Hillary Clinton’s First Hard Choice

In Hillary Clinton’s Village, I went to great lengths to ensure that I attacked Mrs. Clinton’s inefficient and ineffective policy positions, and not her character. I really do believe that most people who advocate poorly thought out policies have the best of intentions at heart. Therefore, I chose not to include the story below in the book, but I now feel compelled to provide it, given Mrs. Clinton’s repeated claims that she is an unblinking advocate for women and children.

As I wrote the chapter on how the Violence Against Women Act can actually put battered women at higher risk of abuse or death, the details of a 1975 rape case resurfaced in the media. In a rediscovered taped interview, Mrs. Clinton laughs uncomfortably as she describes her role in getting a greatly reduced sentence for the 41-year-old rapist of a 12-year-old little girl. Mrs. Clinton clearly believed her client was guilty of raping this child. Her defenders counter, and I agree, that in our justice system she was obligated as a lawyer to provide him the very best defense she could muster. This she did, but her laughter is something our system does not require. I found it disquieting to listen as Mrs. Clinton laughed.

But what is most disturbing to me, is the difference between her public persona and her personal actions in this particular case. Mrs. Clinton embraced the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 in her 1996 book It Takes a Village. A key provision of this Act is the Rape Shield Law which bars an accused rapist’s defense attorney from using a victim’s sexual history to “put the victim on trial.” But that is precisely what Mrs. Clinton intended to do with this 12-year-old little girl in 1975. Granted, this was almost two decades before the Rape Shield Law went into effect, but even back then Mrs. Clinton always promoted herself as a champion of women and a champion of children. This rape victim was both.

Mrs. Clinton initiated the put-the-rape-victim-on-trial tactic on July 28, 1975 exactly forty-one years to the day that she accepted the Democrat Party nomination for President of the United States.

In an affidavit requesting a psychiatric examination for the 12-year-old girl, Mrs. Clinton wrote I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing.” Ultimately, a crime lab error relieved Mrs. Clinton of having to pursue this defense, but she did initiate this action before the discovery of that error.

Clearly, having a judge appoint her to defend a child rapist presented Mrs. Clinton with an ethical dilemma, and a Hard Choice. Should she do her duty as a lawyer, or should she do her duty as an advocate for women and children? Her professional calling and her personal passion were on a collision course. Choosing women’s and children’s advocacy by declining this appointment would have ended her budding legal career (this was to be her very first trial). She made the Hard Choice. She chose to be a rapist’s lawyer instead of advocating for a raped little girl.

We have to honor that Hard Choice, but not what she did next. She actually leveraged her knowledge of vulnerable children, gained from her previous advocacy work while at Yale University, in her defense of this child rapist.

She wrote “I have also been told by an expert in child psychology that children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experience and that adolescents with disorganized families, such as the complainant’s, are even more prone to such behavior.” I wonder who that “expert” was? Someone should ask her.

Having invested many years and much money myself in becoming a scientist, as Mrs. Clinton had done in becoming a lawyer, I do not envy her this Hard Choice. She chose her career over this vulnerable little girl. Her continued public portrayal of herself as an unblinking defender of women and children is therefore very unsettling. Mrs. Clinton’s defenders, and perhaps Mrs. Clinton herself will argue that as a lawyer, she had no choice: She had to take the case and provide a vigorous defense.

Not true.

It is true that as a lawyer, she had no choice. But she could have chosen not to be a lawyer. A very Hard Choice to be sure, but it is not correct to say she had no choice. Much later, she did choose to no longer be a lawyer when she chose instead to devote her energies to her husband’s march to the White House. When confronted with a choice between presidential ambition and being a lawyer, she chose presidential ambition. When confronted with the earlier choice between women and children’s advocacy and practicing law, she chose to practice law. In both cases, she chose her ambitions. Add this early episode to her later treatment of the (many) women that had sexual relations with her husband and a pattern emerges: Her advocacy for others ends when it conflicts with her own personal ambitions.

Mrs. Clinton accuses Donald Trump of being concerned only for himself, and no one else.  Amazingly, she does so with a straight face and with no sense of her own hypocrisy.

Mrs. Clinton is not an unblinking advocate of women and children. In 1975, she blinked. Every time Bill Clinton got caught cheating on her, she blinked again. When your wife, or mother, or sister, or daughter needs an advocate, do you really want Mrs. Clinton at the helm to blink again?

Dr. Michael Stumborg is the author of Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It


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The Next Best Thing to an Indictment

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

The FBI gave America a big bag of lemons on Tuesday when they chose not to recommend an indictment against Mrs. Clinton for personal cybersecurity practices that very likely caused “exceptionally grave damage” to our national security.

So let me give a few cups of sweet sugar and some ice water to the Republicans and see if they’re smart enough to make some lemonade.

Three items in Director Comey’s statement make this lemonade possible.

One: He characterized Mrs. Clinton’s and her staff’s cybersecurity practices as “extremely careless,” (which inexplicably, is not the same thing as “gross negligence”).

Two: He noted that while a criminal case will not go forward, the behavior she exhibited can still lead to “security or administrative sanctions.”

Three: Her extremely careless e-mail practices were the cultural norm at the Clinton State Department. Clearly, many people there knew that she was mishandling protected information and misusing information technology systems.

You Republicans need to hang Mrs. Clinton’s slapdash cybersecurity practices like an anchor around the neck of the Democrat Party and then throw them into the deep end of the public opinion swimming pool. Here’s how:

First step: You need to make sure that your party platform EXPLICITLY addresses not only the foreign cybersecurity threat, but also the domestic threat created by people like Mrs. Clinton and her staff who have legitimate access to classified information, and have no malicious intent, but are either too lazy, or too stupid, or too arrogant to protect it.

The Democrats published a draft of their party platform last Friday. Their cybersecurity plank only addresses the foreign threat. You Republicans need to double-dog-dare the Democrats to acknowledge the domestic threat, which will be painful if not impossible for them to do, given that their presumptive nominee is the new poster girl for the domestic cybersecurity threat. If they acknowledge the domestic threat, mock them for nominating Mrs. Clinton. If they do not acknowledge it, mock them as the party of “one set of laws for me, and another set for thee.” It’s a win-win. Try not to lose.

Second Step: You need to challenge the Obama Administration to impose “administrative and security sanctions.” Their only other alternative would be to admit that party politics is more important to the President than our national security is. Director Comey is a law enforcement officer. The bar is very high for a successful criminal prosecution, but it is much, much lower for administrative and security sanctions. The Executive Branch agencies adjudicate who gets, and who keeps, a security clearance.

The State Department published the thirteen factors they must consider when adjudicating clearance requests on 3 February 2006 – almost three years before Mrs. Clinton became Secretary. These thirteen factors are unambiguous. The two pertinent factors here are (mis)handling protected information (malicious intent need not be shown) and (mis)use of information technology systems (like servers and Blackberries).

Director Comey made it clear that these two violations were rampant and repetitive at the Clinton State Department. The people who committed, enabled, or failed to report these violations all need to go, starting with the Under Secretary for Management, Mr. Patrick F. Kennedy. I’m sure that after a year-long investigation, the FBI can provide the State Department adjudicators a long list of violators. The people on this list need to have their clearances re-adjudicated, and revoked if found in violation. “I was just following orders” is not an excuse. If the President refuses to order this re-adjudication, mock him mercilessly, especially when he is campaigning with Mrs. Clinton. Cement his legacy as a feckless fool who made our high standards for access to national security information unenforceable.

Third Step: You need to pass stronger cybersecurity laws to close the gap opened up by Mrs. Clinton’s extremely carless actions. Do it right now. If the bar is too high for the FBI Director to pursue charges because he cannot prove intent, then lower the bar. If he has the wiggle room to claim that “extremely careless,” and “gross negligence” are not synonymous, then eliminate that wiggle room. Identify every extremely careless action that Mrs. Clinton has publically admitted to doing, and make them explicitly illegal. Force your Democrat colleagues in the House and Senate to vote against laws that will make it illegal to conduct official business on a private server, or to not report a missing device with classified information on it, or to use an unsecured Blackberry when you’re in China.

The Democrats knowingly and gleefully nominated an arrogant elitist who values her convenience above our national security. Or maybe she is just not smart enough to understand the ramifications of her lackadaisical contempt for cybersecurity. Either way, make the Democrats explain themselves. Are they arrogant elitists, or are they stupid and lazy? There are no other alternatives here. Make them own it. They chose to lay down with Mrs. Clinton. Make sure they get up with her fleas. You’ve got down ballot candidates that are vulnerable because you put Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. You need to throw those candidates a lifeline.

Please take my advice. Take these three simple steps. Go on offense for a change. Make the lemonade and save yourselves. If Mrs. Clinton is elected President, then America’s last best hope for liberty will be a divided government. And since Donald Trump isn’t exactly a Republican either, a Republican led Congress can act as a check on his despotic temperament too.

Michael Stumborg is a scientist, analyst, blogger, and the author of Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It

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Gun Violence: Treat the Disease, not the Symptoms

If banning guns could keep my family safe and free, I would be at the head of the line to repeal the 2nd Amendment. It goes without saying that I don’t want my children to have to grow up in a world where might makes right. I don’t want them to grow up in a world where the ability to use violence and force are required for survival. I certainly don’t want them to fear for their safety every time they encounter someone who looks or acts or prays differently than they do.

Liberal or Conservative, we all want the same thing.

Yes. I would ban guns in a New York minute if it would solve the problem – but no one has come close to convincing me that it would. In fact, the evidence at hand tells me that banning guns would not end violence. More laws will not deter lawless people. This is an argument we hear often in the gun control debate.

An argument we do not hear as often is that people who are prone to violence can be just as innovative as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Timothy McVeigh did not have to exercise his 2nd Amendment right to carry out his act of terror, neither did the Tsarnaev brothers, nor does the prison inmate who grinds down a plastic tooth brush handle to create an improvised knife. We regrettably have thousands of dead and wounded military veterans who can attest to the deadly effect of improvised explosive devices. If we ban guns today, then tomorrow we will have to ban fertilizer, pressure cookers, toothbrushes, cell phones, and 3D printers for the same reason.

It just won’t work. It might even make matters worse: a vigilant gun store owner alerted the FBI to Omar Mateen’s attempt to purchase body armor and ammunition. Do you think a clerk at Walmart would call the FBI if he tried to buy a pressure cooker? If the Tsarnaev brothers tried to carry a concealed assault rifle to the Boston Marathon finish line, I’m guessing that would have been noticed.

The ridiculous farce that just played out in the Senate, and then the House, makes it very clear that our political leaders are incapable of solving this problem. Republicans seem perfectly willing to sacrifice our 4th Amendment rights to enact surveillance programs. Democrats seem perfectly willing to sacrifice our 2nd Amendment rights to enact “feel good” measures that will do nothing to solve the underlying problems that drive people to violence. Politicians seem happy to fight with each other, since it distracts us from the fact that they don’t know how to solve our problems.

We also hear the argument that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This isn’t just a banal platitude. It’s true. It’s also just a different way of saying that we need to conduct a root cause analysis. We need to treat the disease, not the symptom.

This root cause analysis requires some testable hypotheses. We need to identify some candidate diseases that lead to the observed symptoms – gun violence in this case. Let’s try to cure those diseases to see if the symptoms subside. Here are a few candidates:

Some of the people who kill with guns are mentally ill. Fix that.

Others are desperate because they cannot get ahead no matter how hard they work in our horribly dysfunctional economy. Fix that.

Some resort to crime because of failing public schools that do not provide them with the skills they need to succeed legally. Fix that.

Others have no father at home who can provide them with a moral compass. Fix that

Others live in communities where abortion is so rampant that they learn early on that life is cheap. Fix that.

Some feel powerless to improve their condition because their government has become too big and their political leaders have become either unresponsive or ineffective. Fix that.

Others feel powerless because an out-of-control judiciary dismissively overturns the will of the people when they legislate from the bench.

Some hold allegiance to some group they feel has been abused by American foreign policy or military engagements. Fix that.

Some people feel that foreign cultures are promoted at the expense of their own culture, or that we’re excepting elements of foreign culture that makes ours weaker instead of stronger. Fix that.

Some people are frustrated by immigration policies that reward illegal immigrants, while they themselves steadfastly obey the law. Fix that.

Some people are envious of the outsized influence exerted by wealthy Americans, particularly in the political process. Fix that.

Some people just hate anyone unlike them. Fix that.

All of these underlying “diseases” create frustration, resentment, and eventually, hate. Sometimes the hate turns into violence, maybe gun violence, the “symptom.”

Would I rather live in a world where men and women never resorted to violence? Of course I would. Do I wish I lived in a world where guns were not required for personal protection? Of course I do.

But wishing will not make it so. We have to adjust to the reality around us because reality will not adjust to our wishful thinking. We are not entirely powerless to adjust our reality, though. It just takes a little more than wishful thinking. It takes a lot of hard work – and a lot of working together. We can get closer to this peaceful world that all reasonable people wish for. Banning guns won’t get us there. Addressing the underlying drivers to violence just might. I would like to find out.

Banning guns is easy. Solving these underlying problems is hard. It is absurd to me that many of the same politicians who want to ban guns are the people who put the policies in place that led to the majority of these underlying problems, and the gun violence that they very probably lead to.

They are the same politicians who (correctly, I think) howl when anyone proposes to sacrifice our 4th Amendment rights in the name of security. Somehow, they think that they are smarter than the authors of he Constitution. They know which provisions of the highest law of the land should be embraced, and which ones can be ignored as relics of an 18th century document that is no longer suited to modernity.

But our Constitution is not a 227 year old relic. It is not stale. It is as fresh as the eggs you had for breakfast this morning because it can be amended at any time. Unfortunately, the gun-banning politicians are too lazy to follow this process. They prefer to pass laws that will be challenged and found unconstitutional by the courts, just to demonstrate to their constituents that they tried to do something – anything. The founders gave us the ability to change any part of the Constitution that no longer serves a purpose, or serves a negative purpose. Any politician (or any American) who will not propose to repeal, or at least modify the 2nd Amendment, is not serious about solving the problem of “gun” violence. Or perhaps they cannot bring themselves to admit that their policies created the violent people that lay at the root of the problem.

No doubt that the gun-banning politicians will exempt themselves from their ban, just as they exempted themselves and their staffs from Obamacare. Perhaps we would take their gun control proposals more seriously if they subjected themselves to any ban they seek to impose on us. If, for example, they wish to ban automatic weapons, or large ammunition clips, let them place the same restrictions on the Secret Service, the Capital Hill Police Force, and every other federal protective service agency. There was a time when one could argue that trained police forces required such weapons and the average citizen did not. This is (or was) a reasonable supposition. Unfortunately, with radical Islamist Jihadists now directly targeting average citizens on the streets of America, that argument is wearing thin.

These are the same politicians who hire an army of pollsters to find out what it is that divides us as Americans so that they can exploit those divisions by claiming to be the champion of one side over the other. Pitting people against each other is easy. Uniting people so that they solve their problems without resort to violence is apparently too hard for our current crop of political leaders.

Gun violence is not the disease, it is the symptom. Banning guns would do nothing more than to apply a numbing agent to alleviate the symptom, leaving the underlying disease to fester untreated, ready to flare up again at will. When we say that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” we’re just saying that we need to treat the disease, and not just the symptom.

It’s the people stupid.

When a politician wants your vote, be it for President, Senator, Representative, or some local office, listen to their policy proposals. Do they suggest the easy “feel good” measures that only treat the symptoms, or do they want to do the hard work of treating the diseases that drive people to violence? Politicians who promote policies that only address the symptom, or worse yet, politicians who promote the policies that perpetuate the disease, are not worthy of your support. Demand more.

Dr. Michael Stumborg is the author of Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It

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Bathroom Wars (Part I): There is Only the Fight

The world will not remember Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States (POTUS), nor as the architect of universal health care. Instead, his fight with North Carolina over who gets to pee next to your daughter will become his enduring legacy. He is likely to be remembered as The Potty POTUS.

He’s picking this fight because he needs to distract you. He wants Mrs. Clinton to succeed him. Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, he is a problem solver. If the race comes down to demonstrated problem-solving skills, then Trump beats Clinton in a walk. So President Obama stepped in to save Mrs. Clinton’s floundering campaign. His masterful ability to control the news cycle ensures that we will never find the time to ask Mrs. Clinton the tough questions about her abysmal problem-solving skills. He’s managed to distract an entire nation during the height of its Presidential election season with a phony fight over transgender bathroom privileges.

He’s not looking to solve problems. He’s looking to start fights – fights that draw our attention away from the fact that, like Mrs. Clinton, he has no problem solving skills.

Thanks in part to him, our election will take place in the muck of the gutter. We may see a few passing references to the threat of Radical Islam, the $19,000,000,000,000 national debt, or the plight of despairing Americans who’ve abandoned the American Dream, but the overwhelming majority of the “discourse” will consist of personal attacks. Americans will not vote based on who can solve their problems. They will vote based on who delivered the best pre-scripted and focus group-tested soundbites.

Like many other politicians, President Obama is not interested in a solution. He is interested in a fight. There is Only the Fight. I’m not sure who upsets me more: the Democrats who are so skilled at starting these fights to distract us from their shortcomings, the hapless Republicans who fall into their trap every single time, or the “conservative” media that relishes the high ratings that come with a good fight. So long as we’re fighting, they’re rolling in the dough.

Ms. Clinton does not want to solve the problem of transgender-Americans. Neither does President Obama. Think about it: We’ve been debating transgender discrimination for a while now. Why did the Attorney General announce this (unilateral) policy position within a week of Donald Trump becoming the presumptive Republican nominee? It’s all about politics, not justice. All Mrs. Clinton has to do now is be less disliked than Donald Trump. Even for her, that should be easy.

I would call this a vast left-wing conspiracy, but that would imply some attempt at secrecy or subterfuge. Unfortunately, the Keystone Cops running the Republican National Committee are just so inept that President Obama and Ms. Clinton don’t even have to hide what they are doing. Their tactics should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention, after all, they are both unapologetic disciples of Saul Alinsky – a man who excelled at teaching community organizers how to pick fights and extort resources, but not how to solve problems.

Remember the title of Mrs. Clinton’s senior thesis about Alinsky at Wellesley College? There is Only the Fight. Alinsky didn’t solve problems or negotiate amicable settlements. He didn’t seek a reasonable accommodation from one party to ease the burden of another. Instead, he bullied and blackmailed until he forced the other side to concede, sowing the seeds of long-term hatred and resentment. The people he vanquished had no incentive to continue paying his ransom indefinitely. They checked out as soon as they could, leaving poor and downtrodden communities just as poor and downtrodden as they were when they first met him. The abysmal state today, of the communities he helped “organize” back then, are proof enough of the futility of his immoral, hate-based approach to social justice.

Does any of this sound familiar? Do Alinsky’s tactics sound like a page from the President’s playbook? Rest assured, we’ll see more of the same if Mrs. Clinton becomes President. She and President Obama elevated Alinsky’s hateful methodology to a high art form on the national stage. His tactics allow them to keep the fight going. There is Only the Fight. Everyone is too damn mad at everyone else to sit down and figure out a solution.

If you don’t think this is true, pay close attention to Mrs. Clinton’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. She’s usually promising to “fight” for you, not solve your problems. It’s been forty-seven years since she wrote her senior thesis, and for her, still, There is Only the Fight. She’ll occasionally put out a policy proposal that panders to some group with a problem, but if anyone looks close enough to discover just how untenable her proposed solutions are (and I have), her minions manufacture another distracting fight. They’ll feign outrage at some minor slight by some inconsequential, attention-seeking, local Republican politician – or Donald Trump.

Like well-trained little lemmings, the media follow the bright shiny object before them, giving wall-to-wall coverage to the new fight, forgetting all about their Fourth Estate obligation to vet her awful policy proposals. Mrs. Clinton tweeted that having Donald Trump as her general election opponent was the greatest Mother’s Day gift she could have gotten from the Republicans. She’s right. He doesn’t back down from a fight, ever.

I’d like to close by saying that America deserves better, but we don’t. The distractions foisted upon us are blatantly obvious and there for all to see. We happily gobble up the media coverage of the fight. For most Americans, it seems, There is Only the Fight. Therefore, I fear that we are doomed.

Dr. Michael Stumborg is the author of Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It

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Donald Trump’s Death Squads

Donald Trump says exactly what’s on his mind. You can admire this, or at least find it refreshing, but that doesn’t change the fact that some of the things on his mind are immoral, illegal, or just plain stupid.

He hit the immoral-illegal-just-plain-stupid trifecta when he proposed to “take out” the families of terrorists. He’s not talking about the accidental deaths of innocent bystanders or unwitting human shields. He’s talking about seeking out the kin of terrorists for deliberate targeted killing. When he makes this threat, his angry supporters applaud adoringly. I’m angry too, but my anger does not blind me to the immorality, illegality, and unequalled stupidity of Mr. Trump’s proposal.

If you cannot see the immorality of his proposal, then stop reading right now. There’s clearly no hope for you or your eternal soul if you think it’s a good idea for the American military to slaughter children, just because they have the poor misfortune of having a barbarian for a dad.

He dances around the illegality by noting that terrorists don’t follow the Geneva Conventions, so why should we? During the Detroit debate, he claimed the American military would follow his illegal order to commit this war crime because he is a great leader. He backtracked ever so slightly in the Miami debate when he said that he has to follow the law, but that you have to “expand the law.”

Unfortunately, he can probably pull this one off because it’s happened before: Does anyone remember the disastrous consequences of legally justified torture? A government lawyer signed a legal opinion and our interrogators followed orders. It’s not hard to imagine a President Trump firing politically appointed lawyers  – celebrity apprentice style – until he finds a sycophantic yes-man that “expands the law” for him. He’ll have to follow that up with another round of celebrity apprentice style firings of military officers until he finds a coward willing to kill little boys and girls.

Even if you can somehow make the intellectual leap required to justify the killing of innocent women and children on moral and legal grounds, there is just no getting around the third element of the trifecta. Sending the American military out to kill innocent women and children is just plain stupid. It’s monumentally stupid. He expects this policy to deter terrorists. I believe it will do the opposite.

Mr. Trump’s armchair bravado will result in the killing of the families of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

Does anyone really think that if America makes good on Mr. Trump’s threats that the terrorists will not respond in kind? Mr. Trump’s supporters and apologists may argue that innocent Americans are already targets. True enough, but his policy of murdering terrorist family members cannot help but put American military families in far greater danger than they are now for several reasons:

He will cede the moral high ground to the terrorists. Mr. Trump’s belief in the morality and legality of killing terrorist family members will permit a similar justification on the other side. Individuals (and nations) who would never take up arms against us, will be pushed over the edge into condoning, or maybe even actively supporting, the indiscriminant killing of American military family members.

He will discourage honorable people from military service. The quality of counter-terrorism personnel in the military, but also in law enforcement, the intelligence community, and in the diplomatic corps will hit rock bottom.

He will be a lame duck president starting on inauguration day. Who in their right mind will join a Trump administration if it puts their own family in the terrorist’s crosshairs? His signature policy proposal – that wall on the southern border – will never get built. Forget about all those jobs coming home too.

He will force us to fight alone. Are the Europeans going to put their families in mortal danger by participating in American-led counter-terrorism operations? Doubtful. They definitely will not if Donald Trump carries out his threat, because a lot of those terrorist’s families live in Europe. Is he going to parachute the 101st Airborne Division back into France to hunt down innocent French children? Will he ask permission first? Terrorists come from America too. Will he mount military operations here?  His policy says he must.

He will create terrorist safe havens across the globe. Do we really think that foreign governments will assist us in our fight after we’ve stormed over their borders to kill their citizens?

Donald Trump hasn’t thought this one through. He claims to have the best minds in business to help him make America great again, but this policy is the product of a strategically feeble brain trust.

His supporters haven’t thought this through either. If you vote for Mr. Trump knowing all of this, then the blood of our American military family members – innocent men, women, and children – will be on your hands.

His media enablers haven’t thought this through either. Those who give Mr. Trump free coverage will have blood on their hands too. What price will our military families have to pay, Mr. Moonves, just so you can reward CBS Corporation shareholders with higher ad revenues for a few quarters?

His growing posse of Conservatives-In-Name-Only media personalities and politicians haven’t thought this through either. They miscalculated. They will have blood on their hands because they kowtowed to a liberal demagogue in the hopes of riding his coat tails to continued fame and fortune.

His many supporters from the Democrat party who crossed over in open primaries to vote for him – either because they actually agree with his rhetoric, or because they seek to sabotage the Republicans in the general election– haven’t thought this through either. If their strategy backfires and gives us a President Trump, then they will have blood on their hands too.

If you’re related to a military member, a vote for Trump may be suicidal.

Dr. Stumborg is the author of Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It

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Senator Bernie Sanders and his Millionaire/Billionaire Boogeymen

America could use a little unity. Just when we need to work together to solve our daunting problems, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders seeks instead to divide us by wealth. He can only win if he pits rich against poor. He stereotypes all rich people as having stolen from powerless poor people.

ALL rich people – without exception. He never praises anyone for being successful. Who EXACTLY is doing all of this stealing? With the exception of the occasional gratuitous jab at the Koch brothers, he never really names names.

Who did Bill Gates steal his money from? How about Steve Jobs? Oprah Winfrey? Elon Musk? Lebron James? Tiger Woods? Tom Steyer? Mark Cuban? What about those Hollywood one-percenters who “Feel the Bern.” I was under the apparently mistaken impression that these folks got rich by creating a product that others voluntarily chose to buy. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Michael Jordan ripped me off, and Mark Zuckerberg too!

Are any of these people on Sanders’ enemies list of millionaire/billionaire bogeymen? Who are they stealing from? Me? How much do they owe me? Will President Sanders make them pay me back?

I have some news for Senator Sanders and his supporters: Sometimes, rich people just happen to be very good at what they do. Sometimes they burn the midnight oil while you fritter away your evening sipping a fair trade cappuccino at Starbucks in your Che Guevara tee shirt.

You need not be a thief to be rich, but you do need to be a thief to be a socialist. You can use innocuous words like “transfer” or “redistribute,” but you’re still a thief. Who will President Sanders steal from? Margaret Thatcher said that the trouble with socialism is that eventually it runs out of other people’s money. So when Warren Buffett is all tapped out, President Sanders will have to steal from your children. If he’s in a really generous mood, he’ll have to steal from your grandchildren too.

Bernie Sanders demonizes politicians who take money from rich people. He won’t take any of this “tainted” money to buy votes. He will however, borrow money from our children and grandchildren and use it to buy votes by promising you government cheese and other federal freebies. At least Mrs. Clinton gets her Wall Street campaign cash voluntarily. Bernie Sanders gets his campaign cash involuntarily, by stealing it from children who are not yet eligible to vote. Wait, did I just accuse Bernie Sanders of having lower ethical standards than Hillary Clinton? I did. He does.

Sorry to disappoint those of you who “Feel the Bern,” but Bernie Sanders is not a righteous dude.

On April Fool’s Day, Senator Sanders tweeted that “Banks are too big to fail, their CEOs are too big to jail.” Wow, I was not aware that failure was a crime. Thievery, yes, failure, no. What laws did these CEOs break? Wait a minute. Isn’t Senator Sanders a member of the organization that writes those laws? Why didn’t he use his position in the Senate to send these lawbreakers to jail? If he didn’t get the job done as a Senator, why should we trust him to get it done as President? Maybe he needs to earn his junior-varsity letter before we promote him to the varsity squad. If the bankers broke the law, then shame on them. If they brought us to the brink of economic collapse without breaking a single law, then shame on you Senator Sanders.

Who are these millionaires and billionaires that are keeping me from my fair share of the pie? It’s time for Bernie Sanders to name names. His cowardly attacks on anonymous rich people just pit us against each other. If he has his way, we’ll all end up hating each other, without even know exactly who we are supposed to hate – other than the Koch brothers of course.

Historically, demagoguery like this led to unspeakable horrors, often at the hands of socialists. Winston Churchill described socialism as “a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.” I see all three ingredients in the dyspeptic witch’s brew that Bernie Sanders is feeding his economically illiterate supporters.

Of course there are people getting rich by buying politicians. I have no doubt that they are pulling the levers of power right now. But really, Senator, you need to be more specific.

Who EXACTLY is rigging the system to get rich at my expense? Are they breaking any laws, or are they just manipulating career politicians like you to legalize their plunder?

Who EXACTLY are the politicians that changed the laws to rig the system in favor of these rich people? You seem to be accusing Mrs. Clinton of this, but why have you not changed the laws to stop it? Are you complicit too? If not by direct action, your quarter century tenure in Washington tells us that you are at least complicit by inaction or ineffectiveness.

What EXACTLY are you going to do to these rich people and their elected lapdogs if you become our next President? Will you throw them in jail?

Name names, Senator.

A boogeyman is a fictitious character conjured up to scare little children too naïve to know better. Your demagoguery treats Americans like naïve children. Be careful sir, we just may look under the bed for a glimpse of this bogeyman and find nothing more threatening than a couple of dust bunnies.

You are accusing wealthy Americans of stealing, and your remedy is to steal from them. This riles up your supporters. They want some wealthy scalps. They don’t even know the first names of the Koch brothers, but by golly, they want some wealthy scalps.

The accused have a right to face their accuser. Tell us EXACTLY who these people are so that they can face you in the court of public opinion.

I’m calling you out Senator Sanders. Name names.

Dr. Michael Stumborg is the author of Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It.

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The Brady Bill Failed to Disarm Criminals

When I wrote Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It I dedicated one third of the book to analyzing the policies that Mrs. Clinton thinks will solve our problems.  Thirty-five of the thirty-seven federal programs she advocated in It Takes a Village have either failed to solve the problem as intended, or they made the problem even worse!

One of those failed programs was The Brady Bill.  With all of the focus on gun violence of late, I decided to post the following excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s Village on the Brady Bill.  Consider this Clinton policy failure when deciding if what she is proposing now will work any better…

When Mrs. Clinton published It Takes a Village in 1996, the Brady Bill was just three years old. Its impact, or lack thereof, on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, thus allowing families the freedom to walk through their own neighborhoods without fear, was largely unknown. Preliminary analysis in 1996 showed an almost ninety percent rejection rate of cases forwarded for prosecution under this law.  Today, we have a more extensive analysis of the law’s effectiveness.  According to Duke University Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Sociology Philip J. Cook,

“the Brady Bill seems to have been a failure”

Professor Cook, who acknowledges that he is sympathetic to gun control, analyzed handgun deaths in the eighteen states whose laws were already equivalent to the federal level provisions created by the Brady Bill, and the thirty-two states who had to change their laws to come into compliance with the federal statute. The gun homicide rates in the eighteen “control group” states where the Brady Bill changed no laws, were identical to the rates in the thirty-two “variable group” states where the law did require modifications to state law. According to Cook, “control and treatment states had the same gun homicide rates before and after the Brady law passed. It made no discernable difference. There is no statistically significant effect.”

Gun control advocates distract the public from this failure by noting that the Brady Bill undermined illegal gun running operations, slightly reduced gun-related suicides, and that the bill’s background checks denied tens of thousands of felons and fugitives the opportunity to purchase a handgun from a licensed gun dealer. These facts are not in dispute, but they are also not the correct measures of effectiveness of the law. Criminals simply used some other weapon or acquired their guns illegally. We must instead judge the impact of this law on our families based on its intended outcome – to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. The unchanged gun homicide rates tell us that the Brady Bill failed to do this.

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The Assault on Science at COP21 in Paris

The President is in Paris this week where he intends to absolve America of the sins of Capitalism and economic success by unilaterally committing American taxpayers to pay for the global war on coal mines and cow farts. I suppose this is to be expected from a man whose definition of the three co-equal branches of government is “me, myself, and I.”

This offends me as a supporter and defender of The Constitution, but I am even more offended as a scientist. Why? Because our President is fond of tweeting debunked studies of “scientific consensus” to justify his global warming policies. He once tweeted that 97% of scientists agree that climate change is “real, man made, and dangerous.” Not true.

Even if it were true, it is irrelevant. There was a time when 97% of scientists thought the earth was flat. In an earlier time, 97% of scientists thought that the earth was the center of the universe. Our President doesn’t seem to understand that science is not a popularity contest.

The President’s near-sighted embrace of activists-masquerading-as-scientists is very dangerous. We can attribute a significant portion of human progress in the last 400 years or so to science and the scientific method. President Obama’s dogmatic actions cheapen science, and the Western world’s reverence of it. His actions risk retarding future human progress.

But he is not alone. He has numerous co-conspirators in the demise of science. Some of them are even scientists. Consider the following excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It (from chapter two, The Many Failures of Hillary Clinton’s Village):

EPA’s hijacking of the Clean Air Act has eroded our faith in science – one of our historically most effective and respected institutions. EPA-linked scientists at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) actually claim that industrial-funded science is corrupted when they say that “our members understand that scientific analysis—not political calculations or corporate hype—should guide our efforts to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.”

Talk about corrupt, many UCS members are not even scientists. Some of their members are PhDs with degrees relevant to the study of clean air, but many are simply uncredentialed citizens whose scientific qualifications consist of access to an internet browser and a credit card to pay the $25 UCS membership fee.

In a blatant misrepresentation, the UCS delivered a “scientists’ statement” to Congress opposing attacks on the Clean Air Act and supporting the EPA, that they claim was endorsed by 2,505 scientists.”

In reality, we cannot categorize many of the signatories as scientists by even the most generous of definitions. There were lots of medical doctors. MDs are smart, but they are not scientists unless they also have a PhD. Just because you had to study hard to get an advanced degree does not make you a scientist. If it did then lawyers and CPAs would be scientists too. When you have to doctor your signature count (pun intended) to claim that 2,505 scientists endorse your scientific position, you cheapen science. You destroy it as an institution. The “scientific” signatories also include chiropractors, veterinarians, a linguist, engineers, engineering managers, psychotherapists, a Creation Care Educator (whatever the heck that is), psychology professors, an electronics technician, a political science professor, an Assistant Director of the California Early Childhood Mentor Program, a viticulturist, many (scientifically untested) doctoral and master’s degree candidates, and many, many citizens with no degree or profession listed. For all we know these are butchers and bakers and candlestick makers. I stopped reading when I got through the signatories from California. You get the idea by now. The UCS seeks to leverage the esteem and the credibility of science, without actually being comprised of scientists. In my mind, this is fraud.

When scientific amateurs claim the mantle of science for themselves, they debase the institution. When professional scientists lend their name alongside those of their amateurish compatriots they degrade their own profession. I worked awfully damned hard to become a scientist. Why would I let some scientifically illiterate dogmatists ride on my hard-earned coattails? The intersection of public policy and science is fraught with danger for science and for scientists. If we continue to associate ourselves with the “scientific illiterati” spawned by Al Gore and his global warming industrial complex, then our profession’s reputation will soon be on par with that of lawyers and journalists. We will become the deserving butt of jokes, not unlike the climate activists at a recent conference that actually signed a petition to ban water (cleverly renamed as dihydrogen monoxide) as they drank from a nearby water cooler.

You should watch the video on You Tube.

These “experts” were attending COP16 in Cancun. President Obama is attending COP21 in Paris. Now you understand the scientific pedigree of the pronouncements about to emanate from Paris.

 

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CNBC’s Priceless Gift to the Republican Party

Reince Priebus should give everyone at CNBC a big wet kiss and a Hickory Farms gift basket because, thanks to them, Christmas came a little early this year for the Republican Party. Reince should thank CNBC for the priceless gift they gave to the eventual Republican nominee when “moderators” Harwood, Quick, and Quintanilla exposed themselves as a trio of liberal attack dogs intent on wounding Hillary Clinton’s general election debate opponent.

Not since Dan Rather and Mary Mapes of CBS attempted to install John Kerry as our President in 2004 has (liberal) media bias been so blatantly on display. But there’s one very big difference between that episode and what happened on CNBC during the Republican primary debate. The fallout then was limited to Rather and Mapes: she got fired and he got “retired.” This time, the Republican candidates took the bias of three inconsequential journalists from a network that very few people even watch, and parlayed that into a damning indictment of the entire “mainstream media” as sycophantic cheerleaders for the Democrat Party in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular.

And the damage the Republican contenders did to the mainstream media was not limited to the cable news networks, or even the electronic media. Marco Rubio also spanked the print media after Ted Cruz took them out to the woodshed.

Yes, there is such a thing as “right wing media.” You can decide for yourself who they might be.  When voters think of the right wing media, they already understand that they’re getting a conservative point of view. There is no pretense of objectivity – they unapologetically wear their preferences on their sleeve for all to see. But then again, so does MSNBC.

MSNBC is not in the mainstream media. They were seemingly carved off from NBC so that the parent network (NBC) could maintain their veneer of objectivity and still have a vehicle to promote democratic/progressive/socialist government. CNBC was carved off to be the financial arm of NBC, but after their Republican debate performance, they look more like the financial arm of MSNBC. Perhaps the MSNBC and CNBC apples haven’t fallen very far from the NBC tree after all.

The priceless gift bestowed upon the Republican Party by CNBC was the obliteration of the mainstream media’s “veneer of objectivity.”

There were other gifts: The Republican circular firing squad on display in the first two debates is now uniting and facing outward, coordinating their fire and taking aim at their common foes in the Democrat party establishment, to include the mainstream media. In attacking the media elites, the Republicans even managed to find common cause with an American public that is tired of being talked down to by a mainstream media that thinks of “ordinary Americans” as too stupid to vote Democrat without a little help from them. This became crystal clear when all Ben Carson had to do after being badgered by the CNBC moderators was to let the audience’s booing play out and say “See? They know.”  Chris Christie sealed the moderator’s fate when he pronounced them to be rude “even by New Jersey standards.”

Maybe Snooky was Becky Quick’s debate coach at Rutgers?

But the crack in the mainstream media’s veneer of objectivity was the greatest gift of all.

Why? Because it forces American voters to think for themselves instead of simply absorbing and repeating, and voting in accordance with the words they hear from the mainstream media. Americans now know that these reporters and anchors are doing more than just reporting the facts. They are ignoring facts that do not fit into their leftist agenda. They are repeating “facts” they know to be false if these falsehoods happen to support their leftist agenda. They are holding Republicans to standards that they do not impose on Democrats.

Here is the bottom line: The presidential election will no longer be won or lost exclusively during the general election debates. Because the mainstream media is so demonstrably biased against the Republican nominee, the debates used to be the only opportunity for the Republicans to explain their policy proposals directly to the American people without having their words pass through the leftist filter of the mainstream media.

I remember thinking the same thing in the last two elections. The mainstream media veneer of objectivity was an impenetrable wall back then. The debates were make-or-break for the Republicans. I remember liking Newt Gingrich simply because he was the best debater in the field. I remember cringing when John McCain tried to outflank Barack Obama on the left during the debate. He lost the election that night. I remember riding high after Mitt Romney’s first debate performance. The American public finally got to see the real Mitt, instead of the Richy Rich caricature of him painted by the mainstream media. Of course, Candy Crawley came to Obama’s rescue in the second debate when Mitt was hammering Obama about lying to the American people about the real reason why four Americans were slaughtered by a barbaric band of savages in Benghazi. Crawley re-elected Obama that night.

But now, thanks to CNBC, things are different. Undecided American voters must now think twice before accepting mainstream media reports as gospel. Still, the general election debates remain the best opportunity for the Republicans to convey their message. Since the mainstream media has exposed themselves as biased Democrat Party interlocutors, more Americans than ever before will tune into the general election debates to get the unvarnished and unfiltered truth direct from the candidate’s mouths, instead of from the mouthpieces in the mainstream media. Carley Fiorina is the one Republican who has already figured this out. She must be watching as Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton telegraph their general election punches in their Twitter feeds: She’s already taking proactive jabs at Sander’s on income inequality and Crony Capitalism. She’s reminding us (and Hillary Clinton) that she will be Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare in a debate. She will be. Mrs. Clinton’s bread-and-butter identity politics will sound self-serving and hollow if these two ladies square off on the general election debate stage.

When I saw how favorably the CNBC debate debacle worked out for Republicans, I thought Reince Priebus must be a genius to lay such a trap for the mainstream media. But now I hear that he wants to suspend the partnership between the Republican National Committee and the NBC networks, which includes the NBC partnership with Telemundo.

Why on Earth would he want to do this? He’s got the entire mainstream media on the ropes. If they misbehave in the proposed Houston debate, the candidates can hammer them again. If the moderators are smart enough to not repeat the CNBC debacle, the candidates will get to answer tough but fair questions on the issues: This is what the Democrats fear most. They lose on the issues. They lose when we compare candidate records. They win when the “debate” denigrates down into the gutter of ad hominem attacks, identity politics, and accusations of scandal that they will happily regurgitate as a witch hunt by the “vast right wing conspiracy.”

Some have promoted the idea of a debate moderated by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. This is not a good idea. Imagine how the left will spin this – the Republicans are too afraid of “real” journalists and would rather retreat into the echo chamber of talk radio. Such a debate runs the danger of turning into a “RINO hunt” – the return of the circular firing squad. I think the candidates are capable of pointing out their own conservative credentials, and the voters are smart enough to vote for the ones who do.

Reince Priebus should exploit CNBC’s priceless gift to forever change the relationship between Republicans and the mainstream media. Walking away from the NBC-sponsored debate will allow a wounded foe to regroup and reattack. What he needs to do is finish them off.

Dr. Michael Stumborg is the author of Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It  Available on Amazon.com

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One Billion Dollars for Women’s Health (and not a Penny for Planned Parenthood)

Yesterday, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell removed a provision from a stopgap spending bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood, enraging Pro-Life Republicans who oppose taxpayer-funded abortion.  Why would Mitch McConnell surrender without a fight on an issue so central to the identity of Conservative Republicans?

Ultimately, Pro-Life Republicans would prefer to defund Planned Parenthood, but at the very least, the Republican leadership should force Pro-Abortion Democrats to go on record as supporters of Planned Parenthood’s gruesome “baby harvesting” practices recorded in the Center for Medical Progress videos.

Thanks to Mitch McConnell, Planned Parenthood and the Pro-Abortion Democrats got their way without paying a price.  Now that Planned Parenthood is flush with taxpayer cash, their supporters don’t need to donate so much money to Planned Parenthood.  Now they can redirect their donations to Democrat politicians running in 2016.  So in effect, Mitch McConnell just sent a $500 million gift to the Democrats who seek to oust him as Senate Majority Leader.  Brilliant.  I hope they at least send him a thank you card.

John Boehner failed to learn from the demise of Eric Cantor.  Now it seems that Mitch McConnell has failed to learn from the demise of John Boehner.  Since a bill to defund Planned Parenthood will never make it past Mitch McConnell’s Senate, let alone to the President’s desk where it would surely be vetoed, there’s no reason for the House to even bother.  Right?

Wrong.  There is still a way to defund Planned Parenthood, or at least make Democrats pay a price for supporting taxpayer-funded abortion.

And it gets even better.  What if I told you that while at least attempting to defund Planned Parenthood, we’ll also put an end to the Democrat Party’s ridiculous claims that the Republicans are waging a “War on Women.”

There is a way.

There is a way to show the American people that Republicans are not waging a War on Women.

There is a way to show the American people that Democrat politicians care more about campaign contributions than they do about women’s health.

There is a way to at least try to defund Planed Parenthood.

To fulfill the perfectly reasonable expectations of pro-life Americans that their tax dollars not be used to fund abortions, Conservative Republicans proposed to cut the roughly $500 million dollars Planned Parenthood is slated to get in the next budget.

Pro-abortion Democrats countered that Planned Parenthood uses some of that $500 million to provide “other” women’s health services.  The Republicans who propose these cuts don’t care about women’s health!  This is all part of the Republican War on Women!

Another very reasonable idea floated by some Pro-Life Conservatives was to send that $500 million to the more than 13,000 federally qualified local health clinics that provide women’s health services.  This proposal caught the Pro-Abortion Democrats a bit flat-footed, as they scrambled to explain how this was just not a practical solution.  Pro-Life women got the better of them though, when they began calling Planned Parenthood clinics to inquire about getting mammograms.  Not prepared or equipped to actually provide a mammogram, Planned Parenthood clinics referred these women to some of those same 13,000 clinics – clinics that actually do provide mammograms, and outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics by 20 to 1.

And yet, here we are. Since Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell can’t accomplish anything on our behalf unless we deliver them the Presidency AND a super majority in the Senate, they’ve capitulated to the Democrats once again. It’s bad enough that they lost without even putting up a fight.  In the process of losing, they also allowed Democrats to advance their false War on Women narrative.

Thanks to Mitch McConnell, Pro-life Republicans lost three times:  They failed to defund Planned Parenthood, they failed to make Pro-Abortion Democrats pay any price for supporting gruesome abortion practices, and they failed to stop the false War on Women narrative.  Democrats think they have a winning issue here because 6 in 10 Americans polled do not want to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood.

So how can Republicans reverse two, and possibly all three of these abject failures?

They can propose to take the $500 million Planned Parenthood funding, DOUBLE IT to $1 billion, and send it instead to the 13,000 other federally qualified health clinics where it will be used to address women’s health issues, not abortion.

Imagine that.

Imagine the political repercussions for Democrats in the House, in the Senate, and in the Presidential race if they vote against doubling women’s health care funding in order to preserve the campaign contributions they receive from the Pro-Abortion lobby.

Imagine the logical contortions and mental gymnastics that these Democrats will have to employ on the debate stage to advance  the War on Women narrative against Republicans who proposed to double funding for women’s health care.  Imagine them on that debate stage explaining why Obamacare doesn’t seem to be addressing women’s health issues as promised.

Imagine what would happen if enough reasonable and moderate Democrats saw the folly of trying to defend the indefensible, and voted in favor of this proposal.  We just might be able to defund Planned Parenthood.

Dr. Michael Stumborg is the Author of Hillary Clinton’s Village: Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It.

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