligence officer and now executive director of Veterans Against the Deal, talked about the physical suffering and mental anguish that the Iranian regime has brought to American homes (here’s heart-wrenching testimony from Robert Bartlett, a combat veteran who was severely wounded in Iraq). Harvey, another former intelligence officer who worked with General David Petraeus in Iraq, and has concentrated on the Iran account for two decades, described not only Iranian strategy and tactics but also the character of particular IRGC officers, like Suleimani himself. Keane, a retired four-star who served for 37 years, filled in the big picture, explaining what it would mean for American interests if Iran came to control the Persian Gulf.
The three panelists provided both interesting details and larger perspectives with which to understand the ongoing conflict with Iran. I only wish that we’d had more time to delve further into the issues. For instance, I’d have liked to hear more details of Harvey’s interrogations of IRGC officers. And is it true that American forces once had Suleimani in their crosshairs, but our political leaders decided against killing a man responsible for killing so many Americans? As Keane explained, both Republican as well as Democratic administrations have neglected to punch back against the Iranians, leading to where we are now.
For me, the most striking observation was when Keane noted that while it’s true the Iranians do not now pose the same sort of threat to America that the Soviets did during the Cold War, the Soviets also did not attack American forces, and civilians, directly, as the Iranians have done since 1979. It’s worth considering how the JCPOA, and a multi-billion dollar cash windfall, might further embolden an aggressive regime that’s been making war against the United States for more than three decades.
Donald Trump has a new online video ad that hits Republican rival Jeb Bush for the former Florida governor's statement that immigrating illegally to the United States is an "act of love." The ad, available on Trump's Instagram feed, features audio and video of Bush speaking about the issue of illegal immigrants.
While Bush was speaking about fathers and mothers who come to the U.S. to improve economic standing of their families, the Trump ad conflates these people with those illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes.
"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony," said Bush at an April 2014 event at the George H.W. Bush presidential library. "It's an act of love." The audio plays over photos of some recently convicted murderers who were illegal immigrants to the U.S. and who had been deported or referred to authorities before their killings.
"Love?" reads the text in Trump's ad. "Forget love it's time to get tough!" Watch the ad below:
A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on Aug 31, 2015 at 9:16am PDT
Here's the fuller context of Bush's remarks last year:
"There are means by which we can control our border better than we have. And there should be penalties for breaking the law," he added. "But the way I look at this -- and I'm going to say this, and it'll be on tape and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their families -- the dad who loved their children -- was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families."
Update: The Bush campaign has responded to Trump. "While Donald Trump was still supporting liberal, soft-on-crime politicians, Jeb Bush accumulated an eight-year record of cracking down on violent criminals as governor of Florida. Mr. Trump's immigration plan is not conservative, would violate the constitution and cost hundreds of billions of dollars, which he will likely attempt to pay for through massive tax hikes," said Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell in an email.
Illinois will happily take your money and sell you a lottery ticket but, as the AP reports,
Without a state budget agreement two months into the new fiscal year, there’s no authority for the state comptroller to cut checks over $25,000. That means smaller winnings can be paid out, but not the larger lottery wins.
Now, the state has a monopoly on these little games of chance. Set up one, yourself, and it will send people out to arrest you. Then it will charge you with a crime and attempt to put you in jail.
Out in the realm of free enterprise there are these things called casinos. You can walk into one, put down some money on one of many types of bets, and if you win, the house pays. You can ask Mr. Trump and he’ll tell you that this is the way it works.
But the state? Well, it plays by different rules. Or no rules at all. But the Illinois winners shouldn’t feel too bad. The money they paid for winning tickets went to a good cause.
A new poll of likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa finds Donald Trump and Ben Carson tied for the lead at 23 percent support. The Monmouth University poll is the first since July to show Trump not in the sole lead position in Iowa.
Behind Trump and Carson in the poll is Carly Fiorina at 10 percent support. All three top candidates are not officeholders and only one, Fiorina, has ever run for public office before.
The remaining Republican candidates, all current or former elected officials, poll in the single digits, with Ted Cruz at nine percent, Scott Walker at seven percent, Jeb Bush at five percent, John Kasich and Marco Rubio at four percent each,Rand Paul at three percent, and Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum each at two percent.
Carson appears to be doing better than Trump among evangelical voters, winning 29 percent of them compared to Trump's 23 percent, while Trump does better with non-evangelicals, 24 percent to Carson's 18 percent. While both candidates are doing about equally well with "very conservative" and "somewhat conservative" voters, "moderate to liberal" voters prefer Trump by a significant amount, 26 percent to Carson's 18 percent and Fiorina's 13 percent. Women also prefer Carson to Trump, and for men it's the other way around.
I've suggested before that 2016 is beginning to look more and more like 1968. This is true in terms of the presidential contests—on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is Eugene McCarthy, Hillary Clinton is Lyndon Johnson, Joe Biden will be Hubert Humphrey, and (the big question!) Elizabeth Warren could be Bobby Kennedy; and on the Republican side, where Donald Trump is "a kind of cartoon version of Richard Nixon."
But the reason our politics looks like 1968 is that our broader social condition is increasingly reminiscent of 1968. This was brought home in remarks Saturday by Houston district attorney Devon Anderson, after the shooting of Harris County sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth.
"Anderson...said the criticism of police had gotten out of hand: 'It is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement,' she told reporters at a news conference."
"The silent majority." The phrase is back, and rightly so. I'm pretty sure the silent majority does support law enforcement, and will speak up. But isn't it time for political leaders to speak for and support the silent majority? Donald Trump claims to do so. Can't the Republican party do better? Won't some other Republican candidate—a current contender, or someone not yet in the race—emerge to speak convincingly for middle America?
After all, when GOP candidates did aim to speak for the silent majority, they won 5 of 6 straight presidential elections (1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988). Since then they've lost the popular vote 5 of 6 times—with the one exception being when George W. Bush came closest to being a silent-majority-type candidate in 2004. Obviously, the phrase won't be enough. There will have to be a re-thinking of Republican and conservative orthodoxy, something both Nixon and Reagan were willing to do. I'd prefer more of a Reaganite than a Nixonian re-thinking. But either way, the time is right and the moment is now.
Barack Obama is personally hurt when people call him an anti-Semite, the president said in an interview with the Jewish newspaper the Forward. Obama says "there not a smidgen of evidence for" the accusation.
The editor of the Forward asked the president, "[D]oes it hurt you personally when people say that you’re anti-Semitic?"
"Oh, of course. And there’s not a smidgen of evidence for it, other than the fact that there have been times where I’ve disagreed with a particular Israeli government’s position on a particular issue. And I’ve said before, and I will continue to say, that if you care deeply about Israel, then you have an obligation to be honest about what you think, the same way you would with any friend. And we don’t do anybody, any friend, a service by just rubber-stamping whatever decisions they make, even if we think that they’re damaging in some fashion," the president said.
"And the good news is that the people I’m close to, the people who know me, including people who disagree with me on this issue, would never even think about making those statements. I get probably more offended when I hear members of my administration who themselves are Jewish being attacked. You saw this historically sometimes in the African American community, where there’s a difference on policy and somebody starts talking about, well, you’re not black enough, or you’re selling out. And that, I think, is always a dangerous place to go.
"These are hard issues, and worthy of serious debate. But you don’t win the debate by suggesting that the other person has bad motives. That’s I think not just consistent with fair play; I think it’s consistent with the best of the Jewish tradition."
A week ago, I suggested that—contrary to conventional wisdom and perhaps even to first-blush common sense—the GOP field might benefit from one or more new candidates. One of the well-qualified dark horses I mentioned was third-term Rep. Mike Pompeo from Wichita, Kansas.
Pompeo's been a leader in fighting the Iran deal, and has kept on battling over this recess. Recently he criticized a former Kansas Democratic congressman, Jim Slattery, who's been campaigning for the deal and (following President Obama's lead) slandering its opponents. Pompeo put out a release that got good coverage in the local papers. It would be nice if lots of other Republicans were as aggressive in making the case against the deal—and in turning up the heat on its defenders.
Here's Pompeo's statement:
“Congressman Slattery is a good man, but he is tragically naïve for supporting the Iranian nuclear deal. The deal provides tens of billions of dollars for the Islamic Republic to expand its terror regime. Rep. Slattery places his hopes for this ‘historic opportunity’ in Iranian goodwill – but they are already cheating even before the deal is signed. Rep. Slattery says we ‘can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good,’ but the truth is that President Obama didn’t get ‘good’ in this deal, he simply surrendered to the Ayatollahs.
“Moreover Slattery suggested, according to one article, that opponents of the deal were doing so in part to ‘move the American Jewish vote and campaign contributions to the Republican column.’ This suggestion is disgusting, borderline anti-Semitic and deeply repugnant. Rep. Slattery should apologize immediately for even hinting that those of us against this are doing so on behalf of a ‘cadre of political operatives’ and for the purpose of currying favor with the so-called Israeli lobby.
“Opposition to this deal is only increasing, and includes over 60% of Americans and leading Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer. This broad opposition is solely based on the dangers to America presented by this deal. This kind of language, hinting that Jews are in control of American policy, has a long, nasty history and Rep. Slattery knows it. Using such terms as a political weapon is beneath the dignity of a good Christian man like Rep. Slattery. He should correct his statement and apologize to every Kansan, and indeed, every American, today.”
Indeed, Pompeo hasn't limited himself to taking on defenders of the deal in the U.S. Here's a report from the London Sunday Express of an interview Pompeo gave criticizing the British government for making the same "specious" arguments the American administration has been employing:
StemExpress is the bio-medical company featured in a number of the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress in connection with its Planned Parenthood exposé on fetal organ and tissue harvesting. StemExpress made several changes to its website last week, some cosmetic but others more substantial. One significant change was to remove references to "financial profits" available to clinics who provide "raw materials", the term StemExpress uses for blood and tissue "usually discarded during procedures," including abortions. The change came during the same week the Center for Medical Progress released a new video showing the CEO of StemExpress acknowledging that a clinic's relationship with StemExpress can be "financially beneficial.
The page contained several references to financial benefits available to clinics: "Financial Profits", "providing a financial benefit to your clinic", "contributing to the fiscal growth of your clinic", "Financially Profitable", and "StemExpress partner program that fiscally rewards clinics." Stem Express also promised "complete professionalism and source anonymity."
Recently, however, the page was revised and now appears as follows with all references to finances removed:
In the undercover video released last week, StemExpress CEO has the following exchange with one of the actors in the video (via Daily Caller):
“We’re going into it knowing that it has to be financially beneficial for you,” an undercover actor posing as a fetal tissue buyer tells StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer in the video.
“Yeah,” Dyer agrees. “Yeah, and both of us for sure.”