Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ben Is Asking About You

Dear Friend,

Now is a great time to go ahead and book your cabin on the National Review 2016 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise.

Why now?

Because if you reserve your (very affordable!) stateroom by June 30 -- thanks to a special offer we're passing along to new bookings -- you'll receive a $100 per-person cabin credit. That right: There will be a Benjamin Franklin for him, another Ben for her, and you can use those two C-Notes to book excursions, pay for spa sessions, order a nice bottle or two or three of wine -- you name it.


Scheduled for November 13-20 aboard Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam, the National Review 2016 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise will visit Ft. Lauderdale, Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Key West. Over the course of the week, our all-star lineup of top conservatives --including Victor Davis Hanson, Allen West, Dinesh D'Souza, Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry, Heather Higgins, Bing West, Andy McCarthy, Jay Nordlinger, John Yoo, Eliana Johnson, Ramesh Ponnuru, and many more -- will join you for eight scintillating seminar sessions (each over 2 hours, and often featuring an informative one-on-one interview), two fun-filled "Night Owls," three revelrous pool-side receptions, and a late-night smoker featuring H. Upmann cigars (and complimentary cognac!). Also: on at least two nights, you will share an intimate dinner with our speakers and editors.

That's quite a program. You won't want to miss it.


All-inclusive prices (includes your cabin, all meals, all ship amenities, port fees, gratuities, and taxes!) start at only $1,999 a person (based on double occupancy), and just $2,699 for a "Single" cabin. Be assured that the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam and its courteous, service-minded staff will in turn assure you seven warm days and cool conservative nights.

Are you one of the thousands of folks who have always wanted to come on an NR cruise, but haven't taken the plunge? Well, that may not be the best cruise-related metaphor, but let me nevertheless encourage you: Make the National Review 2016 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise the one where you finally commit to a week of exceptional conservative discussion and luxurious travel.

You can book your cabin online at www.nrcruise.com, or you can call the good people at The Cruise and Vacation Authority at 1-800-707-1634 (Monday to Friday, 9AM to 5PM Eastern) -- they'll be happy to help you book that affordable stateroom (there is one for every taste and budget). You can also contact them at groups@tcava.com.

Sign up by June 30th and receive that $100 per-person cabin credit.

And there's more: If you get another couple to sign up, you'll get an additional $100 (per person) discount off your final bill (so will they). An additional couple? . . . that gets you an additional pair of C-Notes off your bill. So bring your friends and family to share the great time that awaits.

And to share a couple of Benjamins when you take advantage of our special offers! I look forward to seeing you in November on the Nieuw Amsterdam.


Jack Fowler
National Review

P.S.: Want to save money by sharing a cabin? Contact me at jfowler@nationalreview.com -- we'll see what we can do to set you up with another NR wanna-cruiser.

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Democrats Hire Forensic Accountants to Dig into Trump Finances

You can't say no one saw this coming:
If this email is difficult to read, view it on the web.
May 31, 2016
Morning Jolt
... with Jim Geraghty

Democrats Hire Forensic Accountants to Dig into Trump Finances

You can't say no one saw this coming:

People familiar with the matter say Democrats have leading forensic accountants poring over all of Trump's public records and disclosures with a plan to release whatever they find to support this narrative as the campaign shifts into general election mode this summer and fall.

'Some of the stuff is supposedly dynamite,' one senior Democratic operative with ties to the Clinton campaign said. 'They are very confident about the opposition research. But I wouldn't expect anything cataclysmic until the fall.'

You know what's going to happen, right? Democrats will drop this information, and even if it's in public records and disclosures, Trump will accuse the Internal Revenue Service of leaking private financial information. He'll accuse the IRS and Hillary Clinton's campaign of colluding, and neither of those two entities are particularly trusted these days. Oh, and he'll deny anything unflattering in the report, insist it's all outdated information, and that his real financial papers show he's worth more than ever, everybody knows it, believe me, etc., etc. Will the revelations hurt Trump more? Hillary more? Both about equally? Stay tuned.

As for the contention that Trump is worth significantly less than he boasts, and is cash poor -- well, most of us could figure that out early in the primary, and the GOP went ahead anyway.

Now we see the consequences:

Donald Trump's campaign has alerted Senate Republicans that he won't have much money to spend fending off attacks from Hillary Clinton over the next couple months.

The notice came when Paul Manafort, Trump's senior advisor, met with a group of Senate Republican chiefs of staff for lunch last week, sources familiar with the meeting told the Washington Examiner. The admission suggests that Trump will be far more dependent on the GOP brass for money than he has led voters to believe, but it's consistent with his reliance on the Republican National Committee to provide a ground game in battleground states.

You were warned, guys. Don't come crying now.


Libertarians Step Up to Moment of Opportunity, Collapse into Giggles

Our Ian Tuttle was down in Orlando for the Libertarian party convention. With two lousy choices offered by the Republicans and Democrats this year, formal and informal Libertarians have their best opportunity in decades to get Americans to seriously consider this different, liberty-focused philosophy and approach to governance. Ian notes that they basically rejected any effort to win over middle America and showcased a "Libertarian wish list, instead of providing common ground on which to erect a 'big tent,' [that] is likely to alienate just about everyone who isn't a capital-L Libertarian."

Consider Saturday evening's debate, during which the five candidates ([Kevin] McCormick missed the cut) opined on such pressing issues as whether the United States was justified in intervening in World Wars I and II, and whether they would have supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It's almost as if the debate organizers wrote the questions with the express purpose of disqualifying the candidate from national consideration. The audience doesn't help: When Gary Johnson suggested that perhaps the government should be able to deny blind people drivers' licenses, boos were audible. Likewise when Petersen suggested that maybe, just maybe, there should be laws against selling heroin to five-year-olds. And the candidates themselves offered up some good ol'-fashioned bat-guano crazy: Perry said that, 'contra the fear-mongering,' Iran is actually just pursuing nuclear energy. Petersen peddled Howard Zinn–style history to explain why 'the rest of the world hates us.' And, sure enough, Feldman rapped his closing statement. Vermin Supreme, a beloved party regular who wears a rubber boot on his head and who received 18 votes toward the nomination, spent the debate handing out toast.

Or, as Iowahawk put it, 'Oh boy! Libertarians finally have a real chance to show America we're not a bunch of drugged lunatics and... nevermind…'

Our political system has been taken over by angry teenage minds in grown-up bodies, in part because our culture has been taken over by angry teenage minds in grown-up bodies.

But the Libertarians picked a ticket of relative grown-ups in Gary Johnson and William Weld. There was considerable skepticism of Weld among the delegates, foreshadowed by last week's profile. Weld was pro-gun control and had to reverse himself twice in recent cycles, withdrawing endorsements of Barack Obama and John Kasich -- not exactly natural libertarian positions.

But neither man went streaking at the convention, so they've got that working for them.

Get Ready to Hear a Lot More about the Tomah VA Scandal

Today the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hold a field hearing in Tomah, Wis., reviewing allegations that government agencies silenced whistleblowers' concerns and put veterans at risk in a painkiller scandal at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

At least three people -- including Tomah VA director Mario DeSanctis, chief of staff David Houlihan, and a nurse practitioner -- lost their jobs after the overprescribing scandal came to light. Houlihan was known to veterans as the 'Candy Man' because of the quantities of drugs he prescribed, the VA found.

Marine Veteran Jason Simcakoski died in 2014 of a drug overdose at the facility. Whistleblowers have said other veterans also died as a result of the care they received in Tomah.

If the Tomah VA controversy sounds familiar, it's because it's become a major issue in Wisconsin's Senate race. Six years ago, conservative businessman Ron Johnson defeated incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold; now the Democrat wants to win back his seat and avenge his 2010 loss.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is… Ron Johnson.

Freedom Partners Action Fund has put together a detailed timeline of the Tomah painkiller scandal -- including the key question of whether the problems at the VA were reported to Feingold's office back in Summer 2008.

It wouldn't be a Wisconsin political story if it didn't feature a public employee union; in this case, Feingold says that despite the markings on a memo, the public-sector union never passed along warnings about the VA office to him.

The 2009 memo came from Lin Ellinghuysen, president of the American Federation of Government Employees local at Tomah. It was addressed to another union official, Ben Balkum, and marked as being 'hand-delivered' to Feingold, then a U.S. senator, as well as U.S. Rep. Ron Kind and then-Rep. Dave Obey.

'The ad claims that somehow our office knew about this. That's not true,' Feingold said during a campaign stop in Milwaukee. 'There's no record in our office at all that we knew about it. Rep. Kind says the same thing about his office. Apparently someone was intending to give the information to our office, but there's no record that we ever got it. So it's not true.'

Ellinghuysen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she made an error in marking the memo as being hand-delivered to the Democratic lawmakers. She said she made an assumption but that the deliveries did not occur.

ADDENDA: Rasmussen Reports -- which no longer is run by Scott Rasmussen -- was, for a long while, the pollster showing the best results for Donald Trump. Back in late April, when everyone else had Hillary up by double digits over Trump, Rasmussen showed the race tied. A few days later, they put Trump ahead by two points, the first survey by any pollster to show Trump ahead since mid-April. By mid-May, they had Trump ahead by 5 points, as every other pollster saw a tightening race.

Late last week, Rasmus


The Liberal Hypocrites Fighting the Koch Brothers on Campus
Class, Trump, and the Election
The Uncool and Immoral Fight for $15
Oslo Journal, Part I
Cities Should Have Room for Everyone
Socialism for the Uninformed
The Automatic Millionaire
By David Bach
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