Tuesday, August 30, 2016

“Clinton-State Foundation”: More Facts

Clinton Aides -- Foundation Friends -- Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin
With the catchy title “Aiding and Abedin,” Steve Hayes in the conservative Weekly Standard adds further detail to the “Department of Clinton-State” scandal.

First Hayes provides background. In Bill Clinton’s last year (2000), he wanted to visit South Asia. He would be the first president since Jimmy Carter in 1978 to do so. But he would skip Pakistan because General Pervez Musharraf had seized power in a military coup there six months earlier.

The New York Times on February 18, 2000 noted that while "Pakistan has been lobbying hard in Washington” for a visit, Clinton was right to stand firm, given Pakistan’s failure to return to civilian rule. But four days later, Hillary Clinton, speaking at a private home gathering on Staten Island, said she hoped her husband would change his mind.

The gathering was a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser hosted by prominent Pakistani New York doctors, who admitted lobbying for a presidential stop in Pakistan. The fundraiser was for Hillary Clinton, then a U.S. Senate candidate, and organizers knew they needed to raise $50,000 for her to show up.

Two weeks after Hillary Clinton expressed her “hope,” the White House announced the president would visit Pakistan. While the White House insisted Hillary Clinton's views had no bearing on her husband's decision, in a New York Times follow-up under the headline "Donating to the First Lady, Hoping the President Notices," the paper wrote of Hillary Clinton's candidacy: "While her husband still occupies the White House, people may seek to influence his policies by making donations to her Senate campaign."

And that’s exactly why the Pakistani hosts moved their fundraiser to before the president’s final South Asian schedule decision.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton Foundation followed this very pattern: people influenced her foreign policy by donating to the Foundation. Clinton and her top aides, in Hayes’ words, “eagerly provide special access to Clinton Foundation donors” because those donors gave to the  Foundation.

In 2009, Clinton’s cabinet nomination focused on the Foundation. "The main issue related to Senator Clinton's nomination that has occupied the committee has been the review of how her service as secretary of state can be reconciled with the sweeping global activities of President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation," said Senator Richard Lugar, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking Republican. People “may perceive the Clinton Foundation as a means to gain favor with the secretary of state."

Republicans wanted strong assurances and a detailed statement of rules. But Democrats, happy to leave things vague, won. And now we have Clinton's unequivocal July claim: "There is absolutely no connection between anything that I did as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation."

We earlier showed how in the person of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the supposed “firewall” between the Foundation and Clinton’s State Department apparently didn’t exist. Hayes provides more evidence:
  • In June 2012, Hillary Clinton's chief of staff Cheryl Mills flew to New York City to interview two candidates to lead the Foundation. Also, Laura Graham, the Foundation’s chief operating officer, left 148 telephone messages for Mills between 2010 and 2012 —the two-year period for which State provided records. Not only do the records leave out calls when Graham and Mills connected, but also Graham’s 148 messages were far more than those left by any other person. 
  • Director James Comey said the FBI recovered thousands of work-related emails that Clinton failed to turn over, but many others were deleted. While the FBI director nonetheless assured the public "there was no intentional misconduct" in email sorting, Comey acknowledged: "They deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.” 
  • Clinton’s team used "BleachBit," a technology that, according to its website, allows users to "shred files to hide their contents and prevent data recovery" and "overwrite free disk space to hide previously deleted files.” It means that Clinton, who took virtually no precautions to safeguard her emails while on her server, “BleachBitted” her withheld emails, doing so two years after leaving State, and only when she realized otherwise the government would see them. 
Comment: It’s called “obstruction of justice.”

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Clinton Corruption: Latest Facts

We now know that Hillary Clinton set up and shielded her email server from the American public — but not from capable foreign governments — for one purpose: hide the money-making machine she wanted the State Department to become. She agreed to serve Barack Obama as his loyal Secretary of State not only to advance her path to the White House, but also to earn even more money for the Clinton Foundation, which is her amoral husband’s, her family’s, and her large entourage’s principal source of income.

Conservative Ed Morrissey, in The Fiscal Times, has catalogued recently-unearthed evidence of Hillary Clinton’s corruption, especially shocking since she is our presumed next president:
  • An Associated Press review of State Department and Clinton Foundation records shows that more than half of Secretary Clinton’s official State Department meetings or conversations with non-government officials involved Clinton Foundation donors. 
  • Of 154 total outsiders, the at least 85 with Clinton Foundation connections provided $156 million to the Foundation, 40 giving $100,000 or more. Another 16 foreign government representatives donated an additional $170 million. 
  • These donations violated Obama’s Memorandum of Understanding demanded of Clinton before he appointed her to run the State Department. Clinton pledged total transparency and solid firewalls separating State and the Foundation. On transparency, AP had to sue (and wait for years) to get Clinton’s calendars. 
  • Initially rebuffed when requesting an appointment, the Crown Prince of Bahrain forced an e-mail exchange between Foundation executive Doug Band and Clinton aide Huma Abedin that secured the $32 million donor his desired audience with Clinton. 
  • For Bahrain, a country on State’s Human Rights Watch list for the “torture and mistreatment of detainees,” the meeting coincided with Bahrain’s contribution to the Foundation while Clinton ran State. Between 2010 and 2012, arms sales to Bahrain increased by 187% over a similar Bush administration period, and included $70,000 in toxic chemical sales, all as Bahrain was suppressing its own Arab Spring uprising, the kind Obama encouraged elsewhere. 
  • Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian steel magnate donated over $8 million to the Clinton Foundation and committed up to $20 million more. Pinchuk used his Foundation connections to meet a “top Clinton aide” at State. As secretary, Clinton hosted a dinner for the Foundation’s donors including Pinchuk, a supporter of the pro-Russian regime that Ukrainians overthrew in late 2013, a move the Obama administration supported.
  • Pinchuk additionally had been selling oil pipeline and railroad equipment to Iran during Clinton’s tenure, in apparent violation of tight sanctions placed on Tehran over Iran’s nuclear-weapons development. 
  • Regarding Pinchuk’s sales, an ex-Bush administration official said, “Congress needs to determine why sanctions were not imposed in this case, and whether pressure was put on lower level State Department officials to overlook this violation.” 
Looking at America's future under Clinton, Morrissey concludes, “When character and integrity no longer matter, Mike Royko’s suggested motto for Chicago of ubi est mea is the only standard that applies: Where’s mine?”

Monday, August 22, 2016

For blacks, Obama is “2 steps forward, 6 back.”

“The Democratic Party has run nearly every inner city in this country for 50 years, and run them into financial ruin. They’ve ruined the schools. They’ve driven out the jobs. They’ve tolerated a level of crime no American should consider acceptable.”

—Donald Trump

Delroy Murdock
Conservative black commentator Delroy Murdock, source of the above Trump quote, said Trump told his suburban Milwaukee audience last week that violent crime was up 17% in America’s 50 biggest cities in 2015, homicides climbed 50% in Washington, D.C. this year, and in Baltimore, murders are up 60%.

To Murdock, “Obama’s value to blacks is almost purely symbolic. It’s quite literally two steps forward, six steps back.”

Murdock’s “two steps forward, six steps back:”

• The unemployment rate has improved. According to the latest data, joblessness for black Americans has slid from 12.7% at Obama’s first inauguration to 8.4% in July — down 33.9%.

• The unemployment rate for blacks from ages 16 to 19 declined over that interval, from 35.3% to 25.7% — down 27.2%.

• But, the overall labor force participation rate for black Americans has slipped from 63.2% to 61.2%— down 3.2%.

• This metric also slumped for black teenagers, from 29.6% to 27.7% — down 6.4%.

• The percentage of black Americans in poverty has grown under Obama, the Census Bureau reports, from 25.8% in 2009 to 26.2% in 2014 — up 1.6%.

• Real median income among black households during Obama, the Census says, slid from $35,954 to $35,398 — down 1.5%.

• The number of blacks on Food Stamps soared under Obama — from 7,393,000 in 2009 to 11,699,000 in 2014 — up 58.2%.

• Also, from Obama’s arrival through last June 30, the percentage of black Americans who own homes plunged from 46.1 to 41.7%, the Census reports — down 9.5%.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Clinton News Network” Edits Call for Violence

Quotation without comment.

From the conservative Washington Times:
Sherelle Smith encourages her community to burn the suburbs of Milwaukee

Both online and on television, CNN edited out Sherelle Smith, the sister of a black man who was killed by police in Milwaukee on Saturday, calling for rioters to take their violence “to the suburbs.”

Correspondent Ana Cabrera reported Ms. Smith was “calling for peace” in a televised segment Monday on CNN Newsroom, NewsBusters reported.

The network showed a brief clip of Ms. Smith telling protesters: “Don’t bring the violence here and the ignorance here.”

But CNN cut away before Ms. Smith called for rioters to “take that s– to the suburbs.”

“Stop burning down s– we need in our community,” Ms. Smith said in her extended remarks. “Take that s– to the suburbs. Burn they s– down. We need our s–. We need our weaves. I don’t wear it. But we need it.”

A CNN.com article on Monday framed the issue similarly, reporting that Ms. Smith “condemned violence carried out in her brother’s name, saying the community needs those businesses.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

American Racism

Milwaukee Riots
New York University is going to make it easier for ex-criminals to attend its institution. In the conservative Weekly Standard, Naomi Schaefer Riley writes that NYU is taking questions about criminal background off its applications. To Riley, the reason is obvious. NYU wants more blacks in its student body, and criminal backgrounds disproportionately keep blacks away.

But Riley, who is sensitive to how poorly affirmative action actually helps disadvantaged minorities, reminds readers that the practice
has led many students to make the toxic assumption that minority students are not as capable. As NYU's very own Jonathan Haidt wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal, "As a result of these disparate admissions standards, many students spend four years in a social environment where race conveys useful information about the academic capacity of their peers." Admitting, in the name of diversity, students who are even less qualified "is likely to make racial gaps larger, which would strengthen the negative stereotypes that students of color find when they arrive on campus.”
Do we really want affirmative action bringing black ex-felons to the academy? Says Riley:
Now imagine what would happen if white and Asian students on campus had the impression that not only were their black peers less likely to have performed well on standardized tests or on their high school report cards, but were also more likely to have criminal records.
We all know that alumni preferences have long favored white applicants. Or have they?

Riley tells us that
one recent Harvard study of 30 elite colleges found that "legacy" applicants—often disdained as receiving a kind of old-boys-network preference—actually had slightly higher average SAT scores than the overall pool of applicants.
So much for that affirmative action excuse.

Conservative Heather MacDonald, in the City Journal, is upset about the continuing violence of blacks against police from one American city to another that has now reached Milwaukee (see picture, above). She calls it racism.

To MacDonald:
the narrative’s biggest lie is that white people are the most powerful source of racism today—a lie embraced by elite white society itself. When that society is not twisting itself into knots trying to hire or promote as many blacks as possible, it is in a constant state of anguish trying to track down those deep, if invisible, pockets of white racism that supposedly explain ongoing racial disparities. Black racism, however, is far more pervasive than any vestigial white racism, as anyone who has spent time in inner-city black neighborhoods knows.
I have been warned by residents of one Harlem housing project not to venture into a neighboring project because the hatred of whites is even more acute there. A resident of the Taft Houses in East Harlem told me of the abuse she took as a child because her mother was Irish. Black flash mobs and participants in the “knock-out game” are motivated by anti-white animus, though the media strive frantically to ignore both the violence and the emotion generating it.
Blacks are the primary source of interracial violence. In 2012, blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites, and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence against blacks, according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey provided to the author by a Bureau of Justice Statistics statistician. Blacks, in other words, committed 85% of the interracial crimes between blacks and whites, even though they are less than 13% of the population. It would be naïve to think that some of that black-on-white violence does not have a racial tinge to it.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

It’s about Hillary Clinton.

“Clinton will contribute nothing to lift the flatlined aspirations of the eight Obama years. There is also the matter of Clinton mores.”

Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal (paid subscription)  


From Keith Koffler, in the conservative “LifeZette”:
  • In 2014, the last year for which data are available, and after six full years of Obama's stewardship, median household income was $53,657. That's nearly $4,000 lower, in constant 2014 dollars, than it was in 2007, the last year before the recession hit. And it was nearly $1,650 below 2008, the year before Obama took office.

From Andy Puzder, CEO, CKE Restaurants:
  • In July of this year, there were 5.2 million more people employed than in December of 2007 when the recession began. However, the employable population has increased by [20.4] million people—that’s nearly four times the increase in number of people who found jobs. Perhaps more disturbing, just 2.3 million of those who found jobs found full-time jobs. In other words, over half (56%) of the net gain has been in people working lower-paying part-time jobs.
  • These numbers have consequences. A recent Pew Research study found young adults more likely to be living in their parents’ homes than at any time since 1940. According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly one in six young men is either jobless or incarcerated, up from about one in 10 in 1980, when the economy was in recession.  


From Austin Bay, University of Texas adjunct professor:
  • Hillary. . . “does awful.” She commits a dreadful (and at times criminal) action with calculation and an unrestrained presumption of privilege. Her dreadful action is provable, having witnesses (grieving parents), or, in the case of her national security information crime, a feckless Jim Comey discovering evidence verifying her gross negligence. A month later Hillary lies about Comey’s investigation. Credit [Fox News’] Chris Wallace with confronting her—but Hillary’s reptilian being scarcely blinks. She apparently believes that by October mis- and mal-informed voters will believe Comey exonerated her. Hillary believes Americans are stupid.

From Jonah Goldberg, in the conservative National Review:
  • Hillary Clinton is a known quantity. She’s Nixon in a pantsuit. She’s been a tedious, grating, cynical, corrupt presence in our lives for nearly three decades. Hillary . . . doesn’t know what to make of the public. And even I can muster some sympathy because “getting it” would require understanding something about herself that no person would want to understand. Who wants to accept that after a lifetime of public exposure people have concluded they just don’t like you or trust you?

From conservative John Hart, in “Opportunity Lives”:
  • The problem with Clinton. . . and today’s Democratic Party, is that instead of encouraging civil society they constrict and suffocate civil society. In practice, Clinton’s [“It Takes a Village”] is a dystopian world of minders, regulators and tax collectors. And it’s a place where the rules don’t apply to the rulers.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Everywhere: “We are Family!”

Edward Steichen’s 1955 Museum of Modern Art masterpiece, “The Family of Man,” has been hailed as the “most successful exhibition of photography ever assembled”. In book form with words by Carl Sandburg, The Family of Man has been in print for 61 years with over 4 million sold.

Some of Sandburg’s words:
People! flung wide and far, born into toil, struggle, blood and dreams, among lovers, eaters, drinkers, workers, loafers, fighters, players, gamblers. Here are ironworkers, bridge men, musicians, sandhogs, miners, builders of huts and skyscrapers, jungle hunters, landlords, and the landless, the loved and the unloved, the lonely and abandoned, the brutal and the compassionate — one big family hugging close to the ball of Earth for its life and being. Everywhere is love and love-making, weddings and babies from generation to generation keeping the Family of Man alive and continuing.
French critic Roland Barthes within the year called “The Family of Man” a product of "conventional humanism," a collection of photographs in which everyone lives and "dies in the same way everywhere ." "Just showing pictures of people being born and dying tells us, literally, nothing.”

Here’s my take. Family is the first and most important step beyond self. Our elite may care about us, but first and most important, they care about their own family. It’s just who we are. The elite hope you will accept their honest love of their own family and let them be, not seek to overthrow them for their very human aspirations. Something like, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

Understand, the definition of “family” is loose. Terrorists blow themselves up because they are sacrificing for a family, whether their original family or an adopted one.

Are you happy, or are you angry enough to disrupt the established order? Loving your family can carry you either way.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Hillary, Obama, and FDR: Big Bad Government

Happy Days?
Yes, after July’s revised figures on job creation, U.S. average job increase over the last 4 months has risen to 179,000 a month, above the 145,000 minimum needed to stay even with population growth.  

But. . .

According to the Washington Post’s Ed Rogers:
93% of counties in the United States still have not fully recovered from the recession when factoring in job creation, the unemployment rate, GDP and median home prices in each county across the country. . . [T]his is modern, turbocharged, malignant malaise that the Democrats obviously can’t fix. [Recent] average job creation does not undo the damage caused by Obama’s failed economic policies. [And] Clinton’s embrace of all things Obama is forcing her to maintain a steady stream of discredited happy talk on the economy, which only generates more cynicism about her and more doubts about her ability to change anything about the economy.
Phil Gramm and Michael Solon, writing in the conservative Wall Street Journal, undertake a deeper dive that compares Obama’s Great Recession recovery to the worst recovery of all-time: Franklin Roosevelt’s long, slow (1933-40) Great Depression slog:
From 1932-36, federal spending skyrocketed 77%, the national debt rose by over 73%, and top tax rates more than tripled, from 25% to 79%. But the tectonic shift brought about by the New Deal was the federal government’s involvement in the economy, as a tidal wave of new laws were enacted and more executive orders were issued than by all subsequent presidents combined through President Clinton.
As government assumed greater control, private investment collapsed, averaging only 40% of the 1929 level for nine consecutive years. League of Nations data show that by 1938, in five of the six most-developed countries in the world industrial production was on average 23% above 1929 levels, but in the U.S. it was still down by 10%. Employment in five of the six major developed countries averaged 12% above the pre-Depression levels while U.S. employment was still down by 20%. Before the Great Depression, real per capita GDP in the U.S. was about 25% larger than it was in Britain. By 1938, real per capita GDP in Britain was slightly higher than in the U.S.
The dominant lesson of the Great Depression and the Great Recession is that when government overspends, overtaxes and over-regulates, economic freedom is suppressed and economic growth vanishes.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Clinton and The Basic Lie

Hillary Clinton lies. But note, progressive government itself is built on a lie. Since Democrats dumped President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, a coup that led to Republican victories in 5 of the next 6 presidential elections, a meritocratic minority has controlled the party’s less educated majority.

But it’s undemocratic for minorities to control majorities. How do progressives get away with it?

Our national elite embrace meritocracy — the superior (alphas) ruling the inferior (deltas). Meritocracy makes sense to those who believe 1) some elite will always rule the people, 2) progress means replacing a fixed elite of inherited wealth and status with an elite continuously renewed through performance, and 3) rewarding performance normally means advancing hard workers with brains.

Here’s the rub. In a democracy, empowering a credentialed minority won’t work, because the voting majority cannot be alphas who pass through elite universities. For the progressives who took over the Democratic Party in 1968 to hold onto power — as they have largely done since Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential election — they must, in effect, fool a majority of the people all the time.

That means lies. Lies covering up how Washington works for insiders. Lies about upward mobility, when the “meritocracy” works as hard as any historical elite to maintain its offspring in elite positions at the expense of those below. Lies about why most minorities don’t make progress. Lies about failure to create jobs, about failure to maintain national security, about any other aspect of poor job performance that is supposedly impossible under “competent meritocracy” rule.

The media are complicit in the lies. Media are part of the insider world. They went to school with the rulers, play up to them, work to protect them. Media elite also want their offspring to do well. Along with the ruling elite, media believe the end justifies the means — the lies — that sustain elite rule in a democracy where sovereignty depends on votes of the less-educated majority.

Hillary Clinton lies because she must.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Poor Voters + High Taxes = Big Government

For the progressive elite’s Big Government (the “Blue Beast”), feeding itself comes first. To keep growing, it must expand its voter base and increase its food supply. That means adding poor voters. That means higher taxes.  

Poor Voters

Did you know the Feds openly protect “undocumented Democrats”?  The conservative Media Research Center has found, at Homeland Security’s website, “Sensitive Locations FAQs” that help illegals reach safety. In English and Spanish (no other languages), the “FAQs” guide undocumented Democrats and their U.S. supporters to any school-related activity even including a school bus stop, any hospital or other medical facility, any place of worship, or to participation in any public demonstration such as a parade or rally, no matter how small.

An illegal bothered at any of these locations may simply call the toll-free number provided. Of course, “sensitive locations” are in addition to the protection over 200 U.S. sanctuary cities provide illegals anywhere within a sanctuary city's boundaries.

Unbelievable. As we know, people living “in the shadows” undercut efforts to employ Americans and legal permanent residents, or to increase their pay.  

High Taxes

In Washington state, a ballot initiative seeks to reduce carbon emissions by eventually taxing them $100 a ton. But to keep the economy growing and also to help poor people hit hard by Washington’s regressively high sales tax, the initiative offsets its carbon tax increase — which raises Washingtonians’ fuel costs by 25 cents a gallon — by cutting the sales tax 1% and giving back even more to Washington’s 400,000 poorest working families. A similar system in neighboring British Columbia has helped reduce carbon emissions there by 16% over eight years.

You would think environmentalists would embrace the “cut carbon emissions” initiative.  In fact, it is unacceptable to the Sierra Club and its coalition of environmental, union and immigrant rights groups. They want the tax increase — it feeds the Big Government they love — not the rebates to ordinary Washingtonians and working poor — who should remain dependent.

Unbelievable. Raise taxes. Keep government growing. Keep dependent poor voting Progressive Democrat Big Sister Nanny State.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Wall Street Journal: It’s Business Investment, Stupid!

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial (paid subscription) that explains America’s sagging growth rate (see previous post).

Here, from the Journal’s editorial (the headings are mine):  

Business on Strike
Business spending on the likes of new factories, equipment and software [see chart] has subtracted from growth for three straight quarters. Apart from a stretch in 2014, the last three years have been historically weak.
This matters because business investment spurs the growth and productivity gains that produce more jobs and higher wages. As resilient as consumers have been, they can’t drive growth by themselves.
The investment plunge is a signal that business is on strike. . . CEOs will be risk-averse and conservative with their balance sheets until they see signs of a growth rebound, even though they’re sitting atop piles of cash and the cost of capital is at all-time lows. They will also hold off investing until they have a better sense of the future tax and regulatory burdens they are likely to face next year.
Afraid of Clinton
the .   .  . Democrats [convention] promised more of the policies that have stifled growth the last eight years. “Wall Street, corporations and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes,” Clinton declared.
Start? The richest 1% already pay about 38% of federal income tax revenue[. W]hich sage economic advisers have told her that raising taxes on business will yield more business investment[? I]f you tax something you get less of it. Obama’s unprecedented wave of regulatory costs is another main reason business isn’t investing. Yet Clinton promised more costly rules on finance, health care, drug prices, mandated wages and benefits, and more.
Trump No Help
Normally all of this would help the [other] party[, but] Trump is talking more about law and order and terrorism than the economy. . . restricting the labor force with immigration controls and raising the prices of imports with new tariffs. . . would harm the economy. . .
Trump does say he’ll reduce regulation and cut taxes, but he offers few details and these are hardly his main talking points. In his Cleveland acceptance speech, [they seemed] an afterthought.
the House GOP’s “Better Way” [agenda] would reform the business tax code, ease rule-making and otherwise remove barriers to investment and job creation. The Tax Foundation estimates the package would make the economy about 9% larger and lift wages by 8%. . . Trump should read it.
The editorial worries “another lost decade of slow growth” will lead to “more economic anxiety” and “more political unrest”.