Friday, August 19, 2016

Talk To A Veteran. New Trump Emerging? Will It Be New Trump Versus Old Hillary? President Golf Creates Big Gulf! ISIS Here! Strassel and Comey.

A President who places golf before duty!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Elect Hillary and not only will the Supreme Court set America's direction for the next 30 plus years but also the government will be completely in charge of delivering your health care.  If you think you want a government single payer program in charge of your health care maybe you should talk to a veteran. 

Meanwhile, Erick Erickson remains down on Trump and what his campaign means for the Republican Party's future. (See 1 below.)

I did not hear Trump's speech last night but apparently he admitted he has made mistakes, hurt feelings and perhaps we will now see the better Trump. The Trump I always thought, intuitively, was there but has been trapped by the heat and passion of the campaign, his inexperience and off the cuff style  

Meanwhile, the man who owns golf courses is going to Louisiana while the president plays golf in Cape Cod.  Obama is the same man who castigated GW for flying over Louisiana when Katrina hit. (See 1a and 1b  below.)

I have  maintained Trump is a fast learner, wants to win and, now that someone has thrown cold water in his face, we might see a new Donald and his true character will begin to be revealed. Can a 70 year old leopard change spots?

He will still be anti-politically correct but the contrast between the new Trump and the old Hillary might just allow him to pull off a Truman like come from behind victory.  It also might cause some of the anti-Trump crowd to climb aboard the Trump Train and , if so, the momentum caused by this could swing the election in his direction.

I also expect more detrimental revelations regarding Hillary but the effect may be diluted because the public knows she is a liar and worse, unlovable.

So are we in for Dewey New York Time's headlines in November? Stay tuned. Things could get exciting once we get past Labor Day!
As for the markets, it would not surprise me, should the election narrow, for the markets to pull back partly because it has been strong and is due for a reaction and also because of investor concern, were Trump to win, since  he is an unknown quantity.

I cut back in T and replaced it with BX for income and long term appreciation once interest rates begin to reverse. I continue to hold MRK which benefited from BMY's disappointment over its lung drug failing to meet its end points.  BAC has risen with the financial stocks and I am willing to hold but not pursue at the current level.  OPK remains a high risk biotech which is around the same price level .  I believe we may see oil prices stabilize around the 40 plus level and if my confidence builds DVN and SLB might be worthy of consideration.  CSCO below 30 still looks interesting. I continue to like MFC for the longer term and it should improve once interest rates rise.
Obama and the R word.  His real problem is with the P word - paranoia and the N word - narcissism.(See  2 below.)
Comey is damaged goods and nothing he does is likely to alter that fact ! (See 3 below.)
ISIS already in America. (See 4 below.)
Newt and I are in total agreement. (See 5 below.)

The Irony of This Loss

Republicans are heading to November’s White House loss for one overarching reason. They decided to do nothing controversial, to play it safe, and to make sure, above all else, that they were not disliked. The result is a party that was perceived by many of its early tea party supporters as cowardly, unwilling to hold Barack Obama accountable, and too beholden to special interests instead of willing to keep promises. The Mitch McConnell “play it safe and don’t rock the boat” approach has thrown the GOP into the rapids and is about to cause the party boat to capsize.
The government shutdown in 2013 really exposed the GOP. They quickly threw Ted Cruz under the bus and pointed the finger at him. “Not us. Him!” they said. The all star panel on Special Report on Fox and the Republican pundits on CNN and elsewhere dutifully parroted Mitch McConnell’s talking points blaming Cruz. The Wall Street Journal declared there was no establishment and Cruz was a vainglorious oaf hell bent on the GOP’s destruction. Then they promptly surrendered on the debt ceiling fight handing the President a blank check to raise the debt.
I remember when John Cornyn threatened a government shutdown over the debt ceiling. How dare the party faithful think he really intended to fight. I remember Mitch McConnell telling voters that if you gave them the Senate they’d stop executive amnesty. There were no footnotes about vetoes and overrides or plans to punt to the federal courts. There were, however, a series of moving goal posts designed to obfuscate, walk back, and minimize every campaign promise made. And anyone who dared demand they keep their promises was excoriated by the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
When not collaborating on amnesty, Republicans were passing the buck to the court system to stop the President. As the goal posts were moved, talking points were enforced. “Remember the Gingrich era shutdown and how badly we lost seats,” they said hoping everyone would ignore that they actually didn’t lose badly. “Yes, remember the shutdown in the 90’s,” parroted the talking heads.
They’d campaign on stopping amnesty by executive order and holding the President accountable, but then they’d get back to Washington and say the President has a veto power they can’t override and if they dare use the power of the purse he’d shut down the government and they’d all get the blame, but really it would all be Ted Cruz’s fault because he’s not a team player. “Silly, filthy hobbits,” their media allies would say, “you just aren’t smart enough to know how this all works. We have to trust Mitch and the toe tapping congressmen from Union Station.” Of course, now they will say executive amnesty was stopped. Yes, but only because the right judge got selected in a district court in Texas, not because of them.
In 2014, despite all the hysteria that Ted Cruz was going to make the GOP disliked, the GOP won again. In fact, in the Age of Obama the GOP has won and kept on winning virtually everything other than the White House. But still the GOP doesn’t want to be disliked. Still the GOP refuses to stand up to Barack Obama.
Eventually, the base of the party got frustrated. That frustrated base was joined by a group of political outsiders not really affiliated with either party who finally had enough of both parties. They all felt desperate and betrayed. The felt like their very culture and way of life was under assault by a Washington elite who did not care about them, could not relate to them, and decided they were all hateful bigots who couldn’t write checks anyway. Desperate times call for desperate measures. So they turned to Donald Trump to burn down Washington. The Republican voters who sided with Trump early, when asked why they liked Trump, knew very little about him, but they said, “He fights!” That became the joke. Trump is a Clinton donor, pro-abortion New Yorker who bragged about his affairs, but “he fights!”
Trump isn’t interested in being liked or loved. He’s interested in fighting and being blunt. At least that is how voters perceive him. It is worth noting too that for a time the very establishment Trump’s voters want burned to the ground rallied to Trump. Behind the scenes, D.C. lobbyists, Senate Republicans, and Republican outside groups heaped praise on Trump as a way to stick it to Ted Cruz. They wanted Trump over Cruz. When it became Cruz vs. Trump, they demanded Cruz kiss McConnell’s ring if they were going to act. He refused so they decided they could accept Trump. They decided they could work with Trump, but could not and would never work with Cruz. Now they attack Cruz for failing to endorse the man they all privately hope loses to Hillary. And privately they worry that Trump, who they now realize they cannot control and who will never pivot, is going to cost them the power they’ve tried to horde by doing nothing and standing still.
That makes this coming loss so ironic. The GOP is going to lose with Trump because its leaders were too scared to stand for anything and refused to stand with the only candidate who, in the end, had a shot at stopping Trump. By standing for nothing, they got stood up by their voters and stomped into the dust by Trump. The only question that remains is this: after the loss, will the GOP learn the right lessons?
I suspect not. The party leaders and their editorial mouthpieces still cannot even acknowledge that there is both an elite and an establishment within the party. The talking heads of Fox who are long tied to guys like McConnell and the editorialists at the Wall Street Journal who openly disdain heartland voters both deny there is an establishment.
There is an old saying that every group has a jackass. If you don’t think the group you affiliate with has a jackass, then you’re the jackass. Of course the Republican establishment doesn’t recognize there is an establishment. They just see it as the cocktail circuit and the green room friends. They will again rally to the brilliant strategery of Mitch McConnell that got them in this mess in the first place. They will ignore that Republicans have a lower opinion of congress right now than Democrats and that congress’s popularity has gone up because it is not in Washington right now.
Until they figure it out, the desire to be liked will trump (pun intended) the desire to hold the President accountable through any and all means necessary. And that will just perpetuate the helplessness of a lot of people with real needs and fears who want a political party to stop wanting to be liked and start leading. Perpetuating that, in turn, leads even further down the rabbit hole of anger in the voting population.
When a voting base thinks they are on the brink of disaster, in large part because of the rhetoric of elected Republican leaders, a play it safe strategy is just asking to be curb stomped.
1a)  Trump: I 'Regret' Some of the Remarks I've Made
By Todd Beamon

Donald Trump Thursday expressed "regret" over some of the incendiary remarks he has made during the presidential campaign — vowing in North Carolina to "offer the American people a new future of honesty, justice, and opportunity."

"Sometimes, in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing," Trump told a cheering crowd at the Charlotte Convention Center. "And, believe it or not, I regret it.

"I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain," Trump said. "Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues.

"But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth."

Throughout the campaign, Trump has slammed Hispanics, women and other groups.

He has accused a federal judge of not being objective in hearing a lawsuit against Trump University because of his Hispanic heritage — and slammed the parents of a Muslim Army captain who died in Iraq.
These comments have caused Trump's poll ratings to plunge, driving donations and endorsements from the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump's speech was his first since a major shake-up in his campaign on Wednesday. Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon was named chief executive and pollster Kellyanne Conway was promoted to campaign manager.

The campaign has also invested nearly $5 million in advertising in four key battleground states beginning on Friday.

"I speak the truth for all of you and for everyone in this country who doesn't have a voice, of which there are many," Trump said. "I speak the truth on behalf of the factory worker who lost his or her job — and that's happening more and more in our country.

"I speak the truth on behalf of the veteran who has been denied the medical care they need and the medical care they deserve and so many are not making it.

"But they're going to make it if Trump becomes president," he said.

Trump embraced inclusiveness and diversity — rejecting bigotry — in his speech, declaring that “our campaign is about representing the great majority of Americans.

"Republicans, Democrats, independents, conservatives, and liberals, who read the newspaper or turn on the television and don't hear anyone speaking for them.

"All they hear are insiders fighting for other insiders," he added. "These are the forgotten men and women in our society — and they are angry at so much and on so many levels."

In his pledge to "never tell you something I do not believe," Trump challenged Democrat Hillary Clinton to come clean with voters.

"While sometimes I can be too honest, Hillary Clinton is the exact opposite," he said. "She never tells the truth.
"One lie after another and getting worse with each passing day."

He cited the email scandal and pointed to Thursday's admission by the State Department that the $400 million in cash paid to Iran was being held pending the release of five American hostages being held in Tehran.

"Now, the administration has put every American traveling overseas, including our military personnel, at greater risk of being kidnapped," Trump said. "Hillary Clinton owns President [Barack] Obama's Iran policy.

"One more reason she can never ever be allowed to be president."

Trump reiterated a number of his earlier campaign promises — building the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, destroying the Islamic State and radical jihadism, and banning refugees from countries that support terrorism — and took pride in making "the powerful, and I mean very powerful, a little uncomfortable now and again.

"Including some of the powerful people, frankly, in my own party," Trump continued, "because it means that I'm fighting for real change."


Louisiana Paper Blasts Obama for Martha’s Vineyard Vacation During Floods


BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — The mainstream media in Louisiana is finally calling out President Obama for vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard while the state experiences unprecedented flooding and cleanup.

“It’s time for President Barack Obama to visit the most anguished state in the union,” the Baton Rouge Advocate wrote in an editorial.
, a playground for the posh and well-connected,” the editorial continued.
Obama was reportedly briefed on the emergency situation in Louisiana, but then immediately went back to golfing, according to The Washington Times.
The editorial noted that during Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the New Orleans area and surrounding parishes, President George W. Bush was lambasted by pundits and the national press for simply taking a “fly-over” of the flooded areas.
Obama was one of those critics, blasting Bush during a 2008 speech at Tulane University, as Breitbart News reported.
“We can talk about what happened for a few days in 2005 and we should,” Obama said. “We can talk about levees that could not hold … about a president who only saw the people from the window of an airplane instead of down here on the ground, trying to provide comfort and aid.”
But, Obama has yet to even make an appearance in the flooded state, something the Advocate says is overdue.
“It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans,” the editorial reads.
“And if the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands,” the editorial ended.
More than 40,000 homes across Louisiana have been flooded in the historic natural disaster and now at least 13 people have died.

Obama’s R-Word for Iran

A spokesman calls it ‘leverage’ for prisoners, aka ransom for hostages.

President Obama speaks about the freed American hostages from Iran in the White House on January 17.ENLARGE
President Obama speaks about the freed American hostages from Iran in the White House on January 17. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

After everyone in the Administration from President Obama on down denied that a $400 million cash payment to Iran had anything to do with the same-day release of four American hostages, the State Department on Thursday said your own eyes had it right the first time.
While still not using the R-word, State Department spokesman John Kirby said of the two events: “We of course wanted to seek maximum leverage in this case as these two things came together at the same time.”
Credit here goes to Wall Street Journal reporters Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee, who on Aug. 3 broke the story of the $400 million payment to Iran coincident with the hostage release in January. Despite Mr. Obama himself trying to knock down the Journal’s story by asserting, “we do not pay ransom for hostages,” the reporters this week established the linkage.
U.S. officials acknowledged to the Journal that they wouldn’t allow a plane from Iran Air, loaded with pallets of cash, to take off from a runway in Geneva until the hostages’ plane in Tehran was “wheels up.” State’s Mr. Kirby was finally obliged to admit this publicly.
One may reasonably ask: Why did the Obama Administration persist with such an obviously preposterous cover story? Mr. Obama offered one honest answer amid his original denial. We didn’t pay a ransom, the President said, “precisely because if we did we’d start encouraging Americans to be targeted.”
There’s another reason. Mr. Obama didn’t want to sully what he obviously considers the crowning foreign-policy achievement of his Presidency with an admission that a grubby payoff to Iran’s mullahs is what got it done.
Coming clearer by the day is the reality that Mr. Obama in fact ransomed his second term’s entire foreign policy to getting the nuclear deal, which along with lifting sanctions was supposed to be the incentive for Iran to help stabilize the Middle East. Iran had its own ideas about that.
On Tuesday the Russian foreign ministry ostentatiously announced that four of its Tu-22M3 bombers had flown from an Iranian airfield to hit anti-Assad forces in three Syrian provinces. The long-range bombers then returned to Russia.
Russia doesn’t need the Iranian air base to bomb Syria. Russia and Iran were making apolitical point about their budding alliance in the Middle East. They did this, moreover, after persuading Secretary of State John Kerry to persuade Mr. Obama to share with Russia U.S. intelligence on bombing targets in Syria. Mr. Obama sided with Mr. Kerry despite Pentagon objections. Oh, and Vladimir Putin is now sending tens of thousands of Russian soldiers to newly built installations near the border with Ukraine. Perhaps this is the Russian’s way of thanking Mr. Kerry for the intel.
Mr. Obama, meanwhile, spent August denying that a ransom was a ransom. Since the January “leverage” moment, Iran has taken three more Americans as hostage and is now demanding the return of $2 billion in funds that U.S. courts have ordered held for the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism. The eyes of the world can simply stare
3) Comey’s FBI Double Standard

To view Hillary’s FBI file, lawmakers must go to a secure room under lock and guard.

By Kimberly Strassel

As for the suspicion that there is one standard for the Clintons and one for everyone else, witness the FBI’s interaction this week with Congress over Hillary Clinton’s agency file. The G-men are back to being G-men—at least now that the Democratic nominee is off their hook.
FBI Director James Comey gets credit for agreeing to Congress’s demand for documents related to the bureau’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email server. The FBI shares such files only on the rarest of occasions. Yet given the cloud surrounding this affair, not to mention Mr. Comey’s stated interest in “transparency,” he would have been hard-pressed to deny Congress’s request.
It’s the manner in which lawmakers are getting access to the documents that is more interesting.
Bear in mind what the FBI investigation revealed: We know that Mrs. Clinton for years emailed top secret information willy-nilly over a home-brew server that lacked security. We know that this classified information leached into the private email accounts of those with whom she communicated. We know that she cavalierly used her private email while in hostile countries, making it possible that those countries gained access. We know that Mr. Comey nonetheless chose not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for her “extremely careless” behavior.
Compare that standard with the one the FBI is now imposing on Congress, where the Clinton files are being guarded at a level that brings to mind the Vatican Secret Archives. Aides from an array of House committees described to me the extraordinary limits that have been placed on who can see the files and under what circumstances.
The FBI has provided just one set of Hillary files to be accessed by both the majority and minority members (and their staffs) of the House Oversight, Appropriations and Judiciary committees. That’s a single set of documents for hundreds upon hundreds of people. The files are being held in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) underneath the Capitol, a secure room reserved for viewing the highest-level secrets. That room is under lock, key and guard, and viewing is by appointment only.
Many of these lawmakers and aides hold some of the highest clearances available to Congress, yet they are nonetheless barred from examining vast portions of the record. The FBI in some cases redacted entire documents, presumably at the request of various intelligence agencies, and to protect national security. Initially, visiting congressmen and staffers were not allowed to take any notes. After intense negotiations, the FBI on Thursday relented, but only on the condition that all notes remain behind in the SCIF.
Some of this is as it should be. These are, after all, national secrets. Yet the process highlights not only the absurdity of Mrs. Clinton’s claim that her server was no big deal, but also the irresponsibility of the FBI’s decision not to prosecute. Duly elected members of Congress are traversing layers of security and guards, clearances in hand, to view a few top-secret documents. Ask Mr. Comey why what is demanded of them was not demanded of Hillary.
But the contradiction gets even more extreme. The FBI has placed additional, and unnecessary, strictures on the Hillary file. It warned lawmakers against publicly sharingany information from the documents—even unclassified information. So the FBI chief won’t prosecute Mrs. Clinton for spreading secrets across the globe, but he bars Congress from talking about unclassified issues that potentially get to the heart of today’s presidential race. One might wonder why.
Nor does the double standard end with Mrs. Clinton. Oversight Committee aides who have seen the documents note that some of the redactions look to have come at the demand of the State Department (rather than the intelligence community). Indeed, the FBI allowed the State Department to review portions of the file before handing it to Congress. This is the same department that essentially served as a co-conspirator in the operation of Mrs. Clinton’s secret server and which has spent more than a year stonewalling investigations and making excuses for its former boss.
One doubts that Mr. Comey has ever previously allowed an accomplice in bad behavior to tidy up evidence. Then again, Mr. Comey was not until recently in the habit of waiting until the last days of an investigation to interview the target. Mr. Comey’s past procedure has been to interrogate immediately, the better to catch perjury later on. Mrs. Clinton got special treatment.
The entire spectacle—from the investigation to this week’s handover of files—demonstrates how much damage Mr. Comey has done to the FBI’s credibility. It’s good to see the bureau now taking national security seriously. Yet the director’s willingness to ignore those standards for Mrs. Clinton has sent the message that Americans can’t expect equal treatment under the law.
That’s why Republicans shouldn’t hold out hope that the FBI will go after Mrs. Clinton for lying under oath. Politics trumps. If your name is Clinton, it outranks justice, Congress, everything.

Affiliates of the Islamic State terror organization are already residing in the United States, though exact numbers are unclear due to the Obama administration’s efforts to downplay and hide information about this threat from the American public, the former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency told the Washington Free Beacon in a wide-ranging interview.

Gen. Michael Flynn, an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who served as a top intelligence official under the Obama administration, warned that “they are here” when asked by the Free Beacon to characterize the threat posed to Americans by undercover ISIS adherents.
“They are here,” Flynn said, disclosing that he is aware of roughly 1,000 instances in which ISIS members have been caught plotting in the United States.
“The director of the FBI has said it,” Flynn explained. “There are dozens and dozens and dozens, and I think the number I’ve heard is 1,000, but I don’t know the exact numbers. But I do know there are a lot of cases against members inspired or directed by the Islamic State in this country.”
Information about these individuals is not well known to the American public due to efforts by the administration to downplay and suppress news relating to these terror plots.
“There should be more publicity about what we’ve discovered,” said Flynn, co-author of the bookField of Flight: How We Can Win The Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies. “We ought to expose it, expose its [ISIS’s] weaknesses, expose its dangers to the American public. We’re a tough crowd. The American public is tough. We can take the truth.”
Scores of foreign-born individuals residing in the United States have been arrested on various terror charges in the past few months, multiple Free Beacon investigations have discovered.
Flynn has taken issue with the Obama administration’s refusal to describe these terrorists as adherents to a radical brand of Islam.
The goal of ISIS and other radical terrorists is to slowly infiltrate the West, according to Flynn, who said this is already happening across the United States.
“This is an enemy that actually sees our way of life as something that is not acceptable,” he said. “They’re infiltrating, and their campaign plan is to basically dominate the world essentially through letting Islam bloom.”
Leaders in the United States refuse to acknowledge this reality and are actively downplaying the threat, Flynn said.
“Is this something that is acceptable to our current leadership? Because this is something the enemy says it’s doing. They have declared war on us.”
“They are doing a variety of things. Some are tactical attacks that you’ve seen. Some is just infiltrating into sort of what I call the bloodstream of main street America. That’s just the way they’re going to do it,” he added.
America’s difficulties in facing down ISIS are the result of the Obama administration’s failure to clearly define our enemy, Flynn said.
“Warfare 101 is know your enemy, know yourself, you’ll win 1,000 battles,” he said. “This president, who is also wearing the hat of commander-in-chief, has shown really a level of incompetence when it comes to clearly understanding and clearly defining the enemy we are facing. This is a political problem. We face political incompetence at this point.”
The next U.S. leader, Flynn said, must take steps to clearly define the enemy and the threat it poses to Western values.
5)The Left’s Betrayal of Our Inner Cities 
By Newt Gingrich

The riots that occurred in Milwaukee last week followed a disastrous pattern that has played out across the country in the past few years.

In a poor African American neighborhood with few job opportunities and even less hope, a young black male was killed by police. Locals, joined by professional agitators, began to riot, causing even more violence, bloodshed, and destruction of the neighborhood.

Americans have watched a similar set of events play out in Ferguson, in Baltimore, in Baton Rouge, and now in Milwaukee. And as the violence continues, the anger has grown.

Yet the solutions we too often hear from our political leaders remain inadequate and superficial: Gun control, body cameras, disarming the police, decriminalizing drugs. These are the kinds of policy proposals our elites are discussing. And yet none of the proposals has much to do with the underlying causes of violence, poverty and despair.

Thankfully, there has been at least one voice of clarity and reason about the urgent challenge.
Speaking after the riots this week, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke offered one of the most thoughtful analyses of what has led to the “frustration, anger and resentment” that Americans in many poor communities feel.

“Here's what causes riots,” Sheriff Clarke said:

We have inescapable poverty in the city of Milwaukee. Milwaukee's like the sixth poorest city in America. You have massive black unemployment. I think it's at 32%. You have a failing K-12 public education system. It's one of the worst in the nation. You have questionable lifestyle choices...All of these kids with no fathers around, father-absent homes. When fathers aren't around to shape the behavior of young men, they oftentimes grow up to be unmanageable misfits. Those are the ingredients. Milwaukee has all of them.
“Stop trying to fix the police,” Sheriff Clarke said at the press conference. “Fix the ghetto.”
Certainly, most Americans share the goal of extending opportunity to our inner cities. But the Sheriff is right that many don’t want to talk about the real problems. The police are catching the brunt of the criticism. But they are not the real cause of the despair.

Instead, the problem is more fundamental. When people are trapped in poverty--when they see no chance of getting out, when they are told to take food stamps, to live in public housing, and to stagger along as best they can--they lose hope, and they despair.

When people despair, anger and resentment can follow.

Millions of Americans have been left behind in poverty. In the inner cities, their neighborhoods aren’t safe, and the schools have failed them. For many, the path of college and a four-year degree--the middle class route to a good job--is not even an option.

America’s inner cities urgently need a bridge to the Middle Class for those the system has left behind. Above all, that means a learnable skill that pays good money and offers a chance at a good career. Providing a system to train poor Americans for good jobs is one of our most urgent social challenges.
Indeed, opportunities for skills training and career-focused education programs are a far more serious and practical response to the problems of the inner city than the calls for “national conversations” we hear time and again on cable news networks.

And yet, as Sheriff Clarke noted in his comments after the Milwaukee riots, instead of strengthening the bridge to the middle class--a good job to help support a family--government is doing everything it can to weaken it.

We have a welfare system that too often punishes work and rewards choices which destroy lives.
We have a tax and regulatory system that makes it harder for small businesses to hire people, even when they’re willing to take the risk of setting up shop in a dangerous neighborhood.

And as recently as this month, we were reminded that bureaucrats in Washington are trying to kill the very job training and career education programs that help people learn the skills they need.

In fact, in the same month that Milwaukee was rioting and the problems of the inner-city were dominating headlines, the bureaucrats at the Department of Education were sifting through comments submitted on their proposed “defense-to-repayment” regulation, which would require all schools to set aside funds to forgive student loan debts for those who claim there were “misrepresentations” made to them about their programs.

Because the proposed rule requires schools to set aside vast funds each time a lawsuit is filed--even before the claims are subject to the scrutiny of a court of law--merely the threat of lawsuits would likely drive many small, independent career schools out of business.

Of course, that is precisely the point. Ideologically driven bureaucrats are pushing burdensome regulations that will bankrupt private career education schools and certificate programs.

And yet the programs they’re trying to put out of business are the very ones that focus on training people in the skills they need to have careers as welders, nurse practitioners, and IT professionals. In other words, the kind of practical skills that can help people in our poorest neighborhoods get the jobs they need to enter the middle class.

Both Republicans and Democrats should be for accountability in higher education. But a regulation that leaves the schools serving poor Americans vulnerable to being put out of business by trial lawyers and meritless lawsuits? That’s not accountability. That’s extremism. It’s an assault.

Even the Washington Post editorial board has labeled the latest proposed regulation an “overreach,” and the Post understands exactly who it’s targeted at. “The Obama administration has made no secret of its dislike” for private sector schools, the Post notes, before going on to criticize the administration’s “zeal to disable” these institutions.

“A cottage industry already is forming with law firms and loan-consolidation companies trolling for students with borrower defense claims,” the Post editors write. The result would be to put taxpayers “on the hook for billions of dollars in student loan discharges.”

In their war against private-sector education, the bureaucrats should be honest about who they’re fighting for--the trial lawyers and the ideologues--and who they’re fighting against. They aren’t just attacking the schools, but also their students--the millions of Americans, many from the inner cities, who lack the skills they need to get a good job, and who’ve taken the responsibility to learn those skills at a program of their choice.


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