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And the winner of the most dysfunctional political party is…

There is little in the e-mail releases that surprises me.  They only confirm what those outside of the Clinton bubble already knew.  She has had a long history of lies while living in an ethical vacuum. She has long shown contempt for the common man and arrogance towards all others.  This was known long before the e-mail scandal.

What is new and far more worrisome is what else this sordid episode tells us.

1.  The civil service sector is broken. She should never have been allowed to set up her own server and violate the most basic security protocols. This failure is serious and so far rarely addressed.

2.  Wikileaks had to do the job the press would not.  There has been enough suspicious activity in the Clinton Foundation to alert every media outlet. What few stories were run received little attention because the Clinton sycophants elected otherwise.  Ironically, the very press that sought to cover for her led to the downfall of her party by allowing her to advance without the scrutiny she clearly merited.

3. Turns out character does count.  Bill was excused for his sordid behavior because it was only sex.  What we tolerate we teach. What we teach we reap.  Weiner shows clearly what we should have already known.  Character does count. If you can not control your basic urges, what other behaviors are you unable to control? How can this be used against you in office by nefarious adversaries?

4.Even if she wins, she loses.  This affair will tarnish her and make her entire term a lame duck experience.  She could face impeachment far faster than her husband.  What a proud family they must be.

Just last week we thought the GOP was the dysfunctional party.  I cursed the GOP for nominating such a weak candidate that they were going to allow Hillary to win.  There were many Republicans who publicly denounced Trump.  Where are the Democrats with similar integrity?

 

4.

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Risk vs Certainty

trumphillary

from The Case for Trump from William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal

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.

 

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Clinton’s Security Risk

hillary-clinton-winking

Gordon Crovitz at the Wall Street Journal writes Clinton’s Information Lockdown The private email server was only semiprivate: Putin likely has  everything.

No public official since LBJ has gone as far as Hillary Clinton to evade public-disclosure laws. In 2010 her adviser Huma Abedin recommended that she use a government email account, as the State Department required. “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible,” Mrs. Clinton responded in an email that has since come to light. She used a private email server for all her communications because this kept both official and personal communications off government servers, where they would have been subject to disclosure under FOIA.

FBI Director James Comey concluded that Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information in her emails didn’t meet the legal test for a crime because he couldn’t prove that she intended to disclose national secrets. But Mr. Comey testified to Congress last week that the FBI determined that Mrs. Clinton did violate the Federal Records Act, which makes his legal analysis of her intent incomplete. Her most relevant intention was to defy disclosure laws. Her actions had the incidental effect of mishandling confidential communications.

Most ominously, Mr. Comey confirmed that foreign intelligence agencies have more access than Americans to what Mrs. Clinton hid on her home-brew computer. The FBI confirmed that foreign hackers almost certainly raided her unsecure server to get the nation’s top secrets. This includes all 60,000 of her emails—not just the 30,000 she chose to disclose.

Mrs. Clinton’s missing 30,000 emails could still become public. Recent reports indicate that Russian agents hacked the servers of the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic National Committee. Vladimir Putin can now triangulate information from the Clinton emails, the Clinton Foundation and the DNC. He could launch an October surprise to affect the U.S. election by disclosing information Mrs. Clinton tried to keep hidden. Or he could keep the information for himself as a sword over the head of a potential next president.

HKO

The risk of Clinton’s negligence or intent is far greater than we think.

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A Government of Laws

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from Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal, Clinton is Already Vowing to Overreach:

This is no small matter. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands,” James Madison warned in Federalist 47, “may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” Madison goes on to paraphrase Montesquieu: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person.”

Or we might consult Thomas Jefferson, namesake of the Iowa Democratic dinner where Mrs. Clinton spoke. In his “Notes on the State of Virginia,” Jefferson writes that “the concentrating” of the legislative, executive and judicial powers “in the same hands, is precisely the definition of despotic government.”

Progressives long ago came to view the Constitution as a quaint document with no binding power. But until recently, they never were so baldly contemptuous of it. Now liberals consider running roughshod over our governing charter not only fashionable but mandatory. No constitutional niceties will stand in the way of their vision. Which explains why this election will decide whether America will remain, in the words of John Adams, “a government of laws, and not of men.”

HKO

When one condones such power being accessible to an elected official, they would be wise to pause and imagine that power in the hands of their worst nightmare from the opposition. How would she feel about the same power in the hands of a Donald Trump?

This is a good example of pragmatism as a political philosophy at its worst.  Every problem is a crisis and something must be done, the constitution be damned.

The dominant political debate today, after you cut through pieties and the noise is constitutionalism vs progressivism.  The progressives since Wilson have viewed the constitution as a dated document that inhibits needed government action, not as a document designed to restrain government power and protect individual natural rights.  While there is clearly room for interpretation in the lights of two and half centuries of progress, the fundamental precepts of liberty and the problem with concentrations of government power remain and should be respected.

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A Hard Shift Left

from The Wall Street Journal, Fred Barnes writes The No-Growth Democratic Party

In 1997 President Bill Clinton signed the Taxpayer Relief Act, cutting the tax rate on capital gains to 20% from 28%. Senate Democrats voted 37-8 in favor of the bill. House Democrats backed it 164-41. In 2015 Mr. Clinton’s wife, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, wants to raise the current 23.4% rate on capital gains, nearly doubling it for wealthy investors.

In 1982 Sen. Bill Bradley and House member Dick Gephardt, both Democrats, unveiled an ambitious tax-reform plan that would spur economic growth by eliminating loopholes, broadening the tax base and reducing the top rate on individual income to 30% from 50%. What Mr. Bradley and Mr. Gephardt started, President Reagan and Congress finished in 1986. A bipartisan tax-reform package was enacted, with a top rate of 28%.

Now Democrats have a new definition of tax reform. “They want to broaden the base and raise tax rates,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former head of the Congressional Budget Office. Rather than promote economic growth—a goal of Mr. Bradley and Mr. Gephardt—this approach is almost certain to hamper it. After nearly seven years of sluggish growth during the Obama era, the party seems to think that even an anemic 2% annual increase in GDP is too much.