I am somewhat amused

There is a kerfuffle going around these days about Hillary Clinton, and her work as a young attorney in Arkansas. Mrs Clinton defended a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, and she wound up arranging a plea bargain which got him off with time served, which had been about two months in the county jail. And the Conservative Tribune has the audio tape of an interview in which Mrs Clinton was telling an interviewer, Roy Reed, about her legal experiences, and in which she told Mr Reed about what a great job she did. Mrs Clinton believed that her client was guilty, something she made clear in the interview, which would be a violation of attorney-client privilege.

Now, I absolutely support the right of a criminal defendant to legal representation, and as his attorney, it was Mrs Clinton’s job to get the best deal she could for her client, whether she believed him to be guilty or not. But what amused me was the tape itself:

Your Editor is a Southern boy, having grown up in Kentucky, but I don’t really have much of a Kentucky accent. Why? Because I was born in California, and my mother was from Maine, and by the time we moved to the Bluegrass State, in March of 1962, I was just shy of my ninth birthday, and much of my accent was already set. My sisters, both of whom are younger than I am, have stronger Kentucky accents because they really hadn’t been talking for all that long when we moved to Mt Sterling.

Yet, in this tape, Hillary Clinton, born in 1947, growing up in Chicago and having gone to school in the Northeast, worked in Washington, and not having moved to Arkansas until 1975, when she was 28 years old, has a pronounced Arkansas accent.1 I’d call that an affectation, speech or conduct not natural to oneself, to try to blend in with the Arkansans who had elected her husband to be their governor. Yet, despite eight long years of her being our First Lady, years in which I saw her on television many times, not that long removed from the Natural State,2 I had never noticed any sort of Southern accent in her before listening to this tape.

The woman is nothing but a phony, and a complete hypocrite.

  1. Pun most definitely intended.
  2. Yes, that really is the state nickname.

A very serious question

From Twitter:

My question is: will he have to divorce her first, or can all three of them be married? And if it’s all three, will she be married to Fido, too?

According to Wendy Davis, we wicked Republicans sure don’t like anybody but us white folks!

From Liberty Unyielding:

Wendy Davis: Republicans dislike ‘people who don’t look like them’
By LU Staff on June 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

State Senator Wendy Davis (D-TX), a cute blonde white woman who thinks that Republicans don’t like anybody but white people, and is combitching that Republicans aren’t supporting her.

Shades of Obama’s “bitter clinger” remark: From the Daily Caller:

Wendy Davis, the Texas Democratic candidate for governor, says Republicans dislike “people who don’t look like them or come from where they come from.”

Like Obama, Davis’s remark was made “off-mic,” except that — as with Obama — it wasn’t. In Davis’s case, an audience member at her Human Rights Campaign PAC fundraiser in Austin captured the comments on a cell phone. They surfaced on YouTube over the weekend.

In the video capture, which appears below, Davis can be heard opining:

You need look no further than what happened in Arizona with their anti-immigration bill and the withdrawal of tourism and the impact to their economy as a consequence of what ideological thinkers did to that state.

And the same is true with the conversations that are going on in the … Republican convention right now. They’re talking about whether they should soften their language on immigration, but we all know where they are because they’ve been talking about it on the airwaves for the last couple of months.

And we know what they really believe and think about people who don’t look like them or come from where they come from. [Emphasis added]

Read more here And here’s the video:

But think about what state Senator Davis, the Democratic nominee for Governor in Texas, is complaining about. She is whining that Republicans, who support people like Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina (a black man) and Ted Cruz of Texas (an Hispanic man) and Marco Rubio of Florida (an Hispanic man), and Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (an Indian man) and Nikki Haley of South Carolina (an Indian woman) and congressional candidate Mia Love of Utah (a black woman), don’t like her, a cute blonde white woman very much, and are supporting a wheelchair-bound white male instead.

Senator Davis, that cute little blonde white woman, came to prominence with an eleven-hour filibuster against a bill in Texas to strengthen abortion laws. Gosh, since a higher percentage of pregnancies among black women and Hispanic women end in abortion than those among non-Hispanic white women,1 you’d think that, if Republicans really did hate everybody but whites, they’d support liberal abortion laws, since such actually hold down the black population to a smaller number.

Senator Davis’ real complaint? She’s behind Republican nominee Greg Abbott by a large margin, about 12 percentage points when this article was written,2 and a Public Policy Polling survey in April even had Mrs Davis trailing Mr Abbott among women voters. Perhaps, just perhaps, Texas voters and other Republicans are looking at the candidates’ positions rather than their sex or the color of their skins.

  1. Non-Hispanic white women account for 36% of abortions, non-Hispanic black women for 30%, Hispanic women for 25% and women of other races for 9%. However, because non-Hispanic white women are a much larger percentage of the total female population, and the abortion rate for black women winds up being five times that for white women. I will point out here that both links are to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.
  2. The numbers on the linked source may change over time.

We told you so! Single-payer health care plans provide poorer care

The First Street Journal has pointed out, more than once, that the waiting list scandal in the Department of Veterans Affairs medical care system was simply the common practice among single-payer health care systems in the developed world to contain costs. Americans are not used to such things, wanting, and expecting, and normally getting fairly prompt medical care.

And now comes confirmation of our point, kind of from the back side, from the Congressional Budget Office.  As Fox News reported:

Fiscal hawks are warning that new legislation passed in both chambers of Congress this week in response to the Veteran Affairs scandal could cost taxpayers more than $500 billion over the next decade.

A Senate source told FoxNews.com on Friday that lawmakers “passed a bill they didn’t read which led to Congress issuing a blank check with real consequences for the country down the road.”

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget rang the alarm bells over the bill on Thursday, releasing a statement saying the Senate version of the bill “violates every principle of good budgeting, and could add substantially to the national debt.”

The group claimed the bill could create an entitlement program bigger than Medicare Part D (the prescription drug program), citing in part nonpartisan congressional budget estimates.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that preliminary costs for just one provision of the bill — which gives the VA authority to contract with private health care providers to ensure veterans get care — would exceed more than $35 billion through 2016. The CBO also estimates that the provision could ultimately cost $50 billion per year.

“If the program were permanently extended, and fully phased-in costs grew with inflation, the total cost could exceed $500 billion over the next decade before interest,” the CRFB warned.

Translation: enabling veterans using the VA health system to get the prompt attention which they deserve, and to which Americans believe that veterans, and everyone else, is entitled costs more money, a lot more money.

Congress had mandated that the VA provide what most Americans expect: prompt care. In order to qualify for bonuses, the VA medical care administrative leadership had to cook the books, and use tactics which made it appear that veterans were getting prompt appointments, when they were not.1 More, bonuses aside, they had to make it look like they were doing the jobs for which they were hired.  But the VA never had the resources to provide the care that the Congress had mandated, and now we have the (supposedly) non-partisan CBO telling us just how much more that the care everyone expects will cost.

Your Editor has, twice now, endorsed having the United States go to a single-payer health care system, because we are unwilling to impose market discipline and deny medical care to those who cannot or will not pay for it, but I have always noted that such would provide much worse health care. We at The First Street Journal are brutally realistic about these things,2 and understand that nothing is free, that everything has to be paid for, by someone, and that if you believe you can buy something cheaply, cheap is exactly what you’ll get.

  1. Whether any federal employees ought to qualify for bonuses is another matter entirely. Federal employees are already paid more than their private sector counterparts, and the ones eligible for bonuses are at the top of the federal pay scale. If they believe that they just have to be paid more, then they are welcome to try their luck with private employers.
  2. This sentence does not imply that any of the other authors on this site have endorsed the single-payer idea, but every one of us recognizes just how crappy single-payer health care coverage would be here.

Now this pisses me off!

From The New York Times:

The Fog Machine of War
Chelsea Manning on the U.S. Military and Media Freedom
By Chelsea Manning | June 14, 2014

OK, let’s stop right there. Former PFC Bradley Manning, now properly referred to as inmate Manning, received a name change order from Leavenworth County District Court David J. King, who noted that neither the government nor anyone else objected to Mr Manning’s, and his legal name is now Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. The First Street Journal objects, because it is an attempt by Mr Manning to persuade people that he is actually female, a clear falsehood, but it is his legal name now. However, we wonder why Mr Manning was able to petition the court in the first place; that should never have been allowed.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — When I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law.

And that’s as much of inmate Manning’s opinion article that I am willing to quote.1 What I want to know is, why is a federal prisoner allowed to send articles outside of the prison walls,2 and why would The New York Times, supposedly our national newspaper of record, print anything this prisoner wrote?

This prisoner stood before the Army, and took the oath of enlistment:

I, Bradley Edward Manning, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

He broke that solemn oath! He should be given no credit, anywhere, by anyone, for anything, and he certainly should not, now or ever, have anything he ever says or wants to say printed in The New York Times or in any other responsible journal.

The New York Times enjoys the complete protection of our First Amendment, and has a right to print anything it chooses, but it has violated its own slogan, because nothing that Mr Manning writes is fit to print. The Times has soiled itself by printing that article.
Related article:


  1. And I’m hesitant about quoting even that much of what he said.
  2. My original formulation was, why is a federal prisoner allowed to write such articles, but there’s nothing which can stop him from holding an opinion and putting it down on paper.

The viral tweet

So far, 3,048 retweets! Of course, President Obama doesn’t care in the slightest.

Economics 101: The #minimumwage, and pricing labor out of the market

From Young Conservatives:

This robotics company just released a machine that would CRUSH Democrats’ dreams to raise the minimum wage
Posted by: David Rufful June 7, 2014

President Obama and his economically illiterate fellow Democrats love the idea of raising the minimum wage. This new machine ensures that restaurants will no longer have to worry about that threat from Democrats.

With humans needing to take breaks, have at least 4 weekend days off per month, and demanding ever-increasing minimum-wage for a job that was never meant to provide a ‘living-wage’, Momentum Machines – a San Francisco-based robotics company has unveiled the ‘Smart Restaurants’ machine which is capable of making ~360 ‘customized’ gourmet burgers per hour without the aid of a human. 

That’s a lot of hamburgers. I honestly rather see restaurants NOT buy these machines and keep hiring teenagers at minimum wage. Here’s what else the machines do:

“Fast food doesn’t have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices. Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better.”

It slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles only immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.

It’s more consistent, more sanitary.

It offers custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.

One machine can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.

More at the original.

As we have noted previously, businesses have to keep their costs in line in order to make a profit, and if they can’t make a profit, they go out of business, and their employees lose their jobs. Mandated increases in the minimum wage have already cost jobs but let’s get real here: the story cited above concerning replacing hamburger cooks is about technology replacing human labor, and such things will continue whether the minimum wage is raised or not.

We’ve all witnessed it, with the almost total demise of receptionists answering the telephones for businesses; these days, many, if not most, businesses have computers answering the telephones.  They have replaced human receptionists, who have to take breaks, who get to take vacations, and who can call out sick, with computers who require none of those things. We might get mad when we get a computer which makes it difficult to get to a living human being — your Editor certainly hates them! — but so many businesses have switched to them that we don’t even have competitive choices anymore, and we’ve (grudgingly) accepted and gotten used to that infernal process.

Why, then, should it be a surprise that businesses are automating other positions currently filled by human labor?

Raising the minimum wage would skew things — local small restaurants which can’t afford the hamburger-making machines would be at a labor cost disadvantage to those which can — but, in reality, that is going to occur anyway, and raising the minimum wage might accelerate that process, but not raising it won’t stop it.


Rule 5 Blogging: Back to the IDF!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Natalie Portman in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week, it’s back to the Holy Land, and soldiers from the Israel Defense Force.

השבוע עברו לוחמי פלוגת החילוץ וההצלה ‘רותם’ של פיקוד העורף אשר מורכבת מלוחמים ולוחמות אימון לפני לחימה במרכז הארץ. צילום: אביר סולטן , דובר צה”ל.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Back to the IDF!’ »

From Around the Blogroll: Flag Day Edition!


On Patterico’s Pontifications, JD noted that the Infernal Revenue Service has lost, supposedly due to a computer crash, two years worth of e-mails “written only to or from (Lois) Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.” Your Editor is certain, certain! that the Democrats, whose predecessors were so utterly aghast that some 18½ minutes of tapes of President Nixon were accidentally erased, will be demanding a thorough investigation. And Sister Toldjah wrote:

Scott Johnson at Power Line shares an intriguing email a Department of Justice lawyer sent to him in response to the ridiculous claims that the email loss was the result of a “computer crash”:

I’m a DOJ lawyer, so you obviously cannot use my name or any identifying information. But the idea that a “hard drive crash” somehow destroyed all of Ms. Lerner’s intra-government email correspondence during the period in question [2009-2011] is laughable. Government email servers are backed up every night. So if she actually had a hard drive fail, her emails would be recoverable from the backup. If the backup was somehow also compromised, then we are talking about a conspiracy.

Yes, friends, I do believe we have a genuine conspiracy to hide the truth on our hands.  In the “most open, transparent administration evah …”  The various investigations into what happened just got a lot tougher but nevertheless need to continue to be relentless until they get to the bottom of not just the wrongdoing behind the wrongful targeting of Tea Party groups – but the cover-up as well.

Oh, no, of course not, because the Democrats are too good and noble to do anything nefarious; only we wicked Republicans do that!

The perfect Flag Day illustration, an image which tells the truth as it once was, and ought to be again.

Sister Toldjah also asked if teachers unions are on the decline nationwide.

At the Pirate’s Cove, William Teach wrote about the State Department’s great concern that “Russia has supplied Ukrainian separatists with tanks, rocket launchers and other military vehicles”. “This is unacceptable,” (State Department spokeswoman Marie) Harf said, adding that the U.S. was “highly concerned.”

On the Victory Girls, Jennifer Davis wrote about Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, whom we had noted previously was leading the Islamist forces taking over Iraq, and whom we had released from custody when we had him in our hands. The Obama Administration has had just so many foreign policy failures, and I have to ask: have they had any successes, and I mean any at all?

On Political Realities, L D Jackson wrote, on Friday the 13th, about the flood of illegal immigrants which has begun recently. Wel, maybe President Obama considers that a foreign policy success. :(

On Truth Before Dishonor, John Hitchcock asked us if we remember when the Democratic National Convention booed Providence and Israel, and asked, “Now, why would any Christian or Jew ever align with the Left? Can you answer me that, Leftist Catholics and Jews?”

Hube has paid a bit more attention to the Delaware Liberal than I have, and doesn’t seem too terribly impressed.1

Donald Douglas has a whole bunch of articles on the Islamist surge in Iraq. But most interesting might be this one, noting the Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s call for Shi’ite militia to form to resist the approaching Sunni forces.  Is it really a bad thing if Sunni and Shi’ite fanatics kill each other?  I would say that no, it isn’t a bad thing at all, and would hope for a fairly evenly-matched struggle between them, one which takes a good, long time.

On Bridging the Gap, Perry tells us that conservatives are “maltreating” SGT Bowe Bergdahl, and that accusations of his alleged desertion should be tempered, because everyone ought to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Commenter Rhymes With Right asks, “Why is it that I suspect you would have declared a similar graphic regarding George Zimmerman to have been racist?”

On Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion, William Jacobson noted that one of the five Taliban leaders released from Guantanamo was responsible for the killing of Johnny “Mike” Spann, a CIA officer who was the first American killed in the war in Afghanistan.

On Protein Wisdom, Darleen Click tells us that guns never solve anything, “except when used by a law-abiding citizen to save the life of his daughter.”

Karen, the Lonely Conservative, spotted the column in The New York Times in which the author wants President Obama to usurp congressional power to write laws.

Finally, Robert Stacey Stacy McCain mocks the notion by some “Feminists” that Father’s Day ought to be ended, along with another story on Happy Lesbian Father’s Day!

  1. Even though I had known Jason330′s real name when I wrote about his potential primary cmpaign against Representative John Carney, I did not use it because he uses a pseudonym in writing. However, El Somnambulo used his real name, Jason Scott, in writing about the potential candidacy on the Delaware Liberal site, which leaves me free to do so in future articles.

The unlearned lesson

From The Telegraph:

Iraq crisis: the jihadist behind the takeover of Mosul – and how America let him go
The march of al-Qaeda-linked militants towarsds the Iraqi capital is a coup for the shadowy leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – a former US detainee
By Colin Freeman | 12:13PM BST 11 Jun 2014

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (inset) and fighters of the al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq (Photo: REUTERS) Click to enlarge.

The FBI “most wanted” mugshot shows a tough, swarthy figure, his hair in a jailbird crew-cut. The $10 million price on his head, meanwhile, suggests that whoever released him from US custody four years ago may now be regretting it.

Taken during his years as a detainee at the US-run Camp Bucca in southern Iraq, this is one of the few known photographs of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the new leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS). But while he may lack the photogenic qualities of his hero, Osama bin Laden, he is fast becoming the new poster-boy for the global jihadist movement.

Well-organised and utterly ruthless, the ex-preacher is the driving force behind al-Qaeda’s resurgence throughout Syria and Iraq, putting it at the forefront of the war to topple President Bashar al-Assad and starting a fresh campaign of mayhem against the Western-backed government in Baghdad.

This week, his forces have achieved their biggest coup in Iraq to date, seizing control of government buildings in Mosul, the country’s third biggest city, and marching further south to come within striking distance of the capital, Baghdad. Coming on top of similar operations in January that planted the black jihadi flag in the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi, it gives al-Qaeda control of large swathes of the north and west of the country, and poses the biggest security crisis since the US pull-out two years ago.

More at the original.

Abu Bakr was held in Iraq, not in Guantanamo, and was released in 2009. The Obama Administration knew about Mr Bakr well before it negotiated the release of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, trading five top Taliban leaders, all of whom were known to be highly dangerous, for our captured soldier. The Administration knew to what releasing such men could lead, but they agreed to release the five Taliban anyway.

American embassy in Saigon being evacuated before the advance of the North Vietnamese, April 29, 1975

And now Iraqis are paying the price, in blood and terror. President Obama pulled out the last American troops from Iraq in 2011, so we won’t see Americans being killed there, other than, perhaps, some few who have stayed there. Of course, we do still have our embassy in Tehran, and, under this Commander-in-Chief, it’s not at all difficult to picture a repeat of the scene in Saigon in April of 1975.

It’s a good thing that we’re cutting and running pulling our troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, before the five Taliban leaders released by President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel can get really re-established and going, because these men, who should never have been released, are going to return to the wars and cause untold death and destruction. All that we can hope for now is that our troops are out of Afghanistan before that disaster hits.