GOP: HENNINGER – Koch’s warning; KRAUTHAMMER – Donald’s stunning victory.
LEADS: JUDICIAL WATCH – More emails; NOONAN – Trump a spark; NAPOLITANO – Hillary’s secret weapon; HANSON – Jump the shark; PAGLIA – On Trump; HERRIDGE & BROWNE – Guccifer easy hack.
PA: KNEPPER – Pension liabilities.
END NOTES: LEVIN (05/05/16); BATCHELOR – Chinese aggression.
Tzvia Wexler, FIDF: Israel’s 68th Birthday
“We are pleased to announce that FIDF is celebrating Israel’s 68th birthday on Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, Thursday, May 12th at Philadelphia’s historic Congregation Mikveh Israel. The program will include Government officials, and we will be saluting Israeli and American soldiers in uniform and parents of lone soldiers from the Philadelphia region. Following the Program, there will be music, dancing, wine and appetizers. Registration fee is $18. Pre-registration is required!”
“One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency, who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: What begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice.” Edward Snowden
“. . .there is a fear that if wasteful government spending on huge capital projects ceases, then economies will collapse. This fearful, selfish, and ignorant intellectual process within governments has been caused by the hubris generated by unfettered control of great wealth, and the presses which print the money. But governments only have the ability, in real terms, to dominate the non-productive – or at best, productivity-enabling infrastructure – spending. Only by returning spending power to the innovative sections of society (in other words, the people) can economies become nimble and productive.” Copley, 2012,89.
GOP . . .
Daniel Henninger, WSJ: “Charles Koch’s Warning”
“What he knows could prevent Donald Trump from being just a fringe candidate like Ross Perot or George Wallace.
“Charles Koch’s history, like that of hundreds of other “donors” from his generation—most of them builders of their own businesses—runs parallel to the rise of the conservative movement as a political force since Ronald Reagan.
“These men and a not insignificant number of women would say they’ve been in the business for decades of finding out how to make America great again, and keep it that way.
“That movement ran alongside the Republican Party and at times overlapped with it.
“Mr. Koch years ago helped start the Cato Institute. Other funders were behind the Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the original Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and many state-based think tanks.
“These donors wanted a politics based on ideas, not just data-slicing votes by neighborhood.
“Those ideas—on taxes, regulation, public pensions, commercial liability, welfare, education, policing—fed into a long list of often unlikely electoral victories.
“Most recently, it has produced Republican governors in Democratic states: Bruce Rauner in Illinois, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Larry Hogan in Maryland, Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Chris Christie in New Jersey and Scott Walker in Wisconsin. The Left demonizes something called “the Koch brothers” because this movement turned the Democrats into losers.
“A remarkable number of these governors, like Mr. Trump, were businessmen, party outsiders. But they absorbed the ideas of successful conservatism. Whether this was “presidential” or “gubernatorial” is beside the point. It worked.
“The counterpart to all this is the galaxy of wealthy liberal donors who will pay for Hillary’s war on Donald Trump to protect what they achieved in the Obama years.
“Some are saying the Trump primary victory means he has “redefined” the Republican Party. That is an overstatement, and not always friendly to Donald Trump. He has captured right-of-center unrest in the eighth bummed-out year of Barack Obama. Bernie has done it on the other end.
“Unless Mr. Trump discovers the wellsprings that lifted Reagan and many, many others who came after, he could end up remembered as an entertaining fringe candidate like Ross Perot or George Wallace.
“Donald Trump should talk to Charles Koch.“
Charles Krauthammer, NY Daily News: “Earthquake and aftershocks: Making sense of Donald Trump’s stunning victory”
“What lies behind Donald Trump’s nomination victory? Received wisdom among conservatives is that he, the outsider, sensed, marshaled and came to represent a massive revolt of the Republican rank and file against the “establishment.”
“This is the narrative: GOP political leaders made promises of all kinds and received in return, during President Obama’s years, major electoral victories that gave them the House, the Senate, 12 governorships and 30 statehouses. Yet they didn’t deliver. Exit polls consistently showed that a majority of GOP primary voters (60% in some states) feel “betrayed” by their leaders.
Not just let down or disappointed. Betrayed. By RINOs who, corrupted by donors and lobbyists, sold out. Did they repeal Obamacare? No. Did they defund Planned Parenthood? No. Did they stop Obama’s tax-and-spend hyperliberalism? No. Whether from incompetence or venality, they let Obama walk all over them.
“But then comes the paradox. If insufficient resistance to Obama’s liberalism created this sense of betrayal, why in a field of 17 did Republican voters choose the least conservative candidate? A man who until yesterday was himself a liberal. Who donated money to those very same Democrats to whom the GOP establishment is said to have caved, including Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton.
“Trump has expressed sympathy for a single-payer system of socialized medicine, far to the left of Obamacare. Trump lists health care as one of the federal government’s three main responsibilities ; Republicans adamantly oppose federal intervention in health care. He also lists education, which Republicans believe should be left to the states.
“As for Planned Parenthood, the same conservatives who railed against the party establishment for failing to defund it now rally around a candidate who sings the praises of its good works (save for the provision of abortion).
“More fundamentally, Trump has no affinity whatsoever for the central thrust of modern conservatism — a return to less and smaller government. If the establishment has insufficiently resisted Obama’s Big Government policies, the beneficiary should logically have been the most consistent, indeed most radical, anti-government conservative of the bunch, Ted Cruz. . .”
LEADS . . .
Judicial Watch: “Judicial Watch Lawsuit Uncovers More Hillary Clinton Emails Withheld from State Department”
“Judicial Watch today released new State Department emails (one batch of 103 pages, the second of 138 pages) that again appear to contradict statements by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department and that she did not use her clintonemail.com system until March 18, 2009.
Judicial Watch recently released Clinton State Department emails dating from February 2009 that also call into question her statements about her emails.
The documents were obtained by Judicial Watch in response a court order in a May 5,2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department, after it failed to respond to a March 18 FOIA request (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)).
Peggy Noonan, WSJ: “Trump Was a Spark, Not the Fire”
“The establishments, both media and conservative, failed to anticipate how they’d be consumed.
“. . . The Trump phenomenon itself would normally be big enough for any political cycle, but another story of equal size isn’t being sufficiently noticed and deserves mention. The Democratic base has become more liberal—we all know this part—but in a way the Republican base has, too. Or rather it is certainly busy updating what conservative means. The past few months, in state after state, one thing kept jumping out at me in primary exit polls. Democrats consistently characterize themselves as more liberal than in 2008, a big liberal year. This week in Indiana, 68% of Democratic voters called themselves liberal or very liberal. In 2008 that number was 39%. That’s a huge increase.
“In South Carolina this year, 53% of Democrats called themselves very or somewhat liberal. Eight years ago that number was 44%—again, a significant jump. In Pennsylvania, 66% of respondents called themselves very or somewhat liberal. That number eight years ago was 50%.
“The dynamic is repeated in other states. The Democratic Party is going left.
“But look at the Republican side. However they characterize themselves, a majority of GOP voters now are supporting the candidate who has been to the left of the party’s established thinking on a host of issues—entitlement spending, trade, foreign policy. Mr. Trump’s colorfully emphatic stands on immigration have been portrayed as so wackily rightist that the nonrightist nature of his other, equally consequential positions has been obscured.
“In my observation it is a mistake to think Mr. Trump’s supporters are so thick they don’t know his stands. They do.
“It does not show an understanding of the moment to say Donald Trump by himself has changed the Republican Party. It is closer to the mark to say the base of the party is changing and Mr. Trump’s electric arrival on the scene made obvious what was already happening. . .”
Andrew Napolitano, Town Hall: “Hillary’s Secret Weapon”
“. . . We know that the FBI is getting closer to Hillary Clinton, because Bill Clinton had not addressed her email issues publicly before last weekend. The defense he offered belies the facts and the law.
“He argued that prosecuting his wife over her emails is akin to prosecuting someone for driving a car in a 50-mile-per-hour zone at 40 mph because the police have arbitrarily and without notice changed the speed limit to 35 mph.
“The implication in his argument is that Mrs. Clinton’s emails were retroactively classified as confidential, secret or top-secret after she received or sent them and therefore she had no notice of their sensitivity.
“His argument is unavailing for two reasons. The first is that it is untrue. Emails are confidential, secret or top-secret at the time they are created, whether marked or not.
“The second reason is that Mrs. Clinton signed an oath on her first full day as secretary of state — after she received a two-hour tutorial from two FBI agents on the proper care and lawful handling of state secrets. In that oath, she acknowledged that she had an obligation to recognize and protect state secrets on the basis of the sensitive nature of the information contained in them — whether they bore classified warnings or markings or not. . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Protesters Have Jumped the Shark”
“Jump the shark” is an American pop-culture expression that derives from a 1977 Happy Days sitcom episode; it describes a moment of decline. At a certain point, a TV show becomes so predictable, empty of ideas, and gimmicky that in desperation its writers will try anything — like the character “The Fonz” jumping over a shark on water skis — just to keep on the air.
“Contemporary protesters have reached that moment, when demonstrations exist for demonstrations’ sake, without any consistent or coherent agenda of dissent.
“At a recent forum on political correctness at the University of Massachusetts, three invited guest speakers were shouted down by protesters in the audience. A video of one shouter went viral. In the manner of a two-year-old, she threw a loud temper tantrum, interrupting the speakers, screaming obscenities, and repeatedly yelling, ‘Keep your hate speech off this campus!’ How does one stop ‘hate speech’ by bellowing out four-letter obscenities to disrupt free expression at a university? The childish protester then proved that she had jumped the shark when she finished by screaming, ‘Stop treating us like children!’ http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434974/protestors-have-jumped-shark
Camille Paglia, Salon: “It’s not about sexism: Camille Paglia on Trump, Hillary’s “restless bitterness” and the end of the elites”
“We don’t know if Trump can morph into a statesman. We do know the media/political class fears his threat to Hillary
“Is it 1968 all over again?
“Violent clashes between antiwar protestors and Chicago police during the 1968 Democratic Convention boomeranged against the New Left and sabotaged the presidential hopes of the Democratic nominee, Hubert Humphrey, a genial, compassionate populist. The American electorate, repelled by street chaos, veered to the Right and made Richard M. Nixon president. The new crossover Nixon Democrats laid the groundwork for the two conservative presidencies of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
“In our current campaign, the obvious strategy by Democratic operatives to disrupt Donald Trump’s rallies and link him to brewing fascism (via lurid media images of wild-eyed brawlers) has backfired with a bang. The seething demonstrators who blocked Trump’s motorcade at last week’s state GOP convention in Burlingame, California, forcing him and his retinue to ditch their vehicles and sprint to a rear entrance on foot, managed to alienate mainstream voters, boost Trump’s national momentum, and guarantee his sweeping victory in this week’s Indiana primary. With the withdrawal of Ted Cruz, Trump is now the presumptive GOP nominee. Great job, Dem wizards!. . .”
Catherine Herridge & Pamela Browne, Fox: “Romanian hacker Guccifer: I breached Clinton server, ‘it was easy’”
“EXCLUSIVE: The infamous Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer,” speaking exclusively with Fox News, claimed he easily – and repeatedly – breached former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server in early 2013.
‘For me, it was easy … easy for me, for everybody,’ Marcel Lehel Lazar, who goes by the moniker ‘Guccifer,’ told Fox News from a Virginia jail where he is being held.
“Guccifer’s potential role in the Clinton email investigation was first reported by Fox News last month. The hacker subsequently claimed he was able to access the server – and provided extensive details about how he did it and what he found – over the course of a half-hour jailhouse interview and a series of recorded phone calls with Fox News.
“Fox News could not independently confirm Lazar’s claims . . .”
PA . . .
Leo Knepper, CAP: “HB 900: Cutting the SERS and PSERS Unfunded Pension Liabilities Down to Size”
“No matter what pension plan design reforms the legislature enacts for future employees, the Commonwealth will still have a massive unfunded liability. The unfunded liability is the result of over-promising retirement benefits, poor investment performance, but mostly a willful redirection of necessary pension contributions by the Pennsylvania government to other purposes. This gross negligence on the part of elected officials has been bipartisan. It started with the 2001 pension increase signed into law (Act 9) by Governor Ridge and continued through the Rendell years when he signed legislation that purposefully underfunded the pension systems (Act 40 in 2003 and Act 120 in 2010).
“Decades of mismanagement have resulted in a combined $63.3 billion in unfunded liabilities, based on the market value of assets. The longer the unfunded liability persists, the worse it becomes. It’s helpful to look at the unfunded liability as a loan. This “loan” has a 7.5 percent annual rate. In Year 1, the principal is $63.3 billion. If no payments are made, the amount due increases to $68 billion next year, then $73.2 billion the following year and so on. In other words, the unfunded liability grows year after year unless the payment made exceeds interest and the cost of newly earned benefits. And, just like any other loan we need to be making payments on the principal.
‘The loan example conveys the basics of the problem. Rep. John McGinnis introduced HB 900 last year to address the unfunded liability. In his co-sponsorship memorandum, McGinnis states:
‘Right now, just the annual interest on the pension debt is over $4 billion, equivalent to the full yearly salary and benefits for over 50,000 teachers. The situation is so dire that there are likely scenarios where the pension assets will become exhausted in the next 8 to 15 years. When that happens, benefits paid to retirees may well consume 40% to 50% of the general fund. The consequences for our future only get worse as we delay dealing effectively with this problem.
“The right approach is to follow the recommendation of the 2014 Blue Ribbon Panel on Public Pension Funding commissioned by the Society of Actuaries and commit ourselves to paying off the current UALs [unfunded accrued liabilities] of SERS and PSERS over 20 years with level dollar funding. It is not just the responsible thing to do after more than 10 years of serious underfunding–it is absolutely necessary to prevent substantial and irreversible harm to the future of Pennsylvania.” [Emphasis added]
“We can avert the fiscal catastrophe. However, every day the General Assembly does not act, the unfunded liability grows. HB 900 is currently in the House State Government Committee.
“Please, contact your representative today and urge them to take action.”
END NOTES . . .
Mark Levin (05/05/16)
“On Thursday’s Mark Levin show, Donald Trump needs to show conservatives that he is going to advance at least some of our fundamental principles. Trump is reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters and trade unions so why not conservatives?
“In addition, Trump has become inconsistent on the issue of minimum wage saying that he will consider it and also backing off part of his original tax plan. Trump should not support the minimum wage and should stand by his original tax plan which was good. This is the time for Trump to make his case and not buckle to the liberal media.
“Also, when Trump does good things he should be praised. However, we never ignored the mistakes of George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell or Ronald Reagan. As conservatives we are not attacking Trump, but want to see him move in a pro-freedom and pro-capitalism direction.
“After that, Paul Ryan is not supporting Donald Trump just yet. He wants to see Donald Trump display that he has conservative principles and can unite the Republican Party. Paul Ryan is right on this and shouldn’t be attacked.
“Finally, Pete Hegseth calls in to discuss his new book, In the Arena: Good Citizens, a Great Republic, and How One Speech Can Reinvigorate America.
John Batchelor (5/5/16)
“Thursday 5 May 2016 / Hour 1, Block C: Michael Auslin. American Enterprise Institute Director of Japan Studies, in re: Mary Kissel was in Asia for six years, head of WSJ in Hong Kong; after her departure Xi Jinping took over China as tyrant. Under Xi, wide and grave Chinese aggression in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and Chinese have grown wroth with US for maintaining freedom of navigation. Meanwhile, Abe in Europe and soon to Russia. . . . Soon China will probably start to dredge Scarborough Shoal (the wholly bogus micro-land mass that China built up out of basically nothing in order to install a military airbase and port), which is conspicuously within Filipino territory (being 150 miles from Manila). Everyone remarks that there’s no clear and coherent American strategy; US is always on the back foot. If China militarizes Scarborough Shoal, there’s no turning back . . . Well, also Woody Island, and Fiery Cross Reef. China cares not a whit what the Hague Court decides on Scarborough, assert that might makes right and possession is nine-tenths of the law. The US watched this for years, did nothing till it was in fact too late. They have fighter jets. Missiles, anti-air missiles. In the event of an actual China-US war, those little bogus land masses would be sitting ducks; however, there’s a huge seascape between here and there. No one else in the region has any hope of defending their territory without the US, which appears to have abandoned them. This is serious and scary. US cavalier attitude has . .. Were there a clear WH strategy and pattern of activities, showing that the US fully supported it allies . . . ; no one wants to see freedom of navigation taken away; but it the US stays paralyzed, other s might make bad deals with China just to survive.” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434835/shinzo-abe-courts-europe-russia