Dead Broke Hillary

Dead Broke HillaryDead Broke Hillary takes Wall Street Money: How Central Bank Enabled Financialization Has Divided America.  And then there is the Clinton Crime Family and their multiplication of wealth since leaving the White House “dead broke”.  In terms of multipliers, Buffett is a piker compared to the CCF.

…….During the 29 years after Alan Greenspan became Fed chairman in August 1987, the balance sheet of the Fed exploded from $200 billion to $4.5 trillion. Call that a 23X gain.

That’s a pretty massive increase—so let’s see what else happened over that three-decade span. Well, according to Forbes, Warren Buffett’s net worth was $2.1 billion back in 1987 and it is now about $73 billion. Call that 35X.

During those same years, the value of non-financial US corporate equities rose from $2.6 trillion to $36.6 trillion. That’s on the hefty side, too.

Call it 14X and take the hint about the idea of financialization. The value of corporate equities rose from 44% to 205% of GDP during that 29-year interval.

Needless to say, when we move to the underlying economy which purportedly gave rise to these fabulous financial gains, the X-factor is not so generous. As shown above, nominal GDP rose from $5 trillion to $18 trillion during the same 29-year period. But that was only 3.6X

Next we have wage and salary disbursements, which rose from $2.5 trillion to $7.5 trillion over the period. Make that 3.0X.

Then comes the median nominal income of US households. That measurement increased from $26K to $54K over the period. Call it 2.0X.

Digging deeper, we have the sum of aggregate labor hours supplied to the nonfarm economy. That fairly precise metric of real work by real people rose from 185 billion hours to 240 billion hours during those same 29 years. Call it 1.27X.

Further down the Greenspan era rabbit hole, we have the average weekly wage of full-time workers in inflation adjusted dollars. In constant 1982 dollars that was $330 per week in 1987 and is currently $340. Call that 1.03X

Finally, we have real median family income. At about $54,000 then and now, call it a three decade long trip to nowhere if you credit the BLS inflation data.

But when you deflate nominal household income by our more accurate Flyover CPI per the last chapter, you end up at the very bottom of the Maestro’s rabbit hole.

Median real household income went backwards! It now stands at just 0.8X of its starting level.

So 35X for Warren Buffett and 0.8X for working people. That is some kind of divide.

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Infected Android devices

Cell phone malwareMore than 10 million Android devices around the world have been infected with malware linked to China.  CNET, citing an analysis from cybersecurity software maker Check Point, wrote that the “HummingBad” malware was developed by a team linked to an otherwise legitimate Beijing-based firm called Yingmob.

The malware installs a piece of software onto infected Android devices that gives cybercriminals administrative-level access. This access is used to generate fraudulent advertising revenue through forced app downloading and ad clicking, CNET reported.

The majority of the malware’s victims are in China and India, each with over 1 million cases. The U.S. has roughly a quarter of a million infected devices, according to the report.

A spokesperson for Google — which owns Android — said in a statement, “We’ve long been aware  of this evolving family of malware and we’re constantly improving our systems that detect it.

We actively block installations of infected apps to keep users and their information safe.”

 

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FBI’s Hillary investigation

Hillary Clinton’s unsecure, private email server
http://ClintonFailedPolicies.com

Are Bill Clinton and his team the key to the FBI’s Hillary investigation?
Bill’s aide may be the nexus between the Clintons’ political and financial interests

By Monica Crowley – The Washington Times – Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Several weeks ago, I wrote a column titled “Is Bill Clinton in the FBI crosshairs?” That question appears to be increasingly relevant because of the emergence of another, more central one:

Was Hillary Clinton’s unsecure, private email server set up by her husband’s top political operative in order to turbocharge their own political and financial interests?

Justin Cooper may hold the answer.

Mr. Cooper is a central player in the shadowy worlds of Bill and Hillary Clinton — serving as Mr. Clinton’s top aide since 2015, when his predecessor, former right-hand man and “surrogate son” Doug Band, resigned from the Clinton Foundation — yet he has largely escaped notice.

The obscure Mr. Cooper may, in fact, be the linchpin of the case swirling around the Clintons. Perhaps more than anyone apart from the principals themselves, he is at the nexus of the Clinton Foundation, Hillary’s work at the State Department, and her possession of highly sensitive government documents. After all, Mr. Cooper was the one who, before she became secretary, negotiated with the Obama White House over the parameters of acceptable conduct by Bill Clinton and the foundation to minimize the possibility of “conflicts of interest.”

I have previously reported that the server in question actually belonged to, was paid for and was housed by Mr. Clinton, raising questions about his possible legal exposure. Now it appears that it wasn’t just his server, but his team and their co-motive: to leverage Mrs. Clinton’s position as secretary to expand their contacts and raise ever more exorbitant amounts of money for their foundation.

Recall that the FBI probe is proceeding along multiple tracks. The one involving her possible mishandling of classified material is the “what” part of the equation.

Far more important, however, is the “why.” Why did she have these documents on their unsecure, private server in the first place? What was the motive for receiving and sending so many of them, deleting more than 30,000 more and changing her story several times about their nature?

Motive is the key. That brings us to another part of the investigation: possible violations of public corruption laws in the co-mingling of Clinton Foundation work with her duties at the State Department.

Enter Mr. Cooper.

The server for her private domain name, ClintonEmail.com, and the foundation-run PresidentClinton.com shared an email network and a physical location in New York while she was secretary, both under Mr. Clinton’s auspices. It was Mr. Cooper who, according to archived Internet records, registered both ClintonEmail.com and PresidentClinton.com, which was used by top Clinton Foundation personnel.

Mr. Cooper served as a coordinator between the overlapping worlds of Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Clinton and the foundation. He is a top fundraiser for the Clinton Foundation. He is also a senior adviser to Teneo, founded by Mr. Band and whose clients — such as Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical and Bank of America — certainly gained access to the former president, the secretary of state and their vast international network. At one point, Mr. Clinton was given a contract with Teneo for his rainmaking efforts worth $3.5 million.

Teneo’s dealings have been shrouded in secrecy, perhaps because it appears to have served as a feeder fund for the Clinton Foundation. Among the Clinton loyalists employed by Teneo: Mrs. Clinton closest aide, Huma Abedin, who served as a Teneo “senior adviser” while she was also employed by Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, the Clinton Foundation and Mrs. Clinton personally; six former State Department officials, including her former economic envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly; and Mr. Cooper, whose bio, before it was scrubbed from Teneo’s website, noted, “In addition to his role with Teneo, Mr. Cooper serves as Senior Advisor to President William J. Clinton ” and “assists in operating the Clinton Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Family Foundation.”

As investigator Charles Ortel has put it, “Lightly regulated and opaque businesses such as the Foundation and Teneo are perfect vehicles through which government influence can be monetized. Overlay secretive ‘members only’ conclaves such as Clinton Global Initiative gatherings and you can hide corruption in the guise of charity.”

In an interview last year on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mrs. Clintondenied communicating with the foundation while at State. “Other people in the State Department did,” she said, “in accordance with the rules that had been adopted [per Mr. Cooper’s arrangement with the Obama administration].” But according to an Oct. 28, 2009 email, Mrs. Clinton wrote longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal and copied Mssrs. Band and Cooper at the foundation. I suspect the email’s content is of interest to the FBI.

If she mixed State Department and foundation work, perhaps Mr. Clinton was also trying to work around the deal struck by Mr. Cooper to raise requests with State to do sleazy but lucrative speaking engagements in unsavory places such as North Korea and Congo (requests which State ultimately denied).

A source familiar with Mr. Cooper’s arrangement with the Clintons tells me that they have paid his legal fees associated with the FBI investigation, amounting to “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” They aren’t paying those costs out of a sense of decency. They’re paying them because he knows the “why” of the server, which may very well have been to make it easier for the foundation to hustle big donations.

One wonders what, if anything, Mr. Cooper is telling the FBI — and whether the whole sordid Clinton house of cards will be left standing.

• Monica Crowley is editor of online opinion at The Washington Times.

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FBI unlocking Apple IPhones

FRI hacked into IPhoneFBI facing demands to share its claimed technique to unlock iPhones.  Local law enforcement officials want access to Apple phones to solve crimes but Apple might be able to patch security flaws if secret technique is widely shared

The FBI faces a series of tough questions after it announced that it has a technique for hacking into Syed Farook’s iPhone

Any day now, Hillar Moore is expecting a call from the FBI.

Moore, a district attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has publicly lamented that Apple’s iPhone encryption is keeping local police out of a victim’s phone in a recent murder. On Monday, Moore’s ears perked up when the FBI announced it would drop its court battle with Apple after it figured out a way to pull data from the iPhone of Syed Farook, the San Bernardino gunman.

FBI to help Arkansas prosecutor in unlocking murder suspect’s iPhone

Moore, like many others, wants in.

“Waiting on them to call me,” he wrote in an email exchange with the Guardian, “to see if they can assist in getting into my phone.”

The FBI now faces a series of tough questions after it announced to the world that it has a technique for hacking into Farook’s iPhone – something Apple says shouldn’t be possible on current models without a user’s passcode. Naturally, a lot of other people – from local police to parents – say they could benefit from the technology.

The technique is a closely guarded secret at FBI headquarters. It probably relies on a security flaw in Apple’s mobile operating system. Because of that, the bureau realizes that the more widely it’s shared, the more likely Apple could learn about the technique and patch it.

Such a calculus can be hard to fathom for people who just want access to a locked iPhone. A father in Italy is asking Apple to unlock his dead son’s phone – so he can reminisce through his son’s stored pictures – or he will try to find whatever tool the FBI used. On Wednesday, a local prosecutor in Arkansas told the Associated Press that the bureau had agreed to share its technique with him in a murder case involving an iPhone and an iPod.

He may have gotten ahead of himself. The FBI on Thursday took the unusual step of correcting a local law enforcement official. It said that local police asked the FBI for help unlocking the phone on 28 March – the same day the bureau announced it was dropping its Apple case – but that it hadn’t yet received the devices.

“The FBI frequently receives requests from our local partners to provide expert technical assistance. Such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis,” an FBI spokesman said. “The FBI’s handling of this request is not related to the San Bernardino matter.”

With Moore’s case in Louisiana, a Baton Rouge woman was shot at her doorstep and the killer remains unknown.

Her iPhone backups stop months before the shooting and police wonder if they could find a lead by scrolling through her iPhone diary and text messages. But no one can figure out the phone’s passcode.

There are a lot of ways to get data from an iPhone: data can be backed up on Apple’s iCloud service and a variety of techniques exist to crack open phones running older versions of Apple’s operating system.

But whether these people could find another way into the phone is immaterial now the FBI has announced it has a panacea.

Cyrus Vance, the outspoken district attorney for New York county, appeared to realize the limits of the Justice Department’s technological breakthrough on Monday. In the past, Vance has said there are some 175 phones linked to criminal cases that his office cannot unlock.

“We cannot ask crime victims across 3,000 local jurisdictions to stake their hope for justice on an unending technological arms race between the government and Apple,” he said in a press release. “The overwhelming majority of criminal investigations stalled by default device encryption will remain so until Congress intervenes.”

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Islam—Facts or Dreams?

In 1993 I was a seasoned federal prosecutor, but I only knew as much about Islam as the average American with a reasonably good education—which is to say, not much. Consequently, when I was assigned to lead the prosecution of a terrorist cell that had bombed the World Trade Center and was plotting an even more devastating strike—simultaneous attacks on the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the United Nations complex on the East River, and the FBI’s lower Manhattan headquarters—I had no trouble believing what our government was saying: that we should read nothing into the fact that all the men in this terrorist cell were Muslims; that their actions were not representative of any religion or belief system; and that to the extent they were explaining their atrocities by citing Islamic scripture, they were twisting and perverting one of the world’s great religions, a religion that encourages peace.

Unlike commentators and government press secretaries, I had to examine these claims. Prosecutors don’t get to base their cases on assertions. They have to prove things to commonsense Americans who must be satisfied about not only what happened but why it happened before they will convict people of serious crimes. And in examining the claims, I found them false.

One of the first things I learned concerned the leader of the terror cell, Omar Abdel Rahman, infamously known as the Blind Sheikh. Our government was portraying him as a wanton killer who was lying about Islam by preaching that it summoned Muslims to jihad or holy war. Far from a lunatic, however, he turned out to be a globally renowned scholar—a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence who graduated from al-Azhar University in Cairo, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning for over a millennium. His area of academic expertise was sharia—Islamic law.

I immediately began to wonder why American officials from President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno on down, officials who had no background in Muslim doctrine and culture, believed they knew more about Islam than the Blind Sheikh. Then something else dawned on me: the Blind Sheikh was not only blind; he was beset by several other medical handicaps. That seemed relevant. After all, terrorism is hard work. Here was a man incapable of doing anything that would be useful to a terrorist organization—he couldn’t build a bomb, hijack a plane, or carry out an assassination. Yet he was the unquestioned leader of the terror cell. Was this because there was more to his interpretation of Islamic doctrine than our government was conceding?

Defendants do not have to testify at criminal trials, but they have a right to testify if they choose to—so I had to prepare for the possibility. Raised an Irish Catholic in the Bronx, I was not foolish enough to believe I could win an argument over Muslim theology with a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence. But I did think that if what we were saying as a government was true—that he was perverting Islam—then there must be two or three places where I could nail him by saying, “You told your followers X, but the doctrine clearly says Y.” So my colleagues and I pored over the Blind Sheikh’s many writings. And what we found was alarming: whenever he quoted the Koran or other sources of Islamic scripture, he quoted them accurately.

Now, you might be able to argue that he took scripture out of context or gave an incomplete account of it. In my subsequent years of studying Islam, I’ve learned that this is not a particularly persuasive argument. But even if one concedes for the purposes of discussion that it’s a colorable claim, the inconvenient fact remains: Abdel Rahman was not lying about Islam.

When he said the scriptures command that Muslims strike terror into the hearts of Islam’s enemies, the scriptures backed him up.

When he said Allah enjoined all Muslims to wage jihad until Islamic law was established throughout the world, the scriptures backed him up.

When he said Islam directed Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as their friends, the scriptures backed him up.

You could counter that there are other ways of construing the scriptures. You could contend that these exhortations to violence and hatred should be “contextualized”—i.e., that they were only meant for their time and place in the seventh century. Again, I would caution that there are compelling arguments against this manner of interpreting Islamic scripture. The point, however, is that what you’d be arguing is an interpretation.

The fact that there are multiple ways of construing Islam hardly makes the Blind Sheikh’s literal construction wrong. The blunt fact of the matter is that, in this contest of competing interpretations, it is the jihadists who seem to be making sense because they have the words of scripture on their side—it is the others who seem to be dancing on the head of a pin. For our present purposes, however, the fact is that the Blind Sheikh’s summons to jihad was rooted in a coherent interpretation of Islamic doctrine. He was not perverting Islam—he was, if anything, shining a light on the need to reform it.

Another point, obvious but inconvenient, is that Islam is not a religion of peace. There are ways of interpreting Islam that could make it something other than a call to war. But even these benign constructions do not make it a call to peace. Verses such as “Fight those who believe not in Allah,” and “Fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war,” are not peaceful injunctions, no matter how one contextualizes.

Another disturbing aspect of the trial against the Blind Sheikh and his fellow jihadists was the character witnesses who testified for the defense. Most of these people were moderate, peaceful Muslim Americans who would no more commit terrorist acts than the rest of us. But when questions about Islamic doctrine would come up—“What does jihad mean?” “What is sharia?” “How might sharia apply to a certain situation?”—these moderate, peaceful Muslims explained that they were not competent to say. In other words, for the answers, you’d have to turn to Islamic scholars like the Blind Sheikh.

Now, understand: there was no doubt what the Blind Sheikh was on trial for. And there was no doubt that he was a terrorist—after all, he bragged about it. But that did not disqualify him, in the minds of these moderate, peaceful Muslims, from rendering authoritative opinions on the meaning of the core tenets of their religion. No one was saying that they would follow the Blind Sheikh into terrorism—but no one was discrediting his status either.

Although this came as a revelation to me, it should not have. After all, it is not as if Western civilization had no experience dealing with Islamic supremacism—what today we call “Islamist” ideology, the belief that sharia must govern society. Winston Churchill, for one, had encountered it as a young man serving in the British army, both in the border region between modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the Sudan—places that are still cauldrons of Islamist terror. Ever the perceptive observer, Churchill wrote:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. . . . Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Habitually, I distinguish between Islam and Muslims. It is objectively important to do so, but I also have a personal reason: when I began working on national security cases, the Muslims I first encountered were not terrorists. To the contrary, they were pro-American patriots who helped us infiltrate terror cells, disrupt mass-murder plots, and gather the evidence needed to convict jihadists. We have an obligation to our national security to understand our enemies; but we also have an obligation to our principles not to convict by association—not to confound our Islamist enemies with our Muslim allies and fellow citizens. Churchill appreciated this distinction. “Individual Moslems,” he stressed, “may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen.” The problem was not the people, he concluded. It was the doctrine.

What about Islamic law? On this topic, it is useful to turn to Robert Jackson, a giant figure in American law and politics—FDR’s attorney general, justice of the Supreme Court, and chief prosecutor of the war crimes trials at Nuremberg. In 1955, Justice Jackson penned the foreword to a book called Law in the Middle East. Unlike today’s government officials, Justice Jackson thought sharia was a subject worthy of close study. And here is what he concluded:

In any broad sense, Islamic law offers the American lawyer a study in dramatic contrasts. Even casual acquaintance and superficial knowledge—all that most of us at bench or bar will be able to acquire—reveal that its striking features relative to our law are not likenesses but inconsistencies, not similarities but contrarieties. In its source, its scope and its sanctions, the law of the Middle East is the antithesis of Western law.

Contrast this with the constitution that the U.S. government helped write for post-Taliban Afghanistan, which showed no awareness of the opposition of Islamic and Western law. That constitution contains soaring tropes about human rights, yet it makes Islam the state religion and sharia a principal source of law—and under it, Muslim converts to Christianity have been subjected to capital trials for apostasy.

Sharia rejects freedom of speech as much as freedom of religion. It rejects the idea of equal rights between men and women as much as between Muslim and non-Muslim. It brooks no separation between spiritual life and civil society. It is a comprehensive framework for human life, dictating matters of government, economy, and combat, along with personal behavior such as contact between the sexes and personal hygiene. Sharia aims to rule both believers and non-believers, and it affirmatively sanctions jihad in order to do so.

Even if this is not the only construction of Islam, it is absurd to claim—as President Obama did during his recent visit to a mosque in Baltimore—that it is not a mainstream interpretation. In fact, it is the mainstream interpretation in many parts of the world. Last year, Americans were horrified by the beheadings of three Western journalists by ISIS. American and European politicians could not get to microphones fast enough to insist that these decapitations had nothing to do with Islam. Yet within the same time frame, the government of Saudi Arabia beheaded eight people for various violations of sharia—the law that governs Saudi Arabia.

Three weeks before Christmas, a jihadist couple—an American citizen, the son of Pakistani immigrants, and his Pakistani wife who had been welcomed into our country on a fiancée visa—carried out a jihadist attack in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people. Our government, as with the case in Fort Hood—where a jihadist who had infiltrated the Army killed 13 innocents, mostly fellow soldiers—resisted calling the atrocity a “terrorist attack.” Why? Our investigators are good at what they do, and our top officials may be ideological, but they are not stupid. Why is it that they can’t say two plus two equals four when Islam is involved?

The reason is simple: stubbornly unwilling to deal with the reality of Islam, our leaders have constructed an Islam of their very own. This triumph of willful blindness and political correctness over common sense was best illustrated by former British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith when she described terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.” In other words, the savagery is not merely unrelated to Islam; it becomes, by dint of its being inconsistent with a “religion of peace,”contrary to Islam. This explains our government’s handwringing over “radicalization”: we are supposed to wonder why young Muslims spontaneously become violent radicals—as if there is no belief system involved.

This is political correctness on steroids, and it has dangerous policy implications. Consider the inability of government officials to call a mass-murder attack by Muslims a terrorist attack unless and until the police uncover evidence proving that the mass murderers have some tie to a designated terrorist group, such as ISIS or al Qaeda. It is rare for such evidence to be uncovered early in an investigation—and as a matter of fact, such evidence often does not exist. Terrorist recruits already share the same ideology as these groups: the goal of imposing sharia. All they need in order to execute terrorist attacks is paramilitary training, which is readily available in more places than just Syria.

The dangerous flipside to our government’s insistence on making up its own version of Islam is that anyone who is publicly associated with Islam must be deemed peaceful. This is how we fall into the trap of allowing the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic supremacist organization, to infiltrate policy-making organs of the U.S. government, not to mention our schools, our prisons, and other institutions. The federal government, particularly under the Obama administration, acknowledges the Brotherhood as an Islamic organization—notwithstanding the ham-handed attempt by the intelligence community a few years back to rebrand it as “largely secular”—thereby giving it a clean bill of health. This despite the fact that Hamas is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, that the Brotherhood has a long history of terrorist violence, and that major Brotherhood figures have gone on to play leading roles in terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda.

To quote Churchill again: “Facts are better than dreams.” In the real world, we must deal with the facts of Islamic supremacism, because its jihadist legions have every intention of dealing with us. But we can only defeat them if we resolve to see them for what they are.
Source: Hillsdale Imprimis, by Andrew C. McCarthy, February 2016:
Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. A graduate of Columbia College, he received his J.D. at New York Law School. For 18 years, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, and from 1993-95 he led the terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. He writes widely for newspapers and journals including National Review, PJ Media, and The New Criterion, and is the author of several books, including Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad and Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotages America.

Source: Andrew C. McCarthy
The following is adapted from a speech delivered on February 24, 2016, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

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DCPolitburo has hit the panic button

DCPolitburoThe Washington political establishment has hit the panic button. Not because they are afraid of any one individual or candidate, but because they are afraid of losing their own political power.

This town is filled with well-intentioned people who believe they are doing the right thing, but far too many have lost their way after years in Washington. Politicians pay more attention to special interests groups and powerful lobbyists writing checks to their next campaign, than listening to the people back home who sent them here in the first place.

This dangerous power vacuum has fueled frustration and created an entirely new breed of disenfranchised voters who are fed up with the status quo. These are real people, their anger is palpable, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

A recent survey of likely Republican primary voters showed that 86 percent believe that “people like me don’t have any say about what the government does.” Another recent exit poll in my home state of Georgia showed six in ten Republicans felt “betrayed” by their political party.

This sentiment is something I heard countless times during my campaign for the United States Senate just over a short year ago. It is what pulled me to get involved personally to try and make a difference. But this is not just happening in Georgia. People across America are angry, frustrated, and scared because they feel like Washington is not listening to them.

A growing number of Americans are more motivated by this feeling of frustration than any individual political ideology.

A growing number of Americans are more motivated by this feeling of frustration than any individual political ideology. The rise of career politicians has completely shifted the political paradigm from just liberal versus conservative. There is now a disconnect between the Washington political class and everybody else—the insiders versus the outsiders.

When most Americans look at the federal government, all they see are years of failed policies that have made life harder for them and their families, and a political class that is well connected and uninterested in giving them a say in how to right the ship.

People are still hurting, and they are weary of Washington’s penchant for business as usual. Georgians sent me—someone who had never run for elected office—to the United States Senate to try and do something about it and change the system. In state after state this year, voters have voiced support for presidential candidates who are not part of the political class.

This is a growing movement, and it is bigger than any one candidate or election victory. Unless the political establishment is willing to learn from the anger felt by millions of Americans who feel left behind, this will not end in November.

True to form, though, political elites prefer tearing down individuals to understanding what created this movement. This movement of Americans wants nothing to do with Washington, and neither endorsements nor criticisms are going to change that.

No matter who our Republican presidential nominee is at the end of this process, one thing is clear, we cannot allow Democrats to double down on the failed policies of the last seven years.

A better course of action would be a candid examination of what can be done to regain the trust of the American people. Let’s start with simply listening to them.

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Romney and Obama Both Losers

 Romney is a LOSERFormer GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Thursday that the prospects for a safe future are “greatly diminished” if Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee for president.

Speaking at the University of Utah, Romney warned a packed auditorium that any of the other GOP candidates would be a better alternative to the billionaire businessman.

“The only serious policy proposals that deal with the broad range of national challenges we confront today, come from Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich,” Romney said of Trump’s GOP rivals. “One of these men should be our nominee.”

Romney is charging into the increasingly divisive White House race with a verbal lashing of Donald Trump and a plea for fellow Republicans to shun the front-runner for the good of country and party.

“His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power,” Romney said.

Romney branded Trump as “a phony, a fraud” whose “promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University” in his speech.

Earlier Thursday, Trump dismissed Romney as “a stiff” who “didn’t know what he was doing” as the party’s candidate in 2012 and blew a chance to beat President Barack Obama. “People are energized by what I’m saying” in the campaign and turning out in remarkable numbers to vote, Trump told NBC’s “Today.”

The back-and-forth comes as Republican candidates prepared for the first post-Super Tuesday debate, scheduled for Thursday in Detroit, with Trump coming under increasing pressure from his party as he fights for the majority of delegates needed to win the nomination.

Thursday’s condemnation and counter was coming four years after the two men stood side by side in Las Vegas, with Trump saying it was a “real honor and privilege” to endorse Romney’s White House bid. Accepting, Romney said it was a “delight” to have Trump on his side and praised him for ability to “understand how our economy works and to create jobs for the American people.”

Panicked GOP leaders say they still have options for preventing Trump from winning the GOP nomination — just not many good ones.

Romney also said that a Trump nomination at the party’s convention in Cleveland in July would enable Democrat Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. He contended that Trump “has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.”

Romney’s involvement comes as party elites pore over complicated delegate math, outlining hazy scenarios for a contested convention and even flirting with the long-shot prospect of a third party option.

Giving Romney the back of his hand, Trump turned his sights on the general election. His campaign reached out to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office to arrange a conversation between the two men, and urged Republican leaders to view his candidacy as a chance to expand the party.

Trump padded his lead with victories in seven Super Tuesday contests, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz claiming three states and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio picking up his first victory of the 2016 race.

Despite Trump’s strong night, he was not yet on track to claim the nomination before the party’s national gathering in July, according to an Associated Press delegate count. He has won 46 percent of the delegates awarded so far, and he would have to increase that to 51 percent in the remaining primaries.

GOP strategists cast March 15 as the last opportunity to stop Trump through the normal path of winning states and collecting delegates. A win for Rubio in his home state of Florida would raise questions about Trump’s strength, as could a win for Kasich, Ohio’s governor, on his home turf.

The candidates have a high-profile opportunity to make their case to voters in Thursday’s Fox News debate. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson all but ended his bid Wednesday, saying he would skip the debate and declaring he did “not see a political path forward.”

The GOP mayhem contrasted sharply with a clearer picture on the Democratic side, where Hillary Clinton was drawing broad support from voters and her party’s leaders. Rival Sen. Bernie Sanders vowed to keep up the fight, though his path to the nomination has become exceedingly narrow.

Romney argues that Trump’s “domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe,” Romney says. “And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”

The Associated Press has asked Republican governors and senators if they would support Trump if he becomes the party’s nominee. Of the 59 respondents, slightly fewer than half could not commit to backing him in November.

One long-shot idea rumbling through power corridors in Washington was the prospect of a late third-party candidate to represent more mainstream conservatives. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been approached by “a mixture of people” about being part of a third-party bid, according to Jeff Miller, who managed Perry’s failed GOP presidential campaign. But Miller said Perry found the idea “ludicrous.”

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Trump wrong about unlocking iPhone

tRUMP WRONG ABOUT IpHONESThe Great iPhone Unlocking Controversy APPLE TO DEFY GOVERNMENT ORDER … AND RIGHTFULLY SO  Technology giant Apple will oppose a court order demanding that it provide the federal government with a way to get around its encryption technology.

Using a vague, centuries-old statute federal judge Sheri Pym has ordered the California-based company to provide the government with the tools it needs to bypass security on the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino domestic terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook.  The 28-year-old jihadist and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, murdered fourteen people at the office complex where Farook worked.

They were both killed by police in a shootout following the December 2 attack.

Apple says it will not comply with the order … which relies on a catchall clause called the “All Writs Act,” an eighteenth century statue which effectively grants government the right to compel anyone to do anything it wants.

“We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Cook said the technology needed to bypass encryption is “something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”

We agree … completely.

Encryption is a process by which plain text data exchanges are encoded using a key and then deciphered by authorized users using secret decryption keys.  The government is basically ordering Apple to create a “master key” for all of its iOS devices (i.e. all iPhones, iPods, iPads, etc.) – and then turn that key over to the same people have been spying on us for years without warrants.

And storing our data without our permission …

“The F.B.I. may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a back door,” Cook said. “And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

Amen to that …

Such universal access is far too dangerous to entrust to the government given its track record on mass surveillance and other violations of individual liberty.

Encryption was promoted by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden as the best way of protecting citizens from

“The bottom line … is that encryption does work,” Snowden said during a March 2014 address.

That same year, Apple and Google both moved to full encryption on their mobile operating systems – with Apple explicitly saying the move was made so that “it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession.”

Good for both companies …

Despite lip service paid to individual liberty by certain politicians, the Fourth Amendment freedoms of all Americans continue to be habitually violated by the government.  In other words, there is simply no way to trust the government with this technology.

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Castro praises Pope’s anti-capitalism stance

 

Pope Francis a communist?
http://GretaGip.com

Pope Francis has arrived in Havana this afternoon and starts a historic 10-day visit to Cuba and the United States, according to reports.

Cuban President Raul Castro welcomed Pope Francis in a long speech at the airport. In his speech, Castro said the communist government has “founded an equitable society with social justice” in Cuba and he praised the pope’s critiques of the global economic system that has “globalized capital and turned money into its idol.”

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VALERIE JARRETT GIVES BIDEN-FOR-PRESIDENT A THUMBS UP

Biden for PresidentA close White House insider tells ED KLEIN CONFIDENTIAL that top presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett has given the thumbs up sign to the Joe Biden-for-president movement.

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