The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hillary vs. Hillary

Ahhh. The political conventions are over. The hype is done. And now its time for the real mud-slinging to begin. Americans are faced with two bad choices.

Donald Trump—a man who appears to be one question deep, who is a blowhard and a narcissist; who shows little evidence of discipline on the campaign trail; who paints a dark (and in my view, generally accurate) picture of our current situation; a pugnacious non-politician who has tapped into an anger that pervades a large portion of the citizenry.

Hillary Clinton—a woman (a gender characteristic she will market repeated) who has been in and around politics for decades; who tells us (against all evidence) the Barack Obama's presidency has led to the best of times and she will continue it; who has been mired in scandal for decades; who has been demonstrably dishonest for decades, who is corrupt—not in the minor ways that most politicians are corrupt—but in ways that are shocking, who as a carpetbagging Senator accomplished little or nothing and as Secretary of State failed repeatedly in ways that have led to an unstable world.


Kim Strassel has an interesting take on the coming 100 days:
... This is, essentially, a one-person presidential race.

It’s Hillary against Hillary. This November is about whether Americans can look at 40 years of Clinton chicanery and nearly a decade of broken Obama promises, and still pull the lever for her. Not that Donald Trump doesn’t matter. He does, in that he can help sharpen those concerns. But Hillary is the main event.

The polls bear this out. Aside from his recent convention bump, Mr. Trump’s numbers have been largely consistent. Whether he leads or trails, and by how much, is mostly a function of voters’ shifting views on Mrs. Clinton. Lately her poll numbers have been devastating.

A CNN survey this week showed 68% of voters say she isn’t honest and trustworthy—an all-time high. CBS found virtually the same number: 67%. In the CNN poll, meanwhile, only 39% of voters said they held a favorable view of Mrs. Clinton. This is lower than any time CNN has polled Hillary since the spring of 1992—before she was first lady.

Mr. Trump’s poll numbers also bear this out. He is currently leading in the Real Clear Politics average despite no real ground game, little real fundraising, little policy message, a divided conservative electorate, and one of the messiest conventions on record. As of June 30, Mrs. Clinton and her allies had raised a stunning $600 million, which is already being spent to trash Mr. Trump. Yet to little or no effect. Mr. Trump is hardly a potted plant, but even if he were . . .

Mrs. Clinton’s problem is Mrs. Clinton. She is running against her own ethical morass. Already she was asking voters to forget about cattle futures and fake sniper fire and Whitewater and Travelgate. Then she chose to vividly revive the public nausea with her self-serving email stunt and her Clinton Foundation money grubbing.
The Three Monkeys Democrats are willfully blind to Hillary's sordid history—telling us that she's a champion of little children and a defender of Women's rights (queue the lilting background music). They have convenient amnesia about of lot of other less complementary stuff. Donald Trump will assuredly work to remind the voting public of all of that stuff.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hillary & Boko

The Dems and their trained hamsters in the media—embarrassed by the DNC leaks that disrupted their convention and reinforced the notion that the political fix for Hillary Clinton was in—decided that they had to change the subject as quickly as possible. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their legion of supporters in the media flew into action blaming the Russians (although there is no hard evidence to support that claim) and then suggesting that Donald Trump was somehow in league with Vlad Putin. After Trump asked the Russians to find the 33,000 emails that Hillary unilaterally deleted from her private servers, there were screams of "treason!"

But why? After all, Hillary has told us that the 33,000 deleted emails have no security value—they were about birthday parties and yoga—all 33,000 of them. And besides, although there is a 99.999 percent probability that her server was hacked by our adversaries, including Russia, before she deleted the emails, Hillary's supporters lean on the FBI claims that there is no evidence of a hack. The only problem is that state-sponsored hacks leave no meaningful evidence.

Tonight, Hillary will tell us why she'd make a good president. Maybe she can begin by telling us why in 2011 and 2012 she directed the State Department to block the designation of Boko Haram—one of the most vicious and murderous Islamic terror groups—from receiving the official terror designation. She tells us that she's an advocate for women and children. If I recall correctly, Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of female children, brutalized them, and then turned them into sex slaves. Hmmm, I guess her advocacy for children and women only goes so far.

Patrick Pool reports:
... Boko Haram began to ramp up its terror campaign in 2011 and 2012, Hillary Clinton obstructed the official terror designation of the group over the objections of Congress, the FBI, the CIA and the Justice Department.

Why did Hillary Clinton's State Department drag its feet on the terror designation in the face of near unanimous opposition from the rest of the U.S. government?

A recent series of reports exposes that a close Clinton family confidante -- and Hillary campaign bundler -- profited from Nigeria's lucrative oil fields. He engaged in multiple illegal deals throughout Africa.

Also, other donors to the Clinton Global Initiative are deeply involved in Nigeria's corrupt oil industry.

Were they the motivation behind Hillary's inexplicable position on Boko Haram?

As PJ Media's Bridget Johnson has previously asked, is Boko Haram Hillary Clinton's biggest scandal? Hillary Clinton is set to accept the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States. Why is no one in the media talking about Hillary and Boko Haram?

It is worth nothing that Congress had to drag a reluctant State Department kicking and screaming to get Boko Haram designated in November 2013, after Hillary Clinton had left office.
I know, I know, Hillary Supporters (a.k.a., the three monkeys) argue that yet again, this is a right wing conspiracy, that yet again, there's no smoking gun, that yet again, poor Hillary is just a victim. There are dozens of 'yet agains,' but no matter, Hillary gets a pass—by the Democrats, but the media, and by a government that is disinterested in her brand of corruption. The problem here and in virtually every instance of 'yet agains' is that pesky facts indict the Democrats chosen candidate. Lots of facts.  With copious links to expanatory data, Patrick Pool writes:
Hillary Clinton's willful obstruction in the matter is easy to document:

  • Members of Congress discovered in 2014 that the Clinton State Department intentionally lied and downplayed the threat from Boko Haram, and worked to kill bills in both the House and the Senate calling for their designation in 2012.
  • As Reuters reported, the Justice Department's National Security Division strongly urged the State Department to designate Boko Haram, but then a group of 21 American academics rallied to the State Department's aid by sending a letter to Hillary Clinton strongly arguing against Boko Haram's designation.
  • We also now know that the Obama administration was sitting on intelligence -- obtained as a result of the Bin Laden raid -- that revealed Boko Haram's direct connection to al-Qaeda and the international terror network in 2011 and 2012. In other words, Hillary's State Department was arguing that Boko Haram had no such connections, that it wasn't a transnational terror threat, even though the Obama administration -- and likely Clinton herself -- knew that was false.
But there's a larger point to be made. Corruption—and HRC is C-O-R-R-U-P-T—is corrosive. Instead of doing what's right, a truly corrupt politician does what is profitable or what allows that politician to consolidate power. As a consequence, bad actors, bad ideas, and bad policy become part of the political landscape, and in the process everyone but the friends of the politician gets hurt.

That's the America that we'll get with Hillary Clinton. Buckle your seat belts—it's going to be a rough, nasty, and discouraging ride.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


It appears that certain rather important topics are virtually off-limits at the democratic national convention. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, there has been no mention of Islamic terrorism—none. That may be because any mention reminds the viewing audience just how feckless the Democrats have been in their approach to "violent extremism" over the past eight years.

But another topic also goes unmentioned—the national debt, now approaching $19.4 trillion dollars. Actually, establishing the debt as a forbidden topic is completely understandable, given that the Dems are suggesting a laundry list of wildly expensive new entitlements with no plausible way to pay for them except their old standby—tax the "rich." Since the "rich" are very good at avoiding taxes and their candidate, Hillary Clinton is in their pocket (both literally and figuratively), the taxes the Dems talk about will trickle down to the middle class, will strangle what little economic growth we have experienced in the past eight years, will costs jobs, and will otherwise send us into yet another recession.

Paul Suderman discusses this when he writes about progressive darling Elizabeth Warren and her convention speech, a presentation that expanded upon Bernie Sanders list of new entitlements and giveaways:
Warren's speech ... showed that Democrats have become the party of really bad economic policy ideas. The party has essentially committed to almost totally ignoring federal debt in favor of promoting an ever-expanding laundry list of benefits, programs, and subsidies, consequences be damned.

Warren didn't mention national debt or deficits at all in her speech last night. That seems frustratingly normal now, because over the past few years, Democrats have heavily downplayed the issue.

This wasn't always the case. Just a few years ago, the budgetary burden of high debt and deficits was a regular Democratic talking point. President Obama's 2008 speech accepting the party's nomination for president, for example, attacked rival John McCain for refusing to back down from Iraq while America is "wallowing in deficits."

The common response from the left these days is that they worry less about the budget because the deficit is down. It's true that annual deficits have fallen from their $1 trillion-plus peaks during Obama's first term. But the deficit—the nation's annual gap between spending and tax revenue—is on the rise again, heading towards about $600 billion this year after a couple years below $500-billion.

That's not a one-time glitch, either: As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has been warning for a while, deficits are likely to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

And that brings us to the real problem: the ever-growing federal debt. Interest payments on federal debt are on track to become the nation's third largest spending category. The CBO has warned repeatedly that this level of debt constrains our policy options in both the short and the long term. And while interest rates may be conveniently low for the moment, making debt service relatively pain free, the nation's current budgetary trajectory is ultimately unsustainable. Something will have to give.
Eventually, something will have to give, but at the moment, the Dems are perfectly willing to act irresponsibly by ignoring the continually rising annual cost of our debt service. Their solution is to tax more (inflicting harm on economic growth) and borrow more (increasing the debt itself).

In a way, the Dems have become a lot like addicts, struggling to come up with another spending scheme to mollify or entice a special interest group, while disregarding the costs associated with that scheme or the added debt it produces. There will come a time of reckoning, but the Dems simply prefer to live in their fantasy word and hope it doesn't arrive on their watch.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Eyes, Ears, and Mouths

Although the boos that came from Bernie Sanders supporters whenever Hillary Clinton's name was mentioned were the media story of the first day of the DNC, something else that was far more important was going on. Reacting to what progressives perceived as the "dark," "angry," and "dystopian" outlook of Donald Trump, the Dems decided to take a political route bordered by unicorns and rainbows. Free college tuition for all, universal health care, quasi-open borders, heavy criticism of "big corporations" and the "rich," shrill comments about income inequality and now the latest leftist trend, "wealth inequality," and of course, veiled accusations of racism targeted at the population as a whole—all characterized as a celebration of fairness, tolerance, and multiculturalism.

There was one topic that was noticeably absent, given no mention whatsoever by the majority of speakers—the domestic and worldwide threat of radical Islamic terror. Although the frequency of Islamic terror attacks has increased dramatically in the West over the past year, the Democrats seem to be taking the path symbolized by the three monkeys—hear, speak, and see no evil. Then again, "evil" is such a judgemental term that the majority of progressives feel mildly uncomfortable using it (unless of course, it directed at the GOP). In fact, it seems as if the participants at the DNC hope that by not acknowledging Islamic terror, it will simply peter out—you know, the old, what it they held a war and no one came scenario. Unfortunately, the Jihadists have come and will continue to come, even as the Dems put hands over their eyes, their ears and the mouths.

Bret Stevens discusses the Jihadist threat in Europe when he writes:
Let’s stipulate that a van barreling down a seaside promenade isn’t a Panzer division, and that a few thousand ISIS fighters scattered from Mosul to Marseilles aren’t another Wehrmacht. But as in France in 1940, Europe today displays the same combination of doctrinal rigidity and loss of will that allowed an Allied army of 144 divisions to be routed by the Germans in six weeks. The Maginot Line of “European values” won’t prevail over people who recognize none of those values.

So much was made clear by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who remarked after the Nice attack that “France is going to have to live with terrorism.” [*] This may have been intended as a statement of fact but it came across as an admission that his government isn’t about to rally the public to a campaign of blood, toil, tears and sweat against ISIS—another premature capitulation in a country that has known them before.
It seems that the Dems, like Manuel Valls, would like to say "The United States is going to have to live with terrorism" if that were a politically viable thing to say in this election year. It isn't, so instead, it's all about covering their eyes, ears, and mouths.

An Aside
I do expect that sometime on the remaining days of the convention, the Dems will at least mention Islamic terror, although it's questionable that that term will be used. I would guess that it will be juxtaposed with warning against "Islamophobia" and with special mention of the fact that Islam is the "Religion of Peace." Maybe they should give that part of the address in French.

*  As I write this, the New York Times reports of still another Islamic terror attack in France. Today, two Jihadis invaded a church and murdered a 86 year old priest (other sources indicate that they nearly beheaded him). Kinda hard to "live with" events like that, but it appears that progressives are sure going to try.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Identity Politics

As the DNC kicks off today, it's amusing to watch the party's big shots scramble to contain the Wikileaks email dump and what it says about the inner workings of the party's elite. The leaders of the Democratic National Committee decided that Bernie Sanders was NOT going to win and sent around emails suggesting methods for ensuring that result. The party's national chairwoman has been forced to resign (and immediately be given a paid position on the Clinton campaign), while the media seems conflicted about covering a juicy "scandal" (this is not really a scandal, but rather a tempest in a teapot) on the one hand and acting as surrogates for Hillary on the other. The media will bury this episode as soon as they can do so, but not without justified anger by the Sanders delegates.

In what has to be one of the more outrageous anti-Trump allegations, party big shots are suggesting the the Russians are behind this and that Donald Trump is in league with Vlad Putin. If Trump and Putin are buddies, wouldn't that be a good thing? After all, Hillary tried to make nicey-nice with Putin with her failed "Reset" (just one of many of her foreign policy failures) just before the Russian invasion of the Crimea. Maybe Trump and Putin, if they are buds, might accomplish something meaningful, like crushing ISIS once and for all. Besides, the Dems better hope that Russian involvement is minimal, because if it isn't, it's 99.999% certain the Russians have Hillary's 30,000 deleted emails and can release them at any time. Think of the blackmail possibilities!

As the DNC unfolds, we'll see the Democrat party's identity politics strategy in full bloom. Their operative phrase, "Let's Make History, Again!" recalls the election of the first African American to the presidency in 2008. Unfortunately, all that mattered then was Barack Obama's identity as an African American—not his experience, his accomplishments, his ideology, or his temperament. The "Again" part focuses on Hillary. We should mindlessly consider only her identity as a the first woman president—not her dishonesty, her proximity to corruption, or her incompetence. Hmmm, sound familiar?

But identity politics goes deeper than that. The Democrats are hard at work slicing and dicing the electorate into increasing narrow groups, often pitting one again another. Oren Cass explains:
Framing issues as who instead of what leads to a governing model that would divide society by race, gender, sexuality, profession, and location, targeting policies to each defined demographic. A divide-and-conquer strategy may achieve electoral success, but it is toxic to good government. When politicians treat elections as exercises in log-rolling, each policy becomes tailored toward the special interest that cares about it most. Thus Clinton’s crime policy emphasizes a friendlier attitude toward criminals. Her immigration policy concerns itself primarily with helping those who have violated immigration law. Her education policy explicitly endorses the status quo for most students but promises to “listen to teachers.”

In a world of fixed resources, such a model inevitably undermines the idea of equal protection under the law, pits groups against one another, and leaves some explicitly favored by government as winners. It also normalizes subjective standards for government action. Clinton promises to extend President Obama’s executive actions on immigration to “additional persons with sympathetic cases.” Whatever one thinks of our immigration policies, tilting them toward “persons with sympathetic cases” does not suggest rigorous application of the law.

The divisiveness encouraged during the Obama years has much to do with this form of identity politics. It's always us vs. them, always one group (Latins, blacks, women, college students, union members, gay people, etc.) expressing grievances that can only be remedied by Big Government entitlements and policies.

The Democrat identity politics strategy has worked remarkably well, and it will likely work again this election year. The only problem is that it's bad for the country and bad for the identity groups who take short term giveaways but fail to see the long term damage to them, their needs, and their future.


There are some interesting tidbits in the hacked DNC emails. The Dems love to characterize themselves as the party of the people. Here's how "the people" can gain access to party big shots, as described in hacked emails and summarized by Lachlan Markey:
Corporations, labor unions, and wealthy individuals can buy access to top Democratic policymakers at the party’s convention in Philadelphia this week, according to internal documents detailing the perks that the party is offering to its wealthiest donors.

Political action committees that gave $90,000 to the Democratic National Committee between January 2015 and June 2016 will get two tickets to an “exclusive roundtable and campaign briefing with high-level Democratic officials,” the documents reveal.

Political groups that donated at least $150,000 will get four tickets instead of two. Native American tribes can get five tickets, but they must have donated at least $200,000.

PACs that gave at least $30,000 will also get access to “business roundtables and industry panels throughout the Convention.”

While corporate support for party conventions is commonplace, the documents reveal the specific benefits being offered to the Democratic Party’s wealthiest supporters as they gather to officially nominate Hillary Clinton for president.

Those benefits will include opportunities to advance donors’ interests in closed-door meetings with top policymakers, even as Clinton decries the influence of money in the American political process.
Odd that the little people, you know, blue collar workers, suburban middle class taxpayers, the poor, just don't seem to have the same levels of access.

But don't worry. Hillary really, really, really cares about each and every one. In fact, she'll fight for them. Won't she?

Saturday, July 23, 2016


As we leave one political convention and move toward a second, there's little to celebrate. On the one hand we have a candidate who could prove to be disruptive—but the question is whether his disruptiveness would lead to a good outcome or a bad one. On the other hand we have a candidate who will be anything but disruptive, providing us with a reprise of the eight awful years of the Obama presidency.

The mainstream media, after using Donald Trump to boost ratings during the primaries, has, as I predicted, allowed its left-wing bias to flower in the wake of Trump's acceptance speech. Trump has been dismissed as "angry" and "dark," [it's almost as if a memo with that narrative was sent to the media's trained hamsters]. 

Montage created by Mike Cernovich for Tweet

At some level,  there appears to be a combination of desperation and fear in the language. Deep down, the hamsters are worried about their candidate—a dishonest, corrupt, and incompetent politician, who just might loose to Trump. So they parse his every word, fact check his every claim and otherwise do with Trump what they will never do with Clinton—scrutinize him. They will be relentless, brutal even, but only with the GOP candidate, never with the Democrat. There is, of course, no surprise in any of this.

Early this afternoon, Hillary introduced her running mate, Tim Kaine, to a gathering in Florida. Her speech and Kane's were characterized as "powerful", "moving", and "on target" by the media hamsters who couldn't seem to remain subdued in the face of Clinton's wonderfulness.

But something else is going on as well. A Democrat president and his party, in power for 8 years, have done little to improve the country and less to improve the plight of the middle and lower classes. A few lowlights:
  • The economy is sluggish at best, reflecting the weakest recovery in modern history;
  • The vaunted promise of Obamacare has crashed and burned;
  • Debt—now topping $19.4 trillion—has doubled while the Dems held the White House;
  • Income inequality has increased under the rule of the Dems;
  • Political correctness has morphed from a harmless attempt to enlighten people to a vicious policy that attacks free speech and borders on thought control
  • Scandals have proliferated and the Dems, rather than investigate and correct the wrong-doing, have done everything possible to obfuscate or ignore it;
  • Race relations are as bad as they were in the late 1960s with a new twist that targets cops;
  • Islamist terror attacks have returned to our shores;
  • Big government gets bigger and more intrusive, and
  • Foreign policy is an absolute, unmitigated disaster on every front.
This assessment might be characterized as "angry" or "dark" in the eyes of the left-leaning mainstream media, but when used by the media elite, those are just synonyms for "honest."

Richard Fernandez comments:
Most of the time voters see elections as contests between two opposing statesmen. By contrast, statesmen is probably not the word the public would use to describe the candidates who are now shown not as they wish to be perceived, but the way they would prefer not to be seen. The collapse of the Narrative, the breakdown in party discipline and the general chaos of 2016 has basically thrown the choreography and costumes out the window. We see the contenders pretty much as they are. The sight is not necessarily pretty, but it's true. There's a saying that the truth shall make you free, but only after it makes you miserable.

If both Trump and Hillary are so nearly equally flawed, the logical implication is that the 2016 election cannot be the solution, but at best only the necessary prelude to a real one. In the same way the wrecking-ball precedes the construction of the actual building perhaps the role of this election is to destroy politics as usual to make way for something different.

The question of whether Hillary or Trump will create more favorable opportunities down the track is interesting one to consider. The argument for Hillary is that she is a known catastrophe; that one should vote for her because she is bad and electing her will bring bring on a crisis that would make genuine reform unavoidable. On the other hand voting for Trump runs the risk that that he might not be as bad as the press portrays him; in which case he might actually delay the crisis which Hillary will reliably precipitate, without being skilled enough to fix the current dilemmas.
As I mentioned in a recent post, "Trump is a risk. Hillary is a frightening certainty." Fernandez may very well be correct when he suggests that either candidate, when elected, would be a placeholder, running in place as the national political infrastructure implodes. Our current path is (to use a word loved by progressives) simply not sustainable.

We cannot again double the debt over the next eight years. We cannot continually add millions of additional people to those who are already dependent on Big Government. We cannot continue to centralize Big Government power and expect those who are removed from the two coasts to bend to its increasingly intrusive will. We cannot limp along with a GDP that hovers at 2 percent. We cannot raise taxes as economic activity sputters and expect to pay for additional big government entitlements (e.g., "free college"). We cannot mandate a $15.00 per hour minimum wage and expect that unskilled employees will not be replaced by automation. We cannot countenance open borders and expect to maintain a national identity, much less have resources available for our own downtrodden citizens. We cannot continue to dismiss Islamic terror as a regrettable nuisance and expect our way of life to roll along unaffected.

To paraphrase Glen Reynolds of Instapundit: 'Something that can't go on forever, won't.'

Donald Trump is difficult to read. It's hard to determine whether he would be an effective disruptive force or just an ineffective buffoon. Hillary wants the unsustainable legacy of Barack Obama to go on forever. She may very well become president, but in the end, she'll be nothing more than a placeholder until things implode.

I suppose that's "angry and "dark" as well. Too bad it's also the truth.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


A group of protesters, all people of color from an impoverished Island nation, stand outside a posh New York City restaurant protesting the corruption surrounding a prominent public figure who is inside receiving an award and a large monetary grant for his "charitable" works. They argue—and irrefutable facts support their argument—that large sums of money raised for their impoverished nation never reached their brothers and sisters in need. Further, they suggest that the charitable foundation run by the prominent public figure has enriched the figure and his wife with the funds raised for charitable works.

Do you think that the main stream media, located a few blocks away in New York City, might have interest in this story, might be spurred to investigate the claims and report on their findings, might dig and then dig some more to uncover corruption and self-serving, crony politics. Nah. No interest at all. Can you guess why?

Sure you can.

The prominent public figure is Bill Clinton, his wife is Hillary Clinton, and the "Charity" in question is the Clinton Foundation. As I have discussed in many other posts, the Clinton Foundation has become a personal slush fund for Bill and Hillary Clinton, allowing them to amass great wealth and at the same time, use Hillary's influence as Secretary of State to dole out hundreds of millions of taxpayer money for bogus projects that enrich their fat-cat donors and produce no benefit to those in need

In a detailed and damning article (read the whole thing) extracted from his new book, Dinesh DiSousa, details how Bill and Hillary Clinton used money designated for Haitian relief to enrich themselves and their cronies. In answer to the question Where did the money go? DiSousa writes:
Where did it go? It did not escape the attention of the Haitians that Bill Clinton was the designated UN representative for aid to Haiti. Following the earthquake, Bill Clinton had with media fanfare established the Haiti Reconstruction Fund. Meanwhile, his wife Hillary was the United States secretary of state. She was in charge of U.S. aid allocated to Haiti. Together the Clintons were the two most powerful people who controlled the flow of funds to Haiti from around the world.

The Haitian protesters noticed an interesting pattern involving the Clintons and the designation of how aid funds were used. They observed that a number of companies that received contracts in Haiti happened to be entities that made large donations to the Clinton Foundation. The Haitian contracts appeared less tailored to the needs of Haiti than to the needs of the companies that were performing the services. In sum, Haitian deals appeared to be a quid pro quo for filling the coffers of the Clintons.

For example, the Clinton Foundation selected Clayton Homes, a construction company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, to build temporary shelters in Haiti. Buffett is an active member of the Clinton Global Initiative who has donated generously to the Clintons as well as the Clinton Foundation. The contract was supposed to be given through the normal United Nations bidding process, with the deal going to the lowest bidder who met the project’s standards. UN officials said, however, that the contract was never competitively bid for.

Clayton offered to build “hurricane-proof trailers” but what they actually delivered turned out to be a disaster. The trailers were structurally unsafe, with high levels of formaldehyde and insulation coming out of the walls. There were problems with mold and fumes. The stifling heat inside made Haitians sick and many of them abandoned the trailers because they were ill-constructed and unusable.

The Clintons also funneled $10 million in federal loans to a firm called InnoVida, headed by Clinton donor Claudio Osorio. Osorio had loaded its board with Clinton cronies, including longtime Clinton ally General Wesley Clark; Hillary’s 2008 finance director Jonathan Mantz; and Democratic fundraiser Chris Korge who has helped raise millions for the Clintons.

Normally the loan approval process takes months or even years. But in this case, a government official wrote, “Former President Bill Clinton is personally in contact with the company to organize its logistical and support needs. And as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has made available State Department resources to assist with logistical arrangements.”

InnoVida had not even provided an independently audited financial report that is normally a requirement for such applications. This requirement, however, was waived. On the basis of the Clinton connection, InnoVida’s application was fast-tracked and approved in two weeks. The company, however, defaulted on the loan and never built any houses. An investigation revealed that Osorio had diverted company funds to pay for his Miami Beach mansion, his Maserati, and his Colorado ski chalet. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in 2013, and is currently serving a twelve-year prison term on fraud charges related to the loan.
The stories of Clinton Foundation corruption go on and on, but the trained hamsters in the main stream media seem far more interested in alleged plagiarism in Melania Trump's convention speech. If it weren't such a blatant example of media bias and dishonesty, it would actually be funny.

Now, imagine Hillary as president with control not only of the State Department, but the Departments of Commerce, Interior, Transportation, Education, HHS, Homeland Security, Defense, the VA, and Treasury, not to mention the IRS, the EPA and the entire alphabet soup of agencies. The opportunities for corruption and self-enrichment are boundless. And the Democrats argue that Donald Trump would be a dangerous president? Heh.

But no worries, Clinton will be playing with taxpayer dollars, so the majority of her voters don't have a thing to be concerned about.


The Washington Free Beacon reports:
By all accounts, it was the most popular gala the Lady Taverners had ever held. Over 1,000 people packed the Park Lane Hilton in London on Oct. 30, 2009, with the crowd overflowing into the hallways, to listen to President Bill Clinton speak on the power of giving.

While Clinton’s speech helped raise a substantial sum for the prominent cricket charity, his staggering $290,000 speaking fee was not covered by the group, according to organizers. The fee also was not covered by “World Management Limited,” the marketing company Hillary Clinton listed as the payment source in her federal financial filings.

It was bankrolled by a wealthy British businessman named Robert Whitton—a name you won’t find included in the Clintons’ public disclosure forms.

A review by the Washington Free Beacon found that Hillary Clinton often listed small foreign speaking firms as the sources of her husband’s lecture payments in her Senate and State Department disclosures, even though the actual paychecks came from undisclosed third parties.

In certain cases, these funders had interests that intersected with the U.S. State Department. Whitton, a real estate mogul, had business pending before UNESCO, an international agency that received a quarter of its funding from the State Department.
There are 30 other instances where scandalously high speaking fees for Clinton were paid for not by the organization sponsoring the event but another unidentified party. The sponsoring entity became a de facto cut-out, enabling the payment (bribe?) to be hidden from public view. The Freebeacon notes: "Spokespersons for the Clinton campaign and Bill Clinton’s office declined to provide the names of any actual payment sources when contacted for this article."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


As the Republican National Convention moves into its second day, we hear the usual political speeches defining GOP positions on a variety of important domestic and foreign policy issues. The question is: Can Donald Trump lead in a way that allows these positions to be accomplished. That is an unknown.

The trained hamsters of the main stream media, however, have already decided that he cannot and that by virtue of her "experience" and "steady hand," Hillary Clinton is the only option. CNN has spent hours discussing whether Trump's wife in her convention speech lifted a few sentences from Obama's wife, who it turned out, lifted those sentences from someone else. The point, of course, isn't plagiarism—the point is to avoid covering the substantive speeches by people such as Rudy Guiliani. Laughably biased, but no surprise.

William McGurn comments on broader issues:
When presidents enter office, they bring with them about 6,000 people. From the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and White House assistants down to the lowliest Justice Department lawyer, Mrs. Clinton would fill her government with people who get up each day looking to tax, spend, regulate—and use the federal government to stomp on anyone in their way.

At a time when so much of American “law”—from the Health and Human Service’s contraceptive mandate, to the Education Department’s “Dear Colleague” letters on transgender policy, to the National Labor Relations Board’s prosecution of Boeing for opening a new plant in South Carolina instead of in Washington state—is decided by faceless federal bureaucrats, Mrs. Clinton would stuff these federal agencies from top to bottom with Lois Lerners and Elizabeth Warrens.

Welcome to 21st-century American liberalism, which no longer even pretends to produce results. Whatever the shortcomings of Mr. Trump’s people, non-progressives simply do not share the itch to use the government to boss everyone else around. On top of this, an overreaching President Trump would not be excused by the press and would face both Republican and Democratic opposition.

Fair enough to argue that Mr. Trump represents a huge risk. But honesty requires that this risk be weighed against a clear-eyed look at the certainties a Hillary Clinton administration would bring.
And therein lies the rub. If Hillary Clinton is Barack Obama's successor, Big Intrusive Government (BIG) will flourish. A weak, ineffective, and outright dangerous foreign policy will continue. BIG will be used to reward friends of Hillary and punish her enemies.

Even worse, the dishonesty and corruption of the Obama years will be magnified by a new democratic president who is a demonstrated liar and a thoroughly corrupt public official (think: pay-for-play via the Clinton Foundation).

If you worry, as I do, that Donald Trump might be a loose cannon, consider this: Unlike Hillary, who will be given carte blanche to do whatever she wants by the main stream media, the trained hamsters would watch Trump's every move carefully. Any hint of dishonesty, corruption, or incompetence will be reported loudly and immediately. No scandal will be buried, as many serious scandals were during the Obama years. No lie will be glossed over. And unlike the Democrats who rubber-stamped Barack Obama's mistakes and worked overtime to thwart any attempt to investigate his scandals (and will do so again for Clinton), many in the GOP are less than enamored of Trump and would, I think, be much harder on him than the Dems were on either Obama or Clinton.

To reiterate what McGurn said: Trump is a risk. Hillary is a frightening certainty.

Monday, July 18, 2016


Hillary Clinton has implied (rather strongly, I might add) that she will continue the Obama legacy. One notable element of that legacy is an eight year history of disintegrating race relations, culminating with direct assassination attempts by black activists on police officers in New York, and more recently in Dallas (5 killed) and Baton Rouge (3 killed). This has been driven a series of killings of black men by police officers—each investigated in excruciating detail and then referred to the criminal justice system if the officers did wrong. But the violence is also driven by the narrative that "racist" police are targeting and killing black men without reason. The narrative is being promulgated by Black Lives Matter (BLM) agitators, the far-left in general and some claim, subtly supported by Barack Obama. Their trained media hamsters follow in lock-step.

BLM and the far-left aren't at all subtle, suggesting directly that "racist" cops should be "killed." At least a few of their deranged followers have taken that call seriously, killing cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Barack Obama, of course, is far more subtle, condemning the sniper attacks that kill cops, but at the same time, providing support for the notion that the nation's cops are out to target and kill black men.

Heather McDonald has done substantial research of crime statistics, cop killings and cop murders. She writes:
... this most recent assault on law and order [in Baton Rouge], taking the lives of three officers and wounding at least three more, is the direct outcome of the political and media frenzy that followed the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, less than two weeks ago. That frenzy further amplified the dangerously false narrative that racist police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today.

President Barack Obama bears direct responsibility for the lethal spread of that narrative. In a speech from Poland just hours before five officers were assassinated in Dallas on July 7, Obama misled the nation about policing and race, charging officers nationwide with preying on blacks because of the color of their skin. Obama rolled out a litany of junk statistics to prove that the criminal justice system is racist. Blacks were arrested at twice the rate of whites, he complained, and get sentences almost 10 percent longer than whites for the same crime. Missing from Obama’s address was any mention of the massive racial differences in criminal offending and criminal records that fully account for arrest rates and sentence lengths. (Blacks, for example, commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at about 11 to 12 times the rate of whites alone.) Instead, Obama chalked up the disparities to “biases, some conscious and unconscious that have to be rooted out . . . across our criminal justice system.”

Then five Dallas officers were gunned down out of race hatred and cop hatred. Did Obama shelve his incendiary rhetoric and express his unqualified support for law enforcement? No, he doubled down, insulting law enforcement yet again even as it was grieving for its fallen comrades. In a memorial service for the Dallas officers, Obama rebuked all of America for its “bigotry,” but paid special attention to alleged police bigotry:
When African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment, when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently. So that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested; more likely to get longer sentences; more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime. When mothers and fathers raised their kids right, and have the talk about how to respond if stopped by a police officer—yes, sir; no, sir—but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door; still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy.

When all this takes place, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.
The irresponsible zealotry of this rebuke was stunning. Obama was fully on notice that the hatred of cops was reaching homicidal levels. And yet his commitment to prosecuting his crusade against phantom police racism trumped considerations of prudence and safety, on the one hand, and decent respect for the fallen, on the other.
As I noted in a recent blog post, in 2008 and the years that followed, Barack Obama had a very real opportunity to speak directly to the African American community in the United States, to encourage them to jettison a victims' ideology and turn inward to improve their culture and communities. He chose to encourage the victim's ideology for political gain. Sad.

And now Obama's likely successor, Hillary Clinton, tells us that she'll continue what Obama has "accomplished." Sure, over the coming months she'll try to thread the needle by "bringing the full weight of the criminal justice system" down on those who kill cops, but also those cops who kill blacks (apparently, regardless of the circumstances). Of course, Hillary lies about virtually everything, so her words are empty.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


This week, the world witnessed still another murderous Islamic terror attack in Nice, France. The story is still unfolding, but it looks like there are at least 84 people dead and many more injured. This time, the murder weapon was a large trunk driven by a Muslim "criminal." It's possible that the criminal was inspired by an al Qaeda "Open Source Jihad" article that suggested; “The idea is to use a pickup truck as a mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah.” The terrorist drove into a Bastille Day celebration using the "mowing machine" at high speed leaving a path of carnage in his wake.

Hillary Clinton responded with the same old, same old, trying, I suppose, to look measured and presidential. But her equivocation seemed programmed. Donald Trump responded immediately, suggesting, correctly in my view, that this attack and others are acts of war. One wonders whether Hillary Clinton will suggest that we ban all large trunks.

For the past 15 years, the elites have defined a strategy that: (1) establishes a narrative depicting Islam as the "religion of peace;" (2) bends over backward not to associate Islam with barbaric terror attacks; and (3) treats terror attacks and their perpetrators as a criminal problem rather than an act of war. Just today, the New York Times published an OpEd defending Sharia Law, suggesting that it's misunderstood. After all, its really, really easy to misunderstand the misogynist, homophobic, totalitarian, violent, religiously intolerant aspects of Sharia, isn't it?

Multinational elites, driven by political correctness and leftist "oppression" ideology, work overtime to do everything possible to shield Islam from accusations that it isn't doing nearly enough to rid itself of Islamist cancer. At the same time, the radical Islamic terror attacks intensify and the carnage grows.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (until forced to do so by concern that Donald Trump had gained the upperhand with regard to homeland security) refuse to use the phrase radical Islamic terror, suggesting with smug arrogance that labelling something what it really is changes nothing. Instead Obama and Clinton seem to prefer fantasy—suggesting that "violent extremism" is to blame and doing everything possible to convince the public that a terror attack is workplace violence or a "lone wolf assault, or a hate crime. Here's the problem. When national leaders refuse to address reality, it is impossible to define the problem, target effective tactics to address the problem and ultimately, to eradicate the problem.

As terror attacks in the West grow in frequency and intensity, even supporters of Barack Obama and his likely predecessor, Hillary Clinton, are beginning ask questions about a strategy that simply isn't working. Harsh critics, myself included, understand that fantasy never wins when it collides with reality.

The big question is, do we want Barack Obama's fantasy perpetuated over the next four years by Hillary Clinton? Do we really think that failed tactics will somehow win out, that radical Islam will just go away? Do we believe that labeling acts of war as "lone wolf violent extremism" somehow represents a coherent attempt to protect the American people? Do we honestly believe that Islam is the "religion of peace" and that its adherents have no responsibility for combatting Jihadist thought with tangible actions, not empty words?

An Aside:

As if to emphasize the manner in which the elites want to whitewash atrocities committed in the name of Islam, we get the following report coming out of France by HeatStreet:
A French government committee has heard testimony, suppressed by the French government at the time and not published online until this week, that the killers in the Bataclan appear to have tortured their victims on the second floor of the club.

The chief police witness in Parliament testified that on the night of the attacks, an investigating officer, tears streaming down his face, rushed out of the Bataclan and vomited in front of him just after seeing the disfigured bodies.

The 14-hour testimony about the November attacks took place March 21st.

According to this testimony, Wahhabist killers reportedly gouged out eyes, castrated victims, and shoved their testicles in their mouths. They may also have disemboweled some poor souls. Women were reportedly stabbed in the genitals – and the torture was, victims told police, filmed for Daesh or Islamic State propaganda. For that reason, medics did not release the bodies of torture victims to the families, investigators said.

But prosecutors at the hearing claimed these reports of torture were “a rumor” on the grounds that sharp knives were not found at the scene. They also claimed that maybe shrapnel had caused the injuries.
Exactly what is the purpose of suppressing this information? The French public should clearly understand the barbarity it faces and insist that its leaders act accordingly. And yet, the French leadership (emblematic of leadership in most western countries) prefers to suppress it. Why?

Monday, July 11, 2016


It's always entertaining to read the positions of editorialists in left-leaning media like the NYT, WaPO and the LAT, particularly when they work to convince their largely left-wing readers that Hillary Clinton is a good choice for president and that Donald Trump is the devil incarnate. Today, The Washington Post writes:
“This election,” a spokesman for Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Thursday, “remains a dumpster fire.” Well, yes, the two major-party candidates for president are historically unpopular. But if this election is unusually bad, it is not because both parties chose bad candidates. There is no equivalence between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — as even responsible Republicans should be able to recognize.

Ms. Clinton is a knowledgeable politician who has been vetted many times over. She understands and respects the U.S. Constitution. She knows policy. She can cite accomplishments in the public interest, such as pressing through an important children’s health insurance program during her husband’s administration. As a senator, she was respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. She completed four years as secretary of state to generally positive reviews. She began her presidential campaign by rolling out a series of serious policy papers.
The second paragraph is epic in its idiocy. Let's deconstruct it:

Ms. Clinton is a knowledgeable politician who has been vetted many times over.

"Vetted?" Really! HRC has been investigated in scandal after scandal and called a liar by the current Director of the FBI. She has succeeded in not being prosecuted for any of her corrupt and near-criminal activities, by lying to, stonewalling and otherwise obfuscating the facts for the congressional committees and law enforcement agencies involved. She has been aided and abetted by main stream media allies (including WaPo) that refuse to investigate things like the corrupt Clinton Foundation and the corresponding influence peddling HRC did while secretary of state.

She understands and respects the U.S. Constitution.

In exactly what way? As a big intrusive government (BIG) proponent, she has subverted the intent of federalism, a core tenet of the constitution. She has used the law as an escape mechanism that has enabled her to dodge unethical or outright criminal behavior.

She can cite accomplishments in the public interest, such as pressing through an important children’s health insurance program during her husband’s administration.

And what else exactly? Make a list. Oops. There is no list. HRC has accomplished little if anything for the public good, but she has accomplished much that has enriched herself and her husband.

As a senator, she was respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

For what accomplishments, exactly? Hillary was notoriously unsuccessful in getting any legislation passed during her years as a senator. She was a carpetbagger who moved to New York solely to win a senate seat as a launching pad for a presidential campaign. If she was "respected," it's reasonable to ask, "What for?" Oddly, the WaPo editors don't answer that question.

She completed four years as secretary of state to generally positive reviews.

OMG!! Seriously. Everything Hillary touched while secretary of state turned to excrement. Whether it was her flailing attempts to mollify Russia or China; her disastrous participation in the Libyan invasion that lead to a failed state now populated by al Qaeda and ISIS; her pathetic Middle East policy that was all about punishing friends and rewarding enemies, or maybe her mendacious and despicable handling of the Benghazi aftermath, there is nothing to review positively. NOTHING!

She began her presidential campaign by rolling out a series of serious policy papers.

Wow, you can tell the editors are struggling for positives. "Serious policy proposals" are worth less than the paper they're written on, particularly when they are proposed by an inveterate liar. The only policy that Hillary will be sure to implement is one that rewards her friends and punishes her enemies.

It's perfectly okay for the WaPo editors to suggest that their readers vote for Hillary, but it is unconscionable to invent a series of pathetic pro-Clinton arguments that have no relationship whatsoever with reality.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cause for Concern

Those of us who were violently opposed to Barack Obama's Iran "deal" suggested that: (1) the negotiation was a pathetic attempt to bolster Obama's "legacy" at the expense of the interests of our country and our allies in the Middle Eat and Europe; (2) that Iran could not be trusted; (3) that the "deal" was so one-sided that it smacked of capitulation; (4) that it gave the world's foremost sponsor of terror between $100 and $150 billion dollars in assets that could be used against the west. Like every other foreign policy failure of Obama and his team of 2s, the deal began falling apart within weeks of its signing.

John Hinderaker reports on the latest of Iran's violations:
fforts to obtain technology and materials needed for nuclear weapons, contrary to its longstanding assurances that its nuclear program is peaceful:
The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said in an annual report it has detected extensive Iranian attempts to acquire illicit materials in Germany, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology.”

“Also in international comparison, the level of attempts remains high,” it added, according to i24news.

The German intelligence body in the regional state of North Rhine-Westphalia registered 141 such attempts last year, as opposed to 83 similar tries in 2014. 90 of those attempts were described as illegal activities to procure technology that could be used for the development of nuclear weapons and launchers.

The smuggling of the proliferation-sensitive goods is conducted usually by Iranian strawmen and shell companies through China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, the report estimated.
The vast majority of these attempts have been thwarted–which makes sense, since these are the ones the authorities know about–but “Iran’s covert and intensive procurement activities on German soil are expected to continue.”
But, of course, Obama's Team of 2s tells us there's no cause for concern because if there was ... well ... it might mean that the geniuses who negotiating what has to be the worst foreign policy deal in a generation were wrong—and Obama can't be wrong, can he?

It might be instructive for the media to ask Hillary Clinton for her position on this—was the deal a good deal given what we're learning about Iran's violations? And what would she do about it? But wait, Hillary is hiding in her bunker, refusing to meet with the media (who doesn't want to ask the question anyway because it might be embarrassing to all of the Democrats who enthusiastically supported the Iran "deal."

What's even worse than the Iran deal is the likelihood that we'll be getting another four years of feckless Obama-style policies and leadership. But there's no cause for concern, is there?

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Right People

It was a typical morning talk show panel—one black "activist, a "political analyst," and a NYC detective—convened to have a "conversation" about racism in America—how cops target black men, and oh, by the way, the murder of 5 cops by a black man in Dallas. Surprisingly, the moderator brought up a series of tweets with BLM (Black Lives Matter) hashtags that applauded the Dallas murders and called for more more targeting of "racist cops." The following interchange occurred (paraphrasing):

The activist: "You can't blame sincere Black Lives Matter members for the tweets of a few angry people. Those tweets aren't representative of the BLM movement."

The NYC Detective: "You can't have it both ways. If you ask me not to blame Black Lives Matter for those despicable tweets, then you have to agree that the actions of a few rouge cops cannot be used to paint all police officers as racist."

There was an awkward silence as the implied double standard hit home. The activist ignored any rebuttle and moved on to discuss how cops must be more sensitive to the anger in the African American community.

Jonah Goldberg addresses this when he writes:
... there is something particularly vile and disgusting in the way many of the leading masters of sanctimony keep changing their standards. When a registered Democrat and Muslim murdered people in Orlando in the name of ISIS, it was outrageous to suggest that maybe we shouldn’t point fingers at Christian conservatives or the NRA. When Gabby Giffords was shot by an utterly apolitical schizophrenic, Paul Krugman blamed it on Michele Bachmann’s “eliminationist rhetoric.” The Democratic party almost en masse blamed it on some crosshairs on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page. The Orwellians leapt out of their bunkers and started memory-holing martial metaphors.

But now, I gather, any suggestion that rhetoric from Black Lives Matter influenced these murderers is beyond the pale.

I keep repeating the old line: Behind every apparent double standard is an un-confessed single standard. The single standard here is that only the right people may politicize tragedy. Only the right people get to determine what sort of speech incites violence. Only the right people know when it’s a time for prayer and unity and when it’s time to take up action. Only the right people know when the blame falls solely on the murderers and when the murderers are simply a symptom of a larger problem. And when anyone disagrees with the right people, they reveal themselves to be the wrong people. Because you can only be right if you agree with the right people.

So, as I’ve said before, to Hell with [the right] people.
There is growing anger among millions of brown, Asian, black and white people who disagree with the "right people," who reject their sanctimonious arguments, their moral preening, and their suggestion that another view is inherently wrong. That anger is growing, and I suspect the "right people" sense it, but they're so wed to their fantasy narrative that they plod on, unable to apply common sense, logic, or a modicum of understanding for those who might disagree.

The right people (a.k.a. the elites), along with their supporters in the media, the arts, and politics, are leading the nation down a path that is exceptionally dangerous. They work to divide, and as a consequence, they fragment our country for political gain. The path they they've chosen will lead to ruin—not just for them, but for all of us.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Lost Opportunity

In the 1950s communism was considered (rightly, I might add) as a scourge that enslaved people, destroyed countries, and represented a significant threat to freedom. Two communist giants, China and the Soviet Union, posed the greatest threat, yet living on the edge of war was a dangerous strategy.

At the end of the following decade, President Richard Nixon, for all of his many faults, recognized an opening with China and took it. Only a staunch conservative, as Nixon was, could negotiate with China, and get away with it politically. Nixon was harshly criticized by his fellow conservatives for the detente he desired, but he rejected the politically safe path and did what was right. Over the years that followed, conflict between China and the U.S. cooled, trade blossomed, and China self-moderated into a form of state sponsored-capitalism that has benefited its people significantly.

When Barack Obama was elected president, many thought that we would enter an era of "racial healing." Only a recognized liberal and black man, as Obama was, could speak frankly with the African-American community, encouraging them to reject the victimization meme and look inward—to emphasize education, work to build stronger family structures, start local businesses (with ubiquitous government assistance) in their communities, move away from government dependency, and double their efforts to reduce crime and violence in their communities. He would undoubtedly have been harshly criticized for speaking frankly by many on the Left and by a significant number of African Americans, but it would have been the right thing to do.

This opportunity was lost when Obama chose to follow the path of virtually every leftist over the past 50 years. Rather than encouraging self-reliance and community improvement with frank discussions of the internal problems endemic within the urban community and culture, he emphasized victimization—that African Americans were not capable of charting their own destiny but rather were victims of the police, white people in general, capitalism and the like. Phrases like "white privilege" and "racism" were thrown around without any consideration of their impact on the country and its people.

This divisive rhetoric encouraged, if not endorsed, by Democrat leadership, worked perfectly as a political strategy—90+ percent of African Americans voted for Dems during Obama's terms in office. But the economic and social plight of people of color grew worse under Democrat rule—unemployment was up, family incomes were down, and dependency grew along with anger.

Over the past few years we have seem (to quote Obama's mentor, the Reverend Wright), the "chickens have come how to roost." The  killings of black men by the police (some justified, others not) gave the Left all it needed to suggest that all police are "racist." In every instance, the police who killed the black men were investigated, some were tried and convicted and sent to prison for their crimes. Yet that was not enough for Obama, the Democrats, and a "Black Lives Matter" movement. Rather than working to achieve "social justice" by looking inward and healing a broken urban culture, they ratcheted up the victimization meme, convincing many black people that they were under siege.

Last night five Dallas police officers were shot dead and and six others were wounded by snipers during a protest march against "racism" by the police. The details are still sketchy, but the end-result is undeniable. When the political leadership of a nation works to divide for political advantage, bad things happen.

Obama had a wonderful, even historic, opportunity to speak frankly in a way that others could not, and as a consequence, improve to lot of the African American community. Instead, he chose a politically expedient path. The result is a lost opportunity and possibly, something, much, much worse.

Thursday, July 07, 2016


In my last post, I talked about the Clinton Scandal Management Playbook (CSMP)—an unwritten set of basic tactics that have worked remarkably well to shield Hillary Clinton from criminal prosecution for her many unethical, dishonest, and self-enriching activities while she was a government official. To repeat:
... lie openly and often; obfuscate and misdirect; slow walk investigations; disregard court ordered information discovery; blame underlings for executive decisions; invoke the fifth amendment when necessary; cover-up and then cover-up some more. With the help and protection for a complicit media, the playbook has worked well—Fast and Furious, the VA scandal, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and others have faded into oblivion. And remember, Obama didn't write the playbook, he simply followed it.
The latest FBI investigation exemplifies these tactics, but the focus on top-secret documents is, in its own way, a feint. The real criminal wrong-doing isn't Hillary's gross negligence in handling government documents (delineated well by the FBI), but rather her pay-for-play dealings while secretary of state. Let's call these dirty tactics the Clinton Foundation Playbook (CFP):
  1. Contact a government or large multi-national corporation (the "entity") that would benefit from a positive government decision on a matter that is important to it.
  2. Meet or communicate with with that entity in your capacity of Secretary of State.
  3. Suggest that a positive government decision could be achieved.
  4. Through cut-outs or other functionaries, let it be known that a large donation to The Clinton Foundation would be greatly appreciated.
  5. In addition, let it be known that Bill Clinton has much that the entity's audience wants to hear and that a speech or series of speeches (for an grossly exorbitant fee) would be a good idea.
  6. Once items 4 and 5 have been completed (i.e., money has been transferred to the Clintons or their foundation, a State Department decision that benefits the entity is made.
  7. A complicit media looks the other way and is oddly distinterested in the state department decision or the coincidences that place Bill, Hillary and the entity in a web of money transfers.
It is odd that not a single word about The Clinton Foundation or the CFP appeared in FBI Director James Comey's discussion of the Clinton email scandal.

In an outstanding investigative article on The Clinton Foundation, Peter Sweitzer dissects important gaps in Hillary's email stream with particular emphasis on the CFP I just described:
... then there is an instance where the State Department cable traffic rises and there are few if any Clinton corresponding emails. It’s the case of Rosatom, the Russian State Nuclear Agency: Clinton and senior officials at the State Department received dozens of cables on the subject of Rosatom’s activities around the world, including a hair-raising cable about Russian efforts to dominate the uranium market. As secretary of state, Clinton was a central player in a variety of diplomatic initiatives involving Rosatom officials. But strangely, there is only one email that mentions Rosatom in Clinton’s entire collection, an innocuous email about Rosatom’s activities in Ecuador. To put that into perspective, there are more mentions of LeBron James, yoga and NBC’s Saturday Night Live than the Russian Nuclear Agency in Clinton’s emails deemed “official.”

What could explain this lack of emails on the Russian Nuclear Agency? Were Clinton’s aides negligent in passing along unimportant information while ignoring the far more troubling matters concerning Rosatom? Possibly. Or, were emails on this subject deleted as falling into the “personal” category? It is certainly odd that there’s virtually no email traffic on this subject in particular. Remember that a major deal involving Rosatom that was of vital concern to Clinton Foundation donors went down in 2009 and 2010. Rosatom bought a small Canadian uranium company owned by nine investors who were or became major Clinton Foundation donors, sending $145 million in contributions. The Rosatom deal required approval from several departments, including the State Department.

Equally bizarre is the absence at certain times of basic logistical emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. In general, Bill gets plenty of mention in the official emails released by the State Department, emails covering everything from travel logistics to press releases about Clinton Foundation work. But there’s an email silence in June 2010, when Hillary Clinton was in South America for a series of high-level meetings. According to her memoir, “by coincidence” Bill was in Bogota, Colombia, apparently for Clinton Foundation work, at the same time she was in the country. Also there with Bill was Frank Giustra, one of the Clinton Foundation’s largest contributors. Bill, Hillary and Giustra reportedly had dinner together, and the next morning, Bill met with Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe, followed immediately by Hillary’s meeting with Uribe. In the weeks that follow, Giustra’s companies scored concessions from the Colombian government on matters ranging from oil to timber.
Sweitzer's work (read the entire article) raises serious questions about the destruction of evidence, criminal wrong-doing, and the competency of a year-long FBI investigation that resulted in no executive summary mention of the CFP.

It is supremely ironic that Clinton suggests the Donald Trump is unqualified to be president because of his lack of experience, his shallow knowledge of the issues, and his temperament. Possibly, she's right.

But the CSMP and the CFP both are clear indications that Hillary Clinton is absolutely unqualified to be president. Her activities—destruction of evidence, malfeasance in office, blatant dishonesty in the face of public inquiries, and selling government favors to enrich herself and her husband are not the attributes either the Left or the Right wants in a President.

Donald Trump may be wrong on some things, but he's absolutely right on at least one: #CrookedHillary.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The Playbook

The FBI tells us that there is no reason to bring criminal charges against Hillary Clinton; that creating a private server did not show intent to violate public record keeping and FOIA laws; that deleting tens of thousands of emails on said server did not indicate any intent whatsoever to hide information from government investigators; that unequivocal evidence of storage of classified material on said server did not violate clearly worded national security policies; that opening up classifed documents to hacking by hostile countries is not grounds for serious sanctions; that "carelessness" or "lack of intent" is a legitimate excuse for Hillary Clinton even though that excuse cannot be used as a defense in dozens of everyday violations by common citizens.

With this finding, although expected by most, the FBI and the federal government has passed a new threshold—if you are among the power elite AND if you belong to the Democrat party AND you have the media in your pocket AND you have established a strong network of government lackeys, you are Teflon. Ethics and honesty are irrelevant in the pursuit of power, and power is all that matters. You are above the law and that makes you very powerful indeed.

Hillary's Stepford wives loyalists will crow that this FBI finding exonerates her, and/or that Clinton is a victim in all of this. I can only wonder whether deep down, at least a few Democrats feel just a bit uneasy and sense a disturbance in the Force. That they see the rule of law being applied unevenly; that they sense a double standard in play—a standard where the power elites can lie, cheat and steal and get away with it while the rest of us are told to "move on, nothing to see here."

Over the past eight years, the Obama administration has adopted the Clinton scandal management playbook with enormous success—lie openly and often; obfuscate and misdirect; slow walk investigations; disregard court ordered information discovery; blame underlings for executive decisions; invoke the fifth amendment when necessary; cover-up and then cover-up some more. With the help and protection for a complicit media, the playbook has worked well—Fast and Furious, the VA scandal, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and others have faded into oblivion. And remember, Obama didn't write the playbook, he simply followed it.

Now, the playbook's author, a person who has spent almost three decades perfecting its every strategy, is poised to become president. Emboldened by still another victory under the guidance of the playbook, she and her administration will run rampant, using the government to reward friends and punish enemies; selling influence to the highest bidder, burying the many scandals that will surely surface and then disappear without a trace.

With this finding the FBI has added another tacit endorsement of the playbook. The corrosive effects of dishonesty, corruption and incompetence have been allowed to continue. It's a sad day.


James Taranto states things consisely when he writes:
This morning FBI director James Comey announced the investigation was over. He detailed its findings, which are damning and in many cases new, and which prove that most of Mrs. Clinton’s public statements about her private email server were lies. Lying to the public isn’t a crime, but handling classified information in a “grossly negligent way” is.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey said. Would that be a synonym for “grossly negligent”? Apparently not. Comey’s bottom line is that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

That even though he also said—in reference to seven email chains concerning “matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level”: “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”

After announcing his no-charger recommendation, Comey added:
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.
In other words, laws are for little people.
Welcome to big intrusive government and the elites who control it—circa 2016.

UPDATE (7/6/16):

And this from the Editors of The Wall Street Journal:
Most distressing is what this episode augurs for another Clinton Administration. Mrs. Clinton deliberately sought to evade the Federal Records Act, recklessly flouted laws on handling classified information, spent a year lying about it, and will now have escaped accountability. This will confirm the Clinton family habit, learned so painfully in the 1990s, that they can get away with anything if they deny it long enough and are protected by a friendly media and political class.


When Hillary Clinton left Barack Obama's Team of 2s after his first term, she was replaced by John Kerry, a man who exemplifies the true meaning of a 2. Hillary left foreign policy wreckage in her wake (little things like Libya, Russia, China and Iran) but pivoted immediately to her run for the presidency. Kerry, a man who validates the Peter Principle, took over.

Bret Stevens comments on Kerry's reaction to recent terrorist attacks:
In November, after Islamic State’s massacres in Paris, John Kerry offered some unscripted thoughts on how the atrocity differed from others. “There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that,” he said, referring to the January 2015 attack on the satirical French newspaper. He continued:

“There was a sort of particularized focus [to the Hebdo attack] and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of—not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday [in Paris] was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people.”

Mr. Kerry’s remarks again betrayed the administration’s cluelessness about ISIS, which aims to annihilate anything it doesn’t consider . . . Islamic. Understanding its takfiri version of Islam, with its sweeping declarations of apostasy, is essential to understanding how it thinks and operates.

But no less telling was Mr. Kerry’s view that not all terrorism is fundamentally alike; that some acts of terror have a rationale “you could attach yourself to.” The comment is striking not for being unusual but for being ordinary, another formulation of the conventional wisdom that terrorism, like war, is politics by other means. From such a view it’s a short step to treating some acts of terror as legitimate, or nearly so.
In a sense, that's what the Left does when it suggests that Islam is somehow an "oppressed" people, that attacks against the West are understandable because the West is the oppressor, that the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, Israel, is an oppressor and therefore attacks against it by murderous Islamic terrorists are understandable, maybe even justified.

Stevens writes about this:
Which brings me to the case of Hallel Yaffe Ariel, a 13-year-old Israeli girl who on Thursday was stabbed to death in her sleep by a 19-year-old intruder named Mohammad Tra’ayra. It’s difficult to imagine any act as evil or as cowardly as murdering a child in her sleep. But Hallel lived with her family in the West Bank Israeli town of Kiryat Arba, making her a settler, while Tra’ayra, who was shot dead on the scene, came from a nearby Palestinian village.

What happened to Hallel has happened to countless settlers: five members of the Fogel family, butchered in their beds in 2011; the three teenage boys who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in 2014; the rabbi who was shot and killed on Friday on a West Bank road while driving with his wife and two children. Yet their deaths are supposed to be different from those of other terrorism victims, since they were all “occupiers” whose political crimes rendered them complicit in their own tragedy. That’s how much of global public opinion has long treated terrorism when the target is Israel. It has a rationale. It’s understandable, if not justifiable. It’s Israel’s problem, Israel’s fault, and has no bearing on the rest of us.
It's difficult not to experience some level of schadenfreude when Islamic terrorist attacks are directed at Islamist-sympathetic countries. The Islamist monster created and supported by the likes of Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Saudi royals has now turned on them and begun to murder within their borders. I'm certain these Muslim leaders had no worries when Hallal Ariel was murdered in her sleep. They may have a different attitude when bombs begin exploding in their major cities and among their citizenry.

The Islamist monster targeted the West first in places like New York, San Bernadino, Orlando, Paris, London, and Brussels, then "apostate" Muslims in places like Iraq and Syria, then its own enablers and creators in places like Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Once can only wonder when the monster will turn on its titular protectors on the Left. Wearing a keffiyeh, a black and white checked scarfs, in "solidarity" with the oppressed palestinians is a demented method for virtue signalling among some members of the Left. That is, until the the keffiyeh is tied around their necks and used as a murder weapon. The Left thinks that can't happen, that "solidarity" will protect them.. Just ask Ergodan or the Saudi Royals about that.