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Clinton and Nixon both really sorry

The Democratic front-runner is starting to sound a little like a president who resigned.

by James S. Robbins     •     USAToday

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressLast month, famed Washington Post reporter and Watergate investigator Bob Woodward said that the email scandal engulfing former secretary of State Hillary Clinton “reminds me of the Nixon tapes: thousands of hours of secretly recorded conversations that Nixon thought were exclusively his.”

Woodward’s impression is justified, and not just by the steady drip, drip of new secrets in the latest batch of Clinton emails released by the State Department on Monday. There is also a remarkable resonance between Nixon’s statements during the evolving Watergate crisis and Clinton’s public statements regarding her emails:

The people come first

Nixon: I welcome this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I am not a crook.

Clinton: I think it’s kind of fun. People get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about and what I was communicating about. [Read more...]

There’s a Whole Arsenal of Smoking Guns in the Clinton Email Scandal

The very existence of her illicit server means she broke the rules.

by Jonah Goldberg     •     National Review

Hillary Clinton 2Every time the State Department pulls out a new fistful of Hillary Clinton e-mails like Richard Dreyfuss yanking a license plate out of a shark’s belly in Jaws, someone declares that there’s “no smoking gun!”

I’ve written before about how shouting “There’s no smoking gun!” is a non-denial denial. Ask a cop. When a murder suspect immediately exclaims, “You have no indisputable evidence I murdered my boss!” instead of, “I didn’t do it!” it’s a good sign that the suspect thinks he covered his tracks, not that he’s innocent.

Fellas, if your wife asks if you’re having an affair, respond by saying, “You have no proof!” See if she takes that for a denial.

But here’s the thing. There is a smoking gun. In fact, there’s a whole smoking arsenal. The problem is that the standards for what counts as a smoking gun keep changing. [Read more...]

An Anti-American White House

Barack Obama’s presidency has empowered the adversaries of the United States

by Matthew Continetti     •     Washington Free Beacon

obama_speechThis week President Obama won the 34th vote in support of his nuclear deal with Iran. The vote, from Senator Barbara Mikulski, guarantees that the deal will survive a rejection by Congress. The fact that the deal will be made despite such opposition—something a few of us predicted months ago—is, in the words of the AP, a “landmark Obama victory.” It is worth asking how many more of these victories our country can withstand.

The president and his supporters, of course, say their foreign policy has improved the world. “Like George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton,” writes Gideon Rose of Foreign Affairs, “Obama will likely pass on to his successor an overall foreign policy agenda and national power position in better shape than when he entered office, ones that the next administration can build on to improve things further.”

I’m not convinced. Rather than trying to predict how things will look when Obama leaves office, rather than contemplating abstractions such as our “overall foreign policy agenda” and “national power position,” why not examine the actual results of Obama’s policies, as they exist now, in the real world before our eyes? [Read more...]

Second Review Says Classified Information Was in Hillary Clinton’s Email

by Michael S. Schmidt      •     New York Times

Hillary Clinton 2A special intelligence review of two emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton received as secretary of state on her personal account — including one about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program — has endorsed a finding by the inspector general for the intelligence agencies that the emails contained highly classified information when Mrs. Clinton received them, senior intelligence officials said.

Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department disputed the inspector general’s finding last month and questioned whether the emails had been overclassified by an arbitrary process. But the special review — by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — concluded that the emails were “Top Secret,” the highest classification of government intelligence, when they were sent to Mrs. Clinton in 2009 and 2011.

On Monday, the Clinton campaign disagreed with the conclusion of the intelligence review and noted that agencies within the government often have different views of what should be considered classified. [Read more...]

Of Course They’re Fed Up

The left blames economic woes on everything except its hero president.

by Stephen Moore     •     Weekly Standard

Two weekends ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City held its annual monetary conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The left flew in hundreds of protesters donning green T-shirts that demanded “Higher Wages for America” and chanting, “We’re Fed Up.” The crowd was an assortment of college kids on their summer break, disgruntled middle-aged teachers, senior citizens, and blue-collar union members. Think Occupy Wall Street.

I attended the Jackson Hole conference and chatted with protesters who came in from places as distant as New York and North Carolina and California. What was their beef? Two black men who appeared to be in their seventies explained the agenda: “We demand higher wages.” “We want an increase in the minimum wage.” “The Fed is intentionally holding down pay.” “Corrupt corporations have all the power.” “Unions need to be returned to power.” A social worker from Kansas City almost sobbingly told me of the plight of the poor who she cares for in her job, of the “women and minorities [who] are being left behind,” as she made an abstract plea for “social justice.”

These were generally nice, sincere, and well-meaning people. They are hyper-concerned about the direction America is headed. They seemed to be earnestly parroting what the union organizers had drilled into them. They have no confidence in the decisions made by arrogant and elitist central bankers, and they are convinced that Republicans care only about the wealthy.

I would guess that 98 percent of them voted for Barack Obama joyfully and twice. What I encountered wasn’t so much leftist rage—that only happens when Republicans are in power—but leftist despondency. They reminded me of the bumper sticker: “How’s that Hope and Change thing working out for you?”

Many of these folks also sounded the themes of Trump supporters and Tea Partiers. At last, we have a consensus growing in this country on the left and the right—and presumably among many people in between. The wheels have come off. It is time to make America great again and rebuild our middle class.

So how should conservatives and Republicans respond to this pervasive despondency and fear? First, many of the left’s complaints about the economy are regrettably true. Yes, wages are stagnant. Yes, the rich are getting richer and poor poorer. Yes poverty is a massive problem in America. Yes, college costs way too much. Yes, too many neighborhoods in cities like Baltimore are blighted pockets of crime, joblessness, godawful schools, and hopelessness. Yes, of course, black lives matter. Yes, race relations have taken a leap backward.

But second, all of this has happened under the most liberal president since Woodrow Wilson. That is the unavoidable truth the left keeps trying to sidestep. Obama is trying to spin that things have gotten much better on his watch, while his own voters are saying they are getting worse. The latest Census Bureau income data show that since January 2009, the median household income has dropped by more than $1,500, and the biggest percentage declines have been among single women, blacks, Hispanics, and workers under the age of 30—i.e., the heart of the Obama coalition. People aren’t just imagining all of this. Where’s the recovery?

During this era of malaise, the Fed has held interest rates at zero for seven straight years, and yet Washington and Wall Street are in full agreement that the only way out is heavier doses of this crack cocaine of easy money. At the Fed meeting I met central bankers and their gaggle of Keynesian economists who for the first time worryingly and grudgingly admitted that their mathematical models about how to get to full employment have gone haywire and may not be reliable. Ya think?

Meanwhile, Barack Obama and the left’s biggest puppeteer/financial supporter, Tom Steyer, the billionaire green giant, keep telling America that the “moral crisis of our time” is climate change. That’s easy for a billionaire to say. Too bad no one in the middle class agrees. All that progressives want to talk about is global warming, and yet every poll shows that out of the top 20 issues, Americans rank climate change close to the last among things they are concerned about. The moral crisis of our time is an economy that has left American workers without a pay increase for nearly 15 years.

The left’s reflexive answer to that is to raise the minimum wage. But only about 4 percent of Americans earn the minimum wage and most of them are teenagers and young people who aren’t supporting a family. That there are a growing number of heads of households working at Burger King tells us a lot more about the flimsiness of the Obama economy than it does about the stinginess of fast food franchise owners. In any case, what will a minimum wage hike do for the other 96 percent except make a hamburger and fries more expensive?

Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, along with the unions, also want hundreds of billions more for “shovel-ready” infrastructure spending financed by even more debt added to the $7 trillion Obama has already borrowed. Japan has done that for 20 years and has been in what may be the industrial world’s longest recession, while Beijing’s central planners have built Potemkin villages the size of Chicago with empty shopping malls and vacant skyscraper office buildings. Government-directed investment means mal-investment, as debacles like Solyndra and California’s absurd $70 billion high-speed rail project confirm.

In other words, the left doesn’t have many arrows left in its quiver to aim at slow growth. We’ve had stimulus public works plans, $7 trillion of new debt, Obamacare, tax increases on the rich, three minimum wage hikes, Dodd-Frank, and bailouts, and all we got was an economy that looks like Cleveland.

The only excuse the left can muster is the sorry refrain of “secular stagnation.” As Obama’s first chief economist, Larry Summers, explains things: Two percent growth is about the best we can do in this 21st-century world economy. Now he tells us. When Jeb Bush and other Republicans call for 4 percent growth, the best White House economist Jason Furman can muster in reply is that “no serious economist” believes this is possible. These are people who drank their own Kool-Aid and can’t conceive of anything else working.

The left has gotten very good at telling the American people what they can’t do. They can’t stop illegal immigration; they can’t grow the economy; they can’t get people off welfare; they can’t come within a mile of balancing the budget; they can’t get an Obamacare website to work. Oh, but they can stop the rise of the oceans.

This “can’t do” attitude is pervasive in Washington and only breeds voter cynicism. It explains the rise of Trumpism. Even some country club types in the GOP join the left in sneering at Donald Trump for “offering simple solutions to complex problems.” I fervently disagree with much of what Trump proposes, but most of the economy fixes aren’t complicated. They are fairly obvious: cut tax rates, restore a sound and stable dollar, promote an America-first energy strategy, and roll back Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and EPA regulations that are strangling American industries. That agenda could be enacted in less than 100 days, and, yes, it would trigger 4 percent-plus growth and a rise in what Reagan used to call “real take-home pay.”

Back in 2010 Vice President Joe Biden famously promised the country a “summer of recovery.” We’ve just had the seventh Obama summer without a recovery to speak of. No one in Washington or out in posh Jackson Hole seems to have a clue what to do. That is why voters are nervous and fed up. Now progressives can only resort to the excuse used by then-New York mayor David Dinkins during his reelection campaign: “I’m doing the best I can.” Voters believed him, and he got trounced.

Stephen Moore is a Fox News economics contributor and a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Out with ‘Redskins’ — and everything else!

By George F. Will     •     Washington Post

Autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, also is the time for The Post and other sensitivity auditors to get back on — if they will pardon the expression — the warpath against the name of the Washington Redskins. The niceness police at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have won court approval of their decision that the team’s name “may disparage” Native Americans. We have a new national passion for moral and historical hygiene, a determination to scrub away remembrances of unpleasant things, such as the name Oklahoma, which is a compound of two Choctaw words meaning “red” and “people.”

Connecticut’s state Democratic Party has leapt into the vanguard of this movement, vowing to sin no more: Never again will it have a Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. Connecticut Democrats shall still dine to celebrate their party’s pedigree but shall not sully the occasions by mentioning the names of two slave owners. Because Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners have long been liturgical events for Democrats nationwide, now begins an entertaining scramble by states’ parties — Georgia’s, Missouri’s, Iowa’s, New Hampshire’s, and Maine’s already have taken penitential actions — to escape guilt by association with the third and seventh presidents. [Read more...]

Voluntary initiative to stop ad-supported piracy

The winners:  consumers, content providers, and advertisersIntellectual Propery Piracy

The losers:  pirates, malware, viruses, and thieves

The internet has been a huge engine for commerce. You can go online to by just about anything and have it delivered to your home. You can also legitimately buy and download music, movies, and television shows from a incredible array of legal services. But where there are legitimate businesses, there are also pirates trying to make a quick buck selling that which they do not own. The truth is they make more than a quick buck — they steal billions every year pirating content belonging to others.

GroupM, a leading global media investment management company, recently announced that they will require all their partners to become certified by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a voluntary initiative by the advertising industry to fight internet piracy of copyrighted material — typically movies, music, and television programing. Many piracy sites make their money from advertisements on their websites. Indeed, the Digital Citizens Alliance conducted a report concluding that piracy sites made over $209 million selling ads in 2014. So the initiative is aimed at stopping advertisements from legitimate companies running on illegitimate pirate sites. By stopping the flow of advertising dollars to the pirate sites, piracy itself will be reduced, thereby incentivizing creativity, innovation, investment, and jobs. [Read more...]

On Iran, Obama won the fight but lost the argument

By Washington Examiner

Obama Iran Nuke DealWith the Senate lacking the two-thirds majority it would need to stop him, President Obama will succeed in implementing his nuclear deal with Iran. At this point, barring a miracle, Obama has outmaneuvered the Congress and won that fight.

He has also lost the argument.

For all the millions of dollars they promised to spend influencing public opinion, his allies failed to put a dent in the overwhelming opposition among the American public. The demeaning videos they trotted out featuring vapid celebrities failed to convince the undecided to embrace this deal. Nor could they assuage the glaring problems in its terms for those following closely enough to feel confident expressing an opinion. [Read more...]

Spitting on the Constitution to pass the Iran deal

By John Podhoretz      •      New York Post

Smug-ObamaIt’s rare for people to celebrate getting 41 percent of anything. If you score 41 percent on a test, you get an F. If you win 41 percent of the vote in a two-person race, you lose. If your tax rate is 41 percent, you’re likely to feel ripped off.

In the matter of his Iran deal, President Obama and his team have spent two months working relentlessly to secure 41 percent — and now they’re claiming an enormous victory even though by any other standards what they’ve achieved is nothing but a feat of unconstitutional trickery.

They worked throughout the summer to browbeat Senate Democrats so they could get 41 of them to say they would support the Iran nuclear deal. They’re up to 42 now — that’s a mere 42 percent of the Senate. [Read more...]

5-Month Gap in Hillary Emails

Compared to missing 18 minutes in Nixon Watergate tapes

by Garth Kant     •     WND

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressThere are gaps totaling five months in the Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department, the watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Monday morning.

The revelation emerged after a court ordered the release of State Department documents as part of Judicial Watch’s effort to obtain Clinton emails under the Freedom of Information Act.

Emails sent and received by Clinton on her private server are missing over periods totaling five months, beginning when she took office as secretary of state in 2009.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the gaps indicate Clinton lied under oath when she said all her emails had been turned over, and it suggested government officials had not turned over everything they were required to deliver. [Read more...]

Obama’s Messy ISIS Intelligence Scandal

by John R. Schindler ICC2

It’s happening again. A White House fumbling with the violent mess of Iraq finds itself surrounded by mounting accusations that it’s played dirty games with intelligence. A Pentagon facing charges that its analysts have skewed assessments on Iraq to tell top policymakers what they want to hear, rather than what is really happening in that troubled country.

If this sounds terribly familiar, it should. Only a dozen years after the George W. Bush White House was buffeted by allegations that it had “cherry-picked” intelligence to justify its 2003 invasion of Iraq, Barack Obama is facing similar accusations. Intelligence Community analysts alleged that, in the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom, they were pressured to exaggerate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. Now, analysts claim that they have been pushed to present Obama’s war against the Islamic State as more successful than it really is. [Read more...]

Hillary Emails Said To Contain Spy Satellite Info Of North Korean Nuclear Weapon Movements

by Chuck Ross     •     Daily Caller

Hillary Rodham ClintonHighly sensitive spy satellite information concerning the movement of North Korean nuclear weapons made its way from classified channels to Hillary Clinton’s personal email account, intelligence sources have told The Washington Times.

The movement of the classified information across Clinton’s private email server — which was registered to the former secretary of state’s home in New York — marks what could be the first major national security breach so far in the ever-growing scandal over her email setup.

According to The Times, in July, the Intelligence Community inspector general flagged the email as possibly containing information that originated with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which manages satellite and mapping systems. [Read more...]

Hillary’s IT Guy Says He’ll Plead The Fifth If Called To Testify About Homebrew Email Server

by Chuck Ross     •     Daily Caller

Hillary clinton 5The State Department IT worker who managed Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state will plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify about his work on the Democratic presidential candidate’s mysterious email setup, his attorney informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi this week.

The committee subpoenaed Bryan Pagliano on Aug. 11, according to The Washington Post. In addition to testifying on Sept. 10, committee chairman Trey Gowdy asked Pagliano to produce documents related to the servers he managed on behalf of Clinton.

Pagliano worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before moving over to the State Department in May 2009, several months after Clinton took office. He left the agency at the same time as Clinton, in February 2013. [Read more...]

IRS Lawyer Who Headed Lerner Email Release Present When Markings on Clinton Emails Changed

by Morgan Chalfant     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressMarkings on no fewer than four emails contained on Hillary Clinton’s private system were changed to a category that blocks Congress and the public from viewing their contents, according to State Department whistleblowers.

Fox News reported:

The changes, which came to light after the first tranche of 296 Benghazi emails was released in May, was confirmed by two sources–one congressional, the other intelligence. The four emails originally were marked classified after a review by career officials at the State Department. But after a second review by the department’s legal office, the designation was switched to “B5”–also known as “deliberative process,” which refers to internal deliberations by the Executive Branch. Such discussions are exempt from public release. The B5 coding has the effect, according to a congressional source, of dropping the email content “down a deep black hole.” [Read more...]

Report: Low-Income Entitlements Make Recipients Less Likely to Work

GAO finds Medicaid and housing assistance may cause lower labor force participation

by Ali Meyer     •     Washington Free Beacon

GAO Government Accountability OfficeGovernment entitlement programs such as Medicaid and housing assistance may make their beneficiaries less likely to work, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

According to the GAO, an increase in income could result in a loss of Medicaid benefits for an individual and thus cause them to be less likely to pursue employment.

The GAO found the same result when looking at the housing assistance program, especially in Chicago. GAO found that the Section 8 program had a negative effect on labor force participation and earnings. [Read more...]