Ahead of Hillary Clinton’s Tuesday appearance on CNN, her first national television interview of the 2016 election season, Twitter users beautifully trolled the former first lady using the hashtag #CNNHillaryQuestions. Here are eight essential questions the Twitterverse wants Clinton to answer.
Do you have your eyes on any new White House artifacts/property you'd like to be taking home after your term is up? #CNNHillaryQuestions
— Keith MacDonald (@Macs_Wax) July 7, 2015
#CNNHillaryQuestions At what point does something no longer matter?
— Angus E. Parvo (@angusparvo) July 6, 2015
#CNNHillaryQuestions When the media learns how to go under or around ropes will you use bars?
— MarketRunner (@SWGaspar) July 6, 2015
#CNNHillaryQuestions: Did you buy a new dog after Buddy was killed?
— David Morgan (@StarCoreOne02) July 6, 2015
— Catherine Siena (@1catherinesiena) July 6, 2015
#CNNHillaryQuestions Is every Republican as racist as Donald Trump?
— JoeyJoeJoeJrShabadoo (@SideshowJon36) July 6, 2015
#CNNHillaryQuestions Will you ban the name "Monica" from use after your coronation?
— Randy Hedrick (@HeddRoxx) July 6, 2015
Boxers or briefs? #CNNHillaryQuestions
— Doug Powers (@ThePowersThatBe) July 7, 2015
President Barack Obama gave millions of taxpayer dollars to failed solar power company Solyndra. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also has a vision for a solar-powered future, but it focuses more heavily on end users than corporate upstarts.
Sanders wants to help lower American energy bills by establishing a fund to install solar panels on community facilities, public housing and low-income family homes throughout the nation.
The lawmaker introduced the Low Income Solar Act of 2015 Tuesday as the White House announced an initiative to make solar power more accessible to average Americans.
“While the cost of solar panels has gone down in recent years, it is still out of reach for millions of low-income families that need it the most,” said Sanders. “Families across this country struggle to pay electricity bills and access to solar energy can help reduce these costs.”
The Vermont lawmaker’s legislation would provide $200 million in Department of Energy loans and grants to offset the upfront costs for solar power systems in the United States. Low-income Americans; woman- and minority-owned small businesses; and residents of Appalachia, Indian tribal lands and Alaskan native communities would receive priority status for the grants under the proposal.
“For homeowners with suitable roofs this legislation would provide grants to help reduce the upfront costs of installing solar panels,” said a fact sheet from the lawmaker’s office. “For renters or families unable to install solar on their roofs the bill provides loans to solar developers to connect low-income families to solar either physically, or virtually through the construction of community solar facilities.”
Sanders also claims his legislation would create lasting jobs in solar energy and set aside funds for workforce training.
A shortlist of the favorite bits of entertainment and product news Personal Liberty staffers have discovered on the Web this week.
1. Presidential coverage for rural Americans
Don’t forget to check out presidential coverage from a rural prospective kicking off this month on the Nashville-based RFD-TV television network. With the help of SiriusXM and cable provider Mediacom, the network plans to cover the 2016 election with a focus on topics that are important to rural Americans and often ignored by mainstream media.
2. Ever thought about buying a surplus military vehicle?
Could owning a military surplus vehicle up your bugout game? Probably. But would the same vehicle be practical for daily use? “Dirt Every Day” off-road and military vehicle enthusiast Fred Williams tackled the question in a video over at The Motor Trend Channel earlier this month.
3. Goad’s ‘Redneck Manifesto’ gets new life following Confederate flag debate
The Confederate flag has taken center stage after the racist, white alleged perpetrator of a mass murder at a black Charleston church was pictured with one in the media. As the flags have come down throughout the South by order of politicians unwilling to wade into the debate over whether the Confederate relic stands as a symbol of heritage or outright racism, many Southerners have cried foul — some more eloquently than others. The whole controversy reminded us of a 1997 book, “The Redneck Manifesto: How Hilbillies Hicks and White Trash Became America’s Scapegoats”, written by much-maligned PC opponent Jim Goad. In Goad’s view, controversy like what we see today over flags and racism is perpetuated by a rich elite who wish to keep average people too distracted with petty arguments to see how badly they’re getting screwed by the system.
4. iPhone gun case a terrible idea
An iPhone case that makes your phone look like a gun might sound like a cool novelty to some — but police and anti-gun advocates are warning that the cases could get someone killed.
A product description for the Gun Grip Case on the site Japan Trend Shop describes the product: “Available in black, white or pink, this fake ‘pistol’ works with an app so you can interact with a digital version of the gun in the same color on your iPhone 5 screen. The app means you can play games of Russian Roulette at parties! Don’t worry, you can’t actually shoot anyone!”
The product does look kind of neat, but we’re going to have to side with its detractors. Police today are just too jumpy — sometimes for good reason. And making your phone look like a weapon would make using the device to record police encounters a definite no-go.
It’s also worth noting that encouraging even a harmless digital version of Russian Roulette is pretty dumb.
Pavel Constantin, Romania
Greece is in a mess. The rich banksters and Greek leaders are each pointing loaded guns at one another in an old-fashioned Mexican standoff. Meanwhile, the people’s money is locked away in banks that are only doling it out a few bucks at a time. So, as usual, the people are the victims. Some have even been driven to dumpster diving for sustenance. So which noose will they get? And does it really matter?
Personal Liberty Digest™ will not publish a P.M. edition on July 3. On behalf of our staff, we wish readers a safe and happy holiday.
The arm of government that steers policies that affect children in the United Kingdom is seeking an outright ban on spanking.
The office of the Children’s Commissioner, which represents England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, warns that failing to ban spanking — or “smacking,” as The Telegraph calls it — will put the U.K. at odds with international law.
The four commissioners representing each of the U.K.’s constituent regions, the paper reports, “are demanding an ‘immediate’ repeal of all laws allowing parents to deliberately hurt their children.”
The commissioner’s office introduced the proposal to a U.N. committee in order to bring the U.K. into what they view as the necessary measure of compliance “under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a major international treaty dealing with issues as diverse as kidnapping or sex trafficking to the right to education and clean water.”
In addition, the commissioner’s office is proposing that the government get involved in schooling parents on alternatives to spank– er, smacking.
To steer parents away from hitting their misbehaving kids, the U.K. must introduce “non-violent forms of child rearing and behaviour management,” The Telegraph reports.
Government officials are constantly talking about the need for increased digital surveillance powers to track down terrorists and hackers who could do damage to U.S. infrastructure. But according to a report from a CIA-backed cybersecurity firm, federal agencies could prevent breaches by simply strengthening login credentials for their networks.
Recorded Future, a company partially funded by the CIA’s investment wing that analysis cyber threats, recently reported that at least 12 government agencies require nothing more than a basic password to access networks containing sensitive government information.
The tech security firm reported:
Recorded Future identified the possible exposures of login credentials for 47 United States government agencies across 89 unique domains.
As of early 2015, 12 of these agencies, including the Departments of State and Energy, allowed some of their users access to computer networks with no form of two-factor authentication. The presence of these credentials on the open Web leaves these agencies vulnerable to espionage, socially engineered attacks, and tailored spear-phishing attacks against their workforce.
According to the Recorded Future report, the lack of security means that passwords used for logging in to networks for the Departments of Defense, Justice, Treasury and Energy, along with the CIA and the Director of National Intelligence, are scattered throughout the Web, available to any bad actors willing to look hard enough.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy got together for a private meeting Monday during one of Paul’s presidential campaign stops in the Silver State.
Paul’s camp has deferred comment on what transpired between the senator and the anti-regulation rancher, leaving Bundy to recount what transpired when the two men — who share a common interest in getting government out of people’s workaday lives — spoke at length.
The encounter came after Bundy attended an event for the Kentucky senator’s presidential campaign at the Eureka Casino in Mesquite, Nevada. When the larger group dispersed, Bundy said, he was escorted by Paul’s aides to a back room where he and the Republican 2016 contender spoke for approximately 45 minutes.
The Nevada rancher said that he had expected only to have an opportunity to shake hands with Paul and make small-talk. He was surprised when campaign aides found a private room and allowed Bundy, his wife and son to speak with the candidate for the better part of an hour.
As you’d expect, the two reportedly talked mostly about federal land-use issues and states’ rights. “I don’t think he really understood how land rights really work in the western United States. I was happy to be able to sort of teach him,” Bundy told reporters.
The two appear to have parted with the understanding that they share plenty of common ground. Bundy told the AP he feels he and Paul are “in tune with each other.”
It’s nice to see a few presidential candidates, like Paul and Donald Trump, demonstrate a will to get their hands a bit “dirty” — at least by mainstream media standards. They’re engaging topics and personalities that the media has blacklisted and relegated to the junk pile of verboten PC tropes — regardless of their significance and relevance.
Paul evidently saw no problem in meeting with Bundy (and having that meeting publicized), despite Bundy’s bad round of publicity last year for an earthy (but not racist) take on the predicament of black folks in America. While Paul vehemently disagreed with Bundy’s language on that occasion, he didn’t allow the moment to form a wedge between his campaign and Bundy’s larger cause — a cause many libertarians and small-government conservatives can get behind.
Taylor Jones, Hoover Digest
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was a quote machine in his vehement dissent against this week’s majority opinion upholding Obamacare. The Supreme Court’s ruling pretty much “ignores the American people’s decision to give Congress ‘[a]ll legislative powers enumerated in the Constitution,'” he warned. Nevertheless, Obamacare is here to stay — at least for the foreseeable future. Hey, take a cue from Scalia: Just call it “SCOTUScare.”
A number of Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus are making a not-too-subtle overture toward their Democratic peers that, if carried to its logical conclusion, would result in the removal of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as speaker of the House.
Roll Call reported Thursday that members of the Freedom Caucus, incensed at Boehner’s retribution against conservative Republicans who stood against the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, have invited House Democrats to consider a motion to remove Boehner — all while insinuating which way GOP members of the Freedom Caucus would vote.
From Roll Call:
The House Freedom Caucus has a secret it wants to share with Democrats.
“If the Democrats were to file a motion to vacate the chair and were to vote for that motion unanimously, there probably are 218 votes for it to succeed,” one member of the House Freedom Caucus told CQ Roll Call Tuesday night, as he exited an meeting in the basement of Tortilla Coast.
If that’s true, Democrats could certainly use a vote to remove Speaker John A. Boehner as leverage in any number of upcoming battles: the Export-Import Bank, a highway bill, all sorts of spending measures. But absent any real talk from Democrats, the official response from Boehner’s communications director, Kevin Smith, was simply to dismiss CQ Roll Call’s reporter.
HFC Chair Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) told Roll Call the GOP leadership is “afraid” of blowback from its most conservative contingent, and that there’s reason to believe the number of Republicans who could sign on to such a movement could grow.
“The HFC looks ready for war, as does GOP leadership and more moderate Republicans who are sick and tired of conservatives voting against the team,” writes Roll Call “… and that could signal more retaliation to come from both sides.”
The Transportation Security Administration is pretty good at hassling travelers, but it is far less effective when it comes to finding dangerous contraband. ReasonTV’s resident satirical songwriter Remy has taken note with a parody of a teenybopper classic.
Ben Bullard reported on TSA incompetence for Personal Liberty earlier this month:
A new report has found that Transportation Security Administration security fails to detect bombs and explosive materials 95 percent of the time at airports where Homeland Security has conducted dry runs.
The Homeland Security Inspector General’s report, a result of an internal DHS investigation, revealed that “undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials,” according to ABC News, which first broke the story.
DHS officers posed as passengers at a number of major U.S. airports, succeeding 67 out of 70 times in smuggling bomb materials through TSA checkpoints. “In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down,” ABC reported.
Whether you agree with major U.S. retailers’ decisions to stop selling items that reference the most recognizable incarnation of the Confederate flag, you at least can’t deny them their freedom to choose which goods they offer for sale. If they want to censor their profits, hey — it’s their business.
But if you’re going to make a principled argument that selling Confederate-looking stuff is incendiary and bad, the least you can do is to stop selling it altogether — instead of simply confining your embargo to the isolated market where the conversation is hot.
The Daily Caller noticed Wednesday that Amazon.com, which announced it would halt all sales of Confederate-themed merchandise, appears to have enacted its self-imposed ban only at its American storefront. If you access Amazon through one of its foreign portals, though, it’s Star and Bars-a-plenty.
“[A]s of noon on June 24, Confederate products are still readily available on Amazon’s many foreign affiliates,” DC observed, displaying a screen capture of the evidence from an Amazon UK search:
Amazon UK, for instance, allows visitors to buy an aluminum sign, a wristband, and a bandanna, all emblazoned with the Southern battle flag.
… If you want a straightforward cloth battle flag, your best best may be the French Amazon, which still has it for sale, along with spin-off products like a notebook emblazoned with the flag and this canvas print mixing the flag with an attractive and scantily clad woman.
Even Germany, which has very strict laws banning the sale of Nazi-related products, has ample Confederate products …
Mindful that Confederate-themed product sales have recently soared at Amazon and other online retailers, the DC reminds people that “Americans are able to buy products on foreign Amazon websites.”
Ben Shapiro touched on the fallacy of censoring history in the name of inclusive probity in a column at Breitbart Wednesday.
“The banning of the flag from the statehouse does nothing to make the state less racist (in fact, the entire media seem eager to ignore the fact that 100 feet from the Confederate war memorial that carried the Confederate flag, there is a massive and beautiful black history monument on the statehouse grounds),” wrote Shapiro. “Neither does removing products from Amazon or removing monuments to historic American — yes, American — figures.
“… [B]anning history does no one any service; as George Santayana said, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.’ And those who destroy the past are complicit in that task.”