Showing posts with label The Federalist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Federalist. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2015

Could This Be the Scandal That Finally Sinks Hillary Clinton?

Could This Be the Scandal That Finally Sinks Hillary Clinton?
Yeah, I know.
Those of us who have been watching politics for the last quarter of a century have asked this question time and again, as the Clintons wriggled out of a dozen different kinds of shady behavior. And each time we think something’s finally going to take them down, they skate. It’s kind of like being a Cubs fan: maybe next year.
But there are five reasons why Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal could finally be the one.

1) It’s not about Bill.

People like Bill Clinton. I don’t really know why; he’s always struck me as a smarmy used car salesmen. But people actually do buy used cars from questionable characters, and the general public somehow likes Bill Clinton and wants to cut him some slack. Sometimes there’s just no accounting for these things.
But Hillary is not Bill. She can’t do that thing where he responds to a scandal with finger-wagging outrage at the unjust accusations one moment, and humble, lip-biting contrition the next, and people buy it. She seems cold and distant, and her lame attempts to laugh off the scandal as a non-issue don’t make her seem buoyantly confident. They just make her seem contemptuous and out of touch.
There are plenty of people—Democratic Party activists, mostly—who have a vested interest in making excuses for Hillary. But she doesn’t have the kind of mysterious charisma that gets her a free pass with the general public.

2) It’s about a real issue.

There were some real issues behind the previous scandals, as we wasted a lot of time explaining to anyone who would listen, which wasn’t many people. But the most famous issue on which the Clintons skated—Bill’s dalliance with a White House intern—seemed like it was all about his personal sex life, not matters of state. So who cared, really?
This scandal is about national security. It’s about Hillary Clinton casually, recklessly mishandling something that was central to her job as Secretary of State: protecting the secrets of the United States. That’s why the latest revelation is so important: that her unsecure homebrew e-mail server was not merely the passive recipient of classified information sent to her by others, but that she used it to 766 Comments containing classified material.

3) It’s about something concrete.

The biggest Clinton scandal by far is the way the family cashed in after Bill left office, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in speaking fees and consultancies, far beyond the actual value of any work they provided—money that is obviously being laid down in an attempt to secure access and favors from the Clinton family. And all of that money has been washing around between Bill and Hillary and their foundation, which seems to operate mostly as a family slush fund.
But the thing about influence peddling is that it’s vague and hard to pin down. That’s why people do it. Everybody knows the rules of the game: give money and you get access, you get an ear eager to hear your concerns—but there is never any explicit quid pro quo, no smoking gun that can send anybody to jail. So critics are left pointing to overall patterns that seem suspicious, but it can all just be brushed off as coincidence.
The e-mail scandal is specific and concrete. It’s about a server and a hard drive. It’s about a specific classified message sent at a particular time from a particular e-mail account. It’s a lot harder to explain away.

4) It’s something people have been prosecuted for.

It’s hard to turn back once you’ve made a witch hunt out of mishandling classified information. Too many people have been prosecuted for that under this administration. Most famously, prosecutors went after General David Petraeus for keeping physical notebooks with classified information in his home—which is actually more difficult for our enemies to steal than the contents of a server, which can be hacked remotely. While you might be able to get someone to construct an argumentabout how that case is totally different from this one, it’s a distinction that isn’t going to hold up.

5) It turns Hillary’s big accomplishment into a big liability.

Secretary of State is the only executive office Hillary Clinton has ever held. When she lost the Democratic primary in 2008, this was the position she wanted as her stepping stone back to the presidency. It was an office in which she could rack up experience doing something that seems presidential—dealing with foreign policy—without having to take responsibility for whatever Obama messed up in domestic policy.
This scandal takes the one big thing Hillary Clinton has done in the past ten years to demonstrate her credentials to run for president, and it turns that one big asset into a big liability. It turns her tenure at the State Department into something she cannot mention without raising questions about all the classified information she potentially laid bare to Russian and Chinese hackers.
When it comes to actual prosecution, the Clintons are masters at getting off on a technicality, claiming that they didn’t really violate the strict letter of the law because it all depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is. And you know they can afford flesh-eating lawyers who will work every angle for them if this goes to court.
But we also know just how ambitious the Clintons are. We know that the real punishment for them isn’t prosecution or prison. It is being denied access to power. All this scandal really has to do is to make Hillary Clinton look unfit to be commander-in-chief.
After all, nobody can keep getting away with this stuff. It’s all got to catch up with them some time.
Doesn’t it?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Don’t Like ‘Anchor Babies’? Try ‘Products of Deception’

The term ‘anchor babies’ isn’t the problem. The practice of granting birthright citizenship to illegal aliens is.

The overlords of political correctness have struck again. Evidently, it’s now a “hateful slur” to call the children of illegal immigrants “anchor babies,” a long-held designation to describe how automatic citizenship bestowed on the children of illegal immigrants becomes a powerful magnet for people entering and staying in the United States illegally.
Last week, Hillary Clinton attacked Jeb Bush for using the term, saying it’s offensive and that anchor babies are simply “babies.” Donald Trump scoffed at that and refused to give in to the easily offended speech police. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had the best response, tying Clinton’s comment to the abortion industry’s harvesting of organs from aborted babies.
“You know what I find offensive is Hillary Clinton, the Left, when you look at those Planned Parenthood videos—they refuse to call them babies, they call it fetal tissue, they call them specimens,” Jindal said. “That’s what’s offensive.”
After the Center of Medical Progress released the videos, defenders of abortion came out swinging, saying they aren’t “babies” but“products of conception“—a nice, clean, politically correct term that dehumanizes unborn children so the consciences of abortionists can be dulled as they chop up and crush the arms, legs, bodies, and heads of human babies.

Let’s Call Them Products of Deception

So, here’s a suggestion—for the sake of consistency among those on the Left. Let’s start calling anchor babies “products of deception,” because that’s exactly what they are—they’re children used by their parents to deceive American citizens in order to abuse and take advantage of our generosity.
It’s not meant to judge the character or value of the children themselves, but only to describe their role in illegal immigration practices.
Illegal immigrants, and even tourists who come to the United States for the fraudulent purpose of delivering their children on American soil, use their babies as tools to remain in our country and often to get freebies from our welfare system and to bring in more family members through chain migration. They do this despite the Fourteenth Amendment offering no legal support for this practice and no court in American history ever holding that the children of illegal immigrants have the right to automatic citizenship. Yet, somehow, this practice has administratively slipped into our system. Now, illegal aliens are taking advantage of it in droves.

Note that the emphasis here is on illegal aliens—a point often lost in the debate over birthright citizenship. When advocates for immigration reform say the United States must end “birthright citizenship,” they are talking about citizenship for the children ofillegal immigrants and those committing fraud on the American system, not for children of legal immigrants, and certainly not for people who have already been granted citizenship (see the grandfather clause in the Birthright Citizenship bill HR 140). They are talking about the practice of giving automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States but are citizens of another country.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Federalist: America, The Unserious Super-Power

The United States is no longer a serious country.
Now, by this I do not mean that America is no longer a super-power. By any gross indicator of strength, the United States is as powerful as it’s ever been, perhaps more powerful than at any time in its history. It has a massive, highly productive economy, a military second to none, and an alliance that dwarfs all possible competitors. On paper, it’s still the only super-power on this planet (or on any other that we know of, so far).
But the status of a great nation is built on more than raw power. It includes intangible qualities like respect, admiration, and, yes, fear. We don’t need all three of them; no major power does. But we need at least one of them at any given moment, and right now, we’re bottoming out in each of these measures. President Obama may insist that America is now “the most respected country on Earth”—a claim even the normally more forgiving folks at PolitiFact rate as only “half-true”—but the Russians, Iranians, and Chinese clearly disagree, and for good reason.
The Chinese hack of the Office of Personnel Management is the most recent, and most obvious, example of how our status is going down the drain. This is a disaster of unimaginable proportions. The intelligence damage, including security-clearance information, will last for decades. (I, of course, am one of the millions of federal workers waiting to find out if my files are now in Beijing.) Almost as shocking as the size of this breach, however, is the fact that no one seems to care very much, including the Chinese, who have shown no concern at all.

An Act of War, Ignored

In any normal world, a super-power would not tolerate this kind of an attack. Perhaps more accurately, a true super-power would never have to endure such an attack in the first place, because other nations would be loath to engage in such a direct act of open hostility. States do lousy things to each other all day long, but the wholesale and brazen theft of personnel records is a different kind of espionage. The scale is so vast that it is a direct challenge to the United States of America.
Countries, as a rule, do not do whatever they can do, they do what they think they can get away with.
In response, the most powerful country in the world has drawn itself up to its full height, clenched its mighty fist in anger, and….contracted out for some identity-theft protection for its employees. The majesty of the enraged eagle is truly remarkable to behold.
The critics say the government wasn’t very good at protecting that information. It was wearing its data-management skirt a little short this time, so it deserved this kind of attack. To argue that sloppy information security makes what happened understandable, however, is to miss a far larger point: countries, as a rule, do not do whatever they can do, they do what they think they can get away with, and those are two different things.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hillary and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution is known as the Emoluments Clause, and it bans payola to U.S. government officials from foreign governments.  It reads:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
Sean Davis of The Federalist has explored how payments from foreign governments to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation probably violate that clause.  His argument hinges on the evidence that the foundation has operated less as a charity than as a slush fund for the use of the Clintons:
Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (20122011201020092008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants. More than $25 million went to fund travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits. And a whopping $290 million during that period — nearly 60 percent of all money raised — was classified merely as “other expenses.” Official IRS forms do not list cigar or dry-cleaning expenses as a specific line item. The Clinton Foundation may well be saving lives, but it seems odd that the costs of so many life-saving activities would be classified by the organization itself as just random, miscellaneous expenses.
Keep in mind that the foundation has just announced that it will be re-filing these reports, now that Reuters has investigated them and found discrepancies.  A number of staffers of the Hillary campaign have been reported to have held jobs at the foundation prior to the campaign formally commencing, although I have seen no hard data on that.  And it has been reported that much of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s travel has been covered by the foundation.

Via: American Thinker

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