Bret Stephens writes in The Wall Street Journal, Hillary’s Cynical Song of Self
Cynicism is the great temptation of modern life. We become cynics because we desperately don’t want to be moralists, and because earnestness is boring, and because skepticism is a hard and elusive thing to master. American education, by and large, has become an education in cynicism: Our Founders were rank hypocrites. Our institutions are tools of elite coercion. Our economy perpetuates privilege. Our justice system is racist. Our foreign policy is rapacious. Cynicism gives us the comfort of knowing we won’t be fooled again because we never believed in anything in the first place. We may not be born disabused and disenchanted, but we get there very quickly.
This is the America that the Clintons seek to enlist in their latest presidential quest. I suspect many Democrats would jump at an opportunity not to participate in the exercise—it’s why they bolted for Barack Obama in 2008—and would welcome a credible primary challenger. (Run, Liz, Run!) But they will go along with it, mostly because liberals have demonized the Republican Party to the point that they have lost the capacity for self-disgust. Anything—anyone—to save America from a conservative judicial appointment.
from The New York Post, Isabel Vincent writes Charity watchdog: Clinton Foundation a ‘slush fund’
The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its “watch list” of problematic nonprofits last month.
The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.
The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.
On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fund-raising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons are on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the Foundation.
Clearly donations are meant to achieve something other than improving the world. The Clintons have written a whole new chapter in ethical abuse for political and personal gain.
From Don Boudreaux in Cafe Hayek, Why Is This Politician Taken Seriously?
So here’s a simple mental experiment. Suppose you’re on the board of a successful corporation and the President & CEO of that corporation is about to retire. You, as a board member, must help select the outgoing president’s replacement. A seemingly sane candidate comes in one day for an interview and he announces that he was once in the midst of sniper fire. That candidate then explains the hectic efforts that he and his companions took to avoid being mowed down, giving you the impression that his life was then in serious jeopardy before his fortunate escape from the attack. You’re impressed by the man’s adventure! You soon learn, however, that the candidate’s tale is a lie. There’s not a shred of relevant truth to it. You call the candidate and inform him that you have it on solid authority that no gunfire incident ever happened to him. There’s a short pause. He then replies, confidently, “Oh, yeah. I misspoke. Sorry about that!”
Do you need any further information about this candidate to immediately and unconditionally strike him off of the list of possible successors to the outgoing president? Can this candidate possibly have any superior qualities that offset your certain knowledge that he is either a bald-faced liar or bat-poop nuts? Surely not.
Let’s face it: no sane person misremembers being in the line of sniper fire when, in fact, that person never was in such a predicament. That’s not the sort of non-event that a sane person comes to believe he or she actually endured. How many of you, Cafe patrons, have ever recalled being in the line of sniper fire only to remember later that such a recollection is completely mistaken?
Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal, Hillary Seems Tired, Not Hungry.
Everyone knows what the scandal is. She didn’t want a paper trail of her decisions and actions as secretary of state. She didn’t want to be questioned about them, ever. So she didn’t join the government’s paper-trail system, in this case the State Department’s official email system, which retains and archives records. She built her own private system and got to keep complete control of everything she’d done or written. She no doubt assumed no one outside would ask and no one inside would insist—she’s Hillary, don’t mess with her.
She knew the story might blow but maybe it wouldn’t, worth the chance considering the payoff: secrecy. If what she did became public she’d deal with it then. When this week she was forced to, she stonewalled: “The server will remain private.”
Is it outrageous? Of course. Those are U.S. government documents she concealed and destroyed. The press is not covering for her and hard questions are being asked because everyone knows what the story is. It speaks of who she is and how she will govern. Everyone knows it.
Perhaps this is her McCarthy moment. Perhaps it is her Icarus moment.
From the New York Times, Maureen Dowd writes An Open Letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Because you assume that if it’s good for the Clintons, it’s good for the world, you’re always tangling up government policy with your own needs, desires, deceptions, marital bargains and gremlins.
Instead of raising us up by behaving like exemplary, sterling people, you bring us down to your own level, a place of blurred lines and fungible ethics and sleazy associates. Your family’s foundation gobbles tens of millions from Saudi Arabia and other repressive regimes, whose unspoken message is: “We’re going to give you money to go improve the world. Now leave us alone to go persecute women.”
That’s an uncomfortable echo of a Clintonian tradeoff, which goes: “We’re going to give you the first woman president who will improve the country. Now leave us alone to break any rules we please.”
This is not the first time Ms. Dowd has expressed her displeasure at the Clinton’s ethical vacuum. Is it possible for the Democratic heir apparent to go forward without the endorsement of the sacred NYT? Is it possible that Ms. Dowd and other Democrats who are not blind sycophants would still vote for Ms. Clinton over any Republican?
Is this Clinton’s McCarthy moment? Is Ms. Dowd McCarthy’s Joseph Welch?