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The Ethics of the Clinton Foundation

from The Wall Street Journal, The Clinton Foundation Super PAC by Kimberley Strassel:

With the news this week that Mrs. Clinton—the would-be occupant of the White House—is landing tens of millions from foreign governments for her shop, it’s long past time to drop the fiction that the Clinton Foundation has ever been a charity. It’s a political shop. Bill and Hillary have simply done with the foundation what they did with cattle futures and Whitewater and the Lincoln Bedroom and Johnny Chung—they’ve exploited the system.

It’s a body that exists to keep the Clinton political team intact in between elections, working for the Clintons’ political benefit. Only last week it came out that Dennis Cheng, who raised money for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 bid, and then transitioned to the Clinton Foundation’s chief development officer, is now transitioning back to head up Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 fundraising operation. Mr. Cheng has scored $248 million for the foundation, and his Rolodex comes with him. The Washington Post reported this week that already half the major donors backing Ready for Hillary, a group supporting her 2016 bid, are also foundation givers.

How much of these employees’ salaries, how much of Mrs. Clinton’s travel, was funded by the Saudis? Or the United Arab Emirates, or Oman, or any of the other foreign nations that The Wall Street Journal Tuesday reported have given millions to the foundation this past year? How many voters has Mrs. Clinton wooed, how many potential donors has she primed, how many influential people has she recruited for her campaign via the Clinton Foundation?

HKO

Given the Clintons’ past history of fundraising problem, this should be a serious ethics issue.  If her GOP opposition has a fraction of a testicle he or she should exploit this.

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Palin and Sharpton

Kevin Williamson writes What Causes American Murders in The National Review

Excerpts:

The shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords by a paranoid schizophrenic substance-abusing NASA-truther conspiracy theorist described by his friends as “quite liberal” was laid at the feet of Sarah Palin, who is not a paranoid schizophrenic substance-abusing (she admits to hitting the occasional spliff back when doing so was legal in Alaska) NASA-truther conspiracy theorist described by anybody as “quite liberal.” The cited reason, you’ll recall, was Palin’s alleged contribution to a “climate of violence,” putting pictures of crosshairs on maps of congressional districts in which Democrats were to be intensely challenged, and urging her supporters to “reload.”

Professor Krugman of the Times, before the identity of the Giffords shooter even was known, opined that the shooting was a probable political assassination attempt and abominated Palin’s “infamous crosshairs,” and further went on to abuse the former governor for calling the shooting “tragic.” Michael Daly of the New YorkDaily News insisted that Palin had “blood on her hands,” in the shooting, because “anyone with any sense at all knows that violent language can incite actual violence, that metaphor can incite murder.” Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona insisted that “Ms. Palin needs to look at her own behavior,” in the matter. Markos Moulitsas, the idiot troll prince of the Left, headlined a take on the shooting “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin.” Jane Fonda, who still exists, insisted that “Sarah Palin holds responsibility, as does the violence-provoking rhetoric of the Tea Party,” a bit much from a woman famous for posing merrily with the artillery of a homicidal dictatorship, an instrument with non-metaphorical crosshairs used to blast non-metaphorical American soldiers off the map in large, non-metaphorical numbers. Salon’s Joan Walsh also blamed the crosshairs map, as did many others.

The man who shot Giffords turned out to be much more interested in what he believed to be a series of conspiracies including the use of grammar as a government brainwashing tool, faked space flights, and something he called “infinite currency.” But President Obama insisted that the shooting showed the need for greater “civility” in our political discourse — perhaps Rahm F*****g Emanuel suggested that “civility” line — even though the objective fact is that the underlying issue was not civility but lunacy.

As it happens, I agree with my colleague Charles C. W. Cooke that the instinct within some on the right to blame the crimes of Ismaaiyl Brinsley on the riff-raff shouting half-literate slogans around New York and other cities, and on profiteering race-hustlers such as Al Sharpton, is misplaced. But it was much more grievously misplaced when Palin was being put through the ringer, too: for metaphorical crosshairs. The mobs in New York, Ferguson, and elsewhere are not calling for metaphorical murders of policemen, but literal ones. (Literally, Mr. Vice President!) Palin was calling for energetic participation in the democratic process; the New York mobs are calling for energetic participation in mass murders.

Al Sharpton is a grotesque, anti-Semitic reprobatewho would be shunned in a sane society rather than given a television show and a podium at presidential debates.

HKO

Al Sharpton has a history of fraud and incitement, yet look at how he not held accountable for his words.  He has his own show on MSNBC and is a frequent visitor to the White House. This is shameless blatant hypocrisy.

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Getting Beyond Race

kevin williamson

In The National Review Kevin Williamson writes With Landrieu’s Loss, the End of an Epoch

Excerpts:

Naturally, this will be seized upon as an opportunity to proclaim the grapes sour: The Democrats, being intellectually dishonest, cling to the myth that the two parties “switched places” on racial issues in the 1960s, that Senator Landrieu’s troubles are a consequence of that reversal, and that the general Southern realignment is evidence that the Republican party is a comfortable home for bigots, Confederate revanchists, and others with dodgy racial politics.

This is a strange line of argument, and an indefensible one once the evidence is considered. Democrats remained the favored party in the South for decades and decades after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, controlling a majority of governorships, Senate seats, state legislative bodies, etc., well into the 21st century.

A few obvious questions: If white Southerners were really so enraged about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and if they switched to the Republican party to express their displeasure, then why did they wait 30 years before making that preference felt in House elections? Why did Dwight D. Eisenhower — a supporter of civil-rights legislation who insisted on the actual desegregation of the armed forces (as opposed to President Truman’s hypothetical desegregation) and federal agencies under his control — win a larger share of the Southern vote in 1956 than Barry Goldwater, the most important Republican critic of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, did two cycles later? Why did Mississippi elect only one Republican governor in the entire 20th century, and that not until 1992? Why didn’t Alabama have a Republican governor until 1987? And why did Louisiana wait 60 years to eliminate its last Democratic senator in favor of a candidate from the party of Condoleezza Rice, Ben Carson, Allen West, Mia Love, Tim Scott, and that not-very-white guy who serves as governor of Louisiana? White supremacy should be made of sterner stuff: Did somebody forget to tell Louisiana state senator and newly confirmed Republican Elbert Guillory that he’s black?

Strange that redneck bigots would wait for so many decades to punish the Democrats for giving up cross-burning; my own experience with that particular demographic suggests that its members do not in general have that sort of attention span.

That being the case, Democrats should spare us their batty tales about Louisiana sending off the South’s last Democratic senator — a sanctimonious white lady if ever there was one — because white bigots are being inspired by a governor one generation away from PunjabHaitian refugees representing Utah in the House, andthis National Review cruise aficionado. From George Wallace’s infamous stand in the schoolhouse door to Barack Obama’sembarrassing racial politics are the Democrats’ bread and butter.

HKO

Progressivism decays partially because of its success.  Half of the graduate degrees, medical degrees, law degrees and accounting degrees now go to women yet the ‘war on women’ plays on like a 78 rpm in an mp3 world : fewer and fewer people are listening or reacting to it.  Like any centrally planned state it proves incapable of responding to the speed of change in a modern society.

Even as the current issues in Ferguson and Eric Garner’s tragedy are  played in racial terms we also note the abuse of power of the police. the over zealous regulations (selling single cigarettes) as a part of the problem.  Michael Brown’s case is very different from Eric Garner’s; while the media is seduced by the racial narrative, others are abhorred by the implied suggestion that a court of law should be usurped by a liberal lynch mob.

Racial differences are still reflected in voting blocks, but whites’ attention to this cause can shift. The left is rudderless without the liberal causes of the sixties to champion,  but the current generation is less attuned to these issues because of the the success we have achieved as a country in these arenas.

Racial and ethnic differences wile always be with us, but these differences are to be celebrated. Differences, even when observed as stereotypes are not the same as prejudices.  Views that are assumed to be prejudiced by race can also be seen as cultural and economic.  Zogby noted years ago that voting patterns noted by racial and sexual mix can often be more accurately predicted by income and culture.  It is often easier to predict one’s vote by the size of their 401k, the car they drive or their preference for shopping (Walmart vs Target, Nordstrum vs Saks).

Racism and sexism are not the deciding factors they once were.  Michale Brown and Eric Garner, tragedies that they are, do not prove otherwise.  This should be a source of pride for the left.  The critical group now is the working middle class. Chuck Schumer has finally recognized this. His colleges should recognize their victories and better understand their losses and adjust to the new reality.

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Profiting from Complexity

jonahgoldberg

from Jonah Goldberg on Foxnews

GOLDBERG: I heard about it. But it was today doing my homework for this that I finally read up on it. I just got angrier and angrier about it. In a lot of ways this spectacle represents not just everything that’s wrong with the Obama administration. It’s sort of everything that’s wrong with liberalism and a lot that’s wrong with America itself. You’ve got this guy who is pretending to be an objective, independent analyst, who’s got huge amounts of skin in the game in terms of money he’d make over off consulting fees, but also off of the prestige of being involved and the speeches he could do, which haven’t been tallied in these numbers. Anyway, it’s millions of dollars being touted around through a transmission belt of liberal journalists who all are pretending to be objective analysts too, quoting each other, reaffirming each other, all with the help of the White House which went along with this soup to nuts, what a process which this guy said was all about lies and misleading the American people. And then when caught about it, the same administration tries to dismiss him as if he was just some sort of random White House intruder.

The whole thing stinks. It’s not just that he’s getting rich. It’s the hypocrisy that every time Republicans complain about ObamaCare, they say it’s just because those evil, profit-hungry Koch brothers are trying to get rich, which was always a lie. It is also that this law itself makes American life more complex. And then there’s this leaching new class of people, who profit from the complexity that they are imposing upon the society. And so it’s like a pinata. You can hit it from any angle and you’ll get something out of it.

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Illiberalism

From the Editors at National Review, Progressive Illiberalism

The prevailing view in Democratic circles is that Americans enjoy constitutional and legal rights when acting alone but not when acting jointly — i.e., not when it matters most to public affairs. Under this model, the owners of Hobby Lobby enjoy First Amendment religious protections, and RFRA protections, when they are kneeling in prayer by their bedsides, and perhaps, with certain limitations and IRS oversight, when they are in their church pews. But if they make a decision together, as a group of business owners with a particular vision of the good life and their own duties as people of conscience, then the Democrats believe that their legal and constitutional rights should be set aside, as though human beings and American citizens acting in concert with one another were less than human beings or less than American citizens because of that act of coordination.

That is morally and constitutionally illiterate, but it is the prevailing view on the Left — especially when it comes to the First Amendment. Once again vexed by the likes of Antonin Scalia and his Cro-Magnon insistence that words mean things, Senate Democrats have rallied behind Harry Reid’s attempt to repeal the First Amendment’s free-speech protections, proposing to effectively disembowel the Bill of Rights. Once again, the theory is that while individuals enjoy free-speech rights, associations do not — except for Democrat-friendly associations such as labor unions and the New York Times. Ordinary citizens acting together and pooling their resources to engage in political discourse are to be denied free-speech protection.

There is an ongoing debate on right about what to call our antagonists on the left. “Liberal” is the traditional word, and one that we still employ out of habit, but the Left is anything but liberal — in the matter of contraception as in the matter of free speech, it is fundamentally and incorrigibly illiberal. The word “progressive” has some appeal in that it does not invest the Left with the merits of a liberalism that it detests, but that term presents a problem, namely the question of: Progressing toward what? If Senators Reid, Murray, and Udall are any indication, the answer is an enlarged state under the management of a diminished intelligence.

HKO

There is a large intellectual gap between rights such as free speech and freedom of religion which are a recognition of your state of freedom and your right to acquire  services and products at someone else’s expense.  Such poorly named rights can not be both none of my business and remain my responsibility to fund.

It is very politically shortsighted to designate power to deliver political outcomes desired at the moment.  You need to visualize that power being in the hands of your worst nightmare.