AP: Uh, Clinton's State Department Calendar Omits A Lot Of Meetings With Political Donors

So, remember the promise of transparency Hillary Clinton offered regarding financial donations, especially those going to her family non-profit, which she reiterated after scores of donations were discovered to be undisclosed? Yeah, she’s still not out of the woods on this front. The Associated Press reviewed Clinton’s official calendar when she served as secretary of state and found that scores of missing meetings with political and Foundation donors were omitted. AP added that these revelations only compound the growing concerns that Hillary isn’t trustworthy or honest, given how she and her minions seem to have been less than forthcoming concerning the documentation of her time as our top diplomat (via AP):

An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or omitted the names of those she met. The fuller details of those meetings were included in files the State Department turned over to AP after it sued the government in federal court.

[…]

The AP found the omissions by comparing the 1,500-page calendar with separate planning schedules supplied to Clinton by aides in advance of each day's events. The names of at least 114 outsiders who met with Clinton were missing from her calendar, the records show.

No known federal laws were violated and some omissions could be blamed on Clinton's highly fluid schedule, which sometimes forced late cancellations. But only seven meetings in Clinton's planning schedules were replaced by substitute events on her official calendar. More than 60 other events listed in Clinton's planners were omitted entirely in her calendar, tersely noted or described only as "private meetings" — all without naming those who met with her.

[…]

In one key omission, Clinton's State Department calendar dropped the identities of a dozen major Wall Street and business leaders who met with her during a private breakfast discussion at the New York Stock Exchange in September 2009, The meeting occurred minutes before Clinton appeared in public at the exchange to ring the market's ceremonial opening bell.

Despite the omission, Clinton's State Department planning schedules from the same day listed the names of all Clinton's breakfast guests — most of whose firms had lobbied the government and donated to her family's global charity. The event was closed to the press and merited only a brief mention in her calendar, which omitted all her guests' names — among them Blackstone Group Chairman Steven Schwarzman, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and then-New York Bank of Mellon CEO Robert Kelly.

Clinton's calendar also repeatedly omitted private dinners and meetings with political donors, policy sessions with groups of corporate leaders and "drop-bys" with old Clinton campaign hands and advisers. Among those whose names were omitted from her calendar were longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal, consultant and former Clinton White House chief of staff Thomas "Mack" McLarty, former energy lobbyist Joseph Wilson and entertainment magnate and Clinton campaign bundler Haim Saban.

There are many other CEOs listed in the story. The news organization asked for Clinton’s calendar and schedule back in 2013, but the State Department wouldn’t say they even had those documents. The Associated Press was forced to file a lawsuit against State to obtain the documents in 2015, which were then finally turned over for review. They noticed that unlike her planning schedule, her calendar was edited after each of the former secretary of state’s events. Clinton, Huma Abedin, and scheduling assistant Lona J. Valmoro held weekly meetings over her schedule and corresponded by email over Clinton’s plans daily. Whoever edited the calendar, which was kept on Microsoft Outlook, is unknown. Both Abedin and Valmoro now work on Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

While AP said that nothing seems to be particularly felonious regarding these calendar changes, the accuracy of Clinton’s record at State relating to “depictions of Clinton's access to political, corporate and other influences” could be skewed. For example, Clinton met with multi-millionaire and Clinton 2016 super PAC donor S. Daniel Abraham many times, but some of these meetings were listed as private with his name omitted for the record.

It’s these antics that reek of prevarication of accountability concerning the activities of Clinton's inner web of political donors and the donations that flow into her war chest from these people. It shows that Clinton may view herself as playing by a different set of rules. If not, then it’s the criticism that she's playing politics all the time, always thinking ahead of the next move. Both narratives are still heavily ingrained in the American public, which is why the ethical questions over donations to the Foundation and her self-inflicted wound relating to her email server have gained traction with voters.

Guy reminded us that the Clinton Foundation hasn’t been completely transparent at all. It seems neither can be said about her time at State, where, among other things, she tried to hide many a private meetings with high-level donors and corporate interests. Moreover, it doesn't help that Janice Jacobs, an ex-diplomat who was brought back to State to be its "transparency czar" gave the maximum individual donation to the Clinton campaign.

As for Clinton's emails, the Brexit vote might bury the latest, though serious nugget, where it appears that problems plaguing her server caused the State Department's official anti-hacking protections to be disabled. This will surely be revisited, but shows that the omitted meetings with high roller donors and server issues that impacted the official State network will remain salient issues. The IG report over this email fiasco pointed to the Clinton team never approaching State officials about her private email system, and that it would've never been approved if she had been forthright. Clinton had maintained that this system was allowed. It apparently wasn't and for good reason. Concerning her calendar changes, it will surely only increase the suspicion that supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have about the former first lady. For Trump, this is ripe cannon fodder to fire against "crooked Hillary."

McCarthy ‘Bewildered’ by HHS Abortion Mandate in California

On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services decided that abortion coverage in California's statewide insurance plans does not violate the Weldon Amendment. Churches in the state had filed a lawsuit against the rule, arguing it violated their religious conscience, but when HHS concluded its investigation, it said nothing to see here.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, along with a number of his colleagues, challenged that notion in a new statement.

The California abortion mandate on its face violates the plain text of the Weldon Amendment, which protects health care entities that do not participate in abortion against government-imposed discrimination. The text of Weldon—which has been renewed and signed into law annually for over 10 years—makes it clear that a 'health care entity' includes health insurance plans.

It's outrageous, the GOP leaders noted, that churches will be forced to offer abortion coverage under the mandate. Yet, the California health department argued that abortion is a “basic health service.”

Tell that to pro-life religious institutions that spend their lives protecting the right to life.

McCarthy and his colleagues met with HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell this week to express their "bewilderment."

Sessions: "Now It's Our Time"

As the United States faces growing tension to accept the theory of globalization, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) wrote in simple words on Friday that "no far off global government or union can command the loyalty of a people like their own country."

"Vague unions have no ability to call on the people to sacrifice for the common good. They seem incapable of making decisions and when they do, they have difficulty executing the decision," he went on to say.

He compared the U.S. election in November to Great Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union.  

"Too many politicians and pundits here in America have been woefully oblivious to, or in some cases complicit in, what is going on around us. The failed European Union experiment, and Great Britain’s rejection of it must serve as a wake-up call for all of us in America...

"I believe the American people too will choose independence this November,” he concluded.  

Read the entire piece here:

“The British people, our special friends and allies, deserve our full support following their sovereign and considered decision to leave the European Union. 

The people spoke from their hearts and with conviction. They considered deep and critical issues never discussed by the international elites. Their strong vote arose not out of fear and pique but out of love for country and pride of place. Their experience with a distant government in Brussels was given a long and fair chance to succeed. In the end, however, they concluded that the costs outweighed the benefits. Often, Britain makes changes that precede U. S. action. The Thatcher movement preceded the Reagan revolution. Both were victories for the people over outdated and corrupt forces. Both were achieved against powerful and determined establishment forces. Both resulted in historic and positive periods in their nation’s history.

Now it’s our time. The period of the nation state has not ended. No far off global government or union can command the loyalty of a people like their own country. Vague unions have no ability to call on the people to sacrifice for the common good. They seem incapable of making decisions and when they do, they have difficulty executing the decision.

Far better to celebrate the wonder and proven worth of good nation states and to work hard to use that foundation to build harmonious political and trading relations among the nations. This is the best basis for peace and prosperity.

In negotiations and relationships, national leaders should first ensure they have protected the safety and legitimate interests of their own people. This principle has been eroded and Brexit is a warning for America. Our British friends have sent the message loud and clear.

The interests of powerful international corporations, media, special interests, and leftist international forces are not coterminous with those of our people. This we must understand. The ultimate interest that our government is legally and morally bound to serve is that of our people.

Just as in the U.K., our November presidential election presents a stark contrast.  The establishment forces, the global powers, are promoting their values and their interests. They want to erode borders, rapidly open America’s markets to foreign produced goods, while having little interest in advancing America’s ability to sell abroad. These forces have zero interest in better job opportunities and higher wages for our citizens.

It has been known for years that the European Union has often served as a barrier to its members taking action that would serve their own interests. Perhaps nothing proves this more definitively than the current migrant crisis, where the EU has clearly been part of the problem, not the solution. 

And, consider the promotion of radical trade policies that erode the power of the people to control their lives. Millions upon millions of dollars from around the globe are being spent to get America to agree to the massive, twelve-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. While sold as a trade deal, in reality, the TPP is a Trojan Horse for yet another sovereignty-eroding global pact. If implemented, it would create a new governing body that would exercise power and make decisions that the United States Congress would be effectively powerless to block. Like the EU, each nation gets one vote.  Brunei and Vietnam get one vote as does the President of the United States.

We must remember that the European Union began as a seemingly benign economic agreement, and we must not forget, that as Secretary of State, with negotiating responsibility for the TPP, Hillary Clinton promoted it and called it the ‘gold standard’ for a trade deal.  That should give us all pause. This sovereignty eroding trade deal is in perfect accord with her globalist agenda.

Too many politicians and pundits here in America have been woefully oblivious to, or in some cases complicit in, what is going on around us. The failed European Union experiment, and Great Britain’s rejection of it must serve as a wake-up call for all of us in America. 

I applaud yesterday's strong and patriotic action taken by America's special friend, retaking its independence. I know that moving forward the deep and historic ties between Great Britain and America will grow ever stronger. I believe the American people too will choose independence this November.”

With Brexit, A Lot Seems To Be Grounded In Immigration

If there’s one thing that’s going to be discussed about the recent Brexit referendum, it’s immigration. The UK voted to leave the European Union last Thursday—and many Britons have had it with their inability to govern themselves as a sovereign nation. One man explicitly said he voted to stop the flow of immigration; he didn’t’ care about Europe or trade deals. Some were concerned about jobs, while others noted the pernicious system in which un-elected bureaucrats stuck their beaks into how the UK governs its affairs. One woman said what’s the point passing any sort of laws in the UK, when Brussels will change them.

Yet, immigration seems to be a huge issue, where many think that the massive influx of immigrants has placed an enormous strain on the country’s welfare state (via Daily Signal):

Stephen Booth, the co-director of Open Europe, a nonpartisan think tank based in London and Brussels, said that of the roughly 5 million net immigrants to the United Kingdom between 1990 and 2014, over three-quarters came from outside Europe.

But immigration from the European Union now makes up nearly half of the United Kingdom’s net inflow, Booth said. The combination of European Union expansion in 2004 and 2007—which brought in poorer countries like Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland—and the Eurozone economic crisis has influenced substantial internal immigration to Britain and its relatively strong economy.

Proponents of immigration say it has grown the British economy, increased tax revenue, and attracted skilled workers. But critics say immigration has overwhelmed Britain’s public resources, and changed Britain’s culture and values.

In a letter to the UK-based Guardian, Richard Mountford of Tonbridge, Kent said that this Brexit vote was a protest against mass immigration flow:

Britain voted to leave the EU in the month we learned that last year’s net migration to the UK was a record 335,000 people (UK population grew by half a million last year, 24 June). The vote was a protest against mass immigration and the linked issues of stagnant wages and rising rents. The EU needs to respond urgently by offering the UK (and any other member state that wants it) an opt-out from the free movement of people. This would address the main reason for the vote to leave, and make it perfectly legitimate for the UK government to offer a second referendum, rather than rush to start the exit process. An opt-out would also assuage anti-EU sentiments in several other EU countries

Here are more testimonials on Brexit. Again, immigration seems to be a substantial factor:

After the votes were counted, Britain voted 52/48 to leave the EU. UK Prime Minister David Cameron bet the mortgage by backing the “Remain” camp. He lost everything. He announced his resignation the morning after the vote. A new prime minister is projected to be installed sometime in October. Cameron is going to remain prime minister in a caretaker role.

Video: Likely Prime Minister-in-Waiting Boris Johnson Declares 'Brexit' Victory

If you haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and watch British Prime Minister David Cameron's resignation speech in the immediate aftermath his country's citizens defying the polls and shocking the world with an epochal vote to exit the European Union. Pressured by elements of the Tory and UKIP center-right, the Cameron pledged to allow the referendum back in 2013, then lobbied hard against the 'Leave' campaign. Labour's leadership did, too.  But a coalition of voters from across the ideological spectrum spurned warnings that an EU departure could be economically disastrous, choosing to cut ties with the supranational governing structure. The top reason cited by those who joined the 'Leave' majority was the restoration of national sovereignty.

Defeated, Cameron's address was short, conciliatory, magnanimous and humble. He said that new leadership will be needed to negotiate the UK's voluntary departure from the EU and vowed to resign before the Conservative Party's annual meeting in October. The man who is the odds-on favorite to succeed Cameron as Prime Minister is Boris Johnson, a conservative MP and the former Mayor of London. Johnson -- a leading face of the "Leave" campaign, and a provocative populist -- adopted a statesmanlike tone in declaring victory for the cause on Friday, seeking to reassure Britons on both sides of the 'Brexit' question that the UK will remain a stable and prosperous beacon of democracy. Amid much media hysteria, market volatility, and apocalyptic sore loserdom from some on the "Remain" side, Johnson's brief, focused speech was a welcome call for calm and unity. Watch:

Some people are now saying that was wrong and that people should never have been asked in that way. I disagree, it was entirely right and inevitable and there is no way of dealing with a decision on this scale except by putting it to the people. Because in the end this decision is about the people, the right of people in this country to settle their own destiny. The very principles of our democracy, the rights of all of us to elect and remove the people who make the key decisions in their lives. And I think that the electorate have searched in their hearts and answered as best they can in a poll the scale the like of which we have never seen before in this country. They have decided it is time to vote to take back control from a EU that has become too opaque and not accountable enough to the people it is meant to serve. In voting to leave the EU, it is vital to stress there is no need for haste, and as the prime minister has said, nothing will change in the short term except how to give effect to the will of the people and to extricate this country from the supranational system...

It is the essence of our case that young people in this country can look forward to a more secure and more prosperous future, if we take back the democratic control which is the foundation of our economic prosperity. We have a glorious opportunity, to pass our laws and set our taxes entirely according to the needs of the UK, we can control our borders in a way that is not discriminatory but fair and balanced and take the wind out of the sails of the extremists and those who would play politics with immigration. Above all, we can find our voice in the world again, a voice commensurate with the fifth biggest economy on earth. Powerful, liberal, humane, an extraordinary force for good in the world. The most precious thing this country has given the world is the idea of parliamentary democracy. Yesterday, I believe the British people have spoken up for democracy in Britain and across Europe and we can be proud of the result.

Before you go, read Charles C.W. Cooke's essay on next steps -- from the 'hangover' effect to the plodding steps toward formal extrication.

Bye Bernie Voters?: DNC Platform Committee Just Voted Down $15 Minimum Wage

Hillary Clinton's hopes of gaining Bernie Sanders supporters in the general election may have just been dashed. Unfortunately for her, the DNC platform committee has just rejected one of Sanders' most pertinent goals - the $15 minimum wage.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Drafting Committee member, urged his colleagues to vote for his amendment to ensure Americans have a "livable wage." Yet, when Rep. Elijah Cummings tallied the vote, the members had decided against it in a vote of 8-6.

Jeremy Adler, Communications Director for America Rising Squared, noted in a statement how unfortunate this result will prove to be for Clinton as she tries to draw progressive voters to her campaign.

"Hours before the platform committee voted it down, Bernie Sanders said his 'goal' was to get the DNC platform committee to adopt a $15 minimum wage," Adler said. "Their refusal to do so this afternoon is a glaring problem for Hillary Clinton, who Sanders supporters remain increasingly wary of backing. Today's vote by the platform committee only makes that already difficult challenge harder."

Sanders challenged Clinton at a Democratic debate in April for claiming she had always supported a $15 minimum wage. That, he made very clear, was not the case.

On Friday, though, he did ensure her she has his vote.

Seriously? After Voting to Leave, Brits Were Googling What the EU Is

The UK made history on Thursday by voting to leave the European Union, but based on Google searches after polls closed, it seems many Brits had no idea what they were voting for.

At approximately 1 a.m. Eastern time, long after the last vote had been cast, Google Trends reported that searches for “what happens if we leave the EU” more than tripled.

Moreover, the second most asked question in the UK after the referendum results came in was, “What is the EU?” Seriously.

"What is the EU?" is the second top UK question on the EU since the #EURefResults were officially announced pic.twitter.com/1q4VAX3qcm

— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) June 24, 2016

And it seems some people woke up with a case of buyer’s remorse.

"Even though I voted to leave, this morning I woke up and I just — the reality did actually hit me," one woman told a local news station. "If I'd had the opportunity to vote again, it would be to stay."

If your country is voting on a major issue, it’s probably best to do all your research before you head to the polls. Just a thought.

ICYMI: A Federal Judge Reeled In The Obama White House, Striking Down Regulations On Fracking

Well, while Eurosceptics celebrate their victory in the UK’s referendum on leaving the European Union, you probably missed an Obama-appointed federal judge striking down the administration’s regulations on fracking within federal lands. The judge ruled that the Department of the Interior does not have regulatory authority in this matter (via The Hill):

A federal judge appointed by President Obama struck down the administration’s regulation on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands on Tuesday, ruling that the Interior Department does not have congressional authority to regulate fracking.

The decision is a major loss for the administration, which worked for years to update its oil and natural gas drilling regulations to account for dramatic increases and innovations in fracking.

Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District Court of Wyoming agreed with the arguments of industry groups and a handful of Western states that said Congress had expressly forbidden Interior from getting into fracking with a 2005 law, with few exceptions.

“Congress has not delegated to the Department of Interior the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing,” Skavdahl wrote in his opinion published late Tuesday. “The [Bureau of Land Management’s] effort to do so through the Fracking Rule is in excess of its statutory authority and contrary to law.”

This is one of the many setbacks for the Obama administration’s energy agenda. In February, the Supreme Court issued a stay on the Clean Power Plan’s regulations for power plants. The plan is an ambitious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 30 percent by 2025 from 2005 levels. In the process, the CPP aims to torpedo the home budgets of almost everyone, including fixed-income seniors, due to increased energy costs. The plan seems to target rural Americans and pretty much every state that didn’t vote for Obama in 2012. Over half the states oppose the plan, with Democratic and Republican attorneys general filing a lawsuit over the plan.

To shed light on the massive increase in energy costs, West Virginia, already battered by Obama’s war on coal, is expected to see their bills rise by 20 percent. That’s devastating to any family. For those in the African American and Hispanic communities, the CPP could gut millions of jobs.

On September 6, 2016, states are required to turn over their blueprints for how they will tweak their respective economies to accommodate the CPP’s emissions goal. States that need more time could file an extension on the same day in lieu of a blueprint. States that do neither will be forced to adopt a federal model until they can draft a plan that’s agreeable to CPP.

So, while this is another legal victory against the over-regulatory state that Obama administration wants to impose, let’s not forget that the president is winning the war on coal. He’s forced into bankruptcy Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal company in the world due to his stringent regulations. As the legal war over CPP rages, Americans already know that their energy bills are bound to go up if the Obama White House emerges victorious. This underreported aspect of Obama’s regulatory agenda could be far more impactful on the socioeconomic fabric of the country than Obamacare. One thing is certain. If Hillary Clinton is elected in November, this plan will go into effect. Count on that.

West Virginia Governor Says 14 People Have Died in Devastating Floods

Update: The Associated Press has more information on the desperate situation in West Virginia.

A storm system dumped 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia and trapped 500 people in a shopping center when a bridge washed out. Dozens of other people had to be plucked off rooftops or rescued as waters quickly rose during the deluge.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's spokesman Chris Stadelman indicated this flood appears to be the worst in a century.

Original Post

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has just shared some tragic news as his state deals with devastating flooding.

Moreover, more than 100 homes have been destroyed. Tomblin called a state of emergency in a majority of the state's counties.

Obama Ensures World the US and UK Will Remain in ‘Close Contact’

President Obama took a few moments at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Palo Alto, CA on Friday to offer more reaction to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Even though the result was not one he had hoped for, Obama had no doubt the “special relationship” that exists between the U.S. and Britain will remain intact.

The president said he spoke with both Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned Friday morning, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Those conversations convinced him the U.S.-European relationship will remain strong and their “economic and financial teams will remain in close contact.”

In the aftermath of the historic vote, Obama indicated he was not worried that Britain’s newfound independence would create havoc in the region.

"I'm confident that the UK is committed to an orderly transition out of the EU," he said.

Stop Traffic: Even Gawker Says Democrats Are Fighting Over A Useless Gun Control Bill

Gawker might have angered both the political left and right with their stories, which finally caught up with them when they decided to release a sex tape featuring former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Hogan sued, he won a $100+ million judgment, and now the media company had to file for bankruptcy. Yet, as the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. And on the latest Democratic gun control push, Gawker is right to say that the “no-fly, no-buy” bill is a total disaster. Moreover, it's a real waste of political capital on a “useless” bill, but I won’t stop the trainwreck [Warning: it’s Gawker, so there’s some language]:

That certainly sounds like a solid principle on which to take a stand—terrorists shouldn’t have AR-15s! Meanwhile, most gun deaths in the United States are not caused by suspected terrorists armed with military-style semi-automatic rifles. The vast majority of gun deaths—suicides as well as homicides—are caused by handguns, and the majority of people firing those guns are not suspected terrorists (which invariably refers, in contemporary discourse, to Muslims, and no other groups or individuals dedicated to political violence).

The no-fly list is a civil rights disaster by every conceivable standard. It is secret, it disproportionately affects Arab-Americans, it is error-prone, there is no due process or effective recourse for people placed on the list, and it constantly and relentlessly expands. As of 2014, the government had a master watchlist of 680,000 people, forty percent of whom had “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” This is both an absurdly large number of people to arbitrarily target in gun control legislation, and far, far too few to have any meaningful effect on actual gun ownership, let alone gun violence.

Perhaps such a bill makes political sense as a sort of desperate attempt to get something through a conservative-dominated Congress. But if it is, as it appears to be, more of an effort to highlight the unpopular extremism of Republicans on gun issues, it is a stupid and counterproductive hill to theatrically die on. Almost any popular and previously debated gun control measure would have made a better symbolic lost cause. Democrats could be staging a sit-in in support of universal background checks* and waiting periods, nationally standard gun licensing and training requirements, and tougher restrictions on where and how guns are sold. All of those, or even any one of those, would have been more defensible both politically and morally. Instead House Democrats are going to the mat for a shitty, racist, useless bill.

I won’t go into whether the terror watch list is a facet of institutional racism; you can debate that amongst yourselves. But given that any gun control bill would certainly die in either chamber, maybe expanded background checks was the better cause to go after more forcefully than try to paint Republicans as pro-terrorist gun runners. Even someone who isn’t a politics or news junkie would probably laugh at that concept since a) it’s totally ridiculous (no one is for giving terrorists guns) and b) an absolute lie. Republicans stood their ground against an assault on the Constitution and due process of law after Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) 15-hour filibuster of a Department of Justice spending bill forced Senate Republicans to hold a vote on Democratic pro-gun control amendments they knew would go down along party lines.

Was it caving? Some certainly think so, but if you know the outcome is as certain as when you roll a ball towards the end of a table, there’s really no harm. You listen, hold a vote, and show that Democrats can’t pass anti-gun legislation that strips Americans of their gun rights without due process, which is unconstitutional. Democrats, on the other hand, have a chance to bash the National Rifle Association. Both sides save a little face, though it’s not Republicans fundraising off the victims of the Orlando attack, which provided the catalyst for the Senate filibuster and a clown show of a sit-in by Democrats on the House floor.

Nevertheless, Gawker reiterating that 40 percent of those on the master list maintained by the FBI have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation” just confirms what pro-Second Amendment supporters have been saying since San Bernardino—which is that this list is inaccurate and would curtail gun rights to those who really aren’t terrorists. Many aren’t even Americans, or legal aliens, so they can’t buy firearms. Legal residents can buy guns, but only if they enter their ICE-issued identification number of the ATF’s 4473 form to complete the background check. It just exposes that Democrats aren’t doing this for the victims of Orlando, for public safety, and for any person who was lost to gun violence. They’re shredding the Constitution in order to expand government power. More control; that’s what this is all about, along with a chipping away at an individual right that for some reason scares liberals to death. At the same time, who am I to stop liberals from crashing into the same wall (again)? When your opponent messes up, don’t correct them.

Farage: Obama ‘Insulted' Brits' Intelligence By Threatening Us to Stay in EU

UK Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage is perhaps the happiest man in Britain right now. The politician who dedicated his career to securing the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, watched as his life’s dream came true Thursday night.

Following the historic vote, Farage celebrated June 23 as Britain’s “independence day.”

He also weighed in on how Britain got here, noting in a victory speech that his fellow citizens were fed up with the EU's relaxed refugee policy and unaccountable leadership in Brussels.

“People here don't understand – they are too wealthy, they don't get – what open-door, mass immigrations, the result of EU-membership has done to people's wages, availability of getting GP appointments or their kids to go local schools.... I'm thrilled that we've done this.”

In a radio interview on Friday with Sirius XM and Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily, Farage suggested that President Obama’s pro-EU rhetoric also served to boost the Brexit campaign, because people don't take kindly to threats.

“When Obama came it was… ‘Project Threat’ to be honest with you,” he said. “Threatening people too much actually insults their intelligence and the lesson from the Obama visit is even more fascinating.  Here’s the most powerful man in the world coming from a country that we’ve always had a huge high regard for…and a lot of people in Britain said, ‘How dare the American president come here and tell us what to do?’ And, it backfired and I think we got an Obama – Brexit bounce because people do not want foreign leaders telling them how to think and how to vote.”

Now that Britain has completely ignored the U.S. president, Obama has said he respects their decision.

In Hawaii, Exercising Your Constitutional Rights Now Lands You On A Federal Database

They said they were going to do it—and now it’s done. Hawaii will become the first state to enter its gun-owning residents into an FBI database because law-abiding citizens should be feared, or something. This is the price you pay in the Aloha State for exercising your constitutional right to own firearms (via AP/Fox News):

Hawaii signed a bill Thursday to become the first state to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.

Gov. David Ige said in a statement that the legislation is about community safety and responsible gun ownership. He said it will help law enforcement agencies protect Hawaii residents and visitors.

State Sen. Will Espero, who introduced the bill, and the Honolulu Police Department said the measure could serve as a model for other states. However, critics believe gun owners shouldn’t have to be entered in a database to practice a constitutional right.

Most people entered in the program, known as the “Rap Back” database, are in “positions of trust,” such as school teachers and bus drivers Stephen Fischer of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division said in May. Hawaii is the first to add gun owners.

Hawaii News Now added that Gov. David Ige signed two other gun bills. One related to barring a person charged with “harassment by stalking and sexual assault” from owning firearms, while another would give police the authority to seize guns from someone due to mental illness. On its face, they seem reasonable, but what are the criteria to determine someone who is mentally unfit to own firearms? Is paranoid schizophrenia on the prohibited list? What about Asperger Syndrome? While the mentally ill are more of a danger to themselves than other people, there are certainly some mental illnesses that should prohibit those from owning guns. Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter, is a prime example. Yet, I’m not so sure about people who are diagnosed with autism or lesser developmental disorders.

As for the measure over stalking, of course, domestic abusers, rapists, and stalkers shouldn’t have access to firearms, but only after they’re convicted. Merely being charged sidesteps due process, so this whole bundle is just a mess. Yes, in the wake of Orlando, the killer, Omar Mateen, bought his guns legally, but seldom are law-abiding gun owners interviewed by the FBI due to repeated instances of raising red flags over terrorism. The goal of this database initiative is simply to monitor gun owners because they seem to be more of a threat than say…ISIS. It’s truly despicable.

It's Working: Blue Cross Exits Obamacare Market, GOP Rolls Out Replacement Proposal

When the nation's largest insurer announced its departure from a few Obamacare state exchanges last year, the law's defenders pooh-poohed the development as a blip on the radar. Then the health insurance giant pulled out of almost all markets, forcing apologists to insist that all was well because UnitedHealth's overall Obamacare marketshare was relatively small. Next, the company said it was closing up shop within Covered California, the massive exchange in America's largest state. And now we get word that another enormous insurer is edging away from participation in the law -- withdrawing not just from Minnesota's Obamacare exchange, but from the state's entire individual-based market:

Many Minnesotans will once again feel the sting of President Obama's dishonest "keep your plan" pledge, as the predictable consequences of his signature "accomplishment" are driving offerings out of existence:

Minnesota's largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has decided to stop selling health plans to individuals and families in Minnesota starting next year. The insurer explained extraordinary financial losses drove the decision. "Based on current medical claim trends, Blue Cross is projecting a total loss of more than $500 million in the individual [health plan] segment over three years," BCBSM said in a statement. The Blues reported a loss of $265 million on insurance operations from individual market plans in 2015. The insurer said claims for medical care far exceeded premium revenue for those plans. "The individual market remains in transition and we look forward to working toward a more stable path with policy leaders here in Minnesota and at the national level," the company stated. "Shifts and changes in health plan participation and market segments have contributed to a volatile individual market, where costs and prices have been escalating at unprecedented levels." The decision will have far-reaching implications. Blue Cross and Blue Shield says the change will affect about, "103,000 Minnesotans [who] have purchased Blue Cross coverage on their own, through an agent or broker, or on MNsure."

Risk pools have been sicker and older than expected, driving up expenses for insurers and resulting in losses.  A major Blue Cross Blue Shield study released this year determined that the cost of insuring new Obamacare enrollees is 22 percent higher than it is for consumers in the employer-based market. This law is failing across the board: On spiraling premiums, on out-of-pocket costs, on enrollment figures, on economic impact, and on cost curves.  It's hurting real, hardworking people and harming more Americans than it's helping, which is why it remains unpopular with voters.  Hillary Clinton, who effectively designed the scheme, believes it's working.  Republicans do not, which is why they've voted to repeal Obamacare on numerous occasions (with some successes), finally getting a full repeal bill to the president's desk this year.  Even though various individual members and coalitions have put forward specific and detailed replacement plans, one of the fair knocks on the GOP is that they've never offered a unified Obamacare alternative proposal.  That changed this week, as House Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled a 20,000-word plan that repeals virtually all of the law, while maintaining popular provisions like the '26-year-old' rule, and working to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions are able to obtain coverage.  Ramesh Ponnuru analyzes the particulars and writes that if Republicans eventually find themselves in a position to legislatively implement the plan, Obamacare will have set the table for its own replacement:

In the past Republicans have argued about how to reform tax policy on health care: Should employer-provided coverage remain untaxed, or should this tax break end? Should people without access to such coverage get a tax credit or a tax deduction? The House plan lets the tax break stay -- avoiding the political disaster that a less compromising free-market plan would have courted -- but trims it for the most expensive plans. And it offers those without employer coverage a tax credit. Republicans would not have resolved the issue that way without Obamacare. Offering a tax credit, instead of a deduction, would enable many more low-income people to buy coverage, but by the same token it eats up more of the budget. In the aftermath of Obamacare, though, Republicans realize that they need to minimize the number of people who lose coverage under a replacement.

A thorny issue for any health-care plan other than single-payer is how to handle people with pre-existing conditions. Obamacare’s approach is to prohibit insurers from considering these conditions. But that prohibition means people can wait until they get sick to buy insurance, threatening the viability of insurance markets. The Affordable Care Act attempted to solve that problem by requiring healthy people to buy insurance. The Republicans take a different approach. They too would keep insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions -- so long as those people had maintained continuous coverage. That regulation creates the opposite incentive from Obamacare’s total prohibition: Healthy people have a reason to buy insurance, so no further action needs to be taken to get them to do it...People who had not maintained continuous coverage, who do not have an employer plan and who cannot buy private coverage would be covered by subsidized high-risk pools.

Ponnuru concludes: "These ideas have no immediate prospect of becoming law. They look about as unlikely to carry the day as the ideas behind Obamacare did six years before it was enacted. The House plan makes it much more likely, though, that Republicans will be ready to act should they ever attain unified control of the government. And if that day comes, Obamacare will have paved the way for its own replacement."  Here's Ryan laying out broad strokes at AEI, followed by a panel discussion among the four committee chairmen who crafted the new blueprint:

The Speaker made reference to the essential importance Medicare reform in his remarks, which he has championed for years. I'll leave you with a reminder of why that challenge is so pressing. In short, if we do nothing, "Medicare as we know it" is on a rapid path to insolvency -- as entitlement spending remains by far the largest driver of our long-term debt crisis:

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates Medicare's insolvency date will arrive two years earlier, in 2026.

Five Must See Brexit Newspaper Covers

The Brits have spoken and they're leaving the European Union. Today's front covers, courtesy of the Newseum, tell the story: 

1.

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4.

5.

Keep calm and carry on, indeed.

Obama Stepped In It On Brexit–And It's Not The First Time Opening His Mouth Delivered Poor Results

UPDATE: UKIP's Nigel Farage said that Obama getting involved in the Brexit referendum gave the "Leave" camp a big boost (via The Hill):

“Threatening people too much insults their intelligence,” the United Kingdom Independence Party head said.

“A lot of people in Britain said, ‘How dare the American president come here and tell us what to do?’ ” Farage continued on Sirius XM’s “Breitbart News Daily,” citing Obama’s U.K. trip in April.

“It backfired. We got an Obama-Brexit bounce, because people do not want foreign leaders telling them how to think and vote.”

UPDATE II: I almost forgot to mention the 2014 midterms, folks. Obama campaigned for the Democrats in those elections and Republicans retook the Senate, increased their majority in the House, and made major gains at the state and local level. House Republicans gained their largest majority since 1928, the GOP controls two-thirds of the governorships, and they have the most elected state lawmakers since 1920. Oh, and they control 66/99 state legislatures.

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Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch cited President Obama sticking his beak in a British issue over the then-looming vote over whether the nation would remain in the European Union. Yesterday Britain made their choice known: they want out. And Mensch noted that once Obama decided to overreach and tell British voters that they should remain in the EU, support for the Leave camp increased. In the end, it seems to have been a contributing factor in the UK’s decision to say goodbye to the massive political project, long criticized, among other things, for usurping sovereignty among its member nations.

That point was referenced during the coverage of the vote last night by Fox Business’ Stuart Varney, who said that President Obama planned on calling Prime Minister David Cameron at some point today over the results, quipping that he’s probably going to apologize for “ruining the vote.”

In short, one could argue that Obama stepped in it—and it’s not the first time the president’s mouth has cost him or his allies politically. This is one of many failures brought on by Obama’s arrogance that his learned diction can sway minds. It certainly hasn’t worked on the Russians, who view him (rightly) as a lightweight. That’s how they’re able to buzz our warships with fighter jets and annex Crimea from Ukraine. It’s how Syria is still a mess. It’s how the security concerns over absorbing 10,000 Syrian refugees, some of which could be infiltrated by ISIS, haven’t subsided.

As I mentioned in a previous post on Obama and Brexit, the most thorough takedown of Obama’s false power of speech came from conservative commentator George Will, who said in 2011:

“He [Obama] went to Massachusetts to campaign against Scott Brown; Brown is now a senator. He went to New Jersey to campaign against Chris Christie, who is now governor. He went to Virginia to campaign against Bob McDonnell, who is now governor. He campaigned for the health care plan extensively; it became less popular. He campaigned in 2010 for the Democrats; they were shellacked. He began, in a sense, his presidency flying to Copenhagen to get Chicago the Olympics, Chicago is the first city eliminated. There is no evidence that the man has rhetorical powers that he’s relying on.”

Now, we can add Brexit to the list, and it’s a mighty consequential failure; one that is going to impact a whole generation of British citizens. For Obama, it’s just another failure. For Cameron, it could be the end of his political career.

Will European Countries Finally Close Their Borders After Brexit?

In 1985 the European Union ratified the Schengen Agreement, allowing citizens of most countries within the EU to travel across borders without a passport check. This is commonly referred to as "free movement." Some background

The Schengen Agreement abolished many of the EU's internal borders, enabling passport-free movement across most of the bloc.

Schengen is often criticised by nationalists and Eurosceptics who say it is an open door for migrants and criminals.

The 13 November Paris attacks, which killed 130 people, prompted an urgent rethink of the Schengen agreement.

There was alarm that killers had so easily slipped into Paris from Belgium, and that some had entered the EU with crowds of migrants via Greece.

In 2015, the influx of more than a million migrants - many of them Syrian refugees - also greatly increased the pressure on politicians, and one after another, EU states re-imposed temporary border controls.

But like most open border policies, the Schengen Agreement has been a disaster for Europe and controlling illegal immigration from North Africa and the Middle East, overwhelming the continent. Recently, the unprecedented refugee crisis from Iraq and Syria has put European leaders welcoming them under heavy pressure and scrutiny. As Germany and Sweden continue to rack up rape statistics, citizens are becoming rightly intolerant of open border, zero-questions asked immigration policies. 

If any one person drove the United Kingdom out of the European Union, it was Angela Merkel, and her impulsive solo decision in the summer of 2015 to throw open Germany—and then all Europe—to 1.1 million Middle Eastern and North African migrants, with uncountable millions more to come. Merkel’s catastrophically negative example is one that perhaps should be avoided by U.S. politicians who seek to avert Trump-style populism in the United States. Instead, the politician who most directly opposes Donald Trump—presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton—is doubling down on Merkelism.

Borders and sovereignty matter. As other countries consider leaving the EU now that Britain has led the way, they'll also consider taking their borders, sovereignty and safety back from the bureaucrats in Brussels.

Historic Peace Agreement in Colombia

A monumental peace agreement was signed in Havana, Cuba yesterday between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - otherwise known as FARC.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of FARC, Commander Rodrigo Londono (popularly referred to as Timochenko), agreed to the bilateral ceasefire alongside numerous foreign officials taking part in the ongoing process. This agreement is historic in that it may finally mark the beginning of the end of 52 years of fighting between the Marxist terrorist group and the Colombian government. More details are yet to be agreed upon and President Santos has promised a national referendum to give the Colombian people a final say.

Formed in 1964 by mostly rural farmers as grievances over land ownership boiled over, FARC has waged a war on the Colombian government ever since. The civil war has killed an estimated 22,000 people and has given the country a dangerous reputation for kidnappings. Despite their Marxist-Leninist ideology, FARC has made a killing off the illegal drug trade – their mainstay for financing military operations.

FARC’s hands were basically forced to the negotiating table in 2012 after Colombian forces, with help from the U.S., thinned their numbers by more than half. The agreement includes a demobilization plan for FARC fighters – they will turn in their arms to UN Commission centers - and more political participation for FARC members will be given. Rank and file FARC fighters will be granted amnesty and be expected to return to normal civilian life.

More is yet to be decided and the agreement includes provisions that may be very hard for some Colombians to swallow, but this could very well be the end of decades of bloodshed for the Colombian people.

Ryan: GOP Tax Plan Includes New IRS Commissioner

The House GOP has been busy in the past six months. Not only did they reveal their long-awaited Obamacare alternative on Thursday, but on Friday morning conservative lawmakers unveiled their plan for tax reform.

“I am sick of seeing businesses leave America," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Capitol Hill. “All Obama does is criticize businesses as they go out the door.”

The GOP’s new tax plan, Scalise continued, reorganizes the tax code and makes it easier for families to save for the future.

Most importantly, it will “rein in the IRS and put power back in hands of families.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who used to chair the House Ways and Means Committee, said he was “so proud” of his colleagues' hard work over the past half year. He offered a few more specifics about the GOP agenda.

Their plan will bring tax brackets down from seven to three, lower rates, bring the top rate down to 33 percent, close special interest loopholes, etc.

It will be so simple that “the average American can do their taxes on a postcard,” he pledged. 

“We want a tax code that works for taxpayers, not tax collectors."

Moreover, their plan cuts taxes for businesses and lowers the top tax rate to 25 percent.

In other words, less punishment, more reward for American entrepreneurs.

The IRS was a particular target of their tax plan, particularly after the agency intentionally made life extremely difficult for hundreds of conservative groups trying to get tax-exempt status. The rampant bias within the agency prompted Congress to call for the impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

“The IRS needs to get its act together,” Ryan said.

They are going to overhaul the agency, install a new commissioner, clear out the bureaucracy and "give taxpayers the privacy they deserve," he insisted.

Donald Trump: Brexit a 'Declaration of Independence'

In the early hours of Friday morning, just hours after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, Donald Trump gave a press conference from his private golf course in Scotland praising the decision.

"People are angry all over the world. They're angry over borders, they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are."

"They're angry about many, many things in the U.K., the U.S. and many other places. This will not be the last," he said while taking questions.

In a written statement, Trump reminded the international world the importance of sovereignty.

The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples. They have declared their independence from the European Union, and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy...

Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence...  

The Republican nominee also posted a number of tweets expressing similarities between his campaign and Great Britain's decisions.  

Revealed: Hillary Withheld Work-Related Email Proving Her Server Endangered Even More US Secrets

It's been an exceptionally busy news week, but this story warrants significant coverage, as it brings to light yet another national security-endangering consequence of Hillary Clinton's improper email scheme. As you already know, Sec. Clinton was personally and specifically warned in 2009 and 2011 about the serious IT security risks her unsecure set-up posed. She acknowledged these concerns, then did nothing. Now the Associated Press reports that technical difficulties plaguing her server in 2010 resulted in the State Department temporarily reducing and disabling its official system's anti-hacking protective measures as a work-around. Extraordinary:

State Department staffers wrestled for weeks in December 2010 over a serious technical problem that affected emails from then-Secretary Hillary Clinton's home email server, causing them to temporarily disable security features on the government's own systems, according to emails released Wednesday. The emails were released under court order Wednesday to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch, which has sued the State Department over access to public records related to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's service as the nation's top diplomat between 2009 and 2013. The emails, reviewed by The Associated Press, show that State Department technical staff disabled software on their systems intended to block phishing emails that could deliver dangerous viruses. They were trying urgently to resolve delivery problems with emails sent from Clinton's private server.

"This should trump all other activities," a senior technical official, Ken LaVolpe, told IT employees in a Dec. 17, 2010, email. Another senior State Department official, Thomas W. Lawrence, wrote days later in an email that deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin personally was asking for an update about the repairs. Abedin and Clinton, who both used Clinton's private server, had complained that emails each sent to State Department employees were not being reliably received...After technical staffers turned off some security features, Lawrence cautioned in an email, "We view this as a Band-Aid and fear it's not 100 percent fully effective."

In other words, in order to accommodate her not-allowed, malfunctioning arrangement, State deliberately placed its secure system at risk.  It's indefensible.  And it also exposes another major lie from Clinton, who's sworn under oath that she turned over all work-related emails as required.  This was alreadyknown lie, but this week's additional revelation helps illustrate how deep that lie was:

Former Secretary Hillary Clinton failed to turn over a copy of a key message involving problems caused by her use of a private homebrew email server, the State Department confirmed Thursday. The disclosure makes it unclear what other work-related emails may have been deleted by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. The email was not among the tens of thousands of emails Clinton turned over to the agency in response to public records lawsuits seeking copies of her official correspondence. Abedin provided a copy from her own inbox after the State Department asked her to return any work-related emails. That copy of the email was publicly cited last month in a blistering audit by the State Department's inspector general that concluded Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup violated federal standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers.

The Clinton campaign declined to comment, but the AP mentions her team's repeated assertions that the server was never breached. First of all, multiple credible, serious former and current Obama administration officials strongly disagree -- and it stands to reason: If sophisticated Russian hackers are breaking into the DNC, and the Chinese penetrated our OPM records, any intelligence service in the world should have been able to access Hillary's woefully-unprotected (and for a time, totally unencrypted) email server. Which, I'll add, contained thousands of classified emails, including top secret-and-above material. Second, not a single email scandal claim made by Clintonworld should be taken seriously.  Not one.  Meanwhile, the administrator of her bootleg server pleaded the fifth 125 times at a deposition this week.  A taste of how totally uncooperative and non-compliant he was during questioning:

The fifth amendment -- coincidentally under assault this week from posturing, hysterical Democrats -- ensures the right of an accused to party to not make self-incriminating statements. In this case, such statements apparently include such damning admissions as "yes, I have seen Cheryl Mills."  Perhaps Magliano's lawyers advised him to stonewall every single question from the Judicial Watch attorney because any other strategy might risk compromising a plea deal reached with federal investigators?  I'll add this: Donald Trump's penchant toward conspiracy-mongering is very troubling, but one of his least preposterous theories is that Bernie Sanders may be hanging around without conceding just in case this stream of dropping shoes eventually leads to a criminal prosecution.  "It doesn't appear that I'm going to be the nominee," he said on Wednesday, yet he remains in the race.  And why not hedge your bets, even if you publicly profess to be uninterested in the "damn emails"? I'll leave you with this reiteration of a crucial point above:

Obama: We Respect The Vote of The British People to Leave The EU

President Obama, who was recently in the UK lecturing the people to stay in the European Union, has released a statement after the Brexit victory. 

"The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy. So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond," Obama said. "The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world."

UPDATE: Joe Biden says they would have "preferred a different outcome."

"We preferred a different outcome. And I imagine many of you here felt the same way. But as the United States, having a long-standing friendship with the United Kingdom, one of the world’s great democracies, we fully respect the decision they have made," Biden said during a speech at Dublin's Trinity College Friday. "America’s special bond with the United Kingdom runs deep and it will endure."

After Brexit: With Britain Filing For Divorce From EU, Others May Follow Suit

UPDATE: Via the UK’s Express, Denmark and Italy have joined a chorus of nations pondering their own referendums. In Italy, Luigi Di Maio, vice president of the Chamber of Deputies, wants a vote on whether Italy should remain using the Euro. In Denmark, the leader of the Danish People’s Party said that his country should follow Britain with a Brexit-like referendum. The publication added that Sweden’s state secretary, Irene Wennemo, said that should Denmark move forward with a referendum on the EU, than “anti-EU sentiment could spread through Scandinavia and raise the possibility of a vote in Sweden.”

UPDATE II: UK Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned. Leah wrote about how Brexit fever is indeed catching on in other European nations.

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As Cortney wrote last night, the United Kingdom has filed for divorce from the European Union. Some are calling this the end of the massive decades-long political project that has bedeviled UK conservatives. These Eurosceptic tendencies within the Conservative Party was explicitly shown under the government of then-Prime Minister John Major when the Treaty of Maastricht, which established the European Union proper, was debated in the early 1990s. The division partially led to the destruction of Major’s government, paving way for Tony Blair to score a landslide victory in 1997.

Yet, before we hold a funeral for the European Union, other states have to follow. There are reports that politicians in the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Germany have made their voices know about leaving the European Union. On the UK’s domestic front, Ireland’s Sinn Fein demanded a vote on Irish reunification, saying that UK’s exit from the EU has erased the nation’s mandate on guiding the socioeconomic destiny of Northern Ireland, according to ITV News.

In France, National Front Leader Marine Le Pen said that the UK’s referendum showed that the EU was in a state of “decay,” and that she would push to hold a referendum vote for France. In the meantime, her niece tweeted congratulations to their neighbor across the channel.

It could be that the UK is clearing the way for the end of the EU. Let’s see what happens.

Sanders, Who Still Hasn't Dropped Out of Race, Says He'll Vote for Hillary

They may be in disagreement over a number of issues, but at the end of the day, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday morning that he will cast his vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November.

“Yes,” he said when asked on MSNBC whether he’d vote for the former secretary of state. “Yeah, I think the issue right here is, I’m going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump."

“I think Trump, in so many ways, will be a disaster for this country if he were to be elected president,” he added.

Sanders said he didn’t want to “parse words right now” when asked whether his vote would be for Clinton or against Trump.

“What I am trying to do right now is to make sure that the Democratic Party becomes a party that represents working people, not Wall Street, that is prepared to have an agenda that speaks to the need of creating millions of jobs, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, dealing with climate change, dealing with pay equity,” he said.

Sanders said he’s “pretty good in arithmetic” and knows Clinton has more delegates. But he noted he's he’s bringing 1,900 delegates into the Democratic National Convention. He said his goal is to reinvigorate the party, bring in "new blood" and have a party that represents working people.

He also explained why he’s not dropping out if he’s saying he’ll vote for Clinton.

“Why would I want to do that when I want to fight to make sure that we have the best platform that we possibly can, that we win the most delegates that we can and that we transform — the goal of our campaign was to transform this nation,” he said.

Brexit Fever: Leaders in Other EU Nations Now Calling for Referendums

Many feared if the UK voted to leave the European Union it would signal the end of the EU as we know it. Now that the votes have been cast in favor of leaving, it looks like that may be the case, as leaders in other European nations are now calling for referendums of their own.

France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen said the French must now also have the right to choose.

Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders said the Netherlands deserved a "Nexit" vote while Italy's Northern League said: "Now it's our turn". […]

The European parliament has called a special session for next Tuesday.

Analysts say EU politicians will fear a domino effect from Brexit that could threaten the whole organisation. […]

The EU worries Brexit could reverse 70 years of European integration.

In all my years watching European politics, I have never seen such a widespread sense of Euroscepticism.

Plenty of Europeans looked on with envy as Britain cast its In/Out vote. Many of the complaints about the EU raised by the Leave campaign resonated with voters across the continent.

Across Europe leading Eurosceptic politicians queued up this morning to crow about the UK referendum result.

But the mood in Brussels is deeply gloomy. The Brexit vote sends screaming alarm bells, warning that the EU in its current form isn't working.

"Victory for freedom,” Le Pen tweeted after the results came out. “As I've been saying for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and other EU countries."

Last week she said the EU was to blame for high unemployment and failing to stop the influx of “smugglers, terrorists, and economic migrants.”

Wilders was in agreement.

"We want to be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy,” he said in a statement. "As quickly as possible the Dutch need to get the opportunity to have their say about Dutch membership of the European Union."

Political leaders of opposition parties in Italy, Sweden, Germany, and other European countries are saying much the same.

Based on an IPSOS poll from May, it looks like a handful of EU countries may actually be ready to hold a similar referendum.