Friday, January 1, 2016

Cruz Rakes in the Cash as He Closes In on Trump

Yahoo Finance/The Fiscal Times ^ | 12/31/2015 | Martin Matishak 

Ted Cruz seems poised to take his momentum well into the New Year, having raised $20 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Texas senator’s largest haul since becoming a White House hopeful.
An official campaign memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal shows Cruz’s fundraising nearly doubled the roughly $12 million he raked in during the previous quarter. Cruz took in $4.3 million in the first quarter, then $10 million in the second, though his camp touted the fact that he had more cash on hand than any other candidate in the crowded GOP field.
Cruz’s fundraising total for the year stands around $45 million, campaign manager Jeff Roe said in the memo to staffers.
The dollar figure reflects Cruz’s new status as a top-tier candidate. Recent polls show him beating billionaire Donald Trump in Iowa and coming in second to the former reality TV star nationally.
Official fundraising reports aren’t due out until January 31, the day before the Iowa caucuses. But by leaking his fundraising numbers now, Cruz cements his newfound status in the Republican primary and shows just how well he’s translating his support among evangelicals and dissatisfied GOP voters into a well-financed operation.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

U.S. Army wants you to eat MREs for 21 days straight

CNN ^ | 12/31/2015 | Emanuella Grinberg, 

The U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine is looking for volunteers (PDF) to eat military food rations for 21 consecutive days for a study of the impact of Meals, Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, on gut health. Researchers want to learn how MREs influence the millions of bacteria in troops' digestive systems.
"Interactions between the millions of bacteria living in our gut and what we eat is a very important factor in gut health, but we don't know how MRE foods interact with those bacteria to impact gut health," Holly McClung, a research dietitian working on the project, said on the Army's website. "Ultimately, discovering how eating MREs influences gut bacteria and gut health will help our efforts to continually improve the MRE."
Much like on the battlefield, one of the main obstacles in the study is finding people to commit to a steady diet of ready-to-eat meals. MREs are generally regarded as tasteless, if not bad, which is perhaps understandable considering the wide battery of requirements they must meet to guarantee shelf life and meet strict nutritional benchmarks.
MREs must be capable of withstanding parachute drops from 1,250 feet, and the packaging is required to maintain a minimum shelf life of 3.5 years at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or nine months at 100 degrees.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Bill Clinton’s Sexual Assault Victims List Just Grew A Lot Longer ^ 

When people think about former President Bill Clinton's despicable behavior, they think mainly of Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey and perhaps even Paula Jones. In doing so, they forget about Clinton's many other victims.
Even CNN admits that a whole lot more women have been abused than most people realize.
"There are about 14 women who could be said to have made claims at one time or another (about Bill Clinton," CNN contributor Errol Louis accidentally revealed on air this Thursday morning.
Once he realized that he had just let the cat out of the bag, he quickly tried to backtrack:
If you go to sort of the right wing websites and the talk radio crowd, there are about 14 names out there, [but] the ones we all remember are not in that list of 14. We remember Gennifer Flowers, we remember Monica Lewinsky, we remember Paula Jones. Paula Jones was an accusation, the other two were consensual relationships.
Sorry, but no, none of them were "consensual relationships." They were all clear-cut cases of sexual abuse, harassment and/or impropriety committed by the husband of 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Here is a list of these victims, courtesy Breitbart:
Kathleen Willey
Kathleen Willey - made a splash in 1998 by claiming in a '60 Minutes' interview that Bill Clinton had sexually assaulted her during a Oval Office meeting in 1993.
Now she says Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state, has a history of trying to silence the multiple women her husband has slept with, sexually assaulted or sexually harassed since his 1980s Arkansas days.
Connie Hamzy
Self-proclaimed rock-and-roll groupie, who said Mr. Clinton propositioned her in 1984 while she was sunbathing by a Little Rock hotel pool.
Juanita Broaddrick
Gubernatorial campaign volunteer who said Mr. Clinton raped her during a nursing-home-operators convention in Little Rock in April 1978.
Eilsteen Wellstone
English woman who said Mr. Clinton sexually assaulted her after she met him at a pub near Oxford University where Mr. Clinton was a student in 1969.
Sandra Allen James
Former Washington, D.C., political fund-raiser who said Mr. Clinton invited her to his hotel room during a 1991 campaign trip, pinned her against the wall and put his hand under her dress.
Christie Zercher
Airline flight attendant on Mr. Clinton's 1992 campaign plane, who said Mr. Clinton exposed himself and grabbed her breasts.
22-Year-Old Yale Student
In 1972, a 22-year-old woman told campus police at Yale University that she was sexually assaulted by Clinton, a law student at the college.
University Of Arkansas Student
In 1974, a female student at the University of Arkansas complained that then-law school instructor Bill Clinton tried to prevent her from leaving his office during a conference. She said he groped her and forced his hand inside her blouse. She complained to her faculty advisor who confronted Clinton, but Clinton claimed the student "came on" to him.
Paula Jones
She had asked to meet him because it would be 'exciting' to meet the governor, and she hoped it might lead to promotion. Instead, she said in court, she found herself telling him she was 'not that kind of girl'.
It was a brief encounter and she alleged that Mr. Clinton took her hand, pulled her towards him, then said: 'I love your curves.'
She tried to walk away, she said in a deposition, but 'Mr. Clinton then walked over to the sofa, lowered his trousers and underwear, exposed his penis (which was erect) and told me to "kiss it."
Jones delivers her own verdict on Hillary's bid to become president, saying that her husband's attitude towards women disqualifies Bill from re-entering the White House – while what she calls Hillary's 'lies' disqualify her from the Oval Office.
'There is no way that [Hillary] did not know what was going on, that women were being abused and accosted by her husband,' she says. 'They have both lied.'
Monica Lewinsky
After lying to the American people to keep the Oval Office affair secret, Team Clinton and the DC Media ganged up on this 21 year-old intern to smear her as a crazy stalker.
A blue dress stained with the President's DNA immediately shut down that media-enabled horror show.
Clinton was eventually impeached and disbarred for lying under oath about the affair. Under oath, when asked on three different occasions if he had an affair with Lewinsky, Clinton replied:
1. "No."
2. "It's certainly not the truth. It would not be the truth."
3. "I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I've never had an affair with her."
Remember this list, folks, because both the liberal mainstream media establishment and the crony Clinton's are DESPERATE to make sure most Americans never read it!

Trump's strongest Republican supporters: Registered Democrats!

Hot ^ | December 31, 2015 | ALLAHPUNDIT 

That’s odd. What could Democrats possibly see in a lifelong true conservative like Donald Trump?
There’s something for everyone in Nate Cohn’s new post. If you’re a Trump fan, here’s the smoking gun that he really is a new Reagan, the guy who’s going to broaden the tent and sweep to victory in November by bringing centrist Democrats into the GOP. If you’re a Trump critic, here’s further proof that he’s the RINO of RINOs, a man who’s blended nationalism, center-left economics, and Jacksonian foreign policy into something that tastes better to members of the other party than it does to conservatives. That sounds a lot like Perotism, frankly — except, according to the (Democratic) pollster who provided Cohn with data, Trump’s geographic support is the opposite of Perot’s. Perot did best in the west and in New England. Trump cleans up in the south, up through Appalachia, and into the industrial northeastern states like New York. How do you explain that?
Cohn’s theory, comparing Trump’s map of support to a map of “racially charged Internet searches,” is that prejudice is driving some of his votes. There was nothing comparable in Perot’s campaign to Trump inveighing against rapists from Mexico and calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. (There’s no disputing that Trump is the favored candidate of the white nationalists of the “alt-right.”) On the other hand, how many Trump voters in economically distressed industrial areas in the eastern U.S. like Trump’s immigration rhetoric because they “hate” Mexicans and how many simply want less competition from foreign labor in the name of bringing back jobs to America? According to Cohn, Trump’s best state is West Virginia; West Virginia also happens to be the only state in the U.S. where (as of March of this year) less than half of the adult civilian population is employed. Being a protectionist doesn’t make you a racist. Either way, though, this part is certainly true — and important to the future of the GOP:
In many of these areas, a large number of traditionally Democratic voters have long supported Republicans in presidential elections. Even now, Democrats have more registered voters than Republicans do in states like West Virginia and Kentucky, which have been easily carried by Republicans in every presidential contest of this century. As recently as a few years ago, Democrats still had a big advantage in partisan self-identification in the same states.
But during the Obama era, many of these voters have abandoned the Democrats. Many Democrats may now even identify as Republicans, or as independents who lean Republican, when asked by pollsters a choice that means they're included in a national Republican primary survey, whether they remain registered as Democrats or not.
Conn Carroll put it this way:

Right. The GOP is gradually becoming older and whiter due to white Democrats crossing the aisle for various reasons — contempt for some Democratic welfare programs, disagreement with progressives on cultural flashpoints like gay marriage, righteous disgust for the left’s insistence on open borders, racial anxiety, and so forth. On “values” issues, that influx of culturally conservative Dems will help entrench the GOP (for a while, at least) as a socially right-wing party despite more centrist tendencies among younger Republicans. Economically, though, it seems likely to do the opposite: Trump’s gone a long, long way this year preaching protectionism and zealous defense of entitlements, and as the Democratic constituency within the GOP grows, other Republican pols will feel pressure to follow suit. The Reagan revolution was about convincing centrist Dems to try smaller government and deregulation; the Trump revolution is about convincing them that big government will work for them with Donald Trump in charge. A populist would say that that’s really no different than what we have now, with GOP candidates preaching Reaganism to get elected and then practicing Trumpism once in office — except it’s Trumpism for the donor class, not for blue-collar voters. Reaganism remains the party’s ideological guiding star, though, at least for the moment. If Trump has a long run this year thanks to centrist Democrats coming out to vote for him in Republican primaries, does that change? How do you build a conservative party if a significant chunk of it is Democratic? Or do we no longer care about conservatism so long as we’ve got nationalism?
That’s the long-term problem. The short-term problem is one for Trump: How do you get these Democratic voters re-registered as Republicans and out to the polls in February? And if you’re Ted Cruz, how do you maintain your position as their second choice when you’re running as the staunchest conservative in the field? Maybe continuing to attack the “Washington cartel” without emphasizing too heavily how right-wing you are is enough. I’d be curious to see how Trump fans shake out, though, in a hypothetical match-up between Cruz and, say, Chris Christie after a month or two of Christie selling his own brand of alpha-male centrism on the trail beyond New Hampshire. If you want a guy who knows how to pander to Democratic voters and ostentatiously doesn’t care how boorish people find him, there’s an obvious choice. And it ain’t Ted Cruz.
Exit question: Is Trump’s Democratic support being oversold by Cohn? Look back at the numbers at the top. Even among registered Republicans, he’s just a hair shy of 30 percent support, enough to lead the field. Is that because a bunch of former Democrats have already re-registered as Republicans over the last 10 years and are responding to Trump? Or is Trump appealing in some ways even to longtime righties?

A higher minimum wage doesn't reduce poverty, says… the federal government (Duh)

Hot ^ | December 31, 2015 | JAZZ SHAW 

We reach the end of the year with yet another tale of crazy, one percenter wingnuts trying to claim that jacking up the minimum wage won’t do much to alleviate the issues facing the poorest Americans who the Democrats are seeking to help. This time the hateful claims are coming from… a study published by the federal government.
Increasing the minimum wage is an inefficient way to reduce poverty, according to a Fed research paper that comes amid a national clamor to hike pay for workers at the low end of the salary scale.
David Neumark, visiting scholar at the San Francisco Fed, contends in the paper that raising the minimum wage has only limited benefits in the war against poverty, due in part because relatively few of those falling below the poverty line actually receive the wage.
Many of the benefits from raising the wage, a move already undertaken by multiple governments around the country as well as some big-name companies, tend to go to higher-income families, said Neumark, who also pointed to research that shows raising wages kills jobs through higher costs to employers. Neumark is a professor of economics and director of the Center for Economics and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine.
I’m sure that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will find a way to spin this story, as well as Ben Carson for that matter. (Rick Santorum too, now that we mention it.) But the numbers here really don’t come as any surprise when you stop to think about it. This report doesn’t deal so much with the employment impacts of a higher federal minimum wage, but more with who is getting those wages.
As the study shows, 57% of families currently below the poverty line have no members in the workforce, receiving all of their income from social welfare or entitlement programs combined with charity. A higher minimum wage has no effect on these families. Of the roughly 3 million workers who do receive the minimum wage, more than half are between the ages of 16 and 24 and are generally not the primary breadwinners in their households. Further, they found that among the families below the poverty line, nearly half (46%) are making more than the proposed $10.10 per hour already and more than one third (36%) are making 12 dollars per hour or more.
With those figures in mind, only a relatively small fraction of Americans living below the poverty line would see one extra red cent in their pockets with a higher federal minimum wage. And what can not yet be predicted is how many of those who did would be offset by the number of employers who would simply terminate unskilled labor positions to avoid the increased labor costs, moving to either more streamlined services or automation. And this is coming straight from the feds. How will the Fight for Fifteen folks and their pet Democrat candidates respond to this new information aside from abject denial? Oh, wait… the denial started already.
“The mainstream view, as illustrated by meta-surveys of the whole minimum wage research field, is that the job loss effects of raising the minimum wage are very, very small,” Paul Sohn, general counsel for the National Employment Law Project, said in an email to
I’m sure the phrase “very small” will come as great comfort to the guy who loses his job operating the fry machine around the holiday season. But don’t let that bother you, guys. We’re from the government and we’re here to help.

NOW more than 1,000 of Hillary Clinton's emails have been deemed classified - with two 'secret'

Daily Mail ^ | 12/31/15 | David Martosko, Nikki Schwab 

The State Department released another 5,500 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails just hours before the New Year's Eve ball is set to drop.

The dump was originally supposed to be much bigger, instead of the just 3,100 messages the public can now browse.

The total number of Clinton's emails now deemed classified has climbed to 1,274, according to Politico, with 275 messages in this most recent cache being retroactively given the classified distinction.

Two emails released in the latest batch have been designated as 'secret,' the second-highest level of classification.

While the information wasn't classified at the time, it could fuel more questions about whether sensitive information was at risk on her server.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...