Why is Donald Trump running for president? Marc Hodak nails it. Trump is planning to auction the Presidency to the highest bidder.

Sure, he may be happy to win the presidency. He can go for it, and see how far he gets. But what happens when it becomes plain that he can't win, that he is only polling ten percent of the vote, or five percent of the vote? No matter; he still has what every dealmaker wants--huge negotiating power.

If his support would largely draw from a Republican candidate, he can go to, say, Jeb (or whoever wins the R slot), and propose to drop out if Jeb gives him X*. Or, he can got to his old pal Hillary (assuming she wins the D slot), and propose to stay in the race if he gets X.

The art of the deal is to have something that other people desperately want, and get them to bid on it. Imagine holding the keys to the White House, and the top candidates have to get them from you.


What's that cracking sound?

In this new video there are more scenes in the pathology lab where Planned Parenthood personnel and picking through body parts in a petri dish. At one point there is a cracking sound and a medical assistant says it's the cracking of the baby's skull.

Dr. Ginde laughs and says, "It's a baby."


Ohio Democrat State Representative Bill Patmon reminds us that nearly two-thirds of abortions in America are of black babies. He says that the "black lives matter" activists should be standing in front of Planned Parenthood.

(HT: Stephen Kruiser and Ed Driscoll.)


Planned Parenthood kills born-alive infants for their body parts.

In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Ginde at the abortion-clinic headquarters of PPRM in Denver to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs. When the actors request intact fetal specimens, Ginde reveals that in PPRM's abortion practice, "Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact."

Since PPRM does not use digoxin or other feticide in its 2nd trimester procedures, any intact deliveries before an abortion are potentially born-alive infants under federal law (1 USC 8). ...

As the buyers and Planned Parenthood workers identify body parts from last fetus in the path lab, a Planned Parenthood medical assistant announces: "Another boy!"


Ed Morrissey is right that Planned Parenthood would prefer to focus on the legality of their actions rather than the underlying truth: human organs come from human beings.

Planned Parenthood wants to keep the debate on these points to deflect from the real debate -- the nature of abortion itself, and the deliberate minimization in language that has allowed it. Abortion defenders claim that the procedure does not terminate life, and that it has no more moral meaning than excising a tumor or a cyst, a "clump of cells" in the most common construction. ...

The true danger to Planned Parenthood and the entire industry is the exposure of their hypocrisy. The two positions of "clumps of cells" and negotiating over human organs from abortions are mutually exclusive. One cannot extract human organs from "a pile of goop," or from tumors or undifferentiated "clumps of cells." Human organs come from human beings, and the only way to harvest them from unborn human beings is to kill them first. The videos cut through all of the misdirection, all of the antiseptic generalities used in defense of abortion, to expose its true nature -- and that's what has Planned Parenthood panicked over the videos.


The IRS scandal marches on -- new Lois Lerner emails have been found three years after we were told they'd all be "accidentally" destroyed. At least one of the emails gives conclusive proof that the IRS intentionally harassed conservative groups and evaded Congressional and judicial scrutiny.

The email shows that the IRS sent out intrusive inquiry letters to at least one organization purely as a stall tactic.

As Glenn Reynolds says: Tar. Feathers.

In one Nov. 3, 2011, exchange between Ms. Lerner and Cindy Thomas, a program manager in the Cincinnati office that was handling the cases and was involved in a back-and-forth with Washington, the IRS admitted to having hundreds of cases stacked up and awaiting action.

Afraid of congressional pressure, Ms. Thomas ordered one of the inquiry letters to be sent, just to prevent one of the organizations being held up from complaining.

"Just today, I instructed one of my managers to get an additional information letter out to one of these organizations -- if nothing else to buy time so he didn't contact his Congressional Office," she wrote in the email released by Judicial Watch.

Ms. Thomas said she feared a judge would get involved soon and order the IRS to move the applications more quickly.

That email exchange did confirm that IRS employees in Washington were deeply involved in making decisions about the nonprofit groups' cases.


I've tried hard not to write about Donald Trump. He's a circus act, and the only thing he cares about is himself. He blathers on, talking "tough" and insulting everyone in sight, but it's all a show, and it's all about him. Despite all that, if he breaks from the Republicans and runs on a third-party ticket he will deliver the presidency to Hillary Clinton. Is it time for despair? I don't know. I've had high hopes for a while (years?) that we'd get a great, patriotic president in 2016, but maybe it's just a fantasy.

And while happy talk (some of which I've indulged in myself) may dismiss Trump as this year's flash-in-the-pan like the 2012 Republican also-rans, right now he's more likely a version of Ross Perot in 1992 -- the man who got Bill Clinton elected. Perot managed to convince people he was only in it to talk about the deficit and the national debt when it was probably more the case he was running out of a long-standing personal animus toward George H.W. Bush and a desire to deny him the presidency based on an imagined slight. Trump doesn't even have a real issue to bring in Democrats and Republicans dissatisfied with their choices. Trump is Trump's issue.

These are unhappy times in the United States, and unhappy times generate unhappy political outcomes. Last week I made the case for despair following the Iran deal. I know people always want commentary that offers a path forward, a way out of trouble, a hope for something better. Sometimes, though, you just have to sit back and despair at the condition of things, and maybe from the despair some new wisdom may emerge.


Forget the Presidency -- will Hillary Clinton even be the Democrat's nominee? Hang in there Hillary!

Earlier, D.C. Whispers reported on federal investigators' request to initiate a full on CRIMINAL investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal due, at least in part, to Mrs. Clinton's alleged and purposeful destruction of classified material she kept on a private email server. Apparently this development is but one of several now plaguing a Hillary Clinton campaign that has a candidate who often appears "lost, confused, tired, and angry." ...

This past week saw campaign operatives trying to figure out how to break the news to candidate Clinton regarding her sudden drop in several battleground states that show her losing by wide margins to potential rivals like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker. When that news was finally delivered, Hillary Clinton is said to have initially brushed it off.

Mere hours later she proceeded to lash out her handlers, and then went on to blame what she perceives to be "unfair media coverage."


The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community says that Hillary Clinton send classified emails through her personal email server. The IG only checked 40 out of 30,000 emails, and he found 4 classified emails.

An internal government review found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent at least four emails from her personal account containing classified information during her time heading the State Department.

In a letter to members of Congress on Thursday, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community concluded that Mrs. Clinton's email contains material from the intelligence community that should have been considered "secret" at the time it was sent, the second-highest level of classification. A copy of the letter to Congress was provided to The Wall Street Journal by a spokeswoman for the Inspector General.

The four emails in question "were classified when they were sent and are classified now," said Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for the inspector general. The inspector general reviewed just a small sample totaling about 40 emails in Mrs. Clinton's inbox--meaning that many more in the trove of more than 30,000 may contain potentially confidential, secret or top-secret information.


Here's a list of companies that support Planned Parenthood and crushing babies to harvest their organs. If you work for one or patronize one, call them or send an email asking about their support for Planned Parenthood.

  1. Adobe
  2. American Cancer Society
  3. American Express
  4. AT&T
  5. Avon
  6. Bank of America
  7. Bath & Body Works
  8. Ben & Jerry's
  9. Clorox
  10. Coca-Cola
  11. Converse
  12. Deutsche Bank
  13. Dockers
  14. Energizer
  15. Expedia
  16. ExxonMobil
  17. Fannie Mae
  18. Groupon
  19. Intuit
  20. Johnson & Johnson
  21. La Senza
  22. Levi Strauss
  23. Liberty Mutual
  24. Macy's
  25. March of Dimes
  26. Microsoft
  27. Morgan Stanley
  28. Nike
  29. Oracle
  30. PepsiCo
  31. Pfizer
  32. Progressive
  33. Starbucks
  34. Susan G. Komen
  35. Tostitos
  36. Unilever
  37. United Way
  38. Verizon
  39. Wells Fargo


Here's a disturbing video in which Planned Parenthood's director of medical research Deborah Nucatola describes how they carefully crush babies while avoiding the organs they plan to sell to medical researchers for profit.

Antiabortion groups also said the callous nature of the discussion captured on film should tug at viewers' consciences -- particularly when Nucatola apparently describes "crushing" the fetus in ways that keep its internal organs intact and her remarks about researchers' desire for lungs and livers.

"I'd say a lot of people want liver," she says in the video posted on the Center for Medical Progress's Web site, between bites of salad. "And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance so they'll know where they're putting their forceps."

She continues: "We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part, I'm gonna basically crush below, I'm gonna crush above, and I'm gonna see if I can get it all intact."


New models of the solar cycle predict that the earth could enter a mini ice age in the 2030s, a prospect much scarier global warming. Life tends to flourish in warm eras and is strangled in the cold.

A mini ice age could hit the Earth in the 2030s, the first such event to occur since the early 1700s. New mathematical models of the Sun's solar cycle developed at Northumbria University suggest solar activity will fall by 60 percent, causing temperatures on Earth to plummet.

The last mini ice age occurred between 1645 and 1715 and caused global temperatures to fall dramatically, with London's River Thames freezing over during winter and sea ice extending for miles around the UK. The prolonged cold snap, known as the Maunder Minimum, was due to sunspots becoming exceedingly rare, as observed by scientists at the time.


Argh! Being a conservative is maddening sometimes. Ok, frequently. Trump jumps to top of Republican candidate field, followed by Jeb Bush and Rand Paul. Really? Look... any of these people -- almost anyone at all -- would be better than Hillary Clinton ( ed. -- that's what you thought in 2008) but these guys are hardly my first choices. Trump would be an interesting President I guess, but he feels like a sideshow. Nominating another Bush would be intentionally throwing the race. Rand Paul is a smart guy, but some of his policy views are just wrong for America.

The more I read about the candidates, the more I like Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina.


This pithy brilliance is why I read Ann Althouse: couples taking pictures with their "sex contracts" are mimicking weddings.

"I suddenly realized what's happening. This is a stand-in for a wedding ceremony."

"The fundamental idea is that sex is a component of marriage, not an activity to be undertaken lightly. What is revealed is a belief that consent is actually not enough, and this additional ritual, with a contract and photography, is a simulacrum of a wedding."

I write, over at Facebook, on a post about a National Review article titled "Students Told to Take Photos With a 'Consent Contract' Before They Have Sex."

At the linked article we read:

A "yes means yes" advocacy group, the Affirmative Consent Project, is instructing college students to take a picture with a contract before they have sex with each other just to make absolutely sure both parties are officially consenting.

In fact, the group has been distributing contracts to schools nationwide as part of its Consent Conscious Kit, according to an article in the Washington Examiner.

If no camera is available, students are encouraged to fill out the form on the back of the contract which states, "On this date [fill in the blank], we agree to have consensual sex with one another" followed by a space for students' printed names and signatures.


Does anyone believe that the new Greek deadline is for real? We've heard about "deadlines" for five years. There are no such things as real deadlines in international politics. (Daily Mail, as always, has the best pictures illustrating the ongoing unraveling of Greece.) Greece is a mess. I'd love to hear the various presidential candidates describe what Greek policies -- not negotiating tactics -- have led to this sorry state of affairs.

The International Monetary Fund called last week for European states to accept longer repayment periods and lower interest rates on their loans to Greece. Many economists say that Greece's debt burden, at almost 180% of annual GDP, is unsustainable for a country its size.

Greece has been granted two bailout programmes worth a total of €240 billion euros (£172 billion) in loans from other eurozone countries and the IMF.

But the spending cuts and tax increases demanded as a condition for the loans have hit growth, sending the country into a six-year recession and pushing unemployment to 25%.

As talks broke down between the Eurozone countries and Greece in Brussels last night, European Council president Donald Tusk said: 'I have no doubt that this is the most critical moment in the history of the EU.

'The stark reality is that we only have five days left to find the ultimate agreement.

'Until now I have avoided talking about deadlines, but tonight I have to say it loud and clear that the final deadline ends this week.'


I don't agree with all the policy prescriptions the President laid out in his remarks, but President Obama's eulogy for Pastor Clementa Pinckney may be the best speech of his career.

We continue to pray for the families of the victims at Mother Emanuel, for our country, and for Christians facing persecution around the world.

(HT: James Taranto.)


A question I've long pondered without any convincing answer. As an American (and conservative) I think the Declaration of Independence is awesome sauce, but it significantly realigned the relationships between God, government, and citizens. Is citizen sovereignty more in line with God's will than divinely appointed kings?

The key to this is to be found in the second sentence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. -- That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. -- That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

Before the declaration, the standard political theory went something like this: God anointed a king, who is the locus of sovereignty on earth. Though the king is supposed to rule decently, it is the duty of everyone else to submit to the king, who is answerable only to God. The king might grant you rights, but if he did so that was an act of generosity on his part, not an entitlement on yours.

Divine-right political theory was understandably popular with kings and their supporters and hangers-on, and a form of it survives in assorted variations today. But the declaration takes a different approach. It says that rights come from God, not from the king, and that they are "unalienable" -- that is, incapable of being sold ("alienated") surrendered, or given away.

We Americans talk a lot about our God-given rights, but what scriptural authority do we rest these rights on? In Romans 13:1-7 Paul writes:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

So God instituted the authority of King George III and the American founding fathers rebelled against it... right?

In John 19:10-11 Pilate is questioning Jesus, who refuses to answer his questions.

So Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?"

Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above."

Jesus clearly asserts that Pilate's authority was given to him by God. Jesus does not oppose Pilate's secular authority despite his supremacy as God.

Thus, my quandary. I love the philosophy behind the Declaration of Independence, but I struggle to justify it scripturally. There are certainly other potential justifications for the belief in "God-given rights" (e.g., nature, love, submission to God rather than men, etc.) but the Bible gives no direct support that I can find.


rope press.jpg

This is pretty hilarious: Hillary herds reporters with a rope. The text doesn't really do the included video justice. It's not just that the press was contained in a roped-off area... Hillary's aides hold ropes in their hands, surrounded the reporters, and then pushed the herd along by moving the ropes as Hillary walked.

Campaign aides for Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton on Saturday roped off reporters from the candidate as she walked and talked with potential voters during a July Fourth parade in New Hampshire, sparking frustration from the press corps and outrage from the state Republican Party.

"Hillary Clinton continues to demonstrate her obvious contempt and disdain for the Granite State's style of grassroots campaigning," New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn said in a statement. "The use of a rope line at a New Hampshire parade is a sad joke and insults the traditions of our first-in-the-nation primary."


The shooting last night at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston seems obviously motivated by race, but it also specifically targeted Christians at worship. The shooter is still at-large. Pray for the victims, their families, and the law enforcement officers who are risking their lives to catch the killer.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (CBS Atlanta/AP) -- A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday night, killing nine people, including the pastor, in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime.

The shooter remained at large Thursday morning and police released photographs from surveillance video of a suspect and a possible getaway vehicle.

CBS News reports worshippers were at the church at the time for Bible study.


For your financial entertainment here are two very different approaches to family finances. First, here's a name-dropping advocate for "wife bonuses".

As I stroll around the mall on a recent trip to Houston, Texas, moving from designer store to designer store, my mind is crunching numbers. Will I splurge on the elegant $750 French navy Chanel ballet pumps that I've been lusting after for months? Or shall I be pulling out my gold card to grab a pair of limited-edition $800 Louboutins, with striking red Valentine's hearts on the toe, to match their distinctive sole?

As I tally up the total, I can't help but smile -- I can easily stretch to both pairs of shoes, and still have plenty left of my five-figure bonus.

These pricey pairs of designer footwear will join a lineup of Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Diane Von Furstenburg and Rupert Sanderson heels and a closet crammed with handbags from Prada, Chanel and Anya Hindmarch. Every single one was bought with one of my annual bonuses -- the nod from a happy boss for a job well done.

But, in this case, the boss in question is my husband, Al. The role he's rewarding me for is my work as a stay-at-home wife and mother. And the luxury labels are purchased with the "wife bonus" -- 20 percent of his own company bonus -- that I'm proud to receive for putting his career before my own, and keeping our lives together.

Second, single-digit millionaires who live more frugally than they have to.

There were common threads in this group. These were people who had all made the money in their own lifetimes and done that as much by saving, investing and making careful choices about spending as by making large salaries.

One of the big choices was what they spent money on. A common thread was frugality about cars. Not only did they buy modestly priced vehicles, they kept them for a long time.

But fancy cars were more of a proxy for unnecessary purchases. Steve Ingram, a real estate and oil and gas lawyer in Albuquerque, said he and his wife simply didn't care that much about material possessions.

"We have some nice things, but I drive a car for 10 years and then trade it in and get another car for 10 years," he said. "We like to travel, and we'll spend the money for that because it's worth it having a real experience together."

There are many paths you can follow in life. Scout ahead and see where your choices will take you.

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