Get your Hillary pantsuit T-shirt before they sell out (like Hillary)

So many ways for this to backfire: Hillary Clinton’s campaign store is selling T-shirts designed to make you look like you’re wearing one of Hillary’s pantsuits.

In an apparent bid to reclaim that part of the zeitgeist staked out by detractors who use Hillary’s reliance on the stodgy pantsuit as a pejorative, Team Hillary is attempting to make lemons out of lemonade. For $30, you may not be able to buy much influence at the State Department, but you can rock this red “everyday pantsuit tee,” which features the exhortation to “pantsuit up” on the back:

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If that’s not embarrassing enough, you can also deck out your toddler in this “future voter onesie,” which sports the (confusingly) right-pointing “H” arrow logo that Hillary’s camp unveiled when she launched her 2016 presidential campaign.

Oh, the fun that Sabo could have with this…

Hillary called Ambassador Stevens by the wrong name in post-Benghazi emails

Not that it makes any difference, at this point, but the ongoing slow-drip of newly public State Department emails (all Hillary Clinton-approved, of course) has revealed some interesting glimpses into Clinton’s modus operandi during her tenure as secretary of state.

Take, for instance, the fact that she didn’t seem to know all that much about the ambassador who’d just been killed in Benghazi, Libya, as she gameplanned talking points in the aftermath of the Sept. 2012 attack. In fact, she called Ambassador Christopher Stevens by the wrong name.

From The Daily Caller:

Clinton sent an email with the subject line “Chris Smith” shortly before midnight [of Sept. 11, 2012] to three top aides, Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Victoria Nuland.

“Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?” Clinton wrote.

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As The Caller notes, one of the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack was diplomat Sean Smith. But there was no “Chris Smith” at the U.S. consulate.

“Chris Smith” remained the subject line in the succeeding chain of emails — sent from Clinton’s second, recently discovered “hrod17″ email account. No one corrected her directly. It wasn’t until the official statement was ready to go the following morning that Ambassador Stevens was correctly named — and not by Hillary, but by whoever drafted the statement and sent it to her email address for review.

Poll: Number of social liberals on the rise

Americans views of social issues have been inching toward the left for years. New polling data from Gallup indicates that the trend could be nearing a tipping point, as Americans identifying as social conservatives are not in the majority “for the first time in Gallup records.”

Since 1999 the polling agency has been asking Americans the following: “Thinking about social issues, would you say your views on social issues are very conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal or very liberal?”

Gallup reported of the results over the years: “The broad trend has been toward a shrinking conservative advantage, although that was temporarily interrupted during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Since then, the conservative advantage continued to diminish until it was wiped out this year.”

Forty-two percent of Americans reported being very conservative or conservative on social issues (the highest number ever) in 2009, compared to 25 percent who said they were very liberal or liberal.

Today, social liberals and conservatives are on more equal footings with 31 percent of Americans saying they are socially liberal and 31 percent socially conservative.

There has also been some change in feelings about social issued within the Republican Party.

Gallup reported: “The 53% of Republicans and Republican leaners saying their views on social issues are conservative is the lowest in Gallup’s trend. The drop in Republicans’ self-identified social conservatism has been accompanied by an increase in moderate identification, to 34%, while the percentage identifying as socially liberal has been static near 10%.”

Since 2005, a majority of Democrats have identified as social liberals.

Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers keep inching downward

Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating among likely voters is as low as it’s been at any time since she last ran for president, according to the latest data from the Pew Research Center.

In less than a year, Clinton’s favorability rating has dropped 9 percentage points. “Currently, 49% of the public has a favorable opinion of Clinton, while 47% view her unfavorably,” Pew reports. “Clinton’s overall favorability rating has fallen nine points from 58% last August. This is Clinton’s lowest favorability mark since the spring of 2008, during her run for the Democratic nomination.”

While Clinton’s detractors drag her favorability numbers down significantly, Pew notes that her approval has fallen among both Democrats and Republicans in recent weeks.

“The decline in Clinton’s favorability since August has come about equally among Democrats and Democratic leaners (from 86% then to 77% today) and Republicans and Republican leaners (from 27% to 17%),” Pew observes.

Interestingly, the youngest slice of the Democratic Party’s voter demographic is the least impressed by Clinton. Among Democrats, only 65 percent of so-called millennials (the 18-25 age group) said they favor Clinton, compared with “82% of Gen Xers,” according to Pew.

View the complete poll, which also covers the Republican presidential field, here.

Remember the fallen

Personal Liberty Digest™ will not publish a P.M. Headlines edition on Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday. Many Americans receive the day off; and it’s not unusual for them to spend the day at picnics, barbecues, the lake or the beach. As you enjoy this holiday, don’t forget the reason behind it. Please spend some time remembering the nation’s fallen heroes.

Cartoon roundup

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

There are so many goodbyes this time of year: goodbye to high school for some graduates and goodbye to college for others. This particular year we all said goodbye to a late-night TV legend, David Letterman. And on Memorial Day we remember those who died serving our country and to whom we said goodbye far too early. It’s a solemn time to look back and to remember. But it’s also a chance to look ahead and to hope for the future.

 

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Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons
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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
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Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com
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Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
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Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

Tea Party Patriots, ACLU, NAACP all with Paul on Patriot Act fight

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) kicked off a filibuster against the Patriot Act Wednesday with little support from his congressional colleagues. And while the senator’s battle on Capitol Hill may look lonely, Americans from all walks of life outside the Beltway are uniting behind Paul’s anti-surveillance message.

Tea Party Patriots’ coordinator Jenny Beth Martin and ACLU director Jeremy Rosen co-authored an op-ed that appeared in the Des Moines Register Tuesday, declaring, “[W]e agree on the need for significant reforms to curtail government surveillance authorities, like some of those included in the Patriot Act.”

From the piece:

The government claims that current law authorizes it to collect and store records about intimate, personal conversations between husbands and wives, doctors and patients, lawyers and clients, and pastors and congregants — all communications that should be, and we all assume are, private.

The worst part? The government routinely collects this information without a warrant or even any suspicion that a person is linked to terrorism. Our local police must get a warrant from a judge in order to search our homes or property. Why is it not the same when the NSA and the federal government want to seize and store intimate details about our private lives? What happened to our Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures?

Meanwhile, Martin was joined by the NAACP’s Washington Bureau director and senior vice president for policy and advocacy Hilary O. Shelton in a separate op-ed published in The News and Observer.

The two wrote:

Be it members of the NAACP or, more recently, members of the tea party, the fact is our government has too often, during the most challenging of times, targeted those who wish to struggle for positive change or demand accountability in the name of the common man or the underserved. We have all been on the receiving end of government overreach and other abuses, and this is why we stand united today.

“The thinking behind these alliances is to send a message to Washington that Americans are absolutely fed up,” said Martin in an email to the Daily Caller. “When Tea Party Patriots, ACLU and NAACP can set aside their oft-adversarial history, come together, and say to Washington ‘We have a problem’ … then Washington has a problem. And they’d better pay attention.”

Hillary Clinton loves joking about her elitism

Presidential contender Hillary Clinton finally broke her weeks-long media silence Tuesday — but not before sarcastically suggesting that she’s above uninvited scrutiny from reporters.

A Fox News reporter asked the candidate whether she’d be taking questions during a campaign stop in Iowa.

“Yeah, maybe when I finish talking to the people here, how’s that?” Clinton said.

“I might. I’ll have to ponder it. But I will put it on my list ‘for due consideration,’ ”she added as she pretended to write something down.

Clinton did end up taking a few questions following the sarcastic moment.

Here’s a transcription of her majesty’s Q and A session, via USA Today:

FIRST QUESTION: Do you regret the way the Clinton Foundation handled foreign donations when you were U.S. Secretary of State? Your opponents say the donations and your private email account are examples of the Clintons having one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everyone else.

CLINTON: “I am so proud of the foundation. I’m proud of the work that it has done and is doing. It attracted donations, from people, organizations, from around the world, and I think that just goes to show that people are very supportive of the life-saving and life-changing work that it’s done here, at home and elsewhere. I’ll let the American people make their own judgments.”

SECOND QUESTION: Given the situation in Iraq, do you think we’re better off without Saddam Hussein in power?

CLINTON: “Look, I know that there have been a lot of questions about Iraq posed to candidates over the last weeks. I’ve been very clear that I made a mistake plain and simple. And I have written about it in my book. I’ve talked about it in the past and you know what we now see is a very different and very dangerous situation. The United States is doing what it can, but ultimately this has to be a struggle that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people are determined to win for themselves. We can provide support, but they’re going to have to do it.”

THIRD QUESTION: On your income disclosure, you are in the top echelon of income earners in this country. How do you expect every day Americans to relate to you?

CLINTON: “Well, obviously, Bill and I have been blessed and we’re very grateful for the opportunities that we’ve had, but we’ve never forgotten where we came from, and we’ve never forgotten the country that we want to see for our granddaughter, and that means that we’re going to fight to make sure that everybody has the same chances to live up to his or her own God-given potential. So I think that most Americans understand that the deck is stacked for those at the top, and I am running a campaign that is very clearly stating we want to reshuffle that deck. We want to get back to having more opportunities for more people so that they can make more out of their own lives. And I think that’s exactly what America’s looking for.”

FOURTH QUESTION: Can you explain your relationship as secretary of state with Sidney Blumenthal? There’s a report out this morning that you exchanged several emails. Should Americans expect that if elected president that you would have that same type of relationship with these old friends that you’ve had for so long? (The New York Times reported that Blumenthal wrote her memos about Libya, even as he advised for private business associates with financial interests in Libya, which blurred the “lines between business, politics and philanthropy that have enriched and vexed the Clintons and their inner circle for years.”)

CLINTON (laughing): “I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it’s important when you get into politics to have friends that you had before you were in politics and to understand what’s on their minds. He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. He sent me unsolicited emails, which I passed on in some instances, and I see that that’s just part of the give-and-take. When you’re in the public eye, when you’re in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you’re not caught in the bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people, and I’m going to keep talking to my old friends, who ever they are.”

FIFTH QUESTION: We learned today that the State Department might not release your emails until January 2016. A federal judge says they should be released sooner. Will you demand that they are released sooner, and to follow up on the question about the speeches, was there a conflict of interest in your giving paid speeches into the run-up of your announcing that you’re running for president?

CLINTON: “The answer to the first is: No. And the answer to the second is: I have said repeatedly, I want those emails out. Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do. I respect the State Department. They have their process, as they do for everybody, not just for me, but anything that they might do to expedite that process, I heartily support. You know, I want the American people to learn as much as we can about the work that I did with our diplomats and our development experts. Because I think that it will show how hard we worked, and the work we did for our country during the time that I was secretary of state, where I worked extremely hard on behalf of our values, and our interests and our security. And the emails are part of that. So I have said publicly — I’m repeating it here in front of all of you today — I want them out as soon as they can get out.”

SIXTH QUESTION: But will you demand their release?

CLINTON: “Well, they’re not mine. They belong to the State Department. So the State Department has to go through its process and as much as they can expedite that process, that’s what I’m asking them to do. Please move as quickly as they possibly can.”

Clinton then said: “Thank you all very much” and walked away with a wave.

NSA secrets were a mistake, says former insider

According to former National Security Agency Inspector General Joel Brennar, the agency should have informed Congress of its data collection processes despite the Bush administration’s desire to keep bulk phone records collection secret.

The former official’s remarks came during a speech at the NSA headquarters marking the 40th Anniversary of the Church Committee, which led to the passage of the 978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

NSA’s phone records collection blatantly violated FISA, he said, but the White House didn’t ask Congress to change the law because Vice President Dick Cheney didn’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to intelligence gathering efforts in the wake of 9/11.

Amending FISA, the White House said at the time, would require public debate and “educate our adversaries.”

“My response was that the program could not be kept secret forever, and that its eventual disclosure would create a firestorm and divide the country,” Brennar said. “The broad unity of the country behind the agency’s activities was a strategic asset; the loss of collection was likely to be tactical and temporary; and sacrificing a strategic asset for tactical advantage was as foolish in politics as it is in military operations.”

Brennar said his position was proven correct following NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks.

“You were being criticized for being too good. And of course the dough of outrage rose higher and higher when leavened with the yeast of hypocrisy,” he told NSA officials.

“[I]n retrospect there’s a lesson to learn. The public, not just the three branches of government, must know what kinds of things we are allowed to collect domestically,” he continued.

“You now live in a glass house,” he said. “How could anyone think the bulk collection program would remain secret? I’m not telling you there are no more secrets. You still have plenty of them. I am telling you that with instantaneous electronic communications, secrets are hard to keep; and that which can be kept secret does not stay secret for long. The idea that the broad rules governing your activities — not specific operations, but the broad rules — can be kept secret is a delusion. And they should not be kept secret.”

H/T: The Intercept

Cartoon roundup

John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Jeb Bush opened his mouth and inserted his foot. He said he would’ve invaded Iraq, just like his big brother did. That got tongues wagging, and the former Florida governor has been back-pedaling ever since. But that’s not the only blunder Bush has been dealing with this week. He inadvertently said he’s running for president. He immediately caught himself and threw in an “if.” Why does that matter? Because once he’s a declared candidate, he has to adhere to campaign finance laws that will limit his fundraising. Haven’t we had enough bumbling Bushes in the White House?

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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
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Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

University of Colorado unveils something called ‘Bias Incident Reporting Protocol’

In an effort to eradicate from its campus all the meanies who too vigorously exercise their free speech rights, the University of Colorado has instituted a tattling program.

CU’s new Bias Incident Reporting website solicits students to name names when it comes to who’s been talking all biased about people, ideas and things.

“The purpose of the Bias Incident Reporting Protocol is to provide information on how our university responds to acts of bias involving students,” the university’s website helpfully explains. “CU Boulder values freedom of expression as guaranteed to all individuals in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States; encouraging and supporting debate and open discussion and disagreement on our campus remains important to us.”

Buuutttt……

The objectives of this protocol are to:

  1. Support the safety and well-being of our students.
  2. Provide a reporting system that is easy to access and understandable.
  3. Track, document and assess bias incidents in order to identify trends and issues and utilize this data to improve responsiveness.
  4. Assess the effectiveness of the University bias reporting protocol and make needed changes.

“Track, document and assess bias incidents?”

The university goes on to direct would-be tattlers to an online form page where they can tell administrators who’s been biased, including form fields for the offenders’ names, birthdates, phone numbers, email addresses and other identifying information.

Online data breaches are on the rise

According to the FBI, the U.S. is experiencing a rapid spike in the number of major data breaches as hackers around the world develop increasingly sophisticated skill sets.

FBI’s Cyber Division director James Trainor told a crowd gathered at a Microsoft event that the agency learns of a new massive data breach every two to three days.

“Those types of events, whether they concern a national security threat actor or a criminal actor, are ones we see on a much more regular basis,” Trainor said, according to The Hill.

According to the official, FBI Director James Comey has named U.S. cybersecurity a “top priority” and said the agency is working to build relationships with major U.S. firms that have suffered, or are at risk of suffering, data breaches.

Trainor said the agency is careful to treat breached companies “like a victim, not like they did something wrong.”

Of the massive data breach at Sony last year, Trainor said, “There were a lot of lessons learned from that in a very, very positive way.”

According to a new report out from Juniper Research, data breaches will cost the global economy $2.1 trillion by 2019.

The report cites an “increasing professionalism of cybercrime” as a driving factor.

Report: Gifts, travel funneled to lawmakers by foreign government

Ten members of Congress potentially violated House rules and federal law by attending a trip paid for by the state-run oil company of Azerbaijan in 2013.

According to a detailed report from The Washington Post, Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil company spent $750,000 to send the lawmakers and 32 staffers to a conference in the country’s capital city, Baku. In addition to travel, the lawmakers also reportedly received gifts.

From the Post report:

Lawmakers and their staff members received hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of travel expenses, silk scarves, crystal tea sets and Azerbaijani rugs valued at $2,500 to $10,000, according to the ethics report. Airfare for the lawmakers and some of their spouses cost $112,899, travel invoices show.

The Post said that the foreign government funneled the funds through two U.S. nonprofits to skirt laws and make the travel arrangements.

From the report:

The nonprofit corporations allegedly filed false statements with Congress swearing that they were sponsoring the conference. The findings have been referred to the House Committee on Ethics for investigation of possible violations of congressional rules and federal laws that bar foreign governments from trying to influence U.S. policy.

Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and then-Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) attended the conference.

Read The Post’s full report here.